Sunday, August 31, 2008

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

We arrived in Denver last Tuesday--the convention technically started on Monday and the parties started a few days before that, but Tuesday was Day 1 for us. About mid-way into the flight, I spilled my drink on myself. I'm such a klutz that I am surprised this was the first time I've spilled something during a flight. However, even though I wasn't surprised, I was pretty upset. I mean, it looked like I had peed my pants! Abel had the idea to point those little air things down at myself and--miraculously!--it dried completely by the time we landed.

So you have to keep in mind that for a political junkie, sighting high-profile politicians (especially outside of Washington) is like a regular person sighting celebrities. At baggage claim we saw Mitt Romney walking briskly by. Abel and I get a kick out of Mitt Romney because in a Washington Post article he was described as "the spit-shined guy in the middle of the debate photo: Even from far away, you can tell that he has, inside those wingtips, a pedicure." So true! Anyway, we were both certain it was him, but it seemed odd for two reasons. One: why in the world was he coming into Denver during the Democratic convention? Two: he was pulling his own bag but seemed to have several empty-handed staffers with him. Later, when we saw him on TV at the convention giving the "R" spin we realized it was definitely him. I suspect those "staffers" were actually security.

Our Denver host picked us up and we were off to our first official event--a luncheon at the Botanic Gardens for the Maryland Delegation. It was so fun to see people we know and meet many others. Basically every Maryland Democratic politician was there. And, the Botanic Gardens themselves are gorgeous! If we ever make it back to the Mile High City I'd love to spend more time there.

After dinner with Abel's bosses (and our only real meal of the entire trip!) we headed over to the Performing Arts Center for the African American Legacy Gala. We had VIP tickets and so after the cocktail reception scored second row seats to the Boyz II Men concert. I wasn't really ever a huge Boyz II Men fan but they sang lots of their old and great songs. Amazing how the words just come back to you. The most fun was that they handed out roses during I'll Make Love to You and I totally scored one.

Day 1 Fun Fact: We got to bed around 1:30am Mountain time which is 3:30am Eastern. So, considering the alarm went off at 5:45am to get to the airport that morning, our first day was about 23 hours long.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We were there

We were there with 80,000 other people at Invesco field on Thursday night to hear Barack Obama accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America. The entire time I kept thinking that this is something I will tell my grandchildren about. It was truly amazing.

We flew in last night and drove straight to my parents' home. Lucas was already in bed when we got there, but his crib is in the same room where we slept so he woke up to seeing us next to him. Waking up to an incredibly joyful "Mama! Dada!" was another amazing feeling.

In my next few posts, I'll take you through each of our days in Denver -- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We did and saw so much, it is hard to believe it all took place in just three days!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In the thick of it

This is seriously the first time I've had a few minutes to sit down since we arrived in Denver at 10:30am on Tuesday. I don't think I've drunk so much water, eaten so little food (simply no time!), walked so much, gotten so many blisters but also been so excited and energized in my life. There have been some amazing moments--like when we got to be right up front and hear the speech where Hillary officially released her delegates, or when I saw Speaker Nancy Pelosi twice in one day and, the second time, when she signed a copy of her book and I got to tell her we share the same alma mater. But, there have been big disappointments, too. Like when we finally got passes to get into the convention but had a million delays on the way there (mostly out of our control) and by the time we got there the hall was so full we could only stand in the hallway, watching on TV.

There are so many wonderful experiences I've had that I want to share, but I think it is all too real right now to make any sense of it. So, more to come!

In the meantime send some good thoughts our way. We have one credential in-hand for what might be one of the biggest events of my lifetime--Barack Obama's acceptance speech. We're pulling every possible string and contact to find another one so Abel and I can both be there.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

Sorry for my lack of blogging lately. So much to do to get ready to head to Denver for the Democratic Convention. This morning I met my mom half-way to hand-off Lucas and his car seat. Tomorrow bright and early Abel and I hop on our flight to Denver.

I have a great new bag and tickets to the various Maryland Delegation events. We're hopeful that we'll have tickets to the big Thursday bash at INVESCO Field -- when Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination. It gives me chills to just think about being there. There are a million fun events we're hoping to get into but quite frankly if Thursday night is the only one we attend then I will consider it all worth it.

