Thursday, December 21, 2006

How could I neglect to mention that Peanut came home with a Bzzzzz L!ghtyear plane from the D!sney Store. Hubby couldn’t wait till Christmas to give it to him, so Peanut got it last night. It’s a puzzle toy and can be changed into a helicopter or rocket. It’s perfect, a copter-plane. Peanut tells me which he wants and I move the propeller to the appropriate spot. Lat night, Hubby conned him into bed by allowing copter-plane to sleep with him. I snuck in once he was asleep and pried the radio out from under him.

I did some online perusing and discovered F!sher Pr!ce L!ttle Peeeeple has an absolutely adorable nativity set. We have a cute porcelain set that one of our moms gave us (both gave us the same Dollar Store set one year – it’s actually pretty classy looking) which has a magnetic attraction for Peanut. (I wonder why? I hardly ever played with our Nativity as a child. The angel may have taken baby Jesus for a flight or two, but I hardly ever touched it.) I’m afraid he’s going to break the figures, so this one will be perfect. I couldn’t resist adding the shepherds. The little dude holding a lamb is precious.

Did you know they also have a family celebrating Hanukkah? And most of their sets come with characters of different skin and hair colors. Way cool.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Older niece has separated from her husband. It came as no surprise to Hubby and me. His shitty behavior escalated from bitching about having to babysit* his own kid while his stay-at-home wife spent some time with her mom, and not allowing their toddler to yell in the house or play with toy cars on the table to verbally abusing his wife. I’m glad she had the sense to get herself and their child away from him. As much as I gripe about the nieces, especially the younger one, I feel bad about the situations they’re in. Both are intelligent and had plans to go to college, but older niece decided to get married and got shipped overseas with the asshole husband. Younger niece actually has a year or two of college under her belt, but got pregnant and had a shotgun wedding. Older niece is living at home with her mom, but the rural mountains don’t offer much in the way of jobs other than low-wage ones. I hope she can get good child support and find a way to get herself a decent job and an education.

Taking a tired toddler to the mall during the holiday shopping season is not such a good idea. He got fussy while I was looking for gifts for his daycare teachers, so Hubby decided a stop at the D!sney Store was in order. Holy hell, baaaad idea. Peanut spotted a few cool toys and announced “mine”. Then he discovered a Lightning McQueen (or whatever his name is) bean-baggy thing. “Miiiiiiiiiine. Peanut’s car. Miiiiiine.” As I tore him away, he threw himself onto the floor and initiated a tantrum. Thankfully we were able to distract him with other crap. The grand finale came as we left and he wanted to stay with Mickey and friends at the front window. “Miiiiiiiickeeeeeeey. Biiiiiiiig Doooooog (Pluto). Miiiiiiiickeeeeeeey. Nooooooooo. Maaaaaaaaaalllllllll.”

*I cannot express how much a loathe parents who consider caring for their own children to be “babysitting”. Babysitting is paying the teenager up the street to hang out at your house for a few hours and make sure the kids don’t kill themselves. Taking care of your progeny is called “parenting”.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Peanut has been crazy lately. Bouncing off the walls, futon-climbing, running in circles, not wanting to go to bed, CRAZY. And he's repeating a lot of words. Last night he mimicked "Ohmagosh." It was adorable. Thank G*d I've been working on toning down the vocab.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Zzzzzzz…I’m sleepy. A nap would be so nice.

Lily gave us a scare this past week. I came home one night to find her lying by the front door and a pile of poop by the back door. I assumed she was doing the guilty dog thing until I called her to go potty and she could barely walk. She got a few feet into the backyard, pooped again, then lay in the grass. She stayed in the same spot for at least an hour during which I fed Peanut his dinner, called the vet, and got a referral to an emergency vet. (A real emergency place that actually takes care of the animals, opposed to the place we tried a few years back when one of the cats had an abscess and was told all they could do was observe him all night for an exorbitant amount.)

I checked on her every 5-10 minutes to see if she was still breathing (I was afraid she might be dying) and if she would come back inside. When Peanut finished his dinner, we went to the neighbors to see if they could help me carry Lily, but nobody was home. She finally decided to come inside and I guided her into the garage and somehow managed to hoist all 55 lbs of her into the back of the CR-V. Not easy. Peanut wanted to stay in the garage and play, so I explained Lily had boo-boos and needed to go to the doggie doctor. I think he understood and got into the car with minor fussing.

We met a nice tween-age boy in the waiting room and talked about our dogs and how old Peanut is. Hubby arrived shortly after. Lily had a low temp from lying outside so long and the vet tried to warm her with heated towels. Her liver enzymes and wbc were up, but no blockages were visible on the X-ray. Peanut and I left while Hubby waited for the rest of the tests. The vet recommended keeping Lily overnight, but the cost was insane, so we ended up with antibiotics and a Reglan shot to settle Lily’s tummy. She was still cold when she got back home, so we covered her with a blanket and left her to sleep on the couch.

By the next morning she was a little perkier, but still off. She seems back to normal now and has been pooping without any problem, so we’ve ruled out a blockage. She’ll see her regular vet this weekend for a follow up. Poor thing.

Mom and I checked out an assisted living facility this weekend. It’s a gorgeous old hotel and only 10 minutes from my workplace. They’re willing to work with her financially, but she’ll be left with only $54 a month for doctor’s bills, prescriptions, and personal expenses. She talked to her mobile home park manager yesterday and he’s going to try to sell her place through connections. He seems to think it’ll go fast and we hope so. The ALF has only one shared room available (they only offer financial assistance on shared rooms). Soon will come the fun part of getting rid of stuff, having a yard sale, and moving mom. We’re not sure what will happen with her cat. The ALF does allow pets, but it all depends on whether or not her roommate will agree to a cat. There is no way we can take her. We have enough behavior problems with pooping and spraying and don’t need another neurotic cat in the mix. I hope we’re making the right choice and she’ll be happy. She needs some other living arrangement besides her current situation and I hope this is it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Last week ended up being one of those crazy weeks. Hubby had two all-nighters in three days and wasn’t even on call.

A guy was stabbed approximately 25 times. All wounds were shallow, none life-threatening. God truly does love drunks. The victim started the fight by throwing a beer bottle at another drunk dude’s head. A scuffle ensued.

The cops rounded up the rest of the drunkards for questioning. Hubby went down to the holding area. As he was waiting, one of the guys took a huge dump. So Hubby asked him what crawled up his ass and died. Drunk #2 started laughing his ass off. To which Hubby replied, “What are you laughing at. You pissed your pants.”

Is it obvious Hubby hates being called out for stupid drunks?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hubby and I went out to dinner last night because we had a babysitter. As in a high school student we paid money to watch our child. I feel like a real mommy now. Peanut had a good time showing off all his toys, barely fussed when we left, and when we asked him this morning if he liked her, he said her name several times -a very good sign.

When Hubby and I got to the restaurant, I started feeling funky with a weird out-of-body tingly feeling I sometimes get before getting sick. When we started eating, I immediately felt nauseous. Hubby and I sat and talked while he finished his dinner, we boxed up my leftovers (nearly the whole meal) and headed home. I practically ran to the bathroom. I felt miserable for the rest of the evening with the trots and nausea. I’m still off this morning, but managed some toast and ginger ale for breakfast.

I rear ended someone on the drive to work. His car had a few scratches, mine a crack in the bumper and the tire alignment is definitely off. The other driver didn’t want to exchange info or report the accident as his was an older model car. I called Hubby and gave the tag number just in case. I’m thankful nobody was hurt and the damage is minor, but now we need to get the alignment fixed and the bumper checked, maybe replaced. Hubby was a sweetheart about the whole thing and is going to ask around for a reputable body shop. I know of one good place, but they’re usually really busy.

Once I got to work, my period started and I only have one stinkin’ teeny tampon. Guess I’ll be running out over lunch to stock up.

Hubby is going to research a daycare place closer to our home, one that was recommended by a couple of people. He ran into an acquaintance who used to send their child to our daycare and pulled him out earlier this year. They had similar complaints against the teacher we’ve had issues with, but the daycare never did anything about it. He was in her classroom, so they removed him. The daycare will move one of only 2 African American teachers to a different classroom when parents complain about her sharing food among the kids, but they don’t take care of a situation with a white teacher who regularly yells at the kids and is generally unfriendly. We’ll see how the other place seems. Crotchety Teacher has been friendlier and seemingly kinder to the kids since Hubby complained, but we’re keeping vigilant.

The topic I really wanted to write about is this story I heard this morning. In the military and got PTSD from your service in Iraq? Better not try to get help for it. There’s a chance your supervisors will deny permission to attend counseling. You also risk being made fun of, treated like shit, or being discharged.

One sergeant admitted to denying service members permission to leave training for therapy appointments. His reasoning is that training is more important and a lot of service people fake PTSD to get out of redeployment. He has no problems after serving in Iraq. He lost friends, but he’s just fine. Everyone else should be just fine, too. No other supervisors from the base would comment.

The enlisted guy who complained about being denied permission to attend therapy appointments had a medical evaluation something along the lines of: Suffering severe PTSD, is taking it our on his wife and needs therapy.” Just how is he taking it out on his wife? Yelling at her? Threatening her? You’d think the military would be a bit more cautious about situations like this.

I wonder if our military is hoping for another generation of Vietnam vets. You know, the ones you see on street corners with signs reading “Homeless vet. Hungry. God Bless.”

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Changes are happening at work. My lab will soon be moving into a new facility with more space. The biggest changes are in personnel. Two long-termers just retired, another one will in a few months, and the place won't be the same without them.

Several other people have left for better paying jobs. One kickass person found the same position at a local community college paying DOUBLE what she made at our big university. And she can earn her Master's for free. I don't want to trash talk my employer, and I'm not looking to be let go, but it speaks volumes when switching over to a community college is such a huge step up. I'm just sayin'.

