Sunday, December 31, 2006

vacation day 4 - canoeing

These are just the beginning of the pictures. More in another post.

The day begins - she discovers Sesame Street.

On land, pre-launch.

Emma is sleepy. I held the camera out in front of us to capture her yawn.

playing in the canoe on land

Daddy paddled the first leg up the river.

Sleepy girl in my lap. The life jacket was too fat for her to get her thumb in her mouth, so she was pretty upset. I had to nurse her on my lap in the canoe as David paddled along. Not as hard to do as I would have thought!

It put her to sleep.

sleeping, gliding... The grass you see in the water is under the water - it's that clear.

My new computer wallpaper, this one. The upside down heart is a decoration left from our wedding 5 years ago. It's painted so that you see it right side up when you look through the car windshield.
We went about 2 miles up the Silver River, David paddling mostly solo. Then we switched positions and I paddled mostly solo downriver. It was a beautiful day.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

3rd B29

David took this cute pic with the 3rd B-29 in the background.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

vacation day 2 -- Museum of Aviation

Another B-29 was at the Museum of Aviation, Warner-Robins, Georgia.

This is it, or rather, part of it.

David broke into a grin when we rounded the corner into this hangar. He was in his element, taking pictures of various parts of the plane.

Emma touched the tip of one of the propellers.

This picture barely gets the whole plane in the frame, wingtip to wingtip. Several smaller planes were parked under its wings.

The last B-29 was at a veterans memorial park somewhere, rusting away outdoors. Emma and I didn't go up to it. We watched ants on the sidewalk.


vacation day 3 -- Silver Springs

We visited Silver Springs theme park, in Florida, on our vacation.

We rode the famous glass-bottomed boats.
Emma looking at the people who are all looking through the glass bottom. The light green you see here is the river bottom.
This is one of the boats.

This is how clear the water is. You can see all the way to the bottom.

One of the animals on exhibit: a capybara. No, I don't remember anything else about it - look it up and send me a comment!

Don't remember what this one was either - a very small deer.

At the entrance to Silver Springs.
Emma didn't want any ice cream that day.

Safely watching lazy caged alligators at the park. Tourists want to see alligators - better round up a bunch of them and pile them on top of each other in a small space with unobstructed view.

Forgot what kind of crane or heron this was too. But it's pretty.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

vacation day 1

We left on Friday Dec 15, around E's bedtime, drove to somewhere I've forgotten already (probably due to the headache). The next morning I pretty sick and very slow moving, so we left the motel about noon and headed to find the first of 3 B-29 bombers existing in the State of Georgia.

do I need to type the Beatles song lyric for this?

close up of the baby driver -- now wait, I'd forgotten about the Paul Simon song too

the B-29 (world war II airplane), on an air reserve base in Marietta, Georgia

adorable as she unpacks my bag for me in the motel (another place I've already forgotten)

reading the camera manual

one happy baby, who stayed up late


we're home

Temporarily. Great vacation! I'm so glad we went. David gave me my Christmas gift early, a digital camera. Got to download pictures today and I'll post some soon.

Only real problem was a "digestive issue" that E and I both had. But we felt fine, so we worked around it. Went through a lot of Huggies.

I need to go finish my Christmas shopping and get some laundry moving, so I'll sign off for now. We leave again tomorrow afternoon, for 3 nights at the grandparents'. The cats are going to LOVE that. Will probably leave us more "statements" of their distress. They would each be wonderful Only Cats. But it feels wrong to choose one to give away.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

doubtful about meeting larger than life characters

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

vacation destination

This (Ocala, Florida) is where we're headed on vacation this weekend, same place David and I have been going for 5 years (except last year). This will be the longest trip I've packed for since E was born, 8 days. And by far the longest car trip. We're going to break it up into at least 2 segments, staying one day in Georgia somewhere south of Atlanta to see a B-29 (historic world war 2 airplane). We'll drive a lot at night/evening, so that E is more likely to sleep. The car will be so full there's not likely space for one of us to sit in back with her - but we'll figure out how to do that if she doesn't sleep. I hate riding in the car for long stretches, especially when it's crammed full of things, but the good thing is it's conducive to conversation (if we're both in the front seat).

