Saturday, 31 December 2011

Y4 - 92/365: Just the Three of Us

Today started out quite normal and then quickly went south this afternoon when Ryan began to develop yet another temperature. We didn't think much of it other than to "do the usual" of dosing him with some meds and pump him full of fluids. After about an hour from giving him some Calprofen, we noticed his temp wasn't going down, but was instead going 103.1. Because of this and how drowsy he seemed, we rang NHS Direct.

They ran through their standard protocol of questioning...was he having fits, were his lips or fingertips blue in colour, would he turn his head and follow us when we got his attention. Although he wasn't a positive on any of the more serious/extreme questions, they said a nurse would be ringing within 5 minutes.

At the end of the phone call I took his temperature again and it read a staggering 103.8! We remained calm for Ryan's sake, but were absolutely sick with worry over what could be causing this.

A nurse returned the call and was very diligent in her questioning as well, assuring us we have done all the right things by undressing him and attempting to bring the fever down with Calprofen whilst vigilantly trying to get fluids into his system. She suggested that while he didn't run a fever yesterday, since the original high temps started on Wednesday the 28th, it would be in our best interest to have him seen by a doctor. With the fact that it was New Year's Eve and our local surgery was shut, we had the choice of waiting at the walk-in centre at Holly Hall or to drive to Sandwell Hospital to be seen in their primary care clinic within the hour. We opted for the latter and began preparing to leave the house so as not to dress Ryan until we were absolutely ready to go -- this mainly because his temp had seemingly gone up again to 104.4!!

Once there, we waited only a short time after our appointment was set before we were called back to the doctor.

The only thing I can't stand about seeing a doctor who isn't your "regular" is they don't tend to have much in the way of personality, nor do they have a "way" with kids -- this proven when he actually expected Ryan to keep a plastic/paper thermometer clenched in his mouth! Each and every time the guy would STOP touching or modging with Ryan, our poor little guy would mumble, "yaaay," in the most pathetic attempt at enthusiasm.

The doctor listened to his breathing, checked his ears and throat and questioned if he had been coughing. Truth be told, yes...he had a cough really from the start of December and couldn't seem to shake it. So, doc's professional medical opinion was..."it's his throat."

Trust when I say how tempted I was to ask him to "break that down for me in layman's terms."

From here the doctor played hunt and peck with his keyboard to type in the notes from the visit...all whilst not saying a word to us. I made gestures to Matt and we rolled our eyes at one another at how silly this was before the doctor then handed us a prescription from the printer for Amoxicillin and the prescription equivalent to Calpol.

Confused as whether this was the cue for the end of our visit, we thanked the man and made a hasty exit and drove onward to Sainsbury's back home so Matt could fill the scrip.

The photo (above) was taken well after he had his banana-flavoured Amoxicillin and paracetamol. To see it you would have never known!

He was still in a pretty chipper mood at bedtime and we questioned whether all the hours sleeping on me whilst on the phone with NHS Direct would interrupt his regular sleep cycle...

...and 5 seconds later, the answer (so far) is no.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Y4 - 91/365: Play-doh!

From his Nana and Grandad for Christmas, Ryan received an awesome play-doh kit with all sorts of cutters, stampers and a wide range of play-doh colours, including a shimmery silver and gold! Ryan doesn't yet get how fun this stuff is, but I don't imagine it will take him long to enjoy it as much as Mommy and Daddy.

We made all sorts of animals and he loved saying "roll it, roll it, roll it" when he rolled the dough. He also enjoyed making little 'poke' marks with his "pokey finger."

When Daddy popped into the kitchen for a bit, Ryan showed him the cool device that could make a tortoise!

He's much better about not eating the dough as well...even though he did have a few cheeky nibbles.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Y4 - 90/365: It's All About the Bubbles!

As expected, Ryan woke in the night with a temperature. It was only just over 101, so I gave him some medicine, stripped him down and cuddled with him in our bed since Matt was still awake and downstairs on the Xbox. By the time Matt came to bed, his fever had broken so we re-clothed him and Matt took him back to his bed and tucked him in.

