Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 265


Soren & I stuck around the apartment on Monday, taking it easy. I played with my new camera lens some more. I'm pretty impressed with this shot.

Soren's been thoroughly enjoying all the new books he got for Christmas. It's been nice for us to have some new ones in the rotation, as well. ;)

Day 264


One of the things Tom got me for Christmas is a new lens for my camera. I'll write more about it a little later, but it is awesome. I love it. One of its chief advantages is that it has the ability to have a very large aperture, which lets me take pictures in low light without using the flash. I suspect both Soren and the wee lass will appreciate this feature!

Sunday was primarily spent trying to get caught up on chores. Nothing too exciting about that.

Day 263


'Twas the day after Christmas, and all o'er the place,
our wee Sir was a-scamping, with grins on his face.
The presents all opened, the calzones digested,
there remained still one gift in which we'd invested.
So into the car the three of us piled
and drove to the Best Buy through rain that was mild.
And there we were met, after waiting in line,
by an LCD-HDTV oh so fine,
its picture so crisp and its profile so thin.
No doubt about it, this gift was a win!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 262


What you see here is the face of a silly boy who has had himself a very nice Christmas and thoroughly tired himself out by scamping about all day long.

Merry Christmas! Soren had a grand old time opening his presents this year. Up until now, he hasn't really grasped the concept of this acceptable rip-and-tear activity, so this was a new and fun notion for him. He enjoyed pulling stuff out of his stocking (alas, I didn't manage to finish the one I'd set out to make for him, so he had his backup stocking again this year) and was more than happy to help us open some of our presents as well.

It's rough being far away from family during the holidays, but the upshot is getting to spend the whole day lazing around in our pjs, just the 3 of us. Which we definitely did. Traditional Christmas meals for our little family: stocking stuffer candy and bacon for breakfast (also, we usually make cinnamon rolls, but neither Tom nor I felt up to that much sweetness this year, so those are being saved for later in the weekend), sugar crash and mild snacking for lunch, and then calzones for dinner. Tasty as usual!

All in all, another mellow Christmas, spent taking it easy and just enjoying each other's company. Pretty darn great, in my book. :)

Day 261


Christmas Eve really seemed to sneak up on me this year. December was rolling along, and suddenly it was here.

Soren & I braved the roads - and even more treacherous, the parking lots - once more Thursday morning to get last-minute supplies for our Christmas Day meals. With nowhere else to pile all of the cleared snow, plows clearing the parking lots had no choice but to completely fill a few parking spaces, which is of course super helpful during this time of heightened consumer activity. It's hard to find parking spaces at this time of year anyway, and now they are in even shorter supply. But we didn't have any reason to hurry anywhere, so we took our sweet time navigating and parking and managed to get our errands run, if not in the most timely manner, at least with minimal stress.

As a side note, I'd like to point out that errands take an extra long time when one is actively trying to avoid inducing labor. Rushing about and pushing laden shopping carts and hauling uncooperative toddlers to and fro can easily bring on Braxton-Hicks ("practice") contractions, which are not a big deal in and of themselves, but if you have enough of them quickly they can start to stimulate actual labor contractions. So slow and steady is the order of the day, these days. Not that there would be too much concern for the little gal's welfare if she were to arrive now (after 37 weeks you're pretty much in the clear as far as lung function and development are concerned), but we're really hoping she'll keep cooking until my mom gets here to help with Soren.

Morning errands completed, we arrived home not long before Tom, who had been granted a half day workday. There was some additional extra-last-minute shopping sans kiddo to be done; alas, my trek out took longer than anticipated, so Tom was met only by closing stores when it was his turn. (Sorry, Tom!) Nevertheless, we had a nice family evening and opened up our traditional Christmas Eve gifts of cozy new pjs before tucking the lad in bed and settling down to watch A Christmas Carol, as we do every year. Then off to sleep (mostly...a certain small fellow woke us a few times) in anticipation of a happy Christmas morning. :)

Day 260


Wednesday morning, M and A came over again for a playdate. Once again, Soren and A had a great time, nicely sharing toys and running around like the little toddler-shaped dervishes they are. Ever the ham, Soren seems to be developing a sense of comic timing. He had A in stitches several times with his various antics. They're really very funny to watch together.

Once again, Soren had so thoroughly tired himself out with all the fun and playing that his nap that afternoon was one of epic proportions. When he woke up, he was pretty dazed and had fantastic bedhead, as you can see. Ah, the perils of longer hair. Between the constant static charge we've got around our apartment these days with all the dry air and his frequent sweatiness during naps and overnight, he's got some seriously crazy hair quite often these days.

Day 259


Tuesday morning we finally ventured out onto the roads for the first time since the snowstravaganza. Everything had long since been pretty well cleared, though as we went along, there would sometimes be traffic lanes that ended rather abruptly because the snow plows had left piles on the side of the road that were quite massive. And a lot of the smaller streets in Old Town Alexandria hadn't been plowed at all, so there was still a thick-ish layer of packed snow and ice. Fortunately, we only had to drive down one of those, and Soren & I made it to my 37-week midwives' appointment without incident.

Everything checked out fine with the wee lass, who remains head-down and very active. Everything continues to be on track for an on-time or slightly early delivery (as much as one can predict these sorts of things).

