Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why YOU Should be a Steelers Fan ;)

This is directly from the September issue of GQ. The articles called, 73 Reasons We're Living in a Golden Age of Football, and this particular chunk was written by Jean Marie Laskas.

No. 8 Because the Cowboys may be America's team, but the Steelers are God's team.

A Steelers game is a holy war, a fight for what is virtuous and right. To live here in Pittsburgh, where Heinz Field sits like a fat temple bursting with kielbasa-loving believers, is to know all there is to know. Unflinching, unconditional, ours is a faith handed to us from grandpa or great-grandpa, the guy who first got the season tickets and passed them down through generations. (the waiting list for season tickets is ten years long- you have to wait until someone dies.) Divorcing couples have been known to wage custody battles over season tickets; ex-husbands give in and sit with ex-wives, sharing nachos and cold iron. Hey, it's the Steelers.

We are born into our religion, and we are baptized, and we receive our communion. A Steelers fan never strays. You move to Denver, or to some fancy sunbelt place, or even to California, you stay a Steeler fan. People say the Cowboys are America's team, and we think that is so adorable. So very precious. Listen people: the Steelers are God's team. Hometown boy Bill Cowher having passed along to Sainthood, we embrace a new Messiah, Mike Tomlin, trusting in the guidance of our holiest family, the Rooneys (because they're from Pittsburgh). And now, of course, we have Big Ben Roethlisberger, who can make us more than a tiny bit nervous, and Hines Ward, with his eternal smile (he smiles, we think, because he gets to play for Pittsburgh), and Troy Polamalu, who embodies the sort of humanity we expect of our Steelers. Good people. Good people. Hey, they play for Pittsburgh- a rusty promised land where there is so little left to be proud of. So we will sit and wave our terrible towels and battle the gray chill that cuts to the bone, wave that towel, wave that towel in praise. We will do this because this is our life's work. We will continue to give birth to baby Steeler fans, and we will continue our charge to take over the world, to convert you and you and you. We are missionaries charged with leading you toward the light of Steeler nation. It's probably a rule in the bible somewhere. Oh, it probably is.

****I apologize for the sacrireligous tone of the article-- but hey, IT'S THE STEELERS****

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pretty Cool

Ok... I'll admit it-- I'm an Obama supporter. It's true. I met him at the debate at Drexel University during the primaries in Oct 2007 and was pretty impressed. From there I watched his campaign and was rather pleased with his message. Call me hopeful, call me blind to reality-- I want Obama to succeed.

However, I am a little annoyed by the media coverage of our new President. His "approval" ratings were at record highs on the day of his inauguration. Approval ratings? He hasn't even spent a day as President yet!

But to be perfectly honest, I can't help myself from being swept up in the excitement of it all. I was a *gasp* Bush supporter, but the past few years have left me disappointed and disillusioned. I am hesitant to get too excited-- I worry that I am just going to be disappointed and let down again, but I find myself unable to remove my emotions from the moment. Maybe he is just a slick politician, but shoot, he's getting people to feel some hope, some desire to serve our country, some pride in America. If that's the case, we could use a few more slick politicians.

I was particularly impressed with Obama's transition. According to the Liberal Media, aka- the New York Times, "Over the last three months, Mr. Obama has quietly consulted Mr. McCain about many of the new administration’s potential nominees to top national security jobs and about other issues — in one case relaying back a contender’s answers to questions Mr. McCain had suggested." He didn't have to consult McCain on his nominees, but he took the time to find out who his former opponent recommended. It's refreshing to see a politician realize that maybe his opposition has some valid points and opinions. That maybe he doesn't have all the answers.

My favorite part of the Inauguration came when he said (or paraphrased), "We will extend our hand when you will unclench your fist." Many scoff at Obama's pretty words and skilled speeches, but I say-- maybe we should listen to his pretty words a little more, maybe we need to unclench our own fists a little more often to reach out to the extended hands in our lives.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Here We Go!

Of course, I could not let this week go by without mentioning that... ahem... it will be the Steelers going to the superbowl!

While we were disappointed that it will not be a Philadelphia/Pittsburgh face-off, we are glad that our marriage does not have to end on Feb 1.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Caleb is happily napping upstairs in his own room. It is very nice to be able to say that! Anyway, he's doing much better and we really appreciate all the support we received!

Our new New Year's Resolution?

Keep Caleb out of the hospital for about 6 weeks. We're taking baby steps :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

We Just Missed It So Much!

Caleb thought that his all-expenses paid trip to CHOP last month was so much fun that he would do it again! This time Caleb was upgraded to the deluxe suite on the surgical trauma ward. I have to admit, the rooms here are much nicer than they were at the EDECU (Emergency Department Extended Care Unit).

Caleb was diagnosed with intussusception. This is a condition where part of the bowl (in his case, the small intestine) folds up on itself, like a telescope would do. If this had happened in the colon, he would have needed either an air enema or surgery to fix it, but his was called a transient intussusception, where it unkinked itself. He started having bloody stools on Friday and by Saturday night we were sure something was up. So back to CHOP we headed and they greeted us with sleepy, tired, arms. By the way, if you have to go to CHOP's ER, I highly recommend 4 in the morning-- all the late nighters have already been taken through and those waiting to go in in the morning have not arrived yet.

Caleb is still here in the hospital, but he's doing much better and we think we will be discharged tomorrow. He's been running a fever of about 104-105 so they are hesitent to discharge us until they know the source of the fever. Other than that, we are just waiting it out. He was started on clear liquids and hopefully he'll get some solid food tonight.

