Exercise in Futility

Yesterday was supposed to be my relaxation day.

We had one of those weekends that changes your life forever, and not in the good way. Oh yeah eventually, hopefully, it will be one of those funny stories we tell about how the police and paramedics came and mommy was in her t-shirt and underpants the whole time, but for now it’s still terrifying for G and I.

The baby started getting stuffy and was up all night Saturday night and I was dealing with her when Meli woke up around 3 or 4 AM as per her usual. I handed the baby off to G and went in to check on Meli and immediately noticed she was really hot. So I took her into our bed and tried to take her temperature. About 5 or so I succeeded and she did indeed have a bit of a fever, so we somehow got her to take some medicine and we all went back to sleep.

When we woke up, Meli was still hot – in fact a bit hotter. I took her temp again and it was a degree higher, but it wasn’t time to give her more medicine and she was in pretty good spirits, so we were all just lazing around in bed watching cartoons and relaxing. Meli rolled over as if to go back to sleep and G was laying next to her when he noticed she was doing something funny with her eyes. He told her to stop and then realized something was really wrong and called me over. I looked at her and we both started into a panic. Her eyes were very fixed and open and her eyebrows were going up and down rapidly and then the whole foaming at the mouth started. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew she was most likely having a seizure from the fever, but it was still so completely horrifying. I told G to call 911 and in the few minutes that it took for the paramedics to get to us, the seizure had stopped and she was groggy and awake. The whole thing lasted about three minutes. Three excruciatingly harrowing minutes.

The paramedics told us that it was probably a febrile seizure, but we went to the ER just to be sure, where they told us the same thing. She had a fever of 104 when they took it at the hospital. We stayed until her temp came down a bit and then went home and preceded to stare at her for the next 24 hours. A visit to our pediatrician the next day confirmed everything and she’s been fever free for over 24 hrs now. Apparently febrile seizures are fairly common and while horrific to witness, they don’t do any damage. The way the paramedic described it to us is that when a fever spikes really high, the body will sometimes convulse as a way of breaking the fever. Meli has no history of anything like this – in fact – aside from a runny nose every now and again, she’s had like one ear infection her whole life. She’s rarely sick. The good news is that it didn’t hurt her and that she might never have one again. The bad news is that she COULD have one again and also the baby is now at a greater risk to have them because it tends to run in families. We keep telling ourselves that it didn’t hurt her and everyone and everything says it’s not a big deal but it was just so scary that it’s hard to believe. We’re trying, but it’s going to take awhile to get over this. (For us – Meli’s back to her old singing and dancing the day away self.)

Oh and did I mention this was the weekend she decided to potty train herself? Surprisingly the trauma of the ambulance ride and the hospital visit didn’t derail our progress.

The baby still has a cold too.

With all this going on, I’m not sure the last time I really and truly slept or relaxed and my mind really needed a break, so when our babysitter came for the day on Tuesday I thought I’d delve into a project I had been thinking about for a while.

As you all know, I’m working the miter project and it’s going pretty slow these days. I think I’ve managed to seam one more square since the last time I blogged which is killing me, but I did manage to order a bunch of yarn.

What you see there is the present and the future. The black yarn (Tahki Cotton Classic) will be the border for the mitered blanket (I’ll also use it for seaming all the seamed squares together) and the linen white TCC will be a blanket to be named later.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a new blanket using the leftovers of the miter project. I’ve had a few ideas going around and around in my head and I’ve seen a few quilts that have inspired me lately (I’m looking at you JulieFrick!). At first I was thinking knitted hexagons but now I’m squarely in the log cabin camp. I’m not sure what it’s going to be so I’m not going to say much more, but I have been wanting to organize the leftover yarn so I can easily tell what I have, what I want more of, and what I’m missing. To this end, I contacted the wonderful Kathy at WEBS and asked if she knew if I could purchase color cards for TCC from Tahki. I figured this would be the easiest way to catalog all the yarn I have and identify something. Surprisingly, Tahki doesn’t have color cards. Color me shocked, but that was the message given to Kathy. Oh well. Too late to change yarns so I went to Plan B.

I gathered up all the TCC yarn I have: little bits and pieces, half used balls and unwound hanks. I took out the spreadsheets with color numbers I put together back when I started the project and the color card scans I printed off the internet that I found on Yarndex. I had the internet open to anyone and everyone that sells TCC and set about matching the yarn in my hand to a number. After about three hours I had this:

Sixteen freaking colors. And about a third of them were easy because I had extra skeins still wrapped up in the ball band with the color clearly stated. The others were a pain in the ass. The scans don’t match the yarn which doesn’t match the internet and this green looks like that green and is that a yellow or a brown and I used 85 colors in the damn blanket. You can imagine the frustration. While I’m proud of the color card I made, that’s it. I will start planning my new blanket and will determine a yarn color number when and if I need it. While it would be nice to have them all labeled, I don’t have the patience or the time for this. It really sucks that Tahki couldn’t provide color cards. And it also sucks that I wasted what was supposed to be a relaxing afternoon. I knew it would be a project, but I really thought I would make more progress. I should’ve just seamed more squares. Would’ve been a whole lot more satisfying.

Suffice it to say, it’s been a trying few days. Thanks for letting me vent. I’m going to leave you with a short video of the baby laughing her ass off. I had her at hello!

