Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Names

Since I have already posted at least 3 times on my baby name thoughts, I figured I'd follow up on that theme.

Regarding Margaret, I do like it paired with Grace. Does Margaret Lauren have too many Rs in it? Or maybe just too many syllables?

Regarding maiden name usage as a part of your child's name: my father has his mother's maiden name as his middle name. I have always liked that tradition. Mind you, my last name might as well be Jasciliewzski, so while I would like to do that, it seems a little...mean. BUT, I have thought about something like a tribute to my last name. So, a middle name like Jack or Louie might be in order. In fact, truth be told, one of those girl names I listed as a middle name is a tribute to my last name.

Now for boy names... Remember that I have Six Simple Rules for Naming Your Child After British Aristocracy, so if your naming habits run more toward trendy then I might not be the place to look. Here are my favorite boy names.

John August
John Philip
James Paul
James Anthony
Anthony Paul
James Alan
Charles Paul
Charles Philip
Harlan (and I never came up with a middle name for that)
Daniel Paul
Daniel Jay
Christopher George (but NOT George as a first name)
Christopher Jay
Christopher John
John Jay (but I believe John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so that might be weird, but it sounds so nice)
John Alan
John William
Edward Harlan
Edward William
Wesley Thomas
Thomas Wesley
Michael (with almost anything as a middle name like David, Wesley, August)
Matthew (ditto)
Thomas Ryan
Daniel Thomas

I'm sure I like other names, but this is all I have for now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am now in the third trimester by pretty much any pregnancy calendar you use. I am 27.5 weeks.

After the awesome ultrasound (which featured lenses of the eyes), I had to wait three days before getting a look at the official report from the radiologist. It is official. I still have partial placenta previa. However, the good news is my cervix is 5 cm long and showing no signs of changing, so the chances of having a bleed soon are low. And pre-term labor is not yet on the map. Whee. I was chastised lightly by my ob for my 7-pound in one month weight gain (which didn't seem too bad to me considering my previous pregnancy weight gain experience). I was given a slip for another ultrasound, a slip for a gestational diabetes screening, and told to come back sometime in the next 2-4 weeks. I chose 4. I am the queen of compliance, and my ob knows it. If I have problems, he knows he'll hear from me and he knows that I know what a problem looks like. It's nice to be treated like an intelligent adult.

Name games continue. My mother, in her wisdom, has decided that baby names need to be icky. I think she's chosen Mortimor for a boy and Grisella for a girl. I kid, but still, her choices have been...odd. We have a left-over boy name from when Chuckles was born (which should have been his name but for a moment of miscommunication) and we have a ton of girl names so we just need to nail down a first and middle name for a girl and we're set. And yes, I know what is between the baby's legs, and I still insist on having boy and girl names at the ready because I know what I saw, and it looked like a whole lot of nothing, that's what. I am not convinced.

Here are my girl names (I've given the names combos that I like, but feel free to suggest your own following my Six Simple Rules for Naming Your Baby After British Aristocracy):
Caroline Elizabeth (not to be confused with Carolyn, which I do not like)
Caroline Grace
Elizabeth Lauren
Katherine Elizabeth
Elizabeth Claire
Corrinne Grace

Abigail was our cat and I love the name, but Mr. Long-Suffering says, "No."
I like Margaret but have no idea what to do with it.
So, that's where I am with that.

I am having some "back-door" issues. This is all TMI, but whatever. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I made it through my entire pregnancy with Chuckles without any constipation and no hemmorhoids. I developed a pair or three while pushing for a few hours trying to get Chuckles to go through the door and avoid cutting a window. But, alas, I got the window and the hemmorhoids. They have not been much of a bother for the last 3 years, so I didn't think much of them until Oh.My.God.The.Blood one day. And when you have placenta previa and are searching the TP for signs of imminent trouble, having a toilet full of blood is not so great. At least I quickly figured out the source so I did not fall into a giant pit of despair. Anyway, I am not really constipated but I did start taking one of those dissolves-in-any-beverage-and-you-can't-even-taste-it fiber things. And it's true, you don't taste it but it doesn't dissolve in cold milk. I haven't noticed any change in that area since I started it on Thursday. I have a pretty fiber-rich diet as it is. So, I guess we just hope it doesn't get any worse. It doesn't hurt or burn or itch or anything, so it's just gross and disgusting. That is all.

