Monthly Archives: February 2013


L is still not back to normal. She now has a rash all over her torso and arms. I’m still inclined to blame MMR since a rash apparently appears in 5% of cases about 10 days after the vaccine. (We are on day 12.) I’m trying to decide whether to take her back to the doctor tomorrow. It’s a little tricky because it’s my first day back at work. I miss my healthy baby!

(From Babycenter . . .)

About 5 percent of children develop a rash after receiving the MMR vaccine, but the reaction is usually mild and doesn’t require treatment. The rash can appear anytime between three and 28 days after the vaccination, although it usually shows up around the tenth day.

bending us to her will

L is finally feeling better today. ¬†She is not 100%, but she is doing pretty good. ¬†Yesterday, her fever finally broke, but she was still very cranky, and she slept most of the day. ¬†Her first fever was definitely a learning experience for me. ¬†I feel like I need to review my baby books to be able to handle stuff like this better, but I’ll be better prepared for this particular problem next time it happens.

L has her fingers deployed as permanent pointers these days. ¬†Her favorite activity is to be carried around while she points at objects and we identify them for her and carry her over to them. ¬†While she was sick, she wanted to be carried and held 24/7, so this activity was ideal in her book. ¬†We also do the reverse, say the name of an object and she points at it. ¬†This is hit or miss. ¬†Sometimes she points at the right object, and sometimes she points at something else completely or nothing at all. ¬†However, she in general is becoming more able to bend us to her will. ¬†Instead of sort of waiting passively for us to say, serve her food and shaking her head if she doesn’t want it, she’ll point at what she wants to eat and if we lift up something else she’ll shake her head and point impatiently again. ¬†When she wasn’t feeling well, we really hopped to and did everything we could to appease her. ¬†(Despite this, there has been A LOT of crying over the last few days – enough crying to last me a lifetime.) ¬†Anyway, she has learned the lesson of the effectiveness of crying to illicit a response very well, and even though she’s feeling a bit better now, she’s taken to arching her back and screaming when we don’t do what she wants. ¬† I guess it’s all part of growing up.

our first er trip

We took L to the ER for the first time tonight. ¬†She was a little crabby two nights ago, and she started running a fever yesterday afternoon or evening. ¬†I figured it was most likely caused by the MMR vaccine and assumed it would pass in 24 hours. ¬†Today, though, her fever was in the 102s, and while Tylenol seemed to help, it didn’t really bring it down to normal, just a degree or two, and not for long. ¬†At around 7:30 pm, I took her temperature and it was 104. ¬†This was consistent across both our rec.tal thermometer and our forehead scan. ¬† I’d just given her Tylenol at 7 pm, so I figured in 30 minutes it should have started to kick in if it was going to. ¬†My threshold for mild panic was 103.5, per the internets. ¬†Anyway, I called the two local urgent care places that were open. ¬†The first told me there was an hour and a half wait and had no further advice. ¬†The second told me their waiting room was packed, and the nurse spoke to the doctor and told me he recommended we take her to the ER. ¬†I was skeptical, but the nurse was insistent that this was the doctor’s recommendation. ¬†(My skepticism arose from the fact that the waiting room was packed and my feeling that L was not really seriously ill.) ¬†Complicating matters, all our local urgent care places close at 8 pm. ¬†Since it was 7:30, we didn’t have much time to figure out what to do.

We decided to go to the ER. ¬†I wasn’t too happy about it for a couple reasons. ¬†First, I was afraid we could be sitting there waiting for a long time with L miserable. ¬†I thought the best thing for her was probably a good night’s sleep and feared we could be a long time in the ER. ¬†Second, I was worried about tests they might want to do. ¬†Things which are trivial on an adult, such as a blood test, can be very difficult with a baby, especially a sick baby.

In the end, it went about as well as it possibly could have. ¬†I took her in, and in triage, they weighed her, took her blood pressure and took her temperature. ¬†Well, I stripped her down for the weight check, which made her cry passionately, then dressed her again. ¬†Then they were like, oh, I forgot, we need to do a temperature. ¬†Could you strip her down again? ¬†They then decided to do the BP first. ¬†They tried and failed to do it with her finger, and finally managed it with her foot. ¬†After that, they did a rec.tal temperature. ¬†They did not hurt her at all, and despite some inefficiency, I really can’t fault the personnel at all. ¬†However, the fact of the matter is that L had a 103+ temperature and it was past her bedtime, so the above items led to sustained, near-hysterical crying. ¬†Not fun for anybody. ¬†She was crying so loud it was very difficult to communicate with the doctor and nurse. ¬† ¬†Her temperature at this point was 103.3. ¬†I think it’s most likely that the Tylenol we gave at 7 pm had kicked in a bit more.

