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Friday, September 20

Friday Five:

1. Would you say that you're good at keeping in touch with people?
Oh, no. I'm absolutely horrible. I think it's a part of my whole self-destructive tendency to not follow through on things; I tend to let e-mail languish in my inbox, messages lie unanswered on my answering machine, letters go ignored on top of the desk. Really bad, folks. The oldest e-mail I have "waiting to be answered" is almost a year old now.

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why?
I'd say that I prefer email, simply because it's easier to dash off a note that way, but I'm probably most effective with the phone. I wish I could meet more people in person, but most of my relationships are long distance, sadly.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it?
Oh, I have them all - ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo. I never, ever use them. I used to use them to talk to family and close friends, but I found myself not turning them on for some reason. Maybe it's a part of that same tendency, or maybe I just wanted to "be alone." I don't know. I don't really miss the media, though I wish I was better at compensating for the lost communication.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away?
See question two. My best friend in the world lives in North Carolina. We have several friends in the West Virginia/D.C./Pennsylvania area who we never get to see, and that's a shame. Thankfully, I do have a couple of close friends in the area, made since Sam was born, so I no longer feel like a total recluse.

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person, or do you believe that "distance makes the heart grow fonder"?
As awful as I am about correspondence, I still very much miss those friends. In fact, I think, and even dream, about them quite a bit. I may try to start writing more snail mail to them; I love getting letters, and that may help break me out of my bad habits.

posted by Carrie - 09:39 AM
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Wednesday, September 18

With regards to the last entry... [more]

posted by Carrie - 04:39 PM
[Link] [6 sandcastles]

Tuesday, September 17

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What we've been doing tonight.

[more]

posted by Carrie - 09:19 PM
[Link] [11 sandcastles]

And then the husband calls to say he's working late, because he has the chance to "work on something interesting." (I know he didn't mean that the way it sounded.) He asked me if I minded, and I told him it was his call, and that I'd try not to be angry. He sounded a little apprehensive and vaguely frightened when he hung up.

All I know is, he can make his own dinner when he gets home.

posted by Carrie - 06:54 PM
[Link] [1 tiny sandcastle]

Sam is going nuts. These fits are driving me batty. Most of the time, he's a happy, cheerful kid, grinning his head off and chattering to the world. And then...

Well.

Today's biggest fit came when I insisted that he not drive his toy car into the driveway, which is a huge blind spot for anyone exiting our parking lot. He persisted; I told him we'd have to go inside if he kept it up. When he did, I stuck to my guns and we came inside, where the world exploded in a fireball of kicking and screaming.

Not as bad as yesterday, though. Yesterday was one big series of tantrums and crying spells, beginning in the morning at the zoo, where the son of an online aquaintance I was meeting decided to knock Sam to the ground. Things only got more trying from there; I'd say he spent as much time in tears as in smiles for the rest of the day. He finally passed out at home, and when Eric arrived to wake him, he was once more at peace with everything and himself. Daddies are good for that, I guess.

Thinking I need to get some more Rescue Remedy, for both of us.

posted by Carrie - 05:50 PM
[Link] [2 sandcastles]

Saturday, September 14

More woods walking today, this time with Eric. A good time was had by all, especially Sam, who wanted to mimic Eric's every move. Eric found a large walking stick, with which he tapped the ground as he hiked. Sam, too, had a large stick, though not quite as long, proportionally, as Eric's; he had to stop walking every few steps to squat and tap the dirt.

When we reached the car, Eric moved to toss the sticks into the woods. I warned him that this was probably going to meet with resistance (to speak in understatements) from our progeny. Eric gently demonstrated to Sam how he would throw his own stick "to the squirrels." Then he reached out his hand and asked Sam for his stick. Amazingly, Sam gave up his stick and solemnly watched Eric throw it into the trees.

Daddy power.

posted by Carrie - 09:22 PM
[Link] [2 sandcastles]

Friday, September 13

On the positive side, though, Sam has truly gotten the hang of giving kisses. They're big, smacking ones, too. He crosses the room, smacking his lips in anticipation, then plants them on your mouth with great fanfare and sound effects. For the longest time, his kisses have been drooly, open-mouthed, silent affairs; now they're almost grown-up in style.

He kisses all his toys, too. I've never seen anything so precious as my little boy, kissing all over his baby doll without even realizing that I'm watching him.

posted by Carrie - 07:20 PM
[Link] [4 sandcastles]

Gah! Roasted a chicken for dinner, it smells divine, and Eric calls to tell me he's running late. No kidding. Grrr...

I spent most of today (in snatches) working on an early birthday present for Eric, and I'm now butting heads against a technical problem that has me stymied and means I can't work anymore until I get it fixed.

