Monday, June 25, 2012

Baby M's Final 1st Birthday Party

I know what you're thinking, "really, another party".  Yes, this is the grand finale to Baby M's parties. We celebrated this milestone birthday with close family, had more cake, opened more presents, and once again tried to get Baby M to have some cake :-)

This was actually the party that almost wasn't.  The day after Baby M's official birthday, she woke up with a fever.  I wasn't too concerned because she is teething (ever notice how everything gets blamed on teething after that first tooth comes in?)  I gave her a dose of infant tylenol and she seemed fine during the day.....duh, duh, duh, duh.....the evening rolls around and I notice that she's warm.  My temporal thermometer is now reading 103.5.  Wow!! How did that happen????  No other symptoms, but this is a scary, high fever for me.  Neither of the other two girls has ever had a fever over 103.  I called our insurance nurse helpline--that was a complete waste of energy.  I think she was reading from the same babybook that I had already consulted.  I called our pediatrician's office and was patched thru to the answering service which then put me thru to the hospital's nurse helpline.  I was pleasantly surprised by a very competent and caring nurse.  After that debacle of a trip to the ER in October, I had pretty much written off this particular hospital as a "been there, done that and we won't ever go there again".  My instructions were clear--alternate doses of infant tylenol and ibuprofen and if the fever goes over 104, then put her in a bath for approximately 20 minutes.

I had R set the alarm so that I was getting up every 2 hours to check on her and at some point in the middle of the night, I did have to put her in the bath, but as the morning rolled around, the fever subsided.  Again, I'm thinking it must be her teeth since there still aren't any other symptoms.

It's a Friday, and I'm off to work and the girls are off to Grammy and D-daddy's.  I leave my mom with instructions to give the infant tylenol at the slightest increase in temperature. I think she may have given it once during the day.  So here comes the evening, and once again the temperature has ratcheted up to over 103.  It was another night of up every couple of hours to check the temperature and administer medicine.  At some point, the temporal thermometer read 105.5.  I immediately put her in the bath knowing that if it didn't drop within 20 minutes that we were headed to the ER.  It did drop back down to 103 but I knew by then that we were going to be headed to pediatrician's office the next morning.

Saturday morning (day of her party) and we are sitting outside the pediatrician's office waiting for them to open.  They have a walk-in clinic available on Saturday and I wanted to make sure that we got there early to get in line.  The crazy thing was, we were the only people there when they opened the doors.  The pediatrician's rotate and so I knew there was a chance we wouldn't see our regular doc and we didn't.  However, I really liked the doc that we saw.  He was very thorough, has a daughter the same age as Baby M (and a 2 week old infant--who planned that????), and said that his daughter had experienced something similar about a month ago.  His thought was that it was Roseola (a common childhood virus) or a UTI.  If it was Roseola, it would present with fever for four days and then Baby M would break out in a rash that would signal the end of the virus.  If, on the other hand, it was a UTI, and we waited an additional two days to treat it, then there was the possibility of renal damage.  His suggestion was to do a catheterization for a urine sample.

What to do?  What to do?  Knowing we were getting ready to leave for a long planned trip to Sesame Place in less than 48 hours, the choice was pretty clear.  This was the first time that any of my girls have been catheterized for a urine sample and while uncomfortable, it was probably way more upsetting for me than it was for Baby M.  The initial dip-stick test came back bacteria free and the doctor agreed to send it to the lab to culture but felt that it would also come back "clean".  His diagnosis was most likely Roseola.

So we left out of there knowing that this would probably run it's course in about two days and keeping our fingers crossed that it would pass before we left for our trip.  Did I mention that we were in there for approximately two hours and I had K with me?  In 2 hours time, she managed to eat just about every snack that I had in my bag, color on every piece of blank paper, and watch Bubble Guppies multiple times!

So I leave you with these pics of Baby M's final 1st birthday party :-)

The cake made by Buttercream Designs.

Cakepops made by our friend Miss K.

The loot!

"Welcome to my party!"

"Oh wait, I must put on my official welcoming hat."

"Okay, now welcome to my party!"

"Hey, wait for me!"

"A present for me?"

"Oh you shouldn't have, but I'm so glad you did!"

