Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Well begun is half done

Yes, I'm still here. Thanksgiving went extremely well, though it has been meltdown city since we got back. ::sigh:: He misses his other three playmates, I think (that would be my brother and my parents). Don't worry, they'll be here in about 3.5 weeks. EEK!!

And to that end, I started seriously ordering my Christmas presents today. As in, I spent half my budget! Well begun, indeed. I found a couple of things on sale today and a few coupons that expired today, so I went on and did those, and with one exception, I ordered all the things that need to be shipped here and then mailed to other people. Hopefully, that will give me time to turn it all around so that things arrive by Christmas.

I also see that I have drastically underestimated shipping costs this year. I was planning on $5-7, and it's been running $8-12 in most cases. Multiply that by the 15 or so places I will be ordering from, and I'm pushing $50 over budget. The savings I incurred today will help with that somewhat, I'm just mad at myself for not checking. No wonder catalog companies hide their shipping information! If you knew what it would cost to ship in advance, you might not fall in love with the item. Once it's in your cart, it's hard to turn it down, even if shipping is $5 more than you planned. ::sigh::

As you may have noticed up at the top there, I am working on our Christmas menu, to the detriment of anything else I may have thought of doing in the evenings. I came up with another meal today, so that filled one of my remaining six slots, but three "full" slots say "new recipe," and I haven't found those yet either. How does my mother do this? She was all set for Thanksgiving, and I feel so behind with Christmas almost 4 weeks away. It doesn't help that I have no faith in my ability to select recipes. Most of the ones I have tried over the last few years have been awful, as in inedible. It's not that I did something wrong (I don't think), it's just that I hated the recipe when it was finished. Needless to say, I'm a little gunshy of doing that with company here. We can always go get Wendy's if we don't like it; I'd hate to do that to company, though it is just my family, and they wouldn't care. Still nervewracking.

Currently feeling: anxious

Friday, November 18, 2005

Late on two firsts

I've been meaning to write about both of these for a while, but I'm just now getting around to it. I don't know where my time is going. And how is it Thanksgiving NEXT WEEK?!?! It's just unbelievable.

Anyway, about three weeks ago, we finally took Luke outside to play for the first time. Now, for all of you who think I am a terrible parent, I had very good reasons, not the least of which is that I don't enjoy greasing up a baby in sunscreen. He's so fair (like me) that he needs it if we're going to be out side after 9 AM and/or before 6 PM. And since he didn't start walking until late enough in the year that it was getting dark around 6 PM, that just didn't work too well. But we did manage finally on a Saturday afternoon, just after snack, before dinner. He had a ball! Didn't think too much of the grass (sure didn't want to touch it to pick himself up if he fell), but the running around part was a blast! Lots more outside photos here, if you're interested.

Then, it was the day I had been dreading since he was born. He didn't have much hair to start with, so it wasn't a big deal. And it didn't seem like it would ever come in, either! But at some point this summer, it really started thickening up and filling in, and getting long. (See "before" pic at left; note the curl in the back.) I refused to have it cut before his one year portraits (as you probably noticed), because I wanted him to still have all of his hair one year later (we'd made it that far, after all; a couple more weeks wouldn't kill us, despite it driving my husband bonkers). Finally got it cut last week.

Now, you have to understand, I distinctly recall my mom getting my brother's hair cut for the first time, at age 2 (a little older even, I think). He screamed and wailed, and cried and cried and cried. I'm not sure who suffered more trauma that day, him or my mother! Anyway, it was with these visions dancing in my head that I took him to the salon. Yes, I said the salon. In fact, it is a salon *just* for kids. I thought, at least for his first time, it might be better to be in a kid-friendly atmosphere with someone who is accustomed to using scissors around moving targets that may or may not be screaming at the time. I also figured they would do a better job of not scalping him! I just didn't want it way way short, and every time I have ever been to get my hair cut, they always cut at least 50% more than I asked them to. VERY annoying, and the last thing I wanted for Luke.

She did such a good job. She took it very slowly, about 1/2 inch to start with, then two more rounds of 1/4 inch until I was happy with it. Actually, after I told her I didn't want it really short, she left it much too long! LOL I guess she's seen enough hysterical mothers over having cut too much off, so she was being careful, and I appreciated it. I like the way it came out, but I was so afraid DH would say I hadn't taken enough off. He seemed happy with it, though. Maybe next time I'll let them go a little shorter. We'll see. More haircut photos here, if you're interested.

Luke did great as well. He never cried, he never got upset, he never even gave a 5 second warning (when he sticks out his lip in "ultimate pout" mode, you have about 5 seconds to do something before he dissolves into tears). I can't say that he was having fun, but he certainly wasn't miserable. He didn't think too much of the clippers (the electric buzzing kind for the back of the neck), but he still didn't cry, and she was very quick with them. He even got a certificate of bravery for his first ever haircut. I am *so* pleased that it went so well, and I think he looks pretty darn spiffy, even if I do say so myself.

