Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sunday Brunch: Crazy Little Thing Called Love

"This thing called love, I just can't handle it-This thing called love, I must get round to it-I ain't ready...Crazy little thing called love!" -Freddie Mercury

1) Are you currently married or involved with a significant other? Give specifics and length of time that you have been with that person.

As all readers of this blog already know, I am happily married. We have been married for six years. We were together for, I think, three years before that. And I have no qualms about not knowing how long we were together before that because Anne doesn't know either.

2) Where did you meet your significant other?

We met on what most people would call a blind date. Personally, I call it a sensory deprivation date.

A few days after my birthday my roommate Ed and I went out to eat at the Lonestar Steakhouse in Las Vegas. I was wearing my favorite hat. It has Goofy on it. Ed, ever being the matchmaker, asked our cute waitress if she would ever go out with someone who wore a hate like that. Of course she would, our waitress said. Except she was dating someone.

"But you'd be perfect for me roommate," she quickly followed up. "She's tall, too."

That was the entire premise for being set up with my future wife.

I gave our waitress my card and wrote my home phone number on it. About a week later I hadn't received a phone call. Ed talked me into going back there with him and we asked for the same waitress' station. She wasn't scared to see us, didn't have another waitress take over our table, or have us thrown out, so that must have been a somewhat good sign.

When asked about her roommate she said the card had been lost. I gave her another. A few days later I got a phone call from a charming young lady. We set up a date. I picked her up (which, surprisingly, she agreed to since she knew nothing about me - she should have met me at the restaurant). We had a great meal at a Mexican restaurant, talked, found out we had a lot in common, got along great, and have been together ever since.

3) What is your anniversary or special day of ANY kind and what did you do on that day with your significant other?

April 24 is our wedding anniversary. We got married on that day. Duh!

The most recent April 24, however, we didn't do much since we had just had a baby 19 days before. Anne's parents were in town so on the Saturday evening before we got away and had dinner at Tony Roma's.

Ah. Baby back ribs. What a romantic anniversary dinner.

4) What is the nicest thing that a person that you are or have been involved with has done for you?

Does "have my baby" count? Or is that too obvious?

Regardless, everything Anne does for me is extremely thoughtful. She always has some thought or hidden meaning behind any gift she buys me or little act of kindness she does for me.

5) Do you have a special song or movie or place with your significant other? Describe.

Not really. "Our song" at our wedding was really just a song we both liked a lot and thought it would be a good song for our first dance. We really don't have any "this is our..." things. Probably because everything is special when shared with the one you love.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sunday Brunch...Not!

"To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

1) Are you an organized person?
2) What is one thing about your home that has to be just so or it drives you crazy when it comes to organization?
3) Do you have one little nuance about your organization that most people consider to be a little over the top? What is it?
4) What is your favorite organizational tool? (bins, closet organizers, etcetera)
5) What is your favorite place to buy organizational needs?

I've been a bit busy and haven't been able to update in a while. Sorry about that. I also haven't felt compelled to write since Sunday Brunch did nothing for me this week. But since it's up I'll answer the questions with this statement:

No, I am generally not very organized - in a neat and tidy kind of way. I am anal retentive enough that I organize things, but my mode of operation when it comes to organizing is clutter. I'm not anal retentive enough (in that regard) that my organization has to be neat and tidy. Things are cluttered. I know where I need to look to find what I want at a given moment, usually, but my personal areas are generally not very organized.

So, now on to other things.

Monday, June 13 was Anne's first day back to work. It was hard on her. She said she didn't cry, which I was proud of her for. But it also surprised me and I certainly wouldn't have thought any less of her if she had cried.

We had a discussion back when she was still pregnant about what we were going to do when she went back to work. Neither of us was crazy about the idea of using outside childcare. My work hours were not conducive to working around her schedule. Having only one income wasn't an option (especially since she makes more than me) whichever of us would stay home.

That left pretty much one option. I needed a new job with better hours. Ideally something in the evenings with weekends off. This way I could be home with Sydney in the morning, leave for work when Anne got home at noon, and we would have family time together on the weekends.

