lydamorehouse: (cranky aizen)
My family has a very unusual attitude towards truancy. We encourage Mason to practice it from time to time, as needed, to blow off steam and to have a 'mental health' day/practice self-care. I don't ask a lot of questions or make any requirements for him to use these days. Mason just knows that he's allowed to say that he needs a day now-and-again.

On Thursday, driving in to school, Mason said, "You know how we sometimes just take off and drive somewhere? Today would be a good day to do that."

So, we turned around, I called him in sick, and we went home so he could catch up on a bit of sleep. Then, we talked about what kind of adventure he wanted, and, since it was really cold and there was supposed to be a winter storm moving in around us, we decided to stick close to home. After a comforting lunch, we headed out to Como Zoo. We spent most of our time in the Conservatory, because it's warm in there. Here's the view looking up at the glass dome.

looking up at the Como Conservatory's glass dome

This was just what the doctor ordered. Mason and I chatted about what's going on in his life, while strolling through the heat and the humidity of the conservatory. Because of the time of year, a lot of the tropical plants had fruit. We saw a Buddha's hand, coffee beans on the coffee tree, several ripening cocoa pods, and a bunch of other stuff that made me think that maybe I should try to take over the Conservatory when the apocalypse comes. I mean, they have COFFEE!

Then, because we're insane, we decided to see which animals might be out enjoying the sub-arctic temperatures. No surprise, perhaps, but the Siberian tiger thought it was lovely out.

Siberian tiger in the Minnesota snow

As I wrote on Facebook: 'Not the polar bear, surprisingly, she was sleeping. The Siberian tiger was out, as were the wolves, the reindeer, the bison, and the arctic foxes which I have LITERALLY never seen at Como Zoo before, despite having walked passed their labeled area for YEARS. The two foxes were prancing they were so happy that the temps were sub-zero windchills."

I couldn't get a good picture of the arctic foxes because probably all you'd see would be two eyes and a nose. They are MADE to perfectly blend with the snow, after all. But, they were very, very adorable. Potentially worth braving the temperatures to see, honestly. The Como Zoo is still kind of the sad zoo (as opposed to the MN Zoo, which we just call "the big zoo"), in that a lot of their "enclosures" are still little more than chain link fences, but they've been slowly renovating the place to improve the animals' quality of life. The foxes, unfortunately, are still in a very small-sh space, so that's why I'd say "potentially" worth a visit. Your enjoyment would totally depend on whether or not you can stand that kind of zoo.

Then, on Friday, Mason was officially home from school, but I let him sleep in while I met a friend on Friday to go to the Science Museum. As part of his job, Mason gets free passes to the museum and this friend had been looking for cheap/free things to do during the day. I ended up cancelling on my usual ladies to hang out with her, but I had previously planned to go on Tuesday, but that was the day the plumbing broke. What I would say about our trip to the museum was that, if you go, you totally should spend some time in the Race exhibit. It's... well, I mean, parts of it are heartbreaking and awful, but it's extremely well done. Anna and I probably spent the majority of our time in that room. It was a moderately quiet room, not being a favorite of the countless screaming argonauts (aka other people's children), which was also nice for us, as Anna is deaf/hard of hearing.

But, also, there are dinosaurs! This is a "compi" from Jurassic World (Compsognathus).

a Compi!  (Compsognathus)

Anna and I don't know each other terribly well--this is the third time we've done something together, though the first time it was just us. I would definitely hang out with her again. She's lovely company. 

In other news, I continue to try to find a plumber for our upstairs bathtub. The good news is that we have a fully functional bathroom on the first floor that has a tub, so we're not out anything while we figure out what we're doing. I had one set of plumbers out already, Ryan Plumbing, whose estimate was 1,500 - 2,000 bucks, as they figured they'd have to rip up the kitchen ceiling to get at all the pipes. Weld Plumbing called back and would like to wait and talk to their owner about whether or not they think they're the right people, which I told them was FINE as we're in a buyer's market, as we can just let it sit there until we get the right people with the right price. Weld was the first group who said that they thought there might be a way to McGyver it, if we wanted to try a fix for ourselves... which made me like them a bit more than the Ryan guys, but the chances of them calling back seemed kind of slim, you know? As soon as "I have to talk to the owner" comes out, it either means they think your job is too small for them or they otherwise don't want to do it at all.

BUT. I'm going to keep calling a couple of outfits every day because seriously, we have all the time we need to figure this out. It's a BIT WEIRD to take a full soaking bath downstairs while the rest of the family is hanging out in the living room, but it's definitely not the end of the world. 

I've been mostly keeping up with my spell of the day, but I'll catch up on posting about those the next entry. I've got to wrap this up as I need to run off to pick up Mason from his job in about five minutes.
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
Man, it's a good thing that I didn't make a New Year's resolution about being better at blogging. I would have already messed that one up. I actually didn't make any resolutions this year. I have in the past, but this year I found myself thinking that the best I might be able to hope for is "be nicer," and then I immediately engaged in a knock-down, drag-out internet fight about the new Star Wars movie on my Facebook page and I thought, "Whelp, there goes that one."

Did I read anything this last week? No, I really didn't. I mean, yes, of course, there was a manga. It was really AWESOME manga (and a long one, 21 volumes) called: Shi ga Futari wo Wakatsu Made / Until Death Do Us Part by Takashige Hiroshi / Song Ji-Hyoung ("Double-S"). It's about a blind katana-welding vigilante who ends up as the bodyguard to a girl with pre-cognition.  It's literally everything you want from a story with that kind of premise, including scenes where our blind hero slices bullets with his microfiber space-age katana.  I mean, so CHEESY that it comes out the other side into SO AWESOME, you know?

I highly recommend it, but I'm not sure it's available in any commercial venue. Oh, looks like you can consume it legally:  https://www.amazon.com/Until-Death-Do-Part-Vol/dp/031621390X.  Well, I might have to support this, because I really loved this whole stupid story. The art is really pretty amazing and I loved the characters a lot. If you want to read my review, as usual, you can find it over on Mangakast:  https://mangakast.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/shi-ga-futari-wo-wakatsu-made-until-death-do-us-part-by-takashige-hiroshi-song-ji-hyoung-double-s/

I didn't manage to get any further in the other PEN award novel that I took out from the library.  That one might be a lost cause, after all.  But the library lets me borrow it for three weeks, so I'll keep it around for a while yet in the hopes that I'll feel in the mood again soon. 

How about you?  Read anything of interest this week?

Today is the first day that Mason will be a volunteer debate JUDGE of middle school debate teams. He's going to be over at Highland Park Middle today with a bunch of his colleagues from Washington Tech.  He's super nervous about it, which I understand, but I suspect it will go well (knock on wood.) But, because this is volunteering, I'm going to play chauffeur to a number of his fellow debaters, which should also be interesting. I should see what Google Maps thinks is the fastest route between Washington and Highland.... 

Anyway, the joys of parenting, eh?

lydamorehouse: (Default)
Happy Friday the 13th!

I've got a surprisingly busy day ahead of me. I have lunch plans with a friend this afternoon, a book that still needs some revision (though I've been making steady progress,) and this evening we've got both Mason's school's carnival (a fundraiser), AND a special topics class at KSW on "Jumping" for me.

I'd actually forgotten that Carnival was going to conflict with my Jumping class, so this means that the clausterphobic and crowd wary Shawn will end up having to accompany Mason at the Carnival.

So while I don't expect any disasters today, it's certainly set up for some.

Wish me luck.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'll have pictures to share tomorrow, but I just wanted to record that Mason and I spent the last FOUR HOURS at Minnehaha Park. It was pure awesome. We hiked the trail to the Mississippi River and then sat along the banks building sandcastles. Only half-way through this monumental undertaking did it occur to us to wonder if it was actually "legal" to mess around with the shoreline in a city park. Uh... too late! Because mess we did. In fact, we just had to take baths to get all the sands out of our behinds.

To top the day off, we had a classic banana split at DQ.

Then we got to pick up a couple more books that had come into interlibrary loan for Mason at our Mirrim Branch Library. Ah, a perfect summer day conquered!
lydamorehouse: (mason)
Mason got very sick while in LaCrosse, and worse, this illness seems to be the continuation of a cold-thing he's had since early November. He was on antibodotics once, and they helped... for a while. I knew things were dire when Mason actually napped for nearly the entire trip back from LaCrosse. Despite my best efforts when he was younger, Mason almost NEVER naps. He hangs on to wakefulness with two clenched fists, and has since he was a year and a half. Not only did Mason nap on the way home, but he then insisted he go to bed when we got home at 1:00 pm. He barely slurpped some soup and then rested fitfully until his bedtime at 7:00 pm. He hasn't acted this low-energy since the time we ended up in the hospital for five days. Shawn and I spent a very worried night.

Today, however, he was much perkier -- back to his chatty, happy self, actually -- but we kept him out of school and went to the doctor's anyway, of course. He and I spent three hours there. He had his chest x-rayed (clear), and was put on the nebulizer (sp?) at the office to see if his breathing cleared up (it did). The long and short of it is that he appears to have a very mild case of walking pnumonia or other bronchial infection and gets to take, of all things, steroids.

I hate going to the doctor's with Mason by myself. Our pediatrician is very good, but she's a bit scattered and I spent a lot of my time worrying that I'm missing some key bit of information. This fear, I think, has been exaserbated by the fact that once, when Mason was only four months old or so, he got a urninary tract infection that moved into his kidneys and then into his blood. He was too young to tell me anything was wrong, but I could tell he wasn't well. He had a fever. But, as any parent will tell you, kids get crazy fevers all the time. Even after calling the nurse line a couple of times, the nurses on the phone kept assuring me that he was probably fine and basically to give him two asprins and call them in the morning. He got better with the tyenol, but then he got lethargic. It freaked me out I called again and again. Except, I kept forgetting a key peice of information -- Mason has a kidney that doesn't drain properly (he's had this condition since birth). When Shawn called at night she remembered to tell the on-call doctor that. He sent us immediately to the emergency room, and probably saved Mason's life.

Granted this last doctor was the only one who remembered to ask us about other health conditions, but I often wonder what would have happened if we'd continued to let it go and no one had asked. I also feel very responsible for that mistake. Even though, in the end everything worked out, I get stressed out a lot about going to the doctor without Shawn, who I know is much better at asking the right questions and getting all the right information out of harried doctors.

Bleah.

It's Monday all right.

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