Saturday Aaron took a bunch of stuff to recycling at the citywide cleanup event. Then D13 and I went to An American Tale at aThe Children’s Theater of Minneapolis.
Sunday I made some gumbo. It is an attempt to get Aaron to take food to work from home instead of eating at a restaurant every day. We’ll see if it saves us money. IL4 had swim lessons, and M10 had a baseball game. His team has improved quite a bit, but the other team won.
Monday we had the basement people here jackhammering all day. We’re getting new drain tile in our basement will stop flooding. IL4 didn’t like the noise. D13 had an appointment mid-day, and M10 had baseball practice. At the end of the day, we set up the Slip n’ Slide. IL4 loved it, and the other two kids seemed to moderately enjoy themselves.
Tuesday was a tough day. First, I hadn’t slept all night – finally fell asleep around 6am and was awakened at 7am by the basement team. I wasn’t able to catch up on sleep all day due to the jackhammering. Plus, I had to pick IK4 up from special education to bring him to daycare, because he now refuses to get on the bus. Plus, right around the time they stopped jackhammering, I had a scheduled visit with a friend. Then, by the time I went to work, I could hardly stand. She sent me home 3 hours later.
I was also dealing with the stress of having decided that I shouldn’t take the overnight awake job that had been slated to start in June. On Monday, I had experienced something that seems to happen about once a week: I suddenly and unexpectedly got so drowsy that I struggled to keep my eyes open. This usually happens to me while driving or at doctor appointments. One time, I literally slept through an entire appointment because the doctor was talking to D13 and not me. It’s also happened at the park when I’m presumably active. My psychiatrist thinks I have narcolepsy, but that’s really rare, so I’m skeptical. I originally thought it was a long-COVID symptom, as it really only became a problem after I had COVID, but all my other long COVID symptoms have disappeared. Anyway, the incident on Monday reminded me that when I wasn’t sleeping as many hours when working two jobs, it was happening multiple times a week. It’s highly inconvenient, especially when I have to literally pry one eye open to get to safety while driving. Monday was such an example, and I had IL4 in the car with me, so it was super scary. Anyway, I thought that maybe sleeping irregular hours and not as much due to an overnight awake position might increase these incidents to multiple times a week again. Unfortunately, my sleep doctor appointment has been scheduled out for months, and is slated to happen Thursday this week, but the onboarding appointment was set to happen on Wednesday. So I cancelled the onboarding.
Wednesday I took D13 to an appointment that was scheduled for the following Wednesday. I missed D&D because of that, and was super bummed. M10 had a baseball game. I heard he got on base by hitting the ball twice!
Thursday, after getting the oil changed and a tire rotation, I had a sleep doctor appointment. She said that she doubted it was narcolepsy, too. She said they’d start with a sleep apnea home test. Then if that showed an insignificant amount of apnea, they would do an inpatient test in a sleep lab. Yay. Hopefully it’s just sleep apnea, though. That’s an easy fix. In the evening, D13 and I hung out with my friend Liz and learned to cross-stitch. She LOVED it.
Friday was mostly a good day for me. I ended up stressed out right at the end, but it resolved itself. IL4 had speech therapy (his v’s are going well!) And then an appointment with his pediatrician about his ADHD. We decided to put him on the same med M10 is on. Then we’ll follow up with a psychiatrist when we can get an appointment. On top of that, I talked to the nurse of IL4’s gastroenterologist. She said that the x-ray suggested we needed to try another 2-day bowel evacuation. I’ll do that this weekend.
Saturday I played D&D and then watched movies with D13 and dad. I’m told M10 went white water rafting despite forgetting his goggles at home (he’s very afraid of water in his eyes – I imagine it’s a sensory thing). I’m proud of him for that.
Mother’s Day was supposed to be calm, but I spent the whole day worrying about my job. IL4 had swim lessons and M10’s baseball game was postponed due to the rain.
Monday I felt sick to my stomach, which I interpreted as stress from the job situation (in retrospect, I apparently had a stomach bug). I went to the zoo with IL4 and dad, anyway. IL4 first wanted to walk through the aquarium, but only looked at statues. The sharks were pretty boring to him (well, I should say the statues were that interesting…) Then we went outside, where he discovered the playground. We spent the rest of the time there, and saw no animals.