I'll try to blog from Denver but can't promise anything!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My other blog

I'm over at DC Metro Moms this weekend. Check it out here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mama needs a nap, too

I work outside the home 20 hours a week. For me, that means I'm in the office two full days and one morning a week. My little secret is that after working my half day, I don't exactly rush to the babysitter's to pick up my son.

Instead, I rush home to take a little nap.

After all, a mama needs a nap, too, doesn't she?

Each of my days home with Lucas I put him down for a nap and tell myself, just accomplish these x things and then you'll have time for a quick nap, too. And every day, one of two things happens: either he doesn't sleep long enough for me to accomplish everything on my list. Or, he wakes up just as I'm completing my task list. My best-laid plans for a mama nap are foiled!

Now that he's a toddler, Lucas actually gets mad at me if I pick him up mid-day, before the other kids are picked up. He loves playing with his friends and his babysitter. So it isn't hard to justify not rushing to pick him up after my half workday.

I could, however, be using that time more productively. Say, cleaning the house, doing laundry or grocery shopping without a little guy underfoot.

But, come one, doesn't every mama deserve at least one nap a week?

Original post to DC Metro Moms. When Aimee isn't plotting her next 20 minute snooze, she blogs about life at Smiling Mama.


JGT said...
Love this post! Now I know what to schedule in for the fall -- my zzz time!

Jodifur said...
I have the exact same work schedule, and I go home and watch really bad tv I tivoed. Good for you for the nap!

Shannon said...
I used to do this on my half-day when I worked part-time, too. It was a Friday and I would watch my recorded Thursday night shows, then take a nap.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 18, 2008


As excited as I am about Denver. (That's very excited, in case you didn't know.) I'm also a little nervous. You see, I'm a planner. And this whole event doesn't seem to lend itself to much planning.

According to Abel (who is my only expert source as he attended the '04 Convention in Boston) we'll just go downtown every day and get to go to various events and will stay out at these events very late into the night. So what if we don't necessarily have tickets to any of these events. We'll get them! We'll see people! Those people will give us tickets!


Even if all that is true, I am still left without being able to make any actual plans. We won't know what we're doing until the day--or even hours or minutes--before. Most likely will leave the house (we're staying with a friend) in the morning and not be back until late at night. So, how in the world do I pack?

I've determined that my various outfits have to fit the following:

1) Be business-casual (apparently the dress code for most events)
2) Be conducive to walking potentially long and unknown distances
3) Be comfortable in projected temps of the mid-80s
4) Take me from morning through mid-day and into the night (where suddenly business casual just doesn't seem to fit the bill!)

What perfect outfit matches all that?

Part of me thinks I should just invest in 5 cute Obama t-shirts, pair them with black pants and cute (yet comfy!) shoes and make that my "uniform" for the week. After all, if an Obama t-shirt isn't perfect attire at the Democratic National Convention then what is?

But seriously, I went shopping this weekend and purchased a few items which I think will work well in Denver. One of which was a new bag. Of course, Abel felt this was totally unnecessary, but it was cute and on-sale. Now, however, I'm having second thoughts. So, let's take a little vote. Will this bag work for Denver? Or, should I return it?

Qualities of a good Denver bag include:

1) Cute enough to go from day to evening
2) Large enough to carry a bottle of water, my wallet, some make-up, papers/tickets, etc. and potentially snacks (who knows what we'll do for meals).
3) Not so expensive that I'll be upset if it gets damaged in this grand adventure.

So, does this fit the bill?

Please vote in the poll to your right!! The fate of this bag is in your hands!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A truck by any other name...

Lucas: Dada I want the ho truck.

Dada: Lucas, you need a lot more bling for a ho truck.

Lucas: Bling?

Dada: Yeah, bling. To get the ladies.

Lucas: Ladies?

Mama: Lucas, it is a TOW truck not ho truck.

Dada: You're no fun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My newest ailment

HTM Disease -- have you heard of it? You, like me, may have had it for many years and had no idea.

What is it?

Hate to Miss Disease.

