Sunday, 31 July 2011

Money...that's what I want

"I LOVE MONEY MONEY MONEY!!  I want to have ALL the money when I grow up so that I never have to work!"

Sashimi had been starting to think that money just appears whenever you swipe the stripe.  It started with the purchase of Angry Birds.  Then Angry Birds Rio.  Once he had passed every level on those two games, he started asking for a new game. Every day, Sashimi would get bored and ask that I buy a new game. We told him no, since the games cost money and we did not want to waste our money on something he would get bored of in a matter of hours.  "That's ok," he said.  "Just give me your credit card number and I will buy it."

A few days later, he was pining over some Angry Birds stuffed toys (thanks to the plug on the game's home page).  I told him that if he wanted a stuffy, he could help me sort the bottles and take them to the depot and I would let him keep the money.  In the meantime, we went out for Mother's Day Brunch, where the lucky kid found a $20 bill on the floor under our table.  I told him he could put it in his piggy bank, to which he replied "Now I don't have to sort bottles AND I can get my Angry Birds stuffy!" Money, in his eyes, was something that just HAD to be spent.

The tipping point came when he became obsessed with a toy he saw on TV.  A toy that cost quite a bit of money.  A toy that I was not willing to go out and buy just because.  So he ran to his piggy bank and dumped it out.  He wanted to use his money to go out and buy it himself.  We counted his money: $4.67.  Definitely not enough.  He thought since it looked like a lot (there were a lot of pennies) that SURELY he could buy it and have money leftover for candy, too.

Sashimi does have a basic understanding of numbers, so we went to the store and looked at the prices on a few toys. All of them were more than $4.67.  He was devastated.

Tony and I decided to start giving Sashimi an allowance in exchange for doing some chores.  He gets $5 every time Tony gets paid.  The first allowance, he was jonesing to spend.  He spent it on crap. Then Tony got crafty.  Being the vigilant investor, Tony told Sacha that every time it was allowance day, they would count his money in his piggy bank.  If he had not spent his money, Tony would give him an extra dollar as a reward for saving his money (interest).

Today was allowance day.  Tony gave Sacha his allowance (and he cried out "Yea!  MONEY MONEY MONEY!") and we counted his money: $29 and change.  We told him that he had enough money to buy something if he wanted.  He looked at Tony and said in all sincerety: "No, I like money more than toys."

**Good thing, because that toy he wanted is not even available anymore (unless you want to shell out $300 on  WTF?!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

It's berry season, bitches!

Every year I take the boys berry picking at a local U-Pick garden.  They have all sorts of veggies, but we go for the strawberries and the saskatoons.

Every year, I have grand ideas about how the kids are going to love this organic experience, eating berries off the plant, be good little boys and help me pick berries while dreaming of the goodies we can make with them.

Every year, this is what I get:

Is it unreasonable to make your kids walk 20 km home if they are too muddy to get in the car?
Is it unreasonable to make your kids walk 20 km home if they are too muddy to get in the car?

I actually had to get a Mexican worker, who speaks little English, to hose Sashimi down before I would even THINK of letting him into the car. Even then, mud like that does not rinse easily, and I had to strip him down to his underwear (to his great embarassment) in the parking area before letting him in.

Oh, and I should mention that Sashimi DID have shoes on when he arrived.  Rubber boots, actually.  But he told me they were giving him blisters, tore them off, and found gigantic mud bogs to jump in.

Will I learn my lesson by next year?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Where Willy Went

[caption id="attachment_669" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My two bookworms"][/caption]

iBean, at 6 months, is just as in love with books as her oldest brother was.  Keesadilla likes books, but has never been as enamoured with them as Sashimi and her.

Tony came home from the library last week with a new book: Where Willy Went: The BIG Story of a Little Sperm. I thought it was a joke, but it isn't.  Honestly, it is a great book for kids around Sashimi's age who cannot stop asking questions and want the real deal, not some story about a stork or a cabbage patch.  Sashimi already knows about sperm and eggs and how the whole thing works, so this book did not really add anything other than great humour and funny pictures.  But we have read it at least once a day since we borrowed it just the same :)

**I realize this is NOT wordless, as the title claims it to be. FAIL! but I had too many people ask me about this book to leave you hanging.  Sorry for the Epic Fail.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Night I was 13...Again

When iBean was in the NICU, I saw that NKOTBSB (New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, for the non-followers) was touring and that they would be in Edmonton.  I told Tony about it. He asked "Do you want me to buy you tickets?" I replied with "I am just giving you information.  What you choose to do with it is your choice."

Well, he bought me tickets.  Pretty good tickets.  As my friend and date Sara pointed out, we were close enough to see their armpit hair.

[caption id="attachment_656" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Take it off Donnie!!"][/caption]

I had bever been to a "screaming" concert before.  I had been to Sarah McLachlan, Lilith Fair, Avril Lavigne and various other girly-artists.  But this was a whole other level of cool.

[caption id="attachment_657" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Opening mash-up number. Let the screaming begin!"][/caption]

I screamed and danced and sang along.  I went crazy (mild understatement) when Donnie came into our section and held my hand and sang "Tonight."

[caption id="attachment_660" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="OMG HE'S COMING STRAIGHT FOR ME!!"][/caption]

Their setlist was about two dozen songs and nearly as many costume changes.  We did not get out of there until after 11 pm, at which point I was not really sure if I would need hearing aids for the rest of my life. Or whether iBean would be screaming in the hotel room for my sisters, who were babysitting her, since I had been gone for five hours.

[caption id="attachment_661" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="BSB Ballad-a-thon. Be still my heart."][/caption]

But it was all worth it.  iBean slept the entire time I was gone.  And I got to experience being a 13-year old again, with significantly less acne and no worries about the legal issues of the Kids & Boys being over 18 while I wasn't.

[caption id="attachment_659" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="We're all legal, now!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_658" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Right Back Atcha"][/caption]

The T-shirt I bought says "Once in a lifetime."  I would not complain if it was twice.


Monday, 11 July 2011

Thyroid. The First.

My appointment today with my doctor went much more smoothly than I thought.  I did not get all the answers I was looking for, but here is what we have for now:

  • My thyroid is underactive right now.  It has been a bit all over the place (it was hypo in January just before I had iBean, then hyper in April, now back to hypo).  It is not uncommon in postpartum women for the thyroid to be a little wonky, so my doctor put me on synthroid and we will be monitoring my TSH, T3 and T4 (and thyroid antibodies) to see if this is a permanent thing or if it will resolve and resume normal functioning.

  • I have protein in my urine.  Again.  After having iBean, over the course of my hospital stay the protein had pretty much gone away, but now it is back.  Weird, right?  Right.  My doctor thinks so, too.  That, along with my high blood pressure, convinced him to refer me to an endocrinologist in the city.  I am an interesting case, or so I have been told.

  • My doctor changed my blood pressure medication.  Tony is filling that prescription as I type.

  • I have to go back for more bloodword next week to test for all sorts of other things related to kidney functioning and the endocrine system.

  • I produce roughly 2.5 L of urine in a 24-hr period.  Apparently this is a-ok.

  • I weigh less now that I did before getting pregnant with iBean.  I gained 40 lbs while pregnant with her and managed to drop it ALL in 4 months.  I think the hyperthyroidism had something to do with that, but I am currently at a weight that I have not been since I was 19.  Not sure if that is good or bad.  Definitely need to invest in a belt or smaller pants.

Stay tuned for more details on my fascinating case.

Friday, 8 July 2011


My doctor's office called me back.  He wants to see me on Monday regarding my labs.  There were abnormal results.

Isn't that just the crap on my sour cream sundae.

But on a cuter note, here are my boys in the aftermath of their injuries:

[caption id="attachment_650" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Gap-toothed Keesadilla"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_649" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Hop-Along Sashimi"][/caption]

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hypertension. Still.

As I alluded to in my previous post, I was in the ER myself yesterday.  I had been on a waiting list for an ambulatory blood pressure monitor to determine what my numbers REALLY are, and the nurse from Chronic Disease Management called me to say I could come and get hooked up.  Since I was planning on heading up there to weigh iBean (who turned 6 months), I thought it would be a two-birds-with-one-stone thing. The boys were still in Edmonton with Tony, so it was just us girls. After the hospital, I thought we could go to the swimming pool or something.

I arrived at the hospital and went to CDM. The nurse took my blood pressure before attaching the ambulatory monitor to me.  My reading: 166/112. Huh?  "Are you feeling alright?" She asked. I felt fine.  I was very relaxed, only having iBean in the house with me for 24 hours was like a free vay-cay. No reason for it to be so high.  So she took my pressure on the other arm: 158/108.  Not much better.

"I really don't feel comfortable putting this monitor on you if your blood pressure is so high already," the nurse said.  "I think your doctor is in the ER today.  I will let him know I am sending you down there."

So off we went.  Down the blood pressure path again.  My doctor ordered a myriad of tests (all of which I have been previously subjected to) and put me back on the last blood pressure med I had been taking.  He then directed me to the lab, where I had some blood taken (five or six vials), a urine test AND they sent me home with two 24-hr urine collection tests.  That's right. Two.

At this point, I am resigned to my fate. My bloodwork has been consistently good, my organ functions have always been good (even at my worst state in the hospital). I know that my preeclampsia was so bad that I was at risk of having long-term hypertension as a result, but I really wish there was something more.  When I explain my condition to people (including doctors) they are floored that my pregnancy blood pressure problems persist even when there is no baby in my belly. How can that be? There must be something else wrong with you.  You don't feel it when your blood pressure is that high?  Do you have double vision? Headaches?

No.  I feel nothing.  If I was not so diligent about my blood pressure readings, I would honestly have had no idea I was hypertensive at all.  I am an active otherwise healthy person whose blood pressure can climb so high that it is a wonder that I have not stroked out.  And I feel nothing.

How is that possible??

Where is House when you need him...


Oh - and iBean weighs 13 lbs 7 oz ;)


As my sister pointed out to me, my kids are lemons. "Didn't you get the extended warranty on them??" she asked.

Tony says that extended warranties are for suckers.  In this case, we totally should have.  Or perhaps purchased some sort of Child Injury Insurance that pays Tony's salary every time he has to take time off when one of our kids injures himself and ends up in the ER.

Last week, I posted about Keesadilla's tooth.  Well, the tooth ended up dying, turning grey, and wiggling in his mouth.  If we could have just gotten the darn thing out ourselves, but that was not the case. The root was too long. So we managed to get an emergency appointment at the dental surgery clinic for Wednesday morning (6 days after the original break). Those 6 days and nights were unpleasant.  Advil around the clock, alternating with Tylenol when the pain started kicking back in well before we could give him another dose. Not to mention night time, when the drugs would wear off while he slept, causing him to wake up sceaming in pain and it was all we could do to coax him into putting more medication in his mouth.  One night, in fact, this process took two hours, during which iBean also woke up and thought it was morning what with all the noise, and Sashimi thought it would be great to start having full-on conversations with us while tending to his little brother's screams.

Tony left work early on Tuesday, drove the boys to the city, 500 km away, went to sleep, woke up the next morning, brought Keesadilla to his appointment for 8:30 am, Kees was put under general anaesthetic at 9:15 am (by Tony's cousin, who happened to be the anaesthesiologist at the clinic...small world), was awake again by 10:15 am, and the boys made the obligatory pit-stop at Toys'r'Us before leaving the city and being back home by supper.

Both boys slept like rocks last night.

Today, 19-toothed Keesadilla was back to his 3-year-old antics, and it was a hot day.  We were invited to a friend's house for the boys to play on their enormous inflatable water-spray-slide thing.  It was seriously cool. Until Sashimi jumped from the top into the water, landed on his foot funny, and crawled out crying.

He would not put any weight on his foot. There was a distinct spot that was inflammed, and his foot was all red.  The mom, who is a nurse practitioner, looked at it and when Sashimi was still complaining about it 15 minutes later, she told us we should go to the ER and have it looked at.

All I could think was: You have GOT to be FUCKING KIDDING ME.

After making arrangements for iBean and trying to get Keesadilla to stay with a sitter (he refused), the boys and I treked to the hospital.  Again.  Wasn't I just there yesterday?  Oh yeah, I have not told that story yet (that's another post for another day).

I picke Sashimi up like a man carrying his bride over the threshold and put him in the car.  I had a stroller in the trunk, so I figured that could be my make-shift wheelchair. After two hours in the ER, we had a verdict: a cracked growth plate in his foot. The crack did not go all the way through the bone, so it was not very visible on the x-ray (there were three people looking at it). Since we do not live anywhere near a pediatric hospital, the doctor told us that they did not have the right size of walking cast for Sashimi.  They would have to make him one out of what they had.

He is casted from toes to half-way up his calf, although the cast only runs on the back of his leg.  A tensor bandage wrapped around his leg holds the whole thing in place. They said that once it feels better, he can put weight on it and use crutches for extra support.  Have you ever seen a 4-year-old on crutches?  Let's just say that their coordination skills are not developed enough to really use them properly.  He tried and tried, but it was so much work he just collapsed into my arms and asked me to carry him back to his chair.

So for now, this means no more going for walks during the day, no park, no splash park, no pool, no running around outside.  In July. It's like that Simpsons' episode where Bart breaks his leg and thinks Flanders murdered his wife.  Only with not so much attitude.

Or maybe that will come.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Damn Spammed

So it was brought to my attention by the lovely Jen that my old domain cheezewhizandmustardDOTcom has been taken over by spammers.  So, if you had the misfortune of receiving any strange posts in your readers (all dated July 1), please disregard them.  They are not authentic Cheeze Whiz and Mustard.  Only I am cool enough for that.

I have updated my feedburner feed, so that should be working again, as does the wordpress feed. I hope that fixes the problem.  Well, not the problem that SOMEONE took over my old domain name and filled it with junk.  But at least now I have redirected you on the straight and narrow (and cheezy).


Saturday, 2 July 2011


Last spring, I planted 14 strawberry plants in my yard.  They were each one small root and stem.  I let them do their thing all summer, letting the runners go mad.  In the fall, I looked closely at what had progressed: once I separated all the runners that had started growing on their own from the mother plants, I counted my new strawberry patch: 60 plants. I rearranged them all in a row and covered them with straw for the winter.

This year, I have again been letting them do their own thing, tending to the flowering ones and trimming the runners somewhat.  Some plants did not survive the winter, but many others sprung up in their place. Everyday for the past week, the boys and I have checked the patch to pick the ripe berries.  Most days we get about 6-10 ripe berries.  Yesterday, we got this:

[caption id="attachment_635" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Nothing better than home-grown berries"][/caption]

So we washed them up and sliced them for the boys at supper time.  Red smiles for everyone!

[caption id="attachment_636" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pay no attention to the Kraft Dinner in this photo..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_637" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Teeth are nice and juicy red from home-grown strawberries"][/caption]

Friday, 1 July 2011

And that's why you listen to Mommy

Sashimi & Keesadilla have a habit of  ignoring me.  They love to listen to me when I say things like "Who wants a freezie?" or "Anyone want to have a bubble bath?"  When I say things like "Don't do that!" or "Someone is going to get hurt!" or "Stop smelling each other's bums!" no one listens.  It's all fun and games until someone farts.

Or breaks a tooth in Bouncy World.

Bouncy World is a place where the boys take all of the couch cushions off and place them all around the living room.  They then bounce from cushion to cushion.  It is the closest approximation they get to having their very own jumpy castle.

Normally, Bouncy World is risky, but only risky in the "have your parents sign these waivers" risky.  Not "please leave your Alberta Health Care Number with the cashier for when she inevitably calls 911," risky. This time, Sashimi decided to create "Bouncy World Table Jumping."  It sounds dangerous already, doesn't it?  No amount of motherly warnings could deter these boys from this amazingly fun game.

The boys jumped from the coffee table onto the cushions, and then on cushions all around the coffee table, the same table that gave Sashimi two stitches on the back of his head this spring.  Keesadilla decided to bounce on one cushion while facing the table. He had a bad bounce.  He smacked his chin on the table, pounding his bottom teeth into his top teeth.  Instant tears.  At first, I could not see any damage.  No gushing red stuff, no pieces of tongue hanging off. Slowly, I started to see a bit of red on his bottom tooth. Then I noticed a tiny chip was missing and blood was filling a hairline crack in the tooth.  Oh crap.  Broken tooth.

I called my mom, who is a dental assistant and was working that day.  They managed to squeeze us in for a quick look at the tooth. By then, Keesadilla had stopped crying and the bleeding had stopped.  When they got him in the chair under the light, he barely opened his mouth (he is 3, after all) and from what the dentist could see, she thought it was fine, and that the sensitivity would settle down within a few days. No biggie. Keesadilla got his prize from the prize dispenser and we went home.

Well, this morning, he was inconsolable.  "It hurts me! Ma dent! It hurts! Bo-bo in my bouche!" I managed to convince him to let me look inside his mouth at the tooth.


The back half of his tooth was missing and I could see right into the middle of the tooth.  Was I supposed to see that pink and purply colour there? Pretty sure THAT wasn't good.  And did I mention it was Canada Day, and a Friday, so half the freaking town was gone for the long weekend?

Through my mom's contacts, I got in touch with one dentist who agreed to meet us and have a look, and one look was all it took: he said there was no fixing it, the tooth has to come out. The nerve is exposed and the tooth is split right down the middle to the gums. And since Keesadilla is 3, the chances of him sitting for freezing and a tooth-yanking are pretty much nil.  We could man-handle him into some sort of full-body sleeper hold and do it, but that just doesn't seem like a very good time.

Now we are waiting to hear back from a dental surgery clinic (500 km) away that does dentistry for kids under general anaesthetic.  If they cannot get us in quickly enough, we will have to go the old-school traumatic way and hold my little man down to git'er done. REALLY hoping it does not come to that.  If only he would have listened to his Mommy...

Beautiful baby teeth! Last photo I will have of them in their beautiful entirety.