Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How to Tell You've Ticked Off a Mathmatician

I got this in an email a while back, and it makes me laugh every time I re-read it. So I thought I'd pass it on. (I hope the pic is clear enough you can read what it says.)

A check sent to Verizon from an upset customer.

The amount is believed to be $533.80 (we think).

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Trip to the Emergency Room

We took Nathan to the Emergency Room on Friday night. Probably didn't need to, but I figured better to be safe than sorry.
We put Nathan down for an early-evening nap about 6 o'clock on Friday. We were having friends over, and he was tired and rubbing his eyes (he'd woke up from his afternoon nap at 2), so rather than having an all-evening crankfest (during which I'd have to be holding him constantly), we put him down for a nap.
An hour and a half later, we woke him up so he'd be able to go to bed at a semi-normal time. I brought him down and he kind of talked (babbled) to everyone at the table. I noticed he shivered some. Then he shivered some more, and his arms broke out in goosebumps.
We took his temperature, and it was 102. It kind of alarmed me, because he'd been perfectly fine all afternoon - I'd been gone cleaning and babysitting, and he was happy and played with Paul the whole time I was gone. After I got home, he was happy, but got a little cranky (but it was normal I-need-a-nap cranky), which is why we put him down.
We gave him some Tylenol, and went into the living room to visit and play games. Even though there were two other couples and one little boy here, he didn't even try to socialize. He just sat on my lap with his head on my chest, which is totally out of character for him.
An hour later, I took his temperature again, and it was up to 104. I figured the Tylenol should have kicked in by then, so I called the hospital to get an opinion. The nurse said to alternate Tylenol with ibuprofin, every two hours, give him a lukewarm bath, or put ice packs against his chest. We didn't have any ibuprofin, and I figured if he was shivering anyways, a cool bath or ice packs weren't a good idea.
As I held him, I noticed his heart was beating really, really fast - almost fluttering - and he was panting. Dan (who's taken EMT classes) tried to take his pulse, but it was too fast to count. After everyone left, Nathan started whimpering, then all the sudden he stopped and his breathing slowed down. I thought he'd went to sleep, but when I looked at him, his eyes were half open. I laid him down in my arms, and his eyes were kind of glazed and he was floppy. I freaked out a little. But then he lifted his arm and pointed at something. I breathed a little easier.
Paul and I talked, and decided to go into town - we needed to get the ibuprofin anyways, and if the temp wasn't down, we were going to take him into the emergency room. On the way, we wracked our brains trying to figure out what could be causing the fever. We were pretty sure he hadn't eaten anything that would cause it, plus we figured if it was food-related, he'd be throwing up or something else. I wondered if he could have picked something up from the kitten I found. Had he acted in any other way like he didn't feel well, being cranky or anything, I don't think we would have worried as much. But to go from being perfectly fine, to having this really high fever and being lethargic baffled me.
When we got to town, while Paul went into Walgreens to get the ibuprofin, I took Nathan's temperature, and it was up another half degree. I also got a pulse, since he was laying so still, and it was 160/minute. When Paul got back to the car, we decided to go on over to the hospital.
We got a little attitude from the nurse when we got there. She's the one I had talked to on the phone, and she was like, "Well, did you give him the ibuprofin?" I told her we had to come in to town anyways to get it, and since the Tylenol hadn't even touched the fever, we were a little worried. But the whole time we were there, we just got this attitude behind everything she said that was like, "You guys really don't need to be here."
Luckily, they weren't that busy - there was only one other patient, so we got to see a doctor pretty quickly. She looked him over, and agreed that his heart was racing, but told us that a rapid heart beat is a side-effect of a high fever. (I had never heard that.) Then she looked into his ears, and found the problem. He has an ear infection. I was surprised, because first off - we'd just been to the doctor a week before, and she said his ears looked great, and also, he hadn't been cranky or fussy, or rubbing on his ear or anything. But I was also relieved, because now we knew there was a reason for the fever. And she said a sudden high temperature could cause seizures, especially when you try to bring it down by giving them a cool bath. (Take that, Nurse Attitude! I should have told the doctor that's what their nurse reccomended, though....)
We still didn't feel bad for bringing him in, despite Nurse Attitude's little comments. We figured it was better to go just to be sure, rather than regret it later if it was something serious (like measles or meningitis) and we went too late. Plus, being Friday, we probably would have ended up in the emergency room anyways before Monday, since the doctor's office was closed.
Oh well. I have no regrets for how we did it. The only thing I'm apprehensive of is how much they'll stick it to us in the bill. Which we probably won't get for about four months. Oh well.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Evening Walks