I talked to my boss about it. I wanted to be open and honest with him. I would prefer to stay at the Resort since I've been there for five years, but Anne and I knew the chance of getting a job with the preferred hours and schedule in the hospitality industry was slim.

My boss surprised me, but not by his reaction. He was very supportive of what I was looking to do and respected our decision about it. I knew he would. He considers me a very valuable member of his management team and doesn't want to lose me. But at the same time he offered to help me in whatever way he could to find me a job that was suited to what I needed.

He went out of his way to help find something for me at the resort that would be what I was looking for. This is what surprised me, though in all honesty it shouldn't have.

I used to be the manager of the Bell, Valet and Transportation departments at the resort. A young man was a manager of Communications (operators) and helped my (our) boss out in our Special Promotions (Telemarketing) department running payroll and various reports. He was ready to move and get more experience. I was ready to move and take less responsibility.

My boss offered this switch to me. He offered to let me make the changes I needed to the job so I could work the scheduled I needed and wanted to work (as long as the base responsibilities are taken care of). I would still be a manager and still cover some Manager on Duty shifts a few nights a week.

I gladly accepted it. It was a slight decrease in pay, but nothing that Anne and I weren't expecting to have happen when I started looking for another job. I am very happy to still be with the Resort. I've been in the new position a little over a month.

So now I am home with Sydney in the morning. I don't get much sleep, but I get enough. I am happy to be able to spend the time with her and I wouldn't have it any other way.

In other Sydney news there isn't too much to tell. She isn't rolling over on her own yet. We will turn her on her stomach occasionally so she can get used to it. She's smiling more regularly. Her "talking" hasn't developed into the nice, soft baby coos yet. It's still rather guttural coughs, barks and grunts.

She is getting a little better with her hand coordination, but still doesn't have great control. She grabs things when her hands move over them. Occasionally she will reach for something (read: her bottle) to pull it toward her, but doesn't really grab it. It's more like she swings her arms out at it in an awkward bear hug kind of way. Sometimes she's lucky enough to actually knock it/pull it to where she wants it.

Now that warmer weather is upon us she's wearing more summer outfits. The little jumpers that leave her legs bare really seem to accentuate how long her legs are. She's at least 24 inches long now (she doesn't go back to the doctor, so won't have an official measuring, until August for her four month). She still can't hold her head up on her own consistently. Her infant car seat is only made for babies up to 26 inches. I'm hoping these last two inches go slowly so her development catches up to it. Otherwise we have no idea what we'll do if she outgrows the infant seat before she's developed enough for a child seat.

(Any suggestions out there from other moms?)

I think that's all for now, though I'm sure the grandmothers and other relatives have questions. Ask them and I'll share with you as best I can.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Sunday Brunch: Are You Game?

"Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music." -Marcus Brigstock

1) What is your favorite board game?

Wow. I'm not even sure I remember the last time I actually played a board game. Actually, that's not completely true. I think it was last summer sometime. We were over at Mark and Jackie's house and we played a game called Balderdash. (Actually, Beyond Balderdash.) If you don't know, it's a game of making up definitions and trying to make other people believe that your made up definition is the correct one.

Beyond Balderdash takes it a step further and incorporates more categories in beside just obscure words. Initials, dates, people and film titles, too.

And since Balderdash/Beyond Balderdash is a fun game I will list that as my favorite. Though that might change to Candy Land in a few years...

2) What type of games are your favorite? (ie, board, card, participatory, dice, word games)

Computer games, actually, but that doesn't seem to be a choice so I'll go with card games. I like watching poker on television. Every once in a while we play Texas Hold 'Em over at Mark and Jackie's.

I also thoroughly enjoy Euchre. Unfortunately, it seems that no one in the world not from Michigan or Indiana (and maybe Ohio) have ever heard of the game and have no idea what it is. And no one I know is interested in learning it. (And, yes, I am aware that there are online communities where it can be played.)

3) How many games do you own, and if possible, list them.

