Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tantrums Vol. 2

We went to the doctor yesterday to try and gain some insight on the tantrums and Sophie's overall health. In addition to her not urinating as frequently as she should she is also very irregular with her bowel movements. Last Friday she was "crapping up the back" and now hasn't had a movement all week. She has had this issue for nearly a year. I think it could contribute to her overall disposition.

The doctor listened to us describe the fits and tantrums and also inquired how we deal with it. I admit I'm the weakling. I would often rather give in to make it stop than stand down to teach her the lesson. I don't always do this but I know that I'm the weak link.

She encouraged continuing some of our current practices-taking toys/favorite things away, putting her in time out in a graduated way (minutes/age or offense) and something that works well with her step-kids...putting them in the shower fully clothed! Her husband uses this tactic with their 7 year old. It totally changes their frame of mind from the bad behavior to "I'm getting wet, and I have all my clothes on." I don't feel quiet comfortable doing this with Sophie just yet. Another suggestion was once a tantrum starts to divert her attention to something else. Helping with something or another activity that will calm her down.

We also had blood drawn to test for lead. We are renting an older home and if you look at all the symptoms differently -not eating regularly, the potty issues, tantrums, etc...it could be a possibility. Yeah! Needles in a 2.5 year old's arm. Not fun. But she actually was a champ.

So we took her back to daycare after the appointment. Gave her and her daycare lady a milkshake. Phillip picked her up after school she was happy and had a good report from daycare. She was pleasant, funny, loving, and cooperative. It was a complete 180 from the previous night and felt good. Then bedtime came.

We read books on the couch and I announced it was time to go to bed. She wanted to sleep on the couch. She wouldn't follow me to her bedroom. We tried the "distraction" method. Phillip came and laid down with her on the couch and was joking with her about squirrels living in his year. They kidded as Phillip pretended to sleep on Sophie and take up all the space on the couch. She calmed down and enjoyed the play. But then really...it was late and time for her to go to bed.

We had to pick her up, screaming and kicking, and bring her to her room. We told her it was time for bed and she wasn't having it. She tried to escape the room. We shut the door and tried to keep her in there but I head stuff falling and didn't want to get hurt. I went back in to try and calm her down. At this point she knocked over her lacrosse sticks, dumped a bin of baby hats and socks waiting for Emma, ripped my glasses off my face and then lay prostrate on the floor on her stomach kicking her legs, flapping her arms and BANGING her head on the hardwood floor. That's when I started crying.

I just grabbed her and hugged. I wouldn't let her go and also pinned her arms down in my grasp so she would stop flailing. After about 15 minutes she calmed down enough to say her prayers and get in bed. She still was protesting having to go to bed (at 9:15 pm!) but she went.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tantrums

Earlier this week Michelle, of Not Raising Brats, shared with her faithful readers a tantrum of epic proportions that Peanut displayed. She queried her readers to share our toddler's tantrums. I have a "favorite" but then I'm in need of your real advice of how to handle our daily, hourly tantrums that Sophie is throwing. It's not pretty.

The best one yet.

A few weeks ago, post nap, we headed to Target and Lowe's to look for a crib and paint for the girls' room. We generally peruse the toy aisles to look at and touch all the mechanical toys in their plastic display boxes. I was scoping out cribs while Phillip and Sophie looked at the toys. Next stop was the home storage section. While discussing what types of bins we needed to buy Sophie was asking for some sort of ladybug toy. We told her no, not today. Then she demanded to get out of the cart. I let her out and she continued to ask about the toy. When told no again she started to show out, cry, and get angry. We both tried to "reason" with her, explain that we weren't buying toys today and calm her down. This of course made her irate. If memory serves me right she may have started kicking and screaming and trying to escape my grasp. This elevated. I picked her up and told her she needed to behave or we were going home. I'm pretty sure "No! NO! Go Home!" was bellowed from her tiny mouth. At this point the looks started. This fit was going to be big. Kicking and screaming and yelling I viced her crossways across my chest (mind you I'm 37 weeks pregnant at this time too!) and we go marching towards the exit. This trip is officially over. I'm half a football field ahead of Phillip. We get outside, she is still kicking and screaming, I'm doing everything I can to hold on to her, Crocs go flying off her feet and she is now INVERTED in my arms, head down, nearly ready to fall...onto the concrete. The looks from some Target employees on a smoke break were amusing. I'm sure they were trying to figure out if they should intervene, call DSS, or the cops. Phillip rescued me, grabbed the wailing kid and finished the march to the car. About half way home she simmered down and was her normal, generally delightful self. Holy shit that was some tantrum.

