Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

  • The Patient Traveler

    Date: 2014.10.15 | Category: Family, Health, Life, Me, Sarah, Travel | Response: 3

    My kids surprise me all the time, and while many of those surprises aren’t always pleasant, from time to time one of them will truly amaze me with their behavior.

    Last Thursday Sarah and I began our journey to Pittsburgh, where we stayed with Cassie and her family for a long weekend. Prior to leaving, I was very nervous about how Sarah would do with the airport and the planes. She hates loud noises and I had visions of me frantically trying to calm her while she freaked out over loud plane engines and the thousands of travelers we would encounter along the way.

    When the day arrived, we got to the airport in time and prepared to board… but then we didn’t board. Our plane, it seemed, was having a mechanical issue. In my mind I immediately thought, “What kind of mechanical issue?! Is it safe to take my child on this plane?, etc.” After an hour wait, they boarded us… only to have us sit on the plane for 20 minutes, drink water, then get back off the plane.

    It turns out the mechanical issue was a broken light on the outside of the plane. A part, it turns out, they did not have at our local airport and they would have to wait on the next flight in from Atlanta to obtain. They started projecting new estimated leave times. Our 8am flight was then a 9:30 flight. Not a problem, I thought, I built in long layovers on purpose. That 9:30 time came and went and our flight slowly started pushing further and further back.  (The missing part wasn’t on the first flight – the part finally came in and we had to wait on mechanics – mechanics finally fixed it, but it wasn’t not up to the pilot’s standard – pilot had a two hour long phone conversation – mechanics came back out and finally fixed it for real).

    I was getting so frustrated, as were nearly all the adults on the scheduled flight.

    Sarah, however, was having a great time. She would run up to the window, shout, “Mama! Look at the airplane! Why isn’t it pink?!” and then happily return to me where she would look at a book / play with the iPad / color pictures. She made several friends out of the other passengers with her sweet smiles and silly dances. At one point she started coloring pictures and handing them out to fellow passengers. People were charmed and I was floored by her great behavior.

    Our flight delay ended up being around 6.5 hours total. As we were finally boarding the flight, I had about 10 people come up to me and tell me how impressed they were by how well behaved Sarah was, she even, one lady said, behaved better than her teenagers would have.

    The flight itself proved not to be troublesome either. As we took off, Sarah delightedly squealed, “We’re FLYING MAMA! We’re flying! We’re like Care Bears up in the clouds!” People looked and smiled. Delta can go ahead and send us a thank you package for providing one of the few reasons all the passengers didn’t mutiny.

    They re-booked our second flight out of Atlanta for 10pm at night (ha! Can you even imagine what sort of state the two of us would have been in by then?!) But we finally managed to find a Delta agent in Atlanta who actually knew what he was doing and booked us on a flight that left within the hour. Now, if you know the Atlanta airport, then you know that means we had to haul it to get to the right terminal in time. I ended up at one point hustling while wearing my 30lb backpack, carrying my 35lb child, while she was carrying her much smaller backpack. Workout complete!

    We made that flight, on which Sarah made another friend who let her play games on her iPad, and we finally made it to Pittsburgh around 7:30 that evening, a full five hours late. Sarah passed out on the drive to Cassie’s house, but she deserved a rest after that crazy day.

    The travel home was also insane, but not nearly as bad. Terrible storms in the south caused our plane to have to take a different path, adding about 35 minutes onto our flight time. During the flight, Sarah and I had to take a bathroom break (side note: do you know how hard it is to squeeze into an airplane bathroom with another person?! That’s no joke). A lady came out of the bathroom while we waited and Sarah ran up to her and gave her a huge hug like they had been best friends forever. The lady was delighted. She was flying first class and saved her cookies to give to Sarah later.

    When we finally made it home, Sarah had a meltdown just as her daddy arrived at the airport, but she was such a trooper that we just stuck her in the car, let her have at it, then took her to Wendy’s for chicken nuggets. After all, I still think she handled the traveling better than me!

