Thursday, December 18, 2008

Awwwwww


And 7 milliseconds later he was crying his little eyes out.  I have mixed feelings about the whole Santa/lap thing.  On one hand, the pictures are really really cute. On the other, the nearly inevitable result is a crying child.  Plus, my family was never really big on the Santa thing.  I don't ever remember feeling a need to ask Santa for presents.  

Last year, our local Chik-Fil-A had Santa for an evening and Tucker could kind of get used to him.  The pictures turned out super cute.  Since it went well last year, I thought I'd give it a try.  The picture did turn out cute, but T cried within 5 seconds of lap landing.  Why subject your kids to such a tramatic experience?  I don't think we'll be participating next year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can You Help Me Out?

We got a darling ornament in the mail today.  It's a little reindeer family with our names and "Thomas Family" at the bottom.  I have no idea who sent it.  Do you know? I'd love to say thanks.

Also, I've been looking (to no avail) for a toddler-sized Santa hat.  I found tons of infant and adult hats, but no smallish type person hats.  This is a dire photo opportunity matter.  If you know where I can find one, please let me know! I'd be happy to reimburse anyone who picks one up for me too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reveling in my done-ness

I'm now officially finished with my A&P class.  I rented a stupid movie for tonight and am planning on reading nothing but novels and magazines until January 20.  It felt good to escape this class with a good grade and a feeling like maybe I can do the math and science this degree requires. Rejoice!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shweaty, shweaty balls

Since the majority of my random internet hits continue to come from this SNL Shweaty Balls skit, I thought I ought to at least have the video here.  Season's Greetings everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cue The Banjo

Last night Ry and I attended a Christmas party one of his co-workers was hosting.  He lives close to work, so it should be about a 45 minute drive from our house to his.  We left the house at 10 minutes to 7 pm.  The first 20 minutes of our drive were without incident.  Then we got detoured.  No problem. We took the detour and a few miles down the road were able to get back to our original route.  Except the road was still blocked.  Because every power line for miles was down.  

Between our house and our host's house are a handful of country roads and the area that NJ residents lovingingly call "The Pineys".  Lucky for us, Ry had a map application on his cell phone, so we fired it up and found the only option that would get us to our party without backtracking all the way to our house.  Reed Road was the thinnest of gray lines on the map, but we foraged onward.  The asphalt quickly turned to gravel, which gave way to dirt.  

We were in Ry's car, not the truck.  He turned to me and said "What do you think?"  "Just go slow," I responded.  And slow we went.  We went about 10 mph through the most uninhabited part of NJ I have ever seen.  I briefly thought we were toast when half the "road" was washed out from our recent rains.  We finally reemerged on a paved road and made it to our destination in an hour and 20 minutes.

For anyone who thinks NJ is just a big suburb, I dare you to accompany us to Reed Road.  Garden it may not be, but it's surely not the Oil and Petrochemical Refinery State either.

Gotta Watch Them

Penguins are sneaky.  T pretty much gave him this look for the next 3 minutes as he slowly backed away from the penguin.  Six-foot-tall gingerbread man, snowman, and reindeer = OK. Six-foot-tall penguin = em ... no.

Update: I just realized if you click on the picture you can see creepy penguin dude's eye looking out the mask. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The course evaluation that wasn't

Last night was the last official day of my A&P class.  I have a final next Monday and then I'm done until January.  As is customary, we had course evaluations to complete.  My experience with course evals (both as a student and instructor) is that there are questions standard to the entire college and a few that the course director throws  in.  

This was a horse of a different color.  The eval was obviously course-specific, which in and of itself isn't a bad thing (although it makes it difficult to compare instructors across disciplines, but I digress).  Nope, this evaluation asked questions like "Did you read the textbook?", "What advice do you have for incoming students?", and "What was your favorite lab?".  These were the hard-hitting questions.  There was not a single question about the instructor. Not one.  This is the survey equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and singing "LA LA  LA."  The last question was something about any "other" comments you might have about the course.  I had a few.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tantrum T

video

Another milestone reached

For the first time today, they weighed T on the big kid scale instead of the baby table-top version. Sniffle.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

This is the buckethead game


T loves to walk around the house with this duplo bucket on his head. Until recently, that was the extent of the game.  Then he decided that having his head inside the bucket was not good enough.  Oh no.  Daddy and Mommy have to share the bucket.  I don't know what makes it so fun, but I enjoy asking for a kiss during shared bucket head time.  He turns around and grabs your face, and pushes it against the side of the bucket to get the right kiss angle.  Ry tells me it is a near physical impossibility when he's in the bucket.

This is what happens


This is what happens when you leave your husband unattended at the Home Depot. He comes home with 6 tiny LED flashlights.  Why?  They were only $10! And they came with backup batteries!  Of course, we later discovered that they are disposable flashlights.  The batteries are installed in such a way that when they're dead you can't replace them.  I guess you get what you pay for.

EDIT: Apparently, you can indeed change the batteries.  And, they came with 18 FREE BATTERIES! And they are the most awesomest cheap flashlights ever. And T loves them. (Ok, honey?)

The Thanksgiving Injury

On Thanksgiving morning, I was busy making a few dishes for the Thanksgiving dinner we attended.  Ry got in the shower and T joined him in the bathroom because, well, mostly because T wants to be wherever Ry is.  Anyhow, I heard a crash and a cry.  I went into the bathroom to discover that T had fallen off of the little stool he uses to wash his hands and bit his tongue on the way down.  Sucker bled for a good 15 - 20 minutes.  Since he was up for his bath next, we did the logical thing and popped him in the tub with a popsicle.  The water was orange by the end, but he tasted good.

A Dangerous Discovery

I've been a bad blogger lately.  I know it.  I've been busy with the end of the school year, Christmas shopping/card creating. I've also been uninspired to write lately.  I have lots of stored up posts, and I'll try to catch up this weekend.

Anyhow, I recently made a rather dangerous discovery.  My dear husband asked me to make chocolate chip cookie bars for a party we attended recently.  They were super easy.   You basically make the cookie batter and pour it into a cake pan.  This cuts total prep time from over an hour to about 15 minutes.  Why is this dangerous you ask?  I rarely have an hour to invest in making chocolate chip cookies.  15 minutes?  15 minutes I have like crazy.  

Another (completely unrelated) thing I learned this week is that the great majority of the random web hits on my blog come from this post about SNL's shweaty balls skit.  What does this say about me? About society?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A delicious, delightful day

I've never had so much fun with someone else's family as I did today.  Our friend invited us to Thanksgiving dinner today when she found out we were on our own this year.  They have an Italian family and we had a big, Italian dinner.  T had a great time playing with her little boy and Ry and I felt truly welcomed.  It was so nice to feel like family when our own families are so far away.  I feel blessed by our day.

