Thursday, April 30, 2009
Cat didn't seem to be bothered at all. But I can't stop scratching now imagining ticks all over me. I was going to post a picture of an engorged tick with this article, but decided it was just too gross and I didn't want to see it whenever I visited my blog. Yuk!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
He's finding it a bit difficult to eat right now, and has had mainly soft, liquidy stuff today. I think he will soon get fed up of soup! He is also finding some words a bit difficult to say as he gets used to the bar across the top of his mouth. (That's ok by me, he always has too much to say, a bit of peace won't hurt :-)
The device stays in place for at least 6 months. I have read that soon he won't even notice its there.
I wonder if he will set off the metal detectors in the airport....
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I'm talking about what its like to be a 9 year old girl. Every day I hear from my daughter about the latest argument between her group of friends. Taking sides. Being mean. Not talking....its endless.
When girls are younger in preschool and first grade, they make friends easily. They don't worry about their appearance, or whether their clothes match, or if they are wearing the latest style of sneakers. They become friends because they both like the same color, or sit at the same table or like the same dolls. But by third or fourth grade, girls can start to get clique-y. This is what I am seeing in Emma now.
"I'm not your friend anymore", "she didn't take my side", "she won't talk to me anymore", "she was being mean"...followed by.... "she's my best friend in the whole world".
Its difficult looking on from the sidelines. It's hard to watch your daughter lose friends, get hurt by friends, and even hurt friends herself, and impossible to know what to do when she comes home in tears, then the next minute is best friends again. Apparently its all part of the process of growing up (her, not me!). And parents are advised to separate their own emotions from their daughters' social lives. Don't get involved. Just listen and support her and guide her to do and say the right things, but don't influence who she decides she is going to be friends with. Some advice I read seems sensible so I'll repeat it here:
Parents should help elementary-school girls to do their own thinking and help them brainstorm solutions, even if they are different from the parent solutions. Guiding her to solve it independently (with a little help from you) will help her far more than you rushing to call the other girls' parents. Here are some questions that might help her solve the problem:
"What did you try?"
"How did it work?"
"What else can you try?"
I guess I'll give it a go. I just know its all very complicated and its definetely a part of my life that I'm happy never to have to go through again! See, age does have its benefits :-)
Monday, April 27, 2009
We arrived at around 4:30pm in the 100+degree heat, and there weren't many people there (surprisingly!). I thought it was because they must be getting close to closing for the day. But no, it was just that most people were smarter than us and waited until around 6pm when the heat lessened to start their trip! The gardens were enhanced by many weird and sometimes wacky glass sculptures, that in some cases enhanced the displays but in others distracted from the cactus.
We learned a lot about the different types of cactus; the barrel cactus, the organ pipes cactus, the teddy bear cactus, the prickly pear etc. And we even saw a real live snake slithering through the gardens! My only complaint was that the gift store closed 1 hr before the gardens did. Who wants to stop their tour to go to the gift shop, then have to carry their purchases round for an hour? Ridiculous in my opinion. But all in all, an excellent trip and some amazing, unusual gardens.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Don't you just love that "Sky Mall" catalog you get on aircraft? Where else can you find those essential items that no family should be without? Here are some of my favorites:
- The Pet Doorbell : teach your pet to push the pet paw to tell you when he wants to go in or out $69.95
- The Hidden Litter box : looks like a pot plant. $249.95. Hopefully your pet will be able to tell this pot plant apart from all your other pot plants...
- The Solar powered mole repeller $39.99
- The Million Germ Eliminating travel Toothbrush Sanitizer $29.95
- The Indoor Dog restroom : a mat that your dog can pee on. $149.95. Hopefully your dog will be able to tell this mat apart from all your other mats...
And my particular favorite...
- The Marshmallow Shooter :shoots mini marshmallows over 30 feet!! A bargain at $24.95!
"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."
No prizes for guessing. We went to see the Arizona Diamondbacks (local baseball team) play against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field in Phoenix. Now I am not a big baseball fan by any means, but I must say I was impressed with the stadium. New, clean and huge with a view so good I could easily see the ball, I could actually follow the game and even learnt the basic rules - believe me that is really quite an achievement for me!
