An Open Letter to Viruses

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dear Viruses:

You know me.  I'm Jack's mom.  And while I like to be inclusive and polite and well-mannered about things, it's time for me to put my foot down.  Go away.  Leave us alone.

Don't act innocent.  You know what I mean.  You lurk around Jack and his buddies at daycare, on shopping carts, on toys, you name it.  And then, just when I have a major project at work, or am feeling not so hot, or you decide it's a totally bad time, you go for it.  And you infect us.  Last week, you chose to prey on a cute little boy who had just had his adenoids out.  That is just rude, guys.  Poor form, even for you.

I know your ways.  High fever that makes my boy wicked cranky, followed by red-rimmed eyes that only lots of napping and lots of Gabba can fix.  Several days of malaise, while my vacation days dwindle like sands through the hourglass.  Don't get me wrong; I love spending time, all time, with Jack.  But, I prefer lazy days at the beach.  Just sayin'.

All working moms know you.  And hate you.  Stop taking the shine out of our kiddos' eyes.  Go rid the world of cockroaches or something productive.  Mmmkay?  Thanks.

I really mean this.  Aka, sincerely,

Jack's Mom

Ear Rhymes with Fear

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yesterday, Jack had tubes put in his ears, his second set in his action-packed two years of life.  He also had his adenoids removed.  

In the ENT world, this is not a big deal.  In the world of two year olds, it's not really a big deal.  Tubes are like Toms -- everyone has them.  Adenoid removal is more noteworthy.  I approached the day with about that attitude: This is doable but noteworthy.

And then, BLAMMO!  The night before surgery I got nervous.   I like, respect, and trust Jack's ENT.  I was just ... Worried.

And then, I had parenting epiphany #2375 or so:  All parents go through this.  You can't stop the worry.  You can't rationalize around the worry.  It's there.  It's yours.  And you have to just sit with it and own it.  

Oh, and also?  He is only two.  This is just the beginning.

Oh, shit.

No one tells you this when you become a parent.  It's one of the things your friends don't want you to know because they really want you to have kids now that they have kids.  So, they leave out inconvenient truths like the gut-twisting worry.  Rock on.

The surgery went fine.  Jack got to eat ice cream for dinner.  (Yes, that's really more for tonsils, but I'm a sucker.)

Here we are, post-op, as Jack shook off the anesthesia.  Oh, yes, I am about to levitate off the table from joy and relief.  And yes, I brought my best eye Samsonite to this party.


Fun fact:  Parenting also comes with luggage.

Hope your day is tubular,
Heather

OK, I'll Bite

Thursday, March 22, 2012

There is this thing that has been going around the blogosphere that is the rough equivalent of those email forwards where you ask 20 questions and then forward to a bunch of your friends.

As my sisters and many of my dear friends know, I was inordinately fond of those emails.  Answered. Every.Single.One.  So, it should come as no surprise that when Straight Talk Jess tagged me in one of these, that I jumped (leaped, hopped) on board to answer.

I believe this is how it works:  You share 11 random things about yourself.  Then, you answer the questions that have been lobbed your way.  Then, you lob a few questions the way of some other hapless bloggers that are next in line.

The Random:

1.  I am completely and utterly addicted to lime seltzer.  As in, I just researched buying a SodaStream.  (I decided against it.)  
2.  I *may* or may not have Restless Leg Syndrome.  In our house, we just call it Jimmy Leg.
3.  I don't like pancakes.
4.  I have lived in all of these places:  Maryland, Maine, Ireland, Alexandria VA, San Francisco, Austin, and DC (in the District, stars and bars, yo).


5.  I know all of the US Presidents in order and by number.  Like, on command.  This came in very handy when I was on It's Academic in high school.  (Double whammy of a nerd post, this one.)  It has also come in handy in various bar discussions in my life.


