Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wherefore Art Thou, Fluocinonide?

A while ago I came across a blog post that was entitled something like "Your Life Might Be Better Without Prescription Medication."  I chose not to read it because I decided I didn't want to spend the rest of the day angry.

For the next several days, however, at odd moments my mind would touch upon that unread post and stew.

It's easy to think no one needs meds when you've never suffered from a chronic condition.

I wonder how many people I know would probably be dead with prescription medication?  Let's see- one, two, three, four...

How about I invite the author of that post to come show me how to get through an asthma attack without my inhaler?  I'm sure she'd be super helpful coaching me through deep breathing exercises and "centering myself."  (I have actually had someone suggest this to me before.  Upon learning about my asthma- you know, the sudden inability to DRAW SUFFICIENT AIR INTO MY LUNGS, he wondered aloud if I'd ever tried taking a deep, soul-soothing breathe to help get my system back on track?  I had nothing nice to say and so kept my mouth shut and instead tried to communicate my utter loathing through a flat stare and arched brow.  I'm pretty sure he got it.)

I just knew this was going to be yet another poorly researched post on the idiocy of Western medicine and a general spewing of terrible grammar and bad syntax.

Now, before you get your panties in a twist, let me be clear:  I totally get the whole "We don't need as many meds as we're currently ingesting" movement.  I really, really do.  I can see the wisdom in trying every other- often natural- avenue to good health before turning to medication as a last resort.  This is generally what we practice with our family.  So disengage those negative emotions you feel rising before you have a stroke and potentially need (gasp!) medication.

I did eventually read the article.  It wasn't at all what I had expected.  For the most part, the author was talking about taking meds to prolong your life for a short time- often at the cost of quality of life- and about taking one pill after another, treating the side effects of each drug with yet another.

That's a whole different ball of wax.  I didn't agree with everything she said, but I could certainly understand where she was coming from and respect her decision-making process.

Strangely enough, through the whole thing, the one prescription I thought I really wouldn't want to live without (including even the potentially life-saving inhalers and EpiPens) was my beloved Fluocinonide.

Oh, Fluocinonide.  If I were a poetess, I'd write a sonnet in perfectly balanced iambic pentameter to you.  Because I don't want your feelings to get hurt and make you feel invalidated, I'm going to make sure everyone knows how to pronounce your lovely name (say "flew-oh-SIN-oh-nide").

Do I need the Fluocinonide?  I suppose not.  Does it greatly improve my quality of life?  Oh, yeah.

Fluocinonide (okay, that's way too long for me to keep typing.  It needs a nickname:  maybe Flo?  Nidey?  Can you tell nicknames aren't really my thing?) is a topical ointment for eczema.  It's really been on my mind here lately because I've been so busy manual labor-wise, which obviously involves heavy use of my hands (and anytime you're working with your hands a lot, you're also having to wash your hands a lot, and as far as eczema is concerned, prolonged exposure to water is the devil) where my eczema is concentrated.  While this isn't exactly devastating as far as chronic conditions go, it is annoying to sit down and try to write a letter only to have the paper smeared with blood and ooze all because I had the audacity to try and bend my fingers around the pen, causing my skin to crack open and the blisters to burst.  No one wants to receive that letter in the mail.

As long as I have that ointment (and put it on every night.  I've discovered that it doesn't actually help just to have it, you also have to apply it.  Because I'm brilliant like that.), I can function completely normally.  I can curl my hands into fists without wanting to cry.  I can bathe my kids and wash their hair without pain.  I can garden and cook and write letters and type this post, all because of beautiful, greasy prescription Fluocinonide.

Do you have any meds you can't live without (literally or maybe just my-life-would-kinda-suck-without-this)?  Or do you think I'm going to hell in a handbasket for not just using prescription meds, but writing a blog post about my love for them?


I've been kind of a bad blogger lately, haven't I?  Does it count if I've composed countless posts in my head, if not actually on the blog?  Because if it does, then I'm actually an awesome blogger.

How about I do a half-hearted attempt at a post and make yet another list, then tomorrow come back and write a real post?

