Saturday, July 31, 2010

Not a good passenger

My friend M went to the hospital at 8:30 last night to be induced, and still no word. The poor woman has been having/feeling contractions for the last couple of weeks and people have greeted her with such inspiring words as, "You look miserable!" Well, she is (or hopefully now, was). So, it's possible that these 10 hours later that she is still in labor, but I hope that she's willing to welcome some visitors later this afternoon while Eli is on Elsie-duty and I'm finishing up last minute details for my maternity leave.

Went to the doctor on Friday, and already everything is looking favorable for a VBAC than before. Already, I've eclipsed any pre-labor progress that I made with Elsie, so I'm encouraged. 2.0 is still moving around a lot, not really settling, so my feelings are that s/he won't be here this week. But what do I know?

I had a great heart-to-heart with the doctor about how much I DO NOT want to have another C-section if it can be helped, and so we talked through previous plans and decided on a new timeline.

And then I talked to Mom and used her as a sounding board for all my crazy emotions and concerns. My challenges this time are similar to last time. I'm trying to steer the vehicle of God's will in everything regarding this child's birth, and I just need to let go, sit back, close my eyes, and pray (kinda' like I did when I let someone 4 years younger than me drive me up a snow/ice covered mountain to go skiing five years ago). "Let go and let God," Mom said. That's exactly it. I don't want to choose this child's birthday--too much pressure. But lots of good choices.

So, today, Saturday, I'm taking it easy. I'm up early because I couldn't sleep after getting up at 5 a.m. to go do things that pregnant women frequently do. I couldn't sleep because I keep thinking about M and how she's doing. And I know that I"m going to need a nap today. Yes, yes I will.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days of Yore

My students think that I'm smart because I use "big" words. And they think I'm smart because I'm an English teacher who also knows algebra. They don't know anything.

Today, I realized that I've been out of undergraduate college for almost a decade (yes, I'm rounding up). Every so often I'll run across a paper I wrote for my English courses and think to myself, "Dang, I used to be really smart. What happened?" It's very possible (read: probable) that I was totally making up anything I wrote in college and was just really good at impromptu justification, but as I tell my students, 90% of people thinking you're smart comes from sounding smart, even if you're really not. My graduate degree in curriculum and instruction just wasn't as challenging. I didn't really have to analyze anything; I had little opportunity to flex my bee-essing muscles (like how I spelled that out?). My brain has gone to mush in the six years since I graduated even with that degree.

Is it teaching middle school that has compounded this effect? Reading chick fiction (c'mon now, it's feel-good stuff)? Science fiction (but hey, it's witty and nerdy)? Juvenile fiction (can I take back reading the Twilight series or one of the Gossip Girl novels?)? I mean, I still feel smart, but not as smart, you know? I would complain to Eli that at my job in Tuscaloosa I felt smarter than all my co-workers (administrators included) and that it was painful to be humble and hold my criticism. But when I sit in church I don't feel very smart, and when I am in a room full of lawyers, doctors, engineers, I often don't feel smart enough to hold up my end of the conversation, though I probably am.

I am vain about education. I value intelligence. I put a lot of stock in "smart." Admittedly too much. I was struck by this article I read, which appeared as the first chapter, "The Inverse Power of Praise" in the book Nurture Shock by Po Bronson. Read it and tell me what you think. I've been reeling about this for months, and I'm very careful in the words I choose to tell Elsie she's done a good job. And this will definitely tinge my interaction with my students.

But perhaps the biggest smack in the face (and dose of reality) was when I was excited about getting some board books and a book on early literacy for a coworker's baby shower in Tuscaloosa. I said to her after she opened the package and lavished thanks on me, "Your baby is going to be so smart." And she, the middle-aged first-time-mom, turned to this 20-something young married girl and said, "Erin, smart is good, but there are more important things I want my son to be." And she went on to list several of them, including compassionate, empathetic, just, wise, giving, brave, etc. etc. I felt like I had been slapped--but in a good way. Wake up, Erin! Wake up! You are raising a future citizen of Heaven! So, there's food for thought.

And maybe, just maybe, the Lord is trying to teach me a lesson in humility. Or in maturity. I miss feeling as smart as I once did, but I have definitely mined other areas for refining in this last decade. I'm growing, changing, getting better with age (even if I'm not getting smarter).


