Wednesday, January 30, 2008


HOORAY! I can finally say today, we had a good night and today is going very well so far.

I still haven't taken Sweet Pea's temperature today but she felt nice and cool when I went to bed. WHICH I did only two hours after getting the girls to bed. Sweet Pea slept straight through until 7am and The Bug only woke up twice during the night, so I am feeling like I actually got some sleep last night - imagine that! It's also sunny today, which helps my mood as well. hee hee.

It was like pulling teeth to get Sweet Pea into the shower this morning - she didn't want to be in the tub when The Bug was in there too - but we all got all scrubbed up, and I am particularly happy to have been able to get Sweet Pea cleaned up and wearing fresh DAYTIME clothes today.

I am still bothered, however, because I am still having to speak very loudly for Sweet Pea to hear me, and the doctor totally blew that off when I took her in the other day. I don't see how a mild ear infection in one ear could compromise her hearing like this. So - we're going at 4pm to see another doctor about her hearing. I want to get a hearing scan done. I don't know if they can do that today or if we'll have to schedule that separately. I think we'll have to do it another day, because that's not something the doctors do. We'll see. Point is, I want to have some medical attention put toward this because it is NOT normal for Sweet Pea to have so much trouble hearing.

I really really hope to be able to take Sweet Pea back to school tomorrow. Even if her hearing isn't 100%, she'll do just fine, I'm sure, especially since she has a good bit of sign language vocabulary and her teachers sign at school.

The Bug's still got a lot of green snot coming out of her nose, but doesn't seem to have an ear infection - yay!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Night

Hi, it's me again. Have you noticed that my updates are getting more frequent and closer together (i.e., two in one day now)? That's because I don't want to be here doing this alone and I'm afraid Sweet Pea is going to throw up again tonight and this time we won't be so lucky that The Bug will sleep through it all.

We had a good day and a great visit with Boopa and the girls' cousin and I'm THRILLED to have a huge packing box full of kitchen stuff taken away by her to be used in her kitchen. It's so much easier to walk in the kitchen now! ha ha

Both girls had a wonderful time with their Boopa and cousin today and our company stayed for dinner, which I actually cooked out of fresh ingredients, so that was nice too. I didn't want them to leave, and I invited them back tomorrow, though I doubt they'll come. Sweet Pea ate a little (simple foods) at every meal and kept drinking apple juice all day and I did give her her second dose of amoxicillin tonight before bed. Since that was a while after dinner, I had her eat more - some crackers and part of a banana - before giving her the meds.

At bedtime I took her temperature and it was up again - 100.4. I called my mother-in-law for advice about whether or not to dose her with a fever reducer and she suggested letting it go, since last night that worked out okay, temps are higher at the end of the day, especially active days, and Sweet Pea will surely wake up and let me know if the fever is so high that it's bothering her. I didn't really want to dose her because I didn't want to give her stomach anything more to deal with tonight. Sweet Pea did tell me when I was trying to get The Bug to sleep, though, that her stomach felt "a whole lot better" than it did last night, so that's good. I hope it stays that way.

One of our cats just couldn't be left out of the action and took it upon himself to throw up in three different places upstairs today, as well as on one of the stairs closer to the downstairs. Isn't he thoughtful? Gah. 'Cause I wasn't already cleaning up enough puke.

Think good thoughts for us tonight. I really want to just blow off the dishes and watch something fabulously brainless on TV for a break before going to bed early, but nobody else is going to clean up the mess, so I guess I'll stop writing now and go clear the table, put away the leftovers, and wash the dishes. I can't wait.

Added 45 minutes or so later...

Hey! I forgot to mention the funny thing that happened today. There was a knock on the front door during the afternoon. I didn't want to get up and answer the door because I had just sat down and The Bug was lounging on my lap. But, I did drag myself over and open the door, and lo and behold, there was a lady delivering a beautiful vase of flowers to me! I was instantly glad I'd decided to get up and answer the door after all. ha ha! The flowers were sent by the two muckety-mucks at Slipshod's work who were the most instrumental in and appreciative of Slipshod going to Long Island this week on very late notice. While flowers obviously don't help him BE here while Sweet Pea is so sick or help me deal with both girls under those circumstances, it was still really nice to know that they know Slipshod has a family and that they understand it's hard on me to have him gone.


Here's what happened yesterday:

Things were much better. Took the girls to the doctor at 2:15. Sweet Pea's right ear did hurt by the time we got her there. Turned out that her left ear, which has been bothering her a lot since Saturday, looked totally fine. Her right ear has a mild infection, but one that the doctor pronounced "bad enough to treat." So, we went to the store and got some amoxicillin for her, since she has not shown any allergic reactions to said substance. When we got home our friends across the street were out so we got Sweet Pea's tricycle and The Bug's "Poohmobile," as we call it, and went for a walk around the block and then played some more, until Speed Racer's mom and I got too cold and took the kids in and made our dinners. The girls both ate just fine.

Yesterday during The Bug's nap, Sweet Pea and I went out back, since it was sunny for once, and scrubbed the slide and washed it off and brought it inside the house. The Bug has been asking to go out and slide on it, but always during a storm or after dark or at some other inconvenient time/temperature. Now she can slide whenever she wants! She took FULL advantage of that yesterday, and exhausted herself. By bedtime she was crying to get in bed!

The girls both slept well for a while and I did the dishes and chopped up veggies for tonight's dinner (and spent some time e-mailing and Twittering, of course - or at least reading along). Then The Bug cried for me and I was JUST ready to go to bed so I grabbed everything I needed and went up to bed. I thought that Sweet Pea felt hot, but decided she must have just turned over and I was feeling her hotter side.

