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Showing posts from 2008

Little Christmas Eve

I spent some time on the internets today, trying to discover the history behind the fact that most Scandinavians — and thus many Minnesotans — celebrate Christmas Eve over Christmas Day (a situation that greatly vexes our friend Xanthia). I didn't discover the history behind it, but I did find out that many of the Christmas customs I have grown up with are indeed Norwegian. Leave a bowl of cream out for the cats on Christmas Eve, because it's the one night of the year they can speak — check. At least seven kinds of Christmas cookies baked — check. Yule log — check. Family member sneaking out and showing up as "Santa" with gifts — check (though we haven't done that since I was young and we celebrated at my grandparents'). I also learned that December 23 is called "Little Christmas Eve," and is the night you truly prepare for Christmas. Tonight I listened to an old mix cd that Patrick made me when we first started dating, while doing laundry, m…

Christmas Card

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If I missed you in real life sending our Christmas card (because I don't have your address, or ran out of stamps, or haven't quite gotten all of them in the mailbox yet), here it is in all its digital glory:

Happy Holidays 2008, from our newly expanded family!

Of course our big news in 2008 was the birth of Beatrix Camille Gladhill Rhone on February 9 — hard to believe she’s almost a year old! Our little “tiny tyrant” brings us joy, laughter, and a lot of attitude every day — and we love it.

Another big change was Patrick leaving Carleton and returning to full-time consulting. He’s available for a wide range of projects, ranging from technology installation and support, to web design and branding, to productivity enhancement; find out more at www. machinemethods.com.

And let’s not even start on the election…but we are awfully full of hope…

With much love and hoping to see you soon,

Bethany, Patrick, Beatrix, Maxim, and Miles

It's the Little Things that Mean the Most

Today I was at the Nautilus studio all day with the annual audit. After taking Beatrix to her new daycare, Patrick came in to reconfigure the network, which was having some serious issues due to being rained upon in a recent leak. Deciding he didn't have everything he needed, he went off to buy some new parts, and also brought me back lunch.

See how amazing this man is? He got my system up and running, and brought me a yummy cheese panini. I am in love!

Photo Show This Weekend!

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Our incredibly talented friend, Michael Armstrong, is having a show of his fantastic photographs at our house this weekend. He has a great eye for beautiful, unusual images, mainly of the Twin Cities, as seen here.

Please stop by to see the work, and maybe pick up some (very reasonably priced) prints. Holiday shopping!

The show runs:

Friday, November 21 from 6-9pm (with wine and food!)
Saturday, November 22 from 10-4

I really hope you can make it and see this great work!

Queen of the Deals

I just got a Britax Marathon carseat for $46.10 at target.com. For comparison, they normally run $270.

Beatrix is still in the bucket, but I have faith she will outgrow it someday. This is the carseat that takes her up to 65 pounds, so we are not likely to get any other hand-me-downs from friends (we already got an Evenflo from Tom and Sarah, but have 2 cars).

Apparently my deal-fu is still strong!

EDITED 11/17/08 - Or not so much.

Apparently target noticed their mistake and cancelled all the orders. In my case, they didn't even tell me — my order that was on the system earlier today (and that I got a confirmation email about) is just gone. I am royally pissed off!

Still More Coming Together

So tonight we visited the new daycare provider's house, and liked her and her son as much as we had at the first meeting, so decided to go ahead and switch. This means that Beatrix will get more personal, one on one care — plus some fun field trips to museums and libraries and the like! — which I think will be better for her. It also means less hectic piecing together for Patrick and myself. I will really miss KidsPark, though; it's such a great place!

The handyman we found on Craigs List last year to put in our flooring stopped by tonight to take a look at our furnace. He did some tweaking with it that *might* have solved things. I really hope it does. The heat and daycare were two of my most looming, horrible issues, and if they are really solved, it will go a long way towards getting a lot of the rest of my life to run more smoothly.

Things Are Coming Together — I Think It's the New President

I've read so very many inspiring things about Obama's election that I am not going to even try to sum up my feelings here. Despite Patrick being unfortunately ill that evening, Election Night was one of the most wonderful days of the recent past for me. I feel so infused with hope.

On a personal note, I feel honestly that I can tell Beatrix that she can be anything she wants to be and do anything she wants to do, that there are no barriers to her except the ones that she places.

On an even more personal note, things are coming together well on the home front too, and that feels hopeful as well. We met with Beatrix's cardiologist for four hours earlier this week, who admits that Beatrix is a conundrum; she even presented on her case to a conference and everyone was very divided between those who said "Do open heart surgery NOW!" and those who said to wait it out. So our current plan is to bulk her up with fortified milk, try to get everyone more sleep, and …

Sorry for the Silence

Not meaning to flake out on you, my burgeoning readership. Just not much to report here. I have the most amazing baby in the world, but things about caring for her — ongoing daycare issues, the insurance, her abysmal sleep patterns, not having much time to get work done or any time for me or for Patrick and me — are hard. The horrible atmosphere for non-profits right now is not helping. So sorry if I have not been there for you, or been at your opening, or returned your call, but I am trying, really.

Coming Up at Nautilus

Come see our performers!

We'll be performing for FREE (plus free food and soda) this Friday, October 10 for the Art Crawl from about 6-9pm. Stop by and see us on the 2F of the Northern Warehouse!

Or come to ROUGH CUTS next Monday (at the same studio) or Tuesday at the Ritz in NE Minneapolis. We'll be doing the full version of "Alice Unwrapped," a lovely new piece, plus some guest artists from New York. Only $5, plus free cookies and milk. 7:30 both nights.

