Monday, December 29, 2008

Definitely Losing

I will be the last to say I am a grammar nazi.

I know that I don't always use punctuation correctly; I never did learn many of the rules of writing. My knowledge of writing rules are slow in coming, and I know I make mistakes quite often. I know I'll likely make mistakes in the writing of this post.

Blogs are a personal thing for most of us. I purposely overlook grammar and punctuation when I read them, because they're not intended to be a perfectly polished piece of writing. It would take away the joy if I were constantly analyzing, and I hope that no one would do that to me either.

I have, however, increasingly come across two words that are being shamefully misused. So often, in fact, that I can no longer keep quiet about it. There is no reason for these poor words to be tortured so. Just because you see someone else do it doesn't mean it's ok. I'm not kidding, the misuse of these words causes me physical reactions, from ranting and raving to having the urge to toss the computer across the room. I'm not normally a violent person.

I don't think anyone who has a blog I regularly read misuses these words, and if you have, you're forgiven. I still love you. Just please, please, for the love of all that is good and decent in this world learn from this post.

The first one, my number one all time pet peeve, is the incorrect usage of the word 'lose'. Use it, people. This word is going to expire from our language if it's not used correctly soon. As in "I'm going to lose my mind if you don't stop this insanity." It is NOT 'loose'.

One of the main definitions of the word 'lose' is, according to Webster: "To miss from one's possession or from a customary or supposed place."

The definition of the word 'loose', also from Webster
:" Not rigidly fastened or securely attached." and "Free from a state of confinement, restraint, or obligation."

So if you say that you always "loose your shoes" you mean that you barely put them on your feet, or set them free to find their own way in the world. If you mean that you always misplace them then you always "lose your shoes".

Repeat after me:

My shoelaces are loose. I need to tie them.

The chain on the bicycle is getting loose.

My grip on this language is getting loose. I should tighten it.

Now, let's try this with 'lose':

I hate to lose.

I lose my mind often.

Lose the attitude.

Both these words start looking funny the more I type them. Where was I? Oh yes. Here are your last sentences, combining the two words properly. Study them as long as you wish.

I want to lose weight so my pants will be more loose.

My dog's collar is loose. I should make it fit more snugly, or he'll lose it.

See? It's not hard.

The other word is definitely. Not defiantly. If you are "defiantly going to the store", you're doing it in spite of whatever obstacle is trying to impede you. Most people mean that they're "definitely going to the store", as in they're absolutely going.

The fastest way to get this one right is to read it out loud as you type. The misuse of 'definitely' tends to crack me up. I don't get as upset as I do with lose/loose, because the mental picture it provides is, in some cases, awesome.

"I'm defiantly loving the way the dress looks on you." I see that person twisting your arm.

"You're defiantly a special person." Uh, thanks.

"One scoop of ice cream is defiantly enough." You tell 'em!

"We defiantly had a great time." I'm so glad you had fun in the face of such opposition!

I do feel a little bad being so sarcastic. Just a little.

Will you stand with me in reclaiming the proper use of these words? Please?

If not, I will definitely lose my mind at the defiant looseness of it all.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winter Ponderland

Well, that time is here again. We in the midwest are surprised with gifts from Mother Nature quite often.

Yesterday we hit a rare winter high of 64 degrees. James flung open the front door and turned on the attic fan. He was almost giddy, I nearly expected him to burst into song and the Highland Fling. That he does not know any Scottish dancing is of no consequence.

Our house was immediately filled with the smell of clean air. We humans (and a stinky dog) sure know how to make it stifling in here in the course of two months. The fresh air was blissful! I got a bit chilly (not my fault I'm married to a human torch, wait, maybe it is) but my sweater soon remedied that.

It smelled of 'almost spring'. Smells can be deceiving.

In the later evening I thought I heard a rumble. I decided it was a truck or some such thing. A while later I heard it again, stronger. It was thunder. Hmm, I thought. A thunderstorm in December. How exhilarating! (It should be mentioned that I love storms. The swirling energy, the charged air, the raw power coursing through the atmosphere.)

I heard cries from Princess' room. James went in and consoled her.

Five minutes after he came out, the wailing began again. I went in to console her and told her some nonsense that it was like the bowling game we play on the Wii, but in the sky. Or the one I try to play, but completely suck at. (Sorry for the word, Mom, but I do.) I get mad and don't release the button soon enough, then pull my arm muscles. I hate that game.

