Friday, December 29, 2006

One Angry, Naked Emperor

Could Donald Trump possibly show less class or more overkill? Gee, insecure much?

Yeah, Rosie took a cheap shot at him, but honestly...what comedian wouldn't (or hasn't)?

Trump tantrum here because Blogger won't let me link it directly:

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Our Little Christmas Tradition

The kiddo left for his dad's house on Friday morning and won't be back until midday on Christmas, so on Thursday I took him to the Hotel Del Coronado for a couple of hours as sort of our new Christmas tradition. This is the second time we've done this, and it was really, really nice. :-) The kiddo fell asleep on the 20-mile drive there, but awoke in good spirits when we arrived on Coronado Island (which is really on a peninsula). We found a good parking spot on the street (FREE!); after bundling up the kiddo, we were ready to set out on our walk to the hotel. Along the way, we stopped at a burger joint for a cheap bite -- not necessarily part of the celebration, but we'd wound up there last year and decided to revisit it this year. I reminded my son that the previous year I'd told him about the giant tree we were going to see, and he'd mistakenly thought the tiny tree at the burger place was the object of our search. We both found that oh-so-silly now that the kiddo is almost six, after all, and much more astute than he was last year. Ahem.

We then crossed the street toward the hotel and oohed and aahed at the gigantic Christmas tree in the lobby. It was decorated in a "Winter Wonderland" theme -- all sparkly snowflakes and words like "Wish" in glittery script -- and the kiddo couldn't resist touching the ornaments as I pretended not to notice. Searching for a comfy little spot where we could sit and open a couple of gifts, I spied a pair of armchairs separated by a little table. My son studied them and said dubiously, "Yeah, but they're kinda far apart." I told him I could sit in one chair and he could sit on my lap, and his face brightened. He "helped" me open my gift from him, which was a pretty picture frame with his school photo in it. Then he opened his gift from me. He was a little bit underwhelmed by the sticker book about the human body (he's always asking questions about the subject), although he was gracious about it, meaning he kept quiet and made polite noises. However, he reeeeally liked the other book, also on the body, with tabs to move all the body parts, and 3-D glasses, which he carried around for the next two hours, even in the bathroom. (Don't ask.)

He was eager to move on, so we visited the little gazebo in the courtyard, then made our way downstairs to watch the ice skaters. Every year the hotel sets up an ice rink on the back lawn overlooking the beach, and it's novel and lovely. I checked the prices: $20 for adults and $15 for kids under ten, with a $5 skate rental for everyone. If we ever want to skate there, it would cost $45!! Yikes. Next time maybe. The kiddo did want to skate, although he doesn't know how, so I think I'll take him to the rink near our house sometime to teach him. We studied the skaters until the kiddo was hungry again, then we walked a few steps further to the beach (I am inordinately tickled that we could walk from an ice rink to a beach) and sat on a retaining wall so he could eat part of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I'd brought for him. Two extremely bold seagulls stealthily crept closer and closer to us, so I assumed seagull control duty and the kiddo ate in peace.

Afterward, he really wanted to climb on some rocks, but they're a jagged bunch that had been dumped there long ago as a barrier of sorts, and I was very concerned that he'd slip or get splashed by a rogue wave. I really wanted to avoid the latter, since he'd just gotten over being sick and the air was a little chilly, so instead of climbing, we strolled along the sand and picked up a couple of shells. The kiddo drew our faces in the sand -- his with straight hair and mine with curly hair -- then added a heart and a plus sign and his dad's face and looked at me for approval. I admired his artwork and told him we do indeed love Daddy. Ah yes. He chased a seagull for a while and tuckered himself out. By then it was almost 5:00, so we took one more look at the ice skaters as the kiddo sang along with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" being piped over the speakers, then retraced our steps and stole a little rest in "our" armchairs.

The kiddo insisted he didn't need to sit down (although I was glad for the chance to just sit inside where it was warm), so he practiced his attack-hug technique, which mainly consists of his standing a few feet away from me and pretending he's not up to something, then getting a running start and slamming into me for a hug. After I'd had enough love, I decided it was time to head back to the car. Along the way, we stopped back at the burger joint for a shake, then continued through the neighborhood, admiring all the homes with Christmas lights as the kiddo slipped his hand into mine. He pronounced the Victorians with no lights (not even porch lights) "scary," but loved the ones that were decorated because they looked homey and "magical," and I agreed with him, of course.

During our whole visit, I was very aware that two sides of myself were sort of in conflict. One side wanted to remind me of all the things that were "wrong" with our outing (we'd started late, my gray roots need some work, my bank account is severely anemic, I had some editing work I "should've" been doing, etc.). I sometimes get carried away with the idea of a "perfect" Christmas, or a "perfect" life, and I have to remind myself that what is is perfect just as it is. Know what I mean? The other side of me was calmly focused on just being in the moment and creating a sweet memory for my son, because really, he'll remember these experiences and those will probably be colored by my energy somewhat, and I want him to be able to look back on our holiday times someday and remember how special they were. I'm happy to say I think we're achieving that.

Happy holidays, everyone! :-)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Salt Saves the Day (or Night)

The kiddo had been coughing in his sleep, despite my having given him medicine and running the steamer. On the subject of medicine, I've found that over-the-counter cough syrup does nothing to suppress coughs. It's utterly worthless! What does seem to work is something sleep-inducing (in our case, antihistamine) and moisture. Anyway, the kiddo was coughing repeatedly and it was breaking my heart. I think it was particularly tough because he'll be going to his dad's for the next few days (and returning on Christmas Day), so I won't be able to take care of him myself and I feel like I have to give him extra-special care before he goes. I turned the heat down in the house to lower the temperature and minimize the amount of forced air blowing around the room (I hate a lot of forced air at night, and I seriously miss the radiant underfloor heat I had in my college apartment -- best heat ever), and he continued to cough. Finally I refilled the steamer and poured a little salt into it, and the thing is now producing steam like there's no tomorrow, and my boy is sleeping quietly.

Now I can sleep, too.

Monday, December 18, 2006

'Tis the Season...for Germs!

Well, the kiddo developed a sore throat over the weekend at his dad's house and when I got him back today he was lethargic and feverish and rashy. I took him to the doctor and he had a (very traumatic because it reminded him of the time he swallowed a lollipop stick!) strep test, which turned out positive. He just had his first dose of a three-day course of antibiotics, but dang, that rash is crazy and practically everywhere! I don't remember that aspect of strep when I was a kid, but I suppose it's possible I never had that part. Now I'm pounding yet more vitamins and washing my hands a lot, administering all sorts of creams to the kiddo and praying for good health all around. Yes, good health would be nice.

I hope everyone else's sick kids are feeling better soon!


Update: Since I'm giving thanks for medicine, I'll include antihistamine(s) in that category. The kiddo awoke around 11:30 p.m., thrashing and shouting that he couldn't "take it any more." If he were a cussin' man, he'd have cussed, I'm sure of it. Anyway, I finally got him to take some antihistamine and now he's actually sleeping. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight after all. I am soooo hoping tomorrow is better.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Because I Know the Definition of Insanity *

"Oh, so it's all about you and your boundaries!!"

-- said by my son's very angry dad-the-shrink when I
told him tonight that I would, in fact, not be seeing an
eighth couples therapist with him because I had decided
after number seven that sitting in a little room with him
and making myself vulnerable again and again to his abuse
was perhaps not the healthiest way for me to spend my time

* "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
-- attributed to just about everyone in history

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Maybe I'm the Best at Being the Worst?

Tonight Mr. Almost Six said, "Goodnight, W.M. - Worst Mom." This, after a day of snuggles and laughter and mac-and-cheese with real cheese (a rarity!). Apparently my not letting the kiddo stay up late to play video games makes me the worst mom ever. Who knew? He's also begun to experiment with telling me I'm "mean" and that he hates me. But this is mainly when he's tired; when he's rested, he calls me "sweetie" and "best mom" and "my love," and repeatedly raises his left eyebrow at me in an effort to make me laugh like a nut, which I almost always do. He kills me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Idea of a Germ...

Things you may have to say when working with kindergartners most of the time, but especially during cold and flu season:

1. Please finish blowing/picking your nose over there (i.e., far away from me), then throw your tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

2. Did you flush the toilet? Are you sure? Are you really sure? Please go back and check...and wash your hands.

3. Please don't put your face on the desk (which everyone except me and the teacher has been drooling on). Seriously, don't put your face on the desk. Okay, if you keep putting your face on the desk, I'm going to have to ask you to go back and sit on the rug.

4. Someone is in the bathroom. Please throw up in the trashcan. (Actually "Trashcan!!" [pointing])

5. Please don't put the flashcards in your mouth.

For extra fun today, my son's best friend has strep throat. Let's hear it for germs. My birthday sis says to get some Airborne. We shall see about that, or just dose up on regular vitamins, get lots of sleep, and pray a lot.

Monday, December 04, 2006


"Of course, you have to remember that when you say 'I like you,'
what you're really saying is 'I love me but I need you.'"

-- 50-ish man to two 50-ish women
sitting outside Noah's Bagels
last Saturday in Pasadena, CA