In two weeks, we're going to Colorado for a vacation/family reunion to see Paul's grandparents. We like going hiking in the mountains while we're out there, but that's kind of hard to do with a toddler. We decided to get a backpack carrier when I sold my electric stove. It only took us three months to get around to putting an ad in the paper, but we got it sold! So we bought Nathan's big-boy carseat (a front-facer) and used the rest of the money to buy the carrier (and a birthday present). Wal-Mart, Target, and the usual places didn't have such a thing, so we looked online.
So we looked on EBay, and found the exact same thing, just last year's model (different colors). The bidding ended in just a few minutes, so we hurried up and bid on it.
Our cost: $43. And that includes the shipping.
All that leading up to the reason for my post: My evening walks.
I figured that if I am going to hike in the mountains, I should at least be conditioned to walk in the flatlands. So I've been taking Nathan on walks every evening that Paul's at work - either right before he gets home, or right after he leaves for nights.
Well tonight, I reached my halfway point (the corner 3/4 mile away) and turned around to head back. The dog's trailing along beside me, sniffing out the ditches, when I hear a "Reeeoowww! Hiss! Hiss!" coming from a cedar tree. I go to investigate, and I find a white and stripey kitten. He immediately climbs out the branch toward me, and before I know it he's in my arms.
I carried him and/or he walked along beside me over a half mile back to the house. I kicked Brutus out and brought the kitten inside to make sure he got some food, and Nathan immediately started following him all over the house.
I know, the sight of Nathan hugging on him really makes me want to keep him. But then I remember.... Brutus was once small and loveable.
So if you want to take this cute, friendly little guy home with you, just let me know. I'd love to not have to kick him outside.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random Photography

Because I severely lack any inspiration in the writing department, I'll just post some pictures.
Birthday present from Grammy and Pa-pa. We eat breakfast here every morning. (Yes, those tiny chairs have a "weight capacity no more than 200 pounds"!) I figure if he likes sitting here better than his high chair, it's at least teaching him to sit at a table to eat. Even if it does only last half the meal.

He's starting to give hugs. And they make my heart go all gooey. He even has started hugging the cat, and just tonight gave his friend Glenna some very sweet hugs where he put one arm around her and his head on her shoulder. So cute! (And her look of terror of "What mean thing is he going to do to me?!?!" was great, too.)

In case you need a reason, I would never eat food that had fallen on the floor in Dairy Queen. Just in case you were considering.

Apparently we practice the "move your feet, lose your seat" principle here. I went to get a drink while we were watching some TV, and he moved in. And brought the sippy with him.

My friend Carrie calls the popular baby videos "Baby Crack." Pretty much. This was the first time we put a movie on just for him. We watch tv and movies with him in the room, but he's never shown more than fleeting interest. With this one, it was complete fixation the whole half hour. (This was the day we were trying to finish up the painting and needed to distract him.)

Daddy thought Nathan needed a big dump truck for his birthday. So far, all that Nathan thinks that the truck should be hauling is himself.

First bubble bath. He was a bit freaked out at the bubbles and didn't want to sit down in them. But then I showed him how they "pop" (disappear) when you smack them in your hands and he was smacking the water all over the place and soaking me and the rug.
That's all I got, folks. Maybe someday soon I'll be inspired and have something interesting for you, "my devoted public" (as Paul calls you). Or maybe you'll have to just live with looking at pictures of my adorable Munchkin for the rest of all time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Update on Carlsie

