Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In the wee morning hours, I awoke to a complaining two year old telling me he had a messy face. Despite my sleepy state, I did notice that his nose seemed stuffy and quickly assumed it must have been dripping onto his face. I retrieved a tissue for him and sent him back to bed.
I awoke ten minutes later to him vomiting in my bedroom doorway.
After rushing him to the bathroom, where more sickness occurred, I woke-up a bit more and realized that the messy face he had been complaining of earlier was the result of him being sick in his bed...the bed I had unknowingly sent him back to sleep in.
A quick clean-up and a sip of water later, I returned him to bed assuming that the sickness was a freak accident of allergy drainage. Um, not so much. It continued until around lunchtime today. Our washer has been going constantly and the house is almost unrecognizable with toys strewn about. As I compose this post, there is a little tikes yellow chair sitting next to the computer desk. Not sure how or why it came into my bedroom and hopefully it will just-as-mysteriously return to its place of origin.
Due to his little bout with the stomach bug and being unable to keep even a tablespoon of Pedi-lyte down, Isaac was administered some anti-nausea medicine the old-fashioned, quite unpleasant way. As I gently attempted to explain the procedure for administering such medicine, he looked up at me and said, "But it (meaning the vomit) not come out my bo*tom, it is coming out my mouth." Bless his heart.
Most of the sickness seems to be gone, with a surge of energy inspiring Isaac to wake from his nap (he had fallen asleep after the medicine had been given to him at 11am) in search of Mommy who was attempting to snooze on the couch due to the fact I had been awake since 3:30am (E. was napping in her crib at this time). I had barely closed my eyes after putting Evelyn down, when I hear a little voice say, "I need more orange juice (referring to the Pedi-lyte he had been sipping on). I like my orange juice because I like the color orange." Good to know. This was at 1pm, so it was a long afternoon with a tired mommy, a sick toddler, and a baby happy to explore all off-limits areas of casa de phillips.
Isaac was feeling puny again this evening so we deemed it an early bath and bedtime night. As I dressed him in his pajamas, I asked if he wanted Tobe to read him a story in the rock-rock chair or in his bed. He flatly replied, "I just want to sleep." The boy was sound asleep by 7:05pm.
I am off to find slumber my own self. Hopefully tomorrow there will be no tales of sickness and the ol washing machine can have a much deserved break.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Despite my early search for positive parenting solutions, I am sure their were parents across our fine world looking just as earnestly for answers to their own troubles with children. Most likely while I was reading how to deal with a little person logically, I bet Billy Ray Cyrus and Co. were reading, "How Not to Exploit One's Underage Daughter Who Happens to be a Mega-Star"
Monday, April 28, 2008
Isaac's mysterious fever disappeared late Friday evening and has yet to return. He still had a case of whiny-ness over the weekend, but at least I did not have to give him a bath at 2:30am while the rest of the house slept. Despite the lack of fever, the past few nights Isaac has been claiming to have a "high feed-ber" in hopes of being able to stay up past his bedtime and watch Food Network with Mommy. So far that little scheme hasn't worked.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I would say she did quite the fabulous job.
If only someone would stop by casa de phillips and give me a makeover...
The new blog isn't quite finished yet, but this little boy has been running high fevers since yesterday evening.
We actually ran into some close friends in the pediatrician's waiting room. They turned the corner and found Evelyn, Isaac, and I tucked away behind the aquarium waiting for our name to be called. Their initial perky, "Hi!" was quickly replaced by "Oh, Isaac" when they saw his feverish, icky little self tucked deep into my lap. Apparently he just has a virus and a regimen of Motrin and liquids should cure him soon....and a steady dose of Blue's Clues to help with the whining.
