Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Love You So Much I Have to Poison You; or, Amoxycillan Is the Devil

Okay... I have to come clean here... I knew that the medicine was making Marcus even more miserable. I could tell. He was grouchy ALL the time, and he had been taking medicine for five days. He should have been getting better. But... it's medicine, and I have to get rid of the ear infection, right? So I kept giving it to him.

I was actually glad when daycare called yesterday and told us he had broken out in a rash that covered his whole body. This is the same reaction I get when I take any "-cillin" drug. Allergies. Gotta love 'em.

So Chris called and got him Zithromax instead. He put Marcus in his crib at 5pm last night with no dinner because the little guy was clearly tired. Chris also knew we'd be getting new medicine, so we'd have to wake him for that anyway, and we could feed him then.

When I got home from work, I read the bottle. "Can be taken with or without food," it said. (HOORAY! No tummy aches!) "1 tsp every day for three days," it said. (HOORAY! The evil stuff was 1 tsp. twice a day for ten days!) And finally it said, "Use enclosed dropper." (HOORAY! No more forcing Marcus to drink from a shot glass!) Makes me wonder why we can't just start with this stuff.

So... since he only needs it once a day, I decided not to wake him. Let him sleep. The poor guy needed it.

Did he ever!

14.5 hours later at 7:30 am, he woke up. He was whimpering a bit in his crib, and I'm glad he was, because I was about to go put a mirror under his nose. When I opened his door to say good morning, he popped one of those killer smiles. He had not smiled since Wednesday, I think. It was a glorious vision. Angels sang. And I don't even really believe in angels. It was that good.

Daycare reported that he slept for a total of five hours today. Then, when we got him home, he couldn't keep his eyes open past 5:30. We gave him a bottle, but he only took half. My biggest concern at the moment is hydration. His diapers have been pretty dry, and I'm having trouble getting fluids in him. But overall, he is quite a bit better than yesterday. I'm so glad to finally be seeing improvement.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Da Do Do Do, Da Da Da Da

Best. News. Ever.;_ylt=AqO1qv7TxhcK7jzvMLP4pZFb.nQA;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--

And did you see that mention of a possible REUNION TOUR?! I am so there.

Okay, and here is where you will either think I'm a goob or a dork.

The Grammys are February 11. That is the day in 1984 that I met Andy Summers in person. He was doing a book signing. My friend and I couldn't afford his book, but we got to sort of sneak through with someone who bought a few copies. I was thirteen. Ever since then, February 11 has been a very good/lucky day for me. It actually was the day of my first kiss in 1985. It's also right around the time Chris started courting me.

Man. How cool is that? (And if you don't think that I am a dork yet, then let me share that I, too, collect state quarters...)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Waiting to Zonk

Ah, illness. Such a fantastic blog topic. But when it happens, it's really all you can talk about, isn't it?

Athena gave Marcus and me her cold. Marcus has decided that a cold isn't good enough for him, so he has the nasty infection of the ear. Athena waited until after she turned one to get her first (and only... knock wood) ear infection. Marcus is such an over-achiever!

But considering his constitution, I wasn't surprised at how well he handled his doctor visit today. And actually all the subsequent activities. The little guy is gasping for breath because he is in such pain. But he barely cried the whole time we were out. He only whimpered here and there... most particularly when I would wake him from the sleep he had managed to achieve... first on my shoulder in the exam room (had to wake him when the doctor came in), in the car seat during the 30 second ride to the drug store (had to wake him to go in), when they called our name that his medicine was ready (it wasn't... they just wanted me to pay before they mixed it), when they called our name because his medicine was REALLY ready, and then finally when we got home... twice. Once to get him out of the car, and once to give him his medicine. In the two minutes it took me to pour out the medicine (he now gets the same dose a two year old child would get!!!!), he had taken off his socks and zonked belly down on the carpet in the den right in front of the TV, which was blasting Dora at the time.

I put him down at 5:30 and there has been narry a snuffle from him. I have the Motrin upstairs at the ready in case he awakes in the middle of the night. But I have taken a Sudafed (the REAL kind that they have to keep behind the counter now in case I wanted to buy a case and make Crystal Meth in my kitchen) so I may not hear him if he does. I was trying to avoid medicating myself for precisely this reason, but when I tried to lie down about an hour ago, the pressure in my head was too much.

So here I sit... waiting for it to hit me. Waiting... waiting... *sigh*

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Look Familiar?

Athena found daddy's skull cap for his hockey gear Monday night when we were hanging out. I had to take pictures because she reminded me of someone. Anyone come to mind?

