Sunday, March 1, 2015

Digging Deep

       So I haven't posted in a bit. Sorry. I am sure you all wait with baited breath for these posts.  After all, I'm sure they are the central reason for your very existence.  (I can hear those eye rolls.)  But, alas it has truly been a roller coaster ride this hospital stay.   First, it turned to be the flu.  (Sorry if we exposed any of you.)  The flu with a secondary pneumonia meant two antibiotics, one steroid, one antiviral,  and a partridge in a pear tree.  The meds, when added to sick little kid with an already stressed out body, led to severe gastritis and an abdominal bleed.   Which led to a severe anemia.  And a freaked out pediatrician.  And two units of blood.  And one triple lumen cath in her groin.  And an ambulance ride to another city, another hospital.  Which I am severely pissed about.  (I don't think this hospital is the right place for her.)
        But here we sit, well into week two of our hospital stay.  Her lungs are healing (yayyyyy).  Her hemoglobin count is on the rise (double yayyyyy).  They will run a few tests tomorrow to make sure it was just gastritis. If she can only just stop randomly popping a temp, we may go home soon.
            And here, right here, is one of the everyday realities of being the parent of a disabled kid.  Feisty Pants is awesome and fun, like any kid.  What she isn't and never will be, is predictable. We never know when the next cold will led to a ventilator.  Or when the cure for the illness will be harder than the illness itself. Or when she will simply react to an illness in bizarre  and colorful ways.  As a parent, you must dig down and get tough enough to withstand this.  Trust me though, you got this.  You can do this.  If you need any inspiration after all, just look at the toughest human being you know, the one right there in the hospital bed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Something else for a change.

              Well, we have had a heck of a week.  We thought it was going to be a blissfully boring week off from school.  It turned into the flu,  an asthma attack and, SIGH, yet another hospital stay.  So perhaps to stave off the bad karma of whining about a lack of sleep and tv and good coffee, and an excess of cabs and work; I should spend a few minutes simply being grateful.
              So to that end, thanks Universe. Thank you for letting us live near a good hospital so we didn't have travel for hours to get Feisty Pants medical help. Thank you that we did not have to call an ambulance.  Thank you also for not having us shipped to Timbuktu.  It's hard enough when she is across town, let alone across the state.  Thanks for having a genius respiratory therapist working when did show up at the ER in the wee hours of the morning.  His expertise and dedication is the sole reason we were able to stay here and not be shipped out as if Feisty Pants was the medical equivalent of a hot potato. (Thanks Bill!)  Thanks Lourdes Women's and Children's ward for putting up with all our annoying requests and endless sucking down of your coffee and most of all for your excellent care of our youngest child.
             Thank you, Feisty Pants, for being cool and awesome even though you don't feel well and we are totally getting on your last nerve.   And for trying really hard to find a way to communicate with the doctors and nurses.  And especially thank you for not slugging anyone too often even though we often literally a pain to you.
              Huh, whaddya know?  I do feel better. And as I type this, FP is sleeping semi peacefully.  There really is some magic in gratitude. So I will end before I can start to whine again. Thank you all for reading this.

Friday, February 20, 2015

In Which Feisty Pants is Fed UP

             Feisty Pants is not not not enjoying her vacation from school this week.  It was bad enough that we did not agree to her oh so reasonable requests for a cannon and some pleather.  It was bad enough that Goo, whom she thought she could trust, had the gall to get a tummy bug and give it to her.  It was even worse that I, Queen Buzzkill  the Unreasonable, made her go the hospital when she developed a secondary infection and had trouble breathing thus forcing her to undergo poking and prodding and icky breathing treatments from people who are all mean and surely have cooties.  We have now crossed the line beyond all hope.   When the doctor, in a moment of rare niceness for an old fart (she must be nearly -gasp -THIRTYFIVE), asked her if there was anything she could do to make Feisty Pants more comfortable, we Mr and Mrs Buzzkill Horriblepants, interfered and said no.   Well, technically FP said "Yes, go get Alfie."  The doctor heard that as, "Go get ELF". She replied,"Well, I think maybe I could. Is that a toy?"   We, the evil ones, said,  "No, she means she wants her dog (a pit bull mix), ALFIE"   And now we have ruined EVERYTHING!  They would too have let her bring Cheweverything Pants to stay with her in the hospital and we suck and ruined it.  She is completely fed up with us.  FP wants no more of our nonsense, thankyouverymuch, and is not speaking to us.  We know this because she has told us so about half a dozen times.   She even told on us to Grandma, who oh so sweetly replied that she would try to think of a way to let Cheweverything Pants come visit Feisty Pants and I should be ashamed of myself. My mother is soooo helpful with the kids.
              Feisty Pants is also completely fed up with the medical profession as a whole.  Doctors are mean.  Nurses are all out to get her. The respiratory therapists are nightmare inducing as far as she is concerned.  Why, when she carefully explained that her IV was annoying they all refused to take it out.  She was forced to do it herself. TWICE. And then, when she nicely had done their work for them, they just put another IV back in. They did not even say thank you. FP has no idea how we all live with ourselves.  Don't even bring up the blood pressure cuff.  That is not a medical instrument, it is a device solely designed to torture kids and she is not fooled one bit by our lies.
              Worst of all, it is supposed to snow again this weekend.  Just when she had discovered the wondrous joy that is sledding, we decide to get all evil on her and she is going to miss the best part.  And no, it is NOT too cold for her.  She is certain we are making up more lies to be mean.  Wind chills are something made up by old people who don't want to pull deserving children up hills.  How she will ever live with such horrible family members is almost beyond her reasoning.  Feisty Pants just must take comfort in the act that one day she will have her vengeance. As soon as she gets some pleather and a cannon.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Happy Dead (of Winter)

             So,  here it is the dead of winter.  This actually my favorite time of year.  Seriously, I hate the heat.  Snow is really my thing.  And the fact that Feisty Pants breathes so much better when it's cold only reinforces this for me.   We also have week off from school.  Which we learned the hard way.  Not kidding,  I was discussing Monday being President's Day with FP's nurse and casually remarked, "So we will see you on Tuesday then."  Her reply was, "No, why would you do that?"  Yup, we are so organized and on top of things.  I am so glad I found out BEFORE Tuesday. Or we would have had Feisty Pants all dressed and ready to go to school and been sitting around wondering where everybody was. While Feisty Pants laughed at us. Again.  (Not even the dumbest thing I did last week, either.)
              Ahhh, well.  Perhaps we will catch up some sleep.  Before I have to beat Goo to death with a stick (because I love him, you see.)  And maybe catch up some household chores.  And hopefully NOT bore Feisty Pants to death.  I have a few ideas to try (found a new recipe for ice cream that uses snow, picked up some chalkboard paint....)  so maybe this will be a nice week after all. 
            Feisty Pants for her part is definitely up to something.  I am just not sure what that something is.  So far today she has told her father that we "need a cannon" -for our backyard apparently. And then she asked for some pleather.  When we asked her why she needed pleather, she said ,"Don't worry about that."  Now I am most certainly worried about that.   I just wish I knew what "that" was.  Pirate?  Revolutionary? Supervillain?  The mind boggles.  I guess I can take comfort in the fact that she will have harmed no cows in her plot.   Priorities matter, after all.
              So, if you are having a quiet week with your feisty one and need an idea to keep them from plotting to take over the world, here is the recipe for snow ice cream.  We haven't gotten to it yet so I cannot tell you how good or bad it is.  But anything involving snow, cream and vanilla cannot be all bad. And anything involving chocolate and snow is, by definition, awesome sauce.  Enjoy!

Snow Ice Cream
1 gallon (or just a BIG bowl) of fresh snow (do I have to say not the yellow kind?!?)
1  cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cream and/or milk
Mix, eat.

1 gallon (or just a big bowl) of fresh snow
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate milk
Mix, eat



Thursday, February 12, 2015

V-day, take two

             Originally, I wanted to make this a three part-er for this Valentines Day.  No reason really, I just like threes.  But another snow day and a nasty abscessed tooth (thanks Universe!) have apparently meant this is supposed to be only two posts of ideas.   Luckily, they are truly genius ideas so that makes it okay that I was kind of lazy this week.  (What? I couldn't hear you with my fingers stuck in my ears.  I am just going to assume you agree.)  Besides, these next three ideas are really clever and cute.  They don't even have to be just for Valentines Day, either. 
            For any of the next three crafts, you will need some chalkboard paint, tape, and, of course, chalk.  

1) Heartfelt Mugs-  Pick a large plain mug from a dollar store (or yard sale, thrift shop or the like).  A pair might be even cuter.   Wrap a piece of masking tape about 2/3 way up to the top of the cup.  Paint  bottom under the tape with two coats chalkboard paint and let dry.  When dry, remove tape and use chalk to draw hearts, faces, or even a cute quote about love.  (Handwash these instead of putting in dishwasher)  The best part about these is you can go back later and draw other things like a b-day message, or good morning and truly look thoughtful and sweet later.

 2) Candy jars- grab some wide mouth mason jars (with lids) or, if  you can find them, those cute farm house jars with the apothecary lids.  Cut a heart shape (or any shape really) out of scrap paper and affix to jar with tape.  Paint with two coats chalkboard paint.  Remove paper shape when dry.  Fill with colorful candy, add a cute note on the jar with chalk,  and voila, instant sweet charm.  I would suggest conversation hearts or m and m's. Or sixlets. Or skittles.  Or mini marshmallows.  But you get the gist.

3) Family (or office) message board- You will need a cookie sheet, about 24 inches of ribbon and two washers. Simply buy a cheap cookie sheet.  Or find an old one. Drill a hole into two of the corners (not diagonally) or pop holes with a nail and hammer.  Then paint with (you guessed it) two coats chalkboard paint.  When dry,  attach one the washers to the ribbon, run ribbon out through one hole and back into the other hole and attach the other washer.  This will work as the hanger.  Simply use the bottom lip of the cookie sheet as a ledge for chalk.  As handy as a dry erase board but a lot nicer to look at.   Again, the best way to give this is with some lovely quote or saying drawn right onto it when giving.

                So, there you go.  Happy Valentines Day.  May your day be as sweet and charming as all those candy ads claim it is.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

V-day, take one.

        Since next week is a national holiday, oh and Valentine's Day (What?  You mean my birthday is NOT a national holiday?  That's a travesty.  Somebody get on that.) I thought I would post some more ideas for cheap and cheerful diy type gifts.  They are my favorites.  Nothing is ever quite so thoughtful as someone sitting down and making something just for you.  And by the way, dads out there, in case no one ever told you, doing a craft with your kid is worth double points.  You are spending serious quality time with junior AND you look good to your significant others whilst doing so.  And it's fun.  So everybody wins.  You're welcome.
        So, to that end, I've decided to start with three quick mason jar crafts.   You will need a mason jar, a ribbon, and a pretty label.  (Either make one on the computer- free templates abound out there on the interwebs or have the kids draw it).  Simply fill with one of the drink mixes to follow, add the label with instructions, tie with ribbon and practice best charming smile.   Easy Peasy.

Mason Jar Hot Cocoa Mix-(should make enough for three 16oz jars)
2 cups powdered milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup powdered creamer (plain or hazelnut)
1 tsp cornstarch
optional- mini marshmallows
Stir all ingredients except marshmallows in a large bowl.  Fill jars, top with marshmallows.
Instructions:  Mix 1/4 cup of cocoa mix to hot water or milk and stir.

Mason Jar White Hot Chocolate Mix-(one 16 oz jar)
2 cups grated white chocolate (I bet you could substitute white chocolate chips)
1 3oz package white chocolate pudding mix
2 tsp vanilla powder
Mix well, fill jar.
Instructions- add 1/4 cup mix to 1 and 1/2 cups hot milk. Stir well. Makes two servings

Mason Jar Chai Tea mix -(makes three 16oz jars)
1 cup powdered milk
2 cups non dairy powdered creamer (plain)
2 tsp vanilla powder
2 and1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cardamom
Mix VERY well, fill jars
Instructions:  Add two heaping tablespoons to mug of boiling water. Stir well.

 Note- if you cannot find vanilla powder, simply mix an equal amount of vanilla extract (in these recipes two teaspoons) into one of the dry ingredients (the sugar is probably best) and mix until mostly dry.






Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Groundhogs Day

            Ok, so now Hippie Pants has decided that it is not fair for her sister to have all the fun.  So she has come down with the flu and, because secondary infections are kind of our thing, pneumonia. In fact, most of her household (roommates, friends, etc.) have come down with the flu.  And Hippie Pants had her flu shot too.  Of course with the rates of efficacy  this year, I am not truly surprised.  Just worried.
            So if you need Feisty Pants or I, we will be under the bed, coated in Purell, pretending to be groundhogs.  Or maybe we will just hide in the fort she has decided we need to build in our living room.  To be honest, if I thought it would help, I would turn the whole house into one big blanket fort.  I am already scoping out foil hat designs, you know, just in case.  We definitely WON'T be at Disneyland.   That is apparently ground zero for the Zombie Apocalypse.  Really, people, vaccinate your kids.  What you are saying when you don't is that the idea that there could be a health threat that would MAYBE, POSSIBLY  affect your kid's life is worth some one else's, say, MY kid's LIKELY death due to measles or pertussis. Or that your child dying of measles or diphtheria or pertussis is better than living with autism. Forgive me if I find that possibly offensive. Make no mistake, these illnesses are dangerous.  People die from them. That's why vaccines were invented. If it makes you feel better, for the record, I took my kid (you know, the one with the brain injury and therefore an already compromised neurological profile) to a neurologist when she was just tiny and asked specifically about vaccines and neurological risk.  His advice was to give the T-dap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)  shot in separate doses instead of combined and give the pertussis one month later than the other two.  He also said not to worry about the mmr (measles, mumps, rubella) at all.  If you are worried, try that. (If you are really worried, take a look at all the pesticides we feed our little ones on a daily basis and decide which is the bigger threat, just saying.)
        You'll have to forgive me if I seem cranky, but every time I turn around someone is throwing up or coughing up blood (Hippie Pants split her throat coughing)or just quitting and doing a runner.  Sigh.   Even the big snow storm failed to make an appearance around here. And now even Goo is saying he feels "off".  Great.  If I poke my head out from under this bed and see my shadow, I just KNOW there will six more weeks of flu season.