Monday, November 29, 2010


Since I finished Fallout: New Vegas (video game), I suddenly have lots more free time in the evenings, and I've decided to go through all my Netflix and DVR movies.

So far, I've seen...

Legion - crap. Boring movie with stereotypes for characters. Plot line is the same as The Seventh Sign from 20 years ago.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Finally. I saw it after having it on DVR for 6 months. Yeah, I see why it's the quintessential buddy flick, but what a bummer of an ending. Lots of great lines and scenes.

The Tudors, Season 4 - Yummy. I love the richness of this period piece. I think the actors are really good, and in this season, I just feel sorry for poor Catherine Howard. She's so clueless in how to survive at court. It's no wonder she's not long for it.

Men Who Stare at Goats - Hilarious. I'm not a George Clooney fan, but he really put in a great performance. I was mesmerized at the sheer lunacy and craziness throughout the whole movie. Daniel even watched it with me, and he's not normally a movie guy.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 - Yay! I actually took off one evening after the little guy went to bed to see this. It was good, it was dark, it was just like the books and it was just what I wanted to see. Can't wait for Part 2 next summer.

Ran - Missing in translation. I saw the Criterion Collection version of this Kurasowa samurai film a few years ago, and I tried to watch it again when I had it on my DVR. But without the commentary of the film critic, I think I'm missing a lot of the meaning and subtext of the movie. So I deleted it and will try to get the Criterion version to watch.

Resident Evil: Extinction - Boring. Honestly, I was working on some project while it was on, and if my hands hadn't been so busy, I would have deleted it long before the ending.

The Walking Dead - Scary. I know, it's not a movie. But I watched the first 3 episodes all at once. Great imagery, and the point of the show is that the real monsters aren't the zombies; they're the evil that's still in human form. Racists, wife-beaters, power grabbers. All the worst of humanity. Will the sheriff have enough good in him to counter all that?

Julie and Julia - Happy. Saw this last night and it was just a fun flick to watch. I thought Meryl Streep did a fabulous job as Julia Child and I loved watching the story about her life.

Upcoming that I really want to see: Red, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Green Lantern, and probably some more I can't remember right now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I have too much other stuff to do to regularly sit down and do pictures. So instead, I do them all at once.

Declan loves to play in the pantry. His favorite thing is to take everything out of the wire racks on the door and stack them on the window ledge or the table nearby. He's amazed me sometimes with the complex condiment towers he builds. One day, he found an open sleeve of crackers within reach. Yummm!

Such a cute smile!

Halloween! He was a fighter pilot, courtesy of his Uncle Justin who's in the Air Force.

We went trick or treating with a friend of mine. Annie was a dragon.

We also went to the Children's Museum Halloween Party.

He triumphed over the giant spider! Poor spider. All it ever wanted to do was scare kids.

One day, we headed outside to play. A bucket filled with water, some rocks and some leaves afforded endless playtime opportunities. Rocks and leaves could be thrown in the water and they did different things. His hands got wet, he could splash the water around. All sorts of fun stuff.

He has a new habit of hiding in cabinets. We left one cabinet un-child-proofed, so that he could pull out the sauce pots and other random things we put in there. Lately, he's decided it's fun to crawl inside and close the doors behind him. Cute! Fortunately, he doesn't stay in there too long, or I'd wonder where he could have disappeared to.

And then he discovered the entertainment center had the same nifty feature.

The coffee table makes a much better platform for playing with toys than the floor does. Apparently, floors are for babies, not for 20-month olds who adore climbing heights that turn his mother's hair gray.

Fun at the park.

"Higher, Daddy! Higher!"

After he swung in the baby swing for half an hour (not kidding!), Declan decided he wanted to try out the big kids' swing. So I put him on there and very gently pushed him back and forth. I guess after all the swinging on the baby swing, and the porch swing earlier with us, then this, he fell asleep on the swing. One minute, he's going along just fine. Then next, he's flat on his back staring up at the sky and blinking in confusion. It was so fast I didn't even see it happen. I picked him up, dusted him off, and he didn't cry once. I guess he wasn't hurt. But it was time to go home.

Thanksgiving Day. We headed to the beach in Galveston because it was windy and hot and humid, and walking on the beach sounded like a good idea. Declan loved it, although he wasn't dressed for going in the water, which is, of course, all he wanted to do. We placated him by finding him a stick and showing him how to draw in the sand. It was a like discovering he could draw in a huge piece of paper. He could draw anywhere! He also got sad when he waved his first stick around so much it broke. Then he had to experiment and wave it around and pull at it to see if he could make it break again. He did. We found him an actual stick, instead of a piece of green seaweed stalk. He also loved chasing the seagulls.

Oh, if you're wondering if we're the sort of parents who keep our child on a leash, the answer is yes. Why? Because otherwise, today he would have walked headlong off the 17 foot high seawall at least 5 times, or run into traffic 6 times. He's way too fast and way too adventurous (fearless?) for his own good.

Just for fun, I compared his hands and feet to mine.

And here's how tiny his fingers were when he was 1 week old.

