cifarelli: (Ember)
Friday: Drove to Austin, mostly in the rain. Got settled in at my parents' house. Visited with my sister for a little while, as she was over dropping off her cat for my parents to cat-sit while she's in Europe visiting Filippo's family for the next three weeks -- they left on the 4th. After we got Corwin to bed, Andrew and I headed downtown to Elysium for the Lust Murder Box/Ayria/Project Pitchfork show. I think Lust Murder Box is a local-to-Austin act; at least that appears to be the case from what I could tell from their Myspace page. They were added to to the bill fairly late. The first half of their set was plagued by equipment/electrical issues (mics not working, making lyrics unhearable), but the second half wasn't bad. They did a pretty decent cover of "Sweet Dreams," too. Ayria was who we were there to see, and Jennifer Parkin looked like she was having a blast on stage as usual. She's definitely grown a lot as a performer since we first saw Ayria....back when I was pregnant with Corwin? Yeah, I think that was it. We've seen her 4 times now -- at Numbers with the Cruxshadows, at Meridian with the Cruxshadows, at Dragoncon last year, and now in Austin (she didn't hit Houston this time around). We stayed for the first song and a half or so from Project Pitchfork, but weren't impressed. It was around 12:30 by then, and we old-fogies were rather tired. And their material just wasn't worth staying up to listen to. Kinda surprised me, as I'd gotten a general positive impression of them from stuff I saw online (though I hadn't listened to anything)....but then Andrew and I don't care for Combichrist either and they're another band that seems popular among "alternative" music crowds. *shrug*

Saturday: Lazy day. Didn't have anything planned, so slept in from our late night and mostly just lazed about the house for the day. In the afternoon, we ventured out to Whole Foods to stock up on various dry goods that we can't find anywhere near us here in Houston. Once again, I request a Whole Foods to be built in the Spring/Woodlands area! I miss having them nearby.

Sunday: The 4th! My brother and his fiancee came over for lunch and my dad grilled steaks for us. Yum! After lunch, my brother Andrew, Jennifer, Corwin, Andrew and I ventured out to the 4th of July festivities in Georgetown at San Gabriel Park. It was a good outing for Corwin, but the prices charged for the various kid activities seemed a bit steep. $2 for a few minutes of play in an inflatable bounce house, a 3-minute ride on a kid-sized "Ferris wheel" (which Corwin surprised us by insisting he wanted to go on, and which he really seemed to enjoy), a crawl through an inflatable train, and 15 mins or so in the petting zoo. My brother went in the petting zoo with him, where they spent most of their time trying to feed the very overfed ducks. Those poor animals weren't going to need any dinner that night, that's for sure! Corwin also played on a couple of different playscapes while we were at the park. Since we were all stuffed after our steak lunch, we didn't try any of the food offerings, so I can't comment on those. I did go through about 2 1/2 bottles of water, though, trying to keep my pregnant self hydrated in the heat (which was actually not all that bad -- it was only around 90 outside, and there was a periodic breeze that helped a lot. We stayed for a little over 2 hours, and by the time we got back to my parents' house we were all exhausted. We didn't last long enough to see any fireworks.

Monday: Monday we headed down to visit the Calkins/Van Newkirk family. Corwin is absolutely taken by their whippet, Snitch, and likely would have happily spent the whole morning just playing with him. But after a while, we headed over to the Locomotion inflatable play place, which was much more economical than the inflatables at the park the day before. And had many more options for things to play on/in, to boot. I've been meaning to take Corwin to check out one of the inflatable play places around here, but haven't done it yet; I think maybe I'm a bit more motivated now. Of course, he required some adult assistance to climb up the "wall" to go down the big slide, and I'm not sure that's something I can do myself while pregnant. We'll just have to see what they have. Corwin wore himself out enough doing that that he actually took a nap in the afternoon when Matthew and Alex did, so we got to go swimming in the afternoon. We met up with the Gregory family at the pool, where we all played for about an hour, before we had to head back to my parents' for dinner and another visit from my brother and Jennifer. Corwin LOVES Jennifer, enough that he insisted she be the one to read him his bedtime story Monday night.

