Round and Round We Go…

So one of my New Years resolutions was to blog more. So here I am, trying to keep somewhat consistent with it.

I wish I had something exciting to tell you or interesting, but honestly, the past few weeks have been pretty tortuous in our household. Jed left on Jan. 6 for additional training down in Texas and ever since he left, Charlie or myself have been sick. And not just a small cold or virus sick, but down and out sick.

The weekend after he left, Charlie started getting sick and ended up with the flu and a 104.7 temp! I felt so bad and she had a rough couple of days. I got her in and they gave her Tamiflu, which worked, but she was really out of it.

Then, about a week and half later or so, I started to lose my voice and then pretty much completely lost it. I ended up with tracheobronchitis. I’m sure the dogs and Charlie were relieved at not having to listen to me for three days, which is about how long it lasted. It was so bad that I had tried to call the doctor to make an appointment and I was pretty much “yelling”, but they hung up because they couldn’t hear me! Luckily, the voice part was really the worst.

Then last weekend, Charlotte started getting some cold symptoms and it triggered her undiagnosed asthma. I say this because she is still too young to be diagnosed, but my mother and I have pretty severe asthma and this was the third incident in about 4-5 months that Charlotte has had “asthma” symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath when she gets sick. So she got a bad cold and then all of a sudden was short of breath and wheezing. We went in and they put her on nebulizer treatments, oral prednisone and then an antibiotic to help with whatever may have started it, which she is still on. Come Wednesday, I started to feel crappy as well so I started an antibiotic to hopefully catch it, which is working, but a little too slow for my liking.

All in all, I cannot wait for Jed to get back (only two more weeks!). It’s so hard trying to take care of someone else when you’re sick and of course, with just the two of us, we keep passing it back and forth because there’s no “back-up” relief to step in and stop this vicious cycle. It doesn’t help either that I have everything else to do, like take care of the dogs, the house, still try to get work done, etc. It also didn’t help that we had about a foot of snow last weekend and Des Moines is NOT anywhere near experienced at snow removal.

On a more positive note, I thought I would give a quick update on Charlotte, apart from all the illness.

She turned 18 months on Feb. 4. We don’t have her well-check until the 23rd because of her vaccination schedule, so I’ll give an update then for her stats. She is picking up on so much and trying to talk a lot more.

She’ll say “Please” and “Thank You” and even say “Bless You” when you sneeze. Cutest thing ever because she won’t even be in the same room and you can hear her say it. She’s close to saying “Book” and “Read” as that is one of her favorite activities, as well as coloring. She would color all day if you sat with her.

She’s a mover. She does not sit still for very long unless you are reading to her. She loves to climb on anything she can manage to get up on. She likes playing with the dogs, sharing her snacks and getting them riled up. She likes when they chase her, which is usually only when she has food in her hand. She’s pretty good at telling you animal sounds – mostly woof, meow, ba ba. She actually snorts for a pig and sort of spits for an elephant.

She’s getting more teeth in. She recently cut her 13th and is about to get her 14th in very soon. She’s been gnawing on her fingers a lot this week (it’s her canines). I need to make her a dentist appointment!

Apart from being sick and teething, her appetite is very good. Although she still doesn’t like banana. Spaghetti is probably one of her favorites, but she’ll eat a whole variety of vegetables, meats and fruits.

Next on our list is getting her scheduled for a follow-up for her milk allergy. They said to come in after a year from diagnosis to see if it’s gotten better or not. They will do a baked milk challenge, which should help them tell if she’ll grow out of it or not. That will probably be sometime in March or April as we went in last March.

And for your viewing pleasure, some recent photos!

And now, I must go to bed as there is no sleeping in for this mama!

Life as a Single Parent . . . Again!

As you may or may not know, Jed is back in Texas for training. He left on Jan. 6 and finishes Feb. 20 + some travel days. So I am back to being a single parent for six weeks to a toddler and two fur-children.

The timing on these training courses is always awesome (add hint of sarcasm here)! Of course it’s in the middle of winter (again) during the coldest months (remember that Polar Vortex last year?!). I really wish I would have asked for a remote start for Christmas seeing as we don’t have use of a garage.