And here he is posing with his new hair cut. I got brave and decided to cut it myself! I gave him a lollipop after dinner and pulled out my little sewing scissors. Daniel tried his clippers, but they just made him cry. Declan, not Daniel. So I told Daniel to let me do it. I kept cutting until it looked good, and there was a huge pile of hair on the floor. About that time, Declan decided to get mad about the whole thing and throw his lollipop on the ground. Well, it was now covered in hair, so I wasn't about to give it back to him. I opened up the trash, and told him, "there are consequences to your actions. When you throw something on the ground, Mommy is going to finish the job and throw it away." Oh, he got mad about that. But a couple minutes later, he was mad about me washing the hair off his arms and face, then he got down and went to play with something and forgot all about it. Short memories are a blessing sometimes.

The vaccuum cleaner

I just had to laugh and laugh today. I got the vacuum cleaner out, and Declan immediately ran in front of it to stare at it. When I started it up, he jumped and backed away, keeping a wary eye on it.

As I advanced the vacuum cleaner, he kept walking backwards. Then he started yelling at it in baby talk, yelling at the top of his voice, and even screeching like an old fishwife. I imagine he was telling that noisy old vacuum cleaner to shut up and go back to the closet and stop making such a racket. (like he's one to complain)

Then he grabbed a wooden puzzle piece and threw it at the vacuum cleaner, like it offended him. Next he had to go grab the sheepskin and throw that at the vacuum cleaner. Repeatedly.

I couldn't help it. I just laughed and laughed for two minutes. Kept on vacuuming, and eventually, the noisy contraption got put back in the closet. Declan had triumphed over the vacuum cleaner and now he was the only one making noise in the house.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Video Games

Hey, I finally finished "Fallout: New Vegas"! I think I've been playing it non-stop for a couple weeks now. Well, non-stop being whenever the baby is asleep and I don't have anything else more pressing to do. Very good game!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Catching Up

Should I quit apologizing for not posting very frequently? I started playing "Fallout: New Vegas", the latest in the Fallout franchise and it's eating my brain. I forgot to send my nephew his birthday present and have been procrastinating on some other legal issues that I really need to look at. *sigh* At least I cleaned my kitchen, but that was only because I had someone coming over.

Declan has learned kisses! :) It's so cute. He'll put a hand on each side of your face and lean in and give you a big kiss. Okay, it's mainly just pressing his mouth against some part of your face, but it counts. He's got "bye-bye" down pat, and he uses it for everything, especially for saying hi to people. He can say "uh-oh" and sometimes he'll say "hi." I think he's trying to say Ball and Book, but all that comes out is Bu. He also does a pretty good job on "up."

He constantly amazes me at his powers of memory. We have a lot of board books, and recently I've been going through the ones that have a repeating motif through all the pages, like a ladybug, or a duck on each page, or the mouse in "Goodnight, Moon." I showed him the ladybugs once, and ever since then he can point them out on each and every page. He loves pointing to the duck. The mouse is hard because it's so small on most pages, but he remembers where they are. Sometimes he does better than me in finding it.

He's discovered knee-walking as a new mode of transportation, and he's still managing to fall from chairs and couches and his own two feet several times a day. But he loves to climb. The best I can do is try to baby-proof the house so he can't get on anything really high.

We did Halloween last night. He was a fighter pilot, courtesy of his Uncle Justin who sent him a toddler costume. Justin's in the Air Force. Everyone adored him in his outfit, even though the hat never stayed on his head more than 2 seconds. We went out with a friend of mine and her 3-year old daughter, dressed as a dragon. The little red wagon came in handy to pull them both.

It took Declan a little bit to figure out that if he carried his bucket to the door, people would hand him things. Annie, the dragon, took care of the "trick-or-treat" part. When she roared, Declan thought that was neat and he had to roar too. Of course, that generated a lot of attention and fun, so he had to keep doing it. It was very, very cute.

They both came back with quite a lot of candy for only being out 30 minutes or so. We went early, so they could make their bedtime. But then I let Declan stay up an hour past his bedtime, since the doorbell kept ringing. I was hoping that he would sleep an extra hour this morning, but no such luck. At least he took a 3-hour nap for Daniel today.

On other news, I finally got all my new herbs and salad greens in the ground in my new raised bed this weekend. Next purchase will be some sort of fishbowl or aquarium to act as mini-greenhouses for the salad greens through the winter. I still need to harvest my basil and the basil seeds, but I bet I still have another month of growing for them. We finally are going to get some rain, at least tomorrow. I've been watering all my new plants by hand every day for over a month. We got zero rain in the month of October. It was so dry that when I dug my new plants in, the soil just crumbled. No moisture at all.

I'd post some pictures, but mysteriously, all my USB cables have disappeared this month. We have a rule in this house that we blame everything on the cats. Now we have a new scapegoat. I told Daniel to buy me a new USB cable tomorrow so I can get the pictures off my camera. I have stuff on there from the Halloween party at the Children's Museum last week, random cute pictures and Halloween night pictures. My smart phone doesn't take great pictures, so I'm not even going to post those here.

Well, back to Fallout. :)