Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jamin's Hospital Stay

Well, last Monday's visit to the ER was certainly enough to scare us- but unfortunately, the worry over Jamin continued on past Monday evening.  When we were discharged from the hospital we were sent home with some information about fever control and a very sick toddler with croup.

We got home, set up the humidifier and got Jamin as comfortable as possible and he eventually dozed off.  Jud was planning on spending the night in Jamin's bedroom to keep an eye on him and his fever.  About 12:45 Jamin had woken up coughing, very uncomfortable, had a fever back on the rise and he seemed out of sorts.  We both were in Jamin's room and tried to comfort him and give him medicine.  He was completely miserable and getting worse by the minute.  His breathing was becoming more heavy and labored.  He vomited twice.  He was struggling for breath and could not settle.  We stayed with him like this for about 45 minutes and made two late night calls to our pediatrician.   Finally, we decided we needed to return to the ER.

My father-in-law came to watch over Owen and back to All Children's Hospital we went.  I sat in the backseat with Jamin who was struggling for breath.  He had such loud stridors and his ribs were retracting with each breath.  You could tell he was in pain and scared.

"Mommy hold you" he would choke out to me in the backseat with his hoarse voice and arms reaching out.  I did my best to hold him as close as I could while he was in the carseat.  It was a long, sad and heartbreaking car ride.  It's a totally helpless feeling as a momma to not be able to take away the pain.

We went into the ER and they took Jamin back right away.  They began breathing treatments,steroids and treated his fever again.  Then we waited.

We were happy when Jamin was finally comfortable enough to sleep.  But even as he was resting you could hear how hard he was working to breathe.

We thought we would only be in the hospital for a few hours.  In the end- Jamin didn't respond to the initial breathing treatments as well as most children do.  The Dr. told us how about 99% of kids with this extent of airway swelling from croup require one treatment, about 2 hours of monitoring and then they are released to go home. (My family sure is hitting the odds this summer it seems!)

Jamin needed 7 breathing treatments, 2 doses of oral steroids and fever control. They even called for a throat and chest x-ray to be sure there weren't other complications. It was hard to see our little boy in an ER room and confined to a bed for over 24 hours- each breath being hard work.

We were eventually admitted to the hospital on Wednesday morning- after about 36 hours in the ER.  With Jamin starting to feel better and finally have the amenities of toys, cartoons and room to walk- the day was easier on him.

To our relief, he was well enough to be discharged on Wednesday evening and come home.  I was absolutely giddy when I heard the news.  Home!

The entire duration of our time in the hospital was scary and made us worry to no end.  However, even through it all I was grateful that this is not our usual routine.  Jamin is a toddler that is incredibly vibrant, healthy and his energy often seems endless.  My heart breaks for families that have to spend substantial time in hospital rooms and endure the agony of watching their children struggle.

What a blessing health is.  It's a blessing that I certainly take for granted everyday for me and my family and it certainly would be the first thing I would miss if it were gone.  I'm am thankful that Jamin is healthy and able to bounce back to his usual self within a week.  I am still thankful that although we know Owen will eventually have his stay in the hospital to help his hearing and the reconstruction of his ear- that he has an issue that has options and treatments.  So many others are not as fortunate.  I am thankful for family that quickly comes to our side to help and friends who are as supportive as family.

What can I say?  Being in the hospital with your child, even if it isn't the "worst case scenario" can make you reevaluate life a little bit.  When I took a step to look back and reevaluate last week- I am thankful.

Hidden Veggies

Since Saturday I have been planning to finish writing about our scary week that we had with Jamin.  But when you have a 3 day weekend- well there's a lot of fun and relaxing that you need to fit in and I needed a mental break for the week's stress.  And then the next couple of days after that have to be spent recovering from the weekend and catching up on all the chores. All of a sudden you wake up and it's Wednesday.  So part two of Jamin's wild week will come later on.

So today I will write about something simple (and delicious)... broccoli bites!

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with a girlfriend about the woes of trying to get a toddler to eat anything green.  She told me about a recipe she found on Pinterest that disguises broccoli as a cookie/burger/patty like thing.  Apparently kids will eat them as long as they aren't in their original form.  And as long as they are smothered in cheese.

Sounds good to me.

I followed this recipe from Stacey Snacks Online and while the whole house napped on Monday I made these "cookies" (as Jamin likes to call them).

It was a great success.

For big kids, too.

