Monday Morning Saul

So I'm a day late. So what?

I'm REALLY busy at work this week, so posting will probably be pretty light.

Here is Saul right after a spaghetti dinner (and right before a bath):

And here he is wearing the CUTEST! PANTS! EVER! That's corduroy, y'all. I love it.

That is the best picture I could get. Every time I tried to get him to stand up, he went all boneless on me and collapsed in a screaming heap on the floor. Really. I think he woke up too early.


My baby isn't a baby

How is it even possible that Saul is a year old? How did that happen?

On Saturday night, I stood by his crib and watched him sleep. I imagined him as a newborn, remembering just how tiny he was, and how the little green alien doll that he now clutched in his hand was the same one that was half the size of his body when we first brought him home. I couldn't imagine how he had grown so much in just a year, how this little boy was the same person as the helpless infant that I brought home from the hospital.

Then I went upstairs and saw my eight year old niece, Tara, asleep on the couch. She had her arms thrown over her head the same way Saul does, and it stopped me in my tracks. Before I know it, Saul will be just as big as Tara.

Nothing makes you recognize the passage of time like having kids around.


One exception

I just had to post this because it just made my day suck a little bit less. Thanks, Kathy.


I am taking the day off from blogging due to IMMINENT STRESS RELATED BREAK DOWN.

If I survive Saul's birthday weekend, and next week's year-end close at work, it will be a miracle.


He walks!

Poetry Thursday

Variation On The Word Sleep

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and as you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

-Margaret Atwood


And even more important than bling

is Saul, of course.

Climbing into a drawer in the kitchen.

He was quite proud of himself.

Playing peekaboo.

Sitting in my exercise ball chair frame. It's one of his favorite places in my office. He wheels it around like a walker.

And finally, standing up all by himself, looking out the window, and watching birds. I think he might be trying to sign bird also, but I can't be sure.

Much more important than politics

Is my new bling. I have a serious weakness for huge, 80's inspired earrings.

Here I go again

I am quite disturbed by this plan to give one single man (a former head of an investment bank, btw) 700 billion dollars to distribute as he sees fit, with no oversight or review. It is true that I am a dirty liberal commie (according to most Texans, at least), but I am not comfortable with a centrally planned economy, nor am I comfortable with one branch of government having so much power. I believe that the constitution did a very good job of carefully balancing power between three branches of government, but that is now being destroyed. We are about to have an executive dictatorship, and I find that frightening, no matter who holds that power.


Avada Kedavra to you, Spencer

I was mildly confused and somewhat apathetic when I saw this for the first time last week, but somehow it gets funnier every time I think about it. And I can't see the name Ben Bernanke now without giggling.

A giant 700 billion dollar peach cobbler

The Unger Report

Lets make America the best France ever!

Slow down!

A list of things that need doing but aren't being done because I'm sick and stressed:

Clean up all my recons and take care of last minute business at work before year end next week.
Actually complete the year end close next week (this will involve many 12 hour days).
Prepare for 7 house guests this weekend.
Clean up my filthy house.
Wrap all of Saul's birthday presents.
Find a recipe and prepare an egg-free cake.
Decorate. Um, balloons? I don't do parties. Ick. So help me god, we will NOT SING.
Figure out an agenda and menu to keep 10 people amused and fed for a weekend.
Prep B to take Saul for his one year check-up next Monday.
Get chicken wire fences rebuilt and plant fall garden before it's too late.
Reschedule a dentist appointment.
Finish my "professional development" project before year end (bonus depends on it).
One year portraits with Carrie next weekend.
Game night at my house next weekend.

Blechh. Perhaps the blogging with suffer. Or perhaps not. Perversely, the more I have to do, the more I tend to procrastinate and screw around on the internet. Oh, and do crossword puzzles. Whenever I'm really stressed, I either start skipping sleep to read lots of books, or I start obsessively doing crossword puzzles. This go round, it's the crosswords. I've even been keeping one in my car to look at during red lights. Thank god for B's lifetime subscription to Games Magazine.


