Saturday, January 30, 2010

I have a little secret:

I'm not really interested in potty training our toddler.

If I were a better mom, I would've taken hold of the poopy reigns when she showed an interest two months ago at school. The teachers were telling me things like, "Ella asked to poop on the potty and then she did it!"

Even worse, they were writing things on her daily progress report like "Sat on potty three times!"

Instead, I was just *secretly* hoping that they would take care of it at school and she would *magically* come home one day and be potty trained.

When that didn't happen, we I decided it was time.

Now, one week before her second birthday --the same week we transitioned her to a "big girl" bed and the same week we took away most of her bottle privileges -- it's time to poop on the big potty!

(Because, hey, why not take away all comfort items and force milestones all at once?!? Tomorrow I'm making her get a job...).

Of course, I did some research and settled on the "Three Day" potty training method (for obvious reasons, er, see above), with some modifications (because the entire world is better with Jackie modifications).

We sat on the potty at least 3.4 million times today, with no results.

The big loser ZERO.

She went once in her pull-ups, hid in the corner once and peed in her pants and then peed in the kitchen chair.

This is the same girl that has to go around the house flushing all the toilets 3,762 times per day.

So after being tucked away in bed tonight (where she's sure to poop in the diaper we put on her any minute now), hubby says, "Maybe it's too early?"

To which I replied?
"On the contrary. I think it's too late."

Oh well, maybe she'll show an interest again when she starts dating...


Friday, January 29, 2010

Today I dropped Ella off at school -- back for the first time since THE EVENT.

Although she was a little shy at first, she was happy to be back. I was equally happy to have her back (for several reasons).

As I was leaving, one of the teachers said, "We're SO HAPPY to have you back! You had us really scared!"

And then it happened.

Tears sprang to the corners of my eyes.

I made my way out of the classroom and down the hall with my hand pressed to my mouth, suppressing a wave of emotions.

In the parking lot, I sat in the car and sobbed for 10 minutes.
I sobbed for my baby.
I sobbed for my baby's life.
I sobbed for the possibility of her untimely death.
I sobbed because for 15 days (15!) I hadn't let myself absorb what had really happened.

That's the weird thing about being the strong one, sometimes you forget to let yourself sob.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

As many of you know, we recently had a traumatic event with our soon-to-be two year old toddler, Ella. Because of all the emails, texts, and calls, I just wanted to take a moment to update everyone.

After (what will now be dubbed forever as) THE EVENT, we made it home from the emergency room around 1 a.m. on Friday, January 15. Ella had no more seizure episodes and her fever was lower.

Friday, as well as Saturday, she was O.K. Not well, but as O.K. as a sick little baby could act.

Sunday her fever started to spike again. Late afternoon, she started to become extremely lethargic, as she was before her seizure on Thursday. Not taking any chances, we loaded up and headed back to the E.R. (our pediatrician is on vaca for 10 days and it was a holiday weekend, anyway).

Turns out? Ella has RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus. You may (or may not) know, but RSV is an extremely contagious virus that can be potentially life-threatening to infants and toddlers. You can read more about it at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but I won't bore you here.

In a nutshell, we were transferred to another hospital (yep, that's two ambulance rides and two hospitals in three days for those of you keeping score) where they kept Ella overnight. Her fever stayed very high until Monday morning. After that, she started to run around the room and play and eat. We were were released late afternoon.

She still has a cough, but no more fever, and thankfully, no more seizures.

She feels much, much better than her parents, who are now both sick from her germiness.

Thank you, everyone, for your concern, thoughts and prayers. It was so overwhelmingly supportive that I'll be writing a blog post about it when I can wrap my thoughts around the enormity of it.

By the way, do you know how long it takes to feel like you've showered all the germs off of two ambulance rides and two hospitals?!?


Friday, January 15, 2010

Life is not meant for a mother to experience giving her child CPR. But what are you to do when your 23-month-old child is not breathing, lying lifeless and blue on the kitchen floor?

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Yesterday wasn't abnormal, for the most part. Ella awoke with a cough and runny nose, but little more. We went out, she ate some french fries, she sang in the supermarket -- all things that she would do on any random day.

After waking from a nap later, she had a croupy cough and her fever started to rise. We are not new to the baby fever thing, having fought fevers as high as 105 with her, so I wasn't panicked. As the evening wore on, it wasn't getter better. The doctor suggested we dose her with the normal kid drugs and if her fever didn't go down before bed we take her to the emergency room.

Her fever started to go down, even if just a little. A little while later, a sudden spike and some lethargy had us worried. As I held her in my arms, she started to -- for lack of better description -- go out of it. Her eyes weren't focusing, she couldn't keep her eyelids open, her body was going limp.

