Friday, September 29, 2006

And now things will get better

Nicholas had to get another couple of shots yesterday. He had Mastoiditis.

This is what his ear kind of looked like.

The site I went to said it was caused by an ear infection, and then "the infection may spread from the ear to the mastoid bone of the skull. The mastoid bone fills with infected materials and its honeycomb-like structure may deteriorate. Mastoiditis most commonly affects children. Before antibiotics, mastoiditis was one of the leading causes of death in children. Now it is a relatively uncommon and much less dangerous disorder."

I hate to say this, but I can totally see how this could be a leading cause of death in children. Thank goodness for anitibiotics! Nick is now playing in the other room. Playing. We're going to the Library later, to return some now very overdue books and get out of the house (the doctor's office just didn't count.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another Doctor's Trip

Yesterday I took Nick to the Doctor again. I mentioned the fact that this 2nd round of meds weren't changing anything, and also that his ear was only slightly smaller than his head.

The Doctor looked at him. She looked in his ear but couldn't see anything because it was so gunky. She tried looking down his throat and when he clenched his teeth she said she understood my issue giving him medicine.

Finally she said she thought it was an ear infection gone wrong. In other words, sometimes the infection spreads into the face, into the skin and jaw bone. If this happens oral antibiotics will not help it.

I was given 3 choices... 1 - let her call Dr. Snyder. Not the pediatrician who works in NY, but the ear, nose, and throat guy who works around the corner and who could give an informed second opinion. 2 - Arrange for a CAT scan at the hospital and see what's what, or 3 - take him to the emergency room to see what they would do and give him a CAT scan there...

I chose door #1, and Dr. Snyder said he didn't even need to see Nick, based on the description he was pretty sure waht it was. Nick got not one, but TWO shots, simultaneously administered in the rear while I got to pin him down to the table.

But I think it worked. I gave him a mega-dose of ibuprophin last night, and as he slept the redness in his ear and the side of his head dissapeared. He sweat through his PJ's and through the bedsheets, and his fingers became almost cold. This morning the faver came back a bit, but not badly. HIs ear is still swollen, but not in that awful way. And he feels well enough to fight me about what shirt he is going to wear, and he keeps requestiong M&M's, so I think we're all going to be OK.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Day 8 - still stranded on island of the ill

Here's a picture of Nicholas holding Steve hostage on the couch, using his superhuman strength to keep a stranglehold on his father's throat...

Actually, Nicholas is still not feeling great... still not sleeping through the night, despite the fact that I have spent all my fun money on Tylonol and only leave the house to purchase necessities... like food or chocolate or tylonol.

The boys are actually getting better. They are just taking their time with it. I am sleep deprived and over caffinated. Our brains have turned to jam because of the TV we've been watching. We've read the Blue's Clues book we got at the library so many times I no longer need to look at the words.

The sad part is, these past few days have been beautiful and sunny, if a bit windy. I'm staring out the window wishing we could enjoy the weather, knowing that soon it will be too wet, too snowy, and too wintery to run around. Going outside will mean snowsuits, boots, mittens, ang getting so wet we'll need to change clothes when we come back inside after 4 minutes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Beauty Rest

The first round of Nick's antibiotics was a failure. But yesterday I started him on the pink stuff, and within four hours he was playing again. It was nothing short of miraculous seeing him actually get up off the couch. The pink stuff works, people!

Nick's ear is still visibly swollen. It's sticking out, giving him a very elf-like appearance. And he is still in pain, or I assume he is, since he still cired half the night. I slept with him in "Linda's Bed." (apparently the bed belongs to whoever was there last.) The worst thing was that I could swear his ear was emitting a smell like rotting eggs.

I'm also worried that Nate might develop him own ear infection. I didn't think they spread that way, but he's been crying a lot at night, fidgiting, not letting me hold him... and yesterday Steve said he was clutching his ear...

And yes, this is a picture of Nate falling asleep at the table. He screams like a banchee whenever I try to put him in his crib, but the dinner table? Great place for a nap!

Can this be over, please?

