Monthly Archives: January 2016

A hopeful resolution

Sigh. This keeps dragging on.

After the ER visit from hell last night we all slept in today until a glorious 8:45. That would have been more glorious if we would have gone to bed before 12:30, Gus would not have often been up screaming, and if Gus would not have slept the last three hours with his entire body on my pillow but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. He woke upset and calmed enough to get some breakfast in him. It wasn’t until Lesley went to put him in some clean clothes after breakfast that we noticed the problem.

Gus’ armpit was extremely swollen.Just looking straight at him you could see it and it was hard, hot, and red. You may recall that one of the things I told the doctor in the ER was that his armpits were sore – he didn’t want to be picked up under his arms and wouldn’t lift his arms up when changing his shirt. It’s not uncommon to have sore lymph nodes in a cold so it was pretty much dismissed. This morning though we thought this seemed out of the ordinary. After some consultation with other mamas we contact our pediatric practice’s nurse line. I left a message and when the nurse called me back she opened with, “You’re not crazy, something is wrong, you need to bring him in.”

So this afternoon a trip to the third doctor this week. Sure enough, infected lymph node. I don’t know if I mentioned before but a week or so ago Gus got what appeared to be a pimple on his finger and then one on his wrist. Both got red and swollen and then popped and drained. The wrist one was worse and was really red and drained quite a bit of grossness. I told his ped about this wednesday and she instructed us to call back if he gets another one. It was the same arm as the armpit problem so maybe that’s connected, maybe it’s from being sick, or maybe it is just random. The doctor today said that while it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from talking about exposure it would also be cat scratch fever. The antibiotic she gave us covers that, too.

So he started a five day antibiotic that should improve his mood, bring down the fever, and rid him of this infection. She is hoping because we caught it as soon as the swelling started that this will do it without lancing and draining it which, quite frankly, sounds really f-ing gross. The best part of this? Hopefully he will be fever free tomorrow and can go back to daycare monday. Ah, the joys this brings these working moms. We follow up with our ped on Thursday to make sure it is looking better.

On one hand I am a bit pissed at the ER doctor. We told her about the arm thing and she did not look at it at all. I’m going to guess with the amount of swelling this morning that if she would have pushed on it she would have been able to feel the difference. On the other hand, I get that the symptoms in it could have been just from the cold and in and of itself were not alarming. It is what it is. Mainly I feel totally vindicated. Maybe that is wrong of me but I feel so victorious. We knew something was wrong. We knew it was not just a cold. I know that the swelling today would have made it obvious but before the noticeable problem I knew something was not right with my child and I tried to tell someone. For that reason this experience has made me feel more like a mom than pretty much any part of the last 16 months.

Here’s hoping we’re onto better days!


  Swollen armpit 😦 


Poor babe-o.




took Gus to ER. Just viral and wait it out. Keep giving him Tylenol even though we’ve been giving him stuff and he is getting worse. They gave him Tylenol and Motrin. About five minutes after that he started screaming for an hour plus. They took chest X-rays and we waited over an hour (while he screamed) for the doctor to review them until we finally just left. 

I’m never taking him to another doctor again. It was awful. 


Y’all. Gus is so sick.

He’s had a cold for a few weeks. From what I can remember since around the 12th. It seemed like no big deal but keeps getting worse.

For the past week he has been up 5 to 6 times at night, screaming. Normally he wakes up about twice, needs to be rolled over, and goes right back to sleep. This is inconsolable (Thanks for the spell check trick, Shawni. πŸ˜‰ ) screaming for 20 minutes to a half hour. Doesn’t want to be picked up, doesn’t want to be left in his crib. Just pissed.

Wednesday our childcare was closed unexpectedly (another story for another day) so i took that opportunity to take him in to the doctor. No ear infection, no throat concerns. She gave us drops for his goppy eyes and that was it. Which was fine at the time – he has a cold, it will work out.

Despite a bad night Wednesday night we sent him to childcare on Thursday. We almost kept him home because he was struggling a lot in the morning but he got moving so we took him. He slept for an hour, woke up hysterical, slept for twenty more minutes and then lost his mind. Lesley had to go get him. Childcare said he was okay and participated in group activities before nap but was bad after.

