Friday, August 29, 2008

No Sleeping Baby Pics, Today. Sigh...

I hoped V would stay in his bed last night, but unfortunately, it didn't happen. I woke up in the middle of the night to him crying in the hallway. When I finally made it out of bed, he had managed to creep down the stairs to the main level of our house, which is where the formal living room, dining room, and kitchen are located. The house was completely dark, and I don't know how he didn't run into anything, but I was able to chase him down and bring him back upstairs. He was pretty scared. I don't think he realized B and I were in our bedroom, and he must have been looking for us somewhere else in the house. I tried to rock him in his room, but it didn't work. I kept falling asleep in the glider, and he tried to fall asleep, but he was just too restless. He wriggled out of my arms at one point and ran down the hall to our bedroom. So, I gave up and put him in bed with B and I. Unfortunately, he was still kind of awake and all over the bed between us. I got up to use the restroom, and when I came back to my side of the bed, V had taken over my pillow. I'd had enough at that point and decided to just let him sleep there, while I went back down the hall and fell asleep in the guest room. B woke me up after his alarm went off to let me know he was going to get ready for work, so I moved V over to B's side of the bed and hopped in myself. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew it was around 8:00 am, and I was pretty much awake. So, that was our night. I guess I was a little too hasty in my hopes that V would transition well into his room. It's going to take a lot longer than I expected, and I think we're going to have to put a baby gate up in his doorway, so he doesn't end up roaming the house in the middle of the night. We'll try again tonight and see what happens.
Hope you're all getting better sleep than us!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Transitions, transitions...

It's 10:30 pm, and I just put our son to bed. His OWN bed. In his OWN room. That's right. On Tuesday night, my husband decided it was time for V to start sleeping on his own. It's been a long time coming. We've been co-sleeping since V was born, mostly out of necessity. B really needed his sleep during residency, and the easiest way to get it was to allow V to sleep in our bed with us, instead of putting him in his crib and letting him cry it out. It's not that we didn't try transitioning him to his crib. It's just that our son is one of the most determined babies I've ever met. There were a couple of times during B's residency when I tried to get V to sleep in his crib while B was on-call at the hospital. The one time V finally did fall asleep, he had cried for about 2 hours straight, and even though I went and checked on him every few minutes or so, there was no way to console him except to take him out of the crib. Once he was asleep, I decided to go to bed myself. That meant I had to walk by his crib over squeaky floorboards. He didn't stay asleep for very long, and I gave up and let him go to bed with me. I didn't try transitioning him after that, even though V kept getting bigger, and our queen-sized mattress seemed to be getting smaller with the three of us piling in together every night. Personally, I didn't mind co-sleeping, especially when I was nursing V. It made it very easy for me to sit up and breast feed him while we were in bed, and then, put him right back down next to me and go back to sleep. However, after he was weaned around 14 months, co-sleeping started to seem less desirable, mostly because V is a very light and restless sleeper, and he kicks, too! Honestly, I don't think I've slept through the night since before I got pregnant. That's almost three years of waking up at least once every single night for some reason or another. My husband and I have been ready for a long time to have our bed and our room back to ourselves, but we just couldn't find a way to do it without a lot of tears on both sides. Then, we moved to our new house. V still co-slept with us for a while, until our good friends loaned us their toddler bed. To make the transition easy on our son, we put the little bed next to my side of our queen bed. I started putting V in the toddler bed during his naps, and when that seemed to work almost immediately, we decided to try putting him in it at bed time. It wasn't a complete success. There were still nights when he would wake up wondering where he was and crying for us. He got to the point in the early mornings sometimes when he would just wake up and climb into bed with me. Then, B started practicing medicine at the beginning of August. We knew that he would be on-call at least once a week for his office, and though sometimes he would spend most of his call in the hospital, we also knew that there would be times when he would be home and get calls in the middle of the night, which would not only wake him up, but V and I as well. This past Tuesday happened to be one of those nights. B had planned on moving V's toddler bed into his room last weekend, but we were really too sick and lacked the energy to do anything about it. On Tuesday, when B got home, he decided that would be a good time for transitioning V. He knew he might not get very many calls, but he couldn't be absolutely sure he wouldn't get any at all. So down the hall the toddler bed went. V actually seemed a little excited about it because he already loves playing in his own room. It was like another toy for him! After dinner, he went into his room and climbed under his comforter and laid there while I read him a book. He was only playing, but it seemed like a good omen to me. When he finally fell asleep that evening, I went ahead and put him to bed in his room for the first time. B and I went to bed around 11:00. Then, about ten minutes later, B got a call from a patient who was in labor. Since it was already so late, he decided he would just sleep at the hospital after the delivery instead of coming back home and possibly getting called to work again. I fell asleep soon after he left. Then, around 2:30 am, I heard V crying. I went into his room and noticed his eyes were closed, but his pacifier had fallen out. Once paci was back in his mouth, he seemed to be totally asleep. I didn't hear anything from his room again until about 5:30 am. At that point, he was crying and sitting up in his bed, so I brought him to bed with me for the next couple of hours. I felt on the whole that his first night in his room went fairly well, and I hoped that it would only continue to get better for all of us. Unfortunately, that didn't happen last night. He was only in bed a couple of hours before I heard him crying. When I went to check on him, I found him on the floor in the hallway outside of his room. Rocking him and holding him just didn't work, and he ended up in bed with us for the rest of the night. None of us got any good sleep. V tossed and turned and kicked, and when B's alarm went off this morning, V woke up and just wouldn't go back to sleep, which was what I wanted to do! The rest of the day, we were both kind of tired, but V managed to have a good nap in his own bed this afternoon. I'm hoping tonight he decides his room is an okay place to sleep, and B and I can finally have our bed to ourselves! It may not happen, but hey, it never hurts to hope. And, now, to bed. If V's still in his room asleep tomorrow morning, I'll take a picture for proof and post it in celebration of another successful transition in his young life.
Best to you all, and good night!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Terrific Twos!!!

As my mommy friends Kristin and Beth (and countless other mommy bloggers) share all of the wonderful things their little kiddos are doing as they grow, I've decided to get in on the act and write down some little tidbits about our son, so I can remember them when he's a rebelling teenager. He's been two years old for almost an entire month, and it's amazing how much he's changed even in just the last few weeks. Here are some of the things he says and does that I just love:
--Every time he plays or hears music from a toy or the TV, he starts dancing. It's that wonderful "bouncing baby" kind of dancing, where his legs move his whole body up and down and side to side. He also has a great twist going on with his arms, sometimes!
--He sings now too, which brings joy to my heart, since I've loved to sing my whole life and wanted to pass that love on to him. He doesn't have a lot of words right now, but if you listen closely enough, you can make out "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and the "A, B, C" song through all of the great gibberish. Also, the theme song to "Blues Clues" is a favorite of his, complete with sign language. If he's watching the show, he'll even get into his "thinking chair" (the couch) at the right point in the song. He'll do most of the signs to "The Wheels On The Bus" when I sing it with him. He likes to sing with the "Yo Gabba Gabba" guitar we gave him for his birthday.
--The park is his favorite place to play. There's a great playground for 2-5 year olds close to our house. He's finally comfortable with going down the slides on his bottom AND all by himself! He also likes to play in the little house, dig in the sand and wood chips, and bounce on the "bumblebee", a riding toy.
--He likes to walk up and down stairs like a big boy, instead of crawling up and down them. Sometimes, he waits at the top or bottom, so he can ask for "helppee" (help, please) and take my hand. He would rather hold our hands and walk around while we're out shopping than sit in a cart. However, I'm not comfortable with that when it's just me and him, right now.
--V loves to have his daddy chase him around the island in the kitchen or around the larger circle of our foyer, living room, dining room, and kitchen. If B hides behind a corner and catches V off guard when he gets close, V jumps and laughs and laughs!
--V's favorite things to do at home are build with blocks, play basketball, color with crayons, play with trucks and trains, play with his Mr. Potato Head, and watch most everything on the Noggin channel (besides singing and dancing).
--He's starting to show a little pretend play ability, now. I caught him riding on one of his trucks yesterday and saying "vroom, vroom" as he pushed himself around the kitchen floor. If he picks up a baby doll or stuffed animal, he rocks it as if it were a real baby. Also, he likes to pull my wooden and plastic spoons out of drawers in the kitchen and "drum" on things like the oven!
--He loves for me to read to him, and I've caught him reading to himself a few times, too.
--He's starting to torment our cat now (like when he tries to sit on her), but for a while, he would go up to her, put his hands in her fur, and say "Ickle, ickle, ickle". At first, we thought he was saying her name, Julie. It took me a little while to figure out that he was actually trying to tickle her! He'll still try to tickle us, occasionally, and he loves to be tickled himself.
--He knows how to count to the number 2 (and possibly higher, though some of the numbers are still gibberish to me), and he will point to numbers and letters in books or on objects, like when he pointed to the letter "A" on our toothpaste tube, this morning. He can point to all of his facial features as well as his belly button, fingers, and toes when prompted. He knows the sounds some animals make, especially ducks, frogs, cows, dogs, sheep, and horses. He'll say the word "No", but he'll nod for "Yes". Also, he'll show you where he wants you, himself, or other things to be by tapping on something. For example, if he wants me to sit on the couch rather than in the chair, he'll go to the couch and slap the cushions until I get up and switch locations.
Here are his more recognizable words and phrases:
Mommy, Momma, or sometimes just, "MOM!"
Daddy (for a while, he would say something like "cacky")
Papaw and Nana (when prompted)
Up ("uppee", which I think means "up, please")
Help ("helppee", again, meaning "help, please")
More (with the sign for it)
Grapes ("bapes")
"Oh, man!" (I love this one. I'm sure he got it from me.)
"One...Two...Go!" (He said this today before going down a slide at the park.)
Strawberries ("stawbees", one of his first harder words)
Cake! (There's no questioning this one!) ;)
Quack (more like "cack, cack"), moo, ribbit (more like "ruh, ruh", like he's grunting), oink (sounds like his "ribbit"), woof (more like "woo, woo"), and neigh
"Choo, choo!" (for both the sound and the word "train")
"Vroom, vroom!"
"Chee!!!" ("Cheese!", every time the camera's turned on him, which is a lot!)
If I say "Hello, Baby," sometimes he'll reply with something that sounds like "Hello, Momma." It melts my heart every time.
"Blues Clues" ("Bues Coos")
"Yo Gabba Gabba" ("Gabba")
And, finally, the dreaded "Why?". I don't know if he's just saying the word to hear it or actually asking the question. He does tend to say it a lot when he's told not to do something.
I'm sure that's not a comprehensive list, but it's what I can remember right now. I'll try to post more of his changes as they come to me and as he grows. Oh, and it's definitely not been all terrific. We've seen the "terrible twos" numerous times, already! I just hope by writing down all of these wonderful things about him, I'll kind of forget about the other stuff. ;)
Best to you all,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dinner In Under 30 Minutes? Sure! Why not?

I'm no Rachael Ray, but I do love it when I can find something to make for dinner that's (mostly) homemade AND takes less than a half an hour to finish. There are a lot of great cookbooks on my shelf full of easy, quick recipes. Sometimes, I get in a rut and make the same things a couple of times a month because I know my hubby and son will eat them. However, there are also those times when we all just want something new and different. Finding new recipes usually requires a search through my many cookbooks and then, questions to Hubby regarding what sounds good. I submit the following dinner recipe, which was utilized to great success last night. We don't eat a lot of lamb, mind you, due to cost and the novelty of the meat to our family. However, when a great lamb recipe comes my way, I really can't pass it up.

Apple-Glazed Lamb Chops
found in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Prep: 10 minutes
Broil: 7 minutes

1/2 cup apple jelly
2 teaspoons prepared mustard or Dijon-style mustard
8 lamb loin chops, cut 1 inch thick
1/2 cup chopped apple (1/2 of a small)

1. For glaze, in a saucepan heat and stir jelly, mustard, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and dash pepper.
2. Trim fat from meat. Place chops on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 7 to 11 minutes for medium doneness, turning and brushing with some jelly mixture once.
3. Stir chopped apple into remaining jelly mixture. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Serve with chops. Makes 4 servings.

Some notes on the recipe:
-I used 2 large shoulder chops instead of loin chops, since that's what I could find at the store. I cut each chop into thirds, and though they were a little on the small size, they worked out fine for us and became very tender after 10 minutes under the broiler.
-Apple jelly can be found in the jam/jelly aisle of the grocery store. I always knew there was something called apple butter, but never knew they made apple JELLY.
-I used Dijon mustard and a Red Delicious apple for the sauce, and I sprinkled the Red Delicious with fresh lemon juice to keep it from turning brown after it was chopped. Both worked extremely well.

For the side dishes, as the chops were broiling, I whipped up some Parmesan couscous, thanks to the quick cooking variety provided by Near East. It's like quick cooking rice, where you boil water with the accompanying spice mix, add the couscous, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Also, a bag of Cascadian Farm organic frozen broccoli cuts was thrown into the microwave for four minutes, a little salt and pepper was added, and voila! Dinner was served. There were rave reviews from Hubby and, silently, from our son, who actually ate his meat along with everything else, something that rarely happens. (I noticed him eating the apples from the glaze first and thought he was going to skip the meat altogether. However, once one bite of lamb made it into his mouth, he quickly cleaned his plate. Yay!)

