Thursday, January 27, 2011


We've been sick.

Kaia was the first to be stricken with fever. Our poor, little baby didn't smile for 2 days. And this is truly one of the smile-i-est babies I have ever known. It was so sad. She just made this pitiful whining noise and we couldn't make her feel better. We ended up calling the on-call doctor on Saturday because she had a fever for so many days and it had been up to 104.something at points. In the end, we decided to give it one more day, and when she woke up on Sunday, she greeted me with a giant smile.

Saturday I was the sickest. It was awful. Really awful. It was one of those instances where I would look at the glass of water on the table next to me and have to muster up the strength just to reach out and take a drink. I felt like a terrible mother because I couldn't engage with my children. Jason stepped up, rearranged his own commitments and helped out tremendously, but I was happy to be feeling a little better the next day. A little. I was still exhausted and had a bit of a fever, but at least I felt a little functional. I'm still not well. I have this horrible, dry cough that I just can seem to shake. But is shakes me.

Sierra got sick on Sunday and is definitely still not well. She has been napping in the afternoon and sleeping in until 8:30 (or later!) in the morning. You would think I would appreciate the change, but I really just miss my vibrant girl. This afternoon, she feel asleep after lunch and napped. When she woke up, she wanted to go play outside. I took her, but she looked exhausted the whole time. She feel asleep again at 6 for about 1/2 hour, then woke up, ate a little bit of pasta and now she's cuddled in my lap, only barely awake. She doesn't have her usual sparkle in her eyes and her energy is definitely gone. Both girls are also hanging on to the same cough I have.

I'm hoping this clears out soon because it's been a week since the beginning of it and I've had enough already.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Did you know the number to poison control?

That's what you find out when your toddler drinks an undisclosed amount of children's acetaminophen.

Here's what I learned this evening:
Acetaminophen can cause liver injury.
Unlike some other medications, symptoms of overdose don't appear until 24-48 hours afterwards, when damage has already begun.
A 28 pound child has to drink at least 2.5 ounces of children's acetaminophen to cause damage.

Thankfully, Sierra did not drink 2.5 ounces.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Skip this post if you're not into whining

Consider yourself warned.

It's ten 'til 5. I'm feeling sorry for myself and have nothing better to do right now, so here I am.

Let me tell you how my has gone so far.

Jason and I decided that he would sleep in the other room so that at least one of us would be semi-rested. I got to sleep, oh, probably 11-ish.

1am: Kaia wake up crying. I actually get her to sleep pretty easily
2am: Sierra comes to my bedside and says, "Can I lay down with you?" I pick her up and toss her over to Jason's side of the bed. She goes back to sleep. I do not.
2:20am: Kaia wakes up again. She will not settle. I get up, wrap her, go downstairs and clean out the dishwasher. Jason comes in to make sure I'm okay/see if there's anything he can do. Not really, and not really.
2:50am: I attempt to go back to bed.
3:15am: I hear Molly downstairs, wandering about, shaking her ears. This is unusual behavior, so I think maybe she has to go out. I go downstairs, let her out. Then back to bed. I'm not usually an insomniac, but I lay in bed, periodically turning from my left side, to my back, to my right side, to my stomach and then back to my left side. I'm cold. I hear my watch beep for 4am. I roll around some more.
4:25am: I get up and go to the bathroom, put some more clothes on, take my temperature. Guess who else has a fever now?
4:30am: I get back in bed, but I have to slide Kaia over a bit because she has wriggled into my spot. She wake up. She doesn't want to nurse. I change her diaper, take her temperature (104.6), try to feed her again. She's still crying. I get up again, wrap her (again), go downstairs.

As I write this, I have to bounce, or stop and walk around a bit. She's not deeply asleep, but I'm going to try and get back to bed again.

I don't know what I'm going to do with my energetic toddler tomorrow. Should be interesting. And probably trying. It's times like these I wish we lived closer to grandparents who could swoop in to the rescue. Instead, I'll power through. I ran cross country competitively for 9 years and birthed 2 babies naturally, how hard could it be, right?

UPDATE 8:30am: So much for the trying to sleep idea. Before I even hit the bottom step, Kaia was up and crying. And crying, and crying ... Jason took her from me at 5:45 and I slept until he had to leave the house to go teach at 7:30. Oh, and J's on duty today as well, which means he won't be around this evening.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Poor baby, poor Daddy

Kaia hasn't been herself. She has a fever and she's been uncomfortable and whiney and generally difficult to deal with. But you can't be angry with her. The noises she makes are just pitiful. You feel sorry for her and sad that you can't do something to make her feel better and maybe a little frustrated. And tired. You definitely feel tired. Or, at least I do.

I had to work at a track meet today, so I had to leave Jason to juggle our active toddler and this current wreck of a baby. Good luck, Jason. Yes, I know this is my daily thing, but I'm used to it, practiced, and therefore have a bit more grace under that kind of pressure. I kind of felt like I was throwing Jason into the deep end leaving him when the tiny one was so out of sorts.

Everything seemed calm (though Kaia was fussy) when I left, but 2 hours later got this text message (5:01pm): 2 hours of crying and counting!

Then, at 6:27: 3 hours and counting. It also marks the time i have been standing up. Poor Sierra i cant really do anything with her.

Needless to say, Jason was relieved to see me when I walked in the door a little after 7. I had hoped to go to bed early and settled in with Kaia before 10. But no, she's been restless and fussing and crying and screaming a little and fussing some more. I finally wrapped her and walked around the house with and she is just now (10:55) asleep, though not deeply, and her breating sounds shallow. She still has a fever and she just has the saddest little face when she looks at me. We'll reassess in the morning, but I hope things are better soon.

Poor Molly

Molly is our 7-year-old lab mix.

Several months ago, we noticed a lump on Molly's side. We thought it was just a fatty tumor; dogs sometimes get them as they get older, but they are nothing to be concerned about. My sister-in-law, who's a vet tech, saw Molly at Christmas and said that was likely the case.

Turns out, that wasn't the case. The lump never seemed to bother Molly, so we didn't worry about it, even though it was getting bigger. Late last week, it must have started bothering her because she kept licking it and licking it, to the point that it was bleeding. We put the cone on her and called the vet, who got us in for an appointment on Tuesday.

The veterinarian (who is German or similar) came into the room and before saying anything else, saw Molly's lump and exclaimed, "Ooooh, dat has to be take-ed off!" So yesterday, Molly had surgery. Poor, sweet Molly. The incision on her side is rather large because since they don't know what kind of tumor it is, a 3 cm margin was taken when it was removed. She also had another small lump near her back leg on the opposite side removed. She is clearly hurting and is even having trouble going up the two stairs to the deck of our house. She didn't want to get off the deck to go to the bathroom last night, and when Jason finally got her into the yard, she didn't want to squat to go potty. We figured she was probably a little dehydrated anyway, so just let it go and put her in the kitchen in case of any accidents (there weren't any).

Jason and I are both lamenting the fact that we didn't take Molly in earlier to be checked out. The vet can be expensive (and this surgery is certainly a big strain on our budget) and we thought the lump was harmless. Now our sweet "brown dog" had to endure a much larger surgery than she would have if the lump had been removed a couple months ago.

We don't know exactly what type of tumor it was or if they got it until the results come back from the lab sometime next week. In the meantime, wish Molly a speedy recovery. We hope she's back to her old self again soon.

Sleep eludes me

Sierra took a nap yesterday. Which means, of course, she was up late. I thought I had her finally settled in bed a little after 9. Then I hear a little voice at the top of the stairs.

"Mama? I haveta go potty."

"Fine. Go potty and then go back to bed."

A little after that, I heard Sierra whining again. I ignored her. When all was quiet, and I went to check on her, I found her fast asleep. In my bed. Sigh. When Jason returned home from duty at 11:30, I told him just to sleep in Sierra's bed and I would sleep in our room with the girls. I didn't hear a peep from Sierra all night. I woke up to feed Kaia around 1am. Then, she woke me up again at 5. I've been awake since then.

After I fed Kaia, she didn't go back to sleep. She started whining and fussing and whining some more and I knew if I didn't take her out of the room, she would wake up Sierra. I picked her up and took her downstairs. She felt warm to me, and so I took her temperature: 104. I gave her a doze of Tylenol and undressed her to cool her off. She peed on the couch. When she wouldn't settle, I wrapped her and walked around downstairs and then tried to go back to bed about 6:20. She was restless and up again 30 minutes later doing the whining and fussing thing. Back downstairs we went. Her temp had gone down to 102.something.

At that point, I just threw in the towel. I fed the cats and started the coffee. It's now 7:15. Kaia is asleep in a wrap on my chest. Jason and Sierra are still asleep, snug in bed. I'm jealous. And tired.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another month ticks on by

Happy 5 month birthday to Kaia! This baby is the happiest little girl I ever did see. Lately, she has been sleeping in after she eats in the morning. When I hear her talking in bed around 9 and go to get her, she greets me with a huge face-exploding smile. And she offers the same smile to just about anyone who will look her in the eye and talk to her.

She is desperately trying to move, but hasn't managed to put it all together yet. She's strong and will pull her arms and legs off the ground at the same time, superman style. Today, she dug her toes into the ground and pushed her whole body off the ground, so just hands and feet were touching the ground, like a bear walk or downward dog position. She wiggles and squirms and has managed to move herself backwards a considerable distance, but deliberate forward motion has thus far eluded her.

We've begun putting her in the exersaucer or jumper for short periods of time, and sometimes, she really gets into it, bouncing up and down and squealing. She's definitely in a "grabby" stage. If it's within her reach, it's in her hand, even if she doesn't hang on to it for very long. This includes glasses, earrings, and hair!!

We think Kaia must be teething, even though it seems a little early, but there is no sign of actual teeth just yet. She has been drooling like mad, though, and she chews on fingers (hers or the person holding her). Last week, she had a very low grade fever for a couple days, and her chin is chapped from the amount of liquid that's been coming out of her mouth. It's hard to believe that she might be getting teeth at 5 months, especially when Sierra's first tooth didn't arrive until 11 months old, but we shall see.

I feel like Kaia's babyhood is going by at lightening speed. Already seeing signs of moving and teeth and whatnot. I know they grow up, but slow down already!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sleep shifts

Sierra has been staying up late. Way too late, in my opinion, but she has been impossible to get to bed before 9:30 or so. Her nap has been getting later and later in the afternoon, and when she goes to sleep at 3 and wakes up at 4 or 4:40, she's not sleep before 9. Yesterday, I decided to just push through and skip her nap. And she was asleep before 8:00pm. Yay. I had started to make peace with the nap going away. I know it's going to happen eventually, no matter what I do. It's just a matter of whether I "need" that quiet respite in the middle of the day for a little while longer, or if I would rather have some toddler-free time in the evening.

Today, I decided to try for no-nap day 2, so we just kept busy through her usual nap time. She got a little snuggly and wanted to go up in a wrap, and that was fine, but she was still awake. Then I went off to work and left both girls with Jason. When I walked in the door at 5:35, I heard ... total and complete silence. Jason said he and Sierra had been sitting on the couch eating chips and salsa and she just couldn't hang on any longer, even though he tried to keep her up. She slept until 7:15 before wandering downstairs hungry.

It is now past 10:30 and guess who's still awake?

We shall see what tomorrow will bring.

Moving forward

Kaia is moving. Well, not forward, but she is definitely moving backwards. She is propelling herself with her own strength. This evening, I set her on the kitchen floor and she went all the way across the room. Backwards. By pushing with her arms. The tile floor probably helped with this as she is mostly just sliding, but she moves on carpet too. It will be too soon when she is actually moving forward. She's already getting the motions down, tucking her knees up under her body and pushing, digging her little toes into the ground. In fact, she did manage to push herself forward the other night, and got face-full of carpet for her effort. She tucked those knees up, dug her toes in and ... pushed! Only her arms didn't move forward to catch her. Ouch! I have no doubt she'll get it. And by the looks of things, it will be sooner rather than later. My tiny baby isn't big enough to crawl yet, is she?!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Holiday, Part II

I could probably split this up in to several posts, but I've already procrastinated long enough. December 27th, we left Galena for St. Louis, where we stayed, ate, visited with family, ate some more, visited friends, ate, celebrated the new year, and had an overall good time.

Here are the highlights (and a few lowlights).

The night we arrived, we called Jason's grandparents to see if they wanted to visit. Both of his mom's out of town sisters were there, so they came over too, as did the in-town sister. So, we had Jason's grandparents and all four of their daughters, along with their husbands, as well as three of Jason's cousins over at his parents house. Did you get all that? This would be easier with a photograph, but that will come later.

