Happy Halloween!

Ain't he cute?
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Already dreading....

...the day when Zach no longer needs to hold my finger to walk someplace.

Yesterday, we were exploring the backyard together, and when he paused in the yard to examine a leaf, I was stroking his soft hand with my finger, and felt a twinge of sadness that it won't always be this way. One day, in the not so distant future, he will begin walking entirely on his own, and will no longer need mommy and her finger to help him along. I guess it's just that first stage of individuation--the first of many many to follow...altho knowing that doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

Sun Domes: They're not just for summer!

They make GREAT indoor forts!
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Wild boy

At Granma H's...he loves to climb up and down the stairs
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Well...we'll give comments on the blog another shot, now that Blogspot has added a feature to block spam comments...(I took them off before when I got some porn comments that really grossed me out, given that they were attached to pictures of my LITTLE BOY!)...so we'll see how it goes.

Boo at the Zoo

Today was Boo at the Zoo...a wildly fun event at our local zoo where thousands and thousands (or so it seemed) of kids dress up in their costumes and flock to the zoo. The weather was gorgeous, which I'm sure helped the massive turn out, and we had a wonderful time. We saw many of our favorite animals, got some candy and a toothbrush, walked thru the tunnel that goes under the prairie dog exhibit (several times), and Zach had his first ever carousel ride. It was a momentous day indeed.

I am going to wait to post pictures until after the rest of the family has seen Zach in his Halloween costume as I don't want to spoil the surprise of seeing him in it live for the first time...it's pretty darn cute. But trust that on Tuesday (or maybe even Monday nite, if all goes well) that pictures of him in costume will be posted.

Stay tuned!

Fun in the leaves


At our house, EVERYONE has fun in the leaves!

Isn't he cute?

Laughing at Sidney in the leaves


He can't get enough of them.

He even likes to eat the box when they run out. Grunting his caveman grunt the whole time.

Silly little caveman.


According to Grams, Z has discovered his shadow.

I can only imagine what his busy little mind must make of it.



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Sicky bo blicky

Zach seems to have had some strange stomach ailment...he puked at Grams' twice yesterday, and then again in the middle of the nite...but hasn't really had a fever (hovering around 99 degrees), and seems to be in good spirits otherwise. So far today, he hasn't tossed his cookies, but we'll see how things go when he gets up from his nap (he's been down about two and a half hours so far) since Grandpa H is supposed to babysit him for a couple hours later this afternoon....

Poor little monkey.

So little

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What a sweet little dolly pie!
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What a bush-hole...

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Real George W. Bush

By Stephen Pizzo, News for Real
Posted on October 27, 2005, Printed on October 27, 2005

For three more years America is going to be led by not just a lame duck president, but a totally discredited president.

In a poll taken yesterday, 90 percent of those asked said they believed top Bush administration officials are guilty of either illegal or unethical behavior in the CIA leak case.

So where does that leave an un-indicted George W. Bush? There really are only two explanations, and neither reflect well on him. First, he can claim his closest aides conspired behind his back while he was otherwise occupied. I call that the "Exxon Valdez Defense" -- the captain was not at the helm when a careless crewman ran the ship of state aground. Unfortunately for Captain Bush, that defense did not wash for the real captain of the ill-fated tanker. Because, you see, the captain is always responsible.

The other explanation is worse: that the President of the United States knew what was going on, maybe even participated in it.

Either way, Bush is finished as a force in American politics. How he ever got to become president in the first place -- not once, but twice -- will remain a subject social scientists will study and debate for decades to come. Because there was plenty of evidence that George W. Bush was a made man. He had accomplished nothing in his adult life on his own -- not one thing. (Click here for more.)

Of course, for those of us who have covered the Bush family for years, it's no mystery at all. The best way to think of George W. Bush is as a beard for others. At every step in his career, individuals of wealth or power groomed him, and then used him as their front man.

These benefactors had learned long ago that there was more money and more power to be had in the shadows than in the limelight. All they needed was the right person to front for them -- someone with a name, a smile, a confident swagger. Vision, dreams, hopes and ethics were not only unnecessary, but liabilities in a beard. All they needed was a person they could program, wind up and send out into the public spotlight and deliver for them.