Monday Morning Saul

What a busy weekend! Saturday was Laney's 1st birthday. Saul was initially a little bit sullen after the long, hot car ride, and was not pleased when Laney kept trying to kiss his cheek. But after he calmed down a little, he had a great time playing with all of Laney's toys, splashing in the pool, chowing down on the fruit salad, and eating a ridiculous amount of ice cream. Laura was kind enough to have a piece of vegan cake for Saul, but he only took a few bites and then wanted the ice cream. After he and Laney got messy enough, we dumped them in the bath tub, where Saul's mood abruptly became much better, and they tussled over rubber ducks and splashed each other quite happily. The always fabulous Carrie was taking pictures the whole time, so I'm hoping to get a few copies later this week or next.

I hadn't realized the Laura lives on the same exit as Ikea, so of course I had to make a stop on the way home. We ended up being pretty late getting home, but I got a great new duvet cover, so it was worth it.

Last night, we visited some of B's friends who live a little ways out of the city and train horses. Saul was surprisingly well behaved, and only threw a few minor tantrums. He didn't break anything, and he didn't throw any food during dinner, although he still managed to create quite a mess. He got to meet a sweet old dog, who was incredibly patient at Saul yelled at him, banged on him, pulled his hair, and tried to stick a pacifier in his mouth. Initially, Saul wasn't sure about the horses, but eventually he got brave and poked them several times. One of the horses loved him, and nibbled on the back of his head very enthusiastically.

More and more, when Saul isn't paying attention, he will stand up by himself and even take a few steps. I think he's now fully capable of walking, but just lacking the courage to do it. I wish I had taken pictures of him last night, standing in front of a glass door, gazing raptly at horses, a dog, and an outside ceiling fan. Well, his birthday is next weekend, so we'll have plenty of family obsessively documenting everything he does. Perhaps we can catch him on film.


New word

"boob" (bubbles)

You've got to be kidding me

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Paracetamol = Tylenol.



On a whim recently, I picked up two Tai Pei frozen

um um um

Homemade bread. Every day. It's a miracle.

Poetry Thursday

Ex-Basketball Player

Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,
Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off
Before it has a chance to go two blocks,
At Colonel McComsky Plaza. Berth’s Garage
Is on the corner facing west, and there,
Most days, you'll find Flick Webb, who helps Berth out.

Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps—
Five on a side, the old bubble-head style,
Their rubber elbows hanging loose and low.
One’s nostrils are two S’s, and his eyes
An E and O. And one is squat, without
A head at all—more of a football type.

Once Flick played for the high-school team, the Wizards.
He was good: in fact, the best. In ’46
He bucketed three hundred ninety points,
A county record still. The ball loved Flick.
I saw him rack up thirty-eight or forty
In one home game. His hands were like wild birds.

He never learned a trade, he just sells gas,
Checks oil, and changes flats. Once in a while,
As a gag, he dribbles an inner tube,
But most of us remember anyway.
His hands are fine and nervous on the lug wrench.
It makes no difference to the lug wrench, though.

Off work, he hangs around Mae’s Luncheonette.
Grease-gray and kind of coiled, he plays pinball,
Smokes those thin cigars, nurses lemon phosphates.
Flick seldom says a word to Mae, just nods
Beyond her face toward bright applauding tiers
Of Necco Wafers, Nibs, and Juju Beads.

-John Updike


Quick plug

I have been listening to a new NPR podcast called Planet Money. It explains macroeconomic policy in a way that is easily understood. I already have a basic understanding of the topics discussed, but I like the detail about the current situation that we have got ourselves in.

Ok, now two things about Saul:

1. About half an hour ago, he was sitting in the middle of my balance ball chair (in the place where the balance ball is supposed to go) holding a green rubber praying mantis in both hands and having a very serious conversation. I wonder what he thinks he is saying when he jabbers on in his little alien language.

