It's Not (Just) the Thimerosal, Stupid

Tuesday's Washington Times posted an article that does the best job I've yet found of explaining why I am more worried about Mali's vaccines and vaccine schedules than any mercury/vaccine issues.

(Thanks to MB Williams at Wampum for the link.)
How to Make My Heart Skip Several Beats

Have sniffly snorfly coughing Leelo go up to Mali (who has been off of antibiotics for just over a week). Then, before I can grab him, have him put his nose two inches from hers, and give two violent sneezes.

This happened three days ago. Mali has no symptoms of anything icky yet. Yet. But then again she is due for her monthly cold/flu.
Location, Location, Location

Leelo is starting to get some spatial sense, starting to take notice of landmarks in town. This is very reassuring, and another step towards connecting him to the outside world.

On the way back from picking up Iz from school, I turned right at a certain corner whereas if we were going home I would have turned left. Leelo noticed this and, knowing that not going home rarely works in his favor, starting crying.

Smart boy, he was off to a combative though productive session of pediatric dentistry. No cavities for either kid; we will sedate Leelo if he needs a cleaning/teeth sealing. Iz lost three teeth almost a year ago and hasn't lost any more since; Dr. Idi says her lower teeth are really crowded, so for now it's best to wait and see if things will work themselves out a bit as her jaw gets bigger.

Later this afternoon as we were turning into the parking lot of a store that I will not name but whose logo is a red bullseye, Leelo spotted our favorite Indian restaurant 100 yards down the road. He started chanting, "I want naan bread!" Go Leelo go!

At the same time, Iz noticed that we were across the street from the A.S.S.

For those who do not live in Deadwood or have not read about this venerable establishment, that abbreviation stands for Adu1t Super Store, and is the source of much levity, e.g., "If you really need to take back that video, make sure you take it in the A.S.S." (New variations are always welcome.)

Iz has been pestering me as to why it is an adu1t store. I told her that it was full of adult books and videos, and that she would probably find them about as interesting as she currently finds many of the small-type doorstop grown up novels that Seymour and I read, and that most of them were about sex.

This prompted Danielle, whom I'd forgotten was also riding along with us, to ask, "What's sex?"

Whoopsie. Guess I'll give up that Auntie of the Year award, and should warn her mom JP.
Let's Hope She Decides to Work for Legal Aid

Me: Okay, Izzy, you can go into that ice cream store and get one ice cream cone. I can see you from the car. Go ahead.

Iz: Thanks, Mommy! Do you want any candy?

Me: No thank you, I don't need any candy.

Iz: Are you sure?

Me: Yes, I'm sure.

Iz (reappearing a few minutes later): Here's your candy, Mommy!

Me: Izzy, I said I didn't want any candy!

Iz: No, you said you didn't need any candy.


But All Is Not Shite

Just hired Therapist S! She starts on Friday. She will be Leelo's school aide for now, and then will take on some ABA therapy work in the summer. Yeah! Leelo's going back to school full time!

This leaves Monday afternoons totally open for our boy (heavens forbid). Except just this morning Speech Therapist Jude said she'll come do Mondays 3:00 - 4:00 at our house. Cool cool cool.

Also, Mali reverted to her regular sleep pattern last night (couple of nips, otherwise sweet sweet slumber).

Tomorrow my friend Anya is going to come to Bad Moms coffee. I suspect she is truly One of Us (in the Freaks sense).

Plus I listened to the CD Skip made for Mali, and the Sp0ngeBob soundtrack Jo gave Iz, and those always make me happy.

Babysitter C just called to cancel for tomorrow night. Second time in as many weeks. Last time she was ill, this time she has a meeting. We already switched from Wednesday to Thursday nights because she had so many no-shows on Wednesdays.

Now, I get so much help with the kids that I really shouldn't complain. But, see, Thursday nights are the only time someone minds Mali. They're also Seymour's sole source of guiltless free time (chess, poetry, biking).

I haven't had a Thursday night since I don't remember when. I believe C cancelled the week before Mali got sick, then Mali was in the hospital, then Mali was quarantined for two weeks, and these last two weeks C has cancelled yet again.

