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Wacky Mommy is doing fine

April 30th, 2008

…in case you were wondering.

She appreciates all your good thoughts, and is sleeping off the anesthesia as I write this. I’m sure she’ll be blogging on the morrow.

things i’m wigging about

April 29th, 2008

* health problems. third verse, same as the first. I am ready for some resolution and no more feeling like hell.

* power struggles. why? Why why why? They are so stupid. I’m getting better at sidestepping, but it’s always a challenge.

* end of the school year. so much left to accomplish.

* the weather.

* the allergies.

* my kids who are such night owls that it can be 9, 10, 11 or midnight, and they will be awake.

* exhaustion (see, above: vampire children who refuse to sleep)

* the clutter. on my desk, the end tables, the dining room table, my desk(s) at work (I have three. Neat, huh? Means I can mess up three separate areas.)

* school politics: always a challenge

* Girl Scouts. We love Girl Scouts, but life keeps conspiring against it.

* my inconstancy

* my mood swings

* my ex’s mom passed away, and I feel so bad for him and his family. I loved his family — they are amazing. But when it’s an ex, you can’t exactly show up to comfort, can you? Maybe I can drop some food off? Or send a fruit basket? Advice, internets? (This is someone I ended on very good terms with — we just don’t see each other because. you know. I’m married. He’s not.)

* i think that’s it. Send good thoughts my way tomorrow — i have to have a minor surgery and am nervous.



Tuesday Book Review: Lost in the Woods; MA! There’s Nothing to Do Here!; Look-Alikes Around the World

April 29th, 2008

We received a copy of “Lost in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy,” at a book swap recently. (I like this trend for birthday parties — spares the parents of the birthday child from having to create yet another imaginative goody bag. Gimme books, anyday.) This charming picture book, by wife and husband team Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick ($19.95) is a winner — you will fall in love with the baby fawn and the cast of woodland creatures.

hushed the mouse.
“I think he’s lost.
Just let him sleep.”

Will his mother return? I think she will.

Do you all know Barbara Park? Of Junie B. Jones fame? Her latest, a picture book, takes you along on the adventures (or lack thereof) of a growing, mouthy, in-utero bebe. “MA! There’s Nothing to Do Here! A Word from Your Baby-in-Waiting,” is illustrated by Viviana Garofoli ($15.99, Random House). Cute book — sassy and imaginative, and the drawings are funny and colorful.

“I’m all in a heap here. My feet are asleep here. I’m flat out of space. I’ve got knees in my face…”

And… the Look-Alike books. We cannot get enough of these books, especially the youngest of our tribe. Thank you, Joan Steiner, for “Look-Alikes Around the World: An Album of Amazing Postcards” ($15.99, Little, Brown and Company).

“Mama, it looks like a hot-air balloon, wight? Wight? It’s not. It’s a lightbulb.” (Or a cooky, or a handful of dice. Or pencils, all in a row.) Next thing you know, you think you’re looking at the Arc de Triomphe, or Big Ben, a French chateau or “Nessie,” the Loch Ness monster. My favorite favorite absolute favorite thing about these books is trying to guess what all the pieces are made of, then looking at the key in the back. Hours of entertainment.

Happy reading!

laptop compubody sock: the newest sensation

April 24th, 2008

The Internet sometimes has no sense of humor. Luckily, I do.

Want to knit this?

(For real, the comments section over there went insane.)

Thursday Thirteen, Ed. #142: Zoo Snooze

April 23rd, 2008

Thirteen Things I Loved About Sleeping at the Zoo

My little Girl Scout and I spent the night at the Oregon Zoo awhile back — they have these overnighters called “Zoo Snoozes.” There were a few things I didn’t like. Sleeping in a conference room, aka Cold Concrete Bunker, with a bunch of Girl Scouts and their mommies who we didn’t know from Adam; the cold (it was early February), the rain (this being Portland). The “continental breakfast” — fruit loops and donuts. Yick. But mostly? It was a blast.

