Sandbox

Thursday, January 31

New one up. Everybody's already done it, though.

posted by Carrie - 09:51 PM
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Me: "Sam, these are Cheerios. Mmmm, good!"
         Him: "Ba-ba-ba."

Me: "See, you put them in your mouth and eat them."
         Him (whacking his highchair tray with both hands): "Bla-ba-ba-blab!"

Me: "Watch Mommy! Mmmm, crunch-crunch! Good!"
         Him (grabbing handfuls and tossing them in the air): "Bla-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-bab!"

Yep, that big box of cereal was a great buy, all right.

posted by Carrie - 02:43 PM
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Overnight, my child has "learned" to babble. Yesterday morning, I was whining to Mom about how Sam didn't go "Ba-ba-ba" or "Da-da-da" like other babies. "You kids never did, either," she said, "and I was looking forward to that."

Then we went out for lunch and Sam got a balloon. We played with it all afternoon, and by evening he was struggling mightily, it seemed, to say "balloon." "Ba-bla-blab! Bla-bab!" It cracked me up. Now he's been doing it all today, even though the balloon itself is now deceased. Everything is "Bla-bla-bab!" or some variation thereof.

posted by Carrie - 02:38 PM
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Wednesday, January 30

cookies (11k image)
Pumpkin cookies!

posted by Carrie - 07:23 PM
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Here's my latest submission to Common Threads. I actually came close to capturing his true eye color this time!

posted by Carrie - 07:19 PM
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Tuesday, January 29

I've had a frustrating day. Sam has been exceedingly whiny and clingy, refusing to let me give him anything less than one hundred percent of my attention, one hundred percent of the time. I'm tired, achy, and my head hurts; I don't know why, but I feel miserable. Would Sam let us lie down to rest and nurse? Oh, no; lying down meant thirty seconds of nursing, then playtime!

And the voices in my head won't let me ignore the little messes lying undone and the small chores that need finished. I feel postively itchy with the desire to fix things, but I can't.

At least the baby is asleep now, and Eric is "bench-warming" next to him for me, keeping him in dreamland. Unfortunately, I no longer have the energy to do what needs to be done. I should take a hot shower, but I can't even drum up the enthusiasm for that.

Blargh.

posted by Carrie - 08:02 PM
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Um, help? I've got a couple of tiny movies that I'm burning to CD for family. I need to be able to rotate one of them for viewing in portrait orientation. Is this possible? I need somebody to point me toward a downloadable movie editor that can do it. Oh, and I'm on a Mac...

posted by Carrie - 11:44 AM
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Monday, January 28

There's a new one up in the journal, full of hideous pictures of my youth.

posted by Carrie - 09:20 PM
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As if to apologize for his neighbor making us all wait so long and poor Sammy suffer so much, Tooth #2 crept through quietly today - only four days later. I noticed a second little spot on his lower gun while Sammy was belly laughing from being tickled. What a nice present!

Jade, I fervently apologize in advance for any further envy this may bring to you guys! (If you want me to ship you some Hyland's, I'd be glad; just email me your address. Seriously!)

posted by Carrie - 03:20 PM
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Sunday, January 27

So we're at our local superstore tonight doing a little grocery shopping, and we happen to come across a case containing boxes of octopus: $3.99 for 32 ounces (a whole octopus? I have no idea what form it was; the box was cardboard). Eric went nuts wanting to buy some, but we agreed to first go home to see if we could find a recipe.

I searched online and found one. It began:

First clean the octopus. Pull off the tentacles, remove and discard the intestines and the ink sac, the eyes and the beak. Skin the octopus and wash and scrub it thoroughly to remove any traces of sand...

Oh, yuck!

Anyway, Eric begs to know if anybody has any suggestions. I'm inclined to leave the octopus to the sushi pros, but if you guys have any ideas, we're all ears (an organ which the recipe neglected to mention).

posted by Carrie - 08:44 PM
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Got this in an email from a friend:

HOW TO EXPLAIN ENRON TO YOUR CHILDREN... [more]

posted by Carrie - 08:29 PM
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Heh. I love being in the know.
Congratulations, Sherry and George!

