Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Change is good

I'm feeling restless today- as if the world isn't moving quickly enough in any one direction or another. I guess it's just spring fever or something.

I rearranged the livingroom today in an attempt to make it seem more spacious. I'm not sure if I like the results or not. I guess you sort of have to live with it a few days to figure out if it works or not. I also downsized the number of J's toys that are out. What I really need to do is go through and weed out the ones he doesn't play with much or has outgrown and find them new homes. I'm so bad about hanging onto stuff. I just can't seem to get rid of anything.

Before Jonas was born I spent a lot of time going through all the stuff that was in his room- making way for baby. His room used to be our office, and man! It's amazing all the stuff that can collect in a room like that. I must have thrown away 5 large bags full of junk! It's time to do that again. The closets are starting to bulge!

I'm anxious to get started on so many different things- the home repair projects mainly. I know it doesn't seem too exciting to be thinking about and pricing out air conditioners and chosing paint colors for the exterior, but once we get that stuff out of the way, we can focus on the more fun things, like the porch addition and the landscaping. I wish Erin's Scotty lived closer. I could use his green thumb and help. I'm such a terrible gardener! We also found out this week that they guy that did our lawn work last year won't be returning. Nothing personal or anything, he's just not doing yards anymore. So I've got to find a new yard guy, and soon. Most of the yard is still dull and lifeless due to the lack of rain, but the parts that are growing are getting out of hand.

And aside from the house stuff, I'm also anxious about ordering my courses and getting started on them. I know that I'll do good at it, and probably will be able to complete the program rather quickly since I have a bit of medical background, but it's also a bit scary- taking that big leap from gainfully employed to student. In the big picture, it'll work out to be advantageous, but it's been a very long time since I've been unemployed, and with a kid to think about, it's a bit scary. Sure, we've gone over the numbers, and we know that we can deal with the financial stuff, but I wonder how I'll handle the idea of not bringing in any income. As it is right now, with me earning less than I used to, I experience guilt every time I splurge a little at the store, or go over on the grocery budget. I guess that's just something I'm going to have to work out, and keep faith in the fact that it's a temporary situation while I finish classes, then I'll be earning money AND staying home with my son. Who could want anything more?

And once J's off to school in a few short years, I can always go back to working outside the home agian, if I want. Honestly I adore the idea of being one of those moms that's able to volunteer at the school all the time. I think that kids whose parents are lucky enough to be able to stay involved like that end up getting a better education out of a failing system.

But that's a different topic, isn't it? Perhaps another post another time. For now, J's about ready to wake up from his nap, and I've got lunch ready to come out of the oven any minute.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Heh, go figure!

You Should Be A Poet

You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways.
And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery...
Or describing the most intense heartbreak ever.
You're already naturally a poet, even if you've never written a poem.

Bargain days

We've been shopping our little hearts out around here.

Yesterday, after work, the hubby, J and I drove up to Viera, a rather fancy little town north of here with lots of little shops that they don't have 'round these parts. We did a lot of browsing, but also a lot of buying. Nothing major, really- a new outfit for J, and a toy. Steven recently handed down all of his Rescue Heroes, and Jonas is in love with them. Unfortunately they don't seem to be so popular anymore, so when we find one of them, we usually scoop them up. We found one on the clearance aisle at Kohl's for a couple of bucks, and figured why not? Yes, we spoil him rotten, I'm aware of my weaknesses.

We also bought a few new glasses since I seem to have a tendency to break them. I don't know what it is about me and dishes, but they just don't last. I guess I should stick to the plastic variety, eh?

We also picked up a set of glasses for my sister, and a birthday present for my step-mom.

There's a new store up there that we'd never seen before. Maybe y'all have them in your neck of the woods- it's called "World Market" and they have lots of neat house stuff, along with a beer and wine section from all over the world. Neat-o. We picked up a mix-n-match six pack of some novelty beers to sit back and enjoy at our next opportunity. They also have a neat little pantry section with odds and ends that you don't see in many places. We found a bottle of hot sauce labled "Dave's Insanity". It claims to be the world's hottest and that it's great in soups, stews, and for stripping paint. Heh. I had to buy it for my dad, if nothing else but for the name, and the fact that my dad is known for his spicy cooking.

After our shopping last night we went had had dinner with Wil's parents. There's nothing better than a home cooked Abuela meal. Mmmmm... spanish food. Nothing fancy- a salad, some spanish rice and some sort of fried something or other that I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was good.

This morning we treated ourselves to Dunkin Donuts where Jonas ate almost an entire sausage, egg and cheese croissant and Wil and I had some fancy coffee. Afterwards Wil got called off to deliver some medical equipment, and J and I ran to the store to pick up birthday and anniversary cards and a few groceries.

