To hell with the Chevy Volt. Ban kindergarten! The stacks of paper that come home are obscene.
It’s a bit odd reading chapters from The Boxcar Children to Sadie.
You see, Henry’s nickname is Benny. This comes from a combination of his having at times been called Henny, and that having been used in the song The Name Game: Henny Henny bo benny, banana fanna fo fenny, fee fi mo menny, Henny. This had us using Henny Bo Benny a lot, or Bo Benny, and thus just Benny, or Ben, or Hen-Ben. We also sing the song with Henry rather than Henny, but it was the original that stuck, when the girls would leave out the r.
In the book, there are two separate kids named Henry and Benny. It seems weird.
Valerie turned six recently.
As you see a hint of above, she and the other kids recently got a lesson about roughhousing in the stairwell…
Valerie is in kindergarten and doing pretty well, though a lot of it bores her, and while she’s extremely bright, she is differently so than her prodigal sister. The broken arm is her left, which wasn’t good, since she is overwhelmingly left-handed. She seemed to like all the attention, though.
As is well known, Henry has allergies to bananas, dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, and when he was very young was sensitive to salicylates, azo dyes, and some aspect of screen printed ink on many of my T-shirts. He is gradually easing on the egg and milk fronts, in that he can eat foods into which those have been baked or cooked thoroughly, and can eat foods which have been fried in butter, or that contain butter or sour cream cooked into them.
The girls never had evidence worth noting that they might have allergies. Until now.
Valerie had classic allergy symptoms after eating a peach, skin included, and getting the juice on her skin. She had also drank “peach punch,” a favorite juice we sometimes buy the kids when it’s on sale for a dollar per half gallon, but I discount that as a direct factor, with reason. Turns out that onset of peach allergy can be a symptom of the onset of birch pollen allergy, naturally manifesting in the spring, and common in our neck of the woods. Processed, peaches or peach juice might not trigger that the same way a raw peach, skin and all, could be expected to, or so I gather.
It has been several months since we needed Benadryl for Henry – approaching a year, perhaps. It took a solid dose of it – initially I gave her a lighter dose based on what I remembered giving Henry when he was younger – but that and washing thoroughly cleared it up. A bit slowly. She had hives all over her belly, was extremely itchy, was red around her mouth, and had one eye get red and puff up almost closed.
I called the doctor’s office and they lined up a prompt appointment with the allergist. Early next week will be busy! Sunday there’s a beach get-together the kids and I are going to, centered around a friend visiting from Oregon. Monday Valerie has two sessions of evaluations at the kindergarten, seeing just what help she may need with school and how she should be placed. Then we have a brief get-together with someone I haven’t seen since 1976, visiting from Minnesota.
On Tuesday afternoon it’s Valerie’s allergy testing. Should be interesting, since she’ll get a battery of them, and they are notorious for showing allergies that have never been seen to exist in actual practice. Like my grandniece with the peanut allergy that isn’t. Which I suspect may be true with Henry, since that’s the one thing he never showed signs of at all. In his case we won’t take chances, though.
So yesterday was Henry’s annual allergy appointment, which turned out a bit unexpected, as the doctor decided not to retest him this year. He’d like to wait until next year, at which point he’ll be to the point of maybe growing out of the ones that are commonly grown out of before adulthood.
Things have been going well, so just keep doing what we’re doing. He’s had no signs of any new ones that needed testing. There was no answer to the question of why his tree nut allergies showed up positive without our having had evidence he was allergic to any of the ones in the suite. Macadamia is not part of the testing. He broke out after sucking the salt off a macadamia, and it could have been cross-contamination or something else. Also, he had eaten most tree nuts, and showed a reaction to what he’d had, in proportion to how much he’d had it, but none to what he’d never had. If I were going by observation, I’d say he was allergic to milk, eggs and bananas, not the peanuts or tree nuts, yet those are the most dangerous, traditionally, and also the easiest to avoid.
I was able to report to him that he was correct about Henry eating things with dairy or eggs cooked in. He can eat cake, brownies, donuts and bread with those, for instance, and we no longer look at whether red sauce has milk, as some unexpectedly do. If it is flavored with cheese, duh. If it’s “traditional” flavor, why would I expect milk? But there it is!
I still have to pick up the eppy pen prescription, waiting at Walmart, which I’ll swing by tomorrow. In effect, that was what the appointment was about. Which is fine, though I was already curious about what a retest might find – if there’d be a breakthrough.
At the risk of having to reschedule it or whatever, I made an appointment a year ahead. He goes back, and gets the retesting next time, April 12, 2012. Subject, of course, to any need to change it for scheduling or insurance conflicts.
I didn’t go this time, scheduling it instead so Deb could have a chance. Just as well, given how sick I am. It was pretty similar – Sadie is great and all – but Deb also had a long talk with the principal about Sadie and the siblings following her, rather than just the talk with Sadie’s awesome teacher.
She still has a bit of the social awkwardness, despite being far better than she was, and we ought to put her in extracurricular activities of some kind to help maintain and expand her progress.
Her speech impairment is essentially gone and should not need any help, with the last of it just waiting for teeth to come in. Yay!
She’s the top reader in the class, along with one other girl, so the teacher sometimes has the two of them read together, believing in clustering that way. She did so well in the standard reading test earlier in the year – she was in the top 4% – that in April when they do it again Sadie will get the first grade test, rather than the kindergarten one, since that’s where her reading is.
Apparently we accidentally prepared her well for school. They assume we worked with her intensively, when in fact we thought we slacked. It surprised them she’d not been to preschool or such.
It’s this far into the year and Sadie still loves going to school. That’s cool, since her parents both had some degree of issues with school along the way, though in my case not at the very beginning.
We’re hoping she gets another great teacher for first grade. That makes all the difference. It did for me. My experience was up and down, depending how the teacher was year to year, or teachers, later on.
Valerie has had the same nightmare about our house being on fire and us having to escape it two nights in a row, with no apparent provocation or prior similar nightmares. She seemed a little feverish this AM, so maybe that didn’t help. If nothing else, may be time for me to go over fire safety/evacuation as I did with Sadie around the same age.
I just hope these aren’t predictive dreams or the sort I sometimes have.
I remember playing Scrabble for Juniors with my mother at a fairly young age, and regular Scrabble sometime not much later. I could read before I even started school, so young I don’t remember ever not knowing how. I have to wonder what it might have been like with computers and the Xbox…
Last night Sadie was trying to play Scrabble on the Xbox, locally against Valerie, of all things, but since Val needed 100% guidance and passed in frustration her first turn, Deb took over for a turn, then I played the rest.
Sadie quickly learned the ropes, if not a fine appreciation for all the strategy, and could read almost any word played. We helped her out a lot, but in the end she won by a nose, after being way ahead for a good part of the game.
We’re pretty impressed! Six years old.
A couple weeks ago I had my first ever parent-teacher conference. Felt weird, being the parent rather than the kid, but I’d also looked forward to it, since I didn’t have a definitive idea how Sadie was doing. She loves loves loves school, and has made big strides in reading and writing since she started kindergarten, but the feedback was indirect.
Turns out the teacher just loves her, and Sadie is the class star. It was like me in first grade all over again. That and the “she’s very quiet” was what my mother heard from every teacher about me. They’d always tell her “he should talk more.” Other kids strive to be better, seeing what she can do.
She started out socially awkward and has improved dramatically. We talked about the names I hear, and don’t, at home, and who her buddies are. The teacher got some insight as to how quiet she isn’t at home, and the leadership/oldest child role she plays.
I mentioned how she can sit and draw for hours and that being her favorite thing, and the teacher was aware of that, and how meticulous Sadie is. Currently Sadie wants to be something like a comic book/strip artist/writer when she grows up. She’s intrigued by books written and illustrated by the same person.
We talked again about the speech issue. Sadie was supposed to have had an evaluation. I never finished the lengthy paperwork and arranged it this summer, and by fall her speech had improved dramatically. The special education speech people had the speech person at the kindergarten evaluate her and the verdict was I’m right, she’s way better, just borderline now, so let’s check again in January before doing anything. Or definitely doing nothing.
On the other hand, the teacher let me know at the conference that she had noticed Sadie’s gait issue and it was enough to mention. I gave permission to have it looked at and possibly treated with occupational therapy at school. I explained the entire history, having it looked at a few years ago by the orthopedic doctor who ended up handling her broken leg. This was the first her teacher heard of the broken leg! Which is funny, because Sadie’s teacher broke her leg (sprained and chipped – not as serious) early in the school year, and it was extra fascinating to Sadie for reason of her own experience. Anyway, the doctor who evaluated it said she’d outgrow it. And it did improve. I barely notice it now.
Deb was amused that the teacher said Sadie had arrived “with a good foundation,” since we didn’t do much toward that. Not in any planned way. Baby Einstein, plenty of reading to her, learning the alphabet and anything she could absorb. Probably that last is a big part of it. I treat everything as a teaching opportunity, in an eclectic way. The day she was worried about working the zipper in a pair of jeans, going to the bus stop and waiting for the bus was a discussion of the history of the zipper, then the timing and implications of other inventions. I’ve been teaching her multiplication here and there, especially the part where it’s a form of addition. If someone had made clear the additive and subtractive natures of multiplication and division right up front for me, I might have been less intimidated.
Anyway, that’s my girl… quiet yet popular and an excellent student.
Happy birthday to Sadie! She turned six today. Time flies!
We actually celebrated yesterday. Deb had the day off, and doesn’t see Sadie on days she works and Sadie has school. Her class celebrated her birthday today, so she came home with a crown, a card signed by everyone, and a book she received as a gift.
Between grandparents, geat-grandparents and us she got some clothes, the backpack she uses for school (that was an early present), a big set of pens of different colors, a blue clipboard, construction paper, folders, a giant box of Junior Mints, Play-Doh, and a movie. The other two got single cans of Play-Doh and shirts. Henry loves his big green T-shirt and wore it today even though it hadn’t had the new washed out of it yet. I got a pair of safe scissors for them to share, and a ream of paper to keep supplies up for Sadie, without officially giving it to Sadie.
I made her a vanilla cake with apple flavored frosting, per her request, and which was an adventure. She wanted the frosting red, but supervised the coloring and stopped me at bright pink. She wanted green writing on it. Ended up with green highlights and a set of sugar letters, colored green on blue, for the writing. The kids helped Deb put them on, and they put on the candles.
I am an hour or so past bedtime already, so no pictures right now, and I didn’t get much from the birthday festivities anyway. Just that it’s traditional to be like “aw, look how little she was” with a retrospective. Or at least a link to her arrival.
Monday Sadie got her walking cast off, got still more X-rays, and was allowed to leave cast-free. Yay!
She faces 10 days of taking it easier than normal – walking on even surfaces, no roughhousing, nothing athletic, going in a pool if she wants – and then we’re really done. Unless she remains sore and stiff, in which case the doctor wants her back to see him.
It took her over a week in the walking cast before she started being comfortable getting around by herself, and by the end she was just walking away, just with an odd gait due to the cast. Now it’s her ankle and lower leg, but she is already making an effort, and now understands it needs to be exercised to be back to normal.
What a relief! It’ll be just a month from start of school when she is all the way to normal.
The weird thing is the hair.
Apparently it’s normal if not universal to experience heavy hair growth under and around a cast. From above where the original cast ended down to her shin is a mat of fur that would do my leg proud. I’d thought her knee was inexplicably dirty , then it became clear with the worst of it visible after the cast was gone.
She got the genes for hair to begin with, and of course the cast covers it and it does tend to be darker. But it’s actually thicker, dramatically. From what I found online, the cast irritates the skin under it, which stimulates blood flow, which stimulates hair growth. Never heard of that!
Buying almost a loaf of bread per day! It’s just crazy. The actual usage is probably about 3 large sandwich loaves per 4 days, 5 days if we’re on a slower streak or eating outside the house a lot or whatever derails the sandwich singularity.
[I originally started this post a week ago last Monday, July 12, got interrupted, never finished and posted it, and so here it is. Not bothering to edit the timeframe up to the point I’ll indicate I am adding to it.]
Took Sadie to get her three week cast off today. She was freaked out by the saw, so much she took most of the way through subsequent X-rays to get over it.
The X-rays showed it healed well, as expected.
What I didn’t know to expect of the followup was a “walking cast.” For 2 weeks she has another cast, but this time starting below the knee, going well onto the foot, so her knee can bend and she can walk. She also has a “boot” to strap on, rather than walking on cast and toes.
Today I had to continue carrying her. She can try walking tomorrow.
After the two weeks, it comes off and she really should be done. In the meantime, it’ll be tough
[Continuing from where I left off, and updating to what’s current.]
I think I was going to say it would be tough because we had a pool party to go to, and she would be unable to swim, or maybe it would be tough because we were going to dental appointments in Boston on the 14th, which had I realized she would get the additional cast I might have postponed.
The pool actually helped derail her funk, in which Sadie wouldn’t even try to walk, and was happy to sit and do passive things. She ended up on the side of the pool, cast covered in a towel, other leg dangling or a hand reaching in water to play with it, and playing with cousins. She got so happily soaked, she might as well have been in the pool. But the cast stayed safe!
It still took until yesterday for Sadie to get up and walk around the apartment by herself. She found it painful, stiff and – it still is – awkward. At least this means I am freed up extensively, and the transition won’t be so tough Monday.
As for the dental appointment, because she couldn’t get around readily, and there was some distance involved, I used the umbrella stroller, which works well as a wheelchair of sorts. We were very late getting into the place in Boston, but they squeezed us in before breaking for lunch. It’s very efficient and the people there are awesome. All three kids got a clean bill of tooth, and we don’t have to do this again for six months, assuming nobody develops a problem. Valerie is the best one at dealing with the dentistry, amazingly, because they are her heroes. When I took her there with a lost filling and some pain, they patched it up and it demonstrably didn’t hurt anymore. She raved to her mother that the dentist made it better. Sadie had to be big but wasn’t happy, since Henry had to be held and freaked a bit. Though even he is used to opening wide for having me brush his teeth, so he did pretty well. That and he’s so darn bright and good at following instructions, when he’s not being intentionally stubborn.
But back to the leg… We go Monday, July 26, get the cast off, and from what they said, that is that, not even yet another set of X-rays. As I was saying with the title, the walking cast seemed like kind of an “and we mean it” thing to be sure all was healed and well, and protected with an exoskeleton for a bit as it got used to being in use again.
Or so I hope!
Tomorrow morning I take Sadie to get her cast off and get X-rays.
Presumably that will be it, and we will return home triumphantly cast-free after three weeks. Via some errands. And a trip by my mother’s house, if I leave the other kids there. Among whatever else, I plan to use it as the day Sadie gets to shop for new shoes. Hers are beat, to the point of getting holes in the toes, and I hadn’t been able to find her presumed size (next one up) in that model on a couple casual looks. This way she can participate and try them on, so if they don’t have size 13, maybe we can try the next size up, which is apparently size 1. Sizing is weird.
She may not care that much, but I think it’ll be nice for her to be able to bathe normally, and not just because it’s a pain for me. At least that is infrequent, compared to carrying her to the bathroom or between locations in the house. It’s been helpful that she entertains herself in place easily.
It’ll also be nice for her to be able to swim, or at least go in the wading pool at Grandma’s. We have a couple pending possible pool visits. Yay!
Anyway, I’ll update here with the outcome after we are home tomorrow…
Just a followup, since I didn’t post what happened subsequently yesterday.
We saw the same orthopedic guy Sadie once saw to have her walk/gait evaluated on doctor’s concern. He looked at the X-rays and pointed out the spot, which is both clearly visible and not large. It’s near the top of the large lower leg bone, and is something like a tiny hairline that doesn’t appear to go far into the bone combined with a buckle into a bit of a point.
To our surprise, she did not get a cast yesterday. The ER people did a superlative job on her splint, so nothing needed to be changed in the meantime, and Monday we go back for a fiberglass cast, which allows enough time for any swelling there may be to have happened first. Good thing we no longer have the original dental appointments in Boston on Monday!
Speaking of which, the cast will be on for a minimum of three weeks (or, as Sadie said, “three weeks!!??”), which puts us close to the time of the rescheduled and expanded dental appointment in Boston for all three kids, on Bastille Day. I may have to reschedule that now.
Work missed me badly, yesterday, more so because another guy was also out, though that didn’t directly affect the worst problem. Ripple effects: Someone I work with was unable to go to her day job as a result of Sadie’s injury, and some packages did not get onto their delivery trucks.
Anyway, so far I have had to carry Sadie everywhere. Otherwise she sits, leg propped up, making the recliner ideal. It’s been kind of a style-cramper for those who work late and use the living room after work, having Sadie camped there. The bad thing is the doctor passingly remarked that I would continue to carry her once she has the cast, so nothing would really change. While I was unsure if they’d give crutches to a kid so young, Deb says she’s big enough. We’ll see what happens. That would make things easier. Even if not, being in the real cast should allow her to sleep back in the bed. Just that I’ll have to put her there, where she normally puts herself to bed after I have gone, since I need to be early even to get a few hours of sleep. Speaking of which, even without the heat and the roof being worked on here today, with Sadie immobile, it’s going to be hard for me to nap during the day. I could face a lot of days of 3-4 hours total sleep, except the weekends (Sunday and Monday) when I can generally get a full night worth.
The other two kids have been remarkably good so far, not climbing on the recliner or doing anything that might hurt Sadie.
This whole adventure brings to mind the phrase “there’s always something.”
Last night just after 8:00 I was trying to coax Henry to get into a pullup for the night, while Sadie and then he started, per usual, jumping on the bed like maniacs.
All of a sudden I hear a distinct snapping sound and Sadie is writhing on her side in pain on the bed, left leg having spasms it hurt so bad.
Based on sound and all, I assumed it was broken right from the start. Deb headed home from work. I got Sadie comfortable enough to hang in there while I read Henry to bed and got dressed to be able to leave. Deb covered home while I took Sadie, sitting across the back seat of the Buick because no way she’d manage a booster, to the ER.
I’d been up since 2:30 AM, having not managed, and oddly not missed very much, a nap during the day. It’s only 5 hours, but it’s more work in 5 hours than I ever did anywhere else, so 3-4 hours of sleep doesn’t cut it. Speaking of, I called in before I’d even read to Henry, with a probably don’t expect me due to injured kid.
The ER took forever, naturally. They’re good there, though. It’s where we took Henry for allergy attacks, once in the ambulance and once when I drove him.
She got a couple X-rays. It’s so nice she’s old enough to answer questions, showing and saying where it hurt. Everyone felt bad for her, and admired what a trooper she was. She has high pain tolerance, and even when it’s intolerable she tries to be stoic. It’s as if being hurt and showing it is weakness, and she just can’t let that imperfection show.
She has a buckle fracture, which the doctor found odd. Usually that’s something like jumping off furniture to the floor. They put her in a splint and I had to pick up Tylenol with codeine on the way home.
Just now I learned we can’t take her to the guy they referred us to, insurance incompatibility, so I tried to call my doctor. Managed an appointment with orthopedics there at 1:30 and have to pick up X-rays in Taunton on the way, since they are not in the same network. Wasn’t thinking about that when I could have gone to ER in Brockton versus the closer one in Taunton. Considered Brockton because it wasn’t so critical, but the distance still seemed important.
Looked up the type of fracture. Apparently it’s fast to heal, relatively, but that still means 2-3 weeks in a cast and 4 weeks to heal. And that assumes accurate info, that what I read wasn’t specific to arms, etc.
A couple days ago, she lost a lower front tooth. I mean, lost it, when it fell out in an unknown place, time and manner. She had been telling me it was loose, had been excited, and I’d thought nothing of it. Had no idea it might be that close to a done deal, with the successor well underway beneath it.
Deb noticed it missing yesterday, and apparently it had been lost the day before. Sadie was mortified to have lost the tooth, and claimed absolutely no idea when or where, apart from being sure it had happened the day before, or overnight.
We have yet to find it.
Less than an hour ago, we were eating corn on the cob. You know where this is going, don’t you?
Sadie asked me why her ear of corn was getting red stuff on it.
I looked, realized it was her mouth bleeding, looked and saw a two-tooth gap where one had been gone before. Oops! It was bleeding slightly where the tooth had newly self-extracted.
No sign of the tooth, naturally. Sadie is opposed to the possibility that she swallowed it, but hello, logic. So sad!
That’s two for two, out of the blue.
I investigated the Tooth Fairy, and got a consensus of a buck per, maybe a bonus to as much as five for a first or multiples. I also understand there’s precedent for missing teeth, or even the lack of or desire not to use a pillow. Thus I am sure as the budget allows the Tooth Fairy can come along and leave a stipend somewhere.
