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The Passion of the Tchotchke
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Stations of the Kitsch


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Monday, July 30, 2007

Isaac says...

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Sunday, July 29, 2007


Isaac is fully aware of the cats now. This is not good news for them.

Gracie has been getting the worst of it, because she wants to sprawl on the soft pink fabric where Isaac plays. A few weeks ago, a kitty could make herself comfortable a few feet away from the baby, and not worry. Now, he's across the blanket in a flash. I've never thought of rolling as an effective form of locomotion, but in Isaac's hands, it is surprisingly useful.

Fortunately, Gracie is being really patient about having her space invaded, She'll sit still long enough for Isaac to touch her and make a delighted squeal, and then she just gets up and leaves when she has had enough. Bea mostly stays out of reach.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


A new Isaac video!

(I cleaned up the sound as much as I could, but you can still hear the fan in the room - sorry! There's a version without background music and with crappy sound, if you prefer that.)

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Monday, July 23, 2007

he bangs

Isaac has a new job, working for the Department of Banging Things On Other Things. He has been doing it sporadically for a while, but now he's a one-man block-banging band.

He has some of those really awesome Fisher Price Peek-A-Blocks. There are two kinds, one set has nubs on two sides so they can be connected. He's not a fan of this feature, because sometimes he will accidentally connect the blocks while he's banging them. ANGER! DO NOT WANT! Fortunately, he can also pull them apart easily. These don't have closed sides so they're easy to hold on to and there are surfaces for gnawing. They've been his favorite by far until recently.

The blocks in the other set have clear plastic sides and little animals inside. They don't connect, but the animals are intricate and have moving parts, so they're fun to look at. His favorite has a little pig inside the block, and small loose brown...pellets. I think we're supposed to think they're the pig's food, but seriously? It's a pig poop snowglobe. He loves that one because the poop rattles when he shakes it.

My new Harry Potter book did arrive on Saturday (which I'm sure will annoy people who paid for guaranteed delivery), but it's still in its box, because I couldn't just check out for the weekend, and that is exactly what's going to happen when I open it.

Tooth #2 decided to get in on the fun just as the first one was starting to ease up a bit, so we had a slight lessening of the teething horror, followed by an exponential growth in the level of crank. And apparently, in a fit of bad timing, we replaced the mattress in the crib with a bed of nails. That's the only possible reason I can think of why a baby would scream every time there was even a suggestion of napping. Sleep? I think not, mama.

Somewhere in all this, I managed to get a new skin on the old sewgeeky site, so enjoy the crazy brightness of goingcrafty.

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Friday, July 20, 2007


Isaac's first tooth has made it past the gums, after months of just sitting there under the surface, waiting to go off. He has been so miserable this week, and of course he has been very generous with this misery and made sure we had some, too.

Poor little guy, though. So full of drool and anger and grump. It kind of feels like the nicu again, since we're doing everything we can do to help, but it's not going to fix the situation. The tooth needs to come in on its own schedule. Our best discovery is that he loves his Soothies pacifiers after they've been in the fridge in a bowl of ice water.

Tuesday night, he just did not want to go to sleep, and then he there were several wake up & complain sessions during the night, plus a couple of full wake-ups. Dennis and I were pretty zombified by morning, and the baby was wearing his full-on crankypants, the ones with fringe and spangles. We didn't think it would be fair to send him to his weekly daycare session at International House of Boodles in that condition, so we kept him home. I stayed home and telecommuted, on the theory that having two brain-dead parents in the house is nearly equal to having one functional adult. Dennis is still primary when I'm working at home, since I'm working and all, but it does make things easier, especially with a Crankapotamus on the loose.

He seems slightly better this morning, so maybe he's a bit more comfortable now. We are hopeful, but let's just say I'm glad I didn't pay the extra shipping to have the new Harry Potter book tomorrow, because I don't see this being a nice, relaxing weekend. It's not going to make much of a difference if it comes Monday or Tuesday with free shipping. It would just sit on the table all weekend, mocking me.

