Monday, September 13, 2010

Autumn Resolutions

Autumn is surely my favorite season. I love the feeling of warm sweaters & heavier blankets, the coziness of shorter days, and the toasty sensation that comes with a hot chocolate*. I also love the advent of schedules, and what with Anna beginning preschool and dance class (the latter now at the rec center), we are scheduled up the wazoo. With the beginning of our fun and busy fall, I also found myself making a few resolutions for this season. Some are big, some are banal, some aren't even mine. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • Baking my own bread: I've done this off and on, and now that I'm better rested and more ambitious, I'm trying to bake all my own bread instead of buying it. This was partly spurred by a newspaper article on simple ways to save money, and partly because homemade bread is more interesting. Recent successes include: Cinnamon Prune Bread, Zucchini Lemon Bread, and Carrot Bread with Crystallized Ginger (all from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook).
  • Cooking leafy greens weekly: This is harder than it sounds. In terms of veggies, my kids are more into orange beta-carotenes than green folates. But I keep trying. I've found some great recipes for swiss chard and kale. This week it's spinach, with the understanding that at least Jon likes (i.e., doesn't hate) spinach.
  • No longer leaving the kids at the child care center at my gym: This decision was spurred by our last visit, wherein Anna picked up the nastiest cold she's encountered in a long time. As a result, she missed out on her very first day of preschool. Terribly sad. Also sad because it means that I need to lift weights on the weekends or early in the morning.
  • Getting up early to work out: As in, before the kids are awake. This is to avoid (a) child care at the gym, (b) the physical violence that occurs when both kids are in the bike trailer, and (c) destroying my knees while pushing the double stroller. It also frees up our mornings so we can do more interesting things like play dates, visiting the zoo and museums, and possibly vacuuming.
  • Isaac's scrapbook: I really really would like to finish this album, documenting Isaac's first year. After that, I'm switching to photo books created on-line, featuring the best pics from the year.
  • Clothes: Last weekend I finally girded my loins and hired a babysitter so that I could buy some clothes. Many of mine were terribly old and falling apart. I hate buying clothes, but I decided it was time to move beyond t-shirts and shorts/jeans. So this season I'm going for the "not bag lady" look.
  • Drink more... water: It's hard to stay hydrated in Colorado.
  • Maintain sanity, and listen to my husband: Related to the bills accrued after the Tylenol Incident and an ineffective CAT scan, I shall attempt to use my head before any sort of medical adventures. Also, I will listen to the cool head of my husband who I find to be wise and even-keeled. And almost always right.
  • Wearing gloves while washing dishes: Have I mentioned this is a dry climate?
  • Climbing on everything just to see how high one can get: This is Isaac's resolution. I resolve to not make a big deal out of it. And maybe put pillows everywhere.
  • Avoid getting every single virus that comes to town: This is my resolution for Anna. Out of my control? Yup. But one can hope.
In short, I'm looking forward to the fall.
 * Please note that it is still too hot for any of these things in the Denver area. But the promise of them is almost as good as the real thing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Tylenol Incident

It was 8:30 p.m. and I was tucking Anna into bed when I spied the bottle of Tylenol (adult, regular strength) on the heating vent under the window. I knew it had been rolling around since about 7:30 a.m., when Jon noted that it had fallen out of his pocket. In the morning craziness I forgot all about looking for the bottle until I saw it on the floor.
I picked it up and turned the cap to make sure that it was on securely. It was not. It didn't fall off in my hands, but it was rather loose. Hmmm....
"That's medicine," said Anna.
"Yes, it is."
"Isaac ate one."

Full stop.

Keep voice nonchalant: "What's that honey?"
"Isaac ate one."
"How did he get the bottle?"
"He climbed up on the toilet and got it out of the cabinet."
Yah, right.
"Did you give it to him?"
"Did you really see him, or did you make this up in your head."
"Oh, I made it up in my head."
"Did you eat any?"
"No, it's Mommy medicine."

Okay then - no problems! But let's call poison control just in case.
Poison control informs me that Isaac would have to eat six pills before it became a problem. These are those yucky white pills that are hard for even adults to swallow. Seems unlikely. Now the kicker:
"Ma'am, if you think there's any way that he could have swallowed a dangerous amount you should take him in, because there will be no symptoms if he's overdosed."


Review the facts:
Lid was on bottle. (But loose, and Isaac's been practicing putting lids on and off.)
No pills were lying around. (But bottle was on vent and loose ones could have fallen through.)
I can barely swallow these pills myself. Very yucky. (But little kids don't perceive taste the same way we do. At least, I think they don't. Nuts. Should have paid more attention in class on Sensation & Perception.)
No overdose symptoms. (What the !$#*&%? He's just gonna wake up dead?)
ER costs major dough, and we already have a lot of medical bills. (Don't be shallow. Can't put a price on health.)
It would be illogical to wake him up and go into the ER. (Yup. But I'm an illogical kind of gal.)
The chances that he swallowed six (six!) pills is astronomically small. (But what if.....)

Sit on the couch. Review facts again and again and again. Bemoan the horror of the what if mindset.

Finally, at 10 p.m. I got Isaac up and drove to the ER. All the way I cursed the fact that although I could look at the situation logically (he did not swallow any pills), I couldn't feel my way through it (what if? what if? what if?). In the end it came down to this: Stay up all night worrying and checking and worrying, or risk money, time, sleep, and Isaac's mental health in the ER but regain my own peace. Was this all about me?

What would you have done?

Final note: Was informed by ER doc that there ARE symptoms if someone overdoses on Tylenol. Vomiting.


So long, August. You kind of sucked.

There's a Slate article that convincingly argues for shortening August, and this year I'm inclined to agree. I had high hopes for the end of summer, beginning with my parents visit. When that was cut short, the month went from being a high point to a serious of blahs. Luckily, my dad had surgery on his knee as soon as he got home, but walking (and moving around in general) will remain a challenge for weeks. Poor dad also had hernia surgery last week, and due to some complications this has turned into quite an ordeal for both of my parents. Additionally, my father-in-law recently had major surgery, so we were in prayer for that (all went well, thankfully).
Closer to home nothing major has occurred, but there have been a few challenges. To begin with, we got the bill for the CAT scan I had last month, and it was jaw-dropping. Isaac has also been teething (again? still?), and it looks like his eyeteeth are poised to make an appearance. Which is to say, much sleep was lost in August. And let me tell you, that boy needs his sleep. More to the point, Momma needs her boy to sleep. He's been flexing his climbing muscles more than Anna ever did leading me to spend much of the day rescuing him from stuff, and vice versa. Most rescue operations concern the computer. This fascination, coupled with an ability to scale the desk using drawer knobs, keeps me busy.
Much blood has also been shed in August - lips have been split, noses flattened, fingers crushed, etc. It makes me wonder whether my children will survive to their 18th birthdays.

BUT, no one has been sick! We've also had fun playing with cousins and making new friends. And there were even a few days were the heat wasn't blistering, but merely uncomfortable. We discovered a lake nearby, and canned some pumpkin-butter. We found out that one neighbor grows the best plums I've ever tasted, and the other has yummy grapes waiting to be harvested. My tomato plant even has tomatoes. Best of all, Jon and I spent a night at a local resort sans children: dinner was quiet, swimming relaxing, and we woke up when we felt like it.

Okay, August, you can stay. But you're on probation.