Now the daily tantrums.

For the past few weeks tantrums have turned into a daily event. There are a few things I know:
1. She is a toddler. She is 2 years and 10 months old. Tantrums are part of who she is right now.
2. She has been sick. Stomach flu and strep. Still not back 100%.
3. Her life is about to dramatically change. She's getting a sibling.

Here is what is so frustrating. The tantrums are over everything and nothing. She opened the silverware drawer the other day. We closed it. She had a fit.

Phillip had to pump gas. She wanted to get out of the car. He didn't let her. Screaming the whole time he pumped gas, screamed the whole drive home, refused to come in the house, out of the rain, finally came in the house and laid down kicking and screaming.

This morning she wanted milk. She didn't like the cup I choose. Tantrum.

Last week we went to Michael's. She was happy as could be the drive there. Playing with her sunglasses in the back seat, being silly. Once I went to get her out of her seat she started kicking and screaming. Kicked her juice cup out of the cup holder, kicked my coffee cup out of the holder spilling the sludge out of the cup all over the floorboards. No reason what-so-ever for the fit. Just a tantrum.

And she generally fights us on daily tasks. Getting up, getting dressed, brushing hair and teeth, taking her medicine. She wants to control everything and if she doesn't have it her way she has a fit.

We are so frustrated with these tantrums. They are frustrating for her and frustrating for us. We are at the point where we don't know if we are overreacting to her fits, if this is all normal, or if there is something more going on. It is bound to deteriorate our relationship as husband and wife because we are so stressed by her behavior that trying to deal with it is straining our communication and behavior with one another.

We have a doctor's appointment today to have them help shed light on the situation.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Where is my cape?

Watch out Superman, here comes a mom.

Holy macamoni (as Sophie would say) this has been some week.

Thursday I was feeling optimistic. I headed to work, ready for a day of training the guy filling in for me while I'm on leave, catching up on three days worth of work since I was out sick, pick Sophie up in the eventing. La di da. I casually kidded that now that all was well with the sickness at our house I guess the baby could make her appearance. At 1:41p.m. on Thursday I got a call from the daycare. Sophie had crapped up the back again. Crap.

Our daycare lady had cleaned Sophie up as best she could and it took her about 40 minutes to do that but Sophie really needed a bath and they legally can't give her one because of privacy issues, and if she has diarrhea then she needs to be home anyways. Crap.

I packed up and headed home. Daycare also recommended keeping Sophie out of daycare for 24 hours to limit the spread of more germs.

I got her home and into the bathtub. She fought me every step of the way. Plastering herself to the back of the tub where I couldn't really reach her if I tried, fighting not to have her hair washed, fighting not to have a bath at all. So I hoisted my 1/2 naked, 37 week pregnant body into the water to get her clean. Then of course, she didn't want to get out. Once she finally calmed down we got out, dried off, and headed to the grocery store for Popsicles. She had been nearly refusing to eat or drink much at all. I thought Popsicles were a sure fire way to get some fluids in her. She didn't want the Popsicles.

I was feeling worn out. I could feel the baby inside me bearing all her weight down low throughout my womba. My legs were like jello from hip to knee. Please, I can't go into labor now. I called the midwife at 7pm. "Can you just walk me through this? I don't really think I'm going into labor." She recommended a big glass of water, lay down and rest for a while. Yeah, sure. Rest. Hello! I have a sick toddler running around and my husband is out of town. I don't think Dolly (the beagle) would have been much of a babysitter. Sophie and I settled for the couch, put my feet up and one of the best episodes of Top Chef EVER!

Friday we went to work. Sophie was fairly compliant. Some DVDs on the laptop, trips up and down the stairs, play-doh, even a nap. She stuck it out while I waded through a never ending project and took my "I'm almost dones" in stride. Then she leaned into me and declared "I not poopin' mama." And that's when the crap started creeping up her back. Ugh! Not again. I apologized to my office mate, he assured me he'd smelled worse while solo hiking for 72 days. We waddled to the bathroom to clean up. This happened twice on Friday.

