Like pettin' a cat
Have you noticed that? These little critters of ours are so insubstantial weight-wise then when you "pet" them or rub them you just end up pushing them away, like a cat. At least they're easier to hug than a cat.
Friday, September 16, 2005
To commenters on this blog...
Thank you all. I really appreciate your feedback. And I appreciate every new "face" that adds her two cents. When I started this blog it was meant to be a journal for Emma and me, something I could keep to show her later what her life and her weirdo mama were like in the early days. I still plan to do that. But...

Now the blog seems to be more. It's another way to communicate with my friends. Every time a new commenter posts I feel like I've gained a new friend. I know everything I post isn't relevant or interesting to everyone, but I'll bet it's something you didn't know before you came here ;)

Anyway...thanks for your comments. If anyone who reads A Deviated Path would like to be added to my blog roll just ask, my email is on this page. My only stipulation is that you update your blog fairly regularly; once every couple of months isn't enough to feed my habit ;)
Baby Burrito
My brother was home from Germany for surgery on his leg when Emma was born. His surgery was the week before she came and he was barely ambulatory. Mom brought him over to our house for a few days right after I got home from the hospital. She had both of her invalids under one roof taking care of each other. I was just glad to have an experienced dad (3 kids) on hand. Sometime during his stay he offered to take the late shift, giving me and M. a break. I was sure he'd have things fully under control. Sure enough, when I came downstairs in the morning, this is what I found. A professionally wrapped burrito baby:

The rest of the story is that, no, he didn't have an easy time of it. She was awake from about 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. for him (just like she did for us).
Blast from the Past
It is truly hard for me to believe Emma was ever this small:
Early birthday gift
I put together Emma's birthday gift today on my lunch hour. I was excited for her to see it. She seemed to like it pretty well and I'm sure she'll be discovering new features for a long time to come.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Checking in before bed
We had a great day helping Noni celebrate. We shopped (as always!), enjoyed a yummy supper out, and watched her open her presents. Popi went all out with his gift of a candy necklace ;) The cake was delicious, if I may say so myself. Emma was entertaining as always and I think it's safe to say we all enjoyed our day.
I Almost Forgot!
How could I forget to tell you this!?! Emma walked into the middle of the room this evening. She was playing with the diaper box in the corner and then headed my direction. She walked about 6 feet and then stood there for a minute. Then sat down. I was so excited for her.
Copying Allie (sort of)
Here is a video of Emma watching Baby Monet. I want you to pay special attention to her feet and hands. Anyone who says watching TV is passive hasn't seen my baby ;) She does this all the time; when she's eating, when she's riding in her car seat, and when she's watching TV. Does anyone else's baby fidget all the time like this?

This is Emma's lovey
We've discussed loveys many times on the mommy board and I could never find a picture online to show Emma's. Here a photo of her Tigger blanket...

The rubber corner is for teething and the other corner showing has crinkly stuff in it.
Bedtime routine
Every night it's the same, even the parts that don't make sense. First Mommy readies the bath while Daddy undresses Emma in his lap. Then when the water is ready Mommy will come in remove the diaper while Daddy holds Emma up. Then he calls her name and signs bath.

I put her in the tub in the kitchen sink. Lately her game has been "let's see what I can grab from the windowsill." We wash face with plain water, then use soap to wash back, arms, hands, underarms, chest. Rinse. Soap up the washcloth again and wash feet and legs (the really dirty parts). Rinse washcloth in bathwater and then wash tidbits, then back end. Finally grab water bottle and spray her hair wet, wash with shampoo, rinse. Then lift out of the water and put her on her hoodie towel. This is where she begins to whine/complain. Bundle her up, let Daddy give her a kiss goodnight, grab prepared bottle. Head upstairs.

From the minute her back hits the changing table it's wrestle the baby time. Dry off feet, dry off bum, put on diaper, all the while she's complaining. But her complaints seem obligatory, without much conviction. Somehow she added this whining part to the routine and she's very reliable at it. She starts peeling her diaper tabs open while I try to wrestle her pajamas onto her. Right leg, right arm, left arm, left leg. Now she starts escalating, almost hollering. Snaps become a real fight, which I always win through superior strength and maneuvering.

