cifarelli: (Ember)
I had an eventful day today.

On my way to work this morning, on the ramp from 610E to 59S, I came around a curve to see a car, facing me, up against the sidewall and partially blocking the left lane. One rear corner of the car was smashed into the wall, and there was debris scattered on the ground. No emergency vehicles were present, and I was going fast enough and startled enough that I didn't notice if there was anyone in the car or not. It took me a minute or so to process what I'd seen, and I ended up calling 911 to report the vehicle once I got to work (about 5-10 mins later). Even if there was no one in it, it needed to be moved since it was blocking a lane of traffic. Ever since, I've been trying to decide whether I should feel guilty about not pulling over and calling immediately once I was off the ramp.

I got a missed call a couple of minutes later from an unknown number while I was walking up to the library; I tried to return the call but it just rang and no one picked up. Then a couple minutes later, another missed call from the same number -- and it seems that my phone was failing to vibrate even though I double-checked that's how it was set. I tried calling it back again, but it still just rang and no answer. So I googled the number, and it looks like it belonged to HPD. The page I found featured many folks describing experiences just like the one I was having (callback after a 911 call, no answer if they tried calling the number back). So I stopped worrying about it, and about 20 mins later had yet another missed call from the same number, even though I had been sitting RIGHT NEXT to my phone the entire time and am absolutely certain it never vibrated. (Unfortunately, leaving the ringer on in the library is a big no-no.) So not sure what's up with my phone, and I haven't heard anything further about the car.

After that, I worked. The library was crazy busy, since it's two weeks before the end of the semester. And there was a jackhammer going outside for much of the time I was there. That didn't help things any.

After work, I headed over to the housewarming of newlyweds Melody & Griffin. It's been a while since I've gotten to catch up with them, so it was nice to chat and see their new house.

Then I drove home, had dinner with the family, and then built a small Christmas Lego set with Corwin. Ian really wanted to help, too, which resulted in lots of fussing when it came time to actually build with the pieces he'd been playing around with. We got our two Christmas trees up and decorated yesterday (not a huge feat, as we have a 4-footer and a 2-footer), and got the garland on the stair railings and the stockings hung. Now I just need to clean off enough horizontal surfaces to get the rest of our decorations up!
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: (Ember)
I've emailed a bunch of folks already to ask for address updates, but I'll post here as well in case there are folks I've missed. If your address has changed since last year (or you didn't get a Christmas card last year and you want one this year), please post with your up-to-date mailing address. Comments are screened, so you don't need to worry about anyone else getting your info.
cifarelli: (Ember)
A week ago Friday, we were graced with a visit from [ profile] gwentevis, one of my college roommates, who was in town doing interviews at Rice on behalf of her employer out in California. Gwen and Carly, another college friend who lives here in Houston, showed up at our house Friday morning, and we (including Andrew, as it was his Friday off) embarked on Corwin's first trip to the Houston Zoo. I've been wanting to take him for several months now, but it's only in the last couple of weeks gotten cool enough temperature-wise to make me want to go on a mostly-outdoor adventure. Friday even ended up being just slightly warmer than I would have wished, but it wasn't too bad overall.

Once we got to the zoo, we headed for the children's zoo area since we figured that was what Corwin would enjoy the most and we only had a little over an hour until lunch time anyway. On the way we stopped to look at the sea lions (for me, of course), and Corwin proved that yes, the children's zoo was probably a good idea, by almost completely ignoring the sea lions (which were kinda far away from him) and being more interested in the zoo staff who were sweeping off the 'land' area part of the exhibit. Once we got to the children's zoo, there were SLIDES! Corwin loves slides these days -- both climbing up them and sliding down. And goats to pet and brush. And a water play area that he wanted to go play in, but couldn't as we hadn't known about it ahead of time and so hadn't packed appropriate clothing (i.e. swim diapers).

Zoo piccies are here! )

After the zoo, we went to Central Market for lunch, and then home so Corwin could get started on his (very late) nap. While he was napping, the plan was for us ladies to go by the DPS office for me to renew my drivers' license, and then hit the grocery store to pick up what we needed to cook dinner. Well, when we got to the DPS office, it turned out that the place was insanely busy, and I was going to be there for quite a while (far longer than the ~30 minutes I'd been planning on). So Carly and Gwen dropped me off there (with no book...*sigh*) and left to go do the grocery shopping on their own. About 2 3/4 hours later, I had my new temporary license in hand. Gwen picked me up, leaving Carly at my house to cook dinner.

