Still Sick!

This “cold” the babies have is finishing up its 6th day. Last Sunday it started as sneezing, fussiness, one afternoon of a mild fever and then a runny nose (and projectile vomiting..damn Tylenol) and as the week went on, I thought we were in the clear. But then a cough took over, becoming a very wet cough and then last night it turned into all-out barking. They are both having coughing fits that wake them from their sleep, poor babies. I hate to see them sick.

The barking was my cue that it was time for a doctor visit. So instead of going to playgroup (a good move for sure), I schlepped the babies to the doctor.

Diagnosis – Bronchiolitis for B, double ear infection for C. Geez – no wonder they didn’t feel good!

I felt terrible I hadn’t gone to the doctor sooner, but the P.A. did say that if I had, the babies might not have shown these symptoms and it would’ve been written off as “just a cold”. Regardless…terrible!

And I’m a newbie with sick babies, this is the first time they’ve been ill. So it’s hard to see, and at the same time, they want extra love that is hard to give with two. And there’s snot EVERYWHERE in my house. Separating toys is a challenge, but I do wash all the plastic ones every night.

That’s all manageable, but it’s the coughing fits that are so sad. With B, his breathing was actually a little labored so he is using a nebulizer for the weekend. C just has her antibiotic.

A quick look online told me that bronchiolitis usually comes from something else – mainly RSV. As a former NICU parent of preemies, those three letters were something I was praying my children didn’t get. In preemies it can be extremely, extremely dangerous. I am so thankful that mine were born in July, not during the main season, or we would’ve been on lockdown. That said, all children under the age of 2 get RSV at some point, but it’s not severe and disguises itself as a cold. So the likelihood that my twins have RSV is quite high, leading to bronchiolitis for B and a double ear infection for C. I shudder at those letters…but I’m SO grateful that it’s happening now, when my babies are hefty and healthy, and not when they were so fragile. So thankful for that.

Fun fact – bronchiolitis has a correlation with asthma in children. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how this connection came to be, but many children who have bronchiolitis as a baby go on to have asthma later in life. This sucks, but wouldn’t really surprise me as my husband had asthma as a child and B is an EXACT mini version of my husband, including all of his (minor) health issues.

In other news, the babies were weighed today for the first time since their 6 month check up and I’m happy to report that B is only 22.5 pounds! This means he can still use the doorway jumper that has a weight limit of 25 pounds! The jumper is his absolute favorite thing…and I’m dreading when he outgrows it, way faster than I would have expected. So he’s still got 3 pounds to go, thank goodness.

And Lil C isn’t really so little either – she’s certainly more petite than B with tiny feet, hands, and stubby legs, but she’s 19.5 pounds, and for an 8 month old, I think that’s not too bad.

We survived the week, despite the illnesses and not being able to go to 3 baby events that would’ve kept me sane. Next week, I’m hoping we can at least attend one and get out of the house.

What we did do, though, is go to Costco, where the babies enjoyed sitting in a cart for the first time. Did I pack wipes? Yes. Did I leave them on my kitchen counter? Yes.

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And then decided it was time to go home…

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Holding hands…so presh.

And then they promptly melted down in the car on the way home. No picture of that one.

Not much to go on this week, but here’s a few:

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Digging through the picnic basket – that’s their favorite toy right now.

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Just practicing being a man, rubbing the gut, while trying out his new baby leggings.

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I just place her in things and she tolerates it. Thanks, C.

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DIY baby/toddler toys: Sensory Bottles and Treasure Baskets

Sick day(s)!

I think I remember calling my twins’ first illness “a cold” in my last post. As in, just a cold. Some sneezing and sniffles, nothing a mom can’t handle, right? Well. Not 10 minutes after I published that post on Saturday night, Lil C woke up crying. When I went up there, I found she couldn’t take her pacifier because she couldn’t breathe through her nose. While B lay in his crib a few feet away, I tried suctioning out C’s nose which not only didn’t work, but made her cry louder. Then I panicked, thinking she might be in some pain, and gave her Tylenol, which in my arms, she projectile vomited that and her bedtime bottle of 9 ounces all over the babies’ floor.

With C now really crying, my husband is trying to clean up the milk/Tylenol mess because the Tylenol is RED, and the carpet is TAN. (Ah, that’s why we should’ve chosen a darker color rug) He’s using a flashlight to scrub, C is screaming and now B’s awake, crying as well. I’m COMPLETELY covered in vomit.

Good times. And she was up all night, coughing and gagging on what was dripping down her throat.

