Friday, June 1, 2012

Follow Up to My Disease-Ridden Post:

I am sure you all are wondering (since most of you sit around, dwelling on the ins and outs of my life) about the follow up from my experience with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. 

After A TON of explanation to my friends, family, coworkers, and pretty much anybody else who wanted to know I think I finally made it past leper-status.  A few people had weird moments of ignorance (like asking me two weeks after I went back to work if I was still contagious) and instead of getting irritated I just rolled with it and pacified dumb questions. 

Aside from slowly losing almost all of my fingernails and toenails due to swelling of my hands and feet, I have no residual side effects.  I feel sorry for people who permanantly have no fingernails... I could not open or scratch anything!  Thank goodness mine grew back quickly.  Now I'm just waiting for slower-growing big toenails to make their appearance.

All-in-all, I am healthy and recovered.  And I have some new antibody friends to keep me that way ;)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Public Health Announcement

This person has single-handedly
spread coxsackie virus throughout
the Willamette Valley from the Oregon
Coast to Portland. Notice red blotches and
missing smile.
Let me just start out by telling all of you: I AM SORRY!  I didn't know I was contagious when I saw you! 

On Sunday Eric and I came home from a fun weekend at the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival.  I felt generally tired, a little sniffly, and I had a sore throat but I figured it was all due to too much fun the day before and I shrugged it off.  I also noticed that I had a tiny, itchy sore spot on my index finger- like I had touched fiberglass or something- but again, shrugged that off, too.

Little did I know that my body was mounting an extreme response attack to....Coxsackie A 16 virus...aka, Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease.  Don't laugh!  Eric thought the name was very special.  He thought of a few choice variations that I will leave to your imagination.

By Monday night I was unable to sleep because the palms of my hands and soles of my feet were tingling and itching unbearably.  I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something but could think of nothing that I had come into contact with that was out of the ordinary.  Tuesday morning I went to urgent care where they did nothing for me other than take my blood and tell me that they didn't know what the heck was wrong with me.  When I called to find out whether or not my test results were conclusive of anything the only thing they could tell me was that I was anemic. I was not pleasant to the poor MA who had to take my call: "Anemic?!! That's all you can tell me?  I already knew that! The freakin Red Cross tells me that everytime I try to give blood!  Geez.  Who cares if I'm anemic?  No- this does not warrant a follow up."  By Wednesday I was miserable and desperate for relief. I hobbled to my old primary care doc and she diagnosed me and then did a blood test just to be sure.  She said that if I had gone to a pediatrician they would have diagnosed me in two seconds.

Not only do I have these gruesome-looking bumps all over my face, under my nose, the palms of my hands, and soles of my feet, but everwhere that the bumps are is painful to the touch and swollen.  This means that for three days now I have had a really difficult time walking or holding anything.  Showering?-Forget it.  The only thing that brought relief was Ibuprofen and holding ice packs in my hands.

Things are feeling better today (Thursday) but the rash is definitely still present.  Thank God for a good Mom and a good boyfriend to take care of me and entertain Brooklynn! 

If you have been in contact with me in person from Monday, February 22nd, to today, do yourself a favor and google this crappy virus which apparently affects mostly children, and purchase large bottles of Ibuprofen.  Oh- and for the record, I have no sores in my mouth.  I don't know why I care but I feel like I need to let everyone know that I'm not as gross as all of the pics on google images.
High-five, anyone?!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm Gonna Jump!


Why yes, I did allow my child to practice her quasi swan dives on the couch today. Brooklynn's need to expend energy mixed with my need to practice taking pictures made for a fun combination on this rainy, gloomy Friday! The next bunch of pictures are a few of the results...

I know, I know... We shouldn't let children jump on couches... particularly nice hand-me-down couches with crappy covers on them.  Shame on me as a mother.

Take note of the mess lingering in the background... This was Brooklynn's handywork before practicing jumps.

Needless to say, Brooklynn's dedication to keeping her arms straight and fingers together was impeccable... However, her legs and overall form were tragically flawed.  Oh well.  She has a lifetime to perfect the skill of swan diving, right?  I hope she realizes that our p.o.s. couch is the only couch she can practice this skill on...

Monday, January 16, 2012


Well folks, it has happened... The day that some of us can remember from our own childhoods or the day that some of us have experienced through our own children... The day that a child decides he or she will cut hair with scissors. Brooklynn gave herself a hair cut last night.

