Saturday, November 19, 2011

Most certainly not for cookie...

So.  Late in the evening of my last post, Ethan woke coughing and gagging and pretty upset.  His chest and belly had him looking like he was sucking hard, trying to get air and H and I went - not into panic mode, but call it "crisis mode" of what do we do here?  We tried a hot and steamy bathroom, but nothing seemed to be keeping the situation from spiraling further.  Leaving H home with Daniel I bundled Ethan into the car and off we went to the ER.

Anyone who has dealt with croup will probably guess that the cold night air calmed things a bit, but I was still plenty worried and continued my journey.  Frustration set in almost immediately with my little local hospital as they trundled me through their admittance procedure - even though it was Ethan and I in a completely empty waiting room.  We were finally ushered back, and after Ethan was diagnosed we were started on blowby oxygen, rescemic epinephrine and steroids.  It was around 4:30am when he still wasn't responding well to the treatments that it was decided to transport us to Bigger Hospital via ambulance.  EMTs strapped a car seat to a gurney, Ethan to the car seat, and off we went.  It's still a vivid memory of my teeny kid looking wide-eyed around at this commotion all for him....  and his little voice saying "Cuck?" (Truck?) as he looked out at the ambulance.

They settled us as best we could be settled at Bigger Hospital.  Any way you go about it, though, it's hard on a 16 month old to be getting Xrays, monitors, IVs (3 pokes there), steroid shots...  and he absolutely hated the most common treatment of the epinephrine being blown in his face.  Each treatment he'd get temporarily better, then worse again.  None of us expected a case of croup to result in a 5-day hospitalization.  Most everyone helped us make the most of a bad and unexpected situation.  I thank God for those who looked after my little boy with such care.  And I learned to appreciate those who gave a little extra TLC to an exhausted Mama trying to look after her boy...  the kind nurse who ran to the cafeteria for me to make sure that I had something to eat, who made sure to ask if I needed anything at all.

After 5 days Ethan finally had a night of not needing any breathing "treatments" and we were allowed to go home.  We've all been dealing with congestion and cold symptoms but nothing like the problems that we were having that sent us to the hospital.  Here's to getting back on track for the start of a healthier winter.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

We Have Liftoff!

Ethan has been a stubborn little booger when it comes to things like walking.  He seems to get sort of stalled at each stage of the game.  I can remember when he was "commando crawling" around and it seemed like he'd never get his belly off the ground.  Now he's been crawling and cruising for quite some time.  Each of our pushes to do any walking seemed to be met with an attitude of:  Feh.  Why do that silly stuff when I can crawl around here so much faster?
We're finally seeing him initiate some steps all on his own, which sends us cheering.  I'm trying to remind myself too, however, to not wish each stage away.  It's those little milestones that take your breath away, when you realize they have suddenly slipped by you...  the last time breastfeeding, the last bath where they fit in the sink, the last word they sweetly mangled in such a cute way that you had to keep it...  Savoring these precious times.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Doctor, Doctor...

Baby up bunches last night - a slightly up temperature, and a raspy cough that concerned me.  Quick run through the doctor's office today resulted in a negative strep test and decision of bronchiolitis.  Even with all that, he's been playing and smiling and refusing to nap until late in the game today.  Definitely acting like there's a sore throat in progress.  I'm a little concerned about it affecting his weight gain  which was progressing nicely.

I know that it is inevitable, but I have a hard time with the illnesses...  that wheezy breathing makes my heart turn over.  Off to check on the patient...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Just Because

I've had this picture floating around for quite some time. Thought we would start November with a clean slate and a funny/adorable pic!

I've been away from here for much longer than planned. October ran away with me with Cub Scouts and karate classes, school and homework, chasing my youngest and his food issues... All excuses, excuses. If I honestly stop to think about it, I've been falling into my old perfectionist habits regarding my writing. Wanting it to be perfect as it flows onto the page and allowing that to paralyze me. I need a kickstart to allow myself to just be writing again, however imperfectly. Many folks use November as National Blog Posting Month - NaBloPoMo. Not sure if I have the gumption to "officially" sign on, but I thought I might set myself the challenge. Here's to November!

(This little fella is an orphaned albino seal. If I remember correctly, he was found somewhere in Russia and was being cared for... I've since lost any credits I had pertaining to the photo/story, and will add them if I (or someone else) can find/provide them.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Fall is here! There's that crisp little bite to the air in the mornings and evenings (while our mid-days are still hovering in the 70s-80s...). I still don't feel like the parent of a 1st grader. Daniel seems to be adapting fairly well to school, although I've gotten comments about how it seems to be a really long day. (Kindergarten was half-day.) We're still doing karate and considering Cub Scouts. And I'm finally getting to do a playgroup that is devoted to Ethan and not just a tagalong with his older brother event. In many ways we're rocking this new schedule. And yet...

What do you all do for, well... you? Don't get me wrong, I love my family dearly and wouldn't change a thing. H works his ass off so that I can be home with the kids. Between his work schedule and my spinning top household/kids schedule it often feels like we simply wave at each other before falling into bed at night. I'm wishing we could get to a movie or something that doesn't involve, say The Smurfs. And I find myself pondering the me that isn't attached to the labels we all have: daughter, sister, wife, mother... What fills you up, sparkles your rainbow, puts a Cheshire Cat grin on your face? I'm struggling to reconnect with that core of me a bit more of late. Lately it's involved some clandestine reading of my favorite fantasy authors, while swigging frozen lemonade. What do you do?

And could someone please come over and figure out where the clicker to my DVD player went when it vanished? Not sure if it's where the stray socks go, but it's been missing forever...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Other Side of the Scale

It's everywhere: talk of the obesity epidemic in children, campaigns to improve school lunches... even one memorable article I read somewhere where someone was advocating taking obese children away from their parents. So I've felt a bit adrift recently after Ethan's one year pedi appointment where we found out that he had bottomed off the chart where weight is concerned. My reactions have skipped willy-nilly from "They must think I don't feed this kid..." to "What if there's something terribly wrong?" We were drawing blood anyway for the lead test, and so the pediatrician checked a number of things, 98% of which were fine. Low protein and low IGA resulted in a referral to a pediatric gastoenterologist.

That appointment seemed pretty anti-climactic (take a history, and yup - he seems pretty healthy) and resulted in an appointment with a nutritionist. Long story short, we're massively striving to find ways to get extra calories into this kid. I add a teaspoon of canola oil to every meal. Push proteins, fats, dairy, avocado, cheeses, butter - anything I can think of to give his calories a boost. We just had our followup appointments, and yay he gained .7 pounds! If we were pushing calories and he weren't responding we'd have to look at other problems, such as celiac disease. But I think we're headed in the right direction. Honestly, I think he's so busy/active that he doesn't pay attention to food cues. Rather than let him lead I'm going to have to be stricter about plunking him down and insisting that "We're eating now." Still roughly 2 pounds to go to get back on the charts...

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Overture, Curtains, Lights...

I miss movies. Daniel is finally of an age where he would sit through one in a theater, but I highly doubt we could get away with having a 1 year old there as well. A good action / escape flick like Cowboys & Aliens sounds great about now. H may try to take Daniel and his cousin Nicholas to the Drive-In in the near future. A great summer adventure!

Wonder if I can get away with making popcorn while I am up at 3am with the little guy surfing the On Demand selections on cable?

Monday, August 01, 2011

To Sleep...

Sleep training sucks. I know I created this monster, and that it will take some time to undo it, but Holy Cow. Sleep training. Sucks. My eyeballs feel like they've been rolled in Tabasco Sauce, kicked around in some beach sand awhile, and been popped back in my forehead a little too close together.

Ethan spent the first two days at home with us sleeping in his crib. Then refused altogether. We slept awhile in a bouncy chair, and then it was co-sleeping. He is so mobile now that none of us were getting proper sleep. Well, perhaps he was until he pulled himself off the end of the bed one morning before I woke up. And I knew it was time.

This past week has taken me back to those newborn months of waking round the clock for feedings. It's like the kid has some sort of internal gyroscope. He can be sound asleep and the very act of trying to lay him in his crib has him awake and shrieking. Tonight is the very first night that he went into the crib with only a whimper. Please, please let this be the start of a trend! I am off to bed!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


So Daniel's kindergarten adventure ended with one of those fun school programs. You know the kind - they're equal parts being proud of your kid showing off what he's learned, signing songs and so forth and equal parts getting hysterical over the antics of umpteen 5 and 6 year-olds packed into risers and hamming it up. Our local high school even taped the production and so Grandma and Grandpa got a chance to see it via DVD.

