Sunday, October 29, 2006

More fuzzy baby pictures

These are pictures from our last sonogram. They're fairly grainy, but you might as well get used to cooing over pictures of the baby now. Start practicing for when we drag out an album full of Baby's Sleeping Poses, Part II.

This is the baby's face (forehead toward the left side, eyes, nose, and mouth in the appropriate places), and the funny shaped thing below and to the right of his face is his arm.

I think it kind of looks like this guy:
Only sideways, like this:

This is the baby's butt (on the right side of the image) with his legs extended and crossed at the ankles. The white lines are bones.

And then this shot is of his feet, still crossed at the ankles. The sonogram lady counted and labeled the five toe bones in this foot.

Beautiful, eh?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fire, again!

Last night I built a nice, hot fire to chase away the cold and dampness that have settled onto central Illinois. A few hours into it, I had a nice glowing bed of hot coals. I wanted to move some of them to the back of the fireplace, so I got out the little shovel that came with our fireplace tools (shovel, broom, poker, tongs) and started shifting things around.

It didn't take 5 seconds for the shovel to catch on fire. For pete's sake.

If you were the company that made fireplace shovels, wouldn't you think it smart to paint them with fireproof paint?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Grant Dynasty Continues...

Emily had her 22-odd week sonogram this past week. And the tentative verdict is...

It's a boy. A little mini-me. The world could do worse, right? Right? C'mon, give me some help here.

As I said, the verdict is tentative--pictures were tough to capture and we won't be able to confirm until sometime in December. We'll let you know if the situation changes. Until that point, boy names are being actively solicited. So far, we're leaning toward "Hurd." Schoolyard kids are going to have a ball with that: "Hurd the nerd," "Hurd the turd," and so on. Ought to toughen the kid up, having a name like that.

Everything I know about raising kids I learned from the Johnny Cash Big Book of Parenting.

Of course, the more important part of the sonogram was that we were able to verify that at least so far the kid appears healthy. Saw the heart beating, looked at the spine, counted the toes (yes, the sonogram is that good!), watched him kick. More disconcerting was the fact that he and a bunch of his fetal friends were in there smoking cigars and shooting dice. Had to put him in "time out" for that.

So now I can put a face to my imaginings and my mind is free to speculate about what we'll be doing together 9 or 10 years from now. At the moment, it's Andy and Opie Taylor, headed down to the fishin' hole with poles slung over their shoulders. Somewhere someone's whistling. Of course, it's more likely that it'll turn out to be Al and Bud Bundy stealing money out of each others' wallets, so I've got to enjoy this dreaming while I can.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

We have made fire!

As soon as the temperature neared 50 degrees, we started eyeing the new wood burning stove. Knowing that this weekend was supposed to be quite nice (75-80 degrees), we took advantage of a slightly-cooler Friday night to inaugurate the stove.

We read the instruction manual, and gather the necessary materials (newspaper, small sticks for kindling, slightly bigger sticks, and even bigger sticks), and started burning.

Alan and the cats monitored the fire to make sure everything burned that was supposed to. I sat on the couch with the camera and the fire extinguisher to make sure that nothing burned that wasn't supposed to.

It went ok. It was warm. It smelled nice and woodsy. But we didn't have very good air flow. I think it probably helps if it's colder outside.

Anyway, that was our excitement of the weekend.

And in other news... Mikey's on a diet, and he's not very happy about it.

We took the cats to their annual vet appointment last weekend, and the vet gave us a stern lecture about Mikey being overweight. He weighs 15.4 pounds. On a scale of 1-9 (with 5 being an ideal weight), Mikey is an 8. (Syndey is a 6, so she's a little heavy, but not as chunky as Mikey.)

Anyway, so now we have to limit the amount of food they get, and they only eat twice a day. Before now, we were really lazy pet owners. Isn't that why you get a cat in the first place? No walking, no bathing, no potty training? We used a free feeder that we'd fill with crunchies and put down in the basement. Whenever we walk by, we kick it a little bit to make sure some there were enough crunchies out the bottom of the feeder. But that was mostly the extent of our involvement in cat meal time.

No longer. We have to carefully measure out food (Mikey only gets 1/4 cup -- that's really small!), put the cats in different parts of the house (so Mikey doesn't eat Syndey's food), and give them 20 minutes or so to eat their tiny portions.

I think they're super cranky now. Alan chalks it up to "more energy now that they're slimming down." Hrmph.