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January 27, 2008

The Abominable Snow Monster Strikes Again!

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January 26, 2008

'Achel's Howse

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January has almost come and gone, and hosts of changes have greeted our new year. Changes that Adelaide might cleverly sum up with the two-word proclamation "'Achel's Howse."

Every morning, we all rub the sleep from our eyes, drag ourselves to the kitchen for coffee made in our ancient, dusty maker [The carafe of our beloved, well-used press having been accidently smashed in a fit of Sunday morning brunching ... Ooops. We all make do, right?]. We sip our coffee and munch our Mini-Spooners, listen to a Steve Inskeep sound byte, slap together a PB&J for later in the day, and don our workwear (Joel = tattered, short white coat; Aimee = serviceable, but tasteful scrubs; Adelaide = nice clothes, but not the really nice clothes). By 8:30, we're all in our places for the day, or at least for the next eight-to-nine hours. Joel's tagging along (glumly) behind some M.D., trying not to think about pathology or Match Day. Aimee's fervently tackling a new nursing gig, filling her hours frantically running from exam room to lab to exam room to waiting room to lunch to exam room to procedure room to exam room to exam room. Adelaide's spending her days at 'Achel's Howse (which is actually Sue's house) but still, when you're nearly 2, daycare is daycare is daycare.

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Other than that, we're working on a few other things ... Like, watching a few episodes of Angel each week; like, playing with our new MacBook; like, encouraging Adelaide to sleep in her own bed (i.e., the pull-out couch), in her own room (i.e., the study); like, getting back on a budget to save all of Aimee's newly hard-earned dough for a house (maybe) (maybe, maybe); like, eating more vegetables and fewer eggs; like, if you're Adelaide, putting together two word phrases like "much candi and "'Achel's howse".

So, that's it. That's what we're doing.

January 23, 2008

Who's the Stranger? (An Ad)

So many Christmas gifts lie now in puddles of sticky, unrecognizable goo or have been carefully packed away to use at some undisclosed future date. Many, save a few treasured, new favorites.

One of our most cherished Christmas gifts this year is an ingenius little film called Stranger in the Woods. Based on a book of the same name, Stranger tells a simple winter-wonderland story about woodland animals. Really, it's a series of still and moving wildlife shots that have been set to music and dialogue. Its charm lies in the simple act of giving animals voices (even bad accents), a favorite Miron pastime.

Check out the trailer for Stranger in the Woods and a few other movies by the same team!

January 15, 2008

"Anksh Oo!"

Adelaide has figured out two-step commands, which allows us to use her as our errand girl around the house. "Take that glass of whiskey to Papa," Aimee says, pointing to a glass of Wild Turkey on the table. Okay, that's only ever happened in my daydreams, but Adelaide does go and get us tissues when we sneeze, mittens when we're putting on coats, and, most charmingly, random objects at random moments.

We always make a big deal about it when she brings us something, exclaiming "Thank you!" in a high-pitched voice. So, now, Adelaide periodically comes up to us grasping a treasure while bellowing "Anksh Oo!". Sometimes the thing is random, but often seeming non-sequitors have a grain of meaning.

When I thought of this blog entry, I was loading the washer and about to pour in the detergent when Adelaide nudged my leg with a bottle of shampoo and said, "Anksh Oo!" I initially assumed she was looking for attention, but then I wondered, maybe she assumed I needed the shampoo to clean the laundry? After all, why don't we use shampoo? If we washed our clothes using shampoo, liquid body soap, dish soap, or our super-special Color Saving and White Whitening laundry detergent, would it matter? Probably not to Adelaide.

As a bonus, here are some pictures of Adelaide playing horsey.
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January 10, 2008

Home Coming

As my grandmother Mar mentioned in an email the other day, it’s been a long time since Halloween, our last blog entry. We apologize for the inactivity at this page, and can only say that, as usual, the living of life has interfered with the recording of life.

Shortly after Halloween we left our increasingly cramped quarters in Vermillion for a six week trip to Minnesota. During that time, Aimee and Adelaide stayed at the capacious, clean, and well-provisioned home of the Wurzbergers, while I drove and flew around to interview at various residency sites.

In December I started a three-week long rotation as a Visiting Medical Scholar (my actual title) at the University of Minnesota, staying with friends in Minneapolis during the week and contributing to the increasingly angry traffic snarl on 94W to make it to St. Cloud for the weekends. As a VMS my chief responsibilities included: 1) Stay out of the way. 2) Make friends with everybody. 3) At carefully chosen moments, display stunning expertise. It took a great deal of effort and a huge amount of nodding thoughtfully and looking as though I was just about to blurt out the correct answer to some abstruse question, but I think I accomplished those three tasks pretty well.

But enough dry details. Here are pictures of Adelaide’s second Christmas, the one in which she learned that presents are for tearing open, getting clothes as gifts is boring (but much appreciated by her parents!) and that Santa in the mall is still terrifying.

It took Adelaide about 1.5 presents to realize that Tearing Paper Off equals Exciting Noisy Object.
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Happily, we who gave her these presents were able to enjoy the fact that Exciting Noisy Object equals Delightful Writhing Toddler.
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Of course, the True Meaning of Christmas is not the receiving of presents. What the True Meaning actually is remains open to some debate, but at least some parties hold that Christmas is all about getting together with your family and sharing quality time with them. In the middle of winter. Preferably with a ton of snow and ice on the ground. To this end, Grandpa Doug lured Joel, Aimee and Adelaide out for some sledding.
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Which quickly evolved into a round of Pull Papa, Pull!
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All in all, Adelaide found her encounters with the Great Snowy Minnesotan Outdoors to be a mixed bag.
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She never felt very confident in her big boots in the deep snow (or, in Adelaide's odd version of pig-Latin, "nows!"

We have a lot more Christmas photos to sort through, but for now, let's just say that we had a very busy, somewhat stressful, but ultimately very happy and fulfilling two months in Minnesota.

Nine, however, had a very uneventful, hopefully relaxing, and ultimately very fattening two months on her own at our flat (under the care of our neighbors).
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In other words, kind of a mixed bag.