Slice of Life: Empathy Division

I made Matt watch this video the other night:

Matt: But is it really that realistic?

Me: Well… it wouldn’t be able to simulate heartburn, round ligament pain, bone pain or anything like that…

Matt (at the same time): I mean, it’s got to be really warm.

Me: Dude, this kid is my own personal space heater.

Matt: Yeah, but it is really as bad as a bunch of layers of canvas?

Me: …. I think that’s the wrong takeaway here.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Costumes? Candy? This is seriously one of my favorite holidays! Being 6 months pregnant, sore, and exhausted has made me tone things down quite a bit this year so we skipped hosting our usual Halloween party and didn’t do a family theme costume.*

I did put together a costume for Wesley though! He’s still a little young to fully understand Halloween so I wasn’t really able to get an answer to a general “what do you want to dress up as” question.  He has been more interested in dinosaurs and dragons lately so I asked him if he wanted to be a dinosaur or dragon and he happily replied “Dinosaur dragon!” Yeah, ok kid we’re just gonna pick one since a dragon is more or less a dinosaur with wings. Later he changed it to dragonfly (which I still came up with a plan for) then changed back to dragon before I got started on anything.

Yup, kiddo has a hoodie on under a hoodie.  That’s a Minnesota Halloween for you…actually given that he didn’t need a snow suit it was pretty warm Halloween. I put on a jacket as soon as we had snapped this picture.

They did some Trick-or-Treating at daycare and then we took him down the block later in the evening.  I wasn’t sure what he would think of it, but he LOVED it!  He even got pretty good at saying “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank you!”… with a bit of prompting.

His costume was pretty simple to put together since it was just a hoodie with a bunch of stuff sewn onto it.

Step 1: Plan your design

For a dragon costume, I wanted spikes running down the back, a tail with spikes, wings, and a contrasting belly patch.  I figured I could easily put it together with a few sheets of felt and some jersey that matched the hoodie.

Step 2: Get Distracted by all the awesome costume fabrics

I went to Joann’s to pick up some jersey and felt…. but then I saw all the amazing, shiny, costume fabrics they had out for Halloween. I found a scaley pattern that didn’t seem to fray and a coordinating iridescent fabric that I figured I could just glue onto felt for the spikes. I wasn’t deviating that much from the plan, just a little extra gluing.  Easy-peasy, right?

Step 3: Immediately regret your life choices

Wrong. The damn iridescent fabric proved impossible to glue. It was also an acetate sort of fabric, so iron-on adhesive or stabilizer was out because there was a good chance of melting.  I briefly considering sewing triangles for the spikes out of a few layers of the shiny fabric, but that would have been a PITA as well.

Step 4: Cut your losses, return to your original Plan

Back to Joann’s I went… for the felt I originally planned on.  I got 2 sheets of a stiffer green felt for the spikes and wings, 2 sheets of a contrasting standard felt for the belly and underside of the tail, and 1 sheet of black adhesive felt for some contrasting details (wing bones and belly scales). I lucked out and found a pack of super-awesome stick-on dragon eyes, but you could use large googly eyes, or even some black and white felt.

From there I cut out some pretty basic shapes and hand sewed everything to the hoodie. If you want to make it even easier you could glue everything (although I’m not sure how well that would work for the spikes) or use an iron-on adhesive (ditto). The tail consists of 3 triangles (2 gray, 1 green to match the belly color). Spikes got sandwiched between the gray pieces and all 3 triangles were sewn together to make a cone shape.

My “costume” was even easier.  My original plan was bust out my brand spankin new Cricut and cut the dragon embryo design out of glow in the dark vinyl (nothing iron-on since I wanted to be able to peel it off the shirt later). Well, time got away from me so I ended up printing the pattern on full-sheet label paper I already had on hand and sticking it to my shirt. It’s not super solid, but it got me around the block.