At my appointment, I was given the go-ahead to have rhymes with smorgasms. Pelvic rest continues but smorgasms (which I assume are chocolate and marshamallow covered) are allowed.

My born child has a cold and has coughed and puked on me in the last few days. Which is always good times. I also cut his hair since his gradmother basically said he looked like a ragamuffin. Now, he looks like a ragamuffin whose mother is too cheap to take him to get his hair cut. Actually, it doesn't looke that bad. But do you think he could stop moving while I do it? I am sure that a very funny/cute photo is in the offing since he asked me, oh I don't know, about a hundred times if he could cut his own hair. It's just a matter of time before he does.

Mr. Long-Suffering is not thrilled about this little cold situation and bounces wildly from blaming me to blaming Chuckles. Basically, Chuckles has post-nasal drip which is irritating his throat and stomach and making him cough and spit up. And Mr. Long-Suffering thinks Chuckles, who let me remind you is 3 year 3.5 months old, should just know this and blow his nose even when he's tired or asleep or something. Or that he should at least blow his nose when asked. I say he's 3.

It is late August, the tomatoes are in. We have bounty.

I found out about my maternity leave benefits. 2 weeks paid before due date, 8 weeks afterward followed by up to 12 more unpaid weeks. If I can do the math, that's carry-the-one, 22 weeks off of work which sounds a lot like 5 months. So, that'd rock. We'll see what I end up taking. But I am so thrilled about this development I can barely contain myself. Must check with Chuckles's school to see what kinds of part-time pre-school options they have.

The Olympics are over and the Democratic National Convention has started. From one spectacle to another. Both spectator sports. Make sure your voter registration is up-to-date. I don't care who you vote for, reasonable people can disagree, but read up on the elections in your area (local officials have more say over your day-to-day life than the national politicians) and cast a vote.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

POP Goes the (what, are you calling me a weasel?)

Let's call this picture "Gee, Mom, you should cut back on the chocolate milk."

For some reason, this picture was on the camera when I unloaded it. I have no idea why I took a picture of my dinner one night. It's not like dinosaur-shaped white meat chicken nuggets are something of which I am proud.

This is a photo (if you squint really hard) of the Chicago skyline taken from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

This is my child hiking in the Dune Grass. I have no idea what he was doing. I took this picture on super-zoom. He and his 7-year old aunt were playing some game that had very detailed rules and something about digging a hole in the sand and dinosaurs.

This is The All-New Honda Pilot, as advertised behind an airplane at the beach.

This is Chuckles eating the first ice cream cone I ever made for him. This is not his first ice cream cone. The teenagers at the Photomat make him little torches with candy eyes of which he is quite fond.

My husband snapped this picture at the Lake House on Saturday. It is my belly in my new bathing suit. The scale is hard to tell, but each flower is the size of a Honda Civic, so you can imagine, I am quite rotund these days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Know Something You Don't Know

I went to the ultrasound. As did Mr. Long-Suffering. However, we did opt to find out. And I'm not telling.

In other ultrasound news, the heartbeat was in the 130s and had a rhythm you could dance to (depsite his presence at two ultrasounds already, I think this is the first time Mr. Long-Suffering got to hear the beat). Baby is about 2 lbs 5 ounces and measuring a solid 1-2 weeks ahead, which is the same as the last two ultrasounds and same growth curve as Chuckles, so good news there. We also saw all this other stuff:
  • three vessel cord (and this time I could really see it) with excellent Doppler flows
  • placenta still partially covering the cervix but looking better (probably not going to migrate totally out of the way, but looking decidedly less scary). Nicely closed, long cervix.
  • kidneys, four chambers to the heart and this time we could see the valves opening and closing, which was a neat bonus
  • gall bladder, liver, diaphragm (which is keeping all the organs on their own sides just like the masking tape on that one Brady Bunch episode)
  • intestines, baby bladder, cerebellum, ribs, spinal column, nasal bone, two hemispheres to the brain
  • choroid plexus (no cycsts!), lungs, liver, cross section of the kidneys, which are appropriately-sized
  • Toes. Tons and tons of baby toes. Like ten of them. Measurement on the baby foot is 52 mm. With Chuckles at 22 weeks, it was 48 mm. This is 26 weeks, so same growth track.
  • thumb sucking, upper lip, lack of cleft lip/palate, chin (which looks a ton like my baby sister's chin and bears some resemblance to Chuckles's chin, as well)