I was back up with him in the morning (when he woke up chatting about bubbles) to give Matt a turn for a lie-in and just after Ryan and I got downstairs I noticed that the postman had been. He dropped a parcel over the gate since our gate was still shut and when I went to retrieve it, I noticed it was from my Aunt Lisa in America. Immediately Ryan wanted to see what was inside, so we opened it to find a Christmas card, a cute new outfit along with a stripey jumper and a couple of books; Thomas & another that was a series of Little Bear stories. Thank you, Auntie Lisa & Uncle Tracey!!

Right away Ryan ran off to investigate his Thomas book!

He went down for a nap around half-twelve but slept only maybe 45 minutes or so. Shortly after he was up, so was his temp off came the long-sleeves and in went the medicine.

It wasn't long until he was feeling better once again and he even managed to sneak the bubble machine down from the top of the bookshelf (when I was out of the room in the kitchen) and carefully carried it to the window ledge, without spilling, to play with his bubbles. That's how you know this child is feeling better...when he's non-stop about his bubbles!

He seemed fine the rest of the day, and while he cuddled his teddy lots and lots, his temp didn't seem to change. Let's hope this means he is on the mend!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Y4 - 89/365: What We Wouldn't Do For Them?

Early this morning, sometime just after 5am, Ryan had a fever. I remember him getting into bed with me and thinking that Matt would be up soon and take him back to his room. Next thing I knew, I was waking up with a 2-year-old who felt like he was on fire and Matt was spark out on the other side of him.

I woke Matt just enough to tell him to cuddle Ryan as I went downstairs to search for the thermometer and some medicine. I returned with the medicine syringe loaded with 2.5 ml of Calprofen and took a temp that read 101.7. I then stripped him down to his vest and carried him back to his own bed. For the next 2 hours I layed on the floor next to him, holding his hot little hand as he clutched his teddy, occasionally stroking his cheek and shushing him when he'd give a little moan.

When I realised the time and that he hadn't made a noise for a while, I slinked back to our room and returned to bed, but it was only in vain because I almost immediately heard Ryan call out for 'mama.' Once I got inside his room and scooped him up I could feel he was all sweaty and sticky -- the fever had broken. He then called for 'dada' so I brought him back to our room to re-dress him in his PJs and placed him to sleep on top of the duvet between us.

Imagine my surprise when our usual 8am wakeup call from Ryan passed and it was nearly 10am before he was up and being led downstairs by Daddy so I could have a little lie-in. I snoozed for about an hour and a half before realising that it was getting close to noon and wondering if Matt would keep his usual nap time.

Then my mobile rang. It was Matt telling me that he had a very droopy Ryan in his arms and that he was shivering. I threw on my clothes and came down with his medicine and the thermometer. This time the temp read 100.7 so we gave him some Calpol and a bottle of milk while he didn't budge from Daddy's lap. He didn't even acknowledge me, which is VERY unusual for him on a morning where he hasn't seen much of Mommy.

Just in case, we booked an appointment to see the GP first thing in the morning since everything was already booked for today. We stripped him back down to his vest again.

Around 3 o'clock, he woke up and just wanted to lie on the floor with his teddy. I took his temp again and it was the highest it has ever been. As soon as I read the display, 103.7, Matt said to ring the doctor's surgery back. When I told the receptionist his temp, she said they could get him in during the next hour.

Another dose of medicine, this time the Calprofen again, and some more cuddling on Mommy and lots of moaning and flopping about. Both of us were questioning what may have caused this as the only "public" place we had been was the Tesco Extra in Cradley Heath last night, so we decided it could have been something on the shopping trolley. We also texted Emma to make sure Amy was okay and not in the same condition in case it was something they had both picked up.

Just before half-three I suggested Matt fill his sippy with fresh water and a bit of squash, just enough to slightly flavour the water, since he was refusing to drink...just to keep him hydrated. No sooner did Matt leave the room that a little voice, unheard by me for most of the morning, chirped, "where Dada go?" Then I felt the sweat and watched the colour returning to his cheeks! Daddy returned with the sippy and Ryan snogged it like no tomorrow!! He was back!

Then, as if he needed to make up for all the time he was lethargic and not talking...he didn't stop moving around the room and couldn't quit chatting to us! First, he needed to give his rocking lion a quick ride...I snapped the photo between the 20-second ride and dismount, complete with growl. I believe I actually heard him "neigh" as well?

