Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cabin fever update

I think the last week hit its apotheosis last night with the following conversation:

Me: Why is there popcorn all over the floor?
Alec: I wanted popcorn.
Me: You know you're supposed to get someone to help you make popcorn.
Alec: Can I have popcorn?

Because I have to report, dear Reader, that a full pound of unpopped popcorn was scattered over the kitchen and dining room floor, like some sort of cold popcorn bomb had gone off (it was also all the way down the hall and into our bedroom beyond plausible range of spray, which is why I suspect extra shenanigans were going on). That pretty much was the capper for the past week.

We made it through last week, with the two snow days and three days of school at home because of parent-teacher conferences. Then Monday turned out to be the monthly teacher inservice day at the older kids' school. Meanwhile, James developed an ear infection and missed the other day of preschool last week and trapping us inside, even when the weather wasn't that bad.

Today everyone went to school. I took a nap.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I have, I confess, been aggressively avoiding real life for the past couple months. Not shirking any real life responsibilities, of course. But I've been avoiding the news, and forms of entertainment that require any sort of active input from me in favor of extremely fluffy passive entertainment. But it's been 2 1/2 months and it's probably time to come out of hibernation.

I dipped my toes in the waters of reality again a while ago when I compromised on the news blackout by putting the NPR news feed on my rss reader, so I at least see the headlines even if I don't read the details. And now maybe it's time to attempt some output, even if the majority of my entertainment continues to be about as shallow as a contact lens.


This was not a good week for a snowpocalypse, especially one that fizzled quite as spectacularly as it did here. I know further north they're getting the real deal, but we were promised something around a foot, and instead I think we've gotten maaaybe two inches in the past two days. Despite this, school let out early yesterday and wasn't in session at all today. That's not such a big deal, especially since was off work as well.

However, when you add that to the three days of cyber days the older kids have thanks to parent-teacher conferences Wednesday through Friday, meaning they'll do school on their computers at home, and that makes an entire week of trapped inside with three children. I fear I may begin to resemble Jack Nicholson by the end of the week. At the very least, I suspect I will be sprinting out the door to work on Saturday.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

A quiet day for us, followed by packing for the trip to Michigan tomorrow. We are only halfway through our Christmas season and it has been quite good so far.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm constantly amazed at how James has grown from an easy and laidback baby to an easy and laidback toddler. The common wisdom is that easy babies become hellish toddlers, but so far I've braced myself at every age that was difficult with his siblings for trouble that never came.

I'm sure at some completely inocuous age like 6 he'll turn into a complete demonseed just to mess with us, but in the meantime, he's such a pleasant toddler. He doesn't even tantrum much. He does some, of course, but mostly when he's thwarted or he can't get across what he wants to us, he hangs head and slumps his shoulders in despair, exactly like this:

Then when you figure it out and give him what he wants, he dances with joy exactly like this:

It makes it very hard to say no to him. Tantrums I can ignore, but despair is much more heartrending, especially since his dance of joy is so fricking cute.

Of course, realizing my child is essentially channeling Peanuts characters makes me a little sorry that I never thought to a second boy Rerun.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Black Stallion meets Frankenstein

I made a decent amount of progress at work today on my project of getting all of the children's collection in the computer catalog. My goodness, I never realized quite how many Black Stallion books there are though. The Black Stallion, The Black Stallion Returns, The Black Stallion Revolts, Son of Black Stallion, The Black Stallion and Satan, The Black Stallion's Sulky Colt, The Black Stallion Meets the Three Stooges... it just goes on endlessly and we seem to have all of them. And here I thought there were a lot of Oz books, but apparently L. Frank Baum didn't know beans about churning books out compared to Walter Farley.

Friday, November 14, 2014


James is going through the sherpa stage of toddlerhood, where he must carry his most precious possessions with him at all times, his stubby little arms overflowing, until bedtime comes and they go into the crib with him. Which items are precious to him vary at any given moment, which is why we realized recently that he has been sleeping elevated a good six inches above his mattress, cushioned by stuffed animals, baby dolls, books and most memorably last night, a doll stroller.

We have taken to calling him Smaug.

All proper dragons sleep on their treasure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Today was an unusual treat - B had the day off for Veteran's Day, but all of the kids still had school.  So we celebrated by going to see Big Hero 6.

We had been planning to save it for Thanksgiving since it's something we can take the entire family to, but after what happened when we went to see the last Muppet movie (all of our children lost their tiny little minds in their own special way), we decided that since we actually wanted to see it, we would treat ourselves to a viewing which didn't include chasing a two-year-old.  Also, Alec has been getting scared really easily lately, so we thought it would be prudent to pre-screen it and now that I've seen it, I'm not sure he can handle it.

In any case, we loved it.  There was the exquisite animation, of course.  But it also managed that tricky balance of humor some much more serious emotions.  How we handle grief could be seen as the predominant theme, and they did a decent, thoughtful job of it.  Plus some really cool action sequences.  Definitely stay through the credits for the stinger at the end - it's highly worth it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lost weekend

So!  As it turns out, codeine packs quite a punch.  I've spent the past couple evenings essentially passed out due to cough syrup.  Surprising, because I'm not usually that sensitive to drowsy-making things.  I guess my decision not to take any cough syrup during the day was a good one, both for my productivity at work and being able to stay awake to prevent the children from burning the house down.

On the plus side, the theory that stopping the cough will help the irritation calm down seems to be panning out.  I've been regular with the inhaler as well, and while it's not gone completely, I'm coughing a lot less, and it no longer feels like an elephant is standing on my chest - more like a small pony.  Progress!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bits and bobs

* I finally gave in and took my cough to the doctor today.  My lungs are clear, so she thinks it's a post-viral cough, where being sick has irritated my respiratory tract and some asthma as well.  So I have an inhaler and codeine to hopefully evict my guest that has long overstayed its welcome.

* I turned 40 on the 17th.  When I think about starting another decade, I keep remembering that ten years ago when I turned 30, I was 6 weeks pregnant with Katherine.  It's fascinating to see how dramatically different our life is ten years and three children later.

Meanwhile, I'm choosing to ignore any thoughts of my looming mortality, no matter how many grey streaks my hair seems to be developing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

In lieu of discussing the utterly depressing election, a more worthwhile conversation

While watching Arrow just now, I made a comment that I think sums up the state of death in comics/comic-related franchises pretty well:

"I would not have believed [$character] was actually dead unless I had seen a flashback of her cradling his severed head."*

Yep, that's it.  Still more than I want to say about the national election.  I am pleased that our horrid governor was voted out of office.  Maybe the new governor will restore some of the 250 MILLION DOLLARS Corbett cut from the Philadelphia schools.  But when it comes to our national government, I would rather talk about comic books.

*Which of course always brings to mind the fantastic line from the superb movie Soapdish: "How can I write dialogue for him?  He doesn't have a fucking head!"