cifarelli: (Ember)
It's been a long time since I tried anything so esoteric as posting a photo to Livejournal. Let's see how this turns out!

I did remember to put it behind a cut! )

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

RIP Ramses

Apr. 29th, 2009 08:50 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
Ramses was a abyssinian cat who belonged to our friends Bob & Nancy, with whom we have dinner most Wednesday evenings. I heard from Bob this morning that Ramses had to be put to sleep last night. Ramses was 19 1/2 years old, so quite geriatric for a cat, especially given that his breed's average lifespan is 13 years. He hasn't been doing very well for a while, and for the last several months that we've seen him he has mostly just sat in his favorite spot on the couch unless he was eating, drinking, or taking care of other bodily needs. Eating was a chore, taking about a half-hour to eat most of a can of wet food. Apparently this last week he didn't respond to his arthritis shots, which he had been getting weekly, and was just having more and more trouble in general, so they decided it was time.

RIP Ramses )

When I first met Ramses, he was a very regal, standoffish kitty cat. He never wanted a thing to do with me, or anyone else except Nancy, really. I remember one evening when we arrived for dinner, he came and jumped in my lap as soon as I sat down. I was totally taken by surprise, and said something about how he must be mad at Nancy. She said that yes, he was, as she'd not done something that he wanted (I no longer recall what) just a few minutes earlier. As he got up in years, he started to crave more attention and would cry for it if he wasn't getting enough. He was always very good about putting up with Corwin, and never seemed bothered by his attentions even once he had taken up semi-permanent residence on the couch.
cifarelli: (Ember)
We had A LOT of rain here this morning. I was awakened somewhere in the realm of 3:45 a.m. by a particularly loud clap of thunder, and don't think I ever fell properly back asleep after that. Andrew was awake, too. Corwin, however, did not make a peep; we didn't hear a thing out of him until his usual wake-up time around 7 a.m.

Andrew got up after his alarm went off at 5 a.m., and after he had been up and about for a while he came in to tell me that the street was flooded so high that the sidewalk was covered, so he wasn't going to be going anywhere any time soon. We went out for a walk around 10:00 to reconnoiter the area; at that point our street was clear of water. However, as soon as we got around the corner we could see that the street was still flooded at the t-intersection, and once we got around that corner we could see that the entire entry street was under water except for one high spot.

I regretted not having taken the camera out with me, so we walked back home and I went back out again by myself with the camera. Turned out the water was receding quickly as by the time I got back around the corner the entire flooded street had cleared. Several cars drove through it (braver souls than we) while we were out the first time, so my best guess it that a drain or drains were clogged and the force of the cars moving the water also moved the blockage(s). I'm absolutely amazed at how quickly all that water went away.

Anyway, I didn't get any dramatic water shots on the camera, but you can see in several of the pictures how high the water line had gotten. I continue to believe we picked very well when we chose our lot!

Pictures behind the cut! )
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.

Zoo Trip

Mar. 21st, 2009 09:26 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
Since it's Spring Break, which means I'm off work for the weekend, we decided to take Corwin to the Houston Zoo this morning, since he hasn't been since last October. Our friend [livejournal.com profile] kaerukami (also known as Tim) joined us.

Zoo trip recap with pictures )
cifarelli: (Ember)
It's been a while since I did one of these. But Corwin was still sleeping at just after 4:00 this afternoon when I went in to get him up from his nap, and he was sleeping deeply enough that I was able to snap some pictures. So, here's my sleeping boy. )
cifarelli: (Ember)
A week ago Friday, we were graced with a visit from [livejournal.com 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)
So, before I talked to my mom at 10:30 last night, I had been intending to post pictures from our trip to the Renaissance Festival yesterday, and perhaps even post about [livejournal.com profile] gwentevis's visit the previous weekend and pictures from Corwin's trip to the zoo. Since Andrew has ordered me to find something to do so I'll stop sitting around worrying about things I can do nothing about, I think I'll revert back to that plan and post some pictures of happier things. :)

First off: Ren Fest. Actually not THAT much to say. Corwin had a grand time alternately riding in his stroller and running around like a crazy boy. He had fun thinking about playing with some of the other little boys approximately his age/size that we ran into during the day. He'd run over to them, but as soon as they looked interested in him he'd turn around and run back over to me. Almost like every time he'd think about having fun, he'd suddenly have to go check if Mama was still nearby. He didn't do very well on the food front, unfortunately. I tried the "turkey tenders" this year -- fried turkey breast on a stick. I didn't realize they were on a stick until after I ordered them (should have guessed that, I suppose, but I didn't), and I couldn't get them OFF the stick to offer Corwin any. Not like he was terribly likely to eat them anyway given his track record with meat, but it would have been nice to try. We also bought some watermelon. Normally he loves watermelon, but he wouldn't eat it yesterday. He put one piece in his mouth and promptly spat it back out and wouldn't eat any more. So I ate all the watermelon myself. I didn't think there was anything wrong with it, so no idea what his issue was. He ended up eating the sour cream & onion bunnies and half a bag of dried apples that we had smuggled in with us. And that was his lunch. We just fed him a substantial snack when we got home, though, and he was fine.

