Swimming like a little baby

Kidlet had her very first swim lesson today. She's loved playing in the water at bath time, and she gets very excited when we're near a fountain, so we figured that she'd love swimming lessons.

And she does. We didn't do the safe getting into the water thing, as Kidlet has so fussy by the time the last class got out that I couldn't wait to get her into the water, and I didn't realize that there was a safety protocol. So next week, we will not get to the pool nearly so early, and we will be working on patience, which will be...interesting.

Kidlet does not like being on her back, so the being-on-her-back exercises weren't nifty until I started to move quickly. Kidlet adores going zoom, so it got a lot more successful. Even better was zooming around in a circle, causing a great deal of waves. And since both kids in the class were totally comfortable with water being poured on their head, we will be starting submersion next week! That will be interesting.

I'm exhausted, Kidlet is exhausted, and this has been very, very successful. Also, I like playing in the water with Kidlet.
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On reading a good book

I'm mowing my way through 1636: The Kremlin Games, and two thougts keep popping up for me.

First of all, I'm remembering why I love the 163x-verse so much. It's been very hit-or-miss for me lately, what with not enjoying a number of the stories in Ring of Fire III and with despising 1635: The Eastern Front. (I thought it was nothing but a tedious history lesson until about the last fifty pages or so. Then 1636: The Saxon Revolt came out, and i found out that tEF was all set-up for tSR. And I enjoyed tSR very much.) But tKg is nothing but fun for me. Oh, there's a bit of Tom Clancy/David Weber in the discussions about threading and gun manufacturing, but the technical gobbledygook is limited to two paragraphs or less per instance. And the discussions of history and lineage and introducing the modern American reader to the familial/political history of seventeenth century Russia is much more shown, not told, which I very much appreciate. (I'm glaring in your general directions, Virginia deMarce and Eric Flint.)

tKG is an amusing divertissement along the Volga, showing how much information is stuffed into the head of an average American, and introducing new and interesting ways of modernity melding interestingly with history. It's really not covering any thematically new ground here, But it shows off the old themes very nicely. Flint, Gorg Hunt, and Paula Goodlett really are to be commended for their almost airy touch here. This is very classic 163x.

The second thought that I've been having is how much I love authors that I love. I like books, and I like reading. I'm reading a lot more simply these days, and a lot more...safely is the best word. I don't want to read about things that are too dark, and I don't want to read about children in danger. And, unfortunately, I'm not terribly fond of reading a lot of non-fiction on my Sony (footnotes, pictures, and maps can all be very annoying on an ereader), so I've been reading a lot of cozy mysteries and romances. And I enjoy the books I read, don't get me wrong. If I don't like them, I stop reading. But still, every time I pick up an old Lois Bujold or Eric Flint, it's like stepping into a warm bath. The writing style is so lovely, so exactly what I love, that the story just washes over me and I wonder how I could have forgotten how much I love these authors. And to have a new, wonderful's just ten times better.

New books!

My shipment of books for me came in! I'm so used to Amazon's two days that the standard book rate on these used books was a little annoying. But now that I know about Silver Arch Books, I will probably just buy directly from them in the future.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books had a thread for romance novels with Jews in them, which got me to buy a number of books. The ones I was most excited about was a series by Nita Abrams, about an Anglo-Jewish family in the Napoleonic era who spy for the English. I went and picked up all five, as they are apparently out of print and not in e-format at the moment, and so far, they aren't bad. Not as good as the Pink Carnation books, but not much worse. And loads better than some of the other books I've read lately. These are fairly engaging, and might be worth re-reading.

I also picked up some old Sunfires, which I loved in middle school. We'll see if they're worth the re-read.

And now, shower!
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Wherein Kidlet Gets a Name

So, in Judaism (at least within the modern Reform movement), after a child is eight days old, they are called up before the congregation and given the priestly blessing, in their own name. It is one of three times when a person is given the priestly blessing all by themselves, the other two being at their b'nai mitzvah and the Shabbat before their wedding. Well, eight days in, none of us were in any shape to be seen in public, and then we had the summer, where at least one set of grandparents was out every week, and then... well, suffice to say that we finally went, "November! Everyone will be in town and she will be old enough not to fuss too much."

