Monday, June 28, 2010


If I had a super-power (and I'm not saying I don't because, you know, superheroes have to keep their identities secret) it would be to load the dishwasher freakishly full of dishes and still have them come out clean.

We should have a contest to decide what my superheroine name would be with this power. Maytag Mom. Bosch Beauty. SarcasticHero.


You know what else is super (or, you know, not)? Mr. Long-Suffering spiked a 104-degree fever and they are testing him for Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I kind of hope it's RMSF (as opposed to Lyme Disease if he must have one of those) because the name just sounds so dang exotic. Supposedly, it's endemic in the ticks of Missouri (Mr. L-S did find a tick on himself when we were in the woods at the Science Museum in Camdenton).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

An Anecdote and A Product Review

There were big purple blobs on the radar last night with evidence of rotation. We spent the evening below ground in the family room. Chuckles was getting a wee bit frightened by the thunder, so I threw the kids in the shower in the downstairs bathroom...the better to drown out the noise and be away from windows while getting clean. And Mythbusters says you don't really need to worry about showering during an electrical storm.

Then, the power went out for hours and hours. I ended up calling the police because Rowdy Teens were out joyriding and knocking on doors at midnight during a power outage (and we have many elderly neighbors and a history of looting in Chicagoland). I ended up sitting in the front window (in the dark) and waited for them to come back up to our front door and then right when they were ready to knock and run: blinded them with a 20 million candle power flashlight. That was really funny. Mr. Long-Suffering had no idea what I was doing and then BAM…teens scrambling away.


First things first: I received nothing bought or sold nor did I buy anything sold or bought. Anything bought was bought with my own money at retail prices without a coupon.

I'd like to give two hearty thumbs up to Glad Press and Seal Wrap. I purchased a roll of this at Lo*Mart. I planned to use it on our recent vacation for the following things:
  1. Cover restaurant tables where Bobo would be eating directly off of the table (although, in reality, he is using plates more and more frequently now, but I didn't know the extent of any immune issues when I made this plan).
  2. Use it in lieu of Tupperware on vacation. I didn't want to pack a bunch of containers and regular cling wrap does not work. Aluminum foil was an option but since I was already packing this for #1 above, I thought this could do double duty.
  3. Use it in lieu of sandwich and zipper bags on vacation.

It did all three things well. It stuck to bowls, it stuck to tables, and I was able to fashion sandwich and snack bags from it for an impromptu picnic we took on the boat. Price-wise, I don't know where it falls relative to other plastic wraps as I generally avoid them (since they don't work), but I would say this was a good buy since it worked so well and did triple-duty.

For the record, I am not signed up for any kind of amazon referral either. I just provided a link so you could see the product if you never have before.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Well, huh. Here we are. On the other side.

Lisa the Loud came home from the kitty hospital yesterday as a dope fiend. I guess she meows non-stop and displays some neurotic behavior when not on painkillers. They hope it's temporary until the pain recedes as she heals. I sure hope so. I don't need to send he to kitty rehab. Maybe she'll bump into Lindsey Lohan's puppy there though. They'd be fast friends.

OK, we went away for a week's vacation. And it was lovely. Simply lovely. We did Julia's I-Spy list. The whole family enjoyed it. We even wrote down unusual things we saw that weren't on the list (Car on Fire, Parasailers).

We went to the Ozarks in Missouri. We took the boat to restaurants for dinner. We swam, we went to the pool, played tennis, hiked the hills pushing 100-pounds of child(ren)+stroller, played dime skee-ball, went to a children's museum with a Zip Line, rode bumper cars and go-karts. It was fun in a way that taking your kids on vacation where you went as a child is. Things, of course, have changed some since I was a kid and I told everyone all about how it was when I was young.

We went with my father, the kids' grandfather. I used to go there with my grandparents when I was a kid (though we went with my mother's side of the family back then). It was relaxing, which is odd considering it was still a vacation with our kids. In 3 weeks, we are going away again with my in-laws.

