Archive for August, 2007


August 28, 2007

Bill was at the office working late again last night and I was at home with Sam. I finally got Sam bathed and off to bed and sat down to eat my tea around 8. I got about halfway through my Trader Joe’s ravioli when I started to feel funny – scratchy throat and tingling lips. I stopped and went to double check the packet, okay it did warn “Made on equipment shared with other tree nuts and shellfish” but most food tends to say that (I suspect mainly to cover legal) and I’ve never been so sensitive as to make me worry about the slightest contamination that that implies. Still feeling peculiar, I triple checked the ingredients one by one, this time I spotted “walnut meal.” Okay, we have a definite problem!

I tried calling Bill, and calling Bill, as I was racing around the house trying to find Benedryl but his phone just kept ringing. No allergy medicine either as with the “move” I’d had a clear out and thrown away any expired medicine, my Benedryl being one of them, and I’d not remembered to restock.

Logging on to Bill’s computer I accessed his instant messaging and sent out a text to a work colleague to see if she was still at the office and could find Bill. Yes! That worked and soon I had him on the phone to explain the situation.

I was just about to throw Sam into the car and charge to Kroger or go hunting a nice neighbour, when I found one lone sealed capsule in a drawer. I took that and hoped that an expired Benedryl was better than none. Wasn’t sure what my reaction to walnuts would be or where this was heading and it seemed like it was going to be a bad one and I was very nervous to be on my own with Sam. Bill still had lots of work to do and was very stressed out, but he decided to come home immediately and stop by the pharmacy on his way. I’m very glad he did.

Hubby arrived on the scene, I took another Benedryl, guzzled much water and began to feel a little better. Throat scratchiness subsided and lip swelling had gone down (they had puffed up nicely) so I started to relax a bit.

A little later though I began to feel much worse again, I felt like I was really swelling up again and I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all. I went to the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror around my mouth and nose was bright red. I was so puffy I barely recognised myself. I took a third Benedryl.

Bill saw me and decided a direct trip to ER was in order, do not pass GO, do not collect £200. He practically threw Sam and I into the car and we drove to DeKalb Medical Centre. Began to panic somewhat on the way as I was really feeling swollen up inside by then and having difficulty breathing.

We found the way to Emergency and were really hacked off when we found ourselves in a queue because two cars had parked themselves on the ramp and both just seemed to be having a chat or picking an employee up. No sense of urgency at all. I had to get out on the ramp without Bill and wander up to try to find the entrance while these dumbarses carried on their little social gatherings right next to the “no parking” signs.

Once inside it wasn’t clear where to go and a member of staff ran into me wanting to know what I was looking for. I tried to speak and she couldn’t understand a word I was saying. Managed to get “nut allergy” across and she bundled me straight into triage.

From there it all gets a bit hazy but I pretty quickly ended up in an ER bed, attached to an IV* and being injected with various stuff, more antihistamine and some steroids I think. Bill and Sam (who was a very good boy and amazingly patient while all this was going on) eventually found me and we hung out there until I was discharged when the swelling had subsided and I could breathe more easily again.

Phew. It was all a bit scary last night. I’ve been told to go see my doctor to follow up within the next five days and this reaction was deemed severe enough that I have been prescribed an Epi-Pen to carry with me in case of a future nut encounter.

*Getting the IV was a bit of a worry too. The doctor came in to see me, authorised the treatment, then left. I had been told a nurse would be hooking me up asap, but then I waited, and waited, and waited. Instead of the nurse someone from registration came in and started asking me more insurance and registration questions which I couldn’t answer because I couldn’t form the words. Tried to ask about where the nurse was but couldn’t get that out either.

Eventually the nurse returned, took the IV stand from beside the bed and said he’d be right back before disappearing and never returning. Finally another guy came into the room and went to hook me up. He asked for my surname and located an Allen on the computer. I noticed he picked the wrong one and when I tried to point this out he started getting in my face and shouting “it doesn’t matter!” That scared me but I couldn’t do anything. I don’t know whether because I couldn’t speak properly he thought I was trying to correct the spelling of my name rather panic because he was selecting a completely different person, but either way his behaviour was totally uncalled for. That guy was nasty.


