It Builds Character

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wild Kingdom

Strange things have been happening around here this week. I have seen things these past few days that I have never seen before.

I stayed home with Lauren on Tuesday, as she wasn't quite feeling up to being at daycare. At first I thought maybe she had developed some allergies, as her eyes were puffy and watery, and her nose was runny. When I got her to daycare, her teacher noticed that she had a rash on a few places on her body. I took her home with me and made an appointment for the doctor to see her.

After her appointment, we were sitting at the dining room table eating lunch, and I noticed that there were a lot of birds in our back yard. Nothing special, just robins and some type of black bird, but there were LOTS of them there. I sat there looking through the patio doors at them, wondering if there was some significance to so many of them being out there. Did it mean it was going to rain or something? I looked away for a second, and out of the corner of my eye, I could see some sort of commotion outside, and then all the birds immediately flew away. I looked up and saw something that I'm still replaying in my mind because it was so strange. A hawk swooped down and picked out one of the black birds for its lunch. I just remember seeing this huge light brown bird carrying a smaller black bird in its talons and flying toward the house. Off to have some lunch! Jason and Lauren found some very familiar black feathers outside the next day.

The second and third strange things both happened today. I went in to Catherine's room this morning to wake her up to get ready for school. She was lying in bed, already awake. That was very surprising to me because getting her up for school is like trying to wake the dead. I told her good morning, and she said that the ducks woke her up. I listened for a second, and sure enough, there was some quacking coming from outside. This was not completely surprising as we had a couple of ducks in our front yard a week or two ago. Not exactly sure why, because there's no water in the immediate area. Anyway, the quacking this morning sounded like it was right outside the window, so I slowly pulled the blinds and looked down. I had to practically press my face against the 2nd story window to see them, because they were straight down from where I was. There was a male and a female. Guess what they were doing? Yep, making little ducklings. Catherine came over to get a good look, but luckily didn't ask any questions. I looked again just in time to see the male waddle away looking all satisfied, and then he took off. Just as he was flying off, another male flew in. Maybe he heard that this duck was easy, I don't know. I watched them for a little while, and they ended up just laying in the grass and sleeping. They were there for a good couple of hours, I'd say.

Then just a few short hours later, I heard a thud at the front door. I was home alone--kids were at school and daycare, and Jason was at work. I walked over to the door to see what was going on, and there was a young robin on the front step. He must have flown into the door or the window next to the door. They're not even that clean! Anyway, he was pretty dazed. He hit it hard! It sounded like someone hitting the door with an open hand. He jumped off the step and hopped over to the side of the house and just sat under the down spout. I'm thinking, "Oh crap, this bird is hurt and I'm either gonna have to do something about it, or feel really guilty for just leaving the bird there to heal itself or die." I managed to get a couple of pictures of it hiding out. I decided that I needed to figure out how hurt it was, so I opened the door and it hopped away and hid under some shrubs--good sign. I walked around to see if I could get a better look, and he flew away up into the tree. Whew! I was off the hook!

Oh, I almost forgot about the seal that was at our house Wednesday night. Ok, so it wasn't an actual seal, but Lauren sure sounded like one when she coughed. It was about midnight when I had just gone to bed and Jason was still downstairs on the computer, and Lauren started coughing and hacking like there was no tomorrow. She was coughing so hard she could barely breathe. So I grabbed the nebulizer out of the cupboard and ran downstairs to the kitchen to get the albuterol. We did the neb treatment with her fighting the mask almost the whole time. She usually thinks its fun to use that mask to get her medicine, but I think that between her being so tired and us shoving it into her face so fast, it freaked her out a little bit. Unfortunately, the treatment didn't help as much as it usually does, and she was still having to work really hard to breathe. I looked at Jason and said, "Well, should I bring her in?" We decided that was the best thing to do, as breathing is a very important part of living. Jason threw her jacket on over her pajamas, shoved her little feet into some shoes while I got myself dressed and looking halfway presentable. The nearest ER is only about 10 minutes from here so we hopped in the van and off we went at about 12:15am. It wasn't really an emergency, I mean, I didn't think she would stop breathing or anything. We've been through this before. I would just prefer to be safe rather than sorry for not taking her in just because it was the middle of the night. Besides, it's not like I would have been able to sleep after that. I'd be worried all night that she would stop breathing and we wouldn't have any way to know. On the way to the ER, she really perked up and was very chatty. For anyone who knows Lauren, this is normal behavior. She never really stops talking, so the fact that her mouth was going 100 mph was a good sign and I felt a lot better.

When we got there, they took her vitals and slapped a tiny bracelet on her wrist. Then we went into a room and she was very excited to lay on the bed. A nurse wheeled a TV, VCR and two big tubs of movies in, and we popped in The Little Mermaid II, which Lauren has never seen. We were at the ER long enough for her to watch the entire movie, as well as a good chunk of a Dora movie. They diagnosed her (Lauren, not Dora) with croup. They gave her a steroid to reduce the swelling of her vocal cords, which is what makes the cough sound barky. We got home about 3am. I was afraid that she was too awake to head back to bed, but she settled right down, thankfully. I took a few pictures with my phone of her in her little hospital gown, but I haven't figured out how to get the pics onto my computer yet.

She really enjoyed her time at the ER. She actually asked me to take her back tonight so that she could watch more movies. I told her I didn't want to pay another $75 rental fee (co-pay).

So basically, it's been a little like Wild Kingdom around here lately. I'm almost afraid to find out what the next strange event will be. Judging by the way things have been going, it's a matter of "when" it happens, not "if."