In the afternoon, our birth assistant came over for a second home visit and to assess our birthing supplies. We've got 3 bins of stuff all ready to go, neatly organized into labor supplies, immediate post-partum mom & baby care, and more general post-partum stuff. The labor tub we're renting will be delivered next week sometime. Our birth plan has been written and approved. We've got the necessary numbers on speed-dial. By and large, we're ready to go when the little miss decides it's time (though we hope she'll be cooperative enough to wait until my mom gets here).

Apropos of nothing, here's the little lad brazenly eating a piece of cardboard he'd ripped off the book he was reading. Stared right at me the whole time he ripped it off and slowly stuck it in his mouth, even though he totally knows better.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!


(Just in case I missed anyone on our holiday card email.)

Opted to go with an ecard this year because, well, postage is expensive, and we'll have baby announcements to send out within the next month. The card is sized to print out 4" x 6" though, if anybody really wants a hard copy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 258


So today was our nice, unexpected but much appreciated extra weekend day. Did some chores, got the car taken care of, not much else. Tom rightly pointed out, while Soren & I were reading on the couch, that it was awfully cute how the lad was resting on my belly. So that's our photo for the day.

Day 257


We didn't get any new snow on Sunday, but a large portion of what had fallen on Saturday stuck around. Tom & Soren went out to play in it some more before lunchtime, and then later, poor Tom set about the unpleasant task of shoveling out the huge mound of snow behind our car. It was especially unpleasant because we don't actually have a snow shovel, or a shovel of any sort. He resorted to using the removable top part of Soren's high chair tray, the poor fellow. While he was out there, he tried starting the car, only to discover that the battery was - to borrow a phrase - stone cold dead in dee market. This put a crimp in our plans to drive him to an underground metro station the next morning to go to work (all of the above-ground stations were closed and expected to remain so for the next day). Also, the buses wouldn't be running. What the hell, DC metro area? I know this was, like, the biggest snowstorm you've had in 50 years or something, but the roads were totally clear all day Sunday. I couldn't see any reason for shutting down the buses.

Anyway, we were granted a last-minute reprieve, finding out in the evening that all federal agencies would also be shut down on Monday. So that was good. We have a roadside assistance service, but they were understandably swamped on Sunday afternoon and evening, so it worked out much better for us to be able to just have the car jumped on Monday.

So here's Soren in one of his "going to work like Dad" moments. He's got Tom's hat and shoes (actually, my hat, but Tom had been wearing it), plus the carrying case for the tiny laptop. And, of course, no pants. Because who needs pants, anyway? Silly goose.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 256


Saturday snow day! We spent the morning cozy in our apartment, watching the snow drifts outside build and build. In the afternoon, we all bundled up and went to play in it for a little while. Soren seemed to think it was pretty neat, though he wasn't sure about some of the bigger snow piles at first (not that I can blame him).

I've got quite a few snow pictures up at Flickr, and I'll be adding some short video clips tomorrow as well. So check those out and vicariously enjoy our snowventures!

Day 255


So, for most of the week I'd been seeing the little weather widget on my iGoogle homepage showing that we'd be getting some snow on Saturday. What I didn't realize until Thursday night was that it was supposed to be rather a lot of snow. Like almost 2 feet of snow total, over the course of the weekend. It seemed really hard to believe, but I opted to go ahead and believe the projections and make a trip to the grocery store on Friday to be sure we wouldn't have to go out anywhere on the weekend. It was, no great surprise, kind of a mad house. Not like "Ohmigod, rush the store, clear the shelves!" crazy, but it was pretty clear I wasn't the only one doing a little preemptive shopping.

In the evening, we ventured up to Arlington to meet some friends for dinner. I intentionally pushed Soren's nap a little later than usual so he would hopefully have enough energy to go a bit past his normal bedtime. He did quite well; he's a pretty adaptable little fellow. Anyway, it was already getting quite cold out, and even though the snow wasn't due to start in earnest until after midnight, we could see the tiny flakes starting to fall shortly after 9pm. What amazed me was how fast they began to accumulate. It was nearly 10:00 when we headed home, and already the roads were generously dusted (yes, we were very careful and took our time). Seems the meteorologists were not kidding around.

Day 254


Thursday morning we had our usual playgroup at the library. There's one little boy whom Soren seems to just not like. I'm not sure what the deal is. He was sharing very nicely with the girls, and his pal A, but damn if he'd let this other kid play with some toy he had, even if he appeared to be done with it. Pretty strange. I wonder what goes through his little head, why there's such friction there.

We dropped by the post office on the way home to mail the first of the Christmas boxes, and it was surprisingly painless. I guess early afternoon on a Thursday is a good time to go, or something.

In the evening we had our 36 week appointment with the midwives. Nothing of particular interest to report; all target measurements are being met, no indications of any problems. So long as the wee lass is agreeable and keeps cooking for another few weeks, we'll be good to go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 253


Today was the holiday party at Tom's office. I don't know why work-sponsored Christmas parties seem to have it out for me (see "festive tights" link a couple of posts down), but today was, despite my very best intentions, not without its own bizarre ordeal.

I've learned, in the nearly two years since I've become a parent, that I need to allow myself a fair bit of extra time to get ready to go anywhere, if I've got any hope of making it to a given destination on time. Frequently, even though I know better, I wait a little too long to start getting myself and the boy ready, and we end up late.

