Thursday, October 30, 2008

election dreams

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I had a strange dream about voting.

I'm at a grocery store to vote. I pick up my fill-in-the-bubble ballot and booklet (like a test booklet?), and head over to the tables and chairs in the produce section. I'm there with Jude, friend of ours, and Elizabeth. The test/voting is crazy. There are all kinds of propositions, but instead of a simple yes, no, there's some kind of crazy multiple choice. I'm trying to coral Elizabeth while trying to understand what the questions are really asking, because they don't in any way seem to match up with what I'd read previously about the propositions. Jude and our Friend get done, and leave, while I'm still trying to keep Elizabeth's hands out of the fruit bins. I'm there for several hours...

It's like the worst combination of ACT/SAT tests, voting, and shopping with a toddler.

I'm glad I'll be going in to vote early with Jude, instead of taking my vote/test while corralling E by myself at the voting place!

Now I just need to decide who I'm voting for...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

goodnight moon

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Goodnight Moon is one of the books in our library for Elizabeth (ours is the board book edition). As you might imagine, I've read the book a few times. I haven't had to read the words in a long time. That gives me the chance to look at the pictures. I've noticed things in my old age that I never noticed before.

Grab a copy and look for yourself:

Every time you see the clocks in the room, they're advanced 10 minutes from the previous color page. (Bunny's bedtime is 7, but it takes an hour to fall asleep. Sounds like my child!)

The mouse is brave, running to a different spot every time, especially with those kittens in the room. They must not be good mousers. Look for him on the shelf, in the window, by the fire, ready to eat the bowl of mush, on the drying rack, and scurrying across the floor.

There is a copy of the book "Goodnight Moon" on bunny's bedside table. Somehow that seems paradoxical. I imagine there is a better word that describes what I'm trying to express there, but it escapes me.

In the picture of the three bears sitting on chairs, there is a picture of the cow jumping over the moon, which is another picture hanging in bunny's room. So really, the cow picture is in bunny's room twice.

There is a picture from the book "The Runaway Bunny" hanging over the bookshelf.

And thinking of bookshelves... There is a copy of the book "The Runaway Bunny" on the bookshelf. This book was written and illustrated by the people who did "Goodnight Moon."

The room gets progressively dimmer.

The telephone has a cord that plugs into something, but the lamp does not.

I wish my toy house had electric lights.

At least the illustrator gave the adults something to do!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

keep the home fires burning

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Fall is most certainly here.

My primary indicator? Not the leaves, oh no, but filling the furnace. We have a wood burning outdoor furnace by Central Boiler. It is a fantastic piece of equipment that we've had installed since about December of 2005. So, this is our fourth season running it.

First fire after the installation in 2005

Like any wood burner, you have to fill it with wood once or twice a day. We're blessed with a huge acreage to cut wood on, and Jude works with 2 neighbors who all cut wood from the same property. This year, we're playing a little bit of catch up. Our wood shed hasn't been filled, and there are lots of trees out in the woods that are just waiting to be cut, split and hauled. You might imagine that our weekends are full of Jude being out trying to make a dent, but always having other things come up that prevent getting a good, solid day in. Our furnace burns a lot of wood, due to the nature of our home (Large, uninsulated, clay-tile house. With lots of air leaks. And radiant heat.)

Winter a few years ago.

So, meanwhile, I toss wood in the furnace during the week. I just dress Elizabeth for the outdoors, and she follows me on my route to and from the woodshed with the wheel barrow. She helps by tossing small pieces of bark and sticks into the wheel barrow, and handing me the pieces she can pick up as I load them into the furnace. Good for exercise! It's not too bad, really - it takes maybe 10 minutes a day. I think that 10 minutes (and exercise) is well worth not paying thousands of dollars a year in natural gas for our old indoor furnace.

Friday, October 17, 2008

belly shot

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For the curious...

I'm somewhere in the second trimester in this photo, but not yet to the halfway mark. Wouldn't want to give away the 40 week guesstimate, and have people impatiently wondering what's happening. I was 40 + 6 with E, so I'm not really attached to numbers! Who knows, though... I may tell later, simply so I can have a fun guess the baby game (there are several free online services that offer guessing games.)

My posture is horrible. If I stand up straight, I look a lot less pregnant!

E wanted to pose, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday in review

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Here I am, about 18 weeks. Nothing really exciting going on here. I've been motivated to get more done around the house. I'm definitely bigger, and gaining weight, finally - I was kind of concerned about the lack of gain. Oddly enough, now that I am gaining, I'm distressed at how the numbers are increasing from week to week. Why couldn't it be more gradual?!? I would say that I'm not showing so much that you'd know that I'm pregnant. I mostly just look like I've gained some tummy flab. My back hurts when I stand too long, but that's because my shoes are worn out, and I need to go buy some new shoes.

