I has smart

9 09 2010

It’s been a very suburban week and for most of it I had a dumb.

Today was much better.  I worked on my sister’s wedding photos, caught up on my email, listened to New York Hero, and finished TWO crossword puzzles while I waited to pick up the kids.

Speaking of kids, the youngest caught a smart and got a smiley face at school today.  He’d been grounded since Tuesday for pushing a girl, not listening to the teacher AND squeezing ketchup all over his head and body.  No one ever said my kids were normal… or boring.  We’re going to have him evaluated at the therapy group next week for ADHD.  He’s having a lot of trouble at school and can’t seem to block out the constant stimuli.

LJ is done being grounded tomorrow.  He’s had a rough couple of weeks and he seems to be coming out of the funk.  Thank. Goodness.

The girl child has caught a bad case of the dumbs though.  The psychiatrist did change her meds this week so hopefully we’ll see a difference soon.  None of us can go through this much longer and it throws off the entire family dynamic when she’s acting up.

In other news, in a random sort of fashion:

  • I got a ThinkGeek catalog, a Fredericks’ catalog and an Orvis catalog.  I can now order everything I need for a really fucked up Halloween costume!
  • The guys broke the windshield on my Durango while playing baseball.  Now we’re waiting to get paid so I can get a new one.
  • The back of the Durango has a brand new Star Trek fish emblem!  It’s made of win and awesome.  The Durango is a happy place.
  • Yes, the reflection is an oddfun house mirror reflection of me in my sweats and Dr. Seuss shirt.  I hope I’m not that lumpy in real life!
  • The existence of nerd rock makes me happy in places I didn’t know could be happy.
  • The clutter on my desk is breeding.  I clean it up every night but when I wake up in the morning it has multiplied.  It’s like I have a tribble farm over here!
  • My server got a virus that infected the ANTI-VIRUS software!  I took out the extra drives and now I need to work on the OS itself to eject the parasite.  I just haven’t worked up the energy or the amount of liquor it would take to do it and keep my sanity.
  • The birds have 11 eggs in their nest right now.  I think they were infected by my bad egg karma and we may never get hatchlings.
  • Chickpea needs a haircut really, really badly but I don’t want her to think it’s a punishment.  I also don’t want to take her to a salon and for her to think it’s a reward when she’s managed to get in trouble with every single adult in her life and quite a few of the children.
  • Silly bands are banned at one of the schools now!  I lied and told the kids that they were banned in both schools because I’m tired of that crap.  Kids are little monsters when it comes to who has what toy.
  • My bath fetish is temporarily on hold.  I have a bad sunburn on my back (damn you, medicine!) and it hurts A TON worse than a tattoo.  I’m not going to tell people tattoos feel like a sunburn anymore.  It’s not fair to the tattoo.

I’m so ready for life to be easier!  We’re heading into my favorite season and I’m hoping to have a lot of the bs that’s on my plate done with.  Then I need a date with my husband and a good, long nap.

shredded paper

29 07 2010

I’m feeling a little more chipper today.  Thanks for the emails and prayers, guys.  I need to forgive myself more for being a mere human and find the joy in the tiny things.

Like Nola impersonating the sand monster from Dune when I put some lotion on her really itchy snout.  It’s a great visual!

I finally emptied the birds’ nest after they abandoned this most recent clutch.  There were about 15 unhatched eggs in there and it was getting really ridiculous.  As soon as they’d incubate the eggs and realize they were infertile, they’d build another nest on top of the existing nest.

Last time, I had given them some straw and dry grasses from the pet store to use for the nest and they wove it endlessly.  Doves are terrible at making nests so endlessly means that they’d get pissed off at each other and throw the other’s work out of the nest and then spend hours guarding “home base.”  On a whim, I added some thinly shredded card stock and they LOVED it.

This time, instead of the straw I just put in a handful of thinly shredded unbleached paper and they’re having a ball.  They’re still fighting like crazy but it’s easier for them to pick up and manipulate.  I’m trying to avoid them with the camera because they get all freaked out and Pete’s been attacking me with his little beak.  It feels like getting tapped very lightly with a toothpick.  It just pisses him off all the more that it doesn’t bug me at all.

