Sunday, July 31, 2011

203/204 Stevo and Staph

 Smallish pictures today from my cell phone.
On Friday morning, Stephen showed Rich his toe (second toe on his right foot) and told him that it hurt.  It was really red right at his top joint.  Rich said he just figured it was his shoe making a blister on his foot.
Friday afternoon, about 3pm, he showed me the toe and it had a puss sac on it and he said that it was getting worse. I put some Prid Salve on it to draw out the infection.  About 5pm, I asked to look at it again and there were two red lines beginning to creep out of it, up his foot.  At 8:00pm the lines were almost to his ankle and I decided to go to the ER because it was growing fast.  Of course, Rich wasn't home, so it was me and the kids.
The ER gave him two shots of antibiotics and a prescription to take home and said that should do the trick.  They also lanced it open and took a culture of it to find out what was going on with it.  They drew a black line where the lines were and said to make an appointment for the next day with our doctor so she could see if the medicine was helping.
Went home, slept. 
Woke up the next morning and made the appointment for 3:45.  Then, I had to take my car in to get the back hatch looked at.  When I got home, Stephen was awake and I looked at the foot again.  The streaks were even longer than at the ER and almost up to his knee!  I called the doctor back and asked if I should go back to the ER or come in earlier since it was obviously moving fast.  The nurse talked to the doctor and said to go immediately to Children's Hospital and she would call ahead to let them know we were coming.
Well, during all of this, Richie develops a migraine.  I try to call my Mom and have her stay with him while I take Stephen to the ER.  She can't because she doesn't have a car right now.  I call Rich like 20 times to tell him to come home so that Richie doesn't have to make the trip with us.  I can tell he is hurting.  He doesn't answer.  I don't feel like I can leave Richie alone in the state he is in, so I tell him that he has to go along with me.  I feel horrible about that. 
We go to the ER and they look at Stephen and give him an IV with some more antibiotics in it.  They think he can probably go home if the lines start to recede. They also draw blood to see if he has any inflammation in his bones in the toe or if it's just a skin thing.
Rich calls and I tell him to get up to the hospital because Richie is about to throw up at that point and I'm scared about Stephen. 
He eventually gets there and Richie is still headachy, but starting to feel a little better by then.
The doctor comes in and although she thinks it looks better, I show her that the lines are still exactly where they were when he came in and have not gone down.  I really think I hate doctors because they try to act like they've cured something when the problem is still there.  And this is my KID she's messing with.  That's NOT going to FLY...
She says she'll go get her superior doctor.  He says that he didn't really "buy" the red lines before, but he can see them now.  WTF????  He says that he'll have to admit Stephen to give him more antibiotics since it's still there.
When they get us a room, Rich decides he's leaving to "take Richie home", even though Richie has held out for 4 hours now and his migraine is about gone.  Richie is a little trooper and I'm so sorry he had to sit there while he was so sick.  I think that's odd that Rich isn't going up to Stephen's room with us.  My parents call and they're going to bring me some dinner and some stuff I need like a toothbrush and a sweatshirt because it is FREEZING in that hospital.
So Rich leaves and we wait about 20 more minutes in the ER and they take us up to his room.  They get him settled in and start some more medicine. 
Children's hospital is like a plush luxury hotel for kids.  He could pick up the phone and order food whenever he wanted it, they have movies and games for the kids while they're staying there, the nurses are spectacular and so good with kids.  They brought him ice cream, they brought me pillows and blankets and told me about all of the amenities they have for parents there, like showers, and snacks, etc.  Every single nurse and two doctors that he had were extremely amazing.
We lay there on his bed (he wanted me to- he was pretty scared and kept breaking into tears) and watched cartoons and movies.  He had a small fever, but they weren't that concerned. 
My parents came up with dinner and he was so into the movie "Tron" that he barely talked to them, but he wanted them to spend the night too.
After they left we stayed up until about 10pm and I lay with him until he fell asleep.  Then I moved over to the bench that was hard as a rock but at least I had a little room on it.  They came in every hour to check on him and give medicine, etc.
The next morning I checked his foot the first thing and the streaks were gone!  Whew!  The medicine did the trick and everything except the toe was back to normal.
They came in for rounds, they said that he could go home.  We ordered breakfast, watched some more TV.  They said he had to take some medicine by mouth before he could go.  They said it was a staph infection and that if he didn't complete the medicine, he would just be back in the hospital soon. 
Evidently this medicine is HORRIBLE.  He can't swallow a pill, so we have to break 3 capsules open on pudding and then he has a big horrific scene where he gags and cries and tries to throw up.  He did get it down and they let us go at about 2:30pm.
Well, I knew I had to sleep when I got home because I was almost falling asleep on the way.  I lay down and slept for about 4 hours. 
At 8pm it was time for his next dose.  Well, there was a hell of a scene with that dose.  Now, he no longer had the nurse standing there telling him he had to take it.  He took part of it, had a huge scene, Rich tried to give him some, he threw up.  The medicine did NOT go down last night.
This morning I was DETERMINED to get it in him.  The infection is still not gone, so he has to have it.   I mixed it with less pudding so there wasn't so much to eat this time and he did it.  Still, there was a big scene, but it's in him and hasn't come back up.
Found out from Richie that Rich went to a party the night we spent in the hospital.  I had forgotten all about it because I was worried about Stephen and not thinking about it.  So that was the reason he was in a big rush to get home.  He didn't even see Stephen's room because he didn't come up the next day either.  ugh.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pic 202 Favorites from Vacay

