Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cue Music

Jason got the first disc of season six of Scrubs from Netflix yesterday. On the first disc is the Scrubs: the Musical! episode. We couldn't resist staying up to watch it.

So, a little Guy Love shout out to all my peeps (you know I'm talking about you, Won).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So, About the Drool on the Granger's Poetry

Jason had a Session meeting tonight in Wilmington, so he brought Baby Girl to the library as he has to do on these nights in order to make it to the meeting in time. When they got there, I was still finishing up with a cart of books at my desk. They were all reference books, and I didn't want to leave the evening staff with the whole lot of them, so Baby Girl and I headed out to the shelves to put them up. She had a great time out in the Stacks discovering that she could see people's shins though the holes in between the books.

It was such a pleasure to be able to put her down and to walk around with her behind me, something which has been in short supply for the last couple of weeks. I see her personality changing, and I often wonder if it is a function of her growing brain development, or if her personality is genuinely changing, or if she just has a head cold. Regardless, it was nice to see again the one who I have come to think of as Baby Girl, and not the devil-spawn, some-whine-with-that-cheese-?, laugh-riot She-Ra that she parades about as from time to time.

God, I love this kid . . . I must do. She's the only one allowed to shriek at me until--for the love of all that is holy--I get her a graham cracker.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

And What Will the Robin Do Then, / Poor Thing?

I got up this morning to look out at the back yard to see that all of our leaves have fallen over the last weekend, that frosts are laying upon the land like sugar topping, and that winter is merely a gentle breath away from the North Wind.

It is a good day.

Yesterday I lazed around sleeping and trying not to be sick (it worked, yeah!) and I ended up at one point watching high school football on the television. I should be clear, I don't watch sports. I wouldn't know a bull from a bear, and when presented with sports questions I tend to be more interested in things like, why the American and National league? What's the difference (I have yet to find anyone that can tell me, including someone I know who did a cruise-by with the Minors)?
So, that being said, let's suffice it to say it was odd that I watched this game. But it was the State 6A championship game between Joliet Catholic Academy (JCA) and Lemont High School. JCA is a private school (parochial) in the area and their football teams are well known. Obviously there are parents who choose the school not only because of its excellent academics, but also because their child shines in some particular way in a sport. What I am saying is that by sheer will of choice and demographics, of course JCA has excellent players. That aside, however, these young men are phenoms. I watched an organization of men that played like those three or four years their senior. It was spectacular.
Needless to say, JCA won (trounced Lemont is more like it). During the game the newscaster on the scene in Champaign (the games for the championships were played at the Illini stadium) talked to various parents. One thing that really resonated with me as she asked her mundane but well-meant questions was how awe-inspiring it is to watch your child do these amazing things when they are on the cusp of adulthood. Right now, Baby Girl is so little and she will be dependent on us for some time to come, but there will come a day that I will look at her and see her as a full human being, someone who is no longer a part of me, but has become someone unto herself with her own talents and gifts graced by God. I find myself as excited to meet that person who she will become as I was to meet her initially.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oh, the Irony ...

The day after the Day of the Celebration of all that is Food I could not keep any food down.

Ah, at least the flu has a sense of humor.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We Gather Together . . .

It's Thanksgiving and it's been a lovely day. Baby Girl was the most chipper I have seen her in over a week. She seems to be getting her groove-thing back on.
We had a stupendous day, and it went so smoothly, that I just sat back and enjoyed it. I must admit, I didn't get a single picture, not even of Baby Girl sitting on the lap of her Uncle Ian while he played a video game. But we did have a good meal and a really enjoyable day with, of course, Pepto Bismol Pink Cranberry Relish because it just wouldn't quite be Thanksgiving without it.
So, since I don't have pictures to commemorate the day's accomplishments, I'll leave you with the menu. I had just as much fun making it as I think everyone did eating it.
Grace be with you.

Starters and Mid-Day Snack
Butternut Squash Soup
Smoked Salmon Pate
Baked Camembert with Pecans
Artichoke Bruschetta
Baguette Rounds and Crackers

Autumn Vegetable Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
Roasted Turkey with Horseradish Cranberry Relish
Walnut-Cranberry Corn Bread Stuffing
Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Puff
Roasted Green Beans with Vinaigrette
Potato and Squash Mash
Cloverleaf Rolls
Apple Butter

Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Brandied Whipped Cream

Ruby Port

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I have never needed a worm that much ...