And while I'm at it, congratulations, Jan, Keith, and new baby Zeke! He's absolutely adorable.

posted by Carrie - 09:33 AM
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Friday, January 25

Eric and I are Googlewhacking.

Him: Dogshit chalupa!
       Me: Schenkerian mummy!
Him: Infantile enchirito!
       Me: Episcopalian gamelans!

I think Eric wants Taco Bell tonight.

posted by Carrie - 05:38 PM
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helloyou (24k image)

The many faces of a charmer.

Devilish
Cackling
Who, me?

posted by Carrie - 03:41 PM
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Oh. Oh, my.

posted by Carrie - 02:06 PM
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Another meme! (Courtesy of mynx)


Hey, some days I even look like her.

posted by Carrie - 10:10 AM
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Friday Five:

1. What cologne or perfume do you wear?
I rarely wear anything. On the odd occasion that I do, it's a chocolate mint perfume oil from the Body Shop, which I would adore if it lasted more than two minutes. I need a chocolate scent that lasts; any suggestions?

2. What cologne or perfume do you like best on the opposite sex?
Eric wears scents even more infrequently than I do, but I think I liked Bowling Green when he wore that.

3. What one smell can you not stomach?
Are we still talking colognes? Oldspice. Otherwise, it would have to be a really ripe litter box or rodent hutch.

4. What smell do you like that others might consider weird?
Sam's diapers. Yeah, I know. They've recently taken a turn for the worse, though, since he started taking a few solids.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?
Getting started on my first article as a freelancer, I hope!

posted by Carrie - 09:31 AM
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Thursday, January 24

Sam doesn't crawl yet; he bunny-hops.

He gets on hands and knees, the pushes up to his feet and jumps them forward. Then he sprawls on his stomach before popping back up to repeat the procedure.

Whatever works, I guess!

posted by Carrie - 05:26 PM
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And if things weren't interesting enough around here, Eric has a job interview tomorrow.

A local company found his resume on Monster and wants to interview him for an IT Manager position. It's a step up in rank (he'd have an employee answering to him), and although they haven't yet mentioned salary, the benefits package is incredible. We'd never heard of anything approaching some of the things they were saying.

So, yeah. It's a local job, but could be fantastic anyway. Fingers crossed that things go...the way they're meant to go.

posted by Carrie - 05:24 PM
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A TOOTH! A TOOTH!!!

posted by Carrie - 08:39 AM
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Wednesday, January 23

Unlikely, but if Sam does happen to chew his way into the cold packet of Arby's Sauce on which he's currently teething, he's in for a nasty surprise.

Or maybe not. He could like it, I suppose. He's pretty nutty.

posted by Carrie - 03:00 PM
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There's a new entry up in the journal.

posted by Carrie - 02:25 PM
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Tuesday, January 22

As if my day wasn't perftect enough...

M * A * S * H

You will marry James Bond (most recently played by Pierce Brosnan) from the James Bond movies, live in many expensive penthouses filled with many girls and many martinis (shaken, not stirred), and spend your days driving explosive foreign cars and spying on villains with big egos and small brains.

Thanks to Kym!

posted by Carrie - 04:51 PM
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Woo-freakin'-hoo! What a day!

First, the wonderful Amy hooked me up with a possible position as a freelance website selector; the editor liked my resume and now I'm in the middle of working up some sample reviews for her. It looks good!

Then I got an email reply and just got off the phone with the editor of a local parenting magazine and (drumroll) I'm their newest freelance writer! I've already got two assignments!

When it rains, it pours! I am feeling so excited about this. Eric has promised me Sam-free time each evening to allow me time to write. How cool is this?

Man, I'm stoked. Why can't I start right now? Oh, yeah, there's this diaper thing...

posted by Carrie - 04:23 PM
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Are You From West Virginia?

