The one about sick kids…

Phoebe on the floor just before throwing upThere’s something about your 16 month old baby having a 104.7 fever that gets you moving.

Wednesday morning, I knew something wasn’t quite right with Griffin.  He was alternately ok and whiny/clingy.  Would go play for a few minutes and then whining and wanting to be in my lap.  The closer we got to lunch time, he was less about playing and more about being on me.  Bad mommy was trying to get the newsletter for my MOMS Club finished and I finished it with him on my shoulder snoozing.

I said bad mommy because I didn’t realize how hot he was getting.  After I sent it out, I checked him out and yes, he was really hot.  I checked his temp and found he had a 102 degree temp.  In with the acetaminophen and he cooled down within a couple of hours.  I put him down for a nap and he awakened screaming a couple hours later with a temp of 104.7.  More acetaminophen and a call to the doctor’s office who, of course, had just closed for the day.

So as soon as John got home, he and I took off for one of the local children’s hospital immediate care centers. Which is 30 miles away.  But it’s the closest.  Sort of.  Actually there were two equally that close but that one seemed like the one that might have less traffic at 6 pm.

And I was right.

We got him there, the doc looked into his ears, said he had an icky ear and prescribed antibiotics and alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen and sent us on our way in under an hour.  It took almost longer to get there and back than it took us to see a doc.

By the next day, he was back and forth between feeling ok and not but never spiked a fever above 100.  I felt like he was stable enough I could go to a meeting (I’ve been elected into my local MOMS Club as treasurer) and while he was up a bit overnight, he was much better Friday.

But not the girl.

She woke up, apparently ok.  She played in her room when she first woke up.  Then came requesting cereal.  I got up not feeling so good myself but dragged myself out of the bed and got her some cereal and me some coffee.

As the morning wore on, the girl was spending more time cuddled up in a chair or on the couch than playing.  I finally felt her forehead and she was burning up with a 102 degree fever.  Alright, battle plans in place.  Plenty of fluids, first acetaminophen and then ibuprofen.  I even made a handy dandy little on-the-fridge form that would help remember who had taken-what-when and laminated it.

And then my daughter puked.

What do you do?  Give more acetaminophen?  Withhold everything?  She seemed to feel better after throwing up so I consulted Dr Google which said to wait on another dose until time to give the next dosage.  I opted to give her the Motrin instead and she ate a little lunch and drank some water and genuinely seemed to feel a little better.

Then she took a nap on the floor covered in a blanket and woke up with a 106 degree fever.  John was home by now and we moved into action, bathing her with a damp washcloth in spite of her protests.  I didn’t think she really had a 106 fever but that it was skewed because she was sleeping under a quilt (made by my talented sister-in-law) and the fact that it’s 100 degrees outside and the air conditioning is just barely keeping up and in fact, the power went out for about 10 minutes and things got a little stuffy. 

We got her cooled down to 102.7 within half an hour which confirmed my suspicions that it was partly overheating.  I was ready to throw her in the car and head for the emergency room but Daddy being more lucid, suggested a warm bath, so I threw her in the tub instead.

Which worked.

She felt much better and ate some dinner and went to bed late.

She just woke up a little while ago at 4AM and felt a little hot – I gave her Motrin and then sat down with her.

She: Mama, I’m sick.

Me: I know.  I just gave you some medicine so you’ll feel better.

She: Mama, I need to go to the doctor.

Me: We might go if you keep feeling bad.  But right now, we’re gonna keep on giving you medicine. ok?

She:  Mama, I need to go to the doctor ‘tomahwo’.

She looked pleadingly at me.

Me: Ok. We’ll take you tomorrow.

Then she got up, went upstairs and put herself back to bed.  I kissed her and told her to call me if she needed me.

She grabbed my hand.  “Tomahwo momma.  I need to go tomahwo.”

Do I take her?  I don’t know.  It depends on how she’s doing.  If Griffin is any indication, she’ll feel a little better Saturday morning and will be at 75-85% by Sunday.

It gets easier.. or does it?

Today is the 10th anniversary of my dad’s death.

That was a bad day.  I saw a bad car wreck and got a flat tire – all on the way home from work.  I said to John, “I don’t think this day can get any worse.”  And boy was I wrong.

