Friday, April 15, 2011

The big bad stomach virus.

Strep test ran negative and the yucky stomach bug is going around.  Though this AM gave us a bright and sunny 103.2, her fever hasn't returned.  That's a good thing. 

Thanks much for the prayers!

Hello 104.

K- has been battling a bit of a thing this week.  She missed Tuesday, which we dismissed as major allergy drainage making her feel like gum stuck on the bottom of a shoe.  Her system seemed to have cleared that which ailed her, so she went to school on Wednesday.  She had a great day, did what she needed to do, MIL picked her up and reported that all was well. 

Then I got a 4:30 PM call.  MIL reported that K- didn't eat dinner, felt warm and was rolled up in a blanket on the couch.  Argh.

Hubs picked her up, took her home and she clocked in at a lovely 101. 

I got home probably 45 minutes after they did and up popped 102.5 for me.  Fantastic.  Advil was administered, the fever completely broke, all was well.

I got up and checked on her a bit during the night.  At 3, she rolled out 101.5, but I opted not to wake her for Advil since she tends to run higher temperatures anyhow.  Our Advil/Tylenol threshold is 102.  We've had too many years of experience.  Her waking temp was 102.5, so I gave her Advil, left her home with Hubs who went in late today, then shuttled off to her school at 7:45 AM to take care of my volunteer obligations.  I checked in on her when I got home and she was rolling about 100, so it seemed all was stable.  She fell asleep and napped for a good while.  When she woke up, she went to the bathroom and I could almost see flames rising from her limbs.  That's when the she clocked in at a nice and toasty 104.  I called her pediatrician.  Though they had nothing left for today (I called at 1:30 PM), she'll be seeing her tomorrow at 11 AM. 

In the meantime, my MIL nearly had a panic attack.  The 104 scared her to death and it caused me concern.  104 is the point that I take a deep breath, back away slowly and go seek some medical intervention.  We were at 104 for the week that she had chicken pox (from the varicella vaccine), the week that she had Roseola (from library group) and in that week that she had that weird "non-specific virus" that made her body break out into a rash.  (Okay, on that one I believe that we rocked 103.8, but close enough.)  We've seen 104.  We've dealt with 104.  We have an action plan, but it doesn't mean that I like to have to go there. 

Y'all, this isn't her allergies. 

So, I'll be utilizing the bladder alarm system this evening.  You know the one.  The one where you are too tired to wake for a check-on-the-kid alarm, but you'll certainly wake to pee?  I'll be drinking full glasses of water and keeping the ear scan thermometer nice and handy. 

It should be a long night.

Toss us a prayer if you can, please.


Smiles in my day:
-  Hubs covering me so that I could get some time sensitive volunteering done for the PTA moms to cover my responsibility for tomorrow.
-  K-'s fever continuing to break after Advil.  That is a very good thing.
-  The neighbor sending me over with cans of pop for K-, then coming over with brownie bites that he had baked for her.  Mr. D- and Mr. G- just love her. 
-  My flamingly hot kid being concerned about school work and getting it all complete within an hour of it hitting the doorstep. 
-  Her understanding and accommodating teacher being willing to gather up materials for her daily to keep her on track, and a neighbor who is happy to retrieve it.  Today, the PTA President came by for the membership materials I had put together and traded me with K-'s homework.  It takes a village, I tell you.
-  I can't wait for this to arrive.  It was out of stock, then back in stock briefly yesterday and now back out of stock.  I'm so glad that I was able to order it and can't wait for Hubs to get it installed when it arrives.  :)!!!

Perhaps, I'll be able to sleep tomorrow night. 

Have a great day!

Besides chasing a fever, this was what I was chasing by computer at 7:45 PM:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

K-'s new love for Jamie Oliver

"Mommy, could you e-mail him so that he could come to my school and fix the lunches so that I can eat them?  Madison says that I'm allergic to the school food."

"Basically, you are."

"Mommy, can you ask him to come and help to make healthy food that won't make us sick?"

Then she stood there and watched the beef demonstration of what comes from where and what happens to the leftover bits and yuck. 

Watching that and knowing that is what they are serving our children in the schools brought me to tears. 

My daughter knows that school lunches aren't an option for her.  What does our school district provide?  They provide a cold breakfast and hot lunch to all K-5 children in the entire district.  The breakfast is a whole grain cereal or whole grain muffin, but they both have sugar-- more than I'd prefer.  They provide milk at each.  Breakfast has either string cheese or yogurt provided.  Lunches are atrocious.  I did not know until this year that their lunches are served to them on little styrofoam trays with food in individual cellophane wrapped formed square dishes with a chicken leg, nachos, chicken nuggets, pizza (the vomit inducing kind which is what tipped my child over the edge), macaroni and cheese, a cheese roll (I'm thinking something like a filled bun), taco, hamburger and a day that actually has a chef salad!  K- only ate maybe 10 school meals tops last year and I've sworn them off forever.  (That is unless Jamie comes to rescue us.)

