Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wow, look at the calendar! It's 2009!!

Hi there, normal people! How are you this fine evening? Yeah...

SO! I will catch you up on the last few weeks. The Sunday before Christmas, I started feeling More-Than-Average queasiness in the evening. And I thought, Oh no! Is my so-far-very-manageable "morning" sickness taking a turn for the worse? I went to bed and woke up within an hour knowing I had to vomit, which I preceded to do repeatedly and miserably for the next few hours. [Regretfully, the last thing I had eaten was some crackers and extra sharp cheddar cheese. And can I tell you? Vomiting extra sharp cheddar through your NOSE repeatedly is really, um... Not So Great.] And with the vomiting came The Other Symptom of Stomach Viruses Which Shall Not Be Named, in full force. And I realized, with great horror, that I was the leading star in an unfolding drama known as [drum roll]:


It was January 2005 all over again... the misery, the weakness, the inability to keep down even the smallest sip of water. Taking into consideration the fact that my gestational/lactational status required such a high consumption of fluids, I decided not to take any chances and hied myself (or, technically, Nate drove me) to our local ER, where I was given IV fluids and Happy Tummy Medicine and warm, snuggly blankets. And lo, just like Jan. 2005, the vomiting stopped after the Happy Medicine! But alas, UNlike Jan. 2005, The Other Symptom That Shall Not Be Named did not desist quite so quickly, so that right after they discharged me around 4:30, and I had to dress myself and go to the lobby to await transportation home... er, there were Problems. Embarrassing problems.

Let us never speak of this again...

Can I just say that hospital people are Really Cool? They were so very kind to me and let me lie down again after I was discharged to wait for Nate to come. And they brought me a drink and the warm blankets and let me rest. So the GOOD thing about this whole episode was that I got to see that the staff at the hospital where Baby #2 will most certainly be born are really all nice, kind, compassionate people [who can deal with The Liquid Sickness without batting an eyelash!]

So anyway, Tuesday night, the Chicken nursed to sleep as usual, and then right when I was about to leave her, she sat up in bed and threw up all her dinner (which happened to be ham and rice.) And you can probably fill in the details of what the next few days were like. (Christmas morning, she seemed fine. Christmas afternoon around 3 pm, she lost it all again!) And Nate got sick too, but thankfully for him, no vomiting. So needless to say, it was a rough week, what with all the laundry (!!!!) and the Listless, Miserable Toddler (who just wanted to nurse ALL DAY LONG) and the canceled Christmas traveling plans. But can I tell you how fantastically wonderful my husband is? He cleaned both bathrooms and watched the child so I could nap and ran to Walmart for stuff and generally took care of us all quite splendidly. Thanks, baby. ;-)

And then as soon as I got over The Virus, I caught a cold, which is currently on Day 21 or so of its l-o-n-g, ridiculously long duration. Although now I am no longer coughing and sniffling up buckets of green mucous- it's clear now, so that shows improvement, right?

[Can I just interrupt myself here to say I totally sound like an octagenarian telling you about my Maladies and Complaints? I am so very, very sorry about that. It's just My Life right now, you know? Next up: my gall bladder surgery!! With pictures and everything! (Kidding! Kidding. Ha.)]

And Madelaine and Nate both got the cold.

*THE END [of Maladies and Complaints]*

So we did get to visit both my family and our Lehigh Valley family and friends AFTER Christmas, which was lovely of course, and were showered with presents as always, including The Baby Carrier Of My Dreams!!

Thanks mom and dad!! You are too kind.

So now The Chicken and I are rather just in the winter doldrums, with HIGH temperatures in the single digits some days (yes, Farenheit!) Today at least it's sunny which is nice, and the snow is pretty, but still, I miss playground time and long walks in the stroller. Where are you, spring?!? Of course my husband loves the freezy-cold, and he got a chance to go skiing, which is great, so I'm happy for him. I just keep running out of indoor activities to do with my child...

Speaking of which, here are a couple of awesome pictures Nate's dad took at Thanksgiving:

Time to read more stories again...


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My toddler has just rubbed vodka sauce all over her hair. And I need a nap. Yet I blog! For you! Yes, you too!

Greetings, my gentle readers,

I am sleepy! Not hungry, having just eaten the most fantastic lunch prepared by my esteemed spouse. But sleepy! I have the Coffee. Perhaps this will wake me up enough to compose a blog entry for you. Yes YOU, you whom* I love, you who checks this blog EVERY DAY for updates... Wait, you don't check every day for updates? I guess we can still be friends.

[Interlude. Child has just vigorously filled her diaper, with love and squalor**. Will go remedy the situation.]

That's better. What, you heard me yelling at my kid for trying to stick her hands and feet in the poop? She's my baby angel and I love her, but the Rapid and Vehement Poop Zone Expansion Scenario?? UNACCEPTABLE.