Hope this helps give you another answer to the question "What's for dinner, tonight?" I'll add more useful recipes to my blog as I come to them, later.
Have a great Sunday everyone, and I'll see ya when I see ya!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tag, You're It!

Did I mention that I'm still sick? Yeah, I'm at the point now where I'm hacking my head off and coughing up lots of fun stuff. V's still no better with the runny nose and cough himself. I'm really getting tired of being stuck in the house, and I know he wants to get outside, too. I think a trip to the park or even our own backyard is in order, later.

So, on to more fun things. My mommy friend Kristin turned me on to a great website yesterday, The Mom Bloggers Club. It's kind of a Facebook or Myspace geared toward mommies who like to blog with lots of ways to network and discuss blogging and life in general. I've already been lead to a couple of neat blogs, including Punky Monkey. The mommy blogger, Tena, posted a fun little tag game to play with other bloggers, and I thought I'd share it with you all, and hopefully, get our own game going.

Here are the rules for “6 Quirky Things”:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Well, no one tagged me since I'm starting this particular game, and I'm not sure if I personally know 6 people who follow my blog and who also blog themselves, but I'll try my best with the "6 Quirky Things" bit.

1. I have this terrible habit of starting something and, if I can't finish it right away, it tends to sit there waiting for me to get it done. Then, I suddenly get bored with it and move on to something else that also never gets finished. I have a knitting project that's not been touched in weeks, my husband's chain mail dice bag that was supposed to be a Father's Day present and may not even be finished by Christmas, a book I've wanted to finish for a while that will have to go back to the library today, a video game in the middle of which I'm kind of stuck, and countless other things lying around the house. I'm not sure if I have ADD and become distracted too easily, or if it's just my mommy brain making it impossible for me to focus on one thing at a time. This probably isn't a "unique quirk", since I have a feeling there are a lot of people like me, but it was the first thing that came to mind.
2. I have a lot of friends who are girls, but I think I have even more friends who are guys, most, if not all, with whom I've never had any other kind of relationship. This may not be a unique quirk, either, but I think it's something interesting about me. It's not that I don't get along with girls--I totally do. It's just that I tend to like to do things geared more toward the male population, especially gaming. There were a lot of girls at Gen Con Indy this year, but I bet the majority of the population was male, and a lot of the games being demoed were made particularly with the male gender in mind. I chalk this quirk up to having lived and played with a brother for a long time before my sister came along. Also, I gave birth to a son, so it kind of helps that I tend to play more boy games with him than girly things (more blocks, and less tea parties).
3. When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time daydreaming with different movies playing out in my head, usually with me as the lead "actress". I've noticed lately that if I have a lot of time on my hands, the "movies" tend to come back, only they're a little different than what I daydreamed then. It probably happened because I read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies and TV growing up. I've had a lot of different scenes constantly playing out in my noggin over the years, some of which actually started as real dreams that I remember. I've always wondered what would happen if I wrote any of them down. I tried once when I was in high school and then, buried the notebook somewhere in my room. When I found it some time after college, I reread it and thought it was the silliest thing I'd ever read. It involved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, if that tells you anything. Yeah, I was a big fan back in junior high school. It was a weird obsession I had at that age, but I totally had fun with it.
4. I never ate cucumbers or olives before I got pregnant. Then, when I was pregnant with V, I couldn't get enough of cucumbers on my salads or olives on my pizza. I thought they were going to be just some weird pregnancy cravings that would go away after I had my son. However, I still crave them sometimes two years later, especially olives. Weird, huh?
5. I like to have wine every once in a very great while, but I'm very afraid to drink too much alcohol. I've never been drunk in my life, though I think I've been kind of tipsy once or twice. My parents never drank in front of me growing up, so that could have been a part of it. Also, I was a very rigid, conservative, religious, little goody-two shoes. There were a lot of things I would not try until I went to college, and even then, I didn't experiment with much of anything, especially alcohol. Part of me has always been afraid that I might become an addict for various reasons, but I think I just don't like the idea of losing control of my mind and body. I've seen and been around a lot of drunk people in my life, and even though it looks like they're having fun, to me they're mostly just an embarrassing mess. That's my personal opinion and impression. Please don't think I'm judging or thinking about any one person in particular. I'm just not a drinker and prefer not be in a situation where a lot of heavy drinking is involved. A little alcohol among friends now and then is one thing for me. A huge gathering with people falling all over themselves drunk is quite another.
6. I'm sometimes afraid of ghosts, the darkness, and very bad storms. Yes, even at 30-something years old, I'm still afraid of these things. I've heard too many stories from friends and others about hauntings and the like, and I've personally experienced a few weird things myself that keep me interested in, and sometimes afraid of, the supernatural and the unknown. I'll have to tell you the story some time about when I was in college, and I felt the spirit of my grandfather before I'd actually heard he'd died. My (sometimes) fear of the darkness is related to my fear of ghosts and really is just a product of my imagination. We live in a much bigger house now, and it can get really eerie and quiet at night, especially when B's working at the hospital and V and I are alone. My fear of storms is just a habit I picked up from other family members with the same fear and also, from when we actually had a tornado-like situation cause a tree to fall on our house when I was little. I think I'm getting better with this fear, but there are times when it can really overcome me, especially now with so many weird weather-related catastrophes happening around the world.

So, that's my list. It's not particularly funny or weird, but it's all me. And now, I'd like to tag a couple of bloggers I know and see if they have anything to share. Remember, you don't have to do this at all. I thought it'd be a fun departure from our normal blogging.

Kristin and Beth--TAG, you're it!
Updated to add: Anyone reading this with a blog of their own who would like to jump in on the fun, please feel free to do so. You've all been universally TAGGED! Sorry if I didn't tag you personally. I probably don't know you have a blog, or did at one time and just forgot (remember, mommy brain). If you decide to play, please add a link to your blog post in my comments. I'd love to read them all!

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Because I'm Still Sick (of Being Sick)....

