Happy 2nd Birthday, O!

Because it’s not official until it’s ALL over the Internet and social media.

My baby girl turned 2 today.

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(Yes, I do let my kid play in ballpits. I ain’t afraid of no gonorrhea or whatever those things are contaminated with.)

Basically there was a lot of cake eating, a lot of playing with friends, a lot of great presents, and the very best part, NO fever. It would seem the birthday gods were shining down on us, because this was the first time she didn’t get one like clockwork, and I’m so elated, I don’t even have the words right now. Greatest day EVER.

Celebrity Parents are the Worst.

It’s been a while since I’ve judged celebrity parents. Let’s do this!

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Oh Kris Jenner. You are literally the worst. I am beyond embarrassed for you. Having body parts the same age as your children does not = being the same age as your children. You are old and terrifying and please stop trying to live vicariously through your daughters. I simply cannot condone your behavior anymore. At first it was a little bit endearing. Like, I get it. You’re separated now or divorced or whatever, and you want to feel sexy and get some attention. But there are just too many photos now, and we can’t unsee what we’ve seen and it just needs to stop. Yes, your daughters are hot, but no, you are not one of them.

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“OMG OMG OMG Can you believe the Prince turned 1?” Yes, yes I can. What I can’t believe is there are tricks out there that give a shit. Remind me why I need to care? I looked at this photo and I actually fell asleep. Like literally actually closed my eyes and was in full REM sleep. I’m so bored of all this vanilla. So. Much. Vanilla. And those overalls? I can’t. Baldness…butterflies…boring. Yawn. Wake me up when this isn’t a thing anymore.

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Aaaaand this. Queen Bey posted this on her Instagram after rumors began to circulate about her and Jay Z separating. I can’t hate because I love the girl, and I’m actually rooting for her little family, but haven’t these people heard of nursemaid’s elbow? You’re gonna dislocate BIC’s joint right out of its socket if you do that. XO, your fan, a paranoid Jewish mother.

Friday Faves

Happy Friday, friends! Today is my first real day of summer break, because Wednesday I finished my course, and yesterday we had O’s specialist appointment. Needless to say, I’m in a pretty euphoric state of carefree bliss!

Just a quick (and probably last) update about O’s fever syndrome. Yesterday’s appointment went exactly how I wanted it to. They did one last round of blood-work (7 vials taken in under 1 minute by a super gentle lab technician at the hospital versus the last time at a LifeLab where they couldn’t find a vein and poked and prodded and tortured her for a good 10 minutes), but since they need to send it to the US for comprehensive testing to get a diagnosis for which fever syndrome she has (there are 6), it will take 3 months for results. BUT, in the interim, we got a prescription for a low dose oral steroid (not a needle!), which we administer at the onset of a fever. 4-6 hours later, and *poof*, the fever will be gone. The doctor also let us know that children often grow out of this, and tonsillectomy is only done in dire circumstances if the child hasn’t shown improvement with the steroid. Anyway, there are no words to express my relief that we were able to get in early, and get the meds so we can avoid her being sick on her birthday.

So yeah, let’s just drop the depressing medical chit chat and move on to some fun stuff. I wanted to share with you some things I’m loving as of late.

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Hot pink baby pedi! I used Zoya polish, because it’s natural and toxin-free. Shockingly enough, O sat still the entire time I did it, but afterwards when I told her not to curl her toes because they have to dry, she deliberately curled them into the white bathroom rug and cackled maniacally. #terriblesttwo

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The relationship these two have as O gets older. The Hubby is the most fun and hands-on dad ever, and O just idolizes him. I had to snap this picture while sitting on the couch with them because it made my heart explode.

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Italian donuts. This isn’t parenting or baby related, but eff it. It’s the summer and in the summer I like to binge. I want to show you ALLLLLLL the custards and fillings.

THIS video. As an English teacher, it gets me a little hot and bothered, won’t lie.

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This preggo. I just love me some Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum. Ain’t no shame. They’re hands down my favourite Bachelor couple (Sorry Shawn and Catherine, y’all are just way too hyped up), and I’m so excited they’ve having a baby. Is this normal? I have no life. (Interesting side note: During her season, my students used to tell me I looked like her. I don’t see it, but cool, I’ll take it. Better than last week when someone in my course told me I look and talk like the teenager in Modern Family, who is 16 in real life. Wow, that’s flattering, Not.)

 

Easing Toddler Transitions

First of all, for those of you interested, I pulled a total supermom move and managed to get O an appointment with the specialist for tomorrow. That’s two weeks earlier than our other appointment. Apparently being a shark and persistently calling for cancellations pays off!

Alright, so…toddler transitions. This is not something I consciously thought about, until a friend of mine posted an article to her Facebook page, and it got me thinking. Why *are* toddlers so damn crappy at transitioning from one thing to the next? So many of my friends say their two year olds refuse to go to bed, refuse to leave the park, refuse to get dressed in the morning, etc. I know we’re *really* struggling with this too. In the morning, when we get O ready for school or to go out on the weekends, homegirl screams bloody murder. I’m pretty sure the neighbors across the street can hear her blood curdling shrieks of “JAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS, I WANT JAMAAAAAAAAAAAAS!” Because if it were up to her, she would be going out in her pajamas (or naked ass naked). No diaper, no clothes, no hair style…nothing. And it’s exhausting. So I obviously want to hear some of the strategies that work for all of you, but I’ll share a few of my own as well.

  • Routine and consistency. DO not surprise these little gremlins, or else they will freak the eff out.
  • Five minute warnings. Before we get ready for bed or transition to something, I let O know she has a few minutes before we do it. This sets her up for the change, and she usually copes fairly well with it.
  • Set limits. Every night at bedtime, I tell O she gets three books. There’s no negotiation. Three books, brush our teeth, and peace the eff out. Sure she tosses and turns for like, an hour in her crib before she falls asleep, but she doesn’t cry or fight me on it.
  • ALL. the. bribes. (Err, I mean, rewards) Chocolate, stickers, trips to the toy aisle at Walmart…whatever works.
  • Choice. This one has been helpful for us. When O is being difficult and won’t get dressed, I’ll present her with two options and she can pick. Sure, she always goes for the rattiest t-shirt and shorts (extra points for permanent stains from daycare and/or ripped), but at least she’s asserting her independence and feels like she has a say.

Moms, what else helps your toddlers cope with transitions? Oh, and how do I get my kid to wear cute dresses and skirts and the leather sandals I bought for her? Because I probably spent like $1000 on cute summer clothes for her, and she insists on showing up to events and parties in running shoes and sweatpants. Help a sista out please! XO

Every Kid Has Their Shit

First of all, I want to thank all my friends for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. We’re holding tight for the specialist in three weeks, and hope to get some definitive answers then. In the meantime, I’m just trying to stay optimistic that this is something simple and easily treated.

Last night I went for dinner with one of my favourite friends. She’s been a constant support for me since this all began, and because she’s highly intelligent, she doesn’t say some of the asinine things I’ve heard lately (ie. a woman in my course telling me these fevers are from growth spurts, or another woman telling me I need to get this figured out ASAP because she’s seen stuff like this “not end well.”). Anyway, this friend has a perfect little 11 month old son. He’s got the best temperament, he’s an early walker, an early talker, and just generally a pretty awesome kid. But guess what? He currently only has one testicle. They’re waiting for the other one to descend, but if it doesn’t, he will need to have a procedure. Upon hearing this, I had an epiphany. EVERY kid has their shit. Even the seemingly perfect ones. When O has her fevers and we stay home with her for days on end, I spend a lot of time on social media feeling sorry for myself and for her, because everyone else is out enjoying their time with their kids. However, I think social media has deluded me (and probably many other parents) into thinking that everyone else has a perfect life and doesn’t struggle with anything hard. People only post the most flattering aspects of their lives. The pictures of their kids when they’re at their happiest. The status updates about their kids doing advanced things. We don’t see the temper tantrums, the picky eating, the medical issues, or any of the other shit. It’s a distorted reality and only a partial representation of their lives. I mean, I understand why everyone does it. We want to portray ourselves as amazing parents. The public perception matters to us. But I guess I’m exempt from this notion, because I’ve been blogging since day 1 about how hard parenting is.

Anyway, this whole ordeal has made me re-evaluate the use of social media. Perhaps some of you have noticed that I haven’t been active on Facebook for a week or two. I think I’m just more inclined now to share the intimate details of my life with only my family and closest friends who *want* to know what’s happening (and all of you…face palm). I don’t want to put as much out there, either negative or positive. I think my over-sharing days are done.

My Biggest Confession Yet

Phew. Deep breath. I have a feeling I’m going to have a hard time pressing publish on this one.

Guys, O is sick.

I’ve bottled this one up long enough, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I want to tell you about the nightmare we’ve endured the last 4 months. I know my last post made it seem like my life is rainbows, gumdrops, and teddy bears, but no, it’s not. It’s been utter hell (which may help you all to understand why I’m keeping her in daycare all summer).

O has always been a sick kid. She’s super susceptible to illness, and before she was even a year old, had a couple colds, ear infections, and even Roseola. Within a week at daycare, she had caught Hand, Foot, and Mouth (although people say the incubation period is long before she showed symptoms, which would suggest she contracted it before she started daycare). But the last four months have been different.

Every three weeks/21 days, like clockwork, O gets a fever for 3-5 days. It gets really high (40/104 degrees), and she doesn’t present any real symptoms, other than swollen glands and a red mouth (which are common with fevers). She’s super irritable, doesn’t eat much, and often vomits at night. We saw countless doctors, including our pediatrician, and several walk in clinics, and they all diagnosed her with a “virus.” Even the ER doctor at Sick Kids diagnosed her with viral strep (not the bacterial kind that requires antibiotics), and sent us on our merry way. About two months ago, I stopped believing this diagnosis. I didn’t feel in my gut that this was “normal” and a result of “being a daycare kid.” So I started to conduct some research.

I found out about something called “Periodic Fever Syndrome”, which totally fit the bill. Essentially it is characterized by symptom-free fevers that get very high at regular intervals, and can tracked consistently with a calendar. When not in a febrile episode, the child lives a completely normal life. During the couple of weeks when O is well, she eats well, sleeps well, and resumes her normal activity. She can be difficult, but we’re not sure if that’s her personality/age, or she doesn’t feel great even in between episodes. However, no one would know she’s sick. It’s all still very disconcerting though, because I recently found out at the doctor last Thursday that she’s only gained 1 lb. in 5 months, and half an inch in height. She’s not growing well because she doesn’t eat much during the attacks.

I read that very often, doctors will dismiss these episodes as viruses, but that you have to push for help. Some methods of treating the fevers include a shot of Prednisone (a steroid) at the onset of an episode, or more drastic measures to completely eliminate the fevers, which are to remove the tonsils and/or adenoids. I had a tough time getting people on board with me. Hubby and my family were content to accept the virus diagnosis. I was not. I pushed for more help, and we eventually got O a blood test. She was not in an episode at the time, so her blood work was normal. Our pediatrician got us an appointment at the end of July to see a specialist at Sick Kids anyway, because normal blood work when they’re well is common. We also just had blood taken on Friday when she started this episode of fever, so we will find out the results of that tomorrow. I suspect there will be some red flags to bring with us to the specialist.

That being said, I’m trying to get our appointment moved up to before her birthday in 3 weeks, because I can’t fathom her having to go through this hell on her birthday. It’s probably the hardest part of all of this. Her quality of life has been so greatly diminished, that I just want to get an official diagnosis and get her some treatment.

Now, I’m not confessing all of this because I want your sympathy. I know that some children go through far more severe illnesses, and this is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I’m talking about it 1. to bring awareness to the issue, and 2. to tell all moms to trust their intuition and push for help. The Canadian medical system is wonderful because our health care is free, but it’s a double edged sword. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. I don’t feel anyone has really taken a vested interest in helping my child, so I’m going to do as much research as I can, and make things happen. A mother knows their child best, and I don’t care how many doctors think I’m aggressive and crazy. I will get my daughter help.

Why I’m Sending O to Daycare All Summer

A lot of my teacher friends are home with their toddlers this summer. Or they’re sending them to daycare part time. Here’s a list of reasons why I’m keeping O in daycare full time all summer. (PS I don’t feel guilty and I don’t care if you think I’m a shitty mom. XO)

  • Because I’m taking a course for three weeks.
  • Because I work really effing hard during the school year.
  • Because I’m trying to up/maintain my fitness.
  • Because one day in the near future we may have a second kid, and my quality of life will never be this good again.
  • Because she’s too young for sleepover camp.
  • Because she’s a kid who thrives on routine and stimulation and daycare provides both of those things for her.
  • Because she’s a pretty terrible two around here, but for some reason, an angel there.
  • Because I really like lunching and going for manis and pedis.
  • Because it makes me value my time with her a lot more.
  • Because it makes her smart.
  • Because it tires her out and she sleeps really well.
  • Because it makes perfect sense to spend money to send her so I can go out all day and spend more money.

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Don’t worry. She’s still really cute and I still really love her.