Monday, February 26, 2007


Now, it takes a lot to get me seriously worried, but waking in the night to hear Elijah coughing and gasping for air is one thing that will. Three nights ago he came down with something that turned into a fever, and now Andrew has it too. They only had me up twice last night, which is an improvement, but I'm still exausted. Mostly it's the whining that's getting to me now, since it's apparent that they're on the mend. Oh. My. Gosh. Repetitive whining seems to be the name of this particular sickness, and while I feel bad, getting a brain-feed of toddler angst is less than stellar for the sanity of the mind.

We've been watching videos and knitting,
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throwing rocks in the stream,
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and taking walks that end with pretzles.
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I was supposed to record my podcast today, but my brain is fried. The midwife is coming today in about a half-hour. I've been meaning to post about her, and I will do so soon.

Speaking of the podcast, the boys have been joining me in the kitchen for the last two episodes, so if you want to feel like you've had a little visit with us, you can fast forward towards the end of those and listen in on our recipe time.

Also, I do still intend to share pics of our weekend in Kaiserslautern, but...

I think we're all going to try to get a little more of this accomplished first.
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Harry Head Wound

Last week just before dinner, Andrew and Elijah were running back and forth in the hallway, around corners, etc. Hannah was in the kitchen and I was in the living room. Suddenly we heard a bang and both boys started crying rather lustily. We both ran to see what had happened.

At first, it seemed that it was nothing more than a baby collision, and that everything might be fixed with some hugs and kisses. Then we noticed the blood dripping from the back of Elijah's head. Upon closer inspection, I determined that he had an 1-1/2" long gash, presumably from hitting into the corner of the wall. It looked like stitches would be needed.

I called Greg, and he was still at work; it would take him at least a half-hour to get home. His van was broken and he was using my car, so I would have to walk in the dark to the hospital, which is about 20 minutes away by foot. I really wanted to avoid this if possible, so I called my parents and hooked up the video chat. My dad looked at his head for a little while and agreed with me that, while stitches might be a good idea, he is a boy, it is the back of his head, and if I felt that I could butterfly it together with surgical tape, things should probably be ok. (Elijah kept saying to my dad "I woke-a da head!" Translated: "I broke the head!") I called Greg again and he concurred with the tape idea.

I attempted to shave the area around the wound first, but Elijah was squirming and screaming at me "Head is all better!!" with such vigor that I only got his hair *kind of* short. I then cleaned it with alcohol and applied this prescription ointment called Bactroban (amazing stuff -- if you don't have any, see if your doctor will prescribe some to you -- it heals things crazy fast). I then put two band-aids over it and secured it with surgical tape, squeezing the sides together (Elijah was not pleased with this part). I definitely taped his hair, but there was nothing I could do about it.

For a few days, we just pushed more of the medicated ointment down behind the bandage with a q-tip, but finally I decided that the dressing should be changed. I put Elijah in the bathtub and proceeded to give him a crew-cut on the shortest setting (no attachment comb, which is the length Greg does on himself.) You can see how much hair was attached to the bandage in the top right corner of this pic.

He was less than pleased, but there was no other way to get the bandage out besides just ripping his hair out, and I felt this was the better option.

Even candy corn couldn't keep him happy, but soon he was a fuzzy little albino looking fellow, and he thanked me profusely.

No not really. But when Andrew saw Elijah's haircut, he wanted one too, so I shaved his head as well.

Elijah's head healed up really nicely. Here they are watching a knitting video podcast. You can see how long the wound was.

I'm very glad that it all turned out well. Sucks that he'll never have hair growing in that spot, but now he just matches Andrew (marble steps at the same age), Joel (I can't remember how it happened), and me (slid down an apple tree on the back of my head). So it's all in the family.

I miss Elijah's hair, but they do look pretty damn cute together.

Tomorrow I'll post pics from where Greg and I went last weekend.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A little tease

Hey everyone! Sorry for the huge lapse in posts. I actually don't have time for a "real" post today, but here's a teaser for tomorrow's story:

There's actually a good reason for this.

Until tomorrow....

Monday, February 12, 2007

Babes and toys

We've got eight weeks to go, my friends, and this pregnancy has been far from "the usual" for me.

