Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Update: 10 months

Dear Adrian;

You are now 10 months old. This happened two days ago, with less fanfare than usual as we are getting ready to move to the Chicago 'burbs.

This past month your vocabulary has developed into 2 whole words: 'hi' and 'up'. Sometimes 'up' means 'up' and sometimes it means 'hey, look over there', and occasionally 'up' means 'cat'. I'm not going to complain because at least you're trying.

Another fun development is your attempts at walking unassisted. You're now taking 4-5 steps before you plop on your bottom and crawl the rest of the way. This whole crawling thing is delightful to watch, but a real nuisance as you seem to be rocket-propelled when we turn our backs. This past week I've caught you trying to eat paper, leaves, and a bug when you thought we weren't looking. You're at the point now where everything new gets the full 5 senses: first you look at it, then you pick it up, then you shake it to see if it makes noise, then you bring it to your face, pause, and try to stuff it in your mouth. Keys, hairbrushes, cell phones, cat food--you'll try anything at least once.

Oh! Also, what is with your new sleeping schedule? Since when did you get the idea that it is okay to wake up before 6 am? Who told you that? Just because Granpa is up at 4, doesn't mean that we all have to get up. This morning you slept in until 6:15 and I was grateful.
Never in my whole life did I think that I would consider 6:15 sleeping in.
You are ridiculously cute when you awake. You nurse for a while, and the you say 'up' repeatedly. If we don't hop to, you then proceed to climb all over us and pick at our ears, noses, and eyes. You're our little monkey-baby.

Our new home is just down the street from a playground, and I look forward to watching you explore all of the equipment as you grow. Your father and I have gone and admitted that you are our primary concern, and we have chosen our new home with you in mind. We're excited to start a new chapter in our lives, and we're so glad that you'll be a part of it.

We love you little man.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Back by popular demand!

Now that you know that the house has an exterior, let me tell you about the interior:
It inhabits an alternate dimension straight back to the time when Betty Crocker was the creme-de-la-creme of all things and every family meal included some kind of jello-salad concoction.
Which is to say: it's old school and it rocks.

3 bedrooms, 1 bath, rectangular living room, and a kitchen with brand new sink, dishwasher, gas stove, and floor. A very clean fridge--possibly brand new but hard to tell.
Full-length basement with built-in bar and laundry room.

I heart my new abode.

In other news:
I now have an Illinois drivers license and temporary license plate. Both were relatively painless procedures--my wallet smarts a bit, but she'll recover.

Adrian is officially 10 months old. I'll get to that next time.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


(photo) Soon-to-be home! Posted by Picasa

We found a home!
Move in date: September 1.

Now we have a ton of crap to take care of before Thursday.

More later.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Like hunting, but without the death-bit.

(photo) Give me the camera! Posted by Picasa

So, tomorrow Aaron & I are driving to Chicago to meet with a realtor to find a place to live. For under $1,000 a month. In a somewhat safe neighborhood. In a domicile that isn't falling down around our ears or covered in lead paint or was recently used as a flophouse, whorehouse, or similar. In or near Chicago Heights.

We've decided that our main concern is finding a house that isn't equipped with the likes of the baby-killer-2000. Someplace that is easily adaptable to all of the needs of an almost toddler, namely doors that he can't open and floors that aren't covered in broken glass and rusty nails.

We're so demanding.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

(photo) Be-yoo-tiful jar from dirt mall. Hooray for dirt mall! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Moving is crap.

So, Aaron and I figured out why poor people don't just up and move.

We sat down and did the math and when all is said & done, it's gonna cost us about $5,000 to relocate to Chicago. And that's with the Army moving our stuff for free.

$5,000! That's 125 cases of diapers, or 17,000 individual diapers. That's about 10 YEARS worth of diapers.
Clearly I enjoy playing with the calculator a little too much.

I have to go lay down until I'm no longer overwhelmed at the prospect of spending $5,000 to move to Chicago.

Holy crap.

(photo) Going for a walk. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Yes, bah!

Anybody know the name of a realtor in Chicago?

Tomorrow, Aaron plans on accepting a job there...Unless they want him to work for peanuts. Literal, actual, dug-from-the-ground peanuts.

In the interest of not getting my husband dooced preemptively, I'll just say that the job is a with a company that deals with vehicles that have wheels and those particular vehicles are frequently seen traversing the many highways and byways of the USofA.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The library and stuff

(photo) Red-eyed baby Posted by Picasa

This photo has nearly nothing to do with this post, but so many of you have told me you enjoy the photos, so here you are. I aim to please.

