Month: July 2004

A day away

I had a great day, but I think it was a little hard on poor Patches. 

I hauled everyone out of bed at 7:30am so I could drop them off at a neighbors to be watched while I went places with Howard.  (Temple and  Doctor’s appointment – all is normal, no tumorous re-growth.  Yay!)  I picked up an excited-to-see-mama Patches and the can’t-we-stay-longer? rest of the kids and took them home just in time to put Patches down for his nap.

Howard had taken the day off from Novell for the morning stuff and he wanted me to have a chance to go see I Robot before all my friends told me too much.  So he rounded up babysitting for an afternoon matinee.  Poor Patches woke up from his nap just in time for Mama to abandon him again.

Between my arrival back home and Patches’ bedtime there were about 2 hours.  I spent a good portion of them playing word games with him.  I’d been away from him pretty much all day and by that time I wanted to hold my baby. Yeah, I know.  I’m addicted to my child.  Truth is, he was fine all day.  I’m the one who felt guilty.

Just this past week he’s started asking to know the names of things.  So he points and I tell him words and we both grin and giggle a lot.  He just wants to see everything, touch everything, know everything.  He wants input, lots and lots of it so that he can figure out this great, big, complicated world that he lives in.  I love the way his face lights up when two bits of knowlege click together in his head and he suddenly understands something.  I like seeing that happen for the other kids as well, but Patches does this little Happy Dance when he’s pleased with himself that makes me laugh every time.  And then he does it again just to make mommy laugh.

Laughter is healthy, so this is a good addiction, right?

Significant Others who don’t game

First off, thanks very much to everyone who gave me such great input on Women in Gaming. I’ve gone from wondering whether the panel will have enough to say to wondering if the panel will be long enough.

There is another aspect of gaming I want to explore. I’m wondering how non-gaming Significant Others view gaming. Has your gaming habit ever driven away a SO? Do they tolerate it? Have you turned a non-gaming SO into a gaming one? Mostly what I’m fishing for here is stories. And if you ARE the non-gaming SO, then I’d definitely love your input. So drag out all your old stories about that weird girlfriend/boyfriend that you once dragged to a gaming session and air them here for all to see.



It looks like I may have been volunteered to be on a panel at Fandemonium. The proposed topic is “Women who like science fiction and gaming” In order to prepare just in case the panel actually happens I posted a thread on Schlock Mercenary’s Nightstar forum. I was a little surprised to discover that there are people out there who consider gaming to be a “guy thing” in which women are only a distraction.

I guess it depends on why you’re playing. I can see how a group of guys would find it relieving to be away from women doing something that is fairly incomprehensible to them. They could tell jokes and roleplay scenarios that would be embarassing in the presence of women.

Is it bad that there is a part of me which wants to get into really good shape, dress really attractively (for maximum distraction), and crash their parties and then win all the games and walk away laughing? And yet in the end I don’t think I’d enjoy that nearly as much as I’d enjoy being treated as a person (instead of a Gurl) and really enjoying the game itself. Besides, I’d probably goof-up the vamping part and then lose miserably which wouldn’t have the same effect at all.

It has been a really long time since I’ve be able to role play properly. I haven’t been able to since Kiki was a baby because finding large stretches of time to play sans children is difficult. Playing with children in tow is pointless. The mommy function usurps all brain circuits and I can’t get into the game. Then there is the whole problem of finding a dedicated group to play with. I could somewhat solve that by hosting and GMing, but then there is all that set up work and planning for which I have no time.

Funny, until I started thinking about all this stuff I didn’t even realize I missed it.

The triumph of skill

WooHoo! My next door neighbor’s son just made the Olympic Men’s Gymnastics team! That’s right, Guard Young’s parents live next door to us. Guard’s dad, Wayne Young, was Olympic team captain in 1976. So now I know two Olympic Gymnasts personally. Way cool.

None of them, not Guard, or his parents expected him to make the team. They expected politics to keep him off of it, but he was just too darned good. So, I’m telling you, other gymnasts may get all the press, but Guard Young is a gymnast to watch. (It’s possible that I’m a wee bit prejudiced here.)

The only down side to this is that now I have to keep track of Olympic Gymnastics and be all tense and stuff.

