cifarelli: (Ember)
Here's a quick update to make up for my lack of posting recently. I haven't been doing anything very exciting, and nothing really noteworthy has happened to me either.

I've spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks since I got back from Austin reading books. I finished Ken Follett's 1000+ page World Without End, and enjoyed it greatly. The epic romance in the story really dragged me in, and I found the book very hard to put down. After that, I also finished Susanna Gregory's thirteenth Matthew Bartholomew mystery (To Kill or Cure) and the tenth book in Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries, Murder on Bank Street. I didn't really get all that into To Kill or Cure, but I can't really say why. I suspect it may partly have to do with the fact that the author has dispensed with Bartholomew's love interest, and the lack of romance somehow makes the book less interesting to me. On the other hand....she can't really have her college physician in minor religious orders run off and get married because if he did so, he'd lose his college position and thus the means by which he investigates murders. So it's kind of a catch-22. I loved Murder on Bank Street as much as I have all the previous books in that series, though, and am now eagerly awaiting the next one.

I need to order some more books so I'll have some to take to the beach with me when we go in another 2 weeks. Even with Corwin-wrangling, there'll be enough down time and other people around that I ought to be able to get some good reading time in. But that requires books that I haven't read yet! :)

Since finishing Murder on Bank Street, I haven't allowed myself to start another book yet (which hasn't been too difficult as I don't have anything else lying around that I'm just dying to read at the moment) because I'd been sorely neglecting my housework in favor of curling up with my book during Corwin's naptimes and such. So yesterday and today I've been doing housework of various sorts -- cleaned the floor of the master shower and vacuumed the living room/breakfast room/kitchen areas downstairs and mopped the kitchen yesterday, and did some pruning of the plants in the front bed and cleared off the breakfast table today. As well as the usual laundry and dishes. And I went to work today also. I'm back into the weekend work routine now, though it is nice because for the summer I only work 1-5 on Saturdays.

One of these days I need to vacuum the dining room and stairs, but it's not going to be tonight 'cause I'm tired and want to go to bed, and I doubt it will be tomorrow as we need to go grocery shopping in the morning and are having people over for gaminess in the afternoon. I believe a couple of folks that Andrew and [ profile] sirbobsalot raid with in WoW and who live in Houston are coming over tomorrow afternoon in addition to the usual group, so that'll be something new and different.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Most of this post is taken from comments I made on a post by [ profile] onefishclappin earlier today (it's locked, so many of you probably can't see it). But I feel like I ought to post and expand upon them here, since this is MY journal, and I'll actually have a record of how Corwin was doing and my thoughts about it if I need it down the road.

In a nutshell, Corwin is 13 months old and he has yet to start talking. I don't know if we're going to have one of those late talkers who busts out with sentences when he's two, or what. :P He can hear just fine, and it's clear that he understands some of what we say. And he babbles all the time. He's just not coming out with words, and hasn't picked up any of the few signs we've tried to teach him either. On the sign front, though, he just doesn't seem interested in copying hand motions we do in general. He doesn't wave hi/bye, and while he can and does clap, he doesn't do so if I try clapping and try to get him to copy me.

The main signs we've been repeating a lot are "milk," "more," "ball," and "eat," and he hasn't picked up a one of them.

Corwin babbles mama, dada, and baba a lot, and I *think* he might be using "mama" to refer to me now, but I'm not 100% certain of it. He doesn't say "dada" if I ask him "who's that?" when Andrew comes in the door after work. He just smiles and squeals happily. He says "ba" most often, and will sit and have entire conversations with me using just that syllable. I think he associates "ba" with singing as we have sung "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to him a lot. Sometimes if I'm singing to him (any song), he'll start saying "ba ba" in a singsong voice in the middle of it.

As an example of his understanding, though, we bring him in our room with the door shut while we go to the bathroom. He usually comes in the bathroom and hovers around me while I'm trying to go. But if I tell him to go out of the bathroom and play with my shoes, he'll go out, get a shoe, and bring it back to me. I'm pretty certain he knows "shoe" -- but he doesn't say it.

Another example: Today I was reading "But Not the Hippopotamus" to him for the 12945th time (though only the 2nd or 3rd time today) and I wanted him to point to the hippopotamus in the pictures. I kept repeatedly asking him "where's the hippopotamus?" and "show me the hippo." Well, he never did show me the hippo in the book, but he did walk off, get his hippo rattle, and bring it to me. I got him to repeat this a little later when we were rereading the same book and the hippo rattle was still in my lap. I asked "where's the hippopotamus?" and he picked up the rattle and held it out to me. [ profile] beckyboo83 should be proud!

