Friday, March 27, 2009

Last night I was wakened around 11 to the sound of N crying and coughing. It wasn't just a normal cough, it was that tell-tale "bark of a seal" cough. My heart sank, even as I fumbled down the stairs, half asleep. Ed, who had been watching basketball, had already gotten N out of bed and into the bathroom where he was standing over the toilet crying, coughing and gagging. After a couple minutes of this, I said that I didn't think he had to throw up, but instead needed to sit down and calm down. N is very excitable, and if he is hurt, he will immediately throw a fit of crying and can NOT be reasoned with. With croup, it is very important to stop the crying, since it further swells the throat and makes breathing even more difficult. Although it took several minutes, he did seem to calm down, and so we thought we would try to put him back into bed. As soon as he lay down there was a panicked look on his face, and he started crying and gasping for air. I gave him some prednisone we had on hand from a previous bout of croup, but since it talkes 6 hours to work, it didn't do anything and he just kept crying and struggling to breathe. Ed picked him up and rushed him outside, but it was a warm night, and it didn't do much. He then tried to hold N up to the open freezer door, but that just freaked him out even more. At this point he was struggling for each breath, rasping in and out. I tried to hold him to me to calm him, and as I rocked back and forth with him in my arms, it became clear that he was getting worse- between his stomach and ribs was a very clear triangle as he sucked the air in. I was very worried that he would stop breathing all together, and we would lose our boy. We called the pediatrician and were advised to get him into the steamy bathroom immediately (something I knew was helpful for croup, but at this point I was thinking we needed to call 911- that it was too late for the steam to help). Ed sat with him while I waited outside with the phone. Half an hour later, several phone calls with the nurse, and an empty water heater, he had calmed down sufficiently so that he wasn't struggling for every breath. But since he was still wheezing, we were told to take him to the ER, as he might have another episode later in the night, and we might as well take him when he was calm. So Ed left with N around midnight, and I settled back into bed where I lay in the dark praying for the next hour and a half until I finally fell into a fitful sleep. They returned around 2:30, and Ed said that N was fine- he was perfectly fine by the time they got to the ER, and Ed had felt a little silly for bringing him in. They took his pulse-ox, made sure he was breathing OK, monitored him for a couple of hours and then sent him home where he slept through the rest of the night. This morning he woke up with a cough, but bright-eyed and full of stories of what happened at the hospital. Yet, he still isn't well. He just got hurt outside, which started another bout of coughing and some raspy breathing. I was able to talk him down and reminded him that he needed to stay calm, or he wouldn't be able to breathe. But I am admittedly worried as we are about to go into the night. I fear that we will be wakened once again with a panicked boy, struggling for his every breath. I just pray that Jesus will be close to him tonight as he sleeps, that his airways will be clear and his breathing easy.

This is not the post I wanted to write on the eve of his 5th birthday- I already had something planned, but I will have to save that for later.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Spring!

Once the weather gets warm, the kids spend hours in the backyard playing, and we also go on walks around the neighborhood. This is a welcome change from the inside play that we are used to through the long winter months! Here are some pictures taken from the backyard, as well as on our inaugural spring walk around the block.

We make quite a procession going down the street: 5 kids, one dog, assorted scooters and wagons!

I love the first shoots from the day lilies. Even though they don't bloom until the end of June, they are always one of the first plants out of the ground, bringing with them the promise of summer days!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patty's Day Craft

E had an afternoon off from school, so naturally she asked if we could do a craft. I hadn't prepared anything, so we went online to Family Fun where we found this cute leprechaun craft. As "luck" would have it, we had all the neccesary materials, so we got down to work.
First we painted the tubes:

And then we had to let them dry for about an hour:

After that it was a matter of using the hot glue gun to attach the pipe cleaner beard and feet, foam hat and arms. Then the kids used a marker to draw in the face. They ended up really looking really cute:

I have no idea why N has this expression on his face! All I can say is that he is a goofball!

E added a little clover detail of her own

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Last night we went out to dinner as a family for the first time in...I don't know how long. Since K was born, it has just been really hard to eat out- she was a fussy infant, demanding baby, and now a temperamental toddler. But last night I was just feeling the need to get out, and so we decided to give it another try. We went to a family-"friendly" restaurant, and it actually went really well, despite extremely sloooow service. All three children were really interested in coloring, which helped to pass the time. When that got old, K started to tear up a straw wrapper and Ed counted the pieces with her. I was sitting on the other side of her, and began to gently blow on the pieces so they moved across the table. K looked up at Ed in surprise, and when she realized he wasn't doing anything, she gave a squeal of delight. When she wasn't looking, I blew on them again, and she gave another squeal and then started a "belly" laugh that was truly infectious. Our whole family was laughing along with her, and other tables were turning around with smiles to see who was the source of all the laughter. Eventually K caught on, and started blowing on the pieces herself, but she still kept laughing as she did it. Our food eventually came, and the kids ate it all up, since we were all starving at this point. K even got down on the floor and ate the macaroni that she had dropped (Ed: "You were supposed to be watching her!" Me: " I was! I thought she was just picking up the crayons!" Ai-yi-yi!). And of course everyone was happy to eat their ice cream, although I wasn't too happy with the scale this morning (eye-roll)!

It ended up being a really good time, and we are hoping that we have turned a corner. It doesn't mean we will eat out all the time, but it is nice to know that we can go to a place without a playground once in a while.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Ahead!

It's March, and I've got the itch- the gardening itch. I always feel a sense of anticipation and excitement this time of year as spring feels like it is literally around the next corner. I can smell it in the air, and see evidence of its imminent arrival. Like these little crocus tips poking through the snow by our front walkway. Through the cold weeks of winter, I have warmed myself by spending hours poring over gardening catalogues, and online gardening websites. I have made lists of what new plants I want to purchase, and mentally envisioned where I will plant them. Today I was thrilled to discover Costco selling bags of tubers and bulbs. The bright pictures of flowering glads, dahlias and peonies were too tempting to pass up, and I had to hold myself back from buying more. It will still be several weeks before I can go outside and start the real gardening work, but I thought I would try to force some forsythia. After about a week inside they are just about to bloom, and I will soon get my first taste of spring. Just a little appetizer, before the feast.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


E has been begging me to teach her how to knit, for about 2 years now. Unfortunately, I didn't know how- until another mom in our playgroup offered to teach me. She ended up starting a little knitting group for anyone who wanted to learn, and we have met on several Monday nights, after the kids are in bed. Our first group project was a little dishcloth, which taught us how to increase and decrease as we knit on the diagonal. Mine turned out a little more diamond shaped than square, but it still works.
The next project was a little hat. I had originally intended mine to be for N, but it ended up a little small, so it now is K's.

I didn't quite know how to stitch up the side, so it looks a little sloppy

I also bought E some large kid needles (#15) and she is currently working on a scarf for herself. It is coming along very nicely, and I hope to knit a matching hat for her. I really want to do a circular one, but I am not sure I am ready to use double sided needles.