August 31, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Vacant Senate Seat

Massachusetts now must be without a second senator until January 2010 when a special election can be held. Oh the irony. The state law that was first put in place for partisan reasons ends up affecting the conniving party instead of the party intended.

The 2004 law was put in place while Mitt Romney was governor because the state legislature didn't want the Republican to appoint a successor to John Kerry should Kerry win the presidency. Ted Kennedy even worked before he died to change the law again, so Democratic Governor Deval Patrick could appoint an interim should Kennedy be unable to serve. The 2004 law remains unchanged, however. Now when the Democrats need 60 senators for a filibuster-proof majority, they won't have it for five more months.

And, why should Ted Kennedy's seat "stay within the family"? Isn't that part of the reason our forefathers started this country--so a person is judged by his merits and not by his family affiliation?
With Massachusetts having paid its final respects to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the politics of succession begins in earnest this week - candidates will emerge, a race will take shape, and the Kennedy clan will have to reveal whether it wants to keep the seat in the family.

August 29, 2009

Another 'Schiavo' Death

I read today that Terri Shiavo's father died last night. I was also able to dig up my old blog's post on Shiavo's death. I remember being so affected by her death, so saddened by the outcome and heartbroken over decisions that were made.

Reading my old blog was a blast from the past. I started my first blog in October 2004, and I had not remembered that I'd posted so much or for so long. Not many folks read my first blog; I guess having a cute kid makes at least the grandparents want to read what you have to say--or at least watch the videos.

Honorable No-Mention

Senator Ted Kennedy died, and there's been tons of news coverage. I've heard lots of it because I listen to Fox News over satellite radio. In all the hours of coverage, I have not heard any mention of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Ted's sister, who died earlier this very month. There have been many mentions of the other Kennedy brothers who died decades ago, but no mention of Eunice. I think it's newsworthy that two siblings of the great Kennedy clan died in the same month, yet I've not heard one newscaster mention it. It's possible that I've missed a brief mention of the correlation; anyone remember hearing it?

August 28, 2009

Fun Birthday Party

Last Saturday we attended a fun birthday party for Joel and Joshua Simmons. Their mom Kisha works with Mr. Morgan. Claire loved the pool party, especially the water balloons. She and her partner won the balloon-toss game twice.Though Claire just wanted to have a big water-balloon fight, Kisha's games were a hit. Mr. Morgan even got in on the fun, partnering with a cute little girl for the balloon toss.

Talkative Boy

I made this video of Hamilton today during playtime after lunch. He's starting to make more noises, and I figured the grandmothers especially would love to see his progress.
video

Household Chores

I hope this is a little-known fact about me--I mean, I hope you can't tell from looking at my house: I dislike cleaning. And, I never feel like I have the time, energy, or desire. Now I love organizing and rearranging, and I like for our house and any space of mine to be organized with things where they belong--a place for everything, and everything in its place. But I have a real aversion to cleaning rags and vacuums.

My wonderful husband has allowed us for much of our married life to have a house-cleaner come every other week. What a blessing it was while I was working full-time and then pregnant! Our most recent house-cleaner did not work out, and Mr. Morgan recently told her we wouldn't be needing her services anymore. I decided that since I'm at home most all of every day, I could and should be able to clean our 2000-square-foot house adequately within two weeks.

In talking things over with Deb, she lamented that perhaps growing up she hadn't taught me well enough how to clean or that she hadn't made me clean our house a sufficient number of times. I assured her that she had: I definitely remember cleaning as a child and teenager. Even then, I preferred straightening the house way more than cleaning any part of it.

I tackled the job of cleaning chez Morgan as I do any other: I organized a schedule of different household chores to accomplish each day, reserving Fridays and weekends as make-up days. And, I'm happy to say that I got all my chores done these last two weeks! I'm pretty proud of myself given my tendencies and life-long aversion.

Two Kids

Yesterday I watched West for my friend JaiLynne who's part-time job has become impossible to manage with a 5-month-old tagging along. We're swapping babysitting hours during the week; Tuesday I got LOTS of errands run without having to drag little Hamilton around with me. So yesterday was my day to watch both of them, and I was surprised a little at how smoothly things went. I'm sure every week won't be so easy.

