Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy belated blog-a-versary to me ...

I had great intentions to mark my blog-a-versary in a timely manner, but it seems I'm two days late. Strangely, my first blog entry here was about a 100th Monkey event I went to ... and tonight is yet another 100th Monkey event! And while I sadly won't be at tonight's event, my "baby" brother will be there filming away as one of my favorite performers sings her heart out, so I'll live vicariously. Besides, tonight will also be my second weekly girl's night out.

A blog-a-versary announcement: I'm happy to report that I've fulfilled the birthday resolution that led me to begin this blog (just half a year post-birthday): experience new things.

This last year has been filled with many, many new things. A year full of living ... fully. I look back at happy times and sad, new experiences and new friends, new challenges and new successes, new fears and new comforts. It's been a big year.

This blog started out being focused on things I love about Tacoma, and I'll continue to celebrate the town I've come to love, but I'm also branching out. I'm less scared of this blog-thing now. And I'll be experimenting here and there. I by no means plan to be perfect, just to be me.

So my resolution this year? To go where the wind blows. To be me. To not be afraid to be myself, to follow my passions, to do what I know to be right and true. And to have fun amid it all. So, basically, an expansion of last year. A celebration of life, and whatever life brings.

If last year was any predictor, this year should be quite a ride.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

VIDEO: Re-live First Night this week ...

I'm still in a post-First Night giddy state of mind, probably hyped by the fact that at least TWO First Night performers are playing in Tacoma THIS WEEK! On WEDNESDAY, Deborah Page will be performing with Paul Uhl at this month's 100th Monkey event at Jazzbones. Never been to a Monkey event? There's nothing to fear, just ask Daniel Blue. All you gotta do is show up and go meet three new people! On THURSDAY, Handful of Luvin' will be playing Club Masa. The scary thing? I was reminded about the latter by my dentist. I knew I had an awesome dentist, and that just sealed the deal.

So in case you need any reason to get out and about this week, there's two reasons to brave the blustery weather. If you need another, here's some First Night nostalgia for you:

Thanks again, Adam.

PHOTOS: Back from the land of 10,000 frozen lakes ...

... and I hear I missed the snow in T-Town, but check this out! :)

There was at least 6 inches of snow in Rochester, MN, when we arrived last week. It was in the negative teens and snowing a blustery, dry snow that would NOT allow you to make snowballs or snowmen. By the day this photo was taken, it had warmed to the 30s if not 40s and the kids went sledding, built a snowman, built a snow chair (and eldest SAT IN IT for who knows how long, crazy girl), and had all kinds of fun. We flew out a few hours later ... and the Chicago airport had already closed down. In fact, as we waited to board our plane, a plane full of Chicago-bound folks had just unboarded after waiting more than an hour on the runway.

Today we got word that it was basically a blizzard where 24 hours before we were playing in the snow in practically balmy winter weather. At least 6 inches had been added to what you see above by midday today, kids had been sent home from school after lunch, and it was negative-20-plus degrees with 20-30 mph winds. And it was still snowing. And still getting colder.

I think we picked the exact right time to head home ...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Is Tacoma still cold? I'm, well, tired ...

Well, I can officially report that while the other week I was joking about T-town being colder than Minnesota, I can officially now say it's not. With wind chill, it's been below zero. And I don't mean below freezing, but BELOW ZERO FAHRENHEIT!!! (With wind chill of course.) And there's about 4-6 inches of snow where we are, and it's still snowing. Went and got the kids snow boots and they immediately jumped into the dry, blowy snow. Considering they're running on about two hours of sleep because they were so excited about the red-eye flight and didn't sleep, it's been impressive. Though we parents would really like a nap. And I think we'll be boxing up some of our luggage and shipping it home ... because when three little kids fall SOLIDLY asleep just before landing, and you have to switch planes, and you have too much luggage (well, when you have luggage for five for a few days) ... it ain't pretty.

Hope my baby brother is enjoying having the house to himself for once.

And let's just say I'm REALLY, REALLY looking forward to flying to Hawaii this fall for my other brother's wedding -- sans children. Ahhh ... only carrying my own luggage and tired eyes off the plane ... no 2-year-old tugging at shirts and sweaters and causing me to flash the waiting area ... no trying to stay sane while ordering breakfast with one kid falling asleep at the table, and the others alternating fits and putting themselves in the corner and refusing to order anything ... what a treat.