I have a weakness for Wal-Mart, and I know better than to go there, honestly. I mean, I just can't stay away from the kid's department, and I can't seem to leave without buying SOMETHING for Jonas.

They had these really cute football jersey type shirts on clearance for three dollars. They're a lightweight mesh, with a long sleeved turtleneck shirt beneath. They were marked $3.00 each. So I picked up two in his current size and two in the next size up, figuring I'd put them away until next fall. The two in his current size he can wear now, with a wifebeater underneath instead of the long-sleeved shirt it came with. Essentially, I got eight shirts instead of four. But wait, it gets better. At the register they came up for $2 each! So, $8 for eight shirts. Cool. And they way he trashes his clothes at daycare, I won't feel bad when these make their way to the trash pile.

I also picked up some yarn to start on a baby blanket, and J insisted on a little cow puppet. Aunt Heidi bought him this barnyard book for Christmas that has a puppet attached to it, and he adores it, so it'll be nice for him to be able to play with a puppet without having to drag the book around, too. It's so cute- instead of going "Moo" he puts his hand inside the puppet and goes "Blah-blah-blah". It cracks me up.

Anyway, I've got laundry going, and knitting to work on while J's asleep. Hope y'all are having a good weekend.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Killer traffic and worse!

I've complained about the traffic in this town before. It's no secret that our road system sucks. Perhaps you've heard me say that it takes me nearly an hour to do an 8-9 mile commute in the mornings. Yeah, it's that bad.

We're one of the fastest growing counties in the state, particularly in this southern section where we reside, and while we've had an incredible influx of residents- I could look up the numbers, but I'm lazy- probably doubled our population in the last 10 years, they've done little or nothing to aid in the traffic problems. We have no mass transit other than one bus system that get you nowhere and only runs until about 5 pm. And there's, maybe two cab companies with five cabs or more. So everyone HAS to drive, whether they want to or not.

Ok, so Thursday, sitting at work, we notice that traffic on the main road outside our doors isn't moving well. Odd because it's not a usual rush hour. Clients start showing up late for their appointments or calling and cancelling because they can't even get out of their neighborhoods because of the backups. Finally we learn that there's a water line broken and they're having to tear up a portion of a major intersection about 3 miles from our clinic.

I call hubby on his cell to tell him to find an alternate route home, he tells me he's got me beat-- he's stuck in traffic on the other side of town- he's sitting behind a plane wreck! *smacks forehead*

So that was Thursday. Yesterday a tanker overturned on the interstate just south of our exit. The interstate was closed for 9 hours. Of course, with the interstate closed, everyone exited onto our already over-crowded local roads, and we had tie-ups in town that lasted two to three hours all over.

And if the tragedy of these folks- the people in the plane, and the trucker guy- dying wasn't bad enough, the news treated it like a carnival. There were people out having street parties in the middle of the road- it was festive, a reason for a party! I find that sick. Maybe they could have used the opportunity to talk about driving safety, or how truckers have to drive for so many hours straight without sleeping, putting us in danger. Maybe they could have offered their condolences to the deceased driver's family. No, they had to talk about the economic windfall for the town- how the gas stations were all but out of gas and the sandwich shops were overflowing. Almost as if to say Dude! Flip a truck every week!

Anyway, that's my early morning rant. I'm off to work for the morning. Y'all have a good weekend.

I actually have a picture of the plane crash that I was going to post, but 1. blogger's a bitch today and 2. it seems kind of wrong, ya know? If anyone wants to see what a plane crash looks like, I'll just email ya, ok? :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

J's new toy


I've sort of come to the realization that finding the ideal daycare situation may not be possible. I've called nearly everyone in this town and have been less than impressed by most. Others have left me lukewarm, and even the one that I spoke with last week that sounded like a sure thing was just sort of "eh" once we went for a tour. The place was nice enough, I suppose, but I felt like the staff was less than enthusiastic. Granted, it was cleaner than the place he currently attends, and the class size was smaller, both positives. But they seemed somewhat disorganized, and there was something else I couldn't quite put my finger on while we were there, but finally hit me once we were home: his class had no window at all. Claustrophobic. While that may not bother J so much, it just felt weird to me. How can you design a building with no windows? That, and there was a parent registering her child in the lobby. The child was, perhaps 10 or so, and was obviously registering for before and after-school care. Ummm.. this child had tatoos- two of them visible. Yes, real tats. Not the kind you get out of the quarter-eater in front of the grocery store. Hand-drawn, blue ink, sloppy prison looking tats. Creepy. And while I know that a daycare facility has little or nothing to do with the appearance of children, it makes me wonder what kind of kids and parents this place caters to.

I get this image of picking Jonas up one afternoon with a mohawk, wearing a pair of sunglasses and a wifebeater smoking a little candy cigarette.

