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18 Feb

At the risk of sounding completely pathetic, full time work is kicking me solid in the you-know-what. I’ve been full time for two weeks now and the boys have had dinners of almost nothing but fast food and delivery. It’s definitely an adjustment and I’m getting used to things. My goal for tomorrow is to get the house in relatively decent shape and get some meals prepped for the week to avoid the “I have no energy to cook” thing that’s been happening a lot. That being said, I’m loving the job so far and our nanny who watches Ben is FANTASTIC despite what I’ve put her through. She picked Eli up from school for the first time last week and I told her that Eli usually comes outside to meet me. I assumed she would do the same. However, she used to be a preschool teacher so she did the responsible thing and went inside to introduce herself to office staff and his teacher. It was obvious Eli knew her. It was also obvious I never added her to the pick up list. So she got held up in the office for about 45 minutes with Eli, her kid, and Ben because I ALSO forgot to tell her I don’t get cell reception at work and it was that long until a coworker called me about something and I took my phone outside to where I got reception and a ton of texts and phone calls promptly came through. So embarrassing. Needless to say, I gave her extra money that day.

I also forgot to leave Ben’s swim stuff out the next day so she couldn’t take him and had to deal with his grumpy self the rest of the day. This week has been smoother and I expect it will continue to be so. She’s fine with helping with minor meal prep so I might use her for that. We are really lucky in who we found, she and I get along great.

We got Eli’s CogAT test results back (the advanced learning test) and needless to say, he got in to the Highly Capable cohort. You have to test at a certain level to get in otherwise you get streamed in the spectrum at your own school but he tested at 99% in all three areas. This created a good deal of strife the first night (“I’m not changing schools!”) then acceptance the next day (“Maybe it will be fun, I understand why I need to go.”) and now we’ve reverted back to denial (“Hey, Mommy, guess what?” “What, Eli?” “I’m not going to Cascadia.”) Sigh. He’s been told he doesn’t have a choice. We can’t let him test that high and not switch him. He didn’t just do well, he absolutely killed the test. I can’t let him refuse to switch because of fear and not at least try it. I am telling myself that once he’s there and settled, he’ll be much happier because he’ll be with his peers. I keep telling myself that.

Ben is also gearing up for kindergarten. He’s really good at math, better than Eli was at this age, and I think some of that has to do with the fact that he hears Eli doing math so much. He’s got basic addition and subtraction down and although he hasn’t figured out reading yet, he can look at words with letters missing and know which letters are missing to complete the word. He is really, really close. I think if he liked reading as much as Eli did at this age he’d be just as proficient. He’s doing great in gymnastics and is an absolute dynamo at swimming and was telling me today he wants to take diving lessons! He told me he knows how to do a very special dive called the spider dive but he can only do it at hotels. The kid is obviously trying to work me. I imagine we will probably have Ben tested in the next year or two.

Things work-wise for Andy are going excellently, as well. He was nominated and awarded a spot in the 2017 Seattle City Light Emerging Leaders program. It’s a competitive pool and meant to really push the candidates to move up into leadership positions within the utility. It’s a big honor and justly deserved.

It’s been an exciting (and tiring!) few weeks around here. Andy is on his weekend night shifts and has two OT night shifts immediately following so he is MIA until Tuesday night. Tonight, the boys and I are renting a movie, eating popcorn, and not moving. Tomorrow, we are attacking the yard if it’s not raining. Our backyard has been sorely neglected since the end of the summer and I’m pretty sure our neighbor (whose kitchen overlooks our backyard) is tired of looking at rotting tomato plants and various toys strewn over the yard for the last few months.

We will probably rejoin the gym we used to go to when we lived in the apartment and Eli was a baby. They have childcare included in the cost of membership and they also have a crossfit gym there. I’m not working out at all, largely due to laziness and partly due to a foot injury I sustained three months ago when I fell down the stairs while carrying laundry. The injury was enough to leave the top of my foot around the ball of the big toe joint swelled to this day but nothing showed up on the x-ray two weeks ago. I have a sports medicine podiatry appt and hopefully they will be able to help. It still aches a lot and I can’t wear even the slightest heel. I am looking forward to working out again, it’s been a REALLY LONG TIME!

