Friday, September 30, 2005

Monkeys Essay Contest

J was playing with his monkey tonight. In the background, "Shock the Monkey" played on the CD player. H sang to J, making up new words as he went:

"Monkey, fur so tasty
Monkeeeeey, something's burning
Monkey, your fur's on fire"

Inevitably, this led us to question this song's significance. We are certain that it has a deep and powerful meaning, just as do all Peter Gabriel songs. (I mean, just look at the powerful symbolism juxtaposed with the subtle nuances found in "Sledgehammer", and you'll see what we mean). But we just can't quite figure it out. Maybe we're too tired. Or maybe the song's depth and power is just lost on we weak-minded neophites. Perhaps someone with greater clarity and intelligence can assist.

Here are the words:

Cover me when I run
Cover me through the fire
Something knocked me out' the trees
Now I'm on my knees
Cover me, darling please
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don't you know you're going to shock the monkey

Fox the fox
Rat out the rat
You can ape the ape
I know about that
There is one thing you must be sure of
I cannot take any more
Darling, don't you monkey with the monkey
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don't you know you're going to shock the monkey
Shock the monkey

Monkey, wheels keep turning
Monkeeeeey, something's burning
Monkey, don't like it but I guess I'm learning

Shock! - watch the monkey get hurt, monkey

Cover me, when I sleep
Cover me, when I breathe
You throw your pearls before the swine
Make the monkey blind
Cover me, darling please

Monkey, too much at stake
Monkeeeeey, ground beneath me shake
Monkey, and the news is breaking

Shock! - watch the monkey get hurt, monkey

Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey to life
Shock the monkey to life
Shock the monkey to life
Shock the monkey to life

Shock the monkey
(Shock the monkey)
Shock the monkey
(Shock the monkey)

Shock the monkey

Shock the monkey to life

Does anyone care to discuss this further? Is it symbolic of anything in particular? Is it a deep and meaningful discussion from the mind of a creative genius? Political commentary, perhaps? Paul and his yo-yos? Or what? Does it mean anything to you personally?

And why can you fox the fox, rat out the rat, and ape the ape, but yet you are forbidden to monkey with the monkey? Isn't that sort of discriminatory? Do the monkeys have any basis to proceed with a class action?


Leave your comment, detailing your interpretation of these intensely deep and thought provoking lyrics. (Your essays will be graded on content, spelling and grammar. Not really; we just want to see what you all have to say on the subject. The prize will be our undying awe for your creativity.)

If you are here. and you know someone who might like to participte in this ground-breaking "essay contest", please direct them to:

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I need it!!

I covet.

But it's not available in a format that will play in North America. CURSES!!


If I can get the highest grade across Canada in this course for first time writers (which highest grade must also be in the top 10 percentile for all writers, including rewrites) and if I can also pass my next two courses (winter and spring terms) with better results than my award competitors, I will receive an Award of Excellence from the national Association. It's a $1,000 cash prize.

Now, that really isn't a tremendous amount of cash when you stop to consider the amount of work and fierce competition involved in obtaining these ridiculously high marks. But we could use it anyway. Really, though, the more important thing to consider is that "Recipient of the Level 2 National Award of Excellence for 2005-06" would be a very nice thing to put on a resume.

If I get 100% on all of my remaining quizzes and the national exam, I will get a grade of 98% overall in my course. I assume some keener elsewhere in Canada will obtain a 99% or 100% at some point during the year (the course is being run three times this year), but it is possible, however unlikely it may be, that mine will be the highest score and I will get this award. Stranger things have happened. After all (I remind myself) I did get the highest grade across Alberta for the course's predecessor. (Of course (I also remind myself) someone in another province scored themselves 5% higher than I. But that is my "negative reminder", and I choose to ignore it whenever possible.)

So I am going to put my best foot forward and try with all my might to get the highest grade across the country in this course. Will it happen? Well, we will have to see. Either it will, or it won't, I suppose. And no harm can be done by trying.

On a more pleasant note, J has napped very well today (though he didn't sleep as well as I would have liked last night), and I am feeling a bit better now. I have gotten some good study time in this morning, and I hope to get more in later this afternoon. Just now, though, I need a break. And I also need some playing-with-baby time today, since I was sorely missing that last night. (I love playing-with-baby time!)

I hope to be able to go out for a walk with J shortly and show him all of the pretty fall colors. And I hope that this nasty virus will soon be behind us and our family will be all healthy in short order.

I am feeling very optimistic and happy today. I hope it continues.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Why do I choose to take my quizzes when I am sick/tired?

Ah well. Eventually I will learn.

I did substantially better this time around; I only missed one question. Of course, the one I missed is particularly obvious and is one of the first lines in the textbook under its relevant chapter. I feel foolish. But since I cannot change my results, I will be content with the fact that I only lost that half point, and I will move on after I complete this post and make fun of myself for a bit; I need the entertainment. (The quizzes don't count for too much, and if I get 100% on everything else, including the final exam, I could still get out of this with a 98% in the course; really, the end result is what matters.)

But I really should have known better than to try and run the quiz tonight. Last time I took a quiz, I picked an occasion when I was ill and exhausted and I didn't do as well as I would have liked. Well, tonight I did the same thing. Exactly, precisely, the same thing.

And I knew that I was doing it. I felt myself doing it. I was completely aware. But somehow, I was powerless to stop myself from exercising my blatant stupidity. I am my own worst enemy, and apparently I need better self-control. Against ... my ... self. How would that work?