I'll give you a hint:

Been to a mall or convenience store lately?

Smoochie Boochie!

Creepy, isn't it?

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Farewell, Old Friend

I had minor oral surgery today. I had some sort of cyst or tumor (they are giving it the old biopsy to be sure -- but they are 99% sure it's benign) that has been under my gum tissue, on top of the bone for at least 15 years now. I've been living with it since college. It didn't hurt. Never really bothered me. I just knew it as "the lump in my gum."

It was below "number 19" for those of you who minored in dentistry. For the rest of us, that's on the lower left set of teeth, around the middle. I went to the dentist last week, and they noticed it had changed a bit (which it has not done in the past 15 years, really) so they sent me to the oral surgeon. He extracted it, leaving me with a hole in my gum, some gauze, and a little bottle of Hydrocodone. I came home, took four Advil, took a nap, and woke up with a bit of pain, but nothing serious. I decided to wait until Chris's mom got here for dinner before I took the good stuff. I prefer not to take the really powerful stuff as I am kind of anti-drugs in general (although trust me... I do take them when I need to).

So I've taken the good stuff, I've put the kids to bed. And now I'm hanging out waiting for the drowsy to kick in. I don't think it's going to. But I'm waiting anyway. At least the pain is gone.

I'm supposed to keep gauze on it for 24 hours. But I've discovered that the gauze just makes it hurt. So Chris called a friend who is an EMT. Here was our conversation:

Mommy Librarian: So I took the gauze out so I could eat.

EMT: Uh huh

ML: And it felt fine

EMT: Yeah

ML: So then I put the gauze back in and it started to hurt. Bad.

EMT: Then take it out.

ML: What?

EMT: If it hurts, stop doing it!

ML: Oh

The man is brilliant, I'm telling you.

He went on to explain that if the gauze was irritating it, then there was no point in using it. It would just stay inflamed and angry. So, I'm gauzeless and loving it.

It's going to be weird not to have that lump in my gum anymore. They told me what the thing looked like. I almost asked to see it, but then I thought it might just gross me out. Still, it all felt a bit weird... I've lived with it for so long.

What a way to spend my holiday, eh? Back to the grind tomorrow... all puns intended.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

How to Lose Friends and Piss People Off

So we went over to Aiden's house tonight. It's been a long time since we've given the little munchkins a playdate, and Kathryn and I have long weekends this week (YAY government jobs!) so we figured we would have the energy. Upon planning this fiesta, we determined that we should do it at her place, since I had just had her over for a Pampered Chef party Friday night (at which she bought stuff... so it's not like I didn't get anything in return). But... since her place is so much cleaner than ours, I like to go there. It's like going on vacation.

Too bad we can never go back.

It all started innocently enough. Marcus was cute. Aiden and Athena played outside. The boys cooked on the grill (well, John cooked... Chris hung out) while they watched the football game. Kathryn and I lounged about (she's pregnant, and I get to lounge by default) while we watched Marcus eat Goldfish crackers and play with a Barrel of Monkeys (Best. Toy. Ever.). We ate dinner, we enjoyed each others' company, and the kids were generally very good. Even ours.

After dinner, Kathryn and I headed to Fresh Market to forage for dessert. Came back to find Athena shedding her pants. "Do you need to go potty?" I asked, expecting the normal, "NO!" Instead, she went and got a book, and trotted off to the bathroom. SWEET! Doesn't sound bad yet? Just wait.

She actually went to the potty... signaling that this evening was going WAY too well to last. We changed Marcus' stinky diaper and got him into pajamas (which is very similar to catching a greased pig, incidentally). Chris made him a bottle, and I sat down in one of those really deep chairs (with ottoman) to feed him while Chris moved back to the alter (HUGE flat-screen tv on which a football game was transpiring) in the den. John and Kathryn set about cutting the cake and distributing it. That's when Athena seized her moment.

The next bit was all slow motion to me. I'll try to portray it as I saw it.

Marcus is happily guzzling his bottle. I watch his cute little cheeks puffing at the effort.
I glance up.
I see Athena on a stool in front of the fish tank.
I see her arm go up.
I start to try to get up from the chair.
I see her lift the lid.
I start to sternly admonish, "nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"
Her other arm goes up.
Oh my God, it's the fish food!
Dump - oh yes... the whole thing
Fish go apeshit.
John and Kathryn turn to see what she has done. I can't even lie about it now, as there she stands, one hand on the fishtank lid, the other clutching the empty canister of fish food.

