While our family has so many things to be thankful for in our lives, having the kids feeling well for Thanksgiving this year wasn’t one of them. Having the kids feeling well for Halloween wasn’t one of them either, so fingers crossed for Christmas!
By mid-morning on Thanksgiving, and after Grandma Sue flew up here and created a smorgasbord of treats for the day, we made the call to cancel our meet up with the cousins, as to not share the second crud to enter our house in a month. This one is a bit different than a few weeks ago, with Reagan again instigating with the deep, dry cough, but the other two claiming stomachaches (which later turned to coughs). While Harper had no fever, she clearly felt miserable and put herself down for a nap about 11:30. Emerie, on the other hand, seemed entirely fine, but presented a 101 fever that morning.
So while this probably isn’t holiday for the books, we still have so many things to be thankful for. For example, it’s easy to forget how much easier our daily lives are now that the girls are older, and even easier to forget the barely survivable age three. Don’t lie, we’ve all been there!
We are also extraordinarily lucky to have generally healthy kids, enough food on the table, a warm roof over our heads, plenty of toys and crafts, and a wonderful life in this beautiful state. The girls have built-in playmates, even when they fight, and are now playing games with one another and letting that creativity emerge. They all love their preschool and teachers and have grown to have many friends. Craig and I are very lucky to have good, supporting jobs (and bosses) and stability and flexibility from them. I am constantly reminded that having a supportive boss, who values family and reality that life happens, really improves and relieves some of my daily stress! Sometimes I get in my own head about how hard life can be, and I have to remember how truly lucky we really are.
Now that we are full blown into sickness #2, the “triple echo” is back in effect. I don’t know if this is a random thing, a multiples or sibling thing, or just a full on coincidence, but the girls have once again started echoing each other. For instance, when one gets up and wanders into our bed in the middle of the night from a coughing fit, the other two may be fully asleep but will join that sister in a quick coughing fit and then just roll over back to sleep. When the escapee (to my bed) has other fits throughout the night, it’s almost like the ones sleeping across the hall copy and cough in sync. It’s actually a bit weird!
It works on longer distances too, but this could once again just be coincidental or the sharing of germs in a similar time frame. This week Harper coughed so hard she threw up; luckily she was already home for the day with a fever and not at school. Within about fifteen minutes Craig received a call that Emerie was puking at school, after running around in the gym. Coincidence or triplet thing?
When the girls were newly home from the NICU, for the first three days they co-slept in the master bedroom and would echo one another in baby speak while completely snuggled in their swaddling and cribs. You might think, awww how cute! But in reality, it literally kept my dramatically overtired mom brain from catching a few zzzz’s, listening for any sound that might be off; and exactly why we moved them into the nursery so quickly. The constant echo would be crazy for two, let alone throwing a third in there and it stayed on repeat all night long.
Now that they are older, the echo seems to stick to the coughing nights, that and the synchronized puke fests, which do happen upon occasion, even at age four. I could do with less of those! Often I witness the coughing ones in the dead of night, when I’ve fallen asleep in the nursery chair after convincing someone to remain in their own bed. One kiddo will start the cough, fully asleep, and after a few seconds the second will respond, and then the third. It’s weird and it doesn’t always wake them up, and just like that, it’s done.
My last guess is since they’ve grown up together, eat and nap and go to bed together, everyone is just in-sync and don’t know anything else. They dislike doing things alone (like sending only one to school for the day) and enjoy the comfort of their siblings, even during the constant fighting. When one is gone, the others will point out they miss them. They truly can be sweet when they want to be!
So for now, we are probably more than halfway through sickness number two of the winter, and hope to be feeling better by the preschool Christmas concert on Friday that I REALLY want to go to. The Christmas tree went up last weekend and everyone was excited to look at all the different ornaments and hang them on the tree. We only had one mishap with Reagan sidestepping off a chair as she leaned to hang one up. She has a pretty nasty bruise on her thigh now. They were all thrilled to see the ones colored last year throughout the winter, and enthusiastically decorated the lower half of the tree. And now we get to enjoy the holiday ambiance over the next month, since it seems like we will be home for a lot of it, avoiding the sub-zero cold weather and resting up.
As pretty much all parents of young children know, Bluey is life. What is Bluey? An Australian children’s television show that supports morals and raising good humans, in the form of blue and tan puppy dogs. While it may be repetitive and get stuck in your head, the story lines nevertheless are wonderful and support good family values, sibling love, creative and respectful play, and good life lessons. We managed to avoid Bluey marathons for at least three years, knowing that the girls considered it special when preschool turned it on, and kept it that way. Eventually, as all parents do, we caved and this show now plays SO MUCH. Even more so when everyone is sick and confined at home until fevers reduce and energy returns. The show has actually grown on me and some of the girls’ games are now played after certain episodes are watched, like “Keep-ee-Upie.” In layman’s terms, this is known as keeping a balloon off the ground. I’m pretty certain a few of our chickens have names based on characters in different episodes on the show (Diddums is a favorite, and Telemicus).
One of my favorite words to emerge from the show really fits with our current #tripletlife lifestyle. Harper is on a kick of saying things are difficult: people, sisters, parents, a task, everything. It turns out there is an episode on Bluey where Bingo (the little sister) uses the word “trifficult,” and I’ve decided this fits well in our household that deals in everything triple. It’s meant to be tricky and difficult combined, hence trifficult. We have a lot of bedtime routines that I would call trifficult to a tee; so, very, trifficult. Some evening conversations go like this, as the girls are lying in their beds resisting the urge to finish the day and go to sleep.
Harper: Mom, where do narwhals live? (narwhals became quite a discussion after Craig’s return from his Juneau work trip, where he found a pink, purple and teal one)
Mom: They live in the water. (It’s bedtime, so don’t be descriptive or long winded)
Harper: But what kind of water do they live in?
Mom: Well they live in the ocean.
Reagan: But mom, why don’t they live in the sea? Why the ocean? I don’t want them to live in the ocean! *whineeeee
Mom: Well, the ocean is bigger than the sea. They need their space. (this answer is based on no legitimate narwhal knowledge on my part)
Harper: Awwww, I don’t want them to live in the ocean! I want them to live in the sea *more whining. So then where do we live?
Mom: We live on the land, in Alaska. It’s next to the ocean. (the girls are well versed in their home state and a few cities where family lives)
Reagan: Well then why don’t we go to the ocean then? Why don’t you EVER take us to the ocean? WHY?I want to see a narwhal but you NEVER take us. (I now see the trap ensuing)
Harper: Yeah, we never go to the ocean. Why don’t you EVER take us to the ocean?!
Emerie (whose been listening thoughtfully the whole time): Turtles live in the water. I love turtles, they are my favorite. I want to go to the ocean. (Good diversion, kid)
Harper (taking the bait): Otters too, I want to go see otters. And the narwhals, since you never take us.
Mom: How about you just go to sleep.We will go to the ocean eventually.
Harper: My narwhal wants to go to the ocean now; she doesn’t want to sleep. Mom, she wants to go to the ocean. (and it went on from there)
And on and on and on….
Pumpkin carving this year was pretty similar to last year, other than the added enjoyment of Cousin Jaren and Savaya coming over to help with the activity. The girls thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone else clean out the pumpkin guts, but just like last year, Harper was the only one willing to use her hands. Emerie and Reagan “helped” gut with spoons and demanded the adults loosen the seeds to their satisfaction. Eventually they returned to playing and the adults finished things out. Jaren’s puking pumpkin was definitely the winner…if we were competing on designs. The girls thought it was pretty funny.
I also had the joy of watching my children knowingly torture their cousin this time around. For the longest time all three interchange their boy cousins names, but now they are starting to do it on purpose to get a rise out of them. Today in particular, all three whispered to each other go call him Tyler with a maniacal laugh, would shout hi Tyler, and then all run away in overwhelming giggles. It’s funny to know they are purposefully tormenting Jaren now. I wonder where they get that trait from?!
A few more Halloween activities led to more princess dress up and fun. The girls had their annual Halloween party at school, with snacks and goodies and fancy, carved pumpkins. Reagan came down with quite a nasty cough the evening before so she had to miss it, with the doctor telling us that day she had RSV (for the first time at age four…which is pretty good!). She demanded that I take photos of the classroom decorations and that her sisters explained what went down that day. One of the teachers’ aides kindly found a squishy eyeball for her to have like her sisters, which prompted much discussion.
