Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had as great a Christmas with their families as I did with mine.

(Raiden is seriously the best toddler ever. He is talking so much it's getting hard to keep up, and I get more and more proud of him every second.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Clean dirty hippie.

Some months ago I became intrigued enough by a friend's talk about washing her hair with "no-poo" that I gave it a shot. Weeks and several experiments later, I got fed up with it and went back to shampoo. Weeks after that I got over my defeat and tried again, with more success. Weeks after that I got lazy and went back to shampoo just because it was there. And weeks after that, I realized that I really didn't like the feel of my hair with shampoo, after I got used to the feel of it with no-poo, and went back to no-poo again - or, at least, a combination of methods I'd read about during the earlier trial phases. 

For the actual no-poo mixture, I simplified it back down to plain old baking soda and water. If I'm feeling saucy I'll put some essential oils in it, but that's about all. For a conditioner, I realized that it was the apple cider vinegar that was keeping my hair too oily before, and decided to just stick with plain old cheap conditioner. So I guess I'm not totally "no-poo" as their definition states that "with no 'poo, you don't use conditioner," but I'm still not using shampoo

Why? My hair seems to get greasy faster with shampoo, and it's a different kind of greasy than with the baking soda and water. I'm not even sure quite how to explain the difference, but I'll try anyway. With shampoo, my hair actually feels greasy and gross; with no-poo, my hair has a simple oil build up that is oily, but not gross feeling. I can also go longer without feeling like I need to wash my hair - 3-4 days, rather than 2 at best.

The "no-poo" description also says, "some of us transition away from using baking soda as a wash once the scalp's oil production has subsided," and I think I've almost reached that point. The past shower or two my hair didn't feel too bad after simply wetting it down, but I chickened out on not doing anything and still used the baking soda, anyway. I didn't feel like I needed to condition, though. And again that's a feel that I'm not sure how to explain... it didn't "still feel oily" after washing it, it "already felt conditioned," and after it dried, it was a little staticky but that was it. I was actually kind of impressed.

Over the weekend I thought I'd try what I guess is referred to as the "curlygirl" method (though I don't have curls), and what I had also seen referred to elsewhere as "conditioner only" - the idea that your hair could be "washed" with conditioner. 

Yeah, fail.

I'm not sure if my hair just wasn't ready for it, or if I used too much conditioner, or if I didn't wash the conditioner out good enough, but it just didn't work out. It wasn't bad, just not great, and again my hair didn't "still feel dirty," it just felt over-conditioned. I haven't rewashed it yet, though, and it doesn't look bad, so it's not an epic fail, just a fail. Think I'll go back to baking soda and water with a little static-killing conditioner next round, and go from there.

On a side note, however, through the process of testing out hair cleansing methods, I figured I'd try the baking soda and water mixture as a full-body cleanser and see what happened. And I. Freaking. Love it. I don't come out of the shower needing to lotion myself all up - which I never followed through with before, so I'd just be terribly dry after a shower until my oils built back up - and, and, I need less deodorant than I ever have. I used to be really, really smelly if I'd have the slightest bit of underarm perspiration and now? I've tested going for days without deodorant and 90% of the time, you can't tell a difference. And believe me, I check - I have always been paranoid about body odor, and I will not allow myself to smell. I've known people who had some serious BO and either weren't aware of it or didn't care, and I promise you I am not one of those. I just don't get as smelly as often, and that's pretty dang nice. 

I use it as a facial cleanser, too, with similar results. My skin seems better, I'm not overly dry or overly oily, and on the days I do feel dry after I wash my face I use rose oil for a moisturizer, and I love that better than any other moisturizer I've ever tried, as well.

It's funny, one of my friends once told me that he doesn't like hippies because they don't use soap and they smell. I must be the cleanest dirty hippie he's ever not hated :).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Flash cards.

He's pretty much the smartest ever. Snotty nose, distractions and all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not my favorite clubs to have joined.

Friday night, the husband and I were indicted into the Parents Who Have Cleaned Vomit Off Their Child And Their Bed In The Middle Of The Night club. I'm not entirely sure what that was about, as the little guy isn't acting terribly sick, but there you go.

