Children's Journals

This is my journal, with posts mainly about myself. If you want to see posts specifically about Maia or Liam, check out the links to their journals under the "My Interests" section on the right side of my blog page.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pirate Cruise

On Friday, we went on a Pirate Cruise in Wildwood. I already typed up a post on Liam's blog, since he's the reason we went. Check it out for the full details and pictures. But here's a picture of him with Captain Jim, Captain of the Dark Star pirate ship.

(if the link above doesn't work, copy-paste the URL below to get to it:

Friday, July 29, 2011

One Whole Year

I had wanted to post this much earlier in the day, but a good portion of it was busy with a trip to the shore (we went on a pirate cruise in Wildwood), and then trying to recover from the trip. I had hoped that my mind was be a little less exhausted for this, but alas, it's not, so this won't be as eloquent as I would like it to be.
Today, July 29th, marks one year since my paternal grandmother, Gladys Ogbin, passed away. Before that, I had not really experienced the loss of a close loved one, only distant relations. And up until that day, I still had all four grandparents, and a great grandmother. But my grandmother's unexpected passing was the beginning of a chain of great grandmother, my maternal grandfather, and ending with my paternal grandfather. And leaving me with only one grandparent left, my maternal grandmother. I still remember this day a year ago. Getting the call from my mother sometime around 6am, already knowing it was bad news and figuring it was one of my of them having been in a state of bad health for a few years in a nursing home and having lasted longer than we had expected (lost him September 24th)...and the other deteriorating from cancer for about a year and close to the end (lost him August 12th). But no, it was my grandmother, who had been admitted to the hospital a few days earlier and was expected to start dialysis as a result of kidney failure. No one had expected death to come instead, at least not so soon. I remember calling out of work and heading to the hospital, to say goodbye to her in my own way. I remember seeing her lying there, my first close up look at death, and feeling like it just wasn't real...that suddenly the warmth would come back into her expression, that she would suddenly open her eyes and say something. I remember the tears, the hugs shared with my sisters and parents, and the moments spent comforting one another.

I am too tired to say anything more deep...but...I miss you, Grandmom. I want you to know that I consider our baby daughter Maia, conceived right around when you passed from this world, to contain part of your spirit, part of your one ends, another begins. I think of her as a special gift given as some consolation for the life lost...for the lives that would be lost in the coming weeks. Nothing can replace those lives lost, but that little miracle (unexpected miracle) made the losses more bearable.
Love you, Grandmom...with all my heart.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A piece of history lost

Well, a piece of my history. I found out today that yesterday, July 12th, Richard "Koz" Kozlowski passed away, at the young age of 57. Koz, as he was known by students and teachers alike on campus, was my college Physics professor. He was an awesome teacher, one-of-a-kind, fun to be around and pretty darn smart. I would have to stay that he was my favorite professor at Susquehanna University. I remember his classes, and the Physics Society, and the "Knowledge Zone". I remember tie-dying shirts in one of the labs and I am pretty sure I still have that shirt packed away in my attic as memorabelia (I am tempted to go get it down and wear it now). He used to call me KRO, due to my initials, and I always liked that nickname. I remember the first time I met him, before I even decided to go to SU, at a meet-n-greet...that's when he did his schtick of writing his entire full name on the board while explaining each of the parts...and then erasing everything but the 'K', 'O', and 'Z' and telling us to call him that. I remember the Physics trips that were 75% just fun stuff and 25% physics stuff thrown in. I think my favorite memory of him was my first Physics trip, up to Woods Hole, Massachusetts...we had gotten a few "night-vision" type goggles as souvenirs from a research facility up there and during a stop at a local McDonald's, Koz and number of the students jumped out of the car wearing the goggles and toting super soakers and proceeded to have a water fight in the parking lot, which caused some concern on the part of passers-by who didn't know who this tall, scruffy man wearing a black shirt, combat-style boots, weird goggles and a super soaker was.

I was hoping to see Koz again in a few years when I go back for my 15-year reunion (or sooner if I managed an earlier visit). I am saddened to think he is gone, and considering that in just over two weeks it will have been one year since my grandmother passed away (starting the chain of lost loved ones all within two months of each other), it's especially hard to think about. I am not ashamed to admit there are tears.
I could write a lot more, probably, but it's late. So I am reposting the information that is listed on the Susquehanna website, since I am assuming that a link to the page would eventually become a dead one whenever they finally remove the page.
For those that knew him...we were the lucky ones.

Richard “Koz” Kozlowski ’75, longtime professor of physics at Susquehanna, died on July 12, 2011, in Arizona. He was 57.

Known as “Koz” by colleagues and students, he was a beloved teacher, known for his accessibility and his willingness to serve as a mentor to his own students, as well as those from other disciplines. His commitment to teaching was recognized in 1989 when he received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (now The Susquehanna University Award for Distinguished Teaching). A year earlier, he was recipient of The John C. Horn Distinguished Service Lectureship.

Also a disciplined researcher, Koz is credited with Susquehanna’s involvement in the University of Arizona’s NASA Joint Venture project, which partnered Susquehanna faculty with University of Arizona astronomers. He often took students to Arizona to participate in the research.

