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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Getting Our Flu Shots

Being the adventurous, fun-loving person that I am, I took all four of the kids to get flu shots today.  I even set a good example by signing up to get the shot for myself too.

What did you say we're doing today?
I didn't tell the kids where we were going because I knew mass panic and hysteria would set in.  The kids were generally happy and talkative when we got there, introducing themselves as Elsa, Olaf, Anna, and Sven which the nurses thought was funny.

Then we went back to the room for the shots.  By this time, they knew what was coming and were getting apprehensive, but no screaming or fighting had commenced so I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.  Little Man was first up.  He got the flu mist and sat perfectly still with a smile on his face while getting it.  Star was going to be next, but they checked her vaccination records right before giving her the shot and saw that she'd received the flu shot at her two year checkup a few weeks ago.  I counted that one as a Mommy Fail, but I was happy that she didn't have to get a shot.  Next was Princess.  Unfortunately, due to her asthma, she couldn't get the flu mist.  She was fine until she heard her name and then she. flipped. out.  She screamed, cried, refused to take her sweatshirt off (I practically had to break her arm to get it out of the sleeve), and fought me like a cat getting a bath.  I held her on my lap and gave her a "bear hug" and one nurse held her legs still while another gave the shot.  I have a tendency to laugh in tense situations so the nurses probably thought I was the meanest mom ever, but oh well.  Thanks to her super tense muscles, Princess bled all over herself and me.  After it was over, she was perfectly fine and even admitted that it barely hurt and wasn't nearly as bad as she thought it was going to be.  Oh look, Mommy was right again... 

I got the shot next.  The kids watched me closely and were very proud of me for not crying, haha.

Last was Little Dude.  He shocked us all by not crying at all when he got the shot.  He was just so thrilled to finally be the center of attention again that he kept smiling at me and the nurses.   

During this whole thing, Star entertained herself by stealing stickers off the desk, sticking them on the linoleum floor, and then stomping on them.  I scraped until my fingernails were toast, but couldn't get them all up.  I apologized several times, but short of sticking around for an hour with a bucket of water, I wasn't going to get them cleaned up off the floor.  I think they were just happy to see us leave at that point so the stickers were small potatoes.  

When we got home, Hubby was there.  The kids were very eager to tell him about our afternoon, and Little Man couldn't stop bragging about how brave he was for not crying when he got his shot (reminder: he got the flu mist).  Princess wanted to know if he could hear her screaming all the way from the doctor's office.

So, really it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I've had worse trips to the store.  All done until next year!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Random Monday - Oct 20, 2014

I just love watching toddlers learn new things everyday.  It's seriously the cutest thing ever.  Well, most of the time anyway.  In the past week, Star has learned several new things...
  • She learned how to climb out of her bed at night.  She comes out in the living room with a big grin on her face and announces, "No, nigh-nigh!"
  • She learned how to open the storm door.  When the weather's nice, I leave the front door open and pull the storm door shut to let some fresh air in.  The storm door is incredibly hard to open, even for an adult.  But my 2 year old figured it out!
  • She learned how to buckle the chest clip on her carseat and Little Dude's carseat.  So annoying when we're in a hurry to go somewhere, and I have to take a child back out of their carseat to unbuckle the chest clip before I can buckle them in properly. 
This morning I told Star that she's cute.  She looked at me with a frown on her face and said, "No no no no.  (Insert Little Dude's name here) doot."  So I guess he's cute and she's not.  Which, by the way, makes her even cuter.

Little Man told me this morning that he's never going to throw a fit or tantrum again.  He lied.

By some miracle, my two sisters and I were able to visit a coffee shop on Saturday sans kids.  That's right...NO KIDS.  My younger sister isn't married yet, but between the two of us older ones, we have eight kids, ages six and younger.  It was a heavenly few hours.  And then we had to go home.  But at least we got a little break! 

