Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Musical Angst of the Young

I was working around the Hobbit Hole this weekend and, as is usually the case, I had music playing. When Squib hears music he likes, he always comes skidding into the room and tells me to "put that on (his) playlist." Beanstalk is also a music hound, but there is no accounting for his tastes, to tell you the truth. If I listened to Andrea Bocceli, Sarah Brightman, and other classical/operatic music, then Beanstalk would be sitting two inches in front of the speakers.

So, I'm scrubbing the tub when I hear Squib pattering into the bedroom.

Sq: Mom! (Yes, he still yells it. I'm getting better at not leaping out of my skin.)

Moi: What?

Sq: That's the song from Iron Man! (I put my forehead on the rim of the tub and shake it.)

Moi: No, actually, it's not.

Sq: You're right. (He pauses to think.) It's from Megamind! Member?

He's not exactly wrong. Exactly.

Moi: The song is 'Back in Black' and it's 'from' ACDC. (I love looking at him when I tell him that the cool music he loves so much was actually cool music that his mother listened to way back when. The kid has great taste.)

Sq: No.

Moi: Yes.

Sq: Does anyone even write music anymore?

Moi: Of course they do.

Sq: But it all stinks!

I'm really starting to like this kid.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Would You Like Fries With That?

Yesterday I tackled every possible mass disaster we had around here that involved me except two. Every. Single. One. For two reasons:

1) I needed the space both real and virtual.

2) I wanted to fiddle around today. I'm running about the virtual climes about to have a skirmish, y'all and I need to be ready!!

The remaining two have the distinct air of needing a greater laying on of hands than I can provide. Plus the towering amount of success I had yesterday requires a certain amount of squelching ruin. I'd just as soon let that be balanced out in someone else's office. I was thinking that giving the success/disaster continuum some time to balance was well in order. Given that the remaining two items on the list involve my work station and server, I'm doubly cautious. And then...

Enter The Physicist:

TP: "So. Is Thor fixed?"

Moi: "Not at this moment, no." (After all, it is laying disassembled on the conference table.)

TP: "Oh. Ok, I thought you got all these things done."

Moi: "All the things I get paid to do, yes. Thor is next on the list." (He's nodding. Next means five minutes ago and he probably mistakes the fact that I'm huddling under an electric blanket for something it's not. Laziness versus SURVIVAL! It's damn cold.)

TP: "Anyway. After you get Thor and Scat up to speed, I need a webserver. I want to run it against php and, if possible, perl.

Scat pauses to do a quick inventory of The Scat Family Trio's hardware and software and all the applications we must and we'd "LIKE" to keep running. Not to mention the fact that we have so much data clogging the works that not one of these machines can even spot a turnip on a good day. She blinks....blink...blink blink.....blink.

Moi: "Would you like fries with that?" --(That's actually what I was thinking. Instead, I just gave a round-eyed....O..K.)

Maybe I should asked to be supersized.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chicken (that we don't have) Trauma

The First Rule of Green Acres: You don't talk about The Chicken.

The Second Rule of Green Acres: You don't talk about The Chicken.

"That" is a dog house. See? It looks like a dog house. It smells like a dog house. There is even a big water bowl large enough for two Rottweilers to drink for a week. Therefore, it must be a dog house. That thing there just works security.

Just stick your hand in there and she will gladly peck it off if you go near the water bowl. She may bite your hand just for daring to go in there in the first place. She is the defender of the c...age. Yes. And she is going to protect it right up until we find those dogs.

She has been with us for some time and we've kept her in various and sundry boxes, etc. They were hard to clean and didn't give her room to run around and roost or whatever it is that they like to do. Initially, she was a joke that started out with Buddy and his pitiful story about having to leave his baby chick at Gma Jewel's house when he was in grade school. So I've been on the hunt since then.

She's a Rhode Island Red and with any luck at all, bordering on a true--and I mean call the Pope--miracle, we'll have eggs!

