27 February 2009

Adventures in Modern Medicine

Flynn's temperature has been steadily creeping up since Wednesday night; 100 degrees, then 101, then topping out at 103 this morning.

She slept fitfully again last night, tossing and turning and she'd developed this raspy breathing that reminded me of her bout with pneumonia last year. So I thought to err on the side of caution today and take her to see the doctor.

This morning after getting Evan and Frank out the door, I showered and took Flynn to Convenient Care. The nurse's aid took Flynn's vitals and since her throat has been hurting and strep is cutting a wide swath through the kindergarten classes, we decided to have a rapid strep test done. Flynn opened her mouth wide, the aid jammed the long swab into her little throat and Flynn promptly barfed all over herself, the aid, and the examining room.

The strep test came back negative.

But Flynn had to wait out the rest of our time there wrapped in adult-sized hospital gowns, stripped of her vomit-soaked jammies & shoes.

The nurse practitioner gave Flynn the once over and then ordered up some blood & urine work (Flynn had just used the bathroom so we brought home the cup for her to pee in. I'll be dropping that off at the lab later on this afternoon). She also gave Flynn a dose of Tylenol to help get the fever under control. Her initial diagnosis? A virus. But we'll see what the lab says.

Speaking of lab work, Flynn was amazing as the phlebotomist drew her blood. Ever the cool customer, my little girl watched rapt with curiosity as the needle punctured her skin and the blood worked its way into the test tubes. No flinching, no tears, no nothing. "She's going to be a doctor when she grows up," said the phlebotomist as he covered the teeny puncture wound with a band-aid. "Animal doctor," Flynn corrected.

I carried her out to the car, hospital gown flapping in the wind ("This is embarrassing," she said) and we drove home. We weren't even out of the parking lot when I glanced in the rear-view mirror to check on Flynn and noticed she was asleep. We live at most 5 minutes from the doctor's office.

At home she woke up and immediately wanted to take a bath. She did then told me she needed "a tray with lots of food on it for me to eat." We loaded up on blueberries, vanilla yogurt, and a Lunchable.

She's now eating from her tray full of food, coloring, and watching WALL-E. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she does, indeed, have only a virus and not something worse requiring antibiotics.

26 February 2009

She's Not Too Sick To Shop

My daughter has inherited my love of shoes and is known in several circles as "the girl with the pink cowboy boots." For years she's had a pair of either hot pink or metallic pink boots. They remain her very favorite pair of shoes, just edging out the black patent leather "party shoes" (ie, mary janes) with the "high" (1") heel. Had I known how much she'd love those boots I would've bought a pair in every size Target stocked. Ah, hindsight.

Today she is ill, home with a fever hovering between 100 and 101 degrees. She is tired and emotionally fragile. But all that falls by the wayside when I mention the words "new shoes."

It has come to my attention that her current pair of beloved boots will soon be too small for her and as she's told me, she "doesn't like pink anymore."

You read right, my girly-girly girl who used to wear a frothy pink princess nightgown pretty much every day to preschool (when she was 2) no longer cares for pink (or princesses, though Ariel's still OK because she's a mermaid). Nope, red is now the color of choice (I think I see her brother's influence here as red is his very favorite color).


The search for a pair of red boots was on. It was a quick search resulting in Flynn falling in love with these:
I like them, too. But I'm having a difficult time reconciling the fact that Flynn doesn't dig pink anymore. Now I know how my dad must've felt.

When I was a young girl, my all-time favorite color was Donny Osmond purple. I. loved. purple. And my dad, wanting to make me happy, bought me all kinds of purple crap for birthdays and Christmases: a purple bank that looked like a safe, a purple windbreaker, purple Mrs. Grossman stickers, purple this, purple that. He associated me with that particular color.

Then one day, I stopped liking purple and started liking black. And threw my dad for a loop. He could no longer form the equation, purple x + Misc = happiness. Instead, he made more personal gestures that meant more to me than anything purple or black could (a framed newspaper from the day after President Kennedy's assassination that he'd saved for me, books by Twain and Thoreau, his favorite authors, photography books, music, a Japanese paper cut-out of a cat - items I still have to this day, things I cherish).