Carly fixed an excellent dinner (rosemary pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and pumpkin muffins), and we were joined for dinner by her husband John. After dinner, the Danners arrived (with 9-month-old Emily) and we had a chat/catch-up/ooh-and-ah-over-small-children session until late. This is the first time Andrew and I had actually gotten to meet Emily, so that was nice, too. She's a cutie, with a gorgeous smile.

All-in-all it was an excellent day, with the exception of my being stuck at the DPS office for so long. I was really grateful to Carly and Gwen for helping out and it was really nice to see and catch up with Gwen.

[EDIT: I forgot to mention that Gwen also brought a present for Corwin, a knitted stuffed dragon that she made for him. I thought it was pretty nifty, so here's a couple pictures of it, too. )

The colors aren't exactly right, as this was taken indoors with flash. I took some without the flash, but the colors didn't look quite right that way either. Nonetheless, you can get the general idea of how cute it is from these pictures.]
cifarelli: (Ember)
We woke up this morning to still no more than a trickle of water coming out of our faucets, so I was disappointed to still be unable to take a shower. This after they said last night that the failed pumping station was back online and thus water pressure should be restored in a matter of hours. This morning they said that most of the city had water except for isolated areas that were still having problems. But the 311 system was not yet back online so we couldn't call to report that we were still lacking water pressure. Well, this afternoon our water pressure seems to be coming back finally. The toilets are refilling themselves (slowly) after we flush, and we're getting more than a trickle from the faucets (though it is not back up to normal yet). Still waiting for it to come up a little more before I try to shower with my long hair.

We ventured out to our local HEB this morning because we were running very low on milk, and since we have power to keep it cold we wanted to restock and not put Corwin on water only when it wasn't necessary. Turns out that our neighborhood has lost a couple of trees near the entrance, and there were trees and tree limbs down all over the place between our house and the grocery store (which is at Westheimer and Kirkwood). True to the description of Cat 1 winds from the Saffir-Simpson scale, the vast majority of the damage we saw was downed trees and signs. There was a bit of street flooding as well, but it looked to be due to nothing more than clogged storm drains. Wilcrest was partially flooded coming up to the intersection with Richmond when we approached, but it was drained an hour or so later when we returned home again -- and it was clear that this was due to someone pulling debris out of the storm drain right there. Downed trees were occasionally partially blocking traffic lanes, and the street lights were either out completely or flashing red. There was a fair amount of traffic out.

There was a HUGE line to get into the HEB. Fortunately, it was moving quickly and everyone we encountered was civil. The store itself had areas of bare shelves (particularly in the nonperishable isles) but other parts were well-stocked. Since we have power but no water to speak of, we were mostly trying to stock up on frozen food we could cook without creating very
many dirty dishes. Hopefully now that water pressure is improving that will be less of an issue -- though we are still supposed to be boiling tap water before using it, which makes getting clean dishes more difficult than usual. I can't just run them through the dishwasher and call them good. At the time we were there they had several large pallets of 10-lb bags of ice parked in the frozen food isle, and they were handing them out 2 per family. (Yes, you still had to pay for them.) Fortunately, ice isn't a commodity we're in need of.

For those that know her, we talked to Carly briefly this afternoon as well. She and John were without power in their new house in Kingwood, and were heading out of town to go to Austin at the time we talked to them. So they're fine, if anyone was wondering.

Oh, Corwin update: we used the wipes on him again today and haven't seen a reaction. Guess it was just some freak thing yesterday. I wiped some dirt off his arm with one this morning, and didn't see any reaction. So I used them to clean his hands and face after lunch, and again no reaction.
cifarelli: (Paulina and Corwin Sept. 2008)
On Friday, Corwin and I went out to Leander to visit my very good friend from high school, [ 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:

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)
Hi everyone!

First off, for anyone who might be worried about Tropical Storm Edouard heading right for the Houston/Galveston area: there isn't much to be worried about )

The weekend: We had the Calkins/Van Newkirk family visit )

Unfortunately, I never remembered to get my camera out, so there are no pictures.

And the big (to me) news is that Corwin is weaning completely from nursing )

Other Corwin developments )

Speaking of which -- Corwin and I are visiting Austin next week. Current plan is to arrive Tuesday the 12th around dinner time, and depart Sunday afternoon of the 17th.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Well, I've actually had a weekend worth speaking of, for once. It has been a busy one.

Friday evening, we re-dyed my hair, so I'm now a dark redhead again. It'll fade back to the color you're used to seeing on me soon enough, but I get to enjoy being dark and redheaded for a day or two first! :)

Saturday, I went to work in the afternoon as per usual. Nothing really worth mentioning happened; it's mid-Summer II session right now, so the library was a bit busier than it was last weekend (when it was dead). After work, [ profile] ehcnalava and [ profile] kaerukami came over to babysit for us while Andrew and I went out to a club, for dancing and that sort of thing. How amazing is that? We got to go OUT. And be ADULTS! Yay! They had an easy babysitting job, too, as we put Corwin to bed before we left (but after they arrived, so he'd not be totally shocked if he did wake up and found himself attended to by someone other than Mom or Dad), and he apparently didn't make a single peep the entire time we were out.

Today we went grocery shopping this morning, and then hosted the usual (though it hasn't happened for the last three weeks due to us being in Alabama for two of them and being lazy and taking the day off last weekend) group for boardgaming and conversation. We tried out Sucking Vacuum (whose title never fails to inspire the image of a vacuum cleaner in my head in spite of the fact I know it's a game set on a space station) for the first time. It played pretty well, though we had some trouble figuring out how exactly the rules for controlling Annabel worked. Then [ profile] ehcnalava and I played Qwirkle while the rest of the group played Last Night on Earth. I enjoyed Qwirkle, though it took me just long enough to figure out the strategy that I made a pretty big strategic error near the beginning that I never recovered from....and [ profile] ehcnalava thus defeated me roundly. After we finished our game (which was much shorter than Last Night on Earth), we played with Corwin for a while and chatted.

After we got Corwin to bed this evening, I spent the 40 minutes to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which for those not already aware (I wasn't until mid-day yesterday) is a three-part supervillain musical helmed by Joss Whedon (and starring Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris -- yes, Doogie Howser -- and Felicia Day). It's only available until midnight tonight (and no mention of in which time zone), though, so if you haven't seen it yet, you better get on it!

And the craziness isn't over yet. Tomorrow (that would be Monday), I finally have my dentist appointment with [ profile] scarlett_sage's dentist, who I am paying out of pocket to see. This will be my initial consultation, and if he concurs that I do have a cavity (or heaven forbid, more than one!) I'll have to have a follow-up appointment to get it fixed at a later date. Corwin is going to stay with [ profile] scarlett_sage while I go to my appointment; we're going to head up there in the morning and have lunch with her first. Then tomorrow evening (as a reward for my dental fortitude?!), Andrew and I are actually going to go to the movies!! We're seeing The Dark Knight with [ profile] sirbobsalot and [ profile] kaerukami. [ profile] ehcnalava, who doesn't have any interest in the movie, has graciously agreed to babysit for us again. Hopefully Corwin will do okay with being away from Mom & Dad twice in one day. I'd forgotten about my dentist appointment when I made plans to see the movie, but he knows his grandma pretty well, and it'll be the third time in 3 days that he's seeing Jamie, so I think he ought to be all right.

And I think that about covers it. I actually felt like I have a life this weekend!


Jan. 24th, 2008 01:35 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
Yesterday, Corwin and I went up to the university where I work to pay for my parking for the semester and visit with my co-workers. Almost everyone who saw him commented that he's on the verge of walking. He is pulling up on everything in sight, cruising (sometimes while holding on with only one hand), and letting go to stand without holding onto anything quite frequently. He also tends to stand and stare at a spot like he's thinking about trying to take a step toward it, but then he gets down on hands and knees and crawls instead.