And QUICK!! Off to the cat to give him the fuss he was probably missing! I may be right though, because I certainly don't see Myst complaining.

Then ZOOM! Back over to Raa Raa's treehouse to say hello to Crocky (as the narrator's voice is instructing).

At one point he actually stops mid-lunge across the floor and shouts, "Ma," to get my attention before signing to ask for milk. Happy to have our "happy" man back, Daddy kindly obliged. He sipped his milk next to Daddy on the settee and this actual photo was taken after I asked him, "Ryan, do you love Daddy?" He then took the bottle from his mouth and replied, "Yeah, Dada. Yeah, Mama."

Bless him!

After refusing his dinner, and learning it was simply because his temp was back up to 102.4, he requested "bubbles" so we got out the machine and wands and he schooled Myst on the proper method to catching bubbles.

Surely we don't expect smooth sailing tonight when he goes down, nor do we expect a full nights' rest...but it sure is a good feeling when your child is at least acting themselves after even the smallest bout of being poorly. Otherwise, all you want to do is anything you can to make their pain and aches go away and for them to just feel better.

What we wouldn't do, eh?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Y4 - 88/365: Bubble Buster

One of Ryan's Christmas gifts, from Auntie Emma & Uncle Daz was a game called Bubble Buster. It's a bubble machine that includes two, battery-operated wands with a set of metal "prongs" on the end. When the metal bits touch a bubble (creating a connection between the two), the wand makes a sound to let you know you have popped your first bubble. This continues until your wand registers that you have popped 20 bubbles at which point it gives a different, melodic indication that you are the winner.

It's quite a clever little game, really, and I would recommend one to anyone with a toddler...even if simply for the bubbles. What toddler doesn't like bubbles?!

Ryan had a go playing his new game with Daddy and had an absolute blast!

He thought by positioning himself right at the bubble-producing "entrance" that he would have the advantage...but Daddy showed no mercy!

Here's a little video of the hilarity that unfolded...behold, his technique of bashing the bubbles into submission...

Clearly you could see this game was turning him a bit saft when he began to chew on the wand itself out of frustration.

From there...just in a daze.

Still, he's gearing up and has decided to begin some hard-core, bubble-busting conditioning tomorrow. Once he is confident he will challenge his Auntie Emma & Uncle Daz to a duel...via Facebook Event Invitation...and it's going to get brutal, folks.

Let NO bubble be UN-busted!

It's on!

In other news...we've set up his foam letters and numbers in his room. Now he has a lovely and colourful decor on his floor. Not too shabby, eh? At least if he tumbles from his bed, he will have a cushy-foam landing.

Now, if I can just invent something similar that creates an effect similar to that of an electric fence, only a fraction of the voltage...meaning when nighttime-wandering-boy steps off the mat bits to proceed into our room earlier than 6:45am, he will get a small shock and/or catapult back into his own bed. Hmmmmm??

Monday, 26 December 2011

Y4 - 87/365: Boxing Day

Since Em & Daz spent Christmas this year with Daz's mom & family, we saved our exchanges for the kids for Boxing Day since we'd all be at Josie & David's again together. Ryan and Amy happily opened their presents, each of them receiving a cushy armchair of their own, which they wasted no time in trying out.

Ryan was so fortunate this Christmas to have so many people think of him. He also had gifts off his honourary Grandad, Mick (Daz's dad) and Daz's sister, Nicola, together with her partner and little girl. These were totally unexpected, but very much appreciated.

I would have to say the best bits of this holiday season, thus far, were the extra bits of time we could all spend together as a family, and of course, the delicious food! Yum!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Y4 - 86/365: A Very Merry Christmas

This has been by far one of the best Christmases for us! For one, I learned my cousin, Keaton, made it home safe from Afghanistan for a holiday visit and just days before his daughter, Emma's, first birthday. While I don't get to see him myself, knowing he is back for a bit and spending time with the rest of the family is comforting.

