Sunday, December 30, 2012

Awesome Parenting Choices and a Scatterbrained Magpie

Magpie - that's my kid

Ahhh...what a time we've had the past 36 hours.  Here's the cast of characters.

Adam: the fun and carefree character.  Catch phrase:  "Eh, it's fine!"

Meredith: the on edge worrier who can't let things go.  Catch phrase:  "I don't even know what TO do anymore!"

Madison: the scatterbrained magpie.  Traits include stealing and losing small items that seem insignificant but turn out to hold great value (see: Blue Pacifier)

Reagan: the poor second child

Intrigued yet?

Since Christmas, Reagan has seemed kind  Not sick, not really, but just off.  Her eating has been off, her drinking has been off, her sleeping has been off, she's back to being super clingy, all that fun stuff.  Obviously she can't talk, so it's tough to tell what is really going on.  Because she's been so off, I took the ear thermometer downstairs so I could periodically check her.  Normal, normal, normal, just a hyper worried mom.

Yesterday we got a fairly significant snowfall.  After the girls woke up from their naps, we bundled them up and took them outside.  Reagan was looking pretty flushed, so I took her temp again.  Still fine.  I put the thermometer down, and Madison, who loves all things doctor, snapped it up, pretended to check my ears, Adam's ears, and Reagan's ears.  Then, as I was finishing giving Reagan her bottle, dashed off with it.  I halfheartedly called after her to bring it back to Mommy, but she ignored me.  I called Adam to grab it from her, but he was out of the room getting himself ready to go outside, so he didn't catch her.  "It'll be fine.  We'll get it later".

I finished bundling Reagan and handed her off to Adam, and called Madison.  I bundled the two of us up and we went outside as a family.

Now poor Reagan was cranky, but she was also in a snowsuit that was too small.  When Adam and I bought the girls their snow gear back in October, we didn't think Reagan would be so tiny.  We also didn't want to buy small and have her not get to wear it.

Plus, baby clothes manufacturers clearly don't expect any babies to be walking (or nearly walking) before they get into 12 month clothes.  Her sleepers don't have skid proof feet, and all the snow suits under 12 months include "feet".  Initially, this was not a huge concern.  We bought a 12 month snow suit.

Well that snowsuit was HUGE on her.  She was swimming in it.  The snowpants were longer than she is, and the coat draped to her feet with her arms stopping halfway before the cuffs.  Because of the material, we couldn't roll anything up.  So we were left with our backup...Madison's snowsuit from her first year.  A one piece with attached feet and hand coverings in size 3-6 months.  It kind of fit.  It was kind of like "A Christmas Story".  She couldn't put her arms down and couldn't really move her legs.  But hey, she was warm, she was waterproof, and we figured an "almost walker" didn't really need to walk in snow anyway.  "It'll be fine."

So off we went, and Reagan was fine, but definitely subdued.  But hey, first time out in the snow, feeling uncomfortable, who wouldn't be?  We made snow angels, threw snow, walked down the driveway to the farm we share a driveway with and watched the cows, ducks, horses and goats in the snow, took pictures (the best we could) and after about 20 minutes, headed back inside.

I got us all unbundled, made hot chocolate, and noticed Reagan was very flushed and sleepy looking, so I brought her upstairs to see if she'd nap.  I briefly looked around for the thermometer before remembering that Madison had it.  I offhandedly told Adam to grab it when he could, as I was taking Reagan upstairs.  Awesome parenting choice number 1...letting the toddler run off with something that is clearly not a toy, and that I was actively using.

We own THREE toy thermometers, and she's drawn to this one.

Reagan napped on me for about a half hour.  Snuggled with her under a blanket in the glider, I didn't think much about being warm.  I played on my phone while she snoozed.

She woke up cranky and on FIRE.  Oops, probably shouldn't have taken her out in the snow.  Awesome choice number 2.  

 How on fire?  Well, tough to say.  Because we didn't have the thermometer.  I gave her some Advil, since it was clear she had a fever of some degree, but I wanted to see how much I should worry.  Madison was watching Little Einsteins (of course) and was mildly interested when I asked her where she put it.  She sort of glanced around and said "I can't find it".