He's still growing like a weed. His 12-month overalls are getting to be too short. They look a little (only a half-inch or so) short when he's standing, and tend to ride up to his knees when he is sitting or being carried. Not so good when it's cold outside. :( I think the 12-month onesies are starting to get more difficult to snap in the crotch as well, but they're still usable at this point. Separates (t-shirts and pants) are still fine in 12-month. My kid must be long-waisted or something. :P

I want to go order him a bunch of stuff from Baby Gap ('cause I have really liked some of the Baby Gap stuff he got as hand-me-downs and gifts) but it's so expensive. *sigh* Baby Gap and Carter's are my favorites I think. And Little Me for some things.

Also yesterday, after we left the university, Corwin and I went and hunted down one of the Houston locations of the credit union we're members of. It's one that started in Austin that I've been a member of since I was a little girl, and we've maintained our accounts there because they offer better interest rates and such than I've been able to find at any of the others I've researched. But their locations in Houston are lacking; they have two, both inside 610, and one of which is impossible to find -- Andrew I went looking for it a few years ago, before we had cell phones, and utterly failed to find it. Anyway, Corwin and I had more luck finding the other location, and I got a certified check from them to pay off our smaller (10%) mortgage. That check went in the mail today! Yay!

Tomorrow is going to be another crazy day. In the morning we're driving out to Katy to look at a house because it's one of the floor plans we're possibly interested in in Imperial Oaks. In the afternoon, our realtor is coming to walk through our house with us to help us decide what things need to be fixed up before we put it on the market. And in the evening some friends are coming over to play WoW cards with Andrew and I might sneak out to a movie with the other person in the group who's not so into the WoW cards. :)
cifarelli: (Ember)
Life lately has been fairly mundane -- thus, my lack of much posting over the last few weeks. But there are a few things I'd like to update about.

Last week on Friday we had professional pictures taken, both of us as a family and of Corwin by himself. Thursday morning Corwin and I went back to see the proofs, and we'll be placing our order on Monday. We got some good pictures.

My birthday was last Sunday. Andrew threw me a small party on Saturday afternoon/evening, during which I had a blast. Folks stayed around after Corwin went to bed, so I actually got to play games and socialize with adults for a while without having to devote 3/4 of my attention to baby-wrangling. I SOOO needed that. I love being a parent, but once in a while I just need a break. My actually birthday itself was kinda anticlimactic, since I had to work all afternoon, and we had the usual grocery shopping to do in the morning. Andrew got me a nice necklace, and I got a few birthday cards (we'd skipped getting the mail on Friday and Saturday, so the cards were there on Sunday) and phone calls from family which were nice also.

I have been working on cleaning the house and getting the front beds outside whipped into shape during Corwin's naps this week. On Monday, I finally got outside to chop back the Mexican Heather that was overgrowing the neighbor's yard. It was chilly and drizzly and generally an icky afternoon to be working outside, but Corwin was taking a good nap and since it wasn't pouring, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity, especially since I'd been looking for one for close to two weeks. I spent enough time out there that the backs of my thighs were excruciatingly sore for the next two days. Yay for gardening workout! :P Yesterday I got back outside during Corwin's nap and pulled a substantial number of weeds. This week's goal is going to be to work on chopping back/removing the really ugly mystery plant that is trying to take over the entire front bed. Ultimately, I'd like to plant something else there...but just having the ugly thing gone will be nice.

Thursday afternoon, Andrew unexpectedly got to come home from work early (it was "teambuilding" day, and their activities finished up earlier than expected). He played with Corwin for a few hours while I did some badly needed vacuuming downstairs and mopped the kitchen floor. Unfortunately, I think the self-propel belt on the vacuum cleaner is loose or otherwise non-functional, as the vacuum was REALLY hard to push on the rug, and by the time I finished vacuuming the rug, there was a strong burnt-rubber smell in the air. The vacuum cleaner worked fine on the hard floor, though, so I'm pretty sure it's the self-propel that's the problem and not the motor itself. Unfortunately, that needs to be fixed before I can do any more vacuuming of the rug or the carpet on the upper floors. So that's on my agenda for the coming week also. Hopefully it's a simple belt replacement issue, and not something that will require me to take the vacuum somewhere for servicing or buy a new one. :P

It may be mundane, but I do feel satisified that I'm starting to be able to get my house back to some semblance of order again!


