Sunday, September 30, 2012

Music, a pet store trip, Wednesdays and allergic reactions

Our new favorite CDs to listen to in the car...

I suddenly have hyper-sensitive children. Robbie's hand blew up with hives one night. No idea why.

I did this once with Robbie as a little guy, but on Tuesday a few weeks ago I took the girls to the pet store while Robbie was at preschool just for something different and exciting. The girls loved looking at the fish ("Ellie? Please don't smack the side of the tanks or the fish will have heart attacks." Repeat x's 100.). They were captivated by the rats. Yes, the rats. I definitely earned Mother of the Year as I stood there for no less than 15 minutes as they gazed lovingly at nature's dirtiest animal (for sale, nonetheless!). {shudder-gag-cringe}

They thought the gerbils and hamsters were "soooo cute!". All I could think about was the fact that my parents allowed us to keep hamsters when we were young, and it all came back to me. The smell. The mess. The poop. The frantic searches for an escapee. The death of each of our precious pets and their stiff furry little bodies. I cannot get the image of my brother's hamster BC ("ButterCup") out of my mind after it 'passed'. It's face had this awful look and it haunts me to this day.

No, no no no. We will most assuredly not be hamster-keepers. Ever. I just cannot.
Sorry kids.

We moved on to the birds. Interesting at first, but it seems my girls are not bird lovers.

They stared at the cages, then looked at me like "why are you showing us these birds?". They were very loud and kind of frightening. {Maybe my girls have seen Hitchcock?} Ellie held her ears and Maddie looked like she was going to burst into tears. 

So we left. It was a fun little escapade to do, just us girls. Dare I say it bonded us?

Our women's bible study is in full swing, and I'm so thankful for the way it has unfolded. New women have been welcomed into our group. Some with faith. Some without. All eager to study James together. I am so excited for this session and eagerly anticipate how God is going to move in our lives. 

Being one of the leaders is a big challenge but also a huge blessing. Preparation each week for the Wednesday meeting takes some time, but late Tuesday night that feeling you get on Christmas eve creeps in and I can hardly go to sleep. Wednesday mornings are definitely a highlight of my week. 

Speaking of... Wednesdays are big days around here. Robbie and Ellie both have preschool (9am), Maddie goes into childcare during my bible study (9:30am), and we all finish at 11:30am. Sometimes I pack a lunch and we eat with Mima (who also attends bible study!) in the church cafe. Sometimes we drive home as fast as we can and eat in the car so that we can crash in our beds for naps after an exhausting morning. 

But wednesday nights are also Awana nights. Robbie and Ellie are in the 3's and 4's program called Cubbies. They memorize scripture verses prior to the evening meeting and recite them for their leaders. Rob is volunteering as a Cubbies leader, so the 3 of them get to have some quality time together one night a week. 

Well one Wednesday night, I was throwing food at the kids as fast as I could so that they'd be ready to leave for Cubbies when Rob got home from work. I fed them white chicken chili and orange slices. Just as everyone was needing to walk out the door, I realized that Maddie's hands were swelling up at a very fast rate, were bright red, and covered with white hives the size of peas. I watched her for a few minutes and realized it was getting worse quickly and they were itchy, so I called the pediatrician (in a slight panic, I will admit). We have Epi-Pens everywhere in our home but I am not thrilled at the prospect of using them. However, with her hands changing so quickly I worried about an internal response that might happen just as quickly and her airways being restricted. We gave her Benadryl and watched her for 1/2 an hour, and were told to head to the ER if it didn't get better. Her hands slowly showed improvement (it took 2 hours for them to completely resolve), but then I noticed a single hive and lots of redness on the area around each of her big toes. WHAT!?

I am so perplexed by Maddie's system. I cannot pinpoint what causes her reactions. Sometimes it's food. Sometimes she hasn't eaten in hours and she'll present hives or blotchiness on her face and body. There's no rhyme or reason, at least right now to me. 

So anyways, I sent the kids and Rob off to Cubbies and drove s-l-o-w-l-y over to the hospital. I wasn't convinced she needed further help at that point, but I didn't want to put her in danger either. We pulled into the ER bay, I waved the valet off, and spent a minute or two examining her again in her car seat. I had been praying the whole time for wisdom, but I asked God again - Lord, what does she need? Help me. I don't know what the best choice is to make. 

I decided that she wasn't struggling for air or wheezing, her hands were slowly getting better but they were getting BETTER, not worse, and although her feet were actually flaring up more, I wanted to give the Benadryl a little more time to settle her system down. 

We drove over to Target for a few things and hung out there instead of going home for a while. Target is close to CDH, and I figured, we will just hang out  here and watch what her body decides to do. I can whisk her to the hospital and be in the ER within minutes if I need to.

We enjoyed our little trip, and as we waited, it was confirmed that the decision I had made to wait to take her in was a good one.

By 8:30pm I had a sleepy, confused baby on my hands. 
I would guess this face translates to "Mom? Why aren't you putting me to bed!?"

Hives gone, swelling down, and bedtime upon us, we headed home. But not before Maddie tried to put herself to sleep in the shopping cart. 
{This is the funny thing she does to self-soothe: she crosses her legs in the air, pulls up on her pj's or blanket, and sort of lifts her head off the ground in a baby-crunch.}
Whenever she does this, I know she's ready to sleep.

More cute Maddie pictures:

 {tomato, one of her favorite foods}

1 comment:

Matt and Abby said...

Dealing with the hives and allergic reactions must be so frustrating. I hope you guys figure it out!
Oh! I just now had a thought.....I just recently developed an allergy/reaction to tomatoes. But only if I eat too many. In moderation, I am fine. Maybe cut back on tomato products? (They are in everything, seriously!) I hope that doesn't annoy you, I'm sure you're getting more than your fair share of advice here:)