Nurse Loves Farmer


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Monday, 20 May 2013 06:00

10 Favourite Movie/TV Characters

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It has been a LOOONG time since I linked up for a Monday Listicle with Stasha at The Good Life, and was evaluating my blog buttons and wondering whether or not I should hang on to all of them... But I do love making lists, and this week's topic was right up my ally.

The difficult part was narrowing down only 10 favourite characters. So, I made a list and crossed off a bunch of people, including any character I had actually chosen because of the actor or actress - although I realize that many of these characters just wouldn't have been the same played by anyone else, there are some characters that I know I adore simply because of the talent behind them. I also didn't include any characters who were actually real-life people, because that just didn't seem right. Then I took the list I had remaining and cheated a little... you'll see what I mean. Here it is, in no particular order.

Amelie Poulain, played by Audrey Tautou was actually the first character who came to mind although I don't think I have a favourite... This character in the movie Amelie is just too freaking adorable not to be included here.

"I am nobody's little weasel."

Juno MacGuff, played by Ellen Page in the movie Juno.  She is sarcastic and real, and I find her so completely likeable. I also love the character of her father, Mac MacGuff played by J.K.Simmons, but I think she ranks slightly higher...

Idgie Threadgoode from Fried Green Tomatoes, played by Mary Stuart Masterson is pure gold. Again - a character who is different and real, despite her stuffy situation.  Jessica Tandy can't be discounted here either... 

Abed Nadir, played by Danny Pudi on the TV Show Community is absolutely hilarious. I'm pretty sure I laughed outloud every time he was on screen during the first three seasons of this show.

"Cool. Cool, cool, cool."

'Shamy', which equals Sheldon Cooper played by Jim Parsons and Amy Farrah Fowler played by Mayim Bialik in The Big Bang Theory. I can't even describe to you how much I love these characters. They're brilliance. And Sheldon Cooper kind of (a lot) reminds me of my husband... 

"You'll always be an academic success, but I seriously question if you'll ever make any more friends."

From the movie Love Actually, which is one of my absolute favourites, I struggled to pick a favourite (so I didn't). I love almost all of them... from the awkwardly hilarious Prime Minister played by Hugh Grant, to the adorable porn-doubles John and Just Judy played by Martin Freeman and Joanna Page, to the insanely adorable Sam played by Thomas Sangster - he is much older now, but this kid is darn cute in this movie. 

Another big cheat, I didn't narrow down a favourite from Harry Potter either. I actually imagine that I'm just like Hermione, played by Emma Watson, and I'd actually love to be just like Molly Weasley, played by Julie Walters. Rubeus Hagrid, played by Robbie Coltrane is the most endearing giant ever, and I don't know anyone who hasn't fallen (at least a little bit) for Fred & George Weasley played by James & Oliver Phelps. Luna Lovegood, played by Evanna Lynch, has to be the best flaky (and still adorable and sweet) blonde I have ever seen on screen. 

The Princess Bride was my all-time favourite movie when I was in high school, and it still ranks up there, but has a different, more sentimental place in my heart. Of all of the wonderful characters, Miracle Max, played by Billy Crystal, is the one that sticks most in my mind - I still occasionally hear myself ranting about 'Why don't you just give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it... We're closed!'.

"Get back, witch!"

Then there's Rube Sofer, played by Mandy Patinkin in Dead Like Me (the TV Show - the movie sucked). The characters in this show are brilliantly deadpan sarcastic, but he has to be my favourite. So many beautiful insults... I love it. 

And Roy Trenneman played by Chris O'Dowd in The IT Crowd - a british TV Show that my husband made me watch one day and I happened to fall in love with.  For the most part, I really love british films and television... I must confess, I feel a bit endeared to Roy because he does... kind of... a little bit... remind me of my husband. 

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

This would be eleven, but I actually had to rule out Jean Val Jean because as much as I tried, I couldn't convince myself that he wasn't actually a real-life historical character. He's just too real to me. He can't be on a list of 'characters'. He just can't. 

So that's that. Tomorrow I will probably slap myself for missing someone extremely important from this list, but I have to end somewhere, haven't I?

Who are your all-time favourite TV or Movie Characters? 

