Fun with Motion Sickness

Yesterday was supposed to be a super fun day. I was going to take the kids for a walk, then take them to the pool and it was going to be AWESOME!

Instead, Jack BEGGED to go to the park before the pool, and not just any park. He wanted to go to Kelly Road Park (which is unfortunately also the closest park to us that is the farthest from the pool). So we left for our walk at 8:40, by 9:15 we were at the park and then by 9:40 I was loading kids into the car to go to the pool (pool opens at 10).

We were pulling into the parking lot at the pool by 9:55 and all of a sudden as we were looking for a parking spot Jack started throwing up. In his car seat. I parked quickly on the outer loop of the parking lot and started to assess the mess. My first thought was we picked up a virus on our way home from Georgia on Sunday, but then it hit me. The tire swing. It was the last thing he played on before getting in the car. Spinning, and spinning, and spinning and spinning. Some people can take it, some people can’t. Jack comes from a long line of people who can’t take it and in hindsight I wish I had considered that before putting him directly in the car and driving to the pool.

Poor kid was a mess. I got him out of the car and wiped up the applesauce puke (thank god that was his snack) the best I could. I changed his clothes and wiped him down and then we drove home. He went immediately inside to lay down on the sofa and I kept Harper in the garage with me while I cleaned up the mess. I had to take the car seat out so I could take the cover off to wash. I had to wash the towel that was wedged under the car seat and 2 sets of clothes since he had to sit in the pukey seat on his way home too (but with burp cloths and stuff between him and the seat). I scrubbed the seat straps and the seat of my car. It was something else.

After about 20 minutes (it was also time consuming) he came outside into the garage feeling better. Aside from the fact that I made us take it easy for the rest of the day which involved playing inside and more TV than usual he had a pretty normal rest of his day.

So, important life lesson learned! Tire swings are just as awful and evil as I remember them being as a child, and Jack will not be allowed to play on them and then get directly into the car ever again!

Another Reason not to Let Me Out in Public

So.

Yesterday after everyone’s afternoon naps we had to go to Petsmart to get cat chow and Target to get a few groceries. When we got to Petsmart we made a spur of the moment trip into AC Moore because who doesn’t love AC Moore? And also because I wanted to get a St. Patrick’s Day flag for my front flower bed and Jack needed to buy a pinwheel located conveniently next to the register.

Then off to Petsmart to stare at pets. This type of outing is always a hit with both kids. Jack walks, Harper rides and everyone enjoys looking at animals. This time we were in a hurry so we only did one pass by each type of animal (fish, cats, rodents, birds, lizard/snake/things).

Hi, kitties!

Hi, kitty!

We also picked up a giant bag of cat chow. Usually I push a cart around but today I just had the stroller because it was cold outside and I didn’t want to have to take a cart back up to the store after putting the chow in my car and they have no cart corrals. So I stuck it in my stroller basket and off we went back to the car so we could drive to Target (in a near by but not close enough to walk parking lot).

I went to pick the bag of chow up and all of a sudden there was chow everywhere. A river of chow. Chow was POURING out of this bag and I just sort of stood there stunned. Well SHIT. So I adjusted the bag to stop the hemorrhaging and sort of wound up with the stroller tilted sideways some so I didn’t continue to drop chow, all the while telling Jack to get in the car. Get in the car! GET IN THE CAR FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CHILD to which he was like “no, this is Harper’s side of the car” and SERIOUSLY. so I finally convinced him to get in the car while still holding Harper at an angle and trying to figure out how to get the chow and the baby out of the stroller without spilling all of my chow.

Then a nice lady and her kid stopped by and asked if they could help.

YES PLEASE!

I asked her to hold the stroller at an angle so I could get Harper out and into the car and then I could go from there. So she did, and I thanked her and off she went so I set the stroller on its side and POP! the chow set itself on the ground, out of the stroller problem solved-ish. Except for the giant pile of chow in the parking lot next to my car.

Oops.

Fortunately I have 500 random cloth shopping bags in my car and I was able to get the chow bag into one of them without spilling more chow and I got the kids strapped in and was about to get in the car myself when an employee came out and offered to swap out the bag of chow.