(These aren't really jokes, either; they're quite accurate, but funny nonetheless. I may not have been born in West Virginia, but my little area of Maryland was so far west that it might well have been considered "Eastern West Virginia," at least in terms of culture.) [more]

posted by Carrie - 09:51 AM
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Monday, January 21

The trouble with a homemade chocolate cake with the best freaking buttercream icing on the planet sitting tantalizingly on your kitchen counter is...

Well, I think the problem is pretty obvious.

posted by Carrie - 04:59 PM
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Sunday, January 20

cake2 (19k image)

Chocolate cake; homemade icing. Yum.

Think I'm PMS'ing?

posted by Carrie - 07:18 PM
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This little boy woke up repeatedly, whimpering, all night long. He thrashed about, sighing and half-sobbing, searching for relief that wasn't to be met by nursing alone. I dosed him with Tina's Bonjela, which put him out almost immediately - for about half an hour. (I really should stop going back to fix my multiple horrendous typos, just to illustrate how exhausted I am.)

At 6:30, he woke me by jamming his finger in my nose. Okay, fine; we're awake.

Now he's discovered that he can sleep, but only lying on Mama's lap. Let Mama lie down too? Oh, heaven forbid.

Won't you run come see St. Judy's Comet
Roll across the skies
And leave a spray of diamonds
In its wake
I long to see St. Judy's Comet
Sparkle in your eyes
When you awake

Little boy, little boy
Won't you lay your body down
Little boy, little boy
Won't you close your weary eyes
Ain't nothing flashing but the fireflies...

          (Paul Simon, St. Judy's Comet)


posted by Carrie - 10:54 AM
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Eric's doctor gave him a two week trial amout of Effexor. Now, his brother says it might take six weeks for enough to build up in his system to see a difference; will two weeks tell us much of anything?

In any event, yesterday was a good day, for a change; weekends are usually pretty terrible for us. Maybe just the idea that things will get better is helping?

posted by Carrie - 10:36 AM
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Saturday, January 19

Well, chocolate chips might have been better, but they're pretty yummy anyway. I'm just glad I accidentally tasted the chocolate beforehand.

Moral of the story: taste everything. Heh. What a trial.

posted by Carrie - 05:42 PM
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Oh, wow. It's been a long time since I've destroyed a recipe beyond all edibility, and I hope I haven't just broken my streak.

French Chocolate Buns - I hope. [more]

posted by Carrie - 03:57 PM
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So, we got a baby monitor the other day. Very helpful for when Sam's napping upstairs and I'm working downstairs, especially since he doesn't always call out for me when he wakes up.

Right now I'm sitting at the computer and listening to Eric play with Sam in bed. I was trying to put Sam down for a nap, but he was more interested in playing than nursing, so I figured I'd let Eric give it a shot, since he, too, wanted a nap.

Eric is humming Brahms' Lullaby while Sam coos back at him. Now Eric's faking being asleep, with snores; I can hear Sam chuckling at him. I have never been so in love with two human beings in my life.

posted by Carrie - 02:15 PM
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Friday, January 18

Eric is at the doctor right now. He said he was going to tell him about his crushing anxiety and depression and perhaps see about getting some medication or something.

This could be very, very good. Keep him, and us, in your thoughts.

posted by Carrie - 02:54 PM
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Friday Five

1. What do you have your browser start page set to?
Blank. I hate waiting for things to load before I can get to what I want.

2. What are your favorite news sites?
I rarely read news online; most of the time I sit and listen to Public Radio while surfing, so I get news that way. When I do read news, it's at Slashdot or CNN.

3. Favorite search engine?
Always Google. I'm not happy about the fact that they've now indexed my site by my full name based on how other sites have linked to me, but otherwise, I love it.

4. When did you first get online?
I think it was in 1994, with a VM account through my university. You want an exercise in frustration, try online gaming when you have to scroll by page, not line. I later got an account on the Vax machine, which was beautiful. Most of my early "online" experience was with local BBS's, though. I posted under the names RedSonya and Shakata, and I met some of the most interesting people. I miss that time.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?
We might pick up a new hard drive; our multiple little drives keep failing intermittently and frightening us. We'll do more childproofing, too.

posted by Carrie - 08:37 AM
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Thursday, January 17

Sam is standing on my lap as I type, looking over my shoulder. He keeps cracking up laughing at something. What? I have no idea. All that's there is the window; no cars are even driving by.

