Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary...of sorts

Well, not a typical anniversary but certainly something worth celebrating. It's been one year since we've been in an emergency room! Not that we make a habit of visiting local ERs or have been so often that we ask about the doctors' kids by name or have the vending machine selections memorized or have reserved parking spots...but enough.

The date of this particular trip to the ER stands out because I was across the country. I travel twice a year for my job and this was one of those times. When I called home and there was no answer, I didn't think anything other than Donnie must have been putting Bug to bed or letting Clara out. When my call wasn't returned and it was past Bug's bedtime, I tried answer. Okay, odd but still not a panic. About 30 seconds later a friend called my cell and I was greeted with "Hi Maggie, it's Jen, we're at the ER but everything is fine."

I thought Jen was at the ER with her son so I started to ask about him. Before I could get many words out I learned that the ER visit was for Bug and our friends went with Donnie to the hospital. Donnie and Bug were invited to our friends' house for dinner. They know about Bug's allergies and he ate foods Donnie knew were safe but yet he had some sort of allergic reaction. This was different than previous reactions because in addition to the symptoms we've seen before Bug also had difficulty breathing.

By time I heard what had happened, Bug was back to his lively self at the hospital and the EPI-pen had been used--twice. (The first time Jen accidentally gave the shot to herself while Donnie held Bug...luckily, EPI-pens come as a 2-pack!) Donnie said he was scolded by the ER doctor for using an EPI-pen because, "it made the evidence go away and we now we don't know what caused the reaction."* Did the doctor NOT hear the part about Bug having trouble breathing or the immediate swelling/rash? Sigh.

I told Donnie I could get a flight home in the morning but he assured me that everything was under control and that Bug was fine. I had one more day to work and simply went through the motions. I had already checked out and was on my way back to Bug. Going to the ER is tough but it's certainly not any less painful (no pun intended) when you're 2,500 miles away.

As anniversaries go, this may be only one year and while that theme is paper I'm thinking it's more golden. Here's hoping there are many more...

*We later realized the most likely cause of Bug's reaction was that his burger was cooked on a grill where fish had previously been prepared.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hey, wanna go boating?

Come on over to our basement.

You think I would have noticed that a good chunk of carpet is soaked:

when I got on the treadmill--in the basement

or when I did three loads of laundry--in the basement

or when I worked on the computer for four hours--in the basement

or, um, when I was breathing. Really, how bad is my sense of smell that I didn't notice that damp odor in our basement? Luckily, when Donnie came home from work he pointed it out.

In my search for the positive side, I'm hoping the heavy rains from this week have washed away all traces of spring allergies. It's only fair...if Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer that means I can kiss my allergies good-bye until fall, right? As beautiful as spring is, it can be tough. It's so bad to be cursing all the lovely blooms but when I feel my head pounding and see cars coated in pollen, the swearing begins.

No one is safe from seasonal allergies in our house. Donnie and Bug both have them. Even Clara has them. Bug gets a (fairly) mild rash and Clara is forced to stay awake longer than an hour a day to lick her paws nonstop. At times Bug and Clara have been on the same meds (although Bug's isn't bacon scented but oh, he would love that!).

The carpet people are coming today. Now, if only I could find a pediatric veterinarian for Bug and Clara...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Name Game

Once upon a time I was up on the news and what was going on in the world. These days I check things online but rarely make or take the time to read a newspaper or even catch the news on TV. Then a couple of weeks ago I tried something new.

Donnie, Bug and I were getting ready to turn on the TV. Instead of putting on a cartoon or one of Bug's DVDs, I put the NBC Nightly News on and told Bug we were going to watch The Brian Show. For whatever reason, he was glued. When the commercials came on he said, "I want Brian." At the end of the thirty-minute broadcast, it was a simple, "I want MORE Brian." I was so happy to announce we could watch Brian again...tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

The first 17 years of my life were lived in one house. During the next 17 years I lived in 16 different apartments in four states and Washington DC.

I lived less than a block from the beach for three years.

I can’t swim.

My first date was to an Up with People performance.

I broke out from eating shellfish when I was in junior high. My mom thought I had a reaction to a laundry detergent that she had recently started using. We didn't know it was from shellfish until two years later when I ate it again.

I grew up in the Midwest and still love a good steak.

I found my first gray hair when I was 19.

The polish on my toes is called Times Square and my toes are about as bright as the Vegas strip.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Note to self:

On the next Target run DO NOT wear khaki pants and a red top (even if it's with a tank underneath). You look like a Target team member.

While I always feel the Target love and can probably steer a fellow guest in the direction of shower hooks, lunchboxes or dog treats as quickly as any Target team member, it's just not the same shopping experience when you're wearing the Target uniform. I suppose the biggest difference is that the Target employees leave the store with a paycheck and I inevitably give the bulk of mine to the cashier before I walk out the door.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nonstop (on the) flight

I never know what to expect when traveling with a two-year-old particularly when you leave for the airport at (yawn) 5:30am. Other than Bug's diaper malfunction, which meant he peed all over my leg, the first flight was fine.