Jason and I went to a hockey game with his dad, aunt, uncle, and two cousins the next night (Blues win!). We were going to stop for a drink on the way home, but when I called Nana Diane at 10:30, we found out our oldest daughter was still awake and our youngest was being cranky. So we went home instead. When we arrived at 11:00pm, Sierra had just gone to sleep. How does that child do that? I don't think I will ever understand how she can go so far beyond the point of being tired.

Well, the next morning Sierra was up at 6:40 and I could not get her to go back to sleep. Diane had made an appointment for the girls to have their pictures taken. In hindsight, I should have just cancelled after that night of sleep because I knew exactly how it would go. I'm sorry to say that I was right. The photo appoint was at 11:00am. Sierra fell asleep when we were 10 minutes away, so we had to wake her up when we got there. She was a wreck. She was completely uncooperative and would not listen to me, Nana, or the photographer. She rolled on the ground, she army crawled across the photo background, she wouldn't sit still. I tried a little "positive reinforcement" with some Skittles, but when I offered her one, she threw a big, screaming fit because I wouldn't give her the whole bag. We did manage to get a good photograph, but I think it was just one, and it certainly could have been better. Ah well. You can't win them all, I suppose.

The next day, after a much better night's sleep, we went to the zoo. Jason and I mentioned the zoo in passing in the morning, but the weather was looking a little iffy, so we sort of decided to skip it. Well, Sierra won Jason over. She heard us talking about going to the zoo, and she kept saying, "Let's go to the zoo. We're going to the zoo." When she came out with "I can't wait to go to the zoo," Jason replied with "Get your coat. We're going to the zoo."

I'm so glad we did. We had a really great time. The big hit for Sierra was the hippos. Her special animal is a stuffed hippo named Sally, and we don't think that she realized how large hippos are in real life. Or that they can swim! The St. Louis Zoo has an incredible hippo exhibit with a pool where you can see the hippos swimming under water. We were there for a long time, watching three hippos swim back and forth, surface, dive, and swim some more. When we finally moved on, Sierra broke free from my hand and ran back for another look. We saw a female lion in a tree. Just looking at us, hanging out on a branch. There were elephants, including one young elephant who stood up on a stump and totally showed off. We finished by walking through the penguin and puffin area and past some bears before walking back to our car where Sierra crashed immediately.

New Year's Eve was pretty low key for us. That morning, I headed out to see my friend Jen, who I ran cross country with in college and who is due with her first baby any second now (er ... day ... any day now). I left Sierra to play with Nana and Papa while I was gone and took Kaia with me. While Jen and I were visiting, a swath of storms rolled through. Jason called me three time before he got me (we were upstairs, phone was down) to tell me that there were tornado and hail warnings in the area. Turned out to be not much where we were, though, so no worries. After Sierra's nap that afternoon, we went to visit friends Tim and Angela, who have two little girls, one older and one a little younger than Sierra. Tim is Jason's "Little" in their fraternity. Angela's brother is Jen's husband. Talk about connections. We stayed later at Tim and Angela's than we had planned, but I'm really glad we went to visit them. The girls had a fun time playing together and Jason and I both enjoyed our time with the grownups.

We came home and got Sierra to bed and rung in the new year watching a movie with Jason's sister and drinking sparkling wine. Like I said, low key.

New Year's Day we had some more time with family before our departure the following day. We went to Jason's grandparents to visit and were joined by his parents and sister and an aunt an uncle. There were snacks abound, but I still room for a St. Louis style pizza, which I had to have before we left.

The next morning, we were up at 4am again and on the road for a way too long drive home. The drive from St. Louis to Virginia takes about 13 hours including stops, and it's about 3 hours longer than is comfortable. Those last few hours, the whole family is cranky. No one really wants to be in the car and we can't wait to get to where we're going. The girls and fussy and Jason and I are doing our best to power through while maintaining relatively good spirits. We are only somewhat successful. After this most recent trip, we've been talking about the cost of our comfort and sanity. Maybe we should make that drive in two days rather than one, take a more leisurely pace. It's yet to be determined what we will actually do next time we take the drive. It might be more comfortable to stop on the way, but then we lose two days on a round trip that we could be spending with family and friends from home. Once again, I'm realizing how nice it would be to be just a little closer to our parents.

(pictures later)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

First of January

Okay, so it's well past the 1st of January, but I did take these photos, then. That counts, doesn't it?