The Olympics Are…Wait, What?

Dear Kid,

We’re headed toward the Olympics and Rio isn’t Ready.

Haven’t we been here before? Russia wasn’t ready and yet somehow pulled it off.

But Rio has some issues Russia never even thought of.

Like the Zika virus.

So far several athletes (and by “several athletes” I mean several athletes that you’ve heard of) have decided not to attend the Olympics.

Interestingly, they are all male and none of them are pregnant. (Rory McIlryoy, Tejay van Garderern, and Greg Rutherford are the athletes in question. OK, maybe you haven’t heard of them. You’re not likely to hear about them any time soon because they won’t be winning in Rio since they won’t be there.)

Brazilian officials are responding by saying the athletes in question are just big babies and teaching mosquitoes a synchronized dance for the opening ceremonies.

The other big scandal (in case you haven’t been keeping up with these things) is that the Rio de Janeiro anti-doping lab has been suspended for “wrongly interpreting” test results. Meaning they “oopsed” a few times too many and “produced false positives.”

This of course led to a whole lot of he said/they said and tastes-great-less-filling controversies which are never good for smooth Olympics. It is unclear if the lab will be, um, fixed in time for the games which are—wait for it—only 6 weeks away.

Bottom line? Who the heck knows, but it will be interesting.

Love, Mom

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Consulting the Sleep Expert

Dear Kid,

Poor Pi doesn’t feel well. She has a Virus. Which is a terrible thing to have because it’s not easy to treat (and by “not easy” I mean basically impossible).

Need advice about sleeping? Ask the expert. DearKidLoveMom.comYou can’t really treat a virus because viruses live inside your body’s cells. Like little aliens. And medicines move through the bloodstream. Like little travelers. And everyone knows that aliens and travelers rarely interact. (Well, that was a bad analogy.)

The point is that medicine can’t get to viruses in order to knock them out. Which means that viruses stick around until they are good and ready to leave.
Pi is officially being treated with ibuprofen and water and cough drops.
I suggested chicken soup, sleep, and a little love.

Because Dr. Mom knows these things.

But poor Pi can’t sleep because her throat is so sore.

So I turned to my resident sleep expert for some advice. Here is what he said:

First, find a place in the sun. If the door to the porch isn’t open, whine until someone opens it for you. Sniff around until you find the exact spot you want to nap in. Turn around. Turn around again. Consider turning one more time and decide it isn’t necessary. Lie down. Sign contentedly. Fall instantly asleep. Five minutes later, decide you’re warm enough and whine to go inside. Go to favorite pillow. No need to sleep because it’s The Pillow. Flop down. Sleep. Keep one ear open for food dropping somewhere.

I’m hoping that helps our girl get some shuteye.

Love, Mom

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Poison Oak Attacks Suburban Mom! and What We Can Learn from Nature

Dear Kid,

It turns out we have poison vines in our backyard. I’m pretty sure it’s not poison ivy (unless it is) and it might be poison oak (unless it isn’t), but whatever its name official might be we can clearly call it the “gives mom itchy bumps” vine. From hell.

I am not including a photo of me because A) I pretty much never include a photo of me, B) there is nothing attractive at all about Poison Vine Bumps, and C) Dad says I look funny with white stuff on my face—not a look I care to immortalize.

Despite having been recently attacked by the Vine of Death and Destruction, Dad and I did some more work outside today.

Now, you know how I feel about wildlife (it belongs in the wild) and how I feel about legs (up to four is quite a sufficient number and anything with more than for is showing off and icky). But I can appreciate when Mother Nature does something cool. Especially if it doesn’t crawl on me.

When you get right down to it, ants creep me out (too many legs). So here are some pretty flowers. At the bottom of the stem (not shown) is one small ant, minding his own business. DearKidLoveMom.comSo there we were, weeding away (complete with Puppy supervision), far from the area where we encountered the vine of torture wielding poisons. I grabbed a piece of dead tree stump to move it—and it moved (amazing, I know). Which is to say part of it moved, revealing a nest of little black picnic ants.

After an obligatory squawk of surprise, I took a good look. I’d uncovered the nursery. Little neonatal ants (I could tell because of their badges and uniforms) were scurrying to move their little charges to safer territory. No one had to yell, no one had to use a bullhorn, no one worried about budgets, no one formed a committee to discuss the best way to recover from the natural disaster (me). They just worked together to get the job that obviously needed to be done, done.

I’m also pretty sure they didn’t develop a post-emergency power point presentation.

Sometimes I think people can learn a lot from nature. Especially when it stays outside where it belongs.

Love, Mom

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News from the Neighborhood 7:03am

Dear Kid,

While most of the neighborhood was still sleeping, the Puppy and I went for a walk this morning.

You may ask, “What the heck were you doing up at an hour when everyone was sleeping?” Good question since I’d told Dad he couldn’t wake me until 9am (which I thought was a Very Generous Compromise).

The answer is I have no freakin’ idea.

My eyelids sprang open of their own accord this morning. I tried to close them; they refused. I tried to go back to sleep with my eyes open; it didn’t really work.

So I got up.

This pleased the Puppy greatly and we agreed that—after a cuddle—we should go for our morning meander.

The big white dog who rules his side of the fence with an iron bark was still inside (and presumably asleep because we didn’t hear him).

Cobra’s family was up (we could tell because the garage door was open) but even after several minutes of puppy whining Cobra himself was nowhere to be seen.

