Infections and Door Rainbows

If I test positive for an MRSA infection, my entire family will have to be medicated. We won’t have the results until Tuesday, but Meredith and Harper are already Very Angry. If my test result is negative, I know two little girls who owe me big apologies. (Incidentally, research shows that the at-risk population for an MRSA infection includes high school wrestlers and people who live in crowded conditions. As you know, my house is VERY crowded. AND, just last week I put the Five Moves of Doom on a babyface!) ((I had to look it up. Wrestling terms! So many languages out there, and I know only English, a bit of Spanish, and Knitting! Life really is too short, and here I sit with a potential staph infection! I’m so gross!))

In less than two hours, I will be entering a local shop and purchasing a spinning wheel. The thought of this is both highly exciting AND terrifying, because it’s a big purchase, and big purchases tend to make me all squirrelly and apologetic. (Also, I cry and whisper “I’m so sorry” every time I vomit. Can we please hang out sometime?!) In my mind, I’m going to spin fiber into yarn and then knit that yarn into a cowl or something and then give it away on my site because you guys really are the greatest. (Thanks for all of the positive feedback on my post about Aaron’s bike! As of this morning, we had collected $800. It’s definitely a start! And there’s still time to contribute!)

One last thing! Yesterday I received a wonderful gift in the mail from Sarah M. I was completely floored and excited, and whoa! When I told Meredith about the gift and how it’s from someone I’ve never actually met, she said, “Wow. Sarah is really nice. I bet her door has a rainbow on it.” I love that. Sarah’s door definitely has a rainbow on it. Each of you who contributed to Aaron’s bike? You have rainbows on your doors, too. I’m so lucky to have so many rainbow doored friends here. Have I thanked you lately?! Because, really. Thank you. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

We’re picking up our needle and moving to another groove.


So, it’s Spring Break at The Pudding Chalet, and your guess is as good as mine as far as what Spring Break should entail. We were going to go see Rango, but one kid called the other kid a Liar, and that’s really all it takes to cancel a movie. (Confession: It doesn’t really take much to cancel a movie. Especially if I have no desire to see that movie. With that said, we don’t do name calling at The Pudding Chalet.)


Jeff’s dad gave us a lava lamp several years ago when we were dating. I’m still not really sure why, but I sort of went with it, as I often do. By the way, the neighbors down the street now have a huge wooden stork in their front yard, and that huge wooden stork is holding a sign that says “Taylor, 6 lbs. 15 oz., March 17th!” This afternoon Meredith came up to me and said, “If the neighbors can’t find a home for Taylor before the end of the week, can we take her?”

Me: Yes. But before we continue with this conversation, can you tell me what you think Taylor is?

Meredith: I think she’s a puppy.

When I broke the news to Meredith that although WE know that storks deliver pickles, there are some people out there who like to pretend that storks deliver babies, and sadly (sadly?!) Taylor is a BABY and NOT a puppy. (Meredith knows that storks do NOT deliver babies. She also knows that she was pulled (quite unnaturally, with the use of a spinal block of all things) from my abdominal region. She also knows that because of this highly unnatural way to enter the world, there’s a 23% chance that she’ll raise some sort of whimsical hell someday. Anyway. Where was I? Storks! Pickles! Puppies!)


Have I told you that we’re probably getting a puppy at the end of April? Sort of like the lava lamp thing, I’m just nodding my head and going with it. When it happens, you’ll be the first to know. By the way, I got a pair of jeans yesterday, and they call themselves Slim Boyfriend, and for whatever reason, that makes me want to hear this song over and over. (Have I ever told you about my bus ride to Atlanta when I *did* hear that song over and over?) Hey. Tell me a gallbladder story. Because I think I’m starting this sort of stuff up again, and I want somebody to sing a song about beet juice to me.
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I went shopping at Walgreens, and now I’m giving away a $100 Walgreens gift card! Come on over! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Our groundhogs saw their shadows. I’m sorry, St. Louis.

Our groundhogs saw their shadows. Sorry, St. Louis.

Meredith: Mommy, do you know what Hypohogia is?

Me: I’ve never heard of it!

Meredith: Hypohogia is a rare made up condition where a groundhog throws up and coughs so hard that its teeth fall out. I saw it on the news. With this condition, groundhogs sneeze so hard that they fall to the ground. Seriously.

Harper: I’m making this up, but I saw on the news that a groundhog with Hypohogia once sneezed so hard that his house shook!

