Monday, December 24, 2007

Dreaming of a White Christmas

It's 3:00 AM, and we're getting ready to leave for the airport.

As if airports weren't enough fun during the other 364 days of the year, we've chosen to travel on Christmas Eve. Ugh. It should be absolute, utter madness.

And we're traveling with a toddler, too.

Good times.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just Go Elf Yourself

All the cool kids were doing it, so I didn't want to be left out:

(Psssst: Click on the picture for an entertainment treat!)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why I'm a Bad Mommy: #132

I think nothing whatsoever of emotionally scarring my child for life, just for a good photo op.

See? Even Santa is hiding his face behind the green bug. He KNOWS. He doesn't want to be seen looking at the Bad Mommy.


Now go home and put some socks on that kid!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And It's Not Even Over Yet

After spiking a fever of 101.5 yesterday, and spending most of the day shivering wildly with my electric blanket pulled up to my eyeballs, my fever finally broke. Amazing how awful a little fever can make you feel.

Anyway, the worst of this flu seems to finally be over, and with it - hopefully - the worst of my whining.

My daughter has been sorely neglected by me this week, and I'm sure will be very glad to see her Daddy on Saturday.

So will I.

It's been a looooong week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ode to a Virus

Fever, chills, sore throat,
So much goop drips from my nose.
God, just let me die.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Heal Me, Oh Great Chocolate

In defense of my beautiful, wonderful daughter, I feel that I must right an injustice that has been done her.

It would appear that I did NOT catch a cold from her. In fact, I don't seem to have a cold at all.

What I actually seem to have is THE FLU.

Which my poor, maligned daughter clearly does not have. (Yet.)

My husband informed me this morning (from sunny, warm, Florida) that, "lots of people at work have the same symptoms you have.

You don't have to be one of Pooh's Supersleuths to know what that means:

It's all my husband's fault.

So, to my darling princess: Mommy is profoundly sorry. Your sweet, slobbery hugs and kisses are indeed making Mommy feel so much better. However, if you could stop coughing and sneezing on Mommy, she'd really appreciate it.

And yes, those are candy wrappers next to the disgusting, used tissues in the photo. Just because I've completely lost my sense of taste doesn't mean that chocolate doesn't still have a purpose.

(I apologize for the crap picture taken with my webcam. I couldn't muster enough brain cells to use the real camera.)


In other news, we received word today that hubby's DNA test has been received by the labrats at FTDNA. Since he's doing a 37-marker test, they estimate another 6 weeks before we get the results.

If I had any feeling left in my head, I'm sure that I would be immensely excited.

What exactly is a "Pooh," anyway?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's MY Party

Welcome to my Pity Party. Please come in.

You'll have to seat yourself though. And there will be no refreshments. I simply don't have the energy to be a good hostess today.

You see, my beautiful, wonderful, brilliant, precious daughter decided to exhibit some extremely untoddler-like behavior and SHARE:

Her Cold.

Poor, pitiful me. (Feel free to nod your heads in sympathy.)

I know, I know... I should be encouraging her to share. It is, after all, an admirable trait, that very few children her age can master.

However, she couldn't possibly have known that her Daddy was going out of state on business for a week, and her Mommy would be doing solo duty caring for her, a house, a neurotic dog with a bowel problem, and five hungry guinea pigs.

And let's don't forget that Christmas is coming, and I've barely even thought about shopping.

All I want to do is drag my pathetic, whiny, fever-addled, drippy-nosed butt back to bed, and sleep the glorious sleep of one who doesn't have a grouchy, sick toddler in the next room.

But I can't do that. Because every time I lay my head down and close my eyes, my daughter wakes up from her nap. I don't know how she knows, but she KNOWS. Must be some kind of toddler radar or something.

So here I sit, wide awake and feeling ever-so-sorry for myself, desperately hoping that nap time will extend into nitey nite time, completely bypassing any sort of feeding or bathing episode. Or anything involving poop.

Please do pull up a chair and wallow with me.

Here we go: <heavy sigh> (repeat)

Oh, and for tonight's entertainment, here's a little video about good health and cleanliness, something I wish I'd seen before I got sick:

Now... go wash your hands.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Merry Christmas, Sweetheart... Now Open Your Mouth

The secret's out: I'm giving my husband a DNA test for Christmas. As you can tell from the picture, he's thrilled about this thoughtful gift!

No, no, there's no question about the paternity of our daughter. Good heavens! Where did you come up with that? You've got quite an imagination there, gentle reader. My life is nowhere near that interesting... sigh...

Actually, my husband and I are avid genealogists. We've (read: I'VE) been doing a bit of research into genetic genealogy, and we (I) finally decided to take the plunge by ordering a Y-DNA test kit for him. We're hoping that this will shed some light on the mysteries of his all-too-common surname.

It's really quite simple, and no blood or hair is involved, despite what you may have seen on CSI.

The test only requires a few little swabs of the cheek with a small scraper (Really! It's smaller than a toothbrush!). Repeat 2 more times, insert swabs into tiny jars of unknown liquid, then drop the whole package in the mail.

Voila! Instant genealogical success, right?

