Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, monday.

Where did I leave off? Ah, yes, BubTar was sick and we were preparing for the first day of Granny the Nanny. And what a day it was!

Yesterday morning, BubTar woke up with a 102.8 fever, I gave him Motrin, he drank a bit of water and promptly vomited most of it up. What a wonderful Monday morning. Still, I got ready for school and brought him to my mother's house for the day with medication instructions (Tylenol/Motrin alternations and Zofran in case of a secondary vomit) and headed to school. I checked in with my mom after orgo lecture and things were okay, no more vomiting, and then I went to orgo lab.

It was the first orgo lab of the semester and guess what? I broke my flask with my sample in it and had to start over! Yes, I was the first klutz to break something in lab! At least it happened early in the experiment. My klutziness was catching because about 10 other people broke glassware in lab yesterday. I'm such a trendsetter. ;) It was a good ice-breaker, though, and I got to know the people around me.

After lab, I saw on Facebook that BubTar's fever was being awfully stubborn so I called my mom on the walk back to the car. It was up in the 103's in spite of the Motrin/Tylenol alternations and a bath. BOO! I told her I'd be there ASAP and headed back to my side of town. As I was getting in the car, I realized I didn't know when BubTar had last urinated, so I called my mom back. BubTar reported no urine since 9:30-10pm the previous night. Oh crap. I called the pediatrician's office for a late afternoon appointment and headed to pick him up.

He had a 103.7 temperature in spite of being current on his Tylenol/Motrin doses and he still hadn't urinated. The pediatrician did a rapid strep that was negative and gave us the evening for him to make some urine or else we'd have to go to the hospital for fluids. We've never been in this position with BubTar! It made me wish that he had a g-button, too. Heh. The pediatrician dosed him with Motrin since it was time and in the car, he vomited that up, along with some fluids. I thought, "This does not bode well." However, when we got home, I gave him Zofran and it stayed down and then he took in some fluids successfully and urinated later in the evening. HALLELUJAH! 4.5 hours of orgo and two trips to and from downtown make a full enough day, I think, without adding a trip to the EC in there, too. Not to mention the classes I would have to miss to facilitate that.

This morning, his fever is back up to 103.8, but he kept his Zofran down and subsequently he kept Motrin down, so I have a better feeling about today. All in all, it has been a pretty rigorous testing of the Granny the Nanny system, urgent doctor's appointments and all. Glad to know it is doable, although I never would have predicted that BubTar would be the one testing the system!

Last night I got a call from his best friend's mom...uh oh, Best Friend spiked a fever last night, too. We feel terrible! Fingers crossed that KayTar doesn't get it (even though she stuck his thermometer in her mouth on Sunday, my head...it nearly exploded when that happened), things hit her about twice as hard as BubTar, and we don't really want to scare my mom out of her nanny gig this early in the semester! It is only week two!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Fever.

BubTar has claimed the coveted First Fever of the School Year title from KayTar, who has held the title last year. She was running a fever by the fourth day after school started last year. He spiked a fever last night, while sleeping over at a friend's house, at 2am...the fifth day after school started. The year before that, it took seven days before illness set in.

Anyway, we got a phone call at around 2:45am. BubTar was puking, had a headache, felt warm. His friend's mom asked if she could give him Motrin and we gave her permission and headed over to get him. By the time we got there, he had puked again. Joy. Once he got home, he didn't vomit again and slept soundly. I think it was related more to the fever and headache than a GI virus. He initially presents like this for strep, so we'll see how it goes. My kids are historically strep magnets, but KayTar hasn't come down with it since her tonsil/adenoidectomy.

This means that tomorrow will be the inaugural day of Granny the Nanny! We also get to test out our system for getting sick kids to the doctor, if/when it becomes necessary. I wasn't expecting all of this quite so soon in the semester, but as BubTar said to KayTar earlier this week when she was hollering about her first paper cut, "Well, that's LIFE!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And the winner is...

Jodie Q, so sayeth the Random.org number generator. Congratulations!

Unfortunately, I don't have your email address, so when you see this please leave your email address in the comments section. Thanks! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Daily Grind: Thursday

5:30 Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
5:40 Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
5:41 Reach over and pick iPod up to check email with one eye open.
5:45 Work up the resolve to get out of bed. Pull on scrub pant pj bottoms, look for hoodie in the dark with no luck. Shiver my way to the closet to pull out another. Walk to kitchen, start coffee. Mix KayTar's Miralax dose in 3 oz of water and while it dissolves, go to the other room to get a fresh feed bag and Pediasure can. Fill the bag and prime it.
6:00 Go upstairs to KayTar's room, set up the pump and plug her in. Nudge her and say, "Your pump is plugged in, so don't wiggle too much." She mumbles her consent. Go back downstairs for my coffee. Thank goodness I can fix her feeds in my sleep, because I'm not actually conscious until after coffee.
6:05 Realize all my jeans are in the washer. Toss a pair in the dryer for 30 minutes. Pick out a shirt. Get dressed from the waist up. Go to the bathroom to do make-up while listening to Bohemian Rhapsody.
6:15 Drink coffee, check Facebook, read half a blog post. KayTar is beeping, so I go check her. My iPod has been on shuffle and it happens to switch to one of KayTar's favorite songs (Your Hands by JJ Heller). She smiles in her sleep and starts to sing. I unhook her from the pump and lie down next to her. She hugs me and sings the song. I think this will be the high point of my day. Once it is over, I tell her to go wake her brother up. She's excited because he is ALWAYS up first, she never gets to wake him. I disassemble her pumping accessories and take the parts down to be reassembled in her backpack for her school feed while Josh dresses KayTar and BubTar dresses himself. Laurie Berkner is playing on my iPod. KayTar switches it to Just Dance and we twirl around the living room.
6:30 Pack KayTar's lunch. Water, pepperoni, baby food veggie. Remember she needs breakfast, too, and microwave her bacon.
6:35 Dryer beeps, check pants. Still moist. Throw them back in.
6:40 Have kids line up for hairstyling.
6:45 Recheck pants. They're passable.
6:50 Realize we are ready and I have almost 30 minutes to spare. I decide to make myself oatmeal instead of eating in the car. We only have the peaches and cream kind, boo, but it is still better than a protein bar in the car.
7:20 Take the kids to school, go through the drop off line, then park.
7:30-9:00 Volunteer in the kids' library. Do some clerical tasks, but it is very relaxing. I love the library.
9:00-9:05 Get gas for the van.
9:05-9:48 Drive to school. Park. Walk down several flights of stairs to exit the garage, stop in the nearest building to use the bathroom (I love this bathroom, because the stall walls are a bumpy texture that make me dizzy to look at, but that I can't help but touch...I know, BATHROOM GERMS, but I can't resist. Then I scrub thoroughly.), walk down more stairs to get to the ground level, walk up a hill to school. IT'S HOT.
10:02-11:15 Arrive at class, only marginally late. Most seats are full, but I spot on in the back corner. Learn things, like that the Iroquois were way ahead of their time what with respecting nature and allowing women to run things, darn dirty Europeans had to come and ruin all that and set us back a couple thousand years. ;) I also got a kick out of their "wars", they would stand in their armor, far away from one another and shout insults. The professor referred to it as a "Yo' Mama" war.
11:15 Wait in line, use the bathroom. Wash hands, eat a protein bar while calling Josh for a quick chat.
11:30-12:45 Music class. Note that both of my teachers today had sweaters wrapped around their shoulders, preppy-style. Wonder if they know we are in TEXAS in AUGUST. Sing Amazing Grace, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Frere Jacques, among others and clap out meter and rhythm. Think that the kids will get a kick out of what we did in MY music class, because it seems pretty similar to what they do in THEIR classes.
12:50 Whoops! Teacher held us over. Take several flights of stairs down, grab a Chick-Fil-A sandwich in the cafeteria and stuff it into my purse. Trek back to the car, thinking about this post in my head to distract me from the HEAT and the impending march back up all those stairs.
1:00-1:33 Drive home while listening to the horrible pop music that I can't help but love...Lady Gaga, Usher, Katy Perry and oh God, even Ke$ha. Scarf down my chicken sandwich. Am pleasantly surprised that I can "recalculate" my path based on construction before Dr. Corday (my British speaking GPS) does. I'm learning my way around town!
