THE FIRST FEVER

We made it through our first illness. This past week, Maria had been a bear. We attributed it to the fact that she wasn’t napping well and had a nasty diaper rash that we were having trouble getting under control. On Tuesday I talked with the pediatrician’s office and they told me I could make my own diaper rash cream that would be the same as what we’d get with a prescription. So, I compounded our own cream and prayed for the best. At first, I thought we were moving in the right direction. The red sores were starting to look less angry. However, her entire butt soon became chapped and red. Of course, every time she wet or pooped (which seems to be constant) it hurt and she cried. We started just leaving her diaper off for periods of time to air out, but the kid poops every time she sneezes, coughs, grunts, etc., so a naked Maria posed some threats to the house and those around her. A friend from work suggested a different butt cream that she said worked wonders for her son and the next day she brought me a sample of Aquaphor.

On Thursday, I had to go to Central City, KY (home of the Everly Brothers, if you really care to know) and I was gone for 12 hours. By the time I got home, Jeremy looked battle weary. Maria had been fussing nearly all day, and Grant was losing his patience as well. I quickly took over and Jeremy retreated for some quiet. I thought Maria felt warm, but figured it was because she had been crying and worked herself up. I nursed both babies and Grant went to sleep. Maria wasn’t having any of it so I changed her diaper again and put on the new cream and soon she found comfort in the swing and fell asleep. About an hour later when she woke up her cheeks were bright red and she was burning up. I took her temperature under her arm to find a reading of 101.5. Remembering what our doctor told us about the arm pit temperature, I knew I was going to have to stick the thermometer up her already irritated butt. I apologized in advance and lubed it up. A few seconds later we had a reading of 102.6. Poor thing was miserable and now, not only was I exhausted after a really long day, I was very worried about her. After talking with a nurse from our insurance company’s 24 hour nurse line, we determined that she didn’t have any other symptoms that indicated something warranting an immediate doctor visit, we decided we would keep an eye on her and see what the morning brought. She would only fall asleep if she was touching me, so we curled up in bed together. During the middle of the night I checked her temperature again and it had gone down to 101 and her butt wasn’t as inflamed looking. Score two points for me! She went back to sleep easily after nursing and when we woke up in the morning her temperature was back to normal and her butt was even better looking. Not only that, she seemed relaxed and happy for the first time in several days. She started grinning and cooing which made me feel great.

I think we successfully weathered our first fever and thankfully, she’s still feeling good. Hopefully the fever was just what she needed to burn off whatever was ailing her. I’m now a believer in Aquaphor (or Aquafresh according to Jeremy) and we’ll soon be purchasing a gallon tub.

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THE SLEEP MIRACLE

We experienced a miracle in the Wilson house last night…almost 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep! I know…crazy, right? Before we went to bed, I was concerned about how the morning would go since I needed to go to Lexington for work, which meant a 6:30 a.m. departure time. I thought I might end up being gone before they woke up for first breakfast, which I didn’t like. They ate like they normally do in the 9:30 to 10:00 time frame and were sleeping by about 10:15. I went to bed shortly thereafter and set my alarm for 5:30, which was quite depressing, especially since they had been waking between 3:30 and 4:00. Just the thought of only an additional hour or so of sleep after that made me tired. Around 5:00, I rolled over and realized what time it was. I reached out and put my hand on each baby to ensure that they were indeed breathing…yes, they were breathing. Could it really be? I checked Jeremy’s clock to make sure. Yes, it really was. Grant was starting to stir, so I quickly moved them into the nursery to get them changed to allow Jeremy to continue his sleep. We nursed and I got ready to leave. Mom had previously agreed to come over to help me get out the door so Jeremy could sleep a little later. She was impressed with my sleep report, but I warned that I had no idea what this would mean for the rest of the day. I kissed the babies and headed down I-64.

Around 8:00 I got a call from Jeremy asking what had just happened. Did we feed them in the middle of the night and he slept through it? (He has a history of sleep walking and talking with absolutely no memory of the event.) No, we all slept! Yeah for sanity…but hello engorgement! So, while the sleep was great, my body disagreed and has responded with a nicely plugged milk duct. This isn’t exactly comfortable. But, I can live with it and will get through it. It’s just another part of the adventure!

UNKNOWN ROAD OF MARRIAGE

In three weeks time, my family and I will be flying out to California to visit my brother in-law and (future) sister in-law, Brian and Karen. They live in San Francisco, and this will be the first time for all of us, except for Ryan, visiting them there. My husband was born in California, but when he was a toddler his family moved to Connecticut where he was raised.

I decided to make a cross stitch sampler for a wedding present for Brian and Karen. I was a little hesitant to pick something traditional, because the two of them are anything but. They are very unique individuals who will make quite a pair when married. I found, quite by accident, a sample entitled “Growth Rings”, which basically consists of concentric circles that are intertwined. The pattern looks very symmetrical, until you notice that the actual rings are each a different pattern. It is made with both light and dark colored thread, so the resulting intersecting circles are contrasted. To me this is the perfect sampler to represent not only marriage, but the uniqueness of each individual as they join together.

This pattern represents so many things to me when I think of what marriage and family life is like. When you are imagining what your new life together will be like, no one envisions the bad that will occur as you journey together. The pattern was printed with flaws, and a subsequent sheet with corrections was printed. This is how life is, but minus the correction sheet. Life in itself is imperfect, and the bad (flaws) just make you appreciate the good all the more. They, like Jim and I, have already had a taste of what can befall you, and have weathered through just fine. I’m referring to both Jim and Brian dealing with their respective cancers. Despite this, good did come from it. Jim and I experienced infertility issues, but in return we were able to help others with their infertility via embryo donation. Brian’s cancer scare prompted him to propose to Karen. We all knew they were meant for each other, it was just a matter of making it legal.