Anyhoo, time to write something for you. So. I am pregnant! I have The Pregnancy! We covered that in the last entry, didn't we? I am 7 weeks now and Very Happy. I Eat and Sleep a lot. I had my first OB appointment already, and both the nurse and PA were like, "You're nursing while pregnant? You need to eat LOTS and LOTS of calories."*** Don't worry, people, I AM ON IT!! I'm trying to go to bed a little bit earlier these days, but sometimes it seriously seems like my toddler needs less sleep than I do. Yesterday I actually woke up Nate to keep an eye on her while I went back to bed for a bit... which was lovely. And he was so sweet to do it. Oh, can't talk about bed, I will be sleepy again...

Okay! It's time to write about What Not To Wear.

Love, Neb

*Are there any who vs. whom confused people out there? Yeah, it can be tricky. Want a tip? Use "whom" anywhere you would use "him" or "her" [objective case], and "who" anywhere you would use "he" or "she" [subjective case]. So in the phrase "you whom I love," it's tricky because the word order is kind of changed around, but try this: which sounds right, "I love him" or "I love he"? So that means "I love whom" is correct, or, turned around, "whom I love." You can't say you don't learn anything from this blog!!

**This is a literary allusion to one of my favorite authors, J.D. Salinger, and his short story "For Esme, with Love and Squalor."

***They didn't mean donuts, did they? :-( Actually, it's okay, during pregnancy I tend to crave things like Steak and Cheeseburgers and Pasta and other Main Dishes more than sweets... I mean not that I don't EAT sweets, too, but you know what I'm saying. Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that as I type this I am eating a piece of banana cake whose frosting is as tall as- nay, TALLER THAN- the cake itself. But this is only because my Real Food cravings have been satisfied by the phenomenal lunch, and I realized the cake would go well with my coffee...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


This year I am thankful for my family, far and near, for good food and abundance and especially for this new life growing inside me.

Note, this is unfortunately not MY actual pregnancy test. The cross on MY test is already unreadable. This is someone else's pregnancy test, courtesy of Google Images. However, it's the same brand (good old Walmart generic.) Mine looked like this, except the cross had a bold horizontal and faint vertical (and then the horizontal completely faded- go figure!) Next time I'm getting First Response even though they're more expensive. They seem more definitive. Isn't this an absurdly long caption?

I believe that at one point I had several catchy ideas in mind for this post, but of course when it comes to the point of writing they've all escaped me. What should I tell you? My due date is August 1st, I'm completely thrilled to be pregnant again, and I think this time it's a boy. There's nothing the slightest bit physical signaling that last point- just a purely inexplicable intuitive feeling. A sense of urgency that we really need to come up with a boy name this time. We've discussed a couple of possibilities, but Nate wants to keep a lid on it until further along (like maybe when we [hopefully] find out the baby's gender at 20 weeks.) However, you are invited to help our discussion in coming up with a pre-gendered nickname for our little embryo-baby; at the moment his nickname is Truman. There is no reason his nickname is Truman; it just is. It has nothing to do with the president. But if you have a brilliant alternative suggestion, I'm quite open to hearing it!!

We are here at my parents' house in Maryland until Sunday, and Madelaine is enjoying lots of attention, particularly from a lick-happy canine that inhabits the basement. Can you remind me later that I owe you all the following posts?

*Maddy's First Birthday post (before she turns two, hopefully)
*A post about Nate as a dad (this one's been simmering on the back burner over a year now)
*A few key points about things I've learned about life from motherhood
*The post I've been leading up to recently- the haircut, outfits, and shoe posts were all related- I need to write a long post with some philosophizing on the topic of Appearance
*A related post (part 2?) about materialism, gratitude, and living in a world of need
*A really long impossibly difficult post about all the places I've lived

Yeah, that's definitely enough material to keep me busy writing until 2009, and then some. But for now, this Mama of 2 is getting tired and ready for a few leftovers and reading and then bed. Hope you've had a beautiful holiday with people you love,

PS Overheard in the middle of the night last night:
Neb: "I'm hungry... your son wants more roast beef."
Nate: "He's supposed to be sucking on your uterus."

And tonight: Neb: "Hey honey, can you take your daughter downstairs for me? After all... [suddenly beaming with brilliance], I am carrying our OTHER child."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Haircut!!!!

Let's ignore my the redness around my eyebrows (she offered me a free wax job, okay? My eyebrows, in their natural state, are so bad that beauticians practically want to pay ME for a chance to fix them), the small cut above my eye (thanks, Madelaine! she slammed me in the head with a book this morning), and my large recovering zit. Do you like my hair?? It's a Real, Honest-to-Goodness Grown-up Woman Hairstyle!! Jackie, "my new Hairstylist" (oooh!), even wrote down on a prescription pad what I will need to maintain this look- a hairdryer, a "vent brush," (what's that?), a wide comb, and some mousse and spritz. I love it!! Thanks, mom and dad, this was a great BD gift!!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Because you all deserve a random blog post! You know you do!!

