Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Medication and Daycare

This may not actually be terribly complicated, but I'm feeling frustrated by thinking that I'm following directions, but then finding out that there are yet still more untold directions that need to be followed.

Yes, daycare rightfully has strict rules to follow when giving medications. In fact, right on the Elaborate "Authorization For Administration Of Medication" Form, it states:

Five Rights of Medication
1. Verification that the right child receives
2. The right medication
3. In the right dose
4. At the right time
5. By the right method

Nice, huh? I'm sure there have been many horrific mistakes made in the past by all sorts of well-meaning people that made this possible and the daycare is only trying to reduce their liability.

What does this have to do with the Strings? Rosalie had a awful cough and a nosebleed early yesterday morning, so AJS stayed home with her and took her to the doctor. Once she was prescribed her meds--around Noon--I asked our daycare to email me their Elaborate Form so I could get the doctor to sign it. Fortuitously, I thought, her meds were the exact same Rx that Dash had in January, so we had plenty of meds left.

They emailed the Elaborate Form to me at 4 p.m., apologizing for lateness. The doctor's office was only open until 5, so I quickly filled it out and faxed it to them. I phoned them to confirm that they got it and asked them to fax it to the daycare. All's good with the doc's signature.

This morning, daycare has not received the Elaborate Form With Signature; I call and find out that they did fax it back--TO ME-- not to the daycare. We quickly correct, Elaborate Form comes through, even though it is now 11:30 and she was supposed to get her meds at 10. They ask me to email that it is okay to give her meds at 11:30 instead of 10 just for their records. Yes, I email an okay.

I get a call back at 1:30 p.m.: they were not able to give her the meds (ratio issues); for their records, can I email them that it's okay to give them now? I email another okay.

I get a call back at 1:45 p.m. "Mrs. String, the box that you sent the meds over in, it doesn't match the meds inside. We won't be able to give them to her." I explain that while the box might indicate a different dosage, it has Rosie's name on it, and the meds inside are the correct dosage as noted on the Elaborate Form. They confirm this with me, but insist that they must have not only the Elaborate Form With Doctor's Signature, but the Rx Box Label must match with everything noted on the Elaborate From.

I explain that Rosie and Dash are getting the same dosages of the same medications as written up on the Signed Elaborate Form and they can confirm on the sealed containers of medication that they are the appropriate medications, with the correct dosages imprinted in the plastic ampules. The Strings Family is trying not to have to purchase many boxes of unused, expensive medications just so we can have the proper paper label on the front of them.

They explain that their Licensing requires that they have Properly Labeled Boxes and maybe I can ask my pharmacy if they could just print new labels instead of buying more medication? The daycare could be cited and fined otherwise.

Of course the pharmacy doesn't agree with this. I phone the doctor's office and ask them to phone in Rosie's Rx to the pharmacy, and this afternoon we will be picking up two more boxes of the same medication in the house.

But the pretty little labels on top will be the RIGHT ones.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quote meme

life in the tea cup
Originally uploaded by takuya miyamoto*
Hey gang, I just can't be avoiding this meme any longer because as of today, I have been tagged by two charming blog-buddies, Dee at OnTheCurb and Wrekehavoc. They both are much more literary and quote-loving than I (and probably have better memories for quote-recall), so I had to go digging before I found a couple that have tickled my fancy.

I used to use this one when something that was expected to go perfectly well went horribly wrong, but in a way that was a few hairs short of a complete disaster. It's by the late, delightful, British SciFi humourist, Douglas Adams, in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

"When the 'Drink' button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's brain to see what is likely to be well received. However, no-one knows quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea."

I've learned through this search that "not entirely unlike [X]" has recently entered the realm of hacker jargon

Another quote dear to my heart is from my favorite author, also of SciFi/Fantasy, Orson Scott Card. He is well known for his ethical truth/belief themes, for extremes of bad vs. good in his work, and has a wonderful way of creating alternate realities for the escapist in me. This quote is spoken by Ender Wiggin from Ender's Game.

"Remember: the enemy's gate is down."

It might be representative of why Hollywood is having such a difficult time making this book into a movie (which has been in the works for, I don't know, a decade?). So much of the movement in the book goes on in the heads of the children, illustrating their thoughts as they are learning about the world, and reacting to their surroundings. This quote is a cry of joy for Ender; he is a brilliant military student who has learned all he can from teachers that show him only the rote way of approaching challenges, and he gets beaten down for trying alternates. When he finally gets to teach his own students, he breaks down the staid processes, turns them on their corners and shows them the joy of learning through innovating. His class/army is about to rock the world of their competitors/enemy, as they have no idea what is about to hit them.

I tag friends who have blogged about unexpected disasters as well as cries of joy in their lives (well, that's pretty much everyone, but I'll cut it down):

Unfit Mother
Soundly Sleeping
Up From Sloth
Radical Mama

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monkeyrotica has other plans for our garden...

DCist Gun Law Aftermath Rant
Originally uploaded by nylonthread
The post "D.C. Gun Law Faces Supreme Test Today" inspired my husband's distopian predictive rant, which included future plans for "subterranean sex bunkers, fueled by tons of liquid PCP, bathtub absinthe, and Ledo's pizza, ... the vegetable garden, the squirrel smokehouse, and the animal hide tanning beds." All in our suburban backyard.

Umm, cool, where's the shovel?

planning ahead

I was reading Radical Mama's post about her plantings plan for the coming year and it got me thinking about our garden and what we might do with it this year.

Last year, we had some herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, and sage), a decent quantity of tomatoes, some cucumbers, sad little bell peppers, and a small amount of raspberries.

I've been meaning to take over a rocky section and build a raised planter near our grills for some extra vegetables; I like the idea of growing us some tubers! Thanks, RM!

On a related topic, I made an unusual purchase recently: when I heard that the price of wheat was skyrocketing, I ordered an item that up till now, I had only poo-poohed Mormons for keeping. "Hard red winter wheat" has high protein levels, is excellent for bread flour (when milled; I bought us a hand mill, too), but can keep for many years if packed in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber.

Next, we need to see how it tastes in the bread AJS makes on weekends. I'll mill it if you bake it, okay?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sister time

Today I had a low-key lunchtime outing with my sister (a.k.a. Auntie M.). We met up near my office and hung out without my kids for the first time in I-can't-remember-when to help pick out new glasses frames for her. I'd rather do that with a shopping partner, too. It did strike me though, that I rarely see her adult-to-adult these days. While we chatted a bit about long-ago lunches (and otherwise) that we shared fairly often when we both lived/worked in DC (pre-kids for me), it was left unsaid that we are primarily calling on each other these days for time with the kids.

I am very fortunate that she loves my children dearly (and right back at her!) and she actively wants to be in their lives, seeing them every weekend. She was reaching out to me, suggesting we could do this more often, meet mid-day and talk about important life matters (or shop for shoes) and just connect.

I dearly welcome this, not only because I do neglect many, many things in my life that don't relate directly with my kids (or work). I don't care so much that I usually have lunch while working at the computer, all my clothes are several seasons old, or that my hair hasn't been cut in over a year, but I do care about her; my heart needs to connect with my sister more.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just call me A JEDI!

Originally uploaded by nylonthread
Final post of the day, about the boy.

As I've mentioned in other posts, Dash has become pretty obsessed with the Star Wars series (or is it just the Internet in general? I'm seeing Star Wars references everywhere these days...). First, he was crazy about Darth Maul--or masser-wif-two-lightsavers!--and now, his fancy has passed on to George Lucas' main protagonist, Luke Skywalker.

"My name not Dash. I Masser-Luke! I got BLUE lightsaver. Pssshew-pssshew!"

Next time you see him, be sure you address this tiny Jedi (paduwan-learner?) correctly.

Growing up right before my eyes...

Originally uploaded by nylonthread
Friday was a little hectic, as I knew that the new mattress set had been delivered during the day (thanks to Grandma Sheila for receiving it!!) AND the delivery guys had taken away Rosie's crib mattress. Therefore, I needed to build that bed before bedtime or Rosie would be sleeping in our bed.

I was only hoping that we had the right hardware (or the delivery peeps left it), as, like a dork, I hadn't checked specifically for any beforehand. AJS and I set the kids up with a movie, then got to work rearranging the room and dismantling the toddler bed. Miraculously, I found the bed-rail pieces that I'd stored and the necessary hardware high on a shelf where I'd left it when the bed was originally delivered 2.5 years ago?!? and 1.5 hours later, the bed was complete.

