Today was N’s first trip on an airplane! It went pretty smoothly:
This year has been rough. One of the craziest, hardest years I’ve ever had (almost definitely the worst), and yet I have so much to be thankful for:
- My family, who have supported me beyond measure,
- My friends, who have supported me in my time of need despite being a negligent friend in recent years,
- My health (although I’m pretty sure I’ve come down with hand-foot-mouth disease too),
- My amazing graduate studies/dissertation committee that builds me up and pushes me academically,
- My son, who is my joy, light, and happiness,
- N’s preschool, which meets my schedule & budget and yet gas the greatest teachers who really care for my awesome little boy,
- Taking charge and finding myself again, which includes things like reading for fun, doing arts and crafts, cooking healthy, and losing weight,
- My students, who really seem to appreciate my teaching even when in a little flaky with all the upheaval (and sickness) in my life,
- Having enough money to pay my bills and have a few nice things. I’m fantastically lucky that we seem to be managing financially thanks to pay increases in my teaching jobs & new place to live.
I am so looking forward to spending a peaceful holiday season with my parents, brother and son an looking forward to ringing in a new year!!!
One if the great mysteries of babyhood is how I survived over 1year of not sleeping all night and managed to function. N woke up tonight at 2:30 and I just managed to get him back into bed now at 4 and he’s still squawking. I guess the mouth sores give him a wicked sore throat. The Tylenol finally kicked in so maybe he’ll sleep. I’m gonna have to read my interesting, dry, historical biography on Stalin to get me back to sleep. Here’s hoping we get a decent stretch ’till morning!
We visited the emergency room of the local children’s hospital tonight – it was kind of a strange visit because it was so calm, quick, and easy. N’s symptoms kept spreading (swollen lymph nodes, restlessness, spreading rash) so I called the on-call nurse line. They recommended that I take him in to a doctor to check on strep throat. So I packed him up and drove the 3 minutes to the hospital for a 9:30 pm ER visit.
The hospital was so clean and efficient. We waited for approximately 7 minutes, were brought back, and seen immediately. The doctor looked over his rash and quickly said he has hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Although both my mom and I had never heard of it until recently, it is a common viral infection among infants and toddlers. Apparently it spreads through daycares – it’s just one of those childhood illnesses.
N has sores in his mouth and throat and the rash will likely blister a bit. He may be in pain for a couple days but will be fine in a week. I’m glad it’s not strep/scarlet fever or something else. I just hope that this poor restless boy will get some sleep. He’s been partially energetic all day – resisting naps, resisting sleep, but not 100%. Poor baby needs some sleep and poor mama needs a break. I’ve gotten nothing done all day.
Instead, I’ve been hanging out with this cutie:
For almost a year, I have been worried about N’s speech development. I had him evaluated in May but we had a bad experience with the evaluation and follow-up (actually, lack of follow-up). With the first evaluation indicating both speech and cognitive delays, I was worried about N’s development in general but since he wasn’t yet 2 years and I, as his mama, could see his growth & intelligence, I decided to wait-and-see. In July his doctor recommended that we follow up with a doctor at the local children’s hospital who did a very thorough screening. That doctor found that N does have a significant language delay (both receptive language–understanding–and expressive language–speaking), but he didn’t show signs of a cognitive delay. With that, I breathed a sigh of relief and set out to find a speech therapist.
Through a series of referrals, I found an organization that has been really great to work with so far! They are also a birth-to-three program but they came highly recommended by my university’s pediatric audiology clinic (where we had a hearing evaluation for N) and they are nearby. N had a short in-clinic evaluation and they confirmed that he is still showing significant speech delays and small cognitive delays. At this age, speech and thinking are so intertwined that it is unclear if there is some kind of delay in his thought processes that are behind the speech delays or if the delay in speaking doesn’t allow him to show how he thinks. Either way, I’m comfortable with this place and the team they have set up for us: we have a family resource coordinator who is very kind and knowledgable and his speech therapist is young and energetic.
Today was his first therapy session. They are in-home and last 30 minutes. It is basically 30 minutes of focused fun and games and the intent is to model for me types of activities I can do with N to support his speech development. It started really well. . .but by the end N was lethargic. Turns out my kiddo is sick-o. He has a fever that spiked to 102.4 today after his nap Poor boy! So I don’t think he got much out of the session but I think I picked up a few things.
We cuddled for a while and then he took a 3 hour nap. After his naps, more cuddles on the couch, a walk to the grocery store to pick up more infant tylenol (with N riding on my back in the baby carrier) and a hearty dinner of mac ‘n’ cheese. A bath and a nap for an hour before he woke up crying and we cuddled and played for another hour or so. He’s down again, and after another dose of tylenol I hope he’s down for the night.
I’ve been googling symptoms (always a scary thing!) but I think he either has another round of this cold or possibly a sinus infection. The mysterious symptom that makes me think it may be an infection is really funky breath. My sweet little baby kind of smells like week-old morning breath. Yuck. So hopefully the fever stays down and it all passes, but we just might have to visit the doc on Monday.
After writing my previous complaining post, N woke up from his nap and immediately found his shoes and wanted to go on an adventure. I showed him that it was dark and rainy outside, but he was undeterred. Since I had a check to deposit, I figured we may as well go over to the nearby outdoor fancy mall where N could play at the nice, covered, heated play area and I could grade papers while he played. We could swing by a credit union ATM and deposit the check, too. Since it’s so close (two blocks) I dressed him warmly, loaded him up in the stroller, and headed out.
We easily crossed the first street and the whole area was well-lit. I kept a brisk pace as I chatted with N talking about the cars. We were almost there. . .when a huge SUV hit a giant puddle and sprayed us with a giant splash of water! Poor N was so surprised and offended! I’m sure the spray of cold water completely shocked him. He was happily chatting and snacking on bread, holding his water and stuffed baby fox. Once sprayed down, he howled at the offense and chucked his soggy bread onto the sidewalk. I was PISSED but poor N was so much more offended that I had to calm him down. There was no point to continuing on our way with both of us soaked, so I turned the stroller around and headed home, all while trying to reassure the poor boy.
We got home, i stripped him down and put him into a warm bath. Trying to think of how to make him happy, I started to grab random kitchen things. He really likes pretend play these days, so he ended up with a big mixing bowl, a ladle, a bowl, and a spoon. While he played with the ladle and bowl, I pretended to eat soup out of the bowl with the little spoon. I tried to talk as much as I could, comparing the ‘big spoon’ and ‘little spoon’ and talking about the yummy soup. Then, we found his plastic turtle bath toy and added it to the soup and I had turtle soup. Yummy! N laughed so hard! We probably spent 30+ min playing in that bath.mmmm! turtle soup!!
Sometimes, really shitty things force you to be creative. I’m glad we had a fun evening playing together!