Thursday, 16 May 2013 23:53

Picnic Season!

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We had our first picnic of the season on Friday - we met our church family at a downtown park in the afternoon and spent hours chatting, playing with the kids in the playground, blowing bubbles, playing badminton around the picnic area, more chatting and eating! 

The girls and a friend on the wierd 'bowl' swing at the playground.

I was practicing my colour correcting 'skills'...

It was a lot of fun, and I hope we spend a lot of time at parks and picnicking in the next few months! 

Our menu was relatively simple, but it took some time to prepare. The girls and I had gone out in the morning, so between napping and getting ready to go, I got zero house-cleaning done and Clara used her small-tornado skills to distribute all sorts of random items around the house while I was frantically making sandwiches! Grr...

I had deli ham and swiss and brie cheeses for sandwiches, so I made these two sandwiches:

Ham & Swiss

  • Light Rye bread, lightly toasted
  • Swiss cheese
  • Shaved deli ham
  • Mayonnaise
  • French's Mustard

Brian loved this, because he's definitely a bigger fan of savoury foods than sweet, while I prefered the following:

Ham, Apple & Brie

  • Dark Rye bread, lightly toasted
  • Brie
  • Apples, thinly sliced
  • Mayonnaise

I've been somewhat obsessed with the apple-brie combination lately, so this was perfect for me.

I also brought a container of thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers to add to the sandwiches if we wanted to. I didn't want the sandwiches to get soggy, so I left them off to put on later.

Then I cut half of a cantaloupe into small easy-to-eat slices, and brought a bag of snap peas. 

And completely forgot drinks. 

Even water.


Anyway... I loved the menu otherwise, except that it did take quite awhile to prepare. I have to either find easier recipes or ideas for picnics, or get over the fact that nothing is instantaneous and realize that planning these things might take time... 

What do you think? Does getting ready for a picnic take a lot of time for you? Do you have any great go-to recipes, either simple or otherwise?

Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:00

My Growing Toddler

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I was determined when Audrey was born to not neglect documenting her life - I would keep up with her baby book, take just as many pictures of her, etc. etc. etc.

I kind of failed at that. We realized that because everything Clara did was different and new and exciting for us, we took a million photos and documented everything because it was just so interesting. With Audrey, very little is new or exciting, and because nothing jumps out at us, we also don't feel the need to take note of all that much. 

However, I have been doing monthly 'Audrey' posts, updating the world (and myself) on her growth and progress - and I am not doing the same for Clara.

So, here it is. Clara was 'exactly' 2 years and five months old last Saturday, and I think it's about time she deserves her own update post! No new pictures though, sorry, I've been trying so hard to take photos of Audrey that I've actually been forgetting to photograph Clara.

This was her last year at about this time...

It was pretty much on the day of Clara's second birthday in December that something inside her decided to suddenly grow up.  The biggest difference was her sudden ability to string a sentence together, which made her seem so much older instantly.  I realize that the clarity of her speech as I understand it is largely due to the fact that I spend so much time with her, and her speech is much clearer to me than it is to anyone else, but I believe her vocabulary is quite astounding.

She knows a ton of words, and is constantly surprising me with the things she says and the concepts she seems to understand.

The other day a friend of mine asked her if she knew who the pastor of our church was (she mentioned him by name) - and Clara had said "God... Jesus".  I very clearly explained to her that he was NOT God, but that he taught us ABOUT God, but I was still pretty impressed that she had made the connection.

I also recently discovered that if she is being asked to do something, or if she is asked not to do something, she is much more likely to be agreeable if she is given a reason for her compliance. She was wearing her muddy rubber boots in the car one day, when I told her she would have to remove them, and then pulled them off her feet - she kicked and screamed until I told her that because her feet touched the back of Daddy's seat, and because the bottom of her boots were dirty, we needed to take off her boots so that we could keep Daddy's seat nice and clean. She sulked while looking out the window after that, but her tantrum stopped.

Clara's obsession with Disney princess movies - particularly Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast - has encouraged her to exercise her musical abilities as well. She now wanders around the house acting out scenes and singing along to the soundtrack in her head. The other day she had a baby wash cloth in her hand and she swung it around her head like a kercheif and said "No sir! Not Me! I guaran TEE it!"

Her physical abilities have never been overly advanced for her age (read... really slow), but neither Brian nor I are exactly top-level athletes.  We leave sports alone as much as possible, actually... So I suppose it's no surprise that at almost 30 months old, Clara has just barely started taking stairs on her feet as opposed to her knees or on her bum, and that she still refuses to go down even the smallest slide no matter how much peer pressure she's exposed to. 

She desperately wants to do everything herself, even things she is physically not yet able to do. She will throw a tantrum of epic proportions if we forget to let her climb into her carseat 'by-self', and her tantrums don't subside quickly... she has gone on for over an hour on more than one occasion.

Which brings me to her stubbornness... Clara has the ability to stick to her guns about something she wants for an insanely long amount of time. She will decide at night that she wants some specific thing in her room, and she will scream for it until she finally falls asleep - sometimes over an hour later - exhausted. 

She and I have battled over so many things in the past few months, and there are times when I admittedly don't have the energy to deal with her and have given in when I know I should not have.  There have also been times when I have 'given in' without knowing it (she's actually tricked me). Like the time when she decided that her 'gummy' (pacifier) needed to sit on her bed right next to her pillow. We agreed to this for days before realizing that our instructions had actually been that her gummy belongs UNDER her pillow during the day, but she was determinedly side-stepping our rule to make one of her own. 

This one is going to be trouble... 

Anyway, that is where Clara is at right now. Thus begins her own monthly update posts - hopefully they will fall closer to the 11th of each month, to match her birthday.  And hopefully this month I will take more pictures...

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 06:00

The Many Uses of a Household Binder...

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I don't know why, but each time I find another use for my organization binder, or 'Control Journal' as the Fly Lady would call it - I want to tap all of my finger tips together and laugh maniacally. As if I have somehow fooled the binder into allowing itself to be used for yet another purpose... 

Anyway, I was browsing the other day and casually ran across this set of Blog Planner reviews on Mosaic Reviews. I had never before thought of having a blog planner, but as I tend to feel about all new stationary items... I had to have it immediately!!! 

I printed the one from Mama Jenn because it just seemed to suit what I wanted best from the range of planners. It's about 50 pages if you print the whole year one-sided, and includes a year-at-a-glance calendar for reference, future blog post list pages and a monthly blog stats tracking page. Each month also has a calendar with social networking reminders, a sheet for post ideas and To-Do lists, a page for detailed post notes and a page for giveaway/review notes.


Each month has a different colour associated with it, which is cute. You can download your own here if you love it, and it's FREE!!!

I haven't really used it yet, so this isn't exactly a review but I'll try to keep you posted. ;) I guess you'll know if my blogging starts to seem more organized... 

Does anyone else out there use a blog planner? How does it work for you and what are your favourite features?

Monday, 13 May 2013 15:16

Mother's Day Weekend

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I've uncovered a sort of 'Mother's Day struggle' within myself that I'm really not quite sure how to reconcile. 

For the first time, this year, I became selfish about Mother's Day.

Maybe it is because I've been feeling extremely overwhelmed by motherhood - Clara has become much more of a challenge as a two year old than she was as a one year old.  We have also experienced a number of things this year that have thrown off our regular routine, which evidently means that I struggle with day to day life - our winter lasted for more than six months, we were sick on and off for nearly three months, our bathroom was given a major renovation, Clara had her week-long flu... 

It is also likely because I feel like I'm almost... almost... reaching the point of getting my life 'all together', but there seems to be something that happens around every corner to shake my security and keep me reaching just a little bit further, and working just a little bit harder, to gain control of my life. Maybe that's just life - maybe that will never happen - but there's a carrot on a string that keeps me going.

So, when I looked at our Mother's Day schedule this year, I saw this:

9:00am - Breakfast in Bed made by Brian and Clara (I wasn't supposed to know about this, but there was a suspicious package of unfrozen bacon in the fridge that I hadn't 'ordered'). Then frantically get ready to go to church by 10am!!!

10:20am - Finally leave for church.

