Friday, February 29, 2008

"Don't mess with me!"

Seren has been on one of her early morning kicks this week. Ever since she was so ill, we have had a harder time with her sleeping. First the fever got her up. Then her diaper was super, super full. And now? Well, it is just time to get up! She got up at 5:30 on Tuesday, 5:15 on Wednesday and today was 5:40. I mention these details because well, she is tired.

I got home at 5:15 and she went to bed at 8:00. Between those nearly 3 hours, Seren had full blown tantrums over the smallest things. Crying! Yelling! Throwing whatever was closest to her! This tantrum thing is still kinda new for us so it still comes as a shock. I find it very upsetting. Where has my sweet one gone?

Here is the list of things that pissed Seren off tonight:

* The fact that Dolly, unbeknownest to me, needed to be swaddled...not up on the table where I was dillengently swaddling her...but on the ground.

* The fact that all of the pictures that we got from the Family Guide to the Hirschorn museum in DC were not in the right order. Some were upside down! Horrors!

* The fact that the vacuum cleaner was near her, despite being tightly held next to me.

*The fact that air was slowly leaking from her Ducky tub. And when I laughed at the slight sound of air escaping, Seren freaked out and climbed out of the tub in hysterics.

*The fact that the "Mouse diaper" (Mickey Mouse) HAS to be put on while standing up.

*The fact that Mom wasn't wearing pjs with stars on them like Seren was. "Mom no have stars!"

It was a long 3 hours. But it is Friday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mommy and Seren get crafty!

This weekend Seren helped me make play dough! She had a great time stirring the homemade mixture ("Seren stir! Seren stir!"). It was a blast! We were making play dough by 9:30 am on Sunday morning. Still in her pjs, she climbed up on our little kitchen stool and proudly helped. Seren is really into "chores" these days which is wonderful. We are having her help us in all different ways...she takes the ketchup and butter to the table, helps us make our big bed and still loves to place things in the trash.

Here she is stirring up the ingredients:

Monday night, after work, we set to playing with the play dough. At first she refused to touch it. "No touch! No! No!"

"Well, this will be short lived, I thought to myself. If the child doesn't touch the play dough, we should call it a night right now." However, I showed her how much fun it was to roll into a ball and then squish it. "See? Squish!" That did it! Game on!

She had a blast with the play dough. Every time she'd touch it, she'd squeal. We made snakes that hissed and lots and lots of balls of dough to squish. She tasted it a little, decided it tasted too salty and burst out laughing.

It is SO good to have our little sicky feeling better. I felt like a "real mom" making homemade crafts and enjoying time with my kiddo.

Friday, February 22, 2008


It finally snowed in our neck of the woods this year. A real snow. None of this snow-for-an-inch-and-be-gone-by-the-next-morning stuff. The kid in me LOVES snow days! I left my house early anticipating a crazy commute but lots of businesses were closed so the roads were ok. I left my husband with the words, "Make sure you take her out sledding! This could be the only snow we get! And take pictures!"

Nothing like micro-managing.

He just sent me pictures of the "fun" Seren had in the "big snow" (all of 4 inches). Looks like Seren doesn't share her mom's excitement about the wet, cold stuff.

"Yahoo! Look at her go! How much fun!" (sarcasm, sarcasm)

Poor thing. Maybe it isn't JUST the snow but the fact that she is wearing that hand me down from the early 1980s that is not only dated but hot pink and comes with a happy cheerleader on the front. Snow just isn't her thing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

We'll be leaving on a jet plane

Well, we'll leave in about 5 weeks but I am SO excited! We booked our flight to San Francisco! Yeah!! And for those of you who read this who are our "California Family", expect to see us in early April! Yeah!

I love having a big vacation/trip to look forward to. I can't wait to hike Mt. Tam, go to Point Reyes, eat a burrito in downtown Oakland, see the Habitat homes and of course introduce our daughter to our friends. There is just something about that place. I loved being 22 there, finding the love of my life, and exploring the great Bay Area. It will be good to go back. Really good.

