Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sick Baby, Round Three

As I gently pushed the bedroom door ajar and slid into Thing 3's bedroom to check on her for the umpteenth million time yesterday afternoon, she finally peeked her fuzzy little disheveled head over her crib rails. I'd had a bad feeling all afternoon, as my little sick baby napped for over five hours for the fifth day in a row. That kind of "this can't be good at all" feeling that a mother occasionally gets when things are, indeed, not good at all.

I gently laid her poor, limp body on her change table only to open her diaper and find a dirty little surprise had made it's appearance during her marathon sleep session. It was nasty enough for me to scoop her up and take her to the bathroom for a nice, warm bath.

Mommy-worry struck me like a slap in the face.

She looked awful. Lethargic, listless, and completely "out-of-it". I prayed the bath would rejuvenate my little girl and bring some zest back to those piercing blue eyes.

Not the case.

Her fussiness increased after her bath and even after I nursed her she proved to be agitated and unhappy. As supper time was approaching, I placed her in her high chair to give her a snack while I put together the final preparations for our dinner. She instantly fell asleep. Mommy-worry plagued me once again as the sense that "none of this seems right" began to overwhelm me. My thought processes were clouded. Realizing I hadn't taken her temperature since before her nap, I ran to grab our thermometer and bring it back to the kitchen.

The first reading was 41.6 degrees Celsius. Not a metric lover? That's 106.8 degrees Fahrenheit!! Several more readings showed marginally lower temps than that, although each them ranked in the very dangerous category. I called my mother-in-law (who was a nurse for years and years and also a midwife) and she arrived on our doorstep in minutes. Her diagnoses was not good, and for the second time in four days, I bundled up my precious little girl and hauled her to the hospital.

The silver lining?

When your kid is that sick, you don't have to wait in the waiting room in Emergency. The kind and compassionate triage nurse will make a call and you will hear "Level Two baby at Triage" over the loudspeaker and soon two nurses will come and whisk you and the child away. We were instantly sent to an observation area where we had our own bed and several nurses and doctors working on us.

I am included in the "us" part of this because it is the mother's responsibility to pin the baby down so that the nurses can carry out some of the more unpleasant medical procedures. It is also up to mommy to administer all doses of medication and to hold the mask to the child's mouth when she is receiving oxygen and breathing treatments.

After several hours of observation, breathing treatments, and successfully reducing Thing 3's fever, we were permitted to go home for the night. Exhausted. Mentally and physically depleted. With no more energy than a tiny, squished up ant on hot, sizzling pavement.

Her diagnosis was pneumonia or bronchitis - her doctor said it was hard to tell from her x-ray and they didn't want to run any more tests on her (the x-ray they looked at was the one she had taken when I took her in on Sunday night). We were able to keep her fever down today, and overall she is brighter, more alert, and coming close to resembling her perfectly regular little self.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Monday, February 23, 2009

Did someone say popcorn?

Were you - like me - a closet Dawson's Creek watcher back in the day?

If you were, you may be interested in checking out Joshua Jackson's new movie, One Week.

And if you live in Ottawa (and I KNOW many of you do because on occasion I check my blog stats) you could possibly catch this new flick. For free.

Check out Andrea's blog "A Peek Inside the Fishbowl" for a chance to go to one of two viewings. I'm planning on going next Thursday, March 5th. I'm kind of excited. (I don't get out much.)

And just a quick note to let everyone know that we had to take our beloved Thing 3 for her very first hospital visit late yesterday. Poor baby had a frighteningly high fever and was listless and really out of it. I rushed her to the ER and after multiple unpleasant tests and six hours of hanging out at a packed hospital with a sick baby, the doctors were able to diagnose a "serious respiratory infection". "Probably not pneumonia, but maybe just a little bit."