In case you haven't heard, my little sister had to take a break from teaching.
Five weeks into her first year as a teacher, she had an appendicitis attack, so Sunday night she had emergency surgery to have her appendix removed. And therefore has to take a week off from teaching.
Carl had told Mom that she had a stomach ache, but she attributed it to digestive issues. But by Sunday it wasn't better, and she called Mom crying. For those of you that don't know Carlsie, she doesn't cry. And Mom told her to go to the hospital. They transferred her to a bigger hospital an hour and a half away, where Mom met her after the surgery was over.
What is it with my sisters and emergency surgeries? Two weeks ago, my older sister had to have "semi-emergency" surgery to fix a hernia. (Apparently "semi-emergency" means: not important enough to do immediately after the Friday doctor appointment, but important enough that it can't wait until Monday.)
Anyways. That's what's up with that. Keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I can't believe it's Saturday again already. This week has gone by so fast - and I haven't even done anything! I really mean nothing. You should see the house.
This cold has really taken it out of me. I could take a nap every day and still be dead tired by 10 o'clock. I fell asleep on the couch watching a movie - at 7 in the evening!
I've had a time this week with Nathan. It probably seems worse because I don't feel well, but I have been to the point of pulling my hair out several times - almost yelling at him. (Well, "yelling" in my book consists of raising my voice firmly and saying, "You need to stop.") The littlest thing sets him off. I know it's temper tantrums, and he's just experimenting with what he can get by with. But after the fourteenth time in one hour of doing something he doesn't want you to do (like close the refridgerator door or taking the computer's mouse away from him), he throws himself down on the floor and screams..... I don't know what else to do.
Then compound that with the fact I'm trying to get him weaned.... Nursing has always been my solve-all solution. Sleepy baby? Nurse him! Cranky baby? Nurse him! Sick baby? You get the point. But if he's ever going to be weaned, that's got to change. It's tough for me, though. Not because I don't want to wean him (I am so ready to have my body back!), it's that I know I have something that will make him stop crying, but I have to choose not to use it. It's like having a weapon you know will end a war (and, yes, some days it feels like a war), but knowing it's in your best interest to not use it.
Today is the church's annual hog roast at the lake. Paul's working, but Nathan and I are going to go out. Providing the water's not too cold, I'm going to take him swimming after lunch. He loves water - almost to the point it's startling, because he just has no fear whatsoever.
Anyhow. Must get things gathered up.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Nathan!

Today was the big 1st Birthday Party. I can't believe he's already a year old!
Of course, I got sick just about the time I needed to start the major preparations - I have another stinking cold. Luckily I got most of the house cleaning done before this kicked my butt.
We went back and forth for what to do for a cake. "Tractor Cake" won out, because I didn't want to buy a pan. And since I wasn't feeling particularly inspired due to being sick, I didn't even try to do a tractor-shaped cake. We pulled this little beauty from Paul's collection and went to work trying to make chocolate frosting look like a field being disked.

Of course, Nathan wasn't interested in the cake. He just wanted that Cat tractor!

But once he decided to go for it, he chowed down. He liked his cake that Daddy made and helped decorate (because Mommy was too wiped out the night before when they were trying to make it)!

More on the adventure later. Even though I took a nap after most of the guests left and the remaining ones cleaned up for me, I'm still wiped.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Red Room

It's finally done.... Painting, cleaning - everything.
I love it.
We've only had one day of sunshine since last Monday (a week and a half ago). Natural lighting would be nice, but it's supposed to be cloudy until at least Sunday, so..... Take what you can get. The red is as it showed up on my camera - I didn't try to edit it to be exact to the color of the walls, because every monitor will show it differently, so I didn't bother.
As much as I'd love to sit in here, admiring my work, while listening to the rain on the roof, I must get more cleaning done while my Munchkin is asleep. His big birthday is on Sunday, and we will be having company, therefore the obsessive-compulsive in me must clean. Really clean - the kind that involves actually dusting and mopping!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

When I Said "Red" - I meant RED!!!

Two gallons of paint, four coats, three rollers, and seven almost-blisters later.... We're almost there. I have about 5 drops of red paint left, which I will need tomorrow when I peel off the tape from the trim. I tend to get a little over-zealous in my peeling, due to the fact I'm so excited to see the finished product. I inevitably peel off some paint with the tape, so I'll need all I have left to fix those.
I still have the trim to paint, but I figure that going from white to barely cream isn't going to be that much of a shocker. I am excited to get all the stuff put back where it belongs - everything is pretty much in one big pile in front of the wood stove (which is what I'm talking about when I say "the fireplace").
And we have a while before the whole project is completely finished.... We have to buy some trim and some tongue-and-groove paneling to put around the leftover porch lights. But that's going to have to wait for another paycheck, I fear. And then because everything else is all fresh and new, I need new blinds (it really is a need - the old ones were blech, and not able to be cleaned), and I'm going to put up curtains. It will be the first I've bought for this house! (Although after looking at prices, I may be making them....)

