Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Eight pairs of gloves

EIGHT! Yesterday and my comment about AB adding in 40 lbs of additional winter gear? Uh huh. We are taking with us to Alaska, for one couple and a toddler for one week, eight pairs of gloves. No joke. And apparently every glove has its purpose.

Pair #1 - I will justify this pair, my leather driving gloves that go in my purse. My alternative to my heavy powder gloves. This is the pair of gloves that AB sees absolutely no purpose to. From AB's perspective, if you wouldn't want to be wearing this pair of gloves to dig your hand into the snow and pull out a big hunk of snow, pack it into a ball and launch it at someone, why own them? (I need them, end of story.)

Pair #2 - My powder gloves. This is my heavy ski gloves. They are wonderful, glove inside, mitten on the outside, Goretex, a cuff and they extend about 4" above the cuff. "Now these are gloves!" AB said as he gave them to me for Christmas one year. (AB's favorite gift to give? Gloves.)

Pair #3 - Leif's fleece mittens. The ones I can actually get him to keep on his hands. $2.99 at Target and as far as real protection? That is about what they are worth. Better than nothing at all, but he leaves them on his hands (for the most part).

Pair #4 - Leif's GoreTex mittens. Cannot for the life of me get them to stay on Leif's hands. I do not know what he does with his fingers in there, but they fall off within minutes of putting them on. To which Leif responds "uh oh" and stands there and looks at them and then holds out his hand to have it put on for the 574th time. Maybe I will find connectors in Alaska that will make them worthwhile? Or maybe in Alaskan MIL who raised 3 sons up there will have some secret to getting them to stay on his hands.

Ok... so here is where we get hairy...

Pair #5 as described by AB last night - "These are the coolest gloves, I forgot I had these! You can flip the mitten part off to expose your fingers which is great for fine work, like ice fishing, and I want to go ice fishing by the way. The only bad thing about these gloves is that they are fleece and don't protect your hands from the wind."

Pair #6 as described by AB - "Well you have to have mitten covers, these make any pair of gloves wind and probably waterproof too, I am pretty sure this fabric is waterproof. They will be perfect for snowmachining and see how they tighten around your wrist and extend up your arm. I have to bring these!"

Pair #7 as described by AB - "These are just like the other mitten covers, but they are a really good brand, Outdoor Research you know, they are a really good brand. But they aren't as good as the others. But we have to bring these. If your gloves get wet, you will be really happy to have these to wear when you go outside, I know I hate having wet mittens." (He doesn't know his wife very well... wet mittens = wife inside with hot cocoa and Baileys. Plus, I could have sworn that my GoreTex powder gloves were *the* pair of gloves that *never* gets wet. Le sigh.)

Pair #8 as described by AB - "Well these are my regular good gloves, the go under either of the mitten covers since the fingerless gloves wouldn't fit under the mitten covers. I have to have these."

The kicker that sent NM over the edge in a giggling fit - "Hey honey, when we are up in Alaska I want to see if I can find some new gloves, I need a new, good, all purpose pair and I can never find good gloves down here."

Monday, December 19, 2005

Promised Pictures

Playing on C's rocking horse.

"This is the best Christmas gift ever!! Thanks Santa!!"

"A big box and paper is about the only thing that might be better!"

Check me out in my cute Christmas pj's.

Sickly Monday

I am not *that* sick, but I am at home. I managed to come down with a fever yesterday afternoon. I NEVER get a fever. I just don't. I have no idea the last time I have had a fever, probably as a young child. But even as a kid I remember thinking my mom's old mercury thermometer was faulty because the thing never budged. So imagine my surprise when I was freezing, had the chills, yet AB was hot and the thermostat said 73F (much to AB's dismay that I had turned it up that high) , and my temp was 101.2F.

AB tried to convince me to head to the Urgent Care, but I was *just* there last weekend for conjunctivitis, they were going to think I was one of "those" people. Ugh. Nope, I would be fine. But that danged pulled muscle in my back that hurt when I breathed deep might kill me... umm yeah.

