Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 175

Tuesday was a mixed bag. The morning came much too early, but I managed to make the most of it and be somewhat productive. Soren ate pretty well, went down for his nap really easily, proceeded to sleep for a full 90 minutes, then ate lunch like a champ. Then the late afternoon and evening brought with them the full glory of monster toddlerdom. The shrieking and the destructiveness and the 2-second attention span...he was just a tornado on two tiny legs. Not the most fun ever. He kept screaming and climbing out of his kitchen playpen while I was trying to clean up the kitchen to get dinner made, so I finally gave up and ordered pizzas. Overwhelmed much? In retrospect I should have put up the baby gate and stuck him in his room to play, but I was too frazzled to think of it at the time.

It's not all bad. We're making some good headway on the "pre-potty-training" front. I wouldn't say we've begun potty training him in earnest, but we got him a little insert seat for the toilet and we've been including "pee time" in his evening routine for a while now. In the past few days he's started requesting to use the toilet at random times during the day, so we take him in there, and he's been going when he says he has to. So that's pretty good!

Day 174

Monday morning it was lovely and breezy out, so Soren & I went for a stroll around the apartment complex. I asked the lad if he wanted to go for a walk, and he pretty quickly started parroting "walk, walk, walk" back at me. So I loaded him in the stroller and we headed out. He seems to have retained "walk" as a new word because he has continued to say it while pointing outside or at his stroller. He also says "Dad-dad, walk?" when he sees this picture, which is my desktop image on the computer. ;) The rest of the day was pretty mellow. Did some laundry, read some books, played on the floor.

Day 173

Sunday it rained. I ventured out in the afternoon to get some new maternity jeans and pick up some groceries. Not a whole lot else to report. Here's Mr. Smartypants reading his ABC book.

Day 172

Saturday afternoon, Tom was planning to meet up with a couple of friends for lunch in the city, so I figured Soren & I might as well take advantage of the opportunity for an excursion. I thought I'd take the lad to the National Aquarium. I had heard it was kind of a pathetic aquarium (and the fact that it's housed in the basement of the Commerce Building doesn't exactly inspire confidence), but I figured Soren would enjoy looking at some fishes and such, regardless. Both things turned out to be true; it really is a pretty sad excuse for an aquarium, but the lad didn't seem to mind. There were a couple of big turtles, two small alligators, and a tank full of small sharks, in addition to a bunch of other brightly colored fish. All in all, probably not worth the $7 admission I had to pay (we'll drive up to the "real" aquarium in Baltimore next time), but whatever.

It started raining while we were inside, but not too hard. We hung around for about an hour then struck out in search of some lunch. Once fed, it was after 3pm and Soren still hadn't fallen asleep at all, so we headed back toward home a little ahead of Tom. (We'd all metro-ed in, so it's not as though we left him stranded or anything.) Soren finally fell asleep once we got back to the car, but he didn't stay out for long. Bedtime came pretty early that night. ;)

Day 171

Friday is usually our errand day, and this past Friday was no exception. We went to the library to return some books and check out some others. We made a run to Trader Joe's to replenish our rice milk supplies. We picked up some buffalo short ribs and a pork shoulder at the farmers' market. I made tasty pizzas for dinner. And I took this quick photo of the cuteling before it was time to get ready for bed.

Day 170

Whew, managed to get way behind again. Sorry! Here goes.

Thursday. I've been letting the lad have some utensil practice during his breakfast and lunch times. He's very interested in feeding himself, though not especially skilled yet. Hence the practice. And the lack of shirt. ;) Here he is after an orgy of prune and meemyah consumption.

Not too surprisingly, he ended up with 2 baths that day. In the morning he just begged and begged until I relented and let him play in the water. After dinner...well...let's just say the prunes had done their job, and additional cleanup was required.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 169

Not a whole lot to say about Wednesday. Sir's nap was cut short by the produce delivery, and I wasn't able to get him back to sleep thereafter, so he passed out before 8pm last night. I took the ABC video but somehow neglected to get any still photos, so here he is enjoying his breakfast meem-yah on Thursday morning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You may now bask in his brilliance...

Not yet 18 months old, folks...

Day 168

Tuesday I had to make a run to Target, so I figured we'd go to the playgroup meetup at the library in the morning on our way there. Which would have been great if I'd remembered we were meeting at a different library this time. Oops. After sitting around for half an hour waiting for everyone else to show up, I figured I must have either gotten the day or the venue wrong, so we headed on to Target.