All-in-all, an awesome ultrasound. And Mr. Long-Suffering got a chair, which he did not use because he was huddled next to me and next to the screen. However, while I pottied (32 ounces of water an hour beforehand is really quite torturous) and changed and whatnot, he did avail himself of the chair, so I guess it was worth it. Since my placenta will continue to need to be monitored, according to the technician, I will most likely be going back for another ultrasound. I don't mind. I like seeing BoBo/Puppet Show. And I will schedule it at the place with the chair.

Dude, where's my post

Dear Teacher,

The cat knocked an oil lamp onto my pile of papers and the blog post I meant to write was lost in the fire.

Habitual Liar

I have no idea where I have been or why I haven't been posting. Let's just say, I wish it were sleeping - but it wasn't.

We went to a lake house on Saturday. Lake House was big fun. My kid went in a tube pulled behind the boat. He had a blast! Mr. Long-Suffering drove 1.3 miles per hour around teh lake while I yelled at him that there were Other Boats On This Lake so Move Over so my BABY doesn't get hit by a boat. At which point, he asked me to be quiet (or some other words, you know, whatever). I will state emphatically, that my child never saw my white knuckle freak out and that is a good thing. Chuckles's 4-year old cousin was not so sure about this behind the boat stuff. That was rather funny. There was water volleyball and a full-moon cruise around the lake, stars, food, fun, scooters, a tournament of bags (in which I did not play because I pulled the pregnancy card and took a nap in a lounge chair). Did you know some people call the bean bag tossing game "cornhole"? There is something terribly wrong about that.

Sunday we went to Build-A-Bear and then pizza. It was the birthday party of a turning-4 year old girl. My kid really oddly enjoyed the lip gloss in his officially sanctioned Build-A-Bear gift bag (and then we had to give him a good scrubbing because that stuff is just grease). He did not build a bear. He built a turtle whose shell is a back pack and then dressed him in a hard hat (all the girls picked gymnasts and princesses for their dolls). They had firemen and policemen, Spiderman, army men outfits. But just a hard hat (like Daddy’s). Well, you know, mommy wears a hard hat too, but that’s OK. And he named his turtle “Goggy”. This is why he’s not allowed to help name New Baby. Or maybe we just don’t stage manage him enough. I’m pretty sure the other kids didn’t come up with those names (Georgina (a monkey in honor of Curious George), Lucky, and Fluffy) on their own, is all I’m saying. We thought he should name the turtle Titian like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (you know, a Renaissance painter, but Goggy it was). Goggy rhymes with Groggy.

Oh, we got THE QUESTION on Sunday.
Chuckles: Mommy, who put the baby in there?
Me: Uhhh, Daddy did.
Chuckles: Oh, ok.
Me: Whew.

He also told me that Daddy didn't have any babies so he could not possibly be married, but he has FIVE babies in his back so he is married. To whom? Mommy. I love his little Oedipal-ness. But it's OK that I am married to Daddy (but I guess marriage is not a reflexive property since Daddy is not married to me, ok).

This morning, I wish I had heard the traffic report on the radio BEFORE this one…the traffic report I heard went like this: “I-55 is reopened in both directions. The buffalo are off of the road.” So, what? Were there buffalo on the road in Chicago? And yes, it turns out there were 4 buffalo on the road that escaped from somewhere and were shot by their owners after shutting down the interstate. It was not in the city proper but in what I would call a far-outlying subarban-type area.

My aunt, who once upon a time was a Certified Nurse Midwife, had me lay down on Saturday and she poked around and found baby head and showed my how to do it and then we found what were either hands or feet. And now I know how to do it too. This will be a party trick for the next x weeks (wherein I hope x is greater than 10). Baby had gone head down-ish. Aunt Midwife was not worried about the placenta previa since it is so common post c-section and I am not bleeding yet. She's even hopeful that today's ultrasound will show migration of the placenta. I am cautiously optimistic about that, since it is the most likely scenario, but let's say I'm not scheduling the VBAC right now.

