I was listening to Carson and Annelise play together with a kinetic sand bucket the other day, and heard some sayings that pretty much can only come from a five year old. They were playing pirates when I heard the following exchange:
Annelise: Are the pirates in Colorado?
Carson: No, they’re in California. Only pirates live in California.
Yep, I’m training him well. This was followed a few minutes later by Carson narrating the following:
Carson: And the pirates buried their treasure and marked it with an X, and a sign that said “Please Do Not Touch.”
Must have been the Polite Pirates.
Finally, in what I can only imagine was a different game and scenario:
Carson: And the scientists, said, “Don’t touch it,” and everyone listened to them because scientists are the smartest and richest.
So quite a while ago, back in early December when we still lived in Denver, Carson went through quite the experience when he got really, really sick.
It started on a Friday night. Josh and I had gotten back from a date. Carson had been okay for the baby sitter, but she said he was sad and wouldn’t fall asleep on his own. That’s rare for Carson, but I figured he just missed us. But after Josh and I got home, we started to worry a little. He was coughing in his sleep a lot. We held him some, comforted him, tried the normal cold treatments. Then we went to bed – both me and Josh quite exhausted from a busy, busy week.
Around 4:30 AM things got really bad. Carson was crying, unhappy, coughing…and then basically he slept only in bits and pieces and only in our arms the rest of the night. He was coughing, breathing very rapidly, and just sad, sad, sad. In the morning when we couldn’t get him to eat or drink and he hadn’t improved, we figured it was time to call the doctor.
Our pediatrician’s office was great, and I was able to schedule an appointment for that morning. I was so grateful they got us in so quickly, especially on a Saturday. At the doctor’s, Carson was just miserable. He wailed and cried constantly through the initial check-up process with the nurse. Finally, shortly before the doctor came in, an exhausted Carson fell asleep in my arms. He had been breathing quickly and shallowly all morning.
When the doctor came in, the first thing she did was to test his oxygen level and listen to his heart. Both tests confirmed the same thing: Carson’s oxygen levels were dangerously low and oxygen just wasn’t moving through his lungs well at all. :(
The doctor was fantastic and made what could have been a terrifying experience for us first-time parents into something much more bearable. She explained everything so clearly, was so calm and in control, and helped us feel informed without feeling overwhelmed. Having such a great doctor really did help all of the other could-be scary things that started to happen pretty quickly, like finding out that Carson had bronchiolitis, hearing we’d most certainly be headed to the ER that morning, seeing Carson hooked up to an oxygen tank with a tube around his head and fitted into his nose, and having to give him a nebulizer treatment (basically like what’s in an inhaler for people with asthma, but for babies; it was to help clear out Carson’s lungs and make it easier to breathe). Carson hatedthe oxygen tube and nebulizer (especially the nebulizer; he screamed during the whole 10-minute treatment).
But, as much as Carson hated it all, the oxygen and the nebulizer really made a difference. He started acting happier again (meaning just intermittent fussing instead of constant screaming). He even began to talk and read some books with us. It was a relief to see him like that. When the doctor saw him, she was soon so pleased with how he was doing that she told us maybe we wouldn’t have to go to the ER after all. She said they could send us home with oxygen for Carson and we could just monitor him there, as long as his oxygen levels didn’t drop again.
And they didn’t. So we headed home.
Then we got all sorts of stuff: a tank of oxygen (with more to be delivered to our house that very afternoon), our own nebulizer, prescriptions for the medication to put inside. We were to leave Carson hooked up to the oxygen all the time at home. The doctor said to expect about 5 days of all this, and we made an appointment for first thing Monday morning so they could check up on Carson again.
The rest of that day kind of blurred for me. I felt okay (meaning in control and strong) in the car, but once we got home, things got tougher. I was sad for Carson; it was so hard to see him so sad and with a tube in his nose. I felt guilty for letting him get sick in the first place. And I felt overwhelmed: five days of this? How could we get through it? I spent the afternoon kind of in a discouraged daze. It probably didn’t help that I was super hungry (I think my diet that day had consisted mostly of brownies and a pear) and super exhausted. And, of course, still pregnant.
Later that day Dale and Heather (Josh’s parents) came to help give Carson a wonderful Priesthood blessing. I continued to feel overwhelmed, but seeing Dale and Heather really helped. The oxygen delivery man also came, leaving a huge noisy machine downstairs that pulled pure oxygen out of the air and sent it through a fifty-foot tube to Carson, and more back-up tanks of oxygen than we could use.
