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November 2011

And Mustard

Patrick's Mayo appointment went like this:

- We spent about 45 minutes with the pediatric infectious disease doctor who told us

    1. sinus surgery never works for children*

    2. Patrick suffers from migraines**

    3. Patrick is very ticklish

    4. Patrick has no allergies

    5. Patrick's sinuses look great when viewed through a scope-up-the-nose

- They drew a hogshead of blood

    We all have our fears. Me, I hate snakes. Patrick is terrified by needles. He literally started to tremble when labs were mentioned. While my antediluvian side is pleased that he will never get a tattoo (fear not, modernists - I am certain that Caroline will more than make up for his lack of body art) his phobia makes thorough exams something of a trial for all of us. The doctor wrote a numbing gel into the lab order which helped but Patrick was still feeling martyred when the phlebotomist wheeled in her cart. Noting the fact that he resembled nothing so much as a cat about to be thrown into a bathtub, she said that he should cheer up because when it was over she would let him choose a pencil.

"But I hate pencils!" Patrick responded shrilly.

I laughed and a moment later Patrick laughed too because even he realized how ridiculous he sounded. I suggested this could be his backstory if he ever decides to become an supervillain - a burning hatred for pencils. We were just developing his nemesis (Ticonderoga HB 2 Man?) when she said she was finished.

He thanked her for the pencil.

- They did a CT scan of his head

And that was pretty much it.

The doctor called about thirty minutes after we got back home. Some of the blood work had come back and it was all normal. Normal immune system, normal blood counts. We are still waiting on some of the more complicated immune testing but the initial stuff all looks fine.

"However," he said, "the CT scan indicates extremely significant sinus disease. The ethmoid maxillary and frontal sinuses are all affected on both sides of his head."

I asked if it was odd that his bloodwork did not show signs of a bacterial infection when the CT scan did and he said no, not at all, because the infection is sequestered - a fact which also makes it difficult to treat. His theory is that Patrick has a chronic sinus infection coupled with recurrent acute sinus infections and we have never managed to eradicate it (them.) So he has put Patrick on a megadose of yet another antibiotic (augmentin) for four weeks and wants him back for a follow-up in January. He said he usually doesn't repeat the CT scan but in Patrick's case he thinks it is necessary; partly to make certain that the infection is completely gone and partly to see what things looks like once they are clear.

So that's the plan.

* D'oh!

** He came up with the migraine theory prior to seeing Patrick's CT scan based on the fact that Patrick gets rather frequent headaches and sinus infections are not supposed to cause headaches in children. This might be true and we'll keep an eye on it but I personally think it is more likely that Patrick really does feel pressure in his head from his sinuses. Just saying.

The pediatric waiting room at Mayo is a very humbling place.

PS Per RocketGrl's question: oh yes they've always seen infections on the other CT Scans and they have treated them for x days with x antibiotic but they have never done a repeat scan to see if x worked. The idea has been multiple sinus infections; the Mayo guy thinks it is one sinus infection that never goes away.


Do Not Perturb

For the past, um, six? Maybe it's seven? Anyway, for the past one two three many nights Edward has woken up screaming for me and I have clomped upstairs to join him. Most of the time he falls back asleep and I fall back asleep and it's no big deal but the past couple of nights he has failed to honor this unspoken agreement; choosing instead to whisper, "Can I turn on the lights?" And when I say, "NO. Go to sleep" he lies still for about twenty milliseconds and then says, "I've got an idea! I'll turn on the lights!"

So if you were looking for me last night around 3:30 am you would have found me in Edward's room with all the lights on, trying to sleep in a race car bed with my head sandwiched between two pillows while Edward used my back as a dirt track for his Matchbox cars. And yes I know this is just the sort of overly indulgent post-War parenting that will lead to a generation of self-entitled layabouts with no gumption and, I dunno, rickets but it is truly the best I can do in the middle of the night. I am TIRED in the middle of the night.

But this isn't the story I wanted to tell. This is just the framework for the story so that you understand why Edward and I were sound asleep in his room two nights ago with all the lights on when Caroline sashayed in a little after five in the morning. God only knows what she was doing up at that hour but she was, indeed, up (very very up) and she greeted me with a hearty, "Oh THERE you are, Mommy! What are you doing in Edward's room? Why are the lights on? Can you make me breakfast? Can you make me super-special oatmeal for breakfast? Is that Edward? Is Edward asleep? I think he is sleeping" and she reached one of her surprisingly long and elegant hands across me in order to poke her brother in the face.

"Caroline," I hissed. "Do. Not. Wake. Him. Up. Shhhh. It's still night time. Go back to your own bed."

Caroline considered this for a moment and then said, "No, thank you. I don't think so. I don't think I want to go back to bed. I think I want breakfast."

"You should go find Daddy," I whispered, throwing Steve to the wolves (well, wolf) without pause. "Go find Daddy and tell him you want breakfast."

Caroline said, "OK!" and trotted off and I snuggled closer to Edward and tried to fall back asleep again.

One minute later Caroline returned.

"I need you to make me breakfast," she said.

"Where's Daddy?" I asked.

"Daddy was ASLEEP," she said reproachfully. "I don't want to wake him up."

And that - in a nutshell - is what happens to dopes like me who continue/d to get up with Baby every time s/he opened their little milk holes. Almost four years later they still see me as their after hours caterer slash entertainment director who can be roused on demand; whereas Steve - who would cheerfully lock them in their rooms until the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is on Daddy's Awake Now - is treated like a sleeping Venus. 

There is a lesson there for those of us who are propping our eyes open with bags of tea.

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The walk-in doctor who saw Edward last week thought his lungs sounded ok but she decided to do a chest x-ray when Steve and I couldn't remember how long (I just typed 'lung') he had had his cough and were talking about September in our attempt to recall. She looked at the film and said he looked good to her and sent us home with amoxillian to try to clear the sinuses. The next day, however, she called (personally, I liked that. I mean she called personally) and said that the radiologist had reviewed the xray and had found an infiltration in his right lobe and she wanted to keep him on the amoxillian but if he wasn't significantly better in four days to bring him back in. I said okey-dokey and googled walking pneumonia, which is when I discovered that it is contagious in close proximity. This prompted me to reevaluate Caroline's on-going cold as well as my own lingering cough. I took Caroline to our regular doctor who said he lungs sounded "junky" and he put her on azithromycin, which he switched Edward to as well. Done and done and they are both doing much better.

As for me, I went to urgent care and explained that I had this COUGH and the guy looked skeptical but did a chest x-ray anyway. He said the x-ray looked fine and that I should try sleeping with a humidifier. Fine.

When the clinic left a message the next day asking me to call them back I thought Ah-HA! I assumed the same thing had happened to me as Edward - that the radiologist had seen something that the first doctor had missed and they were going to give me something to treat my racking cough.

Instead the nurse said that my regular doctor (urgent care and primary share a clinic) wanted me to be sure to repeat a chest x-ray in four weeks.

And I said, "Um, ok" and then I said, "Wait, what? Why? Did the radiologist see something?"

She said, "Oh let me check" and then said, "Yes he found a nodule in your right lung so they'd like you to repeat the x-ray in four weeks."

Is it me or should that have been the first thing they told me? I admit I was pretty close to blowing off a repeat x-ray when I thought they were just following up on the first one that said I had a cold.

Anyway I googled pulmonary nodules and then I regretted googling them and I emailed my doctor and said hey could it be a pneumonia because we are all about lung infections right now and he said no it isn't because your blood counts were normal; come back in four weeks and if it is still there we'll do a CT scan. 

So I'm still coughing and I have a thing in my lung but it isn't causing the coughing, which is sort of the worst of all respiratory worlds, you know?

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Autumn in Minnesota. And Patrick invented snowcone cones (snow, meet food coloring. food coloring, meet (and defeat) every stain remover in my laundry room) and joy reigned.

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Every Christmas as a stocking stuffer my mother and I have given each other desk calendars by an artist named Ling Chang who does very pretty flower prints in watercolor. I don't even remember when or why we started this but we've done it for over decade. Then last year I decided I wanted something different, so I notified my mother of the pending change and went to Etsy to review the options. I looked at ink and watercolor and gouache and photography; dozens and dozens of different artists. I kept coming back to this one calendar, which was comprised of color photographs of plants and flowers. I really liked it so I ordered it and as I did so I thought, huh, her name seems familiar... lo and behold the photographer wound up being a blog reader and commenter and I thought it was so funny and random that out of all of the calendars I went through I should pick something by someone I "know" that I made a mental note to mention it to you guys. Here it is almost a year later - calendar ordering time - so I thought I would give her a shout out (Hi Shawna) and direct you to her site in the hope that you will like her work as much as I do.    

Shawna Cameron Photography

On the subject of people I sort of know who make things I really love I would also like to direct your attention to Heddy Freddy handbags. Full disclosure: I am a handbag person. I would like to be a shoe person but my feet are too fat so I am stuck with the bland offerings of an indifferent shoe industry (Steve calls them my shoe muus) but bags? I love them. So when my friend Jennifer invited me last Spring to an open house for a friend of hers who has a store in St Paul dedicated to the handbags she (the friend) designs I was all over it. And I liked her bags so much that I bought one, even though I didn't really need one and I don't usually do that sort of more than $5 impulse thing. But they were just so pretty and fun and CLEVER that I could not resist. She explains it much better on her website but basically you get this nice looking insert that keeps all of your stuff and then you can magnet it into different shells for day or evening or by season or mood. Then she also has this larger business tote that works with the insert which is brilliant because you only carry one bag to the office but then your purse pops out so you can take it to lunch or whatever. AND - this is why I am bringing it up now - she has just finished designing a diaper bag that dittos (roomy bag for stuff plus zipped changing pad plus purse insert - all in one; like I said, it's very clever) and she emailed me to let me know it was finally completed to her satisfaction.

So, another female artisan and entrepreneur whose work has personally given me a lot of pleasure and I thought would pass her link along. Fa La La and all that.

Heddy Freddy

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And finally... holiday presents.

I have no freaking idea. None. I do not have a single thing planned for anyone, including Steve whose birthday is in (lemme check my desk calendar) two weeks. So please tell me what the big and little people in your life really like so I can get some ideas. Oh! And I got a Kinect for my birthday but we only have the game it came with. What are good Kinect games - either for the whole family or just for me?

And to share, under the heading of things we already have I guess I would recommend:

For 5 and under -

1. Fisher-Price iXL players. We call them the monkey players since they came preloaded with some random monkey software. Caroline and Edward got them for their birthdays a year ago and they are not only still working (a miracle unto itself) but beloved. I load music and audiobooks on them for bedtime and both Caroline and Edward like the games. They were able to use them from 2-turning-3 by the way. A downside is the relative lack of available software but the upside is the ability to put your own mp3s on them.

I would be interested in hearing if you have and like any of the other little kid handhelds, though, as I might be open to something that has more games. Leappad?

For your very own Patrick -

2. Patrick has just gotten into video games but he doesn't like 99% of them for one reason or another. What he does like - would walk all night again just to buy it some shoes in fact - is Portal 2. It's a spatial puzzle game and incidentally very very funny (the closing song starts "So here we are again/ it's always such a pleasure/ remember when you tried to kill me twice?") He also likes Crazy Machines. For what it is worth.

I'd love suggestions for other games (PC or Wii or Kinect - I guess we are a multi-platform family) he might like. I tried to load my all time favorite Grim Fandango for him but was defeated by all the cursed Windows platform updates from the past decade.

For some random person -

I love my Aerogarden A LOT. I have a 3-pod and then I got a 7-pod. Both are terrific. I have flowers in one and herbs in the other. Warning: it hums loudly and the light is a lot like glaring sunlight so probably not a great idea for people in studio apartments.

I think that is it. Please advise.

PS Mayo on Monday. Fingers crossed.

PPS We are going to my friend Noelle's for Thanksgiving. That's why I am looking so happy and relaxed.

PPS Oh. Sorry. Yeah, about two weeks after I moved Caroline's bed into Edward's room she decided she wanted to move back to her own room again. Now they play in his room for about half an hour at bedtime and then she returns to her room to sleep. Unless she falls asleep in his bed - which happens - or he requests that she leave, which happened last night and she was mortally offended.


Instinks

When I was pregnant with Patrick I read an article in whatever parenting magazine that assured the neurotic new mother that they would just know when their baby was sick enough to require a visit to the doctor. Supposedly most parents have instincts that are sharp like English cheese and I think that's great (go species!) but I feel a little wistful because clearly I am evolutionarily inferior.

Wham. That is my head hitting the keyboard. Wham wham wham.

Remember that time when Caroline left her well baby appointment in an ambulance? Or the months Patrick went around looking like one of the Nazgul because a bacterial infection was slowly taking over his head? 

