Friday, March 31, 2006


The check from Everyday Hogwash actually came! I'm $200 richer, and Gabe says I can spend it on anything I want. So...$20 goes off to St. Jude's Children's Hospital (my charity of choice for extra windfalls). But now I have $180 to spend on anything.

This is difficult. There are lots and lots and lots of things that I'd like to have. It is a very long list. But $180 compared to that list suddenly seems like not very much money at all. I like to think of it as lots of money, so I don't like to compare it to the list.

Out of the many wishful thinking desires, the one I think I complain about most is a lack of really nice clothing. (Gabe can attest to just how often I complain about this!) I've been buying clothes from Target and Mervyns for years, but the tug of Ann Taylor and Liz Claiborne have never quite been overcome. After all, when it comes down to three servicable shirts vs. half a truly beautiful shirt, usually the former wins.

But, oh, the tug of beauty! A few days ago I gave into some internet window shopping, and filled my "shopping cart" with $163. 99 of Liz Claiborne clothing. Nothing ridiculous, mind you, just a lovely skirt, two 3/4 length sleeve shirts (cotton, so they'll wash!) and two sleeveless tops. Ok, so the price is ridiculous. But all prices are ridiculous today, so I'm going to pretend I didn't notice. Gabe came home that night and was greeted by sighs of longing, and the question "what would you do if I just bought these?" Evidently that isn't an option. More sighs of longing.

But, then came the check! The lovely, glorious check. The check that is more than what I wanted to spend on Liz Claiborne! No more sighs of longing...I can buy with impunity!

But wait, there is another dilemma. What size do I buy?

For those of you who are not mothers, this question may seem silly. But consider:

1) I am currently in between sizes. Size A needs a belt to stay up and size B only fits in the morning before breakfast.

2) I would like another baby. Babies grow inside mommies, creating a truly amazing expansion. If I were to actually have another baby in the near future, it would be wise to be wearing nice clothing in size A, so that they have a chance of fitting for more than a week.

3) If I do not have a baby, I have high hopes of continuing back to my pre-Jonathan size. Which is more like size B. Thus, if I buy my lovely nice clothes in size A, in a month or two they will no longer fit.

Dear readers, this is truly a difficulty. Suggestions are implored. If they are not forthcoming, perhaps I will take another look at my list.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Doing things the hard way. :)

Jonathan plays hard, practices hard, sleeps hard, and cries hard. This mom is tired from trying to keep up! Everything he does is just so intense. When he plays, it occupies him entirely. Often that means it needs to occupy me entirely, too! He can play peekaboo over, around, and through the coffee table with me endlessly. He loves practicing walking, usually around me as I sit on the floor, or holding my hands or my pant legs as I move (very, very, very slowly!) from room to room. Chores don't happen fast around here. ;) All this intensity equals one very tired boy, and sometimes I think that he actually ought to sleep more than his body actually does sleep. He gets cranky to the point of screaming hysterically whenever he is put down for so much as a second...displays all the signs of needing to go to bed...but what do you do, put him to bed at 5pm? So we struggle through the last two hours of our day. Play hard, practice hard, and Mommy works really hard to keep Jonathan from crying hard.

It's almost 5pm. I'm off to help my crying son. :)

There isn't much nicer...

than waking up in the morning with sunshine coming in through your window, a tiny boy snuggled in bed with you, and realizing that you got over 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and that you feel good.

*blissful sigh*

Jonathan seems to have completely made the switch to full nights of sleep. He nurses off to dreamland, transfers into his crib, and then doesn't wake up until 5am or so to nurse. Which means that I don't have to really wake up until, oh, 6am or thereabouts.

Sometimes I think I'm crazy to want another newborn. :)

Friday, March 24, 2006

In n Out

Not the restaurant. :) Jonathan has figured out how to put things into and take things out of baskets, boxes, bowls, buses (toy ones, that is). His favorite so far seems to be taking laundry out of the basket. Clean laundry, dirty laundry - he's not picky as long as I don't disturb him as he strews it all over the floor. :) The nice thing is that with a little encouragement, he'll also put it all back IN.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


This morning when Gabe came out of the bedroom, Jonathan turned around, grinned, and said “DA-dee!!!!!” I think he’s connected the word to the person. :)

In other news:

Jonathan can crawl awfully fast. And he increases his pace to match how badly he wants something.

