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Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Knitting January 31, 2011

Posted by J. in Sticks and String.
1 comment so far

I have been doing some knitting.  There was a time I thought this would be a knitting blog.  Somehow, I digressed. 

But, in order that I might not be known as Poops–She Knits Penis Mittens, I have knit other, non-phallic things as well.

I still love to knit baby sweaters and I knit a few of them.  You know anyone having a baby?  You need a sweater?  Call me, we’ll talk, no big whoop.

The white ones are made from Caron Simply Soft and the brown one with the wee teddy bear buttons is from Berocco Comfort DK, and the green and white one is Lion Brand Wool Ease.  Simple, top down raglans with a spot of fun fur here, some whimsical buttons there.  Whatevs, man.

A couple of ubiquitous fruit hats.  One pumpkin, one strawberry.  Why?  Why not?

Mittens, mittens, hats and mittens.  The red and green and pink set modeled by the cute-as-a-button Emmy Bo on a very cold and snowy day is already in the shop.  The purple and green set have a hat too, but that’s still on the needles.  I’ll have to get back to you on that.

I also made a couple pair of mittens for gifts, and since I don’t know if the recipient is reading this, I shall say no more about it.

“But you haven’t said anything.”

And that’s all I’m saying…

I wish I could wax philosophical about why I chose these yarns, how the patterns spoke to me or whatever, but the truth of the matter is this is just how I knit.  One day I plop myself down in the chair, grab a ball or two of yarn and say, I think I’ll make some mittens.  And mittens happen.  I really don’t think about it much.  I sometimes get inspiration from outside sources (like the penis mittens), and once in awhile I see a pattern that screams to be knit, but more often than not I get a picture in my head and I just  make what’s there.   Long story short, it keeps my hands busy.

It’s why I could never write a knitting book.  *yawn*

WTF Friday: The Harry Potter Edition January 28, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius.
1 comment so far

I admit it: I love me some Harry Potter.  I own all seven books in hardcover and I read each and every one of them in one sitting, cover to cover.  My husband has twice waited in line at midnight to pick up my pre-ordered copy.

I get the fan hysteria.  I get it when it seems like people lose their grips on reality and seem to think they’re part of that particular imaginary world.  When I read the stories, I get absorbed in the atmosphere.  I feel like I’m really there and that I know the characters personally.  Harry Potter isn’t the only series that triggered that kind of response in me.  There are a few books like this.  Books I didn’t want to end because I was completely enveloped in the world it created.  Books I thought about long after I finished reading.

But I, being a prudent person, know that there are limits.  There are lines I won’t cross out of concerns for my own dignity.  For others, however, those lines are a bit more blurry.  And in some cases, a LOT more blurry.

We’ve all seen this.  Perhaps some of you reading it have actually done this. I’m not here to judge.  No, strike that.  It’s WTF Friday.  It’s all about judgment.  Or the lack thereof.

Putting your kids in Harry Potter costumes for Halloween, or to go get their pre-ordered copy at Borders, or for Theme Day at the Cineplex, or for their 10th birthday party…that’s super-cute.

It gets dicey when your Harry Potter fan has his driver’s license and drives himself around town looking for just the right fabric for his Griffyndor robes.  Still, you have to allow for the tendency of teenagers to become obsessed with things like this.  Who doesn’t remember loving like this?  From boys getting mop-topped Beatles haircuts, to girls screaming at New Kids on the Block concerts, to a wall covered in Team Edward posters, idol worship is at its peak in those teen years.  We want to be with our idols.  We want to be them.  We want them to bite us on the neck.

If you still want to be Harry or Ron or Hermione when you’re 40, you need an intervention before you lose that cage match with your dignity.

You get a pass if it’s Halloween and you’re going to a party or somewhere that an adult person might be excused or even expected to dress up.

I’ll cut you some slack if you’re dressing up for your kid’s Harry Potter themed birthday party.  But there is really no excuse for putting on a costume to see a midnight showing of a movie.  Or to pick up your pre-ordered copy from Borders.  Just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean you look less stupid.  If everyone else went out to the Outback for supper wearing a Borat mankini, would you wear one too?

I’m mentioning this because it’s a slippery slope, and somewhere deep inside you know it too.

You can always take your costume off, and sometimes, you should.  Knowing when to say when can keep you from making some dreadful, horrible mistakes.

Like this one.Dude, you have got to live with that tattoo forever.  You know that, right?  And not for nothing, but why Dobby?   Why the ugliest and arguably the most annoying character in the series?  And why is it that big?  Honestly, there’s a lot of bad HP ink out there, but this is the one that ignited my WTF moment.  Not the manga Harry that covered the love handles of one woman.  Not the badly rendered Snapes.  Not the death eater forearm tats.  Not even the Phoenix that covers one woman’s back from shoulders to hips.

