Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Mother's Plea

Dear Samantha,

Do you remember yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that, when you didn't feel good?

When you had a temperature somewhere between 102 and 104, and we gave you the yummy Tylenol and the grape Pedialite and let you lay on us all day?

Do you remember how we rocked you and sang to you? And how you took naps and slept for hours and hours on end because daddy bought the Vicks that goes in the humidifier in your room so you could breathe? And how you first puked on daddy, and then on me?

Do you remember? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Because now it is my turn. I don't feel good. I just want to take a nap and not wake up until tomorrow.

But, and this is a BIG BUT, you aren't taking your super-long naps anymore. And what is worse, you are teasing me. You cry and whine and lay your head down on the floor and lay on me with your pink blankie, making it seem like you want to go to sleep. But when I put you in your crib, you just cry. And that, sweetheart? Is not fair.

Here is the thing. I can't sleep unless you do. I mean, I know that you and the Fonz have made great strides in the past week, what with you taking his bone out of his mouth as he is knawing on it and you poke him in the eye, and you crawl over him in an attempt to get closer to me. But then he stands up and scares you and you cry. And I have to come to your rescue. And while you have mastered the art of going up the stairs, you have yet to grasp the concept of going down. And I just can't trust Fonz yet to stop you from going down if you really wanted to. So that is just one of the many reasons he is not yet ready to baby-sit.

So please, please dear child, just lie down and take a nap. I'd really appreciate it.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Swine Flu Update

I think this is going to be a looong winter. It is October. And Samantha has already had a double ear infection, and some sort of fever illness. I don't know if she actually had the flu, or if it was just a reaction to the H1N1 vaccine. Yes, I am that parent whose kid had a cough, just a teeny tiny cough, and got her vaccines, and of course, she got sick.

It started almost immediately, but the fever didn't kick in until the next day. It last about 2 1/2 days, and now she is OK. A little whiny, and a lot snotty, but OK. But guess who she coughed all over while lying on his chest? And guess who didn't gargle with salt water or Listerine and probably didn't wash his hands before he ate? And guess who is sick now? (If you ask him though, he doesn't have the flu, just a fever, aches and a cough. Whatever.)

So that has been my weekend. So far, illness has ruined at least 3 weekends for me this fall. I am getting a lot done around the house though, so whatever. If you can't tell, I am not really feeeling all that inspired to write something witty or funny, or even try. I'm just updating the world on my sickhouse. Hopefully I won't come down with anything. But if I do...the laundry is done, the bathrooms are clean, the floors are vacuumed, the house is dusted, and there will be food in this house!

(Isn't is sad how as you get older your everyday goals change? I remember when my goal used to be to get out of bed before my parents got home from work so they didn't know that I slept all day. Ahh...how times change)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Anyone In Charge:

In case you haven't noticed, when I get upset, I like to write. When I get upset about something that is going on that elected officials can do something about, I write to them. Below is a letter that I wrote to Senators Evan Bayh and Dick Lugar, Rep. Pete Visclosky, the entire Lake County Board of Commissioners, Indiana Senator Karen Tallian, Indiana Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, and Governor Mitch Daniels. I don't think I am asking too much...although I apparently don't know how to keep things short.

Dear anyone who will listen:

I am writing to you regarding the recent distribution of H1N1 vaccines in Lake County. There are several problems with this that need to be addressed, and hopefully lessons can be learned for the future.

A friend of mine has a 23 month old son who has a genetic heart defect. He has had 2 open heart surgeries. Her cardiologist highly recommended that her son be vaccinated. She was given a toll free number, 888-H1N1-BUG to call. She called the number on Wednesday October 14th, and was told that the county was in possession of the vaccine, but was deciding how to distribute. She was promised a phone call no later than Thursday October 22nd, telling her where and when to go to get her son vaccinated, and that he was on a high priority list.

By Monday October 19th, she was getting very anxious. If her son contracted the virus, it could attack his heart and kill him very quickly. Or it could settle in his lungs and attack his already compromised immune system. Another friend of mine and I also called the 888-H1N1-BUG on Monday. We each have children under a year old in daycare and wanted to vaccinate them. We each spoke to a very nice man who took our name and number and told us that they had two H1N1 specialists returning people’s calls. That same day, we each received a return phone call, from a very nice woman. We were told that the county had the vaccine, but they only received about 20% of what they were expecting. The initial plan was to set up clinics in schools, but they didn’t receive enough to do that, so they were formulating a back-up plan. We were each told that there was to be a meeting on Tuesday the 20th to prioritize the doses that they had. We also were told that we would receive an e-mail no later than Thursday the 22nd telling us when and where to go.

On Tuesday the 20th, my friend with the son with the heart defect was becoming even more anxious. She called the phone number again, and this time was told that within 24 hours, she would receive a phone call and e-mail directing her what to do and where to go. Wednesday morning, the 21st, another friend of ours at work got fed up and took his 2 year old son to the government complex to see if he could get more information. He was able to get the vaccine for his son and called my friend whose son has the heart defect. She immediately left work and was able to get the vaccine for her son after an hour of waiting. There was only one person at that time administering the vaccine. Around this same time, an e-mail went out from the people that we had spoken to from the 888-H1N1-BUG telling us that the clinic at the county complex would be open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 9am-3:30pm. My friend who was promised a phone call received this e-mail, but not the promised phone call. And her son was in no way prioritized.

I was fortunate enough to have wonderful in-laws who agreed to take my daughter first thing this morning. They got to the government complex around 8:45am. They went in the east entrance, and there were no signs or anyone to tell them which way to go. They asked the security guard. They had to up the escalator, and there was a line. So they got in line. Fortunately, the person in front of them guided them down the hall, through an office, and on the extreme other end of the office, they had to get a number. This scene was repeated over and over, as each new person who came up the escalator got in the line, not realizing that they needed a number. The office was full of people, so after fighting through the people to get a number, they had to turn around and fight their way back through the people, go back down the hall, and get back in the same line. They waited in the line for more than 2 hours. When it was their time to get my daughter vaccinated, there were only three people administering the doses. They were given a card, proof that she had received the vaccine and on what day. They were told that she needs to return in 30 days to get a booster. However, they have no idea if there will even be any vaccine available at that time. Also, on Thursday the 22nd at 12:40pm, the Northwest Indiana Times reported that the clinic will not be open on Friday, as stated in the e-mail many people received.

I am sorry for the length of this letter to this point. However, I hope that my friends and I experiences will help improve the process next time. First of all, the county told the Northwest Indiana Times that they had contracted out the phone calls. However, the vendor did not tell the county of the promises they were making. Also, it would appear, the county and the vendor are not on the same page as to when the clinic is going to be open. I am not sure if the county and the vendor communicated at all.

Secondly, the county knew that they told the general public that they had these vaccines and the first full day would be Thursday the 22nd. However, they were not prepared on a multitude of levels. They could have had signs leading up to the courthouse and in the lobby directing the way. Once people got off of the escalator, there should have been an employee directing people, or at least a sign explaining that the first step is to obtain a number. Also, why would you have to go down a hall, past a huge line, into an office full of people to get a number? Why could they not have moved the number dispensing machine to the top of the escalator? This would have made much more sense and caused much less confusion and crowding.

Thirdly, many of the people whose children received the vaccine have additional questions regarding the H1N1 virus and the vaccine. These questions include, but are not limited to: How important is it for my child to receive a booster in 30 days? Will they still be protected if we cannot get them the booster? What are the possible side effects of the vaccine? Who all (including adults) should receive the vaccine? What are the symptoms of the H1N1 virus? At what point should I call my doctor or take my child directly to the hospital if they start showing symptoms? These and other questions could have been addressed in an informational pamphlet that could have been made available at a table either in the lobby of the government center or in the open space at the top of the escalator.

