Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The PR team for Calico Critters reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in reviewing their Halloween-inspired Costume Critter pairs. Sophie's eight now and I wondered if she was getting to be a little too old for these toys but when I asked her about it she was all for it.

"What do you like about them?" I asked.

"They're so cute!"

"Beyond that, why do you like them?"

"They're little. And cute!" I didn't think she was really giving me enough to go on so I dropped it until the package arrived.

I have to agree with Sophie and half the third grade.....they're pretty cute.
Here is Simon the Squirrel Brother (dressed as a chick) and Christy the Cat Sister (in her bunny costume) getting acquainted with one of Sophie's other Critters at an informal meet and greet. (Sidenote: I'm shocked our rug looks that clean since it, you know, isn't.)

Simon and Christy have been living on Sophie's desk so she can look at something other than the drab wall while she slaves over her homework. And thought he won't admit it (probably because it goes against the Jedi Knight Code of Conduct) but even Harry likes to play with them when his big sister isn't looking.

More information on the Calico Critters can be found here. Many thanks to Susan and her team for letting us see what the latest Costume Critters are all about!

At Least It's Tuesday
Today it it was gray and pouring down rain. Sophie was due at school at 8am this morning. Harry's drop off wasn't until 8:45. In between, we went for donuts. Donuts at 8:20am = stomach ache. I sat in a meeting at work this morning and realized 3/4 of the way through it that my fly was open.

But it's not Monday, right? That's gotta count for something.

Monday, October 26, 2009
Punkin' Carving

Saturday, October 24, 2009
Caught Ya!
When you raise kids, you sometimes have to repeat yourself in order to drive a point home. "Don't pull the cat's tail," and then that is exactly what they do until the cat scratches them. "Don't hit your brother," "don't eat the Cheerios off the floor," "don't lick the bathroom wall." You say things, again and again and you wonder if they are GETTING it.

Last night I discovered that they are getting it. Harry was with me at the grocery store last night. We were in the bulk section, where you can buy everything from granola to popcorn and everything in between by the pound. I've often had to remind the kids to not eat their favorite things out of the bins, that they are not large containers of free raisins, etc.

When I walked over to the scale to weigh some items I was buying, Harry yelled over to me "Mo-om! This GUY is eating the food!"

The guy in question was indeed sampling the food and probably thought he'd quietly sample an oat stick but Eagle Eye caught him red handed. "I was just making sure those were the ones I like," he said.

To which Harry replied "Ha! Caught ya!"

The problem is that he's so cute when he says stuff like this it is hard to not laugh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Gearing Up for Halloween
We scored tickets to the community association's annual Halloween party over Columbus Day Weekend. All the kids that we normally see at the pool with swim goggles and floaties wore their Halloween costumes and watched a comedic/magic performance at community rec center.

Our kids watched from the sidelines, a strategic position for cupcake eating.

There were a lot of other kids dressed at Star Wars characters but Harry's advantage is that he fully embodies Luke Skywalker. Here he is, using The Force against another Luke while Darth Vader pokes him with a sword balloon sculpture. He takes this dressing up business very seriously.

Monday, October 19, 2009
On The Pink Bandwagon
I went for a check up last month and while I was there the doctor told me that it was time for another routine mammogram.

"Why? It's only been two years since my baseline. I didn't think I had to go for at least three more years."

"You're getting to be that age when routine testing becomes important," she said. I told her to watch her language.

I called Friday (during the great Flu Hoedown of 2009) for the appointment and was told that there was an appointment the following day. Knowing how hard these appointments are to come by, I booked it.

Recovering from the flu is not exactly the best time to go for a mammogram. You really just want to be home in bed, instead of in a cold room with a stranger and large machine aka The Torture Chamber. In this room you are subject to visual and mechanical torture known as Modern Mammography.

First the technician had me remove my paper robe. There I was standing around in just a pair of jeans and clogs. Thank god they let me keep my shoes on. I'd have been embarrassed otherwise!

Then the technician did a visual examination which consisted of lifting them up, then down. Then she said "Perfect!"

Next she positioned me in The Vise. The Vise is an XRay machine, which squashes your boobie flatter than a pancake while you are simultaneously shoved against it. Throughout this, you must "Relax!" while the technician takes a picture of what was once a three dimensional body part.

