Friday, November 30, 2007

Haiku Friday

Look at that girl's nose
Snot for a week makes it bleed
Staying home today

This one is clingy
Like a barnacle, I mean
No bath for you, Mom!

This day was so cute
Bug liked the attention lots
She loves her big sis
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today's Status

Me: Tired, as usual, getting less sleep lately because the girls are still sick, but functioning and feeling pretty much over the bit of cold that I did get

Slipshod: Feeling mostly better as well, didn't miss any work due to the cold (now jury duty, that's a different story)

Sweet Pea: Still running rivers of snot out her nose, mixed with blood the past few days. Been running the humidifier in the bedroom at night and that seems to help until she's out of the house each day. Still has a somewhat productive cough. Last night she told us that one of her ears hurt, and she willingly took Motrin before bed and even said that it tasted good! Whose child is this - or just how sick is she? Taking her to the doctor today after school to get her ears checked, even though the one that hurt last night doesn't hurt today. Same situation occurred last February and the doctor said she had had a blood blister on her eardrum that had burst, which was why her ear didn't hurt in the morning - but she did have an ear infection. So definitely want to get her ears checked today to be sure of what's going on in there

The Bug: Has not been acting like herself for days. She's been whiny, clingy, having trouble getting to sleep, etc. Her nose is still snotty but she has not had a cough. She slept miserably last night, waking every 2 hours and nursing like it was going out of style. I had been wondering about the possibility of ear infection but she had not been touching her ears at all until this morning. After waking today she poked both of her ears with her fingers and said, "Ow! Ow ow ow!" I figured that was a pretty clear sign. I called to make appointments with the pediatrician's office for today and we took The Bug before taking Sweet Pea to school. Her left ear is slightly pink inside but the right is raging red and the doctor, when telling me that her antibiotic would not affect her pain for a couple days, said, "PLEASE give her some pain killer until then; she is in a lot of pain."

So - the girls and I went directly from the doctor's office to the pharmacy and handed in the prescription. Then we walked across the shopping area and had smoothies and bready treats, then went back to the pharmacy to pick up the medicine, then took Sweet Pea to school. When The Bug and I got home I of course had to force her medicine into her, which is never fun. However, she did take it all without spitting any out. I let her have some juice and grapes and then took her upstairs for her nap. I wanted to give her some Motrin or Tylenol before getting her to sleep but she was like, "HELL NO LADY, ARE YOU INSANE?!" so I just nursed her a bit - well, I tried - she fell asleep almost as soon as I laid her on her side on the Boppy pillow. So now she's snoozing. Whew. What a morning! I really hope that she feels better soon, poor thing. Now we just need to get Sweet Pea's ears checked after school and things will be more under control around here, I think. Whee...

** Updated to add: Sweet Pea's ears are slightly infected but not really in bad shape. They are still not hurting her but since it's right before the weekend the doctor gave us a prescription in case things change and she needs the medicine. The Bug is a mess, but hopefully she'll start feeling better on Saturday because we're planning to go downtown for the "Home For The Holidays" festivities - they're even going to have SNOW! Then on Sunday it's out to a tree farm to get a Christmas tree. Yippee! :o) **

Monday, November 26, 2007


It seems as if all I have time for these days is a quick update every two weeks or so! Oh well, here goes another one:

Here are Sweet Pea and The Bug during one of their good playing-together moments. Sweet Pea is teaching The Bug about kitties (what else?)

Grandma S. and Boopa brought Sweet Pea one of those funny little Klutz books and this one had a plastic envelope attached containing googly eyes. The pictures in the book show how you can make anything look alive and silly with googly eyes. We now have googly eyes on our back fence to complete a Scooby Doo face that Grandma S. has been seeing in the wood grain. Sweet Pea also decided that the dining room table and two of the chairs needed to have eyes, and for four days or so she asked me to be the voice of the dining room table at meal time... hee hee! The pink baby hat on one of the chairs was my idea. One morning Sweet Pea put two googly eyes on the dishwasher and had me making that talk, but when The Bug saw the eyes on the dishwasher she backed away and started crying! The table and chairs didn't bother her, though... hmm.

The Bug thinks that her big sis is the greatest thing in the whole wide world and is always trying to emulate her. This is why we have a 17-month-old who draws on paper with pens, sticks tiny suction cups (which are from another Klutz book - thanks, grandparents, for all the many, many choking hazards that are impossible to keep away from the baby) to the bathroom sink and door handle, and is getting to be a real whiz on the stairs!

The other night our whole family made dinner together. Slipshod was behind the camera when the shot above was taken, but another reason he wasn't in the picture was that, regrettably, he doesn't have a kitchen apron. He has been having a really fun time trying out cooking this year, though (I love you, Alton Brown!) so maybe Santa Clause needs to be alerted to Slipshod's need for an apron of his own!

As for Thanksgiving - well, we had a nice one. Two, actually. The weekend before we went to my parents' house and celebrated the holiday with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. On Thanksgiving itself we had intended to have one family over who has a little boy some months older than The Bug. We were going to have our first ever small, quiet holiday with friends (not family).

Well, Slipshod's mom's & her hubby's plans with hubby's family got canceled so they pretty much told us, "you're having 18 people at your house for Thanksgiving!" We did more cleaning than we might have otherwise but of course that is paying off now - we're able to enjoy a much cleaner house than we had before the holiday. And did I mention, Slipshod's mom and sister did nearly all the cooking? Yeah, that pretty much rocked. Hey, if you're going to crash my party, offer to do the cooking and I'll happily change my plans. ha ha! The day with family and friends was lots of fun, but unfortunately both our girls had fevers that day, and ever since then they've had big ropes of snot coming out of their noses all day long. I think that they must be mostly recovered by now, but Sweet Pea is still coughy and snotty enough that I am not taking her to school today.

And speaking of school, when Slipshod, The Bug and I went to pick up Sweet Pea after class last Tuesday one of her teachers came out to us to say, "I know you have cats, but would you be willing and able to take the classroom parakeets for the holiday?" I guess the teachers had forgotten to set up holiday homes for all the pets and they were pretty actively trying to get most families to take pets home, because that classroom is FULL of pets. We agreed, since we figured we could lock the birds, in their cage, away from our cats pretty easily. The birds have been doing just fine and the girls are enjoying visiting them a few times per day. Last night we kicked the cats outside, brought the bird cage downstairs, and gave it a good cleaning job. We scrubbed their food and water cups and vacuumed and wiped out under the tray at the bottom, and replaced the paper towels in the tray (the birds' "potty"). Sweet Pea was having so much fun that she wet a wash rag and wiped down the bars of the cage, which benefitted from her attention since there were little parakeet down feathers stuck to them in places. We also took all the little mirror toys out of the cage and washed those to get the birdy nose schmutz off so they could see their little faces in the mirrors again. The birds themselves are pretty chill. You'd have to imagine that in a preschool classroom they have gotten quite used to sudden and loud attention. They're pretty unflappable. ha ha!

That is all for now. I am trying to decide whether or not to take Sweet Pea to see the doctor. I think that she is just at the end of her cold where you have to wait for the cough and snot to go away, but her left nostril has been bleeding today, and last night she WILLINGLY took Motrin before bed because she felt generally yucky and achy. Her fever has been gone for days, though. I guess I will just call the pediatrician's office and ask for advice. I don't want to schlep the girls over there and pay co-pays for nothing, y'know?
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quickie Update

There are so many other things I should be doing right now, like chopping vegetables for dinner just to name one, but I wanted to write a little update first:

This morning I took the girls BY MYSELF to the dentist. Insane? Why, yes I am. However, it went even better than I had hoped, and I had high hopes to begin with, so it was good all over.

I had tried to take Sweet Pea to see the dentist before The Bug was born, but she was having none of that. The dentist was only trying to get her into the chair to count her teeth, but she FREAKED and we went home. I had a good feeling going into today's visit, though.

First, we were going to a family-oriented dentist's office this time, full of friendly, young, predominantly female staff, and toys and crayons and even a fish tank in the waiting room, cruelly imprisoning not only Nemo, but Marlin and Dory as well. But that was the kicker for Sweet Pea - she wanted to go there because they had those fish.

Second, not only is Sweet Pea older and more able to deal with things now, she has also been in school since August and has had plenty of time to realize that there are lots of cool people in the world who are not me. Thus, she now goes into unfamiliar situations involving people she's never met with a bit more of an open mind and more independent inquisitiveness than she ever had before.

When we go to the office today she was still skeptical and a bit afraid. She had wanted me to go first so she could watch me get my cleaning and x-rays, but that's not what the office had planned, so she was thrown into the deep end, as it were. The first thing they wanted to do was take two x-rays of her mouth but she was not up for that at all, so the hygienist took her to the chair where she would be getting her cleaning and let her pick out a new toothbrush. The Bug insisted that she needed one too, and I was telling her "no," but the hygienist was happy to let her pick out one as well. SO - with that out of the way we got Sweet Pea into the chair and she got to see and hear and touch the instruments that would be used on her and pick out what flavor of toothpaste she wanted for her polishing, etc.

At this point, when she was starting to relax and I realized that she was going to go through with the appointment, another hygienist came in and asked me to come with her.

I said, "uh, I can't really leave right now."

She looked a little annoyed and said, "I don't know if this is going to work."

I explained to her that this was Sweet Pea's first appointment EVER and I didn't really feel as if I could just leave when she was still getting used to the idea. The receptionist who made our appointments yesterday had known that this would be Sweet Pea's first ever dental exam so I figured our appointments would have been made so that I could be with Sweet Pea while she was having her cleaning. The hygienist who had come to get me seemed not to know what to do with herself at that point so she went to the reception desk to wait. I sat back down and figured that if they had to cancel my appointment so I could stay with Sweet Pea, so be it.

However... soon enough I noticed that Sweet Pea was completely taken up with her hygienist and what she was saying and doing and was not even looking in my direction at all. I asked her, "do you want me to stay with you through your appointment, or would you be comfortable with me leaving to have my own x-rays taken and my teeth cleaned in a different room?" She said she was fine with me leaving, which surprised but pleased me, and I went off to get my teeth taken care of.

The Bug, who was rather spooked by the dental office, had to be held by someone she didn't know while I had my x-rays taken. She could see me the whole time but she was red-faced and sobbing until I could hold her again. Then I was shown into a room for my cleaning and even though she was sitting on my lap she was saying, "no, no, no!" and was not enjoying this new place one bit. However, when she realized that nobody was going to take her from me again she relaxed, and she played happily on my lap the entire time I had my cleaning and polishing and talked with the dentist. I told myself that this was really good experience for her because she watched me be completely calm and matter-of-fact while having a cleaning, and once she's old enough to have her first appointment, she will have seen more of my appointments and probably Sweet Pea's, so hopefully we'll be able to get her in younger than we got Sweet Pea in for her first cleaning.

The good news: My teeth are in good shape and I have no cavities.

The bad news: Sweet Pea appears to have inherited my family's dental genes, which are horrible. We brush and floss and all that jazz regularly, but get lots of cavities. Slipshod has magic teeth with no cavities to date that I am aware of. Can you believe that? It's amazing if you ask me.

So anyway, Sweet Pea has three cavities. Bummer. We knew of two of them, and they are unfortunately in her upper front teeth. We had been seeing the decay for a while and I was sort of freaking out about getting her to a dentist to get those taken care of! She also has a cavity in one of her lower molars, on the chewing surface. So, now we need to figure out when we can get those filled. I'm going to make an appointment on a day when Slipshod can stay home with The Bug and I can go with Sweet Pea by myself and sit there and hold her hand or whatever she needs, with no distractions. The dentist said we could try at their office and if it didn't work he could refer us to a place where they could fill her teeth under anesthesia, but I really don't want to do that and I really don't think it will be necessary. I remember having cavities filled as a kid, and you know, this is something we have to deal with in life. Awake. Having her under anesthesia for any reason worries me a lot, so I certainly don't want to do it just willy nilly for dental procedures! It may be a little difficult but I think she will be fine. I will be there with her the whole time and she's getting good, apparently, at just powering through things that scare her.

It is unfortunate that we have not done a better job of taking care of Sweet Pea's baby teeth, but at least we're under a dentist's care now and we know what the damage is and can get it fixed.

I started brushing The Bug's teeth as soon as they came up - actually, she was interested in Sweet Pea having her teeth brushed so I think a few times I may have even brushed her gums before the teeth came up. So hopefully we'll fare better with her little teeth. Time shall tell.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More From the Mind of a Four-Year-Old

This on the evening of a particularly difficult day of clashing wills:

Sweet Pea: "Mommy, I love you, but I wish I didn't have to live with a mommy and a daddy."

Me: "Oh, really? Why do you wish that?"

Sweet Pea: "Because when you get grumpy, I get grumpy."

Me: "Well, that happens sometimes when you live with people. Families live together and grumpiness happens. It's very normal. Besides, it would be pretty hard for you to live on your own at age four without a mommy and a daddy."

Sweet Pea: "Why?"

Me: "Well, it would be hard for you to take care of yourself. How would you get food to eat? How would you know when it was time to go to bed? Or time to go to school? Where would you sleep? Who would wash your hair? I mean, sure, when you're in your twenties you can live by yourself, but at age four, nobody is going to give you a job to support yourself; you're too young and too small to do most work that pays money."

Sweet Pea: "Mommy, I ALWAYS want to live with you and Daddy. ALWAYS. I like it when you take care of me."

That appears to have nipped that idea in the bud, but all the same, the neighbors we play with all the time are on alert to call us in the event that Sweet Pea shows up on their doorsteps carrying a suitcase...

In other news, Sweet Pea was beyond thrilled to return to school today. She even nearly forgot to give me a goodbye hug and kiss in her haste to get to her favorite teacher to say hello, and then into the classroom! It was a bummer that she had to miss three days of school last week, and I was even more bummed when I learned that one of the moms was in the classroom last Friday doing Mendhi tattoos on the kids' and teachers' hands. I saw some of her artwork today on one of the teachers' and one of the students' (her son's) hands, and it was amazing! Her freestyle drawing is fantastic. I'm really, really bummed that Sweet Pea missed out on that, and super duper bummed for me and Sweet Pea that we also had to miss Mom's Night in the classroom on Wednesday. Whine! But, it's good to have Sweet Pea feeling all better, and back in school.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday's Update on Sweet Pea

HOORAY! Sweet Pea's fever finally broke last night, within an hour after she fell asleep for the night. Whew! This morning she feels so much better - her headache is gone, her throat doesn't hurt anymore, her tummy feels all better, and she's got enough energy to jump and run. And talk and talk and talk and talk and taaaaaaaaaaalk... She ate a good breakfast this morning and is drinking plenty. Hooray!

Soon after she woke up Sweet Pea announced to me that she wanted me to trim her hair today. This is a big thing because until quite recently, no matter what anyone told her, Sweet Pea did not want her hair even trimmed, because she was sure that all her curls would go away if anyone came near her head with scissors. I guess that by now she has heard enough people, including her beloved favorite teacher, say that it's important to trim your hair to keep it healthy. She held up a curl and said, "I want you to cut this much off." I eyeballed it to be about two inches, so after this morning's shower, breakfast & getting The Bug to sleep for her nap, I went to work on Sweet Pea's hair. The first thing I noticed was that her hair wasn't straight in the back - it came down to a point from so many toddler & kid years of no trimming. SO, I chose a place on the side to call my starting point, cut two inches off, and then made a straight (ha ha - it's good that she has curly hair or it'd be painfully obvious how false that claim probably is) cut across the rest of the back. It looks great - you can't really tell that she lost some length, but it looks healthier over all. AND, she's very excited about having her first hair cut. ha ha!

The Bug had a difficult night last night - I'm watching her to see if she shows signs of having what Sweet Pea just got rid of. So far she doesn't seem to be actually sick. Here's hoping it passes her by! Slipshod's tummy hurt last night and this morning, and my throat doesn't feel right. Joy. I guess it's a good thing tomorrow is Saturday...

Tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut. I'm really looking forward to it because the cut I got back in May has just been growing and growing, so for a couple months now I've been wearing it up in a headband to keep the hair out of my eyes.

Oh - when I woke up this morning I noticed that my nose is no longer pierced... At first I was all confused and then I really foggily remembered waking up in the night, thinking that my nose felt weird, reaching to push the stud back through the hole, and finding that it was all the way out. My first attempt to put the stud back throught the hole didn't work, and apparently I fell asleep after that. I can't find the stud in the bed anywhere. I'm sure the hole has grown shut by now. Whoops! I'm not sure if I'm just going to leave it, or get it pierced again. I was never happy with the stud that I had in there and wanted to get a teeny, tiny sparkly one. We'll see. It's not a major priority.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Has Anyone Got Any Fava Beans?

This from my daughter who professes to like meat, yet (like me) will only eat fish...

Sweet Pea:
Mommy, are cats made of meat?

Me: Um... yes, yes they are.

Sweet Pea: Why?

Me: Well, uh... they have lots of muscles, and when you eat meat, that's what you're eating; the muscles of chickens or cows or whatever.

Sweet Pea: What does people meat taste like?

Apparently recoil and horror at the mere suggestion of cannibalism is a learned behavior... or maybe she's just not old enough to really think it through. Needless to say, after a surprised and horrified burst of disbelieving laughter, we had a discussion about cannibalism and how that's wrong and we wouldn't eat cats either. Shudder.