While West is much bigger than Hamilton, he is also more aware of his surroundings, which is fun. At one point, I actually had them both sleeping soundly. And, later in the afternoon they both cried at the same time, though not for long. I might have gone insane otherwise. Both were awake and looking around while I managed to accomplish some ironing.And, I did not dress them alike on purpose. I wish now that I'd gotten a close-up picture of them both together, so their size difference is more apparent. Fifteen-pound West seems much bigger than ten-pound Hamilton. I was doing well to get any pictures taken--maybe next week.

Sunday-Best

I just found some pictures from last Sunday that I had forgotten I'd taken of Hamilton in his Sunday-best. Our wonderful, Taylor-family friend "Miss" Claire gave this outfit to Hamilton. She and Deb love these impractical but so sweet, fancy-pants outfits.
Back when they were having kids, they couldn't afford these little gems. Now that they're grandparents they can splurge. I'm certainly appreciative of the gifts especially since we do go to church, and it's fun to have a fancy outfit to put the kid in. Miss Claire also has her own grandbaby to lavish gifts on.Other than the collar always seeming to be flipped up and in the way, I think these outfits are cute. Nine-year-old Claire asked if it was a dress. I assured her it was not, but I think Mr. Morgan secretly thinks the same thing. We're always being asked whom we think Hamilton looks like. I don't think he overwhelming looks like anybody, but in this picture below I think he looks a little bit like my brother Travis--at least my recollection of Travis's baby pictures. However, Travis's cheeks were never this fat and full.

August 24, 2009

Excitements

Yesterday Hamilton and I picked up Claire from school. On the way home we waited at a stoplight beside a car with a giant dog in the back seat, maybe one of these. Claire exclaimed, "Wow, look at that dog!" Since Hamilton was asleep, she then said sincerely, "Poor Hamilton, missing out on all the excitements of life."

August 17, 2009

Hamilton and Friends at 6 Weeks

Yesterday Hamilton was six weeks old, and I feel like he already has such a personality. We have delightful playtimes after he eats, as he smiles and mimics me (or so I like to think). As long as he's not gassy, he's pleasant for the most part. He's sleeping really well at night, so we're sleeping well at night, too.

Hamilton received two, new stuffed friends this week: He's pictured here with Mr. Waddles (an old chum), Teddy Long-Legs (though I think Teddy may actually be a dog, he's a gift from the Longs), and Simon (the giraffe, picked out by precocious, three-year-old Noah).

Enjoying the Patio

Our good friends Julie and Devin came to visit us this past weekend, and we made good use of our new patio. The weather on Saturday morning was so mild (for August) that we ate breakfast out on the patio. We've worked hard to complete the patio with the landscaping, and Mr. Morgan has worked especially hard on getting new grass to grow where we had to bring in dirt. And, we were finally able to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

August 12, 2009

Playtime

Most days Hamilton and I have a great playtime after he finishes eating. He's so content and happy. I usually lay him back against my legs which are propped up on the coffee table. He's able to look around and see things which he seems to like. The other day I took this video of him during playtime.

video

Today has not been one of these days.

August 8, 2009

Goodbye Friends

In typical Swearingen fashion, an overflowing crowd gathered at Santi's on Thursday night to say goodbye to Christopher, Emilie, and Joseph Swearingen. I know the waitstaff at Santi's is also sad to see them go, as the Swearingens were weekly (or more) visitors to the fantastic Mexican restaurant. The Swearingens have been in Charleston for five years, and Mr. Morgan and I got to know them as a dating couple when they hosted a small group at their Mt. Pleasant apartment four years ago. Oh how we'll miss them!!

