Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Nick and Henry are fighting over their toys right now, but here is the Easter card we made yesterday.

Every once in awhile, I get the urge to do something creative. While I'm definitely not artistic, I know how to follow simple directions, and I saw this on Pinterest and figured it couldn't be too hard.

For the pictures, I snapped as many pictures of the boys wearing the bunny ears as I could while we were decorating eggs and painting. Nick liked the bunny ears.

Henry, not so much. He loved the idea of the bunny ears, he just didn't want to actually wear them. I finally snuck them on his head while he was playing with the salad tongs and quickly snapped a picture as the bunny ears slipped down the back of his head. Success!

For the bunnies, white paint and construction paper was all I needed. Basically, I painted their palms and four fingers, skipping the thumb. Then, I had them spread their fingers and press down.

Since I had the paints out anyway, I let the boys further trash the kitchen table and express their artistic instincts. Nick painted with a lot of black. He said he was painting Darth Vader. Sigh.

Henry painted the paper, the table, and, of course, himself.

When he painted his forehead pink, though, we had to stop painting and take baths. This made Henry sad.

Cleaning the table made me sad. I think I will have them paint outside next time, if the weather is nice enough.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Making a Fort with Daddy! Guest Post by Greg

My husband hasn't done a guest post in quite awhile, and I just found this adorable picture on his camera. This fort-making project happened while I was at work, so I missed the action. Here's Greg on what happened:

This is Nick and Henry hanging out in our homemade fort. I have been trying to engage them in more structured activities at home, and making a fort was one of the suggestions in a book that Henry's play therapist lent to us.

The fort was made by placing a bed sheet over our dining room table. It was not very comfortable for adults, but I did actually crawl under there at one point and read them a story.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What we've been up to lately

Since our recovery began, we've been up to several things. Things like bear-riding while wearing mismatched pajamas.

Nicholas has been practicing writing his name. He brought this home from school.

Oh, and Henry? He's been putting things in his ears. I have no idea why. Yesterday it was cat food and paper scraps. Today he's been sneaking baby carrots and blueberries in his ears. I'm not sure what the appeal is, but he giggles every time I tell him no and take the objects out of his ears. Here he is at dance class, trying to put a bean bag in his ear.

Henry is also learning to dance with caterpillars, and to flirt with a little girl in his dance class.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Recovery and a Birthday Dinner

Finally, we're all starting to feel better. Flupocolypse 2013 has concluded. (Can I call it that? Too much, perhaps?) Anyhow, though all of us still have a rather nasty cough, the fevers seemed to have ceased. Nick's rash is slowly fading, and we were even able to take Grandma Toni out for dinner for her birthday.

We went to Mimi's Cafe, because it was Grandma Toni's choice. The waitstaff is always nice to our children there, and they are fairly tolerant of our requests for extra crackers. The food is pretty good, too.

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Jay were able to join us, and the boys were excited to see them. Henry even tried to give Uncle Jay his milk. Uncle Jay was impressed by his offering.

Aunt Sarah tried to get a smile out of Henry, but he isn't one to smile on cue.

Greg was cheerful, considering his sinuses were driving him crazy. Doesn't he look thrilled?

We're all feeling a little better, Toni had a Happy Birthday, and my spring break starts tomorrow. Things are starting to look up. Now, if only spring would arrive. . .

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In other news. . . .

. . . we found out today that Nick is probably allergic to penicillin.

How do we know? Oh, just a little clue.

The doctor wasn't too concerned, though Greg and I were pretty worried when we saw him. He has hives between his fingers, in his earlobes, and on every inch of skin we can see. Greg took him to the pediatrician, who said we can just wait for the hives to go away and then not give him penicillin anymore. We will be taking that advice.

I promise to write about something more cheerful tomorrow. I feel like Debbie Downer the last few weeks.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Since they can't tell time anyway. . .

I'm not going to feel guilty for putting them to bed an hour early.

After a dinnertime wrestling session with Henry to get him to take his medicine, only to have him spit it in my face, the boys badly needed a warm bath.

We read at least eight stories, but the clock still only read 7 p.m. Nick broke out his "nook."

Henry was ready for a dance party. I was ready to collapse. "Bedtime!" I announced cheerfully. I'm not sure why I thought Nick was going to call me on it, but he didn't. I just got the same pouty face that my sons give me every night when bedtime arrives.

Since we're all still sick, I figured an hour extra of sleep wouldn't hurt them. It sure won't hurt me, either. Sweet dreams.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just when we thought it was over. . .

. . . illness 2.0 reared its ugly head.

We've been sick all week with what we thought was bronchitis and sinusitis. But Henry and I weren't getting better. First thing Thursday morning, Henry and I went to the doctor, both of us with fevers. The pediatrician did a swab of Henry's nose, and he tested positive for Influenza Type B. This means that all of us have had the flu all along. We still do have the bronchitis et. al, but the flu is the reason.

As of Thursday night, Nick and Greg were both feeling better. But today, Nick spiked a 102.4 degree fever again. Greg called the nurse's line to see if we should bring him in. She told us that with the type of influenza we have, families can infect and reinfect one another, and that we should be really careful not to share utensils or sneeze on one another. How is that even possible with two young children? We have no idea.

 This is what my kitchen counter looks like right now. We have infant, children's, and adult tylenol, ibuprofen, and benedryl. Nick and I are on steroids. Everyone has an antibiotic prescription and albuterol. The doctor upgraded me to a second line antibiotic and insisted that I go on oral steroids, which I never do. Oh, and the shamrock plant? I saw those at the store and bought one, thinking we could really use some luck.

