Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!
Fish sent e-baby a FABULOUS costume. Tres chic, non?

Cutest dragon ever

An acorn-eating dragon?

Poor e-baby vomited all over her bed last night, so she didn't get to show off her new costume at daycare. Instead, she wore it in the front yard and again when all the neighborhood kids came trick-or-treating. She is feeling much better, by the way. It was the strangest thing. Sick as a dog last night, fine this morning. She has no appetite but otherwise seems completely fine. Well, and she went to bed about an hour earlier than normal tonight.

***Edited to add: I found out that a 24-hour vomit bug has been sloooowly going through the daycare class for the past 2 weeks, hitting about one person every 3-4 days. SNG and I better make sure we're caught up on work by Friday or Monday, since I suppose we're next. It seems to be a lot worse for the adults than for the babies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day #4,607 in the Life of the Happily Married
AG: Honeybunny, can you go soothe her back to sleep?
SNG: Mrphle-mrph-wha-yoo-say?
AG: The baby-- can you please go soothe her back to sleep?
SNG: Mrphle-'k (dresses, goes upstairs)

(upstairs light on, SNG trying to change a very cold, wet baby in a very full diaper)
AG: That must be why she woke up.
SNG: Poor thing, she was cuddly but wide awake and then I realized that her diaper had leaked all over and she's soaking wet. It's too cold up here.
AG: I'll hang out with her awhile

AG: She won't sleep, and I can't get comfortable enough to fall asleep holding her. It's too cold!
SNG: Bring her downstairs and at least you can lie in bed.
AG: Turn off the alarm clock.

6:30am (snoozing baby sounds)
AG: One of us should stay with her while the other gets ready.
SNG: You wanna go shower?

SNG (enters bathroom with e-baby): She woke up and noticed you were gone.

e-baby: goo! ba! ma? ma? MA!

And so on throughout the morning. I dressed and put on makeup, deciding I would drive to work since I didn't have much sleep and it was 35 degrees outside and I just didn't feel like running. SNG remarked that I could walk to work instead. E-baby could take a nap in the jogger, and if I walked, it would be a longer nap, which is good. SNG helped me dress e-baby like a tiny UT booster (frilly cream-colored onesie with Lawrence Llewellyn Bollen sleeves, burnt-orange fleece pants, burnt-orange fleece hoodie "Bevo" sweatshirt, pink socks, rhinestone-studded tennis shoes). We ate ludicrous oatmeal* for breakfast and danced to "Cherry Baby," and whaddaya know, all three were ready to go by 8am.

Teamwork made the morning bearable. I'm so happy I married the guy I married. Not that I want to wake up at 4:15 every day, but I'm glad I have my SNG. I'm also glad I didn't drive the car.

*Ludicrous oatmeal is another of SNG's continually evolving recipes. It involves steel-cut oats, barley, quinoa, spices, dried fruit, nuts, and anything else he can think of to warm up a cold winter morning. It's ludicrous. Come visit and he'll give you a bowl.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Random Stuff Update

New poll!

Biggest news: Despite inheriting a recessive gene that causes definiciency in peeing-on-a-stick, Twinkie2 IS harboring a teeny little parasite in her belly. Maybe two. They/it should be out and breathing air by July next year. Here's to hoping she brings us another soldier for our army of tiny girls! Or, the token boy soldier. Don't worry, we'll let him pee standing up. But he's gotta put the lid back down. We're sending healthy first-trimester thoughts.

I arrived home a couple of hours ago from Atlanta, catching an earlier flight on standby again! Go me! I got home in time for e-baby's bath and she was sooooo silly. Between being tired, excited that mommy's home, and eager to show me all the new stuff she learned while I was gone, her behavior was best described as delirious (cue the Prince song).

Atlanta was lots of fun. Best thing was getting to have a long, leisurely dinner with J&K, who I always enjoy seeing and just don't get to see often enough. Hey! Let's take that hiking trip in the mountains, whenever K has a long weekend free! :-) The rest of the trip was also good. Class was fun, and the students were a convivial bunch.

