Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve...For Lame Old Foggies Like Us

Once upon a time, I was cool-ish. Okay, once upon a time, I was slightly less lame but it's my blog and I can reminisce any way that I want. In any event, in truth, I've always had a slight fear of New Year's eve. The mass quantity of drunken fools that clog the world tonight freaks me out. There's just too much potential, not for accidents or anything like that, nooo, but for vomit. Is that weird of me? So, now that we are old and it's okay to stay in, I'm kind of cool with that. And, I love just being with my family anyway. I mean look at this guy.

Sure, he's looking kind of goofy. But know what he's smiling at me about? Doing THIS!!!
What a hero! The thing is, we have a Lazy-boy chair that I've been petitioning to replace since we got married because, well, I hate it. For some reason, I was convinced by some crazy salesman that white was a reasonable color for a chair. I must've been drunk. Maybe it was New Year's Eve during my "cool" years. Anyway, it's so freaking dirty, that at least it's not white anymore. It's got a brownish hue. It drives me crazy. Crrrrraaaazy. I've tried slipcovers. I've tried blankets. I've tried giving it the silent treatment. Nothing works. Mostly, now I try whining to Bryon about how much we need to replace it because it makes me sad. Unfortunately, replacing the chair means that of course, we need to replace the couches too. This is logical, no? His solution for the moment was to clean it. Since we had the machine, why the heck not do the carpet too? What a guy. Maybe he's just pleased that the $40 rental fee is way cheaper than Ethan Allen.

Since the chair only came about 80% clean, I'm of course, only 80% happy. This will degrade with each passing day and with each fleck of dirt that appears on the chair. Supposedly, we agree that the next PCS means new living room stuff. Hooray. Look, even Collin is excited. I think he's just intrigued at the fact that he's currently trapped in the new furniture arrangement so Daddy can soap up the other half of the living room. He finds it hilarious. I find it a new Collin-imprisonment strategy. If only I were strong enough to move all the furniture myself on a daily basis.

He was adequately entertained while imprisoned in the furniture mound. He colored and colored and colored some more. The best part of these pictures?I took them from the kitchen with our new super zoom lens without him even knowing I was taking them. Pretty neat, huh? He's clearly concentrating; there's that tongue.

"Better pull back to have a look at my work here." He kept doing this. It was cracking me up. I think because the Crayola Color Wonder markers take a few seconds to show up on the paper, he would pause to make sure he was coloring in the right spots before moving on. What a funny kid, always figuring stuff out. He's his father's son for sure. Sometimes, he'd yell out "It showed up!" as if it were a surprise.

I guess he liked the feeling of being boxed in because, uh, yeah. (P.S. that's the stupid chair up there)

And again, later that day. Pay no heed to the darn fool in the background running with nowhere to go. She eventually got where she was going although she was darn tired when she got there. And I warn you against zooming because you will see the sweatiest back in female athletic history. Apparently though, he finally felt the need to stretch his legs, but not to stop coloring. Maybe it's because we only rented all his new Christmas toys and they all went back yesterday. This coloring book is all he's got left to his name. Poor kid. Send donations. Doesn't Eddie laying next to him tug at your heartstrings? We don't feed him either.

Oh, and he does have this: the Lego Nebulizer. Is it cool that the machine has a Lego base, or what? Collin has, in one day, become a pro at holding the mask with one hand and playing with the Lego pieces with the other. I'm so proud of him. After the wrestling match we initially had, I was bracing myself for three hard weeks. Hooray for adjustments.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How Much Better Collin is Not

Let me think, I didn't take my boy into the doctor when he first started coughing because, let's face it, you are more likely to get struck by lightning while winning the lottery than to get an acute care appointment. So, I let the darn cough go for about two weeks before I finally broke down and called. That was the when he finally got the first croup diagnosis. A week later it was back. That was two weeks ago. Now, he's had it again for well over a week. So, where does that put us on the space time continuum for the length of time for how long we should be waiting out how long it should be before he just "gets better?"

Yesterday, we went for a family run. I like the idea of instilling fitness into my kid young, sick or not, so why not, right? Kidding, of course he was in the stroller. But, he begged to get out and walk the one block home from the gate. I let him, since he's been kept virtually immobilized for the past week. Even tickling him the other morning got him into such a fit of coughing that he threw up. Anyway, he walked one block, plus ten more steps to the couch where he promptly threw up all over the place. Nice.