Our morning started when Ryan came in to us around half-eight...for the FIRST time! Meaning: he DIDN'T wake in the night and climb into our bed!! This is fantastic considering I have (admittedly) allowed a bad habit to form from the time we switched his cot to a bed by allowing him into bed with us every night. We've tried to tackle it and break the habit, but like many parents, kept regressing and lacked consistency. Still, this is a step in the right direction and we're determined to make a good start to the new year.

We all went downstairs and into the front room where Ryan wasted no time grabbing presents to hand to each of us to "help" him open. Most of this task was assigned to Matt since I was the photographer/videographer of the occasion.

He loved his Raa Raa characters and tree-house and took great pride in naming off the characters he knew!

One of the sweetest moments in the morning was when he checked his stocking and found a mini-plush Charley Bear "teddyyyy." He immediately gave him a kiss and a cuddle! Awe!

His "final" gift (which we kept cleverly hidden with my purple dressing gown) was a rocking "horse" lion sent all the way from America by my Aunt Therese, Uncle Burl, and cousins Ashley & Zach!

The Megabloks Pirate Ship came in good use for not only toting around the Megabloks "people" that came with it, but his new Charley Bear teddy and mini-plush Crocky...along with some of Raa Raa's other friends.

A 60-minute, afternoon nap later and dressed in his Christmas outfit and new, smart-looking pea coat...we were all ready to make the trek to Nana & Grandad's for round 2 of pressies!

What a lucky little boy to have such loving, thoughtful grandparents!

Making his list for next year, perhaps?

Having a look at all the fun bits in his train set with his favourite Nana.

We had a most delicious turkey dinner, despite a power outage earlier that threatened to ruin the whole thing. For afters we all had nice puddings while Ryan had his very first experience with jelly (Jell-O). After attempting to scoop it out with his fingers, he sussed he could just "drink" from the tub like a cup. Success!!

When we returned home Ryan was spark out in the car all the way to the house. However, when we started to settle into the evening routine...he surprised us by climbing straight onto his lion (that he was a bit shy of in the morning) and rode him over and over throughout the night!

The bonus to our evening was a brief phone call to my Nan and then a web-cam chat via Facebook with my cousin, Ashley and family! They got to see Ryan for the first time and witness him enjoying the lovely gift they sent! Considering I haven't been home in 3 1/2 years, it's the next best thing to a visit for sure!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Y4 - 85/365: The Eve

It has been a pretty uneventful day for the most part. We've done all our shopping and the presents are wrapped, so all we needed to do was get a bit from the grocery store to tide us over for the week...through Boxing Day, minimum.

I picked up some applesauce to make ornaments with cinnamon, but forgot to buy extra cinnamon and ended up limited to just a small jar at home, which I ran out of. I did my best to supplement with nutmeg, but the smell wasn't the same anymore.

Ryan really enjoyed stamping his little men and we will just have to see how they turn out in the morning. He also took a few "samples" but did a better job than previous attempts with edible ingredients when I asked him to stop.

For dinner we had a nice pizza (from Asda) and we watched The Polar Express I had set to record from this afternoon on ITV1. This was not only Ryan's first time seeing this film, but also sitting through a film that long. He squeeled at the start when the boy hears the train whistle from his bedroom and shouted, "choo choo!" So he knew what it was about!

By the end when Santa and his elves were in the square celebrating, Ryan was on his feet and jumping and dancing around!

All is quiet in the house now -- aside from the "gentle" sound of gunfire behind me from the Xbox. The bab is bathed and asleep, the "stage" is set for the Christmas performance and I'm ready to turn in for the night.

Roll on Christmas morning!!!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Y4 - 84/365: Do As I Say...Not As I Do

Ryan was showing his George Pig the tree lights today and explaining to him that he musn't touch -- unlike how HE did that very thing and keeps causing baubles to fall out. Thankfully they're plastic and won't break from a fall onto the carpet.

I got all of my wrapping finished tonight so I'm pretty chuffed about that. I almost wish Christmas was tomorrow so I can see the look on Ryan's face when he opens his presents and checks his stocking to see what Santa left him!

I have Polar Express set to record on ITV tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully we can watch that in the evening before Ryan heads up to bed.

Yep...I have a hunch that it's gonna be a nice, nice Christmas this year.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Y4 - 83/365: That's Our Boy!

