Oh and...

Nov. 10th, 2009 02:42 pm
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This is the link to Buggie's wishlist, for anyone who is interested.
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Click here for the favorites, or here for the entire collection!

Halloween

Oct. 31st, 2009 06:47 pm
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Just some shots of The Bear Family (mostly L) over our three Halloween expeditions: Boo at the Zoo last weekend, the UUCFM Halloween party last night, and trick or treating this afternoon.

L with his first piece of Halloween candy, at the zoo:


Playing piano at the church party:


The two of us, also at the party:


And after trick or treating today, with his two favorite treats (and let me just brag a little bit that my son's favorite treats of the day were an apple and a balloon-dinosaur, not any of the candy!):



Happy Halloween!
~ D ~
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(Sorry for those who are seeing this multiple times.  I am reposting here so that my family can see it as well.)

I can NOT believe we're at 22 months now. That number seems so small for how momentous it feels. I can't believe how he's grown and changed, and how much he grows and changes every single day. The last time I made a monthly update post (which admittedly was not last month, and may not have even been the month before...), I was listing the words and signs that he knew. I couldn't even begin to try to do that now. He talks and talks and talks. Just minutes ago, he came up to me with a piece of his shapes puzzle (the correct piece) and said, "parallelogram!" What?!

He also knows all the letters (and what words correspond with them in his letters puzzle) and numbers 1-9. (He doesn't quite get zero, referring instead to it as "o".) Sometimes he can count, as high as 6, but that's not consistent. He can identify all kinds of animals - I think he knew "rhinoceros" before he knew "dog." Also this week, he's learned to say his name, and knows that it starts with L.

His favorite things right now are his puzzles and books, balls, the water - especially at the beach, where he can play in the "booms," and Sesame Street. Oh, and climbing out of his new toddler bed, now that he's figured out that he can. He gets himself up from naps, and we have to put the baby gate up at night so that he doesn't get up in the morning and get himself into any kind of trouble before coming in to wake us up.

We go through phases of pickiness with foods, but now that he's more able to articulate what he wants (unless he is tired or otherwise cranky), it's easier to deal with than it was even a month or so ago. Favorites are macaroni & cheese, pasta, pizza, bagels, and various kinds of bread (homemade). His soy allergy seems to be fading too, though we haven't yet gotten him set up with allergy testing. We're working on that now.

He has a bunch of new teeth in the last month or so, too. Four, I think? Yeah. He's up to 14 now, and he only had 10 when we came down to Florida!

I am amazed by him, every single day.
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A few weeks ago, we were at Walgreens to get our seasonal flu shots, and the other man who was waiting there with us struck up a conversation - mostly with L. It turns out, he's a local fire commissioner. He told us who in the district to contact about getting L a tour of the firehouse. We'd actually intended to do it for Fire Prevention Week (which I wouldn't even know about if it weren't for FireMom, so thanks for that!) last week, but we didn't make it there until today.

Liam had an absolute blast, though! We told him we were going to see fire trucks, so he was very excited. Though I don't think he quite believed us when we walked in:


Once he got inside, though, and got to sit in an actual truck, he was thrilled!


He wanted to push all the buttons:


And try on the gear (or at least, the driver's sunglasses):


He got a hat of his own:


And even pretended to take an emergency call!



What an exciting day for a newly-22-month-old!

(More pictures, plus these in larger size here.)


~ D ~
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OK, so we still have blistering hot temperatures (it's going to be in the 90s on my birthday - I can't say I've experienced that very many times!), and there are no changing leaves. But we were/are determined to have some real autumn experiences nonetheless. We bought canned pumpkin this week to make pumpkin bread, and today we went to the park's Pumpkin Patch event.



