(Edited slightly 9-20-05)
It's been a while, hasn't it? Here are a few - some good. Some not. But I like them anyways. :)


Drew soup!






So cute when he concentrates...



Is it just me, or does he look a lot like Edward G. Robinson here?




Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release!

early in the day


a couple of the original costumes at the Border's Grand Hallow's Ball




It's fiiiiiinallllyyyyy heeeeeeeeerrrrreeeeeeee! And Kym and I have it have just gotten it.


Crap - I'm late for swim at the YMCA...
There's this "Sushi Maker Master" kit I saw at the home & garden show last year. It contains molds for easy sushi rolls, including one for a heart shaped sushi roll. Heart shaped sushi! How could this get cooler (or more dork-like)? I must get this wonderful invention. I must. I can hear it calling to me.



(I especially like how there are just random fruits and veggies strewn about in this picture, along with what looks like a mimosa. "Oh yes, I like to take a bite out of a whole bell pepper in between sushi pieces. Much better than ginger for clearing the palate.")


Do you see the genius that is this product? Do you see it?!? I have visions of doing a whole tray of assorted shape sushi at Drew's b-day party (for the adults, natch) and hearing such things as "how divine!" and "just lovely!" and having them sound like real compliments and not just like things characters in a TV miniseries about the women in the American South would say. Yes, it is my dream, so shut up.

Surely $20 is a reasonable amount to spend for fulfilling a dream, yes?
All hail Baby Einstein videos. I'm just saying.

*

Attempting to take Drew to Disneyland today for the first time without Bryan. How I'm going to manage his stroller, 2 bags, front carrier and him alone on the parking tram is anyone's guess. At least I'll be travelling with C and her son, but as they'll have just as much stuff as us it will probably be more like a french farce or comedy of errors than anything else.

*

Best friend Hadley is visiting from London next week. Joy! But that means I actually have to clean this place in preparation of her arrival. A daunting task...
See between the trees, where the path curves around? That's the house.



This was the weekend she was moving in, before the porch lights had been installed. Real slate tiles on the roof.




Wraparound porch, with glass sliding door entryway



When you step into the house from the sliding doors you're immediately in the living room, with the bedroom sliding sort-of-shoji-panels directly opposite.




Once in the living room, the dining nook is directly to the right.


The kitchen is on the other side of the living room and across from the dining nook.




Standing in the dining nook, looking across the living room to the kitchen.



And finally, the amazing ceiling


I'm always calmed by this house.
I just keep thinking over and over that TODAY IS THE DAY for [profile] paisley_days. Perhaps MB has already arrived, even!

TODAY!!  :D

How wonderful to know that someone's dreams are coming true this very day. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy and reminds me that some things  are still right with the world.

ETA: There was just an announcement in [profile] 1_world. "MaybeBaby" is "Maybe" no longer. Welcome, Miles, and congrats to (nursing mama!) Amy and Andy!!
If any of you like heist flicks and haven't yet seen Inside Man, you really should. I watched it yesterday and was quite impressed at how well thought out it was, for that genre. There were still a couple things which I thought were less than plausible, but many fewer problems than I normally have with movies of this type. I consider the time spent watching to be worth it.

*

So much stuff going on with you all. Lots of joy and pain and enthusiasm and snarking and thought provoking stuff. I wish I had another three hours in the day just to respond to you all. I try to read and keep up, but I'm finding it difficult. I am interested, though.

*

Yesterday I went to MnM and the lady who created the Sling-Ezee came and demonstrated proper sling wearing techniques and answered questions. She used Drew for some of her examples an he was, as always, the perfect baby with other people. Didn't make a peep once even when I handed him to her for the first time, and came back to me with a cheerful grin and then promptly fell asleep. Cool. I was so confident after watching her presentation that I was inspired to finally use my Maya Wrap (from Keely many moons ago - thanks again, K!) for my Target run today. As part of my must get out of the house more doing things I like resolution, I visited a sales center for new town-homes in my area (we're not looking to move, but I love seeing floor plans and whatnot) and then went to a nice park and walked with Drew in the stroller for a couple of miles.

I'd like to make walking with him a frequent occurrence. Living in this climate means there's no excuse why I shouldn't - it was in the mid 60s today, with a gorgeous sky - and I'd like to get in shape as well as modeling a non-sedentary lifestyle for Drew. I'd not been to that particular park before but I think I'll go back soon. Each lap in this park is just under a third of a mile, and there's a well-kept restroom on the premises as well as shady benches for nursing, a very nice playground, and a huge field of grass so green you'd swear it was spray painted.

