Sunday, August 26, 2007

Baby Shower

Today Eugene, Alex, and I went to a surprise baby shower for my cousin's wife, Gina. This will be their second child, a boy (and possible play partner for Alex). The shower was held at my aunt and uncle's house. Although the weather was gorgeous, the house is next to a set of train tracks. As we opened gifts outside, trains kept passing by.

Gina's oldest child is a girl, so she needed boy clothes. She received plenty of them. We gave her a set of onesies, two bath towels, a pack of washcloths, some baby shampoo/body wash, and a pair of baby mittens I crocheted myself.

Alex was a center of attention throughout the day. He did well at first, but he had another episode of colic that required Eugene to comfort him. (Eugene could get a job as a baby whisperer--he can soothe Alex during one of his fits by walking him around the apartment.) He also seems to be going through a bit of a growth spurt; he's eating a lot today. There was another mother there with a six-month baby; she gave me some advice about colic and milk supply.

All in all, it was a nice day seeing my cousins again. We keep saying how we should get together more often; hopefully we can do so before the holidays.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Now This Is Getting Really Wierd...

I had to run a couple of errands today. As I drove to the bank, I noticed something grey had gotten caught in my windshield wipers. I thought at first it was a piece of trash, so I flicked the wipers to get rid of it. It didn't fly away, and it left gray streaks on the window. I couldn't believe it; it looked suspiciously like a mouse.

I took a closer took at it after leaving the bank. Sure enough, it was a rodent of some sort, with a furry tail. And it was obviously quite dead, though luckily it didn't stink. How the heck did it end up on my windshield? It's been a couple of days since I drove my car, so I have no idea how long it had been there. Perhaps the storms over the weekend had something to do with it, though it occured to me it might have been left there as a prank.

When I got home, I donned a pair of gloves, gingerly removed it (even though it was dead, I still had this irrational fear it would bite me), and placed it in the garbage. It was still clutching a leaf between its front paws. After thinking about it, I now wonder if it was a baby squirrel that had been killed by the storm. It might have fallen or been blown from a tree.

Of course, given all of the recent rodent sightings I've had, the writer part of my brain found a more sinister interpretation. It almost seemed like a warning, like something a mobster would leave in someone's bed. "The Mousefather," anyone? That could make a fun idea for a fantasy story: mobs among the rodents. Something else to simmer on my brain's back burner while I come up with a story to match this idea.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rodents Are Spying on Me...

Yesterday, as I was doing laundry, I spotted a chipmunk in the laundry room. It ran behind the washing machines when I entered the room, then it later escaped through a pipe. I saw it again when I returned to transfer the loads from the washers to the dryers, and I saw yet another chipmunk sitting outside my front door. Add to that the squirrel that comes up to my kitchen door, and we have a conspiracy on our hands.

Of course, I could be nuts.


Wait, where are you going? I've got plenty more jokes where that came from.... Oh, that's why.

Anyway, it's been a rainy weekend. Yesterday, Eugene and I had planned to get dinner from the Whole Foods deli in Palatine and eat by a lake there, but we had to settle for eating at the store instead. Today was a lazy day; Eugene let me sleep in (I really needed it). We did go out to pick up a few things from Babies R Us, but that's about it.

Writing: I finished reading First Draft in 30 Days. This was written by a full-time author, and I think you'd need to be a full-time author to complete a detailed outline (which she considers first draft) in this time, especially since she devotes only one day to character development. Someone like me, who would be lucky to have an hour a day for writing, would need that just to work up the main character. I've never had much luck outlining novels before writing them; I'm more of an organic writer. Still, if I could learn to outline, I think I could finish writing a book more quickly. But it might be worth outlining some of my completed works to evaluate the strength of their various plots/subplots.

Monday, August 13, 2007

College Friends

As I was tending to Alex this evening while Eugene cooked dinner, I heard Eugene let out a pleased laugh. He'd checked his e-mail and found a message from our friend and fellow blogger Russ. Another friend of ours from college, Ed, was in New York City, and they were getting together tonight. Ed and Eugene were lab partners in undergrad, but it's been years since we've seen him. So after dinner we called Russ on his cell phone. He handed us over to Ed right away. It was great talking to him; we picked up where we'd left off. Russ did send us a photo of Ed and his wife over his cell phone, but I'll be nice and not post it here. ;) Hopefully one of these days Ed can stop by Chicago so we can see him in person. So Ed, if you're reading this, don't forget to send us pictures of your daughters!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Busy Days

There's been a lot going on lately, especially with Alex being christened this past weekend, but I haven't had much time to blog about it. Time to play catch-up.