  • Toughing it Out

    Date: 2014.09.05 | Category: Family, Health, Life, Me, OMG YAY! | Response: 0

    My extreme lack of blogging lately is due entirely to the fact that 1) I’ve been consumed with our new family transforming routine and 2) The kids and I have been facing a few health issues that have been dragging me way down and causing me to limp along exhausted most days the past couple of weeks.

    But, despite all that, I want to do an update on my fitness. A few months ago, I decided it was time to really fight to get the last of my pregnancy weight off – something I didn’t have to do the first go round.

    I started attending 3-4 gym classes weekly and completely overhauled my diet. Gone are 85% of our processed foods. We are doing a lot of whole eating and the whole family is adjusting pretty well.

    Three months in, I’m seeing results. As of today, I am down 13 pounds, less than 5 pounds to go before I hit my pre-pregnancy weight. And even though the weight loss hasn’t been insanely quick, the most exciting part is the drastic changes my body is going through.

    I’m getting strong. I can tell when I lift my children easier and haul grocery store bags. I can tell when I pull myself up on to things, or most recently, do repeated side lunges while holding my baby to get her to calm down at the pediatrician’s office. I can tell when I go to my classes. I went from being unable to do a standard plank at all, to doing them and adding on other exercises while I hold them. And I can tell when I look at my shoulder muscles finally starting to take shape. And you know what? It feels amazing.

    I’ve dropped two inches in my waist and hips respectively.

    And perhaps in the most exciting moment for me so far, I discovered that my high cholesterol level I use to have to be medicated for has dropped down to a safe, normal, healthy level just through diet and exercise. It’s truly amazing what three months of living a healthy lifestyle have done for me.

    Lifestyle and routine changes are so tough, but it has been so rewarding.

  • Like a Moth to the Flame…

    Date: 2014.08.05 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Life, Me, Norah, Sarah, Whoops | Response: 2

    I’m not sure if my brain has happily blocked out Sarah’s days of learning to stand independently, or if poor Norah takes after her mother in the clumsiness department. In the past week, Norah has hit her mouth to the point of bleeding not once, not twice, but THREE times. And there was another run in that left her with a nasty scratch by her eye.

    The first incident happened when Norah was standing up, holding onto one of her toys. In a burst of excitement, Sarah flew past her and accidentally knocked her over. I didn’t see it unfold, but I did hear loud, terrible screams of pain. I scooped Norah up and couldn’t get her to settle down. It took me a minute to realize there was blood pouring out of her mouth and on to my shoulder. My insides locked up.

    Normally blood doesn’t bother me, but in that moment, knowing it was my baby’s blood, I silently started to panic. Every time I tried to look in her mouth to see what was going on, the blood gushed anew and she screamed in pain. Meanwhile poor Sarah was busily trying to get my attention saying, “I’m sorry Mama! It was an accident Mama!” while trying to hold back her own tears.

    I was an absolute mess. I just knew Norah needed stitches or had somehow knocked her teeth loose. I packed her up and prepared to go to pediatric quick care. When I arrived though, there was a note on the door saying the place was temporarily closed. Cursing, I put Norah back in the car and drove her to the next closest quick care. By then, the blood flow had slowed down and I was able to get a look into her mouth. There was blood pooling around her teeth and my mind raced to the worst possible scenarios. Finally I pulled it together and thought to call a family friend who is a dentist.

    Bless him, he took my panicked call with grace, despite the fact that he was waiting in line at the bank and really just wanted to get home. He assured me that just because there was a lot of blood, that didn’t mean her teeth were going to fall out. In fact, at 10 months old, tooth roots aren’t fully formed and have plenty of time to heal on their own.

    I calmed down and drove home. After two hours of bleeding, things seem to finally stop and she had no problem shoveling down food and sucking her thumb.

    I realized the next morning that the injury was actually in her gums and that little piece of skin between the lip and the gums. As long as I didn’t try to lift her lip, all was well. I calmed down.

