24 things at 20 months

I/You weren't due for another 24 things post for another month, yet here it is. Well, folks, she's growing up. And the stuff that's coming out of her mouth is coming faster than I can keep up with...similar to the other end when she was a baby....I digress. Here's what my lil Scooby/girlfriend/Faithers has been up to:

#1) She sings. To the point we know what song she's going for and that's more than I can say for myself. Her playlist includes Baa Baa Black Sheep, Bringing Home My Baby Bumblebee (a classic), Wheels on the Bus, Jingle Bells, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the original ABCs.

#2) Never have I been a prouder parent than the day I handed a cup of chocolate milk to my daughter and upon taking it, she said, "Tank Ou, Mommeee." You can tell who's been working with her on her manners because when her dad asked her to "say, please" the other day she responded with, "Peez, Mommeee."

#3) She knows so many words. Like rainbow, and heart, and shark, and apple. Rob and I catch ourselves daily going "I didn't know she knew how to say that." (In other news, watch your swears around my kid).

#4) The obsession with all things Sesame Street is becoming Intervention worthy. She now owns Big Bird, Cookie, Abby, Ernie (which she confuses with Bert, but I can't bring myself to correct her because it's so cute the way she says "Buutt"), Murray (he introduces the show), Elmo, and Baby Elmo. Her arms need to grow so she can hold them all.

#5) I never noticed any of Faith's growth spurts when she was a baby (sometimes I think that's still just something people say) but after her bout with Pneumonia, her appetite was insatiable. Girl would finish her meals and eat half of ours later. It's since calmed down a little, but recently she made her mama proud by partaking in one of my favorite past-times: eating too many chips at a Mexican restaurant before your food comes.

#6) She can jump and run! It's a little unorthodox, but so are her dance moves.

#7) I will probably regret typing this out loud, but she is sleeping later. Almost until 7 on most days and that includes a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. I hope this stage never ends!

#8) If you want to punch me in the face after reading #7, don't. We still go in 2-3 times a night to find her binky and plug it in. She's usually standing up yelling, "Binky, binky, binky, binky." Once it's in, she lays back down and goes right to sleep. It's sort of like hitting the snooze button.

#9) Speaking of the binky...we took approximately 7,204 steps in the wrong direction with giving it up when she had pneumonia. She got it constantly because it was the only thing that made her feel better. Once she got better, I went back to the way it was before with only at nap and bedtime. I won't name any names (GRANDMA JAN) but someone started giving it to her during diaper changes and when she got out of the bathtub and in the car and when she had that "binky" look in her eye. Pacifier weaning is not for the weak!

#10) Is there like a boot camp where you can send your toddler away and they come back potty trained? Are there openings? Seriously, I wasn't really considering potty training until I went into Faith's room one morning and she told me clear as day, "I poop." Well, if that's not the first thing you love to hear in the morning, I don't know what is. So we started putting her on the potty, but somewhere along the line we messed up because she thinks the potty is where you go to sit AFTER you've done the deed in your diaper. She announced that she had to go potty the other day BEFORE she had to go, but she was in the bathtub, and the water turned yellow before I could even say, "Big Bird." HELP US!

#11) My new least favorite saying. "I wun mo." Translation: I want more. But Faith doesn't understand that you have to have some before you can have more. When we wash our hands, the first thing she does when she sees the handsoap, "I wun mo." My baby's hands smell more like Pomegranate than the fruit itself.

#12) She was playing in her room the other day and after about 10 minutes, this is what we found. She tucks her babies in, but covers up their whole bodies.

#13) All the sudden my daughter is SUPER shy around strangers. I brought her to work last Friday and when I went to stand her up, she would. not. put. her. knees. down! Other than the fact she was getting heavy, I was very impressed with her core strength. Abs of steel! This is another example of her shyness. The Force was not with her this day.

