Saturday, February 28, 2009

Magnolia Grace Turns 1!

Happy "Birthday" Muncher!

Thanks for making our first year of parenting as easy as it could be!

Mama and Papa love you very much!

More posts from the celebration to come after we get some rest...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Recent Maggie Antics

Our friends Ryan and Candice came over recently for poker night and brought their newborn, Lucy. Brian got to practice holding two cute girls. Magnolia was very interested in baby Lucy and even reached to pick her up. (Notice Brian's nice handlebar mustache.)
We brought up our baby papisan for lil' Lucy during her visit.
It has become one of Maggie's favorite lounge spots.
I decided to let Magnolia start practicing eating her yogurt with a spoon. She found the whole thing quite amusing. To my amazement, no yogurt ended up on the floor!
Like most kids, Magnolia has always been curious about the phone. Often I let her "talk" on the phone when it is someone that she knows on the other line. After listening intently for a few seconds, her curiosity about the buttons usually terminates the conversation.
"Rush residence!......hello??...nobody there again!"

"Can you hold for a moment? Thank you. DAAAD! Phone call on line one!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Brian's Top Ten Films of 2008

What were your favorites?  Here are mine, so far.

I'm not sure this is my favorite of 2008 but, of the films I've seen, it is without a doubt the best.  Set in communist Romania circa 1987, the film follows a woman who has agreed to help her college roommate get an illegal abortion.  I am not recommending it for every one, but 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is almost perfect.

The Visitor is the film on this list I can recommend unreservedly.  After the death of his wife, Walter Vale returns to his long neglected apartment and is surprised to find a couple of immigrants living there. Goodwill and positive relationships are hard to portray in films without becoming cheesy or overly sentimental, but director Tom McCarthy has proven himself a master.  If you haven't already, check out his first film The Station Agent.

BIG, bleak and brilliant.  If you're not already familiar with Charlie Kaufman's films (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovitch, Adaptation etc.) don't make this one your introduction.  If you already have a taste for his previous work prepare your mind for the usual contortions and existential quagmires. Except this time it's not so light!

Having met all kinds of interesting people in her adventures as a casting director, Jennifer Venditti told herself that one day she was going to make a film about one of them.  This is that documentary.  Billy is a small-town misfit who is simultaneously awkward, sincere, courageous, and funny.  And even though Venditti and her crew spent only a few days with Billy and his kin we are granted a very vulnerable, intimate, sometimes uncomfortable look at the lives of an extraordinary young man and his loved ones.  

The best superhero movie you'll ever see.  Because it's more than a superhero movie.

Simple storytelling, understated performances, pregnant pauses in a Southern landscape, and an achingly gorgeous score. Reminiscent of The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and Terrence Malick, Shotgun Stories tells the story of feuding half-brothers, born of a father who led two very different lives.

Yes, the visuals are beautiful (almost to the point of being tiring) but the little girl steals the show. This is The Princess Bride and Pan's Labyrinth (which, if you haven't seen, is a not-for-children fairytale) thrown in a post-modern blender.

Breathtaking  and inspiring.  Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the two towers was deemed the artistic crime of the century and this film captures the determination and exhilaration behind the realization of one man's dream.  I wholeheartedly recommend this very entertaining movie even as I wish it explored more thoroughly the relational complexities between Petit and his friend-collaborators.

A bizarre comedy-thriller that balances, ever so precariously, dark and light. 

Honorable Mentions:

Films I suspect might displace some of my top 10:


Thursday, February 19, 2009


We got to have our long ultrasound today.
Confirmation that it is indeed a girl.

Most of the time she was playing with her fingers.

She was rather quiet for both peeks, but did move a little.

The ultrasound tech did not give us an estimated birth weight, but said that Baby is in the 50th percentile. So here's hoping for a smaller girl!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Cuties on Valentine's Day

"Troodles" looking "Too cute"
(They came home from doggie daycare on Friday with stickers on their heads from their Valentine's day party.)

"Big Handsome"
(Our vet's office nicknamed him that)

Future Heartbreaker

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cyber Sex Party

Last time we were pregnant we threw a Sex Party.

This time with all of our sickness, school/work obligations, and planning Magnolia's 1st birthday, we decided against hosting one for this baby. Instead, we're throwing a virtual one. And this is it.  So welcome to your first--it is your first right?--Cyber Sex Party!  Let us know you were in attendance by leaving a comment.

With Magnolia, the group-think powers were without a doubt: it was going to be a girl. This time, the masses were divided, and so were we: "Its a its a boy...girl..."  The suspense has been killing us!

So we were super disappointed this morning when the OB office called to tell us their only ultrasound tech called in sick for the first time in years.  We rescheduled for next week but still went in for the rest of our monthly appointment.

While Shannon was getting weighed and peeing in a cup, Brian put on his puppy dog eyes--puppy dog mustache?--and convinced the nurse to ask if the doctor would do a quick ultrasound, just to find out the sex. 

The doctor agreed! 

It was great to see our babe and see it moving.  Shannon hasn't really felt it yet, which is odd.  But we were assured it was because the placenta is in front this time.  After briefly showing us the face and heartbeat the doctor gave us a toilets-eye view and asked, "What do you think it is?" 

We both tried to decipher the mish-mash of moving black and white patches on the screen and Brian said, "It looks like a girl."

"I think so too," said the doc.

Magnolia's going to have a sister!

The Challenges of a Non-Existent Birthday

Recently I called to make an appointment for Maggie's 1 year check up.

Receptionist: When will your daughter be one?

Me (hestitantly): February 28th?

Receptionist: What is her name?

Me: Magnolia Rush

Receptionist (concerned): Uh, don't you mean February 29th?

Me: Well, there isn't a Febuary 29th this year.

Receptionist (relieved): Oh yeah. Right.

I think she thought I forgot my daughter's birthday! Really I was just trying to keep the conversation simple. I guess I will have to be longwinded from now.

The joys and pains of a Leap Day birthday have begun!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ella's Voice Mail

This is a message our adorable niece sent us about a year ago. We finally got the appropriate cord to get it off our phone and onto the computer.

If you're interested in recording your own phone messages check out these simple directions. Unfortunately, the site, which hosts people's funny, unusual, and cherished voice mails, doesn't appear to be collecting anymore.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Art of Feeling Sorry for Yourself

When cough turned to gastro-intestinal eruptions on Tuesday I locked myself in the bedroom to spare my baby the same ordeal.

We thought we were in the clear but today Magnolia woke up from her nap with milky chunks on her cheeks and diarhea up the PJs.

Fortunately Maggie hasn't learned the art of feeling sorry for herself, unlike her Mama moaning in bed all day. Other than skipping dinner Maggie has been her goofy, cheerful self.

Monday, February 2, 2009


The study of beards. I think my husband has decided to add this to his list of minors.

Brian came home today with a newly styled face and mustache wax!
He kind of looks like this:

Except... His mustache is much bushier, more like a walrus, reminding me of President Cleveland. Also, his beard portion comes to a point on either side and is disconnected from the mustache.

Actual pictures of the shaving phases to come.