"I love my new baby from Aunt M."

"Do I have to eat another cake????"

"And now the monkey ears, whose party is this anyway?????"

"Monkey ears off......all better now!"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

and the party continues.....

And the party continues for our sweet Baby M though I've discovered she is not much of a "get your hands messy" kind of girl.  I took these pics on her actual birthday--between all the parties--and as you can see, she has discovered sprinkles.  It helps that this particular cupcake was a treat from our friend Miss K and came from a local, most delicious, bakery.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet Baby M!  These photos were taken at her first, 1st birthday party.  Here at Chez Jones we celebrate birthdays all month and so there will be more parties and pics to come.  This party was hosted by our dear friends, complete with cake and presents!  As you can see, the present was a big hit.  The cupcake, not so much :-)  It seems our girl is not real fond of getting her hands dirty!

Pardon the long string of pics as I can't seem to find a slide feature that I like.  I'd love suggestions if anyone has something they like to use!

Monday, June 11, 2012

What if..........

One year ago today we were on our way to Arkansas to meet our new family and await the arrival of our sweet Baby M.  I'll admit that I was pretty scattered by the time we actually got in the car to start the trip to the airport.  We had started our adoption journey less than thirty days before and it had been a non-stop whirlwind trying to get everything together, and did I mention that I had two children at that time?

I was a complete bundle of nerves and if it hadn't been for friends and family, I'm doubtful that I would have been able to hold it all together during that time.  Some of my random thoughts as we were getting ready to leave (you can say "poor R" because I know that in addition to thinking these thoughts, I verbalized them to him at least once or twice :-) :

What if we get stuck in traffic and miss our flight?  What if the E-tickets don't work when we get there?  What if our bags are overweight?  Did you remember to turn off the coffeepot?  Is the alarm set?  Did I leave G and K's schedules? How are my folks going to survive two weeks with G and K?  Are we going to be able to survive G and K after they've spent two weeks with their grandparents?  Is everything all set for the cat-sitter?

What if R's fingerprints have to be redone?  Why does it have to be the weekend when we can't get hold of anyone?  What if our homestudy doesn't make it to Arkansas?  What if one or both of us has to fly back home to take care of it?

How do I look?  Are my clothes okay?  Do you think she will like me?  What if she doesn't like me?  Do you think we'll have a lot to talk about?  What if we can't understand each other? 

Do you think she'll ask us to come to the hospital?  I'd really like to be at the hospital.  What if she doesn't want us there?  What if something goes wrong during the delivery?  What if something is wrong with the baby?  Do you think she'll ask us to be in the delivery room.  I'd love to be in the delivery room.  What if she asks me to be in delivery room?  Should I accept?  Is that too personal a moment for a non-relative? Do you think she'll let us hold the baby?  What if she changes her mind?  I couldn't blame her for changing her mind, but what if that happens?  What would we tell our girls?  What we would tell our families?  How would I make it thru that?

One missed flight, an unexpected overnight stay in Dallas.......

And then on Monday, 6/13/11..............

And now...............

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Education Dilemma

It's taken a bit of work, paper-chasing, and some nail-biting but we've gotten G all set for school next year.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, education has been a hot topic of conversation around our house for a while.

When G started kindergarten we chose to send her to a private, christian school.  Not because we didn't think that public school was good enough but because they had a 1/2 day kindergarten program.  And for several other reasons:  we had just gotten home with K, and R and I both felt that it would be better for our family for G to have as much time as possible at home to bond with K.  That was topped off by the fact that G was (and still is) an anxious child--this is my kid who cried everyday when I left her at preschool---for three years!  So at the time, it was definitely the right decision.

Fast forward to now and one more adoption under our belt.  G loves school and is doing very well.  We certainly can't complain about the academics.  She is an honor roll student--all A's with a B in handwriting.  She has loved all her teachers and at the end of each year is always sad to go--"I wish I didn't have to leave 2nd grade!"