  • I walked upstairs toward the end of naptime the other day and found this:

Caedmon had snuck into the bathroom, crawled in the sink, then got stuck.  I have no idea how long he was in there; I had been outside trimming trees for the last hour and a half.  He now has a baby gate in his doorway at naptime.  He likes to curl his fingers around the bars and peer forlornly at me as I walk away from him.  It makes me feel a little bad for him.  Not bad enough to let him stay up, of course.  Don't let his sweet face fool you- that kid's an operator.

  • We finally made it to Ledges State Park the other day.  We all had a terrific time, in part because Cade enjoys being mothered by pretty girls, and our friend Adi is the consummate 7 year old mother.

  • My coneflowers are blooming, as is the cactus my grandparents gave me.

I know I keep harping on about it, but I just cannot believe all I had to do was lay that thing on the ground and it's thriving.  [Insert related self-deprecating comment on my parenting style that I'm too tired to come up with here.  Sorry guys, it's a bring-your-own-jokes kind of night.]  Note that I "planted" said cactus at the entrance to the rabbits' burrow under the shed.  I was hoping the little demons would get stuck and die slow, painful deaths, but then a little childhood fable began to trickle through my head... something about... Brier Rabbit?  Briar Rabbit?  Br'er Rabbit?  Anyone want to enlighten me?  Am I completely making this up?

  • I got my first cherry tomatoes of the year last week.  Two of 'em.  There's a whole bunch out there right now that hopefully I'll remember to pick tomorrow morning.  

Did I ever tell you I forced myself to like tomatoes?  In college I decided that it was high time I started eating tomatoes, so I'd make myself eat them every couple months.  As I progressed through my twenties I upped it to once every month, then every few weeks, until finally my taste buds surrendered or my brain cracked and I really did like them.  Only took me ten years!

  • I still like taking photos of my children while they're asleep.  I don't know what this means.

Atticus was actually hanging off the couch, and was supporting some of his weight with the leg on the floor for a whole hour while he napped.  I tell you what, even unconscious that kid is weird.  He either looks like a corpse or his entire body is covered in heavy blankets- including his head and face- with just his bare feet sticking out.  I always feel like I should be divining some deeper meaning behind these unusual sleeping positions.  

  • I get to see both my sisters and their families this weekend, including this lady:

Steph.  Beffer.  Stepha-roonie.  The Steph-meister.  Shteffer-Beffer.

Is it just my family, or do all youngest siblings have a million nicknames?

  • And something to make you smile:

Monday, July 22, 2013


Rather than updating the Books page (which I just can't bear to delete, but also can't bring myself to spend time updating on a regular basis when I could be, you know, actually reading.  Paradox!), I'm going to give you a list (yay, a list!) of some of the books I've recently read.  I'm not going to bother with full reviews of each one (why?  Because that would be uber-time-consuming; again, paradox), but rather give a sentence or two sharing my opinion of the book.  Like a drive-by book review.  Each title will be a link to the book's Barnes and Noble listing in case you're actually interested in it and want a legitimate summary.

Warning:  I will by no means be listing all the books I've read lately, but this could still end up being a rather lengthy post.  You might want to go get a snack first.  Or just stop reading now.

Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History
Here is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History by Andrew Carroll

Great read, fascinating little tidbits of history (hey, did you know the inventor of Cruise Control was blind?).  Each mini-story is around 5-7 pages long, and while the author threads them all together well, they can also stand alone, enabling you to read a couple a day for your fun history fix.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

If I could force you to read any one book on this list, this would be it.  So good.  So funny.  Will so mess you up.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

This book is simply hysterical.  Hilarious.  There is some cursing, so if that bothers you, you may want to skip this one.  I have to recommend it, though; I haven't seen such terrific humor in a novel in a long time, and despite its imperfections, has a fun storyline.  Read it if you need a laugh or a lighthearted piece of fiction.

Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  As such, it's incredibly well-written, but it's also really dark.  May cause you to lose your faith in humanity.  I've been really frustrated lately by how hard it is to find fiction that's both well-written, yet contains even a spark of light.  I kind of recommend this.

