Monday, March 24, 2014

Rosen Baby #2

I haven't blogged in forever, and for good reason.  I am carrying our little baby Rosen #2!  I'm about 11 weeks along now.  In many ways this pregnancy has been remarkably similar to the last one, and in many ways it's been different.  I started feeling sick around the same time- about 6 weeks.  But this time it has lasted much longer.  The intensity was about the same during weeks 6-9, thought I actually did vomit this time, but now it's decreased to almost nothing and it's just hanging on.  For the past 3 or 4 weeks I've thought it was finally gone, and then it'll come back.  The fatigue has been very similar to last time, thought with the added complication of having a toddler to care for.  For 3 or 4 weeks I could barely get through each work day.  Picking up Elijah after work felt like climbing a mountain.  By the time I got home, I was just barely getting through until Elijah's bedtime around 7pm.  The last few weeks my energy has slowly returned.  I am able to get through my day and all the way to Elijah's bedtime without too much difficulty.  But pretty much every night I'm in bed by 8 and asleep by 8:30pm.  Then I'm up again at 6am to start all over again.

Daniel has been absolutely amazing through this pregnancy.  He has really taken on a lot while I've been too exhausted and sick to do much of anything.  For a few weeks he took care of Elijah and did most of my usual house cleaning and laundry chores.  He has also cooked dinner nearly every night even though I am always too nauseated to eat it.  A few times he has even satisfied my cravings and gone out to get something specific (usually ice cream related).  He hasn't seemed as excited about the new baby this time.  I think he's been too overwhelmed caring for Elijah and taking over all of my chores.  But when we had our ultrasound last week (we had the 12 week ultrasound a little early), I could see his excitement for the first time.  He had the biggest smile on his face when we saw our little jumping bean on the screen.  Elijah was there too, and he pointed to the screen and said "baby!"  It was such a great family moment.  He told me after that appointment that he was really getting excited.  It has been easy for me to be excited.  I have loved literally every stage of Elijah's life.  So how could I not be excited?  I get to do it all over again!

I think I am just starting to show this week too.  Many of my clothes are getting just a little bit tight.  Which is perfect, because it's just starting to warm up now.  I'm back to my habit of having a big bowl of fruit each day.  My cravings have been exactly the same as my last pregnancy.  So far, Elijah hasn't shown any understanding of what's going on.  We point to my belly and say "baby" a lot, and this morning he finally did it himself, completely unprompted.  I think as my belly starts to get bigger he might understand a little better.  His teacher is doing a lot to prepare him as well.  I am so grateful to have her and his whole school as a resource during transitions like this.  They've been through this a hundred times with other kids, so they know exactly what to do.

We are exactly two years and one month behind my last pregnancy.  The baby is due October 9, 2014.  We have our gender ultrasound in early May.  I truly would be happy with either a boy or a girl.  If it's a boy, Elijah will have a little brother as a playmate, and we will get to reuse all of his clothes.  But I would also be very happy to have a little girl to do girly things with.  I think I'm hoping about 51% for a girl, and 49% for a boy.  But overall, I could not be happier.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Visit to the ER