Harper and Emerie gladly wore Encanto’s Isabella (Emerie) and Rapunzel (Harper) AND wore their dress up princess heels, which was very exciting since those are only worn at home. One of the teacher aides asked me what Reagan was supposed to be, which seemed like a strange question until she clarified. The girls were going around telling everyone Reagan doesn’t get a costume because she doesn’t sleep in her bed at night. Well not entirely true kiddos…she doesn’t sleep overnight in her bed, but her staying home sick trumps that! It’s funny how the girls perspective is sometimes.
While the weather temperatures decided to drop for the rest of our fall festivities, that didn’t stop us from attempting them anyway. Extra layers and warm, “cozy (fleece) pants” kept extremities warm long enough to enjoy Trunk or Treat at their school over the weekend. It was not nearly as busy as last year, but the girls saw lots of classmates and friends throughout. I heard a few comments from older kids that those are the triplets. Those triplets are the same age! And so on. I even heard one grade schooler comment that their parents probably never sleep. That’s pretty insightful! So their school celebrity status is still going strong.
Harper and Emerie opted for the same outfits as their school party (plus a pink cape) while Reagan begrudgingly wore Anna, only because she wanted a cape. I sneakily convinced everyone to wear princess gloves, to keep hands warm but also to accessorize! Harper requested her hair be down, which she does at school everyday no matter how it’s styled, Reagan had two braids like Anna, and Emerie rocked her Elsa braid ponytail clip.
Craig prepped the decorations and then headed over early to set up. By the time we showed up, he was pretty cold, and I was sweating getting everyone dressed and into the car! Cold or not, the car looked pretty great and mermaid like. The girls were certainly impressed and tried to grab handfuls of the candy from our bowl, that we were trying to get rid of! So. Much. Candy.
The rest of Halloween weekend was spent at home, resting up from the coughing, RSV ridden and very tired kiddos. We attempted to walk around the neighborhood a bit on Halloween night, simply because the girls were so hyped up about it and have asked me for about 364 days when we could next trick or treat. It was a pretty cold night but mostly snow-less, with the neighborhood really picking up by about 6:30. The cold, crisp air was not doing us any favors; after about a block Emerie and Reagan were blustering continuously and we decided it wasn’t worth the effort. They turned around with Cliff and Craig while Harper and I went a couple more blocks. She is fearless, even without her sisters in tow, and did quite well going up to front doors on her own and ringing the bell. Toward the end of the excursion, she was turning candy down and informing unsuspecting folks she needed the packs of M&M candies from their bowls and nothing else. Silly girl. We trekked over to the fanciest decorated house (with a dragon) and then turned around and came home to warm up the appendages, which were quite cold at that point.
We definitely ended the fall season and threw ourselves straight into winter illnesses with a bang. If we are lucky this will be the worst of it for the year, but since we’ve had snow less than a week and temperatures continue to dip, I’m not optimistic that will happen. I am thankful that this is our first diagnosed bout with RSV- it must be so terrifying for folks that have tiny babies coughing and wheezing like this. It was definitely something we worked super hard to avoid when the girls were still considered preemies, and then with COVID, managed to avoid it until age four and a half. Now let’s avoid it for a few more years please. The week spent at home really displays how much the girls have matured and now play with one another or creatively alone, something they didn’t do nearly as well last winter and definitely didn’t last as long. Not sure how Craig and I would have handled the past week a year ago, so thank goodness we didn’t have to!
We made it through the rest of our sick week with dozens (hundreds?) of Bluey episodes and a lot of princess movies, continuous dressing up (from pajamas to princess dresses and accessories), and a lot of down time. We finally convinced the girls to watch a non-animated movie, Maleficent II, and they didn’t react to the scary bits as much as I expected. And we’ve watching it at least a handful of times; they really enjoy seeing the fairies and all love Maleficent and no longer believe she is the villain of the story.
Craig and I continued to brutally step on the dozens of tiny rocks, ahem “crystals”, that litter the floor of our house from Miss Reagan, who adamantly collects them and using them for everything. If we aren’t stepping on rocks, then it’s the tiny plastic jewelry and sharp edged glass beads that are lying in wait for crushing (skin crushing, soul crushing, stepping on them hurts!). Emerie especially loves to accessorize and the house is covered in beaded necklaces, rings, shoes and other head wear and I can’t for the life of me keep that $hit off the floor!
Reagan now knows what bedtime looks like on the living room clock and will argue if it’s not right at eight when we scoop everyone upstairs. I don’t believe she knows what 8 P.M. actually is, but she knows where the hands sit when it’s the right time. So that’s superrrr fun with an overtired preschooler(s). Other intellectual discussions occurred while at home, and I continue to try to remember to write down Harper epiphanies, simply because they crack me up. The only one documented so far this month is related to the poor kitten getting her tail slammed in the door. Harper’s response? If she doesn’t have a tail, she will no longer be a cat and she will die. Ummm ok? That sounds a bit rough and dramatic. When asked what she would be instead, Harper looked me square in the eye and levelly answered, well she wouldn’t be a cat. Touche kid, touche.
I have to say, watching winter occur from the confines of my own home is far preferable to being out and about in it, so we timed the impending illnesses well for that. The yard looks so beautifully white and undisturbed, mostly because the girls hack up a lung when out in the cold for any amount of time. That and they have no desire to be out there until they feel better, other than for the occasional bundled up four wheeler ride, which is met with just as much excitement so far this year as last. Craig and I are back on the mend and the girls seem to have crushed the fevers, with the cough letting up for the most part. I am really hoping for bedtime to smooth out a little, because triple coughing children after ten days is rough on the sanity, for both the kids and the parents.
I am way behind on providing updates on our current every day lives and I fully blame the crazy work deadlines that the last month have held for the job I’m covering. So let’s go backwards a little, to the end of August, when I started writing this blog right after the girls’ shift to the pre-K classroom at school.
We started out the school year in typical fashion- the first week meant the stomach flu for all three kiddos, each about a day apart, and an ear infection for Harper. On Friday Emerie made it a whole 20 minutes at school before getting the phone call that she was throwing up again. While the puking derailed our plans to visit the fair later that day, the decent weather the following day ultimately worked out for a better overall visit. And I’m happy to say that both parents managed to avoid the stomach flu, which was greatly appreciated!
After sitting in the eternal, never moving line of cars waiting to park at the fair, we opted to bring the rolling wagon with us and stop at a few of the easy booths right inside the door. The girls sat on top of the big, stuffed moose and took a photo with it, munched on some fancy donuts on a stick, and didn’t immediately run off into the abyss of people. We went to the rides pretty early into our visit, presuming the excitement might make grumpy preschoolers appear before we were ready to be done for the day.
I wasn’t sure what rides everyone would like to go on, since Reagan and Emerie are often timid on a lot of things, while Harper usually sticks to her wild side and the great need for speed. The first ride of the day was a roller coaster, because why not go big to start. We hadn’t walked over to the younger kid rights at that point, and just went for it. Craig and I both went on with them; side note- I definitely forgot how hard it is to fit my knees behind a kid roller coaster seat! Emerie insistently opted to ride behind me and all by herself, while Harper and Reagan each plopped down with an adult. All three shrieked in excitement and actually loved it; even Miss Independent Em. But I will say, the second roller coaster did not meet that same sentiment for Reagan, who hid in Papa Cliff’s lap for all the loops and refused to go on any more coasters for the rest of the day. The favorite rides for the day turned out to be the airplane spinning rides and the construction truck driving; all went multiple times. We finished out all the rides with the big slide in the sky, and then did everyone really wants to do at the fair…EAT. So much food, and in usual fashion the girls wanted french fries. I enjoyed a delicious turkey leg with Grandma Sue, since the girls wouldn’t touch it. Surprisingly enough, they all liked William’s crab fritters and wanted more of that!
The favorite purchase of the day for me was the girls getting Alaska Chick hoodies in their colors (which are huge and put away for this winter). If you asked them what their favorite thing was, I imagine everyone would respond the super cool butterfly wings they wore the rest of the visit. They attached to their shoulders and wrists and resulted in three, happy girls running through the crowd as butterflies. Did I mention this made them so much easier to spot as well? And of course, adorable. I’m happy to say the day sits in the good memories and successful activities side of my brain, and I’m glad we made the effort to go.
We finished out the busy weekend by going berry picking in Whittier, which is now going to be an annual family event, or so I hope. Anchorage weather was very crummy this year; once we trekked through the tunnel and into Whittier, the sun was out and the weather just gorgeous. We spent the afternoon picking blueberries and playing along the water, the kids heaping and hollering about the dead fish in the water. It turned out to be a great day.
Later in the month we went on a family hike to Thunderbird Falls, which is maaaaaybe a mile total, and ends on an overlook to the waterfall. Reagan and Harper took to it much better than their sister, who kept asking when we were going to turn back and go home, insisted on holding an adult’s hand pretty much the entire length of the trip. In fact, she seemed quite nervous to explore and walk through the mud or up or down the hills, but some of this is likely attributed to her post surgery eye situation. We climbed down to the water on the way back and all the kids enjoyed throwing sticks and rocks into the water and trying to climb up and explore steep hills. It was another unusually beautiful day, but we had to leave Anchorage to see the actual sunlight.
Another fall favorite activity, something we’ve missed since the girls were 18 months old, is the annual Trick or Treat in the Heat event. The past two years canceled due to COVID, meaning this year’s event was met with excitement and a ton of people, and on a decent weather day! I stashed a few new costumes in the closet in anticipation of an outdoor event that wasn’t freezing cold and luckily this year only required long sleeves and pants underneath- I don’t think I heard one complaint about being cold. Mind you, there were about five million complaints of being tired, feet hurting, wanting to eat a snack or piece of candy, but not for being cold.
The fighting was minimal on who wore which costume, and just like last year, everyone switched out on colors (for the most part). Harper was Tinkerbell, including fancy wings, a headband and a butterfly wand; Reagan was a flamingo, which included an adorable flamingo head hat and polka dots; and Emerie was…any guesses?? Of course, Emerie opted to be Elsa for the third year in a row. A new style of dress, but still Elsa (thanks Costco!).
We did a LOT of walking that evening, and eventually made it home with bags of candy and picked up some pizza to sit down and eat. Excluding the whininess, I think it went pretty well, but next year we should definitely bring the wagon to avoid the overly tired, woah-is-me attitudes that were shared the second half of the evening. Luckily neighborhood trick-or-treat is not quite so extensive, and the dark usually helps push the kiddos to wanting to head back home.
After a little over a month of new pre-kindergarden school activities and crafts, I already see incredible improvement in the girls coloring and writing skills. In fact, Reagan has already written her own name, without tracing any letters, and it proudly displays on the wall at school that shows the classroom lettering crafts. All three really enjoy tracing books now and do a great job following the lettering. They also constantly ask for white paper, meaning paper with nothing to color, so they can expand their ideas without any distractions. Needless to say, we go through a lot of paper. The other day Reagan looked at me and said, “do I look like a crazy maniac?! No! I draw within the lines!” when I asked her about her coloring. Silly girl. We’ve also seen the first little people drawings from Reagan, which I am SO excited about. They are all head and legs and it’s adorably cute- now she is starting to tell you which people they are and draw scenery around them. We definitely have an artist in the family! Harper continues to draw rainbows on everything and Emerie is more willing to sit and color now, than in previous months.
Many discussions now center around, what letter does this word start with? What letter does THIS word start with? And you pretty much have to explain every letter start in the English alphabet. And we are only on letter “e” at school so far! All three know what their names start with, what Craig and my name starts with- Reagan keeps asking me why both our names start with an “r”. Such questions. They are also very defensive about sharing “their” letter with others, and seem to think they own it, similar to how they act with their pink, purple and teal color associations. For letter “e” show and tell, Emerie informed me her sisters didn’t need to attend the day, since it was her letter and her day.
Each day brings a new randomly taught skill. One Friday they came home and quoted me the entire pledge of allegiance, all three of them! They informed us afterwards that they do it at school a lot; it’s cute to see them repeat words that have absolutely no meaning to them yet. Other days they are questioning which side is right and which is left, and can now pick up the correct foot or arm if you ask.
In addition to letters and writing, basic math is just around the corner. Many car rides home from school involve how many fingers is this and then this? What is this hand and this hand…is it ten? These types of questions are the very foundation of math and I can’t believe it’s already starting. They seem to pick it up pretty quickly too, as you talk through the answers.