Well, if you count computer games and console/video games I have too many to count let alone list.

Of board games I know we own Pictionary, Beyond Balderdash, The Simpsons Trivia Game, Star Wars Monopoly, and a handcrafted, wooden Parcheesi board that was a gift from my Grandmother Monette. There are a few other games, I'm sure, but I'm too lazy to go look in the closet to find out what they are.

4) Do you enjoy computer or video games? Which one is your favorite?

There are a couple different ways to interpret these questions. Yes, I enjoy computer games. Yes I enjoy video games. I'm assuming they are meant here as separate things since I think of them as separate things.

Computer games are played on a computer. (PC or Mac.) Video games I consider console games. Console games are played on a machine hooked up to your television. Alternately video games could be large, standing boxes you shove quarters into and play in and arcade. But those are really arcade games, IMO, so I'm not using that definition here.

Which one is my favorite? Since I don't have a current generation console game (X-Box, Gamecube or Playstation 2) and don't have immediate plans to buy a next generation one when they come out next year I will have to go with computer games. I still buy them occasionally, play them when I get time, and replay my old ones when the mood strikes.

If that "favorite" was referring to a single game, I have no idea. I have a lot of favorites ranging from The Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on console to the Baldur's Gate series and Neverwinter Nights on my computer.

5) Describe a great childhood memory of an outside game.

I don't know that some would think this is "great," but it's humorous. At least I think it is.

In my late teens I was outside with my neighbor David and friends Charles and Charlie. Though dark it was evening and not really night. Maybe just before 8:00. We were playing a made-up version of hide-and-seek between David's yard and mine and the alley that separated them.

David had a toy cap gun. Whoever was "it" had the cap gun and was a cop. The other three were robbers. The cop had to get within a couple feet of a robber and pull the trigger (no caps) to tag a robber out before they reached the safe point.

Important note: this was back in the days before toy guns were painted bright colors to differentiate them from real guns. This cap gun was brown and black and for all intents and purposes, looked like a real gun.

As we were standing around at one point a car drove by and some kids in it yelled something at us. David, holding the cap gun, yelled back at them, gesturing with both arms. Apparently a neighbor saw this, but only saw someone standing by the road waving a gun around. The neighbor also apparently thought this person waving the gun was trying to kill himself.

We're standing around talking still when suddenly two police cars pull up with lights flashing. One is in the alley and the other is on my front yard. The four of us are standing at the edge of my yard next to the alley, about halfway between the main street and my house.

The cops jump out of their cars. "Drop the gun," one of them orders.

"It's only a toy g-" David starts.

"Drop the gun," the officer repeats as both of them draw their sidearm (but keep them at their sides).

David drops the cap gun.

"Move away from the gun," the officer orders. We all comply immediately and move as a solid mass several feet away from the gun.

Around this point my parents come out. David's family is nowhere to be seen. The officers inspect the gun and realize it is a toy gun. My parents and the police officers straighten out the situation. We are told about the neighbor calling and saying that someone was waving a gun around and threatening suicide.

At the time it certainly wasn't funny, but it quickly became so after the fact. And I can't necessarily say it's a "fond" memory but I do consider it a "great" memory, depending on how you want to look at it.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Today, Sunday, is Sydney's two-month birthday. That means it's time for another picture with her stuffed animal. Notice the attempt at a smile. I hope she didn't pick that up from her Aunt Heather. (Private family joke.)

Sydney at Two Months

And below is her one-month picture with Fievel Mousekewitz that's not quite as clear.

Sydney at One Month

Being two months old is a big, important day for any baby. Sydney, in particular, was impatient today. She didn't think that Daddy should be sleeping so late so she came and woke me up. It was pleasant, though, and not done by crying.

Sydney Wakes Up Daddy

And, on Saturday, and repeated on Sunday, Sydney giggled for the first time. She was a happy baby and made some gurgle, hacking, spurting kind of sounds while being happy and smiling. It sounded like, well, like a baby trying to learn how to laugh. It was one of the most precious sounds I've ever heard.

Syndey Smiles

The above picture isn't from one of Sydney's giggles, but it is a smile picture we've been working hard to get. A genuine Sydney smile that is crisp, clear and sharp. Yay!

And scroll down for Sunday Brunch, too.

Sunday Brunch: Summertime

"Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language." -Henry James

1) What are your plans for the summer? Are you planning on taking any trips or vacations?

We aren't planning any trips this summer. Anne won't have much vacation time when she goes back to work next week. And we'll be having family visiting us throughout the summer to spend time with Sydney.

Oh, yeah. And a newborn baby doesn't make for easy travel.

There's an off chance we might take a weekend trip somewhere, but not likely.

2) What is your favorite summer activity?

Taking walks with my daughter (in her stroller, of course).

3) Do you sunburn easily or tan well?

When I was young and out in the sun a lot I tanned well. Now that I work all the time and I'm not outside as much I burn easily.

4) Do you enjoy the warmth and heat and rejoice in it, or shrivel away from it and stay indoors all summer long?

I enjoy the mild to warm summer days here. I like being outside when I can be. There comes a time when it's too hot. I don't think I've seen that point since I moved to Idaho, though. It was just about any summer day in Vegas. There's not a whole lot of point in being outside in 110- to 120-degree heat during the summer.

5) What is your least favorite thing about summer?

Having to work and not being able to enjoy it. And, of course, the end of it.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Baby News and Books

Today was Sydney's two-month check up. I didn't go, but she had a very good appointment from what I hear.

Sydney currently weighs in at twelve pounds even and she's 23 3/4 inches long. Wow!

In other news, here is a meme about Books I've been tagged with. Actually, I volunteered to do it. My mother got it from her mother (my grandmother). My mother didn't want to "force" anyone into doing it by tagging them unwillingly so I volunteered. A good post for the blog is always a good thing.

I will not be as nice as my mother was. I will be tagging my friend "noodlebugs" (yes, you, Beth) to answer these questions next.

1. The total number of books in your house.

Well, I'm sitting in a room that has 300 books in it, easily. Probably closer to 400. There's a large bookshelf downstairs full of books and a few more in our bedroom. We easily have 600 books in the house. And that's not even counting the childrens' books in Sydney's room waiting to be read to her.

2. Last book bought.

The last book I bought was Douglas Adams' The Ultimate Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I was a little disappointed in the movie and wanted to reread the books. Unfortunately, my copies ended up getting lost in a move or never returned from a friend who lost them in a move. I'm not sure which. But I now have them all bundled into one.

3. Last book read.

Well I'm currently reading the above mentioned last bought book. Technically, I've finished The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and am currently reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Since those books are all bundled together they may not count. If not then the last book I read was Michael Crichton's The Lost World. I finished Jurassic Park in the hospital when Sydney was born and started The Lost World, only to finish it after we were back home.

4. Five or six books you often reread or that mean a lot to you.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Grandma made me a fan when I was about twelve and I reread them every two years or so.

The Hobbit. Same as above.

The Silmarillion. The beginning and history of Middle-Earth. I never read it until about eight years ago. It is very involved. There is a lot going on and many, many, many names to try and grasp. The first time I finished it I immediately read it again and loved it just as much as the first time. I have read it two or three times again since then.

The Chronicles of Narnia. I remember having The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe read to us as a class story in first or second grade and loving it. When I was ten or eleven I discovered one of the books at my father's house amongst the collection of books he had stored and tucked away all over the house. Remembering the first one I hunted down all seven throughout his house and read them that summer. I'm not sure how many times I've read them. I don't remember the last time I read them before a couple months ago when I read the collection I got for Christmas a year and a half ago.

Calvin and Hobbes. It was a sad, sad day when Bill Watterson stopped drawing Calvin and Hobbes in the comics. Every year or so I'll pull out all my Calvin and Hobbes books and reread those comics. They still make me laugh as hard now as they did when I first read them. I will be purchasing The Complete Calvin and Hobbes when it comes out in October.