1:33-1:59 Restart the dryer and get laundry going (it has been piling up like CRAZY around here. There is a laundry basket in our room, about 3 feet underneath a picture frame. The other day Josh said, "So are we shooting for the frame?" I looked at him quizzically, and he said, "The laundry, are we hoping it makes it to the frame?" Heh...it was getting a little too close, honestly.)), write the first half of this post.
2:00-2:02 Lay on my bed, breaking the NO RECLINING rule. Feel my eyelids getting heavy and hop back up.
2:12 Get laundry from dryer and lay it out while dancing around to Lady Gaga. P-p-p-poker face. Start a new load.
2:30-2:31 Goof off online. See a comment from a friend on FB that mentions my blog. Swiftly delete it before anyone sees it. LOL. Josh calls to shoot the breeze and I hustle him off the line.
2:34 Leave to get the kids from school, two minutes behind schedule. Read my book, it is still AWESOME.
3:05 Kids pile in the car, happily chatting about their day. I hear BubTar mention that he needs advice from KayTar. Hmmmm.
3:15 Plug KayTar in for her afternoon feed. Get BubTar's snack, make myself and afternoon coffee. Hear BubTar asking KayTar for advice on how to make friends. Poor guy, asking his baby sister how to make friends. Someone picked on him AGAIN today. Told him that everyone hates him. My mama heart is all broken up over it. I try to talk him through it, but once he gets worked up, it doesn't get through. He's crying and hiding under couch pillows and I'm helpless. KayTar takes over the consoling (with admirable effort and pep) and I go call Josh to let him know. Boo. I draft an email to the teacher and leave it as a draft. Is that the right move? Should I talk to the counselor? We don't want another year like last year, so I can't let it slide.
3:50 BubTar is eating snack and talking to his best friend on the phone, asking him how to make friends and deal with being bullied. Best Friend gets him to laugh about all of it. The day has been saved by Best Friend! All hail Best Friend!
4:00 Get laundry out of dryer. Hop online to post my bullying dilemma on a message board I frequent. Email the librarian to track down the counselor's address.
4:30 Played Super Mario World with my little guy.
4:50 Josh gets home and goads me into helping him with dinner prep. Herb crusted pork chops, green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy.
5:10 Talk to my mom on the phone. Hop on Facebook for a few minutes while Josh finishes dinner, BubTar play an online computer game with his friend, and KayTar talks to my mom.
5:30 Dinner. Make the kids name three GOOD things about their day. One of them came up with them easily, the other did not. Can you guess who was who?
6:00 Chore time. Everyone takes care of their little tasks. Log into my online class and post on the discussion on lobotomies. Wonder if some of my classmates might have first hand experience with this procedure.
6:45 Proudly announce that KayTar has not had a potty accident all week at school. Then immediately clean KayTar's bum, noting that she has the start of a rash, and remove her soiled pull-up, such timing. Clean the tub for KayTar while the boys leave for BubTar's baseball meeting. Update this from the bathroom while she soaks.
7:00 Dry her off and get pjs on. She play acts with her EpiPen trainer briefly, "Oh no! My lips are swelling and I can't breathe! What to do?!" and then "Oh no! I'm peanut allergic and peanuts have gotten into my belly!" She starts her arm a-swinging and then BAM, lands it right on her thigh. Goober. We chat for a while and then...
7:30 Reading time. HOLY COW, this is a treat. KayTar decides to SING me the entire chapter of Junie B. Jones. Junie B. Jones, The Rock Opera. I laugh/cry so much all my make-up is washed away. 100% pure awesome. This is definitely the high point of my day.
8:00 Bedtime for kiddos. Spend 20 minutes trying to get a splinter out of my finger. Update this post.
8:25 Quick shower with Josh (we like to conserve water, you know), get dressed for bed, blow dry hair. Lay out BubTar and KayTar's clothes for the next day. Fill KayTar's feed bag for school and put it in the fridge.
9:12 Climb into bed, intending to watch some TV and treat myself to a string cheese. Instead of watching TV, I ignore it while drafting letters to BubTar's teacher and school counselor. Fun times.
9:50 Start Masterchef with Josh.
11:35 The show is over, turn out the lights and fall asleep while Josh watches The Colony.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Impressions.

