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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just chillin'
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Computer time with Daddy!!
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Clearly, I don't have enough toys.
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Friday, July 29, 2005
The Night is Still Young
So one more post. A Jay update.

Jay seems to have adopted the hands-and-knees stance as his default crawling mode. This may have something to do with our berber carpet and the fact that the child has been wearing nothing but diapers all week (3-digit temperatures make it easy to justify postponing the necessity of making laundry, and a bare diaper picks up more cat fur from the floor than you might guess). He's gotten pretty fast, too. He got close enough to Kostya that he could have grabbed his tail. For once, he showed admirable restraint in the face of a cat-traumatizing opportunity.

Also, Jay's gotten a little hair cut off the over-ear area each of the past two days. I'll have to get a picture if I ever finish his first haircut. I kinda like it, though it does make him look more grown-up. My, but he's cute. =)

Urge to Buy
This post has really made me want to go buy something fun for Jay. He doesn't even have a bouncy ball! Or a shape sorter. Or wooden alphabet blocks. Plus, I have NEVER been toy-shopping for my own son. We didn't buy him any toys at Christmas (and we didn't need to, truthfully). The child has toys ALL OVER the living room, but nothing that I bought him. This needs to be rectified.

We just might go bouncy-ball shopping while Daddy's at breakfast. And I may need a Sausage McMuffin. (That's my response to seeing Supersize Me: "Yum! That looks good!")

Latest Goldberg File
Up on NRO. Jonah's writing about public safety and what measures are appropriate: for example, closed circuit cameras in public places. His take seems to be, yeah, it seems distasteful, but what is a good reason not to do it?

I was glad to read that because, frankly, I don't understand all the outrage over red light cameras. I understand the urge to limited government; for the most part I agree. However, when it comes to an unarguably legitimate function of government (i.e. enforcing public safety regulations), why not give the government all the help it can get? I really wish they had cameras out on the highway I traverse three days a week to catch the dangerous birdbrain scofflaws out there.

I don't like people playing with my life and the lives of countless others. Why would anybody who isn't an offender disagree?

Please note: Jonah's writing about terrorism, not red-light runners. The traffic application is all mine.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
A Few Things More Irritating Than Jeff Bridges' Hair
-Waiting for an hour for my laptop to talk to the LAN at work
-People who cruise the parking lot at work at 8:50 looking for a front-row parking space out of sheer laziness
-Drivers who tailgate you and then, once they are in front of you, go more slowly than you had been going
-Drivers who speed up and race you once they finally yield the left lane

That's about it.

Just Doing my Part
The neighbors have put out an old exterior door for the garbagemen. One big wavy pane of glass on top and 3 horizontal panels below. Thankfully, there's an antique/consignment store down the block, and the owner said she'd be interested in salvaging the door. I almost got a photo just now, but am a little afraid to get too close- it might not be in as good shape as I thought, and I don't want my neighbors to catch me photographing their trash :-p

I'd like to see this door have a happy ending, though!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Additional Highlights of our Trip
The day after we arrived, my uncle took Mom and me to see Five Oaks, the home of the Massillon Woman's Club. No, I'm not sure which "Massillon woman" owns the club, but I'm pretty sure it's not my mom. Anyway, the tour was great. The house was very impressive, though oddly enough the third-floor ballroom was the plainest room in the house. Maybe that gave the family greater latitude in customizing the decor to the occasion? Anyway, you can't really blame it on subsequent owners, since the house was only occupied by the one family, and after standing vacant for over a decade (if I remember correctly) it was given over to the use of the Massillon Woman's Club (eventually formally donated). In any case, no re-decoration has been done. It is beautiful.

The other thing I was reminded of tonight watching Jay get a bath was how his Grandma taught him about splashing ;) The cats were wondering what was going on, and Paul got kind of wet... But I thought it was charming!

Friday, July 22, 2005
And you woulda thought that living with Paul would increase my nerd quotient!

I am nerdier than 37% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

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Would you like me to analyze your tone?
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Playing piggies with Grandma
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Walking with Grandpa. Again.
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Bowling with jarred baby fruit
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Practicing walking with Aunt Mindy
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Jay's cousin Beka
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Now HERE's a nice letter!
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Are you sure you want to put that one there?
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Monday, July 18, 2005
Back Home!
And all that worry for nothing. Jay Bear was a model baby on the plane, apart from the poop that ate Cincinnati (a recurring theme for much of the week) on the first plane and some crankiness on the return voyage (no serious crying- mostly just squirminess). I had to take advantage of the kindness of strangers on multiple occasions- only once did we actually have a ramp to get onto the plane. That makes three ascensions of airplane stairs and four descents, plus at RDU you have to do stairs to get between the gate and the foot of the airplane stairs. We met quite a few very nice people who like cute babies =] If you've ever helped a woman traveling with a baby to navigate airport/ airplane obstacles, thank you and God bless you!

