Crunchy Thoughts

The thoughts are crunchier here.

April 17, 2017
by Carrie
Comments Off on i have a kaiju problem

i have a kaiju problem

I’m not sure if Sam just lucked out by having naturally nerdy parents, or if he gets obsessed with nerdy things because of his nerdy parents. Either way, he is one lucky dude. His preoccupations become the entire family’s preoccupations — I hunt for toys and books for him, Steven finds movie soundtracks and pertinent facts, and even Lydia acquiesces to play-acting whatever Sam is currently enthralled with. We all obsess together. It’s one of those weird ways that autism influences the family dynamic.

Sam’s long-standing interest is Godzilla. A few weeks before his 4th birthday there was a traumatic event involving an ear infection and a doctor that wanted to look in his ears, so I offered to get him a helium balloon afterwards to make amends.

As Sam looked over his choices, he pointed to one and asked, “What’s that?”

“That’s Godzilla.”

“Oh. What is that?”

“Um, he’s like a big lizard that breathes blue fire.”

“Okay. I want that one.”

And just like that, an obsession was born.

Two years and some 20 Godzilla figurines, four Godzilla books, three Godzilla shirts, and an inflatable Godzilla costume later, we are a fully-immersed Godzilla family. Sam and I spent this morning looking up the latest Godzilla movie info and Godzilla size comparison pictures. Did you know they’re making a sequel to the 2014 Godzilla, which will be out in 2019? Well, now you do! Did you know there will be a movie coming out in 2020 where Godzilla will fight King Kong? Well, now you do! Did you know the Shin Godzilla movie won for Best Picture in Japan last year? Well . . . now you do!

I find myself scanning eBay every once in a while for elusive Godzilla toys, bidding on figures, buying them, hiding them in my closet for the next Christmas or birthday. Today I found out there is a Godzilla-themed hotel in Tokyo. And you know, it’s not a bad price to stay there! The expensive part is the plane ticket. Then I’m looking that up, and it’s not much more than going to London. So what if . . .?

No. No. No way, that would be nuts. Can you imagine Sam in Tokyo? Can you imagine me trying to corral Sam in Tokyo?

Maybe when he’s a teenager.

There are Godzilla comic books, a Godzilla subreddit, Godzilla shoes, Godzilla memes . . .

Godzilla memes are best memes.

And now I’ve realized I’m also obsessed with Godzilla. But I don’t even like Godzilla! I don’t care how long he’s been around (since 1954), how tall Shin Godzilla is (118.5 meters tall), or if he has gills (don’t ask; it’s controversial). I don’t activate my geek powers because I like Godzilla, I do it because I have this sweet, caring, obsessive little ball of anxiety named Sam.

And Sam loves Godzilla.

March 19, 2017
by Carrie
Comments Off on *thunk thunk*

*thunk thunk*

Steven started up the clothes dryer, which immediately began to make an ominous *thunk, thunk* noise. 

“Whoa, whose clothes are those?” I asked. 

“The girl’s,” he replied. 

“Ooh, better check for lip gloss! It’s either that or a rock.”

After a few minutes of rummaging, Steven emerged from the laundry room, victorious. “Ah ha!”

“What was it?”

“A rock!”

March 17, 2017
by Carrie
Comments Off on not helping

not helping

After a long day of teaching, running errands, and fighting traffic I am glad to be home this evening. Sam warmly greets me with a verbal waterfall filled with tales of Minecraft, playing outside for hours and hours and hours, what he had for lunch, and how much he missed me.

“. . . and me and Lydia were playing outside, and we played with Rachel! And guess what, Mom! Rachel is going to a space camp! She gets to go into SPACE!!!” Sam is very excited about all this, and I can tell he’s setting me up to ask if he can go into space, too.

“Well Baby, she’s not actually going to go into space,” I try to explain. “You pretend to go.”

“Nope! She said! She told me! She said she’s going to go to SPACE!” he insists.

“I promise you, Baby, you don’t really go into space. Daddy went to Space Camp when he was a kid; ask him.” I holler at Steven for assistance, “Steven, come tell your son about Space Camp!”

“It’s so awesome!” Steven yells back, “You get to go into SPACE!!!”

February 26, 2017
by Carrie
Comments Off on kitchen complaints, episode seven

kitchen complaints, episode seven

Tonight we were scrounging for something to cook, so we ended up having breakfast for dinner. We scored major Parent Brownie Points with this move.

Sam, while eating pankcakes: “I’m the luckiest kid in the universe!”

Lydia, doubtfully: “Why?”

Sam: “I had a regular dinner and a breakfast dinner!*”

Lydia: “Well, I had breakfast and a bowl of cereal.”

Me: “It’s not a competition, guys.”

Sam: “Yeah. And I won!”

Steven: “You heard your mother. Besides, I would win anyway.”

Sam: “Dad! It’s not a competition!”

*At first, Sam didn’t want breakfast, so he had a hot dog. Then the call of a pankcake pulled him over to the dark side.

December 26, 2016
by Carrie
Comments Off on post-christmas eve update

post-christmas eve update

In all the chaos, I forgot to post a Christmas Eve update. Ah well. Some years are like that. 

Here we go:

Times the cat has eaten the tree and barfed: 0!

Times the cat has picked a fight and had to be taken to the vet: 2

How many cookies Mommy has made: 245. That is not a made-up number. 

How many ornaments the kids have broken: 2

How many Godzilla ornaments are on the tree: 2


December 12, 2016
by Carrie
Comments Off on an early Christmas present

an early Christmas present

It’s a lovely, dreary day today. I’m not being sarcastic, either. I am so glad for the dreariness and rain that we’ve had over the last few weeks. All forms of grey skies are welcome after a drought.

Now that we’re in December, we’re taking a month off of school. With so much going on during this time of year, it’s nice to take a mental break. The kids have filled their time with riding bikes, building worlds with LEGOs, and generally getting on each others’ nerves.

For the past hour, Lydia has been sitting by the tree with her nose in a book. She’s reading, you guys. Reading! A book! No pictures, just words! Y’all know how long she has struggled with reading. Watching her be interested in a book of her own accord is quite a sight to behold.

She is sitting there, completely absorbed, without any awareness of how much she is blowing my mind.


November 26, 2016
by Carrie
Comments Off on the tree + one, 2016

the tree + one, 2016

And now. . .

I present to you The Tree, 2016:


Lydia’s smaller tree is also decorated, just not shown.

Total lights on the tree: 2,980; another new record and only 20 short of 3k!
Total number of incandescent lights: 1,350
Total number of LED lights: 1,630
Times the cat has eaten the tree and barfed: 0!
Amount of interest the cat has shown in the tree this year: 0; he’s mellowing out
Ornaments children have broken: 1
Amount of new lights purchased to replace broken strands: 1,200

November 8, 2016
by Carrie
Comments Off on time to boat

time to boat

It’s voting time again. Like most people, I’m ready for this election to be over. Almost there — woooooo!

I ended up bringing both kids with me to vote today. Steven’s working from home and the kids did have the option to stay there with him, but Lydia, who has been learning about the Electoral College, wanted to come. Once Sam realized Lydia was going somewhere, he just had to go, too.

“Buddy, we’re just going to vote. It won’t take long and it will be a bit boring,” I caution.

“No, I’m coming.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

So Sam tagged along for the ride. Thankfully, our polling station is well-organized and we were in and out within ten minutes.

As we come outside of the building, Sam looks around and asks, “Where’s the lake?”

“Huh? What lake, buddy?”

“The lake.”

“There isn’t any lake, Sam,” Lydia replies.

“But . . . you said we were going to boat!”

October 27, 2016
by Carrie
Comments Off on stranger danger

stranger danger

The ending of the Elephant & Piggie books has sent Sam on a quest to find another series of books. Recently he’s discovered the wide world of the Berenstain Bears books, so we have been borrowing them from the library in heaps.

Earlier I read to him The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers. Afterwards, I gave him a little quiz.

“Sam, if someone you didn’t know pulled up in a car and asked you to get in, what would you say?”

“No, thank you.”

“What if they said they had candy?”

“No, thank you.”

“What if they said they had toys?”

“No, thank you.”

“What if they said they had a Godzilla toy?”

“Yes, thank you.”

August 31, 2016
by Carrie
Comments Off on making the nurses swoon

making the nurses swoon

As we were leaving the allergist’s office today, Sam turned toward the doctor sitting at the nurses’ station and exclaimed, “Thank you for being such a good doctor!”

The reaction was immediate. All the nurses surrounding the station went:

girls swooning gif