Of mice and MRIs

That Valium the MRI people gave me really packed a punch. I do not remember large portions of today. Fortunately it has all worn off now and I’m back to my usual coherence. Or at least any incoherence I may posess is my own and not chemical. I’ll have MRI results next Tuesday.

In other news Howard and I had the joyful opportunity to chase a mouse around our family room last night. I heard little scrabbling noises in the toy cupboard and so I called Howard for reinforcements. We cleared the floor and located some containers with an idea of trying to herd the beasty. What we planned to do after we caught it I’ll never know because he snuck past while we weren’t looking and dove under our couch.

Howard then went around shoving blankets in all the door cracks to trap it in the room and I went to move the couch. Speedy Gonzales went running across the room to the laundry door. He discovered the blanket, jumped and scrabbled trying to find his exit hole and then took refuge underneath a large chair. We’d discovered the route to his home.

Howard attempted to set up a killing feild across the escape route with mousetraps (remnants of a mouse infestation last winter) Then we went to move the chair. No mouse. Speedy had fled somewhere. We had no idea where he’d gone, but we suspect he snuck under the blanket and into his laundry room home. Score one for the mouse.

His was a short victory. I set the trap in the laundry room and this morning Speedy was dead. A wise friend once told me “If you have a mouse you probably have more than one. If you have two mice, you definitely have more than two.” So I’m leaving baited traps around. We’ll see if Speedy has relatives. In the mean time I’m going to clean the toy chest thoroughly to see what snackish treasures the children left which lured Speedy and his relatives into our house in the first place.


I’m back from my MRI. Twas the least stressful yet. I started sleep deprived and tired. Then they gave me valium. All is haoppy now……. Wow, it’s hard to type. I think i need ot lie down.

A story

I recently saw an invitation to write and submit a story of 200 words or less.  I decided to undertake the challenge.




            Alex had always been a very literal child, so his mother should have known better than to say “Go lose yourself in a book.”  But she had important guests coming and needed him out of the way.

            Alex obediently left the spotless kitchen, careful not to leave fingerprints on the gleaming banister. He went to the small section of shelf with children’s books all carefully lined up by size.  He looked through each book, carefully replacing each one on the shelf.  Mother didn’t like messes.  Finally he selected the one he wanted.  He liked this book, it was old and ratty, the pages weren’t glossy and the pictures had no angles, only curves.  Alex carefully turned pages at the corners as he’d been taught.  He found the perfect page.

            When bedtime came, Alex’s mother looked up from her lists and felt the silence.  Alex was nowhere to be found.  His mother remembered her words and ran to the bookcase. A single book lay on the floor.  She snatched it up and rapidly scanned pages for signs of her boy.  There he was among the Whos, joyfully singing with no Christmas at all. She’d never seen him so happy.




Thank you Howard

It is the pattern of life for the Taylers that Howard works all day at Novell and then spends significant portions of his evenings and weekends working on Schlock and sometimes decompressing with movies or videos.  This means that the lion’s share of the childcare and housework is my job.  It is a division of labor so that we can jointly accomplish the things that are important to us both.  The major reason it works for me is that I know that any time I really need Howard he’ll drop everything to help me.  I’ve seen him do it time and again.  The knowledge lets me manage just a little bit more and hang on longer without help because I know that the moment I ask, he’ll drop his stuff and help me with mine.

All of this comes up because he’s doing just that for me in a big way twice this week.  Yesterday I hosted part of a garden party for the women’s organization in our church.  30 women in our neighborhood descended on our backyard to eat and visit.  I’ve been prepping the yard for this for a month now.   Inevitably yesterday arrived with a list of tasks still to-do rather than done.  Despite the fact that I told Howard I wasn’t counting on help from him, also despite the fact that he’s sick, Howard came home from work early and pitched in to help.  Because of his help the party went much more smoothly.  I was able to relax and enjoy the party because Howard took care of all the little things like directing traffic and keeping the water pitchers full.

Tomorrow morning Howard is again taking time off of work to drive me for my MRI.  He gets to sit in the lobby and be bored for an hour or more.  Then he gets to load his druggy wife into the car and drive her home.  Not a lot of fun for Howard, he’s got unpleasant memories of my past MRIs to dodge as well.

