27 January 2009

Kid Logic: Rocket Dog

In the car with my 4 year old:

Me: "Oh, look at the pretty dog in that back of that car."

Minion, seeing the "Service Dog" jacket: "Oh wow, that dog is a firefighter, Mommy! See his vest? That means he's a firefighter dog!"

Me: "Well, sort of. He's a service dog. That means he helps people. Do you know what kind of dog he is? He's a Labrador."

Minion: "I'd like a Labra-dog. But could he be a rocket dog?"

(He's been asking for a "rocket-dog" for two years. I have no idea where that came from.)

Me: "Well, when you get a little bigger, if we got a Labrador, you could name him Rocket."

Thinking: Hmmm, maybe he is almost mature enough to have 'his own' dog soon.

Minion, very excited now: "Yeah, and then we could strap a rocket to him!!!"

... or maybe not quite yet.

23 January 2009

Blood draws and x-rays and urinalysis, oh my!

Yeah, so, today kind of sucked.
Minion2 had to have some medical tests.
He was a real trooper about it all. I, however, now need some medication. Like maybe a vodka cranberry.
Minion2 has been sick since last weekend. It started with 2 days of throwing up, which overlapped with 3 days of diarrhea. Those went away, but the fever didn't. So, now he's had a consistent fever of about 102 for 6 days, even though all of his other symptoms seem to be gone.
I took him to the doctor this morning, thinking maybe he had an ear infection. Nope. Our pediatrician couldn't find anything wrong in his exam, so he sent us over for blood tests and chest x-rays and urinalysis.
Have you ever seen them do chest x-rays on a toddler? It's kind of like the Spanish Inquisition.
They set him in a toddler-sized hole in a square platform, locked him in, and then immobilized his upper body in a plexiglass tube with his arms pinned up over his head.
*I* was getting claustrophobic just watching.
My brave little minion whimpered a little, but managed to hold it together for back and side shots, as long as I was talking to him.
And then the tech - in what I can only assume was meant to be a casual, comforting tone - commented: "Oh, it's actually good for them to cry, because it gives us a better picture of their lungs".
Um, fuck you. Get my baby out of your torture device and give him his lollipop, bitch.
Okay, I didn't actually say that. But I thought it.
Then, there was the fun of having some junior phlebotomist who had to stab a 1.5 year old THREE TIMES to draw his blood sample.
And the torture trifecta was completed by the uncomfortable indignity of having to wear a plastic baggie taped around his little man-bits for several hours to gather a urine sample. (Don't think I wasn't saying a little thank-you to the universe for giving me a boy-child during that one, though.)
And all of this with a steady fever of 102.
The worst part is that, because it's Friday, we will probably have to wait until Monday to get the full test results back.
No, wait, the really worst part is that I've now googled his symptoms (because, yes, I am that mom) and I'm all freaked out that he might have a salmonella infection from eating peanut butter crackers that have since been recalled.
Or, maybe the really, really worst part is the worry that maybe they won't find anything at all.
Because I hate the not knowing.
The rational, logical, zen part of my brain knows that, of course, everything is going to be fine ... but that treacherous monkey brain loves to wreak havoc with the not-knowing.
So, yeah, Minion2 had kind of a sucky day.
And his mom's day wasn't so great, either.
Yeah, I know this is not the worst thing in the world. I know that there are much sicker kids in much tougher situations.
But I also know how awful it feels for any mom to watch her kids suffer and not be able to make it all better.
That might seriously be the worst feeling in the world.

19 January 2009

"The torture of chalkdust collects on my tongue" or, How I spent my 3-day weekend

I have a small hole in my ankle, my legs feel like I've been running all weekend, and I can still taste the drywall dust in the air (or is it just coating my nasal passages?) ... but it was all worth it ...

This weekend, I took the kids to visit their grandparents and The Husband and I tore down a wall.

No, that's not some kind of new age metaphor. We literally tore down a wall in our house. Well, 3/4 of one, anyway.

*Insert Tim Allen grunting here*

Some background: Our house was built in 1950. We bought it "as is" a few years ago and it's needed plenty of work since day one. And that's fine with us. The Husband and I both love older houses. We would much rather live in a '50s - or earlier - fixer-upper than in any new construction. That's just our taste.

Fortunately, my handy husband knows his way around a tool box pretty well and my uber-handy Dad is always willing to lend a hand, too. (Seriously, my dad could build a whole house all by himself - just give him the time and tools.)

Me? I'm not exactly a DIY queen. But I'm not completely useless, either. So, I pitch in as the semi-skilled labor occasionally.

