Saturday, May 31, 2008

Did I ever tell you about the time...

That MM first tried coffee? He was, what? Two? Three? I'll go with two.

MS had his big papa bear mug. I had my medium-sized mama bear mug. And MM had a wee little mug that MS had brought me back from Scotland along with a clay highland coo.

MM was so proud. The coffee was poured, the cream and sugar were added and stirred. MM's mug had about 20 parts milk to one part coffee, but he thought he was sooooo grown up.

MM (pointing to each mug in turn): "Mommy's coffee, Daddy's coffee, Muffin Man's coffee" and the way he said "Muffin Man's coffee" was just filled with import. He even did a head nod.

It was the cutest thing EVER.

And, of course, it's become a household thing. We recite it to each other.

This morning, MM opted for water with breakfast.

MM (pointing to each mug in turn): "Mommy's coffee, Daddy's coffee"
MS (after a pause): "What about Muffin Man's coffee?"
MM: "But I'm not having any coffee!!"

He's quite the comedian.

Thunderbolts and Lightning

I guess we're not going to the pool today.
Or the playground.
Or the zoo.
Or miniature golf.

Hmmmm...I wonder what we will do?

MM: "I know! I know!"
Me: "What?"
MM: "LEGO STAR WARS!!!"
Me: "Oh my! I would NEVER have thought of that!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Annika redux

Hey folks. I'm sure you remember Annika. She's seven now and, after two years of relatively good health, is having issues again. Please go and add your good wishes to the others who are thinking of her and her family and pulling for her.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Traveling With a Six-Year-Old: Survival Gear Edition

Traveling with MM these days is a whole different kettle of fish from traveling with him even a few months ago. A few months ago, I would have brought a complete extra set of clothes and many, many more activities for him to do on the train. Here's what I brought this time:


  • We were going for one overnight, so I packed each of us one change of clothes and one set of jammies. Next time, I'll pack a bathing suit for him, just in case.
  • I brought a travel set of markers (a Hanukkah present from my sister 2 years ago), an art pad (high quality paper, a birthday gift this year), 5 little pirate dudes (not played with AT ALL this trip), Usborne's Big Book of Puzzle Adventures (I don't really recommend this one, the picture puzzles are often misleading and go for more complex answers than strictly necessary), a Yes & Know book, a Leapster with some games, a couple of toy cars, and some snacks. And, of course, The Saturdays (as I said yesterday).

Everything we brought fit into my school backpack and MM's little blue backpack. Yes, he carried his own toys and didn't moan about it once.

I carried the art pad and the books (they were too large for his small bag), he carried all the other activities and some of the snacks.

Next time, I'll bring fewer snacks. Even though the cafe car is expensive, it's worth it to go just to get out of our seats for a while. Also, fewer small fiddly toys would have been better. And why I ever thought toy cars would be a good idea, I'll never know. He loved playing with them, but they rolled off the seat-back tray 15 more times than was good for my molars.

So, to sum up: Yes & Know + markers + art pad + Leapster + The Saturdays = Gold Stars; toy cars = Bronze starts (fun for him, annoying for me); Usborne puzzle book = meh.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Random Bullets of Whirlwind Trip to NYC

  1. MM is an artistic genius. He drew a picture of the two of us on the train. In the picture, he has a black magic marker in his hand and is holding a picture of two people (upside down to the viewer, right-side up to the picture of himself). He's drawn a picture of himself drawing a picture of himself. I am flabbergasted.
  2. If you are ever in NYC and you've got your kids with you and its summertime, go to the Hudson River Park across the street from West Beth. There's a sprinkler playground there that is just fantastic. MM ran around there yesterday in his TMNT boxer briefs. We borrowed sunscreen from a mom who was sitting next to us.
  3. The Saturdays is just as good as I remembered it when I was a kid and is a great book to read to a six-year-old with a decent attention span. We read 56 pages of it on the train coming back.
  4. I love walking around Park Slope. What a great neighborhood.
  5. MM is getting to be a seriously big boy. I mean, there was no whining. He was fantastic.
  6. It's always worth getting a red-cap when you are departing from Penn Station if you are with a young child and you get nervous in crowds.
  7. Canvas bags are great to keep in the car for many reasons. Not the least of which is they catch vomit quite nicely.

Friday, May 23, 2008

They actually answered!

I sent a modified version of the letter below to the nice folks at Tampax and got this note back the very next morning!

"Thanks for contacting us.
I'm sorry you're disappointed with Tampax. Our goal is to produce high quality products that consistently delight our consumers and I regret this wasn't your experience.
We rely on consumer research to help us understand what people want from our products, and as a result, our tampon was designed to be shorter and wider to better fit your body. The improved size and shape, along with the built-in back up skirt, provides better leakage protection than ever before. And we designed the new grip applicator to make insertion easier. Still, I understand you were dissatisfied with our design, and I'm sharing your comments with the rest of our team. Feedback like yours is important to us and will be helpful as we develop new products.