August 25, 2007

This evening we’d put Sam to bed and hubby and I were in the office together. We heard a strange scrabbling noise, followed by a patter patter, and finally a giggle. We turned around and there was Sam in the doorway, as proud as punch, chest thrust out and saluting us. “Hai!”

The boy can now climb out of his cot. Aaargh!

I have no idea what we are going to do.

My first reaction (after bursting into laughter and restraining myself from grabbing the video camera and making him do it again on film…maybe tomorrow!) was to think about converting his crib into a toddler bed (I’ve heard you have to be careful about transitioning and taking the security of the railings away but I figured if it was the same bed then it wouldn’t be such a big adjustment, and in my naive head I am thinking that then at least he could climb back into bed again afterwards! – uh, yeah right!). Bill on the other hand immediately wanted to put him in the pack and play and make him sleep there because that has deeper walls.

Once we’d got over the shock and finished laughing at his happy antics I put Sam back into his cot and he immediately climbed out again, and then again, and again! It’s quite amazing. I always assumed he would sort of make a leap and then plummet, but he positions himself quite carefully. He pulls himself onto the top rail, perches there for a while making balance adjustments and then gingerly drops down to the floor! For a new skill he certainly seems to have it mastered.

He was so intent on escape tonight after his first success that I had to go sit in the nursery with him and keep him distracted with multiple books and toys in his cot until he seemed to have got over his wanderlust, for now. Took a while! I was supposed to go out to a friend’s house warming party tonight, that didn’t happen! (Sorry PDiddy!)

I have put a few soft items (giant monkey!) at the long side, and Bill put Sam’s toy chest next to the cot so it could actually be used as a sort of step and thus less of a fall if he climbs out that way. Not sure if that will just encourage him, but we decided we’d rather make the descent easier and avoid injury if possible.

Tomorrow I think we’ll be buying another baby gate to put across his doorway so that if he does go roaming at least he won’t get far. Guess I’ll have to be on my toes keeping his bedroom 100% Sam proof now too… I have a nightmare scenario in my head where he manages to get into the Diaper Champ.

At least Sam’s escapades seemed to have taken his mind off teething. That has been quite miserable today. I’m pretty sure the molars are coming in now and causing him some grief because he keeps turning into an angry little baby and rubbing at his face. I checked in his mouth and you can definitely feel the sharp little toothpegs breaking the gums at the back. Poor little guy.

Protected: Bye Bye dreams of Tampa

August 20, 2007

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Worn Out

August 17, 2007

Worn Out
Originally uploaded by pinkaboo_uk.

This is poor tired Sam after a hard morning of having fun playing at Linnea’s house. He and Linnea had a great time wreaking havoc. We took a stroll up to a local coffee shop to grab an iced mocha with the intention of continuing on to the playground but with the temperature in the 100s we did an about turn and returned to the refuge and comfort of Brandie’s air conditioned abode where we let the toddlers, well, toddle and get into all sorts of mischief.

It was very good to get out of our house for a bit and take my mind off our stressful situation here. I don’t think I’ve slept properly since we first found out about the awful moratorium, wish I could zonk out and be as carefree as little Sam here.

I can’t even think straight about our house at the moment, just going to say that we’re been frantically trying to explore any possible option we can think of and are just hitting brick walls in every direction. We still haven’t totally given up on Tampa yet, Bill is still trying to get a meeting with our District Commissioner, but right now we are having to face up to the fact that our move is looking pretty implausible.

Reality all got a bit too much for me yesterday and I had a good cry, then Bill brought Sam into see me and just the sight of my little guy clinging onto hubby then giving me the most wonderful hugs made everything feel better. Whatever happens, Sam is all that really matter, he is the best thing ever and we’re going to make things work.

