Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One step closer to being potty trained

Big news in the realm of potty training: little Miss Hannah Jane left the house without a diaper today and made it back after a morning of gymnastics and grocery shopping in the same clothes she left in, i.e., no accidents!!!  I should note that this was not my idea.  She refused to let me put her in a diaper, and eventually, I grew tired of trying to talk her into it and begrudgingly let her have her way.

She's been doing great with using the potty when at home, and she's even been sitting on the "big potty" lately (pooped on this afternoon!), but I've been hesitant to take it to the next step and unsure of what that next step is. I mean, what's the in between step between being potty trained at home and fully potty trained?  I didn't research it and have no clue what other people do, but I think we did a good job of winging it.

First, I laid one of those pee pad thingys horizontally in her car seat.  You know those things that you put on the changing table or in their beds when they're super little to keep them from constantly leaking all over everything? No clue what they're called, but it solved my fear about her soaking her car seat.  I don't actually know how well it works since she hasn't peed on it (yet), but I feel pretty good about it.

Next I packed an extra dress and an extra pair of underwear. I never got into the habit of carrying extra clothes with me when she was little because I figure I'm never that far from home that I can't just take her home in case of some crazy blow out, but now it makes a little more sense.

Then I packed the potty. Yep.  I took the whole potty with us. We have two potty's actually, one that's a bit less portable and stays put in the main bathroom and one that is super light and simple and travels with us throughout the first floor, onto the back porch, down to the basement, and most recently, on car trips. 

I took her straight to the bathroom once at HoppinTots and every time she so much as moved her hand in the direction of her crotch, I raced her to the toilet.  She peed on the potty three times while at gymnastics and then again in the parking lot after gymnastics on her little potty (which I emptied into the bushes--no worse than your dog peeing everywhere, right?), then again in the parking lot at Whole Foods before going in to the store, and then again after the store before getting into the car.

A toddler in public without a diaper is a little stressful and requires diligent observation. I had to take a nap after all that!

So yeah, big day for Hannah!

Pee pee aside, here are some miscellaneous pics I've taken in the last week or so....
Hannah's first full-blown pigtails.
Grammy ended up with an extra little pool that she sent home with us.  We managed to squish it into a corner of the deck, and Hannah spent the remainder of this super hot weekend skinny dipping on the deck.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Family photo day

My mom bought a photo sitting and free 8x10 at an auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity, which meant....family picture day!  We dressed casual nice and met in front of the museum at the City Park in Hagerstown on Saturday morning.  I brought my camera too, of course, and snapped a few pics after the photographer was finished.

My favorites: Hannah and Clay holding hands.  How cute are they??

Hannah played the stump like a drum; Clay wanted to sit on it.

The daddies hanging out with the little ones by the lake.
Hannah sneaking a hug from Uncle Chip while Clay's back was turned.

After pictures we went out for lunch and then headed to Chip's new place.  He moved into a trailer just over the Pennsylvania line in Waynesboro. It's a pretty sweet spot with lots of open space and huge yard in front and in back.  The back butts up to a cow pasture, and the cows come up to the fence to visit pretty often.  They didn't get too close while we were there, but they got close enough for Hannah to see.  A train went by too; you can kinda see it in the distance...

The view of their yard (and house) from the fence.
Clay passed out as soon as he got home and refused to wake up, even though both Hannah and Chip tried to wake him, so Hannah played alone, but she didn't mind.  She loves being outside, and it was such a pretty day to be out and such a great place to be!

Thanks to Elmo riding the tricycle, Hannah now loves bikes and wearing a helmet.  She happily wore her duck helmet and sat nicely in her bike seat on the way to and from the library on Thursday, and she loves her helmet so much, that she refused to take it off during story time.  The other kids were mesmerized, distracted, and kept trying to touch it much to Hannah's annoyance.  When she saw Clay's helmet and bike, she hopped right on.

They even have a rope swing!!! Hannah was in heaven.