Hope everyone is doing well. Have a great Sunday!

Back in business!

4 Jan

We all made it back safely to Seattle. The flight was uneventful and going to Dallas the day before was really the smartest thing. It made for a very relaxed evening of swimming and dinner and since our flight didn’t leave until 1:15 the next afternoon it was a calm morning as well. Once we got to Seattle, our luggage was already piled together and waiting for us when we got to baggage claim, then the shuttle to the car park was waiting outside the door. It was pretty seamless! Once we got home, the boys opened the last of their presents which were a dart board (big hit, no sharp dart points), a board game for Ben (also fun), and a few video game things. They ripped through everything but once they got to the video game they then declared it the “best Christmas ever”. Ok, kids.

School started back up again yesterday and everyone is just getting back into routines. I’m still waiting for word regarding Eli’s advanced testing. I’m back into house mode of setting up eye appointments (my readers are not hacking it) for all of us (need to get Ben checked), dentist appointments, updating immunizations for Ben since he’ll start school in the fall, and working on cub scout meeting plans.

The (to me) good news is that I got my mom’s laptop functioning again! I got the new OS in the mail yesterday and although it took me until almost 1 in the morning, I finally got it all installed and I am now rocking a fully updated, functional laptop again! I am so excited! This means I can update the blog more frequently since I don’t have to retreat downstairs and also Eli can do more computer practice upstairs where he can be monitored.

The job is all but official. It’s been offered, I’ve accepted so now it’s just a matter of salary negotiations with HR. I’m going to aim high and although I figure they won’t want to do what I propose, I’d rather aim high then haggle than low ball. I think I low balled my current salary when I first started because they agreed to it WAY too quickly. I also interviewed a nanny today who will watch Ben for half day Wednesdays and all day Thursdays. She is looking for minimal hours so it works out really well since we only need her for three weeks, then off two weeks since those are weeks Andy is off during the week. She has a three year old boy and will come to our house. So Ben will also have a buddy to play with. She’s got a car and can take him to swim lessons and also pick up Eli from school. She’s got a long history working in preschools and before and after school care but decided not to work when she had her son. Now she just wants a little extra income and also some socialization opportunities for her son so it’s really a great fit. I’m calling references tomorrow but barring anything unexpected, I think it’s going to work out pretty well.

That’s the news for now. Looking forward to keeping everyone better updated now that I’m back in the land of laptop ūüôā

Berry Patch Teacher Observations for BEN!

17 Jan

Somehow, Ben’s nickname went from a prenatal “Zap” to the current “Ben-Ben”. ¬†I have no idea why everyone calls him this. I have no idea why WE call him this. ¬†I kind of miss Zap. ¬†I still throw it in there every once in a while but it never sticks. ¬†Sigh.

I had the parent-teacher conference for Ben the other day. As usual, my children are brilliant, socially adept, and handsome. I’m sure they will never misbehave (cough, cough) and will always obey their mama (COUGH, COUGH). ¬†Here’s what the BP has to say about ZAP:

Play Preferences:

Cars and food toys top Ben’s list of play preferences though he is slowly becoming intrigued with constructibles (legos, trios, etc). If markers are available, Ben can be found wandering around looking for furniture to graffiti (TELL ME ABOUT IT). He is fairly young for his ability to uncap and use markers and then switch to a new color! He is just beginning to discover sensory trays (you may have noticed a few changes of wet pants being sent home!) and it’s no secret that water trays are right up his alley. That boy loves water!

Peer relationships with children:

Ben seems to have a genuine affinity for Sadie and will often say her name when he sees her and hand her a baby doll! The big kids and their wacky pursuits are always fun for him to watch and (try to) tag along with as well. (Sadie is only a few months younger than Ben)

Relationship with teachers:

Flirting is one of Ben’s favorite activities! So far he’s got Neale’s name down and will sometimes say “Ninny” for Nicolie (following in his big brother’s footsteps), “Veronica” is a tricky one! ¬†(Eli used to call her Boditah)

Language Skills

Every time we seen Ben he’s picked up a few more words. “Help”, “more”, “me”, “mommy”, “daddy” and names of his peers are most common. Currently he is working on sounding out and repeating words he hears others say.

Emotional expression:

Generally Ben is a pretty happy go lucky guy though sometimes he will react to feeling frustrated by crying. He is fairly easily consoled with a hug or a quick snuggle with sock cat and transitions emotions quite easily.

Fine motor abilities:

Ben’s affinity for markers has helped him in this arena. He is great at capping and uncapping pens, pulling bins out, and picking up smaller items.

Gross motor abilities:

More recently Ben went on an alleyway walk without the stroller! This, of course, made for a fairly slow place, but he did it nonetheless. For being fairly new at walking he is sure footed and doesn’t fall down to often. In addition, he is a pro at moving up and down the stairs. Early on this seemed to be a goal for him and he would often practice crawling up and down them with a teacher near by.

Conceptual grasp:

While still fairly young to grasp provided concepts, Ben does pair animals with their respective noises and has a fairly solid grasp on our schedule. If we’re soon to head outside he can be found digging through the shoe bin to find his shoes or retrieving his coat from his cubby.

Learning trends and other notes:

It’s been a blast to have another Smith boy around and Ben is such a joy. He’s very bright, silly, and sweet. It will be fun to watch him as he gets older and becomes more purposeful in his actions. For now, he’s having a great time observing the older kiddos and trying out new choices and activities.

That’s the end of the yearly summary.

Ben’s language is really exploding. He’s getting better at communicating some complicated thoughts through signing and using what near-words he does have although at this point, I’m really the only one who gets it.

Example: Ben is one of those who gets hangry. When he gets hungry, it often seems like he doesn’t have a lot of warning but he wants food NOW NOW NOW. ¬†He will make this naggy half-scream until he is fed. I will often give him a little piece of a bagel and he will walk around munching on that so I have some time to prepare food for him. ¬†Bagel sounds like “Bay-el”. The other day, he was in his high chair eating and Andy was hanging out with him. Ben pointed at the bagels on the counter, said “bay-el!” and then gave the sign for all done. Andy asked me what he wanted since he was saying he was all done but then also seemed to be asking for a bagel. I said that Ben was all done eating his dinner but he wanted down from his high chair and wanted a bagel to snack on while he walked around. Andy turned and said, “You want down and you want a bagel to munch on once you’re down?” and Ben gave a big ol’ nod of his head. It was pretty cute.

I’m on a swing shift tonight (3-11:30) so I have to go get ready for work. The last three shifts have been nonstop busy (lots of suicidal folks, drunk folks, and a few people who basically came to the ED for comfort care before they passed, those are always so sad). I hope tonight is a little more mellow but since it’s a Friday I’m not going to hold my breath. I have my LAST on ramp class tomorrow morning at 8 so after working until midnight tonight, I’m sure that will be a challenge but it’ll be fun!

Settling in

20 Aug

I suppose I am appearing confident enough at work that my supervisor has been leaving me for periods on my own, fly little bird, fly! For the most part, I’ve done fine.¬† For the other part, I’ve done fine as well–it’s just a matter of getting used to the resources that are available to me and also the resources available to populations other than “adult”–the teens, the geriatrics, the chemically dependent who have insurance, etc.¬† The patients with whom I interact are totally the same–it’s just sometimes I know the resources and sometimes I’m not used to having the additional resources that being referred from an ED provides–therefore a bit of a learning curve.

I love the people I work with, for the most part, they are funny, genuine, and kind.¬† They have a healthy sense of humor about the work they do but they also aren’t burnt out about it.¬† Granted, a few definitely do show signs of wear but most are just thrilled to have SWers in the ED–just by being there, we make several people’s jobs a lot easier. ¬†Overall, I have been really happy about the job move.

I had my first swing shifts this week, working 3-11:30. ¬†One night Rachal picked the boys up from BP and the next night Ananda stayed with them until I got home. I signed up on care.com so we could establish one or two regular sitters to have all these odd shifts covered but I still haven’t gotten around to interviewing. ¬†Next week I only work two day shifts so my goal is to have a few come over for interviews and have that locked down. Although I know my friends don’t mind, I’d rather have someone I’m paying come do it instead of just always counting on their goodwill.

