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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Z's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011
8:35 am
Projects/The Garden Post
I'm so behind on updates...

We hired a contractor to fix the garage. The roof shingles were blowing off in every storm, the paint had all peeled off due to the dumb primer/paint mistake the previous owners made, and the particle-board doors had rotted out.

So, nearly $7K later (tax refund), it has a roof and siding and new doors (this last we bought on Craigslist and installed ourselves; really not that bad). It only took us 6 years to do it. Back finally doesn't look like a dump; this is excellent.

I started a composter last year. We've put everything in it from kitchen waste to grass clippings and it's "eaten" it all despite rather infrequent turning. It could use more leaves now, I think, but on the whole it's been an amazing success.

We decided last year that we were tired of trying to grow grass in the front yard. We've started from scratch twice, we've watered, we've put down weed and grub suppressors - every year we wind up with mostly crab grass and a lot of bare spots. It doesn't make any damn sense, because you can't eat grass, and nothing else we grow needs that much damned babying. It's easier to grow tomatoes than grass. So, we're ripping out the grass and installing a cottage garden. I'm doing it mostly from seed/bulb to be more cost effective, so right now it looks like a half ripped up moon-scape, but I think it will look nice in the end.

I've put in liatris and tritoma bulbs, and I have hollyhocks started inside. I'm planning on putting mostly rudbeckia (black eyed susan) and painted daisies in the very front, because I think they'll take the abuse of people stepping on them, driving over them etc once established, and gaillardia and echinacea behind those. There are also some peonies (those were already there, but too close to the front so they got smashed before they could make any progress every year), and my lupine went to seed last year so I have 200 baby lupines in the back that can be moved around. I've stared some delphinium...not sure if they'll come up. Anyway, it'll be fun to have some room for flowers because the back has been devoted to vegetables - which I love, but I like flowers too.

Now that the siding is on the garage, I can turn over the bed closest to it and plant the fig tree we started from a cutting (about 18 inches high now) and some grapes I bought yesterday. I've already planted out my snow peas (started indoors) and there are some other seedlings ready to go out today as well. Tomatoes and lettuce we'll get at Alstede though. They have the best lettuce starts, and I think they have heirloom tomato starts as well. Tomatoes don't start strong from seed for me - it's hard to start them as early as the greenhouses do and still get enough light on them to get fat little plants instead of spindly ones, so those we'll just buy.

I also started two blueberry bushes. I thought about a self pollinator dwarf like TopHat, but the reviews I read weren't very good, so I wound up with a Bluecrop and a Jersey.

I love gardening.
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
6:38 am
Karpathos @ Ft. Tryon
Sunday, October 3rd.
Sunday, August 8th, 2010
1:01 pm
Sunday, June 27th, 2010
5:00 pm
Weekend in review
Caileen is out of school for the summer. She's been at my parents' for the last week visiting with her Rockaway friends. Tomorrow she returns to visit with the Bloomfield set.

Charles has been clearing rocks and weeds from the right side of the former pool zone. We've actually managed to give several garbage cans full of chipped marble away on Freecycle. This weekend I turned over a new bed on that side of the yard, fixed the soil, transplanted the beans that had started in pots, replaced the eggplant that was smothered by the huge zucchini plants, and added a cool stripy tomato. I found half a bag of peat moss and two bags of mulch I'd forgotten from last season in the garage. There were huge ant nests under them, but I managed to dump the lot in the new bed anyway - I figure the birds will take care of the ants.

Today I hacked out two small shovels worth of irises from the front garden and moved them to the new bed as temporary filler. I haven't divided the irises in 5 years, and there were about 30 plants in those two small shovel-fulls. I've offered the rest on freecycle, but if no one takes them I'm just going to have to pitch them because they're taking over the front and I probably need to pull out about 4 times as much just to make space up there.

We've picked about 10 cucumbers and at least that many zucchini. Yesterday we found a zucchini half as long as Charles's arm that we'd BOTH managed to overlook all week. Charles grilled it. It was great. Zucchini bread is in the near future.

