Friday, April 19, 2013



I just realized that Elliott will be eight weeks old on Monday. EIGHT. I had lost track and thought we were coming up on seven weeks. This is just unacceptable. (And only four full weeks left at home with the boys, which I do not want to talk about. Well, I do…but not tonight.)

Since we last met, Nico has completely recovered from his doom-croup. We were at the ER on a Sunday, saw the pediatrician Monday, and spent a bit of time Tuesday afternoon playing in the sun on the playground down the street. He had a week of nebulizer treatments at home (which he really was great about) and so far, so good. I hope now that winter's over we can all stay healthy for awhile. We let him hunt for eggs in the front yard the Sunday after Easter and he had a great time. I made an attempt to get posed shots of both boys, which went about as well as you might expect from a hopped-up three-year-old and a six-week-old. They're cute, though…I think I'll keep them.

It's been fun watching Elliott become more alert by the day, starting to watch his mobile and us more intently. He's smiling a little and trying out his voice with little shy coos…basically making me want six more babies nearly all the time. He does have a very unfortunate hair situation going on right now, though - bald on top and on the left side of his head, but with hair on the right side and the back. It's just comically bad and all I can think of is this:

In spite of the unfortunate hair, he is truly a most excellent baby. He is generally sweet and adorable and usually only gets mad if he wakes up hungry or if I drink something with caffeine (oh, chai lattes, how I miss you). He makes some seriously hilarious faces and has possibly the best baby eyebrows of all time. And he's wonderfully portable and has slept through quite a few outings in his Snugli. I haven't had as much time with him as I had with Nico to write schmoopy letters or to sit gazing into his eyes in wonderment. I suspect in the long run it'll work out okay.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013



I miss writing here, dammit. Sometime soon, I hope. We're all well, just short on minutes to string together. I hope all of you are also well!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Easter basket post

Easter basket post

Jen suggested on Twitter that people write up Easter basket posts so she can make a list for us all to refer to next year for ideas. I kept Nico's basket pretty simple this year, though it was kind of extravagant compared to last year.

I saw these Micro Machine sized vehicles in a two pack at Toys R Us and thought Nico would love them. He has some of MB's childhood Micro Machines and plays with them quite often.

These day of the week truck underpants were kind of stupid-expensive but my potty-training desperation is starting to show, so I saw them at Old Navy and snatched them up. Until I added them, the whole basket probably only cost around twenty bucks.

Whole basket: inexpensive toy front loader, Micro Machines in eggs, sand / water mill, bug net, underpants, and a cool bubble toy that makes bubbles by squeezing rather than blowing. I decided not to put any treats in the basket since we were supposed to have a family egg hunt on Sunday afternoon.

I debated what to put in the egg hunt eggs for the two hunts that Nico participated in this year. He's not a big candy-eater yet and I'm totally okay with perpetuating that as long as possible. I ended up using Annie's Bunnies graham cookies for his preschool hunt and Annie's fruit snacks for the Spring Break / Easter party we attended. I made a note of what the other parents had done, because I liked the non-candy ideas:

Coins - Nico had never had money before and he was kind of excited over the twelve cents he got in one egg.
Small toys - bouncy balls, slinkies, die cast cars (our Dollar Tree had sets of three for a dollar)
Play Doh eggs
Stickers / tattoos

And someone I follow on Facebook mentioned that she got each of her kids a small Lego set and then distributed the pieces among a bunch of eggs that she hid. She color-coded the eggs to the kids so the sets didn't get mixed up and presumably was careful not to hide any of the eggs too well.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

the Easter that wasn't

the Easter that wasn't

I had fun doing Nico's Easter basket this year, even though almost everything was bought on a whim at Target for around $20 total. I had planned to add some eggs with bunny grahams and goldfish crackers, but as I was putting it all together on Saturday night I changed my mind and didn't add any treats at all. He already had a little bit of candy from the two egg hunts we'd already gone to and my family has a big egg hunt for the kids before Easter dinner, too. Jen suggested on Twitter that we all write Easter basket posts so we can look at each other's next year for ideas, so I took lots of pictures as I was putting it together. I'll write that post, too, but it should probably be separate from this one for reasons that will become clear in a moment.

Here's Nico at 8:00 AM Sunday digging into his loot:

And here's Nico at 2:45 after his cough turned into croupy wheezing and an unfortunate cough-barf incident followed by him lying on the floor and telling me "I'm just tired. I'm just really tired."

