Dec 31

The safest place

Anna fell asleep by 6:30, leaning up against me with a cooked carrot still clutched in her hand. I managed to change her diaper without waking her up too much, then just left her in the clothes she had on, pulled her shoes off, and took her up to bed. She slept through much of the racket, but then woke up again just a few minutes ago, crying out for her mommy.

I had a feeling that some of the bigger booms would wake her and scare her. Before she fell asleep we’d all gone for a walk around the neighborhood, and right when we got back home, just as dusk was falling, someone came out and set off a firework in the street. It screeched loudly and then whizzed into the air, exploding in red and blue sparks. Charlie wasn’t too thrilled about it, but Anna started screaming, and had to be held for quite some time by her daddy to calm down. Then after a short lull the explosions started up again and Anna had run screaming again, this time for comfort from her mommy.

I went upstairs when she woke up and cuddled up next to her. She gave a little whimper and rolled into me, throwing an arm over me. I kissed her forehead and stroked her hair, telling her that she was safe, that mommy was here.

She reached out and grabbed my sleeve and pulled my arm over her. “Hold me, mama,” she said.

And I did.

Dec 30

Pray for more rain!

It’s pouring down rain, and has been doing so all day.

This delights me, even though the drive home from my sister’s house was somewhat white-knuckled. I’m hoping that the rain will continue tomorrow and through tomorrow night, for one simple reason:

It will save me the trouble of having to hose down my roof.

You see, fireworks/firecrackers are legal here, and every frickin’ year the next-door-neighbors (yeah, the ones I’m not so fond of) spend what has to be several thousand dollars on fireworks, and begin setting them off as soon as it gets dark. Miraculously, Anna sleeps through the unspeakable din, however, every year Jack and I are deeply nervous about our roof catching on fre from a stray firework. (And yes, there are always a few house fires on New Year’s Eve. Jack usually hoses our roof down once the fireworks start up.) Plus, every morning on New Year’s day we wake to a yard full of trash and crap from the several thousand dollar’s worth of fireworks that were set off next door.

So, if it continues to pour like the dickens, we won’t have to deal with that!

Dec 28

Anniversary #5, sort of :)

Today is the fifth anniversary of my first date with Jack. And in five years together, we have remembered and celebrated this anniversary every year, and have completely forgotten the wedding anniversary every time except for this past year.

If you’re interested, you can follow the links below to learn how we met. It’s a pretty cool story, IMO. :)

How I met Jack.

Why I met Jack.

Why I met Jack, part II.

Dec 27

Post-christmas miscellany

Yeah, I missed yesterday’s entry, but, hey! My picture’s in this month’s Locus!

Not much else going on. I’ve been trying to teach Charlie to take a crap on the lawn of the neighbor I dislike, but it’s going slowly. Emma (the cat) has yet to kick his ass, but it’s definitely going to happen. He’s a wonderfully affectionate dog, but unfortunately, he thinks he’s a lap dog. And, as I expected, the brunt of dog-care has fallen to me, though I do make Jack do his fair share of dog-walking.

Work has been slow. Or rather, people keep dying and we keep doing autopsies, but the office-portion of my job is very slow. Most of the other full-time staff is off this week. Can’t blame them since we’re only scheduled to work three days this week anyway.

Christmas is over. Phew! Anna has finally stopped asking for more presents, though she still gets irate when she sees that the tree isn’t lit. I’m not sure how she’s going to handle it when we have to take the tree down. She might have to be relocated for that exercise.

I’ve been sitting her for five minutes trying to figure out how to draw this rambling, meaningless entry to a graceful close, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not going to be graceful, instead it’s going to be an awkward jostling shuffle just short of a pratfall.

Yeah, like that.

Dec 25

Christmas pics

The Tree:

Anna, being brought downstairs:

Anna checking out some of her loot:

Charlie, making himself right at home next to boyfriend of stepdaughter:

Anna decides this Christmas stuff is for the birds and decides to become the Unabomber instead:

Dec 24

I’m so very sick of wrapping…

One two year old daughter, one husband, one sister, one brother-in-law, one niece, one nephew, one mother, five stepchildren, four step-grandchildren, one step-son-in-law, one step-daughter-in-law, one very steady boyfriend of stepdaughter.

I’m really really really sick of wrapping. By the time it got down to the steps, I gave up and resorted to gift bags.

I still have gift items that I ordered a bit too late and are being shipped and are due to arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday probably. They will NOT be gift-wrapped.

Dec 23

Santa comes early

Today was an interesting day. It started out with a search for my husband’s cell phone and our debit card. We walked around the parking lot where he thought he’d dropped it last night, and we were just about to give up when a total stranger walked up and asked us if we were looking for a cell phone and if we were it was over on top of the garbage can.

