Sunday, February 26, 2012


OMG.  Are you on Pinterest?  Follow me and I'll follow you back.  I LOVE that site.  All these great ideas of crafts for me to do, activities for the kids to do, ideas for gardening and decorating the home, great recipes to cook.  I feel so creative and cool when I pinning links to my boards of activities I will do to make my life more beautiful and organized.

But I have to be honest with you.  It is a fundamental characteristic of mine that I HATE clutter anywhere.  And the idea of just collecting and collecting anything without using them drives me up the freakin' wall.  (T-shirts, Dave Dougherty.  I am looking at you)  I can't stand wasting anything.  And collecting without consuming makes me crazy.

So I only want to collect things on Pinterest that I really want to do. However, it is crazily easy to just collect and collect (recipes, crafts, gardening ideas) to a level that one cannot possibly do.

So my goal is to do the crafts and cook the recipes and use the ideas that I gather on Pinterest, and document it here.  The problem is that I am not nearly the "crafter" that I would like to be.  And my baking skills?  Well, let's just say that they always taste good.

For example:  here are some mini-cheesecakes that were quite popular on Pinterest.

Here is my version:

And that's the prettiest one!  Trust me, it's not just the original poster's skills at photographer at work here.

Today, I decided to organize our accessory cords.  I found this idea in Family Handyman:  You use ponytail holders to keep the cords together and then you put them in sandwich bags before putting them in a storage box.  They are all neatly stored and you can easily search for what you need without tangling everything up.

And here are a few bonus pictures of the kids, because, well they are so darn cute!

Off the approve the chicken coop placement.

Moving Forward

I realized that the last post left folks at the critical point without much resolution.  We were in the hospital and not getting out any time soon.

Well, we did get out.  The doctor ran into the room on Day 5 and told us to get out before Christopher took another nap.  Although he started sleeping through the night without oxygen support starting Friday, his oxygen saturation was dipping tremendously during his naps--like 84% and 82% Friday and Saturday respectively.  It took the nurses the maximum oxygen level to get him back to an adequate range---92% (not even normal which is 94% or over).

On Saturday night, he was flirting with needing support while he slept (hanging out around 90%) when the respiratory therapist came in, gave him is nebulizer treatment, listened to his chest, identified the last wheezy part and the commenced to bang the heck out of his chest.  While the morning respiratory therapy soothed Christopher, this one made him whimper a bit.  That said, I don't regret it because as soon as she was done, his oxygen rose to 94% and stayed there all night long.

So we got out of there as soon as we could.  Stopping only for a second to have the nurse take Bridget's temperature and verify that indeed, it was rising and that, why yes, that was a crap-ass junky cough she had developed.  The time, ironically, was 20 minutes after our pediatrician's weekend sick hours had stopped.

We took them both in on Monday and the verdict:  Christopher was doing great (although likely to have asthma issues for a while) and Bridget had RSV.

I write that and let out a tremendous sigh, remembering how desperate we felt at that point.  Fortunately, Bridget did not succumb to Wimpy White Boy syndrome with RSV and never really even got all that sick. Of course, we also didn't tempt fate and put her on steroids and albuterol immediately, so who knows.  But her experience is how MOST kids get RSV.  Christopher was the 2% exception.

That said, RSV has been going around Charlotte like the flu.  In fact, we are not having any real flu season this year, but RSV has been happening in record numbers.  On our Friday night at the hospital. we saw a PA do a happy dance because someone was admitted who didn't have RSV.  In our walks (and walks and walks) around the pediatric floor, most doors were covered in a yellow drapery containing masks and gowns because RSV is so contagious, no medical professional is supposed to enter in without wearing masks, gloves, and a disposable gown.  We were all (patients and professionals alike) worried about the newborn who had to come back to the hospital for jaundice.  What a shitty time for that infant to need a few hours or days of billirubin lights.


Bridget just had a high fever from a random virus and I was pretty dang worried we were looking at a pneumonia from her lingering RSV cough.  Hallelujah, no.  Just a virus.  I'll take "Just A Virus" (JAV) any day of the week from now on out.

IN OTHER NEWS--and thank God(dess) there is some---we have seedlings all over the house for the garden (I botched the first round of eggplants and peppers and had to start again with a heating mat; I'm concerned about a late harvest) AND WE ARE GETTING READY FOR OUR CHICKENS!!!

I am so excited about our chickens!!  We just ordered our starter flock today--6 hens of different breeds.  They are all quite pretty and while 5 of them lay brown eggs, one lays blue and green ones! They will arrive in April, which will give us time to get the brooder box set up and Dave will have about 12 weeks to make our coop.  It's going to look an awful lot like our treehouse, just with a roosting bar and laying boxes for the hens.   Let me repeat:  I AM SO EXCITED!!!  It will take a while for us to recoop (HA!) the initial set up costs.  But Chickens! in our backyard!!  I cannot wait!!

The garden is even exciting me, too.  We added a new bed out in the Back Forty (I call it the East Garden; Dave calls it the Back 40). So we can have lots of options for planting.  Also, I keep forgetting to try our frozen veggies from last summer.  It was only this weekend that I tried our frozen eggplant sauteed with tomatoes and peppers, spiced by a basil/oil ice cube from our garden.  The eggplant was delish!  This means we might be able to grow and freeze enough to never spend outrageous amounts of money for great eggplant again!  It's worth the seedlings everywhere, I think.

I could blog forever right now.  The kids are asleep and it's the first kid free and work free moment I've had in recent memory.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Still Here for A While

So, why not a bar in a hospital?  Who needs it more than those of us spending the night with our sick loved ones and are too revved up to get to sleep.  And it's not like medical personnel are so stingy with the medications.  When I was in maternal care with the twins, they were passing out ambien like candy for me to go to sleep.  And after  the c-section, they were very open with the percocet.   They kept trying to push the extra strong stuff  and I kept telling them I needed one half pill of the weakest.

I think therein lies the issue.  So what I want is a glass of wine.  And a hospital bar would offer is a choice and between a double martini and a fifth of vodka, all the while watching until I drink the whole thing in one gulp.


Anywho, Christopher is doing fantastic during the day.  He is so active and engaging he doesn't look sick at all. I forgot to mention that our pediatrician told us that Christopher was the happiest child she had ever checked into the hospital.  So he's great during the day.

But when he sleeps, his oxygen plummets below 90% saturation and sometimes down to 85 or 86. I finally had some time to check Dr. Google.  86% does not indicate immediate danger at this age, but it can cause some long term damage? I don't understand that.  I just know it's not good.

But they put him on oxygen and he gets better. He just needs to sleep a night without oxygen to get home.  I thought we'd go home today based on his activity while awake yesterday.  Now I think the earliest is tomorrow if he doesn't have any oxygen tonight.  But I think we're looking at Sunday to come home.

So asthma.

One of the pediatricians stopped by yesterday.  I was apparently in a mood for chatting because I told her and the nurse in the room all about a new study I'm working on analyzing a medical virtual community, asking for their feedback and insights.  The doctor and I ended up chatting for quite a while about that until we started talking about the A word.

She says it's possible that Christopher is on the path for atopic asthma, because of his eczema which is related to his seasonal allergies and now this strong reaction to RSV.  I would like to take a minute and do the double bird flipping booty dance towards his first pediatrician who said there is NO WAY POSSIBLE THAT ECZEMA AND ALLERGIES ARE RELATED even when I said it seems to me and the RESEARCH I SAW that they were!!! Asshat.  Which is why we switched to our new pediatrician who LISTENS to us, especially when we talk as though we are typing in caps and italics.

We aren't going to be exploring any asthma diagnosis right now, though, until March.  Why, you ask as did I?  Because for the next 4 weeks and the every other day visit to the doctor to check Christopher out, we're going to be more concerned that he is still breathing right now and not any long term issues.  I really don't know what she said because my head exploded after the You Will Be Seeing Us WHOLE FREAKIN' LOT FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS part.

So this morning's pediatrician stopped by. And um.  Good news.  He's going to be fine.  There's no bad news.  There's just a whole lot of waiting.  He has to be off oxygen.  And while I was excited that he is down to 1/2 liter while he's sleeping, that's not the best news we could have.  He still hasn't "turned the corner" yet.  We are still on the straight path and it's too foggy to identify the corner.  I thought we were well past the corner, but we're not.  So he gets out Saturday? Unlikely.  Sunday?  Maybe.  Sometime next week?  Probably.

 So join me on this adventure with the other bleary eyed, wild haired parents walking the halls of the children's hospital in our pajamas looking for coffee.   

Thursday, February 02, 2012

I Honesty Didn't See That Coming

Greetings from the hospital.

Everything is going to be ok.  But Christopher doesn't have pneumonia; he has RSV.  I think it's good news that this is not pneumonia, because the course it is taking would be a Really Bad Path for pneumonia.  But the RSV is taking a real toll on him.

Generally, RSV is a concern for children under 1, especially preemies.  Christopher was a preemie, but is well over 1.  I do think, though, we are looking at some asthma issues developing and this is why his RSV hit him so hard, while when Bridget had it (we think), it was just a really, really bad cold.

In any case, Christopher is in here for a few days at least.  You can't treat RSV because it is a virus so you treat the symptoms.  His main pain problem is significant congestion making it hard for him to breathe.  The congestion is described as "coarse" by the respiratory therapists--worse than wheeze, but not as wet and dense as pneumonia.  RSV!  His oxygen saturation level gets too low (waaaay too low) while he sleeps so he is on oxygen.  He can't leave the hospital until he can sleep a good amount (usually 8 hours) without needing oxygen.

We hope to get out Saturday or Sunday.  I don't think there is any way in H-E-Double-Hockey sticks we will get out tomorrow.

I realize the benefits of blogging about important episodes later when you can get perspective and add insights and humor.  Bu sometimes you just need to get it out.

Things that are interesting, worth developing some perspective:

* this is a highly contagious illness, so the medical staff, if they are going to touch him, have on all sorts of masks and gloves and disposable robes.
* Even sick and even tiny, my son takes up a boatload of room.  I slept with him in his bed last night, fixing his oxygen when it fell off and the monitor beeped.  And thank god(dess) for the respiratory therapist who, at the 4 am treatment, finally slid him over in the bed so I could actually get my whole body on the bed. A twin bed can have an adult size and a child size portion as long as the child isn't doing this.  
*Presby Main still serves fried chicken on Weds.  Woohoo!!  It was the third thing both Dave and I thought after they told us to go to the hospital.  After: Oh and Shit. So yes, the thinking was. Oh. Shit! Fried Chicken on Wednesday.  Oh, maybe it was the 4th thing we thought. But it was up there.  Yes, we've spent a lot of time at this hospital.
*While Tuesday was my turn to freak the freak out over Christopher's health, Wednesday's was Dave's.  We share that way.

Goal today: to take a shower.  My first one since Sunday.  It's been a rough week.