So, we demanded an appointment with the "good" doctor this morning instead of Dr. Just-give-him-Benedryl. Oh what a difference! Apparently one of them went to real medical school and one of them did it via correspondence. Either that or one of them gets a kickback from Benedryl.

No one wants their kid to be sick. But after all this time, I want to know what is wrong with my kid so I can do something about it other than sit on my hands; or more aptly, sit with my hands around a bucket in his lap. Good doctor, the following is a thank you:

1. Thanks for realizing that the stethoscope is in fact, mobile. When you moved it to more than one spot on his chest, I wanted to fall to the floor and praise you. What joy to hear you say, "everyone who said his lungs are clear...they've been wrong."

2. Despite the fact that an acute appointment is only a 15 min block, thank you for screwing up your schedule for the morning and giving us an hour of your time. I hate me for other people but eh, my kid was the sick one today.

3. Thank you for issuing us our very own nebulizer, not just to borrow, but to keep. It came with Legos!

4. Thank you for prescribing nebulizer steroids and Allbuteral to clear his lungs and make him better and for making sure he's got enough to stay on them until....

5. The follow up appointment that you made sure was scheduled with YOU because YOU want to see him again

6. Thank you for the X-Ray you ordered of his lungs, just to be sure because this has gone on so long

7. Thank you for checking his oxygen levels in his blood not once, not twice but three times
because you weren't comfortable with the readings

8. Thank you for prescribing antibiotics, not because you thought I wanted them but because you truly believed he has an infection (oh, and by the way, thanks for double-checking that you didn't prescribe what he is allergic to)

9. Thank you, overall, for just being so darn thorough

10. Thank you for not once, not a single time, saying "Benedryl"

Now, we just have to get the hang of this nebulizer business because we have to do it for the next three stinking weeks! Collin was so anti-nebulizer at the doctor's office that I was afraid they were going to burst back in and accuse me of beating him. I was there alone because Bryon had to wait for maintenance at the house. I have learned a valuable lesson with all this: never underestimate the strength of a child that doesn't want to do something. He kicked my butt this morning.

Anyway, the good doctor thinks Collin has bronchitis at this point, in addition to croup, which in all likelihood isn't quite gone. So, the cough is going to be our houseguest a little while longer. He thinks all of this might have started from bacterial infection and that's what he's treating with the antibiotics but because it's gone on so long, his little lungs are so inflamed, we have to treat them pretty hard. Poor guy. It's so sad to see him totally unable to play when he wants to. He feels better and that's the worst because he wants to play. The slightest bit of activity though and he's a hurl hose. It's awful. Fingers crossed this new treatment will work!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Further Evidence of...

My family's clearly defined weirdness. There's something wrong with the picture when the boy with a respiratory illness is pushing his distinctly heavier mother on his new bike. No siree, there's nothing wrong with that picture.

There. That's better. There's also nothing wrong with shoes and pajamas. It's only cool when someone's mommy is trying to help him get that extra quarter inch that he needs to reach the pedal on the far part of the rotation. And who says you can't use your fine china for everyday? Is that so weird? I think the Gatorade sets off my new Spode Christmas Tree wine glasses beautifully. And who doesn't want to toast the completion an 8 mile training run in San Pedro--the hilliest damn city in the world (short of San Diego). I toast my husband for being willing to run slow enough to run next to me and I toast the both of us for not being passed by a single power walker. Hooray for us.

This is only proof of my son's burgeoning selfishness, not so much weirdness. Maybe the weirdness is that it took him until almost three and not before to be selfish. We played "Ants in Pants," today and despite a tantrum before in which he was furious that everyone would be allowed to start with an equal number of "ants," and he wouldn't be allowed ALL of them, he acquiesced and allowed the game to proceed. Yet, as the game progressed and ants were flying willy nilly and collected at random, suddenly a certain small one ended up with everyone's ants to re-shoot at a certain set of pants. Weird how that happens. Also weird how a certain set of grown ups in this shot, upon realizing I was taking pictures began aiming ants at a camera-woman.

And as evidence of something else entirely, this is my adorable child being what else, adorable. He needs to be kept relatively "still" for the next few days still, so he's watching a few movies still (something he looooves). And he was alternating laps (something everyone loooves). Can he be more wonderful? I don't think so.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Really...Now, There's Improvement

Yesterday didn't start off looking too promising. See, we started off with protective coating on the couch so the vomiting wouldn't be such a big deal. I thought it was a pretty good idea. And, Collin was pretty comfortable. When he finished watching this movie, he said, "Mommy, I want to go right to bed. Now. I don't want lunch." That is a sick kid. Especially my kid who wants to know what's for lunch as soon as he puts his breakfast dish in the sink.