My brain left the building quite some time ago; earlier, I actually had lost concentration to the point where I found myself phoning va1kyrie and then my 19-year old nephew for help with a very simple algebraic calculation that I perform at work on a daily basis every time I do an expense report. I'd figured it out several nights ago. I do this all the time. But tonight, I could remember nothing. NOTHING!!

And yet, for reasons I can't explain, I continued to study. And then, in my befuddled state of near-coma-ness (let me make up a term if I like; it describes my state of mind to a tee) I suddenly became all smug and cocky, and I thought I could do the quiz.

Now, did it matter that I hadn't completely finished the chapter that the quiz pertained to? No. And did it matter that the quiz wasn't due until mid-next week? No. Do it now, and get it over with, I say! How could that possibly be wrong?

It was.

(Actually, upon reflection, it's quite the miracle that I did so well on the thing.)

I'm not going to study anymore tonight. My head is full of cold germs, and has no room left for logic or numbers. So I will relax, snuggle my baby, and go to bed. (Now that actually does seem wise, but then again, what do I know from wise tonight?)



J decided that he would only nap while being held in my arms.

H decided to go out with a friend in the evening and leave me alone with J.

I decided to forego my studies so that I could care for J properly, hoping instead to catch up tonight.

J decided that he would not fall asleep until 2:00 a.m. and would wake for today at 5:00 a.m., leaving H and I to function on very little sleep.

The result of all of this? My stupid cold virus decided to return today in full force, and I feel terrible.

We have a student nurse dropping by in a few hours with some info for us. I am hoping that J will nap independently today ... either before she arrives or after she leaves. I need to sleep to get this bug out of my system. It's nasty, and I can't even take anything for it. I can't nap tonight ... H agreed (as part of the deal by which he went out last night) that he would care for J all by himself tonight so I could study. I have to take advantage of that opportunity; the last couple of chapters in this module are really long and involved, and I have to get through them and prepare to write my next quiz.

J seems most unhappy. It appears he has something to add here:

nnnnnnnnn z ..//////////////////// ,m w w awazmmmm

Okay, J is not permitted to type any longer on this message. He is apparently mad at the computer, and he just picked up the keyboard tray and tried to throw it on the floor. It angered him somehow, and I am sure it deserved it, but damaging computer equipment is counterproductive, so no.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Music to diaper by

J refuses to nap anywhere but in my arms today. Since there are very few activities I can accomplish one-handed, and there is only so much TV a person can watch at a time, I find myself back on my computer. Again. But H will be home soon, and maybe J would like to snuggle with Daddy for a bit too. Ergo, perhaps I'll be productive tonight. One can only hope.

Now, today I registered J in swim classes (he'll be able to play with his little friend Draya, since they are both registered in the same class. YAY!) And I booked his 6 month check-up and paid some bills. And we went for a brief walk too. (Didn't go far, as I am still sick, but I really wanted out of the house for a few moments. At least I'm on the mend now and will hopefully be all better very soon.) I also got through a short section of my course module and the remainder of a demonstration problem in a (very brief) period when J was feeling more independent. Still not sure I'm getting the hang of it, but I'm trying and I'm sure I will understand it for the exam. My flash card pile is growing at an alarming rate and is starting to frighten me! So my day was not completely wasted, but I need a lot more time with both hands free so I can do things like laundry and the rest of my homework. Can't wait for J's daddy to come home. (Sound of me humming merrily in anticipation.)

As already established, H regularly sings to J. He's been performing this delightful little number for quite some time now, and I can't believe I've not blogged it already! It was borne of a late-night diaper change when H was particularly exhausted. (Remember here that we frequently refer to J as "Bubby".)

To the tune of "Hello My Baby":

Hello my baby,
Hello my Bubby,
Hello my stinky boy.
You make your bum go poo;
What is a daddy to dooo-ooo?
When you are stinky
You get all blinky
And then you start to cry.
But daddy
Will keep you warm and dry-y.

That is all. For now.

J's First Journal Entry (aka "In Which J Discovers the Spacebar Then Nearly Reboots My Computer")

nb nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn o;;m 9ommmmmmmjjl nnnnnn c n N,vvvk nkkkkkkkk mmmmmm bbbbbbbbbb mni m ccc b bvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Monday, September 26, 2005

New Pics on Site

Well, I have finally changed the batteries in my camera. It still had enough juice to take pictures, but there wasn't enough power there to upload the shots. And I am pleased to report that this problem is fixed.

So there are some new pics on the site now. Over on the right, under the "Photos" tab, you will find them all. "Boys With Babes", "Feet!", "Highchair" (and everything after that) are all new pics that were added tonight. I hope everyone enjoys them.

I am putting these last ones up now. They were taken a couple of nights ago, on the 24th. J was given these jammies as a gift, and we decided he should start wearing them now. We will have to lend them to L&M once J outgrows them, but we will want them back afterwards, of course. They are special jammies, and we will probably find some sort of doll to put them on so that we can keep them permanently. (There are certain clothes you just don't want to part with, you know?)

Now, H & J are starting to feel better, but I am still really quite sick. I'm off to bed now, and am really hoping for a good sleep. Hopefully this will ease up soon and I'll be able to get more stuff accomplished. It's a pretty nasty bug, though, so we will have to see.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Words of Wisdom from J

"My daddy always tells me: 'Never put your feetsies in your feces!'"