Since I've been to each of my classes, and we have experienced both sort of mornings with the kids, I guess it is time for an official report. Also, I have a small block of formless time and have no idea when this might happen again, so here goes!

Organic Chemistry
I like my professor. She is lively and seems to love the material. She stops frequently to make sure nobody has missed a concept, and offers to explain it in a different manner. I already understand a few general chemistry concepts that eluded me last semester. I'd count week one as a success. However, my grade will be 100% exam grades...no homework, extra credit, or lab grades to help out with that. Although there will be homework and reading assignments outside of class. JOY.

US History

I was dreading this one, not in and OMG-this-is-going-to-be-so-difficult way, but more in a OMG-this-is-going-to-be-so-boring way. I haven't taken a history course in a decade and there is a reason for that...it is called zero interest! The good news is that the professor is pretty engaging and very into the subject matter and I wasn't bored or distracted at all during the first lecture. This bodes well, I think. On the other hand, we're going to be tested on both book readings and lectures (different material). There will be graded homework assignments and quizzes.

Music Appreciation

Again, the professor seemed to totally love the subject matter. It was wonderful just listening to her talk about it, because she was so enthusiastic about the material. She played a few selections for us and I enjoyed watching her as she listened, because she was so clearly moved by it after the thousandth or so time she'd heard it. We get to/have to (depending on your point of view) go to an opera and a symphony during the semester and write a report on each. We have a textbook and there will also be reading and homework assignments, quizzes, and exams.

This one is online. I have to read a chapter weekly, take a quiz, and participate in the online discussions for each chapter. There is also a major paper and a final exam. I've finished my first chapter and it is very engaging. The professor is having a baby in September and she plans to be unreachable for only a couple of days and then be right back on top of things. We shall see about that, but I like her optimism. First time moms are so cute.

Organic Lab

My lab professor is my only male teacher and it is also the only class I haven't enjoyed. It took MORE THAN our 2:45 of lab time to go over the syllabus and check into lab. He is super long-winded and just went on and on about things that were clearly outlined in the syllabus. Lab is much more intensive compared to previous science labs I have been in, and we do not work with partners. I hope that Dr. Long-Winded will not be eating up all of our lab time with explanations from here on out!

In other news, I'm adjusting quite well to the 5:30am wake up and the warp speed things seem to move at until I pick up the kids. I'm a little tired and have been very careful not to sit in a reclined position until the kids are in bed and I've showered and done a decent amount of prep for the next day, so I don't slip into an unexpected coma, but I kind of like this pace. I can't imagine how I would have dealt with both kids being in full time school if I wasn't busy with my own pursuits. The commute is kind of a suck, 1.5 hours to school in the morning, about 45 minutes to get home in the afternoon. It is workable, though. I enjoy the kids' pick up time...I read for FUN while I'm in line. I'm reading Routine Miracles currently and I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

KayTar and BubTar both had excellent first (and second) days of school. KayTar reported that "My teacher has taken a liking to me. She called me 'lovebug'. That means she is INTERESTED in me." She is sitting next to a cute little buddy (the child of BubTar's teacher from last year) who told his mama that he thinks KayTar is cute. KayTar said that she scooted her chair closer to him during movie time but that the teacher didn't know! Cute little Kinders. BubTar is excited about GT and has been excited about school every morning. Last year was so rough for him, he cried a lot of mornings at the beginning of the year, so we're thrilled that he is happy. He's been very big brotherly to KayTar as she learns the Big Kid ropes at school. PreK was very insular, but now she gets to do all the things he does, so he really likes to teach her about all of it.

Anyway, that's all for now. Josh will be home soon, then we'll have dinner and I'm off to the hospital for my volunteer shift.

Seriously, how cute is she in these knee socks?!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Obligatory first day of school pics.

She was like, "Make sure my Twinkle Toes are in the shot!"

Doesn't he look THRILLED?

Looks like her eyes might just pop right out of her head from the excitement!

And a rare photo of me from my from my first day yesterday...

What is this expression? Surprise at the flash? Too much caffiene? The shock of a 5:30am wake up to my system? I'm going to go with all of the above.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

CafePress Giveaway!

A couple of weeks ago, I was emailed by a rep from CafePress and she offered me a free product of my choosing as well as the chance for one of my readers to receive an item of their choosing! The pitch was really great, it was clear she had actually visited by blog, which is always nice. I agreed and happily chose and created my item...a personalized Sigg bottle! The process of creating was super simple and I am absolutely thrilled with the result. Check it out!

Awesome, right? Now I have a super cute bottle to carry my water around with me at school. Water will be a must when I'm hauling my huge backpack around downtown in this mind-melting heat! CafePress offers a great selection of personalized items, as well as a huge variety of ready-made items. In fact, my good blog friend, Bennie, just opened a CafePress store to sell he and his son Ben's artwork and products. If you'd like a chance to win your very own Sigg bottle (you can create one for yourself or choose one of the ready-made ones) all you have to do is leave a comment on this post by 11:59pm CST on Wednesday, August 25th. Easy peasy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Last Day(s) of Summer

Today is the last day of my summer, if you're counting weekdays. Sunday is my last day, if weekends count. Monday, my FIRST day of school, is the kids' last day of summer. Any way you slice it, summer is rapidly coming to a close. I'm nervous. I'm excited. It seems the perfect time for my blog to descend back into the lists that seem to define it during the busy seasons in life.

