Archive for the 'likes & irks' Category

Aug 27 2010

The Summer of Harry Potter

My kids are pretty good readers, in that they enjoy sitting down and reading, you know, when they have to. Or when Mommy hid the Legos and Barbies. OK, I don’t do that — those legos are very small and difficult to pick up, you know, and when I pick up Barbie, I am overpowered by the need to style her hair.

So no, seriously, they do enjoy books and have always enjoyed books. Jocelyn has taken to reading in a scary way this past kindergarten year, and many the time James and I have looked at each other with eyes wide and said, “Did she really just read ‘Transcendentalism?'” I know you’re not supposed to compare your children, but dude! She is *way* better at reading at this age than Ethan was at this age!

Reading has been a little trickier for Ethan, mostly because he prefers to look at the first letter of a word and then take a while guess if he doesn’t know it, rather than, you know, that pesky sounding it out and all. This however, hasn’t dampened his love of reading at all, and this past 2nd grade year when the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movie came out and the craze swept the elementary school, he read through all three books within, and I swear I’m not making this up, 15 minutes.* There just may have been a few words in there that he took wild stabs at, and when asked, he has no idea of the names of the characters — this is due, I’m sure, to just not having heard them said out loud.** Don’t worry. He can tell you word for word the fart joke told by said character.
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Aug 08 2010

BrickFair 2010

We’ve always been big fans of legos in this house, so after attending the last 2 years as the “public”, we decided to do the whole registration, as exhibitors, for this year’s BrickFair 2010. It has been awesome!

This year, they moved from the Tyson’s Sheraton, to the Chantilly Expo Center, a move I thought was a little dubious, as which would you prefer to hang out in? A lovely hotel, or a concrete warehouse? However, it was always totally jam packed at the Sheraton during public hours, so the expo center was definitely the best move.

Public hours are on Saturday and Sunday from 11-4. the public pays $10, enters, looks at all the awesome displays, watches a few Brick Films, builds their own at the Stay and Play, maybe take the little ones for a bounce on the moon bounce, watches the Mindstorms competition, maybe a little Bingo for Lego prizes. All very awesome.

So what do you get if you go the full registration route? Well, first, you pay about $50, instead of $10, and there are no discounted registrations. If you are over 6, you register, and if you’re under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult, who must also register.

But oh the awesomeness you get as a full registrant!!

First of all, you don’t just walk through and look at everyone’s creations. You get to bring your own MOC — “My Own Creation”. Ethan registered his “Pokeball Factory” and a very awesomesauce “Missile Launcher”. Next year, we’ll have to see about ALL of us bringing MOCs!

Here are some of the seminars: Historic Architechture, Teaching Math with The Brick, Landscaping, Lights! Camera! Lego!, Arduino Processor, Bloggers’ Roundtable, and more.

You get to participate in The Running of the Bulls, which is a Lego Store sale – after the store closes, they reopen and sell damaged boxes (barely noticeable damage!) to Brickees for a significant discount. SIGNIFICANT!

There are lots of awesome games – Bingo (the registrants only bingo has the big lego prizes, unlike the mini bingo that the public is allowed to play), Minotaurus Tournament, Combo Build, Speed Build, & Dirty Buildster. After 9pm on Saturday night, they kick out any kids and have BYOB time, with a LEGO Hold’em Tournament, Dirter Brickster, and of course, the Drunk Speed-Build.

There is a charity auction, and a yard sale — where folks put out the stuff they want to unload, and the lego market is open! I saw some vintage legos, still in the box, from the 70s. It was incredible!! there is also opening and closing ceremonies, and awards given for the best MOCs from each category — which registrants get to vote for, and enter, of course!

James went to the Running of the Bulls while I went home with the kids, and the next night, he went home with the kids and I stayed to play Hold’em. (I totally won, came heads up with another guy who lives not even a mile from me, that it turns out I’d met at some other poker events in the area.) James and the kids should have stayed long, because Ethan would have rocked the house with the Dirty buildster (each entrant is given a cup of assorted legos and makes the best creation they can). I was walking around oohing and ahhing as the Dirty Buildsters were creating, when I got tapped to be the co-judge! It was very tough, as they were all so awesome, but the other judge and I didn’t pull each other’s hair too much to decide on the winners.

It has been just incredibly awesome. My only sadness is I keep thinking, “Next year, we need to do that.” or “Next year, we’re definitely doing THIS!” But alas, next year, we will not be in the DC metro area anymore — we’ll be moving to Denver next summer. Maybe we’ll come back for a vacation for BrickFair 2011 — We’ll definitely be making plans for some of the other lego festivals going on around the country (sadly, none in Denver).

