Saturday, August 04, 2012

Settling In

We spent the past week settling in, or at least trying to, to our "new" routine.  Basically that means that Seth was out of town all week, and I was here by myself with the children.

What can I say?  It seems like Ellie has been here with us always.  Her big brother and big sister are never far away.  I think I'm going to have to create a chart to keep up with whose turn it is to hand me a diaper (although, for some reason, no one wants to CHANGE the diaper), pick out pajamas, hold the baby.  And I'm certain that Ellie is as fond of her biggies as they are of her.
I was spoiled the first two weeks of Ellie's life.  Even though my recovery was more difficult than I ever imagined it would be, Seth was with me the first week.  And last week my parents came and stayed several days.  I was on "bed rest" at the time, and they both were a huge blessing to me and the children.  I don't know how many games of Pictureka! they played with Mason and Hannah Kate, but I'll bet they don't care if they ever play that game again!  They helped with our meals and even cleaned my house and kept up with our laundry.  But the thing that meant the most to me was the time they spent playing with Mason and Hannah Kate.  I hadn't yet been able to do that since I'd come home.
But, as I mentioned earlier, all good things must come to an end.  And our regular, normal, everyday life ensued this week.  Monday began with a doctor's appointment for me.  That was actually the first day I was feeling better, the first day I could say with confidence that I wouldn't be hurting and sore for the rest of my life.  My check-up went well, and Dr. W told me I could start driving again.
Ellie and Mason both had check-ups on Tuesday.  My mother-in-law was my chauffeur again so we all loaded up to go to the pediatrician's office.  Nothing is ever "uneventful" around here.  Last year we had a lot of difficulty with wax build-up in Mason's ears.  I took him to the doctor many times to have his ears cleaned out.  But in recent months, he hadn't complained, hadn't been bothering with his ears.  Sometimes I noticed him favoring his left ear though so I asked Dr. K to check that carefully just to be sure there wasn't any wax build-up.  Well, there was.  And so the process began.  It took a little while, and Dr. K continued to carefully work, as she said she could see a rather large piece of wax in his ear.  She finally abandoned her whatever kind of tool she was using and got a pair of tweezers.  She then asked me if I ever put q-tips in his ear.  I explained that I definitely do not do that because of all the trouble we've had with his ears.  The only thing I put in his ears is drops.  Then she said she could see something "fibrous" in there.  And that would be when she pulled out a long, thin strand of something.  She pulled out another and another strand until we had four altogether.  At that point, I asked Mason if he'd been sticking q-tips in his ears.  Well, of course he has.  So I began to gently explain to him that he should not be doing that.  His response?  "Well, Daddy does it."  Well, that's just fine because I'll be having a conversation with Daddy when he calls me tonight!  And, at that moment, Dr. K pulled the ENTIRE END OF A Q-TIP OUT OF MASON'S EAR!  I am not kidding.  I. was. mortified.  I honestly have no idea how long that piece of cotton had been stuck down in his ear!  But at least it explained why I had to repeat myself ten times for him to ever hear me!  I just can't believe it didn't bother him, can't believe he never said anything to me about not being able to hear in that ear or feeling like something may be stuck in that ear.  But other than the cotton in his ear, Mason had a great check-up!
And then it was Ellie's turn.  Little Miss Piggy gained 9 ounces in one week, bringing her weight up to 7 pounds 14 ounces and surpassing her birth weight of 7 pounds 9 ounces. 
In the meantime . . . I noticed Monday night that I was unusually cold.  I bumped the thermostat up to 80 and sat covered in a fleece blanket while I was nursing Ellie.  I didn't think too much about it.  It was odd; I'm definitely very hot natured.  But I thought it was probably my body continuing to recover and adjust after giving birth.  After one of Ellie's middle-of-the-night feedings, I noticed that my whole body was aching after I crawled back into bed.  Again, I didn't think too much about it.  Tuesday morning as I was getting ready to take everyone to the doctor, I was cold again.  And I wasn't "feeling good."  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I was really more focused on the children than I was myself.  During the ride to the doctor's office, I was cold, I felt weak and I was just aching.  It was all I could do to get out of the truck and walk inside.  But, again, I pushed all of that aside to focus on the children and their appointments.  I was relieved to finally be back home and thought it actually felt "good" outside.  I believe the heat index was 109 that day.  So at that point, I knew something was really wrong.  I took my temperature, and, sure enough, I was running a high fever.  I sat down to think about what it might be . . . after all, I'd just been to the doctor the day before, and everything was fine . . . and then I knew exactly what it was.  So I called my doctor to tell her what was going on, and she agreed.  Mastitis. 