 

* Matt may be thankful for the last part

Weekend Amusements

I have been shockingly productive this weekend.  I have no clue where it came from, but I’ve done dishes, I’ve made pancakes, I’ve done laundry, I’ve spot-cleaned the couch, I’ve listed and sold almost all our random furniture on FB, and today I haven’t even taken a nap.* We also have our third kitchen estimate happening tomorrow and after that we should we able to pick one to go with and get started on that whole fiasco, because who doesn’t want to rip out their entire kitchen while pregnant, amiright?

Well, now I’m giving up and binge-watching Forensic Files while finding random shit online.  ‘Cuz that’s how I role.

A friend of mine posted a compilation from this lady and I am dying. I don’t do much in the way of makeup, but if I did, and if I made videos of it then I’d probably sound a lot like her…only Midwestern dontcha know.

 

My sister shared this video and I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. I can’t find a link to the specific clip from Facebook, but it starts at 25:00.

 

Also thanks to my sister, but unfortunately shared just a bit too late to be useful to me:

Funny meme about a prank - burying a dollar store skeleton under your deck to scare the next person who lives there and rebuilds their deck.
via cheezburger.com

 

 

*Wesley nearly didn’t either.  I think he finally passed out around 3:30…compared to his average 12:30 nap time.

Slice of Life: Yuppie Kid Division

Matt and I are fairly convinced that we are raising our son slightly differently than a lot of parents.  He doesn’t like Cheerios, but will demand Kashi.*  If he sees someone drinking sparkling water he’ll get pissed if he only has regular water. One time at the grocery store he ran up to me with a strange spikey fruit yelling “kiwano!”.  I think the other people around us thought he was making up words (he wasn’t).  Just now Matt asked him what he wanted for a snack, his answer? “Strawberry kefir!”**

I frackin love this kid.

Other amusing things Wesley has said:

Wesley has blueberry mochi!

Orange mango sparkly water empty.

Buy Pocky!

 

*I’m not entirely sure where this came from since neither Matt nor I particularly like Kashi. I think we were just trying other low-sugar cereals when he refused cheerios.

**Ok people, how do you pronounce kefir.  Is it keh-feer or kee-fer? I always said “keh-feer” until every youtube video (including one from the Mayo Clinic) called it “kee-fer.” But then Lexico says it’s “keh-feer.”

I’ve Got Two Hearts So Where’s My TARDIS?

Pregnant, Shoes Babies, Spring, Hold On

Yup, that’s right, we’re excited to announce that baby #2 is due in January! So I haven’t just been lazy with the house projects.  I got pregnant with Wesley right as I started recovering from some crazy hyperthyroid thing which had sapped ALL my energy.  This meant that for for the early part of that pregnancy I felt amazing (comparatively).  This time around I got the full prego exhaustion–Matt was a little suspicious when I started going to bed around 7:00 but I was still blissfully ignorant/completely in denial. Not to say this kid was a total surprise, I just figured it would take longer than it did, especially since I’m steadily creeping up on “advanced maternal age.”

Wesley, of course, reacted with all the enthusiasm you’d except from a toddler who’s used to being the center of attention.

Me: Wesley, you’re going to be a big brother!

Wesley: Nrghhhhh.

He’s gotten to the point now where if you ask him “what’s in mommy’s belly?” he’ll respond excitedly with “Baby mommy’s belly!” I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually grasp what’s happening yet though. January will be a nasty shock to his currently cushy status.

So now I’m about 18 weeks and most of the exhaustion has abated.  Just like pregnancy #1 I didn’t get much in the way of morning sickness, but I would get bouts of nausea most evenings. The Nesting desire is starting to settle in and since we plan on both kids sharing a room for a least a couple years, I don’t have a new nursery to put together.  I do however plan on putting this new energy towards the living room/TV room which I’ve been slacking on a bit.  We’re also in the process of trying to hire someone to redo our kitchen because why not just add some more chaos to our lives?

And just in case you’re curious, no, we don’t know if the squish is a boy or girl yet but should be finding out at my ultrasound in the next few weeks. I have the feeling it’s a girl, but I thought the same thing with Wesley so I clearly don’t actually have any intuition for this sort of thing.