As usual, actually touching, feeding, and/or risking my life in the care and feeding of anything beginning with homo sapiens (the odder ones) on down to...well, whatever...falls to me. So I corralled her into a box and grabbed her by the neck and legs which, oddly enough, she seems to like and brought her down to the new c...age...oop...thingie. She flapped and bock'd and flew at the chicken wire (it's just an adjective!) several times before she found a nice dark corner behind the dog house to hunch down in.

The only person she wishes to speak to is Squib. Of course. He walks up to the--fine it's a coop--coop and says (I'm not kidding)"

"Who loves, Squib??!!"

Only he screams it and turns "loves" into twenty syllables. I swear she walks out to see him every time. It's crazy.

The only thing crazier is that now Buddy and Squib both have decided that the work of one chicken cannot be done alone. Or she's lonely or now that we have the coop, we might as well have more chickens? So...Scat, just go get on the phone and find us some chickens.

Which is where all this started...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY Dino Hoodies

The much awaited Dino Hoodie DIY has arrived. I'll admit I didn't take some pics in the beginning as I should have, but I'll talk you through it.
First, you'll need felt. The thicker the felt, the better, but some machines don't sew materials once they get really thick, so use what you know your machine can handle. If you don't know, then look up your machine online and find the manual to see what works best for you. Second, you'll need the hoodie. It can be a zip-up jacket (that's what I used because my kids like them) or a pull-over hoodie. You'll need some sharp sewing shears (I'm picky about sharp shears when I sew), a pencil, and a few sheet of paper to make some triangles with.
The first thing I did was to make triangles that looked like the spikes I wanted to put from the head down to the tail of the Dino...boy... I decided to start small get gradually bigger and then taper off to smaller spikes again. I'm complicated that way. So, I used a pencil and paper to draw about three equilateral triangles as patterns. You don't have to do that. Make one triangle. Make curved spikes. Be creative!!
Then, I folded the felt in half and pinned the triangles with the bottom side on the crease and cut out what you see below as diamond shapes. When I cut out all my triangles--diamonds really--I pinned them to the hoodies. I estimated the center line of the hood down to the back. That's as accurate as you need to be.
I pinned the diamonds point to point from the front of the hood to the "tail" making sure that the points touched. Then, I simply ran a single seam from the hood down to the tail without stopping as seen below. I have boys, so rather than trust the page I was using, I made two passes and backed up my starting and finishing ends.


Then, the only thing left to do is to fold the points up to meet each other and sew a quarter-inch seam to keep them in place. As with the big seam, I backed up my starting and finishing seams for extra durability. Then all you have to do is give it to a kid (or adult) and they will love it so much they won't take it off. Ever.
Squib at the Children's Museum.
 Beanstalk being himself.
Both kids are Dino Hoodie fanatics now, so I lucked out! I consulted two DIY hoodie folks here and here if you need further reference. Once you get the idea in mind, you won't need any of us to help you.
Happy Dino Hoodie Day! (It's always dino hoodie day.)

Walking on Walls

So, we are going to stick with the bad medicine because we must. I say we in the royal sense because I never really know when the ride is going to start and someone has to come to my aide. I can walk all the way into the Big Red House and talk to Baba and Buddy, but out of nowhere the platform starts spinning.

The most disturbing thing about this is that Mimi's advice about trying to walk on the wall is actually not far off. So...I'm wondering just exactly how long she has been doing that. I use a combination of wall-walking and just walking like I know where I'm going and usually what happens is I end up sitting down wherever I find myself at the moment things start spinning.

The first thing I'm going to do when I am done with these antibiotics is vacuum underneath my bed. It's had sweater boxes under it. That's how it escaped the last purging. Seriously, though, it's terrible under there. The spiders must think it's Cabo because they're hanging out all over the place. No fear. None. I just wanta suck them right up my Shop Vac. The little ingrates. Go eat a mosquito already!

(Don't know where that came from. Maybe it's the Katy Perry I'm being force fed by my youngest son (don't ask).)