My birds are crazy creatures.  Otherwise they’d really hate living here.

I’ve read this before

1 06 2010

I’m reading The Spire by Richard North Patterson.  Contrary to my title, I’ve not read THIS book before, but the story is similar to others I’ve read.  I can’t pinpoint which book I find it similar to right now, but I’m sure it will surface in my brain eventually.  It’s a memoir type of story that mingles with a new murder and some theft and college frat boys… I’m not bored with the story.  I just think someone else wrote it first and that I’ve read it and it’s somewhere in my library.

My title actually refers to this monotony of mommyhood I’ve found myself in.  It’s comforting and fucked up at the same time.  I’m living the life I worked so hard to build.  I’m at the end result of what I had planned.  The next part of the plan is “live the life and enjoy it!”

It’s just  hard to quantify joy.  There’s no number or date or even data that can identify joyfulness.  You can’t make a joy graph.  Well, I’m sure you could, but it would probably be boring.

I’m an analyst.  I’m a very smart analyst trained in problem solving.  There’s no problem and now I’m a little lost.  Sure, there’s this lupus and fibromyalgia thing, but that’s more handling the symptoms as they come and trying to live a lifestyle that doesn’t provoke the symptoms.  The first part of problem solving is to identify the problem.

So back to the monotony as it is.  After midnight last night, I didn’t sleep well.  I need to clean the bird cage.  My pain level is small enough that I haven’t taken any meds today other than my morning dose of Lyrica.  The wireless keyboard on the right side of my desk got some fingernail clippings that were left in the clipper in it (yuck) and now some of the keys stick and sometimes the space bar makes two spaces where only one is needed.  My calendar tomorrow is a little stressful, but manageable.  The kids are on summer break and I reinstated afternoon naptime.  (Yay, nap time!)

Earlier I took a bath and Nola, our Great Dane, opened the door to my bathroom.  There’s a reason Great Danes are the inspiration for almost every cartoon dog in the American zeitgeist:  they really do act just like a cartoon.  They’re expressive, clever, gentle, and act pretty much like the dumbest kid in the gifted class.  They’re too smart to be retards but they’re too retarded to be smart.  They also have no clue that the rest of the world thinks this about them.  They’re mainly happy ass dogs.

MY cartoon dog can open doors.  She figured it out on her own… or she somehow communicates with Ernie, our half-Siamese cat, who can also open doors.  That thought is fucking terrifying.

Yes, I do need a baby gate.

So, Nola breaks in and looks at me with those big, dark eyes.  I say “Nola, go away.”  She turned around and tucked her tail as if she was leaving then turned back around and looked at me again.

Yes, our bathroom is so small that one turn of a Great Dane encompasses all the square footage.

“Nola, GO. AWAY.”  Nothing.  I’m largely ignored around here.

“You can’t get in here with me.  Lay down.”  I was hoping being on the bath mat next to me would be enough.  It wasn’t.  She started to look like she was going to get in the tub with me.  (It’s happened before.)  I snapped my fingers.  “Lay down.”

She sat and then she turned towards the door again.  “Ok, then.  Go away.”

She stood in the door, tail tucked and looked out.  I took this as a cue to finish up in the bath and investigate for myself.*

I wash my hair, get dried off, moisturize my face and wrap myself in my towel.  Investigation time.  I walk out to the living room trailed by a scared cartoon and find Ethan singing at the top of his lungs while drawing on the cat with two markers – thankfully capped – one in each hand.  From the scared dog, I surmise that he started on her.

The part that startled me was MY reaction.  I wasn’t shocked, surprised, mad, or anything.  I just said “Ethan, put them away, NOW.”

Then I got some clothes on, made lunch, and sat back down at the computer.  Absurdity has become monotonous.

*From this point, the internet ate my post revisions which made this post way awesomer.  Fucking internet.  I could fix it, but why?  WHY DO YOU DO THIS, INTERNET?

In all actuality, it’s Firefox that’s eating everything lately.  FF is about to be the major reason I switch to Google Chrome.  It won’t be because it’s awesome – it will be because FF sucked.