Sep. 14th, 2007 08:14 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
Andrew's computer is FUBAR'ed. He's just run off with it to Fry's to see if they can diagnose what's wrong with it. And of course I don't have the receipt for the hard drive 'cause it was purchased in 2006, and I threw out the 2006 receipts when it turned out we didn't need them as support for our 2006 federal tax return.

When I was at Target on Wednesday, I noticed that they had the Britax Marathon, the carseat I want for Corwin, on sale for $229.00, down from $269.99 through Saturday. So Andrew and I went back tonight to try to get one. Well, turns out that Target won't let you test the display model in your car to see if it fits, which is a genuine concern for us with our two small cars. I've seen anecdotal evidence online that it fits rear-facing in a 1999 Honda Civic, but I'd really like to know for certain before I spend $200+ on it. And not only will they not let you test the display model, the sign noting the sale price was missing, and the sales associate we commandeered scanned the barcode and said it wasn't coming up for the sale price. So we didn't buy a car seat tonight. When I got home, the Marathons are still on sale on the Target web site for $229, and it says they will be on sale for that price through tomorrow. So I'm a bit confused as to what was going on at the store. I have now called Babies R Us, and was told that they DO let you test the models in your car. So we may end up doing that, and then ordering online if I can find it somewhere where the sale price + shipping isn't more than $269.99. Unfortunately, I work 9-6 tomorrow and we're having people over on Sunday afternoon, so I don't see us getting it done this weekend.

In slightly less blarg-worthy news, Corwin and I went and visited Dawn at the hospital this afternoon. She's pregnant, with her son not due 'til December 9. However, her water broke this past Sunday, so she's been in the hospital on bedrest since then. So far the baby and Dawn are both doing well; she's hoping to be there for several weeks, to give baby Ben time to develop as much as possible so he'll have a better chance of survival in the big bad world. Dawn is doing extremely well so far...very upbeat and calm and happy. She has a huge support network (one I envy) so has had a nearly continuous stream of visitors; she said she hasn't been alone long enough to get bored yet. I plan to go back next week if she is still there (which we are all hoping she is).
cifarelli: (Ember)
This part is probably only exciting if you're also a parent, or you're one of Corwin's relatives. )

Sunday (yesterday) wasn't terribly exciting. Nothing really to report. We hung around the house, and cleaned up a little.

This afternoon we had the usual gang (minus [ profile] staticeel and plus [ profile] kaerukami's wife Jamie) over for board games and pizza. Corwin actually took a half-hour nap around 4:30, which I found impressive. We put him in bed around 1:30 also, and he stayed there for about an hour, but it was storming at the time and I'm not sure he really slept -- there were stretches when he was quiet, but he was also making noise and fussing periodically, so no way to tell if he was asleep or just laying quietly during those times. It was nice to see folks, and I had fun with the games. :)

I don't know what it is with our pizza delivery places around here, though. We have pretty much quit ordering from Sarpino's, in spite of their pizza being excellent, because there is always some problem with our order -- either they can't find our house in spite of having the directions in their computer, they screw up the credit card payment (once they denied all my cards when the problem was really that their card machine wasn't working, and once they doubled the tip), or they deliver us a pizza with green peppers on it instead of beef (and this happened more than once!). Pizza Hut is the fall-back option, and we had gotten decent service from them up until recently. A few weeks back when my cousins + gf were visiting we ordered from them and it took them over an hour to deliver. Tonight, it took them an hour to deliver (when we'd been quoted a 35 minute delivery time) and got two of the four pizzas we ordered wrong. Basically, we got two each of two of the pizzas we ordered, and none of the other two. It's very frustrating.

Tomorrow I need to call the university and figure out when I need to go in to get my keys, pay for parking, and do any other administrivia that's required for starting work in theory this coming weekend. This was probably my last free weekend for a while. My current plan is to stick it out through this semester and see how it goes; if Andrew and I hate it, I'll consider resigning again at that point; if it turns out to be not a big deal, then I'll probably keep at it indefinitely.

I'm off to take a shower now. Might hop on WoW after that.

