Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Self diagnosis

One of the great (and awful) things about this world wide web is that there is so much information at your fingertips that when you're having some sort of symptom, you can forgo the doctor and simply self diagnose yourself. This was especially useful during my pregnancy. Every time I'd have some new pain or some new crazy unexpected thing happen to my body, I would google it and prest0... I'd be instantly reassured that everything that was happening to me was totally normal. This is likely the principal reason that my doctor didn't end up thinking of me as a total loon, because if not for the internet, I'd likely have been checking in with him with every new worry.

So it was that yesterday I finally made a self diagnosis for myself using this powerful tool and according to Dr. Titi, I'm sad to report that I have Herpes!!!! Now, before you all go wash your hands and navigate away from this page with a ten foot pole, let me elaborate a bit.

Herpes ain't just for genitals... Herpes is an unhappy little family of virus (Herpesviridae) that causes infections in people. In fact, there are eight members of this miserable family that infect humans causing unpleasantries ranging from cold sores to yes, genital herpes. And somewhere in that mix is the very unpopular cousin, the chicken pox! And in a sense, that's who's got me (according to my diagnosis).

See, when I was a kid and I got the chicken pox, I had my first case of herpes (varicella zoster virus) and that stupid virus never left my body. If you had chicken pox, then you also had herpes and you've still got that stinker hiding in your nervous system. Well, it so happens that later in life (but usually not until after 50 or 60), that miserable cousin can return to rear its ugly head in the form of Shingles! They are just like chicken pox, only generally confined to one area. And this is my diagnosis.

Why have I settled on Shingles? Well, for the past two and half years, I have had a rash pop up on one finger (unfortunately it is the index finger of my right hand). The first time I had it, my initial thought was poison ivy because it hurt and itched. But when it didn't spread and then the bumps grew and blistered and scabbed up, my hypochondriac mother suggested I get some antibiotics in case it was some terrible bacterial infection that would soon spread through my blood system and kill me. I did, but the drugs seemed to do nothing and after a couple of weeks it was gone anyway.

Over a year later, it happened again. Same finger. Same pain and itching. Same blistering and scabbing. This time my mom guessed it might be a fungal thing, so off to the drug store I went and bought some fungal cream (you know, the athlete's foot stuff). I slathered my rash in the cream, kept it covered and withing two weeks it was gone... did the cream help or was it just running its course? When I was pregnant with Radar, it came back twice. More cream, but really the stupid rash did it's own thing and in two weeks it was gone.

So this week when the stupid rash came back, I really hit the internet and everything I read pointed me to Shingles. It's not often that it shows up on a finger, but I did find some literature about finger and hand shingles. I also found a picture that looked an aweful lot like my finger!

And there it is... welcome to Dr. Titi's medical diagnosis center and say hello to my own self diagnosed case of finger shingle! It sucks big time... I have an "old people's" disease... I have Herpes!! It is super painful, there is no cure and it is still about a week and half away from it's exit. But if I'm right (and maybe I'm not), at least I feel like I understand what's going on. My finger is greasy looking because it spent the night slathered in cortizone cream (for the itch and swelling) and it's wrinkly looking for the same reason.

Incidentally, anyone who has had the chicken pox can not catch shingles from someone, but there have been rare cases where someone with shingles can give someone the chicken pox (if they've never had it before), so for Radar's sake, the hand is staying well covered until this little episode is over!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - The friendship continues to bloom.

PSS - The answer to Sunday's puzzle is just around the bend... stay tuned!

PSSS - Although there is no cure, there are treatments to help with the pain and help get rid of shingles sooner, so I am going to a dermatologist this afternoon... if he/she concurs with my diagnosis, I will award myself an internet doctorate and open the blog up to more diagnosis.  You'll just have to send me pictures and symptoms and I will diagnosis your disease... and only charge a very modest fee!!!  ;)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sundays are family day

Ok, first to address the answers to yesterday's questions. But before starting I have the unfortunate task of disqualifying Dardo... you know why Dardo!

Question #1 was indeed a pooping Radar face. Science Pundit, there is a difference between taking a sh&% and talking sh$#... maybe that was your confusion.

Question #2: Abuela was wrong about the size of her grandson's head being even bigger than it looked in the picture, but she has a tendency to think of Radar as larger than life in every way, so we'll excuse her. The Science Pundit and Antonio were right, but only "Anonymous" pointed out how beautiful Radar's face is with a little Yiddish touch. Here's a better perspective.

Question #3: I can't blame those who guessed that Fanny's was looking at some sort of food. But that was wrong and nobody got the right answer. Of course you would have needed insider information to know the answer... this guy has that insider information, but will he tell?