Both of these events combine to create a hit on the buffer right at the time when he is trying to get it back to a healthy level.  I know that adds stress to his life for which I feel really guilty.  And grateful.  Because I’ve really needed him this week and he’s been right there.  So I guess this entry is the best way I can think of to show him thanks.  I’m telling his friends what a great guy he is and how much I love him.

Thank you Howard!

Restless Night

There are some nights where it hardly pays to go to bed. I started my “repose” by taking a decongestant to kill the post-nasal drip. It did kill the drip, it also killed deep sleep. I’d lay there in bed thinking how hot it was and throwing off the covers and then wanting to snuggle up for sleep I’d pull them back on. Howard kept doing horrible things like rolling over in bed which woke me up.

Then Patches cried. Patches has been extruding slime from most of the orifaces in his head for days now. This has me pinning him down screaming while I remove the protective slimey coating with tissues. What with the slime I wasn’t surprised to hear him cry. So I went and got him and snuggled him into bed with me. Only Patches doesn’t snuggle, he sniggles. It’s halfway between a snuggle and a wiggle. He sniggled himself to sleep up above my head on my pillow pinning my arm underneath his lower half. Normally I can get sleep through this kind of thing, not with the Evil Decongestant though. As soon as he was solidly asleep, I carried him back to his crib.

I snuggled back into bed seeking more sleep. Then an uncertain amount of time later I heard shuffling steps run into the room and Gleek crashed into bed with me. She snuggled in til we were both comfy and then demanded a drink of water. I extricated myself, got the drink, came back only to have her lazily guesture that I should put it on the dresser in case she needed it. Grumbling I crawled back into bed and got comfy again. Comfy and HOT. Gleek was a little furnace. A furnace who demanded near total body contact. I snuggled her until she was drowsy and carried her back to her own bed.

The rest of the night gets kind of hazy. Link called me to get him a drink and to help find the stuffed toy that had gone missing since bedtime. Patches cried again, maybe twice, I’m not sure. Gleek called out for her water, I realized the furnace effect was because she had a fever, so I coaxed her (On threat of holding her down and forcing medecine down her throat) into drinking advil syrup as well. I think the Advil Syrup event was the final one because I don’t remember anything else until Howard got out of bed. Then nothing again until Howard called for help with the groceries that he was so wonderful as to get up early and go buy so I didn’t have to haul 4 kids to the store.

All in all, the only person in the house who DIDN’T wake me up last night was Howler. I find this highly amusing considering his name.

Boise Trip Report

I survived 10 hours of driving time with 5 kids in the car. I’m actually very surprised at how well it all went. I was sure that 3 hours into the trip Patches was going to decide he’d had enough of car and make life hell for the remaining two hours. Didn’t happen. Gleek didn’t have a tantrum. Kiki and Link didn’t whine. I did get to hear “Are we there yet?” to which I replied “You’ll know we are there when I pull up to a house and stop the engine.” When the question was repeated 10 minutes later I replied that I’d already answered that question and made Kiki repeat back to me my answer. I didn’t hear that question again. Yay!

The first hour after our arrival was pretty chaotic. Link had painful ears because they were clogged and we’d changed elevations. Then Kiki borrowed her cousin’s bike and ran into a mailbox. I was actually pretty pleased with my handling of that situation. She was flat on her back in a puddle crying with a crowd around her. No adult had seen the crash and so we had no clue as to its severity. I had Kiki lay still and carefully move each of her limbs demonstrating full function. This seemed to have a calming effect on her, by the time we were done she was able to stand up unassisted which assured me that there were no serious injuries. She did end up with some spectacular scrapes though. And the next day we had a talk about wearing helmets.

The rest of the visit was pleasant. I got to play Star Munchkin and Encore with relatives. Howard came up which made the weekend just about perfect from my perspective.

The kids negotiated an exchange and so I brought home Howler to play with Link while Kiki ran off to play with the female cousin her age. Despite his “lovingly applied” name bestowed by Howard, Howler made the trip home and today very pleasant. The kids are too busy having fun to bug me about stuff. Howler and Link are even letting Gleek play too, which is a relief. I thought I’d have to be calling around to find a friend for her.

Well, there it is. Not half so entertaining as I could make it I suppose, but I’m tired and laundry needs doing.