Friday, May 30, 2008

Hey ya'll watch this!

I can't decide whether to be impressed or horrified
Yes, that is a picture of my daughter putting her entire foot in her mouth. She seems to be taking after mommy. She is doing literally what mommy seems to do figuratively every day.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The suspicious rash, part deux

So, before I was talking about Reagan's school birthday party and how the school wanted to send her home from school that day because she had a few little raised dots on her arm. They said, "we just can't have unexplained rashes at our school." There was lots of drama, we went back and forth between the school and the doctor, emailing pictures, and ending with the doctor saying the rash is no big deal, let her stay. So they did. But not content with the doctor's say so, they covered the suspicious bumps with a big bandage and said if it still looked that way on Monday we would need a formal written note from the doctor.

Here she is with said suspicious bumps the morning of her birthday party. Look closely on her forearm.

As it turned out, we still had to take Bailey to the doctor that day because she was running a high fever. So we toted Reagan along and the doctor said once again no big deal it is some generic reaction to something, put some cortisone cream on it and call it a day. She gave Reagan a note that said, "Reagan can attend school on Monday." and told Reagan, "you hand them this note and tell them to leave you alone." I thought that was the end of the story.

Monday comes, Reagan still has the rash and we hand the school the note. They were not happy in the least. They said, "It doesn't say what she has, or how to treat her, or if she is contagious." Bill said she isn't contagious, the doctor wouldn't be irresponsible and let her back if she was. And we aren't asking you to treat her. So the giant bandage goes back on her arm and the school tells Bill we must have a note from the doctor saying she isn't contagious and must explain what she has. After exchanging a few words with the executive director Bill leaves in a huff and relays the message. I remind Bill that it doesn't matter what she has, it is none of their business as long as we aren't asking them to treat her or she is not contagious. That is a HIPAA law and doctors aren't allowed to say what a patient has on a note. The school was asking for something illegal.

So Bill rehearses what he is going to say to the school with me and every time he tries again he ends with, "and if you don't like it we'll get a lawyer and sue your arse." After a few goes at that, I suggest that is probably not the tone we want to use and why don't I talk to them. I give the school a call and try to reason with them, and after a 20 minute conversation she agrees that if we have the words "NOT CONTAGIOUS" in a note, Reagan stays and the conversation is over. So I call my doctor and explain that apparently the school thinks you might be irresponsible and allow Reagan to go back to school so that she can infect 200 kids with some mysterious rash. Can I please get a note saying she is NOT CONTAGIOUS so we can end this? My offended doctor begrudgingly agrees and faxes it over. I call the school, they are satisfied enough that Reagan can stay and we can stop fighting about this. Which is good because by this point it was Tuesday and we had been fighting about it for three days. I thought that was the end of the story.

So Tuesday evening Reagan comes home. This is just hours after the school gets their note and they are finally content that she isn't contagious. I took off her stupid bandage and inspect the rash. I'll be darned if the stupid thing wasn't looking exactly like RINGWORM! Oh, crap! That's CONTAGIOUS! Sadly, my first reaction wasn't "oh no, my baby has ringworm!" My first reaction was, "I wonder if has a good recipe for eating crow. How on earth am I going to spin this with the school?"

Here is Reagan's rash the day we discovered it was Ringworm. This was actually taken by Bill on Reagan's camera.

It has been several weeks now and I sent Reagan in long sleeves to daycare all that time. She still has a very faint marking of it but we are still putting medicine on it and it should be gone soon. Good thing because the water park at her school just opened.

I learned some things out of this:
There are only two things that cause a circular rash: ringworm or Lyme disease. If you don't see a site of a tick bite, it is probably ringworm. Reagan's was very atypical in that is was small little spots in a vague circular pattern. That is what threw the doctor off. It generally looks like a big dark circle with white or clear patches in the center. As time went on, that is what Reagan's rash started to look like. If I had put medicine on it when it was just the dots, it probably wouldn't have gotten that far. If I ever again see anything remotely like a vague circular rash, the Lotrimin is coming out. I figure it can't hurt.

A little more information should you need to know:
  • Ringworm isn't worms, it's a fungus like athlete's foot.
  • Never cover ringworm with a bandage. It needs to stay dry. It will get bigger if it is moist. (darned school)
  • Good old Lotrimin AF, over the counter athlete's foot medicine, is all you need to put on it twice a day
  • Keep putting the medicine on at least one week after you no longer feel a raised rash or it might come back
  • You can get ringworm from other people or pets (pets are huge carriers). We don't know where Reagan got it since it hadn't been at her daycare, we suspect from her swimming lessons that she started just a few days before.
  • As long as you keep medicating it, it shouldn't leave that white ring scar that I remember kids having when I was growing up.
  • It shouldn't be contagious 24 hours after treatment begins. But as a precaution if possible I'd recommend covering the area with loose clothing if there is a possibility of direct contact with others.
  • If you don't treat it, it will spread to other areas of the body. The upper arm is the most typical place but it could actually appear anywhere.

So in the famous words of Paul Harvey, "...and now you know the rest of the story. Good day."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blaming the other sister, already?

Reagan dumped her cereal all over the floor. When I came in and asked her what happened, she looked at Bailey, busy drooling and grinning in her swing, and exclaimed, "Bailey made a mess!" She then coyly tossed a Corn Pop into Bailey's lap for added effect and believability.

So that's how it's going to be, eh? Blaming the other one already?! I already knew I needed to keep an eye on this kid. I'm pretty sure I was WAY older than two before I attempted to frame my other sisters.

Back from the (nearly) dead

Ok, that's a slight over exaggeration on my part. I'd like to say I've been gone all week because I was busy playing WoW. But I wasn't. I was tired. I was beat. I was sick. So I slept. Lots of things happened in the last week, all little things when taken by themselves are just part of life and you move on. When you have a lot of little things combined with a baby that decides she wants to be up every two hours between 8pm and 8am, you get the trainwreck that is me. Sleep deprivation is a nasty thing, as any parent could attest to. When your five year wedding anniversary comes and goes and neither even remembers until late the following day, you're both a mess. The only thing you've got going for you there is if you both forget you are off the hook for being a big loser.

Normally my time to blog is after 8:30 when the kids are in bed. Instead I was going to sleep. I've still got a sinus infection that is making me feel like I have a truck parked on my head, but I'm going to the doctor for that tomorrow. At least I've caught up on some much needed sleep so I'm handling the sinus infection much better now. That means like it or not, you'll be seeing a lot more of me once again.

I'm going work on getting back into the swing of things to get back to my goal of posting at least once a day. I probably need to be posting at least twice a day if I'm ever going to catch up on the past two weeks of life. But then again, maybe I don't catch up. Maybe I just start from where I am today. Or maybe I'll let you prioritize from my prior list. What do you want to hear about first?

Or (*gasp*) maybe there is no you anymore? Maybe everyone has moved on and gone to another blog since I abandoned all of you here? Oh, the woes! The sorries! I shall not abandon my post again (for so long)! Come back my friends! I love you! I love your comments and your feedback! I originally wrote this solely for me and my family and as a way to keep in touch with our friends. But as more and more of you came to read, I found that I love writing for all of you too. Thank you for coming here to my blog. Thank you for checking back to see if I would ever return. I believe life's experiences are best shared. Thank you for letting me share ours with you.

And thank you for sharing your life experiences with us either through your comments or through your own blog. That is what all of those blog links are about on the right hand side. Those aren't just random links I threw out there. Every one of those links represents a special story with someone that has something special to share. I regularly click on every one of those links and read what they wanted to share about their lives that day. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me feel better about my situation, they teach me new crafts or recipes or concepts on parenting, they remind me I'm not alone in what I'm going through, and most of all they inspire me. Those links represent women and families from many different political, religious, financial, and educational backgrounds. Some I couldn't be any further from demographically. But we all have one very special thing in common, we are mommies. We love our children, we are trying to do our best for them, and we all want to share our experiences with others. For that reason alone I read those blogs and no matter what our other differences may be, when I read those blogs I feel like any one of those could be me.

Well, my "I'm back" post seems to have taken quite a turn to a "give thanks and mommies everywhere unite!" post. That's what happens when you don't have a set agenda to write about. You get the random ramblings of a woman clearly too medicated to drive. I think I'll set the keyboard down now and step away before I start encouraging women to burn their bras or something.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hello sushi lover!

In our last neighborhood, we used to go to a little sushi restaurant several times a week. We got to know the incredibly hard working owners quite well. When we would walk in he would say, "Hellooooooo sushi lovers!" When I was pregnant with Reagan, he would point towards my belly and say, "Future sushi lover!" He would not be disappointed with Reagan today. Tonight was sushi night and Reagan got edamame, fried rice, and of course, sushi. I'm impressed with how well she has mastered eating these things.

First up, edamame. If you aren't familiar with edamame, it is soybeans that have been boiled in heavily salted water. You pick up the pod, stick it in your mouth, and with your teeth scrape out the beans and toss the pod. We used to shell the beans for Reagan and she would gobble them up faster than we could shell them. Now she can pop those beans out of the shell with her teeth just as fast as you or I could. She pounded almost an entire order of them tonight. Here she is working the edamame.

Warning: These photos were taken on a camera phone so the quality is pretty craptastic

Next is the sushi. In the US we tend to be incredibly overly cautious about consumption of fish in pregnant women and children. Yes, there are fish that should be avoided, but health benefit to the consumption of safely handled, low mercury level fish greatly outweighs the risks in my book. As in anything moderation is key. Tonight Reagan only had smoked salmon as her fish in her sushi. Contrary to popular belief, sushi doesn't mean "raw" it just means "with rice." Frankly, I have no problem giving her salmon even raw now that she is two. However, going the smoked salmon or selecting a fully cooked fish may be a better choice for some a little anxious to give raw fish.

If you are still thinking "Eeewww! No way would I eat sushi or give it to my kid", let's dissect further. Reagan had a "bagel roll." A bagel roll uses a filling of smoked salmon, avocado, and cream cheese. It is wrapped in seaweed (which is really an algae, but whatever) and then rice stuck around the outside of the seaweed. Other than the seaweed, is there really anything there you haven't eaten? And if you haven't tried the seaweed wrap, I promise it's not offensive. But most restaurants will let you substitute the seaweed for rice paper if you are a little gun shy. The rice paper is actually easier for kids to eat too since admittedly the seaweed wrap can get a little chewy.

There are other sushi roll options that actually use fully cooked fish that even the most timid (read: my mom) would enjoy. How about trying a super crunch roll that uses tempura shrimp and a yummy spicy mayo? (We won't give Reagan shellfish until three so this is off limits for her, but I'm certain any shrimp lover would enjoy it!) Just look for "maki rolls" on the menu and they will indicate which ones are cooked rolls.

Here is Reagan cramming a bagel roll in her mouth.

And I ask you, what sushi experience is complete without chopsticks? Reagan gets the "trainer" version that make it pretty simple to use. It is two chopsticks rubber banded together so she just has to pinch them to pick up food. I think she's mastered them pretty well. Here she is popping another bagel roll in her mouth.

For those of you who are already sushi lovers, I'm sure my sushi knowledge bored you to tears. But hopefully you enjoyed the pictures of Reagan anyway. For those of you who don't eat sushi, my sushi knowledge probably still bored you to tears. But I hope maybe I inspired you to at least give it a thought for you and your children. My goal is to never resort to the "kid chicken nugget" meal option because they won't eat anything else on the menu. I want the girls to have exposure to lots of different foods and cultures. Maybe one day they'll get the opportunity to visit Japan or another country and they'll be ready to experience all that the culture has to offer. Until then, I want them to appreciate the variety and difference in foods and cultures as something to be enjoyed and respected even while we are here in the good old US of A.


Reagan tidbits

The big sister
Reagan has been a great big sister. She has little to no jealousy. She mostly looks at Bailey as a living baby doll. When Bailey cries Reagan says, "I'm coming Bailey!" and starts running for her. Reagan loves to lightly pinch her cheek and say, "Hi Bailey!" The other day Reagan was supposed to be in our room while we were getting ready. She escaped. We didn't realize that until on Bailey's monitor we hear, "Hi Bailey! Good morning, good morning!" We weren't all that thrilled that she woke Bailey up, but how can you be upset with her when she's being that cute?

Happy Birthday to anyone
Two weeks later and Reagan is still all about her birthday (or any one's for that matter). Anything that reminds her of her birthday she says, "It's MY birthday!" and will start singing Happy Birthday to herself. Yesterday she brought in a shopping bag to me that she had filled with various items and stuffed with some paper. She brought it in and said, "Happy Birthday Mommy!" and began singing Happy Birthday to me while pulling things one by one out of the bag and handing them to me.
At least she has manners
Despite being very curious and sometimes over active, she's at least very polite. She always uses please, thank you, sorry, and you're welcome. When we were in church for the wedding last weekend she was digging around in a foil potato chip bag making all kinds of noise (I told Bill to get a snack from the hotel shop. He clearly wasn't thinking of the noise or mess factor and I clearly should have been more specific- "get a pack of peanut butter or cheese crackers."). I took the bag from her and tried to quietly take out a chip and hand it to her. Despite my efforts to be quiet in digging out a chip, once I handed it to her she shouted, "THANK YOU MOMMY!" much to the giggles of the bridal party and everyone for several pews. We need to work on the "indoor voice" concept more.

Swimming Lessons
Reagan has been taking swimming lessons daily with ISR for several weeks now. When she gets tired you can tell because the instructor will say something like, "Ok, lets float on your back and count to three." and Reagan will immediately jump to saying, "THREE!" and then she bounces up and says, "yeaaaaa!" and starts clapping for herself.

Reagan has been talking up a storm. She's been a good talker for a while but just in the last week she seems like she's talking in bigger sentences (5-7 word average instead of occasionally) and holding entire conversations just like a little adult. Some of my favorite phrases she uses, just because she sounds so darn cute when she says them:
Awwww maaan! (just like Dora's Swiper the fox)
Oh goodness!
Oh my!
Oh boy!
No way!

Some of my less favorite phrases she uses:
Stop it!
No, no shoes on!
Yep (We've since replaced that with "yes ma'am" and "yes sir." We DO live in the south after all.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Posting about what I meant to post about

Did that make any sense? That's ok, I'm not sure it makes sense to me now that I read it. What I am trying to say, is I've been super slacking on posting to the blog lately and I am taking a quick few minutes to post on the topics I want to get out and posted ASAP. I've been mostly MIA on here for the last week. I would like to say it is because I've been busy redecorating and reorganizing the house or donating a bazillion hours to charity, the frank truth is a am a nerd and I am a game addict.

You see a couple of years ago Bill and I started playing this "little" game called World of Warcraft (WoW). If you think I've just outed myself as a nerd for admitting that, I'd agree. But in all honesty that doesn't even scratch the surface of my nerdom. But that is another topic for another day. Anyway, we stopped playing the game about two years ago because it was absorbing all of our time. We weren't getting things done and we couldn't seem to play it in a casual, healthy way. So we quit. That was the last of the game until a few weeks ago when I went out of town. When I returned, I found Bill sitting on the computer playing WoW once again. It turns out someone hacked his WoW account (and later hacked his paypal, sending themselves $4,000 to Moscow). He received a notice from the WoW people and he just "had" to go in game and check it out and see what had happened. While he was there he just happened to pick up some things to do and the next thing he knew he was playing again. So what did I do when I came home and saw him playing? Downloaded two years of patches and reactivated my account.

So now I'm back to playing this stupid, addictive game and I am hating myself for it because things are already taking a back seat (not my kids, just other stuff). I waffle between calling and canceling my account and wanting to get on and play 100 times a day.

Why am I sharing all of this with you?
  1. To make myself accountable for things I need to be doing. By sharing it with others, now I feel I have to act.
  2. To have you convince me to stop playing this maddening game.
  3. To be frank and honest about myself as a person so that others can learn from my mistakes. My blog isn't a work of fiction. It is a work in progress about a family with four lives in progress. I have weaknesses and if exposing them to others can make a difference in some small way, then I'll be glad my blog and my weaknesses are exposed to public viewing and scrutiny.
  4. For my family. My blog is very much about my kids and my family. It is a record of our lives that I intend to publish in a book each year and hand to the girls when they are older. I want them to know and remember all of the good times and capture the beautiful pictures and remember the joy they bring us. But I also want the girls to know their mom isn't perfect, but she tries really hard. I will never ask something of them that I have never done or wouldn't do myself. I want them to know some of the things I went through that made me a better person in the end. I'm pretty sure playing WoW won't meet that end. I'm also pretty sure stopping playing WoW will.

So this post was supposed to be about the topics I am going to share with you in the upcoming days and I turned it into a giant rant about my addiction to WoW. I could erase all of the above, but I'm not going to. I'm just going to move forward.

Here's what I want to write about in the next few days:
  • Reagan's birthday party
  • Bailey's church blessing
  • Pictures and stories from a family wedding we attended last week
  • Milestones and stats for the girls (2 years and 4 months)
  • The rest of the story on Reagan's "suspicious" rash
  • Baby sign language
  • Something clever and fun so that I don't feel so down in the dumps for being a lazy sludge and you have something entertaining to read. With any luck Reagan will pull one of her typical antics and I'll have plenty of material to go on.

Here's what I want to do in the next few days:
  • Cancel my WoW account (Maybe I can just wait until after I hit level 52 and get a pair of "bracers of the putrid bile ooze." Ok, I'm joking...sort of.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm no marketing expert but...

