Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sometimes, griping is good

As I have frequently expressed, I don't enjoy whiny entries from fellow students who complain that things are too hard, too time consuming, etc. But I recognize that sometimes people need to gripe, and I can fully appreciate that need. When one feels stressed and frustrated, it's therapeutic to vent. Go ahead; vent. Don't whine. Don't insult the Association. Don't assign blame for your own inadequacies. Otherwise, gripe away! Provide fellow students with some identifiable comic relief. We all feel that way from time to time.

The following is a gripe from the Student Lounge that I rather enjoyed. You can tell the course is past the halfway point, and the poor student is starting to feel the pressure of the looming exam.


This is my 12th course through [the Association] and I have passed them all but feel I'm going to fail this one. My feeling is that I am not so much learning the course material as I am just simply involved in a big scavenger hunt. The notes are most times so vague, and they read something along the following lines:

Module 6.2 will deal with "Auditing around the computer". Pages 250-350 in the text deal with this topic very well, so we won't tell you what the term "Auditing around the computer" means. Instead, we will let you read the text to find out. The text will take 100 pages to explain an idea that could have been printed in a paragraph, but we know you have lots of time to waste and we like to kill trees so, there. There is also an excellent URL listed at the end, but it won't work half the time. The reading lists seven "must know" points, in no particular order, and we won't list them in your printed notes because that would be too easy and you might learn something quickly and efficiently. If you can only find five points in the reading, you're not looking hard enough. If you have problems, ask the tutor. He or she will answer your questions an hour after your assignment is due.

This is an exaggeration but does anyone else have this feeling?!! I'm spending most of my time searching for information to do the assignment and not really learning anything in this course.

I love it! It's the student's 12th course, so we know that he or she has some perspective. A fear of failing is expressed, which we can all relate to. The complaint is in relation to a general lack of organization and wordiness in the materials, which I certainly have experienced in courses. No whining; no insults; no attempts to assign blame. Just an expression of frustration. The student recognizes that he or she can sort through the material and learn the course if given enough time, and he or she is clearly working to do so. And feeling pressured.

All in all, I think this is an excellent gripe. Fun for everyone!

In a town called "Looma"

Seems there isn't much in Looma, Alberta. I'd never heard of the place until yesterday, to be honest with you. Superpages doesn't even recognize the name of the town. I wonder if anyone lives there.

I think some rich soul should just go on out and buy the whole town, then bulldoze whatever they find and build some nice B&B type of resort with activities on-site. It could be an escape from city life, sort of like the Lily Lake Village Resort (which is beautiful, btw). Yes. Fashion it after that. And give it a unique name. A little advertising, and away we go.

Now, you may wonder why I think the site of Looma would be perfect for a resort, even though I have not actually seen the town. Quite simply, the name intrigues me.

Build a resort in a town called Looma. Call it the "Rooma-Looma-Ding-Dong". People will go just for the name alone!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Baby Mine

J has decided that I must sing to him at night. Otherwise, he will lie in his crib and cry. He used to like "Love You Forever" the best, but now he prefers "Baby Mine" (from Dumbo). I cuddle him close, and I sing to him and rock him. He quiets down and looks up at me, reaching up with his tiny little chubby hands to caress my cheek and my mouth as I sing to him. I kiss his hand and his soft little cheek. Then I put him in his crib, and he falls asleep, quietly cooing to himself.

I feel very blessed tonight. Blessed and loved. Being loved is a wonderful and amazing gift; who could want for more?

Laundry 101

When a baby vomits all over his bib, under no circumstances should you fold the bib in half and put it in the laundry basket with the expectation that you will be washing clothes within the hour anyway and you will deal with it then. You are, after all, a mom now. And you are extremely busy. So you should always take care to rinse the vomit out of the bib immediately. Otherwise, you may find a nasty surprise three days later when you actually have an opportunity to do a load of non-diaper-related laundry and the bib vanished from your thoughts as soon as it hit that laundry basket.

In case you were wondering, mold spreads through a basket of laundry at a rather alarming pace. It also stains in a range of colors from hot pink to black. Banana is especially unpleasant. Any tips for getting mold stains out of clothing would be appreciated.

Leave nothing to chance. Always rinse the puke out immediately. I shall endeavour to remember this hot tip for the future.

No Award of Excellence

Exam stats are out. As suspected, my 93% will not get me the Award of Excellence. Someone else in Canada got 97%. (Keener!) But that 93% still gets me high mark across Alberta for my term. Woot!

Edit: Alright, it's still possible that I might get the Award of Excellence. Maybe the person who got 97% wasn't a first-time writer. But I think it's pretty doubtful.

I await my "high grade" letter. I like the letter. I would like to have a nice collection of letters from the Association by the time I'm through this program. They're pretty highly regarded.

I'm feeling pretty optimistic today; perhaps I can snag the Level 3 Award of Excellence next year. We'll see!

Now for some random stats: 754 FA2 exams were written across Canada last semester. 501 of those writers passed, for a pass rate of 66.4%. The high grade across Canada was 97%. 54 of the exams were written in Alberta, and 28 Alberta writers passed, for a provincial pass rate of 51.9%.

So to recap, no Level 2 Award of Excellence for T, but still a darned fine result and something to be proud of, especially for a new mommy.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

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Whiny people annoy me

Don't publicly complain in the student lounge about how it took you 20-30 hours to complete assignments that did not count at all toward your final grade. If they aren't counted as part of the final grade, why spend 20-30 hours completing them? Why not do the amount of work required to get that 65% that you need in order to qualify to write the 100% weighted final exam, and call it a day? Honestly, spending 20-30 hours on the assignments seems like poor time management more than anything else.

And don't publicly complain in the student lounge about how unprofessional you think the organization is. Everyone can read those posts, and the higher-ups in the organization that will eventually be awarding you your designation may not take kindly to your insults and incessant whining. Not to mention that you are posting your comments about your PACE Level courses in the student lounge of a Level 1 course, and your gripes are intimidating students who are just starting out in the program. Let it go.

And don't presume to gripe about things of which you know little. If it's only your second course in the program, don't say "The vast majority of the courses are just like this one". There are roughly 20 required courses in this program of study! And there are some additional courses in the PACE Level, as there are different streams and options that can be taken. If you only have experience with 2 courses, I don't really think you're qualified to make such a broad statement.

And lastly, have some patience with an organization who is attempting to improve its method of distance delivery. This is the first year the organization has been on this new system, and some growing pains are bound to occur. Accept any minor inconveniences as part of life and move on.

It's not that bad!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

How's this for a synopsis?

Tonight on Seinfeld: George suspects that his girlfriend is bulimic; Jerry dates a woman

An open letter

To whoever interoffice mailed me vodka at work:

Much obliged, but you forgot the orange juice. Where is the orange juice?



'Cause everyone can

I'm tired of all the excuses. "I can't carry a tune"; "She's too shy"; "But he's mute". No more excuses, I say!

Everyone can do karaoke.

(If you are particularly intrigued, you can see a full version of this here.)

Sprayer thing

To alleviate any confusion from the preceding post, there is a sprayer thing that you can buy for rinsing out your cloth diapers. It's used when you are washing your own diapers; if you're using a diaper service (which gets quite pricey), you don't have to worry about this stuff. But if you choose to wash your own (which is really easy and also the cheapest alternative available for keeping a baby in diapers) you'll want to rinse out the poop when it happens. It eliminates odor from the diaper pail and makes your actual laundry days a lot more pleasant.

But where do you rinse?

Well, if you rinse out the poopy cloth diapers in the toilet, which is the norm, it is very hard to get the poop off because there is no water pressure. So you have to kind of get in there with your hands and scrape. Not a lot of fun, right? But sinks just aren't made for this purpose. They have more water pressure, so they do a better job of getting the poop out and thereby minimize the yuckiness to you. Initially. But once the baby is eating solids, things change. At that stage of the game, the sink will clog if you use it to rinse out the poopy diapers.

(This is all fairly graphic, I know, but it's no worse than the diapers; trust me.)

So it's a difficult problem. You have to rinse the diapers, but how? What's the best way?

Well, all these links, of course, point to the solution. You get a sprayer thing! And then you can rinse the diapers in the toilet while still using adequate water pressure to get the job done. Less yucky. More effective. Less time wasted (which we moms and dads sure appreciate).

Just trust me on this. Give in. Buy the sprayer thing. You'll be really glad you did later on.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Morning conversation

"J, did you ... oh no, it's down your whole ... oh, and it's also on my ... well, don't roll in it ... oh great ... no ... No ... just wait while I ... NO ... I just have to clean it off my ... how did you get it down the ... NO, DON'T PUT YOUR HAND IN IT ... now, what will I dress you ... quit rolling over ... I just have to reload the ... oh, you have no more paper in here ... STOP SMEARING IT ON THE CHANGE TABLE ... no, don't put the sucky in the ... No ... NO ..."

So, after J was changed and his clothes (and mine) were rinsed, he had a nice nap. He awoke cheerful and ready to play, and had a nice meal of iron drops, cereal with formula, prunes (to offset the effects of the iron drops) and a strawberry Minigo. I have again temporarily given up on meat; it makes him vomit, and that is not conducive to a healthy weight gain. I'll reintroduce it down the road and see if he is good with it then.

A word to the wise: If you are expecting (Heather? Mary?) and you plan to use cloth diapers, make sure you buy that sprayer thing that attaches to your toilet tank; it will make rinsing the diapers much easier at this stage of things. Trust me. You will want one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

J and the doctor

J's doctor's appointment went well. He appears to have iron deficiency anemia, just like his mommy. Iron supplements have been prescribed. We will go back in a month for repeat bloodwork and an update on his weight.

Here is a sample conversation from the appointment:

Doc: So, how's the formula going?

Me: Well, he won't take it. He won't take anything out of a bottle or a cup; not even breastmilk.

Doc: Have you tried having someone else give it to him?

Me: Yes, both my husband and my parents have tried.

Doc: Have you tried leaving the house for this?

Me: Yes. But it hasn't worked. I've been mixing it into his cereal instead of water, so he's getting it that way. But he absolutely will not take a bottle or a cup.

Doc: Well, you have to keep trying. Eventually, he'll take it. He's got to learn that he won't get what he wants just by being all stubborn. Don't put him to the breast.

Me: Well, that's a problem too. Ever since I started putting formula in his cereal, he's lost most of his interest in breastfeeding. He doesn't want to drink anything at all.

Doc: He's got quite the little personality, doesn't he?!

J also has higher than average thyroid levels. Nothing to be overly concerned with; just something to keep an eye on.

J had a nice nap this afternoon. He fell asleep in his swing, and just sort of flopped forward. It was so cute! Here are some pictures of him.

When he awoke, I changed his diaper. He peed all over the change table. I put him in a new, pee free, outfit, then placed him in his crib to play while I cleaned up the old diaper. When I went back to get him, he was lying on his back, sideways, with his feet sticking out the crib slats. He had one soother in his mouth, and he was holding two other soothers, one in each hand, and banging them together like some sort of percussion instrument, grinning away.

I love my baby!


I got a 93% on my FA2 course!! That actually means I got a 94% on the exam, but my quiz marks (totalling just under 92%) brought me down by 1%.

It's probably not high enough to get the Award of Excellence. I don't care. I am very happy.

93!! I got 93!!!!!!!

Why have I never heard this before?

Apparently, this is an old saying: "A man is usually down on what he isn't up on". I've never heard this before. But it strikes me that it makes sense. If a person doesn't know much about a subject, they usually think implementation of a system based around said subject is a bad idea. That's always been my experience, in any event.

It is always advisable to take some time to become familiar with the concept that is being discussed before deciding to strike it down.


I'm trying to find out my course mark from last term. Marks are supposed to be released today. But the site is down, and I can't log on! I assume they have taken the site down until they finish uploading all of our marks, but I want to see how I did - now!! Seeking instant gratification; yup, that's me.

J puked twice last night and once this morning. Much laundry to be done today. He's not on the antibiotic any longer, so I'm not sure why his tummy is so upset. Ah well. I will mention it to the doctor this afternoon.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Snack attack

Today, J decided that he wanted a snack between breakfast and lunch. I gave him crackers, diced canned peaches, and Cheerios. I put them on his highchair tray to see if he would be interested in eating some finger foods. He enjoyed the crackers best; he wasn't especially interested in eating the peaches or Cheerios. But he did have some fun playing with them. At one point, he held a cracker in each hand and then tried to use the crackers like salad tongs to pick up the rest of the food. He managed to spear a couple of Cheerios on the pointy end of one of the crackers, but wasn't so sure what to do with it from there.

A huge mess and a very happy baby was the result. I count J's foray into finger foods a marked success.


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Whaddaya mean "Other Patients"??

Well, I took J to his pedi appointment. It was set for 3:20. The doc had to be at the hospital earlier, but was scheduled to be back by 3:00. He wasn't.

So at 4:20, when he still had not returned to the office, I decided to cut my losses and reschedule for tomorrow. So did a number of other people.

I am quite calm about this, actually. I'm truly not remotely annoyed. Doctors sometimes have stuff pop up at the hospital, and that's just life. I just hope everything is okay with the children at the hospital.

Morning thoughts

J's antibiotic seems to be making him quite nauseous. He has thrown up something almost every day since he started taking it. At least he finishes it tomorrow, so that will be better. Then we can continue trying to put some weight on the child. J is very testy just now. I hope he starts feeling better soon. Poor little baby!

J still thinks meat is icky. He makes a face and whimpers when the meat goes in his mouth. But at least he isn't crying through it any longer, so we can cope. He's been eating beef to help with the anemia. We see the doctor this afternoon; I hope they can help our little boy. I'll update later with results from the doctor's visit.

My marks are to be released tomorrow. It appears they will not be released early this go-round. I hope I did well.

The current course is going well. It's pretty dry, really. I've done 3 quizzes so far. They are all out of 6; I've gotten two 6's and a 5.5. I feel good about that.

J is going to be 10 months old soon. I feel sad that my maternity leave is going to end soon and I will have to leave my little boy. I don't want to!!

I need to get into a couple of offices for visits this week. I need to complete J's daycare forms and get them back in this week. I also need to decide whether or not to continue with the thank-you cards project. I feel badly that some people have still not received a thank-you card. It embarrasses me. Is it worse to give people a thank-you card really late, or to never get around to it at all? I'm not sure what is less offensive; whatever will offend the least, that is what I want to do.

I was blog surfing this morning for a bit. I found a blog with a quote on it from another blog. It made me think.

When other people see you as "bad", they don't want you to change, because they want to continue being "right" about you. This allows them to justify how they are treating you.

When other people see you as "good", they don't want you to change, because they want to continue being able to "depend" on you. This allows them to justify how they expect you to treat them.

I'm sure this outlook is correct, to a point. But I hope that it isn't really true of everyone. I hope that this world contains people who can evaluate a change in others and then view it as positive or negative without considering themselves first.

We drove past a house fire last night. The house is still standing, but damage appears to be extensive. I hope no one was hurt. And I hope that repairs are possible and will be completed quickly. And I hope that no irreplaceable possessions were damaged, but if they were, at least they were just possessions; as long as no one was hurt, it's a good day. Still. Poor family!

Linking to categories is too much work. I'm just going to list the categories from now on, and group them in the "Filed Under" menu in the sidebar. That will be much easier.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Thoughts about winter

I got this from Dwight Schrute's blog.

Thoughts about winter.

Winter is the coldest season. For a reason. The sun
moves south, to warm up the Africans and the
Australians and leaves us in the northern climes to
fend for ourselves in the sleet and the frost.

Animals bundle up in their fur and in their caves.
They hybernate and/or store up nuts to feed to their
chicks and young.

When there is a chill in the air, there are colder
weather patterns coming down from Canada.

In Canada it is always winter. Sometimes the sun
never rises in Canada. Harp seals abound until they
are brutally slaughtered by Canadians. They worship
maple syrup, hockey and Alanis Morisette. I hate


Friday, January 20, 2006

You've got to ac-cen-tuate the positive

I feel happy tonight. I had a good tear last night (that's pronounced tare, not teer, btw). I needed it at the time, and I don't regret it. But I don't need it any longer. I'm happy about that. So I've removed the entry from my blog, and I'm purging the matter from my mind.

I refuse to let the small stuff bother me. There is too much that's good in my life for me to become derailed by silliness. I will try to remember that.


J is anemic. The doctor just called and said "some of his tests are quite low, particularly his iron". They need to see us again on Monday.

I feel like a failure; I can't keep my baby healthy.

J's food situation

Well, it's proving to be an eventful morning.

J awoke, had his diaper changed, took his medicine, ate some breastmilk, then played happily in his crib for about an hour while I studied. Then I got him up to feed him some solids.

Determined to win the formula debate, I made his cereal with formula instead of water. He squawked briefly, but he ate it. Cereal and applesauce. Yum, yum.

Halfway through bowl #2 of cereal, J decided he'd had enough. Really and truly, he'd had enough. He threw up. Twice. Then filled his diaper.

Too messy to carry any particular distance, I undressed him down to his diaper and sort of hosed him off in the kitchen. Then I brought him upstairs, changed him and plunked him in the tub. Bathtime was fun today! J really loves his tub toys. He clambers after them as they float on by.

So I don't really know how much food he ate and kept down. I hope it was sufficient. I'm really trying to get his weight to improve quickly. If he doesn't gain sufficient weight in 3 weeks, the doctor is going to hospitalize him with a feeding tube. That concept scares me. I hope we can avoid it.

Today, we are going to visit my parents. They have been missing J, as they haven't seen him this week since he's been sick. They sure do love their grandchildren!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Dear J:

Why do you bite? It hurts so very much. Please don't bite.

And please don't cry.

And please go to sleep.

Mommy is sad. She needs you to help her be happy. She needs a good sleep tonight, with playtime and quiet cuddles tomorrow. Please give these things to her. She is starting to feel stressed out, and this lack of sleep is affecting her badly. Mommy wants to be well-rested and happy again.

I love you. We'll play tomorrow. I promise. But for now, please settle down. Please, little sir?

Love and kisses,


Feeling frustrated

Edit: the link in this post used to contain a rant. I was having a moment, and I needed a good tear. I have since decided that I need to focus on all that is positive in my life, and there is plenty of it. I no longer wish to preserve this particular rant, because I no longer need it.

That is freeing, somehow!

Tonight, I am feeling frustrated. Things are affecting me more than they probably should.

J has been sick with a bad ear infection, and he has been in emergency twice this week with high fevers and inconsolable crying. He had a doctor's appointment today for a follow-up. His ears are looking better, but his weight is down. He is no longer in a weight category for his age, and that is alarming. We have to find a way to get him to gain weight over the next 3 weeks, or else he will have to go into the hospital and be put on a feeding tube. We have been instructed to supplement him with formula. But that's a problem, because he won't take formula. Not by any means. (H is now resorting to dipping J's soother in the formula and putting the soother in J's mouth!)

The doctor decided to run blood and urine tests on J to see if there is any reason for his low weight other than just requiring extra calories. We went to get those tests run tonight. J screamed and cried, and it was gut-wrenching for us. He also twisted, and it took 3 people to hold him down. We have been told he will probably have bruises on his arms for a bit. It hurts me to see my baby in pain. But whatever gets him through this will be okay by me. I just want him to be okay and gain an acceptable amount of weight.

J has also decided that he wants to stay awake all night long. He was up past 2:00 a.m. today, wanting us to play with him. Demanding that we play with him, actually. I am functioning on very little sleep, and it is making me a bit testy.

And, with J being sick, I have found very little time to study. I am behind in my course, and I must find some time to get caught up. I hope to manage it this weekend, but we have some other obligations, most notably a funeral we need to attend. We have friends who are willing to watch J for us, so we can both go.

So with all of this going on, I think my brain needs a bit of a break. And I don't think it is particularly surprising that I might choose to focus on something petty and stupid. So I am choosing to do so. And it annoys me, but I am unable to break my focus. Perhaps if I make this entry, I will be able to free my mind and carry on with the more pressing concerns. (Or perhaps I just need the distraction. We'll see.)

Edit: I freed my mind. The entry has been altered accordingly. :)

I have a friend. She is nice. I like her. A lot. She's a good person. She's sweet, smart, generous to a fault, and has been a great support to me. She's a loving wife and mother and has life experience that she willingly shares with others. She's fun. She's talented. She's pretty amazing. And yes, she's a highly emotional presence who overreacts on occasion and who is opinionated like you wouldn't believe, but I find these things to be part of her charm. They are traits that help to form the wonderful and amazing person that she is. She's an irreplaceable, one of a kind friend who I respect and admire. She has earned that respect and admiration through her behaviours. I am proud to call her my friend.

She is one of a select group of really amazing people who I am very happy to have in my life. There are others. When I stop to think about it, I am really very blessed to have so many of these great people in my life.

I am pleased by the fact that I have people like this in my life. I am happy that I have good and supportive friends, who care about me and listen to me.

I am thankful for you, my friends! You're the best!!

Office athlete of the century

Alright, so now I can upload video. I just can't put it directly in the blog, and I must link to it. That's okay; it's only mildly inconvenient.

Office Athlete of the Century is my first uploaded video file. H and I love this one! I hope you enjoy it too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

But not in my province

I am frustrated. I only need one course to complete my Level 1. It only gets offered once a year. No foundation level courses are ever run in summer, except for Communications, which I have already taken. You need many foundation courses as prerequisites to the advanced courses. If I want to take my one remaining Level 1 course in summer, I have to split it into two courses in concurrent studies and pay extra money for that privilege.

Today, I received a ray of hope. It seems that all of the foundation level courses are being run through the summer months as condensed courses. Each will take one month to complete, and a Saturday exam will follow. A pretty intense study routine would be required, but I think I could do it. If I took Economics as a condensed course offering, I'd get done sooner and I wouldn't have to pay the extra fees. Problem solved, right?

Wrong. The condensed course offerings are available to students in BC, but not here in our province. And I am getting a little bit jaded with my provincial association. As I go through my program of study, it becomes increasingly apparent that we are penalized here in a number of ways.

In other provinces, students are permitted to enroll in more than one course per term. They are permitted to enroll in a course with a prerequisite before obtaining confirmation of a passing grade in the prerequisite course; it is assumed that they will pass the course if they qualify to write the exam. Other provinces have in-class lectures. And they seem to receive extensions on assignments and quizzes with considerable ease. Now I find that they have a better course timetable too.

But here I am, paying the same amount for fewer resources. There is no consistency among the provinces. And I feel rather gypped and unfairly penalized.

Why am I being penalized for living in this province??

Back to Hospital

Well, we had to go back to the Emerg. J was still really feverish and irritable, and nothing was helping. Also, he had started to vomit a bit, and he wasn't wanting to eat or drink anything. I feared he was becoming dehydrated. His pedi couldn't fit him in, so we headed to Emerg.

J's fever was 40.3. Both his ears are now infected. He has been started on an antibiotic. So now, he gets Tylenol for the fever, drops for the pain, and antibiotic for the infection. He was dehydrated, but not enough to be alarmed. And so we got to take our little man home without further issue.

He needs to be re-checked in a couple of days, so I will try to get him into his pedi so that we don't have to wait at Emerg again. If he's still not doing better in a couple of days, further testing may be in order. They nearly ran the further testing today. It would have consisted of: bloodwork, a urinalysis (catheter insertion), and a repeat chest x-ray. Fortunately, the doctors decided all that testing was unnecessary at this stage. Yay, J!!

Man oh man, I hope the little tyke feels better soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cost allocations of service departments

Bear with me. I'm studying. This is fairly complex, and I am having a hard time. I think that if I make notes about it here, it will become more clear to me. So here I go.

Allocation Methods

My text contains a table, which reads as follows:





costs before





Employee hours 12,000 6,000 18,000 30,000 66,000
Space occupied-
square matres






There are three methods of allocation, being direct, step, and reciprocal.

Direct Method

The direct method is the most simple of the three. The information provided for the direct method indicates that "Hospital Administration costs will be allocated on the basis of employee-hours and Custodial Services costs will be allocated on the basis of square metres occupied". The direct method ignores services provided to other service departments, and allocates all costs to operating departments.

So, using the direct method, one would take the hospital administration charge of $360,000 and allocate it among the employee hours in the laboratory and daily patient care departments. There are a total of 48,000 hours in these two departments (18,000 in laboratory and 30,000 in daily patient care); therefore, 18/48 of the $360,000 would be allocated to the laboratory department and 30/48 to the daily patient care department, for totals of $135,000 and $225,000, respectively. Similarly, the custodial services charge of $90,000 would be allocated among the space occupied in the laboratory and daily patient care departments. There are a total of 5,000 square metres in these two departments (500 in laboratory and 4,500 in daily patient care); therefore, 5/50 of the $90,000 would be allocated to the laboratory department and 45/50 to the daily patient care department, for totals of $9,000 and $81,000 respectively.

The method is obviously fairly inaccurate. No portion of the custodial services costs will be allocated to hospital administration, nor would any portion of hospital administration be allocated to custodial services, despite the fact that it is apparent from the table above that the departments each provide services to one another.

Step Method

The step method is a little bit more complex than the direct method, but it is also slightly more accurate. Allocations are done in a series of sequential steps, starting with "the service department that provides the greatest amount of service to other departments". In this manner, costs are allocated between service departments, but only to a point. We are told to assume that the hospital administration costs will be allocated first.

So, using the step method, one would begin with the hospital administration costs of $360,000 and allocate it among the custodial services, laboratory and daily patient care departments. There are a total of 54,000 hours in these three departments (6,000 in custodial services, 18,000 in laboratory and 30,000 in daily patient care); therefore, 6/54 of the $360,000 would be allocated to the custodial services department, 18/54 to the laboratory department, and 30/54 to the daily patient care department, for totals of $40,000, $120,000 and $200,000, respectively. Next, the custodial services charges will be allocated. Custodial charges now include $40,000 of hospital administration charges, which have been allocated. Total custodial charges are now $130,000 ($90,000 + $40,000), which would be allocated among the space occupied in the laboratory and daily patient care departments. There are a total of 5,000 square metres in these two departments (500 in laboratory and 4,500 in daily patient care); therefore, 5/50 of the $130,000 would be allocated to the laboratory department and 45/50 to the daily patient care department, for totals of $13,000 and $117,000 respectively.

While the step method is more accurate than the direct method, it still is not the most accurate method available, because costs of custodial services are not allocated to the hospital administration department, who uses custodial services. But the step method is more cost effective than the more accurate reciprocal method, and so many companies use the step method.

Reciprocal Method

The reciprocal method is the most accurate of the three methods, but also the most complex. It uses "simultaneous linear equations" to arrive at a more precise allocation. The reciprocal method isn't often used because its complexity makes it more costly than the other systems, and its results are usually not significantly different from the step method. Use of computer programs is making its implementation a bit less costly.

Now here's where it gets dicey!

*Note: HA is hospital administration costs to be allocated; CS is custodial services costs to be allocated. The two equations follow.


(The 1/6 figure is arrived at by taking the square metres from the hospital adminsitration department and dividing it by the total square metres found in the hospital, laboratory and daily patient care departments: 1,000/6,000=1/6)


(The 1/9 fiture is arrived at by taking the employee hours from the custodial services department and dividing it by the total employee hours found in the custodial services, laboratory and daily patient care departments: 6,000/54,000=1/9)

To solve the equations, HA and CS need to be on the same sides. So the equations become:


The two equations need to be added together. But in order to solve the problem, only one variable can exist once the equations are added together. Ergo, one of the variables must equal zero after the equations are added together. We will solve for CS first. In order to make HA zero, the second equation needs to be multiplied by 9 so that HA will not need to be multiplied by 1/9 any longer. Ergo, the two equations will become:


(Note: if solving for HA first, the first equation would be multiplied by 6, and the second equation would be left alone:

Once the two equations are added together, we find that:
(rounded to the nearest dollar).