So, last night, Kidlet had an early bath, put on her pretty holiday dress, and the family drove to synagogue with time to spare. All of which we needed, because we ran into a minor snowstorm. I say minor because it wasn't sticking to the road at all. Other than that, though -- the wind was fierce and driving it straight at us, and there was a lot of precipitation. Traffic was miserable, and we made it there pretty much on the dot.

The naming itself happened very early on in the service; I had expected it to be early, but it was pretty much right after L'cha Dodi. Which was fortunate, because I was just about to put her to the breast.

We went up, along with the grandparents and Bubba Lu. The grandparents all said a reading, and Kidlet tried to grab a grandparent's back. Then the Rabbi talked about the duties of a parent, as listed in the Torah, which are to teach the child Torah, find them a spouse, and teach them how to swim. Yes, Judaism teaches that every parent must teach their child to swim. A practical religion, n'est-ce pas? [profile] wanderingfey and I took a two-part vow, to raise our child in a Jewish home; [profile] wanderingfey took the half he felt comfortable with and I had the other. I talked about why we had chosen the names we had, the rabbi said some other stuff (at this point, I was just about full to bursting with pride and anxiety, so I really don't remember what was said), and then the rabbi put his hands on Kidlet's head and blessed her.

And then [profile] wanderingfey and I held Kidlet up and danced in a circle, while the granparents danced around us, and the congregation sang Siman Tov U'Mazel Tov. Kidlet was not entirely certain how she felt about the dancing; she wasn't smiling, but she wasn't fussing either. I think she was just confused.

And then she had some noms and played quietly for the rest of the service. We all tried to go to the Saffron Grill afterwards, but there was some sort of high school thing going on, and after 45 minutes of waiting, we gave up and went our separate ways. (The Tabarah folks came along as well, and I was very sad not to be able to spend much time with them, but at least we have a visit scheduled in the near future, weather permitting.)

The weather was bitterly cold on the way back home, but we made it home just fine. And then Kidlet proceeded to sleep solidly from 10 pm to 3 am! Yay!

We woke up to a very cold morning, with a dusting of snow on the rooftops, and ice on the grass. I took Kidlet out in the cold so she could touch/grab a rime-rimmed maple leaf. Which she thought was very interesting until Mommy refused to let her eat the leaf fragments.

All in all, a very nice time was had, and I feel like I have ensured an important thing for my daughter.
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It's a long, strange road

Kidlet actually slept for five straight hours last night, and let me get another three in after that. And she's probably out for a little longer, now, which actually gives me time to do things like write. Not even an attempt at NaNo this year for me, I'm afraid. When just a blog post takes time, 1700 words/day is not happening.

But Kidlet is growing up. She's all about crawling right now. If she spots a toy she wants, she is making a beeline to it. Last night, she was in the front half of the living room while I was in the kitchen, making bread. I had the mixer off, so she could hear me. Kidlet crawled around the half-wall that separates the living room and kitchen, and was making her way towards me when she got distracted by [profile] wanderingfey's computer's power supply. Which is the point where I scooped her up. But still, this was excellent problem solving on Kidlet's part. She also got to see the stand mixer working, but was disappointed when I wouldn't let her dive headfirst into the running mixer. Life is just full of disappointments, isn't it?

She's cutting teeth; there's a second one that's just beginning to bud through. And we're switching to the 6-18 month pacifiers. She's able to stuff most of the 0-6 month soothies in her mouth now. We're hoping the stiffness and extra depth of the stopper on the 6-18 month ones mean that she won't be able to do that anymore.

She is now sitting very comfortably on her sit bones. She's probably got better posture than me; when she sits up, her back is very straight.

