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Archive for the ‘weird’ Category

I found my camera, but still don’t have any pictures of snow-puppy. I do have pictures from Boo’s birthday party, now a couple months old. But here are a couple anyway:

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She wanted a gymnastics party, because as far as she is concerned, if you can’t climb it, jump on it or jump off it, it is no fun. For those people who are deluded into thinking that at least girls are calmer than boys and don’t treat the house like a jungle gym, I invite you over to my house to witness Boo do things like leap from the top of the bunk bed like a spider monkey to the floor. Or worse, to the rocking chair.

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Here are several of the kids waiting for their turns. The tall boy in the white shirt is Boo’s boyfriend. Isn’t he cute? Well, actually, turns out he’s one of her boyfriends. The little guy behind him is the other one. Too bad you can’t see him better, because he’s cute too.

We discovered this the other day when Boo announced, “I have a boyfriend and D has a girlfriend!” Odd way to put it, but we’ll play along. “Who are they?” Maya asked. “Well, I’m D’s girlfriend and C is my boyfriend.” We pointed out that it sounded like she has two boyfriends and she was just delighted with that notion. I’m going to have to watch that one closely.

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Someone just found my site by googling “what judaism means to me.” I find this odd. It doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing the internet is going to tell you. Speaking of, we took the whole family to synagogue this Saturday and plan to continue. We fell out of the habit at our old shul because there was nothing to keep the kids engaged, making the whole experience increasingly unpleasant. We are back on the wagon, though.

Asher threw a huge fit because services bore him silly. In truth, I sympathize completely. Just sitting and not being allowed to doodle, or knit or read something else at the same time is difficult for me as well. He solved his problem by refusing to enter the sanctuary, wandering around the rest of the building until he found a friend. I solved the problem by reading the Torah (and commentary) in great detail. It was actually quite nice. I think we all enjoyed the experience more than we expected to, which is good, because we are determined to make this a regular activity.

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Jasper has started intermediate training at Petsmart, where he did the beginner class. Same instructor too. She is great. He’s learning to stay longer, wait (which is different than stay), and heel. Heel is the one I just couldn’t quite figure out on my own. I did have a go at it now and then, and something must have sunk in, because he got it the moment I tried and while other dogs are making it 4 or 5 steps down the aisle before bolting, Jasper makes it up one aisle and down the other. Of course, it helps that he is brilliant.

Our latest move is teaching the dog to ‘touch.’ “Touch ball” is this week’s command. Every time Jasper pokes the ball with his nose or paws at it, he gets a treat. At first, he found me waving the ball in his face very annoying and tried to bite it. But he soon clued to. The instructor has great plans for ‘touch,’ like teaching the dog to turn off lights or pick up their own toys and put them away (I asked if I could bring my kids to the next class, so she could teach them that trick too).

This class is smaller than the beginner, not surprisingly. There are only 4 other dogs. One is a tiny little poodle, which I find odd. Most dogs in training classes are large, I guess because most people aren’t concerned about being able to control something that weighs only 7 lbs.

Last class, we went out into the store to work on something – the instructor likes the distractions – and as we exited the training room we passed a girl about 20 years old. When she spotted Jasper, she yelled, “Wow!” Then she followed us. She watched the training session, commenting repeatedly on how beautiful my dog was and how much she loved him. As we headed back to the room, she told me in a voice of complete sincerity, “I just love your dog so much that if I could, I’d steal him.”

I was glad to be going into the training room and away from the crazy dog stalker, but she followed us in! She sat beside Jasper and kept trying to pat him, but he was having none of it. I don’t know if he independently decided she was nuts, or if he was picking up vibes from me. When the class ended, I confess bolted ahead of the others, leaving the stalker trapped behind the other dogs going out the door, and then quickly left the store, double-checking that no one had followed me from the parking lot when I left.

There’s the down side to having the most marvelous dog in the world.

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 One of our birthday rituals is to weight and measure the birthday child. We have, as I suspect many people do, a wall with all our kids’ heights over the years marked. Asher is delighted that even though his big sister is much bigger than he is, he is taller than she is at every year, and catching up.

Boo wanted us to measure her a few months ago, although we didn’t mark it then. She saw that she was right at Maya’s line. Her goal became to reach Asher’s line by the time she turned five. Of course, there wasn’t actually anything she could do, but she still hoped. So when we put her up against the wall a couple of days ago, she said again, “I hope I beat Asher’s line!” And sure enough, she was right at Asher’s line. I marked her as a smidgen above, just to make her happy. And she was: “Look, I’m taller than he was! I actually made it to taller than he was.”

No one pointed out to her that she had just made it past the lines we made when Maya and Asher turned four.

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I planned the summer perfectly – first the family vacation, then 3 weeks of camp, then 2 weeks of hanging out time. The hanging out time begins today. We have made a list of fun activities, like the wave pool, museums, conservation parks, that we plan to go through. So, of course, I was woken up this morning with Boo puking on me.

Now I’m trapped in the house with one sick child and two bored ones whose friends are all in day camp. Oh dear.

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I have occasionally mentioned the weird search string used to reach my site, but I think I have a new winner for weirdness: Africans cutting right arms off pictures. In all capitals. Beyond the fact that I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned the word African on my site, or even right arms, and therefore cannot figure out how that got the searcher to my site, I cannot figure out what this person wants. Are the Africans cutting off their own right arms? Does it have to be right arms? Are they cutting off other peoples’ right arms? And why would anyone want to see a picture of that?

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We spent the long weekend at the cottage. I thought it was obscenely cold, but the kids still swam. I wonder when a child develops nerve endings? Not at 11 years old, judging by Maya.

Old family friends of J’s family have the cottage across the street, so our kids play together every summer, picking up like they’ve never been apart. They swim, play in the sand, climb around on the rocks, have campfires, go on adventures in the woods and basically have an idyllic a childhood summer as seems possible these days.

This year, of course, we added the dog to the mix, imagining that he will make it just that much more idyllic. And they do love him, take him for walks, play with him on the beach when he’s allow there. What I didn’t expect when I got him was that I’d want the dog to have good summer too. Now, instead of hanging out on the beach all day, I go back up to check on the dog, and take the time out to go for long walks down country roads and in the woods. He’s clearly delighted and I’m glad he’s happy too.

My mother-in-law is not so happy. His existence drives her nuts. We delusionally thought that if we had a good dog, one that didn’t shed, bark, jump or beg, she wouldn’t mind him. We never expected her to like him, but at least maybe she wouldn’t mind him. And he was good this weekend. He does still counter-surf and steal food off neglected plates. He sticks his nose under Maya’s arm at dinner and tries to get as close to her plate as he can, hoping to snag something off her fork. He takes kids’ toys and jumps on the furniture, staring at us like we are mad when we order him off. But he did none of that this weekend. He was the Stepford dog, he was so good.

But we knew it was hopeless when she snapped during lunch that we had to get him out of the room, as he was driving her crazy. We, including my father-in-law, looked in amazement at Jasper, sitting several feet from the table completely quietly, nose in the air in appreciation of the foodie smells, and asked what he had done to offend her. “He’s smelling!” she objected.

She might well have said ‘he’s breathing,’ since clearly that was the real problem.

She does appreciate one thing – I walk him. I clearly need more exercise and, for Jasper’s sake, I get it. I walk him for hours, and I like it, as it is peaceful and he is happy. But you now what pisses me off? I haven’t lost a single pound. Bloody figures.

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Here’s an ‘Eeewwww’ for you – a couple of weeks ago, I wrote my Thursday Thirteen on the heat, trying to appreciate my lack of air conditioning. I naively entitled it Thursday’s Hot Thirteen. I  was surprised to see how popular that Thursday Thirteen was, until I realized that the search string people are using to find it is “hot thirteen.” I just realized they aren’t looking for the Thursday Thirteen meme, they are looking for thirteen-year-olds. So, for those of you who make it here with the same search string: stop being such a pervert, you freak.

And, frankly, that goes for the people looking for ‘funny videos of teenagers breastfeeding’ too.

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Today I read in the Globe and Mail a profile of the Itzbeen Baby Care Timer by Rebecca Eckler. I think she liked it, although it was a little hard to tell, perhaps because I was so horrified that I couldn’t believe she was suggesting it is a good idea.

Check this thing out – it is a monitor you carry around with you everywhere with you and input the last time your baby nursed (and what side), had a diaper change and how long ago she woke up.

When Maya was born, the nurses at the hospital made us write that stuff down. We had to record every diaper change and what was produced, as well as when she last ate, for how long and which boob. When we went home after two days, we continued that routine for about half a day. I abandoned it in the middle of the night when, moments after I finished nursing her, I had already forgotten which breast I had used last and I had no idea how long she had eaten, given the off-the-breast-on-the-breast fight it was with her at first.

Next feeding, I put her on the heaviest boob. And we realized pretty quickly that the easiest way to know whether she needed a diaper change was to check her diaper. Wet? Poopy? Change it. Dry? Leave it.

The marketing for this horrible device claims that it is a lifesaver for the sleep-deprived parents. No long do you have to remember these important details. The machine will do it for you. The machine will tell you when to nurse your baby and you will no longer have to rely on your puny little brain.

The machine is stupid. Toss it out and develop a little parental instinct, people.

It reminds me of a conversation we had with doctor at Maya’s first appointment. We asked her if we should get an old-fashioned thermometer, digital, or one of those fancy ear ones. “It doesn’t matter,” the doctor (and mom of 3) said. “The only thing the thermometer is good for is that while you look for it, it gives you a few minutes to decide what you are going to do about the kid’s illness. You’ll know whether she is sick or not.” And she was right. We do have a thermometer, but I have found there are times when one of my babies had a fairly high temp, but was bopping around quite happily and I wasn’t worried. A lower temp plus a fussy or lethargic baby had me much more concerned. Mother’s intuition turned out to work far better than the machine that went ping.

The fancy-ass baby monitors now available are also pissing me off. Scroll down and you’ll see that there’s one that promises to not only let you see and hear your baby as the kid is sleeping in her crib, but it’ll tell you the temperature of the room, play lullabies and even has a two-way radio so you can freak the kid out by talking to her over the monitor. If only it had little robot arms to spoon out cereal, you’d never have to be in the same room again!

At the bottom of this page is a ‘respiratory’ baby monitor. It is a pad you stick under the baby’s sheet that is supposed to monitor his breathing. Unless your child is at risk for SIDS, this is the ultimate in paranoia.

I admit that like many other parents, I was worried the baby would stop breathing every time I had an infant. The first evening Maya was home, I placed her soundly-sleeping tiny body in the hand-made cradle my father had lovingly built for his first grandchild and lay down on the bed to sleep. She was right at the end of the bed, which I realized very quickly was far, far too far away. I soon gave up and got her. I placed a receiving blanket between our pillows, put Maya on it, lay my hand on her side and, with my own personal ‘respiratory monitor’ – my hand – in place, fell asleep instantly.

I’m not saying every parent should sleep with their babies. I wasn’t always sleeping with mine, either. But when I wasn’t, I did was parents throughout history have done. I checked up now and then and told myself not to be insane the rest of the time.

Here’s a wee picture of the final stupid thing I am going to complain about tonight. I stumbled across this while in search of a link to the other stupid stuff.

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The creators of this ‘baby no bumps’ actually expect you to put this silly-looking thing on your kid all day long – and funnier yet, they expect the kid to let it stay there – to avoid little precious getting a single boo boo.