#14) I thought Faith wouldn't be into the snow thing yet, but dear Lord, I had to wrangle her inside like a cowgirl on the one decent snow we've had this year. I wish we would get more snow so she'd have a reason to wear her snowsuit and snowboots. She's wears the snowboots nonstop, there's just no reason to. I may have to burn them or she'll be sporting them this summer at the pool.

#15) In other footwear news, Faith finally will get within 6 feet of these slippers Grandma Jan bought her for Christmas. I don't know what frogs ever did to her, but she finally decided to forgive and forget.

#16) She handled the pneumonia (how many times have I said that word in this post --you'd think it was sponsored by the Pneumonia Foundation) like a champ, but now she has a cough. I hope it's true what they say, that she won't get all this crud when she starts school - if so, I'm turning her in to the principal.

#17) She knows her color. (No, not a typo). The only color Faith knows is blue. So she's right about 1/64th of the time.

#18) Animal noises now include the owl, a rooster and a shark (dun nun, dun nun, dun nun).

#19) Apparently Faith and her dad have been practicing too many Harry Potter spells. She likes to raise both her arms, fingers outstretched, gesture toward Rob and say "Whoa!!!" When he falls backward, she dies laughing. Rob would like to add: "Apparently Faith is strong in the Force."

#20) We always knew Faith loved watching videos of herself, but we recently discovered her "Mirror, mirror on the wall," moment.

#21) Faith refuses to slip on her shoes or boots if she's not wearing "sockies." She was saying this repeatedly at the hospital one day because she wanted her boots on and the doctor replied, "I figured she either wanted her socks or some Japanese alcohol," aka Saki.

#22) This post was written over two days. I jinxed myself with number seven as Faith woke up at 6:23 a.m. this morning.

#23) Faith is getting so much better at petting Howie. After she tells us she poops in the mornings, her next question is usually, "Where Howie?" He'll inevitably jingle in and then we start the day.

#24) She may make a lot of messes, tire us out daily and cost us more money than we ever intend to spend at Target, but we love her more than anything! How can we not? :)

My Valentine's Day Debacle

Have you seen the ballot for "Worst Mom of the Year" award? If my name isn't already on it, consider me a strong write-in candidate.

I forgot Valentines. Not Valentine's Day, per say. No, for that I dressed Faith up like Pinkalicious.

Doesn't she looked thrilled? Credit for the shirt goes to Aunt Donna and my husband. I just thought of it and they executed.
 I also baked two dozen cupcakes for work and fretted about Rob's present.

In between my best efforts to accomplish the things above and train for 10 degree races, read the Hunger Games series, keep my house from looking like it was ransacked (#fail) and put off my thesis for another month, I missed it.

You know what I'm talking about. "The sheet." (Dun dun dun).

When I picked Faith up from daycare on Valentine's Day, her teacher handed me all her Valentines. (Imagine the look on my face and the horror in my heart as I didn't know the kids were exchanging Valentines).

I told them I never got the sheet. They were sure they gave it to me. My mom picked up Faith twice and Rob once in the past month. For sure they'd dropped the ball. Because it wasn't me. After calling them both, somewhat hysterically, it was confirmed. They never saw such a sheet. I ran back into the daycare, sure that they must have passed the sheet around the week Faith was out with Pneumonia. One teacher smiled and nodded and said that must've been it. But the owner, God love her, wouldn't let me believe that. "No, we would've kept it in her folder and it would have gone home the next week," she told me very matter-of-factly.

In the very back of my mind, the cornery, cobweby one, the world's tiniest lightbulb clicked on. There was a small chance, miniscule really, that they had given me the sheet. I left a pile of Faith's "artwork" in the backseat of my car awhile ago, but I never saw a Valentine's Day sheet. It can't be back there, I told myself. I checked, and sure enough, right there, under two pieces of paper with one scribble on them each, I found it. Damn you, sheet. How did I miss you the first time?

It didn't matter though, because Faith had already missed out on distributing her Valentines. All the kids were now at home, opening them and there wasn't one from my little girl. The thought of her not partaking in the party broke. my. heart. I called my mom bawling. She assured me Faith was too young to notice. Still, I felt like a failure. How could I let her down like this?

