Saturday, February 25, 2012


Yes, The Sick got me, too. The second strep test also came back negative, so I waited it out almost another week before heading back into the doctor's office. But after all that time, I was *still* under water. The clincher came when Mallory woke up at 2 a.m. with an earache. I settled her with Tylenol and put her back to bed, but thought she should get checked out the next day. And since the glands in my neck were so swollen that I couldn't stop coughing, I got myself checked out, too. The doctor we saw (part of a rotation - not our usual family doctor) could't believe I was still walking after 9 days with strep and also couldn't believe that I had 2 strep tests come back negative, because every symptom pointed to it. What can I say - I'm a medical marvel. I have been on antibiotics for 48 hours now and feel much, much better. Oh, and Mallory is on the same medication, since her ear infection was caused by strep, too. So if we've seen you in the past week... consider yourself exposed.

Of course, life doesn't stop just because everyone gets sick. We still went out and celebrated Family Day weekend by packing in some activities (in part because I started to feel better before taking another turn for the worse!) - we went to Boler Mountain to tube, visited my sister's family in Toronto, and went to a Family Day matinee in Lakeshore. I also took a 24 hour trip to Calgary for a meeting. This weekend we've had a skating party and a birthday party, and there's still one more day to go! For not being a busy time of year we certainly seem to be on the go a lot.

That doesn't mean we aren't trying to fit in some recuperation time where we can thoguh... so I fully expect this to be the February edition of Four People Twelve Times. I can't see rallying together for another photo again before month's end, even having the benefit of an extra day this year.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I suck at romantic holidays

I think this was first proven back in September when I ruined the 10th wedding anniversary weekend that Chad had planned for us by catching pneumonia.I seem to have done it again, becase on Valentine's Day I came down with the worst sore throat I have ever had in my life, and a general feeling of unwellness. Rather than doing anything special to celebrate, I came home, put on my granny jammies and went straight to bed.On Wednesday morning I went to my doctor's office and asked for a throat swab, because if I have a terrible sore throat and Liam has strep throat then it only makes sense that I have it too, right? Nope, not so. The swab came back negative and the doctor's office told me it is likely just a virus that will pass. Starting to sound familiar, right? Well, I think they are wrong. Today, about two thirds of my body is covered in a bright red rash that looks like sunburn, exactly the same as Liam had. If history is an indicator then I will have some blisters next and the doctor's office will call me tomorrow to say that the second test they ran (which gets sent out to a lab rather than diagnosed in-house) indicates that I need penicillin. Which I will gladly take, to get over this - because it's quite miserable.I've missed 1.5 days of work so far, and can't imagine I would be well enough to go in tomorrow even if I didn't have a planned flex Friday off with Mallory. I'm hoping to wrap this up mighty quick, though. We have a chock-full weekend planned and I don't want to miss out on any of it. Hoping that I am feeling better soon and, even more than that, that Mallory and Chad continue to evade whatever it is that Liam and I have caught.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The rest of the story

At 8 p.m. on Sunday night, we got a call from the emergency room. They had finally processed the swab they took from Liam on Friday night 'as a precaution' and were calling to let us know that he has strep throat, the rash from earlier in the week was likely scarlet fever, and that he needed to get onto some penicillin, pronto.

(And yes, I did feel a little smug, because scarlet fever had been my very first thought!)

So off we went to the pharmacy, where we got a bottle of pills and started Liam on them morning, noon and night. He had one at breakfast Monday morning and I packed one with his lunch on Monday and slipped a note to his teacher into his bag, letting her know what the pill was and establishing its credibility.

At about 9:10 a.m. (i.e. pretty much right after Liam had taken off his coat and given the note to his teacher) I got a phone call from the vice principal of the school. Liam was in the office with his pill, having been sent there by the teacher upon discovery of the note. The vice principal did one of those things where they try to tell you something without coming right out and saying it, and we had to go in circles a few times before I was really sure that I understood the message, but it turns out that you cannot let the school administration know that your kid is on medication. If you do this then you need your doctor to fill out a form and to go through a bunch of legal hoopla. However, if you just pack your child something in his lunch - nudge nudge, wink wink - and you let your child have it without telling the teacher what is going on, then everything is fine.