The second thing I'm going to do is send out a big thank you to whoever makes Zutripro cough syrup. Followed by the third thing I'm going to do which is ask them, "What the heck, already??" Yes, it works beautifully as an expectorant/decongestant. However, the semi-synthetic opiod you got in there makes me feel like I'm sleeping under the mattress. Whoo! This is not your mother's cough syrup. What am I saying, it ain't mine, either!! Don't breathe...or...stay moderately awake (subjective) while coughing and day-dreaming of unicorns. Right now I've stored up a legion of unicorns in my imagination.

The fourth thing I'm going to do is smack my doc right on the lips. Which will be weird, but we'll be alright after it's over. There are times when all the "slime," as *some people* call my oil collection, is just not working. Either that or they're not working as fast as the bug. I see a local doc for general things and near death lung issues. She is on the ball and when she didn't "like the way (she) couldn't hear air moving in (my) lungs" she swung into action pretty quickly. Granted, I am antibiotic number three. Which is no party. It's designed to wipe things out. Even MRSA in some cases. So the woman is tired of this. As am I. She always, always, always does the diagnostic tests to prove her hunches are right (and they always are). But Scriddlybump, TX has one of the best diagnosticians I've ever come across. Scratch that. She's the second best diagnostician I've come across. Ever. She wanted to bet me that--since I tested positive for strep--that this is streptococcal pneumonia--I told her I like to keep my lunch money, TYVM.

The fifth thing I'm going to do is go hiking. I was so bummed that I missed the Saturday hike this last weekend. And Buddy didn't take pics, so obviously I must go to record the events for posterity!

The sixth thing is a little reminiscence. Two pics of Beanstalk and Squib. One taken over a year ago and the other taken just last weekend. Oh how the time is flying by.

It seems like an eon ago. But really a year and a half.
Dino's on the loose! They live in those silly things. The best gift I've ever made. And entry on how I did it is coming up!

Boy, doesn't time fly when you're knocked out on cough syrup??

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dear Patient,

I am not a doctor. I've never played one on TV. However, I do have a couple of chronic inflammatory diseases of my own, two kids with chromosomal disorders, a mom with two chronic inflammatory diseases and a partridge in a pear tree, and a grandmother undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. You'd think I'd catch on already. I check the PDR like a crazy woman every time we go to the doctor. These are my people, dang it! But I was wasted from the three weeks of lung garbage and called the doc who called in a new antibiotic and I took it no questions asked.

Even after all the millions of things we've all gone through in this family we still get taken by surprise when, say, during breakfast the room starts spinning like I'm on the gravitron at the fair (You know, it spins and then the floor drops out and all the girls scream?). Only I can't get off this ride. I certainly can't walk myself anywhere because to walk forward I have to imagine I'm walking normal (Buddy's suggestion), or always step on the wall (Mimi's suggestion), or just "go pee and get back in the bed (Baba obviously won this round).

Of course Dad was immediately worried. He was concerned I had taken something at the wrong time or with the wrong thing. He is also still hyped about the blood sugar thing so I was buried in pancakes. There was only one thing I had taken that was new. It was minocycline. The third antibiotic we're trying to kill this chest infestation with. Whoever wrote "spinning sensation" and the like in the Physician's Desk Reference grossly understated things a bit. Vertigo. Check. Tinnitus. Check. In fact, you can check everything about the ear and the nervous system.

And then we can talk steroids. Not one or two but three dose packs I've gone through now. (seriously unhappy noise!!) I am still of at least four minds on whether or not they are of benefit in the long run. Especially as dose packs. You begin by tapering off. You never reach a standard "therapeutic dose." But your sleep? You may kiss that goodbye. Steroids should be locked in a safe with keys given to two different people and released by codes protected by the FDA. They're that bad--especially in high doses. Plus, I have yet to run into two different doctors who "believe" in using the same standards and practices for steroid prescription. Which is why I say "believe."

