Saturday, September 03, 2005
Carousel ride with Daddy
Here is the video of Emma's first carousel ride. Don't get dizzy!

Friday, September 02, 2005
Fair picture extravaganza!
This is for Jen and Michelle!

She was as fascinated by the letters on the ambulance:

Emma's carousel ride:

Visiting the sheep barn:

Got your nose!

The end:
Catching up
Last evening we were busy getting ready for the impending arrival of Noni and Popi for the fair tonight. I promise to take the camera battery, as well as the camera, this time. We did the “clean the rooms you’ll be using” method. Avert your eyes from all other rooms. Emma has no fear of the vacuum whatsoever. I was running over her feet with the thing and she didn’t care (it’s pretty light). Her floor in her room looks freaky without toys all over it though. Usually I put everything in a pile in the middle of the floor and she distributes it from there. I’ve actually put them in a basket for the weekend and the floor is bare. It makes her room look twice as big.
That’s Emma’s new method of expressing her displeasure. She has “found her voice” in the piercing range and is bent on using it as often as necessary. Unfortunately she was using it when I took her for a brief shopping trip to the Evil Corporate Entity. I had to use a lot of distraction to get through my errand. It saddens me to think my shopping fun might be ending soon. I looked at her yesterday and told her “Your Noni is not even going to believe it when she sees you behaving like this.”
Impotent and Helpless
That’s how I felt watching the plight of the Katrina survivors yesterday. I can hardly bear to watch the news anymore as they feature people who are not getting help. WHERE IS THE WATER? WHERE IS THE FOOD? Can’t someone airlift these people provisions? Helicopters are coming and going with people all day, can’t one bring in some relief for those already there?

Sheperd Smith is standing there talking about people collapsing around him from the heat and thirst and poor health and sanitation. He’s acting like he’s about to have a breakdown himself, literally pleading for help for these people. Hey Rupert Murdoch! Don’t you watch your own station? You’re a mega-gajillionaire, can’t you send these people some water? I know you’ve got a way to do it because you’re dropping in damned TV crews!
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Dog Harassment III
This is some film from Emma's sick day. Poor Jake. Click on the thumbnail to see the video.

Parade Swag
This is the candy that Emma got from the parade. We learned that having a baby in your lap earns you lots of thrown candy. Obviously she's not eating a lot of candy at this point, but when it's piling up at your feet you pretty much have to pick it up. Emma's cousin was also collecting it for her. Not a bad haul, eh? Sometimes small towns rock.

For additional perspective that bowl is 9" in diameter and the pile of candy is 6" high. No need to buy Halloween candy here.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Our photo did not win
All of the winners in Individual Portrait category were 8 x 10's. Apparently size does matter.
So we're at the parade and Emma and her 9 year-old cousin Rachel are doing something so stinkin' cute that I grab my digital camera to take a short film. I had forgotten to put the recharged battery back in it! Damn, damn, damn! Emma's first fair parade and I didn't have my camera. I was sooooooo disappointed. I sulked a little and then went and got my Palm Pilot and used the inferior camera in it to take these shots:

Emma being loved on from all sides:

Watching the parade:

Bucky the Clown stops by and tries to terrify my child:
Physics lesson
Right now Emma is emptying one of the storage baskets in her closet of all of the plastic clothes hangers held within. When she pulls on one and it hangs on another and won't come out she gets seriously pissed and hollers. Heh, lesson number one in the incredibly annoying properties of piles of clothes hangers.
Serious Milestone
This is one of the Big Ones. If she's doing something you don't want her to do and you tell her no she'll look at you. She might hesitate and then do it again. You say no and she looks at you and does a little bit more. But if you say no and make a motion like you're getting up to come after her she will immediately stop and step back "OK Mommy, I'm done now, see?" So she has learned that if Mommy's coming after you it's really time to stop now; even the motion toward her works. Heh.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The Fair starts tomorrow
Our county fair lasts four days, Wed. through Sat. In this area it's like a homecoming/reunion. People who were born and raised here and left to find work will return for the fair. They'll pull kids out of school to come. It's a small county fair but a pretty neat one. We have rides and games like other fairs, just on a smaller scale. The arts and crafts and baking and horticulture exhibits are usually quite extraordinary for such a small county. You wouldn't believe the quilts that are displayed. We have livestock barns filled with kids showing their prized (and prizewinning) livestock. At the end of the fair they auction the animals and local business overbid to encourage the enterprising kids.

