Thursday, December 07, 2006

Slap me silly

... or, why Olan Mills sucks.

So, y'know how I mentioned that the babies had a cold, and then that I had caught it, and then that it had turned into the Evil Death Plague? I'm *finally* starting to recover from it, after two weeks of being pretty damned sick. That's a fairly typical pattern with me -- even the mildest colds turn into sinus infections and bronchitis -- but this time was really bad, enough that I even needed a steroid shot to help ease my breathing. I even had to cancel my oral comprehensive exams for my master's, which were supposed to be today -- I didn't think I would be up to taking a three-hour oral exam, and as it happens, I'm probably not. I still feel somewhat knocked-down and achy, and I'm still hoarse and phlegm-y; I was well enough yesterday to attempt leaving the house for the first time in a week, but it felt like a real ordeal, and I was exhausted afterwards.

The babies too have been sort of off-and-on sick, not enough for me to take them to the doctor, but enough that I've done a lot of temperature checking and snot-sucking. They have mostly been in good spirits about it, but there have been a few cranky days, and a few days where they just seemed kind of droopy. Yesterday was a cranky day, and today seems to be a droopy one -- they're on their second two-hour nap of the day, and it's only 1 PM.

As it happens, though, they developed a new symptom yesterday, one that enabled me to finally figure out what was going on. When we got home from our outing (a birthday lunch for my mom), I noticed that Katherine's cheeks were a bit red, but I just thought she'd gotten too hot, so I stripped her down to a onesie. After a bit, though, I noticed that her cheeks were redder still, but she didn't feel hot -- her hands and feet were actually cold. Then I looked over at Claire, who had only one red cheek, and it hit me... it looks like someone's slapped her! We've got fifth disease!

I checked the Internet and talked to the pediatrician, and we seem to have a textbook case of it -- the mild cold and low-grade fever, followed by the characteristic slapped-cheek rash. It doesn't really make all that much practical difference, since fifth disease is viral (a form of parvovirus), and we should be past the contagious stage at this point. Still, it makes me happy that I've got something to point at and say, that's what we've got.

The girls are likely to look like they've gotten into my makeup for at least another week or so, which is only a headache because I have got to take a decent photograph of them this weekend. See, Olan Mills apparently can't manage to get Christmas cards of pictures taken in mid-November ready quickly enough for me to send them out, oh, before Christmas. I've ordered some cute photo-holder cards from a client of mine, and I thought, oh, I'll just put the digital camera to work myself. But now, it looks like I'll be photographing some unusually rosy-cheeked babies, and I'm not sure my relatively meager Photoshop skills are up to correcting them.

So, if it hadn't been for the various screwups of Olan Mills, I wouldn't have to take my own photos, and the babies wouldn't be all rashy, and I wouldn't have spent two weeks being really freakin' sick, or had to put off my exam. Did I mention Olan Mills sucks?

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