After The Bug got back to sleep I zonked out but was awakened just half an hour later by Sweet Pea, who said that she couldn't sleep because her ear hurt. I couldn't get myself to wake up enough to help her right away but she bugged me again and said, "Mommy, I really don't feel good." I felt her forehead and she felt boiling hot. I thought about it and realized that both the thermometer and the Children's Motrin were downstairs, so I told her I was going to get those things. She wanted to come with me, so I picked her up and carried her downstairs. When we got to the kitchen, she threw up over my shoulder.

That came as a surprise to both of us and she threw up again, and my poor sweetie was crying and asking me to make it stop. I took her temperature when she recovered a bit from the vomiting and it was 101.6 at the hottest. But the two temps before that were slightly lower. I was worried that her temperature was rising, but couldn't really give her Tylenol or anything as long as she was throwing up... so I had her take some sips of water and put her back to bed.

I slept like crap because every time Sweet Pea moved in her bed I woke up, worried that she was going to throw up again. However, Sweet Pea slept just fine through the rest of the night, and her fever broke during the night. She still can't hear me very well and I called the doctor as soon as their office opened to ask what to do - I figured that with her stomach in an uncomfortable way, I'd be making things worse for her if I gave her more antibiotics. The lady I spoke with at the doctor's office said to give her some toast, see if she kept it down for 5 minutes, and if she did, give her some medicine. If that came back up I should call back, but she did keep it all down, and a whole bunch of apple juice too.

I really feel like there's something going on behind Sweet Pea's eardrums that the doctors can't see. When she vomited, all that came up was green mucus. And why would her left ear hurt so much if there's nothing wrong with it and the mild infection is in fact in her other ear? The medical folks keep telling me that it will take 2-3 days for the medicine to take effect, so I guess the job here is to get enough medicine to stay in her for that to happen - then maybe whatever is going on in there will start to clear up. Sigh.

We're expecting a visit today from Boopa and one of the girls' grown cousins. I think that will cheer everyone up. The visit was originally intended to cheer Boopa up since he broke his wrist and had surgery on it last week and can't do much one-handed and is getting bored at home. But, I think him being here will be a very welcome fun thing for both the girls - they just adore him - and maybe a bit of a break for me, since I won't be the only adult in the house for a while. Slipshod's niece is going to look through some kitchen stuff I've been putting aside for her if she wants it, since she just moved out of her mom's place and is setting up her own apartment.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Okay, today's going a little better. Sweet Pea only threw up that once yesterday. She did have a fever in the afternoon, but it was gone by bedtime. And I heard her wrong - I knew that her left ear had hurt since Saturday but thought that she told me yesterday afternoon that her right ear hurt too. She looked at me like I was crazy when I said something about both of her ears hurting, and said, "I told you that my right ear didn't hurt!" Okay, that's good! S0 - she's still staying home from school today, and I'm taking her to the doctor at 2:15.

The pediatrician we're seeing today told me to bring The Bug back this week to have her ears looked at just to be sure she didn't get an infection, so I'm going to ask him to do that while we're there too. The Bug seemed like she was getting worse a couple days ago because she was being super clingy, but yesterday she had a really fun and independent time at a birthday party, and today she seems very cheerful and more like her usual self. YAAAAAAAAAY... In retrospect (actually I wondered at the time) I actually think the clinginess may have been caused by her not feeling great because she was constipated. No more!

Slipshod is on his plane but we'll be fine. I've got some meals planned and he bought me the groceries Saturday night and maybe today I can get some veggies cut while the girls are playing.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

...AAAAAAND The Fun Continues

This morning, first thing, Sweet Pea threw up. Now both of her ears hurt too. And she has a fever. No school for her tomorrow (duh), and we'll be going to the doctor as early as they can get us in.

The Bug just tried to eat a freaking PHOTOGRAPH. Granted, it was an unflattering baby picture of herself, but come on people! I think trying to eat it is going a bit too far. And she's nearly 20 months - photographs should really be off the menu by now!

Slipshod's airfare has been confirmed - he'll be flying out to the East Coast tomorrow.

If you need me, I'll be at the looney bin.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


The run-down:

Slipshod is being last-minute flown across the country on Monday - probably coming back Thursday.

Sweet Pea suddenly has an earache on the left side today. She first told me about it around 1:30pm and now it's really bothering her. And tomorrow's SUNDAY. Gave her some Tylenol - we'll see how she does during the night & how she feels in the morning. We've got an 11am birthday party to attend - but if she's too bad off we may have to stay home and figure out how to get the doctor on call at the pediatrician's office to see us (or whatever they tell you to do on Sundays). And we're already supposed to be taking a birthday gift to the party for another family - all four of THEM are sick. Isn't this a fun winter?

The Bug is somewhat less snotty (still lots of junk coming out, though) and FINALLY regained her bottomless pit appetite today - it's been a LONG time since she's eaten a normal-sized meal for her. HOWEVER, she wants me to hold her. All day. Something's bothering her again. We're trying to determine what hurts. We do have a prescription for her if it's her ears again.

Me? I'm just REALLY DONE with all of this. I was feeling okay about Slipshod going back East for four days when I thought the girls were close to all better. Now... GAH! Almost no sleep at night is routine for me, and I can barely accomplish anything because I'm holding a toddler almost all the time.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Haiku (plus assorted pictures)

Haiku Friday

Time for Friday 'ku
Sweet Pea's at school, Bug's asleep
Now some time for ME!

