Saturday, April 26, 2008

Depressed and Scared

It's late Saturday - nearly Sunday.

Sweet Pea did very well on Thursday and Friday. We stuck to bland foods for her and she ate more than she had been eating since Monday and regained a bunch of energy. When we took her to see the doctor on Wednesday the doctor said to go very slowly with the bland foods and not to put her back on normal foods until 48 hours after she stopped throwing up. At Wednesday's appointment, Sweet Pea had lost 1 pound.

While Sweet Pea was sickest I had trouble doing anything but taking care of her and The Bug during the day, so Slipshod brought home some dinners some nights. One night he brought home something that Sweet Pea really really wanted but we could not let her have, and we told her that when she was able to eat normally again Slipshod would bring her what she wanted so badly, which was macaroni & cheese from Red Robin, with a side of cantaloupe, and some french fries from either my or Slipshod's order. We gave her those things Friday night, which was more than 48 hours from when she had last thrown up.

And that night, we heard coughing over the monitor, a gurgle, and I ran upstairs to discover Sweet Pea attempting to go back to sleep with her head in a puddle of vomit. I had to bring her downstairs to the kitchen and scrub her wet, chunky hair at 12:30am while Slipshod changed her bedding, and while she cried, "I just want to go back to sleeeeeeeeeep!"

Slipshod was worried and I was fairly horrified to see the vomiting return after two good days, but we felt that we had simply moved too quickly on the food. There had not really been a middle step between clear liquids & simple starches and macaroni & cheese & fries (Sweet Pea didn't eat any of the melon).

All the same, first thing this (Saturday) morning, I called the pediatrician's office and we took Sweet Pea in before we ate breakfast. The doctor said that Sweet Pea looked very good and checked out just fine. She was not dehydrated, did not have any pain complaints, her belly was nice and soft and did not hurt when the doctor poked around in it, etc.

The doctor did not seem concerned that our 40-pound daughter has now lost THREE POUNDS. We can see this in her whole body. Her face is too skinny. She is starting to look unhealthy to me. Slipshod is not as worried about this as I am, since the doctor did not seem worried about it and said that over all Sweet Pea looks really good. But I cannot look at Sweet Pea without nearly breaking into tears of worry. She does not like being on the bland foods diet. She was constantly asking to eat things that she was not ready for. Now she is not asking much anymore, and she often does not want to eat or drink what we offer her.

Today Slipshod's mom and her hubs were planning to come over to visit us anyway, so when they did come over they sent us packing. They watched the girls for most of the day while Slipshod and I went out together. I have been so trapped here for so long with a sick kid and another who has more energy than she knows what to do with - I am going a bit batty.

We went to the mall and had a nice lunch together and then we went to buy me some non-nursing bras, hooray. (I have one from before, but couldn't fine any more; they must be in a box somewhere.) The bras I got are not particularly pretty, but as far as I know there is no such thing as a pretty non-underwire bra in my size, so I just have go to for utility. We looked for jeans for Slipshod but they didn't have the right size. Then we moseyed back toward the car by way of Godiva, hee hee. On our way home we stopped by Costco for a few things as well.

It was SO wonderful to get out of the house together without the girls, and so sanity-saving for me to just get the heck AWAY from the constant feeling of living in survival mode. However, once home, the worry began all over again because Sweet Pea had turned down most of her lunch and had not had much to drink all day (The Bug, of course, had taken up the slack, eating and drinking everything she could get her hands on while we were gone).

Sweet Pea looks so skinny. And as the night wore on I started to dread bedtime, and nighttime. I don't know what is going to happen tonight. What if Sweet Pea throws up again? WHAT is wrong with her? How can we feed her better and get her well and back on her feet? What if something really big and horrible is wrong with her?

The doctor told us that if Sweet Pea continues to throw up, one of the pediatricians will be in the office tomorrow and we should call for advice and take her in to be seen again on Monday. If her vomit turns yellow or green, we are to take her in on Monday. If she does not improve, they will do blood work and we will go from there.

Our neighbor and a co-worker of Slipshod's both related to us stories of their young family members having similar situations to Sweet Pea's and ending up with strep infections (not strep throat). My imagination is taking me to dark and desperate places, scaring the b'jeebus out of me.

I am SO sick of living in this constant state of near panic. Our family has been sick for most of the past FIVE MONTHS. If I remember correctly (and I probably don't), the longest we've gone between illnesses has been three weeks (that did happen more than once). I have no intention of pulling Sweet Pea out of school, especially not this late in the school year, but sending her back seems like sending a one-legged, one-armed soldier back to the front lines on crutches. The days or weeks between illnesses serve only to allow me to recover my partial grasp on laundry and cleaning needs in our house, and to only slightly improve my mood and feeling of having even a tiny bit of control over anything.

Through all of this I have been reminding myself that despite how terrible of a winter it has been for us in terms of illness, we are lucky that our girls are over all very healthy, and not chronically ill. But really what it feels like these days is that Sweet Pea is chronically ill.

I am very scared. I am very depressed. And those feelings are causing me to lose a lot of sleep. Which of course makes everything seem much worse, and doesn't help me one little bit.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Sweet Pea seems to be doing a lot better today. Taking her to the doctor had the same effect as having Slipshod walk into a room where a computer is having a problem, or a mechanic looking at your car to figure out that funny noise: Things just fixed themselves.

Of course, in the case of Sweet Pea and the doctor, I think we just managed to take her there when she had gotten over the hump, and we just didn't realize it yet. She has not yakked since 9:30 yesterday morning, and the more she has eaten since then, the less dizzy she has become. Her tummy still hurts a little bit, but I'm thinking that may be because of how hungry she is. She is drinking very diluted white grape juice and eating soda crackers this morning. We will move on to more exciting foods later: Like Cream of Rice in an hour or so. Woo! ha ha I called and left a message for Sweet Pea's teachers to let them know we're keeping her home for the rest of the week. We'll need to work her up to eating normally again before she goes back, and I want her to be totally over this bug before we once again expose her to her classmates.