At the playground, he pooped his diaper. He had been out of diapers for more than half a year, and recently went back in diapers with his GI problems. So I am out of the habit of bringing diapers and wipes everywhere. He didn’t want to go back to the car and change, and dad said he’d watch IL4 while I went back to the car and got supplies. I suggested that perhaps it’s a bad idea to intrust a man who uses a walker with watching a 4 year old who has been bolting and hiding a lot lately. Dad, offended by me “not trusting [him],” tried to prove himself by grabbing IL4. IL4 squirmed out of his reach, and bolted to the play structure. Dad chased him and, in slow mo, climbed up the rope ladder. Nearby moms were looking at me in dismay, but what was I supposed to do? By the time dad got to the top, IL4 had run across the large structure, and hidden in a nook. Dad walked around for about 5 minutes on the structure, looking for IL4, while I sat on the bench and chuckled.
M10 had an appointment and a BSA meeting. I had to pick M10 up on foot for the appointment because I’d accidentally left my purse in the car that Aaron took to work, and I didn’t have my car keys. (This was before the zoo.) Aaron dropped the purse off on his way to the dentist (he needs to replace his Marilyn bridge because of decay underneath, but otherwise had no cavities).
Tuesday was exhausting. I left early for a diabetes lab draw. Then I had an interview, followed by picking up IL4 at school because he wouldn’t get on the bus back to daycare. He was so upset when I brought him back to daycare. He thought I’d take him home like last time. Then I had two more interviews. I have decided to take one of those jobs. It will be an overnight awake position on MWF. At least there will be lots of downtime to rest, I’m told. Maybe I’ll get bunches read.
Wednesday I took IL4 to a feeding clinic for his intake. They suggested OT, and said they were willing to do psychology if I thought it would help. However, they suggested he was unlikely to get much benefit out of therapy until his hyperactivity was addressed. I have already made an appointment with his pediatrician in hopes of getting a referral for the psychiatrist D13 and M10 use.
Thursday Aaron and I had a day date for our anniversary. We went to IHOP for breakfast, watched Supernatural, picked up IL4 from school since he’s decided he’ll never ride the bus again and they can’t force him, and grilled for dinner.
Friday I went through my schedule for the summer and made note of all the appointments that needed to be moved because of my new work schedule (starting June). I have to move all appointments to MWF after 10am, there were about 5 appointments to change, and I made a few of those changes before I ran out of time.
Then I took IL4 to an x-ray to check if his gut was empty of stool, as it should be. Haven’t gotten the news back from the gastroenterologist yet, but the radiologist said he had a “moderate stool load” which is bad because he’s supposed to be running on empty.
After the x-ray, we went to the library. He played with the toys and the computer and then checked out a Leapfrog.
Saturday, D13 and I went to lunch at Chick-fil-A and then to Gertens to buy flowers, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans. We couldn’t plant them, though, because it was raining. Then we watched A Man Called Otto and Your Place or Mine. M10 had his last show, and Aaron attended.
Sunday started out with me squashing IL4’s finger in the door. Because it was all bloody, I decided not to plant our flowers and veggies, despite it being a beautiful day. I didn’t want it getting infected. He then had swim lessons. M10 had a baseball game. They won by 1 point and M10 stole 2nd, 3rd, and home. So I guess that steal actually made a difference.
By the evening, D13 had a splitting headache and was obviously coming down from a fever based on her red face and claminess. (I would have taken her temp earlier, but I was at the game.) I tested her for COVID, and she came up positive.
Monday started with a rush of snafu squading. I had to make several calls and emails about D13’s covid, including calling the school twice, emailing a teacher, and changing her Little Mermaid audition to video. I had to fill out some forms before sending IL4 to school. Finally, I put him on the bus and rushed over to the grocery store to pick up some vital items. Then I set up D13 for a virtual appointment, and rushed dad to the lawnmower shop and went to the library to pick up a book that she needed to read, but left at school.
After IL4 got home from special education, I took him to urgent care about his smashed finger. It had turned a deep purple as if it had bad circulation. They x-rayed it since apparently they were concerned about a certain type of break that would permanently hurt his nail bed. IL4 didn’t want his hand x-rayed, saying he was scared. We decided I would hold him on my lap, but as we were putting on my protective vest, IL4 bolted and I chased after him, but lost him. I figured out where he was when I heard a dismayed cry of “No! Don’t do that!”
M10 had baseball practice.