The first push of raspberries is just about done, and the first blackberries are just getting ripe. The blackberries have sentimental value,but they've never produced anything edible before,but this year the plant is covered and the berries are actually big enough to pick without squashing them. We're still getting about a pint of berries (between the raspberries and the blackberries) every other day. I love growing things :)

I was thinking yesterday how great nature is. The bees pollinate my plants, the birds carry away the weeds and ants, the rain waters the lot, and I get crazy amounts of veggies and berries. Life is good.

Max lives in the pool. He is a perpetually naked pool baby. Sometimes with sword fights.

Max plays trombone:

Caileen @ her 6th grade graduation:

Mommy and Max @ sister's graduation:

A girl I've known since the first day of kindergarten observed "6th grade graduation...doesn't it seem like yesterday?" And she's right, it kind of does. Made me rather misty at the event thinking of all the great stuff those almost grown people were going to go on to do with their lives...all the great and terrible things life has for them that they don't know about yet.
Sunday, June 20th, 2010
7:48 am
Music (some questions)
So, I need a project. I've never been in a band where I would listen to our CD. It's awful isn't it? It's not that the bands were awful, they just didn't have a lot to do with my aesthetic.

While I'd consider playing in a really good goth band:

a) there aren't (m)any good new ones
b) those that exist need great guitarists, and I am not a great guitarist and can't be bothered to be one.
c) I could play bass or keys...again, in the right band, I'd get decent at those.
d) I could sing, but that would require being the boss and driving the thing, and I'm not a ham and don't have the headspace for writing and booking gigs and playing psychologist.

I think I want to be in Oingo Boingo. Obviously, I can't REALLY be in Boingo, they're in LA and um, they don't exist (other than that...)

But, I mean I want a project that has the things that I love about Boingo, because I can listen to it for weeks at a time. What do I want?

a) the composition/arrangement rocks. The melodies are beautiful, they're complex, they build, lots of counterpoint. Weird scales are go.
b) the singer rocks. This is very important to me. Maybe it's stupid, but I have to have a front man who can sell it to me. This has always been true as a consumer of music...I've been more forgiving of it in bands I'm actually in, but it's probably the #1 reason I wouldn't play our CDs. No presence. Adequate pitch. I need someone who believes it while they're saying it.
c) dark wit. They're funny, they're crazy, the lyrics are great: but they aren't stupid. There are only a few bands that can be Devo and not be complete losers. I don't have to wear black on stage, but this has not been a costume all these years, goth or otherwise, I'm a creepy antisocial weirdo.
d) horns/weird instruments. I can now play a stupid number of instruments badly. I play them all badly because I can't possibly practice them all enough to get great, but I learn them enough for proof of concept. If I found a great band that needed a trombone, I could learn the part. If I found a great band that wanted a cello, I could do it. If I found a great band that wanted an accordion, I could do that. Sousaphone, I'm working on. It's not that I'm so great, but once I establish the curve, the real problem isn't getting good enough, it's finding something to play.

Question 1: So, all this said, where the hell do I find a project guys?

I've responded to about a dozen Craigslist ads and been on half a dozen meetups, and I haven't found something I'm passionate about.

Question 2: I've seen at least one starting band that has kind of forgettable composition but are very open minded. Should I be willing to arrange all of their music for them so it doesn't suck, or should I keep walking until i meet someone who already has something I want?
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
2:14 pm
12th Birthday Party. Check.

Movies are *so* expensive these days we probably could have taken them to a destination for about the same price, in retrospect. The girls unanimously voted to see the new Shrek. This was the first birthday party that really mixed the Rockaway crowd with the Bloomfield crowd, and it went pretty well. I hadn't met the Bloomfield girl before, but I'd run into her mother at back to school night. The mom struck me as kind of odd, so, I didn't really push to have the girl over, but in fact, although the mom IS odd (I don't think she's bad odd, maybe just nervous?) her daughter is very polite and articulate and has many interests. We had 5 girls and one boy (the NOT A DATE boy) and they all got along. Today is actually NOT A DATE boy's birthday, so, Caileen is over there now. His dad works for DC and his mom is into gardening - no wonder our kids get along. We'll have to hang out. That will totally ruin it for the kids, won't it? Maybe we can pretend to disapprove.

