gut punch

First of all, Taylor is still sick.  The women who work in the office of her school told me this morning that she came to the office yesterday, sat down in the chair and sighed before saying, “I don’t feel good…I should have just stayed home in bed.”  Is she 4 or 40?   I feel like a GREAT mother for sending her to school sick.


This afternoon, she crawled up into my lap after playing outside (this is one side effect of being sick that I don’t mind one bit).  Russ had just left to meet a friend for dinner before going to a meeting and told Taylor that Grammy was coming as a means of convincing her she didn’t want to go with him.  She looked at me and said, “Mommy, are you and Caleb going to stay home with me and Grammy?”  I sighed and replied sadly, “No, I have to go back to work for a little bit….but you know what?  After tonight I won’t have to work at night again for a long time.”

She perked up, threw her arms around my neck, and exclaimed with much excitement “THAT’S SO GREAT!”  Then she grabbed my face in her hands and gave me a big kiss.

How’s that for making a mom feel guilty?!  I really felt like I got punched in the gut.  I love my job.  And I love that my job has the flexibility to spend a lot of time with my kids, but missing bedtime is tough….especially when there are weeks like the last two when I’ve been gone at night much more than I’ve been home.

And to add insult to injury, on Monday morning, we were looking at a picture that Taylor drew of a child with a frown on his/her face.  We asked her why the child was frowning, and she said “Because he’s sad, and he misses his mommy and daddy because they aren’t home at night.”


So I will begin to assuage my mom guilt by staying home with her tomorrow for her third sick day in a row.

But then I will have minister guilt because there are things left undone at work and things that I’ll have to cancel.  It’s a never ending cycle trying to find the balance.

I am, however, definitely looking forward to the next few weeks when the scale tips more towards the family side.

Paging Dr. Taylor

I don’t know if Taylor’s gene pool predisposes her to having a knack for diagnosing herself or not, but she does have it coming from both sides.  My great grandfather was Dr. Taylor….he was my paternal great grandfather and delivered my maternal grandfather in the small town where both of my parents grew up.  Fun trivia.  And we all know that Russ is THIS CLOSE to being an MD.

Last night (this morning?) at about 12:30 am, Taylor stumbled into our room and said she had a headache.  I got up felt her forehead and tucked her back into bed.  At about 1:30 am, she strutted back in (as if she had been awake the entire previous hour contemplating what she would say), and declared, “Daddy, I need some water, and some honey for my cough and some medicine on my chest”  So Russ got up and met her requests and tucked her back into bed.  She coughed a bit for the next hour or so, but finally drifted into a deep sleep and then slept late – all the way until 6:30am!

After breakfast, she said she didn’t feel good, but she looked and acted completely fine.  I felt her forehead again and told her to get dressed for school.  On the way to get her shoes on, she said.  “I have a fever.  I’m not going to play today at school.  I’m just going to sit down and rest because I’m sick and I don’t want to get my friends sick”.  I thought that was a pretty interesting statement, but still, she was acting and looking fine…and her forehead still felt normal, so we sent her into school.

Then at 11:30am, I get the phone call from her school that she has a temperature of 103 and it was still climbing!

Poor thing had a fever and chills…was completely flushed…and just so pitiful.  She fell asleep on the way home from an errand and would not wake up for the next couple of hours.  But almost-doctor-dad came to her rescue and took great care of her this afternoon/evening.  I hope she’s on the mend.

But for now, I’ve learned my lesson – I need to trust her when she says she doesn’t feel good.  Well, at least until she’s a teenager and faking sick to get out of going to school.

wee man

People have asked me if/how having a boy is different from having a girl.  I remember thinking that Taylor was SO very active that a boy couldn’t be much different.  But boy howdy was I wrong.  He is all boy, into everything, rough and tumble, dirty and messy, loud.  And he loves his mama and has that sheepish sly grin that will get the girls in trouble one day I’m afraid.

Yesterday while staying home with a sickly Caleb, I was reminded again how different they are.  I actually enjoy sick days with Taylor.  I don’t like for her to be sick, but she’s cuddly and sweet and wants to watch movies on the couch and read books and just lounge around.  So I thought that would be how yesterday would go, that I would spend most of the day snuggling with a pitiful baby on the couch.