My good friend took an excellent position with a small startup company. (I miss her already, but there was no way she could pass up the offer which includes bonuses and stock holdings.) She had some 18 years in with the university, but was one of the lowest paid in her job title. I'm approaching a decade at my job and was earning substantially more than her. Heck even new people were making as much as her. She started pushing for a raise a couple YEARS ago and was told she'd have to come up with an offer before they could do anything. Well, she came up with an offer alright, and the counter wasn't worth her staying.

Rumor has it a handful of other folks are getting ready to jump ship as well. I wish it would be a wake up call for the administration, but I doubt it. Word is that the bigwigs on main campus don't care much for us staff and would love to see the research programs run by students and post-docs and cut staff scientists out of the picture. It would be a great way for them to keep costs down, but they seem to be forgetting about the experience and knowledge we rest of us bring to our programs.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Peanut made it through his 2-year checkup with flying colors! Hubby had the honor of taking him and they had a great time. Peanut graduated to the big scale and measuring device – no more freakouts on the baby scale and lying-on-his-back length measurer. He sat still for the stethoscope and otoscope exams. His only crying spell happened when the nurse brought in his flu shot...he knows exactly what the plastic tray means. He and Hubby went out for lunch and Peanut zonked during the car ride back to daycare. We expected a rough afternoon, but he was energetic as usual after his nap.

The checkup spurred Peanut’s interest in the toy vet kit he got for his birthday. He pulled out the bright yellow plastic otoscope, held it to his ear and announced “ear”. He insisted on checking Mommy and Daddy’s ears several times as well. We showed him how to use the toy stethoscope, and now at least once a day, he demands “belly”, to which we lift our shirts and let him listen to our tummies.

Thanksgiving turned out very pleasantly. Hubby and Peanut picked Mom up the evening before so she could spend the night. Once they arrived at her house, Peanut exclaimed “Gramma!” and ran inside (very much like his last visit.) Mom was feeling pretty good and only caused some minor annoyances. We had a nice time hanging out together. We all, Peanut included, stuffed ourselves silly. I took Mom home shortly after dinner and Peanut cried for her as we left. He continued asking for her over the weekend.

We hung out and relaxed over the long weekend. The boys took a couple trips to the rc field to fly and watch the planes. We put the Christmas decorations up over the span of the weekend and I even squeezed in some shopping on Sunday. Most stores still had sales and were fairly empty. We still need to get gifts for some family members, but I checked several people off our list.

Peanut has become very interested in helping around the house. I was putting groceries away as Hubby carried them in from the car. In order to keep Peanut out of the garage, Hubby asked him to help me. Peanut reached into the bags and handed items to me. When he grabbed the juice, I opened the fridge door and he put it in its regular place. I'm continually amazed at what a little knowledge sponge he is. He doesn't miss a thing.

The big news is that we finally weaned him off the bottle! The last one was Tuesday, the 21st. I had been priming him, telling him babas are for little babies and he’s a big boy now, so the baba would be going bye-bye soon. Tuesday night I gave him the usual and told him it was his last one. Wednesday night he inevitably asked for one. We held firm and told him no more baby babas, but he could have a big boy baba. He refused it and threw and hour-long tantrum. With some cuddling and soft talking he eventually settled down and accepted his new baba. So far each night he’s asked for big baba, aka hot milk. If it’s not heated to specifications, he hands it back and announces “Mommy, hot milk.”

Night-long sleeping in his own bed went out the window. He got a little croupy Thanksgiving night, so we decided not to be too hard core about it. We have been making an effort to put him into his bed sleepy, but awake. Most nights we can get him to fall asleep in his own bed. We’ve had a few full nights in his own bed and several stretching until 4 or 5 am. Even if he gets out of bed, I can generally put him back in and he’ll fall asleep. The night before last I woke up to him in the hall outside our bedroom. I didn’t have the heart to take him back to his bed after making the trek across the house.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Our weekend was a huge success! Peanut and I picked up my mom Friday evening on our way home. The whole way there he repeated “Gamma” and ran into her house as soon as I got him out of the car. After supper, she hung out with him while Hubby and I started cleaning the house.

Saturday morning started early with more preparations. Peanut was into everything, full of too much energy for Gramma to handle. She started feeling lightheaded and had to lie down for a couple of hours, but it helped her feel better and kept her out of our hair. I’m used to Peanut following me around and “helping” when I clean. After I vacuumed, he pulled out his Dirt Devil and got all the spots I missed.

We played in the bounce house for a little while and had a ton of fun. The weather was so nice, we gave Peanut his t-ball set before the party. He looooves it and looks like he’s going to take after his southpaw momma…well, except I swing a bat right-handed.

He scarfed down lunch and started getting sleepy, so I put him in our bed and snuggled him till he finally zonked out about and hour before the party.

We were all about Elmo. The cake, the decorations, red balloons… Once a few folks arrived, Hubby retrieved Peanut who was sitting up in bed looking confused over the hubbub. The older kids spent most of the party in the bounce house, which was definitely worth the money. They did find time to drag out every single toy in Peanut’s room which looked like a trailer park after a tornado. Holy crap, those kids made a mess.

Once everyone left, we relaxed for a little bit, then I took Mom home. Peanut cried as we left. We told him Gramma would stay overnight again for Thanksgiving this week, but he did not care. It’s the first time he’s ever cried when she left and she felt horrible about it. Now she knows he really does love her.

I still can’t believe my little guy is two.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tomorrow is the big party day! A moonwalk is rented (I know, he’s only 2, but he looooooved the one at our friend’s Halloween party. Maybe he’ll wear himself out and sleep in his own bed. One can hope.) The Elmo cake is ordered and Elmo/red decorations are ready to be set up.

Finding a moonwalk was an interesting ordeal. I ended up calling about 10 places.

The first was a local (as in the owners live in our neighborhood) small business: called several times, left 2 messages, never heard back. This scenario turned out to be the norm.

The local Moonwalk franchise seemed promising, but the manager was out recovering from surgery. She was professional enough to leave a message stating so. I contacted her via email, but had already found another place by the time she responded. I felt bad, so I wrote back to let and told her I’d keep her in mind for next time. Her prices aren’t as good as the deal I got, but aren’t bad, either.

The next 2 were large party rental suppliers. Both had real people answer their phones but charged exorbitant prices. #1 wanted $100 for 4 hours plus $50 for delivery. #2 wanted $125 for 8 hours and $70 for delivery. I declined, but kept their info in case nothing else panned out.

The best price was with another small business. I was ready to make the reservation when the call started breaking up and dropped (obviously the “business” phone was a cell). I immediately called back and it dropped again. I called later, got voicemail, left a message, and never heard back.

Another’s phone number went to an a/c repair business. So did the 800 number.

Finally, one of the places called back. They turned out to be the in-town location of the place that wanted the $70 delivery charge. $107 for everything: rental, delivery, pickup. Reservation made. Woo hoo!

Afterwards, I couldn’t believe I had to call that many places to find A) a business that actually existed and B) a good price. Maybe they do such brisk business they don’t bother with callbacks? Blowing off potential clients seems like an unprofitable way to run a business. But what do I know?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Back to Halloween…

Peanut had a great time. He wore his costume for a good bit of the day at daycare. He enjoyed it so much, they told him he had to take it off before he could eat lunch in order to get him out of it and without starting WW III.

Once we got home, it was another story. He wanted to play with Daddy’s airplanes and radio, dinner and Halloween be screwed. He never did eat dinner (which we later realized was because of his cold/cough/wheezing) and Daddy finally cajoled him into his costume after explaining trick-or-treating involves going outside and receiving candies. They made the rounds of the whole neighborhood, much to my surprise. Peanut wasn’t in the least bit scared and would happily notice things like shoes peaking out from under a scary costume. He was mightily impressed with one yard display including some scary thing or other with lighted red eyes. He loved it and told Daddy all about the red eyes.

After lightening our neighbors' candy loads, he had a great time helping me lighten ours. Each time the doorbell rang, he ran excitedly over to check out all the kids.

I only had a couple smartasses get mouthy over our candy quality/quantity. It’s funny how they’re always boys in the 10-14 age range. Nearly all the girls were polite and most said thank you. Anyway, the one little smartass told me he was to get 2 pieces of candy. I gave everyone at least 2 anyway. One of his candies was too small for his liking, so he told me he would get another. I smiled, told him he already had his 2 candies and when he started asking what I was going to do about it, I smiled again, told him good night and shut the door. He seemed surprised with my response. Whatever.

The best “rude” kid was a little pumpkin of about 18 months who looked at me, pointed at his candy bag, and blurted “Uhhhhh!” I cracked up and his mom apologized. Little dude was making sure I knew where to put the candy.

My dad inadvertently scared one of his trick-or-treaters. A group of kids came to the door and Dad doled out the goods. One little guy held back and after he got his loot he held out a UNICEF box and asked for change. Dad had no clue what it was for, assumed it was for a school sports team, and sternly told him “Candy only, no change,” chunked another handful of candy in his bucket, and closed the door. Stepmom filled him in on the purpose of UNICEF boxes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hubby burned a group of cd's for me this weekend. As I was looking at his writing, something made me think of Brian and gave me an uncomfortable feeling. Maybe because Brian and I used to make mix tapes for each other. I don't like to associate Hubby with the immature and fucked up high school relationship Brian and I had.

He popped into my head several times again today. Disquieting. Then I realized it's fall, it's November. He was killed in the fall - November, I think. I've long since forgotten the date. Every year around this time memories surface. It's odd how certain objects, places, smells, songs can dig long-forgotten things out of dusty corners of the brain.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I would love for things to slow down to normal. Yesterday morning Mom's pharmacist called. Mom was there picking up meds and asked her to call an ambulance because her ongoing abdominal/chest pain had gotten so bad. A slew of tests revealed nothing (as usual), the doctors think it's related to her fibromyalgia, but she's also depressed because of the chronic pain, so she was transferred to the psych unit today. She and her shrink agreed that living alone is not the best plan (again, something we've hashed out before) and she's going to look for an affordable assisted living facility once she's released. I'll remind her again to get help from the social workers so she doesn't end up back in the place she went to before. It was a dive, but the only one her disability check could cover. And it was recommended by the less-than-stellar social worker she was assigned. (I later contacted the social worker and suggested she rethink referring people to that facility) Maybe the social worker can get medicare or some sort of state assistance so she can go someplace that doesn't have chronically broken bathrooms, sinks backing up in the kitchen, roof leaks, questionable practices when doling out meds, nary a fresh fruit or vegetablein sight, and that doesn't serve leftovers (spaghetti)multiple times per week. I called the state on them while she was there, and they had multiple violations.

Peanut is back on nebulizer treatments. His cold and cough developed into a wheeze, but thankfully not pneumonia. The little stinker has been acting fine, so we waited until he had a cough for at least a week before taking him to the ped. Our only clue that something might be up was a couple days of crappy eating. He's been a doll about the neb and likes to hold the mask up to his face during treatments.
And carries it around exclaiming "mine!" in between. I'm so glad we don't have to wrestle him down anymore. I didn't get his chest X-ray results until late this morning, so we stayed home. After a trip to the park to feed the ducks and play on the big slide we came home and he zonked during the noontime neb session. He slept 3 1/2 hours and had a very late lunch. It was a beautiful day to be home. The temps started dropping this afternoon and we had a pleasant walk around the neighborhood with one very excited Lily. I finally got her a new pinch collar and what a difference it makes. Maybe I'll start taking her for regular walks again.

My good friend at work is going through her own pile of shit. Her brother passed away 2 weeks ago and no one from work, other than Hubby and I, did anything for her. Her boss never put out a notice, so most people didn't even know what happened and thought she was away on vacation. She's from a huge family and was the only sibling whose work didn't send flowers or any sort of recognition. She felt completely let down. On our way to lunch Wednesday we stopped by her house and it had been ransacked. The thieves took her laptop, a custom-made pendant her husband just gave her for their 30th anniversary, and other easy to pawn stuff. She's taking a distance-learning grad-level course and will probably have to drop it. She doesn't have reliable access to any other good computers and had homework and notes saved on it. On a lark they decided to check to local pawn shop later that afternoon and did recover her husband's dvd's. Funny that the local PD didn't do it first. The dvd's are of an uncommon genre and were in a distinct crate which the shop owner remembered. She has gotten in touch with the person in charge of pawn fraud, so all the local shops are on notice for her stuff as well as the suspect. Anyone pawning goods has to give photo id, a thumbprint, and an address, so the police know who at least one of the suspects is. Thank g-d for stupid criminals. As Hubby says, if they were smart they'd be in another line of work.

Hubby's got 45 or so hours of overtime in this pay period so far. 2006 has already seen twice as many homicides as '05 and the trend doesn't seem to be dwindling. Who knows if he'll even be home this weekend. We were planning a trip to visit his family next weekend, but now it may be cancelled. I hate having my life controlled by his job. It truly bites ass.

I'm trying to see the positives. Mom is in a safe place. Peanut is getting better. The overtime money will be nice. Hubby managed to be home for Halloween and he and Peanut had a great time trick or treating (more on that later.)

Monday, October 30, 2006

I’ve had such butterfingers the past couple of days. Yesterday I managed to knock over a bottle of fabric softener and had an explosion all over the floor and my pants. A short while later, I dropped a coffee carafe on the tile. There were glass shards everywhere. While dusting Peanut’s room, I knocked 3 model planes off their flimsy stands and got so pissed I ended up shoving them all in a drawer. They’ll soon be hung from the ceiling anyway. I lost count of how many times I dropped the ruler today while taking measurements for an experiment.

Hubby had a hellish week, with 19 hours worked Thursday and another 22 on Friday. Both of us were ticked off about the short and no notice for that. We felt better after a weekend of beautiful weather and two parties. Peanut’s daycare hosted a fall festival on Saturday with games, including digging for “bones” (dog biscuits), crafts, a haunted tunnel, and a miniature petting zoo with goats and a bunny. Can you guess what we did first? We followed that up with a party at Best Friend’s house. Her daughter had a Halloween party complete with a bounce house (aka space walk). Peanut was finally big enough to enjoy it and had a great time bouncing/falling down until some bigger kids got too rowdy.

Hubby and Peanut went to the r/c field yesterday to fly planes while I cleaned and did a few errands. Peanut commandeered the controller and didn’t want to give it up. When they got home, all Peanut would talk about was the laydo (radio) and Daddy-Peanut’s planes. Luckily Hubby has an older radio that Peanut can use to “fly”.

We found adorable airplane-print sheets and a coordinating blanket at Target and scooped them up. Everything I’ve found online is crazy expensive and we’re starting to redo Peanut’s room in an airplane theme since he and Daddy love them. It’s too bad the set doesn’t include wall hangings, lamps, rugs, etc. like the other sets do.

Plans are underway for Peanut’s 2nd birthday and party, which is quickly approaching. We’re loaded up with Elmo loot (the dollar store had adorable Sesame Street figures perfect for goodie bags and cheapie plastic police badges). We’re heading to the mountains the weekend before said party, to visit the grandparents, so much spoiling will ensue. Nana and Papaw are arranging a little party at their house. I can’t wait!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hubby and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on Saturday. We didn’t exchange gifts and neither of us got around to buying a card. We couldn’t think of anything special to do, so we went to the zoo. Peanut had a blast, as usual. We petted goats, rode the carousel, took a camel ride, and saw lots of monkeys. He’s all about the monkeys. The meerkats had babies since our last visit and I basked in their tiny adorableness.

Everything went perfectly until Peanut tripped and planted face on the concrete sidewalk, just as I was reaching to hold his hand. He splatted, it was that bad. He wound up with road rash on his nose and forehead and a wee bloody nose. Several hugs, kisses, and a carousel ride later, he was OK.

We lit out around 1pm when the 90ish degree temperature became unbearable. We headed over to Crazy Buffet for lunch. (If you’re in Tampa and like Asian buffet and sushi, I highly recommend it.) They continually make fresh sushi and had a variety of veggie, meat and noodle dishes. Peanut got a little ornery, but noodles, pineapple, and bananas settled him down.

After a short nap, we dropped Peanut off at a friend’s - Hubby conned her into babysitting, so we managed some “grownup time” (hubba hubba) and drinks and munchies for dessert. The waitress overheard us toasting our anniversary and gave us a funny look – I guess most people celebrate with a fancy dinner, not appetizers. After the big lunch, neither of us was very hungry. I was ecstatic to get unhurried, uninterrupted (well except for the phone call from Mom) s*x and an alcoholic drink. We need a regular babysitter. Bad.

Peanut came back from the babysitter’s wired on junk food and sugar. They went to a Girl Scouts costume party with babysitter’s daughter where Peanut was the center of attention from a roomful of rowdy little girls who took turns doting on him. When another friend called and asked if he and his family could stop by, we jumped on it. Their 16-month old had a late nap and wasn’t anywhere near ready for bed, so we let the two boys run crazy at our house in hopes of wearing them out. I succeeded in making their baby cry when I told Peanut not to whack him with a drumstick (apparently he’s a sensitive little guy and hates raised voices, especially when his friends get in trouble). Peanut got touchy about sharing his toys, but anytime we told him to be nice and share, he’d hand over the goods.

We finally got Peanut to sleep by 11 (yikes, that was late) and he slept ALL NIGHT IN HIS OWN BED. ALL NIGHT AS IN UNTIL 8 AM!!! Now we know the magic formula: sugar him up and let him run amok with friends until he passes out in a sugar-crash coma.

Last night we were back to the usual multiple wake ups and wandering into the livingroom while crying and dragging his blankie. Hubby gave up and put Peanut in our bed at 1.

We haven’t had any further success with the potty and aren’t pushing it. I think the novelty has worn off and Peanut simply isn’t ready. Last night he decided to try the potty, standing up this time. Nothing happened and he quickly wanted a new diaper, but I’m afraid of where this is heading. Our bathroom is going to stink like the local Greyhound station.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I haven’t been able to come up with any cohesive entries. Instead, I’ve had a bunch of stuff swirling around in my head.

Hubby started having chest pains a month or so ago. He went to the doctor this week. Nothing abnormal was revealed on the EKG, so he has a stress test and blood work Monday. It’s most likely stress, but we both have family histories of heart disease. Hubby’s seen enough young dead people to take his health more seriously than he used to.

Mom survived another endoscopy and colonoscopy unscathed. Everything looked fine, so the G.I. doc doesn’t know why she’s having pain in the upper and lower abdomen as well as recurring diarrhea. She was diagnosed with IBS years ago which could explain the diarrhea, but the upper abdominal pain is troublesome. He recommended she see her internist and have a cat scan. If she’s still having problems in 6 weeks, he wants to see her again. Oh, mom went back to the gastroenterologist who was cold, abrubt, and seemingly uncaring the first time. The one she swore she’d never go back to. This time he was much nicer and talked patiently with her. I hope her first experience with him was just a fluke.

Peanut continues to crack us up. He’s very possessive of his woobies (blankies) and patrols mine as well, running off any unauthorized users. He repeatedly tells the cats “No! Mommy’s! Off!” A losing battle, that.

We had a leisurely morning the day of Mom’s procedures and he was happy to go to daycare late. By then most of the other kids were present and we went straight to the playground, him practically skipping along. He hopped onto a tricycle and hurried off. I had to ask for a goodbye kiss. Mom and I drove by on our way to the hospital and pulled over so she could get a glimpse. I should’ve known better. Peanut recognized the car and started crying as soon as he saw us. I did what any good Mommy would – waved and drove off. When I picked him up, the teacher told me how he started crying for Mommy for no apparent reason. Yeah, completely my fault.

This morning Hubby said Peanut had another great drop off and made a silly face when Hubby said bye – complete with eye rolling. It’s so much better than him turning into a mushy puddle of tears, but do we have to jump into teen attitude yet?

Hubby has a little entourage of 3 and 4 year olds who always have to say hi, hug him, and ask all sorts of questions about police stuff.

“Hi Mr. Policeman. Can I touch your gun?”

“No, it’s dangerous.”

“What are you doing with that baby?”

“That’s my baby.”

“Hi Mr. Policeman’s baby.”

“What’s the black thing on your badge for?”

“Well, a friend from work got hurt.”

“Is he OK now?”

“Yeah, he’s OK.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A few pictures from our trip...

Tractor pull at the Warren Fall Festival

Peanut enjoying Grammy & Grampy's back yard

Blurry view of Manhattan from the Whitestone Bridge

Sayville Dam

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The community and law enforcement turnout for Matt's funeral was amazing. Hubby called me around 4:00 as he was leaving the church. He decided not to go to the burial. The funeral procession stretched for miles. He was able to get Peanut from daycare, something which I would have had difficulty doing with the roads closed.

When I got home, he was sitting in the yard with Peanut. He kept his radio on until Matt's name and number were called off duty for the final time.

We're leaving tomorrow for a wedding and to visit my parents. We both need a break from reality. Between Matt's death and the Colorado and Pennsylvania school shootings I've been weary and sad. My heart goes out to all the families and communities involved.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hubby is at the funeral services for Matt today. I’ve been holding back tears all morning. I feel so sorry for Matt’s family and friends as well as the law enforcement community. At the back of my mind is the little niggling thought that it could have just as easily been Hubby.

Hubby’s putting on a strong front, but I know it’s bothering him, too. He came to bed late last night, after and getting his dress uniform ready. He had listened to bagpipe music and it broke him up.

Bits and pieces of the story have come together. The suspect, Angilo Freeland, ran from a state trooper in 1999, and was later caught after a concealed weapon was found in h is truck. He jumped bail and eventually his arrest warrant was dropped. He must have thought the warrant was still active, otherwise I doubt he would’ve asked about a trip to jail and bailed when Doug pulled him over.

A lot has been made of the fact that 110 rounds were fired at the suspect, that 68 hit him. I don’t know how I feel about it. To an average person it seems excessive, overdone. But as the spouse of someone who was at risk, I’m not sure. Two bullets, 8, 68…they all would have had the same outcome. When Freeland refused to drop his gun, the officers responded as trained. He had already killed one and shot at two others. What were they supposed to do, fire off warning rounds? Wait until he emptied Matt’s gun at them then arrested him?

I’ve perused the local paper’s online forums. So many people in the community are quick to trash the police. They didn’t need to shoot so many times. Why don’t the police do as thorough a job when it’s not one of their own? Why is there such an uproar over a dead cop…he knew what he was getting into when he chose that career? The cops are just a bunch of corrupt racists.

To all these people, this is my response: Put yourself in the shoes of Matt’s widow and children. Or in the shoes of any of the other LEO’s loved ones. Did your loved one risk his life to search a heavily wooded area for his fallen friend? (The area where his friend was ambushed and brutally shot to death.) Did your loved one go to the trauma room and watch blood pour out his friend’s wounds as the doctors made futile efforts to save him?

Does your loved one regularly deal with people calling him a racist just because he’s doing his job? Does your loved one have to wonder if the next person he has contact with might be concealing a gun or knife? Does your loved make regular trips to the morgue?

Or better yet, put yourselves in the shoes of a LEO.

Hubby’s cases may not draw the manpower that this situation did, but he goes into each one wanting to solve it. The baby found in the dumpster this past May: cold case. Hubby still follows any potential leads on it. He still talks about it. He won’t rest until he’s no longer a detective or the case is solved. He investigates murders, suicides, overdoses, accidental deaths, SIDS deaths, neglect deaths…all with the same drive and desire to solve them. He deals with people who kill over drug money, people whose children die because they’d rather smoke crank then care for their kids, kids who find their grandpa with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Christmas. For someone, who can’t imagine the horrors Hubby (and other cops) witness, to claim the police don’t take civilian cases seriously is an insult.

No one deserves to be murdered. Yes, I do feel pity for Freeland. He was a person, too, although I don’t understand the choices he made. He was someone’s child, someone’s companion. But he chose to brutally kill and faced the consequences of his actions.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Two deputies were shot yesterday. Matt Williams and his K-9, Diogi, were killed by multiple gunshot wounds, on Matt's wife's birthday. Doug Speirs received a wound to the leg, but was later released from the hospital. These men are Hubby's friends.

The location of the shooting is in Hubby's old sector from back in his patrol days. How easily something like this could happen to any cop. Some 500 officers from all over the state are on the manhunt. If the shooter is still in the area, he'll be lucky if he's taken alive.

I've been saying lots of prayers for Matt's family and the safety of all officers involved in the search, including Hubby. If you believe in a higher power, please say a little prayer.


Hubby called a couple hours ago to let me know the suspect won't be hurting anyone else. And to tell me there were 2 murders last night. WTF? On days like this, my desire to leave the state is palpable.


I don't know too much about the K-9s. There's a tracking dog named Elvis or something befitting a hound dog and I always chuckle when I see his name on the car. I loved Diogi's name. I didn't get it at first, but I figured it out after Hubby said it a couple times. One of his homicide partners couldn't get it out and took much razzing.

Hint: if you're not the sharpest, like me, say Diogi (pronounced Deeogee)s-l-o-w-l-y. Someone had fun naming him.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ugh, I’m in a rotten mood. It started last night with Hubby working late. As I was getting the dog leashed for our walk, Peanut decided it was time to fill the dog and cat food bowls. Once he starts, he never wants to stop. A minor meltdown ensued, but he settled down once he saw the wagon and his blankie inside. Midway through the walk, he wanted down, which included the bonus of him pulling the wagon, something he can barely do. If I so much as touched him or the wagon handle, he began melting down anew. The damn dog wanted to drag me every which way and Peanut got mad any time I steered him away from the middle of the road. We finally made it home without me strangling anyone. I was sneaky and used the wagon’s umbrella to help pull it along. I think Peanut suspected I was up to something but never figured it out.

UPS left a message while we were walking. Apparently Husband’s niece is no longer at the address she listed in her gift registry, so UPS wanted to know what to do with the package. (The one we’ll probably never get any acknowledgement for.) After several busies, I finally got through and asked the woman to reroute the package to MIL’s house. Someone should be there to sign for it. And lucky for me, Wal-fart is sending the order in 2 shipments, so I need to call and see if they can change the address, which apparently is not an online option. Otherwise, it’ll be back to UPS once I have a tracking number. It’s so petty, but damn, we tried to do something nice for his niece, who never makes any effort to be social to us, and it winds up being a pain in the ass. I came really close to not even bothering with a gift this time, but her older sister just had a baby last year and we gave her something, so it would be mean to ignore her.

Hubby is sick with (we think) hand foot & mouth disease (oh, joy) and I just wasn’t in the mood for whining. So we got short with each other when he finally made it home. He has a sore throat and some suspicious tender red spots on his toes and hand (I have no reference for that – my case involved nasty huge blisters that were unmistakable. Several of those fuckers left craters which scarred.) A kid from daycare was diagnosed with HF&M disease this week and last week Peanut was a little off and kept complaining of boo-boos (which we never could see) on his fingers and feet. He’s been complaining that his mouth hurts, but maybe it’s not a tooth. Coincidence?

After his bath, Peanut wanted the potty, so Hubby left him naked. Peanut ran out to the kitchen to visit me and peed on the floor. At least he’s sort of got the idea and at least it was on the tile this time. He even tried to help wipe it up. How can you stay mad at that?

Mom is hanging in there. She’s still feeling crappy, even after treatment in the hospital. Fingers crossed that she got the referral to yet another gastroenterologist. At least this time her internist is concerned and made an appointment for an endoscopy.

I’m praying we’re all healthy and well next week so we can make the trip for the wedding and visiting my parents. I’ve been looking forward to it for so long.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

He almost peed in the potty again last night! After diaper tugging, Hubby and I asked if he needed to use the potty. We got an affirmative nod in reply. Once I got the dipe off, he sat on the potty for all of 2 seconds, popped back up and peed on the floor. At least he's getting what the urge to pee means.

No, Mom, I'm not getting my hopes up or expecting him completely to potty train any time soon. Thanks for the encouragment and positive attitude, though. It's nice to see you thinking positively as always.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Guess who peed in his potty last night!!! Hubby and I made a huge fuss with lots of hugs and kisses and told the little guy how proud we were.

We won't discuss that he pooped in his diaper without warning a mere 20 minutes later.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What a weekend! (In a good way.)

Peanut, Best Friend, her daughter and I went to the Doodlebops concert on Saturday. MAYHEM! A theater full of excited, screaming kids…I don’t think any other description is necessary. Peanut was overwhelmed when the show started and cried for about 30 seconds. By the second act, he decided it wasn’t too bad and wanted to stand up and dance. He even clapped a few times. I enjoyed spending some time with BF and we laughed about our change in venues…we’ve gone from chugging beers in the parking lot at college concerts to nosebleed seats at a rock band for kids. Not that we’d change a thing!

Saturday afternoon, while I napped, Peanut and Hubby went shopping for a little potty. Hubby set it on the bathroom floor and explained it to Peanut. Peanut went in the bathroom, shut the door, and sat on it (which was apparent by the sounds emitted). He then decided the potty would go better in the living room and dragged it over by the couch, pulled his shorts off and sat again.

Yesterday morning I was greeted with cards from Hubby and Peanut and a collection of very nice birthday presents, including a gift certificate for a much-needed relaxing massage and facial. I.CAN’T.WAIT! Dad and stepmom were generous, as always, and their gift included Lindor truffles. Peanut target locked on the bag as soon as I unwrapped it. I tried to play it off by pointing to the pictures and saying "ball." He pointed to the bag and responded "ball chockie." Yeah, he's smarter than me.

Once we got our acts together, we drove to the zoo. It was our best trip yet. We took Peanut into the aviary, for the first time. He was thrilled by the birds, sloths and monkeys. He also got really into the snakes and manatees. We managed to make it to the last birds of prey show. He was so sad to see the hawks and owls go bye bye. “Owl…owwwwl…OOOOWWWWWLLLL!” We initiated him to the stingray encounter. Once he saw me touching the rays, he had to do it, too. With a few reminders to be gentle, he did a good job. He spent a good bit of time splashing in the fountains and we finally dragged our tired selves outta there at closing time. We stopped at the Columbia restaurant for dinner (Hubby's steak was so tender I regretted getting chicken), which we finished off with flan and a candle. Hubby just HAD to tell the server it was my b-day. She was a sweetheart and made multiple comments on Peanut’s cuteness. He behaved pretty well, which didn’t hurt.

Peanut zonked in the car, but woke up at home, so I bathed him while Hubby picked up the essentials from the grocery store. Once in jammies, peanut acted like he needed to poop. Hubby helped him out of his diaper and Peanut sat on the potty for a little bit. Nothing happened, so Hubby got him back into a diaper. Peanut promptly sat back on the potty and pooped (in the dipe)! I think we’re on our way to potty training. Woo fuckin’ hoo!

This morning Hubby FINALLY solved the daycare diaper rash mystery. They’ve only been using diaper cream when Peanut already has a rash and misunderstood my note. So now they know to use it EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME. Hubby was very polite and tactful, but conveniently mentioned it to Peanut’s teacher in front of the center director.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well, they're consistent. Hubby's oldest sis and nieces, that is. We received mail from the younger niece yesterday. The one who was married in May. The one who hasn't even acknowledged the gift we gave. Not even via Hubby's mom. Guess what we got! An invitation to her baby shower this weekend. Yup, true to form, we only hear from her in situations where a gift is expected.

I wonder if sis-in-law will hit us up for hand-me-down baby clothes, like she did when older niece had her baby.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Here’s yet another example of why I’ll never be mother of the year. Last night as I sat Peanut in the car seat after daycare pickup, he started to cry and pull at his diaper. I asked if his bum had a booboo, but all he did was point and say “bum”. (He’ll normally answer yes and point to the booboo, if he has one, so I wasn’t sure what was up.) I asked if his peepee hurt and didn’t get an answer. So I finished buckling him in and made a mental note to change his diaper when we got home.

About halfway there, Hubby called to let me know he had just been called out. This threw me off track and I forgot about the diaper. Daycare changes him shortly before pickup, so unless he has a poop diaper, I don’t change him until bedtime. I did the usual night time routine and discovered his reason for crying. His bum was speckled with rash, and his scrotum was completely red and irritated – I’ve never seen it so bad there. No wonder he was hurting. He cried all through the change while I gooped diaper cream on. Afterwards, he clung to me and cried for a few minutes more. I nearly cried with him. He was still red and uncomfortable this morning.

I left a note for the teachers to be sure and use diaper cream. I think the problem is two-fold: they don’t always use it (we always use it at home whether he’s rashy or not) and sometimes he stealth-poops, then gets a rash from sitting in a poopcake. I’ll talk to his afternoon teacher today and see what she has to say. Then I’ll decide what to say to the director. We’ve been going rounds with rashes since he moved up to the new room. Both Hubby and I have spoken with the teachers, but nothing seems to change. He clears up over the weekend when he’s with us, only to start up again during the week.

The reason I feel especially bad? Friday night during dinner he started wiggling uncomfortably in his highchair, then pointed to his butt and said “bum”. I had no clue what was up, but Hubby asked if his bum hurt and if he had a poopie diaper that needed changing. Emphatic head nods for yes were Peanut’s response. Sure enough, he was sitting in poop with the beginnings of a rash.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Best friend had a visit from two detectives last week. Her stolen truck was recovered and they wanted the keys. Why would the cops go to all that trouble? Because the truck was used in a kidnapping & attempted murder and they needed to collect evidence. Apparently the scumbags ditched and tried to burn it, but left the windows up, so the interior smoldered before burning out. The tag was removed and put on another stolen truck of the same model and used in some other iffy business.

The police expected to release the truck to her insurance company this week. It sounds like it’s not totaled, but I sure wouldn’t want it back.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our weekend getaway was wonderful, but a couple days too short. We arrived just after dark on Friday night, dumped the bags in our room and checked out the property and beach. A harvest moon was just rising, much to Peanut’s delight. We stopped at the evening bonfire for a couple songs, then headed back to our room. Peanut was so ramped up, I fell asleep before him.

Saturday morning we went for a quick walk down to the beach, then to breakfast with Donald Duck and Goofy. Peanut spied Donald as soon as we sat down. We told him Donald would stop by to see him and he became mega excited. “Duck! Dodal! (Donald) Deesh! (please)” became his mantra. He pointed, he waved, he yelled “Hi! Hi!” until Donald finally made the rounds and arrived at our table. Peanut wasn’t scared a bit and gave Donald a big hug and kiss on the bill. They did a few high fives, we took pictures, and Donald left his autograph. A short bit later, Goofy made his entrance. “Dog! Woof Woof! Deesh! Hi! Hi! HI!!!!” was all we heard. As Goofy approached, I picked Peanut up out of the high chair. He decided my boobs would be fun to play with and started patting them and saying “Beebee, Beebee,” all of which Hubby got on video (hardy har har). The castmember accompanying Goofy misunderstood and said “How sweet, he’s saying Goofy.” Hubby made such a face, I had to turn away and laugh. Peanut hugged and kissed Goofy, did some more high fives, and we got some more video. As soon as Goofy left, we changed and headed for the pool and beach. We took a break to watch the shuttle take off, then headed back to the pool.

It was Peanut’s first time ever in a big (non-inflatable) pool. We had no idea how he’d react. He LOVED it. We have a little water baby. He didn’t want to sit in his float, he wanted Mommy or Daddy to hold him in the water and splash around. At lunchtime, we had a meltdown because he wanted to swim, not eat. When I left to take a shower, Hubby broke down and took him back to the pool. They returned to the room about 45 minutes later, just as I was leaving for A MASSAGE!! Peanut was not at all happy. When I got back, both were passed out. Hubby woke up and I tentatively asked how it went. He had to bribe Peanut with an ice cream bar. The little guy was so exhausted, he fell asleep sitting up, about ¾ of the way through. He woke up with a chocolate beard and smears on the sheets.

We hung out for the rest of the day, walked a little on the beach, and came in when it got drizzly.

Sunday morning we ate in our room (totally worth the $3.00 fee and gratuity which we would have paid anyway). Peanut was able to wake up when he wanted and could tear through the room while we ate without disturbing other diners. We packed up and put our stuff in the car, then headed back to the pool – Disney lets you stay at the resort for the rest of the day, even after checkout. Big thumbs up. We played for a couple hours, ate lunch, changed in the bathrooms located by the pool and headed for the outlet stores on our way home. Peanut scored a bunch of winter clothes and some cool, textured flash cards.

Monday, September 11, 2006

It’s been five years since the September 11th tragedy.

I’ll never forget that day. A coworker and I had been in the greenhouse setting up an experiment until around 10:30 or 11 am. We were hot, tired and ready for a break. We came back to the lab and I checked my e-mail. There was a message from the university president, or some official, mentioning the terrorist attacks and cancellation of classes. I had no idea what it was about and blew it off, assuming the attacks had been overseas. My coworker came back to the lab and said the twin towers had been hit. We went to the security office to watch the tiny TV. The news ran a near-continuous loop of the planes flying into the towers.

Our boss was away on business and both of us decided to leave. I was so distracted, I would have been useless at work, anyway. I listened to news all the way home and turned the TV on as soon as I got in the door. When I couldn’t take anymore, I took a nap, then put the TV back on.

I’m not a New Yorker, I’ve never lived there. But I grew up in NYC’s back yard. Many people from my hometown commute there for work. It’s not uncommon for rich New Yorkers to have weekend “country” homes in the posh towns sprinkled throughout my home county.

I never even went inside the WTC. One of my school trips was supposed to have a tour of the towers, but it was a drizzly day with low clouds, so we skipped it. I remember standing on the sidewalk looking up to the towers, the upper floors shrouded.

In the following days, as I got in touch with family and friends, everyone knew someone who was killed or knew someone who lost a loved one. It was chilling.

I don’t mean to ignore the victims of the other flights and in the Pentagon. Their tragedy was no less. I simply have a connection to NY that I don't have with the others.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We are going here for the weekend. I'm am so excited. Our little family needs a break from the craziness of late.

Last night Hubby announced he would be wearing a shirt and tie to work today. He's been trying to get out of the khakis and polo rut. A&E's Cold Case Files is filming at his office today and he wanted to look decent in case he ends up in any background shots.

Peanut decide my saggy, empty milk bags were prime for some pinching and squooshing last night. When I asked him to be gentle, he softly patted righty, then leaned over and kissed it, as he does for boo-boos. Sweet, but uncomfortable nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Labor Day week always reminds me of the starting school year and the end of vacation, even though those days are long past. One benefit of having divorced parents was two summer vacations. Mom and I generally took a road trip to somewhere within a day or two’s drive. I have some wonderful memories of the places we went. Lake George, NY and Storytown, which sadly now is a Six Flags and includes all the flash that goes with a major theme park. I was fascinated with the swan boats and somewhere there’s a picture of me standing in Storytown’s parking lot under a giant purple tissue-paper flower Mom got me as a souvenier. We stayed at a quaint little motor lodge near Storytown, the type of place that’s now probably a crack motel. That trip may also have been when we visited Howe Caverns. We spent a couple of vacations in the Poconos at an old resort. The cottages were cute, but the place was well past it’s heyday. The pool was ice-cold, as unheated pools in the north are. They had bingo and occasional dances, both of which were mostly attended by small kids or elderly folks. But to my childhood self, it was a 5-start resort. Another time we visited Hershey and Lancaster County. Mom remembered the Hershey tour from her childhood where they actually walked you through the production area. I guess food safety rules weren’t the same back then.

Catskill Game Farm was another place visited more than once, both with Mom and with Dad.

Dad’s first big trip with me was to Switzerland for my Nonna’s birthday in the winter of first grade. I cried nearly every night until we made a phone call home to Mom. It was my first real trip away from her and I didn’t handle the nights too well. After the call I was much better, but Dad waited a while before taking me on any other trips. I was fascinated by the stork refuge in Nonna’s village and the cobblestone streets outside our hotel room. I was both intimidated and thrilled by my non-English speaking relatives. Dad had to cut me off from drinking Cokes in the evenings, and let me have Fanta instead. Only years later did he realize it’s caffeinated as well. Every morning I thought it silly that he had to ask for cold milk for me. What kind of people drank room temperature milk?

Dad, Stepmom, and I also took vacations in the Poconos. The best ever was when we rode the Alpine Slide, which sadly has been removed (yet another theme park that had to keep up with the times). Our hotel had an indoor heated pool, which was heaven.

School season also brings back memories of the Danbury Fair. All schoolkids got a day off and a free ticket on Fair Day. I went several years with my best friend and her family. We were devastated when the fair was sold and later became a mall. During the summers when we slept with the windows open, we could hear the stock car races on Saturday nights.

School trips were to places like Sturbridge Village, the Statue of Liberty, and Boston’s Freedom Trail. One of my Brownie troop’s trips was to the Ice Capades (probably 1981 if I correctly remember the program – I loved mine and wished I could have a glittery costume).

I miss summers of running around in neighbors’ yards, riding bikes, summer camp, and swimming in the lake.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hubby had to work another homicide yesterday - 15 hours' worth of work. He got the call just as we were leaving for the zoo. I gave Best Friend a call, since we had all made plans to go together, but her daughter was sick. Peanut and I fed the ducks and visited Grandma instead. We went to a cookout for dinner and had a fun time with everyone there. The hosts have a little boy 6 months younger than Peanut. He gave us the hairy eyeball at first, wondering about the strange lady and the kid playing with his toys and trying to get his Mommy's attention. He warmed up to both of us after Peanut gave him a couple of kisses resulting in giggles on the kissee's part. The boys nicely shared toys, with just a couple of minor conflicts. It turned out to be a decent day, but not the one I had hoped for.

Peanut tossed and turned all night which meant neither of us had a good night's sleep. He was missing his Daddy this morning and refused breakfast. I plopped him back in bed with Daddy (who got home at around 3:30 am) while I finished getting ready for work and that seemed to do the trick. He happily said bye-bye to Lily and the kitties as we left. Daycare dropoff was a heartbreaking nightmare. Each time he reaches out sobbing "Mama, mama" as I leave, I want to quit my job.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hubby’s stupid work schedule continues. It’s taking a toll on Peanut and me. I’m feeling like a single parent and hating it. Peanut is in the midst of Daddy separation anxiety. He cries nearly every morning at daycare, even on days when he goes immediately to the playground. I brought in a family picture at daycare’s request because he asks for Daddy so often during the day. He begins asking me as soon as I pick him up in the evenings. “Dada?” “Home?” “Dada?” Once we get home, it's "Dada?" "Nigh-nigh?" (Is Daddy sleeping?) When the three of us are together, he's really big into pointing to each of us in succession, reinforcing that we're a family. "Dada, Mama, Peanut. Dada, Mama, Peanut."

Monday, August 28, 2006

This weekend was a crazy end to a crazy week. There were 3 or 4 shootings over a span of 5 days. Hubby was called out every night except, thankfully, Tuesday when I was sicker than a dog.

We stopped by Mom’s Saturday evening to drop off some prescriptions. She’s still having all sorts of G.I. tract problems and isn’t in much shape for getting out. Shortly after we pulled into the trailer park, the car in front of us was nearly hit by a truck skidding through an intersection. The truck sped off and we weren’t able to get the tag number. I assumed it was a handyman of some sort since the truck had a shovel, some gas canisters (for a welding set up) and some other stuff in the bed.

Ten or 15 minutes after sitting down at Moms, we heard loud revving, skidding tires, and a crash followed by Mom’s front yard palm tree* swaying crazily around. Hubby ran outside while I comforted Peanut who was freaked by the noise and us all jumping up. I checked on Hubby a few minutes later to find the truck from earlier crashed in Mom’s front yard and Hubby detaining the very drunk driver. I went back inside and called 911. I could hear the man arguing with Hubby, so I held Peanut and paced the house. When I checked again, Hubby asked me to call again and have them step up the dispatch. The man resisted, so Hubby had him on the ground.

Their interaction (as later told by Hubby) went something along the lines of:

“Sir, I need you to stand her by the truck. I’m going to detain you until an on-duty officer arrives.”

The guy keeps heading for the back of the truck toward the shovel.

“Sir, do not put your hands on the shovel.”

He touches the shovel. Hubby moves him away. The guy reaches for it again, so Hubby moves him toward the front of the truck. The guy tries to break free. Hubby takes him to the ground.

“You’re breaking my arm! You’re breaking my arm! You’re breaking my arm...” (This went on for a while and I could hear it from inside the house.) “I want handcuffs. Where are your handcuffs? You said you were a cop!”

“Do I look like I’m on duty? “

“This is brutality. You’re prejudiced.”

“I’m only prejudiced against drunk drivers.”

Finally two marked units arrive, followed by a third. A short while later a fire truck and ambulance show up, too. By this point the driver is falsely claiming Hubby kicked him in the head. Several park residents are gathered around. One of the arriving deputies takes photos of the man’s head to show there is no bruising or blood; his only injuries are some scrapes on his hand from the take-down.

Peanut and I go outside to look at the fire truck. A deputy takes the driver away, everyone else leaves, and a traffic investigator arrives to finish up.

We head home and turn on the laptop to see what came of the drunk driver. He’s at the hospital. Hubby notices a red dispatch (uh-oh). It’s an unattended death. His work phone rings. Guess where he’s off to…

Sunday evening we head down to the substation near Mom’s so Hubby can print out his report (required since the driver claimed Hubby beat him). His laptop battery dies, no one has a power cord to fit, and all the detectives’ offices are locked, so he has no access to a docking station. The report has to be turned in before 6 am Monday when the sergeant goes off duty (never mind that Hubby has worked 7 out of the 7 last days, often till 2 or 3 am.) We leave and just as we’re about to turn onto the main road, who crosses in front of us? Why, it’s the drunk driver! He was released after his court appearance and was walking home. Hubby refrained from running him down.

We head to the substation near our house where Hubby finally prints the report. After Peanut and I go to bed, Hubby drives back down to the other sub and drops it off.

*Mom’s been talking about having that tree removed ever since she moved in. If the tree wasn’t there, the truck, gas canisters and all, would have been in Mom’s kitchen.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Big spaghetti dinner + incubating stomach bug = a very long, rough night.

I've become re-acquainted with my old best friend Ginger Ale. Saltines will be stopping by later. Apple Sauce and Broth called to let me know they're in town, too.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Last night, after the 10 minute tantrum because Peanut didn’t want help with his bottle, Hubby asked: “Are you a baby or a big boy?”

“Boy” was Peanut’s reply.

Neurotic cat pooped by the front door this morning, just as we were getting ready to leave, and despite Hubby’s efforts to steer her to the litter boxes. Fucker.

Today will be another low-to-mid-90s day. I’m so done with summer.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Things have been chugging along at their usual, fairly boring pace in selzachland. Not that I'm complaining. Boring is much better than stressed-out and hectic. Hubby will soon be training a detective new to the unit, so we'll be back to an erratic on-call schedule.

Peanut became the proud owner of a new pair of shoes last night. He's been strutting around like hot stuff in them. He managed to kick off and lose one of the old shoes somewhere in the mall and after carefull retracing our steps, we came up with nothing. Lost and Found later called to report a kind soul had turned it in.

We've had middle of the night freakouts the past couple of nights. We're not sure what's up. Maybe teething.

He cracked his head pretty hard at daycare the other day (bad enough for them to call us) and has a huge egg in the middle of his forehead.

Little dude loves music. We've been watching Rockstar Supernova each week. Last night Peanut pulled out his drum and started beating on it during the show and played even louder once a song started. He was messing around with the drumsticks, too. Musician=cool. Tommy Lee=hell no. And they finally axed Zayra. She had the attitude and quite a style, but she always sounded off key.

Dad made it back from his ill-timed business trip - he flew out on the 10th (the day terrorist plot came out). We thought everything was cool, but he ended up coming home a day late after the first plane had engine troubles and the second plane somehow ended up with a broken door.

Mom is still her usual with the crazy health issues. She's now back to her semi-retired gastroenterologist. Apparently the new "great" doctor wasn't so great after all. Whatever.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The weekend went smoothly after all. Hubby and Peanut met up with the family on Friday for a visit to Animal Kingdom. Peanut took to MIL and immediately began calling her “Nanny.” In fact, he asked for her all weekend. They had a great time at the park, even without an afternoon nap. Peanut loved the safari ride and even survived the 3-D bug’s life show…with 3-D glasses and all. Hubby was much braver than I would be!

Nanny stayed with us Friday night, sans Friend, thank dog! We’re not sure what happened, but it seems Friend decided not to stay with us after all (hmmm, maybe she realized she was imposing? Probably not.) We tooled around Saturday and met up with the rest of the family for dinner at Arabian Nights. Peanut was scared by the pre-dinner magic show, which was painfully loud. Why do theaters and other entertainment places insist on putting the volume at ear-splitting level? The experience would not be lessened by a more comfortable volume. In fact, it would be better and less scary for the little kids. He kept saying “bye” and pointing to the exit. After a few rounds in the gift shop, he settled down and we were able to go back into the main hall. In retrospect, the loud pre-show was a great threshold-upper. By the time we got to dinner, Peanut was no longer freaked out and loved the horses, lights, clapping, and yelling. He even clapped and hooted during the interactive parts of the show (so cute). Each time an act ended he’d yell “BYE! BYE!!” to the horses.

The food was mediocre, but that’s not what we were there for. Free beer and wine (yes!) and our funny waiter more than made up for the food. The horses and stunts were fantastic, although the storyline was hokey (as expected.) It was great entertainment for the kids, with goofy, clean humor. The Gypsy scene was my favorite – flashy costumes, lots of acrobatics on and off horseback. Ponytailed men with sixpacks didn’t hurt, either!

After dinner we hung out at the hotel for a bit. Peanut and his cousin had a blast playing with her toys and running laps around the place. We left well past bedtime once Peanut started asking for his ba-ba. We had to make due with a sippy cup, which worked. He zonked out around halfway home.

Yesterday was a nice, relaxing day. We did our usual trip to the park, fed the ducks, and showed off our playground skills to Daddy. After several requests for Nanny, Hubby called her and let Peanut talk on the phone. He was so pleased.

Bedtime was unreal. Peanut drained 2 ½ bottles and still would not settle down. We read the night-night story. We snuggled on the couch. Hubby sang. Hubby and Peanut went in Peanut’s room. Hubby finally put Peanut in bed with me and after much crying, fussing, flailing, standing up, and clamboring over us, he fell asleep. At 10 pm. Ninety minutes past betime.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I was so proud of Hubby last night. He didn’t go to $eaW0rld because of some work that came up. When he spoke to his mom, she said how bad she feels that Peanut barely knows her. Hubby responded that he wished we could visit more often, but it works both ways. How she’s so busy taking care of the other grandkids, she has no time for us and that maybe it’s time to let her daughters raise their own kids. He said it as kindly as he could, and I’m so glad he did. Peanut is too young to notice or even care, but I’m tired of feeling like we’re sloppy seconds. I know it hurts Hubby’s feelings and eventually Peanut will notice that the other grandkids get a lot more time and attention than he does. I hope she takes it to heart and will take the time to visit more often or at least make time for us when we visit her.

She’s supposed to stay overnight with us tonight (fingers crossed that it actually happens). The bad news is that her friend invited herself along, too. I wish she had said something other than “I’m sure they won’t mind” when friend asked if she could stay. The house is a mess and we really don’t feel like entertaining the opinionated friend. So help me if she tries to oust MIL from the guest room so she doesn’t have to sleep in the office with the litterboxes. Yep, it gets stinky and it’s not the greatest place to sleep, but that’s what you get for inviting yourself over. If she doesn’t like that option, she can sleep on the couch, or go back and stay at the hotel with HER family.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Peanut’s Elmo doll, compliments of, arrived yesterday. Hubby placed it prominently so Peanut would see it when we entered the house. He instantly saw the doll and exclaimed “Melmo!” Melmo accompanied us on our nightly walk around the neighborhood, buckled into the wagon for safety.

The word explosion continues. Key and hat were added to the repertoire just this morning. Last night, as Peanut poked at my boobs (a recent interest on his part) I said “boobie” half-jokingly. He responded with “beebee” and proceeded to point at Hubby’s chest then his own. I’m praying he doesn’t share that one with the daycare ladies, especially with the touching bit.

Hubby’s mom, youngest sis & family, and his mom’s friend & her family arrived in Orlando last night. The original plan was for Hubby and Peanut to meet up with them for lunch today and a theme park tomorrow. Of course, that all changed after Hubby had already dropped Peanut off at daycare with plans to mow the yard and do some chores before heading out to lunch. So now they’re off to $eaW0rld during the hottest part of the day. Hubby tried to talk me into leaving work early, but I declined. It’s going to be miserably hot, I’m not sure how Peanut’s nap will work into the plan, our niece is notorious for whining/crying until she gets her way (no one will say no to her), and I really don’t want to listen to SIL deliver a dissertation on all the things we should be doing HER WAY WHICH IS THE BEST AND ONLY WAY.

I’m sure I’ll get my fill this weekend. Family drama. Good times.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm so glad this story came to a happy ending.

I was watching TV with Peanut last night when a photo of Austin came up with the news he was missing. How easily a 5 year-old child was able to disappear from school during an approximately 300-foot walk scared the crap out of me. I hope the authorities do some serious investigating into the elementary school, after-care program, and the daycare he ended up at. One teacher escorting 40 kids is ridiculous during the first week of school. They should have had several sets of eyes on those kids. The after-care program sounds like they were the most on the ball - at least they quickly realized he was absent and reported to the school. The other daycare baffles me. Don't they have rosters of which kids should be on their vans? I realize that there were probably many new kids and the driver wasn't familiar with them all yet (only the second day of school) but that's negligent. Apparently he used another child's name once at the daycare center, but I can't believe it took them until 11 pm to realize who he was.

When I think back to elementary school, we were always escorted to other classrooms, lunch, recess, bathroom break, etc. We walked single file and the teachers got on our asses if we talked or broke the line. (Maybe public schools are more lax than parochial?) After school, we had a designated line for each bus and a teacher called out the buses as they pulled up and watched everyone get on. It seemed overkill to us kids, but it was a system that worked.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Yesterday, Mom and I had her cat Ashley put to sleep. Mom called about an hour after lunch, and with her usual lack of tact dropped the bomb on me that he needed to be put to sleep. Now. No, it couldn't wait. I asked her to get a Saturday appointment, but the vet is only open on alternate weekends and this Saturday is on the off weekend. She hung up on me when I told her I couldn’t take time off work. I called her back and asked her to get a late appointment today. She got one for yesterday (as in two hours away from our phone conversation) and by that point I was so frustrated I agreed and begged the boss for permission to leave early.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Ashley didn’t seem all that sick to me, although he had obviously been losing weight. Mom said he had occasional good days and frequent bad days of puking and not eating, but he always seemed happy and alert when I visited. According to her he was no longer eating anything offered, but he had gone through anorexic spells before. The night before last he violently threw up in the hall outside her bedroom, then got in bed with her and pawed and meowed at her. She then decided it was time.

I considered consulting with the vet alone, but it would have just been prolonging the inevitable. He was her cat and if she felt he was suffering, it was her decision to ease his discomfort.

The vet and his staff were very condiderate and compassionate. We sat with Ashley across our laps as the vet administered the sedative. It was quick, almost instantaneous. They let us have as much time as we needed, then the tech came and made a paw impression for Mom to take home.

I hope we made the right decision.

Ashley found Mom when he was just a feisty little scrap of a tabby kitten, full of personality. He ran up to her as she was taking trash to the community dumpster, meowing his little head off. (In rural NC there is no trash pickup. You either take it to the local dumpster or directly to the dump.) She didn’t have the heart to leave him; the dumpster was only a few hundred feet from a busy 4-lane highway, so she let him in the car and took him home. My childhood cat was still alive, but old and very frail, so mom left Ashley with a neighbor for a couple months until she had the old girl put to sleep. Ashley was simply too rambunctious for an elderly cat who just wanted to sleep on a warm lap and be left alone.

When Ashley finally came home, he was quite the little stinker. He loved to use his claws on everything, people included, and was constantly in trouble. He managed to knock over a heavy room divider which wedged against the bathroom door, effectively barricading him in. Mom had to call the local fix-it guy, who somehow cracked the door open far enough to cut out a hole on the inside and work the divider free. Mom was hours late for work and was absolutely livid. Ashley was nearly tossed out for that episode.

He managed to annihilate our woodpile-residing family of chipmunks as well as many birds. He attempted to get the resident hummingbirds, but they were too quick and would tease him mercilessly with fly-bys. He would spend hours under the feeder hoping to snatch one.

He was quite the outdoor kitty in those days. Mom lived in a little cabin on a mountain, so he had acres and acres for roaming. He’d disappear for 2 or 3 days, then show up hungry and tired. He’d crash at the house for a week or two, then go on another expedition.

He was the only cat we’ve had that would go on walks with us. He’d start out with us, then find a bug or bird and trail behind. Pretty soon we’d hear sad meows and he’d come bounding back to us. Then he’d run ahead, realize we were nowhere to be seen, and come meowing back. When we’d come to an under-road drain pipe, he’d pop in one side and out the other, his meow echoing.

When Mom moved into town, Ashley had to adjust to indoor life. He hated it at first, but became the consummate housecat. He grew into a sweet lap cat, although he still gave out the occasional swipe when the mood struck.

Rest in peace, little guy. You were well loved.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I’ve been reading a couple of home-birth midwife blogs lately and enjoying hearing the birth stories. I love the idea of a birth without interventions, although I don’t know if I could do a homebirth (I’m too chicken), and with Peanut it wouldn’t have been an option. I considered using a birthing center, but Hubby and I were concerned about what would happen in the event that Peanut or I needed transport to the hospital, so we opted to go with the OB a good friend highly recommended. I had full confidence in my OB, but she didn’t have much bedside manner, was not gentle with her internal exams (my former gyn, a man, was much, much gentler), and she pissed me off during labor. If we ever have another child, I’m pretty certain I’ll use the midwives in my OB’s practice or further research the birthing center.

Even though I’m a homebirth isn’t for me, I love hearing the stories of women who are confident enough in their bodies to deviate from the current “norm” and allow their pregnancies & births to progress as something natural, rather than as a medical condition.

All this has brought about some introspection on my part about Peanut’s delivery and our unsuccessful battle at breastfeeding, which still bothers me, a good 7 months after weaning off the pump.

I took Bradley Method classes while pregnant, in hopes of an intervention-free labor and delivery. The class instructor was also a doula and I considered hiring her, but something just didn’t click. I’m almost certain Hubby felt the same. She flaked out on us at the beginning of class, so we missed the first two (she knew we were going on vacation and scheduled the first class to start while we were away, then didn’t let us know that the 2nd class was moved to earlier in the day, so we showed up after it ended – a good hour’s drive away). It was awkward to join in when we finally made it to class 3, since the other couples had gotten to know each other and had already bonded. On some level, I was afraid if we did hire her, she’d flake out on us at delivery time.