Last week we hit a milestone for the baby book- though one I was hoping to avoid for a very long time, or hey, maybe forever.  Elijah had his first trip to the ER.  His first sign of illness was over Martin Luther King Day weekend. It started with a cough.  But honestly, he gets a cough about every 2 weeks during the winter.  So we just decided to wait for it to pass, and manage the symptoms with a spoonful of honey at bedtime and a humidifier.  It didn't seem to bother him at all though.  In fact, he was in a remarkably good mood all weekend.  He was quite tired starting on Saturday.  He fell asleep while we drove about 20 minutes to the other side of town at around 9am.  We just let him take a little nap, figuring it would give him a little rest and allow him to make it to naptime without becoming overtired.  Besides that it was a normal day.   Daniel decided Saturday night on a whim to rip out the shower in the guest bathroom, so we were planning on installing a bathtub during the remainder of the weekend.  I remember waking up Sunday morning (Elijah actually slept in!) and we lit a fire in the fireplace and just laid around all morning doing pretty much nothing.  We went to Home Depot to buy a bathtub, and Elijah fell asleep on the way home.  This time, it took about 3 minutes.  So we took that opportunity to go to one of those drive through car washes and let him sleep.  When we got home, he woke up.  Sort of.  He was awake, but extremely lethargic.  He just wanted to sit on my lap.  We sat in my bed and watched over an hour of Sesame Street while Daniel worked on the bathroom.  I couldn't believe it.  He's never sat still to watch anything for more than 10 minutes.  But it still didn't phase me.  I could tell he had a fever, so I thought he was just sick and needed some rest.  After he ate nothing for lunch, I put him down for a nap.  FOUR HOURS later, he was still fast asleep.  Like completely out.  I went in and woke him up to make sure he would go to bed on time.  His temperature was at 101F.  The evening was spent again just sitting in my lap.  That's all he wanted to do.  He went to bed easily about 30 minutes earlier than usual.  Monday morning was similar.  He was very lethargic, felt warm, and slept 4 hours again before I woke him.  We knew at that point that he couldn't go to school on Tuesday.  So we planned for Daniel to stay home with him.  I really thought he would wake up feeling much better and we would be able to take him back on Wednesday.  But he woke up Wednesday with a fever.  At breakfast, he coughed so hard that he vomited.  A lot.  Right then Daniel called to make a doctor's appointment.  I went to work with the goal of getting as much done as possible because I would have to stay home with him on Wednesday.

Daniel texted me from home to show me that he fell asleep right on Daniel's lap at 9am.  He put him in the crib and let him sleep until they had to leave for the doctor at 10am.  Then he texted me from the doctor's office.  His oxygen was very low.  They gave him a nebulizer treatment with albuterol, and his oxygen didn't improve at all.  He called me to tell me that there was a very small chance that he would have to go to Children's Hospital.  I panicked because I had work that I couldn't do until that afternoon that was really important.  I let my boss and co-workers know what was going on, but none of us thought he would really end up at the hospital.  Daniel texted me that they were taking him to radiology for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia.  It came back clean.  But, oxygen was still low.  He was still very lethargic.  He needed to be on oxygen long term.  So the decision was made to send him to Children's Hospital.  I'm actually surprised how well I held it together.  I informed my boss and immediately she told me she would take care of everything and I could leave.  I was so grateful.

I called Elijah's teacher to let her know what was going on, and she was the first person to mention RSV to me.  I told her that the diagnosis was bronchiolitis, and she asked me if that was related to RSV.  She explained that a child had been allowed to come to school with a doctor's note after he/she was diagnosed with RSV.  Now many children in his class were out sick.  In fact, only half of them were there that day.  I told her I would ask the doctor about RSV and thanked her for that information.  She was extremely apologetic and was very worried about Elijah.

I drove over to Children's Hospital (which is on the same campus as my work) and went to the ER.  Daniel was in an ambulance with Elijah and they pulled up soon after I arrived.  I was allowed back and I met them in the hallway with the EMTs.  I was so very happy to see him.  But also shocked.  He was strapped in a car seat-like harness onto a hospital bed clutching his monkey in one hand, and his sippie cup in the other.

We were taken into a room where they started taking all his vitals.  I asked about RSV and they confirmed that that was most likely what he had.  They have a standard course of treatment that they follow- 8 hours of observation in the ER and then if he doesn't get worse, he can go home with an oxygen tank to use at home.  We will follow up with Elijah's pediatrician in 24 hours.  So that's what we did.  We were taken to a private "observation" room with a TV, bed, crib, and private bathroom.  We tried to get Elijah to sleep (he missed his nap entirely, though he did doze on and off in the various doctor's offices).  He couldn't sleep, so I gave up.  He pulled out his oxygen tubing and his pulse oximeter multiple times.  He mostly did okay with the nasal cannula in, but the act of actually placing it on his face was a battle.  He was tethered to the wall so we had to keep him happy and calm on the hospital bed.  It was pretty easy since he was so upset.

A respiratory therapist came in and gave him an experimental treatment that I approved ahead of time.  It was a nebulizer just of saline.  I figured saline couldn't hurt, and it definitely sounds like it would help.  Well, it was awful.  It was like watching my son be tortured.  The saline was intended to irritate his airway and cause him to cough up any mucus in his lungs.  The result was that Elijah coughed so hard that he could barely catch his breath.  It sounded like he would vomit from coughing so hard.  By the end of the 10 minute treatment, he was so exhausted that he fell asleep sitting up on the bed with the mask still attached on his face.  She also put a vacuum tube in his nose that sucked out all the mucus and everything.  The nurse had to hold him down while he kicked.  But by then he was so exhausted and sick, he didn't have much energy to fight.  After all of that, we just waited for the 8 hours to expire.  That put us at 10pm.

Daniel had gone to retrieve our car and some things for the evening, so I was on my own.  I couldn't go anywhere because I had to keep Elijah on the bed and hooked up to oxygen.  We played with some toys and spent a lot of time cuddling.  He was so sad and uncomfortable.  His temperature was around 104F, so they gave him some motrin.  Daniel got back about 6pm, just in time so that I could eat some dinner and we could get Elijah to bed.  At home, we bathe him, put lotion on, and then just put him in his crib and close the door.  He goes to sleep happily on his own.  That didn't really work in one hospital room that was noisy and bright.  So I held him and rocked him to sleep.  He fussed a little, but fell asleep by 7:30pm.  I laid him down and he slept until we were allowed to leave at 10pm.  Some people came to show us how to use the oxygen tank.  And then we were free to go.  We all collapsed into bed around 11pm.  I was worried that Elijah would get tangled up or strangle himself with the oxygen tubing, so I didn't sleep much.

The next morning, Elijah seemed like he was feeling a little better.   Elijah hated being tethered to the tank.  Every time he saw the cord trailing behind him he would scream and get upset.  But after a few hours he started to ignore it and play normally.   Some people delivered a bunch more oxygen tanks to last us a few days, and they also brought an extra long 50 ft cord so Elijah had a little more freedom to walk around the house.  He still didn't like it, but it was more tolerable.  He also didn't sleep well with the tubing attached.  I ended up spending a lot of time holding him and rocking him the rest of that week.  I missed the whole rest of the week of work.  Daniel stayed home with us on Wednesday, but went back to work on Thursday and Friday.  We went to see the pediatrician on Wednesday afternoon and his oxygen levels were still too low to take him off oxygen.  By Friday he seemed much more like himself.  His appetite was near normal, energy level was near normal, and he had no fever.  That morning his pediatrician approved him to go off the oxygen therapy.  I was so glad to see my baby feeling better (although I'll admit, I will forever remember those 4 hour naps fondly).

His pediatrician explained that in Denver it is much more likely that a young child with RSV will need supplemental oxygen.  The elevation is so high here that children can reach dangerous levels more easily. At a lower elevation, a hospital would never send a child home with RSV.  But because it's so common here, they try to minimize the cost and disruption.  I was so glad that we didn't have to stay in the hospital.  All he needed was oxygen, and we could relatively easily get that at home.  One other child in Elijah's class was hospitalized.  He was out the rest of the week, and went back to school on Monday.  I think he was very glad to go back.  I really loved having an entire week to spend with him, but we got pretty bored stuck at home.  I feel like we bonded a lot and I will always be grateful for that aspect of his illness.  I also was grateful for incredible co-workers who stepped up and took care of everything at work.  I was shocked by how many people sought me out on Monday to ask me how Elijah was doing.  Just another reason I love my job.  I am also glad that I know now what symptoms to look for to know whether Elijah needs medical attention or not.  I am glad to say that our first hospital visit is behind us.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections on 2013

When I look back on 2013, I literally cannot believe it's been only a year.  I was looking through pictures from the year and I had to double check that these pictures were taken in January 2013 and not January 2012!  (I was barely pregnant in January 2012- it just blows my mind!)

