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August 26, 2009

Technicolor Dahlia

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Adelaide and her new friend, Megan, paint the dahlia pink, yellow, and blue a la Alice in Wonderland. New friends have brilliant new ideas!

August 25, 2009

Olde Time Fun

Mac n' Pam, visiting from Or'gun. Time for Catan.
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Pure fun.

August 21, 2009

Visitors from the Far North & West

Earlier this week, Joel's parents, Molly and Doug, made the very, very, very long drive south from Bemidji, Minnesota to Clarkson, Nebraska where they picked up Joel's grandmother, Mar, and then, continued on a very, very, very long drive east to Iowa City to visit us.

The road was long. The van was hot. The long-haul semis were frustrating and scary.

The trip probably took at least 18 hours. One-way.

But, we're so very happy that they came.

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We talked and walked.

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We cooed and bounced.

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We relaxed and sniffed.

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And we smiled and squirmed.

We had a great visit with our Grands. Thank you for coming such a long way to see us!

August 16, 2009

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart

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Our very own Janis makes a surprise appearance in the witching hour between supper and showertime!

August 14, 2009

Playtime (Briefly)

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In between restorative naps, Henry's finding plenty of time to practice his mad rolling-over and grasping skills.

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Adelaide first started "puzzling" (as she says) earlier this year, but lately her puzzles are her preferred plaything.

August 12, 2009

Optimism

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After a restless night, we're trying to keep on the sunny side today. Last night, we moved Henry and his bed back into our bedroom for sleep. We cuddled, soothed, shushed, and listened all night long. If Henry wasn't whimpering, I found myself lying awake most of the time counting his breaths ... 1, 2, 3, ... 45, 46, 47, ...100 ... Start over. This is a freaky bad cold for such a little guy to weather.

So, other than lots of new worries, today finds us just about the same as yesterday at this time. Henry still has a fever. His cough is still there. He's sneezes and baby-sized buckets of snot fling everywhere. He sleeps and eats and sleeps and eats and sleeps some more.

Still, we're grateful that today Henry is not worse than yesterday. In fact, he's taking a little antiviral medication that we hope will arrest the progression of the yuck. I've been sick for 10 days now, and I'm hoping that the medication and the antibodies in my breastmilk will spare Henry my 10+ course of this Influenza.

Joel - so far symptom-free - is taking antivirals in an effort to stave off the infection, and Adelaide ... Well, Adelaide is completely, totally, and utterly herself. Not even a smidge of temperature. We actually suspect that Adelaide brought the nastiness home a few weeks ago, but she only felt poorly for 4-5 days before bouncing back to the playground. Lucky duck.

Henry and I will be snuggled up together (i.e., quarantined per our physician) for another 7 days at least, before I can go back to work. We're taking things day-by-day and reading lots of novels and watching Season One of Trueblood (Joel is watching; I am mostly listening from behind the couch pillows; Henry's not mature enough to watch or listen yet). Maybe today I'll bake something comforting, like banana bread ... Otherwise, we smile and laugh and say things like, "Darn those Swine! For all that Joel has done for them!" and try to stay on the sunny side.

August 11, 2009

Positive

Last week, I skipped out on my regularly scheduled duties, like work, to stay at home tucked in under the covers with a slurry of cold symptoms. A couple of days I even had our nanny, Abbie, come over to snuggle Henry for a while so that I could get some rest. Finally, on Friday, I'd had enough of my five-day low grade fever, rattle-like cough, constant sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes and packed myself off to acute care.

I was thoroughly inspected by a P.A., who said, "Well, everything points to a viral infection, but obviously you're suffering, so I'll start you on antibiotics and give you an inhaler." As I was walking out of the office - scripts in hand - the P.A. caught me and asked, "Do you want to be checked for the flu?" "Well," I said, "I defer to your judgment" (That is why I'm here, after all, I snidely thought). After a five minute conference with some other providers, the P.A. informed me that since I work in healthcare the group thought it best that I be checked, just in case ...

Well, what goes around comes around. From January to April of 2008, I was employed as a clinic nurse in a bustling family practice and student health clinic in South Dakota and during that time I became intimately familiar with a device that we nurses called The Booger Sucker.