So far The Bug, Slipshod and I are doing fine and none of us are showing any signs of getting sick. I forgot to ask the doctor how long the incubation time for this thing is, though. But considering that Sweet Pea has been sick since Monday, I'm thinking we *might* be okay. Seems like 3 days is the usual incubation period. Here's hoping the rest of us skip this one!

Okay, shower time. I'm going to wash both girls. I washed The Bug yesterday too - I figure keeping her as clean as possible all over will help her stay healthy. Sweet Pea obviously needs a big bubbly bath. She did throw up in her hair more than once, poor thing, and she's probably kinda stinky too by now. I think she'll feel a ton better after having a bath. I always do after I've been sick.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday (I think)

Well Sweet Pea held down several soda crackers and a little cup of apple sauce (you know, the pre-packaged cups) yesterday/last night, however she could not sit up. Said she was too dizzy, and nearly constantly felt like she was going to throw up. But was HUNGRY and kept demanding food.

She awoke around 3:30am, just after Slipshod deigned to come to bed, feeling very hungry. He got up and fed her another little cup of applesauce and then she wanted some soda crackers. She took a couple bites of one cracker and then said her tummy was starting to hurt again. She laid down and fell asleep pretty quickly. I got up to use the bathroom before going back to bed while Slipshod settled back into bed. While in the bathroom I heard coughing and when I came out Slipshod was on the floor next to Sweet Pea's bed, helping her get as much vomit as possible into the bowl. It was, of course, the applesauce.

We got her cleaned up and back to bed and she slept for another hour, then scared the shit out of me coming up onto the bed and waking me from a deep sleep to tell me in detail about a really scary dream she had just had. I got her back to bed and back to sleep but by that time the birds were chirping outside and it was getting lighter.

When we begrudgingly got up for the day Sweet Pea couldn't sit up again, and her dizziness seemed much worse. I carried her downstairs and called the doctor but was on hold for so long that when Slipshod came down to sit with Sweet Pea, I handed him the phone and went to take a shower. He talked with a receptionist and she said we've been doing all the right things for Sweet Pea and since they haven't been working we should take her in to see a pediatrician.

So we took her at 11am and the doctor said that this is going around - she saw a whole slew of children yesterday with the same symptoms. Since Sweet Pea had been having so much trouble keeping stuff down the doctor gave us a prescription for some lovely anti-nausea suppositories, but she said we don't have to use them if Sweet Pea starts being able to keep stuff down. She suggested continuing with sips of water, and if that stayed down the moving to diluted white grape juice, and from there to Otter Pops or other clear popsicles. When Slipshod was out at the store getting those things and the prescription he also thought to get some Jell-O.

The weird thing about this illness is that despite the vomiting, Sweet Pea has been all but yelling for food. The whole time. She just wants to EAT. I think it's weird, but I've also realized that in the past when she has wanted nothing to do with food during a puking illness, it could have been the fever that made her not feel like eating. There is no fever with this bug she has now.

The doctor said something we REALLY did not want to hear: "We've been seeing this illness go through families."

My response? "NO."

I've been almost OCD about washing my hands the past few days and have been doing my best to keep the girls' hands well washed too. We'll see how it goes. We're of course desperately hoping that nobody else in our house gets this, but what are the odds of that? You've seen our track record this winter.

Speaking of which - we did ask the doctor this time if we need to be concerned about how very ill Sweet Pea has been this winter (how many times, I mean), because we passed the point of ridiculousness a long time ago. Slipshod told the doctor that we've been blaming it on this being Sweet Pea's first year of preschool and she confirmed that that is an extremely valid theory. She also said that this has been a horrible winter for viruses and the entire population has been sicker than usual. She said that if Sweet Pea were the only kid they kept seeing who was this sick all winter they might be concerned, but since everybody is pretty much dealing with the same situation this year, the frequency and severity of illness in our household is considered normal and not a cause for concern.

That makes me feel better in terms of my worry that Sweet Pea's immune system is compromised, but it makes me feel very scared in terms of how nasty the viruses are this year. I hope that next winter will be easier in terms of illness, because if things get worse it seems like we'd be under biological attack. That may sound dramatic, but if you know how much we've dealt with since November, and that I can't remember going longer than 3 weeks without illness in the family, you might understand my point of view.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rotovirus Playground

This past Saturday I took Sweet Pea to a classmate's birthday party. It was the biggest children's birthday party I had ever seen, with the biggest jumpy house I had ever seen. Inside the jumpy house was separated into thirds. The first part right inside the door was just open jumpy space with a basketball hoop up at the opposite end (from the door). In the middle there was a huge slide, and on the far side there was an inflatable obstacle course that didn't look like it would be much fun unless you enjoyed getting smacked in the face by large pieces of jumpy house (apparently a lot of kids really do enjoy that).

When we got to the party all Sweet Pea could think about was going into the jumpy house, so that was the first place she went. And she stayed inside for at least an hour, no exaggeration. She had a super time in there and I got to stand/sit and chat with the other kids' parents, with whom I usually just exchange passing friendly hellos in the hallway when we take the kids to school and pick them up again. Sweet Pea had SO MUCH FUN in the jumpy house, but she did eventually decide that she would like to go play with other toys (no time for food, too much playing to be done). As soon as she emerged from the jumpy house and put her shoes back on I took her to the bathroom to wash her hands. She asked me why and I told her once again how germs spread and that those jumpy houses go from party to party and there have probably been sick kids in them (which she doesn't understand - she would never be allowed to go to a party sick - but I also explained to her that parents don't always know on the first day when their kid is sick).

Anyway, I had hoped that being up on handwashing on Saturday would keep her from catching anything. But it didn't. Yesterday when I picked her up from school her face was positively green. She said her tummy hurt so I put a plastic bag on her lap for the short drive home. When we got home she was still green but was hungry as well, so I went ahead and fed her, and then she had a bit of dinner later as well. After dinner she turned pink again, but I didn't trust that and we left a big bowl by the side of her bed when we put her to bed.

Sure enough, 5am this morning, she threw up. She is unfortunately getting so experienced with this that she (fortunately) grabbed the bowl and made sure she got everything into it, for which I am very grateful. I was so half asleep that I pushed Slipshod out of bed to take care of Sweet Pea before I realized that The Bug was asleep and I could go. So I got up and went to the bathroom to fetch a wet washcloth to wipe her mouth with afterward and all that lovely stuff. Slipshod did deal with most of the yuckiest bits and then I helped Sweet Pea get her mouth rinsed out, and I got her back into bed. She wanted to snuggle but then of course The Bug woke up and freaked out that I wasn't there, so Slipshod took care of Sweet Pea (he even slept across the bottom of her bed for the rest of the night, which I thought was really really sweet) and I went back to bed with The Bug, though it took her a good hour or more to get back to sleep.

Sweet Pea has not thrown up again, but I think she is going to. She is green again, and her tummy has been hurting all morning. I'm encouraging her to take sips of water and I gave her some soda crackers, though I don't think she has eaten any. She doesn't want to try ginger ale, and she doesn't like the Pedialyte popsicles. I've called her teachers and left a message and we'll be having a day at home, obviously. I put a fitted sheet over the couch and sat her there with her bowl and turned on the TV.

I thought it was very sweet this morning when we got up and Sweet Pea came over to me and said, "I love you, Mommy. Thank you for taking care of me last night." I'll have to make sure she thanks Slipshod too, because I feel like he did more to take care of her than I did.

Oh - I should go take her temperature now. I thought she felt a little warm earlier. I really hope this is just a quick passing illness. And I'm totally blaming this all on the jumpy house.

In good news: Last night I sat down and finished all our Christmas cards! I know, it's April and it sounds insane. But it was something I had to do. So, to those of you who we know personally and whose surnames start with K or later, in a couple days you'll finally have your card. ha ha ha!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Moving On

Things are finally back to normal around here, HOORAY! Everyone is eating and drinking okay, nobody's sick (knock on wood), Sweet Pea's back at school and Slipshod is back at work.

The Bug hasn't asked to nurse for two or three days now. She is sleeping much better (nighttime AND naptime), which means I'm getting more sleep too, YAY! I will be interested to see if weaning also makes her stop having so many ear infections. Of course, we're coming out of cold season now so we might not be able to tell, but I had one friend tell me that her younger child, who liked to night nurse to excess, got a lot of ear infections but as soon as she weaned her, the ear infections stopped. We shall see if that works for The Bug as well.

I've been enjoying cooking more and have plans and ingredients for another soup and some more muffins this week (will have to plan & grocery shop for more, but at least we've got stuff for a meal). My parents are coming on Sunday evening so I'm going to make some more of that faboo granola for the weekend, as well as make some fresh yogurt because my mom loves it and I almost always forget to make it when she comes over. Trying to remember this week!

Yesterday I kicked the laundry's ASS. I've still got a couple loads to do today, but they're just comforters. All the clothes are washed, dried, folded and put away. That is such a good feeling.

I want to take down the crib but don't have anywhere to put it or a box in which to keep it protected. I figure I'll make a box out of multiple boxes, but in the mean time I need a staging area, if you will. I figured I'd use the guest room for that, but with my parents coming on Sunday and spending the night that's not a good idea, so I guess I'll wait until after their visit.

Today during The Bug's nap, while Sweet Pea is at school, I am hoping to go through a bunch of boxes and post a bunch of stuff on Freecycle. There are quite a few boxes sitting around the house just waiting to be donated or freecycled or otherwise given away, but they've been sitting there so long I don't remember what's in them! Hopefully I can get most, if not all, of those cleared out of the house this week.

That's the plan... I guess Spring Fever has taken hold, because I just have so many plans in my head for cleaning and clearing and decluttering. There's so much to do it's hard to know where to start, which usually stops me in my tracks, but I'm trying to take it small chunks at a time this year so I can actually get things accomplished.

As for today, we're off to a good start. The girls were in the shower with me so everyone's all squeaky clean and Sweet Pea even got dressed and I got her hair up before breakfast today, which is quite a feat. Now we're just playing until it's time to go to school.

My parents spoke with my brother and sister-in-law over the weekend and learned that the bank where my sister-in-law works was held up recently. Thankfully nobody was hurt and my sis-in-law was nowhere near the teller window where it happened. Apparently the guy who did the holdup had just gotten out of jail two days before and he did a really stupid, sloppy job of the robbery. He broke the teller window, which alerted everyone in the bank to the fact that something was wrong. Immediately there were bank staff as well as bank customers calling 911, so the guy was caught the second he stepped out of the bank. My sister-in-law and my dad figured maybe he liked it better in jail.

Friday, April 18, 2008


So far, so good. Nobody has thrown up or sneezed or sniffled. Sweet Pea's cough seems to be entirely gone now (YAY!) and her energy is definitely back. Wahoo! The Bug is still pickier than usual about what she wants to eat, but she is eating. Now I just wish I could get her to drink more. But she has already had two wet diapers today, so that's a good sign.

Clark seems to have recovered (at least mostly) overnight. When Slipshod came to bed in the wee hours he said he couldn't find Clark and we went to sleep worried, but this morning I found him in his usual favorite sleeping spot: On the changing table in the girls' room. I then saw him jump down and walk around and while he does seem to be favoring his back end a tiny but, he's almost walking normally again.

