Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recent O and N Speak

Overheard in recent weeks in the Small World.

O. and N. are at the kitchen table, munching from a sleeve of crackers.
O: Mom, do you want a cracker?
Me: No thanks, not right now.
O: Well, if you do, come on over to the Cracker Cafe!

We are eating lunch at Wendy's in between preschool and gymnastics. O. is distractedly munching on ketchup covered items and staring out the window.
O: I was thinking about what all else is out in the big wide world. You know, there's lizards, and frogs, and lions, and even mountain goats. But there isn't even aliens in space.

We are in the living room, where a protracted length of time has been spent with O. pretending he is a mountain goat, and N. is a mountain girl, and much jumping has to be done from couch onto a pillow pile. Suddenly, O. turns into writer/director/actor in this scene, and I am cast as a participant as well.
O: Mom, when I tell you, you say "Hey. I think there is a mountain goat up on that mountain. I hope it is not a mean mountain goat." And then when it comes at you with its hooves, you say "N., help us!" Moooom! You say the words when I tell you. Okay...Say the words!

N. and O. are playing with O's old Halloween costume, a horse that you put your own legs into so that it looks like you are riding the horse. I discover that the horse has a new name: Cactus Landown Junk. N's giant plush horse that she got for her birthday is apparently named "Cow."

I am kidding O. about something or other:
O: Oh Mom, you sillypoke.

N. and I are at home while O. is at preschool.
Me: N., where is O?
N: Cool! (translation: school). Ba pack! (trans: backpack)
Me: Should we go get him?
N: (Squeals in delight, does a dance, and then goes to get O's favorite stuffed dog). Arly!! (translation: Charlie). Shoes on!
When we pick him up, O. is thrilled to see Charlie, and buckles him into the third row seatbelt for the ride home.

Daddy is out of town, so I ask N. what she would like to have for dinner.
N: Ack Kee Kee!!!! (translation: macaroni and cheese)
After their first evening with a high school aged babysitter:
O: I liked her, but I didn't like her. Maybe next time she could just come to play with us, and not babysit us.

O. is playing with one of his "iPods" (ie: a domino. Yeah. I don't know.)
O: Ahhh. My iPod's not working! (bangs it a little with the side of his hand) Must be out of batteries.
Me: Oh, should I get you some new ones?
O: Mom. It's just a domino.

O. is on the potty. It is taking a while. He seems to be having a little trouble.
O: What, did I eat a rock?

N. puts a cat and a turtle onto the toy mountain, which is apparently only currently home to dinosaurs.
O: N., no! For heaven's sakes, no!

O. has always had a difficult time pronouncing the letters "L" and "R". Both usually get spoken as "W," which means it is very difficult to know if he is speaking about a 'rock,' 'lock' or a 'walk.' (or I guess a 'wok,' though that hasn't yet been an issue)
Not too long ago, he adopted this interesting accent to occasionally talk to his sister. It seemed to be a little bit Spanish, a little bit French, heavy on the rolled consonants. Remember that old commercial for Ruffles potato chips where the guy rolled the 'R's'? Rrrrrrruffles have rrrrridges? It's like that, only he does it with multiple consonants. In the back seat of the car on a long car ride, he says to N:
"N. do you want to watch Llllllady and the Tllllllamp? It is about dlllllogs."
At first, I thought it was just a strange character/persona he had created, but then realized he is working on these difficult sounds. So now, it's often not a 'wi-on,' but a 'lllll-lion.' or a 'ballll-oon' and occasionally a 'lllllll-abbit' (as in Bugs Bunny).

And perhaps the sweetest of all:
Me: N., I love you.
N: Dove Ew, Mommy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dog Years? How about Dog Days?

Don't some of them seem to last seven years, anyway?

The last time I posted, I mentioned N. was sick. Well, to come full circle, as of yesterday, now ALL the members of the Small World have been sick at some point in the last two week cycle. O. and J. with a stomach bug, N. and I with the same nasty cold, and now our dear Scout with a UTI. Well, actually, the vet says the urine test was negative, but I refuse to believe that she has just started to pee in the house every night for no reason, so UTI it is. (the vet gave us some amoxycillin just in case, and I'm giving it to her: dog super bugs be damned.)

Urine test? How do you get a urine sample from a dog, you say? Well, it goes something like this:

Follow your dog around the yard with a GladWare container. (Don't you just wish I had ads on this blog? Wouldn't that be a great tie in? First product placement on Top Chef, now here on the Small World!) When she squats, shove the container right under her. You may get a couple of drops. At this point, she will look at you as if you are crazy, and shocked that you would disrupt her privacy in such a way.

She's secretly a princess you know, despite the low maintenence, "I've got the personality of a cat" front she likes to show to the world. Why else does she ensconce herself atop our retaining wall each day to survey her kingdom?

So, instead you have to take her for a walk down the street, because she'll always pee in someone else's yard. The kids of course have to come, and O. will want to hold the leash. You weren't planning on this taking long, so you don't take the stroller. N. will be tripped up by the leash at least three times, and O. will not be able to keep the leash from between the dog's legs, so when you do try for another collection, there will be more pee on the leash than in your dish.

Just as you think you might be having success, along comes a car into your cul de sac. Herd the kids up in the yard with the dog, who is now producing a different kind of sample for you. In someone else's yard. And you only brought the pee dish, not a bag.

The car? It will be a friend of yours with her son on his paper route. You have now lost any chance of pretending this whole scene never happened.

Back in your own yard, distract the kids from the ten thousand questions about do we have enough pee, and where you're going to put it, and why is the dog sick, and what will the vet do with it, and remember when I peed in a cup, and can I do that again by pointing out all the dry day lily stalks that can be pulled out just like that.

Now you can spend the next half hour crushing dry stalks with the garage door, and delivering sticks to all the neighbors, just like newspapers. At which time you will look over to discover the dog has accompanied you on this walk as well, this time while wearing her electric fence collar, which apparently is not working.

You will not have to actually take the dog to the vet, because they do not have appointments until next week. But because you have yet to bother to find a vet closer than 25 miles away, even though you have lived in this city for ten years now, your parents will stop by your house at 9:30PM (on their way home from somewhere else) to pick up the urine, and take it to the vet in your hometown for you.

And then you will go to a soccer game to get her meds, because that's where your parents are tonight. And then you will give her the medication, because: it's easier than admitting that your dog might just be 12 years old and can't really make it through the night without peeing anymore. Because for god's sake: we just STOPPED getting up in the middle of the night to deal with children, right??

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not the Pepsi Challenge

So, N's sick again -- a cold that morphed into a cough, then into breathing issues, which then led us into nearly an entire afternoon at in the doctor's office. We came home with a breathing machine and an asthma diagnosis. She's fine -- it really wasn't all that alarming an incident overall, and she was a champ: just a little ramped up by the albuterol.

So now we have another action plan to post on the inside of my cookbook cabinet right beside the accidental peanut ingestion directive, and she's one step closer to being Allergy Girl. (There is apparently an Allergy Boy in the school district we live in: the moms I know that have had children who shared a classroom with him assure me his issues are far more severe than N's. Purple glue stick is apparently off limits for him). Seems like asthma's just another one of those childhood hazards these days, anyhow. Potentially scary, but highly manageable for sure. It's amazing how much better she got so quickly after just one breathing treatment.

Anyway, I realized it's been a while since I gave an allergy update. How can I not have shared the results of a momentous occasion: the soy challenge!

Back in mid July, N. and I visited her allergist so that we could conduct this challenge. Soy was a food we'd been avoiding since March, along with the egg and the nuts of all sorts. Since there were mixed results from her two tests (positive for soy on the blood test, negative on the skin test), and she threw up soon after eating soy cheese and soy milk, the allergist suggested the challenge to confirm one way or another whether or not it was a food we needed to avoid.
A food challenge basically involves administering increasing doses of the food in question over a designated time frame, in the controlled situation of a doctor's office in case any adverse reaction occurs. I brought a quart of soy milk into the office with us, along with a whole bag of toys and activities to entertain N., as we had been told we would be in the office for about three hours.

The nurse started her out with a sixteenth of a teaspoon, and then we had to wait fifteen minutes and watch for symptoms, like hives, vomiting, trouble breathing, etc. After each fifteen minute increment, the doctor checked her over, and then a dose double the amount of the previous time was given. It was a long three hours, especially since N. tore through all three pages of stickers I had brought within the first dosing time period. As the morning wore on, we didn't even wait for the doctor to come to our examining room, just followed the nurse down the hall to wherever Dr. Ann was seeing other patients. N. got quite used to strolling around, acting like she owned the place.

By the time she had tolerated a half cup of the soy milk total, with no adverse symptoms visible, the doctor pronounced that soy was back on the menu in the Small World!

It's interesting, back when soy was off the menu, it seemed like there were so many things that she couldn't have because it had soy in it. It's true, soy is in a lot of places you wouldn't expect, especially if you're also avoiding soy lecithin and soybean oil, which we were not. However, now that I can buy things with soy protein and soy flour, I haven't really changed my buying habits all that much. I can now buy any kind of bread and buns I want, which is nice. Soy protein seems to be a filler in processed foods, so really, why start buying lots of Rice a Roni or Chef Boyardee just because I can?

N's allergies have caused me to cook more food from scratch, and rely less on prepackaged and/or frozen foods. Sometimes I'm really irritated I can't just grab a box of frozen pancakes or depend on picking up a bag of mini-donettes to take to the potluck breakfast, but in the end, of course it's a better thing for all of us.

Now, stir fry is back on the menu, (yay, soy sauce!) and we're down to just avoiding egg and nuts. Still makes difficulty on the baked goods scene, but we've figured out some ways around that. For example, we've had great success with cakes baked with diet soda in place of the egg and water in a cake mix recipe. N's actually getting TWO birthday cakes made in this method during Birthday Week. (She turns 2 this weekend: WOW. Look for photos soon: Birthday Week brought me a new camera!)