Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Seamus has hand, foot and mouth again. I didn’t think it was possible to get this virus twice, but apparently it is. His pediatrician was in shock when I took him by this afternoon. He said he’d seen children contracting hand, foot and mouth twice in the same season but not in the same month. This time he has the rash on his hands, feet and in his mouth (just as you’d imagine from the name of the virus). If the urgent care doctor I took him to this weekend hadn’t pointed it out, I never would have noticed the rash on the hands and feet. It’s very faint and not raised or itchy (yet). He’s had a very low-grade fever and the doc said he was fine to go back to school (which is probably where he keeps getting this awful thing—and everything else he’s contracted) as long as he was fever free. Thank goodness for that this morning because I have very little sick time left, and when I got to work three of my circ staffers were sick, out or having pet issues and needed to come in late. Thankfully it was a slow summer day and we could function with just a few people.

Last night was just like the last time he had this virus. He woke up a couple of times crying and telling me his mouth hurt, woke up this morning saying the same. I gave him yogurt and fruit for breakfast, most of which he ate, and sent him on to school. I’m just hoping the fever doesn’t return like it did last time he had this thing.

I promised a couple of posts ago to post a list of all the funny things Seamus has been saying lately. So here goes.

A List of Funny Things that Have Come Out of Seamus’s Mouth

First you should know that he can’t pronounce the letters F or V or the TH sound; these come out sounding like B or P, as in bish and bries for fish and fries.

•This bear lib in a cabe.
•I have a big tail on me (pretending with one of his lions and talking to himself).
•I have a wooly mammop.
•Mama be dolphin. I be a shark.
•Mama be Pocahantas. I be John Smith (only he says John Smip)
•Mama be Sacajawea. I be Teddy Belt (this is from Night at the Museum and Teddy Belt is Teddy Roosevelt)
•Mama be Lucifer. I be Jack. (The cat and mouse from Cinderella)
•I be Skippyjon Jones bouncing on my bed. Mama be mother. (from the book Skippyjon Jones)
•In his bath at night, he pretends one of his boats is a train and says, “This train going to Hoboken.”
•Last week we were walking Georgia and she was being particularly good. I made the comment that Georgia was a good girl and that we had the best girl ever, and Seamus said, “We have the best boy too.”
•Yesterday, we were walking Georgia and she was listening to me and behaving very well and I told Seamus Georgia was being so good that she would get a treat when we got back inside. Seamus said, “I get a treat too.”
•And just tonight he said the funniest thing. He was inspecting three of his Schleich animals (which are anatomically correct): a female lion, male lion and baby boy lion (which he calls Sarabi, Mufasa and Simba—can you tell we watch a lot of Disney movies). When he got to the female lion he said, “She doesn’t have one.” You can realize pretty quickly what he was talking about.

I’m sure there are a few more I’ll remember tomorrow, but at this time of the evening these are the only ones I could think of.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Mr. S and I went to the pool today and had a big time. Didn't get too many pictures taken since it was just the two of us and I was in the pool with him, of course. This was the same day of little sleep the night before and no nap. He still had fun though.



This is what happens when you stay up two hours past your bedtime, get up at 5:30 am the next day and refuse to take a nap at all.

You fall asleep on the couch while watching Alice in Wonderland right before dinner time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This and That

I was still asleep when the alarm when off this morning, and I wandered into the kitchen and poured a big scoop of ground coffee into the cat's food dish.

Seamus woke up just a few minutes later and ran straight away into the bathroom to play with the animals in his new shampoo rinsing cup.

Somehow I found myself with a few minutes to spare before the dog needs walking and we start off on our day. So I thought I'd take a moment to post a little something.

Here's a picture of the chocolate strawberry Father's Day cake we had over the weekend. It's one of Paulanto's specialties, and I've been thinking about it all week.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Seamus's First Light Saber

Papa is home and he came bearing gifts. One of the perks of interning at Hasbro is all the discounted toys in the Hasbro store, which contains every board game, action figure and Nerf ball that Hasbro (and the other companies they own) makes. Mr. S received his first Mr. Potato Head, a hand-held baby Kota the Triceratops, Nerf Basketball hoop and this...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Good Grief!

This morning started off with a bang. Literally. And a trip to the emergency room. Before we'd even finished our breakfast, before I'd had all of my coffee, before we'd had a chance to walk Georgia, Seamus tripped over a basket of toys he'd pulled out from his bookcase and fell head-first into his little table. The second I picked him up a bruise had already begun to form and there was a concave spot right beneath it on his forehead.

After I'd calmed him down and gave him a pop-sickle the concave spot began to swell and turn red. Now Mr. S has hit his head numerous times before, but I've never seen an injury that look quite this way and I was concerned that he'd fractured his skull. So we took the Light Rail to the Jersey City Medical Center, where he was tended to right away. (Bayonne has a medical center, but it has a bad reputation and my old insurance even sent me a letter saying they'd taken them off of their list of acceptable hospitals.)

The Jersey City Medical Center was great! They have a pediatric waiting room with magnetic sea animal toys and a pediatric ER stocked full of kid movies. The Muppets Treasure Island was playing while we were there.

The doctor who saw Seamus took a look at his injury, which had already decreased significantly by that point, and said that the injury look minor to him and since Seamus was acting normal, had no nausea, nor fever and wasn't lethargic, he was probably fine. He told me I could send him on to day care and I could go on to work. Then he handed me a list of signs associated with head injuries and told me to watch him for the next 24 hours. This was the quickest ER visit I've ever had. We were in and out of there in under two hours, and one of the nurses told us it would have been a quicker visit if they hadn't had a trauma at the same time.

When we arrived at school, his teachers seemed very concerned and they scooped him up and coddled him right away. I left the list of head injury signs with them and told them to call me at the slightest sign of a problem. All Seamus was concerned about was why anyone hadn’t gotten his cereal and set it before him yet. (At school they always give him a light second breakfast first thing in the morning.)

You might think my adventure ended there, but it didn't. I got back on the Light Rail and headed back to Hoboken Terminal and when I arrived at Hoboken Terminal I was so focused on that morning's goings-on that I forgot to take into consideration that the PATH trains might run differently at 10:30 in the morning than they do at 7:30 in the morning. Usually on my morning commute there are three PATH trains waiting at Hoboken: Two going to 33rd Street in NYC and one going to the World Trade Center. They're always on the same track each morning.

So I hopped on what I thought was a 33rd Street train, found a nice seat, put on my headphones and closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes again at the next stop, we were back in New Jersey at Pavonia/Newport. I'd gotten on the train going to Journal Square. So I hopped off at the next stop, found a train going back to Hoboken and once in Hoboken, grabbed the first 33rd Street train I could find.

I was so relieved to be headed in the right direction that I didn't look at my seat before sitting down and ended up sitting in a puddle of water. I guess someone had used that seat for their wet umbrella earlier in the morning. I didn't bother switching seats because as soon as I sat down the fabric of my skirt absorbed all the water and there didn't seem much point in moving.

So I sat there for the rest of the train ride staring at an advertisement for the state of Connecticut that said: Real relaxation is closer than you think.�


Because at 3:30 this afternoon, Seamus's school called to tell me that he'd fallen off a bean bag and hit his head again...in the exact same spot.

I went home early today.

Seamus appears to be happy and well, but I'm keeping a close eye.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I’m on my lunch break at work and I’m supposed to be working on a short story, but I can’t think about that kind of writing right now. Right now I just want to write about how sleepy I am, how I keep dozing off at my carrel in the stacks of the library and having funny little two second dreams about blonde ladies giving me directions through the FIT buildings. I think my lack of sleep, which has stretched into weeks of less than six hours a night, is finally catching up to me. Every night I promise myself to be in the bed by nine o’clock, and every night I find more and more things that need to be done and don’t end up falling asleep until after 11 o’clock. I have to be up every morning at five, and on my days off the latest Seamus will sleep in is 5:30.

Every weekend morning I think of that line in Lady and the Tramp, when Jim Dear says to Darling as he’s getting out of bed to take Lady for a very early morning walk: Can’t someone explain to Lady about Sundays.

