cifarelli: (Ember)
I only wish all the things that happened today could be chalked up to April Fools. 

We got the call this morning that Andrew's grandmother passed away this morning.  It was expected, but still not news we wanted to hear.  She was 96 years old. 

About the only good thing for today is that I took Corwin to the Easter Egg Hunt and party at The Little Gym this afternoon.  It was only an hour long (from 1-2) but since that is prime Ian nap time, I actually got to spend some one-on-one time with Corwin, which he loved.  He had fun hunting for eggs, though the eggs themselves were a bit disappointing as they all held a tootsie roll and a temporary tattoo.  A little variety would have been nice.  There was also a trackless train, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and free play in the gym.  Corwin go to show off for me a bunch of the skills he's learned, which was nice because I really don't get to pay that much attention to what he's doing in his class due to having to keep a close eye on Ian.

On the way home, I stopped to air up my tires, because the tire pressure light was on in my car.  When I got to the rear left tire, I couldn't get a pressure reading above 22, and it didn't really seem like any air was going into the tire.  And the tire pressure light didn't go off in the car, either. So I came home, feeling incompetent, and asked Andrew to go check my tire pressures (I cannot for the life of me get a consistent reading with the pressure gauges we have).  He came in, said the rear left was below 20 and looked visibly flat to him.  (Why it didn't look visibly flat to me, I don't know.)  So I was going to take it to a tire place this afternoon, but Discount Tire (my preference) is closed on Sundays and the NTB I called said they were swamped and wouldn't be able to do anything with it 'til tomorrow.  So I figured I may as well just take it to Discount Tire tomorrow when they're open.  Andrew put the spare tire on for me, and said that once he got the flat tire off, he could see that there was a chunk of metal embedded in it.  So I suspect I'm going to be buying new tires tomorrow.  Really not looking forward to it, as I'll have to take both boys with me, and waiting for however-long with both of them to keep entertained is going to suck. :( 

And lastly, I suspect there's a problem with our AC.  We've been hot in the house most of the day, but just assumed it was due to having the AC set up at 78 for energy and cost savings.  But the AC is supposed to go down to 73 at 9:30 p.m. (and 75 around 8:00 after the kids go to bed) and as of 10:30 the thermostat was still reading 78.  Now at 11:27 it's down to 77. I can hear it blowing, but it doesn't seem to be cooling very well. So I need to call an AC company tomorrow as well....and figure out how I'm going to be at home to let them in at the same time I'm at the tire company.  :P  I'm hoping it hasn't frozen up again....it did that two summers ago, and the warranty company ended up replacing the unit.  But the AC warranty was only for 2 years....so if it's frozen up again I suspect we may be on the hook for it.  Plus that time it leaked water into the kids' bathroom through the fan vent over the toilet and caused some water damage to the ceiling, which the builder took care of free of charge under the warranty. 

I'd ask if anything else could go wrong....but a rhetorical question like that just seems like a BAAAAAD idea today. :(
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.
cifarelli: (Ember)
As soon as I finish writing this, I'm going to go take my shower and get ready for bed, since I have to get up for work tomorrow.

I watched Dollhouse tonight. Maybe mild spoilers )

Regarding our house progress: we finally got the handyman out today. One of his many jobs was to install blinds in four of our windows that have up til now had either nothing or those temporary paper blinds that we put up when we first bought the house. This meant that Corwin and I had to go buy blinds at Lowe's this morning. When the handyman got to installing them, he said that the blind for the 3rd floor window had been cut too short. *sigh* No idea how that happened as I told the girl who cut them that both sets of blinds needed to be cut to 58 1/4" wide. No clue why she would have changed her settings between jobs. But she did, so we had to go back tonight and return the too short ones and buy another set. The handyman will be back again next Friday to hang them and do touchup painting and one other job that he wasn't able to finish today.

Corwin was horribly cute as usual. He kept calling the handyman the "AC guy" (because we had an AC guy out a couple weeks ago -- I'm sure you recall my rant on that topic) and I kept correcting him: "No, this is Daniell, the handyman." Finally he compromised and started calling him the "handy guy."

