Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Tutu + 3 sets of Bunny Ears: Is a card-worthy picture possible in 3 days?

I need a strategy for dog and baby wrangling, stat! I've got this crazy idea to take a charming photo of Baby Field Notes sitting between her two canine companions, the three of them sporting bunny ears and her in a tutu. I'm aiming for Shoebox greetings level cute saturation here! What could be more drool-worthy than the world's cutest baby in tulle flanked by two Newfoundlands in goofy hats?

And I need a strategy. Getting everyone looking at the camera at the same time is going to be the biggest challenge, I think. But it might actually be getting the dogs to keep the bunny ears on long enough to get to that point! This afternoon I started to get them habituated to having the ears on their heads and made good progress with Katy, the older one. She's naturally more agreeable than our younger Newfy pup, Yuki. I may have to give up on Yuki, she can be stubborn. Intractable, really.

As far as getting them all to look at the camera, I can only use a squeaker so many times before they either start drooling too much or get too excited to hold still. Getting Baby Field Notes to smile instead of stick out her tongue will be another challenge. That's one of her favorite things these days.

I've also got to figure out where to do the shoot. I'm thinking outside since that'll give us the best lighting. I'll need a backup plan for indoors though, in case it's too cloudy, cold, or wet. I need a backdrop too, like a big white sheet or something, which I don't have... hmmm.

Whatever photo we end up with, I am sure that getting it will be hilarious.

Above, Yuki eyeballs Katy's new cranium accessory.
I wonder what she's thinking.

Monday, March 29, 2010

We have a talking ape now! Baby's First 'Real" Word

Today Baby Field Notes said her first 'real' word: UP.

Previously she has said 'BIG,' which blew me away because, a) she's a very quiet child who doesn't really babble on and on so we've rarely heard vowel and and even fewer consonant sounds, b) was late to giggle, c) was only about 8 months old, and d) perfectly enunciated the word: BIG. It really surprised me. She's certainly heard that word a lot, what with two enormous dogs keeping her company!

This time was different though, because she used UP in the right context, intentionally, and along with the right gesture. When she said BIG it probably was unintentional. I think she was just experimenting with her tongue and mouth and voice. It wasn't in the right situation, at least not without making up a story, and wasn't coincident with any meaningful gesture, so it really can't be considered language.

But what is language? It's complicated but you can glean a lot from this excellent discussion, if you click here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Work: A topic I rarely talk about.

My wheels have been spinning for some time now about what to do about my nearly complete lack of zeal for my current job and whether I can or even want to have a full time job in academia ever again.

That's pretty heavy stuff for any night, let alone a Saturday night. My how life has changed. And, having a baby certainly makes all of this a lot more important than it was before.

It means I can't just willy-nilly up and quit my job because I no longer find it fulfilling. It also means I can't just go out and get a different one without making some major decisions that are potentially life-altering.

I have some ideas on what I could do within the capacity of my current job to make it temporarily more fulfilling, which feels good. I feel like I have at least identified a problem and have come up with a way to go about fixing it that may actually be feasible. Unfortunately the more expedient way of solving the problem would never fly with the higher ups and would severely compromise my position if I even brought it up. So, I really, really like having a plan that could work.

It's totally exciting.

I hope my proposal is well-received and that it will result not only in some more pay for me but more importantly, more fulfilling work that affords me more flexibility and more creativity while simultaneously producing a higher quality 'product.'

Now that I put it that way, it seems ambitious.

Maybe it is, but I need a change. I cannot just up and quit my job, for a number of reasons, so I have got to find a way to make it more fulfilling — and meaningful.

Oh — and I don't know what I think of it yet, but I also came to the realization recently that I am 'over' primates. I just have not had any interest in new primate research or even in talking about existing primate research.

I love monkeys. I really do, but I am not in love with them anymore. As you can see, I definitely need a change. Unfortunately, this temporary solution I have concocted is only temporary....... what to do, what to do.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Construction Quilt - Finished

Made this one for my nephew's birthday, using scrap fabric and some construction fabric I found on etsy. He's three, and I don't know if blankets are really his speed still, but he loves construction equipment, so hopefully he will 'dig' it a little bit.. eh, I might have to go find a truck or something to go with it.

I had been wanting to make a quilt for my nephew, Jackson, using the Michael Miller 'dig it' fabric for a while now, but I wasn't feeling particularly inspired with a design, so I just chose a design similar to one that I bought on etsy for Little Field Notes. I had to offset the letters of his name to get them all to fit the space I set aside for them. That wasn't part of the plan, but it fits in more ways than one.