Tuesday, June 29, 2010

on being silly, and having goals, and the two being synonymous.

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously.... Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. - Jane Austen

Fact: I had a goal. So I bought a two piece bathing suit for the first time in my life. It is silly, really. I thought to myself, "If you can't have two children, and go to the beach with 22 family members without being self-concious, that really is ridiculous, right?" One should certainly grow out of such childish conceits, but apparently, they are life-long burdens to bear.

So I created this silly goal, of wearing a less modest bathing suit than I was comfortable wearing, before I turned thirty. But although my family will certify that I did in fact wear it with pride, don't expect to find many photos of me in it. Because I didn't go that far with this vanity project.

Oh yeah, and I am twenty-eight. So i might get to wear it again. Hah!

I win.

my two most beautiful views

Monday, June 28, 2010

boys on the boardwalk

there are so many pictures that my sweet eldest sister took with her amazing camera, so i'm going to slowly trickle out little pockets of them in groups. with eleven grands ages 6yr, 4yr, 4yr, 3yr, 3yr, 2yr, 2yr, 11mo, 11mo, 5mo you can imagine how hard it is to group the children in any sort of organized fashion. However, the boys' level of enthusiasm for being BOYS naturally gave them an edge. These images of them capture their commradare.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


well, we finally took our first official family trip to the zoo. phew. check that off the list. kidding, kidding. we had a great time exploring the Greenville Zoo just the four of us. most impressionable exhibit? well, for RM, I believe it was the elephants. they are celebrating their 40th birthday, incidentally. for Evelyn and FLoyd, it was actually the homeo sapians gathered around the chimpanzee area. those characters have left quite the mark on both of us.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

she's 'so' grown up

our Buggle will be ONE in a few short weeks. i'm not ready to talk about that. but what i will divulge is that she already *thinks* she is two and a half. you know, like her brother. cracking the code on what-can-we-possibly-feed-her turned out to be simpler than i was willing to admit. if we just feed her exactly what we are eating, or more importantly, what RM is eating, she's happy as a clam.

i had a pretty good gig going for a while though. what with the breastfed diapers until 6 months (soooo easy, by comparison) and then relatively simple eating program from 6-10 months when it was generally a liquid and cheerios diet. Now i just have to make sure she gets to taste all the 'grown up' offerings she sees, and doesn't choke. so far, so good. and by 'good' i mean choke-free. although there is one aspect of this newfound independence that isn't so great. So here is the little story from dinner the other night, in pictures.

i'm so happy! i have four teeth, while #5 and #6 are busting through!

dinner time is so fun when Momma and Reddy help me eat.

he's such a helpful brother. can't you tell? if only he knew what i was about to do.

hmmm, why are we outside? this is fun... but i feel a little icky. wonder what momma is gonna do about that out here...

Yep. That's right. Remember the 'bumbo bomb' courtesy of RM as an infant? Suffice it to say the Bug has learned to execute accordintly in her booster chair during dinner. this particular evening, the only solution was literally to hoist her outside and spray her off with the garden hose. #neighborsworried #gottadowhatchagottado

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Baker Cousins on the Atlantic Ocean

We just arrived home last night from a fun-filled week with the extended clan. Just a few statistics for you: The eleven munchkins, two grandparents, nine aunts/uncles, two babysitters. one house. ten toilets. a good quarter mile of beach all to ourselves.
there are 517 or so other pictures on another sister's camera, but just these two for starters, because i managed to snag them from her before we left. it was so humid on this particular evening that the lens was fogged up, hence little blurs over a couple of faces. Oma made the girls outfits, and made sure the boys had coordinating shirts. We had such fun.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Bossy two year old phrases I don't want to forget.

RM singing: "Cwean up! Cwwwean up, everybody cwean up!"


RM stearnly: "June, Cwean up!"

RM: "Wanna go play cars with me, Dad?! Sure?! Okay!!"