We had our convection oven repaired on Tuesday. That embarrassed me, as it turned out the reason the convection fan was making a horrible banging noise was that the fan cover was bent and thus the fan blades were hitting it. The solution for this was removal of the cover (involved a few screws), bending it back into shape, and replacing it. For this, I paid $92. I so wish that rather than just assuming the problem was something horrible and ignoring it for several years (because we never use the convection oven; it was our former housemate who discovered the problem because she used it) I'd taken the time to look in there myself. Oh well. *shrug*

Still waiting on my floor to be fixed. This is the problem with warranty repairs, I think. The guy from the company that installed our flooring came out on Monday and looked at it and said he would call me to schedule a time to have the work done. Not having heard from him since and it now being Friday, I gave them a call this afternoon. The relevant guy was out at an appointment, so I left my number and was supposed to get a call back later. No call came this afternoon.

Our deep cleaning from the maid service is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20. So I anticipate us going on the market on Thursday or Friday that week. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! (I'm a bit frightened, especially since as soon as we get on the market we get to start figuring out where we go if the house sells....i.e. we get to start the new house shopping process.)

In other news, my parents will be here tomorrow night. They are coming to Houston to attend my brother's girlfriend's graduation from the UT Houston Medical Branch (or whatever it is properly called....I don't have the announcement in front of me) where she has gotten her Masters. That's Saturday afternoon, and my parents will be staying with us Saturday night.

I think that is all the news with us for the moment. :)
cifarelli: (Ember)
My cousin John got married last night out here in Katy. My family made a weekend visit out of it, arriving Friday night. My brother and his girlfriend and my sister and her boyfriend stayed at our house; my parents stayed in a hotel nearby as we don't have enough beds for all of them here. On Saturday, they all took Corwin to the zoo (without me, since I had to work). Sunday we just hung out during the day and then went to the wedding in the evening.

A few pics are behind the cut. )

You can view the full gallery here.

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: (Ember)
Okay, I'm going to try to jump on the Week of Happy bandwagon. :)

I'm happy because I had a really good day today. We went to church this morning with my immediate family and Corwin stayed in the nursery during the service and didn't cry when we left him there and was having so much fun that he didn't want to leave when we picked him up afterwards (we had to put his jackets on while he was still playing with a toy as we couldn't get him away from it). I got to see a fair chunk of my extended family this afternoon and had some good conversations with them. And I got to sit for a good half-hour this evening in the living room with my parents while Corwin babbled happily cuddled up in my lap under a blanket in the rocking chair (he was tired as this was the 3rd day in a row of really short or no nap...that's really the only downer to my whole day).

And the Peppermint Bark I ordered from Williams Sonoma is really really good. :) Yum!
cifarelli: (Ember)
We're home.

Had Thanksgiving in Austin as usual. Was nice to see most of my extended family for Thanksgiving. Corwin had a bit of trouble adjusting to Austin this time around. He cried for nearly a full half-hour the first three times (bedtime, nap, bedtime) we put him to bed at my parents' house, then just for a few minutes the rest of the time. He was too distracted by the people to eat Thanksgiving dinner and only ate a few bites of pineapple and nothing else that was on his plate. But later when it was just the immediate family for dinner he decided he really did like mashed potatoes and roasted turkey. He even ate broccoli and rice casserole at one meal (and then refused to touch it as leftovers at subsequent meals).

He was mostly settled by Saturday, but I opted to leave him home with my parents while Andrew and I went down to [livejournal.com profile] liz_gregory and [livejournal.com profile] brittonblog's place for an "Eat the leftovers" game night, since I didn't want him to AGAIN not eat anything due to the new surroundings and lots of people, and then have trouble going to sleep in his pack and play in a strange place as well. Turns out this was a good decision on my part, as when we got home my parents said they were pretty sure he was getting sick as his nose started running after we left and he had hardly eaten any dinner, even the things he liked. And sure enough....he woke crying at 4 a.m. and Andrew and I got up with him. He was drooling like a madman and obviously congested enough that he was having trouble sleeping. I hunted up the old diaper rags my mom still has around from when we were kids (as I'd neglected to pack any), took him to the bathroom, washed his face, suctioned out his nose, gave him some water to drink and a diaper rag to take to bed with him for wiping his face, and propped up the head of his bed with books. He fussed a little once I put him back to bed, but did go back to sleep and (while he did make noise a few times) woke for the morning around 8:00. Obviously still sick. Poor guy.