Fucking Dobby.

Gah.  I had to put my head down for a minute and let that one pass.

Now, not all Harry Potter WTFdom comes from what we as fans do ourselves.  Some of it is done unto us.

Is it just me, or am I the only person to look at this discovery from some Satanic garden in China and think it looks like a real life mandrake?I thought at first that this particular plant always grew people-looking roots, but apparently these are kind of a fluke.  A freak of nature, if you will.  (It’s called the Chinese bellflower, FYI, among other things.) And the roots are always horribly ugly.  In case you were wondering, the plant itself in one of those “invasive” varieties that give gardeners the fits, especially since you can’t chop them up and use them to unpetrify people who’ve been turned to stone.  They’re just a nuisance, so you yank those whores out by the roots.  Imagine the Chinese farmer who pulled these out.

I, for one, would have run hell-bent for leather in the opposite direction, arms flailing, screaming “WHAAAAAT THE FUUUUUUUCK!” (I wonder what that sounds like in Chinese…)

Them are some Hell-plants right there.  Ayuh.

Finally, hopping back onto the Express Train of Crazy, WTF is the deal with fan-fiction?  Seriously.

It’s like watching an accident, or any of Spike TV’s original programming.  You don’t want to look, but you really can’t help it.  You want to try to understand…maybe even help, but you can only stare helplessly and shake your head.

It’s not the stories so much.  If you, as a writer, can take established characters and evolve them, devolve them, involve them in ways the original story didn’t, and you can do it well, I’m impressed.  I’ve read a couple of stories (out of perhaps a bazillion and twelve) that took an original franchise into a different, even more interesting direction.

Oh, but it’s rare.

What you usually find are rabid fans creating stories.  Badly.  Then, discussing them.  At length.  I get the impression that there are people frequenting these fan-fic forums that have lost sight of the fact that not only are you discussing a world that is imaginary to begin with, but that everyone in the world possessed of an imagination has as much right as anyone else to their own interpretations/variations/adaptations of that world.  They’re just as imaginary.  It’s all pretend.  Try to remember that.

On fan-fic pairings that just don’t work for you:

“I remember seeing an interesting title called Neville gets an O. Turns out it was Snape/Hermione, which I find morally, intellectually, and sensually DISGUSTING.”

I gotta admit, I do partially agree with her in that I find the idea of Neville getting an O interesting.

Not all fan fiction is about hookups, though.  Lots of folks really don’t like it when you take an established character and make them act in ways that are out of character.  But what of Dumbledore?  He’s rather a dichotomy unto himself.  Is he a kind old man, or master manipulator?  Discuss.

“Is he manipulative? Yes

Is he an evil bastard? No

Evidence:

1st year: Albus genuinely thought it was the minister requesting long meetings and so with his love of flying, decided to take a threstral. With the wards going off protecting the room with the stone, he tried to get back fast as possilbe. He couldn’t leave the threstral out in the open, so he had to fly it back. He did set the obstacle course up to bring the trio together and to test them; he did not suspect Voldemort would try to steal the stone at the same time. Quirell wasn’t suspected with the troll as Voldemort used Quirell as a shield when Albus tried to read his mind as he only looked at what he was thinking right than. He also sounded like he was a prior teacher there.

2nd Year: When reading Ginny’s surface thoughts (among others), all Albus found was normal thoughts as Voldemort shielded suspicious thoughts. He didn’t know it was Ginny and Fawkes could not flash Albus into the chamber at the end for whatever reason…maybe he was at a meeting with the Governors and couldn’t leave for whatever reason.

3rd Year: The best spies are not the obvious spy such as Snape. The best spies are the ones who you wouldn’t think have it in them as you dismiss them. Albus made many mistakes with Sirius/Peter. They were both in the order so he thought they were his friends so he didn’t read there minds. Werewolves have natural mind shields therefore with the suspicions on Remus, there was no way to verify he was still with them; also, Albus thought he spent so much time with wolf packs, he inadvertantly let something important slip. When either the trasfer of secret keeper to Peter or casting the spell with him secret keeper, paper written by Peter but with a spell to look like Sirius’s was used. No one except the Marauders and Lily new of the illegal animaguses. When the muggles minds were read, they saw Peter disapear and thought he was disintagrated minus a finger. All pure logic states Sirius betrayed the Potters.

