Sunday, August 31, 2008

We were on television!

Well, since we got to attend the DNC (see post below), we were actually repeating history from a century ago. My great-grandfather was a reporter for a small newspaper in Kansas (actually, he owned it), and he traveled about 400 miles by train with my great-grandmother and then 1-year-old grandfather to attend the DNC that was held in Denver in 1908.

My dad wrote a short article about this, and sent it off to some newspaper reporters he knew. My mom took the story and sent it to some television reporters. I was contacted on Tuesday morning before the convention by a local reporter for Channel 7 News (local ABC affiliate). The reporter asked if he could come to our house Tuesday afternoon and interview hubby and me. Miraculously BOTH boys napped at the same time, so that we could do the interview, and then the Monkey woke up right at the end of the interview, so he's on the piece eating snacks (with his bed head ;))

It was super cool, and the piece has aired twice on Channel 7 and once on PBS. Cool!

**To view the story, you need to go to 1:50 in the piece (I couldn't edit out the commercials before the piece)**

2008 Democratic National Convention

Wow. When I found out the DNC was coming to Denver in 2008, I knew I'd figure out SOME way to go. Wasn't looking promising until about a month ago when the DNCC announced that they were moving Obama's acceptance speech to Invesco Field so that more people could attend. I signed up to get tickets within a few minutes of that announcement.

Alas, hubby and I were waitlisted for tickets. But 2 weeks ago, I got an email letting me know that in fact we DID get tickets! We were very excited and our parents offered to watch the Monkey and Small Fry so that we could spend the day going.

On Thursday, we packed up overnight bags for the boys, and dropped them off with their respective babysitters. (I forgot Small Fry's milk at home, so I need to publicly thank my dad for driving 30 minutes each way to get his food!!).

We knew we weren't going to drive to the stadium, since the parking would have been insane, and we thought taking the Light Rail (our local public train system) would be the best option. We hopped on the train at the very start of the line, and waited for our historic journey to begin. About 3 stops from the stadium, we started hearing whispering...apparently the stadium stop was too busy, so they closed it!

Yup - we got to the stop before the stadium and were told if we weren't handicapped, we had to get off. So, we did, along with about 200 or so other people and we started walking. There were two "lines", and we guessed wrong. Apparently if we'd stayed in the line that looked SO long to us (it was actually tiny compared to what we ended up in), we'd have only been about 45 minutes from getting into the stadium. Instead, the wait was over 4 hours.

I included a little map of where we had to walk from (I circled the station we should have gotten off if it hadn't been closed - only about a 5 minute walk to the stadium). Instead we walked up on to a major street (thankfully it was closed already by the secret service), we walked down a few more streets, behind a bar, in an alley, into a HUGE parking lot filled with people. The line spiraled from the center outwards in another long line waiting to get through security into the stadium. (Click on the picture below to see a larger image).

We followed hundreds of people into CHAOS, disorganization and complete craziness. Eventually the line got worked out, but I took some photos of what was the "line" in the parking lot.
So, we got into line and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. We arrived at the light rail station at 3pm. We were inside security and into the stadium at 7pm. Yes, we waited for FOUR hours. It was not fun, but people were in surprisingly good moods, everyone knowing they were fortunate just to be able to attend, and so many of us thought if we at least got in in time to hear Obama speak, we would be great. It just about worked out that way.

The parking lot where the "end" of the line was - took us quite a while to find the end in the sea of people!!

Finally, a distinct set of lines started to develop!

We got a truck full of free water once we'd waited in line for about 2 hours.

Once we finally got in, we headed up to our seats in the nosebleed section. We missed a lot of speakers, like Al Gore, but we were honestly super happy just to be in the stadium. It was an a amazing set up, with all the delegates on the field level, along with dozens of news stations and their tents and set ups.
Our view of the center stage.

The media tents. MSNBC (my favorite), is on the far right.

We heard some personal stories about people who were affected by the Bush administration, and republicans who were going to vote for Obama. We also heard Dwight Eisenhower's daughter speak, which was neat.

