FriYay

It’s Friday… It’s cold here, like -25F or something with the windchill. Schools are closed, and probably will be most of next week, but thankfully my daycare is open. I’m at one of my usual coffee shops pondering life. Again. The good news though, Eric gets home this afternoon or early evening and has next week off! It’s been a really long two weeks without his help, especially with the girls’ ear infections, Nadia even puked one night. Nadia woke around 2am again last night, and I was up with her until 3:30am. She must just hate sleep. I don’t know how else to explain it all. Last night at dinner Nora was still complaining that her ear hurt, but was all smiles for the camera as she sucked down her antibiotic, of course. Hopefully the meds start working soon. I fueled her with Tylenol this morning.

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I’ve obviously been doing more thinking about moving back to Cedar Falls. I think if I felt good about having a daycare/preschool there for the girls I’d be more adapt to see it as a realistic possibility. I emailed a few places there and am in the process of setting up tours. Some I’ve already seen, but it was YEARS ago so seeing them again should give me a better idea of what’s available. One place told me they are enrolling 3 year-olds now, so Nora, and they have five kids on a wait list for Nadia’s two’s room. How does one arrange for daycare when they don’t know when (or if??) they are moving?? Especially when I feel like daycare is so hard to come by there? Pay to hold the spot? Nora still talks about her ‘old school’. How do I pull her out of the current and start a third? Am I ruining my girls with too much change? Nadia has such a hard time adjusting! How much does an almost four year-old even remember long-term? I’m surprised Nora remembers as much as she does about the previous center, ya know, the one that kicked us out.

Maybe I was thinking about this move all wrong. Now that I’ve met a lot of great ladies here in MOMS Club… is it possible to keep them as support? It would mean I’d have to drive the hour to an event every time I wanted to see them though? But would that be better than Eric commuting for work some weeks and living away other weeks? I mean… I know the answer should be yes. But what happens if moving doesn’t change the amount of time Eric is actually home with me and the girls? And home for quality time, not home and working.

And just because I also have a cute picture of Nadia to share as well… She was almost looking at the camera!

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Pre-Op Appointment

Pre-op was this morning. And Nadia has a double ear infection so another round of antibiotics. I’m not shocked as on Tuesday at the ENT there was a bit of fluid in one ear, and she was super cranky this morning, sticking her fingers in her ears and such. I guess I’m glad we’re getting the tubes so soon.

Only concern at pre-op was Nadia’s SVT, which although she is still being followed by cardiology, hasn’t been an issue since discharge from the NICU. She was on meds the first year of life, but thankfully we’re finished with those. So we’re on for Tuesday with the tubes, only concern would be if she has a fever with her ear infection before then… Let’s hope not.

I finally had time to workout today. I assume I won’t be able to get outta bed tomorrow. Good thing Eric comes home tomorrow… but oh yeah, our guests arrive as well…

ENT Appointment

The doctor was in our exam room for all of ten minutes. But.. being a doctor’s wife, I get it. He probably had 40+ other patients to see today. And technically I didn’t have any questions, in fact, Eric offered to do the surgery himself. Kidding, sort of…

The exam was quick, he looked in both of Nadia’s ears, confirmed one currently has fluid, but isn’t bulging, and the other looked okay. But… we did just finish antibiotics a week ago. Nadia’s pre-op is scheduled for Thursday, two days from now. Her regular pediatrician is on vacation, so we are seeing someone else at her office. I assume all will be well, even though Nadia technically is still being followed by cardiology at the University. Surgery to put in the tubes is next Tuesday, so a week from today. I’m not worried. I know the ‘surgery’ if you can even call it that, takes all of 90 seconds. There is no IV, no breathing tube, they just gas the kids for a minute and it’s over. Eric already has a 40+ patient clinic of his own scheduled that day, so he won’t be able to join me and Nadia. Which in itself doesn’t really bother me. I’m most nervous about getting both the girls up and getting Nora to daycare earlier than normal so we can be at the surgery center by 730am for our 830 time slot. You know how three year-olds are… they doddle around, take forever to get dressed, take even longer to eat breakfast, and lets not even talk about getting shoes on and in the car! Ugh…

In other news, I found out today that starting Monday Nora will have a new teacher, same classroom and students though, thank goodness! Her current lead teacher, who I love, took a position at another school. I’m sad, I was comfortable with her and Nora whines at drop-off as it is. Now she will probably actually cry all over again for a week or more 🙁