Slice of Life: Biology Division

Panda, Panda Bear, Sleep, Rest, Relax

I was watching Wild Kratts with Wesley and they were doing an episode on Giant Pandas.  For those who don’t watch PBS Kids, it’s an animated series by the Kratt brothers* and they have power suits so they can use the attributes of different animals (creature powers).

Kratt Brothers: What if we had panda powers?

Me: WTF are panda powers? Sitting around, eating, and refusing to have sex?

Spoiler alert: basically yes, although since it’s a kid’s show, it skips over pandas’ mating habits (or in this case, lack thereof)

 

 

*Who have been around frickin forever. I remember watching one of their shows on Saturday mornings when i was a kid.

Then Suddenly We’re Breaking Into Our Own Garage

This past weekend we finally cleared all my refinishing projects out of the garage. The desk still needs a couple coats of poly, so it’s living on the front porch at the moment, but we’ve started getting snow so I want my covered parking back!

Monday was a bank holiday so I had the day off of work. I meant to do productive things like hemming curtains and putting the finishing touches on master bedroom.  Instead I couldn’t find a ruler, lost my hem gauge as soon as I set it down, then gave up and went to IKEA. Running errands, in and out, perfectly normal day, right?

Well then comes Tuesday. I leave for work around 6:30am so it’s still quite dark out. Off I go to the garage, enter the code in the keypad, and….nothing. It’s not even like the door is frozen shut–I can’t even hear it trying to open.

Shit.

After re-keying the code a dozen times, I finally give up and go in to wake up Matt for backup.

I convince him it’s not a power issue–the keypad still lights up when you press buttons, and Wesley’s room (on the same breaker) still has power. So he comes out and tries the code in the keypad a few more times.

No go.

Just for kicks, he goes back in and flips the breaker off and on again (hey, power cycling works for computers).

Nothing.

Around this point I ask if the keypad is hardwired (vs using a battery). Matt says it is, plus the buttons are lighting up so it’s clearly getting power from somewhere.

We are now officially out of ideas and I have to get to work. The only option that seems to be left to us is to break a window, climb in, and manually open the door from the inside.

Ah, but why doesn’t our garage have a human-sized door you may be asking.  Well, it does, but a couple years ago some jerkward broke into our garage, stole a broken snowblower, and seriously damaged the door so it’s been screw shut ever since. Quite honestly it was never high on our to-do list…until that morning.

Yeah…so it’s nearly 7am and we now have to break into our own garage and hope no one calls the police on us. Matt just repaired the glass in this window too.

Is Matt still in his pajamas? Yes he is.  Is he also the one who crawled through the window? Yes he was. It was all terribly heroic.*

Once he’s in the garage, I suggest that he tries the button on the wall first, instead of the manual release. Seems a little silly, but he tries the button and…the door opens.

WTF???

So the inside button works,  The remotes in our cars work. But the keypad doesn’t work.

Matt pokes around a little bit and then I hear it:

“Oh look, a battery!”

Yes, that’s right. The keypad I was told was hardwired, actually ran off a battery. A battery that was apparently providing just enough power to illuminate the keys, but not enough power to send the signal to open the door.

Now, in Matt’s defense, there were wires running along the wall near the keypad. It turns out these belonged to the sensors at the bottom of the door (the ones that exist so you don’t squash small children when you close your garage door). I also didn’t press the issue when I mentioned the idea of a battery and have learned a valuable lesson in standing my ground.

Thankfully we had a spare 9V battery so the keypad is now fully functioning. Replacing the side door on the garage has also gotten bumped to the top of our warm weather to-do list. We should be getting the floor of the garage re-poured this spring so we’re planning on waiting until after that to deal with the door, just in case it changes the sizing at all. In the meantime, we’ll make sure to always have an extra 9V battery on hand.

 

*He asked me to work in the word “heroic” somewhere. You’re welcome.

Seriously???

I'm outdoorsy in that I like drinking wine on patios.
via Some eCards

This really does sum up how outdoorsy I am. I don’t camp. I don’t pee in the woods. I don’t rough it. Period. End of story. I’m an urban pansy and perfectly ok with that.