I wonder, though, how things would have differed if I had a midwife and/or a doula. Would I have made it through without an epidural? I don’t regret having one, but it probably would have made for less pushing – I was still very numb, even after the anesthesiologist stopped medicating me, and it took nearly 2 ½ hours to push Peanut out. The nurse even had me wait while after I was fully dilated to let some of the numbness wear off. I loved the L&D nurse, she was awesome. She was supposed to stay in triage, but wound up staying with me instead. I’m so glad she had me wait for some of the anesthetic to wear of before pushing, because I would have just worn myself out otherwise - I was sapped when Peanut finally slid out. I honestly don’t think I could’ve given one more push. I don’t know if they doctor threatening me with a C-section was what did it (like I said, great bedside manner), or the episiotomy (eek) she cut, or if he finally decided to budge. I do know that the horrible nausea and vomiting stopped with the epidural, and there’s no way I would’ve made it puking throughout labor. Were there other anti-vomiting meds available? The nurse gave me something that wore off quickly, but maybe I could’ve gotten something else. I wasn’t with it enough to even think of asking for something else. My thinking was along the lines of “Oh shit, I’m puking again. Guess the meds don’t work. I’m so glad the anesthesiologist is here.” (I had another round of puking just before he put the epidural in). But if I had a doula, maybe she would’ve suggested something else to manage the puking and maybe she could have helped me work through the pain.

The doctor’s c-section comment angered me. I understand she wanted me to get the baby out and she wanted to avoid surgery, since vacuum or forceps (eek again) weren’t an option, but she could have been kinder. You know why I wasn’t “pushing effectively”? Because I COULD HARDLY FEEL.. Peanut came out with big bruising and a lump on one side of his head, so I wonder if his head was at an odd angle and he needed to align correctly before making his grand entrance.

The continuous monitoring also bothered me. Peanut was too jumpy for the external monitor to get a good read. Every time the nurse would finally get it in a good place, he would move. She finally resorted to internal monitoring and we went through 3 leads – they kept falling out. (Internal monitors poke into the baby’s scalp – so that also contributed to the bruising and lacerations on his head. The NICU was worried about infection, so Peanut constantly had antibiotic goop on his head.)

On to the breastfeeding thing. I realize Peanut may never have gotten the hang of it, being a preemie and being bottle fed in the NICU, but I’ve learned so many things since his birth and early days. When looking back at our home videos, I realized he was smacking his lips when given to me after his delivery. I would’ve put him to the breast had I known, and had I known the doctors were going to give us a few minutes with him before whisking him off to the NICU.

The lactation consultants (all 3 that I saw) were of little help. All I heard was “Keep trying. You’re doing everything right. He’ll catch on.” I should’ve been more aggressive in calling and visiting them, but some sort of follow-ups on their part would have been welcome. Preemie, with trouble latching/staying latched, hmmmm, maybe a follow-up or 5 is in order.

No one gave me information on exclusively pumping. The LLL leader mentioned a friend of hers had done it for 2 years (that’s where I learned it could be done*), but her comment was something along the lines of “I don’t think *I* could do that.” She could offer little help with preemies, but did give me LLL’s pamphlet on breastfeeding preemies – it was all old news to me – I had already read everything I could get my hands on. She did put me in touch with the one LC who had good suggestions, but I was only able to get phone consultations with her. Nursing in the tub was one – unfortunately Peanut generally pooped during or just after eating. He latched on great, but we ended up with a floating Baby Ruth.

*After several online searches, I came across a couple of good support communities for exclusive pumpers (listed on the side bar). Without those, I’m positive I would have given it up. No one discouraged me from pumping or told me it was impossible (as some doctors falsely think), but no one offered any real support, either. Yes, pumping is less efficient than a baby, but it can be done with little or no supplementation. I did have to supplement during a few spells when Peanut was in growth spurts, or when I was sick, but I was able to do it until he was a year old and decided I had enough.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

So, I was wondering how long it would take before Peanut started coming to our room at night. Well, last night I found out. I was woken up around 11:30 to pitiful crying, but was confused because it wasn't coming from the baby monitor. In fact it was coming from the direction of the door. As soon as the door handle started rattling, I realized what was up. Sad, abandoned little Peanut was so relieved to see me.

Hubby had been working in the garage the whole time and didn't realize the monitor was off, so he never heard a thing. I have no idea how long Peanut was up and wandering around, but I'm happy he knows where to go.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's a cliche, but where does the time go? Peanut is turning into a little boy. Where did the little baby go?

Peanut continues to amaze me. We took him to McD's for dinner and playland last week. Dinner, not so much (me, either. I hate fast food.) Playland, much. The cool tube part was labeled for kids ages 3-12. Peanut hardly even glanced at the cheesy toddler area and went straight for the stairs into the tubes. He crawled back and forth, peeking out the windows at us. That is until he noticed the bigger kids climbing into the upper tubes. He wanted up. I crawled in after him and boosted his little heiney up the steep 5-foot length of tubing with rungs (they were too far apart for him and I was afraid he'd fall). He navigated the rest of the way, including climbing up a couple of shorter parts. We went down the twisty slide together, him giggling all the way. After a while he hooked up with 2 little girls who said they'd be happy to escort him, so I went through another time with them, felt they'd keep a good eye on him and let them rip. Hubby and I could hear Peanut laughing and giggling the whole time. Whenever he'd get to a window, he'd pound on it to make sure we were watching.

He's cutting two upper molars, so we've had a couple of iffy nights. He only seems to be bothered by them at nighttime, although his appetite seems a bit down.

Yesterday morning he and I went to the park. We first fed the flock of ducks. Peanut giggled and giggled at them, especially at the one, very vocal, white duck. Once we burned through 2 loaves of bread, we waved bye-bye to the ducks and headed for the playground. He climbed up and slid down the toddler slide all by himself, then worked on climbing down the stairs with some help from me. When I started getting uncomfortable with the heat, I told him he could go one more time then we were leaving. He actually listened to me and got into the stroller without any fuss.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I’m always hesitant to write about work. Dooce and SJ both were fired when their blogs were discovered. Flea just removed a very funny post about her job. I try to keep things vague and not controversial. There are several situations I would love to get off my chest, but if any coworkers found my blog, they could easily figure out my identity.

Late Monday afternoon, I was informed the temp tag on our new truck, which we would be driving to a field site the following day, had expired. After discussing it with Hubby, I was hesitant to drive it – at best we wouldn’t get pulled over, maybe we could talk our way out of a ticket if stopped (main campus was aware of the situation, lapse was due to their oversight, and a new tag was on its way), but at worst, someone would get a ticket. Fortunately, a coworker procured a different vehicle the next morning, unbeknownst to us, one without AC. Lovely.

Shortly after discovering the truck snafu, Boss informed me that our cooperator (MM for micromanager), whose field site we’d be working in the next day, had not finished setting up our site as promised. He had plenty of blame for Lazy Coworker, who had gone to the site a week previous to help set it up (the problem was not his fault) and blame for our other cooperators, who also had no responsibility.

In short, I knew we were in for a bad day in the field.

As soon as we got to the site, MM started in on me: Did you decontaminate? Are you sure you aren’t carrying anything bad into the field? We need to finish setting up before you start your part. Make sure you do it like this. Be sure to tell all your people. Don’t forget to do that. Make sure everyone knows…

We get started, and one of my people is in the wrong place. I should’ve caught it, but was so overwhelmed with trying to make sure we all were running smoothly, I completely missed it. MM pointed it out (one instance where he was useful). My person had the grace not to get visibly pissed at me, which he had every right to do.

We got everyone in the correct place and got to work. I hooked up with J, the woman comparable to my position in the other cooperator’s lab, and things got running. Then she started in on how she didn’t want to be in the field, had to leave there at a specific time (never mind they had a 30 minute drive vs. our 2 hour drive), and wants to hurry (bad, bad idea. Hurrying = errors). I stupidly let that stress me, and I made mistakes. Then we discovered mistakes MM had made, which also had to be corrected and set us back even farther. She goes on about how she’s a lab worker, not a field worker, hates working in the field... Then she starts in about being a MOLECULAR BIOLOGIST. Can we just let that die already? I had enough of the molecular vs. applied biology crap in grad school. What is with gene jockeys and their freakin egos? Get over it already. Not all of us are interested in doing molecular work and just because I enjoy getting my hands dirty every now and then doesn’t make me stupid, uneducated, or unskilled. I may not be a geneticist, but I’ve dabbled in molecular work when necessary. So what? Molecular biology simply provides a set of tools to use in research. Yes, they are very useful, but that does not make them inherently better. I’m happier using a different set of research tools. In the grand scheme of things, who gives a shit?

I knew about J from a previous coworker who did not get along with her. She was right on. J is intelligent and seems to be a hard worker, but she’s arrogant and controlling. I respect her self-confidence (arrogance?) that allows her to freely speak her mind, and I respect that she doesn’t take crap, but shit, get over the attitude and just do your job. Trust me, things would go easier and faster.

We finally finished up, just as the afternoon storms were rolling in. J needed help loading up some equipment and I swear I heard Coworker say he’d help. I told her he said he’d help, he said he hadn’t, so I went and helped her. Whatever, I didn’t care who did it as long as we got it finished. She started complaining about the men not helping (they busted their asses in the field doing hard labor – a lot more than she and I did). I think he overheard her comments and got (rightfully) pissed. I apologized, and said I thought I heard him offer to help, no harm done.

So now I’ve succeeded in not only annoying my boss lately, I’m pissing off the coworkers, too. Great. I’ve been feeling a weird vibe at work lately, and I’m not sure if I’m being hypersensitive or what, but the field sitch did not help.