Got in to see the doc this morning when my fever returned when the Advil wore off and that danged pulled muscle had now spread around to the front of my chest... Strep and Pleursy. Fun. AB was so paranoid that it was going to waylay our trip to Alaska. Nope, apparently not. But it may dig into my fun as I am not on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. You guessed it no alcohol. (grumble, grumble, grumble...)


Aside from that we had a nice weekend. AB and I ordered Mexican on Friday night. Saturday we hit a few furniture stores. We have our buffet choices narrowed down to two. One that is a gorgeous piece of furniture, dove tail joints, nice quality construction. Made by Hooker and located here. The other is a nice buffet, taller than most with a marble top, 5 drawers (the center with a silver insert... should we ever accumulate any silver) and three cabinets. The construction is not as polished I guess. I was unimpressed with how some of the drawer fit and no dovetail joints. But it is still a very pretty piece of furniture. (No picture for it.)

I guess the only thing I am hesitating on with the Hooker piece is that it is black. I like dark woods, but black... hmmm... The nice thing about it is that there is a darker wood paneling in the hutch part so it would match a darker wood table. And the room we will be putting it in has a lot of black in it already (black photo frames). I think our decision is made, it is just going to be finding time to get back to the furniture store. I think we will wait until after Christmas and hope that we can score an even better price on it.

Saturday night we went to K&V's house for dinner, gift exchange and playdate. Leif and C played, Leif LOVES C's rocking horse and he rocked and rocked. We had a fantastic Thai chicken pizza. I have never had a Thai pizza and as a Thai purist have been skeptical. It was fantastic! We ate Christmas goodies and opened a few gifts.

Sunday we had our Christmas morning. Leif was thrilled to see that Santa left him the Little Tykes workshop. (Pictures in another post since Netscape doesn't like to participate in photo uploading to Blogger... annoying.) We opened our gifts to each other and tried to convince Leif that there were really fun things within the paper. But he decided that opening was not his forte and after a few gifts went to watch a movie instead. Silly boy!

This morning I thought I would go to work for a little while. Wrong. Hans looked at me like I was nuts to suggest this. So I e-mailed in sick today. I gave thought to going in after my appointment, but by the time I got lunch and stuff it was after 12. Leif has his Christmas party/program at 3:30pm today. I decided to call it a wash with work today. Plus, charge codes are lean right now. I am one of the lucky ones in my group with a few options to charge to. But not a lot of work to be done pending a variety of things (machine shop, items on order...). By taking today as a sick day and working tomorrow, things will probably be a little better.

I have us most of the way packed for Alaska. Leif and I are packed. The ultimate Alaskan boy scout has yet to pack his stuff, check through my "gear" and then load us down with 40lbs more "necessary" gear (all while I keep reminding him that the past two weeks have been colder here than it has there...). Leif has videos and books and munchies for down time. I am betting the toy haul will be immense up there and so I am not packing other toys for him. I am praying that he sleeps the entire trip up tomorrow... please, please, please.

I will likely not be online much in the next week and a half. Everyone have a great holiday season!

Friday, December 16, 2005

"So you're not really fired..."

Wuss. That is what I am. I worked up all my confidence to be strong and have a backbone in my meeting this morning with C and the two guys working on our project. Well they are still working on our project and C told me afterwards I was so nice. Too nice? I asked her. "Probably", was her response. Ugh. And here I felt like I was being such a bitch.

It appears that my direction here is headed towards project management. I have three proposal calls to respond to in early January, one that was sent to me specifically and that I am working with a PLM on, another that was sent to me and two other people by my manager asking each of us to please submit something to the call, and the last call that came in this morning from my main client for FY07 that I am "expected" to put in for. I have GOT to have more spine when it comes to project management. Because if I got even half of the funding (probably unlikely...) I am putting in for next year my job will be quickly transitioned to project management.

Today is Friday, yay! We had our group women's lunch and ornament exchange today. It was fun as usual. Note to self, next year organize the potluck better than "bring a dish to share"...