Tuesday: Packed up and drove back to Houston. Were too lazy to go to the grocery store after we got home. I was exhausted in the evening for no good reason I could identify. Starting to wonder if I am experiencing pregnancy-related anemia and maybe that is the explanation for my feeling tired when I haven't done anything strenuous enough to merit it -- I know one of the symptoms of anemia is fatigue, and I remember that at some point while I was pregnant with Corwin, my previous OB/GYN had me taking an iron supplement for anemia. Gonna ask my doc about it at my appointment next week.

Wednesday: It rained. All day. Andrew went back to work. Corwin and I went to the grocery store. He had to walk since I'm trying not to lift him any more so I don't hurt myself, and thus I couldn't get him into the shopping cart to ride. First time for him to walk on a long shopping trip like that, and he did pretty well. Most frustrating part is that he really wanted to help push the cart, but it was hard to get him to do so at what I consider a normal walking pace (he's slow). That said, though, he did stay with me the whole time and never wandered away, which was what I had been concerned about.

Today: Corwin and I are about to head out in the rain to drive to the Galleria for lunch with Andrew, and to let Corwin try out the new mini-Galleria playscape they have in there. The real reason for our trip is to pick up my contacts and sunglasses from the eye doctor's office, which is right down there by the Galleria. Since we moved I've been having them mail my contacts to me, but they couldn't mail the sunglasses, so I have to make a trip down there for those. We like this particular eye doctor a lot, though, so it's worth the once-a-year drive to see him. :) May venture to Whole Foods after that for fish and/or gumbo, depending on time and the weather.

Week in sum

Jan. 3rd, 2009 09:26 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
I'd like to try to sum up the past few days, but not sure how to do so without spending the rest of my awake time this evening doing so. We've spent most of the past week in Austin for our Rice friends' annual New Year's shindig. Essentially what happens is that events are scheduled (or not...some things happen last minute) and folks are notified and can go or not as they please. Various folks open up their houses on different evenings, and folks hang out, eat, play games, chat, etc.

Here's the highlights version. It got long. )

My only complaint about this Austin visit was a complete lack of downtime for me that wasn't spent sleeping or attempting to sleep. I didn't get any computer time at all after the first day except for the time I spent checking the party planning document and printing out maps to various locations. And any freetime (i.e Corwin nap time) I had was spent either sleeping or socializing with my family. So my introvert recharge meter is a little low right now. :(

I'm SOOO not ready for Andrew to go back to work on Monday!
cifarelli: (Paulina and Corwin Sept. 2008)
On Friday, Corwin and I went out to Leander to visit my very good friend from high school, [livejournal.com profile] sunflowerkwm and her daughters. I remembered my camera this time (unlike when we visited them last time I was in Austin at the end of May), so I have lots of pictures for your viewing pleasure. )

Friday evening I got to meet my sister's boyfriend, Filippo. More details and pictures behind the cut. )

I think I included most, if not all, of my pictures in these three posts, but if you want to see the full gallery you can find it at: http://pics.livejournal.com/cifarelli/gallery/0007kqp5

Corwin and I spent Saturday with my parents at home, and Andrew and Rebecca came over again as well. I didn't take any more pictures, though, so you're out of luck. My dad grilled steaks for dinner on Saturday. :) Sunday, Corwin and I drove back to Houston.
cifarelli: (Paulina and Corwin Sept. 2008)
Since it's a slow day at the reference desk today (Sundays often, but not always, are), I figured I'd use the time to catch up on posting some pictures that I've been sitting on for a while. These are from the trip to Austin that Corwin and I made back in mid-August. )
cifarelli: (Ember)
So I haven't really posted in a while. Sorry about that. I have pictures from my trip to Austin with Corwin a week or so ago, but I haven't done any editing or such on them yet so they aren't ready to be posted. It was a good trip, though -- I got to see all three of my girlfriends that I wanted to see while I was there, Corwin got to go to Radijazz again and play with Matthew and Alex, I got to meet my sister's boyfriend and actually spend some time hanging out with her and my brother, and Corwin got to spend time with his grandparents and aunt and uncle. :) I even managed to get a pedicure somewhere in there -- I haven't had one of those since [livejournal.com profile] liz_gregory's bachelorette party, unless I've just completely forgotten something. Oh, and my dad grilled steaks for us on Saturday. :)