I would love to see you at one or both!

Website!

Thanks to Patrick and Michael, my new website is up! Check it out!

More Eat Local

It is a gorgeous fall day here, one of those days that really seems like a Boston fall. What it's doing in Minnesota I don't know, but I am not complaining.

We went to the farmer's market and got a ton of lovely vegetables to make baby food and to do a curry for our friends Elaine and David later this week (they do dog care while we are gone and totally deserve it). Then we saw a sign for an "Obama Bake Sale" at Nina's, so had to hit that. Ended with a stop at Great Harvest for bread so we could have the quintessential fall lunch — grilled cheese, apples, and bake sale goodness (in this case, ginger and chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. Yes, I know, very Obama-esque. I don't even want to know what kind of cookies Sarah Palin eats — Chips Ahoy maybe?)

So win another one for think global but eat local.

Sleep Training

Is really impossible when your daughter only weighs 13 pounds. The majority of the time, when she wakes up at night, she is hungry, so if we don't feed her, it's actually Sleep Starving.

Of course, then there are the times that she just wants to play, and even when you bring her into bed to try to cuddle her and get her sleepy, she just blows raspberries. Like last night.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that we need more sleep.

Think Global, Eat Local

We have had some really incredible meals this week.

First, we had great pub-type food at The Blue Door, which just opened at Selby and Fairview. $2 pints during Happy Hour, great fries with sea salt, and a mass of "Juicy Lucy" burgers. Patrick declared the bacon one he had one of the best burgers he had ever eaten, and I was happy with the "build your own" chicken sandwich. I'd meet you here anytime!

Then Tuesday we met my dad and Loanne at The Duplex, which is another favorite. For a chef-driven restaurant with a sweet atmosphere and great prices, this place can't be beat! Plus, Monday and Tuesday are half-price wine nights. They are baby friendly, and I think in this economy could really use some extra business. Another place I would meet you anytime!

But the piece de resistance this week was Bank last night for Patrick's birthday. We sat at the Chef's Teller Counter, where, rather than ordering from the menu, the chef asks you a little about…

Blog Marketplace - Computers for a Good Cause

Looking for a new Mac G4, printers, etc? Have a passion for retro "vintage" Mac materials?

Theatre de la Jeune Lune is selling off their computers this SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 from 10-3. Patrick's been helping them with this, and there are a lot of good deals to be found. Plus it's for a really good cause.

105 N. 1st Street, Minneapolis
(may be your last chance to be in the space, too!)

The New French Cafe is Back!

From:
http://msp.blogs.com/foodiefile/2008/09/the-new-french.html

Anyone who had driven by the sad and rapidly dilapidating former home of Minneapolis’s legendary restaurant and bar, the place that brought modern cooking and hospitality to Minnesota in the late 1970s, has to feel a pang of sadness. But the thought of some sort of local resurrection seems all wrong. I mean, the New French Café was of an era, and that era is past.

Except it’s present in New York City. A restaurant has opened in Manhattan called the New French, and it’s getting decent reviews, including a short writeup in the September 8 The New Yorker. The name is causing a stir because the food is more New American than French, and New Yorkers are understandably concerned. New York magazine had this to say about the restaurant’s DNA:

“So what’s with the name? Partner Philip Hoffman, who ran the Soho restaurant Nick and Eddie in the eighties and nineties, says that he borrowed it from the Minneapolis boho-hippie-artist rest…

And I'm Still In Love With You...

...on this Harvest Moon.

I love this moon. It makes me stop for a moment to enjoy the early fall evening. It makes me feel empowered, like I can do anything if I want to badly enough. It makes me remember the past. It makes me fall even more in love with my husband.

It's a glowing, beautiful evening, and all is right with the world.

Need to Have a Chat With My Mom

(apologies in advance to those who think this is too woo-woo)

So we were filming Bathtastic! last week — more on that later I hope — and the project is to replace what Patrick calls the "Reagan Memorial Bathroom" (the brass and pink upstairs one) with something that is a little more us.

During filming, my one and only car key completely disappeared. As in, Patrick and I turned the house upside-down looking for it and it's gone. A new key set me back $400 and was a huge pain to arrange.

At the same time, Rachel (the photojournalist staying at the house) had her computer power cable similarly vanish. And Suzanne reports thinking she was going to put her dinner on a tray and eat outside, then bring some food over to the neighbors', only to have a firm voice say in her head "DON'T TAKE ANYTHING OUT OF THIS HOUSE!"

Which is all a little spooky.

So mom, this is the deal. I love you very much, and, just ask Patrick, any time I remove anything from the house or …

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, mom. You would have been 70 years old today. I wish you could have met your granddaughter and celebrated with her today.

Hell in a Handbasket

Went to Common Roots Cafe for dinner, where I had a grilled cheese and Patrick had a Rootsy Lucy. More importantly, Patrick had a Surly Coffee Bender, and I had a Surly Hell. Beatrix went BYOB.

The only way that Common Roots could get any better is if they served fries. Seriously. Yum.

Prohibition

So, last night we had a late-night babysitter (thanks, Joanna!) and so got to go out to a trendy place for hip drinks for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long. I thought about hitting a cheap late night happy hour, but being able to go out at 9:30pm now is so rare that I chose instead to try one of the bars at the new downtown Minneapolis W Hotel, located in the renovated Foshay Tower.

