Wednesday, October 31, 2007

14 Months, Whatever, It's Halloween

Halloween is the most awesomest thing ever. It's nice to look at the houses where people have really gotten into it and just imagine them lovingly draping the cobwebs from the severed head to the rotting corpse.

I had Halloween candy for dinner. I am so sweet.

Best thing about big day care center: enormous group of small children in Halloween costumes. (It's cool to put pictures of other people's kids on the Internet, right?)

I unplugged our (radio frequency) doorbell because every time a trick-or-treater came one of us would have to squash Snuffy's face to keep him from barking while the other one handed out candy. I am pleased to report that we have the only flame cauldron on the block.

Dylan and I went to a couple of friends' houses to show off her costume. They live on a residential street that's right off a busy road, so the residents were ready to have trick-or-treaters but weren't getting many. We ran into one woman walking down the street who was very concerned she had missed us trying to visit her house. One house really went all out -- torches, bats, strobe lights, every floor had some display. The occupants were all outside smoking and drinking to admire their work.

Dylan's costume was way too warm for the temperature today and as a result she was exceedingly cranky every time we put it on her. I tried to teach her to suffer for fashion, but she was having none of it. Even after it cooled off in the evening she was not very happy, particularly when her friend Maya the ladybug came over for a little ladybug vs kangaroo action. Here is Maya, who is five months old:

Here they are in the big smackdown:

And here is Dylan, whose takes on Angry and Pouty are varied and subtle:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Order your festival tickets now

The thought of starting in on the various details of the Festival of Home Maintenance (Rochester, NY, Sept - Oct 2007) makes me bored, so let's just say that it involved working with four different service companies and that everything is now working. I will add that I got one estimate for having the gutter fixed (broken, I believe, by the insulation guys driving their truck into it)(it would have turned the driveway into a slip and slide if it froze, so maybe we should have taken advantage of that before repairing it) of $390 (cannot be repaired, must replace entire gutter plus downspout while we're at it). The guy from the second place I called was like, that's so easy I couldn't charge you more than $20 to fix it.

I heard a woman on the radio today lamenting the commercialization of Halloween. Won't somebody think of the children?

Parenting in Action
Snuffy's Madonna pose

Monday, October 29, 2007


Dylan was playing around the corner of the living room yesterday when she started making her trademark irritated whining noise. She didn't sound like she was in pain and she wasn't trying to cling to me like some kind of annoying animated suction toy, which together account for 85% of all Dylan squawking. I was delighted to round the corner and find this sight awaiting me:

I of course laughed and went to find the camera while Dylan struggled to get out, arms a-flailing. She did eventually break free:

I have been giving Dylan buffalo or goat milk yogurt for breakfast, which she loves. Over the weekend our friends loaned us their yogurt maker and gave us some fresh raw goat milk, so we now have a large supply of homemade yogurt if you need any. It's not something I ever imagine making ourselves, but it's really good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Morning Post

Maybe it should have taken me a little less time to connect the dots between "Hm, I wonder where the teaspoon is?" and "Hm, I wonder what's making that grinding noise in the disposal?"


I'm having a video game problem. There, that was the first step. My game of choice is Zelda: Twilight Princess. I sure most 27-year-old females out there can relate.


However painful getting this work done on our house has been (and believe me, that's a whole other post), it is now staying 20-25 degrees warmer inside than outside without the heat even on.


I know no one is interested in pictures that are not Dylan and/or Snuffy, but you'll have to forgive me this one time. The light in the neighborhood was so cool this morning it made everything look spectacular, even the asphalty strip mall parts that I for some reason like to walk by.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


New take on the daycare dropoff: Dylan is a Big Fat Liar. Yesterday she seemed particularly upset, and if I made the slightest move for the door she broke down completely. I must have looked mopey walking out because when I saw one of her old teachers on my way out she went to check on Dylan. By the time she got to the window that looks in on Dylan's room from the hallway, approximately four seconds after I had left the room, she said that Dylan was happily playing on the floor and laughing. So perhaps no one comes over to soothe Dylan because it would be pandering to an emotionally manipulative little twit. Stupid baby.

Dylan's nighttime sleep has been awesome lately -- we're averaging 0-1 wakeups per night. We pay for it in other ways, but at least we get time to ourselves in the evenings and nice sleep at night. I only mention it because it made last night's 3.5-hour waking bout all the more unpleasant to deal with. Stupid baby.