Monday, September 25, 2006


Look at these guys! They're so money and they don't even know it! OK... inside joke.

This is actually a shot of Nathan and Logan before my children started melting and I had to start giving them so much infant's Tylonol that i started coming out of their ears.

We had to go back to the doctor today because the antibiotics they gave Nick didn't work. At the doctor's office Nick had a temperature of 104°F. Nathan is also sick, but I didn't make them look at him because I'm pretty sure he just has a cold, and his fever doesn't get as high.

Neither of them let me sleep last night.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Today is... today is...

I don't have very many recent photos of my brother Jamie, due to the fact that he is in Thailand. He is off saving the world, and doing a great job of it, considering what a mess the place is.

Debs - you once asked how many brothers and sisters I have. The answer is four. I am the eldest, and James is the youngest at 22. I'm sorry - 23!


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ladybug Picnic

It turns out Nicholas has an ear infection.

These days they do not always perscribe antibiotics for ear infections. They want our body to build up an immunity... and they do NOT want the little bacteria causing ear infections to become immune to the antibiotics.

Our pediatrician gave us antibiotics anyway. She said the ear was mildly infected, but she couldn't tell if it would just get better or get a lot worse. Plus, he'd had this cough for a while, plus, it was a Friday. I will take this moment to LOVE my pediatrician because she GETS THIS! She also always asks about whichever kid is not there at the moment. She asks how I am doing, and she will laugh with me about stupid things like traveling with babies or kids not sleeping at night like they should.

Anyway, despite the anitibiotics, last night was not any better. Mostly because Nate is the one not sleeping at night, and he does NOT have an ear infection. I ham drawing up a "Get Nate To Sleep" plan which involves, basically, leaving him in his crib while he screams.

Well... it's harder than you think.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I usually look forward to Steve's going away on business trips with mixed feelings. Part is being alone and missing him, and the other part is the guilty pleasure I get from knowing that I will have the bed ALL TO MYSELF!

Last night, at 2am, when Nate woke up for the 3rd time, I decided to take advantage of Steve's absence and bring the baby into the bed with me. He used to sleep so well with me.

But instead he became VERY EXCITED. He immediately rolled over and tried to crawl off the bed on Steve's side. I kept trying to stick a bottle in his mouth, and after five minutes of struggling, crying, and milk getting on my sheets, I realized this was a BAD IDEA.

After I put him back in his crib, he cried for 30 minutes before going back to sleep.

And waking up at 5am. Both boys woke up at 5am.

I fed Nick waffles because he was good and stopped whining for me. But the second he finished his waffles he started crying... and crying. And screaming. The kind of crying he has when he has nightmares. Hyper, shrill, panic type of screams... Nothing could make him stop. Not even TV.

Which bring us to the moment when I was on the phone calling the pediatrician. Nick was in front of "Dora the Explorer," crying. Nathan was in his crib for his morning nap, crying and still refusing to sleep. And I was on hold, sitting in my car in the garage, crying.

I have stopped crying and made coffee. Nathan has fallen asleep. And Nick is still in front of the TV. He is quieter, letting out only occasional sobs and cries. We are due at the doctor's in 83 minutes.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

New Photo Series

Lately changing Nathan's diaper has become a full body workout, and getting him dressed has become a full contact sport.

In retaliation, I am starting a new series of photographs entitled "Nathan Eating Things." These pictures will be of Nathan eating things he shouldn't eat. Like the crayong picture.

Here's a picture of Nate eating dirt.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Around a Year Ago

Nick still won't take bites of his food. He looks the same, but different. This was him about this time last year, eating the last bit of an ice cream cone.

Yesterday we gave him a carmel apple, cut into bits he could handle. He ate the first peice, then picked up the second peice, dipped it in ketchup, and put it in his mouth. Mmmmm. ketchupy, caramelly apple!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A period of unbearable cuteness

Last night I left the boys alone in the living room while I popped dinner in the oven. When I came back in, Nate was happily sucking on Nick's sip cup, and Nick was poking things with Nate's bottle.

