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Back in 10 Minutes

So the kiddo got a summer cold this weekend.  I missed going to the drag races, but at least Keen got to go.  (He told me, enthusiastically, that he got to stand next to Ashley Force.  I think he might have a little crush.)  I didn't get much done this weekend besides going to the doctor and being an extension of Chance's blankie/comfort object.  Chance's cold turned into wheezing at one point.  He's totally fine, but damn this "sick kid" thing is never easy, is it?  Fortunately, by that point Keen was home.  In Chance's mind Mom and Dad separately are great... Mom and Dad together, especially when he doesn't feel good, is freaking fantastic! 

But now I feel like the cold is starting to invade my head as well!  Argh!  I'll be back soon.  After all, who else can I talk to about "Who Wants to Be a Superhero" than with you fine folks? 

            - wg


Housekeeping

This week I had not just one but TWO opportunities to score last minute Blogher tickets… both times for Saturday, the day I couldn’t go.  What am I doing on Saturday in lieu of going to Blogher (or, also, in lieu of the really nice pedicure/baby shower to which I was invited)?  I am attending the Family Cribbage Tournament (capitalized, so you know it’s important)!  Since last year, I have again forgotten how to play cribbage, so the chances that I’ve improved are pretty slim.  On Sunday Keen and I are going to the NHRA drag races. You know… top fuel, motorcycles, etc.  Yeah, I know.  My social calendar seems pretty strange to me, too.  Because cribbage to drag racing is SO intuitive. 

(I do like the bracket racing with the classic cars, though.  Classic cars rock!)

Anyhoo, I hope everyone at Blogher is having fun.  I didn’t really have babysitting set up for the kiddo anyway.  If I had scored tickets for the right day, I’d thought about just rolling up to the door with him in the stroller.  I mean, are they really going to demand a ticket for a baby?  If they tried blocking our entrance I figured I could yell “discrimination against mommy bloggers” and just rouse up a whole protest right there in the lobby.  (See, you got to plan for these things ahead of time. Cover every contingency.)  But then my friend pointed out that that is a really good way to get banned from future conferences.  I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t get tickets.

So there are new updates (finally!) to the Things They Don’t Tell You in Lamaze list.  I’ve also added some cool new folks to my blogroll (I’m such a slacker about updating it), so check ‘em out.  (Still working on that Top 100 Albums thing, though.)   

How did July go by so fast?            - the weirdgirl


Life Experiences Meme

This is a really fun one that I originally saw on Mary P.’s site.  Since then it’s been popping up everywhere.  Very cool to see what other folks have done and not!   

Bold the ones you've done.  Comments are in italics.
(A few are marked in Red, these are ones that I’ve almost done… or just wanted to comment on because they reminded me of something funny!  – wg)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (I’ve hiked Half Dome in Yosemite, but I started having heat stroke at the end and didn’t make it up the final cables.  Does that count?  Keen says no.)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
  (In the middle of a busy street even, with the psychic publisher I worked for. She had a sudden need to “pray”.  It was a Great Spirit kind of moment.)
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game  (Manchester United!)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
  (It’s the best part of weddings!)
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope  (I was part of the Astronomy club in highschool.  Please control your “nerd” comments.)
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
(It’s just fun.)
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse  (Almost. As I said before, I was part of the Astronomy Club. Every time we were going to see an eclipse it was cloudy.)
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day  (I have two high school friends who would actually do this. On one school trip they pretended to be German exchange students for the entire day, walking up to strangers and asking them about where to find “the American-style motorcycles”. It still makes me laugh.)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign (I haven’t done this, but once a sign was stolen for me.)
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
  (OK, I did this even before I had a kid.)
58. Sung karaoke (forced, at parties)
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight  (I’ve actually played D&D (nerd!) but I could never last more than a couple of hours without getting really bored and bailing on the guys.)
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days  (I’ve only fasted for 3 days max. We used to hold sponsored “planned famines” through my church to raise money for famine victims.  But because most of us doing it were teens we never held them longer than a 3-day weekend.)
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest.
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert".
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas

86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark  (SO good!  Mmmm)
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children  (in process)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge  (Sadly, even though I live right here, I’ve never done this… but I really should.)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking (All the time)
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth  (We had a cat who was in distress, birthing her kittens breach.) 
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone  (Just cracked my tailbone once; I didn’t even get an xray. But it hurt like hell during rainy seasons for years so I’m pretty sure it was cracked.)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (For five weeks straight; I had Mono when I was 19.)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days  (It was a backpacking/canoe trip; we actually hiked in carrying the canoe.  Does that count?)
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi (and sashimi)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper  (as a kid)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school and read
(many times)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I’ve done fish, and I’ve assisted with rabbits and chickens. No, I didn’t have to kill those, just the prep work.)   
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language  (This is fairly common in California.)
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream  (And it kind of surprised me, too.)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you  (jewelry-work)
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life


A Couple of Quick Ones

Announcements, that is.  So I just wanted to throw out there that I've got new additions to The Things They Don't Tell You in Lamaze list coming very soon.  I haven't updated it in a while (because I hit a little bit of a slump there, but I'm back!).  If anyone would like to send in some submissions too, I'd love to see them!

