Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I finally got an idea

...for this "novel" I'm supposed to write in 30 days. Hallelujah, because it starts tomorrow! All I'll say for now is it's about "friendship".

Halloween for me was a bunch of women sitting on the floor at work watching two toddlers in green costumes bump around into each other, clap their hands, and bang on the glass display cases. Emma was a crocodile or alligator or cayman or something like that. (You can't really distinguish the species as easily in plush form.) Victor was a tree frog.

she's really walking now

photos soon...

Monday, October 30, 2006

a developmental weekend

Over the last 3 days, E has been walking more and more, clapping her hands (she learned from my mom and her friend Mackenzie I think), waving at everyone and everything (even voices on the radio), and generally being more communicative. She grabbed a pen from my hand and moved it over the paper I had been writing on. And her hair is suddenly growing fast - and a little curly!

more traveling photos

Sunday, October 29, 2006

a rant

I was able to fall asleep despite the neighbor's party, but after Emma woke me up at 3 am and I still heard the bass thumping, I got too annoyed to go back to sleep. I've been writing in my journal and listening to BBC radio for 2 hours, and the music is still going. I looked up the City's website and learned that we have an ordinance against music being heard outside a house after 11 pm. And it's now 5/4 am! (clocks changed tonight). I do have the neighbor's phone number but I don't expect calling them would do anything helpful. They're drunk probably. They don't care. They're young guys, students. Once I called and asked them to turn the music down and nothing happened. They do have a right to have a party but I think midnight or even 1 or 2 am is the time when you should take it inside and turn the music way down. I can't even hear the music, just the bass! And I can feel it. If I were asleep it wouldn't wake me up, but I can't GET to sleep. I decided to call the non-emergency police number and complain. They said they'll send officers by, but that it could be up to 2 hours before they get there, depending exactly where they are and what else is going on. The music might be turned off by then - I wonder if they would still knock on the door? I understand, and I want the more important crime stopping done as a higher priority, but I feel better that at least I've tried to send a message. Now that I finally looked up the phone number I'll be doing this more often! Signed, Cranky old woman in a bathrobe.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Two more photos from our trip. The white crib is the one supplied at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. The colorful one was at Furnace Creek Ranch. (E had just woken up from a nap.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

bad dream?

At 2 am E started panicked loud crying. When I rushed in it looked like she was still asleep (on her tummy). I remembered reading somewhere that you don't want to startle a child in the middle of a "night terror" -- if that's what this was -- so I put my hand on her back and spoke to her softly instead of snatching her up into my arms like I wanted to do. After a long second or two she stopped crying and started to roll over. We rocked for a few minutes and the sobs stopped and started, died out, and she was fine. Weird. I need to look this up.

Monday, October 23, 2006

notice the title of the poster

So, this is the tri-generational traveling club, at our departure airport. (Continuing the travelogue, just a bit.) We flew through Cincinnati to Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove to our hotel, The Stratosphere. It was dark by the time we got to the rental car, and its interior (dome) light didn't work. I had to install the car seat by feel, and we couldn't read our map. Luckily the hotel is the tallest building west of the Rockies (or whatever), extremely well-lit, and it wasn't far from the airport. Emma only slept an hour during the long plane rides. By the end of it she desperately wanted to get out of the car seat, but only so she could turn around and play with its buckles. She spent endless minutes trying to fit them together -- the girl was obsessed. I think she fell asleep sometime while we were driving around Vegas, and we were grateful for that. At about midnight our time, after getting lost finding the registration desk, and getting lost finding our room, we were getting settled in for the night. Emma seemed to have a second wind and wanted to play, protested being in her crib, but as soon as I turned out the light, her noises stopped and she practically collapsed onto the mattress, by the sound of it.

Okay, the other reason I'm blogging tonight: it's a good way to complain to the world. One thing I absolutely hate is being sleepy, ready for bed, and have to ruin that feeling because of some household chore that must be done before I turn in. I get so sleepy after putting E to bed, but that's when I have to give cats medicine and food, and if I don't want roaches I suppose I need to clean up after E's dinner (half of which is on the floor). Why can't David do it? Well, sometimes he does, but he's out of town right now. I think I need to eat some store-bought sweet potato pie -- it's tolerably consoling at this hour.

monkey girl

Friday night E tried to climb out of her playpen. When I looked around she had her armpits hooked over the side, and was trying to walk her feet up the mesh sides. I saw her trying that on the crib yesterday morning but she couldn't get traction on the bars. I moved the crib to the middle of the room because where it was she could have possibly reached or climbed onto the changing table or fallen into the gap between it and the crib -- I could imagine lots of scenarios, none of them reassuring!

