Kerguelen Islands

Posted June 4, 2010 by elowyn
Categories: Virtual Vacation

The Kerguelen Islands are a part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, and are located in the southern Indian Ocean, approximately equidistant from Australia and Africa.  The equivalent northern latitude would be about the US-Canada border, and their climate is similar to that of the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska.

These islands have only a few human inhabitants, primarily a group of 50 to 100 French scientists (I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere.)  Fauna include elephant seals, penguins and the odd feral sheep, which subsist on fish and indigenous mosses and lichens, respectively.

Another Virtual Vacation post, using the random coordinates feature.  They give me coordinates, and I give you a post about the nearest bit of land and its inhabitants.


Twenty Months

Posted June 4, 2010 by elowyn
Categories: Monthly Update

The big 2-0.  The kids finally got the memo this month that, lo and verily, they are toddlers.  They want “up” (general use preposition for any change in position) all day and night.  They wander around with cups of milk and lounge on the couch like miniature teenagers.  They have strong opinions about the Backyardigans, although their limited vocabularies mean that these opinions are mostly expressed through interpretive dance.   They’re busy, glorious, sweet little people who are fully capable of stealing sister’s toy one minute, and patting her to comfort her the next.  It’s astounding.

The stats:

Sleep:  11-13 hours at night, 2-3 hour nap each day.

Food:  Smaller volume than previously (Chloe until recently could out-eat Nanny J’s 7-year-old) but still a nice variety.  They’re enjoying dipping things (salsa, ranch, ketchup, marinara) and love the independence of their new booster seats at the kitchen table.  Bye-bye, high chairs!

Nursie:  Early a.m. on waking, for about 3 nanoseconds.  They’re close to weaning, I think.

Teeth:  Chloe’s holding at 16, Emma has 10.

Apparel:  18 month clothes, size 4 shoes, size 4 dipes.

Dimensions:  Emma is 25# 10 oz, and Chloe is 23# 3 oz.  Both 31.25 inches.

Words:  Chloe – up, baby (beebee), poopoo, stinky (tinky).  Emma – “hi, sister” and “I love you (I luuh ooo)” as well as beebee.

Likes: Chloe – the Wonder Pets CD (accept no substitutes), climbing anything/everything, raspberry fruit bars.  Emma – her baby doll, bananas, her baby doll, the red triangle, and did I mention the doll?

Dislikes: Chloe – mama’s suggestion that she sit on the potty (oh how funny, mama!), not having something that her sister has.   Emma – walking barefoot outside, having toys stolen by Chloe, and Major Dislike #1: losing contact with her doll for any period of time, including bath, dinner, brushing one’s teeth, etc.

Forty-nine Pounds of Toddler

Posted May 25, 2010 by elowyn
Categories: Chloe, Emma, Random

Chloe and Emma survived their “18 month” (really more like 20 – still correcting for gestational age here) pediatric visit without too much angst.  Three shots a piece, but no real ill effects after a good nap.  After weighing them, it became clear that I’m not just a big sissy for having trouble toting them together everywhere.  Chloe was 23#3 oz, and Emma 25#10.  That’s 49 lbs!  No wonder my arms are tired.

In other news, I’m feeling inspired to start blogging more, and am feeling the need for a big overhaul.  I’m considering dropping the S-B name for something else entirely, but am at a bit of a loss.  I’d like something that summarizes or at least hints at my various roles/descriptors (mama, fake doctor*, domestic goddess**, afflicted with a severe lack of tolerance for nonsense) but I’m coming up short.  Suggestions?

* A patient recently asked me if we had any “real doctors” working.   The rest of the evening was spent referring to my attending as “real doctor” and to me as “fake doctor.”   Heh.

**Domestic goddess.  Right.  Have you seen my living room after the twinadoes get finished?  We all have to aspire to something, I suppose.

Nineteen Months

Posted May 4, 2010 by elowyn
Categories: Monthly Update

We’re running headlong into the toddler phase!  Chloe started walking, full-tilt, on Easter (the 4th) and Emma followed suit on the 29th, after much “physical therapy.”  (Being held by the hand and walked all over the house for long periods each day.)

They’re joyful little people, who loved their first ice cream cones at Dairy Queen, live to find and pet the cat cat cat CAT CAT and are constantly in motion at any time that their eyes are open.

Sleep:  11-13 hours at night, 2-3 hour nap each day.

Food:  Anything and everything.  Big hits recently are raspberry fruit bars, lobster, crab, ice cream and drinks of mama’s pop.  Which makes it sound like a 24/7 junk fest around here, although it’s not.  They eat a wide variety of foods well, although Chloe’s more of a carnivore and Emma likes her veggies and fruits best.

Nursie:  Early a.m. on waking, and rarely if someone’s hurt/sick and needs a little extra love.

Teeth:  Chloe has all 16 now, Emma has 9.