For a relatively unscheduled summer, we've somehow gotten awfully busy. Immediately following the kindergarten graduation, we set out for Gettysburg. It was a trip we had planned for earlier in the year, except that H's back had gone out on him and we weren't able to travel in early May. If you're at all into history and the Civil War, Gettysburg is a fascinating town with loads of stuff to see and do. Just for fun, we stepped into one of those photography studios and got an "old time" photograph of our family.

A trip to Grandma and Grandpa's place in Wisconsin almost didn't happen after Daniel came down with a stomach bug right beforehand. Last thing we would need was 2 days driving with barfy kids (or adults). In the end, we crossed our fingers and set out. Ethan was feverish for the 4th of July (an old-time, small-town parade - great fun!). A relaxing and fun time was had by all, until Grandma fell ill with the bug right before our departure. Thank goodness we all have stayed well since.

In the meantime my baby turned 1 this month! My big boy will turn 6 in August, and (pinch me!) will be starting 1st Grade in the Fall. I am hunkering down to sleep train the little man, and hope to come out of Zombie, No Sleep Land before school starts. Off to bed!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Hoo Boy!

I've been single parenting this week, and holy crow am I tired! My place looks like a bomb went off in it - no way could I ever have ANY visitors over the state it is now.

We seem to have finally ironed out the 5 (almost 6) year old's sleeping challenges, only to have the 10 month old start to develop them. Lack of sleep makes Mommy patience in much less supply.

And yet, the oldest has gotten to school every day. Kids are fed, and seem reasonable happy even if the younger is grumping at me in the middle of the night. For my part I have developed an even greater appreciation for those folks who go it on their own all the time. And I'm upping my efforts to keep the coming summer as busy as I possibly can.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Discover Strange New Worlds...

BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

My mother has always said that I could talk, almost before I could walk. In first grade they were bumping me up to second grade for reading because I had done everything they were working on already. By junior high I had burned through anything I had even remotely considered interesting in the school library. Books were always a good birthday gift, but people were hard-pressed to find something I hadn't already devoured.

Did I mention I like to read?

Fantasy is a particular favorite of mine, and so I was thrilled to be offered the chance to review Deborah Harkness' latest book: A Discovery of Witches through the Book Club. My review just went live today. Click the link above, and hop over and check it out!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pay it Forward

Hop next door to Relishing the Dirt and find out how to win $50 for the organization of your choice.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Mobile Me, Mobile You

So the little guy is just so, so close to being able to get around to everything on his own. He figured out early on that rolling was a pretty handy way to get from here to there, and I could put him down in the living room and find him steadily making his way to the kitchen (front, back, front, back). Now he can sit, and has a pretty steady push-up going with his arms. He can even do a bit of that modified sort of army, belly crawl using his arms... His little bottom will occasionally scooch in the air, but the front and back ends aren't quite coordinated together yet for actual crawling. I think I need to start baby-proofing soon. As we all know, a 5-year-old's toys usually come with itty-bitty parts (thank you Star Wars figures!).

While Ethan is learning how to be mobile, H suddenly isn't. He threw out his back earlier this week. There was a point where I was debating the need for an ambulance to get him out of the house as he was having trouble getting up from the floor. Prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers later, and he is ouching his way around the house. Not better, but somewhat bearable.

I need to be seen for possible hip bursitis, as my hip pain that started during pregnancy has never exactly left me. So, while us old-timers envy the baby his elastic little body that lets him roll in a ball and nibble on his own toes - Spring may have finally sprung. The trees are painted a delicate green. The farm stands are open. I'm looking forward to being out in it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So we had been in the midst of a lovely visit from The Grandparents. On the way back from an excursion to The Butterfly Place I heard those dreaded words: Mommy, my tummy hurts. Now Daniel has been known to get the random cold or fourteen, so hearing this usually means one of two things. My picky eater hasn't eaten enough today, or he has to go to the bathroom.