Luckily, I had extra clothes for Bug but with 1,259--keep him interested during the flight--toys, food (with his allergies we carry items we know are safe for him to eat), EPI pen and Benadryl (in hopes that we don't need to use them), portable DVD player (I actually remembered to charge it--this time), DVDs, favorite books, Winnie-the-Pooh (his best pal and too risky to be put in a suitcase that might not end up in the same airport as our destination), diapers and wipes (obviously) and my book there was simply no room for anything else like, say, a spare pair of pants for me. At least one of us smelled good for the second flight...sigh.

But what made the return trip feel long had nothing to do with our 2 1/2-year-old's behavior. Our second flight was dominated by a group of high school kids. Prior to take off the kids were all chatting about their tour and then quieted down...except for one kid.

Apparently his role was to talk during the entire flight--to his seatmates, those across the aisle and those three rows in front of him. It was like having Cliff Clavin on our flight with a dash of Rain Man thrown in. Many of the things he said have escaped my little brain but I do recall he let all of those around him know the length of time it would take a body to hit the ground if it were to fall from an airplane cruising at 30,000 feet.

His trivia and comments--or trivial comments--were nonstop and I can only imagine that his parents must have signed him up for this trip the first chance they could just to get a little quiet time at their house. And to think I couldn't wait for Bug to start talking...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We visited my mom last week and there were more good moments than not-so-good moments. I was comforted to see that Bug wasn’t scared of her. She’s quite frail and has lost all of her hair from chemo treatments. She can only get around in a wheelchair and doesn’t have the strength to push it herself so a good chunk of her day is spent resting. Still when Bug saw her he shouted, “I want Grandma NOW” and then gave her a kiss. That alone was a dose of good medicine for her.

It’s so hard to see two people you love--one nearing the end of her life and another with so much life ahead of him--and know that the overlapping of their time together is so brief. I can barely allow myself to face the reality that Bug won't grow up knowing all the sweetness his grandma has to offer and that my mom won’t be around to watch Bug grow into himself. Maybe sometimes we all live in a vacuum but sometimes life is a vacuum and it sucks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a good reminder

After Bug's nap he wanted to go outside. I grabbed his shoes but he wanted to put them on himself. So, as he got ready to put his foot in a shoe he paused and said:

toes go first.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I did it...three times

I ran this week. Maybe it was the nice weather and seeing so many runners outside or maybe it was watching The Biggest Loser and seeing the finalists complete a marathon (a MARATHON!) or more likely it was realizing that I'm wearing the same clothes all the time because so many other things don't fit as well as they once did.

Running isn't really something I enjoy but it seems the quickest/cheapest way for me to ease back to some sort of an exercise routine and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I'm done. There was a time when Donnie and I went to the gym at 5am usually 2-3 times during the week and later on the weekend mornings. In the summer we sometimes added a run outside to the gym routine. That was pre-Bug. Once he came along sleep became too valuable--and somehow working out for me is a morning event--the thought of exercising after a full day doesn't work for me.

When Bug saw me he said, "Mommy all wet" and I wanted to thank him for noticing that I broke a sweat. I may not have run far or fast but I went farther and faster than I thought I could and that's a good feeling at the start of a day.

And then I had doritos for lunch.

Monday, May 4, 2009

False Advertising

I took Bug for a checkup at the allergist's office. I get a bit stressed before these appointments (and, for the time being, have six months in between to obsess about them).

After a nasty reaction to eggs when Bug was 13 months old, our pediatrician told us to get to the ER. It wasn't very reassuring to hear the ER pediatrician say "Hmmm, I've never seen anything like this before." Ugh. Fast forward to now...

Bug's allergic to eggs (no surprise there), fish, peanuts and tree nuts. I kept thinking the good thing is that he could have lobster but not fishsticks (of course we've been told he should avoid shellfish too).

The appointment was going fine and, thankfully, I had little to report since our last visit. Now he was going to be tested for outdoor allergies and I couldn't imagine him lying still for ten minutes. Bug happily cooperated when the nurse listened to his heart and got his height and weight. He even greeted the doctor with a handshake. Then the doctor needed Bug to take his shirt off and check his skin (he has eczema as well). Bug threw a tantrum like I hadn't seen before. He sobbed uncontrollably through the rest of the exam while I tried to calm him down. Needless to say the doctor opted against testing for outdoor allergies at this appointment and now I have plenty of time to think about new allergies.

In hindsight it probably wasn't the day to let Bug wear his Mr. Charming shirt.

Friday, May 1, 2009

gender issues

Me: Who's your girl?
Bug: Daddy

Me: ?????

Me: Who's your BEST girl?