I was thinking back to when he was gone for his initial training and wondering how much different it was going to be this time around. The answer: A lot different!

First off, I am working four days a week, which is much more than I was working when he was originally gone. Charlotte is also now a toddler and is 17 months going on 13! She couldn’t walk before so it was easy to sit her in the pack n’ play or on a blanket and not worry about where she would end up. Now she is climbing on couches, chairs, stools and whatever else she can pull herself up onto.

She can (mostly) feed herself, but my meals still tend to be cold by the time I get to them as she needs help getting food onto her utensils or gets frustrated very quickly. But I guess it’s better than having to feed every 3 hours!

While she will play independently, she has recently been VERY clingy to me. To the point that she literally bawls and has tantrums if I don’t pick her up. I seriously hope this is just a phase and part of this new transition, because it is hard to listen to and manage, especially when I’m trying to make dinner. I think it’s been difficult for her because we’re trying to get back into a routine from the holidays and she craves attention and interaction and I’m the only one at home that can give that to her, so she literally demands it. I do think she misses daddy as she says “daddy” a lot and points at his pictures around the house. Breaks my heart, but we FaceTime with him whenever possible.

Of course to make things more interesting, she came down with the flu this past week. I felt so bad for her. She had a temp of 104. 7 at the doctor’s office! Luckily she did not have vomiting or really any other symptoms, but she tested positive for the flu and was given Tamiflu which we ended today.

In addition to being a single parent to a toddler, I have our two fur balls to take care of as well, which has proven difficult as they can be just as demanding. Plus, I’m now in charge of having to give Tank his insulin shots twice a day. He’s pretty good at it, but it makes it difficult in regards to going out as we need to give them to him 12 hours apart (or close to).

We also now have a new neighbor (yay!), but she has a dog, so when they are all outside at the same time, its pure chaos and the most shrill barking you’ve ever heard. Not annoying at all.

I was also all excited to get projects done around the house, but to be honest, by the end of the day, I’m usually exhausted and ready to hit the sack. I definitely do not take for granted all that Jed does when he’s home.

Hopefully the rest of the time Jed is gone is illness-free and joyful! I am definitely counting down the days and dreaming of being able to sleep a little bit more and have an extra pair of hands around again!

I would post some recent photos, but I’m too tired to upload them, so those will come at a later date.

 

 

 

And We’re Back!

Happy New Year! Seeing as I mentioned in November that I would start blogging more often and that it’s the New Year and time to make resolutions I figured what better time to get back into the groove!

This year has already started out with a bang, but not in the best sense. I was sick on New Years Eve and day, and the next day, and then Jed was sick after me until Sunday evening. On top of that, Jed had to head back down to San Angelo, TX for an additional six weeks of training. He sure leaves at the most convenient times, like when it’s supposed to be -30 degrees!

The good news? We’re all on the mend and feeling better. I’m actually looking forward to getting back into a routine after the holidays and the craziness and fun that ensued. Check back later for a post about our Christmas vacation.

Back to New Years. I don’t usually make (stick) to resolutions, but I figured it would be good to start making some somewhat attainable goals this year. So without further rambling, I give you my Top 4 Resolutions List of 2015:

1. Read one book a month or 12 books throughout the year (No, I will not be counting the endless books I read every day to Charlotte, although I feel I should get credit for memorizing most of them)

2. Go on more dates with my husband – where we actually leave the house and not just watch movies at home. We do not get out much and this needs to be a priority for us this year as it’s important to grow our relationship together.

3. Keep in better touch with friends and family. We do a pretty good job of this, but there’s always room for improvement. Watch out, you may even get an actual birthday card from me instead of a post on your Facebook wall!

4. Lastly, try to focus on me a little more. This sounds selfish, but if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others. We’ve been good about meal planning and eating healthy (Charlotte’s milk allergy sure helps with that!), but I can be better. I can also try to learn not to stress out so much.

So they aren’t anything extraordinary or difficult, but they are still things to strive towards.

If you’re a resolution-maker, I wish you good luck in your new goals and if not, good luck anyway.

Bring it on, 2015!

Keepin’ Busy

So my last post was on August 29th. To say it’s been a while would be an understatement. But alas, I am back and somewhat motivated to liven this blog up a bit with some updates!

A LOT has happened over the past 3 months. In an attempt to avoid making this the longest blog post in the history of blogging, I have decided to break down our past months in list form (I love lists!).

September:

1. Charlie started walking at the beginning of 13 months! As soon as she figured out the two leg transportation mode, she was non-stop (and still is). I should really change the name of this blog to “Chasing Charlie”.

2. Jed and I went away on our first trip alone, to Arizona, to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. Charlie stayed with Grandma and Grandpa and had a blast and was spoiled beyond belief.

3. In July, we lost one of my Uncle’s – Paul. He was such a gentle and loving soul and we decided to have his memorial in September up at Lake Vermilion where he is buried. It was a quick trip, but it was a beautiful ceremony and gave us an opportunity to say goodbye.

October:

1. Charlie had her first real “illness”. We ended up having to take her to urgent care and to the ER for bronchiolitis. She was having a lot of trouble breathing so we were on a week of neb treatments and steroids. She’s had colds, but this one took the cake. She didn’t want to eat or move, which is very unlike her, even when she’s not at 100%. She’s all good now and was a day after being on meds.

2. First pumpkin patch. We went with the cousins to pick out pumpkins, which was great until we tried to take a photo of all the kids. Charlie is apparently not into group photos.

3. We had 3 Halloween celebrations! One at daycare with pumpkin carving and costumes, one on beggar’s night (which they do here in Central IA) and then again in the lobby of our hotel in Chicago on Halloween! She rocked it and had a blast as Little Red Riding Hood.

November:

1. Charlie and I went to Chicago for a long weekend for a charity event for The Lambs, where one of my uncle’s resides. We had a blast trick or treating in the lobby, hanging with Aunt Havvah and going to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

2. While in Chicago, we got to witness Nik Wallenda walk the tightrope across the river. It was crazy to see that in person and a little terrifying as well as you kind of hold your breath for him. It was very cold, so we left immediately after he walked the first line and watched the rest in our hotel room. Charlie, as always, was a trooper and excited to watch all the commotion.

Of course, there was much more going on than the above, but ya’ll don’t want to hear about every trip to the zoo, grocery store, etc. These were the big items that I can remember off the top of my head.

On the Charlotte update front, she is growing like a beanstalk. We had her 15-month well check today and below are her stats compared to her other updates. She’s definitely lean.

Charlotte Mae – Fifteen Month Update

Weight:
2 Weeks = 9 lbs., 2 oz. – 75th percentile
2 Months = 13 lbs., 11 oz. –  97th percentile
4 Months = 15 lbs., 15 oz. – 90th percentile
6 months = 17 lbs., 10 oz. – 78th percentile
9 months = 19 lbs., 3 oz. – 55th percentile
12 months = 21 lbs., 12 oz. – 60th percentile
15 months = 22 lbs., 8 oz. – 43rd percentile

Height:
2 Weeks = 21.3″ – 81st percentile
2 Months = 24.5″ – 97th percentile
4 Months = 26.5″ – 97th percentile
6 months = 27″ – 86th percentile
9 months = 29.8″ – 97th percentile
12 months = 30″ – 77th percentile
15 months = 31.6″ – 79th percentile

Head Circumference:
2 Weeks = 36.5 cm – 61st percentile
2 Months = 40.5 cm – 86th percentile
4 Months = 41 cm – 48th percentile
6 months = 43.4 cm – 74th percentile
9 months = 44 cm – 49th percentile
12 months = 44 cm – 20th percentile
15 months = 46.6 cm – 68th  percentile

She has a great appetite and still only has a few things she won’t eat – like bananas. She recently tried some pickled ginger and liked it! She drinks rice milk (because of her milk protein allergy) and water. We haven’t really introduced juice yet because she has enough energy, she doesn’t need more sugar ;)! The only thing in regard to food that has been difficult is the food allergy and making sure we’re always prepared by bringing food for her. It makes me so nervous now that she is eating table food and also tall enough to grab things off the table. We have to be careful about what we have around and we’re just diligent about asking if we eat at restaurants.