Black Friday: I think it must be called that because we're in mourning for our conscience.

It's wrong; it just feels wrong.

Friday, November 16, 2007

This House be Infected with the Plague

We have a Sick Baby Girl.

In the course of the last few days she has had a fever, copious amounts of nose goo, vomiting, slight diarrhea, and general lethargy and clinginess.

This has inspired in us slight bouts of nausea, worry, lack of sleep, and we've watched lots of Scrubs and Simpsons while we hold her and she stares absently out of the window.

She's doing better, but the ol' Blog has suffered a little in this process (as has all of our Social Networking sites).
So, we won't be clogging the internet tubes this month. C'est la vie.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Like a nice Tillamook Cheddar

I just finished watching a movie Jason got from Netflix, The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. It turns out that it's a franchise, and there is already another one on DVD.
It was the most ridiculous, obviously over-the-top, Indiana Jones wanna-be.
I think I need to go adjust my Netflix queue; excuse me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

At the Twilight's Last Gleaming ...

In order to help fulfill my patriotic duty on this Veteran's Day, I watched the presidential debate from the end of October. I have a personal appeal to the participants of the presidential candidacy process:
Please, please, please, please, for the love of all that is holy, find new metaphors, ok? No more carrots, sticks, thorns, sticky situations, big challenges, drumbeats, red-line, crystal clear, inches and miles, and, please, no more saber-waving. Just a few new analogies. You're all college educated; break out and find a way to talk about these things like you're not trying to teach a room of third graders about who you want to be when you grow up.
(oh, and if it's not too much trouble, could we ditch the vigorous diplomacy, tell the truth mode, abundantly clear, responsible manner, actions have consequences talk? Thanks so much.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

O that the earth which kept the world in awe / Should patch a wall t'expel the winter's flaw.

On WBEZ, the repeated This American Life wasn't the episode of Harold Washington, as on their website, but the one about Shakespeare done by a prison community.
I think I've heard this episode about half a dozen times and I never get tired of it. It's a good listen. I always learn something new and revelatory.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Near the Edges of Meaning

I read several blogs , and while a couple are industry things and technology things that I aggregate in my Google Reader, there is a whole section of blogs that I check in with personally to see how they're doing (btw, writing this post has inspired me to update my blogroll down there, something I hadn't done in a while, so you may see some new things).
I got turned on to Sweet Juniper! recently. It was Dutch's post about a certain online parenting mag that drew me in. Dutch has a great sardonic wit and I enjoy finding out what this self-extracted-from-the-rat-race, stay-at-home Dad née Lawyer is up to.
Today I stumbled upon him to find this, and, well, you just have to go have a look, because it would be unethical of me to just stick the picture up here.
As I got to looking, its part of a whole series he sticks under the label Friday Morning Street Urchin Blogging. These are pictures that just tear at me in the most exquisite sort of way. There is a deep repository of humanity, story, and meaning in each moment. If you don't feel up to exploring the whole series, let me just direct you here and here.
Now, I have no idea why he posts these, I don't understand what the point is. I mean, maybe there is no point. Maybe he, like me, just thinks these are fascinating, beautiful things which deserve notice. I don't really know, and it's that ambiguity of meaning that I'm most ok with. Life doesn't have to present itself for answers. It doesn't need to. After all, we're human; finding and assigning meaning--especially where none exists--is part of what humanity does. But there is that space before we assign meaning that life is ambiguous, and I relish that moment.

We have a friend who is part of a non-traditional ministry for the Presbyterian Church (I don't think it's untoward of me, so I will pop a little link in to it here for those that are interested). Lately, our friend has been getting some flack. There are those in our Presbytery--which is one of the principal suppliers of his funding--who take issue with how he finds meaning in this whole exercise known as the Church. See, I like Won because he, too, is comfortable with ambiguity. I believe that the journey to meaning is just as interesting as arriving there. There are those in our Presbytery who don't want to be on the journey; they have 'arrived' and seem to believe that if you haven't arrived with them you walk treacherously close to heresy.

But then I look at the Urchins that Dutch has posted and I remember that living on the edge is what humanity, God's creation, does most. I also happen to think it is one of the things that we do best. On the edge, when we are facing our own failings, and looking square into the face of ambiguity . . . that is the journey I am interested in taking.

