Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Haircut!

Well, more like a trim. But still, it's a first!

First Haircut! from Olya on Vimeo.

Cats are funny.

Cats are funny from Olya on Vimeo.

Wombat Behavior at 10.5 months of age

Elijah is becoming a boy (not in a Pinocchio sense, just in a getting-bigger sense), and does many new and exciting things. 

- He started saying "ma-ma" about a week ago.  At first, he was just saying it whenever; he had just learned to make the "ma" noise at all.  But now he seems to be saying it only when he sees me.  It's pretty cool. "Ma-ma" is giddy with excitement! 
- He started to share.  When he has a piece of food, or a toy, he will stretch out his whole arm toward you (in the mercury-like manner described below) and hand you the food or toy.  And giggle when you take it.  It's the sweetest thing.
- He has been cruising on furniture for some time now; he has now started to contemplate crossing empty spaces.  He will hold on to an object with one hand, and longingly reach with his entire body for an object too far away and almost make a step.  I think he will venture out there any day now.
- At mealtimes, when Elijah is done eating, he starts moving his head side to side really quickly, like saying "no".  Very cute (alhtough dizzifying).
- When he likes something, he points to it with his whole arm in a very graceful, statuesque manner.  Don't know where he is getting that from.... He stares at it, folds his arm in and then stretches it out quickly toward the object.  Looks like a Mercury statue.  Or like he is presenting something at a trade show.  Very cute.  I'm thinking of getting him winged sandals to go with the look.
- He is very interested in anything electric or moving.  Loves planes, trains, automobiles.  Loves power cords.  There go our hopes of making a laywer out of him; looks like he has the knack.... :)
- And he loves music and always bops to it when we play it. One of his favorite things to do, when Papa turns on the music, is to crawl right over to the receiver and start adjusting equalizer settings and the volume.  No kidding. So, laywer - no, but DJ or sound technician - may be yes.
- He got his first tooth at 10 months and 10 days! :)  It was the bottom right one; looks like bottom left is going to cut through any day now too.
- He has long conversations with us and his toys in the car, in the stroller and everywhere else. 
- And, 2 nights ago, he slept from 9:30 to 3am!! He hasn't done that again yet, but still, it's a huge milestone.  We were stoked.  We didn't  know what to do with ourselves.  Next time he does this we'll definitely be better prepared.  :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week in Review

Tuesday, June 16 - Arrived back from vacation. Mood: joyful.

Wednesday, June 17
8:30am: Discovered that breaks on the MINI have checked out. Drove the car back home. 8:45am: While at home, also discovered that air conditioner compressor unit is making wheezy noises.
8:46am: Put that out of mind.

Thursday, June 18
8:00am: Discovered that air conditioner compressor unit is now completely dead.
8:01am: In related news, realized that the house has been heating up.
3:00pm: Acquired rental car for Olya's business trip.
3:02pm: Balking at having to get used to the body roll of a Pontiac G6 after being used to driving a MINI.

Friday, June 19
8:00am: Olya goes on a business trip driving 2 hours each way to stand outside in 90 degree heat. In a Pontiac, body roll and all.
12:00pm: House temperature hits 90 degrees
12:01pm: Living in 90 degree house. Can't stop thinking about college air-conditioning-less days.

Saturday, June 20
10am: 90 degrees.
12pm: 90 degrees
2pm: 90 degrees
4pm: Able to get the MINI to pick up the car and tow it to the dealership.
8pm: Elijah turns out to not be a fan of sleeping in very hot and humid climates. There goes the camping trip to Sahara during the rainy seasons that we wanted to take for so long.

Sunday, June 21 - Father's Day!
11am: Olya goes into work to get ready for a Monday business trip.
12pm: Get a call from the MINI dealership asking "Um, so what's wrong with it?"
1pm: Discover that the Sterling MINI dealership only gives out loaners after they know what's wrong with your MINI, and only in 24-hour periods. Apparently, their loaner model is based on Cinderella's Fairy Godmother's pumpkin-carriage plan.
2pm: Get AC estimate from Company 1. Discover that the air conditioner repair will run between 4 and 10 thousand dollars.
3pm: Discover that in a territorial pursuit, the dog has peed all over the vaccum cleaner.
3:05pm: Stop self from punching hole in wall.
3:07pm: Clean the vaccum cleaner.