13 03 2010

Cami laid an egg on March 4th!  I’m keeping a diary of it because it’s her very first egg.  I hope it’s a real chick and not just a dud egg.  Normally doves lay 2 eggs at a time but this time we only got one.  She seemed like she was going to lay another for a day or two and never did.  Doves lay 30 eggs a year (15 clutches) and only half of them are fertilized.  They incubate them all, though, and won’t lay another set until the set in the nest has hatched.

What does this mean for our house?  Everything has revolved around The Egg.  The temperature of the house.  The humidity.  What time the lights get turned on and off.  Checking the nest to make sure the egg is still in it (it did somehow get flipped out once.)  Making sure Pete is happy on his roost.  Making sure Cami has enough calcium supplement in the food bowl.

It takes 14 days to incubate an egg, apparently, and this just means my crazy ass is going through the TTC stress all over again.  “Is it really a baby or did it not get fertilized?  Was the egg damaged at all when it fell?  Is everything just right?”  You know, I KNOW that birds do this all the time in the wild without any help or worrying and in less than prime conditions.

Then I read an article that said some female birds are infertile (all their eggs are duds) and that the male half of their matched pair will reject the female.  Normally doves mate for life like geese do.  I’m really hoping my bad egg curse/karma/craziness doesn’t affect them.  All our furry animals are neutered and spayed so it doesn’t matter.  Now I’m spayed too… and the birds are the only potentially reproductive pair.

Anyways, here’s a picture of Cami and Egg just after it was laid.  I’ve hesitated to take pictures since because I don’t want to scare Pete off his roost.  He’s already such a good birdie daddy!

I really hope there’s a baby bird in there!

ignore it, commence

29 12 2009

The birds are still doing their mating dance.

The kids are playing some weird pretend game with legos that is really loud.  At least they aren’t bossing each other around since the last time I sent a dirty look in their direction.

The dogs are in their “I’m not a trip hazard, I’m just sleeping” positions.*

I just got up to throw something away and apparently Cali is my herding dog on duty.  Normally I get Abbie who is much more noticeable and Cali herds the kids.

I’m still coughing up snot balls but I think my love affair with Mucinex will be nothing more than a one night stand.

So, what am I going to do about it all?  Nothing.

Nope, nothing at all.  I’m not going to interfere with the kids or try and drown out the bird screeching.  I’m not going to trip over the dogs.  I’m just going to ignore it all** and drink warm stuff and clean my room.  I want to get my closet cleaned out very very badly.  We have a new Goodwill about 5 minutes away and I so totally need an excuse to go!  Goodwill, today, I will have a bag of clothing to donate. 😀

I also need to figure out why my gamer suddenly doesn’t like the monitor that’s been on it for over a year. *rolls eyes* After that, I need to clean up the desk area, take some photos and introduce you to Patron.  Patron is my new Dirt Devil super sucker on a stick.  He’s totally awesome – he has no brushes or belts or anything.  He’s just a hand vac on a stick.  The first time I turned him on, he stuck to the floor like a suction cup and I had to pry him off.  I was going to name him Jose (after the jalepeno on a stick) but Shaun reminded me that I have a very bad time with Jose (Cuervo).  Jose is an asshole who gives me anger management problems and migraines.  So, Patron is the kinder, gentler intoxicating substance on a stick.  Or something.

Anyways, pictures soon.  I’m only 1/5th of the way through the Christmas pictures so it may be next year when you finally get to see Patron.

Other crap to do… combine lists into a master plan, figure out what gift cards go where and with who, and figure out what’s going on with LibraryThing and BookMooch***.  Fun stuff!

* Having shepherd dogs is great and they come with a factory setting that no firmware upgrade will override.  They herd things into groups and if you move, they put you back where you’re supposed to be.  If you stay put, they go to sleep.  There are times it’s really nice to be cattle – like if I’m having problems with my heart or if Shaun’s away on business.  Other times it’s like having a 60 lb hemorrhoid.

** Unless something the shepherds can’t handle happens – like the little shits figure out how to create an IED out of play-do or something.

