Mom Thoughts

Things Have Gotten Serious. Really, Really Serious.

Dear Kid,

Things. Are. Serious.

Fortunately, I have time to prepare.

Unfortunately, there may not be enough time in the universe to adequately prepare.

I’m being kidnapped.

That’s not the problem. That’s the good part.

In a few weekends, Dad is taking me away for the weekend.

Note to burglars: There will still be people and vicious puppy in the house. Don’t bother.

He hasn’t told me where we’re going. I’m hoping Aruba, but I doubt it.

Dad’s agreed to tell me what to pack (dressy dinner Saturday night) so that’s not a real problem.

But last night, Dad dropped the proverbial bombshell. “No computers.” ‘Scuze me, What? DearKidLoveMom.comBut last night, Dad dropped the proverbial bombshell. “No computers.”

‘Scuze me, What?

“We are not taking computers with us when we go. You have time to prepare.”


“You may take your phone.”


“Absolutely. Of course.”

But no laptop.

“Correct. No computers.”

You’re sure?


I’m really excited about our trip. I’m a little excited about not having my laptop (no, sweet laptop, I’m going to miss you terribly).

It won’t take up much space.

“No. Computers.”

Stay tuned.

Love, Mom

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I Have a Piri-What?!

Dear Kid,

Turns out I have a piriformis. But you knew that. 

Just in case you were sleeping the day they talked about it, the piriformis is the muscle that keeps your hips from falling off. It’s located behind one’s behind and helps one stand on  one leg without falling over.

At least that’s what most people use their piriformis for.

I was going to put in a picture of actual muscles, but it turns out I prefer them covered in skin. And often times, clothing. So I chose this muscle model instead.

Some people use their piriformis to cause piriformis syndrome which means (more or less) pain in the back. This is not a recommended use for said muscle because it hurts (and can cause other problems which allow doctors to send their children on wildly expensive educational jaunts).

Not to worry. I don’t have piriformis syndrome, and my piriformis muscle is not causing me any pain.

It seems my piriformis is more or less a freeloader, just hanging around for the good times but not doing any actual work. Which means that while I have no pain (yay) I also have pretty much no stability (we knew that a long time ago).

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region. It was named in the 16th century by Adriaan van den Spiegel, who missed out on a prime opportunity to name a muscle after himself.

I discovered this because a very nice Physical Therapist (and we know what I think of physical therapists) named Julie set up a table at the gym and (gratis-for-free) examined people in the name of Injury Prevention. I like preventing injuries as much as the next person, so I volunteered to have her poke around my muscles.

She found the spots that hurt. (See: Beliefs about physical therapists, above.)

Her first thought was that my hamstrings were too tight. Then she started bending my legs around, discovered that I take after Gumby, and moved on to jabbing her thumbs into my hitherto napping piriformis (at which point I moved on to jumping 6 inches off the table).

She enjoyed that so much that she did it again on the other side which only caused me to spasm and question whether she’d gotten her degrees at the Université de Marquis de Sade.

She gave me some exercises to do on a daily basis (and by daily basis I assume she meant every month or so during daylight hours). I’ve done them twice. At least I’ve done the ones I remember twice. If I remember correctly.

It’s not that I think she’s wrong. It’s just very hard to find time to do them (and by “very hard to find time” I mean I just don’t really want to).

You might wish to study up on the piriformis and how to strengthen it. I hear it’s lots of fun to torture your mother in the name of good health and stability.

Love, Mom

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The Puppy Has the Hiccups

Dear Kid,

The Puppy has the hiccups.

Hiccups. (The puppy has the hiccups.)Like most unexpected bodily functions, this one has him confused, affronted, surprised, and insulted.

I don’t know if all puppy hiccups are like his but his are irregular. No set rhythm. Hic. Hic. Hic-hic. Hic. Hic-hic-hic.

First he tried ignoring them. They persisted.

Then he tried moving from his pillow to the dining room.

No change in hiccup-ness.

He tried running away from them. They followed.

I called him into the kitchen and suggested he have a drink of water. He hic-ed and stared at me. I caved and gave him a treat. After which he drank and drowned the hiccups.

Now he’s napping in order to recover from the trauma.

It can be very hard being a puppy.

Love, Mom

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Five Surprising Facts About Coffee

Dear Kid,

The thing about mornings is that they have a nasty tendency to start before coffee. I’m waiting for someone to figure out how I can drink a cup before I wake up so that by the time I hit my snooze button (for the third time) I’m actually awake and alive.