I liked the long exposures that I posted the other day, but these pics are off of the 2nd memory card. 
On this first pic, I took this the morning that I tried to get a sunrise.  You can see how foggy it is. 
I added a texture to this to darken the edges a little and to give it a mysterious quality.  I mostly like the feeling of nostalgia about it and the depth of field.


Here are my favorite two subjects in front of the wildwoods sign on the beach.  They finally smiled for me!


We went to Wild Safari, a Six Flags drive through animal park and I got this picture of the bear.  It doesn't look like he's behind a restraint, but he is, he was just close enough for me to get a pretty decent shot.


The next two pictures are of a shell on the beach.  It was the prettiest shell I saw the whole time I was there and I couldn't decide which pic I liked better, so I posted both.  shell

This was an amazing sunset that I saw and took this picture out of the car on the way home.  I think we were in Pennsylvania at this point.  I wish the big lump of trees had been either to the left or right of the sun instead of right under it, but I was in a car, so I couldn't exactly change my position to make that happen. 


Monday, July 25, 2011

Pics 201 and 201 The Kingda Ka and a rant.

Here we are on the Kingda Ka.  Yikes.  That baby is the tallest and fastest roller coaster IN THE WORLD.  It shoots you out of the dock at 129 mph, climbs 456 ft. in the air at a 90 degree ascent and then spins you around and you drop back on the other side and go back to the dock all within 40 something seconds.  Help.

It is something Richie saw in his roller coaster book and on the travel channel and because he is obsessed with roller coasters, he knew he had to try it out.  If you ask him facts about roller coasters, he can give you height, speed and g-force details.  He says he wants to design them one day.  We'll see. His math skills aren't the best.

When we were little, my family took some vacations, but my parents did NOT plan the vacation around what we, their children, wanted.  They planned what my DAD wanted and they could afford.  Our last 10 years worth of vacations have been planned around our kids and their obsessions.  Disney World, Thomas the Tank Engine, various theme parks and water parks.  I think this needs to stop.  I haven't really relaxed on vacation in forever and usually come back tired and sore and in need of a vacation.  Trudging around theme parks in the 100 degree weather with a bad neck and sore feet is not my idea of fun.   
All I want to do is go to a beach somewhere and lay down with a nice drink!  I want to lay there and read a book and have a beach waiter bring me whatever I need.  I want to throw in some cultural things in the evenings as well, such as theater tickets, nice restaurants, art museums, and a some awesome photography opportunities.  Is this too much to ask?
I have to take my 40th birthday trip to Mexico next year with my girlfriends.  HAVE TO. 
I also need to go to New York City to see Like Water for Chocolate when that finally comes to Broadway.
Wish me luck!