OK, they did really good considering we flew out at midnight. Really good. But we're all looking forward to some sleep tonight. And in a few minutes ... pizza at O'Neill's Pizza Pub, our traditional stop when in my husband's homeland of Rochester, MN. We hungry, and could use a beer ...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hellos and goodbyes

First off, I have to say thanks to Ensie, TacomaMama, Cassioposa and Girlfriend in Tacoma for a much-needed girls night out late last night. While our intended itinerary got sidetracked MANY times, we definitely all got our gab on. Thanks for inviting me girls, and it was good to finally MEET you Ms. JCBetty, rather than just hear tales from my hubby. To my "original girlfriends," have no fear ... I plan to keep our monthly and summer traditions alive. But now that I can't make daytime playdates, it's nice to have an occasional late night girly gab session.

And now the depressing side ... tonight our household prepares to fly off to the land of 1,000 (frozen) lakes. Many of you may know that last year was the year I lost my three grandmothers. Well, this week my husband lost his remaining grandmother. We head to Minnesota to say our official farewells. We have no more grandmothers left. It's very odd to know that a year ago we had four between us, and now there are none.

And I feel sorry for my brother-in-law, the eldest of the four boys, who's baby daughter is barely half a year old and never got to meet her great-grandmother. I remember when my eldest was the same age and just missed meeting my father's father. By days. They were en route from Arizona to visit, and had to turn back when my grandfather started to not feel well, and that was that. I never saw him again. I don't think I ever saw my stepmother again either. It's strange to write down. It's a rather surreal and painful missed encounter for a new parent ... an admittedly self-pity pain, but no matter ... when the emotional rug gets pulled out from under you, it's a not-so-graceful landing on your ass. And it hurts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Something to be happy about

I was so thrilled to hear today from Tacoma Mama today that her past nearly-a-year of hard work posting daily "Good Days" in Tacoma is getting some notice of even the Seattle media. After a post at Citizen Rain, the media minions descended and she was interviewed by KOMO 1000 this morning, and then lo and behold Evening Magazine gave a call and said "can we come today?"

As a mother, I don't know how she did it. Don't the TV producers know that mothers need at least a week's notice? Give us time to clean the house! Give us time to get some beauty sleep! Give us time to focus on getting our brains back! Oh, wait, ok ... true, give us a week and none of this may actually happen. So what the hell, come by today ... And Tacoma Mama so pulled it off ... way to go Jen! There's no doubt she deserves it.

Jen spends tons of barely compensated time putting together incredible resources for Tacoma resident and visiting parents, and then forced herself to write DAILY about good things in Tacoma. I, I write OCCASIONALLY about good things in Tacoma. And while I know there's plenty to write about, it's that making yourself carve the time out of the day and DO it which is the reason why Tacoma Mama is getting some attention. It's amazing what happens when you DO something. And having just finished working with Tacoma Mama on helping with this last year's First Night event ... I gotta say, that's a group that DOES things. And Jen did a lot to make that magic happen.

So congratulations to Jen on sticking with it. Congratulations on getting some validation. And thank you so much for some good news. Today I needed it. Today my husband's grandmother died, and we prepare to flee the state for the funeral. It was only June when the first of my grandmothers died ... the first of three for 2007. And now it's the darling husband's side we grieve for. It's been a long year ... a long LESS THAN a year.

Thank you Jen for all the Good Days, may we all have many more.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A reason to go out this Thursday ...

First Night's over, but I feel like I'm getting to hit "replay" this week during Third Thursday festivities since Deborah Page and boyfriend Paul Uhl will be playing once again and the quirky and eclectic Sanford & Son, of of my new favorite places (join us: they're on at about 6 p.m.!). I caught the duo's show there on New Year's Eve, after we sent the kids to bed, and I'm looking forward to maybe bringing the kids out this time around for a family evening out on the downtown again.

Perhaps I'm still under the spell of First Night's mystique ... thousands of folks wandering the streets all day and night. Going to museums, eating out, shopping, listening to music, chatting with friends. I never wanted it to stop. This Thursday is "Third Thursday" in downtown Tacoma where the shops and galleries are open late, you can get into the museums for free between 5 & 8 and there's other special happenings throughout town. And I'm excited to see one of my now-favorite local performers.

