Thursday, September 28, 2006

I've been working here waaaaaaaay too long

It's half an hour (give or take) before I head out of here for a fun-filled week of Disney and Florida sunshine lack of rain. In anticipation of my trip, I've spent time on the National Hurricane Center's website. Am I checking to make sure tropical depression 9 (now Tropical Storm Isaac) isn't going to make our travel difficult? No. I'm reading the weather discussions trying to decide whether there's enough potential activity in the Atlantic, that something could come in through the Gulf of Mexico, thus affecting my company. I'm fixing up my databases so that we're prepared in the event a hurricane roars through while I'm gone for a week.

What kind of a message am I sending? I can't even slack off getting ready for vacation like a normal person (of course, there is the blog...). Of course, I'm on my co-workers' hit lists for singing the Mickey Mouse theme song to anyone who wanders by. It probably all evens out.

I am excited about meeting a PIM on this trip! We've got it all arranged for Saturday morning, and I am antsy with excitement! Mr. W. is less than pleased, but he's humoring me somewhat. He just cannot get it through his head that I am very good friends with 60 or so women I have never met face to face. Ah, well, if he can't be nice during this little get-together, I will simply HAVE to stomp on his toes.

It will be good to be unplugged and away. This is my first week long vacation where I will not have my laptop or any way to dial in to the office! Woo-hoo! Of course, this means no blogging while I'm gone. My loyal reader (hi, Mom!) will have to do without my wit and wisdom for a week, LOL.



M-I-C See you real soon! K-E-Y Why? Because we like you. M-O-U-S-E

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn
Prof. Higgins

L.'s blood test results are not encouraging. Her numbers went down for one protein and remained the same for the others. The allergist says it is up to us whether we do a food challenge. I am at war with myself. Do we bite the bullet and do the challenge, recognizing that she could have one humdinger of a scary reaction? Do we play it more cautiously and wait another year?

A year... A year depriving her of what the rest of us can eat with no qualms. A year of bringing food with us for her when we go out to eat. A year of alienating friends and family by declining invitations. A year of being super diligent without knowing FOR SURE that it is necessary.

I just don't know, and the allergist won't tell us what he thinks we should do. Food allergies are such an unkown, he can't even give us odds on whether she will pass the food challenge.

I am so confused...


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Missing: One Tinkerbell light up tennis shoe (left foot)

Description: Girl's size 10 in pristine condition. Worn just once.

Scenario: Said shoe entered the Wheezer household at 6:00 pm last night in the possession of four year old S. Some time between 6 and 8:30, shoe vanished leaving behind only a pair of socks and the right shoe (which has declined to give an interview). Suspects in the disappearance include one 19 month old (who is also not talking) and a kitchen garbage can. Investigators have removed two bags of trash from the front curb of the Wheezer home where they will be examined closely for podiatric paraphernalia. Mrs. Wheezer is noticeably distressed that bag 2 will remain in her garage for ANOTHER week until trash day rolls around.

If seen, please contact Mrs. Wheezer immediately. She would dearly love to avoid another rendition of 'Screeching Pre-Schooler' as performed by her own four year old.

That is all.



Shoe has been located cowering behind a door that Mrs. W. swears she checked earlier. Shoe is unharmed and has enjoyed a fun-filled day of romping around.

Monday, September 18, 2006

O frabjous day!

L.'s test results were completely negative! No bumps, itches, welts, red spots, nothing! This is quite an improvement over 6 months ago, when a drop of milk on her hand yielded itchy welts. This is the first of three hurdles she must get over before she gets an all-clear on dairy.

Next will be a RAST blood test. If her numbers go down over her last draw, we will do a food challenge. The food challenge will involve a good portion of a day and exposing her to incrementally increasing doses of milk. I am NOT looking forward to that test simply because of the time involved. However, if she passes, the results will be well worth it.

Unfortunately, there is no way we can have all this completed before our trip to Disney, so we will have to plan on her being dairy-free during the trip. On the big positive side, though, I am not as afraid of her going into anaphylactic shock while on an airplane from accidental contact with leftover spilled milk.


'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.


L. has her followup allergist appointment in 5 hours. My heart is beating way too fast, and I am choking down bile as we speak.

I am torn between hope that her allergy is waning and terrible fear that it isn't. Terror of a future with a life-threatening allergy and determination that this fear will not rule me battle in my gut.

I know the odds are very good that she will outgrow this. I know that, I really do. However, I also know that the odds of her having a food allergy were slim. The odds of her having an anaphylactic allergy to dairy were very, very slim, and I can't help worrying that we will continue to draw the long odds.

Five hours, and we will have a better picture of her situation. Five hours...


Friday, September 15, 2006

I won the parenting lottery

I didn't win anything with the scratch off lottery tickets I received compliments of a local radio station. I must be the only person in North America who gets confused by scratch off lottery tickets, though. I looked all over the silly things to try to figure out how you were supposed to play & win, but nowhere was there a clear explanation. Go figure. LOL

S. is back at school after a two day strep induced furlough. L.'s sleeping right now with double ear infections after having spent last night vomitting pretty much nonstop. I'm home with some sort of sinus/cold bug. Joy of joys.

I really wish I'd been able to get up to Minnesota to help my friend (and to see Gretchen!), but I guess it was just not meant to be.

Despite all the illness and stress associated with sick kids, I still feel like the most fortunate person on this planet. My girls' illnesses will go away in a week with antibiotics. Other parents are not so fortunate. Truly, I am blessed in more ways than I ever could have imagined a mere 5 years ago.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Josie and the Pussycats

The oldies station we listen to on the way home each day has a trivia contest right around 5:30. First person to call in wins whatever prize they have on hand. Typical prizes include movie passes, coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc. Today's question asked what cartoon tv show did CBS premier on September 12, 1970 featuring an all-girl band. I don't know if I should be ashamed or proud of it, but I knew the answer was 'Josie and the Pussycats.' In my frantic speed-redialing of the radio station, I didn't pay a bit of attention to the prize. Mr. W. missed that little bit of information as well. Wouldn't you know that I actually won today? In a stunning bit of irony, my prize is two scratch-off lottery tickets.

You see, I feel the lottery is a tax on the poor, the desperate and the bad at math. I oppose it, and would much rather see a more equitable taxation process over the waste that accompanies the lottery. We all have our pet peeves, and the lottery is one of mine. I strongly suspect that in the end my prize is a mini-manicure (filing down the nails while scratching) and two pieces of paper, but what if I actually win something? Would I breach my moral stand if I collect my prize? Should I take a stand and shred the tickets unscratched? I have never played the lottery or even so much as placed a penny in a slot machine (unless you count the Coke machines at work that are known for popping out anything between 0 and 3 drinks at a time, but I digress).

Realistically, I will collect my prize, and I will scratch off those tickets. If, by some bizarre twist, I actually win anything, I know I will collect my prize. My guilt will be salved with a charitable contribution. It would be nice to win enough to pay for the emergency plane ticket I'm looking into purchasing this week (my very best friend sprained her ankle, lives far away in Minnesota, and could really use some help packing up her apartment for a move that is scheduled to occur on the 23rd).

Temptation, thou art a stupid radio quiz contest.


Maybe she missed the point?

Sunday morning as the family drove to church together, Mr. W. and I got on the topic of dove hunting season. I expressed concern that we lived far enough in the country that we could hear the shotguns going off and thanks that rifles are not used in dove hunting. We both remarked on stupid/unsafe hunters, and then S. piped up in the back.

After asking why people shoot doves and receiving the answer that some people think doves taste good, she wanted to know if people killed hippopotamuses (hippopotami?). I told her that it was against the law to kill and eat a hippo. She (of course) wanted to know why, and I said that it was because there aren't enough hippos in the world, and we don't want to run out (okay, I don't know if hippos are endangered, but they're big and they're in zoos everywhere, plus she's got this thing where she really likes hippos, what do you want me to say? she's already traumatized that we eat turkeys).

Later that day, she went to Aunt Toot and told her she hoped all the big hippos had baby hippos and that the baby hippos would grow up so we can shoot them. I think she meant that she hopes we have enough hippos that they aren't endangered any more, but that she has been gifted with her mother's verbal eloquence.

Explaining the circle of life and environmental conservation to a four year old is tricky...


Monday, September 11, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Post-Partum Envy

PIM Tree had her baby this week. She went into labor during a little four mile run. I don't believe I have ever run more than two miles at a time, ever. Let alone while 36.5 weeks pregnant! Pictures reveal an absolutely gorgeous Tree and baby girl. I am thrilled for them, and love the name they have picked out.

I am also a trifle envious (not seriously, but just a bit of rue). As mentioned above, Tree looks marvelous. And I don't mean marvelous in that 'oh, you've had a baby, so we'll cut you some slack' marvelous. She looks fantastic!

Pictures of me the day after L. was born reveal a woman so swollen and puffy, that it does not look at all like me. Really! I was bigger 24 hours after L.'s birth than I was 5 minutes before. IV fluids are the most likely culprits for my post-partum inflation, but it still. All those pictures from the first few days after a baby's birth are supposed to show a glowing, happy mom. Not the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in glorious technicolor.

For your viewing pleasure:

5 hours before L. was born - there IS 9 pounds of baby in there plus the fetal and contraction monitors under the gown, btw (lovin the pit/saline accesories, woohoo):

2 days AFTER L. was born (complete lack of color due to having nearly bled to death two days prior, geez... were my lips really that pale?):

This summer (must throw in the cuteness factor and show that my face is almost always some shade of red):


Thursday, September 07, 2006

By George, I think she likes them

I popped the top off the first jar of refrigerator pickles today. Note: Thumbnails do NOT, I repeat, do NOT make good lid popper-offers. Old-fashioned can openers do, however.

I took a half-hearted first whiff certain those pickles would be kerosened. Instead, I caught the aroma of dill, garlic and onion. Nice and savory. In fact, the pickles were nice and crunchy and pretty tasty, too. I even let the girls sample.

Now I just have to figure out what I did to the recipe...


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Should I be worried?

I've been diligently checking on my kerosene cucumbers each day. Each jar is pulled out of the refrigerator and carefully inspected. I am noticing that my cukes have lost a significant amount of their vibrant green, and are now the greenish-yellow I am accustomed to seeing in store-bought dill pickles.

I am also noticing that the garlic cloves I tossed in are no longer white. They are, in fact, turning green. I'm left to wonder, did they absorb all the greenness that used to be in the cucumbers and/or dill, or do I have a rather interesting science project brewing?

Mr. W. says that when the time comes to open the first jar, I get to sample the first pickle. If I am still alive 24 hours later, he will sample a pickle. If, after another 24 hours, we are both still unpoisoned, the kiddoes will be allowed to eat a pickle.

You just gotta love his faith in my culinary abilities. Of course, if I hadn't already nearly poisoned us with burnt or undercooked food on more occasions than I care to admit, I might be a little sore with him...


Double, double, toil and trouble,
Garlic greens and cucumbers bubble...

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something hazardous this way comes.

I want a do-over

Overslept this morning. Fortunately, Mr. W. woke me when I was only 15 minutes behind schedule.

Barked at S. to get dressed. Yelled at her to hurry up and just GO POTTY already. Realized her eczema was worse than it has ever been, and she even has patches on her face.

Totally forgot L.'s lunch in the fridge at home. Forgot to put a sippy-cup together for L. Forgot S.' hydrocortisone ointment.

Got to work 20 minutes late and have accomplished nearly nothing!

May I please just go back to bed and start over?


Monday, September 04, 2006


The AP is reporting that Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray while filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef. My sympathies go out to his wife and children.

Irwin's programs never appealed to me. I found myself holding my breath waiting for someone to be seriously hurt, and I expected to hear one day of him being badly injured while filming someplace exotic. Whenever Mr. W. happened to have one of his programs on, I asked him to change the channel, as the stress was too much (even after telling myself that they wouldn't air a show that contained mayhem and maiming). It never occurred to me that he would be killed.

It was obvious that he was a man who had found his passion in life. At first, I thought he was just a lunatic out to make a buck or launch a career. As time went by, I decided he was probably more like a couple of my college professors. These were the men and women who were so wrapped up in their field of study, they had no concept that their obsession was exceptional or even all that unusual. I expect it was Mr. Irwin's obsession that led him to do the many things that left me squirming with anxiety for his and others safety.

Rest in peace Steve Irwin, you were a rare bird.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

First Words

My mother says that my first words were 'pretty baby' following a trip to Hawaii when I was 9 months old. My dad was taking a leave from his tour of duty in Vietnam, and Mom flew to Hawaii to spend some time with him. The military wives had been told they should leave the kids at home. Mom ignored those instructions, and brought me along. I guess she decided that since I was born 4 days before Dad shipped off, that he may just want to see me. Apparently quite a fuss was made over cute little me. People kept looking at me and say, 'Oh, what a pretty baby.' It didn't take me too long to start parroting back the words 'pretty baby.' I have had some doubts about this story since I have also heard that one of my grandmothers suspected I was a trifle 'slow.' This was because I didn't talk until well after my second birthday. Of course now, there are times I wish I could go back to not talking. It would sure keep me out of trouble now and again.

Fast forward 30 years to when S. was a little one around 18 months old. She and I had been feeling unwell and stayed home together one day. It was one of those wretched days where everything seems to go wrong, and because S. and I were alone together, I freely vented my frustrations.

I broke a glass. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. spit her food out all over me. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. didn't want to take a nap. 'Oh, shoot!'

I spilled my lunch on the floor. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. and I both managed to knock her lunch on the floor. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. had a really nasty diaper blowout. 'Oh, shootshootshootshootshootshootshoot!'

That evening Mr. W. came home to a frazzled wife and a baby who cheerfully shouted out 'oh, shoot!' at the drop of a hat (or spoon, as the case may be). You cannot believe how grateful I was that:

a. I had said 'oh, shoot!' rather than a slight variation thereof
b. S. could ennunciate it perfectly rather than come out with a slight variation thereof

My mother rather cheerfully pointed out that S. was lucky 'oh, shoot' was all she heard after the day we spent together.

Fast forward another three years, and L. is 18 months old. I headed off for a three day busines trip, leaving behind a mute baby, a talkative 4 year old and a husband annoyed I was abandoning them for something as silly as an R&D meeting.

When I got back, I got to hear about Mr. W. and the girls' pretty stressful day. They took a little road trip to Austin with Mr. W.'s parents. I'm not clear on all the details, but apparently, 'uh-oh' was the word for the day. When L. has a massive diaper blowout in McDonalds, it was 'uh-oh.' When it turned out said McDonalds did not have a changing table (side note: why oh why would an establishment with a playland NOT have a changing table?!?!?), it was 'uh-oh' many times over. L. celebrated the day by dropping 'uh-oh's' by the cartload. When Mr. W. picked me up at the airport, the little cherub chortled out one 'uh-oh' after the other the entire 30 mniutes it took to drive home.

That just goes to show that Mr. W. has a cleaner mouth than I do, and we both got really lucky with our kids' first words.