This morning, we went to our second story time at our local library, but that didn't really work out for us. I knew it was going to be a puppet show. I did not know that it would be a Halloween themed show, nor did I consider that the first and second graders invited from the local schools would be encouraged to screech and yell at various points. Elizabeth is not fond of people making aggressive yelling or screaming. She starts crying. So, when the puppet guy jumped out from behind his booth right after the room lights were dimmed, she screamed and cried. Ironically, the puppeteer had said just before that something about the making small children cry. (He was joking. Elizabeth was not.) So, upon realizing how frightened E was to even be in the room, and considering the Halloween theme, we decided to opt out of story time today.

We spent some time in the library instead. I checked out "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth." I've read it before, but it's a worthwhile read, especially considering that there is childbirth in my near future. I also spent some time flipping through Consumer Reports magazines looking for current reviews of refrigerator, freezers, and child safety seats. Unfortunately, I could only find reviews in the last year for refrigerators. Oh well.

Elizabeth has a long memory, though - when we went into the story time room before leaving the library to get the bags that we had left behind in our haste to exit the room, she started crying again when she saw the puppet man.

Today, I canned 20 quarts of grape juice. It took me about 3.5 hours. Elizabeth was not amused that I was not paying attention to her. She kept approaching me (while I kept saying "HOT!" to keep her away from the stove) and raising her arms and wiggling her fingers in a 'give it to me' gesture, while saying "ME!" As in, pick me up. Poor E.

So, now she is in bed, and I am blogging about my day, while avoiding the last debate. I was unimpressed by the first 3 debates, and I suppose I'll turn on the TV so I can snort at the dumb things both candidates say. I'm definitely in the Undecided category.

Friday, October 10, 2008


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I've been on a self-imposed computer fast. Well. Kind of a fast. Mostly just during the day, when Elizabeth is awake. (She is sleeping for now.) One of the down sides to this is that I have been spending much less time putting up thought provoking posts for my readers.

So, I've been occupying my time with more productive pursuits than surfing the internet and reading my forums and facebook. For instance:

Exercising - I'm exercising for two, so I need to make sure that I'm getting in some quality time. I walk on my treadmill for 30+ minutes 4-5 days a week, and also do some stretching and strength training. It sounds more impressive than it really is.

Cleaning - you can actually see the floors and other horizontal surfaces in some of the rooms of my house. Trust me, this is an improvement, and it's one that makes my husband feel like he can relax when he gets home after a long week away, instead of picking up messes on a Friday night. I feel a lot better with a clean(er) house, too.

Reading - as in reading books. Those hardbound things you find at the library.

Playing with Elizabeth - I knew I wasn't spending enough time with her, and that I was irritated that she was always pulling on my arms or trying to climb into my lap when I was at the computer. Spending time away from my computer has really revealed how much more of my personal play time she needs. Some days still aren't as interactive as they should be.

Domestic activities - This week, I made grape juice (from Concord grapes) and canned it. 21 pounds of grapes really didn't give me as much juice as I thought - I have about 5.5 quarts of juice. I think I'll have to get some more grapes next week! I've been catching up on laundry, and working at solving some cloth diaper stink issues (which might warrant and entire post of it's own). And today, I've been baking bread. It's been a long time since I've baked bread, and it smells good and tastes even better. Probably because Elizabeth helped with the bread.

All in all, leaving my computer off (for the most part) during the day has been an improvement in my life. I've often thought I would get more done if I didn't have a computer to tempt me. So, instead I finally exercised the will power to turn off the computer. Since it takes a minute for the computer to start up and log in, I'm deterred from using the computer to fill time when I'm bored or looking to avoid real work.

I highly recommend a less wired life!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

pretend play

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Elizabeth has been treating her Bear like a person recently. A few days ago, I saw her sitting in the living room on the floor, with Bear facing her. She was flapping Bear's arms up and down, and then she leaned down to give bear a kiss and a hug.

A day or so later, Elizabeth was eating lunch at the table. She saw Bear on the floor and asked for Bear. Once Bear was sitting next to her, she offered her cup of juice.

And tonight, we brushed Bear's teeth before bed, and tucked Bear into bed.

Pretty soon, I'll have imaginary playmates running around the house, too. I wonder if my imaginary friend George will make an appearance...

Friday, October 03, 2008

shake it, baby

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Elizabeth has a new favorite song, replacing YMCA as the most popular tune in our home.

It's Metro Station's "Shake It." The contents of the verses really aren't appropriate for children. At all. However, she really loves the beat, and when the chorus comes on, she says,"shays, shays, shays," in beat with the song, and wiggles around. (We kind of prompted some of this, as initially, we would dance around for her entertainment, as she would giggle whenever we did this.) She knows the song sufficiently well, that when the first few measures are played she knows what song it is, even though the first part sounds nothing like the chorus that she loves.

Randomly during the day, she'll say "shays, shays?" in inquiry as to if we can listen to the song. And, if we turn on the radio, she parks right in front of it and requests the song then, too.

I suppose you couldn't say this is the first song to which she will sing along. She used to sometimes say,"Eye!" when we played the YMCA chorus. But, she sure seems to know this song better!
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