Anyway, they then moved out of triage to a room.  I dressed her in a gown, and we saw a nurse, then another doctor.  The doctor looked her over, concluded she looked good, all things considered, advised Ibuprofen, and told us to bring her back if she cried inconsolably or just looked bad.  A nurse came in and we induced more hysterical crying dosing her with the meds.  She was just way past her breaking point.

Now, I feel like a complete idiot, because I hadn’t thought to give her Ibuprofen earlier. ¬†Seriously – two major fails on my part. ¬†1.) Should have taken her to the pediatrician or urgent care earlier in the day. ¬†I always hesitate because I don’t want to expose her to waiting room germs, but that was a very bad decision on my part. ¬†2.) I should have obviously dosed her with Ibuprofen earlier.

All in all, the experience was pretty painless. ¬†The Ibuprofen kicked in, and her fever is truly down for the first time all day and she’s much, much happier (though not what I’d call happy.) ¬† Hopefully the night will go well and her fever will break tomorrow. ¬†I really wish I knew whether this was vaccine induced or just a virus she caught somewhere. ¬†We don’t get out much, but we did have dinner with friends who have kids a couple nights ago, so she could have caught something then.

Update – I’ve reconsidered my opinion, and I now think it’s most likely that the fever is caused by the vaccine. ¬†From the NYT (,-mumps,-and-rubella.html):

“About 5 – 15% of people who are vaccinated with any live measles virus vaccine develop a fever of 103 ¬įF or greater, usually between 5 and 15 days after the vaccination. It usually lasts 1 or 2 days but can persist up to 5 days. In very young children, seizures can occur from high fever 8 – 14 days after vaccination, but they are rare and almost never have any long-term effects.”

From CDC:

“Mild Problems

‚ÄĘ Fever (up to 1 person out of 6)
‚ÄĘ Mild rash (about 1 person out of 20)
‚ÄĘ Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (about 1
person out of 75)
If these problems occur, it is usually within 6-14 days
after the shot. They occur less often after the second

Given our lifestyle and the extremely ¬†low likelihood of exposure to M, M, or R by L, I really regret giving her the vaccine at 12 months at this point. ¬†I wish that I had waited until she was a bit older (maybe 2 years.) ¬† Ironically, I highest fever I ever remember having as a child was at age 4 — 104 degrees from the measles.

On an unrelated note, great article on Sony’s new cameras. ¬†Add the RX1 to the list of things I’d buy if I was a billionaire.

president’s day 5k

My goal for this race was to run under 24 minutes. Training over the last month hasn’t been great thanks to food poisoning, a really nasty cold, Isla being sick, and general laziness and lack of motivation on my part. Nevertheless, I thought I could drop my time to under 24. My last was race 24:45, but that was several months ago.

The weather was mid 40s, windy and overcast – overall, not bad. I wore capri tights, a T-shirt, gloves and a headband (over my ears). I was freezing when I got there and registered, but fortunately, parking is fantastic at this race, and I was able to go and huddle in my car until 5 minutes before the start.

We all lined up eventually and they started the race. The race is not chip-timed, but I was near the start line and only lost a few seconds at the beginning. I started out quite aggressively, figuring I might as well go for it. In retrospect, I probably should have gone a bit slower. As a result of the fast pace initially, I really wasn’t feeling too hot from the get-go. By now, though, I’ve run this course three times, and knowing the course really helps. The biggest hill is in the first mile, and I knew we wouldn’t have any significant hills after that. (It’s actually not a big hill at all.) I was relieved to pass the first mile marker. On one hand, I knew that I was maintaining quite a good pace. On the other hand, I felt quite bad already. Nevertheless, I hung in there. I told myself that a good 5K time is all about maintaining pace through the second mile. I also chastised myself at this point for not being more dedicated about training.

I zoned out a little during the second mile and slowed down unintentionally. Once I noticed that, i started focusing on reeling in the people in front of me. I caught a few people and finally passed a couple that was running side by side and semi-blocking the course. It was about halfway through the second mile that I started feeling really bad. My back started hurting severely first. Pregnancy and nursing has been really hard on my back, but who knows if that was a factor. Anyway, it was sufficiently bad that I thought about stopping to stretch, but I decided that was unlikely to help and that I might as well gut it out. I reminded myself that I’m going back to work and unlikely to be doing much racing in the coming months, so it’s now or never. I was forced to slow down, though, and several of the people I’d passed earlier passed me at this point. A little after my back started hurting, I also developed a nasty side stitch. This I attribute to the fact that I ran out of Weetabix and had eggs and toast for breakfast. Bad choice!

What is a 5K race report but a litany of aches and pains, right?

Anyway, getting to the second mile marker was a major mental lift. I more or less knew how the course would go from this point on, and I focused on just maintaining my pace until we reached the water. I was still going more slowly than I had earlier. Once the course hits the water, it’s a straight shot along Lake Washington to the finish line. I also focused on sticking with the people in front of me. There was a woman running in front of me at about the same pace as me. I figured she must be hurting as well and focused on not letting her get away.

Somewhere around the time we got to the water, I stopped noticing my back and side. It helped that there was a tailwind at this stage as well. At this point, there’s about 0.25 miles left. I focused on picking up the pace, hoping it was enough to go under 24:00. I picked off the couple I’d passed earlier, and who had passed me back. I didn’t exactly sprint it in, but I ran in at a pretty reasonable clip. I felt truly awful for a few minutes afterwards, so i guess I gave it my best effort on the day at least.

Overall, I’m pleased with the run. I’m really glad I was able to post a sub-24 time before going back to work.

my neighbors had a bad day Friday

Yesterday morning, B and I saw a car towed from our cul-de-sac.  We thought, repossessed?  Abandoned?  There was a cop there supervising the operation.  Then we forgot about it.

Then, I was coming home from running an errand yesterday with L. ¬†I parked in the garage and was in the process of getting her, her bear and her blanket out of the car when two cars sped into my cul-de-sac. ¬†Internally, I thought – Jerks! ¬†I figured they were using the cul-de-sac as a turnaround. ¬†Then I noticed they didn’t appear to be leaving, so I glanced back to see whose house they were parking at, so I could internally give those residents a small black mark. ¬†Then two more cars sped in, and I thought, are they having some kind of party? ¬†Two more cars then sped in, and I started to wonder if perhaps there was going to be some kind of shoot-out. ¬†People were driving too fast, and they were just parking in the middle of the cul-de-sac and jumping out of their cars. ¬†I then noticed the sixth car had small blue and red lights flashing on the front window and realized that they must be cops. ¬†I grabbed L and quickly went into the house because I really thought there might be shooting.

From the safety of the house, B and I watched as youngish men in plain clothes and bullet-proof vests jumped from the vehicles. ¬†One was saying to someone, “Driver, get out of the car” or something like that. ¬†In short order, they had handcuffed four of my next-door neighbors, two women, and two men. ¬†I couldn’t get a good look at what was going on, but I thought the men were young, possibly the children of the women. ¬†In the meantime, a seventh and eighth police car pulled into the cul-de-sac, both marked cars, this time.

They spent about an hour talking to my handcuffed neighbors. ¬†Then, I saw them take the two women away in a marked car. ¬†I didn’t see them take the men away, but I wasn’t watching most of the time, as I had to feed and bathe L. ¬†I assume all four were arrested. ¬† They also towed a second car, which may or may not have been the same car as was towed earlier in the day.

B and I have been speculating every since about what the heck happened. ¬†Now, I don’t really know my neighbors. ¬†I introduced myself when they first moved in, maybe a month after I did, but they have never been friendly. ¬†I really don’t know who lives there. ¬† I believe there’s a woman in her 30s who I thought was a real estate agent. ¬†In addition, I think there are a couple of teenage boys, but maybe they’re older. ¬†There’s some random older guy I’ve seen there, as well as a man I’d guess to be in his late 20s or early 30s. ¬†I assumed most of them were related and that they potentially rented out a room, or that maybe the woman was dating one of the men. ¬†They rarely played loud music, did the bare minimum of yard maintenance to make their place look decent, and generally did not bother me. ¬†Would I have preferred a family with two parents and two little kids that went to Sunday school? ¬†Yes, but I’d been living next to these people for years and I was happy enough with them. ¬†There have always been all manner of cars there, but there are a lot of people living there, so I never thought anything of it. ¬†Really my only problem with them is that they have had a series of scary pit bulls.

So – car theft? ¬†Something gang related? ¬†My lovely community is known for having gang problems. ¬†Drugs? ¬†B and I are wondering if we should be concerned about our safety. ¬†Our house would be trivial to break into, should anyone want to, and B and/or go for walks daily in the neighborhood. ¬†I haven’t been able to find anything about it online.

We thought it was interesting that the police cars (well most of them) were completely unmarked. ¬†They didn’t have a lot of antennas nor that police car look or shape. ¬†They were just a variety of newish, but not new, regular cars. ¬†The cops themselves were all young, large and fit looking dressed in regular clothes and the vests. ¬†The lights on the one vehicle were removable, not built into the car. ¬†Were they some kind of undercover operation, or is this standard procedure were going into a house to arrest multiple people?

The funny part is that B is so oblivious when he is working that he would totally have missed the entire thing if I hadn’t brought it to his attention.