Time for some updates on the kids.
Alex received a “cultivation station” from a white elephant at a Christmas party. What’s that, you ask? Something about growing plants? Well…sort of. It’s about growing…bacteria. I have to admit this whole thing makes me a little queasy, considering the overwhelming number of illnesses we’ve dealt with lately, the number of ANTIbiotics we’ve been chugging.
Julianna has a new decoration for her room, an idea gleaned from the decorations at the “Fairy Houses and Forts” display we visited last summer at a nearby botanical garden.
Oh yes. And Julianna still thinks it’s her birthday (her birthday was over a month ago). Actually, at this point it’s one of her (many) jokes. Basically she thinks she’s the funniest thing since Charlie Chaplin.
An interlude about Alex and Julianna: we keep information from their schooling in file folders.
On the left you see the collected paperwork pertaining to Alex’s preK, Kindergarten, first and second grade. On the right you see Julianna’s preK and Kindergarten. (And we’ve thrown away more than half the paper we’ve been sent.)
Just another glimpse of life with special needs.
Nicholas…oh, where do I begin? And if I start, where will I stop? Nicholas will be four in less than two weeks, and we’re deep in birthday cake negotiations. And his language is a stitch and a half. Here’s a sample:
a) He’s on a baby doll kick lately. “My baby has an ear infection. I’m taking her to the doctor. Oh, it’s okay, Jackson. You’re okay.” (Notice her name is Jackson?) “Mommy, my baby is sick.” CLUNK. The head falls off. He looks down at the decapitation and says, “Mommy, my baby is weely sick!”
b) “What are we having for dinner?” (Pork chops.) “But I’m not allergic to pork chops!”
On the not-so-cute side, there’s a tendency that worries us as it has the hallmarks of budding bullying. He likes to ask Julianna questions he know she’ll say “yes” to, just so he can tell her “no” very forcefully. For instance: I gave him and Alex the beaters from the fruit salad dressing to lick, and Nicholas walked over to Julianna and held his out. “Do you want a beater?” he asked, knowing full well there wasn’t one to give her. This happens 3-4 times a day.
And Michael. Ah, Michael. We officially dropped the bedtime nursing this week; we are morning-only breastfeeding now. I have mixed feelings about it, but it was one thing we decided to try because he’s been so needy for me (not Daddy or Mommy, just me), and I’ve been at my wits’ end…as evidenced by the blog posts of the last two weeks. He wasn’t really interested in it, anyway; he spent most of his time trying to sit up while attached to the breast and stare at the lights or his siblings or grab the phone from the stand next to us.
On Monday the doctor discovered that Michael still had an ear infection. He went through a round of amoxicillin in late January, which seemed to work, and then got another one late in February, which they prescribed Augmentin for. We were now a week past the end of that Rx. As the doctor and I got to talking about his impossible crankiness and neediness for the last 8 weeks, we came to the plausible theory that my poor boy has had one continuous ear infection this whole time. We graduated to three consecutive days of antibiotic shots at the doctor’s office.
In some ways I feel guilty for not realizing the problem, but he’s also a) 15 months, and separation anxiety seemed plausible, and b) cutting 4 molars and 2 canines. Since he wasn’t tugging at his ears, and every time we finished an antibiotic course he was better…for a couple of days, it just didn’t occur to me.
All this time I’ve been bewailing the loss of my happy-go-lucky baby, so good-tempered, so smiley and easygoing. I credited the NICU. By the time you’re through that nonsense, all of life must seem like a breeze. Since the first of the year I’ve been thinking I had expended all my karma and I was in for two years of hell. But now that I realize how bad he’s been feeling, for how long, and the fact that he’s been consolable at all, and even laughing…for me…it underscores the original point.
Well, that went from very “quick” takes to…not so quick. Shutting up now…