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why, yes, I would like some whine with that...

Okay, I'm going to whine a little bit. Just a little, I promise. :)

You've heard it from me before: domestic duties are...never ending. There's always more dust, dirt, fingerprints, laundry, dishes to take care of--ALWAYS! It's exhausting. And temporarily satisfying when you get it all done...until you spot the sock that somehow fell out onto the floor on the way to the laundry room and it DIDN'T get washed, and now your feeling of having it all done has been ANNIHILATED by one small knit object. Not that that has ever happened to me. Never.

Monday night we stayed up until midnight finally getting the kitchen cleaned up, unpacked, childproofed, swept, mopped...COMPLETELY DONE. What a feeling! I know where everything is...but does Eli? No. Probably not.

Tuesday night we reclaimed the living room from boxes, taking boxes and putting them in their approximate locations (which was NOT the living room for any of them).

Tonight, we're maintaining. Picking up toys after Elsie's in bed (can't wait for her to be some serious help in this), washing dishes from dinner. Maintaining, maintaining, maintaining. I know, I know, 1) it's easier to keep it clean when it starts out that way, and 2) it's better to just do it and suck it up than to put it off until later (when all the food is crusted on, or whatever)... These two principals have been working well for me this week. (And week 3 of E-mealz is going just peachy, too.)

I'm still working on lesson plans. It's really mentally painful to be this organized. Haha. It's nice, though, because I can't say that I've ever put this much forethought into my lessons. I plan about a week or two ahead and generally fly by the seat of my pants. Having to plan for 7-8 weeks is excrutiatingly satisfying. A pleasant torture.

And there's still other stuff on my list of things to do, but for all intents and purposes, I'm ready for 2.0 to come. However, if I have the time, I'm going to try to organize the boxes in the dining room--boxes full of school stuff, Elsie's future library, and photographs/frames to be hung/stored/archived. And maybe, just maybe, before everyone comes from afar to visit, we will have a usable dining room again. Pipe dream? Maybe.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"ungh-huh" and "uh-uh"

It's cliche'. Dentists ask questions while they have you numbed up with your mouth propped open. And this one was grilling me about the summer reading requirements for incoming seventh graders. Well, his son just finished his book. Does he have to take a test over it? Yes. When can he do that? Two weeks after school starts. But what if he forgets everything before then and bombs the test? Aloud: He'll also have to complete a project on his summer reading book for an additional grade and hopefully the grades will even out. In my head: The library has been open all summer for the kids to come and take AR tests, until this last week when the librarian took her vacation until school starts--your son is a slacker and I hope he's not on my team. Ugh.

He started asking these questions when all I could do was say "ungh-huh" and "uh-uh," but decided that he should wait until everything was out of my mouth. Gee. Thanks. The questions seem harmless because I can't put the right tone into them by writing them out--they were very accusatory and a little annoyed. THIS is why I don't want to teach my medical practitioner's kids. My lip, cheek, tongue, and ear are all very numb. Coincidence? Okay, probably.

Oh, and yesterday everyone was all freaked out about me being pregnant. I forgot to mention that. Today, Mr. Dentist announced that if I went into labor in his chair that all he knew to do was call 9-1-1. Really? We're a quarter mile from the emergency room, and you would call 9-1-1 and have me pay for an ambulance ride for a distance I could probably spit??

I'm thinking I'm going to see the other dentist in his practice in the future. I asked if she was a provider for my insurance, and she is, so that's good. I was also told that she's very good with children, so the business manager suggested that whenever Elsie is put on my insurance (October), we should bring her in for a "happy visit" to start her oral hygiene care off on a positive note. Sounds like a plan.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Tooth Troubles

About five years ago, I was eating cereal, and I chomped down and, "Oh, what just happened?" I had evidently cracked/broken a molar. I went to the dentist, and thankfully it in now way affected the root so I wouldn't have to have a crown or anything, just a filling to approximate the back of the tooth that was falling off. (Not thankfully, it was the repair work on that tooth that somehow caused the gray tooth I now have. Boooo...)

