30 January 2007

I Love My Subaru

30 January 2007, 9:01 AM:



30 January 2007, 9:04 AM:



And she still runs like a top!

29 January 2007

A Cold Day in Hell

I could see my breath in the air.

The minivan didn't want to start (I had to move it) and even the trusty Subaru expressed reluctance.

Itty-Bitty City glowed orange-gold in the early-early against the white-blue chill of the sky.

On the walk from the shuttle lot my legs - bare under the skirt - froze bright red and tingly and the tips of my ears started to hurt. I even had to stick my hands in my pockets (alternately, the other being occupied with holding the coffee).

It was 15 degrees. It was glorious.

28 January 2007

The Incredible Pizza-Eating Baby

All the research, these days, says that babies should not start on solid foods of any kind until they're 6 months old. Just breastmilk (or formula) until then. So far as I know, babies are definitely not supposed to eat anything even remotely pizza-ish.

You just try and tell Ms. Baby that. I dare ya.

No kidding. We went out to a pizza place Friday night. Ms. Baby could not be calmed. Her cereal did not appease her. Toys were no use. She fussed and fussed and fussed - and watched intently absolutely everything that went into my mouth, tried to grab most of it and kept on fussing until - in a desperate attempt to eat in peace - I finally gave her a pizza crust of her own.

She was instantly content.

She waved her crust around and tried to get it into her mouth (we made sure The Sucky Thing was firmly in place to prevent this) and was quite happy. Until she dropped it. On the floor. Then she commenced fussing again and we had to gave her another one.

Now when Ms. Four was a baby, the word was: start cereal at 4 months, veggies at 6 months. And that's what we did and she seemed fine with it. With Ms. Baby we split the difference and started cereal at around 5 months. So maybe she's mad that she missed out on that extra month of solid food?

I don't know but I don't remember Ms. Four being anywhere near as interested in real food as Ms. Baby is. She's pretty much just pissed if we're all eating and she's not. Like this evening at supper she gobbled up her cereal and fussed and fussed and fussed until we found something else (winter squash, so what if she's not quite 6 months old yet, we were desperate). It's like she knows she's missing out on something.

And I guess that's fine, if it means she'll be a good eater. Still, I think she'll have to wait a bit on the pizza...

By Request

OK, Sistergirl #2, a.k.a. the Queen, has a really cool post on recent craft endeavors and in the comments I mentioned a quilt block I made a while back. She requested that I post it, so here we are and here is my lovely quilt block:



Tres beautiful, non? I'm very proud. I'm also never making another one.

The block is called True Lover's Knot and I used the instructions from the Quilts from The Quiltmaker's Gift* book. The fabrics are leftovers from our wedding outfits with a green that reminds me of the sagebrush that grows all over the place Way Out West, including the spot where we got hitched.

Sadly, as I said, I will never, ever, ever make this block again - at least, not with these particular fabrics.

Why? Well, see the little light-colored squares in the middle of the "knots"? That's the fabric from the bodice of my wedding dress. The very expensive, beaded fabric from the bodice of my wedding dress. Which, it turns out, is just a flat-out pain in the ass to work with. Either the sewing machine needle would break when it hit a metal bead or the needle would hit a glass bead and the glass bead would shatter all over the place or the metallic thread that was part of the fabric would start to unravel and become hopelessly tangled in the sewing machine.

In short, it was a nightmare of epic proportions and the only way to avoid all these issues was to take out by hand all the beads and wayward threads along the edge of the piece before stitching it. And if you look closely at that picture, you'll see that each little "square" is really made of four little triangles and people, lemmetellya, THAT is a lot of seams. Way, way, way more seams to de-bead and de-thread than my infamous lack of patience can handle ever, ever again.

So. Despite the fact that I have a ton of the very expensive bodice fabric left and it's a nifty idea to make a quilt with it, I will not be doing so. And I really have no idea what I'll do with the quilt block come to think of it. I had thoughts of turning it into a pillow. Or maybe I'll put a border around it and staple it to a frame and display it someplace. Suggestions?

