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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Addiction Starts Early

One day while Ben was watching the baby, he became somewhat desperate for a new way to amuse her. His solution: put her in the closet and let her have at it. He thought it was hilarious and titled the photo "The Addiction Starts Early." (In my own defense, I believe I am FAR from having a shoe addiction, as I have not purchased a single pair since last November, and even then I only got them because my feet had swollen so much from pregnancy that my old dress shoes didn't fit.)

I, on the other hand, am far more alarmed at the addiction that is shown here: Bryn curled up on our bed, watching TV while I shower. Now that she is fully mobile, I am at an absolute loss of what to do with her while I shower. I used to sit her on the floor, surrounded by toys, and let her play. That technique expired a few days ago when I emerged from the shower to find the play area abandoned and the house utterly silent. I ran from room to room in my towel, only able to think, "The worst has happened--someone has snuck into my house and abducted my baby during the 10 minutes I take to myself each day." In actuality, I found her happily settled in the living room, crawling around the floor on a mission of her own. Since then, the shower -safety technique has been to pen her in on the bed with a variety of pillows and other roadblocks and turn on the TV. Given her reaction so far, I'm wondering if the impediments are even necessary--she curls up on the end of the bed and stares at the television in fascination, barely moving until I turn off the TV. Now this, I think, is the start of a far more dangerous addiction.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Living on the Edge (of the Blanket)

Today was the first sunny, warm day in ages, so Bryn and I decided to celebrate by setting up a blanket outside and playing. This was a mildy successful endeavor. Bryn loved being outside, which is new and exciting, since she's usually pretty dubious about the outdoors. Maybe an appreication of nature has come with her other newfound maturity, including her now 4 teeth and speed-crawling skills. This afternoon she stayed on the blanket for long enough to reach over the edge and collect a few handfuls of leaves and grass, and then she was off to explore--although not too far beyond the edge of the blanket! It was really cute--she kept crawling off into the grass, playing for a minute or two, and then doing a hasty retreat back onto the very edge of the blanket before venturing into the wild again. Below are some of my favorite pictures of the whole experiment.


...And Outside

And here's the outside of the house. On back, the door opens into the kitchen/ breakfast nook and will lead out onto a wood deck. The 3 windows on bottom are the living room, and the 1 window on bottom is the study. The 3 windows on top are our room, and the big area on top with no windows is all closets and bathrooms. I guess you can't see the left side of the house too well, but the downstairs windows there are kitchen and the upstairs windows are 2 of the other bedrooms.

And here's the front. The nice big porch has windows to the great room, and you can also kind of see the hole that will be our front door (our actual front door is currently propped up in the garage, ready to be installed, if you can see that blur in the left garage corner). The windows above the porch are the upstairs game room, and oddly enough, the single upstairs window is in the closet of the smallest bedroom, which we plan to use as the nursery (the room, not the closet). The windows above the garage are the bedroom that we plan to use as a guest room. So hopefully that all gives you a little perspective on what it will look like!

Inside....

The builders have made some serious progress on our house since the last time I posted a picture, so here's the updates. This is our downstairs (or as much of it as could be captured in one photo). The short slanty wall you see on the far left is the breakfast bar, so the photo is taken from the kitchen, looking out at the rest of the house. The closest room is the family room. The wall you see separates the family room and the study (aka "red room). There's a bathroom between the study and the stairs, but you can't really see it because of the support beam. On the far (left) side of the stairs, you can (kind of) see the great room.
This is the upstairs, although I think it's kind of hard to tell what's what. You're looking at an assortment of bedrooms, closets, and a bathroom. Overall, the upstairs has 5 bedrooms (I know, we're ridiculous), 2 full bathrooms, and an open area "game room" at the top of the stairs, which kind of feels like an upstairs family room. Our objective in building this house was to have lots of spare space, since we outgrew our current house far more quickly than we imagined possible and we really, really don't want to have to move again any time in the forseeable future.

This is the basement, which admittedly does not show up all that well due to the lack of light. The house obviously doesn't have electricity yet, so the only light in the basement comes through the one big window. Aside from the window, the stairs, some hookups so we can eventually install a sink, and some metal support beams, the basement is completely empty and will stay that way for a good long time. I would imagine that for a good while after we move in, it will just be storage.

Friday, September 15, 2006

All Quiet on the Western Front

This week really seems to have gotten away from me. It's been relatively peaceful around here. Bryn continues to wake up in the middle of the night and demand some personalized Daddy attention. The weather has been mostly rainy and cool, so we've been kind of laying low. Here's the synopsis:

Monday - I took every available second to polish off my latest book, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch by one of my favorite authors, Terry Brooks. I've actually owned the book for about 6 years now without ever reading it. I really have no excuse for that, except that I was always really busy reading books for school and grading an endless amount of papers and had very little time for pleasure reading while teaching. At any rate, the book was fantastic, and I am eagerly looking foward to reading the other two in this trilogy (which I have also owned for several years without reading).

Tuesday - Bryn and I took an outing to Brownsburg to tour some daycares. We looked at two, both of which were scary, and decided that I will be looking into options for night jobs in order to avoid the horrors of daycare. We also met up with Ben and Derek for dinner, which was really fun. Bryn was largely amused by the huge fishtank near our table, and we had a good time getting caught up.

Wednesday - The main feature was a long lunch with Libby at the ever-popular El Rodeo, where we said sad goodbyes over a large bowl of queso. After two years of Zionsville lunch dates, Bible study, and trading favors of chaperoning at church and school, Libby is off to Fuller Seminary in sunny California. Very sad for me and Brynie, but very exciting for her.

Thursday - Bryn and I spent the majority of the afternoon hanging out with Andrea and baby Hannah. Andrea and I shared reminiscences about college, weddings, and pregnancy while Hannah napped on and off and Bryn crawled around the living room, making good use of all of Hannah's toys. Meanwhile, Ben got together with some people from work to play his favorite game of Battlestations.

Friday - Busy day of doctor's appointments, dropping Tela off at the kennel for the weekend, cleaning the house for a showing, and, of course, blogging. Tonight Ben and I (and Bryn) will be running the concession stand at the ZCHS football game, so we will be feasting on hot dogs and nachos. It's Homecoming, so I'm looking forward to seeing some former students, as well as the floats and festivities.

We depart bright and early tomorrow morning for Ohio to attend our friend Krysten's wedding. I'm really looking forward to getting to spend some time with some college friends and, of course, showing off our cute baby. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Visit to Peoria

Brynie and I have spent the last few days engaged in a whirlwind visit to Peoria. The photo is a pretty accurate representation of how she spent most of her trip.... unless you count the middle of the night, when she was wide awake and wanting to party with Grandma Diane. She really hasn't improved at all in the area of nighttime slumber, and Ben has developed so far in the area of cuddling her to sleep that last night he fell asleep while she was still kicking him and crying. Needless to say (Mrs. Applen), we are pretty worn out. At any rate, the trip to Peoria was good, albeit short. We got to spend some time with Grandpa Dave, Grandma Diane, and Aunt Lindsay, all of whom were very impressed by Bryn's newly acquired teeth and her impressive army-crawl skils. We got to to have dinner with Grammy Tina, during which Brynie passed out on the living room floor and slept soundly through much of the visiting. We even fit in a short visit to Melissa's parents, Mom and Dad Raguet, and got caught up on all their exciting family news. On the way home, we stopped in Bloomington (IL) for lunch with Aunt Kristin and her boyfriend Jared. Brynie and I got the tour of the entire Phi Sigma Sigma house, and Brynie left thinking "I want to be a sorority girl!" (scary thought for Mama). Bryn continues in her huge crush on Jared and cried hysterically when she spilled his soda at lunch. We returned to Zionsville just in time for Ben to get off work on Friday, and we spent most of the weekend just hanging around the house. We did put in an appearance with our friend Libby at the annual Fall Festival on Saturday, where we watched the Royalaires and Choraliares perform (and laughed at Bryn dancing to their music in her stroller), got lots of comments on Tela's newly whitened face, and ate our own body weight in fair food, which took us pretty much the rest of the weekend to recover from. :)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Timeout

Lately Bryn has developed a truly terrible habit: a refusal to sleep in her crib at night. She will take naps there without more than the usual amount of fuss, and she will go to sleep there at night. But partway through the night, she wakes up and screams bloody murder until we evenually give up and let her sleep in the big bed with us. This entails one of us (usually Ben) taking her into the guest room and sleeping there with her for the rest of the night. We have tried letting her scream it out, but she has proven that she can outlast us, with screams numbering into the multiple hours. We have tried rocking her back to sleep, and she has been out cold on our laps, only to freak out again when we lay her back in bed. I fear that letting her sleep with us will spiral into bed-sharing until she's 10 or something, but in the middle of the night, I'm willing to do basically anything for some sleep. Anyway, the other day, she was playing in the living room and somehow twisted herself around so that she was facing the wall, where she sat for a good long time, contemplating our wall. Ben said it looked like she was putting herself in "time out," and I responded that she deserved it after all of that nightly screaming.

Meanwhile, her other new idea of fun is opening our cabinets and digging through them. I would say that it's time to childproof the house, but since we'll be moving so shortly and we're having house showings and all that, it seems rather counterproductive. Her favorite cabinet seems to be this black one, which is literally the only piece of furniture (besides the lamp) in our den, as the rest of it is now in storage. The cabinet used to hold a random assortment of things, including a surge protector, two dog brushes, a fanny pack full of year-old dog treats, and several leashes that we used before our dogs were 50 pounds each. Ben saw no problem with letting her play with those things, as it is true that she seems happiest when playing with inappropriate items. I, however, am a paranoid parent, so I emptied the entire cabinet, disinfected it, and then filled it with Bryn's toys and books. She is now happy to sit in front of it and play by herself for significant chunks of time, which I greatly appreciate, since it means that for the first time in 10 months, I am able to eat a meal by myself without the accompanying sound of fussing.

The next few days hold a trip to Peoria for me to visit family. One of the great perks of unemployment - I can travel whenever I feel like it. Anyone up for a road trip?

A Night at the Movies

Inspired by the cabin fever of being sick for two weeks, we decided to live on the edge and go to the movies last night. This would be the first movie that I have seen in a theater for at least 10 months, meaning since the birth of Bryn. Ben has seen a few others with friends, but for me, this was a really big event. Since Bryn absolutely LOVES television, we decided that she would probably love a movie in the theater even more, so we took her along. Since we're so far behind on movies anyway, we decided to see "The DaVinci Code" at the cheap theater in Avon, which is close to where our new house will be. Side note - remember when the "cheap theater" was the "dollar theater" and the Dunlap Clan used to attend movies at Westlake in Peoria for $1.00 and then, later, atrociously $1.25? Last night's "cheap show" cost us $5.00--stupid inflation.

Anyway, I admit that I had some qualms about taking Bryn to this movie. Not because of the content, but because of the milestone-ness of it all. My first movie in a theater was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," where I remember burying my face in my dad's chest because I was so afraid of the Wicked Queen. Somehow, saying that Bryn's first movie was a controversial novel-based film starring Tom Hanks just doesn't have quite the same ring. But, well, I really wanted to see it and I was really anxious to get out of the house, so off we went.

Obviously it had been quite a while since I had seen a movie, because even though I've read the book like 3 times, I was shocked at how graphic some of it was. There were several moments when I covered Bryn's eyes with one hand while covering my own with the other. She did not seem to register too much of it, though, because she was too intent on wondering where her next bottle was coming from. Since we had neglected to back a binky (bad parents! bad, bad parents!), Bryn downed three bottles and had her diaper changed twice before eventually falling asleep on my shoulder. All in all, I really enjoyed the movie (although the book was better; the book is ALWAYS better than the movie), not to mention the novel experience of getting out of the house, but I'm thinking the overall experience would have been better sans-baby. What must that be like???

Friday, September 01, 2006

Surfing the Web

So I have decided.... it's clearly not the unemployment or illness that has had me feeling down lately, but rather the lack of my daily dose of blogging. So here we go....

Yesterday was what I hope to be able to declare "the end of the 2-week illness." If so, it was a rather dramatic finish, as the medication I was on to treat my viral/bacterial/sinus infection decidedly did not agree with my body. I'd been having some pretty constant stomachaches since I started on it, but yesterday I threw up shortly after taking it. Now, with the exception of my first four months of pregnancy, I am not a person who throws up unless I am really, really sick. So after Tela licked my hand reassuringly to let me know that she still loves me even though I'm gross, I dragged myself to the phone and 1) called Ben and asked him to come rescue me and 2) called the good doctor to see if I could stop taking the medication. Luckily, the answer to both of those questions was "yes." Before Ben got home, though, I was able to witness the dangers of taking medication while breastfeeding firsthand, when Bryn also threw up all over her crib. Needless to say, we were both VERY glad to see Ben when he arrived to work from home for the rest of the afternoon. Above you will see a picture of him in his officiall SuperDad costume, which involves wearing Bryn's pants on his head.

Whenever I finish blogging (which may be considered an avoidance technique), the plan for this weekend is to log onto Monster.com and the Indy Star online and apply for every reasonable job I can find. I'm pretty much panicked by the very idea of this, as my previous searches have not revealed anything vaguely of interest to me, but I think the time when I had the luxury of applying only for jobs that interested me is long since past. To add a note of humor to an otherwise depressing situation, I have included a photo of Bryn's somewhat misguided attempts to "surf the Web" (perhaps more California-style than online).