Monday, October 23, 2006

Books, Again

Shamelessly swiped from Cassie.

One book that changed your life: 1984 by George Orwell. The treatment of language alone is freaking brilliant.
One book you'd read more than once: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. *Happy sigh*
One book you'd want on a deserted island: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.
One book that made you laugh: Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Chick lit at its best.
One book that made you cry: Blindness by Jose Saramago. Oh. my. gosh. Read it now.
One book you wish you'd written: The Da Vinci Code, because then I'd be rich.
One book you wish had never been written: This Is Not Civilization by Robert Rosenberg. The most painful prose of my life.
One book you're currently reading: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.
One book you've been meaning to read: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I got to page 100-something and then it was due back at the library. The book is weird, yet strangely compelling.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


First, I have no idea why some of my posts are center-aligned. So don't ask. Blogger just did it. Probably because it was bored.

Baby E got her second round of shots on Friday. She was pretty okay for the rest of the day. Just a little grouchy. But Saturday. Not so well. Around midday her fever peaked at 102.2 F. Her legs were swollen and any time I moved her she started to cry. She just wanted to lay still on her back. She started to get really fussy around 3. Dh got home early from class, around 4, and sent me away for a little "Anth time." Which was greatly appreciated. Being the NERD (yeah!) that I am, I went to the library. [By the way - I checked out The Red Tent - to all y'all who suggested it - so I will keep you posted on how I like it!] Around 5, Dh called me on the cell and Baby E was clearly screaming in the background. Luckily by then I was just down the street at the grocery store.

Upon arriving home, I tried to nurse Baby E so she would calm down enough for Baby Tylenol. She wouldn't even nurse! So we tried to give her the Tylenol anyway. It ended up everywhere, including on our bed sheet. And all over Baby E, who just cried harder. I asked Dh to give her a blessing. To give a blessing, though, you have to have special oil that has been blessed. Of course we were out. I had succeeded in calming Baby E just a bit by this point. Dh prepared some oil, and went to put some on her head. The stupid oil container fell apart, and oil poured all over Baby E's head! She started shrieking, and we didn't know whether to laugh or cry by this point. And now there was liquid Tylenol and oil on our sheet.

Dh gave her the blessing, and it worked! She calmed down during the prayer, and by the end both Dh & I were in tears. We were so glad she wasn't crying and in so much pain anymore. She dozed off for a while. After she woke up, we all watched some TV because quite frankly I know how hypnotized Baby E is by that bloody box. Ha ha Around 7:30 I nursed her, and it was like the past 4 hours had never happened. She smiled a few times, and would sit up, and I could move her legs without her crying.

This morning she was still rather swollen but she seemed okay otherwise. However, during the first hour of church, she just fussed, fussed, fussed, so Dh dropped us off at home (we only live a few minutes from our church house) and went back for the last two hours. She has been really serious all day. Usually she laughs when Dh goofs around for her, but today she just looks at him solemnly. But her fever is gone, and she is moving her legs around again like normal, so I know she's doing much better.

Ugh. If I didn't know the consequences of no immunizations could be so much worse...

S-i-l told me that if she has kids, she doesn't plan on having them immunized. I told that to Dh, who responded, "Her husband will talk some sense into her." Ah, Mr. Tactful. Ha ha Anyway, I haven't done a ton of research on the risks involved, but from what I have read, I still feel it is worth it to have Baby E immunized. I wasn't going to have her get the chicken pox vaccine when she is 18 months. I had chicken pox, all my siblings had chicken pox, and ditto for Dh and his family. When I mentioned this to Baby E's pediatrician on Friday, she told me she has personally seen people with permanant bone damage from chicken pox, bad enough to require surgery. She further said she has never seen side effects from the vaccine to rival that at all. I didn't realize chicken pox was so serious. I just remember it being a major pain in the butt. So I've changed my mind on that as well.

Right now Baby E is squirming around on the floor, rolling on her side. Getting my hopes up for a back-to-front roll, but so far, no dice. I bought a baby carrier this past week and I LOVE it. Baby E is portable again! We are having insanely nice weather, so Baby E and I went for a walk and I paused in front of trees and flowers so she could practice grabbing.

S-i-l is still at our house. Dh and I talked about it last night as we bought the ingredients for Caramel Apple Cider.* She's a great houseguest, and her prescence is not bothering either of us, so we're cool with her staying. Dh said if a month goes by, he'll say something. (It's been two weeks.)

