Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Very Barfy Christmas

We’re back from our trip to Maryland! We got to see aunts and uncles and grandmommies and cousins and great aunts and second cousins and all sorts of folks that we get to see all too rarely. I got some cute pictures and videos that I’ll put up on the blog later tonight for you all to enjoy.

The good: Spending time with family. Watching Greta and Romelie play side by side (though Romelie is so sensitive, she cried whenever Greta tried to hug her!). Warm weather – we were able to take Romelie for a walk outside, something we definitely cannot do in MN (it’s -8 degrees right now). Delicious food (too…many…cookies!). A new forward-facing car seat for our growing toddler. Victory for the Vikings (NFC North champions – suck it, Chicago!) And plenty of time for rest and relaxation. Ahhhh.

The not-so-good: An evil stomach bug came to visit on Christmas day and slowly worked its way through everyone but Chason and me. So I guess we can count ourselves lucky (I got sick with something for one day, but I didn’t barf so maybe it was psychosomatic) – but alas, Romelie was not spared. Puked all over herself around 2 o’clock in the morning halfway through our visit. Went to take her to the bathroom, only to discover that they were all full with Bronwyn, Shane, Torin, and Roy! Bad night all around. So that put the kibosh on any sightseeing for our trip. Which is okay – we’ll do it next time around. But then, for some unfair reason, Romelie got it again two days later on our flight home to Mpls. She blurped on herself during our layover at the Philadelphia airport, so we changed her into her back-up outfit, then she lost it again just as we were about to board the plane. So she had to ride home in her diaper until we could pick up our checked luggage. Poor baby. I must say, though, instead of gagging or being disgusted, people are very kind and helpful when you have a puking baby. Folks were offering wipes and sympathetic faces all over the terminal.

Now we’re getting back into the swing of things at home. Romelie’s back in daycare after the barfs were all gone. Our fantastic friend Crystal is in town and staying with us for the week, so I’m getting out of the house a bit. The weather sucks – Minnesota has apparently forgotten how to plow / salt the roads, because they are icy and slick and it keeps on snowing – but it’s good to be home. Romelie’s going to spend the night with Grandpa Dan so Chason and I can do a bit of New Year’s Eve celebrating (not all crazy-like, just trying to actually make it to midnight this year). I’ll have to work on some New Year’s resolutions so I have some goals to neglect in 2009. Take more pictures, maybe? I’ll think on it and get back to you.
Addition 1/19/09: Finally! The camera's been found, so here are the videos. Video number one - Romelie the musician:

And video number two - Romelie talks:

Monday, December 22, 2008

A very scary day

Well, we had an interesting weekend. Let me say, "interesting" is definitely NOT the right word. But I don't have a good word right now, so we'll stick with that one anyway.

Friday, my mom and I drove out to Milwaukee to have Christmas with Paul and see his show, "A Christmas Carol" (Romelie stayed at home with Chason). Despite the foot of snow that was dumped on Milwaukee in the previous 24 hours, the drive out there was not too bad. The show was great and it was fun to see Paul for a short while at least. The drive back was a bit snowier - we saw dozens of cars in the ditch - but we made it back safely.

Then yesterday I aged about 5 years.

I borrowed my mom's car - which has 4-wheel drive - to drive to AM church. I left Romelie at home, something I never do, because it was really cold out and my mom offered to watch her. I got on the highway and drove less than a mile when I lost control of the car. I don't think I hit a patch of ice; I think it was the wind trying to push me off the road. But I swerved nearly off the road, then back on, then off, then back on, and then I spun out and started going sideways. I spun over 180 degrees, crossed into the other lane, and finally stopped - facing the wrong direction - maybe a foot away from the guard rail. Still can't believe I didn't hit it. Then, what's more amazing, no one hit me. Cars went around me (some slipping and sliding past) until both lanes of traffic were finally able to stop and I did a 3-point turn around and continued on my way, shaking and thanking my car angels.

Then, after making it safely home (via side roads), I went to feed Romelie her lunch. Pieces of meatball, pieces of bread, and fruit. And my little tiny toddler got a piece of meatball stuck in the back of her throat and couldn't get it out. She wasn't choking (I could see the food), but she was gagging and turning red, and then she got scared and started crying and gasping and I was so so scared she was going to suck it back into her windpipe. I grabbed her out of her chair and ran outside and screamed for Chason. We had her in the kitchen, holding her horizontally with her face down, and Chason was trying to sweep her mouth. Finally, after this had gone on for what was probably a minute but felt lots longer, she threw it up.

