Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Semi-Annual Paper Clip Sale

Is a "Bi-annual" sale held twice a year or every two years?

Anyway, A. decided it was time for another paper clip sale. His first was so successful that his grandmother began smuggling whole packages of paper clips back from Japan and China for him, which he uses as a selling point ("These came all the way from China!"), although really, they're not that different from American paper clips (sorry, Mom).

Our neighbor kindly came over and bought $5 worth of paper clips from him, mostly because I'd paid her son $5 earlier to wash my car. A. really wanted to sell one paper clip for $100, but he's not completely grasping the laws of supply and demand, or for that matter, competitive pricing. The ones on the left are marked $100 each. She talked him down to two for a dollar 'cause she's a shark like that. The lone gold clip is $10, the plastic clips are $50, and the plain silver ones are .25 each.

The best part, though, was when there was a lack of foot traffic and I suggested off-handedly, "Hey, A., you should make one of those big signs like the guys we see on the corner waving the arrows pointing at the new housing development down the street." He took the idea and ran with it, hiring G. as his human directional and showing him which way to point the arrow.

Friday, February 22, 2008

This Child Has Given Up His Nap

And has started waking up every day before 6am. He's really, really lucky he's so cute.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

ISO Green Food

Ben's birthday is just 5 days before St. Patrick's Day. Back when G and I were dating, I began the tradition of serving an all-green dinner for the holiday. I chose green food rather than Irish cuisine because, believe it or not, there's more variety and the Irish aren't exactly known for their cooking.

We've had variations on this theme through the years, and this year we're combining an all-green buffet (yum!) with Ben's third birthday. That gives us an excuse to get it all done early, but frees me from having to organize three-year-old party games.

So far, here is the food I've come up with. If you can think of a green food that's not on here that would be suitable for a buffet, PLEASE share.

spinach pasta with pesto
chicken breasts with parsley sauce
lime jello
peas and bacon (or other green vegetable)
creamed spinach
green beans with herb sauce

green m&ms
green jelly bellies

Maybe colcannon (with brussel sprouts instead of cabbage to make it greener)
Probably irish soda bread although it's not green. Green bread would be kind of gross.

No corned beef or cabbage.

Of course, Guinness and Irish Coffee. Maybe Irish Flags, but they're tricky to do right.

I might need to rent some of those heated serving dishes, huh? Anyone ever done that?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Toxic Schmoxic

A.'s doing way better. The new doctor yesterday told us that he'd be feeling better very quickly, like, by the hour, and he was right. He also agreed with me that there was no reason he couldn't go to school if he could put weight on his toxic leg. By last night, A. was getting around just fine, unless I pointed out his recovery, which immediately sent him back to limping pathetically.

This morning he was fine, too, until we asked him to walk on it to see the extent of the limp, if any. It was remarkable. The toxic hip is just so sensitive that the second it realizes it's being observed, it stops working. A. suddenly couldn't put any weight on it and fell to the ground twice. "That's some good acting," observed G. So A.'s off to school today, to our relief.

In other news....nope, no other news.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hoppin' Like the Easter Bunny

At least, I hope he will be soon.

A. has something called toxic synovitis. I've never heard of it, but according to Dr. Google, it's the most common reason for hip pain in kids, especially boys, and it goes away by itself. BUT, and it's a big but, he has to put NO WEIGHT ON HIS LEG for 3-4 days.

This means I (or his father, but I'm whining about me right now) have to carry him anywhere he needs to go, including the bathroom. Thank God we have a one-story house. Not only can he not go to soccer lessons, he can't go to school. He's not supposed to go back to school until he can walk without a limp, according to the real doctor. Frankly I don't see why he can't limp at school.

I've always been grateful that I have reasonably cautious kids. They're not the kids that are on a first-name basis with the staff at Urgent Care because they hurt themselves so often. So what's the deal with joint pain that comes out of nowhere and takes him out of commission? I mean, a little bit of pain, sure, that kind of thing builds character. But having to carry him everywhere for several days? Another reason not to have little kids in your 40's.

Because it was a holiday, there was only one phlebotomist at the lab slooooowly drawing the blood of about 100 patients crowded into a basement that seats about 25. I've been at this lab often and I'd never seen it like this. So with the super-long wait to poke my kid with a needle, and telling me to carry him around for 3-4 days, I'm wondering if this is Major HMO's newest cost-cutting technique. "You want your kid to be seen on a holiday? You sure about that? Might just be easier on everyone if you give him some Motrin and we'll pretend we never had this little chat. Everyone who comes in on the holiday has to visit our one cranky phlebotomist and will be told to carry their child on their backs for the rest of the week. Bwahahahaha."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why I Am Losing My Mind

A few weeks ago I told G, "I'm really burnt out on the boys. I know you take over often, but it would really be great if you could take them OUT OF THE HOUSE for a few hours and let me be home alone."

So he did that yesterday. It was quite a production - maps were consulted, rations in case of a sudden California blizzard were packed, and he hugged me goodbye with, " OK! Goodbye! Have a good day!" I replied, "OK. See you around lunchtime."

He kept them out for about 5 hours. It was AWESOME. I did exciting things like a workout video (by myself without having to pause every 5 minutes or make sure I don't step on a child), folded laundry (while watching something besides Clifford), emptied the dishwasher (without stopping to referee a fight), and transplanted houseplants (without having to carry two boys on my heads to the bathtub afterwards while trying not to drop dirt on the carpet).

I don't think I realized how often I get interrupted, especially by Mr. High Maintenance, who refuses to do things that he can do by himself, instead only choosing activities that require parental assistance. Or how much energy it takes to just tune them out when they're annoying each other but not getting into a full-fledged fight.

For example, as I typed this entry, here was the conversation in the other part of the room:

A: You have spit on your shirt
B: No I don't.
A: Yes you do.
B: No I don't.

(repeat 20 million times until Ben is yelling)

A: You have spit on your shirt. I can see it.
B: No I don't! My spit is in my mouth!
A: But you have some spit on the back of your shirt.
B: Eat your quesadilla, weave me alone!
A: Ben, why'd you say weave me aloney baby?
B: But weave me alone, you're not weaving me alone! Now weave me alone!
A: But Ben, you don't even know what that means.
A: I am, I am!
A: Ben just hit me!
Me: Sounds like you deserved it. Leave him alone.
A: I am leaving him alone.
B: No you're not.
A: I am now. (pause, face inches from B's) Duh duh duh.
B: Stop it Aidan! Weave me alone!
A: I am.
B: No you're not. You're still not weaving me alone!
A: Ben, why'd you say you're still not weaving me alone?
B: grrrrr. (this is what he does when he wants to hit but knows he's not supposed to).
(Plate gets knocked down)
B: give me my pia pia back
A: Ben, why'd you say pia pia like a baby?
(giggles all around and next thing I know they're on the floor pretending to be babies).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Boring to the Newborn King

My V-Day present to G was to have our stacks of mini-dv tapes from the last 4 years transferred to DVD. I could have done it myself, but the boys would have been in college by the time I was finished.

So we have 8 DVDs filled with hours upon hours of video. In all those hours, there are some gems. I realize 'tis not the season for Christmas songs, but I have to share this one. This is A's version of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" from 2006. He was 4. The very first second or so is cut off - he starts out singing "Hark the angels herald sing...." I sort-of lied to him after hearing him sing in the car and told him, "Oh, you sing that song SO well. We HAVE to get that on tape."

Eventually I'll put subtitles on it (translating from A-ese to English), but I think he sings pretty clearly. Just be sure to listen for "join the friends, and friends in style."

It's less than 30 seconds. Humor me.

Happy V-Day, Y'All

The boys picked me a bowl of flowers.

They don't give out a "Best Valentine Done By a Parent" at A's school, but if they did, I totally would've won. One kid gave out pedometers because his grandma works at the company that makes them. Hah.

G. made me dangly heart earrings (no pic, sorry). I love that he makes me jewelry. He's currently working on the 5th reincarnation of the mommy bracelet he gave me lo, many years ago. It's broken again, although the bead store lady gave him steel wire that's supposed to not break, ever. When it broke I lost a few letters, and they don't have those letter beads anymore, so A. is now named "Ada."

We made cookies.

On to St. Patrick's Day! A. wants to set up leprechaun traps.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Go Ahead, Make My Day

K. Barteski at iLoveLife has a super-cute little newborn, and she's super creative. I like that she drinks so much coffee, too.

My friend from a long-ago message board, Blue-Eyed Bookworm, loves books, is a hip librarian and is funny. She's a redhead too, which gives her instant points.

f-bomb is one of my fave daddy bloggers. He has a super-cute little newborn too, and, of course, is funny. All these people are funny. If I can, I'll try to find the video of Owen playing poi balls with tampons. Classic stuff.

I've mentioned Jess before. She's my personal book-shopper. She reads more books that I can count.

D. over at Liminal Musings has been a long-time favorite. You know how sometimes someone manages to say exactly what you're thinking and/or feeling, but so much more eloquently? That's Deirdre. And, she lived in Berkeley, another plus.

Another awesome writer is over at red couch fever. She writes about farm life and her animals and weird stuff they eat and is hilarious.

So, all of you make my day. Thanks.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy (Happy Chinees Noo Yeer)

Last night, well after he was supposed to be asleep, A. came out with a handmade card for us.

He says the leopard-print scotch tape is in honor of the leopards in China, and the green symbol is the best Chinese writing he can do.

Friday, February 08, 2008

V-Day Crafts

You might remember last year, when A. turned into the Valentine's Elf and made a ton of decorated hearts. We still have some left over, even after giving them to friends, family and classmates, and this year he decorated some more, but not as many (Thank God). Personally, I prefer the random "sequin sneeze" look of last year's hearts (2, 5, 6 & 8) to the more orderly ones of this year (1 & 7).

I took some red ribbon and some decorated ribbon ($1 at Target for 3 yard-long spools) and decorated our kitchen window. I'm quite happy with it. I'm so glad we have a kitchen window that's the perfect size in which to hang hand-made garlands.

In other news, I'm exhausted. We're all getting over colds and Ben woke up this morning at 4:30am crying, "I'm not tired! I'm not tired!" So he came into our bed, sniffling, snorting and whistling through his nose, asking every few minutes, "Are you sweeping, Mama?"

Sometimes I can't wait until they're teenagers and want nothing to do with me.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

So Sarah gave me a sweet You Make My Day award. This is a pay-it-forward kind of meme where you honor the blogs that make you happy.

So first off, I have to put my sister down because she's my sister and it always makes my day when she updates. Of course, if she really cared about my happiness, she'd do it more often. But then again, she was also the one who told me the boogey man was right there over on the neighbor's lawn coming to get me.

Next I've got to give a "right back at'cha" to Sarah. She's funny, smart, interesting, she posts daily and she comments a lot over here at the Lunasea. So I owe her, big time. And, she almost lived near me.

I'm also a big fan of Poppy Mom. She never fails to crack me up, and I love her honesty about the trials of motherhood. She's a fantastic writer, and a pretty good cook, too. I totally want to have her and Clara Jane over for coffee.

Jenny at ljcfyi has already been honored, but I have to include her too because hers was the first blog I read where I realized, "Hey, I could write about everyday life, and it might be fun!" She's insanely creative and upbeat and her blog posts always cheer me up.

And, of course, Dr. Corndog. God, he's funny. And nice. And smart. My eyes light up when there's a new post in my bloglines.

That's five, right? Geez, I could do so many more. Probably tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm not answering my phone this week.

John McCain won't stop calling. He even had his wife call to see if I would pick up. Mit keeps calling, too, although he's not as obsessed with me as John seems to be. Really, John, if you're reading this, it's not going to work out between us. You've gotta stop calling me.

"But Lunasea," I can hear you saying, "I didn't know you were Republican." I'm not. But 4 long years ago, my BIL made a donation in my name to the Republican party. And gave them my phone number.

Lonely? Tired of coming home and not having messages on your answering machine? Give $10 to the Republicans. They will NEVER leave you alone. Even after you send back their mailings with "I'M A DEMOCRAT. STOP WASTING YOUR POSTAGE ON ME," scrawled all over them in black Sharpie.

Just because I drew a few doodles on BIL's portrait of George and Laura. And I might have signed him up to host a house party for John Kerry in 2004 and I might have added his name to a couple mailing lists. He's moved like, 10 times since then, and I haven't. So the Democrats can't find him anymore and the Republicans are in danger of having me file a restraining order on them. So I guess he wins. OK! I give up!

Just as long as I win in November.

Monday, February 04, 2008

There's a Reason They Play Soccer on the Grass

So it's been two years since I landed in the hospital with a bonked head. (Scroll down to beginning of February).

Two years ago I tried to watch the Super Bowl in my hospital room, but was thwarted by:

1. the blind spot in the middle of my vision (the clot was pressing on my visual cortex);
2. the horrible reception and green streaks on the TV
3. my apathy for football. (but yesterday's game was exciting, I'll give you that)

People who don't see me very often ask, "How ARE you?" I say, "Fine, thanks - how are you?" and then they say, "No, I mean your head. Are you all better and everything?" and I say, "Oh, yeah, that. Yeah. I think so, I mean, I forget things but I don't know if it's age or what....So, can you believe all this rain?"

But they don't let it drop. They say, "Wow, that was scary." I say, "Yep. It was." And I try to figure out if they really want to hear the whole story or not. Do they want to know the details, do they want to hear the funny stories, or do they want confirmation that I'm not in a coma?

On Saturday, we drove by the hospital across the bay where I was transferred to the ICU from our little local ER. I remembered little details, like the box marked "CADAVER BAGS" over the nurses' station as I shuffled down the hall. I guess not too many of their patients walk around, because you'd think they'd have those in a closet or something. Guess they need to keep them handy.

I also remembered the two neurosurgeons. One wanted to operate and the other didn't (or, actually, he left it up to us but said he thought it would be OK to hold off). The one who wanted to operate helped himself to OJ off my dining tray and spilled it all over himself. Smooth. Perhaps God was sending us a message confirming the decision not to operate.

The main thing I took away from this experience is how freakin' lucky I am. Everyone in the hospital seemed pretty surprised I was as coherent as I was. The first doctor said, "You're probably just one of those disgustingly healthy people." You know? I really am. I have bad allergies, whoop de doo. I've broken one tiny bone in my hand in college, and no others. I've never had my body really malfunction. My cells haven't turned against me (except those wrinkly ones, but they're not really hurting anything).

And the importance of accepting things as they are. If I did have some sequelae, there's not really a damn thing anyone could do about it and I would just have to live with it. If I'm ever a little freaked out by not remembering something I really should remember, I just remind myself, "Yeah, well, if it IS because of the brain injury, you know what the doctors would tell you? They'd tell you to write stuff down. Use post-it notes. Because it's not fixable. So whatever the reason is, you've just got to adapt." I have to put on my very-big-girl pants and deal with it.

I still get a little nervous playing soccer with the boys. I have a new fear of falling that I didn't have before. I freaked out a little when I started getting monthly migraines last year. But mostly, everything is good, and I am really freakin' lucky.

And you know what else? I'm really glad I blog. I remember stuff from the time that G. has totally forgotten. He can't believe the details I remember. I remember only because I blogged it. As I went back through the Feb 06 entries, I saw stories about my boys that I'd forgotten, too. Blogging rules.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Not a Joke

Saw this on one of the low-carb blogs I stalk, and thought it was a joke. It's not. There's a bill suggesting that restaurants be prohibited from serving food to obese people.

Uh-oh...I feel my libertarian streak coming out! U.S. out of my fat cells!

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Ben Story

Today I was making a salad and Ben was "helping" me by throwing the browner bits of the lettuce into the sink. He missed, and said, "I better try again. If at sixty three, try try again!"

Couldn't have said it better myself.

I Wish

What made me laugh this morning:

Is Make-A-Wish Foundation being driven into bankruptcy?

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