Friday, August 26, 2011

Some thoughts on birthing - 6 months later

Before we decided to have M, I wasn't convinced kids were a great idea for us.  Obviously I was willing to give it a shot, because, hey, there she is!  But I am of the "One and Done" variety of parents.  Kids are a difficult endeavor to undertake, and why the hell would you ever want to even the odds and be 2 against 2?  Huh?

But one feeling that hasn't left me over the last six months:  I want to give birth again. 

right?  I know.  I'm totally insane.

Pregnancy was great for us.  Aside from no booze and no sushi, things were easy and not only tolerable but often enjoyable!  (yes, please, you can carry my 10lb bag of cat food to my car for me, even though I'm perfectly capable, I would prefer not to today.)  So that would in no way discourage me.  Having a kid has been exactly what I expected it would be, in that, holy eff, just once is enough, so don't worry, the odds of me carrying out this crazy thought are slim to none. 

Why would I want to give birth again?  Because I want to do it better.  For the same reason I like running - I want to improve my personal best.

Again, yes, I realize this is insane.  I had pretty much the perfect birth, based on what we wanted.  No drugs, no IVs, no forceps, no vacuum, no emergencies, no problems.  But I did have to have an episiotomy and, oh, ya there is the fact that I pretty much begged to die for about 5 hours. 

Some of the things I had hope to do during labor to make things easier on my body, but that we didn't do:

a) warm bath.  We tried this.  But funny thing - we had NO HOT WATER at our house that night.  I was beyond miffed.  And a woman in active labor who is beyond miffed is not a pretty sight.

b) a birthing ball.  For some reason, I forgot all about this.  Which is weird, because I even considered purchasing one until my doula assured me she had never had a problem using the ONE they have on the floor in the hospital.  But I don't remember even asking.  I'm an idiot.

c) squatting.  Every time my head was vertical, I felt like I would faint.  I'm sure that if I had just sucked it up and told someone that instead of mumbling "please just kill me.  I want to die." that they would have helped to physically support me in a squat.  But, I didn't, so no squatting happened.  I think the squatting may have helped get M out faster, and may have helped avoid the episiotomy. 

Anyway, so I have a handful of regrets about my birthing experience, and they aren't going away.  And since I can't go back and do it better, the only option is to do it again.  Basically to improve my time.  I know I know, I know.  Just, shhhhh.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

so far so good

So far I'm digging the blog revamp.  It feels fresher.  Now on to more important matters.

Myself and my mama friends have been all in a tizzy lately about feeding these wee bairns.  There are so many theories on what's "right" and so, so much information to plow through that it can be a bit overwhelming.  Luckily, we are about ten moms, all with kids around the same age, all with different ideas, and all open to sharing them, so we are very efficient about pooling information and taking from it what works for our families.

The first 6 months, however frustrating they may be, are actually a no-brainer in the baby diet department.  I am of a mind that there can be no argument that breast milk is best for an infant.  All the studies in all the world-over agree that this is the case.  Seems simple, but breast feeding may not be best for every family.  And that's fine, because, wouldn't you know it, there is another choice that is pretty great and it's called formula.  So if you can't/choose not to feed baby Option #1, Option #2 is still pretty fantastic and your baby will live and thrive.  That's it, the end.

I miss those simple, simple days.  We did a little of everything at our house - breastfed, pumped and bottlefed breastmilk, then when I lost my milk we started on formula.  The transition between all stages was smooth, no nipple confusion, no digestion issues, and no concerns about seriously fucking up my kid's digestive system.

Now we're in FOOD territory.  Admittedly, we started food very early.  I read all kinds of books and articles and everything except the pediatrician said that after 4 months if the kid seems game, go with it slowly.  So that's what we did, at almost 5 months.  We chose to go the traditional route and offer purees of various fruits, veggies, and cereals, one at a time in small quantities.  (I have a friend who is doing Baby Led Weaning, and am rather jealous that her baby is into whole solids - M gags at the smallest lump in her velvety purees - Priss.) 

