no sleep till.. never?

goodness, it’s been a ghastly week at the so household. penny woke up with a fever last thursday morning and has been sick ever since with progressively worse symptoms. she’s finally much better today, and as my mil and i marveled over penny recognizing and reciting numbers 0-9 on her duplo blocks it was hard to believe this little smartypants had been vomiting almost all day on saturday.

IMG_9847

encouraging her to drink water to get a urine sample

IMG_9849

a little wary of the other adults

IMG_9850

little miss sunshine

IMG_9852

penny didn’t have much of an appetite since she wasn’t feeling well but was in good spirits most of the time during her illness. on friday, i suspected she had a uti because she suddenly got out of her car and started crying as she crossed her legs. even though i took her to the doctor’s office that afternoon we couldn’t determine exactly what she had because she wouldn’t cooperate. she screamed and writhed when getting her ears and heart checked. (at least they ruled out an ear infection.) we were unsuccessful in trying to attach a urine bag to penny to collect a urine sample so we tried by placing cotton balls in her diaper and having her drink water but her diaper was still dry after 25 minutes.

i brought two urine bags and a cup home in an attempt to collect a sample but was unsuccessful yet again. both bags became detached and were crumpled up in the diaper. she didn’t have pain going to the bathroom and her urine didn’t have a funky odor so it most likely was not a uti. the pediatrician seemed to think penny just had contracted a virus anyway.

things took a turn for the worse on saturday. we walked in penny’s room that morning and discovered she had vomited sometime during the night. it had dried on the crib sheet and there were chunks – pardon me while i gag – of partially digested food in her hair! she didn’t even cry but just looked up at us as if she was going to get in trouble. i don’t know how she slept in all of that, and that really makes me sad for her! dennis thinks penny vomited¬†before she even fell asleep friday night. i had gone out to meet up with friends for a paint night / baby sprinkle that night and dennis had put both kids to bed with help from his mom. he noted that penny sat up in her crib for a while before finally going to bed. she must have vomited and had not known what to do.

for her nap on saturday, penny took an awfully long time to fall asleep. when she finally did, she only slept for an hour and sat up again in her crib. when i went in her room to check on her, i found that she had vomited again! as for bedtime that night… that was a downright fiasco. she had a developed a cough that day, and that was not only keeping her up but it caused her to vomit three more times that night. again, we never would have known because penny never cried or called out for us. we watched the monitor like a hawk to observe her behavior. at one point when she sat up in her crib, she made a brushing motion with her hand. (she was probably trying to wipe the vomit off her sleep sack.)

the washer and dryer were basically going on all night as we washed her pajamas, crib sheets, stuffed animals, and blankets. the first time it happened, we washed her off, changed her, and put her to bed before she vomited again. the second time it occurred there weren’t any crib sheets left so we had to keep her up while we waited for one to dry. while we were keeping her distracted, she vomited on the kitchen floor! by this time, she knew something was wrong and was getting a little scared. when we finally put her to bed she started crying because she probably thought she was going to vomit again. i think she was associating her crib with these horrible episodes.

i laid out a comforter on the floor of penny’s bedroom and lied down on it while coaxing penny to join me. she wasn’t convinced and kept trying to have me read books to her. i finally pretended to sleep but she kept her distance though she did steal glances in my direction. then, i left the room saying “bye, good night” and came back to see that she had finally lied down. i joined her and gave her her blankie. she did not want the room to be in total darkness so i left her lamp on to provide a dim light. i also soothed her by placing my hand on her stomach. she was asleep within minutes and i quietly stole out of the room. we waited about a half hour before dennis went in to place her gently in her crib. at least ezra slept through it all! his last feeding had been around 8pm and he didn’t wake again to eat until 2am.

penny seems to be near 100% today. finally. she is no longer coughing and her appetite has somewhat returned. she also slept for almost 12 hours last night which shows that rest is essential to recovering. since she was feeling much better today, i was able to take her to the library in coventry for story time – perfect timing since the program started up again today. we were able to see karen and parker there and catch up with them as well.