I'm sad that we missed DragonCon this weekend. :(
cifarelli: (Ember)
Yesterday, Andrew and I went baby-stuff shopping. We picked up baby-proofing supplies from Babies R Us, and our big purchase was a MacLaren Volo umbrella stroller. The umbrella stroller we used at the beach house had handles that were just a tad lower than either Andrew or I liked (we both felt like we had to hunch over just a little to reach them), and the stroller was narrow enough that we had a little trouble maneuvering Corwin in and out of it (and subsequently wondered how soon his body would be too wide to comfortably fit in it). Turns out the umbrella stroller at the beach house was one of the ones you can get at Babies R Us for $19.99 -- one of the real cheapo ones. So we looked at our other options, and ended up going with the Volo. It's the cheapest of the MacLaren line (which I've seen many positive reviews of online), but it can hold a child up to 55 lbs (as opposed to 35, for the next-in-line contender, a Chicco brand stroller), and had just that extra bit of height that made us feel more comfortable pushing it. I was a little concerned about the 5-point harness, given how much trouble we have getting Corwin to do "gumby-arms" to get him in and out of his car seat, but you can actually hook and un-hook the shoulder straps, so no gumby-arms required. Corwin still slumps quite a bit in it, as he doesn't have the torso strength and balance to sit on his own, but with the 5-point harness he's definitely not going to fall out, and I imagine in another month or so he won't have any problem with the sitting up, either. AND it's super-light (not quite 9 lbs) and super-easy to collapse -- it can even be done one-handed without having to bend over. :)

We also looked at Exersaucers, but decided not to buy yesterday. They're pretty expensive, and I didn't want to come home and find the same thing we'd just bought for $15 less on like I did with the play gym a while back. It's also really hard to tell which one Corwin will like the best -- it didn't help that he hadn't had a nap when we were at the store, so was too grumpy to give us any kind of accurate reading as to whether or not he liked any of the floor models. We or I will have to take him back sometime this week or next weekend to make a decision, I guess. It doesn't hurt that we have a 15% discount coupon that's good starting tomorrow, either.

The other thing I got done yesterday was boxing up all of Corwin's 3- and 6-month sized clothing, and got his 9-month stuff organized and into the easily accessible drawer. Next on the agenda is sorting through the stuff we have on loan from [ profile] liz_gregory (thanks, Liz -- I picked the boxes up from Dawn on Thursday) to see if any of it duplicates anything I recently bought, and figure out which things I want and which things I want to offer to [ profile] onefishclappin. Then all the 12-month clothes need to get organized and into their appropriate drawer, so as to be available whenever Corwin gets big enough to wear them.

Today we had [ profile] staticeel and [ profile] mahtab over for some gaming and dinner. We played Fury of Dracula, a cooperative board game based on the Dracula mythos. Since it was cooperative, it actually worked fairly well for something to do while Andrew and I were intermittently baby-wrangling also -- if one of us needed to step away, the other vampire-hunters could easily play our turn for us. It took a bit to get through all the rules, but once we actually got to playing, it was a lot of fun. I think Andrew and I are both thirsting to try our hand as Dracula now, though. After that, we tried out a party game that Jamie had, called "What's It To You?" (I think...I might be misremembering as googling that isn't turning up anything). I liked that one, too. :) Good short, quick game, and relatively easy to play even while juggling a fussy baby.

Speaking of Corwin, he hit another milestone today -- rolling over back to tummy. I didn't see it happen, unfortunately, but I'd left him on his back on his blanket in the living room while I went to put a load of laundry in the dryer, and when I came back in the living room, he was mostly off the blanket and on his tummy. We haven't gotten any repeat performances, yet. Good thing we are kicking the childproofing into gear, though. Tomorrow evening's agenda: vacuuming!
cifarelli: (Ember)
Tonight Andrew and I went to Dawn Adkins' 30th birthday party, the international potluck I mentioned in a previous post. We didn't end up taking anything profoundly exciting; the Nanaimo Bars several folks suggested actually sound quite yummy, but I didn't have all the necessary ingredients on hand, and didn't have time to acquire them and make the bars in time for the party this evening. I may have to try making them sometime, though -- a dessert I haven't tried before but actually sounds like something I think I'd like! :)

