Monday, February 28, 2011

Meds, meds, and more meds...

So this where being a parent gets really fun. On Friday evening, we managed to have perhaps our first ever enjoyable meal out since having Hanna. Not that I am blaming our unpleasant dining experiences solely on her, but she is three, an age where, apparently, sitting down and eating a meal from start to finish in a restaurant is not something she is capable of doing without at least spilling something, needing to go to the bathroom (sometimes multiple times), whining, possibly choking, drooling... yes, family outings to restaurants with us are always a dramatic event, one from which we almost always return from with an utmost feeling of fatigue and frustration. As I write this, I am wondering if this is why we aren't invited out much... perhaps so. Who wants to dine with tired and irritable parents on a Friday night? Or any night of the week for that matter. However, this time was different. Dave and I came home and smiled, feeling as if we had somehow reached this milestone in our family history... or future, at least till Silas hits that age. Even he was just content in his car seat, soaking in all the sights and smells of the Mexican restaurant. I swear I heard him tell me later that night that he too enjoyed the fajitas, but it possible that that was me talking to myself deliriously during the 3 am feed. However, the bliss didn't endure for long. On Saturday, Hanna woke up feeling warm. By early afternoon, her fever was up to 103 degrees, she was lethargic and had taken two naps on the couch, something that, if you know Hanna, indicates severe illness since she fights naps even in her bed and hasn't sat on a couch continuously for more than 3 minutes. We tylenoled her on and off to control her fever, hoping that it would be a 24 hour thing that would pass. By Monday, she was still running a fever so Dave stayed home with her and took her to the doctor's. The doctor said her throat was red but nothing serious that wouldn't heal itself with time. In the meantime, I spent most of the morning researching Nasonex and came to find out that lots of parents commented that the drug had some really undesirable side effects on kids- two of which were fevers and sore throats. I worked myself up into a panic wondering whether I had poisoned my child with Nasonex. Funny, when you see the talking bee commercial on TV, fever, sore throats, mood swings, tamtrums, etc. don't enter the picture, at least not for the bee... who in my mind sounds like Antonio Banderas... does that help market the drug? I insisted that Dave raise this with the pediatrician when he take her... whether it could be side effects... not whether or not Antonio does the voice for the bee...When I picked Silas up from the babysitter's, she mentioned he was feeling warm and by that afternoon, he too had a fever of 103. By evening, he was a mess... his eyes had purple rings around them and were glassy looking. He struggled to nurse, as if it took every last ounce of energy he had (I imagine that even normally, having to work that hard for a meal is tiring). So back to the doctor's we go. Hanna, Silas, and I. He was listless while Hanna seemed to be fever free and energetic. Turns out both kids had strep... not surprising since I was diagnosed with strep the week before. I went to the doctor the Friday before last for mastitis (another thing nursing moms shouldn't have to endure... it is hard enough with adding anything extra!) only to find out that I had strep AND mastitis. Doctor's orders: take antibiotics and nurse as often as possible. The poor kid was doomed from the get-go! Ella prides herself on the fact that she is the only healthy one in the family. I think she is anti-social. Silas, Hanna, and I were all on our antibiotics. In addition, Hanna had a rash that needed a neosporin/ A&D ointment mix, she needed her nasal mist and nasonex treatments nightly, Silas had cradle cap that required a neosporin/ hydro-cortisone mix, and I was on my meds. At some point, I spilled Silas' amoxycillin all over the floor and when I called the doctor to get it refilled, I realized that I had given him Hanna's amoxycillin (different concentration) instead of his! The nurse did a great job of not making me feel like a complete idiot, but I am sure it was hard for her. "Really, lady? You gave your 5 month old your 4 year old's medicine???" I desperately wanted to give her the background information- that I too had been sick and was having a hard time keeping up with all the meds that had to be administered to different family members. I wanted to make sure she knew that I wasn't a flakey, laid-back medicine giving mom who didn't care about which kid got what. But she efficiently took my information and the call was over before I knew it. So that was that, and I will forever be glared at by the nurses at the front desk who will view me as "that lady". I wonder if they shared stories at lunch that day... "guess what guys? I had this lady call for more antibiotics after she "dropped" the bottle on the floor..." They probably went on to envision me in some corner of my dining room downing amoxycillin while my kids are crying from their ailments, being deprived of their medicine. OK, so I am tad paranoid and tend to overreact slightly. On this occasion, I have an easy out. I will blame the meds. Next time... I'll blame it on the nightmares of being chased around my house by the Hispanic Nasonex bee... yes, I have actually had that one!