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family
The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne

This guy.  He has severe Tourette's, lifts weights to help him control it, and became a librarian in the enormous Salt Lake City Public Library precisely because of how challenging it would be to work in a library while in the throes of Tourette's (but also because he loves books).  Brutally honest, will make you decide to never ever complain about your life again.  You should read it.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I loved the crazy accounts and have immense respect for Ms. Strayed for just how difficult this hike sounded.  Only problem:  I'm not entirely sure I'd actually like her in real life.  I guess it's a good thing I just read her book, then.

I'll Be Seeing You
I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

Letters back and forth between two WWII soldiers' wives.  Touching.  Beautiful.  Makes you think about how you would behave and cope if your own spouse were off fighting a desperately dangerous war.  Read it.

Splendors and Glooms
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

Dark but fascinating YA fiction.  I read it because I thought it might be a good read for Adelaide.  I ultimately decided against it for her- she's not quite ready for some of the content- but I really enjoyed it.

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie J. Davis with Beth Clark

Will make you want to move to Africa and adopt 30 impoverished orphans.  Or, barring that, look for ways to serve God however you can in your own life.  Inspiring and important.  Please, please read this.

Yes, Chef: A Memoir
Yes, Chef:  A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson

A boy from Ethiopia is adopted with his sister into a loving home in Sweden.  Works his way up a brutal professional ladder to become a world-famous chef.  It's as interesting as it sounds, but if you're like me, will leave you feeling conflicted over how you feel about the author himself.

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
The Wilder Life:  My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure

I don't know.  I had high hopes for this book.  I love the whole Little House series, and so expected to read this and then want to be BFF's with Wendy (because of course we'd be on a first-name basis), but then... I just don't know.  It wasn't that it wasn't well-written, and I loved reading the parts about how she tried churning her own butter and traveling all over to see Laura Ingalls Wilder-related sites, but somehow... again, I don't know.  Maybe it was that she was a touch too introspective about the whole thing?  Or maybe it was that I didn't seem to agree with a ton of her personal views, and while that isn't always a game-changer, it seemed to be in this book.  I'd probably need to read it again to pinpoint just what bothered me so much about the whole thing, but there's no way I'd waste time doing that.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book is wildly popular right now; it's very well-done and hard to put down, but if you don't like books where you hate the main characters, this is not the book for you.  Trust me.

Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas Series #6)
Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz

I believe this is the second-to-last book in the Odd Thomas series (which if you haven't started reading, then I just don't know what's wrong with you), and it was wonderful.  You fall more in love with the characters, grow more intrigued by the overall mystery of the series, and will not be able to wait for the promised last book in the series that will pleeeeaaaase God answer all those delightful questions that have been building up for years.

Seriously, if you're still reading, you deserve some kind of medal.  Or at least a cookie, which is often better than a medal anyway.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Time for a list, says I.

  • Remember what I said the other day about the Japanese beetles being fewer in number this year?  Yeah, I was wrong.  Horribly, depressingly wrong.  My once-beautiful and vibrant flowers now look like... well, like flowers that have been chewed and utterly destroyed by an insect that has no natural predators on this continent (except for me, of course.  I derive a vicious and perhaps not entirely appropriate satisfaction to plucking those things off my potted plants, hurling them to the ground, and stomping them into green glittering mush).

  • I turned on my garbage disposal after loading the dishwasher today.  It made the tell-tale thunking sound that signals something large and foreign has fallen into the drain.  I quickly turned it off, waited a couple seconds, then reached in to retrieve whatever silverware had fallen in.  Except it wasn't any kind of utensil.  It was a golf ball.  I'm pretty sure my mom never had to deal with this when I was a kid.

  • It's been hot and humid outside, so we've been spending a little less time outdoors.  The kids are climbing the walls.

  • Adelaide and I have been doing a lot of reading this summer, which I plan on posting about eventually.  The men have been otherwise occupied.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fashion Backward

This morning, I saw a young lady leaving a store.  Bless her heart, I thought.  That girl is blind.

But then a whole group of her apparent friends exited behind her.  Well, that seems a trifle unlikely.  Are they ALL blind?  

Because seriously?  There is no way anyone would knowingly put on those clothes without the benefit of a little thing called "sight."

One of many signs that I'm getting older is my attitude toward what the younger generation generously calls "clothes."  There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what they wear.  First of all, leg warmers?  Those things are back?  And on a 90 degree, desperately humid day?