I paused the show, with a crying Reagan still in my arms, and said "We will find this thermometer right now.  Reagan feels icky and Mommy needs that to help her".

Then Madison went into Little Einstein actress mode (she's a mimic and channels characters into her every day situations.  Most of the time, it's hilarious).  "We're on a mission Mama!  I'll find your thermometer.  I promise!".  She continued in this vein for a bit as we looked around.  But she kept losing interest and stopping to play, and it was becoming clear that she had no idea where she'd left it.

I switched from concerned Mommy to very firm and serious Mommy.  I handed Reagan (still pathetically crying) to Adam (who was properly sympathetic to Reagan but pretty carefree about the missing thermometer) and told Madison that there was no playing, no TV, no dinner, until we found it.  Madison threw defiant tantrums and wound up in time out twice (not for it being lost, but for refusing to help look and screaming about it).  We went upstairs (where she likes to run with her contraband) and searched her room, Reagan's room, the master bedroom, and Adam's office.  We went back downstairs and dumped out buckets of toys.  We looked under furniture.  We looked behind furniture.  We asked Madison over and over where it was, withholding toys, shows, snacks, etc.  Awesome parenting choice number 3...torturing the child for information she clearly didn't have

Finally, we had to give up.  We got everyone calmed, ate dinner and put the girls to bed.  As we picked up the stray toys downstairs, we looked a bit more.

Twenty four hours later it's still a mystery.  That thermometer is gone.

But I do know how feverish Reagan is.  103 unmedicated (about 100/101 once Advil gets into her).

How do I know?  Well it's not because of our temporal thermometer.  We bought this when Madison was neutropenic (with our hematologist recommending it) and it is horrible.  We take 3-5 swipes in a row and they all come up different, and usually ridiculously low.  Like 93, 94.  WASTE of money.

Maybe we just got a dud, but I'm not willing to spend another $40 to figure it out.  Hey Exergen, you wouldn't want to send me one to review, would you?

So how do we know?  Because we pulled out this bad boy.

This one only goes ONE place!

Poor Reagan.  She really has no patience for this anymore, and she's gotten to experience it during every diaper change over the past 24 hours.  I tucked it in my pocket and have literally been carrying it around with me to avoid losing it.

This is the third thing, that we know of, that our little magpie has not only stolen, but lost as well.  First, it was blue pacifier.  Luckily, I had a hunch that turned out to be right.  It was tucked into the little "trunk" on Reagan's ride on toy.

Second, it was one of our wii remotes (the main one, naturally).  Because we don't use the wii that often, we figured it would turn up fairly soon, and just weren't stressing.  But the other night we wanted to watch a movie on Netflix and we couldn't control the wii.  That still hasn't turned up.  And because Madison doesn't really understand what that is, she is less than no help.  (Yes, we are fairly confident it was her.  We were on a Netflix kick a few weeks ago and it was with our other remotes.  She steals those often and gives them back when we notice, which is typically right away.  This one we didn't notice for a while.)

And now the ear thermometer.  We stopped torturing Madison, because unless our two year old is a really good actress, she honestly has no idea where she puts things after she swipes them.  We've got about 15-30 minutes to catch her, max, before she is less than no help.  We've kept looking, and I keeping saying "I don't even know where it COULD be". 

I don't know where her little gathering place is, but I'm positive that someday we'll uncover a treasure trove of remotes, thermometers, markers, cutlery, and Lord knows what else.  It's like hoarders for people with memory loss.

As for Reagan?  She's OK.  Kind of feverish, extra snuggly, and definitely sleepy, but she's eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and has bursts of happy playtime.  I've spent a few hours sitting with her in the glider today, since she's pretty much only willing to nap on me.  That I can handle.  I've gotten a lot of Kindle reading done, and knowing that her true "baby" year is almost over, I'll take all the cuddles I can get.  I didn't see a need to drive 30 minutes to the open office on a Sunday, but if she's still feverish tomorrow morning I'll probably call her doctor.  I'm definitely not the worrier I once was.  Not sure if that's awesome or not.

And I ordered two more thermometers on Amazon. They'll be here Thursday.  I think that is a truly awesome parenting choice right now.

Don't forget to make sure you've got all your entries in for Ollie!  And don't forget to show Traci some love...she definitely deserves it and you'll love it!
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