Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ward campout

In August, we geared up for our second ever family ward campout.  If you don't remember, our first attempt at the ward campout was an unmitigated disaster which made it on to my top-10-worst-night's-sleep list.

This time, we pulled out the big guns- we borrowed our neighbor's 8-man tent and brought the port-a-crib.  I think it paid off.  My kids slept all night.  The ward children?  Not so much.

Have I told you about how our ward has over 100 kids in it?  At any given second, at least one of those kids was crying.  All. Night. Long.

I would hear someone crying, wake up thinking it was Ethan, remember that he was sleeping 2 inches from my head and that he would be much louder if indeed he was crying, and then try to fall back asleep.

Repeat 500 times.

Also my kids woke up at 5, hence the only pictures I have are of the sunrise.  We were the only ones awake and out of our tent.

It does give me hope that if we went with just our family, or maybe one other family, we could manage a pretty decent night.  Maybe.

Mt. Lemmon is usually about 10-15 degrees cooler than Tucson proper, which is really nice on normal mid-year days when it's 100 degrees in the city.  However, we went when there was a heat wave and it was 112 in the city, thus 100 on the mountain.  We had planned to hang around and do some hiking, but hiking with our kids is bad enough, there was no way we were going to attempt it with the triple digit heat.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What kind of rash spreads from the groin?

I worked 3 in a row one week in September.  When that happens, I don't see the kids at all for 72 hours.  When I came home on day 2, Tyler told me that Ethan had a little rash in his groin folds.  He described it as mottled and flat.  I guessed it was probably heat or diaper rash (it's still hot here in September, remember?), and to just tell Holley to try to keep him really dry.  By the end of day 3, Tyler called me and told me the rash had spread.  Spread where?  Um, his whole body.

I couldn't get a really good picture of it because he was all squirmy, but the first picture is his back, and this is his belly.  It was all over his trunk and arms and legs, up onto his occiput and ears but not his face, hands, or feet.  It wasn't in his mouth/lips or eyes.  It was splotchy and slightly raised, but it didn't seem to bother him at all; he didn't cry if you touched it and wasn't really extra crabby, just normal crabby.  He didn't seem to be scratching and he didn't have a fever.

I knew it wasn't measles, rubella, impetigo, scarlet fever, or chicken pox.  It probably wasn't dermatitis because we didn't change anything soap-wise.  He hadn't been stung by a bee or eaten anything out of the ordinary, plus he wasn't having any itching or swelling, so I didn't think it was an allergy.

I decided to take him to the doctor to see what they thought.  Because we go to the pediatrics center at the UofAMC, we have to be seen by a resident before we get to see the attending.  I was lucky enough to get a first-year.  (Side note, I'm always amazed at how little the first-year residents know, what they heck do they teach you in medical school?  Also, they are very awkward talking to patients and asking the nurses for things.  Don't they practice that?  Along the same lines, I'm amazed at how "smart" they become by the time they are fourth-years.)  I went through the whole thing about how I didn't think it was A, B, C or X, Y, or Z, but I wanted to come in mostly because it was Friday, and I didn't want it to turn into something crazy over the weekend and have us end up in the ED.

The resident mostly just agreed and said he had no idea what it was.  He brought the attending in, and she was a little smoother in saying that sometimes kids get "little viruses" that manifest like this, but it would be difficult to tell exactly which virus he had.  She predicted that it would spontaneously clear in 48 hours.

And it did.  It went as fast as it came.

Crazy, huh?

Friday, November 11, 2011

De-Lurk Day! Hello? Guys?

I have had this feeling for about a year now.  A feeling that I am no longer funny or interesting.  This may be a by-product or the cause of my lack of regular blogging.  I think it's sort of a self-perpetuating cycle.  Sure, my kids are cute, but there are lots of Mormon Mommy bloggers who have cuter kids, fancier cameras and hours to spend in post-production and coming up with witty captions.  And their kids all have big hair bows.  I can't compete with that.

Anyway, I get the feeling that many of the people who used to read my blog have abandoned ship... hopefully to be replaced with new readers who just don't like commenting.  Right, guys?


So, it's time for a new De-Lurk Day!

If you read and never comment, today is day to de-lurk yourself.  Even if you're fairly sure that I know that you're a reader, comment anyway, it makes me feel good about myself.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sonora Desert Museum

Tyler's parents came to visit for a week some time in September, I think.  During which time, we finally got a proper visit to the Sonora Desert Museum.  We have tried to go on multiple occasions but were foiled every time.

