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It's been a while, so I just wanted to remind you that my kids are freaking cute.  Here you go:


Still here

Hey there, how are you?  You probably don’t remember me, as I disappeared for a few months and the internet has a short memory. (Or a long one, if you’re trying to maintain your privacy, I guess.)

Here’s a brief recap of the past few months:


  • Ugh, gotta get ready for finals.



  • Ugh, gotta study for the nursing school entrance exam.
  • Christmas!  Yay!  My house has more Thomas the Train stuff than I previously knew existed!
  • Shit, Rob’s contract wasn’t renewed, and now we’re in frantic job-hunting mode again.



  • Holy shitsnacks, COBRA is expensive.
  • Robbie turned two!  He’s adorable!
  • Yay!  I got into nursing school!
  • Wait, what?  I only get a week to buy my books and prepare for the start of nursing school?  Um, all right.
  • Do I quit my job for school?  Do I try to do both?  How can I justify quitting my job when Rob isn’t working?  If I don’t quit my job, how can I handle 16 credits of school?  (Nursing school, at that.)  I can’t NOT take this chance to go to school, because getting in is competitive, and they might not accept me the next time around.  ARGH.
  • Time to take a leap of faith and quit the job.  Oh god, oh god, oh god.
  • So, um, Rob’s going to find a job soon, right?  Right?
  • Holy shitsnacks, nursing school is intense.



  • Holy shitsnacks, COBRA is expensive.
  • What is this holiday you speak of?  Valentine’s Day?  I don’t … what?  No, I don’t really have time for that.  Do you see this 10-pound pharmacology book I’m reading?
  • So, um, Rob’s going to find a job soon, right?  Right?  What about that one interview?  And that other one?  Please?



  • Holy shitsnacks, COBRA is expensive.
  • Nursing school continues to be intense and busy, but a routine has emerged that makes it manageable.
  • Rob got a job offer this week, and starts soon – during my Spring Break, actually, so I get the house to myself.
  • The best part?  His health insurance starts April 1, so we won’t have to pay for another round of COBRA.  Because, hey, did you guys know that health insurance is expensive as fuck?  Because it is.
  • Spring Break is almost here.  I intend to sleep through it.


And how are you doing?  Helloooo?  Anyone still out there?


Karen strikes again

Karen says if you eat too much you get flat,” Kaylee said to me the other day.

I really wonder what’s going on in Kaylee’s head when she hears a statement like that.  Is she imagining eating a bunch of food and magically flattening into a Kaylee-shaped piece of paper, capable of sliding under doors?  In that case, maybe she thinks becoming flat sounds pretty awesome.

Amusing preschooler translation mistakes aside, it hurt my heart a little bit to hear Kaylee say that she’s already receiving the message not to eat too much.

Fine, ok, obesity is an epidemic and blah blah fucking blah.

But Kaylee is four years old.

Can we wait a little longer before I have to worry about other people promoting an unrealistic body image for my child?  Can we wait a little longer before she starts thinking she needs to be stick-thin to be accepted?  Can we wait a little longer before my underweight child starts watching her figure?

I kind of want to rant now about the society we live in that values beauty over substance, and about the indoctrination of children into a cult of superficial bullshit that turns them into judgmental little bullies.

But I just … I just can’t today.  I don’t have the energy to pull all that frustration into a coherent blog post.

Instead I’ll take a deep breath and remind Kaylee that she’s beautiful, no matter what. And then I’ll try to get her to eat another chicken nugget.  (And some vegetables.  Sheesh, calm down.)


Ginny Weasley has a urinary tract infection, and other events

I have no coherent topic for this post, so I’m going to give you some bullet points of things I would have elaborated on if I were being an actual blogger lately.


1.  Ginny Weasley probably doesn’t wash her hands often enough.  I know, right?  Who would have thought?  I mean, she seems like a tough girl, but she looks like she practices good hygiene.

No, I have not gone crazy. We did mock urinalysis testing in my microbiology lab this week, and all of the samples were given names of Harry Potter characters.  My partner and I got Ginny Weasley, and she has a UTI from Streptococcus pyogenes, which indicates poor personal hygiene.

Next week we’re doing stool samples from Lord of the Rings characters.

I love school.


2.  My baby boy has been so, so sick this week.  Monday night through Wednesday night, Robbie had temperatures ranging from 99 degrees to 103.3.  He was … not happy.  He was also diagnosed with Herpangina – a disease name that might have freaked me out if I weren’t smack in the middle of my microbiology class.

His fever is gone, but his misery is still around and he hasn’t been able to be in daycare, which means a lot of missed work, shuttling kids to grandparents’ houses and the like.  I finally took him back to daycare this morning and he clung to my legs, screaming.  My parents picked him up early.

So here’s the no-duh statement of the day: Having a sick kid sucks ass.  They’re miserable, they don’t understand why and you can’t explain it to them.  You just have to snuggle them and buy a lot of Tylenol.


3.  I’ve made myself feel like a little bit of a badass.  Last week I had four tests, all fairly major parts of my grades in those classes, and I was feeling a little fried.  Without getting into too much detail, I’ll just say that I did pretty well and I’m kind of proud of myself.


4.  Rob and I are reminding ourselves that we have to be parents.  You know that thing with kids, where you give them their way a couple of times and then they push and push and push to always get their way forever and ever?  Yeah.  That’s been happening with Kaylee’s sleep habits, and she’s been sleeping in our bed a lot.  When you have to study for four tests and all you want your daughter to do is sleeeeeeeeep, it’s really easy to give her her way so you can go back to memorizing the Gram stain on thirty species of bacteria.

So as of yesterday, that’s ended.  We’re forcing her to sleep in her room and refusing to stay in there until she falls asleep, no matter how many tears are shed.  We will perform monster checks, arm her with monster spray, kiss away the bad dreams and whatever else needs to be done as long as she sleeps in her own damn room.

She wasn’t thrilled with the idea.

This morning, as Robbie was wailing because I wouldn’t let him watch Thomas the Train in the 30 seconds we had left to leave the house so I could be on time to class, Kaylee looked at me and said, in all seriousness, “Mommy, you need to learn to stop saying ‘no’ to us.”





5.  Speaking of Thomas the Train, I often find myself wondering whether there are hypnotic rays shooting out of the TV screen whenever that train is on it.  Rays that only affect toddlers.  And make them obsessed.  And kind of crazy.

Robbie owns three pairs of Thomas pajamas, two Thomas shirts and a ridiculous number of Thomas toys.  He screams when we try to change him out of any of the clothing, and carries the toys around wherever he’s allowed to. At school, every time I carry him out of his classroom, he points and reminds me that there’s a Thomas pillow sitting high on a shelf in the pre-school class.

He is, of course, going to be Thomas the Train for Halloween.  Except, get this: The little shit refused to put on the costume when I offered.  He was cool with wearing the hat, but the train part?  Big fat no.

That is one Thomas-obsessed, short little enigma.


6.  That is all.


Thomas the Train tried to kill my family

I am having a bit of a day.

That’s the sort of thing I say about Kaylee whenever she comes home from school and can’t not yell at me for any indiscretion.  You know, like breathing and offering her apple juice when I should know that she’s not in the mood for apple juice right now, Jesus mom, could you just stop talking for a second?

“Kaylee’s having a bit of a day,” I say quietly to Robbie as we crouch under the dining room table and adjust our pith helmets.

But today it’s me.  Today I want to crawl under my desk and whimper and eat chocolate and not be bothered by anyone until I can get my shit together.

It started with Thomas the Train, who up until now I’ve considered a friend. (A mildly annoying friend who’s sort of a dick to his coworkers, but still, the kind of friend who will distract my toddler when he’s being whiny.)

This morning I was in a hurry, trying desperately to herd my cats get my children ready for school and out the door. I was carrying both of them, because when Kaylee’s tired her legs don’t work, and Robbie can’t be trusted to walk from Point A to Point B without getting distracted by a toy car or a piece of lint.  Unfortunately, carrying two children and a bookbag also blocks my view of the floor.

I think Thomas may have intentionally rolled himself in front of me, too.  Because as I mentioned before, he can be a dick sometimes.

It was Robbie’s ride-on Thomas, which is a big toy, and which caught both of my feet and kept me from recovering in a graceful manner, or at all. So all of us fell.  Kaylee hit her head on the couch and floor and I banged the shit out of my shin on Thomas himself.  Robbie was ok.  He just had a look on his face that said, “What just happened?”  I barely managed not to land completely on the kids and crush their little legs.

So that’s how day started.

By the way, that’s less than 24 hours after I cried in my car on the way home from a work/school combo day that didn’t go very well either.

See, I’ve been working.  I’ve been studenting.  I’ve been mommying.  I’ve been wifeing.  I haven’t been blogging (obviously).  I’ve had a couple of tests and quizzes that haven’t gone as well as I wanted, my daughter’s been having little breakdowns every day that make me feel guilty about putting her in daycare all the time, and I feel like I only barely see my husband (Rob?  Who’s that again?).

I’ve been bummed about all of this for a few days, and then I got an e-mail from the BlogHer ad network yesterday letting me know that they’re pulling their ad from my site because I haven’t updated my blog in a month. 

It’s totally fair.  That’s part of the agreement when you sign on with them.

But it was just one more thing. It made me cry, because it was just one more role I wasn’t filling right.

After the Thomas incident this morning, I went to class and spent an hour feeling really, really stupid because the teacher asked a bunch of questions I had no idea how to answer, even though I’d spent last night studying the exact topic she was asking about. 

And also my shin hurts.  (This is one of those moments when I kind of wish I bruised easier, because my shin injury is largely invisible. Any complaints I have can’t be corroborated by physical evidence, so it just seems like I’m whining.)

Anyway, I don’t have anything witty to end with.  I’m tired, I’m frustrated and I feel kind of really dumb.  I could use some tequila.  And also a microchip in my brain that helps me memorize the random, rambling things my microbiology professor says. Does anyone have one of those?  (Preferably unused, but I’m willing to negotiate as long as it’s been well sterilized.)