Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Swimmer's Ear

After waking up every day last weekend moaning, groaning, then in tears because her ear hurt we took J-Bear to the doctor Monday afternoon to see why.  After researching the Healthwise (see note) Knowledgebase, I had already diagnosed the situation.  Just needed someone with prescription writing privileges to agree with Dr. Boo Rah. 

     Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is an inflammation and infection of the ear    
     canal.  It occurs when the protective film that covers the ear canal (lipid 
     layer) is removed. This causes the ear canal to look red and swollen. The ear 
     canal may be narrower than normal and is tender when the outside of the ear 
     is gently pulled up and back.

     Swimmer's ear may develop when water, sand, dirt, or other debris gets into 
     the ear canal. Since it often occurs when excess water enters the ear canal, a 
     common name for this inflammation is "swimmer's ear." If you have had 
     swimmer's ear in the past, you are more likely to get it again.
Hopefully the ear drops will work their magic before we leave on vacation Friday.  The hardest part is no swimming for three days.  Being at a day care with a pool, having all the kids swimming, and you not being able to swim is practically more than a 7 year old can stand. 

I gave permission to play in the shallow end, if she promised not to get her hair/head wet.  J-Bear said that pretty much stinks and she is unlikely to get in the pool at all tomorrow.  Poor kid.  

My sister's family, J-Bear and I are off to Lake Tahoe for five days on Friday.  Please, please, please let all of us be healthy!

Note:  Healthwise is my employer.  Health content is what we do.  We provide reliable, accurate, medically reviewed content to three market places:  

Providers - hospitals, doctors, ask a nurse line.  Think copious quantities of paperwork they send home with you when you have a procedure.  We write it and provide the software that allows the providers to print it for you.  Or email it to you.
Payor - think insurance companies that might provide health coach systems.
Direct to the Consumer market - think WebMD or any other content provider you could find on the internet.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Poodaloo's Birthday

We celebrated Poodaloo turning 7 with a Princess Party at 2 Be A Kid (http://www.2bakidhouse.com/) in Meridian.  Pooda and I discussed the cake.  I told her I could make Cinderella.  Her sister had a Cinderella party for her 3rd birthday.  I had a pan.  I had a plan.  Poodaloo agreed it would be great - we are all set. 

UNTIL I went to the storage location and discovered I no longer have a Cinderella pan.  Perhaps I donated it thinking we were done with Cinderella parties.  At least I cannot locate it at the moment.  EEK!   So I surfed the web.  Found an excellent alternative and proceeded to collect supplies. 

About two hours before the party, I realized I had not told Poodaloo that there was not going to be a Cinderella cake.  I called hoping this would not disappoint her.  Her reply?  "All your cakes are wonderful, Aunt Shaw.  Whatever you do it fine by me."  I love that kid!  

The second near-cake-disaster came in the form of a cat with a boa problem.  (Upper right corner picture.)  Tippy loves boas.  Actually, it is a bit of a love/hate relationship he has with them.  When he was a kitten, J-Bear had a hot pink boa.  That cat drug it around, wrapped himself up with it, played and played.  Until it fell into pieces and we had to throw it out. 

The cake is sitting on a 9" round cardboard.  The boa is glued to a 12" round.  They are completely separate and the boa one is just for show.  I had it in a box of party stuff I was gathering Saturday.  J-Bear came downstairs and started screeching "Tippy you can have the party boa!"

I raced out to find he had gotten on the table, taken the boa cardboard and was on the ground rolling around 'beating up' the boa.  As you can see, the foil has several cat claw marks.  Luckily we caught him before he could do too much damage.  I tell you, that cat is a wing nut!  

2 Be A Kid Princess Parties come complete with fancy hair (mostly up-dos!), fancy nails, make up, and your choice of princess.  We had a special visit by Princess Belle. 
Princess K, The Grand Princess of the Day Princess Poodaloo, Princess J,
Princess M, Princess L, and Princess A
The glamor table, Poodaloo, J-Bear and Panda & A getting glammed up!
The entire gang with Princess Belle
Fun was had by all.  J-Bear is already talking about her 8th Birthday being held at 2 Be A Kid.  I hope it comes to be.  That a) by next March she still thinks it is cool and wants a party there and b) they are still in business.  We don't have a very good track record.  J-Bear's5th Birthday was held at The Little Gym.  They closed about a year later.  J-Bear's 7th Birthday was held at Monkey Bizness.  They closed two months later.  I am wondering if 2 Be A Kid will pay us to stay away?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Swimming, VBS, and now there's nothing to do!

It has been a hopping couple of weeks at Mama Jo's.  Superman returned to give the kids swimming lessons again this year.  The weeks he is available for lessons always coincides with the Trinity Community Church Vacation Bible School.  Makes for wild and crazy, busy, busy days.  And J-Bear loved every minute of it.