The latest xkcd is up. And, lo, it was good:

This actually applies to our (recent) life. When we first moved to our new house, we ended up getting our cable modem hooked up before our new satellite dish. When the satellite was installed, the guy cut our Internet connection by mistake when he was digging up the yard to bury the satellite line. So, we had to get the cable company from whom we're getting our Internet service to come back to our house and reinstall our Internet, and thus, run ANOTHER line through our back yard. You should see it right now. There are several paint spots from where they had to mark for the new lines and a couple of nice brown lines through the yard from where they actually buried the cables. Nice.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm Sick of Being Sick

When I checked in with my mom while we were at Gen Con last weekend, she told me that she wasn't feeling very well and that V had the start of a cold, as well. He had caught it from one of his cousins, one of whom had just started Kindergarten that week. We picked V up on Sunday and found that he had a seriously runny nose and a slight cough. Mom was in her room in bed with a fever and a nasty virus or something. Well, it didn't take long for me to start feeling symptoms. Yesterday, I had a sore throat all day. Today, it's still sore with some congestion in my nose. What's worse is B was feeling the same symptoms as well yesterday, which means we're all sick. I hate that. I don't mind being sick at home as long as I can take care of V and the house. However, B can't just take off work whenever he wants when he feels bad, especially since he's so new with his office. He's working as I write this, and I hope he's feeling good enough to take care of his patients. He's on-call tomorrow, and then, he has Friday off, since he'll be post-call. Hopefully, the weekend will give him a chance to rest and get over this thing. I just hope I start feeling better, soon. It's hard enough to take care of a sick child, but it's even worse when the parent feels just as bad. I didn't want to do anything but lay on the couch under a blanket last night, which made V very upset. He wanted me to play with him, and I just didn't have the energy. Today, we're both kind of laying around doing very little. I want to get him out and about, but I'm waiting until he's feeling a little better and not so snotty. Poor little guy. The worse part about this whole situation is that we're still waiting for B's insurance to kick in, which may take a couple of months, and V still hasn't seen a pediatrician for his 2 year appointment. I may just have to make an appointment with someone and cover the costs until the insurance is ready. If V gets any worse and needs medical care, I'm not sure what we're going to do, except take him to an urgent care and hope it's not too expensive. One light at the end of the tunnel is that we're in the process of actually selling our house in Ohio. We finally got an offer last week after having the house on the market since April, and after the potential buyers countered our counter-offer, we accepted and are now going through all of the necessary paperwork to get everything finished. It looks as though we may have a possible sell date in early to mid-September, depending on the sellers and the inspection process and whatnot. I'm worried about the inspection, since our house is old, and though we repaired and renovated as much as possible, it's still not completely "new" looking. I guess there's no worrying about it until everything is finally settled. I'm ready to get rid of the extra mortgage payments and all of the bills associated with the house. Then, we can officially move on with our lives here in Indiana. Well, I best be going, so I can take care of our little guy, who's dripping from his nose and whining pitifully. I hate being sick, and I hate when he's sick, too.
Best to you all,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gen Con, Days 3 & 4

I've decided to combine the last couple of days of Gen Con into one post, since I pretty much described our entire convention experience in the last two posts. The only differences between Saturday and Sunday and the rest of the con were B was able to attend with me over the weekend and I actually paid money to attend an event. B and I started out spending time together and with our college buddy, who I happened to run into on Thursday and with whom I spent most of the rest of the con when B wasn't around. I demoed a couple of games with B that I'd already played, and we spent a lot of time wandering the exhibit hall, checking out the booths and talking with friends we met along the way. At lunch time on Saturday, I was scanning the program book for interesting seminars or workshops, when I found a chain mail class I wanted to try. I wasn't sure if the class was already full, so I went to the event registration area to check it out. Luckily, someone had canceled and left a spot, so I was able to join the group. We went back into the exhibit hall, and B and our friend immediately found a game they wanted to demo. I wasn't interested in the game at all, so I left them and went wandering by myself. I found an amazing booth full of great costumes and jewelry, most of which could be used for belly dancing outfits or medieval wench costumes. There were tops, balloon type pants (like in "I Dream of Jeannie"), and skirts galore. I have a great belly dancing hip scarf at home, and after a lot of rummaging and some help from the booth vendors, I found an amazing velour-type top with flowing sleeves and a pair of sheer, lavender genie pants. I'll have to find some kind of tights or something to wear underneath the pants and a pair of slippers or sandals to wear on my feet, but once I do, I'll have a great belly dancing outfit to wear to the con next year and for Halloween! After that, I stopped by Steve's booth in the art show and chatted with him and another one of the dads from our Ohio play group who happened to be attending the con, too. It was great to be able to catch up with people we hadn't seen in a long time! After we parted ways, I found the room for my chain mail class and spent the next few hours attempting to create a "handflower", which is a kind of bracelet that attaches to the middle finger and covers the top of the hand. It was a fairly difficult class, even with my prior chain mail experience. I wondered how many people in the class had never attempted chain mailing before and wouldn't have been surprised if they had decided they never wanted to do it again, afterward. The two guys who taught the class were great and very patient with everyone. They went around to every single person and helped us create the weave correctly. I have terrible spatial awareness skills, and it took me about two hours to get the weave down as well as to keep my rings in the right places in order to fit them together correctly. I wasn't able to finish the handflower during the class, but I had enough of it done to show my hubby and my friends, which is just a great feeling. We had dinner after that and went back to the Convention Center to watch a couple of independent film screenings. One of the screenings was of our friends The Dead Gentlemen's movie, "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising". Lots of con-goers showed up for the screening, which made it so much fun to watch even though B and I have seen it several times in the past couple of years. We didn't get home until after 2 am, and though we were very tired, we managed to get up the next morning and head to the con at a reasonable hour. On Sunday, the exhibit hall closed at 4 pm, so we tried to do as much as possible in that short time period. We ended up buying lots of goodies (see pics below), including a few new T-shirts for next year's Gen Con. My favorite shirt says "I'm Not Anti-Religion, Just Anti-Hypocrisy." I also bought a "Cthulhu for President: Why Settle for A Lesser Evil" shirt, which I hope to wear to the voting booths this November! B demoed a prototype of a new game for a while, and I spent some time saying goodbye to friends, finishing my handflower, and checking out whatever I hadn't seen over the last three days. We ended the con with a quick demo of a new game, which we bought just five minutes before the exhibit hall closed. The last thing we saw as we left the convention was the final entries from a Spam carving contest from Saturday night. It was absolutely hilarious and a great lasting impression of Gen Con Indy '08. We immediately left for my parents' house and had a small birthday celebration for V before coming back home. B and I were both exhausted, but we left the con discussing next year's convention, when B will try to take several days off, so we can get a hotel room in Indy to spend even MORE time there playing games and having fun. I'm already looking forward to it!

And, now, as if I hadn't rambled enough, here are a few pics, so you can experience Gen Con, too:

Me tossing a die in Gary Gygax's memory! RIP, GG!

The sign for the Days of Wonder booth, one of our favorite game companies.

If you think the back of this fairy's costume is spectacular, you should have seen the front!

Cardhalla! Build towers out of leftover playing cards and destroy them later by throwing coins at them for charity! Huzzah!

No Gen Con is complete without a roaming Darth Vader and random Storm Trooper...

And an R2 unit, even! W00t!

I finally found my "Dr. Horrible", Death Ray and all! Thanks, Chad, for making my Gen Con experience complete! Not only do you have a Ph.D. in horribleness, but in awesomeness as well!