(This post was started on 15th of February... it certainly has taken me awhile! The next post is coming soon... and believe me... it only gets better!!!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lack of Nanny Diaries

At the start of the school year, I was a full time teacher. Once Silas was born, visions of me sobbing at my desk while attached to my pump (this was standard for the first few weeks with my other two) haunted me every time I thought about returning to work. There has to be a better way I thought. Ideally, I would stay home and throw the pump to the wind- but both Ella and Hanna would have to change schools since we wouldn't be able to afford tuition without my faculty remission. So, tough choice, them or me. It should be me. Well, really, it isn't about me. It is about Silas and why shouldn't we all sacrifice for his sake? Even so, the girls love their school, and it would break my heart to have to have them somewhere else. So how could I keep them there and still stay home? Really, I couldn't. But perhaps... I could do a little of both. The plan, which was carefully crafted, researched, and presented with convincing argument, was that IF I could get the school to agree to let me go half-time, the kids could stay, I could at least spend that much more time with Silas (and that much less time on my pump), and life at home would hopefully be less hectic and chaotic. The school agreed, and more amazingly, Dave agreed (though he still throws a jab in there every now and then about my $43 paycheck- hey, someone needs to cover the toilet paper expense around here!). I decided to split a nanny with another mom and agreed to drop Silas off at her place. She needed care for more hours than I did so this made sense. We had a nanny for a week, actually two nannies for a week (one did two days a week and the other did three) but long story short, it didn't work out and they were released into the work force. Actually, one of them got another job and would have quit anyway. So there was a mad scramble to find someone, but through divine appointment, I was chatting with a lady who knew of someone, and she was perfect.  She is from Peru, mom of two, experienced, sweet, loving, really all you could ask for in a caregiver, plus she was obviously fluent in Spanish which immediately made me picture Silas being fluent by the end of the school year, or at least be able to make wet, razzing sounds in Spanish. It seemed like a great situation to me, but after less than a week, the lady I was sharing the nanny with decided that she was going to put her daughter in full time day care due to her schedule. Scrambling again (which is somewhat where I am now)! I figured I had the worst luck in nanny history, till my neighbor called and told me her nanny was being deported. Both of our other kids had been full time daycare members so this whole nanny thing was new to us, and frankly, as much as I hate daycare centers, there are some definitely bonuses. There is always accountability at a daycare. Daycares don't close because of "sickness" or cars getting stuck in the ice. Daycare centers are reliable. OK, so they are extremely germ filled and occasionally, kids get fed another mom's breastmilk (I have no record of this actually happening, but I am sure it has at some point to someone) or crawl through another kid's drool, or maybe even spit up (this I have actually witnessed) ... but in general, they are kept safe, fed, rested, and cared for. A nanny could do just about anything, and short of installing a nanny cam, no one will know what happens in the house when you are gone. Yes, I should have more trust in the goodness of mankind, but really, the first two nannies killed that for me. I should note though that Silas is crying in his crib and I am sitting here at the computer writing this blog instead of tending to him, something I would fire a nanny for doing... then again, no one is paying me for my time, and I do give the kid plenty of attention. Plenty. He is one of those kids who is happy when he is being held or talked to. Leave him alone and it sounds like you've severed a limb from his body. Speaking of limbs, should I be concerned that Silas has discovered his distinguishing male feature in the bath tub? He grabs on tightly and I wonder if the lack of blood flow could cause permanent damage? At times, it seems like he is trying to physically remove it from his body. Having had two girls before him, this is not something I am used to. I try to show him how exciting rings and rubber duckies can be. He seems disinterested. I suspect if I am blogging about this same topic five years down the road, we may have issues. And if you are the parent of a boy who knows I will be blogging about this five years down the road, don't tell me. We'll let the daycare handle that one!