4th Year: Crouch was a very good actor. He grew up with family in the ministry and knew Moody growing up. He refined it prior to the feast. Everyone was busy that year so little interaction between Albus and Crouch happened. When there was interaction, Albus thought anything off was just Moody being more paranoid due to what happened prior to the year starting or a dark magic user in the school (Harry’s the 4th champion). Also, all that was needed was for Harry’s name willingly printed on paper (from something handed in) and a confundus charm to believe there were four schools to make it binding.

5th Year: Albus had next to no political power. While he hated corporal punishment and banned it while he when he became headmaster, it was overturned with Umbridge citing lack of disipline as the reason. He did screw up with oclumency though, Harry refused to learn from Snape; Snapes method lacked help as well…

6th Year: Albus knew he was dieing from his greed and would last weeks into the summer. With Snape killing Albus, it was thought Snape would be able to cement his position as Riddle’s right hand and hopefully find the other horocruxes.

7th Year: Albus helped show where the real sword was located. He also didn’t know the three Deathly Hallows would let Harry comeback to life if he mastered all three; Albus thought Snape would be the one to end both his master’s lifes as Albus trust Snape with Snape using an unbreakable bond.

Albut believed in doing things for the greater good, not his or any individual, but the whole world. Did he manipulate others for that purpose? Yes. Was he doing it because he is evil? No.”

I’m no Professor Trelawney, but I can see the future.  I hope you’re still loving your virginity when you’re 40, because you’re still going to have it.  And it’ll be with you in your mom’s basement while you role-play with other 40-year-old virgins.  Enjoy!

And for the piece de resistance, the coup de grace, a comment from the discussion about “Which plots make you scream?”

“Ugh, the ones I hate the most are when Harry and Draco go to some secondary school together (as in no magic and no Hogwarts exists). Of course it is always seems that one of them is the hot hunk and the other is just an average student, and so on and so forth. Eventually, they fall for each other in a series of fluffy romantic moments (meanwhile their characters are way off base). And it is just such a cute and romantic tale that make you want to squeal (*head to desk*…repeated). Yeah, I hate. I hate it a lot. That isn’t even Harry Potter. That is just a mochary of Harry Potter. *sighes* Nothing I can do about it, but rrrrr…”

I’m guessing this “mochary” of the Harry Potter universe isn’t going to do much for you then.Heh.  Heh.  Heh.

Happy WTF Friday, y’all!

Shoes January 26, 2011

Posted by J. in Other People's Genius.
2 comments

Of course being an Etsy shop owner, I have occasion to stop by and see what folks are making these days, and because the topic this week is shoes, that’s where I started my most recent search.

For the most part, I was disappointed in what I found.  There was shockingly little creativity as far as shoe crafts goes.  Lots of flip flops with shit glued, sewn, or stapled on.  Lots of knit and crocheted footwear for babies.

And honestly, anyone can paint a pair of Chuck Taylors, Vans, or white canvas Keds.   And apparently, anyone has.  Some have painted footwear with a great deal of skill, some that…well, let’s say there are folks out there ruining perfectly good shoes.

But this pair of saucy black pumps caught my eye.  Wholly impractically, but still…

I'd wear these.She took a pair of black pumps and painted the soles.  She has other painted-sole shoes in her shop as well. Here is the original listing if you want to grab these for yourself.

Now, I love the idea of having the decoration on the sole.  Love.  It’s not in-your-face.  In fact, I doubt most people would even notice the detail unless you showed them.  I don’t know how the painting doesn’t get ruined when you walk around in them, though.  I guess the largest part of the work is up under the heel so it never contacts the floor, and if you only wore them inside they’d stay pretty awesome.

And they’re Star Wars, so…yeah, I just love ’em.

Speaking of Chuck Taylors, I found some Nun Chucks.

I'd knit these.Cool, right?  I also love the argyle ones in the shop.  So sweet!  Check out the original listing here.  I love all of these.  I wish I’d thought of it, to be honest.  Yorkie, lookit the skull pair!

Like I said, any idiot can paint a pair of Chucks.  But knitted ones?  And intarsia nuns, no less?  Now that’s kicking it up a notch.

However, there’s kicking it up a notch and then there’s maybe going a notch too far.  I almost saved this pair for WTF Friday.

Check these out:

What are these?I had to do some photo-editing to even get them an NC-17 rating.  I like that in a pair of shoes.  You can view the actual unexpurgated version of the Regretsy listing here.  And if you go to the Regretsy listing you can click the photo to go to the Etsy page for these shoes.  Needless to say, they’re NSFW.