Sunday, we were given a follow-up invitation to the Parents Who Have Cleaned Up Their Child's Vomit In Public club. As a result, my blonde minihuman is forbidden from eating fries until he outgrows the Testing Out His Gag Reflex phase.

Further note that today is one of the days I'm grateful that I have a job and my MIL watches the little guy during the day, as it meant that after a weekend of vomit, I was given a reprieve on the following runny diaper.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Point to ponder.

Let's assume that wherever your thoughts are drawn, whatever thing or phrase or belief you give your attention and energy, happens. In short, let's assume that thought is cause.

Take a few moments, an hour, a day, to notice your thoughts.

What are you causing?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Turtles all the way down.

I was at the School of Metaphysics on Monday, and was semi-involved in, mostly overhearing, a conversation about Fruit Day. Fruit Day, the school's director was explaining, is one day a week that SoM members only eat fruit. Sounds obvious, right? Their definition of fruit, however, isn't the same as the grocery stores. From what I gathered (and I'm sure I didn't wholly gather it), "fruit" to them consists of anything that has a skin on the outside, seeds on the inside, and some kind of pulp between the two. Given this definition, plantains, green peppers and cucumbers count as fruit, but strawberries do not. Blueberries are apparently still up for debate.

The student (actually) involved in the conversation asked if the blueberry debate had anything to do with how blueberries grow, and started talking about the mechanics of a blueberry bush. I, a mommy, offered, "Thanks, now I have Yertle the Turtle stuck in my head." The other two, not mommies, in fact childless (I believe) older men, looked at me like I was crazy. I explained that it's a Dr. Seuss book I read to my kid, gave the general premise of the story - the king turtle wants to rule more, so he builds a higher throne out of his turtley subjects - and then quoted the section in question, "I'm king of a house, and what's more, beyond that, I'm king of a blueberry bush and a cat. I'm Yertle the Turtle, O marvelous me, for I am the ruler of all that I see." Blueberry bush. See?

As it turns out, the director was in a "former life" a pretty big fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who, he informed me, put out a song called "Yertle the Turtle" on one of their albums. I had to check this out. Today, I finally remembered to.

I hit up seeqpod today and, sure enough, there's a "Yertle the Turtle" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's excruciatingly long and only about a quarter, maybe a third of it has lyrics, none of which I could understand so I had to look them up and read along. Most of the lyrics are taken straight from the book, though it rearranges a bit in the second part and totally leaves out the moral ending. Whatever, my point in looking it up was just to see if it existed and what it sounded like, not to critique a song released in 1985. Yes, Virginia, it does exist.

While listening and reading, I became curious to see if there were a music video and, if so, if it incorporated images from the book or was just kind of a bunch of metalheads bouncing around or what. A YouTube search later, I found myself distracted by a reading of the book put to images and events from the Bush administration. Funny, because I'd kind of made the relation myself before as well. One of the comments on the video states, "Mr. Suess said that Yertle the Turtle was in fact Adolf Hitler." I thought to myself, "No way, really?" and immediately went to Wikipedia to find out if this is true, because Wikipedia knows everything. Everything.

It is, in fact, true. The Wikipedia article also notes, completely irrelevant of what I was looking to find, that the story is written "using a type of meter called anapestic tetrameter." Click. Anapestic tetrameter, it explains, "is a poetic meter that has four anapestic metrical feet per line. Each foot has two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable. It is sometimes referred to as a "reverse dactyl." Click. A modern example of a dactyllic meter is the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." I remembered hearing that this particular song was pretty much drug-induced, and wondered if that were true. Click. It isn't. The song was actually inspired by a drawing John Lennon's son, Julian, had done in school. And now you know.

Back to the original query on Yertle the Turtle, I found a curious tidbit in the "In popular culture" section indicating that, "In an episode of The Simpsons, Lisa Simpson remarks that "Yertle the Turtle" is possibly the best book written on turtle stacking." There's a link referenced with the phrase "turtle stacking"? Click. This article makes a lot of references to a supposed (but not necessarily) Hindu belief that the Earth is balanced on the back of an elephant, who is standing on the back of a tortoise, the problem with this being, "What is below the tortoise?" and the response being that it's "turtles all the way down." Apparently this is a major cultural reference, sometimes called the "turtle problem," which Wikipedia further explains, "often arises in debates pertaining to creationism, for instance in the debate over intelligent design and its postulated intelligent designer. By raising the question of the need for a designer, intelligent design also raises the question, "what designed the designer?" according to critics."

To recap, today I have learned about the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hitler, poetry meters, the Beatles, and philosophical arguments about creation.

And to think, this all started with the mention of a blueberry bush.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I am not a sitcom.

I've been wanting to write about yesterday since yesterday, but I really need to finish this one project. I just have to wrap a template around a security form and then I'm good! Except for the other millions of things I need to do and the millions of FrontPage troubleshooting emails I need to respond to and the millions of political bullshit situations I need to pull Delegated Supervisor into, but the security form is the most important so I have to finish that before I can write about yesterday even though I srsly want to get to that because, you guys will laugh.

... Okay, that's done. Much better. It was just black Times New Roman text on a gray background. Now you know why they asked me to pretty it up.


Yesterday. It all started with Raiden waking up - well, half waking up - at about 6:00 to start squirming and fussing and tossing and turning and making noises like his stomach hurt, flopping around from the head of the bed where he would occasionally bypass the pillow barrier to bonk his head on the headboard, down to the foot of the bed where there was no pillow barrier so Mommy would grab him and move him back to the head of the bed, despite his protests, to keep him from falling off. Meanwhile, I was just hoping he would calm down enough to let me sleep another 45 minutes. After a half hour of this routine, he finally flopped to just the right location for my nose to be close enough to his butt to detect a hint of stink. Okay, okay, I figured, I didn't realize he was dirty and he's squirming away from poop. Even though it doesn't bother him during the day. Whatever, maybe it's squishy and uncomfortable. Fine. Diaper change. He's already pissed off anyway, I thought to myself as I grabbed one squirmy fussy baby-slash-toddler and tossed him onto the changing table. Maybe "laid" is a better word than "tossed," but "tossed" has more character. Anywho, after I got past what was, at the time, a major decision of the dim light that wouldn't wake Raiden as much or the brighter light so that I could actually see, I opened the diaper to discover only a very small amount of poop. And here I'd thought he was swimming in it. Whatever, process started, let's just change the diaper. After I wiped his bottom and pulled the diaper off, I noticed, too, that the diaper wasn't nearly as wet as an overnight diapers should be, which clued me in that I should probably hurry it up with the whole 'putting the clean diaper on' part.

Yeah, too late. I look over to see a nice calm stream of baby pee. At least it isn't hitting the ceiling, I thought, as I reached over to cover the pee stream with the fresh diaper. Not a big deal, pee is easy to clean up.

Except that then, I saw that he wasn't just peeing. Oh, crap. Literally. The gushy, gooey kind. The gross kind that one does not want to deal with being all over her child, her child's clothing, a towel that was laid across the changing table and the changing table itself at 6:30 in the morning.

So, I did what any amazing mommy would do: I yelled into the baby monitor for help from Dad. And then waited to hear footsteps as I was trying to keep a squirmy' baby's feet out of a puddle of poo. Wait. Wait. No footsteps. "Seriously, I could really use an extra pair of hands down here!" I yelled a second time. My plan was, fuck the nightshirt and when Rich got downstairs, ask him to just hand me a pair of goddamn scissors so I could cut the shirt off and not have to make the mess even worse than it was trying to get my child out of it. Wait. Wait. Still no footsteps. Still holding baby feet out of a puddle of poo. Fuck, I'm doing this alone.

I decided to see just how far a onesie could stretch to get sleepy baby arms through the holes and the neck of the shirt over the head without smearing poo more places than it was already smeared. I didn't do too bad - the shirt pulled up his back a bit, but the puddle generally stayed put. Since the shirt was already, shall we say, soiled, I figured using the clean part to wipe up the bulk of Raiden's body wouldn't do any harm. After I got the bulk of it with the shirt, I grabbed a couple of wipes to get the rest of the large chunks, just enough to be able to carry him to the bath.

Somewhere in the middle of this, I yelled "Help!" in the direction of the baby monitor again, just to make myself feel better.

Raiden, of course, decides that while I'm cleaning him off, it would be fun to grab the shirt and drag it up his side, to the head of the changing table, and then when I took it away from him, to grab the wooden slats on the changing table and spread the poo around a bit to the places it hadn't already made it. Okay, so the cleaning him up to carry him to the tub just wasn't going to work. His legs and feet were still clean, and so was his right arm and hand, and part of his left arm, so I picked him up by the latter two, stood his dirty naked body down on the floor, held his clean hand and told him, "Let's walk to the bath."

Luckily, there were no mishaps along the way. I was sad for him, though, because he really likes to snuggle a while when he wakes up and I was really not going for that at this point because, ew.

So, we got to the bathroom, I got the water going and decided to just hose him off under the faucet. He was still sleepy and clingy, so I sat on the edge of the tub with my legs/feet in there with him so he could hug my leg as I washed him (and my own arms/hands) off under the water. Eventually he started waking up and warmed up to the idea of the tub, and around the same time, MIL showed up so I asked her to stand there with him while I went to clean up the changing table. Everything went straight in the washer. I later remembered that I forgot to put in soap.

Raiden pooped more in the tub, but given the rest of the morning, I was pretty okay with that.

Getting Raiden dressed and ready was accomplished with no further trauma. I hopped in the shower immediately after MIL left with Raiden. Rich came downstairs right as I was finishing up, and after he kissed me good morning, I told him, "I think from now on, when I come downstairs to be with Raiden in the middle of the night, I'm turning the baby monitor all the way up before I head down, so that way you can hear me when I yell for help three times." He agreed. I don't expect anything to come of it.

He got ready for jury duty as I got ready for my dentist appointment, both of which started at 9:00. (Thank God I had that appointment or I would have been very late for work.) He had to get there early and get gas on the way, so he left about 15-20 minutes before I needed to. I was proud of myself, I'd actually gotten ready on time for my appointment. I had my purse, my phone, my glasses, my shoes on and everything by 8:45. I reached to grab my keys to leave and... saw Rich's keys on the table. Don't panic, I told myself, as the fact that he'd took my keys to drive his car reminded me that we'd had the spare keys made, finally, so I could just take his keys to my car and be fine. Except when I looked, my key was not on his keychain. This really didn't surprise me; he does stuff like taking random keys off his keychain if he doesn't use them often, or taking random cards out of his wallet if he doesn't think he'll need them, because, you know, keys and cards take up so much room anyway, and we really need to be efficient like that. However, not surprising me and this being a pattern of behavior, did not exactly get me a means with which to drive my car. Fuck.

It was only 8:45, so I called Rich hoping to catch him before jury duty had started. And I did. When he answered, I said, "Well, apparently my key for your car works beautifully." "Uh, okay? Why?" "Because you have my keys." "...Ohhhh craaaaap." "So, do you know where my spare key is?" "No? Unless maybe in the drawer?" "I'm looking in the drawer. Stop losing things!" We brainstorm ways that he could leave my keys at the front desk or something, but all ideas had the flaw of me having to have transportation to get them and there being no way to have this happen before my 9:00 dentist appointment. The key, of course, was not in the drawer. He suggested calling his mom, but between her yapping, the fact that she was at least 15 minutes away, and my general complaint that she drags Raiden around in the car too much, anyway, I didn't see that as a feasible option. Rich had to get off the phone. We hung up. I swore. And then I remembered that Rich's brother, Tony, works just a mile or two away from my house, and has a company car that he can use instead of his own for work errands during the day.

So, I called Tony. "Hey, what are you doing right now?" "Trying to take a nap." "Oh. Are you at home again today?" "No." "... Well, my next question was gonna be 'are you really busy at work right now' but I guess that answered that question." I gave him the gist of the story and asked if there were any way I could borrow his car for just part of the day, and he had no problem with that at all. Suh weet. He was at the house to pick me up within 5 minutes, during which time I called the dentist office to let them know that Rich wouldn't be there at all due to jury duty, and, funny story, he took my keys and I'd be late. I thanked Tony profusely and made plans to meet with him on lunch to get his car back to him. I also made mental plans to buy his lunch because he really pulled through for me.

The best part of the day was that I made it to the dentist appointment only 11 minutes late. The dental assistant was waiting for me when I got there, and on the way back to the room, the other assistant grinned at me and giggled, and the dentist asked if I needed an extra set of keys. "Luckily my brother-in-law works very close to my house," I said. The other good news is that I have healthy teeth.

