Monday, September 24, 2012

Twisted, Nostalgia, Moving

I like to braid hair. Mine, friends, my nieces. I would braid Eleanor's but she just doesn't have enough yet (though I did manage to get a bow in it the other day!)

I just like it. It's soothing and pretty and I like it. I've been doing it for over 20 years now (which, when I figured that out, I immediately felt quite old) so my hands just sort of know what to do. I can braid my own hair just as easily as a head that's not mine. If I think about it and pay attention, I can do a dutch braid. Fishbone braids are a piece of cake and I even learned how to do a 4-strand round braid. What I can't manage is a rope braid. It is my nemesis. You twist the individual strands one way and then the rope the other way which makes my brains fall out of my head. I know the MECHANICS, how it SHOULD work, but my hands refuse to obey my head. I can sort of do it on someone else's head, but not mine. Except once, when I did, and now I think that I can, but I CAN'T and  without replicating the results it's not a triumph but a fluke.

So, my iPod got stolen so I've been listening to cds, which isn't bad at all. It's been really nice. And a bit nostalgic because when I went through my cds to grab some from my car, apparently I was channeling a little 2001--the year, not the movie, or book that it's based on. What I mean is that every cd that I grabbed is reminding me of college, specifically the year I moved into the Ghetto Chateau with my Nebraska girls and worked at the college radio station and wrote REALLY bad poetry with my friend Andrew and it's been a nice trip down memory lane. Which reminds me of the article that Andrew wrote for the Daily Nebraskan about how music affects memories and it had the very scientific test along with it. You were supposed to put on a cd, go make out with someone, and then months/years later listen to the same cd and see if you remembered who you were making out with. Well, I wasn't making out with anyone in 2001, so it's easy enough to remember. But I remember Andrew's white Toyota something that we rode around in and deciding that Whatshisface from OkGo made Robert Smith noises. And I remember driving up and down O St. looking for parking so I could meet Erin at YiaYia's while listening to Alkaline Trio. So, I'd say that it works.

I have this habit of always looking at houses/apartments/neighborhoods and deciding whether or not I'd like to live there whenever I'm driving. It's not because of any sort of wanderlust or desire to move. I hate moving. I hate packing and unpacking. I hate finding a new grocery store and transferring my prescriptions to the new CVS and deciding whether or not to keep the same dentist/optometrist/vet from the last house--and that's just when you move across town. But that's not the point I was trying to make. The thing is, I have some very weird rules about my dream house. I don't mean perfectly reasonable things like "a master bathroom with a tub and room for 2 butts at the same time." I mean truly irrational things. For example, my barbie dream house would be on a 1 word, easily pronouncable, easily spelled street. Having lived on Pope's Creek Circle and Caymus Court, I long for simplicity. Also, I don't want any one word that you have to specify is one word--combination words are right out. I'd like a house number that is 3 or 4 digits long. Not 1, 2 or 5. 6 is right out. I want a front porch that you can stand on and be dry if it is raining, and a mail box on that porch.

That's all the randomness my brain has in it at this moment. Now, back to my sleeping baby.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Getting to know you!

So, I'm once again participating in the fabulous Crappy Day Present Exchange hosted, coordinated and wrangled by the lovely R at Doing My Best. You should really sign up for the next one starting October 1st.

Basically you sign up to send small gifts to someone for them to open when they've had a bad day, and someone sends you presents too. It's wonderful. My friend Dan says everyone has a superpower that should be used for good. Doing My Best has the superpower of being able to organize people on the internet and she CERTAINLY uses her powers for good. So, here's some "getting to know you" type stuff for people who want to buy me things... or know things about me.

What is your dream job?
Movie editor. While I have the skill and the desire, I am critically lacking in ambition, which is necessary for any of the highly competitive jobs where movie/tv is involved

If you had 1,000,000 dollars to give away, how would you do it?
Sadly, I'm pretty sure this doesn't mean "give away to a landscaper to do something with my flower beds" so... family. I would take care of family.

Under what circumstances would you adopt a child?
Honestly, at this point, it's a matter of being able to afford to adopt a child.

Why were you given your name?
Oh, well... it's Swedish, and so is my mom's side of the family. It's a character in a Marion Zimmer Bradley novel that my folks read when I was a bun in the oven. It's the name of a botanist, and I think my folks met in botany class. But really it was the only name that they could agree on. And it can't be shortened to a nickname--that was important, which makes me wonder why "Jennifer" was one of the other options

What was the last national park you visited?
Sadly, Yosemite. No, Yellowstone. The one in Wyoming, near Glacier. That one. I liked it a lot. It was 2000 and I had a great time with my family. I'd love to go back.

What was the first thing you learned to cook?
Spaghetti. Not the noodles, the sauce.

What book can you read over and over again?
The Bible. Honestly, it's the book I read most often. But novel? Lamb by Christopher Moore or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman/Terry Prachet

What makes you feel young?
Pigtails and bows

Did you ever work at an on campus job? What was it?
I was a DJ at KRNU, the college radio station.

