16 December 2005

I went to our friendly neighborhood Target pharmacy* to pick up Sudafed for me and my three year old a few weeks ago - I was IDed, entered into their database, and had to sign a log. I was told that I could not purchase more than two packages in a visit, or products containing more than two grams of Sudafed a month.

My guess is that the 96 pack is going away since it contains almost three grams. A 48 pack is a six day supply for an adult.

Is this some conspiracy against the Catholics and Mormons? Three grams is not enough to treat two adults for a week, let alone their kids. If everyone in a household with, say, four kids, gets sick at once, someone is going to have to go without. And if their household is anything like ours, at least two weeks out of the month someone is sick.

And what about the ramifications of taking away millions of dollars, probably billions, in sales from Pfizer? What is this going to do to their bottom line? It's not like their product became obsolete. Why isn't the NRA pitching in on this, since Sudafed doesn't create drug addicts, it's just sometimes used to create drugs?

*This isn't sarcasm, I get wonderful service at our nearest Target from pharmacists who know me by name and are familiar with my family and their prescriptions.

07 December 2005

Boo is convinced he has a baby in his tummy too.

Yesterday I was informed several times that the baby in his tummy was getting hungry or thirsty. And this morning, when I asked Boo if he wanted to feel the baby kick, and I told him to put his hand 'right here' on my belly, he raised his own shirt and put his hand in the corresponding spot on his belly.

22 November 2005

Let's run the conservatives right off campus

Is professor an earned title, that continues to be applied to someone even if they retire or leave the academic community, or is it an indication of employment by a college or university as a teacher? If it's the latter, it seems that by signing his email "Prof. John Daly", this Adjunct Instructor (not a doctorate holder, teaching zero level English courses) was using his position as a 'professor' at Warren County Community College to intimidate a student, saying "I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like yours won't dare show their face on a college campus." Aren't most community colleges state and federally funded? Is he expressing this as a government employee?

I'm glad to see Daly has resigned. No permalink to the statement from the president of the college, though.

18 November 2005

Here we go again.

I went to the doctor yesterday after having blood pressure readings over the weekend and through the week with a diastolic in the low 90s. My reading was 124/88 at the doctor's office. I had trace protein on the urine dip, so Dr. K. ordered a uric acid blood level, which should be done today, and she'll decide whether we need to do a 24-hour urine test based on that. I hope it can be done from home, because going to the hospital for 24 hours isn't my idea of a good time, although Avista does have good food, at least.

I've been ordered to seriously curtail my physical activity, and it looks like I'll be going on bed rest a few weeks earlier than I did when I was pregnant with Boo. I'm a little concerned that I'm spilling protein already, since I didn't start spilling protein last time until I was about 35 weeks along. I've got my FrogPad, so I will be able to use my computer while I'm on bed rest - and I already type 16 words a minute with it after about eight hours of using it. I think once I am able to make the jump to actually touch-typing with it my speed will greatly improve.

I was also told at my doctor's appointment that I have a low-lying placenta, which I guess means there's a teensy chance that I will have to have a Cesarean birth. Which freaks me out more than my blood pressure.

11 November 2005

Nothing destroys my sense of accomplishment from doing my Christmas shopping early than walking into the mall a few days after Halloween and seeing Christmas decorations. No one should be decorating for Christmas yet except for companies that actually sell Christmas necessities (i.e. Hallmark gets a pass because wrapping paper has to be bought somewhere). I know they're just trying to ramp up Christmas shopping early to help with Christmas sales, but I think everyone is going to be so tired of Christmas music and decorations and Santa and elves that they're not going to do much shopping at all the last few weeks of the holiday season, and they sure won't be feeling festive come December 24.

09 November 2005

As I've mentioned before, my next-door neighbor runs an in-home daycare. Some of the kids recently picked up an off-limit phrase from one of the other kids, who tells the following story:

My daddy was driving and he hit a car and he was mad and he said, "Oh, s&%$!"

Boo was listening as several of the kids swapped this story (to the horror of my neighbor, who was trying to explain to them that there was an off-limit phrase without saying it herself), but amazingly enough he didn't pick up the phrase. Which is good, because I fully expect him to learn his profanity at home.

02 November 2005

The G rating is a joke

CNN is running an article about the content of G-rated films. I wonder how many parents use the MPAA rating system as their sole guide in determining whether their kids can see a movie.

We're pretty careful about what we allow Boo to watch - although I admit I let an episode of Iron Chef America that had chefs lopping heads off of trout slip under my radar. I don't want Boo picking up defiant, bullying, or violent behavior from TV or movies. I may be depriving him of valuable cultural references that will scar him in kindergarten, but I can live with that.

Out of the mouths...

Rhys came downstairs this morning and announced that he woke himself up snoring like a pig.

01 November 2005

Denver Isuzu Suzuki

Last July, after finding out I was pregnant again, we decided it was time to get another family car. My husband had purchased another 98 Eclipse with fewer miles, and I was driving his low-end 98 Eclipse with 120,000 miles on it after my Jeep Cherokee reached its last legs. We had realized after we had Boo that an infant seat wouldn't fit in the back of an Eclipse.

I found a 98 Ford Taurus station wagon online at Denver Isuzu Suzuki. I went and test drove the car, and it seemed fairly satisfactory - it needed a new seatbelt in the center back, and hadn't had a transmission flush in a while. I mentioned to the salesman, William, that the engine on the new-to-us Eclipse had blown a head gasket six days after buying it, and had taken the engine with it. William assured me that this wouldn't be a problem since the car came with a 30-day warranty.

When we were about to sign the final paperwork, I told William that I hadn't looked at the tires and I didn't think my mechanic had either. He assured me that the tires had checked out, and that they would replace them if they didn't. Signed the paperwork, got out to the car, looked at the tires, they were practically bald. William balked at replacing the tires, saying I should have had my mechanic look at them. OK, whatever, my fault for not INSISTING on looking at them before we signed the paperwork.

I was trading in our old Eclipse and paying cash for the balance of the car to avoid financing. I told them that I would not have cash in hand for a few days, and was willing to wait to take possession of the station wagon until I had the cash to them. They insisted that everything would be fine - but they held on to some of the paperwork for the car, including the emissions coupon that dealerships in Colorado are required to provide to car buyers to cover the cost of getting an emissions inspection done on their car. I still have not received this emissions coupon, despite filing a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau and with the Dealer Board for the state of Colorado. (The Colorado Motor Vehicle Dealer Board is about as incompetent and impotent as a state organization can get, by the way - they lose faxes, lose emails, don't return calls, and don't understand that their job is to INVESTIGATE things like dealers refusing to provide emissions coupons and other required paperwork. The Denver Post ran an article about this at the beginning of October, titled "No one at wheel for car buyers", but the article is already archived. I actually had to go down to their office, 40 minutes away, to get someone to even listen to me about this, and I'm still getting the "There's nothing we can do" spiel.)

Six days after I bought the station wagon, it started to overheat. (I know, what an insane coincidence. I can't explain it either.) I pulled the car over immediately and called the dealership, since the 30-day warranty was supposed to include emergency roadside assistance - although I hadn't been provided with information on how to contact roadside assistance. I had the car towed in, and two days later was told that the car had a blown head gasket, and that the warranty didn't cover gaskets. They wanted $1200 to replace the head gasket, and that was IF the heads weren't warped. I called my mechanic who said that the most the repair should cost is $1000, including machining the heads if they were warped. I had the car towed to my mechanic's (paid for by my car insurance). He called me a few hours later and said he wasn't sure why Denver Isuzu Suzuki's mechanic said that the head gasket was blown. He finally determined that the car had a stuck thermostat, unstuck it for me, and sent me on my way, no charge. (If anyone's curious, the shop I trust is American Auto and Truck on Irma Drive in Denver - Chris is very honest and does excellent work.)