2. Right now, he's asleep. I had to fight this morning to keep him awake until 11:30 (normal nap time is at noon), then he slept until 1:30, ate lunch, played for awhile, and then went back to sleep. And yesterday, when B brought him home from daycare, he went right back to sleep and took a rather long evening nap. And then still went to bed at a reasonable time and slept until almost 8:00 this morning. We transitioned to only one nap per day several weeks ago, so I think he must be having a massive growth spurt. I know B hopes that is what it is - he's still scared that Saul might be short like me.

Ok, back to work!


Ok, remember that kooky book I used to make bread out of? All of the recipes were really good (oh god, remember the blueberry orange sweet rolls?) but they took a long time. Like all day. Bread is hard, you know? You have to proof the yeast and mix it all up and get flour all over you, and then you have to knead it and let it rise and knead it again and shape it and let it rise again and then bake it. A Very. Long. Time.

So when I read about this book on another blog, I added it to my wishlist and got it for my birthday. (Thanks Mom!)

It's genius. You mix up a bunch of very wet dough, without proofing the yeast, without kneading, and then let it set for a couple of hours and then stick it in the fridge. Active time: about 10 minutes. Voila, you have bread dough for a couple of weeks. For the most basic recipe, you just pull out a hunk of dough, make it into a ball, let it sit for about a half hour, and then stick it in the oven. And out comes a perfect boule, with crunchy outside, soft yummy inside, and not a single egg to make Saul blow up like a puffer fish.

(btw, that's not mine, that's from google. But mine looked just like that. Well, maybe a little less round, but whatever)

There are recipes for several types of dough, and several types of bread products that can be made with each dough. Right now, I have a tupperware full of wheat bread dough, and another one full of olive oil dough. We will have fresh, homemade bread with dinner every single night. And over the weekend, I'm thinking about mixing up a batch of brioche dough, although that one is not appropriate for Saul.

Ok, so let me brag for a minute: I'm going to whip up some onion and rosemary focaccia tonight to go with dinner. Wanna know how much time it will take? About ten minutes, and most of that will be chopping onions and going outside to cut some rosemary.

The only problem is that now I will have homemade bread around all of the time, while I'm trying to start a new Fat Ass Reduction Plan. Ah, well, priorities.


Hurricane pics

Pics of my mom's back yard, sent this morning:


Wow, I just got an email at work with details about our Houston stores. Three of the five are open, but they are only letting in a few people at a time, and they are having to ration ice. Things are going to be crazy for awhile.

Monday Morning Saul

Wow, we had a busy few days there. My mom is safely back home, with electricity, although no cable or internet or gas stations or anything. Saul is missing her very much - he made up a sign for Grandma over the weekend and he kept signing it this morning while crawling from room to room in search of her. It was heartbreaking.

However, he learned all kinds of new things while she was here. He now says dog, cat, balloon, car, and good. My mom thinks he is also saying book, but I'm not certain on that one yet. He's practicing standing much more often and has started getting brave and taking a few steps away from whatever he's holding on to. He's signing all kinds of things, and making up signs to get his needs across (he even has a sign for "take me to another room now"). He points at everything and expects me to name what it is. He watches my mouth carefully while I say it, and then sometimes tries to imitate me. His tantrums have calmed down, probably because he can communicate much better all of a sudden. He's quite funny to watch lately. He has learned how to use his feet to get around on his riding toy, and now you have to watch out while you're in the living room, or he might careen into you. He walks on his hands and feet and tries to watch his toes while he's moving. He pulls cushions down from the couch and tries to sit on them by backing up, with little success but much hilarity for me.

This morning, he started in the pre-toddler class at daycare. He will sleep on a nap mat now instead of a crib. He will eat at a table instead of a highchair. He's not a baby anymore.



Not much to say

Apparently if you don't post to your blog when a hurricane is coming, everyone thinks you're dead. I have news for you, internet: I live 200 miles from the coast. All we're going to get is a very windy weekend.

Anyway, things are lively here. Evacuees are pouring in, shelters are full, and grocery stores are empty. My mom is safe, but we are still quite worried about my step-father, who is presumably holed up in the (concrete) Lake Jackson jail as of about an hour ago. The sky is cloudy, most school has been cancelled to keep the roads clear, and we have all been given permission to leave work early to do whatever needs doing.