And we're fine. I'm fine, she's fine, everyone's okay. But it took a long time for me to calm down yesterday. I don't know why we had two horrible, ultimate fear moments happen less than 6 hours apart, but I'm very thankful neither turned out worse than they did. But I do feel about 5 years older today.

Believe it or not, the day did end up alright. We got to celebrate early Christmas with my mom, which was fun. And just to clear your mind of some of yesterday's trauma, here are some cute pictures for you to enjoy. And pray for good weather for the 24th, both for my brother's travels home and our trip to D.C. via Chicago.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Mr. Pinkeye and other ailments

I just had a bit of inspiration. Through zwaggle.com, an awesome website that I think I've mentioned before (check it out for more information), we obtained a few Dr. Seuss books and an old classic, Mr. Silly. You remember those books, right? The Mr. Men and Little Miss books. Anyway, they're awesome. Well, I don't know if someone has already done this, but I think I would like to author a series of Mr. and Little Miss Ailment books to teach kids about common illnesses. The main character contracts the illness and learns about what causes it, what it feels like, how to treat it, etc. They'd be things like Mr. Common Cold, Little Miss Stomach Flu, and Mr. Pinkeye. I think it's brilliant.

The reason for this inspiration comes from this past week when Romelie was visited by Mr. Pinkeye. That bastard.

It started off as Mr. Common Cold - she had a little cough (still does, sadly), and a runny eye. Unfortunately, two other kids in her daycare were found to have pinkeye, so Jen asked me to bring her to the doctor on Tuesday. Well, it wasn't pinkeye...and to be fair, her eye wasn't actually pink yet. But by Wednesday, the left eye was pink; Thursday morning she woke up with both eyes glued shut; and when the same thing happened on Friday and the right eye was starting to show a little pink, it seemed like she must have gotten it. I called the doctor's office and they didn't make me bring her back in, just prescribed some medicine. So she stayed home from daycare on Friday (and I stayed home from work) and we picked up the prescription from the pharmacy.

First, I must tell you - this is Romelie's SECOND prescription in less than a week. When I brought her to the doctor for her false alarm - well, early alarm - I also took advantage of the fact that we were already there and showed the doctor these weird bumps that have developed on her leg. It started as eczema, then turned into these four weird bumps after Dr. Mitchell recommended treating it with Cortaid. Even after we stopped the Cortaid, the bumps kept getting bigger and purpler and weirder. Apparently it was so odd, the doctor went and got three other doctors to look at it (including Dr. Mitchell, her regular doctor). So anyway, they prescribed this cream which seems to be working really well, but still - her first prescription medicine ever, followed by another one three days later.

But back to the pinkeye. Now, I must preface by saying that Dr. Mitchell is awesome. He got a baby out of me safely and successfully, so I love that man to death. But I owe him a hard time the next time I see him (which will be on Wednesday when Romelie goes back to the doctor for a weight check), because rather than prescribing drops for Romelie's pinkeye, he prescribed a gel. Here's how it works: you pull the lower eyelid down to expose the inside of the lid. You then take 1/2 inch of the gel and wipe it onto the inside of the lid. In both eyes. SIX times a day. Ever tried to poke your finger inside a one year old's eyelids once, let alone six times a day? In both eyes? She's finally gotten used to it and puts up little fuss, but the first 6-7 applications involved me, Chason, and a screaming, screaming kid. It truly sucked for everyone.

Hence my book, Mr. Pinkeye. He has a comically pink eye, prompting the reader to find humor in the situation, and even though he doesn't like wiping gel into his eyeball every 2-1/2 hours, he knows that by doing so, his eye will go back to normal and he'll feel much better. And the one year old reader will think, "Huh. I guess this isn't so bad after all. I mean, if Mr. Pinkeye can deal with it, then gosh darnit, so can I." And the orders will pour in and I'll be a millionare. Everybody wins.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The best weekend ever

Romelie just had her best weekend so far. Only one fit all weekend, and it was a little one. Of course, it was in public, but for the most part, she was happy and playful all weekend long.