So what have we been doing around here for the last week? Here are the numbers:

4-   People who had the flu in our home this week.
9-   Number of prescriptions we've had filled for this illness
5-   Times we've called the doctor's office
2-   Times we've been to the doctor's office
7-   New toys purchased to appease two bored and sick children.
10- Times I've stepped on one of the bristle blocks I bought the boys
14- Times Henry has spit all or part of a dose of medication at me. 
1 -  Naps I was able to take.
23- Total pairs of pajamas I've changed the boys into throughout the week.
5-   Days I called in sick to work this week.
3 -  Times I have run to the store to pick up medicine, food, and toys
8-   Baths we took with a mentholated bubble bath
6-   Romance novels I read while recuperating
2 -  Naps Henry skipped entirely because he was screaming the entire time
0-   Times I have been out of my pajamas since Sunday
6 -  On-demand children's movies played.
14 - Number of times Greg and I have read The Tickle Tree to Henry.
9 -   Boxes of Kleenex we've been through.
2 -   Boxes of Kleenex Henry has ripped apart.
1 -   Times Henry has dumped the garbage can over
1 -   Times Henry emptied the clean laundry basket into the garbage can (not on the same day)

Hopefully St. Patrick's Day will bring us some luck this year. Not that we're Irish or anything. Just me, wishing for good health.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Plague Descends Upon Our Home

There we were in the waiting room of the urgent care clinic on Sunday. All four of us were there, in our pajamas, paper masks on our faces, trying not to infect any other patients. The receptionist seemed a little surprised that all of needed to be seen right away.

When we were finally called in, Nick went with Greg and Henry went with me.  We were only together at the end, when the diagnoses were given. Our verdicts?

Me: severe bronchitis, sinus infection with bad drainage, and my left ear is close to an infection
Henry: sinus infection, ear infection, and a nasty cough that hadn't quite turned into bronchitis
Greg: bronchitis
Nick: bronchitis that is so bad it's nearing pneumonia

All of us have been feeling absolutely miserable since Saturday, and the doctor's confirmation merely told us what we already knew. We dropped off all seven of our prescriptions at the Walgreens, then headed out to Red Robin for lunch while we waited.

Our smiles belie our true physiological state.

Henry was happy so long as the french fries kept coming. His attitude has been better, comparatively, through this whole illness. I guess he's used to having a runny nose. Nick, however, has been very sick. He has wanted to snuggle, sit in my lap, have me rub his back, and even hold his hand. I'm glad I could do this for him.

We picked up our $120 worth of prescriptions and it was then that I realized Nick had been given an oral steroid. While I do understand the necessity of such a drug, I greatly feared the consequences. Nick has turned into a veritable whirlwind of energy and hunger. I spent Monday moaning, coughing, and wheezing while trying to keep Nick's excessive energy under control. I found some window crayons lying around, and the boys spent over an hour decorating them. This enabled me to sit on the couch resting while occasionally yelling out warnings not to fight.

Yes, I'm aware that it looks like he drew a giant penis on the window. It was really a picture of Henry drawn on top of a little spiral. Also, we haven't been dressed since Saturday. Pajamas are the outfit of the week. Oh, and lots of hot showers with special baby vapor wash.

I'm not usually one for whining on my blog, but we are all wallowing in self-pity and snot right about now. I cannot remember ever having called in sick to work three days in a row, but I will be doing so momentarily. It took me forty minutes to find the energy to get up and feed my kids dinner. I'm hoping one more day of rest (plus one more day of antibiotics) helps us all feel more human.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Interview With Nick: The Interrogation

Nick's daddy is at a two-day conference, and he isn't coming back until tonight. But Nick has a confession to make about why we'll need to rent a steam-cleaner for the bedroom carpet. Does he look guilty?

 I woke up this morning to the sound of children giggling. I walked groggily into the bedroom. It was only 7:15, after all. And what, to my wondering eyes should appear? Nick, sitting on the floor, squirting an entire 60 ounce bottle of children's shampoo onto the carpet. In the crib was Henry, (my younger son) completely naked and playing with his own pile of shampoo than Nick must've squirted for him.

My husband is away at a conference, so I asked Nick to explain what happened so his daddy will know why we need to rent a steam cleaner for the carpet.

Instead of getting angry, I'm trying really hard to have Nick talk about the decisions he makes and why they are good or bad choices. Thus, this interrogation, which turned into more of a confessional.


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I don't think I can blame this little guy, since he was in his crib the whole time. Nick must've squirted a bunch of shampoo in the crib for Henry to play with--the pile of shampoo was huge! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Visiting Auntie Mandy!

Last week, Auntie Mandy invited us for dinner and to see all of the renovations she'd done to her place.

Nick was extremely excited, especially because he knows Auntie Mandy will play with him. Plus, she has cool stuff at her house.

Who else has her own bubble gum machine filled with M &Ms? It took my children about three point two seconds to figure out how to get the candy out of this machine.

Who else has a fireplace mantel filled with costumed Lego-Men?

Or an acoustic guitar next to the fireplace?

Or her own collection of coloring books? Nick especially enjoyed the guitar, which Auntie Mandy even let him play.

My sister cooked us a delicious dinner of homemade mac n' cheese and a chicken casserole. Henry loved it, if by "loved it" you mean he smeared it all over his clothing and dropped half of it on the floor. . .

It was really yummy. For dessert, Auntie Mandy had chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate cake for Greg's birthday (belated). We even sang to him.

I love the blinds on Mandy's sliding glass doors, because they are inside the glass, and therefore do not need to be dusted. How wonderful is that? It's pretty cool, but not as awesome as chocolate, at least from Henry's point of view.

We had an awesome time at Auntie Mandy's, though her cats were possibly traumatized.