Have you ever felt liquid fire running through your veins?  Well, that's what mastitis feels like!  And in all the wrong places!  But thank goodness for antibiotics and a sweet friend who picked up the medicine for me on her way home from work so I didn't have to go all the way back to Baton Rouge.  I pushed on through the rest of Tuesday, and I was feeling better on Wednesday.
And then Wednesday evening was a big night for us.  Mason and I went to his school for orientation.  The first day of school is next Friday.  Really?!  What happened to summer?  I'll be honest.  I was dreading the start of school.  I guess you could say I have too many bad memories from 1st grade!  I'd been praying throughout the summer that the Lord would place Mason in the class that's best for him with the teacher that's best for him, preferably a teacher who can really help and encourage him this year in reading.  That has proven to be most challenging.  There are five 2nd grade teachers, but I knew only one of them.  And the one he got was not the one I knew.  So after the presentation in the gym, we headed over to find his classroom and meet his teacher.
And, can I just tell you . . . God answered my prayer in the biggest of ways.  I am absolutely IN LOVE with his teacher.  She is so full of passion and vision, and it's obvious that she loves what she does.  She gave a brief presentation to all of her parents, and most of it had to do with reading, reading strategies and her plan for reading instruction.  When she showed us copies of the dolce sight word list and Frye's phrases, I wanted to sit down and cry but only after I'd kissed her feet first.  Several months back, I enlisted the help of the greatest elementary school teacher I know, my Aunt Harriette (or Aunt Hair-net as I used to call her when I was little), to help me know how I could better help Mason in reading.  She gave me the dolce sight word list and Frye's phrases, which is what we've been working on this summer.  So when Mason's teached pulled those out and explained them to us, I knew it was going to be a GREAT year!  Reading seems to be her "specialty."  Last year her class wrote and published a book with their own artwork and original story.  She said they are going to do the same again this year.  She also had folders for all of us parents, candy on each desk for the children.  I also heard from another student that she's known to bring donuts to class every once in a while for everyone.  Her classroom is so kid friendly, learner friendly.  So we are definitely going to have a fabulous 2nd grade year!  While I think reading will continue to be our biggest challenge this year, I am confident that Mason's teacher is really going to make a difference in his progress and overall attitude towards reading.  That doesn't mean we're ready for school to start, but I guess it has to.
Thursday was another big day.  I had to go to Miss Machita's to register Hannah Kate for dance classes.  She'll be taking tap and ballet again this year, and she can't wait for classes to resume.  We (yes, all three of the children and I) stood in line for TWO. HOURS.  So by the time we made it home from that, I was ready to crash.  But I didn't.  I made it!

I can not believe we have only one week left of "summer" (meaning before school starts).  Nor can I believe that Ellie is almost three weeks old.  She's still the dreamiest baby ever!  She still sleeps alot . . . as you can see here . . .
She is nursing every two hours.  I'm hopeful she'll stretch that to three hours soon, especially during the nighttime hours.  But I can't complain.  After she nurses, she goes right back to sleep so I really do wake up every morning feeling rested.  She is pure joy.

I was able to catch her with her bright blue eyes open a bit a few days ago . . .
I think she's beginning to look a little less like Hannah Kate now.  She actually looks like Mason AND Hannah Kate to me.  Today though she especially reminded me of Mason. 


Mimi said...

Wonderful posting...gotta get a Lilypie banner for Little Miss Ellie!

Wendi Nelms said...

She is so beautiful! I always enjoy reading about your latest "adventures" with your family. P.S. I LOVE your new house!