Saturday, October 31, 2009

Healed but grumpy

Wren is better. I took him to the doctor to keep the CDC flu-related doctor visit stats rising and 'just in case' his cough was hiding out in his chest. It wasn't. It isn't. He still coughs but its just the lingering part.

Yesterday, I went crazy cooking. I started and it just went on and on with the kids helping. We baked bread then Frost had the idea of pumpkin bread so we baked that too and then I saw the sugar pumpkins from South 47th and decided to prepare my own cooked pumpkin for pie today. Oh, then I realized it was better to bake my own pie shells than buying them and the only reason I didn't finish that project was running out of butter.

Here are Frost and Wren waiting in the rain for the schoolbus yesterday morning.

Friday, October 30, 2009

No Fever, still sick

Wren is still under the weather. He has "a headache" and "want medicine."

Last night he woke around midnight and apparently had trouble getting back to sleep. When I woke at 6.45am (yeah!) I was alone in bed and found Josh and Wren crammed onto the twin on the floor of Wren's room.

Wren woke at 7.30am with Frost. He had no fever this morning but still has swollen lymph nodes in his throat, sounds hoarse (laryngitis?) and coughs occasionally (as if clearing his throat). He was up to 99.1 by the time I dragged him to a showroom to pick faucets. Yes, I know. There were no kids around and I am stir crazy at home.

Of course, there is never a dull moment at home. Our bathroom project is likely to be delayed until the weekend after Thanksgiving due to the contractor's availability and not wanting us to be left for 10 days "holiday" without bathing plumbing. AND the washer in the basement flooded AGAIN. If not for a recently cleaned drain the carpets would be wet again. We have diagnosed the problem as a faulty inlet valve. We shall see what the Sears Service person says.

Things I have learned about Wren this week:
1) He loves Zoboomafoo and Dragon Tales more than Go, Diego Go.
2) He likes the IDEA of bubble baths but hates the bubbles. If I make a really bubbly bath he spends his whole bathtime trying to clear a bubble free zone in which to sit. I have to stand by with a towel to wipe off any bubbles that get on his skin.
3) Wren thinks cookies are a staple and dinner is eaten in "how many bites?" to qualify for desert. Oh cr*p. I have done it again.
4) Everyone in this family loves apples. They like them best sliced.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Frost's Halloween Vignettes

These are pictures Frost took of a Halloween Decoration Skeleton (with one leg broken off). I will let him describe them in his own words.

1. Skeleton Stealing Snack.
He is stealing snacks out of our cupboard in the kitchen.

2. Skeleton Works Out.
Skeleton is hanging onto the handle of our exercise machine for dear life. Note://All of the lighting in darkness around is presented by me putting flashlights in selected places to make them give a circle of light just for Mr Skeleton. Note #2//Wren helped me do these in some ways by shining a different flashlight around the place which you cannot see in these pictures.

3. Say Yes To Drugs.
Mr Skeleton is putting on a "Say Yes to Drugs" campaign. Note://To do this picture I took all the pill [note by mum: naturopathics] and Vitamin bottles off the shelf. The sign says SAY YES TO DRUGS. I got the idea for this from the "SAY NO TO DRUGS" campaign. I kind of know people don't like drugs because I have seen it on TV and I have seen it in the newspaper and I have seen it on selected store things.

4. Skeleton Watches Football.
I think that he is watching the Cardinals versus ????. I got this idea from my Dad who watches football like every night. Mr Skeleton is leaning on his favorite pillow.

5. Mr Skeleton Meets His End
Mr Skeleton was last seen walking along my countertop when suddenly he was found with a butter-knife through his heart (I wanted to use a real sharp knife but my babysitter wouldn't let me). Wren is peaking over a chair in the background and just to tell you that a Starbucks coffee is in Skellie's other hand because my babysitter's coffee was there and I thought to put it to good use. I thought it Skeleton was just walking around he might have an ipod and a coffee and be drinking and listening to it so I just used it.

6. On the Ground
Skeleton lies on the ground with an eerie electricky light around him. We did this by adding greenish tint to it in the photo editor.

Photographer's note:
I do not know why I chose to do this photo campaign but I thought it was fun. I am going to take more and you are going to see them on this blog. PS. There WERE five more days till Halloween when I too these pictures.

Rough Night

Wren seems to have regressed today. He is sad, temperamental and woke at 4am with a fever which recorded as moderate (101.8) but felt much hotter. I think the reading was wrong because of the yelling and wrestling to get the ear thermometer in place. He also complained of a headache. I gave him Tylenol and we chatted for 45 minutes about the moon and how it was night and why Daddy was snoring before he fell asleep and we woke at 7.45am.