I'm thinking it might be his reflection in the glass.

He has a different laugh that he uses for things like this that amuse him - the ceiling, a piece of lint. It's a coughing kind of chuckle that startled me a little when I first heard it. He only uses it for non-adult-directed amusement. Quite discerning, this child.

posted by Carrie - 05:49 PM
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There's a new entry up in the journal. Come take a house tour!

posted by Carrie - 05:42 PM
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Wednesday, January 16

Lovely. He's learned how to spit.

posted by Carrie - 03:48 PM
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...and, after all the worrying and fuss-budgeting over whether or not to consign Sammy's clothes, my sweet husband arrived home last night, having read the whole debate, and said, "We should keep all his clothes."

Hah!

I bought a couple of smooshy under-bed bags at K-Mart to store them. I'm just relieved that the matter is resolved, at least for now.

posted by Carrie - 03:41 PM
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I read the title of this book about five times before I realized that, no, it wasn't just me. It's real, folks; it's really real.

Wonder if the method actually works? I "good-byed depression" a little bit just by reading the reviews.

posted by Carrie - 03:22 PM
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Tuesday, January 15

Nobody will get this but me. I think it's hysterical, and accurate. (I actually had a picture of Allan Forte hanging in my office in grad school.)

75 Signs That You Might Be a Theory Geek

posted by Carrie - 02:12 PM
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There have been a couple of comments down below about keeping baby clothes. I'm honestly torn over the issue and could really use some advice.

On one hand, we could really use the money I'd get for selling his outgrown clothes to the local baby thrift store. Sam is growing like a weed; he slept horribly last night, and I think it was due to the fact that his sleeper was too tight. We don't have much storage space at all to keep baby clothes that aren't in use, and I'm not even sure if there's a point to keeping them, since Eric and I haven't decided whether there will be a baby brother or sister for Sam in the future. (I'm leaning toward yes; he's leaning toward no.)

On the other hand, should we decide to have another baby, these clothes would come in handy. Some of them are practically brand new (which is why the thrift store seemed like a good idea). People aren't nearly as generous with second babies, so a future baby's closet might be more bare. Plus, as Jenne reminded me, getting rid of the baby clothes is always an invitation to fate to step in...

I'm already keeping a few of the things that have extreme sentimental value - a sleeper here, a pair of booties there. Should I hang onto more of it?

posted by Carrie - 01:23 PM
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unhshirtfull (30k image)
Sammy in the shirt that Adrith sent him for Christmas!

posted by Carrie - 10:11 AM
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Monday, January 14

I've been a busy girl today, cleaning and vacuuming almost the whole house, weeding Sam's clothes and packaging the outgrown ones to take to the thrift store, and packing up Eric's and my cast-offs to go to the thrift store or to Goodwill. I also made my first stab at creating a casserole without a recipe; we'll know in about five minutes whether or not I was successful.

I've got a La Leche League meeting in a neighboring town at 7; Eric thinks he'll be home at 6:30, so we'll probably miss each other entirely. It feels oddly reminiscent of my household when I was a teenager, with Mom busily arranging everything for everybody, and we were lucky if we got to see each other a few times a week.

posted by Carrie - 05:43 PM
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Sunday, January 13

So, my mom reminded me of what I already knew. This new fussiness of Sam's is probably all a part of one of the "half-year" stages. Apparently, the half-year points are big times for change, growth, and accompanying crankiness. Joy! I knew that, but for some reason, I thought that the first half-year didn't count.

How long does this last? Anybody know?

posted by Carrie - 09:40 PM
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Saturday, January 12

Sheesh. I took the Gay Test at TheSpark, and I'm apparently 44% gay. Sasha, that's only 1% less than you! Now, I know how I got my score, so I'm really wondering how you got yours...