Nothing much to report for the rest of the day. Neglected to get a photo before bedtime again, so here's one taken just after we woke up. Apparently it was still way to early for the camera flash. ;)

Day 167

Monday was pretty low-key yet again, mostly spent recovering from our fun weekend. Here you can see the lad chowing down on an apple while making some important calculations in his notebook. ;)

In the evening I made a butternut squash soup that came out pretty well. The recipe I used is actually for pumpkin soup, but I figured it'd be perfectly reasonable to substitute one squash for another. I did manage to back up our garbage disposal with all of the squash, potato & carrot peelings (much to Tom's chagrin). That was less than awesome. I am lucky that Tom is such a good sport about dealing with my occasional kitchen disasters.

Day 166

Sunday we had everyone over for brunch in the early afternoon. We ate strawberries and made French toast, eggs, bacon & mimosas. Stuffed to the gills, everyone lazed around and played with Soren until it was time for Max to take Demetri & ML to the airport.

ML was determined to teach Soren how to play catch, but he hasn't really got the hang of actually grabbing the ball when it comes toward him. So we played catch with training wheels, so to speak, with Tom holding Soren's hands. The boy thought his was great fun, giggling uproariously all the while.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dancing About Architecture

Because the Bible translations book is so very dry, I picked up Elements of the Art of Architecture (by William Muschenheim), intending to alternate every other night between the two books. Turns out, though, that Muschenheim's book is not exactly a thorough and overly informative tome, and I blazed through it in 3 evenings. Probably could have gotten through it in one, but I only read for 15 or 20 minutes before bed. Anyway. The book's divided into three sections - Form, Surface, and Space. Each two-page spread has pictures of different architectural elements or concepts and a short paragraph describing whatever it is the author's trying to illustrate. A lot of his descriptions felt like hand-waving to me, and there didn't seem to be any sort of clear organizational scheme within each section. Oh, and it was published in 1964, so it wasn't exactly an up-to-date reference. I don't feel that I learned much of anything by reading it and will likely seek out another architectural book from the library in a little while.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 165

Yesterday we lazed about in the morning and made our way over to Max's in the early afternoon for a late lunch. Burgers from Five Guys...mmm. After lunch we went on a big, long walk, stopping briefly at a cafe to rest and have a drink. Soren had a grand old time fishing ice cubes out of Tom's water (soaking Tom's lap in the process). We arrived back at Max's just before our friends from Baltimore arrived. Then the whole group (ten of us plus the lad) went to Grillfish for dinner. 'Twas a fine day, indeed.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 164

Oh, Friday was a fun day. Soren decided napping was for the birds and slept for a total of two and a half minutes in the car on the way to Max's. ML & Demetri are out visiting this weekend, so we had a fun dinner with them, Max, Agnes & Chris. We made the stuffed lamb again (so freaking tasty) and ML whipped up some magical chocolate lava cakes for dessert. Soren finally melted down completely right before our dinner (and in the midst of his own dinner, which was, admittedly, somewhat later than usual) and passed out on the futon in the back room, where he slept until we left around midnight. It was nice to have the gang back together, chatting and cooking like old times. :) I brought my camera with me but didn't manage to snap a single photo all day.

Ergo, we have this fun little triptych from first thing Saturday morning. The boy sure does love him some apples.

Day 163

Thursday morning we went to a playgroup meetup at the library. It was drizzly and cool, so Soren got to wear one of his fun new long-sleeved shirts. He had a grand old time playing and running amok; at one point all 4 of the (mobile) boys were running in a big circle around everyone going "Aaaahhhhh!" There were also nice metal rolling book carts to bang on. (We were in a meeting room, separate from the main area of the library. Such antics would of course be unacceptable otherwise.)

In the evening we had our next prenatal visit with the midwives. Everything seems to be coming along nicely as far as all of that is concerned. The little miss continues to grow-grow-grow. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Belly-belly progression

15 weeks

18 weeks

23 weeks

She's getting bigger, folks.