When I was volunteering at the school, I ended up getting into an interesting conversation with the cafeteria lady.  Mrs. S- is wonderful and I hesitate to call her a cook.  She'll tell you that all she does is warm things up.  I told her about how my daughter cannot eat school food because it "makes her vomit" is how the gym teacher finished my sentence.  She knew exactly what I was going to say.  Mrs. S- hates that she is only able to warm things.  Neither the gym teacher, the cafeteria lady or the nurse are surprised by our personal findings with the quality of school lunches served and my child's digestive reaction. 

I get up each and every morning and take about 15 minutes to pack my child a wholesome meal.  No juice box goes to school.  K- has a Klean Kanteen that is filled with water.  (By her request.  Believe me, I used to send apple juice.)  There was a stretch of time where K- wanted to take a salad each day.  She wanted some turkey, soy nuts and mozzarella cheese with some homemade croutons.  (I cheated and bought those in Amish country.)  She usually takes turkey on double fiber wheat with a flick of mayo.  There is always a fresh fruit or vegetable.  There is always a yogurt.  Rarely, I'll make pudding cups for her to take.  (Okay, I know there's sugar in there.)  I will drop in a small treat like a cookie, a rice krispie treat that I made . . . something like that.  The kids were puzzled when she brought salad without white dressing.  (She had fat free sun dried tomato vinaigrette.)  She's had kids clamor for her fruit.  I've sent homemade soup in her hot food thermos.  I try.  Her lunch isn't perfect, but I'm working on sending her foods that are nutritious and filling.  I don't want her to feel left out because she brings a lunch, rather than being able to go through the line with her friends.  (Believe me, we've had that talk many times.)  The concept of "you get what you pay" for is definitely true when it comes to our district's elementary school lunch offerings. 

K-'s school is at a 50% poverty rate.  Of 22 children in her class, there are days that it is only her and one other child that bring a lunch in from home. The children get such rotten stomach aches from the chicken nuggets.  The macaroni beef is served with anchovy paste mixed in, which makes it far spicier than the children care to eat (that's what Mrs. S- told me), plus it puts another item out there that could cause a potential allergy reaction with some children. 

Parents have their children go ahead and get the lunch served probably out of convenience and of monetary help.  Still, where it seems to be cheaper in the short run, we have so many children who are obese.  K- has a family history of obesity.  We try our hardest to keep her reigned in and eating healthy choices.  It would make her heart happy if she could see her friends eating things that are healthier for them, too. 

I'm happy to report that not all of the schools around here serve inedible crub.  My sister's daughters have a wonderful lunch menu full of fresh salads and hot served and scooped up from lunch ladies type of things.  She only lives about 25 minutes away. 

There's hope.   Until then, Jamie?  Can you come, please?

Smiles in my day:
-  K- was able to return to school today.
-  I got a call from my MIL at 4:30 PM that K- seemed to be going down hill again. While she was running a healthy fever when I got home (102.4 F), the wonders of Advil kicked it back down and all is well.  She was able to sit and do her homework (lots of it because of the missed day), so her concentration was on that rather than roastificating.
-  K- got a wonderful report card today.  Sticking with tradition, I got her a report card prize.  She loves to work a good puzzle and was delighted that there were "diamonds" involved.
-  That we have a village raising K- and it is great how we are all able to pull together, keep each other covered and work together as a team in sickness and in health.  Very thankful that K- gets to hang with the in-law's, who spoil her to death, rather than having to go to a day care.  What an incredible gift.  I was a get-off-the-bus-at-Grandma's kind of kid and I appreciate that K- is (kind of) able to do the same.  (No bus in her case, but Grandma drives the 20+ minutes out to get her.) 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My husband and a handful of tools.

On Saturday, I was very excited when I found blinds for our windows.  We've been looking for blinds for a few years for the living room, but never found any we liked that we were willing to lay out the cash for.  Hubs put woodwork in the bedroom this past fall and we've been without blinds in there since then.  Being that he put new woodwork up, we didn't want to put unnecessary holes into his fine craftsmanship and I certainly knew we wouldn't be replacing the $3.47 cheapie blinds that I bought at the Wal for the same.  Besides, I'm not a big fan of the Wal anyhow. 