We had fun chatting with [livejournal.com profile] daemonnoire and meeting her former housemate, [livejournal.com profile] wmorlatt. That was funny -- we bought a bunch of stuff from Ravenswood Leather, and I spent a lot of time chatting with the girl behind the counter there while Andrew was trying on things. I thought she looked familiar, and was actually wondering if she was Jenni's housemate (of whom I had only ever seen pictures), but I was too shy to ask. Well, later, we were passing by the gypsy wagons where Jenni works, and there was the girl from Ravenswood Leather chatting with her. Yup, it was indeed her friend.

We also saw and chatted with [livejournal.com profile] ravenessasashes and [livejournal.com profile] cdfallenangel for a bit, but they didn't end up getting to the Faire until about an hour before we needed to leave due to a cratering Corwin.

And now, piccies! )
cifarelli: (Ember)
So here are the pictures of damage caused by Hurricane Ike around our house. I warn you, in the scheme of things, it isn't really much. We got off really lightly!

Pictures here! )
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)
Pictures from my trip to Austin are in an album here: Austin May/June 2008.

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

Good night all!
cifarelli: (Ember)
Andrew's little sister Sarah ([livejournal.com profile] asharperfocus) got married yesterday!

I didn't take a ton of pictures, and then many of the ones I (and others with my camera) did take didn't turn out very well. So I'm left with a handful of decent ones that I'm posting here for folks who are interested. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the bride and groom together (bad me!).

15 pictures behind the cut! )
cifarelli: (Ember)
I took Corwin today for his first haircut.

I was going to take him to a place called Baby Cuts that is very close to the Babies R Us that we shop at. However, I was feeling kinda iffy about the place to begin with because they didn't answer the phone with the name of the business when I called to make an appointment, and then they said they don't do appointments, it's walk-ins only. When I got there this morning and walked in the door and saw their big sign that said they take payments in CASH only, that didn't help my iffy feeling any. And since I only had $1 in cash on me...well, I was going to have to leave, drive almost all the way back to the house because that's where the Chase ATMs I know of are, and then drive back again. So as I was driving back to go to the ATM, I decided to try a different place that I'd read about online a few weeks ago back when I was researching places to get childrens' hair cut. This place is called Little Lords & Ladies; it's in the shopping center at Westheimer & Greenridge, right by the apartments where Andrew and I used to live.

We had MUCH better luck there. They weren't busy so were able to take Corwin as a walk-in, and they took credit cards (though they wanted their tips in cash, so it was good that I'd stopped at the ATM anyway). Corwin started out doing okay, but was fussy and extremely wiggly by the end. I ended up having to hold him in my lap so the haircutter could finish up. When we were done, they gave me a few pieces of his hair in a small plastic bag, along with a card that I can put in his baby book. So I thought that was cool. :) It was a little expensive (at least compared to the prices posted at Baby Cuts...but maybe that's not a good comparison?), but we had a good experience and I'll definitely take him back there. :)

I think I would have liked his hair to be a little shorter than it is, but he was wiggly and fussy enough that I don't think the haircutter could have done much better (without just taking a razor to him, which wasn't the look I wanted). I suspect when he's a little older I'll be able to be a little pickier about the outcome. :)

And now for some pictures, before I go get him up from his nap:

Pictures! )

He got the scrape on his temple that you can see in a couple of the pics on Tuesday when he did a faceplant off our porch onto the sidewalk and bumped his head on the brick edging our flower bed. He was upset at the time it happened, but it hasn't seemed to bother him since.
cifarelli: (Ember)
I took Corwin to story time at the library this morning. He's finally given up his morning nap and is now just taking an approximately 2 hour long nap after lunch. Lunch has been moved up from 12:00 to 11:30, and he generally gets down for his nap around 12:30. Since he's no longer sleeping at 10:00 in the morning, I figured trying to take him to the library's story time for toddlers would be a good idea.

He'll be 13 months tomorrow, and it looks like he's not QUITE developmentally ready to get much out of storytime. However, I'll likely keep taking him so that he'll get some exposure to being around other kids and learn how to behave in a group setting like that. Today he mostly wanted to walk around and explore the room and a couple of the other kids in particular. He didn't really pay much attention to the stories (as the librarian reading them was too far away, I think, and there were too many other closer things vying for his attention), and I couldn't get him to really participate in the song/movement activities either.