Well, a couple of weeks ago I was chomping on some ice (yes, I realize this can be a sign of iron deficiency) and suddenly my tooth felt funny. Same tooth. I kept forgetting to ask my OB about going to see the dentist and what all that would entail, but I finally remembered to ask him on Friday and got the go-ahead.

I dug out my dental insurance card, went online and found a list of dental providers in my area. Really, at this point, it was eeny-meeny-miny-moe, because the dentist everyone kept recommending to me is not a provider for my insurance, and I'm looking for as-free-as-possible. I chose the dentist closest to my house--200 feet closer than choice #2. Also, it helped that he had a website for his practice, and none of the others did, that I could find. And he's been operating in Opelika since I was 9 years old, so that had to say something about his chairside manner.

Now, I will say that as a teacher, the one thing I think about when choosing medical/dental providers is the age their kids are. For some reason, I just really do not like the prospect of teaching the children of people with whom I'm involved in this somewhat personal manner. In Tuscaloosa, the first word's out of my OB's mouth when he introduced himself were, "Maybe you'll have my daughter. She'll be in sixth grade next year." I narrowly escaped this situation. And then, I ended up being in a musical with my general practitioner's daughter, and it was strangely awkward as her mother sat in the audience during rehearsals. (Why? It just was.)

Now, it did work out in my favor when a student almost broke my nose a couple of days before I ran my marathon and I had to made an emergency mid-day visit to the ENT doctor whose son I had taught the year before (arranged for me, believe it or not, by the assistant principal with whom I still sorta' carry a grudge, but I'm making peace now that I own property on a street that shares her last name, the constant reminder...). That worked out well, and my nose was not broken. Thank goodness.

Last year, I very well could have taught Elsie's pediatrician's son, and actually wouldn't have minded since he's a good kid from a GREAT FAMILY (wink, wink), but it still would have been a *little* weird for me. In the end, he was on the team down the hall, which was great because he would say hi to me and he came and wiped a piece of bread on my desk to encourage mold growth for a science project. (That turned out to be the grossest looking piece of bread of the lot. The science teacher came down and told me that I needed to come look at how disgusting it was. Why I did that, I will never know. I about puked, even with the other ziploc bags of moldy bread all around...haha.)

This year, I have a 1 in 3 chance of teaching the son of the pulmonologist that I went to during my pregnancy with Elsie, but who I stopped seeing when I realized that he wasn't actually doing anything, but I was being charged the co-pay anyway. This will be awkward, should it come to fruition. Oi.

And wouldn't you know that the first thing this dentist said to me today (it's like playing the roulette wheel, isn't it?) was, "Maybe you'll have my son next year. He's going to be in seventh grade." Great. Looking forward to it. Now will you just fix my tooth?

And so, tomorrow, I have an appointment to have my tooth fixed. And maybe on his lunch break the dentist will call over to OMS and request that his son NOT have me since he knows that I will have a sub for the first seven weeks of school, and no parent wants that on purpose, right? Hmmm...


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Life before...

I've marveled about technology before. But I'm going to do it again.

Sometimes, I wish that we could go back to the "good ol' days" pre-Internet. My family had a word processor with an amber screen until I was a freshman in high school. Then, my dad bought a computer with a colored screen and a FAST 386 processor! It was incredible (dot matrix printer not forgotten)! And there was a word processing program on it, along with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. I would spend hours playing that one game and also just typing up stories and thoughts, etc. There was no Internet, no e-mail, no link to the outside world. It was just me, my thoughts, and my butt-kicking geography skills. Ah, those were the days.

And then, when I went to college I discovered the Internet and e-mail and my parents subscribed to AOL thinking they would be able to reach me by e-mail more readily than I was answering phone calls. (Funny aside: Mom once left a message on my dorm answering machine for me, but didn't call me by name and didn't identify herself, and my roommate was all laughing that some woman left lovey-dovey message for her boyfriend on our machine. I was a little embarrased by this. "That's my mom." "Oh.") Anyway, I would spend inordinate amounts of time in the computer lab on the second floor of North Russell surfing the net and doing stupid things like virtual dumpster diving (inspired by real-life adventures with Dad) and finding my true African name in the Louis Farrakhan African name generator (Saleem,for the record, though one time, I swear "Huggy Bear" came up when we put a friend's name in). When I came home for breaks, I would spend time in chat rooms on AOL. And I would ask myself, "What did I do before Internet?"