Eric got 17%. According to the page, 98% of men taking the test were gayer than him. He was quite amused by my score.

posted by Carrie - 08:45 PM
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Sam's having a rough time. In addition to the tantrum I mentioned in yesterday's journal entry, he's been cranky all day today. We went out to eat, though I had a suspicion it was going to be a bad idea; he had refused all my efforts to put him down for a nap, so he was extremely exhausted. At the restaurant, he screeched about being put into the high chair, then threw fits when we wouldn't let him play with our food. Eric held him most of the time, and the only moments of calm came when we got a dish of applesauce for him - his first solid food. (Wow!) He ate less than a quarter of a teaspoon (wouldn't let us have the spoon back once it was delivered to his mouth) but enjoyed sucking on the sweetened spoon.

Oh, but he's remembered how to roll over again.

posted by Carrie - 07:08 PM
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I hate pop-ups and pop-unders.

posted by Carrie - 06:47 PM
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Friday, January 11

There's a new entry up in the journal.

posted by Carrie - 03:50 PM
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Friday Five:

1. What was your first job?
I assume we're not talking about babysitting here, which I started doing when I was thirteen. My first "corporate" job was as a Roy Rogers counter jockey during the summer before I left for college. I was a dismal failure; my nemesis was the milkshake machine, which invariably exploded in every direction when I tried to use it.

I think they were glad to see me go. I refused to ever do fast food again.

2. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
I was seventeen.

3. What was your first car? What happened to it?
It was a white Chevy Cavalier - my first stick shift, which I had to learn to drive on the impossible hills of Morgantown, West Virginia. My dad's hair literally started going gray that weekend. It threw a rod and stranded me in the middle of nowhere on my birthday, as I was on my way home from college to celebrate. A kind trucker picked me up and gave me a ride to "Fuel City," where I waited for four hours for Dad to come get me.

4. What was your first concert?
Some Christian group named Glad. It was on a field trip with my church's youth group when I was about ten years old.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?
Childproofing.

posted by Carrie - 08:40 AM
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Thursday, January 10

I seem to remember reading something long ago about how babies sometimes temporarily "forget" how to do some things while learning to do others. It's happening here. Sam is working so hard on crawling (close enough to taste it!) that he seems to have forgotten how to roll onto his back.

It's incredibly frustrating to watch him try; his arm gets stuck behind him and he flails about and fusses. I can almost hear his thoughts: "Why isn't this working? It worked before!" Hopefully he'll figure out both skills before too much longer.

posted by Carrie - 08:57 AM
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Wednesday, January 9

It's Robyn's day, it's Robyn's day! Happy birthday!

posted by Carrie - 04:27 PM
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Jean Liedloff writes in the Continuum Concept,among other things, about how South American tribal children are allowed a great deal of latitude in dangerous situations, and how they sense what is unsafe and how to behave in such circumstances. That's all well and good, but does my husband have to actually create death traps for our child?

I swear, when I went to bed last night, the living area was at least mostly child-friendly. When Sam and I came downstairs this morning, we found:

  • a pile of pennies on the high-chair tray
  • a small birthing egg in the middle of the floor
  • my digital camera sitting on a TV tray with its strap dangling down to just above the floor
  • another penny, lying hidden on the carpet

I hope I've found everything...

posted by Carrie - 11:14 AM
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Tuesday, January 8

Aw, shucks! Dave died. That was one cool man.

posted by Carrie - 02:10 PM
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It's a day of nursing tales.

Once more I'm sitting here nursing; it's one of his favorite spots to do so. No straw this time, but he's playing with my face and reaching behind himself to whap at the keyboard. Everytime he tries to kit the keys, I take his hand away and bring it to my lips for a kiss. His fingers roam about my lips blandly as he nurses.

I'm kissing his small, waving fingers, and I glance down at his face, just in time to see his eyelids flutter closed. His hand slowly descends to fall onto his cheek, and he's fast asleep.

posted by Carrie - 01:02 PM
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At this moment, I am nursing Sam while he pokes me in the chin with a drinking straw. He keeps pulling away for intermittent chews on the straw, then returns to nursing and poking.

