March 3, 2010
On Monday night, Anastasia began vomiting, and vomited every 15 minutes for 6 hours. The next day, she ate nothing and took only a few sips of water. I couldn't get her to drink Pedialite, Gatorade, or anything else. Last night, she woke us up: She had raided the fridge and ate a piece of pizza. This morning, she seemed on the mend, but after a few hours, threw up the pizza. I still couldn't get her to take anything but a few sips of water.
So we took her to the pediatrician. I was worried the melatonin I gave her could have caused the vomiting (it's a possible side effect), but the doctor said that was unlikely since Anastasia has had melatonin before without incident. She said there's a feverless stomach bug going around, so that's probably the problem. She noted Anastasia has already lost over half a pound, but she was mostly concerned the Miss was becoming dehydrated. In fact, we discussed the possibility of putting her in the hospital with an IV of fluids.
I'm now giving the Miss 5 ml of half Gatorade and half 7 Up - in a syringe - every five minutes. As you can imagine, this is slow-going, but when I was just giving Anastasia a cup of fluid, she wouldn't drink it. Fortunately, so far, she's kept all the fluids down, too.
I'm just hoping Zane (or I) don't develop a bug. I'm already exhausted from staying up all night Monday...
Left: We gave Anastasia her first haircut on the 26th of last month. Right: Zane has discovered ride on toys! And oh yes, he's making his first animal sounds now: Monkey "ooh! ooh!"s.
March 5, 2010
Anastasia seems almost back to normal. She didn't resist getting fluids via the syringe, and hasn't vomited for two days. She's utterly exhausted, but I think she's over the hump.
Unfortunately, Zane now has a fever: 103 last night. He has no other symptoms, though, and I think he'll be better in a few days.
March 6, 2010
Anastasia has been living on air, it seems, nibbling a tiny bit of food here and there and drinking mostly what I give her through a syringe. Today, I pushed her a bit to eat some corn chips by telling her if she ate them, we'd go out in the sunshine during her brother's nap. She ate them all, then promptly threw them up.
Getting some fresh air today, and enjoying some spring blooms.
Zane's temperature is lower, but he's super clingy and grumpy. At night, I've been getting up every four hours to give him Tylenol.
March 9, 2010
Although Anastasia vomited last night, I think she's actually over her stomach bug. She went two days without vomiting, but eating like a bird. Last night, my hubby pushed her to finish a sandwich. She vomited, but then proceeded to eat a donut! She has a naturally tendency to gag, anyway, so I think the illness just emphasized that.
Zane was without a fever yesterday and this morning, but this afternoon, he developed hives. Hives! He ate only foods he's eaten a million times before. So frustrating - but I'm glad I used Zyrtec for him for the first time. It worked much faster than Benadryl.
March 10, 2010
It's 2:30 AM. Anastasia is definitely not over her stomach bug. I just got through cleaning up several vomits. When the pediatric office opens, I will call to make an appointment for her. What a horrible bug! And I'm so weary, already. I tried sitting in the Miss' room with her until she fell back asleep (in case she vomits again), but all she wanted to do is talk. So I'll update this website, instead, while listening for signs of sickness in the other room.
As you may recall, I contacted Early Intervention recently, hoping they could give some advice on Anastasia's behavioral issues. Specifically, could they tell me if she had a sensory disorder? I took a bunch of written quizzes for EI, and it was clear Miss A. is quite behind in her gross motor skills, too. However, the physical therapist agreed with me that therapy at this point wouldn't be any better than simply getting Anastasia with kids her own age and a little older. In this setting, she is determined to do everything other kids do. Since we already plan on getting her swimming lessons this summer, and some sort of dance or movement class this fall, the therapist agreed formal therapy wasn't needed.
