Well, happy Easter to you all! Unfortunately, I can’t say that our Easter has been particularly stellar. But still, I hope yours is better.
Okay, so it’s been a pretty crummy week around here. If you don’t feel like reading about a crappy week, then maybe you skip the blog this week. Because I’m just not sure I can put a hugely positive spin on it. 😉 But if you want to read on and possibly get a little chuckle out of some of our misfortunes, be my guest. I’m laughing about some of it, because it’s either laugh or cry!
The series of unfortunate events started on Sunday night, when I seem to have punctured my eardrum with a Q-tip. (Yes, I’m that ridiculously clumsy!) I was cleaning my ears after a shower and suddenly felt a sharp pain, but I thought nothing more of it—just that I had used the Q-tip too forcefully. The next morning, I went to brush my hair to take Theo to school, and I noticed that it was caked with blood on one side—as was the outside of my ear and cheek. I went and looked at my pillow, and it was covered in a pretty good-sized bloodstain. Evidently my ear had bled while I slept. Yikes! It’s kind of painful, and I keep reopening it by accidentally scratching my ear. Not fun. Evidently it will heal on its own and I should just hope it doesn’t get infected before then.
The fun continued on Monday afternoon. After volunteering in Theo’s class, I brought Theo home for lunch, then we picked up Sam. When I put Sam down for his nap, I gave Theo the iPad to occupy himself with while I worked. When Sam woke two hours later, I went downstairs to find the kitchen covered in artfully placed pieces of paper towel. Huh? Upon closer inspection, I discovered what had happened. (Caution: If you’re eating or have a weak stomach, skip this and go on to the next paragraph!) Zoe, our younger pug, had had bloody diarrhea all over the kitchen. And Theo, knowing he had to be quiet while his brother napped and thus was not to yell up the stairs to me unless it was an emergency, had quietly and efficiently put paper towels over all of the mess spots. I was aghast at the mess and worried about Zoe, but very impressed when I complimented Theo on trying to help with the mess and he replied, “You’re welcome. I just wanted to make sure no one slipped on it.” Thoughtful boy!
I was afraid we were in for a big vet bill, but I called the vet and they said it was likely just the change in food that upset her system. I’ve never seen that much upset from a change in food, but they must’ve been right because after three days of that, she seems to be fine now. Though I was mortified when I took a phone call from an author during Sam’s speech therapy the next day and came back into the kitchen to find his pregnant speech therapist on her knees on the floor, wiping up another Zoe mess! Ack! So above and beyond her call of duty as a speech therapist! I was so embarrassed!
By the way, I changed the dog food in an attempt to help Luna, who has been really slowing down as she ages. She’s only 11 years old, which is old but not that old for a pug, and I thought a change to a special diet might help her not seem so feeble and aged. Clearly a bad idea on my part. Though Luna actually did great with the new food—Zoe was the one who had issues. Argh.
As long as we’re on the subject of grossness, I’ll share that Sam threw up on Thursday night. Just once, and he showed no other signs of being sick, so we chalked it up to his body getting used to the thyroid medicine he started this week, and we went along our merry way.
Friday, we went out for a family walk to enjoy the lovely evening. Theo wanted to ride his bike. Great, right? Not so much. He got going too fast down an access road near our house, and literally right as I was saying to Chris, “This isn’t going to end well—I see a crash in his future,” he took a bad spill off of his bike. To be honest, I’m surprised he’s not more scraped up, because he was going pretty fast and he really fell pretty hard. But he had a little scrape on his hands and nothing on his elbows or knees. Unfortunately, his head was not so lucky. Thank god he was wearing a helmet, because he hit his head when he fell, and the helmet actually cut into his forehead and left some cuts and a good-sized bruise and goose egg. I shudder to think of what might’ve happened if he hadn’t had the helmet on.
We, of course, worried about a concussion. Theo seemed fine and insisted on going to the park, and we let him—in large part because we wanted to keep him awake and observe him for several hours to make sure he didn’t have a concussion. He did fine at the park and was fine for four hours, after which time we finally put him to bed.
Saturday morning he was fine—the goose egg had gone down significantly, leaving just a nice bruise, a few forehead cuts, and a scraped-up nose. And he was wild and crazy, as always. We went to Grandma Kathy and Papa’s house for Grandma Norma’s 91st birthday party, and he had a great time. In fact, he was so active and loud that we tried really hard to tire him out!! No indication at all that anything was wrong—he ate, he played, he drank some juice and water. It was all good.
We got the boys to bed a little late, at about 8:30 on Saturday, since both had napped in the car on the way home from the party. We crawled into bed ourselves around 11. I was exhausted because I haven’t slept past the 5:00 hour in more than three weeks, and on Saturday I was actually up and working from 4:20 on. (I’ve been insanely busy with work, so I’m working in the wee hours of the morning, whenever I can during the day, and usually up until about 9:30 p.m. each night. Ugh. But at least I have work, right? No complaints about that.) So I was pretty happy to collapse in bed. Until 12:30, when our door opened and Theo came in. He told Chris he had to go to the bathroom (I slept through this part), so Chris said, “Then go to the bathroom!” (Theo is perfectly capable of going to the bathroom on his own—he just gets lonely or bored or whatever in the middle of the night and wakes us up, which is a habit we’re trying to break.) At that point I woke up and heard him weeping quietly in the bathroom (Chris had immediately fallen back to sleep), so I went to see what was wrong. The minute I stepped into the bathroom, he looked at me and puked everywhere. He started crying, and Chris woke up and rushed in. Together, we got him cleaned up and back into bed. I told him if he felt sick again, he should come get us right away. (I was worried about a possible concussion, even though 30 hours had passed since he hit his head. I’ve heard the symptoms of head injuries can come on days later.) Sure enough, he came back in a few minutes later and said he still felt sick and needed to throw up. He didn’t at that time, but Chris offered to go sleep in his room, just to keep a closer eye on him, since it was clear something was up, and we were both worried about his head.