My shoulder is covered in baby snot from Sam's afternoon freakout. I kept repeating to myself, as I paced back and forth with him in my arms, "I love you, and I won't leave you to cry alone." I swear, this is worse than when he was a newborn.

Eric's late night tonight means we're going to miss Bible study.

It's just been one of those days.

posted by Carrie - 07:10 PM
[Link] [1 tiny sandcastle]

Friday Five:

1. What was/is your favorite subject in school? Why?
Well, that would depend on the year in question, but overall, it would probably have to be band. I was good at it, you know? I also loved jazz band and orchestra. The better you are at doing something, the more freedom you gain; in orchestra, where I was the only wind player (we had to get together with the teeny-tiny orchestras in other high schools in order to have concerts, and even then we had to recruit volunteers for some instruments), I could pretty much do whatever the heck I wanted, so long as I played something. It was much the same in the other ensembles, where I was just good.

I also loved European History, mainly because the teacher had a fascinating way of linking every subject to either religion (in an irreverent sort of way, especially considering that he was also an Anglican priest) or sex. Fun lectures, I tell you.

2. Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
My first high school band director. She was phenomenal. Unfortunately, she left during my junior year to work for the Board of Education, and what followed was a string of the most incompetent nincompoops to ever be given a degree in education. (Or not, in one case. When I confronted him once about how he was consistently misreading a rhythm - he couldn't even actually read music, which was another story - he hotly responded, "Which of us has a degree in music?" "Neither," I replied, "but I'm closer." He let the matter drop. See what I mean about being able to get away with anything?)

3. What is your favorite memory of school?
Hmm. I actually have quite a few good memories. I was a "good kid" who used that reputation to push the limits as far as they would go, so I had a great time by the time I was in high school. (Let's not talk about junior high, shall we? That was painful, and best forgotten.) Playing in the drumline of the band was fun, as was competing in Odyssey of the Mind competitions. I'd be hard pressed to pick one memory as favorite.

4. What was your favorite recess game?
Now we're talking younger memories, which, as I said, are decidedly more painful. In junior high, I didn't go outside for recess; it would have been disaster to even try. In elementary school I wouldn't have gone outside either if I'd had the choice, but they herded us all outdoors regardless. I recall riding on the merry-go-rounds with Amy, dragging one knee overboard on the concrete in an attempt to bloody it so that they'd let us go back inside. Ah, youth.

5. What did you hate most about school?
Red tape. I remember during my senior year, I was to spend one morning taking the AP exam for calculus. The afternoon was going to be a wasteland of nothingness, since three of the four classes were musical, and we'd just given our spring concert two nights before; the other class was calculus itself. Coincidentally, that day was also informally scheduled to be "Senior Skip Day," for which many seniors planned to play hooky. I didn't want to simply skip the day, but I did have a huge research paper coming due in history. I spoke to all the teachers for the afternoon, and they all told me to stay home (the math teacher even told me he'd punish me for showing up), so I spent the afternoon taking advantage of the opportunity to use a local college's library for research. (Yes, I was a book-brain).

When I came back in the next day, I found out that the principal was making examples of the "A students" who hadn't been in class the day before. I was going to be out of school that afternoon, when I knew he'd probably get around to summoning me, so I preemptively went to visit him. He did, indeed, have my name on his list, and I presented him with a note from Mom, saying precisely what I'd been doing, and told him that I'd had all my teachers' permission. Didn't matter, he said. Nor did it matter, I wryly confirmed from him, that I had been doing research instead of watching drummers play floor hockey with textbooks in the band room, as I would have been doing. I received in-school suspension, which I served with a certain amount of pride.

posted by Carrie - 10:41 AM
[Link] [1 tiny sandcastle]

Thursday, September 12

Sam is a child who's desperately in need of a toy kitchen. He loves the one at the library, he was madly infatuated with his cousin Hailey's toy kitchen, and he's trying to help me cook right now by pulling out pots and pans and pushing around my rolling kitchen cart. (He also brings me suggested ingredients from the fridge and pantry, such as yams and pickles.)

Anyway, I found a couple of likely candidates on Ebay for potential Christmas presents, but Eric says he'd rather get Sam a new one. I looked at the websites for Toys 'R Us and Target, but all the nice ones are super expensive. Any other suggestions? They don't have to have a whole ton of food or utensils; those seem to be available separately pretty cheaply.

posted by Carrie - 06:11 PM
[Link] [12 sandcastles]

When we woke up this morning, it was fall. Boom, overnight, no more summer. Hurrah! There were crunchy leaves all over the ground, and it was cool enough for jeans. Heaven, I say.