I am a totally logical, scientific person whose life is based on reason and fact. So, I haven't mentioned my nanny search much lately for fear of jinxing myself.

When I went back to work when Chuckles was 2.5 (August 2007), he went to the same day care he started at when he was 11 weeks old. From August 2007-May 2010, Chuckles had the same teacher for all but 10 weeks. Mrs. Marie. Other teachers used to tell me about how well Mrs. Marie and Chuckles got along. In fact, when I was on maternity leave, Mrs. Marie would save certain activities for the entire class until a day when Chuckles would be at school because she knew he would find the activities especially amusing. She would save certain stories with subtle humor for Chuckles days. If he was out sick, she always inquired after him. One time, Chuckles actually turned to me and called me Mrs. Marie. I found it funny (I'm sure there are some moms out there who would not find it amusing, btu I took it to mean he had a bond and loving relationship with her). When Mrs. Marie found out that I was pulling the kids from day care (and interviewing teenagers to be our new nanny), she started crying. And from there, we hired her away from the day care. She had been there 18 years. She started with us yesterday morning.

We had a kid in that day care for almost 5 years. During that time, our entire extended family had come to know Mrs. Marie. And it turns out her mother was my mother-in-law's Avon Lady back when that was the thing. Her brother went to HS with my sister-in-law. These things came out over time, since she is married and had a different last name. Mrs. Marie's sister is going to be our back-up, fill-in nanny for when Mrs. Marie is on vacation or sick (unless they want to go on vacation together, then I'll just take a vacay day). We know Mrs. Marie's sister too since she used to work at our day care as well and also went to HS with my husband.

I told a few men at work with whom I was in a meeting, that I am living their reality now: I have a SAH wife. I am so happy. Relieved. It's like one giant pool of relief the last two weeks after the previous 3 weeks or month of total chaos. I trust Mrs. Marie. Priceless.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My shoulders are now 6" lower

And I didn't even stop wearing shoulder pads.

We got all of Bobo's blood test results back. With the exception of the elevated liver enzymes (which were most likely caused by Nystatin), he is fine. La-de-Dah. Fine fine fine. Did I mention fine? He has no IgE allergy responses at all to anything (not milk, not cats, not peanuts, not shellfish, not soy, not wheat, not mild, nothing). None. Nada.

His IgA, IgE, IgG, and IgM levels were all normal. His titers for diphtheria and tetanus were good. Hios M-CHAT score was ZERO on Tuesday. ZERO! ZERO! He is healthy and fever-free. He's making great strides in speaking ("buh", "Cah", "MAMA"). He's running. And climbing, and throwing temper tantrums. He's an almost-perfect 19-month old. We've lost 8 months of his life to illness, but now that he's out of day care, he's making up for lost time. Between the one-on-one attention with one of his parents and the (stunning) lack of illness, he's like an entirely different person. Speech therapy should commence this week. In six months, I hope this will all be a distant memory. The FMLA paperwork should be completed and turned in right around the time that this ends. Yippee.

Lisa the Loud, however, has a bladder stone. She's in the kitty hospital. She needs $1500 worth of work. Before Bobo's test results were back, I had been working on finding her a new home. If Bobo had been allergic, we probably would have put her to sleep (since we couldn't find anyone to take a healthy cat, I doubt they'd take a sick cat). But, since Bobo is fine. Fine fine. Lisa gets a reprieve. I called the vet hospital this morning to schedule the surgery. She's staying there for 10 days as a border since we are slated to be en vacances next week and I can't have cone-head cat walking around our house unsupervised and peeing. Stanley Steemer was out last week and cleaned the carpets only to have Lisa soil them on Monday.

The vet tells me that Lisa is spitting and hissing. Lisa is the most docile cat I have ever seen. A little skittish maybe, but gentle. So either she is in a lot of pain or she really doesn't like being in a kitty condo. They say it's not a cage, but they did have to put a blanket over her to calm her the eff down. I just hope when she comes home all fixed and healthy that she's not mean. I can't have that (nor can I have a cat who uses our house as her personal litter box).

