We went to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on Friday. The first half was quite... well, it was interesting. We listened to the fourth symphony of Charles Ives. This man composed on the side of his real job in the insurance field. His father, George Ives, was curious what would happen if three marching bands playing three different songs came together onto a marching field at the same time. That was all Charles needed to know about music composition. His fourth symphony sounds like someone stopped taking medication and used an Etch-A-Sketch to draw a masterpiece. The phrase "mentally departed" came to mind several times. I half expected to hear someone say "number nine, number nine". If each part played independently, it would be a fine if not all typical segment within a larger piece. There are hymns, marching songs and classical sounds all competing for the listener's ear. The performance had two conductors, three pianos, a full choir, bells, harp, organ, every drummer, violinist, bassist, and wind player they could find. The stage was packed with musicians. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and would love to hear it again to see if I could make sense of it of the chaos. Perhaps with enough exposure I could some day "get it".

Kindermusic visited the Moms Group last week Friday. We sang songs, danced with our babies, moved in rhythm, did baby massage. It was fun. Josh had a good time with the marching and swinging. Lots of moms and babies showed up, many I hadn't seen in a while. I got some good ideas of movement for Josh but I don't think I'll sign up for Kindermusic classes. It's not that I don't value music or rhythm, I do. I play games with Josh that have a beat and sing to him, and Rusty plays piano with Josh in his lap. Lately Rusty is practicing "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin. I think he'll get ample music and rhythmic timing from us at home.

I've been trying to teach Joshua how to wave. He did it once one evening. It was so cute! He had his arm out and he waved it with his hand up, like I've been showing him. But he hasn't one it again since that night. I was glad Rusty got to see it (witness it) with me. I guess he decided that was enough waving.

He is making new sounds, but no babbling. This week he razzes and hums at the same time, he blows air out while sticking out his bottom lip, and occasionally he'll hold an 'A' sound for a moment. I imitate his sounds with him (the best I can) and I keep making new sounds for him to try, such as ma-ma-ma and ba-ba-ba and da-da-da. He still loves it when I do jive: ma-da-ba-ga-ga-poo! mi-ti-ki-ti-loo-loo-bah! rah-ga-ma-ga-boo-ba-ba! He hasn't caught on to trying this but he thinks it's hysterical. It helps that I make funny faces and say it with a goofy voice.

In general, sleep is better for us. Josh is getting better at getting back to sleep on his own. When he wails we leave him for a few minutes to see if he works it out on his own. He usually does these days. Sometimes though he needs help, like having a pacifier or being rocked. I actually picked him up last night and rocked him back to sleep for the first time in what seemed like forever. A thunderstorm rolled through with a few loud crashes of thunder. He was just stirring in his sleep when the weather got noisy so I had to help him out a bit. I didn't mind. But I usually don't have to pick him up any more. I'll adjust his blanket, place his small stuffed dog in his hand, stroke his head or forehead and that's almost always what he needs.

I made apricots this evening for him to try some time in the future. I think I'll mix those with banana and grain when we run out of pears. I also have green beans & beef for him this week, but I can tell already he's not too happy with that. He tends to resist new foods at first so I'll give him a couple days before I move on. I have zucchini and brussels sprouts to try after green beans. I think after the beef is done I'll take a break from meat and do tofu, soy, fish or beans. He's tried yogurt and likes it. I mixed up mango and a peach yogurt for him this evening instead of green beans with beef. He didn't mind that at all. It's simple sugars and runny so I expect he'll be hungry in the morning.

I did research this morning on Portland, Oregon. I've located a great area. Well, great on 'paper'. It meets the basic requirements I want in my next home: walking distant to shops, grocer and/or bookstore, near a park and/or natural surroundings, near friends and/or family, better school district than Texas, relatively low crime and close to other liberal ad environmentally like-minded people. I found an area South of Hawthorne between 20th & 39th. If we actually manage to find a good home for sale and move in to that area, I think it will make the move to Portland most rewarding. We'd be about a mile from my cousin's current home and 2.3 miles from our good friends Lee & Barb. Although we're still loosely considering other cities to move to, Portland has been top of the list lately. At least I have some research done and can pick up when the time comes to look at our options and begin real planning.

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