Friday, September 28, 2007

Big Day Out

Yesterday was a busy day. I think it was the most time I've spent out of the house (not counting overnight trips) since we moved. In the morning, Thomas and I went to a "Mom's Meeting" at the local church. It was nice to meet more people and see some older babies. It's just amazing what a difference a few months makes in development.

It was street-cleaning day, so we couldn't go home after the meeting and did our usual errands. I'm so proud to be a regular at Tommy's. The guy at the counter remembered me and most of my order. I only go there once a week when I have to move my car for street-sweeping. We also went to the library and the grocery store.

I made marinated, roast chicken and a creamy pear tart for dinner, then the three of us went to school for Back to School Night, which was basically the open house for the parents. Thomas was a big hit. Lots of people wanted to hold and entertain him. I think I may have given some of them the desire to start all over again. One woman there actually did have a sophomore AND a five-month-old. Thomas was fairly excited to see the other baby (though not as excited as for a mirror). At one point, Thomas vocalized and Shane (the other baby) started to cry. Both of us mom's wondered what it was that he said. I'm hoping it was something like "My mom's cooler than yours."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Baby For Sale - Cheap

I wasn't going to write much of anything since Thomas has been screaming most of the morning, but I set him on the floor to type a quick note here and now he's happy, holding a soft rattle and sucking his thumb. Sigh.

If this is teething, it sure involves a lot of screaming. Screams that could strip paint off the walls. Yesterday afternoon was awful. Thomas decided to scream most of the afternoon causing me to turn dinner into a thick layer of scorch. By the time Curtis got home, I had a massive headache, no dinner, and a very stinky apartment. The baby had finally calmed down, but I hadn't. So Applebees made dinner (thanks Marla & Craig for the gift card!) Of course, in the restaurant, he was good as gold and flirted with the servers.

Now he seems to have gone to sleep after rolling half onto some of Curtis's textbooks. The test will be if I can move him into his crib without totally waking him. Maybe I might actually get some dishes washed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yin and Yang

They've finally decided that they like each other. Thomas smiles and waves at Beckham and Becks treats Thomas like it would any other human; which is to say, it completely ignores him unless it wants to rub on some outstretched fingers. For this picture, I set Thomas on the bed for a second to pick up something and he rolled over into the cat and started sucking his thumb happily. After a moment, the purring cat leaned over onto its side towards the baby, who was now asleep.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Classic Parenting Line #1

Curtis and I have decided to number the "classic parenting lines" as we find ourselves using them. All parents of toddlers (and newly mobile infants) will recognize #1.

"No, no! Don't eat that!"

It has corollaries: "Don't put that in your mouth!"; "Spit it out!"; "We don't eat _____."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Look What I Can Do

Thomas has been making some advances lately. Now he rolls over and lifts his head and chest up to look at you. He can also play with toys this way. He's also started lifting up his arms and reaching for people when he wants held. It's very cute. My mother-in-law showed me that if you look at the front of his gums, you can see where his first two teeth are working their way up.

Friday, September 21, 2007

New Phone Numbers

As of today, we have new phone numbers in the 818 area code. Both numbers start with 224 and mine ends with 8404 and Curtis's is 9882. Change your cell phone address books accordingly.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Fat Pants

The high yesterday was 90, but I saw a weather report that by the weekend, we should see highs in the 60's. Normally, I really love fall, but this year, I just sent fearful glances towards my closet. Cooler weather requires something more substantial than a pareo.

I was told that it was easy to lose weight while breastfeeding. I was told that many women have trouble keeping weight on while breastfeeding. I was told this by my mother, my doctor, my personal trainer, and at least two former La Leche League coordinators.

Apparently, I am a freak. By April 12th, I had lost 30 pounds. In the following week or two, my weight crept back up 4 pounds. And there it has sat. Through exercise programs, traveling, good food and bad. Nineteen pounds of baby-weight and 9 pounds of job stress just to get back to where I was 18 months ago. But I am not defeated! The weight will go! But I have acknowledged that the enemy is more devious than expected. I have settled in for a protracted battle and bought a pair of fat jeans.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We Found the Camera Cable!

The Children Asleep

Thomas's Awesome Jumper

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today's my 28th birthday. (Thanks Mom!) Curtis is taking me out for all-you-can-eat sushi tonight (since I get in free) and I'm trying to decide what kind of cake I want to make. I'm leaning towards and angel food cake and using the leftover yolks to make lemon curd. Or maybe I want to do something to practice icing skills on. Hmm, decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Real Driving

Today, for the first time ever, I drove the L.A. freeway system. I also had to parallel park. I'm very proud of myself.

Monday, September 10, 2007

But I Want BBQ!!!

Sunday, we had a full day planned. After church, we were going to go to the Maltose Falcons (our new homebrew club) meeting at noon. Then at 4, was a Faculty/Staff BBQ at Curtis's school.

After church and brunch, I had this weird stomachache. I didn't want to miss our first homebrew club meeting and the pain was subsiding, so off we went. The meeting was lots of fun. Met some really nice people and no one minded the baby. There were even a few who wanted to hold him and make him laugh. The club even has a BBQ as part of the meeting. It was a good-looking menu for only $5, but we were going to the free school BBQ right afterwards. We had just gotten to the part of the meeting that involves sampling some beers, when my stomach started to hurt again. Curtis said that he didn't mind leaving and I thought that maybe if I laid down and took it easy, that it would be better in time for the BBQ.