Well, not exactly. The results don't come back for 5-7 weeks. We're hoping they'll include at least one or two links to people who share a common ancestor and have done tons and tons of verifiable research... but realistically, we're not expecting much.

Genetic genealogy is still in its infancy, so to speak. Large throngs of family historians aren't banging down the doors of DNA testing companies just yet, so the "gene pool" is still rather small.

The "best" results come from Y-DNA, which - if you remember your high school biology - only comes from males. If your family is like mine, and there are very few males still alive with your surname, you'll want to hunt them down and convince them to test. This probably won't be easy, especially if they're not at all interested in knowing whether Ghengis Khan really is your ancestor, as you suspect based on some of your family's issues with anger.

Plus, DNA tests aren't cheap. Getting "Cousin Bob" to fork over his swab is going to cost you.

Until more people take the plunge, it may be while before there are significant results to be had. But... we're hopeful. Any information is better than none, when it comes to family history research.

Want to take the plunge yourself? There are many DNA testing companies from which to choose. We went with Family Tree DNA because they're supposed to have the largest database of participants. We also had financial incentive to use them: we got a discount for being members of the Southern California Genealogical Society.

You'll want to check around to see if your local genealogical or historical society offers a discount. Perhaps your particular surname project will offer discounted prices.

But if you're interested in genealogy, and you've hit the "brick wall," you might consider taking the plunge into genetic genealogy.

Come on in! The water's... well... I'll let you know that later when we find out.

Oh... and Dad... if you're reading this (which I know you're not): your test is sitting on my desk.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And My First Clue Was...

I promised my cousin Heidi that I would blog about this - apparently her hysterical laughter on the phone wasn't enough humiliation - so THIS ONE'S FOR YOU, HEIDI!

First, a little backstory...

Everyone in my little family, including myself, is allergic to milk.

We deal with this unusual phenomenon by drinking "milk" products made from soy, rice, or almonds most of the time.

Lately, many new products are coming out in the organic variety, and we like to try these whenever possible.

One of my husband's favorite treats is those little boxes of chocolate soy milk. So when I was shopping at Costco the other day and saw what I thought was a new product - little boxes of ORGANIC chocolate "soy" milk - I grabbed a box and stuck it in my cart without really looking at it.

The next morning as I was trying to find a place to store the box (since nothing purchased at Costco is small enough to fit in a standard-sized pantry), I noticed something odd: on the box it states, "Produced without the use of dangerous pesticides, added growth hormones, or antiboitics."

Sounds good, eh? After all, who wants that stuff in their milk??

But I started to wonder, "Strange... when did they start giving growth hormones and antibiotics to plants?"

Strange indeed!!

So I went back to look at the box and noticed a teeny, tiny, little "D" with the word "Dairy" in it, way up in the corner.

"Dairy? Soy isn't dairy... is it???"

It was at that point that I noticed all the little pictures of cows floating around on the box.

11.5 little cows, and 2 big cows, to be exact. One with the word "ORGANIC" in it, and the other with the exciting news about no growth hormones or antibiotics.

In my defense... I was shopping with a cranky toddler.

'Nuff said.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Butterfly Day

Although my daughter is only 18-months old, I'm already thinking about homeschooling her. Actually, I've been planning to do this since before she was born. But for the past few months, I've been doing some research online and reading some email lists from local homeschool groups.

So when I heard that a group was planning a trip to the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach today, I jumped at the chance to tag along and see what they do.

I had no idea that such a place existed. In fact, I didn't even remember that Monarch butterflies had such an interesting life... flitting all over the globe as they do. I really hadn't thought about them at all until today, except to say, "Look at the pretty butterfly," to my daughter a couple of times when we saw on in the backyard.

But for some reason, I felt compelled to visit their winter home today. I had visions of butterflies flying everywhere, and my daughter laughing and running wildly trying to catch them. She's way too young for science lessons, but I couldn't resist the possible photo op.

Plus, if nothing else, it would be a good excuse to get out of the house.

Ordinarily, there are thousands and thousands of butterflies at the park during this time of year. Unfortunately, their numbers have be dropping for the past few years, and there were even fewer this year than last year. We were told by one of the docents that this is probably due to the current drought conditions in California. But whatever the reason, we apparently missed quite a display.

We did see several hundred butterflies, though, waaaay up in the tall Eucalyptus trees. You had to really look hard to see them, as they were mostly all huddled together in several bunches.

My daughter spent a few nanoseconds looking for them, and then decided it would be more fun to follow the trail through the park. She met a few dogs along the way, and it seems that dogs are a lot more fun for an 18-month old than butterflies way up in a tree.

We hung out in the grove for a while, then walked the trail down to the beach with a few of the other homeschool families.

Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at a toddler's favorite restaurant: McDonald's. We ran into one of the families that we'd met earlier at the Butterfly Grove, and Mommy (me) spilled her drink all over the floor just to make a good impression.

I still haven't decided if the person who invented McNuggets should be thanked or slapped. At least they're something resembling food that my daughter will occasionally eat.

It was a lovely Mommy/Daughter day, and we got out of the house. What more could we ask?