The girls and I have been getting really bored with eating the same thing for breakfast every day so Wednesday night I stayed up way too late (our oven isn't as hot as it's supposed to be so baking always takes some guesswork and turning up the temperature and carefully watching the food) making homemade granola, which turned out really yummy. Yesterday and today for breakfast the girls and I have had parfaits: A layer of fresh berries on the bottom, vanilla yogurt in the middle, and homemade granola on top. YUM! Sweet Pea is actually currently eating her third breakfast parfait of the day. Ha ha! She suddenly has a bigger appetite the past couple days. Maybe it's because she's finally completely well, or maybe she's growing again. Either way, I'm happy to see it.

Well, The Bug looks like she might actually take a nap before school today, so I'm going to take her upstairs and see if she'll conk out.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Here it is 15 minutes to Friday and I'm finally able to sit down and write an update about Thursday. Sigh. Though it must be said that since I got sick last week I've spent far less time with my computer and as a result have gotten a LOT more taken care of around here.

So, Thursday morning. Woke up, everyone seemed fine, took a shower with The Bug (she used to be fine playing outside the shower with her sister but more often lately wants to be sitting in the bathtub in some water playing with tub toys while I stand up and shower). Got both of us dressed. Sent her out to wake up Slipshod, and on her way up onto the bed, she threw up. Just once and it was so sudden that it seemed like she spit up more than actually vomited, but after what we've been through lately I wigged a tiny bit. However, once I got her cleaned up I took both the girls downstairs and she was just as energetic as ever, running around and yelling and wanting to play and eat. Since Monday's vomiting she has become more selective about what she wants to eat, and she was very particular all day today, but she did eat. And she did not vomit again.

However - first thing I did before making breakfast was call the pediatrician's office and get her an 11am appointment. So after we had our breakfast and got Sweet Pea dressed and ready to go, the three of us went over there and had The Bug checked out. She checked out completely healthy. The doctor suggested that I should pay attention to whether this happens more often after she drinks milk and if so, hold off on that and offer her soy or rice milk, but soy milk is what we drink here anyway, not cow's milk. We do eat dairy yogurt though, so I will keep an eye out for that but I am fairly certain this is not a dairy issue. Or soy either. The Bug drinks far less soy milk than her sister does; she prefers juice. The doctor said to give her less juice and substitute Pedialyte, which she really doesn't like. I got some of the apple flavored Pedialyte anyway, though, and the pops that you freeze. My neighbor told me that the frozen pops taste better than the juice. The doctor weighed The Bug so that if we have to go back for this we can have a baseline weight for comparison.

One of the things I told him was that she has had far fewer wet and poopy diapers lately. FAR fewer. I'm not entirely surprised since after Sunday's orange juice fest, she has not had what I consider enough to drink each day. I've been shoving drinks in her face all day every day trying to get her to at least sip here and there. Which apparently is a good thing; the doctor said that we're not going for volume drinkage, just sips here and there to keep her hydrated. I don't see how she could be hydrated enough with as little as she's drinking and the dry diapers for much longer stretches, but he said that since she's been playing and acting largely like herself recently she's probably okay. He said, "you can't fake that." I had never thought of it quite that way - ha ha! But I know what he means. Our old doctor always asked how Sweet Pea was acting because that is the best determination of how a kid feels and is doing.

The girls got candy and cookies as party favors from a birthday last weekend and I told Slipshod tonight that I was ready to throw the leftovers out. The girls had not eaten much and Sweet Pea had even stopped asking about them. Wasteful as it is to throw out food, I have no qualms about doing so when the food in question is candy. Since I was washing dishes when Slipshod and I talked about throwing out the candy and cookies, he picked up the boxes and took them to the trash. I told him that I found it interesting that the nights before both of The Bug's morning vomiting episodes she had eaten M&Ms from her box of goodies. He found that to be all the more reason to throw the leftovers away. I honestly don't know what to think of that. Sweet Pea ate more M&Ms than The Bug two nights in a row and never had a problem. So could The Bug's have been contaminated (they were not in their original packaging so potentially could have come into contact with something), or was it a coincidence? We will never know, but they're in the garbage now.

That's the latest. I am frustrated and want to know that The Bug is healthy and well, but we're just waiting and watching and hoping for the best.

Sweet Pea is totally fine and was thrilled to go to school today.

Clark (one of the cats) got into a fight today and is not comfortable. When I discovered him not acting right I was about to change The Bug's diaper so I had Slipshod come look at him, and he pulled another cat's claw out of Clark's back. Yeesh. If he's still feeling crappy tomorrow we'll have to take him to the vet in the morning.

I think The Bug is waking up so I guess it's time for me to go to bed. I'm just so DONE with all of the crap that has been visited on the members of our household since freaking NOVEMBER that I don't want to go to bed. I don't want to deal with The Bug tonight, and wake up and deal with more of it tomorrow. I'm just DONE.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tune in Next Week for Scenes from the Bubonic Plague!

First I thought God hated us. Then I decided someone must have cursed us. Since my sister is also currently suffering from a mystery ailment (complications after the flu) I thought that perhaps we're all Cylons and someone released a virus that targets us (in which case Slipshod figures we're screwed because he's agnostic and we'll probably just keep getting sick unless we can convert him to be a believer in the One True God).

But now I've got it figured out: We're on a really really twisted reality show. There are cameras hidden around our house and every week or two someone comes in during the night and swabs bacteria and/or viruses up our noses or onto our food and then they sit back and watch the hilarity unfold.

If you haven't already read about last Friday's unfortunate events, check the previous post and then come back and read the next bit of the saga.

Here's how it went down: Sunday night I could not sleep a wink. I laid awake listening to Slipshod snore and noticed that The Bug was really really restless, but she seemed to be pretty much asleep through it. My body was trying really hard to figure out what to do with the food I had given it that day; it seemed to be unsure what to do after digestion. So I was pretty uncomfortable.

