March 26, 2007

Letter recognition

In addition to saying (but not recognizing) the numbers from 1 to 10 (in English and Spanish!), Elliot has also started learning some letters. He's known the letter O for some time now, in large part because of the big yellow cereal box that sits on the breakfast table. He can now recognize the letters E, D, U, and W, at least part of the time.

Posted by Jen at 12:47 PM | Comments (2)

March 23, 2007


Elliot counted to 7 this morning! I usually count out loud when I snap his pants or t-shirts, and sometimes he will repeat a few of the numbers after I say them. This morning he instead said the next number, so I repeated him. I started at one, then he said two, I said two, he said three, I said three, etc, all the way to 7. He repeated this feat later during breakfast while Gary counted Cheerios with him, although this time up to 6 (at which point he started eating the Os, making it more difficult to count).

Needless to say, Gary and I are extremely proud!

Posted by Jen at 01:46 PM | Comments (2)

March 16, 2007

nope, it's termites

The second termite inspector showed up this afternoon and said we have drywood termites, not carpenter ants. He also recommended tenting the house, even though he couldn't find additional evidence of termite damage.


Posted by Jen at 03:35 PM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2007

the plot thickens

I called another termite place. The scheduling person I talked to thinks we have carpenter ants, not termites. She is having someone come out to our house on Saturday to take a look at our little piles of sawdust.

Gary says carpenter ants are common in the South, not so common in California.

The lady I talked to had a southern accent.


Posted by Jen at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

some recent photos

Here are a couple of recent snapshots I took of Elliot and Gary. The first is at the carousel in Yerba Buena Gardens, in San Francisco. The second is at the Oakland Zoo.
On the Carousel, SF

Piggyback ride at the Oakland Zoo

Posted by Jen at 02:17 PM | Comments (4)

swatching instead of sorting

I am supposed to be writing C# code to implement different sorting algorithms, but I just got the yarn for a new baby blanket, so I decided to spend an hour this afternoon knitting a test swatch instead.

Eva and I went to a yarn store earlier this week in search of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece yarn, but the store no longer carries it. Instead, they suggested Cascade Yarns Sierra, which has the same fiber content (80% cotton, 20% wool). As I've never knit with cotton or a cotton blend, I bought one skein to try out. I had heard the Cotton Fleece holds up well in the wash, but I can't figure out if Sierra has the same lasting properties. I plan to wash the swatch in every load I do for the next couple of weeks. If it holds up, it's the yarn I will use. Otherwise, I will probably use Encore, which is what I am using for Elliot's blanket. I haven't picked a color yet, although I love the color of the skein I bought, and might go with that.
And speaking of Elliot's blanket, I'm past the half point! This weekend I calculated that I would need to knit at least 2 rows a day, every day, until my due date, if I wanted to finish the blanket before the new baby arrives. Right now each row is taking me about 10 minutes to complete, but since I'm decreasing down to a point they should get faster and faster. As of this morning I have 160 rows left to do, about 13-14 hours worth of knitting. My goal is to finish Elliot's blanket and start the new blanket before I go into labor.

Posted by Jen at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2007

Elliot sees a bug

Jessica took this wonderful photo, entitled "Elliot sees a bug," when she was out here in January. The original is better, but I had to reduce the size for the blog (so there are some JPEG artifacts). Dang they're just both so cute!

Elliot sees a bug, photo by Jessica Raimi

Posted by Jen at 01:43 PM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2007

Curious Elliot

Elliot has several Curious George books. George is a good little monkey, and always very curious. He gets into trouble a lot, but he also gets to do cool things like go into space.

When reading the Curious George books Elliot has started pointing to George and saying "Elliot!"

I'm not sure what this means, but I'm both pleased and concerned that Elliot identifies himself with a curious monkey.

Posted by Jen at 07:01 PM | Comments (1)

More on termites

The termite inspector came this afternoon. He took one look at our little pile of sawdust and said "Oh dear!"

Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

We have drywood termites. The inspector's recommendation is to tent the house. The company will cover our house with a giant tent and pump poison gas into it; we will have to be out for 2 nights. The gas dissipates after the tent is removed, but we will need to remove or bag anything taken orally. In general this means food and medicine. In our case it means just about everything in the house!

I obviously need to do more research into tenting and its health ramifications. But right now my mind is just swimming with all the stuff we'll need to box up and remove.

Posted by Jen at 02:49 PM | Comments (1)

March 05, 2007

another Elliot video

I finally got this video clip uploaded today (I had tried unsuccessfully last week). Elliot is fascinated by battery cases, especially the ones he can't get in to (pretty much all of them). Here he tries to use a knitting needle to unscrew the case.

Posted by Jen at 02:02 PM | Comments (3)

March 02, 2007

termites, quilts, and babies

Well, just one quilt and one baby, but potentially many thousands of termites.

Gary and I discovered bits of brown dust in our bedroom this week, and after some web searches determined that we might have termites. Ugh! I've got someone coming out next week to do an inspection. It makes me sick just thinking about it. Best case is that we don't have termites. Worst case is our house gets tented. In between is some sort of spot treatment for the wall. I don't know how any of the treatments work, but I'll find out next week.

On to better news! I went to the doctor today and everything is looking good. Our baby's heartbeat is strong, my vitals are good, and I'm allowed to take Benedryl for the lingering remains of my cold.

And, I bought a quilt this afternoon. Gary and I bid on one at a silent auction last year, but were outbid in the end. This one is quite a bit smaller, but I think big enough to look good hanging on the wall somewhere. I have toyed with the possibility of learning to quilt myself, but after going through my (growing) yarn stash last month I realized that I don't need another fiber hobby just yet. This is a much saner approach.

Posted by Jen at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2007

YouTube experiment

It occurred to me recently that I could upload video footage from my camera to YouTube, a public repository of home movies (among other things). So I hereby present my first video clip of Elliot, taken yesterday afternoon. I had many technical difficulties getting the file uploaded and processed, some of which may not have yet been worked out. But I hope it works.

Posted by Jen at 01:14 PM | Comments (7)

gestational diabetes and coughing

We have neither here! I passed the glucose test and Elliot stopped coughing sometime in the past few days. We (Elliot, Gary, and I) were all sick with a cold this weekend, but we're over that now, too.

Yes, I had to do the glucose test last time (I passed then, too). The particular clinic I go to asks everyone to take it, but my doctor told me (before the results were back) that I was at low risk for GD, and some places wouldn't have me take the test at all. I have been eating ice cream and chocolate with abandon since he told me this!

Posted by Jen at 12:55 PM | Comments (1)

knitting with hemp

I bought a knitting-with-hemp kit at Stitches (a big yarn convention) last week, and made my first washcloth with it.
Jen's first hemp washcloth
Hemp is hard to knit with. Unlike wool, it has no stretchiness or give, and it made my hands tired to knit for very long. Cotton is supposed to be like this, too, but I've never tried it. This particular brand of hemp is also loosely spun, so I had to be careful to avoid splitting stitches with my needle.

Luckily, a washcloth is a small item; I'd say I spent only a few hours working on it. It's a little rough, but not in a bad way (more in a "this will feel good on my back" way). And hemp is supposed to get softer the more you wash it.

Posted by Jen at 12:49 PM | Comments (1)