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I last had shingles starting Feb. 4, 2009.  Don't you think it's unfair that I can't go 2 years and 3 months without getting shingles again? It's exactly the same as last time, in the pre-rash phase.  Give me a break, world?

(mr. flea noted, in front of the children, that shingles is caused by stress.  Casper told me I should work on being less stressed out.  I refrained from saying, "Pot-kettle" to her, because she is only 7. Also, I think I have every right to be stressed; as, indeed, I did last time I had shingles.)

(Also also, I am definitely not leading this Girl Scout troop next year.)
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Today was shitty, in unfortunately literal ways. Therefore, I bring you 1) the invitation to my great-great-great-grandfather to dinner with George Washington and 2) an order placed for plants for my great-great-great-grandfather (different side)'s house (in the country, at that time). Such an admixture, all jumbled up, is entirely typical of the 7 boxes my father is sorting through. I transcribe the roses from the latter for my rosarian friend (maybe you can help with the names?)

David Acheson, from George Washington

Plants order p1

Plants order p2

9 roses (at $4.00/dozen)
2 Abel Grand 2 Horace Vernet
2 M. de H. Amande 1 Boieldieu
1 Marquis of Salisbury 1 Pierre Grillon

5 roses (at $.060 each)
2 Mons Norman 1 Elise Boelle
1 Eugenie Verdier 1 Marie Baumann

2 roses (at $0.75 each)
1 Rev. J. B. M Carrim 1 Mme. Noman

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I'm better enough to go back to work tomorrow, but tired and tottery enough to be overwhelmed by the things I have to deal with there, notably the 35 high school students showing up Wednesday morning (until this afternoon, I was expecting 20, which is much more manageable). Then it's Girl Scout cookie delivery week, and planning for next week's meeting, and houseguests next weekend, and the 25th I fly to Texas for a wedding.

I ate protein today, though!
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I have now reached the stage of draining buckets of mucus from my head. Day NINE now. So over it.

In better news, we watched a NOVA about Amiens and cathedrals in general yesterday, and then built a pyramid out of a box, and got out David Macaulay's Cathedral, so I am feeling like a good parent encouraging educational play.
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I took yesterday off work and was in bed, mostly actually sleeping, until 3pm. Yes, I am honestly sick. I am at work today, though sneezing and coughing my fool head off.

I am feeling very behind at work and in life. Luckily I am working this coming Sunday, so I have 8 hours of sitting at a desk with nothing to do to get caught up, right? Must plan: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Girl Scouts, and write 10,000 blog posts for work.

In bad news news, mr. flea is really not going to get a permanent job at his current workplace. His contract ends next august, and he did not get an interview for the job that has been posted, and the other job that may get posted is also not a good fit for his skills and background. So far he has applied for a permanent job in Dublin and is working on an application for another post-doc at Georgia Tech, which would mean evil commuting, but would let us keep the kids in their current school and so forth. Our goal is no more post-docs unless they mean we don't have to move; permanent jobs okay if they mean moving. But damn, moving with kids is so disruptive to them. Never mind the whole home ownership problem. Worst-case scenario is unemployment as of next September; next-to-worst case scenario would be mr. flea in a post-doc someplace far away and me living here with the kids. That would suck. Let's not have that, please, okay?

In good news I bought both kids flame Vans via Zappos and they came yesterday and Dillo is so in love with his it's darling. He outgrew his flame chucks, and Casper's skully vans-style sneakers were literally falling apart. And I paid for them out of ebay sales, so I win at frugality.
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Last night it began to bucket down rain, and the kids begged to go outside and play in it. So on went the knee-high rubber boots and waterproof raincoats, and out went the kids and mr. flea. They returned 20 minutes later literally soaked to the skin - underpants and all, mr. flea poured water out of Casper's rain boots - but very happy. They went around the block and unclogged two storm drains that were full of leaves and backing up puddles into the intersections.

Once towels, shower and bath, and pajamas had ensued, Dillo went to the fridge, got some grapes, and called out, "Who wants to watch a Nature show and eat grapes, raise your hand!" Who could say no? Well, me, at least until Casper finished her homework, but then we watched a show about wolves which they had all watched the previous night. Dillo was very emphatic that the main wolf died of a broken heart.

In less sweet news, mr. flea has strep throat. He woke up out of a sound sleep at 5:30 to announce, "I'm going to the doctor!" He had strep ALL THE TIME as a kid, and his ability to call it when he gets it now is pretty good.


Oct. 23rd, 2009 06:31 am
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Several (mostly online) friends are down hard with flu - nobody's had it typed that I know of, but I'ma bet it's H1N1. It's worrying. Take it easy, friends, and when recovering don't try to do too much too soon.

We got the kids FluMisted (seasonal) yesterday at the new ped, whose flexibility I am loving right now. We told them it would be a shot, and pre-bribed them with chocolate Pop-Tarts. Dillo sat, all chocolate-faced, in the office, repeating, "I don't want to get a flu shot." When we decided to do the mist, he changed to, "I don't want to get a flu shot in my nose." But he dealt with it okay. I'm a little worried about the mist (since it is a live, weakened virus) but the kids are healthy and since a weekend is coming that can get plenty of rest. I haven't called the county again about the H1N1 vaccine. I am home with them next Friday, so I was hoping we could all go in at 8am then and get it done that day. If they have shots by then I'd choose that for H1N1; if they only have mist it will have been a week since the seasonal and so safe to get. And then I'll have to figure out some way to do it again in a month, since the H1N1 is recommended in two doses a month apart for kids under 10. If they still have H1N1 vaccine at the county in a month I'll be amazed.

I am feeling like I am carrying a huge load in the family right now, doing all the planning and organizing and getting stuff done. I'm at the point where I want to go away for a week so everyone sees how it all falls apart when I am not there to do it. What would happen is that they would eat out a lot and eat spaghetti-os, and watch a lot of TV, and get to bed too late, and be late for school, and forget things, and the house would be dirty(ier)). They would be fine, not, like, harmed, but that's not the way I want us to live. Unfortunately I seem to be the only one who cares about the way I want us to live, which is depressing.
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Finally talked to the new ped about getting the kids flu shots. They have not yet received the medical records from the old doctor (who said Friday they were faxing them, after I emailed Tuesday and tried to fax but apparently failed Tuesday and Wednesday) but can give the kids shots if we bring in their print immunization records, which I have.

So, assuming mr. flea can take off at 4 tomorrow and bring the Dillo (which I can't ask him right now since he is in a conference all day), we can get the kids immunized for seasonal flu tomorrow afternoon.

BUT the nurse said that they should wait a month before getting the H1N1 vaccine. This doesn't jive with my understanding; since the shots are killed viruses, it shouldn't matter if you get them together. (The Flu Mist, since it has a weakened live virus, is another matter; what I've read says you should wait a week after having Flu Mist, but the ped says they have shots.)

The nurse also said that that County Health department would be the only local place to get H1N1 vaccine. I told her they'd told me Medicaid only, and she said that might have been the case for seasonal, but for H1N1 anyone qualified. So I guess now I have to call the county and see what they say. Again.

Off to do more research about having the two vaccines close together, and I guess call the county. SIGH. Have I mentioned I hate making phone calls?

-CDC says it is fine to get the seasonal and H1N1 shots on the same day.
-CDC suggests children under 10 need two shots of H1N1 to provoke adequate immune response. Not clear is this applies to FluMist as well. Sigh.
-Called the county and they have FluMist for H1N1 right now. They are open on a first-come first-served basis and as the woman I spoke to said, "Come early - it's a lot of people." Hours: M,W,Th 8-4:30; Tu 8-6:30 (she said come before 5), F 8-1:30 (what is it with every medical provider in the county closing midday on Friday?) Expect to have shots maybe later this week.
-I guess I am making progress, right? Sigh.
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mr. flea, being an employee of the Federal Government, is getting a free seasonal flu shot at work at some point. Apparently they just show up and jab everyone. (He is also now prohibited from texting while driving a government vehicle!) Go team Socialism!

I used to get a flu shot at work - they'd do several clinics on campus, usually one in the library, and you just had to line up, bring ID, and there you were. Often the line was long unless you timed it well, but since it was generally made up of coworkers, fairly jolly. And by "long," I mean half an hour. Go team University Hospital!

The kids got shots at regular fall doctor's appointments, or the Saturday flu shot clinic at their doctor, which took appointments at 15 minute intervals.

Our options now? I can get a shot at the Uggaversity Clinic (paying $25), or at various local clinics (i.e. the one in Target last Saturday that I missed) (paying $25), or at my doctor when my doctor gets the seasonal flu vaccine (originally told us Oct. 1, now saying they don't have it yet and check back Thursday.)

Casper can get a flu shot at our family doctor, too, when they get some. And they told mr. flea on the phone today that they wouldn't charge for an appointment, we could just bring her by any time (really? I'll believe it when I see it). But Dillo can't, as they aren't getting the vaccine for kids under 4. So far I have called or looked at a variety possible places to get him a flu shot (I'd be willing to pay): County health clinic? Flu shots only for Medicaid patients. Uggaversity? Staff only (and students, etc. - unclear if they have any kid vaccine anyway). Clinics at Target, Public, CVS? Vaccine only available for children over 10, or people over 18. Other clinic finders helpfully suggested by our insurance company? None in our area (I live in a city of 100,000 people, not the boondocks!)

We're planning to switch the kids to a pediatrician next year; unfortunately there are very few pediatricians who accept our current insurance, open enrollment for both our health plans isn't until November, and won't take effect until January. I guess I should be glad that Dillo is the kid who is never sick, and I should be able to get the one who's had pneumonia and gets a hacking chest cold every fall vaccinated, I hope?
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Since I mentioned my daughter's diarrhea to the entire internet, I feel obligated to mention that I got the same thing yesterday. Luckily not in my sleep. Yesterday kind of sucked.

Casper is really quite chuffed that I got it too, in a "see, I am not alone!" kind of way, rather than a "nyah nyah" kind of way. Although she noted as I got in the car this morning that I only had it for one day, and she had it for three, and that was not fair!

Today I am trying to barrel through a literature review that is due on Friday. Nobody but me is in the office, which seems a little odd. Where is everyone?

baby names

Feb. 10th, 2009 04:35 pm
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Sibling set: Julian, Camille, and baby Lucy

Born yesterday to rivka: Colin Randolph; big sister is Alex.

I am so tired this afternoon it is all I can do to stay vertical. It's got to be the shingles; I've been getting reasonably decent sleep, and I can barely focus my eyes. I would have gone home to nap, except that would have required walking home, and I don't think I could have done it. Tomorrow is a night shift, so I can nap after walking Casper to school in the AM.
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I dunno if it's the shingles, the immense honkin' navy blue horse pills I am taking for the shingles, the psychological suggestion that I am sick so I am allowed to slack, or what, but I am about to fall asleep here at my desk.

It also might have to do with the bad week Dillo has had for sleep. He goes days in a row of sleeping from bedtime to 6am, and then days in a row of up at midnight and 4 or other random-ass times. Last night was the 4th or so day of the latter, and he was in bed with me in various locations all night except 15 minutes, and kept kicking me in my sore side. And now the weekend approaching, he will be up for the day at 6am and want me to watch the execrable Rugrats, which is the only reasonably child-friendly TV on at 6am on the weekends when I am too stupid to remember we own DVDs.

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The nurse took one look, and the doctor took one look, and they both said, "Shingles!"

The doctor had never heard of Doctor Google (though she is a young woman!) so I didn't even mention that my invisible internet friends concurred in the diagnosis.