H'boy. All I was gonna do is post a picture and good grief! I've ended up with a tirade. Who knew?!?

(*The Quiltmaker's Gift is a truely wonderful book. If you don't own it, you should. Even if you're not a kid.)

24 January 2007

Sleep: An Addendum to the Addendum

Guess what I found today...

TOOTH NUMBER TWO!!!

Yep. That's me girls. 400% or nuthin' at all.

23 January 2007

Sleep: An Addendum

We may have a reasonable explanation for all this flailing and wailing we've had to endure lately:

Ms. Baby has sprung a tooth!

I'm thinking this may have something to do with the sleep thing...

*headsmack*

22 January 2007

Lazy

You know you're lazy when instead of going out to the car to retrieve the CD you want, you download it from Napster. Just so you don't have to get up.

Sad. Very sad. Bordering-on-pathetic sad. OK, OK. Just pathetic.

Sleep

You take it for granted when you get six or eight (or *gasp* more) hours of sleep on a somewhat regular basis. You know you do. And it's not until it's taken away from you for extended periods of time that you realize how important - indeed, how very vital - it is to your health and sanity.

The Husband had a buddy when we lived Way Out West who joined the Navy and was attempting to become a Navy Seal. Part of the testing (trial?) process was sleep deprivation. They made them do all these tasks and didn't feed them or let them sleep more than a couple of hours at a time for, like, a whole week or something. At the time, I thought, wow, that's pretty tough.

Now I know better.

A week without sleep is for pussies. Sorry boys, but it's true. You go six frikkin' months without sleep and we'll talk about respect for that.

So, yeah, Ms. Baby doesn't sleep worth a crap. Why do you ask?

Seriously, I don't know how she does it. The handout we got from her pediatrician at her four-month check-up said that 'most babies will sleep through the night at four months of age'. I laughed out loud. Even if you define 'through the night' as six hours in a row, we're nowhere close to that. At most - at most - she'll go three hours at a time at night. And this is after having three, maybe on a good day four, hours worth of 20-minute-at-a-time naps (the handout says 'four to six hours of naps'. Right. Please.). And very often - like every night for the last week - she's woken up at 1 or 2 or 3AM like it's time to be up for the day -- eyes wide open, cooing and playing with her feet. When she realizes that no one else feels like playing, she proceeds to scream about it for an hour before finally, fitfully, falling back asleep.

She should have big, black circles under her eyes. She should be cranky and yawning all day long.

Oh no, wait. That's us, her woeful parents.

And before anyone starts with the 'maybe-you-should-try': It makes no difference whether or not I have caffiene (breastfeeding, remember?). It makes no difference whether or not we give her Tylenol or ibuprofen or Hyland's Teething Tablets or a bath at bedtime or anything else we can think of. And trust me, we've tried everything.

My guess? She just thinks sleep is for pussies.

15 January 2007

Darwin Award Nominee?

What was this guy thinking?


I mean, really. I understand that moles can be annoying -- a marauding band of them once ate $50 worth of tulip bulbs on me. But it's waaay more fun to try and drown them.

And, apparently, waaay safer.

13 January 2007

Annotations

I'm so very happy. I finally figured out how to outsmart blogger and annotate my links. Hah!

Miss Snark: A Literary Goddess in Stilettos. I have learned more about writing from the last Crap-o-meter, than from all the frikkin' writing books I own, combined.

Dirt City Paranoia: In-yer-face, go-fuck-yerself political satire. Makes me homesick as all hell. I love it.

Bitch Ph.D.: I aspire to this kind of honesty. 'Nuff said.

101 Reasons to Stop Writing: I like this one because the author is so cynically honest. Or brutally honest. Or just mean. Whatever. It's a welcome dose of reality in amongst all the warm, fuzzy, 'you-can-do-it', 'don't-ever-give-up-on-your-dreams' writing advice out there.

Street Anatomy: Stumbled across this from a post on the AMWA Editing/Writing listserve and it is COOL. 'Nuff said, people. Check it out.