And now, two and a half weeks home. Aaaaah.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I got home from NYC last night, and thank goodness I caught an earlier flight!! I was scheduled for a flight which was supposed to get me home around 8:30pm, but LGA weather and traffic being what it is, that plane actually arrived in Raleigh at 12:30am. I managed to squeak, standby, onto the last seat of a flight that should have left at 2:50 but left the ground at 5pm, which got me home before e-baby's bath, around 7:15. We were so happy to see each other. She had a great week all alone with SNG, but I was pining for her the whole time. SNG was considerate enough to send little pictures and videos to my cell phone throughout the trip. They were like water to me. Today I've had a lot of trouble putting her down because those little baby hugs feel sooooo goooood.

Tuesday night I had some time to waste so I went to see Les Miserables on Broadway. I paid half-price for the tickets, which was still $60. I figured that since I love the movie and I waded through all 10,000 pages or whatever it was of the book-- including all 100+ pages on the battle at Waterloo and countless chapters on the geography of Paris and its development over the 1700s-early 1800s-- and still loved the book, but had never seen the musical, it was high time I saw it. I didn't even know any of the songs from it. I knew people in college who would get weepy over the very thought of "Les Miz" but then again, I was a theatre major in those days and I knew people who would get weepy over dance belts.

It was fun, and the music was nice, but the lyrics? Ugh!

Please oh please don't let the next line be "And my name is MA-ri-us!"

It might have been better if I didn't understand English. The rhymes were obvious and the lines were forced. What funny is that I read over the lyrics afterwards, and it doesn't read nearly as awkwardly as it sounded live. Perhaps we had a poor cast that night. There were understudies filling in for understudies who were filling in for the billed actors who took their places after the big-name billed actors had long-since retired from the cast. In fairness, the guy playing Enjolras, the boy playing Gavroche, and the woman who played adult Ponine were outstanding. The little girl who played child Cosette made me want to stick an ice pick into my ear. The guy playing Javert appeared to have a metal rod holding him up from the base of his spine to the base of his skull. But his voice was fantastic.The costuming and set design were wonderful. It was worth the $60 just to go and see a show. And if I'm completely honest, I will get weepy over the scene with the Bishop no matter how many times I see/read/hear it.

Wednesday night I went to dinner with my cousin Cosmo and we had a ball. Good sushi, good company. If all my trips were fun like that I'd be on the road every week.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Updates From the Annoying Family

We had the most amazing weather this weekend. It's actually well within the normal range of temperatures for this time of year, but it was so miserably hot in August and September that in comparison I had the urge to pull out my parka. Peace and Fuzzy hosted a day of playing Bocce and Kubb at a local park and eating burgers for Peace's food and fake sport. We had fun with friends, e-baby had fun with 2 of her little friends, and we probably shouldn't have stayed so late because all three of the little people missed their naps. You might be thinking, "So what? Kid doesn't get a nap. Big deal, she'll sleep better that night" but kiddo has other ideas. Kid misses the nap? Kid is cranky. Kid tries to nap instead of eating dinner. Face resting on cheese toast and lima beans. Kid tries to nap instead of taking a bath. Leaning over the edge of the tub trying to climb into mommy's arms and dripping all over mommy's sweatshirt. Kid finally gets put in bed for the night, and is overtired and punchy. Alternates between maniacal laughter and psychotic screaming and crying. Finally falls asleep around 10, only to wake up again at 3:30. Thankfully she slept until 8:15 after that. It was a new record.

Have I mentioned that e-baby is an exceptionally good sleeper? So I can imagine that our friends must have had difficult nights as well. Still, it was worth it to have such a good time at the park yesterday.

Sunday we were determined to keep e-baby's schedule on schedule. She was still kind of a crab, and probably had a hangover from all the sunshine and wakefulness of the day before. She had her nap in the bike trailer while we rode and rode all over Umstead. In this kind of weather I dream of quitting my job to become a professional recreational bike rider and picnic eater. I'd be really good at it.

I also used the weather to do some yardwork. Our basil plants out front were reaching record heights of about 4 1/2 feet, and were each about 3-4 feet across. I cut them down to about 3 feet and harvested a big mixing bowl full of fresh leaves. What the heck do you do with a gallon bowl of fresh basil leaves? I know. You're right. Make pesto. It yielded 2 quarts of finished pesto. What the heck do you do with 2 quarts of pesto? I've put it into 2 oz jars, but they're not processed or vacuum sealed, so I'm really not sure what to do with them. They'll probably keep a couple of weeks in the fridge. That's a lot of pesto to eat in 2 weeks. Anybody want a jar of pesto?

