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.