In other news, Husband might not be able to make the ultrasound after all, in which case, I am looking between the legs and asking, but I am not telling. It will be my little secret. Mine Mine Mine.

***Abrupt Topic Change***

I have basically three, no wait, four, no five, six, six criteria for naming a baby:
  1. Thou shall not be named anything trendy (it should have been in the top 100 names at least 100 years ago…oddly, I dislike the name Mary, the #1 girl name of all time). If you can screen name someone Overused-Last-Name-As-A-First-Name, the name is right out. That's right, I'm looking at you: Tyler, Taylor, Jefferson, and Madison.
  2. The name shall not rhyme with swears or slurs (or fart). And it should not rhyme with itself. Naming your son Harry when your last name is Carey is not my idea of a good time.
  3. The initials shall not spell bad words (or really anything). Just ask Aaron Scott Smithson about this.
  4. The name shall reflect or honor your family in some way. You need not name the child after anyone, but giving your kid his grandfather's initials might be nice.
  5. The first and middle name should sound nice together. For example Corrine Lauren doesn't sound that great together (I think it's the N sound at the end of each name), but Hannah Lauren is nice and Corrine Leigh sounds fine, so it's not necessarily the names that are the problem but the combination. Johnjacobjinglehimerschmidt is right out as well.
  6. The name shall be obvious when you read it. So, naming your kid Gretyl and saying, "It's pronounced 'Betsy'." is not OK. No need to add extraneous Ys and extra Hs and Qs into the name either. However, I think Jamie Lynn Spears would have done well to name her daughter Maddie Briann something more like Madeline Brianne (so that Brianne is clearly a girls' name instead of like Brian and I feel the more formal name would give her more options as an adult). We can ask Jennifer Granholm, Michigan's governor, if she'd prefer to be called Jennie, but someone named Jennie, probably won't be going by Jennifer.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Powerful, Powerless

After Monday morning's I-Don't-Want-To-Go-To-School situation, I really did not even want this week to continue. I do the drop-off and Mr. L-S does the pick up. I have begged him to trade with me, but with our jobs and schedules, it really makes more sense this way.

Monday night was a fine night and I remember very little before we all sat on Chuckles's bed and did hugs and kisses (oh, I know, I made ice cream cones for all of us to eat outside). Anyway, we were all in the bed doing good-nights when I heard one clap of thunder and saw the lights dim. Mr. L-S headed to shut the computer down and Chuckles and I continued with the evening routine. Less than a minute later, the power was out. Chuckles asked to have his night light put on. No dice. Then he wanted Daddy's flashlight. No-can-do. But, Daddy showed up less than a minute later with a PURPLE GLOW STICK. And you can keep it in your bed, blah blah blah. So that was fine. My husband mentions that our tree out front blew over. Really odd. It's not even raining.

Then, it starts raining. And lightning. Every 1 to 1.5 seconds the sky turns completly white. And the thunder. There was thunder.

We took showers by oil lamp. Incidentally, the bathroom was really hot during this. The heat from the lamp plus the steam from the shower and no exhaust fan. And I wouldn't leave the bathroom door open because Lisa The Cat has not yet learned about not going on the bathroom counter, nor do I think she knows fire can burn.

Early to bed, it was. At 2:30 am, I heard the high water alarm in our sump well going off. Since we have drain tile and a sump well, we have a sump pump to keep our basement from flooding. The alarm is set quite a bit higher than the float that turns the pump on. We were 1" from flooding the basement. Bailing with buckets ensued. Back to bed. Chuckles woke up "hot and sweaty". Got him some milk from the 'fridge (which was no longer as cold as it had been), stripped his jammies and brought him into our bed. Since it was still Electric Light Storm outside, I was actually more comfortable with him in our bed. I didn't want to take any chances about diving for cover and needing to get him from his room.

