Friday, April 26, 2013

Things I Love Friday: Hannibal


Who's watching Hannibal? I absolutely had to check this show out. After watching the movies and reading the books, I was totally excited to hear about a new TV show featuring our most lovable cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Seriously. What else could a body be but a cannibal with a name like Hannibal? Amiright???

From the network:  One of the most fascinating literary characters comes to life on television for the first time: psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this new drama from Bryan Fuller ("Pushing Daisies," "Heroes"), based on the characters from Thomas Harris' classic novels, we see where this incredible story began.

Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, "The Big C") is a gifted criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. Graham's unique way of thinking gives him the astonishing ability to empathize with anyone - even psychopaths. He seems to know what makes them tick. But when the mind of the twisted killer he's pursuing is too complicated for even Will to comprehend, he enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country. Armed with the uncanny expertise of the brilliant doctor, Will and Hannibal (known as a serial killer only to the audience) form a brilliant partnership and it seems there's no villain they can't catch. If Will only knew...

Fuller is a writer and an executive producer. Martha De Laurentiis ("Red Dragon," "Hannibal"), Sara Colleton ("Dexter"), Jesse Alexander ("Lost," "Heroes") and Katie O'Connell also serve as executive producers. David Slade is the director/executive producer for the series pilot. "Hannibal" is produced by Gaumont International Television.

I can't wait to see where they go with this series. So far, being four episodes in, the show has suspense, psychological thriller, gore, and procedural crime. I have to wonder what kind of minds come up with some of the things (no spoilers here) that have been featured in this show. It's crazy. It's fun and it's creepy. It's the kind of show that you need to watch in a darkened room with a glass of wine and someone to keep you company. I would not like to watch this show alone which is a good thing since the Mister likes it too. 

Mads Mikkelsen is absolutely brilliant as Dr. Lecter. He is enigmatic and freaking creepy. I love him. My only complaint is that I don't really care for the female characters/actors on the show. Casting seems a bit lackluster where the feminine side of things is concerned. At least in my opinion. But it doesn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the show.

If you're not watching, you should check it out. Especially if you grew up watching the movies and/or reading the books like I did.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Molly Caldwell Crosby: The Great Pearl Heist

The Great Pearl Heist

Title:  The Great Pearl Heist

Author:  Molly Caldwell Crosby

Publisher:  Penguin Group

Pages:  304

Genre:  True Crime

Setting:  Edwardian London

Where did you get it:  Barnes and Noble - print book

Why did you read it:  I don't read a lot of true crime. In fact, I believe this is only the third book in that genre that I can claim to have read. However, I really enjoyed the first two and I liked the setting of this story, so I figured, why not.

From the publisher: 

Molly Caldwell Crosby once again brings forgotten history to vivid life in an absorbing account of crime and deduction in the early days of the twentieth century. . . .

In the summer of 1913, under the cover of London’s perpetual smoggy dusk, two brilliant minds are pitted against each other—a celebrated gentleman thief and a talented Scotland Yard detective—in the greatest jewel heist of the new century. An exquisite strand of pale pink pearls, worth more than the Hope Diamond, has been bought by a Hatton Garden broker. Word of the “Mona Lisa of Pearls” spreads around the world, captivating jewelers as well as thieves. In transit to London from Paris, the necklace vanishes without a trace.

Joseph Grizzard, “the King of Fences,” is the charming leader of a vast gang of thieves in London’s East End. Grizzard grew up on the streets of Whitechapel during the terror of Jack the Ripper to rise to the top of the criminal world. Wealthy, married, a father, Grizzard still cannot resist the sport of crime, and the pearl necklace proves an irresistible challenge.

Inspector Alfred Ward patrols the city’s dark, befogged streets before joining the brand-new division of the Metropolitan Police known as “detectives.” Ward earns his stripes catching some of the great murderers of Victorian London and, at the height of his career, is asked to turn his forensic talents to finding the missing pearls and the thief who stole them.

In the spirit of The Great Train Robbery and the tales of Sherlock Holmes, this is the true story of a psychological cat-and-mouse game set against the backdrop of London’s golden Edwardian era. Thoroughly researched, compellingly colorful, The Great Pearl Heist is a gripping narrative account of this little-known, yet extraordinary crime.

What did you think?  I thought this was a fabulous story. I find the Edwardian time period to be fascinating. Everything and everyone existed on the cusp. Add in the most expensive necklace ever made, Scotland Yard, and gentlemen thieves, and you have a really entertaining tale. 

I really enjoyed Crosby's writing style as well. She told the story in a novel-ish kind of way rather than presenting the information in a historical, fact and statistic-laden fashion. She was also very good at giving background information and painting character sketches of each man involved. To this point, however, there were times that I thought she veered off in another vein to the point where I got distracted. 

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating story and I'm happy that it caught my eye on the shelf at the bookstore. It makes me want to read more true crime and definitely more of Molly Caldwell Crosby's work. This story should be made into a movie if it hasn't already.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Honoring the Iron Lady

(This post is courtesy of the Mister. All writing, thoughts, opinions, and research are his own.)

Margaret Thatcher, conservative, political, politics, current events, death

With two major incidents recently occurring in the news, the Boston marathon bombing and the ricin letters, we may have forgotten that the world lost a pioneer for women’s rights and conservatism on April 8th, 2013. Margaret Thatcher’s death was a blow to many who grew up in the 1980s. Whether you agree with her politics or not, you must admire the way she went about her business with the same tenaciousness as any man. She was so effective as a politician; she held the office of Prime Minister for 11 years, the longest of anyone, and to a generation of Americans, she was the ally that could be counted on as the United States and the UK fought against the “evil Empire”, USSR.  I will always remember her as the “Iron Lady” and the strong ally of the United States that she was.
Instead of treating the death of a significant leader of our biggest ally in the world with the respect due her, the Obama Administration decided that they were too busy with other affairs to send someone from their administration to pay the respects of a nation. Instead, Obama opted to leave it up to the former presidents and the civil servants who had worked with Thatcher.
I can understand if the President doesn’t want to take time away from his arm twisting and plotting the demise of the 2nd amendment of the Constitution to go himself, but what was VP Biden up to, or even better yet, where was the Secretary of State? This falls directly under the responsibility of the SOS, so what was Secretary Kerry doing on Wednesday that he couldn’t travel to UK to attend the funeral? He was testifying on Capitol Hill about the Benghazi attacks on 9/11. This could easily have been moved to another day so that Kerry could have made a showing at the funeral.
The White House said they were too busy to attend but I believe that they did not want to attend the funeral of one of the longest serving conservative leaders in the world. The left does not like Thatcher for her standing up to the labor unions in England and helping England come out of the financial crisis they were in when she took office. Not to mention the close relationship between Thatcher and Ronald Regan, whom in the eyes of the left, does the younger President Bush only match in his evilness.
Politics is why America did not have an elected official or a high ranking member of the Administration at the funeral. I, as an American, am embarrassed by the blatant disrespect this president shows to all conservatives.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Repercussions of the Boston Marathon Bombings

(This post is courtesy of the Mister. I happen to agree with this post 100%, but he wrote it and all thoughts and research are his own.)                 
 In the week (and a day) since the Boston Marathon bombing, the country has gone from extreme lows to a euphoric high by the time Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured late Friday (4/19/13) night. Not since shortly after 9/11 have I seen a community come together and support its first responders with such reverence. It was an amazing sight to see when people were cheering on the local police and other agencies as they were leaving the scene for hours.
                  However, now that several days have passed and it looks like the bomber is going to survive the injuries sustained during his shoot out with the police, we now have to get down to the business of prosecuting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the crimes he and his brother (allegedly) committed.  The first couple of acts have been put in place. To begin with, the White House has decreed that the United States will not treat this guy as an enemy combatant and will prosecute him instead in US Civil Court. Usually I would be up in arms with this ruling. Any Muslim that comes to the US and causes the death of three people and wounds a hundred or more should have a one-way ticket to Gitmo. However, these guys came here over ten years ago and used the system. They applied for and received political asylum and from what I can see, did everything that they were supposed to do. The Tasrnaev’s received their green cards and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev became a naturalized citizen on September 11, 2012, ironically enough.  My entire reasoning is that once you are a US citizen, the government should not be able to try you in a military court for any reason. James Homes is not being tried in a military court, nor are the Sandy Hook shooters and they killed many more people than did the Tsarnaev brothers.
                  There is one big difference between the Tsarnaev brothers and the other mass shooters of the last few years; they are not natural born US citizens and they are subject to lose their citizenship status. As I mentioned earlier, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev became a US citizen seven short months before he (allegedly) took part in this bombing plot. I have a very hard time believing that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was 100 percent truthful in his interviews and applications during the naturalization process and he certainly was not honest about the oath of citizenship when he raised his hand and swore his allegiance to the United States. It is not believable that he went from wanting to be a citizen to wanting to kill Americans en mass in just seven months. With the level of fraud and deception that he had to use to become a citizen, the State Department should ensure that his citizenship is revoked. Once it is revoked, then he should be immediately re-categorized as a terrorist and be moved to a military court.
                  I am not an advocate of trying Americans in military court nor am I an advocate for revoking a natural born/naturalized citizen’s citizenship, that is unless he takes arms up against the United States for a militaristic purpose, which is what I believe happened in this case.

The Mister

Monday, April 22, 2013

Thoughts for Monday: Because It's Monday

Peace and Quiet
  • Doing some housework this morning, I had to move the Youngest child's scooter out of my way so that I could sweep the entryway. I started to get irritated because it doesn't belong in the entryway until I thought, "I'll miss seeing the kids' toys, clothes, books, etc., sitting around the house when they've grown and moved out." The scooter is fine where it sits.
  • Giving Honey Booboo, or whatever the hell her name is, her own show was scraping the bottom of the white trash TV barrel. Giving Ryan Lochte his own show is...somehow worse. Just because he can swim and he's easy on the eyes (Yum, right??)
    Ryan Lochte
    doesn't mean he has anything knocking around between his ears that is worth putting on television. He is so dumb and I mean that literally. He says the most idiotic things. Did he go to school? Did he graduate high school? American TV is such an embarrassment. 
  • I have no idea how to reply to a perfect stranger when they put something like, "I'm going to die alone" on social media. Is it a cry for help or a drama queen looking for attention?
  • I have lived places. In all my time as an adult, I think I've had four different cable companies. Time Warner Cable takes the ultimate prize as THE WORST CABLE AND INTERNET PROVIDER to which I've ever had the misfortune of subscribing. The customer service is terrible. They lock you into two year contracts so that you have to continue to pay for awful service. Their equipment sucks (my DVR often records only 2 or 3 minutes of a show and you have to jab, and I mean JAB, the buttons on the remote to get it to respond. I've changed the batteries many, many times with no effect). My Internet connection is so slow that I read a book while waiting for pages to load. Seriously, my 4G LTE connection from Verizon is faster. Their tech support is worse than useless. And we can't watch the Padres, our home team, on TV because Time Warner was too idiotic to come to a contract agreement with them. They are TERRIBLE. 
  • I hope my neighbors rot.
  • Coffee...gooooood.
  • My family has absolutely no understanding of my occasional need to sit in a quiet room without the TV constantly droning. I got up yesterday, Sunday, before the kids and the Mister was out getting his hair cut. I open the doors and windows to let a beautifully scented breeze in off the canyon, grab a book, and relax on the sofa with a cup of coffee. Silence. Only birds chirping outside my window. Every last one of my brood thought I was crazy. I just wanted some quiet.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Things I Love Friday: Epiduo

Funnily enough, when I was a teenager, I only had the occasional, monthly (if you catch my drift) facial blemish. When I turned 25, I started getting breakouts all over my face. Lots. And it was all the time. Everyone told me that it was just due to stress because the Mister deployed for the first time. I didn't feel all that stressed out, but held out hope that it was the case and my face would clear up when he got back. It didn't.

For ten years, I tried everything from drugstore face washes and creams, to Proactive, to this stuff I ordered from a dermatologist in NYC, to homemade remedies that I found on the Internet. Every once in a while, I'd find something that would sort of work but even then, it didn't last and I'd be back to the same old breakouts. It was depressing. Literally.

Do you realize, that not only are pimples visibly unsightly, but having persistent acne is painful. Constantly having sores on your face hurts.

The doctors that I had in Vermont and North Carolina always suggested antibiotics as a treatment which I always refused. I have reactions to antibiotics that can be worse than whatever it is that I'm taking them for. I only take antibiotics if I absolutely have to for things like sinus infections and bronchitis. Then, I found a wonderful doctor here in San Diego that actually sits down with you and listens. He's the first doctor that I've ever had that doesn't make me feel like I'm inconveniencing him and needlessly taking up his time. He referred me to a dermatologist.

Epiduo, acne

I didn't much like the dermatologist's manner, but he prescribed two different medicines for me to take. One was a sulfur-based face wash and the other was Epiduo. At first, using them together seemed like it wasn't going to be something I could do. I ended up with red, fiercely burning skin and swollen eyes (I wasn't putting the medicine on my eyes just so you know) the first couple weeks. Basically, I had what felt like chemical burns on my face. Then I stopped using the sulfur face wash and just used the Epiduo every morning. My skin cleared up. All the way.

I still get the occasional monthly breakout but it's usually just one pimple and it's not even every month. I can live with that. I also still use the Epiduo every morning. After ten years of extensive acne, I'm afraid not to, lol. It's a miracle cure and I love it.

It's prescription only and may not be for everyone, but if you have acne and nothing else works, I emphatically recommend that you talk to your doctor about Epiduo.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What I'm Reading: Soulless by Gail Carriger

In light of my recent obsession with British television, my current reading habits have been nothing to talk about. Sadly, I've watched all of Shameless, Call the Midwife, and Mr. Selfridge that I can. Happily, this means I've had a book in hand for the past few days.

Title:   Souless:  An Alexia Tarabotti Novel

Author:  Gail Carriger

Publisher:  Hachette Book Group

Pages:  365

Genre: Steampunk/Fantasy/Paranormal

Setting:  Victorian England

Where did you get it? Barnes and Noble

Why did you read it? I confess that I bought this book first, because it was steampunk/paranormal but secondly, because of the cover. The "about the author" cracked me up.

From the publisher:  First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

What did you think? I am very new to the steampunk sub-genre of science fiction. This is only the second novel I've read in that category. Steampunk is such an interesting facet of science fiction. So far, both novels I've read have been set in Victorian England which I love and I also like the "what if" aspects of steampunk as well. They explore steam-powered technology that didn't actually exist at the time:  automatons and gadgetry with an emphasis on air travel via souped up zeppelins. I find it all very interesting.  

Souless was a very fun read. The protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti is the daughter of a dead Italian and a mother who did her best to crush Alexia's soul...had she had one to crush. The ensuing romance between Alexia and the werewolf, Lord Maccon, was also fun. Carriger's sex scenes are pretty mild when compared to other paranormal romances that I've read. Alexia and Maccon were so likeable I thought. Considering that this is the first book in the series, I also thought that the romance part was scooted along faster than it needed to be.

Carriger's paranormal world consists of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and the soulless like Alexia. I thought her take on the paranormal was inventive if not entirely unique. I also liked that Carriger didn't put an overt emphasis on politics which is often a defining quality of steampunk.

So, you have paranormal, steampunk, history, and romance all contained within one novel. I liked all aspects of the novel and I thought that it had more depth to it than just a romance or just an urban fantasy. However, I think that Carriger could have fleshed out the paranormal aspect, in particular, a little bit more than she did. A little more explanation and background would have been welcome. Even Carriger said that she had a hard time balancing so many genres and sub-genres. Still, I give it a solid three stars (on Goodreads) if not 3 and 1/2 which is somewhere in between "I liked it" and "I really liked it". I liked it well enough that I'm looking forward to picking up book two.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hello Trend. Allow Me to Jump on the Bandwagon

Google, Google Reader, RIP Google Reader
If you reside outside of a cave and in the 21st century, you've heard by now that Google is discontinuing Google Reader. I have been a loyal user since forever. I check my feeds at least 300 days a year. It's probably more like 330 or 340 days a year. I follow over 200 blogs. I'm a faithful and dependent user. Okay. Hold on and let me say this before I get on with my point.

First of all, I've been using Google as a search engine since before the word "Google" became a verb. I have steadfastly refused to use Bing or any other search engine because I'm loyal (well, and I hate Microsoft and Yahoo). I've also been using Gmail since it was invitation only. I used to hoard my invitations like gold back when you could actually sell them on eBay for actual money. I also use Google Maps, iGoogle, Feedburner, Blogger (obviously) and I have a freaking phone powered by Android. The way that Google is whittling away at it's services i.e., Google Reader and iGoogle, is starting to piss me off. And you know what else? It feels personal. I'm beginning to feel like I'm being abandoned by Google and a bit beat up by them. Google!!! Stop abusing your loyal fans.

Yeah. So anyway, with Google Reader being discontinued (asshole Google), I'm being forced to find another way to stay up to date with all the blogs that I read. I've tried Feedly and Flipboard, Pocket, and Pulse and none of them have the same feel and ease of use that Google Reader has. Yes. Google Reader is ugly and simple but it works and it's easy and straightforward to use. I  know exactly how to page through my unread posts to read them and make them read. I know how to mark them as unread or star them if I want to reread them later. Grr! All the other apps and services that I have tried feel too bulky and flashy.

Bloglovin, Blogging
The only good thing that's come of this debacle is that I decided to sign up for Bloglovin' which everyone else seems to have already done. Signing up isn't the good thing. The good thing is that while trying to claim my blog on Bloglovin', I discovered that the feed for my blog was messed up. I have absolutely no idea how long it's been messed up but it's been at least since I was calling my blog "Kingdom of Blogginshire" (I can be so dumb). That was eons ago (back when I was really dumb). Hopefully, getting it fixed, updating regularly (kinda regularly) and being on Bloglovin' will widen my circles and interaction with other bloggers.

So, if you blog and you're not on Bloglovin' get there and do it. If you're a kind, gentle, and generous soul, you'll follow me over there (you don't have to be a blogger to sign up). If not and you don't, I wish a pimple on your butt. The painful, oozing kind. And an ingrown hair on your toe. Those are painful and gross too. It's flip flop/sandal weather. You don't want an unsightly sore on your toe. Avoid the ugly toe and painful butt and click on the button on the right.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guess Where I Stand

Navy, Blue Angles, government, budget cuts

The Navy has cancelled all the rest of the Blue Angels' appearances for the rest of the year. Even though we won't be here to not see it, this includes MCAS Miramar's 2013 Air Show.

Read the story for yourself.

tricare, united health care, military benefits, military

On April 1, 2013, Tricare West transitioned to United Healthcare. Health benefits didn't change under the new contractor, which is great. However, we've been a military family long enough, 16 years this September to be more specific, that I have been able to observe changes in our health coverage. For instance, I remember a time when we paid a $6.00 copay for prescriptions. This week, we paid over $100 for allergy medications. I realize that a lot of people with different health insurances pay a lot more than that. I have to shake my head at how military families are being taken care of while our military risk their lives in war zones across the world and their families are left at home to worry and to deal with the Murphy's Law of deployments. But I guess that doesn't matter.

From what I've heard through the grapevine, military healthcare will eventually resemble that of the free healthcare given to no or low income families. So my husband is giving 20 years of his life, the best 20 years of his working life, to the military only to be treated like a welfare case when he retires??

I just read a story about multiple stabbings at a college in Texas. Wow. Gun control laws really worked to prevent that tragedy, now didn't they???

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Teenager Truism #7

time, teens, teenagers, parenting
Teens seem to have no sense of time. I'm sure this is nothing new to this generation.

The Oldest child gets up for school 10-15 minutes before it's time to leave which gives her no time at all to actually get ready for school. Wednesdays are even worse since she has to wear a uniform for JNROTC. Yet, she says that we leave for school on time every day. We don't. I don't think we've actually left on time except, maybe, for the first day of school. On time is 7:10. We leave at
7:15 or later. And believe me. That five minutes is the difference between a little and a lot of traffic at the high school.

Also, teenagers seem to have no sense of HURRY THE HELL UP!!! This is probably something that is more of an issue in a bigger city than in smaller towns because of traffic, but at least once a day, I have to wait on a teenager to cross the street. Maybe they actually hit the button to get the pedestrian "go" light, then they meander across a street that has seven lanes of traffic and a median which means, WIDE, like it's a Sunday stroll through the park and end up crossing against the light anyway. How about putting a little shuffle in your step and move it across the street MORON! More often than not, I see them cross streets without bothering to wait for the little green walking man to tell them it's ok and then walk as slow as they can while traffic backs up. They'd better think twice about doing it if I'm first in line. My goal, before we move, is to dent my bumper by bouncing one of the miscreants off of my car. I don't want to kill or permanently damage any of them. Just a bruise or two would suffice.

Teenager Truism:  Teens move at their own speed. No amount of yelling or threats seems to get them to go at a normal, productive, human pace.