I know these red boots are just footwear that happen to be in a color Flynn now likes, but on some deeper level, these boots signal her growth. She's letting go of the things she loved as a toddler and preschooler, like the color pink and princesses, and moving on to other Big Girl things, like red cowboy boots and American Girl dolls.

And I'm cool with that. It's exciting.

My daughter and I will both be waiting for the UPS man to bring those red boots. I can hardly wait to see them on her feet.

I just hope they fit.

Almost Made It

Those of you who've been with me since last year know of the ugliness February 2008 wreaked on my family: wicked bad flu (stomach and otherwise) for all four of us, pneumonia for Flynn, whatever other viruses that made the rounds.

It was bad, bad, bad.

This year, though, has been relatively quiet. Frank had a sore throat last week and Evan had a cold, but nothing serious necessitating staying home from school or anything.

Until last night.

The afternoon went swimmingly, pun intended, as the kids dove into their respective lessons at the Y. We came home, they bathed, I made dinner, we ate. You know, the same-old, same-old routine. Then Flynn said, "I'm cold. Mommy, can you make me some warm soup?" She'd eaten most of her dinner, so I did (I tell you I love the Campbell's Soup at Hand). She took her little cup of soup, curled up in the chair in the family room, pulled up a blanket and rested. This is out of the ordinary because she's normally very full of energy; her favorite after-dinner activity being spinning around and around. Huh, I thought, that's strange.

While Evan was working on his math homework, she sat quietly in the chair. Or so I thought but when I looked up from helping Evan and cleaning up after dinner I didn't see her in the chair. I went upstairs and found her curled up in my bed, almost asleep.


I took her temperature and, sure enough, she was running a fever of a little over 100 degrees. A dose of Motrin and a good-night book and kiss sent her off to dreamland. She slept fitfully, first in her own bed, then she came and got me sometime in the night (I didn't look at the clock) and wanted me to be with her in the guest room bed. Therefore I also had an uneasy night's rest that I attribute to being repeatedly kicked in the back by size-9.5 little girl feet.

At least she's not vomiting and she has an appetite, though her fever is higher this morning than it was last night.

Presently, she's holed up in the comfy chair in the family room eating her breakfast of oatmeal with honey and cinnamon, some blueberries, and chamomile tea. And she's watching Horton Hears a Who.

I hope this is the worst of it and not a portent of things to come.

19 February 2009

Very Interesting...

Here's a run down of what gems I've heard issuing forth from my children within the hour:

1. Evan, as he's stepping into the bathtub: I am Aquaman! Behold my mighty water balls of justice!

(I think some body's watched one too many episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold.)

2. Evan: I smell like handsome.

3. Flynn, ever the fashionista (disappointed): I wish I had a light saber that matched this outfit.

4. Flynn, after talking about a friend that has 3 siblings (demanding): I want a baby!

(Sorry, sister, that ship has sailed.)

5. Evan, after Flynn said she wanted a baby (disgusted): Well, I still want a big brother, but that's not happening so get used to disappointment, Flynn.

They are currently cuddled up together in a chair, reading an Owly comic.

Love them.

10 February 2009

A Girl With A Plan

It probably comes as no surprise to any of you who know me outside of the blogosphere (sheesh, I dislike that word), that I am a list maker. Making a list and crossing off the items gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It also keeps me from forgetting what I need to do (which is easier and easier to do as I age, but I'm just as happy to blame it on "mommy brain"). Lists keep me organized and on top of not only my life but those that encompass my own: Frank's, Evan's, and Flynn's. I am also a teacher; it's just something we do. The front seat of my car is awash in sticky-notes, a testament to my list-making.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

As she was getting ready for bed tonight, Flynn gave me a detailed, itemized list of what she has planned for her day tomorrow. She asked me to write it down.

So I did.

And I'm sharing it here.

Flynn's To Do List:
1. Get up out of bed.
2. Get dressed in my school clothes.
3. Brush my teeth.
4. Eat breakfast.
5. Go to school.
6. Come home from school. (I'm assuming after a full school day)
7. Get into some play clothes.
8. Practice some karate. (She hasn't taken lessons since early Fall last year, so I don't know what she will practice)
9. Do some Lego with Evan.
10. Put on some make-up.
11. Have dinner. (I think what she actually means is "sit at the table and complain about the yucky food that is on my plate")
12. Do yoga.
13. Take a bath.
14. Put on my pajamas.
15. Read.
16. Go to sleep.