Monday, June 22
8:00am: Olya goes on the same business trip, driving 2 hours each way to stand outside in slightly less heat.
9:00am: Arrive at work, breathe a sigh of relief and get ready for a busy day.
9:30am: Get a call from Animal Control, informing us that our dog is barking and disturbing the neighbors. The neighbors are very upset.
9:32am: Inhale the relief sigh back in.
10:00am: Drive back home to perform psychological counseling with the dog and/or neighbors, and try to mediate their conflict.
10:30am: Remove animal control notice from door. No neighbors to be seen.
11:00am: Go to PetSmart. Acquire dog diaper ("with male countours!"). Acquire bark collar.
5:00pm: Get an estimate from Company 2 for the air conditioning. Discover 90 degree heat is expected again on Thursday. Discover company 1 or 2 has no spots for installations this week.
5:05pm: Call both companies and leave vaguely threatening messages on their phones.
7:00pm: Fit diaper on the dog. Watch in amusement as the dog tries to take it off via the coffee table. Diaper acquires a custom fit, but stays on.
8:00pm: Realize there is no way our dog is wearing a bark collar.

Tuesday, June 23
8:00am: Set up a sophisticated phone monitoring system for the dog to be able to tell when he is barking, using only 2 laptops, 2 iPhones, 2 Skype accounts, incoming call auto-response settings and 1 Cornell Engineering degree (the other Cornell Engineering degree was busy rationing pureed food into specialized containers).
9:00am: Spend 30 minutes in the morning waiting for the guy at rental car counter to return the car.
10:00am: Discover that at work there has been a change of plans for transition, which of course was not disclosed to the person transitioning. Work 3 hours.
11:00am: Call our dog at home.
11:05am: Hear barking noises over the phone. Realize that if we were our neighbors, by now we would have turned violent.
11:15am: Have our admiration for the docility and angelic patience of our neighbors interrupted by howling.
11:17am: Spend the next 10 minutes walking up and down hallway at work, screaming "NO! No! OFF! Stop! HEY!! I said NO!!" into the phone.
11:20am: Listen to stunned silence on the other end of the phone. Briefly wonder if someone passing by could decide we have real decisive leadership potential based on our phone manner.
1:00pm: Run back home for another air conditioning estimate from Company 3.
7:00pm: Graduate from a leadership program! Also, wash cloth diapers.
10:00pm: Hold AC Crisis: Road to Victory meeting. Juggle estimates, phones and calculations. Record proceedings to pitch as a possible "So you think you can fix my compressor" TV show for Fox.

Wednesday, June 24 - Need a vacation (also, air conditioner, money, PR consultant, community organizer, car, canine psychological assistance and a drink).

But enough about us. How are you?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Don't you wish you were our dog?

During our vacations, Bismarck stays at an in-home boarding place (more like a dog Bed and Breakfast).  Here is the unedited email from Bismarck's caregiver - you can see how tough it is for him. :)

Hello Mom, Dad & Elijah,

How is my family?  I am having fun & doing fine.  Happy Anniversary! 

I like being off leash for longer periods; I am only semi-socialized, but I am learning to get along with other dogs.  I understand that they are JEALOUS of me because I am intact & they are not.  The girls love me.  Plus I am the cutest dog on the run. . . even cuter that the Standard Schnauzer couple (he's "fixed") WATCH OUT GIRL!!!

I am getting a bath tonight; I got dirty running around. 

Hope you guys are having fun too, especially my brother Elijah.

See you soon,

Your son,


 Seriously, every time we pick him up from this boarding place I am amazed the dog even comes with us.  I mean, there he gets to watch discovery channel while laying on a bed and playing with 2 chihuahuas.  Sweet dog dreams are made of this.  He must have a strong sense of purpose, moral fiber and his civil duty to abandon that paradise and trek back home with our caboodle.  But he puts his country, er, home, above his personal desires.  Oh, we've suspected he is a conservative for a long time. :)

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