We'll just have to pray for good weather and healthy family members.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Not all drama ALL the time

There is something about returning from a long day at the office, followed by a long commute to make you feel about as energized as well...a bath towel. You just want to walk in the door, have dinner make itself, have the dishes clean themselves and you? You fall in a heap on the couch.

With kids, that just isn't an option.

But the most amazing thing is that by the time you walk in the door, there is a little face there waiting for your return. "MOMMA!" It is like being a celebrity. With your own red carpet. Little legs start running. Little arms open up. And swoosh, you are in a mini-bear hug. And all is well.

The energy she gives me amazes me. Suddenly, instead of wanting to be a couch potato, I found myself dancing up a storm, my hands in the air, my feet kicking up, all to make my miniature dance partner laugh.

Who needs a couch? I have a dance floor.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Drama should have been her middle name

I know that it will most likely get worse before it gets better but Seren is all about Drama these past few days. The more un-fun the task? The bigger the show. It is simultaneously frustrating as hell and hilarious. Can you really get THAT upset about having to sit in the high chair? I had to turn my head away from her so she wouldn't see me laughing when she was laying on the ground, pounding her little fists into the floor while wailing "noooo diiaaaper, nooooo".

Because you see, she has decided that she is "over" diapers.

The poor thing. Most of the time I say something to the effect of, "Seren, I know you are really angry about this. I understand that. I'm sorry you are mad. But we just have to work through it and get ready for a clean, dry diaper."

All of this drama must exhaust her. I can't imagine the emotional energy it takes to burst into tears several times a day. It is admirable, really.

To be fair, she has had a rough, rough 10 days. The fevers, the cough, the medicines. She has been a trooper. We have been up in her face now every two hours for over two weeks with the amoxicillian, the steroids, the motrin and the nebulizer. So I can't blame her getting frustrated with yet another thing she HAS to do like sit in a chair or lay on the changing table.

But the drama? Oh my gosh.

Think I should get her this? :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And now for some smiles

We are sick of being sick. Seren is almost better but now we have to give her some sort of steriod for her lungs. At least her attitude has improved. We woke up to sounds of her giggling. What a relief! No 2:30 in the morning medicine administration. Our little one has returned to being herself. Whew.

So, as promised: Pics of Seren in DC

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another first: Trip to the ER

I am now more calm about our experiences on Sunday because it could have been worse. However, I am still generally frightened and worried about dear Seren.

Seren has been sick, off and on, since Jan 19th. She had a cold, then a cough which they diagnosed as broncholitis and double ear infections. We dutifully gave her the nebulizer treatments and amoxicillin which she said were her "treats". Good. The cough got better. She got better. Ten days later, last Wednesday,we finished up the anti-biotics and had lowered the breathing treatment to twice a day. By Friday night, she was up with a fever. She just wasn't herself. We were staying at my Uncle and Aunt's house and I felt horrible about the crying toddler in the room below thier bedroom. So after a fitful night where Seren nor I got any sleep, at 5:30 am, we drove around their neighborhood hoping to lull her to sleep. More fever for most of Saturday.

Sunday came with more of the same. We were giving her tylenol every four hours. Around 1:15pm, after skipping her meal, Seren was asleep on my chest with a fever and the chills. I was resting with her and trying to take her temperature. I wasn't a fan of the fact she was shaking. But then, all of a sudden, her eyes rolled back in her head, she lost consciousness, and started to shake out of control. Sam was downstairs getting her some tylenol when all of this happened. I screamed, picked up Seren in both arms, slipped on my shoes and yelled to Sam that we were going to the ER. I literally ran, at full speed to the car. Sam drove. Quickly.

With no purse, phones, insurance cards, etc we arrived with a super hot child at our local hospital. I didn't even place her in her carseat for the drive because I worried she would seizure again. We were seen quickly.

