Archive for May, 2010

Bathtub Fun

Yes there’s water in the bathtub. Yes, there is also an ENTIRE bottle of baby wash in the bathtub. She has also taken to removing her own diaper. She came out of her room this morning in a t-shirt and a bare bum. Here’s another:


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We started our vanilla on Tuesday. It’s actually really easy to get going. There’s tutorials on the internet all over the place with pictures and proportions and everything. I looked a bunch of them and then kind of just mixed them together. Ivan bought me a vanilla bean in Hungary and brought it home for a coming home present to me. We wanted two beans, though, to make four ounces of vanilla so we had to find another one. We went to Central Market and they had several to choose from. Apparently Bourbon or Tahitian vanilla beans are the best to use. The cheapest we found was two beans for $7.50 or so, but looking online you can order them for a little over a dollar a bean. If I do this again I’m totally going to order my beans online.

The vodka I’ve already written about. That was a fun experience. Did you know you can spend over $100 for a liter and a half of russian vodka? It comes in a really tall, really cool bottle though. We bought the cheap kind and got 750 ml. We wanted a smaller bottle, but could only find the little individual drink bottles until we were on our way out and had already bought our bottle when we found the quick to-go shelf with a 450 ml or so bottle for cheaper. Oh well.

That night we put it all together. You slit the beans the long way and then cut them so they’re short enough to fit in the bottle and put them in a bottle with the pre-measured vodka in it. Then you let it sit for 4-8 weeks or so. They say ideally you let it sit for 6 months, but you can use it after 4 weeks or so. You shake it every day the first week and then every so often after that. It gets darker and stronger with time. The best part is that it’s reusable. When the bottle is half empty you just pour more vodka in and you’ve got more. I took this picture today, so it’s 4 days old. It’s already way darker.

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I found a blog post a couple months ago explaining how to make vanilla extract and got really excited about it. With everything that’s going on it’s taken me a couple months to get around to actually making the vanilla, but part of the problem was that vanilla uses vodka. My county is a (semi)dry county. This means they sell beer and wine, but not hard liquor. Anywhere in the county. We looked at grocery stores and liquor stores and asked the info desk at the grocery store where we were told to try going to the next county over. So we did.

So, being mormon, I’ve never been in a liquor store before. It was an interesting experience. I have never seen so many pretty bottles in my life. We both wanted to go, so we ended up taking the girls with us and my brother perked up when he heard we were going to a liquor store so we took him along too (we’re a little worried about him… j/k). We were quite a sight I’m sure walking into that store – Me, Ivan, my 19 year old brother and a toddler and an infant. They were very polite and helpful there, though and we eventually decided on a cheap plastic (sorry Nelson) travel bottle of vodka. So far it seems to be serving it’s purpose.

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As you may know, Steam recently released an OS X version. This would probably not have prompted any immediate action on my part if it weren’t for the fact that, until May 24, Portal is free! Unfortunately, I was treated to the following dialog on launch:

Steam requires that /Applications/Games/Steam.app/Contents/MacOS be created on a case insensitive filesystem, with read-write access.

Really!? It seems very odd to me that case insensitivity would be a requirement for any semi-decently written program. I hope they get this fixed soon, but until then you can try what I did (though the instructions below come with no guarantee, blah blah blah).  I have now successfully played Portal on my computer, so it works to some degree.

  1. Open Disk Utility and create a disk image (Cmd-Opt-N).
  2. Name it anything, say Steam-insensitive.
  3. For the name (of the mounted volume) I chose Steam.
  4. Make it large (games are big).  You can resize later with hdiutil, but why?
  5. Keep the default Mac OS Extended (it’s case-insensitive).
  6. Keep the defaults No Encryption and Single Partition.
  7. I chose a sparse disk image so that it only take up as much actual disk space as is used on the image.
  8. Create the image.
  9. Mount the volume (double-click the disk image file).
  10. Copy Steam.app onto it the volume (named Steam in my case).
  11. Open Terminal.app and run the following (with appropriate changes if any).
  12. # In case you ran Steam already...
    rmdir ~/Library/'Application Support'/Steam
    rmdir ~/Documents/'Steam Content'
    # Case insensitive versions
    mkdir /Volumes/Steam/$USER-app-support/
    mkdir /Volumes/Steam/$USER-steam-content/
    ln -s /Volumes/Steam/$USER-app-support/ ~/Library/'Application Support'/Steam
    ln -s /Volumes/Steam/$USER-steam-content/ ~/Documents/'Steam Content'
    echo "Feel smug that you haven't sold your soul. Yet."
    ln -s /Volumes/Steam /Volumes/steam
    echo Shudder visibly
    sudo ln -s /Volumes /volumes
    echo Commit ritual suicide for such a hideous affront to nature
  13. For bonus points create an alias to Steam.app (Cmd-Opt-drag). This should mount the disk image and launch the application in one go.
  14. Launch Steam and enjoy.