I'll start with last Friday. It was a spa day for me: I got a massage, facial, and a haircut. A bit self-indulgent, perhaps, but the massage was sorely (no pun intended), and it had been a long time since I'd had either a facial or a haircut. While I was at the spa, Alex tried out the daycare center he'll be going to when I return to work in September. Although I felt guilty about it beforehand and worried a little at the spa, he did quite well. Apparently all of the teachers wanted to hold him, and he ate and slept just fine. Hopefully that'll continue when he's there full-time.

Saturday Eugene and I spent prepping for Alex's christening. I did laundry, and Eugene made a couple of fruit salads and prepared a special photographic display of Alex. We were up pretty late getting everything together for the big day. Although it was Beatlefest (well, The Fest for Beatles Fans, to use the proper name) weekend, I didn't go this year. Probably just as well, since Alex was fussy during the afternoon.

We got up quite early Sunday morning and were on the road by 8:30. The baptism was in Evanston, at the church where Eugene and I were married. We stopped by his parents' house beforehand to drop off things and change. Although we got Alex a christening suit in size 0-3 months, it was still too big for him. We had to roll the pants up several times, and the shoes were twice as big as his feet! Unfortunately, I had to wake him up to change him, and he fussed for a while until I fed him. We got to the church at the start of the Mass and sat in the front row, ahead of my relatives. We'd chosen to have Alex baptized after the Mass, in case he was fussy. Of course, he slept not only through the whole service, but also through the baptism itself. Even pouring water on his head didn't disturb him.

There was a big celebration at Eugene's parents' house afterwards. There was lots of food, including two roast pigs and a cake my parents brought (from a bakery). I was quite busy talking to everyone who came, but I didn't need to worry about caring for Alex, as everyone wanted to hold him. Again, he slept through most of it. The party went on for hours, with people coming and going. People were still there when we finally left. Unfortunately, I misplaced my camera, so I don't have any pictures. Maybe I can upload some of Eugene's later on.

Monday and Tuesday I spent mostly taking care of Alex (he had some episodes of colic again) and running some errands. Today was slightly different because it was Eugene's birthday. Both Alex and I gave him cards and some DVDs. We also went out for dinner. How do you think Alex did? That's right, he slept through dinner, and we were in a loud, noisy restaurant. He's still sleeping in his car seat as I write, actually. I hope he won't compensate by staying up until 2 in the morning again!

Writing: Still haven't done any fiction writing; heck, I can barely find headspace to think about writing. But I did submit a funny-but-true wedding story to a publisher Maria (see link at right) posted on her blog recently. They'll pay me $100 if they use it, but I won't hear anything until January. Hopefully I'll be back in the writing saddle by that point.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Eye Exam

It's been a couple of years since my last eye exam; in fact, it was the summer before I got married. (I wanted to wear contacts for the wedding.) So I figured I would take care of that before going back to work. My parents came down to spoil--I mean babysit--Alex during my appointment.

I stopped first at work to take care of a couple of things. I chatted a bit with a couple of my co-workers and my boss. The first thing my boss said to me was something along the lines of "You were fooling all along about being pregnant; there's no baby." I guess I'll have to bring Alex in sometime so they can see him in person.

I had a little trouble finding the place (they'd moved, and I got the address wrong), but I still made it on time. I had to wait a while before the assistant came to do preliminary tests on me and dilate my eyes. I didn't enjoy that part, but at least they no longer do the air puff test for glaucoma; I always hated that. I had to wait for my eyes to finish dilating before the doctor took me. She had nine-month-old twins, so we talked about babies during the exam.

My prescription didn't change, but I decided to get a second pair of glasses as a backup. I currently have Transition lenses, but I wanted to get glasses with magnetic clip-on shades for driving. The person I worked with was very helpful about suggesting what frames would look best on me. She picked about a dozen frames from their selection, but in the end I chose a pair I had found myself. They should be ready in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to getting them, and when I pick them up, I might swing by work and show off Alex -- if he's having a good day.

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