How’s that for service? It’s freaking awesome is what it is.

And off to Target we went!

Now, if I was lucky, this is where my story would end. But alas, there is more.

At Target I returned an unopened container of formula because I over purchased and Harper is weaned and thank goodness they take stuff back! Anyways, I carried the formula into the store in a small USO bag. This detail is kind of important. Anyways, we went on to buy eggs, kraft singles, a 4 pack of baby yogurt, 2 of those baby food pouch things, a box of graham crackers, bananas, a bag of apples, and a container of blue berries. At the check out the cashier asked if I wanted to use my bag and I said yes, but that I didn’t think it would all fit in one bag so I also wanted plastic bags.

Do you see where this is going? After scanning my credit card and getting that taken care of I went over to collect my bags and she was trying to stuff my eggs into the top of the VERY FULL very SMALL USO bag. She had not used more than 1 bag. So I told her I would just skip the egg bag and I put the bag and the eggs in the back of the cart where Jack was sitting (Harper was in the front) and off we went.

And then as we neared the exit I noticed that we were leaving a trail of blue berries.

I wish I was kidding.

My bag was leaning, but only slightly so I checked and the blue berry container was OPEN sitting at the top of the bag kind of on its side (there were SO MANY berries at the bottom of the bag when I got home). I should have looked before I tossed the bag in the cart, but I just wanted to get out of there. So I started scooping up blue berries because I felt too guilty to just leave them. I mean people could have stepped on them and that would have been pretty gross. I didn’t want to be a total asshole, but I pretty much felt like one by then!

So a very nice employee walked by and helped pick up the berries. He said I could trade the container out at customer service, but I said no thanks. First the chow and now the berries, I didn’t think I deserved another free pass, plus it wasn’t that many berries. And also I wanted to get back to the safety of my home because obviously this was just not my day for shopping.

I guess the moral of that story is that if you’re out by yourself with 2 small children and the people at Petsmart say “do you need help out?” you can totally say yes. The fact that you’ve done this 500 times before with no problem does not guarantee you won’t spill a giant bag of cat chow all over the parking lot next to your car. Holy freaking cow.

Well, Now the Freezer has been Defrosted…

Today Nate came in and told me that our chest freezer in the garage was turned off.

Umm, what?

Wednesday night I got some veggies out of the freezer to use for dinner and everything was cool. That was the last time I can remember getting anything out of the freezer. Apparently sometimes between then and today the outlet had tripped and needed to be reset and we didn’t notice so the freezer was more like a fridge and a lot of things had thawed out. Fortunately, not everything had thawed out, and everything was still really cold, just not frozen any more. So some things were tossed, some things were moved to the inside freezer and we’re having chicken BBQ tonight because it was the first thing that came to mind to do with the chicken breasts that were now thawed.

The good news? We had been meaning to defrost that freezer for ever now. There was thick ice building up on the side and it thawed enough that the ice fell off the side (but did not thaw, just became unattached which made it super easy to clear out).

I’m bummed about some of the stuff I had to toss, but I’m glad some of it was salvageable, and now I don’t have to figure out how to squeeze it all into the inside freezer to get it cleaned out!

So now I need to train myself to look for the light on the freezer when I come into the house from my car so that we can avoid this happening again. How sad!

Welcome to Cold and Flu Season

On Monday Jack had a fever, a runny nose, and a barking cough. By Monday afternoon I had Googled “barking cough” and was convinced he had croup. I called the pediatrician, talked to the nurse and she gave me a list of things to watch out for and suggested I sleep with him because it’s worse at night.

Fortunately it was not croup. I’m not sure either of us slept much that night, but his cough turned phlegmy instead of barking and at 4:40 I couldn’t take it any more and went downstairs to try to get an hour or so of sleep before Harper got up. She was still showing no signs of the bug.

Tuesday he still had a fever, and it was higher. So far he hadn’t been feeling too bad really, just sniffly with a fever and no appetite. We spent the day rotting his brain in front of the TV with a few hours spent playing quietly in the play room and practicing covering his mouth with his elbow while he coughed. I think he’s finally getting the hang of it!

