Friday, July 8, 2011

Plague, Pestilence and Plumb Tuckered Out

1. Bed bugs are really pesky in that they are difficult to kill. And, apparently, finding Miranda's location more difficult to access, what with all the cleaning and spraying and dusting, they went in search of other food sources, like Alex's bed. And ours. Seriously gross.

So, on Monday, I noticed Alex had these really strange splotches on his shoulder and ankles. So we checked his bed and found signs of bed bugs. So we cleaned and washed and sprayed and flipped his bed back to the upright position, so as to make him less accessible. And we haven't found any new bites on him and the number of bugs in Miranda's bed continues to fall. However, when Marshall and I were looking at our own mattress later that day, just in case, we saw a live bug scurry off the mattress pad into the shadows between the bed frame and the wall. And we looked at each other and tried not to run screaming. But at least we know what to do: more cleaning, spraying, and wrapping the mattress and pillows in zippered plastic. All our throw pillows had a turn in the dryer on high and I did all of Alex's stuffed animals again, just in case. But I am weary of this battle.

The advantage of having young children that I can lie to is neither Alex nor Miranda know when they go to bed every night, a bug might bite them in their sleep. However, Marshall and I have had difficultly sleeping since Monday because we can "feel" the bugs crawling on us, a rather normal reaction like formication, because we know there are still a few bugs around. And I had a couple of fresh bites this morning. Ewwwww.

Since both my mother and Marshall are still checking Miranda's bed every night, after she falls asleep, for bugs to squash, I joked to him last night that I should set our alarm for 3 am to wake us up so we can check our own bed for bugs, unless they would hear the alarm and scatter. Somehow, my husband did not find this amusing.

The good news is that Miranda's body is recovering from the constant assault of we're not sure how long (we still can't figure out how they arrived in the house) and the numbers of bugs, dead or alive, that we're finding in her room are dropping. She just doesn't have a standard presentation and it really fooled everyone.

2. Alex went back to school Tuesday morning, thanks to ESY, the extended school year, courtesy of Mt. Laurel Schools. His regular teacher takes the summer off to be with her family, so he has a different teacher for the summer, but he seems to like her and is very cheerful when he gets on the bus at 8 am. And, amazingly, we did not get a lame summer bus driver like every summer previous to this, but a woman I know already as she had subbed for us during the school year, and she's wonderful. It just means that Alex and I are getting up at 6:30 so that he has time for a leisurely breakfast before heading out at 8; he is almost impossible to rush and it's just not worth trying, if you can help it. It's only 3 hours a day, 4 days a week, but it still helps tremendously.

Miranda, poor lamb, still doesn't understand why he gets to go to school in the summer and she doesn't. There's always a possibility that with her change of diagnosis that she might qualify next summer, so we'll wait and see. I have been watching her at the pool where she treats everyone she sees as if they are already her friend and every toy they have is hers to play with, too. She's been rebuffed quite a few times but it doesn't seem to discourage her. I'm not sure if this is a lack of maturity or simple the ASD showing itself more clearly. Or, perhaps, like me, she just doesn't get out much. And the events that we do take her to include a select group of people, most of whom are already prepared to help her out.

Regardless, joining the community pool is doing the things we wanted, exposing both of them to new situations that require social skills to navigate and giving them a chance to swim in a large pool that satisfies them sensory-wise. On the unfortunate side, it means I have to be in the water with them the whole time, in direct sun. I'm starting to think one of these would be a good idea. Of course, if I thought I was getting strange looks before just from the behaviors of my children, this would probably get me ostracized. But I wouldn't be sunburnt!

3. Although it has been lovely to have my mother here, and I'm not sure we would have survived all the excitement without her help, she came down with a cold over the weekend and I caught it, too, so we're both working at less than our usual levels of energy. However, we have been able to return to a habit we enjoyed of old, watching British dramas to pass the time while we rest and hope to feel better soon. Instead of the usual Lord Peter Wimsey, though, we've been watching Lewis and Poirot. Of the former, we've watched "The Dead of Winter," "The Gift of Promise" and "Whom the Gods Would Destroy." Of the latter, we've watched Death in the Clouds, Evil Under the Sun and After the Funeral (which has Michael Fassbender). Up for today are Appointment with Death and Hallowe'en Party. I watched a bunch of the David Suchet serials last year, so I am sharing with her some of my favorites as well as watching new ones.

4. Stitching progress has been slow this week, what with my cold and the not wanting to sit and stitch on my bed where my sewing light is because of the creepy, crawly feeling on my skin. Still, it's progress:

5. I did see the new Transformers movie on Saturday night, by myself, and it was alright. Bombastic and visually overwhelming, but Shia continues to be appealing. My mother came with me to the theatre and saw Cars 2, which she enjoyed. Marshall and I were supposed to go see it together on Monday night, but we were distracted by the pests. We'll have to schedule a babysitter for that sometime later.

6. True to our form of corrupting the young, we induced another of our babysitters to watch Doctor Who. And now he's addicted. This also happened last summer and that babysitter lost 17 days, as I recall, as she watched 5 seasons worth. And now this young man is in the same boat. :)

7. My mother's book, Bathsheba's Lament, continues to earn praises and recognition from among a growing number of readers. There is a great review of it on the International Christian Fiction Writers' blog that you must read! There is another awesome review of Bathsheba's Lament on LeAnne Hardy's blog. Read it here. Remember, if you haven't already ordered a copy, you will find it available here, or, if you are a local fan, you can purchase my last remaining copy of the book.

If you've read the book and enjoyed it, won't you please consider writing a review on Amazon for her? Click here.

Bonus 8. How, you might be wondering, do we insure my mother does not take any bed bugs home with her? By operating in a state of total paranoia. Heat up all her luggage in the hot sun outside and in the hot car, run all of her clothes through the dryer, re-wash everything when she gets home (including what she wore on the plane) and pray really, really hard. Oh, Lord, have mercy on us. 

And here's Jen


Lindse94 said...

Wow, what else can I say. First a whole winter of sick kids and then bed bugs on top of it. Your spirit amazes me! On another note, I have a good friend whose husband is an exterminator, he does not even deal with bed bugs because of their tricky nature but I know he would be happy to talk to you about suggestions if you wanted to give him a call. Praying that the bugs go away!!

linda said...

I'm having sympathy crawly feelings reading your takes. Also your stitching is BEAUTIFUL.

Sarah Boyle Webber said...

Thank you, Linda. I am past the point of liking the pattern and now am overwhelmed by the need to finish it. I'm sure I'll be happy with it again when it's done.