Around 4:30am The Bug rolled over and hugged my head with her face (meaning her head was on top of my head). Then she suddenly rolled off onto her tummy, put her head up and looked at me like she was confused, and promptly threw up down the side of my pillow. I woke Slipshod and ordered him to get me a towel, but she had sat up and thrown up again before he was awake enough to get up, get the towel, and return.

Stuff like that is really scary at 4:30am, especially after what I had just been through. I wondered if she had food poisoning too, if she had somehow managed to pick up the bacteria from me, a thought which FREAKED me out because if that was the deal I couldn't imagine how we would get the house clean enough to make sure everyone else didn't get it... I worried about someone so little throwing up, etc.

But then she seemed okay and I said to Slipshod, who was too tired to think, "just get some towels and we'll put them on the bed and lie down again and hope that was it." That's what we did, but then 15 minutes later she threw up again. At that point I took The Bug and the towels downstairs and Slipshod helped me get settled with her on my lap on the couch, her trying to sleep and me holding a big bowl in front of her face. The poor thing proceeded to throw up EIGHT times in just over two hours. This was complicated by the fact that since I had gotten up and walked a little bit, and was now sitting up, my body was like, "oh yeah, I remember what comes next, but I'm just going to do a little at a time," so I had to keep waking up the poor sleeping Bug so I could go to the bathroom, and I think jostling her to get up and into the bathroom may have aggravated her condition and made her throw up a couple extra times.

At any rate, she stopped throwing up around 7:30am and that was it. As the day progressed she became more and more interested in food and drink and seemed totally fine.

When the vomiting began and seemed incessant my first thought was that I would have to stop the weaning and nurse her so she could stay hydrated, but she never asked for "boppy" through the throwing up, and since it stopped after a couple hours I didn't offer.

Yesterday The Bug had a big blister across her upper lip. She has had many of them before, but I have always thought they were nursing blisters, and when she got this one it had been four days since she had nursed! Also, those blisters never bothered her until yesterday - she kept asking me what was on her lip, and kept trying to brush it off. I thought about calling the doctor but didn't know what I would say, so I didn't.

Today The Bug was extremely clingy and seemed sad and tired in the morning. She insisted on coming into the shower with me but wanted me to hold her. I did get her to just sit in the water like she usually does, but she sat there staring into space and not playing with her toys for at least half the shower. She started asking for "boppy" before we took Sweet Pea to school, but she was really tired. I offered her soy milk and she gladly drank a little cup of that.

She does not have a fever but I'm watching her. I don't know what's going on with her and I'm a bit worried. I'm hoping that she's just tired and we can make up the sleep over the next few days.

As for her vomiting, the day before that happened she had decided that her favorite new drink was orange juice and Slipshod gave her a cup of it undiluted. After she drank all of that I gave her another undiluted cup because I figured she wouldn't drink it any other way since it wouldn't taste the same. I think we just over-acidified her stomach. That's my theory, anyway. The Bug has had issues with acidity of citrus since the beginning and has had many a diaper rash from eating too many pieces of fresh orange, or even, when she was only nursing in infancy, a *horrible* rash after I had been taking unbuffered vitamin C for a few days. So I think she may just be more sensitive to citrus than the rest of us.

I am STILL regaining my energy after Friday's bout of food poisoning (we'll never really know what caused the violent purging of my body, but that's what we're calling it). Today is the first day I'm not napping with The Bug (so I hope she keeps sleeping 'cause she really needs it). Our house is nearly empty of food - fresh food, anyway - so I absolutely must come up with a shopping list while Sweet Pea is at school and then take the girls grocery shopping after school. I can't wait.

Sweet Pea has finished her course of antibiotics for walking pneumonia. She is still coughing but I think it is getting better. She seems to have more energy and dropping her off at school yesterday was totally normal - no problems at all - but today it seemed to be going just fine and then she got all clingy and started crying that she wanted to stay with me. One of her teachers took her hand and took her into the classroom, crying. It was hard for me again to leave her that way, and I am just wondering WHAT the heck is going on with my kids! I hope she cheered up quickly and is having fun at school today.

In happy news: Today I am wearing jeans that fit better because they're smaller (and it's also a bonus that they don't have holes in the knees) AND a real bra that lifts and separates! VERY excited on both counts. Weaning still going well. Body still adjusting. Not to mention the todller.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm Back (Not That You Noticed I Was Gone...)

Okay, so I don't update as often as I used to, so you probably didn't really notice that anything was wrong when I didn't post anything for a few days... but I've got an update for you. In an attempt to spare you the nasty details I will attempt to keep it brief, but you KNOW why I named myself Violet the Verbose so hang tough.

Thursday things went quite well. The girls and I got all our errands done for the week. I was feeling pretty good. We had one more day of school for Sweet Pea, a doctor's appointment for both of them afterward, and then a birthday brunch Saturday morning all the way across the street. I had once again sworn that THIS would be the weekend we would go buy a larger mattress for the girls to share.

** Side note about the mattress - we did look at Costco but they only sell one kind of mattress and you can't lie down on anything there, so we're going to go to a showroom where we can try things out before deciding what to buy.

Well, once again, that dream was not to be realized. Because at 5am Friday morning I awoke feeling kinda gross, and then all hell broke loose from there. By 6am I felt like a wet washrag being mercilessly wrung out. I could not hold ANYTHING down until 7:30pm (that's PM). Needless to say Slipshod stayed home. He took care of the girls, got Sweet Pea showered and to school, kept everyone fed (except me, but he brought me drinks and ice chips), picked Sweet Pea up, and took the girls to their doctor appointment.

** Side note about the doctor's appointment - The Bug's ears got the "all clear" after that last infection. However - the doctor did not like the sound of Sweet Pea's cough, the fact that it wasn't going away, or the fact that she has been very tired for the past week. Her lungs sounded clear but he feared Walking Pneumonia, for which we are now treating her. She has 3 more days of antibiotics and then if the cough is not gone or markedly better and continuing to improve by Friday or the middle of the following week, we are to take her back to the doctor.

