October 25, 2009

Bath Time!

One of Perpetual Motion's very favorite activities is taking a bath. These days we do it in the kitchen sink as it is the perfect size and height. When I ask her if she is ready for a bath she starts saying "Bath! Bath! Bath!" If she is not immediately put into the water, which is the norm as I am typically still getting everything ready when I ask her, this turns into "BATH! PLEASE! BATH, BATH PLEASE BAAAAAATH!!!!!!!!!!"

Then when I plop her in, I get this:

It is followed immediately by a discussion of one of the most fantastic things ever: BUBBLES! Our conversation goes something like this:

Me: That's right, those are bubbles.
PM: BUBBLES!!!!! (accompanied by much smacking of bubbles)
Me: Thank you, now I have bubbles on me as well.
PM: BUBBLES!!!!!!!!!!! (At this point she usually picks them up and tries to eat them)
Me: Mmmm, bubbles.

When she is all wet it is very easy to see that her hair, though still practically nonexistent, is actually growing. It would be easier to tell if it were a darker color. We think it is finally long enough to put bows and things into it, but I am fairly certain she would just take them out and I definitely don't want any more things to keep track of, so no bows or other hair things yet.

Her absolute favorite part of bath time, aside from the initial bubble discussion, is when I do this:

I don't really know the appeal aside from the sensation of warm water rolling down her head. She asks for me to do this over and over. I usually give in a couple of times just because it makes her so happy. And look: teeth! She's finally got some molars, though they are only about half-way in. Slow goes it on that front, as with the hair.

For the most part, this is what bath time is like with a toddler. Don't you wish you had one? Strike that, cause lots of other things are no fun at all, like the oink flu. Instead, see if you can borrow one for bath time; it is fun indeed.

Just make sure the parents know you are borrowing their kid; otherwise you could run into some problems...

October 22, 2009


My child? She is sick. I am sure you can guess the ailment based on the title of this post. Good times indeed.

It began yesterday evening when, after a perfectly happy and rambunctious visit with Guga on the web cam, she began getting fussy. I thought she was just getting hungry a little early.

Silly me.

In less than thirty minutes her body temp went from normal to four billion gazillion degrees. I am not a medical professional, so yes I am exaggerating a bit. Also, my calculations are directly related to how much holding her made me sweat.


Nothing would calm her down. She did not want to eat. She did not want to drink. She would not could not in a house, she would not could not with a mouse. Every single toy, no matter the size, was suddenly the only thing that would comfort her. Oh, and it was a cumulative comforting, as in we added to our loot as we walked around the house.

Also? None of it worked, so she just kept screaming.

I gave her meds right off the bat, what with the steam rolling off of her body. The first did not do much, so I added the second. While I was waiting for that one to take effect, I put her in a warm bath to try and lower her temperature. Oh, how we all enjoyed that.

I put her in all of her night time regalia and held her in a chair and finally she began to calm down. Much to my relief, we were not holding all of the toys in the house. Then she fell asleep. Right there, in the chair, without dinner or anything to drink. So, I put her to bed and then called the doctor.

The first thing they asked was if I took her temperature and sure I did, but not with any formal thermometer of any sort. Nope, I used my own personal meter and the answer was REACHING IMPLOSION.

Is that even possible? Can something implode from heat? My guess is no, but I am no scientist.

Anyway, the on-call nurse took my info and called my doctor who very promptly called me back, said it was probably the oinky mess that's been going around and to bring her into the office in the morning. In the mean-time, keep the meds in her and check on her through the night.

All of which I did. After a 2.5-hour-plus doctor visit, a nasal test (that came back negative, but probably falsely), a pricked and squeezed finger as well as a urine sample (boy is that fun when you're itty bitty), he told me that it is most likely the oinky mess and prescribed the appropriate treatment.

They didn't have it at the pharmacy.

No kidding.

Luckily, they knew one that did, so it wasn't all that bad, but dude that kinda stunk.

So now we've been home since around noon and she ate fairly well but slept practically none at all. I am fairly certain the medication makes her CA-RAZY 'cause she's never acted like she did this evening.


With any luck we'll all have it in a day or two and boy oh boy, welcome to the fun house!

October 21, 2009


One of our favorite pastimes on the weekends is when Rocket Man has a few minutes and can play with Perpetual Motion. She has learned how much fun chasing can be and she will chase him and loves it when he chases her. I think these photographs will demonstrate how much fun this really can be:

TGR Exotics

In addition to the pumpkins and hayride we enjoyed while at TGR Exotics we were able to see quite a few, well, exotic animals. Some animals were in cages, like the fourth largest rodent (Sorry, there's no photo of that one. You're welcome.), and others were in pens, like the chickens.

Others were behind fences. Kangaroos were hanging out in the shade at the back of an enclosure. Perpetual Motion had quite a view while sitting on her Dad's shoulders:

A joey (baby kangaroo, not college roommate) was being carried around in a bag by different workers. No photos of either as they were difficult to get.

While the kangaroos, along with horses and even the chickens, were nice to look at there were also a few animals that were...interesting rather than nice. This guy, for instance:

Nice teeth, fella.

A few goats were eating grass in one field when all of a sudden the whole group of them took off towards the fence, found a hole in the wire, and escaped! They ran all over the place to the amusement of most of the kids there.

Perpetual Motion's favorite animals, mostly because they were pretty unconcerned about her, were the miniature horses.

They were also just her size. She could walk up to them and pat their sides or poke them in the face; it was fabulous as far as she was concerned. We only had one moment where I really wasn't sure that the horses were going to be okay with her attention. She had been patting them and poking them and was so very excited about it that she was getting more and more vocal as well as louder and louder...and it all escalated into a primal toddler yell of some sort.

One of the horses? It literally froze. As in immobile. From "I could care less" to "Holy crap" in an instant. It slooooowly turned its head to stare her right in the eye and made its judgment: no worries.

We walked all over the two fields of animals that were open. There were a few port-a-potties over near the pumpkin patch and of all the animals to be hanging out in the shade right there...

Oh yeah, a pig. He got up at one point and circled around a bit only to plop right back down in the shade for a nap. There was one other pig that we saw, worth over $3000.00 or some such amount. Apparently he is really rare and very intelligent.

His face, it shows all of that and more:

Oh, so much more.

He wouldn't let anyone get close to him at all and therefore you are missing the best part of him: his belly. That thing was so big and round it almost touched the ground.

Needless to say, Perpetual Motion was not all that impressed with the swine population at TGR Exotics. Well, except for one...

...but he's really small and made of concrete, so I don't thing he really counts.

Tomorrow I'll post some photos of one of her favorite weekend activities. See you then!

October 18, 2009


In addition to a slew of strange animals mixed with your everyday farm animals, TGR Exotics had an area full of one of the most fun items ever:

Oh, yes. There were kids bouncing all over the place! Some bounced solo, some bounced with parents, and some even bounced into one another just so they could fall off!

Yes, those were boys doing that last one. I imagine if Jenky and Rocket Man ever had the opportunity then they did the same. In fact, I think they would do it now if given the chance.

Perpetual Motion did not know what to think of the field of bouncy balls, so we showed her how to bounce on them and Rocket Man dribbled one for her.

She was not impressed with either.

She showed us the way to do things, you know, if you're only sixteen months old. Apparently the thing to do is to get behind the ball and bounce/push/roll it.

That is waaaaaaay fun.

It keeps you happy.

Once you've mastered the bounce/push/roll there is really only one thing left to do:

Drag it back so that you can do it all over again!


This morning we all went over to TGR Exotics for some fall fun. We saw many animals and enjoyed a hayride before we chose a pumpkin.

Perpetual Motion wasn't too sure about the hayride at first, but then she began to warm up to it.

She chose to express her delight by sticking her tongue out of her mouth...

...and throwing her head back to laugh.

Although she tried and tried to pick up pumpkins, they were all too heavy for her.

Finally her Daddy picked up a pumpkin so that she could give it a hug.

We had a lot of fun and I have more photos of the various animals at the place, so check back later for more!

October 17, 2009

A Review: The Lost Symbol

I don't usually post reviews of things on this here site. As much as I read, I should do it more often since it would give me more to talk about than just my kid. Oh, and my dog. Don't get me wrong, I am oh so sure that you all love nothing more than to read about our life...but well, I imagine most of you are getting bored, so I shall talk about a book I read on Thursday.

Okay, so I read about sixty pages Wednesday night. The rest I read on Thursday.

This book? I am sure you've heard of it, as it and its predecessors get a lot of hype.

Let me start by saying that I have read all of Dan Brown's books: Digital Fortress, Deception Point, Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol. The first two in the list are interesting and separate entities. The final three, however, have quite a few connections.

My favorite of the last three was Angels & Demons. This might be because it was the first that I read, but I think it has more to do with the fact that it is crammed full of information. Full to the brim and overflowing with everything from the manner in which a new Pope is chosen to all of the buildings with sacred and secular symbols in Rome, and the list goes on.

The Da Vinci Code felt a bit like a rehashing of some of the information in Angels & Demons, and honestly it read like a blockbuster movie, which is never really a good thing. Whether you agree with the story it tells or not, books are supposed to be better than the movie, not the same as or less than. I should admit here and now that I haven't seen the movie, but my point is that if a book reads like a blockbuster, then it isn't doing its job; it should be much more than that.

Anyway. Back to the latest novel, The Lost Symbol.

Freemasons are the group with all of the intrigue this go 'round, and symbols are the name of the game once again. As far as that part goes, like Angels & Demons, and the portions of The Da Vinci Code that are about the works of Da Vinci, etc., things are fine. You learn about buildings in D.C. and some of the history of the place, although you have to take it all with a grain of salt, as Mr. Brown is most certainly a fiction writer, not a historian.

Unfortunately, reading the book feels a bit like Déjà vu because of the ingredients. Insert [group surrounded in mystery] here, mix with [symbol] here, add a dash of professor turned super-duper-CIA-foiling (or other military super-group) hero, and bake for approximately 700 pages.

And don't forget the super intelligent girl about half-way through.

There were other things about the book that were a let-down. One was the fact that the identity of the villain is supposed to be a shocker at the end. Um, hello? Dan Brown? If I can figure out where you are going with that...oh, say the second time you talk about the villain (which was in the first little bit of the book), then you've got a major problem. I honestly don't see how anyone could not figure out who he really is. Then again, I guessed the puppet master in The Usual Suspects very close to the beginning of the movie (BU! can attest), so maybe I have super-powers.

You know, like Robert Langdon apparently has in the books. I know, I know: it is fiction and he is supposed to be able to evade, etc. It is also supposed to seem realistic, people. At least enough to pull the wool over your eyes.

Anyway. So the reveal at the end where we all are supposed to gasp about his identity was lost on me as I already knew who he was.

The most irritating thing about the book was the last bit where for quite a few pages we are lectured to regarding Dan Brown's version of the Freemason's beliefs. I mean, I can see where you're going with the conversation, so just get there already and save me the lecture.

One thing I believe will be most controversial about the book (once everyone gets past their obsession with figuring out if his Freemason information is true) is his inclusion of what he called Noetics. I have done no research on it and have no idea if it really exists, but according to Mr. Brown, it is the scientific study of the power of people's thoughts. This is then translated directly into the power of prayer, etc. Of course, he also ties it into things like astral projection and moving objects with your mind (How could he not, right? This is a conspiracy theory, man.), but overall the message is that the power of prayer works.

The reason (according to The Lost Symbol) it works is probably not everyone's cup of tea. He walks a very fine line on his...theological...information, and hoo boy can that be a doozy. Whether you agree with him or not is up to your personal beliefs, so I am going to leave that for you to decide...but it means you have to read the book.

Which I am guessing you can tell I am not so sure you should do.

Basically, he wrote another blockbuster. He even included things like i-phones and twitter to make it easy to get sponsors. I mean really.

Also? Mr. Brown should make things more difficult to figure out. Especially if it is at the end of the novel and therefore is supposed to be a big 'un. Aside from the identity of the bad guy, I also figured out the location of the secret...erm...secret...as soon as the final symbol puzzle was solved. Not even the protagonist did that. To which I say: "Um, really?"

Anyway. There's my review. If you just want something to read that will keep you busy for a day and you can get past the fact that he makes it too easy to figure out (and drags it out a bit, in my opinion), then go for it. Otherwise, read something else...

...preferably something that will not be in theaters any time soon.

A Look Back, Take One

Way back in June, we had a birthday party for Perpetual Motion. We decorated the dining area a bit and purchased some balloons and bubbles to give to those who attended.

Miss Thing was completely unaware of what was going on. She was a tad concerned that all of the people she usually saw at the playground were suddenly in her house, but no worries - they all began playing soon enough!

She received some rather nice gifts, including a Dr. Seuss book. She still won't really let me read it the whole way through as she is far too busy to sit for that, but she really enjoys the crazy cow that came with it. She can tell you that the cow goes "mooo"...and if you ask her what she says, well, "mooo" again.

All of her gifts are being put to good use and have been since her birthday, but this magnetic farm animal toy has just taken on a new meaning. The farm has two slots on it where you place the front end and back end of animals. You can make a match or not, and each has a song to go with it. Recently, we discovered that the front of our dishwasher is magnetic, even though it is stainless steel, so she races from the side of the fridge to the front of the dishwasher moving the animal halves back and forth.

Good times.

Also? Keeps her busy while I take care of things...for about a minute.

Kids: They certainly teach you how to make the most of very short periods of time.

I have a couple of other photos of Perpetual Motion opening her gifts, but in most of them she is fascinated by the paper. Oh, yes. The best gift of all...

...in fact, once she realized that the paper was off of a couple of gifts, that was all she wanted to play with, so I was going to open the gifts for her. Fortunately, one of her friends noticed her absence and immediately took advantage of the fact that it appeared as if whoever was sitting with me got to open presents. Too funny.

We had enough gifts that each of the kids who cared enough about it was able to open one. Good times ensued as everyone was then able to play with whatever we had received! The youngest kids played with paper and the older ones managed to break in the toys the right way.

We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and then we had cake! Perpetual Motion had no clue what we were doing in the above photo.

She had experienced solid foods a bit, but nothing like this cake. We poked it, we grabbed it, we licked our fingers...

She soon discovered that the icing was indeed her favorite part and managed to get most of it off of the cake.

Very soon thereafter she was showing her exhaustion and the thumb took up residence in her mouth. Off to bed she went...after a good bath of course.

The following morning the leftover balloons were fading and she managed to get this one and play with it. Oh, how exciting and fun that was! She still loves balloons and points them out when we ride in the car or if we see them in a book.

Overall it was a very nice weekend and a good first birthday!

October 15, 2009

An Update

Why this photo:?

Because it is awesome, duh.

We've been traveling basically since the Thursday before Labor Day. Perpetual Motion and I have been on eight flights in a month. Thankfully, she only had one illness as a result. Granted, it consisted of fever and stinky diarrhea of the leaky diaper variety, but it only lasted a couple of days and since then she's been healthy (knock on wood). I, on the other hand, have had a cold that turned into a strange cough that has lasted over two weeks. I finally went to the doctor's office yesterday and now have some antibiotics. Hopefully they will do the job 'cause if not, then I don't even want to think about what in the world we will have to do to figure out what is going on.


The above photo is from a playground in Virginia near Papa Jim's and Guga's house. You are looking at a plastic tunnel with a crazy child in it. Look, here's a hole. Let me put my face against it and chomp it!

Why not, right?

Miss Thing is slowly but surely turning into a child (as opposed to a baby). I think she would look even less like a baby if the hair would grow a little more. It is finally growing, however, so that is good.

She is way into wearing things these days. Mainly necklaces, bracelets, shoes, and hats. Anything can be a bracelet. One of her favorites is empty toilet paper rolls. Oh, yes, the height of fashion.

She knows that shoes go on her feet, but not quite how to accomplish it just yet, so that is a tad bit frustrating.

Also? Please. She says it. Repeatedly. Without fail if she needs/wants something. We are working on adding the thing she needs/wants to the request. Just for sanity's sake.

Rocket Man and I were lucky enough to be able to go to Brian's and Rebecca's (of Uri! Zone fame) wedding the first weekend of October. The ceremony was at a vineyard and outside and it was beautiful.

There was good food, great wine, and lots of internet people I "know" but I don't really know. Strangest part of being there. I can only imagine what a bloggers conference must be like.

I especially enjoyed the first dance of the couple and also our final seat for dinner. Originally, we were at the right table but at the wrong time, so we moved to allow the families to all sit together. This gave us a slightly elevated view of the place and room to be silly, as documented above. That photo? It is totally for Rocket Man's siblings, M and R-Shelly.

Briecca had frisbees ('cause who doesn't like frisbees?) made with their photo and wedding info on it as gifts for everyone who attended. They really are pretty cool and Perpetual Motion already enjoys using her feet to slide it all over the place. Obviously we need to work on her frisbee skillz.

As a tribute to Rebecca, and therefore Brian since hello, he loves her, I posed with the awesome gift and made a face. I can't tell you how many photos I've seen of Rebecca, and even of Brian, where they are posing crazy-like with funny faces. I thought it fitting.

They are an awesome couple who deserve every happiness and we were honored to have been invited.

Of course, right now they are in Hawaii and are posting photos to show us "how awesome it is where [we] aren't"...and that's kinda a slap in the face...but since Brian ended up with strep throat (How's that for an awesome wedding gift?) for the first week of his honeymoon, I guess I'll still wish them all the best.

The day after the wedding, Rocket Man and I traveled to a conference for his work. The above photo was taken in the city where the conference was held. Anyone know where that is? Perpetual Motion stayed behind with her Grammie and Pop-Pop and had so much fun she could hardly stand it.

I am thinking that holds true for the three of them.

We're home and I am working on some posts for November. Yeah, yeah. Hold the complaints. November is the goal, so deal with it.

If I have time, I'll try to post again this month.

I'm out.