Jud was more suspicious than Jamin was of these green "cookies."  He asked about 20,000 questions.  He questioned me on the ingredients on two separate occasions.  (For the record it's broccoli, bread crumbs, eggs, mozz cheese, cheddar cheese). He then followed up by asking (again) if meat is mixed in.  Just because something seems like meatball doesn't mean it's a meatball.  He commented on the interesting consistency of the broccoli- "But it doesn't seem like broccoli!" There was also an inquiry about how they are prepared- "oven? grill? griddle?"  He may have even asked how long they bake for.

Man obsessed.

So, the moral of this story- these are good snacks to make sure your toddler is getting vegetables and apparently are also great entertainment for husbands.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the scariest moment

My family certainly experienced the single scariest moment (and overall night) of our lives this week.

I had planned the week out as usual- some playdates, library trips, a couple playground adventures and some quality time doing arts & crafts.  However, Monday morning brought me a sick little boy who had rosy cheeks, no energy and a suspicious croup like cough.

He came with me downstairs and planted himself on the couch and it was clear to me Monday was going to be a restful day at home.  Jamin didn't get up once.  We watched cartoons, ate a few apple slices, and cuddled.  Daddy came home at 5:30 and he was still in this spot with Blankie.

Jamin had croup once this past Fall and we were able to treat it at home with a humidifier, extra cuddles and some rest time.  His temp was still not high and he wasn't having any coughing spells so I figured Monday would run it's course and I would call the pediatrician on Tuesday depending on how he was doing.

Occasionally, I would catch him dozing off.  He would let out a cough or two but nothing alarming.  His temp was 99.1 all day.  He was stable but definitely was not feeling like his normal self.

By the time 6 rolled around Jamin's temp had creeped up to a 100.something.  Daddy gave him a bath to cool him off and Jamin was relaxing in our bed.  We figured it would be an early night for him so I headed downstairs to get him a little bit of juice with some Tylenol mixed in so he could have some before he was down for the night.

I was sneaking in some evening chocolate (unnecessary confession?),  putting some dishes away and mixing up Jamin's drink when I heard Jud scream my name.


I've never heard my name screamed like that by anyone.  My stomach dropped and heart sank instantly.  Every emotion Jud was feeling in that exact moment upstairs all came through with one yell to me downstairs.  

I knew something was wrong with Jamin.

Panic happened instantaneously.  Jud was screaming for me to call 911.  I had already dialed and flew up the stairs within seconds screaming the whole time.  "TELL ME WHATS WRONG. WHATS HAPPENING. TELL ME."

I could hear Jud screaming Jamin's name over and over.  His voice sounded frantic and my stomach was in knots.  He finally yelled out that Jamin was having a seizure just as I ran into the room.  

It was the scariest sight I had ever seen.  My husband hunched over the bed with my little boy on his side, fetal position, twitching uncontrollably.  His eyes were open and empty looking and rolling.  No response.  No recognition of us being there, no conscious awareness of anything.

I turned around instantly and charged up the hall to Owen's nursery.  I wouldn't be able to remember our address or provide information to the 911 operator seeing Jamin like that. I gave our address and forced myself to answer questions calmly.  I ran back into the room.  Jud was in pure panic screaming for the operator to tell us what to do.  Jamin's lips were a terrifying shade of purple and blue.  Seeing those lips sent me into a state of hysteria.

I put the phone on speaker and threw it on the bed and scooped up Owen who was at Jud's feet. I had left Owen on his playmat next to the bed when I had originally gone downstairs and I didn't want him trampled in the chaos.  At this point, I ran down the stairs with Owen in my arms to unlock the front door to wave down the ambulance.  I was terrified they wouldn't know where we were with our townhouse complex that is so hidden away.

I threw the front door open and saw our neighbor outside with his sons.  I yelled for his help knowing he was a Sheriff and he came running in immediately.  His wife, also a Sheriff, took Owen from me and I ran back inside.

It seemed like an eternity.  The seizure was maybe 2 minutes at the most.  The ambulance about 6 minutes.   I was furious they weren't there sooner- it felt like an hour. They assessed Jamin and ran some tests.  He was passed out sleeping when they arrived- his body exhausted from the seizure.  They recommended he be transported to All Children's Hospital by ambulance. I rode with him and Jud and Owen followed behind.

