Saturday, March 29, 2014

And. . .A Plague Is Upon Us

Adults aren't supposed to get the Coxsackie virus.  So on Thursday afternoon, when my head felt like it was going to split in half and my brain felt warm and mushy and my skin felt like it was going to jump out of itself, or at least out of my shirt, and my throat hurt, and my glands were swollen, and I had a suspicious spot on my right hand, I was PRETTTTTY sure I had it.  But yesterday morning when I saw the nurse practitioner, she laughed at me and said she thought I was "just the mother of two sick kids."  I was kind of offended, actually.  Did she think I was sympathy sick?

She's not my usual doctor, but rather filling in for someone on maternity leave.  She was nice enough, but I don't event think she seriously considered that I might have it.  Because, adults don't get it.  That's what she told me.

And yet, somehow I still woke up with little tiny sore spots on my feet and hands.  There aren't that many of them, and they aren't very big.  But they are very sore.  It feels like I burned my hand (and feet!) on a hot pan by accident. . .in a bunch of spots.  Sigh.  Suckage.

Miss M is hacking up a storm, but seems better. She never really got the full on rash.  SB got a massive rash (face, hands, feet, arms, legs, and diaper area), but it's starting to clear (we are 5 days out from when the rash appeared).  She's been acting normal.  Actually, they both have.  In fact, a little too normal.  They are super hyper and bouncing off the walls, because they have not been outside in 5 days.  We didn't want them to infect anyone else, though.  Boy, do they need to play in the park!

I'm letting them watch a movie right now on Netflix because I just can't take the utter chaos of quarantined children any longer.  The Incredibles is okay for toddlers, right???

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

And The Diagnosis Is. . .

Coxsackie virus, aka hand, foot and mouth.  Apparently, one of the preschools here has a massive outbreak.  Not coincidentally, I'm sure, we have many friends and acquaintances who send their kids there.  We're not sure yet exactly who SB contracted it from (our other friend indeed had impetigo last week), but since there seems to be a big outbreak going on in our area, it could have been anyone.  Since we did a lot of socializing this weekend (mostly BEFORE she had any symptoms, but while she was likely contagious), I've warned as many people as I could.  Now I am just keeping my fingers crossed that our friends' kids stay well.

I talked with one father who said "you know, my daughter has had a weird rash for three days now."  Since my daughter played with her on Saturday, then showed symptoms on Monday, I don't think she could have given it to SB, but yikes.  This outbreak could be HUGE!

There isn't any treatment, other than Tylenol.  It's a relief that we can give it to her, though.  Overnight she developed tiny spots all over her hands, and she kept waking up crying and telling us how much her face and hands hurt her.  I didn't want to give her anything, since we weren't entirely sure what we were dealing with.  But after a quick trip to the doctor this morning and a quick diagnosis, we now know.  A dose of Tylenol later, she's a happy girl again, and tearing around the house.  Unlike some kids, she has no fever.  So, we have to quarantine her for about a week (no park! argh!  Good thing we bought that bouncy house for her birthday), and it should pass in about that time.

Of course, the big question is whether poor Miss M will get it.  She came home with a fever today, which COULD be a sign she is coming down with the virus.  But it so far seems more like a cold, and she woke frequently last night due to SB's crying.  Fingers crossed that she doesn't get it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Oh Crap!

We had the nicest weekend.  There wasn't anything particularly special about it. . .just the simple pleasures of ordinary family life with two awesome little people.  We did a pile of errands:  grocery shopping at the massive open air market that I love to go to; searching out fabric stores to try to track down the perfect fabric for Anna and Elsa costumes for the girls (Disney is sold out, and the kids desperately want them for our upcoming vacation, so we are making them); finally buying the gym shorts that go with Miss M's school uniform (because I am a bad parent, we've been sending her to school in--GASP!--her school uniform on gym days, which consists of. . .gym pants, a tshirt, and a windbreaker.  The horror of not having gym shorts!); playing in the park; long walks; painting; etc, etc.  We had a birthday party yesterday, where SB ran around an played for a bit, then cuddled with me for the rest of the party.   She spent a lot of time cuddling with me this weekend, which was so lovely, from my perspective.  I can't remember the last time she cuddled so much.