Spending the afternoon at Chip's made us want to take house hunting a little more seriously...But then we came home and hung out with our neighbors who we love and....I don't just want a house with some space; I want a community like I have now.  And I want trees, lots and lots of trees. I hate the houses that stand alone on a grassy plot...they look so weird and lonely.  I'd also like to be biking distance to a cute little main street with at least one good restaurant...And if the house could be unique looking, like a Victorian or a Four-Square or a cottage...Oh yeah, and if it could also be affordable....as in under $300,000, preferably well below that....Yeah, right....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On a lighter note....some super cute pics

Hannah is feeling much better today and has even regained her appetite and pension for fighting sleep.  After her nap today she played outside with Laura for a bit while I finished up dinner, and Laura snapped a ton of ridiculously cute pics that I think you'll all like, especially after the trauma of the last post.  Thanks Laura!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mone-EE-ah (Pneumonia)

Guess who had to be rushed to the emergency room AGAIN?  Miss Banana had a fever seizure yesterday around 5:30 and stopped breathing.  This is probably the scariest thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life, not that it happened "to" me, per se, but you know what I mean.

The story is a long one; bare with me if you want the details, skim down for photos if you don't.

So, Hannah has had a cough all week that sounds like it has a lot of phlegm behind it, but isn't frequent so we've been paying attention to it, but assuming it's fine.  When Eric was sick a couple weeks ago his main symptom was a persistent cough so we figured she caught it and didn't worry.  That was stupid though because if we'd thought about it, we'd have remembered that Eric's cough was followed up by a very high fever (Eric's was 102.7 before I could convince him to take medicine).  He was incredibly sick, super sick, sicker than I've seen anyone get in a long time, but neither of us thought about that when Hannah started coughing, we just figured she picked up a little respiratory infection like the one she had over the winter which the pediatrician said is as common as a runny nose and no big deal.  

Then on Friday during "Boobies. Books." (her phrase for her bedtime routine), I noticed that her skin felt outrageously hot. I assumed it was nothing since she had been running around fine all day (swimming and playing as usual) and seemed normal, but I took her temperature anyway, just to check.  When the thermometer beeped 102.7, I was shocked, but since she had no other symptoms and since I still wasn't remembering just how sick Eric had been, I didn't worry too much.  I got the baby fever reducer medicine and gave her a little less than the recommended dose for a 2-year-old and then put her to bed.  She slept well and her fever had gone down to 101 by morning so I didn't medicate her thinking the fever had a job to do and wanting to let it do that job as long as it stayed low while doing it.  I monitored her and it continued to go down all day. It was a low 99 when she woke up from her nap, and since she seemed fine and dandy, Eric took her to Kylie's birthday party.  In retrospect, this was a terrible idea.  I've alerted the hostess to Hannah's prognosis and she sent out an email to all attendees.  Hopefully all the other kids will be fine, but if one does end up with it, at least they know what they're looking for, hopefully before the seizure.

I didn't take Hannah's temperature after the party because she seemed fine and didn't feel hot.  We managed to get her to bed at 7:00 on the dot (a miracle for us), and she slept until 7:15 the next day.  That's the best she's ever slept, and it was definitely a sign, but when she woke up, her temperature was a perfect 98.7 so I assumed she slept off the rest of whatever was ailing her.  We went to the farmer's market and carried on with our usual Sunday activities and then put her down for a nap at noon.  She woke up an hour later and spent the rest of the day alternating between jumping on the bed and laying on it while saying "nap."  Lethargy due to a poor nap mixed with a little of normal Hannah hyperactivity seemed normal to me.

Then around 4:00 I noticed she felt warm again so I took her temp and the fever was back and up to 102.3.  What the heck!  I contemplated what to do--bring it down artificially or continue letting it do its job and fight off whatever infection it was fighting?? We gave her some juice and waited.  At 5:00 it was down to 101, and she was busy trying to put her shoes on to go for a walk.  That seemed like a promising sign, and fresh air seemed like a good idea.

We ambled slowly around the corner, but Hannah lost steam after about 5 minutes and asked to be picked up.  She had huge goose bumps all over and curled into Eric's chest saying "cold, cold," but her body was burning up.  We rushed back to the house and set her up on the couch with some juice and the TV.  We gave her some medicine, and I sat with her while Eric finished up dinner.  Then she wanted to nurse so I let her, and then all of a sudden she stopped nursing. I looked down at her and her eyes were glazed over and wide and not blinking, her tongue drooped out of her mouth, and her body was limp like a rag doll. I panicked and yelled for Eric to get in here, something was wrong, call 911. He took her from me and said something along the lines of, "what? She's fine."  This freaked me out even more. I grabbed my phone and dialed 911 but was unable to connect for some reason.  I yelled at him to get her dressed, and I grabbed my wallet and keys and slid shoes on.  She seized when he got her upstairs, and when I came up, I took one look at her (post-seize) and really lost it. Her lips were blue and she was clearly not breathing which I loudly and frantically pointed out to Eric.  He picked her up quickly and puffed air into her mouth which made her snap out of it. While he was doing that I had managed to get through to 911 but when I saw that Hannah was back, I told the operator to forget it and that we'd drive her ourselves. Union Memorial is barely 2 miles from here, and I knew I'd never be able to sit still and just wait. Better to keep moving and do it quickly.  