And I know I'm probably being overly-critical and picky about the whole thing, but seriously, if I'm paying someone to watch my child, and to nurture him and enrich his learning, I'd like to find someone or somewhere I feel at least remotely comfortable with.

It's overwhelming, daycare hunting. There are so many things to factor in, and on top of those, there's also the mommy gut reaction to certain things. One place told me that they teach the children how to eat with a fork and spoon properly and if the children are "smacking" their food, they correct them. Ok, sounds like a good thing until you consider that my 19 month old son just doesn't have the coordinating yet for proper eating and chewing politely. We do good to get food in him at all most of the time. I wonder how much more frustrating feeding would be if it also included discipline for sloppy manners?

Yes, paranoid mommy here. I totally admit that.

I'm considering home childcare again. I know we had a rough start with that in the beginning, but J's a little too old to put in a closet without a fight now, and I think he'd do better in the smaller, more intimate setting. When we visited centers today, I could feel him tensing up and feeling overwhelmed just walking through. Sure, part of that is separation anxiety and the fear that I'm going to be leaving him. But part of it is also that he's relatively shy/slow to warm. I just think that these mega kid centers full of noise and activity are too much for him at times.

Does the ideal arrangement even exist? Perhaps not, but I don't see the point in moving him from one mediocre environment to another one just for the sake of moving him. So I suppose, unless something along the lines of a miracle develops in the next few weeks, he'll stay where he's at until I become the domestic goddess that I so desire to be.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday stuff

Nothing happening right now, really. Worked a short shift this morning. It was a rather mild Saturday at work. They tend to be that way- either incredible mild, or hellacious. I was thankful for an easy one.

Jonas spent the morning with Granny and Daddy Dave. He adores them, and their dog, Kelli. We spent about an hour, after I got back from work, in the front yard watching Daddy Dave and Uncle Daryl work on the old MG-B. They got it running, at least enough to go up and down the street. That's the most that little car's done in years. Jonas delighted in the backfiring engine. He's so totally in love with cars right now, anyway, and the little MG looks like it's just his size. At least he thinks so. I suppose it'll still be a few years before he gets to sit behind the wheel. :)

Home now and doing laundry. Gearing up for another week of work. They seem to be longer and longer. I know it's just my anticipation of quitting that makes them feel that way, but it makes it so hard! That and the fact that I'm thoroughly disgusted with J's daycare.

I've been calling around, looking for a new place. We're going to drop in for a visit on a few of them Tuesday, I think. One of them sounds very promising, but talk is cheap on the phone. It's also about twice as much as what we're paying right now, but I suppose you have to figure you get what you pay for, eh? Still, it's hard to shell out $400 a month for part-time daycare. I can't imagine how most people do it. I mean, we're not exactly rolling in the dough here, but we're comfortable, and still struggling with the cost. I mean, at $400 a month, that's almost an entire bi-weekly paycheck of mine. Imagine having to live on what's leftover!

So I guess the point is, I feel rather fortunate about the fact that I can even consider sending my son to a place that costs that much. But I also think that it's a shame that not all children have that luxury and so many of them are left in sub-standard care, simply because it's the best their working parents can do.

I know this is probably a rather boring read, but I just sort of felt like I needed to check in here. Haven't posted anything in a while. I'll leave you on a cute note.

Last night Jonas was playing with a guitar. He was holding it upright like you would a bass, and was fiddling with the tuning pegs. I asked him what he had, and he looked at the pegs intently, studied them, then walked over to Dad, stuck a finger in his ear, and exclaimed "Ear!"
"Yes, that's an ear, but what are those?" I asked again. He looked at me like I was a big dummy, pointed to the pegs, and said "Ears!" Too cute. Yes, I suppose when you hold a guitar up like that, they do sort of look like ears, don't they?

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's Done

We finally closed on our refi this morning. I can't tell you how good it feels to have that overwith. It's not that it's been incredibly difficult in any way- just time consuming, and we let it drag along for so many months, mostly as we tried to get our bathroom project completed. So now, what to do with all this newfound money?

1. Air conditioner
2. Stucco repair
3. New paint on exterior
4. pay off all debts
5. A quick vacation to PA (yippie!)
6. Register for school- heh, I put vacation first :)
7. Car repairs
8. poss. a new computer, desk and if money allows, a new tv for the livingroom. We've been watching tv on my old 19 inch from highschool for far too long.
9. new carpet in the bedroom
10. new bedroom furniture
11. expanding the porch

With all of that I've probably already spent every penny. I guess we'll have to prioritize what things we need to do vs. what we want, like the tv and computer. Besides, with the fewer payments going out each month, we will probably be able to buy those little luxuries with the money we're saving instead of dipping into the refi money.

Anything that's left we'll sock into savings for whatever unexpected event is looming around the corner. There's always at least one, right?