When the boys were in utero, I found that I had become, for the most part, a vegetarian. The idea of meat, poultry, and even most seafood completely turned me off, and even sickened me. I especially couldn't imagine cutting up meat on my cutting board, and it became verboten in my kitchen. I threw myself into Moosewood Cookbooks, and learned to cook vegetarian dishes inspired by every country in the world.

With this baby, I eat meat and poultry at any opportunity. I've fallen back in love with flank steak (the way my grandma Annette used to make it -- I'll share my recipe sometime), and have made meatballs more times than I can count (my mom's recipe, of course, heavy on the bread crumbs and shredded Romano).

The boys were very vigorous, causing me a fair amount of discomfort. Elijah especially had hiccups constantly, but Andrew also had them often. They both thought it was super fun to kick me in the ribs at any opportunity, and use their elbows in ways I did not see fitting.

While this baby has been trying to make more room for itself, elbow-wise, in the past few days, it has been nothing like the wiggly struggles that were going on with Andrew and Elijah.

With each of the boys, I felt that I could never eat enough. I was a human vacuum, and although I never gained a whole lot (21 w/Andrew, 32 w/Elijah), I just had to feed myself non-stop, and was always thinking about food. I drank a protein shake for breakfast (which is a good idea, since it takes goodly amounts of protein to properly feed a baby's brain), and ate beans and rice, tofu, and my favorite snack was a huge spoonful of peanut butter accompanied by a glass of chocolate soy milk ("Silk" brand only, since it tastes the best, and it fortified to be similar in nutrition to milk). I ate so much with them that I actually got tired of chewing.

With this child, I am almost never very hungry. I mean, I still want to eat sometimes, but it's just kind of "normal" feeling. I eat moderate portions of things and don't have an intense desire to snack.

The one thing that has remained consistent is the heartbeat, which is pretty much the same as Andrew's and Elijah's. All fall into the "mid" range. Some people think that you can tell the gender by heartbeat speed (girls are supposed to be faster, boys slower, I think), and although my current doctor says that's bull, the heartbeat falls right in the middle anyway. Just like the boys.

Andrew insists that "there's a brother in there". There's no way of knowing either way, but I know how much all of you like to speculate. So now, although it won't change things, you have some information to make a (sort of) educated guess, and possibly feel all smug after the Birth Day.

Andrew is starting to realize that I can produce cool things with my needles, and was all excited to find me working on these:

I let him pick out the colors for his (blue) and Elijah's (green), but I worked up the red and pink one just in case...

The boys think that their new toys are fabulous.

There's just something about a handmade softie. Storebought toys never have the same charm, and never get the same amount of play-time. It takes longer to knit or sew something up for them, surely, but I think that it's totally worth it. I mean, look at those smiles!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Shawl

I know that you were all just sitting on the edge of your seats when I mentioned shawl knitting in "Transparent", and are wondering if perhaps I finished it. Right. Well, regardless of your level of interest, I'm going to show it to you anyway, because I've never knit anything this intricate, and I'm terribly pleased with myself.
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You must excuse the excess of photo evidence here; it is my first shawl, after all.
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The most interesting thing to me about shawls is that they were originally created and designed by plain, hardworking women who were making every effort to stretch their meager resources for themselves and their families.
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They often used yarn spun as finely as possible, in order to get the most out of the wool (that they probably sheared themselves, then washed, carded and spun).
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After all of that, they designed these incredibly intricate patterns and shaped the shawl to suit their own regions and tastes. There are circular ones, triangular, faroese (sp?) (has cupped shoulders so that it won't fall off), rectangular, and more. The sheer artistry and skill of these women amazes me.
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And yes, I've actually worn it quite a bit. I wore it to Greg's ceremony the other day, and although no one asked me about it, I felt rather proud of myself the whole day.
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All photos by Hannah, my new photographer.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

This video may offend some, so if you have sensitive sensibilities, you may not wish to view. However, Hannah and I found this hilarious. If you are into gaming, you may find this even funnier than we did.

Hannah got here on Thursday night, and we've been having a grand time, staying up too late, cooking, etc. All of our favorite things. Hannah will be living here for a few months, until after the baby is born, which is a very nice break for me. It's so nice to have someone here during the day who sees what needs to be done and just does it.

