Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another Week, 100 More Pictures

I keep telling people that Eleanor is a pious child. Here is further proof. As I was getting her bath ready one evening, I discovered her reading Mark.
Thursday morning Eleanor woke up with a runny nose. She usually tosses a few Cheerios on the floor for later, but that day she found a more unusual keeping place.

On Saturday, Eleanor and I went to see my parents and Josh and Ayumi (who are moving to California). Eleanor liked playing with the two dogs, cat and donkey. Although her favorite thing to do was climb the stairs.

Matt had the morning off on Tuesday, so we went out for breakfast. It was lovely. When we got home, I called the peditrician's office to ask about the strange rashes Eleanor has. Two weeks ago, Eleanor received her vaccines for about eight things. She is having reactions to the chicken pox and measles vaccines. This means she's fussy, itchy, spotted and there is a slight possibility that she is contagious.

This is what I didn't have for lunch today. I think it might have turned out better if there had been directions in English or if I had been able to read Japanese.

Since the nurse we spoke with at the peditrician's office told me not to take Eleanor out until all her poxy blisters had scabbed over, we have been looking for new things to do here. Today we tried finger painting (in the nude for half of us). The measles-vaccine-induced rash is quite bad on her bum, so I like to let her go diaper free as much as possible. She really enjoyed finger painting, but lost interest after a few minutes and went on to explore the deck.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Boy, is this Spaceship Comfortable!

Many of you know of my on-again-off-again hobby of diddling with electronic music and computer based recording. I played in a terrible little "christian band" as a teen and had a blast with the Roe Bros. who have now gone on to bigger and better things. Anyone who has ever enjoyed creating music knows that finding a group of people to get together and play music with is about as difficult as finding a group of people to get together and be married with. It's just not easy. Throughout high school I experimented with drum machine software and made painful little tracks sampling Christian Broadcast Y2K doomsayers and microcassette recorded classmate rantings. College sapped me of my time to play with such nonsense. Nevertheless, I still get the itch to sit down and concoct strange sounds (think that epidsode of "Friends" where Ross performs with his sampler keyboard) and computers are really good at simulating in a heartless, lifeless, loop-based sort of way the experience of playing with more than one sound at a time.

A few months back my friend, Alice, heard me playing with what I think was an electronic autoharp I found for a dollar at a yard sale and asked me to make some strange background music for a short film she was putting together. It sounded fun, but I didn't actually get started until about two weeks ago. The result was four tracks you you can hear at my myspace: three composed new, the fourth an old one I had lying around that fit with her theme. Click the track titles to start play. Or you can download the mp3's here: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

It was fun and I found that since I knew it had to be short and change a lot, it got a lot more interesting than my usual droning, repetitive stuff. So far, I've just inflicted this sort of thing on my brothers and a few friends but God knows they're sick of it. And after all, isn't the purpose of a blog to allow you a forum to shamelessly parade things across the web to strangers that would better be left in private?

On a totally unrelated note, my boss noticed that Eleanor's Name makes a splendid Haiku.

Eleanor Lumpkin
Eleanor Katharine Lumpkin
Eleanor Lumpkin

"The three children were so transfixed by the luminous giant before them that they never saw the hit-and-run gleam in the school-bus' eyes..."

Friday, August 18, 2006

And the Winner Is...

Before we announce the winner, I would like you to know what Matt left out of the previous post:

Pictured here is Matt with Eleanor in her new backpack carrier that she got for her birthday.

We had a great pediatrician visit today. Eleanor's favorite part was the crinkly paper on the table. She loved bouncing on it. She didn't mind the shots too much this time. They did four shots today, two in each leg. She didn't even flinch through the first set, then protested through the second set. I think she disliked being held still more than the shots. The doctor said she is doing great. It was a pleasant visit in all.

This morning Eleanor weighed 20 pounds and 4 ounces. That means the winner of the grand prize is one of the Clevelands. The prize will be delivered this weekend.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Beautiful Girl Hair

Today I was called to the bedside of a woman who had just died in one of our intensive care units. Her husband and daughter and several other family members were there, staring at her, grieving. I focused almost immediately on her husband (I did not know his relationship at the time) as he wore a look of utter despair.

I took his empty hand and spoke calmly with him for a few minutes, reassuring him that feeling pain at the loss of someone we love is not selfishness, nor is it wrong to wish they were still here even if that meant more suffering. These feelings are the other side of love.

Their daughter sat down next to us eventually and turned my attention toward her. After establishing that her mother had been sick for some time she told me that she felt numb. She had been crying and grieving for the past three days as they watched their mother fade, but now she felt very little. I reassured her that the emotions of grief often make very little rational sense and that they move in and out like storms, often unexpectedly. She nodded in agreement and said "I'm sure I'll hurt more later on, but I just have to say, you have great hair. I'm sorry, I know this isn't the right time, but I just had to say that."

We both laughed and I assured her that I would have to share that with my wife who encourages me to keep it the way it is.