This was not the case today. I had the morning planned, with extra chunks of time budgeted for the usual assortment of unforseen events (breakfast wars, last-minute diaper changes, wardrobe malfunctions, etc.), and I was very astutely sticking to my schedule. I had Soren fed, his picture-of-the-day taken, the dishes and laundry started, and both of us showered with more than and hour left to get dressed and out the door. I put on my newly-purchased "nice" clothes and outfitted the boy in the insanely cute dress clothes he got from his great-grandparents, gathered snacks and other necessities to replenish the diaper bag, and was ready to hit the road with time to spare. And then it happened.

I told Soren it was time to go. Now, the last 2 days, we've taken the stroller with us for our erranding, so I can't blame him too much for thinking that was going to be the case again today. He climbed on up and sat in the stroller, waiting, while I waited for him by the open front door, my arms full of stuff. When I didn't come get him, he got out and started pushing the stroller across the living room toward me. I shut the door and went to retrieve him, and he had one of his "toddler moments," very upset about being told we were leaving the stroller behind, adamantly declaring, "Go-go!" while trying to hang on to the side or grab the wheels. I finally resorted to picking him up and stuffing him under one arm while still trying to hold all our gear with the other arm and wrestling the apartment door open. Cue another bout of angry toddler flailing, and thwap...

He knocked my keys out of my hand as the door was closing.

And for those who are not aware, our apartment door locks automatically. We were locked out, with the car keys stuck inside.

Oh good.

So we trudged down to the front office (which is in a different building) in hopes of retrieving the spare key...which was apparently checked out by the previous tenant in 2006 and never returned. Sweet! So Patrol Services had to be called to escort us back to the apartment, and I had to pay a $25 "lock-out fee" to be let inside. Patrol Services, naturally, took their sweet time with all of this, so by the time we got back in the apartment, and I retrieved my keys from the floor, and I wrote out a check for the lock-out fee, and the Patrol Services lady wrote out a receipt for me, and we got down to the car...almost 45 minutes had elapsed. We were pulling out of the driveway at approximately the time we should have been arriving at Tom's work.

Oh, but the fun didn't end there! We arrived at the metro station to find the parking lot closed and full. So we had to drive to a different station, which has a giant parking structure but where it takes quite a bit longer to get from one's car to the train platform. And then! We finally got to Tom's place of business, only to find an insanely long line at security. By the time we got through and actually entered the building, we were a full hour late.

Fortunately, the lunch was running for 2 hours, so we still were able to meet Tom's workmates and show off the boy (who was, once we left the apartment the first time, in a perfectly cheerful mood with almost no further traces of toddleritis). So in the end, it all worked out all right. Certainly not ideal, and certainly not the way I'd hoped and planned, but well enough.

This picture's not the greatest, but his outfit is. Have you ever seen anything cuter?



Soren was a good boy on the way home, even though it was again well past his usual napping hour. He fell asleep in the car on the drive home from the train station, waking up the moment we arrived back at the apartment complex, never to fall asleep again this afternoon, clocking a grand total of 15 minutes of nappage. But he was still relatively pleasant this evening. And Tom kindly made dinner and let me go float in the pool for a bit again, soothing my hips, which are now protesting mightily after 2 days of some rather significant walking around. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

Day 252


Tuesday we ran a bunch of errands. We left the apartment at 9:30 and didn't get back until a bit after 2:00. Granted, we did spend a little over an hour playing at the bookstore with M and A (they have a fun train set in the kids' section at Barnes & Noble), but the rest of the time we were roaming about, getting stuff done. Soren was a pretty good sport and actually deigned to take a nap once we got home. It still took him a while to fall asleep, but at least he didn't go completely napless again.

I don't have much else to say about the day. I was pretty exhausted from running hither and thither. Not much stamina these days. I haven't gained as much weight (so far) as I did when I was pregnant with Soren, but I still feel the strain in my hips from carrying that extra 20+ pounds around.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Also, there's this...

...which is too sweet for words.

Day 251


Can you see the slightly manic look in his eyes? Does he strike you here a little bit as Baby-on-Meth? Because holy cow was he ever crazy today.

He woke up early, while Tom was getting ready for work. Later in the morning, we ran some errands. We ate some lunch, came home, and then I spent an hour trying to get him down for a nap while he squirmed and squiggled and recited all the body parts he knows and sang bits of Old MacDonald and chattered away. Eventually it was just too late in the afternoon for him to get a decent nap without then wanting to be awake all freaking night, and he was not cooperating anyway. So awake he stayed, largely pleasant (thank goodness), running around and playing and jabbering away. By the time he finally fell asleep tonight, he'd been up for 13 hours straight. We've had plenty of abridged-nap days, but no-nap-whatsoever days have been incredibly rare thus far. I'm not sure what sparked it, but man, I hope he's back on his usual schedule tomorrow.

(As it happens, I have grown rather accustomed to my little hour or two of quiet time in the afternoon, and it's possible I suffered more from his naplessness than he did himself.)

Anyway. He's a wild one, folks.