At this point I'm still not too worried about it...but I do wish he'd at least convince me that he is referring to me when he says, "mama." :)
cifarelli: (Ember)
I have successfully downloaded the form to submit expenses to our Flexible Spending Account for reimbursement, and sorted through all our receipts and EOBs and gotten that all filled out and photocopied and squared away. Just need to take it all to the post office tomorrow to be mailed.

I continue to be annoyed at the web site in question, though: turns out there's an option to file requests for reimbursement automatically at the time the insurance claim is submitted. I tried to turn it on for 2008 (to save myself some of the hassle of all this paperwork), but what message did I get? "Your request could not be processed at this time. Please try again later." *sigh*

Still need to call the financial institution with regard to my 403(b) --> IRA stuffs. And get all our tax stuff organized for meeting with our tax preparer next week.

But it's after 10:00, so I'm going to go read in bed for a while until Andrew is done raiding on WoW, so we can call it a night. I'm currently in the midst of [ profile] cmpriest's Not Flesh Nor Feathers, which I finally managed to get my hands on.
cifarelli: (Ember)
My copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows arrived this morning.

And now, I shall read it...until such time as my son next demands my attention. :)
cifarelli: (Ember)
I had my 38 week appointment this week. Believe me, it was not exciting. No change from last week on the dilation/effacement front. My blood pressure was still good, urine test was fine, baby's heartbeat was "in the 130s" so still normal. Only thing even vaguely noteworthy is that I apparently managed to LOSE 3 pounds this week. *shrug*

Would be nice if baby came this weekend since my sister will already be here, but I'm not holding my breath. He seems perfectly happy just hanging out in there for now.

In other news, I just finished off The Meaning of Night. It was a good read, but I found the major plot "twist" all too predictable. I'd figured it out by the time I was about halfway through the book. Maybe my brain is just too devious.


May. 17th, 2006 08:38 am
cifarelli: (Ember)
I have been reading like a mad fiend for the last couple of days.

I finished Kate Mosse's Labyrinth Monday evening before I kicked back into cleaning mode. It's another "grail" novel, but not at all in the vein of The Da Vinci Code. This one flashes back and forth between the 12th/13th century and the 21st century, and is the story of a quest to keep hidden three books that, combined, can lead someone to the grail. It was entertaining enough that it kept my attention, but it's definitely not the most well-written thing I've read lately. I'd gotten through half the novel before I really figured out what the plot was -- i.e. what was going on, what the two opposing sides were trying to accomplish, etc. It's really disorienting to read that much of a novel and still not feel like you have a handle on what's going on. And even after I finally sorted out all the threads, there were still spots that left me confused (wondering how certain people knew certain information, that kind of thing). entertaining read, but has its problems. Wait for the paperback, or borrow it from your library. Recommended with Reservations.

Yesterday, I didn't bring a book to work with me, planning to read some library science papers I have sitting around my office needing to be read instead. But come lunch time, I wasn't in the mood for that, so I ended up taking advantage of the fact that I work in a library and checked out our copy of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife. This book is GOOD (so far, anyway). It's basically a love story about a couple, the man of which is "chrono-challenged" -- i.e. he slips forward or backward in time seemingly at random, and he has no control over it. This, of course, challenges their relationship. It's mind-boggling to contemplate the ways they shape each other -- in reality, they are 8 years apart in age (she 8 years the younger). However, they first meet when she is six and he is 40-something, having slipped backward in time. In his present, they're he ends up shaping her into the woman he later marries. When they finally meet in "real time," his present self hasn't travelled back in time to meet her yet, so he has none of those memories. So then she essentially shapes him into the man she met when she was 6. I've been devouring this one -- I'm halfway through it already, and the copy I'm reading has 518 pages. Needless to say, no cleaning got done last night. (Conditionally) Highly Recommended.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Today is Andrew's first day at his new job. I don't know what kind of Internet access he has at work, so no telling if he'll be able to check lj, talk to me on ICQ, or whatever. So far, he's not been online, though I have had an email from him with his new phone number and email address.'s hoping he has a good day :)

This weekend was really nice -- we had the whole time to ourselves, with no planned activities to schedule around. I've been feeling better, so it was nice to be able to get useful things done and goof off, without feeling like I did too little of either.

Saturday )

Sunday )

So far, it's been a decent day at work. We got donuts this morning for someone's birthday. :) And my boss volunteered to cover my Wednesday afternoon desk shift for me (I had a conflicting meeting come up), without asking me to cover something else for her in exchange. So that's nice, too. And because the meeting is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, I don't have to work late tomorrow (4:30-5:30 tomorrow was one of the possible meeting times). So good things all around. However, I have things I ought to be working on now, so I should get back to it.

Tonight, I am meeting Carly at 7:00 for her wedding dress fitting (for alterations). Other than that, not much going on here.