    Not to be outdone though, two days later Norah pulled up on the fireplace, let go and fell, hitting her mouth in the same exact spot on the way down. You guessed it: lots more blood and screaming. Fortunately this time I kept calm and managed to get her under control pretty quickly.

    Surely she would learn some self-preservation, you say? But alas, like a moth to the flame, Norah continued to be drawn to the brick fireplace. Two days after the second incident, she managed to scramble over to the fireplace, stand and fall, this time busting her bottom lip open. Cue more blood and screaming.

    By this point I began to feel like a terrible parent. I immediately logged on to Amazon and ordered cushiony edge protectors. My baby proofing the second go round has obviously been a little too lax, or maybe my baby is just a little too clumsy.

    And then yesterday mom picked Norah up from school early. The whole time she was at mom’s, she was an angel. But as soon as I got there? Well that baby crawled at high speed to the fireplace and slammed the corner of her eye into the bricks.

    My poor baby looks like she’s got a budding career in boxing.

  • Finding My Strength Again

    Date: 2014.07.16 | Category: Health, Life, Me | Response: 19

    Let me tell you a personal story about failure and success.

    I should start from the beginning. With my second pregnancy I gained a lot of weight – more than I should have. Part of that was due to exercise limits from heart problems, but more of it was due to the fact that I was pregnant during Louisiana summer and I only wanted to lay on the couch in the air conditioning and not move.

    No big deal, I thought, I’ll lose it all when I breastfeed. Did I lose some of it? Yes. Did I lose all of it? A big fat NO. After I had Sarah, the weight came off with almost no effort. I nursed, I exercised some and it flew off. I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes in 6 months.

    I sort of want to punch that version of myself in the face. Or, really, I just want to grab me from three years ago and say, “Do you KNOW how lucky you were?!” Because Baby #2? Yea, that’s not happening. I don’t know if it’s because this is a second baby, or I had a c-section this time, or a combination of the two, but this extra baby weight has been clinging to me with a death grip despite the fact that I’ve been nursing a baby for nearly 10 months.

    I’ll admit, at first I had zero motivation to try to get the weight off. Part of that was total lack of sleep, and the other half was me desperately clinging to the hope that the breastfeeding weight loss would kick in any day.

    When that didn’t happen after several months down the road, I decided I had to do something. My first attempt at “something,” was trying the Paleo diet where you essentially eat foods a cave person would. I know a lot of people who have had success with it and you get to eat as much of the designated foods as you want! I quickly discovered Paleo wasn’t for me. For one, it dried up my milk supply, and for another, I need some grains, dairy and wine in my diet to stay sane and I refuse to believe legumes are bad for you. Paleo and I were not a good fit.

    Exercise, I decided, was what I really needed. I started going back to my regular spin class… except that I quickly learned it’s super popular now and I’m never quick enough to get a bike reserved, so I slowly stopped doing that. Finally, I decided to try out my gym’s new studio location near my house. While it has some equipment, it’s mainly all group fitness classes, which is what I love. I took a class there and was hooked. I signed up.

    After that, I seriously went home and prayed for the strength to take care of my body and to get the weight off. Whatever it took, I wanted the fortitude to do it.

    And then, the stars started aligning. My sisters decided the three of us would support one another on a weight loss challenge. And because we have a tight budget and we were laying down some money for the gym, I felt obligated to go as much as possible. With my sisters’ encouragement I downloaded the MyNetDiary Pro app to track my calories and exercise (including ones burned through breastfeeding so I’d still be ok there).

    What started as an obligation to go to the gym (I promised myself at least two – three days a week), started becoming a strong desire to go to the gym. I quickly started going four days a week – five when my schedule allows it.  And because I hit the gym on my lunch breaks, I bring my lunch to work, thus allowing me to control my calorie intake and my eating out budget and prevent me from eating the whole Indian Restaurant buffet.

    Then my second cousin and fitness instructor, Libby of LibbFit, asked me about doing some graphic design and trading out her fitness expertise. You better believe I jumped on that.

