Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two weeks

Seven urgent care visits
One overnight trip to the ER
Two nebulizer treatments
One inhaler
Five antibiotic prescriptions
One chest x-ray
Three bottles of children's Tylenol
One bottle of children's Motrin
Zero nights where anyone got any sleep to speak of
Two boxes of popsicles
30 hours worth of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
An unexpected "staycation" last week for Andrew
And a one week visit from the MIL to save us all from starving

It really wasn't as glamorous as it all sounds.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Silver Linings

I've been missing lately. We've been having fun with this crazy little thing called RSV over here and quite honestly I'm so fried from the stress and lack of sleep that I haven't even felt like stringing a set of words together and smacking it on the internets. All hope is not lost however. I like to try to find the positive. Here are my favorite things about having two small children with a serious virus:

Diaper changes haven't been a wrestling match. The kid actually lies still.

Bedtimes aren't a fight. Both kids are more than ready to conk out. They don't stay asleep but these are the positives people...

Naps. Lots and lots of naps.

My baby boy has learned to be a snuggler. Even as a newborn he wouldn't sleep in my arms. Now he snuggles in like a champ and drifts off to sleep. He picked this skill up quickly seeing as how he had to sleep being held for four! nights! straight!

We have enough antibiotic on hand to cover our entire family in the event of a terrorist attack. Five entire courses of it as a matter of fact. Hardly any of it that my daughter was willing to touch even upon threat of death or having to go to the doctor for a BIG SCARY SHOT.

Guilt free days filled with no fewer than a dozen episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Plenty of opportunity to hammer out my Hot Dog Dance style and slowly lose my mind.

Not one thought given to the ramifications of having cheese sticks for breakfast. FOR BREAKFAST PEOPLE. It is pure survival around here folks.

My toddler begs to take a bath since it helps her breathe.

I have gotten so little sleep (meaning absolutely none some nights) for the last week that when I go back to being woken up every two hours it will seem wonderful.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Delurker Day!

How I made it until mid afternoon without realizing it was National Delurker Day I do not know... oh wait yes I do. It is called our first ear infection. Little Weebs made it to 2 1/2 without an ear infection so now I feel like she is finally a "real child." Sniffle. 4 mornings in preschool and we have an ear infection. The Hell. Sigh, Motrin and good ol' antibiotics are helping to fix her up. She was in a pitiful state. And yes, for the record I am against willy nilly use of antibiotics. At least I was until it was my baby hurting. *Ahem hypocrite. Happy Delurker Day! Feel free to say hi! I see you out there. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Separation Anxiety

What has happened to my delightful little girl? It has been really stressful around here the last couple of weeks. She. has. LOST. IT. Almost all the time. The Weebles positively refuses to let me out of her sight at all times. She wakes up over and over again at night hysterical that I'm not there. We will go over to my parents' house to visit and she'll be having a great time with her Papa only to realize I'm not within sight and freak out. She will then insist I carry her until we get back home lest I disappear again.

Andrew and I traced the problems back to when I was working a few extra hours over Christmas. I usually work two mornings a week while my mom comes over to stay with the kids. Over Christmas I picked up one extra afternoon shift and also worked Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. Andrew was here all of those extra times to be with the kids. It didn't seem like a ton of time to me, but then again I'm not 2 years old. She got so she wouldn't want me to leave but she didn't bring out the full blown tantrums, yet.

The week before Christmas she started having a really difficult time going to sleep at night. She claimed there were dragons in her window and she was scared. It was heartbreaking to see her so upset. Even if she was in my arms she would be scared. But, once she finally did fall asleep she would sleep through the night and be her usual happy self by morning.

Then of course it was the holidays and we were all over the place. Visiting virtually everyone in the family and there were presents presents presents for about four straight days. It was a lot of excitement and really too much to process for a small child. By the time we got home she was clearly over stimulated. Unfortunately there was no time for a break because the Peanut's birthday rolled around a week later and all the relatives were back with more PRESENTS of course.

I made the idiot decision to start her in preschool three mornings a week right after New Year's. It seemed like a good time.. it would give her something new to be excited about once the thrill of Christmas was gone I thought.