My younger sister is a bit of a coffeeholic. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Day in My Life

I've had several requests for a "day in the life" post.  Never one to disappoint my many fans (you know, all two of them), I finally buckled down to doing one.  I decided to do it this past Monday which meant writing down what I was doing so I could then type it up in blog form.  Monday started off as a good day and then by mid-morning, it went haywire.  I thought about scratching it and trying again on a more "typical" day, but realized that Monday was a typical day for me.  At least several times a week, my day is thrown out of whack because of doctors' appointments, last minute or scheduled, or other medically related issues.

6:45 am - My alarm goes off.  I think about throwing my phone out of the window, but decide against it.  I hit the dismiss button and drag myself out of bed to wake the two oldest kiddos up for school.  As usual, neither is happy with this.  Princess refuses to pick out her own clothes, but complains about what I pick out for her, Little Man throws several tantrums in the first 10 minutes of waking up because he wants to go back to bed.  He asks if he can pretty please take a nap when he gets home from school because he is sooooooo tired.  I oblige, but know that he'll have changed his mind by then.  Neither one want to eat anything we have in the house for breakfast.  Star wakes up and can't seem to understand why everyone in the house isn't catering to her every whim.  Little Dude also wakes up and is ready for his first feeding.  Hubby and I tag team this whole production.

7:30 am - I prep Little Dude's feeding and meds and make myself a chai latte.

7:40 am - Princess gets on the bus.  I am working with Little Dude to drink his bottle.

8:00 am - Hubby takes Little Man to preschool and then leaves for the farm.

8:30 am - Little Dude is finally done with his feeding.  He ate 4 ounces so I tube fed him the remaining 1.5 ounces along with his meds.  I get some warm soapy water ready for his tube care.  He got another infection around his G Tube on Friday so it's a little more time consuming than usual.  I also change his diaper, do his skin care routine for his eczema, and get him dressed for the day.  Star gets into about a million things while I do all this.

9:00 am - Little Dude eats 2 tablespoons of rice cereal.

9:30 am - I have just laid Little Dude down for a nap when the doorbell rings.  I forgot about the public health nurse coming for his weekly weight check.  Naturally, the house is a disaster, but she is pretty used to the craziness at my house by now and understands.  :)  Little Dude is up to 15 pounds, 13 ounces which is a weight gain we're both happy with.  I discuss his current feeding regimen with her and we agree to continue with it.  Just for fun, Star climbs on the scale too.  She weighs 21 pounds, 10 ounces, less than 6 pounds more than her baby brother.

9:45 am - After the public health nurse leaves, I lay Little Dude back down for a nap.  I have to go in and give him his pacifier several times and he refluxed and choked once, but he eventually falls asleep with a minimum of crying.  I check Facebook and happen to see that the wipes we bought from Sam's Club in July have been recalled for a bacterial contamination.  Immediately, my mind goes to the recurring G Tube infections Little Dude has had since we started using the wipes.  I make a phone call to the doctor to see if they think there might be a connection.  She says she will call back after doing some research.

10:00 am - I change Star's diaper and go in her room to pick out her outfit for the day, but lo and behold, all of her clothes are in the dirty laundry.  I pull out the box of 2T clothes and pick something out for her to wear.  It's way too big.  Oh well.

10:20 am - I log onto Little Dude's online medical portal and check dates on his G Tube infections and then call Sam's Club to determine when exactly I bought the box of wipes.  The dates line up.  Then the doctor calls back and informs me that Little Dude has Strep.  On his G Tube.  Great.  We talk about how I need to disinfect ALL THE THINGS and keep the kids from sharing germs.  I have a mild panic attack just thinking about it.  I call Star's doctor to make an appointment for her because I suspect she has Strep too.  While I am on the phone, Star has dumped out and eaten half a bag of chocolate chips.   

11:00 am - Time to pick Little Man up from preschool so I wake Little Dude up and am putting him in his carseat when I realize that he has soaked through his diaper and all over his outfit.  I change his whole outfit quickly and rush the kids up to the school so we're not late for pickup.  Little Dude is already 30 minutes late for his feeding.