    And just like that, I discovered that the scale was finally, FINALLY moving down again. Just this morning I saw the lowest number on the scale I’ve seen since giving birth.

    I finally understand (and remember) WHY people who are into fitness are always so happy and jazzed about it. It may suck while I’m doing it, but afterwards I feel amazing. In a month’s time I’ve dramatically increased my strength and helped ease a mean, nasty, fiery spot of post c-section nerve pain / scar tissue in my lower, right abdomen. My classes are varied, ranging from pilates and yoga to cardio and weights.

    Is it hard? Sometimes it’s so hard. But the reward has been amazing. I finally feel like my body is waking up and my mood has bloomed into something much happier and optimistic. I’m more patient with my children and kinder to myself. I even managed to say no to my favorite ice cream and amazing looking cake at work this morning. It’s exciting and it’s humbling.

    I still have a long way to go and weight to lose before I even hit my pre-pregnancy numbers. I often have to do modified moves at my Piyo and Body Attack classes, but I’m doing it. And really, that’s what matters.

    Here’s my picture for my Piyo Challenge group I took this morning. We had to take a whacky planking picture.

    P.S. Thanks to Cassie for encouraging me to write this post.

  • In Too Deep

    Date: 2014.06.17 | Category: Family, Health, Life, Me, Norah, Sarah, Whoops | Response: 4

    Sarah started taking swimming lessons with her cousin Jacob last week. They are taking private lessons with a friend of mine from high school who has been teaching lessons for years. When we arrived at the pool, the kids had very different reactions.

    Sarah immediately panicked and refused to get in the water past the first step. Jacob plunged in like he was a merman come home. The lessons proceeded accordingly with Sarah screaming and crying when the instructor tried to convince her to get in, and Jacob attempting to march off to the deeper end of the pool on his own with no flotation devices. Pretty soon Jacob was on the kickboard, looking to all the world like the next Olympic champion. Sarah slowly warmed up, and by mid lesson was blowing bubbles in the water before crying that water got in her eyes.

    We kept an eye on them both the whole time from the poolside, while we simultaneously held babies and talked. Thank goodness we were watching because Jacob, in his confidence, went a little too far into the pool, while the teacher was on the opposite side of the pool with Sarah, and suddenly he was in too deep. For a moment that seemed to stretch into eternity, we saw him start to scramble and go under. Shannon and I raced to the pool with babies in our arms.  I honestly can’t remember the next few moments exactly. All I know is that I saw Shannon jump in the pool while still holding Norah, and then I started to panic as I tried to figure out how to also rescue my baby while holding a one month old. Fortunately, my sister kept her cool and somehow managed to tilt and angle her body so Norah stayed above the water while she simultaneously rescued Jacob with the other arm. I immediately reached in and grabbed Norah from Shannon with my one free arm.

    Just like that the moment of panic was over and everyone was ok, at least physically.

    We quickly discovered, however, that our little merman no longer had any desire to get back in the swimming pool. We made him take one last lap around while holding on to the teacher, and he grudgingly obliged, but he was not happy.

    Fast forward to this past weekend. We went over to a friend of Shannon’s to go swimming. We had high hopes that we would get Jacob in a floaty and in the pool with his mama and show him everything was fine and safe – no such luck. Jacob wanted nothing to do with the pool – he refused to even get his feet wet. He cried and cried at our many attempts and suggestions to get him in. At one point he stepped in ants and still refused to dip his poor little ravaged feet in the water.

    Sarah, who is getting a little braver each day, sat on the top step of the pool, patted the space next to her and asked Jacob to sit by her. No luck.

    We go back for our next lesson on Thursday. I have complete faith that their instructor will help him overcome the fear as much as possible, but is there any way that you can think of that will help him get near the pool again?