Bill had to work very late this evening so Sam and I were on our own. We watched the So You Think You Can Dance finale and every time the music came on Sam would dance and sway along. His style is to clasp his hands in front of him while twisting his torso to and fro and grinning widely. As each dance concluded he would join in the applause.

Winner declared (hoorah for Sabra! – she was our pick to win, good job girl!), it was then time for little boy’s bathtime. As usual he was beside himself with excitement and ran to the bathroom door to beat on it with his fists ’til I let him in and run the water. Our froggy loves bathtime, he adores to kick and splash in the tub he does. This evening’s cleansing, however, was not such a fun affair as it marks Sam’s first brown torpedo launch into the bubbly waters. Just as I thought I had it under control he fired a few depth charges for good measure. Oh yes, that was just a super end to a long day.

*yawn* Okay, going to try to go back to bed and get some sleep now. xxx

DeKalb extends construction moratorium

August 14, 2007

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/14/07

DeKalb County commissioners have extended to 90 days a ban on construction applications to wedge several houses into lots that currently hold only one.

Commissioners voted last month for a 30-day ban. On Tuesday, they extended the moratorium until November.

Commissioner Jeff Rader, who asked for the extension, said it would give the county time to consider zoning changes that would prohibit owners from dividing their property into lots that are smaller than current zoning allows.

“We will be further reviewing this and considering it,” Rader said. The ban initially was established to halt re-development in Druid Hills, which Rader represents, and in Scottdale.

But the ban may affect more of the county than originally indicated.

On Tuesday, a man who is trying to sell his house in unincorporated East Atlanta said the buyer, a developer, backed away after the moratorium was first imposed last month.

Bill Allen, 39, told commissioners that the developer wanted to convert his 100-foot wide lot into two 50-foot lots. He said his employer, an ad agency, was transferring him to Tampa, and he’s already made an offer on a house there.

“It puts me in a very awkward position,” Allen said in a later interview. He said he stands to lose his $5,000 deposit if he decides he can’t carry both mortgages and cancels the purchase in Florida. “I can maybe float both, but it’s scary,” he said.

The moratorium arose over concerns about the increase of infill housing in DeKalb. Developers want to tear down decades-old houses on large lots and replace them with multiple houses on each lot. They can get around current minimum lot size limits because older homes straddle multiple smaller parcels that pre-date contemporary zoning.

The moratorium affects such “contiguous nonconforming lots of record” when they are owned by one person or a family. The measure applies to applications for certificates of appropriateness for demolition or new construction, and permits for land disturbance and building. It does not prohibit permit applications for the repair, renovation or remodeling of existing structures.

County officials cannot say how much of DeKalb is covered by the old, smaller plats. That is determined on a case-by-case basis as land owners apply for permits, said DeKalb planning director Patrick Ejike.

But Ejike said Bill Allen’s dilemma probably isn’t unique.

“I bet you there are some other folks in his shoes who did not come here,” Ejike said. Allen’s situation was “unfortunate,” Ejike said. “I feel for him, but I’m not sure how that can be resolved.”

House update

August 11, 2007

Well, our current house is back on the market again.

We’re rather pissed off to say the least.

Bill had a meeting with the guy we were under contract with on Wednesday and he was unable to give us a firm answer as to when we would be able to close with him. Apparently our lot is now split, it’s in the county system, we have the paperwork to prove it, and so according to what we were told when we extended the contract we should have been able to continue with the closing. But he then changed the goalposts and said he wouldn’t close until the demolition permit and building permits were approved, and then wouldn’t commit to anything after that either.

The demolition permit was obtained and then he hit a problem with the county moratorium regarding the building permits (something to do with a single owner not being allowed to build two contiguous houses) and came up with a crackpot idea to get around it by expecting Bill to somehow get make a sales transaction to so that the lots are owned by two different people and for us to then apply for the building permits ourselves. No idea how he thought our mortgage company would approve of that, especially as we have a house sitting splat bang across the two lots. Anyhow, we were going nowhere. With no closing in sight, coupled with silly suggestions like that, he is in default and we have had to relist the house.