(Here is a story about some idiots. Surfside Beach is a few minutes from my mom's house. It's a pretty little town with neat houses up on stilts, so I hope it's still there next week.)

My main plan for this weekend is to enjoy my mom's company, since I don't see her nearly as often as I wish, and to get her hooked on Project Runway. We watched an episode last night and I think I'm making progress.

Happy weekend, everyone! Think nice, dry, un-flooded thoughts for us!



Two important things. First, I have a lot of family right around Freeport, TX. You know, right in the middle of that REALLY BIG HURRICANE. So my mom came in last night, and I'm possibly expecting step-brothers and sisters and nephews later. I know my mom isn't happy about leaving, especially since my step-dad is a cop and has to stay where he is, but we are all pleased that she is getting some extra quality time with Saul. And I certainly can't complain about having a temporary live-in babysitter.

The second important thing is this: I found some Good Flow that hadn't been pulled. I don't think B is up for alcohol yet, but my mom and I are going to add a little bit of tequila to that limeade later and have us some unpasteurized white trash margaritas. Yum.


This year has gone by so unbelievably quickly. My baby is turning into a little boy.

Poetry Thursday

Photograph from September 11

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.

-Wislawa Szymborska


At home

B is home and acting like a big, cranky baby. Of course if I'd had my nose and sinuses all cut up and messed with, I would probably be much crankier than he is. He tries hard to be a stoic. But seriously. It hurts me just to look at him.

Anyhow, at least he's coherent today. Yesterday, he was all doped up on anesthesia and percoset and was not making a whole lot of sense on the way home. And since he is a lot bigger than me, I was a little bit worried about handling him. I mean, if he fell on the way up the stairs, it's not like I could catch him, right? Ah well, everything turned out fine in the end and he was safely set up on the couch.

So I am working from home today so that I can keep an eye on B, and I took Saul to daycare because I can't handle both of them at the same time. I'm also keeping a wary eye on Ike and preparing for possible incoming refugee family members. The good news is that I have a house now. When Rita came through, we were still in an apartment and I had step-brothers and sisters sleeping on the floor and my mom sleeping on the couch. Now, we're all fancy with an actual guest room. With a real live bed. Although guests have to share a bathroom with Saul, so I guess there's still a little bit of hardship in having to step around all the rubber ducks and plastic boats in the tub.

Ok, I'm rambling again. It seems to be a chronic problem for me. So why don't I shut up now and show you some ridiculously adorable videos? In the first, Saul signs 'please' to get a cookie and in the second, he makes out with the balloon that the grocery store lady gave him.


Update with a funny

Ok, I'm at Central Market now (JUST KIDDING!). I have neither margarita, nor Good Flow carrot juice, but I do have a cheeseburger, a cream soda, and a wonderfully shady porch, so I guess I'll survive.

Hey, remember like six months ago when I very rarely ventured into politics on this here blog thingamabob? Neither do I.

I don't remember who proclaimed that they would drink Jon Stewart's bathwater, but I whole heartedly agree.

Time troubles

I am sitting a waiting room right now while B has surgery on his sinuses. I was hoping to spend the day reading and doing crossword puzzles, but there are three VERY obnoxious people sitting here talking about bugs and cigarettes and how to score free tummy tucks by having more children than is natural.

So I am going to head over to Central Market (JUST KIDDING! I WOULD NEVER EAT AT THE COMPETITION!) and get me some munchies. I'm off work today, but I suppose it would be frowned upon if I came back for B after a few margaritas, huh? Ah well, I'll have to stick to my beloved Good Flow.

Oh wait!

Good Flow got shut down by The Man.

*Update* The nurse just came to let the obnoxious people know that their family member was out of surgery. Apparently she was getting a boob job. BIG SURPRISE.

Maybe more updates later. Maybe not. I will be quite busy tonight, what with toddlers and woozy surgery patients to take care of.


