Congratulations to all the staff at Idea Duck on the success of Qwirkle, and an especially Happy Birthday to Chris! We promise to play a quick round in your honor.
March 2007 Archives
Doesn't she just look ferocious? Actually this is a picture of Eula back in her soft, easy city days. Here in the country she needs to fend for herself and protect the family homestead. She earned her new title of Protector two days ago....
It was a sunny day (finally!) and the whole family was outside in the driveway enjoying the sun, playing in our new wagon from Aunt Sarah and blowing bubbles. While all the humans were relaxing and enjoying themselves, Eula was on high alert. Pacing, sniffing, adjusting her satellite dish sized ears to hear all sorts of sounds.
Now some of you may know that we had a mouse problem in our kitchen last month. It was gross and we definitely missed having Eliot who is a fierce hunter (I imagine). Anyhow, a little poison in the attic and the mice were gone. Or so we thought...
Eula was standing at full alert staring at a bush on the backside of our driveway and I asked her "What is it Eula?". She ran to the bush and stuck her nose in. She didn't leave the bush for another 15 minutes when all of the sudden the rat sized mouse who was hiding in the bush decided to make a run for it. This thing was no match for Eula, the fastest dog we know. She ran after it, pounced then picked it up with her mouth. The thing was still moving around and we told her to leave it alone but then the beaver sized mouse started trying to bite her on the nose. Eula was having none of this and picked it up in her mouth again. When we told her to leave it once more, the thing was dead.
Being the animal lover I am, I was at first very upset by the fact that Eula would kill something. The poor defenseless mouse (that looked like a badger) had no chance. But then, I was overwhelmed with pride! My dog, known to some as a chicken dog, actually killed her prey. She didn't get all puffy about it either. It was almost like she did it casually and without aggression. Being in the country seems to suit her. And I enjoy being protected.
Now look at her. The weathered country dog, with eyes like a hawk and jaws like a steel trap.
She has been dining on steak and pig ears for the last couple of days but I think we should start making her sleep outside and find her own food. You know, conditioning in case there is another mouse out there, lurking.
Demonstrating her usual 0-60 approach, The Juice went from recently just crawling to climbing the stairs and now walking with a little hand-holding or help from a mobile support. She cruises all over and especially likes walking towards the mirror, chortling all the way.
Sophie can't wait for Josie to walk on her own. A few weeks ago when Josie first started crawling Sophie squealed, "Josie, chase me!" and start running.
It's Brandie's birthday!
In all our years in California I never appreciated how her birthday was often on the first day of spring. This year, with a late winter and lots of storms, we're all very aware of it! The forecasters said it was going to be cold and blustery today, but for now at least it's a very balmy 38 degrees, the sun is shining and a warm breeze is blowing.
We braved the snow last night and went out to our favorite local restaurant, Lampy's in Endicott. Today we've got some fun things planned, and I'm certain both Josie & Sophie will help blow out the candles tonight!
I was on the phone with my friend Danny, catching up. He'd been working lots of overtime and hadn't been able to visit us since he spent one cold Saturday in February helping us move in.
In the background, the usual pre-bedtime mayhem was in full swing. Josie was playing with the Little People schoolbus while Sophie ran circles around her. Both girls were on the large gray blanket we had been spreading out to let them be "cold buns" (see previous entry). Josie had been suffering from the worst diaper rash we'd ever seen: so swollen it actually split open and started bleeding. The doctor had recommended, among other things, some diaper-free time to let it heal in the open air.
In the middle of my conversation with Danny, something caught my eye. What was that dark mark on the blanket? A moment later, as my eyes refocused: What was that thing next to it?
Panicked, I looked over at Brandie, who was busy writing up something for her mother's group. Danny was still talking. "Um, emergency," I stammered, interrupting him. "Emergency! Sorry man, I gotta run." He understood.
Brandie & I both ran over to Josie and the larger-than-golfball sized brown object sitting next to her. How did that happen so stealthily? The Juice wasn't known for keeping her movements a secret. As we both stood there in mild shock, Sophie stooped down to pick up the brown object.
"Nooo!" we both shouted. "Don't touch it!" As usual when reprimanded, she immediately covered her face with her hands. "No!" we shouted again. Brandie picked her up: a quick inspection revealed she hadn't actually touched the brown object, but she got her hands washed anyway. "You didn't do anything wrong, Mommy & Daddy just don't want you to touch it."