If you like Legos, and want to feel what’s it’s like to dock with the Mother Ship and meet more of “your kind of people” — I can’t recommend registering as a full exhibitor at the BrickFair any more — it is just awesome – awesome folks, awesome MOCS, awesome fun.

I will post some pictures this week of some of the awesome MOCs on display!


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Jun 15 2010


Published by under crafty,kids,likes & irks

My lovely girl is always, ALWAYS, writing, jotting, drawing, coloring. She is our little arteeest!

Here is a fairy tale by Jocelyn that I found on the art table in the last week:

rapunzel 1

The Princess

Rapunzel 2
Once upon a time, there was a princess LOCKED IN A TOWER! Cause a witch locked her in it!

Rapunzel 3
A prince came and rescued the princess!

Rapunzel 4
And they lived happily ever after.

Yes, we need to work on the stereotypical damsel in distress and how there’s no stopping damsels from rescuing THEMSELVES, but still, pretty cute.

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Feb 17 2010

Olympic Fever Baby!

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

I thought about writing about all this snow, but I’m so sick of the subject, I am not even going to think about it! I will just say that my kids have now been out of school since Thursday, Feb 4th. THE FOURTH. IT IS NOW THE SEVENTEENTH.


School is on tomorrow, but on a 2 hour delayed start all the rest of this week. It absolutely boggles the mind. Along with the fact that Target is/has been selling SWIMSUITS since January 1st.

I HAD TO ORDER SNOW SHOVELS OVER THE INTERNET. So many chain stores missed the opportunity to make a killing by getting more winter stuff in stock, but no. They insist on putting out spring fertilizer instead. Thank god for local hardware stores (I love my True Value!)

Anyway, on to happier subjects!

I really enjoy the Olympics, but it seems like I just never get to sit down and watch them the last 2-4 years. They make me somewhat nostalgic, because I remember watching as a kid, seeing Mary Lou Retton get that 10 — what a ride! And also, my husband James and I first met 1996, and he came down to Atlanta where I was living at the time the summer of the 1996 Olympics. I remember it as such a heady time of new twitterpated love, my first experience truly away from home as an adult, and to top it all off, Olympic fever in the city — it was an exciting time!

So I was determined to get some Olympics in and when Ethan asked, upon arriving at home this evening, if he and Jocelyn coudl watch some TV, I immediately replied, “YES!” with such vehemence, that he instantly knew something was up! I flipped on some Tivoed figure skating/skiing, and let it run as I got some dinner ready.

The Olympics are pretty exciting on their own, but seeing through my kids eyes made it even more awesome!

here’s pretty much how it went all night:
from them:

(I was right there, by the way!)

Jocelyn was especially taken with the figure skating, as I knew she would be. She instantly starting dancing around the room and talking about how SHE could be in the Olympics when SHE was grown up. I tried to tell her that some of these athletes started training and practicing at HER age, and she instantly took it up.

“Mom! I’m going to do it! I’ll practice every day after school, see? Like this!” (Jump. Soar. Run. Twist. All in my living room.)

“Mom, I am going to need a dress like that when I’m grown up. Can you sew me one? How about Grandma? Can she sew me one? Look mom, the skirt only comes down to here. Are you sure we could find one when I’m big?”

Ethan wasn’t planning and plotting his Olympic wins, but he was still extremely impressed. He hasn’t been tainted by male machismo and thought the figure skating was just as impressive as Jocelyn did, and the vice versa – Jocelyn thought the mogal ski runs & jumps was spectacular as well.

At one point, at their outbursts and gasps at these seemingly death defying feats, I replied with a mild, “Yes, I know, it’s neat, isn’t it.”

Ethan instantly corrected me: “MOM. IT IS NOT NEAT. IT IS…. A W E S O M E !!!!”

I’m glad I’m not the only one in this house not to have Olympic fever!

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Aug 24 2009

I’m Teaching a Chainmaille Class (Take 2)!

Once again, I am teaching a chainmaille class! The first class did not have enough registrants, so it was cancelled. Woe is me! *sniff sniff* This one is on though! So signup!

If you are in the DC metro area and enjoy wearing gorgeous jewelry, you might be interested in the class I’m teaching in a few weeks!

This is a 4 hour class from 10am-2pm on Saturday, September 12th at The Soundry, a very cool artist space in Vienna, VA. I’m also all set to teach it on October 3rd. (All Saturdays!) All you have to do is bring yourself, and I supply everything else!


byzantine chain maille sterling silver bracelet

Many people hear “chain maille” and think medieval armor–not so anymore! With a pair
of pliers in each hand, you will learn the byzantine chain maille weave. It is a lovely, complex
and ornate looking weave, but surprisingly easy to learn! Students will finish an 8 inch sterling
silver bracelet with a toggle clasp that will be the envy of all your Tiffany-shopping friends!
Class Fee: $25, Supply Fee: $55 (may vary depending on cost of silver)
Ages: 12yrs + Experience: Beginner
Sign up now!

I am very excited! If you’d like to sign up, just click here for the sign up form. Feel free to drop me note in the comments or email if you like as well, I would be tickled to hear from you!


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Jul 06 2009

Week 7, Vacation, 4th of July, Life in the Wild

I haven’t been slacking. On the Weight Watchers thing. I HAVE been slacking on posting about it though. Usually, when I slack on posting about it, it’s because I’m slacking on DOING it. But not this time!

Despite my “We Might Be Fucked” cocktail and probably BECAUSE of my subsequent throat soreness, that had me drinking ginger ale+OJ and eating toast for a day or so, I am proud to announce week 7’s weigh in was awesome at -3.8 lbs. This brings me up to a total of -13.4 lbs. Many more to go, but I am pretty happy. I can do this! Knock on wood!

I think it’s about time to start up the 30 day shred again as well. My foot, on hearing that I paid $350 for an orthotic, decided, “Oh, now that’s she’s paid for it, I’ll get better before it arrives!” It’s not totally better, but it’s a LOT better than it was 2 weeks ago, I’ll say that!

We are still waiting to hear how fucked we are by Subaru for the ceased-up engine block. James and I like to spend our quiet intimate moments wondering how exactly that damn thing DID that anyway, and discussing different engine rebuild price quotes. Oh yeah. Pillow talk, baby. We’re so romantic.

We are at T-minus 9 days til we leave on our vacation to Oregon. I still need to find a cat sitter. I’m a little worried about our cat, actually. We went up to New York last September for a long weekend, not long enough to get a real sitter, just put out plenty of bowls of food and water, but long enough for her to go a little crazy from lack of human interaction — she’s an old cat, at I think 11 years, and when we got back she changed her sleeping habits entirely. She used to settled down somewhere near our feet on our bed. Now, she prefers to be closer to us. Like, right on top of our heads. Seriously. I have to allot pillow space for her because after she gets it through her head that she can’t sleep ON TOP OF MINE, she sleeps right NEXT to my head. Or face. Also, when it starts to get light out, she decides to try the whole “Hmm, maybe she’ll let me sleep on her head NOW…” She loves us, what can I say? So I’m a little worried that our trip may bring on some more wacky separation anxiety cat-behavior. Note to self: trim claws before leaving so carpets don’t get even MORE shredded.

We’ve been crazy with the wildlife lately. Or at least I have. About a month ago, the neighborhood kids found a turtle near someone’s driveway and “took care of it” nearly to death before parents swooped in and relocated it back to nature. I’m a little stymied on how the little guy got there in the first place.

Then the next week, one of the baby birds nexting near our roofline fell out of the nest and hung out along the side of our house. I did much googling and determined that it was fine – fledglings often do this, and if you can’t return it to the next itself, then under a nearby bush would suffice. It was hanging out under my truck, so I kind of herded it back to our deck, closer to where the nest was. The next morning it was gone, so I’m sure the little guy found his wings quickly. (sidenote: our house is now bird free and will soon be bird-proof. Yay, and KA-CHING! more money gone.)

Last week, I had picked up Jocelyn and was on my way to get Ethan and then home, when I had to swerve quickly to avoid hitting a slow moving little turtle in the road, right in line with the tires. I yelped, explained to Jocelyn, and then quickly tried to flip a bitch to get back there and save him. It was a very busy street, and I had little hope to get to him in time, especially as I watched all the traffic behind me as I desperately tried to flip around.. And sure enough, when I finally got back to him, he hadn’t made it. 🙁 That little guy haunted me the rest of the week, I felt so bad. Jocelyn too.. sometimes, she will say, out of the blue, “Poor little turtle..” to me. All I can do is nod and agree.

The sting of that little guy was taken away somewhat when we were driving along our road to our house and spotted TWO rabbits, just hanging out in someone’s yard. I am pretty sure I’ve seen one of these guys before, bounding away as I have driven by, but I couldn’t be sure and so I was very tickled to stop and watch them a while. They just stood nibbling some of the young weeds, checking us out as much as we were checking them out only about 8 feet away, and didn’t make any sort of fuss when Ethan and Jocelyn nearly threw themselves out their open windows looking and talking and trying to take pictures with my iphone. We finally drove on with them still sitting there eating their dinner.

And then last night as we came home from a lovely pool party at a friend’s house, I thought I saw a bit of brown on the steep hilly exit we were on, and pulled over. We saw a whole handful of deer bound away into the treeline, with a few stopping just shy of the trees to look back at us.

I just love it when we get a chance to see wildlife up close. I think they are probably less than thrilled to see us up close.

Oh right. 4th of July. We decided at the last minute to go to Great Meadows, which we went to last year. We got there around 4pm, saw all the pre-fireworks shows. Helicopter parades, RC airplanes (BIG suckers, with 5-6ft wingspans), rocket launches, ponies, melons shot out of a cannon, face painting, and of course fireworks. Ethan slept through the fireworks last year, but everyone was awake for them this year, and after they were over, Ethan stood up and hollered, “THAT WAS THE BEST FIREWORKS SHOW, EEEVERRRR!” — to the amusement of many people surrounding us.

Sunday, we went to a hawaiian pool party celebrating some friends’ who had recently been married in Hawaii. It’s been a while since we’d seen them, and it was very nice to sit and relax and catch up. The weather was not very cooperative (only about 75degrees) but that didn’t stop the kids from hopping in and slowly turning blue. It’s pretty comical to ask, “Are you cold?” and to get a chattering of teeth back, “No-o-o-o-o-o..”

All in all, a wonderful weekend. Wish it didn’t have to end.


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Mar 10 2009

Complicated Birthday Day!

I have actually been meaning to post on the old blog-er-oo for a while now. I know! Crazy! I have had things to say that take more than the 140 characters allowed by twitter! I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write. Which is a bogus excuse because I’ve had time enough to play Fallout 3 on the PS3!

Today was Jocelyn’s birthday. I hope it was lovely for her, I think it was. It was not as lovely for James and I.

We planned to do her “party” at her school. Meaning, not really have a party at all, but make a bit more of a fuss than just send in cupcakes. We got party hats for all the kids, enough balloons for everyone in her class (36 kids!!) to take one home, and cake of course.

I was on my way from work when I got a call from Ethan’s school’s vice principal. Something had set him off in his classroom and he wasn’t able to settle down, so his teacher asked the VP to take him out of the classroom. She walked around with him for a bit but he still was giving her attitude. At one point he threw his library books, and finally, she had the Principal come get him, and carry him to the office (because he would not go himself).

Ugh. I mean… UGH. Our first objective was to make sure that Jocelyn’s birthday didn’t get ruined. James picked him up right away (he was planning to get him early anyway so we could all do to Jocelyn’s class) and we didn’t make a fuss about it. We basically didn’t do anything about it, except let him know we would talk about it later.

We got to Jocelyn’s class and she was so excited and happy. Birthdays are her absolutely favorite things EVER 🙂 Everyone was very excited to have cake and see the balloons and sing happy birthday. It was very low key, lower than I had anticipated, really. We sang, served cake, popped party hats on everyone, and after the cake was consumed, everyone went out to play outside. Jocelyn and Ethan went out and ran around on the playground a bit, and then we came home to open presents. We got her a new scooter, a little pink bin of legos, a Barbie mermaid, fairy, and (of course!) a strawberry shortcake doll (Rainbow Sherbet!)

After a few scoots around the driveway on the new scooter, we left and went to Jocelyn’s choice of dinner restaurant: Chuck E. Cheese. That place is so much nicer on a weeknight than it is on a weekend. Wow. The kids ran around and had a ball, eating bites of pizza in between video games and crawling around in the kid-sized gerbil tunnels.[1 Seriously. All they need to add is a big wheel and a water drip and the illusion will be complete.] Home, little more playing, and then bed. We still have a pinata that we will probably gather the neighborhood friends together for tomorrow evening. Overall, a big success, and all without the stress of planning a major party – which I love to do, and usually have fun doing, but still, the stress is there. I’ve had enough stress, thank you. I hope we can do something similar for Ethan’s birthday when it comes up, but I’m not sure what.

So, the birthday girl had a lovely day. James and I were pretty much on edge with that sick feeling one gets when their child is having issues. The Ethan update is pretty much, he’s got issues, man. He had a good spell in January, and DOES seem to be less in trouble for *hurting* others, but his behavior still has the same issues. Impulsive, inattentive, aggressive. The plethora of testing done by the school is complete, and tomorrow we meet with everyone at the school to discuss the results. James and I have the reports already and have read them over, and as far as we can tell, it’s really nothing new. Which I guess is good – no mention of any learning disorders or anything — just the same things that we already know. Hyperactive, short attention, impulsive, little self control… We’ll see what they recommend.

On the shrink front, we had an appointment with a psychiatric nurse practitioner but it got canceled for insurance issues. I called back and went ahead and made an appointment with someone different, a psychiatrist who was recommended by another child psychologist from a practice that doesn’t take our insurance. Our appointment with him is next week.

I’m feeling pretty down, but this is an atypical feeling.. just because his day at school today went so badly. I am usually pretty upbeat.. because I have seen a significant improvement in our interactions with him at home. He is playing with his friends pretty well, which was NOT the case at the beginning of the year. I am feeling down because I feel like we’re a step closer to an ADHD prescription which I really am not ready for. And I am definitely not taking the final step until I *really* feel like I’m ready.

I also feel down because I took the most ridiculous fall down the 3 steps down into the garage pre-party. I mean, RIDICULOUS. I don’t even know HOW I fell. I just went ass over end and I hurt ALL OVER. It doesn’t help that I’m having back issues again, which really sucks. So basically… HOST BODY BROKEN. MUST FIND NEW HOST BODY. (god don’t I wish!)

Ahhh well. In other news, I have become a chainmaille weaving addict. I bought a jump ring cutting system and am impatiently awaiting my latest order of silver wire so I can go crazy with the SILVER chainmaille. In the meantime I have oodles of copper wire and even have a few new things up in my etsy shop, so take a look 🙂 I had my very first silver byzantine bracelet up there, but it was purchased by an old friend from High School who saw it when I posted to facebook! How’s that for a go ’round, I love it! I’ll post more about the jewelry soon. I have LOTS to say, especially about how much jewelry photography can suck it, and how sick I am of taking a photo I think will totally ROCK, get it into photoshop, and it looks shitty. SUCK IT, JEWELRY PHOTOGRAPHY! I used to think I could take a decent picture! No! I can’t! I suck! Ahhh well. I will learn.

I hope!

That’s it for now. Wish us luck for our meeting with the school tomorrow!

-amy hears the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, of the tumbler, tumbling her newly cut jumprings to a burnished, awesome shine!

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Dec 03 2008

Christmas shopping – DONE

In my efforts to not let my blog just COMPLETELY wither away and die, here is a forced update!

Do you totally hate me? The christmas shopping is done.

I totally got up and did Black Friday this year. It was actually pretty awesome to get most everything out of the way. I researched, made a list of things to get and went to 3 stores: target, toys r us, and kmart. I made a spreadsheet for the family of who’s getting what and after a few more stops that weekend, I’m happy to say, the christmas shopping is DONE. Yesterday, I got a tree with the kids. James and I put it up when he got home after his class/test, and today the kids and I will get going on decorating. I’m going multicolored this year with the 5 boxes of “icy twinkle lights” I got on sale after christmas last year.

For some reason I thought that they were ceramic. Kind of glad now to find they are not.

An early christmas present to me was a new mixer. My old mixer is a knock off of the Bosch Universal, a mixer my mother has had since before I was born (I may be exagerating, but as long as I can remember!).

Bosch Universal

6-8 years ago when I wanted a mixer, I wanted one like hers, but got convinced that this lookalike, Dimension 2000, was a better choice. And it works fine, just loverly, still does, except I broke both the sets of wire whips (regular and cookie dough) and the company is now out of business. Not so loverly.

Dimension 2000

So I’ve been out of a mixer since the summer, and with Christmas here, cookie making season is upon us. I like to make cookies and send them out to all our family (because I’m cheap that way) And you know what? Mixing double batches of cookie dough with a hand mixer? IS NOT FUN.

Linen N Things is going out of business, and so I’ve been eyeing the Cuisinart 5.5 quart model, regularly $300. It’s very similar to the KitchenAid mixer, same similar attachments available (even a food processor!) but in my mind, a little slicker looking and with a TIMER feature! How cool is that! I was a little nervous I was making the same mistake I made with the Universal — buying a different version of the more known brand, but I don’t think Cuisinart is going to be going anyway!

Cuisinart 5.5 qt Stand Mixer

When I first saw it, it was down 20% to $240, and James agreed that a mixer is something I kind of use a lot and actually “need” (thanks again honey) (he could have been a real pain because I have this “anything bought for yourself or others after Thanksgiving MUST BE WRAPPED AND PUT UNDER THE TREE” rule that he REALLY doesn’t like, so he could have turned that one against me and not let me HAVE the mixer until Christmas). When I went to get it, it was down again to 30%, so at $210, the was mixer purchased, and has already been put to use.

It’s a little kooky to get used to this style — the Bosch/Dimension probably seems like the kooky one to other people, what with the actual bowl being more of a doughnut shape instead of a normal bowl, but it’s what I’ve been used to my whole life, even growing up! Getting in and scraping down the edges has been tricky, and the dough does like to ride up a bit, up above the beat/whip, but so far, I like it 🙂 The timer feature is especially nice. So far I have only done cookie doughs, but I can’t wait to try some bread doughs and whip cream and egg whites (not all for the same thing, obviously!)

So even though the shopping is done, there’s still a lot of baking to do, and I want to make some easy mass-assembly line type craft to include with the cookies, but am at a loss of exactly what. Last year I did marble magnets for everyone, using my masses of extra altoids tins as a container. Stretchy cheap-beaded bracelets for nieces would be nice, and are super easy. Maybe stretchy bracelet with their name on it for the boys, but some of my nephews are older and I could see totally sticking up their nose at them. Adults, really not sure. Necklaces for adult female relatives would be nice, but might be too expensive (good beads ain’t cheap people!). And let’s face it, I’m running out of time for intricate work here. We might just be looking at stretchy bracelets for the little girls, and cookies for everyone else.

OK, this wraps up our holiday christmas presents edition post!

-amy twinkles but she does not glow. NO GLOWING.

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Nov 24 2008

children update

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

Well, it’s definitely time for an update on the children.

Saturday I finally broke down and took Ethan to the doctor because of his eyes. I’d noticed that they’ve been bloodshot off and on for 3-4 days, looking fine whenever I tried to point it out to James, and they looking vaguely watery and bloodshot whenever james was nowhere in sight. The two items (bad looking eyes, and James) finally coincided and I took Ethan to urgent care. We waited around FOREVER, and then the doctor had the nerve to tell me that yes, it was pink eye, but too mild to be treated. It would clear up in 3-4 days.

“But it’s already been 3-4 days..?!?”
“Yup, that’s normal.”

I was annoyed. We came home and I started giving him some of the drops we still had in the house. (that’s right. I defied the doctor’s orders. Shoot me.)

Saturday night was very nice – James and I got a sitter and went to see a movie, “Rachel Gets Married” – a nice, light hearted jaunt starring Anne Hathaway as a drug addict getting out of rehab for a weekend to attend and participate in her sister’s wedding. There were such light happy go lucky moments as when we learn that Anne’s character was responsible for the death of their younger brother years ago, when she was in charge of him and was high as a kite – there was a car accident, the car went into a lake, and she couldn’t get the brother out. The movie revolved around the family and their disfunction, and how this event changed them further. Yeah, it was pretty much the feel good movie of the year!

I wouldn’t have chosen it if I’d known how heavy it was (as james said, “would you CHOOSE a kick in the balls??) but I can’t say I didn’t like it. Can’t really say I liked it either, but I didn’t DISlike it. It was interesting.

Then we got pizza at a place in Georgetown that has a huge beer selection, talked over the movie, the kids, our life, beer, the kids, work, the kids and then some more about the kids.

That night Jocelyn woke up just as we were about to head to bed, crying about her ear. So Sunday came around and once again, I was at the urgent care center, this time with Jocelyn. We saw a different doctor who confirmed, yup, she has an ear infection, and got a prescription for the super strong good stuff, augmentin es (for extra strength). Unfortunately for us…. the strong stuff is also the awful tasting stuff.

I gave her the first dose as soon as I got it, in Target, anxious for it’s to start working it’s antibiotic mojo, and she compained about it’s awful taste. That night’s dose went down too, with some complaints afterwards, but not too much trouble. Well, this morning… it took me a half hour to cajole her into taking it.

This is really dangerous territory. There are a LOT of things in a child’s life that a parent can just outright control. Child doesn’t agree? Parent can just pick Child up, and deposit her where Parent wants, despite Child’s wishes. However, there are 3 things that Parent Just Simply Cannot Control Or Order Away. Eating, Pooping, and Sleeping. You can’t make them do any of those things, so you should just give up trying.

Now, if I had to characterize our two children, I would say Ethan is the stubborn one (like a MULE) and Jocelyn is the more flexible one. If Ethan doesn’t want to do something, then by god he is going to try everything in his power to not do it. And I mean tooth and claw. Jocelyn however, will protest while she goes along with whatever it is she doesn’t want to do.

So when Parent (that would be me) lines up the treats and the glasses of water for afterward and talks about how the “medicine is going in there to beat up those germs! take that, germ! and THAT! HIIIII-YAH!” for a good 60 minutes and still is getting nowhere with Child (that’d be Jocelyn) and Parent starts to lose their patience/temper and starts to try to just start order Child to “take this medicine already!” with cold hard voiced counting to 3 (after which the child is just supposed to magically open their mouth and take the medicine) — Now this is the child who is “flexible” mind you, and she was having none of it… that should say something about how vile this stuff is.

Tonight, after almost nearly just about forcing her to open her mouth and squirting the medicine inside, she kept her mouth open, letting it drip out all over the place while crying plaintively.

This was only Day 2 of 10 days of medicine people. I waved the white flag and had our pediatrician paged. We’re taking Jocelyn in tomorrow for another looksee at the ears and a new prescription. She said not to worry about the morning dose.

Have I mentioned how much I love our pediatrician?

So that is the medicine drama. The actual The Girl Is In Great Pain! drama is much worse 🙁

Last night she woke up crying just as we were about to go to bed. She did not stop. she clung to me and wouldn’t let go. James helped me get everything situated and we quickly brought her into our bed with me while James went to the guest room. She would quiet down just to start crying again in 30 seconds. After singing and stroking her back and holding her and putting her down and laying next to her and holding her again and nothing helping, finally I decided she really just needed to get her mind off of the pain. So we grabbed our blankies, went downstairs, whispered about how CRAzy it was, sneaking around in the middle of the night, and put on Finding Nemo. I kept telling her that if she wanted to fall asleep, she could, but she stayed awake the entire time, with only a few plaintive, “My ear hurts!” throughout. Afterwards, we went back up to bed and she slept until morning.

Today she cried about her ears (and yes, it was BOTH now, instead of just the one) a few times, but seemed to be much better in the afternoon, not mentioning her ears at all, so hopefully she can sleep through the night tonight.

Ethan has been doing pretty good in school. He has a very good week with a few isolated incidents. But when those incidents happen, ARGH. He seems to just LIKE punching his fist out in front of him. Even when there’s no one there, he just likes doing that. Unfortunately, sometimes he does it AT OTHER PEOPLE. Sometimes you just want to shake him and say, “THIS IS NOT HARD, JUST QUIT HITTING PEOPLE.” Erg.

With Jocelyn home today, I let him ride the bus home from school, something he’s wanted to do for a while. He had a good day at school, but doh – he hit a girl on the bus on the way home. His reason: She was singing a song and he wanted her to stop.

We walked over to her house and he apologized, but jeez, it just totally deflated me.

He is currently in a group class for social achievement once a week and he HATES it. the counselor said that of course he hates it, they’re calling him out on the things he’s doing. I feel OK about it, but I am still melancholy about a specific doctor that was highly recommended but is not in our insurance. One of the comments one of the recommenders said was that it was eye-opening for her. For her. It would be nice to know if James and I are handling things well, and get advice and help for anything we may be inadvertently doing to reinforce bad behavior.

There are 3 things he seems to be constantly doing around the house – throwing things, swinging things around and around and around, and punching his fist out in front of hime (whether someone is there or not, it’s not acceptable). Today after the bus incident, he seemed to be doing all three more and more and more. We finally decided (we probably should have done this a while ago) that any TV shows with fighting in it is hereby not acceptable. The kids favorite show is Avatar, which james and I both reall like as well, it’s won awards and shit — but the fact is, there’s fighting in it, in EVery episode, and that can’t be helping, so, no more Avatar. Ethan didn’t take it well. I told him that maybe after there’s no more reports of hitting or punching, we would consider putting it back on the tivo.

I don’t know if this is just me, but Ethan seems to have gone a bit backwards in his communication skills. He used to be able to relate things to me that were understandable and mostly, in full. But it seems like he hasn’t been doing that for a while now. For example, say there’s something he’s thinking, or remembering that spans 1 through 10. Well, he will start talking, and only say the parts 3-5, and I’ll have to try to figure out or ask enough questions to get the 1, 2, and 6-10 (did that make sense??) If it’s something that is home related or that we talked about before, I can do that fairly easily, but if it’s something I’m not familiar with, like something at school, then I’m totally in the dark. I’m pretty sure this is normal behavior, but it makes me wonder sometimes too.

Ethan is having his testing done next week, which is another source of some anxiety. Well, it is when I think about it, but truly, I don’t think about it very often, so I’m OK. when I do though, I worry about what the results will be and what those results will mean. James talked me down from the cliff on our date though with the simple truth – we’ll deal with it when we know what it is we’re dealing with and whether it even is something that needs dealing with.

I realize that was long — if you’ve stuck in here this long, I hereby award you a gold star for fortitude. If not, that’s ok too – I think mostly this post was for me, getting all this off my chest out out of my head is always good.

-amy skims the goo… OF HER BRAIN!

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Oct 29 2008

a post that is all about ME.

In list form!

  • I took a jewelry beading class a few weekends ago, a class I thought would mostly be stringing, but ended up being wire working, and I have to say, I loved it. However, it has brought a few things to light, namely:
    • Cheap pliers are just that. Cheap. The teacher had tools for us to use, which I did, and then when I got home and tried to use the cheapo pliers I had initially purchased, my hands were killing me. Ouch.
    • Silver wire is expensive! She gave us all copper wire to work with, because it’s relatively cheap. Silver is pretty expensive. However, I am not particularly drawn to copper. I don’t hate it, I just don’t usually go for it. And now, after the class, when I look at the copper wire, I have no idea what sort of beads to pair it with. I am paralyzed with inactivity. I have no wish to make copper jewelry. I ache to make something, but I don’t know what. I just am more partial to silver, really.