We had a miserable drive back to Houston today. We hit the post-Thanksgiving traffic jam on I-10 and it took us nearly an hour to get from the 71/I-10 junction to Sealy. Traffic started moving again on the other side of Sealy. Poor Corwin had been trying to doze off most of the trip, but would wake up pretty quickly due to congestion, and by the time we got moving again on the other side of Sealy he was closing his eyes like he was going to go to sleep, but after a minute or so he'd just start crying, with his eyes still closed. We couldn't tell for sure if he was asleep or awake. Let me just say, it was really hard to concentrate on driving with that going on. Fortunately Andrew was able to more or less keep him calm until we could get home. Once we got home we go the car unpacked and ourselves more or less settled in, and then did dinner, bath, bedtime in quick succession since the poor little guy was so tired and so miserable. He was to bed by 7:30 and has only fussed once briefly since then.

I, on the other hand, got to make the grocery store run for the week (it was just going to be a quick trip for milk, but given the odds of one or both of Andrew and me coming down with Corwin's cold in the next day or two, I figured it the better part of valor just to do the week's grocery shopping so we won't be forced to leave the house later on if we're miserable too), and had to move the car seat back to my car once I got back from shopping. Now I need to shower and get to bed, and stop procrastinating by writing this lj post. No telling how well Corwin will sleep tonight, and I get to be home alone with him all day tomorrow as per usual.

I did get to go shopping on Friday and Saturday. The big exciting purchase for me was BRAS, which may be TMI for some of you. Oh well. Let me just say that it is SO NICE to have real, non-nursing bras that fit again. :) [livejournal.com profile] beckyboo83 and I went shopping for the bras and other clothing type stuffs on Friday afternoon (nothing was especially crowded then). Saturday Andrew and I went to Toys R Us and Terra Toys to shop for gifts for Corwin, and we got all his presents save the tricycle we want to get for him. We were unimpressed with the selection at Toys R Us so we'll try to find something we like online and order it.

Think that's the trip in a nutshell. Now off to shower and bed for me. 'Night all! :)

Update

Oct. 28th, 2008 10:50 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
We have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to make any posts of any substance. I really don't have time to write one now, either, as I should be getting to bed. In a nutshell, here's what we've been up to lately:

Grandma's funeral )

Monday )

My birthday! )

Cruxshadows! )

Sunday morning I slept in, and then when I got up Andrew went back to bed for a nap. We had my birthday/halloween boardgame party that afternoon, and got to see Dan & Erin who were in town from Lafayette, along with Indraneel who I don't see enough of these days. I had fun!

This Monday, I took advantage of my sister's presence to partially clean my guest bathroom, which was starting to really need it. Then she went home around lunch time. Still need to find an opportunity to vacuum in there and scrub the tub, since I don't like to work in there while Corwin is sleeping right across the hall.

This week, I am trying to get back in the swing of normal daily life. I'm trying to get caught up on all the financial organization tasks I need to do (things like filing for FSA reimbursement, laddering some of our emergency fund into CDs, reconciling old credit card bills, etc.), as well as acquire a Halloween costume for Corwin, shop for belated baby shower gifts for friends who recently adopted a baby, and voting! Whee, busy!

I think this will be all for now, as I need to go sleep!
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: (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)
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)
Corwin and I had a busy day yesterday. We had to go by the photographer's to pick up our prints from our photo session in October, so I arranged to go hang out with my mother-in-law afterwards since the photographer is located about 5 minutes from her house (and 40 minutes from mine). After lunch and letting Corwin play for a bit after lots of time in the car, we drove out to where my in-laws are building their new house in a neighborhood called Bender's Landing. It's in Montgomery County, technically Spring but very near The Woodlands. The house has been mostly framed so I was able to get a good idea of how big it is, etc. It looks like it's going to be really nice when it's finished. I'm especially jealous of this little room they have in the middle of the house that's intended to be the exercise/dog room. That's 'cause Andrew really wants to get a treadmill, and in our current house the only place we have to put such is in the middle of the living room. Not exactly aesthetically where I'd like to have a treadmill, but since getting exercise is a good thing and we're not likely to be in this house too terribly much longer anyway, I'll live with it. :)