We plan to try her out in the canoe, sitting up front between my knees, wearing her life jacket, staying far away from any sleepy alligators. That may not be the thing we spend most time doing, but to me it's the highlight. I always look forward to canoeing those crystal-clear waters in the warm-but-not-hot weather.

Now I feel like I should start packing. That's the stressful part.

There will be no blog postings December 16 - 23rd - sorry! Maybe Marie will pick up my slack :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

how they change

I think this picture is from about a year ago.

She has the same expression, but her hair, eyes, and skin have all lightened a lot since then.

Today is Monday. Last Monday before vacation. I have way too much to do at work. I have a lot to do at home. But I always scrape by. This was a good weekend. David and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary and E spent her first night without me at Grandma and Grandpa's. It sounds like she didn't even notice I wasn't there.

I'm eating chocolate-covered peanuts for breakfast. You tell yourself you deserve these things. Small comforts. Then someone you know gets a sudden and severe allergic reaction, and chocolate-nut combinations suddenly take on the dangerous thrill of extreme sports. I'm living on the edge, here!

Friday, December 08, 2006

see RLS comments on previous blog post

Thanks for the tips! I have always wondered how I could learn to do a headstand without having someone standing there helping me - the hallway method is a great idea.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

restless legs and mind

Have you heard of Restless Legs Syndrome? Yes, there really is such a thing. I had it bad when I was pregnant, and looked up stuff on the Web. I found out I really didn't have it as bad as some people do. What it did to me mainly was keep me from falling asleep. Other people are prevented from sitting still even long enough to take a plane trip or go to the movies! It's a very difficult feeling to describe, having "restless" legs. You just feel like you have to move them. It's like trapped energy, but different than an ordinary "tense" feeling. One person online described the feeling this way: imagine your legs and arms (they can be affected too) are hollow, and then imagine someone taking a really long bottle brush and running it up inside your hollow limbs, tickling and irritating them. Some people get relief by walking or running. The only thing that relieved the feeling for me was jerking and twitching my legs, giving in to the spasms they wanted to have. I slept on the couch a lot back then.

It's coming back, just a little. I found two things that reduced the severity of my "RLS" before - eating a lot of bananas, and doing yoga.

Then there's the restless mind problem. I have talked to enough people (all women, coincidentally?) who suffer this along with me, so I know it's "real" but I doubt it has a proper name. That's what I'm getting more and more now. If something wakes me up and a thought pops in my head, it wakes up other thoughts which are often adrenalin-producing, so before I know it I'm awake for a few more hours. My body will still feel exhausted, but my mind is going full force. If my body weren't so tired, I could just get up and do something useful, but instead I tend to lie there and fret.

I used to watch recorded episodes of "Nova" (or other documentary type programs) to help me fall asleep - they were stimulating enough to keep my mind from wandering, but boring enough to not keep me awake. I learned a few things about science, history, and airplanes. Guess it's time to pull those out again. Unfortunately for my purposes, documentary programmers in recent years have been trying to make their shows more visually stimulating (supposedly to engage, as David calls it, "the youth demographic"), with flashing graphics, creative reenactments, dramatic voices, etc. Some of the efforts come across as rather pathetic. The long special episode on "string theory" for example, had nothing for you to look at other than talking heads of scientists and illustrations of atom particles (that's all there is to see in string theory!). So they would do silly things like draw in flashing neon-looking lights behind the talking heads. That wasn't enough to keep me awake!

Speaking of awake, someone else is now. She's staying home with Daddy today. I'm envious.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

singing and talking on the phone

This weekend E started "talking" when she holds the phone to her ear. You can tell it's not the normal jabber because the volume goes up (just like I do when I talk on the phone!) and she says "heh-dah" (hello) and kind of a certain "yah-yah-yah-yah". She'll even walk down the hall while she talks. She already knew that you point the remote control at the tv, but decided that it also makes a good telephone. And she'll even just put her hand over her ear and talk. She did that last night when she was in her crib winding down for bed and the phone rang. David said she looked up, put her hand over her ear, said her yah-yahs, and then went back to what she was doing.

I had been singing "the eensy-weensy spider" to her, just a few times, with the hand motions, and on Saturday after I sang it once she copied me by just sort of generally fluttering her hands and making variations of "yah" sounds in a loud continuous voice. I had also sung "twinkle twinkle little star" to her a couple of times since and she was very attentive. In the car coming home last night I sang it and she imitated, this time pitching her voice very high and having more inflection in the "ah" sounds. All y'all good singers out there need to help her with this. I will only be able to teach her "creative" habits, like mixing keys and changing notes every time you sing the same song!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Emma's hobbies

SWF, 1YO, Scorpio, 2'4", 20lbs, seeking playdates with anyone who enjoys these hobbies:

climbing stairs,

playing with blocks (most fun if sitting in a box),

country dancing,

playing with straps and buckles,

town planning ("let's move Main Street over here..."),

making music,
and carrying things, especially shoes.

So, give me a call and let's get together.

I've got the keys, I'll drive!

hi there

It's 4:24 am and I've been awake about 2 hours. Thinking about our upcoming vacation to Florida and all the things that will be different with a toddler. When my mind landed on the image of a hungry alligator and how much of a toddler might fit in its jaws, I knew it was time to get up and do the dishes - or something.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

blogging and blessings

Well, National Novel Writing Month is over, and I didn't make the target word count. I got up to 7,140 though, which is I think the only fiction writing I've done in about 10 years. So to me that's a degree of success. I've been thinking about writing as a vocation. I do feel "called" to it in some way, but maybe novels aren't the place to start. It's no problem at all for me to write a blog, not much problem to keep a paper journal, and I love writing letters. Even some emails are a joy to me to write - when I'm expressing an opinion or explaining an idea. So how do I build on the writing I already do easily, and from there stretch myself into the more challenging things? And eventually get something published? And get paid for it?? If any of you blog readers have ideas, please pass them along. And if anyone knows a literary agent, please give me their name.

The novel I was working on never achieved a title, and I don't want to give away any more of the idea than I have to a few of you, in case I do actually go on to write it properly. It has elements of the "friendship" theme I mentioned, but perhaps more of it started to fall into the theme of "facing fears and flaws" and "growing a backbone". I'm using some of my own experiences (of course, as one should!), including divorce and pregnancy. The main character is tall, smart, successful in her career, about my age, but prettier and not as nice as I am!

I was asked to say the blessing at one of my Thanksgiving meals, and I think what I came up with on the spot was rather lame. I've been thinking about blessings since then, and of course there are all the big ones that I can't begin to express sufficient gratitude for (like health, families that get along, having a healthy child, working part time, still being married!). But the little blessings don't often get much air time, and I started a list of them. Even small things like this can make a huge difference in quality of life, and I'm aware that lots of people don't have them.

Many fell mostly into the "material goods" category, including:
-- a space heater in my bathroom
-- flannel pajamas
-- tea with milk, in a big mug
-- my own washer and dryer
-- photos capturing most of my life so far
-- pens that write smoothly and don't smear
-- windows that open on 3 sides of the house
-- a comfortable couch
-- sidewalks in my neighborhood
-- the Internet

Others are kind of "material things or situations with an emotional effect":
-- cats who like for me pet them
-- a hairdresser who understands my hair and whom I like
-- mementos from my trip to Nepal
-- the baby monitor that I'm listening to right now, to hear Emma talking to herself as she settles down for a nap
-- coming home from work to see that David has mowed the grass or cleaned the kitchen
-- having all my journals that I've kept in my life, I think all in one place
-- having dishes that belonged to my grandmothers and that I remember seeing or using at their houses
-- a comfortable rocking chair in Emma's room

Still other little blessings are purely experiential:
-- being able to recognize people's voices easily
-- the way my fingers remember a telephone number even when my mind doesn't
-- days when I don't have to go anywhere
-- those first moments when people are happy to see me
-- the feel of Emma's little hands clutching my pants legs
-- (and this one's actually not so little) nights when I sleep through with no interruption at all

If you have little blessings you'd like to tell people about, please post a comment or send me an email and I'll post them for you.

Friday, December 01, 2006

first life jacket

From E's birthday:

putting on the life jacket

walking around - it has a useful handle on top

practicing floating

getting ready to crawl away

not getting very far! She couldn't get her arms underneath herself to push up.

Get me out of this thing

Remember, everyone, Safety First!