Of course, the good news is that this guy has already saved any other prospective buyers a lot of footwork and cash by getting the double lot split and approved already. Also, from what I understand the county limited building stipulation is part of the thirty day moratorium and I think that expires when the moratorium does. I was also under the impression that the thirty days would expire after our Tampa closing, but I just found a reference to it on the web which suggests that it should end on 23rd August and that source hints that maybe the county won’t extend it after that. (*fingers tightly crossed til they go white*)

We’d been back up for sale for an evening when we got notified we had had another offer placed on the house. Sadly, not one to get excited by or take too seriously as it was twenty grand under our asking price (we’re anxious, but not willing to be taken advantage of) and although we were planning to counter offer we never got around to it as the buyer had backed out again by the morning.

Oh I am so infuriated with DeKalb county and our bad luck by getting caught up in the middle of their shit.

Fingers and toes crossed that something works out for us please!

Meanwhile, Bill has been in Tampa on business for the past couple of days and managed to arrange the final walkthrough before closing of our future home *touch wood* in Tampa while he was down there. He reports back that it’s looking really good and is very excited about moving there. Yay house!

Sam and Linnea with the frog

August 10, 2007

Linnea and Sam met up at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens this morning. Brandie and I took a walk around the grounds and did our best to keep the toddlers out of the flower beds and not let them pick the plants. Sam was the one we really had to watch. He is so adventurous and has no qualms about going off on little expeditions of his own. He’s also getting to become quite the temper tantrum thrower as every time I stepped in to remove him from a plant, or to herd him in the right direction he would scream and moan and throw himself down onto the floor pitifully. I’m glad he was wearing his little harness friend…the soft cushioning of monkey on his back is also just enough to soften the blow of small boy thrashing about on concrete and paving slabs.

Sam also seemed to discover his shadow today. He spent a fair while alternating between glee and his usual deadpan seriousness, running around a patio with his attention locked at his feet as he tried to catch it. Terribly cute.

Fountains in the Children's Garden

It’s really hot in Atlanta at the moment, quite scorching in fact, and so it wasn’t long before we hastily retreated from the blazing sun beating down on the lawns to the shady realm of the Children’s Garden. Here they have a paved area with fountains for the children to run around in. Sam and Linnea put on some swimming nappies and had a great time cooling off splashing through the jets. I wish I could’ve joined them.

Sparkling Snags.

August 10, 2007

Poor Quincy is currently recuperating after a visit to the vet on Tuesday.

Many years ago his doggy ex-housemate, Loretta, broke one of his teeth roughhousing and it has been festering ever since. Apart from a really vicious case of halitosis that effected us more than him, it hadn’t seemed to be bothering the old boy. With this in mind we had decided to leave it be until it became a problem, or he had to have anything else done under anaesthesia.

That time came this week when the putrid, rotten breath became overwhelming and the vet at his annual checkup took another look at the broken chopper and thought that some dental work was in order. We agreed that a good tooth cleaning was long overdue and while he was under he would benefit from having both his snaggletooth and a growing fatty tumour on his underbelly extracted.

Tuesday was thus a nervewracking day for Bill who had to take his beloved furry pal to the vet’s for the surgery. Thankfully all went well (the tumour wasn’t anything serious) and Quince came home that afternoon with a fresh mouth and a clean bill of health. Much to our amusement he padded home carrying a little doggy bag containing a small plastic container labelled “For the tooth fairy :)”.

So, I hope you’ve guessed it by now…the “disgusting object” was the extracted canine.

Pretty nasty.

No wonder his mouth reeked like a rubbish tip.

The lumpy end was actually the tip of the tooth, while the rounded end was in the gum. The vet said it was really far gone and she couldn’t believe that Quince hadn’t been obviously in pain with that in his mouth. Poor guy.

And Quince’s breath? Well, it’s not exactly violets, but we can definitely stand to be in the same room as him again now.


August 8, 2007

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