*

Drew seems to have a clogged tear duct. I don't see any redness and he's not bothered by it, so I'll just keep it clean, massage the corner of the eye a bit, and mention it to his pediatrician if it hasn't gone away by his next visit. He also seems to have a touch of diarrhea. It's not an excessive amount, he doesn't have a temperature, and he's his usual self, so I'm just going to go let it pass (heh) by itself and avoid the Dr's office. Perhaps I shouldn't be so cavalier about not taking him into the Dr, but considering he's nursing on demand exclusively and isn't dehydrated I can't see what they could do about fluids, and since he's not exhibiting any other problematic symptoms I'd rather not expose him to a waiting room full of kids with the flu only to hear that I should just keep doing what I'm doing and monitor the situation at home. 
What I gleaned from the posts (and thank you, BTW - they mean so very much to me) is that I do have to get out of the house more. I do. And I have to do more of what I like, not solely doing caretaking or I'll burn myself out. And that once he's old enough to start interacting I'll likely find more joy in the experience, but ti won't necessarily be easier. Oh, and this is still the best option for me for now since I don't want anyone else doing it for me. For now.

So what did I do about it all?

Yesterday I got out of the house for a quick errand, and then decided to take a drive. I love driving. I'm not one of those people who sees a car as a vessel for transporting yourself from point A to point B. Oh, no. I love the feeling of driving without purpose and without plan - just seeing where the road goes and seeing what's around me. I drove for an hour. Into streets I'd never been down, to a new development I'd read about, down streets where there are still dairy farms with thousands of cows all lined up near their troughs, past a regional park that looks promising, past a new shopping center that I didn't even know existed. I had the radio on and sang to some songs while Drew slept (mostly) in the backseat. it was great.

Then I came home and made a new recipe. I do love to create meals from scratch. Last night I made lasagna. One to cook, and one to freeze. I mostly followed Suzanne's "Lasagna to stock the freezer recipe" and added some spices and whatnot (but I cut the amounts of everything in half - smaller pan sizes, I think). Turned out really well, and now we have another couple of days of dinners for the week, and another tray in the freezer. Thanks, Suzanne! AND, we had a lovely package waiting for us from Keely. Thanks, Piper! ;)

And then, today, I went out to lunch with a girlfriend from work. We went to an Indian buffet where they always seem to have lovely korma and palak paneer, and garlic naan which is just so amazing I could practically eat a basket myself. We chatted for a full hour and decided that we'd do lunch again soon, even if we just bring a bag of sandwiches to a park for a picnic. When I got home I logged on (are we the only ones in the freaking world that still can't get DSL on our street, or what?) and got an email from another old girlfriend at work who had a baby in August and quit to be a SAHM asking if I wanted to get together soon.

Oh, yes. Definitely a better day. I feel SO MUCH more energized, and since I'm in a better mood I'm not letting Drew's needs get to me nearly as much.

Today I feel as though I can do this.
We've been spending some time each weekend for the past couple of months trying to make the garage usable and more efficient. Essentially trying to make it something other than a repository for junk and things that we don't know where else to put. We're almost done, and one of the last things we have to do is to take down the things that the previous owner, Jeff, had stored up on plywood sheets in the rafters. Bryan took down a box today with some surprising magazines. There were several stacks of Playboy magazines from the 80s, a bunch of Life magazines from the later 70s (these we're keeping temporarily until I can check and se if they'd go for anything on Ebay), and a few old Rolling Stones. These aren't abnormal to me. Instead, what surprised me that at the bottom of the box contained what looked like a year's worth of Soviet Life magazines, as well as a small book entitled something like "Socialism: the Philosophy of the New World Order." Um, yeah. Right.

I'm half tempted to ring him up and tell him we found his stash of Playboys, and did he want them back? Just to see what he would say.