Anyway, my explanation seemed to do the trick. I gave her a little doll so that she could take care of it and tell it that everything was ok. She may have given another wail or two after that, but then she fell asleep.

So I went to bed, very very late. Listening to the thunder made me feel satisfied in my soul. It always does. The rumbling echoes any rumblings inside me, and I'm not talking about hunger pangs. It makes me feel wild and free, one with the whole of the windy, unpredictableness of it all. It makes me feel alive. So, so alive. When I went to sleep I felt peaceful amid the grumblings and groanings of the sky.

I wasn't even thinking of any possible danger when I woke up this morning, after blissfully sleeping in. I should have, but the thought hadn't even crossed my mind. James' father called at 8:30, asking if we had power. I couldn't think of why we wouldn't, until I heard the words 'ice storm'. Blast. I should have thought of that the night before.

Looking outside, I thought back to the ice storm we had last December. The 12th, to be exact. The one that put our city on the national news, most of the city had no power for close to a week. We were one of the very lucky ones who didn't lose power. I was worried we wouldn't be so lucky this time.

Last year we ended up with a limb on the house. James was able to get it off and it hadn't damaged the roof. We had branches and a huge mess everywhere, and it affected our power lines but we didn't know that until the next week. This morning I was grateful for that storm, because all the limbs that exploded like gunshots off the trees had already fallen. Our house was in no immediate danger, and I was free to marvel at the beauty a tree takes on when it is coated in crystal. They seem like fairy trees, not of this world. So beautiful.

It gets me to thinking. We go through storms in this life, sometimes we deal with the same storm more than once. But, we can take what we have received from those experiences and apply them to our current troubles. Sometimes the pain of the past helps us in ways we hadn't before thought about. We would have rather not had those experiences, but the blessings come in ways we may not initially see. Sometimes the pain of the past is in its own mixed way, a blessing for the future.

This all makes sense to me now, as it's late and I should be in bed. It may not tomorrow. But the challenges we all face in life, whether big or small, can actually help us. Perhaps not right away, but at some time they will help us. Or they'll enable us to help someone else.

I remember how long it took the sheared trees of the ice storm of '94 to grow back. Driving along the highway caused sadness deep in my heart. The sight of twisted, mangled trees affected me physically, with almost an aching sadness. But did the trees give up? Nope. Slowly the new growth appeared, and the split, painful looking landscape healed. They may have even grown back stronger.

The trees around here have been through a lot this past year. Nearly all of the destruction from December 2007 is gone in the city, but driving down the highways you can see much of it left when you peer through the trees. But they have come back fighting. They don't let the ice win.

Before I snuggle into my bed, I'm going to take one last look outside at the winter wonderland. My trees look burdened. But they are strong, they'll make it.

And so will we all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top 3 Things to Not Do Before Christmas

# 3: Don't not clean your house for several weeks, no matter how you've been feeling. You may have a breakdown a few days before Christmas. If this happens, remember that all you need is a slightly clear space around the tree to take pictures.

# 2: Don't step on a patch of ice even if you have on a pair of boots and there's no way around it. Just don't do it. However, if you do it, make sure you go to your wonderful chiropractor whose feet you could kiss. He will reassure you that you just strained your shoulder and although it feels like it's been kicked out of place by a mule, that you will be fine. He will also say that even if your upper back is out (which he will so deftly squash back into place) the fall may have actually helped you a bit. Smile at the silver lining.

#1: Do not, under any circumstances, go to Walmart the Monday before Christmas. If you do, do not, under any circumstances lose your eight-year-old son and three-year-old daughter. You will leave your cart, dragging your six-year-old son with you around lines and lines of people to the customer service desk, where you will run to the head of the line and begin crying as you frantically tell everyone you lost two of your kids. You may be so worried that you tell the employee helping you that your daughter is four when she's actually three, because you were thinking of her clothing size. To her credit, she doesn't bat an eye. When your children are returned to you, by all means fall down in the middle of the department, hugging your children and crying and telling them to never do that to you again. Hope that all the people standing in the line that extends around the corner remember what Christmas is all about. Also, be very very thankful that you taught your eight-year-old what to do if lost. He may hold on tightly to his sister and go to the nearest counter to ask for help. Finding this out may make you cry even more. If you realize that it's time for your husband to get off work and call him to tell him the chiropractor is still open (in case he fell on the ice too), he may not go there. He may come to Walmart instead to rescue you because he hears the tension and the tears behind your voice.