Silly me - here I was specifically NOT wanting the teacher to not know what was going on. Well, I guess what I mean is that I didn't want her to only kind of vaguely see Liam with a pill and then jump to the wrong conclusion about what it might be!

So we left it that Liam would continue to bring a pill each day but it would be part of his lunch and the school would essentially turn a blind eye to it. That lasted all of a few hours, until I went into the school to volunteer at Mallory's class party. En route to her classroom I ran into the VP in person. It turns out that there are three children at Liam's school who are allergic to penicillin and as luck would have it, they are all in Grade 1 (though perhaps not Liam's Grade 1).

So the new plan is to leave the pills in the office and have them administer them to Liam for us, since he cannot have the medication in the classroom. So I take it that it's a good thing I alerted the teacher to the fact that Liam had them after all??

I just hope he can get them down now... the first couple of pills went down no problem, but the last couple have involved lots of gagging and needing to bury it in a mouthful of yogurt to do the trick. I cut the ones I sent to school in half for him, hoping that makes it easier. I am pretty sure the vice principal will not have a tub of yogurt on hand for him to make taking them easier so I'm anxious to see how the first one goes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Snip, snip

Not a sight you want to walk into the kitchen to see.

Somebody gave themselves a haircut on Sunday morning... can you guess who?

I have to say, I always figured this would happen sooner or later... until she turned about three. She seems totally old enough to know not to do something like this. Or so I thought.

The funny thing is that I took her for a haircut on Friday night - her first in a couple of months. And within 36 hours, she felt the need to put her own stamp on it.

The good news is that it is really not all that noticeable. I mean, she cut it, we went to church, and we were back home before I figured it out - and that was only because I saw the pile of hair on the floor and scissors on the countertop. She cut a chunk near the front, where she has lots of scraggly bits that never quite seem to grow long enough to make it into a ponytail anyway. It's a little more pronounced now, but could definitely have been much worse.

Who knows... maybe we'll decide bangs are the way to go, after all??

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another week bites the dust

This week was marked by Liam having either several consecutive sicknesses or else one single sickness that kept morphing. As a result he had a fever, headache, two completely different rashes, one trip to the walk-in clinic, one sick day home from school, one appointment with our family doctor that was cancelled at the last minute because he seemed to be doing better and then a trip to the ER the following day when he suddenly started complaining of neck stiffness and pain (and as a parent your first thought is always: MENINGITIS!) When we walked into the ER on Friday night they immediately quarantined us, because the second rash Liam developed looked exactly like chicken pox. I don't think it really was chicken pox, though; the spots were not itchy. Or at least maybe I am just telling myself it was not chicken pox, because the doctor we had seen earlier in the week told us Liam was not contagious and said to send him back to school, so we did, and I even put a note in the bag to Liam's teacher saying I know he looks like he has chicken pox but he doesn't, so please don't worry about him infecting the entire class. Perhaps I should have gotten the second medical opinion before writing that note. Regardless, he had some sort of viral infection, we think, which may have been a mild case of chicken pox, possibly, which raises the point - so why did we bother getting him vaccinated against that disease then??Anyway, this all serves to explain (somewhat) where the past week has gone. In between all the medical goings-on, we did manage to sneak a few other things in. The kindergarten class took their skating trip, and I'll be darned if Mallory didn't have a grand old time hot-dogging it around the ice, showing off to the other kids (whose parents are not mean enough to enroll them in ringette).Liam took advantage of his sick day at home, during which he was a little too active for my taste and did not allow me to get as much work done as I probably should have, to continue to decorate his bulletin board. Here's the latest incarnation.Aside from a couple of soccer medals and a paper decorated with football team logo stickers, it is 100% hockey related. I think Liam needs to branch out a little and get some more hobbies.Close ups of a few pieces of new artwork.Mallory decided to get in on the action, too; here's her bulletin board - a far cry from the organized full-to-the-brimness of Liam's, but she's working on it.Too bad I could not follow the example set by these two and get some things done as well. I have six framed pictures sitting around our bedroom that I am agonizing over hanging, because despite having worked out an arrangement for the frames and sizing the photos and having them printed and working out on paper the measurements of where the prints should go... I am chicken to start putting them on the wall, lest they turn out the least bit asymmetrical or unlevel. Procrastination is my middle name. Hoping to make that the big accomplishment of the day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The thing about Aunt Amy

Over the Christmas holidays, Amy came to spend a few days with us, and they were probably among the happiest days of Mallory's life. Amy played Barbies and basement hockey and polished Mallory's fingernails and did I-can't-remember-what-else, and Mallory fell in love.

Amy is now legendary in our house. Mallory cries every time she sees a picture of Amy because she misses her so much, and yet the first thing she wanted to hang on the new bulletin board in her bedroom is this picture of the two of them together in December. She has already made Amy three Valentines and a birthday card. She told me one night a few weeks ago that she wishes Amy was her mom. And she asks a lot about when Amy is coming back.

Aside from nearly throwing Mallory out the window with the "I wish you weren't my mom" comment, I have mostly taken this in stride, and have commiserated with her about how much we miss Amy and pulled out the craft supplies every time she wants to make another card. I did try to talk her out of having a picture hanging up in her room if it means she cries every time she sees it, but I think having it in plain sight is actually helping and the tears are coming less often. Common sense tells me this is just a phase and that Mallory would not really run off from me if given the chance.

But, I may have a work trip coming up to Amy's neck of the woods, and I am keeping that quiet just in case. The last thing I want is a little stowaway in my suitcase.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I've kind of missed the boat on New Year's resolutions, but it's February 1st now and I figure better late than never. I started the year bemoaning the fact that I injured my back during Week 2 of my half marathon training plan, essentially putting the kibosh on doing the Burlington half marathon in early March this year. But after wallowing in sugar cookies for a month, I snapped out of it and am moving on with a plan.

My plan for this year originally included a lot of races and then after I injured myself again, I sort of settled down and said I just wanted to be healthy enough to go out and do things - not necessarily train for anything in particular. Well, that didn't last very long. I am still going to go easy on the training (i.e. I will not attempt another speed workout on the treadmill anytime soon, because while I pleasantly surprised myself by being able to complete it... the injury came 4 days later... and I am not entirely convinced that the two were not somehow related.)

Instead, here is a list of the events I hope to complete, not for time but for fun, assuming that I get the training in for them, and if I don't then I don't and there is always next year:

January - Pub Brrrrun - check! (OK, fair enough - a run like this can't really be considered a goal race!)

April - London half marathon - it's on April 29th so if I start now, I still have time to train for this one
May - Muddy River run (maybe)
June - Tomatoman sprint triathlon
July - Bluewater Olympic triathlon (twice as far as a sprint... so this is my stretch target for the year)
August - Bulldog sprint triathlon - I have something to prove on this course this year
September - maybe Lakeside sprint triathlon; maybe the Harvest Run
October - Detroit half marathon
November & December - resume wallowing in sugar cookies

I've been enjoying using the Garmin I got for Christmas for the last few weeks. I put it on, go for a run, come within a few meters of my computer and my run data is instantly zapped onto it - a map of my route, my pace, etc. It's pretty cool and pretty accurate - you can even see on the map (pictured) where I crossed the street to run on the other sidewalk. A gadget like this and some cool tunes downloaded from iTunes make going for a run a lot of fun these days. Hopefully I can keep it up and stay injury (and pneumonia) free this year.

(PS - while I am definitely a sloooow runner - this screen shot was taken from a very snowy run with superbad footing. While I am sloooow, I am not normally THAT slow. But hey, it's still moving faster than sitting on the couch, so I will take it!)