Liam played with baby pumpkins:


and bounced in a bounce-house:



... while we stood nearby and watched:


And then we went on a hayride:


As you can see, we had a great time! :)

New bed

Sep. 21st, 2009 09:05 pm
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For those friends & family who haven't already seen this on Twitter and/or Facebook, L has a new bed! Daddy is putting him to bed in it even as I write this, in fact. He was very excited about it this afternoon when it'd been built, so we figured to try it out right away (though the pack & play is still set up as well, in case things go very badly tonight or in the coming nights).

Here are some pictures of getting it set up, and L exploring it for the first time. After he'd sat there for a bit, he asked for his blanket, so I went and got that (and his pillow and bears) from the pack & play, and "tucked him in," even though it was before dinner at this point. He made his cute little pretend-snore noises and pretended to go to sleep:



If only it were that easy to get him to go to sleep for real!


~ D ~

An update

Aug. 27th, 2009 09:03 am
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I never posted any kind of Buggie update this month, largely because I usually do it on (or around) the 13th, and that was the day we left Florida and he stayed behind with his Nana & Grappa. That, btw, went very well. He slept well for them (all but the very last night, when Nana had to sleep in his room with him), didn't throw any major tantrums, and was generally just a perfectly well-behaved little boy. :)

Since we've been all back together again, we've noticed him being in another development spurt. A lot of what he'd previously been signing is starting to move towards speaking. He's stringing together phrases now as well: "more cookie/bagel/puffs/etc." "up please," and the like. He also recognizes all 26 letters, and is pretty close to having the numbers down too.

Physically, he is now running all over the place (and getting into EVERYTHING!), and he LOVES the swimming pool. Swings and slides are also big favorites. He's been having a great time in Florida, and he LOVES Nana and Grappa. Unfortunately, they head back to Italy this evening, so we're spending today doing as much family stuff as we can squeeze in.


All told, Florida seems to be agreeing with all of us. The only downside at all is that we miss everyone in NY terribly - our family, our friends (who might as well be family), my chorus, and our cat. Last night, I got very homesick and sad, missing folks. So... if any of you want to visit (or move down here!), we'd love to see you! :) In the meantime, we'll try to keep updates on here semi-regularly.

Oh, and there are pictures on the photo site, from just before we left, to a few days ago.

Hope everyone is well! We all send our love!

In Florida

Aug. 18th, 2009 07:03 pm
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O & I arrived in FL, safe and sound, this afternoon.  We'd left L here with his Nana & Grappa while we flew back to Rochester, packed up our entire apartment (thanks go out to several of our friends for helping with this) and put most of it into storage (it took about 3 hours, all told).  The next morning, we began the long, three-day journey back down here by car.

Along the way, we stopped in Chapel Hill, NC, to visit the campus for UNC.  I managed to meet with a counselor in the MBA program and get a few questions answered. leaving me feeling very overwhelmed.  The plan had been to go from Chapel Hill to Gainesville... but we'd been delayed getting to NC in the first place, so we decided that didn't make a lot of sense.  So we missed out on seeing some friends, but we'll be planning a trip up that way in a few weeks to check out the Univ. of Florida.  

In any case, we're here now in Ft Myers.  Starting tomorrow, or early next week, we'll be figuring out our next move - school, work, etc. 


And hope not to have to travel very far for a while!  :)


~ D ~
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As things currently stand, we're leaving mid-August. We fly down to Ft. Myers on 8/11, drop off the first wave of stuff (and Buggie, who is going to stay down there with Nana & Grappa for a few days), then fly back to Rochester on 8/13. We'll be packing up the remainder of our stuff and putting most of it into storage locally, then taking the rest of what we need (and will fit into our car) and driving back down. We'll be leaving here on probably 8/16, to make the journey down.

Please comment if:

A. You are local and available to help us move things from our place into a UHaul, to take to the storage unit,

or

B. You are somewhere along our route and are going to want us to stop and have a meal with you (or even better, if you can offer crash space for one night, assuming you're in a logical stopping point - we will be planning to stop twice along the way).


It's going to be busybusybusy around here in the coming weeks, as we work on both packing/getting ready, and visiting with friends and family before we go. We're spending this weekend with my dad (for his bday), next weekend with my mom & her family (for Gramma's bday), and have another bday party for our friends' son the weekend before we leave. The weekdays will be full of packing, and trying to squeeze in some fun times for Buggie before we leave.

Phew!


~ D ~
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It's been a while since there was last a post on this blog, and a great deal has happened.

First and foremost, O lost his job two weeks ago. It appears that in the eyes of his former employer, getting sick twice in five months constitutes excessive absenteeism. There is probably more to the story (especially considering the state of the economy and its impact on revenues there), but it is unlikely we shall ever hear it.

Having no income, of course, also means that we will not in fact be buying the house. This, honestly, has been more a source of disappointment than the loss of the job. Mercifully, though, we got this news while there was still time to call it off, and not two months into the 30-year mortgage term.

We both decided early on to regard this as an opportunity rather than a loss, and to look ahead to the next chapter of our journey together. Rochester is no longer the tech-industry hub it once was, and for this and other reasons (including but not limited to the impending expiration of our apartment lease and the harshness of winter up here!) we have cast our eyes elsewhere. It's a big country, and the possibilities are many and varied.

The plan as it stands right now, then, is that we're going to Florida. O's family have a house down there, which will give us a place to stay while we get ourselves together, and possibly find work and a place to live down there. We are also very much interested in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina as an option, should Southwest Florida not pan out.

We're excited about this next step, and although we'll miss the friends we've made up here, it's time to make a change.



~ O ~

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Words:
C&Ps from previous lists, just to have them in the same place )
Apple, bubble, ball, up, cracker, bagel, yogurt, bum balm (heh), elbow, me (nee nee nee!), beep/ding (ning ning ning, always 3 times), la la la (if you ask him to sing), hand, hat, okay, yuck/yucky, hot, cookie, uh oh
(39, that I can think of anyway)

Animal noises: baa, moo (ooo!), oink (oh oh oh!), woof (oo oo oo!), grrrr (for lions and tigers), ssss (for snakes), neigh, quack
(if those count, it makes 47)

General report:
OMG is he picky about food these days! We have a terrible time getting vegetables into him, a lot of the time. We've taken to giving him a cup of V8 Fusion once a day because he loves that and it has veggies in it. Not ideal, but whatever works. He's also decided to be a vegetarian, it seems. Except hot dogs, apparently. He ate one of those (uncured, antibiotic-free, etc.) last night. Let me just tell you, it is NOT an easy job, feeding a picky toddler with a food allergy. But we get by. He's definitely eating enough, so we must be doing something right! :)

Sleep has gotten SO much better. In fact, he sleeps all night a lot of the time now. Not every night, but probably more than half of the time. The flip side of this, unfortunately, is that it's taking longer to get him to /go/ to sleep at night. But that's just been a few days, so we're waiting it out to see if it changes on its own. If not, we'll try something new.

He loves to be on the move, but he also loves TV (oh no!). We let him watch an episode of Sesame Street every day, if he asks for it. And he still watches his Baby Signing Time DVDs before bed at night. We're thinking of getting some of the regular Signing Time ones for variety, soon. Other than those times, and when we go for walks in his stroller, he's on the go ALL the time! You'd never know he was a late walker. :)

He loves building with blocks, reading books, listening to music, and playing with his new (to him) Little People sets (we have the house and the farm).

We're still nursing, generally twice a day, which means we've earned this:

He was nursing just once, at night. But then he decided to night-wean (via the first night he slept all night), so the "plan" got switched around. I probably could've just stopped nursing altogether at that point, and I considered it. But I really wanted to get to 18 months. Of course, now that it's a daytime thing again, he's asking for it more and more, so weaning may be more difficult. But we'll figure it out.

He's still a very happy, charming little boy. We can always tell something is wrong with him because his disposition totally changes. If he's suddenly in "brat" mode, or just generally less happy, we know he's not feeling well.

I can't believe he's a year and a half old already!
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Our offer was accepted.  Our closing date is set for August 21st!  (At least, that's what it says on our offer paperwork - I'm not sure what the chances are that that could change.)

Next step: schedule an inspection.  And hope this seller's lawyer is less of a schmuck than the lawyer for the last house we tried to buy.  :P



Eeeeeeeee!  We're buying a house!



~ D ~
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O here, taking the reins (somewhat unusually) for a post.

Perhaps it was more propitious than I had realized that the previous house deal fell through. It was very saddening at the time, but they say things happen for a reason and I think that reason just showed up.

We got a house listing via email. D was already halfway in love with it just from the description and photos online. I was somewhat less convinced, but was certainly interested enough to see it.

Which we did, yesterday.

By the time we were halfway done walking around, we were mentally redecorating. By the time we left, we'd pretty much decided how much to offer.

We put in the offer today, and should be hearing back from the sellers by the end of the day tomorrow.

Exciting stuff!

L likes the house too, and had a marvelous time exploring. Very little stops him any more, so I'm sure he'll soon be showing us all the things we need to do in order to get the house himproofed.
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Yesterday was almost entirely eaten up by car-hunting.  We test drove a few models - Chevy HHR, Hyundai Sonata & Mitsubishi Gallant, I believe.  We considered a Hyundai Elantra as well, but it's just too small for someone as tall as O, when also trying to make room for a carseat (much less two, if we have a second baby at some point!).  We also considered the Honda CR-V, but O didn't even fit behind the wheel! 

What we did learn, however, is that we really like the Hyundai Sonata.  In fact, we'd all but settled on one, but it was slightly out of our price range, and we absolutely refused to be pushed at all upward from the $200/month payment schedule we had agreed on. When we do decide to buy, though, we're fairly sure that's what we'd like to get.  Having said that, we're having second thoughts about the idea of buying at all right now.  We're looking into other options for how to deal with the car-sharing situation at least while that is still feasible.  When/if D finds work (particularly if it's before we move), this may be something we need to renegotiate.  In the meantime, we're keeping our eyes open for good deals, so if you know of any, let us know!


Today, we've mostly stayed around home, save for a quick outing to WalMart.  Buggie spent some time talking to his Nana on the webcam this morning.  Then (mostly while he napped), we rearranged things to make his play area accessible again (it was curtained off for the winter), put the screens in our windows, and packed away some unnecessary decorative clutter.  When Bug was up again, he listened to his daddy play guitar for a while, and got his hair trimmed by his mommy. 

Bug has also been very sneezy and runny-nosed today.  We really hoped it was teething-related, but as the day has gone on, it's no longer seeming like that's the case.  Either he has a cold, or he's inherited Mommy's or Daddy's seasonal allergies.  Poor little guy. 


Next weekend, we're off to spend time with D's mother & family for Mother's Day.  And then Memorial weekend, we head to visit her dad - possibly stopping to go to a friend's baby shower beforehand. 


Busybusybusy!
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Well, the day started out a bit rough. For whatever reason, I have been terribly clumsy lately (more so than usual, I mean - seriously, O's about to start calling me Bella!), and this culminated in me snagging my foot on the babygate as I climbed over it with Buggie in my arms. Down fell the gate, the Bug, and me. I skinned my knee and acquired a few bruises, but neither Buggie nor the gate were any worse for wear, and off we went to start our day in the absolutely gorgeous (80s and sunny!) weather.

We spent the morning at Lollypop Farm, visiting with the animals. Bug got to pet a goat. :) From there, we went to test drive a Prius. To be honest, we hadn't thought there would be any Prii in our price range, but a local dealership had a 2003 model there for a few thousand less than our max. In the end, though, we decided it wasn't for us - largely due to the fact that in even the slight wind we were having today, it was being blown all over the highway as O drove.