And if these three things happen, count your blessings. Then blog about them.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Syncopated Musings

Clever title, huh? I think so.

But I didn't come up with it. My husband James has started a blog. His first ever. I wish he had come up with this name when I was trying to think of blog names. But I'm not bitter, nope. Not at all.

There's even a game on his first post! Of course, I think he's brilliant. He's a fantastic writer, and I would say that even if he weren't my husband.

So without further ado, I present Syncopated Musings.

My Superpower

Yes, you heard me correctly. I have a superpower. It comes and goes, this is the fourth time its presence has graced my life. Thank you to all who have left such nice comments on my posts, and I'll come visit you as the superpower lets me.

This superpower lasts nine months at a time.

It arrives with each pregnancy. I wish it helped the masses, but it's only fruitful for those who, well, like fruit.

I now have a sense of Super Smell.

And by Super Smell I don't mean that I stink. Although I do. I'm sure I do, anyway, I'm just avoiding moving my arms.

Super Smell power comes in handy when shopping. I can tell a perfect melon with one whiff. A honeydew is either carefully placed in the cart, or tossed back onto the pile with my nose in the air. I can afford to be a fruit snob. I have The Power.

Although this power likes to play with my sense of reality. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had this shampoo and conditioner that smelled like ambrosia. I stood there daily in perfect bliss, shampooing my hair. I inhaled while squeezing the bottle, trying to become one with the scent before it shot up my nose. I had found the holy grail of earthly olfactory pleasure!

After my baby was born though, the shampoo changed. The conditioner changed. It was at least pleasant, but nowhere near the euphoria-inducing scent it was before. Sad, but at least I wasn't like my mom. While pregnant with one of us, she had to continually resist the enchanting scent of gasoline. Yep, you heard me. Gasoline fumes! Hmmm....that could explain a lot.

My superpower is mostly used for evil, however. Evil against ME. Yep, it turned on me.

This means that the slightest whiff of something my pregnant body can't tolerate and it magically transports me to my bedroom where I lay gasping for clean air.

What sort of scents, you ask?

Dried ketchup is one of the worst. Just the thought of it makes my tummy churn. And of course, walking into the bathroom is just asking for trouble, especially when kids have left presents of failed nighttime protection on the floor. I need a permanent bed in Walmart, because the scent of the deli is....*gulp*. Ooooooh. I'm feeling a bit woozy at the moment. If people knew that fried chicken really smelled like that, they'd never, ever touch it. Not even with their grandmother's hands. I have been known to walk around the store with an empty grocery bag in case I didn't make it to the bathroom. Hey, you do what you have to!

Sorry Superman, but this is one power I wouldn't mind taming. I'm thinking of getting one of these, my own personal brand of kryptonite:

It's an aromatherapy diffuser necklace.

You put a little cotton pad with a few drops of an essential oil in it, and wear it. Instant perfume. I'm thinking this would be so handy! Come across a dog doing its business? Shove your necklace in your nose and breathe deeply. Other people may think you're insane, but hey, you're still standing.

Have to walk into the mother's lounge at church? Those diapers don't stand a chance.

Walking by a squished packet of ketchup? Laugh mockingly in its general direction!

Now the only problem is...what essential oil should I put in it? I know there are some that are contraindicated for pregnancy. I also don't want to smell like a haystack.

Although, you never know. My superpower may decide that "Haystack" is the next celebrity perfume. Hmm....I know who should market that.

I expect a thank-you letter and check from Tina's publicist any day now.

And as for me? I think I just spied a dried spaghetti-sauce lid.

Bedroom, here I come.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Swear Bees and Other Odds of Ends

I have some good news!

James fixed the van so I was gone all day.

Well that was good news, but not the good news. I was at the OB's office. Waiting for TWO HOURS before he showed up. He's a great doctor, but I get sick of waiting for him. If I wasn't high risk I would choose someone who was faster. Thank goodness for my sister who watched the kids at her house. They would have destroyed the office by the first hour, or at the least imploded my brain with super-sonic whining. I spent a total of four hours there. Blech.

Sorry, that wasn't the good news

Today was my yucky first OB appointment where you get to model a fashionable hospital gown that closes (or almost) in front. I don't need to explain further. I still feel violated.

That wasn't the good news either.

It's this: They did an ultrasound and there's a heartbeat! So for now, everything is looking ok and I'm finally allowing myself to get excited about this baby.

While I was waiting to see the doctor, I talked to people. It's neat when you're in a waiting room with expectant mothers. Some glance around furtively and when you catch their eye, whip their heads away so fast they need a neck brace. Others will not only tell you anything you're curious about, but everything you don't want to know as well.

Thankfully, I had interesting people to talk to. One poor girl was there with her three-year-old son, who was going nuts. Other people and I kept reassuring her that we understood, because she looked both helpless and embarrassed. She was there to see if she could have another child. I think she has three. Or maybe she was there seeing what her options were for not having more. She was trying to talk to me when I was being distracted with the receptionist wanting me to fill out paperwork. Watching the girl with her son was making me try to remember why I'm doing this again.

Another girl I met lives with her parents during the week because her husband works out of town. Her mom came there with her, as she's on bedrest and having twins. Someone was actually at her house at that moment, an art teacher, getting the nursery ready for her. Wow. I was just thankful that no one was home at my house, destroying it any further.

Not long after she went in I finally got into my appointment, and the only thing I had written down for allergies were "sweat bees". If you don't know what a sweat bee is, they're these little tiny black and yellow bees. They look like baby bees. In some areas of the country they're kind of metallic-looking. Anyway, the nurse misread and stated that I was allergic to "swear bees". We both got a laugh out of that. "Well, I am," I insisted.

Then, when I was waiting for my ultrasound, this other gal and her husband came and sat next to me. She had just found out she was pregnant. She has a 19 year old son and a 7 year old girl. I think she had her tubes tied, anyway this one was a huge surprise. We have the same doctor. It was nearing 2:00 by this time and I told her I had been there since 11:30. I think at some time in her life she must have been a sailor because she was rather colorful. Her reaction was (and sorry for typing this, but...) "F*** THAT!"

I was slightly shocked, so I hastily replied "No, not really." I paused. "But this is the end result."

She lost it, laughing so loudly that I think her husband was embarrassed. What else could I do? It used to be that I would just recoil inwardly when someone swore horribly in casual conversation, but my inner rebel has started saying things of its own accord. Maybe I should have told her I was allergic to swear bees. I really liked her personality, swearing and all. When I came out of the ultrasound she was still there, and looking for my reaction. I gave her a thumbs-up and she just beamed and yelled across the crowded waiting room, "Good luck!"

Of course, my kids were excited to see the ultrasound pictures when I got to Karen's house. It must have been a little disappointing. ("Look! You have a smudge for a brother or sister!") Maybe a tiny tadpole, but I won't say that because frogs freak me out. It looks like nothing, really. It's the size of a blueberry though, so that's to be expected. It's good that I looked up about how big it is, because the clinician wouldn't give me a good idea. All she would say was how many millimeters or centimeters. She gave in a little and put it in inches (less than 1/2 inch). She said, "I don't do objects. No oranges, no olives. One person's orange might be bigger than another's."

"What about kiwi fruit?" I surmised. "Those are pretty uniform."

"No kiwis either".

"So it's just...go home and get a ruler."


Tonight I gave Princess a bath and asked her what she thought the baby's name should be. Of course, she thinks it's a girl.

"Princess Isabella?" I asked. (Not seriously, not with Bella fanaticism raging rampantly across the nation.)

She loved it. I threw out another random name.

"How about Rachel?"

First she shook her head no, then she looked up at me and said "Deuce".



"What if it's a boy?"

She pondered this for a moment. "Kid Boy."

She's original. Maybe she's like Professor. When I was expecting Princess, we were riding in the van one day. He was four. Out of the blue, he said "We should name it Hebrews. Or the letter 'E'."

Her nickname before we found out she was a girl was Hebrews. Maybe this one should be Ephesians. I like Colossians, but it reminds me of colons. Not pleasant when you're thinking of a new baby.