Saturday was looking promising. Although she had only peed once or twice on Friday she woke up with a very wet pull-up Saturday morning. Requested a scrambled egg and cheese. Ate that and asked for a second egg. Drank some juice. I was thinking we're in the home stretch of kicking what ever this is that is ailing her. We ran errands, rode various store carts, got new books from the library. She didn't eat lunch. She still hadn't peed again. After a short nap we ventured to Michael's. She seemed happy then pulled a fit out of no where spilling the remants of my coffee on the floorboards. We continued with the trip inside and she apologized to me. When we returned home she wanted to watch Sprout. I happily obliged so I could continue to clean the house.

I don't usually condone watching the tv for hours on end but she was happy and it gave me time to keep cleaning (my nesting is in full swing.) I then started to grow more and more worried. She watched tv for 3.5 hours straight. Zoned out into Chloe's closet, Calliou, The Good Night Show. When queried about dinner she said she didn't want anything. I, being the mom, made her something anyways. Boca nuggets, avocado, and cheese. Three favorites. The only reason she ate any of it is because I FED it to her. Three bites of Boca, two bites of cheese and avocado. Oh, and did I mention she hadn't peed since she WOKE UP?! This is about day 3 or 4 of urinating only once or twice.

No food, not drinking much, not peeing. This on top of the flu earlier in the week and the recent craps up the back had me spinning at this point. And her unusual delight in the tv. I started to panic a bit. I called the Drs. Mom. My mom and mother-in-law. I called to have them tell me all kids do this, I'm overreacting, I need to take her to the ER. Something. Through my tears they helped calm me down and call my old doctor and the new doctor. I called Phillip too so he could worry with me from a few hundred miles away.

The new doctor, whom we haven't seen yet, assured me I had done all the right things. Offered plenty of fluids, try to get her to eat a Popsicle, take her temperature, monitor output. He scheduled an Urgent Care visit for Sunday.

The saga continues.

We went to the Urgent Care appointment today. The doctor wanted to get a urine sample to check for bladder issues or a UTI. We were there for two hours waiting for Sophie to pee. We went to the bathroom twice, swabbed her clean, I anxiously held the pee cup under her hoping for just a few drops. Nothing. I couldn't wait any more. I needed to eat, we had exhausted the bin of toys, I wanted to nap. I told the doctor and nurse we would head home and hope for a sample there that I could drive back over. If she didn't produce a sample by 4pm I would have to take Sophie to the HOSPITAL (remember, my husband is still out of town!) to have them get a sample-via CATHETER! Oh dear lord, please no. I promised Sophie a cookie or candy at Wegman's if she would just pee in the cup! Right before we left the Dr. and Nurse recalled they also wanted to swab for Strep.

Great. I giant Qtip shoved down her throat. This should be fun since we were already exhausted and napless. On the second take they got a culture. We waited in the waiting room. Five minutes later the nurse came out...it's Positive. Sophia has strep throat.

This explains a whole lot. The lack of appetite. Not really wanting to drink. The lack of fluids coming in therefore the lack of fluids going out. And being prescribed antibiotics will also help clear up any possible urinary issues. I wonder how long she has had Strep this week? I hope I don't get it!

Thank god tomorrow is a holiday and we don't have to miss work or school. And my husband will be home. I'm taking tomorrow night off!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This, That, and the Other

I have been short on time and/or energy lately to blog so why don't I roll all the things I've been wanting to blog about into one?!
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Phillip and I painted the girls' rooms two weekends ago. We now have to paint the rest of the house because their room looks fabulous and highlights what terrible condition the rest of the walls are in. He did most of the work and put on all the finishing touches. He even took a trip to Target and bought some decals for the walls. He put together the new crib and manged to stash toys away so the room doesn't look too cluttered. I think he is in love with being the papa of two little girls. He was very impressed with the final outcome of the room. And, if you are in need of a crib we got Emma's crib at Target for $150! It's a Graco Lauren convertible crib. I was hesitant at first because it was so inexpensive but it seems to be pretty sturdy.