What all of this means is I have essentially been riding the gravitron at the fair ever since Saturday morning sometime in the middle of my breakfast. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find your bathroom when it's spinning? Frankly, it's easier to do it with your eyes closed. Lego's? Not possible. Movies? Ain't happening. Plus, I had to leave my glasses to get their new lenses last Friday, so I'm riding this thing blind. Sorta. I have the 2010 pair dangling from my face. 3,6,8,9 all look identical and some piece of something has been posing as a comma for about an hour now.

Always check out your medication before you put it in your mouth. Ask your doctor what your medicine is, what it is supposed to do, and what are its side effects are (good and bad). Ask about interactions with things you already take, what time you should take it and whether you take it with your meals or before or after. I've been surprised, lately, how many drugs specify this.

And if you still can't solve it yourself you can get in the queue behind me. I'll be on the phone at 8am sharp.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Entirely Too Fast

I blinked and it was gone. I swear it was a weekend like all the others. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Then, POOF, like a was gone. Sharing kids can be a roller coaster for a mommy that wants to know ev-er-y-thing about both her kidlets. However...

We had a great weekend!

Squib hopped in the car Friday sporting his new glasses. He loves them and has no qualms whatsoever about wearing them wherever he goes. The glasses are a step toward trying to alleviate his headaches without actually messing directly with his brains. March 11--the big MRI/test day--is coming on quickly, so we are trying to...try things in a scientific manner to see if the headaches are a symptom of something other than those bright spots in his little brains. Squib, upon bursting from the car, greeted everyone in the Big Red House and promptly ensconced himself in my bed with four million and three stuffed animals and immediately started dosing off. And on. And off. And on. So we watched movies (that he slept through). He didn't even want to take a bath, but he did. We got a few things together for Beanstalk day on Saturday and promptly got back in the bed.

Come 6:30 a.m. Saturday, we were fully not-awake, but meeting Beanstalk for a great morning of romping around and pictures of the Dino Hoodie brothers and much, much more. Beanstalk had a rattly cough like mine (hard to tell who gave what to whom at times). So, Beanstalk wasn't really game to go off on the run. Squib was, admittedly a bit crabby, so everyone ended up in a lap somewhere from which we watched Andrea Bocelli and Cars (the genre whiplash really is enough to stun a live human at times) and much cuddling was done. Rather than run circles around me, Beanstalk got on the swings with me twice (very short lived) and watched Squib come down the slide twice (his favorite thing to do). After a few piggy back rides with Buddy, they basically just laid down on our blanket and curled up. Hmm. All in all, though, it was a great time.

As is usual, after great times, we all went home and slept like hibernating bears. Somewhere around 5:00 p.m, I know not why (mostly because he feels he's the established time keeper), Buddy banged the door down and woke us all up. A small lump next to me mumbled, "Tooooo bright!!!" rather insistently. I had the same reaction, but glared instead. We were some tired bears, already! Go stomp around in your own house.

"Do you know it's 5:15?"


He never can get past that. I don't know and it's obvious that I don't mind. It's mind-boggling for Buddy. Besides, the co-bed hermits obviously need the sleep. And sleep they did...

And before we knew it, Sunday was here! We kept the usual Sunday routine. Get up, get dressed, breakfast, and head for the early service. I did set an alarm, but Buddy double-checked as he was certainly in doubt of my ability to use a clock this weekend. But everyone was up in time and ready and got to their appointed places.

It shocked me after lunch when Squib asked, "Are we going to take a short nap?"

I left it up to him and he crawled right in the bed and started sawing logs. I don't know about you, but there's something about having a warm, sleeping kid in your bed. It's like getting hit with a double whammy from the sandman. The bed gravity is enormous! So I conked out, too.

I realize that we spent most of our time asleep, but everyone needed sleep!! I've never seen Squib so dead set on getting in the bed and going to sleep. Ever. And it was GOOD to snuggle up to my little baby boy and zonk out.

It makes a weekend pass so fast, though.