Friday, November 30, 2007

Got the Date on the Golden Gate

I got a Friday morning surprise today: I'm leaving for San Francisco on Sunday. Coming home Thursday evening. Then, three days later, I'm going to DC. Well, the 2nd trip is not a surprise.

This kind of news called for rapid-engagement social-mobilization tactics. In San Francisco, I have a dinner plan with my aunt and another with an old grad school friend. If I can arrange one more dinner date with some work friends, then I'll have a hat trick, and no time alone to feel bad about leaving SNG and e-baby for five days.

Well, you know, except those wee hours from 4-7am, when I'm awake but no one else is. Stupid Pacific time zone.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

An Anniversary of Sorts, and a First

One year ago today, I woke up after sleeping for 8 hours: e-baby had slept through the night for the first time.

Today, e-baby made her first 2-word combination: "No, mama!" She knows exactly what it means. But she's so polite when she says it.

She has not yet said "No, daddy!" *sigh! *

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Insert Title Here

I still don't have a whole lot to say, but I have enjoyed reading PartnerInCrime's daily blogging so much this month, I should post more frequently. So if my babbling is boring, feel free to click to something more interesting. Otherwise, I'm glad you're here! Hi!

The rest of Thanksgiving weekend was terrrrrrific. On Saturday, SNG's mom watched e-baby all day while we excavated the upstairs attic. We have 2 attics: one over the dining room, accessed from an odd little door in e-baby's closet (oh yeah, there will definitely be monsters living in there someday) and a larger attic above the 2nd floor. The upstairs attic has been overtaken by the ghosts of Christmas Past. I don't know how we ended up with so much Christmas crap. We had 4 boxes of small empty boxes and countless boxes and bags of gift wrap, lights, ornaments, tree stands ("Honey, where's the tree stand?" "We don't have one." "Let's go buy one today." "OK!"), tags, bows, Christmas-themed tchotchkes, socks, boxer shorts, sweaters, turtlenecks, you get the picture. We had all our moving boxes from the last move, and wanted to give them to Peace and Fuzzy who move into their new house this weekend. There were also several boxes mysteriously labeled "clearing clutter at Peach Haven." I think this means we shoved all objects from dresser-and table tops into boxes so we could put our old house on the market. Old ticket stubs rested side-by-side with vases, a food dehydrator, a blues harmonica, and some costume jewelry. Most of that stuff ended up in the trash or at Goodwill.

It was so nice to have the attic taken care of, but it took all of Saturday plus part of Sunday to accomplish.

On Sunday I made about 10 dozen pecan-raisin hermits. The recipe says they have to sit in an airtight container at least 2 weeks before serving. I dunno, they tasted pretty good fresh out of the oven. They tasted even better fresh from the mixer. While I baked, SNG put up Christmas decorations. But that'll be another post with pictures.

By Monday I was asking "Is the holiday over already??"

Friday, November 23, 2007

"You're not hardcore! Unless you live hardcore!" Jack Black

We had a nice Thanksgiving with SNG's parents and Dianaverse here at the house, along with teenykitty and Daisy the Dog. Against my best judgement I woke up at 6:00, and since I couldn't sleep any more, started cooking. Six hours later everyone showed up and we ate tooooo muuuch. We had 3 pies (blueberry, pumpkin, and key lime). E-baby had a bit of pumpkin pie and key lime pie with Reddi Whip. She squealed for the new delight of Holiday treats.

We digested. We ate antacids for 2nd dessert. Sorting through newspaper circulars in preparation for the Friday shopping extravaganza, SNG's mom, Dianaverse and I told stories of, and laughed at, those goofy people who would be waiting at the Kohl's at 4am or at Circuit City at 5am the next morning, waiting to bombard the doors for the best deals. Silly, silly silly. Why on Earth would you get up so early on a non-work day? Who's accountable to the poor employees who are there an hour or 2 before that? Must be a maniac to do that kind of thing.