So last night sucked and because he woke up at care with a fever yesterday he couldn’t go back today. Lesley stayed home with him this morning and is working this afternoon while I am home. Today he is beyond lethargic. He won’t move. There was a period of about half an hour where he was himself today and most of the day he just sits and zones out at a wall. He slept on Lesley pretty much until 10 and went back for a nap at 2. He’s barely moving when awake. Fever coming and going and, as a new fun thing, he acts like he is in pain if you pick him up under his arms and won’t lift his arms to take his shirt off.

We just don’t know what to do. 😦

My spirited child.


Some of you may remember when Gus was an infant we did a baby group thing through a local nonprofit. Ten weeks of meetings with ten other families to talk about life changes and build some connections and comradery with other parents. It helped, we met some cool people, and I am glad we did it.

Going off of that experience we signed up for a Ones group through the same nonprofit. I had a work meeting the first session so last night was my first time – the group’s second meeting.

Y’all. My child is a lot.

Most of the interactions I have seen Gus in with other kids are one on one or “free form”, meaning they can do whatever they want. While this is kind of like that there is also some structure. There is a play room (staffed) for kids connected to the meeting room and an open door between so kids can come and go as they please. The biggest rule is that if they are eating anything they have to stay with a parent – the group meets during dinner time.

There are 6 other families in the class. One kid played in the play room the whole time (2 hrs). Three kids played in there most of the time with small, non disruptive checks ins with their parents. One kid sat quietly on mom’s lap the whole time. One kid was mainly with the parent and sometimes disruptive.

Then there was Gus. Gus ran back and forth between the two rooms all night. He wanted food and while we had some packed he had no interest in the “stay with parent to eat” rule and freaked when he could not take food with him. He climbed under tables, he tried to push over an easel, he found a stack of stuff in a corner and wedged himself in there tight to touch it all, he found a group of stuffed bears on top of a cabinet 8 feet off the ground that no one else saw and stood, pointing, yelling “bears!” for good portions of the night.Β He was non stop. He normally is but to watch him in a group of peers is alarming. He wasn’t really poorly behaved – there were a few shouting incidents (and an unfortunate kicking mishap detailed below) but for the most part he was just excitedly ready to touch everything that existed and get all the food he possibly could.

Other parents in the group talked about how their kids “get into everything” and then I watched one talking about it as her kid SAT ON HER LAP FOR TWO HOURS. Gus could not handle sitting on my lap for three songs at the end. I just looked at her wide eyed. Your kid gets into everything? Are you leaving them home alone for long periods of time unattended? At one point her kid laid on the floor and Gus yelled “BALL!” and went over and kicked him in the head repeatedly until one of us got there. Honest mistake, right?

I’ve always known Gus is a bit more than other kids and not thought much of it but yesterday I felt the eyes. I felt the parents look at my child and look at us and I felt like my kid was not normal. And it sucked. I asked about it in an online parent group and while I got a few “my kid was like that and now has ____” (which you get anytime you ask a question) I got a lot of folks who said yup, I had one like that and until you have one like that you have no idea. A lot of people realized how intense their kid was when they had a second, less intense child.

Gus is smart, on track developmentally (if not ahead), loving, sweet, and overall, a well-behaved child. He just must drink five red bulls each morning upon waking and does not stop. I know I have talked about this here before but I didn’t realize how intense he was until last night.

I learned some things to do differently next week. First, we will sit in the seats closest to the door to the play room so we can intercept him before he gets too far. We need more food. Once he got what he considered enough he calmed down a touch. The problem is he won’t sit for it. Most weeks I will pick him up from daycare and then pick Lesley up and we’ll go to class. From now on when I pick her up she’ll start giving him food when he is strapped into the seat in the back on our way there so we can get something in him before his feet hit the ground. Third, we’ll communicate more clearly about who is on Gus patrol. There is a break in the middle of the class so one of us will take prebreak and one will take postbreak. This way there is no “what should we do” discussion while Gus is on a rampage.

I bought the book “Raising a Spirited Child” this morning. Last night was a bit alarming. While I don’t feel there is a single thing wrong with him I realize my toolbox might need to be a bit bigger with this kid.