An hour later, Chris woke me up and said he needed my help. Theo had thrown up everywhere—huge amounts all over his bed and himself. He was bawling and trying not to heave, and Chris needed me to get him changed into something clean while he stripped the bed and got dressed to take Theo to the ER. Normally we wouldn’t go to the ER for a puking kid, but Theo has only thrown up once in his life (he spit up a lot as a baby, but he has actually only ever vomited one time), and it was a lot. We both figured better safe than sorry—no messing with a possible head injury.
So I stayed with Sam and got three hours of sleep while Chris and Theo went to the ER. The good news is that the doctor feels certain that the vomiting is not related to his head smack. The bad news is she thinks it’s a virus he caught from Sam (because remember, Sam puked once on Thursday night—which we had attributed to his medicine, but which the doctor felt might be a virus). So if the doctor is right and it’s a virus, then we not only unknowingly exposed the whole birthday party to it, but the boys are likely to pass it back and forth, and Chris and I will be lucky to get off without catching it. Joy.
Meanwhile, Sam had a bout of diarrhea Sunday morning, leading me to wonder whether the ER doctor was right about a virus. Double joy. As of right now (Sunday evening), Theo had a 100-degree fever and slept most of the morning and afternoon, and then finally woke up a little perkier around dinnertime. Sam is cheery and hasn’t had another round of diarrhea, but he took a very short nap and didn’t want to eat much of anything for most of the day.
My big worry with Sam is that if he catches this and gets dehydrated, he’s no longer nursing. He abruptly self-weaned earlier this week, and I just followed his lead. He didn’t ask to nurse for something like 2 1/2 days, so I figured it was a good time to just give it up. Now he has asked for it several times since, but he hasn’t seemed upset when I’ve said, “No, the milk is all gone now!” Truth be told, I’m rather sad about it. I mean, I was sort of ready to be done…but just not so abruptly. I thought I’d know when my last time nursing him was and I could sort of savor that last time, but no—he just suddenly stopped, and I don’t remember the last time. I’m sure I just sat there reading my phone while he nursed, instead of savoring that last close moment with him. Sad mama… But on the bright side, at least the weaning is going well and he doesn’t seem too bothered by being done. I just hope he doesn’t get dehydrated if he gets this bug, because he’s still only taking a couple sips of liquid a day.
As for Theo, poor kid didn’t even want to hunt for Easter eggs. I ended up “hunting” for the eggs I had hidden myself. Some Easter, eh? At least it’s been easy to keep him away from his Easter basket—he has zero appetite. Should be easy to keep him on the BRAT diet while his tummy heals up.
The other bummer is that this is Theo’s spring break week, and I had signed him up for a Lego day camp from Monday through Thursday. He was really looking forward to it, but now I’m not sure he’ll be able to go. And I believe that may be $200 down the drain for us. Argh! I normally wouldn’t have spent that much on a camp, but I have so much work to do right now, and if Theo is home on spring break, I’ll end up having to work late into the nights because I won’t be able to work while he’s at school/camp. Not really a fun idea, given how little sleep I’m getting these days. I was hoping to get a lot done while he was at camp and Sam was at his early intervention program. Ah well, best-laid plans. Someday, I will sleep again.
So as if all that fun isn’t enough, I had Theo’s IEP meeting this week. It was…okay. I’m going to spare you all of the details, but I’ll give you the brief highlights. He met most of his goals for this year, which were related to fine-motor skills, so woohoo for that! However, the team is not confident that first grade is going to go well for him, based on challenges he’s having this year. We’re trying to get supports in place, but it’s hard to know what the right answers are, because he is such an unpredictable kid. (What kid is predictable? But still, some are more than others. Sam, for example, is reasonably predictable as kids go. Theo is most decidedly not.)
So the short answer is that for next year we need fine-motor goals (again), with the added component of behavioral support and goals (this is new…and disheartening). We can’t hammer out the behavioral stuff until next year. Well, we could, but it could change over the summer, as he matures and such, so it seems more prudent to just wait until September to discuss them. But I do feel a bit sad that they are needed. I understand fully why they are, but it makes me sad.
As I said, I’ll spare you the details except to say that he’s not at all aggressive, lest you were thinking that. Nothing that serious. He’s just disruptive. But still, it’s a persistent problem that is getting worse rather than better, so…behavioral goals are needed. I’ve talked with his teacher and his primary OT about the possibility that he might do better being homeschooled. It’s not off the table, though we’re going to give first grade a try and see how it goes. Chris and I have talked about homeschooling, Waldorf schooling, medication—you name it. And no, we don’t take the idea of medication lightly at all. It was brought up to us a year ago, and we’ve always felt that it was a last resort. Honestly, if he can’t make it work in first grade, I’m not sure whether we’d first try medication or we’d first try pulling him out and homeschooling him. Both are rather drastic potential solutions, but on two opposite ends of the spectrum. We honestly can’t tell you which we’d be more likely to do. It would take a lot of thought.
So…there you go. Our relatively crappy week. I messed up my eardrum. I weaned my baby when I wasn’t quite ready. I cleaned up a lot of dog diarrhea. My kid took a nasty fall off his bike. I cleaned up a lot of puke. I cleaned up some baby diarrhea, too. I found out that my son needs behavioral support integrated into his IEP. I blew $200 on a day camp that Theo probably can’t even attend much of. I didn’t sleep much. Oh, and I found out that Sam will be starting Early Intervention five days a week in mid-May—which I’m on board with but still kind of mourning. Needless to say, I’ve had better weeks. But that just means next week will be better, right? 😉