The biggest problem I had was that we ended up sitting next to a little girl (younger than Corwin) in an infant carrier who was there because she was with her older brother. Corwin was absolutely fascinated by the little girl, and kept trying to grab both her toy and her bottle. Fortunately the other mother was patient as I kept telling Corwin no and trying to get him interested in something else. *sigh*

It did make me feel good when I saw that there was at least one child there who was obviously older than Corwin and still carrying a bottle around. I guess I have been making some progress with my son. :) Not that he ever carried a bottle around since he only ever got one when I wasn't there, but still...I am proud that he's done with bottles completely already. :)

In other milestones, we seem to have successfully gotten his nursing down to waking up in the morning and bedtime. This makes me very very happy. :) I'd still let him nurse aside from that if he was really upset or seemed to need to for some other reason (I suspect he'll get some afternoon nursing this Friday after he gets his Hepatitis A vaccination in the morning), but in general it is nice to not feel tied down to him that way or have to stress about having enough EBM available if I'm going to be away.

And now, I leave you with a picture of Corwin and Andrew that I took on Sunday. This was right after Corwin had gotten a good tickling from his daddy!

Corwin and Andrew )

New lamp

Feb. 20th, 2008 10:24 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
This week I am trying to get my house cleaned and organized before it is invaded by hordes of relatives on Saturday to celebrate Corwin's birthday. One of the things I got done that I have been meaning to do for a while was get the lamp I got for Christmas set up in the guest bedroom.

Here's a picture! )

It's a lamp I found in the Pottery Barn catalog, and my parents got it for me for Christmas. It turned out to be slightly larger than I was expecting, but it's not overwhelmingly too large for the nightstand. Other than that, I'm quite happy with it. It even turned out to be a two-way lamp -- i.e. it has two levels of brightness.

In the picture, you can also see underneath the lamp the doily that [livejournal.com profile] noricum made for me and sent to me back in September. It's no longer sitting there lonely on top of the nightstand! :)
cifarelli: (Corwin)
I have been remiss in my picture-posting duties of late; in fact, I think I skipped a 10-month picture post altogether. I DID take the pictures, though, so I'll have to remedy that at some point.

That said, Corwin turned 11 months old yesterday, the 26th of January. He's not walking yet, but still seems to be on the verge. He can walk around a room while holding onto my or Andrew's hands, and he is doing the walking rather than us pulling him along. He also tends to "cruise" along furniture by resting one hand on it as he walks along its length. I think he just needs to get brave enough to let go.

He has two teeth on bottom and 4 teeth on top, though the leftmost top tooth is still just barely through. There's a big space between his top front teeth, so he looks a little snaggle-toothed. We think he's working on the next two bottom teeth now, but there's not anything there to see just yet.

He has discovered the joy of putting his toys in and on things. He's finally playing with an Amazon.com box that I cut the top flaps off of for him months ago, rather than just trying to chew on it. He's been putting his blocks, rings, and cups in it and then taking them back out again. His favorite toys are definitely his nesting cups and the stacking rings that he got for Christmas. He likes to chase them around the room and enjoys dropping them to watch how they land. He's taken to dropping them over the baby wall as well (and then of course he wants us to retrieve them for him!).

He recognizes the butter dish we keep his Cheerios in, and has taken to yanking on the tablecloth until they are close enough to the edge of the table that he can grab them. Fortunately for us, he can't get the lid off the butter dish yet, so it ends up just being an interesting rattle for him to chew on and chase around the room. Andrew and I need to get better about not leaving it on the table. We introduced him to freeze-dried peas a couple weeks ago, and he loves them. He even eats them before he eats his Cheerios when we put some of each on his tray.

He doesn't have any words yet, at least not that he can say. We haven't been nearly as diligent with the baby signs as we probably should, so he hasn't learned any of those either. The few I've been trying to consistently work on with him are "more," "milk," and "ball." I should probably add "all done" into the mix as I find myself saying that all the time. But I never remember to go look up the sign so I can start using it. I'm ready for him to start picking up language, though. I'm tired of trying to tell him "no" and having him act like I didn't say anything at all. Sometimes he seems to understand me, and sometimes he doesn't even think about stopping whatever he was doing. Sometimes I wonder if he's pushing boundaries rather than not understanding. But there's no real way to tell just yet. Consistency is HARD. Especially when your back hurts and you are removing your child from the kitchen or the laptop stand for the 129423485th time.

But enough of my rambling. Here are the pictures from yesterday:

Click here for cuteness! )
cifarelli: (Christmas Corwin)
...and to all a good night!

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