Upon arriving home from the doctor's office, Isaac asked quite pitifully if he could eat his lunch in the living room. I relented, put his lunch on a plate, and returned no more than two minutes later to find this:
That is Isaac, alseep standing up. The fact that Evelyn was crying for her lunch and I was talking on the phone loudly did not seem to phase him one little bit.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
1. While in Kenya, I was the victim of an attempted mugging. I had gone with a fellow American, along with our Kenyan friend, into the heart of Nairobi to phone my parents (the only time I talked to them during the 2+ months I was there...I think it cost us close to $50!). We were crossing a busy street with about a hundred other people (all locals). Our guide bravely darted across, barely missing several buses barging down the street, but the other American and I hesitated (we were accustomed to nicely designated walkways). Someone must have sensed my hesitation and a man took the opportunity to grab at the wallet that was hanging around my neck (which was smartly concealed under my t-shirt and a jacket. However, a small string must have been showing at the nape of my neck). I quickly realized what was happening and screamed "NO!" and grabbed it back. Because we were going to make these phone calls, I had a credit card, money, and my passport all in that travel wallet (Normally I would not have been carrying more than a few dollars on me). Losing my passport would have been tragic because this was just two years after the US Embassy had been bombed in Nairobi and it was still not completely up and running....I might still be there waiting on a replacement passport. Fortunately my frantic scream scared the man and he ran away. It is custom to yell "Thief!" if being mugged in Nairobi. If you are in a sympathetic crowd at the time, others will chase down the thief and stone him...usually to death. My Kenyan friend questioned me as to why I did not yell "thief" and couldn't quite grasp the fact that I had no such desire to witness a stoning that day.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Perhaps such questioning is a good thing considering a recent study that just came out reports that children under the age of 3 who hear at least 17,000 words a day spoken by their parents fare better academically than those who do not hear such excessive communication. Isaac's questioning requires me to go in great detail (espcially when he desires to know specific locations), thus uping my quota of words spoken.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Yesterday his favorite activity was carrying his step stool/potty around the house, using it to be able to reach light switches. Seems that most of the switches were in some need of repair (at least in his mind) and he worked on all of them for quite the while with his tool box. Fortunately they are all still working today.
Upon arriving home Monday morning after not seeing Isaac for two days, I informed him that I thought he had grown three feet since Saturday. He looked at me quite seriously and said, "I just grow two feet, Mommy....see (pointing at his actual feet)!"
Talking on the phone has also become a favorite pastime (when he is not carrying around his potty). He prefers to use the actual phone, rather than a toy one. After dialing no fewer than 23 numbers, Isaac starts into his conversation with the person he believes to be on the other end of the line. Yesterday it was one of his little friends (we'll call her Susie to protect her privacy). He happens to have a friend at school with the same name. His pretend call to "Susie" went something like this: "Hi, Susie, its me Isaac. You are not school Susie. You are other friend Susie. That is your name." Glad he cleared that one up.
Last night our little family went out to eat as a mini-celebration of my entering the 31st year of life. As we were winding down on eating, Isaac turned and informed the waitress (who was walking away from our table), "We are almost ready to go, Lady." Lady? To my knowledge neither Tobe nor myself refer to anyone as "Lady." We both were attempting to contain the laughter in fear of Isaac being encouraged to call everyone, "Lady."
Here are a few random pictures, simply because I feel they make my posts a bit more interesting (although what could be more interesting than talking about someone carrying around a potty chair?). I wish I was one of those bloggers who toted her camera everywhere in order to have pictures that corresponded to the stories told. Sadly, I am not. However, I always have some random pictures to throw on the end just for fun.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday evening we received a call that my grandmother had fallen and broken her shoulder and was in the hospital. My parents happened to be visiting casa de phillips at the time. Saturday morning Evelyn and I piled into their van to return back to Arkansas, while Isaac and Tobe stayed behind to enjoy a boy's weekend.
Currently Grandmother is in the hospital, enjoying the treats delivered every four hours from the pharmacy. Originally it was believed she would have surgery, but it seems like that is not going to be the case right now. She has a long road of healing ahead of her and would appreciate any and all prayers.
Most likely, E. and I will return to casa de phillips tomorrow, completing this whirlwind trip. She quickly settled into the role of "only child" these past 24 hours and has enjoyed having everyone all to herself. However, yesterday after crying for a while in the car trying to fall asleep, she eventually began calling "I-------sic." over and over until she nodded off.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I did manage to find someone to cut up and remove the tree...including the stump...for a reasonable price. I am not sure they are an actual listed business (the man was quite proud that he did not charge sales tax), but I am not really phased by such technicalities at this point. I would simply like to be able to walk in my front yard without having to either climb over a large branch or fear a unstable tree is going to fall on my head.
We also lost a small section of our fence as well. Notice that square of dirt in our backyard? That is our garden, where Isaac and Tobe are growing corn.
Here is Isaac next to his "crop" which we discuss in length every day. His favorite thing to do is check on the corn, yell at the corn to grow, and instruct the sun to shine down on his corn in order to make it grow. I'll let y'all know when we have our corn harvesting party over here.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Probably not because I am likely suffering a touch of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from undertaking such a task.
