Allie had been waking up and staying up on her own between 5am and 5:30am for the past month, and we don’t know why. She did well with the time change, however, and was still getting up between 5-5:30am, occasionally as late as 5:45a, but it was the “new” 5:30a or whenever. Over the weekend, we finally turned on the central heater, and she slept in to her old time of past 6am, and yesterday on Veteran’s Day, as late as a few minutes past 7am. So it could be that even though I’d been double-bagging her with a onesie inside her fleece zip-up footsie sleep-n-plays, it has simply been so much colder in the mornings that when she wakes up in the morning, she has been unable to go back to sleep. She doesn’t make noise or demand anything, just playing on her own in her crib until we go in to get her, be it half an hour, an hour or more.

We attended a birthday party over the weekend, thrown by a coworker for her grandson’s first birthday. She went all-out and turned her large backyard into an old-fashioned carnival, complete with game booths, prizes, props, popcorn machine, hot dog “vendor” booth, game tickets, photo booth, cotton candy cart, face painters. And the details! Little goldfish in round bowls, cupcakes that look exactly like little buckets of popcorn (“popcorn” made with twisted mini marshmallows lightly sprayed with yellow food coloring), everything was bright red and blue. I would’ve taken photos, except Allie threw my cell phone into some crevice in the car and Mr. W said I didn’t need it so we were rushed inside. There went my primary mode of photodocumentation. Given the many many kids and babies at the party (we’re talking 100+ guests), everyone seemed to be an expert in parenting. We got lots of unsolicited commentary on Allie. They were mostly kind comments, such as how cute she is and how well she walks given her age, but more and more she’s receiving comments of how tall she is. People assume she’s 14-15 months and are surprised when they learn she’s 11. She towered over the 1-year-old birthday boy. I can see that she’ll be expected to act like a young adult when she’s just a small child and wants to come up to me to be held when she’s my height. =P

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and a holiday. We used the day off to bring Allie to the doctor for her 2nd dose of the flu shot. She did well, crying in protest when we forced her to lie back on the table, having the same fit she gives us when we make her lie back for a diaper change. She was so busy fussing about that, that she didn’t know the shot had come and gone already, so she stopped crying as soon as we let her sit up again. I asked how many shots Allie will get for her 1-year appointment, and the nurse said six. SIX! Two on each thigh, and one under each upper arm. That would be the most shots she’d received at once, and the first shots on her arms. I’m not looking forward to that appointment in a couple of weeks. I asked when the next series of vaccinations after that would be, and was told 18 months. That would be a nice break from all the shooting up every time she’s gone to the doctor, and after that, her booster shots would come at age 2. And then even bigger gaps after that. So her only regular shots after that would be her annual flu shots, which would still be a child-sized half-dose, but only 1 shot. I was told she got the double-shot this year only because it’s her first time.

I asked Mr. W if he had any pre-scanned photos of himself in uniform that I could post to do a Veteran’s Day blog entry. He thought a long time and said no. All his photos are hard copies only, nothing digital. I figured as much, it was a long time ago. When we had been at the Toyota dealership last month buying the new Prius V, I’d noted that the fleet saleswoman had a framed portrait on her desk of a young man in a Marine Corps uniform. I asked her about it, and she said it’s her 23-year-old son currently stationed in Afghanistan. That’s Mr. W’s son’s age. Later, we were sent to finalize documents with a finance person and I noticed a similar shot behind him. The finance guy said that’s his 21-year-old son, currently a Marine in Iraq. I told him I hoped his son would be home soon, and he said the military had said he’d be home on Thanksgiving. I brightened and said that’s great. The finance guy chortled and said, “Oh, you know our military. They SAY Thanksgiving, and then when that comes and goes, they say, ‘Oh, did we say Thanksgiving? We meant Christmas.’ And then, ‘We meant Christmas NEXT year.'” The finance guy came from a military family of Marines, altho he himself had been Army because he got almost lethally seasick. He was good-natured about his son, who is Mr. W’s daughter’s age, being away from home this long with an indefinite end in sight. It’s amazing the characters of our military, also amazing how life has to go on for their family members at home, even though I’m sure they don’t sleep easily at night.
“If the Marine motto is The few, the proud, how come it seems like almost every military or ex-military person we know of is a Marine?” I asked Mr. W, the former Marine, whose father was also a Marine.
He was too busy trying to figure out Windows8 to give me much of a response.

Win8. Yeah, still not loving it. It’s turned our PC much, much less user-friendly. Being on the PC now feels like I’m back in Italy in the rain and hostile environment without a guidebook or map or a translator. (Italy will forever now be the place I compare negativity to.)

Ugh. It makes me nervous when a bajillion prospective jurors are given access to the jury room to use the restrooms during jury selection, like now, cuz my pump parts are disassembled, washed and drying in there and I’d kill someone if I saw a curious juror handling them. Yay, a 2-week criminal trial for a doctor (ex-doctor, I should say) for filing false tax returns (2 counts) and for failing to file a tax return (1 count). Yes, people, they really do prosecute for that. This guy faces up to 4 years in state prison.