And then suddenly something strange happened. She opened her eyes and looked up, not eyes rolling back, but actually looking up and focusing on something on the ceiling. When I stood up, she turned her head so she could see the same spot on the ceiling. For some reason, my actual thought was, "She's staring at Jesus." The hair on the back of my neck stood up.

I yelled for Todd to start the car to take her to the emergency room. Moments later, she clenched her teeth, she stared away, unfocused. She was obviously having a seizure. As I ran through the house with her in my arms she went totally limp.

She was unresponsive.
She was unconscious.
She wasn't breathing.
And she was turning completely blue.

It's true what people say, things start to happen in slow motion like you're in a movie. I remember screaming in a voice I didn't even know I had, "NO GOD! PLEASE NO!" as I placed her on the kitchen floor. Her face was completely blue, her lips even bluer. There were dark, bluish-black circles under her closed eyes.

My health care training took over and I went into auto-pilot mode, alternately barking orders to Todd on the phone with 911, giving my 23-month-old daughter CPR and screaming at her to come back.

I don't know how much time elapsed, I suspect a minute or so, but it seemed like an eternity. She started breathing and the scary blue went away, but she was still out of it. I started doing things to trigger her memory. I sang Jingle Bells. I asked her about her favorite teacher at school. I used stern voice to tell her to stop it. Things that all seem ridiculous now seemed perfectly reasonable then.

We spent four hours with her in the emergency room, doing tests, keeping watch. She had a seizure. She has a sore throat. She has a cough that they're treating like croup.

Concrete evidence I can handle. A blue dying baby on my floor I cannot.

I slept in her room for the few hours that we did sleep this morning. I checked on her throughout the night and then awoke in a panic during the times I drifted off.

I was never happier than hearing, "Mama, hold you?" as she lifted her little toddler arms for me to pick her up this morning.

Things were back to normal for her, but they will never be the same for me.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Today I'm proclaiming something that my friends and family have probably known for a long time:
I'm the queen of bad "fun" ideas.
Take the time I planned a trip for "the best jerk chicken" while we were in Jamaica and we came back with 2 chicken sandwiches with feathers, 2 pork sandwiches with skin and pig hair still attached and $56 lighter.
Or, the time that I made everyone create Christmas eggs during the holiday because "Why should Easter be the only holiday that gets cute eggs?"
What about the time I piled 7 people into an SUV to go look at Christmas lights ("It will be SO FUN!") and then had to claw my way out of the backseat when I had a total claustrophobia-induced panic attack?
Anyway, I think you get the point.
So today, I thought it would be fun to get the 23 month old out in the snow.
And the 14 degrees.
"We'll make a snowman!" I said.
She was gung ho.
We bundle up, go out, make a snowman and then realize that we had forgotten the face accoutrements.
On the way back in, I lift Ella onto the porch, lose my footing, and in an attempt to NOT crush my baby, sidestep, crush her anyway, fall, and smash my head - face first - into the wrought iron chair on the porch.

Baby cries.
I bleed.
But, darn it, we still got that snowman face on.
Mission Accomplished.

This is the snowman:

This is the baby on snowman making:

(That was an hour ago. She's still curled into a fetal position.)

Wasn't that FUN, honey?!?


Sunday, January 3, 2010

You know about the complaining.
You've read about the cake.
Now here's the carnage...


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Today is the 13th anniversary of my 28th year of life.

If you didn't know about my obsession with Barbie birthday cakes, then you haven't been following along (and now you must leave my blog).

Still here?
Ok then, but pay attention this time.

In case you didn't get it, today is my birthday. I'm really not a make-a-big-deal-out-of-my-birthday kinda girl, so when asked what I wanted to do for the big day I said, "Exchange my coat and eat at Five Guys hamburgers."

(I know, I dream big.)
So after our interesting day out (who knew that the day after New Year's was a HUGE HUGE HUGE shopping day?!?), we return to a note on our door:

We didn't have a cake for my birthday, so I asked hubby if he ordered a cake.
He shrugged, shook his head "no."
(Never mind that I occasionally and randomly buy birthday cakes throughout the year and then proclaim, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY!" That's another story...)
When the cake finally arrives, my husband goes to the door and turns, with a cake box and a HUGE grin on his face.
It's none other than a BARBIE CAKE.

I squealed.
I jumped around like a 4 year old.
I took pictures.
I squealed some more.

A friend from college, who I haven't seen for 20 years, sent me a Barbie Cake.
So, here's to you, Paul!
It only took 41 years, but thanks for making Barbie Cake my homegirl...finally!