Having a cane or being in a wheelchair doesn't give you the right to cross against the light, nor does it protect you from my bumper. Just and FYI.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Doing Los Angeles

 Even though I've only been to Los Angeles three times (I'm not including the times we drove through to and from other places), I will definitely miss that city. It is such a fun town and once you get off of the freeways, the traffic isn't even that bad. I really love seeing all the places that, until I moved to California, I had only seen on TV, in movies, or read about in books.

My first trip to LA was with my very good friend, Jennifer S. She's pretty familiar with LA and took me to all the great tourist sites. The second time was back in 2010 when the Mister and I went to the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA. That was pretty fun and we're going to try and go back again this year at USC. The third time was just this past Wednesday. I wanted the Mister and the girls to be able to see all the places that I saw with Jennifer.

First, we went to the Santa Monica Pier. We all got lemonades at the original Hotdog on a Stick and had a potty break in some very nasty restrooms. Why are restrooms at the beach so freaking nasty?? Then we went to the famous Farmer's Market for lunch and a bit of shopping. That is a really unique experience and there is so much food that it was hard to choose a lunch spot and we ended up going to different places. Next, we went to the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum. We got to touch the femur bone of an extinct giant land sloth. I can't go to the La Brea Tar Pits and not think of the movie, My Girl 2, lol. Because we walked from the Farmer's Market to La Brea, we walked back to the Farmer's Market and had dessert, hehehe. After some massive sugar shock, we drove to the TCL (aka, Grauman's, aka, Mann's) Chinese Theater/Dolby Theater.

Both of these theaters have changed names since the last time I was there. I was confused. Anyway, here, we checked out the foot prints, hand prints, and signatures of celebrities, saw the Hollywood sign (a first for all of us), and bought some kitschy souvenirs. After we were done walking around the there, we drove down Rodeo Dr. to gawk at the shops and the houses in Beverly Hills.


I could barely walk the next day, but we have some great memories to take away with us to Florida. I didn't take very many pictures this time around because I had so many from my first trip. However, I did get one of the Hollywood sign since I didn't get to see it my first trip because it was dark. I also got one of the original Star Trek crew's cement slab at the TCL Theater. I know many people who will find this particular slab very cool. Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Can I Get You a Kleenex?

allergies, seasonal allergies

In the last three years, we have been incredibly lucky where illnesses are concerned. The girls both had the flu, stomach and regular, while the Mister was deployed to Afghanistan. This hardly counts as anything though since the Murphy's Law of deployments is that if something is going to go wrong, it will go wrong during a deployment. Then, when the Mister got back from Afghanistan, he brought some sort of virus with him that he and I had for a week or so. That was fun. Yup. Other than that, the girls have only had minor things that didn't last longer than 24 hours. Compared to all of my friends and family on Facebook and their kids that seem like they come down with something every other week, we're a pretty healthy bunch.

About a year ago, the Oldest child seemed to be getting constant colds that were too frequent and lasted too long. She also complained that her eyelashes were driving her nuts and that she wanted to pull them out. I thought she was going insane. Turns out that she developed seasonal allergies. Her doctor told her to take over the counter Allegra which seemed to do the trick for about six months. Now her allergies have evolved from just being seasonal to including pet dander as well. Great. Fun times.

THEN, about three weeks ago, the Youngest child came down with what we figured was a cold. Coughing, sneezing, stuffy, congestion. You know. We poured over the counters down her throat and after about a week, she seemed to be getting better. Then, two days later, she started coughing incessantly with sneezing with a stuffy nose. So, we bought more over the counters. This time, nothing seemed to help. The fact that the Mister and I didn't come down with anything was also a clue that maybe something other than a cold was going on here.

Today, I took both of the girls to the doctor's. I'm telling you what. All the constant coughing, sniffling, sneezing, and hacking is really starting to grate on my nerves. I know they can't help it but, GEEZ! The doctor changed up Morgan's meds and said that she might have to add either a nose spray, inhaler, or both if the new prescription doesn't help. He diagnosed the Youngest with allergies as well. She's on Allegra and an inhaler. Seeing as how Tricare is doing their damndest not to pay for anything anymore (and I think we actually have United Health Care now because we, meaning military families, are being pawned off), we spent a crapton at the drugstore on allergy medications tonight.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have to play around too much with their medications. The Youngest has to be reevaluated in two weeks because of the inhaler. She was relieved when I told her she didn't have to take it to school because she didn't want to be made fun of for having it. How sad is that?? Mean kids suck. Allergies suck. Long car rides with two sniffling and coughing kids suck. Just saying.