It's going to be a great year ... and Thursday should be fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Feelin' philosophical ...

The last several days, weeks and months have been filled with trials and tribulations. And I don't say that flippantly. There have been struggles in many aspects of my life, most predominantly with the deaths of my three grandmothers, but I've been noticing the "struggle" theme coming up in many, many, MANY facets of my day-to-day being. And I've started to slowly, finally connect a few dots and get a glimpse of the bigger picture.

With hardship, with getting through the seemingly unbearable, there is a light at the other end of the tunnel and it is beautiful.

This last year has perhaps been one of the longest and most productive I've ever felt. There was happy, there was sad, there was thrill and there was downright depressing. And when I look back on the year, I feel like I've grown. I feel like I've lived, not just existed. I've come out the other end better for all the headaches and pain.

The pain ... it's brought me back to contemplate the births of my three younguns. All born at home, no drugs and not necessarily the easiest of labors. It was painful, it sucked, and I was momentarily crazy ... but once they were born, there was peace. I'm not overly frou-frou when it comes to childbirth; I'm mostly scared of doctors. I'm pretty blunt about the realities of pregnancy and the ups and downs of parenthood. But I can honestly say upon reflection, this was one of my first real-life "ahas" where I finally understood the miracle of sacrifice. About how suffering can bring even greater peace, even pleasure once you get to the other side.

It's a theme that's been reflected this past year mostly in death. I've long been scared of death and its finality. But this past year I've witnessed the final hours of one grandmother begging please ... begging for what the loved ones who surrounded her can only guess was freedom from her pain; she was ready. This was the first time death had truly hit home as something more than death to me. It was real, and painful to us survivors, but so obviously freeing for her. Then there was my step-grandmother, who we found out after her sudden death had written letters to God to take her home once she'd gotten everything in order. And, finally, the death of my grandmother and second mother. A woman who'd lived with verve, and whose final months were a mix of good moments with her and her vast and ever-expanding family, and many more moments that were so obviously torture to her memory faded and her pain increased. With her passing, we know the pain we feel is for ourselves; we know that her soul is free once again.

This year of needed reflection then brings me back to the here, the now, the years I likely have left on Earth. Brings me to the struggles that may occur in the many other aspects of my life, and I have a different perspective than I would have just a year ago. A year ago, some of the struggles and the imperfect situations I've been faced with, either on my own or as a group ... they no longer look as daunting or as cursed. I see opportunity.

In the face of adversity, I now see opportunity.

And I hope ... I wish ... I indeed pray that I'm able to hang on to that vantage point for the rest of my life ... because hope is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The games them kids play ...

So, the eldest two just spent more than an hour playing chess. Mind you, they're 7 and 5. We've kinda shown them the rules. Whether they're playing exactly right, I don't know. And I doubt they have much strategy yet. But they played. And didn't fight. Did you read that? They didn't fight! I'm still in shock. They made it through at least three games where they both won at least once, which meant they each had to lose, and they didn't fight. I'm still in shock. More than an hour, and the only friction was when the "baby" came by and kicked over a piece ... hmmm ...

I'm still in shock.

VIDEO: Good things come in small spaces ...

On a trip back to T-Town from our homeland of Oregon a few weeks back, my brother finally introduced me to the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts, where the "magic is in the hole" and you can get a maple bar laced with bacon, a cock'n'balls donut, a voodoo donut -- or heck, you can even get married! (They're a wedding chapel, too.) Fabulous donuts, fabulous place ... and a true testament to what a fabulous business can do with a tiny, tiny space (seriously, your living room is bigger than the public area of this heavenly haven.) This place does donuts, and does them great ... to the extent that we were standing in a line that stretched out the door and no one minded. The line went fairly quickly. The product was fabulous, and obviously popular ... let's just say, they know their niche.

Thanks again, Adam.

And to folks wanting to see incredible things that can be done in Tacoma with a funky, tiny space, check out Satellite Coffee! Or even "Flourish" in Proctor. Because while size might matter, sometimes good things come in small spaces.