And now, a song. (To the tune of "I've Been Everywhere")

Poo's been everywhere, man.
Poo's been everwhere, man.
Got poo up to there, man.
Even in your hair, man.
Tell you, I've had my share, man
Of poo that's everywhere.

Now we are all sick - a haiku


Health nurse thinks it's croup.
H and I have caught J's bug.
We will all stay in.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Darned drug pushers!

I was driving down one of our main streets earlier, and a sorry state of affairs it was.

Why do city planners insist on doing lines of coke that make them want to put curves into previously straight roads? Why can't their pushers supply them with coke that makes them want to build straight roads? I don't understand it. Aren't the lines of coke straight??

On that same vein, I heard today that the city is planning on widening two of our major thoroughfares for a substantial distance. Could be problematic; they'll have to bulldoze a bunch of businesses and houses in order to make it all "curvey-like".

I wonder if the curves are designed specifically to take our illustrious planners past the late-night drive-thrus once their drug habits have given them the munchies. Hmmm...

And the award for "Pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator" goes to... course lecturer! Yes, some special acclaim is due to the man who found it necessary to say to his invisible students (in his best online lecture monotone voice):

"Now, before we begin, you will want to make sure that you have your lesson notes handy. And you will want to make sure that the lesson notes you have handy are the lesson notes that pertain to this course, that is: Financial Accounting 2."

I am really having a hard time justifying spending any time whatsoever in listening to my online lectures while J sleeps. I feel I should just go through the readings and skip over the lectures, if this is what they are all like. Perhaps I'll try again later ... when I'm in a more patient mood ... like a few decades from now ... patience is not one of my better known attributes.

Oh nooooooo!

Little J is quite sick. He had a super-fussy night, waking about every hour or two. I started cuddling him back to sleep and such. We usually prefer to let him "self-soothe" whenever possible, but I figured it was a good time to make an exception. He was obviously not feeling well at all. This morning, he was still fussing. I went to pick him up and give him more cuddles. He started coughing; then he gagged and threw up. Violently. And repeatedly. Not "spit-up" either, but "throw-up".

It scared me. I thought he was going to choke.

Maybe it's part of his cold or part of the teething, or maybe he has some kind of tummy bug. But whatever is causing it, I sure hope it is short-lived.

He will be getting lots of cuddles today. My homework will wait.

In the meantime, two fun memories from yesterday:

#1: J was on a blanket on the floor playing with a baby gym. He started to sound upset. We looked over and saw that he had pulled the blanket over his head. He could see nothing, and he just lay there, flailing his little arms in the air and making angry noises. We uncovered his face and he was all better. But it didn't stop him from doing it again. And again. And ...

#2: H suggested that J could be a bat for Halloween this year. And that we could just put him in a baby's bat costume and hang him from the ceiling in his jolly jumper to frighten people as they come to the door. This image amused me very much, but I had to add that it would be essential to put an orange A&W sweater on top of his bat outfit! (As an aside, J's "actual" costume will not be the A&W Root Bat. But it will be cute! Thanks, Holly.)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Little J has a cold

Poor little J! He's teething, so he's miserable already. And today, he had a really runny nose. He's currently all stuffed up and a teeny bit feverish, and he's periodically letting out an alarming sounding cough. He desperately wants to be held and cuddled, and I think that's fair. So I thought I'd spend some time on the computer while I hold my grumpy, irritable, sick and drooly little J.

He's had his saline drops. His nose has been aspirated. He's had some Tylenol. He's been fed and changed. If he will nod off in my arms, I will go to bed. But for now, he does not wish to nod off. He is showing no signs of sleepiness.

He is terribly wide awake, actually. He plays with his soother, convinced that the long plastic nipple must be some sort of handle. He fails to understand why he cannot get chewing satisfaction from the other end. Angrily, he throws it on the floor and chews on his burp cloth instead. He drools and blows raspberries. He stares at the computer screen, waiting for Nemo to magically appear (I assume). He snorts and snuffles as he kicks his little chubby feet into the air and squirms in my arms. He seems less than content with being held, but if I put him down he cries. He feels really warm to me.

I sure hope my little guy feels better soon.

Alright. Movie night. My place

Nobody ever did get the mysterious movie #2. This is not a reflection on anyone but me. It appears that I have forgotten to get all of my friends to watch this movie. I don't understand how that happened ... I used to be much more forceful about this.

So we will be scheduling a movie night at our place at some future date, just so I can get everyone to watch one of my favorite movies of all time - the first pre-recorded movie I ever owned - the one that started that rather large collection - the one, the only:

(Yes, that is Madeline Kahn in her first full-length, not-made-for-TV movie. And yes, I know it's "Barbra" as opposed to "Barbara", but I can't be bothered to fix the typo tonight. Whatever. Sue me.)

I'm enjoying this

Some folks have developed a site devoted to those poor minions who slave away, day in day out, serving the thankless and (in some instances) brainless consumer. I believe anyone who does, will, or ever has worked any sort of customer service job will appreciate the humor. (Actually, everyone should really appreciate the humor. It's good stuff!)

So take some time. Kick back and enjoy. And check out the comedy stylings found only in a Retail Rant!

Up late printing

I want to listen to some of my audio lectures tomorrow, since I have some help with J. I figure I'd best print out the materials tonight in preparation. But my printer isn't the best (paper invariably gets jammed), so I have to stay up and supervise the printing process.

I am tired. There is much to print. The first handout I am printing is 44 pages long. I have three more handouts to print after it, which are 18, 28 and 26 pages respectively. That will get me current. And I'm not even halfway through the course yet. I can't believe how much paper these courses take! I do not want to kill quite that many trees (paper isn't all that cheap either), so I am printing on 2 sides (odd pages first, reload the printer, then print even pages). I'll have to save some of the printing for tomorrow. I am tired!

Too many handouts for this course.

J was really teething today. Poor little man! He just chews and chews. I gave him some Tylenol to help, but he was still hurting. He needed many cuddles today. He's lifting his head on his own now, and really trying to sit up. He's not quite there yet, but he's getting closer all the time.

The dietician from my new moms network says that we are to adjust J's age for his prematurity, and use that as the guideline for when he can start solids. Most babies can start when they're 4-6 months of age, but J should start when he's 5-7 months because he was a preemie. He is going to be 6 months old soon (man, I just can't believe that), and I think we'll start him then. The concern with waiting until he's 7 months old is that his iron stores may become depleted, and he'll need some sort of iron supplement if he's not eating infant cereal yet. I see no need to give him supplements when all he needs is a bit of iron-fortified rice cereal. So we have tentatively decided to start J on cereal on October 8, assuming he can sit up a bit better by then. H will be home from work that day to be part of the momentous event, and we'll be able to take our time and have fun with our little boy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Movie Madness!!

J decided to start his day at 6:00 today. I am trying to lull him back to sleep. He loves staring at the computer screen, so it seemed like a good time to do this particular meme. (I should add that my camera is still low on batteries, and that is why I am not taking the opportunity to upload more pictures of J.) So here is the meme that many of my friends are now doing:

1. Pick 15 of your favorite movies and choose one still from each movie.
2. Post those stills in your journal.
3. Have your friends guess which movie goes along with each screen still.

Here are mine:

1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (Nezbitt)

2. What's Up Doc? (Nobody got it!)

Edited September 22, 2005 @ 5:57 p.m. to say:

At the request of the lovely and talented Miss Dottie P., here is a better picture of the wonderful redheaded actress in movie #2:

I hope that helps.

End of edit.

3. From the Hip (Dottie P.)

4. If Lucy Fell (morgoid)

5. Better Off Dead (morgoid)

6. Life is Beautiful (Dottie P.)

7. When Harry Met Sally (Dottie P.)

8. The Usual Suspects (Nezbitt)

9. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (theatre_mommy)

10. Benny & Joon (Dottie P.)

11. Kiss Me Kate (va1kyrie)

12. Ruthless People (theatre_mommy)

13. Malice (theatre_mommy)

14. Philadelphia (Dottie P.)

15. Arsenic & Old Lace (va1kyrie)

They're probably all really easy. And if HD plays, she'll get them all immediately, I'm sure. But there we go anyway.

Anyone care to hazard their guesses?

Monday, September 19, 2005

J Sleeps

Peaceful. Calm. His little hands tucked below his head, on his back in his crib, he is happy and contented. He wears his little blue sleeper with the elephant embroidered in the corner. It is one of his cutest sleepers, but it will soon be too small for him. His little tummy moves rhythmically in response to his breath. He smiles in his sleep as I sing to him: "I'll Love You Forever", our usual lullaby, and so far his favorite. But he is so sleepy and he does not wake, though I can tell from his smile that he can hear me and it makes him happy. I kiss him goodnight. He smells like baby shampoo. And I remind him of how much I love him.

I didn't know that one heart could hold so much love.

For those who wait, patiently or otherwise: I know that I have been promising pictures. The camera batteries are low. Tomorrow or Wednesday, I will try to find a moment to remedy this situation and upload some pictures. We have some cute ones on the camera. Check back later in the week, and they should be here.

"I'm Feeling Lucky"

Here's something to try.

Go to, and type the word "Failure" into the search box. Then hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button (not the google search button) and see what shows up.

I was most entertained.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

What a grouch!

I haven't managed to get anything done on my studies today. I got my hair cut. Short. Which I've been dying to do for months. Haven't managed to get a haircut in months!

Otherwise, it's been quite the unproductive day. J has been grumpy. He has cried, screamed, and even projectile vomitted. H has tried to keep J occupied so I could study, but J's violently loud screams could be heard in the office and no amount of closed doors could stop them. So H mowed the lawn while I kept the screaming baby occupied, and then H took over so I could do the laundry and try to study a wee bit while J screamed in the background, completely unmoved by our pleas and attempts to humor him. He slept briefly, then awoke suddenly and unexpectedly with a loud screaming fit. (H has managed to miss that delightful little habit in the past, and was quite alarmed by it.)

H and I are both exhausted. I can no longer keep anything in my head, so have stopped trying to study for the time being.

I theorize that little J is teething again. I see no teeth in his mouth so far, but I've been told that they hurt like the dickens when they're coming in. It's the only thing we can come up with to explain J's mood today. So we gave him some Tylenol to try to help him out. It took awhile to kick in, but he is sleeping peacefully in my arms now. I must go and put him in his crib. I hope not to wake him. I may just let him sleep in his overalls tonight, rather than changing him into his pj's. Anything to keep him happy at this point.

Poor, sweet little tyke!

On a completely different note: H was working on a crossword puzzle last night. He asked me if I knew what the plural for "solo" is. This struck me as a most ironic inquiry, as "solo", by definition, is singular.

(In truth, I know the plural form is "solos", and apparently it can also be "soli", but when someone turns to you and says, "What's the plural for 'solo'?", it sounds weird!)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Raspberry Baby

J is supposed to be sleeping. He should be sleeping. He is in his jammies, has been changed and fed, and lies peacefully and contentedly in his crib. All is still. All is calm. J should be sleeping.

But is J sleeping?

J lays in his crib. Wide awake. Blowing raspberries. Loudly. Repeatedly. Rhythmically.

I wish I had a tape recorder!

Update: September 18, 2005 @ 9:25 a.m.

H singing to J (Part 3)

To "Raspberry Beret" by Prince

"'Cause you're a raspberry baby
The kind you find in the grocery store.
You are a raspberry baby
You go 'thbbbpt thbbbpt' but you can't say much more."

Both fine organizations, but hardly interchangeable

I am making flash cards for my course. I began to write that the CICA is responsible for accounting standard setting in Canada, but my hand moved quicker than my brain, and I nearly indicated on my flash card that the CIA is ultimately responsible for this task.

That could have been an unfortunate bit of memorization!

Note to self: I need more cue cards ASAP. I am rapidly running out, and don't want to have to re-read any more of this stuff than absolutely necessary in order to make flash cards.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Not so hot

I ran my first quiz tonight. Of 12 questions, I answered only 9 correctly, for a total of 75%. It appears I am not getting this. So far. But I still have time to improve.

I really hope I improve. I really, really, really hope I improve.

I am terribly afraid of failing my course.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

H Singing to J (Part 2)

(For those of you who missed Part I, click here to read.)

This morning, H was playing with J with his little stuffed sheep (the sheep is important to the story). Suddenly, H began to sing.

To the tune of "[Somewhere] Beyond the Sea":

Beyond Boobie;
Waiting for Baby
Are peas and carrots and squash
And a little rack of lamb
They are yum-my."

I laughed myself into a tizzy.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remember a moment, back last May, which I failed to blog. H was reading J "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". When he was done, he began to play with J, with the little stuffed caterpillar that came with the book (thanks KJ and D).

H: "And the caterpillar says, 'J, can I have some of your breast milk?'"
J: "BARF!!!!"


J plays happily in his exersaucer. I finally got it all cleaned up and ready for his use. I put him in it, and piled all of his toys on the ledge around him. He gave me his first full-out laugh, when I added "Monkey" to the pile! H was home this morning, so he got to hear it and everything. It was very sweet.

As J played in his exersaucer, "Little Bear" showed in the background on Treehouse. When it was done, a little sketch-type thing played as a filler between shows. Four men in what appeared to be Star Trek outfits danced jubilantly behind a large (and eerily creepy) octopus. I was relieved that H thought the same as me, and we both expressed it at the same time.

"That octopus is gonna shoot the guy in the red shirt, isn't he?" we said.

In any event, here is a picture of J in his exersaucer. Sweet, isn't he?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No way

62 pages worth of handouts. For the 6 audio lectures. Plus slides that can be printed out to accompany said lectures. For just the first module of this course. There are a total of 10 modules.

I have to do studying in the wee small hours to get enough in. It is difficult to study with J.

I have not listened to any of the audio lectures. My experience with the first course was that I ran short on time for that, so I barely touched on those. I would like to do it, but it is difficult to stay awake listening to the invisible lecturer droning on my computer.

We'll see. At least I have completed the first module and am almost halfway through the second now. Soon, I will write my first quiz in this course. I hope it isn't horrible.

I don't think I'm quite grasping this course just yet. I really hope it comes. It's a tough course. Its predecessor was a really hard course as well, so this is not surprising. But I feel mentally ill-equipped.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pilot Boy

Well, last month H and I found a little aviator jacket for J. It was so very cute, and we bought it for him. We got it large, so he'd be able to wear it for longer.

It is still big for him, but he is able to wear it now. And that is perfect timing, since we have now bought him the matching hat!

So what if we have no money left? Our little boy is stylin'!

Monday, September 12, 2005

J's nemesis

J has decided that the computer is his enemy. And the phone. And my textbook. Really, anything that takes my attention from him is pure evil today, as far as J is concerned. He does not wish to nap in his crib; he wants to be snuggled for naps today. And he does not want me reading, working, or talking to anyone but him while he enjoys his snuggles, napping or otherwise.

So I haven't gotten much done today. And I must confess, I have enjoyed my day tremendously. J is lots of fun to hold and cuddle. I love him so very much! But I do have homework, so can't afford too many days like this one. H will take over this evening, and I'll get some work done.

Tonight, we are getting J the matching hat for his very cool aviator jacket! He should be able to wear his jacket in another month or so; it is really big for him just now. It will still be big on him in a month, but that just means he'll get to wear it for longer. Always best to get more wear out of clothes, I say.

My friends' little boy was laid to rest today. Yet another reason to hold J as much as possible. I feel so sad for my friends, and also very, very lucky to have our little J here with us and healthy. It is a sad, cold, rainy, icky day. And here am I, so blessed.

I am feeling fortunate today. And really, when I stop to consider the grand scheme of things, I have no business to feel otherwise.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Well, J is rapidly growing out of his clothes. He is getting just ever so big! Today, we put him in his "Hungry Caterpillar" outfit for what I suspect may be the last time. It isn't tight on him, but it is short. He's quite long now, apparently.

I remember him wearing it at his baby shower, and he was just swimming in it then! He's wearing it (little orange outfit with the sunglasses) in my "user pic" too, and it's still baggy there. But things don't stay that way forever, I suppose.

We failed to get a picture of J wearing the outfit today, but we managed to get this shot while he was being changed out of it.

Study woes et al

H took J out on the town today so I could get some extra studying done.

I have now (finally) completed all of the required readings for the first module of my course. I need to complete the self-test (it's looooong) in order to feel secure in my knowledge of Module 1. I've briefly started to review the "Summary" section of my on-line course, but it looks more like study material to prepare for the final exam, so I'll work on reviewing that repeatedly at various points in order to study for the exam.

For now, I need to complete the Module 1 self-test and start Module 2. I hope to have that one completed by next weekend, so that I can write the quiz that goes with it on either Saturday or Sunday. There's a timeline for completing each quiz, and I must make certain I get them done and submitted in the window, or I will fail the course.

Now, I wonder if I should run the self-tests after completing each module, or if it would be best to do them as part of my exam prep. My instincts are saying to do them at the end of each module, though, so that's what I had best do. Maybe later this afternoon and/or into the evening, I'll work on the Module 1 self-test. So much to do, and no time. But it will all be worth it in the end. (Better be!)

On a more positive note, H, J and I are going out to meet my dear old friend, PW, for dinner tonight. I haven't seen PW in a very long time, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him. I wish his whole family were in town, but they are not. Hopefully at some point we will get out to see them.

H and J are back home now. J is sleeping peacefully in his carseat, and I'm just taking a breather from studying. I need to break from time to time, or my brain completely numbs and I absorb nothing.

We managed to get our hands on a roof rack for the car from Freecycle! Man, I love that group. We need to arrange to pick it up this week. I look forward to getting it.

Still no word on funeral arrangements for my friends' little boy. I take this to mean that they would prefer to have family only attend the funeral. Still hurting for them, but taking things as they come. I don't have a great deal of time to stop and/or think about things. This is probably a good thing right about now.

On a less self-centered vent, I can't believe it has only been four years since the 9-11 tragedy. It seems so long ago, but it was not. So much has happened in the world since then. Things have been too eventful. I am certain that it wasn't always like this. What happened to my world?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Grabby little thing

J slept better last night. Not great, but better. He is in tolerably good spirits this morning. Wanting loving and snuggles, but that is certainly no sacrifice. We love holding him! I hope I will still be able to get some studying in, though. I can manage a bit if he naps in the Snugli, though his napping independently is better. I have a great deal of reading to get through today. H will provide some assistance later today. C&L are coming back into town this morning and H is going to pick them up from the airport, but after he gets back I should be able to get a fair bit of my reading done. Hope so anyway.

J loves being smiled at, read to, and sung lullabies. Anything where he has our utmost attention makes J pretty happy. He is enjoying all of his toys and baby equipment now in small doses; even his swing, which he wasn't pleased with initially, has now become a wonderful toy. But even though he's not quite as high maintenance as he once was, he's still a real handful!

While H was holding J this morning, J got all grabby and ripped off H's glasses. J then stuffed them in his mouth. Fortunately, baby slobber is easy to clean up! But I guess we have reached the "everything must go in my mouth" stage of J's development now. He chews all of his toys, his stuffed animals, his jolly jumper straps ... even his peepee teepees if we're not quick enough. (Yuck!) He has gotten really good at grabbing stuff now. And he periodically cries for reasons no one can understand.

Ah, to be a baby.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Gettin' Ready!

J is soon going to be eating solids. I'm not sure exactly when this will happen just yet; he'll be 6 months old soon, which is what they usually recommend, but I have to find out for certain what is appropriate, given his prematurity. But in any event, it will be soon!

J was given a highchair as a present. It's all set up in the kitchen, waiting for him to start his rice cereal. I decided J needed some "getting-used-to-it" time. I took a few pictures, but a couple were so blurry there doesn't seem much point in putting them up. This one, however, turned out just fine (even though you can't really see much of the highchair).


J Discovered "Cat" This Morning

J had a rough night. He woke up before 5 a.m. and would not go back to sleep. We tried everything we could think of, but finally I just left the room with J so that H could still try and get some sleep.

H didn't have to work until later this morning, so we traded off once he was up. H took J out of the room, and I got a bit more sleep. I hope I will be able to get some more studying done today. I really, really have to.

Once H and I were both up and around, I was holding J, laying him across my lap, and just getting ready to feed him. H grabbed Jazzy-cat and held her above J, saying "Cat". J reached up and grabbed Jazz's paw. It was so cute! At least until he seemed to be trying to pull on the paw. We made him release it.

On that note, J's grip is improving steadily. He can remove a pair of glasses from a person's face now and just hold them for quite some time. I don't know how long he can continue to hold them, as I am blind without them and have to make him return them quickly.

I am now trying to tucker J out for naptime so that I can get some studying done. I can't study while he's awake, even if he's happy. He's a bundle of energy and must be watched. He is currently in his jolly jumper, and he loves it. He has bounced away, spun around, and even swung back and forth. Mostly though, he is just taste-testing the strap at the moment. He appears to be done bouncing for the time being. Perhaps he is nap-ready?

We shall see.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


My friend's little one passed away tonight. He was born in July with a lung impairment termed a "C-Cam". His prognosis was not good from the start, but there was still hope.

I am very sad for my friend and his wife, and I don't know how they will cope. I have been told that they are both doing well but that they have requested no contact at this time. I understand.

My heart hurts.

Be Succinct!!

I am doing my FA2 readings. I am on section C3 of the Ethics Handbook, and have found the following excerpt (written by M. Bayles) to be most enlightening:

"Professionals should be honest with their clients. By definition, a dishonest professional is not worthy of a client's trust. Because the obligation of honesty is to the client, it does not directly require honesty toward others. Professionals can be honest with their clients and in acting in their behalf be dishonest with others. If so, they do not violate a responsibility to their client but one to others."

Okay, so what I take that to mean is this: "Professionals have an obligation to be honest with their clients, and a responsibility to be honest with others."

You see, all the repetition is what makes my current reading 45 pages long!

(And they made me take a Communications class to learn proper writing styles and how to be succinct. Well, perhaps the author of this section of the Ethics Handbook should have been made to take such a class.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Well, are they slow or merely inattentive?

I haven't actually seen this sign. It's apparently somewhere in New Jersey. I found it on the last page of the October Car and Driver.

And we thought we had traffic problems here!

"Equine" means "Horse"

And, in case there were any doubt:

5 Months Old Today

J is 5 months old. It is official.

Today, we went to the new moms network and learned all about infant massage. J was quite taken with it, and it was fun to give baby-kins a massage. He seemed to enjoy it hugely, and it relaxed him for naptime. He is sleeping against me in his Snugli just now. I think he had some bad dreams earlier; he awoke with quite a start and just started screaming. Seems all better now.

I am reflecting on how much my little boy has changed since he was born. I thought a "Then and Now" moment might be in order. So here we go:

J at birth:

J at one month old:

J at two months old:

J at three months old:

J at four months old:

J at five months old:

As a point of reference, here is J in mid-May, wearing the same outfit he is wearing at five months old:

How do they get so big so soon? I just can't believe how much he has grown and changed already.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I'm taking a course. Taking a course and looking after a baby. Taking a course, caring for a house, and looking after a baby. Taking a course, ...

I'm busy; swamped. Trying to do well in my program of study, but plagued by various interruptions. I am thankful I have H to help me. I don't know how single parents manage.

Exhausted. Hard to concentrate. Frequent breaks are essential. This makes things difficult, when I am trying to study as much as possible when J is asleep. Breaks seem like a luxury I can't afford. But I must take them, or my mind fuzzes over and I stop absorbing anything I read. I am hoping that my time management skills will improve. I had this down to a science at one point in time, but J has thrown me way off-kilter. (Totally worth it, btw!)

J is sleeping. I am wrapping up for the night and will be heading off to the land of nod shortly. I hope for pleasant sleep tonight and more coursework tomorrow. Must be productive in spite of myself. Obviously failed to upload more pictures today. Hopefully tomorrow...we'll see. (H says J looks like a bat in the "flying baby" close-up from yesterday's post! Just the way his hands are.)

On a completely different note, J has decided that baths aren't so bad after all. He still doesn't especially like them, but he doesn't start crying until near the end now. I am hoping that we will get him enjoying his bath time shortly. It is fun to bathe the little guy, and I want him to have fun with it too!

Tomorrow at new mom's network: infant massage.

J and his feet

J is really exploring things now. Tonight, he started really grabbing for his feet while he was getting ready for bed after his bath. Here he is, lying on his hooded towel, and having just so much fun!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Much to tell and many pictures to share

Edited Sept 6/05 @ 2:36 p.m. If you are not viewing this post for the first time, please see the new picture of J swinging.

Let's see...

Yesterday, we were awaiting my friend, HD's, arrival at our place for a brief visit. She was just in town for a few days. I miss her! But I did get to spend some time with her over the past few days, and I guess it will have to tide me over for awhile. It is very hard to see friends that live so far away. At least we can keep in fairly close contact via phone and email. I am thankful that we live in an electronic age.

While we were waiting for HD to come by, H decided to play with J. They quite enjoy playing "Flying Baby" together. Here are a couple of pics of the two of them and their fun game.

So HD came by yesterday evening, along with J's Memaw and her hubby. We had a very nice visit with them. Memaw brought J a big stuffed lion! J is far too small to have a full appreciation of it just now, but he will sure love it when he gets bigger. Last night, Jiver-cat decided that "this place wasn't big enough for the both of them", so he attacked the lion in an effort to show it who was boss. He knocked it over, and stood over his prey, victorious. We put the lion away for safekeeping after that. We are determined that it is not to be a cat toy!

We made it to theatre mommy's birthday party later in the evening. Didn't stay very long, as we were quite tired and had just a dreadfully long day. But we were pleased that we had managed to make it at all, really. It was good.

Once we got home and ready for bed, we actually managed to get a very good sleep. We are pleased to report that J has really taken to his crib. It is still in our room with us, but he quite enjoys hanging out in it now. He plays with his toys and then falls asleep on his own. And when he wakes up in the morning, he amuses himself with his toys for awhile before demanding that we tend to his needs. Here is a picture of J sleeping in his crib (on his side, of course; he was trying to roll over at the time). Isn't he sweet?

Today, I met up with theatre mommy, va1kyrie and M (who needs a web presence) for a "Mom's Day Out". It was H's first time alone, looking after J. I can't believe our little man is nearly 5 months old and I have only been apart from him one time before today! H and I both did very well in our respective roles, and I had a lot of fun out with the girls. I was very glad that we were able to go, and that H was so capable with J. He refused to nap, but he wasn't particularly fussy for H. This is good, as it means H may be willing to look after him again in the future so that I can have further baby-free outings with friends. I miss the baby when I am away from him, but it is important for my sanity that I be periodically reminded that I am a person separate and apart from J.