From the actual artist, thefunkyjunky:  I have been getting lot of messages about these shoes. Yes, I can make these in ANY size! Please keep in mind if you need these shoes in a different size they will not look exactly the same as the ones pictured. All of my shoes are one of a kind! In the message to seller at checkout please specify what size you need and if you have a preference of theme for example…” size 10 and I want a lot of anal pictures and sayings!” or ” size 6 with a lot of girl on girl action” If you do not speciify a theme you will get a mix of everything like the ones listed. If no size is specified then I will ship you the exact shoes pictured which are a size 9. If you would like these shoes but in heels please convo me, and I can set up a custom reserved listing for you in your size. Grab these while you can, a lot of people are showing an interest!!

I am also making these flats in a marijuana theme so look for those in the next couple days!

This particular pair of shoes was featured on Regretsy and has since been sold.  I love Regretsy.  Their own description of the site really sums it up: where DIY meets WTF.   The good folks at Regretsy search Etsy for items that make you scratch your head in wonder and amusement.  And laugh.

I think porn shoes is a great idea.  But I don’t know why she chose flats.  I would have thought that a 7-inch platform stilletto heel would have been more appropriate and functional.  After all, where do you wear flats?  To the office.   On a casual picnic. Church, perhaps.    Where do you wear explicit pornography?  To a club.  To your sexual addiction support group.  Church, perhaps.

Maybe it’s meant to be a statement about the Madonna/Whore labels that are ascribed to women.  How we are expected to be moral and upright in the community but depraved sluts behind the closed bedroom door.  Somehow, I think not.

I wonder if she’d make a matching purse…

 

Lying to the Kids January 22, 2011

Posted by J. in Domesticity.
5 comments

Now, y’all know I don’t hold much truck with parenting advice or the Mommies that write it.  I don’t spend any time on parenting sites or in parenting areas on purpose.  I avoid them like I avoid broccoli and herpes, broccoli being just slightly more unappealing to me than weeping genital sores.

I started with a link posted by Bezzie about Why Boys Should Have Play Kitchens, to which my only reply is, “Well, DUH.”  I skimmed it over and then, glutton for punishment that I am, I followed a link to read about a phenomenon known as “The Doll Debate,” or “Should Boys Play With Dolls?”  To which I again say, “Well, DUH.”  Though I had a family member recently take a baby doll away from her 6-year-old citing that they were for “girls.”  I said I let Dave play with dolls so that he’ll learn how to grow up to be a good Daddy like his own father.  She had an Ah-Ha moment, but I’m sure her husband won’t let it happen.  The kid also wasn’t allowed to wear Emma’s plastic headband either.  It might make him…you know, gay.

Sorry,  I typed that and then had to go be violently ill.  I’m back now.  *deep breath*

Anyway, after wading through the mire of Mommyland, I found this article: 10 Lies Good Mothers Tell Their Kids. The title was promising.  I won’t say I’ve actually used these lies.  I find these are the kinds of lies used by parents who think their kids deserve some sort of explanation beyond “No,” or “Because I said so.”  So here are the writer’s Top Ten Lies, amended Poops-style, and what I’d really be saying if I chose to waste my breath explaining myself to children.

1. If you keep making that face, it will freeze and stay like that forever!  First of all, this is one I’ve never said because I really don’t care if they’re making faces.  I award points for the best weird face and have been known to go get the camera to capture it for posterity.  On the rare occasion I find them making faces where it might be considered inappropriate, like when viewing the body in a funeral home, I find a simple “Enough” suffices.  As with training a dog, the tone is everything.  No lies required there, really.

2. Your favorite book? We have NO idea where that book is!  Now, in my house, that lie is unnecessary because most of the time it’s probably the truth.  I wish I had a nickel for every library book that’s gone missing around here only to be found on a shelf or in a pile with the millions of books in our personal library.  As it is, I’d have to give those nickels to the library.

I don’t agree with this lie, either.  I know it sucks goat balls to read the same book over and over and over and over and over.  I know you’d rather get kicked in the vagina than read Mr. Brown Can Moo one more frigging time, but it really is how kids learn to read.  It’s painful, but true.  Think of it as a favor you’re doing yourself.  When they can read books to themselves, you are free to have a cocktail and watch Mad Men.  So suck it up and read Goodnight Moon a million times.  When you’re watching Jon Hamm with a buzz on, you’ll thank me.

3. Coffee will stunt your growth.  What we’re really saying is that the coffee in that Dunkin’ Donuts mug is Mama’s medicine, and if you drink it, I won’t have strength enough to put up with you today.  And besides, it’s MINE.  There are some things I shouldn’t have to share.  I’m tired of sharing your saliva.  You want coffee?  Here, have your own cup.  Keep your paws off mine.  Which is why I don’t use this lie either.  “Get your own” works great.

