Month: November 2013

Me time

Through hand washing and prayer I made it to Saturday without getting myself or Sam sick. Why does this thrill me? Because I'm currently sitting in a salon, giving my hair some much needed attention. Ben gave me a break from the boys to go take care of myself for a change.

But the fun doesn't stop there. Tonight he's letting me go to the Alamo with Amanda and her friends to see the new Hunger Games movie. Can you believe it? A long, uninterrupted break from the poop and the boogers and the whines and the cries. Now, I love my boys, but you've been reading what a week it's been in our house.

Yesterday Jack seemed worse rather than better. He woke with his eyes crusted shut. After cleaning them we could see that they were red and swollen, with purple rings under his eyes. I'll spare you the picture I took of green pus oozing out. Later that morning he complained that his ear hurt. He also continues to vomit every day. I took him to see the doctor in the afternoon. (This was the first time I had to take him in for being sick). The rapid strep was negative (yay!) but he was diagnosed with secondary eye and ear infections, as I suspected. We started him on oral antibiotics last night.

I'm sorry Ben has to handle a sick boy, but so so grateful for this break. Ben, you rock and I love you.

Weathering the storm and the plague

Jack is still sick.  Sam and I are not.  For now.  I’m handwashing like an ID nurse.  I have separate hoodies to wear while caring for each boy.  I have a mysterious dry cough and slight stuffiness, but otherwise feel fine.  I’m choosing to blame the weather on my innocuous symptoms.  We had a cold snap today with a couple inches of snow.  Ben said we can light a fire tonight and I can’t wait.  Even with the thermostat in normal range, I’m freezing!

Last night I was up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours with the boys:
I went to bed at 9 (early, but not sleepy), asleep at 10
Sam at 12, eat and change
Jack at 2, vomiting
Sam at 3:30, eat and change
Sam at 5:00, eat and change
Sam at 6:30, pacifier given
Sam at 7:15, poop and peed through diaper, eat, change
Jack at 7:15 crying and retching 

And keep in mind that at each waking I’m up for about 20 minutes, and then it takes me another 15-30 minutes to fall back asleep.  Also, I could hear Jack’s hacking cough whenever I was awake, making me tense and gauge if he needs me.

Luckily Ben stayed home to work rather than face the blowing snow across I-25.  He came up to soothe Jack while I cleaned and fed Sam.  Of course, he peed the outfit again after his 9 am nap.
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Some outfits are cursed.  I’ve been trying to get him to wear this four times, and it never makes it past his morning nap.

This is our agenda today:
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Also, trying to get him to drink and eat a little something.  This is day three of his hunger strike and his bones are poking out with alarming detail.  I offer him everything he loves, from french fries to Halloween candy.  He nibbles and occasionally eats a saltine cracker.  He does ok with juice too.  We’ve watched about half that pile of movies and I put him down for an early nap.  With any luck he will stay down for a few hours more.  Anything I can do to kick this cold in the butt I’m willing to try.  Get it out of my house!

Sam woke from his afternoon nap and we had a little chat.


I love baby coos. 

Wish me some sleep tonight.

Begone, sick!

What a week it has been.  Last Wednesday Ben woke up quite sick.  Sore throat, sudden vomiting, general yucks.  I banished him to the basement and after a couple days he started to feel better.  That same week Jack had disgusting diarrhea, but no other symptoms.  Add in a couple wet beds, daily blow-outs from Sam, and I felt like I was living in a cesspool.

(Going for a walk, waiting for Dad to come home from work Tuesday)
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Thursday Sam got shots and did not recover as well as Jack used to.  For the rest of the day he was shrieking whenever awake, refusing to eat too.  Ugh.  He was sleepy immediately after the appointment, allowing me to take the boys to a play group organized by a girl at church.  It was so fun to be around others with young kids.

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These three were all born within a couple weeks.

Untitled By the way, Sam was 14 pounds 12 ounces, which is 91st percentile.  He was 25 inches long, which was literally off the chart, beyond 100%.  The girl on the right was born the day after Sam and had her appointment that morning too.  She was 8 pounds 6 ounces, and weighing less than 30th percentile.  Funny to have them next to each other. 

By Friday things were looking up. We gladly accepted our friends’ offer to babysit – Sam’s first time being left with non-family members.  Ben and I had a thoroughly enjoyable couple hours watching the new Thor movie.  Saturday night we had the Arcands over for dinner.  Thai take-out for grown-ups, mac and cheese for the kids.  As I think I mentioned, Nora and Jack are just a month apart in age, and Henry and Sam were born the same weekend.  So fun!  Nora and Jack are fantastic playmates.