As for a sensory issue...Well, they don't like to give a definitive answer, since they are just basing things on a quiz (essentially, mom's observation), but the consensus seemed to be that if she has any sensory issues at all, they are in the area of needing more stimulation in the mouth. This may be why non-food objects still usually find themselves in her mouth, why she seems to like more strongly flavored foods, and why she's so enamored with her electric toothbrush. Again, they didn't want to say this wouldn't cause behavioral issues, but all three people I spoke to at Early Intervention seemed to believe sleep was the root of the Miss' behavioral problems.
So they verified my instinct.
Will Anastasia be receiving EI services? No. To qualify, she has to be behind in at least two areas; she's only behind in gross motor skills. And after age 5, she'd only qualify if she had a disability. However, EI gave me the name of a local doctor who specializes in pediatric sleep problems. They also leant me a weighted blanket - something I asked them about, since the mom of another preemie mentioned she used one for a time with her son. and that she herself (perfectly healthy) sleeps better with one.
Anastasia was instantly attracted to the blanket and is using it right now. Thank goodness she vomited on the floor and not on the borrowed blanket!
Zane hasn't had a fever for two days, but he's been sleeping a great deal. Then, today after eating lunch, he suddenly broke out into hives. He'd eaten nothing he hadn't eaten a million times before, so I have no idea what caused the hives. Thank you, God, that I caught them early this time - before I put him down for a nap. I gave him Zyrtec instead of Benadryl for the first time. It did seem to work more quickly, although it took all day for the hives to totally disappear.
I am one stressed out mama.
And now, a few tid-bits:
* This evening, my husband (who works for our city) was talking to a police officer outside our house. Anastasia was fascinated. She said, "But he can't be a police officer. His shirt isn't blue!" (...Like in picture books we have.) Then she noticed the logo on the side of his car - the same logo that's on her daddy's shirt and hat - and said, "That must mean he works for Daddy!"
* While in the bath with Zane today: "Mommy! He's playing with himself again!" Um, it may be time to give them separate baths.
* This morning, Anastasia overheard my hubby say it might snow a little bit today - the first snow of our winter. A few minutes later, I heard her tell him: "Mommy and I are going to build a snowman today!" Full of hope, she also wore her snow man shirt today. Unfortunately, it never did snow.
* Zane is at that age where he's afraid of strangers. Often, he cries when he sees them, or he clings to Mommy or Daddy. But just as often, he gives a most intimidating look. Today, when the Early Intervention gal brought over the weighted blanket, he kept his distance, but gradually came within 12 feet of her. When Anastasia, delighted over the weighted blanket, asked me to help her get it on her bed (it's quite heavy), he didn't cry when we left the room. But when I came back, I had to laugh. His stern look at tour visitor clearly said: "Don't even think about coming closer, lady!" I've never seen such a look on a baby! Another time, he gave the same look to a teenage girl, and she said, "I feel like I've done something really bad!" I think she was truly intimidated. Someday I hope to catch that look with the camera.
March 10 (part II)
So the doc said to just watch the Miss. If she vomits again, however, she wants to see her right away.
In the meantime, I'm reading up on hypo oral sensitivities. Interesting stuff! The short checklist is:
* Loves and craves intense flavors, i.e., sweet,
sour, salty, spicy and usually become "condiment kids"
Yep! Anastasia is all about mustard, catsup, and
Ranch. She does seem to favor more intensely flavored foods, too, as
opposed to bland foods.
I've recognized these symptoms for a long time, but just said, "It's because she had a tube running down her throat for so long." I never knew there was a name for it, let alone therapies that might help her eat better. The same site offers tips for picky eaters, which could prove really useful.
March 18, 2010
The kids have been well for about a week now. Anastasia never had to go back to the doctor; although she thought several times she'd vomit, she never did. Now we're busy trying to put more weight back on her.
We're continuing to use the light therapy lamp, although I haven't seen dramatic results from it yet. We also continue to use her "black out curtains" (ordinary curtains with black plastic pinned behind them), are sure to turn off her night light once she's asleep, and cover her with the borrowed weighted blanket. The weighted blanket does prevent her from tossing and turning so much at night, so in that respect, at least, it seems to help.
But we still struggle with getting her enough sleep. We think we're probably going to end up taking her to a local doctor who specialized in pediatric sleep problems.
Zane is keeping me uber busy. The second I turn my back, he's into something he shouldn't be. His new thing is putting the play pots and pans in my real pot and pan drawers. He's also fond of removing the baking sheets from my cupboards. But his really big fascination is doors and drawers. He can't stand to have one open. The second you open the door or a drawer, he appears (seemingly from no where) to shut it.
He is a big, bulky boy, and absolutely requires at least four big meals a day. If he doesn't get that fourth one in, he cries and cries in bed until I feed him.
Anastasia is learning how to read clocks (she has the hours down pat), and we continue to work on her number recognition. My mother bought her two Uncle Wiggly books, and she absolutely loves them, so we often play the Uncle Wiggly game. I make the Miss read all the cards (they have numbers showing how many steps forward or backward you can go) and this is excellent practice reading numbers. One day she confessed she thought I had her read them because "I read them better than you, Mommy!"
P. S. I am still giving the kids baths together, but
the other day, Anastasia cried, "Look, Mommy! Zane is growing boobies!"
March 20, 2010
Yesterday was so tough. Anastasia has just been tired, tired, tired. But I took her to the library for story time for the first time in a month and she was incredibly high strung. I've never seen her behave that way in public before. When we came home, it was tears all day long, and lots of disobedience and defiance. We've got to get this sleep thing figured out, or I don't know how she'll survive school. I know that if she continues like this, she won't be able to handle school every week day. Fortunately, that's not what we have planned for her. (We hope she'll be going to a charter school with only three classes every month; it's basically assisted home schooling.) But she can't go on like this. As soon as my hubby can get some time off work, we're taking her to the pediatric sleep specialist.
Spring has sprung, however. The sun is shining, which always helps, and we're outside a lot. Zane is still terribly unsure outside. He spends most of him time standing in one spot, sucking his thumb or clinging to my leg. This morning, for the first time, he actually started playing outside, running the toy lawn mower and putting small sticks in a bucket. We came inside for lunch, then I thought I'd let him play for a few minutes in the house before giving him his nap. But instead, he walked over to his bedroom door (which was shut), plopped himself down in front of it, and sucked his thumb. :)
Anastasia likes the idea of ballet, so I've taught her first position - but she's having trouble with plia :)
Anastasia no longer cries when she hears loud noises, but if her daddy is running noisy equipment in the backyard, she grabs a pair of ear protectors...and then is perfectly happy. She's also taken to devouring the chives I have growing. As you can see, she eats huge handfuls at a time.
Zane's typical attitude when he's outside. Anastasia is very protective of him; she often holds his hand when he's nervous, or goes up and gives him hugs.
My busy boy!
March 29, 2010
Maybe, just maybe, the end is in sight for Anastasia's sleeping problems. It suddenly occurred to me that one thing she has in the summer but doesn't have in the winter is an air conditioner running in her room. Since I think she sleeps better in the summer, I wondered if she just needed some white noise at night. So we've been turning on a fan in her room - and for those three days she's slept much better! She's been asleep by about 7:30 or 8 pm, and doesn't wake until 8 or 8:30 am. I'm praying the solution is as simple as this!
Left: Just after this bite, Anastasia told me: "I'm always in the mood for chocolate! And books!" Right: Zane is a natural born eater :)
* Overheard: "'But I'm NOT tired!' said the crocodile, yawning." Miss A. talks non stop when she's pretending, and I love how she talks like she's writing a book.
* "Mommy, why can't I marry Zane when we grow up?" (I hear this question a lot.)
* Me: "Grandpa's on the phone. He wants to talk to you." Miss A. (putting the phone to her ear): "Dear God..."
Miss A's foot is on the left; Zane's is on the right.