When I was younger I played a video-game called "Sam N Max: Hit the Road," which I credit with shaping my sense of humor. In the game you controlled a cartoon dog and rabbit, trying to solve the mystery of missing sideshow attractions. You could controll the dialogue by selecting from four choices of types of responses. You could push the "?" and they would ask a question, the "!" and they would say something intense, or you could push the image of a rubber duck and they would say something non-sequiter. From time to time in my life, especially in the hospital, I get the feeling someone is enjoying pushing the duck button.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Marsupial Baby

At lunch today Eleanor and I were having pear and ravioli. I had cut up some pear for her and left it on her tray while I went to heat up the ravioli and cut up the rest of the pear. When I came back, I saw that all the pear was gone and though, "Oh, she must have been hungry." Then I saw a pile of pear on the floor. Grr.

Then we had this misadventure with the ravoli. At one point I fished about six pieces of food out of her "pocket." Silly girl.

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Video Sharing

In other news, Eleanor's one year check up is on Friday. She weighed 18 pounds and 2 ounces at her nine month appointment. How much do you think she will weigh on Friday? The person who comes closest wins a special prize.

* I just watched the video again, and for some reason when I posted it the audio and video got out of sync. Just thought I would let you know.*

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Week In Review

Our week began rather simply. We spent last Sunday afternoon reading. I throughly enjoyed a John Steinbeck book, while Matt actually read.

Eleanor and Silas worked on a duet, but they kept disagreeing about who would play which part. I guess that's how it is with musicians (and babies).

Friday evening there was a lovely thunderstorm. This is what met me as I took the trash out. Across the street, in the lawn of the blind school, someone was playing with their dog. Cars were driving by making that swish sound that tires make on wet asphalt. It was a surreal moment.

Matt spent most of today (Saturday) in the bathroom. No, he's not sick (although his time in the bathroom did result in a headache). Using materials donated by a kind aunt, Matt set up a dark room in our bathroom. I wasn't fond of the idea at first, but it's growing on me. He has set it up in such a way that the use of the bathroom is not hindered (much) and it can be fairly easily taken down and stored after the weekend. The only problem (so far) is ventilation (or lack thereof), thus the headache. Here are a couple of pictures of Matt developing pictures.

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's a Party!

Hazel's shoes

Lion cupcakes

I'm supposed to do what?

Opening presents

The birthday girl

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Eleanor!

We've made it though a year.
And mostly in one piece.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

iPod Rehabilitation Unit

So, in case you haven't noticed by the two posts in one week, I'm off work on "vacation" this week. Since we have no big plans other than Eleanor's birthday, I've been spending my time watching illegally downloaded video content, diddling with electronic music (when Eleanor's not sleeping or needing attention, which amounts to about ten contiguous minutes in any given day), going to the DMV, going to the mechanic, and trying to remember what I used to do with several days without work. Why take vacation time you ask? Because the last time I looked up from the hospital grindstone I realized I hadn't had more than a few days off since this time last year when we were, you guessed it, birthing Eleanor.

One activity I have had a love/hate relationship is monkeying with my old iPod to get it to work. It has had a tough life. It took a bad fall and has never been the same since. I've performed major and minor surgeries, several software restores (so many in fact I had lost count, last time I remember, I had renamed it "iPod Lazarus IV" for its fourth resurrection) but had given up on the last and relegated it to a junk drawer. In doing all this I've gained far too much knowledge about these little white ubiquitous devices and their various maladies (they are a sickly bunch). It's the hard drives.

Recently, some friends from church have been having trouble with their 3rd Generation iPod (pictured on the far left). They had bought a new battery (often the first thing to go out) and needed it installed, but had found the task a bit daunting. I volunteered with all my time off to do it and further diagnose and cure any other problems that might arise. Yesterday afternoon I was kicking myself, about two hours into it. However, their iPod is now in perfectly functioning order and quietly waiting to be loaded with more than the single Led Zeppelin track (Communication Breakdown) I had loaded to test it.

Tonight, I decided to plug my old 4th Gen iPod and see if it would spin up. Melody noticed it was "clicking" from across the room, an old symptom I recalled from the first time my battery had died. Bored with Law and Order SVU (aka Law and Order: plotline-full-of-sexual-misconduct-so-awful-it-horrifies-hardened-Thai-brothel-owners), I decided to put my friend's old battery in and see what happened. So far, tonight my old iPod is functioning well and doing its job with no major screw ups! What fun.

Melody's new 5th Generation iPod Video (pictured on the far right), a birthday gift from my family, is still working fine. However, Melody has informed me that it's been calling the other two older iPods "fat." Little does it know that in a few short months it will be succumbing to the same fatigue that comes from low batt. But for today, all three iPods in this household are working fine.

Melody reminds me that this time off affords me more time to spend with my loving daughter. Though I thoroughly believe she has an ulterior motive for this reminder, it's true all the same. We've been having more bathtime than usual...