  • One in a Lifetime

    Date: 2014.05.19 | Category: Baby, Birthday, Family, Health, Life, Me, Photography | Response: 3

    Sometimes life will give you those once in a lifetime moments. One such moment came for me when my sister asked me to be present for the birth of her son. That’s a big gift and a lot of trust to give to someone. When you’re laboring, your emotions and body are bare and you need to be surrounded by people you love and trust. I’m so thankful my sister counted me as one of those people.

    It was so neat to experience labor from this side, having gone through it myself before. The whole process truly is amazing and I’m proud to say I never once felt faint or woozy. Shannon had a great team of people coaching her and pushing her through it, and she birthed her big ole nearly 9 pound baby boy like a champ.

    The experience also allowed for some once in a lifetime photos. It was so amazing to be able to capture these moments.

    Here were some of my favorites.

    Welcome to the world Landon Robert. Your Auntie Jess already loves you so much. And way to go Shannon! You are one amazing mama.

  • A Reflection on Sacrifice

    Date: 2014.03.21 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Life, Love, Mark, Me, Norah, Sarah | Response: 3

    Yesterday I had lunch with Kim, a good friend of mine who regularly puts me through my thinking paces about everything from astrology to politics to faith and religion. I love talking with her, because she often forces me to think about important things that I often gloss over in lieu of the day-to-day necessities of life.  And even when we don’t agree, we can still talk civilly and learn from one another. It  was so great to take a time out to sit, and talk, and think.

    As conversations often go with Kim, I started telling her about a “theme” that seems to be continually hitting me over the head this past month or so. When I explained to her how it kept popping up, Kim looked at me in the eyes and said, “Jess, it sounds like you have an article writing you.” And, of course, she was right.

    When Norah got croup, and then RSV, I found myself simultaneously upset that she was so sick, feeling all of her pain and suffering ten times over, and battling this great, guilty ball of sleep deprived frustration. When, I wondered, will I ever sleep again?

    But on these many sleepless, frustrating nights, I would close my eyes, rock the baby and let my mind wander. And, so many times, it kept finding its way to a Mass I recently attended where one of our seminarians was ordained to a deacon. Weird, I know. But the moment that kept popping out in my head was when the bishop, during his homily, spoke about sacrifice. And while on that particular occasion the sacrifices he spoke of were the ones deacons and priests make when they choose a vocation in the church, he could have been speaking to any parent. When big moments happen in our lives, he said, they often require great sacrifice. And it is in making these sacrifices, often of things we desperately want, that we learn who we truly are and what we’re made of.

    Not to be outdone, I’ve been following along with Fr. Robert Barron’s Lenten reflections, reading in the middle of the night, when one about Mother Theresa surfaced:

    “By emptying out the self in love for the other, we become filled to the brim with the divine life… The secret to joy is self-giving love. Mother Teresa imparted that to her sisters, and she offers the same lesson to us.”

    I know that I am not perfect and I know that I need time to myself to stay sane, but I also need moments to knock me over the head and say, “You know what? Yes, this is hard, this is really really hard sometimes, but your girls need YOU. They want their mother. They need their mother. And this sacrifice of sleep, of time, of my body (and occasionally sanity), not only shows me how deep love can go, but it infinitely helps, nourishes and heals the two most precious little souls to me on this earth.

    And if that doesn’t show me what I’m made of, or teach me joy through self-giving, I don’t know what will. How blessed I am to be given this amazing family.

  • The Plague is Upon Us

    Date: 2014.03.03 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Me, Norah | Response: 5

    It started with a cough, my cough. But I trudged through it thinking that it was from lack of sleep. Within a week Sarah started coughing so hard that she was throwing up in her bed at night. 24 hours after that Norah was coughing. By Wednesday, we were all feeling so rough that all three of us went to the doctor.

    I had a sinus infection. I started antibiotics and some awesome prescription cough medicine and was feeling better within 24 hours. It was deemed that Sarah and Norah both had viral infections and that with time and patience they would resolve themselves. Sarah took Benadryl at night and was just fine.

