Friday, March 6, 2015

seven quick takes - ed. 28

1. This normal pregnancy shortness of breath (aka physiologic dyspnea of pregnancy) is killing me. Okay, not literally... obviously. Otherwise it wouldn't be normal/physiologic. I don't know if Jackson is sitting higher than the girls did, or if I just notice it more since I'm not working full-time, but when it hits hard I feel like I'm dying or something. Luckily it comes and goes, so I have periods of time where I can breathe comfortably, but man... I will not be sorry when this baby drops, even if I do start having to pee twenty times a day.

my poor internal organs, haphazardly shoved aside.

2. Vignettes from a house with two small girls:

Faith: "Mama, can put your cereal bowl in the sink?"
Me (thinking she is making a sweet offer to help): "Sure, baby!"
Faith (after a pause): "So, do it!!"

At 4:30am, I was woken by the following:
Faith: "Josie! JOSIE! Wake up! It's time to get up!"
Josie (sleepily): "Dawa? Uh?"
Me (jumping out of bed and rushing to the girls' room): "Faith! Stop!! It is not morning time!!!"
My thoughts: "WTF WHYYYYY"

3. If you haven't read this yet, do it. It is high-larious. The Presidents of the United States: In Order of Hotness. A few choice (spoiler-free!) quotes:

Here is a man whose appearance would be radically improved with the simple addition of a neck tattoo.

Nothing is sexier than a man giving a speech while covered in blood.

What’s not to love about a corrupt bad boy who plays by his own rules? He’s like the James Dean of presidents!

4. Honest Toddler makes me laugh every time.

5. Did you know you can download Facebook videos (without also downloading scammy-looking freeware)? I just figured this out. It actually works-- this was how I downloaded Faith's birthday video from earlier this week. Here's how you do it:

6. Ugh. The commissary on base has had pretty slim pickings lately, and it appears it'll be awhile before it gets better. DeCA expects several more months before Pacific commissaries return to normal. On Guam, there aren't really any civilian grocery stores in the same way we think of grocery stores in the states-- and the prices are absurd (think $8 for a gallon of milk), so we're kind of in a tight spot.

Shipments of staples are delayed often enough that it's not unusual to find shelves looking like this (photos from this past Monday, courtesy of my friend Katie):

bread selection

chicken selection

Thanks a lot, West Coast dockworkers!

7. Aaaaand I don't have a seventh take, so head back over to This Ain't the Lyceum!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

on pinkeye, school clearance, and snark

One of my patients brought in this note from a school nurse recently. It made me want to punch someone.

 (If you're not clear as to the reason for the outrage, it's a combination of the school nurse feeling entitled to ignore medical clearance, and the statement that primary care doctors don't have the ability to diagnose pinkeye properly... which is not only insulting and untrue, but demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of what conjunctivitis/pinkeye actually is.) 

I posted it on Facebook and got the following comments from my pediatrician friends, which made me laugh and nod and feel better... they start off incredulous and indignant, and then devolve into hilariously sarcastic.

"That's ridiculous and how does that follow any sort of criteria?"

"This is insane."

"This is crazy! Why do they feel compelled to make folks mistrust their doc? As if there were sufficient ophthalmologists on Guam."

"That's terrible."

"This is the same thing as saying you cannot return to school until your nose stops running."

"Earlier this fall I had a mom question my diagnosis of viral conjunctivitis and get really upset with me because she was convinced her daughter had Ebola (and also wanted eye drops of course)."

"I would write back saying they add a requirement for negative measles IgM before readmission to class."

"You clearly don't have the experience to diagnose pinkeye. You should probably just give up now."

Aaahahahahaha.... the Ebola thing destroyed me. Not because Ebola is funny. But someone being convinced that run-of-the-mill pinkeye is actually Ebola, that is funny.

Monday, March 2, 2015

rainbow birthday

Time for the long-overdue post about Faith's fourth birthday party... which was two weeks ago. Ah well.

When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she answered "Rainbow!" And thus was born the theme for her party. It was overall pretty low-key (friends from Jack's work and their kiddos) but she had a blast.


rainbow crepe paper streamers and white "cloud" balloons

white tablecloth with streamers taped down into a rainbow table runner

construction paper cut into streamers
Food and drink:

rainbow fruit & veggie trays, rainbow pretzel wands

homemade pizza (pepperoni, veggie, and cheese)

rainbow punch (would've worked better with more ice cubes or a smaller container)
The cake was inspired by this one, though there are lots of tutorials out there. It wasn't any harder to make than any other layer cake, just took a little extra effort. I just used a basic 3-layer white cake recipe (this one, except I used egg whites instead of whole eggs), then divided the batter into six bowls and colored each one with gel food coloring-- the liquid food coloring won't get you an intense enough color. Then I baked each layer in a 9-inch round pan, but because they were thinner than regular cake layers, I only baked them for 15 minutes. (I had to do two baking batches, since I only have 3 round cake pans.) Then I layered them together with white buttercream.

in process

I would've sworn I took a picture of the finished cake before cutting, but I can't find it. Anyway, the lettering on top was just Airhead candy cut out with mini alphabet cookie cutters. The cake was a HUGE hit, and delicious too.

Here's the birthday girl blowing out the candles! (And hiding under the tablecloth... as you do.)


We really only had one activity, since all our child-guests were preschool-aged, and apparently I didn't take any pictures of that either. I made a rainbow "punch piñata" similar to this one. It was pretty easy to make, and it was a nice alternative to the free-for-all that results with traditional piñatas (especially for my hesitant-to-join-in girl).

We also had goody bags to distribute with various rainbow-colored goodies. I try to keep from giving out total junk, and only hand out what I wouldn't mind my kids receiving. The goody bags each contained one of those cheap watercolor paint boxes, a rainbow swirl lollipop, an elastic bracelet made from plastic pony beads with each kid's name in alphabet beads (Faith strung all the non-letter beads herself!), colored Twizzlers shaped into rainbows, a small inflatable beach ball, and a pencil with rainbow lead.

She loved her rainbow party! If you're interested, here's a link to the Pinterest board I made to keep track of party ideas.