We are hitting a few furniture stores with Leif and the new umbrella stroller, Goldfish, pacifier and blankey in tow. It has got to go better than last weekend. I need to go to Barnes and Noble. And we need to pack for Alaska. I am still neurosing about the flight with Leif even though I am nearly convinced that he will be getting a dose of Benadryl to calm the hyper boy for the flight. Yes, you can chastize me for this, but I guarantee you don't want to be the person sitting next to us on a 5 hour flight with him.

Meanwhile, visions of hottubs in the snow are dancing in my mind. Games with the family, lots of food, skiing, what could be better?

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

How to make NM's day

E-mail: "Early Release. The lab will close at 3pm today and all non-essential employees will be released."

This is the time when it is good to be deemed "non-essential".

Now if only we were being released due to snow. But alas, no. It is due to freezing drizzle that is making the roads (in my dad's words) slicker than snot.

I am sitting for a little while waiting until I expect Leif to be up from nap before going to get him. Then we are going home, turning on the Christmas lights and making hot cocoa. Which btw, is Leif's new favorite thing to drink and say with a little grin on his face.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hate, hate, hate the dentist

I had a routine dental exam and cleaning today. The dentist has not been my friend since I was a kid. I had my first orthodontist exam in 2nd grade where I started wearing a headgear. Then I transitioned to retainers and then a bionator (evil thing) and finally braces for about 5 years and then retainers.

You wouldn't know this looking at my mouth. Ok, maybe you would, I am no longer quite so buck toothed with an overbite and no gapping canyon between my front teeth. If that would have been my only three problems. Nope, most of my tooth problems were a lot less obvious. I had too many teeth on the bottom and too few on top, literally. My mouth was presented at many an orthodontic conference as a case study. I had no eye teeth, and then unidentifiable teeth on the bottom. My lower jaw was too small... yadda yadda yadda. They talked about breaking my jaw and rearranging everything, but my parents couldn't do it to me. Instead I had 12 or so years of orthdontia. (My child's jaw will be broken and rearranged should he be unlucky enough to inherit my mess.)

So the "no eye teeth" thing is what I am dealing with now. I was born without permanent eye teeth. I had the baby teeth until I was 16 when they finally decided my mouth had matured enough to go onto the next step, pulling them and inserting bridges. Misery.

Fast forward to 18 years later and they are falling out of my mouth, literally. They look awful as well. Today was my dentists last straw, they *have* to be replaced. He had been encouraging me to consider it for awhile, but a large crack on one has made it a more imminent problem.

Now had I planned this appropriately I would have arranged to have one done before '05 ends and the next done just after '06 starts. But no, I can't do that now since it is what, Dec 14th, lol. And well it can't wait until the end of next year. So I will have both sides done sometime in February it appears. Ugh.

$860 per tooth, 6 teeth for the two bridges. My insurance will cover their maximum $1500 and I get to hope I don't have anything else I need done next year since my entire benefit will have been exhausted for the year. I am on AB's dental insurance (anticipating this ordeal) and apparently they have a "missing tooth clause", meaning that if the tooth was missing before the insurance coverage went into play they won't cover. They might be able to work around this since I do have a "tooth" there, albeit a fake one. But if they cover it will also be a maximum of $1500. So we are nearing 50% coverage.

Oh well, I really didn't want that promotion raise for anything neat. Just new teeth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday Miscellaneous

I have an hour before I get to head out. Today has been an unusually busy day for this time of year. Mostly because my good project manager is out on travel. So I was given more responsibility this week regarding teleconference prep. Basically assembling results that aren’t mine and getting them off to the client. Our year ends with this client tomorrow as they close starting next Monday for two weeks over the holidays. Work will resume in January when we are flush with cash again. Oh happy days!

I had book club last night. I had a great time, although I felt really bad for not having finished the book, The Dark is Rising. When I was a kid I lapped up these types of books. I loved Narnia, The Hobbit, etc., I would have loved Harry Potter. I don’t know what my mental block with them right now is. I feel as though my reading time is so limited right now, that when I do have the chance to read a book, I want it to be something I really want to read. And for me, this didn’t fit that bill unfortunately.

