Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Down with the Sickness...

Tallen had a virus two weeks ago, so I spent the night watching over him and praying for his fever to go down. He had gone to bed a little early (7 PM) but woke up at 11 PM with bright red cheeks and he was whimpering more than crying. 104.3. Seeing that temperature on the thermometer erased all thoughts of sleep from my mind and I shifted into crisis mode. Tylenol was dispensed and I gave him a lukewarm bath in the sink of my bathroom so his whimpering would not wake up Sophia. I rocked him for about an hour while he tried to find a comfortable spot in my arms, then we both gave up and I put him back in his crib. I spent the night lying on the floor of his bedroom so that I could jump up and feel his forehead every 30 minutes. I considered calling the doctor around 3 AM but from past experiences, I knew what she would tell me... Alternate Tylenol and Motrin, give him a bath, dress him in light clothing, offer him fluids and try to keep him comfortable.

By 5 AM his fever was below 100 so I crawled back in bed for about an hour of sleep. At the doctor the next day, she confirmed he had a cold (virus) and an ear infection. Awesome.

We tried to keep Sophia away from her brother but telling her not to touch him, kiss him, or play with his toys is useless. It's like putting a swing set in the backyard and then telling your child "Don't play on the swings! They are too dangerous." That child is going to go right for that swing. So when I told Sophia, "Don't touch his toys" she looked ran over and picked up his toy that he had just thrown on the floor and watched me as she slowly handed it back to him.

A few days later, Sophia started to complain that her tummy hurt. Her appetite disappeared and her eyes were red and itchy. I attributed it to allergies (springtime in Dallas) and gave her some Benadryl before bed. Instead of feeling better after a few days, she started running a fever so we caved and called the doctor. I hope they are sick of seeing my family in their office, because I am not excited that we make almost weekly appearances there. The diagnosis was strep throat, double ear infections, and a rash. They started her on antibiotics and said she would be contagious for the next 24 hours. Double awesome.

Two days later I was calling the doctor again about Tallen. I thought he might have the same rash as Sophia but HE WAS STILL ON ANTIBIOTICS so what could they really do for him at this point? The nurse said we could bring him in to make sure the antibiotics were working (excuse me, but isn't that they point of giving my child the medicine) and to see if his ears were clear. Other than the rash, he was a happy little boy so we waited. Actually what happened is Trey and I left the kids with his parents and took off for the weekend. We had scheduled a three day getaway to Austin and we NEEDED to go. Really bad. At this point, Trey had taken off five days from work to stay home with kids (and I took off one). I would like to take this time to explain that I work for a company that only allows ten days a year of personal time off (including sick time for your kids) while Trey runs his own business and makes his own schedule. I'm not a bad mom - he just has more flexibility than I do.

So we left town for approximately 48 hours. It was a wonderful, relaxing, stress-free, kid-less weekend. I highly recommend it to every married couple with small children. Get over the guilt and get away if you can.

When we walked in to pick up the kids on Sunday evening, Tallen looked up from where was playing on the floor and starting waving his arms with excitement. His smiled stretched across his face as he scrambled to his knees to crawl over to where I was standing. I picked him up and hugged him tightly. He wrapped both of his little arms around my neck, squeezed and did not let go for almost five minutes. I was over the moon.

Did I tell you that Tallen knows how to give hugs? He really does. He wraps those arms around you and pats with one hand. If you are really lucky, or if your name is Mama, he might even give you a loving, open mouth kiss. This was really sweet right up until he cut his first tooth a few weeks ago. Did I forget to mention that he cut his first tooth the same day he had a fever and had a virus? Triple awesome.

Sorry to say that we made our weekly appearance at the pediatrician on Monday. The crankiness set in with Tallen on Saturday night (yes we left a sick baby with his grandparents for the weekend and everyone survived). Apparently he has an ear infection in the OTHER ear. After a full 10 day treatment of antibiotics. Quadruple-freakin-awesome!

The best part is we have already scheduled our follow-up visit to the doctor next week. They want to check his ears again to make sure the new antibiotic that he started on Monday is working. We are scheduled to go out of town for Easter weekend and we would like to leave town AND RETURN with a healthy baby. Is that too much to ask?

By the way, Tallen has cut three new teeth in the past three weeks. His smile is so stinkin' cute now - I will try to get a picture soon.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fun Foto Friday

Sophia noticed my pedicure and decided she wanted her toes painted.

After her toes were polished, she was so happy that we matched!

I love spending special time with my little girl!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An early morning cry in the dark

This morning Tallen woke me up with his cries around 5:30 AM. He could have been crying longer, but the monitor was turned down low and his cries did not penetrate my sleep. My alarm had just gone off and I had pushed snooze for the first of four times when I heard him whimpering in the distance. I had to push aside the fog of sleep and the urge to stay in bed. After actively listening for about two minutes, to determine if he was going to go back to sleep or work himself up into a full blown fury, I pulled the covers aside and got out of bed. I pushed to button on top of the baby monitor to illuminate the video screen and saw him standing in his bed. By the time I got to his room he was sitting again, but gnawing on the side of his crib bumper. I realized his two bottom teeth, which are still swollen bumps below his gums at this point, must be causing him some pain. After I changed his soggy wet diaper, I gave him some Tylenol. He sucked hungrily at the medicine dropper and cried when I took it away, so I knew he was hungry.

In the kitchen downstairs we both blinked at the brightness of the light, then looked at each other and giggled. There is something special about being the first two people awake in the morning. The stillness surrounds and buffers us from the realities of the world. Tallen watched as I prepared his bottle, waiting patiently for me to finish before he started grabbing for the nipple to chew on as I carried him back up the stairs to his room. I sat down in the soft yellow chair in the corner and put my feet up on the ottoman. He grabbed the bottle with both hands and brought it to his mouth, dripping a little bit of milk on his cheek. His long legs draped across my lap and his head rested in the bend of my left arm. With his left hand still holding his bottle, he reached up to touch my chin with is right hand. “Mama,” he was saying to me silently. I have a book of baby sign language and I have been showing him the sign for Mama. With my palm open, I tap my chin with the thumb of my right hand. “Mama,” I tell him. This morning his soft little fingers brush my skin before cupping my chin in his palm. It is a silent language of our own, something only the two of us understand. I lay by head back and closed my eyes as he slowly drank his bottle. After awhile, his sighs broke the stillness and told me he was almost finished. I turn my head down to gaze at him in the darkened room. My eyes had adjusted to small glow from the nightlight and I could make out his eyes that were drooping, the bottle smooshed up against his little nose, his shirt pulled halfway up exposing the white skin of his round belly. As soon as the bottle was empty he dropped it on the floor and rubbed his eyes. I sat him up, pulled him close to my chest and he laid his head on my shoulder. His breath began the slow and steady rhythm which meant sleep was near. After a few minutes I stood up, walked over to his crib and leaned over to lay him down. He stared at me silently for a few moments before he turned over on his stomach to sleep. I hated to turn and leave but the sun was coming up and it was time to start my day.