Day 162

Wednesday night I made stuffed acorn squash for dinner, which was pretty tasty and remarkably simple. I mixed up some (embellished) cornbread stuffing, packed that into the de-seeded squash halves, and baked everything for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. The hardest part, actually, was cutting the squash in half (I had to have Tom do it). If I were to make it again, I'd do a bit of prep to the squash before stuffing it. The recipe didn't call for any, and I didn't think to do it until after everything was in the oven. Butter and maybe a bit of salt would have improved it further, but it was still good as it was.

I'm pretty sure Soren's started saying Leo, though it sounds like Wee-oh. His repertoire of animal noises now includes cow, sheep, pony, puppy, kitty, duck, chicken, frog, and (sometimes) rhino. The past few days he's been saying something that sounds an awful lot like "Oh f*ck," which is less adorable. Possibly we shouldn't have let him watch all those episodes of The Sopranos. (Alas, I kid, and cannot lay the blame with Tony et al. This one's squarely on us.) Past time to clean up the language, it would seem. Heh.

Here's a picture of the little cutester clowning around before bed Wednesday evening, after a nice bath.

Day 161

Monday night was kind of tough, sleep-wise, so Tuesday afternoon there was some fairly epic napping that occurred. Soren woke up just 45 minutes after I put him down the first time, so I put him on the couch next to me to sleep some more. We proceeded to both pass out there. For over two hours. Like I said, epic.

Soren recognizes a large portion of the alphabet by sight now. I think I'd go so far as to say he knows more than half of it. He's also got a few numbers and shapes down. It's insanely cute to listen to him playing by himself in his room in the mornings, saying random letters. He loves identifying writing on our t-shirts as well. I promise I'll get some video of this soon.

A quick and blurry shot of the lads reading before bed. Soren's definitely got some book preferences. Most nights it's a struggle to get all the way through Goodnight Moon because he'd much rather look at his mirror book or find Blueberry the bunny. It's pretty funny.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't know much about astronomy

So, I just finished The Astronomer's Universe: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmos, by Herbert Friedman, this week. The fact that this book, published in 1990, is already quite out of date in a lot of ways is simple evidence of how fast the field of astronomy is growing and changing. I mean, okay, 1990 was almost 20 years ago now, but it still feels like things shouldn't have changed that much since then. But at the time of publishing, the USSR still existed (hence the author's occasional mention of "Soviet scientist so-and-so"), and the Hubble Space Telescope hadn't yet been launched. The advances in research made possible by HST alone could fill another book the same length as this one. Also, there is a fair bit of physics to deal with in the reading, though as Tom pointed out to me, it's really not a book written for people with a lot of advanced science education either.

Some brief points I found interesting or otherwise noteworthy:
  • Particle physics is frickin' crazy. Neutrinos and muons and antiprotons and all kinds of other crap I'd not previously heard of.
  • Black holes...not actually holes at all. I suppose this should have occurred to me, what with their general defining characteristic of being objects so dense, with such extreme gravitational fields, that not even light can escape from them. (Though Tom says this has actually been disproven, and that black holes can exhibit Hawking radiation, which allows the escape of some particles.) But somehow I never got past the name, I guess.
  • There are over 100 billion stars in the Milky Way alone. A hundred billion. That is just mind-boggling.
  • Nothing's holding still in space. Everything's spinning and moving and rotating around other stuff. The entire Milky Way is cruising along at a million miles an hour. Seriously. How more things doesn't smash into each other, like, all the time is nearly beyond comprehension, as far as I'm concerned.
  • There are all kinds of telescopes; not just the kind you tend to think of first, which are the optical ones. There are radio telescopes, which use radio waves for imaging. Ditto x-ray and infrared telescopes. And even some instruments that look at gamma rays. And some stars out there emit way more x-rays than regular visible light rays, so they might be almost invisible on a "standard" telescope but super bright on an x-ray one. Crazy.

While this book was really kind of a brief overview, not to mention out of date, it illustrated to me exactly how little I know about astronomy in general. (Answer: pathetically little) And it gave me a whole new respect for and curiosity about what exactly my astronomer aunt has worked on.

Next up on the reading list: The Bible in Translation, which I probably won't review since Tom already did. It's quite dry so far, and I suspect he's already mentioned all the interesting parts. But if I come up with something worth writing about that he didn't already cover, then I will.

Day 160

Monday, Monday. Nothing too exciting. Laundry, a few errands, delicious homemade pizzas for dinner. Here are some sleepy Soren hands from that night.