Maybe when Mr. T comes home this weekend, he’ll let me sleep in Saturday morning?

I had a lovely weekend with Seamus and my parents. It felt like a little vacation because we ate lots of delicious meals and made a stop at the bakery, where a man with a beautiful Romanian accent talked me into a strawberry tart just by the way he said strawberry preserves.

Seamus really enjoyed spending time with his Grandie and Grandpa and has been talking about it all week. He’s become the little man of the house and has started referring to himself this way. He’s been helping me walk the dog, clean up his toys and once he even grabbed a plastic bag (the kind I reserve to pick up Georgia’s messes from the sidewalk) and offered to clean up the poop he made in the floor after his bath.

Sometimes I just can’t get the diaper on quick enough.

He has a whole slew of new sayings and funny little words these days. Sometime this week I’ll post a list. But for now, here’s a picture Grandie snapped before she left of me and my big helper.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In Which Grandie and Grandpa Come Up for a Surprise Visit

Grandie and Grandpa surprised us by coming up for a last minute visit to Bayonne. Thomas is staying in Rhode Island this weekend, and Continental just happened to have a cheap flight from Knoxville to Newark. Perfect timing, I say! We've been having lots of fun, going to Liberty Science Center again, reading books and Ranger Rick Magazines and playing with all sorts of plastic sea and river animals.

We saw all sorts of animals at the Science Center:

Most of the pictures we took look like this:

We also had fun playing in the i-Explore room, which is only for 1-5 year olds:

Get your hard hats!

The coolest animal of all was this monitor lizard, of which we took a video. If you listen closely you can hear Seamus say to the other children, "a monitor lizard, guys!"


We bought two big bags full of plastic sea and river animals (as if this house had room for any more plastic animals), and Seamus had a big time lining them all up on the window sill once we got home.

He hasn't put the salamander or turtle down since. We also found the Little Golden Guide to Mammals in their gift shop. We love this series of field guides for children, and we have the reptile and amphibian field guide from the 1950s already. The new guides still have the same great illustrations and layouts.

Grandie and Grandpa leave tomorrow morning, and Seamus and I go back to our crazy schedule. This weekend has been like a wonderful vacation for us all! We can't wait for them to come back at the end of next month, when I'll be reading in Atlantic City, and we'll be in need of a sitter.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Three Blind Mice

Seamus has been singing up a storm lately. Last night we were eating dinner and he just started singing Three Blind Mice, a song I'd not taught him yet. Guess they're doing lots of singing at day care. Of course, now I'm going to need to brush up on children's song books.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

More Fun in the Park

Seamus and I got up early this morning and went to the park while Mr. T slept. Then later after we saw Mr. T off to Rhode Island, we went to another park. The other park is right across the street from the Bayonne Municipal Pool, a place we plan on spending a lot of time this summer. Seamus was ready to jump right in once he saw all the other kids splashing and swimming, but we didn't come dressed for the ocassion. Maybe next weekend? We had fun swinging and sliding and running around anyway.

Seamus told me he was going to eat the tree bark. He was serious.

We found some sort of fruit bearing tree at the park and Seamus spent a long time gathering what he called limes.

We chased butterflies, squirrels, starlings, wrens and pigeons.

Then we came home and Seamus and his baby watched the Lion King together.

It wasn't as heart-wrenching saying good-bye to Mr. T this time, since we know what we're getting into. Still...I know what I'm getting into and I'm not looking forward to all the quiet nights alone (a few are ok but not all the time), the hustle and bustle of keeping the animals fed and walked and keeping me and Seamus fed and cleaned and well-rested, not to mention all the laundry, dishes, etc.

We're going to miss Mr. T as usual, but especially because it may be a couple of weeks before we'll see him again. Amtrak costs a small fortune, so it looks like Mr. T will be coming home on alternating weekends. Anyone want to come up for a visit and keep us company? Seriously. If you're want to visit NYC, we may have a futon or air mattress for you.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Yay! Papa!

Papa's home for the weekend!

Here's just some of the fun we've been having...

Seamus woke up from his nap looking like Sylvester Stallone.

It's been a rough week for us all, with Seamus getting sick and Papa being gone. Papa's having a great time at Hasbro, working on the Transformers line (and that's all he's allowed to divulge), but he's missing his family. Seamus and I have both been missing Mr. T like crazy. We've decorated the house with photos of him and made up special Papa songs to sing at bed time and we talk to him on the phone about three times a day. We're so thankful for Amtrak, even though they aren't so cheap, to bring Mr. T home for a couple of days.

Seamus is finally feeling better and went to day care both Thursday and Friday. My work has been very understanding. I just hope Seamus can stay virus-free and healthy for the next couple of months, or forever for that matter.

One week down. Seven more to go.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sick Day

I took a sick day from work today to stay home with Seamus.

He came down with what we thought was Mr. T's little 24-hour virus over the weekend. However, on Sunday he still had a fever and was complaining that his mouth hurt. So I took my first ever sick day at my new job on Monday and took him to the doctor. Turns out Seamus has some awful thing called Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, a virus that usually produces rashes on the hands and feet and blisters in the mouth. There's nothing the doctor can give for it; Mr. S just has to suffer through it. Luckily Seamus only has the blisters in his mouth and a fever that comes and goes. However, the blisters in his mouth are incredibly painful, especially at night and when he eats. (I've been giving him popsickles and cold pasta, applesauce, soft, cool foods.)

On Monday, he seemed all better, no fever, very playful, just had a sore mouth. So I sent him to school Tuesday. He had a great day at school, ate all his lunch and played and was in good spirits until dinner time, when it hurt so bad for him to eat that I had to hold him throughout dinner. And then after he went to bed, the pain really kicked in. Last night was horrible. Seamus woke up screaming about an hour after I'd put him to bed, and he cried, was inconsolable, until about 12:30 last night. I've never seen him cry so hard, his body was shaking from his crying. He told me his mouth was hurting and on top of that he was coughing a lot (hopefully from the blisters--healing and scratching his throat). All that coughing and crying was making his mouth hurt worse. He worked himself into such a frenzy that he threw up. Finally he went to sleep after I gave him some Tylenol for the pain. And then at 3:00 am he was up again with a high fever, more crying and coughing. He ended up sleeping with me last night and when he wasn't sleeping he was crying. It was an awful night. But this morning at 6:30 he woke up happy as a lark, no fever, no complaints. I kept him out of day care anyway because I thought he might still be contagious and because I wanted to take him to the doc once more to be sure he was ok, but my doctor's office is closed today for some reason.

Since he seems fine today, and since these are all normal symptoms with this illness, I've decided not to take him to another doctor and just keep him rested and well-hydrated.

I've been worrying all day about whether or not this illness has run it's course or if I'm in for another painful night tonight. I have only two sick days left until August when I earn 7 more, and I'd hate to use them all up this week. And I have seven more weeks to go of "single" parenthood. Of course, I'm also worried about work and how using my sick leave so quickly reflects on me. Since we're in summer session, we don't have a lot going on, but I don't want anyone to think I'm a problem employee. I keep reminding myself that Seamus's health is far more important than a job, even if this job did take forever to find.

I also keep reminding myself that T will be here this Saturday to visit. I've been handling the loneliness pretty well and have settled into a routine that includes lots of relaxation once I get home and yoga in the mornings before Seamus wakes up. I'm very high-strung and have to be proactive about stress. If we can just get through this week, and Seamus can stay healthy, I think we'll be ok.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I've been pretty down and lonely since Thomas left yesterday, and I had a nice, long talk with my mom last night about being so isolated up here in New Jersey and how I didn't expect to feel so instantly alone as soon as Thomas left. This morning someone buzzed my door, and when I went down to answer it, it was the Edible Arrangements delivery guy with this...

Thanks, Mom and Dad! This really cheered me up, and since I'm home with a sick Seamus today, we will devour this and let all that vitamin C make us feel better.

We love you, Grandie and Grandpa!
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