Thursday, February 26, 2015

You are not a puzzle-solver, you never have been. You're a drama queen. Now, there is a man in there about to die, "the game is on," SOLVE IT!

Last July Drek created a start-up company. Since August, that company has been working on an a 3D puzzle game  for both kids and adults. Everyone in the company has been putting in long, long hours to get this app together. The release date has been pushed back several times, but it's finally all come together;

PuzzleHouse: Mystery rising is now available for download in itunes. 

We had hoped that once the game was live in the Apple Store  Drek would be able to stop working 60+ hour weeks, but he's been busy getting the social media side done (Twitter,  Facebook,  Google+,  Website/blog ) and now the company is focusing on releasing the game for Android, so there hasn't been any slowing down.

But that's life. And the game is really fun to play, both for me and for Ash.

Monday, February 23, 2015

You Just Don't Get to Put Those Images in My Mind. That's an Assault on My Imagination.

Ash came running in from playing in the backyard with an announcement: 

"So many bees! more bees than you've ever seen in your life!" 

I came out and found this: 

A swarm! How exciting! Having previously been a beekeeper for a short period of time, I knew that capturing swarms were one way Beekeepers start a new bee colony. I went inside and read a chapter from "Beekeeping for Dummies" on how to capture a swarm.

The guy writing the book says he loves to capture swarms in front of a crowd, because everyone thinks he is so brave: no gloves, short sleeves... but he says a swarm is when bees are the most docile, so really there is nothing to worry about.

Well, we still worried. We set up an empty beehive and Drek suited up. I held Sera and the camera, taking care to stand back, just in case. Mary was also watching, as was Ash.

The problem was that the bees were not swarmed on a tree branch like in the book, they were swarmed on a garbage can full of heavy chicken feed. there was no way to gently carry the whole swarm over to their new hive all at once, so Drek took the lid over first. I followed him with the camera, but Mary stayed back by the trashcan. She says that once Drek moved away, a swarm of bees flew up out of the trash can, and just like in cartoons, charged straight at her. She was stung around 24 times.

Meanwhile, Drek was successfully relocating these bees:

After a few more trips back and forth, the whole swarm was moved into their new hive:

Ash, Alexa and I, despite our proximity and short sleeves, were never stung. One bee made it through Drek's armor and stung his arm once. All in all, we thought we were quite successful, until we talked to Mary. it raised the question: Wait, the author of the book does this in front of crowds?! Sounds like they are the brave ones!

Sadly, the bees did not like their home. They stayed for a few days, then decided to move on to greener pastures. Ah well. Good luck, giant bee swarm. I hope you find a home.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Storrmageddon Dark Lord of All

In answer to my last question; Why aren't there any good female family doctors in Sunland? I say: There are! They just all work in the ER!

I'll start at the beginning: I am pregnant! I've had horrible morning sickness with all my pregnancies, but morning sickness plus pneumonia is the most miserable I have ever been: Cough cough, throw up, repeat, repeat, ad nauseam.

A week after recovering from pneumonia I woke up with some mild cold symptoms: A stuffy nose, a sore throat, and the usual morning sickness where I throw up first thing in the morning and still feel nauseous. An hour later, I felt a headache coming on. A few minutes after my nausea worsened, and I ran to the bathroom and threw up again and again. Afterward, I felt better, which was shocking:  With my morning sickness I DO NOT feel better after throwing up, This must be something else. I was exposed to the flu a few days before, so I figured this was it.

I settled into bed and tried nibbling toast and sipping water, but I would throw everything up within ten minutes. Afterward, I felt better, until I tried to eat or drink again. It was as if the Flu had kicked my usual morning sickness out the door.  Apparently pneumonia and morning sickness can live in harmony, but Influenza and morning sickness do not get along.

Around six that night I had excruciating back pain. I have had a kidney infection, and that back pain was nothing compared to this. This was awful! This was constant! This was so bad, I started cramping. I knew the flu came with muscle aches, but this couldn't possibly be muscle aches, could it? This was torture! Something had to be really, really wrong, I just had no idea what it was.

I called a nurse helpline to see if I could find some answers to alleviate my fear. The nurse asked me if I didn't have her number, what would I have done?

"Uh, um, I guess called my midwife to ask if this could possibly be a miscarriage?"   I really called the nurse helpline because I didn't know what else to do, so her question threw me. After asking questions about symptoms, medical history blah blah blah, her answer was:

"It's unlikely that you have the flu without a fever, so I don't know what you have. I suggest calling your midwife."

Wow, thanks. How very helpful. I'm so glad you are paid to waste time and tell people to call someone else .

So I called my midwife, who I haven't technically hired yet. My first actual appointment, where I sign the contract and make the first payment, still hasn't happened, so here I am, calling someone I've met just once, and asking for help with no guarantee they will ever get paid.  But she was amazing. She assured me right away it didn't sound at all like a miscarriage. After talking for a while she offered this:

"Sometimes muscle aches with the flu really are that serious. Take two Tylenol, wait thirty minutes, and see if that helps. If it's just the flu, the pain should go away with just a simple dose of Tylenol."

"And of it doesn't?"

"Well, it is unusual to have the flu without a fever. and if you minus the cold symptoms, your symptoms match an ectopic pregnancy, And since you haven't had an ultrasound, we can't rule it out, in which case you'll need to go to the ER right away. So I want you to think it over, and decide if you want to try Tylenol first, or just go straight to the ER."

I talked to Drek, but we don't have any Tylenol in the house, and I didn't want to wait anyway. We put the kids to bed, left them with a babysitter, and arrived at the ER around nine at night.

Everyone working at that ER is awesome. The check-in nurse, the triage nurse, the assistants...awesome. I waited an hour and half for a room (less time than I was on hold trying to get an appointment with my doctor) but that whole time they were doing tests and such: Labs, a urine sample, a flu swab... then they gave me a magical pill that helps with nausea. I wasn't nauseous, having not attempted to eat or drink anything for several hours, but they gave it to me to keep me from throwing up whatever else they decided to give me. Then I was sent in for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound was both magical and excruciating. I was supposed to lie flat on my back, not moving, which made the pain so much worse than the already unbearable state of pain i was in when I could bend my legs and move. I sobbed through most of the ultrasound, trying hard not to move. But for Drek, this was the first time he saw one of his children in utero. I've only had one ultrasound before, with Alexa, and he wasn't there, so this was a first for him. He saw the little tiny baby, and the little tiny fists waving back and forth. It was magical.

After the ultrasound I was given a room. Right away a nurse came in and gave me two Tylenol ("because you are pregnant, we have to start with this, but if it doesn't touch the pain, I promise we will do some problem solving."). That nurse was amazing. I loved that nurse.

Thirty minutes later, the pain was gone. I was dozing peacefully on the exam bed while Drek tried to watch Netflix on his phone. The doctor came in with all the results from the tests:

"It's the Flu. You just don't have a fever. You also have a UTI, but the back pain really is just the flu. The ultrasound showed you have a perfectly healthy baby in your uterus, growing how and where it should be. If the Tylenol has stopped the pain, just keep taking Tylenol. You'll be fine and so will your baby."

She gave me a choice of either an IV, or drinking a bunch of water, since I was dehydrated. But here is why she was so amazing: She gave me the choice! She was so nice in explaining everything, was patient and through in answering all our questions and even congratulated us on the baby! She was amazing. I wish she was my doctor always.

A few days later, I was fully recovered. I knew the exact day the flu was gone, because my morning sickness moved back in. I may never eat food again.