Trav, one of Dh's brothers, and his wife J live in San Diego. They are moving to Seattle at the end of February (i.e., close to us). But they want to see Baby E so badly and do not want to wait until February. So they bought a ticket for me & Baby E to go down and see them in a couple of weeks. The ticket was just over $200. This kind of mystifies me. If Trav & J had had a baby first...well I don't know if I would want to see that baby $200 worth. You know? Maybe I'm just cheap. But yay! for a free trip to San Diego.

*We just discovered the caramel apple cider at Starbucks. (Don't make fun! We never go there!) Dh happened to watch how they make it, and was appalled that he was paying $3 for one. We bought: apple cider, caramel syrup, and whipped cream. You just heat up the cider, put some cream on top, and then put a bunch of syrup in. It's delicious. And we bought an enormous jug of apple cider for $3, so it's a lot cheaper.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Read It and Weep

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?

You are LaFawnduh. Why are you so sweaty?
Take this quiz!

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Si, hablo espanol

In Mexico, I unintentionally convinced a guy that I spoke Spanish. I was singing along perfectly to Antologia by Shakira.* I know all the words. And don't know what half of them mean. The guy said to my husband (in Spanish), Your wife speaks Spanish, and my husband snorted. I was forced to admit that I only know Shakira lyrics.

I just started reading Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Christiane Northrup. It's quite interesting. Yesterday I read the chapter on bonding with your baby. There was a section on circumcision, on why it's unnecessary. I found it pretty compelling. So I brought it up to Dh last night.

Me: Is there anything in our church that says boys have to be circumcised?

Dh: No.

Me: I don't think we should then, if we have any boys.

Dh: So all the other guys can make fun of them in the locker room, make fun of their torpedos? No. We are circumcising them.

Me (surprised): But this book I'm reading says circumcision causes a reduction in sexual sensitivity.

Dh: Worth it. A slight loss in sensitivity, so they don't get made fun of for their torpedo penises.

Me (at a complete loss): Um, then let's make sure the doctor uses anesthestic then. (Thinking: Boys are so weird.)

Dh (shrugs): Okay. But they are getting circumcised.

I guess I don't really want to know what goes on in guys' locker rooms.

*If you've never heard Antologia, go listen to it. Even if you don't speak Spanish, it's a beautiful song.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Pumpkin Party

We had a pumpkin party last Monday - it was a great success! Hmm. I need to start farther back.

Dh grew pumpkins in our garden last year. He planted them too late though, and so some of them weren't any good until after Halloween (so what's the point then). He left the biggest in the garden to rot. It's...the lazy approach to composting! Yay!

This year he planted more pumpkin seeds. In time. What he didn't realize was the composting pumpkin also planted some pumpkin seeds. So we had lots of pumpkins. Lots and lots of pumpkins. Our own (not-so) little patch. It grew out of the garden, far into the yard. Dh, being the sentimental man he is, couldn't bear to prune it back. So the grass underneath grew long and lush and became a wonderful green cushion for our gazillion pumpkins.

Then as the nights grew cooler, Dh had a fantastic idea! A Pumpkin Party! We invited three families, and Monday night they came with visions of pumpkins dancing in their heads. Or at least the kids did. Most of the moms stayed inside with me. Especially after I informed them that Dh had found a slug eating one of the pumpkins earlier that day. I fed them cookies and pound cake and everyone had a good time.

The only thing that marred the evening was: Due to some miscommunication, Dani thought it was a dinner party. (Not sure how she got this message, since Dh used the phrase "Pumpkin Party" very liberally, and that doesn't convey "We're providing dinner" to me, but whatever.) Which she brought up to me three times. By the third time ("We're so hungry, but don't feel bad! Don't feel bad!") I kind of wanted to reply in a really fakey nice voice, "Oh, don't worry, Dani, I don't feel bad!" Especially since at one point that evening she made a joke about my husband having a beer belly. Excuse me, but wtf? That's so rude! Ugh. Dh and I were talking about it later and we finally decided we just don't understand her. She is so tactless, and yet her husband is always nice, polite, and careful of his words.

So anyway, the Pumpkin Party was for the most part a big hit, and Dh wants to make it an annual tradition. You should have seen him. He was so cute, leading all the kids and dads out to the patch to pick their pumpkins.

Dh's sister is still with us. She is feeling much more positive - she has three job interviews over the next three days. She helps out with the cleaning so much, I almost don't want her to leave! Our house has never stayed this clean this long! (Reason: Dh is living proof of the second law of thermodynamics. Ha ha)

Meanwhile, Baby E is hard at work perfecting her grasping:

Oh, and she loves herself:

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Show Your Faith By Your Works

Until recently, Dh's sister was living in Tennessee. When she came out to visit not long after Baby E was born, she felt strongly that she should move to Oregon. Now she is here. She doesn't have a job or a place to live. It is a big leap of faith for her, and she is scared out of her head. But she is here, where she feels she should be. I'm impressed.

