Sunday, June 03, 2007

Moving soon.

Actually, I pretty much have the other site all set up I just haven't made the move official.

For reasons that I explain on the new blog I've decided to move my ramblings over to a new blog called 42. As soon as I figure out how to do an automatic redirect on this page I will try to set it up so that any of you who are reading presently won't get lost in the move. I will also be shutting down the googlepages site and will try to set up a redirect there too.

In the meantime I won't be putting up any new posts here at this address and comments are going to be turned off.

Come see me and MJ at 42. :)

Friday Night Date night

Friday night my mother and step-father drove down to our house to babysit MJ for the night. Thrill of thrills! We had a babysitter on a Friday night. So what romantic getaway did we plan? Was it a candlelit dinner on the bay? A hand in hand stroll along South Beach?

No. We went to an infant CPR class. So much for romanticism.

Now that MJ is 6 1/2 months old (my god, has time really gone that quickly?) I thought it was about time to get my ass in gear and take a safety course. Yes, I should have done it ages ago, but the opportunity just never arose. Friday night our Gymboree location had an RN from Jackson Memorial Hospital come in and go over the basics of CPR and other information important to a paranoia mamma home alone with her newly mobile baby. She covered the basics of how to deal with a choking infant as well as discussions of the dangers of after market items in the car (such as sun shields on the windows) should one get into a car accident.

All in all it was a class that was well worth that time and I'm glad we went. I just hope that the next night we manage to secure a babysitter we can do something a little more intimate, even if it's just dinner and a movie.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Paige, the air travel masochist

June 1st, the first day of summer. (Ok, technically summer doesn't begin until the solstice on the 21st, but to anyone living in South Florida June 1st really means the first day of hurricane season, and that pretty much amounts to the same thing.) Naturally we have begun making our summer vacation (read – obligatory visits) plans. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against visiting friends and relatives. What I hate is flying. Yes, I hate airplanes. Well, that's not entirely true. Airplanes are fine and dandy (again, with the horrifying phraseology) as long as I'm not on them. I wouldn't exactly call this a phobia as phobias by nature are irrational fears. I think it's quite rational to be afraid of a huge bucket of metal hurtling through the sky with no safety net. The thing that always get me most is the insistence on seat belts. Really, if we fall from the sky the only thing a seat belt is going to do is make it easier to match my body to the flight records.

But I digress.

I'm not a masochist for arranging summer vacation plans. However, I am certainly indulging in self abuse to be making as many plans as I am. Let's see, where to begin.

July 4th: CableDad and I frequently go out to visit his parents just outside of Seattle. This year we are taking MJ on her first visit. This coincidentally will also be her first plane trip. Brilliant! So her first plane trip will require waking her up at 4 am to get to the airport by 7 at which point she will be strapped into a car seat for 5 ½ hours (yeah, that will go over well) while we fly into a different time zone practically guaranteeing a week of hellish sleep. Woohoo! I'm certainly looking forward to that. Never mind the fact that I tend to sit on the plane white knuckled concentrating very intently on whatever book I have with me so as not to think about the fact that I am 30,000+ above the ground. (Is it ironic that I actually do want to go sky diving? This has been pointed out to me in the past. I always say that it is not a contradiction as at least with sky diving I'm guaranteed a parachute.) The travel agent arranged the tickets for us because I was having a hell of a time finding a direct flight from Miami to Seattle. I figured the shorter the trip and the fewer the lay overs, the less time MJ would be forced tot behave and the fewer times I'd have to deal with take off and landings. Unfortunately there is only one air line that flies direct and it's flight is at the crack of dawn, requiring us to be up well before that crack. I must seriously be smoking crack to consider this.

Luckily that trip CableDad will be accompanying me. No such luck later on this summer.