We did our nightly routine and tucked her in with her music on and light dimmed. About an hour later I got up and went in her room, like I do every night, to tuck her back in. She usually falls asleep on top of books or toys that she collects after we tuck her in the first time. Last night I opened the door and she was still awake. After I did the usual, "Why are you still awake?... You need to be asleep right now.... You have school in the morning...," routine, she asked me to take out her braids because she said they were uncomfortable to sleep on. I had put two french braids in her hair earlier yesterday. I started to unravel the braids and clumps of hair came out in my hands...

Brooklynn's bedroom is dim and I'm standing there with clumps of my child's hair in my hands and starting to silently freak out. I didn't want to scare her but I was wondering if maybe I braided it too tight or I pulled too hard in taking the braids out or maybe I wasn't feeding her enough vitamins...(seriously, these are all the things that went through my mind in about a ten second period of time). Then she says, "I cut my hair, Mama!" I turned on the overhead light and sure enough, there on her nightstand were her scissors. Phew! Atleast I don't have to worry about the vitamins and minerals thing. Now, all I have to worry about is my child looking like she has a mullet. I'm not sure which is worse.

I told her she now has a whole new beautiful look and that next time she wants a hair cut she needs to tell one of us adults. I then took her cut off hair into Eric and, half laughing, half crying, explained to him that we now have a hipster child with a very weird hairdo.

*Sidenote: Don't put your judgey pants on and ask me why she had access to scissors! For the record: she has kid's scissors! The kind that are in every kindergarten classroom! How the heck they are sharp enough to cut hair is beyond me.

Eric says he remembers himself as a child taking scissors and cutting a line straight down the middle of his head. I remember hiding behind the couch and making "boy" Barbies and My-Little-Ponies. So this will be Brooklynn's story... Hopefully the only story she has about cutting hair unless she becomes a stylist someday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Have Oily Skin? Heck Yes, I Do!*

*Actually, I do not have oily skin. I have what the experts like to say is, "combination skin."

Instead of filling you in on the details of my much too busy life...*sigh*... I am going to let you know that in about ten minutes, or whenever I finish this post, I plan on slathering a bunch of oil on my face. One of my coworkers, Heather, explained to me that she started using extra virgin olive oil and a few other oil products from around her house to wash her face. I thought it was weird but I'll admit, her facial skin looks pretty great (plus, she's a super smarty-pants lawyer who quit practicing law to go to nursing school and now works as a non-profit health clinic assistant so I'd believe and probably try anything she told me). Being that lately I've felt particularly down about my tired, dark circled eyes, and sorta freckled, blackhead ridden, very pale face, and considering I'm fairly impressionable, I did some researching and here we are. If you run a google search on oil as a method of washing one's face you'll find that apparently everyone in the universe, except you and I, has heard about this method and has reccommendations for us.

This is the source I used:

Ever excited for a new promise of face renewal and transformation (as if my education in women's studies has meant nothing at all) I headed to the grocery store and purchased: Castor oil from the poop section =$2.50, and organic EVOO from the baking section =$6.99.

Now I'm at home...Brooklynn is Dad has made sure I feel sufficiently dumb...and I'm ready to be blown over by the miracle that is about to take place in my bathroom. No, not because I'm going to drink the castor oil, but because I am going to smear it on my face. Here goes!

This is, of course, my before photo. (Because I love before and after photos of most everything.)

This is what I am told is lurking in my pores:

Just kidding! I couldn't resist a photo of this beauty. How do people take themselves seriously when they're snapping "sexy" cell phone pics of themselves posing in the bathroom mirror?!! Look around yourselves, people! For the love, if you're trying to look all sexified, you should note that attempting to do it in the same place where you wash your filthy body and the same place where you relieve your bowels is just silly...unless you're into that kinda stuff. Anyway, that's for another blog...

This is my after photo!

Don't I look sooooooo different?!! I know, I's amazing, riiight?! Ok, you're right, I don't look that much different. But I must say, I feel quite refreshed and not the slightest bit greasy. I had imagined that I would come out from this experience feeling foolish and seriously oily but to my surprise, my skin looks and feels clean.