I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.  I mean, hey, maybe she has some family living in Tokyo and some others in Russia and really does need to wear three watches at once- on the same wrist- one for each time zone, right?

The other big trend these days seems to be of a vintage, Mad Men- inspired type.  I, of course, love this type of thing, as I'm a complete and total sucker for anything with the terms "vintage" or "antique" applied to it (even if most people seem to be completely okay with playing it fast and loose with the word "vintage").  I don't actually wear any of this type of clothing, but I think it's fun to see 60's-inspired dresses around me.

Sometimes it's good to be reminded that even back then, however, there was questionable taste abounding.

Case in point:  This little gem my mom found... I actually don't know where.  She's been cleaning out her basement lately, so in some box somewhere?  I'm not sure.

I don't even know what this is.  An elderly angel, perhaps?  I didn't think angels were capable of aging.
This, my friends, is a useful little pamphlet entitled "Holiday Happenings With Reynolds Wrap," and it. is. a. GEM.  My mom and I couldn't tell exactly when it was published, but we're guessing the 1960's or 1970's, when people knew that tin foil wasn't just for such mundane uses as food preparation.

I mean really, I don't know about you, but I always wanted to know how to make tin foil topiaries to flank my front door.  

And a tin foil wreath to match!

And just think!  Instead of the eye-searing and weather-defying ensembles I witnessed today, I could have had the privilege of being blinded by this little number:

This page is headed "Holiday happenings for teenagers," and the very first sentence informs you that "for the newest 'mod' look, it's teen fashions in foil, easily and inexpensively designed and tailored at home with Reynolds Wrap."  And they're not suggesting you stop at a foil dress!  You can continue to accessorize your mod self with a foil shoe buckle (which they want you to STAPLE to your shoes) and by "braiding your Falls with foil."  I actually had to ask my mom just what precisely "Falls" were.  Her long explanation ended with the summary "basically like hair extensions before there were hair extensions."  They also recommended applying rubber cement to the dull side of the foil and applying it to your old cotton apron for a festive holiday apron!  YES, PLEASE!

I actually don't know which I'd prefer to see strutting down my street, leg warmers or clothing made out of foil.  Hang on, hang on... how about LEG WARMERS MADE OF FOIL.  Your calves would literally be roasting in them on a day like today, bringing new meaning to the term "leg warmers."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cheap and Purdy

It's been a beautifully mild summer thus far, so I've gone a little crazy planting flowers (I blame the $0.99 perennials our local greenhouse sells every summer- and I have yet to see a plant purchased from them die.  It's amazing.)  Blue delphinium, beardtongue, bee balm, yarrow, aquilegia, oriental poppy, primrose, and sweet william, to name too many.  Plus they're little, so they take like two seconds to plant.

Now, don't worry.  I'm not going to show you photos of each and every one of those flowers I've planted this year.

I'm just going to show you a few.

You can just barely see that little pink balloon flower amidst all that snow-on-the-mountain.  I actually planted two of these right by each other, near the existing balloon flower that produces kind of bluish-purple blooms.  At this point, both new plants are little more than dried-out sticks, so I'm hoping they'll come back next spring when it's cool and wet again.

That pink plant in the middle is a "Gallery Pink" lupine.  It's really shot up from the tiny thing I planted a month ago.  In the foreground is the shasta daisy Cheryl gave me.  Thanks, Cheryl!

That little spot of red in the above pic is "Arizona Red Shades" blanket flower.  I know blanket flower is supposed to be so easy to grow and blah blah blah, but I've always struggled with it.  This one seems way healthier than any I've grown before, so I'm hoping it'll spread a bit for more color in that bed.  

Oh, hey- remember Viktor?  

He's still doing well.  Twitchy, but well, you know.  That's our Viktor.  Right now he's vigilant about standing guard over some pink yarrow, more daisies, a rogue spiderwort I need to pull up, plus a struggling regular blanket flower.  

I guess technically he's standing guard under the flowers.  Whatever.

This is one of the many, many flowers sent home with me from my grandparents.  They called it a rain lily, and it's bloomed several times since arriving home- usually after it rains.  Go figure.  Evidently I'll need to put it in the basement during the winter.