Her fever? 104.8.


I haven't been that scared in a long, long time. It just shakes you to the bone. We spent the next three hours in the ER. They gave her motrin and the fever went down quickly. She started to feel better and start requesting food after about an hour. When I asked her, "You feel better sweety?" She responded saying, "Better."

The diagnosis was "double ear infections" and "a touch of pnenomia."

A "touch"? What? Are we cooking here or what? Does she have it or not?

My poor kiddo had a chest x-ray and hung in there like a trooper.

Sam took Seren to the pediatrian yesterday and our doctors said that nearly every kid seen at this specific ER comes back with the same anti-biotic and the same diagnosis. She doesn't think Seren has pnenomia and doesn't have two ear infections, just one. We are on another anti-biotic right now- one that is more kid-friendly.

Not that THAT has made a difference; Seren has been refusing all medicine. So we literally SIT on her, make a cheek pocket and hold her nose to make her swallow.* Sound harsh? You bet. Better than frequent hospital visits to the ER? Absolutely. But it does break my heart.

I hated seeing her that sick. And we aren't out of the woods yet. Last night, around 2 am, she spiked her fever again. It was around 103-104. We stripped all of her clothes off, gave her motrin and placed ice cold wash clothes on her. Her fever came down.

Febrile seizures are genetic and very common until age 3. Since she has had one, she is prone to others. Sam and his mom both had these as children. They are harmless and a simple reaction to an infection. They can last for a few minutes but Seren's only lasted for about 15-20 seconds. I can't imagine a longer one as her short seizure is still being played and replayed in my mind.

We are all exhausted. We know once we kick this infection, she'll be fine but we are all on edge from a long week, a long weekend and some long nights. We pray that she'll be on the mend today after a full 24 hours of the new anti-biotic.

As I have said before, parenthood is not for the meek and mild.

* Edited to note that we are using a methodology for administering medicine recommended by Dr. Sears. The kid is face up, laying on her back. The parents' legs are pinning the child's arms down and the child's head is in between parents' knees. I am editing this so that people don't think we are crazy and actually are just sitting on our child. No calls to CPS needed! :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Trip to DC! (Meeting Beth)

Has it really been a week since I have posted? We have been busy! We had a great time in DC over the past weekend. I am not sure where to begin since it included a rear-end accident (everyone is ok), seeing dear friends, meeting a blogging friend Beth, visiting my family and then Seren ending up in the ER (she is ok too). I'll post about the ER trip soon when I am feeling less crazed by the whole, this post will be part one of our trip.

The weather was perfect for our trip to the city! DC is such an exciting place- especially during an election! There is so much going on! So much excitement! (Do all of those people really stay out that late every night? You mean not everyone is in thier PJs by 8 pm?) We arrived late on Wednesday night and put Seren to sleep in her "other bed" as she called it. My blogging friend, Beth, (of Working it Out) read in my last post that we were headed to DC and suggested we meet up! She generously offered to meet my husband and Seren on Thursday morning while I was at a conference. Seren met William! How very cool! When asked if Seren and William "talked and played", Sam reported that "well, they almost played peek-a-boo!" I guess we are still at the parallel play stage. :) They all had a good time and Beth was so kind to meet them right before a busy work day.

Friday afternoon, after a long work conference, it was my turn to meet Beth. This time, we met sans kids and had lunch together. Beth was so warm, generous, down to earth, and funny. We had a great lunch!

The internet is such an odd and wonderful place. Odd because we only know the parts of our lives that we share in this public venue. We all "edit" our lives, our emotions, our reactions, and our stories. But it is also wonderful because only through the internet could I be meeting this friend in real life! And we already have so much in common! I have been so encouraged through the blogosphere and my blogging buds.