There was some time to check out the stadium, and I thought the security stuff was SO cool. There were snipers on the top of the stadium all the way around, and a helicopter patrolling the skies (actually I believe there were two). Also, they closed the highway near the stadium from 5:30 pm to just after 9 pm. We could see the highway from the stadium, and it was blocked off with dozens of snowplows and police cars - amazing!

There were snipers all around the top of the stadium, even in the scaffolding where the lights were!

In the distance, you can see orange snowplows blocking the highway. Also, you can see snipers standing on the stadium next to the bucking Bronco.

Then, Joe Biden came out to speak, which was so cool to hear. And then, after a short video, Obama came out. It was an amazing and inspirational speech and my hands hurt from clapping so much.

Obama speaking.

Watching him on the bigscreen.

After the fireworks went off.Barack and Michellle Obama and Jill and Joe Biden.

Barack Obama and his family.

After the speech, we decided to head out right away to avoid the crowds (hah!), and just as we were standing up in our seats, the fireworks started to go off and they were RIGHT over our head! It was all so neat to see though, and even though it was 90 minutes getting out of the stadium back on to the train, hubby and I agreed we'd do it all over again.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What a week!

I'll be making some more posts about these events, but in the past seven days, the following has occurred in our family:

Saturday - moved out our queen sized bed (like a headboard, footboard, etc.) to our guestroom, loaded up and drove down a new four-poster bed and mattress from my parents' house, put together the bed, etc.

Sunday - pretty lazy day until we left the grocery store and saw a tornado touching down about 7 miles north of our house!

Monday - The Monkey's pre-school orientation

Tuesday - Channel 7 news came to our house to film a video clip about our upcoming DNC attendance.

Wednesday - The Monkey's first day of pre-school (for the fall).

Thursday - Got a speeding ticket (my first ever). Waited in line for 4 hours to get into Invesco field to hear Barack Obama speak. Then waited 90 minutes to get out and get on the train to go home.

Friday - Spent the day being exhausted, made lots of little errors in everything, was running late all day. Found out the contacts I have specially made for my eyes (read: takes 4-6 weeks to make), we're mis-ordered so it wasn't my fault I can't see out my left eye. Guess I'll have a headache until they get the new ones.

I'm tired.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

And the winner is....


I know she just got in to cloth diapering and has two adorable kiddos - so I'm sure this bag will come in handy.

Congrats Sheralyn!

And to all those that entered but didn't win - be sure to add this blog to your reader or keep an eye on it...I plan on doing lots more of these contests!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Win a Free Wet Bag!

I've been MIA for a is just B-U-S-Y these days! But I'm thick in the excitement of my new found obsession - cloth diapering! And to celebrate a new addition of cloth-diapering related items to my Etsy shop, I'm giving away a wet bag!

This bag measures 8" x 9.5", and has a zippered closure. Fits one or two diapers perfectly! (See below for more details.)

How to Enter Contest (and rules):
Leave a comment on this post anytime from now until August 16th at midnight (MST). I'll pick one winner at random and post the winner's name on my blog on August 17th (so be sure to check the blog!). Only one entry per person please!

What is a "Wet Bag"?
For those who don't know, a wet bag is a stylish, yet water-proof bag that is ideal for carrying those "used" cloth diapers. Though it can also be used for swimsuits, other soiled baby clothes or just about anything you can think of.

My bags are made with the following specifications:

- Inner lining made with color-coordinating PUL (waterproof laminated knit), keeps wet items contained).

- Inner and outer layers are sewn separately to prevent wicking of moisture onto the outside of the bag. Each seam is straight stitched and zigzaged to ensure durability.

- Zippered closure keeps items secure and keeps the smell contained! Both layers are topstitched to the zipper to keep everything in its place.

- Convenient carrying handle makes it easy to hang the bag on a stroller, on a doorknob, or around your wrist.

This bag can be washed and dried with all of your other diaper laundry. All items are pre-washed to minimize shrinkage.

Funny Small Fry

Well, for stats purposes, we got his 6 month check today and he weighs 15 lb., 8 oz. (15th percentile). I can't remember his height right now - I think 26", but he's in the 50th percentile for height. Average and skinny - just like daddy.

Small Fry isn't so average though - he likes to do two things in an odd way:

Suck his fingers:

Suck his binky: