Saturday, May 31, 2008

They aren't hives

So Sasha and I had a rough day today. She looked pretty bad when she woke up today and then proceeded to look worse and worse as the day went on. When I went to pick up Brayden and Brookelyn in the afternoon, she looked horrible. The doctor had told me it might get worse, but was really getting worried. I was worn out from being worried all day and making sure her breathing was still fine, she was eating, wetting diapers, acting normal...When got to the school I had a lot of parents give me shocked looks as I walked by carrying Sasha. By then almost her entire face was covered with what looks like a port wine stain. Instead of individual bumps, there were really big splotches of raised red areas all over her body. Actually, some were small and some were large. She was feeling warmer to me, so I knew she had a fever. I hadn't checked it before we left because she hadn't felt warm then. Luckily, the doctor had given me her direct number so I called and left a message and she called back within a couple of minutes. I tried to describe it over the phone but she could tell I wanted to come in. I just wanted her to look at her since it had gotten so much worse and the Benadryl didn't do anything to it. It turns out that it isn't hives. I can't remember the name of what she has, but basically it is a hypersensitive reaction to the medicine she had been taking or to a virus she had been exposed to. It means that she is going to probably have these big red blotches (that itch) spread everywhere on her body, they will change in color and turn a little bluish, black in the middle, and then start to clear up. It will probably take a week or so and she will not be feeling great and will have a slight fever. The good news (and I really needed to hear good news by that point) was that it will NOT affect her breathing, so I don't have to worry about that, and they will not leave scars. Both very good things. Also, it is not contagious. It was all pretty overwhelming since she is just such a little thing and really looks so bad. I wanted to go home and try to relax, but we were all hungry and Brookelyn and Brayden were starting to fall apart. We quickly went to a casual restaurant before anyone melted down. We got such shocked or surprised looks from everyone who saw us. I wish I had a sign saying, "Don't worry, it's not contagious." Instead we just pretended not to notice.
I gave her a bath and put her to bed pretty quickly after we got home. She was exhausted. She keeps stirring in her sleep, which she usually doesn't do. Poor thing! I have to say, when the doctor said that I didn't have to worry about her breathing since it wasn't an allergic reaction, I felt somewhere between almost throwing up and starting to sob from relief. It was such a physical reaction that it surprised me. There are welts or swelling around both eyes so she just looks so bad. I will say, her appetite was fine at dinner and she was determined to have her share when Brayden and Brookelyn each had a small bowl of ice cream after dinner, so she isn't doing that badly.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sasha has hives!






Sasha woke up with hives yesterday. At first there were only a few small ones, but within a couple of hours they were all over her. I brought her to our doctor who is wonderful. I thought she would tell me it was a reaction from taking amoxicillan for her ear infection since two of my other kids have gotten slight reactions from taking antibiotics in the past. But the hives were so bad I was getting a little worried. The doctor gave her a dose of Benadryl in the office (they wouldn't tell me over the phone how much to give her). She said that Sasha still has ear infections in both ears, even after being on antibiotics for ten days. She referred me to ear, nose and throat specialist since she has had ear infections in both ears twice in the last few months. Before she sees him she needs to have a hearing test. Plus when I went last week she referred me to a nutritionist. A lot of doctor appointments in our future.
I was hoping that the Benadryl would clear up the hives pretty quickly, but they haven't. The doctor had told us that the medicine may just help a little and it would take a few days for them to clear up as the amoxicillan went out of her system. Unfortunately, they are worse today. She seems to feel fine. She is eating and playing and in a good mood otherwise. I know they must itch, but she only seems bothered by them when I take her clothes off. Otherwise she seems to be distracted by whatever else is going on. She looks awful! We have to wait until her hives clear up and then put her on another antibiotic for her ear infections. I am not big on giving chidren medicine normally, but her poor ears need to get better.
Brayden, Brookelyn and Sasha took a bath together as usual last night before bed. They were suprised at all of her spots. Brayden said, "Maybe little Sashi is our dalmation baby." He wanted to stay with me when I gave her a bottle and rocked her before putting her to bed. He kept saying, "We'll take care of you, little Sashi." Sweet. Both he and Brookelyn were shocked at how bad she looked this morning. I hope the worst of it is over. Here are a few pictures from this morning before school.

In the backyard




I have dressed Sasha and Brookelyn alike a few times lately and Brookelyn really likes it. I like it too. Brookelyn and Sasha are little buddies now and have fun playing together. They are going to have so much fun growing up together!

Open House Pictures



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We have the internet working again!!!