On the way home, it kept hurting worse. It was weird, no nausea or anything, just lots of pain high up on my stomach. Curtis decided that I should call the Advice Nurse since I'd never had this before. I do, and she says I should go to the E.R. in case it's something serious. I say, well how about urgent care, since I know where that is. Curtis drops me off at urgent care, but they look at me doubled up in pain and say that they aren't equipped to handle abdominal pain and that I should go to the E.R.

Yay, the E.R. Again, Curtis drops me off (to try to avoid exposing the baby to whatever everyone else has). I sign in doubled over in pain and take the first seat available. Two and a half hours later, I'm still in the waiting room, but Thomas needs fed. They come and go, and I keep waiting. Of course, by this time, the pain has receded somewhat, then I'm finally called. Triage nurse, then waiting room, registration, then waiting room, at last there's a bed free. I give samples and get a port in my arm. It hurts to be poked in the stomach, so the P.A. orders an ultrasound of my gallbladder.

I had told the triage nurse that nothing made the pain better, but that straightening up and taking deeper breaths made it worse. The first thing the ultrasound tech tells me is to lie flat and take a deep breath. After an eternity of pain right up there with labor pain, the ultrasound reveals . . . nothing. But I finally get a shot of pain medicine through my port. Yay! Then I get chest x-rays that reveal . . . nothing. At this point, I've been at the hospital for 7 hours, the P.A. has no clue what's wrong, the pain medicine has kicked in, and I'm sleepy. So they send me home. I have wonderful discharge papers that basically say, "We have no idea why you were in pain, but it seems better now. Come back if it gets worse again." I also have a souvenir bracelet.

But I'd much rather have had barbecue!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thomas's First Football Game

Curtis's football team had their first game last night. They lost, or as I like to think of it, had a Caltech victory since they did manage to score 50% of the other teams points. The final score was 26-52. Thomas loved the game. He was very excited by all the lights and by the kids who ran back and forth in front of the bleachers. It's finally cooled off here, so it was a beautiful evening to sit outside.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Define Science

Ah, the conversations nerds have; "hi honey, how was your day?" "Fine. How would you define science?" I would define science as a way of thinking that seeks to systematize the universe. To determine underlying rules and introduce predictability. As it happened, that morning while nursing the boy, I had watched a cool show on ancient knowledge all about the Greek scientist Thales who is sometimes credited with "inventing" science. Rather than the universe being controlled by the whims of the gods, Thales sought an underlying order and made predictions based on his findings.

That science is really a way of thinking is reinforced for me when I watch Thomas play. I got a great book from the library about neurological development in infants, babies, and young children. It turns out that Thomas has far more neurons than you or I; however, there are very few connections between them. Learning, for him, is all about building a neural network, making connections between things. When he plays, he is seeking rules for how things work.

Yesterday, I offered him his skish rattle. It's got three mutually orthogonal pairs of rods with beads on them. The rods are held together by elastic strings to form a flexible ball. He took it and starting waving it around. It would rattle nicely when it hit the floor or my knee. Things got much more interesting when the rattle collided with the frame of his jumper, which is hollow plastic. Thomas got really interested in the new sound. He started to experiment, tapping the plastic gently, then hard, then hitting the floor again. It was interesting to watch him try to test out how the rattle made two different sounds. It's clearly a sign that he's going to be a scientific thinker. It's also an indication that, at five months, he's become smarter than the cat.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rhythms of Life

I'm starting to feel more settled in here and developing some routines. For example, I have to park my car on the street except that there is street cleaning 12-2 on Thursdays. That makes Thursday afternoon a great time to run all my errands. If I get back right after 2, I can get a space close to our building. I found a great farmer's market that's on Wednesday nights. I really missed having good, cheap produce in Vegas. So Wednesday is a good day to clean out the fridge, throw out what's bad, cook up what's on its last legs, and decide what can live another week. It's nice to have a bit of predictability to the week.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Physics on the Cheap

Curtis has a budget for outfitting his physics lab. Looking through the science supply catalog, he was shocked at the prices for some of the stuff. For example, the "Guinea and Feather Tube" to demonstrate that objects fall at the same acceleration is $67.55. All it is is an acrylic tube with a valve at one end and it comes with a coin and a feather. A basic multimeter costs $66.15. A small block of wood with a hook at one end and sandpaper on two sides is $13.50. A soldering iron is $49.00 and doesn't say that it comes with a stand.

While his budget would cover all the stuff he'd need, Curtis decided it would be cheaper, more efficient, and funner to just buy a bunch of stuff at the hardware store. So yesterday, we had a great time going up and down all the aisles of Home Depot looking for cool science. We loaded up a cart full of stuff and spent around $300. There's nothing more fun than spending someone else's money. "Ooh, that's cool; let's get six!" It's also fun watching the Home Depot guys' eyes bug out when they come to check on us and we explain what we're doing. They actually back away a few steps as if they're afraid that we're going to ask them to solve some physics equations right there in the aisle.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Our Fifth Anniversary

came and went with nary a whimper. We spent most of the day loading the kid, the cat, the diaper pail, and a mountain of dirty laundry into the caddy and driving to my in-laws. There's romance. They were planning to go to a party at the home of one of Curtis's mom's collegues. Phone calls were made and we got a last-minute invite. There were several nice people there, but of course young Master Thomas stole all the attention. When we got back to the house, he decided to go on a crying jag and we all took turns holding and rocking him. He finally went to sleep and the four adults shared a toast with some pink champagne that Curtis had fetched from BevMo just as they were closing.

Thomas is officially five months old today and has celebrated by chewing on his toes, playing with the new toys his Nonie got him, fussing, and eating some baby cereal. Hopefully, he will take a nap soon.