Things are much MUCH worse now. The first day of preschool I had to pick her up early because she was inconsolable. The second day they said she did much better. Drop off went okay but she got upset when she realized I was gone. She was back to normal by pick up time. Wednesday was heart breaking for me. She clung to me for at least an hour as I tried to get her interested in painting, books, the fish tank, dress up.. anything. Finally I had to go and I had no choice but to hand her over screaming and begging for me to come back. I must've cried for a solid hour. The school called me to let me know she cheered right up after I left, so I felt some better. There was a similar melt down Tuesday night when I left to go to a sewing class.

This just sucks. I love my little girl and my instincts say to let her cling to me as much as she needs to. This is a phase and she is doing what she needs to do to feel okay about all her newfound independence. The problem is: I can't always be with her. I work.. admittedly very little but still I have to leave sometimes. Her brother still needs to nurse at night so I can't very easily sleep with her all the time even though I am happy to when I can. I just enrolled in my sewing class and I would really like to be able to have that time for me each week. And then of course there is the issue of her preschool. I had such high hopes for that. I hoped she would LOVE it and be so excited to go and play with her new little friends. I'm not the mom that subscribes to the "oh they'll get over it eventually" school of thought on separation anxiety. I know anxiety all too well and there is no way a two year old has the coping skills to work through that on their own. Hopefully she will one day, but it isn't reasonable to expect her to now. So what to do? I hate to give up on it so easily. We are going to try letting Andrew do drop off tomorrow to see if that is an easier transition for her. I am nervous. I feel like I've brought on all this unnecessary emotional upheaval for my little girl by making the wrong decisions. Bleh. Better go to bed, it will surely be another long night.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Love the One You're With

I used to be so happy when it was just the Weebles and she was tucked into bed safely beside me. I could actually sleep well that way, without worrying so much. Then Peanut was born and all that changed. Now, even when she was snuggled next to me.. he wasn't. So my heart ached for him, wishing he was next to me too. I felt bad that he was all alone in his little crib while we were all down here together. Of course it isn't always that way. Now some nights he will be curled up on his belly between us while Weebles is upstairs in her bed. Then I wish I were with her. We haven't really tried cosleeping with both of them at the same time. I keep thinking when they are older it will be easier, when I don't have to worry quite so much about one of them going off the side or waking the other up. By then there is a good possibility that we'll have a third child and I'll be right back in the same boat. This same feeling surfaces when I am spending one on one time with one or the other. I'll be cooking or coloring with my daughter and I'll feel badly that my son is playing cars by himself. Or I'll be building a block tower with my little boy and feel bad that my daughter is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Why can't I let go of the guilt and really enjoy connecting with each of my children on their own?

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Day of School Jitters

There was crying, there were attempts to back out, there was a LOT of second guessing.. of course all of that was me. Today was the Weebs' first day of preschool. She'll be going three mornings a week. I don't go in for Gymboree or play dates or basically anything that involves me sitting around with other moms singing nursery rhymes. I've never been good at that sort of social interaction and I don't know that now is the time to take up the hobby. I wanted her to have interaction with kids her own age and get out of the house some.

So this morning we packed up everything on the list we were given. Let me tell you, it felt downright weird to be writing her name on her cup and extra clothes. I guess I'm spoiled being able to stay home with the kids pretty much full time. Andrew and I both went to drop her off since he had never been there before. She ran off when we got there to play and didn't even look back. Whew. I didn't fare quite as well, but felt better about it than I had thought I would.

Around 10:30 I got a call that she was upset and asking for something and they couldn't figure out what. Her "bonky??" the teacher said. Poor baby wanted her blankie. I didn't send it because it is super frail, luckily I had it in the car with me. I drove it over with the plan that they would sneak it in to her to see if it helped. Once I got there I could hear her though and there was no way I wasn't going to go in and reassure her. She wasn't actually all that upset at that point. There were a couple of other kids that were really freaking out and she was sort of staring at them so I think it was distracting her from her own drama. She was still happy to see me and after she calmed the rest of the way down I helped her put on her coat and shoes and we went outside for playground time with the rest of her class. She ventured around on her own a bit and when it was time to go back inside I went ahead and took her home. The real test will be tomorrow I guess. Hopefully she will be excited to be back and the day will go even better. And maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll handle it better too. ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tale of the Cake

The Weebles is allergic to eggs. This is really only somewhat inconvenient and really doesn't even come up all that often as we are used to going places we know she has food she likes and are good about avoiding it at home. Still... we hope she'll outgrow them.

