Saturday, June 14, 2008

Jay: Today’s Order of Busy

Today I’m participating in a yardsale in what should be a better location than my own would be, on a busy road in town.  I dropped stuff off last night, wishing I could come up with even more, despite filling the truck.  Well, I add what it’ll fetch and wish I could come up with more.  I may yet grab more small stuff.  My nephew is giving me and the brats a ride there between 9:00 and 10:00, and my brother will be working on my car nearby, so later there will be some shuffling along those lines.

I started typing this before 8:40, now it’s 9:03.  Sadie is up but the others are still sleeping.  I have to wake and dress them and have everyone ready ASAP.  Looked in on Valerie and went to snap a picture of her sleeping angelically.  Dead batteries.  Apparently every AA battery around is dead too.  We haven’t been able to afford new ones, and no longer have a BJ’s card to get the very best price on lithium ones that actually last.  We’ve been using up my “buy in bulk so you never don’t have batteries” supply of standard ones and nursing them.  Unfortunately, batteries are a necessary business expense and some must be bought.  Apparently right away.

Okay, off to torment sleeping children so we might be ready to go on time.

11:37 AM | BusinessCarsKidsMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jay: Sweet Potatoes

Based on what it seems is wrong with Henry, besides a couple of more traditional allergies and some hay fever types of reactions, salicylate sensitivity, he should have sweet potato in moderation or eve not at all.

It’s been somewhat mysterious that it seemed to be one of his problem-free foods based on trial and error.

Levels can vary depending on the individual vegetable or fruit, growing conditions, how it’s prepared, phases of the moon, whatever.  Plus quantity matters, which is why some of the seasonings that are high are less an issue than they might be.

He finally reacted clearly, unambiguously, and intensely to sweet potato yesterday when I gave him a large pile of it to finish off leftovers.  I think the specific one was part of the problem, but ultimately it was about quantity.  We’ll lay off sweet potato for a while, then keep the amounts low.  Looks like it’s time to buy butternut as a substitute.

The good thing is that would seem to confirm my diagnosis.

10:42 AM | Food & CookingKidsMedical • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jay: No Birthdays

No birthdays I know of today, a rarity in June, so this’ll be my obligatory post for the day.

The car remains stranded in Sharon.  I called my brother and left a message last night, as it was rumored he could help me with it today, which is possible because Deb is on all early shifts now.  Meanwhile, I suppose I really ought to work on getting stuff for the yard sale ready, even if I have to drop it off and have it sold by others, or get a ride, or whatever.  That all hinged on having the car, but I also needed to spend pretty serious time working toward preparing.  If we can’t do much with this one, we may ask the landlord if he’d object to our having one here.  Probably not, as he seems to object to little besides having a pool for kids.  But then we’d feel like we had to ask the neighbors, too, see if they wanted to participate.  Damn politeness!

I’m trying to organize the whole “do what I can to make money from home” thing better, with some explicit unfettered time allotted me evenings and Deb’s days off.  Some things can be done in those minute or two or five interludes I get between kid demands, but I need to have them listed and planned out enough so the whole effort isn’t wasted on “so what did I need to do next?” There’s a lot more ad revenue available, and while we won’t live on that, not without serious content and traffic buildup at least, managing that is one of those little things, and boom, there’s the money for, say, utilities each month.

Posting more actively, even if it’s quick links to interesting stuff, makes the blogs more viable for ads, so you’ll see more of that.  At least on the WordPress ones, since I can post so quickly via w.bloggar, which doesn’t work with Expression Engine.  That’s about the only thing it doesn’t work with, and there’s even a version now that doesn’t use Internet Explorer in the background.  It was always annoying, that links in preview in the editor would open in IE, and of course IE was used programatically for the HTML rendering in the editor.  There’s now a version that uses Firefox instead.

One of the reasons Carnival of the Capitalists went on hiatus was the time it took me that was annoyingly uncompensated.  I miss the structure it gave each week, with a publishing schedule, but TANSTAAFL needs to rule.  I’m planning to revive it, starting with a fundraising edition, the success of which will help determine to what degree it continues, and the amount of advertising I deploy at that site.  Another project, which isn’t impossible to do in small chunks so much as it’s annoying.

Anyway, off to it.  Need more coffee, and a glass of water.  Have to keep drinking to combat the gout, which seems to go hand in hand with some swelling and water retention, duh, from getting underhydrated.

10:51 AM | BirthdaysBloggingBusinessCarsFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Jay: Busy for Someone Lazy and Broke

Wanted to toss out a quick post before I hang out and vegetate for another day.  Heh.

Cross your fingers that the car from my aunt works okay, since it’s registered and having a shakedown today when we go to Sharon to see friends, including one who is doing her lucky if it’s annual visit from Oregon.  Can’t afford the gas, but we didn’t have to fly across the country.  As such, we have to get the car seats in and so forth.

This morning at 10:30 there’s some kind of mortgage inspection the landlord has to have done, and they might need to come in here in the process.  There’s the tail end of making the place look more respectable in anticipation of that.  We’re curious what in the world it’s about, as that could mean a sale, which would suck.  And be a silly time for it, in a down market.  Then again, if you bought in the late seventies, down relative to peak, even by 30%, is still going to be a nice cashing out.  More likely it’s a refinance or leveraging this property to buy another because, hey, it’s a down market so good time to buy.  Or it’s a stealth excuse to inspect our apartment and find a reason to throw us out, but that’s just the paranoid outlook.

The baby isn’t going to let me type much more and I rilly rilly need to get to work on stuff, but…

In 1998 I went on a vacation to Canada, my first and last in forever.  Well, 5 1/2 years, if you could California to meet Deb, while still monitoring work and directing someone designated to be my hands back at the office.  But anyway, on the way back, I stopped at LL Bean in Maine and bought a T-shirt, among less memorable clothes.  It was never my loosest shirt, smaller for its size than they should run.

That shirt is, I am pretty sure, looser on me than it has ever been, which is an interesting anecdote about where my weight was when, given the stretches of time when I didn’t monitor it.  I peaked at 308 and had a stable high of 298.  Yesterday I hit a not yet stable low of 253, and am solidly 255 wanting to be 254 this morning.  Counting to the low yesterday, that’s 55 lost, 45 of it this year so far.

All apparently a metabolism thing by going off drugs that make you gain weight so you can get sneered at that you wouldn’t need the drugs if you’d just lose weight, because only fat slobs have high blood pressure.  With a bit of atavistic eating thrown in for emphasis, since apparently eating like someone pre-industrial food, if not pre-agriculture, agrees with me.

Okay, time is flying by so I have to get another coffee (sugar, no artificial sweetener to confuse the body about calories consumed) and see about cleaning and organizing more.

11:12 AM | BloggingCarsFood & CookingKidsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Jay: Sadie Rose

05:52 PM | KidsPictures • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Valerie Ruth

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Jay: Henry Adam

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jay: RIP The Exersaucer

This week, the exersaucer you’ve seen in many baby pictures went to toy heaven.  It was sad, but it was too beat to hand down, after a total of six kids beat on it.  It was handed down to us by an employee of a client, who’d had it for her three kids.  When Sadie first used it, she was so small we had to prop her with towels, back in the Stoughton apartment.

By the time it got to Henry, before he could use it, I’d tied the cloth seat on with secondary ties of heavy yarn, to supplement the original elastic ones, saggy and about to fail.  That made it less bouncy, but meant it could be used.  I also had to put the toy bar that represents half the play value back on with glue and duct tape, giving it character.  That held until well after he outgrew it.  Which he did early, because he’s so huge.  The kids broke that off again by turning the thing upside down and smooshing it into the floor.

They all played with it, if not for its intended purpose, until the end.  I actually tried to take it apart while they weren’t looking.  Sadie was mildly sad, but more fascinated with how it came apart, and how I got the pieces into trash bags.

