Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Visit to PetSmart

After completely cleaning out the new tank and letting the water cycle through the filter for 24 hours, today we headed out to PetSmart to get Tyler some new fish friends. We did extensive internet research this week to see what kinds of fish might be a little more hearty than the fragile gold fish Tyler won at the fair. We were also interested to see which fish would get along well with each other.

We arrived at PetSmart armed with a list of fish varieties and after showing Tyler the various tanks, we decided on Zebra Danios and Guppies. Chris, the friendly PetSmart aquarium department worker, tested our tank water (for free) and gave us the thumbs up on water quality. He wrangled the speedy fish into a bag and we were on our way!

Once home, the fish spent some time bobbing in the new tank while still in their plastic sack to give them time to acclimate to the new tank temperature. Then John snagged them with our net and plopped them into their new home.

You know me...I brought my camera along on our little excursion. You can check out the slide show of our day here.

Update: Forget that link. The slide show isn't working. So here is something different.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fishie Funeral

Sadly, today Sonic the fish joined his tank mate in the great ocean in the sky. Tyler made the sad discovery when he went to feed his fish friend some dinner. I had my camera with me intending to photograph the swanky new digs we bought for Sonic at PetSmart on Monday, but t'was not to be.

John had spirited Tails the fish away in the dead of night when Tyler was sound asleep Monday night (Tails never made it into the new tank). I guess he thought it would be less upsetting for Ty if Tails was just missing the next day. John didn't expect Tyler to ask him such detailed questions about where Tails went. Daddy made the mistake of fibbing and telling Tyler that he "buried" Tails in the yard...when in fact he had done the time honored burial at sea via the toilet.

I shook my head as John related his awkward conversation and the fib grew into an inflated lie as Tyler asked things like, "Did you give Tails a grave stone?" "Can I see where you buried him?" "Can we dig him up?" Erm. Oh boy.

I took a different tact with Sonic. I reminded Tyler about the movie Finding Nemo and how Nemo pretended to be dead in order to escape life in the dentist's tank and return to the sea...via the toilet. I asked Tyler if he thought we should send Sonic back to the sea in the same way and he agreed that was a good idea.

I asked Tyler if he wanted to say a few words before we flushed, but he looked at me with a quivering lower lip and said he couldn't. So I reassured him and took over as celebrant of our little burial ceremony. I reflected on how Sonic arrived in our family, his excitement over his fancy new home, and what a good fish friend he has been for the past week. And when Tyler declined the honor of flushing as tears slid down his cheeks, I pushed the lever and waved goodbye to Sonic the fish.

To my surprise, I was crying too. Tyler hurried out of the bath room crying "I'm sad!" and I followed. I'm unsure if my way of handling the loss of Tyler's first official pet was better than the way John did it. But Tyler recovered quickly with a few hugs from Mommy and is now eagerly looking forward to our next trip to PetSmart to get 3 new fish of his choice.

Ah, if only we could all be so resilient in the face of loss.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Carnival

John and Tyler had a fun father/son day out yesterday. They went and checked out the Mt. Olive carnival. From what I heard, Tyler had a total blast! He used to love the kiddie rides, but now his favorite thing to do is run through the Fun House over and over and over again. This carnival just happened to have TWO Fun Houses to play in. Ty was in heaven.



To finish the day off with a bang, Ty won two gold fish at one of the game booths. Meet "Sonic" and "Tails". Their new home on Tyler's shelf isn't very roomy. I think we will be making a trip to PetSmart today to buy the fishies a new, more spacious, home.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Test Results

Tyler's results came in and all is not well. We are trying not to panic just yet since we won't have any real answers until Tyler sees a specialist. We're off to a pediatric urologist on August 2nd.

In a nut shell, they saw something off with his left kidney. The scary test came back normal...this discovery of dilation in his left kidney and ureter was made via the ultrasound Tyler had before the VCUG test. I guess the good news is they didn't find any reflux, masses or stones.

The bad news is we just don't know anything else. Until we know more, please keep my little guy in your thoughts. He REALLY doesn't want to see any more doctors, and I can't blame him. Poor kid. :-(

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Do I have to be the Mom today?

