Saturday, January 30, 2010

Safe Zone

We live in a hotbed of front-running journalism. Danger everywhere. This from a recent local newspaper:

Wild hog population small, poses little risk to Warrick, says officer

— Wild hogs that are becoming a menace in many states are not a big problem in Warrick County.

That's the word from Indiana conservation officer Gordon Wood, who lives in Lynnville and is assigned to Warrick and Spencer counties.

"I don't remember handling a complaint about the wild hogs in the last two years," Wood said. "I can't give a good estimate, but I'd say there are fewer than 50 in Warrick County. The best place to find them is around the old Tecumseh Coal Mine near Interstate 64."

Hunters, Wood noted, have helped keep the numbers down.

"They use box traps pretty successfully against them," Wood said. "You might have a guy who is after deer, but shoots a wild hog when he sees it. They field dress it and use the meat for sausage."

Wildlife experts say there are between 2 million and 6 million feral pigs in the country. In 1982, the animals were documented in 17 states. Today, they are found in 44. Adult wild pigs can weigh more than 500 pounds.

"They're nocturnal and very good about not being spotted," Wood said. "I've only seen them two or three times after dark."

He believes the animals were trapped elsewhere and brought to this corner of Southern Indiana.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dowdle Family

This year for Christmas, since our little family has expanded, my family came all the way across the Mississippi (you know mom hates that!) to come visit US for Christmas! What fun! Well, "post" Christmas, really. They came on Christmas Day and left on New Years, the two cheapest dates of the season :) We ended up having a shared family Christmas -- the Stanfills graciously welcomed my parents and brother into their family for the holiday festivities.
Most of our time was spent gorging ourselves on rich consumables. Over the holiday, we roughly calculated, we all consumed 13 pounds of butter and a gallon and a half of cream. Pretty great holiday festivating, I'd say, with those kinds of numbers.
Zoe, of course, was totally neglected. I love to watch my mommy lavish love upon her namesake.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rain, Rain

Today we had all rain and gloom. Any moment it wasn't raining, it was fogging. So, out of bored nursing curiosity, I did a little research.

At this very moment, it is 93% humidity outside. That seems about right.

Last year, we got..... 53 inches of rain. Yes, that's right, FIFTY THREE. No wonder we have trees growing out of our car headlights.

To compare, last year in the Bitterroot Valley, MT, they had 7 inches.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pink Cheeks on the Go

For the longest time, Zoe seemed perfectly content to lay on her back and look up in the world in pink-cheeked splendor. Whenever she had tummy time, she soon learned, all she had to do was let out a few frustrated squawks and her gallant big brother came running. "MOM, SHE NEEDS TO TURN OVER!" he shouted and flopped her over with a thump and wince from all in viewing range. Smiling wickedly to herself, and probably inwardly twisting the threads wrapped around her pinkie finger, Zoe gurgled a pleasant thanks and Jed trotted off to continue his business of destruction. The end result of this Stanfill Man Adoration (which was not entirely limited to the younger set. Dad and Grandpa Stanfill were just as ridiculously willing to perform her rolling duties for her.) was that Zoe didn't really roll over much. Maybe like five times since her first roll in, oh, October.

Over Christmas she kindly indulged us a few times, but she still showed little or no interest. As cousin Jude started to "steam-roll" (his mom's term) around the house, Zoe continued to fulfill all her own mobility needs via male slavery. Last Monday, however, it all changed. I set her down on her tummy in the living room and came back to find her... by the front door? I chastised Jed for dragging her around, which he acknowledged with the barest of glances. The next morning, I set her down right next to the kitchen where I could keep an eye on her. Soon lost in my Radiolab-podcast-induced cleaning reverie, I stopped paying close attention. I ran downstairs to grab a few things. When I came back, I found her spot curiously bare. Where was she? I cast a glance around. Jed was still quietly muttering to himself over his blocks in the living room, right were I'd left him. Where was she?

Here's where I found her:

Sunday Morning

Saturday night, about, oh, 11:00 PM I realized that I had to attend ward council meeting the next morning. That's right, now that I'm Primary President I run with the BIG DOGS, baby! I'm all in on the ward gossip! And I get to be at church at 7:30 AM!!! What makes it even more fun? Michael travels the stake on assignment many Sundays for his calling as Young Men's Presidency, so he wasn't going to be in our ward the next day.

Thus, at 6 the next morning I hauled my bleary-eyed self out of bed and cursed that late-night haircut, no matter how good my man looked for his talk. Bless Jed's heart, he popped out of bed cheery despite the late night and early morning. Dad wrestled clothes on him while I whirled about gathering my now-necessary several bags of supplies.