It's the traditions that fascinate me. Whether you are a fan of the game or not, with the seventh innings stretch, the hotdogs and cries of "Hey! Beer here! Cotton Candy here! Lemonade, lemonade, just like your grandma made!", The wave, and the Chicken dance, you just gotta love the atmosphere.
Even though the home team lost 9-6, we thoroughly enjoyed our taste of the great American tradition.
And while I'm on the subject of boarding, why do the airlines insist on boarding the aircraft from front to back? It makes no sense! Wouldn't back to front be more logical so that less people are blocking the aisle, or is that just me not getting it?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Yesterday Mark “The Bird” Fidrych was found dead at his home in Northborough, MA. Mark Fidrych, was an eccentric All-Star pitcher nicknamed "The Bird" whose career was shortened by injuries .He was found dead in an apparent accident at his farm. He was 54.
A family friend found Fidrych about 2:30 p.m. beneath a dump truck at his Northborough, Mass., farm. He appeared to be working on the truck.
The curly-haired right-hander was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1976 when he went 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games. But injuries cut short his career, and he ended up spending only five seasons in the major leagues, all with the Detroit Tigers. He was 29-19 with a 3.10 ERA
Fidrych attempted a comeback in 1982 and 1983 in the Boston Red Sox organization. He pitched for their Triple A team in Pawtucket, R.I. But he never pitched in the majors after 1980 and retired in July 1983.
I am not a baseball fan but the reason this caught my interest is because he lived literally around the corner from our house. On my way home from work yesterday, as I passed his house I saw a Fox News Boston TV van outside, and there were many police cars in the entranceway. Now I know why. What a shame. It makes you realize that life is precious and can so easily be taken away from you. Make sure you embrace it to the full.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The movie was followed by pizza. Emma's review of this movie was "really good", "awesome", "fabulous", "double-awesome" and "really, really, really, really good". Oh, to be 9 years old again!
So in an effort to get more foreign visitors, here's how to say Hello in different languages, courtesy of http://www.wikihow.com/, with a few additions of my own.
Arabic - subbah-el-kheir (good morning), masaa-el-khair (good evening): note that Kh is pronounced from the back of the throat. mArHAbAn (Hello) pronounced Mar-ha-ban
Bengali — aas salamu alaay kum (In Botswana Dumeleng [formal]), wareng (Bangladesh [informal]), namaskar (In West Bengal, India)
Chinese - 你好, Cantonese nei ho or lei ho (pronounced nay ho or lay ho) Mandarin 你好 (pronounced ni hao), 早上好（pronounced zao shang hao; good morning!）
Dutch - hoi (very informal), hallo (informal), goedendag (formal)
English - hello (formal), hi (informal), hey (informal,)
French - salut (informal; silent 't'), bonjour (formal, for daytime use; 'n' as a nasal vowel), bonsoir (good evening; 'n' is a nasal vowel), bonne nuit (good night). There is also "ça va", but this is more often used to mean "how are you?"
German - hallo (informal), Guten Tag (formal; pronounced gootan taag), Tag (very informal; pronounced taack).
Hawaiian - aloha
Italian - ciào (pronounced chow; informal; also means "goodbye"), buon giorno (pronounced bwohn geeornoh; good morning; formal), buon pomeriggio (pronounced bwohn pohmehreejeeoh; good afternoon; formal), buona sera (pronounced bbwoonah sehrah; good evening; formal)
Japanese - おはよう ございます ohayoou gozaimasu (pronounced o-ha-yo (go-zai-mass); good morning), こんにちは konnichi wa (pronounced kong-nee-chee-wa; daytime or afternoon), こんばんは konbanwa (pronounced kong-ban-wa; evening); もし もし moshi moshi (pronounced moh-shee moh-shee; when calling/answering the phone); どうもう doumo (pronounced doh-moh; informal way of thanking/greeting, but means countless other things as well so only use when context makes sense)
Korean - ahn nyeong ha se yo (formal; pronouned ahn-yan-ha-say-yo), ahn nyeong (informal; can also be used to mean "goodbye")
Lithuanian - laba diena (formal), labas, sveikas (informal; when speaking to a male), sveika (informal; when speaking to a female), sveiki (informal; when speaking to more than one person).