I suspect it may be necessary to create the Steam -> steam link every time you login or shutdown. If so it sounds like a job for Folder Action Scripts!

If you still have problems, you may want to launch it from Terminal.app as /Volumes/Steam/Steam.app/Contents/MacOS/steam.sh which is how I noticed that it was trying to create //volumes [sic].  Of course, if you don’t know how to do that, then the clues it gives you may not mean much either.

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Big Sister

Avery takes care of her little sister. She likes to play all her favorite games with Evelyn. So far we’ve seen patty-cake, head shoulders knees and toes, and today the spelling game. Avery likes to spell her name, “daddy,” and sometimes “mommy.” It goes like this:

Me: Aaaaaa

Avery: A

Me: Veeeee

Avery: V

Me: Eeeeee

Avery: E

Me: Rrrrrr

Avery: R

Me: Yyyyyy

Avery: Y

Me: Avery!

Avery: Abry!

Then she immediately goes on to “Deeeee” for Daddy. Today she was sitting in front of Evelyn’s bouncy chair and this is what I heard:

“A….. V….. R….. Y….. Abry!   D….. R…. Y….. Emen (Evelyn)”

Then she repeated it so Evelyn would remember. Apparently Evelyn is spelled D-R-Y, which is a little ironic since dry is something she rarely is.

About two seconds later Avery was giving Evelyn a kiss when Evelyn spit up. Avery looked down at her and said “eeewww” and then went into the kitchen and came back with a kleenex to wipe Evelyn’s “nose.” She was very thorough about it too, making sure she told Evelyn to blow and then blow again (“gin” said very seriously).

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Ramblings Part II

So here I am at 5:30 in the morning, sitting with a wide awake 2 week old and considering my life as I know it. She slept until 4:00. Or was it 4:30? Ate. Went back to bed. Woke up at 5:00. Ate. Didn’t go back to bed. At least she’s mostly being quiet. ish.

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So here I am at 1:30 in the morning, sitting with an almost asleep enough 2 week old and considering my life as I know it. Evelyn was in bed and asleep at 11:30. Unfortunately she was not at midnight, so I’ve spent the last hour and a half walking, burping, feeding, refeeding, burping again, and bouncing, trying to figure out what will let her sleep. Finally, during our last walking session she let out a big burp, got the hiccups and settled down. Poor kid. I knew she had something in there she needed to work out.

Two weeks into having two kids I find myself tired (but not as tired as I probably will be in another couple weeks), kind of stressed (but not as stressed as last time around), and a little more calm than I thought I would be. The calm might have something to do with the fact that I got to leave the kids home with Grandma and Grandpa and go spend an hour and a half eating Italian food all alone with Ivan, but I think I just feel a little more like I know what I’m doing this time and that’s a big deal for me.

It’s interesting having two kids. I found myself missing Avery the other day. She’s around ALL the time and she’s been really cranky the last few days, but I’m usually pretty busy taking care of Evelyn and I haven’t had the time to spend just with her lately that I used to. I miss playing with her. I got to put her to bed tonight. Ivan’s been doing that a lot lately. We brushed her teeth and read a story, and then we played the itsy bitsy spider and similar games for a few minutes before I tucked her in and heard her little “ni ni” (night-night). It was really nice to lay down with her for a few minutes and play. She can be pretty cute.

I think my two little girls are pretty precious, but just so you know how tired I am… I tried to spell “bed” in the first paragraph of this post b-e-a-d. And that was only the first typo. Feel free to laugh uproariously at any more you may find that I didn’t catch.

I’m kind of curious… any of you mothers out there that may read this… did you have troubles with breastfeeding? This time around was much better. It’s still a little uncomfortable, but by 2 weeks the pain of breastfeeding was pretty much gone. I did blister and bleed a tiny bit this time around, but nothing compared to when I nursed Avery. With Avery it took a good three weeks before the pain was gone and I was comfortable with nursing and I bled for several days. It was a little traumatic.

Nursing is hard, and I have to confess it’s not my favorite thing to do. I’ve talked to lactation consultants any chance I get, but for anyone thinking about it… I definitely think it was worth it. The first few weeks are bad, but it gets better. Not to judge formula feeding in any way… it’s the right choice for a lot of people.

I think the little one is asleep enough to move and I think I’ve rambled long enough. To sleep…

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