Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sugar Rush

Last weekend we traveled to Hometown to visit with grandparents and cousins. The Eastside Crew gathered together on Saturday afternoon to sample several bottles of homemade root beer (a project conceived and made possible by Grandma). Micro brews were made by four groups: Khan, Nightingale, Thumbelina and Gingernut (although Nightingale claims she was out of town when the brewing happened); Grandma, Grandpa, and the Treat; Mike, Tina, and Zeke; and
China and Hikerbabe:

We used kits to make our root beer and the kits made a gallon of root beer each, to be bottled in four, roughly-1-liter-bottles. Thus, we had four gallons of root beer in sixteen brown bottles. Okay, well, 14 bottles. Khan's team interpreted the recipe freely and produced two highly concentrated and delicious bottles.

Mike and I thought that we needed to distinguish ourselves from the crowd, so we added some almond extract to our base batch and then added additional, strange ingredients to two of the bottles. Some of the other teams had the same idea, so instead of four types of root beer in mass quantities, there were seven or eight slightly different flavors of root beer.
I tried to persuade people to consume palate cleansers in between each sampling, but they mostly mocked me and then gave the green apple slices to Thumbelina and Gingernut. Zeke got the celery sticks.
My favorite picture is the one of Grandma, knocking back a chilled mug of root beer while holding a liter bottle in the other hand. Awesome.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sleep Training Chronicles, part 2

Previous reports of success at sleep training Zeke should be interpreted very narrowly. It remains true that Zeke generally falls asleep by himself, with no crying, at his scheduled bedtime and after his regular bedtime routine (which must be performed by Mike). Everything else about Zeke and sleeping, however, is not successful.
Picture above: Tina hits the bottle after a lousy day and in preparation for a much-disturbed night.
For those of you wondering what I do with myself now that I'm a stay-at-home-mom, the answer is that I manage Z. Is that all? Doesn't he nap? you ask. Yes, I reply, when I spend fifteen to twenty minutes bouncing and rocking him to sleep and then hold him in the rocking chair and continue with patting and rocking while he takes his nap. Then he will sleep until the FedEx truck rumbles by, or the street cleaner comes, or the grounds crew next door starts working.

Last week I resolved to break this cycle of abuse and began a very serious process of putting Zeke down for each nap in his crib after a brief nap routine but without the 20 minutes of standing and bouncing him to sleep. I would like to report that anyone who claims sleep training takes 3 days is a deluded, likely non-parent . Anyone who claims sleep training takes 5 days is a false prophet. Zeke is so determined to not fall asleep (even though he is exhausted when I put him down) that he crawls to the corner of the crib, pulls himself up, and then cries while standing in the corner and resting his head against the slanted crib board. He tricks me into thinking that he's stuck and can't get down so I go in to lay him down again and then the tears start afresh.
I must give a shout out to Nightingale, who has fielded more than one hysterical call from me this week, and without whose advice and kindness I would have turned into a puddle of mush. Holla.
I sure hope Zeke figures this out soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The 10th Article of Faith

Last Sunday I taught the 10th Article of Faith song to my Primary and I used a poster board with pictures and words to help the kids learn the song. (I actually used two poster boards because this is a long song.) I put hours of work into the posters; Mike did too. I also got help from my parents, China and the Treat. My Primary kids were unimpressed. They acted bored and dutifully sang the song a few times, but failed to see the brilliance before them.
For your consideration:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Zoom Zoom

He's off! Mr. Zeke is now crawling using just his hands and knees and no longer using his face! He used to scootch around by getting up on his arms and struggling forward until his head was too heavy and he flopped forward in a face plant. This method hindered his crawling progression as it was too painful to practice anywhere except on our bed or in his crib. But his struggle is now successful:

Mr. Zeke knows instinctually what items he is not supposed to touch and those are the items he crawls to first. In the video, you can see a hint of the smile that makes him lose the pacifier before he turns to crawl towards the laptop. I think that smile is the glee of a child who thinks he can get there before we can stop him. It's time to baby-proof the house, and we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


We had a visit last weekend with MBA, Mike's brother who has been living and working out of the country the last few years. While he's been across the pond, MBA has developed a striking similarity to Mike. Observe:

That's what MBA looked like when he stepped off the plane. We didn't call ahead and say, "Hey, wear that sports shirt with the blue sleeves" or anything like that. MBA wears contacts but if he had his glasses on, they would be identical twins. Zeke, however, could tell a difference:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bigger Flash Disk

Mike recently made all my dreams come true by purchasing one of those flash drives that lets you plug in your camera memory card directly to the hard drive. This new drive replaces our antiquated system which involved the camera, a chord, significant battery life, and an automatic download program I despised.
Good news! The new flash drive came with a free camera memory disk with 2 GB of memory. That's double my old capacity! In celebration, I offer this pointless video: