Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Update

Not long ago, we picked up some new shirts for Aislin at a Target in Eugene on our way to the Lane County Fair. These shirts were pretty cool. One had the AC/DC logo on it and the phrase "For those about to rock." The other was a dark pink with a little bird singing the alphabet. We liked that one because it was literary. Last night, Kate and I were looking at our daughter in the latter shirt, and we realized that apparently, birds can't sing the letter "O." The letter "O" was missing. We couldn't believe it. So much for literary.

We got a notice last week that our landlord is going to raise our rent substantially. He's going to raise it so much it's no longer in our budget to live here, so we need to have a new place by October 1. Stressful? Oh yes. Also pretty exciting. I'd been craving a little adventure and this is just the thing. I'm not despairing because Kate just got a huge raise and I'm beginning the transcribing thing, so financially things are looking up. Otherwise, this could be the recipe for the perfect storm.

This weekend Kate and I, along with her parents, went to a barbecue at a house her aunts and grandmother bought recently. A lot of Kate's family was there, including her cousin's three year old daughter who did not appreciate the competition Aislin provided. While Kate finished eating, I took Aislin for walks around their house in the yard. I thought about how much I wanted a yard so things like this could happen on a more regular basis. She should have the opportunity to play outside and use her imagination, not be drawn to the tv like so many of her peers. She's already drawn to the tv. On Friday, we went to McMenamins and the primary thing she was interested in was the tv over our shoulders.

She's learning a bunch of developmental stuff too. She hasn't laughed yet, but she's rolling over onto her stomach on her own, and she grabs her feet. Once, she managed to get her toes into her mouth, but it hasn't happened since. She's really upset right now, so I'm going to cut this blog entry off here. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A rant

So I've started transcribing a little bit, and it's kind of rocky. It requires getting used to a new program, and I'm not yet. It's kind of frustrating. But I'll get used to it. The REALLY frustrating part, is that my anti-virus program freaks out every time I start it up. It randomly deletes drivers that I need in order to run the program, it blocks hardware from working properly, and is generally overly aggressive. On top of that, Windows just tried to install an update that looked pertinent to this program and couldn't do it for some reason. I tried all of the Microsoft-suggested solutions, but they all involved my credit card number. Forget it. I tried restarting, and now NOTHING IS WORKING. Luckily, Aislin is sleeping. But she wasn't earlier. I was so frustrated at my computer, meanwhile my baby is crying like a banshee. Then the phone rings. It feels like Monday struck a day too late.

Earlier this morning, Aislin was being totally cute. She was talking and having a great time. Kate fed her and we had a lovely breakfast together. Half an hour after Kate fed her, Aislin thinks it's time to eat again. I'm thinking, yeah right. You just ate. Nope. She's hungry again. She downs something like four ounces and goes to sleep.

Just, since I'm ranting a little, look at this: last night I rented disc five of the fifth season of Lost. It has ONE EPISODE on it. ONE!!!! It reminded me of the first season of Heroes, because the last disc in that series also had only one episode on it, BUT it was rented out alongside the previous disc!! Because back then, they knew that renting a disc of a tv show with only ONE EPISODE on it was a rip off. Now, in the days of Netflix, Blockbuster isn't as generous. Also, check this out: why oh why does there need to be five discs anyway? The discs hold four episodes, and disc one only had three! AND all the blu-ray companies are all like "bleh, it holds so much more data, bleh." Well then, tell me why there are the exact same number of blu-ray discs as DVDs. Because the more merchandise there is, the greater the likelihood that one will break, thus forcing the buyer to replace it later. Ugh. Generally, I'm in favor of Capitalism. But heartless Capitalism that takes advantage of a consumer like that... when I'm mad, it only makes me madder. But most of the time I don't really care.

FYI: Tech support just called on my computer. Try plugging it into a different USB port, they say. I do, and it works fine. Everything is better. Back to work for me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grumpiness and Income from Daddy! FINALLY

Aislin's four-month birthday was on Saturday. She must have begun her fourth-month growth spurt, because lately she's been more fussy than usual. We used to be able to take her wherever we wanted and she would do just fine. She'd patiently let strangers hold her and she'd fall asleep all the time... she was pretty much the ideal baby. Now, though, she's developed some preferences. She definitely prefers Mom and Dad, and anyone else holding her is going to have an unhappy baby before long. This has been... upsetting? Difficult? A change for Grandma and Grandpa. My parents used to be able to take her whenever and she'd just go to sleep or be content while Grandma rocked her. Now, not so much. It's Mom, Dad, or nothing doing. On Saturday (her four month birthday, remember?) we went and saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and left her with my Mom and Dad. Evidently, she cried the entire time we were gone. By the time we got back, Dad was ready for a nap from walking her all over. Sometimes the only thing she wants is to be vertical and moving around. She doesn't even like being rocked like a normal baby. It's too boring or stagnant or something. She has to MOVE.