So yesterday Steve and I were running errands* with Caroline and Edward in tow. We went to Target. We went to the shoe store. We went to get some groceries. We bought fabric. And then, by merest chance, we happened to drive past our pediatrician's office at the exact moment that Edward coughed (as he said to me over the weekend "You and me Mommy have big coughs and we are coughing them") and I turned to Steve and said, "Hey, you know, I took him into urgent care over two weeks ago for this congestion. Should we swing in and have someone check him again?"

And Steve looked at the clock, calculated how much time we had until we needed to pick up Patrick, and said, "Yeah I guess it wouldn't hurt."

Long story short: Edward has pneumonia. Kind of a mild pneumonia, I think. A walking pneumonia but still... pneumonia. And I had sent him to sports class.

Wham.

In my defense he has no fever, no discernable wheeze, no alarming blueness... really apart from the gunk he has been a picture of health. Jeez. Pneumonia. Who knew?

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Speaking of illness, Patrick is going to the Mayo clinic the Monday after Thanksgiving. When our pediatrician suggested this as a next step, he said that the Mayo has two big things going for it: one is that they use a team approach; and the other is that they are used to seeing zebras. Personally I think Patrick (and most likely his baby brother) has some sort of an immune problem. They get colds like other kids and then the colds morph into something swampy and never clear up without pharmaceutical assistance. But it doesn't matter what I think because we're going to the Mayo and no one there will care. Whee! Talk about relieving my anxiety about missing something in my ignorance. Someone in my comments (jokingly) suggested that I should be sure to do copious amounts of google research on all kinds of obscure conditions and bring the printouts with me - she said Mayo doctors love that sort of thing. I laughed. Can you imagine? They don't even let you schedule on your own. I had to have all of Patrick's relevant records sent from the hospital and the ENT and the pediatrician and then they called me after a doctor reviewed it all and told me what department was interested in him. So Patrick is scheduled with an infectious disease specialist who subspecializes in pediatric immune disorders and I think that pretty much covers it.

School continues to go well for him, although I discovered at conferences that he has a wee little problem with, oh you know, finishing any assignment. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending upon your point of view) his teacher is one of those warm, affirmative types who acknowledged that he needs to work a little harder but rushed to point out all of the things he is doing well. Like... socializing. At one point she told me that he is obviously very funny and she always hears peals of laughter coming from his tablemates. And she said it with the fond smile a person might give while discussing the high-spiritedness of a beloved grandchild. I was tempted to tell her that his ability to make his peers laugh in class would only please me if he was actually enrolled in clown college but... hell. I AM pleased that he is having such a good time, although I hid this fact when I returned home and threatened him with every dire repercussion I could think of if he didn't get off his lazy and start getting his schoolwork done.

So between my threats and his homebase teacher's loving acceptance of him (she has asked him to make her some curtains for her classroom - preferably tie-dyed; she's aces) and his math teacher bumping him up another math level I hope next quarter is just as laugh riotous but greatly more productive.

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I still cannot believe that Steve surprised me on such a massive scale for my birthday. Not only am I shocked that he maintained secrecy in the face of my superhuman nosiness but I am also kinda surprised (and incredibly touched) that he bothered to go to so much trouble. Steve - and heaven knows I love him with the jawcracking force of an exploding two-ton bomb - has never been one for over-the-top romantic gestures. I asked him after the party if the first fifteen years of our relationship had merely been a prelude to this big surprise; if he had been forcing himself to stifle all that thoughtfulness under a carefully constructed veneer of (can you say self-centeredness about someone who spent two months planning your party? no? oh well) in order to deliver a bigger wallop of SURPRISE! He laughed. I still think it is likely.

Anyway, there are a lot of ways to feel loved but in my experience the surprise party was one of the most spectacular and after I arose from my sickbed I was sloshing over with a desire to reciprocate; with a yearning to convey that I am equally smooshy-mooshy about him.

"My darling," I said last Thursday, noting the leafless trees and the herd of deer playing rugby in our front yard, "isn't this the time of year that you like to sit in the woods and threaten innocent creatures with your bow and arrows? Do you want to go down to the farm some time?"

And Steve whipped a duffel bag out of nowhere and shouted, "I was just waiting until you felt better, byyyyeeeee..." and he left so quickly that there were little clouds of dust where he had been standing, just like a roadrunner cartoon. Actually I am exaggerating. He did say that he had been waiting until I felt better and that he would like to go to the farm as soon as possible. "Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... but I think today."

I said uh, ok, I guess, go, have fun, I will tend to the home fires and then asked when he was coming back, meaning would he be home in time for the early game on Sunday or not until the late afternoon game?

"Ummm, next Tuesday or Wednesday. I don't know. I'll call you. Love you, byyyeeeeeee."

And then he was gone and I was standing there blinking  because a week of solo parenting (and solo carpooling. solo litterboxes. solo fixing the broken security system, dealing with the tire that has a slow leak, sorting through increasingly complicated business accounting) was a little longer than I had anticipated. Silly me.

In the end Steve was gone all week and in case you are wondering the exact number of You days a surprise party buys a spouse; it is: five. After five days I was done and when Steve came home on day seven I practically threw the children at him and climbed into the bathtub, pulling all of my Agatha Christies in after me.

I'm glad he is home again and the tremendous respect I feel for those of you who regularly manage without an another adult has been renewed three-fold. Children are wonderfully wonderful but they are also bottomless gulleys of sucking need and I find unalleviated 24/7 parenting both stressful and exhausting. 

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I mentioned that I started running again. I did. And then I started getting shin splints that hurt so much I was hobbling around the house and could barely walk, let alone run. A quick google search indicated that there are two primary causes for shin pain: running too much and bad shoes. One woman on some running board shared the fact that she always got shin splints at the beginning of the season when she accidentally ran ten miles instead of three.

Huh. You don't know me personally and I am sure that many of you frequently find yourself getting so carried away when you exercise that you inadvertently run ten miles but... that is not me. I am a two slow miles if I'm lucky kind of a runner. So, new shoes it was!

I took Patrick with me and handed him one of the cat behavior books we had gotten from the library (he is doing his science fair project on feline something or other.) The shoe guy measured my feet and asked pertinent questions about my shins while Patrick opened his book at random and started reading. He started snickering and then he burst into uncontrolled laughter. I didn't realize cat behavior was so funny so I asked what was amusing him. He said it was a list of cat New Year's resolutions.

"Oh," I said.

"What's a con-dome?" he asked.

I turned red. The shoe guy turned purple.

"What?" I said.

"Con-dome," said Patrick.

"We'll talk about it later," I said. "In the car."

"Why? What is it?" asked Patrick. "Oh and what's co-i-toos?"

I grabbed the book, glanced briefly at the cat resolutions that included a promise not to drag empty condom wrappers through the living room and tossed the book into my purse. Then I sat on my purse.

Patrick said, "HEY!"

The shoe guy said, "So! How do those feel? Good?"

I said, "I'll take them, thank you, no bag" and I walked out wearing one new shoe and one sock, clutching the box with the other shoe in my hands.

The moral of this story is:

Man, I have no idea. How a nice book on cats from the library led to Patrick embarrassing the beejeezums out of me during an otherwise harmless consultation on arch support I have no idea. Coitus! In a cat book!

PS Remind me to talk about holiday gift ideas next time. Tis the season.

PPS Pneumonia!

* No, Steve does not usually drive me around and carry my parcels. In fact I cannot remember the last time he did. However, it turns out that he WANTS TO GO BACK DOWN TO THE FARM THIS WEEKEND and he is trying to butter me up. It's sort of working.

PPPS AHEM! Human coitus. The book referenced cats tactlessly interrupting human coitus. I return to my exclamation points.

PPPPS And I am fine, in theory, discussing sex with Patrick. Just not with Patrick and the shoe guy.


Four Oh? Ten Four

I'm writing this from my sick bed, which started as a nest of towels in the bathroom but has gradually migrated to the couch. Joining me on my divan of death is Edward who started throwing up a few hours after I did... but, hey, look at that. I've leapt ahead of myself.

Last week my mom called and told me that she and my brother were surprising me for my birthday (my FORTIETH birthday - can I get a woot woot) and they would be flying in on Friday. After my initial shock (the words "surprise" and "house guests" do not often tango together in my daydreams) I was very excited. However, Steve and I had long-standing dinner plans with our friends John and Lauren for My Big Day (please feel free to think of it in caps; I did) and I felt like an ass calling and cancelling. I solved this social dilemma by racing out the door for Edward's eye appointment and tossing Lauren's number onto Steve's desk.

"Call! Explain!" I shouted and when I returned home Steve said that Lauren had said of course my family should join us. So that was resolved and I spent the week putting sheets on beds and happily anticipating what was shaping up to be the best birthday ever. Oh, and I bought four new towels because twice in the past year my mom has asked if I want her to buy me some new towels. You know, guest towels. For guests. I can take a hint.