Now I'm home, dying to break into this huge box sitting on my front porch. Granny and Daddy Dave bought Jonas a "Waveclimber" which is a cool climby thing with a slide for the yard. He's going to love it! Of course, this adds to my project list- we're going to create a play area in the yard, and re-vamp all of the landscaping (or lack there-of) Jeez, give me money for five minutes and I've already spent every penny. It's a good thing I have a cheap ass husband around to strike some sort of balance.

Anyway, I can't put together the thing with Jonas around. I mean, he'd love to help, but I have a feeling we wouldn't be very productive. So it'll have to wait until the weekend when Granny can watch him for a few hours. Tonight I want to go out and celebrate with a dinner that I didn't have to cook. We'll have to wait and see what time Wil finally gets out of work.

And that's the report from this little corner of the world.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Further grumblings

Just got a phone call from work. They want to re-arrange my schedule to accomodate other people's vacations. It's not that I mind so much, covering for someone else, but it's just so damn inconvenient for me to arrange daycare on the fly. Add that to the fact that I'm dying to turn in my notice, and it's doubly hard to smile and say "sure" to working two extra days a week.

I'm sulking like a little kid.

But the real pain in the ass is that I put in a request more than a month ago for some time off in early May, and they're giving me hell about it. Like I don't have the right to take a vacation since I'm -just- a part time employee.


It's all temporary.


Everyone else's blog that I read seems to be filled with optimism and cheeriness. It must be spring on the way, the lengthening of days and warming of the sun. Me, I'm just not feeling it. I guess it has to do with all the stuff going on- the refi, the prospect of quitting my job, of starting out on a new path. Whatever it is, I'm in one of those funks.

I dreamed last night of being with old friends, particularly Eric. He was my closest friend in Jr. High and High School. We spent nearly every waking moment together, shopping, movie watching, cruising around in my rusted out old car- in which I gave him his first driving lesson. (He failed miserably, btw) He was like the other half of me in that way that you never forget. We completed each other, and yet, we had no interest in being "together". We were just two friends, comfortable in each other's presence at all times.

He moved away in my junior year, and it was like losing a part of myself. (yeah, I know, what a cliche!) But it truly was. We kept in touch as best as two kids can prior to the days of MSN messenger and the like. We'd snail each other letters so thick that the envelopes would nearly be bursting. (I still have them)

But time has a way of moving people, and memories along, and we sort of drift away. We've always managed to stay somewhat connected, only now, it's more like once or twice a year that we hear from each other.

He's now Arianna, well on his way to becoming the person he was meant to be- a beautiful woman. I know that most people would be completely freaked out by the thought of their best friend undergoing a sex change, but I find complete joy in it. It's like watching a flower finally blossom.

In my dreams last night he was Eric again, the sweet boy with the long dark hair and glasses that sat on the hood of my car with me, under the shade of old oaks, smoking Marlboro's and contemplating the vastness of the universe.

I miss him.

What a tangent this post took, eh? I meant to tell you about the way I'm sick of picking Jonas up filthy from daycare, with no report. The way I'm tired of the coldness between Wil and me, and the way the animals seemed to be on a mission to destroy the house yesterday. I was going to tell you about how, while I was cleaning up the animal's messes Jonas decided that the toilet was just as good as his watertable for floating toys, or the way that the ants have taken over my hallway. I was going to tell you about the fact that we're closing on Wednesday, and Wil has cold feet about me quitting my job, and so, despite all of the trouble with daycare, and the fact that I'm so unhappy with my employment situation, I can't leave yet.

But to be honest, I sort of prefer to just sit here and soak up the memory of my friend. The rest will be there later to complain about, right?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

some pictures

A little man feeling all better.

It's rough being a cat.

And as promised, the "meat muffins" from the other night. The picture sucks, white rice on white plate, washed out by flash, but you get the idea, and I've never claimed to be a good photographer.

Dinner tonight- fried rice with marinated tofu, bean sprouts, and assorted veggies. And for Wil, I'll probably add in the leftover steak from last night. Can't ask a man to eat Tofu willingly, can you?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Even as leftovers, it ain't bad

Ever have a plan in mind for dinner and once you get started, it morphs into something totally different? That's what happened to me Wednesday night.

I had a hankering for empanadillas, and since I had some frozen, pre-rolled, pre-packaged empanada discs in the freezer, I figured, why not? But, of course, then my can-do self decided that I could make a much better dough from scratch than the crap that's been chilling in the freezer for a couple months.

So I made a basic pastry dough, with flour, salt, egg, an entire stick of nearly frozen butter, and ice water, and stuck it in the fridge to rest and get cold. Meanwhile, I started on the filling.