From Geek Chic, every gamer's dream gaming table...for $10,000! B and I are going to try to get our brother-in-law to build something similar for our gaming room for, hopefully, much less.

Another view of the Geek Chic table.

How about a life-size Marvel Heroclix game with Superman and Mr. Fantastic?

The "RattleSnake" game using magnets, brought to you by Fantasy Flight Games.

Steve Prescott scribbling away at his booth on the last day.

The Spam Carving Contest winners: a foot, a dragon, and a computer.

And, finally, some of my favorite things (besides the games) from the con:

My black cat hat from the VooDoo Baby booth.

Some free swag from demos, the swag bag, and game pre-orders, including a miniature from the "Monsterpocalypse" game and a giant 64 ounce mug for pre-ordering some game expansions from Smirk and Dagger Games, another of our favorite game companies.

The chain mail handflower I created in the workshop on Saturday.

And, now, it's back to the real world. I'll post from there some time after V gets over the nasty, snotty cold he contracted at my parents' house while we were off gallivanting around Indianapolis.
Take care, and I'll see ya when I see ya.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gen Con, Day 2

So, Day 2 was just as much fun as Day 1. The best part about these conventions is that you can really just spend your time doing whatever you want (to an extent), and it's been even more fun because I haven't really followed any type of schedule. I've just kind of gone with the flow and whatever happens, happens. I made it to the exhibit hall soon after it opened in full costume. I've tried to dress up as something at least once during the con the last few years. This year, I decided it might be fun to be one of Dr. Horrible's groupies. If you've seen the Internet phenomenon that is "Dr Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog", then you know what I'm talking about. If you have no clue at all, then just take a gander at the pics below, and you'll kind of get an idea of the zaniness that is Joss Whedon's latest musical/fantasy series creation. The last part of the costume I needed was the goggles on my head, and luckily, there were all types being sold around the exhibit hall. Today, I found some real steampunk leather and brass goggles that were amazing, but I'm sure were much more expensive than my plastic welders' goggles. Plus, mine more closely resemble Dr. Horrible's goggles, so I was satisfied with my outfit. I only had one person want my picture, and she just so happened to be dressed as a Dr. Horrible groupie, too! It was kind of ironic that we ended up sitting in on the same seminar, since I think we were the only two dressed like that at the entire con today. I did actually see a "Dr. Horrible" roaming the exhibit hall floor at the end of the day, but he passed me before I could get a picture, and the next time I saw him, I was passing him in my car in the parking garage. Oh, well. Maybe he'll be there tomorrow. I just mentioned a seminar I sat in on, this afternoon. When you attend Gen Con, you can go to all sorts of workshops and seminars on just about anything related to gaming or the sci-fi/fantasy genres. Today, there happened to be a seminar on The Dead Gentlemen and their latest and future projects. Six of the "DG" led it, which was one of the funniest experiences I've had in a very long time. As I said in my previous post, their latest movie, "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising", was released on DVD at the con, yesterday. Today, they spoke a little on the distribution process and why it took them a while to get the film released to their adoring fans. They also talked about The Demon Hunters RPG, a role-playing game based on the first movie they ever made (while still in college) called "Demon Hunters". While the seminar was partly a plug for their current projects, they also spoke a little on what they have planned for the future. I'm not going to go into specifics, but some of the things they have in store for the world just sound totally awesome! By the way, I highly, HIGHLY recommend anyone reading this to find a copy of "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising" and watch it with all of your pals. It's a great film for anyone who loves playing games and/or loves funny, fantasy films. Because they signed with Anthem Pictures to distribute their movie, you'll now be able to add it to your Netflix queue or even buy it on or from your local video store. Hopefully, this wider distribution will give them an even bigger fan-base. Which means more money for them. Which also means more great movies and other products they can create for the rest of us! Yay for independent artists and their lovely creativity! Speaking of independent artists, I also took a picture of my friend and fantasy artist, Steve Prescott, at his booth this morning. He's been busy there signing "Magic: The Gathering" cards and selling originals and prints of some of his artwork. He received the "Best in Show" award at Gen Con, last year, so he gets to judge the artwork of his fellow artists at this year's show. It'll be interesting to see who gets the ribbons, tomorrow. Besides talking to friends and enjoying that seminar this afternoon, I did take the time to sit down and demo a couple of games. It's hard to demo at some of the exhibits because they're always so busy and full of people. However, a friend of mine and I were able to find a few places where we could get a quick demonstration of the companies' latest games. I left the con exhausted from all the walking and from the little sleep I got last night, but it was all worth it. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, when I can share the day with my hubby! Yay!

Before I ramble on even more than I have, here's a look at the day:

Steve Prescott at his booth in the "Art Show". He wanted me to make sure it looked like he was "working" in the pic!

Me as a "Dr. Horrible" groupie! Yes! That is me in that picture!

I met Angela from Louisville at the Dead Gentlemen seminar, who just happened to be dressed as a "Dr. Horrible" groupie, too! What a crazy, random happenstance!

I wanted a picture OF the Dead Gentlemen. They made me get in the picture WITH them.

Then, the person taking the picture told them to look "disturbingly" at me. I had no clue what expressions they had on their faces until after I saw the picture! Yeah, that's pretty much how the entire seminar went! They are just wacky, funny guys!

Pictured with me (from left to right): Scott Brown, Nathan Rice, Brian Lewis, Don Early, and Matt Vancil. Thanks, guys, for brightening my day!

Oh, and I can't forget the reason(s) why they gave their seminar: "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising" and The Demon Hunters RPG.

And, finally: "I'm a monster! Rawrrr!!!"

I probably won't get home in time to blog, tomorrow, so I'll see ya all on Sunday or Monday (depending on how exhausted I am when we get home!).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gen Con, Day 1