Corwin seems to be getting sick again, which is absolutely terrible timing on his part as we have been planning for months to leave him with his grandparents for 4 days starting on Thursday so that we can go to Atlanta for Dragoncon for our first adults-only vacation since he was born. So far it seems to be just a clear runny nose and some sniffling (and not nearly as bad as the last time he was sick -- i have to wipe it occasionally, but it's not a faucet and he's not drooling bucketloads). So we'll see. Hopefully he'll be on the downside of whatever this is by Thursday. I really don't want to have to cancel a trip Andrew and I have been looking forward to for months.

In more exciting news, he finally used the sign for "more" today (to ask for more Cheerios to put in his chair instead of eating them, *sigh*). And he's using "milk" more often as well (he used it the one time I previously wrote about, and only once or twice since then). In fact, I had a mini-conversation with him as we finished reading Goodnight Moon before his nap just a bit ago. When we got to the end of the book he pointed at the endpapers which are just plain yellow and I said "yellow." Then he flipped back a page and pointed at the blank white page. I said "white," at which point he signed, "milk." I said, "Yes, milk is white. Very good." There are very definitely some connections being made in his brain, and it's exciting to get the occasional glimpse of them. In this case, he's thinking about things that aren't visibly present right at that moment, AND possibly starting to learn his colors.

He's also starting to climb. He has been having a grand time lately climbing into the rocking chair in his bedroom, sitting in it for a few seconds, getting out and then climbing right back in again (lather, rinse, repeat). I've caught him trying to climb into the rocking chair in the living room, which results in immediate time out (as it isn't very stable when weight is on the front edge and I'm afraid of it tipping over on him and/or our laptop). And he can climb onto the couch as well.

He'll be 18 months old tomorrow. :)
cifarelli: (Ember)
Corwin and I arrived safely in Austin this evening, after taking a 40 minute tour of Houston in the rain before we were able to get properly on the road (I forgot something important and didn't realize it until we were nearly to Katy, thus a 40 minute round trip ensued). Corwin tried really hard to stay awake for the entire drive, but finally dozed off around 3:45 (just as I was about to stop at the McDonalds in LaGrange to feed him his snack since he wasn't sleeping and get me some french fries to appease my need to buy something since I'd be using their air conditioning and restrooms). He slept for about an hour, maybe a little longer, and woke up after we were well on our way through Austin to my parents' house. So aside from my forgetfulness making the trip longer than necessary, it went well.

I've stayed up way too late tonight watching the Olympics with my mom.

Austin folks: any gamenights happening that I should know about between now and Sunday?
cifarelli: (Ember)
I talked to my mom on the phone this evening, for the first time in a while.

Apparently, my parents had a SWAT Team across the street from their house last week. One morning (I forget which day my mom said it was) my dad went out to the car to go to work and noticed two men on top of the across-the-street neighbors' garage, with rifles pointed somewhere on the next street over.

My mom turned on the news. Apparently a man on the next street over had called 911 threatening to kill himself and the people in the house with him. Mom said they were out there for a while, using a bullhorn to try to get the guy to pick up the phone and call them, and firing off blanks to try to get his attention. Eventually, according to the news, they broke into the house and found the guy there alone; he'd apparently killed himself between the time he called 911 and when the SWAT team arrived. And apparently there wasn't ever anyone else in the house with him.