Tentatively, I helped Faith open her Valentines. Of course, some moms went overboard. Especially you, Lux's mom, who gave out scratch and smell cards. Ours was garlic and it was gross!
Seriously? A melted crayon heart? Cough-overachiever-cough.
I was not about to let this go. So I did what any insane, guilt-ridden mother would do. I racked my brain for ideas and proceeded to write a cheesy apology poem 26 times. I attached each of them to 26 boxes of grape juice, which I made my husband pick up at approximately 11 o'clock at night on his way home from basketball. That there, was Valentine's Day present enough for me.

In case you can't read that, it says (as I hang my head in shame)
"My mommy missed the memo,
she's really sorry this is late.
But I loved all my Valentines,
and think you're really "grape."

Get it, great/grape? If you don't, feel free not to tell me. Let me have this small victory. I already feel bad enough and am already thinking about how to overachieve the overachievers next year. This motherhood stuff is exhausting.

In other news, I'm already preparing for St. Patrick's Day...

Get it? ;)


There's baby feeva and then there's baby fever. The former is the urge to have more babies and is typically brought on by babies like this:
Miss Lauren Lang
Mister Landon Lang
Mr. Gavin Jones
The latter, or 15 baby fevers in 5 days, negates any baby feeva you thought you migh've had.

It all started Friday morning, the day before we were to leave town to visit Bubba's Babies. Faith woke up clingy. Like, "Mom, please sit here with me while I watch cartoons!" clingy. Usually, she plays by herself and shuts the door to her room on me. When I open it, she looks up from rearranging her babies at me and says, "NO!" Therefore, wanting to sit on my lap while she watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was a sign looking back on it. The workday came and went without a call from daycare so I assumed all was well. Little did I know, my mom was up all night Friday fighting baby fever #1. We were still in town at this point, but none the wiser as we saw a movie in that thing they call a movie theatre (almost forgot what that was like) and went to UNMC's Skate-a-Thon for Parkinson's.

We left for Kansas City bright and early Saturday morning, and I called my mom to check on Faith after we got on the road. She told me about the fever and I was instantly bummed. She's had em before and I know she'll get em again, but fevers are my least favorite! I know they're a good sign --fighting infection and all that-- but they make me very anxious. I told mom to give her Ibuprofen as needed and hopefully it'd go away. I tried to enjoy my weekend as best I could. After all, I got to meet the twins and hang out with my besties.

My favorite thing about this pic is the look Cari is giving Brandon. Those two will make great parents someday.
We even pried the twins' parents away and went out to eat as a group. Talking to adults can be fun. And eating hot food and drinking a cold beer knowing I don't have to do the dishes is my idea of a good time. I had the Faith special...

Who knew Macaroni and Cheese could swim....in butter.
 On Sunday, Rob and I ran the Children's TLC Groundhog Run 5k.

Not for the claustrophobic.
at the start...he beat me by 45 seconds!
Though I was pumped to find an underground/indoor race for January, it was 60 degrees out that day. For our race in KC tomorrow,it will be 7. Oh, how I wish that were a typo.

Anyway, we left town as soon as we were finished. Faith still hadn't shaken her fever according to my mom and I was ready to hold her in my arms again. When we arrived at "gammy's" house, Steve told me she was having trouble breathing. Alarm bells went off in my head. I took one look and her and she only half-smiled for a millisecond before I heard it. Pant. Pant. Pant. It wasn't wheezing, but her breathing was definitely labored. I immediately called the nurse line and took her temp. I think it was 103 or so. I told Rob we needed to get to urgent care, and fast.

Now, I don't think my husband got the memo about the "fast" part, because in my mind he was driving like an old man-turtle-sloth hybrid the whole. way. there. To his credit, his wife was having a nervous breakdown in the backseat. Seriously, it felt like heartburn and a stomach ulcer. But you'd think that'd make him want to get there faster. I looked into Faith's eyes and all I saw was, "Help Me." .... I'm choking up just thinking about it because it just made me feel so helpless.

