Saturday, April 30, 2011

Children are Great Distractions

I am so thankful for my Jack today. He has kept me going when I just want to cry.

My Memere passed away this morning. She lived a very long life but yet, it is never easy saying goodbye.

I was going to fly back East on the 8th for a vacation, but now I will be going for a funeral.

Keeping up with a toddler, chasing him around the house, getting him fed and changed has been a welcome distraction. I just hope I can keep it together this week at work while preparing for the trip.

Je t'aime mémère. Vous allez nous manquer.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Discouraged and Depressed

I haven't blogged in a while because to be honest, I have been depressed. To the point that I am being a hermit and not wanting to be social or chatty at all. I am avoiding friends, some family and quite frankly, have been incredibly crabby. I am almost positive my coworkers are probably getting the brunt of my grumpiness.

What changed? Nothing really. It just seems like a lot of things in my life are in chaos right now. My son has another ear infection, my grandmother is very ill and probably isn't going to live much longer, and I am anxious about our upcoming trip back East. Add to that some financial stress and work stress and it's about all I can take. I am not sure what my breaking point is, but right now, it feels close.

Maybe it's time for an increase in my Celexa. I still see my counselor every week and she's great. She helps me cope with a lot of my issues. I often don't feel like I have anyone to talk to, so she's really my outlet. I can only dump on my husband so much before it becomes detrimental to our marriage. And since our marriage is pretty good right now, I don't want to ruin that.

Jack has ear tubes put in next week and it can't come soon enough. At first I was nervous and scared and now I am actually embarrassed to say that I am looking forward to it. He has literally had back to back ear infections since his birthday and he deserves some relief. I deserve some relief since I get up with him at night when he's in pain and I give him his medication and I make sure he's comforted. I realize that lack of sleep comes with parenting, but it's getting to the point that I can't even function some days.

I am overwhelmed, discouraged and depressed.

Boy, this is such a sunshiney post. I hope I have something good to blog about in the next few days. Anything at this point would be great.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mega Tantrum

Didn't I previous blog that Jack doesn't seem to have tantrums? Because he had one this weekend. A huge one. Mega. Epic. And of course, it was while we were at church.

I brought Jack to the nursery and not even 15 minutes later I got paged (big shocker). So I brought him upstairs but couldn't keep him in the sanctuary because he was being chatty and loud. So we went to the "cry" room which was curiously occupied by a couple of old ladies. Jack started being fussy, so I brought him next door to a quieter room in the hopes that I could get him down for a nap. Cue mega tantrum. He did NOT want to be held or rocked. I put him down and he started to climb the stairs. I let him for a little while, but since he hasn't mastered the art of coming back down, I picked him up. That pissed him off. He started screaming.

When I say screaming, I mean SCREAMING!!!!! I am surprised that the people in the church didn't hear him. He literally screamed and kicked for 20 minutes. He screamed so much that he made himself hoarse. Having never gone through this before, the only thing I could do was talk softly to him and just rock him and say "It's okay" over and over. Was that the wrong thing to do? He finally calmed down and fell asleep in my arms. While he was falling asleep, he would have his eyes closed and every so often cry. Almost like he needed to make his point known that he was crying and did I get the message? It would have been slightly comical had it not been pathetic.

Parents of toddlers: What do you do when your kid is throwing an epic fit? I couldn't just put him down and walk away. We were in a public place (not like I could do at home) and I didn't want him falling down the flight of stairs that were nearby. Do you just hold them and shush them? Hold them and do nothing?

I felt like a bad mom and I am sure the people who could overhear thought I was the worst mother ever. "Geez, she can't even control her own kid".

At this point, I hate to say it, but I think we are going to have to stop going to church for a while. I have tried numerous times to leave Jack in the nursery, but it doesn't work. My mother-in-law keeps telling me that he will get used to being in there, but every week it's the same story. He cries, they page me, I get him and then miss the entire service. It doesn't really benefit either of us if I am not going to be able to hear the message.

Church falls during Jack's mid-morning nap and there isn't any way I can rearrange that nap. Already thought of that and it's not an option. Him being up in the sanctuary doesn't really work because he's loud and I don't want to disturb others. I don't have options to get him a sitter because my mother-in-law and I go to church together. My only other option is my aunt and she goes to church on Sunday mornings too.

Maybe when he gets a little older and doesn't have that mid-morning nap and possibly not as much separation anxiety can he come to church with me. I hate to lose that worship time, but I have to do what's right for us.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Big F You Ears!