LITTLE WOMEN

Maria is a very sensitive baby — sensitive skin, sensitive belly and sensitive to the mood and emotions around her. I’d started to put a pattern to her moods in relation to my own several weeks ago. Seems that when I would have an extra tired morning and wasn’t as patient that she would be more fussy. Friday morning I was particularly tired and Jeremy and I were discussing an annoying situation. I think Maria sensed both of our frustration with the issue and as a result was rather fussy that morning and afternoon. She reacts to negative and nervous energy and I’m learning that we have to try extra hard to be aware of the conversations we have around her and our overall moods. I wonder how this will play out as she grows up. Being aware of and responsive to others’ moods and emotions isn’t a bad thing and will lend itself well to a helping profession like nursing or teaching. I just hope that her awareness and reaction to moods and emotions doesn’t become a burden to her – sometimes it’s good to be able to ignore the things going on around you or at the very least, not react.

Grant is not complicated like Maria. He’s a lover and not a fighter. Nine times out of ten he just wants to be held if he’s fussing. The other time he’s hungry. As for Maria, she doesn’t know what she wants. Hold me this way, no that way…put me down…pick me up…leave me alone….come back…it’s a game to see what finally works. I’m learning that if she’s in one of her moods, that high up on my shoulder and a good firm pat works well. Sometimes it takes a minute or two for her to settle into it, but it does work; you just have to be patient with her. At times when they both want to be held, I have found that getting perched in the glider with Grant reclining on my lap looking at me and Maria on my shoulder satisfies everyone. Sometime we just stay there until my butt goes numb. If they are quiet and happy, I can deal with not feeling my lower extremities until they get tired of what we’re doing.

Each week we learn something new that works or something else they like or don’t like. It’s fun to watch them reacting to us more and more. They’ve both melted my mom by giving up some pretty good grins. I’m enjoying each day watching them grow and learn. I’m looking forward to their next milestones, but also don’t want to wish this stage away. It’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.

FARM FRESH

What an awesome time we had at my Aunt and Uncle’s house! We arrived in Cookeville right on time for their nap. When we walked into the door the twins took off running toward the toys. They found a train set and lots of toys in the living room and then found the play room with Elmo and Barney toys! They had gone to toy heaven. It was more exciting than any museum I could have taken them to. By the time I got settled and laid down with them for nap they were just too excited to sleep. I told them to dream of Elmo and Barney; however, that did not work, so I gave up on nap time.

My cousin soon came over with her sons so they played in the sandbox then the pool. The children also got to see my uncle on his tractor. They were soon asking “Where did the tractor go?” This was a good question, with 12 acres of land who knows where he could have gone! Then for dinner we had fresh vegetables from the garden and roast. It can not get better than that! For dessert we had hot brownies. We went to bed late, but when we got there we were all worn out.

Natalie cried out in the night and I had read that can happen when children do not get their normal nap. My niece used to do this and they are called night terrors. The key is to wake them up, so as Natalie kept crying I was rocking her and telling her to wake up and tell me what was wrong. Finally, she said “OK” then “water,” so after she guzzled her water she went right to sleep. Later I heard Julian say “Elmo” then start giggling. He must have taken my advice and dreamed about one of his best buddies. Since we were all sleeping together they would kick each other and then cry out, but it must not have affected them too much since they slept an hour later than normal. I am sure they were just worn out!

The next day my cousin came over again with one of her sons while the other was at music camp. We got in the pool again and got to see my uncle use the tractor! That was so exciting for them. Natalie had to know at all times where he was. She was now calling him Papa. “Where is Papa?’ or “What is Papa doing?” was all she wanted to know. We think she was calling him this because the boys call him Grandpa.

When we went home they sent us with bags of fresh vegetables. The next night we cooked them and oh they were so good! I told Brian that I think it was one of the best meals I have ever had!

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IT’S WHAT I DO

Well, I’m back to the office and there is no rest for the wicked. I came in on Monday around 9:15 to find that the new HR Generalist in my department had just given her resignation after less than a month with the company. That, in and of itself, was not a bad thing from what I had heard while I was off. However, it means that I get the pleasure of taking on the bulk of her work, which is just awesome. Actually, I was on the panel that interviewed her on my last day of work way back on April 14. I didn’t like her, but got overruled. I later chalked my dislike of her up to the fact that I felt like crap that day and was probably starting early labor. Guess I wasn’t wrong about her after all. So much for getting to ease back into my own work! The good thing is that I’m staying very busy, which makes the days go by fast. So, I think the next couple of months until we get the HR position filled will be pretty hectic.

As for Jeremy, Grant and Maria, they are all doing very well. It seems like they are establishing their own routine, which for the past two days has included really good afternoon naps. They’ve waited until I got home to wake up and then I get to spend some good quality time with them. We’ve taken evening family walks and feel very “Americana” as we walk with the tandem stroller and the dog through our neighborhood.

He actually ventured out with them today and took them to the gym at our church. They stayed in the childcare area where my mom works. All the little old ladies that work out when Jeremy is there made their mad hobble to the nursery area to see Grant and Maria so they could ooo and aww over them. They had been anxiously anticipating Jeremy’s bravery in taking them out on his own. He declared his adventure a success even though they melted down each time they went in their car seats, which is standard operating procedure for Grant and Maria.

Jeremy has adapted to this life very well. He never imagined himself even married and claimed he always thought he’d be dead by age 25 (don’t ask…I’m not sure either…). I’m so very thankful that I have him and that he was willing to sacrifice a job he truly enjoyed to take on this most important and exhausting task of raising our babies. When I tell him this…he just shrugs his shoulders and says… “it’s what I do.”