The first picture was taking a long time and just when I thought I might faint, The Evil One announced she was going to log back in to the computer. "Gee, the computer isn't seeing your breast. Just stay right there." Like I could walk away?

Finally I was released from the machine's grip, then instantly put back in and still the computer did not "see" my breast. I was relieved. The machine was broken! Hooray! Time to get dressed and go home, I thought. But no, The Evil One got it up and running again so she could reposition (read: SHOVE) me back into the machine. Four more times.

For all my joking half-complaining about this screening (which isn't foolproof but it is a good first line of defense), it was so worth the minor discomfort for a little peace of mind. It took longer for me to fill out the paperwork than to actually get the mammogram (reboot and all). So to hop on the Breast Cancer Awareness month bandwagon, I'm here to tell you go get your mammogram done. It's easy to skip or forget your screenings, especially when appointments must be made far in advance but do what you have to do and get 'em done!

Friday, October 16, 2009
Flu Ku Ka Choo
Wow. This flu business is no joke. I don't think I've ever been so sick in my life.

When I wasn't better after sleeping 12 hours Monday and resting all of Tuesday and Wednesday, I went to the doctor, the same easy-on-the-eyes doctor that treated me for my finger infection two years ago. Dr. Dreamboat cut to the chase after listening to a list of symptoms as long as his arm and said "Yeah, you're sick alright. Welcome to cold and flu season."

After he examined me I asked "So what is it? Flu? Swine flu?"

"Don't know. Could be."

"Well, what are you going to do about it?"

"I'll take some blood and a culture. Here's an antibiotic for your sinuses and here's a prescription for cough syrup. It has codeine so make sure you don't take it if you have to drive anywhere. I don't think you should work for the rest of the week if you don't absolutely have to and drink plenty of fluids."

Then he gave me a flu shot. "Shouldn't you figure out if I have flu before you give me a flu shot?" I asked.

"Nah. If you have it, it won't matter. If you don't have it, you're protected. And don't even ask for the swine flu vaccine. You won't get it. You don't meet the criteria."

I don't know what the criteria is and my head hurt to much to ask.

Last night before bed I took a dose of the The World's Best Cough Syrup and dreamed I was on a boat making eggplant parmesan with Roy Scheider. While we were cooking he kept saying "You're gonna need a bigger pan."
How awesome is that?

Monday, October 5, 2009
There is a lot of panic on our block these days, courtesy of moi.

One of the neighboring families are working on their house, which involves a lot of digging, which is on top of the digging the gas company did a few weeks back.

I was standing around with my peeps a few days ago (peeps being all the mature (read: retired) women on our street) talking about the pantry of one of the women, and the fact that something had recently found its way in there and was eating her food.

"Rats!" decides one neighbor. "Gotta be. Look at all the digging. Remember the last time we had rats? Remember? Then that car squashed one and it sat there for days." (True. Every word.)
"Can't be," says another. "Gotta be mice. It's that time of year when the field mice want a warm place for the winter."
"FIELD MICE! But there are no FIELDS here. Mice. Meh, probably a squirrel."
"Raccoon," says yours truly. "We've got one in the neighborhood."

Suddenly, everyone turns to look at me. You can always count on me to inject information like this into a conversation. Information that can cause disbelief AND panic.

"Whaddya think this is? The country? There's no raccoon. But we'd better be careful because they're all rabid."
"Rabid? It's a rabid raccoon? Oh, God. Oh. My. God."
"I don't know if it's rabid. But it did eat three huge holes in our kitchen screen."
"And then?"
"And then, what?" I ask.
"Then what happened?"
"Oh, you know," I said nonchalantly. "We got the screen fixed."
"But where's the raccoon!?"
"I don't know."
"It can't be a raccoon," says one of the neighbors. "Where would a raccoon live around here? Besides, I'm home all day and I've never seen one."
"That's because they're nocturnal," I say.
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"You won't see it during the day if it's nocturnal."
"So is it rabid or nocturnal?" asks another.
"Well, definitely nocturnal," I say.
"That can't be good," says a neighbor, and they all agree.