1. I thought I might call this the coneflower edition, or the Queen Anne's lace edition. But wherever the neighbor tried (mostly unsuccessfully, I might add) to smite the (harmless) cicada killers with his mighty can of insecticide, he killed the grass. Argh.
2. Baby has figured out forward motion in the three days since I last posted. On Tuesday she was frustrated, saying to herself, "I know there's a way to get there but I can't figure it out." Today she is like a little Marine commando-crawling through the jungle -- Dig! Push! Dig! Push! Mission accomplished! -- only her mission is to eat the blow-in cards from Muse magazine and not to suppress terrorist activity or destabilize foreign governments.
3. When I started work on my dissertation transcripts at two weeks postpartum, one of the first things I did was to add a code to all of the abandoned and interrupted utterances so I could exclude them from most of my analyses. It should have been a pretty simple operation, but I made a mistake: I omitted a space from the code, so the program didn't recognize it. I have known for a while now that I would have to go back and fix it, but uuuugggghhhh I didn't want to.
This week I figured out my strategy and fixed the values for the first measure. It's not horrible, just tedious. And I have to get it done before I can move on, so I'll do it as cheerfully as I can. I am tempted to be irritated with my January self, but hey -- I made the choice to go back to work at two weeks postpartum knowing perfectly well what postpartumness does to my brain. Maybe I should just be glad I didn't blow anything up.
4. My other school-related goals for the summer, besides cleaning up the data, are to read a little book about cluster analysis, to make good headway in a big book about multilevel modeling, and to rewrite my method chapter to reflect what I did. (For the preliminary exam, you write your method chapter in future tense.) Summer is flying by here, but I'm making progress. Elwood is off on Friday afternoons and I have high hopes for a productive day.
5. In addition to those school goals, I had a bunch of personal goals for the summer. I think I need more summer. Or maybe fewer Aubrey-Maturin novels. I am enjoying them immensely and perhaps intemperately. (I am on #17 at the moment. The characters make me laugh and laugh, which is not what I expected when I started the series.)
6. Earlier this summer we were going out for a celebratory lunch. It was a special day for one of the boys (like a name day, only not exactly) and we always go to a favorite restaurant to observe it. The boy being honored, though, was having a terrible awful no good very bad day in which he just could not get along with his family. He is still angry about my response. Motherhood is like juggling eggs sometimes -- you can do your best to keep kind and patient going at the same time as firm and protective of siblings, but all you get is a big mess splatted all over.
I am tempted to post the story, but it would be my version of a contested story. The part that is bothering me is that he is also still angry with the friend who was going to lunch with us. I do not know how to encourage forgiveness in this child whose inclination is to hold a grudge.
7. Today is our 16th anniversary. Especially today, when I am thinking about the importance and the difficulty of forgiveness, I look back at the two of us and think about all the things we had to learn. I didn't know, sixteen years ago, how much closer we would be today than we were then. Building a marriage is like learning a secret language -- sometimes we can exchange a single look that speaks volumes. (Lest you think I am going all lofty on you, the most common look exchanged means "Can you believe the organist is playing this hymn so slowly AGAIN?" --"I know! It makes me crazy!") Here's to many more years.
More quick takes here.