The evenings went well although it was a bit tiring, not getting off until 11:30 and then having to get up and go at 6 the next morning. ¬†One morning I had to get up to get the boys to BP and by the time I got them there, I had been up a while and so it was hard to go back to sleep. ¬†The next morning, they were home with me that day so additional sleep wasn’t an option. ¬†It’s been a long week.

I’ve also started tapering myself off all of the medication I was put on after my post-partum insomnia. ¬†I’ve already fully tapered off one antidepressant (wellbutrin) and I stopped the main one (tapered, of course) four days ago. I didn’t notice any difference with the wellbutrin but the zoloft is proving a bit challenging. ¬†It was a gradual taper but I’m still experiencing a lot of agitation. ¬†Between the medicine and being back at work I’ve felt very overstimulated this week. ¬†I’ve been pleading for more quiet time when I’m home at the same time as Andy (meaning, I need him to herd the boys away)–I feel like there is noise coming in from every direction and I feel very overloaded. ¬†He’s been frustrated by it but understanding at the same time–I’ve had a short temper so I don’t blame his frustration. ¬†I just hope it wears off soon. ¬†Of course, my back issue has flared up big time this week so that hasn’t helped. ¬†Wah, wah, poor me. ¬†It will all wash out in the next few weeks once we have all had a chance to adjust. ¬†Even Eli has been in a pretty bad mood all week (likely feeding off me) and he was fairly clear that he was NOT happy I wasn’t here two evenings this week. ¬†We all have to get used to things, I suppose. ¬†It will work itself out.

On the positive side, I’ve tapered off almost everything and I’m still sleeping totally fine! Hurray! ¬†I’m only on half the sleep medicine dose they originally prescribed and I probably could stop that but I’ll probably continue on it for another month or two then taper off that once everything is settled down. ¬†It’s so nice to get this stuff out of my system although I am thankful every day that it was there when I needed it.

What a week!

10 Aug

And the boy with his birthday cupcake:

I need to post more videos. ¬†There’s not much more in the way of pictures other than what I’ve posted on FB since the battery in the camera died and our spare went missing….so on his birthday all we had was a dead battery for the real camera. ¬†Oh, second child, I am so sorry. ¬†He got lots of presents from friends and there was only one meltdown from Eli. ¬†Eli wanted to “show” Ben how to play with his new toy but instead of a demonstration, it was really more of a “I’m just going to take it from you and complain if you try to get near it” sort of scenario that did not end well. ¬†He recovered quickly and a good time was had by all.

Ben is doing great at BP. ¬†He does okay with no nap but really does best at this point with two which is fine since the other baby that started (a month older than Ben) still seems to need two as well. ¬†Ben can hang no problem with one nap at home but we are not nearly as exciting as BP and I imagine that probably makes it a lot harder for him to make it until after lunch in good spirits. ¬† He hasn’t had any problems with separation anxiety and usually just sort of looks confused when I leave, if he even happens to be paying attention to me. ¬†My work schedule has been such that I’ve had a day off when they were there and I managed to get a LOT of housework done! ¬†It happens so that every two or three weeks I will get either an entire day or partial day off when they’re at school so that’s pretty nice.

Work is going very well. ¬†I really, really love the job. ¬†It’s taking a while to get used to and there’s a big learning curve–a lot of the population is geriatric and I am not as familiar with that population but a fair portion of it is good ole psych and those go quickly. ¬†I am getting more exposure to the medical side of things and my supervisor had me observe several medical procedures this week–since I will be working with families of patients, I need to be able to describe what it is going on, etc for them. ¬†This week I observed an intubation and I also observed a full code. ¬†The intubation threw me for a bit of a loop but then the full code the next day has lingered a bit.