10:30am - Cart our stuff in to church and try to find someone to watch Clara while I feed Audrey because I forgot to plan ahead again... There are quite a few teenaged girls in our church who seem quite willing to help me juggle the girls while Brian handles the overhead/computer system, but it's always a last-minute effort and stress to make sure I've got this covered. 

12:30pm - Pray that church is over (does that sound blasphemous?) so that we can be on our way to my Grandparent's house in a nearby city by 1pm for a Mother's Day lunch with my Grandma.

1pm - Lunch with my Grandma, while we try to occupy a two-year-old who has not had a nap.

2:30pm - Head home and pray that both girls nap in the car (they never do this).

3:00pm - Put both girls down for a nap and pray that they actually sleep (Clara usually takes about 45 minutes to finally fall asleep).

4:45pm - Pray Clara has napped long enough. Wake her up and stick her back in the car and head to another Grandma's home for supper. If Clara actually has napped at this point, she is probably perfectly amiable, but the odds are slim... 

6:30pm - Leave for an evening event put on by a couple in our church. This is a kind of class that has been going on every Sunday evening for the past few weeks and it was my Mother's Day request that we actually go to this, since all of the other Mother's in the group had also opted not to cancel due to Mother's Day. Also... we might have had to go get a babysitter since I had also forgotten to plan ahead here, and we didn't really feel right about asking either of our Mother's to babysit on Mother's Day...

I kind of hyperventilated a little. 

When Brian and I were talking about this on Saturday afternoon (and I discovered his plans for breakfast in bed), I said 'Well, if we didn't have to go anywhere tomorrow, that would be really nice and relaxing...'.  

Sometimes Brian can be really motivated. 

He immediately contacted someone else from church to run the computer system and we planned to skip church.

Then we decided to skip everything.

We had brunch at about 11 - not in bed, but that's ok because I'm kind of afraid of the amount of mess that sort of thing can make.

Mmm... Fruit and bacon... and waffles!

And freshly ground and pressed coffee - the most important part!

Even Audrey had some fruit.

Then, we let Clara play a bit before putting her down for a nap at 1.  She played in her room until 2:30pm when we decided to let her come out of her room and we walked with both girls in the bike trailer to the park.

Clara stayed in the swing the entire time, while Audrey and I found a shaded spot and hung out on the grass.

At about 4:30 we came home and decided to order some wings and dry ribs and eat on the deck so we could let Clara continue to play outside. After supper Brian took the girls for another walk while I had a bath and read a book for an hour. 

At about 7:30 Clara reached melt-down stage from not having napped yet, and Brian put her to bed early. 

Brian and I sat around for a little while, and then we watched a movie together before going to bed. Effectively, I was able to do almost nothing. 

My struggle is this - now that I AM a mother, I feel more knowledgeable about how insanely much we should appreciate our Mothers for their day-to-day servitude. I understand this now like I never did as a child, or even as an adult until I became a mother and every day of my life became focused on serving my own family.  And now that I am a mother, Mother's Day looks attractively like a day I can sit back and let someone else serve ME. A day when I don't have to worry about deadlines or naptime fights - a day when my 'kids' can make me breakfast, and their Dad can deal with all of the messy stuff.

A day when I can take a break. I didn't even really get dressed yesterday... 

However, in order to do all of that, I had to neglect my own Mother, and my husband neglected his - now that we finally understand what they did for us. We have arranged different days and times when we can spend time with them, and we sent them flowers on Saturday (the flower shop didn't do deliveries on Sunday), but we skipped out on any family events that were taking place that day which is a little unorthodox in our world.

I don't know what we'll do next year - I don't know if we will have any Mother's Day 'traditions', but this year was wonderful and relaxing. I hope that doesn't make me too selfish as a person.

Saturday, 11 May 2013 08:08

Audrey at 6 Months Old!

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Dearest Audrey,

The last few weeks have been a bit of a challenge for all of us, and yet you seem completely unfazed by the chaos.  In the midst of your sister's illness, you have admittedly been somewhat neglected and yet you seem as happy and content as ever. I can't express how grateful I am for your serenity.  You are beautiful and easy going, and being a second-time parent makes it easier (I think) to really enjoy you.