The new stroller was definitely worth the $10 ($15?) we paid for it. It served as a (rather low) highchair during the one airport meal I ate and was a lifesaver during the layovers in Cincinnati. We even used it for shopping a couple of times while we were in Massillon. I suppose it would have been nice to have the big one so I could have tossed the diaper bag in the basket, but it wouldn't have been a good scene at the security screening for our return trip, since I had to carry the baby, the stroller, my purse and the diaper bag up to the x-ray machine/metal detector. The security screeners at RDU were very kind and helpful, but these guys did not overflow with the milk of human kindness. Good thing I could handle this stroller by myself!

Jay made a bunch of new friends, including a very nice mother of 4-year-old twins who sat next to me on our last flight, and held Jay for most of the flight, since he dozed off in her lap after one Cheddar on Wheat cracker sandwich. We also met a bunch of grandmas during our layovers, and more than one flight attendant praised Jay's behavior. One of them was a very sweet fellow who seemed to fit the stereotype of a male flight attendant, if you know what I mean. You could tell he was very tenderhearted. He was a big help, and Jay seemed to really appreciate attention from men last week- something tells me he was missing his daddy.

So he worked Grandpa G very hard! He wanted to be walked around the house, and Grandpa G obliged him. Every time my dad tried to put Jay down and do something else, it was only a brief respite before my little monkey was trying to climb back up his legs. I guess in the second half of the week, Jay started squirming sideways while GG was holding him. Now that I think about it, I wonder if he wasn't trying to encourage Dad to swing him around or toss him or something, like Paul does. Hmmm... Jay also clung to Uncle Ehren, Beka's dad, while we were at their house for Beka's party. He liked Aunt Jan too, but Uncle Ehren got to hold him for quite a while, and Jay didn't even reach for me when I went up to talk to him. I guess even those little guys need guy time!

We had a too-short visit with Grandma and Grandpa B (in Oberlin, OH), who brought Jay a t-shirt from their alma mater (also Paul's): Houghton College. It is Jay's favorite color- red! Grandma B shared her pumpkin pie with Jay, to his great delight, and he got some of my cheesecake too. Funny how he didn't finish his vegetables, but had room for dessert... He was supposed to nap en route, but decided to wait until the return trip. And, naturally, he made a nice big mess in his diaper before the visit was over. At least he did it before we were back on the road!

Friday, Aunt Mindy took us to see a high school friend of mine up in the town we used to inhabit. Her sister was in Mindy's class, and the two of them are much better about keeping up with each other than Irena and I are. Anyway, Irena's parents emigrated from what was Yugoslavia and are very much Old World Slavs, at least compared to 99.99% of the people I know. The whole family seemed to be quite taken with Jay-Bear (of course!), even though he passed gas (we didn't know it was benign) and then wet on their floor while I was changing him. Into a new outfit and out to dinner, where the new outfit did not escape the storm we had anticipated earlier in the evening. It may have been this experience which prompted my observation: "Now I know why they say 'Icky-poo!'" And he rode home in just a diaper (what can ya do?).

Everyone had a great time Saturday at Beka's second birthday party. Jay and Beka got along as well as can be expected, and I pointed out to my mother that neither of them had really cried the whole afternoon, even when Jay grabbed some of Beka's pretty blonde curls and did not let go for quite some time. There was a little cousin rivalry with the big foam alphabet mat, but Beka was generous enough to let Jay play with the edge pieces, which was actually quite entertaining for him. He would lie on his back and swing one in the air above him, watching it move. Though naturally he had to lie on the alphabet ;)

Daddy met us at the airport, unable to wait until we got to the car to hold his beaming son (who didn't remain so when he was again confined to the stroller for the walk to the parking lot). And last night, Jay decided to give Daddy a taste of his new (non-)sleep habit. Of course I was the one who got up (reflex by now!) and discovered (what else?) a very stinky little boy. I couldn't leave Jay on the changing table long enough to get the lamp across the room (he was already throwing a major fit), and I couldn't possibly see well enough to clean him up in the dark, so I had to turn on the bright overhead light in the middle of the night. This pleased Jay none too much, but he'd already been throwing so much of a fit that he must have emptied his bladder before I removed the diaper. In spite of this providence, it was one of the more miserable diaper changes I have initiated. Jay was no happier once the new diaper went on and he was freed from the once-again-poopy suit. So I brought him to our room for a tiny midnight snack (he had a bottle the first time he woke up) and turned him over to Daddy!

Anyway, sleep is the one pleasant thing (apart from Paul) which I missed last week. As it is now after 9PM(!!) and the house is quiet, I think I will saunter in a slumberly direction. Maybe tomorrow I won't be on the verge of dozing off sitting in front of my computer in the early afternoon or while sitting with Jay before supper (here's hoping!)