Next on the agenda was to head up to the clinic and get my blood drawn for all the lab work I'd had ordered. On the other end of town, of course, but not a big deal, just a time consumer. And of course, the first time she stuck me, she missed, then dug around until I said ow, but after she switched arms and used the butterfly needle, all was well. So, moving on.

Rich called about 45 minutes after I got to work, while he was on lunch from jury duty, to try and figure out a way to get our keys switched out. His idea was, he'd tell me where he was going to park, put my keys in the console and leave the car unlocked, then I could somehow get a ride there - from Tony, maybe - to get my keys, leave his in the console with the car unlocked, then have Tony take me to the house to get my car. My plan had just been to have Tony bring me back to work on lunch and have MIL bring me home, which was a lot simpler, but Rich thought unnecessary due to his brilliant plan. As he was trying to explain to me which building he'd be parked at, I asked how long his lunch break was, anyway. "One of the witnesses didn't show, so I actually have like an hour and a half." "...If you have an hour and a half break, why don't you swing by here and give me my keys?" "...Oh. I guess I could do that." *headdesk*

He stopped by later to swap keys, and while he was here, he ate two of the rice krispy treats The AS had made for my birthday, and helped fix a server issue. It worked out nicely.

When lunch time rolled around, Tony called and we decided to meet for some Japanese food (along with Toby) to get his car back to him. I mentioned earlier I was gonna pay for his lunch, right? I of course realized as I was pulling out of the parking lot that I forgot to check our spending account to make sure I had enough money to even pay for myself, let alone a second person. Fuck. I text messaged Google to get the number for the bank's customer service, and paid a $2 charge to transfer over $30 (which was about $10 more than I thought I needed, but just in case), and ended up with a balance that indicated I had plenty of money to start with and the transfer + $2 charge to do it were completely unnecessary. *Sigh* Oh well, at least I could eat my hibachi chicken without worrying if the card would clear.

Tony dropped me off at the house after lunch. I got my car. I got back to work. No further problems.

Except don't get me started on The Tool who likes stepping on my toes where the Web site is concerned, but that's an entirely different story.


This morning, Raiden woke up at 5:00 a.m. and immediately climbed out of bed ready to play. I should add that he slept from 9:30 until 5, by himself, and when he fussed at 2 a.m. he was back asleep before I even got downstairs, so that's a positive, but still, being bright and awake at 5:00 is not. He ran to the doorway, turned back to look at me and I heard a splat sound. At least it was in his diaper this time. I sighed and rolled out of bed and glared at the baby monitor because, really, what was the point, and chased Raiden around to get him to let me change his diaper. He was having none of that, so I figured it couldn't hurt just to let him play for a few minutes before we attempted The Diaper Change. About two minutes later he squatted, felt of his diaper for a second, stood up, and had leaked poo-goo onto the carpet. And then immediately stepped in it.

Sssoooooo... to the changing table we went, I rolled up the very small portion of his shirt that got dirty and pulled it off of him, cleaned him up, grabbed his sippy cup, a towel and the carpet cleaner and went back into the living room. I sat him on the couch with his water and asked him to stay there while Mommy cleaned the floor. He did, and I caught it fresh enough that it came right up. Much better than yesterday, though I wish I had any idea what's causing him to have runny stools again.

I washed my hands and made him a bottle, thinking we could lay back down and at least I could get some more rest while he drank it, even if he didn't fall back asleep. He did, but I didn't, though at least he was quite snuggly. He was even still asleep while I had to get up and ready to leave for work. Little jerk. :)

And before I let Rich leave for work, I checked to make sure my car keys were still in the same spot on the table as they were last night when I put a sticky note next to them that said, "Karyn's."

Monday, June 2, 2008

In which my nose does a happy dance.

me: so lately the trend is
Bob comes to ask me a question
I answer it
about 6 times
he leaves my desk
Beth says "Geez"
and I ask, "Was I explaining that poorly?"
Usually I wasn't.
Josh: it's because he's so short.
me: thanks, Josh
I needed that tea to go through my nose.
and since it's good mood tea
my nose is super happy now
and dancing.
Josh: /me takes a bow

All the cool kids are doing it.

As it turns out, I'm just a figment of my own imagination.