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Four Oh? Ten Four

Excelsior Is Another Good Word

A few weeks ago I asked Caroline and Edward what they wanted to be for Halloween.

"A dragon," said Edward and five minutes later I was at Target standing in front of a premade polyester blue thing with a big tail that looked fairly dragon. I bought it and smuggled it into the house (my theory is that costume overexposure - which is any exposure - will lead to preHalloween disenchantment) and said "Oh Edward, I hope you are going to be a blue dragon. I think blue dragons are the best kind, don't you?"

"Yes," said Edward. "Yes I do. I'm going be a boo dragon!"

Done and done and every person who has inquired since has been told that he will, indeed, be a blue dragon. Now Caroline...

"For Halloween I want to be a butterfly princess ballerina," she said.


"With wings."


"And a crown! And a wand!"


"And a skirt that spiiiins and is pink but not only pink."

"Sounds lovely," I said. I bought the wings, ordered a crown and a wand for about six cents off the internet and consulted with Patrick on the best way to construct a floaty swirly butterfly-inspired tutu.

"Tulle," said Patrick.

Actually he didn't. He doesn't know from tulle but he pointed to it when I dragged him into the fabric store and then he suggested I cut it into strips and then he said he'd come back to help me once the strips were done but he never did; so I still don't know what his artistic vision was for the butterfly tutu. Personally I heaped all of the fabric into a pile until the cat that likes to eat rubberbands started licking it and then I just tied all the tulle onto a waistband as if I were doing latchhook. I'm sure an actually crafty person would have taken about five minutes to complete this project but it took me a week and I am inordinately proud of it - skirt, underskirt, Target leggings. Divine. A little uneven and a lot loving-hands-at-home but still... divine.

"She's going to be so excited," I said to Steve.

"Uh-huh," said Steve.

"I can't wait until Caroline sees her costume," I told my mother. "She's going to love it."

"Uh-huh," said my mother.

Three days ago Caroline walked into the kitchen.

"I'm going to be Batgirl for Halloween," she announced.

Steve, the fink, laughed. Patrick snorted. Edward looked interested.

I clutched my pearls.

"What!? I mean, what? I mean, that sounds like a great costume for next year. This year you're going to be a butterfly princess ballerina, remember? With a wonderful colorful tutu and wings and a crown and a wand."

"Nah," said Caroline. "I'm going to be Batgirl. HOT-cha!" And she did a couple of roundhouse kicks.

Edward said, "I'm going to be a boo dragon."

"No, you're not," said Caroline. "You get to be... ROBIN!"

Edward looked thoughtful and then nodded slowly.

"Yesssssss. Yes, I'm going to be Robin."

I am sending Caroline to Mongolia. Let me know if any of you can pick her up.


I don't know what is going on in this picture but I like it.



But back to Halloween.

Patrick is going to be a Rubik's cube. It is amazing what one can do with an empty Amazon box, scissors, Crayola paint and electrical tape. He wants to dye the turtleneck he is going to wear underneath thusly: one blue arm, one green arm, orange neck and red torso.

"The nice thing with this will be that I can just wear it as a regular shirt after Halloween."

He was serious.


I'm sick of talking about sick but... Patrick's sinus infection did not improve with omnicef. We had an appointment scheduled with the ENT anyway so we saw her last week and she put him on azithromycin. Four days of that showed only slight improvement with his congestion and his eyes got so infected we had to bring him into urgent care to get antibiotics to treat them separately. Apparently bacteria can sneak up from the sinuses and get into the eyes. Or something. Anyway he has an appointment with his primary early next week and we'll talk about both an immunologist and an allergist consult and anything else that comes up. He's not as much of a mess as he sounds, really. He's mostly fine he just is a little subpar. With a chronic infection.

Edward has a cold (and I have spent so much time in his racecar bed over the past several nights that I feel like a Schumacher) but apart from that he is great. The ENT said his ears and adenoids (or lack thereof) look terrific. The audiologist conducted another hearing screening and said he is back in the normal range. We took him in for a speech evaluation and he's in the normal range there too. Apparently l's and s's are optional for the three-turning-four set and he really is speaking more clearly since his surgery. So, go Edward.

Oh, I have to stick this in somewhere.

Edward built a wedgit tower and wanted us to admire it but Caroline was trying to twist off Patrick's head and I was trying to separate them with my foot and Steve was telling all of us to take the carnival more than three inches away from his office door so no one was listening to Edward.

He finally bellowed, "BEHOLD!"

And when we all stopped and turned to stare at him he repeated, more quietly, "Behold!" and gestured to his wedgit tower.


Patrick and I are on the fourth book of Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series and love it. It was a slow start and all the way through the first book I kept comparing it disfavorably to Lirael but I finally got into it and can recommend it with enthusiasm.

I finally got Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis but I am waiting to start them. I was so sorry that I could only read To Say Nothing of The Dog for the first time once, so I am delaying the gratification with these two.

What are you reading, either you or you and child or child?


My expectation is that once Caroline actually sees the wings and the crown and the swirly tutu - like, five minutes before we leave the house - she will swoon and insist on wearing the outfit I have lovingly created.


I bought a longsleeved Batman tshirt off the Target clearance racks for $3.99. Partly because I was so amused that there is apparently no problem Target cannot immediately solve for me and partly because... just in case.