Does this billboard really make you want to have your hair done there?
There is something about this cheeseball mullet guy with the receeding hairline, open hairy chest, and bad orange highlights that just doesn't do it for me. Go ahead, click on the pic and experience him in the larger than life size that I had the opportunity (misfortune?) of experiencing. Come on, go ahead. I dare you.

We passed this billboard a dozen times over the weekend and it made me laugh so much I had to stop and take a picture. I'm not sure that was the kind of advertising they had in mind but some would say that even negative attention can still be good attention. Why do Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag all the sudden come to mind?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Meet the Elderkins

I am the oldest of five kids. Tara is two years younger than me, but she was way ahead of me in life events. While I was goofing off and traveling the world, Tara was busy raising a family. She actually met her husband, Clark, in middle school. They liked each other since they were at least 14 (my memory fails me on exact age). When Clark was 19, he went on a mission for church and when he returned two years later they got married. When Tara got married, she said they wanted four kids: two boys and two girls. She said they wanted to get started on their family because she wanted to be done having children before she was 30. She got her two boys and her two girls, and she had the last kid two months after turning 30. How's that for family planning?

Cute family, huh?

Savannah is the oldest. She's nine. She's one of the brightest nine year old's I've ever met. She's also one of the most creative story tellers I've ever met. When she gets in trouble she's got no shortage of quick retorts, "You were calling me? I thought you were talking to another Savannah?" or "I didn't mean to pinch him, I thought I was squeezing his shirt." She's got gorgeous blond curly hair that reminds me of my sister, Whitney. That is probably why I call her Whitney so much. I think a career in writing or acting will be well suited for her.

Shelby is next in line. Shelby is a very sweet girl, but she hasn't always been that way. Tara went through several years of dealing with therapists and psychiatrists trying to find someone who could properly diagnose and treat Shelby. Now that she's properly medicated, she is a sweet and creative girl. You saw some of her work when she turned our freezer box into her "no boys allowed" clubhouse. She loves to draw, take artistic photos, and do anything arts and crafts related. She had been growing her hair out her whole life. She just recently chopped it all off so that she could donate it to Locks of Love. What a sweet act of love. I think she's going to take after Tara and be a teacher later in life. She just seems like a natural for that role.

Then there is John, or JD. He is all boy. When you go to their house, you see a plexiglass shield running the whole length and width of the stair rails. This is because when he was two, he committed his first daredevil act. He climbed on the wrought iron rails, stood on the railing, and jumped from the second story down to a chair in the foyer below. Tara was in the kitchen and heard a shriek of fear followed by hysterical laughs and found him safely sitting in the chair below. Tara took care of him trying that move again, but he pretty much finds other opportunities daily to make trouble. He makes Reagan look pretty tame some days. I think he'll be the next Evil Knievil.

And the caboose is "little" Landon. I say little in quotes because he is five months older than Reagan (Yeah, she may have started early, but she won't be a happy free nester any faster than I will be. Ha!), a little taller, but easily twice her weight. I've never seen a more dense body mass per square inch than on that boy. He's quite deceptive. You go to pick him up expecting him to weigh about what Reagan does and you'll topple down with him and throw out your back in the process if you can't recover quickly enough. He's a happy and expressive kid and just tries to keep up with the others as best as he can. He'll be a great football player or staring on American Gladiator revival seven with some name like "Rock."

Wow, they were mostly looking at the camera! Look at the flower in Shelby's hair. She picked it off a bush. So cute!
I took these pictures for them when they were here last week for Reagan's birthday and Bailey's blessing (yeah, I'm behind in postings). I hope they enjoy their pictures. It was a fun challenge to get that whole brood all going in the same direction.

Reagan and Bailey black and white photos

Just on a whim, I took some photos of the girls lying on a blanket. So here are the latest photos of the girls...Reagan at 2 years, Bailey at four months.

They are getting so big! Sniff, sniff...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pictures from a two year old photographer

One of Reagan's birthday presents was a Fisher Price Kid Tough digital camera. Now mind you, this isn't the quality of my beloved Nikon D80, but for the price and what it is, it takes a decent enough little picture for a 4x6 print. And the best part is it is user friendly for little hands and can take lots of abuse. If I had designed the camera, I would have positioned the buttons a little differently, but this seemed to be the best camera overall for kids. I'm pretty happy with it.

Here was her first time with the camera (yep, she's holding it backwards)

But she proved to be a quick learner.

She's been taking lots of pics the last few days. Today I downloaded her card and most of the pictures were what you would expect--blurs of randomness. But she did have a few I was pretty impressed with. Here is life as art as intrepreted by Reagan...
This is the money shot. If I didn't know better, I never would have guess a two year old took this shot.

Great shot of my pocket and her cute little Fred Flinstone feet

Her baby

Uh, my boob?

A tie on her canopy on her bed

A lot of people pay a lot of money for Photoshop to make their pictures have these special effects. Yeah, I don't know what it is either.

I'm pretty proud of our little photographer. She just may have to get a regular spot on my blog for her own photo postings.

An allergen free birthday?

The girls go to a school that we really love. There are just a few things that get really annoying. One is their inflexibility with giving "medical" things like pedialyte, lotion, chapstick, or diaper creme without a doctor's note and how overly cautious they are about potential infectious illnesses. The second is how they deal with allergens. If the girls had food allergies there is no place in the city I'd feel safer bringing my kids. But since they don't have food allergies, I have to admit to selfishly finding it plain annoying.

They have a no peanut rule. That's fair. Peanuts can be a nasty allergy. But they don't stop there. No peanuts, no nuts, nothing that has been made on equipment that shared tree nuts, nothing with coconut palm oil, nothing that may have been breathed on by someone who may have four days ago eaten a Chick Fil A sandwhich cooked in peanut get the idea. You have to provide a full ingredient list ahead of time and if made from a bakery, it must certify that it wasn't made on the same equipment that nuts may have touched. As a general rule, bakeries won't do that. So cupcakes and cookies are out. They suggested I just bring in Jello. But they apparently don't know me very well. I wasn't about to just plunk down some Jello cups and call it a day.

Interesting fact for the day: There are 49,255 products available in the average 45k sq ft mega mart (Yes, I actually looked that up. I've mentioned before I am an ultimate nerd researcher). Fact number two, I'm pretty sure that about five of those 49k products meet the criteria mentioned above. I spent foverever in the grocery store reading labels and trying to come up with something better than Jello.

Once I finally had a plan, I had to take everything in the day before for the allergen Nazi inspection. They read every ingredient, looked for any allergy warnings, and finally approved my treat. Here's what I finally came up with: Mayfield vanilla ice cream cups (not birthday cake flavor, those have coconut oil). On top of that I crushed Oreo cookies so they looked like dirt. I was going to add gummi worms, but they got nixed for being choking hazards. So instead I found these little bug cookies and put those in the "dirt." For little favors they all got a felt play watering can and a little pot with a daisy seed kit. See the garden theme I was trying to go with here?

Reagan knew it was her birthday. I recycled her birthday dress from last year since I was too late to get a new dress made. It only had one candle on the dress, but little did I know that would just match her debacle of a cake later. When I pulled the dress out she lit up and started saying, "It's my birthdaaaaay! It's my birthdaaaaaay! It's my birthday party!" and started into the most spirited rendition of "Happy Birthday to you" you've ever heard. She was so excited to go to school in her birthday dress (good thing it was Friday) and was SO looking forward to her party later that afternoon. Here she is telling me, "It's my birthday, my birthday dress!"

Of course, we hadn't even made it home from dropping them off in the morning when the daycare called and mentioned they noticed a suspicious rash on her arm. They actually wanted us to come get her. After all that work of getting the treat and as excited as she was, I was not about to go get her and have her miss her party over some rash. The kid has allergies and gets rashes all the time! To keep her there, I went back and forth with the school and the doctor's office all day. The school ended up emailing me pictures which I sent on to the doctor who then relayed it doesn't look like any big deal, cover it with a bandaid and let her stay. But as luck would have it, when we showed up for the party at 2:30, as we walked in the door they told us Bailey was running a fever of 101.2. So after spending all day trying to stay out of the doctor's office, I called and asked if we could bring them in. Here she is sporting said "suspicious rash."

Reagan did get to have her party and had a great time. She gets a little weird when everyone sings Happy Birthday to her. We sung it three times over the course of the weekend and every time she gets the same look on her face like, I'm not sure what to do here.

Once the party was over we rushed them off to the doctor, who by then was waiting on us. Bailey had a virus, Reagan had a typical generic rash and she was good to go back to school. The doctor wrote a note saying, "Reagan may return to school on Monday." and told Reagan, "you hand them this note and tell them to leave you alone." But that's not the end of the rash story...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tagged: Fours

Cletus tagged me before she went off and had a beautiful baby boy. Congrats again Cletus!

4 Jobs I have had in my life:

  1. Kroger grocery bagger
  2. Senior Director, Project Management Office
  3. Project Management Trainer
  4. Lifeguard
4 Places I’ve Lived:

  1. Iowa
  2. Florida
  3. Georgia
  4. Wisconsin (for the coldest 1.5 years of my life)
4 TV Shows I Watch/Watched:

  1. Good Eats
  2. Battlestar Gallactica
    That's all I watch regularly. I used to watch:
  3. Divine Design
  4. CSI Miami

4 Places I have Been:

  1. South Africa- safari
  2. Iceland- snowmobiling glaciers
  3. New Zealand- hiked waterfalls
  4. Australia- climbed the Sydney harbor bridge and lost a shoe in a stampede during anti-American protest that I accidentally wandered into
4 People who email me regularly:

  1. My mom
  2. My sister Tara
  3. My sister Meagan
  4. A lot of people who can't spell that really want to sell me low cost Viagra and Cialis and they want me to know that credit cards are accepted

4 of my favorite foods:

  1. Sushi
  2. Ice cream
  3. Any indian curry
  4. Diet Coke (almost a food?)
4 Places I Would Like to Visit:

  1. Pyramids in Egypt
  2. Taj Mahal in India
  3. Giant heads in Easter Island
  4. Las Vegas (yeah, over 50 countries and I've never been there. But I love a loose slot machine!)
4 Things I am Looking Forward to in the Coming Year: (not necessarily in correct order)

  1. Bailey sleeping through the night
  2. Seeing the girls grow and hit new milestones
  3. Winning the lottery
  4. Bailey sleeping through the night

4 Friends who I’m Tagging: (I'm picking some of the many newer blogging mamas)

  1. Cristie
  2. Steph
  3. Karla
  4. Jill
  5. Deanna
  6. Tara
    That's six you say? What can I say, math was never my strong point.
This is the first tagging post. I also got tagged by another person so you'll see another one of these soon and learn more about me than I'm sure you would ever care to know.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Birthday Cake Blunders

From time to time I get an email in my mailbox that is a picture of a cake someone ordered from their local Wal-Mart. I've you've never seen the picture, I just happen to have it handy.

I think you can hear what the phone conversation was that produced this cake. Every time I see this picture I think, "How could anyone be so stupid? This has to be a setup." I always thought that until this weekend. Now I know that picture above wasn't a joke.

I usually order cakes and cookies from a wonderful local bakery. But since I waited until the last minute to do everything for this birthday party, I found myself at the Publix bakery the night before ordering a cake. I knew it wouldn't be the beauty and joy of the local bakery cake, but so many people order from Publix I didn't think anything of it.
I perused through their books and passed the 400 character birthday cakes and finally settled on my cake of choice. The bakery manager actually helped me settle on the order as I didn't want anything with a character and I didn't want anything with the traditional roses and fussy borders (kind of like the cake pictured above). We talked it over, she wrote it down, and I felt pretty good about my decision. The cake wouldn't be ready until 12:00. The party was at 2:00 so that was kind of pushing things, but I could still swing it.

So, 12:00 came and I showed up to pick up my cake. A lady handed me my cake and I looked in the window with anticipation. This was the cake:
Not a bad cake, but not exactly the colors I was going for. They were supposed to decorate it in the same colors as the plate in the picture below. (This was at Reagan's school party the day before. The drama leading to this I'll have to tell in another post.)

Let's see, side by side comparison, nope. Definitely not the same colors. But that's ok, we'll go with it. All is not lost.

The decoration also wasn't quite the same as we discussed. We talked about making the cake look like a birthday package, but different styling. But it's ok. All is not lost.

We also talked about the cake being in the shape of a number. That was at the suggestion of the bakery manager. So, that they got. But here's where I had a little meltdown...let's look at the cake ONE more time shall we?

That cake is a great number one. The only problem is Reagan was turning TWO! There was a big number 2 written all over the order form!
My sister came up to the bakery when I was in the middle of my drama and said, "What's the problem?"
Me: "It's a one!"
Sister: "So just scratch it out and write a two."
Me: "No, it's a ONE!"
At that she looked in the box and saw the giant number one cake. Yeah, you aren't recovering from that.
With no time left for them to make another cake, I had another sister and my mom stop by the Target bakery and pick out a cake for them to write on. They found this cake that had the right colors, but had this silly "Suite Life" stuff all over it (how unhip am I, I don't even know what that is). The Target cake decorator had already gone for the day but someone mentioned that the Starbucks lady used to be a cake decorator. They ran the cake to the Starbucks, the lady left her customers and said she'd be right back, ran over to the Target bakery, and worked some magic. She actually managed to salvage the cake and produced something that was quite adorable.
Here is the cake number TWO we ended up with for the party:
Anyone have a kid named Reagan turning one? I happen to have an extra cake just for you.
Oh and no, I didn't pay for that cake. And while I was at it I got some petit fours thrown in for free too.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I a pirate! Arrrr!

This morning when I went to get Reagan after she woke up, she looked like this:

This is an achievement because when she went to bed, she wasn't wearing that shirt. She was wearing pajamas. The tightest, most form fitting elastic banded pajamas we could find to discourage her from stripping. In order to get her pajamas off, she first undoes all the snaps down the front. Then starts to strip off the arms and when she gets stuck she lays on her belly with all fours behind her in the air . She's caught in the pajamas like she'd been hog tied at the rodeo. After about five minutes of wriggling and corresponding wriggling noises, she eventually works the pajamas off. Usually the diaper then comes off and gets tossed at the diaper pail. Unless we had the foresight to put the diaper on backwards. Then instead, after her many tugs it just hangs off of her with a judicious amount of butt crack showing like she's training for a plumbing apprenticeship.

Today though, she kept the diaper on. And she dug out that shirt from her laundry (which, as much as I hate doing laundry I'm not discouraging a recycle here and there). I'm sure it was inside out and crumpled, but she managed to put it the right way and put it on properly. When I saw her she pointed to her shirt and proudly exclaimed "I a pirate! I a pirate! Arrr!"

Very cute. My toddler is a pirate today. A messy, glittery, pirate (yep, the eye patch is glitter and you find it all over you days after she's worn the shirt). If it had been a weekend or Friday I would have said, "Great, your half dressed. Put on your pants and let's go matey!"

Unfortunately though, it was a Thursday. Thursdays aren't good pirate days. Why not you ask? Well, because she goes to a school that requires her to wear uniforms Monday-Thursday, and they are pretty strict about it. So when she declared today to be pirate day I said, "Yes, you are a pirate! Arrr! Let's put this dress on and finish getting dressed." I figured as long as she had the pirate shirt on underneath she would be fine with putting a school jumper over the top. Oh, no! That wouldn't do at all. She bawled as Bill put the jumper on her all along crying "I a pirate! I a pirate!"

Once the jumper was on her, she took five minutes before she had it stripped back off. She proudly pointed to her shirt once again bared, now cheering, "I a pirate! I a pirate!"

What's a mom to do? I did what I think any mom would (I think?). I put a pair of uniform pants on her and sent her to school proudly bearing her pirate shirt. I should have added a headscarf bandanna and an eyepatch or a parrot on her shoulder to complete the look. Sometimes I suck.

I sent a uniform shirt along with her. I sent Bill with instructions to tell them if they didn't want her to be a pirate today that they could change her shirt, but that we weren't going to do it. Surprisingly, she came home a pirate today and we were void of a uniform violation notice. I'm glad to see that.

We absolutely love the school and wouldn't possibly send her anywhere else. When I learned that she would have to wear uniforms I was disappointed because I love to overbuy for and overdress the girls. But I figured if they wanted our girls to wear uniforms, then so be it. I figured creativity could be expressed in so many other ways, it doesn't matter what they wear. Today was the first day that I really questioned that logic. I think if Reagan wakes up one day and wants to be a pirate, then she should be a pirate. But on the other hand, what have I done to set a precedence for her not wanting to wear her required uniform and buck the rules?

I guess it all comes down to whether or not I want to encourage creativity or encourage following rules. Can't I do a balance of both? I'll add that to my to-do list for today.

Most importantly, who am I to tell her pirate day can only be on Friday?


Mmmmmm....single grain organic whole oatmeal cereal with DHA added

Or the subtitle...Method #1117 to torture your child

Now that Bailey is four months old, we tried cereal for the first time. She wasn't impressed. Her first few bites she just held it in her mouth for the longest time, not knowing what to do with it. We tried the bottle to get her to wash it down and I think she squealed louder then when I give her the nasty peppermint-grape zantac.

Not being the parents to give up too easily we tried again. Who knew she could arch her back so well? She's been hiding some moves all along.

Look at all the drama in that baby. And here we thought she'd be the quiet, laid back one. She's destined for the stage I tell ya.
Yeah, I think we'll shelve the cereal for just a bit yet.