But no way, no how.  He was high maintenance inconsolable.  all. day.  He was hungry, but he wouldn’t eat.   He was tired, but wouldn’t sleep.  He wanted me to hold him, but he wanted to be left alone.  all. day.   He wouldn’t let me leave the room.  He wouldn’t let me do anything that didn’t involve him.  He wasn’t running a fever anymore, but he was just mad at the world (and me) for making him not feel good.  Grumpy.  Cranky.  I wanted to pull my hair out….when it hit me….poor little bunny, he has….a man cold:

3 or 83?

I think the Flinstones vitamins and the fact that most meds are in liquid form give the answer away, but it is pretty ridiculous how many medicines Piglet is taking – it’s hard to keep them straight.

Vitamins – once a day with breakfast

Zantac – 2.8 ml twice a day, 30 minutes before meals – for Reflux

Zyrtec – 1 tsp before bed – for allergies

Antiobiotic – 4ml every 12 hours – for ear/sinus infection

Vigamox – one drop in each eye, three times a day – for pink eye

At least yesterday was the last day for eye drops, Piglet, who used to lay calmly down in the floor for eye drops now screams and flails about, which means I basically have to sit on her to get the drops in.  It’s really fun.  And somehow, Russ, the “doctor” always delegates the eye-dropping to me.

I’m afraid that Piglet is becoming a bit of a hypochondriac because she always says, “I don’t feel good – I need some medicine”  or “I’m sick, I need to go see Dr. Drew”.

We’ve created a monster – a drug monster.


You want to know what’s sad?  I slept solid from 8:50 pm – 2:30 am last night, and that was the best sleep I’ve had since I got pregnant with Baby B.  It was only five hours, but is was a consecutive five hours.  My problem lately is that I fall asleep really easily and early, but the slightest noise wakes me up and then I can’t go back to sleep….the wind, someone crying, someone rolling over, Russ getting in bed, the air coming on, etc.  It doesn’t take much.

And it was sorely needed because the night before I got MAYBE two hours of sleep (and that’s being optimistic).  Piglet has a cold, and whenever she has a cold, she gets a nasty cough, and whenever she gets a cough, she coughs a lot, and when she coughs a lot, she throws up.  It’s really fun.  So last night when we first put her to bed, she kept coughing and needing honey or water.  I knew that once  she settled down, she would stop coughing, but as long as she is awake and thinking about it, she coughs, she breathes heavily, she coughs, she tries to breathe through her stuffy nose and she coughs.  So I decided to just to lay down with her until she fell asleep because she was having  such a rough time settling down.  But I got in bed with her and the hum of the humidifier lulled me  into a deep sleep – I’m pretty sure I fell asleep before she did.  The hum of the humidifier drowned out all other noises; I don’t think I moved a muscle until 2:30.  It was lovely.

Today I felt so much better than I have…I even felt like I had a little pep in my step.  Hard to believe that five consecutive hours of sleep can make that big of a difference.

Here’s hoping for a repeat tonight!

looney bin

I really thought I was getting the hang of this multiple-child-parenting gig.

Then Piglet got sick.  She wasn’t really sick…just a mystery fever with no other symptoms.  But the fever was enough that she couldn’t go to school on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.  Wednesday was my first full day of solo parenting two kids – Russ even had a dinner meeting that night, so it was pretty much ALL DAY solo parenting.  I realize that I have been spoiled having Piglet in school for part of the day while I was on maternity leave, but we wanted to make sure she kept a routine plus she has too much energy to hang out at home all day everyday….and I have too little energy for her to be home all day everyday.  Wednesday went well enough.  Piglet was pitiful and falling asleep on the couch and in my lap, so I knew she didn’t feel good.   Poor Baby B was neglected, only being held when it was time to eat or change his diaper, but he was a trooper.  All in all, the day was a success, there were no major meltdowns, I did my best to keep Piglet away from Baby B and used hand sanitizer when going from one kid to the other because the last thing we need is another trip to the ER.

But yesterday was day three of home-sick-with-two-kids…and I was about to LOSE MY MIND!   We watched Beauty and the Beast 5 (FIVE!) times in three days.  Piglet would not do anything I told her to do because she, like me, was tired of being trapped in our house for the third day in a row and was frustrated with life in general.  She learned that starting a request with “Mommy, I don’t feel good”  helps her chances of getting what she wants (like watching Beauty and the Beast, but especially will you hold me – which is mostly used when I am holding baby B).  She spent TWO HOURS in her room not napping before falling asleep for a whole 30 minutes then waking up crankier than before.  And Baby B became not ok with being the neglected child and demanded more attention, especially when I was fixing Piglet’s lunch or fixing dinner or trying to go to the bathroom.

