November 18 – Ah Eff It

This is the only time I hadn’t been able to make it the 30 days of blog posts. It wasn’t that I was too busy (hello?? unemployed!”) or that I didn’t have anything to write (you can hardly shut me up on Facebook). It’s just that drive wasn’t there and you know what? That’s OK.

Aitch was diagnosed with a yeast infection. By the time the pediatrician examined her that afternoon of her appointment, blisters had formed down there. BLISTERS!! Can you imagine? As for the areas on her face, he doubted that the two pimply looking spots were impetigo, however there was a suspicious area under her nose that might have been, but meh, what’s the point of testing since he’s putting her on an antibiotic for the infection. The pediatrician explained how impetigo manifests when kids rub their runny noses with their sleeves (Aitch had a minor cold about a week before) which then causes the smallest abrasions under her nose, resulting in the infection that can easily spread across the surface of the skin.

I remembered a couple of years back when she had all the mysterious skin rashes that he said that she’s a carrier of latent staph. I asked him if it’s possible that she’s still carrying it. He said she could for the rest of her lift, so yes, any bacterial infection could very well be harboring MRSA. With that being said, he said the spot on her hip was NOT bacterial but indeed did look like a spider bite that was thankfully disappearing and healing very quickly.

He also said that he wasn’t going to test her for that either, since it just becomes a logistical nightmare, which I concur. The antibiotic he prescribed would be the same as if she had MRSA. Other than that, we were given instructions to use an over-the-counter athlete’s foot cream (we opted for the Desenex powder as she said the Lamisil ointment “burned”) and to treat the blisters with an OOC antibiotic  topical. Within three days, all signs and symptoms except for the blisters had vanished. She’s been very good about taking her medicine, which luckily is only twice a day, but I know it can’t taste good.

In a completely unrelated note, today was my first day that I didn’t go to my office. I’ve made excellent headway on converting the catch-all closet in the mudroom to an “office & school” supply closet. It’s been slow-going because as I move schtuff from one nook in the house I realize I’ve created a whole new area to organize. Busy work, busy work.

Speaking of which, I’ve started a private group on Facebook that was inspired by the Annual Holiday Card Exchange. If you want to join the group, which I can’t stress enough is PRIVATE, you can ask through this group address.

November 12 – infection?

Aitch has been scratching at her privates very indelicately claiming she itches down there. To my untrained eye I thought she may have something akin to a diaper rash, which wouldn’t have been a stretch considering she still has problems getting up to take bathroom breaks at night.

I started applying Butt Balm to her but after a couple of days the itching became extremely painful at which point we visited the urgent care.

The doctor there thought the rash was a yeast infection and advised me to apply lotramin. We are now two days into that treatment and yet she’s worse. This morning she has two zit-like cysts on her cheek (face) and another visual inspection of her bottom reveals she’s redder than ever and has broken out there, too. She told me the cream burns, so I didn’t use it. I also scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician tomorrow.

Insult to injury, it looks like she was the recipient of a particularly nasty spider bite on her hip. I’ve been applying Benadryl cream to the bite, but it gives her little relief.

I thought about running her an oatmeal bath tonight, but not sure if she should stew in any water at this point or not. FWIW, she doesn’t take bubble baths nor has she been on any antibiotics. She also doesn’t care for yogurt.

Any suggestions on some easy home recipes to give some relief? She’s pretty miserable.

November 11 – Forgotten

2013 036pse

I have a year’s worth of downloaded pictures taken with my camera that I have yet to sort through, edit and file. I found this one that was taken at the 4th of July parade. I’d completely forgotten I had taken this and several similar pictures until tonight. I’m thinking about doing a couple photo-books for my mom, whose dementia continues to progress. It’s been a full year since we decided that it’s no longer safe for grandma to drive 20 miles one way to spend a day with the kids in the house alone.

My brother told me that Saturday night after evening Mass, mom came over to their farm and spent an about an hour visiting. She left to go home, which is three miles away and a straight shot on the highway. Unfortunately, she showed back up at my brother’s farm and confessed she had gotten lost and couldn’t find her way home. My sister-in-law drove her vehicle while mom followed her home in her own car. Sure, part of it was probably because it’s now dark by the time she leaves church to head home, but this is not the first time she’s gotten lost driving. Yes, she still drives. I know. I know…

The time will come all too soon that she’ll forget whose face is above, much like how I’d forgotten I’d even taken the photo.