And there she goes...must run

Developmental milestones

So yesterday was some big firsts. First, Kidlet was gnawing on my finger, which is no big deal. Except this time, there was something sharp and pointy and freaking painful. At first I thought that Kidlet had gotten something in her mouth, but then I realized what it must be -- her first tooth, just starting to break through. It's not much, but it's very pointy. Hasn't caused any problems with feeding -- yet.

The second milestone was later in the night. Earlier in the day, [profile] wanderingfey and his father moved the crib from our room into Kidlet's room, and she slept all by herself all night. It wasn't as bad as I feared it would be, but we'll see how it goes tonight. Last night was a normal number of wake-ups, which was wonderful, given the extra-special lots of wake-ups we'd had the night before.

And my parents are looking for a condo near us, which would be really nice. An hour's drive is an hour's drive.

Pizza is good. Homemade pizza may not be better than delivery, but it's still really awesome.
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Bath time!

Kidlet had her first bath in a tub today; she's really too long for the sink now. She loved splashing around, and loved playing with the duckie. The only part she didn't like was getting her face and hair rinsed off. One of the items on the to-buy list is a hose showerhead for the upstairs secondary bath. This was the second or third time we've used that tub since we moved in, and we didn't bother with replacing the showerhead.

Still and all, it worked out very nicely.

And Yom Kippur sent well. Kidlet got to meet one of her great-grandaunts, and she got to see the Torah, and hear the story of Jonah, and hear the shofar blow. And she was very good about it all. A little fussy, but not too much.

We also had our first parent group meeting. It seemed to go very well, and the people in this group seem to be very interested in talking and making friends and contacts. Kidlet is one of the oldest kids there, but it's not too bad; they're all within four months of each other. And we're all in the same twenty mile radius or so. It would be nice to be closer, but, you know, we'll take what we can get.

Prohibition by Ken Burns

A very excellent documentary, and one that make me want to go and read books by the people who were on the documentary. One of them is on ebook at KCLS, and I got a copy of the one that seems most apropos; A Drinking Life. We'll see how good it is after I finish the two I'm reading now.

The take-away message does seem to be that you can't legislate morality, with a side bonus of if you don't fund the enforcement, people will break the law. The entire thing is, as edited, very apropos to today, and I think that there's some very interesting parallels in the story to today. Like much (if not all) of Burns's other work, it is well worth the watching.
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Yom one

Rosh Hashanah was very low-key this year. We had the seder at my mother's house, but that was it. I'd been away from work too much, and there wouldn't be a good place to pump at the synagogue, and I had to leave work early the next day for Kidlet's medical appointment, so the family seder was the extent of our observances this year. Which isn't to say it wasn't good. We recited the Shechyanu, and Kidlet got her first taste of wine. (We use pasteurized white grape juice for Shabbat.) And Kidlet was very good and sat through all of the blessings. (And really wanted to try Mommy's applesauce. Next year, sweetheart.

And, of course, I kept remember how we had stopped off at the medical center right before the seder to take a pregnancy test. And how I was so nervous about Kidlet, and when my sister called, I took the phone into the bedroom and started crying to her, confessing it all, and telling her how nervous I was. Thank G-d, this Rosh Hashanah saw a beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, healthy little girl at the table. I cannot, in all good conscience, ask for more.

Anyway, Yom Kippur is tomorrow, so there's no need to miss work. I'm not going to Kol Nidre services, because my tickets are for the 8-10 pm service, and there is no way, with my exhaustion, that I want to be driving home at 10 pm plus. Kidlet and I will attend the children's services, and that will be it. I can't fast, since I'm breastfeeding. But I don't want to let that be it. So after the candles are lit tonight, I am not going to use the TV or the computer until Ne'ilah tomorrow. It's not much, but I'm used to spending all day at the synagogue or out walking, and there's no reason, other than Kidlet, that I'm going to be at home instead of at the synagogue. Maybe next year, when she'll be primarily on solids, I'll spend the day and the synagogue, and [profile] wanderingfey can bring Kidlet for just the children's services. We'll see.

May you all be sealed in the Book of Life for a good year!