Monday Morning Saul

Busy day! Talk later! Quick pic: Saul shakes the bars of his prison.



Graphic view of the candidates speeches. Very cool.






via Wordle

First comment gets a prize!

This is my 1,000th entry - can you believe that?! To celebrate, I will send a gift to the first person who comments. B, you're not eligible because you get the gift of my stunning wit and vivacity EVERY SINGLE DAY!

So this is going to be a pretty crappy 1,000th entry, because I am D-R-O-W-N-I-N-G in work right now. This is one of the things that sucks about being an accountant. You go along quite nicely with a reasonable workload and then BAM! it's time to close the books (we do it every fourth week here at WFM) and your workload triples or quadruples and it's awful. It sucks because there are so many things that have to be done all at once that can't be spread out. But oh well, that's part of the job I guess. Better than cleaning houses or car hopping at Sonic or being a secretary at a poorly run bureaucratic government hell-hole. Ahem.


Things I Have To Say About John McCain's Speech

1. He was generally respectful towards Obama and Democrats in general. Points to him.

2. I have no problem with protesters holding up signs, but yelling out things during his speech was inappropriate. More points to McCain for not losing his cool.

3. Being respectful doesn't count for much if you can't reign in your VP.

4. Has anyone checked to see if Cindy McCain is an android?

5. Have you noticed how much Republicans like to chant things? Here is a list of things I can remember off the top of my head that were chanted during the last two nights:

B. NBC! NBC! (don't get this one)
C. Drill, Baby, Drill! (creepy, yo)
D. John McCain! John McCain!
E. Plenty more incoherent chants.

People are cattle. I have a sampler that says that.



B and I watched Governor Palin's speech last night. I tried my hardest to go into it with an open mind. I came out of it with a much more negative view than when I started. Here are a couple things I noticed:

Governor Palin made nine (I counted) personal attacks on Barack Obama.
Barack Obama made zero personal attacks on McCain last week.

During Governor Palin's speech, the crowd booed at almost every mention of Barack Obama or the Democratic Party.
During Barack Obama's speech, the crowd didn't boo even once.

Governor Palin used her speech to belittle and attack the Democratic Party.
Barack Obama used his speech to paint a picture of a better America that we can all strive for.

I was honestly shocked and disappointed to see all the negativity last night. I will withhold final judgement until I watch McCain's speech last night, but right now I am completely disgusted.

Poetry Thursday

The Age Demanded

The age demanded that we sing
And cut away our tongue.

The age demanded that we flow
And hammered in the bung.

The age demanded that we dance
And jammed us into iron pants.

And in the end the age was handed
The sort of shit that it demanded.

-Ernest Hemingway


Quote of the day

In my mind, I keep returning to a part of Obama's acceptance speech last week. This, I think, is what I really, truly want to believe and work for:
America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America's promise, the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.
I wonder what would happen if we got rid of all the Ann Coulters and Michael Moores of the world and focused on finding solutions to problems, rather than just making every issue into an Us vs. Them fight with no winners.

I know some die hard Republicans who are good, honest, intelligent people. And I also know some Democrats who are good, honest, intelligent people. And I even know some third party nuts who are good, honest, intelligent people. I think most everyone has some good in them, and I wish we could all try to remember that.

May I quote from Saul's namesake?
If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.

-Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird
So there. That's my happy-crappy idealism for the day. Now I will return to my normal cynical misanthropy.

Again with the rambling

I am currently lacking the ability to form smooth, extended, coherent thoughts. Instead, I'm all hippity-hopping around. Perhaps because it's my busy week at work, perhaps because Saul is insisting on being precocious and trying to start his terrible twos a year early, perhaps because I had a cup of black tea this morning after several weeks of a strict caffeine-fast.

About the terrible twos (please God tell me it doesn't get much worse): Saul throws food. He throws tantrums. He throws himself on the ground. He bangs his head against the wall. He fights to get me to put him down at daycare, and then promptly stands up, hugs my leg, and won't let me go to work. He refuses to eat, and then cries because he's hungry. He refuses to drink from a cup. He refuses to eat from a spoon. He throws things out of the bath-tub and screams if I catch them before they make it over the side.