Friday, January 11, 2008

VIDEO: My brother made me cry ...

So, below is the fifth and final video my "baby" brother made following our big everyone-actually-made-it-for-the-first-time-in-many-years Thanksgiving extravaganza. "Thanksgiving?!?!" you might ask. "But, that's been long gone." Yes, it has. But this last Thanksgiving was a particularly emotional time for our family, which meant it took my brave bro a long time to get through the footage, as two days later our grandmother took a turn for the worse and died a few days later. She was a mentor, a hero, a mother (grand or otherwise) to many, including myself. And with that, I'll avoid the novel for once and simply say "Happy Thanksgiving!" one last time. Happy New Year ... and live every day.

Thanks yet again, Adam.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Tempest is a temptress!

Got to finally hit The Tempest Lounge on MLK last night for a friend's birthday party, and WOW! I love red; I love cookies -- what could be better?

Cookies, you ask? Yes, cookies. I was quite surprised myself. But there they were on the table. A plate of three, fresh, warm oatmeal raisin cookies. The lovely Linda seemed shocked that I did not know this secret. That you can get a plate of this hot gooey loveliness for just $4 ... different cookies every night, so you have to ask what's on tap ... er, on cookie sheet? ... each night. But unless you're allergic to a cookie ingredient, all are allegedly divine. Perfect for bad moods, broken hearts, tired eyes or even happy people in search of more happiness.

Oh, and the drinks were well-done, too. I quite enjoyed the Greyhound the fabulous bartend recommended.

But I was a little distracted by the cookies.

And the people.

Oh the people ... being that this was a birthday party, there was the added bonus of fabulous folks, some I knew, some I do now, and everywhere the conversations erupted as our darling birthday girl hostess pushed pairs together and said "I know you, I know you, you should know each other ... now talk and find out why." It's rare that I am forced to be on the other side of such face-to-face Six Degrees of Separation gaming. Usually I'm the one in the room pushing people together. I pondered a pout, but merely let myself warm up and then dived right in. And it was fabulous!

So hello to new friends, a shout out to the Tempest and thank you, birthday girl, for giving me the opportunity to see life on "the other side" of the pushy hostess table. I love you all!

What my kids debate about ...

Today we were having an adventure to the Tacoma Art Place, the boy decided that the Tacoma Art Place must be where Dr. Seuss lives. He insisted upon it. The eldest, well, she decided that no, that's where Eric Caryle lives. (I'm guessing she remembers a past Tacoma Art Museum exhibit about children's book illustrator Eric Caryle that she got to see with her class.)

Later, in the van, they were debating shapes. The eldest insisted the shape of something was a diamond, while the boy decided he preferred to describe it as a rhombus. Keep in mind the fact that both realized that both a diamond and a rhombus are the same shape at you just have to smack your head and laugh.

Wondering how the Tacoma Art Place went? Well ... we just peeked tonight. I'm still not feeling well and it was getting late, so we checked it out for a bit, then headed home. But be sure, we shall return another day, and I'm excited for that day ... but until that day, here's a brief description from their website:

Explore your creativity at Tacoma Art Place. We provide the studio space, equipment and classes so you can explore your artistic ability.

Tacoma Art Place (TAP) is a non-profit art center in the heart of the revitalized MLK neighborhood in the old Friday's Cookies facility. Our mission is to provide access to equipment and training that will allow more people to affordably explore their creativity and artistic ability. We also have a special emphasis to reach underserved individuals with scholarships and reduced memberships.

VIDEO: Why I'm sharing this I do not know ...

My darling brother is finally getting around to finishing his series of five videos from our Thanksgiving on the homestead. The final one will be a tear-jerker, but I got a kick out of one of the recent one's, which is actually Thanksgiving, part II: "the bonus kids." Aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents had gathered en masse the previous day, and on day two several of our family's "bonus kids" (we add family members whenever we please) were able to make it as well and we had a smaller gathering that included no auntie butts going through my parents' walls. It was day two of the fooding. And I got to see my best friend from, well, since sometime in gradeschool. And there were several cute kid moments, and apparently I got chatty about luck vs. skill when it comes to games. Sigh. I like games.

Again, why am I sharing this? Oh yeah, because it made me laugh.

Thanks again, Adam!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The bright spot in my morning's bleary daze ...