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

In Which I Blog Like a 90-year Old Woman

So, did you hear? Did you hear? DID YOU HEAR? Myrtle got a new hip. MYRTLE GOT A NEW HIP. (That was me blogging like you were old too and couldn't hear me the first time...not funny, you say. OK, but I'm laughing.)

So, I will now recount my various encounters with medical professionals from the last 2 days. Tuesday morning the ENT's office called and there was a cancellation. There was no time for me to leave work and get home for it, so Mr. Long-Suffering took both kids with him to the ENT (and the blood draw lab). As an aside, I told MR. L-S where I have been hiding the Leapster for the last 4 months so he could use it to "bribe" Chip into being quiet during the visits.

The ENT said Bobo's ears looked clear and fine right now. Some of the blood work results were back (they have computerized medical records so she could view the results as can our pediatrician). Everything that had been run to that point looked within normal ranges except for liver enzymes (and I don't know which tests had already been run). Since Bobo has been on a variety of various and sundry medications in the last...oh let's say 3-6 months, I'm not that surprised. I'm sure something clears through the liver. Though, for the record, we never ever ever use Tylenol (or acetominophen). So, we'll repeat that at some point.

The ENT thinks Bobo is suffering from allergies and has recommended that we do the asthma treatment to our house (get rid of blinds, clean the carpet, put stuffed friends in the dryer for 30 minutes on high every couple of days). We'll see. Turns out the ENT takes her newborn to the same day care we just left. Hee hee. Anyway, the allergy panel blood draw is being sent to a special lab and those results aren't in yet (and we don't yet know whether they got enough blood to run the tests). We'll do the easy part of the allergy and asthma stuff (like putting munker in the dryer...munker is the name of Bobo's sutffed monkey), but I don't really know how you clean blinds. I understand the concept of dusting them (and do dust them). But the blinds in the kitchen need to be degreased and cleaned beyond dusting. Is there someone I can hire? Does Servicemaster handle this? I mean, if they can clean up a burst sewage line, they can clean blinds, right?

All-in-all, I'm not totally heck-bent on discovering why Bobo has been so uncommonly sick if taking him out of day care makes him better. If you know how to treat the problem, do you really need to know the root cause?

So, I spent the day today being a SAHM with both kids. They were good (although active and hell bent on injury and destruction). I gave each child one time-out (Bobo doesn't get it but I thought that it might make Chip realize that I dole out corrections to both of them). And I said, "Sit down" and "Put your bottom in the chair" and "No standing" at least six-thousand seven-hundred nineteen times. Standing on the couch (or in the chair or on the arm of the couch) is super huge big fun.

Cute child story and then I am going to bed: Chip can do math. He can add and subtract (no borrowing). So,8+8 is 16. And when asked what 80 plus 80 was, he answered, "Sixteeny." Bu-dum-dum.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hippos, Rhinos and this title has little to do with the content of the post

I bumped in to our Speech/Developmental Therapist at the park near our house when I was out chatting with other mothers while the kids frolicked and played. After everyone else was out of earshot, our therapist said, "I will never tell anyone where we know each other from unless you say so first." And I was all like, "What?! Why?!? There's not supposed to be any stigma." I'm just going to assume it's like HIPAA, and she took some oath.

Which reminds the last week or so, several people have said some variation of "When you have a child with special needs...not that Bobo has special needs or anything..." WTF? Really? Oh, OK then. Don't all children have their own special needs? Aren't all children special? Aren't all children different from every other chld? If it means Bobo gets extra special attention, I will take any label anyone has to throw at him (much like I'll take labels for Chuckles if it means he gets special attention at school).

Follow-up: Do you remember when I said they took totally gross cultures from Bobo's ears? Did I ever tell you what the result was? No, I did not. So, ear cultures. He has a lot of drainage. Not all the time but probably half of the time (you know, like when he has an active infection). The standard treatment for ear drainage in kids with tubes is antibiotic ear drops or steroid ear drops w/ antibiotics. Bobo got his ear tubes 3/3/10. By May 19th, he had been on ear drops 4 times. He had a lot of drainage that day, but we hadn't been using the drops. I wanted to see whether he would fight it off on his own. So, cultures were taken and drops were started after we left. The cultures came back positive for something rather odd. Something that would not be helped by antibiotic drops: yeast. Bobo had a yeast infection in his ear. He had not been on antibiotics immediately prior to that. But his ears are warm, moist, and dark. It ended up clearing up on its own, but ewwww. I'm thinking of renting him out to artisinal bread makers. Once the cultures were back we discontinued the antibiotic drops and every thing sort of worked itself out. (Typical treatment for yeast in the ear is white vinegar drops but our ped wasn't sure whether that was OK with ear tubes. A call to the ENT and it is OK, but we did not end up doing it.) Chalk another one up to opportunistic infection. Oh, and he developed thrush again, but it resolved on its own (and thank goodness because the Nystatin made Bobo vomit which was un-fun.)

By the way, to the poster who recommended Dr. Raoul Wolf... three more people have recommended him to me. We might end up seeing him depending on what these blood draws show. However, Children's Memorial Hospital has a pediatric immunologist with office hours in Northwest Indiana one day per week, so that would be convenient. I'm not sure what we'll do about that when the time comes, and I don't have the head space to worry about it before we know anything, so I am inclined to ignore it for now. Head meet sand. Although, I will say that I know the back way to U of C and it's only a half hour away so we're not talking about driving to Milwaukee or anything. I will probably end up calling two or three and seeing who has the earliest appointment availability if it comes to that.

We need a palate cleansing laugh. I want to share one of the applications I got to my job on SitterCity. I will change key details (and name) to protect the "innocent". I hope this makes you laugh as much as it made me cringe. The email is paraphrased in blue with my comments in black:

Dear C (I just used my first initial in the posting so this seemed perfectly acceptable and normal to me): My name is Uhlitia (pronounced like Alicia) (alrighty then, I will call you NotAlicia). I'm 22 years old and have a lot of childcare experience. My dad left my mom when I was 12 to have an affair with another woman. It was really hard on all of us (OK, I fell I should tell you that childcare experience is good, but you could leave some of the details out about how you got that experience...says the woman who tells the entire internet about her nether regions). My mom had to work all the time so I pretty much raised my younger brother and sister . Children are my passion, and I really enjoy them. Your ad asked for a non-smoker, but I want to be honest with you (which is a good, good thing, but you might want to quit smoking because it is bad for you, and I care about you, NotAlicia.). I am a smoker, but never in the house and never around the children (well, that is considerate but the pediatrician has said no to first-hand smoke, obviously, second hand smoke, and third hand smoke for Bobo). I always make sure the kids are asleep or my friends are watching them before I go outside to smoke (OMG, were you planning on letting your friends in to my house when I wasn't home and leaving my kids with them while you went out to smoke or went to the store to buy a pack of cigs?). I hope you will consider me for the position. Uhlitia

I appreciate the honesty. It makes it easier to dismiss your application. I will now contrast this with another nanny application we received so you can see how different they are.

Replying to the Nanny Position. I Love caring for and teaching children, am CPR and First Aid Certified. Own Transportation.I live close by as I also live in [redacted]. I am nurturing, dependable and have excellent references. I work in the church nursery along with my husband. We are foster parents and host foreign exchange students during the school year. (We also train butterflies to do our yardwork and have a fleet of speech therapists on speed dial...all of whom owe us a favor.) Experience Includes:Worked in a NICU caring for Premature Babies, and Nanny for 14 years for a wonderful family. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank You. Mary Poppins at (219) 555-1234

What Mary Poppins left out is that I would need to sell approximately one kidney and 15 of my eggs every year to afford her. Perhaps in this down economy she would take less, but her profile tells me she is looking for about $20/hour. That works out to one Acura TL plus one Nissan Versa every year (or one fully loaded Buick Enclave if you prefer an American auto counterpart).