Excellent choice. We got there and the place was hopping, and wrapped in Deco-inspired opulence, with nary a glimpse of the stodgy old office building the Foshay had become. We were tempted by the lobby bar — the Living Room — but decided to go check out Prohibition, the 27th floor bar on the old observation deck and were glad we did.

The bar is lovely. It fits a little over 100, but in intimate areas that wrap around the top of the tower, all with amazing views. We sat on shiny white chairs, had great mixed drinks, and an olive/blue cheese stuffed dates/almond tray that was amazing. Also, so…

Home Queen

My decorating style, according to an online quiz:

HOME QUEEN
Bringing up baby hasn't in the least bit cramped your sense of style. You have an almost theatrical approach to interior design, dressing up rooms just as you yourself would for a glamorous night out (or in). The look is opulent and luxurious, but can be equally sexy and sophisticated - just like you!

And you?

http://mydeco.com/imagini/test/

Blog Marketplace Part 2 - Garage Sale!

We're participating in the Macalaster-Groveland Community Garage sale this Saturday, the 23rd. Stop by the Summit house (1358 Summit) to say hi, buy some treasures, bring us donuts, etc. There are almost 100 different sales in the neighborhood that day, and the City Pages 2008 "Best Of" issue named it the "Best Neighborhood for Garage Sales" so don't miss it!

Plus you have to stop by the say goodbye to the "Reagan Memorial Bathroom." Tonight we met with the designer and producer for BATHTASTIC. Less than 2 weeks before they begin shooting out episode! The bathroom is going to look fantastic, and we are very excited.

Blog Marketplace - Nursing Tops

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Ok, this is my first try at selling off my personal items through my blog.

Turns out I was a little overconfident in how long Beatrix should be nursing, so I have a raft of nursing shirts for sale. Most of them are by Motherwear and are size L -- they are all cotton except for the celadon-colored one, which is bamboo. The striped one is form Motherhood and is a size M (and for some reason the pic won't load).

$7 each for most, but the maroon one is $3 (some staining and the arms run a little short), or $27 for the batch, plus shipping.

UPDATE - SOLD!

Deadly Sins

Patrick got an iPhone.  It's way cool, and I am trying not to be jealous.
The nanny that flaked on us has another ad up on CL.  I am trying not to be pissed off.
I am tired and have a lot of work to do in the next 24 hours.  I am trying not to be snarky.
Why are the unfavorable emotions so much more prevalent sometimes than the favorable ones?
Need to work at being happy, thoughtful, understanding, witty, and charming.
Tomorrow.

Fancy Food

So normally we shop at the co-op, or Rainbow, or Costco or Trader Joe's if we are feeling up to it.  But tonight I had a $25 gift certificate and a $20 off $100 coupon for Byerley's, so we hit the store where the elite go to eat.
We had so much fun!  We picked up tons of things we would not normally get — peach salsa, frozen gourmet soups, an artichoke sauce for pasta and dips, low-cal Izze soda.  We also got a lot of great fruit, and some especially delicious salads for Saturday Night TV Dinner.  Beatrix thought any grocery store where she could have her bottle while cruising down the aisles was a keeper.  Did you know Lunds/Byerley's will sharpen your knives for free (though not while-you-wait)?  And it sure was nice to have everything carried out to the car.
On the way back we passed the new Sonic, which actually needed a police officer to direct traffic.  Uh, guys?  It's just fast food...
We definitely got the better end of the deal!

Fringe Mania

It's Fringe here in Minnesota.  With our dearth of childcare we are not going to get to much, so everyone reading this blog should go to extra shows to make up for me!
We are going to Patrick's brother's show, Trying Guilt tomorrow.  And tonight we went to Bedlam Theater (Fringe Central) for a very quiet happy hour.  But we got to have Summit and see my brilliant and gorgeous friend Annie who is going to grad school for costume design in the fall, so well worth it.
I have a comp and think I can get out on my own to see one other show.  What should I see?

Imagine Whirled Peace/Peas

Bethany's favorite ice cream flavor — Ben and Jerry's Imagine Whirled Peace.  Twice last week we went to friends' homes for dinner, and we brought it both times.  Yummy!
Beatrix's favorite food ever in her short eating solids experience — Imagine Whirled Peas.  That is, we tried to cook and mash them up, but there were still a lot of skins (the baby food book said to pick them out.  Yeah, right).  However, she loved the peas, and her lurching for them was getting peas everywhere.  So clever mommy mixed them with some organic oat cereal using the immersion blender.  Equally yummy!  (though that's maybe because she doesn't know about ice cream...)

Mill City Farmer's Market

So, for a long time we've been wanting to go to the Mill City Farmer's Market.  So organic!  So creative!  So beautifully displayed!  So this morning we loaded up the baby and headed over.
We really enjoyed ourselves, though we held strict control of our wallets.  The vegetables were all green and gorgeous and came from idyllic sounding all-organic farms, but $10 for a head of broccoli?  Honestly?!  There were incredible handcrafts:  gorgeous strung pearl necklaces at $250,  Peruvian women making softly colored wool rugs on hand-carried looms where a 1 foot by 3 foot runner at $98 seemed simultaneously like less than a living wage and more than I could pay, perfectly assembled bouquets of fragrant flowers for $12.
The best things were free:  people watching, showing Beatrix the cage of chickens, appreciating the colors and textures, yummy samples of organic goat choose and cajun smoked trout.
All very beautiful, but  think I'll stick to the St. Paul farmer's market for my…

Barbette

An evening at Cafe Barbette with recently-past Jeune Lune staff tonight.  What a group of incredible people!  Nice to have a glass of wine as well.  If people like these stay in the arts we might just be ok.