We shall see what the next few days or weeks of this ritual turns into for my skin.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

XX chromosomes and automobiles

This morning, at 6:30am, as I was dropping Eric off for him to catch the Max I mentioned to him that it sounded like our car was going to, "fall apart." He responded to me by mentioning, "It probably just needs to warm up," and then asking, "What, exactly, do you, or women in general, think of when you think of cars and engines?" I said, "Well I can't speak for women in general but I...just, ya know... hope and pray that everything that happens under the hood takes care of itself and that if something is going to go wrong or break, that it goes wrong or breaks on someone else's time." I then saw a visceral reaction from him in which he remained calm but proclaimed, "That just pisses me off." He wasn't genuinely mad at me but in his logical, man mind, it makes no sense at all why women don't routinely change the oil, check the fluids, wash and do all that other car maintenance stuff that (supposedly) keeps a car in tip-top shape and running like a dream.

I can completely understand Eric's point of view. Why wouldn't I, as the owner and operator of a vehicle, be interested in doing the maintenance that keeps it running? It makes perfect sense: When you are the owner of something and appreciate its value in your life, you take care of it. I definitely appreciate the value of my car and I understand that not only are repairs costly and time consuming, but without my car life would be a lot more difficult. This is all a no-brainer. For those with no brain.

Here are my very reasonable excuses for why I hope and pray that someone... anyone... Eric, my Dad, friends, angels, God, Vin Diesel, etc., will somehow know exactly when my car needs maintenance and will take care of it without me having to ask them or even describe why I think it might need said maintenance.

1. Have you ever seen anyone come up from under the hood without a single speck of dirt of grease on them?

2. What the heck do those numbers and letters mean on the oil bottle? (Don't write me and explain this because I don't care to know)

3. The only women who should know how to take care of cars are people like Danica Patrick who make gobs of money looking hot, driving fast in circles, and looking hot (can't pretty much everyone drive fast in circles? There's a valid reason why America's IQ level dips in the areas where Nascar is most popular)
4. I still don't understand how to check the oil.

5. When I explain that I think something is wrong with my car, inevitibly the person I'm explaining this to will ask me, "Well what kind of sound is it making?" As if I grew up honing my sound-effect skills. I'm not going to stand there making stupid sounds just so whomever I'm talking to can listen like an idiot and pretend to know exactly which belt, bolt, riggidy-jig block I'm mimicking. Sheesh.

6. Here is the most obvious, normal excuse that was probably running through my head as I was driving off after kissing Eric goodbye at the Max station: I'm supposed to be a good Mommy, a good employee at work, a good student at school, keep myself in shape and relatively healthy physically AND mentally, be a good friend, keep the house relatively clean, be the planner and organizer for my daughter and I, AND maintain the freakin car?!

7. I once changed the tires on my 1998 Chevy Blazer and was pretty proud of myself. I realized that it took a ridiculous amount of time and effort and I've only changed one flat tire on someone else's car since then.

8. Without fail, if I even walk by my car with a concerned look that something might be wrong with it, a man will stop whatever he is doing and offer to help if he notices this damsel in distress. And even before I accept that help, he will likely take over and go to work on it while asking me to make the sounds I think I hear. So why would I attempt to maintain my car when I know some dude will do it for me?

9. Why should I know how and care to take care of my car when I know how and take care of thousands of other things? (This may be an extension of point #6) I know how to paint my nails. I know how to RSVP to event invitations (I find that many people do not know how to do this one). I know how to explain cellular respiration. I know which hormones are going through my body at any one time according to a woman's monthly cycles. I know how to make my daughter stop crying. I know how to make an amazing meal from scratch. I know about nutrition and exercise. I know about western metaphysical dualism (yep- had to throw in that big fancy term. If you look it up on google you'll learn that it only sounds fancy). You get my point: We all know varying degrees of information. I happen to know almost everything- except how to fix a car. And I am ok with this. Should I be hatin on mechanics who may be super whizs when it comes to the functions under the hood but who understand nothing about how to french braid hair?

10. If Eric is so concerned and disgusted with my lack of car care I propose that he take on the car worries himself. He's already caught on to this notion: a couple of months ago he changed the oil, he spends time washing it inside and out, and more recently when it needed repairs he bacically took care of the whole process other than picking up the part that needed to be replaced.

The list could go on but I'll spare you. I suspect you get my point. I am positive that any person who routinely takes care of their vehicle(s) has a valid counter-argument and I can respect that. I also understand that many women love cars and oil changing, sitting on the hood in bathing suits and all that business. I am not one of those women.

*To support my credibility: I ripped the graphics from google images and there is likely strong evidence concluding that the Nascar-lovin areas of North America are full of people with IQ's lower than the rest of the country but I did not perform any research. So we'll call it speculation for now.