A few minutes ago, he had a bit of a dilemma when he discovered that, no, he couldn't chew on the straw and nurse at the same time. I could see the wheels of his mind turning the problem about, seeking the solution that would allow for ultimate gratification.

posted by Carrie - 09:07 AM
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Monday, January 7

New one up in the journal!

posted by Carrie - 06:44 PM
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Sunday, January 6

Back home in Ohio. Sam seems vaguely confused but excited to be in his own digs once more. He wriggled his way under the coffee table and lay there, grinning.

There is far too much laundry for contemplation.

Hopefully there'll be an entry tomorrow. Sam is creating more laundry for me even as I type (ooh, smelly), so I'd better go tend to that. Nighty-night!

posted by Carrie - 08:40 PM
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Saturday, January 5

Mom: "Sam sure likes playing pat-a-cake."
Me: "What?"
Mom: "He's played it with me a couple of times now. Whenever I start singing it, he starts clapping."
Me: "What?"
Mom: "He especially likes the "Roll it" part. Sometimes he doesn't want to stop rolling his hands."
Me: "What???"

But he is doing it, as she showed me, despite the fact that I may have played that particular game with him, moving his hands for him, only about six times in his life. Now when we sing it to him, he claps wildly, then starts rolling his hands at the appropriate time. (He does indeed have some difficulty stopping that part, though.)

Is it an inborn game or something?

posted by Carrie - 08:25 AM
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Friday, January 4

Oh wow, oh wow! Congratulations, Heidi! Miracles happen when we least expect them. Happy New Year to you guys, sweetie!

posted by Carrie - 09:27 AM
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Friday Five:

1. You've just won a complete collection of movies starring one actor - what actor would you pick?
Kenneth Branagh, baby!

2. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
I think it may have been The Mummy Returns. Sam jumped around quite a bit in my belly, if I remember correctly.

3. What was the last video or DVD that you bought?
Eric bought me The Evil Dead for Christmas. It came in a groovy lunchbox that made me wish I was still in school, or working outside of the home, or something that required me to pack a lumch.

4. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get sick of?
I don't think there's a movie out there that wouldn't sicken me after a while, and I'm including my own wedding and (nonexistent) birth videos. Maybe Barnum or Jesus Christ Superstar, so I could sing along.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?
Ugh; driving home. We're going to stop in Pittsburgh on the way, though, to visit Protho and family.

posted by Carrie - 09:16 AM
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Thursday, January 3

Got Sam's 6-month portraits done today at Picture People. Hopefully when we get home I'll be able to convince Eric to hook up the scanner so you can see them. They turned out adorably.

I am going to be so depressed when we finally get home. Sam's going to be plunged back into his world of relative solitude, and he's not going to take to it well - and neither am I, for that matter. We have got to get back to our families, or at least to within a more reasonable driving distance.

Eric's interview with the Charleston, WV, company went okay, but it's a very small company. Unless they come forward with a tremendous offer, Eric's not inclined to consider it. As he puts it, "It takes a lot to make one leave a billion-dollar company." True though that may be, I want to come home!

posted by Carrie - 10:56 PM
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Wednesday, January 2

Adage for our times:

"Grandparents give the gifts that use batteries."

I swear, over the last week Sam has accumulated more stuff that beeps, blinks, lights up, and plays music than I've ever seen in my life. Of course, he loves it all. Good thing nothing has been too noxious so far.

posted by Carrie - 08:58 PM
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Last week sometime, while at the in-laws', I happened to ask Rita when babies generally started reaching with their arms when they wanted to be lifted. She wasn't certain, but didn't think it was for another couple of months.

Three days later, he's doing it.

Last evening, Eric happened to mention that Sam wasn't sticking out his tongue anymore and that he rather missed it.

A few hours later, Sam began to stick out his tongue once more. (This time, though, he sticks it the whole way out and licks his lips in a weird, almost rude-looking, style. We all cracked up the first few times he did it, so now he does it non-stop.)

You'd almost think he was listening to us...

posted by Carrie - 08:55 PM
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