and it went on for 3 months

(hads on her first plane trip)

february 16th.

that is the exact day that hadley started coughing. we can remember it no problem because it was the day we took off for our yearly family trip to jamaica. she was 10 months old.

her cough persisted the entire vacation. she would cough so hard that she would vomit.

we took her to the ped 5 times. we took her to the er 3 times. we took her to her gi two times. all with the hopes of finding out why hadley could not stop coughing.

her cough lasted 3 months. a very long 3 months.

june 2nd.

the first visit for hadley to her pulmonologist. i so wish we had taken her during her actual coughing issue. this dr, who was really terrific, saw a girl that coughed maybe once our entire 2 hour visit. i went on to explain to him about the horrible cough that hadley had for 3 months. went so far as to show him a video clip of her cough. the cough that would induce vomiting. the cough that would irritate her reflux. the cough that would keep her from sleeping through the night. that horrible, terrible cough.

he told me it sounded like pertussis, also known as whooping cough. and it smacked me in the face. hard. i don't know how i didn't see it before.

taken from abc news: "Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection characterized by violent coughing fits, gasps for air that resemble "whoop" sounds, and vomiting. The symptoms can last for up to two months, and while an antibiotic is available to prevent spread of the disease, "it won't shorten the illness in the person already infected," says Trudy Murphy, a medical epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  

this same article went on to say, "A preliminary CDC count estimated over 11,000 pertussis cases in the past year, an increase of over two thousand from the previous year and the highest count recorded in thirty years."

i wasn't so floored by the fact that it is on the rise, given so many people's opposition to vaccinations. 

what did floor me was the number of doctors that hadley saw for said cough, at least 8 different ones, vs. the number of whooping cough tests she had during that time, ZERO.

the er visits that hadley had were when her cough was so bad she could not go more than two minutes without a coughing fit. we were told it was either asthma, reactive airway, or a virus. one visit we were literally just given tylenol w/ codeine to knock her out so she could actually sleep. still never getting to the root of the issue.

so i will stop here and just say that i am convinced that hadley had whooping cough.

whooping cough!

she had received 2 pertussis boosters by that time. i was vaccinated at her birth. phil was vaccinated when hads was a few weeks old. (thank you lynne and zann for your true life advice) caroline was vaccinated. it still happened.

i am just thankful she is ok now.


itching to get back to school

summer is flying by.

i am actually happy about that because i am not a summer person. i just can not take the heat, the sweating, and the mosquitoes. those simple three things are enough to keep me indoors. then i feel guilty for not getting the girls outside enough but i don't want them sweaty and itchy either. here in GA summer really isn't over until september. that means at least two more months in the heat.

school starts back for caroline in three weeks. she'll be a second grader with a sixth grade attitude.  i know she is excited to go back and be with all her friends, and maybe even a little excited to do some learning.

we have yet to set up a day to go school shopping. she needs the get the ever enormous list of school supplies (which we never did in elementary school!), as well as some skirts, pants, and leggings for her uniform. we were lucky enough, thanks to my sister's tip, to catch abercrombie kids on the right day and got her tons of navy tees and sweaters on clearance that she can wear to school, so now we just need some bottoms.

caroline is also haggling with me about her 2nd grade backpack. last year we dropped $60 on a rolling backpack from garnet hill. guess how often she used it? maybe a month out of the entire school year. she is now begging me for a different rolling backpack because her bff got one. she told me," first graders don't use them but second graders do," a plea that did not win me over.  i'm not sold. so this discussion is still open at our house. currently i told her she would have to use her first grade backpack for a month to prove she will use a rolling backpack before i buy her a new one. i just don't think she'll use it.

one thing we did agree on is school shoes. she is getting a pair of velcro nikes. her second pair of the same shoe but she wore them out over the summer (without socks so you can imagine how lovely they smell).

here are two pairs she picked from next, which we have never ordered from before so i hope the sizing works out.