He’s playing peek-a-boo consistently, and it is often self-initiated. He’ll peek around a corner at us, disappear, peek again, and laugh when we catch on to what he’s doing and say those magic words “peek a boo!!”

The vacuum cleaner used to be a big, scary, horrible monster. But it might be ok now. Yesterday I had to vacuum because company was coming over and it had been way too long since the floor was clean. I took the opportune moment when Jonathan was happily occupied outside on the patio to go get the vacuum cleaner. Of course, by the time I got it out of the closet, Jonathan was working on coming back inside. I turned it on at the other end of the room, warning Jonathan that it was about to be “noisy!” Well, it roared to life, and Jonathan scooted backward so fast! …it really was funny, although I tried not to laugh at the poor kid. His face crumpled and he really wailed. So I left the vacuum turned on, but came and picked him up and comforted him and talked to him about it. When he calmed down we walked over to the still-running vacuum, and he was ok if I held him and vacuumed at the same time. But it’s very hard to vacuum carpet with a 21 lb baby on your hip! So after awhile I took him back outside with some toys (vacuum cleaner still running!) and helped him get interested in them again. It worked! I went back and vacuumed the rest of the room, and Jonathan was ok! He even dared to come inside and follow me around a bit, although he was careful to leave quite a bit of space between himself and the noisy monster. I was proud of my brave boy. And glad that my floor was finally clean again. :)

Side note: This is why everything seems to take ten times as long to complete when you have a baby. It really does! Vacuuming the floor used to just be vacuuming the floor - now it is:

1) distract the baby
2) turn on vacuum cleaner
3) comfort the baby
4) vacuum part of the floor slowly with baby in arms
5) distract the baby
6) vacuum part of the floor
7) distract the baby
8) vacuum the rest of the floor
9) pick up the baby
10) put away the vacuum cleaner

Ok, now I just made myself laugh and I feel better for not vacuuming the whole house. :)

And last of all, I have grand new goals for work outs and weight loss. Check with me tomorrow to see if I still want to stick with them. Yesterday I tried out a “couch to 5K” running program that I heard of from Amber. It seems like it is actually do-able (and this from someone who HATES running!) And this morning I tried a new “baby dance” workout video, and Jonathan and I really enjoyed it! We only did the “warm-up/light exercise” routines this morning, because according to the running program today is a rest day, but it was lots of fun. The dance is very simple and intuitive, which is nice since I’m definitely not very coordinated when it comes to dance. Anyway, I’m feeling good (endorphins are great, aren’t they?) and hoping that with this new variety I’ll be more interested and inclined to stick with workouts. Jonathan is almost 1 year old and I’m sick and tired of being 8 lbs overweight. Wish me luck and keep me accountable, will you please?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


You have to watch this. It is worth letting your dial-up connection work on for awhile. (Just turn the sound down, walk away, and come back in twenty minutes.) It's worth it. :)

Hat tip to Sarah for this one. Sarah, dear sister, how do you find stuff like this???

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Two weeks from today I will receive a black belt in Tang Soo Do. Before that happens I have to make it through a high level exam. Yikes.

I wasn't feeling very "yikes" about it until this morning. Actually, I was mostly feeling a combination of apathy and frustration. I just wanted it to be over so that I could have something to show for these many years of work, and then STOP. I guess part of me still feels that way. But now there is another part that is, frankly, terrified.

You see, this morning I participated in a karate tournament. It was a stupid tournament. One of those pathetic situations where "competition" is actually randomly selected teams who are "all winners", and where three teams of four all get second place. God forbid any of these children learn anything about true competition. But that is another issue.

I decided to participate because I wanted to sort of practice being "on the spot". I haven't done a real karate test for something like two years, and a black belt test is a big deal. So I guess I just wanted to know what pressure would do to me.