I hope Caileen isn't too out of sorts, I'm not sure the girls did any sleeping (the boy went home, obviously).

(Little) Max had a fantastic time. He LOVES Caileen's friends and they make a big deal out of him. Umbra had her Neuroto-Dog knob dialed up to 11 - BOTH are crashed out at the moment!

I'm tired, but it was actually a very nice weekend. I think I'm kind of deaf from driving the girls home though. Tween girls are SUPER loud in the car.

Completely forgot to take pictures. Oops.
Monday, May 17th, 2010
6:55 am
5 Minute Post...
SteamPunk World Faire:
Was pretty good. It's cool to see people try to be inventive anyway - it's been awhile since the goth scene has been into that. I didn't do much socializing or sightseeing, although I did succeed in bumping into 5 or 6 of the people I intended to bump into anyway.

Stage fright is a funny thing. I didn't have it until middleschool; then it came out of nowhere and was fairly crippling. I used to have it playing the violin - I don't seem to have that anymore. I've played trombone for 3 weeks - I'm terrible - but I had no problem doing that either, even when I hit the wrong note a few times and made my cohorts visibly laugh. I should note that being lousy at it doesn't actually damage our set, it's fine to go for it here. Accordion, I've been playing it almost daily for 5 months, and I'm pretty decent on my own, and still passable in company, but in a set Saturday I actually got sweats and non responsive hands, which seriously screwed the two songs I played. It's kind of fascinating in a way to be crippled by such weird things. Not that it will stop me from doing it, it's just kind of odd and annoying.

VERY busy week coming up.

Caileen's birthday party is on Saturday...I am bracing myself for 48 hours of being ringleader....

Charles took Max to the zoo, and he rode a horse. It was very very exciting, and he'd love to tell you all about it.
Saturday, May 8th, 2010
4:48 pm
Life is a circus...
Every year, they put up a fair in the shopping center across the street. I can see it from my house, but there is actually a row of houses between it and me. The lights are bright, and the music is loud, and people scream on the rides - we've called the cops a few times to have them turn the music down, but otherwise it's been okay.

This year, they actually turned the music off at 10 during the week, and last night, although it was loud, it wasn't so bass thumping that one couldn't sleep. We were lying in bed, and Max had just gone to sleep, when we heard "pop! popopopopop!"

Charles said, "Firecrackers...or someone just got shot."

He was joking - firecrackers are very common over here, despite being illegal. However, about 3 minutes later, every cop and ambulance within a three town radius was over there. Apparently some random crazy guy shot into a crowd and the cops shot him. About 1500 people ran like hell, about 20 kids were in my neighbors' house, and lots of other kids jumped people's fences to get away.

We didn't know what happened, whether it was gang related (it wasn't) whether they'd caught the guy (they had) so people were pretty upset at people running/hiding in their yards. There was about an hour of absolute pandemonium while they cleared out the fair and the supermarket. Then they sent a squad of about 12 cops down my street checking under cars and fences to make sure there wasn't anything else to find.

Today, two different candidates for mayor have come around to assure us that the fair is being closed down and will not be allowed back.

Now, I agree that was a dumb place for it. It's a strip mall, and there isn't enough parking for it to be there, and it's right up against our houses, so, if something like that goes down, a gunman can run into the supermarket or shoot up our houses - there's no way to secure it or enforce any kind of crowd control, and anyway, it keeps us and the kids up with the lights and music every year.

