Friday, August 29, 2008

Sting, Wasp. They're not just band names anymore.

Tom, Nicky and I got home this evening after they picked me up from work. Tom was tired and sore and just wanted to take a nap. I was tired and cranky about not getting the dinner I had been looking forward to for two days. (Yes I am that shallow sometimes.) Nicky was tired but happy to squirm down and run into the yard.

He didn't come when we called him to go inside and instead ran around the side of the yard. Tom was already inside, so I walked around to the side of the house calling Nicky to come. Before I could even see him I heard "Ow! Ouch! No!" And then met Nicky coming towards me. He had a grumpy face and was clutching his arm saying "Owie, Ouch!"

I looked and could see he'd been bitten or stung. Immediately I thought about snakes and spiders, but there was only one red spot, no blood and no dual puncture marks. I knew it could still be a spider or a sting though, so I asked Nicky what happened. He said "ladybug owie." Well, anything remotely bug-ish is a ladybug these days, so that didn't rule out anything.

I tried to get Nicky to come with me into the side yard to show me what bit him, but he just said "NO!" and did not want to go back over there. I called Tom and took Nicky inside to the kitchen. His arm was red and you could see the spot was puffy with a red center. It was a pretty big center too, not like a tiny bite.

Tom could tell right away it was a wasp sting. He got a cold pack from the freezer and I held that on it for a bit while Tom got the sting meds from the first aide kit. We put that on and a little bandaid and I kept the ice on it a bit. We gave him ibuprofen, but couldn't find any children's benadryl (we'll have to buy some).

Once Nicky was comfortable and playing in the living room I asked him if he wanted to come outside with me and show me what happened. He said no. He was totally NOT interested in going outside at all, which is unusual, so we can tell that sting really hurt him.

I went out to look for the culprit. And there, right under the electical box on the side of the house was a wasp nest covered in wasps. It was just about the height where Nicky could easily reach up and grab it. I'm sure he saw them, thought they were nice fun bugs, and reached for them. I'm so thankful he was only stung once! There were about 6 of them on the nest when I saw them and he could have been hurt much more.

I went inside and told Tom. He went out immediately and killed the nest with spray. So no more for now.

But the really surprising thing to us...Even thought Nicky was obviously upset that ladybugs turned on him and it definitely hurt a lot, he did not shed a single tear. No crying at all. He said it hurt, and "owie" a lot, but no real fuss. I think his biggest fuss was over having to take medicine, but even that wasn't bad since he actually likes the taste of that ibuprofen ok. I guess he's either got a really large pain tolerance, or he's just very stoic. Maybe both. It probably helped that Tom and I stayed calm during the whole thing, but still!

So Nicky's first big sting. Before this he'd only had mosquito bites. We watched him carefully for any reaction, but he's fine. We'll keep an eye on the site as well. I'm putting up a few movies now, and you can see he was doing just fine tonight as we put him to bed.

Gustav and Hannah spinning in the sea...


Man, we just got rid of Fay and now there are two more storms coming to take her place. And it seems several others are hot on their tails too. At the moment it's really not looking like either of them threaten our part of Florida, but I can't stand the thought of another hurricane hitting New Orleans either. I well remember how horrible that was, even for those of us with no family or friends there.

I know Katrina was not on the same level as 9/11, but in some ways it makes me feel worse. I suppose I feel that way because while 9/11 was unspeakably horrible and terrifying, it was an act of terror perpetrated by evil people, and I'm not sure there was really anything we could have done to prevent it.

But Katrina's destruction, it just feels like we should have been able to have prevented it, or prepared better, or even that we just could have dealt with it better after the fact. It feels like a gigantic failure, and I feel guilty about it. Not on a personal level, but on a national one. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I've been thinking about that a lot as the computer models from Gustav have started showing LA as a possible landfall location. I don't even know what to hope though. I mean, I certainly don't hope it hits FL either.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fay is finally gone away

Well, we made it fine. LOTS of rain, but we're high enough that we didn't have any problems. We'll have to drain the pool and clean out all the leaves and junk before we can use it again, but that's fine.

I'd taken Wednesday and Thursday off to have some visiting time with my mom. We made it out of the house on Wednesday, but then we were confined to the house Thursday through Saturday. We made a break for the store on Saturday between storms, and then not 30 minutes after we returned we actually had the most violent storm yet.

Tom's patch on the roof held well and there aren't any more leaks into the bedrooms, so that's a relief. Our actual roof repair job will be rescheduled since they're really busy right now fixing storm damage on other homes and it'll probably be raining Friday anyway (that's when they were going to come originally).

So I finally got to go to work today, after 5 days off! Wow that was a LONG weekend! And what do I get in my Twitter feed?

Oh that's just perfect. Well, at least we won't have to worry too much about this one till next week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fay is here today


Looks like today is Fay Day around here. This is the current picture. So far we're getting a lot of rain here, but we're pretty high so I think our house is going to be ok. We have picked up most everything in the yard so they won't fly around. We have bottled water and some canned and dry foods. The only thing I wish we had done before would be to get more propane for the grill, but then again I wouldn't know where to keep it. Wouldn't want that flying around and wouldn't want it in the house.

We still have our power on, which is very good. That's really what we're mostly worried about. It really only takes one good limb or tree falling on a line to mess with the power.

I took yesterday and today off to be with Mom. She's visiting us over the last week and we've had a great time. It was so nice to spend yesterday with just the two of us shopping and going to the art museum. Today we've been sipping tea and playing cards while keeping up with what Fay is doing. Tomorrow UF is closed which is such a relief! I really did not want to go in with this storm sitting right on us practically so I'm awfully glad they finally decided to close it.

So far we've heard from the folks down in Pt. St. Lucie. They're flooded around there although it sounds like my relatives homes and business are ok. My cousin's car had a tree fall on it though. I'm just glad she wasn't in it! They said the wind wasn't too bad (especially compared to Frances and Jeanne in 2004) but that the rain was just insane! US 1 is totally flooded and they had over 2 feet of rain. That's just nuts!

Jodi said she's ok in Lake Placid and the storm isn't affecting them anymore. She didn't sound worried at all so everything must be ok there. Liz finally called us. She's in Orlando for an art seminar and has had a lot of rain and a tree fell on the building she's in. But she is fine and the building must not be too damaged since they're all still there. We were very glad to hear from her though. We were worried!

Now I have a cousin up in Jacksonville, so hopefully he and his family are all ok. They're close to the beach, so are probably getting a lot of wind and rain.

Nana's in Tampa and should be fine. Charles and JM are in Ocala though and probably are getting tons of rain. Hopefully they'll not lose power for too long. They're prone to outages in their area even in the best of weather.

That's the update for right now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Are you sure you don't want to visit?


I don't know about you, but this storm still looks mean to me. I know it's still technically not a hurricane, but after crossing most of Florida it's still got a clear center of rotation.

I hope everyone south of us is ok. And looks like everyone up here will be getting it tomorrow or Thursday. We'll see.

Tourist destination? Not this week.

Hmm, so basically Florida isn't the place to be for the next 5 days.

Tom and I had planned to go to FSU for orientation this Thursday. But with all the uncertainty about Tropical Storm Fay we don't feel comfortable traveling and leaving Nicky. Aw well. Saves gas money!

My mom has been visiting us for the last week and it's been really wonderful having her here. She and Nicky are enjoying each other's company and he'll sure miss her when she goes. Liz is at a seminar in Orlando for the week. I'm pretty sure she hadn't counted on having a view of a tropical storm from her hotel room, but I guess it's complimentary along with a continental breakfast. I'm sure she'll be fine, but hopefully her seminar won't be interrupted by a power outage.

So far UF is open and I'm working as normal. I'm really hoping to have Wednesday or Thursday off though. I might still take Thursday as a personal day even though we're not traveling. It would be nice to have a day to spend with my mom before she goes and I'm still nervous about Fay, even though everyone else seems pretty lackadaisical around here. I know it's not hurricane strength, but that's a lot of rain, and you never know about tornadoes. I remember all too well Jeanne and Frances in 2004 and going days without power!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Good thing he's so cute


We found him again sleeping by the gate to his room. Twice actually. Once when he fell asleep there before we went to bed ourselves and then he was there again this morning. Tom had gotten up with him (again!) at around 3am and stayed in there till around 5 but Nicky wouldn't lie down and sleep. So Tom came back to bed and we just listened to Nicky's repertoire till he conked out right there.