Apparel:  18 month clothes, size 4 shoes, size 3 dipes for day, size 4 overnights for night.  The day dipes are starting to leak, so we may be going up a size soon.

Dimensions:  Emma is 24 lbs, and Chloe is 22.

Words:  Chloe – go, out.  Emma – sister.

Likes: Chloe – goldfish crackers, her milk cup, the Wonder Pets CD.  Emma – petting anyone (cat, dog, sister, me), shopping (she pulls on the tags/fabrics to examine them), strawberries.

Dislikes: Chloe –being imprisoned against her will (a.k.a. the carseat), broccoli.   Emma – string cheese, being alone.

Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

Posted April 18, 2010 by elowyn
Categories: Virtual Vacation

With warmer weather, more sleep and more energy, I’m inspired to post more.  Good news!  The four of you who are still reading will have a few new things to enjoy.

To refresh your memory, Virtual Vacation is a little exercise in which I pick random coordinates (using the generator at and do a little report on the place.  (If it’s out at sea, I go for the closest named island/land mass/city.)

Therefore, today I bring you:

Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

This city of 100K in southeastern Vietnam is the capital city of Ninh Thuan province.  It is famous for its white sand beaches and, if one travel site is to be believed, is known as the Hawaii of Vietnam.  It is best known for its 12th and 13th century picturesque towers, built by the

Cham people who remain the area’s largest ethnic minority.  Common crops are grapes, onions and hot peppers, and the local dragonfruit is said to be the best in Vietnam.

Eighteen Months

Posted April 4, 2010 by elowyn
Categories: Monthly Update

We’re enjoying the warmer weather (finally) and spending lots of time in the wagon riding up and down the street, and sharing the baby swing at the park.  I’ve gated off the front porch, and they can crawl around out there while I watch them from the porch swing, and they love it.  Latest tricks are waving bye-bye to anyone/everyone (including the dog) and blowing kisses.

We finally started serious tooth-brushing coincident with our first dentist’s appointment during early March, and they love to stand in their cribs at bedtime and have their teeth brushed (and then get their water sippies to take to sleep with them.)

Our mini Easter egg hunt was a big hit (I “hid” eggs all over the front porch, in plain sight.)  They would each find an egg or two, and shake them like crazy, then Emma would put the eggs in the basket, and Chloe would take them back out.

Sleep:  11-13 hours at night, 2-3 hour nap each day.  Once in awhile they’ll take two naps if they were up late the night before.

Food:  They tried asparagus and strawberries for the first time (both hits) and continue to consume all offered items, along with stray mislaid graham crackers, bits of Science Diet (Chloe) and anything else semi-edible that crosses their paths.  All of the Easter candy was a big hit, with all the chocolate bunnies and Reese’s eggs and jellybeans.

Nursie:  1-2 x/day.  The early a.m. nursie is essential, but they can be distracted from the post-nap session if we have visitors or somewhere to go urgently.  Of course, if they take two naps, they want to nurse both times.  It all works out.

Teeth:  Chloe has all 16 now, Emma still has 6 (with two molars coming, woe woe woe.)

Apparel:  18 month clothes, size 3 shoes, size 3 dipes.  I just bought size 4 sandals for summer, and they’re a skosh long.

Dimensions:  Haven’t weighed since our doctor’s visit in February, but I’m going with Emma at 23.5 lbs or so, and Chloe at 21ish.

Words:  Chloe – kitty (associated with tongue-waggling at the cat of unclear importance.  This would make sense if the cat were a labrador retriever, but he isn’t), shoes, done.  Emma – shoes, num (yum).

Likes: Chloe – sneaking around to get something forbidden (the remote, dog food, my Blackberry), WonderPets, her milk sippie.  Emma – her stuffed rabbit (from Easter), fruit.

Dislikes: Chloe –  corned beef, having to sit down in the bathtub.  Emma – salmon, anyone crying/upset (including TV characters.)

Kitty Kitty

Posted March 25, 2010 by elowyn
Categories: Harry

Our little house has a new resident, in the form of one half-Siamese flame point, half-tabby cat, formerly named Mr. Bigglesworth.  Well, he’s still named Mr. Bigglesworth (because who can change a cat’s name five years in) but due to his recent Houdini-esque antics (breaking into a closed closet three days running) and my relative dislike of Bigglesworth, it’s been amended to Mr. Harry Bigglesworth.  And given that he has a first and last name, he needed a middle.  The initial is F.  For f-ing.  Because cats, being cats, need a swearing-at occasionally.

So, internet, meet Harry F. Bigglesworth, Esq.  He’s a lovely boy, gets along reasonably well with Piper, is adored by the girls (although he doesn’t let them get too close) and spends 23.5 hours a day hiding in my closet, hiding in the craft room closet, or loitering out of dog-reach on the stairs above the baby gate.  He’s working on the mouse population (good kitty) and is out of Nanny J’s allergic husband’s way.  Win-win.