megabyte: (Default)
2014-10-19 02:04 pm

My Ashton

I do not post here often enough! Maybe I'll redouble my efforts to write here. :)

Just felt like it would be a good thing to say here that we did adopt the dog, and seven months later, still calling him Ashton. Is it weird that I still don't know if I like his name? But I do like him! In fact, I love him quite a lot, and love having a dog again.

megabyte: (Default)
2014-03-04 03:55 pm

Potential Doggie For Us?

Guess what?! I looked up the dog rescue on Facebook, and they have ALBUMS for all the adoptable dogs! What an awesome turn of events that the mommy dog, Roxie, was adopted before any of her pups. Too often, the puppies are adopted first, and the mommy dogs have to wait forever to be adopted. Super cool that she got a home already!! Yay, Roxie's new family... rocks! hehe!

Okay, so here is Roxie, Ashton's mother, with Ashton right next to her:
 photo 1377497_528021920600451_1301080073_n_zps0298e292.jpg

Ashton is the little guy I'm interested in, though I think if we are lucky enough for him to become ours, we'll be changing his name!

a few more pics! )
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2013-06-09 03:17 pm

Updates

We moved out of my mom's place and into our very own apartment just in time for my birthday! My birthday was our first full day we spent here. This is the tenth home Joe and I have shared together!! And it's Homer's third home. We've been here a while now, and so far, we're really enjoying it.

I'm sure we'll enjoy it even more once our furniture arrives! Our wonderful friend, Ren, coordinated with our moving people for estimates and for the actual loading date, which was a huge help. And as of right now, our stuff is somewhere... It was being taken to a warehouse for loading. So, depending on their schedule, it's either sitting in a warehouse, sitting in a truck in the warehouse, or sitting in a truck on a drive up here to Washington, and that is obviously what we're hoping for the most!!

Our livingroom is empty except for a few of Homer's toys and a large cardboard box that we left for Tails and Homer to play in. (So far only Tails has been interested in playing with it.) The box is what our armchair came in. The armchair is in our bedroom, along with our camp chair, a couple of mattress pads we've been sleeping on, a lamp, and a small entertainment center of sorts - a television, a TiVo, and a Wii U game console. We have a few plates and utensils, and a pot and a baking sheet in the kitchen. I never thought I owned much kitchen stuff in the first place, but I guess I did, because man I miss my kitchen things!!! I feel like our kitchen is SO empty, and it's hard figuring out what I can even cook. I got a steamer basket, which is great for veggies, but yeah, definitely looking forward to having more appliances and stuff. I am hoping to try some new recipes once our things arrive! I guess I ought to start trying some of those 400 recipes I've logged on Pinterest!

It'll be fun to set up Homer's bedroom, too, which as of now, contains only a few toys, his changing pad, and some diapers and wipes. And after we set it up, our next goal will be to see if we can get him sleeping in there.

We haven't heard anything from the movers today, so we're thinking that means they're not coming tomorrow. The 11th was the latest they'd estimated we'd get our things, and so we are hoping that'll be the day!! C'mon furniture!! WOO!

After this long without it, I'm wondering if this place will suddenly feel crowded once all our things are here?! ;)

Living here is definitely nice, even without furniture. I like the look of the buildings, which are lettered. Homer is learning the letters and asking what sound they each make! There is a small tot lot, which is basically just a slide that Homer sometimes slides down, but it doesn't keep his interest for too long. Instead, we go walking all over the lawns, holding sticks, hunting for treasure. "Treasure??" we say again and again as we lift various leaves with our sticks. This was a thing started back in our Thousand Oaks home, and Homer still absolutely loves it!!

There is a cabana here which I keep calling the clubhouse, and then Homer says "Mickey's?" Haha! I think it was called a clubhouse in some of our old apartment complexes we've lived in. Anyway, it has the main office, and a cozy seating area with a television and complimentary coffee and tea. Downstairs is a workout/fitness room with elliptical machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines. Next to that is the hot tub, and just outside is the heated pool.