The web page says it is created by a parent (grandparent, actually), but given how hard it was too keep any hat on my kids’ little heads, no matter how tightly I tied, I suspect a marketing scheme.

My kids have a scar or two I wish they didn’t – Boo in particular had not a single bruise-free moment for about 6 months after she began walking (although many of those were fat lips; perhaps they should add a face cage?). But at least she has friends, which is more than I expect the child in the picture can say.

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More weirdness

Pluckymama says she has nine nipples! I must know more about that! Extra nipples are totally cool. I googled ‘third nipple’ not long ago (after a friend told me she has one) and found a whole bunch of pictures of people with pierced third nipples. It never occurred to me to google ‘9 nipples.’ Too bad they all don’t all work (I assume). Your kid would be in heaven.

The funny thing is, I was going to add one more bit of weirdness to my last post, but ran out of time. I recently ran across a link to this article in the Dermatology Online Journal (no, I don’t read it for fun; some other blogger linked to it, but it wasn’t one of my regulars and I’ve forgotten who it was). This is a nipple:

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On someone’s foot! I swear, no hoax. Here’s the close-up:

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Doesn’t work, though, according to the article.

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weirdness

Asher is still sick, but not as feverish. The doctor said he has nothing infected, thankfully. Boo, who wasn’t really ill yesterday, coughed all last night and could barely get a word out this morning without another coughing fit, so she’s home again too. Maya got sent off to school despite having insomnia last night. She didn’t get to sleep until about 12 and was clearly exhausted. As sorry as I felt for her, her exhaustion was the reason I sent her to school. She’s mean when she’s tired and particularly mean to me, and I just couldn’t handle that with the other two home sick too. Besides, she actually copes remarkably well on very little sleep (which is why her infancy nearly killed us). We’re all better off this way.

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Someone found my blog with the search string “noises a camel makes.” When did I mention a camel?

Some else found it with “squished ear at birth,” which Asher had. Has. My labour with him was 5 hours total, with only about an hour of active labour, and I only pushed twice. Apparently when you do that to an almost-9-lb baby, they can get a little banged up. He had a big bump on the top right side of his head, a bloodshot right eye, and his right ear was completely flattened. Actually, the flattened ear suggests that he’d been mushed up on his right side for some time in there. It never popped out properly. It’s not really noticeable, but it means he cannot use ear buds on MP3 players.

Asher and his dad like to have ‘who’s more unique’ arguments thanks to this. Not only does Asher have a squished ear, which he is convinced is unique to him (I don’t think I’ll tell him about the search string), but he can blow air out his tear ducts. That is just totally cool. You can see it bubble and actually feel air if you put your hand up close. I’ve never met anyone else who can do this, but I suspect they are out there.

J’s weird thing is a hole in his toe. Like me, he had ingrown toenails as a kid (our children are doomed) and had them operated on. One didn’t heal properly and, if I remember the story correctly, the doctor somehow cauterized the unhealed part, creating a hole at the base of the nail bed. Some time later, J noticed something hard coming out of the hole. It grew. Eventually, in an attempt to cut it, as it was getting longer and bugging him, he actually yanked a small claw-shaped bit of nail out of the hole. It bled for a moment and the hole appeared to close. But after a while, a new nail began to grow. My husband has a claw growing out of a hole in the top of his big toe. Every few months, he pulls it and the cycle starts again.

He is convinced he is the only one in the world with such a thing. He may be right. Asher considers this hole very cool and they make a huge deal out every few months – “It’s time to pull the thing out of Daddy’s hole!” But he also believes that his two weird things – even if they aren’t completely unique – make him more unique than J’s one weird thing.

The girls in the family think both the boys are weird things and cannot believe the discussions they are party to.

J. also has a friend who finds his toe hole completely fascinating and took before and after photos last time. Here they are, in the interests of science.

Before:

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After:

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