Well, have kids and that about covers it, so end of this post.  Right Henry?j hgjgjhlj;?:yrf

06:35 PM | Kids • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Artsy Henry

06:34 PM | KidsPictures • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: The Referee

Ah, genetics…

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Jay: Don’t Mess With Valerie

Here she is, the winner.  Wait, we’re in Massachusetts… the winnah!

11:34 AM | KidsPictures • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Little Sister Strikes Back

This is kind of graphic, so I put the picture below the fold.  This is Sadie’s face after Valerie defended herself and whacked her good with something.  There was also blood all down her belly, on the floor and, as a result, on Henry’s diaper.  Spectacular as it looked, it wasn’t a big deal.

The funny thing about it was how well it showed that if Sadie irritates Valerie sufficiently, Valerie can beat Sadie up.

11:27 AM | KidsPicturesMedical • (2) CommentsPermalink

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jay: Hey, Didn’t This Used to Be a Blog?

We’re kind of busy and distracted, so even with the modest availability things that I can still blog about without an oppressive sense of self-censorship, I just haven’t gotten to it lately.  Lack of birthdays has thus meant lack of posts, and the birthday posts are meant to be spice, not meat.  There are a couple others I may get to, one imperative and one landmark, despite over a week having passed since it came to mind.

That said, it’s relatively easy and of some interest to post about the baby and where he stands on the food front.  It seems these days the biggest problems are unidentified airborne or other environmental, with maybe a low grade effect from even some foods that are “safe.” To the degree we’re dealing with a salicylate sensitivity, almost everything is a source, and it’s difficult not to include a certain amount of high and moderate sources, even if you avoid the very high completely and the next ones down as much as possible.  There are also ambiguities, whereby a given item can be higher or lower depending on growing conditions.  At any rate, the chart we’ve found most useful notes that each level is ten times the prior.  Thus very high is 10x high is 10x moderate is 10x low.

There are two things that have been clear.  Three, if you count the big $2600 we can never afford to pay incident and the most probable cause.  Two, if you count dairy as singular.

He can’t have milk.  Period.  He breaks out in a rash almost instantly.  Not sure, but he may have gotten his hands on some during the Lactaid experiment, and reacted less badly, whatever that means - maybe ultrapasteurization breaking down proteins more being helpful.

The emergency room incident was almost certainly cheese.  It was also topical, never a breathing issue, but more a matter of looking so bad because of where it swelled.  The thing is, I seemed to react to that cheese, and as noted, cheddar particularly can apparently generate its own histamines.

Of the other candidates that night, well, he has put egg in his mouth and not reacted, and Deb’s test of eating eggs has shown she is free to have eggs and, by extension, mayonnaise again.  He can eat corn.  We’re skeptical of wheat being a problem, certainly not at that level.  The only thing that leaves from that night might be ham, which would have been a bit player and would mean an awfully extreme reaction to my having handled it.  Cheese is likely, especially given the milk thing and the histamine thing.

Of course, his own drool makes him rashy, and I believe he has a bit of a reflux problem, which may be recursion.  That is, stuff affects sinuses, sinuses encourage reflux, reflux makes sinuses worse and makes drool acidic.  Maybe stuff affects skin worse on contact due to the damage, for that matter.

Anyway, it’s not an item of concern for salicylates, but he had an extreme reaction to banana.  Now, that may have been interaction with other stuff, and may not have been as bad as it seemed, but he can wait to try again.

What I was planning to cover mainly is what he can eat.  With Valerie confirmed to be unable to have milk, even Lactaid, without losing bladder control, it’s made him less likely to have accidental drinks of it.  It makes him so happy, but the result isn’t fun.  We’ve been able to speed up trying new things.  It’s challenging to be operating on the cheap, but hey.


The only meat of concern might be cured, spiced kinds of things, so I haven’t given him hot dogs when we’ve had them.  I thought he might be reacting mildly to pork at times, and when I did a series of “rub things on his skin” tests one day, grease that had primarily rendered from pork during frying was the only thing there might have been a reaction to, but it was ambiguous.  My antiperspirant, Irish Spring, some stuff like that all passed.  He gets plenty of meat.