Now I know.

I was doing a form that I know really well. I went through it this morning at home and knew it cold. At the tournament before I was called up I was able to be calm and focused and in mokso. I said my name, the name of my school, and the form I would be doing in a reasonably modulated voice. And then when I began the form, my body betrayed me. My knees shook, my hands shook...have you ever tried to do something that requires balance when your knees don't want to hold you up? And frankly, shaking hands don't do much to add to the "look how tough I am" impression. Sigh. The way I wanted it to go, the way I visualized it happening, just didn't materialize. And the frustrating thing is that I don't know what to do about it. How do you make your body behave when what happens seems to be entirely out of your control?

I did everything right leading up to it. Focus, calm, deep breathing, visualization, feeling heavy. And somehow it all flew away when I needed it.

So I'm left looking forward two weeks, and being very, very, very worried. I'm already concerned about this test, just because I'm not in the physical or emotional shape that I expected to be in approaching my black belt exam. I'm trying to come to terms with that. Adding the fear that two weeks from today will go very much like today is just awful.

I want to do well on my test. It won't be perfect (no one's black belt test is perfect) but I want to do well. I wish today had given me more reason to believe that could happen.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Naming things

Remember a few days ago I posted that I thought Jonathan might know that his bus was a "bus"? Well, I'm sure of it now. He also knows that Pooh Bear is "Pooh Bear". I discovered this when I was trying to finish something and keep Jonathan from fussing at the same time. I rather distractedly said "Jonathan, where is your Pooh Bear? Can you go get your Pooh Bear?" And then was shocked when he crossed the room, and a few minutes later came back dragging Pooh Bear along with him. I don't think that could have been coincidence, since he had to go so far to get it.

I don't know where that is along the "Standards of Development", but I think it's pretty neat. :)


Jonathan loves to play peek-a-boo. It's been a favorite game for months. Just recently, though, he's become quite proactive about playing it. Gabe and I will cover our faces with our hands or a towel or blanket, and Jonathan will pull them away and laugh with delight. He knows what is behind the obstruction!

Standing up

Jonathan is working incredibly hard right now. Pretty much every other minute, he's practicing standing. This started about three days ago, and he's already progressed from letting go for a millisecond and then grabbing on again, to standing for a couple of seconds and then falling on his bottom (hurrah for the padding of diapers!) to moving unassisted from a crouch to a full stand, and just this morning he stood up for a couple of seconds and actually used his muscles to adjust his balance as he tipped forward, backward, and back upright. It is the most amazing thing to watch. I've never seen such a fast learning curve. I think he'll walk soon. What fun to see my little baby turning into a little boy!

Obviously, not enough of you voted.

Because I didn't win. And I'm holding you, dear reader, personally responsible. At least, as personally responsible as I can, not knowing who you are.

Well, it was a fun dream. And in theory I am going to get a $200 check in the mail. :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Vote for me me me me me!!!!

Usually new dishwashers are expensive...but not this time! Particularly if you go to EverydayHogwash and vote for my entry detailing our ridiculous installation experience - I'm up for the $1000 weekly prize!! Vote for the entry titled "Please remove your floor and call us in the morning". Voting only goes through March 7th, so please go vote right now! :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Funny Google Game

Hat tip to Shannon for this one. :)

Do a Google search for "(Your Name) needs" and see what you get. Aren't my results fun?

Emily needs something new.
Emily needs a new computer.
Emily needs to be whipped into shape.
Emily needs eating companions around noon Wednesday!
Emily needs to wake UP!!
Emily needs to be saved.
Emily needs to find something that's her own to fulfill her.
Emily needs money.
Emily needs aesthetics.
Emily needs to write the way most people need to breath.
Emily needs a #1 fan.
Emily needs to steer clear of the negative.
Emily needs help with a decision.
Emily needs a series of exemptions to Harvard’s administrative rules.

And the very best one:


Cruising, etc.