Ok, it was Radar's new rubber ducky. I had it on the bed and was squeaking it... Fanny was VERY interested.

Question #4: You all had the right idea and I think Abuela came closest with the spelling of "Spliblphshpglbbsh." The only problem is that you all missed the "he he he" at the end since the last picture showed Radar giggling at his own splurting... so the right answer was "Spliblphshpglbbsh, he he he."

Sorry! No prizes today, but thanks for playing. But if you're interested in one more chance at the big prize (which is totally at my discretion, so it could be anything from a mention on the blog to an island rum cake), here's one more question.

Question: Other than approximate weight, height and not being house trained, in what other way have these two recently become more alike?

I'll publish the answer in a day or two.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Here are just a few shots from our Sunday family day...

Radar's riding it cool, with his foot sticking out of his stroller.

Mommy and Radar testing out the new sling.

The family finally all together!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Assorted Saturday Stuff

There's something I'm really eager to share, but I haven't been able to catch it on camera. I'll keep the camera handy and I'm sure I'll be able to snap this allusive thing in the next few days, so please stay tuned!

So I guess for today, as time permits, I'll post some random stuff. When I say "time permits," I obviously mean as "Radar" permits. So I'll start with this question. What do you do on a Saturday afternoon with a baby who desperately wants to sleep, but wakes up and cries every time you try to put him in his crib or playpen?

Answer: You let him sleep in whatever spot he falls asleep... this afternoon, that happens to be on the monkey rug on the floor.

Now here are some other questions that I won't give you the answers to and I'll see if anyone is savvy enough to guess.

Question #1: What do you think is going on here?

Question #2: Is Radar's head really that big or is it an optical trick?

Question #3: What is the pug looking at here?

Question #4: What sound accompanies this series of pictures?

Well, how do you think you did? I'll post the answers tomorrow and with some little bit of luck, maybe I'll be posting that other thing I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - For those of you that didn't catch Lori's comment on the Kermit videos post, check it out. If you have a heart, it will make you cry!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For you frog lovers... with a bonus for Marco

And it's not a frog, but here's a bonus for Marco with one her other favorite animals!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When 4,750 just isn't enough

Since my camera is nice enough to keep track of how many pictures I've taken since I got the camera (just before Radar was born), I know that as of yesterday I had taken 4,749 pictures. So I took one more when I got home... that was # 4,750 and that should be quite enough, don't you think? Except that about 1/4 of a second later I took # 4,751 and then 4,752... it's pointless to go on. Obviously it's not enough when this little boy is who I'm shooting...

And then there was this post-bath battle with the damned frog!!! Radar won in the end.

Oh, and since Radar was wearing his cute baseball outfit, I thought I'd pull out the first picture I'd taken of him in his outfit... I can't help but notice that his legs have filled in just a bit!!!

Nothing else to report today... nighty night to all.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photo op???

Good morning. This morning we were just minding our own business doing our morning routine (which currently consists of me sitting on the couch checking e-mail and maybe even blogging, while Radar attends to urgent office matters on his new floor office.)

When all of a sudden a rare photo op presented itself. Now for all you Mulligan fans who feel very slighted by my lack of attention to that member of our family, let me be clear that this is principally not my choice. Since the arrival of the alien, Mulligan wants very little to do with us and prefers his back porch villa to our chaotic indoor suites. He makes a brief entrance every morning and then quickly retreats back to the porch. I have tried on many occassions to get Mulligan and Radar in the same frame during his visits, but Mulligan wants nothing to do with the alien... I think he's a bit afraid of "it". But this morning as I sat here, I saw him making a wide arc toward the floor office and I quickly grabbed the camera. It wasn't a face to face encounter, but it was close enough to get them in the same frame and maybe it was Mulligan testing the waters?? Maybe the near future will hold new opportunities for better photo ops!!

Speaking of which, I got a couple of messages on Facebook today that made me giddy with anticipation for the upcoming Radar World Tour part II. According to my secret sources, there will indeed be a fantastic photo op coming up... one we weren't anticipating and thought might still be more than a year away.

I won't expand on this any more for now. The tour starts on Friday, July 10th and goes through July 26th!!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Monday, June 22, 2009

You be the judge

Judging from the photo-shopping poll, you are all clearly very poor judges. Yes, "Holy Radar" was funny and yes, "Groovy Radar" was way out, but to give Roman Radar only 3 votes (including my own vote) when it was clearly the best quality and most creative???!!! I'll just chalk it up to poor judgment and poor taste. I thought of rigging the results, but after seeing what a fuss that's caused in Iran, I thought it best to not rock the boat. I will be seeing the Science Pundit next month and will hand deliver his prize.

