Monday, March 30, 2009

Letting Go of the Eggos

So, here's the overdue update on the N. allergy front. I'll try to make the long stories short, but mostly, it involves two long appointments at the allergist, some expected results and a few good surprises.

We went in for the skin testing appointment last Wednesday, and as I said, I'll try to spare you all the gory details, but let's just say if there was any doubt that this girl has sensitive skin, we have hereby erased it. She had an allergic reaction to the numbing cream that was supposed to make a very uncomfortable experience bearable, but instead made it a cause for tears before we even left the house. When we got there, it was clear that the nurse had not often seen redness of this magnitude in the areas she was supposed to be testing, and announced we might not be able to do the testing at all. My mama bear instincts flared up here, and I'll admit I may have made an already prone to nervousness woman a little more so with my look of dismay.

Anyway. It was determined we could go ahead, but guess what? She wasn't numb. So, every one of the thirteen subcutaneous injections they did were a exercise of two adults holding the screaming baby and one nurse trying to keep from drawing blood. This was after the fifteen pricks which were on the non-numbed skin to begin with so we could see the results. Oh, and the nurse squirted herself directly in the face with the "trees" one, so even though we got a negative on that one, I'd say it's not at all certain N's not crazy allergic to our woods, because none of that one ever got under her skin. At one point, the nurse looked at me, holding up my baby under the intense pressure of my husband bearing down on both of us and said "should I keep going?" Lady, like we're going to bring her BACK here? And what's our option -- we're not putting that cream on her again, right, so we do it again and she feels everything? LET'S GO.

End result: she reacted again to the peanut, the egg, and the dog. Since what we were looking for was whether or not any of the results from the blood work were false positives, it's fair to say these are true allergies. The fact that she did not react on her skin to wheat, milk and soy point to the fact that those were false positives. However, since she has had observed reactions to soy, we're also going to keep her away from those.

The egg was the surprise here. While she showed up moderately allergic to that on the blood test, we thought that since she hadn't had a reaction to her flu shot, her sensitivity must not be that strong. But her reaction on her skin to egg whites was as big as the peanut one. So, we are now avoiding eggs in everything, and I'm going to have to learn to bake like a vegan. Oh, except I can use milk now.

I had not been checking for eggs in the ingredient labels -- there's only so much information you can absorb at once, right? So, while I was pretty clear about what had wheat, soy and milk, I was surprised by the list they gave us for egg avoidance: pretzels, doughnuts, almost all baked goods, and pretty much any noodle in any commercially prepared soup. My girl has been living on soup for quite a while now. Hmm.

When we got home, N. was pawing at the freezer door, begging for a frozen pancake, one of her favorite treats. I knew it was probably a no-no, but checked the frozen waffles just in case. "Can you believe these have eggs in them too?" I said to my mom, holding up the box to her. "Well, um. They ARE called Eggos." Point taken.

So, we're on an egg/soy/peanut free diet around here, which means the peanut butter has to leave the house, even. Given her numbers, we've been advised that if we know she has ingested peanut, we are to go ahead with the epi-pen and call 911, even before she shows any signs of a reaction.

Last week, I tried to have O. eat a PB&J while N. was awake, and I nearly had a heart attack trying to keep them away from each other at the table. In and out of the chair, smearing the sandwich and fingers all around. Yeah, just not going to do it. I've replaced it with Sun Butter, which is made with sunflower seeds and tastes like it. O. didn't eat the first three I made for him with it, but then again he had just gotten over "spitting fire out of his mouth." The fourth, he asked why it tasted different, because as he looked inside "the jelly looks good." I explained to him that it was a different kind that we have to have now because N. can't do real peanut butter, and he seemed to accept it. We built a dinosaur snack out of graham crackers, raisins and Sun Butter today that he had seen in a magazine, and he said "Can we use the kind of peanut butter N. likes?" He is also very interested in "can N. eat this?" and "Read this Mommy, and see if it's okay for N." and "Is N. allergic to grapes? How about apples?" While I've been very clear that he needs to always check with me first before giving N. anything to eat, I'm glad he's at least understanding the basics.