He is so convincing.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

endorsements? not really my thing.

well, it's come time for the primary. Tuesday, June 8th to be exact. I'm taking a rare opportunity to discuss my thoughts on the four contenders for our nomination as the Republican Candidate for Governor of South Carolina. This is a private blog, so I feel that I can do this freely without reflecting upon anyone else I may work for and who is staying out of said race. But I feel compelled to share my thoughts.

You might say I've "given it a little thought" since there have been more than half a dozen opportunities to listen to debates, here individual stump speeches, hear private reception messaging, etc. And to be 'above the fray' in terms of not really having a direct attachment to any one particular camp is nice. One fellow politico said to me recently, "It must be really nice to watch all of this from where you sit right now. You're like Switzerland. Everybody loves y'all." (I don't know about the Switzerland analogy, but yes, we are well liked, thank you.)

So, here is my impression. Completely unabashed. I kind of feel like I'm holding my nose and jumping in the deep end, and hoping to bounce back up on June 23rd with some great story of adventure. Here it goes.

McMaster: Our current Attorney General. Kind of has the McCain camp, establishment wing folks in his arena. He has the lawyers and judicial branch pretty well wrapped up. He's got a legal background about as old as the state. That said, people do feel very solidly either for or against him. I don't have a whole lot of 'mud' to sling in his regard, but I do have concerns about his career not really relating well to the small business entreprenuers. Bottom-line, the guy is in his sixties and has never held a job in the private sector. That's kind of important to me.

Bauer: He's had quite the opportunity to prove himself as Lt. Governor, and has done some decent things (like clean up the Office on Aging, and incidentally has the little-old-lady crowd eating out of his hand), but he's also acted like a stooge one too many times. Remember the 110mph on I-26 incident, or the plane crash, or the "our state's poor are like stray animals" comment? Anyway, he's nice enough, but he has very little depth in my opinion, and hasn't wowed me. Ever. Great sign waver, I hear.

Haley: She's definitely the renegade with the fiery endorsements (i.e. Jenny Sanford, Sarah Palin). She talks about transparency in government, which my boss wants more of too. But the fact is, our state's Governor is actually a fairly 'weak' office in many regards. So there are a lot of promises on the campaign trail that can be made, but she won't exactly get to tell those 'good-old-boys' in the legislature to sign on her dotted line and expect it to be done that way. She's had some scathing criticism from some elected officials, who have pretty much vowed to work against her. I'm fine with healthy competition, and I'm not one to shy away from controversy, but creating unnecessary drama isn't my gig. This campaign has been well run. I've heard her speak a dozen times, and honestly, it's so scripted I could dress up like her and give the speech on SNL. She's impressive on the stump, and very polished. I will absolutely give her that. And, I'm all about female leadership. But I know enough about SC politics to know you can't throw out all of the boys in the Statehouse in one fell swoop and expect to start from scratch. And there are some good honest legislators down there. That's my concern.

Barrett: Well, i guess from my glowing remarks above, you might imagine that he is my pick. Why, you ask? Well, it's not because he's had the smoothest run campaign - because honestly, from the outside, there are a few things i would have done differently. It's not because he voted for TARP, because even I called his office to express concern before that vote in '08. And it's not because he's from the Upstate - although after having a Governor from Sullivan's Island, I wouldn't mind the fact that Barrett is indeed an Upstate guy.
The reasons I'm voting for him is because I have seen him working as a Congressman for the 3rd district for 7.5 years, and have witnessed character and integrity that most resembles Carroll Campbell, Jim DeMint, Ronald Reagan. He is genuine, he is approachable, he has a heart for South Carolina. And behind those 'feel-good' qualities, he knows the issues, he knows the dynamics of SC politics, and he knows both the State and Federal challenges facing our nation right now. You might have noticed in his latest commercial that Jim DeMint has called him "principled, and a true conservative leader". And that's true. He's got a wife of 30 years, and she's a 1st grade teacher. His family has a furniture business in Westminster, SC. Nothing fancy, but he's who I'm voting for, and those are my reasons. I don't know if he's gonna win, but i really think he's a good choice.