Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentine's Day and Girls Weekend in Chicago

Jackson was really excited about Valentine's Day, which he calls Just Because I Love You Day, just as he's excited about most holidays.  His preschool class had a Valentine's party last Thursday, so we prepared little cards for his class.  I made his name traceable on the back of each card since it was such a small space to fit his name.  He did such a great job tracing his name legibly on all 15 cards.  I asked him if he wanted to take a break part way through and he said, "I don't need a break.  I don't get tired."
When he got home from school he emptied his box of goodies and picked out a sucker.  He was even willing to give Owen a sucker to show him that he loves him.

The next day Jackson told me that he wanted to make me a card.  He told me he wanted to make one because he loves me.  He said he loved me because I give him water as well as listing off a few other day-to-day things that I do for him.  It was so sweet that he listed things that seem like mundane tasks but obviously mean something to him.  The bear card is a card he made at school.  The card with all the hearts is the one he made for me at home.  It's a punching robot, another robot, and a bunch of "I love you hearts," in his words.
Mary and I left for Chicago Valentine's Day afternoon, but Jonathan and I made heart-shaped waffles for the boys that morning.  They also each got a dry erase crayon board and mini M&Ms.
Valentine's Day afternoon the boys dropped Mary and me off at the airport for our trip to Chicago.  Jonathan had Monday off of work, so we took advantage of a longer weekend.  Mary was a very good travel buddy.  She was easy to keep happy overall with only a few short crying episodes when she got tired.  In the picture on the left we were hanging out in the airport waiting area, and she was happy playing with her teething ring and a make-shift mobile with a teething necklace.  We had a row to ourselves, so on the right she is just laying in the empty seat next to me.
When we arrived in Chicago the temperature was 7 degrees with a windchill of -13 degrees.
I brought Mary to meet my Grandma in her assisted living home.  My parents and sister came long on Sunday afternoon.  On Monday morning Mary and I went back with my mom and brought my Grandma a chocolate shake :).  My Grandma met the boys a little under 2 years ago, so I wanted to make sure she had the chance to meet Mary as well.  Mary was full of smiles, coos and 'talking,' and grabbing her fingers.  It was a really sweet time.
One of the funniest things about our visit was how much attention we received from all of the residents at the assisted living home.  Mary was quite the popular little baby.  I think we met nearly everyone who lived there, and they would come up to tell us they heard there was a baby around.
Talking to all the women and men in their 80s and 90s is always such a reminder of how special this time in life is.  So many of them told stories of their children when they were babies, and I heard over and over what a blessing Mary is.  My Grandma asked about a rocking chair from her house that my parents now have at their house, and she was talking about how she remembers nights rocking my dad in that chair when he was a baby.  During this time of life that sometimes feels chaotic and definitely low on sleep, it is a nice reminder to slow down and soak it all in since time goes by so quickly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mary's 5-Month Update and A Month of Sickness

Mary turned 5-months old this past Thursday, but I just took her 5-month photo today:
Some of the major milestones for the month include:  
  • Mary rolled front to back for the first time on January 22nd
  • Mary rolled back to front for the first time on February 11th
  • We moved Mary out of our bedroom into her own room this past Sunday, February 9th

This was Mary on the actual 5-month mark:
Mary woke up the morning of the 5th with a 103.6 fever as the final child in our home to fall victim to the flu.  When she woke up that morning her cry sounded different than usual.  It was this really sad, miserable sounding cry.  When I went to pick her up she felt like she was on fire.  Since her fever was so high we called the doctor and headed straight over.   They weighed her while there, and she weighed 15 lbs., 1 oz.

It was so sad seeing her so sick that I got teary eyed a few times.  It's definitely scary to have such a young baby be sick since you can't give her anything besides Tylenol.  The doctor encouraged using Tamiflu for all of the kids, but I've read things about Tamiflu that made me weary of using it.  The second day she was sick, any time that she was awake she was crying just from feeling miserable.
She was a little bit happier in the carrier.
She actually recovered faster than the boys did and was back to her happy self after about 2 days.    Here's a little picture collage of Mary being cute this month. 
The second week of January Jack's class had pajama day.  When I picked him up the teacher told me that he was the 'Music Shining Star' for his participation as well as the line leader for the day.   He was pretty excited about it.
After that fun day at school he missed the next two days due to a respiratory infection.  That cold was also passed on to Owen.  We had to go to the doctor, because Owen's cold turned into croup and Jack was having difficulty breathing.  Jack had an x-ray done to check for pneumonia, which he did not have.  Both boys were sent home with a steroid, and Jack had to use an inhaler at night due to difficulty breathing.  Mary caught a mild cold, but she avoided anything too terrible.

Jack was able to return to school after a week off.  When I picked him up from school the second day the teacher told me he had not been acting himself, he was out cold during nap time, and he cried when she woke him up.  When we got home he did not have a fever.  Within 2 hours it was up to 102.5.    His fever ended up reaching 106.4 the next day, so we went back to the doctor.  They did a flu test, RSV test, and drew blood to make sure that bacteria was not in his bloodstream.  He ended up having the flu and strep throat.  Within 2 days Owen had a fever of 104, and we were back to the doctor for him to see if he also needed an antibiotic for strep.  He ended up having the flu but not strep.  Both boys were pretty miserable with the flu lasting about 6-7 days.
Both boys were starting to look better and their fevers were gone, so we took a trip around the block to the park.
The day after this park trip is when Mary woke up with the flu.  We thought she had dodged it since their illnesses were ending, but unfortunately she got hit too.  The morning that Mary woke up sick, Jonathan turned back around from driving to work to come home and take care of the boys while I took Mary to the doctor.

Besides people being sick most of January, my mom came down to visit for a week.  She arrived just as the boys were getting over their respiratory infections, and the flu started in the last 2 days of her visit.  So, she got some good healthy days with them to play :).
I wanted to include a super adorable picture of the boys that Jonathan took.  He told them to say cheese for a picture for the grandparents, and this is what they did:
So, we're hoping the remainder of February is full of health and happiness in our home.  Jack is looking forward to his Valentine's Day party at school tomorrow.  Mary and I are leaving Saturday afternoon to go up to Chicago for the long weekend, so it's a boys weekend at our house!