Cabin fever

One of the reasons I know I could never be a stay at home parent is because I get terrible cabin fever. Even for a child weekends were tough for me – two whole days without having to leave the house for large chunks of them? What do I do!?

There are often things to be done and things we can do but this is also a place Lesley and I struggle. Lesley likes the outdoors and adventures and going out and doing things but she is not a planner. If I have an idea of something to do she is usually game but I have to figure it out and plan it. This is tiring for me – I often feel like I have to be “in charge” and activities are just another layer of that. (She would disagree with me having to be “in charge” – her thoughts are that I don’t trust she will get things done because she does not do them in my time frame. That is mostly true.)

Fast forward to today. It has been a long weekend. Gus is teething, has a cold, and had his first MMR shot on NYE which makes now the prime time for him to be sick from it. I got called from childcare around 11 am on Friday as a courtesy that he had a fever and if it hit 100 he had to be picked up. It was 99.2 so I just called it a day. By the time I got there 45 minutes later is was 99.4. I brought him home, he took a long nap, and we had dinner and a beer with a friend. (Sidenote – maybe it is wrong with me and crappy to everyone else but I like to go out with Gus when he is a little sick. When he is a little sick he is running at like 75% which is so much easier.) Yesterday we went to target to pick some things up and went to a park for a while but were home most of the day. (I should add somewhere in here too that Lesley has a terrible cough and as someone who hates mouth noises hearing someone cough makes me want to die.) Gus only slept about an hour which sucked and then he was up about 947 times during the night. When this morning he slept for an hour and then wouldn’t go back down I lost it.

Lesley and I disagree here. She says he only takes one nap a day so if he wakes up too soon we have to get him back down. I would normally agree but I cannot handle taking an hour and a half and then having him be up anyway. That’s what happened yesterday and again today. I am totally in favor have a routine and schedule so we can be flexible when needed – sick is when needed.

So anyway, after a terrible night and an hour nap I was unpleasant to say the least. I fed Gus lunch and then decided to take him and the dog for a walk. I get us all ready and the dog is a pain and won’t walk. After dragging him about a block I just turned around and came home. Pissed at everyone I just went in the bedroom and shut (slammed) the door.

So Lesley planned an outing. We went for a little walk at a nature park. It turned out to be longer than we expected and I didn’t know where we were going so did not bring the Tula, but we managed. Gus walked some and is getting a tiny bit better about holding hands. Everyone got some fresh air, I got a little sanity, and I don’t even mind that Lesley has been trying to get him down for a second nap that clearly isn’t going to happen for the last half hour.

Back to work tomorrow!


Day 1

Well, the boy started the new childcare today.

He did great at drop off (there were two toddler brooms so he was set), played hard, ate food, slept for THREE AND A HALF HOURS, played some more, and cried when we left. It was a good first day. He has earned the nickname “little tornado” because of the speed at which he can get into anything but he played nicely and all was good.

I feel a little bit like we hit the jackpot with this childcare. It is super affordable (In the daycare world, not in reality.), she is willing to do cloth diapers even though she has never before, all food is provided, and it gives him more interaction with other kids without the size of some of the centers we looked at (max she has 11 kids. One other adult, in the process of hiring a third). Gus seemed to like it and he seemed well taken care of. While I like the one on one he got with our sitter I think he is at the point where he will thrive around other kids.

So we are here. We solved the daycare crisis that has been weighing on me for months. He’ll go three days a week to new place, two will old sitter through January and then onto full time 2/1. I feel so much relief. Between this being done, my recent work to make peace with some other crap (the stuff talked about in the password protected post a while ago), and finally getting caught up on bills from being behind when Lesley changed jobs in September and basically missed a month of pay, I feel finally like my head is becoming clear. Plus, Tracy and family came for a play date this weekend so we got the house relatively clean. There’s still stuff to be done but I don’t hate the world when I walk in the door.

I didn’t realize how much I needed this. How shitty and stressful and sad last year was. I didn’t do a New Years post because I’m not big on resolutions or anything of that jazz but consider this that. I’m looking forward – leaving the past behind. So much bad and stressful shit is done and over – I hope the new year looks bright to you, too.