Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just Grab the Cereal Bowl

Warning: This story contains descriptions of child sickness that some may find disturbing. But I have to write it as it is therapeutic for those of us who have to clean it up. ;-)

The latest in the health saga at our house involves Owen who is back on the sick train. He has had the congestion/deep wet cough thing going for a week, but that is par for the course with little ones. On Monday however he added projectile vomiting and diarrhea to his repertoire. Just lovely.

That night he was all ready for his bath when he hurled all over the bathroom floor. Nana and Amy cleaned him up and put him off to bed. My thought was that all the congestion was coming up and going into his stomach, making his stomach feel extra queasy. During the night though we found out it was worse than that. Owen woke up several times crying that he was sick. Amy would hear him through the baby monitor and shake me out of a deep slumber. "Go! Go! Go!" she would shout.

I would tear off out of the bed kicking the dog in the head and banging into the walls along the way, not quite processing why I was running until I was about halfway up the steps. Owen was typically out of his bed crying and getting sick at his stomach by the time I arrived. Before too long Owen had it coming out of both ends.

Yesterday I came home to news that Owen had proclaimed to his grandmother, "Nana, I pooped in my socks." As odd a statement as that was, he had in fact achieved the feat. Let's just say Elaine did several loads of laundry yesterday. By last night though we adults were prepared. Owen sat at the dinner table with a big blue bucket next to his chair. If something was coming out, we were going to catch it. The problem was he thought it was too much fun to cry wolf that he was getting sick, and he became too easily distracted with the bucket to eat his dinner. As the night wore on his claims of feeling sick were disregarded, and he eventually proclaimed that his stomach felt better.

This morning Owen seemed to be his normal self and claimed he was no longer sick. So we proceeded with the morning routine to go to school. On the way out the door however, Owen began shouting that he was sick again. Since Amy & Elaine had been subjected to cries of wolf the night before I don't think they took Owen that seriously. Unfortunately he promptly proceeded to throw up all over the kitchen -- all over the cabinets, all over the refrigerator, everywhere. Amy's gut reaction was to grab the first thing she saw to catch it which happened to be a glass cereal bowl. That however was equivalent to trying to put a thimble in front of a fire hose. Elaine grabbed Owen taking him to the sink, and today's round of clean-up commenced all over again.

All we can say is thank goodness Nana is here during times of sickness. And too bad they don't make bigger cereal bowls.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sports Through a Toddler's Eyes sportswriter, basketball and Boston sports fanantic Bill Simmons has a 2 1/2 year-old daughter that he recently introduced to an NBA basketball game. His account of watching the game with her is hilarious, reminding me of many of the things that come out of the mouths of our 2 1/2-year-olds at our house.

"Learning about sports from a 2 1/2-year-old"

As the old saying goes, children make us appreciate what we stopped appreciating long ago. (I don't know who said it, but it's been said. And if it hasn't been said, then please, let me say it.) Ever wonder why Larry King sired two more after turning 125 years old? Because he's selfish, that's why. He wanted those last chances to appreciate the little things.

The other moment occurred when the crowd improbably broke out the wave, quite possibly the single greatest moment of her young life. She loved watching it slowly ripple around the stadium, waiting for it to reach our section and then jumping up with her arms raised to yell at the top of her lungs. To be honest, I've always thought the wave was reprehensible. But not anymore. Anything that makes my kid that happy is fine with me.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Thanksgiving weekend was a great one at our house. On Thursday we were treated to a feast of home cooking from Nana. The house was filled with smells of food all day long. Owen ate pretty well as he took a particular liking to the turkey, ham and sweet potato casserole, or "cake" as he called it. Gus decided he would be picky and didn't really eat much of the Thanksgiving meal. But that's the way it goes sometimes with two year-olds -- they eat what they want when they are hungry.

Aside from all the good eating, we were productive without overdoing ourselves for the rest of the weekend. Gus helped me put together the new dresser in the boys' room. He proudly assumed the job of handing me screws to put on the drawer handles and offered the occasional plastic tool for the task. Amy, Nana and I moved furniture around and set up a crib, transforming our junk room into a nursery for the baby girl's arrival in February.