*

Oh, and those Sorel snow boots I'm selling on Ebay? They've now got 20 watchers and 8 bids, and there's still a little over 3 days to go. 20 watchers? Seriously? We've never sold anything that had 20 watchers before. You'd think with that much interest in the boots they'd be going for more than $15.50 right now. Gah.
I've been selling a few things on Ebay in the last couple of weeks. Not much, just some formula coupons and now a pair of boots that I'd first listed in [profile] thetradingpost until Bridget conviced me it would easily sell on Ebay for a good amount. The boots are here. I'm curious to see the bidding action: right now there's one bid, but 12 watchers, and over five days still remaining. I've spent some time aquainting myself again with Paypal and the new Ebay selling options, and I'm hoping to earn enough on Ebay over the next few months so that I can buy a dSLR. I'm not really certain why I need one since I can't even utilize my current camera to its fullest, but I've sort of got a bug up my rear for theOlympus EVOLT system that Costco currently carries. That, or a digital camcorder that records directly to playable DVD format. Ah, one more piece of electronic gadgetry to ignore. But really, the odds of me earning that much money on Ebay? Slim to none.

And speaking of getting rid of things I no longer need, (Oh, ick!*) I gave away my old wetsuit and diving weight today through freecycle (didn't want to bother Ebaying it - the weights would cost too much to ship and the wetsuit is a specialty one for tallish women wearing a large who do cold water diving only. Not too much call for those.). I left it outside on my doorstep clearly labeled in a bag, thus trying to convey the meaning "here, take it and go away." Stupid guy rang the doorbell and then knocked on my door when I didn't answer. And then he emailed me when he got home to thank me for the suit and say he tried knocking so he could thank me in person. Hello, idiot? Are you new to Freecycle? Becuase the point is to give away our old crap to someone else who could use it, not to make friends. If that's your purpose start going to church dances and town hall meetings. Just take the stuff and leave me alone. And especially don't come knocking while I'm still in my jammies with unbrushed hair at noon. Um... yeah...

::sheepish::


* Drew just spit up while nursing. I had to clean off my boob, my shirt, my pants, and his shirt, all the while he was crying because I took away his food. Ew.
I just got an email from Borders: - reserve the new HP and the DH and choose from one of two stickers that say "Trust Snape" and "Snape is a very bad man." What, like we can't trust him in this matter and think he's a bad person?

I bet they've had this email waiting to be sent out for months and just needed to fill in the date of the release.
They announced the release date for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! July 21, 2007.

J.K.Rowling.com has been updated to announce that the last Harry Potter Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be released on JULY 21, 2007. (Pre-order at Amazon or B&N.)

Scholastic, the US publishers, will sell the book for $34.99; it will be illustrated by Mary GrandPre, the artist who illustrated all six previous books. They will also release a $39.99 reinforced library edition and a $65 special edition at the same time. British publishers Bloomsbury said via press release that it will sell the hardcover for 17.99 GBP, and will also release a special gift edition and a joint audio book.

The news item came quickest via J.K. Rowling's site at 7 a.m, which simply read:
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be published on Saturday 21st July 2007 at 00:01 BST in the UK and at 00:01 in the USA. It will also be released at 00:01 BST on Saturday 21st July in other English speaking countries around the world.


From the Scholastic press release:
In making the announcement, Lisa Holton, President of Scholastic Children’s Books said, “We are thrilled to announce the publication date of the seventh installment in this remarkable series. We join J.K. Rowling’s millions of readers – young and old, veterans and newcomers – in anticipating what lies ahead.”


WHOOT!

For quite a while my prediction was that they would release on July 7, 2007. Only two weeks off of that one. Aw, and just ten days off of Harry's Birthday. Man, what with the movie being released on the 13th and the book on the 21st, I am going to be so wrapped up in the Potterverse this summer.

CAN NOT WAIT.

Next to having Drew, this is the easily the most exciting thing to happen in years. Years.

And yes, it's pure coincidence that I happen to be up and online at this hour. But how cool. ;)
After my post complaining about Drew's sleeping habits he went and gave me the bird by sleeping for 11 hours last night, while only getting up twice to nurse and then immediately going back to sleep. Given a bit of luck he'll prove me wrong again tonight.