You can stuff these things with just about anything you want, but I have a standard favorite that I use. It's not so much a recipe that I use, but just a basic guideline of what to throw in the skillet, often modified to suit my pantry.

Start by sweating a chopped onion in a little olive oil with some salt and pepper. Throw in a pound of ground beef, a generous amount of garlic, some tomato sauce, some recaito or sofrito(or both, like I did), sazon, some spanish olives, roughly chopped, chili flakes, to your taste, and some cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon. It gives it incredible depth, I promise. I usually add in some raisins, too, just a handful, for their sweetness, and the way the compliment the cinnamon, but I was out, so they weren't added. :) Let this simmer away for a while, until most of the liquid is absorbed, then set aside to cool.

While it's cooling, you're supposed to roll the dough out to these perfect circles to be stuffed, crimped around the edges and fried to a crispy golden perfection. Little meat pies! Yum.

But by the time I had the meat finished and the dough cooled, it was obvious that Jonas was done humoring me in the kitchen and I needed to get something done quickly. So... instead of empanadas, I took out my muffin tin, and I lined each of the cups with a roughly circular piece of dough. I didn't get all fancy or anything, relying on a rustic charm to take over. I tossed them into the oven for a few minutes to let them bake and brown a bit, the same way you'd blind bake a pie shell.

Once they were slightly golden, I took them out, filled each one with the meat mixture, topped them with cheese, and placed them back in the oven just long enough for the crusts to finish browning and for the cheese to bubble up.

And because I still had the store-bough, pre-packaged dough in the freezer, I thought I might as well use those up, too. So I stuffed them with some canned apple pie filling, doctored up with some cinnamon and extra sugar (yeah, so shoot me) and baked them up for dessert.

Served the little meat pies with some plain old white rice. They were simple, delicious and sort of a fun novelty. Wil was a little perplexed for some reason about why we were eating dinner out of a muffin tin. He kept calling them "meat muffins", but considering I made a dozen of them, ate two, and there were only three left over, they must have been pretty darn good.

My only criticism is that I didn't pre-bake the crusts enough, and they were just slightly under-done on the bottoms. It really was much easier to stuff the crusts into the muffin tin rather than taking the time to cut out perfect circular discs to fill and crimp, and you still have the portability factor, should you want to take these with you for lunch or whatever. That's the biggest appeal of the empanada- they make a great lunch/snack since they're all contained within the crust.

So that's my kitchen adventure for the week. I know, it's not all that exciting or anything, but it's not all that often that I break away from the tried and true recipes.

It was also great since, for the past few weeks, I've been on sort of a personal challenge to cook from the pantry and use up some of that "stuff" that's lying around. You know how it is, you have stuffed cabinets, and still feel like there's nothing to eat in the house because everything requires work. Yeah, I'm out to prove myself wrong there.

I'll add some pictures just as soon as I figure out where I left the camera. :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A picture from today


A picture from yesterday

If this is what the outside looks like, imagine what the inside of his mouth feels like! Actually, he looks worse in this picture than he did in the one before, but the sores are just in the healing process and look more red and yucky. They're actually even better looking today, but he's too busy to take a picture of.:)

PS: Admire that codeine stupor! I'm glad he's not taking that anymore.

A New Child

I woke up to a new child this morning. Jonas is happy, active, bright-eyed. He's already consumed twice as much liquid as he has in the past several days, and despite refusing both chocolate (his favorite)pudding AND a milkshake, he did eat half a bowl of oatmeal. Hey, whatever works, right?

No fever today, he seems less painful, only putting his hand to his mouth occasionally. We're still holding off on juice and stuff that stings, but we're well on our way to feeling better. Heck, he hasn't even had his Codeine since about 5pm yesterday.

Of course, he's feeling better and I woke up with a sore throat this morning. Could just be the cooler weather last night, or the fact that Wil left the ceiling fan on, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that I've caught this crap. Yippie! Good thing I stocked up on popsicles and icecream. :)

In other news, we should be closing on our refi by the middle of next week. Paperwork is all in order, and we're just waiting on the title company to give us a date. Heh, work will love me taking some MORE time off to go to the closing. I begged Pat to push for Tuesday or Wednesday, since I'm off those days, anyway. We'll see what happens.

I'm so excited about this. It's like this whole world of possibilities is getting ready to unfold before me. MT courses, home repairs and renovations, the chance to stay at home with J and not subject him to any more funky germ-bag kids with low-class and inconsiderate parents. No more piles of bills sitting in the "need to be paid ASAP" stack with last week's date on them. Essentially all we'll be paying once this is done is the mortgage payment, the car insurance, and the phone and utilities. That's such a good feeling, after being bogged down underneath mistakes made so long ago.