11:20 am - Home with a very talkative Little Man.  I try bottle feeding Little Dude, but he will have nothing to do with it so after working with him for a while, I tube feed him while he cries nonstop.  Little Man and Star are making up for lost time by getting into EVERYTHING together.  I set the alarms on my phone for the rest of the day's feedings so I don't run late on another feeding.  Little Dude is getting very worked up and I'm feeling just slightly extremely overwhelmed.  I vent him through the G Tube mid way through the feeding because his stomach is hard and distended.  I get a lot of air out, but his mood does not improve.  Mine doesn't either.

12:30 pm - Finally done feeding Little Dude so I throw a frozen pizza in the oven for the kids and Hubby.  I call my sister-in-law (kinda handy to have a doctor in the family) to talk about the Strep and wipes fiasco.  I end up venting my frustrations over Little Dude's health to her.  I give her extra points for not hanging up on me.  After I hang up, Hubby comes home for lunch.  I dish food out for everyone (except me) and sit down to feed Little Dude some pureed pears.  I finish my now-cold chai latte.

1:00 pm - Little Dude is in his crib napping and the big kids are eating goofing off at the table.  I clean the kitchen which hasn't been touched since yesterday afternoon.  So. Many. Dirty. Dishes.  I also wash Little Dude's bottles, med syringes, and tube feeding supplies.   When the kitchen is cleaned up, I lay Star down for a nap and do some laundry.  I call the school to arrange for Princess to go home on her cousin's bus today since we probably won't be home when school gets out.  Then I call my sister to let her know that there will be an extra kid at her house today.  Hubby leaves to go back to the farm and I feel a sense of despair as I watch him leave.

1:45 pm - Little Dude is still sleeping so I tube feed him his entire bottle.

2:30 pm - I get Little Dude and Star up from their naps so Star can go to the doctor.  Neither is happy with me.  We make it to the doctor's office in time.

3:40 pm - Finally done at the doctor.  Star does indeed have Strep.  Oh joy.  Like the idiot I am, I decide to run errands with the three younger kids before picking Princess up from my sister's house.  We start at the grocery store where I have exactly three things on my shopping list.

4:25 pm - We leave the grocery store with two things.  I fondly nickname our grocery store visit "The Worst Shopping Trip Ever" and head over to my sister's to drop Star and Little Man off so I can finish running errands with Little Dude (you know, the kid who doesn't whine, argue, throw screaming tantrums in the middle of the aisle, or run away from me).  I stop at the pharmacy which is practically our second home at this point and the library.  I don't need anything at the library, but I'm stalling picking the kids up.

4:45 pm - I pick the kids up from my sister's and we head home.  I get another feeding ready for Little Dude.

5:30 pm - Little Dude happily drank the whole bottle so the feeding went faster than usual.  When he's done, I lay him down for a nap.  I start supper for the kids while they jump off the couch onto the coffee table despite my warning to stop.  A few minutes later, two of them are crying because they got hurt (told you so!)  I pack Hubby's lunchpail for work and fold a load of towels.

7:00 pm - The kids are done eating supper and Hubby is off at work.  Little Dude wakes up fussy and crying just as I start getting the other kids ready for bed.  I rush to put the kids to bed so I can calm Little Dude down before he throws up or chokes.  The kids fight the bedtime routine and naturally, Little Dude starts choking and turning blue midway through Little Man's second tantrum.

7:45 pm - The big kids are in bed, but not sleeping.  I feed Little Dude half a jar of pureed pears and play with him for a while, incorporating some of his physical therapy into the playtime.

8:15 pm - I get Little Dude's bottle and meds ready for his last feeding of the day.  He refuses to drink most of it so I end up tubing it.  I change him into an overnight diaper and his pjs and change the gauze around his G Tube.

9:15 pm - Little Dude is done eating and ready for bed.  I lay him down and check on the other kiddos who are (finally!) all sleeping.  Woohoo!  Freedom at last!  I turn on Netflix and catch up on emails, texts, and Facebook for an hour and half before I go to bed.

Do you have a "day in the life" blog post you've written?  Leave a link in the comments so I can check it out!

Friday, October 10, 2014

My Last One

Last night, it hit me.

I was getting ready for bed when the cradle taking up all the space between my side of the bed and the wall caught my eye.  No longer in use by Little Dude, it was slowly filling with random clothes and blankets.