Poor Hannah was practically delirious and just kept saying "mommy. mommy. mommy." over and over. I sat in the back with her and stroked her cheeks and held her hand and told her it was going to be okay but she was really freaked out (and rightly so).

We were rushed to a room upon arriving and a flurry of nurses gave her her first IV, took her temperature in her butt, and poked and prodded her in a number of other ways that must have felt like torture to her and made her scream and cry like crazy.  The hardest part for me was knowing that she had no idea what was going on and that it was probably more terrible and traumatic as a result of that confusion. That's what broke my heart the first time we landed in the ER too, that idea that it must be so frightening for her.

When they were finished with their poking, I laid down with her in the bed and nursed her until they showed up with an unneeded wheel chair to take her to have her chest x-rayed.  Then back to the room to wait and wait and wait and wait and wait. Her fever was gone by this point, and her heart rate had returned to 120 (it was 165 when we went in), and she was back to her normal self, talking to the nurses and trying to run barefoot around the hallways of the ER.

I took a phone photo of her in this recovered state.  She's pointing to her "owwwie" (IV).  Yes, that's Elmo beside her.  Amy took her out on Saturday and bought her a Tickle-Me Elmo to indulge her obsession.  And no, we didn't think to grab that on our way out the door (we didn't even bring Hannah's shoes or diapers or anything, but I did bring a pair of pajama pants for her for whatever reason....).  We called Laura later when things were settling down and asked her to bring Hannah's Lovey.  She showed up with Elmo under the other arm.

Pointing to her "owwie".
The results for strep and the flu came back negative, but full blood tests take 4 days.  The chest x-ray showed some mild pneumonia ("mone-E-ah," Hannah repeated).  She was also pretty dehydrated so the doctor ordered another bag of fluid, followed by a bag of antibiotics, followed by an orally consumed antibiotic.  We were discharged at 11:30 p.m.....Hannah had taken a 45 minute nap that day so she was beyond tired (but still going strong as is true Hannah fashion).  I was also beyond tired and starving since we'd run out of the house right before dinner.  By the time we'd gotten home, showered off the ER, and scarfed some food, it was 1:00 a.m. which is so far past me and Hannah's bedtime that it's incomprehensible to me how we were both still standing.  She definitely handled her exhaustion better than me.  Luckily, she went right to sleep. I was so shaky and feeling so cracked out by this point that I don't think I could have handled a long, drawn out bedtime. I stop functioning properly at 10:00 on most nights.

She slept until until 10:00 a.m. today and then spent much of the morning watching Sesame Street and drinking juice boxes. I told her she can have as much juice as she wants today and watch as much TV as she wants too.  She looked so cute I had to snap another pic.

I think she's feeling better though she's obviously very tired and a bit fussy as a result.  She's drinking a lot and eating a little.  We've got a crazy arsenal of medicines the doctor prescribed that I'm trying to stay on top of...

We learned a big lesson out of this incident and now know what to look for in the future to keep this from happening again. There were a lot of little signs, and I noticed those signs, and if I were more of a worrier, I probably would have caught it sooner, but I tend to think that everything is fine, and I just wasn't able to put all the signs together into a complete picture.  Next time I'll know! Apparently some kids are more prone to febrile seizures than others and those that are continue to have them until they're 5 so it'll be something we are on the lookout for in the future.

Apparently there is a slight familial (hereditary) tendency toward febrile seizures.  I never had one, but I did have walking pneumonia when I was 2 and fevers that spiked drastically out of nowhere the way that Hannah's did yesterday.  My brother had fever seizures though and even stopped breathing the first time, just like Hannah did.  The next few times my mom put him in a luke warm tube the second his eyes started to glaze over.  We'll have to ask Grannah if Eric ever had any or if she just gets that very unfortunate trait from her mama.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Word stringing

Hannah has been stringing words together lately.  Some of first phrases: "Shoes. On." "Move. Back."  "Sit. Down."  Also, less cutely, "Juice. Box."  This is a point of contention between us because, as you might imagine, I'm not a fan of the juice box. One or two a week is okay, but one a day, no. Absolutely not.  Hannah disagrees.  Eric also seems to. I came in today and she was drinking one at 5:30....As you can imagine, she did not eat her dinner after pounding that.