Tuesday I voted for a referendum to get more funding to the schools (it passed). Then I had an interview at noon. They no-showed, and at 12:20 I got a call from special education saying IL4 refused to get on the bus to go back to daycare. I went and rescued his teacher. He asked to go home, and I told him I would take him home today if he promised to get on the bus tomorrow. He promised (and kept his promise).
Later, we had an IEP meeting for him. The teachers were talking about how he was more hyperactive and impulsive than before – to the point of bolting dangerously at the street and the staircase. He has also been bolting in parking lots for me. He has also been more anxious and emotional lately. I am concerned that I’ll have to give him ADHD meds if the dangerous behavior continues. I don’t like giving ADHD meds to a 4 year old, but I’m not sure how else to curb the dangerous behaviors.
In the evening M10 and I had a D&D oneshot we participated in. We both really enjoyed it.
Wednesday I was super tired again. I get that way when I’m stressed, and it makes staying awake for D&D difficult. But I mostly managed! M10’s team won a baseball game.
Thursday I worked later than usual on the morning, then went immediately to the eye doctor. I hadn’t thought my vision had decreased much, but my right eye did by much more than expected. Then we had a zoom meeting going over D13’s autism assessment. She was found to be normal across the board. She didn’t even have problems that she was determined to have in an earlier assessment. Later, I had a dentist appointment (no cavities), and took IL4 to try on jersey sizes for soccer. He loved the jersey store and repeatedly bolted and hid in the hanging clothes. I literally only found him the second time because I saw the direction he went, and there was nowhere else he could have gone.
Friday was mostly a good day. I forgot that IL4’s speech therapy was at 10 instead of 10:45 like usual, so missed it. I ran some errands, rescued two bean sprouts that IL4 apparently planted at school, and checked things off my to-do list.
M10 and Aaron left for their whitewater rafting trip, and D13, IL4, dad and I went to Olive Garden. D13 was a trooper and watched IL4 all night while I worked.
So, Saturday was another hard day. First, Aaron got a reminder email for an autism assessment appointment for D13 on Monday. 10am. I definitely didn’t make it because I’m stepmom. They wouldn’t have called me. So either Aaron or his ex-wife made an appointment and didn’t bother telling me. There would be a $300ish fee for cancelling.
M10 also has an appointment at 10am that day. $250 fee for cancelling that. Plus, I have Butt Bazooka Boy (IL4) that day. Aaron has a meeting at 10. Aaron’s ex has an appointment at 9:50. I can’t do D13’s appointment alone because I’m not a biological parent or legal guardian.
After much stress on my part, I decided that Aaron can put M10 on his appointment virtually at 9:45, and then be available by phone at 10 for D13’s appointment (after rescheduling his meeting). I found a babysitter for IL4.
Also, I was wondering why IL4’s been above and beyond crazy all week (his teacher and D13 both commented on it too). I Googled whether laxatives can cause hyperactivity. Apparently Miralax is associated with neurobehavioral issues in kids. So…at least I’m not going insane. It really is him and not me.
Oh. And IL4 has pink eye for the third time in this calendar year.
Sunday I wrote a letter to a pen pal in Virginia and had family day. We watched more Firefly (it was Aaron’s choice). M10 had a show. IL4 completed his evacuation regimen (still needs doctor’s approval) and will start the two month “mush and push” regimen. During this period, he will, in theory, learn to poop in a happy, healthy manner. He will be given half a cap of Miralax and some Exlax every day for a couple of months. We found out Monday’s meeting was Zoom that didn’t require D13, but she had another appointment Tuesday. That one was easier to plan. I just moved some stuff around.
Monday was a good day (finally some relief). The appointment that I’d been so worried about went smoothly because it was zoom, so I was able to put IL4 on the bus, M10 on his virtual appointment, and attend this appointment. After his morning class, IL4 and I did some gardening. I was trying to prune, but he ran around and partially pruned every shrub, then ran to the backyard and tried to plant some firewood in a pot. When he was done with all that hard work, I followed him back inside.
I then made a plan for our vegetable garden. D13 wants cauliflower and sweet peppers. IL4 wants blueberries and strawberries. I want tomatoes. We have some raised beds that I’m going to put some of that in, the rest will go into pots. I decided after all that, we probably won’t have money for flowers this year. I’m not sure I will be successful planting blueberries and strawberries, but I can try.
After all that, I took M10 to baseball practice and then to Boy Scouts.
Tuesday started out with a visit to the vet. $400 later, we know that Polyphemus is healthy, with a healing eye. Then I took D13 to her autism assessment. I don’t think she has autism, but her therapist thought it would be helpful to check. That completed, she and I went fancshy-smancshy [insert name of swanky Twin Cities suburb] bowling. Leather couches and a fireplace and everything. Aaron took M10 to baseball practice while I ran around outside playing “bad guy – officer” with IL4.
Wednesday started out with a podiatry appointment for my occasionally crippling plantar fasciitis (I need to do a better job on my physical therapy). It’s been ok for the past week, but for about 3 weeks before that, there were days that I was strongly avoiding walking because it was so incredibly painful. He gave me a referral for some orthotics, which I’ve been avoiding getting because they cost about $200. But losing money because I can’t work is more than $200.
Then I went on a large shopping trip that I was rather peevish about in the end. I went to the fancy upscale grocery store because I prefer their salmon (I’m squimish about salmon skin, and this store removes the skin). I decided to do my whole shopping trip there because I didn’t want to go to two stores and this store bags the groceries for you (which I love). But the store didn’t have several items that I was specifically looking for, which meant I had to go on another shopping trip the next day. Plus, there was only one lane which was manned, and the line was super long, so I had to go through the self-checkout and bag my own groceries.
D&D followed, which was fun. Then I got a note from my bariatric clinic saying my ozempic would probably not get a preauthorization because they weren’t accepting obesity and prediabetes as sufficient – but that the clinic would try anyway. (I found out on Friday morning that my insurance had approved the preauthorization, though, so I feel better about that.)
Thursday was partly a good day, partly not. It was a beautiful day out, which was nice. I went outside to make plans in the garden. I think I mentioned that IL4 wants to plant blueberries? Well we have four raised beds in our yard. Two of them are in the sun, and two in the shade. The ones I want to grow the blueberries in are longer, and they are unfortunately in the shade. On top of that, the soil in all four beds is riddled with landscaping rocks – makes no sense to me. Previous owner was apparently using them as a gate to block off a corner of the yard so her dog wouldn’t get out. So maybe she considered them a garbage heap. 🤷♀️
So over the course of the summer, I will empty all four beds and put the rocky soil on a weedy part of the lawn that we plan on mulching with wood chips eventually. I will get rid of the two short beds and move the big ones into the sunny spot. Then I will refill with acidic soil and composted manure. Next year, the beds will be ready for blueberries! (He’d better still want them.) As for this year, we have four pots and a decorative planter. We’ll plant two tomatoes and two peppers, and then flowers in the decorative planter.
Then, I was told that my client is moving into assisted living, and I’ll be out of a job. That was depressing.
Later, M10 had his 5th grade concert. He sang parts of “We Are the Champions” as his solo.
Friday I had the yearly maintenance done on the furnace. He talked me into getting my ducts cleaned soon (it needs to be done) and tried to talk me into some expensive gadgets to reduce allergies. But it seemed more aimed at dust – M10’s problem is pollen. IL4 went to speech therapy, where he successfully showed off his new v sound. M10 had his D&D session followed by his show.
Reading to IL4
Super Rabbit Boy’s Team up Trouble, by Thomas Flintham
Super Cheat Codes and Secret Modes, by Thomas Flintham
Saturday was a busy day. I got home from work at 9:15 and had to be at the high school from 10-12 for helping out with the costumes while M10 rehearsed for his show. Then, I had to be at the middle school from 1-4 to chaperone and then attend D13’s middle school play. She did a great job! It was a 70’s talk show about Snow White and the 7 dwarves. Then we went out to dinner for my dad’s birthday and dyed D13’s hair red.
Sunday I burned out again. I had to rush to Target to get M10 his costume for his dress rehearsal because they gave us the requests on Saturday, and I was busy Saturday. Then M10 had a 4 hour rehearsal, which I chaperoned. I was moving beyond the limits of my people skills by the end of it, and would have liked to turtle, but the kids wanted family day. So we tried watching the first episode of Firefly, but M10 was unimpressed and spent the entire episode getting IL4 all jacked up so that they were both screaming and running around the livingroom for the entire episode, which gave me negative people energy. I sent them all to bed 15 minutes early, before I broke down in tears. Then I tried to get a hyped up Loki to settle down for bed. Once he was sufficiently calm, I read to him, further negating my stores of people energy. Then D13 came upstairs twice to ask me simple questions that gave me a huge headache, whereupon I asked Aaron to finish reading to IL4 and I pulled the blanket over my head. Oh, and IL4 started crying during Firefly because he wanted yelliw hair, so now he has yellow hair.
Monday should have been recuperating from my over-extended weekend, but it didn’t turn out that way. While D13 and M10 were at school, IL4 ran around like crazy. He flooded the bathroom, ruined his half-price chocolate bunny by soaking it in water, filled the litter box with toys, and then attempted to suck up the litter with a Dirt Devil. I was at my wits’ end by the end of the day.
Then I picked up M10 at school and took him straight to his rehearsal for his show, cooked dinner, and picked up M10 to take him to baseball practice.
Tuesday was a hard day. It started with D13 and I taking Myra to the vet to be euthanized. She had stopped eating, and really was quite sick. We went to Perkins afterwards, and then to an appointment for D13. While she was in there, I called the plumber, electrician, HVAC technician, and sprinkler system person to make appointments with them all.
When we got home, D13 (who was taking a mental health day) started searching for her Snow White shirt for the cast and crew party. She became frantic, and we each searched the drawers of everyone in the house, as well as the dirty laundry to no avail (eventually one of the directors donated his so she could get it signed by everyone.) While we were searching, transportation called to tell me they were trying to put IL4 on the bus, and I’d made a no ride request for him. I told them that yes, I had. He didn’t belong on the bus. Then I called the daycare to ask why they were trying to put him on the bus when I’d told them not to. (His school had said they didn’t want him while he had diarrhea.) They told me that they’d sent him to school, wasn’t he coming back. I’m like “oh, $***. It’s noon. He’s stranded at the school! He’s not at the daycare.” So I rushed over to the school to pick him up. I decided to keep him home because I was in a rush at this point.
I had been supposed to cook a steak for M10’s feeding therapy, but all plans for that were shot. I picked up M10, and he complained that the walnuts didn’t look edible, so I showed him all the nuts I had, and he chose the almonds and cashews. He then complained that he couldn’t eat because he was weak and his throat hurt. He did manage to eat three almonds, though. I took his temperature, and he had a fever. At this point, I texted his mom to say he might not make it to his band concert that night, and he started crying. He had a special part and had been practicing for months.
I then went to pick up the kitten I’d promised D13 (yes, too early). But he needed to go to the vet one last time, so I returned home without him and rushed D13 off to her cast party.
M10 and I watched Shanghai Knights and then D13, Aaron, and I watched X-Files (she’d returned at this point). The foster parent brought the kitten, and D13 was thrilled. It’s a one-eyed cat we named Polyphemus (after Odysseus’ Cyclops).
Wednesday I took my dad to a hearing aid appointment and played D&D. M10 was home from school with a fever (missed a show and baseball practice that night).
So…weird story. When I first adopted Polyphemus on Tuesday, I was under the understanding that I had adopted a fixed, vaccinated, microchipped cat, who’d been tested for FIV and feline leukemia. And that this was from an established rescue.
On Tuesday, I requested the vet records be sent to my vet. The cat had just had an eye removed two weeks prior, and my vet needed that info along with the vaccination records. The foster mom mentioned the name of her vet, and said she’d requested the recirds sent.
By Thursday, the vet records hadn’t arrived at my vet, but the foster mom had sent me a screenshot of a vaccination record for what was clearly another cat. (It was for a cat that was 2 years older than my cat and weighed a good 5 pounds more than my cat would have weighed as a newborn kitten ~3 months ago, plus was adult vaccines.) I sent a text to the vet saying “Hey, I know Foster Mom has requested these files be sent to my vet, but why don’t you send them to me instead, and I can forward them.” That way, my vet doesn’t get confused by the differently named cat and differently named owner.
Now, as it turns out, the foster mom asked to pop over at this time to see if she could take Polyphemus to her vet because of the puss in the eye. When she arrived, I mentioned that I’d texted her vet, not to fret about the records anymore.
She looked irate and said “Are you always so high maintenance?” I answered “I’m sorry?” She then started screaming at me how she already sent the records. I answered calmly that she mistakenly sent me the wrong records and I was just trying to sort it out. She yelled “They use the same birthdate for every cat!” I let that drop, despite the fact that the weight was also off, and it was unlikely any vet would vaccinate a newborn kitten with an adult vaccine, and that this newborn kitten wouldn’t be 5 pounds.
Anyway, she then started rant-screaming at me and said she just wanted the cat back if this is the way I was going to be. I calmly told her that I had already given him to my stepdaughter, and I wasn’t giving him back. If she didn’t want to give the records, I’d just start from scratch. She screamed at me that I was crazy, that I would have to pay my own vet bills that way (umm? Of course?) and left.
It was really bizarre, because I had remained calm and polite the whole time – mostly because I was assuming she’d see reason – but my dad suggests she started responding with so much anger because she’s lying and I’m starting to see through the lies. But what would be her purpose in lying? The only thing I really don’t want this to be is for him to have feline leukemia or FIV. I should check if he’s even been neutered. Lol
In the evening M10 had a show, and my dad, friend Liz, and I went. It was really well-done, and M10 was so proud of his performance.
So I was on poop patrol on Friday, as I decided to go ahead and try a second attempt at evacuating IL4’s bowels. 2.5mL of Senna and 4 capfulls of Miralax later, he hadn’t pooped. Silly me, I decided to go to the library. That went well at first, until he was sitting in front of a computer playing a game and I heard a pooplosion. I told him it was time for a diaper change, and he stood up, spread his legs, and insisted several times to continue playing on the computer.
Eventually, I scooped up all of our books in one arm and him in the other, checked out the books, waddled, overburdened, to the car, dropped off the books, grabbed a diaper (no wipes, OMG!) and carried him back to the bathroom.
2 minutes later, he was covered nape to heel in brown. I stripped off his clothes, and put him on the floor, bare as the day he was born, and tried to clean the brown puddle that had accumulated on the changing station. He pressed the handicap button and the door opened wide to him, filthy and exposed, for about 4 people to see. They could also see the brown puddle.
I snatched him up, cleaned him off with paper towels, and dressed him in his jacket and pants (which were thankfully unscathed). Then, as he repeatedly pressed the handicap button, I cleaned the changing station.
But that wasn’t the end of the adventures IL4 would provide. Later that day, while I was writing letters, he opened the spice cabinet and poured the white pepper all over the place. He got some on his tongue, and I was unsympathetic. D13 came along later and asked why he kept licking his arm, and he told her he’d eaten some pepper, so she gave him some milk. She’s kinder than I.
Reading to IL4
Press Start: Super Rabbit Boy Powers Up!, By Thomas Flintham
Press Start: Super Rabbit Racers, by Thomas Flintham
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
Press Start: Super Rabbit Boy vs. Super Rabbit Boss, by Thomas Flintham
Owl Diaries: A Woodland Wedding, by Rebecca Elliott
Press Start: Super Rabbit Boy Blasts Off, by Thomas Flintham
Press Start: The Super Side Quest, by Thomas Flintham
Press Start: Super Rabbit Boy’s Time Jump, by Thomas Flintham
This day started out well enough. We had our first real quest. In the morning with our breakfast served, a rat jumped up on our table. He introduced himself as Simon, owner of The Small Guys Struggle, the nearby tavern with a giant rat problem. He explained that some of his cousins had moved into his basement and were going through all of his food and drink stores. He wanted us to get rid of them.
We accepted this quest, and set off to buy a wheel of cheese and some poison. Personally, I figured these were not monsters and didn’t deserve to die, but the group was eager to get the task done. Ozy gave some of his blood to the woman who sold us the poison, and then promised we’d meet her at midnight to help her gather ingredients in exchange for poison. I tried to convince them to wait a few days so I could come along. Duter was full this and the next two nights, and there’s a double full moon the day after tomorrow. But they didn’t want to wait.
When we got down to the basement of the Small Guys Struggle, we eventually discovered 2 wererats. They refused to leave, and others in my party chose to attack after the rats also refused the poisoned cheese. There were quite a lot of powerful but missed attacks (seemed like overkill to me), and I finally pinned one of them. The others quickly trapped the other rat, and we convinced them to leave.
Afterwards, we explored the basement a little more – looking for more rats. Bizarrely, we discovered what appeared to be a smuggler’s tunnel under the tavern. We followed it for hours. We had to cross several underground waterways, which contained an interesting algae that gave gills to Cassandra (an elf who had been thrown in among our group right before we left on our quest). The Cassandra sneakily bottled some of the algae – I suspect she didn’t know I noticed.
We battled a couple of giant spiders and a troll, but never found the end of the cavern. Avet got a little parasitical friend that is now attached to his shoulder. Creepy. He found it in a corpse of spider-lunch. Eventually we turned around.
Simon suspiciously pretended not to know about the tunnel and cavern under his tavern. But he said we were not allowed back down. I think some of the group would like to get back down – not sure why. I prefer monster-hunting myself.
Upon returning to the guild just in the nick of time before sundown, Avet joined me in my room and put the tiger’s eye amulet around my neck. In the morning he was there to take it off. I think he’ll be discreet.
This was a cute and funny book, appropriate for younger readers. I’d say a 7 or 8 year old could read it, and my 4 year old enjoyed listening to it and seeing the pictures.
Chester is invited to a slumber party. Being a shy introvert, he doesn’t know what to do at the party, but feels he has to go. Meanwhile, his ghost friend Simon has to pass an inspection which grades his ability to haunt. They decide to help each other out by giving rather silly advice.
Simon and Chester start a detective agency and solve their first crime.
Chester just wants to be part of a normal family, but discovers no family is perfect. Simon attends a ghost convention, and discovers bullies’ opinions don’t matter.
Saturday was a hard day. It started out with an oh, $*** moment when I looked at my schedule for the day. I’d had trouble the day before focusing on tasks, but I wanted nothing to do with my schedule on Saturday.
I woke D13 for her all day dress rehearsal, and then headed off to help with the costume preparation for M10’s musical show. I had to come home early, though, because I was so tired I felt like I was going to faint. Then, I kept falling asleep during D&D, and finally bailed on the game. I say “finally,” but I only made it about a half hour in. It was a hard day to miss, because we almost lost two characters, which may not have happened if I was there.
After that, dad, Aaron, and I tried out a new restaurant – and it was fantastic. Then D13, Aaron, and I watched a couple episodes of X-files.
Sunday I had a bookclub bruch with my friends Liz and Estelle.Then Aaron and I cleared out the room in the basement that has flooding. Afterwards, Aaron, D13, and M10 went to the new Dungeons and Dragons movie.
Monday we had the asbestos tiles removed from the basement room that has flooding. While that was going on, I ran to the pharmacy to pick up four free COVID tests before insurance stopped paying. I should be able to get them next month, too. Afterwards, IL4 and I poured baking soda in a shot glass of vinegar. D13 had a dress rehearsal for her upcoming play.
Tuesday was a day of delicious nonproductivity. Instead of trying to get everything done that I could, I planned summer (trying to figure out if I’d saved enough money to have fun with the kids – and I have!) Then, I went to the classy new pizzaria and walked a mile each way from there to Joann Fabrics to buy some floss and aida fabric. D13 says she’ll learn to cross-stitch with me. I have a little kit picked out for her to start on, and I’m doing a Baby Groot.
Wednesday was my scheduled day of rest (yes, I rested Tuesday, too. So what?) I took IL4 for an eye appointment – apparently his eyes are 20/30, so, slight prescription, but not enough that they want him to wear glasses.
Then I played D&D. It’s my first in-story day for a full moon, and I’m curious if I’ll get to privacy before I turn into a were-leopard. But it was 2pm (in-story) when we stopped, so I won’t find out till next week.
After that M10 and I went to the Mario movie.
Thursday I meant to be a big productivity day. I had plans. Big plans. Great plans. But instead I ate lunch with Aaron. (I mean, I needed to bring him his forgotten phone, right? That was necessary?) Then I took a nap. At least I ran some errands first. A new productivity week starts Saturday. D13 had her opening night of her play, and Aaron and M10 attended.
Despite the endless potty jokes (dad says I was cleaning the $*** out of IL4, bowel evacuation day went poorly. I tried giving IL4 a quarter-square of exlax, to no avail. He was absolutely not convinced it was chocolate. He did put it in his mouth and pretended to chew when I tried bribing him.
Next, I tried powdering it in the pill crusher and poured it in some chocolate milk, but it just formed a sediment. So I bought an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen – that was me going through the drive through the minute DQ opened – and sprinkled the crushed exlax on the top. He licked around the sprinkles and made the icecream teeter over because he was licking from the bottom.
