Thanksgiving this year was low key for us. Last year was drama with Rusty's grandmother slowly succumbing to cancer and his mother cooking for like twelve people. This year the in-laws wanted a break from cooking and to start the holiday on a fresh note. So we ate out at Maggiano's. And it was very awesome!

Then Black Friday I actually got up at 4:40am to venture out for shopping. I had never done this before, not sure if I will again next year. There is something nice about shopping alone and getting it mostly done in one day. I was back home by 6:30am before anyone was awake. I even stopped for kolache breakfast for everyone. I did get good deals on toys and clothes. I was surprised at how many guys were shopping. I expected it to be mostly women but it was all people: young, old, men, women, various backgrounds. My first store was Target and the line at their 5am opening was wrapped half way around the side. Before I was even inside three people left with flat screen TVs. The electronics section was crazy busy. Toys were busy too but navigable. I was probable the few well dressed. Most everyone else was wearing sweats and pajamas with coats over them.

Today we're decorating for Christmas. Lights are up outside, inflatables are blown up and secured to the ground, and the tree is assembled if also naked. Despite the outward holiday cheer Rusty & I are grumbly towards each other today. We're not mad and not fighting just bickering. It's like we're not on the same page. There's growing tension on my mind that he spends so much time at his computer for various reasons instead of being in the common area with us. The office is sort of off-limits to the kids although they frequently get in there with limit permission. I check stuff at my computer throughout the day but I'm in the common area able to supervise, participate with the kids, engage them, and just be present. I hate the office that it keeps Rusty preoccupied from other things, even if they are menial and trivial in the grand scheme of things. He doesn't do this intentionally and he's not in there all day, it's just how the home is laid out with his computer in a room away from the action. I don't have a good solution so I probably won't bring it up right now.

Happy Birthday Elliot!! Today our little guy is 2!

We celebrated this morning by having Cocoa Puffs. I'm starting a new tradition of having super-yummy (i.e. too sugary for ordinary consumption) breakfast cereals for birthdays. For Joshua's birthday they will enjoy Cookie Crisps or Fruity Pebbles or something like that. Then it's back to healthy granola flakes or Lucky Charms or some variety of Cheerios. The boys went to school then for dinner I had balloons and a banner decorating the dining room. We had Elliot's favorite dinner: hot dogs, blueberries, cheese and chips. Of course nothing escapes me without some nutritional value. The buns were whole wheat with no sugar added and the chips were veggie chips.

And then there was cake! Or rather, over-sized chocolate cupcakes with balloon shaped frosting. Again, as healthy as a cupcake can be, these were from Whole Foods made of whole ingredients, no trans fats, no hydrogenated anything. And still very yummy!

Elliot's gift from us were bongos.

I can still remember the night he was born like it was last week. Labor came on quickly and was intense. My midwife was excellent, our labor assistant was wonderful, Rusty was a super coach and Elliot was a plump, quiet baby. He was so quiet he scared the midwife for a second. Immediately after coming out he didn't cry or respond right away then a second or two later he wailed like all newborns do. It startled Dinah but he turned out just fine.

At two, he's bright, opinionated, eager to try new things (but not vegetables), he loves to hear singing, show off his counting skills and look at books. His favorite item in the house is his fuzzy blanket which he drags (literally) everywhere around the house. He's rough with the cats, always getting into the bathroom drawers and climbs anything that will hold his weight. His favorite foods do not include vegetables although he tolerates corn and peas. He's easy to put to bed, he naps well and he wakes up happy nearly every morning. He's a charm to be with! I am so lucky to know him and be his mommy!

Despite unfounded fears of vaccine safety, I got both my boys vaccinated this morning against the H1N1 virus. They'll have a follow up booster shot in a month. I searched for a couple months and waited for my pediatrician to get it then while chatting with my dentist it struck me like a brick that his pulmonologist would likely have it or know where I could get it. Score! And thanks to our tax dollars it was free. Joshua is definitely in the high risk group having his asthma-like respiratory problems. Elliot is not in the high risk group but he got it too. Neither cried nor screamed although Josh was much more reluctant than Elliot.

So why are so many people afraid of this vaccine? Most seasonal flu shots don't cause an uproar of rejection like this one does. Some are afraid the vaccine was rushed into production with minimal testing for safety. There may have been a rush in the face of deaths and demand but the same stringent testing and approval processes were in place. There have been more news announcements about people dying from the virus and it's complications than from people with bad reactions to the vaccine. I understand fears to some vaccines. I was fearful of the MMR vaccine for both of my children. Although there is no conclusive evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism [], the correlation is noteworthy and difficult to ignore. Rather than snub the vaccine entirely I delayed it until my kids were older than 18 months old and requested that it be the only vaccine for that visit. Not surprisingly, my kids did not develop autism. I was afraid the smallest trace of mercury-containing preservative thimerosal []. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish []. My kids have eaten tuna, shrimp and salmon with absolutely no reaction. To be fearful of a tiny amount of mercury akin to eating fish seems ludicrous in retrospect.

Not getting vaccinated against a terrible illness is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet. There's wrong with doing that until the bike crashes, and then you'd wish you'd had your helmet.

I'm either going to love it or hate it but I successfully charmed everyone in an interview today for an entry level position at a small marketing & advertising agency in Plano. If I land this job I'll be helping a small team to develop html based emails, testing, content management, and working with databases of client provided information. It would be a full-time job so that would be the end of being home on Mondays & Fridays with the kids. But it would bring in much needed income and put me more on a career path than my current part-time gig. I hope to hear back from them tomorrow as follow up to today's interview.



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