I have a prescription for Valtrex (which is safe for breastfeeding! Now you know.)

The pain right now is moderate - the rashy bits, which are small, are kind of itchy, and the part that looks absolutely fine is burny and sensitive to touch (inlcuidng clothes and sheets, and of course it's on the side where I hoist the Dillo and carry my enormous purse), but I'm not actually feeling more run down than usual, and I would certainly not describe it as terrible pain right now. I've had MUCH MUCH worse discomfort from poison ivy (remember when I got that on my face and everywhere when I was pregnant with the Dillo?) So, here's hoping the Valtrex keeps it mild. Also, here's hoping my coworker's 8 month old, whom I saw but did not hold or touch on Saturday, doesn't get chicken pox (he's too young to have been vaccinated). That would make me feel terrible, irrational though that is (I had no idea I'd get shingles on Monday.)
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Last night we were invited to a party by some coworkers to welcome us to Athens. In the first hour we had out first bleeding head wound (Dillo) and an attack of diarrhea (Casper). Whee!

Dillo was running after a ball and stepped on it and went down in banana-peel fashion, hitting his head on the only hard thing in the entire yard. Lots of blood, but once we got him washed off in the sink it stopped bleeding pretty quickly, and he was consoled by chocolate. It's been a little oozy in the night but I don't think it needs stitches - it's hard to even see under his hair.

All in all we didn't get that much chatting in with the very nice people who were there - only 1 other person with a small child (we did get to chat with her!) But that is the nature of parties with little kids, even if there isn't blood and shit to contend with.


Aug. 28th, 2008 02:52 pm
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I really must, in the next two hours, come up with 250+ words on the definition of information. Yep, school started last week and it's weekly writing on difficult topics with no direction professor again. At least I knew what I was getting into.

I titled this post "snork" because that's what it feels like in my head right now. I've had a cold for two weeks, but I think I was on the downslope of cold #1 and have now contracted cold #2. So I have the big phlegmy breaking up chest cough coupled with a seriously stuffed up head. I am barely awake; happily it is a low-activity day/week at work. But, that damned assignment, which I need to do today, since my in-laws are visiting for the weekend and it is due Sunday night.

Today is Casper's FIFTH birthday, and what a long strange trip it's been. She went off to school in new clothes, sparkly pink sneakers from Keds and a new Hanna summer dress from ebay. We sent in homemade pink-frosted cupcakes, so I hope that goes over well. Tonight we'll have Breakfast for Dinner (her choice) and open some more presents, and I guess the 4 left over pink cupcakes. We invited the neighbors (4 families, yikes) for cake on Saturday afternoon, and I have to figure out a cake and make/buy it, and also figure out what we're going to do with them all. Stand around chatting while the kids chase a soccer ball around the back yard, I guess. It's meant to be very low-key (lord, I hope they don't bring presents) but we don't have any outdoor furniture and few outdoor toys so I am stressing.

I really want naps this weekend. And we have a dinner out gift certificate I'd like to use while free babysitting is in the house. But I fear leaving hapless grandparents with my wild won't-go-to-bed children.


Mar. 11th, 2008 10:52 am
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This cold, and daylight savings time, are still kicking my ass. We woke up this morning with me and the Dillo in my bed, mr. flea in Casper's bed, and Casper on the couch. I'm not sure exactly why except that Casper said her sheets were all wet and sticky so she couldn't sleep in her bed. Monday at school took a lot out of her, and the DST means it's hard to get her to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

I am at work and not sure I possess the necessary brain cells to sort the FedEx receipts into numerical order, which you'd think would be a manageable task, no? I did haul some ass last night and get the bills paid and some cold water laundry done so I will have bras to wear.