Homer thought the whole pile o'blankets was a good shelter from the coughing, as well. He was literally right next to Collin, cuddled up against him and no one knew it because he was like a little lump in the pile. So cute, yet so ridiculous. Don't you just love pictures of cats? They always look like they've been caught doing something terribly naughty and they totally don't care; but that it's also something ridiculously human and absolutely not feline. What I mean is, they have certainly not been caught licking their behinds; no, they've been caught licking their cousin's face in the back row of a theater and they don't care about telling auntie about it.
Miracle of miracles though, he only spent about 10% of last night coughing instead of 98%. Anyway, he slept, we slept, the world is at peace and if Allbuterol has a church, I'd go, because man, that stuff seems to be working. Anyway, he woke up this morning and was shocked, shocked, to remember that he got all new toys the day before.
Remember these babies? I do. And now my boy has one too and he loves it. The best part is when he points to the back end and asks, "what's this?" As if I can, in my infinite mommy wisdom see what he's looking at through the other end. When do kids stop being idiots? I kid because I love.

He even recovered enough to get dressed for the first time since Tuesday. Hooray! He and I both wore our new Jack shirts today (not pictured, Mommy's new Jack shirt). And, he recovered enough to give Daddy the stink eye when he tried to take a new story out of his hands just for looksies. Ahhh, sweet memories. Good thing we have a camera to remember all these special moments.

The recovery was also complete enough for Mommy to have a mini-meltdown (that she gracefully kept inside) when she realized her baby was big enough for a big wheel. Holy crap. When do these things happen. Wasn't I JUST pregnant? I mean honestly, I remember feeling nauseous; I remember buying the crib, doing the registry, all that! How can I be asking my husband to put something on the pedals so he can reach for the next couple of weeks because he's just almost, but not quite tall enough? My little peanut is big enough for a big wheel. What the heck happened to time? A freaking big wheel? I feel like I barely outgrew it. I may revolt this particular change by riding this toy around the neighborhood in pigtails and pretending that's okay. On second thought, I may get the kind of attention that's just not cool.

Maybe the chemicals in the fun bathtub dye drops he had in his stocking will stunt his growth. Know what is awesome about these things? They just "look" messy. Totally cool things. He loves them and me too. They turn the whole tub a crazy color and yet he comes out clean. I don't want to know how it happens. Sort of like the Internet: don't need to know how it works; I just like it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Spoke Too Soon on the Improvement Part

It's possible I spoke too soon about the lil man feeling better, even a smidge. His improvement lasted until precisely midnight. He pulled a proverbial Cinderella on us and started hacking right about then and hasn't stopped. Thankfully, we've only had one cough-vomit incident so far this morning. Not so thankfully, it was in Mommy and Daddy's bed. Phew, Daddy placed the bucket in time. (Thankfully for you, no picture. I'm not that gross)

I wanted to get a picture of him seeing the piles of presents for the first time. His glee was slightly tempered by his feeling like crap. Don't you think? Eddie said "cheese" for the both of them.
The walk down the stairs pretty much did the boy in. It's like the workout equivalent of a jog around the block for the Biggest Loser contestants at the beginning of the season. So, we unwrapped a story and decided to have a little "break." He doesn't look like he needs it or anything, right? And no, I'm not just choosing awful pictures. He literally looked like crap all morning. Either he looked like this, or the shutter caught him coughing. Not good choices.

I put his "baby's first Christmas" Santa hat on him because he was too weak to resist. Well, jammed it on his head is a more appropriate description, as it is obviously too small. I think he likes it, no? Gagging is no indication of preference in this situation.

It's possible that he did NOT like it. It was removed; and, not by me. Poor lil man is so tired from coughing for so long, he can hardly keep his eyes open, but he can't sleep either because he can't stop coughing. Why can't mommies just voluntarily be sick for their babies?

Oh wait! What's this? Light sabers? Boom! Energy burst for sixteen seconds. Literally. It lasted for less than a minute but it was a good minute.

Not a good minute? When Daddy thought this was a good present. Heavy, big box? Mommy was already suspicious. I know Daddy too well to think "good gift." He joked that it would be helpful for my master's. He did, of course, realize it was a joke.