That night Carson was feeling better. He actually had a pretty good apetite for dinner. And we were able to read and play and sing, a little more like normal life. The night was long (Carson woke up sad when his oxygen tube came loose), but when the next day came, things started feeling much brighter. We got through the nebulizer treatments (which Carson still hated) by watching lots of Blue’s Clues. Carson got a bath, which he loved. And Josh and I got showers, which we needed. Feeling clean, listening to Sunday Christmas music, tidying the house, eating breakfast…things started to feel more normal again. And Heather brought us dinner and ice cream (thank you, angel mother-in-law!).
And those next five days, the rest of the time that Carson was sick, went better than I expected. He made an excellent recovery, and we went in for daily doctor’s check-ups, gradually taking him off the oxygen as he improved more and more. It was hard, for sure. A crazy, emotion-filled few days. I’m so so glad Josh took a little time off of work to help out. It was especially hard taking care of such a sick, sad Carson and being pregnant, too. I worried about the baby girl inside me: was I eating enough? Was I eating healthy enough? Was I getting enough rest? I felt so worn out.
But it passed. Carson got better! He made such an amazing recovery, the doctor was very impressed. We never had to go to the ER. Josh and I got through it, especially those first hard days, by counting our blessings: good healthcare, good doctors, money to afford it all, a child who was responding very well to treatments, not having to go to the ER, family who bring us meals, the Priesthood, and just the small tender mercies like showers and good food and sunshine.
So that was our first experience with any illness in the family more serious than a cold or an ear infection. If it taught us anything, it taught us that our Carson sure is a champ.
Carson and I have been pretty into arts and crafts lately. (All these pictures are before the baby came, by the way.) Carson likes coloring with crayons.
But not as much as he likes painting. I bought some washable Crayola paints that have been fantastic, and we’ve had a lot of fun.
We turned those paintings into some eggs to celebrate Easter. I think the activity and seeing the eggs on the wall prompted Carson to learn his latest favorite word: “Egg!” (especially since Easter and finding so many candy-filled ones)
Another time we painted toilet paper rolls (an excellent free art supply item when you’re on a tight budget) with Q-tips. Carson especially liked using the Q-tips. I love how focused he gets when he’s really into something like this:
Of course things always get messier as they go on. :)
We (okay, I) turned the above paintings into these little peacock crafts:
I totally tried to get Carson to help me, but he wasn’t into the gluing as much. He did, however, like watching the videos of peacocks on Youtube – which I had to consult after my first try (far left) resulted in what Josh called an “Indian penguin” more than a peacock. The second two were much better. :) (Okay, so I’m kind of a dork in that I had way too much fun doing this, but how cool is it that when you’re a mom you get to do fun projects like this? I loved arts and crafts as a kid! Now I get to enjoy them all over again.)
Then Josh helped me put up this clothesline above our kitchen table where I display all of our artwork.
(The wrinkled one is a picture of a bear that Carson loved so much – he loves bears – he wanted to carry it around. I’m surprised he didn’t tear it!)
I got the idea from my mom, who, when we were growing up, had a whole room that was our art room, with a big long table that could get messy, and all around the walls had clotheslines like this – lots of them – to display all our artwork. My mom was so amazing about encouraging our talents and creativity. I think she and that art room are a big part of why I like to draw so much today. I’ve wanted to have an art room like that since I became a mom, and maybe one day I will, but for now this clothesline will have to do. :)
Wow, it’s been a while…but we’re still here, we promise! Well, actually, by “here” I don’t mean in Denver…because we moved to Houston! The last few months have been filled with some pretty big life changes, but lots and lots of great memories and happy moments. But the biggest and happiest of all has been the arrival of our new baby girl. Because nothing else that’s happened is as important or wonderful as this, let’s just skip all the other events for now and focus on her. :)
Meet Annelise Lyman, born Friday, April 5 at 2:53 PM. She’s 7 lbs, 4 oz, 20 inches long, and simply perfect:
Annelise is wonderful. She’s a calm, alert, peaceful baby who sleeps and eats well (but not to say that she doesn’t have a problem letting us know if she’s upset :)). And she’s fitting right into our family. There’s something so amazing and special and miraculous about welcoming a new child into the world, and into a home. It’s hard to express, but all I can say is that it only gets more wonderful the second time around. Harder, yes, in lots of ways. But easier in others. But maybe all of that is part of what makes it so wonderful. This past week, since she’s come, Josh has been home off work the whole time, and it’s been such a wonderful, family-focused week. Carson is doing really well with Annelise and is already asking to hold her. He likes to “pet” her hair and point out her fingers and toes. Once she was flailing her hands around, the way newborns new, and bopped him on the nose. He thought that was hilarious and kept trying to get her to do it again.
And Annelise is doing really well with Carson. :) So far no accidental injuries (though I feel like we’ve come close: “Watch her head! Don’t poke her eyes! Be soft!”). And Annelise loves to look at Carson, just like she likes to look at all of us.
So that’s our little family of four lately! I’ll try to catch you up on all the other huge life changes, too. Eventually. :)