Friday, March 28, 2014

The care and feeding of young geeks

(It has occurred to me that one of the downsides of not posting much is that four of my last five posts have involved vomit. At least until the last two weeks, our winter hasn't actually featured much puking, so I'll attempt to rein back the discussion of it to be in proportion to actual amounts in our everyday life)

(Although guess what I did Tuesday night. Sigh)

One good thing that came out of the massive amounts of school Katherine has missed due to weather is that I tried to convince her to watch Star Wars. To my great surprise, she agreed. To my even greater surprise, she loved it, mainlining A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back the first day and champing at the bit to watch Return of the Jedi the next (I'm sure it helps that I told her there were living teddy bears in that movie)(I'm not sure I will ever forgive myself for selling my Ewok village playset at a garage sale now).*

The way I convinced her was through Angry Birds, which the older kids and I started playing last fall (which makes me all hip and up to the moment for like, 2010 or so). We had worked our way to Angry Birds Star Wars, and Katherine was begging me to get Angry Birds Star Wars II. So I finally said I would if she actually watched Star Wars, and she said okay. It was a spur of the moment whim on my part, mostly as a way of putting her off a little because I try to avoid putting new games on the tablet too often. Even when they're free, I would rather the kids not get accustomed to a constant stream of novelty and have to actually spend some time playing through the games they ask for before getting a new one.

So we watched Star Wars. And she loved it. I came home from work last Sunday and discovered she had asked to watch it again. She's never been much of a science fiction kid (well, except for Wall-E), but clearly this is a hit. I wish I could think of more PG science fiction to show her. This trend needs to be encouraged.

*We had been pondering since before we actually had children in what order we would show them the Star Wars movies. I finally came down on the original trilogy first because they aren't remotely old enough to handle Revenge of the Sith. And because the original trilogy is actually good, of course.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I am getting very tired of vomit

We had another puketastic weekend - this time, Katherine threw up once and was sick all of Saturday, B felt sick but never threw up, and James has been throwing up multiple times a day since Friday night.

He's been throwing up for two weeks now, and it's hard not to worry. We took him to the doctor today, which I wouldn't normally do for what's almost certainly a virus, but two weeks calls for further investigation. And the diagnosis was... probably a virus. Or I suspect two viruses back to back. But the doctor did say he looked well-hydrated, so we just need to wait it out. It's just hard to see our skinny baby lose weight. He was 22 pounds, 8 ounces at his 18 month appointment, which is the 8th percentile for weight. Today, he was 24 pounds, 6 ounces, which is a net gain of less than two pounds in five months. That's not really adequate weight gain for a toddler. I'm going to have to concentrate on calorie-loading for him once he's consistently keeping food down, whenever that blessed day may come. And meanwhile, we will continue to do massive amounts of laundry.


Katherine hid the fact that she had thrown up from us on Saturday, and spent the day protesting that she was fine! Absolutely fine! Despite spending the day basically lying prone and motionless and not eating at all. The reason was that she was desperate to go to a local nature center.

So I took her the next day. It was actually the right day to go because we got there right before a program was right about to start. It was supposed to be for members only, but they let us attend if we promised to consider joining. So we got to meet the new animals of the nature center - an opossum, two rats, two snakes, a bearded dragon and a turkey vulture (we didn't actually get to meet him since he was far too shy of humans to do programs yet, but we met his cute stuffed stand-in). We got to pet them all, then the children made toys for the rats and opossum. The environmental educator gave a very entertaining program, so we'll definitely have to try to go back. I think we'll join as well. There are certainly larger places to go in Philadelphia, but this place is very close to us and doesn't require driving across three quarters of our egregiously large city. And as an employee of a small museum, I know how much more difference every single membership makes.


And, as always, an observance of the holiday:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Not a method I actually recommend

I discovered the secret to an easy Daylight Saving Time transition: stay up most of the night with puking children! The next day, everyone will be so exhausted that they have no problem falling asleep when their bodies think it's an hour early.

In other news, after three night of nocturnal vomit in the past week, I'm not a fan of this particular stomach bug.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


We were so close. After a week with four snow, the next week with two snow days and for the killing blow, the next week starting with a holiday and a teacher's inservice day, Katherine was finally going to have a full week of school. And then she got sick, and so much for that.

Yes, yes, I know she used to be home all the time. But we had a routine based on that then. Children off their routine are not a pretty sight, and when you mix it with being housebound by the weather for days on end, starts to get grisly. Children start pinging off of walls like heated molecules and household civilization crumbles into decay. By the second week, I was practically sprinting out the door to work when the weekend came.

And now there's six to twelve inches forecast for Monday. Sigh.