An update on Jonathan's growing list of skills:

Cruising - all over the place! He can almost circle the family room without crawling now. He starts at the piano bench, moves to one couch and then the other, then to the coffee table and thence to the computer chair and desk. And he's fast. Gabe and I can hardly believe that only a week or two ago he was only taking tentative back and forth steps, and now he is off to explore the world.

Standing, unassisted. Yes, this is a new development in the past two days or so. He can't do it for more than about one or two seconds, but he does let go and balance fairly frequently. Usually he does it when he's excited about something: he lets go to clap his hands, and then looks a bit shocked at his sudden unsteadiness. :)

Words. ??? He's starting to use Dada and Mamamama in ways that just might be deliberate. I'm not sure I'd swear to that, yet, but it is definitely starting to seem more likely. I'm keeping my eye on it.

Understanding words. Oh yes, he's understanding a lot more now. I wish I could get inside his head and know just exactly how much more! One interesting example happened yesterday: I rather idly said "Jonathan, where is the bus? Do you want to play with your bus?" And he went straight to it. This might have been a fluke, except that it seemed so purposeful I tried it again a few times during the day, and every time he went straight for the bus. It's a new toy, and he likes it a lot...perhaps that combined with developmental readiness has helped him connect the word with the toy?

Teeth. Pray for us - I think he's getting another one.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I just put Jonathan down for his morning nap. Usually, this is a nurse to sleep affair. This morning, he bit me. Twice. So that was the end of nursing, and I thought "oh no, now what?" Because we always nurse to sleep. He was swaddled and comfortable, though, so I just snuggled him close in the same position we normally nurse in, and sang him soft, low register lullabies...and he fell asleep.

I totally wasn't expecting that. :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hmm...more teeth, perhaps?


Lent began yesterday. Gabe and Jonathan and I went to church for the 6am service. Gabe likes to begin the season with church in the morning, and though the logistics of it with a young baby and a late night the previous night were awful, I have to agree that it does feel more appropriate. Somehow a Lenten service at 6:30pm falls a bit flat, since you’re already one day in.

BUT, with a baby, a 6am church service doesn’t work so well. When it’s a 6am Lenten (read quiet!) church service, it works even less well. And when said baby only got 8 hours of sleep the previous night (instead of the recommended 11), it just doesn’t work at all.

So I kicked off Lent holding, shushing, comforting, and walking the hall with a baby who alternated between “talking” and crying. Somehow it just wasn’t the same. When you’re getting one word out of three, and focusing on a small child who doesn’t care about the liturgy at all, it’s hard to feel like the service has any meaning. Strike that – the service itself has meaning, but I’m not absorbing any of it. I’m shushing my son and hoping that I can keep him quiet enough for everyone else to absorb it.

Concentration in church services has always been a problem for me. So I don’t want to blame it all on Jonathan. But really, for someone who already has this problem, adding a baby seems to remove all possibility of my ever overcoming it. I get up to the altar and wonder how we got to this part of the service, already.

God’s grace in the Eucharist doesn’t depend on my being able to pay attention, even if this is hard for me, with my Evangelical background, to understand and accept. But paying attention does help me receive and feel and know that grace more easily, I think. And I miss it.

That said, I am glad, glad, glad that Jonathan is here with us, even if he does add difficulty to church services for me right now. I am glad that he can participate in the imposition of ashes (although that is the strangest, and most simultaneously awful and awe-full experience I think I’ve ever had) as well as the redemptive partaking of communion. I am glad that he is a baptized member of the family of God. And I am glad that our parish and priest love and accept babies – even babies who are too young to understand the need for quiet.

Lord, in this season of Lent, teach me to see your grace in the simplicity of daily life – even and especially life with a baby.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I won!

It remains to be seen if the check actually arrives (has anyone actually received one of these?) but if it does, great rejoicing will ensue! Yay for Lazy Technician, and yay for my family and Friendly Neighbor! And yay for Everyday Hogwash! We're coming out $290 ahead, along with having a brand spanking new dishwasher (which works beautifully, btw) and an unscathed floor. :)