Just a quick post to say I survived the first day of Gen Con and had an absolute blast! I didn't quite make it to the Indianapolis Convention Center in time to be one of the first people in the exhibit hall, but I was able to get to the Paizo Publishing booth to buy a copy of The Dead Gentlemen's movie "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising". They premiered the movie at Gen Con two years ago to standing-room-only crowds, but it just went on sale at Gen Con today because it's taken them a while to find the right distribution company for the film. For anyone who likes to play games, it has a lot of inside jokes, and for anyone who doesn't know anything about RPGs, it's a wonderful introduction to the gaming world. By the time I picked up my copy of the movie and got in one of the increasingly long lines, I noticed that the DVDs were quite literally flying off the shelves. In fact, the five guys in front of me and the guy directly behind me in line were all there just to buy the movie! After buying it, we all had the privilege to stand in line again and get the cover signed by many of the cast and crew members. B and I personally know a couple of the members, so it was like meeting old friends again. In fact, that's how my whole morning went! I kept running into friends who I usually only see at these conventions. I made it to the Art Show area, where sci-fi and fantasy artists show off their talent, and I met up with my friend Steve Prescott. He was one of the dads in our play group back in Ohio, and it was only after I had joined the group that I had discovered his artistic talents, which can be found in most of my husband's Dungeons and Dragons guide books and supplements. We caught up on what's been happening in our lives since B and I moved before I went back into the main area of the exhibit hall to seek out the rest of my "must-haves", which included the final element for my costume for tomorrow! Hurrah! I grabbed lunch at Circle Center Mall, which is attached to the Convention Center via many skywalks, and I managed to run into one of our college friends and gaming buddies. I was so glad I ran into him because neither of us had any major plans for the rest of the day at the convention. We went back to the exhibit hall and demoed a few games and just checked out what everyone had to offer. We ended up having dinner together and watched some anime before parting ways. I got home around 8:30 pm, called my mom to check on V (who is having a great time with his grandparents, cousins, and aunt and uncles), and I've spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympics and surfing the Internet. It's been a great day, and I'm really looking forward to more fun, tomorrow! I'll try to start a list of some of my favorite games from the convention, later. Oh, and here are a few pictures from the convention. I didn't take many today, mostly because I was too busy playing games and meeting people!

A giant 20-sided die welcomes everyone to the exhibit hall, in honor of Gary Gygax, the "Father of Dungeons and Dragons", who died earlier this year.

The Dead Gentlemen signing autographs: Steve Wolbrecht, Matt Vancil, Don Early, and Nathan Rice.

The banner of Fantasy Flight Games, one of the many gaming companies selling their newest games at the convention.

Look! Belly dancers in the hallway!

Now, it's time for bed. I'll try to get some pics of my costume tomorrow as well as those of the many other people wacky enough to dress up! I saw a lot of pirates today, but I think my favorite was the pirate walking with his friend, the ninja! Classic!
See ya, tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When The Kid's Away, The Parents Will Play!!!

Only two more days, and I'll be having the time of my life at Gen Con Indy! For those of you who don't know, Gen Con is a huge annual gaming convention in Indianapolis featuring all forms of game play: board games, role-playing games (RPGs), live-action role-playing games (LARPs), collectible card games (like Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering), traditional card games, video games, miniature games, and so on. Not only can you learn how to play the strangest and wildest games in the world (usually imported from Europe), but you can also do things like learn how to make chain mail, compete against your friends in a foam weapons battle, fight your way through a life-size dungeon full of puzzles and monsters, watch tons of Anime or sci-fi/fantasy films, dress up in wacky costumes (and win a costume contest, if you'd like), or learn how to write sci-fi/fantasy novels or your own game. If there's a particular thing you want to do while there, you can probably do it 24 hours a day for the full four days of the convention. I'm serious. I can't wait for Thursday morning, and this year, it's going to be even more awesome because B and I will actually be able to attend the convention sans baby! A while back, I asked my parents if they would be willing to watch our son on the Saturday of the convention, since that's usually the busiest day, and it will be the first day B will be able to attend. He's too new at his job to be able to get time off for fun stuff like this. Even if they decided to watch V on Saturday, that still meant I would have to take care of V AND try to attend the convention on Thursday and Friday all by myself. Granted, it would be tough, but I was willing to do it. Well, we got a call from my parents soon after saying that if we were okay with it, they wouldn't mind watching V during the entire convention (Thursday through Sunday) and having him stay at their house. Overnight. Without either of us there to be with him. Now, this won't be the first time we've left V for an extended period of time. My in-laws watched him for us back in December when we went on a medical conference trip to Vegas. It was a nice little honeymoon for us, and V got quality time with Papaw C. and Grandma. When my parents suggested a sleep-over for V at their house while we attend Gen Con, we jumped at the opportunity, though I had some reservations, mostly because I felt a little guilty--like we were pawning him off on somebody else so we could go be big kids and play. However, they're actually thrilled with the idea. Now that we're back in Indiana, they've been able to see him more often, and they couldn't pass up the chance to spend more time with him. Not only will my parents be there, but V will be able to play with his two older cousins (my nephews) and his aunt and uncles. I'm so happy for him, but I'm also thrilled that B and I will be able to have fun and not have to worry about V's safety or routine while at the con. It really isn't the place for babies, though we did take him last year with us. I think he had a good time, but it's hard to maneuver a stroller around the Indianapolis Convention Center when you're surrounded by about 40,000 other attendees. Plus, V was a lot less mobile and curious last year. We learned first hand at the Origins Game Expo a couple of months ago that 2-year-olds and games with dice do not mix. He wanted to get into everything he saw in the exhibit hall, and he wanted to help us play every game we demoed, which meant a lot of "No!", "Put that down!", and "Don't put that in your mouth!" from B and I. Origins is a much smaller game convention, so I didn't mind letting him walk ahead of us in the exhibit hall when we were there. There would be no way I'd let him down to run around at Gen Con! It's just way too big and way too crowded. So, this Thursday morning at the very early hour of 6:00 am, V and I will leave our house for Papaw D. and Nana's house north of Indianapolis. After I leave him with my mom, I'll head on down to Indy by myself to register for the next "Best Four Days of Gaming" and enjoy the extensive exhibit hall without having to worry about diapers, sippy cups, whining, and grabby hands. Do I still feel a little guilty about it? Maybe. But in all fairness to my son, he'll have a much better time with his Nana, Papaw, and cousins than he would if he were stuck in a stroller all day watching Mommy try to roll natural 20s to survive a nasty dungeon crawling with kobolds or orcs. I'm getting into the spirit so much this year that I'm actually going to "try" to wear a costume on Friday. I have most of it together, but I'm still trying to get one element for it. If it doesn't work, that's fine. Most of the outfit is perfectly cute without that one piece. However, it'll be even more special if I can make it complete! I won't have a computer with me to blog from the convention, but I'll try to post pictures when I can at the end of each day, depending on what time I get home. B will be attending on Saturday and Sunday with me, and then, after we're done on Sunday, we'll go up to my parents' house to have a late birthday party for V before bringing him home. I just spoke to my mom earlier this afternoon, and she wants me to pack his swimming trunks, so he and she can go swimming at her neighbor's, whose grandson will also be there visiting. It already sounds like V's going to have a blast without us, too!
Best to you all, and I'll see ya when I see ya (which will most likely be Thursday night!),

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Funny, 'Cause It's True.

I had to laugh when I read today's xkcd:

I hadn't driven around Indianapolis outside of I-465 by myself in a long time. Friday night, when I was to meet my friends for that "wild" night out, I missed my exit to my destination and had to go one exit north and then go south on a side street. Luckily, I vaguely remembered my way around that side of the city. Leave it to Mapquest to know nothing about exits being closed due to major road construction!
Have a laugh on me, today, and I'll see ya when I see ya!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just In Case You Didn't Know...