That's George W. Bush. He fit the bill to a T. Texas oil men -- and companies with international agendas and voracious appetites for government contracts -- had found their perfect front man in GW: a kind of Forrest Gump from the Dark Side. A man ignorant and proud of it, and willing to take direction from those he considered friends.

They began by nurturing Bush's pathetic efforts to become a high-rolling Texas oil man. Though his companies failed, they made sure he never did. Then they were able to further his ascendancy by indulging his playful side, buying him his own baseball team -- a Texas baseball team. That raised Bush's public profile to just a notch below their ultimate goal: public office.

Fully groomed and programmed, they finally steered Bush towards the goal. And it worked, probably beyond their wildest expectations. As governor of Texas, their beard kept state regulators out of their hair on dollar and cents issues critical to the oil drilling and processing industries, like air quality. That alone would have been sufficient payoff for their years of cleaning up Bush's business messes.

Bagging the United States presidency was an unexpected super-bonus. Still, they knew it was a development ripe with as much danger as opportunity. After all, they knew the real George W. Bush. There was no way they could send that hayseed off to the Big Show unattended. Dick Cheney and Karl Rove were tasked with keeping their idiot prince both on message and on a short leash. God forbid he should ever make a speech, take a position, or make a decision on his own.

All went very well for the first four years. From day one, their boy delivered, delivered and delivered again. He was a gift that just kept giving:

  • $1.6 trillion in tax cuts, the bulk of which went to people like them;
  • Environmental laws watered down; expanded logging allowed in national forests
  • A push to open protected Alaska wilderness to oil and gas drilling;
  • Iraqi oil fields suddenly within reach;
  • Plenty of cheap labor flooding across our southern border.

And just as it looked as if he was on the way to fulfilling another assignment -- the elimination of the estate tax -- his beard fell off. It was the thing they had always feared most: the real George W. Bush went public. There it was, for the whole world to see: a chuckling, twitching dope of man standing in front of the American people, unleashed and unscripted. Worse yet, he was making his own decisions. He chose his friend and admirer, Harriet Miers, for the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

What went wrong? Where were his handlers? Busy. They dropped Bush's leash when handed subpoenas. Junior was unleashed and home alone.

It's a moment new to America -- a leader who needs to be led, and now unled. And the world is watching. It's as if the police had come and dragged Edgar Bergin offstage in the middle of a show, leaving Charlie McCarthy, wide-eyed, mouth agape and slumped alone on his stool.

So, what now?

Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including "Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a Pulitzer.

© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/27385/


Story time in the Erwin house

That silly Cleo...she loves a bedtime story as
much as the next cat
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One more...

This one was too cute not to share...
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Again, not a great picture of me, but as a whole, not a terrible shot.
At George and Jocele's wedding...
Look at that darling baby boy!
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This little woodpecker was diligently pecking
at our neighbor's tree...didn't seem to mind us
gawking at him at all. In fact, he was back again today.
Same tree, same place.
Must be some good grubs there.
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Fall colors

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Boxes are fun!

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Fall fun

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Sweet sleeper

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First pumpkin carving experience

Zachary really enjoyed his first pumpkin carving experience

...even if he didn't get to do much carving himself

15 months! (and 3 months)

Here he is on the actual 3 month anniversary
of his birth


And here he is with the elephant...
What a darling little boy!


He's still every bit as cute as he was then...

...maybe even moreso!


Toddler video game?

Zach's latest and greatest favorite hobby is sitting on our bed, with the remote to the ceiling fan/light, turning it on and off and on and off and on and off, changing speeds and directions on the fan...

I only hope the fan can handle all the action.

Where you going?

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Been awhile since we had a bath picture

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When we say load the dishwasher, we mean LOAD the dishwasher!

Hi Gus!

Someday, when he's climbing Mt. Everest,
we'll look back on these pictures and think,
"Wow! He did it without oxygen!"