The big deal for us is that we left Corwin with a non-family baby-sitter for the first time tonight. He stayed at the Adkins' house (all of 5 minutes away from the party location) with their 2-year-old son Jack and the sitter that Dawn & Bryant hired. He was there from about 6:45 'til 9:20 or so, and it sounds like everything went well. No calls from the sitter saying he wanted more milk than I'd left, and she said he was a pleasure to watch. He apparently even went to bed without fussing. He didn't even really wake up when we picked him up, and we just put him straight into bed when he got home. I'm probably jinxing myself by saying this, but I almost wish he'd wake up and want to eat. I missed him. :(

At any rate, he did well with the sitter, and she said she'd be willing to watch him in the future. So looks like we may have found ourselves a paid sitter we can use on occasion. Yay! :)
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 [ profile] sunflowerkwm, [ profile] beckyboo83, [ profile] liz_gregory, [ profile] onefishclappin, and [ 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 [ 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 [ profile] onefishclappin's to get hand-me-down baby clothes from her and [ 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.
cifarelli: (Ember)
It was a rather uneventful weekend. )

Are we teething?
Today he has spent being alternately very happy and very fussy. When he was fussy, the only thing that would calm him was sucking on my thumb, or nursing. I'm wondering if we're hitting teething early (according to the intarwebz, standard is somewhere in the 6-9 month range, but it can start as early as 3 months -- and, rarely, even earlier than that). However, he wasn't really drooling more than usual today, and he hasn't been chomping so much as sucking when he was fussy.

Update on sleep training
We're still working on getting him to sleep easily. He's still fussing for about 5 minutes (sometimes as long as 10) whenever we put him down awake for a nap or bedtime, which is REALLY hard for me to deal with. I want so badly to go pick him up and comfort him, and part of me wonders if I should really be overriding that urge. I think I've read too many attachment parenting websites. I suspect at least part of the problem is that he's not drowsy enough when we put him down -- but nothing I do consistently gets him drowsy. My options are usually either "already asleep" or "wide awake" -- the only time I hit "drowsy" is if he falls asleep in my lap nursing, and then wakes in the course of being carried to his room and put in bed. Not terribly reliable. :P

Shopping List
Andrew and I have lots of shopping to do this weekend. Andrew needs new jeans and sandals, and maybe shorts before our trip to Gulf Shores, AL in a couple of weeks. I'd like to get one or two pairs of shorts myself before the trip, as I currently have one pair that fit. I also want to go to the bookstore and browse the children's books and pick up a few to read with Corwin -- currently the only two books we have that are good for his current age are Good Night Moon and Pat the Bunny. Once we get the rocking chair from Andrew's parents to put in Corwin's room, I'd like to try incorporating reading a book into Corwin's bedtime routine -- if he'll sit still for it, that is. ;)

Anyone know where to acquire a baptismal outfit? )
cifarelli: (Ember)
Corwin slept darn near 7 hours in a row last night!

He needs to do this more regularly, so I can learn to sleep in longer stretches again. He's got me trained to wake up frequently, and I seem to do so whether or not he needs anything.

Today, however, he's been fussy and not napping. Except in my lap. We had about a 45 minute nap in my lap, with one waking in the middle. But as soon as I got out of the chair to put him down so I could do something...eyes snapped open and have remained so in spite of me putting him in his swing. Guess he's up until the next time he gets fussy due to sleepiness. *sigh*

Yesterday we had [ profile] mahtab, [ profile] geognome4, and [ profile] sirbobsalot over for a D&D session. Corwin actually napped for the first couple of hours (letting us get through character creation without baby-wrangling), but we had to juggle him while we were actually trying to play. Thanks to all three of them for putting up with having him around. We appreciate it immensely! :)

Why am I so averse to leaving my child alone in a room while he's awake? I've gotten to be okay with leaving him alone while he's sleeping, but when he's awake I feel like I need to be in the same room, or only absent from the room for a couple minutes at a stretch at most. This even though he's in a safe place (his swing, his bouncer, his bed). Makes it very difficult for me to get things like putting away laundry done while I'm home alone with him if he won't take a nap.

But he is SO DARN CUTE! :) I love seeing his little dimples when he smiles (yes, I'm totally a goner).

Oh, the cute! )


cifarelli: (Default)

March 2013

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