Speaking of HP, I got to see the new movie with Ryan and Leigh last night, and it's total knitting porn. I kept getting distracted by all the awesome sweaters. And by the giggly teen girls sitting behind us, but they redeemed themselves by responding to "the dark lord is back!" with a loud, spontaneous chorus of "NO SHIT." Ok, maybe you had to be there, but their timing was perfect.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

the baby is sauced

Isaac is still showing great enthusiasm for food. Applesauce has joined the party, and since he was going into the bath anyway (that's not Product in his hair, it's Produce), I let him have the rest of the container when he was finished eating this afternoon.

We've got an avocado with his name on it ripening on the counter. Watch this space for Green Alien Baby photos.

I've been spreading a giant piece of minky fabric out on the living room floor for Isaac to play on, since he can no longer be contained by a few baby blankets. The fabric has been in my stash for a couple of years, and was supposed to have been turned into something awesome a long time ago, but oh well. This is good, too.

A few days ago, he was having a wonderful time playing and rolling and then a few seconds later, blam, he was asleep and took a rather long nap right there in the middle of the floor. So cute!

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what, you don't see a jacket here?

I finished a quickish project, a Baby Surprise Jacket for Isaac.

Shown here in raw form; this really is the whole jacket.

Weird, huh? I need to sew two seams and find some buttons for it, and then it's finished.

The yarn is a really pretty hand-dyed hand-spun wool. It's very rustic-looking and I like it a lot.

You know where I'm not posting the picture? At sewgeeky.com, my long-neglected craft site. That's because I lost the domain. Ok, technically, I never had it, since someone else had registered it for me back in 97 or 98 or whenever, and then I was never able to get it back, but Network Solutions let me keep paying the fees so I could keep it going. It expired again last month and they wouldn't let me pay without being an authorized user, so I figured I'd let it go and then snap it up, but it's turned into a stupid auction and you know what? My 90s identity isn't worth that much to me. Let it go porn.

So I've thrown the site up over at goingcrafty.com (wtf, might as well continue the theme), as-is. The dns is still propagating, so if you can't see it today, you'll be able to in a few days. And then you'll say, wow, this thing hasn't been updated in years, how lame. I know, I know. You think it's easy keeping up a vast media empire like mine?

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

super-long whiny post

Thanks for the responses on the church issue. No clarity here yet.

I know part of what we're feeling is standard normal adjustment stuff, because our days of quiet, contemplative worship as a couple are OH-vah. At least for a while, anyway. Welcome to the Wrangling Years. So now we have to suck it up and go to a service with music, either the kid service or the later Rite II, which is twice as long as the early service, but maybe we could make it work if we used the nursery for part of it. I'll miss my early-morning peeps, though; switching services at St. Ned's is basically switching to a different congregation. (edited to clarify that no one is asking us to leave that service, it's just that the worship style is totally not compatible with Mr. Active Pants, for us as much as for anyone else)

The bigger issue is whether or not this is still our home. 2006 wasn't a great year for me and Dennis at St. Ned's. Long-time readers may remember that we lost TheRev at the end of 2005, and got a new rector last fall. Of course, Dennis and I had some other things going on then; my maternity leave began abruptly a few weeks after NewGuy started ("Hi! I know I said I'd be in around 11 after my OB appointment, but I'm in the hospital and I'll be back sometime in January.") It's ok if you missed that, like I said, I got distracted, too. Anyway, losing TheRev made our jobs suck a lot more, and there's still some disappointment/bitterness from that which maybe we never really bounced back from.

I don't really have much of an opinion on NewGuy, since like everything else he was pretty much background noise while we dealt with my hospitalization and Isaac's rocky start and the great parent adjustment. But going back doesn't feel like slipping into something warm and familiar. I feel tense and defensive, which is not exactly the best way to approach God, I tell you what.

I've also really been isolating myself lately, so I'm having big ol' social anxiety issues about switching services or churches. The downside to cube life for me is that it's really easy for me to just not talk to anyone all day, and then I get entirely too comfortable in my little hermitage. I'm on our office chat channel all day, but I don't know if being able to hide behind that is the healthiest thing for me. I'm so much more pleasant in written form, but I think I'm losing my comfort with f2f interaction, which was never high to begin with. It's worrisome when I see myself deliberately making my world smaller, because it generally doesn't lead to good things. Gotta keep an eye on that.

