Hope you had a fun and safe holiday season!
Christmas with a toddler is pretty fun. This was the first year Libby really got what was going on. She loved the tree and the ornaments and the lights and the presents. Of course the presents.
Maggie could have cared less that it was her first Christmas because she turned two months old on December 25th.
We went back and forth a little on the “to Santa or not to Santa” debate and decided to just do it, because we didn’t want Libby to get asked “What did Santa bring you?” over and over and feel like she was missing something. But we tried not to put too much emphasis on it. That means no continual “Santa’s watching” threats, no Elf on the Shelf insanity (how the hell do you guys have energy for that??), and no pictures with Santa. I know it’s a tradition in families across America, but I’m weirded out by asking my child to sit on a strange man’s lap in front of a camera.
All that to say: Santa came. Santa built a KidKraft Kitchen in all Mommy’s spare and stolen time leading up Christmas. But it was worth it. She loves it and she plays with it literally every day. Not always as a kitchen of course – yesterday the refrigerator was the “stop and go right away” bathroom for her Daniel Tiger action figures & the day before I found her stuffed flamingo in her microwave. Although I suppose she could have been making a flamingo roast, so maybe that move was on game.
However, what I find interesting is that whenever someone asks her what Santa brought her, she says “Candy!” which is something I wasn’t planning on allowing Santa to leave. But the week before Christmas I asked Libby what she wanted from Santa and she said “Santa brings candy!” with those sparkly eyes of anticipation. So obviously I had to figure out what candy I was comfortable putting in her stocking. The winners were a box of yogurt covered raisins and a couple Reese’s peanut butter cups. Both items were savored appropriately, because she rarely gets candy.
Speaking of consuming sweets: Before Christmas, we had an adorable Christmas party play-date with our yoga playgroup friends. A gracious mommy allowed seven 2yr olds to decorate cookies in her house and have a secret santa gift exchange. It was exactly as messy & chaotic as you would expect. In the cutest best way possible.
Post Christmas, we made the trip down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for my grandfather’s celebration of life. He died in October the Friday before Maggie was born, but he was cremated and his wishes were to wait to do the ceremony until a date was determined that as many people as possible were able to attend. My mom is one of six, and there are six of us grown grandchildren, so getting everyone in one place at one time is quite a feat and he knew it.
Anyway, that date was determined to be December 28. It was wonderful to see everyone, but it was stressful to make that long drive with a toddler and a just-barely-no-longer-considered-a-newborn infant. And of course we never have our act together to leave town, so both coming and going we left too late and ended up arriving in the wee hours of the morning. It was way harder on Libby than Maggie because Libby’s carseat is tougher to sleep in.
Which brings me to New Years, when the illness began. We had gotten in the night before, at 1am, then everyone slept until like 9a or 10a. Brian’s friend Jamie was in town visiting his sister Jesse in Kingston Springs, so we were planning on going over there just for the afternoon. We knew the girls would not survive an actual NYE thing after all that travelling. We get there and everything seems okay, Libby is playing, Maggie is napping, we’re visiting. Then Libby is acting weird. Doesn’t want to eat anything offered to her, which she was doing a little of our last day in Baton Rouge too. Then she straight up fell asleep on the couch in the middle of everything, which I know other kids do all the time, but she has never once in her short life climbed onto a couch and voluntarily taken a nap. So I went over to her and realized she was shivering. And feverish. I told Brian we needed to leave immediately and get her to bed.
On New Year’s day her fever hit 103.2 and I was freaking out a little. 104 and I would have taken her to the emergency room. I gave her Advil, she went to bed early. Brian had the day off the next day so he took her to the pediatrician to find out she had RSV. However, the pediatrician was more worried about Maggie than Libby. Brian comes home all “she can’t give it to Maggie” and I’m like good freaking luck. We live in a tiny house and Libby doesn’t understand the “quarantine” concept very well; she just feels like she’s being punished for being sick because we keep telling her she can’t see her sister. Libby got worse before she got better, she ran the over-103 fever all the way through Tuesday night, so I took her back to the pediatrician on Wednesday.
By then of course Maggie is coughing. The doctor tells me to watch her, make sure her breaths per minute don’t take a weird spike, keep the humidifier going etc etc.
So then I’m on high alert all week long, Maggie seems to be not too bad other than the little cough. Then Sunday night she freaks me out with a coughing fit so bad I’m thinking she’s going to suffocate in front of my eyes. But she recovers herself. Back to the pediatrician. Obviously she has RSV as well. Which is terrifying because babies frequently are hospitalized for it. The doctor tells me it’s not in her chest though (Libby’s totally was), and that since she’s over two months old, she may pull through it without emergency status hitting.
Let me take a moment to tell you that caring for two sick babies while you are also sick (you thought I got through this without picking up the virus myself? ha!) is terrible. I’ve literally been doing to the bare minimum to keep us all relatively clean, fed and entertained. And I’ve felt so guilty because if I just had one girl and she was this sick, I’d just cuddle her all day and try to make her feel better. But trying to spread myself to comfort two at once was nearly impossible, one or the other was crying or moaning at all times. I was so relieved yesterday when Libby was well enough to go back to her little school. I was finally able to do some dishes (Oh my – I almost forgot to tell you – in the middle of all this, the temperature dropped to the teens and our hot water froze for a day and a half. Not the cold. Just the hot. Because my house totally screwy) and have at least a minor drop in the guilt gauge.
Today we are supposedly on the other side of it, at least the girls aren’t supposed to be contagious anymore. They both still have the worst sounding coughs though, and I’m still very anxious about it all. I will feel better when they both finally kick the cough & the sleeping/eating schedules get a bit back to normal. Right now, I’m still watching Maggie to make sure it’s not in her lungs (I’ll probably end up taking her back to the doctor next week just to be certain) and it’ll most likely take Libby another week or so to ditch that cough. Not to mention the high risk of post-RSV ear infections the doctor mentioned.
In between all the holiday-ing, traveling & being miserable sick, Libby and Maggie are of course still adorable and developing their little personalities. Libby is much more opinionated about her clothing options & has started to actively prefer skirts & dresses.
And Maggie is working on her smiling skills!
We are looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to throw at us! Happy New Year!