Her favorite foods are steak, quinoa/brown rice mix, broccoli, graham/animal crackers, bacon, green beans and applesauce. She has also mastered the art of dipping. She loves dipping crackers into her soup or chili.

She sleeps well and has a pretty set schedule. She’s up around 6:30-7 a.m., nap time around 9 a.m. and again around 1 p.m. and bedtime at 7:30 p.m.

If she’s awake, she’s moving. I would love to put a pedometer on her to see how many steps she takes a day because she is non-stop! She also loves to climb, tackle and walk backwards. Her new favorite activity is getting the dogs riled up to play with her. She likes playing “chase” with them.

She comprehends very well, but does not yet have much of a vocabulary. She can say mama, dada, hi (with a wave). She can sign for “more” and is starting to pick up “please”. Every once in a while there is a new word that’s stated, but it’s usually a one-time thing. She babbles a lot and is “conversational”, just “incomprehensible” at the moment.

The next few weeks/couple of months are going to be busy with holidays, but we’re excited to celebrate with friends and family.

And lastly, lots of photos from the past couple of months.

An Unlucky Time Of Day

To say it’s been a busy couple of weeks would be an understatement. Not that people have “lucky” times of the day, we definitely have an “unlucky” time of the day, which happens to be 3 a.m.

Last Friday morning I woke up to sounds in our bedroom (which is formally the attic of our house). It sounded like either something fell of my nightstand or small scratches. I heard this same sound twice and woke up Jed to ask if he could hear it, when all of a sudden something fluttered/flapped/flew above our bed!

Like a kid that’s afraid of the boogie man, I immediately dove under the covers while Jed sprung up to see what it was. What was it? A bat! Ugh! So Jed started following it to the best of his 3 a.m. – alertness ability but we lost it. I finally braved it enough to come out from under the covers to help Jed look for it.

Our bedroom is the whole upstairs of our house, so we don’t have a door, which means we didn’t know if it was still up in our room or downstairs (thankfully Charlotte’s room was closed). Jed last saw it near the stairs. So for 45 minutes we looked all over the main level and upstairs. Finally, we said we have to dig deeper and start tearing apart the house as I was not about to go back to bed with a bat in the house. So we started in our little reading nook by the top of the stairs which also happens to be where we put extra bedding and sure enough, wedged between our quilt and wall was the little bat. Jed got a towel and caught it and let it outside!

Fast forward three days and we had a little different experience at 3 a.m.!

We’ve had some big storms and lots of humidity here in the Midwest and we awoke to quite the storm early Monday morning. Lots of thunder and lightening. At around 3 a.m. we had thunder that pretty much shook the house and then the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. Lightening struck a big oak in our backyard (about 20 feet from our house)! I have never seen such a bright light. It happened so fast and everything in our house turned on for about a second. Even our smoke alarm went off! We shot out of bed and of course went down and checked on Charlotte (who woke up very briefly). The dogs were definitely shaken (mostly from the thunder).

So far the damage is as follows (that we know of so far):

– Two broken windows from flying bark

– Our neighbors cars both had damage from flying bark (dents)

– Our garage door doesn’t work now (and there’s no side door to get in and do an override)

– Our modem shorted (which was replaced)

– We had to replace our internet router as that shorted

– Our Apple TV is now dead

– We haven’t checked our basement electronics yet, but I’m worried those may be shot too

But, these are all things that can be replaced and aren’t necessary. The good thing is that we’re all safe because it could have hit the house or started a fire and then we would have had much bigger problems.

We had a tree service come out to check the tree as we’re worried that it isn’t stable anymore and it’s two biggest branches are over the house and garage! They said it’s fine, but we’ll be calling our insurance company back and seeing about getting it removed as that is now a hazard.

So hopefully we don’t have any more 3 a.m. surprises. My heart has had enough this past week!

On that note, we’re also taking our first trip without Charlotte. It’s a belated birthday/early anniversary trip. Charlotte will be staying with Grandma and Grandpa and we’ll be boarding the dogs (for the first time) because of Tank’s diabetes. I’m excited to get away and relax, but I’m also a little sad because this will be the first time I’ll be away from Charlie overnight! Thank goodness for Facetime! And I know she’s going to have a great time (especially now that’s she pretty much walking).

Until next time!