Monday, October 26, 2009


Guess what I just caught my girls doing??? CHEATING!!! Natalie had homework and Trinity did not. All Natalie had to do was trace the letter "C" and then write a few of her own. Well, she kept insisting that she could not do it, while I kept insisting that she could. This went on for more than an hour. Later I left the room to blog, and when I came back, the girls were eating Halloween candy and playing. I looked around for Natalie's homework and found it in her folder, completed. As soon as I saw the "C's," I knew that they were not written by Natalie. I went to ask Trinity if she did her sister's homework. She said "No," but it was written all over her face. So I asked her again, and told her to tell the truth. This time she said "Yes." I still don't really know what to do when it comes to punishment, so I talked to her about how it is important that her sister does her own homework. She agreed with me, but I am very worried that this could happen regularly in the future! Imagine the switching of homework that these girls could do in high school!!!


The swine flu. For months now it has spread across the globe like wildfire. Scaring everyone into wearing masks every time they leave their house, making people obsessively disinfect themselves AND their belongings. I admit, I was a little freaked out when it became a "pandemic," but then I learned more about it in my microbiology class and found that the word "pandemic" only means that it is found everywhere-not that everyone is dying from it. I was also informed that h1n1 is not as terrible as its cousin, the h5n1 (AKA bird flu), which struck a few years ago. Because of this, I was not afraid. In fact, I often even played with germs in my micro class and liked it! And just in case you're curious, this is what swine flu looks like under a microscope:

Darling, isn't it?! Well, it turns out when you actually acquire this little guy, there is NOTHING darling about it!!! Back in September, I got sick. At first I thought it was a cold, or my allergies acting up. Then I seemed to feel better. But then a couple days later I was hit HARD with a fever, aches, chills, cough, and congestion. I felt BAD. Bad enough that I went to the ER to get tested for this "pig flu." When I got there, they immediately handed me a piece of paper that stated that the state of Florida was no longer testing people for swine flu. This confused me. They did the normal vitals and checked me in, made me wait for forever, then when the doctor came in he was like "Why are you here? You just have a cold." Then he gave me some steroids and sent me on my way. He was an ass. (Excuse me.) (And by the way, if the state of Florida is no longer testing for swine flu, how are they coming up with all of these statistics that the news people keep reporting?) Anyway, I did not get better, and I knew that I did not just have a cold. Days went by and I got to the point that it hurt to breathe. Just walking the short distance to my bathroom to pee was exhausting. I have NEVER in my life felt as bad as I did. My body ached, including my spine, my neck, and my head. I was having hot and cold flashes. For one week straight, I had a high fever of over 101 that would not break. I really thought I was dying. I almost wanted to. My mom finally talked to me on the phone one day and thought that I sounded so bad, that I had lost the will to live (I don't think I really had, but whatever.). So she somehow got her doctor Trish to see me on her day off. By this time, I was so dehydrated (both food and drink tasted terrible to me) that she hooked me up to an IV right in her office. They gave me Tylenol to try and break my fever (it did not go down the whole two hours I was there) and they tested me for the regular flu. It was negative. I kept saying "I know it is the swine flu." I had all the symptoms. She gave me a shot of antibiotics, plus a prescription, and told me that if I did not feel better in a day or two, to go to the ER again.

Well, surprise, surprise! I did NOT feel better. I was WORSE. I don't know how it became even possible for me to feel worse, but I did. I went back to the ER, but to the one on the other side of town (really, it is in the next town over) because their reputation is better, they get you in and out fast, and we know a nurse there. They took one look at me and knew I was not doing well. I could barely walk. My fever was still high, even though I was already taking Tamiflu (which I think I was allergic to because it made me itchy, but I finished it anyway), along with antibiotics and a cocktail of other over the counter drugs. They ran all sorts of tests on me (still not the swine flu test), gave me something to stop the itching and make me sleep, and then got my x-rays back and told me I had pneumonia. AHA! The swine flu causes pneumonia, among other things respiratory! Ok, that isn't really proof, but I just know in my gut that is what I had at first. Besides, my teacher said that there were others in the class with it. Anyway, I had the choice of going home with my meds or staying in the hospital. I chose to stay there. And I am glad I did. I got round the clock treatments and didn't get any sleep that night, but I finally started to feel better, after more than two weeks of being sick, including being sick on my birthday.

My IV antibiotics and breathing treatments were what did the trick. The next day I was told again that I could stay longer if I wanted, but I felt better and was so tired that I decided to go home. It still took me awhile to get back to normal, but I think I am finally there now. I was short of breath for weeks after, and I was still very, very tired. In the end, I ended up missing so much school that I had to drop the semester. I cried, because it means that I will not be able to apply for my program for another year, but my health is more important.

So to those who are in fear of the infamous swine flu, I say, be smart. Get vaccinated. (I'm going to.) Don't freak out, but do wash your hands a little more frequently than normal. I survived and you can too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Childrens Birthday Party Bird Cake

On September 19th, I turned 31. Don't you love my cake pictured above?! Just kidding! I'm obviously not "1", nor is my name "Piper." But I do LOVE this cake! I am really into birds and owls right now, and this cake kind of shows the look that I am always admiring in craft stores or on Etsy. I actually found this cake on a super COOL blog. Seriously, if you LIKE to watch Duff and his crew at "Charm City Cakes" on The Food Network, then you will LOVE the Pink Cake Box. I spent FOREVER going through their blog, admiring all of their beautiful cakes.

And by the way, I actually did get a beautiful cake of my own for my birthday this year. I only wish I had photographed it! My awesome mother-in-law Tina got it for me from The Fresh Market, where she works. It was all white chocolate with pieces of white chocolate on top. Unfortunately, I did not get to enjoy it the way a birthday cake should be enjoyed. I actually only took a small bite of it, and that was it. If you know me, then you know that this is quite unusual behavior for me. All you have to do is say the word CAKE and I AM THERE. But this was not the case on my birthday. I was sick. I mean, sleeping all day, all night, only waking up to take more drugs kind of sick. I was down. Out for the count. Gone. I have never been so sick in my entire life. It is actually a whole other post in and of itself, so I will not say anymore about it. Let's just say I knew I had my birthday, but I didn't care. It didn't even hit me that I had turned a whole year older until AFTER my whole sickness ordeal.

As I realized that I was no longer just "30" but now "in my thirties," I began to cry. Stupid, I know, but I was finally feeling better after being so sick, and I had so many emotions that needed to come out. I cried because I knew I was getting older, because I didn't get to enjoy my birthday, so I felt like it came and went without me, and that is not supposed to happen!!! I also cried because I did not get to enjoy my beautiful cake. While I was sick things did not taste right, so I just told my family to eat it. And they did. Then, as I was pondering this post, I tried to think of happy things that are associated with the number 31. Here is what I came up with:

1. October 31st is Halloween! This is one of my FAVORITE holidays!

2. Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors of ice cream! Who can go wrong with that?!

3. January 31st is New Year's Eve! For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed ringing in the new year with parties, festivities, fun, food, and the ever-popular ball drop in NYC!

Ok, so I could only come up with three. But those three are enough. I am 31 and I am happy. Happy Birthday to me!!!