Archives for posts with tag: parenting

My five year old is sick. Again. Such is life during cold and flu season for us. He has asthma, and subsequently he is very susceptible to all sorts of respiratory viruses. I have been begging him to nap all day. Five year olds do NOT like to nap. Especially my five year old. I decided to look for something to make to help him. I was browsing one of my favorite essential oil sites, and was inspired by them. Eden’s Garden. They have a line specifically designed for tiny humans. I may have bought every single oil in their line (so thankful for that this afternoon) They have a recipe for a sleepy time sachet. Using their sleepy time oil. I altered it a little bit, because I had different materials available.

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DIY Kids Sleep Sachet

Amount of rice/lavender will vary based on the size of you sachet. I happen to have a stock of muslin sachets in my herbs cabinet. For instructions on how to sew your own, you can refer to Eden’s Garden.

1 muslin sachet/bag

Handful of rice. I used brown rice, because that is what we have

Scoop of dried lavender

10-15 drops of Eden’s Garden Sleepy Time essential oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a zip baggie. Shake and mix well. Shake shake shake!

Pour the contents into the muslin bag. You can use a funnel if desired. I did not, I just kind of created a funnel with the zip bag.

Tied the muslin bag several times. I did 3 ties. Also, if you have smaller children who like to be adventurous coughcoughalexcoughcough you could sew this bag at the top as well.

This took  me a whopping 5 minutes to whip up. Most of my time was spent taking the photos. If you’re not photographing for your blog post, then the time should be even less! I did not heat this in the microwave, the scent was strong enough for me after I got it tied up. But Eden’s Garden does note you can warm it as well as warming it if the scent seems to be fading. It is reusable in the sense that you can also add more oil to it as the scent fades. Reusable and lovely smelling? Count me in!

He is not asleep in that photo. He was just looking down, but anything to help him relax. I am hopeful at some point he will doze off, even for a little while. If not, this will at least promote relaxation in general and his body can calm down. I will transfer this to his bed tonight for actual sleepy time.

Every year my husband and I usually end up watching the anniversary coverage of 9/11 in some capacity. The news, specials, documentaries, etc. I think that the events of that day impacted us equally as teenagers. We didn’t know one another then, but we both lived through that devastating moment in our nation’s history. I can close my eyes and still picture that day with such clarity. I can come close to remembering every moment, like a slideshow in my mind. I can channel the intense and fluid emotions I had that day. I have shed many tears over the years for the pain and suffering everyone involved and impacted has and will continue to go through.

This year I am taking great pains to keep the television off. A few weeks ago I was on a run/walk with my boys. The oldest is five and a half, so he is not in the jogger, which is why we take a lot of walking breaks. There was a plane flying low over the forest preserve. It was making that distinct landing sound that planes are wont to make. He said “I think that plane is crashing.” I assured him it was not crashing, it was just getting ready to land.

He followed that up with a statement that shook me to my core. “You know that there were planes that flew into buildings? Like an office building. There were people on them. It’s burned into my memory.” Let me repeat his age, he is 5 & 1/2! I stopped in my tacks and gathered my thoughts as quickly as I could. I decided to be a bit transparent and admitted that was true. That did happen. However, it was a very long time ago and it is not something he needs to worry about now. I lied a bit with that last part. The world is arguably less safe now. We have been in kind of a downward spiral of chaos lately. I wasn’t ready to crush his innocence just yet. I wasn’t ready for him to worry about the kinds of things I take into consideration. He is 5. There is plenty of time for him to have a broken heart over another mass shooting or intentional plane crash, but that time is not this year.

Since that day I have pretty much stopped watching the news around him. Which is odd for me, because I am a news/politics nerd. It wasn’t as difficult as I would have imagined though. That momma bear instinct kicked in and I simply didn’t want to expose him to more frightening events if I could avoid it.

So today, the tv will stay off. Unless they happen to get to watch a cartoon. I will also probably try to shield him seeing any social media I am on. He can’t read 100% yet, but he is starting to read. He has some sight words. And then there are the images, those are not something you can hope that your early reader doesn’t grasp. Because our walk in the forest preserve taught me that my five year old understands some pretty scary and heartbreaking things that have gone on in this world. Today, I will try to keep him oblivious a little bit longer. Today I will try to keep him little for one more year. Today I will try to keep the light in the world aglow for him.

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Kindergarten started last Thursday. I feel like we have been at it for a century already! I have already been missing our lazy summer mornings. Taking my time getting us ready. The boys leisurely eating breakfast for an hour. Deciding that very morning what adventure we would tackle that day. Last minute trips downtown. Our preschool mornings were pretty lazy too. We only had two of those a week. I could arrive there whenever I wanted. I aimed for 9 am, but at times we got there later. Sometimes we rushed to get out the door, but nothing quite like now. I haven’t been in a “where are my keys I cant find your shoes lets go lets go NOOOW” rush yet. The process is still shiny and new and I remain rather organized. Smoothie foods prepped in containers, clothes laid out the night before, backpack organized, up at 5am on the dot, tea preset to brew at 4:50am, and a down to the minute timeline. We do have to get out the door by a certain minute and so I am always watching the clock. We have made it with time to spare every drop off. (knock on wood) I am sure those hectic moments will come as I get more and more comfortable in this new life. I hope not, but I am being realistic here.

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He has had a bit of a rough time adjusting. We have been pretty inseparable his whole life. He has never gone away every day. There are only a few times I have been away from him overnight. This is a whole new world for him. He doesn’t want to leave me in the mornings. Yesterday was his best day and a teacher still had to peel him off of me when I walked him to the cafeteria. I am supposed to drop him off by the front doors. But his eyes fill with tears and he clutches my hand so hard and begs me to not leave him up there alone. I have a hard time saying no to that. He is only 5 after all. I am not complaining. I love being so loved, I just wish that this were easier for him. I hate seeing him cry. I want him to have fun or at least enjoy himself.

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I made him do this several times the other night because it cracked me up. 

Yesterday was better when I picked him up. He was happy and chatty and “had so much fun!” This was a new page from the other pickups. I was relieved. A whole weight fell off my shoulders on our walk back to the car. I try to play it cool, but on the inside I was doing a backflip while holding a toddler! This is the hardest part of parenting I have come across. Not being able to just fix whatever the issue is. Not being able to BE there physically to hug him and help him. I am a very hands on mom. (see: me insisting on holding Alex while he was put under anesthesia) So taking a step back for me is a new challenge. It is hard for me to not chat with his teacher at every drop off and pick up. It is hard for me to not physically walk him into his classroom. I am doing it, but on the inside I am also crying and screaming. All while smiling, reassuring him, and encouraging him to let his wings spread and fly.

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After school yesterday we stopped to meet Sofia and Jake!

When Alex saw Jackson at pick up yesterday he ran up to his big brother, wrapped his chubby little arms around Jackson’s waist, hugged him hard, and said “bruh bruh!” I was goo on the floor. This has been an adjustment for all of us. But seeing how much Alex loves his brother, asking for him all morning, and then the first thing he does is hug him tight, makes this a pinch easier. Small moments like that help you through more challenging times. The innocence of a nearly 2 year old being excited to see his best friend after being apart for a few short hours is truly one of loveliest moments in life. Children have a way of making simple things magical.

I have been writing and drawing notes for Jackson’s snack. They don’t get lunch because it is still half day. (When Alex’s shuffles off to Kindergarten it will be full day, I am preparing myself now). The other day he told me “I actually kind of love the notes mom.” Every day I have wondered if they brought a smile to his face. If they help make his day a little brighter. I hope so. Yesterday he saved his picture and put it in his pocket to carry with him. It tore in two pieces when taking it off the napkin. He saved both pieces. I just hope that these little reminders that he is loved make any rough moments at school a little less rough. That he knows he has loving and snuggly arms to come home to.

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Fly guy was from yesterday. Apple Blossom is today’s note.

Today is a new day and as always I am greeting him with a smile and words on how amazing today will be. I will praise him. I will encourage him to make new friends. A boy told him he didn’t want to sit by him anymore. Which is one of the reasons he was so upset. I told him I will always want to sit by him and he can always sit by me, no matter what! As cheesy as that may sound, it is true. The deeper lesson I am hoping to convey is that this is his safe place, we are his safe people. No matter what, he has love and support with me and his daddy. We will always sit next to him if he needs us. This week he needs us.

 

Parenthood comes with the expectation that you will experience new things. It is filled with constant and changing experiences. You could write a year’s worth of blogs on every kind of new thing parenthood brings. There is only one on my mind today though.

My oldest started Kindergarten yesterday. We survived. That is for another post. It has given me some more one on one time with my youngest. For a couple hours 5 days a week I have an only child of sorts. This morning we spent a little time outside. While watching him I got lost in thought.

