Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

When I was a kid we had set routines for each one, which was great, but over the years times changed and it was really difficult to break from tradition. For example, every year my maternal grandparents hosted Thanksgiving so we would drive to their farmhouse for the quintessential Thanksgiving experience. When my grandfather passed in 1997, it left me reeling. I felt like the holidays would never be the same, and in reality that was true. They haven't been the same since, and it took a long time for me to find the joy in Thanksgiving again. I put a good show and pretended we were moving on, but I still longed for the Thanksgiving of my childhood.

After over-thinking and reflecting on the holidays, I decided our Thanksgivings wouldn't be the same year after year. I want to change them up, do different things, celebrate different places, etc so that my children don't fall into the "holidays are ruined because they're not the same anymore" trap.

This is why last year, I forced myself to set aside the guilt I felt about not celebrating with my own family, and packed the kids up and headed to New England to celebrate with Sal's family. This year, Sal and I hosted at our home. I've suggested next year doing something else, Thanksgiving in Florida anyone? I want to make Thanksgiving about being thankful for what you have and who you're with, not the comfort and familiarity of routine, if that makes sense.

Those are some deep thoughts so maybe it's time to move on to the pictures now.

This was Seth's real first Thanksgiving. Last year he was old enough for solids, but he was still choking on thick purees, let alone solids. He's not a huge fan of turkey, or any poultry, but he loved the mashed potatoes and bread. He loves carbs, that's for sure.

You will notice that Sarah and Emmy are missing. They spent the holiday with their dad. According to our custody agreement they spend Thanksgiving with him during even numbered years, and with us on odd numbered years.

I posted the family picture on Facebook, and one of Sal's friends pointed out that he appears to be shirtless. He was, of course, fully clothed, but how funny.

Yesterday's post highlighted my homemade cranberry sauce, and I think the general consensus was that it was too sweet. I agree; so if I do it again I think I'll change up the recipe a bit. However, for someone who hates to cook, this was a fun addition to our meal.

Thanksgiving was nice this year. Everyone helped, the food all came together on time, and the conversation was pleasant. I'd give it a 9 out of 10, and that's pretty darn good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Homemaker

I really hate to cook and bake, and spend time in my kitchen in general. It's just not my thing and I get Sal to do as much of it as possible. It's something I want to like, I just don't.

That said, I come from a long line of women who, at the bare minimum, actually like to cook so I know more about it than I should. The recipe I found said that using an immersion blender would give the cranberries a smooth texture, and that's what I want. I'm not into chunks :-)

Lucky for me, Target had small appliances on sale for 20% off so I bought one. This is weird too. As much as I hate spending time in the kitchen, I love kitchen gadgets. I actually use my steamer, a mini food processor, and now my immersion blender pretty regularly.

Anyway, we bought fresh cranberries at Shop N Save and I went to town making the cranberry sauce. It was as easy as I had hoped, and Seth and I loved watching the cranberries pop, although at first he thought it was pop-porn (popcorn). We tasted and liked the results so we'll see what everyone says at Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Stomach Bug, Round 2 or 3

Remember that stomach bug from hell Seth had last month? Well, Sarah came down with it Sunday. In the middle of the afternoon she ran into the bathroom to throw up. With her though I wasn't sure if it was maybe just related to her sinus issues, but when she got sick again later in the evening, I knew that it wasn't.

Sure enough, Monday she was feeling fine, but knowing what we were up against I kept her home from school. Her dad texted me this morning and said she had been vomiting for three hours already. I told him I was sure she was at the tail-end of it, but that it's a bad one.

She did recover more easily than Seth had and didn't require a trip to Children's. I'm thinking it's going to be one hell of a winter.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday Funday

Sal and I had a few errands to run this morning, and we were able to get everything done before church at noon.

Our first stop was a quick trip to Target, but then we decided to run to Borics next door and get Seth a big boy haircut. He used to have beautiful curls, but a few haircuts ago those were all cut and now he just had straggly waves. It was time for a big boy cut. The stylist kept his hair longish on top and razored the sides. He looks so grown up now.

It's next to impossible to take pictures of him because he runs toward the camera, but here's one I snagged.

The weather was nice enough this evening that we took a walk around the neighborhood before dinner. Our neighbors across the street put up their Christmas decorations already, so I made it a point to bust out our new inflatable turkey.

I always swore I'd never do inflatables, but we've gone to the dark side. Seth loves it so that makes it worth it.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Hallloween

With Seth's having one illness after another this month, my plan was to keep him inside and let the girls do the trick-or-treating. However, Sal was having none of this.

So, yesterday, the day before Halloween, we hit three different stories before finding a Mickey costume at Toys R Us at 75% off. This darling costumer was only $8.75, and I had a gift card. A total score.

Seth met "MiMi" this past summer when we went to Disney and instantly recognized the costume.

The girls costumes were purchased online weeks ago. Sarah had been talking about being a witch since last Halloween, and Emmy was sold on something with a tutu.

I did not try Seth's costume on prior to trick-or-treat so he had no idea what was going on or why. He was fine with it until I put the hood one. He freaked. However, he soon got over it when he realized he was outside and going to go for a walk. This little guy walked for over 1.5 hours collecting goodies and treats from the neighbors. We didn't even break out the stroller.

The kids got a ton of candy and other treats, and we had quite a bit left over. We had more kids than usual; I just think I bought too much.

Halloween is my least favorite holiday, but as I say every year, it ended up being a lot of fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Stomach Bug from Hell

Seth woke up crying at 7am this past Saturday. Normally he wakes up in a good mood and never that early, not even during the week. Sal went in to check on him and then came back a few minutes later with a shrug. We let Seth fuss a little more, and then I sent in to get him out of his crib for day. Seth greeted me with a gurgling sound and I realized he was going to throw up. I turned him over, and called to Sal that he was throwing up.

We still had towels in Seth's room from his random stomach bug eight days prior so I grabbed on of them to catch the worst of it. Having not eaten since dinner the night before there was very little in his tummy to expel.

We got Seth cleaned up and the sheets changed, and he seemed ready to go downstairs so we let him go. In the meantime, I had thought he seemed especially congested lately and decided to make him an appointment with the pediatrician. Maybe his sinuses were causing these stomach issues.

We ran him out to Natrona Heights to see Dr. Zove, who I hadn't met or seen with one of the kids yet. Seth had a serious diarrhea diaper, and it became apparent there was more going on than just his sinuses. Dr. Zove confirmed he probably had a GI virus. He left us with instructions to call in a few days if we felt he needed to be seen again.

As Sal was pulling my car into the garage, Seth threw up again. We got him cleaned up, put him down for a nap, and hoped for the best. He didn't have much of an appetite the rest of the day, but he was acting like himself so we figured he was good to go.

Sunday morning Seth seemed "off" to me, but he hadn't vomited since 11:30 the previous morning. He still had diarrhea, but that can linger so I wasn't too worried. He had Gatorade and cheerios for breakfast and at 11:45 we left for church.

Seth wasn't as active, or busy, in church as he usually is, but he's always quiet and stays close, so I figured he was just fighting whatever bug had been bothering him.

After church we came home and I gave him a cup of milk before laying him down for a nap. An hour later he woke up crying, and I knew he was sick again. Sure enough, as soon as I walked into his room, he vomited again. Sal and I cleaned everything up, and put him back down. In the meantime, Sal left for Varsity Show practice in Steubenville, and I decided to do a workout video and clean up a little downstairs.

Seth seemed a lot better when he woke up around 5:30 and asked for his cup (bup). I gave him some Gatorade and a half hour later he vomited again. Shortly after he wanted more and I figured, "what the heck, if he's thirsty this will help, if he throws up, I'll just clean it up." It stayed down, along with some cheerios and tortilla chips.

Before Zofran
We had a fun evening, and I put him in bed around 8:30. At 2:30 am, he was crying again in his crib and I went in to him starting to throw up. This was starting to be seem really crazy to me. Why all the time (hours, in some cases) between these episodes, and not only was he throwing everything up, he still had diarrhea. He was going to dehydrate. There was no way to keep fluids in him when it was coming out both ends. I was starting to get concerned at this point. In 9 years of parenting, and countless tummy bugs, I hadn't seen anything like this.

Our plan was for Sal to stay home with Seth Monday, and I would come home from work early so Sal could get to Varsity Show practice that evening. When Sal texted me saying that he gave Seth Gatorade when he woke up, and it immediately came back up, I called the pediatrician. He was getting worse, not better. She advised us to go to Children's ER for something to stop the vomiting, and possibly fluids. Sal showered and ran Seth over; I met them
following a meeting with my supervisor at work.
After Zofran

We were checked in and the doctor checked him out really well, and also had his blood sugar checked. It was low, 51, versus the normal 75-100. This was no surprise to any of us since he hadn't been eating much, and what he did eat came up or out. She ordered a dose of Zofran to stop the vomiting/nausea and Seth gulped three cartons of apple juice. His blood sugar rose to almost normal levels immediately, and he perked up. She sent us home with a prescription and cautioned us that while the vomiting would cease, the virus was still working it's way through and could last as long as 10 days.

I gave him Zofran every six hours for a full day and kept him on a bland diet, mostly cheerios. He finally had a normal, not diarrhea, diaper late Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday he was clearly feeling like himself. He hadn't vomited since 8am Monday morning, his diapers continued to be "normal," and he was starving. I knew he'd be ready for daycare on Thursday.

When I walked in today this morning, I immediately noticed a big orange sign stating that a virus was going through the Ones Room and it detailed all of the symptoms Seth had had. It seems like he had a worse case scenario since for some it was only lasting 24 hours, but that's no surprise either. He had hand, foot, and mouth in early October, followed by a mild stomach bug, and eight days later a second tummy bug. His immune system had been hard at work and compromised all month. I'm hoping November takes it easy on all of us. Please Please Please.