Archive | April 2009

the bug wars

I do my best to keep my blog and my flicker current to each other but you might have seen some pictures detailing what I describe as my war against the bugs.  Not the big scary bugs from Starship Troopers, but little annoying pretend ladybugs.  I say pretend because they look like ladybugs but are actually a Japanese style beetle that swarms and reproduces at an insane rate and just look like ladybugs.  Anyway, they invade every year but this year has been worse.  I am not joking when I say there are often 20 or 30 on our back door.


Last week I got my weapon of choice and went on the offensive.  We got as many as possible and then kept re inspecting the area for more (and there were always more!).  I do not know if they hide or these are new ones but they are tricky little insects.  They also blend in, I do not know if they have chameleon like shells but there are ones that blend perfectly into my blond oak, and others that blend into my dark walnut.  You can see here how they taunt me, this was taken about 10min after the first blitz.


A tiny tiny part of me feels bad for killing them but I asked them nicely to leave and they declined, and, they bite.  My deal with the great world of insects is; you can live outside and I leave you alone, invade my house and you are dead.  I include my siding as part of my house; nothing should seek to live in my walls, not bug, wasp, or anything.  My concession is to the world of spiders, they may live in peace in the top corners of my vaulted ceiling.  They may not live in my bathroom or any other room.  I also reserve the right 4 times a year to tidy the webs.


I believe my proposal is fair, possibly a sign of either too much love of the law or early crazies that I consider the rights of insects but that is the way it is here in my world.  


Janis asked about my signing so here is my answer…

Short answer, we are teaching Niamh American sign language to help her communicate with us before she can talk.

Long answer; Over the past 5 years I’ve been researching baby stuff from various sources.  Like a good history major I checked my sources, looked for the bias, and did a bit of my own independent research.  My aunt Karen gets credit for being the first to do sign language with her kids (Hi A,G,K!) because she is a teacher for the deaf and saw all sorts of advantages to her kids being able to communicate without verbal speech.  This was 13 years ago and I have no clue if the baby sign craze had happened yet but her kids signed a ton of words before they could speak and even now Karen can catch their eye and sign to them and they get the message way better then trying to yell across a crowded room.  The second major contributing person is my friend Shannon who took it to an obsessive level and her son probably knows around a hundred signs.  She and I (and my aunt and I) talked alot about how babies can make physical actions long before they can speak and it cuts down on the frustration of all parties involved if there is a way to communicate needs and wants.  It does NOT, as some people think, delay speech in any way.


I  concentrated first on one sign when she was a few months old; the sign for milk (nummies as I call it);  opening and closing both hands.  Lars and I would make the sign as we talked about milk or were feeding her.  Now she  does it when she is hungry for milk, way better then just grabbing my boobs because  most people who see the sign just think she is waving but I know that she will get mighty crabby soon if this request is not fulfilled.


Daycare reinforces the idea and they focus on the sign for ‘all done’ and ‘more’ and she has mastered these.  The impressive part to me is that she uses the signs in multiple contexts – she will sign more for anything she likes and ‘all done’ for anything she is tired of doing or of us doing (like my laptop).  She uses her signs very well and gets her meaning across just like language is supposed to.  It is amazing how clear her signing is when she really wants something like more of her favored foods.

Between a few signs, nodding and shaking head, and pointing she gets her general point across and she knows tons of words so she answers us with her signs.  Who knows if this is helping her be happier or if it is making her smarter but it is a nice way for us to know a tiny bit of what is going on in her head.

My first full week dashed in one Dr visit

This week was my first fill, uninterrupted, week back at work in a month.  No traveling for business or pleasure and while I love my short weeks and my travel I was looking forward to a normal week.  Well, since Niamh turn one 2 weeks ago, good mothers bring their children in for checkups at 1 so I made the appointment (of doom).  

It all started very well, we got there early and they actually took us early.  Niamh was on best behavior and was very sweet to everyone.  She was weighed; 22.5lb and measured; 29.5in and declared  lovely by the nurse.  Our Dr poked and watched her and answered all the questions I had about annoying skin rashes and her runny nose since birth etc and then came the shots.  She was a trooper and only cried a little but then what is usually a finger stick blood test turned into a blood draw because the nurse that does finger sticks was off that day.  For the record, she does not like needles in her arm.  The bloodtest is for lead and anemia, both routine at 1.  


We got home with no drama and the remainder of Thursday was fine. We even went to the park and played for a while.  Niamh is using the sign for ‘more’ very well and signs it after every slide ride.  We used the sign for ‘all done’ and that was the last one and we left fairly easily. Sidebar; I must use my laptop too much because on Saturday she shut it for me and signed ‘all done’.  I don’t do it that often really, but, I guess she wanted my 100% attention.  Anyway, I suppose around 4am the trouble started; fever of 102 atleast.  Fevers are a objectionable offence at daycare so we didn’t even bother trying to cheat the system and we kept her home.  Boss D was understanding, I am very glad I work for a good company with a great boss, and I worked from home.  Niamh was either crabby, sleeping, eatting or absolutely fine in rotation all day, and, all night.  

Today, Saturday, she was running a low fever and was mostly better but seemed to have a short fuse.  She also slept a ton and that is atleast something nice because I got a bunch of stuff done.  She went to be without tylanol in a reasonable mood so I’m hopeful it is all over. 

I know this stinks but the diseases she was vaccinated against are far worse then this.  There was an outbreak of measles last year in MN and one in WI and our Dr said that the mortality rate was 30%.  There is alot of people against vaccines but I am more firmly against death so to the Dr she will go.


From Quotes of the Day

“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” Robert Heinlein

weekend review

I have my morning coffee time back! TMI for some of you but cutting down to one pumping a day really does free up a lot of time. Last weekend Niamh and I had a relaxing schedule but Lars was booked solid. I did have one school meeting and Lars and Niamh drove down with me and then spent the hour hanging out in Petco. Petco is like the close version of the zoo and you can even pet some of the exhibits. The school thing lasted about an hour and we got some work done, this group is a mixed bag and bottom line is I’ll end up writing a bunch of it but I don’t mind writing and I really like getting an A.

After the school meeting we went down to Ikea for the fifth time on our cabinet project. On this trip I got to return a bunch of random parts that Ikea sold us in the ‘package’ and exchanged hardware. I know many people have extolled the virtues and vices of Ikea but this ‘package’ thing is weird. We got a 15 in pantry cabinet and a 30 in two drawer cabinet and they punched in the order for us and we just picked it up and unlike the normal Ikea everything-in-the-box style they had a ton of little parts that together made the system we wanted. Only thing is, they gave us (sold us actually) a bunch of random extra parts… atleast I hope they are extra because we had no idea where they could go so I returned them for $50 credit. That is a lot of extra parts we were nickeled and dimed. They took them all back in good form and I got in and out in half an hour and that included getting new hardware, a frame for the print I finally decided on for our room, and an ice-cream cone. Part of the speed was because Niamh fell asleep about a mile before Ikea and she needed a nap and Lars decided he also needed a nap so they both snoozed in the parking lot while I did the rest. Over the last few days I got all the hardware onto the cabinets so they are now functional. The project is not quite done because the counter top for the area is still missing, and, we need to fix the pantry a bit – don’t ask but the fix involves epoxy or some other hole filler. When we are finally done I’ll put up a picture but it already has made the kitchen a much more functional place.

Today happens to be earth day and I’m celebrating by using my waterbottle and a mug for my water and coffee today. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages but I figure today is a good day to start. Over the past few months I’ve been trying to get more ‘green’ and now that they don’t charge extra for recycling we have started recycling at home. The reusable bags have cut down on our bag waste so much that Lars insisted we shop once without the bags so we could get more free bags for the diaper pail. I figure that is also recycling…

Must get back to it, tonight is class so my schedule is tight to get everything done that I need to do…

Easter plus

I was in NY for 5 days, returning on Tuesday night, and yesterday was spent trying to undig from the mountain of e-mail I returned to. Poor neglected blog! Sorry, work comes first.

Easter was circus like. I visited my parents with Niamh, Lars stayed home to work and my sister was there with her flock of boys so there were 4 people under 10. It was interesting juggling two infants and the sharing of scarce resources like the highchair and puffs but they got along. In the end Niamh was having fun playing with all the cousins and I think she misses them now that she is at boring old home. There was a very cute moment when Niamh was on my lap and Conner was in the highchair next to me and Niamh discovered the awesomeness of bacon and she turned to Conner and put a piece of her bacon right into his mouth. By the way, once she tasted bacon she had no use for the eggs on her plate.

Dad made wood eggs so there were no accidental squishing of eggs nor need to eat dozens of boiled eggs, plus, they spin. Niamh did rather poorly with the egg hunt concept, even Connor found an egg and to get Niamh to acknowledge the egg I had to roll one into her foot. I got a ton of cute photos I’ll post this afternoon.

We also got a good bunch of quality time with all the friends and relatives. The notable exception is my one friend who just had a baby who didn’t even return my call, e-mail, or other call… Oh well, some people are hermits. I had a nice visit with my HS friends the SAHM, Miss Math, Miss Library, and Miss comic. Miss comic got the cutest apartment that is (excuse the pun) comically small for her. I also got to finally see her perform, too bad the baby timer went off and we had to go home before we saw the finals. Miss Math was the fantastic friend as usual and camped out with us tons, so much that Niamh blew her kisses when we left. Yes, at 1 year old she may not say much but her tricks include sit, stay, stop, fetch (its cute), come here, blow kisses, all done, and more (sign language) so she has now officially passed the cat J

This weekend (that is in two days!) I have a school meeting and then I hope to get to Ikea for hopefully the final trip of the cabinet project. Then I need to clean and baby proof since little miss is getting into things more and more. School is winding down for the semester but that means lots of things are due like the final group project and the final reflection paper. On the good side I got an A on the paper I turned in last week so I have a good chance of an A overall as long as the group project goes ok.

So until next time, my quote of the weekend; from the very very drunk ladies behind me on the plane “I’m so glad South West takes credit cards now, lets get another round!” at least they were happy drunks 🙂

Happy birthday Niamh!

Not that it was not her birthday all day, but, she was not born until right around now…  (and I needed to write a paper for school tonight before I blog) so this is more or less a placekeeper for a long nice post I hope to write tomorrow.


I am incredibly fond of the resulting baby 365 days ago, but, today was a much more pleasant day compared to a year ago.