"Come on Guys!" I said. "We're going upstairs to take a bath before dinner." I picked Nathan up and started up the stairs. Behind me I could hear Nick shouting to Gunther, "Bye-bye, Duggar! Gonna taka baff! I love you sooo much! See you later!"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Goodnight, goodnight.... I SAID GOODNIGHT!

Last night, before I went to bed, Nick woke up with a Horrible Hacking Cought. It sounded as though he had been smoking 2 packs a day for the past 25 years. I had a feeling then that the night would stretch out before me into an endless series of wakings and putting-back-to-beds.

And it did.

But not for Nick.

Apparently Nathan has decided that sleeping is for wusses. And he is no wuss, gosh darn it! He is a manly man-baby! Sure, I'm sure the fact that he has a cold (again) had something to do with it. but the situation was exacerbated by his kicking legs. Each time he found himself drifting off he would turn over, wave his arms around, smacking me in the face, and pulling on my hair just because it's there and hey why not?

All night this went on. All night. At 4am he woke up and went into "daytime mode." I put him back in his crib, where he fussed and cried and screamed for the next 90 minutes. At some point there I hear the telltale yodle my cat makes before he throws up... gosh I wish I had remembered that before I came down the stairs barefoot this morning!

So... Nick is going to school this morning. I figure since the cough is the only thing he has, and he's himself otherwise, and not feverish, and excited to go to school, he should go. Besides, I need as much help today as I can get. Already I haven't been able to get Nate down for his morning nap, and Steve caught him playing in a toilet bowl which apparently doesn't flush properly. Nick's school is right next door to this coffee shop, and I plan on getting an extra huge coffee and maybe even a donut, throwing my diet to heck.

And I'll say it that way: one extra huge coffee with cream and sugar please, and a chocolate donut to throw my diet to heck. Thanks so much!

I have warned Nathan: another night like that and we're selling him to the gypsies.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What to wear?

I have been letting Nick pick out his own clothes in the morning. Mostly because whatever I pick out does not seem to be good enough. I'll pick out a pair of pants, he'll look at them and say "No! No! No!" I've also tried giving him a choice between two pairs, but he seems to know there are others stashed in the drawer.

As a result, he sometimes looks a bit strange. But since I don't have a good instinct for matching or fashion anyway, I figure we're even.

Add to that the fact that it's 40 degrees colder in the morning than in the afternoon, and we've got issues. Yesterday we went for a walk and I thought we were all going to boil in jeans and long sleeves. But that morning we needed sweatshirts just to come downstairs.

Ah! Fall! Winter is just around the corner.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bad Habits Start Early

This morning Steve got up with the kids and I got to sleep in.

When I finally woke up at the late hour of 8am, made my way down the stairs, and poured myself a cup of coffee, Nick started dancing up and down in the kitchen.

I put in an english muffin to tast, and he started chanting "Pizza! Pizza! Boy want pizza!" over and over again.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I had to think before posting today. I was going to post about discovering The Discovery Stop, an indoor playground we went to yesterday which both boys LOVED. It has a huge indoor climbing structure, a toddler area where Nate can crawl around and over and through things, and tons of other things as well. I saw it and the winter suddenly looked a lot less claustrophobic.

But then I thought, who really cares? Do you guys have kids and live within 10 miles of here? No? Then you probably will not ever go to the Discovery Stop.

So instead I will quickly recap the conversation we had last night at dinner. We were discussing whose hair Nicholas got. I said he got Steve's color, but my texture. Steve disagreed. He said Nick's hair was soft, and said my hiar was kind of.. well, like a brillo pad. "His hair resembles my lovely tresses," He said.

For the record, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which is the definitive word for every Scrabble game we've ever played, defines a "tress" as "A long lock of hair."

Steve: I have tresses. You have stubble on your head.

But I love you anyway.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Orange you glad I didn't say Banana?

Yesterday, while Nick was in school, I went grocery shopping with only Nathan. This is kind of like walking around after taking a cast off a limb. I wasn't actually floating, but I had so much less to deal with than I usually did that I felt like I might soon be having tea on the ceiling.

I got Clementines. Those tiny, not-quite-oranges. Last year I kept trying to feed them to Nick, and he would have nothing to do with them. But now he loves them.

This morning I asked if he wanted banana, and he showed me the clementine he had already taken from the fruit bowl, with bite marks in the peel. "Mommy cut it up?" He asked.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This is an Update

The boys are well and healthy and I win the "Paranoid Mom of the Month" for thinking my kids had Hand, Foot, and Mouth AGAIN.

Nick's ears are pea-free.

I am slowly getting my life back together and resuming activities such as showering, working out, and putting together the baby album.

In other news, my cousin Clare has been in an accident. She has to have surgery today. I haven't seen Clare since my wedding. I feel awful because I know she is scared and probably in pain. I hope she's going to be OK. Everyone think good thoughts.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Can't Hear You!

Yesterday at dinner Nicholas was tugging at his ears. I asked him if his ears hurt, and that's when he turned his head and I saw that HE HAD PUT PEAS IN HIS EARS.

I then had to leave the room because I was laughing too hard.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Plot Against Me Thickens

Remember how I posted yesterday about the mysterious fever? And how it went really high but I didn't mention anything about a cold, or the flu, or anything specific like that?

Now, remember way back when I posted about Hand, Foot, and Mouth?


Yesterday I noticed a light rash on Nick's tummy and back. And I know that Tummy and Back are not mentioned anywhere in the name "Hand, Foot, and Mouth," but I should also mention that when Nick got Hand Foot and Mouth it began with a light rash on his tummy which then spread to his hands and feet and became blisters.

I don't know for sure if this is what the boys have, but it sure looks like it to me so far. I have no idea if Nick 'Still Has It' or 'Has It Again' - see the difference? And I have no idea how long I have to keep them cooped up (AGAIN) before I can let them out, get Nick back to school (AGHHH!) and resume living a normal life. Although we seem to be sick so much that this may as well be declared normal, huh?

Right now Nick has no fever but is whining and I want nothing more than to hand him off to school for a few hours. Nathan has a fever but cries unless he is sleeping, and he won't sleep if I put him down anywhere and yeah I should also mention that he doesn't actually WANT to sleep, so when I start rocking him he responds by screaming and kicking me in the gut.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Not about going to NY. Some of you people actually saw me there. But I didn't post while I was there. Not once. I didn't even check my email.

I had a perfect plan. We'd drive down Thursday. Steve would work Friday and I would stroll around Central Park with Lillian and the boys. We'd have drinks and dinner and I would get to see Linda and Larissa. Saturday we would wake up bright and early, making it to the Bronx Zoo by the time it opened. We would then visit every single attraction the zoo had, bringing us to late afternoon. Then we'd go out for dinner and leave the next morning.

Here's what actually happened: Nicholas started getting a fever before we even laft New Hampshire. I was sure it was just a fluke, and that he would be fine the next morning. Instead, the fever kept going up, up, up and away. Friday morning he was fine, and we walked in Central Park, but after Lunch it skyrocketed to a neat 103. We came to terms with the fact that the zoo would have to happen another time, and prepared to go home Saturday.

Saturday morning Nick's temperature was 97.9. It was as if he realized that sick = no zoo, and his body made a miraculous recovery.

My Dad and my brother came to the zoo with us, and as usualy when you are dealing with so many people with different lives, we got a later start than we had planned. The zoo was fantastic. FANTASTIC! It was fun and clean, and some parts under construction. We saw maybe a third of it before our legs fell right off our bodies and we had to roll back to our cars. Or fly, actually, thanks to the SkyFari.

Then, just before bed, Nathan started running a temerature. And he did all through the night. And now we're home, and that's where we are.

the end

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Off to NY... again

We're off to NY again today. So far today has been nothing but a flock of bad omens. Nick spent the first two hours of the day crying. During that time Nate managed to bump his head on the wall twice. I'm trying to get everyone packed and ready and not forget anything like diapers or pants or the baby, but it's hard when one kid is screaming and the other is also screaming but also trying to climb up your body, so that if you move he will fall and hit his head on the door or the floor or on whatever object happens to be sharpest and hardest.

But just like Bob said, Baby Steps. Baby Steps to pack the bag. Baby steps to unload and reload the dishwasher. Babys teps to clean the car of all the crumbs from our last trip. Baby steps to get everyone IN the car.... and sometime in there drive Steve to a place he needs to be.... This is the trouble, I haven't gotten it all figured out yet.

I'll post from the city.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Big Boy

This was Nick on his first day of school. The backpack went on in the front so he could wear it in his carseat. I love this kid. Today he's in school again. He had no trouble saying goodbye today, either. Other kids get nervous and whimper and cry. But Nick calmly starts playing, stops to give me a kiss goodbye, and then keeps playing. He's so great.

Oh, and so is Nate, who then let me drag him to the dry cleaners, the post office, the drugstore... what a trooper!

I love this. This is nice.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Clearly There is a Plot Against Me

The more laundry I do the more there is to get done. Over the long weekend I have had to change Nick's sheets twice and our sheets once. Nick's average PJ use is about 1.75 pairs a night. Nathan is fine with his PJ's, but goes through 5 bibs a day in drool. And I mean give him ten minutes and his bib is so wet you can wring it out. He has also started peeing the second his diaper is off, soaking the clean diaper, his clean clothes, and in most cases my pants as well.

I do laundry every day, people. One or two loads. And it's starting to back up on me. What will I do when the weather gets cooler and the clothing takes up more space?

Monday, September 04, 2006


Try eating a crayon. Nathan prefers the purple ones.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Just Hangin

Yesterday I took the bassinette, the swing we no longer use, the jumper swing we no longer use, the play yard Nathan won't stand to be in but Nicholas climbs in and out of as if it were an Olympic event, and the infant car seat Nate grew out of months ago... I took ALL of these, and I put then in storage.

Most of these things have been out and about since Nick was born. Nick used them longer than Nathan, and then I didn't bother putting them away, knowing there would be a new baby to use them. So this is the first time I put them in storage.

It's a little sad, putting away all those things, thinking about how fat babies turn into kids and how quickly they will turn into teenagers who will break curfew and talk back and wreck my car. But on the other hand, our house seems a lot bigger without huge baby stuff everywhere!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Mount Washington

I never explained about Mount Washington. I know I mentioned it, but I don't think I explained the true awsomeness of the experience.

First of all, we drove. There is an 8 mile road that leads up to the top. Many people choose to hike Mount Washington, but it takes longer. Ask my friend Larissa. She hiked it, got to the top, only to find it overcast and cloudy, with no views to be had. We drove to the top and it was overcast and cloudy, but we didn't have to hike or sleep in a tent on the hard ground. So we didn't care as much.

Driving up the road I realized a few things. The first thing was that the road was kind of narrow. The second thing was that there were really steep drop offs with no guard rails RIGHT NEXT TO THE CAR. And even though it was cloudy, the views were kind of amazing. I kept yelling at Steve to look at the road because I was afraid he would look out the window and then drive us off a cliff. My brother is afraid of heights. And I realized that I turned into him, clutching the car seat as if my grip would keep up from plummeting to our deaths. The roads were also steep. The steepest part had an 18% grade. Pretty steep, for a road. This is why they didn't want me to go up in my Saturn. I never would have made it UP the mountain.

At the top they have a little building where you can get hot food, buy souvenirs, and get warm as you look out at the cold views. On a clear day you're supposed to be able to see clear to Boston on one side and clear to the Portsmouth and the ocean on another. Oh, and there is a wall with the names of the people who have died on the mountain. Nice, huh? I was dizzy from the cold and the height and the lack of oxygen.

Anyway, on the way down we passed this guy. He was about a half mile from the summit. His friend was a few yards behind him. I just thought... why? WHY ARE YOU RUNNING UP THIS STEEP MOUNTAIN IN THE COLD AND DRESSED IN YOUR UNDERWEAR? Obviously some people are very dedicated to their sports.