Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thank God summer is almost over

I've been busy lately.  I've basically been a single mother for the past 2 months.  Not only has Jim been gone Monday - Friday, for the past 3 weeks he's also been gone at least one day out of the weekend.  I'm not asking for sympathy...well, maybe a little.  But he'll be home this afternoon and should be done with the insane traveling for awhile.  Which is good because the girls (and myself) have reached our aloneness (yes, I know it's not a word) limit. 

Olivia has been in school for 3 weeks and absolutely loves it.  Yesterday morning we were (shockingly) ready 5 minutes early.  She was whining and begging me to leave the house because she just wanted "to go to schooollll."  I had a bit of a helicopter moment when she came home one day last week and said that the little girls who she had been playing with the day before suddenly told her she was "bad" and that she "couldn't come to the sleepover."  I tried so hard to not overreact.  I think I did pretty well considering I wanted to burst into tears, pull her out of school and go in and interrogate two little 4 year old girls who I don't even know.  So um, the next day, they were basically best friends.  And this week we dropped her off Tuesday and didn't even get a look back to say goodbye.  Nothing.  Not even a wave.  She saw these friends of hers and took off.  It was a very proud and heartbreaking moment for me.  If that makes sense.  She did then see us at the fence and say goodbye before we left.  She's also having a very hard time with Jim being gone.  The other afternoon I was getting my hair done and I got a call from Cheryl.  I could hear Olivia in the background crying her eyes out.  She was crying because she missed him.  Emily had asked when he was coming back and somehow that set her off.  So Jim then called the house and talked to her and then Cheryl looked at her baby book with her and after awhile she was feeling okay again.  

I've also noticed something recently.  I know our kids aren't just like us, but I mean some things could be inherited.  For instance, I get Olivia up at 7 to get ready for school.  This morning she actually came down right at 7.  All bright eyed and ready to go.  I feel like this is more like me.  Not the bright eyed and ready to go, but the getting used to a schedule (even when I wish I didn't).  Emily on the other hand - when she finally falls asleep at naptime - can sleep for hours AND is insanely hard to wake up.  Most of the time I have to go in and wake her and then come back at intervals to make sure she actually gets up.  And 9 times out of 10 she's fallen back asleep.  This is exactly like Jim. 
Emily has been branching out a bit lately.  When we go to the playground (since we can now that it's "cooling off" and we're back in the 90's) she actually plays with new kids.  The other day she came over to me very proud of herself and said, "Mom, I made a new friend!"  So cute.  She's also killing me with her attachment to her "nummy" (her pacifier-Olivia started calling it that when she had one - I have no idea why).  Before Abby was born she only used the nummy at naptime and bedtime.  After Abby - All.The.Time.  I know it's a safety/comfort thing.  So we're trying to take it away when she's happy and content and help her by talking and giving her lots of love.  I also say to her every time she talks while it's in her mouth, "I can't understand you."  It seems to be helping.  One because she has to take it out more often and two because I'm paying more attention to what she is saying.  I know that sounds awful, but it can be hard to focus and listen all the time.

Abby has changed so much in the past 3 weeks.  She is now crawling like crazy, pulling herself up on everything, trying to stand alone, eating "real" food (this is why she wasn't eating much before - she doesn't want to be fed - she wants to do it herself), and saying "Mama" (yay! - although it's for everything - but I can pretend she's using it correctly).  She's basically a different baby.  And she has some crazy hair, just like her sisters.  She's so interactive and loves, loves, loves watching her sisters, crawling on them, and laughing at them.  I feel like there is so much to say about her, but I don't know what else to write.  It's more these little moments that happen with her every day.  Like when I go in to get her in the morning or after a nap and she is standing up with her little face popping up over the edge of the crib and then she gets this massive smile on her face.  Or at night when she's tired and I'm getting her pajamas on and she is so giddy and silly.  I'll tickle her or blow raspberries on her belly or neck and she will crack up.  It's the sweetest sound in the world.  Or how every now and again she'll do a sign, like for "milk" or "more", just to make me think that she might be getting it and then the rest of the time she'll just bang on the highchair tray.  And she has this little smile like she thinks we are all just the craziest people in the world and she's getting such a kick out of us.  She's full of these little moments and she's growing up faster than I can keep up.  It's sad and it's amazing at the same time.  With all of them actually.  My heart breaks for every stage that they leave and yet I'm thrilled about every stage that they enter.  I guess that's the beauty and misery of being a parent. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Why I need 3 sets of eyes...