We have some friends and acquaintances who are in transition right now. I so desperately want to be able to look each one of them in the face and tell them, it will be ok, it will get better, surely it will get better.
But I can not, I dare not, because I do not know that. What I do know is that being unsure and feeling like you're floundering is not a symbol of failure or a cause for reticence: it's a sign that you're human.

I don't know why Dutch puts up his street urchins and maybe some day he'll describe what it's all about, but I hope not. I don't need or want someone else to assign the meaning for me, I am so content with finding it on my own, I am so in love with the journey. My dear friends, I wish I could give that to you. The journey is hard and the journey is long, but along the way there is so much joy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ring Around the Rosie

When she got home tonight from daycare, after dinner she was playing at her cabinet in the kitchen. I looked over and she was carefully spinning around and around in place with a look of fierce concentration on her face.
Obviously she's working on a new skill set.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

So, The Big Day Came ...

Last week, as you may know, Baby Girl turned 15 months old.
This week, because she is ready for the Toddler Room, she started daycare two days a week.
Today is her first day.

Now, originally I wasn't at all worried about her heading off to day care. When we went to tour the facility a couple of weeks ago, all three of us, when we went into the toddler room, she got down and played with the toys, enjoying all of the new things to interact with. The kids themselves were outside at the time, so she didn't understand that there would be other children. Then, after I picked her up and we were heading to the door, all of the kids, who had been outside playing, came in. She took one look at that line of kids coming in the door and started waving and saying, "hi!" like they were coming into her house.

This morning was no exception. When we got there, she squirmed to get down, wanting to see what these other kids were doing, wanting to see how she could join in the play. She barely gave me a second glance and, even after I reached over and gave her a brief hug and a quick peck, her cry of indignation at my departure was short lived. By the time I got to the front of the building, I could see on the closed circuit television that she had hopped down off of the lap of one of the caregivers and was already moving on to the next thing.

It was an odd thing moving down that hallway, heading out that door, getting in my car, and driving away. I've always left her with people we know when she isn't with Jason. That walk down the hallway was a long one, and definitely one that signaled a juncture, for all of us.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

All Re-Hydrated and Ready To Go

Last night Baby Girl didn't sleep so well. It would seem that she is definitely working on some tooth options. She woke me up at 1:30 and I didn't get back into a deep sleep until 5:20, about a half an hour before my alarm goes off.

Jason asked me if I was ok before he walked out the door this morning. I told him that I was just frazzled from the poor sleep. I explained that I was a frazzled, dried husk. He told me that at least it was my night to go swimming at the Y, so I could get all nice and re-hydrated.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Can't Trust That Day

Baby Girl was particularly cling-y this Monday Morning and I was happy to send her off in her father's arms at 9:30 so I could go to work (even if the day proved that the Mamas and the Papas called it back in the 60s).
Later in the day Jason observed that she was biting, a lot, so maybe there is method to the madness that was her disposition this morning.

Work was fixing all of the little things that had either 'broke' or limped along since I was there on Wednesday. It was kind of an excruciating sort of day, but that's Monday. It made me feel called to share this picture on Flickr, because I think someone wrote it after a day like today:

(click on the picture if you can't read the signs)

While the days may be tedious, at least I don't work in passive-aggressive Library Land. What's up with that? I mean, if you want to give me money, and it's cash, then I'm going to take it.

It's like today I had another library call me because they had a patron who came in and wanted to pay for a book that she had damaged. The library called me because they wanted to know why I told the patron she could pay for it at their library.
Ummmm, because she wants to give you money? Wait, is this a trick question?

Oh, and I have discovered that in addition to saving the environment one mailer and plastic bag at a time, I apparently am also doing it one gear at a time ... but only if I'm a good driver (which I am on Tuesdays).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

One of these things is doing its own thing

I think, when you have a baby, there is a special hormonal thing that happens to your ears.

We went to the grocery store today and, when it was time to leave and get her bundled back into her coat, I put away her snack cup and her drink cup (we go prepared to the grocery store; we don't want to get the munchies in the middle of the cookie aisle). But she wanted them--now--and she spent the walk from the cashier to the door letting everyone at the front of the store know about it.