Hey, ho... what about dinner? um, didn't you call for Chinese? no, I thought you were going to... 9:00 p.m. hungry Strings sit down for food. And the verdict is: ROSIE LOVES HER NEW BED!! In fact, we all do. She has set some ground rules, though. Dash is the only one of us who can sleep with her (and he really only played with the concept before asking to go back in his crib).

As for the emotionally growing up part of this tale, after reading/seeing news items about the horrific Mount Pleasant fires this past week, I gave Rosie the idea that we should donate some of her toys to the poor young families--mostly immigrants from El Salvador--that lost everything in the fires (read: reduce clutter in her much more crowded room). Rosie seemed okay with this in conversation, but I wasn't sure how the reality of it would go.

Saturday, while she was at ballet class, I went through her room and emptied out all her toy bins (firstly, I just bagged all the tiny-plastic-crap toys), and arranged all her stuffed animals in bins by type (bears, bunnies/monkeys, cats/dogs, birds/horses, and other). Later on, after I was sure she had a satisfying dinner and was in a pretty good mood, we went through her stuff.

When all was said and done, Rosie GAVE AWAY OVER 1/3 OF HER TOYS!!!

OMG, I am so proud! What a big, darling girl of mine!

We loaded three trashbags of plush into the car Sunday morning (along with some baby blankets, towels, and a bag of 2T boys clothing) and headed over to Don Juan's in Mount Pleasant, where they would take our donation to the displaced families. On our way back, we drove past the burnt church on 16th Street (the apartment buildings on Mount Pleasant Rd. were still blockaded) and Rosie got to see the blackened hulks for herself.

I bought her some ice cream for being such a generous soul.

We are orientated

Originally uploaded by nylonthread
I know you've all been wondering, did Nylonthread remember to go to Rosie's orientation? What if she forgot?

And, whew, why yes, I did go! Grandma Sheila, Rosie and I all took a trip down to Rosie's new Kindergarten last Thursday morning and had to park in the neighborhood beyond because there were sooooo many other families there with prospective Kindergartners. The wee school's lot was full and the cars had to spill out for at least a one-block radius. The teachers that were briefing us remarked that if we represented the next Kindergarten class, that they might be needing to add a teacher or two to the program!

I recognized four other parents there and hope that Rosie might be in a class with one of our neighbor's children. There are at least three Kindergarten classrooms in this school: straight-K, K-1, and K-1-2 (multi-age). I get to choose which type of classroom she is most suited for; the multi-age classes are better for independent, self-contained kids and the Kinder-only are better for kids who are new to structured classrooms or who need more hand-holding time at the outset. They claim that the curriculum is the same for all and they will not be ahead or behind the others by even mid-year.

We were introduced to all the teachers, the principal, the nurse, instructed to register our children ASAP, be sure to pack changes of clothes, and prepare to buy loads of school supplies. I could have done without the 15-minute video that showed how ACTIVE the classrooms are (read: your kids will not be sitting at desks all day! we mean it, really!!)

While Grandma Sheila, Sarah's mom, Katie's mom, Savannah's mom, Kathryn's mom, and I all listened in to the lecture, Rosie and her friends were being entertained in classrooms. When I picked her up about an hour and a half later, she had done a craft project with frogs.

"Did you make any friends?" I asked.
"No," said Rosie.
"What were your teachers' names?"
"I don't know."
"What were your classmates' names?"
"I don't know."

It may be that Rosie wasn't paying attention to her surroundings, but I got the impression that they just herded the throng of kids together and gave them craft materials, no introductions made, despite the hastily made nametags for all. A little sad, as this was a great opportunity to make some friends. I think she was a little overwhelmed by it all (or maybe I'm just projecting).

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Happy Birthday to Wreke!!

Happy birthday, o-pal-o-mine! And although BC would adore me for it, I won't be sending Dash over with a bouquet on a wagon pulled with puppies. But do let's read more and eat more fruit, and bring more flowers into our lives.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Rosie's room: "before" photos. Hi, Ghostie!

We are planning to buy that new mattress set for Rosie's bed this weekend, so I took some "before" photos of her room to document the transition. But some oddity showed up in the picture that's weirding me out. 