The other day we went to the library, and I picked up a book on teaching your baby to sign. Adrian has already picked up one sign. The sign that means "eat". We're trying to interest him in the others, but he gives me a look like "crazy lady, I have no need for these ridiculous hand gestures so cease and desist with the pantomime"
But this story is more about my love of the library. I'm bookish. I've always been bookish...I remember going to the library with my mom when I was in elementary school and checking out the maximum amount of books (ten) on Saturday, and by Wednesday finishing them all. I have memories of being chastised by teachers for reading during class. And there were numerous occasions when I nearly missed my metro stop because I was too engrossed in the words in front of me. The library is one of the greatest services that is provided to the general public. I love the endless rows of books, and that particular library smell: books, carpet, and toner.
One of my earliest memories is the day that I figured out how to read: it seemed as if the whole world had just unlocked itself to me. After that I would drag a chair out of the kitchen and over to my parents bookcases to peruse their book collection, in case there was anything that might appeal to my little kindergarten eyes. That was how I discovered the book entitled "So that's where babies come from!" I was schooled in the processes of human reproduction at an early age--you won't catch me confusing a zygote with an embryo, no sir.
Lest you think I was all smarts, I also recall the time I snuck an egg out of the refridgerator and nestled it between 2 pillows for 3 days before I learned that you can't hatch eggs from the grocery store.
This post has kind of run away from me so I'm going to sign off.
Later, Internet.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

On honeymoon.

(photo) Mike and Annette DeCarlo Posted by Picasa

Those are my father's parents on their honeymoon in New Orleans. The date, as near as I can figure, is between 1944 and 1947.
I have many more old photos to clean up in Photoshop that I will eventually share with you.

Lovely, thanks!

My birthday was lovely, thanks for asking!

Aaron got up early with the baby, so I was able to sleep in until 8:30 am! It's a wild and crazy existence, but somehow we manage.

Gary & Nina watched Adrian so Aaron and I could go out to dinner. We went to this great Indian restaurant, The Great Indian Restaurant. The food was phenomenal (my tastebuds wept for joy), the service was wonderful, and we got papadams to go. (Mmm, crispy goodness)
Then Aaron & I went to the Barnes & Noble bookstore where I perused many a section, breathing in the lovely smell of books, and purchased a travel book on India. (Are you sensing the theme of the evening?)
We had every intention of going to a Burger King for the purpose of procuring one of those paper crowns they hand out on birthdays, but we didn't pass one on the way home. Next year, I shall have to supply my own crown for the festivities. Last year I wore my sequiny tiara with attached pink fluffy boa, but that's currently in storage. I'm a big believer in ridiculous headwear.

I received a birthday package from my family which included a disc with the photos from our trip to Birmingham. I've been busily working on those photos so I can post them to Flickr. I've done about 40, I've got 30 more to go.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Last Friday (same day as our trip to the zoo), Aaron & I went to the Rock Island Brewing Company--a bar known locally as RIBCo--to meet up with his friends from way back.
I really enjoyed getting to meet everyone, hearing stories about their misadventures, and watching Aaron enjoy himself. It was the best time he'd had in a long time.

Thanks, y'all.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The zoo

(Photo) The zoo! Posted by Picasa

Friday afternoon, we went to Niabi Zoo. It was our second trip, the first occurring in June. The first time we went, Adrian was interested in the birds, and the birds only. I imagine that was because the birds were the only animals we saw moving. But that's what happens when it's the middle of the day and it's hot.
Adrian got a lot more out of it this time. We saw elephants, gibbons, all sorts of domesticated animals at the smelly (oh! how it smelled!) petting zoo, wallabys, emu, lions (and lion cubs!), and, well, you get the idea.

Adrian especially enjoyed: the llama at the petting zoo, the river otter, the fish in the aviary--yes, that seemed weird to me, too--and the carousel that played calypso music. The way the otter exhibit is set up, you're pretty much face-to-face with the otter through a big window. The otter would make that squeaky-whistling noise they do, and Adrian would wave and say "Bub!" (We decided that the otter's name must be Bob.) Adrian watched the macaws at the aviary, but was much more engrossed by the fish tank in the foyer. I think we spent the longest amount of time watching Adrian watch the fish. And then the calypso carousel provided Adrian an opportunity to dance--and dance he did. Here's some photos.

As for me, I enjoyed the elephants, the wallabys (is it wallabies?) in the Australian Walk-About, and the bears. The macaws in the aviary scared me a little. They just sit on a perch and eyeball you, like street toughs. There's no barrier between you and them--I assume that their wings are clipped, but it's unnerving to be that close to birds with giant, razor-sharp beaks.

