Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

I was going to do this as a wordless Wednesday post, but decided that finding all of the pictures was too much work. Plus, the pilfered bug pictures are enough copyright infringement for me this week.

The first thing I am thankful for is my family. I have an incredible husband, who loves me and accepts me, even when I can be a little crazy. I’m blessed with the sweetest, funniest little boy in my entire world. My parents are extremely supportive, and my brother and sister are always there for me when I need them. (I’m even thankful for them calling me Baby Sister, but don’t tell them.)

I’m also thankful for living in a country, that while not perfect, gives me rights beyond what many in this world can only dream about. I can vote, I can own property, and I can work in a male dominated industry.

I am thankful for the food on my plate and the roof over my head.

I am thankful for Diet Coke, and so are the people that deal with me first thing in the morning.

I am thankful for all of my friends, both in the “real” world, and on the internet. It’s nice to know that anytime I need advice or a shoulder to cry on I can count on some wise words and compassion to come my way.

I am thankful for music, books, and needle crafts, and having the time to enjoy them.

I am thankful for my nice comfy bed. I love to sleep.

And, I am thankful that my sister is an excellent cook, even if it does take me a week's worth of exercise to burn off everything I eat tomorrow. There’s just nothing like catching up with family while sitting around the table with the button on your jeans undone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

List

Laura did a post on Saturday about the List. It really got me thinking about the things I would like to do before I die. I started to get concerned, because I couldn’t really think of many things. I’ve already accomplished a lot. I’ve gotten my Masters, bought a house, gotten married, and had a child. Not too shabby. But, now that I’m here, I think I may have started to become a little complacent.

It’s ok to be complacent for a little while. With a two and a half year old in the house, sometimes just maintaining the status quo is more than I can ask for. However, Michael is going to grow up, and I need to start setting goals for the future.

This will be a work in progress. Here is what I have so far.

  • Travel to every U.S. State and Canadian Providence/Territory
  • Go on a cruise
  • Get another degree – I’m thinking Systems Engineering, or maybe not
  • Retire comfortably
  • Have something published

It’s a little unnerving putting this out there. Now I feel like I have to start taking action toward at least one of those goals. I guess that’s the point, isn’t it?

Creepy Crawly Update

I went down to the basement last night to find a book. When I did, I discovered camel cricket #1 hopping around. I had no shoes or phone books handy, so I found an old copy of Shell Silverstein's A Light In the Attic and flung it the cricket. That's what I call death by poetry.

Later, I came down with some paper towels to dispose of the evidence. I moved the book, picked up the bug - holding it as far from my body as possible - and opened the laundry room door to throw it in the trash. When I flipped on the light, a big old centipede ran up the wall. I squealed, and jumped back. It got away. So much for my shoe threat. Next time buddy, next time.

P.S. No, I did not take the pictures of the bugs from yesterday's post. They were pilfered from the internetz. Squealing and running does not lend itself to capturing pictures of vicious insects.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yuck! Ick! You are going to hate me for this one!

I want to make something clear right now. I. DO. NOT. LIKE. BUGS. I mean really, really, really do not like them. They can turn me into a sobbing, squealing, irrational woman in half a second flat. I'm so afraid of bugs, that playing a practical joke on me that involves bugs could cost someone their life.

My policy with bugs and spiders is that I'll stay out of their homes if they stay out of mine. It works really well as long as everyone is in agreement, but sometimes the little pests decide to break the treaty and enter my home. When that happens, all bets are off. I arm myself with a shoe, and take care of matters.

Every fall, we end up with a bunch of box elder bugs hanging out on the front of our house.

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I don't like it, but most of them stay outside. I refuse to use chemicals to kill insects that are harmless, so I either spray them with soapy water, or squash them with my shoe. I've learned to cope with them.

Then, of course, there is the common field cricket that occasionally makes its way inside.

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Once again, not my favorite, but they are harmless. They have also won a warm spot in my heart. When Michael was just an itty, bitty baby, I used to nurse him frequently throughout the night. I remember those dark, quiet times snuggling with him, listening to a cricket chirp out front. So, I deal with them.

One of my all time least favorite bugs is the house centipede.


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I've encountered these in a number of places I've lived. If you have never seen one, count yourself lucky. They are even creepier looking in real life, and they are fast! They are also venomous.

Ok, there are no records of one ever actually bitting an innocent person. In fact, they tend to save biting for other insects. For the bug lovers out there, this is actually considered a good bug, and they encourage people not to kill them as they help keep pest populations down.

Whatever. How can I let something like that run free in my home? What if it crawls on my face while I'm sleeping?

Well, this fall, I've decided to them live. I watched one come out and wrap itself around a dead beetle in my basement, and just turned away to avoid the horror. But, it's worth it if the centipedes will take care of the new problem that showed up a few years ago.

What could be worse than this?

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I'll show you what's worse than this.



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It's a camel cricket, and it's is one of the creepiest crawlies out there. They look like cockroaches on stilts. And, even worse than their odd appearance is their odd behavior. Those long legs do just what you would guess. It allows them to jump very, very high. And unlike most bugs, it's doesn't try to escape when you try to kill it. It jumps straight at you like it's trying to attack you. The first time I tried to smack one with a shoe, it launched itself right at my face. I shrieked and ran from the basement like I was being attacked by a rabid bear. (Much to Andy's amusement.)

I hadn't seen any of them for a few months, and I thought my centipede strategy was working. Until last night. I found one when I went down into the basement to fold laundry. I didn't have anything handy to kill it with - I've found that I phone book dropped on them from above works the best - so I tried whacking at it with a toddler sized, plastic hockey stick. It got away. He must have notified his comrades, because later in the evening, one showed up in the living room. I introduced him to Mr. Phone book.

Joanna - 1
Camel crickets - 1.

And, the next time I see one of these?

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I'm going to introduce him to one of these.


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Friday, November 21, 2008

It’s funny how that works.

The local news did a story on the Twilight movie this morning. They had clips of a ton of teenage girls who saw the movie at midnight last night, and were just swooning over Edward Cullen. They even interviewed one girl who said she was going to marry him. (Oh, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure I could take her.)

When I called my mom this morning, she just happened to mention that she was really enjoying the copy of Twilight that I had lent her this past summer and that she would like to borrow the rest of the books. How weird is it that she never mentioned the book until the day the movie came out?

Then, when I walked over to get my lunch, I saw a few people trying to have a snow ball fight with the first snow of the year. It was just like in the book. (Well, minus the teenagers and vampires and all, but you know what I mean.)

During lunch, I decided to look up the address of my sister’s rental house so I would know where we are going on Thanksgiving. It’s on Cullen Way! Dude!

I’ve been debating about whether or not to see the movie, and now I’m sure this is a sign that I should go to see it. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I was planning to go see it. I just need to figure out who to go with. My mom? Nah, that takes all the fun out of it. Andy? Hmm…I don’t know. Maybe I could slip into the movie and look like I the mom of one of the giggling, swooning teenagers who’s just giving the girls some space.

It's not even Thanksgiving yet!

I was a little surprised back in October when I noticed flakes of snow mixing in with rain one morning. The only time I’ve ever seen snow that early was when I lived in Maine. I figured that was a sign that we are going to have a cold, snowy winter. I didn’t think it would mean we would have a cold, snowy autumn.

Earlier this week, the oh-so-accurate weather people forecast snow showers for the end of the week. I didn’t think much of it when it started to flurry yesterday afternoon. I started to wonder a little when it was still snowing last night. Now, I keep glancing out the window to watch the snow storm cover up the trees, grass, and cars. We have about 2 inches on the ground. Snow showers my tush.

I cannot say that I’m disappointed though. I love snow. In fact, I have a strange compulsion to watch snow. I know that I should be working, but I can’t help myself. I keep glancing up over my cube to watch the flakes flying through the air. Every time I get up, I have to wander by a window so I can see how much snow has fallen. In fact, even though I know just how bad traffic gets in the snow, I can’t help but wish for more. I’ll temporarily change my mind if I have a two hour, white knuckled ride home this afternoon. But as soon as I’m safe and warm, I’ll peek out the window and fall in love with the snow all over again.

It’s a good thing too. I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot of it this year.

I also have a pubic service announcement for this morning.

Do you know what the leading cause of car fires at gas stations is? Static electricity. Do you know who it happens to the most? Women. The reason that it happens to women more is because we are more likely to flip the lever on the gas pump handle and then sit in the car while the tank fills. The motion in all of our winter clothes leads to static build up that is discharged when we touch the pump handle. You know, where all those gas fumes have been seeping out of your gas tank.

One way to avoid this is to touch something metal away from the pump handle to discharge the static. The better way is to keep your hand in contact with the handle the entire time. It’s chilly, but it's the safest way to fill up your car.

Please keep that in mind this winter.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have some snow to watch. I mean, work to do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Logic of Two Year Olds

We are really enjoying the return to health in the household. Michael has been in such a good mood for the past week and we have been able to get back into our normal routine. I’m a huge fan of family dinners, and have made sure to include Michael in them since he was just an itty bitty baby. Even if he doesn’t eat anything, I like to include him in the dinner table discussion.

Last night I made Quiche Lorraine for dinner. It takes a few minutes to prep, and then bakes for almost an hour. Once it was in the oven, I was able to sit down and play with Michael. We got out the Play-Doh and the letter cookie cutters so we could create and smush letters. Every few minutes, Michael would pull off a little piece of a letter, grin at me, and then pop the Play-Doh in his mouth.

“Eww. Michael, Play-Doh is ICKY.” I’d say. He would grin with satisfaction, but would stop eating the Play-Doh. Then, a few minutes later, he would get that look and we would repeat the cycle.*

When the Quiche was ready, Michael surprised me by agreeing to come in and eat some dinner with us. He actually ate some watermelon and cheese. I was thrilled. Like always, we offered Michael some of what we were eating. He didn’t seem as offended by it as normal. Maybe that had something to do with us calling it “Cheese Pie!” He actually took a piece, held it to his tongue, and seemed to consider maybe, possibly liking it. He did it again!

I asked him if it was yummy.

“Yes.”

Both Andy and I jumped on it too quickly. We asked, “Do you want some?!” in unison. He said yes, but our obvious enthusiasm turned him off. He ignored it and turned back to playing with his string cheese. We blew it.

How is it that a snack of Play-Doh is desirable, but quiche made with cream, cheese, and bacon is not?


*I do get the whole kids like eating Play-Doh thing. A few months ago I mentioned to my sister that Michael was playing with Play-Doh. What’s her response? “Does it still taste as good as it used to?” My Answer? Sadly, no, it does not.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sometimes Mommies Are Bad Too

Michael has found a new way to experience his love of letters. I bought a set of letter cookie cutters a while back, and after trying to make letter cookies once, I decided it was more trouble than it was worth. So, I relegated them to use with Play-Doh. For Michael, it opened up a whole new world of letter play. For me, it simply increased the number of times I need to polish the coffee table. (Which is still preferable to the tourture of making letter cookies.)

Michael hasn’t mastered the art of cutting out letters in Play-Doh, so I do most of the cutting. Last night, I cut out a “D” and Michael noticed the hole left in the Play-Doh where the “D” was removed from.

“What’s that?” He asked excited.

“It’s the hole where the D was.” I responded.

“A D-hole!” Michael exclaimed, very excited.

He then requested a “B”, his favorite letter. I cut it out, and he picked up the outline shape of the “B” and started twirling it around on his finger. “A B-hole!”

I’ve discovered that parenting isn’t always a clear cut science. You typically don’t make one big mistake that screws your child up for life, and you can’t expect one shinning moment to make up for multiple little failures. What that means to me is that every moment, every decision is an opportunity to do the right thing. Or the wrong thing.

I glanced over at Andy and saw that smirk that said he was thinking the same thing that I was. I raised my eyebrow in question, but he didn’t say anything. It was up to me.

So, I picked up the “A” cookie cutter and cut out an “A”. Then giggled little an eight year old boy as Michael shouted, “An A-hole!”

I guess I should start saving for his therapy fund, shouldn’t I?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Daddies Do it Best

Being a mom is a wonderful experience. I get to cuddle and snuggle with my little boy, be somewhat over protective, and kiss booboos when they happen. But daddies, they just do things differently.

On Saturday morning, I was upstairs blow drying my hair while Andy was playing with Michael in the living room. My hairdryer is pretty noisy, so I had no idea that they had come upstairs and were goofing around until Michael appeared out of no where with a big grin on his face, and a rope tied around his waist. I look up, and there is Andy on the other end of the rope letting Michael drag him around.

Of course, being a mom, the first thing that pops into my mind is that there is no way that looping a rope around my child is safe and that they should cease and desist ASAP. What if the slip knot somehow gets around Michael’s neck and tightens up? Who in their right mind would ever put a rope around a child? I was about to say something when they both broke out in fits of giggles and tore off down the hall.

So, I resumed drying my hair, contemplating how safe it was for Michael to be racing around with a rope around his waist. Boom! Michael came crashing into my legs, still giggling, still with Andy in tow. Before I could say anything, they were off again on their own little Iditarod through the house. I could hear them laughing down the hall over my hair dryer. The next time Michael came crashing into my legs, I just laughed along with them. I have no idea what was going on, but it was clearly the most fun the boys have had in weeks.

And that’s just the way it is. Sure, when Michael needs a hug or some comforting, I’m number one. But, when it comes to having fun, Daddy does it best.

Friday, November 14, 2008

These are the moments that it’s all about

I was very hopeful yesterday that Michael would be in a better mood. I was a little concerned when I picked him up from my mom’s because he kept begging for grandma on the ride home. I was even more concerned when he refused to get out of the car. I finally picked him up and lugged him inside, only to have him try and unlock the door while screaming for “CAR, CAR, GRANDMA, GRANDMA!” Sigh. So much for my peaceful evening.

However, once he calmed down, he perked right and reminded me of just how much fun he can be. For the first time in a week, he was much more interested in doing things than watching TV. He got out his puzzles and his trains and we played with them for a bit. He also started asking for food, and ate most of an apple, an entire piece of string cheese, and a bunch of letter cookies. (Desi, if it makes you feel any better, Michael will not touch beef, even if I tell him a hamburger is a crabby patty.) He stuffed himself enough that I didn’t bother trying to convince him to sit with us during dinner.

After dinner, he found some of his letter cookie cutters, and took them into the dinning room to play. He played quietly for a little while so Andy and I went about our business. The next thing I know, Michael comes walking into the room with three binkies sticking out of his mouth. I don’t even know how he kept them in there considering he was giggling the whole time. It really cracked me up. I haven’t seen such blatant silliness in a while.

It’s amazing, all of the stress and worry of the past month or so just drained away with that goofy, multibinky smile. I laughed and gave him a big hug and a smooch attack, which gave way to more giggles from both of us. These are the moments that it’s all about.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic

Michael’s health seems to be improving, and I’m starting to get excited about maybe having a relaxing, productive weekend. But, I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, because I will be so disappointed if I’m wrong.

He was very cranky when he got home last night, but I think that was because my mom wore him out yesterday. They took a trip to the local zoo and stayed for a long time. She got him home late for his nap, and then he zonked out before ever making it into his crib. When it was time to come home, he was very upset about having to wake up, and he took that out on Andy and I for a good half hour. But, once he perked up, he was closer to being his normal sweet and silly self than he has in a while. I made sure to get him to bed nice and early so he can start catching up on all the sleep he missed while sick.

His appetite, what little he has that is, seems to be coming back. He actually ate part of a peanut butter sandwich last night. He’ll eat bread, and he’ll eat crackers with peanut butter, but I’ve never been allowed to mix bread and peanut butter before. It was exciting. Then, about half an hour before bed, I made the mistake of talking about hot dogs with him. He decided that he absolutely had to have one. I think it was a little too much food, too soon. As I was lifting him to put him in his crib, he burped up a bit of food. The good news though, was it only went into my hair and both our shirts. No sheets to change. Yay!*

It’s funny, he was so tired last night, but he was also a bit clingy. He fought me about going into the crib, and started making excuses for why I couldn’t go. One of them was that he wanted pink candy juice. Dude, you cannot cry, scream, and fight for three days every time I mention the stuff, and then fool me into thinking you actually want it when I’m about to leave the room. I’ve taken Stalling at Bedtime 101, and I know what you are up to. Now go to bed.

He was out cold before I made it half way down the hall.

I’ve actually called my mom’s several times today just to make sure that he really is getting better. That burp-up last night scared me a little. However, when I called the last time all I could hear in the background was, “Ahhhh! Ahhh!” thunk, as Michael rammed my mom in excitement. Then, he started bouncing on her. Next, he pushed her off the sofa with another “Ahhhh!” Now, that sounds more like my boy.

Maybe, just maybe, he’s feeling better.

*Yes, I really did just cheer because my kid only puked in my hair.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hope

In the midst off all of the “Magic Pink Candy Juice” battles and my indecision over the appropriate time and place to take my sick child, I have a thought, a feeling that’s been floating in the back of my mind since last week. I’ve debated about whether or not to blog about it because it has to do with the election, and this is a mommy blog. I know that not everyone out there is happy with how the election turned out, and I know that they need time to mourn the vision of the future that they have lost. My intent is not to open a sore wound, or to alienate any one. But, this is really important to me, so I’m going to share.

If you read my comments, then you may have caught that I’m a conservative Democrat. It makes elections very difficult for me because I rarely agree completely with any candidate. For example, I’m a pacifist. But, I’m also practical and think that the only way to keep our country safe is to arm ourselves so well that no one wants to mess with us. I guess I’m sort of a Compassionless Liberal.

In the past, I’ve never really needed to worry about voting in the Primaries because Pennsylvania holds it so late that Democratic candidate has already been determined. That wasn’t the case this year. Even though I hadn’t decided if I was going to vote Republican or Democrat in the election, I wanted to make sure I exercised my right to vote to determine who I wanted to give a chance.

While it’s exciting for me to dream about having a woman in the white house, I have to confess, I really do not like Hilary Clinton. I won’t go into all of the reasons, because that’s not the point of this post, but trust me; I would take a lot to get me to consider voting for her.

I’ll never forget my feelings on Primary day while I was standing in the booth trying to decide which switch to flip. Obama or Clinton? I ran down my mental list of criteria I was using to select my candidate. It went something like this. Integrity? Obama. Humility? Obama. Effectiveness? Obama? And so on, with Obama getting every check. But then there was that one nagging thought.

I want my vote to matter. I want my vote to make a difference. I want to see a change to the past eight years. And I posed this question to myself. Do I think that this country will elect a black man as president? If, we as a people cannot get past our racial prejudices and elect a person based on who they are, and not what they look like, then voting for Obama is a waste. Shouldn’t I vote for the person that I think has a better chance of winning?

My hand hesitated over the switch, do I vote for the person I believe in or do I vote for the person I think has a better chance of winning? And right then, I realized that I had to do what my heart and mind told me to do. Vote for the person I believe in and hope that I’m wrong about the people in my country. So, I flipped that switch for Obama and ignited that small spark of hope into a little flame.

Over the months between Obama winning the Democratic nomination and the election, there were a lot of times when feelings of dread would creep in. I have to confess, it was hard to keep the faith when the people around you are trying to convince you that our country isn’t ready yet. Then I would hear comments like “The old white guys are going to come out in droves to keep a black man from winning.” “I just don’t trust him, I mean his name is Muslim.” And the ever popular “You aren’t going to vote for that N, are you?” If that many people are actually saying things like that, then how many more are thinking it?

November 4th found me right back in that same voting booth. My hand hesitated again over the Obama switch. This time, it was not with uncertainty. It was so I could savor the moment. The moment when I followed my heart, when I fanned that flame of hope and voted for a man that I believe in. I let go of my doubt and pulled the switch. And so did millions of Americans.

