Friday, May 30, 2008

What's that Eerie Creaking Sound?

It almost sounds like someone walking. Is someone in the apartment? Are there rodents in the walls or ceiling? Is the ceiling about to collapse?
Oh, it's the cat, snoring.

Getting Closer & Baby Shower!

Went to the doctor for a checkup yesterday. She told me that I'm already dilated to 3 cm, but could stay that way for some time. (With Thomas, I was dilated for about 2 weeks before he was born.) I explained how we're really not ready for baby since I want to fly my mom out and Curtis has one week of school left. Dr. said that it would be a good idea to bring Mom out in another week or so, so she's flying here on Friday. (Yay!) So after all the talk about how it would NOT be good for baby to come right now, I had painful Braxton-Hicks contractions (false labor) all evening. So it definitely feels like D-Day (D for Delivery) is approaching.

Also yesterday, my mom's group had an end-of-the-year party with a baby shower for me. It was awesome. Lots of great potluck food and they pitched in and got me a glider rocker. Unfortunately, Curtis hurt his quadricep muscle on Wednesday and needs at least another day before he can carry in a 50 lb box of chair. I'm dying to see what it looks like.

Today's plan is to take it easy and not go into labor. Hopefully no painful false labor either. It's a good plan.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Free is Free

Friday, Curtis scored 4 free Dodgers tickets that one of his football kid's dad wasn't going to use. We got a hold of our friends, the good Drs. R, who were able to drop everything to come with us. Turns out that the tickets also included a parking pass for preferred parking. Curtis joked that we've had seats further away than our parking spot. The tickets were in the second lowest level between the home dugout and home plate. It was easier to read the small numbers on the fronts of the player's jersey than it was to read the number off the scoreboard. Amazing seats.

Thomas had a great time even though it was way past his bedtime. He discovered that the Drs R were a soft touch for sharing their food and that if you look cute and point, even the strangers in the row behind will give food to a baby. Turns out that he likes garlic fries, the little beggar.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Surrender to Sleep

I don't know why blogger is showing this photo in portrait, because every other program I open it in shows it right way up. Any way, if you tilt your head to the right, the picture looks better.

Tooth 10 - Halfway there

At last Thomas's bottom right tooth (lateral incisor) broke the skin. He's had 3 on the bottom for a while and looks a little lopsided. He's now got half of his complement of baby teeth. Next will be the molars (M1) on his right side, then the 4 canines, and around his second birthday, another set of molars.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Wine Coup Haiku

I went for Rooibos
Found eleven summer wines
One to six bucks each

Before the farmers' market, I stopped by Cost Plus (aka World Market) for South African Rooibos tea (which they were out of, so I got peppermint). I thought I'd run by the wine section to see if there were any interesting, cheap whites. Curtis had gotten a few from Trader Joe's and I'll be able to enjoy them by the end of next month. They turned out to be having an amazing sale. When I had found 10 different wines under $6, I figured I might as well go for the 10% case discount. The most expensive wines I got were $5.99 (before discount) for a French rose and a sparkling cava. The cheapest was $1.49. After the discount (and with the tea), I got a case of wine for $49.13. Curtis was very proud. I think our wine needs are now met for the summer. The cashier said that they only do this sale once a year and it only lasts for about 5 days. I don't remember anything in the ad about it, and I didn't see anything on their webpage either. But, man, was it awesome.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Bear in the Hand is Worth a Thumb in the Mouth

by request:

Why isn't he wearing any clothes? (a) It's laundry day. (b) See post below.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sooo Hot

It's SO hot!

How hot is it?

It's so hot that while we were gone a mini-keg of beer ruptured from the pressure, my hands and ankles have swelled up, the cat doesn't leave the room with the air conditioner, and even the baby has figured out to stand in front of the a/c. It was just as hot in Fresno. Mercifully, the forecast says it should cool down tomorrow. Thank goodness, because today I didn't have the energy to lift my own legs and the thought of cooking anything seemed like a fool's way to add more heat to the apartment.

A Beary Long Weekend

The Plan: Pick Curtis up from school on Friday and drive to Fresno, go to his cousin's HS graduation on Saturday, the graduation party on Sunday and then come home. It was to be our last visit until after the baby is born.

The Monkeywrench: Two hours from L.A., I gasp in sudden horror as I realize that I left Bear in the crib. Bear is Thomas's favorite stuffed animal. It's the one he holds while he sucks his thumb and falls asleep.

