Saturday, February 27, 2010

More Snow!

We had a little more snow Thursday. On Wednesday evening, the weather forecasters were predicting the winter equivalent of the apocalypse, so the kids' school district, in its infinite paranoia, wimped out and decreed a snow day for Thursday.

Funny that the first snowflake didn't fall until 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., and funnier still that the roads weren't even snow covered by 3:00 p.m. They could have had a full day of school, and I could have enjoyed a full day of working on my transcripts.

The snow was still swirling about on Thursday night, Precious Daughter's dance classes were canceled, and another snow day granted for Friday. Again, a waste of time. The sun was shining by noon. I cleared the driveway of its light coating of snow while Her Nibs took a nap.

Afterward, the kids and I had a little fun.

Her Nibs is cold. Her brother put the snow on her head. Her Nibs is not happy. Immediately afterward she was whisked inside, stripped of her damp clothing, and given a snack.

I woke up this morning feeling like an old fart with aches in my calves and behind my knees. I'm whining to myself that I didn't hurt this much after shoveling two feet of snow from the last snowstorm until I realzied it wasn't my snow-shoveling muscles that hurt. It was my snowman-making muscles.

Well, shoot, that's okay. At least I had fun earning those muscle aches.

By the way. The spammers have annoyed me to the point of adding word verification to my blog. I'm sorry if this is a pain for you. Even if the comments are not published, they're still allowed to contact me and waste my time. It makes me feel like they're still "winning."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Nail in the Coffin...

...of our old friend, Common Sense.

Doctors Urging for a Safer, Choke-Free Hot Dog

It almost leaves me speechless. I, for one, didn't give my kids a hot dog that wasn't cut up until they were nearly five. Maybe making them wait so long is a little paranoid, but I knew (as I suspected most parents did before I read the above article) that hot dogs were a choking risk, ranking right up there with bananas, apples, and anything else kids love enough to try swallowing whole simply because in their minds a bigger mouthful of something yummy tastes better than a smaller one. Even Her Nibs, when faced with a trayful of itty-bitty pieces of something she loves, will try cramming as much as she can into her mouth.

Many choking incidents happen under the watchful eyes of parents, which is why parents should make it a priority to learn -- and obtain certification in -- CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and first aid well beyond Bactine and a Band-Aid. This article doesn't state whether the family who tragically lost their child possessed any of these skills, but the child's chances of survival may have improved dramatically if they had. Even if I hadn't spent several years in emergency services, learning these skills would have been a pre-parenthood priority. It would be more effective than strongarming companies to spend countless resources (passed on to the consumers) to reinvent the food equivalent of the wheel. I guess we'll have to redesign the hot-dog bun as well.

The other side of this argument might be "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Okay. If that's the case, I think it's safe to assume that what's inside the average chemical-laden hot dog is probably more harmful than the silly thing's shape. Still, if doctors insist that the hot dog get a facelift, why not make your expert recommendations to the end user instead of the manufacturer? Why assume that the average American is incapable of handling the matter? I guess we're too stupid to effectively wield a knife and fork despite claims that we are an obese nation.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


My goodness! Where has the last year gone?

I must've blinked. In that short little span of time, Her Nibs has gained 19 pounds, 1 ounce, grown ten inches, and sprouted nine teeth. She babbles and crawls and is just starting to walk.
Wow, that was quick!

Happy Birthday, baby!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Two days shy of her first birthday, this is Her Nibs' first word.

She, the Oracle, and I were sitting together when Chessie hopped up for a visit. Her Nibs loves to touch Chessie's bunny-soft fur, squashing her hands into it with as much muscle as she can muster, thinking that the softness will never end. Chessie, to her credit (or stupidity?) does nothing more than let her eyes bug out of her skull from the pressure.

I hold Her Nibs' wrist, stroking it along Chessie's back while telling her to be gentle with the cat because she's old, and she replies, "Gah!" with such emphasis that we know it's "cat" she means. For the fun of it I use "kitty" instead, and her response sounds something like, "Giheee!"

I'm very excited!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I've received three spam comments to my latest post. Blech.

So, to spare my handful of readers this assault of junk mail, I've enabled comment moderation. Being an impatient sort, I prefer to see my comments pop up as soon as I hit "Submit." If you're like me in that regard, I apologize.

If it gets really obnoxious, though, I may have to enable that word-verification thingie.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Curse me if you will, but -- Whee!! -- I love snow. It's snowing at this very moment, and it's forecasted to continue through the night. Pile it on, baby!

My world needs a little brightening up. I'm sick to death of the gray winter skies. Shoveling this stuff off the driveway is a small price to pay for a glistening white blanket of snow to cover up the brown, dormant lawn (and the unscooped poop).

My greatest hope is that the snow is something my kids will find they can use, the kind of snow that can be picked up and packed into snowballs and forts and snowmen but just dry enough for some non-hypothermic sledding.

What is it about dogs and snow? Knucklehead goes bananas for it, romping around in it like a big puppy. Well, she's a big puppy anyway, but her playfulness kicks up a few more notches when it snows. She'd stay out there all day if I let her.

It was well worth today's trip to the stupormarket battling the French Toast Panic Shoppers (you know, those people who wipe the shelves clean of bread, eggs, and milk when it snows) and the Superbowl party hosts. I made it all the way through to the dairy aisle when I decided I couldn't take it any more and just checked out. If I need milk or cheese it can wait until the snow stops.

It's going to be the perfect Saturday. The Oracle's games have been canceled/postponed, and we have nowhere to be.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baby-Sitter Update

I emailed the sitter because -- annoyed or not -- I was still concerned about her. It turns out she's 32 weeks pregnant, due at the end of March. She sure didn't look "that" pregnant the last time I saw her. Anyway, she's fine. They got the contractions to stop and ordered her to rest, which even she admitted was next to impossible. In addition to the two or three kids she baby-sits, she has five in her own house ranging in ages from four to young teen. Rest when?

I mentioned before that my FIL is always willing to watch the older kids, but he isn't comfortable with infants. He agreed to watch Her Nibs as long as she was fed and changed when he arrived, and she was. My FIL arrived at 3:00 just moments after my kids got off the school bus, and I headed out the door. When I initially asked him to watch the kids, I told him I'd planned to have dinner in a crockpot before I left.

Things being what the are in my house, I got wrapped up with chasing dog hair instead. See, Her Nibs is crawling all over the house, and, being a typical baby, puts everything in her mouth. I started the dog-hair chase so she could crawl about freely without choking to death. Next thing I know it's 2:45 and I have to get dressed and get my stuff together to go.

I wasn't all that concerned about dinner anyway. I had a pack of chicken in the fridge, tomato sauce in the freezer, and pasta. Ta-da! I could whip dinner together in twenty minutes when I got home.

The problem was my deposition didn't finish until 7:20 p.m. My in-laws and kids feasted on Arby's for dinner. He got the kids' homework done, fed Her Nibs, and even got stuck with a diaper change.

I really feel bad about that. After she finishes her homework, Precious Daugther is getting a hands-on lesson in diaper changing.

And my FIL is getting a big pan of Florentine for his labors.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby-Sitter Blues

I need a new sitter.

You may remember this post where I ended up dragging Her Nibs along to a deposition because the sitter wasn't there when I arrived. She aparrently never got my phone messages.

Well, she stuck me again a couple weeks ago by being unavailable for the time I needed. I let it slide, though, because I hadn't taken a job in over a month and we hadn't contacted each other at all in that time.

Last Wednesday, however, she shafted me again. I was scheduled for a double header with a deposition at 10:00 a.m. and another one at 2:00 p.m. I called the sitter on both numbers she gave me and left three messages between them, leaving the time I'd be dropping off and asking her to call me back.

She never called me back, and I was nervous. The Oracle and I discussed a backup plan just in case.

I'm glad we did, because I called the sitter when I headed out the door to her house, and she said she wasn't available. When I asked why she never called me, she said she didn't get my messages. Maybe it's because I'm angry, but I don't believe her.


Our "Plan B" was for The Oracle to watch Her Nibs while I was at the 10:00 a.m. job which was, thankfully, ten blocks away from his office. I dropped Her Nibs off at 9:30 and drove to the job. I was very lucky to find an open parking meter. I don't normally use metered parking, but there was a sudden lack of garage parking where I needed to go. I knew it was around there somewhere, but I didn't feel like I had enough time to hunt for it. Even though chances were good that my job would end in an hour, I paid for the full two hours of meter time.

"To make a long story longer," as a friend of mine says, my job ran over two hours. It's nothing but a miracle that I didn't get a parking ticket. The Oracle was at his wits' end with a baby sabotaging his day. What's worse is that by the time I picked up Her Nibs, I had less than an hour and a half before my second job was due to start at 2:00.

Taking her with me to the job was not an option. Not only is she a wiggly eleven months old, my 2:00 deposition happens to be with the same doctor and the same attorney as the fiasco back in July. What are the odds? If I show up with a baby on my hip, they'd never believe I'd been jammed up again by this same sitter, and I don't think they'd be as nice about it as they were before.

God bless my father-in-law. The Oracle had already contacted him during my prior appointment and he'd agreed to baby-sit, but when I called him again and whined about my time constraints he took it in stride and agreed to meet me at the doc's office to pick up Her Nibs. I really don't know what I'd do without him. He just keeps on saving my bacon.

Now today I'm scheduled for another double-header. This time they're at 9:30 and 4:00, and they're for the same case at a nearby law office. I call the sitter and ask her about it, telling her I'd probably pick up Her Nibs after the morning assignment and bring her back for the afternoon. I'm thankful that she's available to baby-sit, even though I know I need to find someone a bit more reliable.

Last night I get a text message at 10:23 p.m. telling me she can't baby-sit because she's in the hospital with contractions.

Contractions? She'd never told me she was pregnant. I suspected the possibility because I noticed a bit of a belly bump the last time I'd seen her, but it wasn't all that pronounced so I wasn't going to risk asking her about it. Sometimes I hate being right.

I fret to The Oracle for a minute. No, I wasn't asking him to take off or to take Her Nibs to work again, not after the last three-hour fiasco. I was upset, however, at the late-ish hour and my inability to find someone else to watch the baby. I had no choice. I call the firm and lay my bad news on the table. Thankfully, she's able to get the morning job covered rather quickly. I'm still on for the afternoon, but that job isn't until 4:00. I have all day to find an alternative or to once again burden my father-in-law.

Unpredictability aside, I sincerely hope and pray that the sitter and her baby are okay. I don't think she's all that far along. As I think about it, the chances are good that if this truly is a high-risk, too-early labor, she's probably going to be ordered to bed rest. Either way, I need a new sitter. Blech.