At the beginning of August Alex had tubes in his ears to clear up chronic fluid behind his ear drums. This fluid had caused temporary hearing loss in him. We don’t know exactly how long it had been causing it, but it was long enough to impact his speech development. Which is how we discovered the hearing loss, at speech therapy.

Since then I have gotten to experience what it is like to watch someone whose hearing loss had been remedied rediscover the world. That is an experience I have never had. It is an experience that I would not have assumed came with parenthood. However, let me tell you, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of. The difference in him has been amazing. He is no longer frustrated. He is sunny and happy and oh so chatty.

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He notices all of the sounds around him now. Small noises grab his attention. He is amazed when he hears a cacophony of nature outside. This morning I took time to explore this with him. We could hear so many different tunes. Birds tweeting, crickets chirping, acorns falling from trees, a small plane that flew over our home. We heard it first and then hunted the skies for it until it became visible.

We play this game where he says momma and I respond with a quiet whistle. He laughs and laughs and says momma again and again. I can whisper things to him now and he responds. He has more words and is saying phrases and sentences. He articulates what he needs, wants, and doesn’t want.

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Watching him hear the world clearly for maybe the first time in his life has been one of my favorite parenting experiences. I was so worried about the surgery. I felt awful for not catching this sooner. I was hoping with all hope that it worked and we didn’t put him through that for nothing. Every one of those concerns were squashed. When his face lights up at the sound of a bird singing a song, I know that I wouldn’t change a thing. He has allowed me to watch someone exploring their world for the first time in a new way. You can see the appreciation he has for his newfound hearing ability. I can see it in his face when he hears some random noise that grabs his attention. WOW OOOO OHHH Mamma!! I can see it in his face when he starts a conversation with me. I can see it in his face when he now says hi and bye to everyone that walks by him. I can hear it when he answers questions with real formed words instead of babbling or yelling. I can hear it when he plays his mamma game. I heard it that very post op night when he went from say “wah” for walk to “WALK.” Right now he is sitting at the end of the couch we are on together. He is hugging our cat and saying “kikey.” Which is a word he couldn’t even come close to forming before.

There are tons of thoughts on seeing the world through a child’s eyes. But for me, I am hearing the world through a child’s ears. And it is phenomenal.

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I have seven days. Seven days until I have a Kindergartener. Seven days until I drive him to his new school, hug him goodbye while I try not to cry, and send him on his way to begin his official school career. I say official, because he did go to a twos program and then preschool and then pre k. It was different there though. It was only two days a week. I got constant daily updates. I could keep him home whenever I wanted. Vacations, illness, he needed a break. There were no rules. We kind of lived life as we pleased.

Now begins his official journey of education. We will have to plan things around school. Five days a week I will have to send him off for a few hours. If we want to take a random last minute vacation (which tends to be our MO), we will have to take school into consideration.

Five days a week I will scramble in the morning to get us out the door by a very certain time. Another leisure I had before. I always aimed for a certain time, but at his school, there wasn’t a mandatory start time. I am sure some mornings will be smooth sailing and some mornings will be insanity. I have no false hopes that it will be consistent. Life with children is nothing if not rather inconsistent and unpredictable at times.

Five days a week I will come home to a slightly quieter home. His baby brother is a lot different when he is on his own. When he gets the rare chance to feel like an only for a few hours. He isn’t better or worse, he is just different. It is as if he understands he has some mom time to himself. We have two classes we are signed up for to pass some of the morning time. To get to play together and have fun. The ways I used to take big brother to different toddler classes. Five days a week I will have an only child for a little while.

Five days a week I will wonder what he is learning. I will wonder if he is adjusting well. I will wonder if he is being well behaved and kind. I will wonder if other children are being kind to him.

Five days a week I will let other people care for and teach my son. The tiny human that grew in my body. The tiny human who thrived on the milk my body produced for over a year. The tiny human who grew into a chubby toddler. The tiny human whose toddler chub melted away into a tall and long preschooler. The tiny human who has begun to define his ability to be opinionated and in charge. (This is said in such nice terms. In the midst of an opinionated moment, I don’t always feel so sunshiny).

Five days a week I will pick up this young growing boy from his class. Sun, rain, snow, or any weather in between (it can be all of the above in the same day in Chicago). Baby brother in tow, chattering away as he is wont to do these days. Hopefully I get to listen to this Kindergartener’s chattering stories on the drive home. Asking questions I hope he has answers to. Sometimes he says he doesn’t remember what he did five minutes before. I will be clinging to every bit of information he decides to pass along. I will try to get him to tell me his five favorite things of the day. A tradition I started in preschool. It elicited more information than just asking him “what did you do today?”

