T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

We've all been struggling with a virus around here. It's really not too bad but there are some non-desirable symptoms - fatigue, aches, sore throat, occasional fever. I can always tell when T Rex is not feeling well because he melts down at the drop of a hat. Or at the drop of a toy. Or sometimes for no reason.

That's how it's been the past couple days. Tantrum after tantrum. And generally for no reason. I've kind of just started ignoring it because I figured it did not merit any kind of disciplinary action. I've been working really hard at making the punishment fit the crime.

Well, today at lunch I just could not take any more food flinging. He never does that and I decided it was not time to start - virus or no virus. After a stern "no thank you" that merited no results, T Rex was given two choices - sit and eat his bread or go to time out. He chose time out - yes, he really does verbally choose time out sometimes and he will even walk there himself. Even when he's acting out, he's still such a good kid. He sat in time out on and off for probably 20 minutes. When he finally decided to sit at the table and eat his food he was rubbing his eyes.

I thought the eye rubbing and swelling was due to his endless crying while in time out. However, it just seemed to be getting worse. After he declared he was "all done" with his lunch, I took him to the bathroom to wash his face thinking something was irritating his eyes.

Then in addition to the swelling eyes I noticed small hives appearing all over his face and neck along with lip swelling. Now I was certain he was having some kind of allergic reaction. I grabbed the children's Zyrtec (antihistamine) and gave half a teaspoon of it. I went to the locked medicine closet and there happened to be a bottle of children's Benadryl so I gave a teaspoon of that. We also keep epinephrine (or adrenaline) for emergencies and I grabbed that and my antihistamine eye drops.

You're probably wondering why I have all this stuff. It is all prescribed by a qualified physician - some I keep on hand for emergencies and some I have because I have horrible unpredictable allergies. T Rex has allergies too but they have never manifested like this.

Poor guy, since I was by myself at home with the kids, I had to hold him down with my knees to administer the eye drops. Luckily he happily took the liquid meds. I called T Rex Dad and asked him to come home since we might be making a trip to the ER. He raced home.

At the beginning of his nap - note the hives, swollen lips, and minimal eye area swelling.

When T Rex Dad showed up 20 minutes later, T Rex had settled down and was quietly napping in his bed snuggled up to my stethoscope that I had used to check his lungs for wheezing and airway compromise. Lungs sounded good - no epi was needed.

With all those antihistamines, he slept for 3+ hours. T Rex Dad laid down with him during the rest of his nap making sure he didn't start coughing or wheezing. I took this opportunity to take care of T Rex Princess - what a good baby! She either slept or patiently watched all this happening even though it was her lunch time.

After nap time - hives gone, lips back to normal - eyes severely swollen.

When T Rex woke up, the hives and lip swelling were gone but his eyes were swelled nearly completed shut. The first thing he said to me was, "Eat bread?" I completely broke down. T Rex Dad had to hug and hold me. I had felt like all this was my fault. If I had just overlooked the flying food, he would not have been sent to time out where he would not have rubbed his face on the wall that led to an allergic reaction. I am thinking maybe it was the latex in the paint? Regardless, I still felt like I was partially to blame.

I sobbed for a few moments and then realized I had to call his allergist to determine if we needed to be seem, go to the ER, or wait/watch. I did everything I felt I could possibly do within my scope of practice. Even if I was a full fledged nurse practitioner I could not prescribe anything for my own child. The only other thing I could think he might possibly need was some oral prednisone (steroid) but when we used to have to give that for his asthma he would get "roid rages" - that's probably the last time he did fling food!

I spoke with the on-call physician who knows me well and may very well be my boss some day. He said I did everything right including the eye drops which are not indicated for kids but he would have done the same thing. And he would not have given the epi either - his airway was never compromised. What I did learn is that it takes the eyes several hours longer to un-swell than the other areas of the face/head. He said I could administer another dose of Benadryl and call if anything worsened but the worst was most likely over.

After bath time - eyes starting to look a little more normal.

Right before bed - starting to look like my T Rex again.

So, we'll probably be going to the allergist soon and seeing if we can pinpoint what caused his reaction. The only thing he has thus far tested positive for is dog dander. We do have a dog but she is a low-dander producer and has not caused this magnitude of problems before. Plus, I'm sure it has something to do with rubbing his face on the wall. That he has never done.

Regardless, it was extremely scary and I just feel awful for my little guy. However, he could not have been too traumatized from it because he ate all his bread for dinner! I didn't mean for my punishment to be so extreme. I'll try and tone it down next food flinging - if there is one!

Update: T Rex is back to normal today (the next morning) and we'll be going in for a scratch test next week. It is possible he was rubbing his face on the wall because it already itched. In the adrenaline rush of the event I didn't think about that.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wordful Wednesday...

How many people get to do this...

Feeding Julius the Giraffe at the zoo.
and this...

Exercising my right as an American citizen to vote.

and see this...

T Rex (left) and his best bud Joseph (right) - Touching toddler moment.