Nowadays, the question has changed to, "What did I do before blogging and Facebook?" Oh, how time has changed and technology has evolved. I don't spend a whole lot of time on FB these days, posting only every so often. I'm still trying to determine how narcissistic the practice really is (though for some reason, blogging doesn't come across that way in my mind). Since I gave up gaming on FB in December, I've spent a lot more time doing things offline. But I still log in to FB to see who picked their nose last, whose kid said something snarky, and who's being audited by the IRS (no kidding, a FB friend of mine is being audited!). It's so stupid. But women are nosy. And I'm a woman. Therefore, I'm nosy. I want to know about the little things going on in other people's lives...sometimes. Sometimes it's TMI. Really, it is. And I spend a lot of time catching up on my friends' blogs, even if I don't leave comments to prove it, wishing that people would update more often! So, yeah, that's it.

These thoughts were spawned by a 2.5 hour nap taken by the little one today as I tried to get some lesson plans completed, but ended up checking my e-mail and surfing FB for updates. Time wasted. Just like now. Except that at least I can search my blog postings later. Can't do that with FB that I know of.

Okay, time to go spend some time with my husband who has been out near the water with the Coast Guard Auxiliary all day.


Friday, July 23, 2010


Well, as of yesterday I was 37 weeks, which is, technically speaking, full term. The words that keep coming to mind are any day now. I had my weekly appointment this morning and the doctor said that he was encouraged, which was encouraging to me.

In other news, Elsie was down for the count yesterday with a high fever but no other symptoms. It was weird. She was lethargic all day and clingy, too. Anyone who has spent any time with her knows that she is not a clingy child, so it was really weird. I called in to Sylvan so that I could stay home with her. We spent a majority of the day on the bed, watching TV, reading, napping, pushing fluids, and eating crackers. I can't believe she actually watched TV with me, because she never watches TV, but I guess when you're not feeling well, it's much easier to be a lump, even at almost 15 months old. Though she almost hit 103 yesterday, she woke up this morning at a cool 97. I wish I could say that she slept last night, but, uh, no. She didn't--not for any considerable lengths of time--and we're all zombies today (at least the adults are...).

Thank you to L for watching Elsie this morning while I went to the doctor. She had a great time hanging out with you and T. :)

I'm going to try to take a nap.


Monday, July 19, 2010

The End is Near

Yes, summer only holds two more weeks for those of us in southeastern Alabama. Teachers go back to school August 2 (two weeks from today) and students come back the following Monday.

And I'm left to ask, where did the summer go?

Elsie is thoroughly enjoying her time left as an only child, carrying plastic cups and various plastic dishes all over the house and kitchen, stashing them in cabinets and drawers and acting "surprised" when she finds them again. She's also enjoying the act of tormenting the cats, a sweet ritual that starts with her eyeing the cat and saying in the oh so Southern way, "Hi-eee!" That over-syllabified word is enough to make the kits put up their guards right away. And for some reason, as it is with all children, she is more tenacious in pursuing Timmy, the one who least likes to interact with people. He's fluffy! And he's white and has cool eyes! Poor Coco. :)

And, also, today marks the 3-week countdown for the scheduled C-section should Baby Beaver 2.0 not come before. Time is a-tickin, my friends. Time is a-tickin.


Friday, July 16, 2010


This is a little premature, I feel certain, but in an effort to mainstream, simplify, etc., before baby comes and school starts and life gets hectic, Eli and I have decided to try E-Mealz. Our great neighbors two doors down first put the bug in our ear when we were in the process of moving, and I had to look it up. I was intrigued.


You sign up for a 3-month subscription for $15, which works out to $5/month or approximately $1.25/week. You choose a plan depending on how many you want to feed and where you want to shop, depending on what they have available. We chose the plan for 2-3 people from Wal-Mart, since our Wally World is less than a mile (.88) away from the new house. I wish they had a small family plan from Kroger, since that's in the other direction and just a little over a mile away (1.27) and you can double and triple coupons, etc., but they only have the regular family plan...for now.

Anyway, our menu day is Friday. We go online, print out the menu and shopping list, and go. The shopping list is broken down by aisle, which makes it that much more convenient to get everything in a timely manner. Anyway, we went, we bought, we came home.