So, my husband has this thing about Cutting Straight Lines in Baked Goods. He used to freak out if I cut a round cake in such a way that the Center Point was not really in the geographic center. So last night, I made some chocolate chip cookie bars (half recipe) in a round cake pan... and when they were done, I carved out [a few...] small wedge-shaped pieces for myself, without any particular pattern or plan. [I prefer to have Several "Small" Pieces of dessert as opposed to one big one. This is a kinder, gentler, less embarrassing way of saying Several Servings of Dessert instead of One.] So this morning, when I got up and approached the cookie bars again at breakfast time*, I was greeted by THIS:

*What? Don't you eat last night's dessert for breakfast? Come on...

Oddly enough, I didn't realize that this was meant to be the silhouette of two duck heads until my dear spouse informed me later- I analysed it from a purely mathematical perspective and noted the impressive interior extraction. Very unusual, huh?

And while we're at it, I might as well tackle a little topic I've been thinking about posting for awhile...

*Quirky Things About My Husband!!*

1) He does not drink beverages during meals, unless we're at a restaurant.
2) He does not use a knife to cut his meat. He soldiers on bravely with just a fork, no matter what! I have no idea how he accomplishes this (although in rare instances I think perhaps touching the meat with his fingers may be necessary... Shh, don't tell Emily Post.)
3) Though he stoutly denies the charge of "picky eater," he will not eat: peanut butter; spaghetti (other shapes of pasta are not his favorite, either, but he will eat them as long as they're not overcooked and not served too often...); eggs (unless prepared as an omelette with so much sausage/ other ingredients that the Egg Flavor is basically obliterated); toast; fresh fruit (he doesn't dislike it- just doesn't eat it on a regular basis); "damp bread" (ie, any sandwich with ingredients that moisten the bread inappropriately; can also happen in casseroles with some kind of breading layer, dishes that are generally too "soft" or "mushy" or "soggy"). He also protests ground beef dishes in any form, though we eat them, because, you know, ground beef is Cheap. He does not butter his dinner rolls.
4) To make up for these basic foods he won't touch, Nate has a tendency to chew on, chew up, and at times Swallow non-edible objects including but not limited to: toothpicks; chalk; paper (once he ate an entire church bulletin?); twisty ties; plastic straws and coffee stirrers; lollipop sticks; finger and toenail clippings; and a few other things that he mentioned when I asked him "Remind me, what else do you eat...?" but I won't include them here because they're kind of... disturbing.
5) He doesn't play board games.
6) He wears his glasses in the shower.
7) He hates to talk on the phone to anyone outside his immediate family.
8) He picks up random things on the street- bottle caps, broken watches, electronic parts, corks, and various Unidentified Objects- and likes to Save them in places where I can't find them. [He also likes to hide his "Special Nate Things" on the top of the tall bookshelf, where I can't really see them...]
9) He reports feeling Stressed in a very clean environment, and Relaxed and Happy in a den of clutter. [This would be fine except that I tend to feel Stressed in a cluttered environment, and Happy when things are neat and tidy...?]
10) He hates the sound of the vacuum, the toaster, and the electric mixer, and will go to hide in another room until they're over.
11) He only brushes his teeth... uh... "a few times a week" might be an exaggeration. A few times a month? "Whenever he feels like it" he says. However, he has had fewer cavities in his life than me, so I can't exactly complain... Also? his toothbrush flashes (it's for kids) for 90 seconds or something, to help him know how long to brush.
12) He plays with silly putty at work.
13) He will not permit me to be in the bathroom when he is using it. Ever. There has never been an exception to this in our 7+ years of marriage.
14) He is colorblind.
15) He has size 12EEEEE or 13EEEE shoes. These are very hard to find in stores. For this reason, he basically wears sneakers all the time, mostly New Balance.
16) He had meningitis and pneumonia as a kid- but never chicken pox.
17) He doesn't wear sweaters or sweatshirts because he tends to be Very Hot most of the time (and I think he's Very Hott...) ;-)
18) He does not own a suit. I've never seen him in a suit (although he rented a tux for our wedding, and got a black tux for choir (VERY HOTT!!)) He wore shorts to his doctoral defense.
19) He always wants to pop my pimples. And I don't let him, because it HURTS!! But that doesn't stop him from asking about 10,000 times per zit (which are thankfully fairly rare for me by now...)

There's more, but I might as well end on a prime number and get this published.
Love to all!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And another one from my husband...

Neb: "Hmmm... according to this chart, I'm in about the 68th percentile for weight... and the 25th for height. That means I'm fat."*

Nate: "No, that means you're squat."

*I was just kidding. I wasn't actually bothered by this. I like chocolate more than I like small numbers on a scale, you know?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Neb's Birthday and Holiday Wishlist!! (Now updated!)