This was a good moment for Mommy though...oops, I mean Santa. We have a love/hate relationship with dinosaurs. We like "friendly" dinosaurs. Santa took a risk with this toy, which Collin loves at Target in the gigantic zillion dollar version. Santa feared he'd be afraid of the cheaper, smaller version. Nope, he loves it. You can tell by his enthusiasm.

Mommy had more enthusiasm for the following:

More china! Hooray! I definitely need the china cabinet now. Take note, darling husband.

And what a darling husband he is. How in the world would he know where to shop for me?

Speaking of darling husband. What a gem. Ha!

And, now that presents are all opened and breakfast has been eaten (for poor Collin all he's managed to stomach is a banana), this is the state of things. Movies it is today. I think he's faking to watch the stack of them he got this morning. At least Jack is joining him today. If he is faking, he's a pretty good faker.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! We'll be here, locked inside the germ factory and keeping our grubby selves to ourselves.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve...Part Deux..."The Improvement"

The day got steadily better after our rough start this morning. For starters, Monkey (I know, creative name he's got there, right? Talk to the kid. I didn't come up with it) came clean. He's not technically supposed to be washable so I took a big risk by throwing him in the delicate cycle. I put him in a pillowcase and used Woolite and crossed my fingers but when he was covered in barf, it was a risk worth taking because you know, a damp cloth wasn't cutting it in the smell removal department. Hooray for risks. Monkey, you look smashing dahling.

Also, this is the PILE, yes the PILE of clothes that also came clean of barf. Yes, we had one hell of a morning. And, as anyone with my vomit-aversion knows, I came through it like a champ and only gagged once. It was a pretty fair gag because lemme tell ya folks, the smell was pretty darn atrocious. P.S. like my laundry room floor? Base housing rocks.

Collin even felt the need to celebrate the change of fortune. Look these are "hooray/hallelujah" arms. Or not. Really, they are "thanks to whopping doses of steroids and breathing treatments, I feel way better than I actually am, so I'm pumped with enough energy to run around." Thus, he threw a balloon around the room until he flicked it at my face in two-year-old anger and I took it away. No mercy for the sick.

Daddy celebrated the positive turn of events by losing his mind and becoming psychotic. I mean really, look at him. Our Christmas Eve tradition is homemade pizza, dough and all. I think he was so exhausted by the whole situation this year, that he went a little looney with the added burden. I'm not sure where a butcher knife fits into pizza. I think he just liked holding it, you know, just in case.

Collin was briefly miffed by the discovery that cookies for Santa don't follow a one-for-you-one-for-me rule. But, his attitude improved when Daddy let him push his own inhaler button thingie. Apparently, this is the bees knees. He's getting good at breathing the thing in and it's really helping. Wahoo! He may stop coughing this year! That sounds more impressive when there's a lot of days left in the year; I know.

And, I think he's getting this whole "Christmas is tomorrow" business because we laid our stockings outside our door for Santa to fill just before bed.

He held his up for me to take a picture, with typical Collin cuteness, that told me he's feeling better. Then, he held himself, which told me he's feeling much, much better. The best part? I didn't even notice this part until I was writing this. I just thought his expression was cute! I've got to get this Mommy innocence blanket off my eyes, apparently.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a (cough-free) good night!

Christmas Eve with the McClains...So Far

We're hoping things will improve.

Collin has had this cough for gee, I'm not sure how long. Last week, Dr. Genius (aren't all military doctors, amazingly smart?) said it was croup. On Tuesday, he said it was croup again. Both times, he also gave us Benedryl with the steroids. In case you aren't a military family, Benedryl is the handout for kids. Motrin is the handout for adults. If your arm falls off: Motrin. If you need birth control: Motrin. This may be the reason our neighbors have so many freaking kids.

Alas, he also said things like, "eh, give him the medicine if you think he needs it," and "keep him warm and cold." It's wonderful to have such care.

Anyway, he's no better. He barely takes a breath without coughing and I'm pretty sure that in the last two nights he actually did NOT stop coughing at all, literally. And, the added bonus feature of what I call covomit is super. It's what happens when you cough so hard that you vomit.

I'm not sure why I didn't think to bring extra clothes to urgent care this morning, as the first covomit was a doozie, and consisted of a lot of breakfast milk. Mmmm-mmm, stinky. The urgent care turned us away as he covomited three or four times all over their waiting room chairs and floor and they determined he was too little and too sick to be seen there and they wouldn't have the proper equipment to treat him.