Laugh Riot! from January One on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully my next post will be th
at I’ve finished seaming all the squares and I’m ready to seam them all together. And hopefully I’ll be blogging sometime next week! I want this blanket DONE.

L, C


  1. Wow, very scary for you! My son had asthma, so we know the “hospital in the night” story and it is no fun. I hope everything is under control!
    And good luck with seaming!

  2. I understand how scary those febrile seizures are. My son had 2 when he was little. He survived, we survived and the second one (if it even happens) isn’t nearly so scary because you recognize what is happening. He is 12 now and it’s kind of like having a Great Dane puppy around. Talk about scary!
    Hope everybody is feeling better and wishing you much time with your knitting.

  3. Oh my goodness – I know almost exactly how you felt with that seizure. My first son had one when he was about 2, and thankfully I didn’t have #2 yet, so only had him to worry about. The dr told me pretty much the same things you wrote, except for the fact that the chances of him having another one were very slim. So, about a year or so later, he had another one, at which point the dr told me the chances of him having a 3rd were astromically slim. So, about 6 months later, he had another one. Just like Roxanne above though, he’s fine now, just turned 13, and his 3 brothers (8, 7, and 1) have so far not ever had one. And it wasn’t until he had one that I learned how common they are. Yet another thing that no one tells you about parenting.
    Glad to hear that everyone’s alright though. Pet the yarn as often as you can!

  4. I’m so glad that Meli is ok. We have a daughter that started having non-epileptic seizures at 12. They do no damage and it is her bodies way of dealing with stress. Talk about making stress. But they do scare the hell out of you. Hopefully Meli is done and Cali won’t ever have one. Know that you are all in my thoughts, prayers and meditations.

  5. My daughter had one when she was about 3. She was in her car seat, with my mother sitting next to her in the back seat. I was driving. Mom says, “Mara doesn’t look too good, I think something’s wrong”. It only happened once, but it was terrifying. Took me quite some time to stop shaking, and she slept it off, which is just what the pediatrician said she’d do. She was, and still is, at 19, not to be slowed down by a fever. She could run them really high and I’d never know. Hang in there!

  6. Love and hugs to all of you!!

  7. I’m glad Meli’s OK.

  8. Cali’s laugh is infectious.
    Sending hugs and peace to you, Cara. The blanket is going to be fabulous!

  9. holy crap what a stressful day. i am so happy she is Ok!! gotta love kids and their bounce back! I also cannot wait to see your blanket – i am sure it will be GORGEOUS.
    babys laughs are the best sound in the world.

  10. Cara, I am so sorry for what you went through with Meli this weekend. How scary! Regardless of the fact that everyone says it’s not a “big deal” it felt like a big deal when it happened and it is still a huge and horrifying trauma for you to have been through as parents. That kind of trauma can take awhile to get over. I’m so glad she’s okay!

  11. Yikes, that does sound terrifying. Glad she’s ok.
    My 9yo had to call the fire department once when I became trapped in our glass doored shower stall (long story). I’m still recovering from the humiliation.
    That laughing baby made my day.

  12. spinningfishwife says:

    If they’re hot but you can’t give them more drugs just yet, try stripping them down and sponging with TEPID water…not cold, because they’ll hate it and it causes the surface capilliaries to contract…but tepid, to open the capilliaries then cool by evaporation. Old fashioned remedy that really works.

  13. Being unable to help your child is the worst feeling in the workd. My son had to go to the ER via ambulance when he was 1 because he was in respitory distress and needed oxygen. It was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.

  14. regina Joskow says:

    I’m just so relieved that the kids — and you — are all ok. There’s no scarier feeling than knowing something’s wrong with your baby. Sending big hugs your way!

  15. My 21 month old had a febrile seizure two weeks ago. It was terrifying, but we received all of the same assurances you did. One thing our pediatrician advised was to be aggressive treating fevers. While normally she doesn’t see a need to give tylenol or ibuprofen if a child is not uncomfortable, she said we should feel free to use on or the other as soon as we notice a fever. In addition to reducing a fever, Ibuprofen/Tylenol can help reduce huge spikes in fever.

  16. Aiyiyi!!!!! How scary! Glad everything’s ok!

  17. oh that laugh is adorable!and your yarn organization is admirable.
    The fever thing is so scary. My sons both were super high fever guys (like 103-105 every illness) and the younger one had those febrile seizures more than once. Terrifying!!Even if you know what it is. A nice cooling bath helps head them off (not cold but tepid)or really restores them after and is not too scary – I guess as long as your kids like the bathtub otherwise I’d go for a washcloth/towel). My 17 yo still spikes a pretty good fever, they are just wired that way.

  18. What a scary ordeal!
    If the situation gets worse or if you want to see a neurologist, please let me know, I work at the NYU Epilepsy Center. I do epilepsy research, so I do not see patients, but I would be happy to help if you need it. Please don’t hesitate to contact me!

  19. my second daughter had a febrile seizure @ 17 months old in the car one afternoon. it was terrifying. after the ambulance ride & being given the all-clear, the doctor told me that febrile seizures only cause brain damage in parents.
    glad y’all are ok!

  20. If it’s any consolation I had the exact same kind of seizure when I was about Meli’s age (and scared the crap out of my parents). I never had another one, and I’m 32 now (and healthy). When she’s 32 she’ll probably be commenting on someone’s blog reassuring them that she only ever had one febrile seizure and it scared the crap out of her parents too.