The Australian Walk-About was really neat--it was a large fenced in area, through which a blacktop path meandered. The path was roped off, and wandering through the enclosure were at least 4 wallabys and 5 emu. Nothing but a bright yellow rope between you and them. The whole time I was asking Aaron, 'what keeps the wallabys on that side of the rope?' and 'does this seem weird to you?' There was a keeper present, to discourage imbeciles from crossing over the rope, but it seems to me that someone is bound to get the bejeezus knocked out of 'em by a wallaby at some point.

That was our field trip for the week.

Join us next week when something else will my birthday! My birthday happens next week! Tell me you love me, because it will be my birthday and I like to hear that sort of thing.
(End of shameless plug)

Friday, August 05, 2005

(photo) We're going to the zoo! Posted by Picasa


(Photo) Behold the snorty pig face. Posted by Picasa

It's taken me weeks, but I finally have it on film: The snorty pig face.

It has passed through a wide range of meanings, but he's finally using it to convey displeasure. You'll notice he's wearing part of his dinner on his shoulder, after he has ripped off his bib a la The Incredible Hulk.

You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Trust me.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Adrian Crawls!

(Photo) Adrian crawls! Posted by Picasa

He decided to go for it yesterday. He does a combination of a crawl, crabwalk, and yoga pose. For more images, you can go here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A little glimpse of me.

When I started this here blog, I was inspired by the likes of dooce, finslippy, verymom, and suburban bliss. I thought to myself: wow! they are funny! and honest! (Of course I was very pregnant and prone to hysteria, but that's neither here nor there)

But here's the thing, Internet. I don't think I can share my internal monologue. It's unfit for human consumption. To put it bluntly: the voice in my head is not a very nice person. Aaron constantly reminds me of the time we were driving home from the grocery store and I spied an unfamiliar child playing in our neighborhood. The words that sprung, unbidden, from my mouth: Who's that fat kid? Not "hey, I wonder who that is?" or "I've never seen him before". Thank gods the windows were rolled up, as I was instantly mortified.
I honestly believe that the world could do with more nice, so I make an effort to be nice. (Practice what you preach blahblahblah) Some days I do better than others.
So, while I would like to share with you the inner monologue that chatters daily, I am socially conditioned to be afraid of what you might think. Also, some day I may need money from you and I'd hate for you to hold this against me.

To wrap all this up, I'll leave you with a mental image that always gives me the giggles:
Snoop Dogg changing diapers.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Update: Nine Months!

Dear Adrian;

You've officially been out of the womb for as long as you were in it, and I have to say that this past 9 months have really sped by. Maybe it's just a lack of sleep & catering to your every whim that make it seem that way, or maybe it's because there's so much more to do with you around.

I love that I get to see everything again for the first time through your eyes. This month we took you for your premier visit to the library--I had no idea that libraries could be so funny. Each new turn was greeted with a little gasp of wonder and excitement, paired with excited flapping baby arms. You also experienced the 4th of July and a block party for the first time--not that you saw any fireworks, you were already in bed by then. You are an ambassador for babies: everywhere you go, you spread a little cheer.

On our trip to Birmingham you were wonderful in the airport, on the plane, and while visiting. You met a whole slew of relatives on my side of the family; aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and dogs. You charmed them all and earned us a few open invitations. You also have a few girlfriends at the security check in the Birmingham airport--you offered to share your graham-cracker-smeared burp rag as a token of your affection.

This month you have become more and more your own little person, which is alternately hilarious and frustrating. We're now entering monkey-see, monkey-do mode; which has led to "so big", sticking your tongue out, and making a snorty pig-face. Your current nick name is Piglet--as the snorty pig face happens when you are excited or just trying to get a reaction out of a stranger. The down side of this personality of yours is that you are stubborn--more stubborn than your father & I combined (lord have mercy on us all). You've also started with the fake-cry-temper-tantrum, but we can dissolve that with the distraction of a book or a toy. I imagine that the older you get, the more work it will be for us to distract you.

You're fully cruising the furniture now, and will look for every opportunity to avoid crawling. You know how to crawl--you've done it 3 times: to the playstation, to the liquor cabinet, and to eat grass--you just prefer to walk. We're trying to keep you from walking all on your own just yet--even though you've taken a few unassisted steps--we don't want to have to babyproof this house as your grandparents have already done their baby-raising.

And you still don't have any teeth. You've managed to consume pork bar-b-que, rice, bread, bratwurst, bananas, peaches, and many other foods without the use of teeth. However, you've had the runs for 11 days now despite what we feed you. The doctor ran some tests and told us not to worry, but we can't help it. Your digestive system has gone from one extreme to the other--just when we thought you'd gotten everything running regular-like. I'm at a loss--your bowels are a mystery to me.

You're 3/4 of a year old, and every day you get farther away from being a baby. You're a funny little person with an agenda of your own, and once you're fully mobile the world will be yours to command--or so you like to think.

We love you, Piglet.