The code wasn’t something particularly tragic, a 90 something year old woman who had started falling ill several months ago and had been in the hospital and then a nursing home since–she and her husband had discussed that she was unlikely to recover from her illnesses and so he was (as much as one can be) prepared. ¬†We got the call that the ambulance was three minutes out and my supervisor stationed me in the room so I could watch not only what she did to handle it from a SW standpoint but also how the medical staff responds. ¬†It really is like a ballet, everyone gets into their positions and has what looks to be very choreographed roles, all working seamlessly together. ¬†It was amazing to watch the staff and the director of the code–a new doctor (he started after me! ¬†Super New!) who looks like he’s about 20 but to watch him direct a full code event, I was completely impressed. ¬† They managed to get the patient back for a short bit but then it was obvious that she was only responding due to direct medical treatment. ¬†She failed again and stopped responding as well. ¬†I never knew that before a doctor calls a code in a case such as this he asks the medical team–including me!–if they agree with his decision to call the code. ¬†It’s a “In light of x, y, and z, if anyone does not agree with the decision to call this code, speak now” sort of statement.

I was relieved she didn’t make it. ¬†She went the full code, they stopped offering treatment and almost immediately she died. ¬†I was secretly (I don’t think I could have thought it this clearly to myself at the time) hoping she wouldn’t make it–they had been doing CPR for a long time and frankly, her tiny body did not seem capable of handling it. ¬†I kept thinking there was no way she would ever recover even if she did make it to the floor! ¬†Once all was said and done, I had to go for a walk and pull myself together. ¬†I was glad I was able to observe it although I just kept thinking (and still do) how horrible it was for her to die in a room full of strangers. ¬†Her husband was at home at the time and we had a hard time getting a hold of him and he didn’t make it there until after she had gone. ¬†I hope if I make it to that age that I can just stay at home and go and not have to die in a room full of people I don’t know, even if I am unconscious. ¬†The staff at the hospital are warm and compassionate but at the end of the day, it’s still a job to them and she was just another patient– I suspect this is “newbie” kind of stuff I’m dealing with. ¬†It’s just all so different.

Oooooh depressing! ¬†Other than that, I’m getting the hang of the job. ¬†Learning how to triage and pace myself is the trickiest part–on Friday, it was totally dead until 1 in the afternoon then three came in at once and I ended up working an hour late–but I’ll get better as time goes on. ¬†I really like my coworkers and my supervisor is AMAZING. ¬†I really feel like I have struck some sort of work lottery and I didn’t really think I would ever feel like that!

In other news, the sum total of four days of crankiness from Ben seems to be three new teeth. ¬†He’s been a bit drooly the last day or so, maybe there are more coming but his last bit had three at once–why can’t this kid pace them out? ¬† He isn’t walking yet but he’s close. ¬†He can walk just holding one of my hands but doesn’t seem to be too interested in trying to balance himself yet. ¬†He won’t do the stumble walk thing if Andy and I are on the floor sitting across from each other. ¬†He’ll stand and just hold on to one of our hands until he can grab the other person’s hand. ¬†He’s not ready to let go yet. ¬†And that is TOTALLY fine by me. ¬†Stay little just a bit longer, Ben-Ben.

Ben eats most anything you put in front of him but he’s starting to get very irritable about having his food cut up into tiny pieces–he would rather grab the large piece of food and just gnaw it until it’s edible for him. ¬†We stopped giving him formula yesterday but will probably still give him morning and evening bottles for another week or two. ¬†He knows how to use a sippy and will hold his bottles himself so he’s much more independent than Eli was at this age. ¬†I keep thinking Ben is the one who is going to keep us on our toes. ¬†Ben is going to be the one flinging himself off monkey bars and he’s going to be the one who breaks stuff.

Well, tomorrow we have a playdate with Eli’s BFF, Sadie and then we are having friends over for dinner so I will sign off for now. ¬†I hope everyone has a great weekend!