Greetings, Nebiverse fans!!

Okay, I have been debating about whether or not to post this for a few days now... because really, isn't it sort of horribly tacky to suggest things you'd like for your BD or Christmas?!? Because that presumes that people will actually, you know, be buying you presents. And despite the fact that various people actually DO buy me presents every year, it isn't polite to presume, is it?! But sometimes people say "I don't know what to get you!" and I want to be Helpful...? But on the other hand, what if people have already decided something they want to get me for my BD or Christmas this year (my BD is just a few days away... and not everyone thinks about birthdays at the last second like me, right?!?) And then they'll read this and think, Oh! She won't like what I got her! She wants Other Stuff! And I would feel horrible if someone thought that! SO, if you have already decided on something you want to give me this year, please! Carry on! I'M SURE I'LL LOVE IT! And if you weren't planning on getting me anything, that's *totally fine*!! I have Plenty of Stuff! I don't really need any more!

Okay, now that all the embarrassing self-deprecating stuff is out of the way, let's get down to business, shall we? Here are my suggestions...

*Neb's Wish List*

1) A couple of volumes from The Expositor's Bible Commentary series- I would like to try this series out before committing to all 12 volumes. On my Amazon Wish List I listed a couple of specific volumes, but I'd be happy with any of them (probably prefer New Testament...) Please save some money and buy these used!! Try ebay,, amazon...

2) Some money to get a better haircut. I hate my hair right now! I'd like to go to a slightly nicer salon than I usually frequent to see if they can give me a more flattering style. Then if I get something I REALLY like, I can take pictures to show my haircut ladies in the future... GOT IT! Thanks, mom and dad.

3) A small amout of money ($20 or $25 should be plenty) to try a bit of Mary Kay... because as I get close to 30, I am thinking about maybe possibly becoming A Person Who Wears Make-up... GOT IT! Thanks, mom-and-dad-in-law!

4) Crest Whitestrips. On my Wish List. Maybe that seems like a silly gift, but I would REALLY enjoy a whiter smile, and it's one of those perks that you (I?) don't usually treat yourself to (just like perfume or jewelry.) This is one time I'll actually let you off the hook- you DON'T have to buy this used. ;-) Shouldn't use this while pregnant...

5) A printer. I have been wanting a printer for our computer for a LONG time now... it would just be way convenient!! A CHEAP printer. Used is fine. I just want it to work! A scanner/ copier/ printer combo would be nice, but not essential. Color would be nice, but is not necessary. Here's an exmaple of what I'm looking for:

6) A new diaper bag... there's a specific one I want...
Vera Bradley Mod Floral Blue Cargo Sling:

Now listen carefully- this bag has a retail price of $90. IF YOU PAY FULL RETAIL PRICE, MY INNER TIGHTWAD MIGHT KILL YOU. I have seen this bag for as low as $47 on Ebay. Used is fine, as long as it's in decent condition. If you want to get this for me but can't find it at a good price (ie under $50), PLEASE just give me a little cash contribution and I'll save up for it, okay? The price will probably go down within the next year, anyway, and I can certainly wait.
Found it cheap on Ebay! Thanks for the money, mom and dad!

7) The last (big-ticket) item:

This is the baby carrier of my dreams... and yes, within a year Madelaine might be too heavy to carry, but we're hoping for future babies, you know!! Also if you ARE going to carry a heavy toddler, this is the way to do it. I would like the Beco Butterfly II (or 2, or 2.0, as it's sometimes called), and I really like the following patterns: Anaya, Carnival, Sara, Kayla, Nicole. Right now the cheapest you can find these is around $139- you'll see the original Butterfly model cheaper than that, but I would really like some of the newer design features from the 2.0. Again, I think the price will be going down in the next year- so I am NOT asking for anyone to buy me this- just saying if anyone wants to chip in a bit, I can save up for it and be on the lookout for it over the next year!

Okay, that's it!! Thanks for reading. I'll be asking all of YOU what's on your wishlist for this year pretty soon... or feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!

Love, Neb

Monday, November 03, 2008


1) Small [nursing, co-sleeping] children, like dairy cows, Indianans, and domesticated pets, Do Not Recognize the significance of Daylight Savings Time. This means that the gap between the end of Must-See TV at night and my child's wake-up time has just narrowed by an hour. Not good! Not good at all!