Meredith: And once? A groundhog threw up and coughed at the same time and actually caught hypoDOGia, which made the groundhog act like a dog for the rest of its life.

Harper: For real?

Meredith: Yes.

Harper: For real for real?!

Meredith: No. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Patch, Schmatch! It’s the end of a chapter!

If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know that Meredith was diagnosed with amblyopia when she was three. She was super-farsighted in her right eye, and her brain had pretty much turned off the switch in her left eye. To get her left eye working again, she started wearing a patch over her right eye.

The Patch.

This is Meredith when we first started patching. What a cute three year old! Argh!

A week or so after we started patching, her glasses came in, and she started doing this thing where she would close her eyes because she thought if she couldn’t see us, we couldn’t see her.

This is how she rebels against the eyewear.

She was a total good sport about the patching. I think she even wore the patch to school a few times, even though I promised her that I would never make her do that if it made her uncomfortable.

The Good Sport

(I found this sort of interesting. If a child approached her while she was wearing her patch, more often than not, the child would ask, “Why are you wearing a patch?” If an adult approached her, the adult would look right over her head and ask me “What’s wrong with her?” This normally took place at the grocery store by our house—the store where the ill-mannered elderly often shop. Also, they don’t sell chipotle chiles in adobo sauce there, and it drives me crazy! Anyway.)

Struggles with Zipping

(Side story: We always let Meredith choose her own frames, because we want her to be happy to wear her glasses. The frames in the above photo (better seen here) were more expensive than any other pair we’ve purchased. When I asked why, I was told that the tiny ladybugs on the nose and sides were handpainted by elderly German artisans. True story. My shoes were probably sewn by a four year old in China, and Meredith’s glasses were painted by an 80 year old in Munich. We Are The World.) There were months when we patched for six to eight hours per day. Sometimes two to four hours per day. For the past six months, we were asked to patch “for a few hours two or three times each week or so.”

Meredith, Mona, and Junie B.

This morning, Meredith had an appointment with her pediatric ophthalmologist. Her quality of vision showed no change with the sporadic patching during the past six months. Because of this, I’m pleased to report that we will no longer be patching. (Obviously, if her vision had improved, we would be happy to continue with the patching to see if the improvements would continue. However, the articles I’ve read state that improvements are seen less often after a child reaches the age of seven. We Are Average, and with 20/40 vision with her glasses on, we’ll accept Average.)


We’ve come a long way. High fives to MC’s doctor, high fives to the kind folks at Patch Pals, and high fives to Meredith for being a Super Trooper and never converting the patch into an albatross. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Dorothy Parker led a horticulture…

When Meredith takes classes at the middle school, more often than not she comes home with a new joke. This is what happened in the car on the way home from school last Thursday.




Immediately, the gears in Harper’s brain began to smoke. She would not be outdone.




Me: Okay. No.

Harper: Wasn’t that funny?

Me: Actually, I thought it was very funny. But for the wrong reasons. We can’t use Whore. Can you come up with a different ending?

Harper: TORSE!!!!

Me: Yes! Torse!!!! HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Meredith: What’s a whore?


Don’t mind us. We’re just perpetuating the stereotype…

On Saturday morning, we bundled up with coffee and doughnuts, sat lawn chairs on the side of the road, and enjoyed the high school’s homecoming parade.

The girls were very excited to see Pete the Pirate. (Actually, they were excited to see that Pete was throwing Tootsie Rolls. The hurling of the candy is their favorite part of the parade.)


I was surprised to see how many people showed up to represent the class who graduated from the high school during the year that I was born. (Note to my fellow WHS 1988 graduates: Don’t count on me riding a “float” and/or wearing owl headgear in 2028.)

Class of 1970

As an editor, I’m always excited to find spelling errors during parades.

This one was due to adhesive failure, and cannot be blamed on the junior class.


This one? I’m really hoping it had everything to do with the sign maker and nothing to do with the athletic department.

Acitivities. Hhhhhh.

Meredith: How do you say that word? Assitivities?

Me: Um, no. A-city-vitties.

Meredith: I like Assitivities.

Me: Hhhhh. Me too.
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Please read about my extraordinary family, and follow the links to win all sorts of prizes! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

A giraffe’s heart weighs 24 pounds.

Meredith came home from school on Monday and decided that she wanted to show me how to draw a giraffe. She sat on the kitchen floor with a piece of paper and a Crayola paintbrush and created Mabel.


(I love Mabel.)