In five years and three children, this is the sickest any of mine have been. I have been one worried mama. She slept 5 hours yesterday and then again today. We are controlling her fever and hoping tomorrow will be a bit better. Keep her in your thoughts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Boredom: We've Hit an All-Time Low

You may be asking yourself, "I wonder how bored one can possibly get after two months of icy, snowy, cold and wet winter weather with a house full of sick kid(s)??".

It's an excellent question.

I assure you, the monotony can get to one quickly.

"Hey, we can't go outside and due to our current economic situation we are limited in our choices of indoor winter activities, so why not have a cloth diaper fashion show and dance around in our little sister's dipes?"

"Cool idea big bro. I'm with ya."

Cutest tushies. Out there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WW - The Laziest Winter Morning Ever

No shots of Thing 1 this morning, he was nudie today and that is clearly not blog-appropriate.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Middle Child Syndrome

It was a cold, icy, nearly-winter night in December of 2007 when we arrived at my good friend's annual Christmas bash. I was round and glowing and crippled with heartburn - all signs I was in my eighth month of pregnancy (with our now-walking-everywhere Thing 3). I gazed around the room at all my non-pregnant friends looking fabulous and glamorous and sipping wine or martinis or other fun drinks from beautiful cocktail glasses. Things 1 and 2 were home in bed, sleeping soundly while our babysitter watched cable galore on our TV and ate the snacks we left her. It was the perfect holiday evening.


Some of the people at this party I didn't see on a regular basis. I mean, let's face it. Many of us are parents now and are overly absorbed and immersed in our kids' lives, activities, and the whole mommy gig. I knew there would be people who didn't know I was pregnant. I was accustomed to the standard, "woah - you're pregnant *again*?" and didn't even flinch at "have you heard of condoms, sweetie?". I was armed with a retort for "how many more do you think you'll have?" and kept my emotionless face on hand for "I bet you hope they won't all go to college".

What I was not, in any shape or form, ready for was what was thrown my way by my friend M's husband.

He and his wife have two children. We chatted briefly about having two children versus having three children. I should mention at this point that it had literally been two nights prior to the party that I had stopped having debilitating panic attacks in the middle of the night and had assured myself that, yes, I could potentially handle being a parent to three children.

"I would never have a third child."

My eyes began to expand, in that way they do when panic seeps into them, and then kind of explodes inside my head. My jaw hit the floor like a Mack truck as I used my calm voice to ask him what his reasons were. Knowing intuitively that I didn't want to hear them.

"Because I wouldn't want to subject the second kid to middle child syndrome."

Being an utterly clueless sibling to only one, I thought to myself, "what the hell is this guy talking about?".

Fast forward to today. I am completely stricken with guilt for having had the nerve to have three children, one of which at some point in the distant future may require lengthy therapy sessions to deal with the repercussions and effects of middle child syndrome. I mean, seriously, this stuff is well documented out there. I had no idea. Until I started having some issues with Thing 2 and I found my fingers suddenly googling "middle child" and "middle child syndrome".

While not particularly comforting, I did find this article informative and frighteningly accurate. And as I stumbled upon references to the middle child "having the sense of not belonging", and "fighting to receive attention from parents because they feel they are being ignored", I wondered if I had sealed Thing 2's fate the day Thing 3 was conceived.

Before delving into my search for information, answers, and a shred of hope for the "middle child syndrome", I had suffered several stressful weeks trying to decide how to deal with Thing 2's horrendous behaviour. He has been beyond out of control lately. I found myself saying things like, "he seems lost . . . like he doesn't know where his place is", and "where is this attention-seeking behaviour coming from?", not knowing these were apparently catch phrases applicable to any middle child.

Obviously, I jest. I realize you can't dole out a cookie cutter label to your child because you read it on the Internet, but some of the similarities between what I have read and what is going on here, is uncanny.

In the short term, I am working hard to focus on Thing 2's strengths, like his fireball personality and his *passion* for life. And when the full-fledged screaming, kicking, defiant, out-of-control Thing 2 rears his ugly head, I find solace in this.

You may be driving me completely batty, oh middle child of mine, but I still love you forever.

