Archive for February, 2007

weekend update

…because our lives are so interesting!

We spent the weekend at Luke and Elaine’s, sort of house-sitting/kid-watching. (Rose and Zak are 12 and 15, so they don’t exactly need a babysitter really.) Conor had to work on Saturday, but then we went out to a Chinese restaurant which also happens to have sushi (!), and then to see Bridge to Terabithia. Mary gives it two pacifiers up. She enjoyed herself a lot. We also hung out with Luke and Elaine on Friday night:

Mary was alarmed by this development.

Then on Sunday we went to a birthday party for our friend Michael, at the home of one of Conor’s co-workers, Warren. Warren cooked a delicious Indian meal (prominently featuring cauliflower, which is the best kind), and much fun was had by all, particularly Swirly Girl, the dog:

Mary proceeded to elicit ridiculous behavior from all grown-ups present:

Diane (Warren’s wife) and Ryan (Michael’s friend) making baby-exciting faces.

Michael making baby-exciting faces.

Anyway, it was a much more social weekend than our weekends usually are. Today, Conor had the day off (because his schedule is now Tuesday-Saturday), so he took his Civic in for the emissions inspection, which it passed (hooray). So now we can use my car again and stop taking Mary in and out of the Civic (double hooray). I had Writing Center work to do, and then we went over to Grandma McHale’s for a while. Here’s a last photo:


two lists

Things That Annoyed Me Already Today:
1. The newspaper was delivered to the end of our driveway and tossed directly into a puddle, where, sponge-like, it proceeded to soak up six times its weight in muddy water.

2. I went to Target looking for CD-Rs and had to go to the other Target that’s farther away because they were out…which means hauling Mary’s car seat in and out of the back of the Civic another extra time. I may need back surgery soon.

3. I’ve had it with these goddamned ladybugs! They’re everywhere! There was one on my toothbrush. Ick.

but, as though to compensate–Things That Delighted Me Already Today:
1. Mary is wearing a duck sleeper.

2. I saw a sheep grazing beside the road on my way to Waldorf to buy CDs–she was obviously about to either a) explode or b) have a lamb or two soon. So cute!

3. Although I had to drive out of my way to buy the CDs, they were on sale for super cheap. Hurray for bargains!

4. I bought Mary new bottles–they have handles so she can hold them herself without dropping them. Brilliant! She drank eight ounces completely unassisted. Three cheers for gadgetry that promotes baby independence.

5. A woman at Target said, “What an adorable little boy!” and Mary responded, “Bah!” I view this as proof that she can speak English.

baby pictures

I took some fun pictures of Mary this afternoon–I decided it was well past time to take some cute artsy baby photos. If you have somehow escaped my e-mail photo list and would like to see them, go here:

Here’s my favorite:

busy busy

Yesterday, on Conor’s first weekday off, the three of us did a wild round of errands and fun shopping. Our itinerary for the day–all the more impressive because we didn’t even leave the house until about 1:30 or so:

* Lunch at Linny’s Deli (in Laurel–the last time we’d been there was the week after Mary was born. It was her first restaurant).

* Trip to Target because I forgot to put diapers in the diaper bag. Oops.

* Visit to Corridor Wine, which is also in Laurel and which we seldom visit now.

* Jiffy Lube, where we got the oil changed in the poor Civic, which we hadn’t driven in months. (Conor is taking the Metro these days.) It is, by the way, absurd to put a car seat in the back of the Civic. You have no idea. It’s like a circus show every time we have to get it in or out. Mary seems to take it in stride, although occasionally she made long-suffering or alarmed faces. She flirted outrageously with everyone in the waiting room at Jiffy Lube, which was a bit inconvenient because she was hungry but she was too busy befriending everyone to eat, so when we left I think she was still hungry.

* Trip to Daedalus Books! We found a bunch of fun books at remainder prices, including this, which has the cutest baby hat on earth. If you would like one for your baby someday, please get pregnant no sooner than 2009, because I don’t yet know how to knit this hat.

* Shopping trip to Ikea, in pursuit of bookends. We failed to find even semi-attractive bookends (they’ve stopped selling the kind I bought there before, apparently), but we did get Swedish cheese, plastic bowls for Mary, and a packet of a variety of candy called “Jelly Rats,” which Conor tells me were not very good. (I do not eat candy called Jelly Rats, so I don’t personally know.)

* Trip to the U of Maryland library for me to find and photocopy an article about modernism and smells.

* Staples and (another) Target, still looking for bookends…but no luck.

And we were home by ten. So, a productive day, keeping the American economy rolling. (We’re definitely doing our part to support the book business.)

Now, today, Mary is hanging out with me while I do Writing Center work. She’s wearing a pair of orange pants that are hand-me-downs from Molly. They’re a little bit crinkly. She doesn’t realize they’re apparel; she thinks they’re toys. She keeps crinkling them. She also has a silly orange ruffly hat to go with them, which I will put on her later when we go out to the bank and the post office, because it’s hilarious. I can’t even decide how much it’s cute vs. how much it’s just funny, but either way I like it.

off-kilter weekend

Conor’s work schedule has changed, so now our weekend is Sunday and Monday. Weird. We’re not used to it and keep feeling like tomorrow is a work day. But it isn’t.

On Friday, we went over to Grandma McHale’s and brought her dinner. Then Conor and Grandma stamped and labelled 325 newsletters for the Mudd House.

I would have helped, but I was taking pictures.

When we arrived, Mary was sleeping in her car seat, but she woke up on the way into the house. So she was bleary-eyed and sleepy, and then Grandma said, “Hello!” and Mary wailed inconsolably. This is her looking still a bit mistrustful:

We stayed a while and chatted and Mary demonstrated her new party trick, which I show you:

You can see that I’m holding her up with my feet, just in case, but really she can do it all by herself. She’s now technically an “unsupported sitter”! (Did you even know that developmental psychologists used that term? I didn’t.)

Then Saturday Conor had to work, so Mary and I hung out and I worked on a paper about Joseph Conrad, and then after Conor got home we went out to dinner to celebrate his raise. Somehow it was all very exhausting and today we did not want, at all, at all, to get up and go to church. But we did. (Never let it be said that Conor is an undedicated choir member–never mind that he was more or less forcibly conscripted.) Then we came home and cleaned up the house a bit, because Grandma, John and Sheila, Leah, Sam, and Claire came over this evening for a while. Mary was very skeptical about whether Grandma should be in our house, but she got over it. She liked Claire, presumably because Claire is insane and therefore amusing. (By “insane,” I mean that she’s seven. Or so.)

Here is one final picture–I call it “Caterpillar Love.”

Project Basement

Challenge of the Day:

Here is my office.

It’s in the basement.

What would you do to make this livable, workable space? (A lamp and a chair are my immediate ideas, but I haven’t gotten around to it.) Beyond that, any suggestions for making this a pleasant spot to work on my dissertation? I work down there every day–I want it to be a decent place to be. How do I cover up/organize/ignore all of the basement junk, for example?


Over the last two days or so Mary has really started to talk–she’s always been a vocal baby, but (like most babies) she generally stuck to vowels. (“Aaaaeeeeiiioooaaa!”)

Well, now she’s doing what all of the books said she would do and stringing together the same consonant sound over and over. Today it’s “mamamamamamamamama.”

It kills me. So cute.