You can't tell from the photo, but I took it while he was draped across my shoulder crying while I was trying to nurse Elliott. Saddest bunny in all the land. He briefly rallied after that and even played a funny game of hiding under the blanket and I thought we might get to go to the egg hunt at 4:30. But then he cough-barfed again and fell asleep on the floor of his bedroom. I went to check on him after MB moved him to his bed and his breathing was really awful, really scary. His breaths were fast and shallow and extremely raspy, and every once in a while all his inhales would sound barky. I sat on his bed with my phone, googling "croup hospital" and running down the checklist of symptoms that mean "go to the doctor right now." I posted on twitter, hoping someone else with past croupy-kid experience could advise me.

I'm not an ER trigger-puller and I don't tend to worry overmuch, but this seemed pretty bad. And of course it had to happen on a holiday Sunday, right? I didn't want to drag Nico to the ER to sit among contagious sick people for God knows how many hours when he could be resting at home. He had a follow-up appointment scheduled for Monday morning with the pediatrician anyway. But I listened to his breath barking in his throat and saw how hard his little body was working and 18 hours of waiting just didn't feel right at all. Twitter said to call the 24-hour nurseline if our pediatrician had one, so I called the doctor's office number and got the on-call nurse's cell phone number from the answering service. The after-hours pediatric clinic was closed for the holiday. The two urgent care clinics were closed for the holiday. So at 6:00 we called my mom and asked her to come sit with Elliott. We arrived at the ER around 6:30 and even though the waiting room wasn't very busy, all the staff told us they'd been slammed all day. While we were checking in, one nurse told the other that every room they had was full, but then someone called down as we were standing there and said three rooms had opened up. We got Nico's hospital bracelet and took him to sit in a far corner away from everyone who might breathe on him, but we maybe sat there two minutes before the triage nurse called us back to check Nico's oxygen levels.

He put one of those clips on Nico's finger and plugged him into the machine. I watched his pulse ox number drop from 94 to 92 to 88. The nurse frowned at the readout and said, "I don't think that's fitting him very well. We need to do that again, because if that's right he's going straight back." He dug out a smaller finger-reader that he taped onto Nico's tiny finger and plugged him back in, only to get the same number again. While MB and I nattered on trying to keep Nico from flipping out ("Look, your finger has a red light! It's just like a siren! And that cord looks kind of like the robot they build on I Spy, doesn't it?") the nurse went to the door and told the intake nurse that Nico was getting a room. She seemed a little surprised but he was insistent and bless him for that, seriously. "Sorry to be pushy," he told her, "but I want that room. He's going back right now." That was the worst moment for me as far as feeling afraid, I think. I felt a spike of fear in my stomach that maybe this was not just bad but really bad.

They took us back to a room and put a tiny oxygen mask on Nico's face. Within an hour of arriving they'd given Nico a breathing treatment and ordered a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia. After that there was a lot of waiting because they were so backed up. But Nico did much better after using the nebulizer, so we sat on his bed and read the books I'd tossed into my purse before we left the house. By 8:00 I really needed to pump for Elliott and there was no telling how much longer we'd have to wait, so as much as I hated to leave, I called my dad to come pick me up. MB assured me they'd be fine without me and he was right, but walking out of that ER and leaving my first baby behind so I could go take care of my second baby was really hard.

By the time I finished pumping around 8:45, Nico had been x-rayed and given a steroid shot in his tiny butt. Reportedly he didn't cry at all, only announced "I'm not crying! I'm being really brave!" (Shut up, I just have something in my eye.) Word was that they wanted to wait and see how his pulse ox levels were after a second breathing treatment, and that if they weren't good enough he'd have to spend the night. I sent my mom home at 9:45, figuring if I did have to take pajamas and toothbrushes over to the hospital, I could always just pack Elliott along with me. The doctor read the X-ray and said no pneumonia. We waited some more. Finally, at 10:30, MB texted me to say they were coming home. The ER doctor didn't think he had croup but that he had contracted a bacterial infection. (This morning his pediatrician disagreed and said she thinks it is croup, though it could be symptoms of him developing asthma.)

These certainly aren't the Easter photos I planned to take or the Easter stories I thought I'd be telling. I never dressed the boys in cute outfits and tried valiantly to get a photo of them together. There's no cute picture of Nico hunting eggs in the grass or holding up his Easter basket with a skeptical look on his face. But it's okay, really, because he's fine. He's going to be fine, and that's the only thing that matters.