Tag Archive: Geek parents

I hear that there are times when people step back, slow down, and maybe even take time to smell the roses.  We, unfortunately, are not the type of people who build those times into our lives.  Except for sometimes, when they’re usually overtaken by events.

Such as this past weekend: My goal was to handle my shopping and cooking for the next month of cooking.  Then a nasty stomach virus reared its head, and we ended up spending six hours at the ER with the Munchkin.  All’s well that ends well, as we came out with a prescription for Zofran and a happier baby, but pretty much no cooking got done, and much sleep was missed.

There’s no time to catch up on it, either, as I’m hopefully having my wisdom teeth yanked out on Friday, and the next weekend is the Munchkin’s birthday party.  I’ve got a lot of work to do for that: finish the menu, get some music together, make sure everyone who wants to come knows the specifics, decide whether to bake a cake or cupcakes and get all the appropriate equipment, and clean the house in case the weather is too bad to have it at the park.

This whole idea of kids’ birthday parties is new to me.  Most of the time for birthdays, we just get together, maybe have dinner or go bowling, and call it a day.  There’s no big hullabaloo over that first bite of cake or chuckling over how cute we are playing with wrapping paper or something.  And we all entertain ourselves talking.  Now I’ll be finding ways to entertain alien beings, I mean small children.  😛

This year is a little bit easier, in no small part because there won’t be very many small children there.  We’re going old-school: Fraggle Rock.  So I’m thinking I’ll set it up for people to be welcome to play “Pin the Tail on the Fraggle” if they want to, have music from the show playing, and hopefully decorate the cake/cupcakes in a Fraggle-friendly manner (radishes shouldn’t be too hard, right?).  I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’m not insane and even half of this gets done.  We’ll see.




Forget reading this thing, I'm eating it!

Instructions taste yummy.

So, ummm, this is why you don’t leave the instructions for a new toy within reach of a crawling, teething baby before you’ve had a chance to read them.  He will decide that they’re the potentially tastiest thing he’s had in his mouth all day, and at least one corner will end up gummed, with the text and images all running together.  But you’ll be all like, “D’awww, he’s a little geek in the making, I can’t take away his manual now!”  And so the damage might well be catastrophic*.

Besides, maybe one day he’ll move beyond eating the manual and start reading the stupid thing so you don’t have to.

*No instructions were destroyed in the making of this post.  Smudged, perhaps.  Messy, probably.  But destroyed?  Certainly not.  Mostly.

That’s my theory to explain why my stuff keeps disappearing.  I mean, baby clothes keep appearing, disappearing, and verrrrry occasionally reappearing.  Bibs vanish, never to be seen again.  Socks disapparate.  And now we’re down a nipple (and those things are expensive, comparatively, dangit), gone without a trace.

The only thing that could cause it is a black hole.  With anything else, I’d have at least a shot of getting my stuff back.  But a black hole?  That shit’s gone once it passes the event horizon and gets all spaghettified.  I like to think of the disappearing-reappearing clothes as detritus that managed to break free of the black hole’s gravitational pull to come back to us.

It must be in the vicinity of the kitchen/laundry area.  Very few things vanish from other areas of the house — I mean, the only toys we’ve lost are the teethers that the cats have chewed holes in and I’ve had to throw away.  But food-related accessories and clothing?  Gone.  And it’s moving on from just baby stuff; this weekend a sauce pan disapparated during a spate of cleaning.  Where does an entire sauce pan go, if not into the depths of a black hole?

So, Mr. Black Hole taking up residence in my kitchen, I’m onto you.  I’m going to track you down and … um…  Okay, what does one do with a stray black hole?

On raising nerds

I read an interesting article on CNN today by LZ Granderson, on how he decided he wanted to raise his son to be a nerd.

In a nutshell, he realized that, when his son was younger, he praised his son consistently and loudly for his athletic achievements but not his academic achievements.  This bothered him, so he set out to change the way he looked at and responded to his son’s achievements across the board.  As a result, his son is a serious track team member who’s looking at Stanford and Cornell for academic reasons.