Today, she was grumpy. On top of her new preferences, she was grumpy. The only thing she wanted was to be moving or eating. Anything else would not fly. Normally she takes a mid-morning nap and an afternoon nap. Well, the mid-morning nap lasted for about 15 minutes and then the crying began. I couldn't get hardly anything done. It was pretty frustrating for me; I just wanted her to be her cheerful self -- or at least give her what she needed. Sometimes, I can put her on our bed and she'll squeal and pull my beard and tell me all kinds of things, but today all she wanted was to eat and move. No naps. No sitting. No playing. Food.

On the employment front, remember those fliers Ted, Nick, and I made and posted around campus? Well, they were advertising my editing skills. Someone hired me. Yeah! Someone needed a history paper looked over by midnight Friday and I took the job. He left a message on my phone, and at first I thought he said 200 pages. I gulped and wasn't sure if I could get that many pages edited by midnight, but he said it was only 200 words. Oh man. I could do that in half an hour. It was more like 2000 words, because it was five pages. Anyway, I said I could just look for grammar and that would be one dollar per page, or I could go through it with a fine-tooth comb and that would be 2.50 per page. He said he'd pay me 20 bucks to get it as good as possible. Booyah. Done and done. It was a success, and when he paid me on Saturday he said he'd recommend me to anyone. His girlfriend was a writer and she was impressed with my comments and he said she may need an editor in her future sometime. At least, I assume it was his girlfriend. It was a girl, who appeared to be something like a friend. It was a success. All around. 20 bucks! After an entire year, I bring in some money again! A tiny victory -- a minute, microscopic one even -- but a victory nonetheless! Kate and I were so excited we made business cards for me. They look great.

It's late now, so I'm off to bed. One thing about Aislin acting up all day is that she normally sleeps more at night. So that's good. I'm looking at the good side of things right now. She's still enormously cute. She steals every party we go to.

Oh! Really fast. We had dinner with a friend of mine from high school, Julia, and her husband Sam, and their six-month-old son Colin. It was the first time either Colin or Aislin had seen another baby, so we held them up to each other. Colin thought she was just the greatest thing. His eyes got wide and he started bouncing and reaching out to touch her and talking to her... Aislin on the other hand, was not so sure. She looked at him and let him touch her, but she didn't bounce or coo like he did. She just turned shyly back to Mommy. I told her guys like a little reciprocity, but I understood. Hopefully she didn't inherit my prohibitively shy nature. It was kind of sad; Colin was only six months old, and he had already faced his first rejection. We thought it was funny though. By the time we were leaving, we held them up to each other one last time and they both began to cry. Kate and I promised Colin we'd talk him up when we got home. Maybe that's why Aislin's been so grumpy lately...

Monday, August 2, 2010


Recently Aislin has begun to try to talk. I've heard "good," "poop," "me," "milk," and "mom." The last one means the most to me. Mom? What about Dad? She hasn't really made the Aah vowel sound yet, except in "waaaah," so I'm still waiting for her to say "Dad." Of course, I believe all of this is Kate and I assigning words and meaning to sounds she's making. She's not quite four months old. It's a little early to be talking.

Over the weekend, she was a trooper. We went to a party on Saturday and she was as peaceful as could be. She let us know when it was time to go home, but until then she put up with everything. On Sunday we had an early morning breakfast with my best friend who's in town for only four days, and then we went down to Eugene. Once again, she was tolerant of the whole thing until she wasn't. Which was a good long time. What a great baby.

Lately she's had bouts of inconsolable. Have I talked about this? Probably, but what it means is she's recognizing a new need she has and we, her parents, have no idea what it is. Sometimes she's hungry, sometimes she needs a new diaper, sometimes she's just tired. Normally when Kate's here, the golden ticket is nursing. That calms her down no matter what. A few times now she's wanted something else and we don't know what it is. We still don't.

The apartment is a mess and I've been trying to get it cleaned up, but Aislin doesn't seem to want that to happen. She insists she needs to be fed or changed or held all the time. By the time I convince her to take her mid-morning nap, I'm tired myself. The apartment stays squalid. I didn't even get my cup of coffee today until almost 11:00. All I had to do was pour it. On the one hand, it's good. I don't have to justify to myself or anyone else not having a job. If I spend all my time trying to take care of the baby as best I can and I can't even get a cup of coffee from a pot that's already made, or I can't keep the apartment in a livable condition, how can I possibly have a job? I would like to someday go to graduate school, but if this keeps up there's no way in heaven or on earth. It's a paradox. It's confining, but also liberating. I'm confined to this apartment, but liberated from outside responsibility. For now. Eventually everything changes. I'm content to wait.