Yesterday morning E was crawling around the kitchen. The dishwasher was open but empty and clean, and I was watching her, but I did turn my back for an instant.... When I looked around, she was standing on the open dishwasher door, holding onto the top rack with both hands like a rock climber.

Climbing brings out a mix of emotions in me! Pride at her development, of course, but lots of fear and dread of the changes it brings.

Saturday afternoon the two of us went to a park with my friend Kimberly and her daughter, and E played in a sandbox for the first time. I plopped her down in the middle of it and when she went to crawl, she was startled by the feel of the sand on her palm - she sat back up and inspected it. She played in the sand like she does the cat food - sifting through her fingers, scattering it, standing up and scratching/digging like a dog. When she tired of the sandbox she looked around, spotted something several yards away and took off crawling toward it. Out of the sandbox, across the grass, into another play area - she was heading for the stairs that led up to a slide and other play equipment. She scrambled up the stairs with us 3 guarding all sides and her back. It was the lure of climbing that drew her out of the sandbox.

I wrote a lot yesterday, so be sure to scroll down and catch up. More photos to come.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

National Novel Writing Month

We interrupt this travelogue to let you know that this blogger has signed up to participate in "NaNoWriMo", or National Novel Writing Month (which is November), the aim of which is to help people finish a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. Participants are encouraged to let loved ones know the following: 1) I am a serious writer now, and, 2) As a serious writer, I will not have time for household chores until December.


Anyone care to join me?

pictures from our trip Part 2

Some of the recreational activities at Furnace Creek Ranch:

The pool is fed by a natural spring. It's warm and not full of chlorine. I could have stayed there all day! This was E's first time in a big swimming pool. She enjoyed splashing.

Pictures from our trip Part 1

I'm not going chronologically. Starting with Monday afternoon - Wednesday morning, where we stayed in Death Valley, here's the Furnace Creek Ranch. For some reason pictures show up darker in the blog than they do when I'm just looking at them on my computer, so I'm not sure if you can read the sign over the entrance (above) - it just says Furnace Creek Ranch. There's a Furnace Creek Ranch and a Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley National Park. And a campground.

This last picture is at the AMI welcome dinner in the "Date Grove". Furnace Creek is an oasis in the desert that is Death Valley; and once somebody planted date palms and tried to have an export business selling "Death Valley Dates". It wasn't very successful apparently. Wonder if they held focus groups on that name....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

home again

We got back from our trip Thursday night and spent all day yesterday recovering. It went very well, but we needed rest, E and I. I hope to have some pictures from the trip by Monday.

The flights out to Las Vegas were pleasantly uneventful. E didn't sleep but about an hour the whole day. We stayed at The Stratosphere, because a colleague said it had the best price. If you're not familiar with it, it has a tower that is the tallest structure west of the Rockies (I think), and it has a casino. The hotel lobby and casino are all together on the ground floor, and they make you wind your way through the casino to get to the registration desk, which seems to be at the farthest point possible from the place you park. more later

Saturday, October 14, 2006

next trip and new skills

In case I don't find time tomorrow morning to post, I wanted to let you all know that we're traveling for most of this week. E and "Grandma" and I are leaving on an early afternoon flight, going to my Association for Managers of Innovation meeting in Death Valley National Park, California. We fly into and out of Las Vegas, will spend a night there on either end. I am trying to finish packing tonight, but I just hate doing it. I have E's cold too, which is draining my energy. I'm looking forward to the trip though. We'll be back Thursday night, 19th.

Today Emma was practicing a new movement I call "bopping". Looks like she's dancing in her chair, her shoulders and head bouncing up and down. I first saw it in the grocery cart, then during lunch in her high chair, listening to old-school R&B on the radio. She smiles when she does it, like she knows a secret, and waits for me to bop along with her. (It was easier to dance to R&B music than to bop along to Garrison Keillor's storytelling, which is what was on during dinner.)

I do believe she's saying "cat". It's not a clear 'c' sound, more gutteral, but she says it for dogs, cartoon pictures, and out of the blue when I guess she's just thinking about cats. I heard her say "bye-bye" too, but only once. Sounded more like "blah blah". I thought Baby's First Word would be more of a distinct, dramatic event!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

the world is very global

The title of this post is deliberately inane. Of course it's a global world - that's what global means. But the word global is being thrown around as short hand for other concepts, like multi-cultural, interconnected, "small" (as in the world is getting smaller). My work is giving me a taste of the global life. I log on to my work email every workday morning around 5 am, when my colleagues in our Singapore office are finishing their day (this very day - they're 12 hours ahead). Because they work with a lot of people in the US they are often on email or attending phone meetings at night, not stopping work promptly at 5:00. So sometimes I'm lucky enough to have a "real-time" email exchange during my early pre-work session. When Daylight Savings Time kicks in later this month Singapore will be 13 hours ahead of us, and it's harder to schedule those phone meetings and be online at the same time.