Here's the first picture I took:

And here's another angle of the
 shot that I took immediately afterward:

Anyone familiar with the phenomenon of Orbs?

This photo has three of them in it. One translucent one right next to Rosie's head, one solid one over her bed, and one smaller, faded one on the wall near the princess poster. Maybe there is something to her sometimes-malevolent, imaginary "friend" Ghostie.

Okay, I'm getting chills.
She usually only talks about him after she's been spending a lot of time alone in her room...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Kindergarten orientation--Next week?!?

kindergarten memories
Originally uploaded by torontofotobug
While catching up with my neighbor Diane on the phone this morning, she absentmindedly mentioned that the orientation for Rosie's kindergarten is in one week. Whaaa?? School starts in September! What's this March stuff?

Now, you might say, Orientation? Pshaw, big deal. But, no. I've been trying to get ahead on this Kindergarten thing for a while now. I've been to the school's well-populated homepage, I've checked all through the "info for Kindergarten parents" section, I've downloaded registration forms, I have her school-physical documentation, I even joined their list-serve to get emails, and as of a month or two ago, there was nothing about orientations! There is a small note on their webpage today that I missed last time I checked, I'll have to admit. (Scroll down, scroll some more, and there, see? upcoming events list in light green? look for the 4th item in the 10-point font. That's it, "Mar 13: kindergarten orientation.")

You might laugh here, but my efforts haven't involved me actually visiting the school. I only have a vague idea of where it is even though it's only a little bit more than two miles away from our house.

I'm just kind of angry at myself as well as the school's advertising functions (if they have any) for not knowing about it sooner! This is one of those "slipped through the crack" moments.

I called the school to find out how they were advertising this and learned that there are signs up at the school (? great.) and they distributed information to all the local pre-schools (read: churches; Rosie's in a Bright Horizons childcare center in a different county). Our house is at the edge of the school's boundary; in fact, we are so disconnected that the kids Rosie and Dash usually play with live two blocks away and will go to different schools.

All that to say, Rosie, Grandma Sheila and I have plans for next Thursday morning. I'll let you know how it feels to be oriented then! And I'll try to remember to bring the camera...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Rosie is growing, it's a fact. She is fitting comfortably in her toddler bed that we bought her 2.5 years ago, but she's past five now and if she streches and points her toes? Well, she's gone past the margins of that bed.

For the past week or two, I've idly been checking craigslist and asking friends if they have extra twin-size beds. I was even quite disappointed that a very pretty set sold before I could put a bid in. I investigated new furniture and was freaking out about how expensive it is, plus the delivery costs and the wait.

It wasn't until today, when I was about to schedule a pickup for a used IKEA set an hour away on craigslist that AJS suggested that we just borrow his old bed from his mom's.

"What?" I said, "I don't think so, it's a full-size and we need a twin." And the words full-size knocked around in my head for a good 30 minutes before a connection was made.

Rosie's pretty little toddler bed? That's just the right style and color for her room? It CONVERTS to a full-size bed. All I need to buy is the hardware + mattress set.

You don't know how relieved I am; this little task was taking up way too much irrelevant-worry time in my psyche. I really am not a fan of shopping, especially for big ticket/long term items like furniture. The full size is much, much bigger than the toddler, so we'll have to totally reconfigure her room. (Sensing much unhappiness afoot.)

Bonus: I think Dash's bed converts, too! (And his room is even smaller.)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lunchtime with the Strings

As I may have mentioned many times earlier, Rosie isn't the best eater when it comes to trying out a variety of foods. Getting her to sample many things most kids adore, like chicken or pizza, is a chore. Dash, a more adventurous diner (and silly-head), may have been trying to help us out during lunch today:

me: Rosie, some apple would taste really great with your almonds! (she only had almonds and rice on her plate.)

Rosie: Nooooooo. I don't want any apple.

AJS: The apple loves the almond! They are friends.

Dash: Can my almond have an apple friend?

me: Of course, sweetheart!

Dash: (introducing the foods to each other) Hi apple! My name ...... nut! Good to meet you. I like be your friend! (plays with his food for a few seconds, then gets serious, putting apple in his mouth) Goodbye friend! See you in my belly. (muffled munching)

Rosie laughs and starts to eat her apple.
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