Meanwhile, Sadie opined that it’d be a good idea to use her side teeth as much as possible next time.
If you happen to peruse through here or the old Blogblivion that was never fully ported from Expression Engine, you may notice pictures of the kids are gone. Mostly. Argh!
Once upon a time, when it seemed there was far more space on the web hosting account that has elhide.com as its root, my original one, than on this account, which has accidentalverbosity.com as its root, I started storing the pictures on the other account, linking them from posts here. Just required whitelisting this domain for hotlinking. Looks like I started doing that in 2006. In part of 2009 I recall switching back to here, due to role reversal. Went so long between posting pictures, though, I reverted on the last one because it was easier. Thus the post below for Valerie’s birthday without a picture (as of now).
Recently there was a brief spate of outages for this server, which went away, only to be followed by massive outages of the server hosting those pictures and various sites. I felt as if I broke the camel’s back, because it started, as far as I could tell, as soon as I setup my new Frugal Guy Cook blog over there Sunday. Before I did that, I backed up all three hosting accounts, which I do every 1-2 months. There is a utility that compresses and downloads the stuff for you, and can restore from the downloaded backups. Alternatively one might do a straight download of everything via FTP, which I wish had been a habit, even rarely.
They ended up migrating everything on the server that hosting account had been on, which I’ve gone through before and is not generally a problem. Or not a serious one, anyway.
I gathered what must have happened. But my blogs were gone! At least, the ones I checked, including the new one. I started investigating. Here’s what I know so far, sans another reply from support, which at last report had recopied my files and sounded like I should be all set.
The root of elhide.com was there, but the entire /solo folder was gone. That was my original, premarital blog, which had become a postmarital blog. It would have been hard to recreate, being in pMachine, which is ancient and no longer available. Luckily I had a recent copy of the whole thing, so that was fixed. Some of the blogs are there, worst problem being one of them has errors from widgets that aren’t even being used, due to a change of permissions due to the server change. The legacy XTreme Computing site is gone. Married Guy/Daddy Guy Cook is gone. Some various files and folders are gone, like ones with pictures from Las Vegas.
Probably hardest to fix, pictures from 2007, 2008, 2009 and the one from 2010, and possibly part of 2007 but haven’t drilled into that – at least the 2007 folder is there with some in it – are gone.
Well great! I made a backup Sunday. When I wasn’t sure when or if the host would be able to restore things, I tried my first ever restore from the backup I’d downloaded. It took forever, and in fact I snoozed a little while it was happening after work this morning.
That didn’t help. I found some stuff I hadn’t looked at before was up, but I think it always had been. Just didn’t look closely. I’d seen that the add-on domains existed, and I’d see the mySQL databases existed and seemed to have everything at a quick perusal. Which is why the old pMachine blog was fine once the files and folder were replaced.
Eventually I wound up opening the backup files on my hard drive, starting with that recent one. What they contained was what was on the hosting currently! I spot checked all the way back to late 2007 and found the same thing in all the backups, obviously adjusting for the fact that some newer things wouldn’t have been there in the older backups.
It’s as if some of the files/folders flagged themselves “don’t back me up” and proceeded to exclude themselves!
Which would be bad if it happened to the utility customers can use to create backups.
What’s truly scary? If the same thing is affecting backups by the host. Whatever they restored from clearly lacked all those same files. The question is whether they have another backup that hasn’t been afflicted by the same problem and can or will restore from it.
Scarier still? By posting pictures on the blogs, I always figured if the building burned down or something, if we lost all the computers, if no pictures were left in our hands in digital form, we’d still have what I had posted.
Anyway, if we’re toast, I’ll see what I can do to restore everything. I should be able to generate a list of file names and locations from mySQL, locate and upload them in possibly even a semi-automated fashion. Either that or I’ll have to start fresh, but go way back. I was thinking of all pictures going forward being at a new location anyway. Just didn’t plan for there to be a disaster associated with it.
This is why I love my hosting people. Turned out a single corrupt file apparently caused backup failure. All the files except the one have been manually copied from the retiring server to the new one. There is some tweaking associated with a server change that I will need to do, and one single picture from May 2007 is now missing unless I replace it, but otherwise I am back in business. Yay!!