I felt badly though, because I adore the host and I felt bad that the girls felt obligated to tell me how the storylines went. I really need to not fail to complete another reading “assignment”.

We did a holiday exchange for book club and I love the gift I received! It is a book journal. I can’t wait to start filling it up. I have such a poor memory, I remember loving a certain book, but frequently forget a main characters name or what exactly was the plot twist… kind of like my ability to tell a joke I guess. AB always says “stop, before you get any further. Do you remember the punchline?” More frequently then not I have to admit that I don’t. Anyways, my new book journal will be put to good use!

Leif had an evening home with daddy and woke up to a little visitor in our house. We are dogsitting for friends. Leif was thrilled to be able to chase Miss Sophie through the house this morning – which did lead to us being late in getting out the door. However, after cleaning up the second pile of crap this morning though I was remembering why we had started avoiding taking care of Miss Sophie… ugh. But our friends were in a bind, headed out on business travel and a flake of a dog sitter left them scrambling at the last minute. And I am just a pushover, anything to help friends out because I would hope that our friends would do the same for us if able.

I got up at 5:58am to a quiet house. Leif was miraculously still asleep. I was awake though with a sleeping dog next to me. (Mine, not Miss Sophie) It wasn’t too long ago that I would wake at 6am to dog breath in my face ready to head out for our daily walk. I have been so hit or miss with it lately, thanks mostly to Leif’s early wakings lately and the cold. So since I was awake, instead of staying in my warm bed I got up and put my warm clothes on headed out into the 16F (-9C) air with Winny. She ate it up. She loved it. And to prove her worthiness as a snow dog when we returned she stayed outside, refusing to come in until we were ready to leave.

I have a good online friend who is struggling in her marriage right now. I feel for her greatly. It breaks my heart to read how awful her husband is being to her. I want them to be able to work it out, I really do. Divorce just sucks for everyone. And she is 7 months pregnant with their second child. I just am afraid I don’t see things turning around for her with him. I just wish he would shape up. I wish I had some answers for her. When I read her e-mails to me I see that my minor and relatively rare complaints about AB are just silly. Such as my post the other day about “Cue the Violins”… so very minor in comparison.

Monday, December 12, 2005

"You're Fired!"

I wish I were Donald, he doesn't seem to have a problem saying this to someone.

Ok, so I am not firing anyone per se. But my coworker C and I are having a sit down with two guys working on our project. We expect, in the end, to thank them for the time and effort (ha on both accounts) they have put into the project to this point, but we have people who actually WANT the hours we are offering. Especially this time of year while we are all waiting for money to come in and there are people we know looking for work.

Ugh, I just don't like doing this type of thing. I hate personnel issues. The main problem... the task lead that we assigned is not leading his task. It appears he has assigned it to someone else, namely someone we don't want running the task. The both of them *never* show for project meetings (one did e-mail an apology last week, he got caught up programming...), we never have any idea what is going on with their task, and there is no commitment to the project.

C thinks that we need to get a clear and verbal "Yes, I want to continue working on this project" in order for them to continue. I agree with her. But I am a wuss. She is a driver expressive... she will take care of it? Won't she?

So I e-mailed them a note with "read receipt", so I know that it has been opened explaining the purpose of the meeting and then sent a meeting request.

This is hard. I actually like these guys personally. But working with them professionally is like pulling teeth.

Christmas Party Recovery

My ears! My ears! Ok, I am not one for drama, so it doesn't fly well when I try to use it. The Christmas party on Friday was borderline bust. We had a great table of people, our couple friends who have a daughter a few months older than Leif, another couple friends who have 3 kids (one near Leif's age) and are adopting their 4th. Then another couple we are friends with, the wife is in my book club, and two single guys that are really super. Free and good wine (Barnard Griffin Merlot, always nice), decent appetizers, mediocre dinner, really bad band... well you get the idea. The night just kept getting worse and worse.

The band... what can I say... they sucked. They played mostly just bad music and when the played an occasional good song, they just massacred it. No redeeming qualities. And hello, do you really need 3 guitarists? It just looked odd with 3 guitarists and 1 electric bass all lined up there. (I dated a musician for awhile in college, I know something about bands.)

They were so loud, we couldn't even chat at the table. It was well over dominating. We (most of us at our table) finally gave up and went home.

The door prizes? Oh yeah, AB won one! Of course he won it AFTER we left, which means he forfeited it. I am trying to convince myself there is no way that he won one of the $300 mall gift cards... I am positive it had to have been one of the fugly (and humongous) poinsettas.


We got home and the babysitter left. Nice girl. She got Leif down to bed on time and with no comlications. My only surprise was that she didn't pick up her and Leif's dinner dishes and wipe off the high chair. It really isn't that big of a deal, but during the old days when *I* babysat, I would have never left that stuff out. Maybe that is why I was constantly called back to babysit. Of course it isn't a deal breaker by any means, I will gladly have her back, but it doesn't earn her an extra buck an hour. ;-)


We had a nice weekend, albeit far too fast. Saturday we had to bail on a birthday party because I came down with a lovely case of conjunctivitis. I was self medicating with sulfa based drops that work well for me normally, but to no avail this time around. I ended up making a trip to Urgent Care on Saturday where the doc on duty proclaimed me highly contagious and ordered me to stay in for the entire weekend. Umm yeah right. With my list of things to do? I just carried a bottle of hand sanitizer with me and avoided touching things I wasn't buying (and touching my eyes). If Leif and AB hadn't picked it up at that point I think I was doing a pretty good job of keeping the cesspool of goo isolated to my eyes only.

Saturday afternoon we ventured to Macy's Furniture Store in search of a buffet. I thought we would walk in and walk out with no luck. We did walk in and walk out, but not by our choice. It was Leif's doing. About 3 minutes into our shopping trip he was screaming and throwing a temper tantrum from hell. Ok, we went back home. I was so bummed because in our brief visit we found at least 2 buffets we would have purchased and the prices were superb comparatively. Marble topped, contemporary styled buffet for $1200 or mission style buffet for $850. Wow!

For our Sunday morning errands we stopped at Target and bought an umbrella stroller (for $10) and then went on our errands to Best Buy (for the Tivo) and Petsmart. Given how effective our trip to Best Buy with Leif was and our afternoon dog walk on Sunday... if that is all the benefit I get out of the stroller it was $10 well spent. Leif loved how low it sat, he could see around, and it kept him contained.

We are having serious issues with him in public. It used to be that we couldn't go out to dinner, now we are having a hard time simply taking him to stores because he *hates* confinement and feels he should be allowed to run amuck from one end of the stores to the other. Not going to happen. So then he simply melts down and throws a temper tantrum... also not acceptable. The new stroller (knock on wood) seems to have helped with some of this so far. We will see how long before the novelty wears off.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Christmas Party

And another reason why I cannot possibly be "analytical analytical"... I am actually looking forward to the Christmas party tonight. We were going to go to AB's, but he changed his mind when few of his friends at work were going. So since I already had a babysitter lined up that meant that we were going to my Christmas part.

Aside from holding the Christmas party at the wackiest place ever, a convention type center that is way too big for the group, it tends to be a nice time. There are a large number of very nice door prizes, which we never win. Favors that are usually a nice Christmas decoration. And decent food, dessert and free beer and wine. I guess I should qualify "free" as we pay $10 a head to attend the party.

So tonight we get to get dressed up and head out to mingle! We will probably be home early, we typically leave after dessert and door prizes and BEFORE the karaoke machine gets broken out. Maybe that's why I always remember it as a nice time...


I spent the afternoon going over a paper I am writing with a coworker. CW is a good friend of mine and has been since I started here. He has offered me a lot of really good advice and been there for me to vent to. I was pleased that he was happy with the state of the paper... yes the one I had been procrastinating... and sees the end in sight.

I remember writing a paper in grad school and we would go through countless iterations and redos of the data. It drove me nuts. So to have the CW say "looks good, change this and send it off" just kind of freaks me out. I mean, are you sure you don't want to read it over at least 50 more times?