The end of the mellow

16 Jul

Ben is turning out to be quite a handful. ¬†When I left Seattle last Wednesday, he was crawling around and getting into things here and there but nothing too bad. ¬†I have returned to a small mobile tornado, capable of whipping open drawers¬†and relieving them of their contents¬†in .2 seconds flat. ¬†To our chagrin we have not baby proofed and we are really paying the price for that. ¬†He is in EVERY SINGLE DRAWER HE CAN REACH. ¬†Luckily he can’t reach the top ones quite yet (give him another two hours at this rate) but he has managed to pull most everything out of the ones below that. ¬†He has also managed to (we think) open a few doors, namely the basement door, so we are keeping a closer eye on keeping the baby gate locked (it is installed at the top of the stairs) even when the door is shut. ¬†He seems overall much more energetic than Eli at this age–he loves to be repeatedly flipped, he wants nothing more than to be tossed up or around or on sofas, he loves climbing over things/people and rolling over and sometimes landing not so softly at which point he’ll sit for a second and look stunned then start climbing again. ¬†He’s not much of a cuddler and if he could spend the rest of the days pulling my hair out, he’d be happy. ¬†I wish I were kidding but I have a halo of short hairs around my head that attest to this really painful fact. ¬†This kid has ripped A LOT of hair out of my head. ¬†He got a fistful today and afterward I thought I was bleeding because he got so much. ¬†He has a grip! ¬†It doesn’t help that when I am yelling for him to let go he usually laughs. ¬†Second kids!

He is practicing his walking. ¬†I think he still has a while since he doesn’t really try to do it on his own but if you set him in front of this toy, he will walk:

He starts Berry Patch next week. ¬†I am sure he will be fine. ¬†He’s had a bit of separation anxiety about me lately–which is more than Eli ever had (which is none) but it seems to only show up when he’s being left with Andy, or Andy’s holding him and I’m in view, etc. ¬†If he’s with Andy and Ben can’t see or hear me, he’s totally fine. ¬†If I leave him with others, Ben seems so distracted by the novelty of it that he doesn’t complain. ¬†I can’t believe he’s old enough to start BP–he’s going to be ONE in a few weeks!

His top two teeth are coming in nicely. ¬†He’ll eat almost anything you put in front of him and I’m smart enough now to realize that I don’t have a miracle eating child, he’s just young enough to not get caught up in his own opinions of You Can’t Make Me. ¬†His favorites are mashed potatoes, pasta, cooked carrots, cheerios, cheese, ham, eggs, toast, and really pretty much anything. ¬†I love the totally unencumbered eating habits of babies.

I have him using a sippy at meals now and he’s almost got the tipping it back aspect of it down, he’s figured out he needs to suck on the nozzle. ¬†His bottles are half milk and half formula and I imagine after our formula runs out (another bag or two?) we will likely just switch him to milk and rice cereal. ¬†I am trying to make the bulk of his meals actual meals now instead of bottles but I think I will probably do what I did with Eli and keep his morning bottle and nighttime bottle for a bit–the morning one because it’s easiest (and fastest) to get him fed when I have to be at work and the nighttime one because hey, this kid doesn’t sit still very often. We also need to break him of his pacifier soon–he gets it only to sleep or on long trips in the car but he is very adept with it. ¬†It’s going to be an ugly few days when we get around to doing that but I don’t really feel like I’m in much of a hurry.

The first month or so of my work schedule is pretty packed–3 or 4 days a week which is more than I thought I would have but it’s part of the training process so I understand it. ¬†They had initially told me I was scheduled for orientation for two days next week so Andy and I figured it would be safe to schedule the wedding for the end of the week. ¬†My supervisor sent me the training schedule and it had every day next week scheduled–panic! ¬†I emailed her to let her know what was going on and she was very understanding–said she didn’t expect us (they hired three others at the same time) to be able to make all of it since it was such short notice. ¬†I really, really like her. ¬†Anyhoo, I’ll be working quite a bit through August training and then by the end of August will start pulling shifts on my own if I feel comfortable. ¬†How exciting!

The wedding is next Thursday and I am so excited! ¬†It’s quite funny because it feels rather anticlimactic but at the same time I am so happy that this chapter will finally be closed (or a new one opening?) and I can have the same last name as the boys. ¬†I really was not particular to changing my name but Eli has expressed that he would like me to have the same last name as the rest of them and I certainly wouldn’t mind either. ¬† We always said we would get married when/if Eli expressed an interest/concern in it (if we hadn’t done it already). ¬†It’s going to be a blast!