Diapers and wipes for everyone? Check.
Beast-killing Primary Binder? Check.
Transportable breakfast since we didn't have time? Check.
Snacks? Check.
Jed's "fun bag" for church? Check.
Toys for Zoe? Check.
Everyone wearing shoes? Check.
Backup outfit for Miss PoopyPants? Check.
Nursing Cover? Check.
Blessed Ergo Carrier? Check.
Papers for counselors and chorister? Check.
Conducting outline? Check.

Finally all clothed and prepared for five happy hours of church, we set off with barely time to spare. Fortunately, that morning our friends' kids were going to be there and they could help keep an eye on Jed. I staggered into the church, Jed and diaper bag on one side, Zoe on back, World's-Largest-Binder and Fun bag on the other side. We dropped Jed off with Breakfast Bags and waterbottle, and then whisked into Ward Council.

All was going well. My suggestion that we sing "Should You Be Inclined to Censure" as opening song I thought very amusing. Everyone smiled at my cheery baby, commenting they'd never had a baby Ward Council before. That made me slightly nervous. Then it all went south when, as I continuously shoved objects away from Zoe's flailing Go-Go-Gadget-Arms, she managed to grab a pencil and stab herself in the face right in the midst of the missionary's report. The subsequent screams, wails, thrashings, attempted wild nursings, etc. managed to put a damper on the distracted Elder's report. (I kept reminding myself "If he had gone on a mission to the Amazon he would have seen LOTS of breasts!") Finally Zoe settled enough to bounce on my knee, produce five or six man-sized belches, and smile up beatifically at everyone as if the ten minutes of tiny terror had never even happened.

Everything else went well except me horrifying the bishop with a set of wildly inappropriate ideas for Primary (there were at least four "Maybe you can bring that to my office and we can talk about it later"s) But I had at least one good suggestion...

So I'm counting the morning a success.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

News Flash

There's much to be said, but I never seem to have more than one hand free these days. So a few news flashes for your entertainment:

- Jed has been wearing pants, sans diaper, for TWO DAYS now with only one accident. This seems extremely promising and we may actually venture out of the house. Also, I ran out of marshmallows today but he still pooped so that's good, right?

- I am now Primary President. I successfully navigated my first Sunday as President alone, with Zoe strapped to my back through two hours of conducting and sharing time. She didn't make a peep and even took a nap for about an hour. I felt like a pioneer woman. I also have the best counselors and secretary in the whole world so that helps.

- Two weeks ago, Zoe had only rolled over like three times EVER and showed no interest in any sort of mobility. Two days ago she started scooting around on her belly and sitting up on her own. Aaaaaaaaaaa! Also, two impending teeth.

- Michael got an A in his programming logic lass so now he's diving headfirst into Java. He's feeling the Master's Degree Itch and this is his last prerequisite. Woo-hoo, that's my man!

- Our Christmas Tree is still up and I don't feel bad about it. I flaunt my lights every night. Who says Christmas has to end. Jed still asks for presents every day.

- My bestest Christmas gift ever, A DISHWASHER INSTALLATION, should be complete tomorrow. Hallelujah! Note I said the "installation", because I am very proud of the fact that I got the nearly new dishwasher itself for free almost a year and a half ago. For Christmas, Michael and his parents got me the accompanying garbage disposal and cabinet/electric/plumbing. My chapped hands and I can't wait.

- Michael got a subwoofer. He put it in the basement and now he likes to turn it on and bound up the stairs with a huge goofy grin on his face as the foundation crumbles. Ahhh, foot massage!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Singing Jed

Before every meal, we sing the Johnny Appleseed song. Just like I did growing up. This is sidewards because it was taken very surreptitiously, so as to avoid distraction.
It helps Jed transition to the prayer and he loves it. You can see him fold his arms at the very end and instruct dad to fold his arms too for the prayer. Over the holiday, whenever we prayed at Grandma's house he would scold family members who just went ahead and prayed WITHOUT THE SONG!

In the name of...

Jed really likes the name of our church. He wanders around the house singing to himself "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of Latter-day Saints, of Jesus day Saints!" Whenever anyone says "Jesus Christ" he quickly adds "of Latter-day Saints".

This is particularly amusing during the closing of prayers, when no matter how many times we prompt " the name of Jesus Christ," he says again and again and again "...of Latter-day Saints AMEN"

"No, Jed, say "In the name of Jesus Christ..."

He swiftly butts in - "Say Latter Day Saints AMEN!"