Once, when I was working at Favorites, I picked up a medium iced coffee on my way in to work.  I put it down in Mary’s play area to set the VCR up for her and to help her get her toys out.  I forgot about it for a few hours, when I realized I was getting thirsty and a bit headachy.  I went downstairs and looked everywhere for it and it was nowhere to be found.  I went back up to the office and there, right where I set it down, was a cup with naught but ice and a straw in it.  She was two.  And no, she didn’t climb the walls and she slept just fine.  I think she was more productive that day, actually.  I wonder if caffeine tolerance is a genetic trait.

4. If you don’t wear your coat, you’ll get sick.   Why would you say that?  Why not “If you don’t wear your coat, you’ll be cold.”  Or in my house, “Put some pants on.  It’s too cold for a skirt.”  Emma still decides that I’m wrong and goes out barelegged, but has the good sense not to complain that she’s cold.  They all know I’m not above tossing out an “I told you so” when they have it coming.

5. The dryer ate that shirt that you insist on wearing 5 times a week.  I don’t think I use this one anywhere near enough.  Tanta has actually been so sick of seeing Emma in the same dress that she’s gone out, bought her a new one and kept the old one at her own house.  But my kids are guilty of doing what Larry and I do, in that we’ll just grab whatever clean from the top of the pile.  Not really a house of fashionistas, here.

6. Too much TV will turn your brain to mush! Actually, it will.  But a great way to clear a room of kids is to commandeer the remote, put on a rerun of Law and Order and pick up some knitting.  It says to them “Mama’s gonna be here awhile.  Let’s go play.”  Or watch TV at Tanta’s house.  Maybe she’ll take us shopping…

7. Don’t swallow your gum! It stays in your stomach forever. Actually, it’s more fun to tell them “Don’t swallow your gum, because when you fart you’ll blow a bubble like Brian on Family Guy.”  Personally, I don’t allow gum because I am neurotic like my mother, so this one is moot.

8. If you eat that candy, your teeth will fall out. I’m more likely to say “You won’t like that kind of candy bar;  It has spinach in it.”  I do what I have to for my Snickers fix.

9. Of course we save every piece of your artwork! My kids never ask what happens to their artwork.  I wait until they forget they did it, then I purge it.  They never seem to notice.  Maybe that’s a lie of omission.

10. If you keep picking your nose, it’s going to fall off. Why does this need a lie?  “If you keep picking your nose, people are going to think you’re a pig.  Now go get a tissue.  Don’t eat…OH GOD.  Jesus Suffering Christ, kids are gross.  Pour me another drink and don’t skimp on the Stoli’s this time.”

Of course her Top Ten got me thinking of the REAL Top Ten Lies I Tell or Have Been Told.

10.  Don’t touch that, it’s HOT. Born during the toddler years, the idea that you tell a kid that it’s hot means you really, REALLY don’t want him to touch it.  I’ve told my kids that all kinds of things are hot, but in reality they’re just messy, breakable, or (dare I say it?) MINE. 
9.  Sometimes when boys tease you it’s because they like you. And sometimes they’re insufferable little pricks.  Someday you’ll be able to tell the difference.  If not, I’ll probably see you on Jerry Springer and hang my head in shame.

8.  What you’re feeling is perfectly normal. This one is sometimes the truth, but when it’s not, you give the kid a hug and then as soon as he/she is out of earshot, you call your mom.  Or his/her therapist, as the case may be.
7.  I’m doing this because I love you.
Again, not a flat out lie.  However, it would be more accurate to say “I’m doing this because you have pushed me past the limits of my tolerance and I’ve actually reached the point where I want you to feel at least as wretched as I do, maybe even more.  Yeah, I love you.  If I didn’t, I’d have killed you long before this.  There’s a reason some animals eat their young.”

6. Good job. There’s some debate raging in the parenting world that says we are a generation of parents who overpraises their kids.  Well, as a kid who didn’t get a lot of praise growing up, I don’t think this is a bad thing.  I tell my kids good job when they need positive reinforcement of good behavior, when they’ve put in a good effort (no matter what the outcome), and when they’re doing something they enjoy and clearly want to be praised for (like warbling out a song or pretending to be a ballerina or playing the slide whistle).  I’m a grown woman and would like to hear my mother praise me.  It’s not her way, but I still crave it.  I don’t want my kids to ever crave my praise.
5.  I’m busy. When I’m done doing what I want to do, I’ll do what you want to do.  I’m not here for your constant amusement.   It’s a nicer way of saying  “Go away.  I need some Mama time before my head explodes.”
4.  I’ll miss you. Honestly, when I walk out of the house for some sweet, well-deserved freedom, I don’t give the three of you a spare thought.  When I’m away from you, I’m absorbed in the heady intoxication of being able to hear what the voices in my head are saying.  Trust me, I’m not going to be gone long enough to miss you.
3.  You can get a tattoo/facial piercing/grow dreadlocks  when you’re 18. If you want to listen to me criticize it every time I see you, that is.  It’s your call though.  (This one hasn’t come up yet, but I’m practicing.)
2.  If you get out of your bed one more time, the monster that lives under there is going to grab you by the ankle, drag you under, and eat you bones and all.  Got it? Mama and Papa are about to get our freak on and we don’t want to be interrupted mid-coitus.  If either of us has to put the brakes on again to put you back in bed, the monster under it is going to be the least of your worries.
1.  Mommy and Daddy were just wrestling.

Status Upgrade: Ugly to Good January 20, 2011

Posted by J. in FYI.
2 comments

I say that with the greatest trepidation.

When last we spoke, I thought Dave was having a delayed reaction to some antibiotics.  I posted at about 9:30 in the morning, but had no idea the events of the morning were just a precursor to All Hell Breaking Loose.

Up until then the status in the house was Bad.  But it went to Ugly pretty fast.

After I logged off here, I went to do the dishes.  I’m elbow deep in the sink when I hear from the living room, “Mama!  Dave just puked!  He REALLY puked!”

Oh hell.

I pull my hands out of the sink and dry them just as the boy toddles into the kitchen, stands in front of me, and boots on the floor.  Luckily, it’s a wood floor.  I’m hearing shrieks from the girls that he puked on the couch, but that’s only dimly registering while I have Dave strip on the spot and wipe him down.  Then I have to change because there’s puke all over me–again.  Saints be praised, he threw up on the blanket that was on the couch and because they’d been playing with the couch cushions, only a wee big got on the plastic back of the pull-out sleeper which wiped clean.

Phew.

I’m now realizing that Dave isn’t having a delayed reaction.  He’s got a stomach bug.  Which means everyone’s getting the stomach bug.  It never, ever fails.

At 1:00, I thought fate had smiled on me when I heard Larry T. pull into the yard.  I figured they cut him loose early because of the snow.  (That’s why the girls were home…snow day.)  No.  He came in, lay down on the couch and stayed there for the rest of the day and the night, getting up long enough to puke and other nasty things.

I had a chilling moment of dread.  I was the only grown up on duty.

*ominous music*

The day went by normally enough. Despite being sick, Dave was in a good mood, and after that one time didn’t get sick or have diarrhea again.  Larry just lay there.  The girls played out in the snow.  Bearing in mind that I was still operating on only a few hours of sleep myself, I did laundry, finished my dishes, and in the afternoon I went out to clear the roofs of snow.  I cleaned the stove and fetched a bag of pellets from the barn.  After a freakishly long, busy day, I put the kids to bed and popped out to the store to get more ginger ale and some saltines.  By the time I got back, Mary was complaining that her belly hurt.  I sent her to bed with a bucket and went up too at 9:00.

She puked at 9:30.  I cleaned up and went back to bed.

She puked again at 11:00.  I cleaned up and went back to bed.

Emma, not to be left out, puked at 12:30.  She doesn’t wake up to puke, either.  She pukes all over herself, then sits up and pukes on all the stuff she missed with the first pass.  I cleaned up and went back to bed.

This went on all night.  Emma twice more, Bug once, no more than 2 hours between them.  At 7:00 I crawled downstairs, went pee, and got back into bed.  I finally slept until 10 when the sound of singing woke me up.  The girls were in their room playing and singing songs.  When they headed downstairs, I asked them how they were feeling and they said “Much, much, much, much better.”

Phew.  But they’re still staying home.  Holiday Monday, Snow Day Tuesday, Sick Day Wednesday.

I got Dave and we headed downstairs.  Dave, who was feeling better at bedtime, was very cranky in the morning.  I hit him with some ginger ale and a banana, and more or less confident that Larry was well enough to handle any crises in my absence, got dressed to go out for more provisions before the sudden diarrhea or need to vomit violently overtook me.  Because you know it’s coming.  You can feel it over your shoulder, breathing down you neck.

By the time I got back, Dave had puked again, this time on Larry, who luckily was feeling better, as I was feeling pretty punky.  He wouldn’t drink all day, and it wasn’t until dinnertime I could get anything into him.  He seemed better after eating a few saltines, but I put him to bed knowing he was dehydrated but not able to do much about it.

Dave wound up laying on the couch with Larry all afternoon while the girls sacked out in our bed watching cartoons.  I sat in my chair and struggled to remain upright.  I washed all the sheets and blankets and pajamas in the house, and I don’t know how many towels.  I poured many glasses of ginger ale and Gatorade.  I made a variety of chicken-based soups for dinner and kept everyone nourished.

Finally, when Dave woke up, I told Larry I was feeling like crap and needed desperately to lie down.  Thank God he had rallied and could take over a bit.  I was okay, until I got up and moved around, then I felt nauseous.

It was coming for me.  It was right behind me.  It stepped on the back of my shoe and gave me a flat tire.

Long story short, I went to bed, hauling my bucket with me.  And here’s where things actually take an upswing.  No one woke me up–not even once, and this morning we all got up as if nothing had ever happened.  I don’t know if Dave will continue puking or not.  He pounded two Gatorades like they were going out of style and I find that stuff is like magic and will cure what ails you.  If he does yak it up, it’s going to be colorful.  (I never think to buy the clear flavor.)  I don’t know if the flu caught a glimpse of my immune system and just buggered off or if it’s going to jump out from behind a tree to tackle me later one when I’m here alone with the boy.  But for now, everything is good.

So that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing, and how my situation went from Good, to Bad, to Ugly, and back again to Good.  For now.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

Holy Crap, Batman January 18, 2011

Posted by J. in Domesticity.
3 comments

So, a couple of weeks ago Dave had an ear infection.  Nothing serious, saw the doc and got some antibiotics to clear it up.  One of the listed side effects of the medicine in question is “may cause diarrhea, weeks or months later.”  Interesting, I thought, and filed that tidbit away.

That tidbit has come back to haunt me.

Yesterday morning, he slept late (it being a holiday and all) and when he got up he was in a good mood.  He felt a bit wet, so Larry went to change him.  He slid the zipper of his fleece blanket sleeper down a couple of inches, and exclaimed, “Holy shit.  Oh…God…oh, this is bad…”

I looked up and I could see brownish staining through the fleece fabric.  “Take him to the bathroom!” I said, and we whisked him away.  I started the tub while Larry peeled Dave out of his sleeper.  Friends, there are no words.  This child wins the  award for “Worst Blowout Ever.”

He had liquid feces from his collarbones to his toes.  It coated the inside of his sleeper like human wallpaper paste.  Luckily, it only smelled sour and sick, not particularly poopy.  If there’s a “luckily” to this whole scenario, that’s it.

On the plus side, the sleeper contained the whole of it.  My friend Jeanne said I should tell Carters and they could start a whole ad campaign around that particular feature.  “Trust Carter’s Sleepwear–We keep the poop in!”  I rolled the sleeper in the now-contaminated bathmat and set it aside like a bay leaf.  Dave went into the bath, and then the shower as the water turned rapidly to poop soup.

Here’s where it gets gross.  Seriously, it was child’s play up to this point.

Larry takes a pink and shiny boy into the living room to get dressed, and I retrieve the sleeper to rinse it out before putting in into my washing machine.  Larry suggested throwing out the sleeper, and if it hadn’t been one of his brand new ones that fits so nicely and contains poop so well, I’d have done it.

I stuck it under the tub faucet and rinsed it out as best as I could, then I tossed the suit and the mat into the tub.  Now, I had to clean the tub.  It was draining very slowly, which is not unusual in the tub but the timing of a clog could have been better.  I had to hit it with Liquid Plum’r and wait 15 minutes before I could go in and rinse out the tub and then scrape the “larger, solid bits” up with a paper towel.

This is one of the reasons I feel parenting is over-rated.  Have you ever seen that particular scenario described in a baby book?  Did they mention that it’s not just going to happen to you once, but many, many times?  I can guarantee you that the sentence “You will find yourself with someone else’s fecal matter in your hair and under your nails more times than you can count,” has never been published in a manual of child raising.

Wait.  Back that up.   Did you say “many, many times?”  Yeah, I did.

Here I need to add that I’ve felt for a few days like I’ve been fighting a cold.  It’s like I get a cold, but not all the way.  My nose is stuffy, but not jammed up and running like a bastard like when I have a real cold.  My chest feels congested and my windpipe feels like it’s coated with…well, to overuse a visual, wallpaper paste.  It’s some sort of upper-respiratory thing and it’s going around.  It’s not fatal, alas; ’tis merely annoying.

Last night I tried and tried to go to sleep, but that coated trachea feeling wouldn’t let me.  I kept having to cough and clear my throat and I tossed and turned for hours and hours.  Some time after midnight I dozed off, only to wake up at 3:10 because I had to pee.  And when I coughed to clear my airway, it felt like someone had been reaming my throat with a toilet brush.