So a bit of excitement in my parents' neighborhood last week. Just thought I'd share.

Here's a link to a blurb about it. It's the first story on the page.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Pictures from my trip to Austin are in an album here: Austin May/June 2008.

I'm too tired to make a proper picture post this evening, so you'll just have to settle for looking through the album and reading my commentary there.

Good night all!
cifarelli: (Ember)
Corwin and I are back home in Houston now. It was a good trip, and I got to see everyone I intended to, plus a few folks that I didn't. Saturday was a rather trying day, but that's 'cause I ended up with a visitor I didn't particularly want who showed up 40 minutes into Corwin's naptime, and 20 minutes into MY badly needed naptime. I didn't get a nap as a result, and had to sit and talk with her instead. And of course Corwin slept for 2.5 hours for the first time all week. I was sitting there trying to be sociable and just thinking about all the sleep I could have been getting. *sigh* It's a long story, but no, I couldn't just tell said visitor to go away and come back later.

I had a bad headache to boot, which didn't make me any happier. I think it may have been an allergy thing, as it was accompanied by weird-feeling itchy eyes, and went away once I got in the shower that evening (after resisting all the ibuprofen and caffeine that I was throwing at it). It came back again on Sunday after I'd been up a while, but dissipated once I got back to Houston.

The big news I came home to is that the AC unit for the 3rd floor has given up the ghost. The fan seems to have stopped working. So I am at home today awaiting the arrival of a repairperson. And avoiding the 3rd floor as the thermostat was reading 90 yesterday evening around 8 p.m.

I feel tired and braindead today, but I should get to work sorting through the pile of mail that showed up while I wasn't here. Need to call our insurance agent about our flood insurance policy, also, as we got a notice about renewing that last week. The notice doesn't show the huge price increase that I suspect should be there due to the fact that we're now in a flood zone and didn't used to be. But it does have a blurb on the back about how if your flood zone has changed since the policy was issued, you need to call your agent. So yay for calling to get a much bigger bill than the one they sent me. Joy.

[EDIT: Yay! Good news on the insurance front. They are grandfathering us, so rather than having our bill increase by an order of magnitude, it is only going up by about $30/year. Apparently we're being transitioned from Flood Zone X on a Preferred Policy to Flood Zone X on a Standard Policy (as opposed to our true Flood Zone AO on a Standard policy, which WOULD be drastically more expensive).]

[EDIT #2: AC is now fixed as well. Apparently the unit had a bad run capacitor.]

I think that is all the thrilling news here. I'll post a few pictures from my trip when I can spend time up on the 3rd floor again without melting, since my photo-editing software is on the desktop up there.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Corwin had his 12-month checkup today. Vital stats are as follows:

Height: 30 3/4"
Weight: 23 lbs 12 oz
Head Circumference: 18 3/4"

Oddly enough, he's no longer 90th percentile on anything; he's about 75% for height and 50ish% for weight.

He got lots of vaccinations today, and has to go back in a month for his Hep A vaccination because his doctor didn't want him to have 5 shots at one time, which is what he would have had if he got them all today. He was fine afterwards until he woke up from his nap this afternoon around 3:30; he woke up and would not stop crying. Even distraction didn't work; I got my keys and took him out to get the mail, and that distracted him until we got to the mailbox, at which point he started crying again. I couldn't even get him to nurse until I laid him down on his side in my lap...and he hasn't wanted to nurse in that position for months now! I checked his temp and it was normal, but I finally gave him some Tylenol anyway since it was obvious that SOMETHING was bothering him. After the Tylenol he stopped crying constantly, but he was still kinda whiny and not-happy seeming. He finally perked up and got back to being his normal self when I put him in his high chair for dinner, and he was fine from then until bedtime (though he was getting a bit fussier than usual by bedtime). So far (*knock on wood*) he's been sleeping fine, though.