This month you tried your first 'solid' foods, and although you were interested at first, you seem to be over it, and have taken to consistently gagging everytime we try to feed you anything but breastmilk or formula. You have also, in the last month, been given formula a couple of times - mostly because my breasts don't seem to be fooled by a pump so it's difficult to pump ahead for you, and there have been a couple of times when I left you with your Daddy for a day. I hope this doesn't offend you - I know that formula is not 'as good' as breast milk, but neither is McDonald's as good as a home cooked meal, and we indulge in that occasionally - I suspect that formula is much, much healthier for you than fast food will be when you're two... 

You sleep well for the amount of inconsistency you experience around bedtime. Sometimes I feed you at 8:30, and you are placed in your crib at the same time that Clara is tucked in to her bed.  Typically this excites Clara so extremely that she will begin to giggle - which you evidently find contagious - until the two of you are both laughing and shreiking so madly that neither one of you is able to calm down until I remove you from your crib and return you to your bassinet. Sometimes if I feed you before 8, I will put you in your crib early and hope and pray you fall asleep before Clara's bedtime - although she usually finds a way to wake you up, and the struggle remains. So... you usually spend at least the first part of the night in your bassinet in our room, until I feed you between 11 and 12, and put you back into your crib when Clara is already fast asleep. We are starting to think we'll need to put the playpen in our room when you outgrow the bassinet... If we decided to be stubborn, I'm sure the two of you would learn how to fall asleep in the same room together, but lately we've just been tired and lazy, and although we try for about an hour and a half each night - we eventually give up. 

After your late night feeding, though, you commonly sleep about 6 or 7 hours, which is pretty nice with all things considered. 

You seem to appreciate silly-ness, and I suspect you might be 'the funny one' when you are a bit older. Clara seems to think that every noise you make is hysterical, and you have caught on to this and usually it's clear that you are making noises deliberately to make her laugh.  Clara loves to talk to you - she will stand next to you and say 'You talk, Audrey? You talk?', and you will babble back at her. 

I have no personal experience with a sister relationship, but it is absolutely incredible watching the two of you bond already. You put up with just about everything Clara does to you - although you are finally starting to get a bit more vocal about it when she gets a bit too rough. 

You are not yet sitting up on your own - although I haven't really tried helping you with this very much (I'm sorry). You can roll from back to front, or front to back easily now, and will rotate yourself completely around in your crib and end up in the funniest positions and places.  You do this funny little 'inch-worm' dance when you are on your back - you will crane your head back and kick your feet so that you actually move around a little bit on your back. 

You also have this funny little... I don't know how to explain it, I guess it's just a quirk... thing you do occasionally - whether you're lying down or upright. You extend your back so that your whole body 'bobs' - kind of like a bobblehead, but your whole body moves. It's adorable. Unfortunately it makes me think 'Giggidy-giggidy' every time you do it... research 'Quagmire from Family Guy' someday when you're older... 

You are interested in everything, and are much 'grabbier' than Clara was.  Nothing is safe around you - you reach further than we think you can, and have a crazy-strong grip. You are also much more interested in toys than Clara was, and you focus for longer periods of time on one thing.  Your favourite toys are the wooden snake that used to be Clara's, and you still love anything with 'Taggy's'. 

When Clara was sick, she was weighed at the hospital and we discovered that she was in the 10th percentile for her weight at her age. Out of curiosity, we weighed you on our bathroom scale and estimated you to be about 18 pounds. At 6 months old, that put you in about the 90th percentile for your weight. This made sense to us, because you seem to be much chubbier than Clara was at your age, although you seemed to fit clothing for only slightly less time than Clara did.  For example, a 0-3 month outfit fit Clara until at least 4 months - for you, it would fit at least 3 months, maybe a week or two more. I find though, that you 'fill out' clothes more. Although your length is similar, the arms and legs of clothes seem to fit you tighter.

A few days ago, however, I had you weighed at your immunization (your 4-month immunization - sorry, we've been delayed with you) and you weigh only about 16 pounds, which put you in the 50th percentile for your weight.  Considering how you've been outgrowing clothes, this answers that, but Clara was actually in about the 60th percentile for weight at at least one of her immunization appointments, which means that she was actually even bigger than you for a bit. We were a bit surprised at this discovery...

After your immunization, we experienced a few hours of fussiness from you unlike anything we had ever experienced from you before. You became irritable and seemed to have a headache.  At first your Daddy had forgotten that you had your immunizations that day, and was at a loss to explain why you were acting so unlike yourself. It only lasted that evening and overnight (another sleepless night for Mommy), and you were back to yourself the next day.

You still seem to love everything, and hate nothing, which is pretty wonderful for us.  

Thank you Audrey, for being Audrey. I am so in love with this stage of your babyhood. 

Friday, 10 May 2013 15:00

Forced Break from Blogging

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Just over a week ago, I was sitting next to my computer when it made two little C-3PO noises, and suddenly I smelled fire. I picked up my computer and realized it was extremely hot to the touch and then the screen went blank, all lights went off, and it refused to respond to anything.


It had fried.

My husband suspected that my fan had stopped working, and it had overheated. He called the Asus support line and they asked that we send it in. The nice thing about having a computer-nerd in the house is that tech support usually recognizes that Brian knows what he's talking about and they don't bother asking us to go through all of the diagnostic stuff that they sometimes do - although my computer wasn't responding to anything, so I suppose they couldn't have anyway...

So, after Clara's week-long illness when I took a few days from blogging, my computer decided to die and therefore force me to take another week off. I missed it, but it was a nice break and it was nice to not feel the stress of 'I have to get a blog post up!!!'. I'll try to aim for 3-4 posts weekly, I think, but no stress if I don't make it! 

Anyway, I'm back! Clara was quite sick, but besides Brian having a less-than-24-hour flu, the rest of us were completely fine. I was paranoid about Audrey catching Clara's bug, and kept the house rediculously sterilized and maybe it worked, because she never showed any signs of illness. Yay!

Monday, 29 April 2013 10:41

The Not So Common Flu Virus

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After blogging about an entirely different kind of 'Scary Parenting Moment' this past week, Clara has again frightened me to my core with an illness unlike any I have ever before experienced - in myself or anyone else. 

Her illness began last Wednesday, and Brian and I were up all night that first night while she puked every five minutes, then fifteen, then every half hour... At about 6am that morning I blogged about denying her more than small amounts of water - despite her desperation for it - so that she wouldn't have too much at a time to throw up because she seemed unable to keep anything down. 

Brian and I were home together all day Thursday - taking turns sleeping, again, after our long night of shift-taking. Clara spent the day lazing around watching movies and only vomiting occasionally. She had a decent night on Thursday, and on Friday morning she seemed to be doing alright and her puking had somewhat subsided.  A friend of mine - who happens to work in the medical field - came over in the morning to help me so that Brian could go back to work.

Throughout the day on Friday, Clara became more and more lethargic. After getting up thinking she had to vomit (she didn't), I asked her if she would like to go back to bed and she mumbled that she would just like to lie down... here... and she slowly collapsed to the bathroom floor and curled up - almost instantly falling asleep. My friend had been gently suggesting that I should be getting concerned about her lethargy, and Clara's collapse on the bathroom floor indicated to me that her lethargy was becoming more than just a regular sleepy-ness from the flu. I called the healthline again.  The nurse was concerned by the amount of lethargy Clara was showing and suggested we take her to the ER as soon as we could. I called Brian home from work, and my friend gladly stayed behind to take care of Audrey while we were gone.

So, we packed a bag and took my poor baby girl to the hospital...

This is before her IV. 

Luckily, despite how common this illness is here these days, we didn't have to wait long for a bed. She fell asleep almost immediately. The nurses and doctors were great - they pretended to check Bo (her bear) with their stethescope and ear-scope and all of that before they checked her over. The doctor said she was not severely dehydrated yet, but by evening she likely would be, so she suggested that Clara be given fluid intravenously so that she could be sent home for the night and not have to return in a few hours. First, they gave her some medication for nausea through the IV. 

The giant-looking contraption on my baby's arm.

Clara cried a little when the needle went in, but only for a moment. I think she was too exhausted to fight it.  Then she rolled over and fell asleep.  When I pulled out my phone to take pictures I asked Brian if he thought it was somehow sadistic. He said he was about to do the same and that Clara would want to see them someday. I was sick as a toddler and I do wish there were photos, so I decided pictures were a good idea.

After she had been given 300ml of saline, she was starting to look and act like she was feeling better. She sat up, and the doctors gave us some Pedialite to give her while she was still at the hospital to see if she would be able to keep it down. She happily (and surprisingly - have you tasted that stuff?) gulped down the entire bottle. 

*I was given a recipe for a homemade Pedialite by a family member - considering the cost of Pedialite and other such drinks, I highly recommend it! 

We were given the go-ahead to take her back home that evening, although they left her IV in so they wouldn't have to poke her again if she remained unable to keep fluids down at home. 

She had a good night and seemed quite a bit better on Saturday morning. She still seemed quite sleepy and spent most of her time watching movies or napping. She did not walk steadily, and even when going between the couch and her bed she would ask us to carry her - which is unlike her usual independent self.  She starting having some bouts of diarrhea, but her vomiting seemed to have gone away. We waited until mid-afternoon on Saturday before bringing her back to the hospital to make sure she was able to keep liquids down at home.

After gobbling down three small bowls of Rice Crispies on Sunday morning, we were excited that she seemed to be getting her appetite back. She even started sitting up while watching movies, and talking more - although her words still came out mostly as mumbling.

Here she is, lazy-eyed but eating! And sitting up! And talking to Curious George like she normally does!

Shortly after this, Brian left the house to pick up some groceries. While he was gone, Clara suddenly started seeming worse again, and she began to refuse any drinks.  She was doing a funny smacking thing with her mouth and it seemed to me as though she was uncomfortably dry. I kept asking her to take a drink of something, and after she suddenly got up and crawled onto my lap, she began to cough and gag again. I had picked her up and turned toward the bathroom when she vomited what looked just like water all over the living room floor. I took her to the bathroom where she threw up more liquid.

Brian came home, and shortly after she began to cough and gag again. This time she vomited even more than before and it seemed as though the entire Litre of Pedialite that she had consumed that day was coming back up.  I became afraid that we would be unable to keep her hydrated at home and decided that we should take her back to the hospital. 

In short, we probably didn't need to take her back this time. I was informed that the current nasty flu virus that has been going around here can last up to two weeks with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and that we don't need to panic unless she starts showing signs of dehydration again. I was also assured by the doctor that hand-washing and possibly bleaching our door handles was the best method of trying to protect the rest of our family from this illness. He also assured me that even IF Audrey were to contract this same flu, she might get very sick, but would almost certainly be ok and that panicking about 'what if she dies' (like I had been doing) was an overreaction. 

Clara slept soundly all night, and woke up this morning demanding Rice Crispies - which she gobbled down in record time. She had one cup of Grape-flavoured Pedialite, and later a few crackers. She started refusing drinks again later in the morning, but has not yet thrown up today. So far none of the rest of us have shown any sign of illness, and we're praying that continues. In the meantime, I have been Lysol-wiping every inch of our house that Clara comes even near, and washing my hands after I touch her and before I touch Audrey. 

I think we are headed up-hill now, but if you feel the need to pray - your prayers would be greatly appreciated! 

Thursday, 25 April 2013 08:01

Denying My Child Water

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Despite the fact that I know I am doing what is best for her, I can't help but feel like an ogre when I deny my daughter water and she dissolves into my arms in helpless sobs. 

Clara has been sick and vomitting for the last 12 hours. It began with a puke-explosion while watching TV in the basement, and then it came every half hour for a few hours. We changed her bedding until we had no more bedding left to change, and the laundry was unable to keep up. Then, somewhere around 10:30pm, it started coming every few minutes. 

Partly it was because we were concerned about how dehydrated she was becoming, and had begun to give her water in between episodes.  She would settle for about five minutes, and then it would seem as though every drop of water would violently propel itself back out of her little body. 

After midnight, we called the healthline just to see what we should be doing or watching for, and the nurse suggested giving her Pedialite (which we don't have in the house, and no Pharmacy would be open now) or watered down Gatorade for the electrolytes. So, Brian went out to get her a bottle of Gatorade. We gave her about a teaspoon at a time of what we called 'special medicine juice' - for our daughter who loves any kind of medicine - and she began a like-clockwork schedule of drinking the juice, and then vomiting it back up exactly four minutes later. I know it was exactly, because I was trying to time her teaspoons of Gatorade at 5 minutes apart using a stopwatch.

For the last hour or so, I have been giving her small amounts of water as well. She has been puking everything back up, but it seems (or maybe it's just wishful thinking) that she isn't throwing up quite as much as before, and she's falling asleep in between episodes so I suspect her body is able to absorb a little bit more. 

The difficult part is knowing that I don't want to let her glug it back - but she's thirsty enough to desperately want it! She begs for her 'thermos' (the brand of the water bottle we keep next to her bed) and I let her have a few sips, but then I have to pull it out from between her lips so she doesn't take too much and make herself puke it all back up.  The nurse suggested that smaller amounts were better, and it makes sense to me that too much might trigger her stomach to propel the liquid back up, but I can't help but feel absolutely terrible for denying her! 

As I write this, I realize that I began writing over fifteen minutes ago, and so far she is still sleeping... I'm praying 'this is it', and maybe she'll finally get some proper sleep?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 13:53

Scary Parenting Moments

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I'm a big fan of the website Free Range Kids - and the 'Free Range' parenting philosophy.  To me, that means that although I will do my best to keep my children safe using reasonable methods, I do not believe in stressing over the slim possibilities of unlikely occurences.  

I believe that it is hugely important for kids to develop their independence by giving them age-appropriate responsibilities, and I believe that the possible risks associated with these responsibilities are too small to allow them to factor in. For example - it is good for a kid to learn the dangers of traffic, etc. and to be competent to be able to walk to school or to a convenience store on their own by the time they're... let's say 10... even though there is a SLIGHT possibility that they could be kidnapped or something on the way. 

Part of this stems from the fact that my Dad was over protective of me when I was growing up, and I feel as though he damaged me a little by doing this. I was raised to be aware of everything that could kill me at any moment, and to this day I can't hear a sound in the night without wondering if some psycho is coming to attack me... The fact that I know it is POSSIBLE makes it impossible for me to chase the thought out of my head... but I strongly believe that risks such as these do not deserve the amount of brain power I give them. I wish for my kids a more relaxed outlook on life.

All of that being said, my over protective nervousness reared its ugly head the other day while I was going for a walk with my daughters and some friends. Clara and the other kids were wearing rubber boots and were enjoying the puddles that are everywhere these days. Many of these puddles are in the gutter - between the sidewalk and the street. I was wearing Audrey in a baby carrier, and was unable to move very quickly.  

It didn't really occur to me to worry about the fact that the kids were basically playing on the street - we live in a quiet neighborhood with wide streets, so they were safe enough if they stayed next to the sidewalk. 

Suddenly, though, Clara was not staying next to the sidewalk. We were on a curved part of the road, and at the same moment that a small grey sports car came speeding into view around the bend, Clara decided to take her freedom into the middle of the street.  I was too far away to do physically do anything but yell 'Clara - STOP!'. She must have heard the panic in my voice, because she stopped instantly.  This would not have been enough, as she was already in the middle of the road and I am so glad the woman driving the car saw her and slammed on her breaks. 

Clara ran back to where I was on the sidewalk, and I tried to explain how dangerous cars could be without bringing up the possibility of death - even though that was all I could think of. I was absolutely shaking and near tears as we finished our walk.

We have been cooped up for months, and despite how beautiful it felt to get out of the house, I was almost ready to decide never to leave the house again for fear of something worse happening.  For me, it was a wake-up call. I don't want to forbid Clara from ever again playing in puddles, but I think a rule about holding hands whenever she steps off a sidewalk would be a good one. We already have a hand-holding rule in parking lots, so this would be much the same. 

I need to remind myself that I don't want Clara to fear the world. I want her to enjoy her childhood and, yes, develop a healthy respect for dangers - but not to fear. 

Right now, I feel a lot of fear... and relief! 

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