Friday, August 25, 2006

Dead Can Dance - The Host Of Seraphim

Dead Can Dance is one of my favorite bands. Watch this and weep.

Firecracker Has a Bad Week

So, on Monday morning Firecracker wakes up with a bad stomachache. She’s miserable. She throws up a couple times. A bug, I think, better stay home. So I stay home with her a bit and she perks right up and wants to go to school. No pain, no vomiting, no fever. I take her to school. That evening I pick her up at daycare and hear that she’s been complaining about her stomach. We go home and the pain is back. We have a horrible evening, but eventually she calms down and sleeps. Gas, I think, or constipation.

On Tuesday morning she seems fine. She takes the bus. I pick her up from daycare and she immediately starts to whimper. I pick up Mylicon drops for gas. It seems to help. She sleeps pretty well. She seems okay the next morning until I put her on the bus. She’s a bit clingy. I send a note to the school to eliminate dairy. That afternoon I get a call from school to come pick her up because she cried about her tummy until she fell asleep. I call the pediatrician and go pick her up. She screams all the way to the doctor and cries so vigorously there that the doctor leaves a patient to see her. The doctor feels around on her tummy and does a urine culture. Nothing obvious seems to be wrong. She tells us to go to the ER—a nice, long drive to the nearest children’s hospital (we made the mistake once of taking her to the local hospital). Firecracker sleeps a few minutes and then screams the rest of the way. Two blood draws, an x-ray, and many hours later we are assured that she doesn’t have appendicitis, or a blockage, or constipation, or gas, or a thyroid problem.

She doesn’t have anything.

We go home. I throw up. Firecracker offers to rub my back and drifts off to sleep.

Thursday, more of the same: I pick her up at daycare and she starts crying. I put her in a bath, which helps. She wakes up a couple of times complaining but I manage to soothe her to sleep. This morning Dear Husband takes her to an unrelated doctor appointment. He tells me she’s lost weight. I drop her at school. She is crying and has contorted herself in her car seat by the time we get there. During the car ride the only thing that seemed to interrupt the cycle of pain was talking about a friend from her previous daycare and promising to try to contact her mother for a play date. So maybe it’s stress—new daycare, new classroom, missing friends, dad in pain and not home much, mom irritable. It seems to get worse in the afternoon and again in the evening, when she sees me. Best, I think, to keep to the routine and not make a big deal about it.

Or maybe it’s gallstones. Or celiac disease. Or maybe it’s what Dear Husband has only she can’t tell the difference between bladder and intestinal pain. This has been going on for five days. If it doesn’t improve over the weekend, we’ll have to see a gastroenterologist.

Firecracker Has a Bad Week

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Where Did My Blog-time Go?

I don't seem to have a chunk of time to blog about anything these days, or to make my rounds through my favorite blogs. There's a party going on and I'm not there.

News. Let's see. We've joined a new church, one very close to our home. We have been going to one about an hour away, and I'm just not that dedicated. The old church is messianic, so it is dear to my husband, who is Jewish, but I have mixed feelings about the place. It is amazingly diverse, and the Jewish liturgy is beautiful, but the sermons are disjointed and at times the atmosphere just seems weird to me. The rabbi says he as to be annointed to preach, which seems to mean that he'll throw a bunch of scripture against the wall and see what sticks. They are really into the end times thing, which makes me squirm (apologies to Dear Husband, who does not concur with me on that). It doesn't help that the Bible study groups are all on Wednesday nights. An hour away after a full day of work, with two kids. Not going to happen. So we've joined a nice Methodist church that seems to be alive and kicking, building homes in Nicauraguaga and the Appalachians and with incredible childrens' programs and fellowship and study for the adults. A coffee shop is on the way, too, which seems to be the thing these days for churches. I really like this church, which is surprising because they are enthusiastically contemporary. I'm pretty much a smells and bells kind of girl, but I'm enjoying this.

And we have a wedding anniversary coming up on August 28! Dear Husband teases me that he's the wife in our marriage. He's the one who remembers to plan and buy unique and thoughtful gifts. I'm known to forget important milestones. If he weren't there I'm not sure the girls would have birthday parties. This year I did find an excellent gift, but not a babysitter. I'm particularly bad at babysitter-finding. I don't like phone calls, for one thing. But I do now have a list of prospects from our new church (yea, new church!).

Now, back to figuring out what do with the amazing amount of stuff that comes home in backpacks.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Theological Questions from a Six Year Old

Yesterday DramaQueen peppered me with questions. She tends to do this right before going to bed, partly as a delaying tactic and partly because she’s like me and all her best thinking happens at night. I assume Sunday school triggers a lot of these questions. Yesterday they talked about David and Goliath. Elizabeth brought home three Styrofoam cups decorated with markers and googly eyes, representing David, Goliath, and the king. She told me that we still need toothpicks for arrows and a rock. I understand the rock, but I confess that I don’t recall arrows as part of the story, but one of the cups is going to get poked with them. The children’s worship looks like a lot of fun. It’s called Blast! and it’s modeled on Howard Gardner’s research on multiple intelligences, which I guess is pretty common in Sunday schools these days. They have stations and do different kinds of activities each week. One Sunday’s activity involved Alkazeltzer and a soda bottle, and I never did receive an adequate explanation from DramaQueen about how that was connected to the lesson of the day.

In any case, here are her most recent theological questions:

What is grace?
Who made God?
What was there before God?
What is a spirit?
Is God a spirit?
Is God like an angel?
Does God know everything?
Can God do anything?
Can He make another god?
Can he do something mean?
Does God have children?
     Me: Yes, Jesus is His son.
     DQ: No—Mary had Jesus.
     Me: Yes, but God is his father.
     DQ: But they weren’t even married!

And my favorite question:

Why did God make boys when they’re so yucky and all they talk about is poop?

Friday, August 04, 2006

School Days

Here in Atlanta school starts on August 14. I’m almost as excited as if I were a kid myself. The beginning of the new school year has always been one of my favorite times. I was never very fond of summer break. Until I was in my teens, my mom couldn’t drive. We lived on this road in a neighborhood that never quite got it together enough to be a suburb or a community. Maybe developers thought the city of Albany was going to spread all the way to where we lived, but it didn’t. So we were stuck off in this street that went nowhere, far from any mass transit (I think there were busses), and yet not rural enough to enjoy the benefits of woods and romping over meadows or whatever people do in rural areas. There were no children in our neighborhood for a very long time.

It was boring.

My mom was not an ideal companion. She didn’t play with kids. My dad was tired when he got home and mostly concerned about avoiding mom. Neither thought to find me some kids for me to play with. My mom was too anti-social, anyway. She would have done something weird, like accuse the other moms of forming a secret society just to persecute her.

It was hot.

Summers in south Georgia are hot, sultry, sticky, mosquito-infested horrors. I have never been good with heat, and we didn’t have ready access to a pool. I spent a lot of time indoors. Probably a good thing, since trucks drove through spraying the area with DDT to kill the mosquitoes.

So, school was a mecca of stimulation and structured activity. The purchase of school supplies was one of the high points. I still love the smell of office supply stores and the glorious selection of binders, notebooks, pencils and pens. And the beginning of the school year meant that cooler weather would soon follow.

So I’m looking forward to next week, when there will be school orientations for both girls. Dear Husband is out buying supplies, taking advantage of the tax holiday. I would liked to have shopped for school supplies, but he told me it was awful—because everyone is taking advantage of the tax holiday of course. So when the frenzy dies down I’ll meander through the aisles at one of the drugstore and snuff the wonderful scent of new beginnings.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A little-known use for sandpaper

So I went to the doctor for a physical today. When they were getting me ready for the ECG and stress test, they prepped me with SANDPAPER.

Yes, they sandpapered me every place they affixed an electrode.

They sanded me, and then they followed with alcohol.

Let me repeat that: After abrading my skin quite vigorously, they followed with a bracing alcohol rub.

And then they sanded me again.

I should have asked if they used a special medical-grade sandpaper. Surely they didn't go to work with something they grabbed off the shelf at Home Depot--doesn't sound sanitary.

And now, 8 hours later, I still have red, irritated blotches.

Look what I found out on the WWW:

Electrode Skin Prep PadPictured above. Each prep contains 70% alcohol along with pumice to gently abrade skin. 100 per box.B59800
Price: $6.55

Notice the word "gently". My doctor was too cheap to buy the pre-packaged stuff.

And I'm still irritated.