true to self

there is part of me that wants to be, thinks i am, this put together mother. that is the side of me that pinterests for new ideas and amazingly tasty recipes to make for my family. the one who can, with no warning, whip up a delicious side for a pot luck dinner. that is the side of me that reads home decorating blogs for ideas on re-doing our home one room at a time, knowing it will look amazing in the end. the side of me that showers daily, puts on seasonal makeup, and still has time to straighten my gray-less hair. there is always time for a salon visit. the one who has an amazing wardrobe for any occasion. is trendy in any shoe. shows her genuine smile and pearly whites. the side of me that spends equal amounts of real quality time with my two well behaved children. the one who is always patient with the kids, despite messes, spills, or tiny toys under my feet. the amazing mom who can craft, sew, and cook all in a days work. the one who keeps the house tidy, even in the kids playroom. never has laundry piles, dirty or clean, all over the house. the sort of mom who just takes it all in stride. the working mom who can still manage to hold her house together. one with no fears, can kill the spiders, and still have time to paint tiny toe nails. the one you can look at and wonder, 'how does she do it?'. 
you probably know a mom just like that.
she is not me.
i am more like the mom who does have bad days. and lets it show. who wears her emotions on her sleeve and her kid's food on her shirt. that mom who takes her kids out to eat for dinner more than she cooks for them at home. especially when the main cook of the house, dad, is out of town. fruit is always a perfect side dish at our house. i stock our snack basket with processed foods. i drink soda and let my older kid have some too. i read healthy food blogs but find it impossible to not eat carbs. cereal is a common breakfast for the girls. and i'm not talking just cheerios. i'm that one who is lucky to shower every other day but thankfully still always makes time to brush her teeth and put on deodorant. some nights the kids go to bed without brushing their teeth.  i have been known to go to the dunkin donuts drive-thru in my pajamas. i wear flats way more than i wear heels. i wear jeans to work but do try to dress them up with my limited heel selection. a dress is saved for an occasion. do i even own a skirt? a good day is a straight hair day but an ordinary day is a ponytail and/or headband. my toe nails are rarely polished, or have chipped color. today i forgot to tweeze my brows... again. i am a runner. a fast runner with great work out clothes and expensive running sneakers. but i never run. my only exercise right now consists of walking to and from my car at work.  i lose my patience. more often than i want to. sometimes a weekend day feels like forever. i stress over tantrums. i don't like baby talk, unless you're a baby. i feel overwhelmed by the laundry, dishes, and dust. toys in every room of the house is normal but still not acceptable. crafts rarely happen. coloring with markers and crayons is easier. imaginary play is torture to me. no, i do not like to play barbies. i am more than willing to play cards, board games, or have a movie night on the living room couch. i get road rage. my daughter has heard my car horn a few times. my pantry... not even close to organized.  there are not enough pictures of my kids around the house. our hallways are bare. i do not know how to decorate. but again, i still love to read those decorating blogs. our dressers are often bare and our laundry can be found in piles on the couch. sticky stuff in hair comes out with a washcloth when this mom is too lazy to give a bath. i have a box full of kindergarten and first grade pictures, assignments, and report cards. i have a great book to organize them in. not sure when i will ever match the two up. probably not before she starts 2nd grade. one baby book is slim pickings while the other is a masterpiece of a baby book. most of the photos i take sit waiting patiently in iphoto to be printed or put in a book. and the car i drive on a daily basis always has crumbs, food, sippy cups, shoes, and toys in it.
this is me. 
this is the kind of mom i am. sometimes i am hard on myself about it. other days, like today, i simply embrace it.
i am, at the end of every day, a lucky mom.


it's time for some new duds, just not for me

winter water factory, based out of brooklyn, has a few really cute items on clearance right now. the two great things about wwf are that their clothes are all made from organic fabric and their prints are always the prettiest shapes and colors.

i love their boy's graphic tees-

 and aren't these prints so fresh. i adore the colors and shapes.


bring on the new year already

it's almost mid-july and this family is ready to start 2013. 

we are ready for, and more than deserve, a healthy year for all of us.

it has been a long few months between doctors and hospitals visits, and that is hard for any family to handle. it feels like we were jinxed, as if we were just on a roll of bad luck. i want my kids to be healthy. and believe me, that is not something i take for granted. like all of life's best lessons, i learned that one the hard way.

healthy kids = one happy mom. remember that. 

i am going to have to do a 14-month post on hadley because right now, this girl is so many things wrapped into one little, chunky-monkey package. she is smart. she is silly. she is feisty. she is temperamental. she is so completely hadley, trucker hat and all.

i'll share fourth of july parade pictures as soon as i can locate my camera. misplacing my camera seems to be something i do pretty frequently. after having two kids, my brain is no where near what it used to be. i feel like kelly bundy from 'married with children.' remember that episode where for every fact she has going in, she has one coming out. that is totally me on a daily basis.  and the one tidbit that is coming out of my head is usually the important one!
snapped up this pic of the girls with my phone before we headed out to the parade. aren't they so festive.

my sister and i took our girls to see the new katy perry movie on saturday. it was a fun girls day out for sure. i love seeing caroline with her cousin, cailyn. they are bcf's= best cousins forever. go ahead, you can use that one.   i will even go so far as to say the movie was pretty entertaining, with a bit of sad on the side seeing her go through her divorce. this movie also gave me a strange sense of appreciation for not becoming the rock star i was once destined to be. it looked like way too much work... touring, staying skinny, and all that other stuff. does that make me sound lazy?

hard to believe that in less than 24 hours caroline went from this (envision arrow pointing up) 
to this (envision arrow pointing down)

this last round of sickness to hit our house was/is awful. sunday, phil started his day with a trip to the ER. one ct scan and two spinal taps later, they confirmed he has viral meningitis. a few shorts hours later, i was at the children's hospital with caroline. she was vomiting and complaining of a major headache. i was paranoid she had meningitis too, so off to the ER we went.

caroline was an absolute mess for two days with this major headache and vomiting. i have never seen her look so in pain, so helpless. i can't even explain to you just how horrible it is to sit back and have to watch your child endure horrible pain and not be able to do anything about it. monday morning when she woke, she was balled up and in tears. i took her to the ped's office to demand more pain medicine. you heard me, i demanded. i played the role of tough girl for a minute. the tylenol and motrin weren't even touching her pain. thankfully we won. she was prescribed loritab and it worked. it knocked her out and let her sleep her headache away. she woke up tuesday morning back to her old self. she was ready to eat, play, and complain as usual. today she seems 100% back to herself.

as far as the viral meningitis goes, it knocked phil down. i have never seen him in such pain. it was rather unfortunate timing as well, given that caroline was sick too. i felt like phil got the short end of the stick as far as attention and care goes. i pretty much only went in to the bedroom every four hours to make sure he was alive and to give him drugs and water. other than that, he was pretty much on his own. and from what he told me, he preferred it that way. so for the past 3 days he has been in bed, on drugs, waiting to heal.

needless to say it has been a hellish week. i am thankful to say (and i shouldn't even let the words come out of my mouth as i know i am going to regret it the minute they do) that hadley is great at the moment. caroline is feeling good and off to grandma camp. now we wait for healthy phil to return.