I talk as though he's terrible all the time. He's really not. Most of the time, he's happy and cheerful and playful. But it doesn't take much of Evil Twin Saul to overshadow the Sweet Angel Saul.

Remember the Mark Twain statue? Here's the only picture I took. See how Saul is as far away as he can get and keeping an eye on it? I guess Mark Twain does look a little shifty there.

So about Saul's first birthday. It's coming up very soon. I am not throwing him a party, and I'm feeling a little bit ambivalent about it. Family will come, of course, and he will get some really awesome presents, and the opportunity to smash an (eggless) chocolate cupcake all over his face. But there will be no friends, no other babies, no party hats and gift bags and coordinating napkins. Because I hate that stuff, and I do not have the bandwidth to organize that kind of big to-do. But I have been invited to many first birthday parties recently, including one for Laney, who was born the week before Saul. It makes me feel a little bit guilty. I think I've mentioned before how I'm trying really hard to avoid the culture of competitive mothering that seems to be so prevalent. But it's hard, because I am constantly questioning what my motives are for everything, and trying to draw the line between what is good for Saul and what is excessive, and what will truly benefit Saul and what will just make me feel better. It's a very hard thing to do, and sometimes I just want to give up because going against a current is a good way to exhaust yourself. Words of wisdom would be appreciated.

Ok, on to something happier: cooking! I received two cookbooks for my birthday. The one is all about bread, and the other is all about pie. Thanks, Mom, for helping with my diet.

Anyway, I'm getting all ambitious this weekend and I'm going to make pear and brie turnovers. With homemade pastry dough, yo. But no Crisco, cause we don't roll with the trans-fats.

Of course I will take pictures. Many, many pictures. And you will all want to come over to my house for dessert. And I will welcome you with open arms, because having dessert is no fun around Mr. Healthnut.

And that is all I have to say right now. I would like to go on about my new Audrey Hepburn capelet thingie and how I'm going to dress up like it's 1962 and wear a big hat and go somewhere and pretend to be glamorous, but then you would just think I'm a little bit weird. And I know you don't think that already. Right?


Taking after his parents

Well I think we can say this much: Saul won't be going to college on an athletic scholarship. He seems to be just about as talented and coordinated as his parents.


Yes, I really do spend my free time seeking out things like this.


Monday Morning Saul

My Mom came into town this weekend, ostensibly to celebrate my birthday, but really just to see Saul. "Why don't you guys go out on Saturday night? I'll stay here and baby-sit for you. In fact, why don't you just get a hotel somewhere? Stay out the whole weekend if you want. Maybe I can just take him home with me and get him off your hands all together."

Nice try, Mom.

But we did go out. We went to Alamo to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona. It's the first movie we've seen since Saul was born that didn't involve lots of pauses, diaper change breaks, and pulling a small child off of the sub woofer about 23 times. I really enjoyed myself, but it's hard to say whether that was because the movie was so great, or because I got to sit in peace for two hours and eat my dinner uninterrupted.

Saul had an explosion of new talents this weekend. He learned the command "gentle" so that if you say it, he will pat your face nicely instead of walloping your nose. He started pointing to things he wants and then furiously rubbing his hand on his chest, which is sign-language for please. He will also kind of play catch with us, but not really, because he keeps accidentally throwing the ball backwards over his head instead of forwards to us. But still. And his obsession with putting lids on things has not abated. One of his favorite activities is putting the caps back on his medicine bottles in the morning and evening. Once, he even managed to balance the medicine syringe on top of the lid.

One thing we have to work on, however: some friends stopped by on Saturday with a small dog. Saul saw it, got excited, and proclaimed "kih-kah!" (kitty cat). There was no convincing him that it was a dog. Because he knows that dogs are big slobbery things like Monster, and kitty cats are small.

I didn't have my camera around for most of the weekend, and it's at home with B and Saul today (some of us don't get holidays). But here are a few pics that my Mom took.