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Small Things 11-5-13

1.  Hen’s sick again, though this time round the asthma drugs seem to be doing what they’re supposed to.  So yay nebulizer!

Also, yay for bribery–we negotiated a deal where 5 no-whining nebulizer treatments will earn him one 99 cent app of his choice. This has been working all week, to keep him motivated to “stop complaining about it already, Hen!  For the love of everything, just stop whining since we have to do it anyway!”

And today’s asthma attack was so readily eased by a breathing treatment that even he noticed the connection.  And 4 hours later, when the wheezing started up again, he was verbally asking for more.  And when I explained that this is why he has to do the breathing treatments even when he feels good–so that the bad breathing times won’t last as long, I think I finally saw that connection kick in for him as well.

And it is amazing watching his breathing ease as he takes that medicine.  Amazing and wonderful.  Man, it’s hard watching him struggle to catch his breath.

Also, yay for You Tube’s never-ending supply of garbage truck videos.  Truly, people–garbage truck videos are where it’s at.  Real videos of garbage trucks doing their thing for hours, videos of guys’ model garbage truck obsessions being played with–it’s all good.  Hen loves them all.  And they’re perfect for nebulizer treatments–reading was just too hard over the noise, and just sitting there with nothing occupying his attention means Henry is desperate to chat, which makes everything harder.

So–bribery + realization that nebulizer is not just some irritating thing mommy dreamed up to thwart his joy + garbage-truck-oriented entertainment = quick end to the wheezing and a happy Hen & Mommy.  Yay!

2.  The insulation project in the library officially worked.  It’s been cold, but with a fire going, it’s perfectly comfortable–even a bit too warm at times.  Last winter, we’d’ve already had to vacate the library on 25* nights.  Hurrah for insulation!

3.  The cat got spooked again last week–again on leaf-blowing day–and was gone overnight.  Coincidentally (or not) her spookiness happened the same day I gave her a worming dose, so she was doubly unhappy with life.  However, the combination seems to have convinced her that outside is a scary, nauseating place, and that she’d just as soon stay inside all winter.

She’s followed me from room to room today, in pursuit of The Lap.  And when the lap’s not available, she just curls up and snoozes until The Lap is available once again.

I am loving this.  Maybe I’ll even be able to keep her alive for another year.

4.  Clam chowder for dinner.  With sourdough bread.  Yum.

5.  Any native or scholarly Japanese speakers out there reading this who’d care to help with a project?  I’m trying to find a list of popular Japanese personal names from the late 1800s.  Apparently Japanese names are even more ‘datable’ than American ones (ie: historically speaking, Mary would work, but Michelle would not for a story set in 1856) and I’m having a heck of a time finding an online resource for this.  It’s just a tiny detail in a story I’m working on, and I’m sure I’ll get lots of other stuff wrong, but it would be nice to get this bit perfect…

Small Things 10-31-13

1.  Halloween party yesterday–which Hen was oddly nervous about–went fine.  Days when something ‘new’ is on the schedule, he seems to be up a half-dozen times in the night with bad dreams.  Poor little guy letting his anxiety into his nightscape.  And the night before the party was a doozy, and he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to do it, but we hustled him off.  Turns out he liked the validation that being in costume gave him (because before that he wasn’t sure he liked wearing weird clothes, either.)  And he liked his own costume best of all (yay, me!) though he thought that a witch costume (that the only non-princess little girl was wearing) was pretty cool too.  Maybe next year, he thought, and I agreed that would be a fantastic costume for next year.

This year’s ghost costume consisted of yards of tulle basted to a big white shirt, with a cowl hood he refuses to wear.  Black & white & orange striped jammie pants sticking out underneath.  No makeup, but relatively ‘ghosty’ looking.  The Boy says it’s his ‘ballerina outfit’, but Hen & I know it’s his awesomely spooky ghost costume.  He’s three.  He’s lucky I didn’t just throw a sheet with two holes for his eyes over his head & call it good.