It's possible to talk before coffee? Not in my world... DearKidLoveMom.comOn the plus side, if I start the coffee before I walk the puppy, it (the coffee) is ready by the time I get back. Not everyone during History had the same luxury. I’m not referring to the lack of Keurig (although that’s sad too).

Surprising fact: Four times in Known History (count them, 4) coffee was banned. Which isn’t to say that there weren’t rogue brewers, but it seems wrong to research them.

Surprising fact 2: Dark roast coffees have a stronger flavor but less caffeine than light roasts. (Roasting burns off some of the caffeine.) Who knew?

Surprising fact 3: In the ancient Arab culture there was only one way a woman could legally divorce: If her husband didn’t provide enough coffee. This seems perfectly reasonable. Divorcing for insufficient coffee, I mean. Not that that was the only reason.

Surprising fact 4: J.S. Bach wrote an opera about coffee. Note to self: Consult favorite opera expert for info.

Surprising fact 5: The first webcam was invented at The University of Cambridge to let people know if the coffee pot was full or not. This seems entirely reasonable.

I need a refill.

Love, Mom

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Three Cheers for Medical Innovations and Stars

Dear Kid,

The medical profession has a breakthrough! That was the big Ta-Da you heard recently.

Now, it’s nothing really important like fat-burning ice cream or hair color that self-colors roots as they grow in.

Medical innovation is written in the stars. dearKidLoveMom.comThis little innovation just keeps people healthy longer and cures things that used to kill people.

The problem has been that people are often not able to take medication for extended periods of time—and many medications have to be taken for (you guessed it) extended periods of time.


More than 200 million people contract Malaria each year and treatment has to be taken daily for weeks. The problem is that most of the people who have malaria forgot to take up residences in near modern hospitals. So they don’t take their medication on time. Or every day. Or at all. Which means the Malaria sticks around.

Enter the innovation.

It looks like a capsule. But once it’s swallowed and lands in the patient’s tummy, it expands into a star or snowflake type shape. The star dispenses medication on schedule and sticks around until the joints that hold the arms to the center dissolves, and the snowflake melts into pieces which are then pooped out. Along with dead Malaria cells.

So this is pretty cool. Doctors can give a patient just one dose and the pill does the rest of the work—for a long time.

There are lots of applications for this technology. Like improving drug studies because so many “patients in clinical trials have serious medication adherence problems that mislead the clinical studies.” I’d never thought about that. We always assume that drug testing is problem-free (apparently not so much).

As I said, this is pretty cool.

Three cheers for great innovation.

Love, Mom

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The 9 Most Important Valentine’s Trends of 2017

Dear Kid,

You may have heard the rumor. It’s not exactly a secret.

It’s Valentine’s Day!

The 9 Most Important Valentine's Trends of 2017

The VDay trends for 2017 are wide ranging and interesting, except really they aren’t. I checked. And most of the sites talking about 2017 Valentine’s Trends are either talking about the obvious (candy, flowers, cards) or trying to create a trend by getting people to buy what they say the trend is. (Good luck unraveling that.)

So instead of relying on tried and boring or new and questionable, I decided that the best way to identify useful trends was to make them up completely and hope they become trendworthy.

Mom’s 9 Most Important 2017 Valentine’s Trends

  1. Hugs. Hugs are the number one best sort of gift you can give anyone. They are the perfect gift for friend, significant other, and Moms. They are always the right size. And they’re priced right.
  2. Smiles. Not everyone enjoys Valentine’s Day. There are a lot of hopes and expectations (most of which don’t really work out). Everyone appreciates a smile. And you don’t have to shop in advance.
  3. Courtesy. Never out of fashion. Always appreciated. Hold a door. Carry someone’s books. Say please and thank you.
  4. Hand written notes. You don’t have to spend a fortune at the card store (and you haven’t purchased a card yet, it may be too late). Write (it’s like texting except on paper) something yourself. Draw a picture. (Take a photo and send it electronically if you have to.)
  5. Call. Seriously. Talk out loud. Your phone knows how to make that happen.
  6. Take care of yourself. Work out. Go for a run. Meditate.
  7. Spoil yourself. Buy yourself a piece of really good chocolate. Or two pieces of so-so chocolate. Treat yourself to a specialty coffee.
  8. Get together with friends. Valentine’s Day is about happy and healthy hearts. Celebrate (or uncelebrate) with friends.
  9. Know you are loved. Take a look in the mirror. That’s a pretty amazing person. A pretty amazing person who is loved by many people.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2017 <3

Love, Mom

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