Sugarplumday: fever

DSC_0436You would think six years into this parenting gig I would know better than to quietly make lists in my head of all the things I can do when I happen to be home with my kids on an offday due to illness. But I don’t. I still do it. Every. single. time. I also start each illness with a strong momma lion’s heart. Hovering in over them, picturing their sweet faces looking up at me in gratitude as I wipe the cool rag over their forehead and carry them to the kitchen to make tea and toast.

But, um, no. That has always been pure fantasy. And it is usually about midway in to that first day that the bubble gets burst and I find myself  sitting in the middle of the unmade bed with a crying child, covered in vomit and wanting to cry as reality hits and nothing I normally get done is being cobbled together by elves.  Let alone the quiet fantasy list of baked cookies, closets sorted, photos edited, a peaceful storytime and Netflix queues whittled down, magazines clipped and Go Fish Game cards spent, beans simmering and bread scenting the air while that satisfied feeling of ending a book I happened to have the time and mind to finish fills me and I contemplate starting a roast. It’s like Groundhog’s Day how eerily similar these days play out in reality.DSC_1647

DSC_1879Sugarplum is sick. Actually I’m pretty proud of her that she made it to just shy of 8 months old before catching her first fever. Her little head felt warm over the weekend. And she coughed. And then the nose started running. Then my mind started running after it. I flashed back to the Quail’s first winter with us. 4 trips to the ER and 2 hospital admits. 1 case of the flu, 2 of bronchiolitis. 1 of pneumonia and the golden ring hospital stay of RSV. One after another from November 2009 going into January 2010. Followed by months of daily breathing treatments and frequent follow-up visits that ended in GI surgery that spring. After that, she certainly still caught colds. But she’s been spared anything so dramatic as that season.

Zuzu’s first winter was kinder to her. Oh mind you she cried the entire trip we took to Atlanta and yet didn’t sprout a tooth or fever for months after that. Her first summer though she was plagued with ear infections and the nasty side effects of the medications that were supposed to be making her better. And the Christmas that the Quail was sick, we brought her home from the hospital just in time to notice the roses blooming on Zuzu’s cheek as her fever spiked a tone that sounded decidedly like her sister’s RSV.

DSC_2540Zuzu commented after her bath last night, “Huh, funny how when I was 3 the Quail was a baby and sick at Christmas and now that she’s 3, Sugarplum is a baby and sick at Christmas.” Huh. Funny indeed. Zuzu is just relieved that her turn at the flu passed by in mere days and with little cramping to her own schedule this season. It was so short that we didn’t even label it as the flu or take her in to the pediatrician. Then as Sugarplum’s forehead and feet heated up my mommy-radar started in questioning whether or not to go to urgent care or hold out till Monday morning. We did and she did hold out. Kindly Dr. Gamble said just a virus as her flu swab was negative and she had been vaccinated and Zuzu’s fever had passed so quickly the week before. But that if her morning temperature was still over 101 by Wednesday to bring her back. Unfortunately Tuesday night as her hot little hand patted my cheek I had a bad feeling I knew where we would be headed the next morning. Sure enough the morning temperature registered 101, so in we went. This time kindly Dr. Gamble rephrased his estimate as he listened to the crackles in her chest once she stopped sobbing. Flu and bronchitis. Motrin and Amoxicillin. Home and Crying. That”s about right.

DSC_2793DSC_2526bwWe did manage to make Santa a visit before the plague set in here. We made our mountain trek to chop down a fir tree between diagnosis. And we are slowly adding ornaments between loads of laundry, doses of Motrin and patient if plaintive requests to finish the decorating already.DSC_2856

DSC_8607We’ve got a quick hand frequently passing over the Quail’s forehead as we watch her now like the timebomb she most certainly is. Especially considering her motherly ways towards her baby sister. No one is more empathetic to another person’s tears in this nest then our Quail. At first wail her fingers are up and signing sad as she works out the name of the soon-to-be patient in her Nurse Nightingquail routine. Unfortunately we, the actually designated, caretakers are old, tired and not nearly quick enough to intercept her every nose-wiping  of the baby and teether tongue cleanings as she scurries off to do her work. Mother Theresa has got nothing on this sweet soul.