In advance of our meeting, I worried a little bit about the fact that it might be "awkward". I should not have given it a second thought- the meeting felt really natural to me! I don't know if she has blogged about our lunch, and what she may have said about me but I really enjoyed our time. (I even got to learn about squirrel hunting- something she posted about in passing and which has intriqued me ever since.) I think we'd be friends if we lived closer to one another. What a wonderful, fun, intelligent person! Thanks Beth for making it happen!

Part two of the DC trip will include pics of Seren and the capital- pigtails flying.

Monday, February 4, 2008

She has a way about her

Tonight, as Seren brushed her teeth, perched on my hip, I looked into the mirror. I brushed my hair away from my face and scrunched up my nose. "I look tired." I thought to myself. Almost instantly, Seren did the same thing; she brushed her own hair back from her forehead and made a face.

My mom is a beautiful woman. She has short, brown, curly hair. She has kind green eyes and warm, loving hands. I will always know her hands. These are the hands that held mine as a little girl, helped me learn to sew, wished me well when I moved out and massaged my back as I birthed my own daughter.

Growing up, I would watch her getting ready to go out. She would mumble and "humph" about what she saw in the mirror. Too fat. Too tired. Too "frumpy". This has continued for years and years.

She had a nervous energy about her as she got ready for a party. Things had to be "just so" and her appearance was often the last straw in her frustration before a party got started. She always said she was too overweight. She would tap her hips as if tapping them would make them smaller. Later on in life, when I grew much taller than my mom and had yet to grow my own post-baby pooch my mom would say to me, "I am living vicariuosly through your body" as she would hand me a bag of new clothes.

I don't know what she would recall from these times but I just saw Mom. I always thought she was beautiful. I remember telling her that. "You look so pretty Mom!"

"Oh no, I just wish I had pressed this skirt. Or just gotten new shoes. I just need to loose 5 more pounds. It is those damn cookies. Oh well. Lets go."

But I was serious. She was Mom with a capital M, so beautiful, my everything. I used to love drawing her as a member of my family because I got to use a black crayon for her hair and a green one for her eyes. The rest of us required brown crayons for hair and blue for eyes. Mom was different. Which only made her more beautiful.

Maybe mom did know, deep down inside, that she was beautiful. Maybe my comments as a young child made her feel loved and gorgeous. I don't know. But as a mom now, I hope that if Seren every looks at me with the look of admiration that I used to give my mom and tells me that I look pretty, that I'll listen.


I suppose that for dear Seren, she was doomed to being klutsy. Afterall, she is related to us.

Seren, in the past two weeks has managed to slam her face into a wooden chair as well as a chest of drawers. First she slammed her left side of her face. This weekend, it was the right. It makes a horrible sound. Bamn! Then "the silence" which is the worst sound because while silent, it is the big "wind up". The breath taken before all hell breaks loose. THE cry.

Oh. It makes me shudder.

She has a line down her face- starting right above her eye and going to her cheek where she tripped over my foot and slammed into the chest of drawers. I iced her face but there is only so much you can do.

We also had a poop explosion which was right up there with the Infant Poop Explosions of 2006! I carried her, poop and all, upstairs, striped her clothes off and gave her an instant bath. In the process of getting her clothes off, we managed to get poop on the floor, in her hair and on Dad's newly washed jeans. Oops!

Those incidents aside, Seren and I had a good weekend of relaxing together. Sam was able to paint one of our walls and we all had a good time just relaxing. As a family.

This week we travel to DC so I can attend a conference for work. Seren is already excited about the "airplane museum." I tell her things in advance to let her know what the day will bring. But as I am learning, more than 2 hours in advance isn't such a good idea. Today, she attends music class at 11 am. At 7:30, when I was leaving the house, she was running around chanting at a good volumne, "Mu-sic Class! Mu-sic Class! Mu-sic Class!"

Lets hope klutsy returns safe and sound from class. I shudder to think of all of those drum sticks! Pointy objects. Held in her hands. While she dances. Could be ugly.

21 months today! Unreal.