Archive for September, 2007


What is this about the FDA wanting to pull children’s cold medications from the shelf??? I swear, sometimes I want to kick Big Brother in the shins. The news stories are reporting that because 54 young children died after taking decongestants and 69 died after taking antihistamines from 1969 to 2006, that suddenly these products are too dangerous for all children under six. That is 123 deaths in 37 years. Now, I am not trying to trivialize those fatalities, but when I think of the millions and millions of doses of cold medicines that must have been administered to young children during those nearly three decades, that number actually seems low. Good grief, the drive to Wal-Mart at 2 a.m. for some children’s cough syrup for that poor toddler horking his eyeballs out is probably a lot more dangerous than the actual medicine. I’m afraid if the FDA has its way, we parents’ hands will be tied to self-treat our children’s cold symptoms, instead being forced to fork out money for a trip to the pediatrician for every viral infection that warrants some relief (and fat lot of good that would do at 2 a.m. anyway.)
As a mother, I hesitate to give my kids medicine except as a last resort. Not every cough gets a dose of suppressant, but a bad cough can irritate delicate air passages and become tight, croupy, and incessant: cough medicine can stop that vicious cycle. Similarly, not every drippy nose gets a cup of decongestant, but when an infant cannot breastfeed because she can’t breathe through her nose, a few drops medicine are a gift from heaven. I would hate to not have that option anymore! As for antihistamines, what would I have done if I hadn’t had some in the house when my son developed an allergy to his antibiotic, or my daughter’s finger began to swell alarmingly from a bee sting? How much worse would those reactions have been if I had been forced to fumble to the drug store for a prescription? Safety experts at the FDA are claiming that these medicines are not effective on young children. Whatever! I find that claim highly suspect as my experience with my own five kids has taught me just the opposite. I hope the FDA rethinks its position on this one. What a giant step backwards it will be if we can no longer buy OTC cold medicine for our children!

(And if you made it this far, thanks for reading this rant. I realize it is out of character for this blog, but I am a fickle gal .)


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poor cupine

“Grandma, did you run over a porcupine on your way here?”

“I don’t think so… Why do you ask?”

poo cupine

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the long answer

People keep asking me questions about the baby’s cataract, and I try to give a succinct answer. But there is a longer answer too and I need to tell it.

Infant cataracts are rare. Sometimes they can pinpoint a cause, like prematurity, disease, or genetics, but in our case we don’t know why it happened. Our ophthalmologist told us some cataracts are so insignificant no action is necessary. Others are so severe immediate surgery is required. Our baby’s cataract falls in the intermediate range: her vision with the cataract eye is cloudy, but usable. She also is very nearsighted in that eye, but has not been prescribed glasses yet. The cataract will not get better on its own. It might, however, get worse. This is where we stand.

Because the visual centers of the brain are still developing, the danger is that her mind will favor her right eye and tune out the cloudy image in her left eye. She would quit using the cloudy eye and it would become a lazy eye if we just let it be.  After a certain age, this brain visual loss cannot be reclaimed. (In other words: use it or lose it.) Our goal for now, then, is to preserve the vision in her cloudy eye by forcing her to use it. So we patch. For two hours every day she turns into a little cyclops:


Her doctor told us we will patching for the next 8 or 9 years! I thought 2 hours was a long time until I read about babies that had to be patched 6 hours a day. Now I’m not complaining! Although she seems to dislike the patch, she is pretty good natured for it. We really try to keep her entertained during patch time, but by the end she often feels fussy and tired of the ordeal, and the rest of us are worn out too. The adhesive is high tech, so it usually doesn’t hurt a lot to take off or leave red marks on her face the way tape would. And she can’t get it off by herself yet. So at least there’s that.

help me get this of, gramma

She also gets an eye drop a couple times each day to keep her pupil dilated, letting in more light. At our last appointment, we learned that all this is working! Whew! She still is using her left eye just as much as her right one. Eventually she will most likely need cataract surgery, but for now we are trying to put that off as long as possible.

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Dr. Naylor’s special

This post is not meant as medical advice! Don’t do it, don’t try it, it’s just a story, k? I would hate to be responsible for anyone losing a limb.