Thanks to those of you who have been so willing to help out! We really appreciate it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yeah, I know... He's a toddler

I'm a really hard time accepting that Caleb is not an infant any longer.  Don't get me wrong-- I totally love playing with him at this stage- he can walk, he laughs, he enjoys playing with toys.  I love watching him figure things out and how he tries to imitate us-- it's great.

However, I still can't seem to accept that he can eat normal foods now.  I've become that crazy paranoid mother!  When did that happen? (Don't answer that)

It took me reading a sample menu for toddlers to think that maybe he could eat cheerios and milk for breakfast. He's been eating dry cheerios for almost 4 months now and he downs milk by the gallons, but put them together-- never thought of that!  I was going over his foods with his pediatrician (we're trying to see if we can avoid foods that might irritate the diaper rash) and she looked at me like I was crazy when I told her that I ground up Caleb's chicken.  "He doesn't have many teeth," I explained, hoping to vindicate myself.  "He can gum it.  Just chop it up into bite sized pieces."  She replied.  And then it dawned on me... cooked chicken does tend to fall apart in your mouth.... genius over here!

Gah! Does anyone else have this problem?  Or know of any good foods to feed an independent toddler?  

'Cause, yeah, I know... He's a toddler.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ooo Yeah...

Pete, his sister Mandy, her husband Soren, and I went to the (Pittsburgh) Penguins vs (Philadelphia) Flyers game last night. Mandy got the tickets from her work and we decided to make an evening of it. We went out to eat first and then joined the crazed hockey fans for a really fun game. I didn't know what to expect, but hockey is much more fun to watch at the game than it is on TV. No offense hockey fans, but really-- it is.

We had a great time and to top it off, the Penguins won! Since I'm not a die hard hockey fan, I didn't rub it in too much, but it was a bit fun to gloat. (Like, writing a whole post about how my team beat Pete's team isn't rubbing it in too much, right?)

Thanks a million to Dave and Anika who somehow managed to watch Caleb while we enjoyed the evening!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This, That and the Other

OK... I suppose I'll start at the beginning (a very good place to start, when we read, we begin with... nevermind)

Since Caleb's hospital fiasco we started using a new diaper called the gDiaper. We feel a little poser-ish using these yuppy, environmentally friendly diapers, but they are totally worth it!I talked about them a little in a previous post, but really--- these diapers have been incredible. I don't know what we would have done if Caleb's diaper rash had continued to progress the way it was. His pediatrician calls it the worst diaper rash she has ever seen, and the doctors in the ER at CHOP (the number one Children's Hospital in the country) claim it is beyond their level of expertise. Not very reassuring. Once we started these diapers, his rash cleared up in a matter of hours, and he has only had one sever case of rash in almost three weeks (which is a miracle, really). So yeah-- his diapers rock.

Next step: Birthday!

Ahh! My baby is one! I can hardly believe that this little boy is mine. It seems like he's always been this way-- running all over, getting into things, cheesin' it up-- but as I take the time to remember him as a newborn, I can hardly believe that the tiny little baby (well, not so tiny) I held is now this beautiful toddler. Bah!

He apparently warmed up to it :) This is Caleb's version of "All Done" and "More" all in one

The spoiled little kid had so many birthday outings! He had a birthday dinner with Dave, Anika and Charlie, birthday cake with some of Pete's extended family at a family Christmas dinner, birthday cake on his actual birthday at our place (the pictures above) and then birthday celebrations with my family! It was quite the ordeal. We'll be having an "un-birthday" party for him in June so that he can celebrate with his friends.

After That: Christmas

We spent Christmas in Pittsburgh with my family. It was great to have the chance to see my siblings-- everyone was there except for Aaron, who lives in Hong Kong. Maybe next year we can all be together!

We did manage to get all the new grandchildren together this Christmas. Caleb was born last December and was followed rather closely by two cousins-- Dean in February and Sophie in March. This was the first chance to get them all together and I have to say, these kids are going to be trouble! It was great getting to see everyone and we had a spectacular Christmas.

Caleb sitting in his Christmas present! A beautiful new carseat. :)

Caleb was spoiled by friends and family alike. He got more toys and presents in one week than I thought was possible. It is so much fun though to watch him learn how to interact with objects and people.

We also got to spend sometime with my grandmother-- "Bala" Reddy. She will be 92 next month and is as active as ever. Here she is with Dean, Caleb and Sophie-- three of her great-grandchildren.

All in all we got to spend some great time with my family. We came back here to Philly for the New Year and rang it in with two of our friends, Amanda and Bobby. It was low key-- exactly the way I hope 2009 turns out to be.

Phew. There it is. I'm sure I left half of it out. But this is all you are getting. So there.

My Little Housekeeper

Despite the fact that Caleb is a known terror, he has recently found a new passion-- the "sweeper" as we like to say in Pittsburgh. He spends most of the day walking around with the sweeper, pushing it back and forth like he is trying to clean up. Today he figured out how to turn it on and we got a little bit of video of it.

He is also totally obsessed with the beads you see him wearing in this video. He puts them on first thing in the morning and wears them all day. I take them off for naps, but its the first thing he reaches for when he wakes up. He gets very upset when I take them away from him. He's an interesting kid.

Blog Shmog

I know, I know, I've left you all in a lurch. And here I am posting, making you think there is something valuable in this. Alas, there is not. I'll post tomorrow. I promise. Right after the Steelers win their playoff game.