In the spirit of the day, here are the things I'm grateful for today: (in no particular order)
  • My husband, who is the love of my life and my best friend and greatest supporter.  Thanks for making me a wife and mother.
  • My beautiful son, who charms everyone he meets.
  • My family, who I miss so much it aches on days like today.
  • My home, which is safe and warm and filled with love.
  • The ability to pursue a career I find fulfilling.
  • Yummy food and fellowship, for filling my belly and my soul.
  • My life.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shoulda Woulda

What I should have said:

"No, I'm sorry Mr. "Husband" is not here.  Please remove us from your calling list."

What I actually said:

"You people call my house like 4 times a day. What do you want?"

~~"Uh, to talk to Mr. "Husband."

"He's not here. He's never going to be here.  Stop calling me."

~~"Click."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And smart, too

Ry: Cookies?  Where did these come from?

Me: I imagined them into existence.

Ry: Your imagination is delicious.

We're in trouble

T is smart.  He can un-deadbolt and open the back door and undo the gate latch.  This morning, he threw a crayon to the far side of the table.  After reaching for it, he asked me to get it for him.  Sorry, kid, I can't reach it either.  So, he took the paper he was coloring on, and pushed it under the crayon so he could retrieve the crayon.  This is something that probably wouldn't have occurred to me.  I'm glad Ry is going to be able to help with math and science, because I have a feeling I'll be useless by junior high.

Storytime? No no no.

I don't know why I keep doing it.  About once a month I decide it's a good idea to take T to "storytime" at one of the local libraries or book stores.  After about 2 or 3 minutes I remember that storytime = unmitigated disaster.  T spends his time pulling books and toys off the shelves, stealing sippy cups from other kids and doing everything but paying attention to the story.  Now that I think of it, I don't really blame him.  Who wants to share a book anyway?  You know what? I'm with him. No more storytime.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More creative rule following

Several times a day, I need T to "come over here".  Usually it's because he needs a fresh diaper or because he's getting into something he shouldn't.  The first 3 or 4 times I ask him, I use a normal, 'request' voice.  When he doesn't respond (something that happens at least once a day), I get out my mommy voice and say "Come over here, NOW."  T will look at me, and then begin the "I'm coming mosey."  The mosey starts with a look at me. Then, he'll start looking around at everything else but me.  He'll amble to one side and then the other, all the while heading in my direction, as if to say "I'm coming, but not because you wanted me to."  I'm generally stifling a laugh by the time he actually arrives to me.  Yet another reminder that the acrorn doesn't fall far.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Zoo me, zoo me ...

Yesterday we visited the Philadelphia Zoo for the first time.  We've only lived here for 5 years ... but whatever.  The Philly Zoo is almost 150-years-old. It's a really interesting blend of old and new.  They have a ton of kids attractions and a fair number of kiddie rides.  Here are the highlights.This was a great shot of our day. T is chasing the peacock and I'm running behind him telling him to be nice.
Checking out a chimp skull.  He kept saying "teeth" over and over.  I guess they didn't look right.
Obligatory inside-the-dino-egg shot.
Hi ho caterpillar!
Riding the kiddie train with our fellow zoo-goers.
As a bottle of chocolate milk.
And one happy goat-feeding boy.
Until the goat actually got him.  Then he wanted me to feed the goat.

Vaccinations Work


This map comes from a website called Worldmapper, that takes all kinds of statistics and maps the world based on those statistics.  This map shows the number of vaccine preventable deaths in 2002.  The most striking maps are those showing wealth/poverty and diseases.  Take a gander to see how blessed we really are for the accident of having been born in the U.S.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In which we buy 3 giraffes


It's finally happened. T has a lovey.  For a long time, he was fine as long as there was something soft and cuddley for him to hold as he drifted to sleep.  No longer.  Tonight the lion just wasn't cutting it.  Only the giraffe would do.  And so. And so my friends.  Tonight 3 more giraffes are on their way across the Pacific.

A Poop and Ricin Birthday

My birthday really wrapped up yesterday.  I got this gift from my dearest sister.  It's paper made of elephant poop.  Folks, you can't make this stuff up.  I think it's fair to call this a green product.  The tag insists that it's odorless, but I have to say that the box still has a faint odor lingering about.  The paper looks like ... recycled paper.  Totally worth buying for people, if only for the laugh. Thanks sister, you made my day.

T also gave me his present, the recently released Sleeping Beauty.  Since the weather was crummy yesterday afternoon, I popped it in the DVD player.  I had forgotten how silly and sexist the old Disney movies are.  Aurora's gifts from the good fairies were "beauty" and "song".  Sadly, a brain was not among the gifts.  The evil fairy seems to have no motivation for cursing Aurora aside from not being invited to the christening and working for "the forces of evil".

Anyhow, as the fairies free Prince Phillip so he can awaken the sleeping Aurora, they give him some weapons.  "The weapons of righteousness," Ry said.  I heard "weaponized ricin".  Now, that would have made for an interesting ending.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Going out at the top

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree this year is going to come from our little town.  The story of the tree is actually very sweet.  It is an 80-year-old pine that lived in a pot for several Christmases before being planted in the owner's yard.  The children, who still live in Hamilton, said that their mom always wanted that tree to be the Rockefeller tree.  It's kind of sad to cut down an 80-year-old tree, but what a way to go out!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Local politics make me smile

The other day T and I were at a thank you luncheon for our local Friends of the Library.  I met one of our newly-elected Freeholders.  What is a Freeholder?  According to our friendly Freeholder-elect, the Freeholders are the legislative branch for the county.  Essentially they perform the same function as the township Council, but for the county.  

He also told me that he used to sit on the township council and prior to that was the President of our Friends of the Library group.  It never occured to me that Friends of the Library was a political organization.  A good 80% of the group are retirement age (or older).  They're really nice people, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't think that Presidency was a stepping stone to elected office.

Anyhow, he was a nice enough guy, but definitely a politician. I half expected him to pick T up and kiss him. Maybe he'll run for state office some day and I can say I knew him when he was a lowly member of the Friends of the Library.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It was lovely, thank you.


What was awaiting me when I came down to breakfast? Bagels ... with smear.  Love love love my husband.

Snark, snark

Girl in my A&P class: Did you hear that there is a 2 year wait for the nursing program?

Me: I thought that was only for the evening/weekend program.

Girl in my A&P class: Oh, maybe so.

Me: I'm going to apply for the program at *other school* because it offers a one day a week program.  It would be the best for me because I'd only have to put my son in daycare for a day or two every week.

Girl in my A&P class: You don't work?

Me: No. Well, I stay at home with my son.

Girl in my A&P class: That would be nice. (To her friend). I'd love to quit my job and dedicate myself full time to this stuff, but I can't afford to do that.

Me: Yeah. Me too.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Overheard in our bathroom

Ry: (reading from "Potty Time") 'What is that? It's called a potty. Let's learn all about" OH, OH GOD. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. OH OH OH.

laughing

Ry: Honey? I need you.

Reminds me of the explosive poo of 2007.

Dear Lord, give us strength

We've started potty training. So far the sum total of 5 trips to the potty is 1 tinkle and lots of toilet-top book reading (is this how it starts?).  We went to the neighborhood giganto-bookmart and bought a couple of "you can use the potty too" books for T.  I was pretty amused by the pickings.  Some of them were novellas. Does a 2 year old really need a 40 page treatise on defecating en-stool?  A few books were obviously targeted at kids much older than T. "You can put on your own clothes. You can drink from a cup. You have a 5 o'clock shadow. Now let's use the potty!"  We found a few that seemed appropriate and so far T is pretty receptive to using the toilet.  We've also switched to the "feel and learn" diapers.  Based on the amount of crotch-grabbing going on, they must work.  It's only the first day, but I'm feeling pretty good about our liklihood of success.

Arby's ... nom nom nom


 Thanks to Becky for the new and improved title.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Seriously?

I was one of the "undecideds" in this year's election.  It didn't really matter who I voted for, since my state invariably goes blue.  I read all I could about both candidates and had such problems with both that I really wanted a third option. Nonetheless, I voted. I'm even cautiously optomistic about the result. I read this on Obama's transition website:

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

*Note: the language changed from earlier today, when the quote said the volunteer service will be "required" of students.  Here is the original (and a link to the cached site).

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

So, I find several things interesting about this.  First I was all set to rant about how required community service isn't volunteering at all (much like forced military service).  I think it's far more interesting that the language changed quite significantly from this morning to this evening.  I'm guessing there must have been a few alarms raised about the language.  Asking a people to give of their time and talent is one thing ... mandating it is quite another.  Do we really need the government to pay to create new avenues for people to volunteer?  This is what we need to spend money on? Thoughts?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The cutest monkey in Jersey

Some Things

1. Watching my husband chase our son around with a mitten is great fun.
2. We have finally chosen a daycare for Spring semester. I got T enrolled this morning for a mid-January start.  I heart his teacher and feel pretty good about the whole situation.
3. My sister-in-law was in town for Halloween (pictures to follow soon).  She recently got engaged, so we went wedding dress-shopping while she was here.  I had a blast and she found a dress (at the first shop). Thanks for letting me share your joy, Cathy.  Then the salesclerk offered me a job.
4. Speaking of jobs ... I may be getting one a few evenings a week to help pay for T's new, terrific daycare.
5. We're going to start working on potty training next week (dear Lord, give me strength).  Any suggestions or warnings are greatly appreciated.
6. While I was sitting in my lab on Tuesday, it occurred to me that all of our models, diagrams, and pictures are of people with white skin (at least the ones with skin).  Fully half of the students in my class are of another race.
7. My dear husband and my mom conspired to get me a really beautiful jacket I've been eyeing all fall for my birthday. Thanks guys, I love it!
8. Ry is teaching our child how to play games on the Wii. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Florida Wrap


We just spent a long weekend in Orlando with Papa and La La.  The resort where we stayed had about 20 pools with fountains, baby pools, hot tubs and heated lap pools. It rocked.  We had kind of questionable weather the first couple of days, but as you can see, that didn't stop us from enjoying the amenities.  The fountains would shoot up if you put your foot over them.  It was at least 30 minutes of entertainment for Ry and Papa.
T, on the other hand, was far more interested in trying to drink the water.
T is big on dinosaurs right now. Any time he see anything resembling one (gator, lizard, robot) we get seranaded with a round of "roar".  The new T-Rex restaurant at Downtown Disney was a big hit.
Papa and T waiting for the carosel.  They couldn't look more alike if they tried.
Generally, I'm not a big fan of the "build a" stores (there is just something wrong about all the bear carcasses in bins), but we had to do the Build a Dino.  Here is the first dino to be stuffed.  He had an umbilical hernia, so we had to get Dino II.  They let you name your dino for the "birth certificate", so we let T type the dino's name.  I present you Ib, the Dinosaur.
Animal Kingdom was fun with T.  The safari was great and we had good times asking T what sound the animals made.  Hippos, apparently, say "moo."
I had to do the ears, but as you can see, they didn't last long.  I actually wore the ears most of the day.
Disney day was a big day for a little guy.  He barely moved when I got him out of the car and didn't move at all when I put him in the crib.

Blech, snow.

The temperature today is hovering around 35 F and it's been snowing/sleeting/freezing rain all day. Yeck.

Monday, October 27, 2008

An unexpected problem

When we lost Elf last year, we knew that Chief would be sad.  The way I convinced Ry to get 2 cats was that they "do better in pairs."  Indeed, they do. 

Since Elf has been gone, Chief has had highly questionable hygiene.  He rarely grooms himself and has lately had a problem of a highly disgusting nature.  There always seems to be residual poo after a stop in the cat box.  And, no, I'm not talking about tracking it around on his paws.  Nope, our kitty friend smears it all over the couch with his bum. Apparently, this was a service that Elf used to perform for him.  Either that, or he's so depressed that he can't even bring himself to perform basic grooming.

In effect, this means that we follow him around with baby wipes anytime he leaves the office.  How do you get a cat to clean its bum? I already change 8 diapers a day, I don't need to chase around a cat bum all day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I heart our cat sitter

Our cat sitter is a 10 year-old neighbor of ours who we found from a flyer he put in our mailbox at the beginning of the summer. Let's call him DrummerBoy.  

DrummerBoy is one of those rare little kids who isn't shy or uncomfortable around adults.  He's always wearing groovy hemp necklaces and has his ears pierced. He stops to say hi when we see him out riding his bike.  The first time he watched Chief, he asked if we would send him a postcard from Vancouver since he's trying to get postcards from all over the world.

We are leaving for Florida on Wednesday, and DrummerBoy is once again watching our hairball.  Today he stopped by to get our house key. When he walked in he was wearing a Santa hat.  I said, "It's a little early for Christmas isn't it?"  His older sister roller her eyes and told me he'd been wearing it all weekend.  "It's warm," he explained.  He definintely marches to his own beat. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Funny man

I just watched Ry fall asleep between sips of his beer.  Why not just put it down? "Because I had to finish it."

Did You Know?

The Daycare Edition

Did you know ...
  • Even if the facility is beautiful, the staff lovely and the qualifications perfect, you will cross it off your list because the director is a "loud talker"?
  • Centers seem obsessed with "teaching" a 2 year old?
  • Daycare directors make snarky comments about other centers?
  • There is a distinct difference between a daycare and a preschool?
  • Our son isn't going to have attachment issues.
  • In fact, he'd probably hang with the mailman if I introduced them.
  • Or the supermarket cashier.
  • But I digress.
  • While there are some basic requirements, choosing a center is more about the feeling you get from the kids than anything else.
  • Even though I know it'll be good for both of us, I'll still probably cry the first day of school.
  • And I'm really glad I don't have to put him in full time daycare because I had to go back to work.
  • Thank you, my love.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Your daily dose of cuteness

Strike Up the Band!

Twelve years later, I can still do high school algebra! I took my placement exam this morning and placed into the (one) math class I have to take to complete my nursing curriculum.  Now I can relax and focus on my skeletal system exam(s) ... because that's relaxing.

As a side note, the people on our campus during the day are a far different crowd from those in the evenings.  I felt like I should be chaperoning the other students in line for the testing center this morning.  It'll be interesting to take daytime classes in the Spring.

On another side note, I've never attended a college that used its testing center to give normal class exams.  The vast majority of the other students were taking exams for their business, criminal science or other classes.  This seems strange to me. Why not just give the exam during the class period?  Has anyone else had this experience?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In which I am doomed

I have to take a placement exam on Friday to (attempt) to get out of retaking Algebra 1.  As I started reviewing the practice exam I realized I am completely doomed.  I can't even remember how to factor or multiply fractions anymore.  Strangely enough, it's some of the more advanced math I can still remember.  Think of me on Friday as I labor through the 90 minute exam. Ug.

In which I rock A&P

Ahhh, having the highest grade on the last exam is sweet, sweet relief.  I felt like such an idiot for the first few weeks of my Anatomy and Physiology class.  Because of the high percentage of students in the class that already work in healthcare, I thought I was starting way behind the line.  And then ... and then my friends, I totally rocked the last exam.  I think I'm going to need it. Our next exam is on the skeletal system.  If it were only the bones, I wouldn't be so worried, but we also need to know the fossas (holes), processes (extensions), depressions, joints and articulations (which bones touch) of all the bones.  I'm going to need the extra points to offset the upcoming exam.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In ur livin rum ...


D-stroying ur produs

This, my friends, is what happens when your toddler is unsupervised with a green pepper for 30 seconds.  Moral of the story: keep your grocery bags on the counter.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Grrr. Slackers

I've been a student for a number of years in a number of different classes.  All of those classes contained their fair share of slackers.  I always figured they'd pay the price for late assignments and poor study habits and didn't think too much about it.  I never took it personally until now.  

About 80% of the students in my A&P class are nursing majors and the rest have something to do with the medical field.  One of my fellow students is "Ann."  Ann is a woman in her 50s who works for the state government as some kind of clerk.  She's a single woman. She fractured her foot at the beginning of class and has been out of work since (and isn't planning to return until the first week of November).  Other than the A&P class she is taking one other class this semester.  So, here's the math, she's not working, doesn't have a family and is taking 2 classes this semester.  And yet, every week she turns in her lab assignments late, usually by doing the assignment during the lab.  She was glad to have passed the first exam.

Now, why do I take this personally? She wants to be a nurse!  She is going to be administering medication, performing treatments and caring for people in life and death situations.  I don't want her to be my nurse.  I know that someone has to be at the bottom of the class, but seriously?  I can only hope that she'll wash out when she gets into the nursing curriculum.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Funniest Exam Review Question Ever

Q: Why do the phraynx, esophagus, anus and vagina have the same organization of epithelium?

A: They are all areas that experience wear and tear.

On the VP Debate


Wouldn't be so funny if it wasn't so spot on.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A & P Fun Fact

The bone that kills you if you get it slammed into your brain is not, in fact, the nasal bone.  It is actually a bone called the vomer and it is inside your nose, not on the bridge of nose.

Quick Update

I haven't blogged in a while. Here's what's been going on since my last post:

  • Wed, 9/24: Ry is out of town. T and I spend the day together.
  • Thurs, 9/25: Getting the house ready for mom's visit.  Ry comes home from D.C. There is much rejoicing.
  • Fri, 9/26: T and I go pick Mom up at the airport.  T loves the baggage carousel.
  • Sat, 9/27: Ry watches T so Mom and I can go do girly stuff.  Love you Ry!
  • Sun, 9/28: Mom watches T so Ry and I can go on our first date in waaay too long. Love you Mom!
  • Mon, 9/29: We go pumpkin picking. I almost lose my shoe in the mud.  T wants to eat every raspberry off the bush.  I have class. Got a 90% on my exam. I would be a little disappointed, but the class average was 74%.
  • Tues, 9/30: I have lab. Got an 89% on my lab practical. Again, would be disappointed, but there was only one A.  Perhaps I need to readjust my expectations.  No grade inflation in A&P.  Good old bell curve there.
  • Wed, 10/1: We take Mom back to the airport. :(
  • Thurs, 10/2: T and I get together with some friends.  T and Q hold hands across their strollers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yes, I know

Pictures of T haven't been loaded on Walgreens since June.  We have hundreds of pictures for July and sorting through them has been bigger than me. I promise to have them up soon.

Ions and ureters and centromeres

Oh my.  I just finished my first exam in my Anatomy and Physiology class.  All in all, I think it went pretty well.  I am annoyed by professors who mention something, offhand, once, and then ask a question about it on the exam.  Lucky for me, I guessed this particular professor might be this type and wrote down everything that came out of her mouth (that I could catch when I wasn't furiously scribbling notes).  There were one or two questions that didn't even sound familiar, but I think I'll come out with a pretty good score.

I have a lab practical tomorrow, which is some of the same material and some other, very specific material.  A&P fun fact: in order to make one viable egg, sex gametes must also produce 3 polar bodies that simply disinigrate each month.  In contrast, cell division (or meiosis if you will) produces 4 viable sperm.  Also, saturated fats are bad, mmm kay?

Not bees

Yeah. The little suckers living in our siding are not bees, they're yellow jackets.  Yellow jackets, unlike bees eat wood and puke it up to make their nests.  The good news is that they die each winter, making the nests a lot easier to eradicate.  The bad news is that we're still going to have to get rid of the nest.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Got bees?

We have some critters (that we assume are bees) living in our siding.  We assume they are bees because yellow jackets look a lot the same. Does anyone have a sure-fire way of telling the difference?  Anyway, I digress.  

I'd like to save the hive (especially given the current state of bees), but we're not entirely sure how to go about this.  Apparently, they can go on living quite happily in our siding for a long time without destroying anything.  My one and only concern about this is that my mom is super allergic to bees and we don't know if T shares the allergy. 

I know that bee-keepers will come and remove bee colonies as well, although from what I understand, this will probably entail ripping big sections of our siding off.  We used the Google and found a dude nearby who advertises removal services.  Any other ideas about how to get in touch with local beekeepers?  What would you do with a colony of friendly-type bees? 

Friday, September 19, 2008

On having a mammogram at 28

I never expected to be getting a mammogram at age 28.  I had been having some pain that didn't want to go away.  While it was never bad, Ry noticed that I commented about it a few times over several weeks.  He made me promise to go to the doctor (which is generally my role).  So go to the doctor I did, about 3 weeks ago.  Honestly, I expected her to say that I was overreacting and send me home.  Instead, she sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound.

I have heard really scary things about mammograms for large-chested women, so I wasn't looking forward to my visit this morning.  The tech, however, was everything a medical professional should be.  She was professional, caring, and clear.  After the first 4 scans, I started getting warm and dizzy.  I didn't feel overtly nervous, but my blood pressure obviously had a different idea.  The tech was great as I spent most of the next 5 minutes with my head between my legs.  What a baby I am!  Anyhow, the actual mammogram wasn't nearly as bad as expected, and the radiologist gave me the all clear. Thank goodness I don't have to do that again until I'm 40.

Observations on my week

1. Never, ever trust a syllabus. Especially when it lures you into thinking you have another week before a test.
2. Having two tests in one week blows.
3. Rereading books from my childhood makes me happy.  I picked up a copy of Anne of Green Gables at the last library book sale.  Then I had to buy the entire series on ebay.
4. "Who is the shifty-eyed stranger?" is the worst dialogue I've heard in a movie recently.
5. I enjoy that T has little friends.  Apparently, one of his friends recently kept asking her mom about him when she picked him up from daycare.  They are so cute together.
6. Those finger tooth brushes are a great idea until your toddler almost bites your finger off.
7. T is still huge.  At his doctor's visit this week he weighed 28 pounds, 2 ounces and was over 34 inches tall.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

J's Sippy Cup Axiom

The sippy cup lost under the couch or in the tupperware drawer for three days is invariably the sippy cup containing milk.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cue creepy music

"What is that?" Ry asked as I pulled it out of the Happy Meal box today.

"It's the cowardly lion" I said.

"Are you kidding?" he responded. "It's a creepy doll. They didn't even make a lion face, it's just a leftover doll head with whiskers painted on."

"I think it looks like the cowardly lion" I said as I handed it to T.

"Meow" T said.

Nuff said.

T turns 1.5!




Today is T's half birthday. Happy Halfday little man! Ry's family always celebrated half birthdays with a half cake and a small gift. I think it's a great tradition and one we're going to start with T. Since we just got back into town this afternoon, we had to settle for a half candle instead of a half cake, but the sentiment is the same.

Aggressive Sharing in DC

T and I spent the last few days in Washington DC with Ry (who had to work). We went to the National Zoo on Thursday. T was completely uninterested in the animals, but had a great time with the play structures and doors. He also wore himself out chasing the birds that congregated around the crumb-dropping toddlers at lunch. Fully half of the women I met while in D.C. were nannies. I have met a handful of nannies out and about in NJ since T was born. I wonder if D.C. has a higher percentage of nannies or if NJ nannies just don't hang out in the same places we do. Regardless, they had some great suggestions for things to do the next day.There is a great sculpture garden on the Mall. I got to enjoy the art and T got to run around. This was a fountain at the garden. I told him he couldn't get in the fountain, so this was his solution. We also went to the National History Museum and the National Building Museum. The National Building Museum building is beautiful. The museum itself is somewhat lacking, but they have a kids room that rocks. It's a big room filled with blocks, costumes, trucks, books and a "green" playhouse that they allow kids to run around. T had a great time. We've been working with him a lot on sharing lately. We have inadvertently rewarded a behavior Ry likes to call aggressive sharing. He will take every toy he can get his little hands on and force it on whichever unsuspecting child is nearest. He will follow this child around until he or she takes the object T would like to share. I guess it's better than the alternative.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Does one issue a social conservative make?

My sister sent me this article, which is a debate between two journalists about whether one can be both a feminist and a Palin-supporter.  While the discussion about Palin is interesting, what is more interesting to me is that both authors seem to be saying that you cannot be both pro-life and a feminist. Also, if you are pro-life, you are by definition a social conservative. I am pro-life. I'm also pro gay marriage, anti abstinence only education, pro contraception, pro extended (paid) family leave, pro universal healthcare and semipro affirmative action. By this definition, I am a social conservative and not a feminist.  

 I'm not big on labeling. I think it mostly divides people, amps up the vitriole and contributes to the "us vs. them" mentality of our political system.  It's easy to label someone a feminist or a social conservative, but the real picture is in shades of gray.  This is probably why I've never declared a political party. Labels; I defy thee!

He'd eat dirt

If you gave him his own spoon. video

Monday, September 08, 2008

Why I'm pro-life

I've been having an ongoing conversation about politics, political rhetoric, and most recently, abortion with an old friend.  Generally I like to keep politics off my blog, but this one really touched a nerve.  Read the latest exchange here. I am "transplanted."

Update: Here is the post that kicked off the discussion.

Boys are gross

I have one sister.  She's not gross.  Growing up, my dad never made me bait my own hook or kill my own creepy crawlies (although he did make me pick up dog poo ... I'm forever scarred).  I wasn't a particularly girlie girl, but I am throughly unprepared for the boy my little baby is about to become.

It is darling that he wants to investigate everything.  He wants to know how doors work, how rocks taste and if he can pull every thing out of my bag before I get to him.  Today we were at the park, and T was putting mulch and rocks on the merry-go-round (an alternative to throwing them that I rather endorse).  Then I noticed something in his hand that didn't look like mulch or rocks.  Nope.  It was a big, ugly, creepy, crawlie, inch-and-half long beetle.  When I realized what he had in his hand I started shaking it uncontrollably and exhorting him to let go.  The bug went flying and landed legs-up next to the merry-go-round.  I don't know if it was squished or dismembered, but I do know that it spent the next 20 minutes trying to right itself.  He also tried to eat a piece of siding and there was a cricket in my laundry pile today. Um, ew.

Friday, September 05, 2008

5 Cute things

1. When I was putting T down for a nap the other day, he rolled over on his back, lifted up his shirt and tickled his belly.  Then he said "ha ha ha."  
2. We got a helium balloon from a store a few days ago.  The string came off.  T will let it go and then ask us to get if off the ceiling.  Really, he wants me to get it off the ceiling because I have to jump.  That, apparently, is hysterical.
3. He's learned the word "sticky."
4. He has started humming to the songs on his favorite Veggie Tales episodes.
5. I started spinning him around before putting him down.  Now he spins himself around to make himself dizzy.  Then he walks around like a tiny drunken sailor.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A trio of things

  1. I found out yesterday that I have at least one more class than I anticipated to complete before petitioning for the nursing program. This means I probably won't get into the nursing program for Fall 2009.
  2. I have to take a math placement exam to get out of a Basic Algebra requirement. Thank God for Ry. I started looking over the practice test last night and felt like I was reading Greek. Ry had to remind me how to get started with almost every problem. The good news is that once he reminded me, it all came flooding back. Like riding a bike?
  3. T was pissed at me yesterday. He spent Monday and Tuesday evening with Ryan and then I left him with a babysitter for a few hours yesterday afternoon so I could go to the advising office and get my student ID. When I got home, he cried and went to the babysitter to be picked up. *Sound of heart breaking* He calmed down pretty quickly, but when Ry came home he once again wanted nothing to do with me. He seems to be better today and even gave me an unprompted kiss. I sort of figured he might be sad when I was gone more often. I never figured on angry. Of course, maybe he's just over me.

Thank goodness for lab assistants

The lab assistant for my Tuesday night lab is as good as the professor for Monday night lecture was bad. She's quirky, lectures at a pace people have a chance of keeping up with, uses diagrams, models and (occasionally) herself to explain things. The evening was largely a review of the Professor's lecture. She made concepts simple and clear instead of using every piece of technical jargon at her fingertips to make us poor students feel like schmoes. It was the 3rd time I got this material (from the Prof and reading the book), and finally feel like I'm getting a handle on it. I'm still making notecards, but I'm really glad I don't have self-teach the entire class.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things I learned in BIO 103 last night

1. I have been spoiled by social science professors who are good teachers. This woman could write the book on how not to give a lecture:
  • Make sure that people can't take notes and listen to you at the same time.
  • Go through your slides so fast people can't copy the whole thing.
  • Don't use any diagrams or visual aids when explaining new concepts.
  • Assume your students actually know everything you're talking about already.
  • Give a 15 minute break and then start class again in 7 or 8.
2. Fully 2/3 of the class are non-traditional students and fully 1/3 are older than me.
3. About 85% of the class was female.
4. This is a really different kind of learning for me. The first 5 years of college were about concepts and conceptual thinking. This class is memorization and jargon. I'm going to have to break out the flashcards.
5. I don't know that I can take 3 of these science/lab classes plus a math class in the spring. We'll have to see how much study time this class actually takes.
6. I still feel good about my choice.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Common Sense Triumphs!

I just received an email from the woman in the nursing department who reviewed my transcripts. After reviewing them again she decided to give me credit for English Comp I and II. She may not have known what to do with the AP credit on my transcripts the first time around. Either way, after spring semester I should have all my prereqs completed. Hooray!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Seriously, eat a sandwich

Last night I watched the women's platform diving semifinals. Two young women from China have dominated the diving competition so far. Wang Xin is 16 years old. I am amazed that her body allows her to do the intensely physical dives I watched for the better part of an hour.

The commentators repeatedly mentioned how she makes practically no splash entering the water. I can't help but think that she couldn't make much of a splash. She's like 4'10" and can't weigh 70 pounds. Dude, someone feed this girl.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nini!

T and I were playing in the backyard today when I saw that one of our zucchinis was ready to be picked. I picked it and put it on the steps leading into the house so I would remember to take it inside later. As we were playing, T took off around the side of the house. I followed him, only to see him holding the zucchini triumphantly above his head and shouting "Nini, nini!!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Somewhat Ironic

The woman in the nursing department was true to her word and had my transcripts reviewed by the time she left on Friday. I got credit for my general education requirements as well as the Intro to Psychology course that is a requirement of the nursing program. I didn't get credit for either English Composition I or II. I got a 4 or 5 on my AP English exam and took a honors English class my freshman year to fulfill the Comp II requirement. I also taught 3 semesters of Composition I when I was getting my master's at U of I. I need to retake Comp I and II? Really?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Oooh, so angry

T is having some issues with "no" the past couple of days. Today he was mauling the cat and Ry had already told him "no" several times. Finally, he pulled T off the cat and told him that if he couldn't be nice, he couldn't play with the kitty.

T threw a royal fit. He stomped his legs and threw his hands in air for a good 90 seconds or so. He cried and turned red. I had to leave the room because I was giggling. He was sooo angry. I remember punching pillows and stomping up stairs as a kid. I wonder if my parents giggled downstairs too. Acorn --- Tree.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I thought we covered this

Most of the time, T is a really great baby. He's getting pretty good at understanding me and generally listens when I say "no." Every once in a while, he decides he is going to do something, and it just doesn't matter what I say.

Today we were playing outside when he walked over to look at one of my tomato plants. At the beginning of the summer, he wanted to pull the heads off all my flowers. It took the better part of a month, but I convinced him that we smell flowers, not pick them. The rest of the summer, he'd been a plant-smelling fool.

But not today. Today he went over and plucked a little green tomato off my plant, even after I told him "no." I pulled him away from the plant and told him more forcefully that we don't pull things off plants. Then we went back to playing on the slide.

A few minutes later, he walked back over to the tomatoes. I thought "no problem, he's already gotten in trouble once today." He looked at me, as I told him "no" and pulled another green tomato from the plant. After another scolding, we resumed slide time again. Then over he went for a third time. This time I got to him just before another baby tomato fell victim to the tomato killing toddler. How many times do I have to say "no"? He obviously doesn't like being scolded (judging by the crying), but still continues to do things he knows he's not supposed to. What gives? Infuriating.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I laughed until I cried too

Fireman Cake

Ry and I just spent half an hour reading every post of Cake Wrecks. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

PG-13, Really?

I recently watched two movies (Jumper and The Dark Knight) that are rated PG-13. I didn't enjoy either very much. Truly, I'm blown away that the violence in these movies didn't earn them an R. I'd like to remind everyone that Blazing Saddles is rated R. Would it even earn a PG-13 if it came out today?

I spend a good portion of the Dark Knight covering my eyes like a little girl. I still got to watch the Joker impale a person's head with a pencil. The movie also implied other gruesome violence. Jumper was no better. Samuel Jackson's character slits a man from stomach to throat. Any boobies, however, and the film gets an R. For my money, I'd rather my 13 year old watch nekked people all day than watch people kill each other in an up close and gruesome manner.

In which my faith is restored

My transcripts have been located! The woman I spoke to in the nursing department took a day to track down my transcripts. At least someone has a brain. What's better is that she is having them sent over today and will try to have them reviewed by Friday! I really hope that the 4 month transcript drama is over.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Saga of My Transcripts

Grrr. Grrrr. Grrrrrrr.

I contacted my high school and colleges in April and had them send my transcripts to the school where I am starting my prerequisites in 2 weeks. Apparently, the school could not match my maiden name to my married name (even though they ask for it on the application and it's in their online system). It took me 2 months and many phone calls to get this straightened out. I thought my transcripts would now go to the nursing department to be reviewed so I would know what classes I would have to take.

Wrong.

The nursing department only gets transcripts for review once a month. According to the school's online system and the guy I talked to in the admissions office, my transcripts were officially "received" on June 10. That should mean that they went to the nursing department the first of July. According to the people I talked to at the admissions office, my review should have been completed by the first week of August. The first week of August I again contacted the admissions office. "Gee, I don't know why we haven't gotten them back from nursing. Why don't you wait another week?" Oh, OK. So I called again last Friday when the review was still not online. "Gee, I don't know, why don't you call the nursing office?"

OK.

The woman from the nursing office called me back today. She doesn't have my transcripts. Not under my married name, not under my maiden name. Doesn't have them. She didn't get them in July and she didn't get them in August. So I ask her what I should do now, because, seriously. She tells me she honestly doesn't know what to recommend. She said that she'll call the woman she deals with in admissions to see if she can track down my transcripts. Where are my transcripts? Transcript purgatory? At this rate, they won't be reviewed by the time I need to register for classes for the spring. I can't register for classes until my transcripts have been reviewed. AAAAAHHHHHHH. My head is going to explode.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sesame Place: A Play in 3 Acts

Act 1: Where Are My Pants?

Yesterday afternoon we decided to hit Sesame Place for a couple of hours. A friend of ours was spending the day with her nephews, so we thought we'd join them. After T woke up from his nap, we gathered the necessary supplies: sun screen, towels, swim suits, snacks, water, passes, etc. We hopped in the car and away we went. Sesame Place is about a 20 minute drive from our house. There was also about a 15 minute wait for parking when we arrived. We finally got parked, got out our stuff and realized we left T's swim trunks sitting on the love seat at home. Oops.

So we set off to find a pair of trunks at Sesame Place. After a few stops we found a pair (which really are pretty cute), for $17. Ouch. We bought the size T should need next summer, so at least they'll last for a while. After our visit, we got back to the car when Ry realized there was a pair of T's trunks in the car from our swim lesson earlier this week. Beautiful.

Act 2: OCD is CDO When It Is Alphabetized Like It Should Be

One of T's favorite attractions is one called "Big Bird's Nest." It is a round, squishy surface with tons of squishy shapes to play with. T particularly likes to bring me different shapes and stack them up. Each time he brought me a shape, another little boy (who was probably 3ish) would come over and toss the shape back into the circle. T finally brought me a shape and stayed to "play" it. Meanwhile, the Shape Police came over and tried to throw his shape back in the circle. I had a good 5 minute conversation with this little person about how it was OK for the shape to be outside the circle for a little while. He disagreed vehemently. He spent 5 minutes convincing me that the shape didn't belong outside the circle and he had to toss it back it. He ended up winning the argument when T left to play with something else and I let him throw the square back into the circle. It's a good thing too, because I think his little head was about to explode.

Act 3: The Fun-Sapping Troll

The Fun Police was on patrol at Big Bird's Nest yesterday. Chris, the Fun-Sapping Troll was manning the Nest. T kept trying to explore an area under the stairs. As far as I could tell, there was nothing sharp, dangerous or icky there, so I let him. Patrolman Chris went over and herded T back into the circle. OK, I thought, maybe he's worried that no one is actively watching T. So I went over and stood a couple of feet from T as he explored this area. Chris Troll again (without saying a word to me) came over and herded T back into the circle. Ogreman then tromped over to a little girl and yelled at her for wearing shoes inside the circle. I mean yelled, not raised his voice. Our friend Schmucky then stood watch over the nest, glowering at all the happy little children. The Asshat's final act was to scream at a couple of kids who were wrestling on the circle. Both were laughing, and no one's parents were getting involved. "This Is Sesame Place" quoth Chris, the Demon Goblin, "No Fun Allowed!"

Friday, August 08, 2008

How popular are you?

Along the lines of my sister's cool movie charts, I recently discovered that the social security administration keeps lists of the top 1000 baby names for every year since 1880. For example, the year I was born, my first name was the most popular girl's name and my middle name was 10th. Hooray for the country's most generic name. My name was also the most popular girl's name for 15 years. 15 years!! My mother always told me that she didn't realize my name was so popular when she named me. Ah hem. It had been the most popular girl's name for 9 years before I was born. Hazy memories? Anyway, it's kind of cool, take a look.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A baby lexicon

  • Uh-oh (uh-oh): Used to indicate that something has fallen on the floor, someone has tripped, food has been thrown on the floor, etc.
  • Wow (wow): Something is freaking awesome
  • Mama (Mommy)
  • Da-Dee (Daddy)
  • Dootee (Cookie or Turkey): Uh, cookie or turkey
  • Nini (Zucchini)
  • Nana (Banana): Banana, also most fruit, but not blueberries
  • Bu (Blueberries)
  • Ep (Up): I want up, I'm up now, You're up
  • Bruuu (Brrrr): It's cold
  • Moom (Mummu): Mummu Jo
  • Pees (Please)
  • Maaaaaw (Meow): Meow, and kitty ... sometimes puppy

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A confession

Sometimes I put on Veggie Tales so I can snuggle with him for 20 minutes.

Facebook = Reunion Death?

I realize that I'm not truly the facebook generation (my final year of my master's program was the year it really got started), but I have reconnected with lots of high school, college, and Disney friends from long ago. It's all a bit surreal to be chatting with people you haven't talked to in 10+ years. I didn't attend my 10 year high school reunion last summer. Anyone I was interested in talking to I had already reconnected with through facebook or another social networking site.

