My Pride and Joy

My heart swells with pride every time I hear this:

Just in case you don't bleed black and gold (which might be unforgivable, I have to think about that) and didn't understand that, she said "Steelers!" No poking, no prodding. She saw game highlights on TV and said it all by herself. I love that kid.

Speaking of football (and because I just know you're dying of curiosity), I totally kicked butt in week 1 of Fantasy Football. I had the highest score in my league by over 20 points. I had triple the points of some people. I'm basking in the glory of my victory by caressing and cherishing my virtual trophy. I probably won't get another one. Unless Tony Romo has more 300+ yard games, which he is welcome to do.


This Internet Thing, She Confuses Me

The problem with the Internet is that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine if someone is being sarcastic. Before I tell you how I came to this startling revelation, let me just say that if you are ever trying to determine if I'm being sarcastic, you can check the weather. If the weather guy in Pittsburgh says we are going to have crappy weather, then, yes, I'm being sarcastic. Since we have crappy weather just about every day, you know where we stand.

Anyway, I love reading Looky Daddy's blog. There's nothing like a man trying to survive staying at home with three little girls (including a set of twins) to make you appreciate how good you have it. Plus, he's funny. Like, for example, when he was writing about how one of the twins has been sick and that it was jeopardizing her attendance at the first day of preschool. He's been looking forward to that first day, oh, since they were born. Anyway, he posed the question: how long should a child be vomit-free before attending school?

In response to his question I commented,

"Dude, I took my kid on a plane when the Pediatrician said she had "A-typical Chicken Pox" and needed to be quarantined. I refused to miss my fun-filled Disney vacation, contagions be damned. Did you hear about it on the news? No? That's because nothing bad happened.

Surely the world (aka Preschool) will survive a child who, perhaps, has a touch of food poisoning or is, maybe, experimenting with her inner-Bulimic. What they don't know can't keep you from enjoying your first hours of FREEDOM. All kids at school=your Disney vacation. Now go play with Mickey already."

I know that there is a mountain of sarcasm in there (and that Looky Daddy! has the sense to figure out whether his kid is well enough to go to school or not--he's probably not going to use the comments on his blog as a formal poll and do whatever the Internet says he should do). But I don't know if there's a mountain of sarcasm in someones reply to my comment:

"Burgh Baby's Mom: No, we just didn't hear about it on the news because the three dozen people whose kids got chicken pox the following week didn't know who to blame. Now you've outed yourself you are gonna get so much hate mail.

But hey, didn't people use to pile their healthy kids into bed with the infected ones to get it all over with (that's what he relates in The Great Brain anyway)? You did them a favor."

Really, I have no idea. Sarcastic? Or not? Do I bother to tell the rest of the chicken pox story (like the fact that nobody agreed with the pediatrician in her "diagnosis", including a MIL, and we all know they are always right? or that she had already had the spots, which were confined to her back, for over a week? or that they were totally gone two days after the visit to the pediatrician's office? or that she didn't have any other symptoms? or that she had already been vaccinated against chicken pox? or that . . . you get the idea)?

I guess I'll just wait for the hate mail and see where I stand. The good news is that while the commenter may be able to figure out where we live, she doesn't know what I look like.

Smiling, that is. She doesn't know what I look like SMILING.



It's that day of the year when I feel it's very important for each and every one of us to take a moment to remember all that happened on September 11, 2001. Whether it's that you think back to where you were, think about those who were lost, or how your life has changed since then, it doesn't matter.

I was in Boston that day. I flew into Boston Logan Airport early in the morning and was at a site preparing to do some training for Waste Management. I don't remember how I first heard what was happening, but by 10:00, I had cancelled the training sessions and was sitting in the room with about five other people watching the news. Cell phone service was practically nonexistent that day (system stress from so many calls), but I was able to confirm with Daddy via email that we were both OK. What I remember most are the moments when I realized I had flown into the same airport the hijackers had departed from and the horrible feeling of relief that I felt when the final plane crashed in a field outside of Pittsburgh. I say "horrible feeling of relief" because I was torn between the feelings of intense sadness for the people that were on the plane and a sense of relief for all of the people that could have been lost if it had crashed elsewhere.

When I think about those that were lost, the first name that comes to mind is Todd Beamer. But, because of this website, I know more about the lives of other victims and heroes from that day. I encourage you to visit the site (or this one or this one), read some of the names, look at the photos of the people, and learn a little about who they were.

I can't even begin to express the ways that my life has changed since that day. There are the obvious things that are a result of being six years older and, hopefully, wiser. There are also the subtle changes that the people around me probably don't see. I seethe with anger every time I travel by plane because of the false pretenses of improved security. I'm sad every time that I see a photo of New York City and see the missing buildings. I smile when I think back to the multitudes of American flags that were flying in the days following the tragedy.

This is Christine Hanson. She and her parents (also pictured) were on their way to California to visit family and go to DisneyLand when their plane was hijacked and flown into one of the Twin Towers. She was 2 when she died.