Since I wanted to embrace the day, I readied Sam and took him to the first woodsy, outdoorsy place that crossed my mind: the Wildwoods Metropark. I'd never been there, but had always been curious whenever I drove past the entrance. It was gorgeous! Huge trees everywhere, walking and biking paths, lots of birds and animals, and a beautiful old manor house to tour. Sam was entranced; I let him walk by himself, and he kept picking up sticks and waving them at the trees as he walked. He was slow-going, since for every two feet forward, he insisted on walking one foot back the way we came, but it was worth the needed patience to watch the looks on his face.

We'll have to go back sometime soon with Daddy. Maybe this weekend?

posted by Carrie - 04:47 PM
[Link] [1 tiny sandcastle]

Wednesday, September 11

My little chubby-cheeks boy is actually a stringbean in disguise, it turns out. At the doctor's office, he weighed in at 22 pounds, 7 ounces - the twenty-fifth percentile. He's in the fiftieth percentile for height.

He charmed all the nurses, tried to stick the throat stick in the doctor's mouth, and wailed like a banshee when they stuck him with the tetanus vaccine. He cheered up pretty quickly, though, and all was forgiven.

Now, if I can just figure out what's causing his extreme, out-of-nowhere tantrums lately, I'll be a thrilled mama. Seriously, he screamed for half an hour this morning after he woke up from his nap; I held him, tried to nurse, sang to him...nothing. He just cried and cried. He did this the other day, too. What's up with this?

(By the way, we're both feeling almost completely over our colds, thank God.)

posted by Carrie - 05:03 PM
[Link] [7 sandcastles]

Monday, September 9

Yeah. Remember when I said that I almost wished I would catch Sam's cold just so my breastmilk would have antibodies for him? Somebody kick me next time I say something like that. Seriously.

posted by Carrie - 07:41 PM
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Sunday, September 8

I've got three new entries up in the journal; the first two are from my paper journal from over the last week, and the last one is from tonight. Start here to read them.

By the way, I really do feel bad about some of the interactions between my in-laws and me over the last week. I know I could have handled things better, but I guess it will have to wait until our next visit.

posted by Carrie - 07:18 PM
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Saturday, September 7

We're in Akron, Ohio. We made it halfway home before Sam's insistence won out and we stopped at a hotel. I had thought that we could perhaps meet up with Amy and family, as they're in the area, but...

When we were almost here, I noticed that Sam was sneezing more often and that his nose was running a little. We thought it might be allergies, but it kept getting worse. By dinnertime, he was obviously heading on the road toward sick. I went to the drugstore for a decongestant, and by the time I got back, Sam had passed out on the bed next to Daddy.

He woke a bit ago, miserable and wailing. I gave him some meds, sucked out his nose, and took him in the bathroom with a steamy shower running, and he finally calmed down enough to nurse back to sleep. I hope he stays that way. The trip home tomorrow should be a real treat, I imagine.

posted by Carrie - 11:40 PM
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Friday, September 6

Friday Five:

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? Why?
Mmm. I have so many! I hate grammatical and other such errors in written media; in most cases, people indeed have the time to double-check their work, but simply choose not to avail themselves of the opportunity. I can't stand it when people claim to hate things that they've never even tried (food, computers, "new music," etc.). I don't like the way books, music, and software written for children is often designed spectacularly poorly simply because it's "just for kids."

I hate citronella. I cringe at the sound of silverware on dishes. I can't handle Yanni.

I guess I just hate a lot.

2. What irritating habits do you have?
I have been known to bite my cuticles and chew on my lips. I also tend to leave important things until the last minute and to flake on major responsibilities.

3. Have you tried to change the irritating habits or just let them be?
I paint my nails to avoid biting them. Doesn't work. I've also tried to become a better listmaker, but that, too, has yet to have any noticeable effect.

4. What grosses you out more than anything else? Why?
Chewing tobacco. It smells, it looks horrible, and I associate it with some of the grungiest of the grungy guys at my high school. I can't fathom why anybody would ever do such a disgusting thing.

5. What one thing can you never see yourself doing that other people do?
To answer the question in a topsy-turvy sort of way, I can't see myself not reading. People who don't read are a continual mystery to me; whenever anyone tells me that they don't like to read, it's usually a sign that they and I are probably not going to ever be close. We simply live in different worlds.

posted by Carrie - 07:45 PM
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Well, I'm still in West Virginia at the in-laws' house. I tried to update a couple of days ago, but Greymatter horked (must learn Moveable Type, must learn Moveable Type) and I only just got it bck up and running tonight. Suffice it to say that it's been a relatively tranquil visit, all things considered. Sam's had a blast with his Grandpa, riding around on his tractor and general merriment. Rita's been mostly okay, mentally-speaking. We've rested, eaten well, and relaxed. We leave tomorrow; not looking forward to that.

As I've been unable to update anywhere, I've written a couple of entries by hand. I'll have them typed and uploaded soon, so be patient with me!

posted by Carrie - 07:28 PM
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