When K- and I went to Lowe's for her building clinic on Saturday, we had some time to kill.  I decided to cruise on over to the department with the blinds.  I couldn't find what I wanted in the size I needed and in the price I could afford and when I did, they were yucky white slat blinds.  (No offense, we've had them in off white in our house for years.  Was just ready to ditch them, but know that they are still in K-'s room.)  I saw a clearance rack.  I saw blinds I liked, but they were 35".  Drat.  I needed 34" ish.  I read the box and on the front it said kind of small like, "Actual measurement 34 1/2"."  HOORAY!  I bought them, went back for 3 more boxes and announced my find to Hubs when he got home. 

"I found blinds."


"They were $30.00 and marked down to $7.60.  I bought 5 and I hope they fit."

And they do.  The man moved about the house with his tools for hours on Sunday and look:
We have blinds we can see out of, but they block much of the light so we don't get blinded. 
Then, he moved to the kitchen and hung my valances that I purchased while we were in Amish country.  Yes, I realize this doesn't actually show you what they look like.  Trust me, they are lovely.
And if all of that manual labor wasn't enough, Hubs took a trip to the hardware, bought up some 2x4s and built me this lovely garden box.  It is 4' x 8' and that is good enough for me.  We'll have collards and mizuna in there for the iguana, onions, potatoes (in the red bucket that are actually sitting on top of bricks for proper drainage) and beans for us.  I'll plunk the ground cherries into tomato cages (they flopped all over last year) in the back flower beds, we'll have two tomato plants (one next to the fence, one next to the house) and a red pepper on each side of the back steps.   Voila!

Smiles in my day:
-  Though K- hacked and coughed most of last night and she woke up with a monster stomach ache this morning, we've been able to straighten her out today and she'll be good to go to school tomorrow.  Allergy drainage is the pits. The tree pollen is high right now and Claritin can only do so much.  Poor kid, but she's feeling better!  Hooray!
-  Laundry washed and hung/dried. 
-  A nice hot meal in the crock pot.
-  I've been in my sweat pants all day long and I'm good with that.  Back to work tomorrow!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: Excuse me, Ma'am?


I know that the kids were excited when you found me huddled in a nice, wet pile of leaves under the butterfly bush.  Your daughter even let her container of rolly-pollys go so that you could capture me in this lovely acrylic box.  :insert sarcasm:

Do you have any idea what this box has been like?  Oh, let me share the joy with you.

First, I find out that you guys were going to move me to be the new "Bubba" at the man made pond across the street.  A heron ate Bubba and D- and G- are sad that he and his songs are gone.  Then, you decide not to take me there since you found out that D- is going to be shocking the pond with chemicals to get rid of the lovely layer of pond scum that has developed on the top. 

Your daughter wanted to show me off.  That's a good thing.  Nature in your yard is a very good thing.  But wait!  I wasn't nature in your yard anymore!  I was nature in a box.  On a hot day.  In the sun.  With no water!  ARGH! 

Do you know what two little girls can do to a frog like me?  Well, they were kind enough not to touch me.  They left me in the box.  Still, little girls get excited and spin around a lot.  :urp:  I nearly lost my last meal.  Whew.  Traveling by means of little girl frightens me.  Please don't let that happen again. 

The sad thing?  You found another friend just the day before.  Rinse and repeat.  Poor Toadie had the same hand dealt.  He was happily living under the thyme plant before he was captured. 

Please Ma'am, please don't hand us off to your 7 year old again.  Please just let her enjoy us in nature.  They don't make happy pills for us. 

Thanks in advance for your cooperation,

Mr. Frog

Smiles in my weekend:
-  Lots of gardening was done.  Hubs made me a 4 x 8 garden plot to make up for the bigger one that he plunked the shed down on top of.  It is a nice, manageable area for our little plot o' earth and I'm so excited about it.
-  We worked hard and Mrs. S- informed me this morning that K- got a 100% on her math test.  It was on counting money and number sequencing.  She told me that K- was one of the very few to get 100%.  She knew how hard we worked for that grade and I was thrilled to hear it.
-  UGH!  I forgot to review K-'s vocabulary with her for her test, but apparently, she aced it.  She said that she was given the opportunity to have a second crack at a few words (she didn't say them wrong, she just didn't say them.)  She said that she got all of them.  In light of the math grade, I was feeling good, but then I realized I completely forgot the vocabulary!  She forgave me.  Sheesh.
-  Rain to dampen the seeds that I planted.  I only dropped in collard greens (for our iguana), onion sets and potatoes, but good spring rain is what they need. 

Have a great day!

Note:  No amphibians (the gentle correction was appreciated, Rachael!) were harmed in the making of this post.  They may have been shaken.  They may have been stirred.  Within an hour or a few from capture, they were released back to the great outdoors.  Toadie was returned to his home at the thyme plant and Mr. Frog made a break for it at the neighbor's house with K- opened the container.  Hop like the wind, Mr. Frog!  Hop like the wind!