Come, Mommy

Thursday, August 31, 2006

In Lieu of Written Content

My brain is still on hiatus, with no sign of return soon. So, I give you the Menagerie House Week in Pictures. Minus pictures of Stinky Dog. Photos don't do justice to the residual smell.


We belong to an organic CSA farm, and tomato season is here. If you need any really sweet organic tomatoes, let me know. They're falling out of our fridge every time we open the door.

"Look, Mommy! I'm in the tomato box!"

I found out afterwards that the box is meant to be returned. Ooops.


We attended the third birthday of Zeph's friend, I. It was a big hit complete with a Bob the Builder theme.

"Look, Mommy. Come, Mommy! I want I's birthday party to show up again!"

"I's mommy let us take cake home! Oooohhh, look Mommy, I like it!"


Liam has developed a fascination with hair cuts. I really hope he doesn't try to cut his own hair. I tried that as a kid and the results were not pretty. I've got the kindergarten pictures to prove it.

"I took the bunny to the new barber shop and now it's time for the cutting. Here we go!"

"Eh, looks like I need to cut Mommy's hair."

Not on your life, son.

A shot of the Demonic Bunny Barber. Looks like he wants to understudy Johnny Depp's next role.


It actually got chilly today, so we broke out some warmer clothes. And Liam loves this hat.

"I'm wearing it to dinner to protect my hair from the wind. Yup. It's no problem, really!"


And there you have it--the week in pictures. With any luck my little lost brain will find its way home, and I'll be able to string together a sentence soon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

And It's Only 9:45 AM

So far this morning,

1. The upstairs toilet has overflowed and flooded the kitchen. ("Why is it raining inside, Mommy?")

2. Casey has chased a skunk. ("Why are you washing Casey, Mommy? Now it's raining outside. Do you know it's raining outside and inside? Why is it raining outside and inside?")

3. The power has gone out. Twice. ("Why are you whining, Mommy?")

I will remain calm. I will. I will.

Monday, August 28, 2006

And Now For Some Fun at Our Governor's Expense

Zeph and I were in Agway buying ferret food this morning. They had one of those dishes at the counter for holding pennies. The sign on it read:

Have a penny?

Give a penny.

Need a penny?

Take a penny.

Need two cents?

Get a job.

Need seven cents?

Get a job with Corzine.

In our Governor's defense, the budget was pretty much a disaster when he took office. Nonetheless, there are lots of angry New Jersey residents out there at the moment.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm Not So Sick I've Lost My Sense of Humor...

Seen this one yet? Google the word "failure." The top link this morning is this. Hhhhmmmmmm......

Thanks, Pajama Mama!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Are Not Sick!!!

Sure, kiddo, you just have fever, a cough, and a goopy nose. And while we're at it, Mommy is not sick, either. So there, Evil Summer Cold Virus!

Just to let you know we are all alive, and although not completely well, we should be in a few days. Regular posting will resume then!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Yup, We Got News

See that there ticker thingy? I'm generally not a big fan of them since they always seem a little cutesy to me, BUT, I saw this one that has ferret footprints on it, so I changed my mind. Besides, my ferrets have a ball like that, and it's one of their favorite toys. I have to admit my all time favorite use of a ticker was a few months ago when I saw that someone (I think it was Jennifer although I don't remember for sure) used one to count down the remaining days of the Bush administration. That was true stroke of genius. I wish I'd though of it myself. Hmph.

In this case, however, I'm using the ticker for its traditional purpose. I've been trying to come up with a deep and meaningful post, but I'm that the desired writing obviously isn't coming anytime soon. Some friends already know the news, and anyone who sees me in person is going to be able to figure this out very soon. Also, my son knows:

Zeph: "I'm so 'cited!!"

Me: "Hmmm? Are you excited about our ferrets?"

Zeph: "No!"

Me: "Are you excited about the trucks in the street?"

Zeph: "NO!"

Me: "What are you excited about?"

Zeph: "I'm going to have a baby!"

And with that he sat down, pulled up his shirt, and pretended to nurse a toy hippo.

So, if you've been noticing a scatterbrained nature to my posts recently, and if you've noticed that I'm not posting with the frequency I used to, just bear with me. I'm feeling the full drag of the first trimester tiredness, and I'm hoping that in a couple of weeks I'll tap into that fabled reservoir of energy in the second trimester. Or failing that, perhaps Zeph will oblige me by returning to afternoon napping. Or pigs will fly. Or something.

They say the second child doesn't get the attention the first did. I'm seeing how this happens already. I'm not shopping for the "essential" baby gear. I did that the first time, and found out all I really need at first are a safe car seat, diapers, clothes, and a sling. Those we've got already. I'm not worrying about eating exactly right. I'm just concerned with eating nutritiously, and that's no different than any other day. I'm not worrying so much about there being something wrong with the baby this time around. I've learned that pregnancy is something our bodies are meant to do, and as long as we don't do stupid stuff, things generally work out in the end. Besides, I'm chasing a toddler all day. I don't have time to obsess. Nor do I have the energy. Which is probably for the best, since worrying isn't good for anyone, anyway.

I'm also finding that second children give us opportunities we might not have grabbed the first time around. Since Liam was born, the team of lovely, crunchy OB's who attended my first pregnancy have left the state due to drastic increases in malpractice insurance costs over the last few years. This is not a good situation for the state as a whole, but it does present me with the opportunity to have a homebirth with midwives. (Even really crunchy OB's don't do homebirths around here, as far as I know.) I really hope this is what happens in the end, because truly, it is kind of silly that bringing another member of the family into the world should involve breaking up a family, even for a few days.

And that is what's up here. It's going to be an exciting few months here at the Menagerie House. We've got chaos to spare on any given day, so we can definitely handle a bit more.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Our Poor Forgotten Dog

Liam: "Grown-up Daddies go to work. And grown-up Pop-Pops go to work. And chit-chat."

Me: "And what about grown-up Mommies? What do they do?"

Liam: "They take ferrets to vets."

Me: "And what do grown-up ferrets do?"

Liam: "They run around and play and wrestle and get sick."

Me: "And what do grown-up Caseys do?"

Liam: "Eh, they sleep. And run around and look for food."


Because, clearly, what with taking the ferrets to the vet and all, we never have time to feed the dog......

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Yes, Virginia, There is Inherent Goodness in the World

I received the following note from our local animal shelter in today's mail:

Dear Liesl,

A generous donation has been sent to our animal shelter in memory of your ferret, Jeremy. This contribution will be used to care for animals at our shelter waiting to be adopted, and was sent by Dr. M, DVM.

We wanted you to know of her kind gesture on behalf of homeless animals.

Shelter Manager

It is wonderful people like our vet who, through many actions great and small, remind me that the essential nature of people is to do good. That's an important thing to remember in these days when the news of the world is less than promising.

Bless you, Dr. M!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ferret Health Update

First off, our vet managed to remove the root of Stormy's canine tooth yesterday. It took her a while as the root broke into shards when Stormy broke the tooth. Now she has a big hole in her gum that looks like she had a wisdom tooth removed, poor kid. I've been making her duck soup and hand-feeding her. She's definitely feeling a bit livelier tonight.

The others are all getting duck soup mixed with some brewer's yeast to give their immune systems a boost and get some extra calories on board. There's still a lot of sneezing going on in the Menagerie House, but I think it's slowed down a bit since yesterday. Hopefully in the next few days everyone will be better, and the normal chaos of life around here can resume.

Here is Senior Safety Executive Zeph's take on all of this:

Zeph (watching Stormy): "Miss Stormy, don't hurt any more of your teeth. It's very dangerous and it makes me sad."

Ferrets: "Achoo! Achoo!"

Zeph: "Mommy, they are sneezing. Make them stop. It's very dangerous to sneeze. It makes goop come out of their noses."

Too much information, Zeph, too much information. But very funny, nonetheless.

Sounds Like My Kind of Crime

We live in a pretty peaceful neighborhood. The local police blotter is short, and usually details a few DUI's and some stolen bikes, and that's about it, which is good. However, if there is ever an upsurge in crimes of this type, I for one will not be upset.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Are the Ferret Gods Angry With Me??

They definitely are, and I'm not sure why. Houdini came down with a respiratory infection earlier this week, which necessitated a vet trip. We got her on some antibiotics, and she's doing well. Then Liam and I took the three new guys down for their first vet check-up yesterday. They were all sneezing, too, so I knew we'd need to treat them for the same infection, but I was sure they'd get a clean bill of health otherwise. Or, not.

Halfway to the office, Penny started seizing. We got her to the vet and stabilized, but the cause of the seizure is not clear at this time. She was dehydrated, and her liver enzymes are elevated. The hope is that with this infection she got run down and wasn't eating, leading to hypoglycemia, which led to the seizure. The truth may not be that simple, but time will tell. This morning she is eating and playing, so I'm really hoping we don't have another major medical enigma with a ferret right now.

But, (and there's always a "but", right?), Stormy managed to hurt herself yesterday. I was giving her her antibiotic last night, and saw that she somehow broke off one of her upper canines right at the gumline, and her mouth looks so sore. Just the thought of what that might feel like makes me shudder. I'm not sure if she fell, or how exactly she broke her tooth, but I'll be taking her to the vet later this morning. I suspect the root that is remaining in the gum will have to be extracted.

We have had such a run of bad luck with ferret health this summer that I'm wondering what I did to anger the powers that be in the ferret world. Also? I'm wondering how much more my nerves can take. Anyone got any extra calming vibes, or helpful advice?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Son, the Safety Officer

Back in my pre-grad school days, I spent a few years working as a research chemist for a big pharmaceutical company. It was a generally great experience, and it gave me a leg up in grad school. I learned how to work as a chemist, how to think as a chemist, and how to prepare for emergencies like a chemist. This latter bit of my education fell under the auspices of the Corporate Safety Department, who oversaw things like like fire training, safety equipment testing, and lab safety supervision. Most of these folks had a theoretical background in lab safety, but had never worked in a lab in person. There was an inherent friction between experienced chemists who took safety quite seriously and knew a plain old stupid safety regulation on sight, and the "suits", who apparently held all rules to be sacrosanct. An inspection from CSD often elicited eye-rolling from the chemists who had just been informed that their lab failed a safety inspection because some cabinet drawers had been left ajar by a centimeter or so.

I hadn't thought of these safety guys in years until a couple of weeks ago, when my cautious-by-nature son appointed himself as our neighborhood safety patrol. To wit:

Scene 1:

Zeph and I were playing in the front yard. Some kids rode by on bikes, bare-headed..

Zeph: "Waaaahhhhh! Those kids! They are riding bikes!"

Me: "Um, they are, why are you upset?

Zeph: "Waaahhhhh! They are supposed to have helmets on!!! Nnnnooooo!"

I managed to calm him down after the kids rode by, only to have group of skateboarders zoom by on the sidewalk....

Zeph: "Waaahhhh! Those kids are skating on boards!"

Me: "Yup, and look, they have their helmets on. That's good."

Zeph: "Nnnoooo! They need to have kneepads on also! Waaaahhhhh!"

Scene 2:

Driving around town today, we were passed by a convertible with the top down...

Zeph: "An open convertible! Wow! No! No!"

Me: "That's a nice car. Why are you worried?"

Zeph: "The driver doesn't have a helmet on!"

Me: "People don't usually wear helmets in cars..."

Zeph: "The car is OPEN!!! The driver could klonk his head! Nnnooo!"

Scene 3:

Zeph was talking to Gran-Gran on the phone...

Gran-Gran: "Pop-Pop and I went swimming in our pool today."

Zeph (very seriously): "You need to have sunscreen on when you swim."

Gran-Gran: "Oh, I had my sunscreen on."

Zeph: "Pop-Pop needs to put some on your back..."

Yup. I can see it now. My son, the famous Corporate Safety Vice-President. I'm not sure what to think.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

This 'n' That

Boy, do I have a serious case of Fuddled Brainitis. I can't put a coherent post together, and haven't been able to do so for several days. It's not a lack of material, either. This week we had a playdate with good friends, went to a baseball game, and did several other fun things. But I just can't get a coherent thought together for more than ten seconds or so. Hopefully this problem will end soon. In the meantime I leave you with a couple of cute conversations and pictures.


Liam (watching me wrap a shower gift for a friend): "Mommy, what are you doing?"

Me: "I'm wrapping a present for a baby shower."

Liam disappears for a moment and then returns, puzzled...

"Mommy? Do you know babies don't take showers?"

He leaves and returns again...

"Mommy? Do you know I need that present back? I really, really do!"


Liam and Kevin fixed a sprinkler this weekend. Wet fun all around!


Phase 2 of Ferret Introduction is working well. These guys are Penny, Jeff, and Stormy, all sleeping together. (Stormy is buried in this view, but trust me, she's in there somewhere.)

I hope everyone had a fun weekend. I'll be back in a day or two, hopefully with something approaching a legit post.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Minor League Baseball Promo Night

Somehow, I find the idea of Britney Spears' Baby Safety Night very, very disturbing. On so many levels.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

And Three More Makes Five

Ferrets, that is. We'd been talking about adopting some older ferrets since Beau passed away. Stormy was his special buddy and she has been very lonely recently. And then, with Jeremy gone, there was no one who could keep up with Houdini, and we could see problems developing between one quiet older ferret and a rambunctious three-year-old. We found our newest family members at South Jersey Ferret Rescue and Sanctuary, a wonderful shelter that cares for all ferret comers, sick or healthy, young or old. (If you are in the area and are looking to adopt a ferret, you need to go to their site, right away.)

These three fuzzies were given up by a couple who had owned them from kithood. Upon finding out that a baby (human) was on the way, the couple surrendered the ferrets to the shelter. Behavior like this makes me spew venom, but since y'all know how I feel on matters such as this, I'll spare you and just say that this couple's loss was definitely our gain. I've got the first pictures, so come meet the newbies -

This cinnamon boy is Pippi, and he is true to the ferret stereotype of either being in top gear or asleep. He's three, and quite a charmer. I think that he and Houdini are destined to be fast friends. First things first, we've got to get past the usual hissing and squawking that accompanies ferret introductions. It may take a while given that they both have strong personalities, but trust me, he might even surpass Miss Houdini in energy level.

And this beautiful black sable is Penny. She is three also, and is just the sweetest cuddler I've ever seen. She also loves to lick faces. Initially I was assuming she would pair up with Houdini and Pippi, but she's taken quite the shine to Miss Stormy, and is obviously bonded to Jeff, the poor guy she's kicking out of the shoebox in this picture. Way to go, Miss Penny, just bulldoze in and wake up your best friend! Also? Slow down, we're having focus issues here.

And here we have Jeff, a sweet elderly ferret (he's seven), who loves to sleep, cuddle, and eat. He's already taken a nap or two in the shoebox with Stormy, so it's looking like Stormy will be lonely no longer.

We've got some work ahead to get everyone integrated and living together peacefully, but that will come in time. It's really nice to be able to adopt ferrets who so badly need a home. What's also wonderful is getting to meet Steve and Cheryl, the lovely couple who spend the majority of their time advocating for ferrets. I know you love these fuzzies, Steve and Cheryl, and rest assured, we will give them the life you want them to have!

Holy Heat Wave, Batman!!!

It is 95.7o outside right now. The heat index is 110o. I thought the soles of my shoes were going to melt onto the driveway when I went out to get the mail. Gosh dang it's HOT!