Essentially a series of hoses hooked up to a collection tube and suction, The Booger Sucker was deployed to extract samples of snot from potential victims of the flu. I think that I sucked the boogers from nearly every kid under the age of 20, living in Vermillion that year.

So, on Friday I was not surprised when a nurse cheerfully came into my exam room toting a Booger Sucker. Suffice to say, the experience was hardly pleasant, but not as bad as a throat culture or that annual visit to the Ob/Gyn that many of us dread. In fact, my swollen nasal passages felt refreshed and cleared after the nurse finished her ministrations. For a moment I think that I had my sense of smell again! And the nurse was happy, too; "Look!" she said, holding up the booger collection chamber for me to see, "We got a good sample!"

Still, I grumbled to Joel that night about unnecessary antibiotics - I was certain that a variation on the common cold was plaguing my head and chest, not a bacterial infection - and unnecessary lab tests. Our health care is provided through Joel's residency program at no cost to us, so I feel that we have to be judicious and responsible with the care we request and seek. In any case, Joel forgot to pick up the antibiotics and the inhaler, so I weathered the weekend in the usual way with copious amounts of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Good Earth tea, Kleenex, and naps.

This morning I woke to find little Henry blinking up at me with watery eyes, snotty nose, and the cutest, saddest little baby-sized cough you can imagine. And then, I touched him.

He was on fire.

101.4.

Under his arm.

And it was 8:30 a.m.

Uh-oh. This is NOT good. Add a degree with an axillary temperature ... 102.4. Fevers always worsen at night ... If his fever is 102.4 now, what will it be at 8:00 p.m.?

I called the doctor's office and left a message for the nurse to return my call about Friday's lab test, just in case ...

The nurse didn't call back.

The doctor did.

I am positive for Influenza A and H1N1 or Swine Flu. Henry probably is, too.

August 4, 2009

Mean Girls

A couple of days ago I was reviewing old emails, and I came across a telling bit of correspondence that I had with the director of Adelaide’s preschool almost exactly one year ago:

“She [Adelaide] has made some new friends with our little napper kids.  I was told she played a lot with E., L., and H.  That's a perfect group for her.”

E., L., H., and A., a perfect group, indeed.

So, when does the catty Junior High style Mean Girls behavior begin? I am here to testify that it begins between the ages of 2 and 3.

Adelaide is the youngest person of the abovementioned E., L., H., and A. friendship, approximately 1 1/2 years younger than the eldest of the group, E. But, from the get-go, Adelaide was game to eschew her crayon-eating, diaper-wearing cohort for the more sophisticated, princess-themed competitive fun of E., L., and H.

At a glance, it looked completely benign and almost enchanting ... Little girls - all wearing sundresses and braids - playing “Sleeping Beauty” or “Cinderella” or tenderly mothering their “squishy babies” (as Adelaide calls the plastic dollies at preschool) or cooking up elaborate sand pie feasts ... And then, I looked a little closer and saw that Adelaide was whining because L. always makes Adelaide play the part of Maleficent or H. stole E.’s squishy baby and was giving it a bath without E.’s permission or while the pies were still cooling on the concrete, someone begins throwing the sandy filling at others. And on the days that Adelaide does not get to wear a “twirly” sundress (who has time to do laundry every day?) she throws a fit because all the other girls will be wearing their “twirly” sundresses.

Yesterday, I was mentioning my concerns to Henry’s nanny, who also works part-time at Adelaide’s preschool, and she completely confirmed my worst nightmares: “E. is just like Regina George. Without a doubt.”

This morning, when I dropped Adelaide off at school, E. approached Adelaide just as we walked in the door at 9:30 and said, “Adelaide, you missed breakfast and Circle Time.” E. did not say “you missed breakfast and Circle Time” in a bummer, I-wish-that-you-could-have-been-there kind-of-way. Nope, she said it in a snide, well-you-really-missed-out kind-of-way. Adelaide just stared at her for a minute, and then I leapt in and said, “Well, E., Adelaide and I had breakfast at home this morning!” I then turned to Adelaide and said, “Are you ready to have fun and play outside?” Adelaide - completely distractible - cheerily smiled and nodded and ran off to the backyard.

Ugh.

Sometimes I wish I could say, “Grow up, E., and act your age.” And then, I remember that she’s only four.