And a sweet yet frustrating thing was that Piglet missed being able to play with and love on her baby brother.  Every time I told her that she couldn’t touch him, she said, “but I feel better mommy, my head doesn’t hurt anymore” – so sweet.  Note:  this was usually said within a hour of a sad “mommy I don’t feel good, I want…” – girl is getting good at manipulation, but I am on to her and don’t give in if she’s faking it (except when she wants me to hold her, I can’t pass that up).

I was so ready for Saturday and some help.  But then Russ came home from “work” yesterday with a mancold.  I thought today would be another miserable day,  but  Piglet woke up in a great mood after a good night’s sleep, and Russ held it together well, and after he and Piglet napped, we all got out of the house for a fun outing.

One of my favorite parts of the day was when Russ was giving Baby B his paci and Piglet said, “No, daddy you can’t touch him because you don’t feel good; you have germs”  Smart girl – it’s nice to know that even when it seems like she doesn’t hear a thing I say, she is listening.

sucky deja vu

It has been a long time since I’ve blogged. I have about 10 posts floating around in my head, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to the routine soon.  I’ve been busy doing stuff like having a kid (more to come on that soon).

But then there was also the worst deja vu ever that occurred last Monday night.  We had been home three whole days with our four day-old little boy who was all perfect and warm and cuddly.   I was having thoughts like – I’ve got to do this again.  Three kids it is. Then Monday night, he felt a little warm so we checked his temp and he had a little fever of 100.7, which we didn’t really think was all that serious.  But just to be safe, Russ sent an e-mail to our pediatrician asking what we should do.   Then the pediatrician called us back shortly thereafter to let us know that we just won ourselves a trip downtown to the Peds ER.  Apparently anything over 100.4 is cause for concern in such a tiny person.

So we packed up a few things and got in the car, thankful that we have the world’s most awesome pediatrician who calls us at 9:30 at night to make sure we going to the ER and who even offered to come and sit with us as we waited and the little man went through all of his tests and thankful that we have a peds er so close.  But I also cried the entire way there…not necessarily because I was afraid of the outcome, because I was confident that we were going to the best place and that they would be able to treat whatever it was, but because we had been to the ER with a six day-old baby before and I remember the tests they have to do and the thought of that was almost unbearable.  We knew our little perfect baby was in for urine cultures, blood tests, IVs, lumbar puncture, and most likely a 48-hour hospital stay hooked up to monitors.  Plus I couldn’t help but play the “what if” game and wonder where we went wrong.  I mean, if we have to take both of our kids to the ER before they are a week old, are we bad parents?  Did I not take good enough care of myself while pregnant?  I know it was all crazy, but it was 10:30 pm and we had a 25 minute drive downtown – that’s a lot of time for a mind to wander and wonder.

When we got to the ER, his fever was up to 102.9, so they definitely did all the tests imaginable since he couldn’t really tell us what was wrong.  He is a hard stick, so they had to stick him A LOT to try to get the blood they needed for the tests and to put in the IV.  They were even talking about going into a vein on his head.  BUT fortunately, they called down the NICU nurses who worked their beautiful magic and were able to put it in the back of his hand.  It was really incredible watching them work – we are so thankful for their skill and willingness to come down to the ER and help out our little man.  And he was quite the trooper through it all – hardly crying, mostly sleeping.  That was a mixed blessing – glad he was mostly out of it, but sad because that’s how sick he was – between the fever and the jaundice, he was pretty out of it for three days, only waking briefly and not even fully for feedings.

We were finally moved to a room at 2:00 am and by the time we were checked in and settled it was 3:30am – and I thought I was tired before.  ha!   Baby B (who, yes, is still blog nameless for now) was put under the blue lights since his bilirubin levels came back pretty high.  They put on these little goggles – he looked like he was getting a nice tan.  And we waited and tried to rest.  Test results slowly came back as his fever went up and down and he remained very sleepy.  Mostly negative – the scary stuff was negative.  The most likely culprit was an enterovirus like viral menegitis.

We were finally released on Thursday morning with a fever and jaundice free little boy after all of the cultures came back negative.   He was awake more that day than in the previous three days combined, so we knew he definitely felt better.   And since then, he has continued to improve and get back to being a normal healthy little boy.   And I am trying to catch up on some sleep and not be a zombie but for a a few minutes a day.