I also found out today that Nadia will be moving to the young two’s room on Monday, so two new teachers for her to get comfortable with. Ugh to that as well. Nadia is VERY attached to the lead teacher in her current room, so I assume crying at drop-off for a while for her as well. Nadia won’t technically be two adjusted until October 31st. I assume daycare doesn’t consider this, so she’ll be moving into a room with kids quite older than her. I’m not too worried though, as I actually think being the youngest has a way of speeding up learning, or so I’ve been told by the high-risk follow-up clinic at the University. Nadia will hear and see lots of things she might not with younger kids, so maybe she will pick up on new developmental activities sooner. Or so I hope!

I’m exhausted but both girls are finally in bed, and maybe actually sleeping. Good night!

True Crime

How it is I don’t work (outside the home), have access to full-time daycare (although I don’t take full advantage) and still can’t find the time to complete my to-do lists??? Apparently I have time-management issues.

Eric invited friends of his for the weekend, they have a daughter Nora’s age so she’ll enjoy playing. Problem is, they are staying with us, and since we moved last November we didn’t set up much of the lower level. The to-be guest room is currently a tornado path of toys, the guest bed and furniture in our storage room, unassembled. No really. The bathroom down there doesn’t even have a roll of toilet paper, much less a shower curtain or towels. We have no plans for what to prepare for meals this weekend… and get this, Eric left yesterday morning to work on-call and won’t be back until Friday evening, the same time the guests arrive. And of course he says, “Don’t stress, it will be fine.” Ha, yeah, it will be fine because I will stress all week and get the house ready, washing sheets and comforters, finding the pillows, decorating, well, making functional, the bathroom.

Later today Nadia has an appointment with a local Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) specialist. I actually think she has an active infection, as she was whining last night and sticking her fingers in her ears. I just want tubes. And soon. I want over this pain for her and constant antibiotics which give her diarrhea and diaper rashes.

Tomorrow Nadia has an appointment in Iowa City for another premature-related eye exam. You know, something about their eyes not fully developed by the time they are born, and thus you’re forced to take your child to COUNTLESS appointments where they stick these metal detractors inside their eyelids, you watch them scream, and so forth. I’m hoping this is one of the last exams related to prematurity, as she is over 18 months now.

Anyone into reading true-crime? Well, or listen to, as who the heck has time to read? Not me! I’ve got about 20 more minutes left on my audible book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. I’ve never read a true-crime book before, but OMG, I was hooked from the first chapter. Fascinating and scary, but so interesting. I highly recommend!

Okay, off to Target to outfit a bathroom. Below are a few pictures I took of the girls last night! Nadia refuses to look at the camera…

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Ears

Today did not go as planned.

Nora puked last night. All over everything. She’d had a chocolate shake before bed. Ugh. It took me until 9:30pm last night to clean it all up. And I still think the carpet is a bit soiled. The rug went directly into the trash. Which was sad for me as it was handmade and kind of pricey. But such is life. Did I mention Eric left for Ft. Dodge last night right before this happened. Yeah, fun dealing with sick kids alone 🙁 I finally got Nora back into a clean bed and sleeping around 10pm.

Meanwhile Nadia was up every 60 minutes last night. I’m not lying. She was crying and pulling on her ears. We just finished medication for an ear infection on Friday. I’m not surprised its back though, as Nadia spit most of the awful-tasting medication out at me.

So both the girls were home with me today, thus they went to my medication check this morning. I switched to Lexapro, we’ll see how I feel in a few weeks. Then we had both their ears checked, as Nora was also complaining. Her’s were fine but Nadia’s double ear infection is worse than it was last Monday when we last saw the doctor. More meds. I did ask about tubes, but apparently we need to have 6-7 infections before they refer to ENT. And retreating the same infection counts as one, like from last Monday and today. Eric is already wanting to call one of his ENT friends though and ask some questions… We’ll see. I hate seeing Nadia in pain. And the sleepless nights suck for all of us when I’m here with them alone.

Tomorrow Nora will go back to school and start in her new room. Wish us luck! And I assume I’ll have to keep Nadia home, as she has a fever even though the ear infection itself isn’t contagious. I’m sad because our last MOPs meeting for the year is tomorrow, so I’ll have to miss that as I can’t take a sick Nadia.

Nora did have a few moments this afternoon of playing with sand since it’s 80 degrees here today!