My Utah trip was great. ¬†I flew into Salt Lake City on Wednesday morning and Mike and I drove to Moab that day. ¬†We spent the next four days hiking. ¬†We saw many, many landmarks and sweat a LOT. ¬†It was pretty hot, 95 degrees + on most of our hikes. ¬†I put on sunscreen EVERY HOUR (I am not exaggerating) and did not get a sunburn but whoa, I was pretty gross from layer of sunscreen + sand from sandstone/slick rock + layer of sunscreen + dirt/sand from hiking and repeat. ¬†The hikes were tough but they were really amazing. ¬†The hardest was a 7 mile hike in deep sand. ¬†We started it at 2 (not smart, I know but we got lost twice on the way there) and finished around 6:30. ¬†It was the Great Gallery hike. ¬†It was so worth it. ¬†We also hiked the Dead Horse Point hike (4-4.5 miles, middle of the day, gorgeous hike), the Delicate Arch, Devil’s Garden, Park Avenue, and drove into the La Sal mountains. ¬†Utah is absolutely AMAZINGLY beautiful.

Utah also has really, really dry air. ¬†I was somewhat prepared for this after my Vegas trip from a year or two ago whereupon I got quite ill with sinusy crud. ¬†I bought a bottle of saline spray this time and packed it! ¬†Although I’m sure it helped, it didn’t help much. ¬†Within an hour of being in Utah, I was coughing, wheezing, and a sinus congested mess. ¬†I figured out how to jerry rig humidifiers in hotel rooms (we stayed in motels Wednesday and Saturday) and the rest of the time I just alternated between Afrin and saline spray so I could breathe. ¬†Even after being home a few days, I still have a gross cough and sinus issues so I think I probably developed a secondary something or other because of all the mess down there. ¬†Oh well, it was still gorgeous! ¬†Can’t keep me down!

Pink Eye Andy is back at work. ¬†He’s at about 99% now. ¬†He is totally fine except his left eyelid continues to swell, giving him a bit of a Thom Yorke look. ¬†It’s not uncomfortable and hopefully it will go away soon

That’s all the news for now. ¬†I hope everyone has had a good week and I look forward to seeing some of you soon! ¬†New pictures are up!

Birthdays, trips, and WMD disguised as a cute baby boy

7 Jul

And hello! ¬†Time to catch up on all that has happened between here and Father’s Day.

The ER job – I got it. ¬†The hours are a little wonky and it’ll take a good bit of wrangling with childcare and also having someone else available once or twice a month to pick up and sit with the boys until Andy or I get home but it will be worth it. ¬†Every other week I will work two swings, 3-11:30. ¬†At first I was pretty upset about this but the more I thought about it, I think it might work out. ¬†After all, the boys will go to school those days which will allow me some quiet time. ¬†It will also give Andy and the boys some regular one-on-one time and I think that will help A LOT…both boys are particularly centered on me right now. ¬†It’s driving me a little crazy.

Teeth- ¬†Ben’s got ’em! ¬†He finally had the top two peek through yesterday. ¬†I find his timing amusing–he got the first bottom two the ONE weekend Andy went to Reno and now he’s getting these two when Andy can’t help out at all. ¬†It’s really fine since he doesn’t seem to be a super cranky teether (much like his big brother, hallelujah). ¬†Mostly he just wanted to be held and glued to my hip until the Motrin kicked in and then he was back to his mellow self.

Illnesses – Eli got over his terrible bug and has been fine since. ¬†Ben had a very mild naggy croupy cough for about a week and then got the mildest case of pink eye. ¬†I took him to the ped so they could check everything out and he got drops, no problem. ¬†It was gone by the next day (yes, we are still doing the full course of drops). ¬†I took Ben on Tuesday to the doc although we noticed it Monday. ¬†On Tuesday, Andy worked an OT shift and he texted me during it to tell me he caught the pink eye. ¬†He came home and his eye was red and we figured hey, you can just use Ben’s drops as well! ¬†We all know what happened next. ¬†Wednesday, his eye was really red and starting to swell so he went to his GP and got a prescription for Cipro drops and oral Amoxicillin.

