Amy crawled forward a few inches last night, three different times.

Most of the time she gets around by leaning over onto her hands, then pushing back into a sitting position. Sometimes she crawls / creeps backwards. Sometimes she rolls over.

The outlet plugs are installed.

The kitty dishes are now in the basement.

Next? How to keep her out of the TV stand which stores our videos and the VCR and the DVD player. I could move the videos. But the VCR and DVD player sort of need to stay put. I don’t want to be forever moving her away or saying no. I’m thinking about cutting up a big box to sit around the TV stand… not foolproof but a first layer of defense.

In other news, the dryer still overheats — not the whole thing, but the back of it still gets very hot. The noises have changed — for several minutes it just squeaks, but then that rusty, difficult sound starts. The manual said something about replacing the vent hose, so we’ve done that. I’ll try some laundry today and see what happens. If it still overheats, the next thing to find out is whether it would cost almost as much to have a repairman out as it would to just buy a new dryer.

Oh, and while it’s nice to have a clothesline in the basement, it’s nowhere near as nice as having one outdoors. But there are no trees to tie a line to. I hate the thought of having to sink a pole somewhere. Mark said when he was little they had a hole in the ground and put the pole up when they needed it. That might work.


Raw onion

The other night I cut a slice of Vidalia onion to saute for my hamburger. En route to the pan, I let Amy have a sniff and a lick, and after that first taste she thought a bit, then leaned forward, mouth open, ready to have some more. I’m sure there will come a day when she finds a food she doesn’t like, but that day still seems pretty far off.

This past week’s new food was yogurt — plain, unsweetened, mixed with fruit. She likes that too. This coming week’s new food will be scrambled egg. No baby food jars this week — I made fresh nectarines, fresh carrots, and will make some frozen green beans too.

In other news, we bought a used riding lawn mower this weekend. Not that the grass has grown any since we moved in — it’s been pretty dry here.

As for Amy

Some little bits about Amy.

She was awake from 11:45 until 3 today. That’s a pretty long stretch for her. Yesterday she didn’t really have any morning nap because we were out doing errands, but she did quite well. Perhaps she’s getting more used to her new place, and just more able to be contentedly awake for longer.

In the car once, Amy was making a long noise, and Mark patted her mouth to get that “wa-wa-wa” kind of sound, which she found amusing. Now she does it herself, but her way is funny because she uses her whole fist and waves it pretty far back and forth, and not as fast. She looks a bit like a trombone player.

She has liked to watch someone clap, and usually grabs the hands to get the feel of the movement. She has her own version of clapping now, which is just waving her arms out and back as fast as she can — sometimes her hands connect.

A bit of news

Missing: The yardstick.

Not working: The dryer. (It runs, but gets extremely hot and makes some kind of rusty rattling noise.)

Working: The basement clotheslines — one left behind, one we brought with us, strung up around the poles in a nice big triangle.

Surprising: Finding Amy sitting up in her crib. This evening I saw how she must have done it — she can sometimes scoot backwards on her belly, and now she can push herself back and up and twist into a sitting position. The crib rails probably gave her something to push against.

Nice: Going to Crossroads Evangelical Free church. A woman greeted us, sat with us along with her husband, showed me the nursery, and invited us to her family’s house for lunch, which was lovely. Their three kids are very friendly and were very interested in playing with Amy and showing us their toys and pictures and telling us all sorts of things. Oh, and did I mention that Amy had a perfectly lovely time in the nursery? She got rocked and put down for a nap, and after the service I returned to find her in the nursery worker’s arms, smiling and having a good time.

Possibly rescued: The tomato and pepper plants Mark’s dad saved for us and transplanted into our garden. I forgot all about the fact that you have to water these things when it doesn’t rain for a week, and I haven’t managed to get outside to go look at them either. Until tonight, when I went out to give them a nice drink. Some of them look fine, but others may not make it.

Solved: The basement door question. We needed some way to keep the door open just enough for the cat to get through, but not enough for Amy to get through. The friends who hosted us in Cleveland suggested a hook and eye like for a wooden gate, but the ones long enough were rather thicker than we wanted. Then it occurred to us to use small hooks and eyes attached to a bit of wood in the middle:

Photo — Door positioner.

Almost home

We are now at my in-laws’ home in Indianapolis. The moving truck is by the curb. The cat is sporting a new tag with our cell phone number on it (her old tag still had our Virginia number). Amy is complaining, perhaps just tired, perhaps the second tooth is on its way, perhaps some other reason. She will be going to bed in minutes.

The last week in Ithaca was hectic and stressful but over now.

Monday through Wednesday was final packing and errands.

Thursday we had good help loading the truck from some of Mark’s lab friends and a church friend, with good NY pizza afterwards.

Friday’s closing went smoothly, except for the cat, who had to be in her carrier (horror of horrors!). We hit the road around 3:30, and arrived in Cleveland around midnight, where dulcimer friends (and readers here) put us up for the night in their lovely home, with a snack of cookies and lemonade and the best ever homemade rye toast in the morning.

This morning we were back on the road by 11:00 and arrived here around 5:45.

Both Amy (in the truck with Mark) and the cat (in the car with me) traveled well — Amy had one loud crying spell of about fifteen minutes when she got hungry and had to wait for a place for us to pull over and get a bottle ready. The cat spent most of her time curled up on the back seat next to the dulcimer and guitar.