Which brings me to our next stop. After leaving the in-laws' house, we stopped by a couple of other new-construction neighborhoods in the same area (just a little bit -- not sure if it was even a full mile -- down Riley Fuzzel Road) to see if they had anything that would appeal to Andrew and me. The first one we stopped in was Lockeridge Farms, which looks to be fairly small and have small lots kinda like where we are now. There are two builders in there, Wall and Kimball Hill. I felt kinda 'eh' about it after driving through (admittedly not much to see yet, so I could be misguided) but decided to look at floor plans online later. Then we stopped in Spring Trails, which is a master-planned community up there. THAT one impressed me. They have a pool! And trees! And lots and lots and lots of nature trails. And a brand new Pre-K-4th grade elementary school in the neighborhood. And there is something on the map labelled a "tot lot" that I was told is a playground for the kids. If we can find a floor plan at a price point we can afford, that one may be a keeper. I'm trying to keep an open mind and not jump at the first place I see that I like, but at least at first glance this one has a lot of things I like. I really miss trees here in Houston, for one thing. And access to a pool and a playground/park I can walk to would be lovely if I continue being a stay-at-home parent. Oh, and I suspect it's fairly close to [livejournal.com profile] geognome4 also, which would be a plus if she remains in her current location.

Since I'm dreaming, this is the floorplan I think I like best at the moment. I think it would fit our needs pretty well if we added the optional second floor game room and took the option to convert the first floor living room to a study. The biggest con is the builder, Royce. It's the same builder that built our current house, and we weren't thrilled with our construction experience or their HomeStar warranty plan. On the other hand, we could end up with headaches with any builder we choose. So, *shrug*.

Cons are that it's in the boonies wrt our work commutes, though it is convenient to both the Hardy Toll Road and I-45, and will be right off of the proposed Grand Parkway extension if/when that is ever built (it will incorporate Riley Fuzzel Road). There's also not any retail in the immediate vicinity at the moment, though it is within 10 minutes of the Woodlands Mall, so not TOO terrible. I'm sure the retail will come, though, and being that close to the in-laws would be nice. At any rate, I have been left with lots to think about. Need to research other north-ish communities and see what other possibilities there might be.

Of course, in order to buy a new house, we have to sell the one we're currently in. I think I need to start trying to find a realtor in my area to talk to about selling our house, particularly what we need to do to get it into saleable shape.

After leaving the Spring Trails community, we stopped by Sallie's yarn shop so she could show off her grandson (the ladies there seemed to love him!), and then we headed back to her house and then home. It was a long day for Corwin (once again, he had no nap -- *sigh*), but he handled it very well all the way up until bedtime last night.
cifarelli: (Ember)
I have a backlog of pictures that need posting, and since I have some time this afternoon (in between answering constant questions from two different people about their online admission applications and FAFSA forms, neither of which are areas I have any expertise in -- they really need to be talking to the Admissions office, which is closed today), I'm going to try to get that taken care of.

Two weeks ago, my sister, [livejournal.com profile] beckyboo83 came for a visit. I took a few pictures of her and Corwin on Sunday morning before she headed back to Austin.

Here are a few piccies )

Update

Oct. 7th, 2007 05:06 pm
cifarelli: (Corwin)
The introduction of solids is moving along slowly. We introduced bananas again last week, and he LOVES them. Unfortunately, he seems to love them to the exclusion of all else -- he'll kinda nibble at his oatmeal now, but he's not terribly enthusiastic about eating it. Avocado was next on the introduction list, and that went over like a lead balloon. I tried giving it to him in a fork-mashed state, but that was apparently way too coarse -- he gagged on that so much that he made himself throw up a little. So then I put the avocado in the food processor and pureed it with some water. But it came out kinda thick/sticky, and he gagged on that, too, though not quite as badly. I'm thinking we'll try avocado again in a month or so.

This week we'll be trying green beans and sweet potato.