We were late for breakfast and Frost would have missed his school bus but for a lady in a SUV who chased it with her children on board. Apparently the bus was running a bit early.

Wren has had 3 doses of Tylenol today as well as his Tamiflu. Besides a mild fever in the 100s - 101s as doses wear off he complains of headache and a sore tummy. He has a mild intermittent cough, nothing I would comment on without the fever, and says his ears hurt when I use the thermometer. Josh thinks we should try one of the forehead ones. Its always a debate about taking a young child's temperature. They are unreliable with oral thermometers, ear and underarm have high variability when parents use them and I don't know if I trust the forehead ones. I end up taking it repeatedly to confirm my results.

I spoke with Dr L who would like to see him on Friday if his fever continues. That's due to the risk of endocarditis with unexplained fever. She is also asking about worker breathing (No, no respiratory symptoms but some faster breathing with higher fever), lethargy (only with high fever but still responsive) and appetite (good). He is not drinking enough liquids so the nurse suggested pedialyte. I will stick with water because he is getting enough food.

I hope he improves overnight.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eating Cheese

Wren seems to be feeling better this morning. His fever was almost gone - down to 99.5 - although he was still noticeably warm. I have given him Tylenol because he was still complaining about the headache. He tells me it has now gone because of the medicine.

The clear signs of feeling much better right now are that he is eating like a horse (he has just eaten two whole Babybelle cheeses on top of his scrambled eggie) and is sitting up to watch Dragon Tales rather than lying down wrapped up in a pile of blankets.

I hope he continues to feel better and the fever doesn't recur this afternoon.

Still no cough or cold so this may be Some Other Virus.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bedtime update

Wren was up and down this afternoon. His fever responded to Tylenol so when he was dosed he would feel well, eat, have almost no fever and was quite active. As the Tylenol wore off in the late afternoon his fever rose sharply and at one point was just shy of 103.

He is sleeping well and will probably get another dose overnight.

I found a pharmacy that was able to compound Tamilflu from the capsules into a flavored suspension and we gave it to Wren at 2pm. He is supposed to have 2 doses in 24 hours for 5 days. However, about 20 minutes after his first dose he became very hyperactive and ran in circles around the table, jumped from table to sofa and acted strangely manic and energetic (for a child who was lying on the couch 30 minutes earlier). Mum was watching on Skype and I wonder if she thought I was exaggerating his illness as he ran around showing off toys and doing laps of the living room carpet.

He collapsed after an hour and Joshua wondered whether it could have been a side-effect. In case, I am going to wait till his early dawn wakening before giving Dose 2. It will be a few hours late but better than a hyper kid in the middle of the night.

Still no respiratory symptoms but he was sad and wilted at bedtime. He has complained of headache and "headache that has gone to my legs" a few times during the day.

Chasing Tamiflu

Apparently Tamiflu suspension is in short supply. Bartells does not have it. I am calling around to find some.

Wren is very lethargic and now has a fever in the 102's.

Apparently Seattle Children's keep track of pharmacies that have it and I have a list to work on. Some will compound capsules in a form kids can take.

Wren is sick

Yesterday Wren complained of headache "that is gone in my legs too". I didn't check for a fever because he felt cool. This morning he still had "that headache that comes from my teeth" but was acting normal. I checked his ear temp just in case (Wren has never had a headache before) and it was 100.4. Now, an hour or so later it is 101.7.

I have called our pediatrician to see if she wants to check him for flu. I believe he would get Tamiflu if he had flu confirmed. He seems fine and has no coughing or respiratory symptoms although his throat lymph nodes are swollen. I am waiting to see what the pediatrician says. Meanwhile, hes had his Thymactiv, herbal elixar and cod liver oil. He is munching on apple and watching Zaboomafoo - this episode is on Meerkats.

Swirly and wet

I woke up this morning with that falling over middle-ear thing again. I hope that hot liquid in my mouth will make it go away. Thankfully Wren has been happy to play handpuppets for an hour. Hand-puppets can be played lying down and with your eyes shut. I am Red Dinosaur and Wren is kitty, soft seal, noisy beetle and their various accessories.

Now it is time to wade out into the darkness and rain (stepping on snails and pushing aside the tall grasses that have fallen over with the weight of water) to collect the newspaper.

"I want breakfast TERRIBLY BADLY" says Wren as I procrastinate and rub my jaw.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Off center, out of focus and up to my knees in mud

I haven't written much recently and for that I apologize. I know you don't expect it but I do try and craft a bit of a happy story for you readers. It's usually not hard to pick a moment to share and to find a picture in which the kids look Interesting and Beautiful. Still, this week I have been in a funk and reluctant to portray it.

I'm not sure why.

Perhaps its because there is nothing dramatically bad happening to me but lots of things that feel like hard work. Those of you who have followed on Facebook know that I had a bad day on Tuesday. It started a bit too early (in the 5 instead of 6am) and careened off track when the basement flooded due to the door of the front loader washing machine being a bit open and pouring water out undetected for a very long time. Its been 5 days and the carpet is still smelling like a wet dog. That evening I received the news that I was not considered qualified for a position in grant-writing for a local non-profit. It was one of a few volunteer positions they had open for grant-writing and as I have some experience in the area and was doing a class in nonprofits I thought I would be a good match. I am not upset with them - I understand an organization wanting the most skilled people as their volunteers - but it was discouraging to feel I cannot even volunteer my services, let alone get paid for them.>
Wren struggling to carry the paint swatches (wind, rain, cold)

Lets see, I heard some bad news yesterday about a friend's family: news which is haunting me and instead of just saying how having a boring life is just fabulously lucky I am obsessed with the fact that our chickens poop on the deck [a lot] and Wren steps in it [a lot]. Recently recently they had ghastly liquid poops which they conspired to leave on the doormat so I feel we are cooped up indoors [pun intended] while the chickens run wild with their gastro-intestinal issues. There are only so many poops you can wipe up with those super absorbent paper towels before you just want to disinfect the whole deck and then you think, "gosh, its going to rain anyway" but it rains and the poop stays through the rain and just spreads out and goes sloppy so ....

We are remodeling the bathroom and demolition/construction should start this week. Enough said about the choices involved - everything from tiles to tubs to faucets has to be talked about. Joshua and I do not like to talk a lot... about details.

And finally we decided to do a Nice Family Thing and pick our own pumpkins on Saturday. That would be a good blog post photo op? Right? When we got there it was the scene that puts any suburban minivan driver in dread - foot deep mud and respectable SUVs spinning their wheels and churning mud everywhere in a splendid display of what happens to fertile flooded fields when they are used as car parks.

Joshua came to the farm and was wearing Crocs. Frost was also wearing Crocs. For those not familiar with them they are rubber clogs with holes in which Seattlites wear with socks (sometimes). The socks got muddy. They didn't like it. They pulled faces and wanted to leave.

She said "you'll do this if you love the children"

Wren was very worried about the mud and felt anxious that our car would be stuck in the mud. I spent a few quarters on animal feed to feed the farm goats and chickens but the animals wouldn't eat the feed so I ended up throwing it away and the animals and chickens ate kettle corn instead. Everyone was happy when we beat a retreat and took some pictures and decided to buy our pumpkins at Safeway where they can be cleanly loaded into the trunk.

What, you want me to smile now?

I've had moments to myself (while Heather watches Wren) but I don't seem to recover much in these periods. I have been running around looking at hardware for the bathroom and then drinking too much coffee and avoiding things. I am not sure what I am avoiding... just that there must be something organic, thoughtful and joyful that I could be doing with a few hours a week instead of fantasizing about crawling into bed with a novel about a very bad and unlikely crime.

The only really lovely thing is that we have coffee logs again. Coffee logs (made from recycled coffee grounds) are my favorite part of colder weather. It makes the living room feel like a nook. I drink diet hot chocolate and watch House and its fun even though I fast forward through half of it because I don't want to waste a whole hour on a TV show and they seem to come in hour long blocks. I can figure it out mostly despite the accelerated pace.

Anyway, we are all well (although swine flu rages around us) and I shall drag myself out of this blarg state shortly. I hope. Tomorrow I am working at preschool in the morning because some families are sick and I am having my haircut in the afternoon. My secret, pessimistic, dread about the haircut is that the hairdresser will say "oh, you have lice!" [I have not felt safe from hair bugs since Frost's infestation at the end of summer although I have checked the kids more than weekly and found no trace of the critters.]

PS. I took Wren to the pet store today to buy kitty food and he announced loudly (to the concern of a man buying gourmet beef bits in gravy) that "Some people kill their kitties and then they are DEAD!" I think it was his way of mourning Kitty Kasharoo who died some months ago after I took her to the vet and made her dead. See, he knows.

I promise to make you laugh tomorrow. Frost has done a series of vignettes of a wicked Skeleton. They make me laugh every time.