So, our plan has five days worth of supper planned out. This week, I've made lasagna for the first time in my life, I made soup from almost scratch for the first time in my life, I used my crockpot for the first time since 2007 (for the cheese dip for the Super Bowl) to cook a roast, I've made chicken casserole, and tonight I made roast beef pockets for the first time. And you know what? I can't really moan, groan, gripe, complain or anything because all the ingredients are in the house and the recipes are tacked to the fridge, with helpful hints and reminders, such as "save 1 c. for Meal #4". It's too stinkin easy, it makes my brain hurt.

I say this is premature because we just completed our first week, and I have printed out the menu for next week. So, we're not professionals or 100% committed to the plan or anything like that. We're still in the "trying it out" phase.

I will say, however, that I did not spend very much money on eating out this week--and I'm including 1/2 price drinks at Sonic, etc. That's been my one weakness this pregnancy, particularly since we moved--I'm hungry all the time and I'm not motivated to pack a lunch, etc. I've spent WAY more money on eating out than I should have, I admit. I need to stop cold turkey, but I've also been craving Coke, and it's so cheap to stop at the Circle K and get a 32-oz. drink for $.79. But, of course, I can't put just that on a debit card (because I don't have any cash), so I get something else, like "plastic" donuts. Ugh. I'm a mess.

And here's the part where you slap me silly for being an idiot (thank goodness you're not actually here with me): The domestic stuff is wearing me out! Yes, dinner was easy enough, but I'm just not used to cooking dinner. I'd just as soon have a bowl of cereal or a sandwich (if someone else is making it) before I'd cook. Not because I don't like to cook, mind you, but just because it takes effort to cook for two--and I just don't eat leftovers. When we first got married, I would cook a couple nights a week. That has deteriorated to maybe once a week, and that's only if you mean "boil some pasta and heat up a jar of pasta sauce" by cooking. Yeah, I know. It's sad. Eli, on the other hand goes all out and includes...yes, yes he does...GREEN vegetables with his choice of cut of venison. I would otherwise have dangerously low iron levels. (Did I mention I'm a corn and potatoes girl?)

And for more of my whinefest, I know that the house is easier to clean if it's kept clean, but there's just so much to do, and Elsie seems to come right along behind me and undoes it! Or the cats try to thwart me! And yes, sometimes Eli and I thwart ourselves.

I'm ready for my house to be unpacked and put away. I hope I can get it done before 2.0. I just don't want people coming over to visit while I have piles of boxes in my living room, kitchen, and dining room! Ugh.

[Upon further reflection, my whinefest may be directly related to my exhaustion with being 36 weeks pregnant...maybe.]


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tune Up

God is faithful. I don't know that I proclaim that as much as I should, but He is!

A few months ago I noticed that the Saturn had a rough idle. I mentioned it to Eli, but it didn't interfere with the operation of the car so we ignored it. There were a few times that it would get all revved up during an idle, and we would just have to shut the car off and start it again to get its "heart rate" back down. It seemed to fix itself, and I forgot about this random revving (until just now, actually). Then about two weeks ago, the car started "hiccuping" during acceleration. My initial thought long ago was spark plugs. Then the hiccuping made me think maybe fuel injector. And then Eli drove it, and thought maybe clutch--and he saw the urgency of getting it fixed now, whatever it was that was making the only car with air conditioning unsafe to drive. The car is 11 years old, just turned over 187,000 miles, and any of these things could be worn out--or worse.

Eli was fretting a little bit about how much it would cost to get the clutch replaced and do any repairs on this car. I wasn't worried though. We have a baby emergency fund of $1000, a la Dave Ramsey, for just this reason--you know, the whole dealing with Murphy's Law. So we took the car in on Monday and by the end of the day we knew that it wasn't a clutch problem. (Hooray!) It was, in fact, the spark plugs ($12) and a sensor that was kaput ($150), plus the cost of labor. They gave the car a tune up, and called us Tuesday morning to come pick it up.