Denver Isuzu Suzuki's mechanic, Keith, obviously doesn't know the difference between a head gasket and a thermostat. Denver Isuzu Suzuki still owes me a seatbelt and a transmission flush. I want them to pay my mechanic to do it, since he obviously knows more about cars than the dealership does. Chris gave me an estimate of $305 for these, Denver Isuzu Suzuki's manager, Jeff Baca, refuses to pay more than $200 - despite the fact that they never reimbursed me or my insurance company for the tow to my mechanic's, they haven't provided the emissions coupon they are required by law to provide, and they can't provide me with an answer as to whether their mechanic is incompetent or maliciously dishonest.

If I can cost Denver Isuzu Suzuki just one sale through this post, they've lost.

26 October 2005

There was only one thing I was looking forward to with bed rest - and that was that Civilization IV was scheduled to come out just in time for me to spend the long months ahead wrapping myself in the game.

We got the game today, purchased two copies so that we could multiplayer, and my hsuband took the rest of the week off to play.

Civilization IV won't run on my less-than-a-year-old laptop. The terrain shows up black, making it impossible to see where I'm going, and the faces of the civilization leaders look like Cheshire cats, with eyeballs and teeth being the only visible body parts.

I've looked and posted on the CivFanatics forum and the Apolyton forum, and Firaxis is conspicuously absent from answering any posts regarding this issue, even though many many people seem to be having the problem. One person said he actually managed to get Firaxis tech support on the phone. Firaxis doesn't plan to fix it. Apparently my 64 meg video card doesn't meet the minimum system requirements since it doesn't support Transform & Lighting or pixel shading. WTF does a turn-based strategy game need T&L or pixel shading for? Civ III is not a game I played because it looks pretty - it's a game I played because it's FUN. This isn't Doom, Quake, or HalfLife, there's no great amount of 3D motion required - it's played on a flat wraparound map.

As another plagued user put it, "I don't need the bling."

19 October 2005

Dangerous people in cars

Yesterday my husband was walking to his car, crossing 9th at Grant in Denver, when he was hit by a car making a right turn.

He's OK, his knee is banged up, but I'm really irked at the driver. The driver didn't stop, just yelled, "Sorry!" out the window and drove on. My husband was knocked down and shocked and didn't manage to get a license plate off the car, but he did notice that there was a kid in the car as a passenger. Some example the driver is setting for his kid.

Then this morning, when I was driving Rich to the doctor's to get his knee checked out, we arrived upon an accident a block and a half from our house. A woman in a ginormous truck had just run over a high school kid on a bike. The woman who had hit him was holding his head up, so I took off my coat and put it under his head to keep it still and comfortable. I think the kid will be OK, maybe a broken arm, and he had a little blood coming from his mouth but I think he had possibly bitten his tongue or the inside of his mouth. He may have been in shock, or possibly had a head injury, because he knew his name but not his parents', or his phone number, and he kept trying to pass out. I just stuck around long enough to keep the kid awake long enough for the emergency crews to arrive. The first group of firefighters on the scene had things under control, so I gave him my name and phone number, told him I hadn't seen the actual accident, that I needed to take my husband to the doctor, and asked him to call me when I could get my coat.

Is it shallow of me to hope that I get my coat back? Even though it's only a $25 coat, I really like it.

UPDATE: I got my coat back. Went by the kid's house (I had his last name, and there's someone down the street with the same fairly uncommon last name, so I am guessing it's his house, anyway), they're not home, which either means his injuries were minor and they're out shopping or eating dinner or something, or they're still at the hospital, which may be not so good news. The hospital he was taken to is in downtown Denver, and I live in a far north suburb, so I'm not going to drop by to see how he's doing. I left a message on what I hope is their phone.

13 October 2005

Blackmail photos

I wish I'd had my camera with me today.

Boo and I went to the grocery store for a few items. He's very into asking for everything, even if it's not something he could possibly want or need - i.e. colorful bottles of deodorant and frozen buffalo wings. We were standing in the checkout aisle and he asked for a bag of M&Ms, which I refused to buy. He got upset, pulled his overalls straps down over his arms, and took off running down the store aisle with his pants around his knees, showing off his Bob the Builder underwear. He stopped about halfway down the aisle and refused to come back. Boo finally grabbed a box of pasta and I told him to bring it to me and we would buy it. I handed it to the cashier and whispered to her that we didn't really want it, then pulled Boo's pants back up.

If only I'd had a camera - that would be a wonderful picture to threaten to show the girlfriend when he's sixteen and refusing to do...anything.

09 October 2005

Snow snow snow

We're probably going to get our first snow of the winter tonight.

I wonder if Boo will remember what snow is. Since we didn't get the late snows last year, it's been a while since he's seen any snow. We have one book we read on a regular basis that is about snow (The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats), but other than that there hasn't been much exposure. He remembers snowmen, though.

I wonder too if he will still pronounce it 'hnow'.

It's supposed to snow 4 to 8 inches tonight, we'll see how much we actually get, and how much sticks around.

UPDATE: When Boo got up this morning, I picked him up and carried him to the window. He said, "Snows? Snows?! I LOVE snows! Oh, thank you mommy!" and threw his arms around my neck. It was the sweetest thing he's done in a long time. He's been asking to go play in the snow all day, but it hasn't really been sticking and it has been alternating between snow and rain as the temperature fluctuates.

07 October 2005

On the upside...

The best thing about pregnancy pants is they have no front pockets. This means I don't have to worry about washing my cell phone (which I have done three times in the past two years) or washing pens.

06 October 2005


I remember discussing Neuticles with a nurse friend of mine after he brought one of the human versions to dinner after it was dropped in surgery (rendering it unusable because it was no longer sterile). CNN has an article about the inventor receiving a prize for his invention - but what I am not sure of is if he's sold 150,000 of them (meaning 75,000 pairs), or if there are 150,000 happier dogs running around out there.

02 October 2005

Starting again too soon

When I was pregnant with Boo, I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension that gradually moved to mild preeclampsia. I was on bed rest from 29 weeks (June 24) to 37 weeks (August 19), when I had a blood pressure of 170/120 even with bed rest and labor was induced. We had put a house under contract on May 10 with a move-in date of July 3, and I had put off most of my baby shopping until we moved in to the house so as to have less stuff to move - we only had a stroller-car seat combination that my dad had bought us on learning about our baby registry, and some diapers that I had been buying here and there on sale. I didn't get to organize my new kitchen or be the first person to cook in my kitchen, and I didn't get to help with putting the nursery together or shop for baby clothes. I was lucky that when I was leaving my chiropractor the day of my adjustment prior to induction, I passed a garage sale with a changing table and a bassinet and was able to mentally justify at least purchasing those since I only had to get out of the car for a minute.

My blood pressure has been creeping up for weeks, and I had my first reading that had an isolated diastolic of over 90 earlier this week. I am only 16 weeks along, but I am hoping that I am no worse off than I was when I was pregnant with Boo since I know I was having swelling of the hands, feet, and face as early as 20 weeks. My doctor said that if I keep getting readings with a diastolic in the 90s I need to lay down until my BP comes down, and if it starts going over 100 it's time to park on the couch on my left side. At least this time I don't have to worry about moving in to a house, although I was joking with someone that if I was unlucky, I would find out the gender of the baby (and hopefully time to go shopping for little girl clothes) at the same time as I was told not to get out of bed. At this point, I will be thrilled if I make it to 24 weeks without having to spend most of my time laying down.

I'm lucky to have an awesome neighbor who has offered to watch Boo while my husband works if I get put on bed rest. Not only is she kind and generous, but my only hesitation when I quit my job was pulling Boo out of her wonderful child care, so I have no worries about him staying there.

10 September 2005

Tot Loks

CFO's post on childproofing got me thinking about when we were childproofing our house, and the item that has had the best bang for the buck.

We went with Tot Loks when we installed cabinet locks. This turned out to be a wonderful investment, since Boo was opening traditional cabinet locks as soon as he could reach them. He still hasn't figured out how to open the Tot Loks, although he has tried a few times to open the cabinets with a marshmallow.

A few words of warning with the Tot Loks:

  1. The Tot Lok starter kit comes with a guide to keep you from drilling a hole through your cabinet door. This guide slips. And where you would put your Tot Lok is not necessarily the same place you would want to put a decorative cabinet knob.
  2. The metal in the lock part of the Tot Loks is not always of consistent magnet-receptive quality, meaning some of the locks don't work as well as the others. This can be solved by adding some extra metal inside the lock hole to provide extra conductivity. I wish I could tell you exactly how to go about this, but after I drilled a hole through the first cabinet I tried to install a lock in, I called upon someone more home-improvement savvy than I and had her install them, and she figured out the problem with the metal.
  3. You WILL want replacement keys, they disappear at the most inconvenient times. I've found it increasingly difficult to just buy replacement keys - Home Depot and Lowe's don't carry them anymore, and I haven't been able to find them online. There is a company named Rev-A-Shelf that makes a very similar key, though, and they are a good three or four bucks cheaper than the Tot Lok keys.
  4. Don't store your spare replacement keys in a cabinet that is locked.

08 September 2005

Please let me SLEEP

How sleep-deprived is someone when they finally fall off to sleep and what they dream about is being able to sleep?

I've had this gack for ten days now that keeps me up all night coughing. Everyone else I know got over it in five. Since I'm pregnant, there's nothing I can really take for it - my doctor said that Sudafed was OK, and I was taking it along with Tylenol for the sinus headache, until I came across this article. I really don't like having to double-check everything my doctor says, and it's not like she's a newbie to what to take and not take since she has a one-year-old. Normally I love my doctor. I am seeing her (a GP) rather than a perinatologist, which I could ask for and get a referral to with no problem because of my PIH/pre-eclampsia when I was pregnant with Boo but I feel we have a good relationship. I'm irked right now, though.

05 September 2005

Long time no blog.

Vacations illness stuff...

Here are some random notes from the past month or so.

The little milestones sometimes matter so much more than the big ones. My husband taught my 3-year-old son that vomit goes into the toilet. This means A LOT to me.

In St. Louis, it takes four people to figure out how to do anything, including how to print a receipt for a rental car and how to get a price check on a pair of shorts. Or maybe it only takes four people when your toddler is exhausted because it's crazy late or really upset and just had an accident.

The Verizon Wireless "Can you hear me now" dude apparently has not been to large parts of rural Missouri.

There are no gas stations close to the Alamo/National rental dropoff in downtown Chicago.

Caves are not necessarily a good time for a 3-year-old.

When we visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, my first thought was "It'd be really cool to BASE jump off of that!" even though I've never BASE jumped and never particularly had the urge. (Skydiving, yes, but BASE jumping is a little too risky.) When we got to the top, the windows were so tiny that there's no way a normal adult could squeeze through them, but I was still intrigued by the idea, so I asked one of the guards. He seemed rather offended that I asked, but said that one person had done it but was caught. I asked how the guy got out, and he wouldn't tell me, but said the guy didn't go up the outside. Apparently that wasn't true.

07 August 2005

March of the Penguins

I took Boo to his first movie today. Boo's almost three, and this movie was the first one I felt comfortable taking Boo to without worrying about violence or sexuality (my husband had suggested letting him see Toy Story, and one of the first scenes has Mr. PotatoHead running around with a freakin GUN).

Great movie, bad experience. The previews were playing so loudly and were so overwhelming that Boo started screaming that he wanted to go home. Three trips to the bathroom and a trip to get our money refunded since we were leaving and then purchasing more tickets because Rhys decided that he wanted to see PENGUINS, we finally settled into the actual movie.

March of the Penguins was beautiful and fascinating. It was definitely kid-friendly, handling penguin violence, mating, and predators with discretion and grace. If I had the money we would go to see it many more times, if only to knock Michael Moore's movies out of the top 'documentary' spot. I don't understand how Moore's movies, filled with so much fiction, count as documentaries anyway, so as far as I'm concerned this movie already has the top spot.

Given everything penguins have to go through to have little penguin babies, I'm surprised there are any penguins left.