*** BookMooch has been soooooooooo slow that I’m hardly ever on it.  It’s not that people don’t want my books, it’s that there’s nothing on there I don’t already have or that I don’t want.  So I have like 30 points with nothing to spend them on.  Anyone need a donation?  If so, comment me with your BM name and I’ll dispatch a few!

birds & bees

28 12 2009

Pete, the male diamond dove, has gone into mating season.  Apparently someone forgot to tell him that it’s fucking cold outside and birds should be hunting for seed not looking to score!  It must be nice to be young and horny.

If you’ve never heard a diamond dove mating call, then you’re in luck!  There’s this totally awesome youtube video of it.  I played it a few times this morning and Pete finally shut the fuck up.  Put it on loop at max volume and you’ll know what the last 48 hours have been like in my house.

…and to make it all the more fun, I’m finally getting over the plague and I’m coughing up all the mucus that has accumulated in my body.  Marbles of lime green slime.

Being a mom cured me of a lot of my sensitive stomach but lime green snot marbles still make me want to ralph.  So I did the smart thing – I took some Mucinex.  What they neglect to tell you is that the mucus has to come out SOMEWHERE.  Which means your poo will be extra greasy about 2 hours after your first dose.

So, fun stuff.  I’m a giant virus so I’ve been working on photoshopping for a bit.  If you look to your left, you’ll see some of the new pictures I’m getting on Flickr.  Or you could click this link.

I totally got some new clothes I need to blog about.  Lots of cutie t-shirts, an A.B.S. coat, and some new tights.  Pictures soon!

Manipulation tactics

4 08 2009

Shaun and I were talking about manipulation last night.  It’s interesting how we all do it unconsciously and even children learn it very early – like in the first few months of life.  We have three children, three large dogs, two cats, and two diamond doves and all but one regularly manipulate us to get what they want. All but one step up their tactics or try aggression when manipulation doesn’t work.

That makes the one abnormal.  It’s really strange to see such blatant honesty lived out and she really doesn’t realize she’s atypical.  The one is our Great Dane, Nola.  All the other babies, human and fur, have manipulation tactics that range from playing coy, buttering you up, trying to get on your good side, using the sandwich effect*, and all the way up to blatant con-man tricks.  Ernie uses the whore tactic – make you think you’re the most wonderful thing in the world until he’s successfully stolen what’s on your plate and sampled your drink too.  Abbie stares and begs.  Cali pretends she’s dumb (she’s got the dumb act down PERFECT) then when you least expect it, she goes for what she wants.  Spooks has us all convinced that HE’S the master of the house and we should bring him gifts and attention.  Even the birds manipulate you – they repeat your coos and fluff up and act happy.  They know happy people give good things.  However, forget to pay attention or give them a millet spray, your ass is getting pelted with birdseed until you do it.

Nola just really is that happy.  I’ve read that about other Great Dane’s too – that they’re abnormally goofy and happy.  They want their people to be goofy and happy too… apparently so they can pretend to be lapdogs  and get hugs.  Nola LOVES hugs more than anything else.  She’ll come up, stand up on her hind legs so she can wrap her front legs around you and lay her head on your chest.  When she sees me or Shaun be grumpy, she looks so confused.  Like “what the hell?  You must need a hug.”

I’ve met other dogs who were just as happy but they were “touched in the head” as my Granny would say.  They aren’t all that bright and that’s ok too – there are plenty of dog lovers who love those big lugs.  We like dogs who solve problems and think for themselves.  This is a mixed blessing though – we end up with dogs who think up ways to get out of the fenced in yard.

But normally thinking dogs are more serious and sober.  Nola is neither serious nor sober.  Last night, Abbie was laying at my feet while I crocheted.  Actually, she layed UNDER my feet so that the soles of my feet were resting on her back.  Nola wanted me to play and I kept telling her no – the kids were in bed and to go lay down.  She laid down and then army crawled over right next to Abbie and set her head right ON TOP of my feet.  She rolled her eyes  up at me like “haha.”  Then she pounced me and wiggled her big but into my lap and tried to curl up.  Shaun tried to explain relative size to her but she just grinned at him.

* The sandwich effect is a business tactic.  If you have bad news or a message that will be responded to negatively, find two positive messages to sandwich the bad message in.