Here are a few of the symptoms:
  • You attend every meeting and event, no matter how crazy it makes your life. After all, if you don't go, you'll miss all the great and exciting things that will happen.
  • You stay at these meetings and/or events until the bitter end. Maybe nothing exciting happened yet but most certainly it will and you certainly don't want to miss it.

Sound familiar?

Here's an example of how my disease manifests itself: two Sunday's ago, I stayed at an incredibly boring meeting for THREE hours while Abel and Lucas splashed away at the pool. Sure, the meeting was boring and pointless up to that point, I kept thinking, but what if I left and some important decision was made without me? HTM Disease.

As I said, I have had this disease for years but had no idea. Saturday night we had some friends over for dinner and my friend Angela mentioned she did something because of her "HTM". What's that, I asked? When she explained it, it was so clear.

Anyone else afflicted?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Three weeks from now...

...I'll (hopefully!) be at INVESCO Field at Mile High listening to Senator Barack Obama accept the Democratic Nomination for President. I am SO excited!

You see, my husband and I, we're basically political junkies.

When he got a raise a few months ago we decided we'd put some of that money toward a vacation--just the two of us. While practically all our friends have jaunted off on cruises, or to Italy, or to all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, we went on a very low-key honeymoon to the Outer Banks and have centered all our vacations around extended family or weddings.

For a few days we dreamed of a vacation featuring crystal clear water and a swim up bar. Then we realized that what we each really wanted to do was go to Denver. No, not to ski. To attend the Democratic National Convention! (Told you: political junkies!)

Oh, but the hurdles were high. Neither of us are delegates (but trust me, I'm going to figure out how to make that happen four years from now!) and every hotel room in the city seemed to be booked by the DNC. Airfares were sky high.

But we quickly got into gear. My parents blocked their calendar to watch Lucas. Abel found a friend we could stay with. We figured out what day Southwest was opening up the flights for convention week and booked our flights at midnight that day. We've also both been working every connection (granted, Abel has a few more than I do) to get tickets to cool parties and events--more than 1,500 events are planned in Denver that week! The one ticket we have yet to secure is the most important--Obama's acceptance speech. But, we're working on it.

And now we're just three weeks away. So, I need to start focusing on the truly important question: What should I wear?!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Most people who know me know that I hate smoking. Despise it. Of course there are many reasons, not the least of which is that my grandmother lived the last years of her life without a voice box due to a lifetime of smoking. How anyone in my family can smoke, I'll never know. (Don't worry, Mom, I'm not talking about anyone in our immediate family!)

I wrote about Lucas's recent exposure to smoking here in a post I titled "It might be secondhand smoke but it's firsthand modeling". I am constantly amazed by how much little kids pick up. When they pick up cute little phrases or facial expressions it can be the most adorable thing in the world. Unfortunately, they also pick up on the bad stuff just as easily. This recent experience made me realize how vigilant parents need to be. Hope you'll go check it out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lessons Learned in the ER

So I spent another 10 hours in the ER on Monday.* With two marathon visits in the past three months (in fact, it was almost exactly three months since my last visit), I've got a few lessons to share with you.

1) Arrive early. By this I mean both early in the day and early in the week. Let's just say the later it gets the crazier it gets.

2) Pack a lunch. On Monday, I went over straight from work (on the advice of my Dr.) and at the last minute decided to take my lunch with me. (I almost always pack a lunch for work.) Brilliant move on my part because I ended up being there for 9 hours before getting food. You think hospital food is bad? You don't want to see what they send down to ER patients.

3) Take a book. Two or three if possible. Also at the last minute I grabbed a book from my office and read it cover to cover during my stay in the ER. It was a pretty crappy book. But, it was all I had. So I read it. Every word. Including the acknowledgements. I should have taken two books.

4) When you have the doctor in your "room" don't let him or her leave before you've asked every single question you can possibly think of. You most likely won't see him or her again for many, many hours.

5) Not sure how to phrase this one, but be prepared to be fully immersed in humanity. You won't believe the characters you encounter in the ER. At least in this very-much-inner-city-ER. Whew. If I was writing a book, I would have gotten some great material there. In fact, if you are writing a book, get thee to an ER stat!

*Don't worry, all is well. Just a little breathing issue which is resolving itself....