Before I brag about what an angel she was, I promised I’d mention these fits she’s been throwing. Sometimes they’re brought on by something obvious – she doesn’t want her diaper changed, she doesn’t want me to stick my finger in her nose, she doesn’t want to go in the car seat…you get the idea. But sometimes, out of nowhere, she just starts screaming. Her whole body arcs and stiffens, she cries and screams and writhes. It looks like she’s in pain, and for a while I figured it was teething-related, but she hasn’t had a new tooth in a few weeks, so I don’t think that’s it. It’s pretty tough to deal with, because you can’t really calm her down; you just have to wait until she’s done. I read on my favorite website, babycenter.com, that babies/toddlers throw tantrums like this because they’re frustrated but don’t know how to express themselves or control their emotions, and the best thing to do is to let it pass (either by ignoring it or by holding the kid until it’s over) and then talk about it after they’ve calmed down so they know that the behavior is unacceptable. So that’s what we do. But it’s tough when she’s throwing these fits off and on all evening – it makes it not so fun to spend time with her (sorry, but it does).

So that’s why this weekend was so amazing. Starting Friday when I picked her up from daycare, she was giggly and playful and attentive and happy all weekend. She cried a few times, but as I said, she only threw one fit, and it only lasted for less than a minute.

We did some fun stuff this weekend, too. Saturday we went to Baby Storytime at the library. It was our third Saturday going to this, and it’s a pretty great activity – one of the few events actually geared towards babies. We sing songs and read books and then they pull out a bin of toys for the babies to play with. Romelie actually played catch with me this time! She threw the ball in my general direction; I rolled it back. Afterwards, Chason and I took her to the MN Zoo. I’ve never been there in the winter (and haven’t been there at all in years), so it was pretty fun to look around. Romelie sat through the World of Birds show and didn’t make a peep; she was fascinated. Then Sunday we went to morning church to work in the nursery, and I only had to hold her about half the time – a huge improvement, since normally I have to hold her from the moment the first kid shows up until the last child leaves, anywhere from 1-2.5 hours. Then she sat through evening church with me and only got upset towards the end (that was when she threw her fit). But I stood up with her and bounced her and she calmed down pretty quickly.

I know that babies/toddlers throw tantrums, and I’m sure they’ll be plenty more to come in the future, but it was awfully nice to have a fun and pleasant weekend with my husband and kid.

No new pictures, but I do have a new video to share. This was at the nursery on Sunday. We get there at 9:00, but we don’t get our first kid until 9:30 (and sometimes not until closer to 10:30, when church starts), so Romelie has time to play and explore on her own. She’s a big fan of puzzles; she likes to pull all the pieces out and play with them. Well, last week, she figured out how to put one of the pieces – a ball – back into the puzzle. She’d take it out and put it back in and I’d clap and say ‘yay’ and then she’d do it again. So I got a video of her accomplishment. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My brilliant child

Sometimes I have “it’s hard to be a mom” days (especially since Romelie started throwing fits a few weeks ago), and at other times I have “it’s great to be a mom” days. Yesterday it was great. So we’ll focus on that and save the tantrum info for the next blog entry.

Before I get to the heart of this, I just want to mention that we had a very nice four day weekend for Thanksgiving. We had fun at my dad’s house and got to meet my cousin Brandon’s baby boy, Chase. We had lots of yummy food (and yummy leftovers!) and then spent the next three days relaxing. Good times.

Back to the yay-for-being-a-mom. Yesterday, Romelie said a new word. I haven’t really talked about her speech habits yet on this blog, but I’m pretty sure she’s now up to five words – mama, dada, yeah, hi and bye. She’s said these words out of context a thousand times, but she’s also said them appropriately on a number of different occasions, so I have to assume she at least has a general idea of what they mean. If we’re getting picky, I think ‘dada’ was her first word – she’s been saying it the longest.

Well, yesterday her new word was ‘bye.’ We were leaving daycare and I set her on the floor so I could get my shoes on. She crawled over to the door and peeked through its window at one of the boys from the daycare who had just left.

“Bye.”

Oh, that’s cute. She just made a sound like she was saying goodbye.

“Bye.”

Pause. “Romelie, are you saying ‘bye’ to Raiden?”

She waves at Raiden. “Bye.”

Too cute. Then later we went home and she started in on her favorite thing: finding tiny fuzzies on the floor and putting them in her mouth. Normally, we have to force our fingers through her clamped-shut jaws to extract the fuzzy. But yesterday:

“Romelie, open your mouth.” She does – and promptly shuts it. “Open it again, please.” She does – and I get the fuzzy.

Needless to say, she was heaped with praise about being a good listener. To be fair, later in the evening when a new fuzzy found its way into her mouth, it was business as usual, but for that one glorious moment, she followed directions. Twice.