November 10 – Light Reno Scheduled

I have a contractor scheduled to come in this coming week to tear out and replace a part of the ceiling in our kitchen. Within a year of us moving in, we noticed a moisture stain, which now has spread down the beam. He’ll also be in the attic trying to determine why water is leaking through (or per the original builder of our home, it’s blowing snow) the vents and that it was the way we designed the home and there’s nothing that could have been done. Which come on?! What a crock of crap.

At this time, we will also replace the lights that hang over our peninsula in the kitchen. I was so scared to committing to pendant lights that I had the electrician install track lighting. Since it’s next to the beam, it just makes sense to switch it out now. I’m actually imagining a couple of these which are reminiscent of the lights we would use in the brooder house to keep the new chicks warm. My husband isn’t so sure.

10_inch_artesia_cord_hung_shade_galvanized

Just a short one for the day as I lost two hours to The Walking Dead and The Talking Dead. I won’t even facebook when those two shows are on.

November 9 – Emergency Date Night

Aitch and Doodicus are at those ages that my husband and I are comfortable going out for the evening for dinner and a movie. It’s nice to have the free time without worrying about rounding up a babysitter days in advance. Tonight we had made plans to go to our neighbor’s house for his birthday party. Keep in mind that this “neighbor” is a mile over, not next door. We make sure that the cell phone we keep in the house is charged and not muted and that Doodicus knows he can always call us if he needs something.

We first drove into town to get something for the cooler since the party was BYO, and then headed back out to their home, which all-in-all, took about 35-40 minutes from the time we left our house. We had just parked our truck when my cell phone rang. It was Doodicus. I answered and I immediately could hear Aitch screaming in the background. Doodicus quickly told me that the iPad had fallen on her nose and that it was bleeding quite a bit.

How does an iPad fall on one’s face? Those details are not important.

I got out of the truck’s passenger side and climbed back in behind the wheel and headed back home, leaving Sparring Partner at the neighbors. When I arrived home minutes later, Aitch was sitting on the couch, her face red from crying and a tissue held under her nose. She had a small pile of used tissues next to her, all with blood on them, but I could tell much of it was a mixture of blood and mucous from her recent head cold. She told me that Doodicus had advised her that crying would make it worse. He had even showed her how to pinch her nose and upper lip to slow the bleeding. She went on to tell me that “This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me!”

Both kids are now deep asleep. Aitch might have some swelling tomorrow, and she’s got some dried blood up the one nostril, but luckily she’s fine. Doodicus handled the situation, his first “emergency” on his own, exceedingly well. He addressed her needs first, getting her tissues and an ice pack, and then called us. He’s always made us proud, but there are these moments that help me see that he’s maturing and that he’s on his way to becoming a responsible adult.

November 8 – Oh Crap

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Only seven days in and I fail at NaBloPoMo, and I can’t believe none of you noticed. *Hurumph.*

Of course I’m totally blaming you as I’m totally fault-free.

On the other hand, I totally remembered to schedule our family pictures for the church’s snoop book.

Our last picture was in May 2008 and I was slightly smaller than the average bungalow, just two months shy of my due date.

Oh, and before I sign off, anyone else notice that I started each sentence with the letter “O”?

 

November 7 – Eye of the Beholder

This afternoon when I got home from picking up Aitch from school, one of the chores I wanted to get done was to clean out the inside of my van. I still had a bag of potting soil in the back from this summer and more recent, the wings from my daughter’s Halloween costume that were among the mishmash of clutter. All of it was taking up an unreasonable amount of space, especially considering I volunteered to transport much of the office supplies from my now closed office to the school for the teachers, which will easily fill up the cargo space.

I told Aitch to go ahead and stay outside and play in what was left of the snow we got Tuesday as I went inside to change out of my office clothes. Before I made it back outside, she came inside with a bouquet of foxtail weed stems and offered them up to me. I was in a bit of a hurry to get back outside before it got much colder or darker so I told her to just hold to it for a bit longer, hoping she’d just get bored and forget about them. I finished zipping up my coat and turned to see she had the stems in her mouth. At that very moment, she decided she didn’t like how they tasted and spit on the kitchen floor. I was infuriated. I took the bouquet from her hands and handed her an antibacterial wipe to clean up the floor. As she wiped up the mess, I absentmindedly threw the foxtail into the trash, still focused on my original intent to get back outside.

She finished cleaning up and opened the trash can and saw the disposed bouquet. Instantly, her flushed face accentuating her big, blue eyes as the tears flowed down her cheeks. “You threw away my flowers because you don’t love me anymore! I didn’t mean to spit on the floor!”