Day 159


Sunday we mostly spent recovering from our busy few days of museum-hopping. You know, rubbing our achy feet and the like. I think Soren was a little surprised not to have anywhere to "go-go" that day. ;) In the afternoon, Tom sent me out to go sit in the pool for a while with my book. The center of the outdoor pool has a cold water whirlpool, with jacuzzi jets but without the fetus-boiling temperature of a hot tub. It was the perfect thing for soothing my sore hips and back! I got a little bit of a sunburn on my shoulders, but it was worth it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 158

Saturday morning we went to the National Air & Space Museum before dropping A & J off at the airport. Man, oh man, is there a lot of cool stuff to see there. It's probably worthy of its own post, but I'm still in the process of getting all my photos organized and uploaded. Be sure to check out Flickr in a day or two if you like pictures of bitchin' aircraft. ;)

Day 157

Friday we woke up to pouring rain, so I bundled Soren up and fashioned an improvised rain shield for the stroller. Fortunately, the downpour had tapered off to a drizzle by the time we left the apartment, so we managed to get through the day un-drenched. We got underway right around naptime, so Soren conked out on the metro for a bit, which was cute. We went back to the Natural History Museum to see a couple more exhibits, then had a late lunch and made our way over to the National Building Museum, which is housed in a really, really neat old brick building. We only got to spend about an hour there, before we had to meet Tom for our Pentagon tour, but I will definitely go back. Here's Soren with A, in the museum's Great Hall, in front of some enormous columns.

We got over to the Pentagon, where Tom was able to show us around. It's unfortunate that no photography is allowed in there because it was pretty freakin' adorable watching Soren run down the halls. (It was after work hours, so there weren't a whole lot of people about.) Here is my artist's rendering:

It was really neat getting to see where Tom works. That place is huge. They have all kinds of interesting displays set up along many of the corridors, commemorating important people and events and the like.

Afterward, we had everyone back over to our place for dinner. Soren had way too much fun entertaining everyone, stayed up well past his normal bedtime, and slept until almost 10 the next morning. ;)

Day 156

Thursday afternoon Soren & I visited with our friends, A & J, who had arrived in town late the night before. We met up at the Natural History Museum and checked out stuff there for a few hours. It was significantly less crowded than the last time I was there (no great surprise, since the last time I went, the Cherry Blossom Festival was in full swing), so we got to wander at our leisure without having to battle the milling hordes. Here's Soren checking out a giant amethyst with J.

After Tom got off work, we walked (and walked, and walked, and walked) up to Dupont Circle to meet up with him and some more folks for dinner. We stuffed ourselves full of delicious Indian food, then made our way back home to rest up for another day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 155

Aside from a bit of erranding in the afternoon, there wasn't much to Wednesday. In the evening there was some soccer-watching to be done, which is what's going on here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Day 154

Tuesday afternoon, I took Soren's jeans off so he'd be more comfortable for naptime, and then he just looked too frickin cute running around with his blue tank top and matching blue diaper. I attempted to get a photo, but he didn't want to stay far enough away from me to get a good shot, so this is what I got instead. It'll do. ;)

Tuesday was a sleep-challenge day. Sir had awoken promptly at six, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, then proceeded to run around like a (happy) maniac all morning. I finally got him down for a nap at noon, but he only slept for half an hour and was ready to go again. The afternoon crankies set in, but he steadfastly refused a second nap until 5pm. At which point he then slept for 90 minutes. So dinner was a little late, and then bedtime was a little late, but he did end up sleeping quite well that night. So I suppose I won't complain too much.

Riveting stuff, I know. Never fear; we've got some friends coming in from out of town this week, so with any luck I'll have some exciting adventures to write about soon. :)

Day 153

We spent a good chunk of the long weekend Soren-proofing our living room electronics. And by "we" I mean Tom. He built some doors for the front of our TV stand in order to prevent certain tiny fingers from shutting off the cable box or changing the input on our switch box. He also added latches to the drawers of our computer desk, which should work for at least a little while to keep our DVDs from being spread all across the floor every time we leave the wee savage unattended for a moment or two. Coupled with our Sunday carpet cleaning, our living room is looking pretty snazzy.