    Norah, however, started getting progressively worse. By Friday night she was running fever, unable to eat and crying this low, steady whine for all but 2 hours at night. Any time I would lay her down she would cough uncontrollably and wake up crying. So we stayed in the recliner and she slept on me. By Saturday morning I was in tears. Sleep deprivation had kicked in, yes, but Norah’s slow and steady whine of pain was breaking my heart and had me in tears. I waffled on whether or not to take her back to the doctor, but ultimately decided that things had gotten worse, not better and it was time to act.

    Fortunately our pediatrician’s office has a few Saturday morning hours and we were able to get there quick. The doctor checked her ears and immediately saw that they were full of pus. However, there had been a case of RSV in Norah’s daycare class, so they swabbed her for that just in case. And wouldn’t you know it, it came back positive.

    For those of you unfamiliar with childhood diseases, RSV is a virus that infects your lungs and airways. For adults and older children, it’s not so bad. It just manifests itself as a cold and moves on. For babies though, especially babies under six months old, it can be very dangerous. I know three babies personally who have been hospitalized with RSV.

    So when the doctor sympathetically told me she had RSV, I felt panic start to grip my chest a little bit. The doctor could see it written all over my face, I’m sure. But he was so great. He told me that he listened to her breathing and she didn’t sound bad. As long as she was having four wet diapers a day and breathing ok we could treat it at home.

    Fortunately my sister has a nebulizer, so we borrowed that from her and we’ve been able to do breathing treatments at home. Norah is such a champ about them, mesmerized by the buzzing noise it makes as it turns the albuterol into breathable steam. It hypes her up some, but it makes her feel so much better and her breathing and coughing ease for a few hours after doing a treatment.

    My mom picked Sarah up Saturday and kept her overnight so I could devote my attentions to the baby. And we spent most of the day and evening Saturday in the rocker so she could sleep upright. Fortunately though, the breathing treatments started easing things for her so she was finally able to get some good rest in her own bed that evening.

    Since then she’s been back and forth, sometimes having moments of feeling better and we get to see the occasional smile. Mostly though, she just wants to be rocked and doesn’t want to eat. She did wake up without fever for the first time this morning though, so that was a great sign.

    Our biggest concern is now is keeping her hydrated. She won’t eat much because her nose is clogged and her ears hurt. And when she does get some down, her stomach is so full of mucus that she often throws it back up. We have trouble keeping the medicine down her too for that reason. I have to keep reassuring myself, she’s making enough wet diapers that she should be ok. The middle of the night is when she does her best feedings (of course), so some milk is staying down.

    The doctor said this will likely be a 5-7 day run of illness before she gets truly better. I never knew how much becoming a mother would turn me into a big ball of empathy, feeling everything they feel 10 times worse. Please keep us in your prayers as our little girl continues to heal.

  • Living

    Date: 2014.02.20 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Life, Mark, Me, Norah, Sarah, Toddler Time | Response: 8

    Oh hi! Remember me? It’s ok, I barely remember my own name these days.

    Let’s start with this precious begonia.

    Remember how I told you that she started sucking her thumb and was sleeping for 12 hours straight? Too bad that was just a fun, short break. Now she’s entered what Google has informed me is the four month sleep regression phase. Long story short, she startles herself awake at least three times a night now, wakes up, starts chirping like an overzealous bird and refuses to go back to sleep. This means that I am averaging about three hours of sleep a night, with no chance to nap because I’m back at work again. Fun times!

    I mean it’s really a very good thing that she is oh so adorable… even if that does mean she starts laughing at me somewhere around 3 a.m. when I start pulling my hair out.

    Speaking of pulling hair out, I have entered that joyous post partum phase where all of my hair is falling out. I brush it once and suddenly my hairbrush has been transformed into a pathetic looking chinchilla. My hair has gotten so thin that I’m starting to wonder if I have any strands strong enough to hold on. I’m thinking about giving it a good chop and letting it start over.

    In other fun news, Norah caught croup from school, struggled to breathe one morning last week and gave me a panic attack. I took her to the doctor and they started her on steroids right away. They fixed her up in a matter of hours and she was thrilled to ride that sleeplessness side effect into every single night she was on the steroid.