And so far it's going well.  M loves to eat (most of the time) and the only things she will consistently turn her nose up at are meats and lumps in the purees.  She seems to love all flavors, it's the textures that are the problem.  The only digestive issue was a few weeks in:  whoever the hell thought it would be a good idea to suggest rice cereal, bananas, and carrots as first foods without issuing a disclaimer that they are all BINDING should be shot.  Perhaps it should have been obvious to me that she shouldn't eat all of these food within the same 24 hour period, but it wasn't, and our poor little Chicken was crying while she tried to pass one of her first solid stools which was WAY too solid.  (no other instances of this since I clued in to which foods should go together and which shouldn't.  And we also keep prunes on hand for such emergencies as they tend to get things going pretty quickly.)

Now it's time to worry about the big things, namely highly allergenic foods and when to introduce them.  My major concern is actually with wheat/gluten because I know several people with Celiac's disease and it is nasty.  Previous theories said you should hold off on wheat until baby is older, but there are some new studies that say introducing it earlier is actually better... And some of our mama friends from Israel have never seen peanut allergies there, where peanuts aren't withheld. 

So, for any mamas I haven't already had this kind of convo with, if you can add something to the mix please do.  How did you deal with allergenic foods?  Any advice for stressed out parents who don't want to break their kid?  (I'm pretty sure the warranty ran out a while ago....)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I accidentally changed my blog template.  I hadn't really thought about it at all and was just playing around and now I can't get back to the old one. 

While, yes, I'm ready for a change, I don't necessarily have time to fiddle around at the moment, so expect to see changes happening over the course of the next little while. 

Yay for change!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

100 things REDUX

The old Bloggity Blog turns 6 years old this weekend!   In honor of that, I'm revisiting my very first 100 things post and updating with my current 100 things.  Old answers are in blue.  When the item hasn't changed, I'll try my best to think of something related to share.  Let the fun begin!

