Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dead TV

I’ve always been a fan of reading the source material for movies. Not just sci-fi and fantasy but anything really. I think I first developed the habit after seeing “Howard’s End” and then equally adoring the book. I enjoy rereading each Harry Potter before its movie comes out and trying to guess the changes that the screenwriters had to make. It’s gotten to the point where I will read something I’ve been vaguely aware of or “meaning to” get to and once I hear that an adaptation is in the works then I’ll hurry up and check it out of the library.

I’ve been stuck in a vampire fiction rut for a good year now. It’s easy. And there are so many series to choose from that once I start one I don’t have to think very hard about what my next book will be. Check out the next one in the list!

Well, now it seems these two things are converging on me. Only not movie adaptions but rather television. The only television series that I’ve also read the source books from is The Dresden Files. I saw the show before I started reading the books and I haven’t gone back to rewatch the episodes to see how closely they hewed to the novels. I am aware of some character changes but I’ve got the two mentally categorized as fairly separate entities so it doesn’t really bother me. Plus, since I am already in the habit of doing mental script adaptations, I think I’m much more accepting of necessary alterations than the typical rabid fanatic.

I started reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries, also known as the Sookie Stackhouse series, once I found out that HBO’s show True Blood was based on them. The DVDs of the first season just came out and I’m excited to start watching. I’m hesitant, however, because I don’t wait to spoil myself – for the show or for the books! I’ve only read the first three and I don’t know how much the show has deviated from the plots. This should be my first experiment. The next series to be adapted is Anita Blake. I’ve gotten through the first four of those and the mini-series-as-series-pilot hasn’t even been filmed yet. So I should be quite a ways into it by the time it airs. The final series, however, I think I’ll skip entirely. I think I might be past the suggested read-by age for The Vampire Diaries. Sure, I devoured Twilight but then I turned into an LOLfan after that ghastly fourth offering. And the CW show they’re basing on the books seems just too…Twilight angst times Gossip Girl teens and I don’t know that I can take it. Boone on Lost did nothing for me so having him cast as a vamp is just not enough of a draw. Should be interesting to see if it makes as big of a splash in the zeitgeist as Twilight did.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Role Playing

Kirk likes to act out movies and TV shows. Sometimes he’ll play the roles, like when he’s the Doctor, and sometimes he’ll use props, like his millions of Cars vehicles. If he doesn’t have any proper merch then he’ll use whatever he can find. He managed to gather together stand-ins for all the characters from the Brave Little Toaster, and plays with them in the kitchen because that’s where the toaster is.

Blanket, Lampy, Radio, & Kirby

Most frequently he’ll want to play musicians. This has been going on for a good couple of years now. He used to wear a gaudy plastic ring so he could be Ringo Starr. He used to wear a crapped out cowboy hat so he could be Dave Gahan. He’s got his own kid-sized guitar and sings along to videos and has great rock stance. But he always comes back to the drummers. He always wants to know who the drummer is when he’s introduced to a new band. He always wants to be able to see the drummer whether we’re watching American Idol or the Rolling Stone’s Rock n Roll Circus.

Since his only drums are a plastic baby toy set he got for like his first birthday (shhhh, we’re pricing out proper mini-kits), he likes to use anything and everything available. I’m not sure if the old diaper genie was promoted to drum status or if that’s a demotion since it was previously playing the role of a Dalek…

Little Drummer Boy

Poor Ringo has most definitely lost out on Favorite Drummer status. That honor now belongs to Nick Mason of Pink Floyd. Kirk’s fascination with volcanoes gets to crossover with his rock knowledge thanks to Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. He loves watching Roger Waters slowly walk over to the gong during the prog madness. And he quite literally plays Saucerful of Secrets: The Game. He’s Nick of course. He’ll even make Mr. b sit down on the ground and use a busted off piece of lightsaber as a slide to properly portray David Gilmore.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bathing Beauty

I have never given my daughter a bath. I'm not sure how it's ended up that way but there you go. They've all been administered by her daddy. In fact, Ronnie has graduated from the sink to the bathtub and I still haven't bathed her myself.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The End of an Era

Well, it’s over now. I’m nearing the end of Day Two back at work.

Last Friday Bundle had her Two Month well baby appointment. Everything looks good. She’s now at 10 pounds 3 ounces (over 4 pounds gained!) and 23 inches long (nearly 5 inches!) and has a little head (in the tenth percentile). Doc reiterated that he thinks her sporadic pooping is just her own preference. He asked lots of questions about it and thinks it sounds normal, though not common. Her belly button sticks out super far and that’s due to a small hernia; again normal and should heal itself without any intervention from us. She got her first shots, complete with Real Tears, and that’s about it. Oh, and she does seem like being a redhead is a real possibility. Especially in the sunlight there is definite auburn hair going on.