Finally, there were only three people administering the vaccine. You cannot tell me that the county could not have hired a dozen or two nurses for 3 days to help distribute this important vaccine. They knew that the public was and is extremely concerned about this pandemic. There is a rumor, whether true or not, of a perfectly healthy child in Lake County who contracted the swine flu and is now on life support.

My in-laws reported that everyone in line was orderly and no one was becoming disruptive. However, they were done by 11am. I am sure that people who arrived later and had to wait more than 3 hours with small children had their patience wearing thin. In my and many other people’s opinion, the county has really dropped the ball. We understand that they received much less vaccine than they originally planned. However, they had almost a week to come up with a new plan. And the new plan seemed to be to wing it. I expect more out of one of the largest counties in our state. Mistakes, obviously, show us what needs improving. Please pass on our displeasure and do what you can to help the distribution of the next round of vaccines go much smoother.

Thank you for your time,


Gail O’Connor

I definitely encourage everyone who had an experience with this clinic today to contact your representatives. We should not stand for such inadequacy in government. Especially where our kids are concerned! (Tracy...I'm talking to you! 4 hours??) You can e-mail them directly from the in.gov website here. I also encourage everyone to leave their thoughts in the comments section, you can put your name, or be anonymous. The more people who speak up, the greater chance we have of something productive coming out of the frustrating situation!

Final Update

Yay!!! Sam got her swine flu vaccine!

Lake County is soooo organized and proactive, they announced on Wednesday to the entire Region that children aged 6 months to 5 years could get the shot on Thursday and Friday. And then they totally were not ready for the influx of people. I mean, come on, they had three, count them THREE, people actually giving the vaccine.

Of course, I didn't have to wait in line for 2 hours or have to deal with any of this. Why? You ask? Because my OH-SO-AWESOME in-laws went for me. I was terrified they would run out by tomorrow afternoon, and my mother-in-law and father-in-law couldn't say no when I asked. I mean, I guess they could have, but they didn't. So yes, I owe them BIG.

We do have to go back in 4 weeks to try and get her a booster, and yes, I will be doing that myself. And I guess my poor little girl cried and cried, so I do feel badly about that. I am happier that I didn't have to see that than not having to wait in line.

So everyone, if you get a chance, get your kids vaccinated. I know that this is this year's version of the flu, but it seems to be spreading very quickly and is very dangerous especially to young children. Remember, wash your hands, don't touch your face, and I also heard gargling salt water or Listerine twice a day will help prevent you from getting sick too. Or drinking hot liquids. Stay healthy everyone!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

H1N1/Insanity Update


I was finally called yesterday afternoon...we are on "the list." I should hear by Monday if we can get her the vaccine in the first round, and when/where we go to do that. Yay!!! Turns out I DID give them the right cell phone number. I am NOT crazy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Not My Day

Do you ever have those days where things just don’t sway your way? It seems that the month of October has been that way for me…at least when it comes to doctors. For some reason, a lot of our doctor appointments fall in October. Workaholic and I each go to our general practitioner for a yearly well check, I have my bi-annual dental appointment, and Samantha’s 9 month check-up was this month. It started off bad when the day of Workaholic’s and mine appointment with our GP was cancelled because she was sick. When I called to reschedule, it was 4 weeks before we could get in again. AND, they are now out of the flu shot.

When I booked our trip to London, I seriously considered not going that particular weekend because that was when Sam’s appointment was scheduled. I really want her to get the flu shot. But I figured no biggie, we’d be able to get in and go another time. So I called and it was 2 weeks after the original appointment before we could get in. I wasn’t too thrilled, but I figured there was nothing I could do. So I made it for today. When I got home last Friday, there was a message on our machine asking if we wanted to keep the appointment because many parents were not bringing their well children into the office due to the spread of the flu. I fretted all weekend, and asked many people their opinions, and decided to go. I had made arrangements to go in late to work, and everything was set. And about 15 minutes before I was to leave, my phone rang. It was Sam’s pediatrician’s office, asking to reschedule because her doctor’s son is in the hospital. (I didn’t ask why, figured it was the flu.) However, when I asked if she would be able to get her flu shot when we came in on Friday (the day we rescheduled again), the answer is no, because they ran out. Great. Her doctor does recommend getting the H1N1 vaccine, but I was basically told “good luck getting it.” Our county has it, but hasn’t decided yet on how to disperse it.

So I get to work, and my friend gives me the phone number for the H1N1 vaccine info for our county. I call, and a very nice man took my name and phone number and said that they had 2 consultants working on the list, and they would definitely give me a call back. I gave them my work number, figuring I wouldn’t stray too far from my cubicle and they could always leave a message. A couple of hours later, I told another friend at work that she should call about her son. So she did, and within an hour or so, she had already gotten a call back. I haven’t gotten a call yet! So I fret again, and decide to call back and explain my dilemma. In talking to the nice, but obviously now frazzled man, I ask him if I can give a different phone number. I’d like to give him my cell phone. And so I rattle off some numbers, and after I hang up, I realized that I think I gave him a mixture of my cell and home phones. Are. you. kidding. me. (Apparently, “they” are having a meeting tomorrow to prioritize who will get the doses of the vaccine that they have. I would really like my 9 month old who is in daycare to be on that list.)

Let’s recap. Not one, but two appointments with our GP had to be rescheduled. Had we gone to the original appointments, we’d have been able to get the flu shot. But now, no. Sam’s appointment that I was stupid enough to reschedule, canceled. And had we kept the original, we’d be able to get her the flu shot. And the list that I think I am on for the swine flu vaccine? Probably got knocked off of it due to stupidity.

Fortunately, Workaholic never goes far from his phone. So I convinced him to call and get on “the list”, and hopefully they will call him back, and get his e-mail, and we can at least try to get Samantha from getting too terribly sick this winter. I really really hope that the rest of the month doesn’t continue like this. Two more weeks.

***OH!! And the weekend I decide to SKIP the Purdue game?? They BEAT NUMBER 7 O-H-I-O STATE!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

Sunday, October 18, 2009

London in Pictures

Here are just a few of the photos we took...

My sister, me, and Workaholic at the pub Checquers, in the Bull Shit Corner. (seriously, look at the plaque in the right-hand corner of the picture!)

The three of us in a self-portrait next to one of the cute phone boothes they have all over place.

Me in the same phone booth.

Workaholic striking a pose across the street from Buckingham Palace.

My sister, me, Workaholic, and his uncle and his wife. Many thanks to them for an enjoyable evening!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

London in Words

We’re home! I was happy to be on vacation, although I am not going to lie, every morning I wanted to just lay in bed all day and watch TV. But we would get up, shower, and head out on the town. Walking. After the first day, we did not walk very quickly, mainly because I couldn’t. My short little 25 inch inseam legs just couldn’t keep up with my sister and Workaholic. That and the pain in my calves, and shins, and feet. So I typically walked behind them, and every once in a while, they’d turn to make sure they didn’t lose me in the sea of people on the sidewalks of London. We walked and walked, to the point where even my sister had had enough and wanted to jump on a bus. It didn’t matter what bus, any bus, anything to get us off of our feet.

We had a great time, I loved being with my sister, who I really only see about once every 2 years. She is kind of a nut, and was ecstatic to be in her favorite city in the world. (at least that is what she says after a couple of glasses of wine) We went to the Tower of London, (where they used to behead people), Westminster Abbey, (where the bury people), and St. Paul’s Cathedral, (where Charles and Diana got married). We went on The Eye (a huge ferris wheel), went to Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, saw The Globe Theatre (where Shakespeare’s plays were performed), walked on London Bridge and Millennium Bridge, went shopping on Bond Street and Oxford Street and Covent Garden, walked through The British Museum (where Brits show off everything they’ve stolen from everyone else through the past 1000 years), The National Portrait Gallery (Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt, etc.) and Tate Modern (Andy Warhol & more Picasso, as well as lots of other weird art). We saw Big Ben and Parliament, and Downing Street (where Prime Minister Gordon Brown lives) We saw lots and lots of the red postal boxes and the red telephone booths, and the last day we were there, Workaholic and I walked the length of Hyde Park (twice) and visited Princess Diana’s memorial.