Oats (oatmeal)
Rice (including puffs, cakes)

Some tastes of things that technically contained wheat.

Corn, as a vegetable.
Corn, in tortilla chips soaked in water or chicken broth to soften them.

Sweet potato

White potato in any form, though I’d avoid giving him skin even if he could chew it.

White sugar, avoid brown sugar as it charts and he may have reacted to it.

Green beans
Parsnip, probably - some ambiguity and small sample
Pinto beans
Chemicals that qualify to be called lemonade when mixed with water (seemed to react a little to the fruit punch mix).

Canned pears in heavy syrup.  Light syrup is pear juice, which is processed in a way that involves the skin.

I swear I’m forgetting something.

Soy seems not to bother him.  Usually that’s in the form of oil for cooking.  He’s also had stuff fried in Crisco, which would mean exposure to cottonseed oil.

He’ll get to try peas soon.  He had a too small to harm him taste of strawberry jello and seemed to be unaffected.

As far as seasonings or veggies used mainly for that purpose, he seems fine with onion and garlic.  Black pepper I avoid especially for him.  Red pepper and the like, and some of the other things I use routinely, all high, but the quantities in food can be minute.  We use caution, but he has or might have eaten food with red pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic, onion, ginger, celery, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, savory, rosemary, or whatever having participated in the making.  Not sure exactly which.  If it’s, say, chicken, it’s in the oil and on the outside of the meat, but I’ll emphasize giving him bits from the inside with minimal outer layer.

Cauliflower.  He tried cauliflower and that went fine.  We love that when it’s on sale.

Fruit is the biggest problem.  Especially in juice or uncooked.  Pear is the lowest of the fruits and he clearly reacted to pear juice.  Essentially he needs a caveman diet.

Overall he’s doing well.  A lot of the itching he does is emotional, a reaction of habit.  Getting sleepy equals uncomfortable.  Discomfort equals itchy.  Ithchy equals scratch yourself bloody.  He is helped a lot by pre-emptive doses of gas drops and Tylenol, assuming he doesn’t decide he does not need one or both, as he did today.  Absolutely refused gas drops, period.  Refused Tylenol one time, accepted it later.  As I always say, he’s little, not stupid.  In fact, he’s scary.

Now if he wants to eat he starts dragging his high chair across the kitchen.  He also seems to have learned that if food is left in the seat, he can shake the chair to get it where he can reach it.  He was mad at me for cleaning up right after he pigged out for supper, because after his bath he was foraging for more.  For supper he had chicken, a tiny bit of beef, potato, about 2/3 of a good sized sweet potato, corn, and plain pinto beans.  When I found him foraging, I gave him part of a rice cake, but that just wasn’t the same.

Looking at this decent food list, which I need to review in detail again to figure where we are going with trying other things, I was reminded that he seemed to react heavily to sucking on raisins the girls left on the floor for his benefit.  Ditto for a couple of the cranberry whatever juice combos.  We’ve gone almost exclusively into powdered drink mixes, mainly lemonade, but also fruit punch and - though the girls haven’t warmed to it - iced tea.  Lack of juice may also be helping Valerie, though if that was a factor, it was still at least 90% the milk.

I’m barely staying awake, so this is probably rambling and incoherent, and likely incomplete.  Oh well.  I had some pictures to post, and will have some stunning ones after the camera is next downloaded.  He really put on a show today.

03:36 AM | BloggingFood & CookingKidsControversiesMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNothing • (1) CommentsPermalink

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jay: Postpourri

Gloria Constance Irving would have been 75 today.  She was the second child of seven and first daughter of three of my mother’s parents.  She died February 12, 1934.

Nine months isn’t as young as I grew up thinking it was.  There’s a lot of distinctive person there, and a lot of intensive time spent.  With that sharpened appreciation of just how traumatic it had to be, I’ve always sort of kept my fingers mentally crossed and noted the passing of the nine month point as significant.