There should be laws against giving 18 year old kids credit cards. Heck, there should be laws about giving 25 year old adults credit cards! But neither Wil nor I have used credit in the last six years, outside of the occasional unforseeable car repair/emergency purchase, which we promptly paid off. We've learned our lessons, I suppose.

Anyway, I've got laundry to put away, a kid to keep up with, a floor to sweep, and I'm working up a dinner plan. Nothing's going to get done with my butt planted in this chair.

Monday, March 06, 2006


After wrestling the first dose of Jonas's meds into him this afternoon, I had a lot of high hopes for some rather quick resolutions. Within an hour of his first codeine dose he actually drank, and quite a bit. Ok, like 7 ounces, which is a lot, considering the fact that he hasn't really drank more than 2 ounces at a time all week. But looking at him now, sleeping that fitful, narcotic induced sleep where he's really awake, just too zonked to open his eyes, I'm wondering if I'm doing him any favors at all.

I've changed only one diaper all day, and that one was only slightly wet. He's refused any subsequent beverages, still refuses food at all. The lesions on his face look even angrier than they did before I started the anti-viral cream and oral meds. Maybe that's a sign that they're starting to heal? I don't know, but it looks terrible. His lips are swollen, red, blistered. His breath is so foul you can hardly stand it.

Maybe I'm just expecting too much too soon, but I'm just not seeing any improvement.

Isn't it strange how you can gave such a firm grasp on everything the doctor is saying while you're in the exam room, but the moment you get home, it seems like you can't remember a thing they said? Jonas could have one of three things going on right now- hand, foot and mouth disease, herpangina, or a strain of herpes. The first two are both caused by coxsackie virus, the third, well, it's herpes. And it's sort of hard to swallow the herpes thing, simply because the disease has such a weight to it. I mean, coldsores and chickenpox are herpes strains, and fairly common, but you say herpes and everyone takes a big step back, ya know? And we don't really know which one it is. A herpes culture would take roughly a month to come back, and therefore pointless. And now that I'm home I'm wondering all these things, like if it IS herpes, is it a form that will come back, and with what frequency? Will he be plagues with these awful mouth ulcers for the rest of his life? Is it a one-shot deal, like chickenpox?

In all reality, it's probably the cox virus, since there have been a lot of cases of it lately, according to the doctor. But that does very little to ease my mind when my baby's face looks like raw hamburger.

And I just want him to drink something. Doc says he's hydrated enough to not be critical, as long as I'm changing two wet diapers a day, he's ok. But he's right on the border with that, and if the pain killers aren't making it any easier for him to drink, am I making him a zombie for no reason?

All this over Jonas, and I go and read Erin's blog and know that she's hanging onto sanity by a very thin thread. Poor Nova's on a roller-coaster ride for his life. I wish I could fix him, help him, do something to make it easier on all of them. And I feel so helpless, and so far away. Please keep them in your thoughts, they need all the positive energy and prayers and help they can get.

On that note, I'm going to cuddle up with my zombie-boy and hope that soon, very soon, he wakes up thirsty.

Good News/Bad News

The good news is that Jonas is not hospitalized right now, as we thought he'd be due to his dehydration.

The bad news is- he's on three different meds now just to make it possible for him to eat and drink. One of them is a friggin narcotic.

So he's zonked- and probably will be for the next several days. But if that's what it takes to make him better, I guess I'm ok with that.

I just got of the phone with daycare. I was tempted to lay into them for accepting sick children and allowing it to spread like this, but you know, I guess it's not really their fault. I'd like to find the negligent parent that had the nerve to drop their kid off that way. We'd have a prayer meeting, for sure.

So, the breakdown-

Two doctor's visits- $30
Two bottles of children's motrin- $18
Three prescriptions- $86 (robbery!)
Two days of missed work- 20 hours of pay
The miserable condition of my child- beyond dollar value
Daycare missed- $50
Not to mention the gas, lost sleep, pedialyte, etc that we've gone through.

All because one parent was a complete moron.

Just one more reason I'm hell-bent to quit my job and keep my kid at home. Ugh.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

If Icky had a poster child

This would be it.

We'll be back at the doctor's office in the morning. Not that I think they'll do anything at all for the virus itself, but I can't imagine they'll let him go much longer without drinking or eating anything. Today we've managed to get a couple of ounces of fluids in him, and one french fry, of all things! But other than that, nothing since Wednesday in the way of food.

His level of dehydration scares me, but my nursy friend thinks he's still ok to wait until the morning to see his doctor rather than spending the evening in the emergency room. And if he does seem to get any worse, she's working tonight. So, we've sort of got a speed-pass to the ER. That's not exactly a perk I want to have to use, but I'm glad it's there, regardless.

Anyway, off to cuddle Mr. Miserable.


Jonas is absolutely miserable. He just lies around all day, head in my lap, whimpering and moaning and tossing, trying to find a comfortable position. And there's really not a whole lot I can do for him, other than love him. Is this really going to last 7 days!?

He's dehydrating. No a drop of urine since about 6pm yesterday- more than 10 hours. Hasn't eaten anything at all since Wednesday afternoon/evening. How long can a baby go with no food? He still drinks a little, but not nearly enough. We've tried, milk, milkshakes, chocolate milk, juice, kool-aid, water, pedialyte, smoothies, just about anything liquid, and it all gets rejected. And I can understand why. If I had blisters all in my mouth and throat I wouldn't want to swallow anything, either. But I know he's starving and thirsty. You can sit and listen to his tummy rumble, and he tosses all night with a belly-ache.

At 2-something he woke up with a pretty high fever again. We've had very little success in the fever-control department. Even after giving motrin, he tends to run at about 100 degrees. You have to understand that my kid's on the big size for his age. Thursday when I stopped into my normal pharmacy (which I can't stand, but it's the only 24 hour place that accepts our insurance) I actually asked the pharmacy staff whether I should be giving him the Infant's Motrin, or the Childrens. The infants is for "children 6-23 months and weighing up to 23 lbs, the Children's if for children 2 and over, and weighing 24 lbs or more. My gut told me to go by weight, not age, but I didn't want to go over-dosing him on stuff without someone else telling me it was ok. So I asked the pharmacy guy, and he totally blew me off, sort of rolling his eyes and acting like I was a moron.
"You say he's how old?"
"Almost 19 months."
"Well, it says clearly that this goes up to 23 months."
"Yes, but he's a big boy, are you sure I shouldn't be going by weight instead."
*loud huff*
"This says up to 23 months. Go by the age."
*turns and walks away*

Not once did Joe Clerk ask the pharmacist. That would have required a long six foot trek to the other end of the counter.

So Jonas has had a fever since Thursday, sometimes high, sometimes low. The motrin brings it down, but not all the way.

Tonight, realizing I'd left his bottle at Grannys, I made a 3 am run to the pharmacy, and for some reason, although my regular pharmacy is closer, something made me drive to Walgreens. Yes, I know their prices are expensive, etc. But let me tell you this. Not once, ever, have I been treated as kindly as I was tonight/this morning.

I decided to ask someone else's opinion on which one was the right choice. The pharmacist not only took the time to ask questions about Jonas, age, height and weight, and based on that, made the suggestion that the children's was the better option (score one for mommy instinct) but also took the time to ask about his hydration, suggested I try pedialyte popsicles, recommended that if this didn't keep his fever at bay, to try alternating it with tylenol every couple of hours, and just overall gave a shit. Imagine that! She took the time to actually come out from behind the pharmacy counter and chat with me as I walked down the aisle.

And then I got to the register, and the sweet girl working there also made the suggestion that, if this was something I was buying a lot of, I check BJ's or Sams because they sell a package of three bottles for the same price that one costs there. Now, while this may not be good corporate practice, to send business elsewhere, I really appreciated the fact that she would make such a suggestion. Heh, either I looked totally broke, or she just really felt like she could do me a favor. And honestly, who doesn't appreciate being told about a significant savings?

So, I think that in the morning, when I have a less cloudy head, I'm going to write a letter to the store manager, or corporate, or both, just thanking them for their wonderful and helpful staff, and maybe even drop the suggestion that that start accepting my insurance so that I can fill my prescriptions there, too. It's not like I have some obscure insurance, or anything. We're through one of the top three providers in this area. I guess it's probably got more to do with corporate BS and insurance contracts, etc. But it would really be nice to have a staff I feel confident in taking care of our medical needs, ya know?

So anyway, that's my long-winded three in the morning ramble. Back to bed to see if I can get another hour or two in.

And if you haven't already gone and offered up your spare change to Erin, what are you waiting for? Get your buns over there and send that girl some gas money! I'd like to think someone would do the same for me/you if our children were fighting for their lives. And if someone did, I guarantee you the first one to do it would be Erin. Donate Here

Friday, March 03, 2006

Like you NEED another Latte!

You know, I was thinking last night. I don't have much in the way of spare money lying around. Chances are, you don't either. But I know that Erin probably has even less of it than you or I do, and she could probably use it a lot more than we could with all the commuting and time spent at the hospital lately.

Has anyone else noticed that there's a "donation" button on her website? Yeah, I know, it's for her charity work, but I'm sure that Nova could be considered her greatest project right now. So, if I send my little something, and you do the same, maybe all of our little somethings would help out a little. And I promise you won't even miss it.

So, why don't you go HERE and unload your pesky pocket change, or life savings, if you prefer. Afterall, what are YOU going to do with it?

PS: Erin, don't kill me for this, ok? :) You know I love you.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

or Hand, Foot and Mouth, to be more precise.

Jonas has been fussy and not himself for several days. Drooly, hands in the mouth, not eating well, not sleeping well. I would write it all off as teething if he didn't already have all of the teeth he's supposed to have. Yesterday he started in with the fever, and stopped eating and drinking all together. So, after a long night of high fever and lots of whining, we went to the doctor this morning. I figured I was just over-reacting, but I'd rather pay a co-pay to hear the doctor say that, rather than go through the weekend worried to death that there's something terribly wrong with my baby.

So, sitting in the waiting room this morning, there are two other children from his daycare class sitting there, too. Hmmm... I'm sure THAT'S just a strange coincidence.

We start chatting, and find that our kids all have the same symptoms, and that another child in the class has had the same thing for the last week. Of course, this nameless child is the one that gets dropped off regardless of his condition. I swear, no matter what's wrong with him, he's there. I feel bad for him, really. I mean, I know that not all parents can just call off from work every time their kid is sick, but sometimes you have to put your kid, and mine, first. I have a feeling he's been the culprit responsible for many of J's various illnesses over the last year.

So anyway, they've all got hand, foot and mouth disease, which sounds a lot more disgusting than it really is. It's really just a virus that causes blisters inside the mouth and on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. No wonder he doesn't want to eat or drink! Poor thing! So really, all we can do is wait it out and encourage him to sip on stuff until it passes.

And so I get another day off work this week. Heh, I can't wait to be a stay-at-homer. I'm tired of the weekly trips to the pediatrician, and the guilt of calling in all the time.

Anyway, I'm being beckoned to play "Tato", so I need to go. Y'all have a great day, and try to enjoy your upcoming weekend.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


If food is any indicator of mood, I must be feeling flat. Yesterday we had pancakes for breakfast, and today, dinner was various forms of squished foods.

It was actually delicious- turkey and havarti cheese paninis with spinach and artichoke spread served with a (more than) generous portion of tostones.

Tostones are one of Wil's favorite guilty pleasures. I mean, maybe they're not all that bad for you, they are, afterally, a vegetable, or a fruit, or something. But anything you fry- twice- can't be all that good for you. We only cook them every now and then. Here they are, in for their first swim in the oil. Once they become lightly golden, and semi-soft, you take them out, smash them flat, and fry them until done, seasoning generously with salt as soon as they're out of the oil.

Now, I'm not much of a useless kitchen gadget collector. Most of the things I keep serve more than one purpose, but after burning the hell out of myself smashing hot plantains with the heel of my hand for years, I finally decided that this little bugger was worth the $2.00 or so that I paid for it.

Finally, the sandwich. I could brag and say that I whipped this gourmet baby up from scratch, but I'd be lying. I enjoy a gourmet, home prepared meal just as much as the rest of you do. But reality is, most nights I just don't have the time or the energy for much more than popping a bag of popcorn in the nuker. I cut corners where I can.

So the meat is just your standard variety lunch meat. I did splurge and buy the "all natural" stuff. The cheese- havarti is my absolute favorite cheese in the whole world. I can't really explain it. It's sharp, yet creamy, swiss-like, but without the pungency. I was surprised to find it, presliced, and in the same section as the Kraft singles. For the spinach and artichoke spread I really cheated. You know those little frozen TGI Friday's spinach and artichoke dip appetizers they sell? Yup. Three minutes in the microwave, stirring once. Viola! A gourmet spread for your sammich!
The bread was actually on the markdown cart at the grocery. Apparently it was baked yesterday, and therefore, no good today. Hogwash! It was superb! Garlic and Parmesan sub rolls. Yummy.

So I cut the bread in half, spread both sides with the spinach and artichoke dip, layered the turkey and cheese, then placed the prepped sandwich between two hot and heavy skillets covered in foil. The foil was simply to keep the "nasty" bottom of the skillet off the food. Like I said, I don't own very many kitchen gadgets that don't multi-task, so I could never splurge for a panini maker or sandwich press.

The sandwiches were rich, warm, and incredibly filling. I'm wishing I had given up at the half-way mark right now. I feel like I could absolutely burst.

The tostones were pretty darn good, too. I mean, how do you go wrong with salty, fried stuff?

So that was dinner tonight, in all it's simplicity. I guess I'm posting this to prove that you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen to make a meal that tastes like you did.

I actually sliced and did the first fry on the plantains earlier in the day when I had a little free time. I flattened them and set them aside until we were ready to eat, and then quickly finished them off as the sandwiches were toasting. I also pre-made the spinach dip, placing the extra in a tupperware in the fridge for future snacking engagements, and so once it was time to actually cook, it all came together in less than ten minutes, and that with a toddler underfoot.

Sometimes you can use pre-packaged stuff in ways that make them seem a little more "gourmet" than they really are.