So, when our personal and perpetual "This Old House" needs a little TLC, we usually serve it up ourselves with a side of elbow grease.

We've completed a lot of projects, indoors and out, but, of course, there's always more to do.

THIS weekend, we did a relatively quick and easy and cheap job that, I think, makes a HUGE improvement.

I have wanted to knock down this wall ever since we moved in.

The living and dining areas are basically one long, connected room. This wall separated the kitchen from that room.

And, can I just tell you? This is a really well-built house! Damn, but that wall was sturdy. Seriously, earthquake, shmurthquake - this house ain't goin' nowhere!

We were coated in gypsum dust by the end of the demolition (as was everything else in the house not covered by a dropcloth), I have three large trashcans full of drywall, plaster and chicken wire, and there is a rather large pile of used 2x4s in my backyard.

We are not quite finished with, well, the finish work, so we'll have to work on it a bit more next weekend. But all of the hard stuff is done.

And it was worth it. I already LOVE the difference it makes! The small kitchen feels so much bigger. And the living and dining rooms feel bigger, too.

But the best part is that The Husband or I can be in the kitchen cooking or doing dishes or whatever AND still be part of family time with the kids in the living room.

I'm really happy with it.

Ta-daaaa! Whaddaya think?

09 January 2009


Thanks to Kevin Pereira for pointing out this great short film on his blog.

I love it. :)

08 January 2009


My New Year's Resolutions for 2009:

(Yes, I know it is January 8, thank-you-very-much, Ms. Smartypants. See Number 4.)

1. Complete Zombie Attack Contingency Plans. (Seriously, the time to think about the proximity of your chainsaw and a full tank of gas is NOT when the undead are already gathering on your lawn!)

2. Don't strangle annoying co-workers. (That "Temporary Insanity" plea only works so many times. Don't push you luck.)

3. Develop Jedi Mind Powers. (I'm thinking that having a Force Push option could really help with #2.)

4. Start working on next year's resolutions. (So that, in 2010, I will be the FIRST to post my list! Mwahahahaha!)

5. Be less competitive. (With just a little work, I know I can be less competitive than Jenn. Heh Heh Heh. I'm totally going to kick her - oh, right, um. I mean, whatever, it's cool.)

6. Stop using so many parenthetical phrases. (Seriously, I never realized it was so annoying.)

Alright, you got me. I don't actually make new year's resolutions.

Honestly? I just don't see the point.

What is is about a "new" year that makes everyone go crazy over "goals"?

If it's important, why aren't you doing it already? Contrariwise, if you are not doing it already, maybe it's not really that important.

If you are going to do it ... just DO it. Be it. Live it.

Don't wait until Jan. 1. Don't promise or pledge or resolve. DO.

Don't get me wrong, I love lists. And it can be good to have goals, to want to improve yourself and the world. But - for me - writing down some grand list of pie-crust promises each Jan. 1 (and, let's face it, for some people it's just a repeat of last year's list) is not the best way to do that.

No. For me, I'll stick with the wisdom of Jedi Master Yoda: "Do or Do Not. There is no Try."

06 January 2009

Super Loooove

"What superhero or superheroine would you most like to sleep with?"

@james_gunn posed this ponder to the Twitterverse this morning.

Being the OCD uber-geek that I am, I'm giving his question the serious consideration it deserves.

First reaction: Superman.

'Cuz, you know, "Super" and all that. Handsome, honorable, rescues damsels and puppies AND holds down a good job. Gotta love that. And then there's all the rippling muscles.

Then my bad-girl side whispered ... mmmm, Batman.

Suuure, he's a little ... unbalanced ... but you know how girls go for that dark, brooding type. He's certainly handsome and, in his own way, honorable. And he's got all those wonderful toys!

Also: Rich alter-ego. Always a bonus.

But then there's that whole dual-identity thing. That could get weird. Plus, Bruce Wayne is a playboy and Batman is the Dark Knight - You know neither one of them would call the next morning.

Speaking of bad boys ... Seriously, what self-respecting fan-girl doesn't have a crush on Wolverine? Yeah, he's got razor-sharp blades and a bad attitude, but I wouldn't kick him outta bed for smokin' his cigars, ya' know?) But, like the typical bad boy - his favorite woman is the one he can't have. Who can compete with Jean Gray?

Then there's Mr. Fantastic. Setting aside for a moment the idea that any guy who calls himself fantastic is probably not - he does have that "stretch any part of his body" power in his favor. Of course, since his girlfriend has the power of invisibility and strikes me as the jealous type, that could be a dangerous liaison.

Speaking of dangerous, I guess The Human Torch is out, too. Ouch.