On the other hand, only one person other than the gunman was hit - the police took him out very quickly and no one was hurt in clearing everything out, so, they did a good job. That kind of stupid stuff COULD happen anywhere - it didn't happen becuase it was at a supermarket or because kids came from Newark - it was just some random BS.

Charles got the first candidate, but I got the second one (the current mayor). I said "I was talking to my neighbors last night, and we wanted to know if there's any way to make sure that commercial property owners like the supermarket have to check with residents that are going to be impacted by events like this. It's the week of the ASK tests, and every year I call the cops to complain about the noise level."

He said, "well, usually with stuff like this the cops go door to door and let the residents know."

I said "I've lived here 5 years - no one's ever knocked on my door."

"Well, they probably only asked that side of the street" (the one immediately up against the lot).

Those neighbors were out last night too, but I'm going to go ask them if anyone's ever rung their bell. I think that guy is a drunk lying asshole. I've never missed an election, and to tell me such a DUMB line - I mean what, I'm not going to go ask my neighbors if anyone rang their bell?

Plus, if this was an office, and someone said "you were supposed to be notified" and you said you weren't notified, they'd call the team in charge of notifying you and ask what the fuck happened and tell you they'll fix it, particularly if they're trying to convince you they're the right person to lead, right? Like I'm going to vote for this asshat.
Friday, May 7th, 2010
5:04 pm
Max can count to 7. He knows some of his letters. He can mysteriously match up his train puzzles, when the cards all look exactly alike except for the names of the trains. He is super cute in shorts.

Caileen will be 12 next Wednesday. Wow. We've been reading out the big book of perpetual immaturity (not the actual name of the book, but it's something like that) every night. Last night we tried making the 6 most ridiculous faces of all time and tested how weird our tongues were.

There are plants in the former pool area. YAY!

Everything is blooming up a storm. We saw 4 teeny tiny baby mantids on the roses by the door as we came in just now. I actually ordered lady bugs and mantids to gobble up the thripps on my roses, but apparently we have some native ones on the scene: excellent.

We went to the Ukrainian museum today, which I've wanted to do for months. I did the last of the Pimsleur audio course this morning...regrettably most of the vocabulary is business stuff, and there weren't enough conjugation drills, so, I'm going to repeat it. The museum was okay, but nothing had descriptions on the floor, and I don't think you should have to buy a catalogue when you're IN the museum, is this just me? I thought the point of the museum was to make things available?

The gift shop had a dictionary and some children's books though, so now I can try to read a bit. I need someone to practice with before I forget it all again.

The sousaphone is still in the shop, other things are making progress. The lemon tree flowered but did not conceive a lemon.
Sunday, March 28th, 2010
8:39 am
blue, blue, electric blue...
Caileen is now a blue belt!

She made an excellent cake - it was going to have blue frosting but we convinced her that BLUE mocha frosting would be kind of gross.

Survival of the Dead was a pretty good movie, although why does everyone who is from "somewhere else" (in every movie lately) speak with a Scottish accent?

I was going to start seeds this weekend, but since it's in the 20s, maybe we'll just have to wait on that...

Taxes are done. The worst part of taxes is usually just trying to get the damn program to run. I think TurboTax 2009 is LESS intuitive than 2008 was though, for the record.

I spent the hour I was fighting with/uninstalling/reinstalling the tax program playing clarinet, and once the reed warmed up, I could in fact play a low G from a stop, so maybe the reed just wasn't wet enough/broken in previously.

Max says three word combinations.
Friday, March 26th, 2010
6:26 am
$700 later, the car starts again, but the mechanic notes that it will also need new motor mounts and a belt soon.

I cannot get low notes out of the clarinet unless I start higher. Like, I can play a C and move to an A or a G, but I can't just play a G if there's a rest before it. I think this is a reed problem. I have cheap Ricos, and apparently I should be using Van Duren V12s?

I turned over some of the gravel where the pool once lived. Anything I plant there will look better than the moonscape that is there now.