One morning I caved into the requests and let everyone use the glass markers to create intricate and wild creations on the backdoor. Reagan drew the first people I have seen her attempt and they are completely adorable, with the big heads and bodies and tiny legs and arms. The wild hair seems to indicate that maybe they are drawing Grandma Sue, but that has not been confirmed to date. Harper continues to enjoy making dozens of rainbows on everything she draws. This also reminds me she had a little too much creativity when one of our mountain art designs from the wall was set down on a table and within reach. I fully planned to blame one of the visiting boys for the writing on it, until I discovered the red letter “H” across the middle…and I don’t think she can deny that one and get away with it…
One night after school we took the girls to get fancy nails. In normal color fashion, all three selected shades of their colors (after talking Harper out of the sparkle one that wouldn’t show very well) and proceeded to entertain much of the salon as their hands and feet were beautified. Harper was last to go and did a great job waiting patiently, while Reagan and Emerie could barely contain themselves sitting for their turn and wiggled all over the place. Emerie continues to be the wiggle worm of the three for these types of activities, and hilariously laughed when they filed her toe nails, as if it was the most hilarious thing in the world. Harper sat like a statue for her turn, watching the beautification process with appreciation. It’s fun to start doing these types of things now, as long as you bring lots of snacks and don’t wait too long to go.
And to round out our busy lives and much overdue update, is Harper’s latest life quote, with the words… this is difficult! Everything is difficult!It’s difficult! And there you have it folks, an accurate, one phrase depiction of current life events in the Douglas household. Good thing they are so adorably cute… here is one of my favorite photos from this fall, captured by yours truly on an afternoon excursion (ahem photo op) to the park by our house.
We decided this week wasn’t busy enough so after daycare pick up today, we trekked over to the mall and went to get everyone’s ears pierced.
Background, the last few weeks everyone has been very vocal about my earrings, asking when they can have big girl earrings and be like mom. Reagan adamantly decides what I should wear most mornings, including my fancy beaded ones on our hike over the weekend. We talked a bit earlier in the week about a “tiny owie and then it’s over” type piercing, but didn’t go any further than that.
As usual, Craig was much more averse to tackling it while I hesitated and would have waited until they were older (I’m less fun), thinking that Emerie wouldn’t remotely do it and while Reagan thought she wanted to, she might chicken out when it came down to it.
The girls enthusiastically perused the store, checking out all the glitter, nail polish, jewelry cases and everything in between. Claire’s is literally the perfect place for the pink, purple and teal life theme we live; add little girl stuff, and they were in heaven.
Harper chose pink studs, of course, without taking much time to consider other options. Emerie picked multi-colored flowers, and Reagan chose the “teal flower” (she corrected me when I said blue) studs. In birth order, Harper trudged forward into the chair, absolutely confident in her choice to go first. That’s pretty common for her; little did she know it would be a pinch.
Needless to say, the other two watched in horror as she burst into tears after the first one. The employee doing it was so very nice and spent a bunch of time warming her up to it, making sure the impending holes were centered in the exact right spot, and explaining all the steps. Harper didn’t put up much of a fight for the second ear, although she ricochet off it like a bat out of hell and with some tears. A promised lollipop and look in the mirror stopped the tears and she was fine from them on. Thank goodness the girl was fast!
The event went downhill from there. Reagan was out of there at this point, claiming to be shopping around the store and avoiding the scary chair. She also found a wall of panda stuff, her happy place. Craig spent the next few minutes convincing Emerie, until her first ear was done. Waterworks, rage, demands for us to take it out. She yelled for me across the store, then yelled she wanted Grandma Sue. It took at least 20 minutes to convince her to hold still and get the second ear done, and a lot of snuggles afterwards and the purchase of a plush unicorn that she adopted through her tears. That one was rough.
At this point Reagan knew that didn’t look fun and wanted no part in it, and began asking for clip-on earrings and not her fancy teal ones. After some discussion, she was still not onboard, but at least Harper was back to happy and Emerie’s waterworks had stopped. I took the two off to celebrate their big-girl status with an ice cream, also giving Reagan a chance with less chaos for Craig to convince her it wouldn’t be so bad. It’s amazing how claims of pain and suffering vanish when ice cream AND sprinkles becomes an option. Harper and Reagan both picked the sherbert swirl with a load of rainbow sprinkles and waited for the sisters. Luckily we were across the mall at this point, as I assume the rage fire that is my youngest child was likely bubbling to the surface. Ultimately she ran toward us without any tears, excited for her turn at ice cream and to show us her pretty ears. So yes, in truth, we survived the entire event. Ice cream was enjoyed, dinner barely occurred later, and everyone is nearly asleep in their beds as I wrap up the evening’s adventure. Hopefully sleep will come quick and ears will stay clean until they are all healed up. I see more jewelry shopping in our future; that and I may need to start hiding some of my dangles, because I know of three little girls that want to try them on already.