Now, a few days later, we are skipping playgroup but slowly on the mend. Still lots of mucous of all colors, stuffy, coughing, terrible sleep – these babies are a mess. What little cold was I thinking of? Two nights ago, I found that C could breathe better if she were straight up and down. Elevating the mattress wasn’t enough. So I pulled up a rocking chair in the next room, and we snuggled in for the night. I got no sleep, but C was breathing better. Last night, she luckily was okay in her crib.

Anyway, this isn’t a little cold by any means. It’s so hard to see your babies suffering and being so sad. There wasn’t any fever though, just strictly a nasty cold with lots of tears and yuck.

And of course, all four of us have this cold now. In the future, I’m wondering how parents possibly avoid getting whatever illness their children have. I don’t think it’s possible – especially with babies who need to be held and snuggled. So we all feel crappy.

 

Since we are home and have been recuperating the last few days, I decided to bring out some new toys for the babies to enjoy. I’ve been on a DIY kick lately, and have a few projects in the works. I have to give credit where it is due – the majority of the projects I’m working on come from The Imagination Tree – this woman is amazing. Her ideas are cheap and easy, and awesome for kids. Here are a few completed toys:

Sensory Bottles

I’ve been working on this one for a while. For a cheap set of toys for babies or toddlers, sensory bottles are a great way to change up what your child plays with every day. You can be really creative, make many bottles, or just a few, but it’s so easy to do.

First, I collected water bottles. We only had the larger, standard size at the time which is fine for older babies, but the younger ones can grab onto the smaller bottles easier. After washing the bottles and caps and letting them air dry, I filled them with an assortment of items I either had around the house or bought at the dollar store. Some have water added and some do not. I super-glued the caps on, and I keep them in a basket. SO easy!

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From left to right, here are the bottles I made:  1)Water with pink plastic hearts and small beads, 2) Pompoms of different sizes, 3) Water with silver glitter (you need a lot of glitter for a good shake!), 4) Pipe cleaners, 5) water with standard colored beads, 6) small bottle with plastic buttons of different colors, 7) small bottle with plastic necklaces, and 8) Water with yellow food coloring and dish soap

*Another great one that I haven’t yet made is ripped up pieces of tin foil – so shiny!

Again, you can be creative or not, add whatever you’d like, but the idea is to stimulate the different senses. I have a few bottles that make loud noises when you shake them, a few that are great for future color identification or counting, and a few that show slow movement and are great for visual stimulation.

So far the babies love to shake the two smaller bottles, and hold onto/look at/try to eat the bigger bottles.

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Part of my reason for making some of my own toys is that I can keep them for years and use them for different purposes as the babies get older. Right now, they’re all about making the bottles crackle and looking at the colors and shine, but in the future I’m hoping to use the bottles for counting, rolling, and that sort of thing.

 

Treasure Baskets

What I like most about this idea is that you can store these baskets away and bring them out on a rainy day or when the babies are fussy. Or, in this case, on our Sick Day when we need a pick-me-up.

Using cheap baskets from the dollar store, I filled one with regular items from around my house that are safe for babies. We have so many light up, sing-song toys in our house that are great but also do the work for the babies. Treasure baskets are supposed to be for exploration – you put in items that aren’t toys, giving children the opportunity to feel and discover different materials.

I’ve only made one basket so far, but I’d like to make a few with different themes. The Imagination Tree shows baskets full of wood products (like a wooden spoon, wooden blocks, etc), soft textures, crinkly textures, and so on.

This basket has a variety of items from around my house but not with any theme to it.IMG_4242

As you can see, there is a pot holder (clean and new 🙂 ), a bath mit, two fake foods, measuring cups and spoons, etc.

I gave this basket to the babies for the first time and it kept them happily engaged for a good half hour, which in baby time = forever.

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Checking out the basket for the first time..

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They seemed to really enjoy the contents of the basket. And it was great for their fine motor development, as they had to use their fingers/whole hands to pick up oddly shaped items. For the first time, I witnessed C with something in her right hand but an item on her right side she wanted to grab. She transferred what was in her right hand to her left, and then grabbed the object on the floor.

It’s the little things.

Treasure baskets are awesome for different textures and sizes. As the babies get older, you can still use these for toddlers but can switch out any of the items for things that might be more appropriate for their level.

With sick babies who only took a half hour nap (ugh) this is all I’ve got time for at the moment! I’m hoping to make more toys – it’s very satisfying for me and good for the babies.

For now, it’s time to bring out the basket again I think, this cold has them quite fussy…