Granderson discusses the disparity between the way academic achievements and athletic achievements are treated by parents and students alike.  He also talks about how American students stack up against students in other countries and how that may be influenced by the cultural attitude toward being a nerd versus being a jock.

I guess my thinking is, why does a kid have to be one or the other?  Why can’t I aim to raise a nerdy jock or an athletic bookworm?  Why can’t we reach a compromise rather than perpetuating this false dichotomy of nerd/jock?

Let me be honest.  I’m a nerd first and foremost.  Books are love for me.  Southern Honey is pretty nerdy.  We’re the new co-owners of a card shop where people come to play Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons.  It’s pretty much the epitome of nerdiness.

But at the same time, I played basketball and softball in high school, to varying degrees of success.  Southern Honey’s a runner and martial artist who probably missed his true calling as a stuntman.  We’ve had more than one date at the rock climbing wall.

Son of a biscuit, I had a whole point to this post, but I’ve gotten distracted and now it’s gone.  Basically, I think kids need to be raised to be proud of their achievements in any sphere.  Perpetuating the nerd/jock divide benefits no one, especially not the kids who may grow up feeling the need to hide academic interests in favor of athletic ones.

Damnit, mommy-brain strikes again.  I quit.  I think I’ll blog again once he gets to be about 18 and heads off to college.  *headdesk*

So this is what Braxton-Hicks contractions feel like.  The ones I had back at Christmas were so faint I couldn’t feel them, but I realized this evening in the car on the way home that the uncomfortable sensation up around my ribs wasn’t the Munchkin’s butt or feet.  It was muscles contracting.

They don’t hurt, but they make it hard to get a deep breath.  I hate feeling out of breath.  Leaves me feeling all suffocate-y.  Blech.  Of course, it doesn’t help when Prometheus then settles his 13-pound self in the vicinity of my chest, thereby further compressing my lungs.  Dear kitty, I need air in order to give you food, so stop trying to kill me!

I think I’m going to have to give in and get my prescription for Zantac filled to relieve this ridiculous heartburn.  I’ve been chewing Tums like they’re going out of style.

Southern Honey plans to finish painting the nursery tomorrow, so I’ll hopefully have more pictures tomorrow night.  I’m also going to stop by Hobby Lobby tomorrow in hopes of finding picture frames for the dragon prints we bought and some wood to make the dragons for the mobile — couldn’t get them cut out of the foam board properly (glad that only cost me $2).

Oh, and am I a dork for changing to a different stroller and car seat because they go with the pack n play?  I mean, it’s going to be cheaper than getting the ones we had previously picked out because they come as a travel system and we have a coupon, but what really caught my eye was the monkeys.  Because I am a dork.  So I guess I answered my own question there.

So much better

Today has been so much better than yesterday that it’s hard to believe I was feeling so overwhelmed just 24 hours ago.

Getting some serious sleep certainly didn’t hurt.  It came in spurts, but I think I actually got at least eight hours of blessed, lovely sleep.  I didn’t roll out of bed until ten this morning, well after Southern Honey left to spend the day geeking out with friends.  Then I luxuriated in some Frosted Flakes (;D) and Nook time before dragging my butt off the couch and into town.

After my very first experience getting my hair colored by a professional, I’m once again a brunette (rather than a reverse skunk with the contrast between my red hair and my brown roots) and my hair is looking cute again.  It’s almost even grown out as far as I wanted; hopefully today’s trim will convince it to have another growth spurt in the top layers.

The storage unit we put on the registry at Target went on sale this week, so I stopped by and picked it up.  It’s hanging out in the trunk until Southern Honey gets home to bring it inside.  It was everything I could do to get it into the cart, up far enough to have the bar code scanned, and then into the trunk!

My espionage for the future business venture went quite well, and the news thoroughly pleased Southern Honey & Co when I called to let them know the results.  Basically, I just went to a competitor to see what kind of business they were doing today and what sort of product they stock on a regular basis.  And if I had found something I was legitimately looking for, I probably would have bought it.

Oh, and I stopped by a consignment shop downtown looking for a glider/rocker for the nursery on a whim.  I had decided I wasn’t willing to spend the money to buy a new one — seriously, those things are expensive! — but was willing to consider a used one.  I pulled up just at closing time, but the owner told me to come on in anyway, that he was staying open a little bit late.  Less than ten minutes later, I was out the door having purchased a gliding armchair and ottoman for $50.  It’s a nice, neutral tan and is pretty comfortable; it’s also compact (it sits fairly low), which is great since the nursery isn’t terribly big.  I have to get Southern Honey to take his car in on Monday to pick it up — I couldn’t get it out to or into my car today by myself.

Because pictures are awesome:

The rocking armchair of doomlessness

The newest nursery addition

I also got seriously astonished looks three times today when I mentioned that I’m due in April.  I get it, I’m not showing as much as people think someone ten weeks shy of delivery should look.  I believe that’s the result of being nauseated 24-7 for eleven weeks and not wanting to eat anything.  But I assure you, the doc is quite pleased with how I’m doing — I’m measuring just right.

At least the ThinkGeek t-shirt that some friends gave me was a hit.  😀

What are you DOING in there?

I sometimes wonder what in the world the Munchkin gets up to in there.  I mean, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had a jungle gym installed or anything, although you couldn’t prove it by all the bumping and bouncing going on sometimes.

It does border on the creepy from time to time when he really gets going.  I start watching for the movement, and then I start having flashbacks to “Alien” again, so I have to forcibly remind myself that there’s a human being in there and not a bloodthirsty alien parasite attempting to break free.  Perhaps I should stop watching horror movies until after he’s born…

If I might take a moment to interpret what I’m feeling from the Munchkin right now: “Hey, why aren’t you in bed yet?  It’s way easier to turn somersaults in here when you’re horizontal.  Seriously, put down the laptop, boot the cat, and go climb in bed before I start using your kidneys for punching bags, please.”

I feel this is advice I should probably take, if only for my kidneys’ sake.  😀

Happy New Year, everyone!  And what better way to start a new year than by preparing for the new addition to the family?

Southern Honey and I went on a bit of a shopping spree yesterday.  One that spanned two states, two malls, and involved the use of a price gun.  Plus we had dinner at IHOP and made it home by seven.  I’m still surprised I didn’t curl up in a tiny ball and whimper when all was said and done.

First thing first, we ran around town here returning duplicate Christmas gifts (we got two food processors, two stand mixers, two zesters, two power tool sets, and three copies of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens; next year, more diversity in the Christmas lists since no one checks with anyone else about what they’re getting).  Then we went back to the kitchen supply store and made me a very happy woman with a KitchenAid mixer; it’s not the black one that Southern Honey wanted, but they didn’t have any, so we got a metallic chrome finish instead.  Man it’s going to look lovely on my counter!

Then we grabbed some lunch and hit the road for the big city so I could take back a sweater I bought at A Pea in the Pod in Houston and then had buyer’s remorse over ($60 sweater, I still don’t know what I was thinking).  Getting to the mall down there was insane — traffic around the mall was horrible — and once we were there, we had trouble finding the store.  See, Destination Maternity bought out Mimi Maternity a couple of years back and was supposed to have converted all the Mimi stores over to DM or APITP.  Totally had not happened with this one, so we got to the really crowded mall, found a map, and then couldn’t find the store.  And DM’s customer service line was down.  I finally had to call the mall office just to find out what the heck was going on.  But I got the stupid thing taken back.  Finally.

After that, it was back across town toward home for Babies R Us.  We hadn’t planned on registering at that point, really, but I realized I didn’t want to make another trip down there if I could avoid it, so we got all set up with our gun and their extremely long list of things we should ask other people to buy for us and went to town.  I think we ended up with about thirty items, one of which is going to be removed and added to the Target registry we’re probably going to do today, but I was really pleased overall.  Even if nobody buys anything we zapped today, we’ll save money in the end with the 10% discount on stuff we’re going to need: stroller, car seat, crib sheets, first aid kit, temporal thermometer, etc.  And we bought our crib mattress while we were there, since it was fairly cheap and on sale (actually, I had to send Southern Honey back for it when we were at IHOP — they share a parking lot — since we forgot it on our way out the door).

I think we’ve decided on furniture, too.  NOT from Babies R Us — that stuff is seriously expensive for reasons I’m still working on fathoming — but from WalMart, most likely: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Delta-Baby-Crib-Changer-Espresso/10811686 There’s one at Target that we’re going to take another look at today when we go back into town.  It’s a crib and changing table combo with a drawer underneath the crib for storage, and then we’re going to move our mostly-unused dresser that should pretty much match the finish into the Munchkin’s room rather than buy a new one.

The rest of our evening was totally uneventful.  We were busy sitting around being geeks and playing Magic: The Gathering (he’s teaching me tactics since all of our other friends are either really into it or getting back into it) and would have missed the whole midnight thing if we hadn’t gotten a few texts reminding us we’d missed the ball drop.  Again.  😀

Time marches on, and another doctor’s appointment comes and goes.  It went really well.  The Munchkin’s heartbeat is good and strong at about 150 bpm, I lost about a pound but the doc’s cool with that, I’ve been vaccinated against three strains of the flu, and California rolls are somewhere in my future.  Again.

Aside from that, I was directed to the most adorable nerdy little kid thing the other day: Wookie the Chew by James Hance.  chewbacca as Winnie the Pooh and Han Solo as Christopher Robin, with an AT-AT as Eeeyore, old-school Pooh style?  I cannot communicate in actual words the awesomeness of these drawings or how much my brain immediately went, “Why, yes, that would be perfect for the Munchkin’s room, thank you very much.”  I think my favorite might be “Most Likely to Lose It Again Anyway.”

I also found a potential glider from WalMart of all places.  I was debating armchair-style or rocking chair-style for quite a while, but the cost of the armchair-style gliders was extraordinarily prohibitive (but they’re so comfy!!!!) that I thought I wasn’t actually going to have a choice in the matter.  Fortunately, I think I can get one from WalMart for less than $300, which is pretty much a steal for the armchair and ottoman.  (Those things are seriously not cheap.)  If I’m going to be hanging out at all hours of the day trying to feed another human being, I might as well try to be comfortable, right?

And some friends of ours are totally awesome.  Their grandson has outgrown his highchair, so they offered it to us.  We’re not talking one of the fancy-pants highchair-with-tray, but one of the restaurant-style wooden chairs that last forever.  It’s in really great shape, too.  Completely unexpected and totally sweet of them.

Next tasks?  To get some storage tubs for the spare electronics and papers and everything else currently occupying the Munchkin’s room so we can move around in there again.  What we accomplished by moving out the bookshelves was promptly undone when Southern Honey emptied out the closet onto the floor.  You can barely get into the bedroom door at this point.  😀

Too far?

I think I’ve decided on a Halloween costume now, but I’m going to have to bust my butt to get it done, I think.  Unless I get really lucky and find what I’m looking for at one of the Halloween costume shops.

I’ve joked a lot about how the Munchkin is hanging out in there and will pop out like the baby alien in “Alien,” but it was all fun and games.  Then I realized that it might just be the idea I’ve been looking for for Halloween, especially since I’ll be totally out of the baby closet at that point.   Only I’d want to use the alien from the end of “Spaceballs” instead — he wears a little boater and carries a cane and dances around the diner counter to “Hello, My Baby.”  I announced this to Southern Honey last night, so there’s no going back now (well, there is, but only if I suffer catastrophic costume failure).

Unfortunately, I may have bitten off more than I can chew.  I realized this when I got home tonight and started looking for photos of said alien.  Holy crap, is that a detailed piece of work (check here for an inspiration pic and the video — no, I don’t have that much cleavage *sighs*)!  And I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.  But maybe I’ll figure out a way to pull this off.  After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  And how many other times in my life will I be able to legitimately pull off something like this?