Yesterday Greg had his change of command ceremony, which means that he has now officially taken over command of his first company. Hannah watched the kids at home, and it was the strangest thing to just walk out of the house with my coat and pocketbook, but nothing else. I drove there in silence, wondering at the simplicity of it all. I did feel a little bad for Hannah though, because just before I left, the boys made the largest mess of their lives, and she ended up having to clean the whole thing up herself. ("Someone" dug all of the dirt out of the largest potted plant in the sun room, and then proceeded to throw it all around the living room. Andrew says it was Elijah, but they both had dirt ground into their hands, as well as in their hair and clothing. I am fairly certain that they are both responsible.)

Greg's ceremony was pretty cool; I haven't really attended many ceremonies yet, so it was entertaining to watch Greg marching in step, ceremoniously hand flags back and forth, and the like. His speech brought the house down. He had announced during rehearsal that it would be no longer than 20 seconds, but I could tell that no one believed him. During the actual ceremony, first the Colonel and then the Captain preceding Greg gave long, rather dry speeches. Than Greg got up, and did exactly as promised, which went something like this:
"Company, ladies and gentleman, distinguished guests: First and foremost I would like to thank my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Secondly, my best friend and wife, Faith. Without her, I would not be where I am today. All policies and procedures remain in effect. Thank you."
I was sitting in the first chair of the front row (since I had to be presented with flowers), and had to fight to keep from laughing at the obvious shock and general please-ed-ness that rippled through the place as he left the podium. Hilarious.

The Colonel asked me if I was nervous about assuming this new command position, and I said "Well, the Army isn't our life, so no, I'm not nervous. It's great that he's got this new position, but it's just the next job for him. That's all." She was rather shocked and had no idea what to say to me after that, so she said something kind of unrelated and didn't ask me anything else about it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Belated Best-Of, 2006 Music List

Not that all of you have been waiting with baited breath for me to publish this list, and most of you probably could care less, since you likely read this blog solely to hear about the latest cute things the boys did, or whatever. But for those who have been searching the world to find the no-kidding, Top 5 Albums of 2006, look no further. Seriously, I need to just start a music review website / blog or something. Anyway, this list does not include any Christmas-themed releases. Check here to read those reviews. I’ve also included a few more lists for those who really care, and I know that a few of you do, so here it is:

Top 5 Albums of 2006 (in order of precedence)

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1. mewithoutYouBrother, Sister
This release is, hands down, the most solid release of the entire year…the world over. I’ve decided that, as with Sufjan Stevens, it is impossible for mewithoutYou to create a bad record. They’ve grown a lot since Catch For Us The Foxes and created a true masterpiece. The overall sound is, in some ways, similar to some songs on Catch, but with a bit more actual singing, and the addition of a few more instruments such as accordion and even harp. Aaron’s lyrics are, as could be expected extremely creative and thought provoking. The musical arrangements are very unique, in the style that only mewithoutYou can do. Throughout the record are three small, interspersed interludes, which really tie the whole record together.
Standout tracks: “The Dryness and The Rain”, “In A Market Dimly Lit”, “In A Sweater Poorly Knit”

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2. Del CastilloBrotherhood

I seriously have no idea why these guys aren’t huge. Yeah, so most of the songs are sung in Spanish, but holy crap these guys can write damn good songs. The brothers Rick and Mark Del Castillo are, by far, the most skilled (and fastest) latin guitarists I’ve ever heard. I got the chance to see them play in Syracuse a couple of years ago, and they effortlessly ripped through their set, exhibiting everything from their three albums and much more. Brotherhood includes a few more English-sung songs than usual, one (“I Never Cared For You”) featuring Willie Nelson on lead vocals.
Standout tracks: “Arena Al Viento”, “Este Amor”, “El Corrido de Don Lulai”

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3. Over The RhineLive From Nowhere, Vol. I

We’ve long been very big OTR fans, and this limited release was definitely worth the pre-order wait. Live From Nowhere is, I think, a lot better than Changes Come – Over The Rhine Live, and it really makes you feel like you’re getting your own little private concert in your living room. It’s definitely a sit-in-a-dimly-lit-room-with-your-favorite-cup-of-tea-and-significant-other type of record. The set-list includes more of their lounge-jazzy selections, both old and new, and also includes a warm interlude of Peggy Lee’s “Fever”, Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man”, and Van Morrison’s “Moondance”. The record concludes appropriately with Ella Fitzgerald’s “Paper Moon”, and it’s usually at this point that we press “play” again because it’s so enjoyable.
Standout tracks: “Faithfully Dangerous”, “Drunkard’s Prayer”, “Fever”, “Son Of A Preacher Man”

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4. AnathalloFloating World

Very unique and very experimental from this most-of-the-time seven piece ensemble. Playing everything from basic guitars and drums, to bigger drums, xylophones, horns, chains, sticks, popping-balloons, and whatever else they remembered to pull out of the van. Anathallo truly needs to be experienced live, as the record falls short of capturing the fullness of their creativity. However this is in no way saying that the record is poorly done. It is an extremely interesting listen and the recording does well to exhibit every instrument.
Standout tracks: “Ame – Genessaret”, “Hanasakajiji (four: a great wind, more ash)”, “Hanasakajiji (one: the angry neighbor)”, “Cuckoo Spitting Blood”

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5. 4 and 20 BlackbirdsAct I: A Bird Began To Sing

Honestly, the number 5 spot was the hardest to pick because, really after that, it’s all sixth place. Although this release only has five songs, thus technically lumping it into the EP category, its excellence pushed it easily into the top 5. This husband / wife duo combine beautiful female vocals with a combination folk-jazz vibe resulting in a very unique and unforgettable sound.
Standout tracks: “Song Of Sixpence”, “Judith’s Song”

Honorable Mention 2006 Releases (in alphabetical order)

In the interest of not having this post scroll down to near eternity, I have refrained from including reviews for the following albums. I have instead made each one a link if you want to find out more.

Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubHowl Sessions
BrideSkin For Skin
ConvergeNo Heroes
Crimson MoonlightIn Depths of Dreams Unconscious
DJ Christopher LawrenceSubculture, Vol. I
DJ MicroDirect Konnect
Koen DuncanBring Down
From A Second Story WindowDelenda
Gasoline HeartYou Know Who You Are
Glass CasketDesperate Man’s Diary
Sarah HarmerI’m A Mountain
I-Dragon-ILimited Edition
JetShine On
LengselThe Kiss, The Hope
Like SummerFrom Arlington Heights, With Love
Lye By MistakeArrangements For Fulminating Vective
Murder By Deathin boca al lupo
Mute MathMute Math
My Brightest DiamondBring Me The Workhorse
Norma JeanRedeemer
Odon SoteriasHow The People Stare
Oh SleeperThe Armored March
Old Crow Medicine ShowBig Iron World
Other Desert CitiesOn The Verge Of Collapsing
Peter And The WolfLightness
PsaltersThe Divine Liturgy of The Wretched Exiles
ScarletThis Was Always Meant To Fall Apart
Shot X ShotShot X Shot
Society’s FinestAnd I, The Drunkards
Sufjan StevensThe Avalanche
The Black AngelsPassover
The Cassettes‘Neath The Pale Moon
The DecemberistsThe Crain Wife
The Weird WeedsWeird Feelings
ThumbscrewWithin Hearts Of Redemption EP
Woven HandMosaic
ZaoThe Fear Is What Keeps Us Here

Most Criminally Underrated / Underappreciated Bands of 2006

Sad, really. Why people fail to support the really good bands is totally beyond me.

Del Castillo
Like Summer
Society’s Finest
The Cassettes

Top Music Video DVDs of 2006

16 Horsepower Live
AFII Heard A Voice
Demon HunterWaging The Third War
LeahyLive From Gatineau, Quebec
Norma JeanThe Marvelous End of The Exhausted Contender
The AquabatsCharge!! The DVD
Zao The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here, The DVD

Highly Anticipated Releases of 2007

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -- Baby 81
Burlap To Cashmere (currently untitled)

Steven DelopoulosAs If Love Were A Sword
ImpellitteriGood And Evil
Impending Doom (currently untitled)
LovedrugEverything Starts Where It Ends
Leng Tch’eMerasmus
Maylene And The Sons of DisasterII
Night Of The Wrecking BallHere Is My Drumset, Here Is My Ninja Star
PsyopusOur Puzzling Encounters Considered
Over The RhineLive From Nowhere, Vol. II
The Famine (currently untitled) (former members of Embodyment!!!)
Toby MacPortable Sounds
Virgin BlackRequiem – Pianissimo
Virgin BlackRequiem – Mezzo Forte
Virgin BlackRequiem – Fortissimo