And the pubs. I wish we had actually visited more pubs, but they didn’t seem to be exactly where we wanted them to be when we were in the mood for a drink. We went to the Guinea, The Hung, Drawn, & Quartered, Checquers, something about Marlborough, and something else about Boxing. There were a couple of more, but I don’t remember their names. One of them was even on our map, which we didn’t realize until after we left. I generally drank wine, because I just couldn’t stomach Guinness, and Workaholic had one bad night with sake. We had dinner with Workaholic's uncle and his wife, who were kind enough to treat us and introduce us to the "Bull Shit Corner".

All in all, we had a good time. It was best just seeing my sister and hanging out with her. I haven’t spent that much time with her in years. So a big THANK YOU to American Airlines for giving me 3 seats to sleep in on the way there and the way back, and Grosvenor House in Westminster for being a 5 star hotel and still giving me my employee discount. Someday…we’ll be back!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Hello from London! Yep, we made it here. And since Workaholic can't sleep, he paid for the internet, so here I am.

American Airlines, I heart you. Seriously, I really, really do. Because for the lowlow price of my one coach seat, I got, well...4. Three in a row so I could almost completely stretch out and take a 3 hour nap, and one to leave my stuff on. That one uncoincidentally was next to Workaholic. AND, AND...I got to watch "Paul Blart-Mall Cop." I mean, really, could a flight get any better?? (he was a little whiny because we didn't have our our individual TVs in the headrest in front of us, but, come on...4 seats???)

I also had some weird dreams about flying and Samantha and other babies on our flight (even though there were none), and Workaholic and a girl that was hitting on him. I woke up more than once during our flight panicking because I didn't know where Sam was. Then I remembered she wasn't supposed to be there and I plopped my head back down on my 2 American Airlines pillows and snuggled back under my American Airlines blanket and went back to sleep.

Allrighty...we really should be getting to bed. Big day of touristy stuff tomorrow!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quick Update

I’ve got so much I’d like to write about, but not much time. So I’ll just give you a quick update of my head.

Jon Gosselin…you should be ashamed of yourself. Think before you act! And while you are at it, think for yourself every once in a while.

We are leaving for London on Thursday. I am super excited, but not nearly as excited as my sister who is meeting me there. I am also super nervous about leaving Samantha for 5 days. What if she forgets about me while I am gone? Right now, I am the definite favorite in her life. I hope I’m not scarring her by abandoning her at this critical stage of her life development. (notice, that worry isn’t stopping me from going)

I spent hours this weekend cleaning and organizing my house. A partial list of everything that I put into storage is 6 bins of clothes, 2 baby bathtubs, a travel swing, a full-size swing, a bouncy seat, a Bumbo seat, 2 floor playmats, 2 file boxes full of paper that doesn’t have anything to do with me, a computer monitor, and the cradle. I also cleaned my bathroom, dusted and vacuumed the whole house, and made dinner. Important to note that the most amazing part of the weekend was the fact that I made dinner. (One thing I do not understand is how you can follow your mother’s recipe to a T and it tastes almost nothing like when she makes it. Not fair. I think it’s sabotage.)

I gave Fonz a bath and he got his teeth cleaned on Friday…so until he starts eating the poo from the backyard again, his breath no longer smells like shit!! AND, he smells like Suave Ocean Breeze. However, he does have an ear infection, so he’s got that goopy ear fur. Yucky.

I don’t understand for the life of me how on God’s Green Earth Purdue lost for the 2nd weekend in a row in the 4th quarter, on the 4th down, with less than 30 seconds left. (apparently someone else does though) Maybe in a couple of years we’ll win a game. Such goes the life of a Cubs/Boiler fan.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm Published!!

OK, so that might be exaggerating just a bit, but my name IS in the Lafayette paper.
That counts for something...right??