Speaking of colons, I have to leave this new tidbit for you. Or more specifically, for Nancy Face. I think she'll appreciate it.

I was snuggled up in my bed tonight, reading. Suddenly the wails of Princess filled the air.

I tried to ignore them, hoping she had just temporarily misplaced one of the three stuffed doggies or two baby dolls she sleeps with.

It didn't stop.

I got up and opened her door. She was standing up on her bed in her favorite pink nightgown with big white polka dots. "What's the matter?"

"I pooped in my undaweah."

"You pooped? No honey, you barfed." For that's what it looked like. Alas, I was wrong. As I studied her, I realized how horribly wrong I had been. Although, does it really matter which one it was? Icky, icky, ew, ew, ew.

I carried her to the bathtub, my arms extended as far out as I could without dropping her. I'll spare you the details because I would love for you to come back to my blog again. Let's just say that I was having a difficult time breathing. I love bathtubs, and running water, and a plunger that works in the bathtub as well as it does in the toilet.

My knight in shining armor came to the rescue when it came to changing her bed. Even glancing in her room almost became my undoing. "Stay away," he told me firmly. "Don't even look at it." This from a man who gags at the slightest smell of wretchedness. He can't even change an infant's poopy diapers until they eat only solid food. (Hey, that's fine with me! He can have all those!) He didn't want me to get sick, because I had taken insulin and had just eaten a snack. Insulin+ an empty stomach= bad.

So he took a mask, a doctor's type mask, and sprayed some cologne on it before welding it to his face. He then proceeded to change the bedding and put everything in the washing machine.

How I love that man.

And that, my friends, is another day in the life of me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Once upon a time there was a little girl who was four years old.

She loved imagining.

She would only let her mom do her hair like "princess hair".

She loved baby dolls and told all her secrets to them.

Sometimes she had nightmares about skulls. Those were not her favorite dreams.

She loved her little sister, even when she was being chased by her with booger fingers around and around the kitchen table. Well, she loved her the other times.

She loved dreaming about what it would be like if the ceiling were the floor, instead.

She loved her parakeet, Peeper. He was an unusual parakeet, he enjoyed being read to. Her mother sometimes found her asleep with Peeper snoozing on her chest and a book in her lap.

She loved Mr. Apple Face Horse. That wasn't his real name, he lived behind her house in a large pasture. But, when she called in her little girl voice, he came thundering across the pasture, stopping short of barreling through the fence. He loved apples.

She loved cool breezes, and walking around the land outside with Daddy.

She loved making miniature pies at Thanksgiving with Mommy.

She loved her bouncing horse on springs.

She loved that her grandma lived up the road and she could walk up to see her.

She loved the smell of cherry tobacco, because that's what Grandpa smelled like.

She loved getting up on a chair at Grandma's sink to look out the window as she washed lettuce for lunch. She hated getting water on her arms.

She loved listening to Daddy's records.

She loved the huge Christmas tree that had her very own doll carriage underneath it. Two in fact, one for her and her sister. She loved her jewelry music box with the tiny twirling ballerina.

She liked rice alright--until she was sick and threw up. It was years before she could touch it again.

She loved the little yellow swing that was in the trees on the property. She could only visit it with Daddy because the trees weren't by the house.

She thought it was funny and gross when her little sister stripped naked and rubbed red clay mud from head to toe.

She remembers hanging on the doorknob in the wintertime trying to get inside, having gotten the door open but her boots were sliding on the ice. She screamed for her mom as she hung on for dear life. She still remembers the complete relief and trust she felt when her mom came to rescue her.

She doesn't miss the giant horseflies.

She loved visiting the health food store that Daddy and Mommy ran. Well, except for the time when the little boy bit her and stole her raisins. She remembers the maple sugar candy she would have sometimes. Molded in different shapes, it was creamy and sweet.

Years have passed and still at times, she yearns for the simplicity of her childhood. She wishes now that just once, she could open the door into the past and smell the clean breezes, call for Mr. Apple Face Horse, and run up the road to visit Grandma.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Important Things.

Ok, so life has been very stressful lately. I can't stop thinking about everything that's been going on.

I also have a touch of anxiety disorder, I believe. I get very uncomfortable at the thought of going anywhere like a doctor's office. Uncomfortable is a rather mild word. I basically freak out. I have a hard time making phone calls to people who are not my family. The thought of anything that I have to do besides grocery shopping makes me panic. You could call me a homebody.

I have three appointments this week, and a dead van. This means that in order to have my husband's van I will need to take him to work, with the kids. When we get back home from going anywhere in the morning, my kids turn into sluggish sloths. They don't want to do anything. No schoolwork, nothing. It's like pulling teeth, and I don't feel like fighting battles right now.

I'm a little nervous about meeting the new endocrinologist. I'm stressing about finding all the information needed to apply for assistance to help with medical bills. I had hoped never to have to do that again, but you do what you have to. I'm stressing about getting the van fixed. James has had to spend all weekend at work with a crashed database when it's finals week. I'm concerned that I don't feel horrible morning sickness like I did with the other kids, although it was better with the last pregnancy. Usually by now I'd be barfing at least twice per day. Now, I only feel a little nauseated now and then. This makes me wonder if the baby's ok.

Everyone's taken turns being sick. I'm finally getting over the awful sinus thing I've had. Today I was so tired, and so was Princess. I asked her if she wanted to snuggle with me and take a nap. We were just drifting off to sleep when she threw up all over me and my bed.

Poor girl.

I couldn't leave her much this afternoon. I was the bucket runner, at least she knew about 2.6 seconds before she threw up that she was going to. Well, except for that second time when she threw up on me.

She wanted me to hold her while she slept. Of course, I obliged. Sitting there, stroking my baby's head while she fell asleep, every other care in the world melted away. It all didn't matter. There I was, holding one of the loves of my life, keeping her safe, watching her sleep.

Somehow, it put everything into perspective.

Beware of Giant Blue (and Green) Bees

I had another weird dream last night.

I forget what happened first.

All I remember is that there was a really weird, big bee trying to sting people. It was big and fat, fatter than a bumblebee. It was also blue, maybe with some green.

I wonder what the colors mean? The other dream I had including an animal with blue and green was a snake that bit me. Strange.

Anyway, this bee didn't fly like normal bees. It moved in a straight line without any buzzing. It didn't curve at all in flight, just made right angle turns. It would head toward someone and when they would brush at it it turned to another direction.

I went inside a screened porch to get away from it. In real life (and this is true) I'm allergic to sweat bees, those little tiny black and yellow striped bees. I didn't want a chance to find out if I was allergic to blue and green giant bees.

Someone had a screen window open, and while I was trying to get it shut the bee flew through. I felt resigned as it flew toward me. It lightly stung me on my arm as I brushed at it with my other hand. The bee exploded, dry like it had been dead for years.

My extremities started tingling. I started having trouble breathing and ran to the hospital next door.

They didn't seem too concerned. After a while I started breathing better on my own. I was mad as h-e-double hockey sticks at the emergency room personnel. If I had been any more allergic I could have died right in front of them. All the admitting nurse asked was "Do you have a problem with post-traumatic stress?" She was trying to find a nice way of asking if I was a hypochondriac, because this was the third time I had been there in in two weeks. Once when I was being diagnosed with diabetes, once when I thought I was losing the baby, and this time with the bee.

The rest of my life is stressful enough at this point. If I see a giant, blue and green, right-angle flying bee, I'm heading for the hills.

The End.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Your Guide on How NOT to Overindulge

First of all, it's never a good idea to try to release stress by eating ice cream. Ice cream will only temporarily freeze your emotions. They will thaw out later.

Secondly, if you're going to overindulge in ice cream, don't do it with the sugar-free kind. I decided to because I was in this horrible sugar-craving mood. I can't eat regular ice cream (hello, diabetic here!), so I broke my "no artificial sweeteners" rule and got some chocolate almond fudge. It doesn't taste as fatty as regular ice cream either, so I really like it.

Thirdly, if you're going to overindulge in sugar-free chocolate almond fudge ice cream, with its smooth icy sweetness and perfectly toasted almonds, don't eat sugar-free apple pie beforehand. Just don't. Trust me.

Why not?

Well, you know those labels that say "Excessive consumption may cause a laxative effect in sensitive people"? The warnings on both the ice cream and the pie?

What they don't say is that you may feel like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.

"Hey there, Snoopy!" *waves at Pikachu*


My new personal motto, a twist on Nike's:

"Just Don't Do It."


You'll regret it.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Budding Phlebotomist

I know that I just posted about body fluids. I know that it grosses some people out. The waste disposal system of the body grosses me out too. But, that's my life. I face these things every day, so if you don't, count yourself lucky. However, if you get woozy from reading about needles and blood, don't read this post. If you do, I won't be held responsible when your spouse or kids come in to find you sprawled across your computer with melted chocolate between your face and the keyboard.

Princess is three years old. She is a very curious child. She can be as dainty and girlish as can be one minute, dressed up in a pink and gold costume, then scream and yell her displeasure while charging an older brother to give the full effect of her wrath physically.

She's a brave little girl. I didn't realize how her curious nature could overcome her fears until this week.

Since I've been home from the hospital, I've had to go to a local lab and have my blood drawn twice. The first time the boys stayed in the waiting room playing a handheld game, while she came back with me. She watched with big eyes as the phlebotomist took the sample from my arm. Her eyes grew to the size of saucers when the phlebotomist took the vial, stuck it in front of her, and said "Here, do you want to hold it?" Princess' eyes remained frozen open, as wide as they could go. She sat there silent, looking from me to the phlebotomist. Finally, she shook her head 'no', slowly.

Fast forward to the second time. Before we left the house, I told Lion and Princess, who were coming with me, that I had to get blood drawn again. Princess declared, "I want to hold it."

"The blood?"


"Ok." I was a little surprised, but not completely.

We got to the office and Lion decided he didn't want to see anything. He stayed in the waiting room. Princess walked back to the 'drawing room' (haha, I kill myself!) and climbed up into the chair. She watched as the needle went in, and when I jumped asked "Did it hurt?"

"Not much. Just a pinch. Do you want to hold it?"

She nodded.

The phlebotomist, who has kids of her own, handed the vial to Princess. I thought she might freak out when the phlebotomist said, "It's warm."

She didn't.

She looked fascinated. She studied it for a bit, then handed it back. I was impressed at how all matter-of-fact she was about it.

She may be an odd apple, but she obviously doesn't fall far from the mother tree. After all, I did work for a dentist, briefly in home health care, and I like to watch surgical operations on tv shows. Yep, even if they gross me out. James has turned from the computer when one of those shows was on, looked and said "Ugh! How can you watch that stuff?"

I know I'm weird. It's just interesting to me how the body works. Such a grand design!

Yep, Princess is definitely her mother's daughter.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why Every Household Needs Doctor's Latex Gloves

I was on the phone with my mom this morning, when the air was suddenly filled with gut-wrenching crying. Not just any crying, mind you--the kind that makes a mother run at top speed because she's sure she'll find broken bones or massive amounts of blood.

The sounds of tragedy were coming from the bathroom. I flung open the door, heart in my throat.

Princess was screaming about something that I couldn't make out. Lion was standing next to the open toilet yelling "MOM," --insert Princess' wails, drowning out Lion's words--"toy fell" --more wailing as Lion pointed to the toilet, his words still undecipherable--

You can guess what happened.

I walked over to the bowl and discovered the source of despair.

A fake, plastic tortilla chip was floating directly over--well, let me just say that although it looked like a pile of refried beans, it most assuredly was not.

It was at this moment I thankfully remembered the box of professional disposable latex gloves we keep on hand for such an emergency. They also come in handy when cleaning up dog vomit, poop, blood, and worst of all--dead bugs. Those make me gag.

I reassured my darling Princess that all would be well as I donned the ill-fated glove. Her cries calmed as I fished it out while holding my breath. Using the last bit of Fantastik I sprayed that thing thoroughly and left it in the sink to soak. After about 10 minutes, and a quick but thorough rinse of soap and water, it was good as new.

Don't ask me why she was in the bathroom playing with toys when Lion had been going potty, I'll never know the answer. I tell them to leave each other alone in the bathroom and shut the door, but I catch them disobeying pretty often.

Hopefully the "tortilla chip incident" has made a lasting impression. One can always hope!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Self-Esteem Carnival!

Jen had such an awesome idea, to hold a Self-Esteem Carnival. I wrote for it a few posts ago, and there are other posts contributing to it as well! I can't wait to read all of them.

Visit here.