Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Fun

Life Is Crazed

I can't believe today is the last day of June and this weekend is the Fourth of July.  This month has FLOWN past.  Before I turn around twice it's going to be time for school to start.

Anyway, it's been crazy in the house.  At the end of last week, Liam finished his swimming lessons for the summer and passed his level test so next year he'll move up to the next level.  The lessons were really good for him - he's much more confident about being in the water and much safer as well.  He still has a long way to go to become a strong swimmer but he did great and I'm proud of him.

Liam is also continuing with Tae Kwon-Do and loving it.  He came home on Monday night and said "My legs are so tired!"  I thought this was awesome since wearing him out is rather difficult.  Keep it up, kiddo!

Jamie went back to daycare last week after being home with his ear infection the week before.  He's still not completely digging it and losing a week to illness is only prolonging the transition period but he still survived fairly well last week.  He even took a two hour nap one day.

But Sunday he spiked a fever again and was feeling crappy.  I suspected that his ear infection had recurred so I took him to urgent care.  They looked in his ears and said it was indeed the infection and gave us Zithromax.  Jamie was miserable for most of the rest of that day and that night was an exercise in sleep deprivation.  He wasn't eating or drinking because he was refusing to swallow so I was starting to suspect something else was going on.  We took him to the doctor and he did, indeed, have something else going on.

He has Hand, Foot, and Mouth.  Greeeeeeeaaaaaaaat.  (Incidentally, there wasn't really an ear infection and we quit with the Zithromax.)  The reason he wasn't swallowing is because his mouth and throat were covered in lesions and he was in large amounts of pain.  We finally managed to get some pain meds down his throat and made him as comfortable as possible.  We just have to wait it out.  A few days down the line and he's eating and drinking, the lesions in his mouth are less bothersome, but he's broken out with the rash on other parts of his body.  However, he's sleeping more normally now and seems to be in a lot less pain so, more than anything, it's an annoyance at this point.  He can't attend daycare while he has the rash because he's still on the contagious side (although he was most contagious right before outbreak and while he had the fever).  Unfortunately, hot and humid weather is the kind of weather this virus loves so it was inevitable that he would pick it up.

He should be back to normal by the weekend - just in time for the neighbors to turn the cul-de-sac into downtown Beirut with exploding fireworks.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tree Meets Driveway

I got an unexpected call from my neighbor last night, as we were in the midst of a rather fierce summer storm.

"You don't have anywhere to go tonight, do you?" she asked.

"Well, actually, I do, I have to take Liam to karate in a few minutes," I replied.

"Shit.  Two of my trees came down in the storm and blocked your driveway."

She wasn't kidding.


She offered to let me borrow her car long enough to take Liam to his class - which was very kind of her.  When we got home from karate, our neighbor to the other side had showed up with his chainsaw and was working away chopping up those trees.  Because he is made of pure awesome, he kept working long enough to completely clear our driveway so we could get out this morning.  It's so nice to have helpful neighbors!

I made him an apple pie today in thanks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Somewhere My Mother Is Laughing At Me

When I was a kid there were two words that could describe me:  stubborn and impatient.  Throw in my spectacular temper (I'm a redhead, after all) and I was what could be referred to as a "spitfire."  I'm sure my mother had other, more colorful, words for it.

While I should have anticipated that at least one of my children would also be a redhead, when I gave birth to Jamie, I was just as surprised as the doctors and nurses.  I should have known then what was headed my way, but apparently I was too busy basking in the glow of no longer having a baby taking up residence in my body to think ahead.

Jamie is now 15 months old and has reached a stage of development that I learned to hate when Liam was little.  See, right about now kids figure out they have an opinion about something.  However, because they can't tell you what it is they've got an opinion about, if you do not develop a keen sense of ESP, they go from zero to tantrum in about a nanosecond.  This continues until around 18 or 19 months or until they have enough language to smooth communications.