While walking down South 7th Street to work this morning, an at least new-to-me spark of life in the Roberson condo project caught my eye and made me smile despite the fact that my cold was still not kicked. It was a shop! And not just the sales office! I blinked my eyes again and noticed: It wasn't just any shop, it was a familiar shop ... it was Curtright & Son, a longtime St. Helens tribal art boutique shop that I feared had packed up for good last year. But no! They just moved up the hill a tiny bit!

So if you've been looking for their wares, I'm not sure whether they're officially open yet, but head for the intersection of 7th & St. Helens and just wander up the hill a partial block to the other corner of the Roberson and you'll get a peek at the beginning of what's coming for this neighborhood. I have chills!

Now, if one day soon I stumble across the reinvented and always fabulous Dame Lola, I'd be a very happy girl ...

My little chef

Ahhh, it's great when you find a show that the whole family can watch together. A definite feat when the kids are all 7 & younger. But our family has found one. We've found a whole genre, actually: Food shows.

We're not just talking the Food Network, my kids are PBS food show geeks, too. During those parental moments when you need a little break from go-go-go interaction but you REALLY don't want to turn on a crack cartoon (which makes them scream when it's over or you try to turn it off), I can turn on America's Test Kitchen or really, nearly ANY food show (the more educational, the more they like it) and we can enjoy it together. We learn. We still interact (no crack-cartoon rapid-action shots to get their gumption going). The kids ask questions. We talk about our meals ... how we cook ... why we pick what food we do ... etc.

The only problem: The 5-year-old thinks he's a chef.

I came into the kitchen the other weekend to discover my 5-year-old at the kitchen butcher block with bowl and whisk in front of him as he stood upon a stool. "Hi mom! I'm making pie!" I believe there was water (cold); an egg; a bit of milk; a teaspoon of this; a teaspoon of that; some flour; some sugar (brown, the boy is OBSESSED with BROWN sugar ... he'd eat it for dinner if he could); and then he even added some Hershey kisses. Interesting ... and mind you, there was no disuading him. He had his mind set on making pie. And there was no "Oh, you can help mommy/daddy make a pie" ... he had HIS recipe. "I have a recipe! It's in my mind!" And if you interrupt him, all hell breaks loose as he yells at you for making him forget his recipe.

Ummm ... we baked it.

Let's just say as determined as he is, he's only 5 ...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Bye, Bye Christmas Tree ...

So quickly up, so quickly down. And totally surreal since I've been in this sick daze that has had me KO'd since Friday. But it's only the first week of January still, and the decorations are packed away and the City of Tacoma Solid Waste crew just yoinked my tree from the where it was laid in the street. Bye bye tree ... so long, farewell, and all of that. Time for a new year. And despite this cold, I'm still optimistic it's going to be a better New Year ... ready or not, 2008, here I come.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


I honestly don't remember the last time I was this sick. I though Friday I could walk it off, but Saturday and Sunday I've been in bed, sleeping. Zero appetite. Swollen tonsil. Stuffed head. It sucks. And I'm just hoping there's an end in sight. I had to cancel Saturday dinner plans, Sunday dinner plans ... and if by the grace of God I'm well for work tomorrow, it will be like I had no weekend at all because I've just been in pain and sleeping. It's all a daze. I can barely see this screen. So here I go, back to bed, praying that tomorrow it will be gone ... but wishing it had been gone today. Yesterday. OK, I wish it had never set foot in my house, let alone my immune system.

G'night folks. Save up those sick days, this one's a doozy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

VIDEO: 'Just another aunt in the wall'

Well, this one's not Tacoma-centric, but it's super-funny. Let's just say holidays at my folks' house can get a little wild ... and everyone's sober. Seriously.

p.s. And thanks, Adam, for yet another awesome video!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First Night followup: Found a new love ...

Wow. I now know the magic that is First Night. While the kids weren't quite up to my full to-do list, we had a fabulous time this New Year's Eve. We hopped on the free Tacoma LINK and made it to the Museum of Glass in time for all the munchkins to make "cone head" hats and hang out in the hot shop for awhile (my dad had never been -- and he quite enjoyed it). We even got to peruse the current "Mining Glass" and "Contrasts" exhibits to the 7-year-old's delight (she's obsessed with the Museum of Glass for about three years now) ... the 2-year-old announced "don't touch!" at every stop. We ran into some other parents from my kid's preschool, someone from work, a friend of my parents' from way back when, one of our city council folk ... and many, many other folks wandering to and fro (and it wasn't even 5 yet!) It was amazing to see so many people filling the streets and wandering downtown Tacoma.