6.  Deep down, I do believe that Guinness is good for you.
7.  I sort of "collect" accents.  I am surprisingly good at doing them.
8.  I can't watch horror movies.  I have become a serious chicken as an adult.  Scary trailers even freak me out. 
9.  I know how to sew and embroider.
10.  My brother, dad, and I all keep a running mental tally of the Ten Best Meals We've Ever Had.  Some of the meals on my list were at Jeffrey's in Austin, Fore Street in Portland, Maine, and Uncle Larry's house.

Oh, man.  That's embarrassing.

11.  The first tape I ever bought was Take on Me by A-Ha.  The second was Out of the Blue by Debbie Gibson.

Questions for Me to Answer:
  1. What do you order at Starbucks?   A grande Americano with sugar free vanilla syrup.
  2. If you could go crazy at any store, which one and why?  Boden.  I would just go nuts and get my entire wardrobe from them.  
  3. What do you do for me time (if you actually take any)?  It's harder and harder to come by these days, but I run, sleep, and read in my "me" time.
  4. If you could go back to school (without worrying about working or tuition) would you?  Absolutely.  I'd get an LLM or a Masters in History.  Or an MFA in Creative Writing.
  5. Did you always know you wanted to have kids?  Yes, without a doubt.
  6. What’s the last book you read? Should I read it?  I recently read Nefertiti by Michelle Moran.  It's a fluffy bit of historical fiction, but I really liked it.  Nefertiti was a tough cookie.
  7. Favorite movie(s) of all time?  Oh, wow.  Breakfast at Tiffany's; Mary Poppins; North by Northwest;  You've Got Mail.

I'm going rogue and opting out of asking more questions and asking people to answer this.  Because my Spidey Senses tell me that I'm on the tail end of this flash in the pan.  

So, I appreciate you taking the time to skim this moment of utter self-aggrandizement.  

Hope your day is full of your favorite things, even if that includes pancakes.

Heather

Friends

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Friends are the best thing ever, you know?

Jack and his buddy, Gabe, know that.  The other afternoon, they shared some dude time, some sliding, and some snacks together.

Hey, Jack, you've gotta try this.

Yeah, but I don't want to put down my ball.

Concentration, Part 1

Concentration, Part 2


I agree, Jack.  Friends make me feel happy inside, too.

Here's hoping your day had some great friendship moments in it.  Mine sure did.

And here's to infectious grins,
Heather

Metaphors on the Playground

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jack's approach to the slide is a pretty good approach to life.

If you want to do something, you've got to start with the climb.  It needs focus, determination, and maybe a hand rail.


From there, you should stop and assess where you're going.  What's the goal here?  Are you ready?


When it's GO TIME, make it count!  Scream!  Clap!  Giggle!  Live the dream.  You did it!


Because it's not "just a slide."  You know?

Carpeing the hell out of this diem,
Heather

The Couch Chronicles

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Here are the things that I have learned during the course of the Rotten, Awful, Plague-like Sickness that I am finally emerging from.

1.  You can create a hipster paper doll of yourself online by clicking here.  Here's me.

I just got some Warby Parkers, and I wear my hair in a knot all the time, so go with the rest, OK?

(They all sort of look like Japanese anime characters.  You can't change that part.)

2.  One Direction is taking over the world.  At least, part of it.

One Direction is the new boy band that has young women screaming their heads off.  I had never heard of them.  They were on the Today show the other day.  Evidently, the hoards of girls had been camping out for like 3 or 4 days on the plaza to see them.  Hmm.

They all have "personas," too.
Like one's "mysterious" and another is "the charmer."
Totally.
They are cute little British boys.  The t-shirted mastermind of pop, Simon Cowell, put them together.  They sound like, uh, a boy band.  They don't sound particularly British, which probably would have endeared them to me.  I watched them and actually found myself squinting at the TV, as if to try and hear something that sounded like music that might be good.  Didn't happen.

Also?  Full disclosure.  I also know that if I were whatever their demographic is right now, I'd be all about them.  Because I *did* have a New Kids on the Block poster in my bedroom.  Oh, yes, I did.

3.  South by Southwest is here.


South by Southwest is a ginormous music, film, and interactive festival that's held annually in Austin.  It's ridiculously cool.  However, this year, I fall into the category of a jaded Austinite that's perturbed by "South by" (as locals call it), because it jacks up my traffic and fills my city with people from LA and because I don't have a ticket.

That last one is the real reason, I suspect.  But, during SxSWi, there were bloggy people that I would have loved to see, attend panels with, etc.  And during the music portion, which is about to implode today, there are countless bands I'd like to see.

Blue Ivy's dad was even here the other day.

You know, Jay Z.

So, you know, I've spent the past few days either sleeping, or laying on the couch making hipster paper dolls of myself.  The kind of hipster that *would* have a badge for South By.  I haven't found the website that helps you make paper dolls of working moms with razor sharp wit and a toddler on their hip.  If you find that one, let me know.

Not even kidding,
Heather

Birthday, Part Three

Friday, March 9, 2012



Yup, this is the last installment of birthday mania.  For Pete's sake, this birthday got more blog posts than the kid has years.  Ah, what's a proud mom to do?  

This last segment is brought to you by the noble dinosaur.  Remember how I told you the theme of the party was dinosaurs and pie?  I wasn't kidding.

Dino on a homemade triple berry pie.
Stegosaurus on a (store bought) chocolate cream pie.
I'll have to make my first cream pie another day.

The whole gang, including T Rex and uh, that other one on a homemade pumpkin pie.
As the party wore on to pie time, Jack wasn't sure how he felt about it all.  So, Dad and Jack tackled the birthday song and the pie segment together, as guys and dads like to do.  Oh, Bunny also helped.

I made Durel wear that hat.  And he made me say that.
Let the pie feasting begin!
It was great.  Dinos, pies, silly paper hats, and all.

Hope your day has some pie in it,
Heather

Birthday, Part Two

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

After the balloon extravaganza of the birthday morning, Jack had a sensible lunch and a solid nap.  We planned it this way, you see, so that he would be able to handle the PARTY that would start after naptime.

I chose to keep our celebration to just family this year.  Last year, we blew it out for the one year old and his crew.  This year, I decided to focus on our amazing family.  I think that was wise.  It limits the number of possible meltdowns, and, well, everyone in our family knows how to use the potty properly. 

Jack was excited, if not a bit perplexed, by all the action.  And the presents.

New wagon?  Check.  New Plex?  Check.

New bubble mower?  Check.
New laptop?  Check.
I did not capture Jack opening his amazingly preppy and dapper duds, received from Grammy and Pop.  That particular whirlwind was spent with me oohing and aahing over how adorable he is going to be all spring and summer long.  FE Castleberry, stand back.

Anyway, now that Jack can be wheeled about the neighborhood in his wagon, mow our lawn with his bubbles, and send his buddies emails about the next BYOS* get-together, he's pretty much unstoppable.

Just sayin',
Heather

*Bring Your Own Sippy

Birthday, Part One

Monday, March 5, 2012

When Jack awoke on his birthday, he was presented with the trophy of all toddler trophies.  A big, red punchy balloon.

Serious fun ensued.

Please ignore the red eyes.  I tried to edit them out,
but I suck at that, and it just made him look
*more* possessed.  So, go with it, mmmkay?  Thanks.





Hope you had a good weekend.  We sure did.

Balloons and all,
Heather

Weekend

Friday, March 2, 2012

This weekend, we'll be celebrating!



No huge party, just family.

No cake, just pie.  (Jack really likes pie.  So do we.  So, we're having lots of pie.  Made sense to me.)

My favorite kind of pie.

Jack and Pop's favorite kind of pie.

Durel's favorite kind of pie.

(Pie suddenly seems genius, doesn't it?)

No theme, just a lot of random dinosaurs.



I'll be back with a full report on Monday.

Hope you get some pie this weekend,
Heather

Kleenex

Thursday, March 1, 2012

To all the moms out there, grab your Kleenex before you watch this.




We're doing OK.  All of us.

Promise.
Heather

Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Open Letter to Viruses

Dear Viruses:

You know me.  I'm Jack's mom.  And while I like to be inclusive and polite and well-mannered about things, it's time for me to put my foot down.  Go away.  Leave us alone.

Don't act innocent.  You know what I mean.  You lurk around Jack and his buddies at daycare, on shopping carts, on toys, you name it.  And then, just when I have a major project at work, or am feeling not so hot, or you decide it's a totally bad time, you go for it.  And you infect us.  Last week, you chose to prey on a cute little boy who had just had his adenoids out.  That is just rude, guys.  Poor form, even for you.

I know your ways.  High fever that makes my boy wicked cranky, followed by red-rimmed eyes that only lots of napping and lots of Gabba can fix.  Several days of malaise, while my vacation days dwindle like sands through the hourglass.  Don't get me wrong; I love spending time, all time, with Jack.  But, I prefer lazy days at the beach.  Just sayin'.

All working moms know you.  And hate you.  Stop taking the shine out of our kiddos' eyes.  Go rid the world of cockroaches or something productive.  Mmmkay?  Thanks.

I really mean this.  Aka, sincerely,

Jack's Mom

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ear Rhymes with Fear

Yesterday, Jack had tubes put in his ears, his second set in his action-packed two years of life.  He also had his adenoids removed.  

In the ENT world, this is not a big deal.  In the world of two year olds, it's not really a big deal.  Tubes are like Toms -- everyone has them.  Adenoid removal is more noteworthy.  I approached the day with about that attitude: This is doable but noteworthy.

And then, BLAMMO!  The night before surgery I got nervous.   I like, respect, and trust Jack's ENT.  I was just ... Worried.

And then, I had parenting epiphany #2375 or so:  All parents go through this.  You can't stop the worry.  You can't rationalize around the worry.  It's there.  It's yours.  And you have to just sit with it and own it.  

Oh, and also?  He is only two.  This is just the beginning.

Oh, shit.

No one tells you this when you become a parent.  It's one of the things your friends don't want you to know because they really want you to have kids now that they have kids.  So, they leave out inconvenient truths like the gut-twisting worry.  Rock on.

The surgery went fine.  Jack got to eat ice cream for dinner.  (Yes, that's really more for tonsils, but I'm a sucker.)

Here we are, post-op, as Jack shook off the anesthesia.  Oh, yes, I am about to levitate off the table from joy and relief.  And yes, I brought my best eye Samsonite to this party.


Fun fact:  Parenting also comes with luggage.

Hope your day is tubular,
Heather

Thursday, March 22, 2012

OK, I'll Bite

There is this thing that has been going around the blogosphere that is the rough equivalent of those email forwards where you ask 20 questions and then forward to a bunch of your friends.

As my sisters and many of my dear friends know, I was inordinately fond of those emails.  Answered. Every.Single.One.  So, it should come as no surprise that when Straight Talk Jess tagged me in one of these, that I jumped (leaped, hopped) on board to answer.

I believe this is how it works:  You share 11 random things about yourself.  Then, you answer the questions that have been lobbed your way.  Then, you lob a few questions the way of some other hapless bloggers that are next in line.

The Random:

1.  I am completely and utterly addicted to lime seltzer.  As in, I just researched buying a SodaStream.  (I decided against it.)  
2.  I *may* or may not have Restless Leg Syndrome.  In our house, we just call it Jimmy Leg.
3.  I don't like pancakes.
4.  I have lived in all of these places:  Maryland, Maine, Ireland, Alexandria VA, San Francisco, Austin, and DC (in the District, stars and bars, yo).


5.  I know all of the US Presidents in order and by number.  Like, on command.  This came in very handy when I was on It's Academic in high school.  (Double whammy of a nerd post, this one.)  It has also come in handy in various bar discussions in my life.


6.  Deep down, I do believe that Guinness is good for you.
7.  I sort of "collect" accents.  I am surprisingly good at doing them.
8.  I can't watch horror movies.  I have become a serious chicken as an adult.  Scary trailers even freak me out. 
9.  I know how to sew and embroider.
10.  My brother, dad, and I all keep a running mental tally of the Ten Best Meals We've Ever Had.  Some of the meals on my list were at Jeffrey's in Austin, Fore Street in Portland, Maine, and Uncle Larry's house.

Oh, man.  That's embarrassing.

11.  The first tape I ever bought was Take on Me by A-Ha.  The second was Out of the Blue by Debbie Gibson.

Questions for Me to Answer:
  1. What do you order at Starbucks?   A grande Americano with sugar free vanilla syrup.
  2. If you could go crazy at any store, which one and why?  Boden.  I would just go nuts and get my entire wardrobe from them.  
  3. What do you do for me time (if you actually take any)?  It's harder and harder to come by these days, but I run, sleep, and read in my "me" time.
  4. If you could go back to school (without worrying about working or tuition) would you?  Absolutely.  I'd get an LLM or a Masters in History.  Or an MFA in Creative Writing.
  5. Did you always know you wanted to have kids?  Yes, without a doubt.
  6. What’s the last book you read? Should I read it?  I recently read Nefertiti by Michelle Moran.  It's a fluffy bit of historical fiction, but I really liked it.  Nefertiti was a tough cookie.
  7. Favorite movie(s) of all time?  Oh, wow.  Breakfast at Tiffany's; Mary Poppins; North by Northwest;  You've Got Mail.

I'm going rogue and opting out of asking more questions and asking people to answer this.  Because my Spidey Senses tell me that I'm on the tail end of this flash in the pan.  

So, I appreciate you taking the time to skim this moment of utter self-aggrandizement.  

Hope your day is full of your favorite things, even if that includes pancakes.

Heather

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Friends

Friends are the best thing ever, you know?

Jack and his buddy, Gabe, know that.  The other afternoon, they shared some dude time, some sliding, and some snacks together.

Hey, Jack, you've gotta try this.

Yeah, but I don't want to put down my ball.

Concentration, Part 1

Concentration, Part 2


I agree, Jack.  Friends make me feel happy inside, too.

Here's hoping your day had some great friendship moments in it.  Mine sure did.

And here's to infectious grins,
Heather

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Metaphors on the Playground

Jack's approach to the slide is a pretty good approach to life.

If you want to do something, you've got to start with the climb.  It needs focus, determination, and maybe a hand rail.


From there, you should stop and assess where you're going.  What's the goal here?  Are you ready?


When it's GO TIME, make it count!  Scream!  Clap!  Giggle!  Live the dream.  You did it!


Because it's not "just a slide."  You know?

Carpeing the hell out of this diem,
Heather

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Couch Chronicles

Here are the things that I have learned during the course of the Rotten, Awful, Plague-like Sickness that I am finally emerging from.

1.  You can create a hipster paper doll of yourself online by clicking here.  Here's me.

I just got some Warby Parkers, and I wear my hair in a knot all the time, so go with the rest, OK?

(They all sort of look like Japanese anime characters.  You can't change that part.)

2.  One Direction is taking over the world.  At least, part of it.

One Direction is the new boy band that has young women screaming their heads off.  I had never heard of them.  They were on the Today show the other day.  Evidently, the hoards of girls had been camping out for like 3 or 4 days on the plaza to see them.  Hmm.

They all have "personas," too.
Like one's "mysterious" and another is "the charmer."
Totally.
They are cute little British boys.  The t-shirted mastermind of pop, Simon Cowell, put them together.  They sound like, uh, a boy band.  They don't sound particularly British, which probably would have endeared them to me.  I watched them and actually found myself squinting at the TV, as if to try and hear something that sounded like music that might be good.  Didn't happen.

Also?  Full disclosure.  I also know that if I were whatever their demographic is right now, I'd be all about them.  Because I *did* have a New Kids on the Block poster in my bedroom.  Oh, yes, I did.

3.  South by Southwest is here.


South by Southwest is a ginormous music, film, and interactive festival that's held annually in Austin.  It's ridiculously cool.  However, this year, I fall into the category of a jaded Austinite that's perturbed by "South by" (as locals call it), because it jacks up my traffic and fills my city with people from LA and because I don't have a ticket.

That last one is the real reason, I suspect.  But, during SxSWi, there were bloggy people that I would have loved to see, attend panels with, etc.  And during the music portion, which is about to implode today, there are countless bands I'd like to see.

Blue Ivy's dad was even here the other day.

You know, Jay Z.

So, you know, I've spent the past few days either sleeping, or laying on the couch making hipster paper dolls of myself.  The kind of hipster that *would* have a badge for South By.  I haven't found the website that helps you make paper dolls of working moms with razor sharp wit and a toddler on their hip.  If you find that one, let me know.

Not even kidding,
Heather

Friday, March 9, 2012

Birthday, Part Three



Yup, this is the last installment of birthday mania.  For Pete's sake, this birthday got more blog posts than the kid has years.  Ah, what's a proud mom to do?  

This last segment is brought to you by the noble dinosaur.  Remember how I told you the theme of the party was dinosaurs and pie?  I wasn't kidding.

Dino on a homemade triple berry pie.
Stegosaurus on a (store bought) chocolate cream pie.
I'll have to make my first cream pie another day.

The whole gang, including T Rex and uh, that other one on a homemade pumpkin pie.
As the party wore on to pie time, Jack wasn't sure how he felt about it all.  So, Dad and Jack tackled the birthday song and the pie segment together, as guys and dads like to do.  Oh, Bunny also helped.

I made Durel wear that hat.  And he made me say that.
Let the pie feasting begin!
It was great.  Dinos, pies, silly paper hats, and all.

Hope your day has some pie in it,
Heather

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Birthday, Part Two

After the balloon extravaganza of the birthday morning, Jack had a sensible lunch and a solid nap.  We planned it this way, you see, so that he would be able to handle the PARTY that would start after naptime.

I chose to keep our celebration to just family this year.  Last year, we blew it out for the one year old and his crew.  This year, I decided to focus on our amazing family.  I think that was wise.  It limits the number of possible meltdowns, and, well, everyone in our family knows how to use the potty properly. 

Jack was excited, if not a bit perplexed, by all the action.  And the presents.

New wagon?  Check.  New Plex?  Check.

New bubble mower?  Check.
New laptop?  Check.
I did not capture Jack opening his amazingly preppy and dapper duds, received from Grammy and Pop.  That particular whirlwind was spent with me oohing and aahing over how adorable he is going to be all spring and summer long.  FE Castleberry, stand back.

Anyway, now that Jack can be wheeled about the neighborhood in his wagon, mow our lawn with his bubbles, and send his buddies emails about the next BYOS* get-together, he's pretty much unstoppable.

Just sayin',
Heather

*Bring Your Own Sippy

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birthday, Part One

When Jack awoke on his birthday, he was presented with the trophy of all toddler trophies.  A big, red punchy balloon.

Serious fun ensued.

Please ignore the red eyes.  I tried to edit them out,
but I suck at that, and it just made him look
*more* possessed.  So, go with it, mmmkay?  Thanks.





Hope you had a good weekend.  We sure did.

Balloons and all,
Heather

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekend

This weekend, we'll be celebrating!



No huge party, just family.

No cake, just pie.  (Jack really likes pie.  So do we.  So, we're having lots of pie.  Made sense to me.)

My favorite kind of pie.

Jack and Pop's favorite kind of pie.

Durel's favorite kind of pie.

(Pie suddenly seems genius, doesn't it?)

No theme, just a lot of random dinosaurs.



I'll be back with a full report on Monday.

Hope you get some pie this weekend,
Heather

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kleenex

To all the moms out there, grab your Kleenex before you watch this.




We're doing OK.  All of us.

Promise.
Heather
 
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