Archive for April, 2008

garden update

So, Mary and I planted our garden while we were on blog hiatus! We put in a pair of square foot beds for tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. The rest of the plot has corn, bush beans, peas and snow peas, zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan squash, and some flowers. I’m hoping to get some onion sets for scallions but I haven’t found any yet. I hope they take off, since we employed the “lazy person” planting method–till the plot, drop the seeds, then rake it a little to cover them.

Anyway, here are some pictures. I’ll add garden pictures as things start to grow!

Mary looks for something to plunder or destroy:

Extremely helpful soil moving process:

Cute Mary:

Wandering off to find something to play with:

Trying to get the sunscreen off the table:

Mary’s favorite toy of the day:

More serious help:


Something just for Liz

It speaks for itself:

last Friday night

Conor, Mary, and I went to a talent show for Zak and Rose’s school (Zak and Rose being Conor’s cousins). It was…um…surreal. Rose and a friend from her dance studio did a very nice dance number; Zak played “Santeria” on guitar (which was Mary’s highlight of the night–she LOVED it). The rest of the talents were…well…I’m not sure how to describe them. Suffice it to say that one example was a sixth-grader with a tiger mask on his head playing the treble parts to “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Dreidel, Dreidel” on the keyboard, and you’ll have some idea.

Anyway, afterward, there was dancing. Mary got the party started. (Note: while the videos are a little dim–the hall was dark–you can get a look at her dress, which I made. I feel so accomplished.)

Eventually, Conor, Elaine, and Rose got into the act:

As you can see, Mary thoroughly enjoyed herself. We went over to Luke and Elaine’s afterward and had much conversation while Mary tormented their pets and tried to open all cabinets and drawers.

animal noises

Conor’s laptop was in for repair (!) so I haven’t been blogging. I’ll try to make up for it over the next week or so because we have CUTE videos to share as well as some fun pictures.

Here is the first installment of the Cute Video Onslaught (my personal favorite)–Mary’s animal noises!

why science fails

So Liz linked to this game on her blog:

racism game

(Here’s the NYT article about it if you want to read about it:

“Our Racist, Sexist Selves”

Anyway, the gist of the game–which is a scientific research project, in reality–is that you use one key to shoot at a bad guy and a different key to holster your gun and NOT shoot a good guy. They show you a bunch of pictures (120) of men holding either guns or cell phones. All you have to do is shoot the ones with guns, but not the ones with phones. Easy enough, right? Not really. Because they go by really quickly and if you’re too slow you lose points.

Apparently, the study found that subjects consistently shot at the pictures of black men more quickly and took longer to holster their guns for black men than when the photos were of white dudes.

My results didn’t back this up–they were mixed. I was slower to shoot black men than white ones. However, I was quicker to holster my gun for unarmed white guys than black guys.

What does this mean?

Two things:

* There is a reason I do not own a handgun. As Liz reflected when she took the test, it really doesn’t matter what race my assailant might be–I’m dead anyway because I am too slow.

* I shot a lot of good guys. Is this because I’m paranoid or violent? No, it’s because I can’t remember which key is which. This is why science is flawed. It can’t account for idiocy that affects the experiment.

a few different reflections and photos

Reflection #1: Pregnancy is weird. Want proof? Here is a photo of my plate after dinner one night this week. We had meatloaf. Mary ate most of mine because I was busy eating citrus.

Reflection #2: When you send a hand-knitted gift, send instructions.

Mom’s co-worker, Tim (I sent it to her office):


Mom (the intended recipient, apparently with good reason):

Reflection #3: Spring has sprung in Michigan. (Of course this means it’s summer here.) Evidence?

Reflection #4: Mary likes to party. Here is a pic from a dinner out with Keith, Michael, Warren, Sean, and Ginger (Conor’s co-workers and a spouse) at Gordon Biersch:

Reflection #5 (last one, I promise): Mary is professorial material. She came to school with me today. It was draft workshop–which means that I don’t really TEACH, per se, just supervise and answer questions–so she wasn’t in the way. She had a great time and my students (especially the females) were totally smitten.


crib, where is thy sting?….oh.

So, Mary–the world champion sleeping baby, who started sleeping all night at 6 weeks and has always been good at going to bed on her own with very minimal encouragement–decided last Friday that her crib was EVIL. Terrifying. Completely unacceptable.

We didn’t really know what to make of it, but she’s been sleeping with us since then.

On Saturday, I killed a wasp in her room. She wasn’t in there at the time so I didn’t think too much about it, until on Sunday I found a spot on the bottom of her foot that looked like a wasp sting, and though, “Oh. Well, that does explain a lot.”

It doesn’t tell us what to do to get her to sleep in there again, but since we’re going to be spending the weekend looking around the outside of the house for the nest and trying to spray the wasps anyway, we figure she should stay with us until the spray has time to dissipate and whatever.

So, co-sleeping it is.

The good things about this:
* Mary is not a cuddly baby and never has been. She does not like to be held or snuggled. But sleeping with us has definitely given us WAY more snuggling and cuddling with her than we’ve ever gotten. This afternoon I took a nap with her (because let’s face it, if you put a 7-months-pregnant woman in a bed with a book for two or three hours, the inevitable will happen), and woke up to find her cuddling up to me, offering me her cheek for kissing, and saying, “Hi! Hi! Hi!”

* When I leave for teaching, Mary and Conor are still sleeping (well, okay, usually Conor is awake because I’ve gotten up, and sometimes Mary, too…but they’re still in bed and getting ready to go back to sleep for a couple of hours). They are ridiculously cute.

The bad things about this:
Everything else.

* Mary is a horrible bed-sharer. She takes up WAY more space than you would think, chiefly due to habits like turning ninety degrees and shoving one parent with her feet and the other with her head until both adults are clinging, barnacle-like, to the edges of the bed.

* It takes hours–and I am neither joking nor exaggerating–to get her to sleep at night. She always takes a while to go to sleep in her crib, but since she’s happy, we don’t worry about it. Well, she takes even longer in our bed and it is really annoying, since it involves such middle-of-the-night rituals as stomping our heads, bouncing on my belly with all of her weight (NOT charming), and flinging anything she can find (like bedding, or her books) at us or onto the floor. “Irritating” does not even begin to describe it.

* She screams if Conor and I should brush hands accidentally, never mind any affectionate marital hand-holding. I’m told this is normal evolutionary sibling-prevention behavior, but she doesn’t seem to see that she missed the boat on that one anyway.

* I am huge right now. I need my half of the bed!

Anyway, I’m hoping this stage is brief and trying to enjoy the fact that it is leading to more snuggly Mary time. She is really cute. Just really annoying at 2 a.m.