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Hopefully we all sleep better tonight. Eric is on his way home from Ft. Dodge now, and I probably should be getting the girls ready for bed, but I’d almost rather wait until he’s home later for his help. I’m exhausted!

 

Sisterly Love

Why is it, no matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing, I always feel I should be somewhere else?

When the girls wake in the morning I feel like I rush us to get ready and out the door. But for what? Just to daycare, when often my plans aren’t all that important or necessary. (Unless you consider adult interaction as important and necessary.) When I drop them off at daycare I feel guilty for allowing someone else precious time with my babies. But when I’m home with them I’m sometimes losing my freaking mind as they ask for the seventh different item for lunch, which they still don’t eat. And I miss them now that I have a few free moments after my haircut to myself. Maybe the whole mommy guilt thing is real, regardless of the situation, whether they are home with us, or happily playing at daycare…

Last night Nora complained her ear hurt. Last week she finished amoxicillin for an ear infection, which gave her a nasty rash, pictures below. We’re not convinced it was a true allergic reaction, rather probably more likely a maculopapular rash, but none the less they told us to quit the amoxicillin early, although just one day.

 

So back to last night… it was a Sunday evening. Of course only the ER was available, and since she was acting fine other than some complaints of ear pain I decided to wait until this morning.

This morning… the first thing Nora told me when she woke was that her right ear hurt. She was consistent with which ear at least. So back to the doctor we went. I originally had a Mom’s Club event scheduled this morning, which I was hosting, so that had to be rescheduled for later in the week. Of course. It’s not like I have a lot of events in my life, but it just so happens whenever the girls are sick I tend to have something planned. I call it Mom’s Law. Que the feeling of always needing to be where I’m not.

I’ve never seen a kid more happy and excited to see a doctor as Nora was this morning. She literally bounced into the office, happily got weighed and her height measured. (See pictures of happy Nora at doctor’s office below.) Nora was even excited for the blood pressure cuff and for her ears to be examined. And sure enough, an infection in her right ear this time. As a precaution amoxicillin wasn’t given, but rather Cefdinir. Hopefully she’s willing to take it, as the pharmacist told me its pretty nasty even when flavored. So that’s fun!

 

In other Nora news we got results back from her last visit with Dr. Bayer from Immunology at the University. And the news was good! Nora’s IgG was a bit down, but still in the normal range. And she made antibodies to 19 of the 23 strains in the last vaccine she received in December. Such a relief to receive all good news! And the best yet, she doesn’t need to see Dr. Bayer now for over a year!

And a bit of sisterly love to end with today!

 

Diarrhea

The title says it all… I don’t even remember when I updated last on Nadia’s illness.

Friday afternoon we were back at the doctor for another scheduled ear check. Yes, Tuesday was the only day last week we weren’t at the doctor. Thank God we have good insurance. Anyway, Friday they looked in her ears and she still had fluid, which prompted them to really, really encourage a third injection of the antibiotic Rocephin. Back up though, about an hour before our appointment on Friday I noticed a rash over most of Nadia’s body, actually everywhere except her lower legs. They had three doctors at the clinic examine her for multiple opinions, and all thought it was probably a reaction to the injections… but… since that was the worst of it, meaning she wasn’t having any breathing issues, they believed the benefits of another shot still outweighed the chance of the rash continuing. Ugh. So yes, we did a third shot. Seriously broke my heart to see her hurting so much.

So it’s Sunday night. Nadia does seems a lot happier now, even slept through the night last night. Her rash seems to be going away little by little, but she must still be itchy and a bit uncomfortable from it, as she’s scratching like crazy. The diarrhea though… it continues, and has now since Wednesday morning. At our appointment Friday they sent home a kit to collect a stool sample to test for C Diff. Apparently MedLabs has awful hours around here… so I’ll be collecting our sample tomorrow morning and dropping it off when they open. Hence, still no daycare for Nadia tomorrow. The diarrhea is awful, but what’s even worse is her terribly, terribly sore bottom. I’ve tried every concoction suggested to me, but it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. I assume we need to get rid of the diarrhea first and then hopefully the skin on her bottom can heal.

In other news… Eric is home! But… he’s still working… Patient notes, and studying for boards. This constant wanting his help with the girls, but either not getting it, or getting it but feeling like I’m pulling him away from work is really getting old. He leaves Thursday for Dallas for his test, but he’s made it clear he needs to study non-stop until then. Even though he’s been studying for months. I can’t tell you how ready I am for this exam to be over! I really hope once his oral boards are over we have a lot more time together and with the girls. This working non-stop is truly no way to live.