Our internet service has been really bad for months. Most of the house is wireless, but has this neat trick of just dropping us constantly. I have to race through emails so I can send them out before my internet service goes out. Last week my husband "fixed" it. Since then we haven't been able to get on the internet at all. I had to use my kids computers (hardwired)to check my email every so often. Anyway, after several attempts, my husband really fixed it. YEAH!
What has been new? Sasha is doing great. She started learning how to sing the other night. I was sitting on the bathroom floor with Sasha in my lap trying to think of ways to keep Brookelyn on the toilet. We just started working on poty training with her. She usually sits there for a minute or two and is ready to get up. I was distracting her by singing as many fun songs as I could think of. It worked. We were in there for quite a while singing. Sasha usually rocks from side to side when I sing or she hears other music, but she actually started singing with us! It was really cute. She wasn't singing words, since she only knows "Momma," but she was singing something close to it. She did it again yesterday too. Luckily she even did it when I went to record it with my camcorder.
She has been able to feed herself with a fork the last month or so, but has started to like making dings in the table with the fork more than using it to get food to her mouth. She is now eating with a plastic fork. She likes to color with crayons too. She is really good at holding the crayon or pen. She started doing it because Brayden and Brookelyn draw or color a lot. She likes to get in and do whatever they are doing. She also just learned how to point in the last few days. She will point to whatever she wants or if she wants us to carry her someplace. She just added a whining sound to it a couple of days ago. Luckily it is a quiet whine and she doesn't do it often. She had kissed us every now and then in the past, but she really gets it now. She really just puts her mouth against our face, but we are counting it. She does it to us and her dolls or stuffed animals. Very cute.
Today we went and spent a couple of hours with her friend, Owen, and his family. It was the first time we saw Owen's little brother, Dash, who is adorable! It was pretty surprising seeing how big Owen has gotten. I think he is only a couple of weeks older than Sasha, but he is 27 pounds compared to her 16. Luckily, he is very sweet and was very soft with her.
Brookelyn's class had an Open House tonight. She and I went to it and had a really nice time. She showed me a lot of the work in her classroom. It was fun to spend time with just the two of us. She is in a real Mommy Stage lately. She only wants Mommy for most things lately. It's actually fine with me and usually I can do whatever it is she wants me to do. I know it is just a stage. Occasionally I have had both Brookelyn and Sasha wanting me to only hold them, but usually I can get away with distracting one of them. I am big on the distraction technique. I would love to reason with Brookelyn, but I can't right now. She's two. The tantrums have begun.
Thank you for the birthday present, Aunt Kim! All of the little ones love it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jog-A-Thon




I was one of my neice's jog-a-thons' several years ago and thought I would set one up at the school I used to be a director at. I decided we would donate the money to women and children in third world countries instead of using it for our school. The first year we raised over $21,000 to build water pumps in South Africa, the second year we raised over $13,000 to help build schools in South Africa, last year we raised over $11,000 to give small business loans to women throughout the world, for immunizations, to teach women about nutrition and health care for their children, and various other things. This year we were raising money for an organization called Free Wheelchair Mission. Each chair costs $48.35. I run the jog-a-thon every year and spend a lot of time the two or three months before it ordering t-shirts, getting the paperwork ready to make sure every single person at the school knows about it, making posters, going from clasroom to classroom once a week getting the kids motivated, getting a speaker from the organization to talk to the kids...it's not really hard since I have the paperwork done and jsut have to alter it year to year. It does take a lot of time though, especially since I am carrying Sasha around from class to class and can only do some of the paperwork things whie she is napping. But this was another great year. We had a lot of fun and we raised over $15,000. I am still in the process of collecting the money and doing a few wrap up things. I found a magazine who will print an article on our jog-a-thons. Now I jsut have to write it up. I wrote up a How to Run a Jog-a-thon Booklet and have been giving to the organizations we run for.
One of the really fun things is that my kids run in the jog-a-thon. Colton ran in the first one, Brayden ran last year and this year, and this yera the two year old classes ran so Brookelyn was in it. It was great! Very cool to see every student and every staff member wearing a jog-a-thon shirt and participating in it. The students who ran in it were from two years old up through eighth grade.

It's been awhile...