You know, I really should start mentioning that if you want to participate in Haiku Friday too, all you have to do is visit A Mommy Story to find out how, sign the Mr. Linky, and pick up a pretty button like the one above!

Below we have some pictures I promised how long ago? A month? At least a few weeks. The first three are from the day when we tried to take the girls to see the snow. We didn't want to drive all the way to the REAL snow in the REAL mountains, so we waited for a day when we heard that the snow was much closer to us. Before we went to bed the night before it was down to 3,000 feet, and in the morning it was down to 2,500 so we had our choice of a couple places not too far away. We chose the one we knew - the one we'd been to before, but since the snow had been lower in the morning, the road was closed halfway up. By the time we got there almost all the snow had melted, but we did find a place off the side of the road where we could stop and Sweet Pea could at least get the toes of her (rain) boots in the snow.

Hermetically sealed cat.
I told her that if she really wanted to take her little cat friend, we'd have to find a way to keep it from getting muddy if she dropped it.

I think she did actually have snow in her hand, but she was equally enthralled with her mittens.

Oh, yay, Sweet Pea finally got to see some snow. We are still planning to take them on a longer trip to the REAL snow in the REAL mountains later this season.

This was one day last week when we had had enough of the inside of our house and just had to get out and take our miserable colds for a walk. Sweet Pea wanted to wear the ladybug wings cape and The Bug wanted it too, so we used the fairy dress to distract her and it totally worked. Yay! We got this cute little umbrella for Sweet Pea to match her rain boots, but it broke the second day we had it, and for no apparent reason, even! It was fine the first day, then the second day when Sweet Pea opened it, it was broken. Cheap Chinese crap.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Half Birthday Doings

Today is Sweet Pea's half birthday. I think I've already explained that that means she gets to do a thing at school to celebrate, since her actual birthday happens during the summer when she's not in school. Unfortunately things didn't happen as smoothly as they might have otherwise, but in one way they worked out better - for a worse reason.

What I mean is... The Bug had a super crappy night again - waking up, wanting to nurse, feeling like crap. This morning instead of apple juice she wanted to nurse. Instead of breakfast she wanted to nurse. I'm going pretty looney here since this has been going on for so long, so I called and made an appointment at the pediatrician's office and they could take us at 11am. Slipshod came home from work to get Sweet Pea ready for school while I took The Bug to the doctor. Before we left I did manage to get The Bug to eat some grapes while Sweet Pea and I made the poster of pictures of her at birth, and each age she has been so far, to take to school for her half-birthday celebration.

The pediatrican said that The Bug probably keeps getting sick because Sweet Pea keeps bringing stuff home from school (we knew that). He said that since the snot coming out of her nose right now is green, and the fluid in her ears is cloudy, things are clogging up, and we need to steam her to get it out, or squirt saline solution up her nose (that stuff really helps; I use it myself - but she's like NO WAY CRAZY LADY when I try to use it on her) to get the snot running and out. IF we can't get her head cleared out, she WILL get another ear infection. He gave me a prescription just in case she gets to that point and tells us that her ears hurt.

After we got home from the doctor all The Bug wanted to do was nurse so we did that and she went to sleep and then I FINALLY got to eat something for the first time today - at 11:50am! Slipshod stayed home with the sleeping one while I took Sweet Pea to school. It was fun to get to take her by myself today, but unfortunately both her teacher I spoke to about the half-birthday thing and I had forgotten that since today is Thursday, the kids have music at the beginning of class. The teacher asked if I could come back in the afternoon to do the birthday thing at the end of class instead and I said I probably could but it was kind of ideal to do it before class because I didn't have the baby with me, etc. They decided that since most of the kids were there anyway and the music teacher was not, we could just start a little early, so we did that and Sweet Pea got to do the school tradition of holding the globe and walking in a circle around a lit candle which represents the sun and stopping each time it has been a year. Before she started I got to tell the kids something special about her birth, and then each time she stopped to represent another year, I got to say something about her at that age. It was neat and fun, and she got to keep the poster with the pictures at school all day so she could show her classmates.

We also took snack for the class today since it's a special day for Sweet Pea, and we've been wanting to use our alphabet cookie cutters for this, so I asked Sweet Pea if she just wanted to make a cheese alphabet or spell something, or what. Below you see her choice and her work. My mom left the cat-shaped cookie cutter with us after she and Sweet Pea made cut-out cookies together before Christmas. We made 6 plates like this so there would be 24 pieces of cheese, and also sent tons of crackers and a veggie tray for the kids. Hope they liked it! Last time we did cut-out cheese (used heart-shaped cookie cutters that time) the teachers said that the kids loved the shaped cheese, and I know there is a little boy in Sweet Pea's class who loves cats as much as she does, so I'll bet the words and cats are going over well.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Feeling Better

Hi there! I was so bleh yesterday that I wanted to let you know things are better around here today. The Bug is actually sicker, I think, but otherwise things are looking up. I got a lot of picking up done last night and really did fold and put away all that clean laundry. Getting things done makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER when the house has gone to crap during illnesses, so I'm feelin' pretty good today. Yay!

The Bug was very clingy and extremely coughy yesterday - the kind of cough where a lot of stuff comes up and she has trouble breathing. All day. And during the night too. She had a low fever after she'd been in bed for a few hours so we gave her some Motrin, but today she feels much cooler and seems pretty happy and not nearly as clingy.

I've been trying to talk Sweet Pea into going to Yoga class without me after school on Wednesdays but she really wants me there. Last week the class was in a classroom and I felt it was an awful disruption for the teacher to have me and The Bug there. Hopefully today's class will be back in the bigger room where The Bug and I can go behind the partitions around the yoga mats. (**Added later: Sweet Pea insists that she does not want to go to Yoga today. It's a bummer since she was so into it to start with, and hopefully she'll be excited about it again next week, but today it actually works better for her not to go anyway. If she changes her mind during school and wants to go that's fine, but if not, so much the better for me today.)

In amusing behavior notes, recently when I asked her why she seemed to exhibit more difficult behavior with me on school days, Sweet Pea told me that she loves her teacher more than she loves me. I nearly giggled out loud because I know she's totally full of crap on that score. ha ha ha! After being home with me nearly all of last week because she was sick, she said that she loves me more again. Whatever! Silly.

Also - last night, and I think the night before, the first time The Bug woke up at night, instead of calling for me like she usually does, she called twice for her sister! ha ha! I thought that was really really cute. Whenever we get our butts out to a mattress store we're going to buy them a full sized mattress to sleep on together - with The Bug calling out for her sister at night, that makes me feel more and more like we're doing the right thing with this. They are both very into the idea of a sibling bed anyway, so I'm pretty sure it'll work into a good thing pretty quickly. They have slept together for parts of nights on Sweet Pea's little single mattress (which is part of the guest bed) and it has gone well, and they have both been really excited about it. So I'm excited to get the sibling bed set up for them soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Have I ever mentioned that I get really depressed sometimes when it's grey outside for a long time? And that everything seems BAD, or at least sucky, when that happens?

Well I should probably be happy right now because Sweet Pea is at school and thrilled to be there, and The Bug is napping and will probably be out for 2 hours or longer, until I have to wake her up to go pick up her sister, because she (like Sweet Pea and I) sleeps long and hard when it's grey and rainy outside. And also because she went to sleep really flipping late last night but got up at usual time this morning.

But instead of being happy about the freedom for a couple hours I'm feeling bitchy because I just cleaned out the litter box and now I have to get the rest of the garbage, recycling and green waste out, in the rain, before I can settle down to eat lunch. That's of course my own time thing there - I know that I won't want to get up and do the garbage thing after lunch, and I also won't know for sure at that point in the day that I have some uninterrupted time during which to get the trash out without tripping over The Bug and worrying about her running out into the street.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm also going to fold about ten loads of laundry after I eat lunch, but that what is REALLY bothering me right now is the latest in my string of, "WILL THE BAD THINGS EVER STOP COMING?!" That thing is: WHY the HELL does the inside of my car smell like cat pee? I truly cannot figure out even a not-probable-but-maybe scenario. It has been well over 6 months since I took either of our cats to the vet, and when I do they're in cat carriers (and they don't pee in them like our last cat - these two are actually really good in the car; they barely even meow!). We don't leave my car open so neighborhood cats can get in. But on the drive to school today Sweet Pea and I were both bothered by the odor of cat pee (she insisted that it actually smelled like cat poo, but I didn't think so - cat pee is a much more horrible and lingering smell). Since I've been back from dropping Sweet Pea off at school, my own cats have been sniffing and snuffling around my pantlegs and my shoes. WHAT IS GOING ON???!!!!

I'm sorry I'm bitching. I am just not a happy camper right now. This cold we've had for ages that won't go away, the level of clutter in our house, the fact that I cannot get anything taken care of around the house due to how much the girls need from me, and the weather - all of these things have got me on the boo hoo train to Gripesville.

I'll stop now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hey! Today's a Holiday!

I got so caught up in all the illness and hives around here that I was surprised when Slipshod told me yesterday that today was a holiday. I had been telling Sweet Pea that I would be taking her back to school today and then had to take it back. ha ha!

Yesterday The Bug woke up with a dramatically improved height and color to her hives. We can still see all the places where all the bumps are, but they're almost back to normal skin color now, and not sticking up nearly so much. WHEW.

Today both girls and Slipshod sound like they have a boatload of snot in their noses and Slipshod doesn't feel great, but the girls seem to feel just fine. I plan to scrub 'em up tomorrow and get Sweet Pea back in the swing of things at school! I've chosen some pictures of her from each year of her life that show her favorite things that happened or were given to her each year (her favorite giraffe stuffed animal, our cats, her baby sister). Today I'm going to run the pictures by her and we'll buy some light blue poster board and make a half-birthday poster to show her classmates and teachers on Thursday. Now to figure out what we're going to make/take for snack that day, besides letter-shaped cheese slices...

Yesterday I declared war on the germs in our house and started by washing all the towels and sheets (and of course some dirty clothes that got in the way). Sweet Pea and I also used those previously discussed bleach wipes to wipe all doorknobs, stair railings, baby gates, toilet flushing levers, light switches, faucet handles, etc. Today I'm going to continue the good work by washing our blankets (couldn't get all the bedding done in one day), the rest of the clothes, and hopefully the dishes. Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our Latest Excitement

You have to click on the photos to see the full gruesomeness of the rash on our poor little Bug.

Friends, what you see in the photos above are the effects of an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. The Bug had been on the same medication a month ago for the same reason - ear infection in both ears - but this time, after taking the medication for 8 days, her little body had had enough of it and said, "STOP!" Unfortunately, the rash will continue for an unknown period of time, until all of the medication leaves her body. The rash could get worse, or it could come and go. Hopefully, though, it will just go away in a couple days. If it gets so bad that it is bothering The Bug too much, we will need to take her back to the doctor for some steroids. Hopefully that won't happen and my gut feeling is that it won't, but we shall wait and see.

The rash showed up yesterday along with a fever, and The Bug wanted me to hold her all day. She didn't eat breakfast - just wanted me to hold her - but she did cheer up shortly thereafter and run around and play by herself for a while, and she did eat lunch. Our doctor's office said to just watch the symptoms, give her fever-managing medications as necessary, and give her some Benedryl if the rash seemed to itch, which it did not.

This morning when The Bug awoke the rash was worse and had spread to her face - including her right eyelid, and both of her ears. I called the doctor and they said to bring her in. When I got to the sick waiting room at the pediatrician's office the receptionist was dealing with a mother on the other side (the well waiting room) and said to me over her shoulder, "I'll be right with you, Mom." When she turned to the window and saw The Bug's face, she drew in breath quickly and asked, "does she look like that all over?" "Yes," I said, whereupon the receptionist said, "come in right away." And when she walked out of the receptionist's area into the hallway I heard her say, "you'll want to see this one first, I think, Johnny." Then she opened the waiting room door for me and ushered us directly across the hallway into an exam room.

I sort of giggled inside because I knew the receptionist was concerned about The Bug being contagious and I was pretty sure of what we were dealing with and wasn't concerned about that myself - but hey, I completely understand her concern and it was great that we got straight in and didn't even have to sit down in the waiting room! In fact, we didn't even do the co-pay transaction in the waiting room - the receptionist brought the receipt to me to sign in the exam room.

Anyway, because of what we're dealing with there was nothing the doctor could do beyond suggesting that we keep The Bug dressed in a cooler manner, because the warmer she gets, the worse the hives are, as you can see in the photos - she has hives much worse on the warmer areas of her body, such as her armpits and the insides of her legs. As most of you know this would have been just fine with Sweet Pea, who went for, what, nearly two years wearing only a diaper, no matter what the season? But The Bug is a clothes horse already, young as she is, and her favorite part of any outfit is the shoes, so she refuses to have any part of her outfit removed for longer than the time necessary for a diaper change. But the house isn't all that hot; her rash did shrink some during the day yesterday so hopefully she'll be comfortable enough even in her clothes.

The doctor also suggested giving The Bug Benedryl every 6 hours even though she is not itchy, and of course we stopped giving her the amoxicillin yesterday after discovering the rash and calling the doctor.

What ticks me off about this situation is that it didn't have to happen. Our former family physician, who we loved and are having an impossible time replacing now that we've moved, never gave our girls penicillin drugs because so many people have problems with them (and on that subject there is a high incidence of allergy to them on Slipshod's side of the family, though we did not know that to tell the doctors - just found out yesterday after the rash appeared). When Sweet Pea needed antibiotics, which was not all that often, while we were in his care, he prescribed Zithromax, which is what he gave is own daughters. It's not penicillin-derived, and it requires smaller and fewer doses for a full course. I mentioned that to the pediatricians here both times they prescribed amoxicillin for The Bug's ear infections, and they told me that they don't give Zithromax unless the child is allergic to penicillin. Well, congratulations, doctors; you've made my child allergic to penicillin. Next time can we have a different drug?

In good news, however, The Bug's ear infections have cleared up. Thank goodness for small favors?
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 18, 2008

*Cough Cough - HONK*

Today's score: The Cold - 4, The Family - -3

Or maybe it's -2, I'm too out of it to be sure.

The Bug got this cold the week before last, I think, from a neighbor baby who is still not better! The Bug seemed like she was almost all better a number of days ago, then seemed worse off again - more snotty. Again yesterday she seemed nearly 100%. Today? She slept late but is yawning. She woke up with dried snot on her cheeks (she was almost totally dry yesterday). She wants me to hold her. All the time. She lays her head down on me. None of these things are like her normal behavior.

I kept Sweet Pea home from school again (4th time this week) today just because I guess I'm admitting defeat. She's still got a runny nose and a cough. I feel like crap. I give up. I am really, really hoping that next week we're all way better and Sweet Pea will be able to go to school every day, especially on the 24th since that's her half birthday and since her actual birthday is during the summer, she will get to celebrate her half birthday at school. We'll be taking snack for her class on her half birthday, and I get to go in with her for Circle Time at the beginning of class. We're ordering prints of some pictures of her from birth and each of her birthdays and we'll make a little poster or collage or something for her to share with her class. Yay! We are both really looking forward to that. They have a neat birthday tradition at her school, too, where the teachers light a candle and the kids pretend that the candle is the sun, and each walk around the "sun" stands for a year. So the birthday child walks around the candle the appropriate number of times. I imagine the other kids sing a birthday song as well, but I'm not sure - I've only heard bits and pieces from other parents. We'll find out next week!

I hope the rest of you are healthier than we are, and that you all have a faboo weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Stand Slightly Corrected

Okay, since bleach kills just about everything, apparently, used correctly, bleach-containing wipes can actually de-virus toys. And many online sites containing suggestions for how to best clean your children's toys suggest doing just that.

However... I still refuse to wipe my children's toys with caustic and otherwise harmful chemicals. The plastic toys have already got enough crap in them; I don't want the cleaning chemicals to bring out more dangerous stuff in the plastic.

Stay tuned for pictures, really. One of these days. Maybe even tonight. Really. Hee.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bug Off

I'm sorry if I sound whiny, but people are really pissing me off lately. I have pretty much determined that you can't catch a break as a mother. Your kids need YOU, they say - but you're a bad mother if you don't go out often enough. Or if you go out too much. You are your kids' first and most important teacher, they say - but you're a bad mother if you send them to preschool or a babysitter too early - OR too late. The list goes on and on, probably forever.