Thanks again for writing.
Tampax Team"


And so I wrote back thusly...

"Thank you for writing back! I really appreciate that you are trying to improve your product, but I think that you should a lesson from the New Coke debacle and leave things as they are. Bring the new design out as a different (new) size while leaving the old size alone.
Thanks again,
Mystery Mommy"



Sheesh. I'm guessing, judging by the quick turn-around on the letter, that I'm not the first person to complain about this. You'd think a company dealing with menstrual flow would know better than to mess with women who are already plenty cranky!

An open letter to the makers of Tampax

Dear Sirs (notice I am assuming you are men. You must be.)

This week marks my three-hundred-twenty-fifth period. I have had a lot of experience with various tampons, and I take my tampon buying seriously. I am a Tampax Super user. That is who I am. If I wanted to use OB tampons, that is what I would have purchased. Imagine my surprise when I bought a box of Tampax Supers (at Costco! The large box!) to find that my beloved Tampax Supers had been replaced by an OB-look-alike, only with an applicator.

Your new tampons are horrible. They slide out. They are not absorbant. They are worse than OBs even. I cannot begin to tell you how upset I am about this.

Seriously, I would prefer to use pads.

Give me back the quality tampons you used to make.

Sincerely,

Mystery Mommy

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And they call this intelligent design?

1. Air pipe and food pipe share the same entrance. Hello, choking hazard.
2. Rh factor. I mean seriously.
3. Waste elimination and reproduction - this is a great go-together?
4. Speaking of reproduction...who thought up the idea to have the uterus ON TOP of the bladder?

Feel free to add your own thoughts on the subject.

"Crazy woman says 'what'?"

This is what MM greeted me with yesterday when I went to pick him up from school.

He was laughing all over himself about it and didn't understand why I wasn't. I wasn't laughing at all.

Several weeks ago, however, I would have laughed. I would have thought it was funny. But that was before Blogging Against Disablism Day and, especially, this post.

MM, however, kept on saying it. As six-year-olds will when they have a new joke. So after considerable thought about what I wanted to say to him, I sat him down and said this:

"The word 'crazy' is a mean word for someone who has a mental illness. Mental illnesses are when a person's brain isn't doing what they expect it to, and sometimes they need help for that. Saying, 'crazy woman says what' isn't being mean to the person you're saying it to...it's being mean to people with mental illnesses because you're using a mean word in a mean way. I'm trying not to use mean words. Will you try, too?"

He said, "I didn't know it was a mean word."

I said, "I think you did know, but you were saying it to tease ME, not to make fun of a whole lot of people."

"Yeah."

"Well, do you see why I don't think it's a funny joke?"

"Yeah. I won't tell that joke anymore."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Status Change

Today isn't really different from last Monday. Last Monday, I was studying for my exam. Sitting right here at this desk, typing in important points from the semester's notes. Today I'm working on my resume, typing in important points from previous jobs. but there is a difference. Last week, I was a full-time student. This week, I'm unemployed.


I don't know how I feel about this.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And History and Systems in Psychology make three

B+ again. This one I'm pretty happy about. I did poorly on the first two exams but got a 93 on the paper and a 93 on the final. I'm a happy, happy camper.

She really liked my paper.

So, three B plusses. Still waiting on my Technical Report Writing grade.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Grades gradually garnered (Updated)

One in so far. Counseling Psychology. B+. I was expecting an A. Must have done less well on the final than I thought.

Edited to add: Make that two. Statistics. Another B+.

Final final finally finished

Feeling fatigued, fantastic, forlorn.

Phew!

Friday, May 09, 2008

That's odd

I just got a thank you note from the blood donation center I gave blood to back in March. Seems they used my blood last week.

Anyone else ever get a thank you note for this?

Soft

Last night there was a college marching band, complete with drumline, on my roof. The rain came down in such heavy torrents, I was sure that MM would wake up and come running into my room. Amazingly, he slept through it.

Today the rain is still coming down, but so gently that I can't hear it on the skylights above my head. The flowers and leaves in the garden are plump and juicy, freshly washed, with little beaded droplets balanced delicately on them.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Drumming

BadumbadumbadadumbadadumdumdumdumdumBOOMdumdumdumdudmdumdbadadumBOOMBOOMbadumbadadumbadadumdumdumdumdum

Monday, May 05, 2008

Classes over, Finals coming up

Last class was on Saturday.

First final is on Thursday. I've got a paper due that day as well, then I've got a final on Saturday and my last final is a week from tomorrow and then Convocation is on Thursday.

BigSister is coming for my convocation!!! Her husband, BuildsBeautifulThings is graduating this weekend with his Bachelors in Architecture. He's in a cool program where he gets his Masters degree next year. I'm so proud of him! I wish I could be there but see final on Saturday (above).

But you better believe I'll be at his Masters graduation. Ayup.

Friday, May 02, 2008