All in the same day?!?

For more Wordful Wednesday fun, visit:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Breastfeeding and Primary Elections...

What do they have in common?

Embarrassment for T Rex Mom! Or just one of those "mommy moments".

Last week after my naptime workout - so called because I work out while the kids nap - I was nursing T Rex Princess on my normal spot on the couch. It faces the front door but there are blinds so no one can see in the door side windows. While I was feeding the baby, T Rex woke up and came and snuggled with me as he always does after a good nap. We all sat together enjoying the quiet time and listening to "Baby Sister drink milk".

Then the doorbell rang. T Rex LOVES when the door bell rings. For a while we had it disconnected because I was tired of the UPS man ringing the door bell while T Rex napped. Once a very pregnant T Rex Mom chased him down the street to "ask" him not to do it again. That didn't last long so, rather than deal with a grumpy hormonal wife, T Rex Dad temporarily disconnected the doorbell and life was once again good.

When the doorbell rang, I asked T Rex to just sit with me and we would ignore it. Ha! He could not have any of that! Rather, he went running to the door, tore open the blinds, and looked at the man at the door. The man peered at my little guy, flashed him a smile, and then looked in the window toward me.

View from my "nursing spot" on the couch.

I guess all the commotion also drew attention away from her milk since right as the man made eye contact with me, T Rex Princess turned away from the breast exposing myself to the man. Well, after that, I felt compelled to answer the door. I went to the door and opened it. The man handed me a flyer and simply said, "This is me."

As luck would have it, my summer school class is titled "Health Care Policy and Finance - A Nursing Perspective". Our first assignment, look up our local elected officials for our particular district. When the man introduced himself and what position he was running for, I was actually already aware of who was in office as well as some of the bills that were pending in the House. This politician was running for the Senate so I was not as up-to-speed on those ones, but at least I could pick his brain about House bills.

I told him I had never heard of him, but had seem his signs around the district. He asked if I received the newspaper - no. He asked if we might have seen his interview on the local news. Again, I answered in the negative and stated we do not get television. I can only imagine what this man thought of me.

I'm sure I looked pretty scary having just finished a pretty intense elliptical run to immediately get off, still sweaty, and feed the baby. Although, maybe he didn't notice since there was my breast staring him in the face. I simply don't think to cover up when I'm home.
He never directly mentioned the flashing incident but at one point in our conversation he did mention he had three children and was very family oriented.

Self-portrait of my "scary self" after said event.

He was a very strong candidate and I really enjoyed speaking with him. And he'll most likely get my vote at Tuesday's primary not because his qualifications are strong and not because I unintentionally flashed him, but because he rang the doorbell after nap time and not during it!

Got any interesting "mommy moments" of your own to share?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ecofriendly Wedding Gift

Remember I hinted I was working on an ecofriendly wedding gift for an ecofriendly wedding. Well, the wedding was this past weekend so I can now put up a photo. Here's the finished product:

Bamboo cutting boards and spoons, reusable shopping sacks, pot holders, wash cloths, bamboo coasters, and Idaho honey (from "free range" honey bees).

Here are the individual homemade items in the basket:

My signature reversible reusable shopping bags.

My mom helped with these - wash cloths on the left, pot holders on the right - organic unbleached cotton yarn used.

Here's a photo of me with my ecofriendly baby ready for the wedding.

My mom and sis entertaining T Rex Princess before the ceremony.

It was kind of surreal experience witnessing my cousin's wedding. When my mom was recently divorced, my aunt and uncle took my mom and me camping. They insisted that my mom needed a break, and I, being 3 years old, was happy to go fishing with my favorite uncle. On that trip was my cousin who was pregnant with the baby girl who would be this bride. I remember it was the first time I had been around anyone pregnant and was extremely curious. I think I asked my cousin multiple times to see her belly. Awesome to me that baby would turn into this incredibly beautiful (inside and out) young women.

Two most gorgeous ladies at the wedding!

It was truly a gift to get to witness such a lovely event on such a lovely day. Best wishes to this lovely couple. And enjoy your gift! It was a lot of fun to make.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer Break - Part II

Some more of what I did during my short summer break...

Thursday evening we headed out to meet with some friends for sushi after which we cruised downtown. I love our downtown area - very family friendly. I just love our little city. And I love these folks in the photos...

Actually he was tossing quarters since we did not have any pennies. That's why T Rex Dad retrieved them over and over so he could do multiple tosses! Note there are no photos of me tossing any pennies in the fountain. I don't make wishes any more - I have everything I could have ever wished for and more!

Now onto a brand new semester - wonder what is in store for me???

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer Break...

What does a part-time family nurse practitioner (FNP) student and full time mom do with her one week off for summer break?

Lots of cleaning and organizing. A few things were put on the back burner this semester and it was time to pay the piper!

One of the more interesting chores - organizing the kids' clothes. Our daughter will be wearing some pretty snazzy T Rex hand-me-downs - blue colors, dinosaurs, rockets, and all.