She let go of "Juice. Box" this morning in favor of her newest mantra: "Elmo. Bike."  Yep, Elmo.  Somehow, although she has had very, very, very little exposure to Elmo (no more than 2 episodes of Sesame Street and an Elmo sticker book she picked out when out with my mom one day), she is obsessed.  Whoever created him obviously knew just how to appeal to toddlers.  She asked for Elmo yesterday morning while I was making breakfast, and to appease her, Amy looked up some videos on YouTube.  One of those videos, the one with Elmo riding a tricycle and singing a song about it, quickly became her favorite.  We watched it over and over again.  Then this morning, we watched it over and over again.  Goal for tomorrow: get through breakfast without Elmo and his dang tricycle.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hannah's first walk for a cause

After writing about the Walk for Maryland's Children and Family Fair, I decide to register us to walk as Team Banana.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but it sounded fun, was close to home, for a good cause, and free (though I did make a donation). It turned out to be really neat, and even more fun than I expected.  We were a teeny bit late, arriving about 5 minutes after 9:00, but a staff member approached us immediately, grabbed us our shirts and a pinwheel for Hannah, and got us to the starting line before the ribbon was cut.  Incredibly impressive organization!  Here's a super short video (maybe 10 seconds tops) of us starting off:

Oh, I forgot to mention that my mom came down to spend the day with us and take advantage of some girl time while Eric participated in the 9 Hours of Cranky Monkey mountain bike race at Rocky Gap State Park.  Another sidenote: I had no interest in carrying the big camera so rather than take pics, I took several very short videos...Probably should have experimented with the video camera's picture-taking abilities, but I didn't. I do have this one pic that mom took with her phone:

Of course, a t-shirt OVER a raincoat is not the most flattering look....

Anyway, we started out with the group, but within about 5 minutes were so far behind everyone else that if it weren't for the volunteers stationed on every corner, we'd have had no idea where we were going.   If it's not totally obvious how far removed we are from the group on the pic above, here's a video of Grammy and Hannah approaching the finish line with no one else around...

Good thing it wasn't a race!! But even if it were, we had fun and enjoyed our very quite, very un-crowded walk.

After crossing the finish line, we grabbed a bagel and banana and headed to the free family fair.  First stop was a balloon artist who made Hannah an elephant but didn't give it to her until first telling Grammy that balloons were choking hazards and she should make sure Hannah didn't try to eat her elephant.

Alright, that was the last video. I didn't take anymore once we were inside (they moved the festivities inside because of the rain).  There were all kinds of booths set up with all sorts of great free stuff.  Hannah got a couple of books and a really cute stuffed dog that she's been carrying around with her.  We tried out the inflatable obstacle course thing, but it was too big for Hannah and intimidated her, especially after a big kid nearly fell on her, so we just watched the jump rope squad for a while and then headed home to inspect our loot.

After a nice, long nap, we talked Grammy into postponing her trip home and coming with us to REI so I could buy myself a pair of pants that fit because I was tired of constantly having to hike up my drawers.  I didn't realize it, but there's a PetSmart right next door to REI so at Grammy's request, we stopped there first and let Hannah watch the crazy parakeets for a while.  A bored employee noticed us lollygagging around and came over with her keys to open the turtle tank and let Hannah pet a turtle.  Then she picked up a bearded lizard of some sort and let Hannah pet it while it snuggled down into the lady's hand and passed out.  Not a bad impromptu activity!

REI is a fun store with Hannah too because she loves to crawl in and out of the tents and ride the bikes and run in and out of the racks....and in and out of the dressing room while I try desperately to not flash the entire store....I did find a pair of pants...and a skirt (with shorts underneath), so now I have one pair of non-yoga pants that fit and one pair of shorts that fit. Woohoooo!! Three cheers for a mommy who's butt will no longer hang out of her pants every time she squats down to play.  And fingers crossed that I don't go back to my pre-preggo weight when Hannah weans and grow out of my new clothes that I waited SO LONG to buy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hannah's first Kinetic Sculpture Race

We had a very Terri-centric weekend around here: Friday was military spouse appreciation day, Saturday was my birthday, and Sunday was, of course, Mother's Day.  Wahooo for me!!! Sadly for Eric, he spent all his fun money for the month in one weekend spoiling me....And now needs to borrow money to pay for his mountain bike race next weekend.  Siiiiigh.  The price of being spoiled.

Also as a result of the upcoming race, Eric had to take off on Saturday morning to ride.  No problemo--I got in some good quality girl time with Jessica and Hannah.  We went to Federal Hill to check out the opening ceremonies for the Kinetic Sculpture Race.  It was Hannah's first time at the race and the first time I made it to the opening ceremonies.  We watched the mayhem from the hilltop, trying to figure out what was going on, and then followed the parade of crazy bicycle sculptures around the park as they raced up Battery Avenue.

Once they started racing up Battery Avenue, we found a nice, sunny spot and spread out a blanket. It wasn't the best angle for snapping pics, but I was too lazy to move.

I liked the snail. Every few minutes an arm popped out from beneath the curtain, pointed toward the snail, and said "snail!"

When the mayhem stopped we putzed around the hill for a bit and lamented about not being able to get into the playground (private party doing their thing).  Hannah paused by this tree, admiring the textured trunk.  (Please note that I suggested she not wear her boots on such a warm day but she seemed to think them the most fashionable choice for this outfit and was willing to deal with sweaty feet to make this fashion statement.)

After the putzing we grabbed lunch at Sam's Bagels (thanks Jess!!) and headed to Riverside Park to eat lunch at a picnic table beneath a shade tree from within the fenced playground.

Hannah napped well after that morning, and we headed to the Flower Mart when she woke up to buy some tomato plants, then to check out a new sushi restaurant that opened in our neighborhood. Loved the restaurant!! Hannah tore up the gyoza, edamame, seaweed salad, and sweet potato roll and did it all while running around the nearly empty restaurant.

I've been avoiding sugar lately for health issues (and feeling a ton better as a result) but no birthday is complete without cake.  While I was putting Hannah to bed, Eric ran down to Cafe Hon and picked up two slices of yellow cake with chocolate icing.  I savored it during the first part of 127 Hours and fortunately had it finished before the main character started drinking his urine and sawing at his arm.  Man. That guy is hardcore.  What a story to tell....I was horrified trying to think of what I would do in that situation....Probably best to avoid that situation altogether.  That's my plan: do not go climbing alone and get stuck under boulder. Check.

Oh, and the cake, delicious, but not worth it. I felt so cracked out after that massive dose of sugar.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hannah jumps in, noodles around, and swims BY HERSELF

I have another couple of vids for ya taken from the pool this morning.  Eric took the day off work so he got to join us for our Friday swim, but instead of swimming a mile and a half before going to get Hannah like I usually do, we hung out in the hot tub, relaxed, and enjoyed a bit of quality time together.  So nice!

When the heat got to be too much, we suited up Hannah and played in the kiddie pool for the rest of the morning.  She learned a new skill today: using the noodle to float solo.  I was so impressed that I jumped out, dried off, and ran for the Laura's pocket video camera which I've been carrying around with me.  

And here's one of her using the noodle to swim herself to the wall--check her out, she totally does the swimming part by herself! It's so impressive!!

One of the bonuses of having Eric swim with us is being able to take video; these are the first swimming videos I've taken since her very first swim class. Okay, just ONE MORE, promise.  This is a short one of her jumping in, notice the way she throws her arms back behind her before she jumps--I love that move!

There's one more video too, of her jumping in and then kinda swimming around to get to the noodle. I posted it to YouTube but three videos is probably more than enough for one blog post....and I did promise that the above would be the last one.

I'm liking having this camera a bit too much. It's so small and light that I just keep it in my backpack all the time.  It also has a hidden purpose: emergency entertainment for Hannah! She loves watching herself on  it so in desperate times, I whip it out, hit play, hand it to her, and enjoy extended peaceful moments (like when I had to take her to the MVA the other day to renew my license).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hannah climbs into her crib

Hannah learned how to climb into her crib today, and it's pretty comical so we video-ed it (borrowing Laura's Kodak Zi8).

Grandparents and other die-hard Hannah fans: I'm also going to upload a few more random videos we've taken in the last week.  I won't post them here, but you can find them on my youtube page (account name is terrikearns).  Disclaimer: I'm not in the mood to figure out how to work the video editing software on my computer so some are long and bouncy...