When we got home, L had his nap (a couple of hours late) and I ran out for groceries. Then the three of us played outside until dinner time. There are pictures on our photo site. (Later, we'll have some from the farm too, but they're on O's phone and I don't know where that is.) L enjoyed pushing around his new riding toy; he hasn't quite gotten the hang of riding it, but he likes to walk with it, and O & I just enjoyed being outside.

Now we've had a lovely summery meal of hot dogs, pasta salad, and corn on the cob, and when O comes down from putting L to bed, there are strawberries, Cool Whip, and angelfood cake awaiting us.


It's been a great day! :)


~ D
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(crossposted from D's LJ)

(Lots of this going around lately...)

Do any of you know anything about leasing?  I'm looking, specifically, for pros and cons (the obvious con being that after the term of your lease, you have to give the car back... and the obvious pro being the lack of a down payment).

We'll be in the market soon, I hope, and I'm just not sure which way to go because we're also still saving for a house.  But while we're living here, it would be very handy to have a 2nd car.  Especially when I find work.


Thoughts, anyone?
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So ... I mentioned that Buggie and I were battling with sick this past week.  I'm finally feeling a good bit better, left with just a terribly stuffy nose, now.  Of course, now that I'm recovering, O has it instead.  He's been pretty mopey and miserable (but has still been trying to get things done around here today - I'm not sure if that makes him extra-wonderful, or extra-dumb) since last night.  As such, it turned out to be a good thing that we ended up canceling our trip to Ithaca for family Easter.

In fact, it was even /more/ of a good thing than we realized it would be, as Buggie ended up at the doctor's office today.  (As did I, but they didn't tell me anything I didn't already know - I'm congested.)  See, even as his cold symptoms have improved, his disposition has not.  Yesterday while I was on the phone with my mom, he had a total meltdown because I took his pacifier away from him (he only gets them at bedtime and naptime).  This is totally uncharacteristic of him, and I realized he's been increasingly prone to crankies over the last several days.  He's also been trying to shove fingers into one of his ears, and crying a lot when we put him on the changing table.

I ended up Googling ear infections to determine whether they can happen without a fever.  Yep, they can.  And hey, all those symptoms I just described above?  Spot on.  His regular office was all booked up this morning, but the nurse urged me to call After Hours and get him in there.  She was quite certain it sounded like an ear infection too, and didn't want it to get worse before we got him seen. 

She was right.  Buggie's first ear infection.  I desperately hope this isn't a sign of him following in Mommy's footsteps - I had constant ear infections as a child, resulting in yearly ear tube operations starting when I was 4.  

At least he seems to like the taste of his Amoxicillin.

Partnership

Apr. 8th, 2009 06:14 pm
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I would like it to be known how wonderful O is as a husband and as a father.  He left work half an hour early today to come home because Buggie and I are sick, and didn't get much sleep last night or this afternoon.  I was concerned that it would be a rough evening, and as it was, I didn't  really do much today anyway.  I couldn't talk at all without agony until maybe an hour or two ago (and it's still sore now, but I at least CAN talk), which made Mommying challenging.

Knowing O would be here to take over for me, and that if I desperately needed him sooner, he would be here ... that's what got me through the day today.  And since he got home, he has started dinner and kept Buggie entertained for the past half hour. 

The sight of my husband doing a silly little dance to encourage our son to do the same may be the cutest and sweetest thing ever.


~ D


P.S.  ... except for Buggie shrugging when I asked him, "Why do you still have so much energy?"  That was also awfully cute.  No idea where he learned that one!
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Life with a toddler seems to mean the entire house is rarely ever healthy, all at once.  I was just saying how Buggie had recently gotten over a nasty chest cold/cough he'd had.  And now all day today he's been sneezing and I've been chasing him around with tissues.  I thought it was a teething issue, as teething seems to affect his sinuses quite a lot, but he's acting more like he doesn't feel well than like he's ouchie.  

Either way, poor little Buggles, all snuffly and sneezy, and really getting annoyed with Mommy coming at him with tissues!

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