Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A New Routine

After Corinne was born, I reduced my hours at work so that I had Mondays off to spend with my her. She went to school on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday and then went to Grandma's on Friday. While we were in the process of buying our house, an opportunity came up at work for me to take on some additional responsibilities and return to work full-time. It would mean a regular Monday-Friday schedule and I would stay a bit later than I had previously been staying Tuesday-Friday. I wasn't excited about the prospect of giving up my one-on-one time with Corinne, but I am nothing if not prudent so Brett & I very carefully examined our budget and came to the conclusion that we would be better able to maintain our standard of living if I accepted this opportunity.

I went back to work full-time at the beginning of April and now C attends school Monday-Thursday and still spends her Fridays with Grandma Chris. She has adjusted well to the additional day, but she knows that I used to pick her up at a certain time and now I am about 45 minutes 'late.' Her teachers at school are at a loss for how to help her through that last stretch of time - she starts asking for 'mama' and 'home' and is generally unhappy. It breaks my heart and we're trying to think creatively about how to distract and sooth her. One of her teachers suggested that we bring in pictures of 'mama' and 'daddy' so that when she asks for us she can see us and be reminded that we'll be there soon. That idea completely backfired and she became completely hysterical any time she saw our pictures.

This week we're going to try music. Music is completely stimulating for Corinne and she can sing and dance to the same song endlessly. Some of her favorites at home are
Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Patty Cake, and Ring Around the Rosey. She knows where all of her body parts are for HSK&T, we do hand motions for Itsy-Bitsy and Patty Cake, and she spins and falls down during the appropriate times when we sing RAtR. It's adorable.

We've also suggested that when they notice that she's starting to get anxious they can give C her blanket or a toy from home, something special that is just hers that she wouldn't have seen all day and might get excited about. We'll see how it goes. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a great idea to help C with this transition. I know that with time she will adjust and become confident in our new schedule, but in the meantime I'm sad that I can't be everything for my little girl all the time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hidden Treasures

It was February when we closed on our house, we moved in between snow storms and the ground was covered with snow. One of our first official tasks as homeowners was shoveling the driveway and sidewalk. As the snow melted and the temperature began to creep up we started to see signs of life that had previously been tucked away, hidden under the earth. Some of the first flowers to bloom were at the front of the house, we have white, yellow and purple crocus and some other small white flowers (if you know what they are, please let me know!)
A short time later a few patches of daffodils popped up, also at the front of the house.
And in the backyard these tulips are just starting to open
I believe this is a rhododendron, we have one at the front and one in the back of the house. I love the intensity of the color of the flowers.
There are other patches where we may eventually have blooms, but for now they seem to be content to leaf out without revealing any buds. I am hopeful that some might grow to be daylilies, but if not I plan to harvest some bulbs from my mom's yard this fall. There are 4 or 5 rose bushes in the backyard and while I have no previous experience with roses I am anxious to learn how to care for them.
I am really having fun getting to know our outdoor spaces, it will be a 4-season process and I will probably sit back this year while I am introduced to all of the hidden treasures. I would like to put in a vegetable garden and perhaps plan a few other projects but, as much as possible, I want to respect the plants that are already thriving in our midst.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another 'first'

Corinne managed to make it 16 1/2 months without a visit to the Emergency room. Her first official visit was on Friday, March 26, 2010. Not exactly a celebratory moment, but a milestone nonetheless. First, let me assure you that she is fine - happy & healthy!

C spends Fridays with my mom (thanks, mom!) and I go over to visit for a while after work before heading home. My brother was holding C and I noticed raised spots on either side of her lower back, just above her jeans. She was scratching at the spots and I figured she had been bitten by some type of insect. Since we live so close I quickly ran home to grab a tube of hydrocortizone cream to relieve the itching. When I got back I stripped her from the waist down so that I could apply the cream and change her diaper at the same time. As soon as I removed her jeans I saw that the swelling wrapped around both of her hips, down her thighs and ended at her knees. I yelled for my mom and ripped her shirt off to see if it was affecting her upper body - sure enough her upper arms were red & swollen down to her elbows. The raised areas were warm but C didn't appear to be in any discomfort or pain.
I called her pediatricians office only to find that they were closed, so I left a message for the doctor on call, packed up the diaper bag and headed to Children's Hospital. My mom drove and I called Brett from the car, he left work and met us at the hospital. On the way I realized that I forgot to grab my purse which contained my insurance card and ID, Scott & Hayley very kindly brought it to the hospital for me (thanks!).
By the time we arrived at the emergency room her swelling was receding and there were bright red marks along the outline of where the swelling had been.
I don't mess around with swelling so I still wanted her to be examined. We were seen by the nurse with-in 10 minutes for vitals and preliminary screening and then sent back out to the waiting area. C hates medical professionals, she screamed throughout the entire screening and they were unable to get an accurate blood pressure because she was so wiggly. After about 45 minutes we headed back to a room and C was seen by a resident and an attending (screaming the whole time) who concluded that she had an ear infection and that the swelling could be a secondary symptom of the infection. We were given a prescription for amoxicillin and headed home.
When we left the hospital my cell phone service returned and a new voicemail came in from the doctor on-call at the pediatrician's office. She suggested that what I had described in my message sounded like urticaria - not life threatening and fairly common. Go ahead & look it up, search for some pictures so you have an idea of what my baby looked like. Are you back? Do you understand why I was so worried? The pediatrician suggested that, if we were facing a long wait time at the hospital, we just head home and bring C in to the pediatrician's Saturday morning office hours.
The next morning we did just that and although C's ears were a little red (she was screaming) the doctor didn't think that it warranted starting a 10-day course of antibiotics. We administered Motrin or Tylenol as needed for C's discomfort on Saturday (she slept horribly). Then on Sunday C was continuously seeping thick, neon green fluid from both eyes. As soon as it was wiped away, new fluid would form. Eiw! Something was definitely going on inside her little body so we filled the prescription for amoxicillin and after about 2 days she was back to a healthy version of herself.

So, what really happened? The honest answer is that we don't know for sure. But, after doing lots of research we have come to the conclusion that the uticaria was likely an environmental reaction from significant changes in was cold on Friday and C went on a stroller ride. Something as simple as that. The green eye goop was probably some kind of virus that we knocked out with the antibiotics.