***

About three weeks ago a gal came into my Mommy-n-Me session saying she was a casting rep for Baby Einstein and handing out flyers asking for photos of 2-5 month old babies so they could consider them for a new video shoot. I didn't take a flyer, as Drew was only 5 weeks at the time, but the lady encouraged me to take once since he'd be 2 months by the time of the shoot (And let's face it - Drew's a cutie. Not that I'm biased or anything. But I so totally am biased). I took the flyer and thought about sending a photo, but time got away from me and I never got around to it. Today I found out that TWO babies from our MnM group are in the new video. And one of the moms, whose daughter is just a couple of weeks older than Drew said she thought she was chosen since there were so few young babies to select from. Damn! I should have sent in the photo! And the gal is somehow also in the video herself, which meant that they paid her baby and her for their appearances. Double damn. Ah, well. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

I'm cracking up a bit that the gal had to sign a non-disclosure agreement about what was filmed. What, are there competitors out there just ITCHING to snipe their babies-playing-with-toys idea? Is there a Baby Aristotle group that is trying desperately to pull the rug out from under the Baby Einstein clan? She sort of violated her non-disclosure agreement and told us what the new video is about, but I'm not telling. So nyah.
Meant to post it earlier:

At Drew's well baby appointment last week he was 12lb8oz, and 23 inches (though I think that's a shorter reading than what he actually is. I'd guess more like 24in). And that was last week, so he's probably almost 13 pounds now if he's not there already. What this means in a practical sense is that he's already outgrown a good portion of his 0-3 month clothing. Every day I pack away more little outfits. So, so sad. Especially sad considering that he doesn't have nearly as many 3-6 month outfits. Got to go shopping soon, methinks.

And how did Drew go from being a relatively uncommon name to ranked #96 nationally in 2006 by the Social Security Administration? Bother.

of birth Rank
2005 198
2004 211
2003 222
2002 217
2001 219
2000 188
Goodness, I want a drink.

It's just been one of those days, you know?

Someone pass me the biggest, baddest vodka tonic out there, pull up a seat, grab yourself something wet to knock back and we'll drink until we get loopy and laugh until we can't remember what we started laughing about.



Who's with me, and what'll you have?
Omigod. Drew is propped up in the boppy next to me on the couch. He's staring at Scout and cooing at her, and she's sitting on the arm of the couch staring back at him. I don't think I've ever seen anything cuter in my entire life.
So a few posts ago I mentioned that Drew was eating every 2-2.5 hours and waking frequently at night to nurse. Ha. That was only the beginning. It progressed quickly to eating every 1.5-2 hours. All day. Every day. So between getting him ready to nurse, nursing, and diapering I had basically no time to do anything. I had hoped that it was only a growth spurt and would pass when he was around 6 weeks. Hallelujiah - it happened. The last two days he's gone back to being hungry every 3 hours or a bit more, and he's slept for a 6-hour stretch each of the last two nights, eaten, then gone back to sleep longer, and he's gone back to being the mellow little man that I'd come to rely upon. My days just got significantly more pleasant. Joy!

That being the case, I actually have time to post the pictures that I'd promised last week. ;)



Tell me, does he look like a 1 month old to you? I mean, he was 5.5 weeks in the last photo, but to me he looks like a much older baby.
No bedding, no blinds, no closet door yet, but we're getting there. We still need all the little touches and artwork and such, but I'm just thrilled we made it this far on the weekend. Just a few short weeks ago the room had vinyl flooring, old marred-up ugly almond walls, and a layer of dust so thick we needed to keep a rug outside the room to wipe our feet on.


 Not bad, yes?
Work is crazy.

The house is a mess.

My hair seems to have (temporarily?) lost it's curl.

I had to collect 24 hrs. worth of pee yesterday and haul it into a lab for testing.

I may or may not have preeclampsia.

I don't think I have enough clothes to get through the work week.

On Friday I somehow flaked on an after-work get-together with the Kiss My Ass gals at work.

Scout threw up - twice - this morning when I was already running late leaving the house.

My great aunt is dying.

I'd rather not think about how many things we still have to do in the next nine weeks.

It's supposed to be fall but it's still hot like in summer.


But on the upside - we finished the nursery on the weekend. And it is so freaking adorable my heart flutters every time I walk into the room. I'll take pictures tomorrow when it's light out. So, so damn cute.


They're dark-ish because I didn't think to take them until the light was already getting low. Not that I'm upset about that fact. And no, I am NOT wearing leggings - I wore black slacks and that wrap over my t-shirt yesterday at work, and tied the wrap around my waist when it warmed up in the afternoon. Spandex is a privilege, not a right. I think that's a rule we should all learn to live by and obey. 

Be kind.

ETA: Heather was nice enough to post some lightened versions of the photos in her reponse below. Thanks, H!

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