Belly Button

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Class Notes

Snuffy '05 gives a figurative thumbs up to our recent discovery that the bench seat in Ford Taurus '96 allows for dog snuggling while driving. He is forced to give a thumbs down to the new prong collar, which has cut down on squirrel chasing by an estimated 50%.

Also down by 50%, according to a note from Kate '80, is the volume of mold in the fridge and bathroom, thanks to a homemade cleaning product scrubbing bender the other day. Aaron '80 inquired as to why it was only 50% and received a swift and brutal correction. Bleisenblog does not tolerate dissent.

Kate and Aaron are also happy to report that Rochester has been ranked as having the fourth-best commute in the country. They are taking full advantage, as their commute is in the two-minutes-on-foot range, although it can reach as high as Infinity while carpooling (so to speak) with Dylan '06. Kate tells us she has separated from Tomato Soup '00, but that they remain friends. That union was the product of a slyly placed "if you like it so much then why don't you marry it" comment. At least it is better than Tommy '88, who became entangled with Cheese while still married to his own sister. (sorry guys, the truth had to come out)

Coincidentally, Dylan recently sent an update to your faithful secretary -- she suspects her fifth tooth has, as they say, erupted, and a sixth is in the works. She plans another four-month recess before beginning work on her next set. Dylan is pleased to announce the successful launch of an all-whining-all-the-time three days ago. The campaign will be concluded at an as-yet-undetermined time.

Please keep those updates (and contributions!) coming! Checks can be made out to Bleisenblog Corporate Office.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Room 3

The new daycare room is going...okay. I have had that perfectly adequate but nothing special feeling about this room. Today was the first day that actually bad. Most days they say Dylan does fine and she's playing happily when I get there. Today she was face down on the floor screaming and everyone was going about their business and they said she had been crazy and upset all afternoon. Possibly, I soon learned, because it was 4:00pm and she had not napped the entire day. She staggered over to me and I picked her up and she stopped crying and one of the teachers said "Aw, I knew you were faking." I would not call that faking so much as an exhaustion-fueled break with reality, but I guess we can disagree on that one. Her main regular teacher wasn't there, and I like to think she wouldn't have let that happen. This is still better than the first room and Dylan can deal with things a lot better now, but if she has a bad day it would be nice to think she could get some sympathy. She cries and clings to my legs when I drop her off in the mornings and I almost think it's getting worse, although they say she stops soon after I leave. I just think if they were a little better with her she would already be running over happily when we got there.

Post daycare crash


I have now enrolled 5 people out of 50 in my dissertation study. 10% is better than no percent is our new motto.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rochester is the New Equator

Remember how sometimes it is in danger of snowing on Halloween? And the little kids have to bundle up under their costumes? I don't, because the 80 degree weather has sapped my memory.

We ventured out on corn maze (a-maize-ing!) attempt number two of the season yesterday. Seven miles of maze on 22 acres! It was really fun, but with several caveats:

1) Scorching heat

2) Whiny, heavy short one

3) Farm sold out of maps

We wandered in enthusiastically. Our enthusiasm soon waned as we realized we were really just wandering around and was lost altogether when we realized everyone else had maps. The maze was impossible even with a map, so without one it wasn't even fun. We took a picture of someone else's map and zoomed around on the camera screen to navigate, but with the glare it was really hard to see. Nothing like throwing yourselves into a situation that involves dehydration coupled with difficult map reading and to help out your marriage.

4) Need for closure: not satisfied

There were 10 popsicle sticks of different colors hidden in stations around the maze. We found four before we had to bail out (although thankfully we did not need to enlist the help of the Corn Cops to escape). Even a day later I still have this nagging feeling...must...find...six more popsicle sticks.

Tossing Dylan into a giant pile of corn kernels at the end made up for some of this, as did the truly delicious cider and donuts. There were some creepy sullen teenagers lurking nearby half buried in the corn, which made it a little less fun except that I am willing to forgive a lot of creepy sullenness of anyone who comments repeatedly on how cute Dylan is.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fenced yards: not just for dogs

Yesterday I ordered a veggie burger that was so much like a hamburger I tried to send it back.


Dylan has taken to flashing an enormous insincere smile at any and all passers by. A smile that is, of course, impossible to capture on film. She has a lot of success at getting people to stop and sweet talk her. She will be grumping along with me wearing her characteristic scowl when all of a sudden someone will get near us and suddenly she is looking up, smiling sweetly. She also blows kisses sometimes, occasionally with both hands. Her public awaits.

Don't fence her in
One way or the other the camera is getting licked
Working the windswept hair

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Back in Dodge

Wow, I don't think I've gone that long without posting before. I apologize for any pain I may have caused my loyal readers. See, what happened was I skipped town for a couple of days, lured by promises of food and a full night's sleep. Never fear, I will now fill your screen with mindless drivel once again.

I hadn't spent a night away from Dylan before, since I have thus far dragged her along wherever I have gone, but all made it through unscathed. I spent less than 24 hours (should this trip have been the basis for a television series? you decide) in New York City, and I like to think that less that 15 of those hours were spent eating. My dad has befriended all the chocolatiers in lower Manhattan, so that works out well. Tommy College Man followed the family tradition of dousing me with perfume samplers, so maybe 8 of the hours were spent sneezing. And I spent all of the hours whining about not being with Dylan, so really getting away is more trouble than it's worth with all that whining to be done. The trip was sort of worth it though just to see the guy at airport security try to figure out whether the breastpump could be disassembled. We drove back via Ithaca, where we were greeted by a house that was 95 DEGREES, perfect for steaming out inpurities and demons and such, but difficult to use for other purposes. When I got back Dylan was so busy stuffing her face with crunchy noodles she didn't notice me for a while, until I was greeted with an anguished shriek, Dylan having inherited the family whine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The windows are all installed, just in time to turn the heat on. That was an unpleasant experience. I can't wait to write a review for the World Wide Internet. They do look good though:

I am excited that I can stop worrying that Dylan will be poisoned from playing in the living room. Besides the energy efficiency and the non poisonousness, another cool thing about these windows is that they flip down for easy cleaning.
Aaron has a thing about keeping the windows clean. Theoretically. Once I bought him a window cleaning tool as a special treat.
Mostly I am just glad that's over. And now for sitting through the boring window pictures here is a happy toddling Dylan:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to Grandpas!

I imagine it is impolite to announce people's age (or weight, heh...I was recently told I "had finally slimmed down") on the Internet. I won't name any specific numbers, but both of Dylan's grandfathers turn a nice round number of decades old this month. It is not actually anyone's (who is Dylan's grandfather) birthday today, but I thought we would declare October Dylan's Grandfathers' Birthday Month and be done with it. So happy birthday! You will surely both be receiving thoughtful and tasteful gifts shortly! Sit tight!

To celebrate, one grandfather was whisked off on a trip to Amsterdam, while the other was thrown a party in the living room. The Amsterdam-going grandfather was kept in the dark regarding his destination until he was through security, a feat that impressed us bleisenbergs. The living room dwelling grandfather had his party catered by Dinosaur BBQ, which was popular with Aaron. We were poised to make out big with the leftovers because there is a minimum order to have them deliver to Ithaca from Syracuse, but then the leftovers were left overnight in what turned out to be the Bacteria Nurturing Danger Zone and were deemed inedible, although only after one family member ate them for breakfast.

Dylan is still so proud of herself for walking. She careens around with this huge grin on her face, as I would show you except that the picture uploading function isn't working, so tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And the Winner is...

But first, I would like to highlight the exciting goings on at the links in the sidebar. (just like a real awards show. cut to commercial.)

Congratulations Justin and Juliet!

Next, follow Kate and Annabelle, two of Dylan's biggest fans, as they traipse around Botswana and South Africa for a month or so.

Third, and not actually a link at all, Annie is blogging again from Morocco. I don't want to link to it so hers stays more anonymous, but e-mail me or comment if you want the link and don't have it.

And rounding out the links are Eloise, who is almost exactly a year older than Dylan and whose archives Dylan checks for appropriate behavior and Nate, who is a few months younger than Dylan, although he is clearly advanced in the toga party arena.


And now, the results. First off, the chicken got no votes, so the call for reform over last year is clear. The lion and the hot dog were tied for fourth with three votes each. I don't know who voted for the hot dog, but this option was really a self help tool to identify the masochists in my readership -- what could be more frustrating for a new walker than to put her in a bunting costume? The kangaroo came in third, with 8 votes, although there were some suggestion of officially endorsed high tech ballot stuffing. And now, dum dum dum dum dum.......tied for first place, with 10 votes apiece, were Yoda and Monkey. I have to say, I was surprised at Yoda's strong showing and had not considered it a real contender. Nor do I now. I know the voting public is outraged by this flagrant flouting of election laws, but blah blah blah dictatorship and iron fist and all. I defy you to look at these pictures and tell me I made the wrong decision, poll or no poll. DEFY! Also, check out Dylan's new beloved, a sharp, cutty seltzer can.