Here we are again at Emerie’s next surgery. This one is unique, a combination of new ear tubes and another left eye resection surgery. After three Botox procedures, one successful and two not as much as hoped, we are back to the drawing board on straightening out her eye and convincing her brain to keep using it.
Sunday night Emerie woke up with a major ear ache on one side, which the pediatrician confirmed yesterday as a definite ear infection. After two hours of tossing and turning and prohibiting Craig and I from getting sleep, she demanded to go sleep with grandma in the guest room. Worked for us and gave me a few minutes of shut eye before the next one was up. Fortunately this didn’t hinder having the surgery, with the doctor noting that he would clean out the infected side when the tubes were placed, essentially making it feel better, with the ear drops kicking the rest.
On the drive across town Emerie excitedly pointed out , at 5:45 in the morning mind you, that darkness means fall and that mean trick or treating, then Christmas, then my birthday and then hers! It was an impressive observation so early and from a four year old!
Grandma Sue came with me this morning and Emerie loved every second of it. Balloon gloves blow up to look like little blue sharks and the longer the versed was in her system, the more hilarious that seemed to her. Lots of giggles occurred as we waited to see both doctors, and Emerie cooperated for her pulse check much better than usual. She didn’t appreciate the little girl crying across the hall, who I overheard was also getting eyes and ears worked on, but eventually blocked that out and relaxed.
We opted to do both procedures under the same anesthesia, which meant one less time going through the whole surgery process. Arriving at six AM, we were the first in line for the day for Doctor Winkle (eyes) and Doctor Kowolski (ears).
She went back with the nurses to the OR about 7:45, and by 8:10 Doctor Kowolski was out to tell us the ear tubes went in without any issues. Doctor Winkle didn’t come out with his update for more than an hour after that, as expected, and another forty minutes after that before we could go back and see her.
Everything went well. Doctor Winkle noted that her inner eye muscle was a bit tighter than he expected and that he put a little liquid (can’t remember the word he said) to help with the scar tissue, which is an issue when repeat procedures occur over the years.
Today’s recovery was different than previous surgeries. This time she really didn’t want to wake up; in fact we spent almost two hours in recovery where she lightly snored, snuggled under the heating blanket, completely out to the world. The nurse removed the IV from her hand and her chest monitors without even a flinch. Eventually we were able to con her into consciousness by rubbing the cherry popsicle on her lips, just enough for her to subconsciously want it. We tried talking to her about it first, and threatening to eat it or give it to a sister, neither of which helped. She then proceeded to eat the whole thing with both eyes closed, mumbling short word responses to questions.
Prior procedures resulted in a completely asleep child diving straight into a demanding, I need a popsicle now, kid. We typically head home within 30 minutes or so. This time around, we didn’t head to the car until about eleven, she instantly went back to sleep in her car seat while hiding under her blanket from the sun, and slept in her bed until after two! The rest of the afternoon was watching movies with snuggles- a rotation between wanting me, Craig and grandma- and warm washcloths on her eye with several pedialite popsicles. Her ears don’t seem to be any bother (albeit they look red with dried blood), but her eye is swollen and red and puffy. Not droopy like the Botox procedures, but definitely swollen and sensitive and greatly bothering her.
While we normally delay a bath for two days after a procedure, she begged so badly for one that Craig let her sit in the tub, with promises to not splash anything sensitive. Early bedtime was a definite must, with Harper and Reagan both quite supportive of letting their sister get to sleep to feel better. Early bedtime for the adults too I hope, as these days are mentally exhausting and I could have fallen asleep hours ago. I imagine it’s going to be a long night once the pain meds wane, and hope tomorrow will be a bit better for her and that we all get some rest. First thing is her post-op eye check, probably followed by a quiet day at home and a lot of coffee (for me!)