I should have known then that something was wrong.  She is active and outgoing, so cuddling all weekend, including at a birthday party that featured a bouncy house definitely seemed out of character, but I just chalked it up to the lack of long naps.  It didn't occur to me that she might be sick.  Sigh.  And then this morning, she woke up with a rash under her bottom lip...which we just chalked up to  some combination of teething/drooling/strawberry eating/binky sucking the night before.

We had a bunch of friends for dinner tonight with their kids.  We warned them all beforehand that she had this weird unidentified rash, but some of them apparently didn't get the message, and most came despite receiving it.  And of course, the first to arrive were a pair of teachers, who looked at poor SB and both immediately said "impetigo!"  And then the second family arrived, and said their youngest had it last week.

So apparently, impetigo is going around, and I had no idea what it was until this evening.  And apparently it's highly contagious.  And SB has been around several dozen children this weekend.  Which either means that one of them gave it to her, or she caught it from one.  I will feel terrible if she gave it to any of them.  It has an incubation period of one to ten days, depending on which type it is, so there's a pretty big window.  Oh, and she poked me in the eye tonight.  I am hoping I don't catch it, too.  Argh.  My poor baby.  We kept her confined to her high chair while all her friends were playing, then put her to bed early.  She was a good sport about it, but I know she really wanted to play with the other kids.  Hopefully we'll get a quick diagnosis in the morning when we see the doctor, an easy time with the medication, and a quick recovery.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Birthday Party

Despite all of my misgivings about inviting a million people to our house, the birthday party was perfect.  Yes, everyone came (55 people!).  Yes, the house was full.  But you know what?  I worried too much.  It wasn't too full.  It wasn't too chaotic.  It was just right.

I had ordered Pooh decals, and used them to decorate the walls.   We used 4 dozen green balloons (two shades!) and paper packaging from boxes we'd received to craft a giant tree the middle of our living room to recreate the Hundred Acre Wood.  We set up the bouncy castle (Tigger's Bounce House!) in the living room, and art projects in the dining room (create your own Pooh headband, and face painting like Pooh).  There were snacks.  A big meal (hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese for the little ones; a ham, fruit salad, and pesto pasta salad for the big ones).  Chocolate cupcakes (SB's favorite) and a chocolate cake, both decorated like beehives (honey!).  I successfully made buttercream icing.  I unsuccessfully made the cupcakes the first time (ugh. . .baking at altitude. . .they exploded).  But you know what?  I figured out what further adjustments I needed to make the second time around to make the recipe work at altitude, and it all worked out.

It was just. . .fun.  It was the perfect birthday party for a two year old.  We celebrated her, she had a blast, and all of our friends (and grandma and grandpa) were here to celebrate with us.  It was just really, really nice.

It's so easy to get caught in the trap of overthinking birthdays.  It's not that I wanted to outdo anyone else.  But I wanted SB to have a good birthday, and I wanted it to be special.  And it was, for all of the right reasons.  We did it OUR way, and in the end, THAT was what made it work, and what made it special.  I am so, so glad that we went ahead and had it at home, and that I was able to do the things that I wanted to do.  It was personal, and it was. . .just really perfect.  It made all of us really happy.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Happy Second Birthday, SB!

My dearest SB,

What a firecracker you are, and oh, how we enjoy each and every moment with you!  You are so very full of life, brimming with personality, wit, and laughter.  There is always a gleam in your eye.  You are full of spunk.

You have an enormous vocabulary, and I'm always amazed at the things you say to us.  You are thrilled to see me in the morning.  "Good morning, mommy," you say.  "Did you sleep good?  I had a good nap."  I love that you tell us when you wake in the morning that you had a good nap.  It's adorable.  This morning just before I left for work, you asked me if I was going to work, and then you told me that you didn't want me to go to work.  I melted.

Sometimes your syntax is a bit off.  "I want to pick you up," you say, holding your arms up to be picked up.  Also totally adorable!  You say it all of the time, and I love it.

You play pretend.  You still love Pooh, and Mickey Mouse, and will watch their cartoons forever.  You like to color, and also paint.  You still eat EVERYTHING.  We are constantly saying ridiculous things like "don't eat the crayons, please."  Your answer to everything his "WHY?"

