Hide and seek champ, he is not. But that’s probably a good thing, since this was in the grocery store.
The last couple weeks have been absolutely crazy. First Justin was gone, then when he got back we all got sick, then I had to spend some late nights writing a report for class and making soooo many shirts (hooray!). But finally, I’m all caught up and we’re all healthy and, amazingly, nature celebrated with us by giving us a gorgeous day. We were already headed to Cincinnati to pick up an awesome double stroller that I’ve been crushing on for a couple years now, so we decided to stop at the zoo while we were there.
We love zoos. While in Topeka, we were bare-minimum weekly visitors to the zoo. But I underestimated this zoo. Goodness. That place was HUGE! I saw a rhino and manatees for the very first time, a white lion and lioness, a komodo dragon…just so many animals. We didn’t even come close to seeing everything because the kids were exhausted (and so were we).
Favorites: Rosie loved the ducks and the lions (she kept waving to them). Mitchell loved the ducks that dove under the water, the manatees, and the polar bears.
Rosie’s trying to make up for my awful gardening skills.
And Rosie knows how to properly eat a pizza: toppings first!
So, as I mentioned in the previous post, Justin was gone all last week. We dropped him off at the airport Sunday morning and didn’t expect him back until Friday evening. Sunday through Wednesday went well. Wednesday night, Rosie got stuffy, so I gave her some ibuprofen. By Thursday morning, she had a fever and was coughing, so I repeated the ibuprofen and she was so fine that we went about our business. Around noon, her breathing started getting nasty. I told myself I’d wait until she woke up from nap to see how she felt before I called the doctor, but about halfway through her nap (on my chest, because where else would she nap?) I decided I needed to call the doctor. I was asking the nurse what I should look and listen for that would prompt a doctor visit, and the nurse asked what he breathing sounded like, and I said “Well, she’s right here on my chest, I don’t know if you can hear her…” to which the nurse replied, “Oh my goodness, that’s HER?! You need to come in now.” So I woke Mitchell up, who’d only been asleep an hour, and we headed in. They measured her oxygen levels and, even though it was at 95%, the doctor sent us straight to the ER with the warning that we would most likely be staying overnight. I said we’d need to stop at home to pack a bag, he said to be quick, and maybe have someone meet us there with an overnight bag and to pick up Mitchell, at which point I realized we had no one. Justin was in Florida, and all other family and friends were 11 hours away. So Mitchell would be hanging out in the ER with us. The doctor spouted off a few more dire warnings that gave me panic attacks, like don’t take highways because I’d have to call an ambulance if we got stuck in a traffic jam; don’t linger at home because she’s getting worse by the minute; and don’t think she’s ok just because her oxygen levels were ok, he expected all that labored breathing to catch up with her and for her oxygen levels to drop rapidly.
So, scared out of my wits, I raced home (the doctor gave me permission to speed, like any cop would have bought that), threw the bare necessities into an overnight bag, and got to the ER. They brought in nurses, physician’s assistants, a doctor, and finally the supervising doctor to diagnose croup. Throughout all this, Mitchell played nicely on the floor with his trains and cars. Because I was holding Rosie, who was hooked up to wires and doo-dads, I couldn’t get more than a foot or two from the bed. And even though the poor kid hadn’t had dinner (we got to the ER around 5:30), he was AMAZING. I couldn’t believe it. I kept waiting for him to start slamming cabinet doors or take off down the hall, but he didn’t do any of that. He even lightened the pre-deep suction mood by this nice little stunt:
Me: Mitchell, get your hand out of your pants.
Nurse (laughing): What have you got there?
Mitchell: Oh, I’ve got my hang down. Look, it’s so big!
Yeah, everyone laughed at that. Theeen the breathing treatment came. He wanted to sit on the bed with Rosie and me, and of course Rosie struggled and screamed throughout the treatment, and Mitchell was terrified. As soon as it was over, he jumped to the top of the bed with us and snuggled in with both of us. The doctor went to reach over him to check Rosie’s breathing, and Mitchell pushed his hand away, saying “She’s all better now. Leave her alone.” Broke my heart!
Just our luck, she didn’t respond to the first breathing treatment and round of steroids. She had to have another one, which meant we had to stay overnight for observation. Mitchell enjoyed the second treatment even less than the first. He wouldn’t let go of her the whole time. The nurses kept saying they were shocked he was still awake, but I didn’t really understand how they expected him to sleep.
Did I mention my phone had only 20% charge and I’d forgotten my charger? Luckily, a guardian angel called the hospital and had them bring me a phone charger and Mitchell some chicken strips. I was/am so grateful!
At about 11 that night, they informed me that Mitchell couldn’t stay the night. Um, well, then WE can’t stay the night. There really isn’t an option here. The nurse manager came in and said they’d be granting us an exception, but just for one night and just because it was so late she understood I’d have trouble finding someone (time of night had nothing to do with it, lady). She warned us that we’d have a roommate, so there would be no running around or yelling (you clearly didn’t talk to the other nurses about his behavior before you came in here). She also warned us that he and I would be sharing a 3-foot-wide sleeper chair (joke’s on you, that’s about how much space the three of us occupy every night).
We didn’t make it to our hospital room until 11:30 that night. Nurses were coming in and out for at least an hour after that, and they all wanted to talk to Mitchell and tell him how great he was. Our lovely roommate also had her tv tuned to vampire or zombie movies/shows the entire time, so Mitchell may be a bit traumatized. He finally went to sleep around 1.
As expected, Rosie wouldn’t sleep in her crib. I tried a few times, but finally brought her into the ridiculously small chair with us. There was just enough space for her to lay with her head on my stomach and legs draped over Mitchell. We must have been a sight. Amazingly, they both slept pretty well even though the roommate wouldn’t let anyone turn the light off or adjust the volume on her tv.
Justin managed to catch an earlier flight, so my solo experience ended at about 9:30 the next morning. We were released after another steroid treatment around 2.
Rosie’s feeling better today. Not great, and she’s still insisting that she take naps on my chest, but at least she doesn’t sound like she’s growling every time she takes a breath. She’s still rocking the pathetic break-your-heart whimper, though, so I don’t know that I’ve put her down more than a handful of times today. Or, really, since Wednesday afternoon. Oi. My arm hurts.
So, once again, it’s been about two weeks since my last post. Let’s just pretend the last few days didn’t happen and say that life has been treating us well. Justin was in Florida for the last week, and we missed him terribly, but we survived. With the help of Ikea and fart food play areas, of course. Mitchell and I discussed that he was not to jump into the ball pit at Ikea, and I spoke with the supervisor of the play area when we got there, but it turned out to be unnecessary; he listened so nicely and didn’t jump into it once. Unfortunately, I was still called back (over the loudspeaker, even) after only fifteen minutes. I could hear him screaming clear across the giant store. Another kid had run into him and he had a heck of a bruise on his cheek. That play area is cursed, I tell ya! So he ended up shopping with us anyway, and except for a couple “I want this giant fake tree that I’m going to carry around even though it’s clearly way too heavy and big for me to carry” tantrums, he handled himself very nicely. Especially considering we were in the store for four hours. He was rewarded with a wooden train track set that he’s been obsessing over ever since we got home.
Pictures, pictures, so many pictures.
This is Mitchell’s new way of ensuring Rosie doesn’t get into the toilet.
We made play dough, but Mitchell enjoyed making it way more than he enjoyed playing with the finished product.