As I said, I disliked this stage with Liam.  In fact, it was almost worse than Year 3 was.  It's hard to judge the winner of that suck matchup.  But, whatever the case, I wasn't exactly looking forward to surviving it again.  So, we've arrived at this place and Jamie's intrinsic personality is complicating things.

Remember "stubborn" and "impatient" and "temper?"  Well, much to what I'm sure is my mother's amusement, Jamie inherited those little traits and I am being handily paid back for all the grief I gave my own mother.  Jamie has quite the little temper on him and when he gets told no (when I finally manage to get through to him - hello, stubborn!) he throws himself on the floor and cries and flails.  It's extra special fun.  Almost every night when I'm fixing his dinner, he stands at my feet and shrieks at me.  He follows me from fridge to stove and back again, shrieking all the while, because I'm just not fast enough, dammit.

Needless to say this is testing the limits of my patience.  Luckily for him, I managed to stretch those limits awhile back.  I think God may have known what he was doing by giving me the one with the temper the second time around - even if he was snickering at me for not anticipating this little lesson in paybacks.

One other thing - Mom?  Thanks for keeping your temper with me as much as you did.  I'm learning what a challenge that must have been.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yeah, I'm a Proud Parent, So What?

In other big Liam news, he's been going to swim lessons all week and today he went off the diving board for the first time.

He tried to go it alone at first:

But he ultimately decided that he needed a little help:

He was super proud of himself and I was super proud of him!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Introducing Tae Kwon-Do's Newest White Belt

I took Liam to his first Tae Kwon-Do class tonight.  I was able to find a do jang that would allow us to try it for a couple of classes before signing a long term contract so I took him over to try it and and see if he liked it.

What do you think?

Yeah, I think he likes it, too.

He looked so darn cute in his uniform and he tried so hard.  He's very, very awkward but he listened and tried his best so I was a Proud Mama.  I think he'll get better with time.

He came home and asked me "Mama, do I have karate tomorrow?"

I think I have a convert on my hands and that's a-ok with me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To The Gods Above and Below: Uncle!

This week has been challenging and it's only Tuesday.

Yesterday, we started the day by taking Liam to his very first swim lesson.  He was very excited to start learning to swim so he was chattering about it all morning before we left.  Jamie, who had been fighting a cold for a few days, hung out with me while we waited for Liam to have his lesson.  It all went rather swimmingly, actually.  (ba-dum bum.  Thank you, I'll be here all week.)

We headed home and had lunch and then it was time for Jamie to take a nap.  By this point I was knackered.  I've also been fighting whatever nasty cold virus Jamie brought home from daycare and I had felt like crap on a cracker when I woke up that morning.  So, while Jamie was napping, I popped in a movie for Liam and took a snooze on the couch.  Then it was up and at 'em.  Playing outside, paying bills, calling karate dojos...

Oh yes, Liam wants to start karate and I've been looking for dojos.  I found one and when I called they said "White belt class?  We have one tonight!  Come on down!  7:00 pm!"  Ok, that's kind of a full day for the kiddo but he wanted to do it so I made arrangements for Scot to take baby duty and I'd take Liam to the dojo.

Jamie had other plans.

We were sitting in the living room after coming in from outside and Jamie climbed up in my lap and proceeded to start spiking a fever complete with shivers/chills and his nails turning blue.  Because he's also teething and so uncomfortable he already had all the pain reliever/fever reducer on board that he was allowed.  And yet here he was spiking.  I temped  him:  102.2.  Frak.  I wrapped him up in a blanket to try and get him to stop shivering and called the nurses line.

When they *finally* got back to me they told me he needed to be seen so off we headed to the emergency room.  I called the dojo to say we weren't coming and Scot called his Mom to come look after Liam.

After the shortest ER visit ever (thank goodness!) it was clear that Jamie had a raging ear infection.  By the time they temped him in the ER he had gone up to 103.6.  They sent us home with antibiotics for the infection.  We've been through this too many times to count with Liam so I was just relieved it was nothing more serious.

His fever finally broke around 9:30 that night and while he's still on the mend, we know he'll be OK.  I flopped into bed and tried to get some sleep so I could stop feeling so run down.

This morning it was back to swim lessons!  Jamie was left home with Grandma to try and get a decent nap as he had a doctor's appointment later in the day during his usual afternoon nap time.  (Convenient that his 15 month well child checkup happened to fall the day after an ER visit, no?)  Liam was quite proud that on lesson #2 he could float on his back all by himself.  He was a veritable popsicle when he got out of the pool but he had fun.

We got home to find out that Jamie woke up pretty much as soon as we left so that whole nap thing didn't really work out.  I fixed lunch, bathed Jamie (because he didn't get one the previous night), and then packed everyone up and off to the doctor we went.

Aside from the ear infection, Jamie is healthy as a horse and something of that approximate size.  At 15 months he's 26 lbs, 11 oz. and 31 inches tall.  Liam barely made it to 30 lbs by three years of age.  Jamie's likely going to do it long before he's two.  Yowsa.

So then we trooped back home again, poured Jamie into bed for a nap and I tried to catch my breath.  After dinner and once the kids were in bed for the night, I headed off to the grocery store to do the shopping because my regular weekly trip is pretty screwed with the fact that Jamie isn't going to daycare this week and we've got other obligations.  I came out of the grocery store to discover a huge scrape on the front bumper of my car.  When I got home I realized that I myself must have done it when pulling into the garage at some point.  YEESH.

I'm still fighting this silly cold and I feel like I've packed a week's worth of activities into just two days.  We have swimming the rest of this week and all next week plus Liam is going to go to karate tomorrow night for the first time.  It's like life just suddenly went into overdrive and I totally wasn't prepared for it.

I would like a time out.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Giggle. Snort.

So, a long time ago in a galaxy near, near to my house and in the early days of this blog, I put up this post about the Star Wars themed bears we bought the kids for Christmas.  If you go read the post, please note the title.*

I am now getting hits to that particular post from AROUND THE WORLD.  They are almost all being directed here from a google search.  I begin to wonder what those search terms might be.  Well, I don't really wonder; I'm pretty sure I know since my mind does, after all, reside in the sewer.

I've gotten hits from Spain, Russia, Norway, and France.  And the only page those people have viewed is that particular post.  Now, if they're searching for what I think they're searching for, can you imagine their frustration and dismay when they click the link and find that they've hit some random chick's post about TEDDY BEARS?!  Picturing it is making me giggle insanely!

France:  "Zoot a lors!  MERDE."

Spain:  "Ay yi yi!  CACA."

Norway: "DRITT."

Russia: "дерьмо."  (According to google translate that is Russian for "shit.")

Well, all I can say is I hope they enjoyed their detour into Two Kids and a Beagle but they really should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.

*I finally got tired of getting these random hits (Singapore, India, Lithuania, Brazil...) so I changed the title of the post.  We'll see if that helps.

Anyone Have a Caffeine Patch (x 100)?

*blink blink*

I want to tell you about why I'm so tired and I'm staring at the blank computer screen while my brain attempts to produce words.  I could be here awhile...

Ok, well, I'll take a stab at this but forgive my possible incoherency.

Tired does not begin to describe it.  Jamie is still working on the same teeth he's been working on for weeks and he is absolutely miserable.  We're taking non-stop piercing shrieks of displeasure here.  I feel bad for the poor kid 'cause it's not his fault but it's really starting to fray my patience.  He's also not sleeping very well because of the pain so we're both overtired.  I'm hoping that we can get the go ahead to increase his ibuprofen dose when he has his check-up next week.

His transition to daycare is painful.  We will eventually get through it so I know this won't keep up forever but he's having a rough time.  New schedule, new people, less sleep, blah blah blah.  He ends up pretty fried after two days there and so we spend a couple of days trying to get him back on track afterward.  He's adaptable.  He'll figure it out.  In the meantime, we suffer.