There was also a plethora of football and basketball on the tube this weekend. Saturday was another bitter disappointing loss in the hearts of Kentucky fans as Tennessee outlasted the Cats in 4 OT's, 52-50. I was so disgusted at halftime that I uncharacteristically abandoned the game to go outside & blow leaves in the yard. Curiosity finally got the best of me as I returned to find Kentucky had closed a big halftime deficit to 3 points. I was then glued to the TV for the duration from that point. Kentucky fans want so badly to end the losing streak to the Vols, which now stands at 23 consecutive years. The Cats just missed so many opportunities to win the game, namely a 1st and goal from the 2 yard line at the end of regulation and having a very makeable field goal blocked in the second overtime.

After a loss like that, I guess the only thing you can do is reflect on the good that the team accomplished this year. Kentucky will go to back-to-back bowl games which means the team will get an extra month of practice in December, a must for a team that has to replace several key players that will graduate. Nope, even the thoughts of a bowl bid don't take the sting away. Plain and simple, that loss hurts. At least I got the leaves out of my yard.

This week the boys get back into their routine of school. Amy goes to the doctor to get checked out to make sure everything is progressing with the pregnancy. We are hoping to close out the final phase of our backyard with some plants & mulch so we can close the books on that project. And the thoughts turn to basketball now as Kentucky faces off against the mighty Tar Heels on Saturday.

Have a good week. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turkey Tidbits

Thanksgiving week is finally here. The holiday is one of my favorites because you get to spend it with family, eat until you are completely stuffed, watch football, nap, and eat some more. The Rutledge crew is excited for it, and we get to spend the holiday with Nana who is visiting us in North Carolina for a few weeks.

Some tidbits from our lives...

The boys are doing well after their bout with pneumonia. Owen still has a head cold, but that just comes with the territory this time of year. The boys' "big boy" beds arrived yesterday so I get to put those together over the next few days. (Over/Under on the number of days it takes me is currently at 11 days) :-) The arrival couldn't come at a better time because Gus now insists that he sleep in the floor rather than in his current bed. Rather than fight it Amy & I have just let it go knowing that he would be excited to sleep in his new bed once it got here.

Amy continues to hang in there with the pregnancy. She will be 28 weeks on Turkey Day. Her doctor keeps a close eye on her with an ultrasound every two weeks to make sure the contractions aren't changing anything for the bad. So far, so good. I am hoping that with Nana's cooking Amy can put on some more pounds like the doctor wants.

We are just about done with our backyard project. It has come quite a long way since we bought our house a year ago when you couldn't walk through the yard because of the thick brush & ticks everywhere. The boys love playing in the rocks, dirt and mulch for the time being. Amy & I were even able to have an adult conversation while we watched them from the house. Hopefully it was a harbinger of what it to come -- for the boys (and eventually a girl) a place in their own yard to play and be a kid; for the parents a little freedom and independence.

Finally on the sports front the big Kentucky/Tennessee game is this Saturday -- big if you're a Kentucky fan anyway and your school has lost 22 straight to the big orange from down below. I was going to drive up to Lexington to meet C.E. to watch the game. But given that CBS has picked the game up as its national telecast and I can save myself 20 hours of driving time, I decided to watch the game from my couch. Nevertheless, the TV will be tuned in to the game in the hopes that this will be the year for Big Blue.

Of course I say that every year.

Gobble, gobble.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Politico Humpday

Thomas Friedman continues his argument for a gasoline tax. Although the price of unleaded is $3.17/gallon for the cheap stuff here today, I would still be for it if the tax was offset by a decrease in payroll tax.

In the end, anything that would help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil makes life easier for my kids years down the road.

We simply cannot go on being as dumb as we wanna be. If you hate the war in Iraq, then you want a gasoline tax so you can argue that we can pull out of there without remaining dependent on an even more unstable region. If you want to see us negotiate with Iran, not bomb it, you want a gasoline tax that will give us some real leverage by helping to reduce the income of the ayatollahs.

If you’re a conservative and you believed that the Iraq war was necessary to drive reform in the Middle East, but the war has failed to do that and we need “Plan B” for the same objective, you want a gasoline tax that will reduce the flow of wealth to petrolist leaders who will never change if all they have to do is drill well holes rather than educate and empower their people.

If you want to see America thrive by becoming the most energy productive economy in the world — a title that now belongs to Japan, which doesn’t have a drop of oil in its soil — you want a gasoline tax, which will only spur U.S. innovation in energy efficiency.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I am happy to report things are much better in la casa de Rutledge this week. Good health has made a welcome return, and the boys have gone back to preschool. GJ and Pappy helped us through last week as they visited before leaving for Charleston on Sunday. The mood is much, much better with healthy boys.

Gus continues to show a remarkable independent streak. Last night after dinner Amy & I were wiping off the boys' hands & face as is the ritual after which the boys will ask to get down from the dinner table. Owen asked to get down and rumbled over to the couch where he started watching TV. Then Amy asked Gus like we do every night, "Gus, what do you say when you want to get down?"

Cold, hard stare.

Right then, we knew we were in for a battle of wills. Gus refused to ask to get down from the table, insisting that he could just get down on his own without having to ask. Amy & I both took turns calmly telling him that all he had to do was ask nicely and he could get down to go watch TV with Owen. But the little booger was having none of it. He ended up sitting in the chair at the dinner table with a scowl on his face. A half hour passed. Then 45 minutes. For over an hour, Gus sat mad as a hornet because he couldn't get down and stubborn as a mule because he wouldn't say the five words -- "May I get down please?" -- that would end his plight.

Finally, after Amy & I turned the kitchen light off we started going through pictures of the children in the boys' preschool class with Owen. We were asking Owen to name the boys and girls when this apparently became too much for Gus. I could tell he wanted to come over so I threw in a quick, "Gus, what is it you say when you want to get down?"

Instinctively he responded and I answered, "Of course, come on over and look at these pictures." But then he realized he had been the one to give in. He sat in the chair for five more minutes frustrated at himself before coming to look at pictures on the computer.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Grassroots, Duffman Style

In a close election, the moist vote passed in my hometown. Good for the folks in Glasgow who stood up and pushed this boulder uphill in spite of the fear campaign that was run against them.

Now just be on the lookout for stray lightning bolts...


BREAKING NEWS: Liquor by the drink passes

YES - 2,422; NO - 2,322

Glasgow Daily Times
GLASGOW Cheers greet result

Supporters say local option will help attract more business

Supporters of a referendum to allow liquor by the drink in Glasgow restaurants had a reason to celebrate Tuesday night ... twice.

A crowd gathered at George J’s restaurant on the Glasgow Public Square huddled around Commonwealth Broadcasting co-owner Steve Newberry as he entered precinct totals as they arrived into a computer spreadsheet. When the figures appeared to indicate victory, the applause began.

Then, a little more than 10 minutes later, as Henry Royse with WCLU, along with attorney Bobby Richardson, called the vote in favor of the “yes” supporters, cheers resumed.

“We were overwhelmed when we got the petition signed and now tonight, it’s been a happy ending,” said Bob Stone, co-chair of the “More Jobs for Glasgow” movement.

Pat Vann said the referendum to allow liquor sales in dining establishments that seat 100 or more patrons and derive 70 percent of their sales from food will not benefit him personally, but could help in luring industry and offering more social options for younger generations.

“This is for the betterment of the community,” he said. “It puts us in a better competitive posture.”

Work leading up to Tuesday’s vote began in August, when the “More Jobs for Glasgow” committee began acquiring signatures to ensure the referendum was on the ballot.

They amassed approximately 2,018.

In Tuesday’s vote, 2,422 Glasgow residents were in favor of allowing limited alcohol sales, while 2,322 voted “no,” a difference of 100, according to unofficial results from Barren County Court Clerk Pam Browning.

The figures were in sharp contrast to the Dec. 19, 2000, election, where those opposed to the referendum cast 2,601 ballots and 1,155 chose “yes.”

Rhonda Riherd Trautman, director of Glasgow’s Renaissance Main Street program, said allowing restaurants to serve alcohol would “add more and more to what we already have in our downtown,” adding that establishments like George J’s would qualify under the ruling.

“It will compliment things going on at the Plaza,” she said. “We’ll just have more of an active downtown after business hours.”

Joe Downing, a member of the committee, said that he was especially proud of how the members of “More Jobs for Glasgow” conducted their campaign, which included the slogan “More Choices. More Jobs.”

“People actually stood up and weren’t scared for supporting something they felt our community needs,” he said.

Although he is a county resident and could not vote on the referendum, Bob Guilfoil said he was in favor of the local option passing.

Guilfoil added that he has lived in five other communities other than Glasgow, including Chicago and New York City, and feels that there is more alcohol found in individual homes locally.

“There’s more alcohol here than any place I’ve lived,” he said. “To me, this is just a way to legalize what we’ve already got.”

Monday, November 05, 2007


I don't think I have ever been so happy to walk into work as I was this morning. The boys' battle with pneumonia is taking its toll on the adults in the house. The problem is that the medication Gus is on -- two antibiotics, a steroid, and breathing treatments every 4 hours -- makes him really hyper. It's like giving a two year-old Jolt cola -- not pleasant. So his brain is telling him he has boundless energy, but his body is telling him that he needs rest to get rid of the infection. You can see the internal battle on his face as Gus is just as cranky as he has ever been --hitting, kicking, & screaming. We are hopeful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel over the next couple of days. Today is the last day for the steroid, and as soon as his cough gets better we can take him off the breathing treatments.

Owen has been slightly less cranky since he is on fewer medications running through his little body. But he was in rare form himself a few times as well over the weekend, with his own hysterical fit at one point. With a little luck, these next 36 hours will see the sickness run its course and we can get the boys back in their routine of going to school, playing outside, etc.

On a happier note, C.E. is flying in to visit us later this week. The "moist" election is Tuesday in Glasgow and he is going to see that through. Hopefully the efforts of his and many others there will result in a vote in their favor. Regardless, a visit to NC should be good for him to take his mind off the stress.

Also, we learned over the weekend that Granddaddy has been called to Oklahoma to work with FEMA to help the flood victims there. The boys were intrigued to know that he would be on an airplane flying high in the sky. While he is gone, we look forward to a visit from Nana to stay with us for a while. (Nana, hopefully my venting about the boys sickness doesn't scare you away.) :-)


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trick or Albuterol

The boys celebrated Halloween this week as Fire Chief Gus & Fire Chief Owen. The yellow firefighters quickly got the hang of "trick or treat" and happily opened their bags for candy. Amy & I took them up & down the street while GJ, Sayla and Tucker manned the door.

Owen was exceptionally excited about the brief rush of joy that a small piece of sugary candy provides.

He insisted on more, even robbing the candy bowl at his own house.

Unfortunately he also learned that what comes up -- like a two year old on a sugar high -- must come down.

Gus was not 100% himself on Halloween. He developed an awful cough and a fever on Monday and was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia on Tuesday. His fever (and contagiousness) was gone by Wednesday afternoon so he did get to go trick-or-treating to a couple of houses. Still he wore down and had to come back for treatment with his dinosaur inhaler. Hopefully next year will be better little fella.

Not wanting to be left out, Owen developed the same awful cough and had to go to the doctor on Friday. He didn't have pneumonia, but he is still on albuterol breathing treatments, antibiotics, and ibuprofen to nix the fever.

Let's just say it has been a long, confining week. Amy and I have been to the doctor on Monday (for her), Tuesday (Gus), Thursday (Gus), Friday (Owen), and Saturday (Gus). I am going to the doctor on Monday, as is Gus again. I think it is safe to say we are lucky to have GJ here visiting to help out around the infirmary.