The Desert Museum isn't really a museum, it's like 30% museum, 70% zoo, but with only animals from the Sonoran Desert in it.
Tucson has a lot of bats.  I love bats.

I think it has a lot of fossils too.  Here's the little area where you can discover a dinosaur.

This picture is sideways because I was holding the camera at a funny angle.  Isn't she precious?

Somehow this was the only animal picture I managed to take.  It's a mountain lion.  I think I had my camera out because I was hoping that the mountain lion would pounce on the squirrel that wandered into the pen.  He didn't.  He just watched and watched.

Also at the Desert Museum, you can learn all about the 5,000 different snakes and insects that live here, like the kissing beetle that likes to eat the soft, thin skin on your face and mouth while you sleep.  Welcome to Arizona.

When we first moved here, I was pretty sure that the environment was doing everything in it's power to kill me.  From scorpions to kissing beetles and jumping cholla, I knew I would be dead in 5 minutes if I ever got lost out there.  Now that I've learned a few of her secrets, I think I would last at least 45.

Thanks for visiting Mark and Darlene.  We'll see you at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Biblical Birth Order

One of my patients at work started talking to me about birth order and the Bible.  I'm not sure why... as far as I can remember, she told me that she was from California, and I asked what part, and she said that she was from Ojai, which is sort of near Santa Barbara, which is where I went to school for 2 years.  She said her daughter still lived there and that she home schooled her kids.  I said I could never home school, not because I don't want to, but because I'm fairly sure that Lillian and I would just fight and that she benefits from the peer pressure of all the other kids.  So she started in on birth order and personality traits according to the Bible.

Apparently, the oldest child is supposed to be very controlling and bossy.  I don't want to point any fingers, but my oldest sister's job title is Controller.  Just saying.  It's not that Lillian is bossy, she just refuses to be bossed.  She is the boss of herself, and that is final.

The second child is supposed to be very eager to please and sweet.  This fits Nora perfectly.  She is naughty sometimes, but mostly I just want to squeeze her until her head pops off because she is so cute and sweet.

For these first two, she kept coming back to the example of Jacob and Esau.  Which, I'm confused about... was Esau controlling?  Was Jacob sweet?  At face value, I would say that Esau was greedy and that Jacob was tricky.  But, she was so sure of herself, she might as well have said, "The second child is always sweet, like Jacob.  QED."

Moving on.  The third child is supposed to be "happy-go-lucky."  Anyone who has met Ethan knows that this description is the exact opposite of him.  He is not happy or go-lucky.  He mostly cries a lot.  I keep reminding myself that he probably won't cry forever, but some days...  Our conversation got cut short by my Ascom phone beeping, so I didn't get the chance to hear the Biblical evidence for that one.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ostrich Farm, Part 2

As promised, the monster truck.  OK, I'm a few days late... see what happened was I was planning on writing Sunday's, Monday's and Tuesday's posts on Sunday, because I worked Monday and Tuesday.  But, actually I worked Sunday and Monday, and so I didn't get a chance.  I was about to promise to post extra, but we'll see.

 There were goats.  Oh my, were there goats.  These were the kind with creepy-looking rectangular irises.  But the kids wanted to stay and feed them all day long, which I think would have been fine by the goats.

We need to get one of these for the backyard.

All right, enough with the goats already.  They also had lorikeets.   Admit it, you didn't see that one coming.

They gave you little cups of something they called nectar to feed them.  The lorikeets are not shy or very nice, and they get very mad if you try to pet them.

If you come visit us, we'll totally take you.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Ostrich Farm!

Last month, Tyler decided we needed to go to the ostrich farm.  It's about 45 minutes away from our house right next to Picacho Peak.  I've driven past it maybe 20 times thinking it would be fun, but I never felt like driving that far.  Then, a family in our ward went and posted pictures on Facebook, and just like that, Tyler decided it was high time we went out there.

 They have many different kinds of animals at the Rooster Cogburn ostrich farm, and you can feed all of them.  You start out with these nice deer.

By the way, Ethan has no fear.  He climbs up the ladder on the big kid slides, the loopy-twisty kind that Lillian isn't even all that keen on, and goes down face first making all the other moms at the park nervous.

  Then you have mini donkeys.  This isn't the first encounter I've had with mini donkeys.  Somehow, I'm really fuzzy on the details, my Chinese friend Patrick's parents, who now live in Hong Kong, lived for a short time in the unspecified past in San Luis Obispo, where I went to school and met Patrick.  During their time there, they somehow befriended a couple who own a mini donkey farm out in the sticks by Templeton, not really all that close to SLO.  They became good enough friends that this couple hosted a BBQ in their honor every time they visited the states.
Being friends with Patrick, I had the privilege of being invited to a few of these occasions, which always left me puzzled and not able to get a straight answer of how this relationship was formed.

But the mini donkeys were always great.  These ones were greedy and nipped at the kids fingers.
Again, Ethan didn't care.

 And then come the ostriches.

 I was not brave enough to feed the ostriches out of my hand.  There were signs all around warning that they bite.  For chickens like me, they had little tubes that went through the fence.
 For those brave enough, the ostriches can get over that fence, no problem.
They also have monster truck tours of the desert.  I'm only posting half our pictures today as a) I have a lot and b) I'm afraid I'm going to run out of things to write about before NaPoBloMo is over.  The point is that I didn't get a picture of the outside of the monster truck until right before we left, so you'll see it tomorrow.

The tour was fun and informative.  I now know more about ostriches than I ever wanted plus, I learned that barrel cactuses tilt SSE.
Yes, this picture is in the running for the worst shot of my family.  But you get to go ostrich fishing on the monster truck tour, which was fun.

Basically, they stick quartered grapefruit on a nail on a rope on a pole, and you tease the ostriches with it.

Then they get it and swallow it whole.  You can watch the lump move all the way down their throat.  Check out that ostrich's neck on the right there.  The kids thought it was great, until Nora dropped her pole.  That was devastating.

Friday, November 04, 2011

48 Roses Dance Party

Untitled from Amanda Ball on Vimeo.

These 29 seconds reveal many things about my life:

  1. Ethan loves dancing.  If he hears music anywhere, he'll get up and bob up and down.
  2. Tyler is bizarrely in love with this song 48 Roses by a band called Mariachi el Bronx.  I heard a news story on NPR about them, and I'm probably botching the details, but they were/are a punk band called The Bronx (I think).  Somehow they had to appear at an "unplugged" event and they thought it was lame, so they dressed up like a mariachi band and did their music mariachi style.  They liked it so much, that they got way into it and created an alter-ego band.  Now that I've listened to the song 3 or 50 times, I like it too.
  3. Notice how he stops dancing mid-way and starts crying.  He makes that noise all. day. long.
  4. Also notice how he comes over to maul me.  He must be touching me at all times.  Sometimes, I can distract him and sneak away for a few minutes, but, if I walk back into his line of sight, it's all over.  I'm not sure why he's so crabby.  I'm hoping that his new-found walking skills will increase his autonomy and decrease his need to have his face plastered to mine.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Update Time

 I'm working my way back with the pictures.  I'm not sure why we took these ones, but they are pretty cute, so I'll put them in with a general update.

Amanda:  I'm working full time, which means three 12-hour shifts per week.  I leave the house no later than 6:18 and I come home sometime around 8:15-8:30.  At first, I had a really hard time making my brain work for such a long stretch.  Once, as I was reporting off to the oncoming nurse, I was telling her about the last pain medication I gave.  "I gave it at 18:30 and it's every 4 hours so he can have it again at....   ....   .... uh... can you do the math for me on that one?"

Its getting better and my mind isn't so sloshy by the end of the day, but that doesn't mean that I know what I'm doing or am confident at my job at all.  I'm still afraid of my boss; I'm afraid that she's going to find out that I'm totally just winging it and probably screwing it all up.

The floor I work on is a surgical specialty floor- women's health (which is a lot of gynecologic oncology (cervical cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, etc.), urology (">TURPs, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, urosepsis, etc.), and ear-nose-and-throat (throat cancer, tongue cancer, esophageal cancer). "Wow," you're saying, "that's a lot of cancer patients."  I know, right?  Who knew that's what "surgical specialty" actually meant.

We do get a lot of "medicine overflow" which means the whatever patients who come in through the ED.  I've had several">CIWA patients, a guy who had a chronic wound in his scrotum that I swear you could have put a golf ball up inside of it, there was a lady who didn't know there was a sawed-off shotgun in the back seat of her car and it went off and shot her in the buttocks, and the lady who was pregnant and diabetic and decided to fast for Ramadan which put her into">DKA.