Oh, and remember that cactus my grandma told me to just throw on a patch of dirt?  Well, I watched it wither and turn brown, but lo and behold- that thing's taken root.  Grandma was right.  Again.

Let's see, what else, flower-wise...

It was a banner year for my roses:

I recently read that roses tend to bloom in two-year cycles; they'll have one good year, then a bad year, one year off, one year on.  This has proved true for ours, although I think the late arrival of Japanese beetles- which just showed up last week, and in far fewer numbers than last year- also helped immensely.

Lastly, a little gardening money-saver:

This is one of the flower baskets on our front porch.  I took this before the coleus really took off, but that's not the point.  Originally, this metal basket had one of those coconut liners in it.  Those things lasted two years before too many birds had shredded them, gathering material for their nests.  I looked around for replacement liners, but 1) had trouble finding the right size, and 2) more importantly, discovered how expensive those things are.  I just wasn't willing to pay $12 per liner for something that's only gonna last a couple years at most.  

Instead what I ended up using, and what you see here, is landscape fabric.  It cost me all of $0.19/yard at Earl May, and I bought two yards (which ended up being way too much, so I'm set for the next couple years), brought it home, cut it into rough rectangles larger than the size of the baskets, kind of smushed it in there, dumped the potting soil in, planted the flowers, then cut off the excess fabric.  $0.38 vs $24.  

I should tell you I did not come up with this brilliant idea myself; I did a little google search for something like "coconut liner alternatives that don't leave me having to sell one of my children to afford them," and a blog came up (that I now can't find, of course) written by a woman vastly more creative than me.  God bless creative people.

Please don't tell my kids I think they're each worth $24.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Not So Comforting

About a month ago, Derek and I bought a new comforter for our bed.  We had spent the previous several months hunting for an inexpensive new one that we both found attractive enough to sleep under every night, which turned out to be about as difficult as agreeing on names for our children.

I once read that a true compromise has been reached when nobody is happy.  If this is true, then our new comforter is a perfect compromise.  Neither of us really loves it, but it's not nearly as hideous as I found most of his previous suggestions to be, and he doesn't make his You have got to be kidding me face when he sees it like he did with all my other bedding-related suggestions.

There has been an unforeseen problem with this particular comforter, however.

Most nights, Derek and I take turns going in to settle Atticus down after one of his night terrors.  It's gotten to the point where he can be calmed relatively quickly, meaning we don't have to fully awaken, which further means we can usually fall back asleep almost immediately after returning to bed.

The majority of the population experiences this kind of not-quite-awake state in the mornings, often before they've had one or two or five cups of coffee.  We don't drink coffee in this house; Derek because he doesn't like it, me because it gives me a stomachache.  And yes, I do see that as a kind of tragedy.

My point is, you know what I'm talking about when I say not-quite-awake-but-still-not-asleep.  I'm not the most cheerful person in that frame of mind (although I've also never accused a loved one of petty theft, nor have I tried to stab anyone when half-awake, Kelli).

This isn't usually a big deal in the middle of the night.  I quiet Atticus, return to bed, go back to sleep.

Except now it's:  Quiet Atticus, return to bed, engage in surprisingly bloodless battle with the comforter, go back to sleep.

The problem, of course, is ridges.

The new comforter has these stripes, these raised ridges that run horizontally across the width of the material, and for whatever reason, when I'm in the throes of that irrational half-consciousness, those ridges are infuriating.  As it turns out, when I pull the blankets over my tired body, all I want is blessed smoothness, not bumps and irregularities and ridges.

To my exhausted diurnal brain, the obvious solution is that the blanket needs to be punished.  As it turns out, however, kicking and tearing and twisting a comforter is about as worthwhile as you would think fighting something with the name "comforter" would be.

It's actually a lot like trying to hang up on person while talking on a cell phone.  Remember how wonderfully satisfying it was to hang up on a person with a corded phone?  You really felt like your displeasure was being communicated when you could slam that receiver onto its base.  Now?  All you get to do is push a tiny button, and no matter how violently or with what amount of malevolence you push it, you're still just pushing a button.