Thursday, July 07, 2005
Earth to Terrorists:
It could have been so much worse. Maybe if you were paying attention you'd have realized by now that He is not on your side. That goes double for the murderous so-called Christians on both sides of the Irish tragedy.

Forgotten updates
Jay has been working on his g-syllables. It's the first real consonant he's practiced. He was doing "m"s, but really just because he started talking before opening his mouth ("Mmmmmmmomom" or "MmmmmmmaaaaAAH!").

He's had his first borsch this week. He tried some beets and carrots the first night, and today at lunch I gave him a spoonful every couple of spoonsful I ate. The very soft cabbage worked well. Last night he had adult-grade applesauce as well as hashbrown casserole at Cracker Barrel. And some biscuit. This was AFTER his evening meal of cereal. I'm thinking the boy's caloric requirements are growing...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005
For the Princeton-bound Infant

Where to Start?
So Jay was promoted from Infant to Toddler I at church. No, he's not walking. They interpret toddler pretty broadly. The woman who was at the door when I checked in between Sunday School and worship told me that he was having a great time despite having other children smacking him on the head, crawling over him, and sitting on him. It's no worse than he's done to poor Kostya, and I'm sure the weight differential was much lower in the nursery...

Jay has started bringing things with him as he crawls across the room. He'll pick the object up and move/toss it in the direction he's going, crawl forward, move it again, etc. It works really well with things that roll.

He's starting to use his hands and knees more when he crawls, instead of the belly-to-the-ground commando crawl. He'll move forward a few paces before he collapses and resumes his sliding gait (if you can call it a gait).

Today, he instigated a game of peek-a-boo with me using a curtain. It wasn't as funny as our first game of peek-a-boo (not much is!), but he seemed to be pleased with his ability to hide and re-emerge at will.

Then tonight we went to the drugstore, seeing as it was nearly his bedtime, and I would be stuck (AGAIN! STILL!) with no ice cream (Paul's out late tonight) and not much in the way of non-diet beverages. The chain drugstore on Center Street (two blocks further than our favored pharmacy) sells ice cream by the snack and is open later than the closer one. We found lemonade and a Reese's pieces cookie ice cream sandwich and, after paying, occupied a bench and an adjacent stroller-shaped piece of ground while eating the rapidly melting sweet. Needless to say, Jay had his first taste of ice cream tonight. He seemed to be put off at first, probably by the temperature, but didn't refuse a bite. I think, on balance, he liked it, though he might prefer lima beans (how can you tell when a child eats EVERYTHING?)

Monday, July 04, 2005

I love my new stroller!! It fits under the flowers.
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In honor of the occasion, I'm even weaing SOCKS!
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Happy Fourth of July!
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What? I'm exercising my freedoms!
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Saturday, July 02, 2005

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What is it now, Mama? Can't you see I'm busy?
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Up, please!
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EIGHT teeth!
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I'm sorry, boy, but I'm going to have to bring you in on a GWE- Grumpy While Eating
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Up, pleeease!
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THIS is a very delicate procedure involving a starfish and an IntelliTable. Don't try this at home.
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Summertime, Summertime, Sum-sum-summertime
So Jay and I headed downtown about 7:30 this morning to check out the farmers' market. We ran into a local businesswoman on the way (she owns a great giftshop just down the street from us). She is running for city council, which I am very glad about. I told her we would be happy to put her campaign sign in our yard. She lives just around the block from us, and I think it's about time someone who's really invested in downtown had a voice on city council. Most of our town's population live in swanky (or semi-swanky) developments on the outskirts of town and these folks don't really seem to care one way or the other what happens to the old part of town. They wanted the new shopping center north of town on 119 and the Lowe's, Cracker Barrel, and Wal-Mart that are (or will be) south of town by the highway. We'd like to see more of the old storefronts on Clay Street occupied.

Anyway, the farmers' market sets up next to our local drug store (which will be moving to the new shopping center north of our house =( bye-bye, soda fountain, ice cream, and pickle shop-no, I'm not trying to tell y'all anything), and this morning it was a farmer's market rather than a farmers' market. One crusty old fellow and his wife selling cucumbers, potatoes, an eggplant, and the ever-elusive BEETS! Thankfully, they accepted my check (though somewhat reluctantly), so I bought a bunch of beets and a little strawberry-pint of new potatoes. (I always love new potatoes. Maybe I should have bought the red ones instead of the brown ones, but the red ones seemed to have a lot of eyes, and I didn't want to spend my afternoon with a paring knife.) Mr. Farmer threw in a couple of pickle-sized cucumbers free: "maybe you'll get to liking them if I give you a few." Not bad for $2.50. I felt a little bit sorry for them, but they seemed to have a steady trickle of customers, and that was before anything else opened downtown. I told them I'd have cash next time ;)

Friday, July 01, 2005
YAY!! Another CGS* Baby
*Church of the Good Shepherd

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