On Vampires


For something that ‘does not exist’ there seem to be a lot of conscious on what they are, do, look like, etc.  If someone deviates from the vampire stereotype, like making them sparkle, they catch no end of hell because apparently, you can’t make up new facets to a fictional character.

Where does this collective agreement on vampire life come from?

I read a lot.  I don’t ever change my side widget over there but I’m long past the Outlander series that didn’t actually have any vampires but did have a zombie adventure in one novella.  I read the entire Dresden series, including short stories, and his vampires all conform, he does, however, break out different types of vampires and have ‘reds’ ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’. The Reds are the common ones, Blacks are more evil versions but with all the sunlight and blood issues.  Whites are energy drinkers – that was a new one for me but…

635520038055890005-day-shift-cover-artCharlaine Harris, who is most famous for the Sookie Stackhouse Vampire novels that True Blood is (loosely) based on also has a few other series that I love all the more.  Recently she published a new series, Midnight Texas, that is in the same Vampires are ‘out of the coffin’ world but includes a vampire that can eat energy.  So unless Mr Butcher and Ms Harris conspired there is yet another vampire class being acknowledged with distinct characteristics.


I also read the Laundry Files, a series by Charles Stross.  It is a good series and I like the premise of an underground organization fighting extra-worldly things that are a threat to us.  In a middle book of the series Vampires come in and he does not change the general stereotype of pros (strong, mind control) and cons (sunlight), but, he offers a more scientific explanation for the condition.  Harris and most others allude to a virus that causes vampirism but Stross takes it a step further and I like his explanation overall.  Pushing the envelope just a bit but keeping pretty close to what we all define as a vampire.

In the carpool drive, I decided we need some entertainment so I checked out an audio book series A-Z mysteries.  I highly recommend this for the lower elementary group, the stories are short and well written.  We have 15min in the car so each story lasts a little over a week.  This week’s story is what put me on this thought; there is a vampire in town and the 3 protagonists know all about vampires including that they dislike garlic.  Is this how the stereotype is passed to each generation?  Children’s authors conforming to, and passing on, the myth of vampire.  I actually don’t know how this one ends yet, I’m sure he isn’t really a vampire, but still my kids are getting indoctrinated.

So what is the deal?  How did such a hard and fast set of ideas happen with allegedly no basis in reality?  Or are there vampires and I’ve just never run up on one?   Just so many books and movies and common culture that can’t be denied.  But hey, passing it on to the next generation all the same.

The weekend that tried to kill me

But was otherwise really pretty nice…

So this is a list of complaints.  I normally don’t like to list complaints but this actually is so many it wraps around to funny.  Seriously!  I wanted to just quit the weekend!


  1. Fiona et all would not let me sleep in, this is normal, 1 in 10 Saturdays I get to actually sleep past 7am but it sets the tone.
  2. We had an event to go to, it was close so Lars went with Niamh who was actually ready and I fought the other two into outfits and car after lunch.  Nothing really out of the ordinary so far, don’t worry, it gets better🙂
  3. At the event a giant pole, I’m talking 12-14f tall and 3×3 around, fell on my head and knocked me over.  Yeah, that did not feel nice.
  4. To add insult to injury, I fell on my bottom hard enough that it hurt as much as my skull.
  5. Lars had an evening commitment but I stayed home (no sitter and pole to the head) and all kids went to bed and I was ready for a nice early night BUT 30min after Fiona was asleep she was awake, and, awake until midnight no matter what I did.
  6. At 3am the cat, who should not be in my room, was next to my ear making a very slurpy licking sound and I pushed him off the bed to lick himself elsewhere.  He jumps very quickly back because he left his MOUSE in my bed!
  7. Displeasure at chasing a cat with mouse out of the room coupled with the fact that this cat is on a LOW PROTEIN diet and Mouse is 100%, not low protein.  He ate everything but the tail.  He left that for me.  Thanks.
  8. Since I’m awake at 3am I browse Facebook and see an announcement that would be annoying in any case but double bad at 3am after my ‘fun’ day.
  9. Tired the next day(nothing new) I am putting fresh sliders on the chairs and one slips and wacks me hard on all 10 toes…
  10. Then I’m hungry and don’t feel like real cooking so I put a pop tart in the toaster over.  Can you guess?  knuckle burn!
  11. Finally, since we know the mice are back, I set a bunch of traps and guess what?  One snaps on my finger.

There really were good points all over the place.  We had a great time at the pool, I had a nice run, we finished a game we had been working on, the kids were mostly good, the weather was great but just somehow …


I’m cautiously optimistic about this weekend, but, don’t want to jinx myself.

Productive things done today 

Only this

She is on top of me, I’m trapped. 

Week 1 complete!


Sleeping – maybe someday but not today (or this week)

naps – Fiona took one on her own!  all the other days she was a mess or crashed somewhere.  PreK is hard work.

Workouts – actually got in 2 solid ones this week

bathwater – they are actually getting better at doing this alone but I need a 10min timer for each or its a 3 hour extravaganza.  Also… Zoe likes cold baths?  Crazy kid.


This was a very very long week.  I feel like every day is 4 days.  There is my morning day where I get up and get ready and make between one and three lunches and snacks and then drive the carpool (that is going well btw) and get home again and start part 2 of the day.  Depending on the day I either have a ‘normal’ parenting day, or, a free floating get all the things done no kid day (still not used to those) but this part of the day is unique because of how quiet it is.  Part 3 begins when the kids appear home again and I think the musical ‘bring in the noise, bring in the funk’ (aside from a musical journey of African American history in

Part 3 begins when the kids appear home again and I think the musical ‘bring in the noise, bring in the funk’ (aside from a musical journey of African American history in the us) was possibly an ode to kids coming home.  3 separate stories told at 110% volume with all the comedy and tragedy you can handle.  Juggling the needs of the 3 is an ever evolving process when there is only 1 of me.  Cookies help.  I probably get bad mom points for letting them dunk in my coffee (and then drink half) but I know I need some caffeine around 4 and I’m too lazy to make tea.  Although tea might be a good idea now that I think about it.  This part of the day is technically only from 3:45 to about 8:30/9pm but those 4-5 hours seriously feel like a whole day.  There is play, there is clean up, there are 2 feedings (snack and dinner), reading time, there is bath time and books and shows and some nights jujitsu or a workout and some nights girl scouts and you get the picture.

Part 4 of the day is semi post child.  I can’t wait for the day when bed time is bed time and they magically get put away in their box and don’t come out until 7am.  The bedtime box seems to have holes right now so we can’t watch Walking Dead until after 10 when we are sure they are actually asleep.  Lars and I still eat sans children most nights, it just more relaxing to put them to bed and then eat.  Dinner and then grown up TV and conversation about the day or the show or the news.  Time when my brain can move on from cleaning or Dora and think about other things.  This week I actually went to a SchoolBoard subcommittee and a PTO meeting so it felt like my brain was eating  candy there was so much good stuff going on!  I hate to short change my time with Lars (or other adults) because it is also when I get to recharge so I always end up pushing it until 11:30 and in bed steal a few more minutes to read my book so I usually see midnight most nights.

It is a full and crazy day, almost every day.  Summer long days are a different brand.  With such different segments each day it feels like Fiona started school 3 weeks ago instead of 5 days ago.  In a few weeks the routine will be more routine but right now there is a certain shine to the novelty of everything.

Now on to the weekend.  Another subroutine we need to tweak for the school year.  The autumn weather is being perfect so we need to take advantage but we also need to work in all the things displaced by school.  And now I need to go make lunch and I apparently the cat is stuck to the bed?  The fun never stops, just gets suspiciously quiet sometimes.



Fall fun


Weather – awesome, this is why we live here

School – everyone still likes it

Cat – getting a check up next week

Workouts – need to get better, I’m hopeful

Schedule – full throttle already


I don’t know how long it will take me to get used to my new schedule but right now I’m filling every moment with things that have been patiently waiting their turn forever.  I estimate I have a year worth of projects in and around the house and that isn’t even counting walls I want to paint or demo (or both!).  This week the focus was on getting some of the computer things done so all day today and most of Monday I plugged away at reports and writeups and reviews and research and I think most of Friday I’ll be here too.  I did at least book tickets to Hawaii to see my sister, that only took me 6 months to actually do.  I also got all my Pennsic task list done so that is in the books.

On the flip side, now that I have some day time, I actually have more time for the kids when they get home.  This is augmented by the new awesome homework policy (that is NO HOMEWORK!) so over the past few afternoons, we have tackled the bike situation.  Niamh was so dependent on her training wheels that she was actually bending the frame of her bike because she was torquing it so oddly riding sideways.  We should have made this happen years ago but she was not overly interested in biking and we always just had other things to do.  I just took them away.  I also lowered her seat and told her to pretend it was a sit on scooter so she could just learn how to balance.  I also figured that I should not make the same mistake twice so I also took away Zoe’s training wheels and told her the same thing.  Both actually got into it and since we live on a road with a slight hill it was easy enough to get the balance trick.

The only problem with ignoring petals is that they don’t go away.  I know there are fancy balance bikes but I was not investing anything but time in this project.  So, because of frequent whacks with the petals to the shins, both girls choose to put their feet on them.  What do you know, 2 days of half an hour or so of walking with them and they got it.  Niamh is mad Zoe did it, but, Niamh is actually getting better 10x faster and Zoe is about where a 6-year-old should be.  She needs to learn about breaks, not just going up on a lawn but on the plus side, all those years of jujitsu falling down is not a big deal for her.

I remember bikes being a giant part of my childhood and I hope they have the same positive experience too.  I’m also glad that I could teach them something that didn’t come naturally to either one…  Zoe asked today if we could ride bikes this afternoon and I’m happy to say yes and I’m happy that she asked.


Oh, and this maniac on 3 wheels is now teasing them both that she can ride circles around them.  She can actually, for now, but not for long!

A new world order

The day has finally come!  3 kids in school….

At 9:04 the car looks like this


at 9:08 it looks like this


Today and Wednesday (Fiona is home Tuesday and Thursday still) I’ve already got pretty full this week.  With school comes a new group of people to work with on crazy things like billing and the beginning is always a mess.  I am glad I could go to the office and fix it in 5 min rather than endless emails to try and explain the yes… she is in this class… no she is not in that one… sorry I have no answer for why she seems to be in both – please don’t bill me for both.  I also have the stack of things that could wait until I had time to talk on the phone and that stack is now addressed (and some even solved!).

The exciting thing for the day is a new client meeting at 2.  I can take a meeting at 2!!!  Hopefully, we can get lined up on the project and I can start for her.  An additional client is just what I need right now to fill in.  Between now and 2 I still have all the normal Monday things, it isn’t like I did nothing but parent all the other Mondays in the past 4 years, but this time, I can do them without interruption.

For posterity, here is Fiona on her first day of PreK.


She didn’t want a sign, she wouldn’t write her name because she was too excited to go.  Maybe she will for the scrapbook when she gets home (maybe not). She is wearing the outfit she picked out last week, I can’t believe it is so tame.  Last night her anxiety came out with a 40min fit about nothing in particular but I think was mostly because school was in the morning.  Since she is #3 I have done this 2 other times and she was with me for all three, but, she was always the one waving goodbye to her sister, not to her mom.  I think it hit her Friday at orientation that this was her turn.  With Niamh we made a half dozen trips to the school to get used to things, and, she was a year older since she started with Kindergarten, not preK.  Zoe was just ready, I think she is actually ready for college if she could just master what direction  b and d go.  Fiona got swept along with this and I am pretty sure she will do ok.  By the end of orientation she was making friends and playing and this morning she looked a little skeptical but ready.

Me, I’m ready.  I think.  I’ll let you know next week after the shock of 3 days a week wears off.