Now, as tax refunds were coming in, I was redirecting those funds to the emergency fund account, and after paying down some items, there was still a little more in there than our original $1000. Wouldn't you know that the repairs on the car came to within $15 of the excess? God is faithful. Our emergency fund is intact for another day, another unexpected life event. :)

And speaking of tune ups, I went for my 36-week appointment today. I'm evidently a pro at this having a baby thing--no problems, everything just right. The doctor did say that the baby was probably not going to come this week, though he's been surprised before. I was relieved to hear this medical opinion because I still have so much to do--focusing on lesson plans now, trying to knock them out by next week.

Eli turned to me last night with this look of awe on his face, and the realization that this baby could come at any time now. I feel the same way. I'm now into my once-a-week appointments, but honestly, the time has flown by in such a way that I feel like I've been going once a week this whole time! We'll see.

And just a little funny, I think Elsie is understanding more and more. The other night I was putting her to bed and I told her to get a book for me to read to her. She went and got a book. And not just any book, but one that her Uncle M and Aunt S got her for Christmas: A is for Alabama, Roll Tide Roll! I am utterly amazed that she keeps pulling this book out of the pile of books and making us read it to her. Randomly last week she turned to what I think is now her favorite page: B is for Bear Bryant. Bear is shown in profile, and she touched his ear. Then she touched her own. It was really weird. Now any time she gets to that page, she touches his ear and touches her own. I tried to get her to touch her nose, but she's not having any of it. :) So, my little one is learning, possibly in spite of me. Haha. Her other favorite book is one I got really cheap from Scholastic called What is Square? It has pages of things that are square, and then one page of round buttons with one square one that the rhyme prompts the reader to find. Elsie also loves this page. She points to the square button, then smiles and claps. (Yes, this might be Pavlovian, since I cheered for her the first time, and maybe the second, but it's still cute!!)

And the most common understandable phrase to come out of her mouth of late is "A-E-I-Uh-Oh!"


Friday, July 9, 2010

My to do list

Before 2.0 comes, I need to (in no particular order, except for maybe 1 and 2):

1. FINISH UNPACKING MY HOUSE!!!! I think this would best be accomplished by breaking it up but I am SO overwhelmed. We need bookshelves--built-ins. Who's volunteering?

2. Finish my sub plans! Did I mention that I'm 35 weeks and Elsie came a week early? Time is running short and I don't want to be working on sub plans in a sleep-deprived stupor. (As far as I know, they haven't actually found a sub for me...)

3. Take the car into the shop (and clean it out beforehand) since it's been doing something weird and it's the only one with air conditioning.

4. Get a driver license with our new/current address, since this is required by the hospital for registration. I am hesitating on this one, though, since I got my newest driver license (as a result of impending expiration) last year on a Tuesday afternoon, and about 14 hours later I went into labor with Elsie.

5. Pack bags for the hospital, and Elsie's overnight bag to stay with friends. Mine is actually almost done--I just need to throw in a nightgown, a robe, and some reading material. I still need to do laundry to get Elsie's together--pajamas and a few changes of clothes, etc.

6. Re-read my childbirth information. I think I'll just go with the flow here, but will probably stave off drugs for as long as possible...again. I am fully aware that I am not in control--a huge revelation since last time around.

7. Get another pedicure. It doesn't matter if I have to do it myself. I desperately need to feel...not ugly, starting with my feet.

8. Re-file (amend) our taxes to more promptly take advantage of our First-time Homebuyer tax credit. If I don't do this soon, it won't happen until next tax year. We need the $$ now, or at least as "now" as the feds are willing to process the paperwork.

9. Clean up/out my classroom. I left it a wreck at the end of school, taught a few summer classes in there, and now I need to get it cleaned for the new school year, but mostly for the substitute--so that I can pretend like I might actually be organized.

10. Look into this idea of chiropractice care for the prominent tailbone issue. It's probably too late, and I'm a little ticked that no one mentioned this earlier...

Anyway, I also have to continue working, so I'm going to get back to it.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

14 Months

Remember how Eli stopped counting at 12 months? Well, I'm not done yet. Should I point out to him that even the pediatrician uses months until they total 24? Hmmm...

Well, today Elsie is 14 months old. (Which also brings to mind the terrifying realization that if my children are going to be 15 months apart, I don't have that much longer to go!!! Oy!)

Some thoughts about her crazy rapid development this month:

- Elsie has excellent hand-eye coordination. I first noticed when she had two pacifiers on the floor and reached down and picked them both up at the same time using separate hands.