    We also had Sarah’s first “snow day” last week… which meant we had a pretty neat ice storm with accumulation. I know I have friends who live up north and may laugh at this, but we residents of the deep south are not equipped for such things, so schools were canceled and I got to stay home with my girls and slip slide across the icy backyard with my poor, confused dogs. Sarah enthusiastically declared, “Mama! It’s Frozen like the movie!” Poor kid, that may be the closest she ever gets to a real snow. We don’t even own gloves. I had to take a note out of my friend Susan’s book and put socks on her hands.

    And me? Well besides the fact that I’m not sleeping and all my hair is falling out, I seem to be holding up moderately well. I joined a book club with a friend locally, and I get one day a month to go out, have a drink, eat and talk about books with friends. And these folks have extremely different reading tastes than I normally do, but it’s been great because it has forced me to read books out of my default YA zone. And the first book we read, while it had a boring start, ended up being a really interesting read. (And we got to discuss it while I ate a sweet potato pancake, blackberry grits and enjoyed a mimosa!)

    We are also getting ready to replace half the floors in our house. We initially thought we were going to pay someone to install it, but Mark and I are just too cheap. When we learned the install price was double the actual floor cost, we decided to tackle the project ourselves. And by we, I mean Mark. He has been demoing our current floors and prepping them so we can install the new. So on top of mountains of princess toys and legos, we now have concrete and dust. All in good time!

    And speaking of Mark, I’d like to just take a moment and tell you how proud and thankful I am for him. The man has been my rock during this whole sleep regression thing, and even had an awesome daddy-daughter day with Sarah last weekend so I could make an attempt at getting some extra rest. They colored with sidewalk chalk and walked to Dairy Queen to get ice cream cones that they enjoyed on the patio. Because, yes, even though we had a snow day Wednesday, by Sunday it was 75 and perfect patio weather.

  • Again.

    Date: 2014.01.23 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Life, Mark, Me, Norah, Sarah, Toddler Time | Response: 5

    Having a second kid is kind of strange. On the one hand, it’s a lot harder to have to figure out how to split your time between both of your children, how to make sure everyone is fed and happy, and don’t even get me started on the effort it takes to get everyone ready to go and out the door.

    But on the other hand, it’s so much easier. I have done this all before and I know I will not only survive it, but I’ll do it pretty well and be prepared for the many other disasters and illnesses that loom on the horizon.

    With Sarah, she would run a 100 degree fever and I would be frantically calling after hours at the pediatrician’s office, texting my doctor friend Susan and my nurse friend Cassie, and then grilling people about how in the heck they combat these fevers.

    With Norah, she spiked a 102 fever in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago, and even though I felt that little panicky edge in my stomach, I immediately went into action with Tylenol, stripping her down and laying a cool rag on her head until I was happy with her 100 degree fever.

    With Sarah, I would run and hide in back rooms when I nursed her, and felt like I constantly had to justify why I was still nursing her when she was older than six months. This time? I cover when I nurse, but I don’t usually leave the room (unless I need a time out). That’s lonely and, I think, was a  contributor to my PPD last time. And you won’t hear justifications this time – it just is how it is and we roll with it.

    And my husband? I’m even more proud of him this time around. When we first had Sarah, he had a hard time being alone with her. Granted, a lot of that had to do with her staunch refusal of bottles, but more of it had to do with uncertainty. This time though, he’s a changed man. Norah has been running low-grade fever after getting her shots yesterday, and he volunteered to keep her home with him while he worked so she could rest. And he handles both girls with such ease now. He let me get some extra rest last weekend and when I got up the three of them were huddled together on the living room floor playing.

    Are there still worries? Of course. I think worrying and guilt are inherent to parenthood. The difference is that I know it’s going to be ok (eventually). We certainly aren’t perfect and we have a lot of trying moments and days, but we will get there and we will do it together.