This was Jack’s brand new LG 9900, so we were pretty damn pleased to get it back, to say the least.

(The search for the debit card did not go as well, so I ended up having to cancel it. Not a huge deal except for the fact that it I realized that I had no way to get cash until Tuesday now. Jeez.)

Then we went to breakfast at Waffle House. Near the end of the meal Anna began to get restless, so Jack told her that we were going to go look at puppies after we ate. Sooooo…. we went to Petsmart to look at Gerbils and Hamsters and Kitties and Fishies… but they didn’t have any puppies (or grownup puppies, for that matter.)

So, I think I was the one who suggested that we go to the human society shelter (which is less than a mile down the road from our house.) And that was my undoing.

We walked through the kennels, looking at the sad and desperate faces of the dogs. I told the woman that I didn’t want a puppy. I wanted a grown dog that was already housebroken. One that was good with kids, and that would tolerate a cat. There were several to choose from, dogs that had been there for months and months, who you could just see were aching for a life outside of the kennel.

We came home with this one, who we later dubbed “Charlie.”

I told Anna that she’d asked Santa for a puppy, and that Charlie had asked Santa for a family. And everyone was happy.

Dec 22

I might actually make it?

I made some serious headway on the whole Christmas shopping thing today. At 8am I was waiting at the door of Target along with about thirty other people, waiting for the doors to be opened. Since I didn’t have to be at the morgue until 9, I had close to an hour to knock out some of the more basic present-getting. Then, we finished up around noon, and since the office was closing early today I headed back over to the shopping center to try and get the rest done.

I then tried to go to Barnes & Noble, but after circling the parking lot for over ten minutes trying to find a frickin’ empty parking spot, I gave up and went over to Books A Million. I ended up spending well over a hundred dollars there, but while i was picking books out for various family and step-family, I realized something slightly disconcerting: I was shopping by cover and by bestseller status. I also was looking primarily on the front table (co-op space that the publishers pay extra for). When I realized what I was doing I started going through the stacks, but even there I wasn’t looking hard at any title that wasn’t displayed face-out. It’s damn near impossible to look at books when they’re spine-out. In other words, unless someone is actively looking for a book by a particular author, that author doesn’t stand much of a chance of selling many books unless his or her book is in some manner of prominent display.

So, if there’s an author whose books you like who is not already displayed face-out or who does not yet merit an end-cap display, do them a huge favor and put their books face-out on the shelf! (After you buy one of their books, of course.) And then go tell people about that author!

Dec 21

The Big Black Van

The weather has been seriously pissy for the past couple of days, and it is expected to stay pissy for at least another day. Which wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that every stupid inbred clueless retarded blind uncoordinated insensitive oblivious inconsiderate maladjusted fucker with a drivers license motor vehicle was on the road and getting in my way.

Halfway through the afternoon the chief investigator asked if I could take the van and meet the on call investigator to go pick up a body. Since my job description has the sentence “and anything else the Coroner needs done” or words to that effect, I took the keys and headed out to do a bodysnatch.

I quickly discovered that the body van hydroplanes like a sunuvabitch when it hits a puddle, and it struck me that it would be pretty strange and ironic if I were to get into an accident while in that particular vehicle. More so if I did so with a body in the back. Ew.

Dec 20

Squeezing one in before midnight

We just got back from the Coroner’s Office Christmas party, and I’m sitting up in bed listening over the monitor to my husband attempting to put Anna to sleep. She fighting him hard right now, and there’s a lot of shrieking and wailing, but I don’t think it’s going to take long for the fight to go out of her. I was actually pretty shocked that she was still awake when we got home (after 10), but we used a brand new babysitter tonight and I had told her that she didn’t need to kill herself trying to get Anna to go to bed. This was a pretty young girl that we used tonight (13), and so she probably wasn’t really up to the kind of negotiations that are involved in the bedtime rituals of a two-year old.

However, the seriously good news is that the girl who comes and cleans my house once a week told me today that she’d be willing to babysit for me if I ever wanted. And I will most likely take her up on that offer. She can definitely use the money, and she’s also an adult with a child of her own, so I know she can handle kids. Really, the only reason I never used her before for babysitting is that she didn’t have a strong grasp of english, and I worried about her ability to summon help if necessary. Now, however, nearly a year after she started cleaning my house, she is damn near fluent in english, which shames me since in that same amount of time I’ve managed to learn about six words of spanish.

The other plus to her babysitting is that she lives about five minutes from my house, which pretty much clinches the deal for me.

Who knows, maybe Jack and I will be able to actually [gasp] go out more than once every two months!

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