Because I learned my lesson in attempting to craft more than three invitation-type cards for anything, I recently purchased adorable invites for an upcoming shower I am hosting (or "throwing" as we tend to say here in the South). Let me preface this by saying, I am DELIGHTED to be co hosting this event for one of my dearest friends. DELIGHTED! Although I love my friend deeply, I do not love anything enough to reach the brink of insanity by attempting to hand craft cute cards.
E. and I purchased some great stationary today (this is actually the second great stationary purchased...but that is another post in itself). I sat down this afternoon all ready to print out my cute, rapidly produced invitations. I just finished these "super-fast" invites ten minutes ago (obviously there were child-rearing, dinner-preparation, bath-giving breaks in the span of that time). Technical genius I am not.
Because of such mental energy devoted to these lovely invites, I am simply leaving you with this nice park pictures from yesterday. Enjoy.
Also, someone please tell me when Evelyn morphed from a baby into an almost-toddler....it is just about breaking my heart!
Monday, April 07, 2008
Such combination is a joy yet sheer torture all rolled up into one insane device.
Normally I refrain from taking both children to the grocery store by myself when I have to do our serious shopping because of shopping cart issues. If we just have to grab a few items, E. goes in the front of the basket and Isaac rides in the back along with our purchases. He makes sure to sit far from E.'s curious hands which always want to grab her brother's blond locks. I pass out a few snacks and some sippy cups and we all have a good time. This combination does not work when I need the entire basket for our groceries.
Due to our busy weekend, no grocery shopping occurred until today. Knowing that I would have both children in tow and be minus a husband (sometimes we all shop together, each taking a cart, a kid, and half of the list), I knew the only option was to visit our local grocery that had the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe/grocery cart combo. Isaac could ride in the cozy coupe and E. would ride in the front of the cart. Problem solved.
(Sidenote: Although many stores have carts with two seats up front, these do not work for us...mainly because it puts the children in close proximity where they can bug each other until everyone ends up crying. Including myself. We have not reached the stage where everyone can ride side-by-side drama-free. Also, Isaac is responsible enough to walk next to the cart. However, I must have a good three hours to spare if he does walk because the child does not really know the meaning of the word "hurry." Bless his heart.)
Yet my problem is not solved by the Cozy Coupe/grocery cart combo because despite the fact both children are safely secured and happy, I am now responsible for steering this beast. Coordination is not my strong suite, so maneuvering a large grocery cart with a full size child's toy attached to the front is tricky. During shopping trips were such carts are necessary, I often find myself praying the entire time that I do not knock over any expensive store display of Corningware or accidentally trip an elderly person, causing her to break a hip. Seriously.
Today I found myself pushing/pulling/cursing this Coupe/cart combo around the grocery store. We traveled down the coffee aisle because I was in desperate need of more Dunkin Donuts coffee. It was there we encountered a man, his wife, and employee eagerly studying the baking ware section. They seemed to be oblivious to the fact that an unskilled Mommy was attempting to push the mother of all carts past them because none of the three made an effort to move themselves or their carts. After a few meek, "Excuse me's" that went unnoticed (apparently the bake ware was quite fascinating) my non confrontational self decided to simply turn the cart around and head back from the direction I came.
It was then that I had an awful Austin Powers moment (think Austin and the golf cart) where the Coupe/Cart combo became wedged horizontally in the aisle. After several attempts to calmly get us turned around, I began to panic. I have a bit of claustrophobia and such tight situations can shoot my anxiety levels through the roof (just ask Tobe about how I about passed out last night when a shirt became stuck half-way down my face when I attempted to put it on without removing the large towel wrapped around my wet hair). For a moment I contemplated grabbing the children and abandoning ship, but I knew we needed the items in our cart. Finally I was able to get us slowly turned around and headed out of the aisle, a cold sweat dripping down my back.
The beast was eventually parked back in the cart return and no elderly people were harmed in the process.
As I was putting E. into her car seat, I did realize that she had shoplifted some cheese (I had let her hold onto the wrapped block of cheese while we shopped because it made her so happy....it served as a nice teething ring). It was pricey white cheddar, so I had to take it back inside (along with the children) and pay for it. I'd hate for the girl to have a criminal record before her first birthday.
Speaking of the grocery store, let me share a tip on how not to purchase large amounts of junk food while attempting to stock your pantry. If you visit the grocery store at the same time as a group of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are there filming a spot for their cable access show, you will be more inclined to throw some veggies in the cart rather than the desired box of Chips Ahoy! cookies. Perhaps I can always schedule my grocery shopping around theirs in order to encourage healthy eating in hopes of looking a bit more like them (although I can already tell you that the white skirt/white boot combo would look horrible with my pasty skin tone, but I think I might be able to pull off the long, curled hair).