The Hulk? Too bulky.

Angel? Too sulky. (Shut up, he is too a superhero!)

Spider-Man? Too sticky.

Hell Boy? Too icky.

Beast? Too hairy.

Blade? Too scary.

Who does that leave?

The Tick?

Hold the phone. We may have a winner, there.


I think I may just have to go with my first instincts: Superman.

Then again, maybe the idea of sleeping with a superhero is over-rated. I mean, their jobs are so demanding - always rushing off to save the world. You know that they'd never have time for foreplay.

Oh, well.

And there you have a it folks: A goofy glimpse into the inner-workings of my geeky mind, inspired by James Gunn.

So ...

"What superhero or superheroine would you most like to sleep with?"

02 January 2009

Wear the old coat and buy the new book

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." ~ Austin Phelps

In 2008, for the first time in my life, I kept a list of all of the books I read during the year.

I posted the first half of the list in July. As I noted then, I think this year's list is "lighter" than it might have been in the past - in more ways than one. I just don't have as much time to read as I once did. And I tend to pull from my quick-easy-fun pile rather than picking up anything too "deep".

Still. It's kind of neat to keep track. I think I'll keep a list in 2009, as well. It's fun to look back at the end of the year and re-experience all of them.

Looking back on 2008, I "discovered" several new writers, kept up with the latest offerings of my favorite series, explored some new genres, re-read some old favorites.

All-in-all, a good year.

I think my favorite fiction this year had to be Lies of Locke Lamora and it's sequel Red Seas Under Red Skies.

As I've said before, Scott Lynch is a new author with a fresh and interesting voice. I'm looking forward to picking up the next book in his "Gentleman Bastards" series, The Republic of Thieves, in February.

On the non-fiction side, Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller was a wonderful read.

It's the kind of book that has the potential to change your life. Or rather, to help you change your thoughts. Which, really, is the only way to change your life. I keep coming back to it - just reading a chapter here or a passage there.

I've become a regular reader of her blog, as well. She has an amazing voice. It's hard to describe. But she inspires. Every parent should read this book.

For the coming year, I already have a rich and varied "To Read" list. I know I will probably not get to them all. But I will very much enjoy trying. :)

And now, without further ado, one ZenMom's complete reading list for 2008:

Third Watch: Acorna's Children - Anne McCaffrey

Finders Keepers - Linnea Sinclair

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) - Patricia Briggs

Plum Lucky (A Between-the-Numbers Novel) - Janet Evanovich

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, Book 1) - Kelley Armstrong

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Book 2) - Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, Book 3) - Patricia Briggs

An Accidental Goddess - Linnea Sinclair

Gabriel's Ghost - Linnea Sinclair

Beneath the Skin (The Darkwing Chronicles, Book 3) - Savannah Russe

Simple Taoism : A Guide To Living In Balance - Simpkin

The Darkest Evening of the Year - Dean Koontz

Strangers in Death - J.D. Robb

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation - Lynne Truss

Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville, Book 1) - Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Goes to Washington (Kitty Norville, Book 2) - Carrie Vaughn

Hamlet - William Shakespeare

Games of Command - Linnea Sinclair

The Down Home Zombie Blues - Linnea Sinclair

The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, Book 6) - Kim Harrison

Dead of Night - J.D. Robb, et al

Easier Than You Think ...because life doesn't have to be so hard: The Small Changes That Add Up to a World of Difference - Richard Carlson

Odd Hours - Dean Koontz

Free Fall (Retrievers, Book 5 - Laura Anne Gilman

No Rest for the Witches - MaryJanice Davidson

Playing With Fire - Gena Showalter

Time And Again: Time Was\Times Change - Nora Roberts

The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of : How Science Fiction Conquered the World - Thomas M Disch

From Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire Mysteries, No. 8) - Charlaine Harris

The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, Book 5) - Eoin Colfer

Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum, No. 14) - Janet Evanovich

Zen And the Art of Happiness - Chris Prentiss

Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Book 1) - Karen Chance

Stolen (Women of the Otherworld, Book 2) - Kelley Armstrong

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1) - Ilona Andrews

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2) - Ilona Andrews

Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville, Book 3) - Carrie Vaughn

The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch

Blood Noir (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 16) - Laurell K. Hamilton

Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Kitty Norville, Book 4) - Carrie Vaughn

Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch

The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality - Dalai Lama

Bite - Laurell K. Hamilton

A Lick of Frost (Meredith Gentry, Book 6) - Laurell K. Hamilton

Salvation in Death - J.D. Robb

Your Heart Belongs to Me - Dean Koontz

What was YOUR favorite book this year?