I'm also going to attempt to do the 100 Albums list that a lot of folks are doing.  In fact, the plan is to split it with Keen, each of us doing 50 because I thought that would give a good range of our musical interests.  (Plus, I wanted to see which of our albums overlapped.)  Though, there is a slight chance that our attempt to make the list will turn into a massive project to organize CDs.  Hmmm.  But, OK, if that happens I'll at least post as much of a list as we finished, even if it's not 100. 

You know, one of the things I've been so digging about the internet, highlighted by seeing everyone's 100 albums, is that WE'RE ALL SO SIMILAR!  Just wanted to throw out a little love there.

On another note, is it just me or does it seem like my posts have been getting snarky lately?  Please let me know if you think this is the case.  (I think I know the reason why, if I'm actually being snarky and am not just paranoid, but that's another post for another time.  It involves hormones.)

OK, and one last thing.  I didn't realize that Blogher is both this weekend AND in my hometown.  (I know, I'm taking dorkdom to new levels.)  If any one who is attending would like to get together Friday, drop me a line.  I would have just registered for Friday and gone but I'm, of course, way too late.   Sigh.               - wg


When All You Can Do is Go To Target (or A Trailer Trash Moment)

It is really hot out here right now.  But I know that other people are suffering even more than our 100° heat (today, 102° yesterday), so I’m not going to bitch.  I mean, it’s not like it doesn’t get hot here every frickin’ summer.  (I don’t get people who still act surprised at the weather. It’s like, hello, have you lived here for any length of time?  And you gotta like the heat a little to live out here in the first place, right?  And it’s always the same people who are surprised that their house got flooded during the rainy season, when they’ve built next to a creek.  Seriously, folks, watch the local news sometime.) 

I digress. It got so hot here today that all our multiple fans and the one window AC unit (in the baby’s room) couldn’t keep us quite cool enough… and me and Keen went completely trailer trash.  There was Keen on the couch with no shirt on and a spray bottle for “spritzing”.  And then there was me.  I was wearing a one piece romper left over from high school.  I had originally bought it at a craft store and tie-dyed it myself; picture it as baggy, tank/shorts overalls… from the 80s… in tie-dye.  So, OK, yes it’s totally old (like, oh my god) but it’s really loose and airy and let’s me get away with wearing just a sports bra and undies underneath.  None of those clingy “layering” tees or any of the stuff they’re selling right now.  Anyway.  It got so hot I actually rolled down the overalls so they bagged around my waist, and held them in place with a hair clip, so my underwear wouldn’t show (too much).  Then I walked around the house in my sports bra and baggy-butt overalls.  How much more cholla could I get?  All I needed was a cracked jelly jar and wine-in-a-box and it would just be like my childhood summers all over again.       

By the time we gave up and escaped to Target to cool down (is there anything more pathetic than wandering around Target, nursing a mango smoothie, to avoid your own house? and yes, we got dressed before we went) I was congratulating myself that at least I had kept Chance from going ghetto.  I might slip down that slope but I wouldn’t let him go.  He, with the only AC and having had a nice leisurely nap in a cool room, was wearing an actual outfit consisting of a matching t-shirt, shorts, and sandals.

And then I saw it.

A baby… about nine to ten months old sitting in a Target cart… no shirt on, no shoes… gnawing on a full-size Snickers bar that was clutched in his mitts while his mom shopped. 

Wow.  I try not to judge.  Truly.  But that’s pretty bad.  I know it’s hot, I know kids are cranky, but giving a baby a candy bar?

I’ll be having nightmares about babies choking on peanuts all night.   

           - the weirdgirl


Tivo Time vs. Toddler Time – a tutorial

Trying to catch up on Tivo’d TV after vacation.  Let’s review…

First disregard the following recorded shows:

1) Anything that’s too “prime time”.  I just don’t want Chance watching (or have in the background) prime-time shows; they’re much too over-stimulating.  This includes not just TV programs that are violent or have adult-oriented content, but also the stuff that’s LOUD and has so many camera cuts, transitions, funky angles, etc. etc. etc. it could send a puppy into epileptic shock.  (Seriously, I have issues with modern film techniques. I mean, god forbid a show focuses on original story-lines or character-development rather than nausea-inducing camera shots.) 

2) Anything I usually watch with Keen. (It’s “together time”!)

3) Anything too long, like feature-length movies.  I just don’t have time during the day.  Or that’s what I tell myself.  (Netflix SOOOO hates me!  I don’t even want to look at how long I’ve had my current rentals.)

Then choose from remaining dregs selection, usually along the lines of “What Not to Wear” or a teen drama.  (Anyone else catching “Beyond the Break”?  No?  It’s got teenage surfer chicks!)  Start an hour-long show.  Theoretically, minus the commercials this should take about 45 minutes. 

Five minutes in Chance appears at my knee, whimpering.  Pause show, get him more juice.  Hit play.

Chance finishes all his juice, squirms onto my lap (sticky fingers!), sits quietly for 2.3 seconds.  Then he begins using my back/arms/shoulders as a stepping stool to lean really close to the window.  (Understand that he can see out the window perfectly well without stepping on me.)  Put up with this for five minutes, then put him on the floor with a toy.

Rewind show by five minutes.

Toy starts making obnoxiously loud music.  Turn up TV slightly.

Toy continues to make obnoxiously loud music.  Turn up TV so that I can actually hear it.

Feel guilty about the non-educational-programming noise; turn TV back down.

Use the ten-second-back button six times in a row in order to hear what the protagonist just said.   

Pause show.  Get Chance interested in another toy.

Un-pause show. Look at clock; realize it’s lunch time.  Pause show again and fix lunch.

Watch for ten whole uninterrupted minutes while Chance eats.

Watch for another five minutes while Chance tries to “feed” me.

Chance finishes eating and goes back to that. First. Damn. Toy! (I blame grandma.)

Rationalize in my head that this won’t impair some aspect of his development and turn up TV.  Watch for another five minutes.

Smell something.  Pause TV and change Chance. Then change diaper genie bag refill and lug “poop sausage” to outside garbage can. Come back in.  Find groove in couch.  Un-pause show.

Chance appears (as if by magic!) at knee with a book.  Pause program, sit and read book together.  Put book away.  Go back to show. 

Continue variations in pattern for the next TWO HOURS!  Yeah, I couldn’t quite believe it myself but it took two whole hours to get through 45 minutes of programming.  And that was just one of my Tivo’d shows.

I suppose this is just another post-parenthood activity where I’ll need to give up sleep to accomplish it efficiently.  (Yes, I like my TV that much.  And being anal about efficiency.  What?)  At least I didn’t have to watch any commercials.             

               – the weirdgirl


Grrrrr...

ME, conversationally:  So I think he’s getting pretty close to talking…

Unnamed Grown Relation:  Oh, he can talk. If he wanted to… he’s just being lazy

ME, startled:  Um, what?

UGR, utterly convinced:  He knows how. I hear him; he repeats the words when he’s walking away.  He’s talking.

ME:  OK, well, mimicking the sounds of words is different from him understanding that the sound “ball” means ball…

UGR:  Some kids just are, you know, they’re just lazy about things…

ME, walking away:  Um-hmm… Oh look, Chance, is that a bird?

Counter to the fact that I have met some adults that I would categorize as “just lazy” (just as I have also met adults that I would categorize as “industrious”), I have to believe that with children “inherent” laziness is a learned behavior.  And I do admit I haven’t read any child development books yet (which I seriously need to get my butt in gear and do because Chance is hitting an… uh… interestingly challenging age) so I can’t back up that statement. But deep down in my heart I need to believe that “just lazy” is learned.  (As in telling and/or reminding a child often that he/she is lazy until they take it as a matter of course that they are indeed lazy.) 

Especially when it comes to something developmental like say, oh, talking.   

*growl*               - the weirdgirl


Calendar Challenged

I'm a dork.  Here we went on this trip and I'm thinking once we're back I'll have all this time to catch up on things at home... without realizing that we also had a fully booked weekend.  I had everything written down on my calendar, just like normal... but for some reason the reality just didn't penetrate.  (I'm blaming jet lag.)  So how much did I get caught up on?  Not a whole lot.  (Especially blog reading, darn it.)  However I DID find the power cord to the camera, so here are a few pics from our trip. Oh, BTW, we went to Seattle and Poulsbo, WA.  Poulsbo is on Bainbridge Island so lots of ferry rides much to Chance's delight.         - wg

Planes are cool.

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My grandparent's house, Keen and Chance chillin' on the porch.  I want a porch someday.  (Hey Phoenix, this is the house where the "haunting" occurred.)