He couldn't even sit up on his own!
Still taking a pacifier!
Taking baths in the kitchen sink!
Using the bumbo!
Just barely starting solid foods!
So I think I can safely say that a lot has happened this year.  And yet, when I sit down to write out the highlights, I can think of only a few.  Daniel switched jobs from DISH to Comcast, we bought a new house, and I guess that's about it.
Visiting his Dada at Comcast over Christmas
I think something that I am just getting used to is that when you are raising a child, the year seems so full of important events (Elijah eating solid foods, learning to crawl and then walk, starting to talk) and at the same time it can all be summed up in one phrase: "we raised our child."  I noticed the same thing when we would get together with friends after we hadn't seen them for a few months.  They ask "what's new?"  and all I could think was..... nothing.  We're just plugging along, raising our child.  And yet that means so much.  In the last month for example, Elijah's learned to say so many new words and signs.  He has demonstrated that he understands so much of what we say.  He uses utensils and dishes now instead of eating with his hands off of a high chair tray.  It's absolutely remarkable and yet completely predictable.

When I think about what 2014 has in store, I get pretty excited.  We have this beautiful new home to transform and make our own.  We just finished redoing the kitchen, which took much less time and turned out much more beautiful that I could have imagined.  We have big plans for the bathrooms and that's pretty high on our priority list.  And thanks to some very fortunate events, we actually have the money to do it soon!  And of course expanding our family is always in the back of my mind.  We are inching closer and closer to a plan.  And I wouldn't be surprised if this time next year I find myself pregnant.

The truth is that in 2013 many of our dreams came true.  I don't say that nonchalantly.  I have literally dreamed of becoming a mother for nearly 10 years and though Elijah was born in 2012, I think it's accurate to say that I really became a mother in 2013.  For a solid year I have been caring for this human being and in that time he has gone from an immobile blob to a toddler who runs to greet me when I pick him up from school, gives me hugs, brings me books to read and sits on my lap while I read them, gives me kisses when I ask (and when I don't!), laughs at silly things I do, and shows genuine love and affection for me as his mother.

Christmas Eve
At the Georgetown Railroad

Another huge dream of ours that was realized this year is our new home.  Daniel and I have been discussing the kind of home we want to live in ever since we graduated from college.  Our current home was a great starter house, but it definitely wasn't where we wanted to raise our family.  We really wanted something in a good school district, and in a nice quiet suburban neighborhood.  Just a few months ago, that dream seemed nearly impossible.  The fact that we had to save up such an enormous amount of money, on our current income, with one child's worth of expenses, was insurmountable.  Add to that the fact that we knew we wanted to have another child- which is always a considerable expense- and we felt that it would be a very long time before we could realize any of those dreams.  We had been saving our money aggressively, but then we found that we would have to choose- have another child, or move to our dream house.  We just couldn't afford both.  It was an incredibly difficult decision, and one that we never really came up with an answer for.  But through the incredible generosity of our family, and our own hard work and determination, we find ourselves here at the end of 2013 with our considerable savings in tact, and in our dream home.  Which means that another baby can't be far behind ;-)

To sum it up, 2013 was a year full of incredibly happy surprises.  There is nothing I would change about this year.  I have never been so full of happiness and joy than I am now.  And yet, I feel that 2014 can only get better!  I do have a few goals for this coming year:  I hope to gain clarity in my career path.  I don't necessarily need to move forward in my career- I just want a clearer picture and a clearer goal for that area of my life.  And I also want a plan for expanding our family.  Again, I don't need to necessarily get pregnant this year, but rather I would like a clearer plan for what we need to do to get there, and how much time that will take.  I don't think that's too much to get done in 365 days, right?

Santa pictures just because ;-)

I love Elijah's cheesy grin!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


We are officially in our new house!  Everything this weekend went absolutely fantastic.  We took two trips in the moving truck, and with all our friends we got it done before 2pm.  We were so grateful to have everyone there to help us.
Uncle Aaron was a huge help!