There is a lot of bad-for-you fair food. They offer funnel cakes, cotton candy, candied apples, cheeseburgers, country ham, french fries, ice cream and even homemade apple dumplings (one of my favorites). The Lion's Club runs the BINGO. I've been losing money to them for over a decade now. The Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary does the cake wheel. The Wednesday evening program in the Grandstand is usually their big money talent (ha ha) This year it's Brian Keith (wasn't he in Family Affair?)Thursday is the Demolition Derby which draws people from far and wide, Friday night is the Tractor Pull, a great night for drunken brawls, and all day Saturday is the Horse Show (major snore). At the end of the evening on Saturday night they have a fireworks show. For years M. and I have been going every single night.

This year will be different of course. It will begin as usual with a huge picnic at MIL's which is on the fair parade route. Friends will turn her front and back yard into a parking lot. She's the last house on the right before the fairgrounds. We'll eat a yummy potluck meal and line up by the street to watch the parade. As soon as the parade is over everyone walks to the fair. We usually head straight for the exhibits to see all the wonderful work that has been done over the last year. This year we'll be looking for Emma's pic.

This year will be different because of Emma. The nights will be shorter and not as frequent. We figure to attend Wed. and Fri. My aunt moved a family picnic from Sunday to Saturday which ruined the last night of the fair for us. We're still looking forward to it though. Emma's first fair. Another milestone.

Sadly, it looks like we'll be kicking it off in the rain. Eh, we've done that before too.
I hope you gassed up this morning!
I sure did. On my way to work I was shocked to note that gas was still $2.59, which it has been for a week. I pulled right in and filled up, writing a check for gas for the first time in my life. $36.91. By the time I left work gas was up to $2.79 at the same pump. It's not like we weren't warned. You can thank Ms. Katrina for that increase. Are we really going to see $3.00 a gallon? Oh, please no.

I can tell you it has curtailed my driving. I've thought of planning a trip over the mountains at least three times in the last two weeks and decided against because my shopping needs weren't important enough to justify the fuel expenditure. This is definitely going to slow down economic growth. I'm certainly spending less.
Back on schedule today
Emma woke up warm again today but I dosed her with Motrin and took her back to the babysitter's. She's poking her fingers in her mouth a lot and puckering her lips so I see that as further confirmation that we're dealing with teething.

She was in great spirits all morning so I felt fine with leaving her with Mary. Emma got excited when I stopped the car and she realized where she was. She was squealing and flapping her arms as we went in the door. She hit the ground crawling and before I left had turned over a kitchen chair trying to pull herself up. Oy.

It looked like Mary was getting items ready to put in the local county fair which starts tomorrow. I am actually planning to brave the lines after work to enter a "photographic portrait" of Emma. It's not so much that I want to win a ribbon; I could care less about that. I just like the idea of displaying her picture for everyone in the county. ;) I'm hoping it won't be a total zoo at registration.

Here is the picture I plan to enter:

I just noticed, she looks cross-eyed in that picture. lol. Oh well.
Big Easy in Big Trouble
I may be wrong, but I think the mainstream media is getting confused here. They seem to think the story of Katrina has shifted away from New Orleans, which “dodged a bullet” and moved to Mississippi. This is not true. New Orleans has suffered a catastrophe. After the winds of the hurricane have died down the waters continue to rise, even now. The levee break is flooding the city. Many people whose homes survived the hurricane were later rescued from their roofs when the waters continued to rise around them. Many of those survivors are sure that hundreds of people are going to be found dead in their attics. I hope that’s not true. I’m sure that as the damage assessments come in over the next few days we are going to find out that New Orleans is truly devastated and than they can’t be written off as being “lucky again.”

If you want to see some first hand reporting, not filtered through national media, check out where the New Orleans Time-Picayune published an internet only edition today. As of 9:40 a.m. this morning the newspaper staff was evacuating their city building while they could still get out.