04 January 2007

Historic Events

Event #1: Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. I just about cried listening to the story on NPR on the way home from work today. It's that fantabulous. And it's about fucking time.

Event #2: The first Buddhist and Muslim Congressfolk were also sworn in today. Halle-freakin-lujah. Also about fucking time.

(Sidenote to Event #2: Dirt City Paranoia has an especially excellent post related to this Event that I highly recommend.)

It's a good day for the revolution...

Resolutions

Everyone seems to have them. Everyone but me.

I'm just too damn tired for resolutions this year. And it isn't helping to be staggering under mountains of medical debt either.

Yeah. Helmet appointment earlier this week:

7:30 AM - Dr. Craniofacial-Specialist examines Ms. Baby's head for a grand total of 45 seconds and scribbles with a magic marker on the outside of Monsieur Helmet. That'll be $280, please.

8:30 AM - Helmet-fabrication-people spend a grand total of 10 minutes following the magic-marker directions and sanding off some of Monsieur Helmet's foam liner. That'll be $100, please.

Fuckin'. A.

I know, I know. It could be worse. It could be way worse. And it fact, things looked up shortly after we arrived home:

9:30 AM - I check my paystub online. My last paycheck included a $400 Christmas/End-of-Year bonus from Fabulous Private University. Which is great, since it covers the medical bills for this week. And leaves me 20 bucks for expensive coffees. Woo-hoo.

But I hate debt. I really, really, really hate it. And those payments? Well, the one to the Helmet-fab-folk was one of 4 or 5 more. And the one to Doc Cranio was just a drop in the frikkin' bucket.

Guess 'get out of debt' won't be on my list of resolutions....

And neither will much else.

Certainly, no writing goals. The brain only erratically accesses its creativity centers when it operates on Virtually No Sleep for months at a time. There is no foreseeable end in sight for that situation, so writing can just kiss off for a while.

I'd love to spend more time with The Husband - yanno, just the two-of-us-and-no-kids? - but again, that's unlikely to be possible for many moons.

I'd also love to read a couple of books I've been meaning to well, start. But by the time both kids are in bed, all I want to do is crash myself. No end in sight there either.

Yeah. I guess all I really want to achieve in the coming year is a good night's sleep. Hah! Wish me luck.

Strange Dreams

The Dream:

************************
Ms. Baby is older - maybe 1-ish - and she has hair and can crawl and sit up by herself. She can't walk yet, so I'm carrying her. We're taking a test. It's an entrance exam for pre-school or something. An odd pre-school.

Sample question posted above a bin of yellow squash and zucchini that we have to climb over if we answer the question correctly: The zucchini are £2,08 (why it's in £s, I have no idea) per pound. If the yellow squash are 1/3 that price per pound, how much is 4 pounds of yellow squash.

Ms. Baby apparently answers correctly (not that she can speak, mind you, but somehow she does), because we clamber over the crate of yellow squash and zucchini and into a dimly lit stone room. We climb over other crates of other stuff, somehow answering equally impossible-for-a-1-year-old questions.

We come to a small, square stone door on the opposite side of the room. It slides open.

Ms. Baby goes to crawl through it. I grab her and pull her back.

There's a spider the size of a bullfrog perched on a web on the other side of the door. I know it's the size of a bullfrog because there's one caught in the web, one rear leg entangled and the other three pathetically trying to hop away.

We have to go through the door.

I'm studying the door, trying to figure out how we're going to do this without being ensnared ourselves. That's when I notice the other spider. Same species, same size, but this one is on OUR side of the door.

Just as I'm about to panic and retreat, I wake up to the sounds of the real Ms. Baby requesting breakfast as politely as she knows how.

************************

I'm not sure where all of this came from. Some of it has to do with upcoming events (Ms. Four will have to take a test to get into the local magnet school), but the spiders.... ?? Haven't seen any spiders in months, so I dunno.

The dream spiders looked like one that was in our backyard at our old house. You could hardly see them in real life.

Days later, I'm still shuddering at the size of them dream-spiders. Eep. Double eep.