I'm assuming it's because it costs a lot of money to maintain the heated temperature of an outdoor pool in colder months, but the pool is only open in the summer! So, it finally got warm enough to open in the beginning of June. I need a new swimsuit, and then I'll take Homer on down there!

It's also now warm enough for the water park to be open. It's actually a free park called Crossroads Splash Park, and it's open for play all year. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there's water spraying all over the place too! I heard it's really crowded right now, since it just opened. We're giving it a little time for the excitement to calm down a bit before heading over there ourselves.

So it's finally summer here, the sun in shining, and the jackets are sitting unused in the car, but ready to grab should the weather change at a moment's notice. And that's a definite possibility. One guy online said Washington's slogan should be, "Don't expect it to be warm and dry until after the fourth of July!"

So far, though, June has been really beautiful, warm and lovely! I'm hoping it continues all summer long. Happy Summertime, everyone!
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2013-06-05 08:50 pm

Homer

Daddy said teasingly, "Just who do you think you are, Homer?"

Homer replied, "I Homer! That's right!"

***


"Okay, Homer, we can do that tomorrow," I said.

"To Mario?"

I like imagining "tomorr-io" as a timeframe, hehe!


***


This one's from a while back...

"C'mon, Homer!" I said. "Hurry, please. Hurry!"

"Hooray?" he asked.

I stopped and caught myself, wondering why I was rushing my sweet son, and merely replied, "Yes. Hooray!"

"HOORAY!" he shouted.

"Hooray!" I smiled.


***

Just today:

Homer put one goldfish cracker in his mouth, then another and said, "Who's in there? ...It's ME, goldfish!"
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2013-06-02 11:29 pm

Homer-isms

"That mine's!" Used for toys and snacks much of the time, especially when Tails is getting too interested in them for Homer's liking. I just like the placement of the "s." :)

***

Lately, his new favorite word is "because," pronounced, "puh-cuz." The best part is that he has no idea how to use it correctly. Examples...

"Hi! Puhcuz Bowser!"

and

"Garse and Sin-min in our car. Talking. Puhcuz riding in car and bat." My brother, Garth, and his wife Cinnamon were in our car when we had our fun day out yesterday and we bought little stuffed animals. Homer got a bird, and Garth got a bat, and they played with them in the backseat together. It was so funny hearing Homer say that today!

The best was when he was just rambling forever about his Super Mario dolls to me last night. I wish I could have recorded it. It went something like:

"And Pincess Peach. Puhcuz says let's have dinner. Puhcuz Mario. And Luigi! And Bowser. And jumping. Puhcuz they running 'round and 'round. Puhcuz now reading. Puhcuz sliding down Mommy's arm!"

***

Banana is pronounced "Banna."

***

When we were in the library today, I said, "Hey Homer, shh, we're in a library, so let's keep our voices down."

He responded, "No! I TALKING LOUD!!"

***

Sometimes when I tell him I love him very much, he responds with a very enthusiastic, "Oh-KAY!"

***

When we were about to leave the house earlier, we said, "All right, we're leaving to visit the library! Let's go look at lots of great books!" And he declared, "I want to see elephants! And a gorilla!" Looks like we'll have to go back to the zoo again soon! ;)

***

When we were on our walk, Homer had picked up a stick and was enjoying carrying it around. He saw some boys pass us heading the other direction, a few of them also carrying sticks, and Homer shouted at them, "I Homer! And a stick!"

Soon thereafter, he also picked up a rock and kept saying, "And Homer, and stick, and rock. And stick. And rock. And Homer. And..."

But he also kept saying, "I hit any any people!"

He likes to say "any any" a lot. We told him he couldn't hit any people, or animals either for that matter. He asked, "How 'bout the ground?" I said okay, just a little and he whacked the ground a few times, but then I told him, okay, enough hitting, let's just walk and no more hitting, please, so he continued walking and grimacing in his over-acting kind of way, and looking around like he was on patrol for anything that might need hitting.

As for other examples of "any any." He'll say, "There not any any cars!" when we're crossing the street.

And "I see any any books!" in the bookstore. It's really cute.

***

He loves the movie, The Lorax. I love that he usually calls it "the loris." But I also love that he tries to sing the song. From that movie, he'll sing, "Ba-ah can I be?" He'll also say a later line, "Look-ah me. Pet puppy."

(For those who may not know the song, it goes, "How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just following my destiny..." And later, "Look at me, pettin' this puppy!")

And if I sing part of the verse of a later song, he'll chime in with the chorus, "Let it grow, let it grow..."

He also knows a lot of the words to the theme song of "Adventure Time." The real words are:


Adventure Time,
C'mon grab your friends,
We'll go to very
distant lands.
With Jake the Dog and
Finn the Human,
The fun will never end,
it's Adventure Time!

Homer sings, "Fenshuh time. Friends. Jake dog, Finn human. Fenshuh time!"


He also used to sing, "Jeepers creepers" like this:

Jeepers, jeepers, where'd ya get jeepers??

But now he actually says:

"Jeepers, creepers, where'd ya get creepers? Jeepers, creepers, where'd ya get dem eyes??"

He sings it so fervently, it's as though he's really demanding an answer to that question. He also sometimes sings it in a frighteningly deep voice. We call it his demon singing. It's especially unsettling to hear, "Where'd ya get dem eyes??" in such a growly, scary voice! It was even worse when he had his cold! He could get his voice even deeper and growlier than usual!

***

Homer makes me laugh more than I ever imagined. He lights up my life! <3
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2013-05-25 09:03 pm

Homer Stories

Homer was playing with his Mario and Bowser dolls (from the Super Mario games, naturally), and I overheard Homer's cute little voice, as he lowered it to make them talk (I love when he does voices for other things):

Mario: I love you.
Bowser: I love you, too!
Mario: You're a good friend.

Heeheeee!!


* * *



Joe: Did you poop?
Homer: Yes! [pause] {then, shaking his index finger back and forth} Or, maaaybe not!!



* * *



While I was in the kitchen making lunch, and Homer was watching me from the dining area:

Homer: Mommy, come here!
Me: Where?
Homer, pointing next to himself: Right HERE.
Me: Why?
Homer: To be closer to me!




* * *



Joe takes daily medication for his heart, and Homer knows this, and often asks what Joe is doing, so he tells him, "I'm taking my medicine."

So, when Homer got an ear infection (which was not fun), he was totally excited to find out that he had his own medicine. "HOMER'S medicine??" And he takes it eagerly, and often asks for more. "Homer try medicine AGAIN?" Thank goodness for strawberry flavoring! Best two bucks ever spent!

On the same note, as far as the ear infection goes, we didn't know what was wrong for a couple hours the night he was crying so hard. Nightmare? Hungry? (he hadn't eaten much dinner)

Then finally, Homer patted his ear and through tears said, "Mommy kiss it!" And that's when I knew it was hurting him. Poor guy! But SO sweet, too.



* * *



Homer can now jump pretty well, and he can do somersaults really, really well! He loves flipping over and over the beds in the evening.


* * *


His favorite thing to ask lately, is, "What you doing there?" Mommy, what you doing there?? Daddy, what you doing there??

He used to say, if he couldn't see you right away, "ARRREE you?" But now he adds the word "where."

"Where aaaaare you?"

He even said it when we were looking for the Arby's around here the other day. I said, "Where is this Arby's anyway?" and Homer said, "Arby's, where aaaarrrre you?" LOL!



* * *



I've told Homer to say excuse me when he burps or farts, and I naturally try to model this behavior as well.

So the other day I farted (full disclosure, lol), and Homer said, "Mommy, you farted!"

"Yes I did. Excuse me," I said.

Homer turned to Tails sitting next to us and said conversationally, "Excuse me, Tails. Mommy farted!"

That's not quite what I meant for him to learn, but whatever, he's getting it. Kind of!
megabyte: (Default)
2013-04-24 11:30 am

More Conversations with Homer

Homer has been asking about noises lately. In a parking lot, a car alarm was going off and he asked me, "Do you hear that?"


When we were eating dinner, the dryer buzzed after it finished its drying cycle, and Homer made the funniest face, brow furrowed and demanded loudly, "WHAT WAS THAT?!"

We laughed really hard then explained it was the dryer.

And just now, Homer heard the neighbor's garbage disposal (the walls here are pretty thin), and Homer said, "What is that?"

"Oh, it's a garbage disposal," I told him. He looked at me questioningly, so I continued, "It's a machine in the sink that chops up food better so it can go down the drain."

He just looked at me for a second, then whispered, "Wowww..."

I LOVE THIS KID!!

That reminded me of the first time he ever said his whispered, "wow," which was when he first discovered metal tongs, the kind used for flipping steaks on a grill. I really do get a kick out of watching him discover things, the awe that overcomes him... It's pretty great!

I also love that his favorite way to ask questions lately is by starting with, "How 'bout..?" I guess I say that a lot! So does Joe. We say, "How about another bite of turkey?" or "How about we wait until after lunch to look at the iPad?"

So now Homer says, "How about... lizard!" when he wants to just show us his lizard toy. Or he'll say, "How about.. this one!" My favorite is, "How about Daddy's iPad?!" because Daddy's iPad is way more exciting than Mommy's or Homer's, hehe! He makes me laugh!
megabyte: (Default)
2013-04-23 01:22 pm

Homer Stories

Me: Are you going to eat more yogurt?
Homer: EAT MORE YOGURT!!!
Me: Okay, you don’t have to yell, all right? If you want more yogurt, say ‘May I have some more yogurt, please?’
Homer: More yogurt, please?
Me: Okay.
Homer: Yogurt up here? (pointing to his head)
Me: NO.
Homer: Yogurt in hair??
Me: No-
Homer: Yogurt in *hair.* (then, in a whisper…) It’ll be awesome.
Me: (dies laughing)


Me: Do you want some of your pickle?
Homer: YES. (bites into pickle…) OH, yeah. OH yeah… (nods vigorously, grinning ear to ear)

I guess he liked it!! This made Joe and I laugh so much, because my mom does this. When we told her the story, she had NO idea that she does this all the time, especially when sipping a new wine. She’ll take the first sip and nodding, say, “OH yeah… This is perfect,” or something like that. Too funny that Homer picked up on that too!


In the car, a few days ago, Homer had his toy puppy and he kept saying something. The toy puppy was the one “talking.” Finally, I realized the puppy was saying, “My friend, Homer!” Awwww!!


At night, when we read bed time stories, Homer has been saying, "Homer read it!" I say okay and ask him to read it to me. He sits back, opens up to a random page in the book and points to words, asking me, "What it says that?" It makes me laugh every time!! I love the way he talks. I love the out of order words. I was actually a little sad to realize that only in the last week, he has gone from saying "Go Babba" to truly pronouncing correctly, "Yo Gabba Gabba." Oh, Homer! What a sweet boy you are!
megabyte: (Default)
2013-04-22 01:31 am

Park Stories

Overheard at a park:

Two boys, about 8 years old, maybe, are playing near by.
The first boy asks, “Hey, why isn’t Michael talking to me?”
“I dunno. He’s mad at you, I guess.”
“Why?”
The other boy shrugs.
The first boy says, “I mean, I didn’t do anything. I only called him a faggot.”
“What does that mean? Is that a bad word?”
“No. It doesn’t mean anything.”
The other boy looks at him doubtfully.
“It doesn’t mean anything!”

Kids are hurting each other with words they don’t even understand. I’m glad they’re too young to really understand the meaning most people ascribe to that word, but I’m bummed that kid not only heard it, and knew it was an insult of some kind, but then chose to pass the insult on while fighting with his friend.

~ ~ ~

Homer and I were playing by ourselves at another park one day, going from this cool little house area in the sand pit, to the big slides, then back to the sand area. As we passed a group of boys, I overheard them talking. Three boys were sitting, and one boy was standing. One of the sitting boys said to the boy standing, in a very snotty tone, “You can’t sit here with us. There isn’t enough room! You’re not even our friend, anyway!”

And before I knew it, the words came spilling out of my mouth before I’d even thought of what to say. “Hey! You need to be nice,” I said. “You can play together. It’s okay to make new friends!”

I don’t know if it’s the mom in me, the former field trip teacher, or being the “new kids” in town ourselves, but I just couldn’t let that go. And I’m glad, because after Homer and I walked away, I looked back, and all four boys were playing together.

Untitled

~ ~ ~
Read more... )
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2013-04-02 12:11 am

Easter Birthday Party

My brother, Garth, and his wife, Cinnamon, invited us to Marymoor Park for my Garth’s birthday party a few days after we arrived here, and it was a lot of fun. Garth’s birthday happened to fall on Easter Sunday this year. Garth looked it up and realized his birthday (March 31) will land on Easter once every fourteen years or something like that. I remember it happening once when we were kids, at least. I had a lot of fun making his card, turning a kids’ “1 little, 2 little, 3 little fishes” card into a “1 little, 2 little, 30 little fishes” card, which involved drawing 27 more fish. It made me laugh, and even more importantly, it made Garth laugh! Yay!! I can’t believe my “little” brother is 30 now!!! Crazy.

Before we left for the park, Homer got to enjoy finding his very first Easter basket! It was so much fun, and he loved the toys he received (a rubbery lizard, and a peeping chick and Easter Snoopy!). He even picked out the basket himself, when we chose them at the store. I loved making little Easter baskets for him, Garth, and Cinnamon!! (Mom, Homer, and I had fun shopping for them, too!) It was fun watching Homer take out the toys one by one, as he smiled so much!!

Untitled

Read more... )
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2013-04-01 09:04 pm

The Long Drive

I’m sitting here, feeling somewhat writerly-blocked, thinking of what I want to say about the actual move, the drive itself. It is a bit hard to describe! We saw miles and miles of farm land. And some cows! Lots of cows. Then lots of trees!

The whole time, it still never felt like we were really MOVING. Not really. And to tell you the truth, it still doesn’t! The drive was long, but do-able. Tails, contrary to my belief and concern, did not spend the entire drive meowing his head off. In fact, he was remarkably quiet almost the entire time, but I don’t think it’s because he was relaxed, per se. He didn’t really sleep. We kept checking on him, and he was awake, staring out at us. We tried to stop as little as possible. Our food and potty breaks were quite short. I was surprised Homer did so well, too! He just watched “How to Train Your Dragon,” on repeat, for the most part!! Luckily, we all love that movie.

Joe turned his iPad into a WiFi hotspot and downloaded a bunch of podcasts for me. It was cool hearing Dr. Drew and Adam Corolla together again! I hadn’t listened to them together since the days of Loveline back in the late 90s. Each show was an hour long, and it was entertaining to listen to. Relationship questions, sex questions, the general generic ramblings of Adam Corolla… Fun times! Some of it we had to turn off and wait until Homer was asleep to listen to, because at one point they went on a crazy profanity rant. It was very funny, but I don’t need Homer trying to repeat all that!

That first day we made it all the way to Ashland, Oregon. It was 630 miles in 11 hours. The next day was more of the same, 480 miles I think, over 8.5 hours. CRAZY.

I loved that I was saying things like, “Wow, this is like Idyllwild, this looks like England… “ And Joe said things like, “This looks like Need for Speed. This looks like Sky Rim!” (Xbox games) That made us laugh that we were saying such different things.

In Oregon, we were driving along the 5, and out of nowhere, there was just this huge metal dragon!! It was so cool!

Oh the hotel in Oregon was awesome, too. It was really nice, and Tails seemed to like it okay. Homer, too. We ordered a pizza and I went to the vending machines to find soda (and it was a success!). The next morning, we got up early, and I took Homer swimming in the pool. He was hesitant, but then I put him on my back and “ran” through the water (super slo-mo), and he laughed and laughed. It helped that I sang crazy horse-running songs, I think. Then I took him to the hot tub and he sat on the edge while I dunked myself for a few minutes. My shoulders were achey. Then we went back to our room and showered. I came out and asked the front desk dude, “What are the breakfast options?” He looked really confused, so I elaborated, “Is it a restaurant? Does it come with our room?” And he said, “Oh yes, it’s complimentary with the room.” I asked where it was and he motioned behind me. The thing I thought was a restaurant was more like a cafeteria, a huge breakfast buffet, plates, utensils, everything, and lots of chairs and tables, all free to use!

So I went to get Joe and Homer and we came out to eat the lovely breakfast. They had cinnamon rolls and mini muffins, little omelettes with refried beans and cheese and salsa in the middle, they had pancakes, bagels, toast, juice, coffee, cereal (hot and cold), etc.. Really good stuff! Yay for Holiday Inn Express!! My favorite was the pancake machine. “Press OK for 2 pancakes” it said on the side. I pressed the button that said OK, then the screen read, “Making 1 of 2 pancakes.” HA! It was like being at Kinko’s! Printing pancakes!!

We had stopped at Carl’s Jr on the first day and felt sick. The second day we stopped at Subway in Oregon and it was the best Subway we’ve ever had!! So fresh and yummy!

We were surprised when we left Portland and suddenly, on the bridge, it said, “Welcome to Washington!” We were like, what really?? We had no idea Portland was on the border like that.

We stopped in a McDonald’s to use the bathroom and let Homer walk around a bit. He kept making poop noises but then I’d check and there was no poop. Then he cried as he strained a bit, and we felt so bad realizing he’d just been sitting way too much. So we got to McDonald’s and walked around, then I used the bathroom, and as I was doing so, Homer had a successful poop. I’m sure you’re all glad to know! Ha! Anyway, then we ran around the McDonald’s in circles and it was fun (and not as obnoxious as it probably sounds). We were quiet and not running too fast. It was actually really, really cute and awesome. Every lap we made, I’d say, “Okay, let’s check, is Daddy out of the bathroom yet? No? Okay, one more lap! How many times can we run before he gets back??” It was great for both of us to just run around a bit! (The answer is 4, by the way, haha!)

Then we hopped back in the car and got going. Homer fell asleep. And then, suddenly, it was time to get off the freeway. It felt really weird driving up to my mom’s house. Usually, I fly in! So it just felt surreal and totally strange for a minute. And then we were here! We set up the air mattress, we hung out, we ate my mom’s meatloaf, we ran around in the backyard (well, it’s like a common area shared lawn) for a while. It was good to just be done driving, and to finally BE here.

More soon!
megabyte: (jellyfish)
2012-09-10 01:33 pm

Monday Marvels

I've had this idea for several months now, and I'm finally doing it! Here is your first installment of Monday Marvels! The idea is simple - Mondays often suck for most people. And that is just sad. So! I want to write about the things I find amazing in life, share them with the world, and hopefully make people's Mondays a little bit brighter. So here we go...

Jelly Fish (I even have an icon for this!)

Jelly Fish are not fish, of course. They are often called "jellies" now, the same way panda bears are now just pandas. Jellies are absolutely astounding. They baffle and intrigue me, and will always be the first example I think of when I think of the crazy awe-inspiring things out in the world. That's why I think I'll make them the mascot of this series and always use this icon. :D

A few years ago, I wanted to work at Long Beach Aquarium, so I set out to get a volunteer position there. Honestly, I wanted to work with the sea lions or something, but the only position they had available at the time I applied was to be an Aquarist volunteer. I signed up, they approved me, and next thing I know, I got assigned to work with the jellies. I had already liked jellies before this, but this volunteer position endeared them to me all the more.

I wish my schedule had been easier to handle, but I was so busy, working three part time jobs I think, and I ended up quitting the position after only a few weeks. Still, those four or five times I got to work with the jellies were pretty wonderful.

I remember on more than one occasion quietly staring at them, and asking, "HOW do you exist?"

They have no brain. No skeleton, nor exoskeleton for that matter. No eyes or nose. No lungs or gills. That means they have no skeletal, respiratory, circulatory OR central nervous system!!!! (Seriously, people, this makes me want to shout WHAT THE HELL HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?? from the rooftops!!)

