Friday, June 24, 2011

File Under: Weird Things That Work

A loosely crumpled ball of aluminum foil can be used (repeatedly) in the dryer in place of a dryer sheet in keeping clothes from getting staticky.

I have just tried this. It works. Even on flannel pajamas and socks. Bizarre. mk

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Toilet Paper Ghost

So. My kids are at their dad's for the weekend, I'm the only one in the house, and I considered watching a couple of scary movies this afternoon.

I am so glad I did not.

Just a little while ago, I went upstairs to the bathroom. Got in there, closed the door, turned towards the toilet.

The toilet paper was gone.

Not just used up. GONE. The entire roll was missing. Now, I have a toilet paper holder that looks something like this, so occasionally one of the kids knocks it off and it's on the floor. Doesn't usually happen to me, and I'd been in the bathroom oh, several times today, and didn't remember knocking it off, but hey, it happens.

It wasn't on the floor.

I looked all over the bathroom floor (my bathroom is about 6' x 5' maybe, including the shower). Twice. Looked in the cabinet under the sink. Looked in the trash, which Kira recently moved to the cabinet under the sink. Looked in the shower stall (don't ask me why). Nowhere. Finally I got another roll and put it on the holder and took care of business.

After, I looked all around the bathroom AGAIN. Still nothing. Not even an empty roll in the trash. Just..gone.

I open the bathroom door to go back downstairs, and just outside the door, where I would have walked past it on my way in, was the toilet paper roll. Standing upright.

In an extremely unlikely scenario, it could have fallen off the holder and maybe somehow rolled away. But there is no way I can think of that the thing would have rolled away from the holder, around the corner through the doorway into the hall, backwards to be just out of the way of the door, and then turned itself upright. And then have me not see the WHITE roll in the hallway right next to the window.

Freakiness. Now I've got all the lights on in the hallway upstairs, and my bedroom, and the bathroom. And I am damning my overactive imagination and the movies Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2.

Gahhhh. mk

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Fun at the Dentist

Kira had to have a lower labial frenectomy on Thursday. Pull out your bottom lip and look in a mirror...see the little piece of skin connecting your lip to your gums? That's the frenum. Hers was too high up, which meant that as she got older it would pull harder on her gumline, pulling it down, possibly leading to bone loss and other nasty things. So our dentist, Dr. Randy, who totally ROCKS, said she should get this, which basically was just clipping the frenum. Quick and easy, three or four snips and one stitch, that's it.

Kira was really nervous about the procedure (her actual verbal reaction as we were going out to the car after the cleaning last week, knowing she needed this? "I'm gonna DIE!"). Nothing I said could calm her down about it. She didn't go into hysterics at any point, but she was NOT looking forward to it.

I picked her up at school just before lunchtime to take her to see Dr. Randy. I had Brenda's gorgeous new baby boy Kai (oh yes, I haven't told you about him! another time. but he's 3 months old and I am Auntie) with me for the day, so the three of us went in together. Dr. Randy was really great, as he always is, and the procedure went really smoothly and quickly (although when he was getting ready to put the needle in for the Novocain, even though she was already numb from the topical, she shot her hand out for me to hold and almost crushed my fingers...damn she's getting strong). When it was over, she was poking at her lip, which she couldn't feel, and said, "This is the weirdest I have ever felt." She didn't like it at all. Dr. Randy told her never to get drunk, because if she didn't like this, she -really- wouldn't like the loss of control from drinking. I liked that. Yay Dr. Randy!

So, we went out, she a bit woozy, I paid for the part of the procedure insurance probably won't cover, and she headed through the door to the waiting room. She was on the other side of the door and I could see from the glass that she was starting to tip. I wanted to get to her, but the door opened outward, so if I had opened it, I would have knocked her over. VERY FORTUNATELY, there was a paramedic in the waiting room (scheduled for a cleaning) and she got to Kira before she could actually fall, and lowered her to the ground. (Leah, you rock!)

I bolted through the door with Kai in his car seat/carrier, put him down, one of the staff immediately said, "I've got the baby" and I was on the ground with Kira. She was really out of it, although I think she only lost consciousness for a second or two. We did all the right things, with the cold cloth and making her lie down for awhile and then sit up slowly, etc. The staff was really awesome during that, and Dr. Randy came back out, too, and said she was in shock from the adrenaline dump (which we had actually talked about while Kira was in the dentist's chair, that she was going to feel a bit weird from the dump after being scared for so long--we had no idea -how- weird she was gonna feel). Eventually we got her up and back into the room and on the dentist's chair again, someone carried Kai in, someone else brought more cloths, oh, we had gotten a small bottle of water at some point and a little rubber cup in case she needed to vomit or spit (she did spit a couple of times, but no vomiting, thankfully). Dr. Randy poked his head around the wall from the next room and asked how much she had eaten that day. I said not much, I had gotten her from school before lunch, and he said, "Give her a muffin" and zipped back behind the wall. So someone brought a little mini muffin and a tiny cinnamon roll, and Kira picked at it very very little. She couldn't have any juice, because she wasn't supposed to have anything acidic or salty for a couple of days after the procedure.

At one point Kira said she wanted to go home, and stood up, then said, "I think I need to lie down" and got back on the chair. Eventually she felt well enough to get up and walk out to the car with no assistance, I thanked the staff profusely, and I took my little girl home and got her on the couch.

Awesomely, the receptionist, Kim, who had been the most helpful, called us later after her lunch hour to check on Kira. She had been worrying about her. I thought that was the sweetest thing.

Kira's all better, was doing pretty well after about an hour, and is feeling great now. She says her lip still feels a little odd, but it doesn't really hurt. (yay!)

Between starting her period on Sunday and passing out at the dentist on Thursday, this has -not- been Kira's best week. :P mk

What I've Been Reading

I picked up a bunch of books at Goodwill about a week or so ago, and here are three of the books I've read from that bunch:

American Wife: A Novel, by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold

Trans-Sister Radio, by Chris Bohjalian

I very much enjoyed each of these books, which all covered very different topics. The first, American Wife, is a novel very loosely based on the life of a First Lady (Laura Bush, to be exact), almost entirely before her husband's time in office at the White House. I found it interesting, although I never really connected with her character, and in fact often found myself frustrated with her and even actively thinking she was mealy-mouthed or an idiot. Still, I liked it enough that I would recommend it as a fairly good read.

The second, The Lovely Bones, has been made into a movie, as I'm sure you all know. I previously had no interest in seeing the movie or reading the book, because I found the premise a bit stupid, really....a girl is murdered and then narrates the entire book from her heaven as she looks down and watches the people in her life adjust in their various ways to her death. I picked the book up as a sort of "oh, might as well" kind of thing, but really found it an intriguing read. The unique perspective of the narrator allowed her to not only watch but also to know what the various characters are thinking and feeling. It was a bit disturbing to read, because I have an enormous fear of one of my children pre-deceasing me, and this book triggered that quite a bit. I was frustrated with both of the parents for different reasons, based on their reactions and how they coped, but I could also identify with bits from the father. (the mother, yeah, no) Having my sister die before me is an eventuality I have been prepared for most of my life, because of the nature of her illnesses, although her being murdered has never figured into any of the preparative scenarios. Further, I had a cousin who was murdered while I was in high school, so the girl's friends who cope in various ways was also something I could relate to. Not one of the characters was someone I could totally identify with, but I could understand their motivations. Overall, I'm glad I read the book, but I was also glad to put it aside, because it made me uncomfortably aware of the random nature of events, and that at any time we could lose someone we love, and I just don't handle that idea well.

The third book was my favorite. Trans-Sister Radio deals with a couple who fall in love, only to then have to deal with the enormous complications and adjustments that go along with one of them having male-to-female (M2F) sex reassignment surgery. Allison and Dana had already fallen in love when Dana reveals that (s)he is in the process of changing genders. There is a great deal of introspection needed on Allison's part when she needs to work out whether she is in love with Dana the man or Dana the person, and whether she as a previously staunch heterosexual is capable of pursuing a lesbian relationship to stay together. In addition, there are the reactions of Carly, Allison's daughter, who is just entering college, and Will, Allison's ex-husband, who has remained close friends. There is also an enormous amount of mixed, mostly negative, reaction from the community at large, and the issue comes up as to whether Allison's personal life should be a factor in whether she is allowed to keep her job as an elementary school teacher.

Altogether, it is a very thought-provoking book. We are driven to look at the separate issues of gender and sexuality, our own flexibility or rigidness in reaction to the issues, our acceptance (or not) of a very controversial form of diversity. Questions constantly arise: how would you react if someone you started a relationship with, told you that he was really a lesbian woman trapped in a man's body and was going to get that changed? Would you be able to continue a relationship? Would you be able to adjust your previously unquestioned sexual preferences to continue the relationship? What do you feel about the process itself, independent of being in a relationship? Do you think that the procedure is immoral? Do you find it a perversion? Do you think being in a relationship with someone who is transgendered is perverted or immoral? Do you think that teachers should be held to a higher standard of morality than anyone else, because of their potential influence on our children? Do you think we have the right to dictate how a person conducts their personal life because of their chosen profession? Could you find yourself attracted to a person if you found out that they had once been the opposite gender? Is gender identity disorder biologically based or psychological? And on and on.

I consider myself a person who is very accepting of diversity, but I admit that this issue is a challenge for me. I finished the book this morning, but I know that I will be thinking a long time about it, seeing where this topic fits in my spectrum. Some of the above questions I have quick and firm answers to. Others, I think I will have to really turn over in my mind for a long time, and still might find myself unable to decide.

I -highly- recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I think it would be a FABULOUS book-club discussion. I wish I was in a book club just so I -could- discuss this book. :)

The author of this book, Chris Bohjalian, wrote the book Midwives, which I also enjoyed very much and recommend.

Any of you who have read any of these books, I would love to hear your take on them. mk

Thursday, June 02, 2011

If They Could Just Stay Little....

On Sunday, May 29, 2011, Kira started her first period.

My little girl!!!!! *sniff*