I decided awhile back that since my grandmother is no longer capable of traveling I would being MJ to visit her. (This is not the same grandmother we visited for Mother's Day.) Allowing MJ to meet her other Great Grandmother requires flying to New York, which we will be doing in late July. Ok, not nearly as bad as Seattle, less than half the distance and the flight leave at a least an hour or two later. Unfortunately, this time around CableDad has to stay home and work. In his place my soon-to-be 14 year old step-brother will be coming with us. I know for a fact that he will be a great help, that's just the kind of kid he is, however, I think I'm probably not going to be able to grip his hand in panic when we hit turbulence. I'm equally sure I can't hand him the baby when I'm nervous and not wanting to stress her out. (Sorry, MJ, Mamma's going to be forced to inflict her paranoia on you. Hope it doesn't scar you for life.)

The third trip we have planned is a trip to North Carolina the first week of August. (Becky, if you're reading this we will be there from the 4th until the 11th and will most likely have a car. I'm really hoping we can come out and see you guys.) Again, I think CableDad might be unable to come with us as he's already going to be taking the July 4th week off and I doubt two weeks in two months is going to fly (yes, pun intended) well. However, the flight out there won't be so bad. MJ and I will be going with my father, step-mother and above mentioned step-brother. No problem there. The problem for this flight will be the return home. MJ and I will be leaving a day or so earlier than everyone else. We go home on a Saturday and they'll stay through the weekend. What does that mean to this paranoid traveler? Well, it means that I hope to hell that the two previous flights have turned me into an expert flier since I will be doing that trip all on my own, car seat, stroller and pack-and-play in tow. UGH! What am I doing to myself?

Of course that's only my stress over the actual flight and travel. I've said nothing about MJ's decidedly delicate sense of routine. The girl thrives on routine. I have no idea how sleeping in an unfamiliar place will go over. Naps are hell even at home. But that's a story for another time.

And a note out to my Toronto friends, yes I'm insane, but yes I am planning on coming up to visit you guys as well. To be honest, since I've been in Miami for the past year I figure it's best if I try to arrange that before winter hits. However, after the nightmare of three trips inside of two months I think I may wait until at least September before I attempt that one as I'll be coming up by myself. Anyone want to house a slightly frazzled Miami refugee?

I'm a new woman!

MJ was a raging rabid bear by about 6 pm last night (go figure since she had skipped both morning and afternoon naps) so we put her down by 6:30. Mind you, bed time is usually 8. I fully expected another night of hell so went to bed early, but guess what?

She slept straight through until 8! Which means, I slept through until 8.

I'm a new woman today. Bring it on!

(Mr. Murphy, I was just talking smack. I didn't really mean it. Please don't bring it on again so quickly. Thank you.)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last night was hell!

Teething sucks.

MJ has the lung power of an opera star should she choose to be one.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mama Day

It has been a long time since I've read a book purely for pleasure, even longer since it was a work of fiction. That's what working on a PhD and teaching European history courses can do to you. However, a month or so ago I promised myself that I would take some time to indulge my love of books and read something just for myself, with no view to writing a paper or teaching a class. The book I chose was one that was recommended to me by a woman on a mothering discussion board. It's called Mama Day. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and plan to build up a new TBR list (To Be Read, for those who aren't obsessive readers, don't already have such lists and have never used that particular acronym) of modern authors recommended to me by other people or those which simply catch my eye.

Mama Day was written by Gloria Naylor, an African American woman from New York writing about life on a small fictional island, Willow Springs, straddling the border between South Carolina and Georgia. The people of Willow Springs, and specifically the Day family, trace their ancestry back to a woman, whose name no one wants to mention, and the actions she took allowing her to obtain freedom from the slave owning master of the land. The book is a complex but comfortable tapestry of voices fleshing out two of the main characters and one voice that seems to embody the island, its history and the presence of Mama Day herself. The island and its people thrive on customs that are both confusing and alienating to people from “across the bridge.” The people of Willow Springs reject the idea of mainland living and adhere to their own traditions which are largely oral and dependent upon folklore.

On its most superficial level Mama Day is the tale of two people coming to terms with themselves and their personal histories in order to strengthen and support their relationship. However, were this the driving narrative of the story it would fall flat and hardly merit mention. What fuels this story is the tension between the mythical and the concrete, the traditional and the cosmopolitan, the heart and the mind.