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Sunday felt kind of normal.  Ben was mostly healthy.  We went to church.  I made cookies.  It looked like we managed to quarantine the illness.

(I like Miranda’s term for photos taken during church: Irreverantgrams)

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But overnight I heard Jack coughing while I was nursing Sam next door at 3 AM.  Monday morning Jack said he felt fine, even though he overslept by an hour (and thoroughly wet the bed again).  He was rubbing his eyes during story time, but still played.  He was stoked about the excavator that the guest reader, the county commissioner, brought for the kids to explore.  He coughed once more on the drive home, but said he was fine.

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After story time we high tailed it to the pediatric dentist, where Sam had an appointment for a frenectomy.  He did great.  The dentists agreed he was mildly tongue tied (same as his pediatrician, who referred us) and poo poohed the risks raised by my mom.  She and my dad had teamed up to dissuade me from “mutilating our grandson.”  Sorry folks, but I went through with it.  Sam got righteously angry after the clipping, as expected.  He hardly bled, “tis but a flesh wound” said the dentist.  I nursed him right away and by the time we left the office he was smiling.  Feedings since then have gotten easier and easier, as he lets go of those bad habits.  The pain I had is gone, and he’s less gassy.  This morning he was downright jolly.

Back to Jack.  I had plans to bring the family to dinner with Amanda.  Ben got home exhausted, and offered to stay home with Jack so I could have an easier meal out with Amanda.  Sam came, and I enjoyed a delicious, healthy sandwich and soup at ModMarket, followed by a holiday milkshake from Chick-fil-A.  During our meal, I received a series of text from Ben:
“Something ain’t right with Jack”
“He seems sick”
“Just so tired”
And he’s suddenly gotten very quiet and whispery”
“Full on barfing”

Splendid.

I was so glad Ben kept him home instead of having that scene in a restaurant.  Poor guy was shivering with a fever when I got home.  I just wanted to cuddle him, but I desperately want to keep Sam and me healthy so I kept my distance.  Jack went to bed early last night and slept well.  Today he is super emotional – cried three times before 9 AM.  But the toast and juice were happily eaten and his fever is gone.  We have plans to watch Despicable Me and Cinderella, a long nap, and if all goes well, a trip to the grocery store.

Knowing my luck I’ll get this cold/flu/whatever right in time for Thanksgiving.  I’m washing my hands obsessively to try to keep that from happening. 

Little happy things

QI, pumpkin cookies, and crafting.

Sam is Two Months Old Today

Sam is 2 months old

(Yes, I plan on doing a photo-heavy post for my baby every month of his first year, just like I did with Jack.  Deal with it)

Has it really only been two months?  Then why does he look like a 4 month old? 

Sam is 2 months old

Seriously, this kid is a chunk.  Tomorrow is his doctor visit and we will get an official weight.  But yesterday on my bathroom scale it said 14 pounds!  He’s outgrown so many hand-me-downs already, a lot of which we couldn’t use because he was born in a different season than Jack.  

Sam is 2 months old

The upside of a big boy is how strong he is already.  He holds his head up when you hold him, looking around.  He presses to stand on his feet when upright.  He smiles, he laughs, he gurgles, he coos. 

Sam is 2 months old

He is getting curiouser and curiouser.

Sam is 2 months old

Here he is struggling to flail his arms at his wooden play rack.  This is new this week, that he has purposefully toyed with the beads. 

Sam is 2 months old

“Damn you hands, get the blue one!”
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This smile is for his brother.  He just lights up when Jack is around. 

Sam is 2 months old

Below, Jack was giving him a rendition of the Good Morning song we learned in Story Time. 

Sam is 2 months old

And here I am singing it to him earlier today. 

He’s a kicker!

What else can I say?  He absolutely, adorably sweet.  Remember all the worry we had about a second child?  Because Jack was so great, it must be downhill from here? 

I hesitate to say it, but Sam is just as good a baby, and even sometimes better.  He falls back asleep easily.  He can take or leave a pacifier.  He reliably sleeps in the car.  He loves to cuddle. 

Nobody’s perfect though, and Sam is a terrible eater.  His latch is shallow and he clicks often, the sound of losing suction.  I’m going to see if the doctor agrees he is tongue tied and can do anything about it. 

Even so, I wouldn’t trade him for anything.  He’s my lovely baby boy. 

Sam is 2 months old

Bonus brother picture.  What a difference 3 years makes! (Forgive the groggy morning expressions. We are not morning people in this house.)
Sam is 2 months old

SamSpeak

After nap, snack, and diaper change.

Jack’s first dance class

Today I took my little guy to the Arvada Center for his first ballet class.  It was taught by Miss Jen, who I knew from our classes together when I took ballet there 6 years ago.  A lot has changed since then; a career change, two home purchases, and two kids.  I had waves of nostalgia going through the building.  Maybe when the dudes are older I can return to take Tap classes like I’ve always wanted.   Enough about me, you want to see Jack! 
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Let me say that his little dance outfit is adorable in it’s simplicity.  Amongst all the tutus and pink and lavender was my sweet boy.  It was kind of a hassle getting the outfit together.  I got his Capezio shoes on Amazon.  The shorts are actually pants from Target that I cut short.  All their shorts were too big for him and I couldn’t find any in his size anywhere else. 

After Miss Jen reviewed the rules for class with them (No hanging on barres, no picking at floor tape, no playing the piano, no touching each others tutus or hair, etc) they were released to the room.  Jack made a beeline for the giant mirror and took some coaxing to join the others. 

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In general, he was more of a spaz than the other girls.  Jen said that’s normal for boys that she teaches.  But he loved it and returned to task fairly well.  I’m glad the teacher understands that this is the first time these kids have ever had structure, turn taking, and direction following to this degree.  I think it will be so good for him. 

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In this part she was teaching them stage right/left, up/down stage directions.  She would call out a direction and they ran to the matching side of the room.
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Some basics.  Jack took a while to catch onto the copying part.  He wanted to show her his “twirls and “funny moves.”
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There we go. 
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Videos! First some center work, learning plies, releves, and sautes.  They covered first position, but I think Jack will need to do some remedial work with me at home to master it. 


Then I think this game was to teach them cues.  (We couldn’t hear anything from outside.)  She gave them moves to do around the room, then the music stopped and they needed to return to their places in the hula hoops. 

I tried to catch his happy face afterwards, but he was a total blur 🙂
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After class I showed him the dragon they have outside the building.  The foliage was gorgeous so I snapped more pictures. 
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Copy Cat

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Messy Art Class

Amanda requested further commentary on Jack’s Messy Art class.  It’s a 4 session class offered at the Wheat Ridge rec center, for an hour each Friday.  It was really strange the first time I dropped him off and left the building.  It was the first time I’ve ever left him unattended, not counting babysitters or when I’m in the same building, like nursery at church.  I double checked with the teacher, really?  I can go?  I can leave him here and go to Target or whatever?  Sweeeeeeet. 

He seems to love the class and had no problem being left with strange kids and Coach Robin (who also does youth athletics, so she uses that moniker). 
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Coach Robin puts the plan on the board each day, so parents can see what they did and cue conversation, since 3-4 year olds are not the best historians.  Usually there’s a snack, one or two books, and three projects based on those books.  This was last week’s:

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And the results:
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As you can see, the messy part refers to finger paints, shaving cream, and other sloppy things.  They have a rather simple and brilliant clean-up area.  Just a big tub of mildly soapy water on the floor where the kids can dip and splash to wash off messes. 

Next week is the last Friday art class, but also his first dance class on Wednesday.  I admit, I’m super excited for that one.  It’s at the Arvada Center, where I took classes in the years between college and nursing school. 

This image makes me giddy:
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After donning the shoes he ran in circles around our house about 17 times.  I’d say he’s excited too.

Halloween

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After so many pre-Halloween activities, I had to do some work to make the day festive for Jack. Why not start with orange colored milk and a cupcake?
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Sam needed to be pictured in this “My first Halloween” bib, even though he has no use for a bib at this point.

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Jack loved the little Google game they posted on their home search page. 
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Here’s a great series of our pumpkin carving experience.

“Yay, Mom!  Pumpkins!”
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“What am I going to do with these spoons?”
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“Ehhh, it’s yucky.  I don’t like it.”
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“No! No! No!  You do it for me.”
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I wouldn’t force him to scoop, but he kept asking what he could do to help.  I came up with the idea to have him design the pumpkin faces for me to copy.  He happily agreed (lucky for me) and I pulled out these cut-outs I made earlier this month.  
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Then there was napping by both boys.
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An early dinner of Mummy Hot Dogs and Hulk Juice.
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Then Wolfie and his family met us to go trick-or-treating. 
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It was blustery and chilly tonight.  The boys were done long before Ben would have liked, but plenty long for three year olds.  They came back to play games and watch Toy Story Terror at the house while eating gobs of candy.  A pretty good Halloween if I may say so myself. 

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