Roxie’s family was getting ready for another garage sale. They’ve been helping a woman they know clean out her house after her husband died. Roxie’s dad says he feels like he’s in a TV commercial. Every time he thinks he’s done, the woman calls and says, “But wait, there’s more!” and gives him enough stuff for 7 more garage sales. I think he’s truly happy to help but truly done with garage-sale-ness. Roxie was inside, so the Puppy settled for sniffing everything within leash range and graciously allowing (and by “allowing” I mean insisting) that people scratch him.

The big activity this morning is that we are going to have a Vexit. That is, the vine (I'm guessing poison oak) that has now caused poison-ivy-like welts on my face for two summers in a row is being evicted. Well, murdered is more like it. We plan to spray it so it dies down to its roots. DearKidLoveMom.comThe big activity this morning is that we are going to have a Vexit. That is, the vine (I’m guessing poison oak) that has now caused poison-ivy-like welts on my face for two summers in a row is being evicted. Well, murdered is more like it. We plan to spray it so it dies down to its roots. (And as I say “we” and not “me” you are correct to infer that your father is actually helping to spray something dead. Shocking but true. I think it has something to do with the threats I made and the constant whining about the itch. And perhaps looking at a wife with face-bumps.)

Hope you have a great day today!

Love, Mom

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Ode to Time | Week versus Weekend

Dear Kid,

Another week has come and flown
A weekend in its place.
And after that a Monday comes
To smack us in the face.

Time creeps slow the whole week long
Impatience we must master
Then Friday ends and time speeds up
At light speed – maybe faster.

Without a clock our weekend ticks Along its merry way. DearKidLoveMom.comWithout a clock our weekend ticks
Along its merry way.
And we stay up too late each night
To squeeze in all our play.

Thus round and round the cycle goes
The week and weekend spin.
And if you can enjoy it all
You’ve found the way to win.

Love, Mom

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Do You Know What Tomorrow Is? Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Dear Kid,

Do you know what tomorrow is? Do you KNOW?

It’s possibly the most amazing day in the history of days. Not really. But it might very well be the most amazing day this week. If we’re not including last Sunday which was Father’s Day. Because that’s a pretty amazing day.

Let’s start again.

Tomorrow is possibly the most amazing Friday of the week!

And – wait for it – it’s Take Your Dog To Work Day! How wonder-fur is that?

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Groucho DearKidLoveMom.comTYDTWD (that’s how you say it if you’re cool and in the know) started in 1996 in the UK. We adopted it on this side of the pond in 1999. And somehow, I’ve gone All This Time without knowing it existed. I have no words.

The point of TYDTWD (just for the record, that is not an easy acronym to type) is not to get your pooch to shed all over the office couch. That’s just an added benefit. The point is that pups are an important part of our lives and we should have an opportunity to let them all get together and prevent us from getting any work done.

No. The official point (as defined by the official inventors of the day, Pet Sitters International) is that dog-less co-workers will be encouraged to race out and adopt a dog when they see how wonderful the bond is between human and puppy.

Adopt a rescue dog - funny pictureI’m not sure exactly how this is supposed to work. “Oh, look at that adorable dog sniffing that other dog’s butt. Let me race out and get one.” Seems unlikely.

Or perhaps, “Sorry boss, I couldn’t get the report done because the dog ate my report. I mean ate my computer. I mean I have to go walk the dog.”

Despite my skepticism, Take Your Dog to Work Day continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Which is pretty dang cool.

Unfortunately, my Place of Employment is insufficiently enlightened, so the Puppy will stay at home and nap rather than joining me at work and napping.

Still, I’m pretty excited to know that Take Your Dog To Work Day exists. Hope you’re planning a great celebration.

Love, Mom

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It’s the Summer of WHAT??? Seriously??? Oh, No…

Dear Kid,

Sometimes people expect too much of me.

I was talking with a friend of mine who is something of a fitness junkie. She’s not an “expert” in the traditional sense of having obtained a certificate suitable for framing from some institution declaring her expertise. And she herself would deny that she’s an expert (she’s really quite modest). But she knows A Heck of A Lot about fitness.

“Bodies are made in the kitchen,” she said, telling me far more about her parents than I really needed to know, because I was simultaneously thinking “How uncomfortable” and “Don’t be ridiculous—brownies are made in the kitchen.”

Sensing that neither would be an appropriate comment, I kept my mouth shut.

“Bodies are sculpted in the gym,” she continued. I have got to figure out when she goes to the gym because somehow I keep missing the day my body is supposed to get sculpted.

“It’s important to give your body what it needs,” she continued. My body NEEDS brownies. And coffee. And brownies with coffee. DearKidLoveMom.comScuttled? Yes. Scuttlebutt? Sure, why not. Scurvy? I try not to. Scum? Ick. Scuba? Quite possibly. But sculpted? I seem to keep missing that one.

“It’s important to give your body what it needs,” she continued. My body NEEDS brownies. And coffee. And brownies with coffee.

“Are you getting enough sleep?” my friend asked me. Finally, something we can completely agree on: sleep is good. Naps are great.

Satisfied that I was well rested, she moved on.

“Snacks are good,” she said. Hooray! I love snacks. They are my fourth, fifth, sixth, and ninth favorite meals of the day. “You could have a couple of almonds.” As in a couple of cups of almonds? No? You mean eat 3 almonds. And then stop? Seriously? What planet is this woman from?

I voted to go back to the sleeping part of the conversation. I’m reasonably good at sleeping. I was ignored.

So not only is this the Summer of Cleaning (yeah, I have got to get back to that) it appears to be the Summer of Getting in Shape.

Right after my nap.

Love, Mom


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