The thought is that she most likely will outgrow the soy and egg allergies if we keep her away from them now. And really, her reactions to those would most likely be an eczema flareup, not an anaphlyactic reaction. Even though the soy is one that is something we're unsure about whether she is sensitive to, I'm fine with keeping her away from both soy and egg for a year or so if it means she can be rid of them after that. The news about peanuts is not so good. Only about 20% of kids outgrow that one by the time they are five. And the ones that do, generally have Ige numbers (that's what they measure in the blood work) of five or below. N.'s was thirty-two.

Her skin is doing really well for the last few days. We're hoping keeping her on an antihistamine will keep that the case, especially because she continues to be exposed to Scout on a daily basis. I'm working on better vacuuming habits, and Scout got a thorough grooming, bath and treatment with some anti-dander liquid over the weekend.

As I mentioned before, we now know what we're dealing with, have a plan in place. While I'm still concerned for her and know that probably our worst experiences will occur when she starts being in more places outside of our control, for now, this all seems workable.

Look for my cooking posts in the near future to involve eggless baking -- I've found some substitutes I'll be trying out soon!1

Friday, March 20, 2009

If you're ever in Illinois, watch out for killer whales.

Some facts I've learned from my son in the recent past:

Orcas are also called killer whales. (Okay, I knew this one)
Killer whales have 20 40 68 feet, and they eat fish and even they eat people!
They are red, and when they eat, they have more red blood on them.
Killer whales live far away. In Chicago. (watch out, MEP!)

The kewerbird is not our friend. He is mean. He steals eggs from nests. But he does not eat babies.

This guy (a drawing of a caterpillar looking thing) lives in the sea, but he's not our friend. He's a leopard eel.

There are also apparently sea animals named: blumpo seals, grino seals, and a mellow leader. Do you mean a millipede? I asked. No! Didn't you hear me? I said 'MELLOW'.

While drawing a large forest scene with lots of footprint trails and a snake that slithers over the footprints to hide them, he tells me "And then it started to rain."
"Oh," I say, "It's raining in the forest?"
"Yes. That's why it's called the rainforest."

Ice basketball is apparently popular with imaginary beings.
"Did you ever play ice basketball, Mom? I used to play with my friend Canna. Before I knew you, before I hatched out of your tummy. She was my friend then. And then she moved away.
O's teacher asked me after school one day if O's friend moved away recently, because he seemed a little sad about it.

Toilet humor comes when you least expect it.
"Wow. I never had it come out that fast. That was a leaky one."

The obesity epidemic is possibly transmitted via the very air we breathe.
In the Hobby Lobby parking lot, which happens to be near several fast food restaurants:
"Mom. I smell something good." He stops to think for a moment. "It's FRENCH FRIES! They smell good."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh, Nuts.

Many of my readers are already aware of the fact that we recently got word that N. has some potentially severe food allergies, but I thought I'd post an update anyway, for posterity as much as anything. I try to keep it positive in what I record of my children's memories/lives, but this one seems like pretty much a life changer, so it will be interesting to look back in a year and see where we are on this.
N. has been struggling with a pretty severe rash for over a month now. It involves very itchy, tiny red bumps and blotchy patches all over her face, trunk, arms, and at times her scalp. It started on her face, lasted for a week there, and then spread to the rest of her body. The first visit to the pediatrician we were told it was probably viral. After a negative strep test at the next one a week later, we were sent home with instructions to treat it like a bad case of eczema, moisturize and treat with cortisone. Meanwhile, with my own history of food allergies, I was suspecting a milk allergy. We took her off milk and switched her to soy milk, but was not strictly limiting all dairy. Vomiting set in a few days later, seemingly triggered by some whipped cream she shared with O. Then I got more aggressive with switching to soy products: soy cheese, yogurt, etc.
We also had a blood test taken to test her for food allergies, to rule them out before proceeding to an allergist and/or dermatologist. She was cranky much of the time, and waking at least three times a night itching, and the rash was not abating much at all with the eczema treatment.
Then we got the results of the blood work, and you guessed it. Positive for peanuts, soy, eggs, milk, and wheat. Oh, and also dogs. The peanut score was practically off the charts, so immediately we got a prescription for an epi-pen. Next highest was of course, soy. Oh yeah. Eggs, wheat and milk were in the moderate range. Dogs ranked as severe as well, but as for now, Scout's not going anywhere.
So, it's been a tense week and a half. I'm trying not to do too much crazy making web surfing, because there are far too many unknowns, but will admit to some obsessive grocery trips looking for wheat and soy free products and some careful label reading. I already know how to do the dairy free thing, so that's not too hard. But wheat and soy are in EVERYTHING.
And the peanuts? It's frightening to think too hard about it. However, they are pretty clearly labeled now, and people are much more aware. I'm amazed at how calm I've managed to stay so far.
We saw the allergist today, and she confirmed that the blood tests often have false positives, so we are not confirming our worst fears of a life built around rice alone until she has further skin testing next week to compare results. The doctor also said that she was pretty sure that the wheat and egg were not major issues, since she did not have a reaction to her flu shot (egg based), and I have not yet taken her off the wheat completely, yet her symptoms are currently resolved.
Oh yes, we did finally get some relief last week during her 18 month well visit, when we got a stronger steroid cream, and a different antihistamine for her to take at night. (Zyrtec wasn't touching it, and Benadryl made her WIRED). Her skin has been completely clear (except for her scalp, which I can't bring myself to goop with Aquaphor, but even that is not so bad) for a couple of days now. And miracle of miracles, we have had nearly a WEEK of uninterrupted sleep, our first since her birth! God bless sedatives.
I am not looking forward to what I know is in store for us keeping N. safe and healthy given what we suspect with the peanut allergy, but I know we will figure it out. Our goal is to keep her as normal as possible, while also being smart. I had a breakdown over the weekend, panicking about whether or not it was safe to take her to a restaurant. But we went, and it turned out okay. We apparently won't be frequently Chik-Fil-A anymore, because they fry in peanut oil (who knew?), and ice cream places and the like will probably be out. But I also know there are plenty of people living with these allergies (more all the time) and I know I can be a good researcher on N's behalf.
I'm just so happy we have some answers. As scary as this news has been, it's at least knowledge I can work with, whereas before these results, I was running one hundred different possibilities through my mind at any given time.
We'll know more next week, and I'll update again then.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Kindling

As promised, here are some of the things I love and don't love about my Kindle, for those of you contemplating a purchase of one for yourself, and those that are simply curious.
  • As I mentioned in my previous post, the Kindle really does read like a book to me. It takes a little bit to get used to the way the pages "turn" and it seems to delay more than it would if you were actually turning a page, rather than switching screens. But really, you get used to this "flutter" and hardly notice it once you're into reading a book. I find myself forgetting I'm even reading it on a screen at all, and don't get that glassy eyed, strained feeling I do after reading blogs or whatever for too long. I did have to adjust the size of the text to much smaller than what initially appears, or else I was turning pages much more often than I'm used to, but this is an easy operation to complete.
  • I really like that the Kindle remembers for me what page I'm on. My reading these days is of the stop and start variety, I can't keep track of bookmarks, and so when I'm reading, I tend to spend a lot of time trying to figure out where I left off, and it's frustrating. Every time I turn the Kindle on, it takes me right back to where I was when I turned it off.
  • Books are easily downloaded via the Kindle store -- probably a little too easily, as you can just press a button, and suddenly you're ten dollars poorer. But, so far, even new hardcover titles are only $9.99, a real bargain. I haven't exhausted the titles I already have on mine enough to look too much into it, but there are quite a few places where you can download books that are already in the public domain for free. I actually recently stumbled on a bit of a treasure trove of free titles right in the Kindle store. Stephen King just wrote a little novella that was available first only on the Kindle, and only cost $2.99. Yes, I bought it, and it was kind of a weird little product placement advertisement for the Kindle all bound up in a typically creepy King story. Reminded me a lot of "Low Men in Yellow Coats" from Hearts in Atlantis. I'm not a huge Stephen King fan, but I do typically enjoy his shorter works, and find his columns in Entertainment Weekly highly entertaining. In fact, I recommend you go read this week's column, because it's a plug for a television show I love, Breaking Bad.
  • You can also read magazines and newspapers on the Kindle, which I think is something I will start to do more often, as the quality of the Cincinnati Enquirer is getting to be way less than acceptable. J. has also announced he will no longer pay to have Newsweek delivered to our home (the "We Are All Socialists Now" cover did it for good, I think). So if I want to keep reading it, I'll have to do it on the Kindle. I have already taken advantage of the free sampling offers for USA Today and The Atlantic magazine. You get two free weeks of a newspaper and two free issues of a monthly, typically, before you have to pay up. I found I actually read more articles in the USA Today than I would have if I picked up one in a hotel or wherever, and I read quite a lot of the Atlantic as well. You don't get most of the pictures or graphics, and some content is left out, but that's okay with me.
  • Speaking of the free sampling, that's something you can do with books, too. Say you've heard about a book on NPR or something. You can look it up in the Kindle store, order a free sample, and voila! The first chapter or so is delivered right to your device. If you decide you like it, you can then order it up right then. I did this with Interred With Their Bones.
  • While I haven't actually had the opportunity yet, one of the ways I can see the Kindle being great for me is when travelling. Usually, I pack up a whole bag of books and drag them all with me -- one extra piece of luggage for reading materials always. Ideally, I'll now be able to just bring my Kindle, and if I run out of books to read, just order another one or two. Now, this is not a good money saving technique, and chances are, I'll still stock up at the library before a trip, but if, as I have done in the past, I plan to purchase something specifically for a vacation, I think I'll plan to do it on here instead of at a bookstore. Downside is, I don't know how comfortable I'll feel taking my Kindle to the beach or to the lake, where much of my reading takes place precariously close to water/sunscreen and other electronic hazards.
So, on to the things that so far have been disappointing about the Kindle:
  • The only reason I wish that I waited long enough to get the Kindle 2, rather than my earlier edition is the "read to me" feature that the new one offers. I'm not sure what it's really called, but basically, there is a feature where the computer takes the books you own, and converts the text to audio, and reads it to you. This is not a full scale audio book, performed by a professional reader in a dramatic fashion, simply the words translated to sound. This might come in handy while driving or exercising, say. Also, if I was still teaching, you can bet my Kindle would be loaned out to some students with learning disabilities, and this seems tool for that population. Audio books are expensive. I've heard there are potential lawsuits afoot for just this reason. Anyway, it seems an intriguing idea to me.
  • My biggest beef with the device itself is the giant "Next Page" button. While I understand that the designers wanted to make this feature as easy and seamless as possible, in reality, what happens is this button gets pressed by accident far too often. Suddenly, you're five pages further ahead than you planned to be. I've heard that this button has been redesigned in the Kindle 2, but looking at the new diagrams, it appears that they have still placed it right around where you want to hold the device.
  • Another thing that is slightly annoying is the "locations" that replace page numbers. Since the actual "pages" differ from what would be printed in a book, and also differ depending on the text size that you choose to read with, a system of what they call "locations" is used, an tends to be a range in the hundreds or thousands. This range is listed at the bottom of each screen you read, along with a little bar that shows you how far you are into the book. I find it's hard to remember these location numbers, and difficult to re-find your spot if the Kindle does indeed get bumped. Also, I hadn't realized how often I sort of flip through the remainder of pages in a book to see where the next chapter ends, or just how far I am from the end of the book. The little bar of progress isn't quite as accurate a predictor, for me, at least, of about how much time I have left with a book.
  • I do think I'd like it if the Kindle had a built in light. I don't want a back light, like on a computer screen, because I think that would be distracting, but for some reason, it feels like something that is battery operated lends should be able to be read in the dark without a lamp. They do make add on book lights for this purpose, but it seems to me something that could be included in the actual device.
  • The cover that came with my Kindle is really annoying, and I've actually stopped using it. It's this leather bound cover, that makes the Kindle look a lot like one of those nice bound blank books that people buy for others as gifts, and then sit on bookshelves largely unwritten in, because they seem too nice to fill up with your daily complaints. Anyway, I like the idea of a protective cover, and that my Kindle looks fancy when it is wearing it, but it is very poorly designed. There's this one little plastic flap that somehow is supposed to fit into this small groove on the back of the Kindle, but it only sort of rests there and is easily bumped out. I'm always afraid it's going to fall right out of there and bounce on the floor. I spent a good hour sitting on the couch at my mother in law's on Christmas Day trying to figure this cover out, thinking I must just not be doing it right. Now, granted, I was about halfway through a bottle of wine, but I remain convinced that it's just not right.
  • I also have spent a good deal of time on the phone with the Kindle support staff, and I'd have to give them a mixed review. My first Kindle was never able to utilize the wireless connection that is one of the things that makes the Kindle so cool. I could hook mine up to my computer and download books directly from my Amazon account, but I couldn't just pull a book from midair while driving down the highway like I can now. It took nearly a week for this issue to be resolved, because every person I spoke to had a different tactic for trying to fix the problem, and no one was willing to just say mine was broken, as it was obvious from the start that it was. However, every person I spoke with was extremely nice, helpful, and apologetic, including the guy who helped me for more than a half an hour on Christmas Day. And I got my new one and it's fine.
  • Since the Kindle is able to connect to the world of technology so seamlessly and easily -- more like a cell phone than a wi-fi connection -- I wish that the "experimental" portions of the device were a little more refined. You can connect to the internet with it, but it is very clumsy and difficult to maneuver. It used to have a function where you could type in a question, and someone out there in the universe (a special staff of researchers?) would look up the answer and send it to you. This function was discontinued before I had mine, but seems to me a very cool avenue for Amazon to explore. For example, you are reading a novel, and some historical event or person is mentioned. Wouldn't it be great to be able to look up some details on that right from the device? It has a built in dictionary, which is cool, but not something I will most likely use very often.
So, that's a little review of my new device. As someone who does not tend to be on the leading edge of any new technology, (I didn't convert to CD's until after college, probably around 1996!) it feels pretty cool to have this little techno-geek badge to carry around. (Because I go out to so many places where people would be impressed!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Word Cloud

So, this is kind of cool (click on it):
Wordle: Small World

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Out With the Old, In With the New

On one of my recent visits to the library, I noticed a cardboard box set on a table near the information desk with a little sign on it that said "Ever wonder what happened to the card catalog? Here it is!" Inside the box were stacks of the familiar index cards with manual typeset printed on them. The sign went on to offer you to take as many of these cards as you wished, use them for scrap paper, to make a little notebook out of them, or simply to show them off to your kids who might not remember such a thing.
Of course, I took a little stack. They're now sitting on top of my television, and who knows what I'll do with them. But I couldn't pass them up, because it is a little sad to me that no one will be pulling out those long tiny drawers and paging through the little cards to find a book and its place on the shelf, grabbing a little wooden stub of a pencil and jotting a call number on a scrap piece of paper from a basket. I have such vivid memories of using the card catalog in my elementary school library, a place that is forever linked with the perfume of the librarian with perfectly coiffed white hair who ran the place like it was a battleship. She and her husband sat in front of us in church, and even after I moved on to junior high, I still felt like I was in the library smelling her perfume on Sunday mornings.
While our local library had mostly upgraded to microfiche machines, I still remember card catalogs being around and available when I was growing up. Even in college, (and I'm NOT that old), my research was done primarily using the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Can you even imagine having to pull down a big bound book and page through it for a location of an article, then go find the actual magazine on the shelf?? But I did.
What's interesting though, is that this same phasing out of the card catalog was a plot point in the book that I recently finished reading. Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell is a thriller, somewhat in the DaVinci Code tradition, that follows a director of Shakespeare plays on a harrowing journey to find a lost Shakespearean play and to avoid a killer who is on the same path. (Thank you to MommyTime at Mommy's Martini for suggesting this great read!) The action starts at the Globe Theater in London, and continues to Harvard, the Folger Library, and the American Southwest. I would definitely recommend it if you are at all literary minded, and are looking for a fast paced, absorbing and also well written book.
In the book, the protagonist's mentor has left her clues to help her find this lost play, and one of the clues leads her to the card catalog the mentor has saved from destruction by the library system of Harvard. A clue is a call number, and note is written on the back of that card. I was just tickled by this detail in the book, and couldn't believe it when I came across the box 0' cards at my own library so soon after.
The other thing is, Interred With Their Bones was the first book I read in its entirety on my new cool gadget, the Kindle. I was lucky enough to receive one for Christmas from my dear husband, who thought far enough in advance to beat the Oprah rush, and I actually got mine on Christmas morning. There were a few glitches, in that the wireless connectivity that makes the Kindle so cool didn't actually work on my first one, but eventually I got a new one, and voila! I am officially a cool kid, at least in my own mind.
I don't have the Kindle 2, and it's a little sad that came out so soon after I received mine. But, I'll just go with the idea that I'm an "early adopter." and feel cool like that.
Anyway, this post is getting long enough as it is, so I'll save some of my other thoughts on my Kindle for tomorrow or another day, but I just wanted to share an interesting little experience, one that I ultimately had on a device that some might say is a sign of the decline of the book and yet another example of the computer taking over. I disagree, though. If anything, the Kindle is an attempt to reclaim an authentic reading experience while taking advantage of new technology.
The primary aim of the device was to replicate the experience of "losing yourself in a book" and having the delivery mode of the words and ideas melt away as you enter the world of the book. They went to great lengths to have the screen be NOT like a computer screen, and instead like ink on the page. For me, so far, it has worked. When I pick it up and turn it on, it's no different than a paperback book, and in some ways is easier to hold.
I'll share more about what I love (and don't love) about my Kindle in my next post. Until then, I'll be shuffling my card catalog cards and trying to find a use for them that doesn't involve them getting lost in a drawer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

N&O Speak: an update

O has a habit of taking one sock off while we're hanging around the house. Just one. Not sure what's so bothersome about the sock, or how that gets relieved by only removing one. But it does drive me a little crazy. As if we didn't lose enough socks via the laundry cycle, now I have to search for them throughout the house as well.
Anyway, a week or so ago, we were getting ready to go somewhere, and he only had one sock on. I told him he needed to get socks and shoes so we could get going. He produced a random sock from the floor, a completely different color than the one he had on. I told him that one wouldn't work, that it didn't match. So what? was his reply. Well, you need to have matching socks, I said. "Who says? Does the doctor, or God, say socks should match?"

Last week, we were playing in the basement, N. bringing me cups full of air to stir up, and O. and Daddy wrestling around on the floor. O. got the bright idea to take both of his hippity hop balls by the handles and use them sort of like boxing gloves to bonk J. on the head. He approached me to do the same, and I told him no way -- Mommy doesn't play rough like that. Given the permission to play rough "only with Daddy," the romping and head bopping got even more intense. I turned to N. and said "you don't need to play rough like that, do you, sweet girl?" She immediately dropped down on the floor, began crawling around and growling very loudly, and continued to do so for a good five minutes.