We had a nice chat afterwards, we always do. He is really excited for my promotion, that it finally happened. I cried in his office last year when I did not get promoted and he knew the issues. He reminded me not to slack off this year and said if I maintain step that next promotion is right around the corner.

After that I came back to my office and my good PM drove out to visit. He *never* does this, so I knew there was more up than just dropping off the box from FedEx. He sat down and inquired as to my funding status for next year, seriously concerned about how my project is being transitioned to the client and thus cutting my time to next to nothing after March. He repeatedly stated how much he wants me to remain on the project and how he wants to put me on another task or, if funded, hand me the IR&D project. That would be so cool... we just have to wait and see!

So now that I have had a stellar afternoon at work with a couple people who I greatly respect pumping me up with compliments I am going to leave before anyone walks into my office and decides to detract from my happiness! Instead, I am going to pick up Leif and we are going to go pick up the house and hang out before the babysitter gets there!

Have a super weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Honor and Ears

Burrr, it is cold! I am turning into such a wuss with the cold, it is sad.

So today’s topic is “honor”. What does it take for you to tell someone you are “honored” to do something for them? Honor is, IMO, a huge and heavy word. I remember first thinking about this in grad school when I was assembling my committee. I had a few of the people I asked respond to me saying that they were honored to sit on my committee. My initial thought was that it was weird, *I* am the one who is honored to have them sit on my committee, not the other way around. Sitting on a committee is a tedious job.

This came to mind yesterday again. I have come up with, what I think, is a great proposal idea. It stemmed out of a brainstorming session I had with my good project members a few months ago. I had hedged onto an idea with one of my CWs and we bounced the thought back and forth a few times in the meeting, then it slid out of lack of interest from the other team members in favor of a different approach. Well I think I found a wonderfully appropriate avenue for this idea and the call for proposals *just* came out. I e-mailed CW and asked if he agreed about pursuing this avenue and if so, would he consider working with me on it. Writing a proposal is a commitment that you are not reimbursed for (until the later stages if your proposal makes it that far). So it is a favor to ask someone to do for you. And for me, being relatively new here (at least compared to my CW who has been here 15 years), writing for a call that is not one of our main clients, this will be a big challenge. I need someone more experienced to help me here.

CW wrote back to me yesterday about what a wonderful idea it is and that he would be “honored” to work with me on this. Why does this sound so weird to me? Once again, it is ME that is honored that he would accept to help me with this. Is it an issue of self confidence? Why do I feel so weird about hearing someone say this?

We took Leif to an ENT doc this morning to talk about tubes for his ears. He does fall into that “tubes recommended” category by number of ear infections. Fortunately he doesn’t have fluid behind his ear routinely, or get really sick with an ear infection. So for those reasons he is on the lower end of being recommended. It isn’t a must, but he will probably benefit from them. If it wasn’t that he is just not responding well to everyday antibiotics, or that I worry about him being speech delayed, I might opt out. But it is probably a good thing to do.

Well it is lunchtime and I am hungry. So I am going to go fetch food. Likely a run to Safeway where I can pick up a few groceries (snack for Leif’s class tomorrow), a latte and something from the Deli for lunch. Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Moving forward

I had a long diatribe on my excessively crummy day yesterday written up, but then couldn’t get logged on to upload it. Now that I read it over it sounds whiny and stupid. So I am moving forward.

Leif fell and konked himself on the head at daycare yesterday. This was after they decided to try a new “control” method with him. Ha! He has, overnight, turned into a climber. This I am blaming solely on C… she spent Saturday afternoon instructing him in her monkey ways while we were busy watching Harry Potter. ;-)

The new “control” method is to basically tell Leif “no” once, and then ignore him. He sees being told “no” as a way to get attention. So it is a fast guarantee that he will repeat the offending behavior. I gave my approval for this “technique” and he promptly proved why one should not be standing on a table by falling off. Later in the day he apparently became very frustrated with this new management technique and so would get on the table and stomp his foot to GET someone’s attention that “hello, I am doing something I am not supposed to, come chase me off the table”. His teacher told me this morning that she caught him trying to walk on the window sill. Ugh.

I had some “sad” news yesterday; my good project is coming to a close, sooner than initially thought. I am so disappointed. It is coming to a close for a good reason; we are transferring the technology to the client starting Jan 1 (pushed up from July 2006). They will do the process optimization and deal with running their own client samples for demos. We had hoped to retain this capability here. As AB pointed out, “well that means that they will be licensing the patent asap, right?” Yes, it does. Which means royalties. Everything you want to see come out of a well run project… concept, research, proof of concept, patent, working process, happy client. It is a model of a well run project.

Still I am sad. This has been the best project I have worked on here. I have loved my time on that project. Seeing it end is like seeing a good friend move away. I am reminding myself that even though I have loved this project, when my own money comes in after the first of the year, it was going to take a hit because my time availability would plummet. It is a good thing.

Tonight I have plans to head out for a little Christmas shopping at the mall. I really, really need to get things purchased, wrapped and shipped. I had such a good ahead start this fall and then let it sit. So now I am scrambling. Couple that with the fact that my trip to Target on Sunday was less than productive. Ugh.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cue the violins

Leif was up and unhappy at 4:30am. By 5am, I had him back down and sleeping.

5:20am hits and he is back up and cranky. I get him coaxed back down at 5:30am, small miracle.

5:40am and he is wailing again.

AB sits up and groans "well I guess *I* wasn't meant to sleep this morning".

Cue the violins.

Friday, December 02, 2005



I had a weird night. I woke up at 6:41am, amazed that Leif was still asleep (he was up at 3am). I thought about that I hadn't talked to V about when we were shopping this weekend, Saturday or Sunday, then went back to sleep, figuring I would call her about 9am. At about 6:50am, Leif started fussing and so I went to his bedroom. On the way there I got to wondering why my house was still messy... the housecleaner comes on Fridays... Then a major "oh shit!" It isn't Saturday morning, it is Friday morning and I am LATE! I pulled Leif out of the crib and yelled at Hans to get up and help get him ready while I get in the shower. I was so confused.

It snowed yesterday. It even snowed enough that when we got home Leif and I got to build a reasonably sized snowman. He thought the snow was hi-larious. He kept going "oh oh oh" when he would take a step. He tasted the snow, but was relieved when he found out he did not *have* to eat snow for dinner. He played outside, Winny was in heaven with the snow. I shoveled some, AB shoveled some and then we went in for the night. LOVE the snow.

This morning Leif decided to remove the star garland from the tree. We thought this might happen, so something will need to be done with that. Leif is really cracking me up with the tree. This year I bought a couple small trees to distract him from the large tree. Ha. Well they are now *my* decorative trees, afterall, why would Leif opt to play with small trees when the large one is right there?

I am really surprised though (knocking on wood) how gentle Leif is being with the tree. "Gentle" is not a word I would use to describe Leif most often. We do have the non-breakable ornaments on the bottom and breakable ones up top just in case. And I also neurose about Leif pulling the tree over, which AB assures me cannot happen because it is too heavy and huge. (Those words do not give me confidence, they worry me more.)

I am starting to worry a little more about Leif and OCD however. ;-) Leif tried to help me finish decorating the tree on Wednesday. This was his routine:

1. Remove ornament from ornament box.
2. Hang (or get help hanging) the ornament on the tree.
3. Admire ornament for 20 seconds and say "oooh".
4. Remove ornament.
5. Return ornament to ornament box.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 with new ornament.

Leif really seems to like the Sesame Street character ornaments, that for some reason, I have had for a number of years. He spins them and likes to watch them swing back and forth. If they aren't Sesame Street however, they are removed. Now that the ornament box has been moved for the season, he puts the ornaments in a neat little pile.


So Leif has a few new things he is doing and saying. First off is the dishwasher. He knows how to operate the dishwasher better than I do. If the dishwasher is running he will go into the kitchen and turn it off by hitting the "reset" button, despite my screaming "NOOoooo!"