Friday, July 22, 2011

200- Long exposures

The beach isn't that great here which disappoints me greatly. It's OK, but no great beach pics for me. However, I guess you gotta shoot what's in front of you, so I have carnival rides. For me, carnival rides=long exposure shots. Unfortunately, it's been so foggy here, they are not the best, but under the circumstances, I guess they're ok.
I always thought that light trails and long exposures would be hard. Turns out that just ain't true. To set up, I put the camera on the tripod, and set a focus. That should be set on something that is going to remain still and select a longer shutter speed on the camera. Play with the settings until your exposure is where you want it and you have a cool pic. The following two shots are from the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ. They're just random people walking around. I like the one because a group of people stood still while others were walking and I like the other one because it shows more motion.


This next one might not look like there's any motion, but to get the lights this way, it is a little bit longer of an exposure. The carousel is stopped here.


This is one of the big ferris wheel. We went up in this thing and it was so scary! It was totally foggy and we went around 3 times and then they stopped us up at the top. The wind was blowing us back and forth and I thought I was going to lose it. Big ferris wheels make great long exposure subjects, but crappy rides!


I really like this shot a lot. A lamp and a tilt a whirl ride in front of the big wheel:

I also like this one- you can see how the ride moved around and up and down:

For all of these pictures, I had a basic setting of about f6, ISO 100, and a shutter speed of between 3 seconds and 5 seconds. Of course, I had my camera on my tripod and used a shutter release cable. I love long exposure pics!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

192- 199 + Wildwood NJ

Have been on vacation and have been taking a ton of pictures every day, but since we have no internet in the room, I haven't been able to post. Ick.
While I'm not extremely fond of this place, it's OK. There's a boardwalk with a ton of restaurants and gift shops and 3 piers with rides. It's too much walking for me and I'm tired and crabby and ready for home. I'm going to catch up with these 7 pics and when I get a chance I'll edit my "artsy" ones and post them.
I think the kids are having a great time, but it's too much for me. It's like going to Six Flags all day and night for 6 days straight.









Wednesday, July 13, 2011

191 The arch and low batteries

Tonight went out on a photo excursion with M and P to the Malcolm W Martin memorial viewpoint across from the arch. I've been wanting to do this shoot for a while.
I had an amazing time eating dinner with my girls, taking pics with them and worrying about "suicide frog". However, about the time that it was dark, my batteries went dead. UGH! My fault, I should have charged them up today. I did have a spare battery in my bag before, but as of right now it is MIA. That's NO GOOD! I have to shoot a few weddings coming up soon and will need all of the extra batteries I can get. I hope I can find it in the next couple of days because I'd like it for New Jersey too.
Anyway, here is the one picture that I got tonight that is somewhat a night shot. I haven't looked at the rest yet. I will have to venture out again to this park with a full set of batteries.
I AM happy that we got to spend some time together and the weather was gorgeous. Thanks ladies for being my shooting buddies! Cheers to Malcolm!

EXIF: .5, f5.0, 50mm, ISO 100

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

189 and 190 Parents' property

Just 2 pics of my parents' property that I thought were pretty. No biggie.


EXIF: 1/6 sec, f16, 38mm, ISO 100


EXIF: 1/160 sec, f6.3, 200mm, ISO 400

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pics 183,184,185,186,187 and 188 Things that keep me busy!