I was horrified that my careless action had elicited such a heartbreaking response. I was so focused on what I wanted that I just saw a handful of weeds. To her, it was a gesture of love, and I literally threw it away.

I can only hope that with the more time I can devote to the projects and chores of the home, that the less harried I will feel to get them done under my currently strict (and largely unattainable) timetable. I’ve never had much patience, which even my mom can attest to, but my shortage of it shouldn’t mean I can’t be long in appreciation in these all-too-brief and fleeting moments of childhood where even weeds represent beautiful innocence.

foxtail
(Image from Our Prairie Home’s blog, a blogger from Iowa)

November 6 – Yes, we actually pay someone for this advice.

After two years of seeing the psychologist, Dr. Rita, there were a few key points that were hammered (gently) into our heads. Arguing with Doodicus is pointless. Of course, logically any one knows this, but we are talking about illogical arguments. The other day Dood told me that he was running out of loose leaf tablet paper that he uses for his math assignments. I took one of the dozen tablets we had left-over from last year and starting tearing out pages along the perforations. The resulting shitfit was spectacular. He told me that his teacher wouldn’t let him use it because the paper wasn’t the same. These are the illogical statements that for whatever reason, Sparring Partner and I would try to address, first calmly and then with ever-increasing frustration and anger. It was the type of confrontation that Dr. Rita has worked with us to avoid. Instead we are to agree with Doodicus: yes, the paper IS different, and please let us know if she refuses to accept your work because of it.

“His brain is stuck,” per Dr. Rita. Dood will take a thought and zero in and obsesses over it, which is compounded by his anxiety. Dr. Rita once very wisely said, “You can’t use logic to win an illogical argument.”

More recently, we were reminded of the old chestnut, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This is in regard to how much time Doodicus spends on video games, which has been quite a bit lately because he hasn’t had to bring as much homework home, and he hasn’t shown any interest in extracurricular activities. As it was explained yesterday, hungry kids aren’t as particular about what they eat as long as they get to eat; thirsty kids aren’t as particular about what they drink as long as they get a drink; bored kids aren’t as particular about how long they get to use their video games as long as they get to play.

It’s easy to sit back and think, “Well, duh!” when things are calm and quiet and you’re in the eye of a storm, but when you’ve been sucked into the edge of a storm by an 11-year-old who seems to be a magnet for conflict, then it’s a major exercise of restraint.

We have to learn to not to get sucked into an argument. We don’t have to prove we’re smarter. Even when we’re likely not.

November 5 – Progress

Too tired to do much more than announce that due to Doodicus’s progress and maturation, after this afternoon’s counseling session, we will go from scheduling once every four to six weeks to once every eight weeks, if not less frequent than that unless the need arises.

Touch wood.

November 4 – Nebraskan Goth

I am throwing myself into my new career as a Homemaker (I really don’t like the phrase “Stay-At-Home-Mom” (SAHM)) with gusto. Even though I have a job interview with a bank in a nearby community, I’m hoping that it goes poorly. In fact, I should have just declined the interview, but my sister said it will be good practice. Plus, who knows? They could offer me a crazy salary with obscene benefits and make it impossible to refuse.

Being a Homemaker on 10 acres of property outside of city limits means I need to be prepared to do a little more of the chores outside. If Sparring Partner is taking the kids to school and there’s a foot of snow in the lane, it very well could be me operating the tractor. Chances are slim because the snow-blower and tractor really are Sparring Partner’s toys, but common sense may prevail. I handle the yardwork in the summer, including the mowing on a 60″ mower (it really is a smaller tractor), and one can usually find me mucking about the property on the weekends using my RTV (rough terrain vehicle) (I’ve traded healthcare acronyms for farming ones). Unfortunately, I’ve only been a fair-weather-farmer since living here, content wearing a pair of sneakers, windpants and a t-shirt. Until this past weekend, that is.

If you are from one of the flyover states, you’ve likely heard of Bomgaars. As a child, if we drove the 20 miles into the city, we commonly made stops at Bomgaars. I remember excitedly heading to the lower level to ooh and aah over the gorgeous harness and tack department, which was next to the cowboy boots. Halters were intense blues and reds; saddle blankets were beautifully patterned; bits were brightly polished. Compared to everything we had in our horse barn, which was brown with sweat and dust or tarnished to black, Bomgaars was like going to a carnival.

I still anticipate trips to Bomgaars, especially in the spring. Their nursery items are inexpensive, and I love to show the kids the chicks and ducklings they keep inside stainless steel water-tanks, heated with hanging lamps. This store to me is what Target is to many of you.

Back to my shopping spree…my current cold weather arsenal includes a North Face quilted coat and a long, wool coat to wear over dresses. Neither are quite practical when it comes to laboring in freezing temperatures. Here’s a look of what my new career-wear consists of now:

I know. I'm a sexy beast in my Carhartt bibs.
I know. I’m a sexy beast in my Carhartt bibs.
When I feel like dressing "down", I'll wear just the coat.
When I feel like dressing “down”, I’ll wear just the coat.
I know. You'll all a'quiver now, aren't you.
I know. You’ll all a’quiver now, aren’t you.

The preceding images are from Carhartt’s website. Bomgaars is a great store to physically visit but there’s no on-line shopping. It’s so old-fashioned, one might call it quaint.

Pink makes me feel pretty after all that brown duck material.
Pink makes me feel pretty after all that brown duck material.

These are Muck boots and came highly recommended by our neighbor and her teenage daughters. I was skeptical. Until I put them on. And then I was like my kids should each have a pair! And then I saw the price and then I thought the kids would be fine with their Target brand snow boots since they only wearthem two or three times a season.

And finally, the sales associate with the slight brogue suggested I get a pair of the socks pictured below. I’m glad I got only the one pair because I see that Amazon has them for about 30% cheaper. When I got them home, I tried them on. They were like wearing weightless and non-clunky Ugg boots on my perpetually frozen toes. I’m not even kidding. In fact, I’m already putting the slipper versions on several Christmas gift lists for this year, not to mention a couple more pair for me. Aitch put the socks on and watched a movie wearing them. When I asked her to take them off so she could get into bed, she nearly cried. Seriously, these Heat Holders are perfect with the boots and for kicking up on an ottoman with a bowl of popcorn and a toddy.

I'd invite you to stick your hand in my sock, but I don't want to come off as weird.
I’d invite you to stick your hand in my sock, but I don’t want to come off as weird.

There you have it. I’m still pining for the perfect pair of leggings and a couple of slouchy sweaters to wear with my knee-high Born boots, but if I am to secure my position as a Homemaker, shopping for clothes that hardly anyone will see me in isn’t any way to get Sparring Partner completely on board with this plan. On the other hand, if I’m not careful this will be me come Spring:

And by "me", I mean the one on the right.
And by “me”, I mean the one on the right.

 

November 2 – Conception

I’m dialing this in via my smart phone, so I beg of you tolerance for any wonky editing or grammatical errors sure to come.

November has never been my favorite month. I guess when it comes to not so great things that could happen, I have a one in twelve shot of it happening in November. Take for example my first miscarriage at 16 weeks. And possible my second and fourth…honestly I lost track and I try not to archive-dive unless absolutely necessary.

But today also marks the day Aitch was conceived six years ago. Before anyone prudish gets too squicked out what would be normally considered TMI, I wasn’t even present during conception and was actually 100 miles away. No Shades of Gray action going on here.

If you don’t have time to read the post itself, don’t bother; however read the comments to see if you recognize yourself.

November 1 – Unemployed…Again

Today I became officially unemployed. 

I want to give being a stay-at-home-mom a chance, but I worry that like my most recent position, which ended after two-and-a-half years because the surgeon retired, that I will become disenchanted within a year. Or, even worse, I will be a enormous failure to my children, my husband and of course, myself, and will be forced to give myself the ax.

This recent change in employment is also why I thought I would write this post, my own inaugural for NaBloPoMo 2013. I should have plenty of free time, at least according to my husband, who worries I’ll spend the day shopping for shoes or re-watching Walking Dead episodes (I totally get why Carol did what she did…). I’m not going to say that’s NOT going to happen, but I have some ideas what I’ll do with all that “extra” time: 

  • Organize the mud-room closet and make room for all the past school supplies. I realized this year that I buy giant packages of pencils and notebooks and all kinds of school-crap and then forget about them by August.
  • Get rid of lots of baby toys, specifically the ones I’ve hidden in the basement for the past two years. I need to find some way to pay for next botox treatment.
  • Cook more at home. OK, I’ll admit that I didn’t need to add the “more” to that statement.
  • Volunteer at my childrens’ schools. Aitch’s teacher sent home a note from school that she must have created in a document several years ago. She whites out the date and handwrites the new one in its place and makes photocopies of that. I’m also guessing that she often uses the term “xerox” in lieu of “copy”.

And there we have it, Day 1. Please hold your applause until we reach the end of November. Thank you.