And MAN was he mad when we woke him up at 8:30am! Tom was actually a bit gleeful to get to wake Nicky up for a change. (only fair right) Well Nicky pitched an absolute fit in the car on the way to work this morning. And didn't even want to kiss mommy goodbye. Poor kid.

Now I'm at work waiting for them to come pick me up. I should have left at 5:30 but Nicky JUST went down for a nap at about 4:45pm. So Tom's going to aim to pick me up at 6:30.

I hope he sleeps tonight!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Where in I keep typing and hope Nicky goes to sleep

After putting Nicky to bed, it's become a nightly occurrence for him to come open his door, stand at the gate we have in his doorway and try to talk us into coming back to lie down with him while he falls asleep.

He's actually quite good at this verbal manipulation and adds new material almost daily. Some of his favorites:

"Daddy, more cuddles?"
"Lie down?"
"Come back!"
"Come on"
"You promise!"
"What are you doing?"
"Where are you?"
"I NEED you!"
"Binky!" (after throwing all four of his binkies into the hallway)
"Toot toot!"
An alarm impression (maybe an alarm clock, maybe a fire alarm?)
and his #1 way to express irritation with someone..."You Stupid."

It seems like only yesterday I was anticipating the joys of his learning to talk and create sentences of his own.

Tonight though he did do something cute. He was looking out the window while Daddy drove to pick up dinner. He said "Hi cow!"
I was pretty sure there wasn't a cow walking down our street, but I asked him if there was a cow outside. He said "no," but then said "Hi there cow. Mooo!"

So I went to look outside. In the yard across the street was a dog with a white face and grey body along with a black and tan dog of questionable heritage. He then switched to saying "Hi puppy!" and "Give kisses?" He just loves dogs.

For a minute the dogs went out of sight into some greenery and I said "Where'd they go?" Nicky said "where they go?" and then, lowering his head, he said softly, mournfully "Oh dear. It's my fault."

He's just so funny. Of course I told him it wasn't his fault, and then pointed them out when they reappeared. He was just being dramatic. What a ham.

He does stuff like this all the time now. I put up a bunch of new movies, and several of them (ok,six actually) are of him during a single morning when he dismantled the sofa and played with the cushions for something like 30-45 minutes straight. (Hey I had like 9 of these, and I narrowed it down to 6 AND even cropped some of them!)

In one of them he climbs to the top of the stack of cushions, very precariously, raises one arm high and declares "Super Hero!" We have no idea where that came from.

He's also getting really good at following some instructions (when he feels like it). He helps feed the dogs sometimes by gathering their bowls for daddy and then putting their full bowls down in their places. This is great for the dogs too. They associate him with bringing them food and see him as a source for good stuff rather than competion for food or as the constant annoyance he can be. One of his favorite things to do is pull tails and feet, sit on them, put his head on them, and hug them too tight. We tell him to stop, or make him stop. And he apologizes to them, but we have to find a better way.

One thing I tried the other day was an actual time out. Benjamin was with us in the living room and he was tugging on Bobo's tail (Bobo is Benjamin's nickname). I told him to stop at least twice, and I know he heard me and understood. But he just looked at me, still holding the tail. I got up and put him nose facing into the corner behind the front door and told him to stay there for two minutes. (One minute for each year of age is the rule of thumb.) It took a few times of moving him back before he got that he was not to move. But eventually he did a full two minutes in the corner, well with at least one foot in the corner. (Baby steps!) After his time was up I told him why he was in time out. I emphasized that he was in time out for not obeying when mommy told him to do something and that he has to listen to mommy and daddy. He was hurting Benjamin's tail and when mommy said to stop he has to stop right then. While hurting (well sort of, but mostly annoying) the dog isn't ok, the punishment was really for not obeying. I had to think that through myself while he was in timeout.

It seemed to make an impression and I think we need to use it consistently. It's hard though. Nagging and repeating are so much "easier" but of course they're not effective. (Otherwise we wouldn't have to keep doing it!) I think to do them most effectively we need a designated time out spot and a timer though. Have to pick one up soon. Till then we'll just use the real clock.

Hmm, it's been quiet in his room for about 20 minutes now. I think he finally went to sleep. It only took 2-3 times of putting him back in bed tonight.