4 am, High Water Alarm. We go to bail the water and I see Chuckles wandering down stairs saying something about how I left him alone. OK, then. Back to bed. 5:30 am High Water Alarm and husband's work alarm. I ask him to wake me at 6:30 so I can get ready for work. 6:30 comes. I sit up and there is a purple glow stick in my hair. He still hasn't bailed the water. It's still lightning out but the rain seems to have stopped. We hook the sump pump up to my car battery (through an inverter to change DC to AC). Anyway, pump that out. Called day care - no answer. Called work - no answer. Wait. Eat. Call work again. Say that the power is out, day care may or may not be open (they aren't answering and the local radio station that does school closings is not broadcasting). Bossman says it was rough getting to work, let him know. OK.

Go on about the day. THink about logging in to work from home. I use a laptop, so no power needed. I can power the modem through my car, OK. Let's do it. Except the DSL is out and so is the land line phone (although cell phones are working). Chuckles gets up and we go about our day periodically pumping the water out.

By 10am, the water is off. We don't have a well, so I found this odd. I figured maybe the town didn't have back up generators for the pumping stations. (Turns out, this was half the reason.)

I chop the tree that fell into a million little pieces with an axe. It just felt so good to do that. I then pick up the branches that fell all over our yard and in the yards of some of the elderly neighbors. Some of the branches were blown out of the trees with such force that they were stuck into the ground (and sitting there upright) and had to be pulled out.

Come lunch time, I am tired of all this, getting hot, and ready to see if we can borrow a generator.

So, we head out to borrow a generator (and the air conditioning in the truck feels so good). As we drove, the destruction got greater and greater and greater and then stopped. It just ended. By the time we were at my in-laws', there was barely a notice of there having been a storm (execpt I noticed that there pool was about 3" higher).

We barely get home because so many of the roads are closed with high water and tree limbs. But we make it and hook up the generator. We hook up the pump, the freezer, and the 'fridge (and our nextdoor neighbor's fridge too). Yay for generators. Chuckles fell asleep in the car coming back (as per my plan). After an hour, my husband decided to go get gas for the generator since it had been running for a while and we didn't have much left. He came back 20 minutes later (it's less than a mile to the gas station) from the wrong direction. I guess pwoer was out the first few places he tried. Something about "losing a phase".

Meanwhile, I was sitting outside guarding the generator from roving bands of thieves who had flooding basements, warming refrigerators, and a gleam in their eye for trouble. Or I was just making sure it didn't burst into flames. Whatever. I was sitting on a chair in the grass in the shade and a bird mistook me for a statue and landed on me. I freaked right out screaming like a little girl.

I started planning dinner. Our water came back on. I called the town to find out whether we were under a boil order. "No," she said, "you'd be notified." Chuckles woke up. We had stuff I could fix on the grill (veggies, salad, salmon). I realized the dishwasher was full, had no idea when power would be back, better wash the dishes by hand. Told my husband I was hot, tired, and done with the day now so as soon as I cleaned up dinner, I was laying down. He moved the generator to the back yard and locked it up with a serious piece of chain. I did the dishes and then POOF, the power was back on. No flickering. Just on. We waited about 10 minutes to make sure it stuck. Phones on. Air conditioning. Sweet, sweet air conditioning. And it stayed. So, I curled up in front of the AC register and had a grand time. Mr. Long-Suffering turned off the generator, put all the extension cords away, moved the appliances back where they belonged. We had ice cream cones. I got Chuckles into a cool bath. I went to bed.

This morning, I found out I really was under a boil order and the reverse 9-1-1 notification would not matter since we had no phones. And Chuckles wanted to know if mommy and daddy could stay home again with no power. Sorry kidd-o. Mommy wants some AC.

We got 6" of rain overnight and had an F2 tornado less than a mile from our house. We're all OK. The End?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Non-Stop Mommy-Son Fun

After naps on Saturday, we went to Mimi's house to swim in her pool, but Chuckles actually spent more time riding a pink tricycle around her patio (while a dog chased him) than he did in the pool. He also spent more time dragging ALL of the MANY Diggers and Trucks out of her crawl space (and putting them back) than he did in her pool. But he didn't care because it was FUN. And we ate corn on the cob and had cheeseburgers. Which means I did not have to cook, so that was good too. Instead of books before bed, we watched TV!!! - a PBS show on sharks, otters, and tuna, then I tucked him into my bed to fall asleep. When I woke up a half-hour later, I tucked him into his own bed for the night.