In the middle of making the pesto, I needed parmesan and pine nuts, so we took our little crab to the grocery store and gave her one of those silly "Customer in Training" miniature shopping carts to push around. We were that annoying family whose kid is running into all the produce displays and blocking access to the free samples at the bakery. E-baby likes to hang on with her mouth and her hands. Luckily we only needed a few things and so the CiT cart was the only one we had to wrangle.

I guess really it's SNG who has to eat all the pesto, because I leave Tuesday for New York and then the next week I'm going to Atlanta. I'll be seeing my cousin Cosmopolitan in NY, so I'm really looking forward to the trip. I haven't called anyone in Atlanta yet since I always stay in an inconvenient part of town for anyone to visit and I won't have a car. Still, I might see if anyone is around. But it is a short trip and, you know, no car.

If it's quiet around here for the next couple of weeks, it's because I'm staying out late and eating at restaurants with BOTH hands free. Hee!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So the one-year-old class transition has gone well for e-baby. Both days I've picked her up, she's been downright silly-giddy, as if she wants to tell me all about all the cool new things she did today-- playing on the slide, and the rocking horse, and the ride-on bike-thingie, and singing new songs, and dancing, and the sandbox, and new kids, and everything that is great. She's also pretty pooped at the end of such a big day.

I was going to take the morning off today to visit with Fish, who was going to a conference in Charlotte and decided to stop in Raleigh on the way. True, Raleigh isn't on the way from Pittsburgh to Charlotte, but both are in North Carolina, and that's a good excuse to come visit. Everyone was really excited about it, but unfortunately, he did not make it because his flight was cancelled. Adding insult to the situation, his girlfriend got a ticket when she dropped him off-- by the cop who directs airport drop-off traffic. Since when do they give tickets? So now Fish had to drive to Charlotte, just in time to get to the conference.

Unrelated side-thought: yesterday was election day, and unlike most off-years where I show up to vote for a bunch of people I've never heard of, this time there were three people I knew running for various offices, plus one that SNG knows and one that Dianaverse knows, bringing the total to five familiar names on campaign signs. This year I was actually looking forward to the off-year election day. It kind of felt like student council elections in high school.

The trouble is that ever since we moved to the woods, we don't actually get to vote for any of these interesting offices. That's right: no mayor, no city council, no city park bonds. We're in The County, living like militia members with a population density of 0.8 Porsches per household. I always forget this because we used to live in Raleigh, and I'm still not used to living on the fringes. I left work a few minutes early and hopped my bike over to the polling place, announced my name, gave girl scout's honor that it was really me, and received my ballot. I stepped up to the booth, ready to vote for all my friends. And what did I see?

1. School Board
-So-and-so incumbent
-Next door neighbor with the cute kids and the world's most spry elderly dog
-Wierd guy who actually said in an interview "I'm not interested in the school board but I think it's my civic duty to serve"
-Some nobody

2. Public space bond bla bla $200,000,000,000.00 for county parks that will eventually be "accidentally" granted to developers

3. Community college bond bla bla $100.26 for education

4. County library bond bla bla $15.08 and box-tops from cereal and crackers collected by rural county residents to fund new books and technology

That was it. The whoooooole ballot. I actually turned it over to see whether there was a back-side continuation. There wasn't. So, in about 10 seconds I had filled out my ballot, and spent the next 30 seconds checking my work so I wouldn't be the first one to turn in their paper and leave the class.

I rode back to my office in time to do another 30 minutes of work. Woo. What a life.

At least e-baby got another "I Voted" sticker, which made her happy.

My neighbor didn't win, but he did have a good showing, coming in 2nd place. In fact, only one of the people I know actually won. But I didn't have any say in the matter.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

We had a terrrrrrrific time in Austin. It was super-super short, but we made the most of it.

We flew out on the nonstop Friday evening after work, which was not a good idea. The flight left an hour late, which was already past bedtime, and e-baby wouldn't sleep on the plane. Once we got to my parents' house, she saw THE DOG and wouldn't sleep. We finally got her down at 2am. Thankfully, she slept until 9am so we did get some sleep.

E-baby spent most of her weekend playing with my brother's dog or trying to catch him. Thurston is one of the world's all-time sweetest dogs, and he tolerated all manner of annoyance from nose to tail. Sunday morning, she was walking around with a ball, saying "ball!" and Thurston followed her around, looking at the ball (dog loves to chase balls) but knew that he had to be gentle with The Boss. She even walked right up to Thurston, held the ball up to his mouth and said "Ball!" He didn't take it from her, but his face said "Oh I want that ball!!!!!" She eventually threw it and Thurston caught it and did the happy-boxer-dance. E-baby did the happy-e-baby dance and sang her aaAAaaAAaaaaAAaa song.

Saturday we went to T&E's house to see them and the boys. Everyone's doing great, and E's brother The Belgium Biker got married on Saturday, so everyone was working on arranging flowers and whatnot. We helped a bit and visited a bit and then headed back.

So, let's see... from our list, we saw TEAM, went to Central Market, went to IKEA, had chicken soup at Austin Java, had pancakes at Magnolia cafe, got a chrome Bevo for the Ruby-doo, drove past campus, walked around the old neighborhood, pondered the outrageous real estate prices, decided the summers are still too freaking hot, and saw the newest house that my brother is working on flipping. Oh, and Salt Lick BBQ for lunch on the plane. If I've never mentioned it here, the Austin airport is top-shelf for food and shops. Almost everything is local, and not just local, but some of the best local stuff. It's worth making a 2-hour layover in Austin on your next vacation if you can.

As a bonus, we saw Twinkie #2, who was in San Antonio for a procedure, and hell, by Texas standards, the IKEA in far north Austin in just a trivial (2 hour) side trip away, so she met us up there to go shopping and get her e-baby fix. She, BTW, is looking terrific. I'm sure she'll tell us everything on her blog.

Saturday evening mom had a belated bday party for e-baby and she enjoyed her big pile of wrapping paper (and the gifts). Sunday morning we flew home, which was much better than the flight on Friday, since it was not past bedtime. E-baby was so ready for bed this evening.

Tomorrow: e-baby's first full day in the 1-year-old class after 3 partial days in transition. *sigh!* I'm so nervous.

She seems quite relaxed about it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

With thanks to PIC for pointing this out and showing where to get this cool button, today is National De-lurking Day.
Lurkers! Say Hello!!
The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

We're heading to Austin this weekend, mostly so I can hang onto my gold status with my preferred airline, but also because it's great to get to visit family and friends. We've got one good day and a short morning to do everything that needs to be done, including visit Ikea (oh, excuse me: IKEA), have breakfast at Austin Java Co., have pancakes at Kerbey Lane, have BBQ at Ruby's, Kruetz's, and the Salt Lick, oh and at Black's too, so that Kruetz's don't get too full of themselves, lemonade at Hoover's, Flintstone's style ribs at Art's, iced chai at Quackenbush's (rats, closed now), coffee at Spider House, watch the water flow by at Mozart's, hike on the greenbelt, swim in Barton Springs, drive to Wimberley and back to see the Devil's backbone, shop on South Congress, visit the Whole Foods world HQ, go by my old building on campus, eat vegetarian lasagne at Mother's, eat dessert at Jeffrey's, buy a chrome Bevo at the Co-op, lie on the grass in the South Mall on campus, catch some live music at Stubb's, see my brother, s-i-l, mom, dad, T&E, and their 2 little ones a and m (did you catch that? they're now T.E.A.M.- ha!), walk the old neighborhood and mull over real estate, decide we really SHOULD move back someday, talk ourselves out of it because real estate is too expensive and it's too hot in the summer, and, finally, Waterloo records for the latest KGSR recordings. Whew! Think we'll pull it off?

Aaaaaanyway, so we're doing this trip to ensure next year's gold status with an airline. The only reason I bother is because if you're gold, you get treated only just a little bit worse than non-gold people were treated 5 years ago. If you're gold now, you're flying 3rd class with Jon Arbuckle. Non-gold passengers are placed in the 3rd class luggage bins overhead.