That day started the long spiral of suck in my life.  Not long after this happened, mom got sick and died and then our battle with infertility began.  It was five years before I could dig my way out of the depression.

He had been in the hospital for a few days.  I had just gotten back from vacation when he went into the hospital and couldn’t get any time off to go visit him.  I had some vacation planned for the week after he passed away and I was going to go and spend as much of it as I could with him.

There are so many things that I regret about that time.  I regret not just taking the time to go (although my boss made my life a living hell for taking bereavement leave – the asshole.) and I regret not taking his illness seriously.  It never even occurred to me that he might not make it through it.  But again, so much of my knowledge of his condition was second hand from people physically closer. 

I’m glad that I told him that I loved him.  I’m glad that I said I was sorry for being such a self-centered brat.

I miss him every single day.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.  Not one.

I think that the grieving process never really stops.  You get over the worst of it.  If you didn’t, you’d end up curled up in a corner for the rest of your life.  But you get up, you get dressed, and you go out and face a world that is diminished.  You find yourself laughing.  You find yourself forgetting the pain of the loss for a while.  You may even be able to look back on how annoying that person may have been at times.

Hell, I think there are still some days that I go through all 5 stages of grieving in a single afternoon.  Even now, I get angry that he worked so much.  Even now, I get angry that he is not here to see my children.

But then, one of them will look into my eyes and I’ll see him looking at me through their eyes.  And somehow, I know that even though he’s not here physically, that he’s here in spirit.

How does your garden grow?

Me: What do you think grows in a garden?
Phoebe: Vegables!
Me: Yes, vegetables grow in a garden. What else?
Phoebe: Tomatoes!
Me: Yes! What else?
Phoebe: Barbeque!

Living on the wild side…

A couple of weeks ago, I started writing a book for Camp NANOWRIMO.  Man!  I had no idea how difficult it was to maintain a storyline for more than a few thousand words without A) losing your way in the story or B) not knowing what the Heck to write next or C) giving up completely because your kids won’t stop pestering you every 3-1/2 seconds to use the computer.  In short, I do not have enough time in the day to write at least 2,000 words unless I give up sleep.  But I can find time for 100-500 words a day.

So, I haven’t given up writing the story but I’m working on it in smaller chunks.   You can read the story from the beginning here and I’ll do an update here as I post new parts.

Also, we started a new diet. 

I have a skin disease called Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).  It’s a nasty condition that causes extremely painful lesions anywhere you have sweat glands.  I will have to go into more detail in another post but suffice it to say, it does not make for a Happy Girl.  I have had flare-ups off and on since I was a teenager but about 4-1/2 years ago, I got a flare-up that has NEVER gone away. My dermatologist injects them with steroids and puts me on antibiotics and they get a little better but have never gone COMPLETELY away since right before Phoebe was born.  During my pregnancy with Griffin, they went on overdrive and I had the worst flare-up of my life and was taking meds during pregnancy to help combat infection.

No, I’ve never talked about it in this blog because it’s embarrassing.  The lesions are gross and sometimes ooze stinky stuff.  When I have a bad flare-up, I don’t leave the house unless I have to because they are extremely painful AND smelly. Furthermore, the medicine I put on them is a sulfur based ointment so I smell like rotten eggs.

So I was reading a thread from an HS forum and someone mentioned Primal Girl and her battle and subsequent remission from HS and my mind was BLOWN.  She went on a Paleo/Primal type diet – which basically means she abstained from dairy, wheat, legumes, and refined sugars - and not only did she lose a crap ton of weight but had major improvements in PCOS (which I also have) and HS.

I read about it and then mentioned it to John.  He said he’d recently read about the Paleo diet but thought I would think he was crazy for even considering it. 

I mean the Standard American Diet and the recommendations from the FDA, ADA, and the American Heart Association all say you need grains and dairy for optimum health.  My gastroenterologist told me I needed fiber in the form of whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies and particularly, legumes, like pinto beans and peas to prevent flare-ups in my diverticulosis.  It would be crazy to go against all this expert advice and do something different wouldn’t it?

But as I read story after story of people healing themselves of diabetes, obesity, and numerous gastrointestinal and autoimmune issues by simply avoiding these substances, I began to have a different opinion.

I read two books, which I will detail in later posts, and then jumped on the Paleo bandwagon.  We decided to stick to the 28 day menu in one of the books but found that there were so many things that we just did NOT like and this past week, we've struck out on our own but are using the menu as a guideline.