Then, it was time for dinner. With four kids 7 & younger in tow, this was no small feat ... as there were only three adults, and one had to make it to Sanford & Son by 6, so location was essential. But did I mention little kids? The solution was easy: Puget Sound Pizza! We got a cheese pizza and Hawaiian pizza and I've never seen my kids or their cousin inhale so much pizza. I swear one of the pieces was bigger than their head, and it was gone in a flash. We had nothing to pack into our backpack when we left. And we adults actually paced ourselves. Oh, and here we ran into TONS of First Night button wearers, including a friend and member of this circus troupe.

After that, it was time to entertain the kids. So we attempted what everyone else with kids did: Valentine's Performing Pigs. Let's just say the Rialto was packed. We were running late and we ended up cramming six of us into four seats in the very back row of the far corner of the highest balcony. Did I mention packed? After that, we went outside into the oddly balmy winter weather and enjoyed the main stage for awhile. And ran into Mr. Exit133, Mr. & Mrs. FeedTacoma, tux-wearing County Councilman Tim Farrell, a former coworker ... and so many more folks. I'm always amazed how in Tacoma, even among a crowd of thousands, you can find so many friendly faces.

Fast-forwarding, we caught the parade, led by the unsinkable TacomaMama, that had pirates and roller derby girls and some awesome Chinese dancing dragons -- and a great drum performance. Then, it was off to the Instrument Petting Zoo where my kids wandered around with several other "kids" of all ages who were trying out all kinds of instruments. A trombone, trumpet, one-man-band contraption, guitars of all sizes, a flute, clarinet, lots of percussion instruments, a keyboard, and even a theremin, which my eldest fell thoroughly in love with. By the end, we'd determined the eldest had a thing for the zany (the theremin) as well as the flute, which she made music with on the first try. Her cousin leaned toward the piano and the clarinet (weird, her mom played clarinet). My middle one, he was all over the trombone (like his dad) and all the guitars. And the baby girl grabbed a baby guitar and a stick and started pretending to play violin. It was pretty cool. After about an hour we managed to pry the kids from petting the instruments and headed back outside and back to the main stage, where they ran and ran and ran and danced and danced and danced.

At this point I realized I wasn't going to be checking off pretty much ANYTHING on my original list, and I was okay with that. We were having a fabulous time. Between the kids' joy, time with my dad, all the street performers and the people in the street, the outdoor music and the things we made indoors, I was lacking nothing. But then, miracle of miracles happened ... the kids got cranky, my dad and I took them home, and then dad was willing to have some grandpa time and I GOT TO GO BACK!!! WITHOUT KIDS! I met back up with my hubby and some other pals at Galanga for a late-night snack and then headed through the crowds (it was great to see the Helm brimming with activity) over to the Deborah Page performance at Sanford & Son.

And that's where I fell in love all over again ... my husband has no need to fear, but now that I finally got my arse over to Sanford & Son, I'm sure to be back. A lot. And Deborah Page is, well, simply divine. (And I hear she plays there on Third Thursdays; yay!) The magic of Deborah's muse in the eclectic Sanford & Son space was hypnotizing. After that, the rest was icing. The music, the people, the spectacular top-of-the-parking-lot fireworks ... it was fabulous.

Can't wait until next New Year's Eve! So see you at First Night 2009 (remember, that's Dec. 31, 2008). You all likely have new calendars this week, put it on there! New Year's Eve 2008 in downtown Tacoma will be fabulously fun: Don't say you weren't warned.

Proof 2008 is the "Year of the Pirate"

Some people giggled at the First Night "Year of the Pirate" theme, which was in part just for fun and costume opportunities, and in part because this year's Tall Ships theme is also pirates. But I don't think anyone predicted the theme taking on a life of its own, at least not quite so soon ...

To see what I mean, check out today's News Tribune story about the first baby of the year.