I need to get back into a small group soonish, or maybe start a new one again. That usually shakes me out of this kind of shit. Hmmmm. Maybe I can do one that is knitting-based. Stitch-n-Bitch-n-Pray.

Meanwhile, Isaac had his 9-month checkup yesterday and is a big 16 pounds, 2 ounces and 26" long. We had to go to the lab to get blood drawn for an anemia test (he's fine). He was really interested and didn't cry at all when they pricked his finger, but started to get annoyed and then angry while they were trying to get the blood out, because he wanted his hand back. As the person who trims his nails, I know that look well. They put a gauze bandage on his finger afterwards, but of course he stared at it for a minute and then popped it off (yeah, I don't think we have any fine-motor issues here) and I had to snatch it away before he could get it in his mouth. So that was our adventure in medical science for this week.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

how we roll

Here's something that freaks me out...Isaac will be a year old in three months. WTF?!

The baby has fully embraced rolling as the Best Thing Ever. Dennis reports that he was trying to push himself up on his hands and knees today, but I'm choosing not to believe that. Mostly because the childproofing implications of a crawling Isaac are terrifying.

The big question right now is What To Do About Church. We had planned to take a few weeks to detox after we stopped working at St. Ned's, but that has turned into (checks calendar) four months. I've gone a few times, but nothing steady. Sigh.

Of course, a big part of this is, duh, we have a baby. He's too little to care about going to the kid service, and too squealy for the early, quiet service that we prefer. I don't want to be that mom, the one who is totally clueless that her sweet widdle snuggy wumpkin is interfering with other people's worship. Isaac's awesome, but he's not what people go to Rite I for. The few times I took him when he was less verbal, we got there late to avoid competing with the sermon, and that was about the right amount of time for him to stay mellow, but I hate treating the eucharist like it's a drive-thru. Hi, just here for the food!

The baby stuff is temporary and will work itself out. Then there's the St. Ned's issue. I'm just not as integrated since I stopped working there, and there's some weirdness for us, so maybe we should do a little church shopping and start fresh somewhere else. I don't know. It's complicated. We really miss having a church. We just don't know what to do about it.

I've been poking around online to find other churches to check out (and feeling all too smug about the website I did for St. Ned's because seriously, people, I'm not looking for your Easter service schedule! It's July!) just to see what our options are. I don't feel all that loyal to the Episcopal brand, and I've seen the diocesan sausage get made, if you know what I mean, so trying another church in this diocese isn't all that appealing. Methodist? Lutheran? Presbyterian? Methopresboluthies? Dunno. I'm praying about it, so that's a start at least. Maybe we'll end up back at St. Ned's, maybe we'll find someplace else. God's on it. Which means Sara should stop trying to micro-manage the process...

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awesome, and not just because you can sing it to the tune of Girlfriend in a Coma

iPhone in a Blender (spoiler alert: blender wins)

Other random links that are amusing me lately:

Not new, but always worth a revisit: John Moe's Pop-Song Correspondences

flickr toys

Awesome robot art - I also love this from his etsy store.

Ikeahacker, ooh, that reminds me that I need to get photos of the super-fabulous new kitchen table I got a couple of weeks ago. It's a two-tone cracked ice formica and chrome number from the 50s and I love it more than anyone should love a table. I'm still carving out space for it in the kitchen, but once it's all set up, I will post many photos.


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Sunday, July 08, 2007


Isaac has been doing so well with rice cereal; I think several molecules of it are actually getting into his digestive system at each feeding. So, we tried mashed bananas tonight.

We fed him in just his diaper and a bib. Dennis got the bathtub ready in the sink as I was finishing up, and then we just removed the diaper and bib in mid-air and popped the sticky baby into the water. Bits of banana floated to the surface, so I think it counts as a spa treatment.

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