Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sick of Being Sick

Guess who has a fever? I'll give you a hint: she lives in this house, and it's not me (or Melanie).

I have to admit I'm a little confused... it's supposed to be summer. Kids don't get sick in the summer as much, right? I literally feel like Katy has not had more than a 2-week healthy stretch since last fall. I could give you links to all the posts in my blog archive to prove it, but I'm sure you trust me. It seems like she is always sick.

And another thing I don't understand...I had always heard that little kids who are in daycare have this problem, but the child is home with me - where is she getting this? Of course we go out, she goes to the church nursery and to playgroup. She goes to the park and to Target. She goes to my mom's house and to the pool. But am I doing something wrong? Should I be disinfecting her toys more often (ever)? Or just not going out so much? Or getting her to stop sucking her thumb? (ok, if you really think that's the solution, don't tell me, because I just can't go there yet)

So far this round is characterized by a low grade fever and a little bit of fussiness. I'm hoping it will go away before all the wedding festivities in the upcoming weekend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Good News, Bad News

Good news: Since everyone at our house was feeling somewhat better on Friday afternoon, we discussed it with my mom over the phone and decided to make the trip to Pittsburgh.

Bad news: Despite our hopes that the forward-facing car seat would make the ride easier, it seemed to keep Katy from sleeping and remind her that if she could see us, then why couldn't we pick her up.

Good news: Katy got some quality Oma-time in the garden and doing some garage-sale hopping.

Bad news: Katy's still doing the mommy-cling thing.

Good news: Our Columbus zoo membership got us into the Pittsburgh zoo for FREE. So we had an entertaining outdoor activity for the beautiful weather on Saturday.

Bad news: It's impossible to keep a toddler in a stroller for 4 hours.

Good news: At the present time, Katy and Brian still haven't gotten sick, and I've concluded that they actually had the flu in a mild format earlier last week.

Bad news: Before we left Pittsburgh, we managed to give the flu to my mom. I feel terrible, I mean really really bad. We knew there was a risk, we took it. She didn't seem to have it as badly as Melanie and I, but we left her sick on the couch Monday morning. Ugh.

Good news: I just found a molar poking through Katy's gums (which would explain her recent crankiness).

Bad news: I just found a molar poking through Katy's gums.

Good news: My mom and I had a marvelous time bargain shopping for clothes for Katy, so she will be stylin' this fall.

Bad news: I am still not feeling 100%, which means that I have been somewhat sick for almost a week.

Good news: Brian, Melanie, and I are going out tonight for an early birthday dinner for myself. (this weekend I am turning 30, but we are quite involved in a wedding for friends of ours, so we're celebrating early). My wonderful friend Beth is watching Katy, and we're going to try a new restaurant that I've been wanting to go to for months.

Bad news: I had to cancel my haircut last week because I was...otherwise I feel that I look a bit shabby.

Good news: I love summer, I just love it!

Bad news: Where did June go? I feel like a school kid, watching the days of summer vacation slip through my fingers without my control. I'm going to try to hold on!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Role Reversal in a House Full of Sickies

Yesterday was a bad day. A very bad day. I had been feel a little under the weather the night before, and yesterday morning I sat up in bed around 5:00am and said, "That's weird, I feel a little nauseous." After a couple of minutes of contemplating exactly how nauseous I felt, I ran to the bathroom to toss my cookies. And here's the weird part, at that exact moment, I could hear Melanie doing the same thing in the restroom right below me.

So Brian ended up calling off work so he could take care of Melanie and I as we took turns running to the bathroom and trying to avoid contact with Katy in the meantime. It was one of those flu things where you just feel so miserable you want to cry. And all I could think about the whole time was, "oh PLEASE don't let Katy get this, oh PLEASE oh PLEASE oh PLEASE."

So while Brian acted as Mr. Mom, Katy decided that Mommy looked like she needed a little help too. Now here's a girl who won't sit in your lap to read a book for more than 30 seconds, and will barely sit still long enough to finish a bottle. But yesterday at various points throughout the day, she crawled up into my lap, snuggled up comfortably with me, and just cuddled, for even 20 minutes at a time. In a strange sort of way, Katy seemed to know that something wasn't right, and she was taking care of me in the way I usually take care of her.

