Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Cora's Birthday + Texas Trip + Mira in the Hospital

Hello there!

There are so many things I need to tell you/document for my kids to read in 20 years. In a perfect world in which I have unlimited time and attention to blog, I would write a separate and detailed post for each, but we all know that isn't going to happen. 

(They stopped on the side of the road to pick me flowers!)

Since we talked last and as the title suggests, Cora turned three years old, the girls and I went to Texas to visit family, and Mira was in the hospital for three days. I am sure there are lot of other things I am missing, but those are the big three, so let's get to it. 

We celebrated Cora's birthday with a small brunch at our house. The menu was 100% worth sharing, so here you go:

  • Cinnamon rolls (I made, baked, iced, and froze the week before, and warmed back up in our neighbor's oven. Thanks so so much Kim!)
  • French toast casserole
  • Nana's Egg Dish
  • Meatball sliders (all Dan, I don't have a recipe. I wouldn't have included these, but Dan was insistent that "brunch" should include something from the "lunch" category, even though I have always considered brunch to be defined as "late breakfast." Regardless, they were popular and all 9 pounds were gone because Dan makes amazing meatballs.
  • Fruit
I totally planned on doing most of the prep work on Friday after work, but I returned home to Danielle having done practically all of it, along with cleaning my house and caring for my children. I am telling you right here and now, every single woman needs a live-in friend/wife/cook/babysitter/awesomeness.

I don't think Cora really understood the birthday concept until she saw the balloons and presents, and then she was very excited. She woke up every morning saying, "tomorrow's my birthday!" for days after her party and then subsequently her actual birthday. 

She spent a lot of her party cuddling with various family members, which was so sweet.

At three Cora is a funny little firecracker. She can be incredibly sweet and loving and compliant. She can also be the complete opposite of that, and you never know when that is going to change back and forth. She absolutely loves to laugh or make others laugh, even at her expense. She enjoys dressing up in costumes and wearing fancy shoes. She prefers that her hair always be in piggie tails. Her favorite food is pizza. She likes to dance and sing. She currently tolerates both her older and younger sisters, but would likely prefer to be an only child.

I love her to absolute pieces and I am fairly certain that there is no one on this earth that loves me as much as she does. Each day when I get home from work she screams, "Mom, you're back!!" and runs to me with the tightest hug. She is just fantastic.

The morning after the party we woke up bright and early to catch a plane to Houston for a week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. The girls absolutely adore them and they were spoiled beyond belief with lots of great food (Pop Tarts and donuts for breakfast!), swimming (my uncle seems to have unlimited energy to play in the pool), and games (we learned a new card game called Trash - it is a good one!). 

A perfect example of Cora's finicky personality: weeks before Cora told me she did not want to get on a plane because she didn't want to have to hold on tight and she didn't want to fall off. I tried to explain that neither of those things would happen, but even as we were boarding the plane she insisted she did not want to fly. The insistence was worse as I buckled her seat belt and she started to cry and slightly yell, "I don't want to fly in an airplane!"

I was concerned I was about to enter the longest two hours of my life when the plane started backing out of the gate. As soon as Cora's felt the plane moving her frown turned to a smile, she threw her hands up above her head and shouted, "Wheee! I love flying!" and was a perfect angel the rest of the flight, along with her other two sisters.

The highlight of our trip was Cora's second birthday party my aunt threw for her on her actual birthday. Everyone dressed up as a princess, including your's truly.

There was a rainbow cake, make your own pizzas, musical chairs, and a dance party I am sure no one will forget anytime soon. Oh and confetti (this is important later).

While in Texas we also saw a magic show at the children's museum, went to the movies to see Incredibles 2, and had a blast at a kids' science experiment place called Little Beakers.

Little Beakers was absolutely fantastic and I almost died of the cuteness of my daughters in lab coats and safety glasses. Ina and Cora equally enjoyed themselves and loved experiment after experiment. I have since spent a fair amount of time researching this franchise and asking people to become investors for a KC location.

Something else to note from Texas, and a transition to the third and final topic of this post, was that Thursday after seeing the movie, Mira randomly started violently vomiting. I actually thought she was choking and did a few finger sweeps and went through the whole panic/freak out process.

Thankfully, the rest of my family remained calm and reminded me that she was screaming and therefore she could at least breathe. After a very long night of her being sick, she seemed to get a little better. The next day followed with her acting weak, but otherwise fine so I chalked it up to a GI virus.

On the drive home from Texas over the weekend she stopped eating and eventually stopped drinking anything other than breast milk. She developed a fever and started pulling at her ears, so as soon as we returned home I took her to urgent care, who determined (after checking her ears, a strep test, a catheter/urine test, and an abdominal x-ray) she had a virus.

The next day she was worse and stopped even swallowing her own saliva. I took her to our pediatrician, who ordered blood labs and a neck X-ray, which all came back clear. Our pediatrician also agreed that she had a nasty virus and her symptoms should improve in the next few days.

The next day she had a dry diaper when she woke up, so I took her to the ER. After an entire day of her being poked, prodded, scanned, and measured, an ENT scope showed that her epiglottis was damaged.

This gave them reason to believe she had swallowed something and at 11 PM Wednesday night they took my baby girl into surgery. I was holding strong most of the day but when the anesthesiologist told me, "Thank you for letting me take care of your girl" I lost it.

Dan and I prayed hard for the next thirty minutes and were so relieved to see the ENT and GI surgeons enter the otherwise empty waiting room to report that they found A PIECE OF CONFETTI lodged into her esophagus. The confetti was leftover from Cora's princess birthday party, and must have been on the floor when Mira was crawling around in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I can't explain the simultaneous relief/guilt that flooded me. I was so thankful the fix was so simple and she didn't have some rare disease. However, I also felt pretty bad for not preventing the confetti from being in her throat in the first place, for not knowing what the problem was sooner, and for forcing medicine down her throat for the last week to help with the pain from the "virus."

The next two days in the hospital were hard. We were all beyond exhausted and just as soon as we would get Mira to sleep, she would need her vitals checked again or another doctor would come check on her. I totally understand the need for this and was thankful they were taking such good care of my baby, but it was still hard.

Also, Mira wasn't allowed to eat for 36 hours after surgery and to keep a nursing baby around her momma for 36 hours without nursing is pure torture. They originally thought she would take days to heal and they would need to gradually advance her food until she would be able to eat something solid.

What they didn't know is that she comes from a family of eaters and once they finally allowed her to nurse everything about her dramatically improved. She could take medicine by mouth! Her IV was removed! She was playing on the ground by herself! She slept for a good three hour chunk!  On Friday morning they told us that she would need to stay until Monday or Tuesday, and by Friday afternoon the nurse was going over discharge paperwork with us and we were free to go home!

I can't finish this post without writing about how much amazing support we had when we were in the hospital. Both my boss and Dan's boss let us off work without question. Granny kept Ina and Cora. Danielle helped pack my clothes, kept up my house, and sent me the most stellar healthy snack bag in history (and probably did hundreds of other things). My mom came to visit and gave us moral support. So many other friends/family reached out and offered to help if we needed it and checked in on our baby.

Of course I don't like things going wrong, but anytime I need help I am reminded of my infinite tribe and support system and I know that they are strong and deep and amazing and I just could not be more thankful. I can literally see and feel and hear God's loving arms wrapped around my family.

I hope to soon return to our regularly scheduled blogging because I also have some good recipes to share and my Grandma Beverly's 90th birthday and some books I am reading and...

Have a good week! <3

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