You probably guessed it. The stomach bug. When Grandma and Grandpa flew some 1200 miles for a visit. Luckily five-year-olds bounce pretty quickly, and about a day and a half later he was recovered. Didn't even miss school. And than H got it. And then I got it. The only one not to get it (thank goodness) was Ethan who of course was teething at the time.

I know it's inevitable, especially when you have children. They get sick, you get sick... but man. I have not figured out how to be both Mom and the patient at the same time. Especially at this point - breastfeeding and a stomach virus do not mix well. And I've been playing catch up (at least it feels that way) ever since. Behind on pretty much everything I can point a finger at. But - Hi Everyone! Back on the blog! Hopefully to write much more frequently!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Whoo! I've been away from this space for far too long. This winter has done a number on me it seems, and I hesitated to come to the blog simply to complain, complain, complain.

First it was snow upon snow upon snow. A friend had to evacuate her condo one weekend due to a roof collapse. Luckily it was not her unit and she was back after only a few days. Some other friends had such a problem with ice dams on their roof that they developed leaks in their kitchen and had their front door frozen shut one day. For the first time ever our condo complex posted notices requesting people to try and shovel their decks so they wouldn't be compromised by the weight of the snow. H had to squeeze out the storm window on the screen door to get out there and remove all the white stuff. We lost our front awning due to heavy snow another day.

Compounding my feeling forced-inside-ness was our ability to pick up any little germ floating around our family. One of the last colds left the baby with his first ear infection. The 10-day course of Amoxicillin also left him with the most wicked case of diaper rash you ever did see. It's taken weeks to kick it, and I never thought I would be so versed in bum-creams - prescription and otherwise. The poor kid has finally stopped looking like he's sitting on a sunburn.

While Daylight Savings Time has done a number on all our sleep schedules, I'm finally feeling like we've turned a corner. It's lighter, later. I think the official calendar start of Spring is this weekend. While there's still snow on the ground, the towering, vision-obscuring snowpiles have diminished. It's supposed to get near 60 degrees the next few days. I'm breathing a little easier. How about you?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


How do I do this again? We keep adding new wrinkles to this "sleep in a crib" business. Ethan has slept in the darn thing, but the slightest peep around the house wakes him up. The other day? When I (oops) let him fall asleep in the chair? Big Brother Daniel could run screaming from one end of our little condo to the other, and Ethan hardly twitched a muscle. I think the circles under my eyes are developing circles from all the up and down, interrupted sleep. I want to grit my teeth and power through this, but I think I'm getting a little loopy from the incomplete sleep schedules.

And Ah, lovely New England has gifted us with what the news has called the 6th storm in as many weeks. I'm not sure, I've stopped keeping count. We're at 60+ inches of snow which is more than the average for an entire season. And it's January. I cry Uncle!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sleepless in New England

Ethan celebrated his half birthday this week. I blinked, and it's been six months! We marked the occasion with a pediatrician appointment. All good positive news on height and weight and so forth, except for the dreaded words. You've really got to get him in a crib.

From early on the kid expressed an extreme dislike of his crib. I quickly found out that he loved the little chair that used to be Daniel's and that he would sleep like a champ in that... Pop him in the chair, park him next to our bed, pull out the foot and recline him back and poof! Problem solved. I was getting pretty jealous? possessive? of the lovely sleep I was getting, and so I delayed moving him to his bed. The doctor expressed some safety concerns as he is getting more mobile all the time, and so on top of the three shots trauma Mommy decided it was time to be sleeping in the crib.

Night #1 was brutal. Hours of 10 minutes wailing in the crib, 10 minutes of Mommy holding and comforting, 1o minutes of crib crying, 10 minutes of Mommy soothing. Poor kid was so exhausted that he would fall asleep immediately in my arms when I picked him up. But as soon as his back hit the mattress - Wahhh! I think we slept from about 1am - 5:30am.

Night #2 was a vast improvement. Maybe 20 minutes of back and forth with one wakeup in the middle of the night.

We had our last feeding of the evening tonight and I just put him down in his crib. He kicked hard for a minute and then turned his face toward the wall and just seemed to go to sleep. Could it be?? I'm hoping for a better night's sleep for all. And maybe now I can stop feeling like the Wicked Witch of the West...