Caileen has a belt test Saturday - wish her luck!
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
7:33 pm
In like a lion...
All winter you wait for it to be close enough to spring that you can start your seeds. If you start them too soon, they get huge but can't be put out and eventually get spindly and weak. If you start too late, you only get tomatoes if it stays warm until November.

It's time to start seeds!
Saturday, February 27th, 2010
3:02 pm
Let's see...

There's a ton of snow here. It's pretty - I like looking at snow through a window, but I don't like slogging through it or having to bundle up every time I leave the house. In fact, I just don't like to be outside if it means being bundled or cold, and I'm really done with winter and I want it to be spring so I can get the heck out of the house already.

The furnace is still plugging along. We've found some additional leaking joints - yay! The plumber will have to give us an opinion on those too when he comes back to give a "real" quote rather than a general estimate.

I brought the accordion along to an un-gig at the Wicked Fest/Con whatever. It was a bit ambitious, because I've only been at it since January and hadn't been working on faire tunes at all, but I thought I'd give it a shot to see how far off I was. We ran into the GOOD violinist, and he played with us a bit, but I found that I could not actually hear myself all that well (which was surprising because the accordion is pretty loud) and when I get lost, I have a really hard time finding my place again on the fingerboard, because I don't look at my hand when I play so it's all relative to D. That bloody violinist is learning accordion too. Dammit, you know he's going to be great at that too. >:( He's a nice guy, but he's better at all my tricks than I am, I think I need to bump him off or something.

I'm getting better though. I can hold a little rhythm on my bass hand while playing melody now if the chord changes aren't too hard. Caileen just came and played drum for me for a little while I was practicing. I still can't play straight through much of anything without getting lost once or twice, but it's good exercise anyway.

We're going to see chinese acrobats tonight. My parents took me to see some acrobats once when I was a kid - they did weird tricks and contortionist stuff, but they also had a bunch of little skits with the monkey king and the crazy gongs that go with him, and those were really cool. I tried sending Caileen and Charles to see some chinese acrobats last spring, but it wound up being some weird Falun Gong weirdness. Oops.

Tomorrow I'm taking the kids over to my parents' place for Purim. I'm not sure what either of them are going as. I'm told the theme is "America" this year, but if there's one thing I don't have a lot of, it's "american gear." I have about 10 sombreros in my attic, but no cowboy hats. So, Max is probably going as a dragon. We'll just tell everyone he's from Kansas or something. Maybe Caileen can be an American Ninja Warrior?

I'm reading Josephus. The library has a bad copy - about 40 pages in, they skip to page 80, which is somewhere in Antiquities of the Jews. I looked at the card, and they've had that copy for about 20 years, hasn't anyone ever pointed it out to them?? I had been reading straight through, because I thought it might be interesting to see how Josephus's Greek translation differed from what I remember of the old testament, because he lived walking distance from Jerusalem a lot closer in time to the bible, and I know it's supposed to be copied exactly to preserve the numeric values, but sometimes it still seems like the worlds greatest game of telephone - not to mention all the "aside" stuff the rabbis have added over time. Anyway, it was interesting, but then I got bored somewhere around Joseph and skipped over to the Maccabees, which is what I wanted to read to begin with, having just read some of it in Suetonius.

When I'm done with this though I'm switching to Ukrainian history for a bit though. I had a slow day at work last week and spent it in wikipedia reading about the last kobzars and following links around to various bits of history that I really need to know better if I'm ever going to get that bandura going.

Max got his second haircut and looks very handsome.

Caileen had her undate with (her classmate) Max last weekend - it went well. They watched Shawn of the Dead and carefully kept the popcorn between them. He's really silly; I suspect Charles was a lot like him when he was 11. Apparently his dad is also into The Great Mazinger. What are the odds?
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
7:16 am
Musical ravings...
Accordion is going pretty well. Playing upside down does not hinder my use of bass buttons as I'd feared, and I can in fact hash through stuff like the Tarentella and Dark Eyes with the bass (I haven't worked out the bass bits for the things I'm learning by ear).

I went to look at an accordion Monday - both of the ones I have have small issues that would make using them for gigs a little questionable. It had started as a $30 listing, but there were a lot of responses, so I offered $100 pending inspection. It was actually a really nice instrument - 6 treble voices including the melodeon and 3 bass. The bellows looked good, but there were several leaking reeds, which rendered it completely unplayable without repair. Since the two I have are playable for practice as is, I let it go. I'm wondering if I'll regret this, because that was a lot of voices, but realistically, I don't need or want voices right now, it's just gear lust or something.

They've started a chamber music group one town over. I think I will go as an excuse to practice without practicing. They seemed open to the idea of my bringing things I wasn't 100% proficient in (ie: cello rather than violin) provided they were reasonably period. Someone is already bringing a mandolin, although I think that's on the outside of acceptable.

They're also going to do a monthly singing group.

I wish they'd start a gypsy group, because I don't really have any interest in chamber music - I grew up with it, but I never listen to it. It might as well be death metal (except then i could probably bring my accordion, come to think of it) - it's just making noise 'ensemble.'

I showed my father the bandura again and he pointed out that if I put the new zither pins in from the front, rather than from the back as it was done originally, I wouldn't have to drill out the tuning holes - I could just use the key from the facing side. I've had this thing for three years and that never occurred to me, can you believe it?

I've also been thinking about my recorder efforts. My father gave me a bass recorder (or maybe it's a tenor - it's like three feet long) to learn a few years ago, and I dutifully brought it to the park, but I always ran out of air before I made any progress with the fingerings. Fork fingering is completely counter intuitive as far as I can tell. It was completely awful. It occurred to me the other day that I should borrow Caileen's soprano, which must take less air, and learn that first. The fingerings are not the same, but if I can get the concept on something easier, maybe I can try the big one again. Not that I really want to play bass recorder - I want to play tarogato and crumhorn - and I don't even want to play them, I want to play with them, but I think I'm the only one daft enough to play them, so I'll have to learn.

I have these moments while playing the accordion, when I think - boy, I wish I had a violinist - and then I'm like "oh yes, but I'm the violinist..." I wish I could do both because it would be really fun to play them together! I suppose on the upside, we get other violinists who are vastly better than I am, so I'll probably get to have both.

What I really need - and I know I won't learn how to do this one - is some brass players. Trumpet and tarogato are kind of interchangeable, but I have a new appreciation for tubas of late.
Saturday, January 30th, 2010
5:13 pm
It is too cold to play accordion in the park. My hands go numb if it's below 40 degrees :P

I got a second one so I could practice at home. This amounts to about 10 minutes of post-coffee/pre-baby hashing during the week, but it's better than nothing.

Today I managed to play some neat stuff on Gm and a slick downward run on the bass notes. This is complicated because the bass notes run in 5ths, okay? I'm very proud of myself.

It is too cold to go out, and the kids are going bananas. Umbra keeps trying to eat things she shouldn't outside. Max keeps asking to go potty so that he can go in there and stall and avoid wearing a diaper without doing anything and then fighting about getting back into a diaper. Shoprite stopped making diapers apparently and even name brand diapers suck by comparison. Pampers have "Melmo" on them, which gets them a hug, but not on his bottom.

I have been feeding myself a steady diet of gypsy music, and now I have it in my head constantly. I should have a sticker on my head that says "I'd rather be playing accordion." All day I think about that 10 minutes of hashing...

Caileen invited a boy over to watch movies. The conversation appears to have gone something like this:

"Do you want to come watch monster movies sometime?"


"But it's not a date, a date with you would be totally gross."

"What, I'm gross? Forget it then."

"We have Star Trek."

"Okay. I could wear a suit if you want. Because I clean up nice..."

This is the boy who told her that you couldn't draw cthulus because there is only one Cthulu, and the best Star Trek episode is the one with the monster that looks like a blanket and Christmas lights. What's scary is that Charles knows what episode he's talking about.
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
6:53 am
Melmo Goes to the Potty
Max is really into the potty, although we have not done anything more to encourage this beyond buying a potty seat some months ago. I have put him on said potty exactly twice, and he has "gone" both times, so, perhaps I should be taking his interest more seriously.

Hold all my calls, I'll be in the potty for the next 3 months.

Seriously, he goes, but he doesn't want to LEAVE the potty. He goes, we say "yay" and clean everything up, and then he runs back to sit down again. We both know he's empty, but he'll do it for 15 minutes until I carry him out of there. I have both a potty, which is plain, and one of those seats that fits over a normal sized toilet to keep small people from falling in. The seat has Elmo on it. I hate Elmo, but Max knows him from school, and calls him "Melmo?" Max won't sit on the Melmo seat, but it has to be out so he can talk about all the things Melmo is doing on the seat (NOT going potty, but playing ball, on the beach etc...)

Boys are way harder than girls when it comes to the potty. Girls just have to be somewhere near the potty to have some chance of hitting it, and they can wear dresses. Boys must be situated just so to avoid hosing all creation, and they wear pants, though they would rather NOT wear pants, so, they are hard to undress and then completely impossible to REdress because they want to go naked for the rest of the day.

Ah well, off to the potty...
Sunday, January 17th, 2010
7:43 am
Pass the coffee please...
Charles is supposed to take a walk every day. Usually Max rides in the stroller for these walks because he has been at The Age of Running Away, meaning that if I say "stay by Mama" he runs toward the street. Yesterday, though, he happily walked in front of me and followed Dada for about half a mile before I put him in the seat just because we were going so incredibly slowly. He was really good though, and only deviated from the sidewalk to comment on interesting lawn ornaments (ducks, lions....)

As a result, he went to bed at 7pm and I actually got to watch movies(!)

Of course, he was up at 6:50 (taking my high heels out of the closet...I don't remember going to any Cramps shows while pregnant, but he really likes the 4 inch patent leathers...) and asking for the "Big!" book (I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean).

This morning we have sung Twinkle Twinkle Little Star twice so far, and he actually mumbles the first line now along with the hand motions...you can definitely hear "star" in there.

Ah, coffee.
Sunday, January 10th, 2010
11:17 am
Blue Blue, Electric Blue...
It's a small room, so the video is slightly more cohesive than the pictures...

Saturday, January 9th, 2010
5:29 pm
Death by...?
Caileen and I spent Thursday night being massively ill. I am usually impervious to stomach woes, and ill on that scale tends to indicate food poisoning, so, we figured it was something we ate and Charles had somehow escaped despite eating the same thing. Friday evening, however, Charles came down with the same horrible bug, and we didn't eat ANY of the same foods Friday, so, apparently it was a bug...

Max now says "thank you" and "I love you" (the latter comes with a sort of open mouthed kiss/attempt at eating brains...)

I got some blue and white "ABC" block curtains for Max's room in the absence of readily available "bot" curtains. I haven't given up, but we needed a temporary solution because without curtains or a door, anyone passing through the hallway undressed flashes the neighbors/supermarket.
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
6:52 am
Pen is Stuck
Max does a lot of talking. He says "pineapple," "chocolate," "dinosaur," "shoulders," and "please" (see "chocolate"). He also says "Hi Dada!" now - I think that's his only two word phrase at the moment. He still uses a lot of sign language of his own invention though, the most common of which is "stuck." It started with markers. The marker lids don't like to come off, and he'd pull on the lids and get frustrated until you came to help. Eventually, he stopped getting frustrated and just made the stuck face/hands to TELL you that the lid was stuck. Then it got applied to ALL things "stuck."

Here is Max telling you that the drill bit is "stuck:"

We also like to ride ponies. But not alone. You must also ride a pony. Here is Max riding his pony. Dada is riding a pony too, in an equally fetching hat, however that photo seems to have been disappeared....

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