100 Things

1. I have two dogs and one cat who I treat like children - We currently have 2 cats and one dog.  Still treat them like children.
2. I have a boyfriend of 7 years - we got engaged a few months ago.  Still with SB, married two years this September. 
3. I have two Bachelor of Arts degrees - one in Biology and one in Creative Writing. Don't ask.  Still don't ask.  Also don't ask about my student loans which I think I'll be paying until I'm 80
4. My favorite color was blue, but I think it's changing. I'll let you know.  Nah, I still love blue, but am also partial to grey.  
5. I have three tattoos - same.  I would love to be badass and get a full sleeve, but the more I think about it, I can't imagine paying that much for a tattoo.... will most likely at least get my kid's name tattooed on me somewhere though
6. I hate my job so much I want to rip my eyes out. This was actually an alternative title for my blog, but got edged out.   Now I have a job I LOVE LOVE LOVE.  So much so that I can't wait to go back to work in January.
7. My grandfather has been saying I have a memory like a steel trap since I was three. I'm still not sure what that means.  same.  I often find myself pretending I don't remember meeting someone to avoid the moment where they don't remember meeting me.  That's awkward.
8. I like to play with punctuation - the - dash - is - my - favorite.  Still love punctuation play, but currently digging the ellipsis....
9. Within the next year I want to live in a house with a yard.  Maybe?  Been living in our condo for 4 years and it's a bit crowded.  Less excited about a yard now though. 
10. I want the yard so my dogs (who are 10 and 11) can retire in comfort.  Those dogs have since passed.  They liked condo living just fine.  Tess is so lazy I think a yard would be kind of a waste for her.  Or else she would love it.  What do I know?
11. I can hold a grudge like nobody's business.  Still true.  Although now I rarely waste time starting new grudges.  I just drop folks from my life and don't think of them anymore when they seriously tick me off.  Still holding onto old grudges though.
12. I rarely seek vengeance.  I think I could safely say I never do.  It's generally not worth the effort.
13. When I do, I'm usually not as mean as I want to be.  I recently got into an altercation with a sales associate at The Bay wherein I raised my voice and waved a sales sign in her face.  That was the first time I lost my temper in a very long time.  But I still didn't call her a cunt or anything, so I don't think I was mean at all. 
14. My taste usually outweighs my budget by at least 100%.  This is still true, but I am a much better bargain hunter than I used to be, so I can often get the things I want within budget.  Win/Win.
15. I love buying gifts.  Still true - although I have also come to really love making gifts, and this helps with the whole budget thing too. 
16. When I'm upset, I usually crave potatoes in one form or another.  I do less emotional eating now, but more bored eating.  And I still love potatoes. 
17. When I was little I used to talk to myself - my grandfather said it meant I would be rich one day. Still waiting......and still waiting.
18. I'm a slave to TV, and strive every year to cut down my TV watching schedule. I always get sucked in.  DVR has changed my life.  But I still watch too much TV.
19. I hate cooked peas, but love raw ones.  I now like cooked peas!!!  But not from a can.
20. My cat is my favorite pet. Don't tell my dog.  I think I love them all equally now. 
21. I have a hard time saying no. Really.  Still have a hard time saying no, but much better at avoiding ever being asked in the first place!
22. I get jealous of other people's good fortune.  Not so much anymore, but I do feel very guilty when I end up luckier than others. 
23. I don't have a problem saying "I'm so jealous of you".  Still true. 
24. I was born with a hole in my ear.  I thought it may be genetic, but my kid doesn't have one. 
25. My grandmother is still the most influential person in my life, even though she was only part of it for 10 years.  While this is probably still true, there are so many other influences that I value more now than I did before.
26. I have two sisters. I hate when people point out they are my half sisters.  Still this.  And now my sister is having a baby and if anyone ever call her my half-niece I think I'd punch them in the nuts.
27. My dad died when I was 5 months old. I think this should make me sad, but it doesn't. It just makes me curious.  Less curious about him these days for some reason.  More curious about my grandmother.  She seemed more badass.
28. I have best friends from every stage of my life, and can't decide who my maid of honor should be.  I finally chose my sister, had my other sister do a reading, and all of SB's brothers had responsibilities at the wedding too.  It was perfect.
29. I will probably postpone my wedding until I can decide.  I didn't - just postponed until we had the $$$.
30. I'm a clutterbug.  I still have a lot of craft clutter, but keep it to my relegated corner of the living room.  I dream of one day have my own crafting room where I can spread it all out and be as messy as I like. 
31. I'm very sentimental about objects, which greatly contributes to my clutterbuggedness.  I have a new non-sentimental value system.  I am now uber-proficient at chucking shit out - I would rather keep memories in photos than in junk.
32. I usually don't care about grammar on paper, but can't stand it when people speak incorrectly.  I now care about grammar everywhere.
33. I hate reading anything written before 1900.  Probably more true than ever. 
34. I would love to own a bookstore.  I never want to own another business ever again.
35. I've had writer's block for over a year.  Writer's block was broken and will have a story published this fall.
36. I have seen the movie "Whale Rider" at least ten times. I still cry at the end.  I haven't seen that movie in a very long time and now I want to see it ASAP. 
37. REM has been my favorite band since Out of Time. I even love New Adventures in HiFi.  Although I have to say I wouldn't call them my favorite anymore.  I didn't even buy their most recent album.  I feel like this is significant.
38. I've seen REM in concert only twice.  Saw them once more, so total of 3 times.  Each time was amazing.
39. I have one Polish friend who taught me two Polish words: MAŁPA MAJTKI. It means Monkey Panties. She's the best.  I have two Greek friends who taught me a fun little nursery rhyme to sing to the kid, and also the word Nikokira, (spelling?) which, loosely translated, means domestic goddess.  Which is me, some days, especially on Thanksgiving.