Note T Rex Dad's 17 year old Jetta - too sentimental for us to get rid of and it still gets great gas mileage!

The rest, folded and ready for use.

But mostly, I've spent my time doing this...

(Yes, I know about the sling recall - every time I put T Rex Princess in it and I'm out and about, some concerned stranger stops me to ask if I know about the recall. Yes, but my sling is not one involved and with as loud as this girl snores, I would know if she stopped breathing.)

My little guy is so happy to not have to wait for "Mommy finish work". T Rex, your mommy agrees!

Back to school next week but at least it's only a 3 credit class over the entire summer - hopefully a piece of cake. And it should be very interesting - health care policy and finance.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rube Goldberg Part 2

Remember when T Rex Dad repaired the furnace? Well, this time it was T Rex Mom repairing T Rex's glasses. Our son seriously needs his glasses - all the time. He even asks for them if he goes any amount of time without them.

Well, last night, T Rex Dad was carrying them - yes, only carrying them, and they fell apart at the nose piece right in his hands. It's going to take a few days to get them replaced so what to do in the mean time? Well, jerry-rig something or as T Rex Dad says, do a Rube Goldberg. And that's just what I did. Grandma would be proud.

When I was a girl I lived with my grandma for a while. She lived in this tiny, ancient house that had actually been moved at the turn of the century since the town it was located in was going to be flooded when Hoover Dam was built and Lake Mead created. That house was literally insulated with newspapers and the windows were held together by tape. The roof leaked like crazy. It was my job after a rain storm to get up on the roof and patch the holes with rubber cement. Rubber cement was Grandma's fix to everything. Well, I guess I learned a thing or two...

T Rex's glasses held together by Scotch tape and a rubber band - not rubber cement but close enough, right?

T Rex happily wearing said glasses (yes, he's doing his morning potty break - but that's usually the only time he holds still in the morning and I needed a still shot to show the glasses.)

We'll see how my "jerry-rigging" holds up.

In the mean time, is there anything around your house that you've jerry-rigged or Rube Goldberged?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Holding onto every moment

It's different than I expected but better than I could have hoped.

When I was a small child my mother was director of a preschool. She lived kids all day. I was there all the time and it left a sour taste in my mouth about being around so many kids. I determined then and there that there would be no kids for me. When my parents divorced when I was three I also determined that I did not believe in marriage either so the equation was simple to me: not getting married hence no kids. Easy. This decision was met with not-so-few disapproving comments, though.

When I was getting ready to graduated from high school my guidance counselor actually refused to write a recommendation letter for me to apply to Stanford University. I think his exact words were, "It's not a woman's job to pursue such endeavors (medicine) but rather stay home and raise kids."* Oh yeah, that set my blood a boiling. He was a nice guy and funny enough, his wife was a career woman and I think all of his multiple daughters all pursued graduate degrees. Not sure what his problem was but it only made me more determined to pursue my goal of becoming a career woman, living in an apartment with a cool dog, and living out the rest of my life taking care of patients - not kids. My back up plan - join the U.S. Airforce and become a nurse.

(*Disclaimer: I am in no way putting down women who do pursue these aspirations. I am currently pursing this career pathway and I find it to be much more challenging than any other jobs I've previously had.)

Well, accepted to Stanford I did, pay for it, I could not. At the time, my mom was making 10K working as a grocery store clerk in our small town. How she supported us, I still do not know. So, I went to college anywhere I could get a full scholarship. I started out as a piano major at UNLV and ended up graduating from nursing school at Boise State University. But that's a tale for another posting.

Moving to Boise meant reconnecting with this handsome man I had met at one of my sister's work gatherings when I was only a young lass of 16 years. Oddly enough, I was more than happy to settle down with this person and someday have his children. My simple equation did not take falling in love into account. Honestly, I think no matter what path I had pursued I would have ended up in the same place I am now. T Rex Dad is former Airforce so if I had gone that route I might have been his Florence Nightingale.

We enjoyed our kid-free years - all six of them. And we knew we always wanted kids but we both felt it important to have alone time. T Rex Dad is still and always will be the best friend I've ever had. And I still get butterflies in my stomach in the evenings when I know he's on his way home from work. He is truly the first man I ever loved and it would take a force of nature or an act of God (in his case - both) to deviate from my goal.

I'm so glad He did as here are the results:

Motherhood has been the most wonderful experience of my life. T Rex Dad and I both say, we just need to keep holding onto and cherishing every moment because they grow up all too fast. Someday, probably in about 50 years, we'll be sitting around in our recliner chairs reminiscing the days of pregnancy, new babies, potty training, trips to the zoo, illness, purchasing our first jungle gym, a house full of toys, changing an office into a playroom, and whatever else life has in store for us. Right now though, we're holding onto to every memory both good or not-so-good. I'm just so grateful that I get to enjoy this adventure called motherhood.

Share with me what experiences you'll be remembering when you're in the rocking chair looking back on either your days as a mother or your days with your own mother.