Sounding Off on the Southern

I've been trying to put together my thoughts on the incredibly tense meeting about the Southern Theater last Monday night.
But then my friend Leah did a far better job of it here.

The Little Things

Today I got through a ton of work things that were bugging me.  Went to baby yoga.  Got to have lunch with my dad.  Had beers with my friend Kelly.  It was a Good Day.

Oslo Highlights

Ok, I realize this is of very little interest to anyone but me (especially this much later), but since I didn't keep a trip journal, I need to get this down somewhere!
Sightseeing Highlights: -  Finding our way to — and from — Cafe Sara on the first night -  Wandering Vigeland Park with the boys and Beatrix, imitating the statues -  Exploring the shops of Aker Brygge, and the design store for clothing -  Grocery shopping! -  Interacting with the technology at the Nobel Center -  The lunch cruise around the Oslofjord, with prawns and sunshine -  The Parliament tour -  Looking out over the garden -  Driving around Grunerlokka -  Day trip to Drobak -  Bygdoy peninsula, and the museums -  Chatting with Pete and Kari on the phone
Moments from the wedding: -  The beautiful evening of the rehearsal dinner in Eidsvoll -  Finding the coolness of the church -  Wrin playing the Hardanger fiddle -  "This is the sound of one voice" -  Beautiful Kari walking down the aisle, and proud Pete -  Talking to e…

Extreme Makeover

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Here's me with my new haircut (inspired by Starbuck on BSG) and a great dress that I borrowed from my friend Kate for Pete's wedding.  I love the way the dress looks on me and we did not have a lot of pics from the wedding, so I made Patrick do a photoshoot. (I am also wearing my "Trixie" shows, but you can't see those.)

Diaper Dealin'

(more about Norway later, today I am rockin' the deals)
So a girl goes to Walgreen's, where there store-brand diapers are pretty good.  Asks at the pharmacy for the coupon book you get when you sign up for their prescription plan, which they will give you even if you don't enroll.  Combines that with the $2.50 off per pack coupon in this month's little EasySavers catalog.  Buys 3 packs so gets a $5 off the next purchase coupon at the register.  yes, that's right — 3 packs for $18, minus $7.50, minus $6, minus the $5 coupon, means they are paying me to buy their diapers.
It's the modern-day version of being a hunter-gatherer.
Oh, and I also got teething tablets and gel on sale, and a prescription for my nasty ear infection which is already making it feel better.

Back from Oslo!

(except, of course, you might not even know I went because I failed to post anything...)
We went for my cousin Pete's wedding, which was incredible.  Full recap later.  I will say, though, that though Beatrix was a great traveller, jet lag with a baby is quite a situation to struggle with.  Board meeting tonight — wish me luck!

Adieu

By the time this is actually posted, it will be more official, and I suppose will matter less.
I just got off the phone with a good friend, describing to her where the Articles of Incorporation for Theatre de la Jeune Lune were in the file drawers.  The reason for this was to begin the process of dissolving the Company.  By the time I leave for Norway this weekend, the theatre where I spent twelve years of my life, the place I still consider “home,” will be on it’s way to being dissolved.  The building that I cared for so deeply will be sold — and the work, well, how exactly does one archive theatre, whose very purpose is to be ephemeral, a one-evening at a time dialogue between artists and audience?
I have so many of those moments in my head right now.  Even before I started, seeing Lulu and Yang Zen Froggs and being transported to another place.  After I began with the company, opening the curtains of the Loring Playhouse to reveal the traffic beyond in The Ballroom.  The opening week…

Mommy Blogs? Daddy Blogs?

Postings have been slim over here for awhile.  Not because I haven't wanted to, but simply because juggling work and life has given me no extra time to be inspired to write, or even to write un-inspiredly.
Part of the problem is that I don't really know what I want this blog to be.  Really, the majority of my life right now is being a mom.  But I don't think of myself as a "mommy blogger."  And I doubt I am up to the level of the BlogHer ladies, even if I did.  So a bit of an identity crisis, really.
At the same time I've been reading Julie and Julia (on the Kindle, natch!) and contemplating that blog, and blog purposes in general.
And thinking about my website and brand identity.
It's a lot, and I've come to no firm conclusions, except that I need more sleep.
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In related news, Patrick's blogs were featured in a Daddy Blog section of the Pioneer Press.  Check it out here.

Blog Crossing

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Normally I wait for Patrick to post pics like this on TeamTrixie.
I just couldn't resist, though, posting this one.  Don't I have the cutest daughter in the world?

We've Got Spirit, How 'Bout You?

Nautilus is doing a charming little piece, The Diary of Adam and Eve, as part of the Spirit in the House Festival.  
The Festival is sort if like a "spiritual fringe festival," with some great performers looking at the relationship between theater and spirituality.
Our show is by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (better known as the "Fiddler on the Roof guys"), and has some of my favorite Nautilus artists — Jillanna Ponasik, Joel Liestman, and JP Fitzgibbons, with music direction by Jill Dawe.
Performances are: Tonight (Tu, May 27) at 8:30 Wed, May 28 at 7:00 Th, May 29 at 5:30 Fr, May 30 at 2:30 Sun, Jun 1 at 2:30
You can get tickets at the door, or at 651.209.6799 for just $12.
Please come and see if, and check out other parts of the festival as well!