But I am nothing if not forgiving and so I will give you one more chance... no poll this time... just a quick judgment call about whether or not you think Mr. Radar had a good time at the beach yesterday. Unfortunately I can't show you all the photographic evidence I wanted to since I forgot the memory card for my waterproof camera... so no ocean shots, but we did spend a good bit of time playing in the water while Fanny swam circles around us. And Radar was imitating Fanny by lapping up salt water with his tongue!

And even the shots I managed to get were problematic since there was constant interference.

But finally I managed to get some unobstructed shots. "Let's see... this little piggy went somewhere..."

"Mommy. Where did the piggy go again?"

And when we were done swimming and playing on the beach, we relaxed under the shade of a palm hut.

Are you wondering what that drink is on the side of Radar's stroller? That's a dirty diaper daiquiri!

And who can resist a dirty diaper daiquiri? I had to quickly stop shooting to intervene. So? Judging from what I've shown you, do you conclude that Radar had a good day or not such a good day at the beach?

Oh, I suppose I could give you one last clue... This was Radar when I pulled into the driveway at home! You be the judge!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Well, I'm off the hook this year and probably next year. But at some point, I'm sure before I'm ready, the topic of "daddy" will come up and already my stomach tightens just a little thinking about it.

I am a single mother by choice. I do not know who Radar's biological father is, although I have heard his voice (an audio interview). I have also read everything available about his family, his health, his education, his hobbies, his ethnicity, his personality and his physical characteristics. I have seen a picture of him when he was about 5 years old. And that's likely all I'll get to know for a very long time. When Radar turns 18, he'll have the option to contact his biological father if he wants to...

So that just leaves the next 17 1/2 years for me to contend with when it comes to any "who's my daddy?" questions... I've read all sorts of suggestions as to how to start approaching the topic (as early as now - more for my practice than for Radar's understanding). I like that idea because I don't ever want Radar to be surprised by something in "his story" that was kept as a secret for "his own good." I believe that the truth, without any shame, is best... but that, I guess, is easier said than done and like I said, my stomach already tightens when I imagine a little boy coming home from preschool and asking, "Mommy, why do the other kids have daddies and not me?" Eeek...

Enough of that for now, but I bring it up obviously because today is Father's day and that's a pretty big reminder. And I'll just finish up the topic of Radar's bio-dad by saying that although I don't know who he is, I think about him every day and wish him every good thing that this world has to offer... a stranger has given me the most awesome and precious gift, so Radar and I will celebrate life today in his honor by going to a Humaine Society Father's Day beach barbeque! And yes, Fanny is going too!

I'll leave you with some pictures from yesterday, when mommy and baby spent the whole day together...

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Oh, and by the way...

Happy Father's Day Dad!!

One of the secrets

I hope that by the end of today, I'll have some more interesting pictures to show you of Radar in his new...

... Coast Guard approved, super-duper life vest that uncle Stefan gave him!

But for now, I just wanted to share with you one of the secrets to happiness that Abuelo has recently pinpointed for me. It has something to do with the game of peek-a-boo.

Observe Radar and I playing peek-a-boo (only Radar is in the pictures to save you all the time you'd be using to photo-shop me out). I sit Radar in his crib and I kneel before it (this has nothing to do with Holy Radar). I duck below the bumper where he can't see me and I call out his name.

He's curious and looks down... "where is mommy?"

Then I pop up and say my "peek-a-boo!" He jumps and then starts cracking up.

We start again...

"Peek-a-boo!" And Radar cracks up... we do it again and again and again and again, and guess what? It never gets old!

So, what is the secret to happiness as identified by Abuelito?

To be easily amused! I think Radar's already got this one down pat.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Photoshopping out mommy!

Final poll results.

Well, we didn't get too many entries, but enough for a poll vote. Here are the photoshopped pictures to choose from. Since Marco had taken the dolphin theme, I made a new one myself.

Once again... The original

#1: Groovy Radar by Marco

#2: Holy Radar! by the Science Pundit

#3: Roman Radar by Radar's Mom

Now, it may not seem fair for me to enter my own competition, but I have a feeling that most of those voting will sense the unfairness and vote against me! But I've learned a thing or two from the recent events in Iran and I might just win anyway, even if you ALL vote against me!

We'll see

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS – Just a glimpse of last night...

(Radar waits in his crib until mommy prepares his bath... at least we use the crib for something and at least Radar doesn't hate the crib!)



And that's really it for today...