In order to promote a little independence, I like to encourage Ryan to do some things on his own. These include brushing his teeth (we model when we brush ours), washing up in the bath, and removing clothing (such as his bib and socks). I also find that allowing him to do these things bypasses any potential tantrums because he feels that he is in control and ultimately they are life skills he needs to know.

The past month, he has been showing increasing interest in getting himself dressed in the morning. So, this morning when I popped upstairs to retrieve some trousers to go with his Mickey Mouse top, he decided he wanted to wear his PJ bottoms with it instead -- only, as you can see, he had two of his leg in one leg of the bottoms.

Nearly there.

But then he kept standing to pull the waistband up and tried taking off to run -- falling each time! It was a pretty hilarious moment, so naturally I had the camera on hand and managed to get this action shot. He was literally airborne! You would think after falling once or twice he would get discouraged and stop doing it...but no. This is Ryan we're talking he did it over and over for about 5 minutes. He finally conceded and handed his PJ bottoms to me saying, "Deh, mama." ("There, Mama.")

Later, while I finished addressing Christmas cards, he played with his favourite, orange 'Birthday' balloon. He pulled this face (above) at one point when I told him off for trying to chew on the nub where it was tied. He does this face now when we tell him to stop doing something -- head down and pouty lip.

Sorry mate, doesn't work with us.

Mickey Mouse on the telly was enough to distract him, however, and he happily went back to shaking the balloon and dancing...without taking his eyes off the tv, of course.

After Daddy was home, he helped us set up Elefun so he could sneak upstairs and unload the Christmas presents from our closet and bring them down for me to wrap while Ryan was in bed.

There is something you should know if you ever have the opportunity to play Elefun with Ryan. First of all, he doesn't even try (for now) to catch the little "butterflies" when they fly out of the nose. He shakes the net like mad and shrieks like a banshee while jumping around. It's quite comical. Also, you need to be on your guard. He uses two nets to increase his odds and he's not against thieving the "butterflies" from your own net and claiming them as his own.

Be warned.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Y4 - 82/365: Speedy Delivery!

So, Ryan's replacement Converse arrived today!! I had him try them on and they're a perfect now they're back in the box and ready to be wrapped for Christmas.

We're so lucky he is still at the age that he is just happy to be unwrapping presents and doesn't remember (or care) that he has seen or touched it before.

Since today's theme seemed to be 'deliveries' we also received quite a large parcel from my Aunt Therese, Uncle Burl, and cousins Ashley and Zach. Inside was a surprise for Ryan for Christmas that he will absolutely love...and this precious ornament with all of our names! We daren't put it on the tree this year with how Ryan uses our tree for target practise with his it now sits proudly on the mantle.

Also on the mantle (FINALLY) are our stockings! I was fed up late this afternoon and since the weather is a bit more mild, we trekked down to Wilkinson's for their "charity case" £1 stockings. They're so pathetic looking and Matt was surprised I even spent £1 on each of them, but I couldn't find stockings anywhere that weren't asking £5 or more...and that's not in our budget at the moment. So, they will do for now.

Not long now! I can't wait for Christmas!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Y4 - 81/365: Hand-Made

Our finger-painting yesterday inspired me to embellish the Christmas cards a bit.

Then 18 brown handprints later...

...we have REINDEER!!

Coming to a home near you to spread holiday cheer!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Y4 - 80/365: The Birthday

Happy Birthday to our darling son, Ryan!! He's TWO today and it feels like we only just blinked from when he first came into our lives.

To start the day, his red, hi-top, Converse All-Stars arrived! We weren't expecting them until after Christmas so I was elated that we received them so soon! I had him try them on right away to see how they looked.

The problem? You may or may not be able to see from this photo, but they were WAY too big! I ordered a size 6, the box said size 6, the receipt said size 6, but when I looked on the bottom of the shoe it read 'size 8!'

I had to ring the catalogue company and arrange a return and exchange for the correct who knows when the correct pair will arrive. They estimate the 6th of February.

After his lunch this afternoon we decided to break out the fingerpaints.

He only tried to eat them a couple of times before deciding the bad taste wasn't worth putting his hands in his mouth.

Between the events of yesterday and today, I'd say Ryan has definitely had a very Happy Birthday!