They do kind of have a mouth (no teeth or tongue). They have tentacles, and they reach out and grab their prey and move it up into... their mouth-ish parts, and into their stomach, where they digest food! They are so nearly plant-like that when they breed them, they call it cultivating them. But they are animals. They even have boy and girl parts, and by that I mean, they release sperm or eggs, just out into the water, where they miraculously find each other, settle onto a surface and form into A NEW JELLYFISH. And their sexual parts are located.. where else? In their stomach!!! (Aaaah! These guys are CRAZY! I love it!)

As usual, there are exceptions to every rule, and just now I learned that the Box Jellyfish has a central nervous system, 24 eyes, and 4 parallel brains, making it one of the only animals to have a 360 degree view of its environment. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

And jellyfish do have nerves and ocelli, and the basic ability to sense light and know up from down (so they know which way they're swimming).

At the aquarium, I got to clean the inside of their tanks. It had to be done slowly and delicately, and several times daily. Even if there was nothing to be seen on the glass, all of the glass inside every tank had to be meticulously wiped down daily, because the smallest microscopic debris is enough to scratch the skin of the jellyfish. They are SO delicate!

One day, I got to transfer baby moon jellies to their larger tank. When I heard baby moon jellies, I imagined jellies the size of my fist. Instead, my mentor guy showed me to a tank about the size of a gallon of milk. It probably was a 1 gallon tank... And the babies were little itty bitty teenie tiny red dots. Mere specks. I used a pipette, sucked them in, and put them in the tank with the bigger babies (which probably were the size of olives).

The exceptionally bizarre part of my volunteer experience was seeing that moon jellies, which are highly easy to cultivate and also beautiful were not only used as display animals but also as food animals. So my mentor would have a few that he'd pull out and start chopping up as food for the other jellies (eek!), yet I'd be standing next to that chopping block, carefully cleaning the tank of the main moon jellies that were on display. Strangeness beyond strangeness. Though maybe not that strange, really, since the hatchery in SF Zoo was a little like that (look at the cute chicks! we're going to go feed them to the meerkats now!).

Another interesting thing my mentor had to do that I never would have thought of is untangle the jellies when their tentacles get all wrapped up together. It was fascinating to watch!

Anyway. I love jellies. They are weird, weird, simple animals that are practically nothing, but are not nothing at all. They are these beautiful, elegant, slow moving creatures, of all different sizes. I like the little ones whose tiny little tentacles all have these itty bitty hairs, and as they move through the water, the way those little hairs moves makes them look rainbow colored, shimmery, like a little light is traveling around and around their bodies. It's unreal. I also love the really long ones, and I do like the pale moon jellies, too.

Jellies really are the perfect example for what a weird and wonderful world we live in. When something seems impossible, I think, well this is a world in which jellyfish exist, so maybe there are more possibilities than we think!

These are all photos I took at Monterey Bay Aquarium a few years ago, enjoy!
click here to marvel at these crazy guys )
megabyte: (Default)
2011-08-09 03:16 pm

Birth Story, Part 3

I got up on my hands and knees and faced the back of the bed. I think I'd had that rock in my hand for hours. Suddenly, the intensity of the contractions changed. My body began pushing! I hadn't known what to expect when I had heard that happens, but it's true, my body pushed on its own, and I... pushed, too. I wish there was a better way to describe it! At that point, I felt the rock slip from my hand, down into the bed, and I knew I couldn't grab it, that the rock holding portion of laboring had ended. (Joe later grabbed it for me so that I wouldn't lose it.)

Now everything was different. When the next contraction hit, I clenched the bed sheets in my fists, smushed my face hard into the bed, and YELLED at the top of my lungs as I pushed for the first time. I screamed the loudest I've ever screamed in my life. I didn't consciously do it, and I was even a little surprised at the sound I made. But in the same way that Joe's counter-pressure helped my back, it was as if my yelling provided counter-intensity to the pushing. I didn't think about any of this, though. Fully in a zone, I just followed my instincts, doing whatever felt right, and that was it - screaming as loud as possible and crushing my forehead and nose into the bed during every push!

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2011-08-09 03:11 pm

Birth Story, Part 2

Tammy asked when we were thinking of going to the hospital. Joe said he was fine with us going any time. I said maybe we should go, because that one had been so strong, it almost felt push-y. So she said, okay, let's go. I already had managed to have most of my clothes on, just needed my skirt. They helped me get into it, and I had to go pee before we left, too. I had a few contractions through that whole process and just paused and hugged Tammy, leaning on her, through those.

Somehow (!), we made our way down the stairs, and I could hear the neighbors excitedly ask Joe what was up, and Joe (who was carrying the giant birth ball) said, "It's time, we're going to the hospital!" And the neighbors said, "Oh wow! Where's mama?" Then they looked up the stairs and saw me, and said, "Oh there she is! There's the mama!" I kind of laughed quietly and nervously, as Tammy and I made our way slowly and carefully down the stairs. Tammy laughed with me, and I said to her softly, "This is kind of why I was hoping I'd go in the middle of the night!" I was in my own world, and was not in the mood to deal with neighbors, or anyone at all, really.

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2011-08-09 03:06 pm

Birth Story, Part 1

Leading up to my due date, I wondered if there was truly any way I could make it to the 17th. The baby felt SO LOW and sometimes my cervix hurt when I walked, especially in the last couple days I was pregnant. I didn't want to get my hopes up for an early labor, but I couldn't help myself when, on the Friday that Joe picked for the birth pool (Feb 4th), I started having regular, timeable Braxton Hicks contractions. Nothing hurt, but they were exactly 10 minutes apart for a couple hours. Joe and I thought, this is it! At any moment, the real contractions will start! But everything stopped.

I went to Imbolc ritual the next day, Saturday, and everyone basically said, "Oh my god, YOU'RE SO PREGNANT!" Jason told me he had been convinced I was going to go into labor during ritual. I'm sure everyone is glad I did not! I'm so glad I went to ritual. It was truly wonderful to be there.

Sunday, again, Joe and I said, THIS IS IT! All day, I'd been feeling weird and out of it; sick, tired, and feeling waves of exhaustion wash over me. I started having real contractions that came every 30 minutes for 2.5 hours. I thought I should prepare and eat something with protein, so I did, and just like that, contractions stopped.

I felt more waves of exhaustion and just a crappy "my period should start soon" heaviness in my lower abdomen over the next couple days. Joe and I ended up on a weird sleep pattern somehow, especially Joe. He decided to "re-set" his sleep schedule by just staying awake when he woke up on Tuesday morning at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep. He went to work early that same Tuesday (at 8am), and forced himself to stay awake until 10:30pm that night, though he was exhausted. Then he settled in for a good night's sleep. I had been exhausted that Tuesday so had gone back to bed that morning, and slept until one in the afternoon. Which meant that I couldn't go to bed until late, at 12:30am that night. Joe got up at 4am, unable to sleep any longer.

As I'd fallen asleep that night, feeling menstrual-like cramps, I put my hand on my belly and said, "Hi, baby boy. We're ready for you. Car seat, stroller, bags packed and in the car. And we want to meet you! So any time you're ready, just come on out, okay? But if you need to wait, you can do that too. I just want you to know we're ready!" And then I fell into a very light and restless sleep, half-woken again and again by sensations of menstrual-like cramps as I tried to just sleep through them.

Finally, at 4:30am, I woke up and had to pee (standard procedure by this point in pregnancy), and the second I sat up, a bunch of warm fluid rushed right out of me onto the sheets. "OH MY GOD," I said to myself, sudden excitement bringing me to fully awake, with the realization of what just happened. I tried to stand up but more flowed out with every movement I made, so I took off my shirt and stuck it between my legs. As I waddled to the bathroom, I stopped in the hall and waved at Joe, who sat at his computer, wearing headphones. He took them off and said, "What's up?"

"My water just broke!" I said, beaming.

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2010-09-14 11:27 am

Hello!

Hi!

I am new to dreamwidth. I have no idea how much or little I'll be writing here. I signed up for a few communities. I will hopefully make some friends here.

I really love online journaling, and icons, and bloggy places that feel like communities where people can interact and hang out and geek out together. So I could see being pulled into this place kind of easily! Time will tell.

For now, I'm just shouting my greetings into the ethers and seeing what happens!

Helllooooooooo.... :D

And farewell, for now!