2) I just turned on the TV (children's programming on PBS, but still!) to staunch the relentless requests to have story books read... over and over and over. Oh, the guilt! I can just see the pattern I'm establishing now... "What's that, honey? You want an encyclopedia set* for your birthday?? How about these nice video games instead..." Seriously, the child likes a book or two four hundred read to her, which is making me realize I need to be more selective at the library. My usual MO is to leaf through the selections in the board book bin, and grab a handful of the first things I find that don't feature Dora and construction vehicles. The new criterion is, what can we stand to read 100 times in a row without little bits of our brains leaking through our ears? There are children's books that feature narrative tension, creative dialogue, surprising/ humourous plot twists, fantastic word play, catchy rhymes, and rhythms that make the repeat reads a joy rather than a burden. Then there are children's books that sound like they were not written by people who actually know the English language.... or as if the text were hastily scribbled as an afterthought just seconds before releasing the book [=fantastic illustrations] to press. Please, children's book authors! Have a heart!!

*Yeah, I know, I know, there won't actually be print encyclopedias by the time she's old enough to read. Or paper books, for that matter. Humor my fantasy world, here...

3) Consider the following, and tell me What is Wrong with this marital exchange:

Neb [sentimentally]: "Can we talk about when I was in labor? I don't really remember it too well. Can you tell me about it...?" [I've asked him this many times before; last night it was prompted by news that some friends from Lehigh just had their baby.]
Nate: "I don't remember it either! I was bored! That's why I was over on the sofa..."
Neb: "You were BORED?!? At the birth of our CHILD?!? Next time I have a baby, I want you to be EMOTIONALLY SUPPORTIVE! I want you to be right by my side, encouraging me on! After all, I was supportive when you defended your dissertation [the day before!] I went shopping for food! I prepared all kinds of things for the reception! I lugged heavy containers up and down the stairs to get everything ready..."
Nate [with a wicked gleam]: "Well... you waddled up the stairs..."

4) And now, just a few [too many] pictures of my child:

These were all taken before church on Sunday. In nursery, she "made" her first craft!

They grow up SO FAST!!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Overheard at our House

The Scene: Nate is showing Madelaine the motions to Itsy-Bitsy Spider.

Nate: "See, the Itsy-Bitsy Spider..." [Pivots fingers in motion.] "It's a dihedral rotation."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cusotmer Assistance Needed in the Shoe Department...

You know it just occurred to me- maybe my first problem is attempting to buy shoes in a store where a salesperson has to be paged to the shoe department ("shoe aisle"...? yeah). Could I be on to something here?

Anyway, as some of you (*cough* Adrienne *cough*) may know, I have always been Shoe Challenged. I blame it on spending my formative college and young adult years with Mathematicians, people who might or might not be wearing matching socks at any given moment, let alone fashionable footwear. Recently I have been working on improving my image a little bit, in a sort of interested but ambivalent attempt to conform to more, shall we say, traditional forms of Modern Feminine Style. ("The chunky, clunky combat boots," Adrienne says. "I just... I wouldn't wear them with that dress."*)

This is where you come in, gentle reader. I need your help. Specifically, this is my delimma:

1) We live in a place with famously Cold Winters.
2) When it is Really, Really cold, I usually either wear pants to church (dress pants or khakis [are they called chinos now...? I'm so stuck in the 90's...]) or long skirts. Back in the day, Pre-Lactation, I wore dresses, but as I don't have any nursing dresses, I think I can safely say I haven't worn a dress in over a year (isn't that sad?) So with my Dockers, I feel happy wearing comfortable socks and my brown loafer-type things, that look something like this...

But with my black dress pants? And long black skirts? I'm a little clueless. I don't exactly think this

would work well in the snow and ice. Especially since I have a feeling you're not supposed to wear comfy thick black tights with them...?

I used to have this pair of black mocs (?? is that the right term??) that I wore all the time with black tights and skirts... they looked something like this, only with thinner soles:

Probably not very stylish, but super comfy and practical to wear in snow and ice. [Did I mention? I trip over my own feet frequently? On flat, dry ground? I am a nightmare on ice? Also I carry my CHILD around now?!?]

These shoes just bit the bullet (I'm pretty sure I bought them at Shoe Parade in 2001 for $20, so they certainly had a good life...), and I need to find a replacement for them.

So my question is: suggest a style of shoe (links would be helpful) that I can wear with some kind of sock or hosiery (you need to be very specific explaining what type) with long (mid-calf-to-ankle-length) skirts and pants when it's COLD out.

Now, I think an obvious choice might be tall black boots, right? With an almost-pointy toe and a token attempt at a heel...? Maybe like these:

I could wear these with both pants AND skirts, right? The only thing concerning me is that it's hard to find boots like this in my price range (the above pair is $173 at Neb's shoe budget is about $20, maybe $30 at the MOST. I found some brown boots for $10 at The Shoe Department a couple of months ago, but that's RARE.) Also, boots are kind of a Bold Shoe Statement, aren't they? It might be nice to (also?) have something a little simpler. So toss me some ideas, people. I need help!!

Love, Neb

*You should know that I doubt Adrienne ever actually made this statement, as she is Kind and Caring and would never give me unsolicited fashion advice, but after I tried to pick her brain for a LONG time about shoes to wear with dresses and skirts, she did come up with "Maybe more feminine styles...?"