I am adding these odd hours to my work schedule because I've been having trouble getting in to the office at 8 am like I'm supposed to. The odd hours will help me put in enough time to get my work done. I've added an hour on Sunday evenings also (Monday morning in Singapore). I'm a morning person for sure, and it works to my advantage for this! Last night I went to bed at 8:00.

The hardest part of the morning routine is if I get my shower after Emma's awake - she hates to be left alone. She used to fall back asleep after her first waking/nursing, but now she doesn't want to miss anything. So I pull one of our 3 baby containers into the hall (high chair, exer-saucer, playpen) and leave the bathroom door open, and if she fusses I play peekaboo from behind the shower curtain. While I'm in the kitchen she usually stands at the foot of her high chair and plays with the straps. She used to just gnaw on them, but now she tries to fasten them. She's intrigued by fasteners - buckles and straps, snaps.

Editing this post at 6:24 - she's in the playpen playing with baby food jar lids (a great toy, highly recommended).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

11 months old

Eleven months old as of last night, E is becoming a little "toddler". Marie referred to our kids as toddlers the other day and it gave me a sinking feeling in my heart. Of course I'm excited and proud of my daughter's development (if she wasn't growing up I'd be seriously worried!), but I'm also really going to miss having a "baby". Parenthood sure brings a strange mix of emotions doesn't it?

Several months ago I recorded E's first wave, but she never really practiced it til this past weekend. Monday morning when I took her in the bedroom to say goodbye to Daddy for the day, she waved at him without any prompting. Monday evening she would wave whenever I carried her into another room, or when I picked her up and started walking. At Erma's she waved at the cats, and yesterday she waved goodbye to me when I left her there. She seems to associate waving with being carried, and with transition from one place to another.

One worry on my mind - I think she's getting another cold and I wonder how awful that's going to be on our plane trip on Sunday!

Monday, October 09, 2006

it's Monday

We had a busy but fun weekend visiting people in eastern NC. E handled it all well until the trip back to Raleigh Saturday night, when she was furious to wake up and find herself still in that *&)^% car seat. We spent the night at my parents' house. I would have felt like an ogre to put her back in the car and go home. She took about 3 hours to get back to sleep that night, but half of it was spent playing by herself (rather loudly!) in the crib. I guess she was processing all the new input from the two days. She hadn't napped much on Saturday. Yesterday, Sunday, she took a 2 hour nap and went to bed at 6 pm!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Emma and Kaylee have a moment

vt fffffff f c vc c5tg guess who's typuingt
These pictures taken yesterday while I was at work,.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

crawling is faster

So far, she hasn't walked independently since Sunday. But that doesn't matter. Other small changes: she cries when I leave her, she cries when you take something away from her (and looks for it if you try to hide it), she cries more vigorously and insistently when she doesn't want to go in her crib (it can be bone-rattling), and she often prefers playing to nursing. She fights sleep.

E and I and her Grandma are taking a trip in a couple of weeks. I have a work conference in Death Valley California (at a resort in the oasis part!), and my mom agreed to come and babysit. She'll also be a welcome presence during the air travel. We fly into Las Vegas - never been there. I hear the food is fabulous and there's a lot to see without spending money, just in the hotels.

I took a lot of pictures of E playing with the sash of my bathrobe - one of her most favorite toys. That roll of film is now missing. I think Kaylee knocked it under the fridge. Remember when I said the hair/scrub brush was her favorite toy? It fell seriously out of favor - she won't even look at it now. Another favorite toy this last month has been a book called "Goodnight, Baby" that has ribbons attached to it. She loves ribbons. Her friend Mlana gave her a book about rainbows that also has ribbons in it. There was a pop-up rainbow with a sun peeking over, but the sun got eaten and there's a dent in the rainbow. That book is taking a rest now.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

big news

Emma started walking by herself on Sunday (October 1st)! She hasn't really "taken off" yet and we're not pushing her, but she definitely knows how to do it. David and I both were there to see it -- I steadied her, and David held the plush frog that she wanted, she walked between us. She did this once or twice again.

It was a nice treat for me -- cheered me up, as I was suffering a migraine that day, lying on the floor dozing while she played in the living room.