Sunday repeated the let-sleeping-mommies-lie motif we started on Saturday. When I finally got up, we went grocery shopping and ate lunch. After lunch, we again did the nap thing. When I woke up, he was asleep. I got a few chores done, and then he was up (and still wearing his long-sleeve, long pants, Spiderman pajamas despite the fact that it was now 2 pm). We left shortly thereafter for a beach party with pizza and cake and a beach and sand and castles and Lake Michigan and kids and waves and splashing (and my new bathing suit). We stayed until dark. It was FUN. He'd like to go back and do it again. I think it's funny that I tried to convince him for 8 hours to get dressed and within 20 minutes at the beach, he was wearing his swim trunks.

On the way home, we talked to Daddy. The Sunday-night-coming-back-to-the-City-from-Michigan traffic was in full force. I told him it looked heavy and slow and I'd call with an eta. 10 miles and 10 minutes later, I called Daddy back and told him traffic was very heavy but FAST. I told him it was like everyone driving was from Illinois. And it was true. Everyone knew what they were doing 4.5 feet off of the bumper in front of them at 60 mph. The Dad-guy said OK and he'd be home when we got there. Which I told CHuckles. And then the Dad wasn't there and didn't get there for a good 20 minutes because he has no concept of time. Ever. But it was fine. I got Chuckles a shower and into bed. Dad and I talked in Chuckles's room for a half hour about how our weekends went (in lieu of reading a book, we told stories). I moved Chuckles from his Aerobed to real bed for the night and then I tucked myself in.

And to reward me for all teh fun he had this weekend, Chuckles threw a ne plus ultra fit this morning about how he didn't want to go to school and could I stay home from work and play with him all day. Which culminated in him mentioning a certain kid at school and how that kid isn't very nice to him, so I asked the teacher to keep them apart. And well, at least he had fun this weekend.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Nap Time is My Time

I think that 3 is a nice age. Chuckles woke up with the roosters this morning, let me know he was up, and then, oh, I don't know what because I went back to sleep. When I got up all the couch cushions were on the floor, his diaper was in the garbage, and he was eating cereal with a truck. It all seemed rather pleasant.

As part of our non-stop funapalooza, we went to Lo*Mart this morning to buy that bathing suit I saw online that said it was available in store. Not very true, that. Acording to the helpful woman in the changing room area, the maternity clothes are no longer with the clothes (you know, juniors, ladies, activewear, women's). They are in the infant department. M'kay. And when I went there, I found 6 little sticks on the wall with T-shirts, carpis, and shorts. And no bathing suits. So we left. Without looking for any of the other things on my list because at this point, Lo*Mart was getting the stink-eye from me.

So, we headed up Strip Mall Blvd to Old Navy. Where there were also no suits, but I wasn't super-diappointed because I didn't like their suits anyway. Across teh street was Motherhood Maternity and I figured, I pop in and just buy one since this was frustrating. When I got there I discovered that some time in the last 3.5 years Motherhood went out of business. OK, then. Motherhood was in the outlot of Target, so I just sucked it up and went in there. They had 7 suits left (4 different styles, XS to XL, not all styles in all sizes, obviously). There were two in Size L. I tried them both. They were fine. I let Chuckles pick, and I bought it. For far more money than I ever spend on a bathing suit. But I realized that I have a lot of bathing suit appropriate parties and activities coming up and I will use it. And then I will give it to someone else. In fact, I may have a giveaway right here on this blog. You can wash it before you wear it so it won't squick you out.

Then we went to the scrapbook store (who also did not have what I wanted, which was fountain pen ink refills by the way), but it just happened to be right next to the Toy Store That Has a Train Table, so we stayed there an hour and I bought some birthday presents for various people. Fun-A-Pallooza, I tell you. We came home, ate lunch, then laid down for naps. I am the only one who slept. Until I told him he'd be in trouble and we couldn't have any more fun until he slept. And then he did. So, he's asleep and I am eating cookies whose expiration date is some time after I will have this baby. And that, my friends, is a pretty freaky thing.