Last night

Jan. 25th, 2006 09:52 am
cifarelli: (Ember)
I had a good night last night.

Mindy and Lee came over last night, and Mindy fixed dinner for the four of us. It turned out well (not that I expected it wouldn't) and I even ended up eating some corn and a few green beans. Yay for me! :) I don't know if I'll ever be good at or enjoy this veggie-eating thing, but at least I'm trying now. I'm also bringing fruit with my lunches again, which is good because it fills me up a little more and I'm finding that I have the "hunger shakes" far less often at the end of the workday. :)

Mindy did most of the cleanup in the kitchen after dinner last night, too, (don't worry, I did help!) so I wasn't even left with a big pile of dirty pots and pans to deal with, so that was very nice. Made for a very relaxed evening overall.

Even better was the fact that I couldn't log onto WoW after Mindy and Lee went home (even was down, so I couldn't even check on my server status), so I ended up using the time to do some of the filing that needed doing in the office upstairs. I got enough of it put away that I feel like I can actually sit down and do some of the financial work I need to do up there. Tasks include the following:

-reconcile most recent credit card statement so I can pay that bill
-rebalance money in retirement accounts
-finishing tallying up sales tax paid for 2005 so we can deduct it on our income taxes

I know that list likely sounds scary to a lot of folks, but family finances are something that I actually enjoy working on, as odd as that may be. I like working with numbers, and it's kinda fun to work everything out and then see where we stand when I'm done. :) Some part of me thinks maybe I should have taken after my dad and been an accountant, but these days it sounds like a lot of the things he's asked to do as an accountant don't really involve numbers any more -- at least not in the nitty gritty sense. Maybe what I'd really prefer is the role of bookkeeper, but that kind of position generally doesn't require a degree and gets paid squat.

In addition to filing, I made tea so that I'd have some to take to work today. And showered, and read a bit more in Memoirs of a Geisha. I was rather shocked to see that one of the key events in the movie isn't even in the book -- it seems the movie writers made it up whole hog. I really want to write a short review/comparison of the movie and book for either the library's web site or the library's newsletter, but I'm starting to fear I'd have to watch the movie again to do a good job of it. And I didn't really like the movie enough the first time to want to sit through it again. So we'll see.

And then I went to bed, relaxed and happy. :)


Jan. 24th, 2006 03:51 pm
cifarelli: (Ember) Recommendations
I was futzing around with's recommendations a bit ago (ostensibly checking for things to order for the library), and was amused to find that based on my reading and musical choices, they think I need to eat more salad!

Since I like Garbage's Bleed Like Me and have the novel Time Traveller's Wife on my wishlist, they recommend a salad spinner!? Since I read and liked Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, they recommend some salad tongs! How weird is that?

In other unexpected news (by me at least), UPN and the WB will be merging in September to form a new network called CW. Which means they'll be cherrypicking their shows to see which ones will air on the new combined network. The CNN article I linked to indicates they'll be keeping Gilmore Girls. I'm bad and don't actually watch these things while they're on TV, but I'm planning to watch Veronica Mars on DVD as it comes out, so I hope they don't cancel that one either. Problem with watching Veronica Mars as it airs is that it's currently running against Lost. That and I haven't been watching it up to this point, so would likely be horribly lost if I tried to start now.

Also, the vatican has claimed copyright protection for all papal documents, including encyclicals, and this protection is retroactive to the last 50 years. So not only the current Pope's writings are affected, but also those of his recent predecessors.
cifarelli: (Ember)
I'm feeling much better today. Thanks to everyone who posted porpoise pictures or otherwise sent me positive thoughts yesterday. Andrew spoiled me last night -- took me out to dinner at an Italian place near our house that had some really good Italian chicken pasta soup, and then to the bookstore, where I finally got to pick up a copy of Cherie Priest's Four and Twenty Blackbirds (she's [ profile] wicked_wish on lj, and one of the many cool folks we met at DragonCon). I started reading it last night before bed, and am looking forward to continuing in a few minutes here when I have lunch. :)

[One note to Cherie if she's reading this -- for future novels, you might ask your cover designer to make the spine type a bit larger. My B&N only had one copy, and I nearly didn't find it because the spine type was so small and it was in between a couple other books of about the same size. I actually missed it on my first pass, and only found it after asking the helpful information folks if the store had a copy.]

[EDIT: Still no sign of Diana Gabaldon's new novel. I didn't specifically ask about it, but they had tons of copies of her other novels, and none of the new one anywhere to be seen. The bookstore didn't have several things I was looking for last night. I suspect a second trip to a different location may be on the agenda for the near future. Hopefully A Breath of Snow and Ashes will be available by then!]
cifarelli: (Ember)
Just fyi, the next book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is coming out at the end of September. It's called A Breath of Snow and Ashes. information available HERE.


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