Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tube time

After watching our daughter battle one too many ear infections, Dave and I decided it was time to schedule her for tubes. Deciding it was easy. Actually going through with it was... emotional.

First, yes, it's a simple, quick procedure. But for a mom to hear that her daughter is going to be put under anesthesia and undergo surgery, she will freak out, logic be damned.

So that was me when we showed up at the hospital for Ava's appointment on March 16. We were told to arrive at 9am for a 10:30 surgery, which just baffled me. But we did as we were told and were quickly placed into a room. In preparation for this, Dave and I pulled out all the stops: We gave Ava her binky, brought her beloved blanket, let her play with our phones, gave her free reign with a box of tissues and turned on the TV.

None of that helped once the nurse came in.

Ava was NOT planning to get any of her vitals taken. It was a battle, but we got what we needed. Because she was so difficult, they decided they would give her a dose of baby Valium before taking her back to the OR. (We were hoping for a family hand-out, but no such luck.)

Of course, that wouldn't happen until about 10 minutes before her surgery, so for the next 90 min., we were left to our own devices. Somewhere in there, a lovely young women came by our room offering toys from the hospital stash. Ava seemed to like this one:

Once she tired of that thing, my rugrat ran around the room, threw every last tissue in the trash, went through my purse, took all my credit cards out of my wallet, watched videos on our phones, waved at the nurses beyond her door, etc.

Then, it was Valium time. Ava's no stranger to those little dropper-syringe things, so she sucked it down in one quick gulp. That's when it got funny-sad.

Within about 5ish minutes, the meds kicked in. Ava got a little heavier and a little less stable, so I had her wrapped in my arms. She watched a video on my phone and waved when she saw herself. I laughed, so she gave a weak, far-away giggle. She was slow, quiet. When the doctors came in to get her, she went right into their arms without any semblance of a protest.

Dave and I were then ushered into the waiting room. Her status was updated in each stage on a screen that we were basically glued to.

Within about 20 minutes, we were able to go back to see her. She was still sleeping when we got to her, even though a child in the curtain-room next to us was screaming his head off. Apparently, when kids wake up from anesthesia, they often lose their minds. Dave and I braced ourselves...

But Ava didn't freak out. When she woke, she sat right up and just kind of stared. She cried for a minute or two, but I think it's because she was starving. Since she was fine, we rolled her bed to a private recovery room where she got goldfish and apple juice.

After eating, she was better. There were periodic tears, but no meltdowns.

And here we are, more than a week later. Except for a stuffy nose, she seems pretty good. Certain noises are no longer pleasant for her (i.e., Dave clanging tongs together as he makes her chicken), but otherwise, there's no discernible difference. Except, hopefully, a total lack of ear infections...

Monday, March 23, 2015

The struggle is real

We've reached the hitting phase.

I didn't think it was coming -- not MY kid -- but it's here. This tiny little human is supremely frustrated with not having the language to communicate everything going on in her brain, so, now, she hits.

She hits toys, she hits the couch, she hits her dinner plate, and, worst of all, she hits herself. Herself! Her own freaking head! She hit me one day, too, but I put a swift stop to that. I don't even know how I did it. I think I startled her by yelling and put her down so fast, it made her head spin. Either way, I do not generally get hit, which is a small blessing.

Now that Ava is 19 months old, I struggle with how to discipline. Seriously, how much does a kid that age understand? So far, I've been putting her in "time out" on the stairs every time she hits herself. When she hits objects, I ignore her. It's all been touch-and-go, making me question my parenting strategies, oh, every half a second.

On the flip side, when she is sweet and gentle, I praise the shit out of her. Tonight, for example, she gently touched her head (she was thinking of hitting) and I made such a big deal about how gentle she was being. Then, she kept petting herself, which, of course, made me lay it on thick. We were a very bizarre duo for a minute there, with her stroking her own hair and me acting like she had just discovered a cure for fucking cancer. But at this point, I'll do anything.

Oh, another fun fact: She's also throwing things. Girl has got an ARM on her. I was washing dishes tonight while she was in her chair eating dinner/playing with her food when all of a sudden, her sippy cup came flying past my feet.

The hell?

You think that's acceptable? Think again, baby. Now you don't get milk. (Um, until you ask for it.)

She also threw her fork.

Okay, that's mine now too. Bye-bye, fork. Eat with your hands.


It's a process I guess.

On the bright side, I have taught her how to clear her plate when she's done. After she finishes her fruit, we carry her plate and bowl to the sink. I always prompt her by asking, "Are you all done? Let's put the dishes in the sink!" Tonight, though, she did it on her own. I turned around from washing the other dishes to see her with her bowl and cup already gathered in her arms. "Sink," she said. "Sink."


(The rest of the evening went well until her post-bathtime diaper change, where she screamed and kicked so much that she actually cut her heel -- it bled! I was so sad for her at first and scooped her up in my arms with a flurry of kisses and hugs, but once she was "all better," I said, "That's called karma, muthafuka." I'm a terrible person.)

Anyway, it's a weird age. She's still little and cute, but she's also a demon spawn. I love her so much, but I want her to change. She's interacting with me in the best possible ways, but her mood can change on a dime. I'm trying to keep up, but all I know for sure is that this kid is gonna be the end of me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What the hell has happened?

It's been over 6 months since my last post, which might as well be a lifetime in parenthood.

When 2015 hit, I had grand delusions that I would return to blogging and force myself to write at least once a week to capture the precious and panicked moments that are now my life. But that didn't really happen. So here we are, several weeks later, with an endless supply of updates that should be told.

I could write about how Ava began walking at 13 months, how she LOVES going to the park, how she can now sit through a solid 45 minutes of "Frozen," how she is obsessed with Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus (complete with dancing and hand motions), how she has enough hair for pigtails, how she tries to put on her own shoes and socks, how she shoos the dogs out of the kitchen during dinner ("uh uh uh! uh uh uh!"), how she hugs Rocco all the time, how she yells what we *think* is "XBOX ON!" when she sees the TV in our bedroom, how she is learning to share with her friends at daycare, how freakin joyfully she greets me when I pick her up after work, how she runs nearly everywhere, how she is binky-free during the day, how she can identify so many animals...

I could tell you all of this. But instead, I'm going to tell you about how someday not long ago, someone swapped out my awesome, sweet, happy-all-the-time infant and replaced her with a bat-shit crazy toddler whose mood swings are so epic, I can't even keep up.

WHAT HAPPENED? I feel like my head is just constantly spinning.

Take tonight, for example.

Ava was being her normal self, running around the house when Dave began to get dinner ready. We gave her milk, she helped turn on the microwave for her carrots, she happily took her medicine (double ear infection for the second time in as many months) and she was playing with her new "Frozen" gifts from Great Aunt Nancy. Then she decided to flip the switch.

For seemingly no reason, her mood plummeted. She didn't want to eat. She didn't want carrots. She didn't want anything. Or anyone. Dave put her in her chair, and she screamed. He put food in front of her, and she violently pushed it away. He gave her the milk again, and she threw it on the floor. The tears and the yelling kept getting worse.

I took a 5 min. break, and when I came back, she was still crying and pissed while Dave was holding her. She reached for me when I came back in the kitchen, then immediately wanted down. Then started crying worse because I actually put her down. Fun!

So, I sat on the floor and let her freak out. She didn't want me near her and she needed to get this out of her system. As her cries began to lessen, I thought it would be safe to make eye contact. I was sorely mistaken.

As soon as I looked at her, she screamed way worse than before. It was like, "HOW DARE YOU CAST YOUR EYES UPON ME! THIS HAS RUINED MY LIFE! FOREVER!"

Ugh, FINE! I will avert my eyes!

That seemed to calm her down a bit. After a few minutes, she pointed to her chair and said, "Help." I froze.

Is... is this a trick? I don't know what to do.

I tried to be super nonchalant about it. I stood, scooped her up and put her in the chair. I gave her a fork and then immediately began doing the dishes, which I believed to be the least offensive action I could take. Not even five minutes later, I heard it...

A giggle.

A giggle?

A fucking giggle.

She had poured her blueberries on the table and found this hilarious. I looked over at her and we made eye contact. I braced myself for another meltdown, but instead, she looked directly into my eyes and laughed. It was cute, in a maniacal kind of way.

The rest of dinner was totally uneventful. She ate all of her squash, most of her chicken and a few carrots. Polished off her strawberries, like 5 blueberries and half a graham cracker. None of it intentionally thrown on the floor in a fit of rage.

Bath and bedtime were also peaceful. Ava didn't even try to catapult herself out of the crib tonight, like she tried to do last night. (That a whole another blog.)

And here I am. Again, head spinning. I don't even know what happened. A few nights ago was exactly like this. Like I said before, I can't keep up.

All I hear about is about age 3 is a million times worse than age 2, but all I can think is, "Do you mean 18 months is worse than everything else and you'll survive it and don't hook of an IV of wine quite yet because it really won't get more absurd than this? Is that what you mean?"

Apparently it's not. This insanity is still the calm before the storm.

Please pray.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Complete and utter panic

"Hi, Lisa, not to alarm you, but we think Ava may have had a seizure at daycare."


That was the phone call I got around noon today. As expected, my stomach instantly dropped, I actually felt my blood inside my body and my heart skipped about five beats. Everything around me slowed to a snail's pace and I kind of wanted to throw up.

I tried to listen, but I was obviously panicking.

"...put her on the changing table... clenched and shaking... just happened... call your pediatrician..."

As my head and body tried to align, I squeaked out a few questions. Yes, she's okay now. No, it didn't last long. Right now, she's eating a cracker.

I called Ava's doctor and talked to a nurse who asked me more questions I didn't have the answers to. So, in addition to being terrified, I was now also useless because, obviously, I wasn't there.

With my limited information, the nurse couldn't say whether it was a seizure or not. (AKA, go to the ER versus go to the pediatrician versus go calm yourself because it was nothing.) So I requested a same-day appointment just to be safe. They told me they had a 12:30 or a 3pm. It was currently 12:18.

"Be there in 10 minutes," I lied.

I flew out of the office, grabbed my girl and sped to the pediatrician. I barely remember the drive, but I know for a fact that I yelled at 60% of the cars in my way. We were 15 minutes late and seen immediately.

Did I mention it's a solo-parenting week for me? Dave is in Berlin right now, though he was two seconds away from flying home when I called to let him know what was going on. No, Dave, let's see what the doctor says first.

The doctor assessed Ava and asked more questions that, this time, I was prepared to answer. (Even in my haste to pick Ava up from daycare, I grilled them on what happened.) She did clench and shake, but her eyes did not roll back in her head; in fact, she looked directly at the teacher when it happened. It lasted several seconds, not minutes. Afterwards, she seemed fine and not dazed/sleepy. These signs all pointed to NOT SEIZURE.

Relief is an understatement.

Did daycare overreact? Maybe. But that's not a chance I was going to take, and I'm glad they didn't either. Within an hour of me picking Ava up, I had already dropped her back off and returned to work. She was fine the rest of the day -- played with her best friend, Ainsley -- and was a happy, sweet girl the rest of the evening after I picked her up again.

And now here I am, sitting down with multiple glasses of wine, a peacefully sleeping baby and a newfound appreciation for my healthy child.

Hug your kids, friends. Tightly.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Hah" = Hi

This is how she says "hi," by the way. Maybe she's just super southern.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The daycare daily cracks me up. Every time.

I've gotta say, I am becoming such a daycare convert.

Just look at this hilarious daily report I get! (And, yes, I did warn them about her being Benny'd due to her allergic reaction-rash.)

My girls eats better than I do. Waffles for breakfast, lasagna for lunch and cheddar bunnies (whatever they are) for snack? Come on. That's adorable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

So much sickness

It's that time or year.

Or is it?

I don't know. I don't care. All I know is that my poor baby has been sick for what feels like months.

In reality, it's only been weeks -- but that is still an absurd timeframe.

I mentioned in a past post how Ava had been sick. I was praying it wouldn't last, but it did and, long story short, we ended up taking her to the doctor to see what was wrong.

Turns out, little girl had a double ear infection. Ouch.

We were given amoxicillin and sent on our way. 


After just two days on the meds, Ava developed what looked like an allergic reaction.

Dave is allergic to penicillin, as is my father, so we brought her back into the pediatrician's immediately and met with a nurse practitioner who advised us to stop the meds. She checked Ava's ears and said they already seemed better. We had a follow-up appointment already scheduled in about 10 days, so the NP said to wait it out and see if the ear infection cleared up on its own.

So we did.

Ava showed no signs of discomfort except for a lingering cough, relentlessly runny nose and, of course, the standard teething issues. Then, we went back in for our follow-up appointment and learned that her double ear infection was WORSE.

Terrible parent alert!

Now she's on a different antibiotic, which I hope does the job. (Little nutjob is even starting to fake-cough, maybe because she thinks she's just supposed to do that all the time now.) I'm just really looking forward to having a well baby for our next well-baby visit.