I took Emily to the doctor this morning.  No, not for another strep throat or ear infection.  This trip is a result of poor parenting (at least that is what the guilt is screaming in my ear).

Yesterday morning was a tough one.  Olivia was on her 3rd day of school and did not want to wear the blue shirt that we had bought to go with the skirt.  She wanted to wear another jumper - but we had only bought 2 jumpers and 2 white shirts and this being the 3rd day - she had to wear a skirt and blue shirt.  So I'm comforting her and helping her button her shirt.   I'm also trying to watch Abby because although I checked the floor before I put her down I was nervous about her finding something and putting it in her mouth.  Her pincher grasp is quite good and the other day I thought she swallowed something she found on the floor.  I had checked the floor that time as well and I'm pretty sure she didn't.  On a side note my floors are much cleaner these days

Anyway, I'm focusing on these 2 things while Emily is brushing her teeth.  I didn't notice that she had moved from the sink and was now jumping on Olivia's bed - with her toothbrush in her mouth - until she seemingly flipped off the bed and landed right in front of me.  And then proceeded to scream her head off.  She wouldn't tell me what was wrong but I concluded that she hit her throat with her toothbrush. The rest of the morning she was miserable.  I thought it could have been because she got up at 6:30 that morning.  She had some good moments but overall a rough day.  Then last night she was watching a show before bed and started to cry and kind of threw up, actually more of a spit up, and it was just clear liquid.  Sorry, gross.  I put her to bed and she went right to sleep - which is soooooo different for her.  Normally she's up for a good hour after I put her to bed.  So then I freaked out.  And did the stupidest thing a worried mom can do.  I googled.  I googled "oropharyngeal trauma."  Not initially - I first googled "toddler falling with toothbrush in mouth."  Anyway, I find this:

"Children often fall with objects in their mouths and may suffer trauma to the oropharynx. These injuries pose a significant diagnostic challenge because the vast majority will heal spontaneously without complications, but a small minority will develop deep neck infections or carotid artery injuries that cause major morbidity and mortality."

I immediately determine that because Emily spit up a bit of spit and went right to sleep that she is of course in this small minority and has a carotid artery injury.  Then I start to google more - and find this - The Toothbrush: A Rare but Potentially Life-Threatening Cause of Penetrating Oropharyngeal Trauma in Children.  Are you kidding me??????!!!  I start to panic and check on her every 5 minutes.  Finally I come across an article with a bit of normal information and signs to look for.  I also called their doctor.  She knows me - probably because she thinks I'm a lunatic - but I love her and she doesn't make me feel like a lunatic.  She has 3 older kids about the same distance as mine, so she says she can relate to us being at the doctors office just about every other week.  So maybe she doesn't think I'm that much of a lunatic.  Anyway, she reassured me that it was highly unlikely that she hit her carotid artery but if I wanted to bring her in in the morning she would take a quick look at her. 

In conclusion - Emily did poke a hole in her throat with her toothbrush.  Which is just awful and is the reason I need 3 sets of eyes.  She is now on an antibiotic so that it doesn't get infected.  I have to squirt salt water in her mouth after she eats.  And she should really only be eating soft foods for a few days.  But at least she didn't hit her carotid artery. 

Today she doesn't seem any worse for wear.  Although she does say her throat hurts.  And I'm inclined to believe her.

This is where I keep Abby so she's not on the bathroom floor.  I feel kind of smart for thinking of it.