Wednesdays my mom usually picks him up. His temp was now out of fever range, but still slightly high so he skipped his Nature Center trip, but still went with my mom (and dad who took the day off) to get out of the house for a while for a change of scenery. And also Harper now had a runny nose. We’re talking like a faucet. No fever, very little cough, but very much snot. Mix that with the fact that I swear her 2 bottom teeth are mere minutes away from poking through the skin and between her mouth and her nose it was a day full of face wiping. She was seemed to feel fine except for the part about the face wiping.

So here we are on day 4. Harper is coughing more, still no fever. Jack’s temp is 99.6 so nothing really to write home about in the grand scheme of things. He still says he doesn’t feel well, but I think it’s more words than actual feeling at this point. He hasn’t had breakfast and hasn’t asked for food at all which doesn’t thrill me, but they’ve both had some unfortunate diapers recently so maybe the bug has hit their stomach (or intestines) and he’s just not that hungry. I don’t blame him. He doesn’t seem to want to play much though, so I see another day of Blue’s Clues in our future. I so love that show and thank goodness for Netflix for having stuff like that in the streaming section.

Hopefully by this weekend he’ll be back to normal or normalish, and we’ll see how long Harper’s nose continues to leak. So far when Jack gets sick she just gets a runny nose. (knock on wood) and I’m guessing it’s due to the fact that I still nurse her twice a day (even though I think she’s as tired of it as I am, with Jack out and about so much attracting germs she needs all the help she can get)!

Parenting Fail!

So this morning I decided to man up (so to speak) and trim Harper’s finger nails. Her hands were getting kind of funky in her mittens and her nails aren’t the weird baby nails any more so I started to trim them.

Guess what! I cut her finger. Two nails to go and I cut her finger. She screamed, but calmed down quickly so hopefully it wasn’t too traumatic for her.

Of course I had to call Nate and tell him what I did. He said “How much finger did you cut off?” and I had to laugh. Dude, if I cut her finger off we’d have been calling from the emergency room or something. It’s just a cut. I just thought it was funny that I said “I cut her finger” and he heard “I cut her finger off!”

It probably doesn’t help that our pediatrician recommended not cutting her nails til she was 2 months old because it was easy to snip a finger (yes, yes it is), and I completely ignored his advice because I already have a kid, I’m totally a pro at this (haha, obviously I’m not). Plus I figure she’ll be 2 months old in like a week and a half and that’s close enough, right??

A Sinus Infection? Gee Thanks, Santa!

So… Jack has had a LOT of colds over the last few months. A lot. For a couple of months we literally had a new cold every other week. It’s been awesome. Finally we thought we had an extra week off and then Jack developed a mystery fever that lasted just 2 days and somewhat impacted his sleep habits and then it went away and we couldn’t figure out what caused it.. until 3 days later both Nate and I had the worst sore throats and post-nasal drip.

Fast forward to today (it started Saturday, or overnight Friday to Saturday really) and I couldn’t take it any more, surely it’s not a cold any more it has to be a sinus infection so I made an appointment with the doctor. I mean even when I had what I thought was the worst cold ever (that I also caught from Jack.. thanks buddy!) It was only really bad for 2-3 days and then got a little better every day til it was gone (like 1.5 weeks later). This time it’s actually been getting worse. My head hurts at night so much that it wakes me up. I’ve been taking Tylenol, but come on now, that stuff is practically useless as a painkiller. Plus I could seriously go on and on about the snot. It’s really incredible. I’ve never experienced anything like it before in my life. It sucks.

So after consulting WebMD (who usually just tells me it’s a cold and I need to suck it up) it actually backed up my Sinus Infection theory so I scheduled a doctor appointment. The doctor, though, was not impressed. She wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic and recommended that I wait until the weekend to fill it, because it can take a virus up to 7 days before it starts getting better. The good news is that she also said I can take regular mucinex (which of course I had to buy because I only had extra strength mucinex D at the house) and also benadryl which should help me sleep tonight (please oh please let it help me sleep tonight). The better news is that she also gave me the prescription to hold onto until I was sure I needed it which means I got it filled on my way home and took the first dose tonight.