When we arrived at the urgent care with pediatric equipment, he apparently felt energized and pranced around the waiting room like he'd just taken crack...or like he'd just finished emptying the contents of his stomach and felt great for it. Meanwhile, he smelled like Tara Reid on a Sunday Morning and we didn't smell much better for having tried to clean him up with what was on-hand, namely our own sleeves and bits of tissue. Ewww.

He wore Daddy's t-shirt as Daddy was in layers for his visit with the doctor and we toughed it through. Poor little guy looked so pitiful. He got a breathing treatment and a prescription for an inhaler and told to "be still" for a few days. The doctor said go ahead and give him some cough syrup even though he's young, so hopefully that will help.

I think I should get more presents for all the covomitting I've endured over the past few days, especially since I've endured it with such love and affection for my boy. I've dug in with bare hands, people!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Season of Presents Begins

Granny and Grandaddy got first dibs on the present exchange. They stopped in for a quick visit on their way to Mississippi (man, I always spell that word wrong...maybe it's an aversion to all states sucky). So, they got the first Christmas celebration. At Collin's decision, he decided Grandaddy got the first gift to open. I'm pretty sure he didn't know what it would mean when I said, "who should go first?"
Alas, I think he looks pretty patient, don't you? Eager might be the right word. Unfoturnately, I think that stemless wine glasses might be an imappropriate gift for a two-year old. Well, unless he's French. Still, those eyes say, "gimme, gimme, gimme." But, in a cute way.
His turn. Did you know that for Bryon, I ordered him a bucket of flies. Really, he's been practicing catching them, so I thought that he'd appreciate them. Tee hee. I kill me.
I asked Collin to show me what he got. I got what I asked for, a stunning picture of Collin showing me what he got. Ahhh, the literal mind of a toddler. You get the glare of my flash off a shiny book cover because I'm not a skilled photographer and know nothing of lighting and angles and the like. What a winning combo that: lack of skill and a toddler. It's a wonder that we have any pictures at all.
And, to cap Granny and Grandaddy's visit and to ensure that they will look forward to their return a few days from now, yes a few days from now (am I not the greatest daughter-in-law ever because get this, they are coming back on the 29th, the same day that the other set of in-laws are leaving...I kid, I love them), Collin beat the crap out of them with this gift.
It's one of those balloons with a rubber band snappy thing that his preschool teacher gave him in his holiday party bag. It was such a hit when I blew it up that the tantrum that followed its removal from living room was monumental. I had to support Daddy's decision to take it away though because once we moved from flicking it around, to throwing it harmlessly, to schwacking actual people, it was time to take a break from the obnoxious thing.

Anyway, looking forward to the continuation of the season of presents and to Gramps and Nana's visit and the return visit of Granny and Grandaddy. And, go see Princess and the Frog. We went to see it today and it was a cutie. Even Collin, when asked tonight what it was about said, "He [the prince] loved her so much, he turned to people again." Awww, he got it! And it was sweet! What a charmer.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Traditions

There aren't any pictures of Mommy's face because I'm taking the pictures; but, imagine something similar. You see, I've never made a gingerbread house before. I know, weird right? The fascination on Mommy's part had something less to do with the "you mean we can EAT this project" and more to do with the " sanctioned fun mess" bit.

Trust me, this is the most flattering angle of our masterpiece. I admit, there was a handful of eating done.
Look out though, he'll get you if you try to steal any of the gumdrops; they seem to be his favorite. The dehydrated frosting however, it's a little nasty. Apparently, there's an "easier" way to make a gingerbread house, according to Bryon, involving a milk carton, crackers and regular old can frosting. I was unaware of this system, as previously mentioned, I've never made a gingerbread house.
After nap, we moved on to my favorite Christmas tradition: painting ornaments. It's a good thing mommy bought more paint this year because while Collin painted only two ornaments, sixty-seven gallons wasn't enough.
And, as everyone knows, Rudolph is certainly hot Santa's L.A. Gay Pride Parade.

And, perhaps this is a new tradition? Collin got an "assemble yourself" candy necklace from his preschool teacher for Christmas. I call that lame. He calls it a treat. I put a few pieces on the string and he was fascinated. Not fascinated enough to tolerate it on his own neck.

Weird, right? It's a pretty attractive way to eat.