I have to wonder, is facebook the death sentence for reunions? Schools are going to have to get creative with sucking money from their alumni if people aren't interested in showing back up every 10 years or so. I have been having coffee/meals/adult beverages with old friends when we're both back home. As far as I'm concerned, I never need to attend a reunion.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Books and Awesomeness

I just bought my books for my (one) class this semester. They're going to cost about $250. I've had entire full time semesters when my books didn't cost that much. I digress.

One of my "books" is "An Interactive Cadaver Dissection Experience." I'm distressingly torn between "Awesome" and "Really?" I wouldn't have guessed a freshman level biology class would need a cadaver dissection experience. Also, my materials for next semester's bio class include a dissection kit. Concerned. Does nursing curriculum include actual cadaver dissection? I would that level of knowledge wouldn't be required unless you were, say, going to be a doctor or surgeon. Seriously, does anyone know? The short descriptions I've read of the courses don't say anything about it. Ahh, but wait, my lab materials say "Cat Version." Hmmm. Mystery solved. How does that make you feel, Chief?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Quw'utsun "Cultural" Centre

Woopee! When we were in Duncan, B.C., we stopped at the Quw'utsun (cow-it-son) "Cultural" Centre. I was really looking forward to seeing how the Native people in B.C. lived, worked and how their experience with European settlement differed from that of Native Americans in the U.S.

As most of you know, I'm a member of the Cherokee Nation. While I don't remember a great deal of the trip I took to Tahlequah, OK, I know some about the Cherokee people.

The "Cultural" Centre cost $13 per person and consisted of 6 buildings and a dozen or so totems. The "movie" we were shown was a 20 minute powerpoint presentation about a few of the tribes' stories (i.e., the creation story, the flood story, and the thunderbird story). It skipped over the entire European settlement period with a statement that was something like "And then the white man came. He brought some bad things ... and some good things. For example, the white man taught us to knit!" The end. Seriously?

Ok, so the movie was lame, but I was sure that the tour and exhibits would make up for it. Not so much. The tour guide said "now" every third word or so and essentially walked us around to the totems and read us the plaques. I could've done that myself. The only exhibit on the property was a pictorial about how the tribe weaved and knitted. The lesson? Buy our sweaters! There was nothing about the tribe's culture, history, lifestyle, experience with Europeans ... nada. Thirteen bucks for totems and knitting. I was sincerely saddened to see a people reduced to totems and knitting.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home in NJ

(A little song created while waiting to get off the plane. Sung to the tune of Home on the Range.)

Home, home in NJ.
Where a kitty named Chief likes to play.
Where seldom is heard, a Midwestern word,
And the folks, they all hurry all day.

B.C. Wrap Up

We went to a little petting zoo in Beacon Hill Park. Tucker took a dive into the duck pond just prior to this picture. You can't tell in this shot, but his entire leg and most of his hat were soaked. The petting zoo did the "running of the goats" where they let the goats out of the barn and into the daytime pen. Seriously, there were dozens of goats. It was a quirky little place.
When my Mom and Greg got into town, we went to Butchart Gardens. Butchart was a limestone quarry that Jennie Butchart decided to turn into the garden around 1900. The results are stunning and include a sunken garden, Japanese garden and rose garden. T had to stop and smell almost every flower.
He also runs full steam for any pond, fountain or puddle. He's splashing in this fountain and having a grand time.
The next day, we went into the Inner Harbor in Victoria and Fisherman's Wharf. There are over 30 float homes at the wharf, but far more interesting to us was this harbor seal who was hanging out by the dock. I don't know if he usually gets fed, but he spent a good 15-20 minutes working the crowd.
These little green ferries are known as Harbor Pickles. They take you all throughout the harbor and took us from the Inner Harbor to Fisherman's Wharf.
Jo and Mike grow a lot of their own food. It was interesting trying to keep T from picking random fruits and vegetables from their yard. This is a peach he plucked from their tree. He made it through half before he got to the pit and didn't know what to do next.
Ok, this was just funny.
Our final day in Victoria, we went over to the University of Victoria, which is where Mike works. Apparently some years ago people let their pet rabbits loose on the campus. The result is hundreds of bunnies in residence all over the property. T had a blast chasing them, although he never quite caught them.

Now, of course, we're back in NJ and already missing our family. See you soon everyone!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

B.C. So Far

We left for Victoria Saturday morning at O Dark Hundred. T was remarkably good on the plane and only had two short meltdowns (coincidentally right before his two naps). Jo met us at the airport and we bussed over to the ferry, that took us from Vancouver to Victoria. T is sitting on the ledge of the ferry. He was entertaining the people sitting behind us. It is really beautiful here and I'm glad I finally get to enjoy it without barfing 3+ times a day. We got him to stay up until 7 pm PST (2 hours past his EST bedtime), so the jet lag hasn't been bothering him too badly.
Jo and Mike have a duck pond near the house, so early the next morning, we got up and went to see the ducks. There was much throwing of rocks and little interest in the ducks.
The goats at the petting zoo in the afternoon were another story. T spent a good 30 - 45 minutes in the goat pen. At one point he had one licking his cheek while another munched on his shirt. We had a tough time convincing him that what looks like a rock isn't always a rock.
Here are Jo and Mike on the train at the same farm as the petting zoo. It was ... lame. We suspect the engine began life as a riding lawnmower. Top speed was probably a good 2 - 3 mph. Also, the "sites" were kitschy exibits made up of pirate ships, ugly people and mechanized animals that reminded me of nothing as much as the original King Kong. Nevertheless, T enjoyed the trip and we got a good laugh out of the life like "salmon" (who looked suspiciously like 2x4s painted silver).
Yesterday, Ry and I went away for our first night away from T since he was born. Jo and Mike agreed to watch him for us (we're nominating them for sainthood when we return home). It was really nice to worry about nothing but ourselves for the first time in 16 months. This is our room in the little B&B where we stayed. We went hiking, saw some beautiful scenery, visited a vineyard, and finally arrive in Cowichan Bay, B.C., where we stayed the night.
The guy at the vineyard recommended the Rock Cod Cafe for dinner. It ... was ... delicious. I even ate fish ... and enjoyed it! Today we went into Duncan and visited the Cultural Arts Center for the First Nations here (First Nations are what Canada calls Native Americans). We were pretty disappointed, but that's a post for another time. We had a great lunch, did some shopping and stopped at a cidery on the way back to Motek Manor. T didn't even know we were gone. We got out of the car and he looked up to see us, then went back to throwing rocks on the driveway. At least we know where we stand.
 
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