Sunday, December 28, 2008

The case of the missing Grandpa and the headless maid

WCK's other big Christmas present was a Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse. I picked it out because I thought it looked like a cute dollhouse; little did I know that every little girl in the whole entire world received one for Christmas this year. The house came with a mom, a dad, two baby twins, and a table and chairs. All other furniture and dolls are sold separately, and they were incredibly hard to find. After some searching (remember, Santa shops online), Santa found several rooms, and both of WCK's grandmas found a few rooms, and the house was complete.

Well, almost complete. We were able to find a doll set that came with a Grandma and an older brother, but we could not find Grandpa anywhere. After looking through the brochure that came with the dollhouse, we realized that Fisher-Price does not even make a Grandpa. Really? Why? Is Grandma a widow? Did she walk out on Grandpa? Is the "older brother" really Grandma's 25-year-old boyfriend? If you look closely at the mom and dad, you can see judgement in their eyes.

But after all the worry about finding the right people, WCK's favorite "person" in the house is the bathrobe stand that came with the bedroom set. You can see it in this photo:

WCK makes the bathrobe stand have all kinds of adventures. Earlier today, the bathrobe stand took the Loving Family's minivan downstairs and picked up some food at the Fisher-Price grocery store and took it back to the family. For some reason the bathrobe stand spends a lot of time cleaning the toilet (yes, the toilet came with a teeny little toilet brush), which makes me wonder if the stand is the family's maid. I say, if you're going to splurge for a maid, you might as well go all out and have the cleaning service send over one that has no head, so you can avoid any judgemental looks about the messy state of your bathroom.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Subway: Eat fresh

Santa came through: WCK got her set of plastic Subway food on Christmas morning. Whew. If you'll recall, WCK has been asking about this set almost on a daily basis since about August or September. She reminded Santa in person twice, and once via letter. She keeps asking me how Santa managed to find it, since we couldn't find it ourselves at Toys R Us. Santa is magic, I say. Also, he shops online.

Here's a photo of it from Christmas morning:

Now we spend nearly every moment playing "Subway". First, WCK tells us that Subway is closed, and we have to leave the room while she carefully sets all of the pieces on the coffee table. Then she tells us that Subway has opened, and we have to step up to the coffee table and order our sandwiches, salads, cookies, and bottled water. She prepares everything carefully and puts it on our tray, and then rings it up on her toy cash register. I usually pay via a fake credit card with WCK's photo on it that we got from a machine at Chuck E. Cheese. My mom even wrote "Subway" on some pieces of tissue paper, so we could wrap up the sandwiches and have them to go.

Is there anything better than plastic cheese?

Friday, December 26, 2008


I found the receipt for the Little House set and discovered it cost about half of what I thought it did. Thank goodness. Now I can watch the episode where Laura and Mary have to save up a penny to buy a new pencil for school without getting stressed out.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

WCK can't go to college now because ...

... Jay got me the entire series of Little House on the Prairie on DVD. It's huge. It has 60 discs and comes in a case shaped like a covered wagon. I'm a little shocked.

Yes, I knew he was getting me something related to LHOTP, but I honestly assumed it would be, I don't know, one season on DVD or a book or something. If you'll recall, I mentioned how I coveted the giant set a few months ago, but no normal person would spend that much money on DVDs. Then again, are any hard-core Little House fans normal people? I once stood in line for hours in the blazing sun to meet the actor who played Almanzo, and I didn't see any normal people around me.

I alternate between feeling guilty and queasy over how much was spent on my gift and feeling a little giddy that I can watch the episode where Harriett takes over the town newspaper any time I want. Jay says I deserve it because I have to put up with him every day. Hmm. Putting up with Jay is not very difficult, but OK.

Anyway. Today I watched the one where Charles falls out of a tree and breaks his ribs and can't stack the sacks of grain for the evil feed-store owner. It was so good.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Goth girl

The following story is something that would only happen when my camera's not working:

Some of the party favors at WCK's third birthday party were little dinosaur stampers with the ink inside. We have a bunch of them left over, and WCK loves those things. She'll stamp anything that will stand still long enough to be stamped. I try to never let her play with them unsupervised, or the results would be ... ah ... colorful.

Today, however, a blue pterodactyl stamp managed to end up in her room during "naptime". (Actually, I call it "rest time" now, although she neither naps nor rests. It would be more accurate to call it "Trash your room time".)

When she emerged after trashing her room, she had painted both of her lips, her eyelids, her fingers, and her toes dark blue. She looked very Goth-like. The stuff mostly washed right off, although it was hard to get it all out of the little folds of her eyelids. I took my three-year-old to church looking like she was wearing a hint of blue eyeshadow.

By the way, I'm not sure where she got the idea to put on lipstick and eyeshadow, since she has never witnessed her mother doing either one. Unless you count chap stick.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The horror's. The horror's.

I realized this morning that my sworn enemy -- the misplaced apostrophe -- made an appearance on my blog two posts ago. I have a serious problem with misplaced apostrophes. I know I need to relax a little bit about it, but I just can't. I'm thinking this qualifies as a mental illness.

Dear friends -- friends I have known and loved for years -- will use apostrophes incorrectly on their Christmas cards, and I will actually think -- for a split second -- that I'm not sure if I can be friends with them anymore. I recently visited the web site for WCK's school and saw the word "student's" when it should have been "students'", and I briefly considered sending her somewhere else.

In my defense, the Evil Apostrophe occurred in one of the questions on the Christmas quiz that I copied and pasted from my e-mail, so I didn't actually type it myself. Still, my apostrophe-hating brain should have picked it up right away. To make matters worse, the word didn't even need to be pluralized with an "s" at all. It was the word "reindeer".

That's right. The sentence, "Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?" appeared on my blog.

The shame. The shame. I need to go lie down.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cycle 20

OK, I had planned a photo that was going to be a dang hoot. It involved my Revlimid bottle and a gingerbread house made by WCK. Then my digital camera refused to turn on. After a minor panic that I had lost the photos of WCK's preschool Christmas party, a visit to the HP tech support web page and some fancy maneuvering, it seems to be on the mend, but it needs to rest and recharge. You'll just have to imagine the Revlimid and gingerbread.

This cycle, I am starting on 10 mg. I actually got REALLY excited to see what the 10 mg pills would look like. Yes, I am that lame. I was sure they'd be an exciting new color. Pink, maybe purple. Nope. They're blue and white, just like the 15 mg pills. Geez. If the drug company is going to charge $8,000 for 21 pills, the pills should at least look exciting.

The Christmas quiz

My friend Diane sent me one of those e-mail quizzes, only this one is all about Christmas. I decided to put it up on the blog instead of sending it by e-mail. Everyone else, join in!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper

2. Real or fake tree? Real! We always go chop it down.

3. When do you put up a tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend

4. When do you take it down? A few days after New Year's

5. Do you like eggnog? I'm seriously addicted to it. I want to swim in a vat of eggnog. I want to be hooked up to an eggnog IV. I want an eggnog fountain in my yard. It's a good thing you can only get eggnog for one month a year, or I'd weigh 500 pounds.

6a) Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm. The first thing that comes to mind is a Strawberry Shortcake baby doll that blew strawberry-scented kisses. I also remember my grandma giving me Where The Sidewalk Ends, and I spent all of Christmas day reading it to myself and laughing.

b) Favorite gift received as an adult? Last year I got a pedometer watch that I am still obsessed with each and every day. 15,683 steps today!

7. Hardest person to buy for? Jay

8. Easiest person to buy for? WCK

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. We got a basic set as a wedding present -- Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Every year, Jay's family gets us a new piece to add to it. We now have all of the wise men, some shepherds, an angel, and various animals.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? In junior high or high school, I got a pink sweater with pictures of cats knitted into the design ... and the cats had rhinestone eyes. And my mom made me wear it.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Not until after Thanksgiving

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Well, this year I wrapped up a couple of things I found in the basement, but they had sentimental value. I hope the recipients see it that way, anyway.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Seven-layer bars

16. Lights on the tree? Yes, but they can't all blink on and off at the same time.

17. Favorite Christmas song? The ORIGINAL version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with the ORIGINAL lyrics, as sung by Judy Garland in Meet Me In St. Louis.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? How would Santa find us if we traveled?

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes, and for the last time, it is "Donder", not "Donner"

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I got a cheap star from Wal-Mart -- because WCK claimed Christmas would be ruined without it -- and it fell off. But apparently just trying to put it on the tree kept Christmas from being ruined. Whew.

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Growing up, we opened grandparent presents Christmas Eve and Santa presents Christmas morning. Now it's pretty much all Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The way the Christmas season starts on Nov. 1.

23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? Wizard of Oz. I have every Hallmark Oz ornament produced since they started in 1993, and a bunch of other miscellaneous Oz ornaments.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I still don't know what I am going to make. WCK requested bread with butter, cheese cubes, and cookies. Sounds good.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Just a fun day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tweet tweet? Tweet!

Sometimes WCK pretends to be an animal, and I am always impressed by her commitment to her role. A few days ago, she was a tyrannosaurus rex, and she would only communicate by roaring. Tonight, she was a bird, and she'd only communicate by saying, "Tweet, tweet!" in different tones of voice. She also would not get into the bath until I called it a "bird bath", and she would not brush her teeth until I told her we were brushing her "beak." She spoke non-bird language long enough to tell me we could only read bedtime stories about birds, so we read, "Are You My Mother?"

She would not break character for anything else, even a potty break. She is a fine actress. I hope she mentions me in her Oscar speech.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I love to be surprised, but I almost never am. For some reason, the people who give me gifts always tell me about them ahead of time. Today, Jay and WCK went out on a Secret Mission. When they got home, WCK ran upstairs excitedly to find me.


"Just don't tell me what it is," I said. "I'll be surprised on Christmas Day."

"OK," she said, and paused for about two seconds. "IT'S LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE!!"

She then started dancing around singing, "It's Little House on the Prairie!" over and over.

At least I don't know exactly what it is. Is it a book? A video? A tin cup with a shiny penny inside? I can't wait to be surprised.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lazy newsletter

Nearly every year since Jay and I have been married, I've written a Christmas newsletter and sent it out with the cards. This year I was feeling lazy, plus I already write about our family almost every day in the blog. What more could I say in a Christmas letter? I finally decided to order some personalized postcard-like cards that I found for really cheap online, and I added a line that says something like, "For updates on our family, visit (the blog address)."

Would Miss Manners frown on this? Probably. I still thought it was a good idea, until I realized that I usually make our family sound semi-respectable and mature in the Christmas newsletter by pointing out all of the respectable things that we actually do (We volunteer at church! I'm the Community Service Director for my stay-at-home-moms group! Jay works really hard and is a computer genius! WCK wants to be an astronaut when she grows up!). When people visit the blog, though, what are they going to find? Videos of Jordan Knight with no shirt on.

I'd vow to start making the blog more respectable from now on ... but do you know how many Shirtless Jordan videos are available on YouTube? A lot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The anniversary

I was really sad when the NKOTB concert was all over and done with, and even sadder that I'd no longer be posting videos on the 11th of every month as part of my concert countdown.

Then I realized I could still post a video every 11th ... to celebrate the anniversary of the concert.

Don't worry. I'm sure YouTube will run out of NKOTB videos eventually.

In the meantime, have a funky, funky Christmas, everyone:

Still stable

Results are in. M-spike is 1.7, which means I'm still stable. Let's hope I can keep pulling this off for another six months!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Santa Encounter II

Another big Christmas event: WCK actually sat on Santa's lap! This was a real mall Santa with a real beard. This one was an Authentic Old Guy who did not have any visible tattoos. WCK would not make direct eye contact with him, but she did smile for the photo and then reminded Santa -- while not looking at him -- about the Subway set. She also sent him a letter today. (Exact content of letter: "Dear Santa, Hi. How are you? I want the Subway set. Love, WCK") Santa can't say he wasn't reminded about that Subway set.

I'm brand new to this sitting-on-Santa's-lap thing, so all of you Santa veterans will have to answer this: Are you supposed to tip Santa? I noticed the dad in front of me in line shook Santa's hand and smoothly slipped Santa a folded-up bill, just like smooth rich guys do in movies when they want to get a good table at a fancy restaurant. Santa casually slipped the bill inside his sleeve, like this kind of thing happens all the time. Really? Really, Santa?

I did not tip Santa when it was our turn. I guess I'm getting a lump of coal this year.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


I am thinking my three-year-old deserves an acting scholarship to a prestigious drama school. Examples, just from today:

WCK has watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer twice already this season. Her favorite part is the ending, when the big snow monster puts the star on top of the tree. Today, when we were decorating our own tree, she asked if she could put the star on the top, just like the big snow monster. I explained that we don't have a star for the top of our tree.

WCK threw her hands in the air.

"CHRISTMAS IS RUINED!!!!!" she cried.

Later, that same day ...

I was trying to help WCK get ready for church, and she was crying -- dramatically, of course -- that she did not like church and did not want to go. I was trying to explain all of the nice things about church, when she interrupted me.

"Stop talking!" she said. "I am TRYING to be SAD!"

I can't wait until she is a teenager. Can't wait.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Iron Woman

I had my four-week checkup at the Cancer Center today. Dr. GPO was really excited to hear about what Dr. H had to say. He agrees with the plan. I'll be starting on 10 mg of Revlimid for my next cycle.

The only results I have back are from the CBC. My hemoglobin is a butt-kicking 13.4! I think that's the highest it's ever been in my entire life. How did I pull that one off? My hematocrit is 38.2, which is also the highest it's been since I've been diagnosed, I think. That might be another all-time high, now that I think about it. There were times years ago -- back when I was "healthy" -- when I was turned away from donating blood because I didn't have a hematocrit that high. Anyway, all of those red cells are nice and robust and healthy. Thanks, red cells!

I'll find out about Spike next week. Hopefully he's continuing to keep a low profile.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Santa encounter!

In Christmases past, WCK was terrified of Santa. We only have one decent photo of her with The Big Guy. It was taken when she was six months old, and she was, technically, asleep.

This year, however, WCK has apparently learned how Santa operates. She's no longer afraid. She's working the system.

I will explain. Months ago -- maybe in August or September -- WCK saw a photo in a catalog of this set of toy Subway food:

She has been coveting the Subway set ever since. I told her that she was going to have to ask Santa to bring it. Since then, it's become her Red Ryder bb gun. She is obsessed with the Subway set. She looks for it at every store we go into. She brings it up multiple times a day. (As an Official Representative of Santa, I can tell you that she will be getting the Subway set on Christmas morning. I will be picking up pieces of fake lunch meat throughout 2009.)

Yesterday, we went to a Christmas puppet show at the library. When it got over, we had about an hour to kill before lunchtime, so I decided to stop off at Barnes and Noble so WCK could play with the train table. I didn't know that Santa was going to be visiting the children's department that morning.

There we were, minding our own business at Barnes and Noble, when Santa burst into the children's area. I expected WCK to have a heart attack or go screaming for the elevator. Instead she watched Santa with calculated interest. She waited for him to sit down and then she approached him cautiously. She waited for all of the other kids to take their turns, and then she marched up to Santa, got right in his face, and exclaimed, "I WANT THE SUBWAY SET!!!!"

Santa, who appeared to be a young, inexperienced Santa who was nervously trying to cover up the tattoo on his hand (B&N couldn't get him some gloves?), actually seemed a little intimidated by WCK. "Uh, sure," he said. "I'll have the elves start building that for you right now."

This was good enough for WCK. She took her free candy cane and marched off to the elevator. Mission accomplished.

Of course, I did not have my camera with me. Of course.