Athena... completely unaware that she has probably just killed about eight fish, goes to play with Aiden's cool helmet with the microphone in it. I realize that there is absolutely nothing in my skill set that I can do to make this better. I eat cake instead.

Meanwhile, John and Kathryn are rushing about trying to get the fish into some clean water so they (read: John) can clean the tank. Meanwhile, Marcus fills ANOTHER diaper and I have no more with me (who knew the boy would need two diapers in thirty minutes? I suppose most mothers would prepare... but not me). Fortunately, Kathryn has an extra in his size. So not only do we kill their fish (the fish are not actually dead... yet... please keep them in your thoughts and prayers) but we deplete their diaper supply. I believe I owe them a box of diapers by now, as this happens about every third time we come over. And soon, I may owe them a tank of fish.

And I wondered why it had been so long since we last got together. I expect they'll be calling us again, say, when Athena is in college.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Let Me Get This Straight

The Wall Street Journal published a piece about libraries the other day. I would like to take this opportunity to respond. I wish I could reproduce the whole article here for you, but that would violate copyright, and we all know how I feel about that. So I shall quote a lot of it. My citation is incomplete (read "nonexistent" at the moment, but I will edit it later). It appeared in the 1/3 paper I believe, and was written by Mr. John J. Miller. His words are in italics...

Full Citation: In the Fray: Should Libraries' Target Audience Be Cheapskates With Mass-Market Tastes? John J. Miller. Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Jan 3, 2007. p. D.9

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" may be one of Ernest Hemingway's best- known books, but it isn't exactly flying off the shelves in northern Virginia these days. Precisely nobody has checked out a copy from the Fairfax County Public Library system in the past two years.

I say, does this surprise you? Who reads Hemingway anymore?

And now the bell may toll for Hemingway. ... If titles remain untouched for two years, they may be discarded -- permanently.

Well, yes. No one has read it, so why exactly should one keep it?

Library officials explain, not unreasonably, that their shelf space is limited and that they want to satisfy the demands of the public. Every unpopular book that's removed from circulation, after all, creates room for a new page-turner by John Grisham, David Baldacci, or James Patterson -- the authors of the three most checked-out books in Fairfax County last month.

But this raises a fundamental question: What are libraries for? Are they cultural storehouses that contain the best that has been thought and said? Or are they more like actual stores, responding to whatever fickle taste or Mitch Albom tearjerker is all the rage at this very moment?

If the answer is the latter, then why must we have government-run libraries at all? There's a fine line between an institution that aims to edify the public and one that merely uses tax dollars to subsidize the recreational habits of bookworms.

Okay, wait just a second. So... if people are reading books from the library, but they aren't Hemingway (or Proust, or Hardy) and they LIKE those books, then why do it? Are you saying that government entities should not exist for recreation? Hmmmm... I imagine there is a whole Parks service that may see that a bit differently.

Perhaps [Fairfax County is] inadvertently highlighting the fact that libraries themselves are becoming outmoded.

Uh, what?

There was a time when virtually every library was a cultural repository holding priceless volumes. Imagine how much richer our historical and literary record would be if a single library full of unique volumes -- the fabled Royal Library of Alexandria, in Egypt -- had survived to the present day.

Okay, first... there is this place called the Library of Congress. It has a lot of stuff in it. You should check it out (if I may use the phrase).

And second, this is REALLY hypothetical, dude. Are you trying to put forth that if the Library in Alexandria had survived, we would be better off? That if we had held on to a whole lot of papers that no one was reading anymore until they disintegrated... we would be living in some sort of Utopia now? And that all those papers were worth reading? Okay... I think that's a stretch, but I'll bite, as I'm just curious where this is going.

Carnegie always credited his success in business to the fact that he could borrow books from private libraries while he was growing up. His philanthropy meant to provide similar opportunities to later generations. ...

It has never been easier or cheaper to read a book, and the costs of reading probably will do nothing but drop further...

YAY! Books are cheap! This is good, right?!

If public libraries attempt to compete in this environment, they will increasingly be seen for what Fairfax County apparently envisions them to be: welfare programs for middle-class readers who would rather borrow Nelson DeMille's newest potboiler than spend a few dollars for it at their local Wal-Mart.

My head... it's hurting... Please... don't go where I think you are going, man.

Instead of embracing this doomed model, libraries might seek to differentiate themselves among the many options readers now have, using a good dictionary as the model. Such a dictionary doesn't merely describe the words of a language -- it provides proper spelling, pronunciation and usage. New words come in and old ones go out, but a reliable lexicon becomes a foundation of linguistic stability and coherence. Likewise, libraries should seek to shore up the culture against the eroding force of trends.

AAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH! You totally went there! You WENT there. May I remind you that Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Poe... they were all writing serial novels? They were POPULAR READING! Some were even, dare I say, considered substandard for a while. There was little that marked them as much more than... well... TRENDS!

The particulars of this task will fall upon the shoulders of individual librarians, who should welcome the opportunity to discriminate between the good and the bad, the timeless and the ephemeral, as librarians traditionally have done...

You mean, "censor?" And exactly what tradition is this? Librarians have been pushing the right to read and Freedom of Information for decades now. How old are you, man?

They ought to regard themselves as not just experts in the arcane ways of the Dewey Decimal System, but as teachers, advisers and guardians of an intellectual inheritance.

Well, at least you support my desire to be an expert in the Dewey Decimal System. After all, that's why I went to library school, right?

The alternative is for them to morph into clerks who fill their shelves with whatever their "customers" want, much as stock boys at grocery stores do. Both libraries and the public, however, would be ill-served by such a Faustian bargain.

So, by "Faustian bargain," do you mean "spending your tax dollars on things you want to read rather than on things that I think you should read?" Because personally, I'm usually looking for my government, whether it be local, state, or federal, to actually do something that I WANT them to do with my tax money, and give me something that I will actually use. But maybe that's just me.

That's a reference, by the way, to one of literature's great antiheroes. Good luck finding Christopher Marlowe's play about him in a Fairfax County library: "Doctor Faustus" has survived for more than four centuries, but it apparently hasn't been checked out in the past 24 months.

Dare I suggest that you consider going to Fairfax Library and CHECKING THE FREAKING BOOKS OUT IF YOU CARE SO MUCH?! Or would that be too arcane for you? Or wait... it's not your job, right? It's mine! Might I remind you that you are the patron and if you wish for the library to keep a book for the betterment of your community, you can let them know that by READING THE DAMN THING!


Monday, January 08, 2007

Christmas Album

I'm experimenting with Picasa's Web Album feature. Hope this works...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Haul

Jessey requested a run-down, so here are the highlights:

  • Two necklaces (I am shamefully short on jewelry and have only recently discoverd I enjoy wearing necklaces).
  • A purse that is made of a zipper (my mom bought it from a street vendor in South America... Brazil, I think. It's really cool... like one of those puzzle rings)
  • Clothes from my sister
  • A suit from my mother-in-law (actually, she went in on it with me a few months ago)
  • An Animal (muppets) keychain and notecards
  • A noteholder and letter opener (something I REALLY needed, actually)
  • An iTunes gift certificate (to date, I have purchased some Fergie, some Timberlake, some Eminem, some Weird Al, some Belafonte, some You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and that "I Like to Move It" song from Madagascar (the movie, not the place). How is THAT for eclectic?

My mom bought us a joint gift... a framed picture from the Stanley Cup Finals Celebration. The coolest part is you can actually see us in the picture. We're still talking about the best place to hang it.

Chris got Guitar Hero II (from me), and actually it is our "funnest" gift. We have been playing it every night. We just got Guitar Hero (the first one) in the mail tonight, and I was just playing Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple) when Athena crept out of her room. I just put her back in bed and I'm waiting until she is definitely asleep to resume playing.

Our house looks like Toys R Us exploded in it. Athena got a Princess Castle tent from her grandma, which she LOOOOOOOOOVES and Disney Princess (sorry, Staci!) dress up shoes, rings, and bracelets from Santa. She clops around in her shoes everywhere. Four pairs of little low-heeled shoes, and she walks like a model in them. It's kind of scary. She also got a Dora rolling backpack/suitcase from her Aunt Linda, who really wants us to come to San Fran for a visit. Marcus got several toys he can bang and chew on, and a couple he can push around the room.

Overall, we were spoiled. It was a good Christmas. And to top it off, I prepared the best food of my life. For breakfast, we had a Dream Dinner... Custard French Toast with caramel and pecans and peaches. It was lovely. Then I made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. And finally, I made a simple, but REALLY delicious (if I do say so myself) Christmas dinner... Roasted Beef Tenderloin with a Shallot-Merlot Sauce, Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Garlic, Fast Buttery Peas (with shallots and thyme), Crescent Rolls (a la Pillsbury) and an Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie, made completely from scratch (crust and everything).

I never brag on my cooking, but this time, I have to brag. It was a really tasty meal.

So that's the scoop. I promise to try to post more often. Things were a little hectic through the holidays, but I'm starting to come back down to Earth. I've been reading everyone else's posts, just haven't gotten around to mine! Hope you are still all out there!