Si Se Puede

(ok, if you don't want to hear about my boobs, you're going to want to avoid this post)
So, for the last few weeks, Beatrix has been on a nursing strike.  It's starting to feel less like a strike and more like self-weaning, and I am having a really hard time with it.
Associated with that, my supply is going down.  I've tried all the herbal natural remedies, wheat beer, reglan, compresses, etc.  I've tried various techniques to get her to nurse:  bathing with her, anticipating when she is hungry, "hot switching," talking to lactation consultants, etc.  Nothing is helping and it is getting me so down.  I've just been completely indecisive for an hour about whether or not to pay an online person $5.50 postage for a batch of nursing shirts, because I don't know if I will even wear them.  I feel like a complete failure as a mother if I cannot even nurse my own daughter.  I dread the thought of having to drag along formula wherever we go, especially as we…

I Want To Say One Word to You. Just One Word.

Plastics.
It's been a long time since I've watched Mrs. Robinson, but plastics have been on my mind lately with the new baby.  The issue started to become a little bit of a buzz when I was pregnant, and I decided that it was important to me to stay away from BPAs for Beatrix.  The information at that time seemed inconclusive, but there seemed no real reason to use polycarbonates when other choices were available.  So we decided on Playtex Drop-In bottles, picked a breast pump that was approved, and are generally staying away from plastic serving dishes and toys.
I am amazed by how quickly this issue has picked up steam.  In just the last few months, major stores like Babies R us and Walmart have chosen to discontinue many kinds of plastics, and some states (like Minnesota, but I believe the governor vetoed that particular legislation) are working on passing laws banning the material. 
We've gotten even more careful, and are now researching appropriate toddler serving ware, an…

Top Ten List of How to be Productive With a New Baby

You can't.  Give it up and snuggle her.  Is it all that important anyway?

My First Mother's Day

You don't get many "firsts" by the time you hit 40, and the ones you do get (like colonoscopies) are not much fun.  But I have to say that my first mother's day was incredible!
Patrick got me a great gift, and we hung around in the morning.  We then had brunch at Spill the Wine with the boys and my aunt, uncle, cousin, and her family, which was a lot of fun.  Patrick was feeling a little ill by the time we got back, so he hung out with Beatrix while I got a ton of work done on the garden.  It felt so good to dig in the dirt and make things come alive — I really missed that last year when my finger was broken.
I missed my mother, of course, but the pain was not quite as raw as last year.  I find the true awfulness of her being gone tends to settle into the everyday now, instead of landmark occasions.
Thank you to my wonderful family, especially my lively stepsons, my beautiful daughter, and my incredible husband for a great mother's day.

Book sale to Fund Beatrix's 529 Plan!

I really love my books. But I love my daughter more. We're trying to scrape together enough to set up her 529 plan*, and let's face it, we have a lot of great books I'm just never going to get a chance to read again**, and I would like others to benefit from that.

So I'm having a book sale this Saturday, May 10. Drop by, have a glass of wine, hang with me and Beatrix, maybe get some new reading material. We'd love to see you!

Beatrix's Big Book Bonanza
Saturday, May 10
2-5pm
at 627 Ashland Ave, Saint Paul

(* for those who have asked, a 529 Plan is a college savings plan)

(**especially since it seems the only reading I do right now is on the computer or my Kindle)

Choose Esperanto!

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I didn't want my first post in awhile to be so incredibly depressing, but I just couldn't believe this.

More on my real life soon.

Double-Barreled

Beatrix and I ran errands all morning, preparing for work events.

Tonight, Nautilus is performing two shows simultaneously:

- A FREE showcase at the studio (308 Prince St in St. Paul, the Northern Warehouse by the Farmer's Market) as part of the St. Paul Art Crawl. Free food, too! We'll be there, with the baby!

- Performance #4 of Ricky Ian Gordon's ORPHEUS & EURIDICE at the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis. The piece is really incredible, and also runs tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $29.50 and 2-for-1 if you mention "NAUTILUSDANCE" -- get them at the door to avoid evil Ticketmaster fees.

See some art this weekend!

Your Mother - The Person You Can't Say "No" To

So last night, in a particularly non-inspirational setting (the car, on Highway 94), I finally put my finger on one reason I feel family-bereft, even though by all "rational" thoughts I shouldn't. Our incredible friends, our not-quite-so-immediate family (especially my aunt and uncle), and our neighbors (who also count as friends!) have been really wonderful at stepping in to fill the gap, and we appreciate it and love them. And of course I still have my dad, and Patrick's mother and his father exist, though far away. Even total strangers at the restaurant the other day offered to step in and be honorary grandmothers to Beatrix. So why exactly is it not the same?

And then I realized that, in an email to my aunt earlier that day, I had expressed some concerns about not going to a spot they had suggested for mother's day brunch — something along the lines of "or we just don't have to go, no big deal." And, you know, I could NEVER have said that to…

Tuned In and Connected

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Well, I've managed to get myself generally up and running in the virtual world, with bonus points for almost all of it being one-handed typing while dealing with the baby:

- I've been posting and keeping up with my on-line women's community, though the best part has been seeing the TC-Alts in real life!
- I've put up some recipes on a shared wiki.
- I am now on Facebook, so friend me! I decided against MySpace, though, because I am Just.Too.Old.
- I'm also on Twitter, as bethanyg. Still on AIM as popothecat, but not on it so much right now.
- I have a flickr account that is woefully underused.
- I am up on GoodReads — do you think they count ebooks because...
- I ordered a Kindle, though the wait is interminable. While I've been waiting, I've lurked (mostly) on their discussion boards and posted a little. I've also started an Amazon Wish List, though it has to be under Elizabeth Gladhill because that's billing name they have on file.
- I opened…

I've Been Tagged

i was tagged on my friend Jamie's blog:

The rules in this game of tag are simple -- once you have been tagged, you must write a blog with ten weird, random things, little known facts or habits about yourself. At the end choose 10 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you've been tagged' and tell them to read your latest blog. Since you can't tag me back (ha!)...let me know when you've posted your blog so I can see it.