And now for what's going on... yesterday Sweet Pea woke up, used the potty, and promptly announced that her tummy really really hurt. When I looked at her, her face was green. I mean, GREEN. She didn't throw up but obviously felt really yucky, even though her temperature was only 99.1. She didn't want anything to drink or eat.

An hour later, after The Bug and I had finished our breakfast, Sweet Pea, all pink now and fever-free, announced that she was hungry. So I fed her most of an apple and a bowl of oatmeal. She really wanted to go to school so I took her temperature again, to confirm her miracle recovery. Unfortunately, at that point she had a fever of 99.6. That number held for a while so I sat with her and we watched a show on TV. Maybe an hour after the first temperature reading of 99.6, I felt her forehead and my hand nearly burst into flames. I took her temperature again, and now it was 102! It got there really fast. So, there was looooots of TV watching yesterday, since all she wanted to do was lie listlessly on the couch. It was difficult to get her to take some Tylenol for the fever - eventually she agreed to take the Motrin instead, because she said it smelled less bad than the Tylenol. After that her fever did abate and she started to sit up and laugh and act almost like herself again.

We gave her meds to keep the temp down until 9:30 last night, and then let her (and us) sleep through. She woke up at 3 something and went potty and said her tummy hurt again - I thought she might throw up but she didn't. Slipshod got her back to sleep in her bed after giving her some more Tylenol. This morning she was hot again - temp 102.1 by breakfast time, but she ate and took her Motrin (not without complaining) and is feeling better enough to chase the loudly meowing cat upstairs and come very loudly into the bedroom where I was getting The Bug to sleep for her nap. Now I've got both girls running amok downstairs. I really hope The Bug will give in to the need for sleep soon, but once Sweet Pea woke her up there was no point in trying to make it happen then. Of course, now they're fighting... AUGH!


Last week we got Sweet Pea's first preschool evaluation in the mail from her teachers and then the kids didn't have school on Thursday & Friday so the teachers could do parent-teacher conferences those two days. Sweet Pea checks out age-appropriate in everything except working in groups. The teachers said that she is a very calm presence in the classroom, and they really appreciate that. While there are not a lot of out-of-control energetic kids in her class, they said that Sweet Pea is a good example to her classmates with her calm demeanor. She is really good at following the classroom rules and respecting her classmates' and teachers' rights, etc. and can apparently even resolve conflicts with classmates easily by herself! I'm very interested in that; she can sometimes see her way clear to work things out with The Bug when they both want the same toy or whatever, but usually she's not interested in doing that. I suppose it's always different with siblings, though.

Her teachers did note that there is one particular classmate who seems to be taking a special interest in Sweet Pea, who may be able to teach her to come out of herself a little more. I was interested, though not particularly surprised, to hear that she's not working a lot with other kids, though, because I hear her talking about certain other kids all the time - kids who she really likes and plays with. But I guess she's playing with them on the playground. Her teachers said that when it's work time in the classroom, Sweet Pea prefers work alone. She is working in all disciplines on her own, which I was happy to hear because I wasn't sure about that.

In Montessori classrooms there are tons of shelves around the whole classroom with lots of projects on them and the kids can choose whatever activity they want to do. There is an area with big sandpaper letters glued to paper that the kids can feel to figure out how to shape the letters when they're writing, and that area in Sweet Pea's classroom also has other materials to teach kids to practice and learn how to read and write (including the BOB books I told you about a while back when Sweet Pea was first interested in learning to read). There is another area with puzzles, an area with messy things, an area with beads that's geared toward math, sets of weights, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention the gazillion pets they have in sweet pea's classroom - and books, and dolls, etc. etc. etc. They even have things like a whisk broom and dust pan for them to play with, and a spray bottle of water and a squeegee that they can use to wash the windows. I think I could spend a day in that classroom and never run out of things to do! ha ha!

Anyway, all is well with Sweet Pea at school. Her teachers say that she is noticeably happy every day, so they can tell she really wants to be there. Slipshod and I said, "Oh yes, she really does. She loves school!" Despite the not working in groups thing, her social skills have improved dramatically since she started school. She now goes so far as to introduce herself to random people in the pet store or wherever - she'll even introduce me to them by my first name, and tell them her age. Sometimes it freaks me out, and I have to tell her that while it's good to talk to people and be sociable, she has to be careful what she tells strangers. BUT, it is really amazing to see the leaps and bounds she has made socially since starting school. Yay! She even plays better with Speed Racer now, because she knows how to say, "okay, we've played your game for a while, not let's do something else" and she's learning how to deal with other people who aren't having a great day, etc. It's pretty darn cool to watch.