With the exception of practicing karate and doing yoga (which she does with me on occasion), this is pretty much what she does every day.

Yes, including the make-up.

She was pretty satisfied with her own self after she relayed all her plans to me.

She wants me to print out her list so she can "check off everything on it."

Of course, my little apple, you want a list? You got it.

08 February 2009

Gettin' Schooled

My children, ever a source of education, taught me a variety of things this past week. Things I didn't necessarily want to know, like this little nugget from Evan:

"Mom. My friend, so-and-so, told me there's a website called doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou dot naked women dot com. There's pictures of naked women on it."


Now my EIGHT YEAR OLD son has friends that know about Internet porn and are sharing that knowledge with him. I have no idea how Evan's friend knows such things. He's a good kid, but from now on in my head I'll forever be calling him The Pornographer.

I told Evan that's a website only for grown-ups.

And I learned that Evan knows a euphemism for testicles.

"Mom. My friend and I made up this game that you do this, [he executed some fancy karate-type moves, ending up on his knees] and then punch the other guy in the nuts, but not really because that would hurt."


This friend, not The Pornographer but also a good kid, will now be known as The Instigator.

And to top off my education, I learned I should probably watch my language whilst round the kiddies.

Flynn has a set of sight word flash cards that we go through each night. Last night, she was whipping through those words, some she hadn't been able to read earlier in the week, when we came to the word do. "Dih... dih...," she started, "dih... damn! Damn! Damn! Is it damn, Mommy?"

I had to bite the inside of my cheeks so hard to keep myself from laughing. "No, sweetie, it's do."

"Oh, yeah,
do. That's right."

07 February 2009


"You might want to check into your teaching license. You know, get it renewed or whatever," Frank said to me the other night.

The company he works for is in the process of laying off a significant percentage of its workforce. Fortunately, there have been no firings at Frank's studio. Yet. But who knows?

I have not worked as a full-time teacher since Evan was three months old. For a year after Evan's birth, and after I had left full-time service, I worked part-time as a go-between teacher for home bound students (those with broken bones, were pregnant and unable to attend class, etc.) and the school where I had taught.

Since then I've been mommying it up; home with my two kinder, organizing playdates, being a hausfrau, you know the drill.

Substitute teaching this school year has been a way for me to test the waters of gainful employment. I still enjoy being with the young folk, talking about writing and language and literature.

I had let my teaching certificate's validity lapse and expire so when Frank requested I look into renewing my cert., I thought for certain I would be looking at some sort of university coursework. After e-mailing the regional board of education I started wondering, "If I have to take some courses, I might as well look into the middle school endorsement and/or maybe the reading specialist endorsement." When I mentioned to my sister, a kindergarten teacher, that I was looking into this she said, "Why would you want to teach middle school?" It's not so much that I have a burning desire to work with 11-13-year-olds, but it makes me more marketable as a teacher to have that endorsement (or endorsements). It's not so much want to as have to.

The reply from the ROE (Regional Office of Education) was simple and straight forward, since my certificate had expired in '06 and I had not been teaching since then, all I needed to do was pay the renewal fee ($26) and I was good to go - no coursework, no professional development, no nothing.


So now I am fully licensed to teach again.

And contemplating the future of my education.

06 February 2009

You Will Laugh So Hard

Thank you, Stacy, for posting this on Facebook today, which I watched while my niece Emmy was napping and nearly woke her up, I was laughing so hard (I was babysitting Emmy today while her regular sitter was out of town).

Seriously, Flight of The Conchords is one of the funniest shows I've seen in a long time. Frank and I are working our way through season 1 on DVD (we don't have HBO). And this video for "Sugalumps" shows that season 2 has not let up on the funny.

04 February 2009

The Little Dictator

Yesterday on the way to school, Evan overheard a blurb on NPR about "monarchs and dictators".

"Mom, what's a dictator?" he asked.

I proceeded to explain to him the difference between a monarch and a dictator.

"Oh, OK." came his reply, then silence.

That night between bites of dinner, Evan exclaimed, "I am the dictator of this house!"

Flynn replied with the following zinger, "You can be dictator when nobody is here."