Saturday, May 03, 2008

And the #1 reason you know your two-year-old is sick? She looks at you imploringly at 7:45 p.m. and whines "I just want to go to sleep, Mommy."

Poor Lilly. Poor Kate, too, but she's not taking it quite as hard as her sister. It's "just" a cold, but they're also running fevers with it and feeling pretty junky and cranky. Yuk. And I am feeling like a bad Mommy right now because I didn't start Kate on her meds yet - I guess I was in denial that she really had a cold.

Officially, Kate has a diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD, which is used interchangeably with chronic lung disease - CLD - so you can choose your weapon here). This is partly because of her prematurity, and partly because of the time she spent on the ventilator after her birth. On a day-to-day level, this doesn't affect her functioning one bit. But it makes her more vulnerable to breathing problems when she gets sick. So far, she's only had one cold that got her wheezing, back in October, and she had pneumonia over Christmas. But in 2 years, we've only been to the ER once (October) and she hasn't been hospitalized at all - that's pretty damn good.

Anyway, when she gets a cold I am supposed to start her on either albuterol and Pulmicort via nebulizer, or albuterol and Flovent via aerochamber (an attachment that goes on a regular inhaler to make it effective for little kids). She was just runny all day, not coughing, so I kept putting it off and thinking she was going to be OK. So of course she starting coughing at bedtime, when it was pretty much too late to do it.

I guess if she gets worse, I can sneak in with the nebulizer, hope it doesn't wake her, and give her a treatment in her sleep. Otherwise I'll just go ahead in the morning, unless she's miraculously cured.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nobody ever warned me that I could be more tired at 27 months than I was with two newborns. So I'm warning you!

The girls started getting stuffy/runny noses yesterday (right in the middle of a playdate - great!) and by nighttime they were cranky and definitely having trouble breathing through their noses. This means that if they have a binky in their mouth while they are sleeping, they are going to wake up unable to breathe and cry. Over and over and over and over and over again.

There were a total of 4 wakeups during last night's episode of "Lost." I gave up counting after that, but I know I finally fell asleep for the first time at 1:30, and was back up sometime during the 2, 3, and 4 o'clock hours, ending up with everyone in our bed.

The only moment of levity was at some point when Lilly asked for water, and I couldn't find the sippy cup that I usually keep at my bedside. Somehow she just let it go, and a few minutes later, Ryan rolled over and I heard a "clunk" which was clearly a sippy cup hitting the floor. I said very quietly to myself "Ah, there's that sippy cup" and Lilly (who I thought had gone back to sleep) laughed out loud and said "That funny, mama!"

It wouldn't be so bad except I am at a freelance gig today, staring at a screen, waiting for client comments to a project so I can actually do some work. It's really really hard to stay awake at this point, and it's tempting to just give up a couple hundred bucks so I can go take a nap while the kids are with my parents.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm supposed to be working right now. The girls are with Grandma and Pop-pop, and I have a lot to do. But I just got these pics from our aquarium/ice cream day, and I can't resist.

Me and Katie

Me and Lilly

Four happy kids, about to get messy.

Sophie sharing her cone with Lilly.

Katie sharing a laugh with Sebastian.

Katie's blissful mess.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Right around the girls' second birthday, they apparently decided to stop liking their cribs. They have never been great nappers or nighttime sleepers, but putting them down for a nap or bedtime was always very easy. Maybe 1 night a month I would try to put them to bed too early and they would cry, but otherwise they'd kiss me, lie down, and go to sleep. I knew I had trouble when that stopped working, and putting them into their cribs became very much like trying to put a cat in a tub of water.

We had a thick tempurpedic mattress pad that used to be on our bed, so we put that on the floor in their room, and they slept on it much more happily than they did in their cribs. About a month ago it was obvious that we weren't going back to the cribs, so we took the plunge. Ryan and I bought a king size bed for ourselves, and gave the girls our queen.

Things are a lot better. The only problem is now they won't go to sleep on their own - I have to be in the room. And I have to lie down between them. And it has to be me. They will pretend to let Daddy put them to bed, but when the lights go out, they scream for Mommymommymommy.

Most of the time I am OK with this. It takes 5-10 minutes for naps, 10-25 minutes for bedtime, usually. Sometimes I find it incredibly frustrating (mostly if they are hyper and can't calm down, so I am in there too long) and I have to work really really hard not to become mean Mommy.

Sometimes, though, the simple act of putting them down for a nap becomes pure bliss. I don't know why, but today everything was perfect. Lilly said she wanted to snuggle, so she rolled onto her belly and flung her arm around my neck. Katie just wanted to lie on her back with her hand on my arm. I could tell Lilly was asleep halfway through the 2nd song on their lullabye CD (a beautiful Celtic compilation, by the way, given to us by Karen and her son Neil William).

I turned to look at Katie, and her eyes were flickering up and down, and I could see she was looking at the picture on the wall in front of the bed. (It's a picture I drew in elementary school, of a cat, and my Mom gave it to me right before I got pregnant, so now it's framed in their room.) I watched her eyes open and close a few times, and she didn't notice me at all, so I continued to gaze as her eyelids gently closed for real, and she relaxed into sleep.

And then I lay there for another 5 minutes, sobbing uncontrollably. They are so beautiful, so precious, and I am so lucky to have them healthy and alive and lively as they are. The moments when that realization hits me are some of the most perfect I've ever experienced.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What a Monday. It just felt like a Monday all day long. Emphasis on the "long" part.

We did a lot of fun stuff this weekend, and the girls didn't get a lot of naps in. Yesterday was the March for Babies (we raised $2080!) in the rain, then the Children's Museum, and they really only slept in the car. So this morning they somehow slept until 9:15 (not straight through, of course - if you know my girls you'll be unsurprised that I was up at least 4x overnight with them, which I will admit is far more than I have been most nights lately). That messed with their circadian rhythm, I guess, because they were tired, but not sleepy during their usual naptime of 1pm-ish.

I ended up throwing them in the car at 2:15 and they fell asleep in about 10 minutes. I went to the drive-through Starbucks and got a latte, then headed back home because I needed a quick pit stop. I left them sleeping in the car (not running!) inside the garage with the door closed. They woke up in about 10 minutes, for a total of maybe 30 minutes' nap. There was enough time to go to Gymboree play gym at 3pm, so I headed over there. They were all excited, and tragedy struck - darkness in the gym and a sign on the door informing me that play gym is now at 1:45pm. Nooo!

Luckily, I had noticed there was a 4pm class we could attend at a Gymboree a little further away, which just opened. So I psyched them up for that, and my little loves totally went with the flow. The class was really crowded, but they had a good enough time. Did a little shopping afterwards (the gym is in a mall with a bunch of kids' outlet stores) and gave them pizza at the food court. Then we came home, got jammied up, took some cute video of them being silly in their room (I'm too tired now to download and edit), and they were asleep only a little later than normal, by 8:45-9ish.

Now that I read all that, why did it feel like such a junky day? Cramps, nausea, headache - they really do mess with your whole outlook, don't they?