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!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fashion plate

Guess who's been choosing his own outfits lately?


This particular masterpiece of fashion is a shirt with bugs and pants with monkeys on surfboards (actually a pair of 4t pyjama pants, but why let that stop him from realizing his artistic vision?), but I think it's the blue argyle socks that tip it over into true awesomeness.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cough cough cough

We seem to have been blessed with the eternal household cold early this year.  Coughing is the soundtrack of the house right now.  I've been coughing for three weeks now, which is honestly starting to get a bit boring, because I can't do much physical if I want to be able to breathe at the end of it.  It's not so bad, I suppose, as long as I don't move, or talk. Or lie down.  At work, I've been very tempted to put out a sign labeling myself as a living history exhibit of an authentic Victorian Consumptive.

I suppose I would have to stop using the computer if I wanted to preserve the illusion of historical accuracy though.  And maybe grab a red marker from the children's section to put some bloodstains on a handkerchief.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


  (It's November. Am I doing this?  I guess I am)

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We passed an uneventful and sugar-fueled Halloween.  We avoided all sorts of potential drama:

Alec, for instance, was perfectly happy to go off to school in his firefighter costume when I told him that he couldn't wear his chosen monkey costume because he couldn't go to the bathroom in it easily enough.

James was thrilled to wear the dinosaur costume that his brother and sister had worn before him because it was his turn to be the right size for it.  He's started to be very opinionated about what he wears lately, so he could have refused to put it on, but thankfully, he actually likes stomping around pretending to be a dinosaur.  I left him with the costume while I went to get a fresh diaper and by the time I came back, he had managed to get one arm through a sleeve and his other arm through a leg and couldn't wait to finish putting it on.

Katherine didn't want to wear any makeup on her face even though the Monster High character she was dressed as has blue skin, which was good because apparently Target the day before Halloween isn't the right place to find costume makeup and I didn't have the energy to go any place else.

I don't know when my children decided to be so flexible and easy, but it certainly made for a nice day.