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Last week I walked into my office to find a home made "outhouse." Co-workers and friends of mine constructed it for me. We often sit together at lunch and have the most off color and hysterical conversations. Much like a mother to her daughter they often have to ask if I peed before I sat down to lunch because they know that if I get laughing too hard we could have an accident. So I walked into work last week and there stood "Kelly's Piddle Pad." Upon walking inside it was outfitted with a toilet and telephone. And a lot of funny advertisements remade with our faces on them! Hopefully it's still there tomorrow and I can get some photos to post.
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This past weekend has brought "The Bug" to our house. I made eggs and sausage for Sophie and I at her request. She also added 4 pepperonis to the meal. She had a few sips of juice and the pepperoni then declared she wasn't hungry and her tummy hurt. I thought perhaps she was mistaking hunger for pain. I didn't push the issue. A while later while attempting to get dressed and run errands she was refusing to put clothes on insisting on "five more minutes." (Her latest go to phrase.) And then she hurled. Delightful. Nothing like being 37 weeks pregnant, on your hands and knees cleaning up puke. We stayed put. But at this point I wasn't sure if it was the combination of pepperoni and apple juice that made her sick or something bigger. When she had her second vomit of the day I knew we were in for a treat. Luckily by the fourth time she totally got the concept of going to the bathroom to puke in the toilet. I felt so bad as she stood there literally hugging the toilet seat.

Monday was a trip to the doctor to have her checked out. He confirmed if the poops hadn't started yet, they would. Oh Goody!

Tuesday I awoke at 1am to "The Bug" attacking my insides. Also not fun being 37 weeks pregnant and having the stomach flu. I also have a condition from a surgery to correct acid reflux that prohibits me from being able to throw up. I can heave but the only thing that comes up is spit. It's like doing sit ups for hours on end with no results. A lot of pain, no gain.

Wednesday we both stayed home to recuperate after Sophie threw up again last night. It was rounded out by a trip to the ER because she had not urinated in 24+ hours and was refusing to drink. This was punctuated by a "crap up the back" right before we were headed to the ER. After putting her half clothed in the tub to clean up I pray that was the first, last, only exhibit of the bug in that way.

Thursday is wide open.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Birth Box

I'm 36 weeks today. Some women are packing their hospital bags at this point in the pregnancy, I am packing up my birth box.

The box contains my birth kit-interesting items like 2 drinking straws, those sexy mesh undies they make you wear with the ice packs inside, the mucous sucker outter thingie, a measuring tape, gloves, "chucks" or piddle pad type things, and a bunch of other items. All that came from the birth supply company. I just went on a home scavenger hunt for the other items.

Hydrogen peroxide
Rubbing Alcohol
3 gallon size zip lock bags
A roll of toilet paper
A roll of paper towels
A box of kleenex
Trash bags
A cookie sheet
A crock pot
Ammonia (cleans muconium out of clothing!)
Extra sheets
Towels and washclothes

Some of the items I need to buy or borrow.
Heating pad
Fan
Space heater (the room has to remain at 70-75 degrees for a while after the baby is born to keep her warm enough. I don't think Phillip is going to be able to sleep in the room with us! We currently have the house set at 67 and usually have the fan on and a window cracked!)

My birth tub is ordered and I'll pick it up in two weeks.

I have a home visit with my midwife this Friday.

Little by little everything is coming together and we are getting closer to having a family of four!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Gift for Emma

A dear friend of mine presented me with a gift for Emma earlier this week. Our friendship is based more on laughter and sarcasm than sentimentality. So when I started to get teary eyed and stood up to give her a hug she asked if I was going to wet my pants.

She is part Cherokee but used imagery from Hopi and Zuni tribes to paint this beautiful rocking chair. I hope Emma is as strong as my friend feels she will be and cherishes this gift forever.

The spirals represent a journey or Emma's life journey and path.

The bear claws represent strength and leadership.

The black and white ovals represent night and day. The sun in the middle represents warmth and all things good. Or warmth and goodness throughout the night and day.

The waves represent water, beginning, and life. This is especially special to me as Emma will be born in the water.

The bear and arrow represent strength and protection.

My friend felt bad that she didn't do this for Sophia but I told her it was okay-Sophie received other gifts from her. Like a Ralph Lauren polo and the softest blankets. I know that blankets are a coveted gift to give for this person and not everyone gets one. She also bought me my breast pump! That's pretty intimate. Sophie will be fine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Toddler Tuesday

I'm in love with most of the things Sophie says...

Dinner: We have to say "God is Great." So after the amen she asks "What we say now? Buon Appetito!"

Phillip said something to her the other day about being his daughter. Sophie's response: "I'm not daughter, I love bug." Yes, yes you are dear.

On bodily functions: "I pass gas. sucse me."

Last night after a hodgepodge dinner at the greatest grocery store ever: "I grubby beast!"

What I don't like about her language skills recently? She has started Baby Talk. Everything ends in a "y." Orangey, hurty, booky, ....spare me!