Friday, August 29, 2008

I want to believe

I want to believe in many things. That bad situations are temporary. That my parents will all live for many more years. That the cat's renal failure is reversible. That the kids will never get bigger or grow up, though they will be potty trained at some point. That the laundry will wash itself.

Some of these things are believable. Most are not.

Presently, I want to believe that my leg is not broken.

I fell down the stairs this morning. Carrying laundry to the wash in preparation for a trip to see my birth mother, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer, I tripped over the cat who was lying on the top step. A very grown up J brought me the phone and helped me to hop down the stairs after I'd called for assistance. I can't weight bear on my left side, and my left foot is numb. I heard the knee pop when I fell. It's excruciating, but I don't want J to see me cry, so I'm sitting at my laptop, trying to pretend it doesn't hurt that much.

More when I return from the hospital.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Money, money, money

The bills pour in. I hate bills. But they are usually the only thing in my mailbox. Bills and flyers.

The car broke down this week. It's an expensive repair job. And we've had a number of other expenses crop up lately. School registration and accommodation expenses spring readily to mind, but there are others. We're behind in payments. And while I'm on mat leave, our income is considerably reduced.

More pressing concerns exist. Family illnesses. The inevitable demise of the cat I have had for 17 years. Concerns surrounding J's poor eating. Time constraints. Weight issues. Not to mention ...

And yet, all other thoughts go on the backburner and my throat tightens every time I open my mailbox.

My mailbox is my nemesis.

"Wouldn't it be great to live in a world with no money", thinks the accountant. Illogically. Knowing that such a world is an impossibility and if one existed her skillset would be completely unnecessary. Knowing that without competitive greed, mankind's sole motivator would be survival. Such motivation results in desperation. Reversion to basic instincts. Desperate people do desperate things. I shudder at the thought.

I am wrong. Money is not the root of all evil. The root of all evil is quite clear. The root of all evil is my mailbox. It must be destroyed. And I must destroy it.

Or maybe I just need more sleep and some happy pills. Who can tell.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I am the sun. I am the rain.

I must be. I see no other reason why all of the streetlights go out as I drive by.

On another note, tonight J said: "If she doesn't like diapers, SCREW HER!" (This was actually very innocent; he was playing with a plastic screwdriver at the time and was "screwing" everything he encountered.) Anyway, when he said it, I collapsed in uncontrollable laughter. A big mistake; now he thinks the expression is funny. I'm sure he'll say it again at some inopportune moment.

It's been a particularly rough day, in a particularly rough week, and I'm spent.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baby, you can wash my car

On my way home from work today, I heard an ad on the radio. A carefully crafted and well thought out ad, indeed. An ad in which an excited post-surgery patient talks about the wonders that are laser eye surgery.

Did you know that there are things you can't do when you have glasses? I mean, other than the obvious. You know, experiencing unaided sight and all. But other common tasks that the non-myopic person must surely take for granted. These are the things we glasses-wearing folk can't possibly accomplish, because of our severe, limiting disability.

Things like ... washing our cars!

Now, I personally had no idea that I could not wash my own car because I wear glasses. But it makes sense. Picture me, bucket of suds in my hand, glasses perched on my nose. I try, and I try. But then, I get these water droplets all over my lenses. So I take them off so I can dry them. And ... wait! Where did the car go! I can't see!! I can't see!!! Oh, won't someone please help me?!!

You know, this has never happened to me. So clearly, I must have been doing it wrong all these years. But it must be tough for carwash managers to find employees, being as they are limited only to those candidates with 20/20 vision. I mean, think of the damage a myopic employee could do! Suddenly, it all becomes clear.

So what I'm saying is this. I wear glasses. So someone had better get over here and wash my car for me!

That, and I await my disabled placard for my (newly cleaned) car. I am sure it will be forthcoming.