- She's a climber. Oh, beware should there be any surface at her waist height or lower. It's fair game. She wants desperately to be able to climb into the bathtub on her own.

- She started pointing to what she wants with one finger (index finger). And she sounds like a little monkey as she tries to communicate what she wants.

- Diaper changes have become more like trying to change a diaper on a buttery bald monkey. She does not want to have it done and will flip and twist out of my grip and run off nekkid. I have to give her something random to hold onto if it's not feeding time. Nail clipper, blue bulb of doom, medicine dropper, cell phone, whatever.

- She's still using a bottle for milk, sippy cup for water. She'll drink ice cold water, but not ice cold milk. I'm not sure what that's all about. She's drinking a mixture of formula and/or whole milk, just depending on whatever is easiest.

- With six teeth, she's getting better at eating table food. Some stuff she just gums for a while and then spits out (like canteloupe this morning). She doesn't mind us feeding her drippy stuff (yogurt, baby food, ice cream, etc), but she wants to help. Most stuff we just let her use her hands. Soon she'll be entirely self-feeding.

- She's not only walking, she's almost running, and this week she started walking backward. She is able to pivot instead of walking in a forward circle. It's amazing how quickly she learned. She's climbing up stairs and backing down stairs. Woe to me when I forget to put the baby gate at the base of the stairs.

- She's started to be fascinated by the bathroom -- the toilet lid raising and lowering and the toilet paper roll. She gets mad that I won't let her play with those things, or the plunger or the toilet brush.

- She loves opening and closing doors, but gets mad if the door closes all the way. She also loves drawers and will reach up over her head feeling around inside the drawers to find good stuff. Where did she learn that?

- And, probably the cutest thing is that she has started barking at the neighborhood dogs. "Ouaf, ouaf."

- She also can say her vowels. Sometimes she'll just randomly bust out with A-E-I-O-? (Sometimes it's another O, and sometimes it's an oooo sound)

- She loves the inflatable mattress that is set up in the guest bedroom for now. I thought about deflating it and putting it away after D left, but then I figured it wasn't really worth the disappointment on Elsie's part.

- She loves the cats and will chase them around the house. They are very patient with her and haven't hurt her when they get annoyed--they just get up and run away, beyond the baby gates and the reach of the baby.

- She keeps bringing us objects. Anything she finds. It's cute, and often it's maddening since I have to go behind her and put stuff back.

What she's not doing:

- Saying anything that we understand, though she talks all. the. time. Sometimes she'll repeat sounds that we make, but she's not labeling objects yet. She does effectively use "Uh-oh" and "Ow" but those are onomatopoeic and don't count as first words.

Wow. That's a lot in the last month. And really, this has all just blossomed in the last 4-5 weeks. I'm floored. And it will just pick up speed.

I'm 35 weeks this week. Elsie came at 39 weeks. Time is running short. I need to get my house unpacked and my business squared away. But I need to rest, too, because this heat is nearly unbearable.


Thursday, July 1, 2010


We are finally out of the apartment! (Happy July to you, by the way.)

I went early this morning to have our walk-through with the property manager and ceremonially turned in the keys to everything and the remotes to the gate that never really was worth the higher rent. She said there would be no charges and she graciously waived the carpet cleaning charge in our 90% hardwood-floored abode. Gee. Thanks.

We would not have been able to get out on time if it hadn't been for a few key people: C helped us move the living/dining room furniture and washer and dryer; DB helped us move the bedroom furniture, baby furniture, and bookshelves; EW and MWW helped clean the bathrooms kitchen and bedroom when I couldn't handle the fumes; D thought she was coming on vacation, but turns out I tricked her into helping move the last of our junk and cleaning the baseboards; and finally Eli went back last night to get the last of the cleaning supplies and mop the hardwood.

This is such a relief to be done with that part of the summer. Now I just need to get the rest of these boxes unpacked and put the junk away somewhere. And I hope to have that done in the next two weeks or so. My other pre-2.0 goal is to get my maternity leave lesson plans done, and the goal for completion of those is by Monday--I'll be working over the holiday weekend to get it all taken care of. Wish me luck, since my track record with lesson plans is pretty dismal. ;)