Sometimes it SUCKS to be the Mom. Poor Tyler had a painful test/procedure done today that we fought and fought against. We really didn't think he needed it, but the doctor insisted, scared us shitless about the potential risks if there IS a problem that goes undiagnosed, and made us feel like we were crappy parents for arguing with them.

I'm sorry, but when it comes to my son I am going to fight tooth and nail to protect him.

Almost 2 months ago I brought Tyler in to see a doctor (not his regular one) on an emergency because he'd been running a high fever for a couple days. He tested positive for Strep and, at the time, they also took a urine sample. It took them a month and a half (!) to get the results back to us. Turned out he had a UTI also (rare in boys). Hence the doctor feeling the need for this STUPID TEST.

They did a VCUG on Tyler today. If you are a guy or squeamish, you might want to stop reading here. This entailed ramming a tube the width of my pinkie up his urethra and into his bladder, filling his bladder with contrast solution to the point of bursting and then telling Tyler to pee it all out...all while they take X-rays of his plumbing.

I knew how Tyler was going to do during this test. He tried his best to cooperate, but that tube insertion hurt like a ... pardon my French ... motherfucker! The poor kid just howled in pain and there was nothing we could do but hold his hands and talk him through it. We argued and begged for medication of some kind before the test. No 4 year old should have to go through something invasive like this without either a mild sedative to calm him or at the very least a local numbing agent on the tube. They wouldn't give him ANYTHING. They claimed it might impair the results if he had loss of sensation or he wasn't 100% conscious to pee on command.

Grr! Bullshit! Now, hours later, my poor kid needs to pee sooo bad. He started to and the burning pain was so bad he stopped and is now holding it in, afraid to go. Not good. Not good at all. I've gave him Tylenol when we got home. Motrin a little while ago. He had a warm bath. I'm at a loss watching him pace the floor, hunched over and crying in pain. All I can do is hug him and hope things are better tomorrow.

It sucks that I can't fix this for him. I'm so conflicted. If the results come back and there is nothing wrong, I'm going to have a violent urge to kick the crap out of a certain doctor. But of course I don't WANT there to be anything wrong. I dread that.

God, my head hurts.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Toilet Blogging

Oh man, what a rough week. On Tuesday I came down with some sort of intestinal bug that I thought, at first, was food poisoning. But John soon followed me into the bathroom and Tyler finished out the week with a bout of "poop soup" as we came to call it. Sorry to be so graphic, but it was brutal!

I came within inches of setting up a TV table in the bathroom so I could use my laptop in there. I was spending so much time sitting on the toilet...it sounded like a swell idea at the time.

When I am under the weather, I tend to spend even more time at the PC than normal. So, yes, that means I just about live at my desk. One thing I like to do online that I don't think I've talked about before is, I like to take surveys.

I belong to a couple of consumer research sites and they tap my brain fairly often for my opinions on everything from bathroom cleaners to cell phones and everything in between. They will even send me stuff to test out at home. So yeah, I'm the Mrs. Joe Average who decided that new tropical breeze scent of a famous room freshener was a swell idea.

My dream? I want to be a Nielsen household! You know...when you hear a new TV show was #1 in the NielsenTV ratings? Those are average American households that participate in the Nielsen Company's TV viewing research. I want one of those cool boxes on top of my TV so I can add my viewing preferences to that national average that determines whether a show will stay on the air or get the boot. Talk about power and influence!

OK, so TV isn't exactly world domination, but hey - once I get off the toilet, it'd be nice to know that my favorite TV shows will still be on the air.

And if you're interested in expressing your opinion on "stuff", check out MySurvey.com and sign up for NFO.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's Show Time!

A very talented friend of mine recently sent Tyler a very cool gift. Check out Tyler's new doorway puppet theater! Heather has a home based business where she makes hand crafted items for babies and kids. She is famous for her elegant slings, but she is adding new stuff all the time. (The puppet theater is located in the Clothing section of her website.)