She is crashing in our office until she finds a place. She arrived yesterday afternoon. She set up her massage table and gave me a long, fantastic massage. The kind of massage my postpartum, tired body has been longing for.

Yes, I think having S-i-l in my town will be a wonderful thing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Craft Day

D and I had our first ever Craft Day. Which was really more of a Craft Hour-and-a-Half, but hey. You do what you can. She worked on a baby blanket for her impending arrival (she's 3 months along), crocheted, and I worked on my sweater vest, knitted. This sweater vest is taking me bloody forever. I am so slow at knitting. I have 8 inches of the back done. And none of the front. Bleh. Blissfully, our kids' naps coincided. I walked over to her place with Baby E swaddled up in my arms and laid her down on D's bed to sleep.*

Last night, Baby E thought it sounded cool to wake up once an hour starting at 2:30. Not from any real need, just to fuss-fuss-fuss until I dragged myself out of bed to pop her binky back in. Not that I should really complain, because she is sick.**

Here is how you know you're crazy: when you go to Target and look through all the clearance clothes (don't you just looove Target clearance), and the only clothes you end up buying are two maternity shirts. When you're not pregnant.

Went to the ol' Olive Garden with JDub last night, Baby E in tow. Who behaved wonderfully. She got sleepier and sleepier and then finally succumbed to an evening nap. JDub and I had fun catching up on each other's lives.

My life is boring right now, and I don't care. I like it. I take care of Baby E, and make dinner for my husband, clean my house (mostly), read books and do the crossword. And yet every day goes so fast. I look up at the clock - "What! It's already 3?!" What I'm trying to say is, my days may seem boring from the outside, but I am really happy.

*Which, by the way, someone somewhere had recommended the easy swaddler from Target. Well, maybe Baby E is Houdini (I highly doubt it) but no sooner had I put her in that thing, then before my eyes, and in approximately three seconds, she had both her arms out. It's CRAP. And it's going back to Target tomorrow.

**With the mildest cold ever, so yay.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In Which Grandma Successfully Buys Baby E's Love

Baby E and I just got back from upstate New York. We visited Grandma & Grandpa! And Auntie & Uncles. We had a lot of fun, but man are we glad to be home. I came home with an entire new suitcase full of things for the baby. Grandma really, really loves Baby E. Ha ha A lot. We went shopping almost every day we were there. Now Baby E will be decked out in style this winter. Six pairs of tights alone.
One day we went to the "Asian Market" which is really an Indian market. It was so cool. I wanted to buy half the store, as I am a huge fan of Indian food. My mom practically did. And she is in heaven now, because the shopkeeper rents out Bollywood films, which my mom adores. I made the fam Chicken Curry. Everyone looked very doubtful until they tried it. (Could it have been the heavy cream in the sauce? Surely not.)
We went to the Italian pastry shop and bought lots. Yum. New York, even sleepy Upstate, has much better shops than my town. You cannot get good Italian anything in Oregon.
It was so nice to visit my hometown. I miss the hills. There are hills in Oregon, even visible from my back porch, but it's not the same. The hills in New York hug me, they are so close around. The trees were just starting to turn. Fall in New York is amazing. The Northwest just has nothing to compare.
Oh, and flying with an infant is a mild form of torture. Not exaggerating. And she was actually really good on all four flights. [On the long flight out - 4 hours - we were trapped in the middle seat. Feel bad for us. :( Ha ha] Nursing was a particular challenge. Baby E dribbles, so I have to tuck in a washcloth or she gets me all wet. So I had a blanket over me, trying to set up, with Baby E laying on my lap, her butt up against me. Kicking at the blanket. Making me flash everyone around me. Oh, hi! Look! A nipple! But strangers on all flights were fantastic. So helpful. Thank goodness for Good Samaritans. There always seemed to be someone around me, offering to carry bags or set up the stroller. Also gratifying were the people who saw her and said, "Oh! I didn't even know there was a baby on board! She's so good!" because of course I felt bad every time she cried. It felt so conspicuous. But everyone was so very nice, and helpful. It eased the torture.
Baby E will be four months old in three days. She holds her head up (see below). She drools constantly. She laughs occasionally. She is outgrowing her 0-3 month clothes. I am pouting!!!!

Baby E is not fooled by toys. She knows Tummy Time sucks.

But she sure loves her mommy!

Cuddling with Daddy is always fun.