Wow. It just hit me. The adrenaline of "Get done! Get done!" wore off, and I'm about ready to fall asleep at the keyboard.

When it's all painted and finished, I'll post better pictures. (If the sun ever actually shines again. Natural lighting makes a huge difference in how it looks.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Three Years Ago

Taking a pause from the chaos to update you, my faithful readers. (More about the why of the chaos later.)
PS - this Breyer's Fried Ice Cream Overload is amazing. I don't know why they don't pair the cinnamon and ice cream flavors more often. I like it. And it was on sale.
I'm not even sure if I still have any readers after the last month or two. We have reached the "Ah crap, summer's almost over and I HAVE to get this done before cold weather gets here" portion of the summer.
PS - there will be lots of PSes in this post.
So three years ago this week marks the anniversary of - not Hurricane Katrina, but something far more important in my life - (and I said MY life, not that it wasn't important, it just didn't impact me personally) - buying this house.
PS - I bet the media loved having the "Hurricane Gustav" excuse to not give the Republican National Convention the coverage it deserved. And don't even get me started on how I feel about the way that journalists are jumping all over the news about the GOP Vice Presidental Nominee's teenage daughter being pregnant.
Anyways. We've been here three years. And we are just now doing all sorts of projects that should have been done THREE YEARS AGO. We didn't have a baby then. What did we do with all of our time??
Earlier in the summer we cut out the ugly cedar trees blocking our view of the road.
Just this last week, we finished removing a stretch of fence that was sagging and ugly and a pain to mow around. I know, it looks better in the picture with the fence (probably due to the fact it was a gorgeous sunny afternoon rather than a cloudy muggy morning), but trust me - it looks much better now without it. More open.
PS - while going out to take the "after" pictures, we encountered a mama crawdad (crawmom?). We're assuming it was a mama anyways, due to the fact she was carrying about a thousand baby crawdads on the underside of her tail. And I thought that crawdads breathed through gills anyways - why was she walking through our yard??
This last Saturday, Paul knocked down the shoddy treehouse in the elm behind the shop. It was one of those that looked like it had been built out of scrap lumber by someone who wasn't an expert with a hammer and nail (you know - like me). We weren't sure how stable it was, so to reduce the temptation (and risk of injury) to young visitors, we got rid of it. He also pulled a row of fenceposts through the middle of the behind-shed yard that had no fence on them. I helped. (And by helped, I mean watched. And by watched, I mean cat-called. He's such a stud.)
Now, to the chaos.
I am sitting at the computer desk, which is in the middle of the floor in the front room/office/computer room/fireplace room/den/we don't know what to call it room. For all of the three years we've been here, I have wanted to paint this room red. But painting a room red is a bold move. It can't be too orange (like a tomato), and it can't be too purple (like wine). But it's hard to tell by a little 2-inch square sample how it will look on an entire wall. So I put it off. Because I didn't want to go to all of the effort of painting only to not like it. And then I would be too cheap to buy paint to re-do it, so I'd have to live with not liking it.
I'm not good with major decisions.
But this week, I decided to just DO IT. I bought tape to tape off the edges, Mom came over, and we got started. We washed down the walls, which we haven't done since we moved in. In fact, because of the time constraints on our actual moving in, we didn't even do it then. So it's probably been 5 years since they've been washed. And you can tell... Now. Instead of the dingy gray-ish tan I thought they were, they're actually a cream color. Amazing. But still badly in need of a paint job.
I went outside to get the spackle (joint compound) to patch all the staple and nail holes and cracks in the walls, only to find that there is mold in the compound bucket and it looks (and smells) like poo. No idea why it did that, but there is no way it can be used. I even tried scraping it off the top, but even underneath the spackle is streaked with black. Gross.
Well, Nathan is on hour three of a nap (amazing), so I should probably get on it and wash the walls down again.
If I'm going to be spackling, I'll just have to wash them down yet again. So I think I'll hold off and do it after I go in to town to get more "mud."
So maybe I'll go take a nap.
PS - Adorable Nathan pictures coming soon. And pictures of the Red Room of course. (Ooh! Maybe we'll FINALLY have a name for this room!)