Saturday, January 28, 2006
Flash temper on display
She doesn't cope with frustration well. I guess we all start like this.

The Sacred Crayons
You would not believe the effects that crayons have on my daughter. I've been wanting for Emma to start playing with crayons, drawing or scribbling. I give her one and it goes straight to her mouth. I take it away and show her how to scribble on paper. I place it in her hand and show her. Meanwhile, she's obsessing about the box of 24 crayons in my hand. She doesn't want to scribble, she wants the box. So I try several more times to get her interested in the paper, even trying to hide the box. No go.

Finally I hand her the box. Emma is so excited she is practically vibrating. As she pulls the crayons out one by one you can see her hand trembling. So that's the game. Take all the crayons out and put them all back in. Except when they won't go back in. I'm freaking out because she's going to break them and she's going from zero to pissed in one second flat because she can't shove a crayon in the box.

At this point taking away the box would produce a full on meltdown. She goes several rounds of remove and replace. Then it's time for lunch. When I try to take the box away she pulls away from me. I try again and she's protecting it with her whole body. Finally I yank them away forcefully and she totally freaks out. Throwing herself on the ground and bawling. She continued crying until I strapped her into her high chair and started feeding her.

Those crayons are powerful medicine.

(In retrospect I see I probably should have let her carry them to the high chair and then taken them away. Oh well. Live and learn.)
Today's outfit
Another 18 mo. outfit. This one replaces the blue one she wore last weekend. It was from Grandma G. She's ready to read some Elmo, OR ELSE!

Walkin the dog
Emma was thrilled when Daddy grabbed her coat to take her along. In the second picture you may be able to see where the snow has been disturbed. M. says that's where Jake wallows or "takes his bath." He said Emma really got a kick out of watching that.

Friday, January 27, 2006
Looking kinda rough
Poor thing. She's got this rash under her mouth and on her chin that keeps popping up every day. I'm not sure what's irritating her. The NP at the medical center said she could be teething, which is true, but why would that cause a rash? Why would saliva suddenly be doing that?

Then to add insult to injury I scratched her face. I went to pick her up and she stepped backward and tripped over her toy on the floor. When I tried to catch her I scratched her. Sigh.

Thursday, January 26, 2006
The Finished Product
Here is M's canned pot roast. This time he put the meat on top so it isn't quite as pretty as his last batch. But I'll bet you money it tastes great. The carrots have beef boullion bits floating in there for added flavor.

Netflix is almost over
We had Netflix for a month. It was a gift from my BIL for Christmas last year. I finally broke the seal and actually sat down for a whole movie. This is a great way to catch up because by the end of the month we can't even think of any more movies we want to see. This was our Entertainment for the month:

Batman Begins
Wedding Crashers
40 Year Old Virgin
Bourne Supremacy
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
The Longest Yard
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Secretary
I, Robot
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I considered renewing but then realized that with the Olympics starting next month there was no point. We watch the Olympics almost every single night.
Visit to the Store
We stopped by so Emma could see Popi as he came through town on business. To the left is my BIL.

Happy Birthday, Uncle B.!

I'm fudging the time a little so I can get this in before I go to bed. Hope you have a wonderful birthday with your family and friends. Wish we could be there to give you a big birthday hug. Much Love, Baby Emma, M. and H-gal.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
What is pressure canning?
The question came up from my last post. Pressure canning is a way of preserving foods for later use. It cooks the food and seals it in the jar. You're actually "canning" them in jars with sealed lids. Gardeners are big canners. Noni used to can green beans, beets and tomatoes. M. cans pork tenderloin and his pot roast. MIL cans green beans, tomatoes, salsa, pickles, juices for preserves and lots of other things. It can be dangerous because you are cooking under pressure and the canner can explode if it's not done properly. Also, if you don't get a complete seal on the lid you can end up getting botulism from the improperly preserved food. Here is what a canner looks like:

Here's a link to this particular canner: Mirro 12 quart aluminum pressure cooker and canner

Here's a link about canning. It's provided by the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech. Pressure Canning.
KP Duty
M. is peeling potatoes. He's getting ready to can pot roast. He puts in beef, potatoes, carrots, onions and beef bullion and then pressure cans it. This time he's canning some carrots seperately. We've found that we each end up giving most of our carrots to Emma, so he's making her some of her own.

Unauthorized Use
Of an easy chair. This really isn't recommended. I just picture it tipping forward and hammering her head into the floor. And when she plays with it like this staples fall out. My Emma is child.

Packing her basket
She found the toy basket we had taken from her high chair. She was trying to stuff various toys in there. A lesson in Big and Small.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Today's outfit
A hand-me-down from the older Emma. It's a Disney Tinkerbell outfit in size 18 mo. It's very roomy. Still, I prefer it over the tight highwaters.

Graduating to the big girl's sink
In an attempt to capitalize on Emma's fascination with water I decided to get a stool so we could start washing her hands at the sink.

Monday, January 23, 2006
Drew's boobs are good for business
Of the last 20 search engine queries to land on my blog eleven were searching for Drew's boobs. Four were searching for deviated path blog. I got a "braless lady" "" "fo' shizzle baby onesie" and "opus ornament 2005."
Today's outfit
This is a new one from Noni. It's a 12 month and it fits just fine. We'll see how it does after I wash it.

Ringside seat
It's fascinating to watch Emma's development. I can remember waiting and waiting for her to get the pincher grasp. Now she just amazes me with some of the motor skills she is displaying. It's neat to watch her try different ways of doing things and seeing her fail or succeed. In the first picture she was trying to carry these two blocks without dropping the top one and she figured out that mashing her face against the top one would hold it. It's harder than it looks because those are stacking blocks with no bottom and very light and unwieldy.

This one I'm showing you because she was lining up the blocks so they touched. She was fitting them perfectly together.

This one just floored me. I wasn't even watching when she built this tower. I guess she decided it was high enough because in the picture she's trying to pick up the whole thing with the bottom block.

Sweet nothings...
Ah, my love, your skin, it is so soft. You're hair, it smells Like the butter from a piece of toast freshly rubbed on your head.
Drew's Boobs 3, because you know you can't get enough!

You can tell her naturally bouncing boobies are a cultural phenomenon. They were parodied, by Drew herself, on Saturday Night Live. Love it!

Hat tip to Safi, who found this.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
A day of transitions
We turned her carseat around today. It was just getting too difficult to wedge her into place facing backwards. We kept her facing backwards long after we could have turned her around because it provided an extra measure of safety. Now we'll see if it makes any difference in her attitude about travel.

I also switched out many of her 12 month outfits in her dresser for 18 month. I'm just tired of seeing her in tight highwaters. Some 12 month still fit great and we're keeping those. I chose the 18 month outfits that looked like they might run small to add to the rotation. So you can expect to see her swimming in her clothes in upcoming pics.
The Conqueror, on her throne
This is the one chair she can manage to climb on by herself. You can see she's quite pleased.

A little help please...
I am dying, absolutely dying, to change the look of this blog. I like this template, but too many people have it. I'd like something a bit more individualized. So if anyone has links to skins or templates to share, please do. What I want would still be something with a lot of white. But I'd like it to have colors too. Dots or stripes or who the hell knows. I like retro stuff, 50's, 60's or 70's is a possibility. It sucks because all I can say is that I'll know it when I see it.

OR, if anyone has a link to a tutorial on how to do this yourself that would be great. I'm not averse to putting in the time to do it on my own. TIA!
Hallelujah, I finished a book!

I read Norah Vincent's Self-Made Man: a Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again. The author disguised herself as a man for 18 months, apparently very convincingly. She wanted to see the world from a man's point of view and gain access to the man's world of power and privilege. It's often said "it's a white man's world" and she wanted to see what it was like to be the beneficiary. A self-described "dyke" with masculine features she figured she was ahead of the game.

Amazingly she came away from the experience with more respect and understanding for how hard the world is for men. How the expectations of "manhood" chokes their emotional expressiveness, how the primal urge for sex is, in her view, a very primal and basic bodily function, and how men feel conflicted in their relationships with women, both wanting to protect and take care of them, while wanting to basically choke them for being the source of so much of their emotional agony. It was a very enlightening book and gave me a greater appreciation for my man. It also highlights some of the differences between men and women that few of us notice.

My only quibble with the book was her tendency to go on with the psychobabble. Also, she uses foreshadowing in a ham-handed way. She never presents the book as anything scientific. It's meant to be one woman's experience and observations. I feel like I came away from the book with new insights into the motivations of and constrictions on the men around me. I feel like I need to reread it to actually remind myself of the useful stuff it contained.

As much as it pains me to link to the New York Times, they have a good picture of her in her full man-disguise.