PS I just noticed my child has static cling between her nightgown and her diaper. Isn't that adorable?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Madelaine's Pediatrician Appointment

So apparently, our child's head is still in the "100th percentile."

[What? That's the sound of my Inner Mathematician weeping.]

The chicken has always had quite the noggin, but this was the first time anyone has actually commented on it. The New Pediatrician looked at the chart, looked quizzically at Madelaine's head, took out her tape measurer and tried to measure again a couple of times, asked us if she had always had a big head, looked at the chart again, and asked us if she had ever had a head ultrasound.


I tried to reassure her, and dredged up from my memory that we also got a "100th percentile" announcement at her nine month visit (albeit with much less drama and fanfare.) She seemed appeased.


Doctor: "So does she drink from a cup?"
Me: "No, she's just nursing."
Doctor: "Does she drink whole milk?"
Me: "No, she's just nursing."
Doctor: "But I mean, at mealtimes...? What does she drink?"
Me: "She eats food at the table, and then she nurses. She doesn't really drink water or anything- she's just nursing."
Doctor: "So how many times a day does she nurse?"
Me: "Oh, all the time, at least 20...?"
Doctor: "And she nurses a lot at night, too?"
Me: "Yes, all night..."
Doctor: [stopping typing, paying attention now]: "You really need to try to stop that. It will interfere with her growth, Blah Blah Blah..."
Me: "You mean, she'll get too big, or she won't grow fast enough?" [Chicken is now 24 lbs 9 oz, 30 inches tall, which puts her in the fifty-something-eth percentile for height, eighty-something-eth for weight.]
Doctor: "[Something indecipherable] growth hormones secreted at night [something indecipherable]. Plus, she needs her sleep, and you need your sleep, she needs 8-10 hours of sleep a night..."
Me: "Oh, she and I both get plenty of sleep- she sleeps in bed with me, on a mattress on the floor."
Doctor: [Stunned silence. Lots of typing in computer.] "So... she's not drinking from a cup. She's still nursing at night. [More typing.] And you said she's not walking yet?"
Me: "Right."
Doctor: [Silence. Typing.]

I can just see her notes now... "Significant developmental delays. Parents resistant to behavioral modification. Reassess at next visit."

Doctor [reading from computer screen]: "Be sure you keep cleaning supplies out of reach lock cabinets use outlet covers don't leave her alone in the water don't let her play outdoors by herself when someone nearby is using heavy equipment like a lawnmower [Ed note: ???] praise her good behavior ignore temper tantrums push-pull toys are good baby can eat foods you eat but peanuts popcorn raisins are a choking hazard and should be avoided keep her out of the kitchen while you're cooking do you have any questions?"

Us: "Nope, I think we're good to go here..."

[Honestly... couldn't they just come up with a drive-through vaccination service? It would save us time...]


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Aunt Adrienne's Visit

We had fun at the playground! There's a video, too, but it's sideways at the moment- maybe Nate can turn it at school, so that I can post it later.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hi! Do you mind if I just check under your shirt to see if you have any milk...?

Hi! This is Madelaine! Mama keeps saying how she wants to write my Birthday Post, but my birthday was a long, long time ago, so I figured I'd help her out and write some things about myself, in the meantime. Anytime she wants to write about me it takes her for-EV-er because she has to upload and re-size and edit and pick out all the pictures of me she wants to use (and, believe me, that's A LOT of pictures... the woman goes crazy with the camera sometimes), and THEN she has to write the Mushy Stuff. (Did you read the 6 month post? Talk about SAP, it was like a MAPLE TREE over there...) She takes 4-EVER to write Mushy Stuff. About how she loves me and I'm so cute and yada yada yada. Well. I AM cute, I have to give her that...

So! What would you like to know? How about this- I'll pretend I have a Facebook page, and tell you about my favorite activities and books and stuff! I don't know WHY Mama won't let me have a Facebook page yet- ALL my friends have one- and I know more about the computer than she does!! Sometimes she lets me sit on her lap when she's at the computer, and I totally try to change all her settings to mess with her head. I press all the buttons! And she has no idea how to fix it! It's lots of fun.

Name: Madelaine Elimae. Pretty, isn't it? :-)
Activities: Wreaking havoc; Exploring (Mama calls it "Getting Into Things"); Looking adorable; Waving at my adoring public from shopping carts or my stroller; Playing Peek-a-boo; Dancing and playing my piano; Going with Mama in the car to drop off Daddy at Big Work; Splashing all the water out of my bathtub; Reading stories with Daddy at bedtime; Snuggling and nursing to sleep with Mama in the Little Big Bed; Finding alternative nursing positions; Trying to figure out how to run around the living room and nurse at the same time; Shocking my parents when they realize how many words I recognize now; Whining when I don't get my own way; Laughing so hard that I get hiccups and have to nurse to get rid of them; Burying my head in Mama's chest when I feel shy.

Interests: How electric cords work; the contents of the bathroom cabinets; tasting new foods like vegetables birthday cake; the funny noises Mama makes when my poopy diapers leak everywhere; psychological experiments of all kinds on my parents, like measuring their frustration levels when I'm doing something really cute and they grab their cameras and I stop; pulling on Daddy's leg hair to find out just where the borderline of "too hard" is; knocking on Daddy's bedroom door when he's asleep to see if I can get him to wake up; watching bigger kids play (they can walk around without holding on!?!?); putting things in my mouth (especially shiny things like Mama's necklaces); playing with my new sippy cup (Daddy took the valve out so I could drink the water easier, and now I can spray water all over the carpet! It's like a combination of bathing and nursing, my two favorite things at once!)

Favorite toys: Junk mail envelopes; Mama's keys; the Remote Control; plastic containers; plastic bags; grown-up books and papers; Mama's calculator; pens and markers; fake credit cards that I'm allowed to play with; plus occasionally all the actual toys that people spent money on for me

Favorite books: I like all my story books a lot. :-) I can even read them upside down!

Favorite movies/ TV: I just watch whatever Mama and Daddy are watching. Mama tends to watch shows where someone is having a baby, decorating a house, or picking out a new outfit. Daddy tends to watch shows where things blow up a lot. I just like to run around Exploring while they're distracted by the TV.

What else?? I guess I could tell you a lot more, but the grown-ups want the computer back, so I'll just show you one more picture.

Hey! Text me sometime!

Love, Madelaine

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On a beautiful autumn day, our hearts rejoice!

Heh, I should go into the greeting card industry... sorry about that...

I just wanted you to all know that I have cinnamon vanilla coffee and pumpkin fritter bread for breakfast! Yum! (Well, technically the coffee is half-generic-decaf, half-cheap-brand cinnamon, with vanilla syrup. I bought this big bottle of vanilla syrup that I thought would last a long time, and it's disappearing surprisingly fast. I think Someone around here must be drinking a lot of coffee. Probably Madelaine...)

Speaking of the Small Human, here's a short movie of her playing with her Glow Worm- she can now press the button to make it play songs! Excuse the poor camera-handling. Technical shortcomings can be overlooked in light of the fact that there is about 1.2 seconds of authentic baby dancing in here, no? Also, some blinding Smiles...

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ha ha! After everyone gives up on actually checking this blog, I post!

Hey y'all!

You know what gets in the way of me posting on here? My OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE PERFECTIONIST tendencies. (We've discussed this before, right?) It's not as if I haven't posted on here before about this, but, you know, it always chases me... See, I want to write Perfect Posts, complete with carefully edited and captioned Pictures, and that's Hard. So I just don't post at all! Isn't that sad? Well, today, I'm breaking the bad habit.

So what's new with you folks? What's new with US, you say? Well, we just got back from baby story time at the library, where my little person stared, bewildered, for the first 10 minutes or so, snuggled in mommy's lap, and then when the Library Lady read a story about a farm, there was wide-eyed, open-mouthed beaming. It was just way too cute.

Here's what I REALLY want to blog about today:

*NEB: On the Economy! (A Rare Topic for her!)*

I don't know about you guys, but the recent headlines are making me a little... well... nervous. What's all this about the Zillion Million Dollars that the government is using to "bail out" the Big Financial Companies? (What is a "financial company," anyway? If they're not tutoring math or selling something tangible like potholders [or, even better- Baked Goods!], I don't really understand the point of their existence...?) I haven't yet found a good article written for Lay People (read: people like Neb, people whose understanding of "the economy" consists of managing her husband's paycheck, paying rent, buying groceries, and shopping for Baby Clothes online) that explains what's really going on here. Reading sites like, I just have this impression of our economy as this giant, teetering skyscraper made of straw and glass, ready to fall and shatter if the wind blows a little too hard for a second...

Maybe now is a good time to not have a whole lot of savings (and only a moderate amount of debt.) If you don't have much to lose, you don't have much to worry about, right? I guess I just wish I had more information- like, what is likely to happen if The Big Bailout goes through? And what will happen if it doesn't?

I'll just be over here hanging on to my little bit of the skyscaper, hoping the boat doesn't go down, cause I can't swim... (wait, we're in the water now?)

Neb! (The Imperfect Blogger)

Friday, August 08, 2008

It doesn't get much better than this...

Happy Birthday, little angel!!!

:-) Love, Mama

Thursday, August 07, 2008

You know you're getting elderly/ absent minded when...

...your spouse suggests putting The Clapper* on your coffee cup.

*I just looked it up- The Clapper apparently just turns things on and off; it doesn't actually beep to locate things.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A new outfit (more to come later!)

So... is this an "outfit"??

