Archive for May, 2008

whirlwind of home improvement, currently here!

So, my parents are in town. We have been very, very busy.

So far (since Saturday), we have:
* completely cleaned my kitchen, including some cupboards, and removed things from the counters in order to try different methods to kill the ants, which are coming into my house in DROVES, as though they live in the walls or something, in the kitchen and my upstairs bathroom (even though my dishwasher is broken–Mom has washed 1,000 dishes at least);
* had a repairman out to look at the dishwasher, which apparently needs a new pump/motor;
* cut off the end of our stairway handrail so that it doesn’t go in front of the window;
* sorted out and donated a ton of clothes that are too big/too small/too ugly, as well as my mandoline, which is a kitchen gadget that I’ve had for years and that I have used to slice one potato and to cut my hand twice;
* done about 100 loads of laundry, which is hard for me to do because it is in the basement and very tight quarters;
* cut my hair;
* replaced 4 or 5 light switches;
* put latches on the kitchen cabinets to keep Mary out of them;
* sewn 8 diapers (that would be me–not Dad);
* inflated Mary’s kiddie pool, which will probably be put into use today!
* bought Mary a new car seat that is tall enough for her–yay!;
* played 6,016 games of peek-a-boo with Mary.

And I have indexed a book.

So it’s been a ridiculously productive week so far. On the agenda for today: shopping for a ceiling fan and a microwave, and taking a ton of pictures of Mary in her pool.


"This is intolerable!"

Conor and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie last night (my parents watched Mary, so we actually went by ourselves!). It’s really fun. I think it’s far better than one could expect–definitely better than “The Temple of Doom.” Harrison Ford, while looking rather old, is still a total badass, and Shia LaBeouf (sp?) is not as annoying as the trailers made him look (although still periodically irritating). The plot is as…well…iffy as the earlier ones, but it has a lot of the adventure and fun of those ones without being a pure nostalgia piece. I recommend it if you liked the earlier ones. It has a very strange role for Cate Blanchett–nothing like her usual artsy-ish roles.

Also, I just like anything with Jim Broadbent.

Melissa’s visit

My sister came to visit for the weekend (well, Thursday night through Sunday morning). Mary was fascinated, although she wasn’t too sure at first who Melissa was. She figured it out eventually, though, mostly because Melissa shared her french fries (at just about every meal, since we didn’t eat at our house at all–whirlwind tour of Washington-area restaurants, apparently).

On Thursday, Mary and I picked up Conor at work and the three of us went up to BWI to pick up Melissa. She sat in the back seat with Mary, who was extremely befuddled by the proceedings. We went to Rocky Run to eat. At first Mary was a little–just a little–unsure of the situation:

Melissa offered her straw wrappers and french fries, thereby winning over Mary:

Mary ate many french fries:

Eventually the french fry overload made Mary have to dance with joy:

So then on Friday we went downtown and saw a few sights–the Portrait Gallery, the White House–and went to lunch (thereby obtaining more french fries). We were tired (especially because I was a) enormously pregnant and b) carrying Mary, and Melissa was carrying Mary’s huge diaper bag most of the time. So we went to the movies and saw “Iron Man,” which is pretty good. We met up with Conor for dinner at the Brickskeller. Mary was extremely bad and threw many things on the floor. She even threw her sippy cup at the people at the next table. She missed, luckily. I assume this is because she was tired, not because she is inherently antisocial, but I am not sure. Afterward we drove around the city so that Melissa could see a few things lit up by night, including the FDR memorial, where we stopped to walk around with 16,000 high school students on a school trip.

On Saturday we went to Great Falls for a picnic. (I love picnics. There’s something about eating outside on a blanket that makes it awesome. I don’t like to eat outside in a chair.) Conor and Mary explored the area:

Then we walked through the park, which was PACKED. The falls looked nice because of all of the rain we’ve gotten. The authorities warn you very candidly about the dangers of the river:

Welcoming, eh?

Melissa and Mary and I posed on some rocks:

Compare against last year (I think this was May 2007):

Anyway, Melissa and Mary and I had our picture taken for our mom, who pestered me via e-mail to get group photos:

We observed some picturesque views:

Melissa took some cute family photos for us (all of us, including Miss Crabby):

Mary rode in the carrier for a long time this weekend–a real test of my sewing. Not bad! She seemed happy and it was way more comfortable for me than her sling and certainly more comfy than a Snugli. I recommend the Mei Tai for babies too heavy to sling comfortably. (Observe, if you will, the enormously pregnant belly underneath Mary.)