He was the consummate faculty member, who believed in putting students first. Koz’s approach earned him the respect of his students and his faculty colleagues. He was beloved and his death creates a void for the university community.

Calling Koz a classic faculty member, Terry Winegar, dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences, said he was “an especially dedicated teacher, an exceptionally active researcher, and a tireless advocate for the academic program and shared faculty governance. Most importantly to me, he was a member of our community who recognized that Susquehanna was first and foremost an academic institution. As a faculty member, he was the kind of role model that can continue to be an inspiration to us all.”

Samya Bano Zain, assistant professor of physics, called Koz an “institution within an institution,” remembering him as a fierce advocate for shared governance and academic quality. “He had a way with words. No matter what was going on, he made you feel better.”

Former student Jeff Ries ’86 said his onetime teacher and longtime friend left a lasting impression. He first encountered Koz when he visited campus to register for classes. Hesitant about a daunting class schedule, he asked Koz, who served as his advisor, if he believed it was too much. “He told me ‘you can do anything you want in life, you just do it.’ All through my life, I’ve taken that approach. Koz provided me with guidance for a career, but more importantly, for the overall game of life.”

Professor of Physics Fred Grosse and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Tom McGrath recalled Koz as a onetime student-turned well-respected colleague. “When he came back to campus to teach, I retired as department chair and put him in charge,” Fred said . “He then took me by the hand and directed me toward astronomy and the program at the University of Arizona. … It provided a great opportunity for a small school like Susquehanna to be involved in world-class research.”

Tom McGrath said Koz was a good student who was a loner as an undergraduate, but became very available to students once he stood at the head of the classroom. “He was a down-to-earth person who always had time for his students.”

The original “knowledge zone,” a space where students and faculty could interact with each other, can be credited largely to Koz, according to Don Housley, who served as dean of the former School of Arts and Sciences. “He accepted them (students) where they were and encouraged them to grow. He was somewhat unorthodox in his approach, but he was honest and unpretentious and spent a lot of time with students. And many of his former students have met with success.”

Friday, July 8, 2011

Welcoming another new little life!

So, less than two weeks after friends of ours had their baby daughter, a second set of friends just welcomed their baby into the world as well. Their daughter Amelia (who was a surprise, since they didn't want to find out the gender) was born at 3:15pm yesterday, July 7th, weighing 6lbs 9oz and measuring 20". I've seen pictures of her and she is definitely a cutie (I know, all babies are cute, but some are definitely cuter than others). Again, not going to post a picture since I haven't gotten permission yet.
I wonder when we will meet her. I also think it interesting that our Maia weighed more than these two recent baby girls, considering how small I am. Heh. Never thought she would be the heavyweight of the babies.

I am hoping we can find time to see our friends more, since our daughters will all be so close in age. They would do great playing together.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July weekend

Hey, just wanted to post some of the pictures from this weekend, pretty much all of them with the kids in them. Saturday we just did things around the house, but I introduced Liam to our sprinkler. It took a little bit to get him brave enough to try it out, but once he found out how much fun it was, he was running all through it.

On Sunday we went up to Jackie's place and hung out. The plan was to go to a nearby park and have fun outdoors, sitting under a huge tree, grilling, walking around the gardens/aboretum onsite, walking nature trails, etc. And celebrating my parents birthdays. But the weather decided not to cooperate, so we spent it indoors, in Jackie's apartment, grilling out on her little back stairwell. During a lull in the rain, we attempted to go to the park to see the gardens, but it started raining again as soon as we got there, so after about 10 minutes we had to turn around a leave anyway. I only got one picture the whole time I was there, of my Aunt Cindy holding Maia for the first time. (sorry that it's not all that flattering)

On Monday we had a BBQ at our place and the weather did cooperate for that. We had a good crowd over, but most of the pictures I took were of the kids (they are so cute, it can't be helped). Here the little ones enjoyed Liam's inflatable pool (I always hem and haw about whether to set it up for these parties, and every time it gets a lot of use, so it's always worth I need to just remember that).

This time Liam and Xander DID have the same exact swimming gear on...just like twins.

The little cutie in the middle is Julian, the son of Jeremy and Rita. He has a great smile and I wish I saw more of him. He is a month older than Cole.

This is the one shot I have of the rest of the crowd, without kids. It's mainly Sam talking to Rita.

And finally, a few shots of people enjoying the big pool.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hummingbird Moth

Today, while out in my garden, I spotted a hummingbird moth. I don't know that they are rare, but I know I only saw my first one just a few years ago, and have only seen a handful since then. And since I hadn't heard of one before I spotted it and found out what it was, and most other people have no clue what they are (or that they exist), they always seem rare to me. So I think of them as special. I got a picture of this one, which I believe is a Snowberry Clearwing variety.

Interesting looking, aren't they. Apparently when they fly around, they are often mistaken as a hummingbird. I've mostly seen them at rest, and they look more like a weird bumblebee to me, due to the coloration. I've never seen any of the other varieties, only this kind. But I love seeing them. And so, now you know that hummingbird moths exist and what they look like. I am hoping to see more of it.