Maltese - merħba (meaning "welcome"), bonġu (morning), bonswa or il-lejl it-tajjeb (evening)
Norwegian - hei ("hi"), hallo ("hello"), heisann ("hi there"), god morgen ("good morning"), god dag ("good day"), god kveld ("good evening").
Oshikwanyama - wa uhala po, meme? (to a female; response is ee), wa uhala po, tate? (to a male; response is ee) nawa tuu? (response is ee; formal), ongaipi? (meaning "how is it?"; informal) ; No, I don't know where this is either
Portuguese - oi, boas, olá or alô (informal); bom dia or bons dias (good morning, used before noon or before the noon meal); boa tarde or boas tardes (good afternoon, used after noon or after the noon meal, until twilight); boa noite or boas noites (good evening and good night, used after twilight).
Russian - Privet! pronounced as pree-vyet (informal), zdravstvuyte (formal; pronounced ZDRA-stvooy-tyeh)
Scottish- hi (informal) hello the noo (hello) :-)
Authentic Sco'ish,- Alrai', Whatcha dein, yer ijak!
Spanish - hola (pronounced with a silent 'h': o-la), alo, qué onda (South America;very informal, like "what's up"; pronounced keh ondah), qué hay, (South America; very informal), qué pasa (Spain, informal), buenos días ("good morning"), buenas tardes (afternoon and early evening), buenas noches (late evening and night). These three forms can be made informal by saying "buenas". Also Qué Transa (Mexico;very informal, like "what's up" pronounced keh trahansa). Qué tál, meaning "what's up", pronounced "kay tal".
Thai - sawa dee-ka (said by a female), sawa dee-krap (said by a male)
Urdu - adaab ir salam (waley-kum)
Vietnamese - xin chào
Welsh - shwmae (North Wales; pronounced shoe-my)OR Helo, Iya (Newport); OK, I added that bit myself
Yiddish - sholem aleikhem (literally "may peace be unto you"), borokhim aboyem or gut morgn (morning), gutn ovnt (evening), gutn tog (day), gut shabbos (only used on the Sabbath)
Zulu - sawubona
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Apparently he has a Class II Congenital skeletal deformity, which means that his lower jaw does not protrude forward enough and his teeth don't line up, potentially causing problems in the future, as well as giving him that "weak chin" appearance. So they will use a special device that fits on his back teeth and forces his jaw to grow more forwards. He is getting this fitted in a few weeks time. Apparently it sounds a lot more painful than it actually is. Hmmm...
The final step , which will occur in a few months time, is when the braces will be attached. He wants blue braces (actually the elastics not the braces themselves) and he will have to wear them for about 18 months. Apparently its easy to change the color of the elastics and he plans to have red and green ones at Christmas time :-)
So, according to the orthodontist, my son has an overbite, a class II congenital skeletal deformity causing jaw misalignment, which can lead to tongue protrusion and lip droop. And there was me thinking his front teeth just stuck out...
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Previous research has suggested that a specific part of the spinal cord - the spinothalamic tract - plays a key role.
The latest work, in primates, found that scratching the skin blocks activity of nerve cells in the spinothalamic tract during itchiness - preventing the spinal cord from transmitting signals from the scratched area of skin to the brain
To all you guys out there, you should note that the effect only seems to occur during itchiness itself - scratching at other times makes no difference.
Especially first thing in the morning in the groin area….
Monday, April 6, 2009
Another reason is, I always thought that soccer players were wimps ; the way they roll around on the pitch with tears in their eyes at the slightest knock is pretty pathetic (IMHO).
My opinion of them being a bunch of schoolboys was solidified today when I read in the BBC news that a referee ordered a penalty to be retaken in a Sunday league football game when an opposition player broke wind as the ball was kicked. The Chorlton Villa player got a yellow card for the noise which was classed as "ungentlemanly conduct". Good Grief, they’ll be chewing up little bits of paper and firing them at the opposition with a home-made sling-shot next!
Give me a rugby player any day…..
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
My wife and I were married in a toilet - it was a marriage of convenience!