(Now back to our story)

I spent Friday on the couch in the living room, except of course when I made my many pilgrimages to the bathroom to be violently mistreated by some errant bacteria or something. We don't know what happened to me, but since everyone else was THANKFULLY spared this particular violent illness, we suspect food poisoning. Friday night Slipshod took both girls upstairs and put them to bed. Sweet Pea did fine - she's become very relaxed in her old age and knows (since little sis came along) that Mommy can't do everything with/for her and she understands when Daddy will be taking care of her and Mommy needs to be left on the couch. That said, it hasn't happened very often so The Bug was rather distraught and there was much screaming on her part, even though she did seem to understand about halfway what was going on. Bedtime was rough on her and Slipshod, but she did eventually settle down and go to sleep without me. I'm pretty sure that Sweet Pea slept through most of the turmoil and screaming. Do you remember when I used to gripe endlessly about how poor of a sleeper Sweet Pea was? She's come SUCH a long way.

Here's the bit of news that goes along with this story. This illness of mine has brought about an interesting side effect: The Weaning of the Bug. Yep.

The first day I was sick and couldn't hold anything at all down, there was absolutely NO WAY that I could nurse The Bug. I knew that but thought, "well, if we can get her through today, maybe I'll be able to hold down drinks tomorrow and start nursing her again." Well, Saturday came and while I could hold drinks, and even very basic food down, I felt incredibly weak and didn't want to risk it. At this point I started thinking, "hm, you know, maybe I should just run with this. Because she's actually doing okay." I sort of, kind of made my decision Saturday afternoon to go ahead and wean her and started having happy thoughts like, "omigosh, if she weans I can actually start wearing REAL bras again that actually SUPPORT my breasts," ha ha.

At first I had been saying to The Bug when she asked for "boppy," as she calls it, that I was very sick and not ready yet. Once I decided to go ahead and continue NOT giving her "boppy" I hoped that she is too young to understand insinuation, because at first I was totally going to start nursing her again as soon as I could, but never really said, "nope, we're done." I guess that's the wimpy way out, but as it turns out I'm not really having to say that to her.

Friday night she woke up a few times and did ask for boppy, and she protested a bit when I said "no" and tried to get her to just lie down and snuggle again. She didn't want me to touch her (unless I'd be giving up the boppy, of course) but when she complained too much and Slipshod reached over to calm her down she said, "NO!" and then she quieted down and snuggled up to me and went back to sleep. She played with my hair for a long time each time, but she did quiet down and go back to sleep without further request or complaint. Last night and tonight she did not even ask to nurse. She has asked during the day several times, but I noticed (and I knew this was happening before the weaning or illness) that each time she asked, she was either thirsty, or had just pooped and therefore felt hungry again. We're trying to keep on top of the drinks and food for her to keep her moving forward with this. It really seems that she will be fine with that and may even stop asking for boppy soon if we are sure to have enough stuff on hand when she needs it.

Of course, The Bug has always had a rather large appetite - she is not afraid of food, as I'm fond of saying - so since her last breastfeeding session around 5:15am on Friday, she has eaten nearly nonstop during her every waking moment. Today she also decided that orange juice (actually the kind we get is pineapple-orange-banana) is her new favorite drink, and had a bunch of that as well as other drinks throughout the day. It was fabulous to see her drinking so much from a cup!

As for me... well, the weaning became a little difficult last (Saturday) night because since I have been able to keep all my food and drinks down since Friday night. My body started ramping up milk production again and last night as I laid in bed with the girls I could feel my breasts filling up again. Today has been more painful in that department, and every time I've looked at either of the girls and had particularly maternal feelings toward them the milk has let down. OW. Then there is of course the matter of little elbows and knees and heads and books and toys and kitty feet and all manner of other things that tend to come into contact with a mama's boobs on a daily basis. So ow, I'm in the hurty phase of this right now. I didn't have to go through this part with Sweet Pea, since my body stopped milk production when I became pregnant with The Bug. Now I'm finding out what weaning is really like.

As for my feelings on the matter: Honestly I've been ready to quit breastfeeding for a while. It wouldn't have been so bad if The Bug had only been waking once per night to nurse for 10 minutes, but it has been FAR more often per night and for FAR longer chunks of time than that, and I have lost possibly years of sleep. Since she was a fantastic sleeper before she started teething, and because I know what I know from the experience of nursing Sweet Pea through her teething and how well she settled into good sleep after teething & weaning, I have been feeling like if I could just keep nursing The Bug through the cutting of her two year molars, we'd visit the idea of weaning thereafter. She has not cut any of her two year molars yet, but this opportunity is just too good to pass up. I've been sort of resenting her for the night nursing for a good long while now and she is doing so well with the weaning, I'm going for it. I thought yesterday that I might feel sad once I'm recovered from this whatever it was and can think more clearly, but you know, with each passing day I'm thinking more clearly and it feels like weaning The Bug now is the silver lining here.

Physically I am still remarkably weak. I am not looking forward to Slipshod going to work tomorrow but that's the plan. I'm going to eat again tonight before going to bed and hope that I've eaten enough today to build up some more energy for tomorrow. I keep thinking that NOT nursing should be helping me keep more energy, but man oh man did this whatever it was knock me on my ass. Slipshod has been really really great taking care of all of us. I am hoping that tomorrow I will be able to do more for and by myself, and that I can get Sweet Pea to school and back by myself, though I suppose I'll have time to figure that out and call Slipshod before school if I need him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I've been wanting to post here quite often lately, but there are just SO many other things going on. Someday I will post a coherent thought again but for now, here's the latest:

Slipshod has gone to work every day (meaning he is better after that second round of the killer flu) and Sweet Pea has been at school every afternoon this week. I'm not so sure about Sweet Pea being better, though. Her nose is still running - green and often copiously - and her cough; oh man. Her cough is less frequent but still very "wet" sounding. It worries me. She has also been very tired, no matter how much sleep she gets at night. Yesterday when I picked her up from school one of her teachers said, "Sweet Pea was very tired today... she was laying down part of the time." After school every day she has laid down on the floor or couch and nearly fallen asleep. Did I mention that she's been sleeping pretty normally - which means 10-12 hours per night, usually uninterrupted? Yeah, so I'm still a bit worried.

