Monday, January 21, 2013

January - Not My Favorite Month

Yesterday and today have been much like those January days back in 2011 when Sylvia had RSV and I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to handle it.  I remember feeling duped - like I fell asleep in class the day they taught about respiratory infections. Like every other mother in the entire world was laughing at me and saying, "You didn't know about RSV?  Ha!  And you call yourself a mother?!"  I felt that way then, and I feel that way now.  Because guess what RSV turns into after it's left untreated?

Bronchiolitis!  Yay!!  That's what Margot has at the moment, and I'm telling you, I've never felt like a less successful parent than I did today.  I'll start at the beginning, so that if I end up here again someday I'll have an electronic paper trail of my stupidity.

It starts with Sylvia a few weeks ago. This should have been a blog post by itself, because this was my first major "DUH YOU'RE AN IDIOT" moment.  She was up all night long screaming and crying and not wanting to sleep in her bed.  I was convinced it was the fallout from Christmas - she was over-spoiled and trying to get away with anything.  I let her out of her bed and into the guest bed, then on the couch, then in our bed, then back to the couch....we were up all night.  I called my Mom in tears the next morning because just when Sylvia fell asleep on top of me at 2:30am, Margot woke up.  Same thing at 4:30am.  Same thing at 6:30am.  Long story short, Mom came over for the morning to take care of Margot so the rest of us could sleep.  We took Sylvia to the doctor because even though she didn't have a fever, I had to find out if there was something wrong with her.  I guess this is actually a parenting triumph because at least I had enough sense to take her to the doctor!  I was so worried they would tell me there was nothing wrong, which meant she was just being difficult on purpose, in which case I wasn't sure what I was going to do.  Instead, the doctor told me she had a ruptured ear drum!  Because her ears were infected for WHO KNOWS how long!  Hooray???  At least I wasn't crazy, but I felt TERRIBLE for that poor kid.  We put her on antibiotics and in a couple days she was all better. 

Meanwhile, Margot's had a runny nose and gunky eyes for - her whole life.  Or at least since before Christmas, I can't remember.  On Friday, both girls woke up with gunky eyes, which was weird because Sylvia doesn't usually have those.  On Saturday, their eyes were gunked SHUT and I thought, hmmm....perhaps we should go to the doctor and rule out pink eye.  So, back to the doctor we went on Saturday morning and BINGO!  Pink eye.  For both of them.  Now they're both on antibiotic eye drops, which is a total party, if you're into pinning tiny people down and shoving sticky medicine in their eyes.  No fun.  In fact, the treatment for pink eye is way worse than the symptoms.  I'd much rather deal with itchy eyes that need to be wiped off with warm water all day,'s contagious and they have to be around other kids at some point.  So eye drops it is!

Saturday afternoon we administered eye drops all around and I thought we were in the clear, until Margot spiked a fever.  I chalked it up to teething because that makes SENSE, gave her some Tylenol before bed, and she slept as well as she does any other night. But on Sunday morning I noticed that her head was on FIRE and her temp was like, 103.  So, I flipped out and called the doctor, who said to keep an eye on her for the day and night and to bring her in the next morning if she still had a fever. 

Well, Margot was completely OUT of it all day yesterday!  I've never seen anything like it.  She was in and out of sleep, she only wanted to be held, and even when she wasn't being held she was too puny and worn out to cry, so she just stared into space and whimpered.  It was awful.  We gave her a bath before bed, which helped perk her up a bit, but then she threw up her milk right before we put her to bed for the night.  I let her sleep in her carrier right next to my side of the bed and she actually had a pretty good night.  When she woke up at midnight I fed her, since she had hardly eaten all day, then she slept until 7:00am!  But she still had a fever, so I took her to the doctor (they might as well have a chair in the waiting room labeled "For the Fasciotto's"), and we come to find....she has an EAR INFECTION (thanks, Sylvia) and bronchiolitis, which comes from an infected respiratory system. 

GAHH!!  How did I not SEE this coming?!  She's been coughing for days and we were IN the OFFICE on Saturday, at which point I told the doctor she's been fine.  In my defense, the doctor looked at her ears on Saturday and they were clear, but by today (Monday) they became infected, I guess.  Or maybe she didn't see the infection Saturday because of all the wax.  She had to PULL the wax out of Margot's ears today to see in them.  Which has also happened to Sylvia every single time we go to the doctor.  I blame my husband for giving my kids FREAKISHLY SMALL ears - that get infected. 

Anyway, the ear infection is bacterial, so she can have an antibiotic for that, but the LUNG infection is viral, so we have to let it "run it's course."  This means, that on top of the milk, which she's not keeping down, I have to give her an antibiotic and tylenol, which her stomach hates.  On top of THAT she has a ton of drainage and congestion - so she's been puking all day.  OH!  Don't forget the eye drops.  We still have that party to attend.

So, poor Margot is downstairs snoozing away in her car seat so she doesn't choke on her own snot, I'm up here working on sub plans for the whole week because the doctor said her bronchiolitis is contagious for "days and days," Sylvia has forgotten what I look like because I don't think I've said more than two words to her all day, and Sylvain is tiptoeing around all of us, wondering when I'm going to SNAP!  Which might have been just that very second as I typed the word "snap."  Or maybe that was my ear drum rupturing.  Either way, I feel some relief.

January - I hate you.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Much Appreciated Package!

When I got home Tuesday night there was a GIANT box by the front door.  Sylvain's grandmother sent us a SLEW of presents for the girls.  Whenever anyone in France asks what the girls need, I say "BOOKS!  Please send us some French children's books."  And we've received quite a few over the years, so our stash isn't puny by any means.  But HOLY COW!  This was the French book jackpot!  We are SO GRATEFUL to Mamie Josette!  Check out this haul:

Fnac: the big entertainment superstore in France.  What pretty paper!

Sensory books for Margot and princess books for Sylvia!

Charlotte aux Fraises (Strawberry Shortcake)!
Merci, Mamie!

Margot loves touching every inch of her new books!
Does anyone else remember these guys?

They're in FRENCH!  Sylvia has a whole set of these books AND a card game to help her learn her shapes, colors, clothes, feelings, expressions - you name it!  She also has a set of fairy tales, so she's read Raiponce (Rapunzel) about a zillion times since Tuesday night.

We are so thankful and so BLESSED to have such wonderful family in France!  Can you tell they want the girls to speak it?  So far, I think they'd be impressed, but NOW we could probably run a French preschool with all of our goodies!  Hmmm....that's not a bad idea......

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back to Real Life

I'm starting to feel normal again.  I'm not sure if it's because the holidays are over and our calendar looks reasonable again.  Or if it's because Margot has slept like a normal person for the last two nights in a row.  Or if it's because we've had normal five day weeks and two day weekends with no one getting sick.  Or if it's because Margot is six months old now and she can sit up and play and keep herself busy for a little while.  Who knows!  Who cares?  It doesn't really matter.  What matters is that we're in a good groove right now (which is sure to change as soon as I type those words, right?). 

Here.  Have some cute baby pictures:
Friday night play date with Baby Shelby!

Pizza, beer and babies.  Does it get better?  The answer is no.

I knew babies loved their own toes - I did not know they love ANYBODY'S toes!

Sylvia and I have been having fun in her new kitchen.  Sylvain thought this was hilarious because I don't do any cooking in my real kitchen.  So he took some pictures:

Sylvia is getting really imaginative lately.  She wants to play "doctor" or "store" or "restaurant" all day long.  I am happy to oblige when I can, but today I had a TON of school work to do, so when she asked if I'd play doctor with her, it broke my heart to say, "No, Mommy has to work.  How about you play doctor with Margot?"  Well, holy cow.  You would have thought it was Christmas morning!  Sylvia shouted, "Yeah!!!  I play doctor with my SISTER!!!"  That baby sure does come in handy.

Speaking of that baby....I really love this six month age.  She's expressive and funny and cute, but she can't GO anywhere yet, so when I set her down somewhere she STAYS there.  Heaven.  Feeding her is fun, too. 

It doesn't matter what's on the menu, she's going to try to grab it.

"What?!  It's almost GONE?  Crazy talk.  I'm worried."

Oh staaaahhhhp, you're too much.

Bubbles.  Humbert face.  The cute-meter is through the ROOF!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Six Months

Dear Margot,

So, technically you're six and a half months old, but whatever.  We had this thing called CHRISTMAS a while ago and frankly, it wore me out.  We got some great photos of you, but I still took some this morning of you in your chair, because I just can't believe how big you're getting!  I'm actually glad I waited a couple of weeks to write your letter, because you can do things now that you couldn't do two weeks ago!  You can sit up by yourself now, but usually you just bend forward until you can eat your toes.  You love to jump in your jumperoo, and when you really get going you squeal and laugh like it's the greatest thing on earth.  Another giant acomplishment - you're starting to sleep through the night!  Yippeee!!!!  This makes Mama very, very happy.  You are the sweetest!

We've been spending lots of time with family and friends lately, and everyone agrees - you are a very laid back and easy baby!  It doesn't matter who's holding you, you love to touch faces and nuzzle into our necks.  You're very snuggly.  You're starting to "give kisses," but I know you're really just trying to eat my face off.  Either way, it's totally cute!  You can sing and talk and babble with the best of them, too!  For being such a chill kid, you can get awfully loud when you want to, which will serve you well in this house, I suppose!  You like to sing along when any of us break out into song and it makes us laugh and laugh!

You've also started eating rice cereal with different fruits and veggies mashed up and mixed with it.  So far you've had bananas (loved 'em), spinach (hated it), peaches (loved 'em), and mangoes (didn't really care for it, but ate it anyway).  You're getting very good at eating from a spoon, but usually you just want to gnaw on the spoon itself because you're teething like crazy!  I can't see any teeth yet, but I know they're there, and I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of them pop out at once.  I'm sure we'll see a tooth or two (or ten) by your seven month letter!

Thanks for being the sweetest Muffin, dear girl.  We love you!