Learn to face the strange ch-ch-changes

So, we're making changes to the blog. Slow. Gradual. Soon, we will even consider leaping headlong into the recent past and upgrading our template to one of Blogspots newer 2007 models. But many of our special features will no longer work without considerable reprogramming, so we shall have to give this some thought.

And by "we", I of course mean "me", as I have utmost control over blog appearance. H couldn't code his way out of a wet paper bag. Whatever that means.

I really shouldn't confess that I have any control over blog appearance. Because I don't like the blog's appearance. And the menus on the sidebar are ridiculously out of date. Though the "People We See" menu contains a number of new blogs. It's been re-organized, too. And I've finally moved the photos from 2006 out of the "New This Week" section. (Note to self: Upload more pictures, so I can replace these with something, or my scrapbooking sister-in-law may murder me. She's still waiting on the picture CD I promised to send a couple of years ago. All part of my grand plan to hide my children from her; I knew she'd give up eventually). The other menus? Well ... I'll get to those later.

Anyway ...

Most of our posts aren't as cryptic as they once were. So the "Tales from the Cryptic" title, which by the way has been done to death, now just seems inappropriate.

Also the tagline. "Because sometimes, you're just a big fat fly on the wall with poor reflexes and bad hair, and it's not all about you". Fun. Interesting. Unique. But really, not reflective of the blog content at all.

I'm not completely sure about the new title. But I think I quite like the new tagline.

What do you think? You, some three or thereabouts readers of this blog? You shall be the deciding vote. Speak! Let your opinions be heard! Or at minimum ... read.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The first time ever I clawed your face

So, I figure we're going to have to put the cat down. We think she's in some pain now, and this may be in her best interests. Besides, with two young children, having a cat who incessantly pees outside of the litter box just seems ill-advised. We're looking into it.

I love this cat very much. Despite the fact that she is perhaps the bitchiest animal in history. She has been with me for 17 years. She has sought attention. Blatantly deceived me into allowing her to sleep in my bed, despite my allergies and asthma. She has had pouty fits, if you can believe that of an animal, but I swear it's true. She has a snarly, scratchy, angsty sounding meow. She is completely anti-social. And she never purrs. She has at times escaped the house and ran down the street, trying to attack other larger more fierce cats, who were actually terrified of her. She weighs about 5 pounds. But she is a terror. A force to be reckoned with, indeed.

At times, she has been hospitalized at the vet. They bear the scars. There are notes in her file - a record of her past bad behaviour. "VERY grumpy today!!!", for example. (Note: "VERY" was actually underlined three times!) And when small children came in and asked to pet the little kitty, they were tactlessly deflected from putting their little fingers anywhere near her kennel for fear that they may lose digits. At her annual check-ups, we and the vet have been able to see the wheels turning ... she is trying to figure out the best way to kill her doctor. She always looks totally pissed off and defiant, and she clearly thinks she could take him if she really wanted to. I know he feels it, too. He made a note about it in the file.

But she has been like a child to me. Despite her many moods. She is quite sweet to us, as long as there are no pills or needles involved. She loves to cuddle. And she gives us lots of kisses. Aside from the whole peeing thing, she's been great with the kids, too, and has never so much as hissed at J, who loves to torment her with too much loving.

It's a hard decision, and one that we have been struggling with for some time.

I called the vet today to find out about appointments and prices. It's damn near $200!! Nearly $100 to euthenize her, and about $90 more for cremation. And this ain't no fancy-shmancy cremation either. No coffin. No urn of ashes received by the family to ceremoniously sprinkle over her favourite spot. No kitty memorial service with a heartfelt eulogy. No, no. None of that. They just stuff your dearly departed in a pet furnace and light 'er up.

I told all of this to H. Who wanted to know how much it would be for the snazzier cremation, where you do get the urn of ashes.