The Result: No bear --> no thumb sucking --> no falling asleep. I had no idea that a baby could function on so little sleep. It would take hours to get him down for the night, then he would sleep for only 4 hours (= 1 sleep cycle). Then he would scream and cry because he was so tired. On Sunday, we managed to get him to go back to sleep for a little while and he took one nap on Saturday. For comparison, he usually is asleep by 8pm, wakes up at 6:30am, and takes 2 2-hour naps a day. The amazing thing was that he was still really good in public. He was good as gold during graduation and church and was a big hit at the graduation party. Meanwhile, his parents were grumpy, grouchy, exhausted messes. While 4 hrs of sleep in a night was a fairly common occurrence at Caltech, we are way too old (and too pregnant) for that now.

Except for Beckham, we were all overjoyed to come home and see Bear. Thomas went straight to sleep and took two long naps today. Unfortunately, he slept so late that he's not tired tonight, but his parents are exhausted. We had no idea that we owed our sanity to Bear. At least we don't have to worry about him being a chronic thumb-sucker when he gets older. If he doesn't have Bear with him, apparently the thought never crosses his mind.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Month

It took two naps to make it through the day and I gave up on dinner and we went out. Not my most energetic day. But I did use a spiffy feature on my new vacuum. It can lay down flat to vacuum under beds and such. Thomas and I took all the stuff from under his crib and vacuumed under there. We found several missing toys and random items that he had thrown down between his crib and the wall.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Guess He's Comfy?

Mother's Day Recap

Sunday, we went to brunch with a friend's family after church at her parents' house. Thomas got tired near the end of Mass and decided the cure was to scream. A lot. All the way to our friends' and for quite a while once we were there. Then he was finally distracted long enough to notice that he was in a different place and wanted to explore. He never did take a morning nap.

After brunch we brought him home for a long nap in his crib. Then we went to the zoo. We tried pointing out animals to him, but he'd rather look at the people. He only liked the animals that were a) close by, b) moving, and c) making noise. Not many zoo creatures will be that active. He did like the weaver birds and the capuchin monkeys quite a bit. He also liked the plants, the man with a camera, and the red-striped shirt on a different man.

Watching the Monkeys

"You Lookin' at Me"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

In the News

One Well-Read Baby

I don't usually like mentioning current events or politics on this blog, but I've been following several stories in the news that I'd like to comment on.

1. Trivially, remember to mail off your letters and packages today before USPS rates go up on Monday. We also bought enough forever stamps to be able to send off birth announcements next month.

2. People are talking that the Clinton campaign is finished and that Obama will be the Democratic nominee. It's been really fun watching a primary season that actually mattered. I'm kind of sad that California voted so early. I think the real test will be whether Clinton and her supporters will rally behind Obama going into the general election. Part of me hopes that she'll pull a "Bull Moose" and form her own party just for the entertaining chaos that would result.

3. While I am not normally a fan of the federal government, I thank God that we live in a free, functioning democracy after seeing the government of Myanmar (Burma) react to the calamity there. I'm praying for the additional thousands of people who will die because of their government's fear of losing power.

4. Speaking of calamities, we should all fast, pray, and donate money to help the people who will starve to death this year. Every time Curtis or I grumble about the cost of groceries, I'm grateful that we can still afford to feed our family even if we have to cut costs. Many people can no longer afford to buy enough food to survive and global prices continue to rise.

Tooth Number 9

Thomas has been drooling and cranky for the last several days, but now his upper left molar has broken the surface. When it's completely out, he will have an opposing set of molars and can really start chewing. I don't think he'll be completely back to his old self, though, since the lower right molar is visible as a big bulge in the gum. Cutting these molars has been really hard on him since they are so large and flat. We've discovered that he really likes frozen mango pieces though.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Hooray! It Sucks!

I love my new vacuum. Our old vacuum was Curtis's mom's old vacuum that she had been using to frighten the cat out of using the dog door. I'm not sure how old it was (I can't even remember how long we've had it,) but it was hard to push, didn't pick up clumps of cat hair, had no attachments, and shot dust if you bumped the bag. It was so hard to push, that it put a lot of pressure across my poor, pregnant belly (which meant I had to remember to ask Curtis to vacuum while he was home.) Breaking our last belt was sort of the last straw.