Friday, August 01, 2008


And now for your viewing pleasure...

I believe I mentioned the rainbow that filled the entire sky (and caused people to stop on the expressway to take pictures with their cameraphones (or heavens...not stop while taking pictures)). Looking Left:Looking Right:

This next picture was taken one morning in our cottage on vacation. Chuckles was learning about optics. And when he says binoculars, it really is the cutest thing. His annunciation is so clear. (Note also, the sweatshirt in July.)

This is another vacation photo. Chuckles was riding (or is it driving?) what he assured me was a motorcycle. He asked me to ride on there with him on the back. I tried, but somehow I slow-motion fell to the ground.
This is the picture Chuckles took of me the first time I ever let him try to use my camera. I was eating dinner. This is my arm (in front of my belly). Honestly, I do have that many freckles on me. And they are there all the time - not just whilst pregnant. It's lovely, I assure you.And lastly (because it is bedtime for me), here is the gratuitous photo of a child feeding baby ducks. Actually, we had a big cup of Cheerios and Chuckles was eating them himself since he spent most of dinner taking random photographs of people, plates, benches, the ground, etc (see above). When I went and got a big cup of duck food, he was none to disappointed at having a chance for a snack. And, I made sure the ducks got some too.

Non-Stop Funapalooza

Mr. Long-Suffering is taking a well-deserved break from the grind to go on a guys' weekend. I am not entirely sure what happens on a guys' weekend, but I think it might involve golf (although, he did not put the clubs in the car), beer or spirits, food (of the smoked meat variety, possibly jerky), and various disgusting bolidy functions (like belching and farting). And I am pretty sure the entire state of Wisconsin had better be prepared for this.

So, Chuckles was completely disheartened to learn that when Daddy left for work this morning that he would not be back until Sunday night (although, since his concept of time is fluid, he may not really notice...or it will seem like forever).

I tried to re-hearten Chuckles by telling him that he and mommy would have lots of fun this weekend. And fun we shall have. I need to make some calls, arrange a play date, and I don't know what else, but if we skip bath and instead I decide that being hosed off outside is close enough, there will be no second parent to second-guess my decision. And fruit is as good as a vegetable with dinner, and ice cream is OK because we need to eat our dairy. Or something.


I have a family situatiohn involving slightly less nuclear family members and I would love to tell you about it, but I feel wrong blogging about it. Let's see if I can make it up completley without giving away any details? This is, of course, all hypothetical: Let's say my "brother" lives out-of-town and has a "son". They will be in town visiting very close to my nephew's birthday. THe entire family has never seen my "nephew" for his birthday before. He's turning 4. My brother wanted, what I considered, a totally over-the-top party for his son. I suggested a swimming party at Mimi's house, but my "brother" kept leaning towards things like A! Dinosaur! THemed! Party! at the Field! Museum! or a Nemo Party at the Shedd Aquarium. You know, in Chicago. On a weekend. During the summer. When every single family in a three state radius comes to the city to do things of culture (especially one last time before school starts).

Finally, my "brother" settled on Build-A-Bear, which I thought was fine. We'd head to the mall and have air conditioned fun in the summer. Except instead of picking one of the eleventy Build-A-Bear workshops in the suburbs, my "brother" chose the one at Chicago's Navy Pier. On the weekend of the Air Show, when every person in a 3-state radius (actually, only 2 million people) come to the lakeshore to watch planes fly overhead.

Now, imagine that a Pier sticks out into the lake, so it is esentially the lakefront. Now, imagine 2 million people being there. Then, think about trying to find parking or imagine walking, while 6-months pregnant, the one mile from the train station to the Pier while pushing a stroller and dodging the slightly-inebriated Air Show revelers (and imagine that the train will be packed so with your stroller you will be forced to stand the entire 45-minute ride to the city). Then, if you can, imagine trying to get a 3-year old boy and a 33-year old man INSIDE when there are really cool military planes flying over your head but only if you stay OUTSIDE. You can see my dilemma.

But, as I told my "brother", I am your sister and I will be at the party no matter what. And I will. And I am sure it will go 8 times better than I ever could have imagined. And someone will fall asleep on the train ride home (hopefully, me).