The biggest pain in the ass about the situation is the birthday cake. When she turned one we got a pretty cake from a bakery and I baked her a little smash cake of her own that had no eggs. She didn't have any clue there was a whole other cake and wouldn't have cared anyway. When she turned two however, I knew she was going to want the "cool" cake so I contacted the only local bakery I could find that would do a vegan cake. I didn't need it to be vegan of course, but they insisted that was the only way I'd get one without the eggs in it. Devil's food with chocolate icing was my only option. I told the lady the situation and asked if they could please make it look fun for my daughter and write Happy Birthday Julie on it.. sure no problem they said. My husband went and picked it up.. and I only wish I had thought to take a picture of the hot mess that cake was. It was a dark brown cake (of course) and they had written the words in runny white icing that had spread into puddles and was pretty much illegible. I was a mess. My husband saved the day by painstakingly scraping all the white goop off with a toothpick and using some hot pink icing from the grocery store to jazz things up a bit. We added some rainbow Happy Birthday candles and it looked pretty darn cute. The Weebs was excited.

So I knew that there was no way I was going back to that bakery for this past weekend's festivities. My in laws are from Asheville and they had gotten a few vegan cakes for various birthdays we've celebrated there during Weebs' lifetime so I gave their bakery a call. I told the lady what had happened last time and she was really sweet and understanding. You know how little kids are, they want COLOR and FUN! She said they would be happy to do any cake they had without eggs for us and they could decorate it any way we wanted. YAY! I told them I definitely wanted a white cake and that it should be super colorful and that my boy loves dinosaurs and cars and whichever they thought they might be able to do better I'd be thrilled with. I should have known how bad it was when my father in law called after picking up the cake to ask what I had told them to put on the cake. They sent me a picture.

"At least everything was spelled right" he said trying to cheer me up. Off to Wal-Mart we went to buy cake decorating supplies. Here is the final version, courtesy of Andrew.

Hard to believe it is the same cake right? Next time around I'll know better and we'll just make the whole cake ourselves. The worst part? Both of these vegan cakes came from swanky bakeries that charged upwards of $50 for the darn things. I think a cake decorating class at the local community college is in order...

Friday, January 1, 2010

One Year Old

My little Peanut, a surprise of a lifetime. You are really something else. When you were born I was so worried that you would never be the center of attention like your big sister. She shines so brightly and can work a room of adults like a pro. Today you proved that you know a thing or two about being the star too.

Tuesday you took off walking for the first time. That came in super handy today as you grabbed onto one of the shiny star shaped balloons we bought for your party and walked around the house with it. All Day. You didn't let go of your balloon for anything. It is pretty hard to resist an adorable little guy toddling gleefully around with a balloon. You were layin' the cute on us pretty dang thick.

You have also learned to give high fives and you are working on saying lots of words. You have had "NO!" down for a week or so but tonight during your party you also sang along "E I E I O" clear as day and said "Go Go Go!"

You are a big time climber and love to get up in chairs or scale a flight of steps. You scare me to death on an hourly basis. In the last week or two you've decided you don't like your high chair so every meal time is a struggle. I must say you did great tonight at your party. Then again, I'd sit still for spaghetti and cake too!

I am so proud of you my little man. I know we are going to have so much fun together as you get older and learn more and more things. Mama loves her little son. Happy Birthday Drew.


I have a lot of hopes for this coming year. Resolutions are generally doomed to be forgotten after only a few days so I think I might prefer to call them "long term goals" instead. Finding patience is definitely at the top of the list. I have improved an immeasurable amount to be sure, but I find that my stores of patience still run thin by the end (okay sometimes the beginning) of the day. The Weebles is in an "emotional outburst" phase and it tends to get my blood pressure rising almost instantly when she kicks into a tantrum for what seems like no particular reason.

Right up there at the top has GOT to be taking better care of myself. Sleep, exercise, eating something that isn't someone else's leftovers, having interests that don't revolve around finding missing pieces to Little People playsets, taking notice of what I put on in the morning (yesterday's jeans anyone? a t-shirt... again??) you get the idea. This one I will be breaking down into smaller short term goals because it will be impossible to make all the necessary changes at once.

Improve the quality of the time I spend with the kids. Some days are superstars... others seem like nothing but episodes of Mickey Mouse Playhouse and time outs. Every chance I get to move more time into the win column I want to take.

Really that is about it. I think overall I want to keep in the forefront of my mind that in order to raise good children, ones that will be compassionate towards others and mindful of the impact they leave around them, I have to mirror all the same qualities I wish for them. That, my friends, is a tall order.

Happy 2010!