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Monday
Aug182014

Hospital

Okay, I'm only posting this today so that I won't have back-to-back 52 posts. Guys, blogging on holiday is just more than I can muster. Too much relaxing. (Actually not nearly enough relaxing. That's the nature of the expat holiday home. But that might be a problems-that-are-not-actually-problems post for an other day.)

Anyway, without further adoo...

So, I’ll tell you, one thing that makes for a memorable summer holiday is a hospital stay. Not that I’d reeeeally advocate this method of cementing cherished memories of summers past, but there you have it. We ended up in the ER with a very sick Hugo Bear.

 

Midway through our Michigan sojourn, Hugo developed a weird infection (??) rash (??) on his BCG injection site. I was worried enough to not consult Dr. Google but go directly to our Michigan paediatrician. They didn’t think much of it, but invited us back for a well baby visit two days later.

 

Two days hence Mr. H. M. Bear was not a very well baby.

 

He had a 40 degree fever, murder diapers, and vom fountains. I had a case of maternal anxiety / mild panic. Towards the end of the day on the Thursday, I called the doctor’s office to check if they thought I should bring Hugo to the hospital. They said go. 

 

And so we went.

 

I was expecting to be given a dose of Tylenol and perhaps a bag of fluids and sent on our merry way. I did not expect to spend the next five or so days in the hospital. But alas, that’s what happened.

 

Our first night in the ER was totally unpleasant. Especially for Mr. Bear. He was poked and prodded, feverish and barfy and he barely slept a wink. 

 

(An aside: I’ll tell you one thing, this was one instance where an excess of baby chub, which in other circumstances is so cozy and punchable, did not serve our interests. Super fat dehydrated babies, as it turns out, are near impossible to get an IV into. Can we talk about 13 pokes, 9 different people, and about 4 hours to get some fluids into this boy?? Yikes.)

 

The doctors were kinda stumped as to the cause of Hugo’s illness. They thought it might be an auto-immune disease, or perhaps a virus, or maaaaybe a tropical nasty. So erring on the side of caution, they had us in isolation and under contact precautions (which in case you didn’t know, because I sure didn’t, means a room with an air lock, and doctors / nurses / housekeepers / room service attendants in full gown / mask regalia.)

 

He underwent a million tests, all of which tuned up inconclusive. And so, Hugo’s illness remains a mystery.   

 

On day three? Four? of the hospital stay, Hugo’s fever reduced, and then finally broke. And after a day of resting, he perked right up. It took a few days to return to normal levels of Hugo smiles, but we got there after not too long. And boy am I glad. 

 

Monday
Aug112014

32/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014."

Stella: I asked her to stand still. I wanted to play around with back lighting (because I do love it so!) Instead she decided to run laps around the lawn. I did manage to snap this one though. 

Hugo: Hospital life. We spent five days in the hospital before finally getting discharged. 

I think I'm going to just admit that I've got to fold my blog hand when on vacation. I can't seem to find the time to open my computer. Nap time, which is my blog time, is so often spent as travel time so as to minimize the horrors of being strapped into a car seat. And once bedtime rolls around, I roll straight in there too. All the excitement and disruption of being away from home makes these two kids pretty restless at night. So, I maximize every moment of eyes-closed time to close my eyes as well. 

Annnnyway, I'll live in hope that I'll be better next week? 

Linking up with Jodi and Living Arrows.

Sunday
Aug032014

31/52

"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014."

Stella: Missing her brother, and presumably also her mother (but mostly her brother.) She's not allowed to visit us, so we talk twice a day by FaceTime.

Hugo: A poor, sick, feverish baby. 

We've spent the greater part of this week nursing a sick baby. Doctor's offices, the Emergency Room, and now, the Children's Ward, have been where we've passed most of our time. Poor Hugo Bear has some sort of unidentified illness that kept his temperature up around the 40 degree mark for about four or five days. He was really dehydrated, sick, and very unhappy.

Although this has been a difficult experience, there is some good news. Hugo, while not back to his normal self, is feeling better. His temperature is within the normal range and he is keeping all of his feeds down. And, I can tell you I'm beyond thankful that he fell sick while we were in America. He's at one of the world's best children's hospitals, being cared for by a team of excellent doctors. And I'm so glad that on top of the stress of a sick kid and navigating hospital life, I don't have to deal with cultural and language barriers that I'd face if this happened in Jakarta.

We're going to be here at the hospital until at least Monday, and perhaps a bit beyond until we have a better picture of what is wrong with this poor bear, and how we can help him feel better.  

I have a few thoughts on this hospital experience, and maybe I'll find some quiet moments to write about them. But, well, quiet moments are a bit hard to come by in a hospital. 

Wednesday
Jul302014

Puppy Day

This weekend we drove into rural Michigan to pick up a puppy. We drove along winding roads, under tunnels of deciduous green, passed big red barns, and fields of cattle to meet our new puppy friend.

Ms. Perriwinkle was waiting for us in what was, perhaps, the most adorable rural michigan kitchen ever ever. I mean jakalope antlers. That's all you need to know about that. 

(A note on the name. Our former dog, Chloe, who succumbed to kidney failure early this year, was christened Perry by my then three-year-old. And so, my mum, whom it must be noted, is the actual owner of the dog, decided that this pup should actually be called Perry. Of course, Stella immediately started calling the dog Rudy, because duh.) 

Not everyone in our camp was excited about the dog. My mum and I, both card carrying dog people, were thrilledto bring this guy home. Stella spent a good amount of time hiding in the car, and she kept shrieking whenever the pup came close to her. My dad drove us with a face so long, I was unsure of whether or not he were leading a caravan towards his own execution. The two of those puppy poopers spent a good deal of time bonding over their shared scene of misfortune and woe. 

(Stella has since come around to the idea of the dog. Although she can regularly be heard uttering, "I want Perry to be died," she does enjoy running around the lawn with the dog and laughing at her puppy antics. My dad, on the other hand, remains certain that puppy = doom.)

Perry is a pretty great little pup. She likes to play tag, chanse after toys, go on walks, and take long naps in Hugo's car seat. Although there was that one time where we were looking for the house phone only to discover that she had hidden it in the garden, so maybe she's downgraded to a pretty good pup? 

Anyway, pictures here! Enjoy!



 Joining up for let's have an adventure

Monday
Jul282014

Kid Life 365 {Week Twenty-three}

::One hundred and sixty-six::

I love that baby chub. That big tummy bursting through his shirt, already too small even though I just bought it like, yesterday.

 

::One hundred and sixty-seven::

There's nothing spectacular about this picture, except I just liked it? The tones and that patch of light (I do love a patch of light). This particular Tuesday we celebrated my friend's daughter's second birthday. There were pancakes and cupcakes. It was pretty great. 

 

::One hundred and sixty-eight::

Wednesdays are playgroup days and the highlight of the week as far as Stella is concerned. She gets to see her special friend and they are inseparable for the whole afternoon.

 

::One hundredn and sixty-nine:: 

Stella loves to mug for the camera. Until I actually ask her to then she gets silly shy. Anyway, she did agree to pose with her Wuggy Bunny for this photoshoot.

 

::One hundred and seventy:: 

Fridays are always pool days. We stay outside from 12:30 until 6 pm basically every Friday without fail. Hugo is determined DETERMINED to get in that water.

 

::One hundred and seventy-one::

Is there a more photogenic baby than this guy? Nope.

 

::One hundred and seventy-two::

Sunday at the pool. We ate lunch together. Stella swam and swam and swam with her papi. 

Sunday
Jul272014

30/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Stella: Laughing in the lanium. This kid! She's traveled across the equator, 12 time zones, so many hours, and she's doing great. She's sleeping in her own bed! For the first time! Ever! Which isn't to say it's all been smooth sailing, but the seas have been significantly calmer than I had predicted. So, land ho! etc.

Hugo: Totally not sure about this grass business. He, on the other hand, has not been adjusting as easily. Poor boy has been introduced to car seats (verdict: they blow), and he has decided to decline my offer of a lovely, comfortable, and totally rad portacot, in favour of my bed. And I ended up sleeping on the floor. So. Okay?

We're enjoying the good surburban life here in Michigan. It's such a novilty for us to be able to go out the front door and see grass and trees and flowers. We're spending lots of time sitting on the front step, running barefoot through the grass, and chasing balls around the golf course. The days have been sunny and warm, the evenings cool. We've had foggy mornings and refreshing breezes, and I'd like to say, high five, Michigan, high five. 

No favourites this week because jet lag has has ment all my free time has been spent in the pursuit of zzzzz's. Next week though!

Linking up with Jodi and Living Arrows.

 

Saturday
Jul262014

We flew alone all the way around the world. And we were fine.

So, we’ve officially been in the US for a week. We’re settled, we’ve unpacked our suitcases. We’ve visited Target and eaten more tacos than you can shake a stick at. 

 

With a week behind us, I’m sure you’re dying to hear the gory and sordid details of my heroic trip across the world with two children in my sole and solitary care, right? Every tantrum, every diaper blowout, every eye-stinging hour of exhaustion.

 

Well, actually the trip was fine. Totally fine. No big deal (okay, sort of a big deal, but still completely okay.)

 

Stella and Hugo and I flew together with Mr. Chef to Singapore the day before our big flight. We were looking at a 6 hour layover in Changi, a prospect that filled me with all sorts of nope. So we decided to go a day ahead and make a little mini pre-vacation vacation out of it. 

 

We enjoyed an extraordinarily over-priced but nonetheless delicious dinner (Singapore, why do you eat all my dollars??) I had a sleep-in in a gigantic hotel bed (my last for months!) and we went down to Gardens by The Bay for some pre-flight splash pad fun.  

 

Mr. Chef headed back to the airport to catch his flight home, and the three of us gulped some big gulps omg are we gonna be okay alone? 

 

I was mildly terrified at the prospect of flying alone with two kids. I wondered how I’d stay awake and functioning for 36+ hours. How I’d handle Hugo’s morning all over everything diaper bomb. How I’d manage Stella’s need for constant motion, unending pretend play, and never never never sleeping.

 

It turns out we were totally fine. More than fine. Just great.

 

Both of our long flights (12 hours and 8 hours) more or less corresponded with our body clock night time which meant the kids slept. The long layover in Frankfurt airport meant that we could stretch our legs, play a bit, and eat a pizza. 

 

It turns out that you actually CAN carry a diaper bag, a backpack, pull a carry on suitcase, and your child’s carry on suitcase, while wearing a baby and pushing a four year old in a stroller. It’s a little hot and sweaty, but totally doable. 

 

Also, babies who actually sleep also sleep on the airplane which is a major win in my books.  

 

And, lo, with the passage of time kids grow up and become more capable of sitting in a seat for an extended period of time. A four-year-old traveling companion is so much more relaxed than a three-year-old, which again is infinitely easier than traveling together with a two year old.

 

And so, as is almost always the case, a lot of worry for naught. We were totally okay. And everything worked out. (Expect for day two jet lag which was a total and utter shit show, the likes of which I never want to relive. Ever. More on that later. Maybe?)