Scot spent most of the week with a debilitating migraine (complete with vertigo) and finally ended up in ER last night.  They were able to break it - yay! - and he's sleeping in this morning after not getting home until the wee hours.  I hope hope hope that the pain stays away for awhile.  But he's been so knocked down by the migraine that he hasn't been able to do much to help with the kids - not that he doesn't want to -  and again, I need Vivarin.

Liam is doing pretty well but he's on summer vacation so he's a happy camper.  :)

In the end, I know that "this too, shall pass" I'm just really, really tired right now and need some sleep.  I'm hoping for a cat nap later today.  *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Meet Me In Laboratory

Every state has its own list of cleverly named towns and cities.  PA has such gems as "Intercourse" and "Bird In Hand."  Well, on our way down to Deep Creek for Memorial Day weekend, I ran across another one.


I keep wanting to say it like Peter Lorre - "La-BORE-uh-torrie."  It makes me want to hunch my back and walk with a pronounced limp.

Join me, friends!  In Laboratory! [hunch, limp, limp, limp]

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Phipps Conservatory: A Study in Innuendo

Before we begin, I would like to freely state that my mind lives not just in the gutter but the sewer itself.  I don't know where I got the penchant from but it's there and it makes me giggle at the stupidest things.  Yes, I am about as mature as a 12 year old.

So, with that in mind, I give you some pictures from recent Phipps visits that have me wondering if their gardeners are down here in the sewer with me.

First, a gargoyle from the current exhibit:

Ok, he's more well endowed than any gargoyle has a right to be.  I mean, I know that gargoyles are all about scaring off bad spirits, but that's going to scare off anyone!  What I find even more amusing is that upon entering Phipps this morning, they had planted more stuff in front of this gargoyle in order to hide his "prowess."

Next up, I give you this little gem:

That flower is doing its damnedest to use its stamen to lick her nipple.  It's not quuiiiiiittttte there yet but it sure is working on it!

And then we ran across this plant.  This is the pièce de résistance:

Yes, the leaves of that plant DO rather resemble certain male anatomical features.  Why do you ask?

They should advertise that place with the motto "Gardens are for lovers!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010


It's a big week in our household.

Liam is officially on summer vacation.  Jamie is officially a daycare dude.

We chose to find a new center for Jamie because of some issues we had with our old center.  The new one is closer to the house and I was very impressed when I visited before registering Jamie.  We decided to send him just two days a week - enough to get him out of the house and socializing with other kids without overwhelming him.  We chose a Wednesday/Thursday schedule so he was there yesterday and today.

He's doing about as well as can be expected with the new environment.  He's certainly napping much better than Liam ever did when he first started daycare but he's still having a rough time in the evenings.  He's used to three hours of sleep during the day split between two naps.  At school he gets one nap and it's nowhere near three hours long.  So, by the time he hits the house he's pretty fried.  Tonight he is having a very hard time falling asleep and I know it's the result of him being overtired.

Liam, on the other hand, seems to be enjoying having some quiet time in the house without his brother.  It's nice to be able to do things with him and not be tied to Jamie's schedule.  I'm looking forward to playdates, museum trips, swim lessons, and fun at the conservatory this summer.

I'm enjoying being able to use the bathroom in peace not to mention being able to eat a meal unmolested.  Even if it's only two days a week it's still a tiny slice of sanity in an otherwise insane existence.  It's the small stuff that makes the difference.

I was a little worried about how all of this would work out but now that we've almost made it through the first week of the new schedule, I'm feeling like it wasn't such a big deal after all.  As they say - there's nothing so constant as change.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Me. Mini Me.

A study in familial resemblance.

This is me at around the age of two, I would guess. I apologize for the quality - the original is from the 70's and this is a scan.

Here is a photo I took of Jamie (now 15 months) over the weekend:

Nope, we're not related.  Not at all.