I am extremely sad and a little bit angry. I can't help it. I'm, as usual, exhausted. Just got off 36 straight lovely but enervating hours of family time, had to prep and schlep and serve snack for Leelo's school this A.M., have to help Iz finish her homework tonight (backlogged due to weekend away and grandparents' visit; she fights each page with the strength of Atlas himself), have to meet with the architects on Fri. (and was counting on Thurs. night prep time). Plus Therapist L just told me that she can't come Fri afternoon so I need to either find a 2:30 - 5:00 sitter for Leelo at our house or cancel the arch. appointment yet again. Grrrr.

Since C has overall about a 60% chance of working her scheduled nights, Seymour says we should look into hiring someone more reliable. But she really is the best babysitter on the planet.

I just wish Seymour and I weren't both such complete stress monsters. Then it would be no big deal to switch off minding Mali on those Thursday nights when we don't get help.


Did You Know?

That it only takes 60 seconds to switch pediatricians? On our insurance plan, anyhow -- once you've machete'd your way through fifteen minutes of their almost impenetrable phone system. As of May 1, my kids will be Dr. M's patients, not Dr. G's. I am still very sad about leaving Dr. G's office, as they've fought so hard for so many of Leelo's treatments for us, but am very excited about Dr. M's attitude.

That Jo's Eliz gets weepy at the end of sad movies? She doesn't want to admit that she gets so deeply moved by fare like B1ack Beauty, though, and will tell you that she has something caught in her eye.

That Ep's Clyde is one of the most competent people on the planet? He is nice about it, too, even when his efforts make it obvious that you are a nitwit (Fuses? those cylindrical glass tubes are called fuses? And they live inside my irrigation timer and occasionally go out?). Yesterday he was willing to work for scones and tea, but we will make sure to provide him with a meat dinner soon (Ep is a vegetarian).

That trying to be Leelo's aide at preschool while carrying Mali in a bjorn is not a great idea? Oh well, it was worth the effort. We've at least two good candidates to replace Therapist F/Therapist C, and should have one in place by Monday 5/2.

That Leelo is really starting to dig his auditory integration headphones, and is starting to as OT Therapist M to put them on? And then he is calm and they have a great session? I didn't realize that some of the enhanced CDs have vocal tracks--this explains his sudden ability to sing songs like "Bicycle Built for Two" without his previous segue into fudged lyrics after the first two words.

That it takes hours and hours and hours to get together a good package of materials to send to an architect? Wish lists and annotated photos and site maps and parcel maps and examples of the styles we like...sheesh. Two separate packages (one flat, one tubular, dude) are going out today. I will post the very amusing wish list later when I am on the computer where the file resides.

That if your daughter is sitting in the back row of the minivan and drops a carton of milk under the seat in front of her and it spills under said seat, you won't know about it until your van smells like the barn on a poorly-maintained dairy farm? We need find ways to encourage Iz to better mind hygiene and cleanliness. She is an unrepentant slob.

That The Hole makes really good butternut squash soup-in-a-box? I am getting over my hangups about having to either make dinner from scratch or get takeout. There is a middle ground, and one of the stops includes said soup heated up with chives tossed into it, grubby whole grain bread for dipping in it, and roasted potato salad that takes only five minutes to assemble to serve on the side.

That Mali is not always a perfect baby? No indeed. She has been up all night for the last two nights, eating eating eating. It may be time for solids. I'll give it another two nights, as it may only be a milk supply-building effort in anticipation of a growth spurt.

That my parents and Uncle Adolph/Auntie Marta are visiting tonight and tomorrow night, that I have my Iron Gate article due tomorrow, and probably some other things too? Yikes. Thankfully one of the Iron Gate moms has taken me on as a charity case and is bringing dinner by tonight (a delayed offer from when Mali was ill).

That I do think of other things to write besides long lists of practical and journal-type particulars, but never get the time to do it? Truly.

Think good thoughts for Jo Spanglemonkey, she is moving today. Ack.


Fortune Favors the Moronic

That Firef0x issue? Forgot to clear my cache. Duh.

We have had several great responses to our ad for Leelo's new classroom aide. The candidate I want to start now is unfortunately going out of town this weekend and can't meet until Wednesday. Damn it, I hate waiting.

Mali, our wiggleworm who when put down somehow manages to get herself several feet from where originally placed, has entered a Really Great Sleeping phase. Goes down around nine, has a couple of snorts during the night because she sleeps with her face right next to the tap, is still sleeping as I type at 9:30 A.M.!