I've started taking fenugreek to try to increase my milk supply, because I need to pump more than I have been getting if I'm going to keep working weekends and have Corwin continue to drink EBM (expressed breastmilk) rather than supplementing with formula. I think it is starting to have some effect -- I'm averaging 2-3 ounces per pump session now rather than the 1-2 I was getting. I'd like to be getting at least 3 ounces consistently, though, so I've still got a little ways to go. It might help if I could remember to take the fenugreek 2-3 times day like the instructions say, rather than once a day in the morning with breakfast, which is all I've been managing this week. But improvement has occurred, and I'm feeling much less insecure on this front. I think I'm even going to be able to go to the HOA Board training class I'm signed up for on Tuesday evening. Yay! :)

My brother (Corwin's Uncle Andrew) was in Houston this weekend, and he stopped by yesterday afternoon for a few hours to visit with us and Corwin. It was REALLY good to see him -- sometimes I don't realize how much I miss my brother until I spend a few hours hanging out with him. We were really close growing up, but haven't kept in touch very well since I graduated from college (which has been quite a while). I need to put more effort into working on that.

We went to pick up a pizza for dinner while Andrew was here, so I got to ride in his new 2007 Honda Civic. It's a sweet car. Makes me kinda sad that I won't be able to get another Civic in a year or so when we replace my current vehicle. I love driving small cars, and am actually a bit apprehensive about getting even a small SUV for my mom-mobile. I'm afraid I'll hate driving something big. But I guess that's what test drives are for, right? ;)

Since I'm posting pics this afternoon, here are a few from the visit:

The last two are my favorites )

I've also updated the September and October photo galleries, so check them out if you're interested in seeing more.

September 2007:
http://pics.livejournal.com/cifarelli/gallery/00048we8

October 2007:
http://pics.livejournal.com/cifarelli/gallery/0004bsd1
cifarelli: (Ember)
Today was my first day of work now that I'm a Weekend Reference Librarian. The day went pretty darn well. The only real snafu I ran into was that the university was locked up tight when I got there just after 12:30 (my shift started at 1:00, but I planned to be there early to have time to get logged onto the computer, make sure my accounts worked, stuff like that). I walked around the building and checked 4 different entrances before I found one (#5) that was unlocked. It was a good thing I'd gotten there early, as hunting for an open entrance ate up about 15 minutes of my extra time. :P I was also glad that I'm an old pro at this university, and knew where the various entrances were to check. I can just imagine if this had been my first day at a place I'd never worked before....I'd have been freaking out. :P

It was a downright relaxing day at the reference desk...I didn't really get anything terribly difficult thrown at me at all. Biggest problem was that I've been away for 6 months, so wasn't entirely up-to-date as to which databases the library has available. They've added several new ones since I left.

Corwin was hard to leave this morning; he was in a really happy mood (contrasted with most of yesterday) so I just wanted to hang out with my happy baby rather than leave him and go to work. :P Andrew took him up to his grandparents' house this afternoon, so Corwin got to hang out with his grandma and grandpa and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Weston (who was in Houston this weekend). Andrew said he didn't nap well (either at his parents' house or at home this evening) and he got rather fussy after a while. But other than the not napping he did pretty well. Andrew seems to have survived his first day as a solo parent, too.

Other news of note, for those few of you who know Andrew's sister Sarah, she's engaged! This is not a big surprise, as she and Sean have been dating for something on the order of 6ish years, but it's exciting nonetheless. They are doing essentially what Andrew and I did, and waiting 'til they are both done with school. I don't think there's a wedding date yet, but I've been told a vague "sometime after Sean graduates in May."
cifarelli: (Ember)
Today Corwin is 5 months old!

It has been an odd and eventful week. We had a visit from his grandma (my mom) and Aunt Becca ([livejournal.com profile] beckyboo83) this week -- they arrived on Tuesday and went back home today. Corwin has finally started sleeping through the night -- he's slept between 8 and 10 hours straight for the last three nights (starting Monday night). Last night Mom said he woke up around 1:30 and talked to himself a bit, but it wasn't loud or prolonged enough that I even noticed (i.e. hearing it on the baby monitor didn't wake me up). So he was down from 8:00 until 5:30 this morning. He's been waking between 5:30 and 6:30, and then going back down for 3-4 more hours (talking to himself a bit before going back to sleep), and waking up enough to also wake me up between 9 and 9:15 a.m.