We got to urgent care, but not before missing the turn, deterring us just long enough for another family to walk in the door 10 seconds before us. I honestly thought about hopping out of the car and running into the building like you would do in the parking lot of a restaurant you know is going to have a wait just to beat the elderly couple to the door. Shameful, I know. But I didn't and we were stuck in the waiting room. After informing the nurse that she was having issues breathing, they checked her out right away and got us some Tylenol and more Ibuprofen (apparently she could have more than the suggested dosage because of her weight). I've never been a Tylenol fan, partly because the first time I called the nurse line to ask about it when Faith was a baby, the woman scared me into worrying about an overdose. Not cool.

Her fever quickly came down from 103.7 to 100.4 with the help of some cold washcloths. An X-ray revealed what the doctor called "atypical pneumonia." She said a radiologist would read it in the morning to confirm, but prescribed an antibiotic and told us to continue to treat with Tylenol/Ibuprofen. We stopped at Walgreens near the office to pick it up and Faith transformed back into herself. She was still a little pale, but I thought with the antibiotic she was on the road to recovery. Wrong doesn't even begin to describe it.

We knew her fevers may continue to spike for a couple days, but the docs told us if it didn't get better in the next 2-3 days, they'd want to see us again. Her fevers continued to reach 103-104 range, giving me heart palpitations and more grey hair every time. The first night, I tried to administer some Ibuprofen to Faith and she wasn't quite awake enough to take it and threw it all up. She proceeded to get the chills though her skin could've cooked an egg. This is the part I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Watching a 19-month-old kid have the chills is horrifying. And we had to put washcloths on her to cool her off, making it even worse.

But every time her fever spiked, it would come down within an hour and if it totally went away she would return to her happy-go-lucky self. "No, No, Mommy!" This is what fooled us, what tricked us (and the nurses on the nurse line) into thinking she was getting better on the antibiotic. I had a bad feeling about Tuesday night, after Granny Janny and Papa Stevie left our house and Rob went to coach a basketball game, I just couldn't shake a sense of dread. I put Faith to bed after a dose of Tylenol at 7, but went up to check on her every half hour. By 9, she was ON FIRE. I quickly went through the routine of more Ibuprofen, washcloths, offering water, panicking, again. In the back of my mind, I felt like this shouldn't still be happening and I was right.

That radiologist who read the X-ray the Monday after our Sunday urgent care visit saw P-Neumonia (as my mom always used to call it) not "atypical pneumonia" or "walking pneumonia." This means we should've received a stronger antibiotic. Or so Faith's pediatrician informed me Wednesday morning at her appointment.

My mom had taken the day off to spend with Faith since she wouldn't have been able to go to daycare that day, not being fever free for 24 hours without meds. Mom was hoping it would just be an easy recovery day, maybe take Faith shopping. I never left the house. I couldn't leave her, even in the very capable hands of my mom. I just knew she was too sick.

Mom was with me when the pediatrician took basically one look at my pale, motionless baby who spiked a fever of 102 right there in the doctor's office, and told me she wanted to admit her to Children's. We both got tears in our eyes. We knew she was sick, but for a doctor who has seen hundreds of sick kids to be that concerned confirmed our fears. She wasn't getting better.

I called Rob and he left school right away and met us at the hospital. After another dose of meds in the doc's office, Faith perked up again in the treatment room at the hospital waiting to get her IV. That was the suckiest part about this. Every time she momentarily got better, we knew it wouldn't last, so it was hard to even take pleasure in her bright spots.

After the IV was in, thanks to a brave daddy who comforted his daughter through that, we were transferred to a patient room. It brought back so many memories from Faith's Intussusception (I hate that I know how to spell that word now without having to Google it).

Here's the thing about the hospital. You know you're in good hands, but it means something is seriously wrong. For me, I was happy because for the first time, I finally felt like we'd reached the peak of pneumonia and it could only get better from there. And I was right.