as for the other child, ezra has had a good routine going once i upped his milk intake. he never seemed to be fully satisfied after every feeding and would sometimes cry for a little bit. after researching online, i found that bottle-fed babies are drinking about 5~6 ounces per feeding at his age (he is 8 weeks today.) i had been giving ezra 3 oz. every 3 hours! no wonder he wasn’t satiated. i tried giving him 5oz and he drank it all without spitting up or being uncomfortable. after some experimenting, i found that ezra still wants to drink every 3 hours which caused his milk intake to shoot up during the day. i was worried i was overfeeding him but getting his calories in during the day helped him sleep longer at night – the ultimate goal!

we have been putting ezra down for the night around 8:30pm shortly after penny goes to bed. then he will have a good stretch before he needs to eat again, about 5-6 hours! i was feeling rather pleased with this improved schedule until last night. ezra would not fall asleep for longer than a half hour before he started crying. dennis and i took turns going in there to soothe him, rock him, change his diaper, and reswaddle. every time he fell asleep, he would wake up crying a short while later. we attributed his discomfort to gas but none of the measures we were using were working. finally at 5am, i decided to let him sleep on his belly to push the gas out… and that was it. he passed out and slept for two hours before waking up for his morning feed, and then taking a 2.5 hour nap.

anyway, both kiddos seem to be doing much better today – hallelujah! this depressing weather has been crippling our mood as well but it seems to be slowly turning around tomorrow. it’s hard to believe today’s high is in the 50s while next tuesday’s will be 90! we have another busy weekend ahead of us. saturday is a day trip to massachusetts to attend my cousin’s high school graduation party. (to be accurate, it’s my first cousin once removed – my first cousin’s son.) sunday is ethan’s first birthday so we will attend that as a family as well.

with everything going on, i haven’t been able to write a post on memorial day weekend. hoping i will soon. goal: before the month is over. ūüė¶

IMG_9824

ez loves bath time just like penny

IMG_9822

smiling a lot more these days

IMG_9853

congrats on your new position!

IMG_9858

paint night for bomie and baby!

IMG_9859IMG_9860

IMG_9861

watching high school musical 2

IMG_9872

first time using the activity mat

the remedy

cold season has arrived. penny had two canceled play dates in the past two weeks due to her friends’ illnesses. i tried in vain to prevent penny from getting sick but you can only do so much. after 9 boogie-filled days, penny seems to have fully recovered.

it all began¬†early monday morning (10/17) when i woke up to penny coughing. i saw that she had a runny nose and dennis suggested that was most likely causing her to cough. penny hardly coughed when she was awake; it was only when she was lying down. thankfully, she didn’t have a fever, was in good spirits for the most part, and still had a decent appetite. initially i was worried she had developed allergies so i cleaned, dusted, and aired out her room. we also washed her mattress cover, sleep sack, lovey, and blanket.

the coughing prevented penny from having a good nap and a well-rested night’s sleep for the next three days. usually 2.5~3 hours, she would wake up after an hour and a half (or less) because of coughing. during the night, she would sit up in bed for a little bit and look around, and try to go back to sleep.

the first thing i tried to help penny be more comfortable was the nose frida. we actually had only ever used this once before – when she was sick around her first birthday. we, and she, were lucky enough that she hadn’t been sick before that. let me tell you, that thing works! at first, she laughed when i used it because it tickled but she quickly grew to hate it. so much so that she would scream, flail, and cry when i tried to use it. i had to sneak up on her while she was playing to try to quickly suction mucus out of her nose. and, of course, her crying caused more mucus to collect in her nose. still, it was¬†very effective at getting the mucus out since babies and young toddlers don’t know how to blow their nose.

nosefrida-travel-case-4

i honestly think she could have recovered sooner had she not been drinking milk. for those of you that have read my previous entries, i’m not a fan of cow milk. at first we gave penny hemp milk but when it proved to be costly i reluctantly gave penny some cow milk. i also purchased a brand of milk called ripple that is plant-based and available only at target (from what i saw). she never had a preference for a certain milk until i tried giving her ripple when she was sick. she noticed that it didn’t taste the same as whole milk and threw her cup in disgust! since she wanted milk, i had no choice but to continue giving her cow milk although i still limit it to 16 oz. a day. dairy causes mucus membranes to swell so it’s best to avoid it if you’re sick, but i can’t communicate all that to my daughter -_-

after the nose frida, i bought a vicks for babies plug-in vaporizer. i had read great reviews about it online on how babies and children slept well without coughing. in addition, i elevated one side of her mattress by rolling up 3 baby blankets underneath the mattress. i saw some improvement but penny’s cough was still affecting her sleep. next, dennis purchased a cool mist humidifier and we turned it on all night along with the plug-in vaporizer (and keeping the mattress elevated).