Currently feeling: relieved

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Setting the record straight

I don't think I ever got around to officially answering this question on my blog, though I have certainly answered it more than plenty in real life. It happened again yesterday (I'll recap yesterday's adventure later), and I am finally going to set the record straight. Ready?

He is NOT named after Luke Skywalker!

Quite frankly, I don't think that ever even dawned on us before selecting the name. I do think part of it was the Biblical aspect. We do live in the south, after all, and the version of the Christmas story in the book of Luke is my favorite. It was just the only name on the "short list" that both of us really liked. Being the uber-Star Wars geeks that we are, though, you'd think the possibility of people assuming that would have at least *occurred* to us, but no. We kept the name we had chosen a secret until he was born, but as you may or may not recall, the original Star Wars trilogy was released on DVD in September of that year, about three weeks before he was born. We came home, we popped it in the DVD player, and it wasn't until we heard his aunt calling Luke's name that reality set in. We just looked at each other and groaned. But, we already had our hearts set on that name, so there wasn't much to do about it. I'm sure that's also why it was so freshly in everyone's mind after we finally told everyone the name. A couple of years ago, I don't think it would have necessarily been the first conclusion people jumped to. It's not like there aren't other well known Luke's around. We even had a kid that spring ask us if his middle name is Skywalker (obviously, it's not).

So far, we've had three "outbreaks" of people asking us that. The first was right after he was born, the second was this past summer, and the third round started this week. And there are three direct and related causes: the release of the original trilogy on DVD, the release of Revenge of the Sith in theaters in May, and the release of the RotS DVD last week. Hopefully it will die down again, and I really hope it isn't eventually a problem for him in school. Then again, if he turns out to be as huge of a Star Wars fan as either of us, maybe he'll consider it a compliment. One can hope.

We might get to have a little fun with it at some point in the future, though. Should we decide to have another child, when people start badgering us for a name, we will definitely say either Leia or Han. ::evil grin::
Currently feeling: force-ful

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Luke's One Year Portraits

Picked these up tonight. Not feeling very chatty, really very tired (thus why I'm up at 1:40 AM ; I hate being exhausted and not sleepy). And yes, before anyone asks, he's getting a hair cut this week. Was going to do it today, just didn't happen. Anyway, here they are. Quite a change from six months ago, no?

Currently feeling: very tired

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Let there be light!

And air conditioning, and refrigeration, and cooking appliances.... all without requiring a personal generator. Yes, Jacob finally got his power back on. Apparently, it came on late Friday night. He had emailed us on Thursday absolutely giddy after seeing trucks with poles and cables pull up in his complex.

Currently feeling: luminescent

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Buzz-y Halloween

Okay, so that's the best I could do in the clever title department. Not bad, though, I don't think. Boy, were we buzzy, I mean busy, last night. While this is actually Luke's second Halloween, there wasn't much he could do last year at only 3 weeks old, so this was his first "real" (or, as DH put it, participatory) Halloween, and he had a ball!

Here he is in his costume, which I bough last year after Thanksgiving on tremendous sale. The costume is of Winnie the Pooh dressed as a bumblebee, so that's why the arms and legs are gold, the top is red, and the front says Pooh. The antenna wouldn't stay up, but Luke liked playing with them, so it's okay. He screamed and cried when we first tried his costume on him to make sure it fit (it is size 18M, and he's wearing 24M clothing), so we were terrified about how it would go.

He did so good! He wasn't too sure about the first attempt, as you can see here, but he did fine once he got the hang of it. We only stopped at about 8 places, just enough for him to get the flavor of the experience (and for us to get pictures), but not enough to exhaust him. We went on and ate at the food court while we were there. Chik-Fil-A had $1 off any kids combo with purchase of an adult combo, so he even got his own meal! We're so old!! LOL

He even carried his own pumpkin more or less the whole time. We just had to keep it mostly empty so we didn't chase stuff all over the floor when he fell. He's still getting the hang of walking in shoes, and the costume sure didn't help any. BTW, he's not that chubby in the tummy; the costume is padded in the front. I know he can't really eat the candy, but that's not the point (and it is part of the reason we didn't stop at many of the vendors; no reason to have a bucket full of candy he can't eat). He still enjoyed it.

We even started a trend. They had this cute little display set up in the center (it's a very small mall, which is why we like it), and I had the sudden inspiration to take his picture in front of it. None of the ones with the pumpkins and scarecrow turned out, and by then, we had this whole line of people behind us waiting to take pictures. Never mind that we hadn't seen anyone else do it all night and it was completely abandoned when we got there! Sheesh. Oh, and there were four other sides to the display, but everyone wanted the one we were on. Fine. So we moved to the opposite side, which had the tombstone you see here. All in all, a truly excellent evening.

Currently feeling: ghostly