Sunday, June 24, 2007

The wheels on the bus

I went in to get Beth up yesterday morning and found her sitting in her crib, back against the side, legs stretched out in front of her, with her blanket and dolly Annabelle sitting in her lap.

"Mommy! I'm riding on bus!"

My super-literal child's little imagination has finally kicked in — and it's a wonderful thing to watch. She's starting to play with Play-Doh (which usually means picking apart a ball of the stuff or having Mommy make something for her), she wants me to make her a blanket tent in her room (where she'll sit for, like, half an hour with her dolls and books), and she's having good little conversations with her dolls when she goes to bed at night (Scott encourages this when he puts her to bed: "Can you tell Annabelle and Baby Margie what you did today?"). She's building some new skills, too: besides the potty endeavors, she's learned to put on her own shoes — as long as they're slip-ons like her "skate-rat shoes" (the Vans my sister gave her for her birthday) or her rain boots (which she insisted on wearing yesterday and had on her feet while she was still in just a diaper and tee shirt). During my Saturday cleaning mini-frenzy she helped me wash out the bathroom sink. Took her job very seriously, too.

Thanks to my friend Brooke, I'm also flexing the imagination muscle and learning some new skills: she had the terrific idea of getting a group together to make our own quiet books for our kids, and we've come up with this fabulous Pittsburgh-themed book: all the things a little kid can do in Pittsburgh. We have three pages done now: sort the fruits and veggies into the right colored bin at Stan's Market, zip Mr. Rogers' sweater, dig for dinosaur bones (and assemble the dinosaur) at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. More to follow. Mine will be the carousel at Schenley Plaza (move the animals up and down the poles on the carousel) and a button-the-wheels, open-the-door-and-see-the-driver Port Authority bus page. Beth loves the Stan's Market page (she hasn't seen the other two yet) and will contentedly sit at the dining room table taking the little felt pieces off and Velcroing them back into the right place. Somehow I've become the resident sewing expert for the quiet book group, which makes me laugh — taking sewing in high school was one of the ways I kept sane, but it's been, like, 17 years! I'm having inordinate amounts of fun, though.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's baaaaaack!

Okay — temporarily. And somehow I missed four episodes.

Sarah and I got home tonight from our quiet book making frenzy and a grocery run, and Scott bounded downstairs and asked, "How much do you love me?"

Turns out he found Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and recorded a new (!) episode tonight. NBC is airing the rest of the season. They started May 24, so I'll have to find the episodes I missed, but hallelujah! At least I get the rest of the season.

I am such an addict.

Hey, Sarah can sit up (propped on her hands) for about a minute at a time. And she's discovered her feet — she'll grab them while she's sitting in her bouncy chair, hang onto her toes, and grin. Happiest baby in the world! She's growing like crazy, too. She's outgrown her cradle (the lovely one my mom made for my oldest cousin over 40 years ago) and is sleeping tonight in the Pack-n-Play (which will be her bed for a few months until Beth gets a big-girl bed and passes down the crib). And her long, long feet! They're actually a bit too long for the size 2 shoes she wore today, but they're so narrow I don't know how I could keep size 3s on her feet. (She always looks so proud of herself when she gets a shoe off...especially if she can stick it into her mouth afterward.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Numb. Confused.

I just finished reading/proofing Scott's dissertation.

It's actually fascinating stuff. He starts with pointing out that while organizational computer security measures are usually concentrated on technical solutions, anything that's in place can easily be compromised if people who work for the organization don't follow security policies. He's right — be honest now — how many of you have jotted down a hard-to-remember have-to-change-it-every-three-months password on a Post-It and stuck it to the front of your monitor?

Then he goes into his research question: why don't people follow security procedures? What factors influence people's decisions whether or not to follow procedures?

After over 150 pages of truly mind-numbing literature review, methodology, data collection details and construct reliability and validity (gack!), he gives his conclusions — among them, that people consider punishment for not following procedures to be more motivational than reward for following them (interesting), that there's a high prevalence of apathy (probably because the IS people who make up the policies don't have day-to-day management responsibilities for the people who are supposed to follow them), and that the way people perceive risk and what they actually do about it have a really, really dysfunctional relationship.

The end is in sight — defense scheduled for July 11th. It's not really a spectator sport (thought technically it's open to everybody). Maybe I'll invite people after all, and we can sit in the back and do the wave.

Go Scott!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Yep, that's right...Beth finally went poop in her potty. Twice! She did it yesterday and then came back for a repeat performance today. She's so, so proud of herself.

And I am so, so regretting buying the big container of blueberries yesterday at Costco.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Zoo pictures...

...are up, here. A few are even included on the zoo post below. Finally.


Five things Beth is obsessed with:
  1. TV/video characters, including Elmo, the Wonder Pets, and Nemo

  2. Being up high. This includes standing on her stepstool to help me make meals (she stirs pretty well), climbing into her high chair by herself, and sitting on the arm of the sofa to watch the above-listed TV characters.

  3. Stickers

  4. Where her parents are at any given moment. "Where's my daddy? Where he is? Oh, there he is."

  5. Making sure that anything that belongs to her isn't being used or touched or breathed on by anyone else, especially baby Sarah.

Five things Sarah is obsessed with:
  1. Milk

  2. Watching Beth. If she's lying on the floor and Beth is behind her, she'll even crane her little neck around so she can see what Beth is doing.

  3. Watching anyone eat food

  4. Kicking her legs and arching her back. This is going to get her in trouble if we forget to strap her in her bouncy seat or the swing — she's pretty good at kicking and arching herself out of anything we put her in.

  5. The crinkly fabric block Scott bought her over the weekend