Later that evening, we went to the library to see Sara Pennypacker and Marla Frazee—the author and illustrator of the Clementine series, which happens to be Meredith’s favorite set of books. After the presentation and reading, the author asked if anyone had any questions. Meredith’s hand shot into the air, and she asked how the author decided to name the main character Clementine. When it was time to have her book signed, she talked to the author for quite some time about our cat who died a few years ago, and she sang the praises of Comic Life and Yummy Pancake to the illustrator.

Sara Pennypacker, Meredith, and Marla Frazee

It isn’t often that I see Meredith completely excited and at ease.

Monday was a good day to be Meredith.
You are cordially invited to admire my senior photo from high school and take a chance at winning $150!

Please read about my extraordinary family, and follow the links to win all sorts of prizes! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Who could ever love a girl named Beezus? Jesus?

A few years back I watched “Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives” mainly because I like Mark Everett. (If I remember correctly, I posted the link here shortly after I watched it. Didn’t I? Do I tend to repeat myself often? Anyway, if you’re interested, you can catch it over here. It’s worth the time. I promise.) Anyway, long story short: Everett’s dad was the first to propose the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics and no! Don’t start yawning! (Actually, I believe I would be 38% more intelligent if more documentaries somehow included music/musicians that I enjoy. Learn the ins and outs of the metric system with Metric! Let’s study eye anatomy (or manic depression!) with The Weepies! Global warming with Sleigh Bells! I could go on for days. This is my best idea yet, if you don’t count adding green peppers to that pasta salad I made last summer.)

All of this to say: Although many of you swear that this summer has flown by (and I sort of agree with you), I’m here to tell you that last week was one of my longest weeks. Lots of self-imposed deadlines (some related to knitting, some not so much), a crazy amount of reflection on relationships and bitten tongues, looking ahead to creative endeavors, and so forth. I’ll spare you the details, because this isn’t that kind of website. Funny how every single week has 168 hours regardless of how you choose to spend it, no? Morris Day and The Time!

Yesterday afternoon the girls and I saw Ramona and Beezus, and although both girls loved it, they did NOT love the fact that it didn’t really seem to be based on the book. “Ramona was only FOUR in the book! Not NINE! And nothing happened to Picky Picky!” Meredith listed at least twenty differences between the book and the movie, including the fact that the book has pages and the movie was on film. (That was my favorite comparison.) Personally? I couldn’t quite get past how much Ramona looks like Lolita.

This is Ramona, also known as Joey King.
Joey King & Johnathon

This is Lolita, also known as Sue Lyon.

And when you’re trying to be Beverly Clearyesque, but you can’t help toying with Nabokov, thoughts tend to get more twisted than a soggy kneecap. Thank God for Swedish Fish.

EDITED TO ADD: The bloody guy in the photo of Ramona? I’m assuming he’s an actor from another film that also featured Joey King. I can assure you that no blood was shed in Ramona and Beezus, although there was QUITE an accident involving peanut butter.


I’m going to have a Laughing Cow in my side bar for six months, and you know what that means. I’m giving money away! Come over here, tell me a funny workout story, and you could win $150! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Some apples barely fall from the tree.

Meredith’s elementary school is hosting their annual field day on Monday.

If I understand the process correctly, during the field day each child chooses a few events in which to participate. Events include activities like baton relay races, distance jumping, potato sack scrambles, bean bag tosses, et cetera. (Jeff has taken a half day of vacation so he can help out with something that I believe involves vulcanized rubber tires, raw sweet potatoes, and a baby manatee. The details are a bit fuzzy to me.)

Me: Meredith, are you excited about the field day?

Meredith: I’m VERY excited about the field day!

Me: Have you chosen your events?

Meredith: I’ve chosen one event that I’m very good at.

Me: Excellent! What is it?

Meredith: It’s called Snack Bar.

Me: How do you play Snack Bar?

Meredith: It’s easy! You go there and you POLITELY ask for a popsicle or some water, and I’ve heard they might even have crackers this year!

(If you need to write a report on Behavioral Genetics, Meredith and I will meet you for popsicles.)
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Confession: I got a lump when reading it out loud. A good lump.

The Sun Shines for Me

When I see a flock of birds in the sky
When I hear my cat meow when she’s happy
When I taste cinnamon buns with lots of icing on top
When I am able to make my mom smile
When I am with my stuffed dog Madison
When I go to the doughnut shop and eat doughnuts
Then the sun shines for me.

By Meredith

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