And who has insomnia and occasionally wakes up at 5am and can't find anything to do while everyone else in the house in still sleeping?

I was at Sam's by 6:00 and could have purchased a Wii. I found SNG's Christmas present (not a Wii). A friend of mine was also there, a fellow insomniac-not-maniac. Sam's served free breakfast. The breakfast-chaperone was not happy to be at work since 3am. I sympathized and told her that the marketing execs who made the decision to open at 5 should be required to man the store. We were fast friends. I was home before e-baby woke up. Happy day-after-Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that my child seems to have inherited her dad's sleeping habits instead of mine.

The Sam's trip combined with the (daylight) shopping trip with SNG's mom and Dianaverse means that nearly all our holiday shopping for the year is finished. Yay!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Weekend Before Thanksgiving

I don't really have much to talk about, but I feel like writing so I'll just tell you about our weekend. Saturday morning we got up fairly early and did some Christmas shopping while e-baby was in happy mode. This weekend was also the High Holy Days, so after Christmas shopping we met a bunch of friends at a chinese restaurant for lunch and trawled the acres of tables of cheap used books afterwards. SNG and I found 20 books for $10. I intended to go back today when it's $5 to fill a box or $2 to fill a bag, but we just couldn't get it together.

Sunday's to-do list was:
Early grocery run (just need to grab a couple of things for Thanksgiving dinner: $261 later, done. oops?)
Sort and put away laundry (not quite done yet)
Bike ride (done)
Play in the yard (done)
Lie around in the hammocks (done)
Straighten up the house for the maids on Tuesday (if they're actually coming this week)
Feed Chuck (my pet sourdough-- he's doing well, thanks for asking. Housebroken and everything.)
Check the diaper bags and replinish whatever is needed (oh, and throw away the half-dozen containers of half-eaten baby cereal that have been in there for heaven knows how long)
Wrap baby gift for tomorrow's birthday party (Done)

Now I am going to read one of my new used books: The Shipping News, by E. A. Proulx. I saw the movie. But the beauty thing about being me, other than meeting new people every day and finding humor in the same joke every time it's told, is that I don't remember anything about the movie except Kevin Spacey. It isn't a spoiler if I've already recycled those memory neurons.

I never forget where I purchased a pair of shoes or item of clothing, but I can't recall what I had for dinner yesterday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adventures in Altitude

I just got home from a one-day trip to Philadelphia, and for once, I disagree with the airline's decision to let us fly in rough weather. Now, I fly a lot and I am not afraid of flying; quite the opposite: I enjoy it. I grudgingly endure surly airline/TSA employees and crabby passengers, but I love the freedom of going from coast to coast in 7 or 8 hours. I enjoy seeing the world from 30,000 feet. I enjoy little plastic cups of club soda with a lime wedge and floor lighting that directs me to the nearest emergency exit (and keeping in mind that the closest exit might be behind me).

I've flown through turbulence, thunderstorms, rapid losses of elevation, and very rough landings. I've calmed my share of irate passengers (and in one case, flight attendant) and had to be escorted from a plane by burly security men because of a drunken scotsman with a randy temperament. But today was a new high in scary flight behavior. As we started our initial descent into RDU, we passed through some sort of cross-dimensional time-space vortex which sent drinks, ice, in-flight magazines and flight attendants flying through the cockpit. As the attendants got themselves safely shackled to their tiny jumpseats, you could hear the low murmur of Hail Marys and the faint "click" of rosary beads amid the occasional "Yelp! (expletive)!" as more ice catapulted into the air. Even the pilot sounded a bit, well, panicky. Then, as these things often happen, it was over as quickly as it had begun. The landing was a bit rougher than usual, with a couple extra bounces and some crab-sliding, but nothing to write home (or blog) about.

