Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Little A was a terror in the radiology waiting room, but a dream on the actual x ray table. They found what the pediatrician called "a little infiltrate" in the right lung. Too small to officially call it pneumonia on the report, though. Given her medical history, Little A came home with a prescription for antibiotics anyway, on the off chance it isn't viral.

Even better: after chugging along at 60 breaths per minute for a day, her respiration rate dropped back down to about half that last night. And she finally ate. It was ice cream and not her dinner, but whatever. She took in calories. After a bumpy couple of days, I think my girl is licking this infection on her own. I'll give her the antibiotics anyway, since she also had a developing ear infection. But as a mom, my anxiety level with Little A's health tracks closely with her breathing rate. There's nothing like a gasping child to get me all nerved up! So now I feel better too. Even though Little A gifted me with a cold of my own, and now Big A is now complaining of a sore throat, I feel better.

We may have to pack lots of tissues and Tylenol for our trip, but now it seems we will be packing. Hooray!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer Is Officially Over ...

... When Little A gets her first bad cold of the season and ends up at the doctor's office with what might be the beginning of yet another pneumonia. Or maybe not -- hard to tell what's happening in those lungs when Little A is screeching and batting away the pediatrician's stethoscope like it's a hot iron. (Why oh why do doctor appointments always end up right in the middle of naptime?)

On the doctor's recommendation, I took her home for a power nap after the appointment rather than going straight to the hospital radiology department. Hopefully the nap improves the odds that she'll stay calm during the chest Xray this afternoon, and we'll get a nice, nonblurry shot of her lungs. Right now we have no idea if the fast, shallow "belly breathing" I've watched her do in the last 24 hours is just a bad (but nonserious) cold, or something else that requires aggressive intervention.

It feels like eerie deja vu from the first time Little A got seriously ill last December. That time her illness began when we were about to go to Lake Tahoe for New Year's weekend and stay at a house we rented with friends. So in addition to being frantic about Little A's wheezing and coughing, I was worried and conflicted about whether to cancel the trip, and how that might impact Big A. We decided to postpone leaving by a day, then traveled after the pediatrician gave us the ok. But despite all our precautions, Little A ended up in the hospital for a week anyway, after a terrifying experience that cut the trip short.

This time instead of a Tahoe house rental, the illness coincides with an impromptu trip to Southern California that is supposed to begin this weekend. Sitting on my desk is an envelope containing nonrefundable Disneyland tickets that I only purchased a couple days before Little A got sick. We also have nonrefundable hotel reservations for inside the park and nonrefundable hotel reservations in San Diego for a few days after Disneyland -- a real splurge for us. Big A is apoplectic with excitement over this trip, and frankly so am I. We haven't gone on a real vacation that lasted more than a couple nights away from home in years. The idea we might have to cancel this due to a medical emergency so similar to the one that ended the last big getaway we tried for is something I'm trying not to think about. But of course, that just means the possibility of canceling the trip is the second-most frequent thought on my mind today, right behind "what's up with my girl's lungs this time?"

So. Off to radiology now -- wish us luck!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Plans (Temporarily) Thwarted by that Pesky Innability to Write More Than Her Name

Big A: What are you writing, mommy?

Wabi: A note to the babysitter about what you and Little A need to do at bedtime.

Big A: Oh! Write this down: "Big A can go to bed whenever she wants, and that's ok!"

Gotta give her points for trying ...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thanks for all the Babysitter Advice ...

Without going into all the nitty gritty details, let's just say the conversation with Susanne went as these things generally do: A little awkward and strange at first, but ultimately ok. And now that it's September, my work has dwindled down to practically nothing (as planned), which means that Little A is no longer in regularly scheduled daycare anyhow. Yee haw!

I'm loving being a SAHM so far. Of course ... two weeks in is just the honeymoon period. Especially since DH is home with me this entire month!

Usually when DH is home for a month, it's a stressful, dicey thing that has to do with him getting laid off. The video game industry is famous for its lack of job security, since many companies slash staff between projects. You work like crazy, and then you look like crazy for work. But this time it's a little different. After working six days a week for about five months in a row, DH's project finished in time to ship for Christmas. (Not finishing in time for the Santa retail season is the kiss of death for any game.) The company thinks the game is going to sell very well, and decided not to lay anyone off between projects. Instead they shut down for a month.

I love having regular family dinners with DH again and having leisure time that is actually relaxing. The girls are over the moon to see their dad more, too. Yet being the crankypants I am, I also can't help muttering a little bit under my breath about how all this came about. Reasons for eye rolls include:

1) No advance notice on having September off. There were rumors of it happening in the last couple weeks of August. But we didn't know for sure until two days before it started. So long-term planning for any travel during September was impossible.

2) The company continually insists on calling this "comp time," even though nobody has a choice in when or if they take it. Doesn't sound like comp time to me -- it's really a plant shutdown between projects to save the company some bucks. Yet the company brags about how they are the most fabulous, generous, wonderful employer in the world for "allowing people to take off September." Pay no attention to the fact that everyone just worked through the three last national holidays and about twenty Saturdays without any overtime pay at all. Time off now is nice, but doesn't match up to what was given by employees in the last few months. Not by a long shot.

3) Last and most important: Can you imagine explaining to a not-quite five year old why Daddy, Mommy, and Little Sis get to hang out together at home every day while she must suddenly attend Kindergarten five days a week? So much for making that transition to school easy.


At any rate, it was a very good summer, and despite my always-at-least-residual crankiness, it's a good fall so far as well. I have a post brewing about Sarah Palin as well as other topics, both large and small. I feel recharged. I think my 'blog vacation' is officially over for awhile.