So I'm sure that those of you who are mothers understand how easy it is to take the blame for everything regarding your child. I beat myself up daily about how cranky I've become with Sweet Pea. Some days it feels like I never say "yes" to her anymore, and I worry that I'm always pushing her away so I can get something cleaned, make a phone call, or change a diaper. Despite my feelings that I'm the opposite, many people, my hubby included, tell me that they think that I am too easy on her. I agonize over the fact that The Bug doesn't know her alphabet yet. Sweet Pea had most of it down by The Bug's age. There are so many things I taught Sweet Pea really young that The Bug doesn't know yet.

Lately I am catching flack all over the place because my girls have had cold after cold (we're currently on #4) since November. Now, as I understand it, kids are born with no immunities and get some through their mother's breastmilk, right? But the rest they have to form themselves by actually getting sick and building those immunities in their own little bodies to fight off the viruses. Right? And if a child has been mostly home with her mom for, say, four years, she has not been introduced to many illnesses besides what her daddy brings home from work, or what she catches at play group or wherever. Agreed?

Well, my parents, even though my mom has years of first-hand experience with the way germs travel in classrooms of kids and teachers in schools, keep telling me over and over that my kids are just passing the same cold back and forth again and again. I call bullshit. If that were true, once a cold entered our house, it would never go away. That would also mean that the kids were not building any immunities.

My sister came dangerously close to suggesting last night on the phone that Sweet Pea keeps getting sick so often because of the way she eats. Because I don't force her to eat x servings of each thing per day, according to some chart, which they change every several years anyway. Sweet Pea's body gets what it needs and I think it's a wonderful thing that at age 4 she knows when she has had enough, and furthermore, that "enough" does not mean "full." (As kids my siblings and I were forced to clean our plates, even if that meant sitting at the dinner table until 9pm with the lights off - which I remember doing. As a result, it took us all a while after leaving home to realize we didn't have to stuff ourselves sick at every meal to be done.) She knows what foods are healthy and which are not, and while she often asks for ice cream and cookies, she knows that she doesn't get those every night, and that on nights when they are available, she must first eat a good dinner containing protein, plant matter, etc. in order to partake of the dessert in question.

And then today my nurse-neighbor, who has not let her nearly-year-old son sit, crawl, or play in our house since November (I may have done the same thing when Sweet Pea was a baby), told me again that she thinks I should wipe all the toys after each cold with disinfecting wipes. I hear the concern but I don't think that is an entirely realistic goal, and red flags go up in my head when I think about wiping plastic toys, many of which are guaranteed to be mouthed by the youngest among us, with cleaning chemicals (bleach-containing wipes were specifically mentioned). Obviously cleaning all our toys after every cold is just a really daunting task. Our house is full of toys. Every now and then I do wipe off a set of them if they get food on them or if someone has snot on her hands and has gotten something goopy, or if it just seems like they've been on the floor too much. But if I tried to clean all our toys after each illness, that's all I would be able to do. (Also see #2 below in the after-notes)

As for the red flags, after reading recently on an Avent sippy spout instruction sheet that antibactieral dish liquids (which, along with antibacterial hand soaps, I always thought were a bad idea anyway, since widespread use of antibacterial products actually makes people less healthy and can build more resistant bacteria,) should never be used to wash sippy spouts because they make the plastic break down quickly, I am loathe to put any cleaning chemicals on any of our toys. I don't know the details of how each cleaner would react with each plastic, but the possibilities worry me. Maybe it would be more prudent to wash our toys after colds using hot water and mild soap - but like I said before, who has the time for that? And besides, even the most resistant flu and cold viruses die off outside the body in less time than it takes the body to get over the illness in the first place. And I do machine wash the stuffed animals that get snot lovingly smeared over their well-loved heads while doing their jobs of making the girls feel more comforted during a cold. Of course, a visiting baby would not readily be allowed to touch those beloved toys in the first place, so I guess the stuffed toy argument is moot.

My point? My kids get sick for the same reason everyone else's kids get sick: They are building their immunities. Moreover, this is Sweet Pea's first year of school, and from hearing and reading about other people's children's experiences, I fully expected that she would catch everything that came her way this Winter. It sucks, but this is how it works. I am told by some mothers of older children that by third grade kids stop getting so very many illnesses during the school year. Others say it ends when they turn 18 and graduate from high school.

My BIG point? I already take on loads of guilt and anxiety for my children's health and welfare. This one I will not take on. I will not take the blame for my children getting sick. They eat enough healthy foods to keep growing and keep their immune systems working well. I do not let them play in the garbage or eat off the street. Our house is decently clean. I am not going to keep them separated for the rest of their lives for fear of passing a cold bug between them. Their bodies are reacting normally to pathogens and due to now being involved with a school and all the people there, we are in the beginning of the worst years of catching and bearing out the effects of many viruses. This is life. Deal. We are.

Or, there's another option for my well-meaning critics: Keep it to yourself. Of course, none of them will be reading this, but hey, venting helps.

After-Notes: 1) I may not have been clear on one point: I absolutely believe that the girls catch colds from each other. If one of them gets a cold, the other will have it in 1-3 days. What I don't believe is that the same cold goes back and forth over and over again between them. During our cold onslaught between the beginning of November and now, we have had healthy weeks - sometimes even two or three weeks. Colds can't live that long on surfaces between times. All our colds have also caused different combinations of symptoms.

2) Disinfecting wipes wouldn't help get rid of cold germs on toys or surfaces anyway, because they are antibacterial, not antiviral. Viruses can make it through washing, even with hot water and soap; they are very hardy.