See a theme here? I seem to post about Jack's ears a lot. Sorry about that. It's a source of heartache these days.

Jack had his appointment with the Ear Nose and Throat specialist yesterday and he said that Jack is definitely a candidate for tubes. Tubes were one of the three options he laid out on the table:

1 - Do nothing. This option is not good because of how often Jack gets infections and how often he has to be on antibiotics.

2 - Treat with antibiotics until he turns 2 and then reevaluate. See number 1.

3 - Tubes

We opted for the tubes, mainly because the doctor thinks the constant ear infections are affecting Jack's hearing and speech. He mentioned that they like to see toddlers of Jack's age say more than just Mama and Dada consistently. While Jack says the occasional work, he doesn't say them consistently. He can hear, but with the constant mucus in his ears, it's probably muffled and no doubt painful.

While the doctor was checking Jack, he said "What ear was the one he had his last infection in?" We told him it was his left. "Because his right ear also has an infection". Jesus H.

That means in the span of 3 months, his ear infections have been virtually constant. He no sooner gets over one infection that he gets another one, usually in the opposite ear. He isn't even finished the antibiotics from our last trip to Urgent Care for goodness sakes.

That leads me to believe that no amount of antibiotics are going to work on this kid. I called the pediatrician today and they wanted to see Jack. When she checked his ears, she mentioned that she didn't know how he wasn't miserable because his right ear was very infected.

The only (and possibly last) option at this point is a shot of antibiotics rather than an oral. So that is what Jack got today: A big fat injection in his chubby baby leg.

The chance that this will work? 50%. 50 measly percent.

He goes back in about a week to check the status of his ears.

In the meantime, we wait for his surgery. I am feeling pretty down about this. Yes, he needs it, but that still doesn't mean I am scared and worried. This blows.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Every Day Life

Now that we have a toddler, I thought it would be fun (for me) to post not only what our house looks like on a typical weekend day, but also what our schedule entails.

Be kind people. I am being completely honest in this post and with these pictures. We have a small house, so we deal with the baby mess as best as we can.

Our schedule on a typical Saturday:

6:00 am: Rise and shine! This is sleeping in to me. I usually am up at 5:00 am during the week. Jack usually gets up around this time and starts jumping on the bed or on me. I drag my heiney out of bed and while my cup of coffee brews, I get Jack some milk.

6:05 to 7:00: I wake up with my coffee and Jack plays (gets into trouble). We read books, I chase him and try to get him to not play in the catbox. I usually throw a load of laundry in the washer.

7 ish: Jack gets breakfast. He is not extremely hungry first thing in the morning so he usually munches on some fruit or a breakfast bar.

7:30: Jack gets fussy and it's time for his morning nap. He usually only is awake for 90 minutes to two hours in the morning before he needs to snooze again. While he goes down for a quick nap, I get a shower.

8:00: Jack is up from his nap and he is ready for breakfast number 2. He eats more at this meal.

8:30: Clean up from breakfast and Jack gets dressed for the day. I usually take the time to blow dry my hair and if I am feeling really ambitious, I might put on a smidge of makeup. Another load of laundry usually goes in around now.

9:00 or so: Every other week, Jack and I go grocery shopping. He really loves this errand. One of his favorite things to do is people watch, so we drive to the store, I grab a coffee and do our shopping. If it's an "off week", we will do something else fun for him. Usually a nice walk in the stroller (if the weather is decent), a trip to OMSI so he can play in the baby area, or whatever strikes our fancy.

10:00: Home from the grocery store. While Jack "helps" put away the groceries, I get him his cup of milk.

10:15: Jack is usually pretty tired by now. Sometimes he will stay up for about 3 hours, but usually it's 2 before he needs to recharge his batteries. Nap time! He will stay down for 30 minutes so I can grab some breakfast, clean something in the house, fold laundry, or God forbid.....Do nothing! I occasionally will read a magazine and just veg.

11ish: Jack is up from his nap and we play for a while.

11:30: Lunch time!

12:00: After clean up, it's play, play, play, chase, chase, chase, read, play, play.

2:00: Nap time! 30 minutes of freedom. Very rarely, Jack will say asleep for more than 30 minutes. He can surprise me though and sleep for an hour.

2:30: Up from nap and it's snack time!

3:00: This is about the time Daddy gets up. Usually, it's me going in the bedroom and saying "You getting up soon?". He begrudingly gets out of bed.

3:30: While Jason drinks his coffee and plays with the boy, I take advantage of a few minutes that I can put away any errant laundry, or clean something in the bedroom.

4:00: Jason and I share parenting duties and play with Jack. Me more so than him, but he does help out if I ask. Play, play, play, etc. etc. etc.

5:00 - 5:30: I prepare dinner. If Jack is absolutely starving, I will give him a light snack. During the week he eats dinner at 5:00, but on the weekends I try to hold him off so we can eat together as a family. This doesn't always work so I might end up giving him his dinner separately.

6:00: Dinner time for the adults. We eat, I quickly clean up and put away any leftovers.

6:30: Bath time for the boy! This seems early, but since Jack hasn't had a late afternoon nap, he gets really fussy by now. I found out that it was easier to not give him a late afternoon nap because he wouldn't go to sleep at a reasonable hour but still wake up damn early. It works better to put him to bed early instead. 6:45: Out of the bath. Clean diaper, lotion, jammies, get crib ready. We read stories, have a bottle and sing songs. In that exact order.

7:00: Jack is usually snoozing and he goes into his crib. He will sleep in his crib for anywhere from 1 hour to sometimes 4. It depends on what he feels like.

8:15 or so: Mommy takes a book to bed. The husband will be up for several more hours. I read for as long as I feel like, but I usually am exhausted.

9:00: Lights out for this Momma!

Now that you have seen a typical day, here is our typical mess.

The living room in the morning. I usually have the tv on (yeah, I know, bad mom alert). At least it's not soap operas though. On the weekend, it's Food Network. Maybe Jack will grow up to be a chef. The toys aren't everwhere yet. Notice the sippy cup of milk on the coffee table. Look! It's Jack's room. He has recently discovered how to open the toybox and pull all his toys out and them slam the lid. It's cute, until he does it so much that all you hear is BANG........BANG..........BANG! This is our living room at lunchtime. There's that sippy cup again! Jack is eating in his highchair (see him peeking over the back?) and the toys are everywhere. It really doesn't look that bad but you can't see the other side where all the books have been simultaneously removed from the shelf. Here is our kitchen in the late afternoon. Two liter bottles of sparkling water have become play things. And the magnet toys on the fridge are strewn about. Some of them are probably in the recycling bin. Discarded paper towel tube is on the floor. Jack likes to yell into it. The dishes are done (thankfully) and sit in the dish strainer. And that would be a load of laundry in the dryer. I was in a baking mood one day and there are bags of muffins and cookies on the counter.

All in all, it's not horrible. Just a little cluttered. I didn't have the guts to post Jason's computer area. It's a disaster, straight up. I am embarrassed to have anyone over to our house. I keep the rest of the house relatively clean, but Jason's area is a hot mess.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Jack's Trip to Urgent Care

I hope this post doesn't end up being super duper long.

On Monday when I picked Jack up from childcare, Karen mentioned that he didn't seem like himself and only wanted to be held all day. He hadn't eaten a whole lot and only was interested in milk. When we got home, I noticed he was warm. I took his armpit temperature and it was 99.8. That is pretty high for a kiddo that doesn't get fevers. As soon as I saw the number pop up, I knew I was going to be taking him in.

For the past few days, I had a suspicion that his ear infection hadn't gone away, or he had another one. His sleep never got better from his last infection and he wasn't napping well. I gave him some Advil to help bring his fever down. Since it was too late to go to his regular pediatrician, we made a trip up the street to urgent care. It literally is a mile from our house. Convenient!

The wait was about 2 hours so the man at the admit desk said we could come back at 5:30 rather than wait in a crowded waiting room for that long. I was relieved by this because the clientele was errrrr......How do you say shady in a politically correct way?

Jack and I drove back home and he quickly had dinner and I ran him a bath. I knew it would be late by the time we got home so I wanted him all ready to go in his jammies. I called my mother-in-law and she agreed to meet us up there. I was relieved since I didn't want to be by myself.

When we returned to urgent care, most of the people were gone and we were brought back relatively quickly. The very nice medical assistant weighed Jack and then took his temperature. Even after getting some baby Advil, it was still 101.1. Again, for a child who doesn't get fevers, I was a little shocked. Jack got a tiny hospital gown to change into and then quickly fell asleep.