So today Melanie and I both feel better. Not 100%, of course, but much better than yesterday. And so far, knock on some serious wood, Brian and Katy seem to be hanging in there. We are supposed to go to Pittsburgh to see my mom this weekend, but we're waiting to see whether the stomach flu will allow that or not.

And in another small milestone, Katy finally reached that all-important 20 pound mark! Which means (because she's over a year) that she can face FORWARD in the car seat. Here's a photo of her first forward-facing experience.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lucky 13

I think when I dreamt of the idea of "having a baby," I imagined life with a child between the ages of 0-12 months. I never really thought past that point, and it's still really hard for me to imagine being the mom of a toddler, preschooler, child, or teenager. I really only ever pictured the baby part. Ooops. But it's all good. You just figure it out as you go, right?

Oh, and guess what I got? I'm almost afraid to tell you, because I'm afraid you might be jealous. It's something I've wanted for a long time: a walking buddy. My next door neighbor Charity approached me about walking 3 mornings a week over the summer. This is so perfect because she lives right next door, we can walk at a time that's convenient for stay-at-home moms, and I can have some adult conversation on a regular basis. So far I've been able to bring Katy and she's been able to bring her youngest and leave the older 2 at home with her husband. So it works out really well. I'm so excited to have someone help me be motivated to exercise.

One more lucky find... we found a "new" restaurant for our rotation - it is awesome! Really good Italian food, inexpensive, casual atmosphere, kid-friendly, really nice people, and delicious dessert. I love finding a new restaurant. It's like buying a new outfit or discovering a new favorite song. So if you live in the area, you should check out Da Vinci Cafe in UA.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Officially summer

In case any of you were wondering if it was really summer yet, at our house it sure seems like it. I don't think I've ever spent as much time outside in my life as I have so far this warm season. Katy wants to be outside all the time, and it's so readily available, so we go. Plus there are so many organized outdoor activities that are kid-friendly. Just in the last week we've been to a BBQ, the Rose Festival, the zoo, the pool, the park, and of course some good old fashioned playing-in-the-yard. You'd think she would be more tired after all that playing in the sun, but she seems to have more energy than ever. These pictures were taken the night before the Rose Festival, while they were setting up. The flowers were truly amazing.

Brian and I have been debating about another house project. It stems from the fact that we have no backyard, a little strip of a side yard, and a fairly reasonable front yard that butts up to a well-trafficked corner. This means that we cannot be physically more than 2 feet away from Katy at all times when she is playing outside. So we are thinking about building a fence all the way around the front yard, including the tenants' side. In case you need a visual, imagine a white picket fence, level around the high point of the hill.

This way Katy would have some space to play (still supervised, of course) without fear of her tumbling down the hill/stairs into the street. Of course, there are a couple barriers to this plan: one is figuring out if this can be fit into the budget, and the other is that Brian still has that bum shoulder (minor detail, right?). I don't think he's going to be building much of anything for a little while. So we may have to put this off, but we've been talking circles around it.
Katy also has a new favorite activity: whenever Brian or I are sitting cross-legged on the floor, she runs over to one of her baskets full of board books, carefully makes a selection, and then crashes into our laps. What cracks me up even more is that she has favorite books (any that have flaps or different textures to feel). I find myself saying, "Let's pick out a different book," but she usually insists on one of the Usborne's or My Promise Rainbow (with over 25 flaps). The "reading" is pretty short lived. Right now she is interested in turning the pages and occasionally pointing to the pictures to have us name the items, but that's about it. But I'm just thrilled that she's so interested in books at all. We'll start from there.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Safety Reminder from Your Friendly Neighborhood Spaz

Tonight we had a little incident. Now looking back on it, I can call it that, a "little incident," but in fact it could have been a big, very serious incident. But the Lord was looking out for us.