Saturday morning, Evelyn and I had the chance to have some quality girl time together while Tobe and Isaac visited a local museum with his family. Since in my mind quality girl time = shopping trip, we headed out after her morning nap. While browsing the racks at the Banana Republic (who is having a large spring sale, by the way), I heard the following conversation between mother and daughter nearby:
Mom: "This shirt would look good on you."
Daughter gives mother a disgusted look.
Mom: "But, Susie (name withheld to protect innocent), it is your color. You would look beautiful!"
Susie: "Moooooooom, it is watermelon. Gross."
The conversation warmed my heart and made me miss my own mom, because we have had this exact conversation no less than 489 times, usually over something the color of aqua or teal. I smiled, lost in memories of past shopping sprees with mom, until a sudden thought came over me. I am no less than ten years away from having this exact conversation with Evelyn, except that I will now be on the uncool side of things. Sigh.
Speaking of Miss E., here are a few latest pictures of the girl. She turns 11 months old at the end of the week, which means we are getting dangerously close to that one year mark. The girl is 100% girl (with a slight love for cars and balls) and greatly enjoys wearing this tutu I bought her recently at a consignment sale. There was likely a time not too long ago when I swore my daughter would not wear the tutu, but she looks so cute crawling around the house in it I could not resist. Besides, every girl needs a fashion statement.....even if that statement happens to be shades of watermelon or teal.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Two year + 4:??am wake-up time = large lump of whiny, grumpy mess
Our time-out carpet never had the opportunity to be lonely Tuesday morning.
Despite such behavior issues, I felt compelled to load the children up and attend our local storytime. The weather has been less than favorable this week and I knew we needed an excuse to get out of the house. Besides, Isaac adores books so I figured there was no way he could be grumpy at the library.
We roamed the aisles selecting our books, then found our spot on the reading carpet in the story time room. Everyone was made a bit uncomfortable by the father in attendance who decided preschool storytime was the equivalent to happy hour at his local neighborhood bar and began making advances at the sweet, shy librarian. A few stories were read and then everyone stood for the action song.
Apparently the idea of singing the action song made Isaac thirsty because he whispered that he would like his "fresh apple juice, peas". When I informed him that his sippy cup was in the car because the library did not allow food or drinks inside, it was if I had informed him all apple trees had been destroyed and the world rid of his juice forever.
The boy fell apart.
Grateful that loud music was now playing and children were dancing, I gave Isaac "the look" and hissed in his ear to get it together or we were gone.
He wailed louder.
At this point I realized an exit would be neccessary. Fortunately E. was still in her stroller. I gathered our things, scooped Isaac up, and managed to manuever the stroller around various toddlers doing the hokey pokey. Once outside the storytime room, Isaac began crying that he would like to rejoin the group. I gave him a chance to calm down, to which he began to cry louder, "I not want to have a good at-ti-tude. I not want to change my behavior."
Not exactly the calm I was looking for.
Quickly realizing that we were entering major tantrum territory and beginning to feel the earnest stares of the librarian burn holes in my turned back, I decided it was best that we leave our library books behind and head for home. This decision was obviously not met with a round of applause by Isaac.
I managed to get him out of the library into the atrium (with Evelyn loudly telling everyone "hiiiiiiiii!" as we exited) when I realized there was no way I would be able to carry a wiggling boy and navigate a stroller down the winding ramp and through the parking lot. It was then that the Super Mommy skills kicked in and I was able to removed Evelyn from the stroller and stuff Isaac in (quite unwillingly) all in one motion.
We made it safely back to casa de phillips, although my ears might have suffered some minor damage due to the crying coming from the backseat. Isaac was served an early lunch and then tucked into bed for a long nap. By the time he and Raffes were under his polka-dot quilt, his positive attitude had returned.
The public tantrum is likely a right of motherhood. We rarely see such behavior from Isaac, but usually lack of sleep is the motivating factor in such incidents. A friend told me the other day how she took her daughter shopping at Wal-Mart after a napless afternoon, where a public tantrum errupted. Such behavior forced the mom to practically throw her daughter into the restroom at Wal-Mart in order to allow other bargin shoppers to hunt for their goods in peace.
Where has your child had a total meltdown and how did you handle it?
By the way, yesterday afternoon...quite randomly...Isaac became terribly concerned that we had left a stack of books on top of the shelf at the library. He was worried that A. Other kids would get them and B. We did not put them back in the right place.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Today we at savethephillipsfamily are pausing to recognize World Autism Day.
April 2nd has been set aside to promote global awareness of an epidemic which is affecting our world. Rates continue to rise, with England and Ireland being so bold as to report rates of autism as high as 1 in 60. This morning the New York Stock Exchange was opened by several families dealing with autism. Six years ago the most publicity autism was receiving was occasional showings of Rain Man on TBS and the random shot of the "Cure Autism Now" poster in the background of the television show ER. Now we have a World Autism Day. Things have come quite far, which I am thankful for.
My interest in autism began when I started teaching a behavior modification class for elementary kids that consisted primarily of children diagnosed with some form of high functioning autism. I spent four years working with the same core group of children (others floated in and out) and witnessed their families battle this disease. Some are success stories (one of my very first students is set to graduate in May 2010) and others are still deep in the trenches of this battle. Finally the media has tuned an ear to this problem and autism has been placed in the limelight. Awareness is being cultivated, more dollars are being placed into research, and understanding is growing.
Despite many conflicting reports, as of today there is no definite reason as to why autism happens in individuals and there is no known cure.
In honor of World Autism Day, here are a few links to click on and read about some of the latest happenings in the world of autism spectrum disorders.
- Autism Speaks website....great basic information about autism spectrum disorders and about World Autism Day
- Here is a link to an article written by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey in response to the vaccine debate (Do vaccines cause autism?) and how some children with autism can be in recovery. I have read Jenny's book "Louder than Words" (see my review here) and really liked it. Although I do not believe the statement of "Vaccines cause autism" and I currently do vaccinate my children according to set governmental guidelines, I do believe that some children cannot tolerate vaccines and such toxins in their bodies (as well as other environmental and food toxins) "trigger" autism. A girl I taught with autism had parents that jumped on the "Vaccines gave my child autism" bandwagon early on. I believe they did this rightfully so because their daughter had no symptoms prior to receiving vaccines around 18 months of age (understand that some children display signs of autism before receiving major vaccinations) and because parents crave an answer as to why their child has suddenly become locked behind the wall of autism. The girl often wore a sweatshirt proclaiming the horrors of vaccinations and what they can do to children (this shirt was eventually prohibited by the school district due to its content and due to the fact the girl did not have the ability to understand the message her parents were dressing her in). After many different types of therapies, these parents eventually took their daughter to a specialist who rid the little girl's body of metals and mercury through different herbs. I laughed along with other teachers when we heard of this nonsense. Then I saw the results. A little girl who was once lost inside her own little mind was now running around the playground interacting with children. She could concentrate in class rather than being somewhere a thousand miles away. The repetitive language and behaviors ceased. She was taken out of my class (except for social skills training) and thriving in regular education. I believe in autism recovery.
- Barnes and Noble Bookstores are recognizing April as being Autism Awareness Month by hosting special story times about autism. We plan to attend our local story time event later this month.
- Hannah Poling's family made the news recently because they won a settlement claiming that vaccinations caused their daughter's autism. Some people believe this is an admission by the government that vaccines cause autism, yet the government is standing by the notion that the vaccines could have caused the autism and that research continues to show their is no link. I am not sure what I think about this settlement yet.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Lesson 1: If you inquire as to why your two year old has wet hair while standing in front of the sink, he will plainly state, "Because I washed it." You will then smell lemon-fresh goodness the rest of the day because he washed it with Dawn dish washing liquid.
Lesson 2: If your two-year old wakes up well before 5am and begins playing...unknown by anyone else in the house....he will be quite perky at 6:15am. However, he will be the biggest bear by 9:45am and will go down for a nap almost an hour earlier than usual, after many visits to time-out and many sniffling promises to "change my at-ti-tude".
Lesson 3: If you attempt to take a grouchy two year old out into public you will most likely find yourself in the middle of a toddler tantrum and wind up stuffing a noncompliant child into a stroller while attempting to hold onto a baby who feels the need to yell "hiiiiiiiii" at everyone. More to come on that fun experience later...
Lesson 4: If you hold a full, open container of baby food (with the spoon in it) over your head while singing "God Made the Round, Round Sun" to your 10 month old in order to get her to eat, you will most likely knock the spoon out of the container and Apple/Strawberry/Banana goop will rain down all over your hair. I am simply thankful it was not Mixed Vegetables.
What life lesson did you learn today?