Still, I didn’t think much of it when I noticed a bug bite a couple weeks ago because bug bites happen to urban and rural dwellers alike…then I woke up a few days later and had a huge swollen welt on my arm. It was red and sore and warm to the touch. Ok, so I was clearly allergic to whatever bit me, right? Matt told me not to worry about since the same thing had happened to him recently and it just went away in a few days.

Remind me to stop listening to Mr-Trust-Me-I’m-a-Doctor.*

A week and half later the swelling had gone down a bit, but the red area was larger..but faded in areas…then darker again. Kinda sorta like a bullseye pattern. And it started peeling in the center, like a sunburn. It also alternated between feeling like a sunburn and feeling like I’d been punched in the arm. Fun times.

It’s a little hard to see, so here it is highlighted with the power of Photoshop:

Yes, it takes up my entire upper arm, and let’s be honest, I ain’t no Michelle Obama in the arm department.**

I only know one thing that’s known for causing a bullseye pattern, but that’s Lyme Disease. It’s caused by ticks. Ticks live in the woods, and, as I’ve already established, I really don’t spend time in the woods. Plus, when ticks bite you they stick around and continue to drain your blood, right? And I certainly hadn’t seen any ticks on me. So now I’m clearly being paranoid, and I know I’m being paranoid.  I did an image search for Lyme Disease and the pictures that came back looked WAY worse than what I had, but since it wasn’t going away I went in to see our onsite nurse at my work to figure out what the heck was actually going on.

She took one look at my arm and went “Woah… you know what that is right?”

“I was hoping you’d tell me I was being paranoid….”

Nope. Lyme Disease it is (in a world of paper cuts and sniffles, I was officially her most interesting case of the day). So now I’m on antibiotics twice a day for the next 21 days.  Whoopie! The nurse I saw thinks the antibiotics will clear it up, but she opted for the 21 day treatment over the 14 day treatment because I’ve been sitting on this for at least two weeks. Later today I’m going to see my GP since our work clinic is fairly limited and the CNP.I saw yesterday thought I should have a follow-up appointment.

Apparently the ticks that cause Lyme Disease are very tiny and don’t always hang around. PSA for the day: if you see a weird bullseye patterned rash, get thee to a doctor and let them decide if you’re being a hypochondriac. It’s much better to catch it early and treat it with antibiotics; ignoring it can lead to serious complications.

My best guess at the moment is that the ninja-tick ambushed me some time while we were in Door County over Labor Day.  We walked through a nature preserve (on a boardwalk), hit up some restaurants, checked out some shopping areas, and took another walk (on a road). We weren’t exactly roughing it or crashing through woodland, but other than that I’ve been spending my extra time in my garage refinishing furniture.  Not exactly a known tick habitat.

Remind me to just avoid nature from now on….***

Update: The doctor I saw today agreed with the nurse from yesterday. It looks like classic Stage 1 Lyme Disease (too early even for a reliable blood test) so the antibiotics should clear it up no problem. He then followed that up with a warning that based on the size of the rash it possible it may develop an abscess so if I notice any additional swelling or pus I may need to come back in to get it lanced. Ew.

 

*J.D. does not qualify you to give medical advice. It basically just means that you have a doctorate in arguing with people.

**But despite my chubby exterior, I’m stronger than a number of women I know, so you win some, you lose some.

***On the bright side, if Matt ever gets some crazy urge to go camping again (yes, this happened once, and I shot him down), I can be all “REMEMBER THAT TIME I GOT LYME DISEASE???”

The 17th Argument I had with Matt this Week

Beige alert
via knowyourmeme.com

We’re getting close to wrapping up the master bedroom so I’ve started brainstorming ideas for the living room/TV room. The other evening I called Matt over to check out the mood I came up with.

Matt: It’s fine…but I don’t like the rugs.*

Me: We never seem to agree on rugs! What do you look for in a rug?

Matt: You know what you look for? The exact opposite.

Me: *snort*

Matt: You look for color and whimsy…

Me: … and you have a beige soul.  What’s wrong with whimsy?

Matt: I just think we should be more formal.

Me: But we’re not formal people!