I have discovered, though, that these little whines, shrieks, grunts, pathetic whimpers, and indignant snorts seem to bounce off of my psyche. In fact, if you were to watch the two of us, it's like she and I are having two different conversations:

(Melissa puts lid on snack cup and puts it into bag)
Baby Girl: ehhhhhhhh ...
Melissa: It's time to get your coat on.
Baby Girl: (pointing) ehhhh-ehhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Melissa: (pushing Baby's Girl's arm inside of coat) It's time to go outside and it's cold so we have to put on our coats to go outside.
Baby Girl: (insistent, forgoing the pointing as obviously Mom is as thick as a brick) uuuueeeeeeeeehhhhhhhuuuuuuhhhhhhhh.
Melissa: (in a hushed tone of voice) Yes, I know that you want more snacks, but it's time to go outside and you have had plenty.
Baby Girl: (shrieking now, arching her back, and wailing for the happenstance passerby to get her the hell away from this Lady, Call DCFS, and give her back the goldfish) uheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Melissa: (zipping up Baby Girl's and her coat) Ok, we're all ready.

What I really don't know how it has happened is the fact that this doesn't faze me. I don't even have the foggiest clue as to whether other people are derisive of our scene or sympathetic. Instead of noticing how other people are regarding us or even rising to the occasion (as I would have done pre-Baby Girl), I get quieter and quieter until one of us has effectively had a time out. Granted, it's not usually the one of us that needed the time out, but I feel better for it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I wouldn't say I was fastidious, but you might ...

Today was our open house, which went very well. It never ceases to amaze me how much fun I have throwing these little events considering the fact that I really don't like talking to people very much.
Of course, Jason would want it to be pointed out that it's not actually the party, itself, that I like so much, but the planning of the party that I enjoy so immensely.
Then to prove his point, he would want to bring as evidence a couple of pictures that I took of the day's events:
100_6381 100_6393

You'll notice that there aren't any people in these pictures. That's because I took all of these before the people arrived, when all of my preparations were still pristine and untouched.

I suppose he's known me long enough it is possible that he just might be right.

So, it was a good day, and Baby Girl is down for bed. Daylight Savings turns off tonight, so Jason is in playing video games like his life depends on it and I'm snuggled up in my pristinely clean house with a cup of coffee and one of my pumpkin bars.
See you in the morning.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Spidey Sense

I took off of work yesterday and decided to treat myself to sleeping in until she slept. You see, over the last two weeks since we got back from KC, she has taken to sleeping until 7:30, sometimes 7:45 (I think she suspects that Daylight Savings Time is getting ready to end, so she's resetting her clock).

Well, she decided yesterday that 7:05 was a wonderful time to wake up. The first time that she had done that in well over 10 days.

This morning in anticipation of needing to get moving early, I got up at 6:30 to shower, make coffee, and start laying out the baking order of the day. I think you see where this is going; she slept until 7:50.

I'm beginning to think she has a camera trained on my pillow and a vaguely maniacal sense of humor.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Writing my way through the next 30 days . . .

I have rather erudite readers out there, so I imagine most of you have heard of National Novel Writing Month. Well, there is a counter-point movement, National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo. You may have noticed my little badge over there on the right.

When I started this intellectual exercise (is that what the kiddies are calling self-aggrandizing behavior on the internet these days?) back in April, I mainly did it as a way to share the verbal story-type stuff of living with Baby Girl that I never managed to capture on film, still or otherwise. Some of our honor roll of these moments, if I may say so myself, are here, here, here, and here.

However, as time has pushed on, and I've managed to get more sleep, I have found that it is good to be writing again. I miss the grumpy nitpicky-ness that really shines out of my soul when I write (this is made all the better as it is directed inward). So I've joined NaBloPoMo. You can cruise on over to the site to read more. Suffice it to say you're going to see a lot more random blurts from my blog in order to fulfill my post-a-day quota. I have been toying with some additional 'rules' for myself, but those are still a-bubblin', so we'll hold those off for another time.

Oh, one more housekeeping type thing; I've changed how many posts appear on the front page, as I know some of you are occasional visitors. It'll make it a bit easier to see the last couple of blurts without all of the cumbersome action of clicking on the archives.

Ok, we good? Excellent. Let's begin.

Homina, homina, homina

I want one.

Eye-Fi SD Memory Card via Photojojo