I grabbed Josie and cleaned her up, then put her diaper on. The schoolbus went into the sink with a dose of Clorox, and the blanket went into the wash with some more. Cold buns time was over for the night. Thank goodness we put down that blanket.
Our oldest daughter loves Buns! And I'm not talking the cinnamon or sticky variety. She loves to have "cold buns" which means running around sans pull up. She also loves "shaking her buns" which is dancing, most of the time to Sh-Boom from the Cars soundtrack, however she will also shake her buns to Ok Go - Here It Goes Again. Sometimes while she has cold buns I'll pinch them and she'll say "Don't get these buns!". I just can't help myself.
"There's ice all over Josie's seat."
I was gathering up our refundable cans and bottles to put in the minivan for a Wegman's run, and stood up to have a look. Brandie was right, there were ice crystals of various sizes all over Josie's car seat. And the roof of the car. And the dashboard. And the console. And the floor. In the third row? Yep. What the heck?
My first (sleep-deprived) thought: can mice do that? Our recent struggles and apparent victory over mice invaders made me think they had resorted to attacking our minivan. But how did they get water into the car?
Then I found the smoking gun: a Wegman's Ginger Ale can split open from top to bottom, still semi-full of the incriminating crystals. We had packed it in the car for our recent drive to my sister's house, and forgotten to remove it. Just in time for The Big Freeze of '07, where they closed a lot of local schools because it was too cold.
So yes, soda cans will explode dramatically when frozen. Don't leave them in your car, it's quite a mess.
I keep saying this parenting stuff is such hard work we should get paid for it: just in case there are some sponsors out there looking for some bleary-eyed, barely-coherent parents here are some things I'd be happy to endorse.
It's easy to love a minivan when you're toting kids around, but then again I drove a station wagon when I was single and loved it. This car has so many great features it's ridiculous, from the secret compartment in the floor with a lazy susan to third-row seating you can stow or setup with a baby on one arm. It drives like a sedan, and you can plug a PS2 in the back for the drop-down tv screen. Come on, what's not to love.
Before Josie was born we searched frantically high and low for a double stroller, and then somewhat ironically barely used the one we finally decided on (the Combi, which is really a good stroller): living out in the country we don't have nice paved paths to go for a stroll on. So instead we've relied on our trusty Baby Bjorn (from baking with Brandie to walks on the beach to hikes in the frozen woods, man has that thing gotten a lot of use!) and the REI Tagalong.
This is a pretty broad endorsement, and sometimes difficult to backup since mylar balloons are about 5x as expensive as regular latex balloons. However the cost isn't relative to how long the balloons last: latex balloons will be drooping within a day and useless the next, while a mylar balloon will keep floating for weeks.
Before we got Tivo we always said we didn't watch enough tv to justify the investment: now that we have two kids we watch even less, but the ability to limit Sophie's viewing to half-hour or twenty-minute segments (when you cut out the penguin intro Peep is a pretty short show) is invaluable.
When we first moved back to snow-country we didn't have any footwear fit for the weather; on my step-mother's advice we visited Rascoe's (an excellent shoestore in downtown Binghamton that has since regrettably gone out of business), and had the problem remedied. Over one year later, my Clark's boots are still my favorite shoes and may go down in history as the best pair I've ever owned.
Please oh please won't someone put a Trader Joe's near here!! We drive three to four hours for our Trader Joe's runs now (in Amherst, MA or Mendham, NJ), but it's still worth it. Sophie loves the tomato soup and cheese puffs especially, while to me cereal just isn't right without their toasted slivered almonds and some dried cranberries.
Alphabet Tot Tower
The thing about blocks is, kids love to knock them down: however bringing a 2' tower of wooden edges down onto a 9-month-old just isn't going to end well. The Tot Tower blocks are made of durable but light cardboard and nest inside each other so storing them is pretty easy.
I still love to build forts, but having a lightweight and storable one with tunnels, balls and a basketball hoop is hard to top. Josie is crawling in and out of ours now and loves it, we've gotten a lot of use out of it.
And welcome to their new baby girl, Presley Reed!
Presley arrived at 8:47 pm weighing 8lbs 9oz and measuring 21 3/4" tall.
Mom and baby are healthy and happy! We can't wait to meet the newest addition to their family!