Then pick her up, still hollering, and take her to the glider. She's waiting for her bottle. I think that's the whole gist of it. Getting dressed is this major inconvenience between her and her last bottle of the day. She grabs the bottle as soon as she can reach it and she plunges it into her mouth. She holds the bottle herself now. Only occasionally needing me to nudge it up so she can get the last drops. She sucks it dry; I can hear her pulling air. Once she realizes it's over the complaining starts again. Especially when I wipe her chin. I pick her up and lay her on her back in the crib. The complaining finally stops when I pop in her pacifier. She rolls over on her side and I tuck Tigger into her arms. I can see her whole body relax when she's all tucked in. I tell her I love her and leave the room.
Cow torment
Those of you who know me from BIO know how a feel about cows. I'm not a fan until they're in plastic packaging. I have many legitimate reasons for my cow resentment which I won't tackle now. But this is the time of year I dread, dread, dread.

They're weaning the calves. The mom's I know who've weaned their babies try to make the process as gentle as possible. Some babies wean themselves over time. Not so with cows. Farmer Brown moves the cows to one side of the road and the calves to the other. Then when baby gets hungry he starts bawling for mama, when mama gets engorged or hears her calf she starts bawling, then you have beef on both sides of the road bawling constantly for about the next 48 hours, day and night. It's horrible to listen to and it's loud. I hate it. The cries are just starting now...


Monday, September 12, 2005
My humble furniture...
As you view some of my videos you will see my home; my humble, humble home. I'd just like to point out that in my entire life I've bought one piece of real, new furniture for my house. That's our couch. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Everything else in my house is either built by my husband or passed to us by relatives. OK, I do have a couple of Sauder pieces that we put together, my computer desk, shelves and Emma's closet. Every once in awhile I get the urge to purchase something nice and new. It's not like we can't afford it. It's just that I get overwhelmed at the futility of it. I can't have anything nice. Two big dogs can ruin anything. It either has hair permanently woven into it, scratches or chew marks in it, or smells. Sometimes all of the above.

I do not believe in allowing animals on the furniture. Unfortunately I didn't win that argument. That means the two easy chairs in my living room (courtesy his parent's discards) are the dog beds. When an actual human comes to visit I have to throw towels over the chairs before they're fit to sit in. I hate it.

Now we have a small child. Time to run out and buy new furniture? Probably not. The coffee table and end tables in my living room were built by M. for his college apartment. Very sturdy, but beyond crappy finish now. Our kitchen table, passed to us by my parents who probably bought them circa 1969 from Sears and Roebuck. I desperately want to replace them but my kitchen is so small I don't know what I would like that would fit. Every bed in the house we got from his parents. Dressers...his and my parents. I have several pieces from my grandmothers. One from his aunt. I have two pieces my grandfather built. My design scheme would be best described as "hodgepodge" and "beyond hope."

The end table that appears in Emma's bedroom, also the Sears and Roebuck 1969 newlywed order. We did buy her a new crib and combo dresser. But her bookshelves are some old thing M. had that we painted white and gave new life. Man, the more I write about this the more it sucks. I think I'll stop now.
About the videos on this blog
Do I have the expectation that you'll watch them all? No, of course not. I realize that all of you don't find my daughter as endlessly fascinating as I do. I put them here because I do have a reasonable expectation that Noni will watch them all, multiple times probably, and love every second of them. So humor a besotted mama and her mama too, there's no pressure on you.
Playing with Beads
Emma is playing with beads here. I found it pretty entertaining watching her take in the odd properties of these beads which wouldn't entirely go into the toy bin.

Macaroni Hound
Strangely Emma seems to prefer warmed over macaroni. I'm thinking maybe I'll try wheat pasta elbows with parmesean. Do you suppose she'd care about the difference?

The Flight That Fought Back
I watched it. I couldn't decide whether to watch it until 9:00 p.m. when it was supposed to start. I knew it would be emotionally draining and I couldn't decide whether to put myself through that. After watching it I'm very glad that I did. As I figured I boo-hoo'ed through half of it. It was really a just-the-facts-ma'am documentary. They used actual recordings from the flight, phone messages, the highjackers transmissions, and reenactments with actors. Various family members gave their recollections of that day.

Flight 93 needs to be remembered. After Khobar Towers, the Cole, the Berlin disco bombing, the embassy bombings in Africa, and the 1993 attack on the WTC, this was the first time Americans actually fought back. Those people gave their lives to save many more. At the time their actions were probably primarily motivated by the fact that they wanted to get home to their families, but they knew they had to act or be led to slaughter. They really were heroes and deserve to be remembered.
Thumbs up
Emma has learned to put her stacking toys on her thumb like a ring.
Rounding out the day, here's supper
For supper Emma ate grilled chicken, potatos and broccoli. Given a tray with all three of those options she ate up the broccoli first. All of this was self fed. Woo hoo!
Grilled cheese sandwich is a big hit
It was the first time we tried it. Now I wish I had done it earlier. She ate at least half a sandwich. I cut it into small pieces. Daddy had to pull the plate away because she had jammed so many pieces in her mouth she needed to stop and chew. I'm starting to feel a lot better about her self-feeding and eating "people food" instead of baby food.
September 11, 2001
I never planned to blog about 9/11, but I came across this Esquire article this morning and it pulled me in. It's about the quest to find the identity of the man in this heartbreaking photo (credited to Richard Drew, AP). This photo is seared into my mind from September 12, 2001, when I first saw it in the newspaper. I look at it intently, looking for clues of identity myself, even though part of me feels I should look away. Here is the link to the article, which is very long, but certainly rewarding.

