Monday, March 18, 2013

Lil’ O’s First Birthday!

Lil' O back when he was just a lil' guy.
Somehow my baby boy has turned one! It seems just yesterday that I felt as big as a house and we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the little baby that would become Lil’ O. But, it also feels that it’s been ages since we were footloose and fancy free of the stresses and obligations that parenting brings. We wouldn’t change the chaos of our life for anything and Lil’ O brings so much joy into our home and our lives.

To celebrate the all-important first year, we threw a casual gathering for family and close friends. Since all the boys in the family, but especially Husby and his brother, love Lego, that became the theme of the party and my excuse to buy lots and lots of Duplo “as decoration.”  ;) 

 
 
 
 


We kept it casual with food on the grill and easy sides. No matter what we served, we knew the highlight would of course be Lil’ O’s first real taste of sugar. No surprise, it was a hit! We did have to feed him a taste before he realized the cupcake was something worth eating, but then he stuffed as much as he could in his mouth and barely bothered with chewing.


 
 

 
We had a blast, though we did have a lower turnout than expected as a few whole families were sick. Seems our minor bought of sickness concluded while other families were just getting started. Bummer for everyone. Boo! On the positive side, it did make the shindig more casual, which I appreciated. The party was wonderful, but was just one piece of a celebratory week, which also included celebrating Lil’ O’s birthday on his actual day with banana bread for all the kiddos at daycare and reprised with family that evening, lots of gifts, hosting my in-laws (from Ohio) for a week-long visit and visiting the zoo. So much fun!

We are so grateful for our dear friends and family that celebrated with us and more importantly who help us care for Lil’ O (and stay sane). Special shout out to my dad and Ms. E’s husband for taking such beautiful pictures at Lil’ O’s birthday party. Thanks guys!
 
 

 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Parenting Through Cold & Flu

Well, seems we’ve all been hit. All parents. All kids. Everywhere. Everyone seems to have been sick this winter and I’m so glad we’re finally getting some sunshine and health! January and into February everyone in our house was sick. It. Was. Miserable.

First up, I got sick. Just a common cold, but taking care of a kiddo while sick is a whole new ball game. Sharing is caring, so then Lil' O got sick. Sigh. Thankfully Husby stayed well long enough for me to get mostly better. We tag teamed taking care of Lil' O based on who felt more healthy throughout the month. Lil' O got mostly better, then Husby got sick with a different bug. Both fully recovered, and then I fell sick again. It seems I perhaps didn’t give myself enough time to get well the first time around, because it was the same cold, but more persistent the second time around. Well, life doesn’t go on hold and showers don’t throw themselves. Alas.

A new twist that I knew about intellectually, but wasn’t quite psychologically prepared for is that regardless of who is sick – me or Lil' O – I had to take off of work. It’s evidently frowned upon to bring kids to daycare if you so much as suspect they have a cold, a sniffle, a cough. Hard part is how does one determine if babe is teething and that’s why there’s drool, coughing and fussiness, or that they’re really sick? More than once I’ve wished there was a button or clear way to sort between the two. Or, as we call it in our house, WTF for “Why The Fuss?” Having a funny name helps us defuse the situation and laugh a little despite our frustration.

Lil' O had a fever one night and it was crystal clear that he wasn’t well. He wanted to cuddle. I loved that part, but since he’s more of a go go go type, we knew something was up before confirmation by thermometer. (See picture below.)
 
 
Other than that, though, each morning was a kind of guessing game. Is he was well enough to go to daycare? Should we stay home because he's actually that sick? Or, do we need to stay away from the other kiddos at daycare as a precautionary measure? Not sure I made all the right calls, but we got through it and now Lil' O is healthy and fussy for all new reasons. Yay? More on that soon.

All this to say that parenting through cold and flu season is hard, I’m still catching up from the one-two-three-four punch, and I have new appreciation for parents everywhere, especially where there are actual seasons and sicknesses seem to last longer.

Any tips from more seasoned parents, grandparents and caregivers out there for getting through the dreaded cold and flu season? All I’ve heard so far is to pick up Hyland's Tiny Cold Tablets whenever and wherever I can find them and hoard them until needed. (Evidently they sell out quickly this time of year.) I was skeptical of a homeopathic solution, but with limited options we gave them a try. I will note they worked pretty well and were certainly better than nothing. All other tips welcome! Thanks!