Iz was at Blue's house again last night. They keep insisting on taking her even though I offered to have the girls over here, even though I offered to take Iz and Blue out to dinner last night. I think they feel sorry for me--my frazzled unkemptitude makes me a good charity target, I've noticed. Maybe I'll stop brushing my hair altogether and revert to those pathetic dreads I sported for a brief period in college.

My mom and dad (and uncle and aunt) are coming for a visit at the beginning of next week. I'm also supposed to get a big package (site map, photos, writeup of our goals) out to the architects on Monday. And the house is trashed. And I need to do a big circular locational transfer of all the stuff the kids have grown out of and are growing into, which, with three kids, is a major effort. I may hire a teenager to come hold Mali for extended periods this weekend.


Firef0x, Again

Can Firef0x users see this? If so, what version are you using? I use 1.0.2.

Deliver me from the devil's default that is IE!
Everbody Sing!

This one's for all you veteran breastfeeders:

Do your tits hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them o'er your shoulder
like a continental soldier?
Do your tits hang low?
Firef0x Fracas

Was messing with the old blog settings last night, and now the blog won't appear in Firef0x, my browser of choice. Crap.

Heard from Therapist C yesterday, finally. She is still on her back with something that sounds more like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome than the flu, and gave us the go ahead to hire someone else. Fark. Ad went up yesterday afternoon.

Get to have coffee with the bad ass moms for the first time in three weeks! Yeah!

The other pediatrician to whom I sent the "please let my kids join your practice but don't vaccinate them" letter called to welcome us to her practice. I think we're covered. Time to jump ship.

We are cancelling our appointment with the architects tomorrow as Seymour is too ill and stressed. The craze/haze of the past few weeks means I'm not really ready, anyhow. But I am itching to meet these people, as they seem to offer everything we're looking for: sustainable design/green building, innovative aesthetics, repurposing of existing materials, smart space usage, etc. If we decide to build the whole thing out of straw and mud and stick a sod roof on it (interrupted only by transparent photovoltaic cell arrays and soffit windows), they'll not only be on board, but will be willing to help educate the planning officials and building contractors.

Uh oh, Mali's awake.


Oh, the Events of Yesterday!

Tuesdays are normally nuts anyhow, but yesterday was a Landmark Tuesday, that's for sure.

Woke up, did the morning panic dance for an hour, somehow Seymour and I got all the kids dressed and Iz to school. This despite Seymour's continuing dizziness, nausea, and lack of hearing in the affected ear. He is going to call his doctor today.

Returned home for Leelo's session with Therapist L. Which was fabulous. He demonstrated many of the shocking strides he's made recently, including spontaneous "Thank you, XX," climbing our kiddie rock wall (integrated limb movement plus planning ahead), giving Therapist L orders like "Climb the ladder!" and then crowing "You did it!," saying "I want to go blow bubbles"--and being able to do so if we hold the wand for him, "I want to go ride the bicycle, I want to go outside and play," etc., and continuously wonderful receptive language. He still only communicates about concrete concepts, still refuses to show initiative with potty training or even reporting of dirty diapers, but wow.

(Funny thing is, from a biomedical/DAN perspective, he's currently only on two supplements: probiotics and B12 shots. Makes me wonder if we should even mess with additional supplements, though I do think that, now that he's well, we really should put him back on Cod Liver Oil and multivitamins.)

His eye contact is slightly off, though. And he's starting to exhibit more typical autistic traits such as closing any open doors and drawers. Nothing worrisome.

Left a voicemail for Therapist C. She was supposed to start three Mondays ago (it's Wednesday), but called in sick her first day. Last we've heard from her was an email from her mom last Monday, saying that C had been at the ER as her flu symptoms had escalated, and that they'd contact us when she was better. I feel horrible calling her (like Ly1e L0vett the angry birthday cake baker from Short Cuts, says Supervisor M), but we need to do something as Leelo is missing a lot of school and getting out of his routine.

During Leelo's session, dearest Ep came over and held Mali so I could print out information for Dr. G, in anticipation of the afternoon's upcoming vaccines discussion for Mali. And also tidy the pigsty house in anticipation of miracle cleaner Marroqui's arrival (Marroqui whose brother Sal has the same ear-busting condition as Seymour, but worked through the whole thing as he's not allowed days off for illness).

Lunch. Leelo spent most of the non-dining portion of the hour sneaking into the bathroom and trying to catch our Frantic Fish. He's yet to succeed, but there'll come a day...

Therapist L returned for session two, and Mali and I took off for the confrontation with Dr. G.

The first part of the apointment went well, Her lungs are clear and we are free to once again shop, dine, and frequent schoolyards, although she's still not allowed to go in the nursery at Leelo's preschool. Next week. She is off of antibiotics as of yesterday. I am taking probiotics in the hope that she'll get some, too.

Then it was her (very late) 4 month check up. She's 25th percentile for length, 50th for weight, and 75th for noggin size. Definitely one of our kids. Short, squat, planetoid head. Doing everything she's supposed to. Not pushing up a whole lot, but then again her tummy time is < 5 minutes a day (if that) and is on soft carpets or beds. She's getting gingery eyebrows and her eyes are still bright blue.

He asked me if we'd started feeding her solids yet. I laughed, because even though she's 4.5 months old, I hadn't even thought about it. We'll probably wait until she's six months old.

The next part of the appointment was the loggerheading. I showed Dr. G my vaccine-questioning printouts, and let him know that I had done a lot of research on the matter. He didn't really listen to me or do more than glance at the printouts, but rather retrenched.

He (kindly but firmly) told me that if I didn't start vaccinating Mali within the week, that I'd need to move to another practice. He said he'd never in his professional career put off vaccinations for a child as long as he has for Mali, which I said I appreciated. He did agree to put her on a schedule of single doses, once per month, which was obviously a big concession for him. I told him I'd talk with Seymour and we'd make our decision within a week.

I do not in any way blame Dr. G for his stance. I wish he'd listened to what I had to say a bit more, but understand why he feels obligated to the herd. He doesn't have an autistic kid.

Then off to pick up Iz from school, and Danielle from her house, for Leelo's facilitated playgroup. Which I think went well--Therapist L is liberal with the treats for good behavior.

In between all of this, still frantically and not all that effectively trying to tidy the house.

Then we redelivered Danielle to her place, and two blocks later (and for the last time at that house, sniff) picked up Jo's Sophie for her and Iz's yoga class.

Ran errands during the 45 minute class. While dashing about town with Leelo and Mali in tow, Pediatrician M, to whom I had mailed the query below only yesterday, called to let me know that we would be welcome in her insurance-friendly practice. She herself believes in vaccinating, but also thinks that her role is to make sure parents are informed enough to make their own decisions. She is willing to delay vaccinations until we are comfortable with them. Yeah! Now Seymour and I need to have a conversation to finalize decisions.

Arrived back at the yoga studio to find Iz having a not great day, in terms of following directions. I think she's still stressed over Mali's week in the hospital and our generally crazy lives, plus she has had a cough for a few days. Her teacher thinks that Gumby Girl Iz is bored by the simple poses of the mixed age class and needs more challenge. Perhaps I'll post to the moms club and recruit victims.

Took Sophie, Iz, and the two non-chatterboxes over to JO AND MANNY'S NEW HOUSE! Everyone was there--Ep, Clyde, Badger, Rook, Seymour, Reverend Joan, and all associated kiddlings. We had tres leches cake and paraded around the house with musical instruments to make the spirits acknowledge the new regime.

While we were hanging and chatting, Leelo demonstrated his ceaseless need for vigilant supervision by sucking on a big piece of found BROKEN GLASS. He located it during the 30 seconds or so it took me to arrange myself so that I could see him while I nursed Mali. Thankfully it was not a sharp piece of glass, and he was not hurt, but GAAAAAAAH! I am really hoping he gets some common sense, soon. And I am grateful that his oralness has in general been on the decrease.

The party was just getting exciting when Ep and I (and Mali) had leave to attend a lecture by Amy Lan5ky, author of the book Impossib1e Cure. The subject of the book and the lecture was Ms. Lansky's son's recovery from autism using homoeopathy.

I knew very little about homeopath before the lecture--figuring it was all about channeling your energy or smelling happy "curative" smells--so I was intrigued to find out it has a somewhat scientific basis to it. It merits further investigation. Ep and I also got to snark (from the back row, naturally) about how both Ms. Lan5ky and her partner are computer scientists. Really? And they had an autistic kid?

Arrived home late late late to finally eat dinner (is there anything in the world tastier than Indian leftovers?), and realized that poor Seymour didn't hear me tell him that Leelo still needed dinner. Our boy awoke a few hours later, as expected, but thankfully was willing to go back to sleep after a good cuddle.

I think that's it.



What is up with all the illness lately?

Turns out that Seymour's eardrum was suppurating because it fucking RUPTURED. He put up with a week of pain and dizziness and not being able to hear out of that ear before going back to the doctor last night. Jeez.

(I think the lasagne that Ms. Jane brought by yesterday might help cure him, though. Thanks, Dearie.)

My pilot brother is barfing "black tar," according to my ex-ER nurse mom. She thinks he has an ulcer. He doesn't want to go to the hospital because he just payed off all of their bills, he doesn't have health insurance, and they're trying to buy a house. Sigh. I am going to call and badger him into going, as an emailed query brought back only a snarky reply about how "good news sure travels fast."

Did I mention that my dad just got diagnosed with leukemia? Still can't wrap my head around that one. It's chronic rather than acute, at least. They think it might have something to do with his career as an industrial solvents and degreasers salesman. Because he--dear man that he is--doesn't really perceive our reality, he considers the handicapped parking placard his doctor gave him (almost) worth the ordeal.

Iz is over at Blue's house again. Started with a play date yesterday afternoon, but when I showed up to fetch her--looking like shit and on the verge of implosion owing to Seymour's need to go back to the doctor in a scant hour--Blue's mom asked me what was up and I barfed out all the details about Mali's hospital week and Seymour's sickness and being at wit's end. She, being a model of Kiwi calmness, efficiency, and warmth, told me that she was keeping Iz overnight, and kicked my butt right back out the door.

I don't know how we can possibly thank, let alone reimburse, all the people who have been helping us this past week. Makes house arrest so much more tolerable.

Thankfully we've nothing scheduled this weekend. I might get around to picking up the roving dungheaps populating our house. And possibly may get something together so that we can have an intelligent discussion with the architects we're meeting on Friday.

Two happy bits:

A dear friend just announced that she and her partner are knocked up after almost 18 months of trying. Will announce who in a month or so. They are 12 weeks along as of Thursday.

Leelo this morning, grabbing my hand and trying to pull me out of the laundry room: "I want to go with Mommy!"

Going Begging

The search for a local pediatrician starts now. While my friend mb has found a doctor willing to delay or avoid vaccinations, said doctor is just far enough away for me to want to find someone more local. I have targeted two candidates in Deadwood Shores, but their receptionist won't let me talk to them unless I switch to their practice (fucker!).

I am going to write to them instead. Feedback on the letter below would be most appreciated.


Dr. Pediatrician,

I am writing to ask if you would permit my children to be seen at your office.

I have three children: a six-year-old daughter, Isobel; a four-year-old autistic son, Leelo; and a four-month-old daughter, Mali.

We love Leelo dearly, but do not wish to have another autistic child, and so are trying to eliminate risk factors for Mali. Specifically, we would like to delay her vaccinations until we know whether or not she has autism.

We are aware that pediatric vaccines no longer contain Thimerosal. Our research has brought us to question the vaccines themselves. Unfortunately, the vaccine/autism linking studies we have read are preliminary findings; they have not gone through enough trials to make definitive pronouncements. In the meantime, we are unwilling to gamble with Mali's neurological health.

Mali is a subject in the MIND Institute Infant Siblings of Autistic Children research program. She will be evaluated twice yearly, starting at age 6 months, so we should know her developmental status by age 24 months--—well before she starts preschool.

Again, we do want to get Mali vaccinated. We believe in the social contract [yes, I stole that from Julie] of immunization. But I hope you will agree that our circumstances warrant a modified approach.

Thank you for your time. I would be grateful if you would contact me no matter what your decision.


Squid Rosenberg



Who wants:

The A.A. Mi1ne quartet: Winnie the Pooh (paperback), The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, and Now We Are Six (hardcover, last three). Godfather M gave Iz his set from when he was six, so we have redundancies.

Star Trek: TNG chess set. Season 3 vs. ST: DS9 era uniforms (I think; ST sartorial history is not my strong point).

Baby Lamestein DVD (viewed once)

MAAD TV DVD set Season 1 (unopened)

I'll even mail them to you. Want them gone.
Boomerang Blues

Leelo is not pleased that Mali came back from the hospital. He thought he'd gotten rid of her for good.


Hospital and Aftermath

At 2 AM on 4/7, I started fretting about Mali. She had developed a 102.4 fever, she was breathing 70+ breaths per minute, she'd been eating so infrequently that my sheets were soaked with breast milk, and she was starting to breathe with retractions (we could see the outlines of her ribs and ribcage with each breath). I called the pediatrician, and his on-call nurse said to give her some tylenol and see if that helped anything, and to call back when the office opened.

Apparently a transcript of this call was sent to Dr. G's office, because they called us before we could call them, and told us to get that baby right to the ER.

Off we went. Her condition was more acute this time, because instead of slapping us in a room and having doctors/nurses wander by every 90 minutes or so, Mali received constant attention and treatments. They decided to re-admit her within moments, and had a nurse go with her in the ambulance from the Stanffford ER to King's Road hospital. (Tuesday's EMT's took Mali by themselves.)

Our hospital stay began much like the last one: breathing treatments, ty1eno1, more breathing treatments. Except she didn't improve. They put her on oxygen, which kept her O2 levels up, but didn't do much else.

Twenty-four hours after we'd been admitted, they started to worry. Her fever wasn't going away, and her breathing was becoming increasingly rapid and shallow. She was sleeping all the time. One of the nurses jumped all over the doctor, and told her to do something. They took another look at the second ER chest X-Ray, and determined that Mali had pneumonia.

I never said a word about not wanting the antibiotics as in my opinion you just don't fuck with pneumonia. The nurse who did the jumping said that if Mali had kept breathing at that rate and lack of depth, she could have collapsed a lung.

They put in an IV for fluids and antibiotics, and hooked her up to respiratory and pulse sensors. At this point she had eight lines coming off of her body and I started calling her "My Little Server." I asked the nurse how I was supposed to pick her up to feed her, and the nurse told me that she would prefer I just let her rest, and if she didn't get better in time for a feeding, that I could pump and they'd put in a NG tube to deliver the milk.

That was a horrible, tearful night. I didn't tell Seymour about it until after we got home. Thankfully she did get better by morning. Two days' worth of pacing later, they kicked us out.

I arrived home completely frazzled from stress and lack of sleep and having no place to relax for a week (the room was private, thankfully, but had no comfortable place to sit and nurse, or even sit and cuddle).

Within hours of my arriving at home, Seymour developed the ear infection described below and had to go off to the doctor. Thankfully Badger came over to help put the kids to bed, or I don't know what I would have done. I had devolved into a screaming shrieking harpy before her arrival, berating poor Iz for not having started on a report that was due in three days, and worrying about Therapist C who was (and is) still out with the flu and so missed that afternoon's session.

A largely sleepless night followed, owing to Mali's icky breathing and needing to do wee hours A1butero1 doses.

In the morning, I took her in to see Dr. G for a recheck. He has let us slide on her vaccinations so far, but he just about hit the roof when I told him that a child in the hospital ward where she was staying had pertussis (whooping cough).

He ambushed me, in his kind firm way. He told me that he checked out the MYND Institute's policy on vaccinations, and they don't have any problem with it, so he sees no reason to change his policies. He is willing to put off Hep B until she enters school, but as far as the others go, it is submit or change doctors. He is willing to do the shots individually (1 every 2 weeks, etc.), but that's the limit of his patience.

I still have hopes of appealing to his scientific side, by showing him papers that other, reputable doctors have published. At this point he's only heard what I had to say, not read the bases behind it. I wish Dr. Cave's book wasn't titled so obnoxiously, as it is embarrassing to ask someone to heed a book whose title questions their motives.

Seymour is open to going the traditional route with the one dose at a time scheduling, whereas I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about injecting her with all of those substances--especially since she's already been on so many medications and antibiotics this past week (you should see her diaper rash, poor teeny bit).

Dr. S, the non-vaccinating homeopath, is not going to work for us, as she's not on our HMO, and our kids keep getting too expensively ill for us to switch to the PPO plan that would cover her. I suspect we will have to switch doctors, after all (mb, don't you dare snicker!).

Sigh. I am wrecked but so grateful to Jo, who took Iz on Tuesday even though she's in the middle of moving frenzy; Badger, who enabled me to not pass out from stress on Monday even though she's in the middle of writing her thesis; Ep, who is taking Iz this afternoon; and JP who brought us dinner Wednesday. Goddesses, all. It will be months or years before I'm able to repay them properly, but it will happen!

Back to laundry.

I am working on three big Posts (note capital P), in the meantime here's the froth from today/yesterday:

Leelo's new trick: If we are sleeping when he thinks we should be awake, he will run into our room and flip on the lights. Charming.

I have finally made a chore chart for Iz. The idea is that she gets stickers for doing chores (feeding the fish, making her bed, etc.), and that when the chart is complete she gets a Spin Art kit.

She immediately started charting other things in the house, for instance a chart about her brother's insipid Litttle People video (it is stuck in the VCR so it's the only video available), grouping the characters by color and name. One of the character has been classified as "infrared."

Last night I asked her not to put the covers over her bed when she sleeps, even if she's scared, as it will cause oxygen deprivation. She told me not to worry, that she had planted magical bushes under her sheets and that they would exchange her carbon dioxide output for new oxygen, and she'd be just fine. Right.

Mali is doing much better. She still has the "junky" breathing and coughing, still needs a1butero1 every four hours and antibiotics 2x/day (getting a teaspoon of antibiotic suspension into a 4-month old is fun for the whole family, let me tell you), but is happy and playful and sleeping well. I am supposed to keep her out of public places (restaurants, stores, schools) for at least another week, which means that after a week in the hospital with her I am now pretty much on house arrest and am going to go cuckoo. But perhaps I'll conquer those five mountains of laundry that were waiting for me when we returned from Stanffford. I am sad about missing Bad Moms coffee today, though.

Seymour is slightly better, he went back to work yesterday afternoon. Although he says now his other ear is hurting. Poor guy.

Off to give Mali a bath, hopefully the steam will knock some more of that phlegm loose.



Since Mali's arrival, my life has been nuts. As was expected.

When I get a moment to put her down (a rare occurence), my choices look like this: shall I blog, brush my teeth, or do a load of underwear? The drawers usually win, I pack Altoids wherever I go, and my blogging is anemic. FYI.


No Time for a Proper Update

Now Seymour is the ill one, in bed, in agony, and dribbling ear goo all over the nice clean sheets that were yesterday's only housekeeping accomplishment (thanks to Badger).

So instead, read what Badger has to say about yesterday evening at our house.

Notice how she conveniently left out the parts about bringing us our prescriptions as well as some food, putting clean sheets on my bed, and me screaming at the kids.


Back, Again

Mali and I got sprung a couple of hours ago. Woo! We are happy to be home!

She is doing well enough to be discharged, but is still congested/coughy/wheezy. We still need to give her a1butero1 every four hours, and antibiotics 2x/daily. Thanks for all your kind thoughts.

Will update more later.


Mali back in Hospital - doing OK but will be there for a stretch

Hi all - this is Seymour reporting at the behest of Squid, who cannot come to the blogosphere at the moment.

Mali returned to the King's Road Hospital Stanffford Pediatric Satellite unit Thursday morning. She developed a fever and her breathing became much more shallow and rapid. Overall she is doing fine, but upon review of her original x-rays the doctors felt she may have new-monia, which requires an IV course of antibiotics that will likely take about 3 days. Best case she could be home Monday. Squid has not left the hospital since Mali was admitted, so we're dropping by here and there with clothes, food and books.

As of 2 hours ago, the squid in question says Mali is acting much like herself and her breathing is much, much improved. Things are going in the right direction. Any locals who have some time should feel free to call her. She'd probably appreciate a bit of a chat. Call me for specifics.

(I'd hang out there more if I could, 'cept Leelo has a runny nose and is not really allowed in the kid's ward as a result. That and his normally charming Tazzmanian devill impersonations are not too compatible with oxygen sensors, IV's, etc. So, I head over there when I have someome to hang out with Leelo for a few hours)

Thanks for all your kind words and positive vibes from the comments - hopefully the next post will be from the Squidster herself, and not her lifelong partner and occasional impersonator.

Much love,



Back Home

Mali is doing about the same as when I last posted. In the interim she got big wheezes and breathing difficulties, so she and I spent 24 hours traveling through the space/time distortions of the Stanffford ER/King's Road Hospital Stanffford Pediatric Satellite unit. Time truly has no meaning in such places--an hour will tick by with excruciating slowness, then three hours will pass in a blip.

Neither of us got much rest, because the pediatric unit stocks cribs and twin pull-out beds, not family beds. Co-sleeping Mali wants her mommy('s boobs) when she's ill, and so refused to spend any sleepy time on her own. Fine by me; I'll stay up all night indefinitely if it means the help my little bit needs is right outside the door.

Everyone was lovely and so nice, and the breathing treatments they gave our girl worked. She most likely has RSV, but not pneumonia. She's still got horrible chest congestion and coughing, and is not to be exposed to other kids until she's better.

Floor-scraping bows of thanks to Ep, Rook, and of course Seymour for stepping in and helping with the other two kids.



That long story is still coming. Not all that exciting, really. But I will get it down after I do the weekly laundry list. And then I will get down to transferring this blog to a generously offered space that I suspect will not eat up half of my posts.

Crazy week. Everyone has been sick. Therapist L had to cancel her last session due to illness, and Therapist C didn't start today as planned for the same reason.

Leelo has has a cold for the past five days. It's a particularly miserable one that has sent him spinning backwards, progress-wise. He's still able to communicate, but his spontaneous usage is in the toilet.

Mali is the one I'm most worried about. What is a cold for Leelo is bronchio1itis for her. She is getting A1butero1 4x/day via a teeny infant inhaler that she despises, and we have been told to take her straight to the Stanffford ER if her breathing becomes more labored or quickens, or if she stops eating well. We're also to check her torso every diaper change to see if her breathing is forced enough to delineate her ribs (another to-the-ER sign). The humidifier has been broken out, and is in our room. Think good thoughts for our wee one.

All this means week two of spring break will be quite dull for Iz, as Mali is supposed to take it easy. I had grand plans for Iz and myself on Friday, but Leelo was so unwell that we had to cut off his morning session (his last with Therapist F, *sob*), and cancel his afternoon sessions. Instead of a fun day with Mom, Iz got to hang out and watch her sick brother sleep on the couch. Then Pat the Cat took a bloody shit on my bed and so had to go see his Dr. in the afternoon (accompanied by all three kids--you can imagine the thrills).

At least Iz is somewhat able to amuse herself with with her newly declared avocation of Inventing. Yesterday she put together an ergonomic crayon holder using tape and even more crayons--and it works! I was less amused by her very effective bathroom door obstructer. She told me about that one after I'd already made a full-bladder run for the facilities.

Mali's latest thing is what Seymour calls "Peek a Boob." She's at that stage where she enjoys the fact that we're around almost as much as she enjoys nursing, and so stops several time mid-slurp to detach and give us a big gummer. She also finally figured out that it's her who is causing that rattle to make noise. Very amusing to watch her give it a shake, wait a second, shake it again, look astounded, and then really go for it. Yes, baby development is dull reading unless it's your baby, but I need to record such things for the benefit of the MYND institute folks.

Leelo, despite mostly crappy language, is doing some nice labeling generalizations. Saying "It's a schoolbus!" when one appears on the TV screen during Iz's umpteenth viewing of Mati1da, saying "It's green!" when the TeeVo main screen appears.

I am still recovering from yesterday. Forgot to turn on the alarm and so awoke at 7:10 needing to get me and three kids dressed and in the car by 7:30. Praise Seymour and Leelo's love of eating croissants in the car, it happened. We made it to Leelo's very successful OT appointment on time, and left at 9:00.

At 9:30 we had about half of the Iron Gate class, moms, and siblings over for a play date as today was a teacher in-service day. They stayed until 12:30, and we all had a faboo time. Very talented, helpful people. I am trying to get one of them, Anya, to come hang out with us bad moms. I think she's our type. She certainly kicks considerable ass in the kitchen--catered an entire celebration lunch at UU yesterday.

Merlin came over to play with Iz at 1:30. I was being slumpy and so let them watch as much Wallace & Grommmit as they wanted. Leelo was mopey all day and, as happens when he is sick, met any kind of negation with immediate forceful head-hitting. Charming. Plus he had diarrhea, which meant his butt got sore fast and all those diaper changes were accompanied by screaming.

I took the quartet to Mali's Dr. appointment, which took a very long time as they gave the little bit a full breathing treatment. Thankfully Ep showed up after her own elsewhere appointment to help with Iz and Merlin, the young hyenas (her term) in the lounge.

This is starting to bore even me, so let's just say I didn't enjoy taking all three of mine to the pharmacy and I got so freaked out about Mali's breathing that Seymour had to talk me out of a 2 A.M ER trip.