We'll get her checked out tomorrow, though. We've had an appointment for The Bug tomorrow after school to make sure her ears are clear after that last infection. I called the dr's office yesterday to see if the doctor can also listen to Sweet Pea's lungs & otherwise check her out at the same appointment, just to see if she is still sick or has a complication that we need to address.

However, yesterday I did realize something that hadn't occurred to me before. The first time we had the flu Sweet Pea was home for two weeks, partly because she was sick for a while, and partly because toward the end of the second week, although I felt like she could have returned to school, *I* was too darn sick to take her. I wonder if she did actually need a full two weeks before she was totally recovered. Because this time she was only out one week, and she had a fever for 7 days in a row. She only had one fever-free day before going back to school.

Anyway... like I said, we'll find out how she's doing tomorrow when the doctor checks her out. While we're at the doctor's office I also need to make an appointment for Sweet Pea to get her lovely big huge panel of 5-year-old shots and The Bug to have her 2-year checkup (also with shots). I think we'll try to roll 'em into one appointment on a Friday so they can have the weekend to recover in case any of the shots cause pain or grumpiness. Whee... Sweet Pea has not had any shots since she turned 2 so she's not looking forward to getting the Kindergarten package. She said to me a couple weeks ago when I told her about it, "but Mom, you said I didn't have to get anymore shots!" I said, "no, I said you didn't have to get any more shots until you were FIVE. How old are you going to be this summer?" She said, "Five. Oh." and then grumbled for a while.

As for me - well, I am still very tired but I think I'm all better from the flu. I just can't seem to get anybody to leave me alone at night, so my sleep is really suffering. Like it has been for *ages.* I'm really really done with sleeping in a tiny portion of the bed, Slipshod hogging half or more by himself, with two little girls sprawled over me, their heads on my pillow. It's sweet and yet EVERY NIGHT? Not so much. Sweet Pea has been getting better about sleeping in her bed again, but she still comes up in the wee hours of the morning if she gets cold. This weekend we WILL go out and lay on some mattresses and choose one to buy for them to share. I can't freakin' wait to get them out of our bed. They will still be in our room, but I'm hatching a plan to paint their room this summer and make it all exactly the way they want it, and see if we can get them to move in there together. We'll see how it goes. That may be too much to fast, but right now, I've just been sucked dry by my family with all their illnesses and other CONSTANT needs, and I want some space. I was ready to go sleep in the guest room by myself a couple nights ago. Thankfully Slipshod has found a good product to help him with his snoring problem, and he actually used it last night so that was one less thing to keep me awake. Thank goodness!

BTW, unrelated but something I've been thinking - I'm a little bummed that nobody I actually KNOW (save the Queen of freaking Spain, bless her) is interested in Twitter (well okay I am following four or five people I know in real life, but they almost never update). It's a time-waster for sure, but it's fun too. And I'm the kind of person that loves to have a "fly on the wall" view into other people's lives, which is probably why I enjoy reading people's updates on Twitter.

Okay, The Bug just coughed but doesn't seem to be waking up from her nap yet, thank goodness... I need to get drinks & snacks ready for after school & then sort some papers, time allowing. Then we'll pick up Sweet Pea & whisk ourselves away to the Circle Dot Boutique to pick up birthday presents for the 1yr-old's party we're attending this Saturday and the 4yr-old's party we'll be attending the following Saturday. Hm. Y'know, I was only going to go to Target because I also needed diapers (yes, I have fallen prey to the ease of those evil disposable diapers most of the time); we could actually go to the really cute and fun TOY store downtown 'cause I actually already got diapers at the grocery store. This is sounding like more fun now! Though dangerous, taking both girls to a real live toy store... heh...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday Night

Well, Sweet Pea survived school today and by the time The Bug and I went and picked her up, she seemed to have no memory of her trepidation about going into the classroom. She told me all about how she played "kitty cat" on the playground with two of her friends, noted that for some reason she is always chosen to play the baby kitten, and then related some very complicated details about the game involving wood chips being used as movie tickets and other things.

When we came home after school I tried so very hard to get something, anything, cleaned up around the house, but the girls were in the back yard and Sweet Pea wanted me to help her plant, one by one, a handful of sunflower seeds she had picked up from under the bird feeder (where the messy birds drop the seeds they don't want), and The Bug needed supervision with her little shovel and the potting soil... and then they heard their little friend Speed Racer outside so we had to go over there and say "hi" and ended up going into the neighbors' house while they were preparing dinner and then I finally got the girls back home and hands washed and fed them some reheated Zachary's Pizza for dinner.

I am exhausted.

As you might imagine, Sweet Pea is also exhausted, because we're all still a bit down on our energy and after having gone back to school today, she got more exercise than she's had for the past week. So when we got them to bed, Sweet Pea fell asleep in about a minute and a half. Literally. If only The Bug had gone to sleep that quickly - but she didn't take too-too much longer.

After dinner I had The Bug on my lap in front of the computer so I figured I'd run some birthday party themes past her for kicks, and she actually chose one relatively easily and quickly. She wants to have a Sea Life themed party this year. I think that's kinda funny since Sweet Pea had a Nemo party for her second birthday. I think that The Bug may have chosen the Sea Life theme for its many bright colors but I can't be sure. She really does like it, though, and chose it over the kitty cat themes I showed her. There was a new kitty cat theme that Sweet Pea chose for her party this year. Now I just need to figure out the invitation lists for the parties so I know how many party supplies to order for each party. Might as well get it all ordered at once, right?