We luckily have a "lock" on the dishwasher. This only slows him down because he has figured out that if the "reset" button doesn't beep, to press the "lock" button... twice... then push "reset". This buys us a few seconds before having to start the noisy thing again... from start.

The good part about him LOVING the dishwasher is that he is really into unloading it right now. (Even if it is dirty... ick.) He starts with the silverware, takes one item, goes to the silverware drawer, opens it, deposits item in drawer and goes to get next item. This is a great way to keep him busy while we quickly unload the rest of the dishes (as long as the steak knives are put in the drawer quickly first). Leif LOVES to help.

Leif's vocabulary has also been increasing. "Cacker" and "shoose" is old news and commonplace now. We now have "sheez" (cheese)... notice the trend with food? He most definitely is our son... We also have "upsy" when he wants to be picked up (from "upsy daisy") and "bubbas" when he wants us to blow bubbles. "Uh oh" is also far more commonly used in an appropriate sense than I prefer.

Leif got his second dose of flu shot this morning and didn't even cry. I am positive it is because his adrenalin was so high from running around the doctor's office like a wild beast. (ugh)

Well I must go work in the lab for a little while. Everyone have a super weekend!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A quiet Thursday

Today is shaping up to be a nice day. Leif had us (ha ha ha, I mean "ME") up at 5:15am. Little turkey. Would not go back to sleep. At 6am I got him out of his crib and plopped him in front of a Baby Einstein movie with a sippy cup of milk. I woke up AB and pointed him sleepily towards the couch while I dressed up warm to go out and walk the dog. I have been a slacker about this the past few days.

Damn it was cold! I actually started running to warm up. It felt good, too bad I didn't actually wear my running shoes, and instead had my warm "snow clogs" on. I don't know why they call them that, they aren't "clogs", they have a heel on them. Anyways, I was able to run some.

We got back and I showered and got ready, walked out to the living room to relieve AB and noticed that it was snowing! Yay! I pointed it out to Leif, but I don't think he got what I was trying to show him. Oh well. We got ready to go and at 8am we had maybe a half inch of snow on the ground! Yay!

That half inch of snow in combination with stupid traffic being rerouted to MY route to work caused a major traffic jam to get on the highway to work. Tonight coming home is going to be hell. Tomorrow I think I will take Leif to get his second flu shot on the way in to work and then leave early in an effort to avoid the traffic. Today, no such luxury.

I have little things to do all day, but nothing major. I have a paper I need to work on writing. AB asked me this morning how long I have been threatening to write this paper... oh about since last February. Got to get it done and out.

Yesterday my good project team was INSTRUMENTAL in helping me get some names down to replace the people who had cancelled on my section of the upcoming ACS meeting that I am chairing. I had the required 6, then my two industry talks bailed. I now have another four people to ask. Conveniently (or not) my section turned into an "invited talks only" section. I signed on to do a "contributed talks section", but this changed, somewhere along the lines.

It also made me happy this morning to see the Dow up 101 points so far today and nearing the 11,000 mark. This, of course, prompted me to go take a look at my 401K... doing nicely. What I am really, really stoked about is a particular stock that I started buying about 6-8 months ago. After hanging out doing not a whole lot for a few months, the last two months have shown significant action. I was buying it at about $27 a share and today it posted an all time high of $39 a share. That's a $12 increase per share in 2 months. I am so kicking myself for not doing as AB suggested and taking $1000 (on top of what I had already been putting in) and investing it. I kept hmmm'ing the notion, fearful of the stock taking a dive and losing the $$... it wouldn't be classified as one of those "safest" investments per se... like oh, Johnson and Johnson, or Microsoft. It is a tech stock, and they have been doing alright the past few months in general as the industry is set for a rebound and possibly an unveiling of next generation technology. I, unfortunately, cannot divulge what particular stock I purchased. Instead I will just chat about it and make everyone wonder. ;-)

Well I need to get something going this morning. Everyone have a great day.