1) We got to walk around. In the dark. And say hi to the animals.

2) The giraffe? The giraffe is such a sweetheart. They let us go into the keeper’s room — he stuck his head through an open window so he was eye-level with us. Big purple tongue, big sweetie of a beast. He is lonely for attention — he lost his partner and doesn’t have a friend anymore. He seemed to really like the kids, and the company.

3) We made “cookies” out of meat for the Sun Bears.

4) We went into the icy-cold freezer to see all the zoo food, and they gave us a nutrition lesson in the zoo kitchen. Monkey chow? Zebra chow? Lorikeet nibbles? I had no idea how much prep time went into feeding the staff’s “babies.” (And they really do consider the animals to be family. I was impressed with their courtesy, their respect for the animals, their enthusiasm in talking with the kids about their jobs. A couple of them said, “When I was a kid, I always wanted to work with animals — and now I do!”)

5) We learned a lot about elephants. Elephants, one of the most popular zoo animals, are the one animal you should truly not, never ever, cage. (Ditto jaguars and cheetahs.) They need to walk for miles and miles to keep their feet and legs healthy, and what zoos — even the best zoos — do to elephants is criminal. (Also monkeys. Monkeys at the zoo break my heart.) (I don’t really do so well at the zoo — I want to free all the animals.) (Except the snakes.) (Sorry, snakes.) (And I would probably leave the tarantulas and hissing cockroaches alone.)

6) The kids got to carry around clipboards and do “research” — it was educational for them, observing the animals, trying to guess what they were thinking, about to do next, wanting, etc.

7) The farm animals were fun, especially the little goats and bunnies.

8) I liked having some time alone with my daughter. We try to do one-on-one with the kids as much as we can. It was fun staying up late in our sleeping bags, after a late-night snack of hot cocoa and popcorn, working on our knitting, giggling. She had a lot of fun, and appreciated doing something completely out of the ordinary.

9) The guides (teenagers) were goofy and thoughtful and knew lots of facts. They were great with the little kids.

10) The zoo at night is the perfect place to let your imagination run wild. I jotted some things down in my journal — observations, ideas — it was good.

11) I wanted to bring a hedgehog or monkey in to sleep with us, but no go.

12) In the morning, we found out it had snowed overnight. It was fantastic. The kids were giddy and the grown-ups were, too.

13) We hiked up and out of the zoo, and along the way saw a peacock, feathers out, happy and proud, strutting along the main path. Then we got to see one of the Siberian tigers we hadn’t seen the night before. They like the snow — it’s in their blood. He was so gorgeous and quiet — he lay staring at us for the longest time, as if to say, “Beautiful day here, isn’t it?” It was perfect. I’ve never had eye contact with a tiger before. (I was glad he was waaaaaaaaaay over there and not, you know, right up close.)

Happy Thursday, everyone!



That’s right, they haven’t come back yet
But when they do, they say they are
Going to free all the animals from their cages
No matter how new or modern
Even some pets, too
So if on your way home today
You happen to find…

A baboon basking in the balcony
Or a lion licking a lemon in the lobby
Or a python perched in the pantry
A wildebeest in the W.C.
With a turtle twirling in your tub
Don’t be afraid, just say you’re a friend
Of their friend

Joshua Giraffe, Joshua, Joshua
Joshua Giraffe, Joshua, Joshua
(woo hoo!)

— Raffi


April 22nd, 2008

suspire (suh-SPYR) verb tr., intr.

To breathe; to sigh.

[From Latin suspirare (to breathe up), from spirare (to breathe).]

(Thanks, Anu.)

I don’t really like being wide awake at 3:30 a.m., the cat pressing on my leg, a kid snoring in my ear. I like my kid — I like both of ’em, thank God — and I like my cats — all three of them, but at 3:30 a.m.? What I really like is sleep.