Miranda Day, or Mama Day, the eponymous powerful lead character of the story is a woman who straddles two centuries, having been born in the previous one while thriving in the present. Although she is more than 80 years old she is easily the most powerful woman on the island mentally, spiritually and physically. She is a practiced midwife and personally delivered nearly each of the island's inhabitants. Although her midwifery is a large part of Mama Day's personality she is also known to have great strength and ability with “roots” and demonstrates her powers through her flashes of future events and the ability to call the weather at her will. This matriarchal figure is the last glue binding her family together and forcing her grand-niece, Cocoa, a woman who deserted her home and familiar way of life to live in New York, to come to terms with her heritage and open her past to her new husband, whatever the consequences.

I fear that a large portion of the deeper shades of meaning of this story have been lost on me because of my lack of familiarity with African American folklore and oral histories. Naylor draws heavily upon what could probably be called a cultural memory. That culture, fictionalized in Willow Springs, is what beats at the heart of Mama Day. Even with my lack of knowledge and understanding of the material underlining her work, I found Naylor's writing, largely imitating oral narration, colorful and the storyline compelling.

Has anyone else read this book? I'd love to hear other opinions, perhaps opinions of people who have a greater knowledge of folklore than I.

next up: Tracy Chevalier's The Virgin Blue. And please remember, I'm looking for suggestions.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

sleep crawling

A little over a month and a half ago I put up a post about MJ's habit of trying to roll over in her sleep. At the time I thought it was odd. Now, not so much.

We had a rough night last night. I knew it would be since she had been working so hard on trying to crawl all day and right before bed I noticed that her gums were swollen. Looks like this is going to be a double whammy week. Joy of joys.

About once every hour MJ would wake herself (and therefore me) up because she had managed to face plant into her mattress. Each time I went in there her butt was up in the air and she looked like she was digging to China. Maybe she was trying to get to her aunt and uncle in Hong Kong. What do I know?

What I do know is that this is only the beginning. She is now sleep crawling which, if she follows the pattern she did when she was sleep rolling, means that she will be a very mobile little girl inside of a week. I'd better get my ass in gear and start doing some serious baby proofing around here.

Poor cats have no idea what they are in for. Run, Simba, while you still have whiskers and the chance to get away!

Week 3 weigh in

Well, I somehow managed to lose a whopping 2 pounds this past week. Not too sure how it happened since I only got to work out twice, but hey, I'll go with it.

This means that I am now 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and 8 pounds away from my personal ideal.

Yahoo! Progress sure feels good.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Makeover Monday

Last week I mentioned that Google Reader was feeding my habit and causing me to read many more blogs. Well, yesterday I stumbled across Am I Going Mad or Am I Just a Mommy. (Admittedly, it was another habit that brought me there.... LOST, but that's a story for another time.) Moodswinging Mommy has a weekly thread called "Makeover Monday". I'm intrigued and think I'll play along.

Here is a list of my desired accomplishments for this week:

  1. wakeup and hour before the baby so I can get some stuff done around the house calmly and properly, not rushed.

  2. keep up with the laundry

  3. clean the kitchen before going to bed.

  4. find the time to shower each and every day. (sounds gross, yes I know, but MJ is demanding and there is very little time in my day for things that don't include her.)

  5. Go on a date with hubby. (aka CableDad.)*

*From now on I will refer to Morgan strictly as MJ and Jim strictly as CableDad. Call it changing the names to protect the innocent. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Who lives in your neighborhood?

After the Friday night strike of the Orchid Thief the Orchid lady phoned the police to report the theft. Apparently the bicycle of a young girl who lives a block or so away was also stolen. The police informed the Orchid Lady that they are on the lookout for an ex-convict who lives about 2 blocks away. He has been brought up on assault, robbery, kidnapping, and sexual battery charges in the past and the cops are looking for an excuse to get him. They informed the Orchid Lady that he also has had a crack habit in the past and that may account for the recent thefts.

All this talk got me thinking about who actually lives in our neighborhood. Months ago a friend of mine told me about a website called Family Watchdog which keeps track of the home and office locations of registered sex offenders and other criminals. I did a search for our address. We have two in our area.

Who lives in your neighborhood?