I came downstairs and noticed that the pellet stove was backing up.  (That’s what happens when the cup where the pellets burn becomes full of ash and needs to be emptied.  If it gets too full, the pellets overflow the cup and try to go back up into the feeder while they’re on fire, which the stove doesn’t like so it goes into shutdown, and for some reason is reluctant to start up again once it’s cleaned out and re-fired.  It’s like it says to itself,  “These dumbasses are going to burn the house down, so I’d better save them from themselves.  Clearly they can’t be trusted.”)  Anyway, I shut the stove off and waited for the cycle to end, which takes about 20 minutes or so.  I’m sitting down her at 3:30 in a summer nightgown (’cause it’s hot upstairs…stupid old house) with no bathrobe or slippers, and now I have to throw on a coat and shoes and wander outside in the zero degrees to dump ashes–AGAIN–half dressed. It’s getting to be a theme this winter.

By the time all is said and done and the stove is clean and running again, it’s now almost 4 in the morning.  Thoroughly chilled, I go back to bed and try to stop coughing and clearing the crud out of my throat.  Larry woke me at 6 to tell me there’s no school today, then Mary woke me at 7 to tell me that it was 7.

Dave woke me around 7:30.  I smelled him before I saw it.  His bed was covered in vomit.  Great big chunks and splatters of puke.  His sleeper was covered in it.  His hair and face were caked with it.

Down the stairs we go, Dave under one arm and his blankets under the other, and right into the tub.  Good thing too, since his diaper was again blown out and there was puke on the outside and poop on the inside.  I’ve had only a few hours of sleep, no coffee, I have vomit on my bathrobe, shit on my hands, a blanket & vomit burrito in the washing machine, and a naked, cold baby in the shower.

I cleaned him up, started the wash, tossed in his sleeper, got him dressed in a clean sleeper (which once again held up to the crap-containing task–thanks Carters!), got myself dressed and tossed in my befouled bathrobe and got the kids some food before I finally sat down for breakfast and a much needed cup of coffee.  Oh, and did I mention my throat feels like I’ve been swallowing razor blades all night?  Lovely.

Halfway through my raisin toast, I hear, “Mama!  Dave stinks!”

Yes.  Yes, he does.  Liquid poop number two.  Change pants, wash hands, finish breakfast.

“Mama!  Dave stinks again!”

Seriously?  Again?  Oh, and this time he wasn’t fooling around.  Blew out the sides and top of the diaper requiring a handful of wipes, a warm facecloth, and another clean sleeper.

One puke, three diarrheas, three diapers, three sleepers, and it’s only 9:30.  I am going to finish this cup of coffee, switch over the laundry, and take out the trash.

Then I may or may not shoot myself.  Stay tuned.

Stop the Presses! January 14, 2011

Posted by J. in FYI.
4 comments

Here I am on WordPress!  I’ve decided to make the switch from Blogger.  I’m not against Blogger in any way, but I like all the extra stuff there is to play with here.  I think my blogging ability has progressed to the point where I can handle the dizzying array of options.  When I first started out, this format seemed too daunting, but I’m a big girl now and Very Brave on Teh Interwebz.

Don't have a cow, dude.

Also, there are a few glitchy issues with Blogger that still bug me from time to time, and I’ve found WordPress doesn’t have those same issues.  Probably different ones, though.  It wouldn’t surprise me.

I use a WordPress-powered site for my other blog.  What secret blog you ask?  My super-seeeeecret blog that only a few people know about.  I discuss very adult things over there in a very adult manner that would likely be considered offensive my some and is truly not for the faint of heart.  Or children.  Or children who are faint of heart.  I have installed a rigorous screening process that keeps the prudes out.  Here’s how it works:  there’s a heavy door in the side alley of an abandoned and apparently run-down brothel.  There are no knobs or hinges, but if you know the secret knock and execute it correctly, a sliding panel opens with a hiss and a click.  A stunningly handsome and generously endowed young man wearing only assless chaps and a pair of nipple clamps will wait for you to give the password, and then if (and only if) he likes the look of you, he might let you in.  His name is Lexxx Muffstuffer and he’s pretty selective.  If he looks disinterested, you can try flashing him.  I don’t make any promises, though.

The only way this guy is getting in is if that's a brick of hash under his arm.

So, the first order of business, besides setting up the new site, is to do some traffic direction.  It seems that Blogger will let me transfer the content of the blog but not the photos, so I think I’ll just use the handy linking feature and let you go back over there at will and view my earlier posts in their natural habitat.  And then I’ll go there and tell you to come here when you’re done.

It’s a lot of work.  I had better get at it.