Menu, Week of 4/30

I know I know. It had been how long since I planned a menu? But I have excuses! M has been traveling! And we have had to use up the stash in the freezer before spring! But M is actually in town all week long, and we only have a tupperware or two of chili left, so it is time to break out the spring recipes!

Tuesday – Yogurt Marinated Lamb Kebabs

Wednesday – Shrimp and Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes and Romano Cheese

Thursday – Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries

Friday – Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Saturday – Cilantro Ginger Halibut


Two Firsts

Today, C finally learned to pump properly while swinging. And, today he came home from school crying for the first time because three little girls in his class had called him a loser. Two major milestones in one day, both announcing in totally different ways that my son is growing up.

The pumping I could handle. That only required cheering and encouragement on my part along with lots of hugs and high fives when he finally disembarked from the swing 20 minutes after getting onto it. The name calling bit, however, was a little out of my league.

When he could finally get out why he was crying, I stalled by asking “And what did you do?” Hoping that he would have miraculously discovered the solution all by himself. The answer, however, was “I hid under the slide until recess was over.” Apparently, the teachers overheard the comments, and took the girls aside and spoke to them, which had slightly mollified C, but he was so afraid of getting his feelings hurt again that he decided to stay hidden until it was time to go home.

My initial reaction was to get on the phone to the two moms and give them a piece of my mind about the behavior of their offspring, but quickly decided that it was not in fact the right way to go about this. Instead, I spoke with C about how words can hurt as much as fists, and how it was OK to feel sad about the incident. We practiced telling any future offenders not to call him a loser, and how to tell them that they hurt his feelings. We discussed how just because other children were calling names did not mean that it was OK to do it, and how people who call you names are not really good friends.

C perked up considerably after I “gave him permission” to not play with the girls if he didn’t want to, he seemed to think that just because they usually played together that it meant they had to do so for life, even if they were being mean to him. And he is pondering whether he is going to give them another chance if the apologize to him. My guess is that the girls have forgotten all about the incident, so he will be waiting an awful long time for the apology, but the exercise is probably useful. I, however, will have to restrain myself from giving the girls an ominous look tomorrow morning. Because no one should call my fabulous little boy a loser.

Look What the Cat Dragged in Part Deux

On Friday night, I woke up at 5 am or some awful hour like that to the cat door (which I had forgotten to close) slamming and then yeowling. The kind of yeowling that our cats make when chasing a mouse. In my sleep-deprived fog, I tried to convince myself that I was dreaming but then I heard the pouncing and scurrying and forced myself to turn on the lights.

Yep, there was Lazy Cat was chasing a mouse around my bedroom floor. I woke M up, went to find the gloves, came back and he had lost the mouse. Lost. The mouse. In the house. Lazy Cat thought she knew where it was but when we looked where she had staked out, she too had lost the mouse. M climbed back into bed and went to sleep, and I lay awake listening for sounds of the mouse and fuming about husbands and cats who don’t understand the issue I have with mice running around my house.

By the morning, still no sign of the mouse. I tried to mouse-proof the bedrooms, putting all the stuffed animals and such up high so no nice nests could be made, and headed off to buy some mouse traps. Thankfully by the time I returned home with the kids from school, Lazy Cat had reacquired the mouse and done her job, unlike Dumb Cat a few weeks ago.

I should really close the cat door down for good. But the number of times a day I am forced to open and close the back door if the cat door is closed is just painful. Grrrr.

See M Run

Today we drove down the shore to watch M run his first half marathon. I have never in my life seen so many fit and happy people running so fast for so long. It made me feel, well, rather sluggish and embarrassed about my lack of athleticism. We missed M at the 5 mile mark and almost missed him again at the finish, but he apparently heard me harping at the kids to “Stop bickering and watch for Daddy!” from half a mile away. He finished in 2:12, and I was so proud of him that I cried. The kids were rather confused. “But he finished! That’s a happy thing Mommy!”

We’re all very proud of you M, even if the kids cried when they saw you because I had just told them that we weren’t actually going to get to play on the beach today.

Overheard in the playroom

A: “I’m a mama bunny! Look at me! Hop, hop, hop.”

C: “A, mama bunnies don’t wear necklaces and rings. And they definitely don’t wear hats.”

A: “Well, they SHOULD. Everyone looks nicer with a pretty necklace.”

Status Quo

The appointment with the allergist was both good and bad. The good, he agreed with the paramedics in that the breathing episode was probably not related to the hives, although of course it was hard to tell. The bad, we still have no real idea what is causing the hives. His best guess at the moment is that she is “allergic to being sick.” Which is to say that she gets hives and additional congestion when her immune system kicks in. So as soon as she starts getting a sniffle, we are supposed to start dosing her with Zyrtec and Benedryl and see what happens. We should document the hives and get the pictures to him next time they appear (duh, why haven’t I thought of that one before!), and come back to see him in a year when he will do some in-office trials with nuts and such, unless something massive happens.

He did do some testing to environmental allergens and discovered that she is “slightly” allergic to trees, which is why we are waiting another year on the nuts. Don’t ask me to explain how the two are related, but apparently there is a link. She is not allergic to the cats (I knew that one, as Dumb Cat naps on her pillow almost every afternoon), grass, or mold.

We should keep lugging the epi-pen around just in case, as the whole “allergic to being sick” thing is just an educated guess. So basically, we walked out knowing not much more than we did walking in. Which isn’t horrid I suppose, better than coming out with an “Oh my GOD, how did we miss this life-threatening allergy” diagnosis, worse than coming out with a “Oh, she’s allergic to cats, send the cats off to your aunt’s house and she will be magically cured.” But at least we have a plan to deal with the nuts issue that involves an in-office trial, which makes me feel much more comfortable than randomly trialling them at home.

Thank you again for your support and continuing to read my obsessive posts on this issue. I now return you to your regularly scheduled drivel, which will involve another post in what is now becoming a series of “Look what the cat dragged in.” And I have several knitting projects to post, I just have to get around to hassling with hooking up the camera. I believe that I even owe you a tour of my upstairs from almost a year ago, which I just might do if I have the camera hooked up anyway (depending on what the state of Mount Washmore is in my hallway….).

Status Report

  • We head back to the allergist tomorrow. I was really hoping that when A turned three we would be magically done with this and we would never see the man again, and but clearly that is not to be.
  • Not that the allergist isn’t fabulous, he is. He is great with A and great with me and really listens, but still. One never particularly likes it when one’s primary care doctor has to send you out to a specialist because your case is too complicated for her to manage.
  • Half of the medical staff I have talked to have not been at all concerned about A’s reaction, the other half have totally freaked out. Which kind of leaves me scratching my head and trying to decide which camp it is that I am supposed to be in.
  • Clearly the allergist is in the latter camp as not a minute after I had hung up the phone after scheduling an appointment for the end of May with an unconcerned nurse, a different, highly concerned nurse called back and said he wanted to see us immediately.
  • Although as Rebecca pointed out, as lovely a man as he is, he is also quite good at making sure he isn’t vulnerable to a lawsuit. Which is rather understandable, given his choice of field.
  • And since A’s hives came back this evening (minus the breathing issues) I’m rather pleased that we are already seeing the allergist tomorrow, it saves me from having to call back and throw myself on the mercy of the nursing staff and beg for an appointment.
  • On happier notes, the Cinderella Polly Pocket’s glass slipper has been found (not that you knew it was lost) and all is good in the world of Disney Polly Pockets again.
  • And Dumb Cat came back from wandering this afternoon freaked out beyond belief, so I have to assume that he discovered that the old house is now occupied by new residents.

Just the facts

So now that we have calmed down and made it through the night, and I don’t feel quite as shaky (although I am still shaky and don’t quite know if I will ever stop shaking), I can somewhat better explain the events of last night.

As I was reading A her bedtime book last night, I noticed hives covering one side of her face. I gave her Benadryl, they spread to the other side of her face, and then started disappearing on the first side. She wasn’t getting them anyplace else like the last time, she seemed perfectly fine so I put her to bed.

About an hour later, she started coughing on the monitor. She’s had a cough for a few days, so I didn’t get worked up, but then it kept going and going and started to sound particularly strange, so I went up to check on her. She was still coughing, and seemed to be having a hard time swallowing. Which is about when I started to freak out a bit. I grabbed her out of bed, brought her downstairs an sat her on the counter while I tried to grab some water and get her to talk to me. She couldn’t sit up, she started shaking a bit, and wouldn’t respond to me when I spoke to her. I grabbed her Epi-Pen, the phone and sat on the floor. And I dialed 911.

All I could manage to get out was “My daughter is having a hard time breathing. She had hives.” As I was sitting on the floor waiting for the 911 operator to relay the bits and pieces of information to the paramedics, I kept holding the Epi-Pen thinking “I need to jab her. I should really jab her. I can’t do it. I can’t do it.” Then just as I was about to release the safety on the pen, she stopped coughing and started standing up and lurching about a bit.

A police officer arrived, and as I opened to door for her, A pretty much passed out on my shoulder. The officer and I kept shaking her awake until the five (or maybe 6?) EMT’s and paramedics arrived. They checked her out, declared her perfectly fine, and thought that the coughing was actually caused by a mucus plug stuck in her throat rather than an allergic reaction. They asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I declined after discussing it with the head paramedic who said that there was really nothing to be done now since whatever her issues were had been resolved. They left and I finally freaked out.

Everyone was fabulous. The police officer and EMT’s were quick to arrive (under five minutes, probably more like two or three) and nice as nice could be. They didn’t make me feel dumb for calling (and I did, and do). C slept through the whole thing, and A has no recollection of the events and was very curious as to why she woke up in Mama’s bed. Now I guess I need to call the pediatrician, although ours is still on maternity leave so I am dreading having to explain our whole medical history to her partner who doesn’t know us from a hole in the wall and will probably think I am nuts (which I may be, I suppose).

It is just so frustrating. She gets these hives, we have no idea what causes them. She always seems to have some odd, unrelated complication when she does get them which leads me down the “Oh my God it is an allergic reaction progressing” path. And then by the time a qualified medical person makes it on the scene, it all resolves. And every time I say “This is the last time I am going to panic over this.” But then something happens, like HER NOT BREATHING, and what am I supposed to do? I just want to cry.


You take breathing for granted. You breathe in, you breathe out, you go about your day. Earlier this evening, I made my first phone call to 911. I didn’t think at all about my breathing, I was instead focused on my child’s lack of breathing. Through the entire experience I breathed in, and out, and in, and out, and somehow kept on living. And then when it was over, and A was breathing in and out again, and the paramedics had left, I finally noticed my own breathing as I sobbed in and out.

A seems to be doing fine. She is asleep on the couch next to me, breathing in and out. But I can’t stop shaking.

Going, going, gone

No, I’m not leaving the blogsphere, even for the summer, as it will at some point get too hot to hang out in the shadeless back yard for hours on end and we will be forced indoors for large portions of the day.

But the old house? It is officially somebody else’s new house now. The kids cried bitterly when we went over to say a final goodbye yesterday morning. I knew I had moved on when I handed the new owners the key to this house by mistake at the closing.

And Dumb Cat will be in for a rude shock when he goes prowling over there as they apparently have three dogs and two cats. I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of him from now on…