1. When I was in elementary school I added about a gazillion middle names to what I wanted to be called. So to "Elizabeth Lee" I added "Colleen Katharine Sabrina Nina Patricia Laura Sarah..." Maybe that's why I think it's ok that my daughter has two middle names.
2. When I dyed a blue streak in my hair in college it was from RIT dye in the costume shop and inspired by Missing Persons.
3. I swore up and down before the baby was born that we would not co-sleep, and now w…

Too Much Cancer

I've just been reading my friend Martha's blog. Marty is our neighbor's daughter, a 36-year old who I've always connected with because she lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong. She has 3 young children, and was just diagnosed with breast cancer, which is at Stage II. Reading her blog is really difficult for me because it reminds me so much of everything we went through with my mom, and she's so young.

I want to say she's going to "beat" the cancer. But the truth is that there is nothing that one does "right" in order to survive, or "wrong" to have it get worse. No one deserves to get it, or is immune from it, and family history or personal habits are not good indicators. Cancer is indiscriminate and impersonal and viciously kills the body that hosts it. But I do know that having love and support can help, and I want to give her as much support as I can.

I also have an on-line friend who I first "met" on a thread about paren…

KK

Didn't mean to leave you hanging after the last rant-y post. I've been busy, but nothing too exciting, just general baby-care and trying to catch up on work.

Anyway, I meant to say that, after some horrific errands on Saturday (in which I waited 20 minutes at Home Despot to have them clear up an issue with a gift card, and it's STILL not resolved!), I decided to stop at Krispy Kreme on the way home and bring back some Fresh Hot Donuts.

Except the Krispy Kreme had turned into a Wendy's.

I suppose there are really two issues here. The first is how interchangeable the sites are. No more donuts? How about a Frostie? Turnkey ready. Maybe next month it will become an Arby's.

The second point, though, goes to the Krispy Kreme brand. I remember when people lined up for them, drove miles for them; I even had a friend who would have them FedExed from the nearest location, which was in Iowa, mind you! But then they started to spread, and be sold at Holiday, and Target, a…

The 74-Hour Work Week

So Patrick reports that Tim Ferriss at The 4-Hour Work Week has even been outsourcing his blog. I took a quick glance at it, and while I can say that it is all well and good from the productivity standpoint, I cry foul.

At some point mindsets and experiments like that can turn around and bite you in the butt. I may admire Ferriss' productivity and 4-hour system, but hey, if I go to his blog, I want to read what HE actually writes. If I want to deal with something that is outsourced to Bangalore, I can just call my cell-phone company's "customer service" number. I comprehend what he is trying to do, but it seems to me a good way to simply dilute your market share.

More on diluting market share later, with tasty examples. For now, I am off to lunch with my friend Leah. She actually write her own blog.

Edit: Ok, turns out that his blog post was "an early April Fool's joke" -- which I think is even stupider.

Writing and Reading

I would love to be able to take the time to write more; right now I seem to specialize in one-handed typing. I've had a couple of house write-ups to do, and I have some text to do for the Ramsey Hill Association and a big grant to start in on. But I would like to keep up my journal better, to come up with some more interesting/pithier posts for this blog, to write something more of substance.

My husband, though, has come up with some great posts I am quite proud of -- check them out!

I would also so love to read more. Nursing and pumping is taking up 8 or so hours a day right now, much of which is just empty time. I love to watch Beatrix as she nurses, but can't always do so because it distracts her. It's almost impossible to hold a book while nursing/pumping, and I covet a Kindle like nobody's business. I think the price tag precludes that, though...

You Get $25, I Get $10

I normally don't see this site as a money making opportunity, but my new tech interests are making me perk up at this one.

Revolution Money Exchange is a new alternative to Paypal, with not as many fees, etc. (ok, that was Paypal's promise in the beginning as well, but whatever). Right now, when you set up a new account, they give you $25 in it, and if I refer you, I get $10! Email me if you are interested, and I will pass on an invite.

(especially because all referral bonuses go to Beatrix's college fund!)

Teaching Without Preaching

My stepson's truck got broken into today in the school parking lot, and his woofers stolen. This is a Big Deal when you are seventeen (and a pain in the ass no matter how old you are).

He's pretty careful about not showing off what he has and covering them up, but I am sure it was a case of some of his friends knew that they were there, and mentioned it in passing to someone else somewhat less trustworthy, and so on. So now he has learned a very hard lesson.

And what do I say in a situation like that? Max needs to learn that things like this happen, but I don't want him to lose faith in his friends, either. It's a hard enough line to walk when you are older, and I wish I could protect him from having to navigate it now.

Lists

So in theory I love the idea of "101 things in 1,001 Days":
http://www.triplux.com/dayzero/

Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning (while nursing, natch!) I looked over some other lists and got all excited. How inspiring! These people were doing all these great things, and some were organized by theme, and so many of them were things that I wanted to do and would make me a better person. When could I start MY list? What would I put on it?

Bump. Back to earth.

What I realized is that my lists serve as a sort of gentle nag for me. They allow me to put down all kinds of things, and get them out of my head and make them actionable. Like everyone else, I love to cross things off of them. My fantasy is to someday have my list starting "To Do" — and then a blank page, because for once, I would have caught up with everything.

Patrick sagely points out that that is Not Gonna Happen.

So a list like "101 Things" would just serve to nag me. I would be rushing t…

Recent Exciting Activities

1. Watching the entire Showtime series "The Tudors."

2. Many visits to various kinds of doctors.

3. Playing "who can stare the longest?" with our infant daughter.

4. Yummy brunch.

5. Perfecting our lack of sleep techniques.

6. The big clothes clean-up.

Twitter

Ok, step #2 in being more tech-savvy: I set up a Twitter account.

I'm bethanyg over there — please "follow" me!

Edited: Feeling very productive — now I'm on LinkedIn as well!

Hands

What really sucks, when you are 3 weeks old:

The fact that you like to move your hands around and put them in your mouth, but they just Do Not provide milk, much as you want them to, and you have to rely on the damn boob.

This apparently especially sucks between 3-6 am, continuously.

Domestic Bliss

Miss Beatrix was on rather a wacky sleep schedule last night — I was up with her from 3-5am, and then Patrick took over until past 6. Thus, we were both a bit foggy today, though we managed to get a few things done; Patrick in particular ran several errands and prepped the South St. Paul house for some showings today. Tonight, though, we hunkered down with ice cream and "The Tudors" — nice to be comfy at home and all together as big snowflakes fell outside.

Speaking of ice cream, have you seen the new Ben & Jerry's flavors? I am not sure which I will like best, cheesecake brownie or cake batter, but am looking forward to the taste test!

We Really Do Have the Best Friends in the World

One of the more humbling aspects of bringing our daughter into the world has been the support and generosity of our wonderful friends Just a sampling:

- The TC-Alts "Hotdish Brigade," who have ensured that we have stayed well-fed, as well as giving great advice and keeping me entertained and sane while on bedrest. You guys are the best. I mean it.
- All the others who have brought us food — from mac and cheese to quiches to chicken rotel to chili to chocolate and more; we've never eaten so well.
- Friends from across the world and around the country who have sent adorable clothes and toys. The mail has been so fun to collect every day!
- People who have helped us out with work, housework, errands, and a plethora of tasks.
- Local friends who have stopped by to see us and meet our daughter — you've brought generous and lovely gifts, but most importantly, you've brought yourselves and your love into our daughter's life.
- Cards, calls, emails and IMs from…

Insta-Mom

I used to read Cosmo. Now I read Cookie.

Settling In

Getting used to days of being slightly tired and foggy, hanging out, and loving our daughter.

Hanging In There

Longer spaces between posts may become the norm for awhile...

We are on an every 2 hour feeding schedule to bulk Ms. Beatrix up, so there isn't much time for anything else between, and I've been told to rest more. Nonetheless, we are generally all in good shape, and despite tiredness I feel lucky to be where we are.

Patrick has been doing a great job of keeping up Team Trixie, so head on over for his fanciful musings as to what she might be thinking...

Beatrix Camille Gladhill Rhone

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Beatrix is here! Born on the 9th at 8:41am. More update here later but make sure to check Team Trixie for the full details, pictures and more.

Still Here

Still on bedrest. We'll let you know when something happens.

More Thoughts on Caucuses

Thinking back, last night gets more and more exciting. By the time Patrick got to vote, they were out of ballots and he had to write on a post-it note. Minnesota had almost 200,000 Dems turn out to caucus — the previous record was 80,000 in either 1968 or 1972 depending on how you count, but I guess THAT doesn't matter any more! Just to put that in perspective, Dem turnout in the Iowa caucuses were 236,000.

Our site (Ramsey Junior High) was cited as one of the craziest sites; we're a very active neighborhood and I don't think recent redistricting helped in that chaos. True, there was no way that anyone was prepared for that onslaught. But I would so much rather have it that way than the other way around. Maybe, just maybe, there is enough energy in this country to not only elect a president who can turn us around, but then stay involved in the process long enough to support that and make it happen.

I want that change so badly, not only for myself but so much for Maxim…

Netflix and Caucuses

So with bedrest and the impending baby, we finally joined the rest of the 20th century and joined Netflix. We got our first movie today (The Illusionist) and are now ready to send it back and move down the cue. Kind of ingenious, though the site crawls for us for some reason -- takes forever to add movies. Not sure why -- our machines? Our router?

We also caucused tonight. INSANE. Summit and Grand were backed up for over a mile heading to Ramsey Jr. High. Patrick dropped me off at the huge line, but I got into the building before he parked and got to me -- and there was no cell phone service inside the building. I struggled down to the room, getting completely jostled; I just do not look 39 weeks pregnant and it was so packed no one could see anyway. Plus I was supposed to be in bed. Plus none of the volunteers really knew where anything was, and our neighborhood recently got redistricted so they got a whole lot of new, active people (and a really small room to put us in).…

Pillow Talk

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I am part of a children's upcycled clothing crafty exchange through my on-line board. My plans had to change, some, since I had not started my item yet, and ended up having to hand-sew it in bed, but here it is. It's inspired by the book "Leo the Late Bloomer," which the other mother (omg, that's quite a phrase, isn't it?) and I both love.

Yet-to-be-born Beatrix and I got our item yesterday, an adorable jumper with the spoon-bridge-and-cherry painted on it and matching babylegs. Turns out my exchanger and I have actually met, when she lived here and worked in theater!