Long Week

Thank God tomorrow is Friday and Eric comes off-call and home. Granted, he only has a few days and then flies to Dallas for oral boards, and he has to study the entire next several days, but still.

Speaking of home… Our house in Cedar Falls we have for sale, and when it sold planned to get a smaller condo for Eric when he’s there on-call… Well, rented it out totally last-minute to a coworker of his whose home burnt down. Like literally one night Eric was staying there like normal, and the next afternoon they were moving in. It’s a huge help to this family of five, but certainly put a kink in our life. The first few days of this week Eric commuted as normal, even though he was on-call. But that got old fast when he kept getting called into the ER at 10pm. He’d drive 45 minutes there, see the patient and then drive another 45 minutes home. It was basically eating up his entire night and left him with less sleep than we normally gets. Which is nothing to write home about. So… last night and tonight he is staying in a hotel. I’m not sure our plan long-term. Eric is leery of owning three properties, so he’s hesitant to even look at condos right now. The family wants to rent our house until the end of 2018, at which point it will go back on the market. And hopefully won’t take forever to sell! We actually have another physician interested, but they are just starting out and don’t have a proper down-payment yet. Maybe they will by December.

I’m worried about Eric, all the driving, the late nights… He doesn’t get much sleep. He works non-stop, even his weeks ‘off’ lately are consumed with studying for boards or catching up on patient notes. His clinic days are always overbooked with 45+ patients. And some days they schedule nine or more surgeries for him. He rarely even eats during the day, much less pees.

I partly blame Eric for not taking care of himself. He’s an amazing doctor, he cares so, so much about his patients, but this comes at the expense of his own health often. When I call a specialist for an appointment for one of the girls we get booked out sometimes six months or more. If you call Eric’s clinic, he’ll make time to see you, sometimes the same day, even if it’s not an emergency. All that snow we had, and patients cancelled their appointments… He re-booked them the next day, even though that next day was already full. When I cancel for the girls I get the next available. Again, six months or more down the road. I feel like Eric has no professional boundaries. He needs to learn to say no sometimes…

So Nadia… So far this week we’ve been at the doctor Monday, Wednesday, today (Thursday), and we have another check tomorrow already scheduled. I’m exhausted and so is she. I think we figured out she has a UTI, still the ear infection, and a gut infection called human rhin/entero virus, I think… or something close to that. I probably shouldn’t be all that surprised by the urinary tract infection, as Nadia has urinary reflux and was on meds the entire first year of life to prevent such infections. The persistent ear infections are kind of throwing me for a loop though, as prior to the past two months, she’d never had one, and now we can’t seem to get rid of them. The gut infection, no idea. I really thought it was bad diarrhea from the first antibiotic she started on Monday, Augmentin. But I guess not, or possibly a combination of that and the virus. Either way, it sucks, and her bottom is so, so sore. We stopped the Augmentin Wednesday morning, due to the diarrhea, and she was given an injection of Rocephin Wednesday afternoon, and another today. I’m really hoping they don’t want to give her a third tomorrow afternoon when they check her ears. It’s traumatic for her and me! I thought Eric would be finished at noon tomorrow and could possibly join me at Nadia’s appointment. But no, of course not. I just talked to him and he has surgeries scheduled until at least 2pm, probably later. Oh his work schedule, I tell ya…

Sick Again

Daycare called… Nadia had a fever. So back to the doctor we went this afternoon, with Nora in tow. Another ear infection. Ugh. A different, stronger antibiotic. We’ll see. So Nadia will be home with me tomorrow, hopefully I can at least get some laundry done. And the girl’s Valentine’s written out for their school parties on Wednesday.

I have lots more I’d say, but per usual Eric isn’t home from work yet… Nadia is already sleeping, but Nora is just now eating her Mac and cheese, which she insisted on, even though I made dinner. It will be bedtime for her soon. I’ll try to update again soon…

I was thinking today… all those people who keep telling me to enjoy these times, as the days are long but the years are short… I’m guessing at some point in time I’ll look back and realize this to be true. But as I was attempting to make dinner, while both girls were hanging on me, screaming… Well, it was hard to keep that in perspective. I’m so very thankful for my girls. I love them so much. But all that doesn’t make parenting alone so often any easier.