I will never forget the confusion and uncertainty of that day; we had no idea when it would end, the attack on us. I cried as the towers fell, confusing and worrying my nephew who was only 3 at the time, about to turn 4. Thankfully I was on vacation with my family, on the Gulf coast of Florida. The people most important to me were at hand, safe with me. I feared for my brother and sister-in-law as they are both Army and I knew what I was seeing in NY and DC and PA signified the need for us to "do something."

Since that time I have held the horror of that day close. I never have forgotten. I went through an obsessive phase where I collected books and articles covering the event. I own at least twelve books on 9/11 and have access to several more. I still have the Tallahassee newpaper that tried to explain what we knew the very next day. On the one year anniversary of 9/11 I was with my brother again, in New Orleans.

(I'm about to break one of my own rules on this blog and go political so you're being fairly warned, if you take offense easily then turn away now.)

Another thing I choose to remember on this day is that those who perpetrated this attack on us rejoice on September 11. They celebrated scenes like that above, congratulating each other and rejoicing in our sorrow. They hate us with the kind of hate that cannot be mitigated or reasoned with. I remember that this attack was one in a battle against civilization, against a social contract they choose not to be a part of. They choose the side of barbarism, a side where massacring a school full of children is justified for "the cause." They would love nothing more than to drag the world backwards 1000 years.

In their world I would be draped head to toe in black so as not to inflame their desires. They have such poor impulse control that they would cover me to "save" me from their gaze of lust. My father and my brother and my husband would be my absolute rulers. If I stepped out of line and dishonored them they would be fully justified in beating me to death. I cannot understand how feminist organizations in this country like NOW or Codepink can turn a blind eye to their sisters who are being subjugated around the world. We're told we should "respect cultural differences". Well excuse me, but I was born into a world where we believe in an individual being endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Because of the accident of the geographic location of their birth these burkha-clad sisters are left to their fate with an exhortation for us to be "tolerant" of their culture. Let me tell you how tolerant we are here, we tolerate a whole class of "citizens" who do nothing but denigrate and find fault with our own culture and our way of life every day. We can be damned tolerant. But hell if I want to tolerate people who relegate all their women to virtual house arrest and slavery. (Whew! Building up a full head of steam here).

Codepink wants to stand vigil outside of military hospitals where recovering soldiers lay. They "support" our troops by saying they want them brought home safely now. Bullshit. I support our troops because they have taken the war for our civilization off of our soil to where the source of trouble lay. 9/11 was when they brought the battle to our shores. Do you remember that? Did you like that? When I say I support our soldiers I mean I support them in their mission. Spreading democracy and freedom in the Middle East is a start toward undermining the totalitarian aspirations of Islamofascists (as distinct from peace-loving muslims). So far we've seen democratic elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, a long overdue pretense of them in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Libya voluntarily giving up their WMD program, Lebanon ousting the oppressive neighbors from Syria and the students demonstrating and agitating for freedom in Iran. All of these things are happening because the seed of freedom we took to Iraq is taking root in the Middle East. When the Lebanese protested and demonstrated for freedom they held up banners of President Bush and looked to the U.S. to support their bid for freedom. And we supported them. I am proud of my country, I'm proud of our soldiers and while I am able to see our faults and understand that some Americans will always question our motivations, I am proud to be an American. (cue up Lee Greenwood, or on second thought, don't)
Two whole pancakes
Emma ate two whole pancakes for breakfast. That's a little less remarkable when you realize that M. makes his pancakes thin and about three inches in diameter. But still, I've never seen her so dedicated to pancake eating. Good girl!
Gulf Coast aerial photos
These photos from Murdoc Online are remarkable for the fact that they show shoreline that was directly hit by the hurricane and the surge, unlike New Orleans, which sustained most of it's damage from the flooding. There are photos here, especially in the middle, where it looks like the coast was scrubbed clean. Then there will be a high-water line where all of the debris is deposited. That debris is what's left of the homes and buildings in the surge path. The debris line looks like nothing more than a pile of matchsticks.