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My grandpa and Chance. Notice the family ears?  I didn't get any photos of Chance with his great-grandma because, one, we suck with cameras and are always forgetting them, and two, my granny has the same aversion to pictures that I do (it's another family trait) so she didn't volunteer for any.

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Me (gasp!) and the kid on the ferry going into Seattle.

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Dude... check it out!  It's SO TRIPPY!

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More planes.  "Seatbelts, schmeatbelts.  I'm going home anyway."

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All Over the Place - metaphorically speaking

Hi all.  I’m back… from our first vacation with a toddler on a plane. Traveling was… OhhhKay.  Chance was fine on the way up; beautiful even.  Not-so-fine on the way back.  By the end of the trip, he was done with traveling.  Did I mention that the flight was super short?  Yeah, but he was still done with it.  And the Benadryl made him just sleepy enough to be extra cranky.  Oy.

But he DID love the ferry, the airport and planes (watching from the window), being on the go, seeing new things.  So that was good.  Visiting with family, also good.  He was quite the flirt.  Sleeping in an unknown place was probably the worst part for him; even with Keen or me there with him.  Especially the night he worked himself into a tizzy and threw up all over me*.  Oy again. 

In fact, here were the totals for the trip:

Two potty accidents (one on me*)

One vomit episode (again, on me – incidentally, we also learned he is not really chewing his food)

One tantrum in front of total strangers ON a plane (only cringingly embarrassing)

Three charmed relatives and countless “the kids turned out OK” brownie points for me and Keen

Two teacups and one fancy marble (purchased by me. What?)

Last night, asleep in our own beds was heaven.  Today I have been recharging and letting the little guy, again, reset.  Oh, also catching up on tivo’d “Project Runway” SEASON THREE!  Yay!!!  SO excited! More on that later** (‘cause I know you all want to hear me blathering on about fashion).  Tomorrow, catch up on everything else.

I also have pictures. And will post them as soon as I can find where the power cord to the camera was packed.  I know.  That doesn’t sound good, does it?  (Obviously, I’m still trying to unpack my brain.)

Missed you all! Hugs!          - the weirdgirl

*Do you know how many times Keen has been thrown up on in the course of parenthood?  NOT. ONCE!  Smeared with poop?  Never.  Peed on?  A couple of times.  That’s it.  I just needed to mention that.  I probably should save it for a nice ranting post about puke.  Maybe the next time I’m hit by a mouthful from a projectile shot. I think the inherent unfairness is obvious.  I mean, I also did give birth.  Excrement incidences will directly translate to days at the spa, right?

**OK, just one thing… did any of you notice that one of the chicks who auditioned for “Project Runway” ALSO auditioned for “So You Think You Can Dance”?  Oh yeah.  The one with the sweaty armpits who did the burlesque (in the words of Mary) “chased by bees” move?  Two words, baby: camera whore.


Looking for Words of Wisdom – travel-wise

We’re going on a mini-vacation next week so I’m taking a short leave of blog absence. (Though hopefully I’ll get some good pictures to post later.)   It will also be Chance’s first trip ever on a plane!  It’s a short flight, but to tell the truth I’m scared.  I remember plane flights when I was a kid and my ears ALWAYS hurt.  And not just a little hurt... a lot!  Yep, I was that kid who cried non-stop for most flights (belated apologies to everyone who had to travel with my child self).  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Chance’s resemblance to my ears stops at them sticking out ever so slightly (which Keen so helpfully pointed out to me when Chance was born – thanks honey) and his inner workings are pain-free when we fly.

But just in case not all goes smooth, here’s my plan of attack.

Benadryl – I know many people disapprove of “drugging” children for “the convenience of the parents”, however, to keep his ears open during the flight and since it coincides with his nap time I will be giving him a half-dose.  (It makes him awfully sleepy so I don’t want to give him too much.)  Plus, my pediatrician approves of the drugging.

Bottle – filled with juice, water, whatever, as long as he has something he can suck

Snacks – again for the chewing and swallowing (and lunch)

Books – reading books is one of those things that keeps him pretty absorbed (after flirting with strangers, that is)

Small toys – I’ll probably go for the ol’ multiple, interesting keychains trick here

His blankie – the source of all things comforting (besides me)

We’re going up to visit my grandparents in Washington, flying into Seattle and then going across to Bainbridge Island. I’m also in favor of taking the ferry across Puget Sound instead of driving once we leave the airport.  I figure a little more time for the kiddo to run around, and the less time sitting, after a flight the better. (At almost 16 months he’s very active right now. Does NOT like to sit.)

So I appeal to you, oh great web of infinite travel experience, any other words of wisdom or practical advice?  Any help given will receive in return kisses and love forever.  Really.

                - the weirdgirl