Day 250


Sunday we ventured out in the drizzle to do some family erranding. Soren still attracts all sort of attention when we go out places, with his thousand-watt smile and generally cheerful demeanor. It's funny though; Tom told me that when he and the lad are out on their own, in addition to the "Oh isn't he adorable?"s and the "What a happy boy!"s, he also frequently gets asked "And where's Mommy?" That strikes me as such an odd question. I can't even fathom asking some guy that. What, a dad can't take his kid to the grocery store without bringing the wifey along? And wouldn't you feel like a complete ass if it turned out the guy was a widower? I mean, honestly!

Sunday afternoon and evening consisted mainly of chores. But there were some games afoot after dinner, as you can see. Tom was heading the ball at Soren, who laughed hysterically as it bounced off his own head (or nearby). That's the soft, bouncy ball, by the way...not the soccer ball. ;) We're pretty happy with how clever the little fellow is, so we're not interested in bludgeoning the smarts out of him or anything like that.

Day 249


Saturday. I ran some errands in the morning; specifically, I needed to find a nice outfit for the holiday luncheon at Tom's workplace later this week. All my maternity clothes are somewhat, oh shall we say, uber-casual. It seems silly buying yet another maternity outfit with only a month left to go in the pregnancy, but there's just no fitting into any of my nice clothes right now. It was kind of a challenge finding something suitable (seriously, I would think there are enough pregnant women wandering around at any given time that stores would think about having a better selection of clothing for them), but Target came through for me in the end. Nice pair of slacks, dressy top over a turtleneck. I could even wear the festive tights without causing Tom too much embarrassment. ;)

In the later afternoon, the boys went out a-grocering, and I took the opportunity to squeeze myself into my bathing suit and go for a float in the indoor pool. It. Was. Heavenly. For a good forty minutes I was free of the aches in my hips, nearly weightless, suspended by a couple of pool noodles. Climbing out of the pool afterward I was assaulted by gravity once more, which was torturous. I definitely need to make a point of getting some pool time at least a few days a week until the little miss makes her appearance.

And here we have a picture of the lad that has really nothing to do with anything. See how long his hair is starting to get, though?

Day 248


Friday morning Soren and A had a playdate over at A's house. Once again they had a fine time together, even though Soren was too fascinated with the stairs and kept trying to escape up them out of the basement. He had a run-in with a cardboard box and got this nice shiner on his cheek. He wasn't even fazed though, never made a peep. Our little bruiser...

His hair looks really red in this picture. It's light for sure, but not quite as red as it appears here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 247


I had grand plans for a shopping outing on Thursday, but it ended up being significantly cheaper for me to order things online instead of going to the store to pick them up. It's crazy. Word to the wise - Barnes & Noble charges way less for books on their website than in their physical stores. I'm talking a $16 difference in the particular book I was looking at. And shipping's free (and fast) on orders over $25 (at least right now), so if you've got a couple of things to buy, it's just insane to even think of going to the store. I can wait 3 days to get my books, especially if it means I can now buy two for less than what I would have spent on one at the store. So yeah, way to reinforce my tendency to shop online anyway, Barnes & Noble!

I made a "one pan chicken dish" for dinner. The recipe claimed you could toss uncooked rice in with a can of condensed soup and some water, throw some frozen chicken on top, and bake everything for 45 minutes at 375F and have it all come out done. I guess white rice cooks faster than brown rice though, because by the time the rice was done, the chicken was pretty dry. Ah well. It was still a good idea, and I think if I parboiled the rice a little bit first, it would come out great. To be fair, I also used chicken tenderloins instead of breasts (which is what the recipe called for), so they were a lot smaller and probably cooked faster. Anyway! Rice, cream of mushroom soup, some creamed corn, and chicken, with a little paprika and black pepper. Pretty good dinner; one I'll try again with modifications, for sure.

A slightly blurry picture of the wild man for you, running around with his pjs half unzipped again. He's a crazy one, but a cutie.

Day 246


In the mornings, Soren and I frequently sit by his bedroom window and look out at the world outside. We point out buses and cars and garbage trucks and dogs, and Soren enthusiastically says "Bye-bye [bus/car/truck/dog]!" when they pass out of view. The little weirdo will also sometimes lick his window, turn to me and declare, "Mmm, tasty!" (I promise I didn't teach him that.)

We had some errands to run after his nap, so I bundled him up and we headed out. It hasn't been quite as cold here as it's been in Oregon this past week (they've been getting pummeled by some sort of arctic storm), but it's still been chilly, especially in the evenings. There's something extra cute about tiny kids in winter clothes. I'm glad Soren tolerates his hat for the most part.

Quick photo at bedtime. He's been getting some sort of crazy second wind at night lately and just does not want to go to sleep. It's frustrating. But what can you do? We've been through things like this before (and worse), and we'll go through them again in the future.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Day 245


This morning we invited A and his mom M, from playgroup, over to hang out at our place. Soren and A are just a few weeks apart in age, so they play pretty well together. The boys had a great time, running around like wild beasts and merrily strewing toys everywhere. They got along really well and seemed to have a lot of fun. There was some stealing back and forth of toys, but neither of them really got upset about it, and there was also some good sharing. And I enjoyed chatting with M while the kids played. It was a good morning overall. :)

I bought this cranberry-rolled goat cheese log from Trader Joe's before Thanksgiving, thinking maybe we'd eat it with crackers or something. We never got around to opening it, so it's been sitting in the fridge, waiting for me to figure out something to do with it. Tom suggested making little cheese-stuffed puff pastry pockets, so I used this morning's company as an excuse to get my act together and make them. They were super easy to do and came out great! Really though, how can you go wrong with cranberries, goat cheese, and puff pastry?

After our visitors left, Soren crashed out nicely for his nap. These days I so appreciate the silence of naptime; I can almost forget what a little maniac he is when he's sleeping so angelically. Almost. ;)

Day 244


Monday was a pretty exciting day. Our new washing machine got delivered and installed! I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here before, but the washer that was in the apartment when we moved in, for whatever reason (off balance, bad bearing, etc.) was incredibly noisy. I mean, with the kitchen doors shut, it would be so loud and clunky that we would have to pause conversations in the living room during the spin cycle. Aside from the noise though, it got the job done, so we put up with it. (Really, after so many years of having to do laundry elsewhere, we were just so happy to have an in-unit washer & dryer that it didn't seem worth complaining.) However, with the wee lass soon to arrive, and our expected laundry needs to increase as a result, I went ahead and asked the landlord if he could either have someone come take a look at it or see about getting it replaced. The end result - new washer for us!

It is a thing of beauty, let me tell you. When Tom got home from work yesterday and saw it for the first time, his initial reaction was, "It looks like it came from space!" Hehe. It's slightly bigger than the old one, but more importantly, super quiet. It doesn't hurt my ears to make dinner and do laundry at the same time anymore. (The washer & dryer are in the kitchen, in case I didn't make that clear before.) So nice. :)

On the Soren front for the day, his latest word is "Grandpa." As I may have mentioned a time or two, he's pretty obsessed with looking at photos of himself, so we've got the computer screensaver set up to just run a slideshow of all the images in my "Soren pics" folder on the hard drive. That way we can just turn the screensaver on and he can watch to his narcissistic heart's content. ;) But we go through and point out who else is in the picture with him, and for whatever reason, yesterday he was fixated on his grandpas. So he ran around for most of the day saying "Grandpa! Grandpa!" It was pretty damned cute. He said "Grandma" a few times as well, but it was mostly all about the grandpas.

My lap is getting smaller and smaller every day, but that doesn't stop him from climbing up to sit in it. I'm happy to have him though, especially when he cuddles against my belly and puts his hands against it to feel the baby.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Day 243


Yesterday we did indeed get a Christmas tree. Tom got it set up and put on the lights and garland while Soren was napping. We waited for the lad to wake up before we put the ornaments on, so he could help. (Found some nice shatter-resistant ornaments at Home Depot...pretty and toddler-friendly!) He was rather impressed with the whole endeavor.

I tried to get some pictures and video of everything, but it was already starting to get dark by the time we got to decorating. The photo above is the first one I took, serendipitously capturing a look of wonder on the boy's face. Naturally, I had neglected to turn on the camera's flash, resulting in severe underexposure. Trying to fix it led to extreme graininess, so I just went ahead and processed the heck out of the image, ending up with (I think) something that looks sort of like an illustration. I actually like it quite a bit, but that's why the colors are muted and the details not so crisp.

Hmm, what else? Sunday was still very chilly. We didn't get any new snow, but a fair bit of what we got on Saturday stuck around. Nice and wintry out, setting the perfect mood for our Christmas-y activities. :)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Day 242


This photo would perhaps have better accompanied the post in which I talked about Soren's new books. Here are he and Tom reading I'm a Big Brother before bed (which I'd already read to him at least once or twice earlier in the day).

We had our first snow of the season today! See?


It was very pretty. The snowflakes were so light and fluffy, so when the wind swirled them up and around, it felt like being in a snow globe. From the weather reports in the past few days, I fully expected we'd get some slushy snow at best, but that none of it would stick. It wasn't supposed to be cold enough today for that. Surprise! I'd say we probably accumulated about an inch when all was said and done. Soren got to wear his thermal undersuit when the guys went out erranding in the late morning.

In other news, here's an updated belly photo. I'm at about 34 and a half(ish) weeks.



Tomorrow we'll hopefully be getting our Christmas tree! Exciting!

Day 241


Friday I got the last of the birth supplies ordered online, so we should be just about good to go with all that. Weirdly, there is actually a website called Home Birth Supplies Dot Com, from which you can procure all your baby-catching needs, and relatively inexpensively, to boot. (There are plenty of other sites, as well, but I'm always amused when the URL is both specific and obvious, as in this case.)

Here's a photo of tooth-brushing time before bed. I think the father-son resemblance is particularly strong in this shot. What do you think?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Day 240


Thursday! Morning playgroup, epic nap in the afternoon (for both of us), evening appointment with the midwives. Everything's humming along with the wee lass, who continues to be growing right on schedule. Just six more weeks until she's due! Holy cow.

They put up the Christmas tree in the lobby of our building on Thursday. Sir is, of course, a big fan.

Day 239


Wednesday we had some errands to run. I tried to get some video of the boy being cute and saying some of his new words and phrases, but he was just too distracted by the camera. And I neglected to actually get any photographs in addition to my video attempts, so here's a low-quality freeze frame of one of the videos. We were sitting in the Target parking lot having some lunch (quesadilla and dried apricot fruit bar for the lad, nasty-yet-delicious Taco Bell burrito for me).

