Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mother of Two

This last week or so has certainly been a test of this whole mothering two children thing!  Phew!  Friday life finally got back to normal, and no one was happier than me!  Last weekend I noticed Jackson had swollen tonsils as well as white spots/streaks on the back of his throat.  We kept him home from school on Monday, and I took both boys in to the doctor since Graham had had a yucky cough for a week and any mucous coming up when he coughed or out of his nose was green.  The report was just bad colds.  Jackson's strep test came back negative, but they did prescribe a nasal spray because the doctor thought it was a cold on top of his allergies.  Ok, fine.  Tuesday morning, however, he woke up with a weird rash--it started on his bottom and face.  Isolated red bumps slowly spread over his torso throughout the morning.  I am not good at the wait-and-see pediatric advice, so I had Hallie come over to give me her opinion, and she definitely thought it was hives.  Ok, hives I could deal with--I had been worried it was chicken pox!!!  Off we went to Target for oatmeal bath and Aveeno lotion.  I got him in the bath as soon as we got home before his nap and then lotioned him up real good, and he seemed to feel better.  Unfortunately, Graham was due to eat as we got home from Target.  It was 12:30 already though, and I knew Jackson needed to go to bed sooner than later.  So, Graham had to sit in his carseat and scream while I got Jackson's bath ready and him all settled.  It was SOOO sad :(  Truthfully, I rarely make Graham wait when I need to choose since he's totally helpless, but I HAD to get Jackson feeling more comfortable!!!  Even though it was a rational decision, it wasn't any easier to listen to Graham's hungry cries.  We got Jackson settled in the bath, and I sat right down on the floor to nurse Graham!  We were able to keep Jackson company that way.  While both boys napped, the advice nurse called back and suggested giving Jackson Children's Zyrtec for his hives.  Benadryl makes him jumpy, so we were looking for an alternative.  So, after naptime, I loaded the boys back up in the car for our second trip to Target.  We got the Zyrtec and I gave him a dose right in Target after we bought it.  Jackson was still in pretty good spirits as the night went on, but we had an early bedtime all the same.
 Mother of the year right here: Jackson woke up pretty early, so I brought him in bed with us to watch TV while Graham and I kept "sleeping." I finally stumbled out of bed a bit later to go let our neighbor's dog out, so it wasn't until I came back home that I noticed how BAD Jackson's rash had gotten! His face was really red and splotchy, there was the lacy red rash all over the rest of his body, and his eyes were looking swollen! Plus, he was itchy. I put him right into an oatmeal bath and called the doctor. Because his eyes were affected they definitely wanted to see him. So, off we went to the doctor AGAIN :/ We saw a wonderful nurse practitioner, and she agreed that the hives looked like an allergic reaction. The only thing we can come up with is pumpkin since Jackson had a pumpkin whoopie pie, pumpkin butter, and a pumpkin muffin in about a 36-hour time period. She was also surprised at what his throat looked like, so she ordered another strep test. It also came back negative! We couldn't believe it! Oh well... The nurse really encouraged me to give the Benadryl another go, so we were off to Target for a THIRD time for a prescription for steroids and some Benadryl. They gave him a dose of steroids in the office at the doctor and I gave him Benadryl at Target. We got home and had lunch and naptime. After his nap, Jackson's face was almost totally cleared up! It was a miracle! He was still a bit itchy, but in a really good mood :)
Unfortunately, the nighttime scenario was not so pleasant. We are pretty sure the steroids messed with Jackson's sleep, because he was awake and upset for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. He was crying for various things, and I finally got him to go back to sleep by putting more lotion on his legs and laying with him in his bed. At the same time, Graham was pretty fussy, and needed me to lay with HIM! Things are never quite as easy to deal with in the middle of the night...  As the days went on, we are pretty sure the steroids not only messed with sleep, but also made Jackson have to use the bathroom more often and he was really hungry and thirsty!

As we were dealing with all of these surprise issues, I kept lamenting the fact that Jackson had missed two days of school and this was supposed to be my week to finally get a schedule going! We had a couple weeks of school under our belt, I was finished painting my new mudroom cubbies, and it was just time to settle into a routine. I also HATE having to choose between the boys. I made it a goal in the beginning, and did a much better job sticking to it in the first month or so, to not hold Jackson to crazy standards just because he is older. He is still just (almost) four! But in the heat of a stressful day, it's so easy to just expect him to be perfect and super helpful and then get aggravated when he isn't. Add to that him not feeling well, and that is just a recipe for a disastrous mood. I felt like I was constantly juggling one of the boys needing something while trying to keep the house in some sort of order, cook dinner, and find a minute or two to myself. I know I was really stressed and not very fun to be around, but each day when Josh got home from work, his first question was what he could do to help me! He is just that amazing :) Unfortunately, there wasn't much he could do since we can't control the boys' moods and Jackson really wanted me to help him while he wasn't feeling well. That is REALLY hard now that Graham is here. If Graham is settled and I have two hands to do something, it's not always what I want to do to turn around to do something for Jackson. I know that sounds awful, but I might like to go do something relaxing or mindless. Plus, Josh is quite capable of doing anything Jackson needs! We just kept reminding ourselves that he didn't feel well, was on new medicine, and is still just a little guy!

Fast forward to today and things are feeling much better :)  Jackson was well enough for us to head to the Farmer's Market on Thursday morning as well as his first day of Basketball Class (more on that later)!  On Friday, it was off to school for Jackson!!!  Hallelujah!  He was a bit hesitant to go into his class, but he really ended up just asking for an extra hug and then he went right in.  I used preschool time to start cleaning the house (I finished during naptime) and this made me feel MUCH better!  I hadn't been able to get the whole house clean at one time for quite some time.  I like the idea of doing one or two chores a day, and by the end of the week you have a clean house, but I much prefer getting it all done at once!  Jackson had a great morning at school, much less itchy, and we got to hand out with the Yanceys in the evening--a  much needed outing!  Jackson is definitely still catching up on sleep and he's not quite himself yet with the medicines on board, but I am SOOO glad his rash is cleared up!  It was really bad looking :(  I suppose we have many more instances where we will have to "choose" one boy over the other, but I will just try to grab as many snuggles and special moments in between that I can...

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