Any words of wisdom for those who have experience with a middle child?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And she walks . . .

I understand that our PR people have already leaked our latest little bombshell of news, but for official blog purposes . . . Thing 3 is a walker!!

This lovely lady is far more delicate and cautious than her big brothers when it comes to taking those first baby steps. While she is extremely steady standing unassisted, (and has been for months) she only started to walk all by her proud little self in the past week.

But it's really, really cute.

I had been pretty happy and filled with all that mom-oozing-joy-from-heart stuff until Paul so carefully pointed out to me that, "this is the last time we'll see one of our babies take their first steps".

Uh, right. Great, now I'm bawling and want a vasectomy reversal.


"Hey ma, check me out. I can wave this spoon around while walking. No other kid on the block can do this."

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love is in the air . . .

Part of being involved with a co-operative preschool comes the responsibility of having to volunteer as a parent in the classroom once every couple of months. I actually really love this aspect of our membership, as it gives the school a real sense of "community" and allows me to actively participate in Thing 2's preschool experience.

And, more importantly, to spy on him.

I lucked into getting scheduled to volunteer tomorrow, which is the preschool class' Valentine party. What could possibly be cuter than 20 three-year-olds fumbling around trying to hand out red and pink doily-like valentines to the correct little preschooler? And getting so incredibly excited that they could burst at the prospect of having their own *mailbox* chalk full of brightly coloured cut-outs?

I wouldn't miss it for the world.

OK, I would. Since Paul has recently found himself a little more available during the day, I offered to let him go fill in our parent volunteer responsibilities tomorrow morning. He doesn't often get a chance to see Thing 2 in action at preschool, and this could be his last opportunity if he nabs a new work gig in the next little while.

So I whipped up some chocolate cupcakes (egg, nut, and dairy-free, of course - yeah, it took me a while to perfect this recipe) . . .

. . . then whipped up an easy Martha buttercream icing recipe and slapped on a red heart and BAM I call these Valentine cupcakes.

To further save money I made these cute little Valentines for all of Thing 2's friends at preschool - using stamps and materials I already had on hand at home.

My sappy heart is already swelling with pride and oozing with excitement to hear how the big day goes. Thing 2 candidly asked me this afternoon if I would like to be his Valentine. Silly question, because that's a role I took on the minute he was born.

Monday, February 09, 2009

One step forward, two steps back

It's Tuesday evening. And with the monotonous blur that this tenth day of February seems to elicit, it seems like an appropriate time to extend my apologies for the barren-like quality of my blog lately.

Things in blog-land - along with my creative juices - came to a screeching halt a couple weeks ago as our family came head to head with a number of unexpected and less-than-desirable struggles.

As we dug our heels in and conquered colds with cough, a repulsive and vile stomach flu, a garage door stricken with the inability to close in sub-zero temperatures, some problematic yet perplexing behavioural issues in Thing 1 and Thing 2, and a completely and utterly unexpected lay-off from Paul's employer, documenting and exploring my life online was rendered futile.

A dizzying mix of panic and despair settled into my heart and our life circumstances, coupled with Ottawa's seemingly ridiculous winter weather, managed to put a real damper on my spirit.

After several days of not feeling that typical "let's tackle this head on" attitude that I usually embrace when I am thrust into crisis mode, I decided whole heartedly that it was time to reach across my bedside table and grab my very worn and very loved copy of The Secret. I haven't read it in ages, yet I somehow find solace and comfort in simply knowing it lies there beside me at night, as if its proximity would perhaps protect me and simultaneously remind me that I can truly have, be, and do anything I want in life.

And, so, together as a team our family of Things moves forward, comforted by the faith that the universe and God have a plan in store for us. And warmed by the fact that we are blessed and that we have the most important thing . . . we have each other.

And, really, who wouldn't feel properly equipped to learn the true magnificence that awaits her in life in this cute matching hat and scarf set knit by her dear mother?

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