I’m running the dishwasher (finally), blogging, catching up on work e-mails. Yeah, baby.



“It’s poison!”

April 20th, 2008

“It’s poison! I tell you, it’s poison! I know you feel bad… and…”

— George Bailey

Yes, people, It’s A Wonderful Life over here. And also, it’s poison when your pharmacist constantly makes mistakes on your RXs. It’s always the same damn pharmacist, four times in a row. If you live in Portland, e-mail me if you are so inclined and I will happily share her name so she doesn’t do you in, or your preshus chillen.

Why do I keep going back? Well, we’re not talking Hillbilly Heroin subbed for the amoxicillin or something drastic. We’re talking kids’ multi-vits, with the fluoride but not the iron; birth control pills which I had to pay Cash Money for because she couldn’t figure out how to bill my insurance, then insisted, “They don’t pay for these!” (yes, they do, thanks to the hard work of my lobbying sisters)… but the thyroid? Don’t mess with my thyroid RX or you will have hell to pay.

She has twice now filled the old RX — the one from a year ago, which was based on my old bloodwork — and claimed it is my current RX. No, my current RX is the “real” one; the old one is a mere imposter. (No one but Y is going to read this post.) (This may all change, yet again, after I get my bloodwork redone. But for now, we are going with the “real” RX.) Even though I call in with the right prescription number, somehow she is convinced that Her Way is Right and Mine (and my doctor’s) is Wrong. Why do I keep going back, you ask? Because the “real” pharmacist, the one who is there five days a week and fills the prescriptions ninety percent of the time, is an angel. She is. She’s magical, this girl, and will happily discuss my child’s fever (see: How High Can It Go?); my daughter’s need for iron, etc.; my hormonal upheaval; and then whew! everything’s okay then, ha! ha! (the story of this month) nothing is fine at all, more tests for you!

(Internets, please do not worry. It will all be fine. Just more tests, which apparently are so pressing that we will do half tomorrow and half in June! “Doctor is very busy!” (direct quote from Doctor’s Scheduler.)

My point, and I do have one: That is why I keep going back to that same pharmacy. The one pharmacist is just the best; her counterpart is just the worst. I already know what you’re going to say and yes, I am transferring as many prescriptions as I can (allergy RX, kids’ vitamins, thyroid medicine) to prescriptions-by-mail and the rest?

Fred G. Meyer, where they have a drive-through pharmacy.

hugs and kisses, little fishes,


on marriage: for Hockey God

April 19th, 2008

Steve, I love you a lot. Nancy

(ps I swiped this list from the cutest newlywed on the Internet, Diamond in the Rough.)

1. The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds – they mature slowly. ~Peter De Vries

2. I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

3. Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open. ~George Bernard Shaw

4. Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work. ~Author Unknown

5. Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. ~Simone Signoret

6. Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ~Barnett R. Brickner

7. Never get married in the morning, because you never know who you’ll meet that night. ~Paul Hornung

8. Divorce: The past tense of marriage. ~Author Unknown

9. The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through eternity. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

10. Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints, 1966

11. In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced. ~Robert Sexton

12. English Law prohibits a man from marrying his mother-in-law. This is our idea of useless legislation. ~Author Unknown

13. Wedding rings: the world’s smallest handcuffs. ~Author Unknown

Saturday Book Review: The Pill Book; Miscarriage, Medicine & Miracles; The Tao of Fertility

April 19th, 2008

I love doing book reviews, you all know this. But sometimes a few books in a row land on my desk, and I think to myself, “Self, where are you going to go with these ones?” Then later — they turn out to be something I really do need to write about.

First off: (more…)

it’s snowing!

April 19th, 2008

April Showers
It’s Portland. It’s April 19th. Why wouldn’t it be snowing?

Happy (early) birthday, Wacky Nekkid Mini-Neighbor! Thanks for the bowling, pizza and cake!


Wacky Family

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