I'm not really sure what the answer is here.  Keep the (smooth, no frills) old comforter tucked under my side of the bed to use at night?  Train myself to sleep with only a sheet, aka be freezing cold all night?  See a shrink?

I don't know, but I have a sudden urge to buy an old phone at a garage sale just so I can hang up on someone.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mystery Flowers

Okay, friends.  I need help identifying more of the flowers in my yard.  I promise not to mention the imminent robot coup this time.

I'm looking for help with the yellow flowers.  They're kind of shrub-like and attract bees and butterflies in droves.  They also spread every year, taking up more and more precious real estate in this sunny flower bed, so I'm going to have to cut some of them back next spring.  They bloom for weeks throughout the summer.  

A friend told me they were coreopsis, but... I thought tickseed was coreopsis.

Tickseed, aka coreopsis.

Is she right?  Are these little yellow flowers another type of coreopsis?  Has anyone else made PW's cowboy quiche?

Sorry.  I made the quiche last night and still have it on the brain.  It's always fun when a new recipe is a hit with the whole family.  It was a little salty, but I can easily amend that, and it was super duper easy.  

Back to flowers.

I haven't been able to find anyone who knows what these are:

The plant itself is maybe a foot high, and I actually kept mowing over it the first couple summers we were here.  It was mostly in the grass, not quite in the flower bed, but I've built the beds out enough now that it's not in danger of being cut anymore.

It blooms in mid-summer (now), the flowers are... I don't know, maybe double the size of a quarter, and a pale pink, not quite as purple as they appear in the photo.

Any ideas?  Anyone?

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Dimpled Tyrant

I mentioned a post or two ago that we had moved Caedmon out of his crib and into a toddler bed.

Here's a picture of that little bed in Cade's room... 10:30 last night.  Because as excited as he was about his new (to him) bed, he never actually seems to want to sleep in it.  More likely than not, we find him here in the middle of the night:

A little bit in his room, but mostly in the hallway.  This means that when Atticus wakes up screaming and crying from a nightmare, it also wakes up Caedmon.  Which is something special, let me tell you what.

The good news is that Atticus's night terrors/ nightmares/ whatever the heck they are have slowly but steadily been improving.  He tends to have fewer per night, and he calms down much more quickly than he used to.  For his part, it's generally pretty easy to calm Cade down, and I usually use the opportunity to dump him into his new bed so that I can shut the door and he hopefully won't wake up at the crack of dawn.

Which never works, by the way.

My gosh, that kid.  That kid.  Since moving into his toddler bed (or really just out of his crib), I swear he must wake with the birds then stand in his room, ear to the door, just waiting to hear the slightest semblance of movement among the rest of us.  This means that most mornings I feel like a hostage in my own bedroom, because try as I might (and I have tried just about everything: tip-toeing, crawling, sprinting, slithering across the floor), the second I set foot out of our bedroom to try to sneak toward the bathroom, Caedmon comes bounding out of his room, face wreathed in smiles, excitedly asking, "IS BEDTIME OVER YET?"   And that's on a good morning, the ones where Derek doesn't have to get up at 5:30 for work.  Because when Derek gets up, Caedmon also gets up.  Oy.

Also on the Caedmon front- he must have recently come to the realization that Hey, wait a second- I'm two.  Two years old.  WHY THE HECK HAVE I BEEN SO SWEET AND DOCILE AND ACCOMODATING?  I've wasted precious months of one of the most tyrannical years of my life!  Oh, well; better late than never MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

Cause yeah.  Most of the time he's still sweet and docile and accomodating.  Then he goes all Sybil on me and has a meltdown or freaks out because I won't let him wear his favorite (heavy, warm) sweater or demands that I get him his milk RIGHT NOW.  Basically, he acts like a two-year-old.

This means he's been spending some quality time in the corner and has gotten spanked more in the past two weeks than he has in his entire life.  This is still new enough to him that his response is one of abject heartbreak, which often makes me laugh, which makes him throw himself dramatically across his bed (at least he uses it for something, right?), which makes me laugh harder.

Then he crawls into my lap and says, "I love you, Mommy," and "Pretty Mommy," and "Can I have a kiss right here, Mommy?" and I decide maybe I won't kill him after all.