3) I can trace some of these colds directly back to neighbor and school children we (or at least Sweet Pea) played with outside our house.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

To All Nasty Cold Viruses:


The three colds we had during November and December were more than enough. You can take this latest crap and leap off a bridge. And take the ear infections with you. I hate you. Leave our house. Never come back.

Sincerely (i.e., I REALLY FRICKIN' MEAN IT!),

And now, dear friends, it's time for me, after a night of holding a leaky, coughing baby, to go call the pediatrician about her left ear, which she pointed to twenty or so minutes ago saying, "it huts. My eeeeyow huts."


**Edited to add: Took The Bug to the doctor this morning. She has ANOTHER double ear infection. Poor kid can't catch a frickin' break. She's finally napping. Sweet Pea's at school. Sweet Pea's breathing sounded possibly cold-like when she first fell asleep last night, but later sounded totally clear. Doubt she'll get by without having this cold, though. You know how it goes. Hope we can still take the girls to see their great grandparents this weekend... Great Grandpa's nursing home may not want us walking through the doors if any of us are sick.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Help Wanted

Temporary position available. Start immediately. Take care of 19-month old and 4-year-old 24x7 for at least two months while I catch up on my sleep. Must also take care of everything related to house and family function on a daily basis, with the exception of actually making money. Hubby brings home the bacon and will usually take care of the grocery shopping as well, as long as you make the menu and the grocery list. Discuss your salary with my husband. I'm outta here.

**Edited to add: What, no takers? This post has been up for hours! I forgot to mention that Slipshod brings home dinner whenever I call him at work and ask him to... a task he will no doubt be performing tonight, because after interrupting my sleep nonstop for the past two or more (I can't remember how many anymore - brain no longer working) nights, The Bug didn't nap today. She did fall asleep on me downstairs at one point but woke up when I was finalizing Sweet Pea's preparation for school 20 minutes before we had to leave AND THEN Sweet Pea asked repeatedly to stay home today, so it turned out I could have had The Bug all cozy in her crib after all, where she would have napped for an hour and a half or longer. But since that nap got interrupted, no other nap was taken, despite my attempts to help her to get to dreamland. I have let the TV do a lot of parenting today. Sweet Pea is currently watching Totoro for the second time in a row. I don't effing care.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy New Year! Uh... Happy January?

Shortly before New Year's Day I decreed that in our house, 2008 will be The Year of the Great Purge.

Cool thing is, it wasn't just something I said. Slipshod and I are really jumping on it and getting things sorted and outta here! YEAH! Slipshod spent a good part of Saturday going through boxes and bowls and bags of paper that we've been avoiding: old mail, neighborhood flyers, tax documents - you name it. Bleh. We've got scads and loads more, but he made a good start.

I started going through the kitchen to pull out things that I want to give away. I've been seeing things in the cabinets and drawers that I never use or that I don't want to use for one reason or another, and thinking that I really need to put all of those things in a box. I finally did that in the kitchen, but now I need to pull the boxes marked "kitchen" in from the garage and go through those too. I've been avoiding it because I was afraid I'd want to keep more than we could fit in the kitchen. The kitchen's almost full, and we haven't even opened at least four "kitchen" boxes that came out of the pod last summer. HOWEVER - of course I realized that we've been living without whatever's in those boxes for over a year so we probably don't need much if any of it, AND Slipshod's niece moved out of her mom's house over the summer and needs some things for her kitchen, so she is my real motivation for finally starting this job. It's exciting to see what I want to give away when I actually know somebody who might really be happy to have it. I'm sure she won't want everything I'm giving away, but I'll Freecycle the rest, or take it to Goodwill or something. The point is, I'm getting the sorting done, and whenever I actually get started on a job like this, I get really excited about getting rid of things and getting boxes unpacked.

Speaking of which - I finally unpacked a couple of my clothes boxes over the weekend as well. I've been living on such a small wardrobe for so long that I cannot believe how many sweatshirts I had. I'm getting rid of way most of them. I hardly ever wear sweatshirts in the first place! I'm looking forward to going through the rest of my clothes, too, and giving away lots of them. Yay!

Well, I need to eat lunch now. I've got my first "me" moment in two weeks! I didn't realize until today when Slipshod was back at work, Sweet Pea was at school, and The Bug fell asleep that I have not had any time to myself for so long!

Check in later (or tomorrow, if I can't get back to this today) for pictures of our attempt to take the girls to see snow yesterday, as well as a medical update on Slipshod.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


All the cool kids call her Trollbaby but I don't know why. Check out Karen Sugarpants - she's a really funny Canadian - had me laughing actually out loud tonight. As you can see I've added her to my links at left as well, in case you come back on another day and have a giggle wish that I haven't fulfilled. Tee hee.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Post-Dentist Update

Well, Sweet Pea and I were going to walk to the dentist's office because it's so very very close to our house. However, the sky just kept getting greyer and greyer and I looked at the forecast online and it said rain would be starting imminently. There were drops on the sidewalk when we stepped out the door. So we drove.

Before we left the house Sweet Pea told me that she was a little scared about the drilling that would be done on her teeth (I had explained the steps of the process that the dentist would use to fill her cavities). I tried to quell her fears but obviously the unknown is always scary, even when somebody who has been through it tells you things will be fine.

I carried Sweet Pea from the car to the office just to get to the door more quickly and safely through the crazy drivers in the parking lot. When we stepped through the door the receptionist caught sight of us and called out, "HI, SWEET PEA!" in a very cheerful voice. She's really sweet and great with kids. Sweet Pea, however, didn't really remember the receptionist and seemed a little weirded out that she knew her name. ha ha -

Sweet Pea began to be concerned again in the waiting room but played with the toys and we chatted while we waited. Then the hygienist (not the same one she had before, but a very sweet and good-with-children young woman just the same) came and get us. Sweet Pea wanted me to carry her back to the room and then I couldn't pry her off. She had real fear in her eyes - near panic - and no matter how much I talked to her calmly and asked her what she was worried about, etc., and no matter how much the hygienist tried to gain her trust by asking her if she liked kitties (Sweet Pea had taken one of her favorite cat stuffed toys along), Sweet Pea would not let go of me and sit in the chair. Then the dentist showed up and that freaked her out even more; a new person in the room, a strange man (who she had met before but probably didn't remember meeting), etc.

So I looked at them when I couldn't get Sweet Pea to let go of me and the hygienist suggested trying Nitrous Oxide. I agreed it was worth a try. Sweet Pea got to choose what she wanted it to smell like - strawberries, bubble gum, or orange - and she chose strawberries. The hygienist produced a red thing to go over Sweet Pea's nose and got it hooked up to the Nitrous hoses, and we managed to get Sweet Pea to agree to sit in the chair so that she could have the Nitrous thing on her nose and smell the strawberries. From there things got much better and she got smiley and almost giggly. They don't call it laughing gas for nothing, I guess!

The dentist applied the topical anesthetic to her gums and Sweet Pea didn't even squeeze my hand or twitch when he stuck her with the novacaine needle and shot it into her gums/lip. She did GREAT through the whole procedure. I was/am so proud of her. Her teeth look great now (the front upper two didn't look very good with the decay in there - eww) and her only gripe is not being able to feel her lips very well. I guess it takes longer for novacaine to wear off in children than adults. I remember when I was little it seemed to take half a day!

After the procedure Sweet Pea got to go choose a toy to take home, and she got to guess how many gumballs were in a glass jar full of them and if she guessed right, she will win a bunch of board games. She didn't guess right, though, I can tell you that right now. She was way under. But it was fun for her to try.

Then we got smoothies and sandwiches and came home. The Bug, who was napping when we left, was STILL napping until about 5 minutes before we walked in the door! Sweet Pea always used to nap really well on grey, rainy days too. The Bug slept for over 2 hours today. Her usual nap time is an hour and a half. Wowzers!

Well, there's the update. Better update the families via e-mail now!

An Unfortunate First Today

Today is the day Sweet Pea and I go to the dentist to get her first THREE fillings. Whee... I think she'll do fine but a number of people, family and friends, are telling me how sorry they feel for her, that they've never heard of having to get baby teeth filled, and that they've never heard of kids getting cavities in their baby teeth. So yeah, I feel like a GREAT mom about this. But you know, I do think it's the responsible thing to do to go forward with the fillings. Yeesh. My mom said, "she may lose her teeth next year," but to me that's no reason to let her have growing, obvious cavities in her front teeth. Because, she may NOT lose her teeth next year. But mostly, I don't want to let the cavities sit there and get worse. I can't understand even the thought of that unless the tooth in question was actually loose.

Anyway - Sweet Pea is thankfully not hearing all these people's commentary on the subject, and seems entirely relaxed about the whole thing. She will see the same dentist and hopefully the same hygeinist that she saw last time and this time I will be sitting with her the whole time, not in another room getting my teeth cleaned. I think it will be fine. I'll post an update when we get back.

In the mean time I need to be crazy and take both girls into the shower with me to get us ready for the day! I don't do this every day, but it's really necessary today. Whee -

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

That Old Familiar Feeling

During the past 4 days I have discussed with both of my sisters how even though I know it's just a calendar date, New Year's has me thinking about what I'd like to accomplish. New things I'd like to do - improvements I'd like to make to my life. I just can't help it. I have this feeling on a smaller scale at the beginning of each month, and on an even smaller scale every Monday throughout the year. I love new beginnings, and New Year's is the biggest one we get each year, right?

I used to actually sit down and write out New Year's resolutions, but stopped years ago when I realized that writing them down like that was like writing out a list of my failures and then having it there to remind me all year long.

But again this year I want to improve things. I want to cook more and eat better (those go hand in hand for me, as my cooking tends to be pretty healthy most of the time - the more veggies involved, the better! Brown rice? YEAH!). I want to exercise (I won't bother saying "more," because doing anything would help). I want to be a more graceful parent. Which would probably start with me getting to bed earlier every night.

So, I'll call them New Year's Hopes.

I hope that the girls being one year older this year will allow me to get more done. I'm going to start making soap again this year, but that requires the kids to either sleep better at night, making it so that I don't have to run up to settle anyone (almost always The Bug) before I myself am ready to go to bed, OR be able to leave me alone for a couple hours while being babysat by daddy or the grandparents.

I hope that the girls will continue their interest in "helping" me cook, thereby allowing me to have the prep time I need to cook healthier meals more often.

I hope that Slipshod and I will make a new habit of going through our mail more often AND opening and unpacking a box now and then so that our garage doesn't actually burst from being too full of cardboard boxes.

I think I'll stop there. The nice thing about having this feeling at New Year's every year is that it sort of cleans the slate and gets rid of that "oh forget it, I'll never accomplish my goals" feeling that is pervasive for me by December. It's nice to have the mental landscape covered with snow and clean and ready for new footprints, as it were. (I realize that's a pretty bad metaphor, but it's all I've got today, people. Humor me.)