Monday's photo of Soren doesn't have much to do with anything. He was just strutting around being his normal silly self, and I managed to catch him striking a pose. ;)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Day 152

We rented a carpet steam-cleaner today and cleaned the living and dining rooms. Lots of food stains courtesy of a certain messy eater (and it wasn't me!). It looks quite a bit better in here now. Soren was such a good boy, playing in his room for a long time, happily singing and talking to himself. It's certainly helpful when he doesn't need us to entertain him every moment!

Another quick photo before bed. He's been sleeping in a cloth diaper most nights, and though he usually does require a change at some point, we were having to do that with disposables anyway. We broke our cloth-only streak, but he still wears disposables WAY less often now than he used to. It's pretty great, and the laundry hasn't been too hard to keep up with. I'm quite pleased!

Day 151

Saturday afternoon we drove up to Baltimore for a birthday party. It really wasn't that bad of a drive, and I'd definitely like to get back up there sometime to explore some more. Mister boy fell asleep in the car on the way home quite suddenly; one moment he was chattering away, and the next...zonked. He woke up again as soon as the car stopped but was still pretty tired. Hence the quick before-bed photo.

Day 150

Friday, Friday, Friday...

Did some laundry, ran some errands. Dinner was homemade animal style buffalo burgers (a la In-n-Out)...so delicious! I rubbed the patties with mustard before I grilled them, and then I topped them with a ketchup/mayo sauce with pickles & sauteed onions.

Soren's had kind of a nasty diaper rash for several days, so in the evening we let him have some extended naked time to dry out his little bum a bit. He did very well, didn't piddle anywhere. And, like all little kids, he was thrilled to be running around sans clothing. Cute little guy.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Day 149

Thursday morning we checked out another local park with the play group. The playground equipment at this one was a bit too big for the lad; he doesn't have a good sense of the difference between a step and a high ledge, and this equipment had a lot of ledges with poles to slide down and things like that. Still, there was a lot of grass to run around on, and he rode this little pelican toy a tiny bit. There were some teenagers running sprint drills on the path through the park, and a couple of times Soren just took off after them, wanting to imitate. It was pretty freakin' adorable.

More arugula pesto for dinner, though this time I made it into a pesto alfredo sauce. Arugula makes an interesting pesto; it's at once lighter and stronger than basil pesto. I know that makes very little sense, but I'm not sure how else to describe it.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Day 148

Finally! A halfway decent seahorse photo. Now if only Soren didn't look so apprehensive, we'd be in business. ;)

Very little to report for Wednesday. I can continue my recent food-blogging trend, I suppose. For dinner I made pasta with the arugula pesto I'd whipped up the night before. Mixed in with the pasta were some sauteed red onions, chicken sausage & tomatoes. For a side dish there was zucchini/goat cheese casserole. Pretty darn good!

Poor Soren threw up spectacularly, all over the carpet, after dinner. I have to say, the pears & blueberries he had for dessert were not kind to our standard issue beige apartment carpeting, but the Sham-Wows did a remarkable job with the cleanup. I can't believe how effective those things are. Really quite astonishing.

On that charming note, we're off to the park! Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Day 147

Tuesday morning we went to a playgroup meetup at a park. Soren had a grand old time, running around, eating mulch, stealing sunglasses from people. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, warm but breezy with low humidity. Home again for naptime and lunch, then off to Trader Joe's.

Among our other purchases I picked up some ready-made pizza dough. I made a couple of pizzas for dinner that turned out, if I may say so myself, quite well. Pizza #1 had spicy Italian (chicken) sausage, red onions and mushrooms, with marinara sauce and a whole wheat crust. Pizza #2 had prosciutto, red onions and goat cheese, with a homemade arugula pesto sauce. Super tasty and not too difficult to put together. Win!

Day 146

Yet again, I failed to get a photo before lights-out on Monday. So here's a picture from first-thing Tuesday morning.

Monday we mostly hung around and did chores. Well, I did chores. Soren played and "helped." Dinner was easy - lamb leftovers from our Sunday lunch - but I wanted to make a side dish and needed to use the Sicilian eggplant we had in our fridge. I was loath to make the sort of stewy eggplant dish I usually make, so I hunted around online for an alternative. I came up with zesty fried eggplant, which turned out surprisingly well. The batter didn't really crisp up as much as I'd have liked, but the flavor was great, and the eggplant was soft and gooey in the middle. Definitely one to try again sometime.