She was especially taken with VBS this year.  Her enthusiasm could practically be felt and tasted when she told me about it each night.  The church is just around the corner from Mama Jo's and all the kids that are old enough to attend go.  She loved it and was very sad that Friday was the last day.

Friday was also the last day of swim lessons with Superman (aka Glen).  It was Parent Show Day and the kids got to showcase what they learned.  J-Bear has improved by leaps and bounds with her swimming skill this year.  It is almost like we have a different kid, she has improved so much.  He had doing the crawl, the breast stroke, and to my shock and amazement - the butterfly.

J-Bear was moping around here Friday night.  "VBS and swim lessons are over.  Now there is nothing to do all day!" 

J-Bear and her swim partner Marilyn.  J-Bear was the child that would not put her face in the water last year!

Family BBQ

We held the 9th Annual H Family BBQ the third weekend in July.  We usually hold it in June, but the dates just didn't work out.  A couple of times in June, we have been rained into dining in the garage.  No chance of that this year.  It was so darned hot (102) that we ended up in the living room just because no one could stand to be outside....even in the shade.  But in spite of roasting, the company was great, the food excellent, and I think fun was had by all.

Baby Kimberly, the most recent addition to the family, was the most popular person in attendance.
Kimberly with Aunt Ann.  Kimberly with the JV Team.  Kimberly with her Grandpa Phil.  Kimberly with her daddy Matt.

Cody serving up his lunch.  Melissa and Nicole - sisters and our nieces. 
The Hubster aka the Chef.  Aunt Renee and Aunt Cherri. 

Very hot, but yet playing hard!  Luke dining atop of the cooler.
Hailey and TYler.  J-Bear and Ryan. 
Ryan put an item in front of his face every single time I tried to take is picture.  (Stinker!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Glamping Weekend

Glamorous Camping.  Glamping.  That's my style anymore.  Three bedroom, two bathroom 'cabin' in the woods outside Crouch, Idaho.  Beautiful weather, great company, fabulous food.  We had it all!  Or did we?  Our trip had some challenges. 


Thursday before our Friday through Sunday trip, J-Bear and I were headed across town for an appointment.  "I think I am going to puke, mom." I heard coming from the back seat of the van. 


She never did puke, but from that point forward she didn't eat or drink.  Everything you offered her turned her green.  Practically literally green.  Our trip had some challenges. 


The email from my brother-in-law, L, on Friday.  The chiropractor suggests he go to an MD and get pain killer and muscle relaxer.  His back has been bad for a couple weeks. Just before our Friday through Sunday trip, he took a turn for the worse.  We knew all the moaning and groaning was for real when he came crawling down the hall Saturday morning.  Literally crawling.  I mean on your hands and knees crawling down the hall.  And he ate his breakfast from the coffee table in the living room.  Our trip had some challenges.  

But there were some fun highlights too.  The thunder and lightening storm on Saturday (only minutes after I lit the fire for roasting marshmallows) was fun.  The girls went out on the driveway and danced in the rain,with encouragement from me.  Sort of a make lemonade out of the lemons we were dealt kind of moment. 

The pool at Terrace Lakes Resort.  Though poor J-Bear just wasn't feeling up to swimming much.  

The s'mores making. 

The hot tub at the 'cabin'.

There was a wooded area near our cabin.  On Friday night, J-Bear and Poodaloo were squealing with delight over a deer sighting in the woods.  On Saturday night, we were treated to another deer sighting followed immediately by Casey, the neighbors standard sized poodle doing a deer round up.  


On Saturday morning, the girls took a nature hike.  Along the way, J-Bear and I stopped to photograph nature.  Here are her pictures.  I think she is a budding photographer. 

Here are my pictures.  "Why do you only take pictures of boring old flowers, mom?"

All in all, we had a pretty good time - considering our trip had some challenges.  Anyone know what 17,032 is?  That's the number of steps on my pedometer on Friday.  Getting ready, loading the van by myself (the Hubster was at work.  I really missed his help!), and unloading the van with Kiss when we got there.  On a good day, I usually get in between 9K-10K steps.  I was exhausted on Friday night.  This having fun is such hard work!

Oh!  Almost forgot!  On Sunday while we were unloading the van, J-Bear crashed....again.  By the time we woke her up at 5 PM, it was obvious she was not well.  Fearing dehydration after 4 days on not really consuming anything, we headed off to a Doc in the Box.  She was, in fact, dehydrated.  He gave her some medication for nausea and told J-Bear "you can drink a bottle of water for me or we can start an IV to hydrate you".  She wisely opted for the bottle of water.  The nausea medicine accomplished what we could not over the entire weekend.  And it was amazing what a difference two bottles of water in her could make.  She even ate dinner Sunday night! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Exciting July

Turns out July has been and will continue to be an exciting month.  Next weekend is our 2nd Annual Glamping Trip to Crouch, Idaho.  You can't really call it camping when you have a fully appointed 3 bedroom/3bathroom house as your 'cabin rental'.  So Kiss and I dubbed the weekend Glamping for glamorous camping. 

End of June, we received a newsletter from Mama Jo's Daycare with the happenings for the summer.  Please bring sunscreen, remember the Fridays are bring your own lunch day for picnicking, Vacation Bible School is coming up, Superman (indeed that young man is, in fact, super.  Eye candy for the moms!) will return to give the kids swim lessons in Jo's pool, and so on. 

It also announced that JoAnn was going to take a few days off around the 4th of July.  She would be closed the 4th-6th.  Having no "Plan B" for childcare, this announcement threw me into high gear figuring out an alternative plan. 

I think our family may have been the only family that didn't know this.  Perhaps JoAnn takes time off in July every year - but we were clueless!  Monday and Tuesday Mama Jo's was open.  J-Bear and a 1 year old boy were the only kids there.  It just is not nearly as fun at Mama Jo's, even with the pool, when your pack of buddies are not present.  I think they were kind of long days for J-Bear.  Perhaps for JoAnn, too. 

Wednesday we all had the day off and hung out at home.  We 'celebrated' the 4th by going up on Federal Way and watching the city fire works from a safe distance.  Safe from the loud noise (J-Bear and me), safe from the crowds (Me, on steroids.  I hate crowds anymore.), and not too far to travel (the Hubster).  In the vicinity of our 'hood, some folks set off some pretty impressive fire works, too.  We love watching other people burn money. 

When we got home, the neighbors were setting off some fireworks out front.  We crashed their party and enjoyed the last 2 or 3 with them.  J-Bear and their son (age 5) enjoyed some sparklers.  We didn't get to bed until after 11 PM.  Practically scandalous, huh?

But J-Bear was up and at'em early Thursday morning.  You see, Thursday morning was the first of two fun-filled "Allison Days".  After investigating some possibilities that didn't pan out, I contacted my friend Ang.  She has a daughter that is of baby-sitting age and eager to earn some bucks.  I didn't go right to the Allison idea because they live way the heck on the other side of town.  I couldn't imagine the transportation challenge that would present.  But it turns out that Allison's parents were willing to provide transportation.  Yay!! 

I also didn't go straight to the Allison idea because I have a problem in my head.  In my head, Allison is about 2 years old.  That's about how old she was when I moved to Boise and I baby-sat her!
Allison's Christmas Card Photo ~ 1999
Allison and me having grand time, also about 1999

But Allison is all grown up now. 

And the report I got back is Allison is not just fun, Allison is REALLY fun.  Their two days together were filled with trips to the park, water fights in the back yard, some of J-Bear's favorite games (Dino Dig, The Ladybug Game, etc), and two trips to the swimming pool. 

Ang (who provided transportation and supervision at the pool) told me she thinks my kid is actually a fish.  I would agree, since that's where J-Bear and her Daddy-O are as I write.

The Truth Behind the Photos

The truth behind my photos is that I take about 5 pictures for every one that makes the blog.  Or my scrapbook. 

It is the joy of digital photography.  You can see RIGHT NOW if the picture was good.  My daughter and nieces do not know how good they have it.  I take a picture and they say "Let me see it."  And I can show them.

Back in my day, you had a roll of film.  A12 or maybe 24 exposure roll of film.  Or if mom was feeling really rich, she bought me a 36 exposure!  Not only did you not know if you got a 'good one'....you would probably not know for 2-6 months.  Depended upon when mom remembered to take the roll of film to the drugstore.  And then it took about 7 days to get the pictures back. 

But not today.  I can take a picture.  And another.  And another.  My daughter loses patience with me and my love of photography.  The pictures become ones purposely ruined with excessive goofy.  Case in point: 

Picture 1:  J-Bear's leaning a bit far to her right. 

Picture 2:  I complained, so I get the hand in front of the face just as I clicked. 

Picture 3:  The Hubster looks like some sort of grumpy old troll.  J-Bear has this Pledge of Allegiance look.  And Poodaloo looks like she is being broken in two by the Grumpy Old Troll.

Picture 4:  THE ONE!  I finally got the one that made the Father's Day post a couple weeks ago.  And will be featured in the scrapbook when I get around to scrapping Father's Day 2012. 

My niece Melissa is a fellow blogger.  She does collages on her blog.  I asked how she does them.  She said it was such and such a web site, but they were closing in about 3 weeks.  RATS! 

This week, she introduced me to her new collage site.  www.picmonkey.com.  I used it for the above collage.  It took me something like 90 seconds to make my first ever collage.  I suspect picmonkey and I will be friends and you will be seeing more collages. 

The downside of that:  You are likely to see more of the pictures that do not make the cut....since I can slap together several in a collage.  :)

Note:  You can see the pictures bigger (necessary for my tired old eyes) if you double click them.