I'm sure some of my friends (particularly you military types) have experienced much worse, but since all my aviation experience has been of the commercial I-am-a-paying-customer variety, and I've never (yet) been expected to refuel my own plane, this was worse than anything I've been in before. And for a few minutes, I was working out a deal to send e-baby to a convent when she turns 16. Hopefully parochial school is close enough.

Speaking of e-baby, she's getting very good at sporking. Spoons are difficult to pick up small things like peas and pasta-twirls with, but those baby fork-spork things work nicely. She's got about a 70-80% hit rate from spork to mouth. It makes dinnertime tons of fun.

So there's my week in an html-shell. How are you?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday was our 3th annual Guy Fawkes Day celebration. Ordinarily, this is the "premier get together in the woods and burn stuff" event of the year.

Originally uploaded by catandtony318

However, this year, Raleigh has experienced a drought of historic significance and we're under strict burning restrictions. Besides, living in the woods right now means we're living in the middle of hundreds of acres of top-quality dried kindling. So, no fire this year. However, we did build the monuments and burned them, along with Guy Fawkes, played by a paper dinosaur this year. We just couldn't justify burning the big scarecrow when we're not even allowed to wash our cars or water our plants.

No, sadly, no toasted marshmallows or exploding 2-liter-bottles on the flames, but we did have lots of good food and beer and great company. And that's half the fun anyway. And next year? We're talking major burnination.

The rest of the pictures are here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Everybody's healthy again. SNG did catch a minor case of the crud and missed work Monday, but he was spared the worst of it. On the bright side, I dropped a dress size being sick. I'll ride this lose-weight-fast wave as long as I can. I still have, after all, 10 pounds of baby weight to drop. At what point do I stop thinking of it as baby weight and just call it fat? Not yet, apparently.

Speaking of babies, e-baby's newest tricks:
* Telling us when it is dinner time: when e-baby decides she's hungry, she goes into her hamper and finds a bib, carries it over to her high chair and points up to the chair. If I don't clue in right away, she tries to put the bib on herself. Am I so clueless about reading baby's signals that she practically has to spell things out to me? Yes, yes I am. Thankfully she is able to do so. She knows the sign for "eat" but for some reason doesn't use it unless she's already in her chair and eating. She prefers the more direct approach of "Hey, lady! I wanna put on this bib and eat!"

* Requesting a specific book to read: Her favorite right now is Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton, but she loves anything that we sing the words to. She'll choose the book she wants, give it to me, and sit on the floor like an attentive audience. I figure she picked this up from daycare, because I have always read to her in my lap.

* More housecleaning skills: Starting about 2-3 months ago, if you'd hand e-baby a tissue or paper towel, she'd immediately get to work scrubbing the floor. Now, if you hand her a square of toilet paper, she walks over and deposits it in the garbage can. She will deposit square after square. Every time she drops one in, she raises the paper WAY over her head and sort of slam-dunks it into the can, with a little exclamation, like "bop!" or "ya!" I have no idea where that came from, but it's HI-larious.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Yup, I caught the creeping crud. It does seem to be worse for adults than for babies, which is a good thing because if e-baby felt like this, I'd have probably taken her to the hospital. Whe something is called a 24-hour bug, in this case, it's qute literally so. I started chucking at 9pm last night, and chucked until 5pm tonight, and then continued feeling green until, well, around 9pm. I still don't want to eat anything, but at least if I do, it stays down. I've had 3 pieces of wheat toast, pedialyte, and 3 spoonsful of soup all day today.

Perhaps the worst thing about getting sick was missing my friend's wedding this evening. I was really looking forward to going but you know, getting all of their family and friends sick, not a friendly thing to do.

I'd better feel better this weekend because we have a coupon for a free 10-oz bag of Godiva coffee that expires Sunday. Go in for the free coffee, leave with so much more. ;-)

PS: I've posted October e-baby pictures, including more Halloween, some cute clothes she got for her birthday, and a particularly funny photo shoot with her daddy's hat and my sunglasses.