Friday was the preschool Halloween party and I did a dry-run for costumes the day before. Caroline was enchanted with her butterfly princess fairy ballerina ensemble and I am sure you will all be surprised to know that she went on to become the Halloween parade line leader and was praised for her excellent wrist-twist parade waving.

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Edward?

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Not so much.

We got to preschool on Friday and he lost it. Total meltdown. Refused to have anything to do with his costume or the parade or school or Halloween or freaking anything. You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. Under normal circumstances I would have unloaded him onto the closest state-licensed childcare provider but they all had their hands full trying to herd a bunch of costumed preschoolers into a line so I wound up sitting on a chair with him outside the classroom and waiting for the parade to be over. And waiting. Aaaaaand waiting. By the time I got to the airport my mother had been there for over an hour but hey! It was My Birthday! We hung out at the airport for another fifty minutes or so, got my brother and headed off for a nice lunch. It was lovely and the day was marred only slightly when it occurred to me that perhaps Edward was psychotic because his ears were bothering him. I took him {FORESHADOWING} to the urgent care that afternoon {END FORESHADOWING} so that someone could look at his new ear tubes - they said he was getting a yucky cold but his ears were fine.

Saturday was hectic. We breakfasted, played with the children and puttered and then my mom, brother, Patrick and I went out for an outing. I wanted to be home in time for Steve to take the kids to an afternoon Halloween hayride with the neighbors. The timing was terrible but I thought he could go and make it back before we had to leave for dinner and drinks. In retrospect it was probably overkill but it seemed like too much fun for the kids to pass up just because it was My Birthday Dinner. I decided the hayride was a good time to bust out the batman shirts, largely inspired by a comment Victoria left here re. Caroline. She noted that Caroline likes to dress up so, really, can there be too many costumes? Uh, no. No, I suppose not. 

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I drew bats on their cheeks with eyeliner and Patrick donned his new button-down tie-dye and they went off to hayride and I assumed they would be back in an hour. Wrong. The babysitter came at five but there was no one to babysit. Steve called at 5:15 and said he was mid-hay ride and we should just go without him. He'd follow. I worried that this was both rude and weird but my mom and brother were there and John and Lauren were waiting so we went. 

About three-quarters of the way through our cocktails Steve called. He was on his cell phone and said that things had gotten crazy and he would tell me all about it but he wasn't going to make it for drinks and we should just head off to dinner without him. He'd meet us at the restaurant. My first thought was that he had broken one of the children and had to take them to be repaired. My second thought was that he had better have broken one of the children because unless he had a damned good excuse for showing up half-way through MY BIG BIRTHDAY DINNER it was totally uncool. I mean, hell, Steve.

My brother had had to parallel park for me at the bar (nope. still not embarrassed by the fact that I cannot parallel park) and graciously agreed to be my designated driver so he drove while I sat and alternated between fretting and fuming. When we got to the restaurant the hostess apologized for how busy they were and took us to the back where...

SURPRISE!

It was a party! A surprise party! A surprise fortieth birthday party for me! And Steve was there and the kids (plus our wonderful sitter who fed them cupcakes and then took them home again) and my mom and brother (of course) and my friends including Julie. Julie had come from Vermont with Charlie. I saw her and I said "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod" several times and then I did what any mature woman, any woman in her forties, any woman who stands unblinking in the blazing sunshine of Life's Afternoon would do. I burst into tears.

It. Was. The. Best. Birthday. Ever.

Then I came home and instantly got violently violently ill (remember that trip to the urgent care?) and did not get up for three days. I slept (and worse) through Julie's entire visit. I missed my entire birthday day. I missed Halloween.

Seriously. I got off the couch long enough to take these and that was it. Such a bummer. I LIKE Halloween.

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And poor Edward was right there on the couch with me. This was his Halloween night, poor kid.

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As my mother said: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

But mostly the best.

PS Somewhere in the middle of all this I took Patrick to his pediatrician for a long-awaited physical. We talked about the infections and he said, if it were my kid I would take him to Mayo. So now we are just waiting to hear back from them.

PPS I have a billion book ads right now. Please click on them, for surely there is something there to suit your taste? Oh! And that class action suit up there? Not sure what it is about but they are also generous underwriters so if you ate low-salt canned tomato soup under the impression it has less salt than... I dunno. Click and learn.