Grandma and Grandpa stayed with us until Sunday before flying back to Texas. It seemed like little Ronnie underwent an emotional growth while they were here: she smiles for real now! I love that part. Nothing like an infant’s genuine pleasure. I love it when she’s suckling away and then suddenly grins on the boob. But it also means that she’s moving into the part where she doesn’t think it exists if she can’t see it and so separation anxiety begins. Which makes my going back to work even harder.

Drop off yesterday morning went well. Of course she didn’t know what was coming. C said she ate well and didn’t need the breast milk I had sent with as comfort food just in case. So I’ll be freezing the milk I pump during the day at work. So far I’m pumping twice a day and getting quite a lot. I have a little picture of my bundle on the pump case and a snippet of her fussing saved on my phone so I can trigger the mental impulses to start the milk flowing. I should bring some of her used laundry to smell, too, but that seems like work. But even with the pressure relieved mechanically, I was still desperate for her to get back on the breast as soon as we got home. Mr. b and Kirk were heading to the store and after looking at us nursing on the couch just chuckled and said, “You two have fun.” Still, it took some time before she seemed like “mine” again. She just didn’t look at me the same way when I picked her up in the afternoon.

To just get it all over with at once I’ve also begun crib training. Well, not precisely. I don’t want to disturb her brother’s sleep in their room so instead it’s technically bassinet training. Same method we used with Kirk though: put the Bundle in her bundle bin rolled into our darkened bedroom, let her cry for X number of minutes, go in and comfort her, put her back down, wait for a longer period, go back in, and so on. It only took a few tries and then she slept soundly for a good solid four hours. She’s been a very noisy sleeper all along and prone to only sleeping on the boob or resting on one of our chests so I think this is a great first try. Hopefully when she’s too big for the bin she’ll already be used to sleeping by herself and the transition to the crib will be relatively easy.

I do feel kind of like I’m betraying her trust though. Leaving her with a stranger all day and then not even holding her all night. But hey, I still keep her in bed with me once she wakes up to nurse. Now that we’ve got the laying down position figured out good enough it’s easier to just roll over and switch her from side to side as she wants more boobie. And she was in a good mood this morning, even falling asleep on the “lengthy” five block drive to daycare, so I guess she’ll forgive me eventually. One day at a time.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Three Things

1) Kirk started his new daycare on Monday. Things seem to be going well. It's definitely more structured than his old daycare but I think that's a good thing. It also feels somehow more "official" because there were forms to fill out. We walked there this morning and yesterday morning. I love that it's walking distance! Kirk still talks about his old gang when confabulating but I'm sure the new kids will start getting mentions after he's been there a while.

2) We bought a new car Monday night. It's a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. Our '99 Jetta, Otto Rodriguez, had been dying a slow death for the past year or so. If it was just Mr. b and I we probably would have continued to limp him along for a while yet. But we're a one car family and we need something 100% reliable now that there are kids in the picture. It's just slightly bigger but enough to make a difference with two carseats in the back.

3) Mr. b's parents are flying up from Texas this afternoon! They haven't met their new granddaughter yet. We're all very excited to see them. Kirk is looking forward to taking them to Target and pointing out everything that he wants that his mean mama and daddy won't buy for him. They're only here through Sunday so the visit is going to go way too fast. And then when they're gone it means I have to go back to work.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Child Garden

Friday morning we took Kirk in for his Kindergarten pre-screening testing. It's required by the state of Minnesota for all children attending public schools. There were three parts to the screening: mental development, physical development, and bureaucracy.

We had a lot of paperwork to fill out, some of it immediately identified by Mr. b as remnants of the "progressive" programs instituted by New Dealers. Then we all went in to meet with the first of three ladies. She had Kirk build small towers of blocks, do some counting, pick the correct opposites, match shapes, do simple drawing, things like that. As a parent it was incredibly difficult to keep my mouth shut. I wanted to nudge him in the right direction, give him hints, or simply laugh at his hilarious attempts or failures. There were several instances where he got something wrong that he knows perfectly well how to do. But I suppose having the patience to go through this process is part of the whole "readiness" idea.

Next we went to get his eyes checked. That seemed silly to me since obviously Kirk wears glasses. He wasn't interested in their old school vision chart and the lack of friendliness on the part of the woman administering this portion of the exam certainly didn't help. We gave up on that and tried to do the hearing test. But she accidentally stepped on Kirk's foot and he cried and cried and cried and we gave up on that, too. I have two forms for medical professionals to fill out now. He's got his eye check-up next week but the hearing one will have to wait for his next physical in July. I remember doing all these tests in elementary school and really enjoying the hearing one especially. Mr. b says he remembers them, too.

Lastly we met with a lady to review all the results. Kirk's age bracket, 3.8-3.9 years, needed to score an 18 out of 48 on the mental stuff. He got a 32. So no worries there. Basically, everything is on track and there are no areas of concern. We found out which elementary school he'll attend - and that he'll ride the bus - and that's about it. It was an interesting process and definitely a milestone. It's hard to believe I'll have a "school aged" child soon but he'll start Kindergarten next year!