But, something has been missing for R and I.  I have felt particularly detached this past school year.  Thinking that maybe it was because we were now a family of five and I was a bit preoccupied with the newest addition.  Realizing by mid-year that classroom communication wasn't what it should have been--weekly bulletins that weren't updated, also noting that daily work included a lot of worksheets or seatwork as G called it. And then there were the "social situations".  When one child convinces a second child to tell the teacher that a third child was cheating--all because the third child wouldn't hand over a juicebox the day before--that's a problem.  We also realized that G had been involved in a similar situation with this same child earlier in the year--it wasn't until the cheating incident came up that full disclosure came out on her incident.  I have to say that I was livid when I realized what had happened.  I punished G for disobeying me but in truth she was coerced into the situation. The situation hadn't caught the teacher's attention but in hindsight I certainly wish I had of brought it up.  In these two situations there was definitely an undertone of bullying.

At the beginning of the school year all families sign a pledge against bullying but the commitment to that pledge stops there.  I know we'd all like to believe that our kids wouldn't be involved in such a thing because that only happens to other people's children, but let me tell you, it happens all the time and it crosses all barriers:  private school, public school, christian school, and all ethnicity's.  It's unfortunate that there is a need to discuss bullying, and especially in a christian school, but it happens and unlike the public schools in our area where there are posters/signs in the halls and classrooms and the teachers talk about it, at our school it's more like a dust bunny that gets swept under the rug.

So R and I started talking about the possibility of homeschooling for next year. I spoke with lots of people, drew on the experiences of some of my Facebook friends, read and researched a ton of websites.  If you've ever looked into homeschooling, you know that there is an overwhelming amount of information out there.  By chance, I mentioned our dilemma to our favorite Toddlin' Time instructor and she mentioned a school that one of her friends sent her children too--Grace Prep.

I started looking into it and it is a university model school--a hybrid of a private, christian school and a homeschool coop.  Elementary students go to school on Tuesday and Thursday and then on the other days of the week, they work at home with you, the parent, as their instructor.  What makes this model work is the one-on-one communication between the parents and the teacher.  R and I have talked extensively about this--it's going to be a big change for our family.  There are definitely pros and cons to attending this type of school but we agree that the pros far outweigh the cons--less time shuttling kids back and forth to school, less disruption to the little girl's schedules because of the shuttling back and forth to school, a direct hands-on approach to our children's education, and most importantly--more time to spend with our kids, and in the end, isn't that what having a family is all about? :-)

Enjoy these pics of the girls because some little person in our house is about to have a milestone birthday next week and then the blog will be overtaken with birthday festivities!

Love this pic of G and Baby M.

A girl, her Uncle, and a bottle :-)

Love this ball popper from our Aunt Linda and Uncle John.

"Look Ma, no hands!"

"Care for a ball?"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Overheard in front of Hooper's Store.....

So we like to mix it up a little here in the Jones' house and today Barbie met Elmo.  While arguing over who was going to play with the Fisher Price "Daddy", G decides to go get her Ken and Barbie to act as the people on Sesame Street.

So Barbie becomes Gina the Veterinarian and Ken becomes Alan (from Hooper's Store).  So then K gets her Barbie out--her one and only Barbie who is quite disheveled and in a constant state of undress--and this is how the conversation goes:

G:  "So K, uh, I mean Linda, how are you today?"
K:  "Good"
G:  "So where are your clothes?"
K:  "blah, blah, blah" and something else I didn't quite understand because I was laughing so hard.
G:  "So, she is wearing pretend clothes today. Oh, I see, that's a beautiful skirt."
K:  "Noooo, it's a shirt"
G:  "Oh, okay, it's a nice shirt."

And a while later I overheard G talking to her dolls, followed by K talking to her doll.  At this point, you can tell they are starting to get on each other's nerves.

G:  "Come on, let's go to the store."
K:  "Come on, let's go to the store."
G:  "Do you like my new boots?"
K:  "Do you like my new boots?"
G:  "K it's rude to copy people!"
K:  "It's rude to copy people!"

Time for dinner (thank goodness!)  and so we all set down to the table.  G starts the blessing:

G:  "Dear Lord, thank you for today and our trip to Sweet Frog. Please help Daddy to get home safe from work and help that K won't do anymore gross things like picking her nose."
Me:  Stifling laughter.......

And so this is how our summer break begins.........Stay tuned.