I have seven days until I begin to live in a world of five days. Today he has had moments of driving me crazy. I love him dearly. He wants to do what he wants to do though and sometimes that isn’t what needs to be done. Then we sat down for a snack. I had a few moments of peace prior to that while he picked up his toys. It allowed me to reset. I just watched him practice his Taekwondo forms for no reason other than he loves it. He showed me a booby trap he made out of a snap bracelet. I have seven days until I have five days of missing out on these moments of happiness. I have seven days until I have five days of him sharing these silly little pieces of himself with other people in the world. While I am across town, doing whatever I am doing in those hours, a gymnastics class or a mom/tot dance class, or a trip to Target, or just picking up around the kitchen while the toddler plays, he will be sharing the unique and amazing things about himself with other people. And I have no choice but to accept and be ok with that.

I have seven days until I have to let go for five days a week for the rest of his childhood education. I have seven days until I have to choke back tears until I get into my SUV and sit there for a moment. I better start practicing.

 

 

Yesterday I came incredibly close to losing my first born child and my youngest cousin. This story has a happy ending. It is a story that I want to share though. I have been talking about it a lot all day, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know this, except, as the day has progressed the initial shock of it has worn off. I actually cried about it for the first time this afternoon. I cry at commercials, songs, shows, movies, and books, so for me to not have tears until 24 hours later means I was taking time to process this.

We arrived at a family party yesterday afternoon. Jackson loves their pool and immediately wanted to go swimming. He is a strong swimmer. He has been swimming unassisted for over a year. He has been in water since he was 3 months old. We are human fishes. We are merpeople! Ha! I lathered him up in sunblock and sent him on his way. There was a large number of adults outside right by the pool. My cousin Gavin was also swimming. I thought nothing of it.

I chased down Alex with sunblock, then I pinned my squiggly toddler to the floor to get his face covered. I handed him to my dad and started to apply my sunblock. Jason had been standing nearby. Then he wasn’t there anymore. Then someone came and told me Jackson and Gavin almost drowned. I don’t remember who. Or exactly how it was phrased. I had tunnel vision. I looked out the window as I dashed outside, seeing my husband lifting Jackson off of the pool ladder. My aunt was getting out of the pool as well, soaking wet, fully clothed. I made my way over and saw my child shaking and hugging his dad. Then I got the story.

Gavin’s arm floats had fallen off at some point. He began to struggle. Jackson saw him. His first instinct was to swim over, grab his cousin, try to help him up, and then begin to swim towards safety. Gavin began to panic and pulled the both of them under. Which is a pretty normal reaction to drowning. You hear about that happening a lot. My aunt Bridget trying to reach for them from the outside of the pool. My aunt Jenny jumped into the pool, in her clothing, to save both boys.

Jackson is 5 years old. He tried to save someone’s life. He tried to save his cousin’s life. He told me last night that he just tried to hold his breath as long as he could when he was going under. He did his best. The amount of calmness this child dealt with this entire situation astounds me. He was calm enough to see someone drowning and tried his best to save that person. He didn’t freeze or scream, he went in to help, not even thinking of the possible outcomes. Then he was calm enough while struggling to remember to hold his breath under water. He is 5 years old! 5!

Both boys were fine. They are both fine today. Jackson is a bit banged up. He has some scratches on his neck. I noticed those this afternoon. Both boys got back in the pool a little later. No further situations developed. I was glad they both felt safe enough to try and swim again.

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Yesterday I could have lost my son and cousin or just one of them. Our family could be spending our Monday a lot differently. We could be in a hospital hoping someone pulled through. We could be planning a funeral for a tiny human. The magnitude of that is not lost on me. I am thankful that Jackson saw Gavin and that pulled the adults’ attention to the pool. I am thankful my aunt reacted quickly enough to save both children. It makes me sick that I was inside chatting away with my Dad about freaking sunscreen! As I slathered it on my arms. I know I could not have known what was about to happen. I know these things happen in the blink of an eye. I know that they are both safe. But in a different blink of an eye that all could have ended tragically.

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I have been cherishing my sweet boy today. We checked on him as he slept last night. I rubbed his face and covered him with a blanket. I have been calling him a hero, because he is. I told him he is a good person and so very brave. I let him pick out a toy at the store and any treats he wanted. I have hugged and kissed him. We built lego sets and played a board game over and over. I let him listen to the song he wanted in the car over and over. He had his summer reading tutor over this afternoon. We told her the story. As I was saying it out loud I lost it. I told her that is the first time I had started to cry thinking of what could have happened. She said, “yeah I bet you were in shock still. I am going to cry!” I think that is a fair conclusion.

He makes the world a better place, even if he hadn’t done what he did. He is so bright and sunny. He is so personable and friendly. He can talk for hours. He lights up the world. The world could have lost that light yesterday. I am so thankful that I get to continue to raise this incredible human being.

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After we got home and the boys in bed, we were cleaning up the kitchen. It was a disaster. I was exhausted. I kept grumbling about all the dishes and mess. My husband said to me “Better dirty dishes to complain about than only having one kid.” I was confused at first but then he explained what he meant. Our complaints could have been far more serious last night. I will take a kitchen full of dirty dishes at the end of a long weekend over losing my sweet child any day.

The rather hot button topic of what occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo last Saturday has been weighing on my heart since Monday morning. I have to admit I was a little oblivious of what had happened until then. Alexander woke us up Monday morning bright and early and very hysterical. Upon calming him down, we slowly started our day. That included lounging on the couch after he wiggled his happy way off my lap to go play with his toys. I decided to put on the news.

I heard a brief preview of what they planned to speak about after the commercial break. My husband sat to my left. Immediately I got a bit snippy about it. They couldn’t tranquilize him? He had been more apprised of the situation and began explaining things to me. I have to admit that my initial reaction may have leaned a bit toward the masses reaction. Then I opened my ears and my heart and listened carefully to the whole news story.

I sat on my couch in my pajamas and glasses. Sipping my coffee. Watching my very precocious and often mischievous 20 month old play with his things, often stopping to give me his sly little grin. I heard the story. I heard how he had been told just moments before that he could NOT go play with the gorillas. (Here is an account from an actual witness) And then in the blink of an eye he was gone. 15 feet below in a pit with a male Silverback Gorilla, who by all accounts, regardless of intention, was still whipping that small boy around. I turned to my husband and tried to say, “that would be Alex. Alex would do that.” I couldn’t. The words stopped in my throat. The tears came to my eyes. I physically ached in my chest. I hurt for that mom. I lost my breath for a moment. That could be Alex. He would do something like that regardless of my stern warnings not to. Jackson would likely never. Even at Alex’s age. Certainly not as the 5 year old he is now. He has always been more inclined to follow my rules. I discovered months ago that I am dealing with the horse of a different color when it comes to my sweet baby boy. I have to parent differently.

Yesterday I had to stop at Walgreens. Alex did not want me to hold him the entire time. He wanted down. He is a wanderer. He is a fast wanderer. I was waiting in line. Within the 10 minutes we were there he bolted from me 4-5 times. One of those times we were near the exit and I was trying to pay. I had to chase after him before he made his way out of the automatic doors. I then attempted to physically restrain him between my two legs so I could finish paying. He broke free. This time taking off towards the back of the store. I again, had to stop what I was doing to chase after him. The mom in line behind me smiled and laughed. I said “He is a wanderer.” As I scooped him up into my arms. She smiled and said “I remember those days.” Her older maybe 8 year old daughter closely at her side. Alex then dropped a sticker he had been clutching in his pudgy little hand for the past 30 minutes. She immediately bent down to grab it for me and hand it back to him. As I was clearly trying to wrangle him in and get him to listen as best I could. I don’t let him run free. I tell him over and over and over and over that he HAS to listen to mommy and he HAS to stay with mommy. He has two choices, stay with mommy on the ground, or in my arms/cart/stroller. He smiles and runs away. Some kids are that way.

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Alex. My bright, mischievous, brave 20 month old.

If you know me in person, it is fair to say I am not a neglectful mom. You may have even picked that up through following this blog or even my Instagram account. I have committed fully to being their mom. Maybe sometimes to the point that I do get burnt out, but yet here I am. Recently I was very sick and my husband offered to put the boys to bed without me. They both wanted me to come up and help. Jackson said “It’s fine, she will hear us crying for her and just come up anyway.” So even my very bright 5 year old sees me for who I am. A workaholic. They are my life, my job, my world, my very breath that keeps me alive (and often drives me crazy). So when Alex has wandered off for a brief moment and I happened to be in the middle of something else, paying, talking to Jackson, or any of the other million tasks I am balancing in one day, does that make me a neglectful mom? Does every other parent out there never ever take their eyes off their precious porcelain offspring? Have they never looked away for the briefest of seconds only to find their human being child with an active brain has made a decision for themselves regardless of all of the parenting they have done over the years? And the non parents, don’t even talk to me. As Ygritte would say “You know NOTHING Jon Snow.” Seriously, non parents should not judge what an actual parent has to go through with their child on a daily basis. You have NO idea. I had none before I had children. I admit that. Accidents happen. We balance life and children and pets and cleaning and interaction with other people in public and sometimes things happen. I have had bad parenting moments where I think “holy shit. I will NEVER forgive myself.”

There I was sitting on that couch. My heart aching for the whole situation. Then reading up further to try and learn more. I saw the angry cries for harm to come to the mom. I read people calling her a bitch. I felt a rush of anger myself. Anger towards the people who are so hateful. I am saddened that an endangered creature lost its life. I am more happy that a little boy didn’t lose his. I am empathetic towards that mom. Because being a mom is literally the hardest thing I have ever done. It takes a lot out of you every day, no breaks. You do so much as a mom. I wanted to hug that mom. I wanted to tell her that I am so happy her boy is alive. I wanted to tell her I am sorry that people are so cruel. I wanted to ask these people where is their outrage for people hunting these majestic creatures in the wild to eat them? Or the outrage for the NATURAL habitat loss? Are you as angry about that? Or just over the fact that Harambe lost his life while in captivity, a life that arguably was no life at all? Are you going to call for petitions to end the poaching and habitat loss? Are you going to call for petitions to help save them from Ebola? The link has some information about the real threats to Gorillas. Where is your outrage for the injustice that led to them being endangered animals? Or did you just wake up feeling like “today I could really go for some mob mentality?”

I am not perfect mom. Truly. I do dote on my boys. I am devoted to them. My world revolves around them. Sometimes they are all I have to talk about because I am literally with them 24/7. I have a wanderer, as I call him. I don’t know what he will be like when he is 4. I hope that we have worked through this a bit by then. I cannot guarantee that. He has a wild side. He is adventurous. He has little fear. He goes for things he wants when he wants them. He is incredibly smart and understands the world around him. He has a sly grin that lets you know he is about to do something you are not going to agree with. He is only 20 months old. So from one mom with an inquisitive child to another, I want to hug you. I want to tell you I know mistakes happen. I know you didn’t set out to go to the zoo and have your child end up in a gorilla exhibit. I don’t think you’re a bitch. I don’t think you should be thrown in jail. I empathize with you.

I came across this in my IG feed and it seemed fitting for what I have been grappling with since Monday. The world would be a kinder place if we all took a collective deep breath and remembered this.

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I have been so swept up in taking care of Alexander lately. As I should be. We are a few days shy of 6 weeks of his GI issues. He HAS had a few good days mixed in, but then a day or two later it seems to return. Thursday night I took a step back mentally and thought about how consumed I have become. I need to be his advocate because he cannot be his own, but a lot of other things seem to get pushed aside. One of those being posting recipes. I am still cooking and there have even been a few that I meant to get around to sharing but didn’t. Another has been making fun shaped meals for the boys.

Yesterday morning despite all the craziness. Alex waking up hysterical at 6am. It being a school morning. Me trying to film a Pilates video for MarchMATness. (I failed at that! I caught up today though!) I made time to make them a fun breakfast. Jackson was over the moon. Alex yelled at me that there were blueberries on his heart shape french toast sticks. He grumbled then picked them off. You can’t win them all I suppose. Jackson loved his shamrocks!

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We had his GI appointment on Wednesday. The only way I can describe it is awful. I have never felt like I wasn’t being heard quite so much at a doctor appointment. I explained what we had been dealing with. Chronic diarrhea with maybe 3 good days mixed in over nearly 6 weeks. She did a brief exam of him. She diagnosed him with CONSTIPATION. She actually said he is constipated and that some loose stool is just slipping around clogged poop. She then prescribed a colon cleanse for a 17 month old toddler! A colon cleanse. Following the 3 intense days of being on a laxative, she wanted him to be on the laxative in a smaller dose for SIX WEEKS. At which point we would “discuss weaning him off of it.” She also told ME that I don’t feed him enough fiber, without even glancing at his food journal I have been keeping meticulously. She said I also give him too much milk. Something I have never been told by a pediatrician regarding either of my boys. I always fill out their food intake at their physicals. I questioned her on this. My mom was there, she questioned her on this. She just kept insisting he was constipated.

I informed my husband. I told him to pick up the prescription. He did some research while I was getting us all home. Miralax is not greatly received and there are many concerns with it. We both then researched child constipation. We did come across some instances of loose stools being associated with it, however they were more of smears or as I like to call them “hershey squirts.” Alexander has full blowouts sometimes up the back diapers. Multiple a day. These are not squirts. They are giant diapers. We decided not to start any laxative that evening.

The boys’ pediatrician is off on Thursdays. During the day I contacted my husband’s aunt, who is a pediatrician and family doctor. She lives out of state. I explained in great detail Alex’s history and asked her opinion on the diagnosis and colon cleanse. She was very concerned with that recommendation and definitely wanted us to speak to Alex’s Pediatrician as soon as we could. I called her and left a message yesterday morning. When she got back to me she read me the report of the GI with a tone of surprise in her voice regarding the constipation diagnosis. I seconded her concerns immediately and explained that was the exact reason I left a message for her. We were NOT happy with that and we don’t feel that he is constipated with the amount of poop he has. She agrees. She has been at our side since this started 6 weeks ago. She has seen some of the diapers. She told me to monitor him over the weekend. Thursday he had a couple better diapers. Much more normal consistency but yesterday there was another loose one. She is on call all weekend if we need her. She wants to touch base next week. Possibly perform another exam herself and then if it is still ongoing send us to another GI at a different hospital.

I have told people this before, but I am so thankful for her. She has truly been wonderful through all of Alexander’s issues. She has been by our side. She has tried to find us answers and if she couldn’t she has tried to find a specialist that can. She listens to what I have to say. She calls me back whenever I leave a message for her with questions, updates, or concerns. She sees the boys when I want them to be seen. I am not sure what life would be like with another pediatrician and I don’t even want to know. I am so incredibly grateful I came across her when Jackson was 2. At that point in time I didn’t know that she would be such an integral part of our family’s life.

We still don’t have all the answers on Alex, but that is ok. We have been working hard to figure it out. We have someone who is his champion and wants to help us solve this. We will get there. It may take some more time. I have come to terms with that. This whole situation could be worse. We could have a pediatrician that acted like the GI we saw, and then we would be nowhere at all. Luckily, we have one of the great, amazing, and incredible apples in the Pediatrics world.

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He hates EB

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He LOVES chocolate

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These two are my world!

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He likes flying

Life since having Alexander has never been boring! Today I rushed him to the 45 minute window of walk-in hours at our pediatrician. Over the weekend he had a fever that bounced around. He has been irritable, not eating, and barely drinking. Yesterday the fever was totally gone! Except he was covered in a rash on his torso and kept putting his finger in his ear. I called about the rash, they said that was normal after a fever. By nighttime it had spread to his pelvis. This morning the rash was worse and had spread to his face. When I went into his room his finger was in his ear.

I got them both up, dressed, fed, and out the door in record time. I am talking about 20 minutes here! That is unheard of.

He was cleared of having an ear infection! Phewf. However, he does have Roseola. Another virus. He keeps getting slammed with one after the other. On top of that he still has his chronic diarrhea. It flared up a bit yesterday through today.

Tomorrow he has his GI appointment. Our pediatrician did not want him to wait until the end of April to see one, so she called the GI office and had them figure out a way to see us sooner.

I would be lying if I said that I am not stressed out. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally exhausted. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t in a constant state of worry. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel anxious every time I went to check his diaper. I would be lying if I said I sleep soundly at night. I don’t. Not one bit. I would be lying if I said that this hasn’t started to take a toll on me physically. Last week I was nauseated for 4 days straight. Terrible nausea that barely allowed me to get off the couch. I forced myself to, because I had no choice, but I was barely able to be upright. It took all of my strength.

I have a hard time asking for help. Maybe I am stubborn. Maybe I am too proud. Maybe I don’t want to bother other people. Maybe I am a control freak. I think it is all of those combined. I have been dealing with 99% of Alexander’s medical appointments, symptoms, issues, hysterical moments, record keeping, etc all by myself. My husband is insanely busy with his company. It is in a good way. Growth! But it just so happens to coincide with Alexander going through this rough patch in his health. Life works out that way sometimes. Good and bad together. Nothing is ever truly perfect. Tomorrow my mom is coming to the GI appointment with me. I feel like a slight amount has been lifted off of my shoulders. Even if it means she takes Jackson into the waiting room because he is getting squirrelly from being at the 1203043 appointment of his baby brother’s.

This is hard on him too. He breaks down crying anytime Alex is hysterical and upset. He tries his best to always make him laugh. He just wants his little brother to be happy. Today at the pediatrician he started getting upset before she even performed an exam on Alex because  Jackson knew Alex wouldn’t like it and was going to cry.

I would be lying if I said this hasn’t been hard on all of us.

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Bros

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This pretty much sums up how he has felt since Friday :( 

 

Waiting is hard. For your entire life you learn little lessons in patience. They build up and are supposed to help strengthen you. As a child you eagerly await Christmas morning. As a teen you eagerly await the day you can get your driver’s license (unless you were like me and pushed it off as long as possible). As an adult you wait for all kinds of things.

I am finding all of the lessons in waiting that I experienced to be completely useless. We have waited so much with figuring out answers for Alexander. The more I end up having to wait, the less patience I find myself having.

This week we received the rest of his blood work. Alas, the waiting for that is over. Everything else came back negative for IgE allergies. I was definitely overjoyed about that. We are still not giving him bananas or avocado as he has had FPIES reactions to those. As a precaution we are avoiding kiwi, because kiwi is closely related to both of those foods. Eventually in a controlled setting we will test for them, but that time is not now.

This week we have had a bit of a setback with his bowel movements. His diarrhea has returned. I have been monitoring him all week. There have been worse diapers and better diapers. Today has been worse all around. We are up to 4. One was on the floor while he was airing out because the rash has also returned. After the second diaper today, but two of many this whole week, I made the decision to call and schedule an appointment with a Pediatric GI. I need to get some kind of answer in order to help him. Unfortunately, there are no appointments until nearly the end of April. More waiting.

After the 3rd diaper I decided to call his pediatrician and update her on the return of the diarrhea this week. I know she is out on Thursdays, but she is usually in on Fridays, so I intended on leaving a message for her. She will not be back until Tuesday. More waiting.

Waiting is not getting easier. It gets exponentially difficult. I feel overwhelmed with helplessness because I just want to give him a life that is as healthy as possible. I want him to be as healthy as possible. I don’t want him to get rash after rash from loose diaper after loose diaper. I feel a tightening in my chest at any given moment in a bad digestive day. I sigh a lot. I just stare at him and feel my heart breaking for his tiny little body. He has grown to detest diaper changes. I ache for him when he freaks out over that. I have started to let him watch videos on my phone in order to calm him for every single diaper change, even regular pee ones. He just freaks out. Today, that has not helped. His aversion to it is so strong, knowing he has these BMs, that he loses his mind.

I have Jackson, my helper during the days. He is quick to act if I need help with something. Today it was cream while I wrestled a screaming Alex down after he pooped on the floor. A 5 year old shouldn’t have to be my saving grace during a moment like this. My poor sweet oldest child. The other day at his school his teacher asked if he wanted breakfast when arrived. He had eaten at home but said yes. She mentioned there were bananas. Then he said “just don’t give the bananas to my brother. They make him puke.” It is so wonderful that he is so caring but it also breaks my heart that we are even in a situation that we had to drill that into him. He is amazing. His heart is huge. I am definitely way too cranky and short with him way too often. I keep my conversation open, explaining why I am sometimes so stressed out, especially on bad digestive days. I tell him how hard it can be and how I am feeling. I listen to what he has to say about he feels about it. We hug.

Sometimes after naps, Alex wakes up hysterical. Inconsolable for at least 30 minutes, sometimes longer. Nothing can settle him down. There were at least 2 days this week like that. Today and yesterday were better. Those hysterical afternoons are hard. I hate not being able to soothe whatever is clearly causing him distress. More waiting. Waiting for him to ride it out and I try to hold him and comfort him and offer him whatever he needs.

I hate waiting. For once, it is not from our instant gratification society. For me, it is because after 17 months of bumps in the road, I want answers for my baby. I am tired of waiting. I want to help him. I want to have the proper tools to help him. I don’t want to just keep him comfortable and his butt slathered in cream. But it seems for now, waiting is in my foreseeable future. I will be waiting until Tuesday. I will be waiting until April 21st. I will be waiting for his next diaper, anxious to see if it is diarrhea or not. I will be waiting to see if he wakes up happy or hysterical from his naps. Waiting for my answers.