There were some minor hiccups (we had to take the door off the hinge to get Elijah's crib out of his bedroom, and then take it apart to get it up the stairs in our new house) (oh, and the $450 sectional that we bought specifically to go in the basement didn't even fit through the doorway, let alone down the narrow stairwell to the basement) but overall it went much better than I could have imagined.  Elijah also did much better than I hoped.  We got his room set up just in time for his nap, and he went right to sleep and slept for nearly 3 hours.  Which gave us plenty of time to get things done!  While Daniel and a bunch of the guys went back to get another load, I started to unpack boxes.  My dad and brother got us all pizza.  We had time to eat and unpack the truck before Elijah even woke up.  Then one particularly awesome friend stayed 4 more hours to help Daniel install our new garage door opener.  My dad bought us all Maggiano's for dinner which was delicious.  My dad also spent Friday demoing what was left of the old kitchen.  So we have been without a kitchen at all (no sink, no dishwasher, no cabinets, no countertop) for 4 days.  Really the only thing I wish we had was a dishwasher or kitchen sink.  It's very difficult to clean Elijah's tray and bib without a kitchen sink.  But really it's a very short period of time that our lives will be slightly inconvenienced, so I can manage.

Our first night in the house was not very comfortable.  I didn't sleep at all.  I woke up very tired and grumpy at 5am Sunday morning.
First morning in the new house
We couldn't find one piece to the guest bed which it turns out is kind of important.  In the middle of the night my dad fell through the bed frame.  We heard a large crack in the middle of the night.  It scared me to death, but Daniel knew what it was right away so I calmed down and (sort of) went back to sleep.  Then, on Sunday night, we heard a large noise three separate times.  The first time it was the contents of an entire shelf falling off the wall and onto the floor.  The second and third times it was the bed collapsing under the weight of Jackson this time.  I hope he learned his lesson and won't jump onto any (human) beds anytime soon!

Jackson has had quite an adjustment.  I can tell he likes all the space we have in the new house, but we haven't been able to let him outside.  He got out accidentally on Friday night, and ran around for a while before coming back on his own.  Which is what we expected.  Since then we've let him off the leash twice and he's done the same thing.  So no big deal, he runs around for a while and then comes back. But we can't just let him run around the neighborhood loose like that.  We have taken him out for as many walks as we can manage, but it's been 5 degrees outside for a solid week!  So we aren't exactly excited to go outside.  He also won't poop, and rarely pees, while he's on the leash.  We ordered an invisible fence that will arrive tomorrow, so installing that is a big priority.  Once we get that set up we should be able to just let him out into the backyard without worrying.
Bundling up to go for a walk in 5 degree weather

Elijah is settling in very nicely!
Other than those minor issues, we are settling in very nicely!  We have only a few boxes left (besides all the kitchen supplies of course).  I am very surprised how far along we are in the unpacking and organizing.  We even had time to put up our Christmas tree and decorate the fireplace!  Every night I sleep better and better.  It is so unbelievably quiet and serene in our new neighborhood.  I just love it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Elijah at 15 months

Elijah has finally started to say actual words!  I have literally been waiting for this time since I found out I was pregnant.  I think it is so adorable to hear tiny kids speaking.  They mispronounce things, and get things mixed up.... it's so cute!  For a few weeks, Daniel and I were concerned that Elijah wasn't really developing in his speech.  We've heard so many other one year olds that have lots and lots of words and as of a week ago he only had a few.  He could sign "more," "milk," and "all done."  he could shake his head "no," and had very few verbal words (yeah, dada, oh no).  Most of the time when he did speak, he was just mimicking us.  I talked with his pediatrician about it at his 15 month well check on Monday, and he said it's too early to be worried. He also said that we would likely see a huge explosion of language all of a sudden.  His teachers said that he was right on track for his age.  Well this week, I think we've witnessed that language explosion!  Just this week he has said "doggie" and "mo."  That's two new words in just a few days.  And he has this new thing where he goes "woooooow."  It's the cutest thing ever.  He is also signing much more reliably.  Our pediatrician told me that if I wanted to encourage his speech development, to encourage him to use the signs or words before I respond to his needs.  We started doing that Monday night and it has made a huge difference. We make him sign "more" before we give him more food, or "milk" before we give him his sippie cup.  I think being in the toddler class has helped too.  He is hearing all the other kids speak and it's helped his speech develop.