If he has a reaction to the MMRV vaccine, his doc said it would show up in 6-13 days, and would be a fever and possibly a rash. Doc said the rash wouldn't be contagious, and that Corwin would most likely act like he feels fine. Mostly just making a note of that for my own reference if I need it in the next week or two.

Other Stuff
There's a strong possibility that Corwin and I will be in Austin midweek next week. My mom wants me to come be a "guest speaker" in the medical class she's teaching at the court reporting school where she works; I'd be giving a presentation on medical research. My sister's going to watch Corwin while I do the class. I'll post again when this gets finalized and I know when I'll be arriving/leaving. I'd love to see folks and maybe give Corwin a chance to play with/near some of the Austin kids while we're there if people are available -- either during the day or in the evenings.
cifarelli: (Ember)
We headed to Austin on Saturday afternoon, arriving in time for dinner with my family Saturday night. After getting Corwin to bed, Andrew and I ran off to the Gregorys' house for some socialization and game playing. We got home around 11:30 to find Corwin awake and drinking a bottle in my mom's lap. We all got to bed by shortly after midnight, and I was up again with Corwin at 2. He didn't sleep terribly well, as I heard noise from him after 3 and after 4 as well, but at least those times didn't require getting up.

Sunday, we all noticed that Corwin had a runny nose when he woke up. Since he otherwise seemed fine, we went ahead and took him to church that morning. After church and lunch, he actually took a nap! It wasn't even a struggle to get him to go to sleep -- surprised the heck out of me.

When he woke up from his nap, we headed out to Zilker Park to meet up with some of our other friends with kids. There's not a lot for Corwin to do there since he's not walking yet, but we were looking forward to being outside and spending time with friends we don't see very often. Corwin did spend some time in the kiddie swing, and he got to ride on the Zilker Zephyr (the park train) thanks to the generosity of the Haunspergers. He wasn't that enthused by the swing -- he swung for a little while, never looked thrilled, and decided he wanted mommy pretty quickly. He LOVED the train, though, if I can judge by the amount of smiling, babbling, and armwaving that went on while we were riding. I'm glad we took him for that alone.

Pictures from the park are here )

From there we headed to the Haunspergers' house, where we had Mangia Pizza for dinner. Yum! After dinner, I took Corwin home to put him to bed, and Andrew stayed and played a game of Talisman with folks. Once I got Corwin home, it became very clear that he was in fact getting sick. He was a BEAR to get to sleep for the night, and once I did so his breathing was "snifflesnifflesniffle." When I went and stood outside the door after he'd been asleep for about 15 minutes, he was mouthbreathing. I headed back over to the Haunspergers' to pick up Andrew, leaving my parents with strict instructions to call if anything came up that they couldn't handle. I ended up over there for a couple of hours waiting for Andrew's game to finish (it never did; they ended up calling it when I and [livejournal.com profile] liz_gregory were both ready to go home and went to retrieve our husbands).

On Monday, Corwin was pretty miserable, so we ended up skipping the New Year's festivities and staying in with him at my parents' house, as detailed in my previous post.

Tuesday morning, I had a sore throat from drainage when I woke up. I stayed in bed for a good while while Andrew and my parents wrangled Corwin. Tuesday afternoon, we packed up our stuff and headed back here to Houston. Corwin conked out in the car almost immediately (having refused all naps offered prior to that), but he only slept for 45 minutes or so before being awake the rest of the trip. But he was at least pretty happy, so the drive wasn't a miserable one.

Today, I am definitely sick. Congestion is crazy ick. And I can't really take a decongestant because pseudoephedrine is potentially bad for my milk supply (which I can't afford) and the phenylephrine substitute doesn't work. So I feel bleh. Corwin is still congested also. We called his doctor's office, but they said unless he runs a fever or starts acting like either of his ears is bothering him, he doesn't need to go in. Fortunately, Andrew had planned to take today off work, so he's home to take care of us. But he's supposed to go back to work tomorrow; we'll see if that happens.

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