40. I have weight issues, and usually put on weight when I'm depressed.  And, as it turns out, when I'm pregnant!  Haven't been depressed in a while, but the weight... it's there!
41. I've put on over ten pounds in the past month.  I put on over 50 pounds in the past year, FTW. 
42. I cry when I'm (mad, sad, stressed) and am forced to have a conversation.  This is still true, and the older I get the more infuriating this is.  Can't wait to have my first fight with M where I end up in tears.  That will be a proud moment, I'm sure.
43. When I'm really mad, I just don't talk.  While this is still somewhat true, I have also gotten a lot better at yelling when I'm mad too. 
44. I can type at least 400 words per minute. Okay, I have never actually really measured. But it's really fast.  I'm pretty sure I can type around 600 words per minute now.
45. I drive a 2000 VW Jetta, and I'm really sad that I didn't trade her in for a new one before they came out with the new model. I guess I will keep her until they make another one as cute as she is.  We recently retired old JVo to the junk yard.  RIP.  Now I love our Subaru, mostly because it has all-wheel drive and kicks ass in the snow.
46. I love choosing new paint colors for rooms.  Although I have discovered that the less time I spend choosing, the more horrible the color turns out. 
47. I get tired of the painting project about halfway through.  And if I can I rope SB into doing the trim work.
48. I always fall asleep in the car.  I am dreading our first drive to NB with M because I feel I won't get in my required amount of sleep. 
49. One of my dreams in life is to own a doggie daycare.  I will never ever ever run my own business ever again. 
50. I hate snow and have seriously considered giving up all of my democratic rights and moving to Cuba. (Sun, beach, rum, cigars, what's better than that?)  Decided St. Lucia would be a better option, so that's the dream now, but still shooting for sunshine. And booze.
51. My tolerance for alcohol is even better than it was in university, and I only drink about 1/15th as much.  I have no idea if this is true because I haven't had much to drink in over a year.  Will have to test this theory when on vacation next month.
52. I love Coke, and Diet Pepsi, but hate Pepsi and Diet Coke.  ooooh, but I LOOOOOOVE Coke Zero.
53. Seeing my own blood makes me feel faint.  I have had 4 blood tests in the past year and didn't faint or puke once.  But I did sweat a lot.  Even the nurse was a bit appalled. 
53. I am terrible at keeping in touch with people. Maybe the blog will help a little.  I have gotten much better at this since the advent of Facebook.  So while it is evil, it is also awesome. 
54. I'm usually shy around strangers, and have been told that sometimes I scare people who don't know me.  This is still true.  Someone recently told me I'm hard to read.  I don't know if that's true or not, maybe I'm just an asshole.
55. When I thought my iPod was broken, I cried in my car.  Then that iPod got stolen.  Then I got a new one, and lost it in the snow on the mountain.  I cried in my car again. 
56. When I fixed my iPod myself, I yelled "Yay, I fixed it." and my boyfriend just said "ah, yeah" and kept watching TV.  Then my employee found my lost iPod and hacked it out of the ice and I brought it home and dried it out.  It still worked, and yelled "Yay, I fixed it." 
57. I need it to be cold in order to have a good night's sleep.  Which is why I will never ever ever live without air conditioning again.  Ever.
58. I just started collecting first edition books.  I have some good ones now!  But I rarely hit up the used bookstores like I used to :(
59. I love Starbucks, and am sad that we don't have more of them in Montreal.  Now they are everywhere, and it's still my favorite. 
60. I'm a world class procrastinator.  Still true, although now that M is here I am more on top of a lot of stuff.  And procrastinate even more on all the rest.
61. I have no discipline.  This is scary now that I'm responsible for another human.  Very scary.
62. I shop to cure depression.  Now I medicate to cure depression.
63. Sometimes trying on clothes makes me more depressed.  This is definitely more true than ever.  Ugh to post-baby spare tires.
64. I love to run and would choose running over any other 1-man exercise.  Still true!  Although I also love yoga now, running is still my number one choice of torture.
65. I hate feet and force my boyfriend to wear socks 90-95% of the time I'm around him, especially to bed.  I have gotten more lax on the foot rules, especially when on vacation, however I'm still disgusted by them. 
66. Sometimes I can't sleep because I think he's trying to trick me and has taken off his socks.  This is the least of my sleep issues these days. 
67. I don't like children. They make me uncomfortable 80% of the time.  In spite of the fact that I have my own kid now, this is still true.  Even she makes me uncomfortable at least 60% of the time. 
68. I'm pretty sure I've seen every single episode of all Law and Order series, including the two-hour special return of Mike Logan on the regular Law and Order that aired in the '98-99 season. I'm so glad he's coming back to Criminal Intent.  I am still a L & O buff.  I am so sad that they are slowly being phased out.  I still watch reruns on Bravo every day. 
69. I get crushes on weird celebrities.  A past favorite was David Letterman.  Currently crushing on Ricky Gervais.  Still better than Danny Devito (who for the record is my BFF's weird crush). 
70. I don't remember much about half the stuff I've studied.  Probably even less now. 
71. I've thought about signing up for one of those pharmaceutical company studies that pays compensatory indemnities.  Although I'm definitely less broke than I used to be, I still think this would be interesting.  Possibly for many, many years to come. 
72. Bad driving annoys me and I often honk and/or give the finger to at least one person on my way to work.  Now that we live in the city proper my road annoyances have expanded to include pedestrians and cyclists.  Why can't people just follow the fucking rules?  Cross on green.  Stop at red.  Cars must use blinkers and check their blind spots.  Bikes can be either treated as pedestrians OR cars, but not both.  FFS.
73. My road rage-ish tendencies have scared at least one of my friends.  This same friend is also scared to cross the road with me now for fear that she will do it wrong and I'll yell at her. 