Because of the incredibly beautiful weather, we had decided that we would grill out for dinner. So Brian had run to the store to get some charcoal, and I was home with Katy, thawing pork chops, shucking corn, and baking potatoes (doesn't that sound like the great American Sunday afternoon? like straight out of a country song). Katy and I were in the kitchen when all of the sudden I noticed something out of the ordinary: the toaster oven - up. in. flames. In my mind, I completely panicked. But somehow, after the initial "KATY! OH MY GOSH! Where is the fire extinguisher!!?!?!" (as if she would know or could tell me), I managed to retrieve the fire extinguisher from beneath the kitchen sink, pull the pin, (haven't you always wanted to do that since elementary school?) aim, and pull the trigger. And it was out. Just like that. Then I looked at Katy, who was completely clueless as to why I had such a spazzy look on my face, picked her up and hugged her like crazy. Luckily I caught it before it damaged anything else, and after a little clean-up and ventilation, we were back to normal. But I've been spooked all evening about how last week I put something in the oven (the big one, not the toaster), and went for a walk, leaving the house unattended. I know we've all done it. But I guess it really isn't safe.

So I guess what I'm saying is, do you have an extinguisher in your kitchen? You should get one.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Like a good neighbor...

As much as I tell Brian that I'd like to move to a neighborhood with more families and people our age, we really do have great neighbors.

Most of you know that we own a duplex, live in one side and rent out the other. We've had the same tenant for a while now (she's getting ready to start her 3rd year), and she has a 6-year-old daughter. This is really great for a couple reasons. One is that she is incredibly tolerant of the late night crying and other inconvenient noises that have seeped through our walls over the past year. The other is that we share a yard, so it's really nice that we can just have an overall kid-friendly yard and not have to worry about leaving your scooter in some one's flower bed. This gets even better when we are able to share toys!! Today I found out that her 6-year-old has outgrown the picnic table and outdoor playhouse that are currently residing in our side yard, and she generously offered to give them to us. They just needed a little clean-up. Ummm...let me think about outdoor play equipment that is already in my yard? Yes, I'll take it. So outside I headed with my bucket and scrub brush. What do you think?

Picnic table before:

Picnic table after:

Playhouse before:

Playhouse after:

If that wasn't enough, we've been incredibly blessed by our neighbors on the other side of us: Greg and Charity. Not only are they cool (they were just featured in a local magazine for being "hipster parents"), but we've been able to help each other out quite a bit with our families. Today Charity brought their kids, Jack, Sam, and Ella over for a little water play. Ella is 6 weeks younger than Katy, so we're assuming they'll be best friends. :) All of the kids seemed to have a really good time playing in the water. We had a little blow-up pool (that, again, belongs to our tenant) and the sprinkler. Katy was cracking us up with the sprinkler. She stood right in front of it while she got sprayed and looked as if it was nothing. So funny.

Katy enjoys our "waterpark":

Jack and Katy play in the sprinkler 80's-style:

Little Ella, so cute. Doesn't she look like an infant Audrey Hepburn?

Ella's older brothers entertain the little ones:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Vent/Call for advice

So I know that my daughter is cute as a button, and that she's in a really adorable stage and that I should really enjoy her right now. And I do. But there's also something that's frustrating me, and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas that might help.

Whenever Katy and I are home, and I am anywhere close to being in the same room with her, she wants me to be either on the floor playing with her or holding her. If I am not, screaming (of the bloody murder fashion) ensues. If I attempt to, say, make dinner, she stands at my feet, whining and pulling on my legs. This makes things like dinner difficult to accomplish. This has been a pattern for several weeks, but it's been particularly bad the past few days.
But here's the weird thing: whenever we are out of the house, whether it's the yard, the zoo, or even Target, she's completely fine. Totally, completely, fine. She's so distracted and interested in everything going on around her that she doesn't cling to me or get upset. Also, when she's at home and I'm not there, she's much better. Out of sight, out of mind.
Question #1: WHAT'S CAUSING THIS???? Here are my ideas (i.e. paranoias):
  • We just started her on cow's milk - could she be allergic?
  • She's had a diaper rash lately, is it hurting her that bad?
  • Maybe she's teething (no reason to think that, but any fussy kid under the age of 2 might be teething, right?)
  • Am I not paying her enough attention? (i.e. am i causing this?)
  • Or is it just good old fashioned separation anxiety?

Question #2: HOW LONG WILL IT LAST? Please someone with older kids tell me that it never extends beyond 13 months. :)

Question #3: IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO MAKE IT BETTER? Should I pick her up every time, or will this just make it worse? Resign myself to having a 20 pounder on my hip at all times? Live at Target?

It's probably like every other baby challenge we've encountered so far: time is the best medicine. I'm sure in the future I'll long for the state when she wanted me to hold her.