Our feedback from the ER was that Jamin's seizure was caused by a sudden spike in temperature during a short period of time.  The seizure wouldn't have any lasting affects on him and these sort of fever seizures are considered common in children.   Try telling that to the parents of any child that has a seizure.  It was absurd to me to hear them explain that it is normal and not really an issue.  My jaw may have even hit the ground when we were advised that if in the future Jamin has another seizure episode we could wait it out at home and go about our business if he essentially snaps out of it.

Our boy was disoriented, exhausted and scared in the ER.  We held him close as they looked over him and treated his 102 fever.  Then we were released to go home. 

I cannot even imagine the agony my poor husband was facing during the whole thing. 
I had things to do.  Call 911.  Get Owen safe.  Unlock the door.  Wave down the ambulance.  

My husband was in the room the entire time looking into my sons empty eyes and feeling helpless and terrified.  The seconds dragged by for me and surely felt like an eternity for him.

Afterwards we both were rattled and just thankful our little boy was safe and home.   We ended up returning the the ER shortly after but I will save that story for another post.  It's exhausting to relive the emotion of the evenings events, not to mention the whole night, as I type them out. 

My boy sure knows how to scare momma and daddy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sister-in-law Surprise

When Owen was born, Jud and I immediately started trying to recruit my sister-in-law to come down for a visit.  Her expertise with three children under her belt and her baby obsession makes her a perfect visitor for those early weeks with a newborn.

Sadly, after some back and forth with trying to coordinate dates we weren't able to work out a good weekend.  I was disappointed but knew we'd get to hang out in August which I guess isn't that far away (except for in a baby world- where there is a HUGE difference between a 4 week old and a 4 month old!).

Well, turns out the joke was on me.  My sis-in-law had booked a surprise trip to Florida to meet Owen over Mother's Day weekend and everyone was in on it besides me!  The door mysteriously was knocked on at 10 pm last Friday and there was Bonnie!  She brought her little boy Brady along for the vacay too.   Jamin and Brady had the best time together.

Auntie Bonnie loved meeting Owen.  The feeling was mutual.


It was a great weekend and these two cousins became best buds.

The Florida vacation was too much fun to handle for Brady.


Or maybe it was the Florida heat.

Cant wait to see these guys again!  Thank you for visiting Bonnie!

Motherhood Monday's....Baby Registry, Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I started sharing some of the products that are must haves if there is a new baby in the way.  See what I suggested before and let the list continue!

6. Individual Diaper Disposal Bags.  Think doggy doo-doo bags meets baby poo. They sell packs of 75 at the dollar store so you will need to go buy approximately 20 boxes  (babies poo a lot).  These bags are a necessity not for just the poo-ified diapers and wipes but you will have so many baby outfits that are dirty and covered in a variety of things.  Do you really want to just toss that onesie into the diaper bag and risk a poo nightmare? Don't be stuck without a disposal bag or else you will be forced into sacrificing a nice clean swaddle blanket!

7. Nighttime Nursing Bra's.   Simply, you will never sleep without a bra again.  Invest in a few quality bedtime bra's!

Some quality choices from Target, of course!

Also, don't we find it cruel and unusual that they chose the model above to advertise for a nursing bra? She sure looks like she just had a child and some engorged boobs lately.  

8. Breast Pads.  Speaking of nursing accessories don't be caught in public without breast pads in place!  Disaster waiting to happen.  And if you suddenly realize you are in public without them- then you're sure to leak, right then and there.  Oh, the funny jokes nature likes to play.  Nuk is your cheapest go to and you can find them everywhere, even Publix!

9. Sleep Sheep. We got it as a gift and I used it with Jamin from the very beginning.  I wasn’t sure  if the “nature noises” really did anything at first but as he got older I saw it comforted him to hear the noise. This was a necessity for about the first year until we switched to bedtime stories and lullaby music  It also helped him fall asleep in unfamiliar places for naps or an overnights and for that reason I recommend the smaller sheep for traveling! 

To be continued!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Bewitching Hour

So, I have shared about the serene moments of motherhood.  To be fair to motherhood and all that it entails it seems appropriate that I share a little about the evil step-sister of "The Sacred Hour."  I like to call this time "The Bewitching Hour." Others may call it bedtime.  Some may simply call it the apocalypse.

I met the bewitching hour two years ago with Jamin as a baby and it has flared up with vengeance as toddlerhood as emerged.  He seems to have taken little brother Owen under his wing and taught him the ways.  That's what big brothers are for!