74. I've never had an accident or a traffic ticket.  I think now I've had two traffic tickets (one for speeding, one for going through a yellow light that turned red cause traffic ahead was too slow) and two accidents (once was rear-ended by an old man, once was my fault and I side-swiped a Brand New car that still had the white stickery stuff on it... ooops)
75. I believe in knocking on wood, and just did so to avoid getting into an accident or getting a traffic ticket this week.  I kinda don't believe in knocking on wood anymore and only do it when I'm around people who do.
76. Turning 20 made me really sad, and I'm scared I'll feel the same about 30.  30 was pretty bad.  For many reasons.  27 was actually the worst, I think. 
77. One of my dogs scares me. He has bit me in the foot on more than one occasion.  That dog croaked last year.  Now I live in a fear-free zone.  But I still miss him a lot and we reminisce about his crankiness often. 
78. I love Italy, especially Rome, and can't wait to go back.  Still this.  Although now I miss Paris most. 
79. I've never been to New York City.  STILL NEVER BEEN TO NYC.  Does this seem soooo wrong on soooo many levels to anyone else but me?  However, NYC is very expensive, and I can think of a million other places I would go spend that money first so that I could travel longer.  I still want to go if I could get a lot of deals.  But the planning is already exhausting to me.
80. I hate golf, but if I played it, I'm sure I'd been one of the people who throws their clubs when they're mad.  I can't remember if I ever told you but SB and I went to the driving range once.  I sucked at golf about as much as I imagined I would, but I did not throw my club. 
81. I own every issue of the last six years of Martha Stewart's Weddings magazine.  Those have been given away/recycled.  But I still watch a whole heck of a lot of wedding shows for someone who got married two years ago.  (and they did come in handy, although not as handy as I thought they would when I started collecting them.  Mostly because of the internet.)
82. I say "That's right" a lot.  Not anymore.  Now we say a lot of "That's what she said".  I hope that never gets old because it's a fun, fun game. 
83. I'm pretty sure I'm a handy person, but am usually too lazy to actually do anything handy.  Turns out I am pretty handy, as proven by 4 years of dealing with keys that were copies of copies of copies that we used for client homes where the locks were at least 30 years old.  I'm still pretty lazy though.
84. I love Winnie the Pooh - less than I did a couple of years ago, but still significantly.  On a scale of 1-10 Winnie and I are probably at like a 4 now.  I'm trying to move away from any cartoon characters in general.  I don't want a kid who is addicted to ONE GUY and everything has to be THAT GUY.  I don't like when kids are walking ads for Walt Disney. 
85. I am obsessed with animals who have long necks - giraffes and ostriches are my favorites.  Still and perhaps even more than ever.  We have goose artwork in our bathroom, the kid has several giraffe toys, and I still want to ride an ostrich at some point in my life.  I have no idea why I love animals with long necks, but I do. 
86. I really want to pet a tiger before I die.  I didn't pet a tiger, but I DID get to hold a BABY LION when we went to Las Vegas.  Sometimes I forget that we did that, and then I remember and I get all giggly. 
87. I only recently overcame my fear of rollercoasters - now I want to go to Disney World!  Now we have a kid and an excuse to go to Disney World!  Too bad we have to wait until she's "this high to ride" to go.  Booooo.
88. I am terrified of deep water and almost drowned while trying to snorkel in Cuba cause I was in such a panic.  Still terrified of deep water, but had a better snorkeling excursion when we went to St. Lucia thanks to a nifty life vest thing.  Now we have M in swimming lessons already so that she won't end up like me. 
89. I'm usually a great judge of character, and when I'm wrong about someone, I'll admit it.  Due to my hermit-like existence as of late, I'm not meeting a ton of new people.  So, not sure if this is still true or not....
90. I hate hypocrites.  I also discovered that I hate when people get cranky at me for being friendly and social.  Because I rarely am, so to be chastised for it really gets me ornery. 
91. The only jewelry I wear are: one pair of earrings, my engagement ring, and the ring Eric gave me the second birthday we were together.  Now I only wear rings regularly.  When we go out I may wear a necklace and earrings.  Bracelets don't fit on my giant man wrists. 
92. I'm terrible at doing my hair. If I'm running late, I get so stressed about it I start to perspire. This makes it even worse.  I've given up on hair doing - I either wear a ponytail or stick a barrette in it.  No blow-drying unless it's winter and I'm running late, and definitely no curling irons. 
93. I don't smoke, but don't mind when people around me do.  Now I have to care more because of the kid, but I'm still getting a bit used to that so sometimes people have to remind me to get my kid out of that giant cloud of smoke right there. 
94. I've partaken in very few illegal drugs and for the most part was unimpressed.  Booze are still best.
95. I love when it rains really hard.  I also love thunder and lightening. 
96. It doesn't matter how many hours of sleep I get - if I have to get up before 10 AM I am usually cranky until noon.  Now my ideal start time is more like 9AM, but I am usually always cranky until noon no matter when I get up. 
97. I no longer have my tonsils, adenoids, and wisdom teeth.  I also made it through birth without an IV, and without the use of drugs or any forceps/vacuums, etc.  And I've never broken any bones.  That's my whole medical history folks. 
98. My favorite fast food is still McDonald's, even though I worked there for like five years.  Wendy's is a close second, and would be first if we lived closer to one, I think. 
99. My goal is to have a job I don't really care about so I can actually get some writing done when I'm at home.  Oddly, I have a job I really care about while I'm there, but that I can actually leave behind when I come home.  And I got some writing done.  Win/Win
100. Sometimes I find very inappropriate things hilarious, and have trouble holding in my laughter.  Now my biggest issue is that SB and I have so many inside jokes and have such a similar sense of humor, that we will both find random inappropriate things hilarious and then we're both trying not to laugh.  We're both going straight to hell. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The quilt is done!