Only time will tell what President Obama will do for this country. Will he reunite us as a nation? Will he fulfill his promises? Will he bring change? Who knows. But, there is one thing I do know. He lit that spark of hope in more than just me. He did it across the nation. And those sparks were enough to ignite a fire that was big enough and bright enough to push back the dark legacy of racism just enough show us what is possible.

I know it’s not the end of the battle, but I now have hope that the battle can be won. And that, my friends, is a very powerful thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Negative!!!!!

Oh My God! I just spoke with the pediatrician. Michael's Strep test came back negative! This means I don't have to give him any more of that cursed pink liquid. No more wrestling matches! No more running and crying (For both of us). No more hiding his face in the sofa. I am ecstatic! I want to get up on my desk and do my happy dance! YAY!

...until he gets sick again in a few days...

What should we fight about next?

First off, I really want to thank all of you for your support yesterday. I turned into a complete basket case over the weekend and I really doubted myself. Your kind words and great suggestions really made a big difference.

I need to highlight the technique that Laura shared with me because it’s AWSOME and everyone should know this. To give medication, you lay the child down on the floor, clamp his head between your legs and pin his arms down with your thighs. Then, slowly put the medication into the child’s mouth, holding his nose as necessary. It sounds brutal, but after the major battles we were having, this is a much kindler, gentler, more effective method than the tag team smack down effort we had been using.

Other good news is that I took Michael to the doctor for a follow up yesterday, and he confirmed that for Michael’s weight, he only needs two doses a day, not three. So that means only 15 more doses to go. And that’s only if the Strep test comes back positive. I’ll be calling in a few hours to find out about that, but I’m pretty sure it will. Michael has really started to improve since we started them.

So that leads me to the topic of my post, fights. Michael is fighting everything. Now that I’m a little calmer, it’s sort of funny.

One of the big fights over the past very days has been over clothes. Michael rebelled against the hospital gown that they provided him in the ER, and refused to wear it. He ended up lying on the hospital bed with just a diaper and socks. To keep him warm, I curled up around him and snuggled with him. The next fight was on Sunday morning after he threw up on himself (and me and the sofa). He fought me when I tried to take the gross clothes and then flat out refused to put on anything new once I got him stripped down. So, he spent the morning running around in socks and a diaper. He freaked when I finally forced him into a shirt, but he was making me cold just looking at him.

Yes, I realize that last statement makes me old. I don’t care. I swear he was making me cold.

I finally managed to get pants on him after we fought about a diaper change.

He has told me he has no poopies, when he has poopies. He has insisted that I need to change a perfectly dry diaper because he thinks he has poopies. He has told me he doesn’t need poopies while turning red in the face and grunting. He can say whatever he wants, but the smell always gives him away.

He has also had an issue with being touched. Sometimes he wants to be held, others he doesn’t. “DON’T TOCUH ME!” he’ll say as he lays down on me to snuggle. Huh? Then, he’ll ask for me to eat the bugs out of his eyes (kiss his tears) then turn around and get mad because I kiss the top of his head. Whatever.

And poor Andy? Michael disagreed with everything Andy said last night, no matter what Andy said.

But, here is the one that’s really driving me insane. Michael freaks as soon as he sees me coming with the medicine. “No, no, no!” he cries. He fights and thrashes against it. He spits it out and says “icky.” He acts like I’m poisoning him. Then, as soon as I’m done, what does he do? He rips the syringe out of my hand and starts sucking on it. Oh, what a little stinker.

I think tonight I may actually give Desi’s idea a try and hand over the syringe and see if Michael will give himself the medicine. What do I have to lose? My house is already destroyed. Why not?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Parenting is not for the faint of heart

I’m sick of sick. Seriously, I’m done. I want my kid back. And, I want to know where that M&M came from.

We did not have a good weekend. When Michael got home from my mom’s on Friday, he was still running a fever, but did not appear to have any other symptoms. He was in a decent mood, so I decided that we would just take it easy, and see how things were going on Saturday morning.

Saturday started at 5:30 am when Michael woke up crying for medicine. Andy and I rushed to him, got him settled down, and got some Motrin in him. Andy stayed up with him, while I tried to go back to bed and get some sleep. I tossed and turned for a bit trying to decide if I should take him to the doctor, or just head right into the ER.

I hate this kind of situation. I’m a fairly decisive person. I look at the facts, consider my emotions, and then quickly come to a conclusion. But the decision to go to the doctor or ER is tough when there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong but a fever. I worry that I’m over reacting to a situation that doesn’t really warrant medical care. Then I worry that I’m not concerned enough. I hem and haw, and end up feeling like I’m really bad at this whole parenting thing, and worry that no matter what I do, it will be the wrong thing.

I finally gave up on sleep and decided to take Michael in. I jumped in the shower quickly, and then went down to check on Michael. He and Andy were goofing around, laughing, and eating. I took Michael’s temperature, and he was fine. I knew that part of it could be from the Motrin, but Michael was doing great, so I decided to give him a little more time before taking him in.

We went out and did some shopping. Michael had a blast running around the store. He seemed to be doing great. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up food for dinner. I had plans to try some great new recipes as potential Thanksgiving Day menu items. In the 15 minutes from the store to the grocery market, Michael started to go downhill. By the time we got him home, he was feverish and complaining about his mouth. I gave the Pediatrician’s office a call, and had just missed them for the day. I regretted not taking him in earlier.

I gave him some more Motrin, and took him up to my bed to nap. He had a rough time of it. He didn’t want to swallow, so he was drooling and clearing his throat. He didn’t get much sleep, and neither did I. We finally abandoned the nap, and came down to get dinner started.

Part way through preparing dinner, Michael got upset that I wouldn’t come into the living room with him. He tossed up what little food he had eaten all over me, the kitchen, and Shirt. At that point, I decided that we would finish up dinner and head to the ER.

We decided to make the drive to one of the bigger and better ERs than our local hospital. It was the one right decision that I made all weekend. They brought us right in and took excellent care of Michael. Michael was a real trooper too. I wasn’t sure how he was going to handle it, but he did great. Well, except for the toddler hospital gown. He would not wear it. Period. After pulling at it for about 10 minutes, I finally decided that he didn’t really need it, and took it off. We cuddled on the ER bed so I could keep him warm.

The rapid strep test came back negative, but based on Michael’s symptoms; the doctor felt that it was strep. He gave us a script for another round of penicillin and sent us home. Once home, I tried to transition Michael into bed, but he awoke and made it clear that he wasn’t going down without a fight. I snuggled with him for about half an hour before finally getting him settled in bed. A good 45 minutes after the pharmacy had closed.

Sunday morning I heard him babbling in his crib around 4:30, but he didn’t seem to be upset, so I let him go. Then, at 5:30 I heard the gagging noises and rushed in to get him. He was crying, covered in goo, and clearly quiet sick. I got him up while Andy stripped the crib. Michael desperately wanted milk, and to add to my bad decisions of the weekend, I gave it to him while I sent Andy back to bed. Half an hour later, I learned why you are supposed to avoid milk in a child with an upset stomach. My sofa will never be the same, and Shirt got washed for the second time in 24 hours.

That’s when the “I don’t want what I want” tantrums started. Michael wanted to go up and sleep with Daddy. When we got up there, Michael wanted to be downstairs. When I picked him up, he wanted to sleep with Daddy. When I put him down, he wanted to go down stairs. I don’t even remember how we resolved it. All I know is that we eventually got him downstairs without too many tears. I decided to hit the 24 hour pharmacy at that point, which I should have done the night before.

Michael has decided that he’s done with antibiotics or anything even remotely resembling medicine. I can’t sell him on “magic pink candy juice” any more. I can’t trick him into taking it by pretending to take it myself. He won’t even be bribed with M&M. M&M’s was my last line of defense. I finally managed to get the first dose in him, and started to plan the second dose. I’d do Motrin at 12:00 and hopefully by 12:30, he would be feeling good enough to agree to take the penicillin. He wouldn’t do the liquid stuff, so I gave him three M&M’s and a chewable Motrin. By some miracle, he actually ate the Motrin. He just palmed the three M&M’s. But hey, this was good.

I left Michael and Andy in the living room for a few minutes, and Michael started to drift off. Here is where I made the next bad decision. I tried to take him up to bed. He snapped awake, and pitched a fit. A big fit, that involved Michael screaming and crying while demanding to go to bed and go down stairs at the same time. Not this again. There is no appeasing this irrational plea. If I could, I would. Anything to make him happy. Anything to stop the crying.

I finally got him back downstairs and decided that I needed to give him his second dose of antibiotics. I went into the kitchen, filled up the dropper, and then preceded to DROP THE OPEN BOTTLE ON THE FLOOR!!! I stood there watching that pink sticky liquid ooze out onto the floor and almost cried. I grabbed it up off the floor and then used a dropper to try and pick up what I had spilled. I must have looked like a desperate crack addict hovering over the little pink puddle desperately scooping up every drop I could get. I’m sure I lost a few doses worth, but decided that I had enough for the day; I’d worry about getting more later.

So back into Michael. I tried to bribe him again, but that’s when I noticed two of the three M&M’s abandoned. Not only was he not taking medicine, he wasn’t even eating M&M’s. This is bad. So, I popped the two M&M’s in my mouth (oh, like you wouldn’t have) rolled up my sleeves, asked Andy to hold Michael, and demonstrated that a two and a half year old can successfully fight off two grown adults. I managed to squirt half of it onto his cheek, and I lost it.

When I say I lost it, I mean I really lost it. I ran out of the room, threw the half filled dropper in the sink, and went to another part of the house and just screamed and shook. It only lasted probably ten seconds, but it felt like forever. All I could think was how much it disgusted me to physically restrain Michael. I. HATE. IT. It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. But, even worse was the fact that it didn’t even work. If I’m going to man handle my child, at least let it be worth it.

I collect myself as much as possible, and went over to my neighbor’s for help. She’s a nurse, and a mommy, and at the moment was my last hope. Her husband came to the door and saw me crying, and got her as quickly as possible. Angel that she is, she came over and helped me get most of the dose into him. “So, how many doses has he gotten so far?”

“This is only the second one of 30.”

“Oh.”

Michael and I saw her out, tears pouring out both our eyes. We then lay back on the sofa while I tried to calm him down. He hugged me and cried. I soothed him as best as possible. And then, he reached over and popped the third M&M in my mouth.

Now, I had just spent the last 45 minutes fighting with him. He had managed to grab both me and Andy with both hands. There was no M&M in his hands during the struggle. It wasn’t sitting on the sofa. It wasn’t stuck to me. Michael had refused to put on pants all day, so there were no pockets for it. So, where the hell did he get it from? And yuck! I just ate it!

The rest of the day went a little bit better. Michael took a good nap, and didn’t get sick any more. He even ate a little food in the evening. The evening dose and this morning’s dose of antibiotics didn’t go well, but he doesn’t seem to hate me for doing it. He also didn’t seem to ingest much of it either. Well see how he does for my mom at lunch time, and if it’s still bad, I’ll call the pediatrician and let them know that I don’t think I can get a full round into him.

At this point, I feel like I made a string of bad decisions. If only I had taken him into the doctor on Friday evening, maybe he wouldn’t have felt so sick and might have been happier about taking the antibiotics. If only I had called on Saturday morning, we could have saved a trip to the ER. If only we had gone to the ER earlier, I could have started the antibiotics earlier and helped him feel better sooner.

I also feel bad for fighting Michael so hard to take the antibiotics. Fighting him physically is so against everything I believe in. And, it’s not even working. But, I don’t know what else to do. At this point he rolls over on his face and braces himself as soon as he sees it. We still have 26 doses to give him, and several of those spilled all over my kitchen floor!

Sometimes, being a mommy is the hardest job in the world.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lessons Learned

  • If your child is on antibiotics, DO NOT delay poopy diaper changes
  • Bubble Gum flavored medicine does not really taste like bubble gum
  • A child that refuses to eat most foods will actually eat an orange lollipop and mac ‘n cheese for dinner
  • If you feed a dog alphabet soup, it will talk (It was bad enough when PBS Kids gave Gilbert Godfrey a speaking roll, did they really need to create an annoying talking dog? I’ll stick with Clifford)
  • All attempts of exposing my son to classical music go out the window as soon as Daddy turns on Queen
  • My son dances like the pasty white boy that he is

Also, take a moment to pop over to Momgineering. Deanna is doing a nautral soap give away and all you need to do is share your favorite pumpkin treats. (Which means I'll be monitoring her comments for goodies!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I intended to post about Michael today. He finished off the last of his second round of antibiotics earlier this week, and has really been getting back to himself. He's been charming, funny, and very lovey. He's been sick for almost a month, and I had forgotten just how silly he can be.

One of the stories that I wanted to share happened the other night. I was in the living room with Michael, and Andy was in the kitchen. I don't remember what Michael was doing, but he kept saying that things were "icky" and "gross". (Words he first learned in reference to my cooking.)

Andy called into the living room and said, "You're icky and gross."

Michael laid back on the sofa and responded, "No I'm not. I'm PERFECT."

I laughed so hard I though I was going to pee myself.

He's humble too.

But, I never got around to posting during the day for two reasons:
  • I used to work a program that was not very interesting or challenging - which explains my high number of posts on BBC. I have been transitioning to a new program for a few months now, and in the last week I've been moved in with my group, and formally transferred to a new program. I'm busy, challenged, and excited to go to work for the first time in too long. Which is good, just not for my blog.
  • My mom called me at about 9:30 to let me know that Michael was running a fever again. So much for things being back to normal.

I have no idea what is wrong with him this time. He's running a fever, but he doesn't seem to have any other symptoms. No ear pain, no sore throat, no tummy ache. His knee, which is his attention getting boo boo of the moment, doesn't even hurt. He also seems to be in good spirits. After giving him Motrin, he actually ate dinner and even found the energy to pounce on me a few times. But he's still pretty warm. If he's still running a fever tomorrow, I guess it's back to the doctor.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Historic Moment

First, just let me say that I hate the use of “an” in front of a word starting with “H”. Hate it with a passion. I’m sure there is some obscure rule that supports it, but I chose to ignore it. Let’s keep things simple. The rule is that “an” is only used in front of words that start with a vowel. Last I checked, the vowels were A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y. Therefore, “an” should only be used in front of words that start with A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y. Well, maybe not “Y”, but definitely not “H”. I want to reach through the TV and smack every news reader that said, “This is an historic election.”

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. I couldn’t help but check the news websites to read about the long lines that such high turnout was creating. I loved reading blogs about everyone’s different voting experiences. I commend everyone that took their children with them. You are setting a wonderful example for the next generation of voters.

There was a lot of talk about voting at work too. Everyone kept asking if I had voted yet or not. There was no talk about if any of us were voting. It was understood that we all were. While I may not agree with the political stances of many of the people I work with, I do think it’s wonderful that so many of them exercise their right to vote.

By mid-morning, my excitement had gotten the better of me. I called my dad to find out how long he had to wait to vote. He said it wasn’t too bad, but he’s retired and can go during the off times. He very quickly changed the subject and started telling me about how many squirrels he has live trapped recently.

My dad has an ongoing battle with the squirrels. He feeds the birds, and it drives him crazy that the squirrels interfere with the feeders. So, a few years ago he bought a live trap and started catching them and releasing them several miles away. This goes on All. Year. Long.

“So, have you made a dent in the population yet?”

“Oh no. Ha ha ha. They just keep coming back. I’ll never make a dent.”

“So, um, why do you do it?”

I guess as long as he’s not surfing the web for squirrel recipes that I shouldn’t worry about it too much.

Well, I was really looking more for some exciting election discussion, not an update on World War III - the squirrel insurrection, so I was happy when I had to end the call to go to a meeting.

When I had another break, I called Andy to see what the polls were like in our neighborhood. He had gone during mid afternoon, and commented that there wasn’t much wait for him in the L-M group with a snicker. Have I mentioned that I hyphenated, so I’m in the A-K group. It’s his mom’s fault that I had to do that, so I don’t think he should enjoy my inconvenience quite so much.

As the day wore on, I continued to read blogs, check the news, and marvel at what an exciting election this would be. Finally, after a late meeting, I left work to go and vote. I was concerned about the lines, knowing that Andy, Michael, and dinner were waiting for me at home. But, I’d gladly wait in line to play my part in history. I was looking forward to sharing voting experiences with those in line around me. I was fantasizing about the stories I would tell my grandchildren about what it was like to vote for the first African American President.

Then, I got there.

Hmmm, it doesn’t look too busy.

So I head through the throng of people that hand out paper trying to change your mind at the last minute. I refused them all. We have killed enough trees for this election, and I won’t willing support any more of it.

And then I encountered the adorable 8th graders at the door. Why are there kids at the door? What is this about? OMG! It’s voter intimidation! They are using cute kids to influence voters! NO!

“Ma’am? Please stop at our bake sale on the way out” They are evil, I tell you. Evil. They didn’t even have on Girl Scout uniforms to warm me of their high calorie charity event.

Flustered, I enter the polling room. And there was no one there, not one voter. I gave my name, got my card, and then had to interrupt a woman who was engrossed in a book to set the voting machine. Record turn outs? Long lines? An historic election? Where is everyone? This is it?

So, I voted and exited the building right into that stupid bake sale. Gah! First, you dash my dreams of an exciting and stimulating wait to vote, and now you are tempting me with delicious baked goods? Seriously, this is just wrong. Oh, don’t you dare cock your head to the side and say please you sweet little girl. I’m not that strong!

After making such an important decision as to who I want to run my country for the next four years, I turned to mush. I slinked by the table, stuffed a few bucks in their jar, and mumbled “terrorists” under my breath. So much for my historic vote.

I will say that the election results redeemed my election experience. I stayed up late to watch the returns, and was able to go to sleep with a smile on my face. But, I think I’m going to have to embellish my story a little for the grandkids.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Different Take

A Different Take

It’s mine turn to do the obligatory election post. I’ve read some wonderfully thoughtful blog posts about the election. Not just about who people are voting for, but also about teaching children about the importance of voting. It’s amazing how many different opinions people have on the election, and how many different experiences we each have.

I have strong feelings about who I’m voting for, like I always do. It’s never been difficult for me to make up my mind. But, I’m not going to share them here, because that’s not what I think is the most important thing during this election.

So, what do I think is more important than the Presidential election? I think every other election that is going on is more important. Crazy, I know. But think about it. We have this wonderful system of government that is set up to keep any one person from having too much power, the system of checks and balances. Yes, the President plays a role in this, but many of the issues that the presidential candidates are talking about actually fall to the Congress to draft and enact. So please, educate yourselves on who is running, and what their stances are. Don’t just flip the party lever.

And please don’t forget about your local elections as well. Your state and local governments often have a bigger impact on your lives than what goes on at the Federal level. No, the elections don’t get as much press, but they tend to impact you more. If you are concerned about things like green space in your neighborhood, the local public schools, local taxes, the quality of your storm drainage, and many of the smaller issues that hit so close to home, then please educate yourselves and vote for the people who will support your vision. Don’t just flip that party lever.

This year, my biggest election quandary is who to vote for the PA house. It’s a close battle for control between the two parties, and I’d really like my party to win. However, our local Representative - from the other party – has been outstanding. The man goes door to door in the middle of the summer to make sure that he meets as many of his constituents as possible. He sends out frequent reminders to everyone with his office locations and all of the services he can provide for us. For as long as I’ve lived in my current home, he has worked for the people of my community. So, he’s going to get my vote, even though he’s not a member of my party.

So, whoever you are voting for, please, do your homework and make your choices based on the issues. Don’t just pull that party lever.