Matt: Compared to a lot of people we are. I just think our entertaining spaces should be more formal.

Me: My dad and my step mom are formal.  They have fancy table settings and glasses for different types of wine!**

Matt: So do we!

Me: Since when?

Matt: We have different glasses for wine and martinis and champagne and ouzo…

Me: From IKEA!

 

*And what was the focal point of the design? The rugs.

**This is basically my definition of being a successful adult–having different glasses for red and white wine.

1 Year: Party Time

One year ago (ok, a year + a week since I’m behind) this precious little peanut was born.

This past year as simultaneously flown by and taken forever and my little peanut is now a little munchkin who wants to investigate everything and is already trying to eat us out of house and home.

He’s not walking yet, but getting pretty close.  His top 2 teeth are just starting to come in too so pretty soon he’ll really start to resemble a chipmunk (he’s already mastered stuffing his cheeks full of food). Probably his biggest achievement this last month has been discovering that he can put objects into bins rather than just dump them out everywhere. Last night I watched him happily pick up all his blocks and put them back in their box before bed (I’m under no illusions that this will last).

This lucky guy got not one, not two, but THREE Birthday celebrations!

For his main party, I fully admit to losing my shit a little bit. I made a balloon garland (meant to do 2, but I ran out of time and balloons #pinterestmomfail). I made tassels. I spray painted dollar store animal figures. And after all of that everyone ended up hanging out outside because the weather was glorious and the kids had a splash table and bubbles. I didn’t take tons of pictures because i spent more time enjoying the party itself. #momwin

Moral of the story is, it’s ok to lose your shit. It’s a first birthday and a big milestone. But if you play it simple (and dare I say, sane?) that’s cool too! Baby won’t care and none of your friends will judge you (and if they do, get better friends, seriously).

Second moral of the story: if there is any chance you’ll be spending time outside, clean off your Garden Chair of Solitude and make sure you have an outdoor or folding table. I quickly grabbed the coffee table from the porch so we could move the food nearby. Our backyard is still a mess, so I hadn’t really planned to be out there the whole time, but it worked!

His second party piggy-backed on my Grammie’s 90th birthday. His birthday is the day before hers and we had a big family reunion in Maine. We got to see tons of relatives we don’t usually see and spent the day before his birthday traveling for 12 straight hours (drive to a park-n-ride, shuttle to the airport, fly to Boston, wait for baggage, bus to the rental cars, drive out of Boston,* continue driving to Maine**). During my Grammie’s party all the July birthdays got a special shot-out and bonus cupcakes (because apparently there are loads of us–myself included).

After Maine, we drove back to Massachusetts (with a stop in the White Mountains of New Hampshire) to visit Matt’s Grammie.  We also went over to Matt’s uncle’s and they had a surprise party for Wesley. Kiddo got pretty spoiled by all his relatives!

I don’t know where they got this smash cake from, but it was seriously the perfect size.  I got his main birthday cake from our local grocery store chain (Lunds & Byerlys) and they include a free smash cake for a first birthday*** but, as you can see from the earlier pictures, it’s frickin huge (7 inches) for a little baby. I almost wish I had just gotten a jumbo cupcake instead (but hey, it’s hard to argue with free****).

 

*City motto: Fuck GPS

**Matt kept describing it as “Northern Maine,” it wasn’t even the northern half of the state….but possibly the northern end of the populated half of Maine.

***Lots of places apparently do this, so if you’re planning a first birthday party just ask around (I know Hyvee does and I’ve heard Target does).

****Part of it being free was that there were no custom options (which I can’t really argue with because, free).  It originally had balloons and a 1 on the top, but since I had a cake topper I wanted to use, I just carefully scraped them off.  Matt thought I was nuts, but it wasn’t my first cake surgery,***** so I more or less knew what I was doing.

*****I worked food service in a nursing home in high school and college, and got called done to one of the party rooms one day because the cake ordered for a resident’s birthday had her name misspelled. I was elected to fix it–no pressure.  Thanks to our annual Pig Roast, I can also craft 3D pigs out of frosting like a goddamn pro.