Tonight was a night that both of the small members of the small world were having issues getting to bed. N. was banging her baby's head against the crib rails, and whining, so I went in to rock her a little more, hoping to settle her a little before it turned into a full scale meltdown. She showed me her baby, said "baby" as if I'd forgotten its name, and then shoved it down underneath herself as if to hide it from me. Only then could she settle down and suck on the neck of my t-shirt.
Meanwhile, O. appeared at her door (he'd already had books and songs and been tucked in, but apparently had to take another potty break).
"Mommy? Every time I go into my room, I hear a snake hissing."
"There's no snake, O." He goes back to check.
"I turned the light on, okay?"
"That's fine, bud. I think your door is maybe just making a noise."
He goes to try his door, comes back. "I think it's just me thinking about a snake and making that hissing noise in my head." He puts his finger to his temple as if thinking hard, whispers "hiss" to himself, nods, and then leaves as if extremely satisfied with this explanation.

N's newest word is "Kelcum." As in, "Kelcum, Ma" when she puts a toy back where it belongs, after she hands me a cup that has fallen on the floor, after she deposits a wet diaper into the trash. Good manners, already.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Future Barney Stinson? Okay, if it just means suits and catchphrases.

We're off to the museum today, my standard "we have nothing planned and it's cold outside" activity. Mondays are no school group days, so it's a little less crazy in the children's museum. We are so lucky in Cincinnati to have Museum Center, which is a collection of three museums in one historic setting. Union Terminal was once the hub of all rail travel in the city and is a gorgeous example of Art Deco architecture with beautiful WPA era murals in the rotunda.
With our museum membership, we are able to sample all three museums on any given day.
This means we have developed a little bit of a routine: start with the dinosaurs and the cave in the Natural History Museum, head over to the Children's Museum for a while, then head upstairs for lunch, and make a pass through the train display in the Cincinnati History Museum before heading to the car. Parents of preschoolers will not be surprised to hear that any deviation from this routine leads to some major concern from O.
"But Mom, we cannot go through the dinosaurs from this side, because we will be looking right at the Allosaurus' teeth. We are supposed to go through the cave first, and come in this room from that side!"
The special exhibit currently at the Museum Center is Dinosaurs Unearthed, and while I could not have asked for a show more suited for my boy's fascination, I must admit I think it's going to make my life difficult from now until the end of its run in September. Several weeks ago, a couple of days before its official opening, O. caught sight of the life sized stegosaurus inside the exhibit hall, as well as the new dinosaur themed gift shop. When he learned he could not go inside because it wasn't open yet, he wailed out loud, and continued to cry off and on about it at any time of slight stress for the next three days.
"But when am I going to be able to go see those big dinosaurs and buy a dinosaur in that store? I have lots of money. Please, Mom."
We finally relented when Grandma Choo-Choo came to visit, and went to see them. The exhibit is really quite impressive, with life sized, moving dinosaurs. Some can actually be operated by pressing buttons. My mother in law, who had O. by the hand while J. and I tried to maneuver the crowds and N., reported that he was visibly shaking with excitement as he ran headlong into the exhibit with no awareness of any lines or flow of traffic.
He reports that the big horned one with fur was his favorite, but the gallimimus was also cool. (One of the angles of the exhibit is making a connection between birds and dinosaurs, so several of the models are depicted with furry looking feathers).
In the gift shop, Grandma was willing to buy him just about anything he wanted, including what I thought was a very cool dinosaur alarm clock. No, he picked a tube of tiny plastic carnivorous dinosaurs, like the ones he has at least 30 of already at home. His newest favorite activity at home is burying them in Tupperware containers full of uncooked macaroni and digging for them "like a paleontologist."
Anyway, today will be our first visit since the tour of the dinosaur show, and we won't be paying the extra ten dollar a head fee to get in today. I'm hoping for only a slight meltdown, but who knows.
Yesterday, when my parents were over for the afternoon, O. insisted on turning the entire downstairs into "Dino World" (in his imagination) so that we could all pretend to be different dinosaurs. I think I was supposed to be a troodon. My mom asked him why it was he liked dinosaurs so much.
Without hesitation, he replied: "Because they're awesome."