Oh! Dillo is 20 months today. He's saying more words all the time, very good at communicating, not so good at pronouncing. We've had a temporary lessening of the lying on the floor drumming heels sort of protesting, though since DST we've had impossible nights. We just had to let him cry himself to sleep at bedtime last night. He ate cheerios from a bowl with milk using a spoon with me this morning, sitting on his stool in the kitchen. There was milk everywhere, of course, but still, pretty dextrous. I think he's starting to do that toddler-becoming-two thing where they get less chubby and more long - though he still sort of resembles a Campbell's Soup Kid. I am interested to see how he handles the coming Easter trip to Cleveland, since he is so shy in new situations.
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This weekend was the worst double whammy ever - not only have I been really sick with the Death Cold (fevers, the whole 9 yards) but the internet was off between Thursday night's power outage and just now!

I was okay Friday (watched LOTR) and Saturday (wrangled kids, limply, on the couch) but today I was reduced to reading the WorldCrossing Natter 1 thread from 2001 that I happened to have downloaded and on my desktop. (VERY interesting, by the way!)

I am still sick, not sure if work is in the cards for tomorrow, and Casper has been quite sick too (took a FOUR HOUR nap today and seems much the better for it) and I'm afraid Dillo is sickening.

But, you know, you are here now!
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She: I have a big committee meeting at noon today, and I am all ready and prepared.
me: What are you wearing?
She: Why do you want to know what I am wearing? I am wearing my grey silk nightgown with the floral topper over it since your brother is staying over.
me: What are you wearing TO THE BIG COMMITTEE MEETING, silly!

I came home from work early because I felt so terrible. I have had a headache all day long, that nothing I've taken has touched. It's in the back of my head and behind my eyes, and when I walk my head throbs at each step and pain radiates down my back. Paranoia is saying meningitis, except I think the back pain is muscular, but this could end any time now, thanks.


Jun. 3rd, 2007 08:30 am
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We have been up incredibly early both days this weekend, due to the childrens. Yesterday we opened Elmo's at 6:30; at one point it was us and 10 cops in the place. We were in the safest place in Durham. We got more done before 9 am (playing in Duke Park, yard saleage, Farmer's market) than in some entires Saturdays.

I also have another cold. Sniff.

The past 2 nights Casper has wanted to put herself to bed by herself - except on the couch, not in her bed. We've let her; why not? I went to sleep in her bed without her last night.

mr. flea left for work this morning at 7:30 and Dillo is already down for his morning nap. I have taken sudafed and when Bob the Builder is over we'll make zucchini bread.

And, I hope, nap later.


May. 29th, 2007 11:18 am
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I have spent a fair amount of time being depressed this last week. This is a big change, since my general mode for the several weeks previous had been anger. So.

I am finally almost over any sort of snot in my head. The Dillo is also fairly clear - he has been relatively un-goopy in the eyes for several days now. Of course, Casper has developed a terrible phlegmy cough, and we are once again worrying about pneumonia. Once bitten, forever shy, it would seem.

In accomplishments news, I listed our backcountry backpacks on Craigslist. I hope they sell. We haven't gone camping since Casper was born, and we (well, mr. flea) had basically decided that backcountry camping wasn't really for us, anyway. I would like to get a biggish tent and go car-camping with the kids; if the packs sell we can use the $ for that. mr. flea grew up traveling a decent amount, but they never camped, since his mother refused to sleep outside. I camped a fair amount as a kid, and I value my related accomplishments such as peeing in the woods with aplomb and being able to start fires from scratch.

Casper has been fragile and difficult and generally a total pain in the ass about 30% of the time lately. Jealous, a lot, of Dillo. Lots of thumb-sucking and pretending to be a baby, but also lots of general frustration and not being able to settle on anything. She's not able to make a decision, and some times everything is just wrong. For example, this morning I put milk in her cereal and apparently I didn't put enough. I added perhaps a tablespoon more, and that was fine. I am torn between sympathy for her - we have spent a lot of time cuddling - and wild annoyance. I am not sure what to do to help her - sometimes we (her stupid parents) can't do anything right. And she isn't afraid to tell us so. Poor bunny. Again I reminded of the way early teenagers are just ANNOYED at EVERYTHING and NOTHING is RIGHT.


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