December 30, 2008


Sorry it's taken so long to update the blog, but we've had some extenuating circumstances. The major setback being that Kerstin has been in the hospital for the past few days. Something is very wrong with his brain, but the doctors have not yet been able to diagnose the problem. They have ruled out a stroke and MS and we are extremely grateful for that. He was released from the hospital on Sunday. He is doing much better today and seems to be back to normal, but will be back in the hospital today and tomorrow for more testing. The second problem is that something is wrong with our desktop computer. The fan doesn't turn off and it's keeping the hard drive from booting up. So, between those issues and the holidays, we have not been blogging. I have oodles of milestones, videos and pictures to share, but we'll have to wait until we can fix our issues at home. In the meantime, I'll try to keep everyone updated as best I can from work... so I hope Willie and Susie aren't reading this!

December 14, 2008

Ben Pics

Since these pictures appear to be a hit, here are some more shots of Ben abusing the neighbor's dog.

Comet's such a glutton for punishment.

Ice storm

As well as being dangerous and inconvenient, ice storms are very beautiful when the sun shines. The ice around tree branches reflects light and makes things look as though they are made of glace.

The Northeast has completely iced over! The freezing rain started Thursday, but it didn't get bad until late Thursday night. By Friday, there were power lines down all over the state. Route 27, the only road into Boothbay Harbor, was closed for the day, so I had my first official snow day. The State government also closed all offices, so Kerstin was home as well. We hunkered down and listed to branches falling outside. We lost power for a few hours on Friday, but we had a nice fire going and all was cozy. The only real inconvenience was the loss of power to lab servers and possibly, loss of power to our incubators, which may mean that our cultures are all dead. Willie was able to get the incubator going again on Friday afternoon, but we don't know if the cultures will recover. I shudder to think of that possibility.
Icy pumpkin vines on our "woodchuck-proof" fence.

The rain/sleet stopped around 3 on Friday afternoon and Ben answered the call of the shovel. It was no easy feat to clear the driveway, seeing as it was half slush and half ice. Our neighbor Claire was clearing her driveway too and her dog Comet came out to see what all the commotion was about. He was excited to see that Ben was back. Comet is the friendliest, sweetest dog on the planet and lives to chase stuff. Icy, gritty, nasty hard snow is no exception. This dog tried to eat every shovelful.

December 9, 2008

December Blahs

Most of the clan is sick this week. Poor little fella has a head cold, so no one is sleeping much these days. Not that we get much sleep on a normal night, but having a sick baby reminds you just how much worse it can actually get. He's been very congested and can't breathe well at night. He's also snotting up a storm and smearing all over my shirt/blowing it into my face/rubbing it into the carpet, so despite almost OCD-like hand washing, I've managed to contract his foul little bug as well. One last note about being sick and then I'm moving on - Every time I've written an entry on this subject, I get some anonymous comment from a lurker who thinks he/she's going to make bank by enlightening me about a fabulous product that will cure whatever ails me and/or my child. I've got two words - Piss Off. Seriously, you people are like buzzards. I can't imagine this tactic ever actually works.

It's been snowing on and off this week, which makes everything around here quiet, except for the occasional clanking from a plow truck. Ben returned from Maryland and is staying with us for a while. He hadn't been here 24 hours before I suckered him into babysitting for an hour so I could finally get a hair cut. I have now entered the "sensible hair" era of my life (moving away from the "neglected hair" era that marked my youth). The look is very practical, very middle-aged-woman-with-a-kid. It's slightly depressing, but I guess that's who I am now. I saved my ponytail and will be donating it to a non-profit group that makes wigs for the American Cancer Society. I couldn't resist the opportunity to have a little fun before mailing it. Doesn't Ben look awesome with a mullet?

December 8, 2008

More Crawling

Alden is developing nicely. He has stopped spitting up and I suspect it was because we were overfeeding him. At his check-up on the 3rd he weighed 19lbs, so he is close to being on track for the big two-oh on his first birthday. Alden's learned how to decline food by shaking his head and raising his hand to push away the spoon when full. He cannot feed himself yet, but he has figured out how to feed others (me). He will put veggie bits or sweet-potato-flavored puffed rice in my mouth but not his own. I am tickled by this but find it a little backwards.

Besides the modification on crawling style Alden is about to get his fourth tooth and is officially a creeper (able to pull himself up on things and walk by holding onto a sofa or bookshelf support. It's not problematic yet because he's still perfecting it and is slow, but he is enamored with our wood stove, so I foresee some safety stove thingy in the near future.

It snowed again and has been cold, and it looks like Uncle Ben will be paying us a visit again soon.