Patrick went to the Obama rally yesterday and was very inspired. Even without bedrest I don't think I could have handled the lines and crowds, but I am glad he got a chance. I will note that we have gotten 3 Obama calls encouraging us to caucus, but Hilary has yet to chat us up.

Went to a great neighborhood Superbowl party tonight. I figure it still counts as bedrest because I spent all e…

Babylegs

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I can hand-sew while in bed, so I made a pair of Babylegs.

Bedrest

Bleahh. Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension, so bedrest for the next couple of weeks. So much for getting things done.

Of My Very Own

Tonight Elaine presented me with my very own Hot Priests calendar. 12 months of Thorn Birds-like lusciousness -- yeah!! We are having a long, hard week with things hitting us from all angles, so a little fun break was nice. Happy birthday David, and tomorrow to Jennifer and Chris H -- and Friday to Jason!

Blackbird Singing on the Edge of Night...

Last night we went on an impromptu, but much needed. "date night" dinner to a new-ish restaurant, Blackbird in south Minneapolis. Blackbird and another new restaurant, Heidi's, replace our dear departed Pan Vino Dolce.

Can't speak for Heidi's, but I am in love with Blackbird. Fantastic food -- started with a "tidbit" of crispy duck rolls from the large "tidbit" menu. Had great (and huge) sandwiches with excellent fries, though the entrees looked good as well. Lovely, eclectic decor (as in "how I want my house to look"), and friendly service. And a good wine list I am dying to try.

Yum.

Balloon

My legs have suddenly swollen up like fat little sausages, especially my feet. I guess it means I can't do the stacks of errands I am used to bundling together to save gas/time/etc. — but right now it means I can't even reliably walk downstairs to make coffee. It's the first truly sucky pregnancy symptom.

In some sort of consolation, she is really kick-y, so I just lie around watching my belly.

Ikea "Pax" — It's Swedish for "Score!"

So tonight after a tasty dinner of spicy chicken at Vina, we hit Ikea (also known as the romantic site of one of our first dates). We had a couple of small things to pick up; Patrick wanted to show me a potential dresser for the nursery (which I nixed, sorry honey!); we both wanted to get some basement shelving and continue progress on planning wardrobes for the front room (the one with the new floor).

We had already determined we liked the Pax wardrobe in brown/black, because of the way it contrasted with the koa floor. It looked even better in real life than in pictures! Plus, they were running a special where you got 20% of the cost of the wardrobe back in a gift card, AND delivery was free if you purchased $299+ worth. I will point out that each wardrobe weights almost 100 lbs.

So our new wardrobes arrive tomorrow! We only got the bases, but now I am considering the doors as well...

edited: the delivery people called as promised this morning, promised a slot between 11-2, an…

More Baby News

Because that's all that really seems to be going on right now as we get ready. Of course, that means house prep and the like, and working hard to get a ton of stuff pre-arranged for Nautilus and for clients.

Beatrix has turned -- yeah! That means her head is firmly lodged in my pelvis, which is about as uncomfortable as one might think. I feel very elephantine and tired. There is A LOT more movement visible when she is feet-up, however.

Meanwhile I am writing grants, paying bills, and doing year-end taxes, plus a plethora of errands. Again, not too exciting.

Stay Put!

Most of my friends who are pregnant and due soon are very anxious to have their babies.

Despite the discomfort in my right side (she's still trying to get out the top), I like being pregnant and still have a lot to do.

So I am hoping she stays put for the next month!

Flooring Saga Completed

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You may or may not know that we have had a lot of flooring issues this fall.

It started when I got 100 square feet of engineered hardwood off of Twin Cities Freemarket for the nursery. The floors on the 2F are all rough subfloor, so need some kind of surface over them. In the bathroom, it's tile; in another room, intricately painted; in a third, carpeted. I tried to sand them down to that British honey pine look, but to no avail.

I then put up an ad on CraigsList, trading the 500 square feet of vintage maple flooring I had in the basement for the installation of that and new flooring in the front room. Through that ad, I found incredible handyman Bob Fortner -- if you ever need anyone to work on your renovation project let me know, he's great!

Bob installed the nursery flooring, and cleared out space in our basement by removing the maple (cue new Gorm shelving from Ikea and the beginnings of a basement reorganization that we are still in the throes of).

Then he installed 100…

Daily News

Really, all of this month has been sort of focused on getting ready for the baby. So maybe this info should go on the baby blog (teamtrixie.com), but here we are:

- I finished the crib set! Pics on teamtrixie. I am very proud. But then my machine died while trying to make more bed pockets, so I have to solve that.
- We looked at EVERY possible bedding place in the Twin Cities, and finally found a duvet cover. We now snuggle up at night under that, the new duvet Patrick got me for Christmas, and the new pillows from my dad. Comfy! We are still working on a bedskirt and caddies (see above sewing note), and generally finalizing details on the 3F re-do.
- With the crib set done, we are also trying to finish the final touches on the nursery.
- My friend Geri had her gorgeous son Ravi, and we attended his very touching bris ceremony. My online friend Aprille had her baby a month early — and since she's due only a week before me, that's scarey!
- I am trucking through the end…

Crafty Girl

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I made lots of Christmas presents this year, like record bowls, sequined cocktail napkins (channeling my grandmother), and floppy disc coasters. Plus cute polarfleece hats for kids!

I was especially proud of these bed pockets, that I made for storing books, iPods, and the like at the side of the bed.

Then, to reward myself, I made a sewing jar so it's easier for me to hand sew and work up on the 3rd floor. Patrick took the picture with his new Nikon D40 that I got him for Christmas, and especially likes the craft/technology juxtaposition.