Before I left the house this morning, an old friend stopped by with some hand-me-down items for J. He got quite the haul! Among the items we received is a "Little Tikes" toybox, shaped like a football. It is just about the cutest thing ever (even though ours is missing the laces; I'm sure that piece was quite easily broken). H and I were both really taken with it. J also received his first pair of ice skates (the ones that attach to the bottom of a young child's shoes). Maybe he'll be able to wear them next winter; he'll certainly be far too young this winter, and won't even be walking yet.

After my friend left, H and I decided to try putting J in his swing for awhile. He has now taken to his swing, and has quite a bit of fun in it, though he still doesn't use it for sleeping. Here is J just swingin' away!

Thanks again, Paul, for the cool .gif file.

Anyhow, after I got back from my day away, H and I headed out to pick up an exersaucer for J that we managed to score off of Freecycle. What a great resource that group is! So here is a picture of J's new exersaucer.

Yes, the cat has claimed it. But not for long!

(I'm not going to post a link in "Photos" to the cat-in-the-exersaucer picture, as I think people are mostly interested in seeing shots of the baby. If anyone disagrees, leave me a comment and I'll link the photo.)

Once we got back home, we sat down with J to feed, snuggle, play with, etc. J was quite snuggly tonight. He got quite upset when he threw-up (out his nose), which we were all less than impressed with. And he became quite pleased when he rolled over again, which we were all most impressed with. H and I both saw it this time. It took him several attempts, and finally he pretty much flung himself over (he kind of takes a running start, as it were, moving most of the way to the left and then throwing himself sharply to the right to flip over onto his tummy) but the technique worked for him and he got flipped over eventually. I was so happy that I saw it this time!

Now, I do have a few more pictures to post at some point, but it is totally bed time now. Besides, this post is really quite long already! I'll try to get the other pics up tomorrow some time.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

J Just Rolled Over!

And we both missed it!!

I was upstairs brushing my hair, getting ready to go out. H was downstairs with J, but he had his back turned for a moment. When he turned back around, J had rolled completely onto his tummy. I made it downstairs just in time to see J on his tummy and to find him rolling back onto his back.

We tried, but couldn't get J interested in trying to roll over onto his tummy again. I can't believe we missed it. I am so sad!

Puzzle Rankings

5 minutes 54 seconds, set on "Evil".

Top 4% for ranking. Woohoo!

Up late doing stuff in preparation for a future baby-free outing. Must stay entertained. Must ... stay ... awake ... ... ...


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

I'm sad.

Why do these things happen? I don't understand. I am glad to learn that the survivors are at last getting the help they so urgently require. But the loss of life, and the violence, and the ... I don't understand.

Got home tonight from dinner with friends to a voice mail message with bad news. Feeling down about that too. Too much pain and suffering in the world. I guess if it were all sunshine and rainbows, we wouldn't appreciate the sunshine and rainbows when we see them. The bad stuff is what makes us appreciate the good stuff, I suppose.

I just really wish there didn't have to be bad stuff.

Friday, September 02, 2005

"Bravo" is Weird!

H and I were watching a video tonight. When we turned it off, we were shocked and dismayed to find what appeared to be a pornographic film on our cable TV. We quickly changed the channel, but curiosity got the best of us. We of course do not subscribe to any adult channels, so were wondering what the heck we may have been seeing there. Well, it turned out to be a movie (classified as a comedy by the way) on Bravo. Description as follows: "Intrigue, conflict and romance surround a wide array of people converged on a nude beach in Australia."

Classified as a comedy or not, when the movie features a couple in the shower, complete with full frontal nudity ... well, it seems Bravo will be going on my parental controls list. I am thankful my cable package comes with that feature.

On a more positive note, J is still getting really close on the rolling over thing. Though I still haven't managed to get a picture of him grabbing for his feet, I did get these shots of him tonight, playing with his "1-2-3 Baby Tigger & Me" activity gym.

Isn't he a sweetheart? He loves that gym so much!

I know what you're thinking. "Is that a monocle?" And no. It isn't.

Now, rest assured, these were all candid shots. As much as it looks like we posed him for a couple of these, we did not.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

J has found his feet

He discovered them around bedtime last night. He can't quite manage to grab one, but he is trying valiantly. If I can manage to get a picture of his attempts, I will post it later. He is being quite cute.

He has also mastered the art of the raspberry. He does that an awful lot, and it seems it has become a primary means of communication. I'm not sure what he thinks it means, but it is cute when he does it.

In any event, apparently his feet are much more entertaining and important than sleep. J did not sleep well last night. At all. And he woke up really early this morning. And he's still up. Hence, I too am functioning on very little sleep. And yesterday's migraine? Still there.

My friend HD is up from the States for a visit. She and J's Memaw are coming for a visit around 11:00 today. I must manage to get myself, J and the house all cleaned up for their visit. If I can just get J to stay calmly in his crib, I can get started. Hopefully, this will happen very shortly.

I hope to do more thank-you cards this week (at last count, I had roughly 35 still to do). And I also hope to start my coursework. I am working on Financial Accounting II this semester, and still wanting to write my CORES Level II challenge exam as well. But we shall see.