(Note: if solving for HA first:
HA=$382,076 (rounded to the nearest dollar)).

Now that we know one variable, we can solve for the other using the first equations indicated. For example, following the main calculation, we know that CS=$132,453. Therefore:

HA=360,000+1/6(132,453)=$382,076 (rounded to the nearest dollar).

(Note: If using the alternative calculations provided throughout, we know that HA=$382,076. Therefore:
CS=90,000+1/9(382,076)=$132,453 (rounded to the nearest dollar)).

Now that we know the amounts that need to be allocated, we can proceed to allocate the costs from hospital administration and custodial services to the various departments. We use the same fractions as in the step method (6/54, 18/54, 30/54) to allocate the hospital administration costs of $382,076 to the other three departments. To allocate custodial services costs of $132,453, we now must include the square metres in hospital administration into the calculation. Custodial services will be allocated among the three other departments using the following fractions: 10/60, 5/60, 45/60.

Of course, I still find it a bit confusing that the full costs of the service departments are allocated out to different departments. Service departments use resources for their own purposes too. I don't know why the hospital administration department is not allocated an amount for its 12,000 employee hours, nor do I understand why the custodial services department is not allocated costs for its 20 square metres of space.

An Epiphany: The goal is to eventually assign all of the service department costs to operating departments and then to assign all of the operating department costs to products and services. Therefore, all of the service department costs have to be allocated to the operating departments; no portion of the service department costs are treated as organization-sustaining activities because, according to page 739 of my text, "the costs that they incur are generally viewed as being part of the cost of the final product or service".

The three methods of cost allocation are ways of getting service department costs to the correct operating departments. And a service department doesn't attribute a portion of its costs to its own work because, if it did so, products and services would ultimately be undervalued.

Okay then. Clear as mud? Well, too bad. I now understand it, and it doesn't much matter if you do, since you are not taking the exam.

Impatiently ... waiting ...

My exam results from the last class are supposed to be released on January 24. Foolishly optimistic, I keep checking the exam results page, hoping our results will be released early. It's happened before. Once.

The results are still
Not out. I want to know how
I did! One more week.

H is going to the doctor

He doesn't have a GP, so he will be going to the Medicentre, the source of all evil. But my GP isn't taking any new patients, and the Medicentre is open late, so that is where he must go. He will go after work.

H has had this cold since before Christmas. He just keeps on passing it on to J and myself. Now J has this ear infection on top of it. I have asthma, so colds are not something that I can afford to catch repeatedly, and I can only fight it off for so long. He has to get over it, one way or another.

I'm tired of all the balled up kleenexes. I'm tired of listening to the hacking cough (with or without the subsequent vomiting). I'm tired of not getting enough studying in, because I am either sick or looking after J throughout the evenings when H is sick. I'm tired of having to take inhalable steroids to combat my asthma when I catch it. I'm tired of listening to J cough and splutter when it overtakes him.

And I am particularly tired of going to bed accompanied by the sickening stench of Vick's Vaporub. I can't get H to stop using it. I've asked. Begged. Pleaded. But I can't get H to stop using it. Tonight, I swear he took a bath in the stuff. My sleep is suffering because I can't go to bed until really late, as the smell is too strong early on. And H is a night owl, so that means I am up into the wee small hours of the morning, waiting for the smell to dissipate. J doesn't really let me catch up on missed sleep during the day. And H is too sick to look after J for very long in the evenings. (Tonight, I had to stop studying because H didn't wake up when J was crying, so I needed to go and tend to J.) I may be sleeping in a chair in the nursery tonight, just so it will be a tad bit more bearable. But you know, the smell has seeped into the entire house now, and the nursery is almost as bad. J threw up tonight, and I briefly thought it smelled of Vaporub. I'm not even sure I can get away from the pungent aroma in the basement any longer.

I dearly hope the Medicentre can help H. Else, I may begin to get testy.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Something is wrong with this equation

I'm studying costing methods and overhead application for management accounting environments. Currently, I'm reading a "Current Practice" section in my textbook. The section is about a company that "provides all medical needs to terminally ill patients". It is mentioned that "Referrals and patient-days are weighted by the stage of the disease. For example ... a day for a patient whose death is imminent is counted as equivalent to three patient-days for a patient in slow decline due to the more intensive care such patients receive".

So far, I understand it. But then, the following information is provided:

The ABC system was then used to estimate the average cost per patient-day for patients in various stages of their diseases:

Stage of Disease
Slow decline ............................................
Rapid decline ..........................................
Imminent death .......................................
Death .....................................................
Cost per Patient-Day

Apparently, the dead are very expensive to treat. Of course they are. I mean, I'm no medical professional, but at that stage of one's disease, I can only assume there would be next to no chance for a meaningful recovery.

J has an earache

Poor little J!

J was screaming his little heart out last night. He wouldn't eat or sleep. He'd been changed and had Tylenol (we thought maybe it was teething pain), but it didn't help. He didn't want to be cuddled, laid down, or played with. His screams became so intense that, at one point, I swear only dogs could hear him.

We tried the car ride trick. He was fairly content in the car, but most unhappy once we got him back inside. We tried his swing, and that seemed to work for a time, but only briefly; soon, his screams returned. Worn to a frazzle, we even tried to see if he would cry himself to sleep. He wouldn't.

After car ride #3, and 4 hours after his last Tylenol dose, I tried to breastfeed him once more; sometimes, he just likes to be comforted that way. He screamed louder. His little face was all red, and the tears were just pouring down his sweet little face. I thought he felt a little warm, so I decided to take his temperature. It was 37.8 under his arm, which I know is high. At that point, a call was placed, and we were instructed to take our little boy to Emergency.

It was midnight. J had been crying inconsolably for about 4 hours at this point.

We headed to Emerg. A nurse checked his temperature at triage. "Well, he doesn't have a fever", he said. "His underarm temperature is only 35.4". "I think that's wrong", said I. "He was 37.8 at our place, and he feels warmer to me now, not cooler". I was quite certain that the triage reading was incorrect; I could feel how warm my little boy was, and I know my thermometer and technique aren't that bad. But in any event, 35.4 was the reading that went on J's chart. ("Crazy mother" I could almost hear him thinking.)

Cuddling J in the waiting room, waiting for a ped's room to open, he fell into a fitful sleep in my arms.

The wait wasn't too long, so into the ped's room we went. As long as he was cuddled in an upright position, J remained reasonably calm. When laid down, he would cry.

The intern came in and checked J's vitals. When asked how we had gotten J to stop screaming, I responded "He's exhausted; that's all". She took a rectal temperature. It was 40!!!

A doctor came in next and checked little J. He ordered a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, but was reasonably certain that J's issue was an ear infection. J was given a dose of Tylenol and some eardrops to numb the ear. He was happier almost instantly. Off we went to radiology for J's x-ray.

Have you ever seen how they do chest films on a baby? J was stripped down to his diaper and put into some vice-like contraption that looked kind of like an hourglass, or perhaps a flower vase. His little feet, threaded between wood slats, stuck out through the bottom of the contraption. His little arms were raised over his head, and a belt was tightened to clamp the vice tighter, so that he couldn't move. We were ordered to leave the room for the x-rays. Little J screamed the whole time. (Ya think?) And then we were able to get him out of the hourglass and get him dressed. We blew raspberries on his bare tummy, and he giggled.

Back to ped's we went. The doctor reviewed J's x-ray, and said that J has a bit of a chest cold still (which we knew), but no pneumonia. His fever and crabbiness are all attributable to the ear infection. One more check of vitals, just to make sure the Tylenol had worked its magic, and a few moments of demonstrating that J could indeed lie down now without screaming, and we were sent home with a bottle of the ear numbing drops.

"Give him the drops every 4 hours for 2-3 days, along with some Tylenol. If he's not better by then, get him re-checked; he may need some antibiotics".

It was 3:30 by the time we got home. All in all, we were seen quite quickly; we were prepared for a much longer wait. But H and I are both still recovering from colds ourselves, and a sleepless night doesn't help us any. H called in sick from work today so he could try to recover, and I'm going back to bed now. I have schoolwork to do, but I need to rest just now. J is napping, so why shouldn't I also?


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stupid bleeding $230 piece of crap!!!!

Never, ever, ever buy the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 convertible carseat. You need a degree from MIT to install the fool thing. We do not have such a degree. We had to get help from another unfortunate person who had bought the same unit, just so we could install it in the car.

Once this carseat is mercifully installed, you will find that the straps tangle and absolutely will not adjust. J screamed and cried as we worked to put him in the car. H and I struggled furiously, trying to get the straps to work to no avail. Eventually, exhausted and frustrated beyond reason, we threw our hands up in despair. When J's screams reached a particular deafening volume, we really had no other option.

Perhaps we will try again later. But our patience has worn very thin. So if anyone is smart enough to be able to work the darned thing, a brand new Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 convertible carseat will likely be located in a dumpster somewhere behind our house later today. Enjoy.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Aventures of B&E vs. Furnace

Awww! That ruins my fun!

She deleted his most recent comment; he deleted his entire blog (one entry that it was and all, but still).

So much for the adventures of B&E. My afternoon's entertainment is shot.

Now I must focus on the more pressing and urgent concerns at hand, namely the fact that my furnace is not working. The tech is expected in 45 minutes. I hope they hurry.

"It is cold as hell, and we are almost out of horse meat".
- Paul -

The "Next Blog" button

You find the darnedest sites when you surf Blogger via the "Next Blog" button. Awhile back, I found a blog with music playing in the background. "How do they do that?", I asked myself. I researched it, found the solution, but then decided not to care. Why would I add music to my blog? It always drives me crazy when I end up on a site that has music on it. Do I really want to inflict that pain onto others? No. Not especially. So I scrapped it and moved on.

Today, I decided to use that "Next Blog" button again and see where I wound up. Now, you do end up on certain sites that are not in English. And you can end up on sites where the toolbar is not enabled, and then have to hit "Back" before you can proceed. And every so often, the sites are all ads and photos with no text. Apparently, there is lots of stuff out there that doesn't interest me.

But today, I came across a very cryptic blog containing only one entry. One snarky, snarly entry. And only one link in the sidebar. To the person addressed in the one entry.

Curioser and curioser.

I clicked on the link. (Of course I clicked on the link! Who wouldn't click on the link?)

I clicked on the link, and was transported into some otherworld of romantic entanglements and broken-couple hatred. Apparently, these two people are using their respective blogs to bash each other's brains in and garner sympathy. She loved him and her world revolved around him, but suddenly that changed ... without warning ... earlier this month.

So now, she deletes his comments from her site, and he puts up a "No comments enabled" post about how mean she is to him. She responds with posts on her own site about his hypocrisy and his cheatin' ways, and she mentions something about shielding herself by her online alias (seems she doesn't want her real name known). Of course, he can't comment on her blog without prompt deletion, so he retaliates by linking to her on his own site, using her real name, which she obviously does not want revealed. She becomes enraged, and her site turns even more poisonous, with insults and expletives. He puts up a userpic of himself, looking all sad.

I giggled. I couldn't help it. Misery and drama can be quite entertaining to the onlookers. So I bookmarked this little soap opera in my favorites. I will check back periodically for updates.

Will they get back together? Will she murder him in his sleep? What will become of poor B&E?

Stay tuned!

(This is precisely the reason my blog is unlisted; no one can get here using the little "Next Blog" button. Of course, if everyone did that, I would never have found Rig's blog. And she rocks, so I am glad that other people are not all quite so paranoid as am I.)

J's first Messenger chat

J says:
8 r4efd cxeee z b c

D! says:

D! says:
Are you free for a concert Saturday?

D! says:

J says:
t br 5fuutt .....

D! says:
Why NOT?

J says:
n s b ccccc

D! says:
So TAPE it!

J says:
,,,,,, nb vw

D! says:
I dunno . . . open bar?

J says:
hh bvhhhhhhhhhkfnnnnnn t

D! says:
Okay, 7:00.

J says:

D! says:
YES I'll drive.

J says:
B NBkv

D! says:
'Cause she hs a party to go to.

J says:
rtxn7 v9h nnnnnnnn 56ct ttdh xznnnnnnnnn hjhz5e45rerf hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhb c vb

D! says:
She just forgot, is all.

J says:
c zu gh n ygb

J says:
8b c

D! says:
I dunno. It's not black tie, but at least TRY to look nice.

J says:
vn gf v as azzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz gtaa

D! says:
I don't think they do requests.

J says:

D! says:
Well, all right, TRY.

J says:

D! says:
Just don't act all disappointed.

J says:
ugyytvgh y nbn gnb j gfv

D! says:
Why would they know reggae?

J says:
v v f6 5tthb jnnu nv 79bh n hj tf n , bu vch b n

D! says:
What do you mean, BIRTHDAY PARTY?

J says:
jn ygv

D! says:
How could you FORGET?

J says:
b5crcfcb gcc bv ntygnbbn y rergnj uvew5m,k 8

D! says:

J says:
vv fyh fv n vdkib vbhb bv

D! says:
Well, I'm no better off than before now.

J says:

D! says:
No, no, that's fine.

I love my friends!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Well, that was short-lived

J briefly thought yogurt with cinnamon was tasty. I was all happy, because I'd found a protein food that he would eat. But it was only tasty once, apparently. Now, he detests it.

He enjoyed chicken curry penne for about two mouthfuls, but then he started to weep. We had to revert back to the old standby of cereal and applesauce.

At least he eats something, I suppose.

"G" is for "Gutless"

I am about to rant. Chances are exceedingly good that this is not addressed to you. You should not be offended. Nor should you be worried. I am in fine spirits. I feel quite happy. I just require a good rant tonight.

Here goes.

Here's a thought. When asked point blank what is going on, perhaps you might be truthful in your response. Have the courage of your convictions and admit your actions and rationale, however nonsensical they may be. "I am having a tantrum right now", you could say. Or perhaps "I have PMS", or maybe just "I need space" would work. Or even something completely deranged, like "You think Gatorade is yummy, and I don't, so I don't want to see you ever again, you big Gatorade-lovin' freak". I don't care that it's ridiculous; at least it's honest. So just say it. You know. Go with whatever your (mind-numbingly stupid) thought process might be, and come clean. Why you feel that there is a need to lie about it is beyond my comprehension.

You did it. You meant to. You had a reason. You lied about it. I am not a stupid person. I am aware of your deception. Own your actions.

No class of person annoys or disgusts me more than the gutless.

End rant.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Permanence of Objects

J loves to play. He will sit up or, as he prefers, will roll around and periodically try to crawl. He sure is not one to stay still.

Today, we were playing with his "Thomas the Tank Engine" choo-choo train, with the big blocks on it. I gave him a few blocks to play with, then pushed the train around him in a circle as he sat up, waving his blocks about; I sang "The Wheels On The Bus", and he happily bounced up and down on his little ankles. When he tired of sitting, he laid down and rolled over to his "Roll-A-Rounds" dinosaur. He can't put the balls in the holes yet, but he had fun opening and closing the dinosaur's mouth and watching the lights and listening to the music that would play when I would put a ball in a hole for him.

He doesn't quite get the concept of "permanence of objects" yet. If I covered the little train with a blanket, he wouldn't try to move the blanket off and get to the train; he'd just try to find something new to play with. He seemed quite surprised by the presence of the train every time I would remove the blanket, and he'd gravitate to it again. We'll have to work on that one some more. I'm sure he'll figure it out soon.

He sleeps across my lap just now. I will put him in his crib for naptime, and get dinner going. Tonight, we are having curry chicken penne pasta. J may enjoy that. He enjoyed his first taste of garlic bread last night, but he is still displaying a tremendous preference for cereal with apple sauce. He doesn't like cottage cheese, any meats, or anything else with protein in it. I still can't get him to drink from a bottle or a cup. I'll try some diluted juice in his cup tonight instead of just plain water and see if that tempts him.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Things to do when you get retarded

I love this! I just got it by email this morning, and it made me laugh.


(this was actually reported by a child's teacher)

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school.

One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.

They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they
moved to Arizona. Now they live in a tin box and have lots of rocks in
the front yard painted green to look like grass.

They ride around on their bicycles and wear nametags because they don't know who they are anymore. They go to a building called a wrecked center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, and do exercises there, but they don't do them very well.

There is a swimming pool too, but in it, they all jump up and down with hats on.

At their gate, there is a dollhouse with a little old man sitting in it.

He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out. They go cruising in their golf carts.

Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And they eat the same thing
every night----early birds. Some of the people can't get out past the
man in the dollhouse.

The ones who do get out bring food back to the wrecked center and call it potluck.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the dollhouse. Then I will let people out so they can visit their grandchildren.

I wish

I wish that we had a spare bedroom with a spare bed in it. H has been all congested for a couple of days, and he has bathed in Vicks tonight to try to help. While I sympathize with him and I wish he felt better, the smell is really intense, and it is driving me nuts. The bedroom reeks of Vicks.

But where else might I sleep?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

J can crawl!

Sort of. But only backwards. And he can sit now, too, though he's still not particularly interested in doing so. He mostly likes to just kind of roll around and try to crawl. He is very good with the rolling thing now.

I am really enjoying the backwards crawl. He seems to get pretty tired and frustrated by his failed attempts to move forward. He goes backwards, then tries to get his bearings and ends up sort of spinning in a circle. It's quite funny!

We tried to get him on his sippy cup again. He is not interested in drinking from a cup. Not at all.

Poor little guy has a really stuffed up nose and a bad cough; sort of a croupy cough. He has no fever, and he is breathing fine, so we're not terribly concerned. We phoned HealthLink this morning, just to be safe, and got some good advice for how to treat him. I sure do hope he feels better soon.

Basic algebra - Break-even analysis

Expected sales are $800,000; variable expenses are $320,000; fixed expenses are $120,000. Find the break-even point in sales dollars.

(Equation Method)

Profits = Sales - (Variable expenses + Fixed expenses)
x = 800,000 - (320,000 + 120,000)
x = 360,000

Sales = Variable expenses + Fixed expenses + Profits
800,000 = 320,000 + 120,000 + 360,000
320,000 / 800,000 = 0.4
y = 0.4y + 120,000 + 0
0.6y = 120,000
y = 120,000 / 0.6 = 200,000

The break-even point is $200,000.


(Contribution Margin Method)

CM Ratio = (Sales - Variable expenses) / Sales
x = (800,000 - 320,000) / 800,000 = 0.6

Break-even point in sales dollars = Fixed expenses / CM Ratio
y = 120,000 / 0.6 = 200,000

The break-even point is $200,000.

Algebra always tested my math capabilities, but I think I'm starting to get it again now.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Mental problems

My mind is failing me, as I try to make my way through my textbook. You see, I am easily distracted.

I was part of a support structured message board for a time, where we used certain short-form terminology. Terms like "ttc", "cm", "dh", and the like became a part of normal language for me.

So it's problematic for me now, as I study cost-volume-profit analysis and the terms and ratios that go along with it. Every time I read a passage on the "CM ratio", I think of something very, very different from what is being referenced in my book. Then I reflect on that, and my brain freezes. I go back to re-read the section that I just missed, and I get stuck on the same passage. Again and again.

"How does one improve the CM ratio?" Take Robitussin.

I don't know what else to say.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Focus on education

H (talking to J): "B". "B" is for "Booger". "B".

Yes. Thank you, honey.

Algebra is annoying

I see a big problem with the following algebraic formula (from my lesson notes):


Seriously. Why not just say: V+z=bT? Doesn't bx seem rather irrelevant to this equation?


Dear J

Dear J,

Today, you had your flu booster. You were a big boy, and you barely cried at all. Mommy was very proud of you. You were the smallest baby in the clinic. Mommy hopes your weight gain will pick up soon and you will grow a bit better.

Today, you tried a fruit mixture of bananas, grapes and plums. You seemed to really like it. Mommy will make sure you get that fairly often from now on.

All in all, it has been a good day. You napped well this morning, but not at all this afternoon. You played in your exersaucer. We played with your blocks, played patty-cake together, and Mommy even put on a small puppet show for you with your various Pooh Bear beanie babies. You were cheerful and sweet, and Mommy had lots of fun playing with you today.

However, Mommy must make one tiny little request. Would you please refrain from trying to do headstands during your diaper changes? You spread the poop so far you nearly required a bath immediately after your change! And somehow, you even got the poop all over the back of your little green Tigger jacket. It was on the outside of the jacket, too! I have no idea how you managed it, but I suspect the headstands might have had something to do with it.

You may do headstands after diaper changes, but not during. Deal?

Love you,


That must really hurt!

Poor little J!

He is finally asleep. He's been really fussy today. He's just a big pile of tears and drool. I think his teeth are really bugging him. I really hope those top teeth poke through soon, so he's a bit more comfortable. I hate it when my little baby is in pain. (And, as an aside, his screaming is also painful for the rest of the household.)

He won't eat much when his teeth hurt, and that is just untimely since his weight has dropped off and we're trying to get it back up. I'm supposed to be feeding him 6 times a day just now (solids and breast milk), but I could barely get him to eat 3 decent meals today. He doesn't even want the breast milk! His little nose is all runny, and he just cries and cries.

I can't check to see how close the teeth are to the surface; if I put my finger in his mouth, he bites. Hard. He's drawn blood, in fact. So all I can do is guess. From his temperament and drooling (et al), I think they are close. Oh, do I ever hope so.

Also: H is sick. He never quite got over that Christmas cold that we all had, and it has come back in full force. A violent choking cough accompanies this current bout. I hope he feels better soon. He may have to call in sick tomorrow. Poor H!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

For Rigmor

Well, you asked. How does one put links in a Blogspot account? Here's how I did it.

  1. In "Settings" "Formatting", select "Yes" under "Show Link Field".
  2. In "Settings" "Archiving", select "Yes" under "Enable Post Pages".
  3. Decide where you want the links to show in your posts. Go into your template and, in the appropriate spot, insert the following (put in the angle brackets and get rid of the quotes, obviously):

    (In angle brackets) "BlogItemUrl"
    Filed under: (In angle brackets) "$BlogItemUrl$"
    (In angle brackets) "/BlogItemUrl"

    (Note: In my template, this is just after "posted by")

  4. Get a del.icio.us account. (Install the buttons onto your toolbar for ease of use.)
  5. Create a menu in your sidebar for "Filed under", where you will list your categories and link them to their respective del.icio.us pages.
Now, whenever you post and you want your post to be in a category, you will have to do the following:

  1. Put the html link and name of the category in the "Link" field in your "Create post" screen.
  2. Once your post has published, click on the "permanent link" (on mine, it's the time posted) that gets you into the post page.
  3. On the buttons on the del.icio.us toolbar that you installed, choose "post to del.icio.us". Then complete the screen that appears, and choose "save".
See? Rather a headache, isn't it? But at least it gives you the categories you were after! (Assuming I didn't leave anything out...I hope I didn't.)

Best of luck with it, anyway. If you need anything else, let me know.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I'm not tired. And I can type with my feet.

frm , mv jhv vc bbnbn m gvv b f v 9mnl; ' xz md56 v l i b h n mnd xfv cn

Where is the international date line anyway?

H: It's almost time for the Thursday night line-up.
Me: It's Wednesday.

Make sure you are in your own course before posting questions! STOP IT!!

Don't confuse me by posting questions to the course tutor of my Level 2 course that pertain to your Level 4 course! Your "formulars" make no sense to me!! "Reduced cost", "shadow price", "generated report", and "PV tax shield" are not terms that I have learned at this point in my studies. They are not contained anywhere in my text! And when you ask a question about the "PV tax shield" that looks like this:

1) why to divide cdt by (d+t) and then multiply (1+0.5t) ?
2) considering SV, why to divide sdt by (d+t)?


all you do is scare the living daylights out of those of us in Level 2! I have absolutely no idea to what any of those letters refer. It is all gibberish to me. And it ties up the course tutor when he could be answering the legitimate questions of those of us who are actually taking his course.

So now, the course tutor has to try to find out where your questions came from. He won't be able to, since they are NOT FROM HIS COURSE!! But he'll try. Then he'll send you a private message to ask. You will, of course, be ignorant enough to not respond. And your questions will sit on the board for our course, unanswered, forever, scaring the people in this class who will believe they have missed something fundamentally important in their course.

This is MA1. You are in MA2. Stay in your own dang board!!

(Stupid person ... grumble, grumble ... slap you upside the ... mutter, mutter.)

More teeth, they are a-comin'

Diaper rash. Drooling. Red cheeks. Warm. Crying. Not sleeping well. Super-cuddly. Wanting to be held during naps. Looking sort of "spaced out".

Poor little guy! This must really be uncomfortable.

He cried through most of the night. I am in a fog. He sleeps now, at last. I must study. Or sleep. Can't decide.

Must study more today. Must get to grocery store.

Must ... zzzzzzzzz ...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hot tip of the day

The word is "Formula", not "Formular". I can make allowances for a typo, but when you repeat the incorrect spelling throughout your question, I must object to your usage of Hillbilly-ese.

Now, say it with me: "Formula".


J has lost weight, but gained length. The nurse is not noticeably concerned about it. We just have to feed him more meals and get a bit more protein into him, and check back in about a month. I've been following the feeding guide, but J is apparently a baby who needs more food than that. He's 14 lbs 12-1/2 oz and 25-3/4" long. My long and lean little boy.

His length is such that he is almost out of his infant seat now, so we will be moving him into the big carseat soon.

We checked out the preferred daycare today. It's expensive, but we are confident that they will provide the best care available. I am happy with our decision, but my pocketbook is a bit dissatisfied. Whatever; J is worth it, and we knew he wouldn't be free. A big part of me wishes we wouldn't have to put him into daycare at all, but another part of me thinks it will be good for J to play and interact with other children apart from us. I think he'll gain a lot of independence in a most pleasant environment. So I suppose it will work out; sounds good to me.

H's sister and her family left today to return home. We will miss them a great deal. The kids change so much each time we see them! I wish we all lived closer together.

The house is finally all clean. Except for the office, of course, which is still a sty. I hope to tackle that project soon. I feel really relieved and happy with the condition of the rest of the house. It's so nice to have things clean and neat! Such a fresh and welcoming environment. And we don't have to live in absolute fear that J will injure himself in some bizarre manner. I think we can keep up with the housework now; I hope so, anyway.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

My motivation is shot

I should really be working harder on this course. I have a great deal to do still. I'm only about halfway through Module 3. My Module 4 quiz is due by noon on the 11th. But for some reason, I just can't get motivated.

Perhaps it's the holiday season. Or perhaps it is that the cleaning bug has struck both H and I (at long last) and we have noticed that the house is super messy and must be dusted immediately. Or maybe it's just that J has become so much fun to play with. Or our family obligations, which are a fun distraction.

But whatever the reason, I must buckle down and continue with my studies.

I don't want to.

In other news, H's brother is officially wed! The wedding was quite beautiful. They had a friend video-taping for them, and H asked me to try my hand at video-taping it also. My version is comical - sort of a Blair Witch Bootleg version, that misses certain things and catches others. For much of the vows, I was able to capture the back of H's head and occasionally one of the bride's eyes! I hope the other guy had more success getting decent footage. I did take some lovely footage of the twins playing by the candelabra during their mother's reading. I figured that I should capture that moment; it was really cute.

My parents graciously babysat J. He was well-behaved, but he has decided that he will no longer take a bottle; he wants the real thing or nothing at all. We got home, fed him, and put him to bed. Poor tired tyke!