Until the next bird falls….DSC_2892

fave-O-lit Friday

Early Supper

by Barbara Howes

Laughter of children brings
The kitchen down with laughter.
While the old kettle sings
Laughter of children brings
To a boil all savory things.
Higher than beam or rafter,
Laughter of children brings
The kitchen down with laughter.

So ends an autumn day,
Light ripples on the ceiling,
Dishes are stacked away;
So ends an autumn day,
The children jog and sway
In comic dances wheeling.
So ends an autumn day,
Light ripples on the ceiling.

They trail upstairs to bed,
And night is a dark tower.
The kettle calls: instead
They trail upstairs to bed,
Leaving warmth, the coppery-red
Mood of their carnival hour.
They trail upstairs to bed,
And night is a dark tower.

Sugarplum day

Sugarplum is 7 months old. She weighs in at 17 lbs 11 oz. and stands 27 inches tall. Lil Miss 75% is at the same % as Zuzu right now! She babbles, giggles, sits by her own-self and has the strongest baby-grip known to man. While she’s been known to roll-over, she stares down the floor, insists on something to grip and lowers herself down. Our thoughtful child she is.

Sugarplum Start of the week

Almost 7 months in to life as a family of five and I find myself with more to say than time to say it. There is a reason why there are certain phrases that are labeled as “everyone says”. It’s both comforting and simply a reality; those universal truths. The most popular of which are often related to children, “Don’t Blink!” “They grow so fast!” Both of which are true and no matter how many times I tell myself this, I am continually shaking my head over where the time has gone despite my best intentions to soak it in. This littlest of the Sistred remains, sweet as the Sugarplum she is named for.

She is quick with a grin. She has the warmest of chuckles when you locate her tickle spots. She locks her gaze, raises her arms and dives into your face for a quick gum on the nose when she wants you to notice her. She sits and studies your face when you aren’t paying attention. She chortles to Barney and relaxes to Baby Einstein. She stares down the pink stuffed bear who is her same size when placed in a face-off. She plunks her toys on the ground enough to ensure a good round of calisthenics for her dinner partner. She snuggles in to your warm body when she is ready to drift off and kick, kick, kicks her pudgy little legs when you suggest she should and she whole-heartedly disagrees. She prefers to sit, stand, jump and play than to be left laying anywhere. She wants to be certain to be tucked in with her sisters wild rumpus rather than be left in a quiet spot to relax.

the sling- or her home within her home

She would rather you tuck her in to a sling and enjoy her company than be settled on the floor. But if you to intend for her to spend any amount of time on the floor, you best bring along a toy that she play with. Her little hands are busy, busy, busy these days. And along those lines, you might just hold off wearing any dangling earrings or necklaces for a while. Her long little fingers prefer to entangle themselves in anything they can find.

She sits!



Oh how we love our dear Sugarplum-



Also of note in the last month:

She grew two teeth! There was strangely, the start of a molar before either of these showed up, but then it sunk back into the gums and up came these pearls!

And she began her career as a foodie! First bites were oatmeal!

She met her Grampa!

She met her Aunt Shel!

Five Minute Friday: wide

…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here

Her grin cracks open wide now when she sees one of us. Her gaze is steady. It locks into your eye, your heart, your core with an initial seriousness that is well beyond her weeks on this earth. And then, just when her eyes show their twinkle she grins. Wide. And reaches out to be picked up. There is nothing so heart melting as a baby choosing to look you in the eye and grin. And when it comes after she has studied you with her gaze, you somehow are left to feel you earned it.

We thought she might be a serious, studious little soul when she first joined us. She came with an air of quiet contemplation. When the Sistred rallies around her and close in to breathe in her neck, nibble her sweet cheeks and tickle her toes she initially just looked on. Not scared, not rattled, not with fury or fear. Just quiet baby contemplation. Then in the quiet spaces between her sister’s glee and abandon she started to talk. To  wait till we settled in to gaze at her and tell us in serious tones about herself. You have to hold your words for her to find hers.  You have to give her some space. But if you can’t, if you just have to exclaim and nibble and snuggle into her babyhood, she waits. Quietly.

And when you are ready, her grin opens wide and draws you in even closer.