Remember when I hired someone to kneel at my feet and be my slave? (Okay, it was just a pedicure, but you get the idea of how addictive the experience was.) I did it again a few weeks ago, pink this time if you must know, and I was lamenting to my pedicurist how I couldn’t get rid of a plantar wart on my big toe. It isn’t anything anybody can see, it doesn’t hurt, but it is a wart. Yuck. Now, I have noticed that beauty shop professionals often have a knack for very alternative medicine; a throwback to the days when barbers were surgeons perhaps. So it didn’t surprise me that Krysta knew a remedy for warts that, funny enough, I had never heard of before. I’m putting in an extra large image so you can read the label:

Oh my! It is dehorning paste for cattle! I didn’t even know there was such a thing! If your chemistry is so rusty that the active ingredients aren’t scaring you (that is caustic stuff, kids), Dr. Naylor has kindly included a helpful illustration on the box top:

Look at that! Did you see that happy calf’s smoking noggin?? So what do you think I’m going to do? Run away screaming? Use it to unclog my drain? Throw some over my shoulder under a full moon? Or would I actually be stupid brave enough to put some on my toe?

Can’t decide.

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Time was, I was organized. That stint began in October of 2000 and lasted the better part of a year. Oh, I was the Flyladyingest fool you ever saw, with the routines, the notebook, the lace up shoes, the clutter free cabinets, the dinner in the crock pot, and the weekly housework that didn’t even need to be done. All that. People could drop by, and I didn’t even flinch. I miss those days. At least, today, my favorite things are clean though.

floating head meets floating hand

Ood says, “I want to see the picture of my floating head!”

The baby is also clean. I could just eat her up, so adorably fascinated with the running water.


Which also means the kitchen sink is clean! Hey, as long as I’m on a roll, maybe tomorrow I’ll break out a new notebook and put a to-do list in it! I really should. Hmm. I just may.



Today was the primary program at church. All the kids were ready with their songs and parts memorized, and I played the piano. For half. (That is my important church job: Second Piano Player. I get such a self-esteem boost going to church!) Anyway, before we left Tood complained of a tummy ache, but I’m afraid my motherly sympathy was not turned on. I basically told him to cowboy up, the show must go on, and after the program I would bring him home early if he still didn’t feel well. I am an expert at doing Dumb Things. Halfway through the program the bishop, sitting near my son’s class, heard a small wimper, “help. help. I threw up.” He discreetly carried Tood down to Derek who took him home to convalesce– where I should have let him stay to begin with. I was blithely unaware of the incident, such a Mighty Fortress was my piano, but after the program when I learned what had happened I felt I had learned a very humbling lesson in church today.



Yesterday Ood and Pi told Isp what “turd” meant. He asked, “So when I need to go potty, can I say, Mommy, I need to turd?” Um, no.

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herding cats

Something about this ad described my day exactly.

Ya think I need some better routines?

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baby sleep

My baby does this amazing trick that I didn’t ever believe real babies were capable of, and it is called “sleep all night in a crib and like it.” I am not making this up. A typical infant of mine prefers being tucked in beside me (aka the all-night smorgasbord) kicking my blanket off and wriggling herself sideways until she can pummel my snoring spouse’s head with her adorable baby feet. Now I have a child who, if she does peek open those drowsy eyes as I lay her down, looks happy at the sight of those big dots on her crib quilt, willingly snuggles in and drifts back to sleep. She has been doing this since she was two months old! The crib is very close to my side of the bed and I occasionally have to reach a hand in to check her gentle breathing, just to be certain she actually is fine, sleeping so long like that. It just seems, well, so unusual. (But nice. No complaints.) If I were a first-time mom I’d be patting myself on the back for my superior parenting. Ha ha!


Two days ago our tree still looked like this:

peach tree

Now picked– with lots of help from the little guys. We are buried in peaches! I think it is cruel of autumn to dump all this ripe produce in our laps just as life is getting busier with school, but here it is anyway. They won’t last long, so now I’m bottling too. All summer long I felt like silly putty being kneaded and stretched, always busy and sometimes pulled thin, but somehow able to stay flexible. Now with school, homeschool, homework, piano, violin, soccer, 73825 loads of laundry each week etc., the pace is dramatically quicker. I’m afraid I may snap.

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