Alison and Christopher pose with me on the patio. Little Hamilton's in the Sleepy Wrap attached to me.
Emilie and I say "See you later" and not goodbye. We're hoping to meet up with them the next time we're in Tennessee visiting Mr. Morgan's family. Since the Swearingens are moving to Little Rock, we'll only be a few hours apart when we visit Paris, Tenn.Mr. Morgan, Christopher, and Jordon pose in what's apparently the color of the day. Sweet Joseph, Emilie, and baby #2--how I'll miss watching Joseph continue to grow and Emilie's belly, too!
Claire waits for Joseph who's either resting or enjoying a timeout on Mama's lap. Linnea and Lee are more friends who are sad to see the Swearingens move.The relaxed atmosphere of the patio at Santi's is second only to the margaritas.

Busy Week's End

Claire, Hamilton, and I have had a busy last few days. Wednesday we went to Target and found Claire a cute bookbag and matching lunchbox to begin the new school year. She was SO excited that she wanted to wheel her new bookbag out of the store, declaring, "This is going to be a great year."
Thursday we went to Whirlin' Waters at Wannamaker County Park, which is only a ten-minute drive from our house. Claire loves the water park. Hamilton and I chilled out in the shade, and Claire ran around enjoying the water slides and the wave pool.

Friday we went shopping for a gift for Claire's mom's birthday. Claire loves to spend her own money, and she loves to buy gifts. With all this activity plus regular feeding and tending to Hamilton, his one-month birthday on Wednesday came and went with no documentation from me. Happy, belated one-month birthday to Hamilton! This picture was taken just a few days before his one-month birthday.

Pictures from 'Mimi Camp'

As I mentioned last week, Claire enjoyed several days of "Mimi camp" last week, and Deb sent pictures documenting their adventures. Mimi had planned to make yeast rolls and cinnamon buns with Claire, thinking Claire would enjoy the kneading of the bread and watching it rise; however, Claire requested baking a cake. So they made a Bundt cake with a yellow cake mix and chocolate icing in what Claire called "an upside-down pan."
As true products of the '60s, Mimi and Pops took Claire to an outdoor band concert at Furman University featuring the music of the Beatles, passing on their appreciation to the next generation.

August 4, 2009

Hey Phoebe, Fatty

A few nights ago, Mr. Morgan and I were watching reruns of Friends when we heard a line on the show that we say around our house all the time. Chandler delivers the line, so it's funny; and I wanted to share it. Check out this clip; our line is near the 7:50 mark of the nearly nine-minute video.

Catching Up

When Claire came downstairs for lunch today, I asked her what she'd been busying herself with for the last hour or so up in her room by herself.

She replied nonchalantly, "Oh, I've just been catching up on my origami."

I was not aware that she was so far behind with her origami--whatever that means, nor was I aware it was so important to warrant worrying with "catching up."

Tonight she brought downstairs a calendar that had a year's worth of instructions for folding a different origami figure every day. Apparently "catching up" means folding figures January 8 through August 4. Claire is good at origami, and she's planning to keep each of the figures that she folds "to show to her kids."

August 3, 2009

Visiting the Farm

We loaded up the Freestyle on Friday and headed to visit Mimi and Pops at the farm, and we had quite a load with Hamilton's stuff and the puppies too. Hamilton slept nearly the whole ride, which made the 3-hour trip pleasant. Mr. Morgan had taken Friday off work, so we were able to leave Friday morning making our stay longer than a normal weekend trip.

Grandma stopped by on Friday night to see her first baby great-grandchild.
Hamilton promptly calmed down and went to sleep in Grandma's arms. I think she's still got the touch.Saturday afternoon Mom and I went shopping, and we left the men to handle the baby. They promptly put Claire in charge of feeding and burping Hamilton. Claire had been hanging out at the farm all week during her vacation. At "Mimi camp," Claire and Mimi made a cute tote bag, baked a cake, and enjoyed a picnic and outdoor concert.
On Saturday night our dear friends the Trammells and the Hayeses came to visit. Little Grayson is so adorable, and we had such fun seeing them and showing off Hamilton. I think the boys will be great buddies as they get older.

On Sunday we went to Cornerstone. All the folks at church declared that Hamilton looked a lot like Grandma and the Taylor side of the family. As always, a trip home to the farm is far too short.