Oh geez, there goes Sweet Pea coughing up a lung again. I thought she was past that tonight and once again did not give her cough medicine. Geez, that sounds painful. :o(


Well, Sweet Pea has not had a fever since Saturday afternoon, so we have not taken her to the doctor and she is at school today. I am kinda sad about school, though. She told me first thing this morning when I was talking about school that she didn't want to go today, but I insisted. After all, I think she's missed at least a month and a half all told this school year due to her many colds/bugs/flus, and her school is freakin' expensive! But when we got there she clung to me and asked to go home. Not normal behavior for her.

Granted, she's been away from school for two weeks and since we were sick all last week we haven't so much as played with the neighbor kids, so it probably feels very strange to her to suddenly be back in such a busy, kid-filled place as school.

When The Bug and I left school today I had transferred a nearly-sobbing Sweet Pea from clinging to me to clinging to her favorite teacher, with her extremely sweet and empathetic 6-year-old friend patting her back and saying, "I've had cries like this too." So I know she's in great hands, but it was sad to have to leave her there crying. Sigh.

The Bug is doing great and slept decently well last night so I feel a bit more human today. She is napping now so I should be cleaning the kitchen but I think I'm going to eat lunch first. Priorities, you know. If she wakes up early from her nap or I don't get everything done before it's time to pick up Sweet Pea from school, she or both the girls can help me clean up. They love to play in the sink while I wash the dishes.

Slipshod is back at work today. Our house is a total wreck. Going to school felt really bizarre. It's been just us here in our little sick bubble for a long time, so suddenly being out there with all those people was just weird. I can totally understand why Sweet Pea is a bit thrown. I hope she got through it quickly after I left and is back in her classroom having a good first day back at school.

And also: The Bug is 22 months old today! I've already been thinking about birthday party planning for both girls' parties for a month. I guess it's time to sit down and figure out what kind of party we're going to do and order the plates and all that fun stuff. I was just going to do a cat birthday like Sweet Pea always has, because then we could use the same plates, etc. for both birthdays - but I think I'll show The Bug some other birthday themes and see if she wants to choose something different. She does adore kitties, but I want her to be able to express her own interests rather than just follow her sister's if she feels stronger about something non-kitty. We'll see how it goes. It'll be fun looking at the themes with her.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

You Won't Believe This

But since it's all I have to report, I'll tell you anyway.

We got the killer flu AGAIN. For the SECOND TIME this winter.

Slipshod came home from work with a fever the Thursday before last. He suffered the symptoms alone on Friday and Saturday and then Sunday, while the girls and I were out at my sister's celebrating her husband's birthday, after we'd been there for an hour and a half or so Sweet Pea suddenly had a runny nose, and her eyes went half-mast, and she had zero energy, and she was shivering cold despite the fact that she was wearing her fleece jacket and snuggling under a thick blanket with my sister. And her forehead was boiling hot. By the time I got her home her temperature was 103. An hour or two later she vomited rather violently. She vomited once more at bedtime and that was thankfully the end of that particular symptom, and none of the rest of us threw up.

The next day The Bug and I had fevers as well. Slipshod's fever continued to recede and return, recede and return.

Thursday night Slipshod said his chest felt worse and he might call the doctor on Friday, but when Friday rolled around he said he felt almost all better. He appears to continue to improve.

I can't remember now when my worst day was, but Thursday and Friday of this week I felt almost all better except for the lingering cough. Today, though, there were a couple hours in the afternoon during which I could not stand up without feeling very weak and dizzy. Dinner helped tremendously with that, though, so I'm wondering if I just haven't been eating and drinking enough to deal with The Bug's dramatically increased nursing demand.

The Bug had two horrible nights of sleep - I can't remember which nights now - so we took her to the doctor and she has an ear infection in her left ear, which we are currently treating with antibiotics. Yesterday she spent the entire day (even during my shower) in my arms with her head laid against my chest, feeling completely miserable. Last night, thankfully, she SLEPT, and today she was so much happier and much more independent.

But I am worried about the fevers. I think that mine and Slipshod's are gone, though we haven't really checked for a few days. But as recently as yesterday I was giving both girls Ibuprofen to lower their fevers. Then today at lunchtime Sweet Pea's temperature was yet again close to 100. She has had fevers off and on for SEVEN DAYS, and her cough is painful to listen to - I can only imagine how bad it feels - and last night the cough medicine which usually does a really good job of silencing the cough, at least during the night, seemed not to help at all. Tonight I forgot to give her the medicine and have not been able to wake her up to give it to her, even though several times after coughing jags in her sleep I have heard her cry a little bit and call out for me. Oh - and did I mention, Sweet Pea's appetite has been almost zero - for the entire week.

Tonight I have been reading online and in our child care books about flus and fevers, and what I'm reading says that Sweet Pea having a fever for this many days is not a good thing and that I could have taken her to the doctor three days ago to ask about that. Until yesterday I felt certain that Sweet Pea would be all better before the weekend or at least by Monday in time to go back to school (she missed all of last week, dammit). Now I am wondering if she will still have a fever on Monday. If so, I will obviously be taking her to the doctor as early as they can see her. I'm starting to worry that she may have pneumonia at this point.

Once again our house is a shambles inside and we are not eating particularly fresh food. Slipshod did a grocery run a few days ago which helped tremendously but I sent him with a list of things we desperately needed, not a thought-out list of things that would allow us to make yummy meals and would last us for a while. Wish us luck this coming week. I never expected to have to deal with this flu again this winter but since we did I am a bit scared about the possibility of more horrible illness before it really gets warm enough outside for people to be less cooped up with each other and quit spreading quite so many super-nasty viruses.