Friday night at 8:08 pm (on 8/8/08 to be exact), the Summer Olympics opened in Beijing, China. Thank God for DVR. I missed the opening ceremonies because some friends thought it might be fun to surprise me with a wild "Girls' Night Out". Don't ask me about what happened. I've decided not to blog about it in all fairness to my friends who had a great time, though I spent most of the evening wishing I was home with my boys. Anyway, B informed me yesterday morning that he had recorded the opening ceremonies and that we could watch it later on in the day. (Did I mention how much I love my husband?) After dinner, we tuned in to the spectacle that was the beginning of the Olympic Games in China. It was beautiful, awe-inspiring, and just plain fun to watch. The technology and precision involved in such a program was just staggering. Apparently, the creator of the ceremonies, who is known for his cinematic achievements, employed around 15,000 Chinese performers to make it happen, none of whom were utilized more than once throughout the entire evening. When asked why he decided to have so many people in his creation, he wryly stated, "Well, we have the people for it." (I'm paraphrasing there, but still, it's funny because it's true.) If you missed the opening ceremonies, I highly recommend finding someone who has recorded it and borrowing their TV/VCR/DVR for a few hours. Or, maybe there's a YouTube version somewhere out there. It's something that really should not be missed! I went ahead and watched the entire "Parade of Nations", which took about 2 hours alone to accomplish, and I loved the fact that the Chinese were so willing to welcome and applaud even the nations that may not be their friends at all. The theme for the evening was "One World, One Dream", and they really pulled that theme off, even to the end during the lighting of the Olympic Torch, which was the most spectacular part of the evening. I felt for the last Olympian with the torch, who was hoisted into the air on wires and literally "ran" the entire length around the stadium suspended in mid-air until he came to the torch, where he lit a fuse that ignited the entire thing beautifully. The conversation leading up to such an event must have been fascinating: "Sir, would you mind lighting the Olympic Torch for us?" "You want me!?!" "Yes, but in order to do it, you will be flown hundreds of meters into the air by wires." "Okay..." "And then, we'll have you sort of stand sideways while hanging from the wires and pretend to run, while said wires move you along the entire circumference of the stadium." "Uhhh...." "Finally, when you reach the Torch, you'll light a long fuse running up to it, resulting in a several meter high flame near your hand and most likely your head and other major body parts." "Wow...errr, really? You want me to do all that?" I'm sure it was all much more professional than that, and from what I could tell, the Olympian must have trained for a very long time before his moment arrived. Still, it took a lot of guts, and the end result was just breathtaking! As soon as we finished watching the recording of the ceremonies, we switched to some actual Olympic coverage just in time to see swimmer Michael Phelps win his first gold medal. Swimming is one of my favorite events, probably because I'm not a particularly athletic person, but I do love to swim. The few events we watched did not disappoint. We also caught some of the men's gymnastics, another favorite of mine, before heading to bed. At this very moment as I blog this, our TV is tuned to NBC. The US basketball team, made up of NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, is playing against the Chinese team, led by Yao Ming. It makes for some exciting TV. We had just switched channels from the USA Network, which was covering women's weightlifting and equestrian events. The weightlifting was fascinating to watch with some tiny women with huge muscles lifting 250+ pound barbell weights! The equestrian events were much more graceful and flowing, though not as particularly exciting because it seemed as though the horses were just running in random lines and circles around the arena. I personally like to watch them run and jump the gates. Hopefully, we'll be able to catch some diving and women's gymnastics either later today or in the upcoming weeks. The Olympics just amaze me with so many talented people using their abilities to not only attempt to win a medal, but to also represent their various nations. Every time I watch the Games, it gives me hope for our future. Even though there are still conflicts occurring around the world, at least in one city for a couple of weeks, people from a variety of backgrounds come together for some "friendly" competition. I would like to say it's a truly unifying event, but I know that there are still political and cultural differences that mar the happy atmosphere surrounding it. At least during the opening ceremonies on Friday, it seemed to me that we do live in "one world" with "one dream". And maybe, when my son is my age, we will truly live in that world.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some Drama In The 'Hood

So, I have to blog this because I think it's interesting and wonder what others out there in the Interweebs might think about it. When B and I started looking at houses in our new city back in March, we fell in love with our current neighborhood as well as the house itself. The area is quiet, wooded, and full of wildlife. The only possible problem we had with buying the house (which didn't hinder us at all) was our neighbor's yard. According to our real estate agent, this particular neighbor had decided a long time ago to have a "naturalized lawn". Don't let that link fool you. That's not what he's been doing. Basically, at some point he stopped mowing his grass and let weeds take over his yard. His house is situated at the corner of our cul-de-sac and another street. If you were to drive through our neighborhood yesterday and pass his house, you wouldn't have known that there was even a house there because the weeds would have been obstructing your view. He also kept a couple of old cars in the driveway and even had steel pipes hanging off the branches of one of the trees. That's not "naturalized landscaping". That's just lazy homeownership and the beginnings of a vacant lot! Apparently, he was fined numerous times by the city in the past and even went to local court about his inability to take care of his lawn. I've heard several stories from our neighbors and our real estate agent (who also happens to live in our neighborhood) that he was sued by the court, and then, he turned around and sued the city. It had something to do with the fact that in an urban area (at least in our city), the grasses can't reach a height of more than 8 inches. I guess he argued with the court about what constituted "grasses". Anyway, from what I've been told (and it's all hearsay, mind you, from several different sources), the court had to start all over again. It sounds like the local neighbors didn't get their fair share of communication with the courts about how they felt. I don't know how it all got started again, but our realtor and a local neighbor both contacted us about supporting their efforts to have the city essentially come in and mow down his lawn. We were all for it and ready to sign petitions or go to meetings about it. Yesterday, while I was being a dutiful neighbor and mowing my lawn, weeding my flowerbeds, and pruning the hedges (of many small villages), I noticed a city truck parked outside our neighbor's house and people taking pictures and walking around his yard. This morning, my phone rang, and it was our realtor. She called to tell me that there were policemen, government officials, and neighbors outside of the house watching as landscapers came in and straightened up his yard. She asked me if I could go outside and support the neighbors who were there, which I immediately did. V had fun watching the bush hogs and lawnmowers work their magic as well as exploring the sidewalks and neighbors' driveways. I got to witness our government at work, and I met some of my new neighbors, all of whom were so happy to see the eyesore disappear. The owner of the house was there, documenting the whole thing on his camera. There was a lady from the Environmental Protection Agency there, as well. One of my neighbors said that she would normally be there in support of the "naturalist", but apparently, she was supporting the neighborhood and making sure the correct plants were cut down and that everything was done by the book. My neighbor thinks she'll get a lot of flack from her office because she wasn't supporting the owner's right to a weeded yard. However, after looking at the above website and some other information on "naturalized lawns", I realize that he wasn't doing it correctly at all. After he took some pictures, he came over to where I was standing in front of my house and introduced himself. A policeman followed him over, probably to make certain there were no confrontations between us. When he found out that we had moved in across the street from him, he basically asked "So, my yard didn't hinder you from buying your house, huh?" I politely told him that we were concerned by the look of his lawn, but that we also loved the rest of the neighborhood and the house, and that's why we decided to move there. He handed me a piece of paper that he said would give me an explanation on why he kept his lawn the way he did. He also said he might try to talk to us tomorrow about it, basically in the hopes to "convert" others to his cause (his words). The page he gave me is an excerpt from a radio program, in which naturalized landscaping is mentioned and it's connection with protecting our environment and natural wildlife. While it does mention giving our lawnmowers a rest and that naturalized yards are hindered by ordinances prohibiting lawns with grasses over 8 inches, the websites listed at the bottom of the page have very little to do with urban landscapes. One of the websites is linked above. The other is at the EPA's website. Just so I'm clear about this, I am all for anything that helps to protect our environment, but not if it endangers people and possibly animals. This guy's lawn wasn't full of beautiful wildflowers that would attract butterflies and the like. It was full of weeds and God-knows-what-else (plus the pipes hanging from the tree). If V and I had happened to walk by his yard one day, V could have easily wandered in there and possibly injured himself or gotten poison ivy or something more dangerous. I feel that if this gentleman wanted to have a natural landscape around him, he shouldn't have bought a house in an urban area with neighbors who like their yards manicured. He would have had much more support if he lived in the country with lots of acreage and fields of wildflowers. The irony in all of this is that he is apparently a successful real estate agent himself, which begs the question: how can you make a living off helping people find beautiful homes, when you can't keep your own home beautiful? Anyway, it's all over for now. While V and I were eating lunch, I watched the city government people load up the dead tree limbs and other debris and haul it away. Now, when I look out my front window, I see a lawn and an actual house! I don't know how long it'll be kept that way, and I have a feeling we haven't heard the end of it all. It makes for some nice drama in an otherwise quiet neighborhood!

B's New Job, Week 1

I'm happy to report we made it through the first week of B's new job as an OB/GYN. Technically, it's not completely finished, since he's seeing patients in the office today. However, he did have his first call night on Wednesday and sailed right through it. Every doctor's practice does things differently, and his office is no exception. He works with five other doctors, and he will take call every fifth night during the week, at least one Friday a month, and one whole weekend (Saturday and Sunday) a month. When a doctor takes call in his practice, they start their shift in the morning. They spend the day in the hospital doing surgeries and deliveries, and their shift continues until the following morning, when the next physician takes over. Brian's first call shift was a little different than most because he saw a few patients in the office before heading in to the hospital (it could be like that all the time, I'm still learning about his schedule, too). He was still working at the hospital until about 6:45 or so on Wednesday. V and I had gone to a local park at that time to meet up with our new moms' group. Afterward, we met B at our friends' house, where our board gaming group was meeting. V and I were pretty tired from the day, so we didn't stay long, especially since the group wasn't really playing any games while we were there. B stayed to hang out with them, and he didn't get home until about 1 am. I wondered if he ever had to go into the hospital or if he'd been playing games the whole time. I found out later that it was the latter. He never got any calls in the middle of the night, and the next morning, he went in to the hospital to round on the few patients that were there. He was back home later that morning, and he had the rest of the day off! I was so happy to have him around, since I had a lot of chores to do in the yard and couldn't really do them while I was watching V. So, it ended up being a very light first call for B, and though I know that not all of his call shifts will be like that, it bodes well for the rest of his career. His days in the office are kind of long, but he doesn't get up in the morning until about 7 am or so (as opposed to 5 am when he was in residency), and most of the evenings this week, he's been done around 6:30 or so. It's nice to have him home for dinner, and I'm really going to like having him home on his post-call days. It's all definitely different than residency, and though it may not last and he may get busier as the days pass, it's still been a better week for the family than we ever had while he was working in residency.
Best to you all,

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Birthday Pictures! Yay!

Here are a few glimpses of our weekend and yesterday while celebrating V's big day!

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, V!

On August 4, 2006, at 9:44 a.m., my husband and I celebrated our fifth anniversary by welcoming our beautiful 8 pound, 8 ounce baby boy into the world. Two years later, he's become a walking, talking, dancing, singing, smiling, laughing, rockin' little boy.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, V!!!! We love you!

I'm having issues uploading pictures, so I'll try to repost later.
Update: Apparently, I'm not the only one who is having issues with posting pictures, so I guess we'll all have to wait until someone at Blogger fixes the problem.
In the meantime, V had a great birthday. This past weekend, we went to my in-laws' house to celebrate not only V's birthday, but his two cousins' birthdays as well. All three of them have birthdays within a week of each other, and his cousins are brother and sister, which means V's aunt is very busy with cakes and presents and parties and the like. Her husband's birthday is the same week as their children's, so I really feel for my sister-in-law at this time of year! We decided to have a big party at V's grandparents' house for the kids with a great dinner and cupcakes that spelled out their names and pie and ice cream and lots of presents. We also spent the afternoon swimming in my in-laws' pool. There were a few leftover cupcakes, so this evening after dinner, hubby and I sang "Happy Birthday" to V and helped him blow out two candles on his cupcake. It was a fun little party for just the three of us, and V really made a mess while eating his yellow cupcake with milk chocolate frosting! V's favorite presents so far have been the "Yo Gabba Gabba" guitar we bought him, his new crayons and coloring pad, the cell phone and tiger water bottle he received from his aunt and uncle, and the "Sesame Street" DVDs from his grandparents. We were unable to meet up with my own family this past weekend because of scheduling problems, but we're hoping to celebrate with them some time in the next couple of weeks. Today is also B and my seventh wedding anniversary. We really haven't done anything to celebrate that milestone yet, but next week my family is going to watch V for a few days, while B and I attend Gen Con Indy. We'll have lots of time together, so I'm sure we'll celebrate then! ;)
Hope you're all having as much fun as us!
Best to you all, and "Happy Birthday" to anyone sharing the day with our son.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Does it really seem that way, boys?

The following web-comic sums up my own feelings about some of my pieces of underwear:

The above image can be found at (which is a great webcomic, by the way, and well worth a look) and was released using a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License, which means I'm free to post it here and share it with everyone, as long as credit is given where it's due. Yay for open source licensing!

Have a great weekend, everyone! And, don't forget to laugh!