When the Physician Assistant finally came in the room, he greeted us and immediately, turned into Jerky Jerkerson. I gave him Jack's history of ear infections and explained he had just gotten through with his last round of antibiotics a week ago.

JJ (Jerky Jerkerson): Well what didn't get better from the last time?

Me: Do you mean his symptoms? Well, his sleep never got better. He's waking up a lot and generally fussy.

JJ: No, you aren't understanding. What didn't get better?

Me: I am not understanding your question. Can you explain what you mean?

JJ: Huff. Never mind. What are his symptoms now?

This back and forth crap went on for a while. He checked Jack's ears and sure enough, red rotten infection.

He gave me the lecture about not giving children antibiotics for ear infections and yada yada. Now, I realize that when children are not symptomatic, doctors are opting not to treat them with medicine. That makes sense to me. But, like my pediatrician says, if they are symptomatic, miserable, their sleep is affected and they aren't eating, why WOULDN'T we treat them? The PA told me that the main reason that most parents want their children treated for antibiotics is because they were missing too much work and it was an inconvenience to them to see thier children sick.


Did you just stare blankly at this? When he told me that, I sure stared blankly at him. The only words that came out of my mouth were "What?!?" I explained that it had nothing to do with me missing work and everything to do with my son feeling better.

The PA backtracked and said that since Jack has a prior history of ear infections that he thought that antibiotics were the way to go. That's right you jerk. After arguing with him about medication, he said that wanted to put Jack on Amoxicillin. I explained that particular medication does nothing to help Jack's infections. He responds well to Omnicef. The PA didn't listen and left the room with "Let me consult some of my colleagues".

20 minutes later he was back and explained that he had called Oregon Health Sciences University consult service and everyone agreed that medication and Jack not responding had nothing to do with bad luck. They thought that it had to do with the anatomy of his ears and no medication would probably be all that helpful. Sigh.

So after leaving with a prescription for Augmentin (so much for the Omnicef), we were off. An hour later my child was home, asleep and I was standing in line filling a prescription. Have no fear, my mother-in-law was watching him.

Fast forward to Wednesday. Jack is not responding to the medication. He's fussy and running another fever. I call his regular pediatrician and her nurse says "Why did they give you Augmentin? He was just on Augmentin?". Blah blah blah, more unimportant details. Blah blah blah.

Jack is now on Omnicef and has a consult scheduled with an ear nose and throat doctor. He is doing much better now, but he still isn't sleeping great. I hope we have some answers this week. I also hope he starts eating and sleeping better. My poor daycare provider is probably exhausted since he hasn't been napping well.

Please pray for our family. I know that ear tubes are no big deal. I also know that tubes might not be the way to go for Jack. I just want my son to feel better.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

14 Months Old

You are 14 months old today Buggy! It's been a rough month for you. Not that you can help it. You have had two ear infections this month, a trip to the urgent care and a bad cold. We are going to get those ears under control little man.

Jack, you have quite the personality! This month you started doing a few new things.

* When you see others dance or clap, you follow along. It's so cute to see you clap your chubby little hands! You bob your head back and forth when you see Mom do it.

* In the car, you are starting to entertain yourself. You have complete conversations with people in cars and giggle and smile really big. I get quite a kick out of peeking at you in my mirror.

* You are starting to talk a little more. You say "all done" now. It's only happened a couple of times, but it came out clear as day. You also say "dah" a lot. It means several things, but usually it means "what's that".

* You point and are starting to point at things to signal what you want. Yay! I have seen you point at your cup of milk which is very convenient for me.

* Your favorite book is still "Little Feet Love". Books are probably your favorite toy in general. You happily pull them off your shelf and just sit and "read" for a while.

* Boy do you have some energy. Rather than play with toys, you would much rather run around the house and get into things. Shelves, drawers and doors are your best friend. You were pretty sad when we started locking up the drawers and cabinets. You can't play in them anymore. Sorry buddy.

* When someone shakes their head no at you or says "no", you shake your little head back.

* The temper tantrums seemed to have slowed down for now. Every once in a while, you get mad and stomp your little feet when we pull you away from something you shouldn't be doing.

* Some of your favorite foods are the family spagetthi sauce with penne pasta, pears, peaches, Cheerios, and peanut butter. You are certainly a carb lover, just like your momma.

This month has been the most fun in terms of the things you are doing and learning. It is so much fun watching you grow and see your little brain calculating and thinking. We love you so much Jack Emmett!