There are so many other new things he's learned.  He is pointing to things constantly.  Pictures in a book, things he sees out the window, to himself and to his dada.  It's a tiny window into what he's thinking about at any given moment and I just love it.  He is using utensils remarkably well.  Just in the past month he's gone from using them clumsily with our help, to almost not needing help at all.  Especially with something like yogurt or applesauce, he can dip his spoon in, scoop up the food, and put it in his mouth.  It's amazing to watch.  He also doesn't cry or protest anymore when I cut his nails!  Seems like a small thing, but it amazes me every time.  He is 25 lb 6 oz (at his 15 mos well check) which is the 84th percentile!  He's still our chubby little boy, and I love every one of his little fat rolls :-)

He is doing so much better in the toddler class.  Drop off gets easier every single day, and he hardly ever clings to me or cries when I leave.  When I pick him up he is happily playing as part of the group.  He does still have a few issues with drop off.  Right when we enter the room, he usually turns around and buries his head in my legs.  But it's fairly easy to distract him with toys and then he's happy to stay and play.

I'm concerned with how the adjustment will go after we move tomorrow.  I am assuming it will be difficult, and planning for the worst.  We are going to do our best to keep as much as possible the same.  His schedule, eating habits, napping place, we will try to keep consistent.  And I am also prepared to stop what I'm doing to give him a little extra attention and down time if necessary.  

Right now I feel like we are having a blast.  Elijah makes me smile and laugh multiple times every day.  He giggles incessantly.  Everything in the world is new and exciting.  The snow under his feet fascinated him.  When I showed up in his classroom to pick him up with a knit hat on my head, he thought it looked hilarious!  He laughed and tried to pull it off.  I put it on him and he thought that was even more funny!  Bathtime is a happy time again (partly due to Grandpa being here this week to visit and play).  Last night he discovered a bowl of M&Ms in the basement.  He started to play with them and we couldn't believe he didn't eat them.  We turned around for a minute and when we looked back, he was shoving them in his mouth and fast as he could!  He had chocolate smeared all over his face and on his sweater.  Daniel was saying "no! yuck!" and he just kept shoveling them in his mouth.  He has also started to bring books to us when he wants to be read to.  A particular favorite right now is "Snuggle Puppy."  I just love being his mom more than anything else in the whole world.  I don't know how I lived without him to give me so much joy every day.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Elijah's Second Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I'm hesitant to write that down, because I love a lot of other holidays, but every year when it comes around I'm pretty sure Thanksgiving is my favorite.  This year had some awful aspects (Elijah getting horribly sick), but overall it was pretty fantastic.  Like probably the best family visit we've had since Elijah was born.  So I can't decide how to characterize the trip.  I want to say that it was great and perfect and a blast, but there was the whole Elijah getting a fever and being horribly grumpy and sad for a good chunk of the trip.

On Wednesday, Daniel picked up Elijah from school.  He noticed that Elijah was very tired, which was weird because he took a great nap that day.  But I was happy to hear that because I wanted him to go to bed early since we all had to get up before 5am the next morning.  He went to bed a full hour early without a problem.  The next morning our plan was to get ourselves ready, get the car packed up, and then grab Elijah and put him right into the car where he would hopefully fall back asleep.  I wasn't optimistic that this would work, but hey guess what- it did.  Elijah went back to sleep within 10 minutes and slept for another 20 minutes until we got to the airport.

We got through security in record time. Somehow we were sorted into the TSA pre-check line which was about the awesomeset thing ever- shoes left on, liquids left in the bag, no line at all.  We got to the gate about 20 minutes before boarding started.

Once we were on the plane, we turned a movie on the iPad.  Elijah sat in my lap facing the iPad and before we even took off, he was asleep again.