"I should take that apart and bring it back to the in-laws." I mused. (It belongs to them.  They lend it out for each new grandbaby in the family.) "It'd be nice to have that space back after so many years of having to climb into bed from the foot of the bed."

And then it hit me.

That cradle will never rock another tiny newborn at my bedside.  It will be the first of many baby items and paraphanalia that will slowly make their way out of my house.  For good

No more babies.

For over seven years now, my life has been about babies.  I've either been pregnant or had a baby to take care of.  For over seven years, my house has been arranged with modifications for bulky baby gear, sippy cups, and the storage of jumbo boxes of diapers. 

I love babies.  I love how their fuzzy (or bald in Princess's case) heads smell so good and are so soft after a bath, and I love all the baby gear, the simple baby toys, the tiny baby clothes, the soft baby blankets that always seem to multiply.  I love the soft squishiness of baby snuggles and the absolute innocence in their eyes when they stare up at you. 

Each one of Little Dude's "firsts" will be my last "first."  I probably won't even realize when the "lasts" will be until they're long gone.  When Star and Little Dude outgrow their clothes, they won't be packed up in a box, ready to be unpacked for the next one.  The bouncy seat, the infant swing, the jumperoo...they will be passed on to someone else who is just entering or re-entering this stage of life and this time, I won't ask that the things be returned when they're finished with them. 

I'm ready to move on to the next stage of life where my life doesn't revolve around diaper bags, feedings, and naps, but I'm still going to miss this.  I'm really really going to miss it.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Best Surprise Ever and Star's 2 Year Update

2 years ago, I got the best surprise ever.  I'd had two ultrasounds during my pregnancy and both techs said we were having a boy.  I had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind, but the statistics of an ultrasound (let alone 2 ultrasounds) predicting a boy and having it be a girl instead are really slim.  My reaction when I gave birth was one of pure shock.

Photo by Emily Anderson Photography

Just for fun, here's Star's birth story.       

On to the stats...

Age: 2 years old!

Weight and height:  She weighs 21.6 pounds and is 31.75" tall.  The nurse forgot to add her meaurements to the growth chart so I'm not exactly sure where she is, but I do know that she's in the 1st percentile for weight.  We go back in November for another growth check.

Wearing: Size 3 diapers and 18 month clothes.  Her feet had a growth spurt and she skipped size 5 and went straight into size 6 shoes.

Likes: She absolutely LOVES being outside and playing with the big kids.  She is very attached to her "Baby" (a doll we got at Goodwill a while back) and her Owl blankets.  

Dislikes: Not being included with the big kids, having to share toys.

Eating habits
: She eats 3 meals a day and 1-2 snacks.  She still eats veggies and fruits, but isn't as much of a fan of them as she was 6 month ago.  She loves "too-ties" (aka, cookies).  She has typical toddler eating habits-eating a lot one day and hardly anything the next. 

Sleeping habits
: The night before her birthday, we moved her out of the crib in the boys' room and into the bottom bunk of the bunk bed in the girls' room.  We have a railing on the side and it's high enough off the ground (we have a boxspring and mattress on the bed) that she can't climb off.  She figured out how to climb up to the top bunk though which drives Princess insane.  Star goes to bed at the same time as the older kids (around 8 pm) and is up by 7:30 am.  She takes a 1 1/2 hour to 2 hour nap in the afternoon.    

She's talking more and more each day and in sentences.  Some of my favorite things she says are, "Eah" for horse, "Huh and Mah" for hug and kiss, "Ray" for her blankets, and "Oh no!" said with much chagrin when something goes wrong.  She loves to sing and we're pretty sure she's going to be a little performer just like Little Man.

To give you an insight into her personality, here are her three nicknames at the moment:
Turkey, because she's into EVERYTHING all the time.  Nothing is safe from her.
Vulture, because if you turn your back on your food for a second, she steals it.
Kamikaze, because the kid has no fear and is constantly jumping off or climbing things, ingesting some non-food item (Poison Control probably thinks I don't feed her) or running into traffic.  She gives me gray hairs daily!

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