So chances are this doctor isn’t going to call me and drill me about whether I waited to get it filled, but I have to admit I do feel a tad guilty for going ahead with it. Oh well. Time to take a benadryl and head to bed. Wish me luck!

Why My Dog Will Never Have a Jumbone Again

Aka: Oh Shit. Literally.

That’s right, I gave the dog a jumbone for Christmas. If Gouda was still here I would have known better. I wouldn’t have given her one because I would have known it would tear his stomach up and we would all live to regret it. Without him here I thought I could get her a fun and tasty treat and she’d (temporarily) love it etc etc.

And so she did.

Christmas morning while Jack was opening his gifts (the ones he managed to open before he got tired of opening gifts and just wanted to play with the new toys he’d already opened, dammit) Layne was there shoveling that jumbone as fast as she could chew.

Fast forward to Monday morning, I heard Jack on the monitor so I got up to go pee before going to get him and on my walk to the bathroom I noticed one of Layne’s beds was moved and thought “well that’s weird” and I pushed it back to its home and then went on to the bathroom where I saw a pile of dog crap on the floor.

“Uh-oh,” I thought, and at that point I was really just thankful that she had the good sense to come do it in the bathroom on the easily cleaned up tile floor. So off I went, quietly back out, because Nate was still sleeping and I was going to be nice and let him stay that way, back around to my side of the bed to get my cellphone and then I’d go out to get a plastic bag and some spray to clean that crap up.

And then I stepped in it. That morning Nate quite literally woke up to me saying “oh SHIT” as I realized the dog bed had been moved to cover another pile of crap on the carpet and I had just stepped in it (thank god for socks). So much for letting him sleep in. Points for intent though, right?

So up we got and cleaned up the crap. My sister has my carpet cleaner, but fortunately we have a spot cleaner, little green something or other as a backup and that was enough.

So the moral of this story is “don’t try to do nice things for the dog, she’ll only poop on the floor.” (Not really, I’m sure she felt like crap (haha) and only went on the floor as a last resort and we did feel really sorry for her, but I definitely felt more sorry for me and Nate for having to clean that up.)

The forgotten child

Built for Comfort, not for Speed

Once upon a time I volunteered at the SPCA on the weekends and that phrase was used to describe a short chubby (but very sweet) little dog. For some reason it’s stuck with me ever since. Probably because it very accurately described Gouda, and also kind of me because while I may not be chubby, I’m definitely NOT built for speed.

Unfortunately Layne is.

I feel bad, we’ve basically been neglecting her exercising needs since Gouda died. We never really went on walks before, but the two of them played together fairly frequently and we just totally did not take into account how much exercise Gouda was providing for her.

PLUS the fact that she’s an anxious mess most of the time and when the wood for our weekend project was delivered last Friday, she flipped her freaking lid and did some damage in the pet room. She shredded the blinds, moved some dumbells and a baby gate away from the closet door, chewed the child lock off the closet door and tore up the treat boxes and bags and generally made a mess of things in the room.

It was not something you want to come home to.

So in response to her behavior we I have taking her jogging every day (except yesterday we walked because my legs were too sore to jog. I tried, I really did but my legs refused to go) and we’ve upped her prozac (with vet permission) to 1.5 pills a day from 1 pill a day. (Right after we moved she was on 2 pills a day for a while but it became pretty obvious that it was more than she needed so we backed it down to one a day. 1.5 a day seems to be going well so far).

Also I plan to take her to day camp to spend the day playing her crazies out hopefully every other Monday, weather permitting.

I really hope this works because while her outbursts may not be frequent (yearly maybe? I’m too lazy to search the archives right now) they’re really starting to take a toll on our sanity.

I’ve also put a call back out to her trainer (whom we haven’t seen for like 2 years because her behavior in the house when we’re there is pretty good (except for barking when company comes over). Outside of the house though is another story altogether and if we’re going to do this frequent walk/jog thing she needs to get it together outside because there are a LOT of bunnies out at 5:30 am (guess how I know!) and she wants to chase them all (and she tried to chase them all this morning and I did NOT want to chase them all and it was really pretty annoying to get jerked every which way because she was constantly on the lookout for MORE BUNNIES which were unfortunately out in droves).

So we really liked her trainer before (and this reminds me I haven’t heard back via email so I probably should call and possibly even start stalking this trainer because we paid for a lifetime package and we damn sure need it now) but if anyone has any suggestions for how to make the dog pay attention to us short of dangling a treat under her nose the whole time (which will only work if there are no bunnies present and really just get her to pretty much run ON you instead of next to you. ASK ME HOW I KNOW!) I would be open to any type of advice at this point.

(NOTE: Layne does not stay in a crate due to previous anxiety episodes in which she chewed through the plastic in a plastic crate in order to escape, prompt mangled (and rendered useless) the door on the next plastic crate in order to escape and chewed the bars on the current metal crate from which she was unable to escape but we were worried about her physical and mental well being in the crate at that point so she stays in a room with toys, a treat kong and an always open crate with a radio playing to try to cover outside noise.)

I Think it’s been Longer than Three Days…

So over the long weekend Nate and my dad built a privacy screen next to the fence that separates us from the neighbor’s house. Basically the yards here are pretty small, and the houses are close together, and from our yard we can see into three other yards and they can see into ours.

Now in case that in itself wasn’t motivation enough, the house next to us is currently home to two outdoor dogs. Both of them like to bark at us (and at joggers, and pretty much anything at any time for any reason like 3am because the wind is blowing). They also like to howl at sirens. Sometimes they’re the only ones who can hear these sirens which makes it all the more annoying.

Anyways, back to my point. Nate and my dad were working on this privacy screen next to the fence that separates our yards mostly because they have one dog tethered to a dog house right next to the fence and that dog likes to get on his dog house while we’re in our back yard and stare at us (and of course bark at us) over the fence. We’ve had enough.

So in the early stages of this project Nate dropped his glasses over the fence into the mud pit that is the yard next door. Being the nice people that we are, Jack and I went over and knocked on the door to ask if we could go back there to retrieve them. We were walked through the house (because the gate outside is stuck, which I can attest to because when we saw their other dog (who is also tethered to a different area of the yard) jump off its dog house the other day and look like it was hanging itself (I’m not even kidding, we could see that from our screened in porch) I went over and tried to get into the back yard to free it (after knocking on the door) and I couldn’t get the gate open. Fortunately the dog made it back onto its house and was able to untangle itself enough to not choke when it got down again). SO ANYWAYS.

I got the glasses and as I was going back through the house towards the front door the guy mentioned that they were moving soon and the dogs would be gone in three days. I tried to contain my excitement but I’m pretty sure I skipped the whole way home.

So now we get to the math portion of our morning. That statement was made on Saturday. Depending on whether they were including Saturday in those three days, it could either be Monday or Tuesday that the dogs would be leaving, right? BUT THEY’RE STILL THERE!

I’m holding out hope that maybe they meant the dogs would only be in the yard for three more full days and by the end of the fourth day not including Saturday the dogs would be gone because I was REALLY looking forward to them not being there.

Countdown to a Time Warner Free Home

Last year we switched out phone to Vonage and our TV to Dish Network and tonight (our official activation date is 8:00pm on March 1, 2011) we’re finally switching our internet to AT&T’s u-verse high speed whatever.

At this point just thinking about Time Warner pisses me off. Since the end of November we’ve had these random “outages” where our modem will recycle itself repeatedly for hours and then eventually it will stop. Then for a little while the signal will be too weak to power the Vonage device and if you’re desperate for the internet you can plug directly in with an ethernet cable which is still sometimes too weak a signal to work. I’ve called them probably 6-8 times about it (I’ve really lost count), scheduled someone to come out four times and had someone actually come out twice. The other two times we received voicemails saying that there had been an outage in our area so they were canceling the service call for us. Both times someone came out they declared our lines just fine and once they swapped out the modem (only to have the problem reoccur a week later).

That week later was the last straw and while I’m sure AT&T won’t be perfect (Dish Network certainly isn’t but right now they get bonus points just for not being Time Warner) but Oh Holy Hell I’ll be SO GLAD to stop giving Time Warner my money for their shitty service.

(Stay tuned for grumbling when the AT&T install doesn’t go right the first time (because what does) at which time I will STILL be glad I’m getting rid of Time Warner).