At two of our erranding stops, we wandered by the Christmas displays to check out the pre-lit fake trees. The lad was, not surprisingly, very impressed. We haven't had a tree of our own for several years now (didn't really have the room in our CA apartments, plus the cats are just so hazardous), but we decided we're going to go for it this year. So this weekend we're getting a tree! I'm very excited, and I think Soren is going to be over-the-moon thrilled himself.

Day 238


Tuesday we had playgroup in the morning, after which he refused to fall asleep until way late in the afternoon. That was pretty frustrating. But then he fell asleep with his seahorse on his belly, which was quite cute.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I bought Soren a couple of books in preparation for his impending big brotherhood. He seems to pick up a lot of concepts during his evening storytime, so this seemed like the best way to introduce the idea that there would be a new member of the family soon. I picked out Hello, Baby and I'm a Big Brother. He loves these books. Given the option, he would have us read them four or five times in a sitting. Hello, Baby is particularly good, I think. It's very matter of fact without being too dry. It focuses on the latter part of pregnancy up until the baby comes home from the hospital. Soren recognizes certain aspects (going in for checkups and getting to hear the baby's heartbeat with the doppler scanner), and he's even started to cuddle my belly while he's on my lap, saying "Baby?" So good job, books!

Day 237


So there I was, giving MC^2 a hard time for giving me a hard time for only being a day behind with the updates. Then I went and let almost the whole week go by without getting anything posted. D'oh! I blame technical difficulties with the card reader, but, y'know, behind is behind.

Anyway.

Monday! Soren has started to string more than one word together in a meaningful way. Well, okay, he's had a couple of phrases under his belt for a while now ("Bye-bye Dad-dad!" and "More food," specifically). But on Monday he added a few more to his arsenal. He saw his eczema ointment sitting on the bathroom counter, snagged it, and then started chanting "on legs! on legs!" while pulling his pant legs up. He would not be satisfied until I ointed his legs, even though they weren't particularly rashy. Then later, I was sitting on the couch, and he came in from the other room carrying a book. He scrambled up on the couch with me and then said, "Sit, lap?" So stinkin' cute. He has also started adding other objects to his "bye-byes." For example, "Bye-bye leaf!" (when I wouldn't let him bring a dried leaf in the car with us), "Bye-bye Loki!" (pretty much anytime Loki runs away from him, which is frequently), "Bye-bye shoes!" (when we put them away). You get the picture.

He remains irritatingly obsessed with the camera, making all but clandestine photographs hard to get. I thought this one was pretty cute though.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Grr

Much though I would love to accommodate the request for an update, our computer is foiling my attempts. First our USB ports started randomly not working, and now the card reader is on the fritz. No card reader, no photos.

I'll work to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 236


Sunday was Tom's birthday. Happy birthday, Tom!

We had a quiet family day. Bacon & biscuits for breakfast, then a nice walk outside before naptime. We (finally) wandered over to check out the little playground here at our apartment complex (seriously, we've only been living here, what, 8 months now?). There were a few other kids already playing there, and Soren tried a few times to help himself to their shovels and sand toys. When I take him to playgroup, the policy there is just kind of "share and share alike" (or, more accurately, steal and steal alike). The kids are largely left to work things out amongst themselves, with some gentle reminders about the virtues of sharing and waiting one's turn. So he's a little bit of a savage about taking things that don't belong to him. He'll learn.

I'm not exactly sure why, but the lad was a wild man when it was time for bed. Just was. Not. Sleepy. At. All. Not particularly fussy or anything, just chattering happily away until about a quarter past eleven, at which point his exhaustion finally caught up with him and he bawled for ten or fifteen minutes before passing out. It was pretty crazy. And he'd been up every hour or two the night before. Pity, since we were making such progress with the sleep, but I'm sure this is just a temporary setback. I'm pretty sure he's not getting his 2 y.o. molars yet, since I can't feel any lumps or bumps on his gums back there, but I suppose they could be a'brewing. We'll see. Once he finally fell asleep last night he slept pretty solidly til morning, so that's good at least.

Day 235


Nice mellow Saturday. The boys went to the park, while I got some more work done on the stocking. Soren continues to mimic random words of ours, which we find hilarious. Saturday's word of note: hydration. Tom was changing a (very wet) diaper and said something to the effect of, "Well, at least we can be sure you're getting plenty of hydration," to which the lad immediately replied, "Dih-shun!" (His enunciation later improved somewhat with repetition.) Other words he's picked up recently include freaky, tasty, and delicious.

It's been a while now since I last gave the boy a haircut. I figured I'd let his hair grow out some in preparation for the winter, so he'll have a little more up top to keep his head warm. It's starting to get curly and unruly in the back again, and he's been having some terribly amusing bedhead after his naps lately. Tee hee.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Duck Day

Since it was just the 3 of us for Thanksgiving this year, we opted for a smaller (and, one could argue, tastier) variety of bird. We got & roasted a duck. Mmm, duck.

On Wednesday afternoon, Tom steamed it to render a bunch of the fat. Then it was wrapped and stuck in the fridge overnight. Since it was only 5 and a half pounds, we'd be able to roast it in under an hour on Thursday. Nice!

Thursday afternoon, while Soren was down for his nap, Tom & I chopped up potatoes, brussels sprouts and pearl onions for roasting. Tom pre-sauteed the onions & potatoes, and the onions & sprouts, with a bit of duck fat & garlic. Then the roasting pans went into the oven, and we started on the basting sauce for the duck. Suddenly we heard a "Pop!" from within the oven.


The glass pan holding the potatoes had exploded! Apparently it had been weakened by the pre-sauteeing; the direct heat from the stove was too much for it. Once it went in the oven, it was only a matter of time before it could take no more. It showered the sprouts with glass and woke Soren up. So while I went to tend to the boy, Tom had to start all over again on the dinner.

Fortunately, we had enough food to make a second batch of each dish, so while it was something of a giant pain in the ass to basically make dinner twice, at least we would still be able to eat everything as planned. And at least the duck hadn't been in the oven at the time!

Here's what the finished meal looked like:

Roasty toasty duck


Brussels sprouts


Mashed potatoes & yams


Cheddar-garlic biscuits


Aaaaand, everything together on the plate


All in all, a very fine meal! We've plenty of leftovers for the weekend, too. Yum yum yum.

Day 234


Sing it with me now: It's the mooooooost wonderful tiiiiiiiiiime...of the daaaaaaaaay!

(In case I haven't mentioned it, I am a big fan of naptime.)

It was rather a lazy day today. It began with a pair of tiny feet shuffling quietly into our room at 5:30 this morning. Rather than waking up all sad, Soren simply took matters into his own hands, climbing out of his bed and coming to spend the remainder of the morning in ours. He woke up for good just as Tom left for work, a little before 8:00.

I set two goals for myself for the day. Two small chores to do. Didn't do either of them. Oh well. Tomorrow!

Tom got set free from work early again, arriving home about half an hour into Soren's nap. I managed to keep the lad asleep when the front door opened, but he woke up about twenty minutes later. Tom went in to settle him, which surprised and pleased the boy excessively. It took a little while to get him back to sleep again after that. ;)

In the evening, for no reason that I can determine, Soren spontaneously started saying, "Awesome!" It was very funny. He's a cute little bugger.

Day 233


I am thankful for this little guy.

(Especially his smiles and laughter.)

And his dad.

And naps.

And getting to experience a real autumn and winter this year.

And family cuddle time.

And a clean apartment.

And good friends.

And good food.

And Skype.

And sound sleep with full bellies.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! (Food summary & photo post to follow, a little later.)

Day 232


Wednesday we did have to make a run to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute items, but I was shocked to discover that, while crowded, it wasn't an absolute madhouse at either Trader Joe's or Giant. And I only saw one angry parking lot altercation (seriously, dudes, it's just a parking space; no need to get all freaked out).

Then Tom got let out of work early! Yay! He got home just as I was getting Soren down for his nap, so the little dude had to run around ecstatically for a little while before finally settling down to sleep.

After his nap, Soren spent some time pushing Leo around in the stroller, as you can see above. It was one of the more hilarious and adorable things I've ever seen.

In the evening, Chris & Sarah had us over for a tasty dinner at their new apartment. Soren was kind of perplexed by one of their cats, who looks like a longer and skinnier version of Loki. You could almost see the wheels turning in his brain - "What in the world is Loki doing here?" Hehe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 231


It looks like he's throwing gang signs here, doesn't it? I didn't even notice until I pulled the picture off the camera and went to edit it. Ha.

So, this morning the house cleaners arrived bright and early. It was actually quite a bit too early for us to leave for playgroup, so we just went for a walk to get out of their way. (It had rained overnight but wasn't actively raining this morning; Sir had his jacket on more for warmth than anything else.) One slow loop around the complex, and we headed off to the library. It was a different library than the one we've gone to before. In this one, the doors of the meeting room have push bars to exit, so I didn't have to spend the whole time chasing after the little escapee. Convenient! I had a nice time chatting with the other moms - and the one stay-at-home-dad who brings his daughter - and Soren ran and played and was his usual cheerful self. It's always so great when playgroup actually goes like it should, with Soren playing and tiring himself out instead of making me chase him back into the room every few minutes.

He had a good nap back home while I worked more on his Christmas stocking. I'm continuing to hone my skillz, and I'm really pleased with how it's coming out so far.

Oh, and coming back home to our freshly cleaned apartment? Awesome. So great. So worth it. Of course, it made me want to be extra cautious during dinner preparation so I didn't mess up the kitchen too badly. Hehe. It'll be nice to have a good cleaning like this once a month for a while. Makes it easier to keep up on the day to day stuff, hopefully.

Anyway, that's it for Tuesday. Tomorrow we battle the crazies at the grocery store again (because of course I forgot to get some stuff) but I'll be amused to go through the line with my 2 or 3 items in the basket while I'm surrounded by people with their carts heaped. Heh. Good thing I'm easily amused. ;)

Day 230


I was totally amused to catch Soren in the middle of a very intense itchy-nose-rubbing here. Hehe. Going after that itch with gusto, he was.

Monday felt like it went by really fast. Once we hit 10:00, it was on like Donkey Kong. We braved the rain and the crazies to get ourselves a Thanksgiving duck from Whole Foods. The little 5.5 lb bird should suit the three of us just fine, with plenty for delicious duck-mashed potato-stuffing sandwiches in the days after. Whole Foods was a little packed, but nothing like I'm sure it'll be later in the week.

We got home a little later than Sir's usual naptime. It was a close thing whether or not he'd stay awake in the car on the way home. But we made it, had a quick lunch...and then I had to spend an hour getting him to agree that he really was still sleepy and needed a nap. Of course, once he fell asleep (and I did, too), we were both out for the rest of the afternoon. He was pretty confused to wake up in the dark a little after 5:00. Heh.

Cleaning flurry! After dinner I we worked on getting the apartment tidied up in preparation for...Tuesday house cleaning. Whoo-yeah. Since we're going to be having a baby here, it seems worthwhile to invest in having some professionals come to really give the place a couple of thorough cleanings beforehand. It feels a little decadent, but what the hey. It's also quite practical. So tidy, tidy, tidy we did. Tuesday morning would be interesting for sure.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 229


While the boys were out erranding today, I got some more work done on the stocking. It's pretty funny to see the difference in my embroidery skill just between yesterday and today. Not that I've magically improved all on my own, but I did sit down and watch a couple of tutorial videos online about the different stitches (something I should perhaps have done before I started). Hopefully Soren won't mind a few areas where my initial lack of proficiency was painfully obvious. ;)

We have begun to gather all our birth supplies. Mostly it's things like blankets and towels and cleaning supplies. I can put together a whole post about the preparations a little later if people are interested.

Soren's decided that the bars we installed on the bookshelves to keep him from pulling the books out are really fun to just grab & rattle. Hmm. He managed to pull one out completely from our small bookcase, and since there wasn't anything on that particular shelf anyway, Tom went ahead and just put the bar up out of reach so it wouldn't be a temptation. So what do you suppose Soren was doing within minutes? (Spoiler alert: the picture at the top of the post gives it away) That's right, he wiggled on up to sit on the shelf. Sigh. Toddlers.

Day 228


Ah, the weekend. His smile pretty accurately reflects my general opinion of weekends.

Mid-morning, we had a meeting with our birth assistant. She's the RN who will be taking care of the "nurse jobs" during the home birth (monitoring vitals, providing any necessary care, etc.), as well as just being an extra set of hands to help out. She mentioned that she has a labor tub that will be available for rent in January; I don't think any of us plan on doing an actual water birth, but I've heard nothing but good things about being able to sit in a warm tub during labor. It's supposed to just make a world of difference, comfort-wise. So now I've got to see about getting permission from our landlord to use something like that.

After she left, the three of us took a walk around the grounds. It's been a while since we all got out to do some walking together. No stroller for the Sir; he walked the whole mile with us like a champ, with energy to spare once we got back home.

While Soren napped, I started working on his Christmas stocking. My mom made stockings for Amy & me when we were little, and I thought it would be fun to do the same for my kids. So I got this kit and am stretching the limits of my crafting abilities to put it all together. It's perhaps a bit more ambitious a project than I initially thought, but I think I'll be able to pull it off. It's fun so far.

I played around a little with black & white photos on my camera in the evening (hence the shot above). And then we watched the Ducks squeak (quack?) by Arizona to win their game this week. Oh, the downside of living on the east coast...I was up til just after midnight watching. (Tom went to bed right as overtime was starting; crazy fellow said he just couldn't take another minute of football and wanted to go to sleep.) Anyway, that was that, and Saturday was done.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 227


Well, were it not for a diaper failure at 5:30 Friday morning, we would have been 3-for-3 on Soren sleeping through the night in his own bed! Oh my gosh, what a difference. Three nights in a row of solid sleep...heavenly, I tell you. Of course, the third night I was plagued with more pregnancy insomnia and actually slept terribly, but at least I didn't have to get up and tend to Soren a couple of times on top of all that.

Because I was so very tired on Friday, I did something I'm honestly not all that proud of. We had a couple of errands to run in the late morning and on the way home, I stopped at Wendy's to pick up lunch for myself. And I got Soren...some fast food chicken nuggets. He wasn't sure about them at first, but he eventually decided they were nommable and ate several. I know, I know, there are far worse sins I can commit as a mother than feeding the boy some nuggets, but it's just one of those things I didn't plan on doing, at least not just yet. Anyway. I say this in the spirit of slightly chagrined, somewhat amused confessional; I'm not fishing for reassurance or anything like that, honestly. Just sharing.

Anyhow. That's about it for Friday. Have a good weekend, everyone. :)

Day 226


Thursday was a long day, but a good one. Library playgroup in the morning; Soren only tried to escape once! He had a good time playing and mooching snacks from the other moms (since apparently the ones I brought were inferior...you know how it is). I brought along some of his fun magnet toys to share, which were a big hit with everyone.

After Tom got home in the evening, we were off again, this time to our 32-week appointment with the midwives. They were running rather a bit behind schedule; Tom was an absolute saint with the Soren-wrangling in the waiting area. We had a good talk with the midwife, got a lot of questions answered and settled on our decision to do a home birth.

Here's the lad snacking on some fruit, for once not mugging for the camera. I'm pretty amused by his skeptical little expression. ;)