For the last few days, we have been completely dairy, wheat, legume, and refined sugar free.  The first couple of days I felt like absolute crap.  John and I both had a bad headache that wouldn’t go away with sleep or ibuprofen.

We were jones’n for Cokes and ice cream.  I wanted cheese more than I have ever wanted it in my life. But on day 4 something happened:  the headache went away for the most part and by day 10 (yesterday) were gone.  My head cleared.  My stomach didn’t hurt anymore. I had more energy. I felt good. And I wasn’t hungry.

I have been taking 4-8 ibuprofen a day for the last few years just to get through the day and it just dulled the pain enough that I could keep going.  My arms and shoulders, legs and back, have ached every single day for the last 10 years.  On day 5, I took 2 ibuprofen to deal with some menstrual cramps and that was it until this morning.

Yesterday, while the kids were having a snack (they aren’t Paleo – yet), I was handing Griffin some Honey Nut Cheerios and while I wasn’t paying attention, popped a handful in my own mouth.  A few days ago, this would have been completely normal: hand the kid a handful of cereal to snack on and then pop some into my mouth.  Now?  Ugh.  Within 2 hours, I felt spacy.  This morning, I woke up feeling like someone beat me.  The aches and pains that have been largely absent the last few days are back with a vengeance.

Could one handful (about 12 Cheerios) cause so much anguish?  I’m praying that tomorrow I feel like I did on day 10.

Every time that I have gone on a diet (usually the Watchers of Weight), I have been instantly hungry and hated counting every single grape that went into my mouth.  It never felt sustainable.  I imagined that if I was on it for several months that I’d get used to it and it would feel more natural to count everything.  But it never did and that’s usually when I’d give up.  AGAIN.

I always hate that person leading the group who says things like “When you get thin, you can just smell food and get full.”  That is crap.  Complete and utter bullshit.  We need food to live.  Our brains do not function without food.  Our brains NEED carbohydrates for fuel.

But on these plans, you’re steered away from fresh fruit because it’s “so high in points to get enough!” but “here, eat this prepackaged brand name grain based snack mix! It’s only a point for this WHOLE bag!”  Well you know what?  That snack mix has little nutritional value whereas that fruit is perfectly packaged to provide nutrients.  Yes, it has sugar but God wrapped it in a fiber package so that the sugar is absorbed better by my body.

Right now, I am 4 hours since breakfast and it’s time for a snack but I’m not really hungry.  Additionally, my blood sugar is in good shape.

And also? On Monday, I weighed in and I’d lost 9 pounds.

Organizing your photos

photo albumSo, you’ve got a box (or boxes) of photos and you want to scrap them? The first thing you’ll want to do is get those photos organized! Many scrappers organize their photos chronologically and/or by events.
After you know what you have, you can begin planning your scrapbook!
Some of the most common ways to organize scrapbook albums are:
  • Chronological albums showing your family’s life throughout the years
  • Focusing on certain things or events, like the character and personality of individuals or on weddings, births, etc.
  • Themed albums about sports, holidays, or seasons are interesting ways to organize your layouts.
No matter what you choose, keep in mind that there isn’t “right way” to do it! You can choose many different album ideas even within the same album!

Water Water Everywhere

Water, water, every where,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink.

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (1798), Stephen Taylor Coleridge

I talk a lot about the historic Georgia floods of 2009. For me, it was a pivotal moment and one I do not soon want to repeat.

As you may remember, I had a 15 month old daughter, no phone, no internet, no television, no electricity, and worst of all, no running water. Oh there was plenty of water around, just not any potable or drinkable water.

We had had some plumbing problems a few weeks before and had bought several gallons of bottled water to plan for a day of repairs. Luckily, we didn’t need the water during repair day, so I had a pretty good supply of drinking water on hand when the water system was overwhelmed by the torrential rains.

Within hours, every grocery store shelf was empty of water too and travel to other stores was difficult and dangerous due to flooding. I was more than happy that I could get through the emergency with the water we had on hand. Looking back, in fact, I distinctly remember being thankful that I had just weaned Phoebe because that would have been a big drain on our small water supply.

What about you? If the water was turned off for an indeterminate time, would you have any on hand?