That has been the story lately, but more so me and less of the boys. In fact, I finally got Gabriel and Zeke’s cough-variant asthma under control, although it took many sleepless nights and a few pre-6 a.m. starts of our days.
Conversely, I have been hacking for nearly two weeks with no signs of improving. Admittedly, I had been taking an array of different meds, since I wasn’t sure if my sickness is due to allergies or a cold.
Really, my only symptoms are a constant cough, occasionally feeling achy, and fatigue, yet I’ve remained fever-less and with hardy appetite, so I’m leaning toward allergies. I’m now taking an expectorant to make my cough more productive, along with with some allergy meds, so I hope to knock this thing out asap.
Interestingly, Houston hasn’t had a cough, so I was also unsure of the root of his recent sickness. His only symptoms had been a sore throat and a major runny nose — which prompted him to quite dramatically act as if the world were coming to an end– that is, until Thursday morning.
Yes, Houston’s aforementioned symptoms has stopped by then, thankfully. But that poor child woke up with such red, puffy skin on his upper face that he could barely open his eyes. He didn’t have any goop or crust in or around his eyes; he was just a swollen mess.
I tackled what was obviously a flair up of Houston’s seasonal allergies with an ice-cold facial compress, antihistamine eye drops and other allergy meds. He’s doing much better now, as are the twins. Hopefully, I will be on the road to recovery soon, as well.
Health beyond allergies
It’s amazing how brave the kids are during doctor visits. On Monday, the twins had to get two vaccines each. Sure, they cried, but got over in about 20 seconds.
Then on Thursday, the 3 Amigos had a dental appointment. Houston, who used to abhor going to the dentist, politely requested that I not hang out with him during his cleaning. And while Gabe and Zeke still needed me nearby, they didn’t want to be held or coddled. Instead, they just relaxed and did as the dental professionals asked.
Speaking of teeth, Houston finally lost his tooth on Thursday, although this monumental occurrence happened during his nighttime brushing and said tooth plopped perfectly in the drain. Despite my best efforts, the tooth moved further down the hole. Fortunately, Stephen was able to disassemble the piping and rescue the incisor the sink abyss. Thanks, Daddy!
A giddy Houston put his first lost tooth in the tooth fairy pillow Granny bought him and awoke this morning to a dollar bill in the pocket. It sure pays a lot more to lose baby teeth in the 21st century than it did when I was a kid.
Last Tuesday, I met with my orthopedic specialist, Nikki. Since my last appointment, my mobility has improved and my pain has decreased. So, she modified my stretching regimen and assigned me strength-training exercises, and I plan on following her directives to a T. Here’s to getting limber, strong and healthy!
Being naked really works
Well, potty training in July ended with lots of poop in pants and even an explosive Gabriel dooky that got all over the couch. (Sigh.) Yet, in the face of such rebellious acts, I opted to give the twins the Thomas spin-brushes I had purchased for them months ago.
Yes, they were often using their pull-ups like diapers, but they were also going solo sometimes. Plus, I thought that the positivity of a reward might do them some good, since I tend to get bummed out when they have accidents caused by indolence and/or indifference.
Then last week, the brilliant Miss Christie told me about naked potty training. She used the method with both her sons, and the thinking is that if a kid has nothing on down south, he will resist soiling himself.
On one hand, I thought, “I’m not sure if Gabe and Zeke would even care if poop or pee were dripping down their legs.” But on the other hand, I considered, “I’ve attempted every other potty-training method known to man, so why not give this one a shot?!”
Granny and Grumps visited last weekend, so we gave the naked thing a whirl starting on Saturday morning. Amazingly, it worked! The only accidents that have occurred since then are when the boys are in pull-ups or undies for sleeping, outdoor play or jaunts away from home.
This has totaled one accident per day per child, with the exception of Zeke’s no-accidents day yesterday. The dudes have been doing such a fantastic job that they have earned back their motorized trains and being able to watch Thomas & Friends on Netflix.
Once we run out of our pull-ups stash, the plan was to use prefold cloth diapers and Thirsties covers, which Christie lent us, for nighttime and around-town use. This would not only save us money, but would also help motivate the boys to stay dry and clean, since prefolds aren’t near as wicking as disposable pull-ups.
However, I may be reconsidering this. First, I tried out the prefolds during our trip to the dentist, and both Gabe and Zeke drenched his (seemingly) without any hesitation or regret. It just didn’t seem the phase either one of them.
Moreover, this morning began with sweet music to my ears: “Mommy, I went doo-doo in the potty,” Zeke joyfully said. And indeed he had done so totally independent of me. Therefore, my concern is that he may not have been able to accomplish this feat if he had been wearing a cloth diaper and cover ’cause he probably wouldn’t have been able to get it all off by himself.
Plus, Zeke awoke with a dry pull-up yesterday, and Gabe’s have been virtually dry for the past two mornings. As of now, I’m unsure if I want to hinder them being able to deal with their first potty of the day solo. Any advice?
It’s not all poop & pee
Even though potty training is a drag, we’ve still managed to have some good times this past week, most notably, a playdate at our house with Beth and Christie and the kids. It was quite wild with three adults and eight kids in our small casa, but it turned out to be great fun for everyone.
On Monday, Houston’s harvester ants (for the ant farm Daddy and I gave him for his birthday) finally arrived. Getting all the ants in their new habitat was pretty hairy, but Miss Jessie and I pulled it off. Houston adores his new critters, tends to them carefully, and takes them to bed with him every night.
Last week, we had another pool date with Christie and her crew. Yet again, the 3 Amigos’ skills improved vastly from our last time in the water. I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston is actually swimming soon. The twins still have a ways to go, but it shouldn’t be too long till they’re right there with big bro.
And then today, the boys attended Maddie’s Tae Kwon Do birthday party. And then Houston took a dip in Alyssa’s new above-ground swimming pool for the first time.
In late July, Stephen and I decided to give Houston back the privilege of playing video games. He is allowed to play online educational or super-hero games for short sessions throughout the week, but he can only play on the weekends with Daddy and for closely monitored periods of time, as well.
Having to watch the clock like a hawk is a pain, but we don’t want him vegging out in front of a screen for any significant amount of time. (Our rule is no more than two hours max of TV and/or video games a day, with the goal being much less.)
Some research shows that playing video games activates dopamine, a chemical in the brain that supposedly makes kids want to keep playing games nonstop. I’m usually distrustful of child-centered research and overzealous safety information (’cause it often plays on emotion and not science or logic).
But I must admit that Houston can get a tad bonkers when asked to turn off his games — hence, the original hiatus. However, I think our new very limited and strict approach is working. My proof? “Hey, I’ll let you play Marvel Kids for a little bit after lunch,” I told Houston recently, to which he replied, “That’s okay. I think I’ve played enough lately.” Let’s hear it for self-control!
Wednesday night, the boys and I finally finished The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. What an incredible read. Since then, we have watched the movie twice, debating whether the book or film is better, and continue to discuss the heavy themes in the classic.
One of my favorite lines, which is quite apropos to critiquing today’s political and cultural climate, is when C.S. Lewis describes how Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy reigned in Narnia, after the great Aslan crowned them kings and queens:
“And they made good laws and kept the peace … and generally stopped busybodies and interferers and encouraged ordinary people who wanted to live and let live.”
Click the top photo to see all “Sound Swimming” pics and the above shot to view all “Chilling” photos from vacation. Lots more OBX pics are forthcoming.