If you needed someone to act as a character reference for you who would you chose?
My mom. I figure she's known me longest and can see how far I've come

What was the first concert you went to see?
The first one that was all my choice? U2. I did see Gladys Knight & the Pips and Johnny Cash at the San Joaquin Co. Fair in... '92 or so

Who is someone from your past that you are sorry you lost track of?
Howell Belser. Well, techincally her name is Beverly, but she went by her middle name. She was my best friend in 6th grade and I always wonder what she did with her life.

If you could see 24 hours into the future what would you do with this ability?
Never worry about whether or not to take an umbrella

If you had it to do over again what would you study in school?
Same thing I did--radio/television broadcasting with minors in theater and creative writing. I totally did what sounded interesting, so no regrets there

What do you know how to say in a foreign language?
"I left my cheesecake on the piano." Also, "I'm knocked up."

What is your all time favorite joke?
Where does the king keep his armies? (In his sleevies)

What was your first paying job?
I worked the concession stand at the Adler Pools in Libertyville, IL

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
Wintermelon soup? Some preparation of octopus? Both at a Chinese New Year dinner when I was 9

What in your life is more important than money?
Chocolate frosting... no, um... faith. (and frosting)

When was the first time you saw the ocean?
No clue. I was probably very wee, since I was born on the Presido in San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Family Resemblance

Three generations, one before me
In looking though photos my uncle is putting together for Granddad's memorial service, I am struck by family resemblance. I spent more time with my dad's family growing up because they were all within easy driving distance. My mom's sisters and parents were scattered across the country, and her brother all the way in Germany. I refer to them as the "rock-star" side of the family and because we saw them less, they were more special. It isn't fair and it isn't right, but that's the way it is to kids, right? Anyway, I still think of myself as a Boswell in many ways, but after looking through these pictures, I realize that there is more Jonte in me than I knew. And that's a great thing.
That is not actually a time-traveling Eleanor. That's me

All the kids together for Grandma's 90th birthday
Hats and white gloves! I can't even stand it
My mama and me
My mama, the proud graduate

Friday, September 7, 2012

5 months

I know, I know, she keeps growing! One of these days I'll think to myself, "Finally! She's x old." Which, to be honest, I have thought. 2 weeks was a big milestone in my mind. So was 2 months, and 6 months seems tha way too. But for now, I find it hard to believe that she's grown so much, and also that she hasn't always been this way.

The Vitals:
16lb 8oz
25 inches
She's starting to enlongate but she continues to enchubben faster. She's almost reached the magical "double her birth weight" which means...something.

Her first cold
Her first road trip
Her first funeral
New furniture
Real food

Sitting up (for almost a whole minute at a time!)
rolling over (both ways, but this is a fun time-lapse sort of thing, same onesie, look how she's enchubbened!)

blowing raspberries (well, she's done it twice, so I'm counting it)
Shoveling food into her face

Works in Progress:
locomotion--while she can roll both ways, she hasn't yet figured out that if she just keeps rolling one way she could go places

She likes:
Food. All food. ALL FOOD she can get her hands on
Her whatsit toy
The inchworm
Sophie, the ubiquitous chew giraffe
Singing. I know, it sounds crazy, but she's found her upper register. She has a falsetto voice she uses now. It's adorable.
Belly rubs
Whisker kisses

She dislikes:
The Blue Bulb of DOOM (snot-sucker)
the shower head sprayer (which is necessary after giving her food, because while she can get it to her face, her accuracy on getting it in her mouth is still iffy)

I like:
Her tiny fingers and toes
The feeling of triumph that comes after I sucessfully soothe her
Knowing what's wrong and how to fix it (sadly, this happens a lot less frequently than I would like)
2 hour naps
Watching her discover things--mostly toys and food at this point, but she is becoming interested in the pets as well

I dislike:
Snot-nosed babies. Baby colds are gross.

Obviously the big story this month is starting solids. Yes, it's sooner than the WHO recommended 6 months, but this kid was ready. She gets so excited when we put her in her high chair. She's grabbing for everything on our plates (and everywhere else for that matter) and chewing on anything she can get her hands on. So far she's only had veggies, but as soon as I can get to the grocery store, I'm going to try some fruits. We're trying baby led weaning, which is basically just letting her feed herself. With supervision, of course, and stuff that is easy for her to gum up and swallow. I didn't think she was actually ingesting anything--just playing and having a GREAT time--but turns out she did manage to get a little bit of carrot down the hatch. Also, broccoli is messy, FYI.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Rose by any other name

"What do you call her?" people ask us when we tell them we named our baby girl Eleanor.

We call her Eleanor. Mostly. Sometimes. Ok, so really we call her all manner of things that are not her name.
Twinkle Butt
Tooty Booty
_______ Girl (Little, Sweet, Darling, Bitty, Baby)
Baby _______ (Girl, Bug, Butt)
Sweetness & Light
Tiny Dancer
Pretty Puker

But I think what people really mean is do we have a nickname for her. Do we call her Ellie? The truth is sometimes I call her Ella. More often I call her Ella-bug. J likes to call her Nora, but for some reason that becomes Nora-bug too.

But she was named for my great-grandma Rose Ella. This little rose might be Ella. She might be Nora. She was also named for J's grandma Wanda OQuin. Maybe she'll decide that she wants to go by her middle name, which would confuse me, but I like the name, so that's ok. So, whatever name she chooses, she will still be as sweet.
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