After the park, we drove over to the Alexandria waterfront and visited the Torpedo Factory (a cool art gallery/studio where artists can rent space to work and sell their art right out of the studio–you can watch them do their thing and shop if you’re wealthy). Here is what Mary’s weekend point of view looked like:

Melissa and I had tickets for a play, so we went back to Grandma’s house, watched the Preakness, and then did a lightning-fast clothing change at home before leaving for the show. We saw “A View from the Bridge,” which was pretty good. Conor dropped us off and then picked us up afterward (super-nice husband points for that one, especially after our weekend of walking and schlepping Mary/Mary’s stuff). We drove over to Georgetown’s waterfront and walked around for a while, marveling at the wealthy people drinking cheap beer in their boats. Eventually we went to Dupont Circle to eat at the cafe attached to Kramerbooks, where–again–Mary was spectacularly bad and toddler-esque. To be fair it was after midnight, I guess.

On Sunday, Mary and I drove Melissa to the airport. I got a speeding ticket (first ever-and I am definitely going to court to contest it. $%^%& Virginia). Then I drove back to the theatre, met Conor in the parking lot, handed over the baby, and went to see “Death of a Salesman” in its final performance for the run.

I am tired.

Notice that I managed to take only pictures that don’t show my house. For all you people know, it’s spotless.

clingy baby

So my sister is coming into town tonight to visit for the weekend. I was planning to spend the day cleaning my house (which is a complete hole–you have absolutely no idea).

Instead, Mary went into super-cling mode (you know those static stickers you use on windows? like that). I have gotten almost nothing done, although I have received many many kisses and snuggles. She wants to be held.




She is recovering from being sick. She had two days of feverish sleepiness, along with the cold that all of us have had. Then she had a couple of days of feeling somewhat better. Then, Sunday night, she broke out in spots (not kidding! pink, perfectly round spots all over her face and arms!). I panicked, assuming she had chicken pox (exactly what you want when she’s about to be visited by aunt Lissa). But the spots started to fade somewhat. So I took her to the pediatrician and the doctor said that it was a “viral exanthem” (there’s a vocab word for your day), which is a rash that follows a virus. It’s basically some wacky sort of immune system response, common in young children. So, no problem, especially as it doesn’t itch. But anyway she’s had a rough week. So, as I type, she is sitting in my lap, patting my arm and saying, “Mmmm…mmmm…” (her “snuggling” noise). This is very sweet but it is not getting my house clean. Anyway I have the bathrooms clean, the kitchen semi-clean, and the guest bed ready. Other than that it’s going to be luck of the draw.

Melissa: when you read this, it would be a good time to post a comment about how great my house looks. Just lie.

toddler mimicry

Apparently, toddlers tend to go through a long phase of mimicking what adults do. Mary is proof of this–I can tell for the following reasons:
* She says “Oof” whenever she sits down (imitating her large, pregnant mother);
* She talks into anything that can be held up like a phone, leaving appropriate pauses;
* She puts on my shoes and Conor’s shoes at every opportunity, leaving her completely stranded because her feet are SO HEAVY;

and–most recent favorite of the day–

* She picked up a student paper this afternoon, opened the folder, glanced at it, snorted derisively, and tossed it back on the pile. Then she went and got a snack.

I don’t know who my readership is, exactly (well, partly I do–aunt Bev, I know you’re reading), but even if you’re a student or something, you must admit that this is PRECISELY the way most people feel about annotated bibliographies.

today’s observations

I had an ultrasound this morning to check on Wesley’s kidneys, which apparently have had more-than-average fluid in them at previous sonograms. Well, now they’re fine. (Apparently this “characteristic” or “problem” usually resolves on its own, and it has.) He looks fine, healthy, wiggly….and HUGE. The ultrasound, which–granted–can be way off in its estimate at this stage, estimates him at SIX POUNDS!

That’s full-term size for some people–and I have two months left! Let’s just hope if it’s wrong, he’s five pounds, not seven. Eep.

While I was on the way to the appointment, Conor called and said that Mary seemed really hot so he took her temperature and it was 101. She has been sad, sleepy, and droopy all day. Poor kid. She must have the cold that we’ve both had, but being a baby makes it worse, I think. So I’ve been cuddling with her since I got home at noon. She’s very sweet and snuggly, though. I feel sorry for her and she seems to know it and insists that I stay with her At All Times. She’s like Velcro.

Dear Wesley:

First of all, I am delighted that you are growing well and seem to be healthy and happy in there, and I appreciate the fact that your wiggling around tells me that all is well.


My spleen is not a toy. Please stop kicking it. Thank you.