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Whippersnappers

Oh . . . hai der, Blog. Totally forgot about you for ages. How’s it going? 

I’ve been babysitting a couple of cute little kiddos for a friend of a friend since the beginning of December until the end of this week: A two-and-a-half-year-old girl and a (now) eight-week-old boy (he was six weeks when we started). They’re both awesome. The girl plays so well with my boys and naps as soon as you put her down (I MISS THOSE DAYS), and the baby is so tiny and pwecious and snuggly (I miss those days, too)! At first I wondered if I was a little insane by agreeing to take them on, but it’s been great. I love holding a baby all day, and four kids really are easier than two! In some ways. Only difference being that I do not have a car big enough to go out anywhere with all of them, so I don’t get the experience of taking a big brood to the supermarket, or anything.

Of course, kids are little germ factories, and these are no different. My own boys were getting over their colds at the beginning of December, and my new little charges came in with green boogers and coughs, which my boys shared immediately with them, even while resisting sharing their toys. Being around that much snot and bodily fluids, there could be no way that I would dodge the inevitable. Sure enough, it hit like a Peterbilt Dec 7th and 8th, idled for a day or two, then started to back up over me just before my choir concerts the following weekend (14th and 15th). Despite the ick, I had enough voice to sing out a bit in both performances — unlike our concert in October, when I had no voice at all. That was miserable, and I discovered I am very bad at lip synching.

My mom and dad had my kids Saturday night, since it was Sweetie’s drill weekend, and I had concert commitments that would probably go late. Saturday night we sang just before the Symphony, and then I stayed for most of the Symphony concert. I left at intermission, because it was getting to the point where I couldn’t breathe without coughing, and just wanted to go to bed. We had a concert the next day, too, so I knew I would need the rest. Sunday, I slept in (Sweetie had his Unit Christmas party, and my parents were taking the boys to church) and took my time getting ready for my concert. The concert didn’t go as late as I thought it might, so I went to my church Life Group afterward, where I thought Sweetie might meet me (he never showed up; too tired after drill). I talked too much, stayed there too late, and then finally went home to spend a little quiet, decompressing time with Sweetie before we both passed out from our exhausting weekend.

Monday I did not have my two little charges, because there was a scheduled eight-hour power outage for our street so the power company could replace some lines, and I knew it would be too cold to have little kids in the house. Since Mom still had the boys, Sweetie and I slept in a little (been getting up at 5-something in the morning lately, so 7am was late!), had some coffee, and left the house a little after 8:15, when they shut the power off for the day. We went out to breakfast and wandered around various stores until it was time to pick the boys up from my parents’ house to take them to their doctor appointments that afternoon. Then we went to Sweetie’s parents’ house so he and the kids could join them for dinner, but Sweetie had to take me to the mall a little while later so I could help out with a gift-wrapping fundraiser for my choir. I was supposed to be there from 4pm to 10pm, but was feeling pretty horrible by 5pm (the left side of my throat was becoming quite painful). It wasn’t too busy that evening, and there were enough hands without me, so I had my husband pick me up on his way home from his parents’ house instead of staying and riding home with my friend who was working till 10, too.

That brings us to yesterday (Tuesday)! It was a long, active weekend with no time to recuperate, followed by another day of babysitting (not hard, just not restful), and I didn’t get as much sleep Monday night as I should have. When I woke up, my throat didn’t hurt too badly, but as the morning progressed, I couldn’t chew, swallow, or open my mouth very wide because it hurt too much. It didn’t hurt talk, only to move my jaw and tongue. This bothered me enough that I figured it was finally time to go see a doctor. I do have a new-patient doctor appointment scheduled for the end of January, but we have Prompt Care! It’s a new and exciting development in civilian medicine! (Okay, it’s not, but it’s new to me after having to go to the Navy Hospital ER for everything not pre-scheduled). I made Sweetie come home early (he works late on Tuesdays) to watch the boys while I took myself to the Prompt Care, where up till yesterday I’d only been to for my kids.

Had to get the icky throat culture, but I kind of expected that. It’s not strep, thank goodness; probably just a mild throat infection and/or a touch of tonsillitis. I got out of there with an Rx for amoxicillin and Cepacol lozenges, which I needed to pick up at my pharmacy, on the other side of the highway. Oh, and I got my right ear irrigated, because it was too waxy to see its condition. I didn’t get dizzy, either. Go me. I’m just so glad they used water. The last time a doctor cleaned my ears out, he used a stick, which was the most horribly uncomfortable, icky thing I’ve ever had done to me and I never went back to have my ears cleaned. Strangely, the doctor I saw yesterday (who was quite young, probably her early- to mid-20s) seemed surprised when I told her how uncomfortable it was. My ear canals are sensitive, I guess.

I had a few other errands to run, since I was already out and about. First I got a Jamba Juice, because it was close to the doctor and I didn’t think I wanted to try to swallow anything harder than a smoothie for dinner. I’d totally forgotten about the crazy Christmas crowd, which made parking exciting and annoying. Despite that, I did manage to get some close parking spaces — which was helpful when I accidentally left my wallet in the car at Target and had to be That Person who has to suspend her purchase and run out to the car Just Real Quick. *sigh*

I’d also forgotten that I hadn’t put on any makeup (just some powder foundation) and probably looked a little harried and pale. Not my best face forward — but I didn’t care, because it had been a long day, and I was tired, sick, and just picking up a few things at some stores on my way home from the doctor. At least my hair was brushed. :) So when I was at my last stop for the night, picking up some stuff at Costco, and I had to have the youngster (mid- to late-20s?) check my age for the case of beer I was picking up for my husband (mmm, winter beers . . . ) he did not choose to check my ID, but instead looked at my face and punched in — no lie — 01/01/1961.

NINETEEN SIXTY-ONE.

SIXTY. ONE.

I boggled for a second, but didn’t say anything. No, the thoughts going through my head were: Do I REALLY look that old? (I did the math later, and 1961 would make me 52 years old — eight years younger than my dad.) Is that guy just that bad at judging age? Could he not have had the decency of erring on the side of 1970? Might he have asked me, and given me the opportunity to lie (not that I would have), or just not risk it and asked for my ID? I know I have some grey hair and could stand to lose a few pounds, but SERIOUSLY? And why am I freaking out about this, anyway?

I know I’m only 35. I have as much grey in my hair as a 50-year-old, but I really didn’t think I could pass for anything older than 40. Maybe 45. I wasn’t insulted or offended — not really — just surprised. The guy couldn’t have been that much younger than me, but either he wasn’t good at math, he just picked the first year that popped into his head, or he really thought I looked like I was in my 50s. I mean, I remember when I was little and 35 was SO OLD, but I don’t think he can claim that excuse, since he didn’t look that far from it, himself.

Whippersnapper.

(Here’s my Gravatar photo — though I’m wearing makeup in it. How old would YOU say I am?)

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Why Do I DO This to Myself??

My blog title and theme have everything to do with today’s post (“momsomnia” and “I Could Really Use a Nap”). You know how some nights, especially after a little too much caffeine consumption the day before, you just don’t feel like going to sleep? That you could happily sail through the midnight hours, watching Netflix episodes and reading until the wee hours before dawn?

I hate when that happens. :P

I love it at the time, but the morning after is brutal. Last night, I thought I might try to go to bed as close to before-midnight as I could. Preferably still within the ten o’clock hour. Perhaps the eleven. I’ve been sleeping in a lot, which probably doesn’t help, but I thought that I could at least make an effort to get up before 6:30am.

Not so! First, I watched the last episode of season two of Sherlock on Netflix. It was frustrating and touching, all at the same time. I want to watch it again. Maybe the whole series again. (Hurry it up, BBC! Season three needs to come out SOON! Not that I’d be able to see it till it comes out on DVD, but whatever. The sooner the better!) Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are my new favorite British male actors. I was delighted to see that Katherine Parkinson, one of my favorite female British actors, had a role in this last episode, though she was not an endearing character by any stretch. But I digress. If you haven’t seen Sherlock yet, YOU NEED TO.

It finished around 11:30-ish, and I was not yet tired. And my foreign-accent fix had not been sated. I decided to peruse my queue to see what I had available that wouldn’t take long, require much concentration (I love Psych and Eureka, but I really have to pay attention while watching), and had foreign accents. I’d already watched all The IT Crowd episodes available (starring the aforementioned Katherine Parkinson). And then my attention landed on McLeod’s Daughters, which I’d tried to watch once while feeding Beanie in the middle of the night, and couldn’t quite get into. It had been since recommended by someone as a great show, so I decided to give it another shot. 45-minute episodes meant I could get to sleep around midnight and still get enough hours to not feel like a total zombie when I woke up this morning.

THREE EPISODES LATER . . . Beanie had come running into my room around 1:30 (I think), very clingy. I couldn’t tell if he’d gotten up because he’d had a bad dream or because he was cold, but I couldn’t very well put him back to bed when he was being such an adorable snuggle bug, so I held him and finished watching the third episode. When that was over, I shut my computer, put it alongside the bed, and laid Beanie on Sweetie’s side of the bed (it’s empty while Sweetie is out of town :( ). I still didn’t feel tired, so I picked up a short Christian romance novel I’d started a couple days ago, intending to read a chapter or two and go to sleep.

TWO HOURS LATER . . . Beanie was taking his half of the bed out of the middle, kicking me in the kidneys, and I was finishing my book. I realized that birdsong had started up outside the window, so I looked at the sky was just beginning to get light, around 3:55.

I finished my book, got up, used the bathroom, repositioned Beanie so I could have more room on my side of the bed (especially since the cat takes up a quarter of my half, too), turned off my alarm, and fell asleep. Three and a half hours later, Pie came into the room and laid down at the foot of Sweetie’s side of the bed, thankfully quiet for a while. Then Beanie woke up. Then I got up to start making breakfast for everyone and COOOOFFFFFEEEEEEEEEEE for me. :)

I don’t feel too badly — right now, anyway — for having gotten so little sleep, but I’m sure tonight might be a different story. Maybe I’ll try to go to sleep right after the boys go to bed tonight. Maybe without another episode of McLeod’s Daughers and the closing chapters of the next Christian novel I picked up today . . .

Good luck with that, right? ;)

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My “Hero” Name . . . if Heroes Worked for the TSA

Fair warning: This contains humor a fourth-grader might enjoy. I will not take the blame for snort-laughter at work. And make sure you’re not drinking anything, mmkay?

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It seems the older my boys get, the less mature I become. Not younger, mind you — they have the ability to age me severely some days. I mean, I will laugh at immature jokes and phrases and subject matter I might have just given a courtesy chuckle to or just outright rolled my eyes at in the past.

But my kids say some hilarious things. What makes it even funnier is that they often don’t even understand WHY Mama is suddenly snorting, gasping for breath, and running to her phone to text someone or post to Twitter/Facebook (if they even know that’s what I’m doing. I’m sure they’ll be into me someday). Sometimes, the only person I can tell is my husband, because I generally consider Facebook to be “mixed company”, where not everyone is going to fully appreciate the fact that I have suddenly reverted to the fourth grade.

It took me a long time to figure out where my oldest son could have gotten the imagery for this gem, uttered last year sometime:

“I smell a green floppy thing. It’s just my butt. It does that sometimes.”

See? SEE? How can you possibly read that and not feel the urge to titter, even a little?

I discovered later, while actually paying a modicum of attention to one of the movies they were watching, that “a green floppy thing” that smells bad most likely came from a description of Sid the Sloth from “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”. Aha! The imagery is something to avoid thinking too hard about, but it’s still funny!

I fight the urge to chuckle every time my kids talk about Beanie throwing up, even when I’m telling them not to. It’s a big mess to clean up (and he’s talented at hitting as many targets as possible), Mama gets a little excited over the fact that it always happens at the most inopportune times . . . It’s become kind of a household event. We’re brushing teeth? Get ready to clean the bathroom and change everyone’s clothes. Touching food? Watch carefully for the signs and be ready to clean everything again. Often ten minutes before we have to get in the car, or at times when I don’t have extra clothes for him.

His most impressive display occurred one afternoon when he managed to get almost every square inch of the kitchen walking space. I was almost proud — except that I had to clean it all up. Pie’s still talking about it (but because he has no concept of time, he keeps saying “last night”, so I have to correct him for the sake of the concerned adults with whom he has chosen to share this tidbit).

One time, Beanie threw up on the rug in the bathroom, and when he was done, he told me in a matter-of-fact tone of voice, while looking at me very seriously with his huge, sky-blue eyes: “I frow up on da rug.” *Giggle, despite frustration* Yes, son, yes you did.

I also lose maturity points every time Beanie says poop. It’s so freakin’ cute, I can’t stand it! You’d think I was five instead of thirty-five. And I taught him to say, “I’m a stinky boy!” which is also painfully adorable.

But, then, TODAY. Today was a doozy. Today was the funny to top all funnies thus far. And it’s SO inappropriate and immature, I’m not necessarily proud that I totally went there. But I did, and I’ve been laughing to the point of tears ever since.

Pie’s been watching the cheesy Batman cartoon on Netflix and playing super heroes all day. I was changing Beanie’s diaper in their room, when Pie came in and said:

“Mom, your hero name is Ball Searcher!”

*Blink*

“You search for balls!”

Total loss of control in three . . . two . . . one . . .

Oh. My. Gourd. It was all I could do, seriously. I wanted to post to Facebook right then and there, but in my barely contained mirth, I managed to retain my last shred of dignity and just texted my husband. And Joy. And I almost called a few other friends, but was afraid I’d be incoherent.

I’m not kidding. My vision was obscured. I hadn’t laughed so hard since having a Tim Hawkins marathon on YouTube a few months back.

What made it better was when he called me in on a ball-searching mission (*snort*). “Ball Searcher! You need to find four balls!” (Oh MAN, the jokes write themselves!!) There’s this plastic dinosaur thingie we have that sings and bounces. You put these colored balls in one end, and they bounce and come out the mouth. It’s a baby toy, but we haven’t gotten rid of it. He gave me a hint to look in the dinosaur, then led me into the room and I pointed at them (trying not to snicker the whole time, lest he ask me why I’m laughing. Or crying. Or fainting from asphyxiation). He counted them and celebrated our success. I just barely managed to say, “Oh good. I’m glad my super powers have not gone to waste.”

Then, redoubling my fits of laughter, I came up with my catchphrase:

“It takes balls to be a super hero!”

Oh dear . . . *wiping tears away*

This is the fine, quality content you get here at Chez Mom. Don’t you just feel so lucky? ;)

“Liebster” Award! I Has One!

My dear, sweet friend and writing buddy, Joy, nominated me for a Liebster Award! Near as I can tell, it’s a sneaky way of collecting more readers and getting to know other bloggers (I’m not saying she’s sneaky, though — I’m quite honored, and it looks like fun!).

I don’t know that there IS an actual award (though I think there are buttons you can steal to add to your sidebar, or something). Being the curious person that I am, and an incurable Googler, I found someone who had already done the research. Here’s her post about it.

I’ve heard it described as a blog chain letter. It also resembles the MySpace quizzes I used to fill out by the dozen, especially when I was bored while my husband was deployed. I’m not judging, because I loved those quizzes. That is, until an ex-boyfriend became miffed over one of my answers and Huge Ugly Drama ensued (it had been bottled up for nine years, so it was probably time, anyway). And then I chose Facebook over MySpace and became too paranoid for quizzes. IRONY.

Where was I?

SQUIRREL!!1!

SQUIRREL!!1!

Oh, yeah: The challenge is fun, but the cake is a lie. ;)

ANYHOO… The rules (the current ones, anyway; they’ve changed quite a bit over time) are thus:
1. Write 11 facts about you.
2. Answer the questions given to you by the one passing on the award.
3. Come up with 11 new questions that you will pass on to your nominees.
4. “Tag” 11 blogs that have under 200 followers (preferably ones you like and follow, yourself).
5. Leave a comment on your nominator/awarder’s nomination post so they can come see your answers!

I guess there can be an award amongst the pool of nominees if you read everyone’s answers and pick your favorite? That’s not specifically in the rules, but the rules have changed a lot over the years, so it probably doesn’t matter if you add your own flair!

BUT I DIGRESS! Whew! This is already long, and I haven’t even started yet… Story of my life, I guess.

FACTS ABOUT ME:

1. I’m longwinded to a fault, and love telling stories with dramatic, often humorous flair. It’s possible you noticed this if you read my blog posts. Or even the first part of this blog post. :)

2. I’m only 35, but my hair is already going silver in the front. It’s my Rogue streak. Even though it was brought on by mere genetics, and not some crazy mutant power drain (unless you consider pregnancy and children to be that power drain), I think it’s cool, and it makes my husband — who has very few white hairs, himself, despite the Army — jealous, so I’m not likely to dye my hair to get rid of it.

3. I am the queen of the almost-but-not-quite run-on sentence, preferring a challenging, complex use of commas and other punctuation to pack as many ideas into several phrases as possible before the period shows up. #2 has a fine example of this. I also have a tendency to punctuate with emoticons. ;) (I DO know the proper use of a semicolon, though; I don’t only use them for winking.)

4. I like cheap wine. Not TOO cheap; I’m a connoisseur of the middle shelf, and rarely pay more than $10. I prefer reds, generally, and am going through a zinfandel phase right now. Cheap beer, on the other hand, is suspect. Often, if it’s not a microbrew, I’m not interested.

5. I’m an inveterate perfectionist. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the state of my cluttered house, but I struggle with the all-or-nothing philosophy of cleaning: If I can’t do it all, and do it right the first time, I’d rather not do it. I don’t recommend this philosophy.

6. Caffeine makes me anxious, but I am and addict. I make an 8-cup pot of 1/3 caff coffee in the mornings. I’d given up coffee for a long time due to stomach issues, but I have little boys who wake up earlier than my brain does, and coffee is more substantial than tea most of the time. If I have a good supply of milk, I’ll opt for Earl Grey or Lipton. Also, my husband’s coffee tastes better than anything. I don’t know why; it just does.

7. I have a rather irreverent sense of humor, and I love a good parody. Overall, I try to be positive (emphasis on “try”) for people who don’t find my version of funny quite as satisfying, but sometimes a well-placed, witty remark about reality feels more appropriate than a silver-lining hope statement. Sometimes, I’d rather laugh than float, know what I mean? :) That said, I don’t like making fun of people without a REALLY good reason. I even have trouble with trash-talk, until I’m comfortable with a person. Even then, I say “just kidding” reflexively, so they know I really am just kidding. I never know if someone’s going to take things personally.

8. Two of my favorite subjects for discussion are religion and politics (I’m non-denominational Christian and a conservative with libertarian leanings, respectively). I’ve taught myself to be diplomatic, though, so I still have friends. ;) I have to bite my tongue a lot to keep from being a little too #7 when I see something that really needs it, and ad hominem attacks are right out. Seriously, if you can’t argue without attacking the intelligence of the person you’re debating, you will never, ever win a discussion. A good, reasoned debate or deep discussion is like steak: Rare enough to be enjoyable but tough enough that it takes a little work to sink your teeth into. Ad hominem attacks are the nasty gristle that totally ruins the experience.

9. I’m a visual learner, for the most part. If I listen to something, I don’t have as good a chance at remembering if it’s not paired with a visual, I’m not taking notes, or I don’t have a really good analogy to visualize. I love analogies, as evidenced by the end of #8. :)

10. Two things I’m good at: Writing and singing. But I’m not a song writer. Not yet, anyway.

11. I like posting to my blog, but it takes HOURS to write an installment. Often, by the time I’m done, I either have neglected kids (and husband), or the hours have become days, and the post is no longer relevant. That is why my posts are so few and far between. I have a LiveJournal from my pre-children days (started in 2004), which I used to update all the time. It’s a Twitter aggregator, now. :) (For further illustration, I started this post last week.)

QUESTIONS FROM MY NOMINATOR:

1. You’re stuck on a deserted island with a vacuum cleaner, a bowling trophy, and your jerk ex-boyfriend, what do you do? I’d build a raft — with or without his help — and tell him to go find someone to rescue me. He could take the bowling trophy to use as a signal if he runs across a ship. In the meantime, I would enjoy some peace and quiet, using parts of the vacuum to build things I’d need to survive on the island. Either way, we probably couldn’t get along in close proximity, so even if he didn’t want to take the raft (and I’m not gonna; I get seasick), he would have to live on the other side of the island and find a way to trade sincere apologies for vacuum parts.

2. If money were not an issue, what would your dream career be? Or would you even have one? Would you just lounge around in a hammock drinking Mai Tais all day? While lounging in a hammock drinking Mai Tais all day sounds SOOO fantastic (and definitely on the list of things I would do on a tropical vacation where money was not an issue), I would be a full-time, market-be-darned writer. I would take regular mini-vacations (by myself!) to write and get my head on straight, and then I’d come home and write in a real office. Or a recliner; since I’m dreaming, my house would be big enough for one. And I would have a professional organizer, decorator, and housekeeper. Maybe even a nanny. :)

3. What is your biggest pet peeve? Inconsiderate people, especially drivers. I don’t mean accidentally inconsiderate, either, but people who spend their lives making other people angry, miserable, or uncomfortable, because they can’t be bothered to be polite, acknowledge the rules, or be selfless for a minute.

5. Who is/was the most influential person in your life? Probably my dad. If you’ve heard me tell a joke or make a pun, then laugh my butt off while my audience groans, you’ve just seen my dad’s sense of humor in action. I have his same way of speaking, same thirst for knowledge, same sense of humor, same favorite foods, and same ability to fry in the sunlight. I wish I could have inherited his work ethic and organizational skills, too, but I can’t have everything.

6. Who is your favorite horror writer? If you don’t like to read horror, who is your favorite author? And why? I don’t read much horror, but R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series has a special place in my heart. I devoured those books when I was a teenager! However, I’d have to say my favorite author is Lois McMaster Bujold. I love her turn of phrase and the characters she creates. She writes deep, emotional plots that have lots of room for humor and action. I want to be just like her when my writing grows up!

7. What kinds of things inspire you the most? Visual cues (abandoned or empty buildings, dark forests, people-watching); vivid, emotional dreams; old RPG characters who either got some time in a fun campaign, or not enough time to live up to the backstory I took hours creating; tragic “what if” scenarios I mull over to entertain myself on boring stretches of highway; and really great music that invokes my emotions or imagination.

8. What scent or taste reminds you of your childhood? Why? Ooh, this is a hard one. I think seasonal smells are the strongest: Cut grass and dust remind me of summer vacation, the sharp bite of a frosty morning reminds me of going back to school, roasting turkey and cinnamon-laced desserts remind me of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there’s a certain smell of humidity and sun-warmed vegetation that reminds me of summer car trips to Louisiana and Florida with my family (as well as the smell of the cool of the early morning as we’re packing up for the next leg of the trip). Perfumes and colognes bring me back, as well. My dad wore a certain cologne on Sunday mornings that I could smell from my bedroom before I got up in the morning (waaaaayyy long time ago) and Mom always wore perfume. Windsong was my favorite. She still wears perfume, but not as much the ones that trigger childhood memories.

9. Determined Dexter the Diplodocus was walking home from work one day and he happened upon his arch-nemesis: the evil Doctor Mumbado. What does he do? He steps on him. What’s the use of being fifty tons if you can’t throw it around once in a while?

10. What is your favorite memory of your parents? My mom: When driving cross-country without my dad (he was either about to deploy on a submarine, deployed, or coming back in and would meet us at our destination), I got to ride shotgun and be Mom’s navigator. We’d play trivia games, especially “name the state capital”, and the Alphabet Game. In the hotel or at my grandparents’ house, we’d play cards. “Spite and Malice” was our favorite; I had at least a chance at beating her. I tried to teach her “Speed”, and she wiped the table with me every time — even the round where I was teaching her. My dad: Just about any time he was coming home from sea. Also, the day he shaved off his beard, which he’d had forever, and scared my little brother, who didn’t recognize him at first. That is hilarious, even now.

11. “Excuse me, madam. Do you have the time?” Always. I can’t go anywhere without my watch. Managing it is a completely different story.

12. What happened to number four? It’s looking for the cake.

Now I’m supposed to come up with 11 questions for the 11 people I tag. Um. I don’t have 11 people to tag. I have just one, and I don’t think he’s going to do the challenge, but I’ll tag him anyway. He’s my Sweetie, and he’s an 11. ;) I’ll try to make his questions fair, at least, so he doesn’t feel like I’m giving him the third degree, and I’ll make them generic enough that I could tag someone else with them later.

1. What is your favorite dessert?
2. Who is less of a pansy-whiner, young Anakin Skywalker (Ep II & III) or Luke Skywalker? Why?
3. What is your favorite holiday?
4. If you had your choice to live anywhere in the world, where would you, and why?
5. The last two jobs on earth are being an IRS agent and cleaning swimming pool filters. Remarkably, they pay the same. Which would you choose, and why?
6. “I think, therefore I _______.” (Fill in the blank)
7. Do you believe in supernatural phenomena?
8. If you had to be too hot or too cold, which would you prefer?
9. You’re stranded in a desert and find a genie in a lamp. He offers you one wish. What would you wish for?
10. What is your earliest memory?
11. “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?”

Until I find more to tag, I tag my Sweetie, Sigspace.

Can’t we just trade him in?

Beanie clocked Pie over the head with a toy car earlier today. As often as you tell kids not to hit their siblings, nothing you can do or say will curb all their impulses. This is especially true if the target audience is two.

Anyway, Pie whined, I reprimanded and started to get up, then Beanie ran into his room. It was almost like a self-imposed timeout, but not as effective a brother-striking deterrent as one might hope for. Pie began to cry and carry on, probably because I was giving him attention (and maybe because it hurt, so I gave him hugs and kisses — and permission to smack his brother back if he gets hit again). (What? He probably won’t even do it. He’s bossy, not violent.)

When he was sufficiently mollified, he began to chatter, as he is won’t to do. Then, the following gems fell out of his mouth: “I don’t think [Beanie] likes to live here anymore. We should get a different baby . . . that’s smaller. And nice.” [Chatter chatter while I'm trying not to explode with laughter.] “Maybe I need a sister!”

HAHAHA. Dream on, kid! :)

(A few minutes after this, Beanie comes out of their room with a toy piano, and invites Pie to come play with him. Pie agrees, after lecturing Beanie on the fact that they can’t fight over it, ’cause Mama said no fighting over it. (Sometimes he listens — that lecture was a month ago.) They played and danced for a whole FIVE MINUTES before the next fight broke out. Oh well! At least they’re cute. :) )

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My Son’s Oatmeal

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(Created using Sketchbook Pro on my Google Nexus 7)

I do love that this ended up sort of in the style of The Oatmeal, and is also about oatmeal. Kinda proud of that. :)

I’ve mentioned before that my five-year-old is what might be called . . . particular (a.k.a. “picky”, but about a jillion on a scale from one to infinity). He likes his oatmeal a certain way: With peanut butter, honey, flax meal, and HOOOOOT. He can tell with one sniff that it is missing some element (or that’s what he’d like us to believe), especially heat.

I make it with boiling water. Like, “the kettle must be at peak whistle” boiling. It mustn’t sit cooking for more than a minute, or it will drop below 285°F, thereby becoming unfit for consumption (who knew?!). For this reason, I am continually baffled about how he could possibly not like the taste of other foods, because surely he has burned off all his taste buds by now.

Kids are weird . . .

Our Midnight Adventure

FUN TIMES last night!

Poor Beanie is on round two of this nasty flu bug going around — probably a different strain — and I thought he wouldn’t have as hard a time with it as he did before. He coughed a lot last time, but had no fever. This time around, he’s not coughing (yet), but after relatively few symptoms, he spiked a 104.6°F fever last night that, admittedly, freaked me the heck out.

I’d tried to give him medicine twice yesterday to bring down the fever he had (which was reaching 101-2°), but each time, he gagged up everything he’d eaten or drank in the last couple of hours. Fortunately (or unfortunately), he only “eats” formula mixed with a little baby cereal in a bottle, so the volume was great, but the consistency was not really that gross. I doubt the reason he threw it up then was because of his fever, but because it was thick and hit his gag reflex wrong, like solid food does.

However, after I put him to bed, around 9pm, or so, I went to bed and stayed up till about 11pm, maybe 11:30, before going to sleep, myself. I woke up at midnight to him crying, and when I went into his room to check on him, he was off his bed — and radiating heat. Yikes! That time, he did throw up, and I’m sure it was from the fever.

I got him onto the changing table, got his clothes off, and checked his temperature. The thermometer I have, which is designed to go “where the sun don’t shine”, so to speak, usually seemed to read a few degrees too low when I’d used it before (like, in the 95s and 96s, when the temperal thermometer — which also reads low — read in the 97s or 98s). So when it read 104.6° in ten seconds, I had to seriously rein in my panic mode.

When he was an infant, just a few months old, we had a bad flu that is similar to the one we got this year. He was coughing and vomiting (because of the coughing) and carrying a temp of 100-ish. I was able to cool him down by nursing him and putting a cool cloth on his head. I couldn’t give him medicine at that age, and unless he was showing signs of lethargy, I wasn’t going to drive him 30 minutes to the ER just to have them tell me to nurse him and bathe him in cool water.

Now that he’s a toddler, and his temp was in the “danger zone”, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to shock him with a cold bath, and I didn’t have the time (I felt) to look up tips on the internet. Also, I had just (like, Monday) transfered our TriCare insurance to US (Uniformed Services) Family Health Plan, a TriCare option using the civilian Franciscan network local to us. I had never been to St. Anthony’s, a brand-new hospital just five minutes from home, and had no idea what to expect. But I knew this wasn’t something we could deal with at home.

SO, I threw on a sweatshirt and boots, gathered my stuff, got Beanie all secured in the Subaru — and realized the dome light was not coming on when I opened the car door. Neither were the door-open indicator lights on the dash. I got in the car and turned the key — nothing. Not even a click. I tried to put the car into neutral so Sweetie could help me jump it with his car, and I couldn’t get it out of park. The brake was super-stiff, and the gear would not release.

ARGH.

Fortunately, my husband was right there, so he put Beanie’s car seat in his car for me and got his keys (I tried to find them, but got the wrong ring. Did I mention I’d had about an hour of sleep, and am getting over this flu, myself? I was alert, but only running with emergency faculties). I had to rein in panic mode a little further, because I was going to be driving Sweetie’s 40-year-old Mercury Capri, by myself, in the middle of the night, to a destination I was vaguely sure of (I knew where the hospital was, but not how their Emergency parking area worked). No fear, right?

I successfully backed the car out of the garage and didn’t kill it or spin out throttling into first gear. Yay! Success! There’s no radio in that car, and I wasn’t going to fiddle with one, anyway, so I started singing the first song that came to my head: “Be with me Lord, I cannot live without Thee, I dare not try to take one step alone . . . ” There were a lot of “la-la-la”s and humming, because I don’t remember all the verses. I made up some, though: “Be with me Lord, I don’t know where I’m going . . . “

I got to St. Anthony’s and found the Emergency room, and parked in the first spot I found. Beanie immediately threw up all the juice he drank on the way there before I could get him unbuckled. Argh. Didn’t think to bring a change of clothes in case that happened. I also bonked his poor head on the door frame getting him out of the car (the car is two-door, so I had to pull him out of the back seat through a door much lower than my car). Sweetie’s sweatshirt was in there, so I wrapped him in that and carried him, my 200 lb purse (containing Beanie’s juice cup and my water bottle, among other things — but no diapers, I realized later), and his coat approximately two inches, before the juice cup fell out of my purse and I had to stoop down to pick that up and carry it in by hand, too. Not sure how I sprouted those extra hands, but hey. I’m a mom. It must be a mutant power.

I will say right now that, despite the circumstances, I have never had a more pleasant, friendly, dare I say it, enjoyable trip to the ER in my life. I’ve never personally been seen to in a civilian ER, though I’ve been to civilian ERs with other people. Most of my experience has been with the Naval Hospital here, which I’ve been going to for a large portion of my life (also doubles as the military Urgent Care for the region, so it’s usually busy). I’m used to all-business, no smiles, and a vaguely exasperated staff, even during the day. This was 1am, and the ER staff was all smiles and intently helpful. The place was deserted, too. I didn’t even have time to sit down to regather all the stuff I had in my hands before there was someone coming through the door, offering to help me carry stuff, joking with me — I really could have cried, it was SO different than what I was used to.

We were in and out in two hours. Beanie got nausea medicine and a Tylenol suppository (can’t gag that up!) and chest X-rays to rule out pneumonia (that was fun! No, really! Another smiling, sweet tech just rolled the bed out of our room and down the hall into an X-ray room, with us and all our stuff! And Beanie cooperated just well enough that X-rays took no time at all). The doctor didn’t even get that judgey look on his face when I told him we opted out of vaccinations. The nurse hung out with Beanie while I went to clean Beanie’s car seat — she even gave me a towel to use.

The last time Beanie and I went to the ER, it was at Naval, and I’d sprained my ankle in a wet parking lot and thought I’d bounced Beanie’s head off the pavement when I fell, because I was carrying him. He wasn’t quite two years old at the time. It was the middle of the day, the ER was deserted, and though our trip was quick, I felt on edge the whole time, because no one was smiling. I felt like we were intruding on them. They determined Beanie was fine, but they were going to X-ray my ankle. I got to ride in a wheelchair to X-ray, but the guy didn’t even put the foot rests down. I suppose I could have asked, but wouldn’t that be, like, automatic if you’re wheeling someone somewhere? I waited in the X-ray lobby for over five minutes, alone, with nothing to do but read the walls and learn how to roll my chair around. I suppose I could have gotten up and put the foot rests down, but I didn’t think about it. X-ray took no time at all, and they rolled me back to the ER, where I picked up Beanie before they got us in a room. Where they offered me no ice for my ankle, or for Beanie’s head, and an unsmiling, mildly patronizing doctor came in after a long, quiet wait to tell me my X-ray looked all right and offer sidelong criticism for carrying my child through the wet parking lot when he is perfectly capable of walking by himself. They gave me the standard paperwork on caring for a sprain, then left me alone to walk out of the room, through the ER floor (they all kind of watched me go; it was actually creepy) to the lobby, and into the parking lot. No wheelchair, no painkillers, no ice, not even an Ace bandage. I had a half-hour drive home before I could ice and wrap it, myself. At least that doctor called later to tell me he thought he saw what could be an old fracture on the X-ray and to follow up with my primary care physician (who I can’t even remember the name of, because I have never seen him or her, just other doctors on the “team”) that Monday. I had a good experience with a medical practitioner of some level on the Family Practice floor, who may or may not have been on my “team”, and he hooked me up with a brace. I never saw him again after that. I don’t even remember his name.

We were almost never alone at St. Anthony’s, and we got extremely detailed paperwork when they released us, including some with conclusions from the X-rays with technical terms basically stating he had a virus rather than something they could treat with antibiotics. Wow! I was impressed! Also, though USFHP, we are assigned to ONE doctor, who is immediately notified when we have to visit the ER, and is required to follow up with us ASAP (I don’t remember who contacts whom, but if I don’t get a call early Monday, I’ll call her). I haven’t met our doctor yet, but at least I know who we’re seeing, and that we should be pretty much guaranteed to see her tomorrow.

Back to last night: Beanie drank all his juice and some Pedialite while we were there and kept it down, which was a good sign. We gave him a dose of children’s ibuprofen when we got home, per instructions, and his fever broke by 3:30am, well after he’d fallen asleep on the couch watching Blue’s Clues. I couldn’t sleep till after 4am. I woke up a couple times to Beanie shifting or making sounds in his sleep, but his fever stayed down all night and he didn’t fall off the couch. :) Later, I woke to Pie moving around, and was surprised to see it was 8am. After a brief session of trying to relocate to the bedroom and failing (Pie wanted to stay in our bedroom and Beanie wanted to stay on the couch), Beanie and I went back to sleep on the couch and Pie and Sweetie watched Netflix in our room. Well, Beanie might not have gone back to sleep, but I slept another 45 minutes, or so, till 9am.

Beanie’s fever is staying down, mostly, but he’s really stuffed up. Sweetie skipped church in case we needed his car, and when we determined Beanie wouldn’t need to go back to the hospital, he went to the store and got a starter to jump my Subaru’s battery to try to get it running again. Fortunately, it appears it was just a dead battery, and it’s working now.

In addition to taking the baby to the doctor and the car to the shop, I might have to take the dog to the vet, too, because she’s off her feed and her stomach is making weird noises. Could be the coconut oil in her food, though, so I’m going to try a few tweaks to her diet first.

Crazy weekend! Fun times. Now I need a nap . . .

Growing Up

It was time to change the theme (and I was being picky, so I went with PLAAAAIN) and the title of this blog. My kids don’t really nap anymore. Well, Beanie does, when he passes out on the couch sometime in the late afternoon (though he’s actually been ASKING TO GO TO BED in the late MORNING, and staying there for half an hour, at least. Creepy). But, for the most part, my children are stalwart defenders of the NO NAP, MAMA! camp. Which means Mama never gets a nap, either. Sometimes I don’t notice. But there are days when I’m passing out, myself, and hoping they don’t burn the house down while I’m snoozing.

I have a lot going through my head most of the time. Sometimes it’s politics, sometimes it’s spiritual, sometimes it’s just stressed-out mindfreak and I need someplace to put it where someone might come out and say, “You know, you’re really not THAT crazy” or “How about you come down from that ledge? I have chocolate!”

Lately, I’ve just been working through STUFF. I need someplace to be funny, or snarky, or otherwise loquacious when I can’t be in “real life”. Unfortunately, this is still the Intarweb, so I have to leave most of the filters in place, but maybe I can write funny stories and no one will know what I’m talking about, but it might make me feel better to know someone else is reading and laughing (and thinking I’m not TOO crazy) (or giving me emergency chocolate).

See? Blathering. I woke up at 3:30 this morning with general anxiety. I couldn’t go back to sleep till almost 5. My alarm (radio program I tune into every morning) went off at 6. I dozed till 7. It’s been a crazy couple of days with bad attitudes, crankiness, hormones, and whining. But it wasn’t all me! I should probably get to sleep, because my kidlets will be up by the crack of dawn (“Rise and Shine” as Pie calls it. “Look, Mama! It’s time to get up! It’s Rise and Shine outside!!”)

Anyway. That’s me lately. :) There are other things coming down the pipe, some of which are the cause for anxiety, but I’ll dwell on those later. ‘Night!

Testing…sorta*. :) Making Fun of the L.A. Times [Blog]

This seemed redundant to me:

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson expressed shock at the New Year’s Eve slayings of two people in the crowded Old Sacramento area.

“I was shocked and saddened by the news of last night’s shooting in Old Sacramento,” he said in a statement.

Duh? (Story here. I know it’s just a blog, but it still strikes me as merely padding a word count. Sheesh, they let just ANYBODY have a blog these days! ;) )

*I’m posting this from my phone on the WordPress app, after copying text from the browser — mostly just to see if I could. Fun times! Also, I’m procrastinating on other things I should be doing, so this isn’t a “real” post. :)

2

Tragedy Brings Celebration of Life

I don’t know why I followed a link to a story about two little boys, four and two, dying in the storm surge on Staten Island during Hurricane Sandy after being ripped out of their mother’s arms while she was trying to carry them to safety.

My boys are four and two. I can’t imagine . . . I just can’t. (Read at your own risk!)

I’ve been so irritable the past few days. Weeks? I don’t know. Ask my husband. :) Pie must contradict my every word, even in the face of facts. Beanie is deriving enjoyment from hitting his brother over the head with whatever is in his hands at the moment. He has the most maniacal little laugh for a two-year-old!

I feel like I’ve been at my wit’s end for days, angry at the drop of a hat because Pie’s arguing gets my goat every time. His eating habits are frustrating at best. Beanie’s not as picky, as long as the food can be consumed from a bottle. His sleep habits are the frustrating thing about him right now. Between the two of them, I am begging for a Calgon moment by 10am.

But after reading that story, maybe I should think about how I would feel if they were taken from me so tragically, and hug them instead of losing my cool for the tenth time that morning.

Well, now Beanie is fussing again, probably because he just woke up to discover he’s in his bed. Which he apparently really hates. Seems like a good time for some late-night cuddling . . .