Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Last night she went to bed at about 7:45 and went right to sleep. BVZ went to bed about 10:00. I stayed up working until about 12:30 am and when I crawled into bed exhausted I quickly realized that Norah wasn't in her usual place (sprawled across my side). I immediately said 'where's Norah??' to which BVZ responded 'on me. Parasite.' Sure enough she had wrapped her arms around his neck and snuggled her entire body into his neck and onto his pillow.
I gently pulled her by the hips to re-position her in the middle of the bed when I realized that 1) she was no longer wearing her pj pants, and 2) she was no longer wearing her diaper. I discovered her discarded diaper (on my pillow, no less) and it was bone dry. Dun-dun-duuuuuun. Sure enough, the entire middle of the bed was soaked. In pee. No wonder she was resting comfortably on BVZ's pillow. At least the kid is smart enough to not sleep in pee! Needless to say we got new sheets and Norah got a onesie under her pj's. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Parents = 0; Norah = 7,456
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I was not entirely comfortable with this because everything I read in my medical library (ie, Google) about allergic reactions in young kids to antibiotics was inconsistent with what I was seeing on Norah's skin. Her rash wasn't uniform--it was darker and more pervasive and was beginning to bruise on her stomach, knees, and back. Plus, it wasn't itchy. I conveyed to doctors 5 through 7 (remember, 4 physicians looked at her the day before) my concerns, especially in light of my own autoimmune issues that cause all kinds of skin wackiness, but they all reassured me that we should just keep giving her an adult dose of zyrtec twice a day and this other prescription anti-itch medication.
We had a nice day together--watched a lot of Curious George and Sesame Street, read books, did puzzles, played 'under' (she is obsessed with going 'under' anything--blankets, tables, pillows--you name it). I could tell she felt crummy though and as the day went on she got crankier and more sensitive to everything. Around 3:00 pm I noticed that she was favoring her left leg quite a bit and actually limping when she walked. Her knee was quite swollen, as was her ankle. She asked to lay down at about 3:30 and crawled into our bed, but not 15 minutes later she was crying and saying owie, owie, owie over and over again. I picked her up but she immediately stiffened and recoiled and started crying again saying she wanted to walk. I helped her get off of the bed and she started to walk but SCREAMED with every step and after about 5 steps flat out refused to walk another step. She was inconsolable (and Norah is NEVER inconsolable). She wouldn't stop sobbing so I called the advice nurse. The way it works is that you call and talk to a receptionist who takes down your information and then a nurse calls you back within an hour. In my experience calling the advice nurse line, oh about 8,456 times since Norah has been born, they usually take 59 minutes to call me back. But this time it was quick and I had a call back within about 15 minutes.
I filled the nurse in on what was going on and she could hear Norah crying in the background. I was pretty shaken up by this point and kept saying, 'I know she's been seen a lot and was just seen this morning, but I don't know, it just seems to be something more.' The nurse was fabulous and told me that she didn't care if Norah had been seen by 100 doctors 5 minutes ago, I had to trust my instincts that something just wasn't right. I agreed and said that we would bring her back to urgent care. She said that this sounded like something more than urgent care could handle and advised us to go to the emergency room at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
Norah was beyond hysterical at this point so I grabbed her and her bag (I didn't even put shoes on her) and got her in the car. I won't even go into what it was like putting that baby in her car seat, but suffice it to say I have a lot more gray hair at this point. We picked up BVZ on the way. There's a lot to be said about living near one of the best children's hospital in the country. We were seen right away (I think Norah's howling had something to do with it--but there weren't a lot of people anyway, so we got pushed to the front of the line). They took her temperature at triage and it was about 102. She had been hot all day because of the hives but I had taken her temp about 5 times and she never had anything over 99. We gave her some motrin while still in triage for the fever (we had been told by the first urgent care doc NOT to give her motrin unless she had a fever over 100 because he thought it would aggravate the allergic reaction). Within about 15 minutes-which is about the time it took to get us from the waiting room into a room-she was a completely different kid.
Now, you obviously never want to be in a pediatric ER, but if you have to be, this is the place to go. The waiting room was brightly colored and decorated with big, comfy chairs and couches. Each examining room was completely private and had a Mac with music, games, movies, and internet access, as well as a television with an entire library of kids movies and shows. Norah watched Cars and was in heaven. I quickly realized that it was dinner time and I had brought nothing for her, so her dinner consisted of water and a bag of cereal at the bottom of my bag.
She was given a thorough examination by a resident who listened and asked tons of questions about everything that had gone on over the course of the past three days as well as my own autoimmune history. Everything checked out (eyes, ears, lungs, heart, belly, etc), but she didn't have a definitive answer for us and felt strongly that Norah needed to be seen by the attending (Stanford is a teaching hospital and my best guess is that the resident does the initial examination and then presents her findings to the attending who either signs off on it or gets involved). We saw the attending and within 10 seconds of seeing Norah she knew exactly what it was (although that didn't stop her from doing a full exam--which I thought was awesome).
So, drum roll please..... Norah has Erythema Multiforme (EM) Minor. It is a highly sensitive skin reaction that can be caused by all sorts of things, usually a virus. It can also be caused by a strong reaction to a medication, but the attending felt this was unlikely in Norah's case since she had taken Amoxicillin before with no reaction. Most likely, it was a minor virus she had weeks ago and this is the way her body dealt with it. EM Minor can become EM Major (or Stevens-Johnson syndrome) and very, very, very serious if the mucous membranes in the nose, throat, and internal organs become involved. So, we are on alert for anything out of the ordinary as far as that goes. But, as long as things stay the way they are now (which is the most likely scenario), she just has to ride out the rash, which could last upwards of 2 weeks. (!!!) Antihistamines will do absolutely nothing (grrr), and the swelling of her joints can be alleviated with motrin--hence why she felt so much better after getting dosed at triage.
The bad news is that she is much more likely to have an EM reaction again in the future. She may grow out of it, but she may not. The rash still looks pretty bad today, and she was really sore and creaky when she woke up, but I gave her some motrin and she's walking around just fine.
We got home about 9:30 last night and Norah was WIRED (probably from having a bag of cereal for dinner--we had nasty egg salad sandwiches ). I asked her if she wanted to go to bed and she said, 'No, Mommy. Nanor eat.' I about fell over. Norah probably has around 200 words but the word EAT has never escaped her lips. Ha. I asked her what she wanted and she said 'eggy cheese.' So, I scrambled her an egg and cheese. Seriously, people, she has never ASKED to eat. This is big time stuff.
Thanks for all the well wishes and support. Hopefully this is our last medical related post for a while.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Yesterday (Saturday) was the ninth day of a ten day course and in the morning when I was getting her dressed I noticed a few small hives on her hand and leg. I am pretty sensitive (no pun intended) to hives because I deal with them on a daily basis, and so I called the advice nurse at the pediatrician's office. She said to stop giving her the antibiotic because that was probably what was causing the hives and to give her Benadryl if it got any worse or she seemed uncomfortable.
We went about our day as usual. BVZ took her to the park for an hour and then went to work. We did some errands and went to IKEA (we were there to look at bookcases but were distracted by how fun the toddler beds were to climb on) and got ice cream.
We got home and were skyping with Bubby when I noticed that the hives had spread all the way down her arm and up her leg. BVZ said something to the effect of 'that kind of looks like chicken pox' and I said, 'oh shit, please don't tell me that I let her roll around all the beds at IKEA with chicken pox'. Then I thought it might be measles and said, 'oh shit, please don't tell me that she caught measles from rolling around all the beds at IKEA.' (Disclaimer: we are very, very, very pro-vaccination, but we also have decided to vaccinate Norah on a much slower schedule than what the American Pediatric Association recommends. We have every intention of getting her both the chicken pox and MMR vaxes, we just haven't done it yet. She's not in daycare so her risk of exposure is lower and I just don't want to overwhelm her neurological system if I don't have to right now). Then BVZ said, 'please stop saying shit.'
We stripped her down and found this.
I talked to Aunt Stephanie and she told me that Megan was very allergic to penicillin, but didn't have the reaction until the third or fourth time she took it. Norah didn't seem to be bothered a bit by the rash and I figured it couldn't be that serious if she didn't even care. So, we gave her some Benadryl and called it a night.
This morning she still had the hives but instead of going to the park she wanted to do this.
As the day went on the hives got bigger and redder and more raised and Norah got more sad and more agitated. I made her an appointment with urgent care even though the advice nurse said she didn't need to be seen and by the time we got to the doctor her knees were the size of softballs and her hands were so swollen that she cried if I touched her. It hurt her too much to be carried across the parking lot but she screamed when she tried to walk. It's kind of hard to tell, but here you can kind of see how inflamed her knees were.
I won't post the pictures I took of her poor little body while we waited for the doctor (the nurse told me to since she'll have to be seen by her regular pediatrician tomorrow and it will be helpful for her to see what it looked like today), but she was on fire and in pain in a way that she has never experienced before. All she wanted was me to hold her, but holding her caused her more pain. It sucked so, so, so bad. The doctor immediately said it was an allergic reaction to something and since it was so systemic it had to either be food or medication. She hasn't had any new food in weeks, or even months, so the only likely culprit is the antibiotic. He said it was much more severe than a typical Amoxicillin reaction, but not outside the realm of possibility. His big concern was the swelling in her knees. He had her walk across the room so he could assess how bad it was and she took one step, collapsed, and started screaming 'owie knee, owie knee, owie knee'. I, of course, immediately scooped her up and then burst into tears.
He wanted to give her antihistamines and a steroid, but brought in another doctor for a second opinion (I could tell he wasn't sure what to do and I am so thankful he knew it and brought in someone else). She agreed that the swelling was a real concern, but that Norah is so young and it would be better to try aggressive antihistamines before going to steroids. We are alternating every two hours with Zyrtec and a prescription antihistamine and she improved significantly within just a few hours.
This is what the rash looked like about 3 hours after we gave her the first dose.
It has gotten much better on her arms and legs below the knees and is the worst in high friction areas (armpits and diaper area). We let her go commando for the better part of the afternoon and lay on the couch watching Sesame Street and Curious George. She was walking again by the early evening and we even had a potty breakthrough! (She was sans diaper but hadn't peed in hours so I was actually getting a bit concerned. Finally she starting shouting pee! pee! and then grabbed a diaper and peed in it! I couldn't believe it). Our excitement was short lived however, because not 15 minutes later she pooped on the floor (hardwood, not carpet, thank goodness).
Anyway, she is on the road to recovery. Never a dull moment around here.
Grandma Geri always brings fun treasures and lots of hugs.
Treasures that included a red cowboy hat.
Aunt Vanessa did a good job on N's hair.
A few weeks later we got Aunt Amy for a long weekend, which ruled. We spent a fabulous day in Golden Gate Park.
We love the fact that so many people who love Norah so much come to visit us. Come more often! We promise to take more pictures.
On our evening walks, Norah likes to sit and put her feet on the water meter in our neighbor's front yard.
Every time she's in the playroom she rips up her alphabet mat.
I recently got her this shirt of her boyfriend Elmo. She wasn't nearly as excited about it as I thought she would be.
Bubby (aka Grammy) was here last week and she and Norah had a great time. She showed up with a suitcase full of fun stuff sent from Megan and Trevor. They included their Sesame Street dolls that they were ready to part with. She is bananas for them and has to carry them around, all four at a time (Cookie, Big Bird, Ernie, and Elmo).
We started going to Gymboree. Norah is really into it. She has no fear of anything except jumping off the slide thing onto a spring mat.
She's totally into the bubbles.
This is the outfit she was wearing the other day. Our neighbor (granted, he's 94) asked me how my 'little guy' was doing.
Sometimes she wakes up with literally the most amazing bedhead.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
At the end of last summer I went back to work and we knew something had to change, so we called in the big guns and hired a sleep consultant (it was our anniversary gift to each other--ha). It was for all intents and purposes a damn miracle and that kid started sleeping from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am. Seriously. Many nights we didn't hear a peep from her until 7:00 am! It was as though the heavens opened up and the sun finally started shining. Sure, she had her bad nights here and there but for the most part we were confident that she was fixed.
If I have learned anything as a parent, though, it is that just when you think it is safe to go back in the water, Jaws is right below the surface just waiting to bite your legs off. About a month ago, Norah started waking again during the night. No biggie, we just would pull her into our bed and everyone would snuggle the night away. Except 'snuggle the night away' usually entailed me having a toddler hand up my nose and BVZ having a toddler foot wedged under his rib cage... Her waking seemed to coincide with BVZ's back surgery and inability to pick her up at all, so we figured it was probably a result of her needing and wanting to be close to him. So we relaxed the rules a little (the rule being everyone sleeps all night in their own bed). Slowly but surely she started waking earlier and earlier every night, demanding to be brought into our bed.
There are a lot of awesome things about all the talking that's going on with her. She can tell us what she wants to eat, drink, what she wants to do (walk v. carry), etc. The list is endless. Unfortunately she can also say things like 'Nanor's bed NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Mommy bed PUHLEEEEEESE' so there is no mistaking what she wants. But, last night was the night to end all nights as far as Norah's sleeping goes.
She went right bed at 7:30 pm--business as usual. By about 7:45 I could still hear her 'talking' to her stuffed friends. By 8:00 she was crying and yelling for me, so I went in and she was WIDE AWAKE. As in someone slipped this kid an espresso when I wasn't looking. I will spare everyone the gory details, but I spent the next 4 and a half hours (that's not a typo), trying to get her to go to bed. She wasn't upset (well, most of the time she wasn't upset), she just didn't want to go to bed. Here are a few things that failed:
- Rocking in the glider (we probably did at least 2 hours combined rocking. She kept asking for 'rockie, rockie' so I obliged, but it was ultimately unsuccessful).
- Putting all her friends in the crib, taking all her friends out of the crib.
- Laying down with Mom, Dad, Mom and Dad together, Bubby.
- Being put in her crib (mad screaming ensued and I worried she would figure out how to climb out).
- A Shower.
- Calm and soothing bedtime books.
- Calm and soothing music.
- An episode of Curious George.
- An episode of the Real World/Road Rules challenge (yes, I DVR it--don't judge).
- Sitting in the dark.
- Promising a car on her 16th birthday.
At one point she got pissed at something (I think Curious George ending) and she took off running and flung herself against Bubby's closed door. Her 26 lbs of fury worked and the door opened and she went head first into the corner of the computer desk. Many tears ensued and I thought for sure that would tire her out enough to fall asleep, but no dice.
Ultimately the only thing that worked (at 1:00 am) was settling her into her crib and then letting her cry. Thankfully it only took about 15 minutes for her finally to fall asleep, but man, did I feel like a big asshole. I felt like an even bigger asshole this morning when she was playing with her baby doll--putting her in the stroller, tucking a blanket around her, and giving her sweet kisses. And then showing me how the baby was 'crying.' Oh man, just reserve us a spot on Intervention now.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Um, what? I asked her how often we were supposed to do it. EVERY THREE MONTHS. Are you effing kidding me? She asked how long it had been since we'd done it.
Um. NEVER. I had no idea this was a thing. Is there some homeowner's manual that I don't know about? You know, the one that prevents everything from falling apart? So, I took off the front grill and I am not exaggerating to say that there was a CARPET of lint on the coils. Grammy helped me vacuum them up and for a few hours the fridge got cold again. But then it got warm and so we ended up having to call out for repair anyway (it was the thermostat).
But, chalk it up to another homeowner FAIL on our part. This American dream thing is way overrated.
But, in other cute Norah news, she has started calling Grammy, 'Bubby.' At first we thought it was a fluke, but sure enough, that's what she calls her. According to Urban Dictionary, 'Bubby' is an endearing term for a Jewish grandmother. We're going with it.
Friday, April 09, 2010
We went to the grocery store for her antibiotic and to get some sick provisions. We are so, so, so fortunate that with very few minor exceptions, Norah has been extraordinarily healthy since she was born. Because of that, when she does get sick, we still get to make a big deal out of it--buy popsicles, snuggle on the couch, watch Sesame Street, etc.
After we got our stuff I was buckling her in the car seat and she licked my hand. She cracked up and then licked it again. The following is our conversation about it:
Me: Did you just lick my hand?
Norah: Yes, yes, YES!
Me: Why would you lick my hand, silly girl?
Me: I taste yummy? That's nice. What do I taste like?
[I take that as a compliment]
Then she held out her hand so I could lick it.
Me: [Licking] Hmmm. You taste like snot. And cracker.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
We are about as non-religious as you can get over here, but I LOVE Easter. Maybe it's because it means Spring is officially here, or maybe it's just the candy, but it has always been one of my favorite holidays. It rained all damn weekend, but even that couldn't dampen our spirits.
Our Easter season actually started last weekend when we went up to the city to dye eggs with Lilah. I didn't take a single picture, but Lilah's mom did and you can read her great recap here. I am happy to report that Norah is no longer telling me 'Lilah bad' in the morning and pulling her own hair, but has instead added Lilah to the Elmo's Song song. (The lyrics to Elmo's Song are literally, 'La la la la. La la la la. Elmo's song.' Norah makes me go through 9,000 verses of this and substitute in people of her choosing. Most days we do Mommy, Daddy, Ruby, Elmo, Cookie, Baby, Baby Nor Nor, Ava, Kevin, Amy, Monkey..... etc, etc--you get the picture).
This past Friday we took Norah to see the Easter Bunny (you've already read all about that). Here she is before we went to the mall. Cuteness overload!
On Saturday we went to brunch at the house of some friends we met at music class. Norah and Josie were born only a day apart and hit it off at our very first class. We have had a handful of playdates with Josie and were lucky enough to get to spend the morning not only with Josie, but also with her 10 year old twin brothers and their parents. The twins are amazing. You can pick any country in the world and they can tell you all the countries that border it. Seriously. I named countries I had never even heard of (I was looking at a globe), and they knew all kinds of mad geography.
The boys are in love with the little girls and spent a lot of time and energy designing the perfect egg hunt for them.
It was a ton of fun. Sunday morning Norah woke up to her Elmo basket (thanks, Grams) stuffed with re-gifted treasures (at this age--and honestly, probably for the next 10 years--I see no need to buy more stuff to make holidays special. She had enough bubbles, stickers, sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls, and unopened watercolors laying around to make an awesome basket without buying a single new thing).
So creepy! She LOVES it.
She hunted eggs for the next 20 minutes or so and loved every minute of it. As soon as she would find one she would scream, 'EGGY!' and then put it right back and make me or BVZ 'find' it again.
I bought this Little People farm from someone in my local mom's club forever ago and it's been in the back of my car, forgotten. I got my act together and cleaned it up and she went bananas for it. Her imitation of a chicken is priceless.
After a giant breakfast of blueberry whole wheat pancakes,
It was time for a nap.
After her nap, she got dolled up in her Easter finest. This is my best attempt at making her fashionable. The shirt is cute, but the skirt didn't quite work. It it supposed to be long and then flare out in a bubble at the bottom. It kind of just looked like it was falling off the entire time. It didn't help that the length was right but it was too big in the waist. I did some MacGyvering with a binder clip and at least it stayed up.
We hosted an afternoon playdate for some of Norah's buddies and their parents. I made them buckets with their names to carry their loot.
The bunny cake is a long time G tradition. My mom has made one every year for at least 35 years. Every 10 years or so my birthday falls on Easter and it did when I turned 6. That was also the year I had the chicken pox on my birthday, so she put red jelly beans all over the cake that year. (Before you think to yourself how nice that was, remember that she was the reason I got the chicken pox in the first place. When you have 4 young kids and one gets chicken pox you want them to all get chicken pox so at least your life totally sucks all at the same time. I don't remember which sister had them first, but I know I got cootified on purpose by someone).
Anyway, I made a few modifications this year--instead of the traditional white cake I made a low sugar, whole wheat flour, pumpkin cake (somewhat negated by the cream cheese frosting, I suppose....). The ears were also mini cupcakes, which I hoped would be good for little hands. Good for eating, good for smashing.
I didn't take many pictures of the afternoon because chaos soon ensued, but luckily Ava's mom has an amazing camera and takes amazing pictures. You can see them all here and these are a few of my absolute favorites.
Look at that face! This reminds me of a the verse my grandfather used to tell me reminded him of me when I was a little girl: "There was a girl, with a curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very, very good. But, when she was bad, she was horrid."
It was a great day even though it poured rain the entire time.
Norah has maintained the Easter spirit even though the holiday is officially over. She has been hiding 'eggies' every morning and asking us to find them. Today she picked out one of her favorite eggs to take to Ruby. Thankfully, the neighbors still have their bunnies up. There is still a lot of hugging going on.
Friday, April 02, 2010
There was a surprising long line for Friday morning, so Norah entertained herself by touching all the decorations and going through strangers' diaper bags.
She had a moment of hesitation right before sitting on the EB's lap, but shockingly didn't freak out.
We told her to make her 'happy face' and the official shot turned out really cute.
We celebrated her great success at the California Pizza Kitchen. I hadn't eaten there in years. It's not very good. But, Norah got to sit in a booster seat, so overall win.