I was pleasantly surprised, but still not concerned.  I figured it was because we woke him up so early, and maybe the white noise on the plane contributed a little bit.  30 minutes into the flight he woke up crying, but we were able to calm him down and he was fine.  He ate a good amount of fruit.  The flight went really quickly.  We went straight to Daniel's parents' house.  Elijah was okay, but pretty whiney and clingy.  Again, we chalked it up to the early morning, the chaos of getting on a plane and then ending up in a new environment with people he really doesn't know that well.  We went over to my parents' house and finally we put him down for a nap at 11:30am.  He slept.  And slept.  And slept.  3 hours later dinner was ready, so we decided to wake him up.  Again, not concerned.  We put him in the high chair with some sweet potatoes, turkey, and cranberry jello.  He didn't eat a crumb.  Nothing.  I figured he was groggy from the long nap, and brushed it off.  He played for a few hours, seeming to be totally fine.  He happily sat on his great grandma's lap and great grandpa's lap.  Around 5pm we headed back to Daniel's parents' house.  My grandma told me that she thought he felt warm.  I brushed it off.  When we arrived at my in-laws' house, he wasn't very happy.  He wanted to be held, refused to smile, and just seemed off.  But still, I chalked it up to the early day and new environment/people.  We put him in the high chair (again) with some thanksgiving food.  He didn't touch it.  He sat in the chair with his head slumped over to the side and a vacant stare.  I remember looking at him, and saying over and over "this is not right, this is not normal."  I felt him and he was hot.  It was scary.  Once we realized what was going on, everyone jumped into action.  Daniel started the bath.  I drove to Walgreens to get childrens' tylenol.  Evan and Kristy started to clean him up and undress him.  By the time I got back he was out of the bath and in his PJs.  Evan and Kristy read him some books and Kristy held him for the 3 minutes it took for him to fall asleep.  At 6:15pm.

He was up all night whining, whimpering, and crying.  Daniel ended up sleeping with him on the couch.

  When he woke up he was still very hot and didn't eat anything for the whole next day.  He was still whiney and clingy, and refused to smile all day.  His fever went away by late morning, but his appetite didn't come back at all.  He took another 3 hour nap.  It was so very sad.  We went to the park in the morning and he enjoyed that, but he nearly fell asleep in the stroller.

Finally on Saturday he seemed much more himself.  His grandparents finally got to see some smiles and spend some happy time together.

It is so amazing to see how happy our parents get when they are with Elijah.  He is such a loved little boy.  Everyone in the family can't get enough of him.  We are so lucky to have the amazing family we do.  Everyone was on their best behavior this weekend and we all had a fantastic time together.  Elijah was horribly sick, but for some reason that really didn't ruin the trip at all.  I was kind of glad that I was in Phoenix.  It kept me calm and distracted me.  This was only the second fever of Elijah's life, and this was by far the most sick he's ever been.  But I was able to respond appropriately without getting too freaked out and overreacting.  I was so glad to have lots of people willing to hold him because that's all he wanted for two solid days.  He didn't smile or laugh at all Thursday or Friday.  But on Saturday he made up for it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Transition to Toddlers

This week was Elijah's first week in the toddler classroom.  It's been.... rough.  Harder than I thought it would be.  Elijah has always been the easiest child, taking any changes in stride.  And he's done remarkably well with this change.  But what I didn't realize is that this change would be hard on me.  I built such a close relationship with Elijah's infant teachers.  Especially Miss Erika.  She was there the very first day I dropped Elijah off.  She gave me a big hug because I couldn't stop crying and told me that she cried just a few weeks before when she dropped her daughter off at high school for the first time.  She has seen Elijah grow from a tiny 7 week old newborn, to a 14 month old toddler.  And I truly feel like we've been partners through the whole experience.  Every time I feel unsure about something, I ask his teachers.  They have great ideas, but also let me know that every child is different and ultimately it's up to us to decide what to do.  They have found such a great balance between loving Elijah like he's their own, and making me feel like I'm still the most important person in his life.