The down side to this new sleep schedule is that his naps have gotten even more irregular and close to nonexistent. I can still get him down for 3 naps most days, but none of his naps tend to be longer than half an hour. Thus he's a real pill most of the day due to being tired. Mom suggested I vacuum today after I put him down for his naps, since he just kept fussing instead of going to sleep. So I did, and he did go to sleep both times I tried it. But he didn't sleep any LONGER. If I have to vacuum for all of Corwin's naps, my house is soon going to be a pretty clean place. That wouldn't be a bad thing, especially if he gets mobile soon. Less dirt on the floor for him to eat and all.

We've started working on the baby signs with him. Just started that on Monday as well, so of course he hasn't learned any yet.

He also laughed for the first time on Tuesday. He didn't seem too happy about Mom and Becca being here...Tuesday when they arrived he kept crying if they even tried to talk to him; by the time they left today he would let them hold/play with him for a little while, but he still mostly wanted his mama. Tuesday evening my mom tried to talk to him while I was holding him, and he just suddenly started laughing. Surprised the heck out of me, as she wasn't being particularly funny, and he has never laughed before. Wednesday morning he laughed at her again. This evening I got him to laugh by saying "Peek-A-Boo" to him on the changing table in a funny voice (I wasn't actually hiding at all). So that's new, too.

I wonder if he is starting to be wary of strangers, which is why he didn't take to Mom and Becca like he has in the past. He's still fine with his dad, so I know it's not ME in particular he's attached to.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Corwin had his 4-month checkup today. His current vitals are as follows:

Length: 26" (95%)
Weight: 17 lbs 7.6 oz (90%)
Head Circumference: 17.25" (don't know %)

He got 4 shots, and handled them better this time than he did at 2 months. He only screamed bloody murder during the shots and a short time afterwards. It wasn't any easier for Mommy, though. :(

He napped for an hour or so this afternoon, and was rather fussy after he woke up from his nap. Screamed at me almost non-stop starting shortly after 5 and going until around 6:45. I gave him some Tylenol around 6, so I'm guessing that kicked in and it took him a little while to realize it. Even nursing wasn't enough to calm him down; he'd nurse for 30 secs to a minute, and then pop off and start screaming again. :( He's calm now though....in his pajamas listening to music with daddy. When I finish writing this post I'm going to go see if he feels like nursing now, and then probably put him to bed, barring a resurgence of upset-ness.

[EDIT: It's now 9:30, and Corwin has been asleep and awake again 3 or 4 times between when I originally posted this and now. I can tell something's bothering him. The boy is exhausted (judging from how quickly he falls asleep each time) but whenever he wakes up a little something's obviously bothering him enough to wake him up all the way and keep him from putting himself back to sleep. If he's still doing this come 10:00, we'll give him another dose of Tylenol. I hate vaccination days.]

While I was at the doctor's office, I got a call from my brother asking if I'd be a reference on the financing for his new car. So apparently he's buying a car today -- a Honda Civic. I was going to offer him mine in a year when we are ready to replace it, but his current vehicle died an ugly death a couple weeks ago, so he needs a new vehicle NOW and not a year from now. He'll probably be happier with a new car anyway (mine still runs great, but it's 8 years old already).

And then this evening I got a call from [livejournal.com profile] beckyboo83 telling me that her flight home this evening had been cancelled, and she's stranded in the airport in Chicago. She's now on standby for a 10:00 p.m. flight, but if she doesn't get on that, she's likely going to get to spend the night in the airport. She asked the airline about accommodations, but all they will pay is half of the hotel room for the night; she'd be responsible for the other half, plus her transportation from/to the airport. I think that's absolutely ridiculous -- if the airline cancelled the flight, they darn well better take care of their stranded passengers. *grump* I told her that if she doesn't get on the 10:00 flight to ask to talk to a manager and give them hell. She's flying American, if that tells you who to avoid. :P

I also talked to my mom this afternoon, and she is recovering well from her surgery a little over a week ago. A little slower than she'd like, she says, but overall doing pretty well. She's still recuperating at home, and will be doing so through the end of this month; she's hoping to go back to work then, but said it's possible it'll be a couple weeks longer than that before she's ready to do so.
cifarelli: (Ember)


This weekend, we headed to Austin so that Corwin could be baptized at Gethsemane Lutheran, the church where I grew up and where Andrew and I were married. We had an uneventful drive Friday evening. Since we didn't get on the road 'til around 7:00, Corwin slept the entire trip, and we made it in under 3 hours.

Saturday, Corwin and Andrew stayed at my parents' house in the afternoon, while I went shopping at the Round Rock Premium Outlets with [livejournal.com profile] sunflowerkwm, [livejournal.com profile] beckyboo83, [livejournal.com profile] liz_gregory, [livejournal.com profile] onefishclappin, and [livejournal.com profile] onefishclappin's son Alex, who rode along on Christi's or Liz's back in his Ergo. I was able to fill out Corwin's 9-month wardrobe, and get a good start on his 12-month wardrobe. I suspect he'll need some warmer clothing in 12-month sizes (since I suspect it will at least begin to cool off while he's in them, even if he doesn't make it through the winter in them) and he still needs footed sleepers. I was taken by surprise that that snap-front footed sleepers only go up to 9-month sizes; the 12-month ones all have zippers and treaded feet. So I suspect Corwin will end up with zippers and treaded feet...but that wasn't what I'd been planning to get for him, so I ended up not getting any this trip. Guess I just need a little time to get my not-always-so-flexible brain around the unexpected change.

We also stopped in Harry & David where I picked up a 1-lb bag of chocolate truffles in Milk, Dark, and Mint Chocolate flavors. Unfortunately, I forgot them when we were packing up to go home on Sunday, so they are still sitting in my parents' refrigerator. Hopefully they'll still be there next time we go back!

Saturday night, Corwin didn't sleep well at all -- he woke up every 2.5 hours or so, and at 4:00 a.m., he decided that it would be a good time to stay up and babble happily. He wasn't unhappy as long as someone was holding him, but he wouldn't go back to sleep, either. We eventually got him back to sleep around 5:30, but it made for two very tired parents when our alarm went off at 7:30 to get ready for church.

We had a large crowd for the baptism -- my whole extended family with the exception of 3 of my cousins, plus Andrew's parents and his sister [livejournal.com profile] asharperfocus. My Grandma Elaine was even able to make it from Dallas, which I am just thrilled about. I'm so glad that she was able to meet Corwin finally! Andrew was baptized privately before the service, and then it was off to get Corwin dressed in his baptismal gown. I'm so glad he only has to wear that the one time -- it was a pain to get on, and then because it's so long it was hard to carry him without getting it all bunched up. The service went fine; I had to take Corwin out midway through the homily to eat (Andrew and I were both amazed that he lasted that long, since he'd last eaten when he got up around 8:30 a.m.), and he fell asleep nursing and slept through the rest of the service.

After the service, we all headed back to my parents' house for a huge dinner. We finally got on the road to head back to Houston around 4:15 or so in the afternoon, so we weren't able to stop by [livejournal.com profile] onefishclappin's to get hand-me-down baby clothes from her and [livejournal.com profile] liz_gregory. I think most of what they had on offer was 12 and/or 18-month sizes, though, so it wasn't an urgent thing. Corwin slept through the first two hours of the trip home, waking when we stopped at the Dairy Queen in Sealy to get some dinner. That DQ is now officially off the list of baby-friendly places to stop -- the women's restroom wasn't even handicapped accessible, so not only did it not have a changing station, it had no floor space to change a baby on, either. And the men's room was apparently not suitable either -- it had floor space, but wasn't very clean.

We got home around 7:30, and spent the rest of the evening vegging before we crashed out and slept like the dead...except when awakened by the hungry baby, of course. ;)

More pictures from the baptism are here )

You can see a few more shots from the day in the gallery here.

Home again

Jun. 3rd, 2007 07:35 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
We got back from Louisiana a little after 5:00 tonight. Corwin slept virtually the entire trip, so we made good time. He fell asleep quickly after we left around 10:30, and didn't wake up until we stopped for lunch at 12:45. We tried to go to Cracker Barrel in Lafayette, as Andrew and I were both rather sick of fast food, but there was a 20-25 wait (guess that is the problem with lunch time on a Sunday) so we ended up at the Burger King at the same exit. Once we got back on the road after lunch, Corwin fell asleep again fairly quickly, and didn't wake up again 'til we were about 45 minutes from home. We decided not to stop, so we had a rather fussy baby for the last half-hour or so of the drive, but it was much more comfortable to feed and change him at home.

Not a single one of the places we stopped on our trip had a diaper changing station (nor did either of the restaurants we went to for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception), so Andrew ended up having to change him on the men's room floor multiple times. The McDonalds we stopped in at least had substantial counter space between the sinks, so I was able to change him there. All the rest of the stops (two Burger Kings and a Quiznos) had nothing that even remotely qualified as a changing station. It surprised the heck out of me, as I am used to seeing those things everywhere. Maybe it is just a Texas thing (though the Quiznos we stopped at was in Beaumont).

We need to break down and buy a larger vehicle, I guess, so we can do diaper changes in the car (as well as be able to fit a stroller and our luggage, as opposed to either/or). Unfortunately, while we have enough to pay cash for something right now, it would virtually wipe out our savings, which is not what we want to do at the moment. And neither of us wants to take on a car payment to add to our already stretched budget. So it's looking like we'll wait a little over a year ('til our smaller mortgage is paid off, which will free up a big chunk of money in the monthly budget), see where our savings are at at that time, and probably look at buying something then.

Corwin did really well on Friday, when we went to the rehearsal dinner. It was at Palmetto's on the Bayou, a restaurant that reminded me a lot of some of the places I've been in the New Braunfels/Gruene area of Texas. There was a long deck out back that went out to a boat dock -- it's one of those restaurants that you can get to by boat, if you choose. There were a lot of people, and the room was fairly loud, but Corwin handled it all very well and hardly fussed at all. He got to meet his Great Grandma Blodgett, which was exciting! :) I'll post pictures later.

Saturday was the wedding and reception, at which Corwin did not do so well. He was okay during the wedding, though he pooped at 5:58 p.m. Since the wedding was supposed to start at 6:00, I wanted to see if we could get through the wedding without a diaper change...but he started fussing so I had to go change him, which meant I missed the first part of the entrances and saw the bridesmaids and bride enter from behind them in the foyer. I ended up having to take him out midway through the service as well, as he was getting restless and noisy. Fortunately, it being a Catholic church, they had a TV in the foyer and I was able to watch the wedding on it.

The reception was at the Louisiana Grill. The space was too small for the number of people, AND there was a jazz combo playing in the too-small space, so it was very loud and crowded and Corwin just melted down. Fortunately, it was so loud that no one could hear him cry unless they were literally right next to him, so we stayed long enough to eat and then left. He was much happier as soon as we got outside. He hadn't napped well at all on Saturday, so that was probably a contributing factor. He had accumulated a pretty good sleep debt by today, after three days of going to bed between 9 and 10 (and closer to 11 Saturday night) and getting up for the day around 7 (as opposed to his usual 9:30ish). Even after napping most of the day in the car today, he's asleep on my lap for the second time since we got home right now. Poor tired little guy.

He's done so much sleeping today that I'm a little worried that he won't sleep tonight. Especially as we are intending to try to get him to sleep in his crib in his own room tonight. Turns out the pack and play bassinet is only supposed to be used up to 15 lbs, and Corwin weighed 14 lbs, 15 oz on May 2. He's probably 16 lbs or very close to it by now. I'd prefer to have him sleep in our room 'til he hits the 4-month mark (when SIDS risk decreases), but trying to get him in and out of the bottom of the pack and play (about 6 inches off the ground) multiple times every night just sounds like a nightmare for my back. And there's no way the full-size crib will fit in our room. :( On the up-side, I'll likely sleep better as I won't wake up every time he wiggles in the bed. I think I got the best sleep I've had in a long while with him in the closet at the B&B, because I couldn't hear his wiggling over the noise of the window-box AC.

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