UPDATE: Ugh. One of the pitfalls of being a minor league/hobby blogger is that you blog on a topic and then go out and find that someones else has done it so much better. So for the better post you can visit Stephen Green's Vodkapundit Aftermath

UPDATE II: Dear Lord, the news keeps getting worse and worse. My heart is breaking for so many people who have lost everything.
Monday, August 29, 2005
It's settled then
She's teething, that's got to be it. I can see little nubbies coming up on the bottom, that would be numbers 7 and 8. The trauma of this left her with no coping skills whatsoever. Every setback, every stumble, every little thing had her dissolving into tears. She's just this little alien baby that has replaced my sweet Emma.

The one benefit of all this is that she's coming to me for comfort. I'd pick her up and she'd bury her face in my chest and wallow (and bawl). I was worried about blowing my sick day for a baby that turns out not to be sick, but mom pointed out that regardless, this was a day she really needed the comfort of her mommy. So I'm glad I was here.
DO NOT give your baby Cheetos!
Oh my goodness! I set up Baby Einstein and put Emma on my lap and shared a baggie of Cheetos Naturals (no trans fats!) with her. I'd bite off an end and give it to her. We did this till I'd had enough and then I took the baggie, not quite empty, away. She had a total breakdown. Apparently she wasn't done. She was inconsolable. I don't know if she was showing solidarity with Britney Spears or channeling her own recessive southern-white-trash genes, but sheesh! I finally moved her to her high chair and started off her lunch with tiny Cheetos bites. Those suckers are powerful, I'll have to use them carefully.
Home sick today
Emma woke up with the fever again this morning. I gave her the Motrin again and 45 mins. later fever was down to 100.2. Mom recommended against to going to babysitter, M. said he'd send her. I agonized for a little while and decided to stay home with her. I'm trying to guard my sick days for later use. But I don't want to send my fevered child to contaminate other children when I don't know where this is heading. Finally I decided to stay home with her. Storm watching might have tipped the scale a little. ;)

The fever seems to have abated but my god is she needy. She is dissolving into tears at everything. This is so unlike her. She woke up from her morning nap in this state. Clung to me and wouldn't consider playing on the floor. When I put her in her high chair for lunch she acted as though I'd killed her favorite pet. Sheesh. Twenty minutes later lunch was OK. Go figure.

After lunch she is much better. She had her second dose of Motrin and now she's crawling all around the living room and jabbering to herself.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Congratulations to anyone in the Poconos who has gotten knocked up recently ;)
Today's Emma update
It was a good day. I've had her in long pants for two days and she's adapted her crawl to compensate for the slippery wooden floors. Now her back legs go knee, foot, knee, foot, knee, foot. It's pretty funny to watch, like a little crab. I think she's pretty clever to find a way that keeps her from collapsing all the time.

Today we exploited the joy of "the chase." Once or twice when she's been crawling and I've bent over to pick her up she would accelerate and squeal and giggle trying to get away from me. I mentioned it to M. and he started chasing her around the living room floor. It was hilarious. She was squealing and giggling and her eyes were as bright as can be. I tried to take a movie but didn't capture the height of excitement.

Finally, she had a fever today. Around 5:30 we took her temperature and it was 102.1. That's a real fever. I called my Mom to check in and strategize treatment. We decided on Motrin. Half an hour after she took it the fever was gone. She had energy back and was ready to play again. Now that's the way a medicine should work.
Hurricane Katrina
I'm like most people who have watched hurricanes for years, I'm used to a lot of big fizzles. But this one looks way scary. The fact that it's directly headed for a city that sits below sea level sounds like the worst case scenario possible. One of the bloggers I read is similarly worried for those in New Orleans. He's got an analysis that was done on the potential devastation in the New Orleans Times-Picayune a couple of years ago.

Georges, a Category 2 storm that only grazed New Orleans, had pushed waves to within a foot of the top of the levees. A stronger storm on a slightly different course -- such as the path Georges was on just 16 hours before landfall -- could have realized emergency officials' worst-case scenario: hundreds of billions of gallons of lake water pouring over the levees into an area averaging 5 feet below sea level with no natural means of drainage.

He's got more analysis there, go have a look.
Sunday morning pics
I think this picture gives a good clue to the little girl she's going to become:

Here she is coming at me with mischief in her eyes: