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Happy eighth Birthday, Kirin!

Kirin turned eight today. I always thought it was kind of cool that he is exactly one month younger than Ryan.




He sheds. He drools. He eats more than his fair share at the food trough (but will patiently wait for the others to finish first) – and has the body type to prove it. He likes to drag out all of the plastic shopping bags I keep under the kitchen sink (is this a thing? hoarding a plastic bag full of other plastic bags?) and frolic in them. He doesn’t really like sharing his personal space with the other cats – and growls if they get too close. Most people don’t even know he exists unless they spend a lot of time at our house, because it takes him a long time to warm up to people. He’s anxious (so much, in fact, that he even has his own prescription for anti-anxiety medication). And he’s more than a little neurotic.

But we love him anyway.

Filed under Pets

My Third Grader & My Fourth Grader

First day of school!
First day of school!

School started yesterday. I promise, they were much more excited than they let on in these photos. The morning was a little rocky with Ryan, but I anticipated that and so I was up early and extra patient and accommodating. We were all ready to head out the door promptly at 8:15am. Alyssa couldn’t wait to get to class, as her teacher, Mr. B, is the same teacher she had in second grade. Ryan was very, very nervous about a new grade, a new classroom, a new teacher, and new classmates, and a current lack of a TSS; but last week’s Open House helped, since he had the opportunity to meet his teacher, tour his classroom, and see where he would be sitting at and who he would be sitting with. Still, there was a bit of chin-trembling when I walked him to the bus. :/ But, his teacher said he had a great day, and he was in a good mood yesterday afternoon.

This morning went a little better – possibly helped by these multi-colored spiky backpacks that Alyssa and Ryan are super-happy about. :)

Filed under Parenthood

Backups are your friend

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s this: always have a spare. Whether it’s a spare battery, USB cable, jumper cables (ask Dan about that one…), or drum beaters for your drums, the motto always have a spare will never do you wrong. At worst you’ll be carrying a little something extra with you. And at best? You’ll be damn glad you packed that spare. For drummers, spare beaters and pedals can mean the difference between the show going on as planned, or it going on without the accompanying drums, or it not going on at all.

Filed under Commercial Break

The thing about depression…

Depression makes you anxious.

Depression makes you unfocused – as if depression isn’t enough, you also get dished a heaping side of ADHD.

You get anxious about how the depression-induced-ADHD is affecting your productivity.

And then you get more depressed.

I’ve been on 50mg of Zoloft once per day for nearly three months, and I don’t think it’s working…

Filed under General

Peanut Butter Mom

Last night was Open House at the kids’ school. It’s held every year on the Thursday before school starts, and its purpose is to let kids and their parents tour the school, meet their teachers, check out their classrooms, and then stuff their faces in the cafeteria, courtesy of food that everyone brings. The type of food you bring is determined by the grade your child is entering – for us that meant bringing a side (Ryan) and a dessert (Alyssa). For the side, I chose a boxed pasta salad, though I did make the extra effort to dress it up with powdered parmesan cheese and diced tomatoes. ;)

Then there were the cookies. Oh, the cookies. I have a feeling these cookies will haunt me for the rest of the school year. I grabbed a pre-mixed bag of peanut butter cookies, but again, made the extra effort to dress up the offering: in this case I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract, substituted some heavy cream for water, added a teaspoon of cornstarch, and stirred in a dollop of peanut butter. The resulting cookies were delicious, and a very good intimation of the homemade variety. “Voilà!”, I thought, “Yummy cookies without all of the muss and fuss of precise measurements and babysitting of warming milk and butter”.

Then we get to the school. And as we’re outside of the cafeteria, my sealed, “Peanut Butter Cookies” labeled Ziploc bag in hand, Alyssa pipes up about a classmate with a peanut butter allergy. Oops. So I hand over the bag to one of the PTO moms with a slightly sheepish smile, and say apologetically, “these are made with peanut butter, but they’re sealed and labeled!” Cue death glare from her and her co-PTO mom. Then there’s a flurry of activity – furtive whispers, the cookies are snatched from my hands and promptly disappear. I apologize, hand over the non-poison-laden pasta salad, and we’re on our way to the kids’ classrooms. As we pass by a teacher and a gaggle of PTO moms a few hallways over, I overhear, I shit you not, “one of the parents brought PEANUT BUTTER. What do we do?!”

This is what they did:

Whoops. After this mistake I don't think I'll be getting any PTO votes. Or playdate invites. Or eye contact.

I am certainly not trivializing food allergies or how severe they are capable of being. But if you’re going to invite the entire school to the school, and then ask parents to BRING FOOD, and not stipulate that all items must be free of peanut butter or other allergens, or purchased from a store with nutrition labels intact, then what do you expect? At least with my anthraxpeanut-laden cookies you knew what you were getting, courtesy of my handwritten label on the bag – that’s more than I can see for the various assortment of mystery cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and cake slices that had no labels of any type!

On the bright side, I doubt I’ll be asked to contribute any additional food dishes this year. ;)

Filed under Parenthood