You like to make other people laugh.  A few nights ago, and you your sister were in your beds giggling away.  You were supposed to be going to sleep, and she finally must have fallen asleep, because you were clearly trying to wake her up.  "Sister, sister!"  I heard you yell.  "I just tooted.  Sister, I tooted.  SISTER, I just TOOTED!!!"  You kept saying it over and over again, laughing uproariously at yourself after each line.  It was hilarious.

You hate to go to bed, and whine at us long after your sister has fallen asleep.  "Mommy, I need a sip of water," you call out to us.  When we tell you to go to sleep, you very indignantly yell back at us "I DON'T!"

You eat everything. . .when you feel like it.  Sometimes, it's just fruit.  You measured 90th percentile for height at your recent doctor's appointment, but only 50th percentile for weight.  You are a skinny minny despite your diverse palate.  You were on a big banana kick for a while, and wanted one every morning, but you seem over it.  Now, you prefer cheese, or toast, or cereal.  For now.  You still really love pineapple, but we still have to limit your intake, as it gives you a terrible rash on your bottom.

You are starting to be interested in potty training.  Sometimes, you'll tell me that you have to go, but you don't go when we sit you there.  You sometimes go on the floor right after, though!  But we'll get there, and I'm delighted that you are showing an interest so early.

You love music, and love to dance.  You are incredibly inquisitive, and ask lots of questions.  You love your sister, and are constantly hugging each other and playing together.  Your relationship is something that I am so happy about.  I love that you are so close, and that you have each other.  It is so special.  YOU are so special.

Every day is even more fun than the day before, my dear.  You are such a bright light, a huge and wonderful part of our lives.  I love you mucho, now and forever.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Decision Made

We decided to have SB's birthday party at home.  We also decided to just go ahead and invite everyone, and keep our fingers crossed that at least a few people will be busy and/or out of town.  (Is that bad that I am hoping people stay home?!  Not that I don't like them, of course--but CHAOS!)  So far, one family has said they are a "maybe" due to a conflicting obligation (I told them it was NO problem if they don't make it!!!), and we have about 22 people who have said they are coming.  The final guest list blossomed to 56 people.  Yegads!  Also, what is up with people not responding to electronic invitations?  Do they not realize that I can see if they have read the invitation, and the date they read it?  Click yes. . .click no. . .click maybe. . .I don't really care (although, I hate the "maybes"--how does one plan for "maybe"?), but it does help with numbers to actually have a decision.  So people, make one!

We decided on a Pooh theme, and I bought a pile of stuff online.  It said it would all arrive by the day before the party, which was totally fine. . .and then the day after I ordered it, the delivery date inexplicably changed to March 14, a week after I need the stuff.  That would be a problem, since I ordered a bouncy castle that plays a central role in the party (Tigger's Bounce House!).  I am trying to be all zen and keeping my fingers crossed that it all arrives on time despite what it says online.

My mom is currently driving me crazy visiting, and the girls are having a blast.  But I swear that her suitcase contained nothing but sugary American candy and clothes for my children, and I am utterly amazed every time she walks out of her bedroom wearing a different outfit, because every time I turn around, the kids are hopped up on sugar and throwing new clothes about the room.  Does anyone have a mother that actually listens to her about the grandchildren, or do they all slip the grandkids churros and bits of crack when they think the parents aren't looking?!   

My mother also seriously underestimates the amount of exercise my children need every day, and she clearly tires before they do.  She is meeting us at Disney later this spring for vacation, and I'm starting to worry about the clash of expectations that we are certain to experience.  A few months ago we did a tough hike, and Miss M finished the entire thing with nary a complaint.  Last weekend, some grown-up friends did it, and said it kicked their butts.  So I guess it shouldn't have been any surprise when the grandparents tuckered out looooong before the kids yesterday while we were visiting a farm outside the city.  The farm wasn't even that big, really.  My mother actually rolled her eyes at me when I told her we couldn't leave without seeing the dogs, which were off in a distant pasture.   But I had promised Miss M she could see them, and she was raring to go.  I fear the dear grandparents are going to lose it on It's a Small World, and we are all going to pay.

They are really only here for a long weekend, though, and it's been good to see them.  My kids are thrilled, and will be sad to see them go when they leave in a few days.  Luckily, they won't have to be sad for long, because my mother-in-law and her husband arrive the same day my mother leaves.  Why yes, we are gluttons for punishment.  :)