Which in our observation it is regardless.  We have a theory of nine months inside and nine months outside before baby is done cooking, after observing how dramatically they leap into clearer personhood at nine months.

Henry will be nine months old tomorrow.

Henry is on the verge of taking steps, having become talented at standing and even doing stuff like drinking while he stands.

Henry appears to have survived trying green beans last night, and enjoyed them, so that’s good.  The other day, Deb rubbed his belly with wool yarn to test his reaction, of which one had been apparent.  Nothing.  Later, I tested Suave shampoo, Irish Spring, soy oil, pork grease (which would also have contained traces of soy oil used in the pan originally), my antiperspirant, our current bar of hand soap, and Equate liquid hand soap, all rubbed on his skin.  That might not say anything about reaction to ingesting the edible ones.  Nothing.  Well, except maybe a tiny little reaction, small enough not to be certain, to the pork grease of all things, and which I only tried because he’d eaten pork as part of a meal he seemed to and shouldn’t possibly have been able to get itchy from.  But he may also have eaten found food and reacted to that.

In general, he’s been good and we’ve been managing it pretty well, but against food boredom for him we vainly struggle.

I survived the Easter egg hunt gathering yesterday.  Which was made interesting by an inexplicable flareup of knee pain, which had been kind of in check until I went down the stairs, and by Valerie gluing herself to me almost the entire time.  Sadie seemed like she’d be standoffish forever, but she’s totally confident, self-directed, and interactive with other people.  She had a blast, flying a kite, and is excited that the wind she so loathes is actually good for something.

The kids got in last straw trouble last night, though, after Sadie was caught puring water out of the tub, onto the floor, which required two additional bath mats to get mostly dry.  No more bath toys, and that’s one of the reasons I’m in a clean and organize the place mood today, trying to get them reordered.

Also on the agenda, I have to pick up a couple groceries, and Deb needs to get material for a custom order.

And on that note, and seeing other people start to get up, off I go.

Well, except to note that I appear to be down another pound this morning, which makes 46 from my peak and 36 this year.  Yay!

Well, and except to note that I was able to solve an RSS problem for Ith that had been longstanding.  Go me!  (It was actually easy to diagnose.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jay: Betrayed By Weather!

Oh wait.  I mean, what a wonderful day it appears to be, and how nice it got for a large chunk of yesterday.  Hooray for sun and warmth, and their power to dry previously soaked grass.  Yeah, that’s it.  Assuming the 50% chance of precipitation, focused in the afternoon and beyond, is worth the risk.

Which means it’s looking sadly, I mean happily, like the family gathering Easter egg hunt thing will happen today.  That means getting a ride, which appears to be all set.  That means preparing and bringing something the baby can eat.  That means getting cash I can’t afford to contribute to the purchase of pizza, which means dairy, which means “hey, what’s Deb going to eat?” That means sitting here trying to remember what lyrics my brother wanted me to locate online and print for him, so I don’t have to be like “oops, forgot” or whatever.

But hey, it’ll make my brother and the other kids happy, so it must be worth it.

If it’s happening, and we have no idea for sure yet.  As of yesterday it was completely up in the air.  Not only does it depend on the lack of rain long enough for the grass to be dry, it also matters whether the grass was cut recently enough, or couldn’t be because mumble mower fixed mumble come do the lawn mumble, or it was too wet at the wrong time.

We also have no idea what time it is scheduled, since nobody in the family who schedules these things ever announces a time for them.  Apparently naming the date is considered sufficient.

Oh well.  Guess I’d better start frantically scrambling to be ready to go, rather than taking advantage of what for me is a work day with someone else to help redirect the kids.

I relaxed when my look at the weather told me it’s likely to be raining again by 2:00, but I’m told we should show between 12:30 and 1:30, so I really do have to scramble.

12:04 PM | BusinessCarsHumorJob HuntingKidsMoneyNewsWeatherNothingTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink
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