e4a2e87fb590d98cd765b0af10d8e1d1

that seemed to have helped even more, but it wasn’t until we applied baby chest rub to her feet that we noticed a drastic change! penny ended up sleeping her usual 2.5~3 hours for her nap and had uninterrupted night sleep – no coughing! again, i had read rave reviews but was still skeptical on how well it would work. i don’t know why but applying the chest rub to babies’ feet and putting socks over them truly works. for good measure, i also rubbed a little on her chest for nighttime.

fullsizerender

penny’s nose was still dripping like a faucet during the day and going outside made it worse (we had to take yuri out though). this morning, she woke up without a runny nose and we haven’t had to wipe her nose all day. fingers crossed she’s back to 100%!

next time your little one has a cold, try all of the above remedies but definitely have baby chest rub on hand. we used the walgreens brand but any brand will do, like the vicks for babies.¬†do not use the adult vicks on babies as the scent is too harsh for them. i would also advise against using cold tablets and cough syrup even if they are for babies. there are just too many scary stories out there about babies dying due to an accidental overdose (such as from benedryl). plus, there are limited studies on how effective certain cough syrups like zarbee’s really is. science based magazine states zarbee’s is more or less “effectively diluted honey.” it might even be more beneficial to give your child actual honey (only give honey to babies over 12 months old) to coat the throat instead of using “placebo or no treatment.”

it’s still only october so we have a long winter ahead of us, but i hope that is the last illness penny will have this season. everyone’s miserable when a baby is sick especially the little one since she can’t communicate her discomfort. penny will get her flu shot along with another round of vaccines at her 18-month checkup next month so hopefully those help her to stay healthy this winter.

this reminds me: i need to get my flu shot soon too especially since i’m pregnant. i’m halfway through 15 weeks and for the past few days i’ve been feeling flutters. i felt penny move for the first time at 16 weeks so i can distinguish between gas and a baby’s movements (i would hope).i particularly feel the baby moving more when i’m lying down. (penny, too, was always more active when i was still because she was lulled to sleep when i walked around.)

this is getting more and more real every day! in less than a month we will also find out if we are having a boy or a girl, and then we can actually start planning for the baby’s arrival. we do want to paint the baby’s room and buy items based on the baby’s sex. once my belly actually starts getting bigger and i feel actual kicks, i will actually¬†feel pregnant too. i’ve gained 2.2 pounds so far and i still fit into all of my skinny jeans.. and i hope i can still wear regular clothes for as long as i can!

penny staying busy at her toddler sense class

img_2084img_2085img_2087img_2089

we also visit different libraries (3 towns so far) to check out the children’s room.

lately it’s been difficult to coax penny into a stroller: why ride when you can walk, right? it’s not easy to walk the dog if penny isn’t in a stroller when i’m by myself so i have to bribe her with crackers lately… or just place her in the seat while she’s crying.

after a nice stroller ride, i “rewarded” penny by letting her walk around our yard while yuri watched from the foyer.

img_2128img_2121img_2125img_2119

some indoor activities penny enjoys are coloring and playing with stickers. she particularly likes putting stickers on my face and laughing. during a recent trip to a toy store in west hartford, i got the idea of buying reusable stickers. they’re a hit! she likes placing them on the different scenic backgrounds that the stickers came with.

img_2146img_2147

she’s actually quite good with¬†not¬†putting objects in her mouth.. she never really has! if she got curious and would try, one “no” would suffice. penny uses crayons and markers correctly which is why we weren’t too worried about her using markers.

as it gets colder and darker, i’m trying to find more activities to keep penny preoccupied indoors. i’ll have to think of other creative ways for penny to be engaged. i’ll be sure to share those – successful or not – in future posts.