After working there for 5 months, all I can say is that it's my new mission in life never to get cervical cancer and as soon as my girls are old enough, they are totally getting the HPV vaccine.

Tyler:  Tyler still has a job although they've changed his responsibilities around.  Apparently, he gets to use power tools now, or maybe he's just by the power tools, so he's spent the last several days watching">safety videos.

Ethan: Ethan has been able to walk for several weeks now, but had chosen to continue crawling.  In case you're keeping track, he turned one in July.  Then, on Tuesday, he decided it was the day to make the switch.  He's about 50/50 now which is a big improvement from the 99/1 that he was on Monday.  He only has 4 teeth and is still super crabby.  The doctor asked me at his last check-up how many words he said.  "Uh.... zero?"  He just grunts.  He makes a distinct grunting noise whenever he sees a dog, so I'm going to go ahead and count that.  A mother at the park said that her pediatrician counts signs, in which case we can add bananas and grapes.

Nora: I'm just going to go ahead and say that Nora is the cutest little kid I've ever seen.  She's generally happy and bounces when she walks.  Her little giggle and her chunky baby legs just make me want to eat her.  She sings little songs to herself and like cuddling.  Her current favorite movie is Jumble Book.

Lillian:  Lillian is really learning a lot in kindergarten.  She's one of those kids who will perform for other adults, but will do nothing for me, so it's sort of amazing what her teacher can get her to learn- which is pretty much what I've been trying to teach her for 2 years to no avail.  Her report card showed pretty good marks in everything except "Uses Time Wisely," in which category she got the lowest grade possible.  Yeah, that sounds like her.  She lives life at her own pace and refuses to be rushed.

She is getting to be pretty funny, though.  The other day, I was planting a new flowering vine in our backyard.  It is going to have little purple iris-looking flowers.  "This plant is silly mom.  Why did you want one with purple flowers?" (Also, she questions everything.  "Why did you want this bread?" "Why did you do your hair like that? "Why did you say it was time to go to bed?")

"Because I thought the purple flowers would look pretty."

"Yeah... pretty silly."

The only other question you have is, "what do you do with your kids when you're at work?"  I know this because everyone asks me this question.  A lady I know from church who has kids approximately my kids' ages takes Nora and Ethan all day.  Then a different neighbor picks Lillian up with her school-aged children and hangs on to her until Tyler gets home.  It's kind of a lot of juggling, but we make it work.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Halloween with the Flynn-Fletcher Family

There's 104 days of summer vacation

and school comes along just to end it.

So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.

Our costumes are only funny if you have a child 4 years old or above.  Because if you do, you've probably watched your fair share of Phineas and Ferb.  I'm not going to lie, I love that show.  I think it's hilarious and allllmost as funny as The Simpsons.Certainly it's my favorite of the kid's shows and whenever the kids ask to watch TV, I try to talk it up, or force it on them. "Sorry, Strawberry Shortcake is broken, only Phineas and Ferb works."

Lillian actually made the costume assignments some time in August.  She is Ferb because she's taller, Nora is Phineas, Ethan is Perry the Platapus (we were trying to track down a fedora for him so that he could be Agent P, but it was a FAIL), I am Candace, and Tyler is Jeremy.  The picture doesn't really show my hair, but I spent more time than I'm willing to admit trying to get it to come up in a point.

After the ward trunk-or-treat, where we took the above pictures, we went to an adult Halloween party without the kids.  Because we had lost our accessories, no one knew what we were and quite a few people assumed we weren't even wearing costumes.  I'd like to think that Tyler wouldn't wear white tube socks with shorts like that or that I wouldn't wear a pillowcase turned into a skirt, but you never know.

I had to work on actual Halloween, so I didn't get to go out with the kids, but from the fact that they can't stop talking about how amazing it is that you can knock on someone's door and they will give you candy, I think they had fun.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaBloPoMo 2.0

I feel like this sometimes.

I wrote a post about jury duty, but it vanished as soon as I hit "Publish."  I'll give you the gist in 4 points.

1. I successfully put off jury duty for 6 months.

2. I finally did have to go.

3. I did not get selected.

4. It was very boring.

I wrote this post because I want to (attempt to) do NaBloPoMo this year.  I make no guarantees that I'll succeed, or that I won't cheat and write multiple posts on one day and then have them appear on consecutive days.  But, seriously, I have been depriving the internet of about 6 month's worth of pictures and I've got to fix that.
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