I decided maybe I’d gotten some into him. Maybe? So I started the 4 capfulls of Miralax. I was supposed to put it in Gatorade, but he doesn’t drink Gatorade, and I decided after the Exlax fiasco, I’d stick to nice familiar apple juice. Not a perfect solution, but whatever.
At this point, my online productivity accountability group made me feel so much better with this conversation:
Me: I’m about to give him 4 caps of Miralax.
George: I hope the 4 cups of Miralax goes better.
Me: OMG! 4 caps! 4 cups would be a $***-ton.
George: Just how much is a $***-ton?
Alex: I believe it’s slightly less than a metric $***-tonne.
Anyway, the evacuation was not complete at the end of the day, so we’ll have to try again Monday. I was happy to go to work at the end of that day.
Reading to IL4
Llama Rocks the Cradle of Chaos, by Jonathan Stutzman & Heather Fox
Tiny T-Rex and the Very Dark Dark, by Jonathan Stutzman & Jay Fleck
Superfly, the World’s Smallest Superhero, by Todd H Doodler
Pugicorn, by Matilda Rose & Tim Budgen
The Adventures of Caveboy, by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen & Eric Wight
Press Start: Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy, by Thomas Flintham
You know all that food that kids don’t like eating? Well Dona Esmeralda, the tiny woman with a huge bouffant, gobbles it all up. Until she discovers that there exists food that kids actually do like. What do you think happens then? This is a cute, silly book that my 4 year old likes.
Today was a productive day. It was my first full day in the city of Bad Luck. I was at the inn run by Outreach Guild – you can’t get jobs around here without being a guild member. I was questioning innkeeper Jills about how to join the guild (there’s a challenge on 27.2 that gets a first-level membership) when suddenly a couple of metal monsters crash into the inn.
I, Aqua Aqua (the innkeeper’s partner) and a bunch of non-guild members – Thibedoux (Tabaxi), Ozymandias (Dhampir), Avet (???), And Caspian (human) – attacked the two metal things. Ozy has an interesting spider gadget that can crawl around and attacks monsters, too. We were victorious in vanquishing the creatures with the help of several spells including one that paralyzed them momentarily and another that grew a thorn barrier between them and us.
Jills explained to us that these attacks have been occurring for 3 days and asked us to question the other patrons of the inn to see if we could find out what was going on. I was unfortunately a bit distracted (my scimitar needed sharpening) so I missed this explanation, but I eventually caught on to what the line of questioning was about.
I questioned Le’ Nalo, Bounty Hunter of the Primal Evils and his companion Swivel. But since I didn’t know what I was supposed to be questioning them about, I just asked if they were looking for a monster-hunting companion. They were jerks.
I then questioned Lia, a woman who, like me, is interested in books. One particular book, in her case. She had taken an arcane book of rituals and was now being chased by machine monsters. Thibedoux (who had helped me question her) and I went to tell Jills, who was quite miffed that Lia hadn’t given this information.
Suddenly, our conversation was interrupted by a clamor in the other room. When Thibedoux and I rushed in, there was a monster in Lia’s place (apparently she’d attempted a ritual, as I discovered later). It was a hideous plant that was viciously attacking the other newly-fledged members. We rushed into action, and a few of us were injured as we defeated yet another monster in one day. I was severely pissed that Aqua Aqua didn’t join in this fight.
Afterwards Jills gave each of us non-members a rank 1 membership in the guild (though I’d still like to participate in the challenge). I went exploring the inn, and discovered a tall woman named Lyra in the garden. I went to buy her a tea and invited Avet to join us. He seems like a trustworthy guy, and I need one of those.
We chatted about the garden and medicine and a gigantic rat problem in a nearby tavern. Avet said nothing at all, but that’s ok. He’s the quiet type. All the better.
The other new guild members and I checked out the quest board and picked out a couple that looked doable. One was to try out some “new remedies” as healthy test subjects. The other to fix the giant rat problem Lyra had told me about.
It turned out Lyra was the person who wanted test subjects. She gave us each a “remedy” it was this weird sparkly color, and I decided not to try it. Ozy’s turned him into a sheep and he also took mine, so he started floating away, baaing like mad. Avet’s did nothing.
After Ozy turned human again, we all took rooms and settled in for the night.