I thought once summer hit I'd have a LOT of time for this photo blog.  I thought, "Finally, some time to take pictures every day and just enjoy doing what I do!"  WRONG! 
I honestly don't know how I make it with a job.  I don't feel like I'm doing anything more in the summer than I would during the school year, yet I always feel busy. Like, really busy.  So, I should probably rename this blog "Catchin' up!"  because I've been behind in it all summer long. 
This week's theme is "Things that keep me busy" because I took pictures of what I've been up to.
1. Home maintenance.  I promised myself that this summer I would take care of a few items that have been bothering me in the house.  So, I cleaned out my closet thoroughly, I've rearranged some drawers and cleaned out others.  The biggest project that I've taken on has been to paint the kitchen trim, but that turned into painting the walls too, and now it's turned into painting other rooms and other trim...I do really like how the kitchen came out, but with my neck being so stupid, when I paint, I can only do so much and then my neck is stiff, so I have to let it work itself out.  I don't do too bad when I'm painting at eye level, but the second I try to look up and paint, uh oh.  Oh well.  Here's the kitchen, so that you can see the paint above the cabinets and then one that shows the difference in paint colors.  Look above the refrigerator and you'll see the difference in paint color:


2. Reading.  I LOVE TO READ!  I have whizzed through about 10 books so far this summer.  My latest is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Richie had the first book on his floor and I picked it up to start reading it 2 days ago.  I finished that one the next day, started book two and finished it this morning and now I'm going to go grab book three as soon as I take a shower.  Wow. They're blowing me away!  I can't wait for the movies! 

hunger games

3. Swimming.  I've really enjoyed swimming a lot this summer.  Swimming to me is just mostly laying on a mat and floating around while listening to music and watching my kids actually swim.  Sometimes friends are involved, sometimes I actually get off the mat and play volleyball or other pool games with my kids.  Sometimes.


4. Photography instruction.  Not that I've been shooting tons of pictures, but I've been reading a lot about it.  I'm especially proud that I finally bought myself a Fro Knows Photo I Shoot RAW tshirt.  It came with a free fro pick and some stickers too! I was SOOOOOO excited when I saw the package on the counter.  I can't wait to go out and shoot and wear my t-shirt that represents my new photographic hero, Jared Polin of  Check out his site- you'll learn a ton and be very entertained.  I adore the videos of his grandmother, Lil.  Check those out.

shoot raw

5. Enjoying the smaller things.  These are some of my daylilies.  Daylilies are my favorite flower.  Joel got me hooked on them like 10 years ago and I haven't regretted it.  Once you plant them, they just keep coming back and they're gorgeous.  They're all around my house from bulbs that either he gave me or from a daylily show that we went to about 5 years ago.  In addition to the daylilies, I'm trying to keep my eye out for beauty wherever I can find it.  Since starting to take pictures, I notice things better than I ever did before.  There are so many beautiful pictures everywhere you look. 


Monday, July 4, 2011

Pic 182 + The fourth of July

I'm disappointed this year that I didn't get a chance to go take pictures in East St. Louis of the arch with fireworks.  I planned on doing that for an entire year and couldn't wait, but because of a few plans that were changed, some bad weather and other obligations, I couldn't make it to a professional fireworks display this year at all.  Crap.
We went to my parents' house as usual for the 4th and we did the usual, BBQ, lots of dessert, and then the kids started to light things on fire.  Some of the things were fireworks, others were just random things that they found.  I got some more pics, but these are all I can manage to edit tonight because I'm tired.





Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pics 178,179,180,181 and a bonus...catching up and a how to

I have not been able to make myself pic up my camera, pretty much since I got back from Costa Rica. I think I was disappointed with the pictures (or lack thereof) that I got there, and I haven't felt inspired since. 
Well, today, I decided to try out a new recipe and took pics along the way, so these will have to be good enough to get me caught up.
The kids and I are calling them " 'Merica berries".  They're pretty easy and turned out colorful and patriotic.  I haven't tasted one yet, but the kids seem to like them.
I had to use a flash on all of them because the light wasn't bright enough in the room and I was down to 1/50th of a second just to see things and that would make the pictures a little blurry from camera shake. 

First, wash strawberries and lay them out to dry. They must be completely dry or the white chocolate will not stick.

Second, melt some white chocolate chips in a bowl and then dump some blue sugar sprinkles in a bowl also.

Take the dry strawberry, dip it in the melted white chocolate and then dip in the blue sugar at the tip. If you're like Stephen, you'll sample all of it along the way:

Here are our first attempts:

After the chocolate gets cool, you will have to heat up some more chips and keep working at it: