August 2009

When I wrote my last post it was not my intention to mock the gods of family health. I really thought that once I recovered from my three week long illness that our family had probably logged our sick hours for a while, that we had paid our ill bill for the time being and that we could enter the fall disease free.

Silly silly mommy.

While I have spent the week recovering from what I have affectionately termed the creeping crud, Emma has spent the week incubating her own version of it. I was in denial about her when I wrote that post, hoping that in fact she wasn’t really sick. There is no denying it now. On Monday she was weepy and exhausted, with a low-grade, 99.4 fever when she came home from daycare. By Wednesday she had a fever of 100 degrees, with a runny nose and a developing cough. And last night she woke up with a temp of 103.9 with green goop coming out of her eyes.

So a very sick little Emma was whisked off to the doctor for the second time in a month today. What started out as a virus earlier this week has now developed into a sinus infection and an ear infection, her first one ever, so she was given a “Go Directly to Antibiotics” card. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

So tonight, as I listen to her trying to sleep through her hacking cough I am reminded to never, ever mock the gods of family health. They are in control and will SMITE YOU DOWN if you dare to presume what they will do next.

I shudder to think what they have in store for us.

Ok, catching up:

Two weeks ago, getting ready to go to Bethany Beach, our big vacation of the summer, Emma gets strep. Luckily we catch it in time to have it cleared up by the beach. Phew.

Day before we are leaving for the beach, I wake up with a sore throat, Will seems unhappy, and Mike has been sick, so we all go for a strep test. Mike is positive, yuck…but yaay for antibiotics! Will and I are negative, which would seem at first glance to be a good thing, except, as I have just pointed out, where there is strep, there are drugs. No strep, no drugs. Grr.

I get worse on the day we go to the beach and our second day there I lose my voice and and am just generally miserable. Ditto for Will (except he doesn’t lose his voice, since really, he doesn’t have much of one yet). I stick with Tylenol for meds since I am still nursing. The jury is still out for me on whether I would rather be sick at the beach or at home. And let me point out, there is little in the world that is more frustrating or challenging than dealing with a two year old when you can’t speak (or yell).

Great week at the beach though: sandcastle dolphins (photos to come), Funland at Rehobeth, bonfire on the beach, flying kites, lots of pool time. Towards the end I am starting to slowly feel a little better and Will seems to be recovering too.

We leave to come home, have one of the most hellish car trips I have had in many many years (maybe ever?) Tons of traffic, screaming and tantrums. And that was just Mike and me. Finally make it home, start to unpack, and my throat starts to hurt. Again.

I get ANOTHER horrible cold, lose my voice again and spend the next 9 days wondering if I should go to the doctor. Being the borderline hypochondriac that I am, I begin to think I am seriously ill – H1N1, mono or a brain tumor all cross my mind. The sane part of me understands that since there is no fever, it is highly unlikely that any of these ailments are to blame. However, when I wake up on my 18th day of being sick feeling just as bad as I felt on my first day of being sick, I decide to go to the doctor.

She informs me apologetically that my ears are clear, my lungs are clear and there isn’t much she can do for me (and also, no fever so no H1N1 or mono. I decide against asking about the brain tumor). She does tell me I can safely take Benadryl and use a neti pot while nursing. She tells me to do both and to try and get some rest. Heh.

Which brings me to today. After Benadryl last night I am feeling slightly better and the neti pot treatments seem to help too. Rest remains elusive, but hopefully I am on the mend.

I am hoping for a couple weeks in here with no sickness before Emma starts school in September. So, no offense, but if you are coming to my house and you are sick, have been sick, or know someone who is sick, just stay home ok? We can always skype…


Emma is 32 months old today.

I seem to be doing her “monthly” updates more on a quarterly basis these days, so it looks like it is that time again. I mentioned in my last Emma update that she was starting to show a little more ornery-ness than we had previously seen with her. That ornery-ness has continued for just about the last four months, but finally, just in the last few weeks, it is starting to feel like we have made it through somehow, like we are over the hump, that we have won this challenge and, at least for now, won’t be voted off the island.

She still challenges us of course, but all parties involved seem to have come to some sort of understanding, and most of the time things are pretty peaceful. Like any pre-schooler worth their salt, she wants to do everything herself, and to her credit there is a lot she really is able to do herself. When she can’t do something, usually a simple “nope, that’s a mommy/daddy job” explanation is all that is needed to head off a full-on tantrum.

So without further ado, here is what Emma has been up to in the last four months.

29 Months: April
Even though this was Emma’s first full month with her new baby brother she stayed busy with lots of activities. On Easter Monday the whole family went to the White House Easter Egg Roll, which Emma still talks about. In addition to going to Sasha and Malia’s house, Emma’s Aunt Lexi and puppy Mowgli came for a visit from New York City. After that, Grammy and Grampy visited for a week and took Emma to meet Thomas the Tank Engine at the B&O Railroad. To round out a month of visits, Emma’s Poppy came from Florida and spent a week hanging out with her.

30 Months: May
May was pretty low key, as Mike went back to work and I tried to figure out how to take care of two kids at the same time. On Mother’s Day Emma’s Gama came over and we had a quiet lunch at home. The next week we went to the 2009 Taste of Wheaton and Emma rode on a mini ferris wheel with Daddy and played in a moon bounce under Gama’s supervision. She did have a little bit of a sleep regression this month. There was about a week in there where she simply refused to sleep. She would scream and cry and get out of bed repeatedly, and we had no idea what to do. Finally, with the guidance of my best buddy, fellow mom and social worker Kate, we developed a plan of action – to put her back in bed consistently with no discussion or emotion. The first night I did this for two hours before she fell asleep. The next night was 45 minutes, the next was 10 and it has been smooth sailing ever since. Thanks Kate!

31 Months: June
Emma started play dates this month with the kids who will be in her preschool class in the fall. She met and hung out with 9 of her fellow classmates including Hugo, Carter, Kaylie, and William among others. She was shy at first but each week got more and more friendly and now looks forward to going to the park with her “school friends”. Later in the month we went “down by the bay” – to Oxford, Maryland on the Eastern Shore – to hang out at Gama’s house with Gama, Aunt Emily, Aunt Jocelyn and future Uncle Chris, and her other Uncle Chris. She had a great time and loved seeing everyone.

32 Months: July
Emma continued her school play dates this month and spent lots of time at the fountain in downtown Silver Spring. We went down by the bay again, just us this time since Gama was out of town. Towards the middle of the month I had my gall bladder out so Emma got to hang out with Gama and then later with Grammy and Grampy. On the last Sunday of July Emma decided she wanted to wear underwear. For good. We let her put on the underwear knowing full well that any excursion into potty training must include weeks and weeks of accidents and embarrassing situations. Much to our relief she has had a few accidents but basically the whole experience has been stress free for everyone involved. And she has a serious collection of underwear now, which includes such classics as the Disney Princesses, Thomas the Tank Engine, Elmo and Hello Kitty.

The thing that amazes us daily about Emma are the words that come out of her mouth. She remembers everything and is usually able to articulate what she thinks and feels in a way that many adults I know are not able to. This morning I told her we were going to get some medication for Moose and she said to me “Can I get a lollipop there? Last time we got medication for Moose I got a chocolate lollipop there and then I dropped it on the ground” a statement that is 100% accurate and occurred weeks ago.

When we were having the sleep issues with her back in May Emma told me she got sad when we left and she couldn’t see us anymore. I told her that whenever we weren’t with her she could see a picture of us in her head and it would help her feel better until she could see us again. She has remembered that and now talks about it all the time, in various situations: “Gama, we went down by the bay, but you weren’t there, but I saw you in my head”, “When I am at Miss Kathy’s I am sad when I can’t see you and daddy, but then I see you in my head and I feel better”, “Grammy and Grampy, you have to go home tomorrow, but when you go I will see you in my head.” I don’t think she has figured out that it melts my heart every time she says something like this, but I remain completely amazed that she seems to understand the concept that the memory of someone can be almost as soothing as the actual person can be and that she is emotionally secure enough to put that concept to work for herself.

Mike and I joke these days that the only thing left for Emma is to learn how to drive. That’s a stretch of course, but it does seem as though the person she is now is pretty much who she will be for many years to come. It is shocking at times to realize how fast our baby grew and learned and developed but so gratifying to see her in action every day. Even with her challenges, Emma is one of my favorite people in the whole world.