T: I don't know. I didn't ask.
H: No?
T: I didn't think we needed it.
H: Oh ...
T: I'm not going to keep the ashes. It's morbid.
H: Well, yeah.
T: And I wouldn't know where to sprinkle them. She's a housecat, for crying out loud!
H: True.
T: I mean, her favourite spot is on our bed! But I ain't sprinkling no ashes there.
H: Well, no! Ok. So we don't need the ashes then.
T: No. I don't think so. I wouldn't know what to do with them.
H: You know what she'd want us to do with them, don't you?
T: Yes! Sprinkle them on our bed!
H: No. She'd want us to throw them forcefully back in the vet's face.

I laughed so hard tears came. I laughed because he's right. She's that crotchety senior who hates everyone. Especially her vet. And if cats could make wills, I swear that would be in hers.

I picture the vet, a look of complete shock on his face, as he stands there covered with the ashes of 5-pound dead kitty remains. And I picture H & I, standing solemnly before him, empty urn in hand. "That's the way she would have wanted it", H would say.

And then we'd probably be charged with assault, and our other cat would be permanently banned from the office, and ...

So yeah. The "bargain" $90 cremation thingy it will be, I figure. If we can manage to get it together enough to do this in the first place.

As an aside, this is one of the many reasons why I love H so much. I love him because he can always make me laugh. Even at those incredibly low times, when nothing else can make me smile. I can always rely on him. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Sonic youthful exuberance

Today, I am attempting the impossible, going where no man has gone before, and hitching my wagon to that proverbial star. In other words, I am trying to painstakingly and systematically clean every last inch of my house in a brazen effort to finally figure out why everything smells of cat pee.

Ah, the happy times to come. Times when I shall walk through my front door and be greeted by the pleasant scent of Lemon Pledge. Or perhaps Swiffer solution. Windex. Really, just something generally clean and fresh smelling instead of, as has too often been the case of late, the unmistakable smell of lime air freshener vainly attempting to cover over the horrible stench of cat urine coming from God only knows where.

The offending cat is 17 years old now. I think that's somewhere around 189 in cat years. So she is decidedly a senior cat. And she has had kidney failure for the past eight years. She has been maintained with a special diet, a hefty regimen of pills, and rehydrating fluid injections when required. Giving her pills is not a great deal of fun. We have been hissed at, scratched, and have nearly lost digits in the effort. You wouldn't think such a tiny cat could possibly be so feisty, but she just is. Crabby old thing! She makes senior abuse sound like really just a fabulous idea.

Anyway ...

Of late, her regimen is not working as well as it has in the past. She is regularly dehydrated. She is moving slower. She doesn't eat enough, and is losing weight. And she was already really tiny, so doesn't have a lot of wiggle room on that one. When she first got sick, we had to force-feed her to get enough food into her to keep her going. But once she turned the corner, she stopped needing that, and it has been years since we have had to wrap her up in a towel and sit beside her on the bathroom floor, H prying her mouth open and me putting my finger into the viciously stinky, sabre-toothed chasm and sticking wet protein-reduced catfood to the roof of her mouth.

Clearly, we love our cat and have been quite devoted to her through the years. We had thought about putting her down when she appeared to be suffering. But she pulled through, and has been quite comfortable for most of her eight-year illness.

But now, she has a slow, pained gait. She is reluctant to climb stairs. She vomits several times a day - sometimes on our bed, which I must confess that I do not appreciate. And she pees outside of the litter box. I thought it was only in the front entranceway, but after having swept, washed, scrubbed, and all but deep fried the entire front entranceway in a mixture of savoury herbs and seasonings, the house still reeks of cat pee. And I have thus far been unable to locate the offending source.

So today, with a 3-year old on one side and a 3-month old on the other, I search, cleaning as I go, attempting to find out where that blasted cat is peeing. If only I were Toucan Sam, I could just follow my nose. But sadly, I am only human, and the smell permeates everything and cannot be located.

And so I have not yet found today's source. And I wonder if I am going quite mad, and imagining that I smell cat urine everywhere. Seriously. H can never smell it. So maybe it's all in my mind. Maybe I'm about to have a stroke or something, and this is the warning sign. Or maybe it's just a special gift of mine - superhuman sense of smell - because H generally smells it once I have located a spot and have begun to move the furniture so that I can clean it. But that can't be it. Because with superhuman sense of smell, I would be able to just follow the smell to the appropriate spot, where it is at its strongest. To follow my nose, if you will. Like Toucan Sam. And I would then know where she was peeing. Oh, the cleanliness I could unleash upon my house if only I had the powers of the Toucan.

Anyway ...

I decided to clean the toilet. Please don't misunderstand. It's not that I'm insane. And I do not believe that the cat is peeing in the toilet. (But wouldn't it be great if she would?) It's just that, in my wanderings of looking for the source of offending odour, I encountered a bathroom. And since I was methodically cleaning everything in my path, it only made sense to continue. So the toilet needed to be cleaned, polished, and made all nice and lemon-fresh.

Now, throughout my chores, and throughout this post, I have been met with frequent interruptions. Interruptions such as: "I want Cars!"; "I don't want Cars - I want ... this one!" "No, not that one ... I want - Shrek!"; "I think there's pee in me"; "I don't want to go pee-pee"; "They're up like Grandpa-pants - I don't want that"; "I wanna watch Enchanted!"; "No! Not that, not that, not that!!"; and, my personal favourite, "The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show freaks me out". But nothing could have prepared me for what was about to come.

Anyway ...

Proudly brandishing the toilet brush, I marched toward the offending bowl to do battle. And that is when it happened. That is when I heard it. The sound of utmost youthful exuberance, which will most certainly not last into his teen years. (But wouldn't it be great if it would?)

J: What's that? Is that a toilet brush? I want that! I want that thing!! I WANT TO CLEAN THE TOILET!!!

I said no. I tried desperately to keep the toilet brush away from J. I told J that the toilet bowl and toilet brush were both icky, germy things, and that I didn't want him to touch them. I sat him down and talked logically and rationally.


I thought his head would explode as he lay on the floor, kicking and screaming, having an out-and-out tantrum, demanding, sobbing, and pleading for the toilet brush by turn. Seriously? I'd love it if he would clean the toilets for me all the time. But I think that borders on child abuse.

Anyway ...

The toilet is now clean. Wonderfully shiny and polished. I cleaned it. J did not. I am no nearer to finding the source of the cat pee smell. And J is on to a new tantrum. He wants a drink of water. And he wants to drink it out of one of N's baby bottles. A specific baby bottle. Which he has misplaced. And which I am to find. Immediately. And if I don't, he will move his rocking chair into the kitchen and climb on top of it to look over the counter at his dinosaur eggs in their make-shift aquarium - but that's a topic for another time - and probably fall off and crack his head open. And what one of these things has to do with the other, I can't possibly understand. Because it's 3-year old logic, and I am ... well ... not 3.

Must go save child from cracking head open. Must find misplaced baby bottle for 3-year old. And must continue in search of offending cat pee stench.

It's going to be a fabulous day.

Picky elephants on parade

J loves elephants. They are one of his many favorite animals. He really loves their long trunks. He will frequently pretend to be an elephant. He will pick things up with his "trunk", and carry them about.

J wanted to know what sound an elephant made. I showed him how I was taught when I was about his age. You hold out your arms at about shoulder level, cross your left arm under your right, so that your left elbow is under your right elbow. Then you bend your left arm and pinch your nose with your left hand. Finally, you lift your right arm (being your "trunk") and blow out between clenched lips. Makes a wonderfully loud squeal. Not entirely, but almost, completely unlike an elephant's ... sound. (As an aside, what is an elephant's sound actually called? Wail? Squeal? Trumpet? What?)

Anyway, J has attempted to replicate this with varied degrees of success. Eventually, he abandoned the arm motions and has just contented himself with squealing loudly. He sounds kind of like a semi-trailer with failing brakes. But he enjoys it.

The other day, he was running around squealing away like a little maniacal semi-trailer. And someone asked what he was doing.

J: That's what an elephant says. (Loud semi-trailer brake squealing noise)
T: Right. An elephant says (squeal, complete with arm motions)

J looked at me. Doing the arm motions for the elephant's trunk. Pinching my nose and lifting my arm into the air. Like a freak.

J: Elephants pick their noses.

Good. I'm glad I could teach him the basics.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Love will keep us together

My son is gifted. I know all parents think that, but in this case, it's really true.

Today, J decided to pretend to be a piggy. He advised me that he was a "little piggy". I didn't get it, but I played along. J pretends to be lots of things; this was not unusual. So I needed to refer to him as "Piggy". Fine. I can do that.

And then, quite unexpectedly, he asked me this:

J: Why do you keep knocking things down?

Again, I didn't get it. What was he talking about?

T: I don't know what you're talking about.
J: Houses. Why do you keep knocking houses down?

At last I got it! J was a Little Pig, and I was to play the part of the Big Bad Wolf. Ok. I get it. I'll play along.

T: Blowing houses down?
J: Yes. Why do you do it?
T: Because I am a wolf, and it is what I do.
J: But it's naughty! You really shouldn't blow houses down.
T: It's naughty?
J: Yes! That's bad! Please don't do it anymore?
T: Oh. Ok. Well, now that I know it's naughty, I won't do it anymore.

My Little Pig was happy with this. And to show his appreciation, he invited the Big Bad Wolf to his house. They sat down together and enjoyed tea and cake, and much merriment ensued. They taught one another to howl and oink, and they played with many toys.

And everything became clear. So many of life's little problems come from poor communication and misunderstanding. How easy it would be if we could all just sit down together and have tea and cake. And my little boy is so very gifted that he can make that happen. Just like that.

What an amazing child I have. Yes indeedy. He likes it when people get along. He likes it when everyone is nice to each other. It makes him unhappy when people fight. We should all be nice to each other. Be good, and never naughty. And he cares so deeply about all of this that you just know he's going to do great things. Maybe he'll be a psychiatrist. A marriage and relationship counselor. But whatever he chooses, he'll help make the world a better place. Yes, he will. Because at the end of the day, all you need is love. And love - love will keep us together.

And just as all of this was occurring to me, my reverie was broken. Quite unceremoniously shattered, in fact.

J: Look! That's a nice ant. A very nice ant, for me to step on. I squish him!

Maybe ... not ...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The times, they are a-changin'

Thirty or forty years ago, children were routinely formula fed. Medical professionals recommended they sleep on their stomachs. Carseats did not exist. Daddies earned the money while mommies stayed at home to care for the house and children. Solids were introduced early. Honey was soothing. Bumper pads were considered essential. Bike helmets did not exist.

So we can safely say that a lot of things were different a lot of years ago.

Three years ago, children started solids at 4-6 months, and one new food was introduced every third day. Formula was generally frowned upon, and bottle feeding in general was kept to a minimum, as it was thought to cause nipple confusion.

And this year, pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months followed by the addition of a new solid every day. Formula may be used for supplementation, though this is not generally recommended; pumped breastmilk is better, and may be given by bottle, but not in the BPA-containing plastic variety. Other forms of plastic are fine, as are glass.

Today, we have carseats. Babies sleep on their backs. Bumper pads are considered dangerous. Honey is not allowed in the first year. And a stay-at-home parent is a luxury, while dual incomes are the norm.

Also, bike helmets are mandatory.

I turned out fine. And because of, or perhaps despite, the new standards, I expect my children will also turn out fine. All we can do is what is deemed best at the time. Armed only with current knowledge, we can do no more than what we have been taught is right. And it always seems to work.

Do you let them cry it out? Is co-sleeping safe? When should potty training be complete? How should time-out be structured? Are soothers a good thing? Cloth or disposable? Daycare, dayhome, nanny, or stay-at-home?

Everyone is happy to share their opinions. Whether asked, wanted, or otherwise. Unsolicited parenting advice abounds.

"But things have changed since then", I think. And I nod, knowing that if nothing else, at least the intent is good. I wonder, since the rules change so much and so often, how much of what I am doing will be considered ludicrous in another thirty or forty years. Will my children be amazed that they survived?

And ultimately, what happens if I start you on rice pablum at 4 months instead of 6? Or slip you a bottle of formula because it's more convenient? How much harm does it do if I fail to follow certain of the current guidelines?

I don't know.

But now, you lie in my lap. You chat with me, as I play with your tiny little feet. And you are sucking your fingers again, telling me that it is still your lunchtime and that I had better feed you immediately or else you will scream. And I love you and your big brother more than I'd ever dreamed possible.

I have held you and fed you all day long, because otherwise you have screamed. But I'm no good to you if I can't get time to eat or drink something myself. So I live on granola bars and pre-sliced cheese, and worry more about your dietary requirements than my own. I am Mom. It is what I do.

I put you on the breastfeeding pillow. You begin to nurse, and it pains me. But that dissipates as you continue to feed. And I kiss your tiny hands and caress your tiny feet, and wonder if one day the experts will say that we should neither touch nor kiss a baby's hands and feet, and that breastmilk is bad for a child's growth and development.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The answer, my friend, is BRIBERY

J has been on a potty strike. He can go in the potty, but he doesn't want to. We have not found a good incentive that motivates him. We got him big-boy underwear. Some have cars on them. Others have Spiderman. He doesn't care.

We tried taking him every hour. He pees in between. Every half hour? He pees in between. Every fifteen minutes? He waits 'til he's off the potty, then pees.

We told him he can't go to the playground if he's not potty trained. He cried. Then he got over it and carried on with life.

All of his classmates at daycare got moved to the next room. We told J that he doesn't get to play with them anymore until he's potty trained. He decided not to care.

J's cousin, who is one month younger than J, has decided to go in the potty. J admires his cousin. We asked J if he wanted to be a big boy like Jakey. J said "No, I want to be a baby, like N".

Sticker charts? No. Hand stamps? No. Candy? Not really, but we got closer.

Nothing has really worked.

So now, we are using full blown bribery.

We bought a bunch of little trinkets. We wrapped them all up in small bits of wrapping paper, and put them in a bowl. Now, every time J uses the potty and is dry in between uses, he gets to pick a present out of the bowl. There's a big present wrapped up and sitting on top of the piano in plain sight. When the present bowl is empty, J gets to open the big present.

The present bowl is filled with all kinds of cool things. Superballs, Hot Wheels cars, tracing stencils, stickers, sticker books ... but J only really wants the superballs. He rifles through the bowl and picks out all of the balls. We were hoping the cars would be a bigger hit. The big present relates to the cars. But so far, J is only wanting the balls.

With this new incentive in place, J has gone back to doing well with potty training. He still has accidents, and they upset him. We'll keep making sure the bowl is full until he's completely potty trained. The hope is that, once we let the bowl empty out, J will be so used to being clean and dry that the uncomfortable sensation of being wet or dirty will be enough to keep him from regressing.

I hope this continues to work.

Filling the bowl with presents isn't particularly cheap, but it's also not going to break us. H has mentioned that we could have just wrapped up rocks we found in the street and J would have been very happy with them. Sadly, H is correct. And I kind of wish we'd thought of that before we bought presents. But I like to discourage the whole rock obsession, so this is probably better anyway.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Well, if they wouldn't use words that rhyme with "poo" ...

J really likes the "Mamma Mia" soundtrack. His favourite song is "Money, Money, Money". He actually thinks it's called "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy", which is especially cute when he sings along: "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy; Always funny; In a rich man's world.

J also enjoys the song "Super Trooper". But he's not too fond of my version.

'Cause you're a Super Pooper
Potty's gonna find you
With a nice clean bum.
Smiling, having fun.
Feeling like a number one.

'Cause you're a Super Pooper
Potty's gonna find you
And you won't feel blue,
Like you used to do,
'Cause somewhere in the bum, there's poo.

Potty training continues to elude J.

And if ABBA wouldn't use words that rhyme with "poo", then this kind of thing wouldn't happen!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Panda vs. Garbage Head

Today, J decided that he wanted to take his new raccoon to daycare. (I must call it "Raccoon". Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to call it "Garbage Head".) Daycare frowns upon outside toys, but does make exceptions for teddy bears. So Panda has been J's constant daycare companion thus far. But today, J asked to take Raccoon instead of Panda.

Knowing our son as we do, we know that the novelty of the new toy would wear off partway through the day and that he would want Panda. Especially during naptime, when he tends to use Panda as a pillow. We were therefore hesitant to allow him to switch teddy bears for daycare.

We tried to persuade him. H explained that J would want Panda. H suggested that Raccoon could go along, but would need to wait in the car until after daycare. But J was unmoved, and insisted that he must take Raccoon to daycare. Finally, in desperation, H tried talking for Panda.

H (as Panda): Wouldn't you miss me at daycare, J?
J (as Raccoon): I can easily catch a fish with my feet, Panda!

Once again, thanks to "All About Raccoons" for this little conversation snippet.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

All About Raccoons

Lately, one of J's favourite books has become "All About Raccoons", a book filled with many raccoon details. How they search through garbage for food. How they sometimes live in peoples' chimneys. How they learn to climb. Yes indeed. "All About Raccoons".

Today, I fortuitously stumbled upon a beautiful raccoon stuffed toy. Knowing that J would love it, I couldn't resist buying it for my little boy. I gave it to him this evening. He loved it so much. He took care not to get it dirty, and he took it to bed with him tonight, along with his cherished Panda.

Historically, J has been less than creative about picking names for his stuffed animals. They all sport names like "Panda", or "Froggie". Sometimes, they are more descriptive - as in "Blue Bear" or "Big Blue Bear". His most creative choice thus far was when he named his giraffe puppet "Kangaroo". Of course, he just had his animals confused; it is now known as "Giraffe Puppet".

So when I asked him what he wanted to name his new toy, I expected to hear "Raccoon". I was therefore somewhat taken aback when my darling son responded with:

J: His name is Garbage Head.

Alright. Well, if nothing else, his book has apparently taught J that raccoons sometimes go through the garbage.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

It never rains but it pours

The kids are sick.

N has some kind of explosive diarrhea stomach cramp issue. Usually very content, he sleeps and screams by turn. The screams are quite disconcerting.

J feels very warm, and he has a cough, runny nose, stomach cramps, and a headache. He's also extremely tired and has no interest in eating (not particularly new, but he won't eat his favourite foods and keeps asking to go to bed instead, which is quite different). He's not even interested in drinking milk. And he's not stalling bedtime, preferring to go straight to bed without snacks, stories, or even being changed into his pajamas. And that's unbelievably weird.

We were set up to babysit I&G tomorrow for L&P. Had to call over there really late, when it became especially apparent that the kids weren't themselves, and tell them the kids are sick. Thankfully, L&P were able to make alternate arrangements. We don't want their kids to get sick. Neither do they. I'm glad we have understanding friends, but I still feel badly about bailing on a commitment at the last minute.

I'm achey all over. Think I'm passing one of the many kidney stones. Hurts, but it's good. Pain means they're leaving my system. I hope they all leave. As long as I don't have to head to hospital for pain meds, it will be just fine.

And of course, my birth mom is fighting pancreatic cancer that is now in her liver. I don't think I've mentioned that on this blog yet. But there you have it.

Fortunately, H feels just fine. We'll all get him yet. Just you wait and see.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Sarcasm: Just one more free service he offers

H: J, don't take your blankie downstairs.
J: But Jakey carries his blankie around like this!
H: You're not Jakey.
J: (with utmost wide-eyed innocent sincerity) I'm not?