So when we left that classroom, I was very sad to be leaving those relationships.  In his new classroom everything is chaotic and loud and confusing and different.  I don't know any of his teachers, I don't know where everything is, I don't know the other kids in his class, I don't know their routine.  When I drop him off and pick him up there's so much going on that I don't have a chance to talk to his teachers about what they did that day.  There isn't time for me to discuss Elijah's sudden ravenous appetite, or a new habit of taking big gulps of milk and then spitting it out.  There's random children's clothing in Elijah's basket, and his orange jacket is missing.  I have to provide a sippy cup every day, but I don't know if I'm supposed to wash it every night, or bring a new one the next day, or what.  There are different teachers there every time I pick him up or drop him off and I don't know any of them.

I know his head teacher- we met with her for over an hour before Elijah moved into her class.  She seems really great and everyone at the center (including Elijah's old teachers) said that we're lucky to have her.  She is almost finished with her degree in early childhood education and is also taking a special course through Bright Horizons to get her management certification.  What that tells me is that she's in this for the long haul.  She's been there since the center opened in May 2011, and I can be pretty sure she will stay for a while longer.  That makes me very happy.  I really truly believe that I will get to know her, and Elijah's other teachers, and build relationships with them.  But for now it's really hard.

Elijah is doing really well though.  When I drop him off it's always rough.  He won't walk into the classroom voluntarily, and clings to me desperately the whole time I'm there.  I've been able to gently pry him off me and get him interested in something else enough for me to leave without him crying.  I'm so glad I haven't had to see him cry every morning.  The clinging is hard enough.  But his teacher is really great and she knows just what to do.  He has the biggest smile when he sees me in the afternoon.  There's great big windows so I can see him before I actually get into his classroom, and he's always playing and happy.  So I know he's doing well all day while I'm not there.

He is sleeping really well now too!  His naps are at least 2 hours every day, and he's sleeping a solid 11 hours every night.  I can tell he is so incredibly tired by the end of the day.  Which is great!  They do activities and go outside twice every single day.  They also do lunch "family style" which means Elijah sits at a table, with dishes, and silverware, and serves himself food from a common dish.  He also drinks milk from an open cup (!!).  They brush his teeth every day, and go for walks (not in a stroller!), and he naps on a cot!  Not in a crib!  This is one of the things I love about day care- they really push them towards independence.  If he was home with me all day, he would probably still be taking 3 naps a day, drinking milk from a bottle, and being rocked to sleep!

Yesterday we stopped in briefly to say hi to Elijah's infant teachers.  They were so happy to see him and gave him big hugs.  I could tell he felt so comfortable in his old classroom.  Every day he walks straight to his old classroom, and I have to remind him that we go to the big kids' room now.  They told me that it would get better.  That I would get to know his teachers, and become familiar with the routine.  It was very reassuring to hear that from them.

Besides all that craziness at Elijah's school, we are also in the middle of moving.  We have about 75% of the house packed up in boxes, and we have been showing our house to a few people every weekend who are interested in renting it.  We close on our new house this Friday, so we will start to move some boxes over and get some minor projects done.  The kitchen is our big project, and that will probably be done the second week of December.  I don't want to move in too far before that, because I can't handle living with an unusable kitchen for that long.  So our plan is to officially move on Dec 7.  Hopefully Elijah will be well settled into his new class by then, so it won't be too much change at once.  I am so incredibly excited.  I really feel like this house is fulfilling all of my dreams.  I'm going to have to come up with new ones once we're finally moved!

And next week we are flying to Phoenix for Thanksgiving.  I feel much more comfortable with it since we just flew there a month ago for Evan and Kristy's wedding.  The flight was stressful, but manageable.  I think we will take some things we learned last time, and hopefully it will go even better this time.  I know Elijah will be thrilled to see all his grandparents again.  It's so crazy that we're flying to Phoenix in the middle of all this moving, but it's just the way it worked out.  I'm trying to stay calm and take it one step at a time, and so far I'm succeeding!