Love, Neb

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I think I will stay up late drinking coffee and then set the alarm clock for 7:45 to go "running"...

Yeah, right.

Here in the Nebiverse, we are trying to work on our Healthy Habits (yes, I sound like a government propaganda poster, bear with me), like Exercising. You know. Physical Activity. So I realized our apartment complex is at the end of this lovely tree-lined avenue, that it provides a perfect 1.3 mile stretch of up and downhill for me to push the stroller with the child and go "running."* (That's a 2.6 mile roundtrip, you know. And it takes me about 50 minutes. Which is around 20 minutes per mile or 3 miles an hour [never say I don't help you folks out with your arithmetic!!] Which I would say is kind of slow, except that I'm pushing 40 lbs of child and stroller and a good part of it's UPHILL.**)
(Am I the only person who does mental math while exercising to fight off the mind-numbing boringness of it all?)

*It is only fair to disclose to you that the Nebiverse definition of "running" is not, you know, actually RUNNING, it's more like "I will attempt to walk briskly and if all the planets line up right and my heart soars with the wonder of being alive and I've struck the perfect balance of coffee and rehydrating fluids (but don't need to pee) and food (but not overly full) and sleep then I might, MIGHT spontaneously break into a slow jog, experiencing the joy of feeling parts of me jiggle that aren't supposed to jiggle (high on endorphins, I will tell myself, "YEAH! If I keep this up, they will JIGGLE RIGHT OFF!!, but low on endorphins I will pity the people in the cars passing by...), which will last for a minute or two, until I start to feel winded or the sidewalk starts going uphill or the number of passing cars overwhelms me. Then I realize that when I walk uphill on the Big Hill coming home, I get way more out of breath then when I jog. Which possibly means that my "running" does not actually accomplish that much.

**I mean, part of it is downhill, too. The parts that are uphill on the reverse journey are downhill going the other way. Funny how that works. But I asked Nate, who Knows Everything, and he said that a path with uphill and downhill burns more calories than a flat path even if the ups and downs cancel each other out so that your starting elevation is equal to your ending elevation [wait a second- that's inevitable if you want to go home, isn't it?] ***) In other words, maybe downhill is less of a workout than flat ground, but uphill is so much MORE of a workout than flat ground that it more than balances out.

***This so reminds me of countour integrals, the Mystique of Complex Analysis. Just about all I got out of it at Wheaton was, if you go around in a circle and there's nothing Interesting happening on the inside (Interesting = a Singularity, a point where the derivative fails to exist) then the answer will always be zero. Of course, the rules are more complicated when there IS a singularity inside, and now I'm remembering Professor King saying how absolutely amazing it was that the value of a contour integral could be determined by what was happening INSIDE the countour, and I realized he was right. I had never thought of it that way before. He said something about, "Lay out the New York Times in a circle around a stadium..." I can't remember the rest of it, quite.

So what does it say about my personality that most of my writing is in parentheses or fine print? If you can analyse character through handwriting, surely you can do it through blogging, too, right?

I hope you realize that I have made the normal print on this post larger instead of making the footnotes smaller, in deference to the large percentage of my reading public**** who have middle-aged eyes.

****Love you mom, dad, and Judy. ;-)

My chicken is fussing, so I must go!

Love, Neb/dp

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pictures of Madelaine's New Room!

I always wanted to make a nursery for my baby... :-)

This rocker we got free from Paul and Sara- it had sort of a beige fabric with an abstract print (from the early 90's...?) I bought this blue checked fabric at Walmart a long time ago just because it was cheap and cute, so now it's been put to good use (I pinned instead of sewing... cause I'm lazy that way...) The flower panel draped over the back is actually the valence for her window, once Nate gets around to installing the curtain rod, but for now, I kind of like it draped over the chair- it sort of ties everything together.

I found this quilt set at Walmart and really liked it- feminine, cute, and with lots of colors to make it easy to accessorize. Yes, I have quilt blocks in my closet that I could make into a quilt (and curtains and pillows and so forth...) but I actually wanted my kid to have a nice bedroom before she turns 18, and all my sewing projects are highly backlogged. The quilt blocks in the closet will make a great wall hanging at some point. (See what a realist I've become???)

This table was a gift from my parents- a little red table that my dad had loved as a kid. I asked his permission to paint it white, and he graciously agreed. The wooden decorative pieces are from the Walmart craft department (just taped on for now, until I figure out the best way to glue them on so that later they could still be removed without damaging the talbe.)

This dresser was FREE from the people who moved out of another apartment in our building!! It came with a matching nightstand, which just so happens to match OUR furniture set (how cool is that...??) so we put it in our room. I was seriously planning to buy a nice wooden dresser for her room, and this was PERFECT. (Some minor cosmetic problems- scratches, a missing knob, no big deal.) What a blessing!!

I bought this for her at PA Festival of the Arts. Someday she'll understand what it means.

Love, Neb