Things I'm looking forward to this semester:

*Shadowing physicians. I'm extremely excited about this one. Our super fantastic pediatrician has agreed to let me shadow her one Friday a month. I'm hoping to line up a couple of more docs to add into rotation, too, as the year progresses and we adjust to all of this change.

*NOT taking evening classes! It is exhausting to head to classes as the day is winding down. I'm glad that is over for the meantime.

*Having a "normal" family life. Dinner at home, not in a car! Baseball practice! Listening to my kids read at bedtime! Kissing their little heads before they go to sleep! Wonderfully mundane tasks that I will greatly enjoy.

*Biological psychology. This class has a reputation for being extremely difficult, but I am really looking forward to the material. I love biology AND psychology, so learning about the biological roots for our psychological manifestations is right up my alley.

*Volunteering at the kids' school. I love helping in the library and the kids love that I am there...even if they aren't in the library when I am.

*Finally being a university student. It makes me feel sort of like a grown-up...you know, in case the marriage, house, kids, and pets didn't already accomplish that.

Things that I'm not looking forward to this semester:

*Waking up at 5:30am. I'm not exactly a morning person and even though I know I'll settle into a routine, I'm not looking forward to that process.

*Walking through downtown in the 110 degree heat with a 50 pound backpack. Maybe I'm exaggerating about the backpack weight, but NOT about the heat. Damn, it is still soooo hot here.

*Organic chemistry. I'm kind of dreading it. You hear such horror stories...and I pretty much HATED general chemistry, so chem and I are not on the best of terms. I've also heard there is a lot of memorization and fewer calculations, which is more my speed...but until it proves me wrong, it is staying on this list.

*Not taking care of KayTar when she is sick. KayTar is my baby...my sickly baby, at times...she is also my patient, for lack of a better term. Her care, both general and medical have been my express responsibility for some time now. Stepping back from that and letting someone else handle it while I am away makes me anxious. My mom will do exactly what needs to be done and she'll keep me posted while I'm away. But not being the one handling it, even for a few hours of the day, makes my insides feel a little quivery. I'm hoping that KayTar has a surprisingly healthy fall!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Liver labs, re-redux.

Last Tuesday after KayTar's hearing check up (still half deaf...well, profoundly deaf to be more precise, but only in one ear), we had her ALT/AST labs drawn for the third time this summer. They didn't use enough EMLA cream and her skin was NOT numb. They had to stick her twice. She was uber displeased, but at least it was better than the four pokes it took last time. For three sets of liver labs, she was poked a total of SEVEN times. Boo.

Anyway, I got the results today...ALT is still slightly elevated! So that means...(drumroll, please)...MORE TESTING. I have to call GI tomorrow to get her back in there for a visit, then we go from there.

The Start of Something New

My first post is up over at Mothers in Medicine today! Click over and read, if you'd like!

Monday, August 16, 2010

At the lake...

Every summer we go on vacation with my parents and my sister's kids. This year we went up to Lake LBJ. It was a looong drive, but the kids handled it better than Josh and I. We had fun.

The weekend was full of lots of swimming, lots of eating, lots of fishing, lots of playing ball in the yard, and lots of pictures. Friday night we got to feed a bunch of baby ducks and on Saturday night we swam with them and even got to pet one a few times! That was probably the highlight of the trip for me and KayTar.

Sunday morning, we went out in a boat and had a great time. The kids each got a turn helping my dad drive and we would drive around the lake for a while and stop to swim and cool off every once in a while. We worried about how it would affect KayTar, since she gets dizzy so often, but she LOVED it. She said, "I'm doing my PT on the boat!" because standing on it felt like the wobble board at therapy and she had to climb a ladder into the boat.

KayTar loved every minute of vacation, I think. This was the first year that she got to fish with the big kids and she was very excited. BubTar had fun learning to throw the baseball around and playing with his cousins. Josh had a great time fishing, even though they never caught the big fish that kept teasing them. I had a great time taking photos...all 513 of them. There was a lot of formless time and only one shared TV and no WiFi. I got a little antsy during the midday lull on Saturday...I'm not used to doing nothing and evidently it isn't my strong suit. Maybe the premed requirements should include a course on how to relax. ;)

There were so many photos that I absolutely love, I had a hard time narrowing them down for this post!! If you have dial-up, I apologize. ;)

My nephew found this tiny turtle in the grass. He was probably no more than 1.5 inches from head to tail!