Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Today is e-baby's 4-month birthday, and she had her 4-month checkup this afternoon. She's 50th percentile for height, weight, and headsize and she has accomplished all of her developmental milestones. They're sorted into categories, and looking at when she reached each of her milestones, she's ahead of schedule for gross motor skills and social skills, and only just on-time for fine motor skills. She can't play the violin but she can lift a Yugo with one arm if she needs to, and she'll charm the pants off of you while she's at it.

She charmed the heck out of the team of nurses required to hold her while she had her vaccinations. She was all laughs and giggles until the needles went into her pudgy little legs. E-baby turned a shocking shade of purple, ripped up the paper cover on the exam table, and then threw one of the nurses head-first into the sharps bin before the remaining nurses were able to restrain her.

Now she is sleeping off the soreness and I've posted some recent pictures so you can see just how long her hair has gotten. You can also see her in action playing with the toybar on her bouncy seat (a.k.a., The Office), sitting like a buddha in her Bumbo (who names these things?), and petting Peace and Fuzzy's dog DOTi. It's an action-packed set, I tell you.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I was thinking about how traveling used to be great blog-fodder. Now I don't have as much fuel for blogging that isn't baby-related. My travel schedule is so light right now that the next trip isn't until early March, when e-baby and I will fly to Seattle. At the airport we'll meet up with my mom who's flying in from Austin, and the 3 of us will spend some time with my cousin PIC and her (soon to be born) new baby. Yay!

In the meantime, I'll be teaching local classes and writing new ones. I hope I can enjoy traveling again someday because travel used to be so much fun. I still enjoy it if I can take e-baby with me, but I dread going anywhere without her. It will probably get easier.

When I first started working, I wasn't sure how I would feel about traveling and leaving SNG behind. I still miss him, but it got a lot easier after the first year or so. I got good at eating out by myself and really looked forward to alone time. It would be better, of course, if hotels had decent TV channels, because watching "From Justin to Kelly" again isn't anybody's idea of fun.

On to other news:
For those of you keeping up with my cousin's pregnancy adventures (and her pregnancy has certainly been more adventurous than most), whether BabyGirl is ready to meander out on her own or the doctor has to coax her out with threats of Neil Diamond music she WILL be born by the end of the month. Hooray!

For those of you keeping up with my BFF Lizard's pregnancy, they had their 20-week ultrasound on Friday and it's a GIRL! BIG Congratulations to them. (Girls are so much fun, y'all. Boys probably are, too, but I don't know first-hand.) They also learned that they will probably be stationed in Washington state next, so I'll be able to see BOTH of my new babygirls by flying into Sea-Tac. Woohoo!

For those of you keeping up with T&E's pregnancy, I haven't talked to them since their 20-week ultrasound which was right after Thanksgiving-- it's a BOY!-- but I can't tell you what's going on lately and I realize that I'd better give them a call.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The West
The Northeast
The Inland North
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Quizzes are so much fun. I think it's funny that there's as much Philadelphia in my accent as there is The South. You know, considering I've never lived anywhere but The South.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Thank you, New Orleans parochial schools! (And thanks, Dianaverse, for finding the quiz)

But I'm ticked off because I want to know which question I missed. Damn.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Last weekend was the prom. I didn't have a new dress, just the same 8 or 9 evening gowns that I've had for at least 5 years, so I wore a dress I've worn before. That actually sounds pretty silly in print so I'll stop complaining (until you're out of earshot because I want a new dress. But I'm not getting one. Rats.).

Yes, it is a prom. It's officially called a "Winter party," but when the office puts on a Winter party and rents an entire convention center, with 5 ballrooms, 4 bands, 3 martini bars, 7 buffets, a casino, and AND and posed homecoming-queen-and-king-style photographers. See? Prom. With martinis and gambling. I haven't missed it since I started working there in 2000. It's the event of the year.

This year a friend from work threw a pre-prom party at her pad. It made me recall high school, when I went to Jesuit's Jr/Sr prom with this guy I was dating at the time. It was an octuple date (8 couples). One of the moms hosted pre-prom dinner at her house, then we went to the prom (in a couple of limos). Afterwards, each of the remaining sets of parents hosted a post-prom party/breakfast buffet. Seven post-prom breakfasts. We had a blast. At the time I wondered why these parents would want to stay up so late cooking pancakes and waffles, but it did keep us away from the jello shots. It was a clever plan. After the last breakfast party was over, we went to, where else, Denny's for more breakfast.

Anyway, I was actually looking forward to the pre-prom party more than I was looking forward to the prom itself. You see, the prom is jam-packed with about 6000 people, it's VERY noisy, there's always a line in the ladies' rooms, and there's nowhere to sit. So we dance and dance and dance (which is The Awesome!). BUT-- if you lose track of your friends, it is not easy to find them again. The pre-prom party at my pal's pad was jam-packed with only people that I know and like, so it doesn't matter if I lose one of my friends. There are several more milling around nearby. It was lots of fun.