I don't know what I have been doing really, but I have been too busy to post any news. I want to keep this for Sasha as a keepsake, so I was not happy to not be writing. After our trip out to the East Coast to look at colleges I was pretty tired. I was exhausted the entire trip, but never had time to catch up on sleep. Once we got home it was time to make a big decision about WHICH COLLEGE. We wound up taking a last minute trip up to visit a college in Northern California. I took Sasha since I didn't want to leave her again and there really was no one who could watch her anyway. We left a few hours after Dakota got out of school one day and came back home the next night. It was a quick trip, but not even a second of it was relaxing. Sasha is normally a pretty quiet, but active little girl so I wasn't sure how the trip would go. The flight was only just over an hour long, which was great since Sasha became curious about everything and everyone around us on the flight. She wanted to reach between the seats in front of us to touch the people sitting there, to look over my shoulder at the people behind us, and touch and eat everything she could get her hands on. It was like I had a totally different child. Usually she is really only concerned with where I am and if I am planning on putting her down and getting something done. That really upsets her. But the entire flight she was Miss Social. We got our bags, took the shuttle to the car rental place, and then drove to the college campus to see the area. It is pretty close to Berkeley, which is great. I didn't love the area around it really. I want something with barb wire fences separating the college kids from the outside world. At least for the first semester. We drove around for an hour while Sasha slept and then we headed back to the hotel. It was pretty cold out when we got out of the car to go into the hotel so Sasha woke up. By then it was around 11:00 pm. She was very happy to be at a new place so she stayed up for the next few hours celebrating. I was really tired and wanted to fall asleep, but was afraid she would fall off the bed. She fell asleep around 1:30 am,but woke up again and again to sit up and smile at me. At 3:30 am she woke up and wanted to play. She thought it was so funny to see me next to her every time she woke up. I was so tired I really thought I would fall asleep and she would be awake on her own. I finally woke Dakota up at 4:30 am and asked her to watch Sasha for 45 minutes so I could get some sleep. I woke up at 5:30 am to take her back and then we all slept for few hours. Not a good night.
We checked out the college the next day. I liked the college itself, just not the area around it. Actually I liked the area two blocks away from it a lot. Really neat houses, stores and resteraunts. The two blocks between the college and that area is sketchy. It's fine during the day and iffy at night. It turns out that classes had ended the Friday before we visited so we didn't get to look at any of the work since it was all taken down. That also explains why we didn't see a ton of college students out and about the night before. Dakota liked the campus and the area. We also checked out their San Francisco campus. I guess the students can take classes at either campus and there is a shuttle that goes back and forth several times a day. I really some things at both campuses. The big deciding factor was that she got a really big merit scholarship at that school. The other ones she was accepted into (RISD, MICA,SMFA, and Moore) were crazy expensive. She got scholarships at those, but not enough to make it realistic. RISD is $45,000++!
Anyway, on the tours of the campuses, Sasha was so vocal. She hardly ever makes much noise, but she was making loud noises the entire time. She wanted to get down and walk around and touch everything. She actually went up and smiled at a couple of the people on the tour with us, which she never does. She usually only smiles if I am holding her and it is clear that the person who is trying to get her to smile is not going to take her away from me. We had lunch at a local hamburger place the students go to before heading to San Francisco. I think she sat down for thirty seconds before she was ready to go. So we drove to the campus, took a tour, and then drove around the city for a while before heading back to the airport. We dropped off the rental car,took a shuttle to the airport, and then waited for our flight. Sasha kept wanting to touch everything in the airport and head off away from us. It was so tiring. Maybe I mentioned how iring the trip was. She hasn't ever really shown any interest inthe stuffed animals or dolls we have at home, but she loved one we saw at the airport. She grabbed it, kissed it (she has never kissed anything before that), held it next to her face and wouldn't let it go. I was probably going to buy it (even though we have a ton of cuter ones at home) but suddenly my shirt was wet and I realizeed I needed to run off and change her diaper. She didn't cry when we put down the toy, so I wound up not getting it. Sasha once again became Miss Social on the trip home and was actually draped over Dakota's lap on her back looking at the man sitting next to her upside down. She was laughing, clapping, grabbing, standing, bouncing...just not sitting or relaxing. On the flight there and back a man took the open seat next to ours. And on each trip the men paid attention to Sasha the entire time. It makes for a l-o-n-g trip. I like when they ignore me until the last five minutes and then we talk.
Anyway, we made it home. Within a few days Dakota decided to go to that school and I sent off the paperwork.
Sasha has been great. She went right back to being a quiet little girl again the day after we got back. She doesn't really say any words except "Momma," and I think it is just now starting to mean me. She kind of grunts for other things. In fact, my two other little kids have started grunting too. She likes to sway and "dance" to music. Yesterday Brookelyn and I were singing the ABC's and Sasha started trying to sing with us. Very cute. She loves balls and toy cars. Today she kept putting a ball into a little basketball net. I bought her a little stuffed dog from the Scholastic fair at school and she likes to hug that and carry it around. I give her a soft blanket when she goes to bed and she hugs it as she goes to sleep. She knocks people's hands away when they try to take her from me. She likes to watch some tv shows like Dora the Exlorer. We don't watch much tv since Brookelyn doesn't like to watch it at all and actually turns it off if we try to watch it.
We went to her one year doctor appointment last Friday. She is actually almost 14 months old but we had to wait until she could get her next set of imunizzations. Sasha cried from the moment we walked into the room until we left a half hour later. She never acts like that. She must have remembered from our last visit. She only wieghs 16 pounds and 12 ounces and is 28 1/2 inches long. She is just until the 5th percentile for her weight. Still small. She also found that she had an ear infection and the beginning of one in her other ear. I think she just must have a high tolerance for pain because she never acted cranky or pulled on her ears. She took a long nap later that afternoon but then was really upset for a couple of hours after she woke up.

Monday, May 12, 2008