Trick-or-treating was much anticipated, but he was happy after 5 houses and wanted to get home and gloat over all that candy!  We were happy to let him call it a night–it was rainy and foggy–and I told him he could eat 5 pieces.  Weirdly, he chose the five smallest pieces, but seemed to enjoy them immensely.  We figured he’d be wild for hours, but he went to bed at exactly the same time he always does.

That’s one awesomely happy (& spooky!) ghost…

2.  It had to happen, but Hen’s obviously been hearing stuff at school that we’ve kept from him.  Like “only girls wear dresses” and “pink is a girly color”.  He’s been trying these ideas out with us and we’re trying to navigate, um, delicately.  I don’t want to invalidate what he’s hearing when it obviously does reflect societal mores, but I also don’t want to agree with such stereotyping gender-conformity statements unconditionally.  So we talk about it.  How some girls like dresses & some boys do too.  Probably more girls than boys, but it doesn’t mean no boys like dresses or that there’s anything wrong with a boy in a dress.  Sigh.

If I get half a chance he’ll still be a witch next year for halloween.  An awesomely happy (& spooky!) witch.

3.  We made Jack-o-lanterns today, and it was a blast.  First time I’ve ever used the nifty mini saws–I’m a long time, cut-yer-arm-off-with-the-dull-kitchen-knife pumpkin carver, so it was rather revelatory.  We had two small pumpkins from the garden and one big one from a farm to cut up–next year, we’re growing a crop all for ourselves.  Can’t wait to go nuts with the carving!

4.  iGoogle is going away tomorrow.  This is devastating even though I’ve known it’s coming for 18 months now.  But I’ve had an iGoogle page as a homepage for years and years and years and I did love having my weather & email & sticky notes and calendar all together on one page as a jumping-off point to online exploration.  But then Google reader disappeared, and I survived, so I suppose I’ll survive this too.  Change is good.  Or so I keep telling myself.


5. Hen’s taken to explaining to me very seriously each afternoon that he really can’t sleep, he’s not (yawn!) tired at all, and that perhaps he should just play quietly by himself for a while.  I agree that that’s all fine, and a good idea, but that first he needs to put his head down while I sing 3 songs.

He agrees happily, chatters on my shoulder for about a minute, and is crashed out, utterly unconscious before I even reach the end of the first song.  Whereupon he sleeps for an hour and a half.

I’m not sure why I find this new naptime ritual so hilarious, but I do.  It amuses me far more than it really should, no doubt, but watching him try to keep himself awake, only to be betrayed by his favorite sleepy song (which apparently has the power to send him instantly to snoozeville) is pretty funny.

I’m still willing to let him decide if he’s truly not tired, (but just saying it out loud won’t make it so, kiddo!)  I guess the nap is going to be around for a while longer.  Which is fine by me.  Dozing for five minutes while he sleeps draped over my body is still one of my favorite parts of the day, and I was sorry to say goodbye to it for those few days he wasn’t sleeping.

6.  Henry loves school now, which is really quite wonderful to see.  Such a huge relief, such fun to watch him get excited about school days instead of dreading them!  Two of his playgroup buddies came by to tour the school today, and he thought that was pretty fun to see them there.  Keeping our fingers crossed that they’ll end up enrolling.  I adore these two brothers and would love nothing more than to have them in Hen’s class for the next couple of years!

7.  Annual exam, annual mammogram.  I qualified for one of the nifty 3-D scans, which are apparently much better at detecting cancers in folks like me.  And also, much less painful than previous Ms have been.  So yay on that, though it’s a bummer it’s going to take them so long to read the 150 or so views.  2 weeks instead of 2 days.  Yikes.

Of course, the other side of that is that I called to make an appointment for this procedure yesterday and they were able to get me in first thing today.  My appointment was at 9, I was a bit early because I’m annoying like that, and they got me in early.  I was out of there by 9:05.  There are some things I miss about New York, but the wait for basic health care, the sheer exhaustion of dealing with doctors who are ridiculously overbooked, so that a 15 minute appointment might not start for an hour after it was scheduled?  (Not to mention the attitude of so many health care practitioners in the city?)  Not so much.


The prodigal cat is ready to go upstairs and so am I.  Happy Halloween, everyone.  Spooky ghost pictures Saturday, I promise.