Faith slept from 6 p.m.-7 a.m. the next morning, with one fairly low fever at about 11 p.m. When she woke up, she had another low fever, and we didn't know it at the time, but PRAISE BE TO GOD, that was the last one.

a glimpse of the girl we know and love...
 My lil "coukie mocker" fan chowed down on cheerios and watched the 100th Sesame Street video in the past few days. The rest of the day is kind of a blur, but we spent most of doing this.

Girl loves watching videos of herself!
 She also had another X-ray to see if the pneumonia had gotten worse. It hadn't.

On the way to X-ray...
 Since she was eating and drinking so well on her own, we were hopeful that Faith would be discharged soon after her second dose of the antibiotic via IV at 3 p.m. At about 4:30 or so, a random doctor came in and told us that they wanted to keep her overnight. I wasn't real pleased about this news, but the nights with pneumonia had been so trying I didn't argue. Rob felt she was doing good enough to go home and I kind of agreed with him, but doctor's orders are doctor's orders. We continued to entertain our future UNMC medical student.

 Our pediatrician called around 6 and said she felt Faith was eating and drinking enough to be released. This was great news, but I was hesitant. Those nights were the longest of my life...worse than newborn nights. Not only do you have the lack of sleep going on, but there's illness and worry to combat. Anyway, our pediatrician said she was a pretty conservative doc, and felt it was fine for us to go home. That convinced me and we went on our merry way, but not before stopping at Walgreens for yet another antibiotic. Being the Nervous Ned that I am, I set my alarm every couple hours to check on Faith just as I had been doing, and it turned out not to be necessary. She stayed fever free that night and has been ever since.

This is what a happy, healthy baby looks like!
 Since her hospital stay, I've noticed what a happy kid she is. I just never really had anything to compare it to. Her smile and laugh are brighter and contagious these days. See for yourself.

Thank you all again so much for the prayers, thoughts and encouraging comments during the past two weeks. It means a lot to our family to know so many people care.  We thank you and we love you!

Oh, I didn't tell you guys Faith can read? Next post ;) (Thanks for the card, Aunt Donna)!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I owe you a post about pneumonia, but today is my mom's birthday and today I want to write about her.  Happy Birthday, Mom. I can't believe we're both 29-years-old...weird.

To say my mom and I are close is to say that we look alike. It's kind of obvious and a slight understatement.

We talk every day. That's right, daily. Whether it be just to say hi, or for me to ask her the ingredients for her sugar cookie frosting recipe, we like to hear each other's voice on the other end of the line.

I wanted to list a few things about my mom that might give you an idea of what kind of person, and mother, she is:

She has boundless energy. She never leaves a dirty dish in the sink for more than five minutes and I don't think she's ever left a load of laundry in the dryer for more than five minutes. Currently our sink is full of dirty dishes and the load of whites in the dryer has been restarted three times.

She is dedicated. She's worked for the same company for more than 40 years. It's changed names four times since she started, but she's been a fixture.

She is handy. The woman painted my whole house and the bathroom twice. She helped Rob lay the flooring and packed up all my stuff from four dorm rooms/apartments in half the time it would've taken me.

She's disciplined. Every morning she wakes up and walks two miles on the treadmill. She always orders a side salad instead of fries. She never goes a day without ice cream either. That's discipline, people.

She sacrifices...constantly. Whether it be her time or talent, she's always willing to drop everything to be there for me when I need her. This past week has been a prime example of that. More on that later.

She's fun. All the kids love "Aunt Jan." It might be because she has a mini playroom underneath the stairs in her house and likes to offer small children sugar, but regardless, she's just a happy person. Adults like her too.

I could go on, but I'll just sum this up by saying I am fully aware that I'm turning into her and I love it. I appreciate her parenting style so much more now that I'm a mom. I'm in awe of how she instilled the beliefs I hold today without hovering over me as a kid. She was born to be a mom. And if she ever decides to write a handbook on this whole parenting thing, I'm totally getting a signed copy...and hopefully a portion of the proceeds.

Happy Birthday, Mom!