    So, I’m kind of antsy and anxious to get started with some more jewelry, but a) i need some good pliers and b) I want silver wire. Both of which cost a decent amount of money. But after wobbling about for a week on what to do, I bit the bullet. I bought some very good pliers online, along with a small amount of sterling silver wire, and a bigger amount of (silver-looking-in-appearance)(cheap) nickel wire. I figure I will use the nickel and if I make a piece I really like, I can redo it in the silver. Now I can’t wait for my order to arrive!

  • My upper back is having some sort of reaction to something. At first I thought our cat had scratched me or something, because I just had this very mild irritation on the back of my shoulder, and indeed, could feel a miniscule scratch, but it has progressed to a much larger area than just the invisible scratch area and wtf? No rash or other visual indicator is present, but I’m telling you, not a minute goes by where I don’t feel pain somewhere in this general area. Not a big pain, but a pain-in-the-ass pain, because I keep being made aware of it, over and OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Time for some hydrocortisone cream I guess.
  • Today at the office there is a potluck, and OFFICE MASSAGES. When I wondered over to the front desk to sign up yesterday, I was aghast that there were hardly any people signed up. I was tempted to put myself down twice. Don’t these people like to relax and be massaged? After the last week, I CANNOT WAIT.
  • With the potluck today and a class party in Jocelyn’s classroom on Friday, I made a whole crapload of pumpkin cupcakes. I just LOVE these things. I wish I had the time to decorate them like Melissa from Suburban Bliss did her BOO cupcakes – LOVE THESE – I’m telling you follow the link and just scroll down for the pictures. Creepily DELIGHTFUL. But I did not have the time, so I just dipped them all in halloweeny sprinkles and called it good. And spent the entire trip into the office this morning thinking of some ghoulish names to accompany them. I’ve settled on “Putrid Pumpkin Pustules Slimed With Creepy Creamed Cheese of the Occult” I’ll take any suggestions!
  • This year when I bought out the hat and gloves department at Target for the family, I hit on something. I usually buy several pairs so that when the first glove goes missing (as they all inevitably do) there would be back-up gloves. This year – I bought TWO PAIRS OF THE SAME GLOVES for everyone. Why did I not think of this?? Then when the end of winter comes and tons of gloves are missing, we are much more likely to have MATCHING GLOVES. I can’t tell you how many times Jocelyn has gone to school with one supergirl glove and one transformer glove. Hopefully this year it will be Supergirl FTW! Also, I bought some fingerless gloves to try out in the office and I HAVE NOT NOT USED THEM SINCE. I LOVE them. My hands are warm, but my fingers are not constricted by any bulky material. In fact, these aren’t fingerless gloves, they’re more like fingerless mittens, because there’s no individual fingers to them. Yet another idea I should have adopted YEARS AGO.
  • And just not to leave anyone hanging, Ethan has been doing well this week. No major incidents. He appeared to have totally brushed off the girl in his class telling him he was kicked out of daycare. His teacher said that he replied, “No I didn’t.” and he hasn’t brought it up to us at all. The counseling center got back to me and we decided to do some initial psychological testing just to see what’s what. Now that everything seems to be going OK, I feel like maybe I’m overreacting with the whole professional help thing, but I know that it is still the best thing for him. Even if the worst is over, this still can only help him, not hurt.
  • The kids expressed astonishment that there was CHRISTMAS stuff up at Target already. And when we were there yesterday they had already taken down the major Halloween setup. Ethan: “Don’t they know that Halloween isn’t even over yet???” I know, Ethan. I KNOW.

That’s it. I just leave you know with the conversation James and I had last night. I had just been blathering on and on about who knows what and after a short silence, this came out.

Oh, what sweet marital bliss:

me: God. I hate the sound of my voice. I don’t know how you can stand it. Blech. I wish I could just STOP TALKING.
james: (SILENCE.)
I look at him.
He looks at me.
I give him THE LOOK.
He grins.
james: I am racking up the points right now!
james: What? I am too! I am totally keeping my mouth shut! You know what I COULD BE SAYING RIGHT NOW??
I fix him with a stony glare.
me: You are losing more points with every passing second, mister.
james: What??!!!
me, taking on a fake voice: “Oh, honey! Why would you say that? Don’t be so hard on yourself. You have a lovely voice! That’s why I married you! I love you! You’re perfect in every way!
james laughs, and takes on his own fake voice: “I wish you would stop talking! You’ve been driving me nuts for the past 20 minutes! That voice is the voice that is going to drive me to my grave! That voice—
I cut him off, and retort: LOSING POINTS. EVERY SECOND.
james just grins.

Internet, you have been duly informed.

-amy howls at the moon.

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