On Friday, his eye was so bad (and it also spread to the other eye on this day), that we called an opthamologist and asked them to work us in. ¬†I thought for sure that he had some sort of horrible infection that was worse than pink eye and he would definitely need IV antibiotics. ¬†His lymph nodes on the left side were like knots, he was running 103 degree fever, and he wasn’t really moving or talking much at all. ¬†The doc gave him a thorough check and it’s just pink eye. ¬†I won’t go on for more because y’all pretty much know the rest. ¬†I will say that today he didn’t run a fever at all and that’s progress in the right direction. ¬†His eyes are very annoying and uncomfortable but he’s starting to be a little social and also get his sense of humor back so we are having all sorts of zombie related jokes going on:

Since his viral conjunctivitis is very contagious, I’ve mostly been busy with the running/maintenance of the house. ¬†We’re trying to avoid him touching a lot of stuff–we have purell in most rooms and he also has been lysoling most of what he touches. ¬†He’s felt bad enough so far that it was largely only contained to our room and the recliner but today he’s been a bit more mobile. ¬†I have been washing my hands constantly and harrassing Eli to wash his and purell-ing both of the boys regularly. ¬†Of course, my eyes itch pretty much all the time but I think it’s just neurotic itching and not anything significant. ¬†(Talk about bedbugs for 10 minutes and you’ll start itching, too)

Eli is making out like a bandit since Andy is sick. ¬†Since I’m trying to stay out of the house, he’s gotten to go to two different wading pools, the zoo, two playgrounds and a few playdates. ¬†He threw a bit of a fit when he got up from his nap this afternoon and I said we were just staying home! ¬†Mama’s tired, y’all!

I have a trip to Utah planned for Wednesday and I hope he continues to get better so I can go and not feel like I am deserting them. ¬†If he gets worse, I won’t go. ¬†It’s just not really a trip I can just change dates–I’ll be working, Mike will have gotten all the way to New Orleans and then unable to travel, Andy will be working, etc. ¬†We will see what happens.

My birthday was really great. ¬†Andy planned a nice dinner out and my friend Ananda made me a cake and got me a label machine! ¬†I wanted a label machine (NERD). ¬†I haven’t used it yet but oh, the labeling that is going to happen! ¬†Andy got me a gift certificate to [a href=http://www.olympusspa.net] Olympus Spa[/a] and I hear that place is really awesome so I am looking forward to it.

Ben turns one in less than a month. ¬†I have no idea how that happened. ¬†I am happy but it’s a little bittersweet. ¬†He is all over the place these days and Eli is starting to play with him more although for the most part he just annoys Eli. ¬†Ben loves being flipped upside down–it’s his favorite thing ever! ¬†He also loves the bath just as much as Eli did at this age. ¬†If he hears the bath/shower start, he will crawl to the bathroom so he can splash in it. ¬†If the door is closed, he will sit and cry until whomever is in there finishes and comes out. ¬†We have to keep the door closed because he can already reach the cold water handle and if left unsupervised, he will go in there and stand at the bathtub with the water on so he can splash it around as it comes out of the faucet!

He also likes to do some coloring at the easel in the kitchen.  Is it me or does this seem pretty advanced?  Clearly, he is a genius.

Eli is reading now! ¬†For real! ¬†He can read pretty much all of the Dr. Seuss books. ¬†He tries to “read” it from memory a lot and will miss words but when you ask him to slow down and look at the words, he can get them. ¬†He can also read things he hasn’t read 1000 times before. ¬†It’s really amazing to watch him learn to read. ¬†He still prefers for us to read to him but now he will usually agree to read about half himself first and then you read the rest to him. ¬†His face just lights up when he reads something new! ¬†It is so awesome. ¬†We are going to the library after my Utah trip to sign up for the summer reading program.

I will be gone from Wednesday-Sunday camping in Utah (Moab, Canyonlands, etc) ¬†I haven’t been away from the boys this long since…well, Andy and I went to Kauai a while back but I haven’t been away from all of them at once more than two days, ever. ¬†I am going to relish the downtime as much as possible but I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss them like crazy.

They are starting to play together–you can see Eli is totally letting him crawl on him and even after the hair pulling Eli is sort of amused but trying to act mad:

Hopefully I will be back with lots of great camping pictures soon!