Motivation

I’m finding it harder and harder to write these days. It’s not that I don’t want to, or need to. I have the thoughts in the head. I just seem to find myself filling my time with other activities… Maybe once we get back into a routine I’ll find more time. Below is what’s going on in our lives!

  • Thanksgiving was fun! Eric and I hosted at our new home. He smoked a turkey, I made some sides and my mother brought a bunch of food as well, and my sister too. It was a small gathering, just 6 adults and 4 kids, but it was nice, and fun. But in true form, the day went way too quickly. And I was so busy I didn’t take a single picture the entire day. Ugh. As you know how much I love pictures. On to Christmas I guess! I better start shopping!
  • Speaking of our new home… I’m still in the process of unpacking and decorating. It’s supposed to be fun, right? Why does it feel like work?? Our Christmas tree has been up almost a week, and yet still stands with only lights… Maybe today?
  • I went yesterday to get some ideas for window treatments. What are your thoughts on shutters? We have white trim, so probably something similar to this picture. Would you do the entire house in these? Bedrooms too?fullsizeoutput_17b9
  • Nadia had her 15 month (12 month adjusted) checkup this past Monday. I’m totally mom of the year, she has an ear infection and I had no idea. She’s been teething and cranky lately, but I guess I just figured it was her teeth and nothing more. I did ask her pediatrician about continuing physical and speech therapy. Her thoughts were… lets hold off for now. Nadia is babbling more, and says a few words. Also, she is close to walking, as she currently walks around furniture quite a bit. Her recommendation was to see how well she walks once she does. Our PT in Cedar Falls thought she felt some tightness in one leg, but our pediatrician wasn’t able to find that. So for now, I guess we’ll see. I trust our pediatrician, as she has lots of preemie experience but I also recognize she is not specifically trained in physical or speech therapy.RX99vTMmVzPUA1jdGrQ
  • At Nadia’s checkup we also discussed the cyst on her foot again. It started on the bottom of her heel shortly after birth, but now as her foot is growing it seems to be positioned more on the back edge of her heel. Our ped and Eric both agree it was caused by so many heel sticks in the NICU for blood tests. My understanding is its dead skin cells stuck under the skin. It seems to be getting larger so needs to be removed, otherwise the fear is it will bother her when walking with shoes. Problem is… with children, they like to put them out, as it will involve cutting and stitches. Ugh. Eric wants to do it at home. I said no way!
  • Girls are healthier this week and back to ‘school’ as we call it. Nora seems pretty excited to go each day, although is still a little weary of me leaving. Nadia on the other hand, screams as soon as we walk into her room. Yesterday her teacher did send me a few cute pictures of her playing. So she must not cry the entire day! Neither of the girls are napping well there, in fact, Nora hasn’t napped at all this week. So bedtime is fun. And she isn’t doing as well sleeping through the night either lately like she used to. I hope we all adjust soon.
  • Eric has been gone since last Friday, and even with daycare help, parenting alone is hard. Really hard. A part of me hates all this responsibility. I have so much anxiety toward the girls eating, especially Nora. We are still relying on some bottles of Pediasure. Nadia is still taking a few bottles too of toddler formula, but she loves eating much more than Nora ever did!
  • I’m struggling with figuring out my purpose… This probably needs a post all its own… My original intention with daycare was to get the girls some socialization with other kids a few days a week. Everyone tells me though, that the girls will adjust much better if they have a consistent routine, meaning they should go everyday. Do you all agree? And if so, what the hell do I do all day? I can only decorate this house and consider working out so many hours a day. A job is the obvious answer. But I’m scared that would take me away from the girls too much, as I still normally get them from daycare late afternoon. And with Eric off every third week, I don’t want to be working during that time, as then I would never see him. I need a really flexible job. But no clue what that would be!

I’m sure I’m forgetting a million things I was going to mention, but I’ll leave you with a somewhat amusing story…

Yesterday morning I spent several hours remaking our bed. I had purchased a new memory foam mattress topper, a gel mattress pad, and new pillows. So I washed all the new stuff and put on a clean set of sheets as well. I was worn out, so I threw all the dirty stuff into a basket in our bedroom, vowing to do laundry soon. Yesterday afternoon the cleaners came. And put all the dirty stuff back on the bed and piled all the clean stuff in the laundry room. Only in my life, right??