Prom was fun too, though, and I am glad we went. We danced and danced and afterwards I drove while SNG, Peace and Fuzzy sang drinking songs. I'm always the designated driver because I can act silly and sing drinking songs without having to drink first. What a life!

So who, you ask, was watching after e-baby? She was at home making pancakes and waffles for the post-prom party, of course! She's so smart.

Here are the pictures from Prom!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Time for another hand picture. The last one was at 6 weeks. Here's one at 3 months.

I've been trying to get this video to show up for awhile now, and magically, it has finally appeared. Here's some footage of e-baby watching Peace and Fuzzy dance at the kitchen sink. Check out her "that's funny" face.

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Spider Rides Again!

Never let it be said that I come from a long line of regular folks. I don’t even come from a short line of regular folks. I think there was a great-uncle who was said to be sane and normal, but we’re not at all certain of the legitimacy of his paternity claims. One of my cousins pretends to be normal, but let this remove any doubt whatsoever. (heehee!)

Now, don’t get me wrong. Very few people in my family are criminally insane, and most of them are very smart. Certainly there are a few “evil geniuses,” but there are far more “good natured eccentrics” and “absent-minded professors.”

Which brings us to my dad. When I was in high school, he was known as “Boss” but in his retirement he has revealed his superhero identity and is now called SpiderStan in friendly company. My dad’s into a lot of things, but if you ask anyone to name the top 3 things he’s into, they would probably include some mix of: my mom, fishing, cars, hiking, a good cup of coffee, eating mass quantities of tasty food. But there would be no doubt about one of them: bike riding. OK, there’d be no doubt about my mom either. But the man loves to ride his bicycle.

Four years ago my dad decided to prepare for the Paris-Brest-Paris ride (PBP). PBP is a 1200Km bike ride which must be completed, unassisted (meaning no one can meet you along the way to bring you a new bike, or food, or a change of clothes) in around 90 hours. If you can do this, you can rightfully call yourself an ancien. That’s French for nut-case.

To simply qualify to participate PBP at all, you must complete a series of four qualifying rides, or brevets, in the year preceding the PBP event. The rides are 200-, 300-, 400-, and 600-Km. Each has a time limit, each is unassisted. Rain, hail, sleet, snow… they have to ride whatever conditions are sent their way. Sleep is taken in little 20-30 minute naps on park benches or gas station parking lots, whatever is available.

Why would someone choose to do this, you ask? This is how I see it: When dad was doing brevets, he’d stop to eat every couple of hours or so. A typical snack would include: two 12” Subway sandwiches, a 10” pizza, a family-sized bag of chips, a candy bar and a liter of Coca-Cola. He coined the expression “Subway Virga” to describe the way that the food doesn’t quite hit the stomach before it is metabolized on the way down. In other words, he was doing it for the food.

And, of course, my dad did finish the brevets, and he qualified for PBP. But after the last one (600-Km), he said that the fever had run its course and he no longer felt compelled to ride the PBP.

We thought that was the end of that. It wasn’t.

SpiderStan’s blog is back in business and he has lost his marbles.

(Yes, he rides with no hands while photographing the scenery in countries where he doesn't speak the language and makes friends everywhere he goes. But that's not the crazy part. Crazier is that I took this picture while riding in front of him.)

Saturday, January 6, 2007

This week was the annual division meeting at work: 3 or 4 days when everyone in the division convene to discuss how awesome we were last year and how awesome we're going to be next year. We also attend lots of meetings to learn about the new technologies we'll have to develop training for in the next year or two. I always enjoy these meetings because I see people that I don't see very often.

It was also e-baby's first week at day-care full-time. That meant I had to drop her off at 8:50 (to get to the meetings by 9) and pick her up at 5:05 (because meeting ended at 5). It was constant motion- rush to get to work, rush to meetings, rush to go feed the baby, rush back to the meetings, rush to feed the baby, rush to eat a quick lunch, rush to the next meetings, rush to feed the baby, rush back to the meetings, rush to the car to pick up the baby.

All those good intentions to go workout over lunch? Yeah, not so much. But next week might work. I'll be in a web-based class from 12:30-4:30 3 days, but I think I could swing a workout before the class and just eat during it.

Today is epiphany, the last day of the Christmas season. So yesterday e-baby wore a Christmas outfit for the last time. We took some pictures. I'm sad to see the end of e's First Christmas. There will be other (probably more fun) Christmases with her, but no more First Christmases. Just like she'll never be 9 pounds again. And she was so leeeetle and cuuuuute and wriggly and floppy and I miss it already.

Now she is strong and powerful. Her day care teacher described her as a little fireball. I think that's right. A happy little fireball.