This thing is so cool! It's got a telescoping rod through the top that's like a mini shower curtain rod and can be sized for different doorways. Ty's been having so much fun with it that I broke down and bought him a whole bunch of new puppets from The Oriental Trading Company (a dozen for $14.95...you can't beat that!)



For your viewing pleasure, here is an original Tyler production.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Topless Bathers

I meant to blog about this right after we got home from our trip, but that weekend was so hectic, I totally forgot! Until I read Chris's post about his cruise trip.

Yeah, men in Speedo's give me pause. But usually I am able to overlook just about every human body flaw that is typically exposed by swim suit season. I saw women as large as I am wearing swimsuits with half the coverage mine has. They let it all hang out, and I didn't give a hoot. Good for them. The men with the uber hairy backs? No sweat. The woman with the massive fake tatas in the barely there string bikinis? Not a blink. The lady swimming topless in the kiddie pool? Whoa...wait a minute. That's a GUY!

Holy jeeze...his boobs were bigger than mine! It was like a fiery fatality on the freeway...I was a total lookeeloo and I couldn't look away! No, these were not man boobs like men tend to have when they are very heavy. This guy was average size and had round, full C cups. I know. You're thinking future sex change in progress, right? No. A transsexual would have been proudly dressed as a woman. This was a very masculine man...with boobs.

I don't know why I was so hung up on it. I keep sneaking peeks and couldn't stop! Maybe I was jealous that this guy had a WAY better rack than I have. So wrong. So very wrong. I think the condition is called gynecomastia. Maybe he was a former steroid user who stopped when this side effect popped up. Ahem.

What ever the case...dude! Put on a tee-shirt! (No...not me. I'm not judgmental! I'm not! *sigh*)

Anywho...I totally forgot to upload our vacation photos to Shutterfly. So here ya go; for your viewing pleasure. And no! I didn't take a photo of the boob guy!

And here is a little video of Ty enjoying his favorite part of the water park.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

We've had a really fun weekend, so far. We're only 2 days in and already I'm exhausted! John took off on Friday so he could go with us to The Land of Make Believe. It's a cute little amusement park in Hope, NJ that has been around for decades. They've done a nice job of updating since John was a kid. We were keen to try out the water park.

Tyler was beside himself with eager anticipation, until he saw the water slides and climbers up close. Uh oh...every single one had some kind of water sprayer aimed at or near his face level. Our boy does NOT like getting his face wet, unfortunately. It took some convincing to finally get him on one slide where the sprayer was off center and he could slide down the far left and only get his back wet.

Ty's attitude about going on rides has changed radically too. He used to jump onto a ride with reckless abandon and scream with joy and laughter. Now? He looks at each ride with an expression of pensive apprehension. What happened to my little dare devil? Sure, he smiles once he gets over his initial reluctance and is actually ON the ride...but getting him to get in line and commit has been a challenge. It takes some of the enjoyment out of these amusement parks when your child is lukewarm with enthusiasm, at best.

He did love the midway games! That boy is a prize hog. He wanted to win something at every stand. Lucky for him, his mommy is quite the wiz at winning these carnival games. We came away with a stuffed red dog that looked rather like Clifford, a stuffed dolphin, and 6 bead necklaces.

Today we headed off to John's old high school where they have an annual July 4th carnival with fireworks. Tyler was a tad more open to some of the rides, but seemed to get attached to just one that he loved best. The fun house! He went through that thing over and over and over.

After spending all the ride tickets, we staked out a spot in the field to wait for the fireworks. John spoiled us by running off several times to bring back treats; grape ices, cold bottles of water and a big bag of kettle corn. We sat near the bandstand and I was really enjoying the live music. Tyler spent much of the time with his hands over his ears. Hee hee! After the band's last set, the pyrotechnics began.

Feh. Sadly, it was a rather lame fireworks display and Tyler actually fell asleep toward the end. All that eager anticipation and he was just deflated. Poor kid. Hopefully we can find a better fireworks display elsewhere this weekend. John has off on Monday and Tuesday too so we've got loads of time to kick the fun up a notch again.

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The boys come flying down the BIG slide.

More photos of our weekend adventures (so far) can be found here (including one of me and my new boyfriend).