For every sweet, smiling picture of Jamin taken there is an unposted picture of Jamin after "his timer went off."  See below, as daddy tries to pose for a pic with this over-tired boy.  As a matter of fact, shortly after this picture was taken we had the tantrum of the century.  The shortly after the tantrum we also had a severe nose-to-collarbone injury that resulted in a bloody nose for little boy.  Not the best night for our poor little guy.

Just as quickly as mom regroups during a few blessed hours of quiet during naptime- the post-dinner crankiness can begin.  It seems to take Owen about and hour or two every night to settle down for bed.  Jamin has taught him well.

It's a wild couple of hours some evenings.  And to be honest, some nights are better than others.   Some nights there is a deep breath of relief as the kids go down.

But...other nights, it is truly the best part of the day.  Cuddling with Jamin in his big boy bed- tucking him in with Blankie, Oso, Bear, and Story.  (All four critical in the going to bed process). Sometimes we read Goodnight Moon over and over, recap the days events and listen to his lullaby tunes.  Daddy always tells him how proud we are of him. Momma always explains that he will always be her baby.  This is the time of day Jamin loves to gives hundreds of kisses and hugs- and he has the fresh little-boy-out-of-the-bath smell I can't get enough of.

And Owen, well, who can resist a newborn who feels such satisfaction and contentment just to be near you and fall asleep in your arms?  There is no other place this baby would rather be and its amazing that you can feel that kind of powerful love from such a little person.  He will only be this little once.

So although tired tantrums and protesting bedtime can be part of the daily grind and it comes with the territory- there are moments of pure joy buried in there that can be easy to miss.  I'm not perfect and I don't remember this every night as we trudge through the bewitching hours- but boy, should I try. There's so much of their childhood to soak up and it's truly good for the soul to remember to enjoy the little things.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Motherhood Monday's- Happy Mother's Day!

Some snapshots of my first Mother's Day with two little rascals and celebrating with some important ladies in my life!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

a glimpse of our nights..

Owen likes to wake up at 4 am and watch me sleep in bed.  Sounds a little creepy right?  The night always starts off with the right intentions.  We swaddle and lay down our milk induced baby into his bassinet around 8.  Sometime, around my bedtime between 11 and 12, Owen wakes up for a short little meal and he willingly goes back to the bassinet and passes right out.

Image from Goodnight Moon

After that is when things get fuzzy.

The details get a little lost in that  I-have-never-been-this-tired sleep deprivation that comes along with having a newborn but it goes something like this:

3 am- Owen wakes up.  I have a wonderful arrangement worked out with the husband that it is understood he gets up at least once a night for a diaper change.

3:07- When I hear that little newborn cry picking up momentum I usually roll over, remove the pillow from on top of my husbands head, and declare "diaper change duty." And he does it.  I have a keeper.

3:08- Jud stares into the bassinet trying to figure out what time is it.  What is he supposed to do?  Why is this baby here? Why all the crying? Rubs his eyes, tries to wake up, and gets down to diaper duty business as I secretly watch- amused by his midnight delirium.

3:09- Diaper change.

3:12- Baby is freshly diapered and swaddled.

3:12- Monumentally loud gushing noise fills the room.  It is undeniable that Owen has saved the best for last.

3:12- "Aww, man."- Jud

3:16- Baby is re-diapered and re-swaddled.

3:17- After diaper changing Owen usually joins us in bed.  There, I said it- despite my best intentions the baby ends up in the bed and not the bassinet.  (But he's soooo cuddly and warm!)

3:17-3:40- Owen eats.

3:40-4- Baby burps, spits up, and makes weird gurgling and gagging noises that keeps momma on the fence between dozing off and filled with panic and checking for vitals.

4 and onward- Owen is wide eyed and watching me sleep in bed while sucking super loud on his pacifier.  Over and over again I open my eyes before drifting off- and there he is. watching me. morning after morning.  (and still making those crazy newborn noises).

It is the hardest part of the day- 4 am to 7 am.  It is long, tiring, dark and quiet.  But I have to tell you it is the sweetest of times.   Owen, so politely, just gazes at me and waits for momma to declare the day has begun and happily sucks away on his paci.

There is something mysteriously magical between those baby and momma moments in the middle of the night.  They are long and exhausting as they are happening, but they are fleeting moments in life that are truly gone once they're gone.  I am making it a point to soak up all that newborn goodness while I can- even if it is while the rest of the world is sleeping.

Image from Goodnight Moon

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