Saturday, April 26, 2008

Flower Power






Every Spring in Carlsbad, the flower fields bloom in spectacular colors. This 'tourists farm' is visited annually by locals, school children and tourists alike. It is a great place to learn the basics of gardening and how to be a good steward to the earth. I was a chaperone on Dante's class field trip and we had a great time. The children planted some sunflower seeds, learned about recycling and composting with worms. It was a lovely day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hot and Cold


Jonah: I want beans in my macaroni and cheese, mommy.

Me: You want chili beans?

Jonah: NO! I want them HOT!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Food Chain Gang





We received a pet canary from Allan's brother yesterday. Arnel has a aviary full of canaries. The one we received was fighting with the other male and could no longer live in the enclosure. He was being kept in the garage and getting lonely. It is a male and a very pretty yellow. Dante named him Sponge Bob. The kids were fighting over him, and Jonah has been saying for a long time that he wants a rat. So we went to the pet store to buy a $10.00 rat. $50 bucks and two rats later we now have a menagarie. (I felt bad separating the babie-I made it out to the car with just one, but when i looked in on it and he/she was quivering in the corner of the box, I caved and we marched back into the store to buy his buddy. Hmm... I wonder if they put pairs in the habits for this very reason... I wonder if I get the 'sucker' discount? ) Their names are Theodore (Alvin and Chipmunks-Jonah's rat,) and Gary (pet snail/cat from Sponge Bob-Dante's rat) Now i know why my mom never let us name our pets! They are babies, the size of mice right now. Having had two pairs of rats in my 20's, I know these little guys will soon be big. Rats are so much nicer than gerbils, hamsters or guinea pigs. They don't bite just to be spiteful, are very smart and trainable. I just love them! I at first thought they were twins-they are white with a black stripe down the back and half of the naked tails are also black. Gary's (or is it Theodore?) Stripe is fatter, has a little smudge of black on his haunches and the black goes down farther on the tail. They are currently in a shoe box, but will go into the lizard enclosure that is currently taking up space in the garage. That enclosure is quite big. It held a 5 lb. bearded dragon for five years. He was a lovely specimen. He is now buried under a rock in the backyard. Dante keeps wanting to dig him up and take his bones to the museum. I hope and pray I can keep these little boys alive longer than the fish we have tried to keep. After my 3rd toilet bowl funeral, I decided fish was not my gig. Now we have the whole food chain in our house. Well, mostly. At least I am no longer buying food for the food that we fed to the lizard. The live crickets we bought weekly for Leo the Lizard required cricket food, and a dusting of vitamin powder before being sacrificed to the Lizard God... Now all we need is seeds-canary seeds and rat seeds. And lots of fruits from the garden. We just pray that the other carnivorious fur kids don't try to make a lunch out of the newest members of the family. Rocket is already licking his chops whenever he sees the bird or the rats. Roxie, too. Maybe the two will get along better with a common goal in mind. Meanwhile, just when the poop patrol gets better for me, I now have increased it three fold. Oh well-I prefer the poop patrol over the barf brigade. Allan gets that one.! Although he draws the line at hairballs. If it is spewed from his offspring he is okay, if it is my furbabies, I am out of luck. I will take what I can get!

Garden, Interrupted



I don't understand men. I don't understand their love for power tools, or their bravados while using them. I don't understand their love of danger and laughing in injury, or death's, face. I don't understand why mother's are mocked at our 'lack of adventure' yet we are the first ones called upon when disaster strikes. Since I lack testosterone, I suppose I will never understand.

8:15 on a Sunday morning-my lovely boys let me sleep in. Daddy decides it would be a great idea to do some gardening work before it gets too hot. (We have been having a heat wave.) He also thought his six year old son could be of some help. While I was having bad dreams about Dante, Allan was teaching him the use of a power trimmer. The kind that cuts through branches the width of say....a finger. You see where this is going, don't you? I was awakened to the shrill screams of my husband, "I need you! I need you! We need to go to the hospital!" At this point I had no idea they were mucking around with the power tools. I thought maybe Dante had a seizure- he has had them in the past. As a nurse, I did jump out of bed but didn't get too excited. Until I saw the blood. And witnessed Allan about ready to hyperventilate. Now both my six year old and husband are covered in blood, so I don't really know which one is hurt. I am suspecting it is my husband as my son is not crying at all. Plus, my brain is foggy-I just jumped out of bed and ran down the stairs from a deep sleep. I finally notice that Dante has his hand under the sink and a bloody rag around it. I am starting to put it all together when Allan says "he was using the power tool."

WHAT.THE.HELL?! Just because the warning label doesn't give a specific age for use, it sort of makes sense to the common person to NOT let a six year old use a tool with sharp moving parts and that weighs about 5 pounds. "It has a safety on it, I don't know how he got his finger in there."