I picked out this vacuum from Amazon after reading lots of Amazon reviews, Consumer Reports, and user reviews from Consumer Reports. This one ranked excellent on pet hair and on carpets. Curtis had gotten Amazon gift cards from the Parents' Association for Christmas and we'd been saving them for something we really needed. Unfortunately, choosing free shipping meant that it didn't leave the warehouse for a week. I set aside Wednesday to play with my new toy, but it didn't get here until after Thomas was asleep. Then Thursday was my day out, but at last I got to try it out.

It's great. It pushes so easily. It's bagless, so I can see how much gunk I'm picking up. It gets the clumps of cat hair on the first pass, but did try to eat my shoes after I ran over the laces. It has a light on the front. A HEPA filter means that the room smells better after I vacuum instead of the vacuum shooting dust into the air. It also has several attachments which are built into the vacuum. I went over our favorite chairs and it turns out that they really are blue under the orange fur (they're Beckham's favorite chairs too.) Oh, and the handle folds down to make it even easier to store. I've been trying to improve my housekeeping skills and build some good habits before the baby comes. Hopefully, vacuuming will stop being the chore I dread and put off too long.

Contagious Insomnia

I was going to write a post about how I'm still awake at quarter to one in the morning, but I hear that Thomas is also awake.  Not that I really needed to STAY up until now in order to comfort him.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tired of Waiting

As of 5am, the status on my vacuum has been "Out for Delivery." It's now after 7 p.m. and STILL no vacuum. All three of us have been home all day and every time I hear the front gate open, I get all excited. Grrrr, UPS. And tomorrow is my day out, so I won't be home much.

On a brighter note, I made sausage & cheese calzones for dinner and they were bee-yooo-tiful and delicious.

UPDATE: It finally arrived at 8:10 p.m.  But of course, it was too late to actually try it out, but Curtis unpacked it for me and it's waiting in the living room, taunting me with its shiny newness. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Who Needs Sleep?

What is WITH the insomnia!?!? But since I'm awake, might as well surf the web, write a short post, and raid the fridge.

Today was a take-it-easy day after yesterday's clean-a-thon. Yesterday, I dusted all the rooms, cleaned every mirror (there are lots), washed the entire bathroom (walls, cabinets, sink, counter, toilet, & every item in the bathroom), did all the dishes, and swept and mopped the kitchen. And cooked dinner and did 4 loads of laundry. Of course, by the end of the day, I had completely shot my back and couldn't get to sleep without good ol' Tylenol PM. Obviously, I'm going to have to spread the weekly cleaning out some.

Package tracking says my new vacuum will be here tomorrow!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Yay Monday

Happy Cinco de Mayo (or as today is being known around here Vacuum-Shipping Day!)

We had a delightfully dull weekend. Curtis spent all day Saturday with his giant pile of grading (snoresville). Sunday, we went to church, drove over to the Huntington Gardens and sauntered through the roses, and played board games with Zifnab & Co. Thomas was amazingly good throughout the day. The only rough patch was when he decided that he'd had enough with board games, wanted a nap, and did NOT want to nap in his portacrib. His siren imitation was the signal that it was time to go.

Today is housecleaning day. Dusting, kitchen/bathroom washing, and laundry. Then I'd like to figure out some Mexican food for dinner. I sort of enjoy Mondays since there's always that sense of "getting back to real life" and re-establishing our routines after taking the weekend off.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Step in the Right Direction

Thomas officially took his first step Friday! He had been playing "'round and 'round" on the swivel chair and reached towards my legs. I was just out of reach, so I leaned backwards to see what he would do. He held on to the chair with one hand and carefully lined himself up facing me. He let go of the chair, cautiously moved one foot forward, shifted his weight, leaned forward and grabbed my leg. Then he walked closer and looked up at me and grinned. Of course, he wouldn't do it again for me because he had reached his goal and was very insulted that I would try to stand him back up at the chair. But later, I saw him take another slow, cautious step from the leather chair to his jumper. Now it's just a matter of building confidence.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Another Morning in Paradise

Soft breathing comes from the crib as I sit on the couch in my pajamas and finish the paper and my tea. Through the screen door drifts a cool breeze that for some reason smells of flowers. There is even a bird singing in one of the courtyard trees and the sleeping cat's fur shines in the sunbeam. Moments like these re-emphasize to me that I have the greatest job in the world. Newspaper read, I'm actually enthusiastic to tidy up the apartment and officially start the day.