I am pleased to report that Marlowe's First Quilt is done!  I say first because this project has been amazing for me - it was creative, inspiring, challenging enough but not impossible.  The quilt is at once ugly, cute, funky, playful and sweet.  I am now addicted to sewing, and can't wait to work on my next project.  For now, here are some photos.

A close up on one of the squares. 
This is the back - the fabric is a thicker cotton, so hopefully will hold up to fun times at the park!
One of the corners.      

The border fabric is It's a Hoot by MoMo.  The binding and the quilt squares are Central Park by Kate Spain

Monday, August 08, 2011

Where it's at

So, the kid turned six months old over the weekend.  She seemed non-plussed by the whole thing, but we were feeling a little nostalgic.  Like, hey, remember that ugly little monkey we brought home from the hospital who squawked all the time?  Now she's cute and round and instead of squawking, she screams!  Weeeeee!

Ugly Monkey Squawker

She is still not crawling and still has no teeth.  But she IS a champion eater.  We started "solids" early, and so far she has tried all of the appropriate first foods.  This includes carrots, bananas, three kinds of cereal, squash, apple, pear, peach, beans, peas, zucchini, plums, and more.  She was not so into meats, but the past few days she's been coping alright with those too.  She not only loves the purees, but she has also gummed on a cooked carrot, and some baby rice wafer cookies with gusto.  

With this love of solid foods, also comes the reward of solid poo.  This has made our cloth diapering life much easier and more pleasant.  I think that's enough on that topic for a general update post.  But I'm working on a post about baby feeding, so we'll get more in depth there. 

She loves Tess more than anything - the squeals and screeches of delight are often rewarded with some finger tasting on Tess's part.  I am so happy that Tess is so gentle with her, and her toys, but I am not surprised.  Simon is also very interested in the baby, and lets her pull and tug on his tail or face without complaining.  If she bothers him, he will often get up, circle around her, and settle in on the other side of her still within grabbing distance.  This also doesn't surprise me much.  I think the only unknown we had going into this was how the baby would react to them, and I have to say it has been fantastic!

Sunscreen Hair

We have been spending our days visiting friends, shopping, running, yogaing and sleeping.  We have yet to hit up the new wading pool at our park because I am slightly terrified she will have a meltdown and/or I'll drown her by accident but it's on our list of things to do.  Summer has been quite lovely, but we are looking forward to our vacation out East next month.  And by "looking forward to" I mean "still dreading a 10 hour drive with an infant and a giant dog and all our shit, so the weather better be good".