Ummm...probably because the testers WEREN'T SIX YEARS OLD! Poor Dante is standing at the sink with blood running down his arm, eyes big and round, not saying a word. I think he was afraid he was going to get in trouble. We wrapped his bloody finger in some paper towel, and rushed to the car to drive to the local ER. Dante still not crying or saying a word. Of course we hit every red light on the way to hospital. The ten minute drive felt like forever. Allan dropped Dante and me off at the entrance while he and Jonah went to go park the car. I must say, the ER was remarkably empty and we got right in. I guess if you have plan your accidents, 8 am on a Sunday would be the day to do it. I think the bloody towel around his hand helped our cause. Since Allan was out parking, I had to explain the injury. I also got stuck hearing the lecture on power tools and children. 'Tell it to his father,' I said, ' I was not supervising the supervisor.' We were remarkably lucky. The power edger only go the tip of his left index finger. Since the part that was cut was still dangling, the MD sutured it back on to act as a graft. It is a flap of skin that is no longer viable, but should hopefully allow the new skin to 'take' to it, and as the new tissue grows, the flap will fall off. It took four stitches on the tip of his petite finger. He will also probably lose part of his fingernail. Dante was such a brave kid. Even the workers at the hospital couldn't believe how brave he was. He did not cry even once. I don't think I could have done it with out crying. When the MD was giving his finger shots to numb it before the stitches, Dante said to me,'cover my ears, mommy.' He always asks me to cover his ears when he gets shots. I have never gotten an answer from his as to why, until now. I asked him why I need to cover his ears instead of his eyes. He said,'because in case I scream really loud, it won't burst my eardrums.' Poor sweet kid. Not only did he not cry, but he watched the procedure. With his ears covered. He now has a giant bandage around his finger that is tied to his wrist to keep it on. He is very proud of it and is showing it to everyone. His only gripe: He can't hold the numbchuck to play Wii, and he is not allowed to play Little League T-ball until his stitches are out. Now THAT almost made him cry. He was consoled with a mid morning donut at Yum Yum donuts. We walked in with blood on our pajamas but we didn't care. We were just happy that Dante still has five fingers on his left hand. Maybe from now on when the Mommy-wife-nurse says "be careful", she will not be met with an eye roll. But I doubt it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Golf Pond-Monarch Resort


We decided late in the day to go letterboxing in Dana Point. I love that little town! It's about 30 minutes north of us, just a few miles into Orange County. The town itself is smaller by at least half than Oceanside. I also think, like most of Orange county, it is masterplanned. Unlike most of Orange County, where everthing is a cookie cutter match of the house or store next to it, I find Dana Point quaint without looking too touristy, clean without looking sterile, wealthy without being snooty. (the housing is at least 30% higher than Oceanside, if not more.) I guess the Plastic People stay further north in Mission Vijeo and Laguna! The harbor is 3 times the size of ours and the shops are eclectic and barren of the military infuence that pervades Oceansides downtown. Today we bypassed all that and drove near Laguna Niguel and the Monarch Golf Resort. There is a lovely bike/walking path that takes you on the periphery of the golf course, and all the way to the beach. I am not sure how far the whole walk would be if we had gone all the way to the beach, but we would have to take the bikes with the kid carrier in the back-our 1.5 mile trek was just enough for the kids. We followed the pave path and found stink bugs, and petted dogs. The boys loved the big sagey purple flowers that looked like 'lightsabers.' Dante had a blue one, Jonah a purple. There was no need to worry about getting lost-like Hansel and Gretel, we left a trail behind us except instead of bread crumbs, ours was flower petals. We crossed a wooden bridge, schlepped up a hill and finally arrived at our destination: Golf pond! Allan-not much of a hiker but humoring me by letting me drag him along, was happy that we were now on the 'world famous gold course' and he could watch the golfers. The kids fed the ducks and one giant red eared turtle while I found the box, covered with a big stone. I stamped us all in- trailnames as follows-me, scraphappy, Jonah,beluga, Dante,inferno, Allan, birdie. When i was finished i had a hard time picking up the stone that hid the box. I asked Allan to replace it but instead it rolled down the hill and into the pond!!! It was the only thing covering the box, and since stealth is suppose to be part of the game, i freaked. I have had boxes destroyed in the past, and don't want to be responsible for having someone elses ruined as well. Of course we can find NO MORE rocks. (freaking well groomed golf course!) I am about ready to tell Allan he is going to have to get wet to get that stone. He must be able to read my thoughts today, because he comes back from around the bend with a large stone in his hand, grinning like a hunter. Phew. Disaster averted! We had to rush a bit on the walk back to the car as the sun was fast sinking into the horizon. We made it back just in time! And the boys did a great job walking! Jonah walked the whole 1.5 miles there without one complaint. Allan and i did take turns carrying him on our shoulders on the way back. He is now 42 pounds so it was a good cardio workout! We stopped at the kids favorite restaurant in San Clemente....Denny's. Seriously. The kids LOVE it. It is a good place to take them. It is a sitdown place and mom and dad can order something fairly healthy. And you can feed a family of four without breaking the bank. (Tues. and Sat. kids eat free!) We drove home in the dark with the sweet sounds of snoring boys in the backseat.