This post is really 2 in 1. We’ve had so much going on that I can’t seem to find the time to stay on top of blogging. It’s a miracle I’ve kept up with this as long as I have.
I jinxed myself with my last update when I said “at least we haven’t gotten the flu.” Ritter got the flu right after that. And then more ear infections. And then RSV. We were at Children’s twice this week. Since Ritter started school on Nov 10th there literally hasn’t been a day that all 3 of us have been well at the same time. Someone is always sick. It seems like I get everything Ritter does. I have RSV right now and it’s AWFUL! Eric and I have missed a ton of work and R has missed a ton of school. He will get over something, go back to school for a day or two and then, boom, he’s sick again. I am so sick of my baby being sick.
Through all the chaos of the last couple of months this kid has been a rockstar. We’ve had to force him to take disgusting medicine, forced liquid down his throat when dehydrated, held his eyes open to put drops in them, held him down and suctioned mucus out of his nose, put drops in his ears… He’s been stuck with needles, X-rayed, had his ears looked in about a zillion times, had scary breathing treatment masks held on to his face… He’s slept in strange places, been completely thrown off his schedule, developed horrible diaper rash from all of the antibiotics, and woken up with dried mucus matted in his eye lashes….. All of that would be enough to make anyone mad and ornery, but my sweet Ritter took it like a champ. He fussed while being messed with, of course, but would always go right back to being his happy little self. And nothing, NOTHING, has disrupted his sleep. Even with the flu. Even with severe ear infections. Nothing wakes this kid up in the night. He’s a solid 11-12 hour sleeper every night, without fail. We could all learn something from his bubbly, resilient little personality!
Ritter is practically running these days. He will occasionally take a spill here and there but the days of constant falls are over thank the lord. He has also gotten big into climbing. He has his little armchair and a little stool we use to help him wash his hands and he’s constantly climbing all over both. He’s also incredibly strong. Unfortunately this is something I’ve learned firsthand recently as I have to occasionally fight him to put ear drops in his ears, drops in his eyes, or saline in his nose.
He’s about outgrown his size 4 shoes and we are moving into size 5. He’s just recently started cutting all four of his cuspids. We already had the fussiness and lack of appetite from being sick – now we can add teething pain and constant drool to the list also. Still in size 5 diapers and still wearing 12-18 month clothes. He’s taking less milk these days but that could be because the water helps with the mucus.
Ritter continues to be a little genius baby. He uses words and phrases every day that I have no idea how he learned. We can pretty much have little toddler level conversations nowadays and I love it. He understands EVERYTHING we say. If I ever can’t understand what he wants I can ask a series of questions. He is very emphatic with his “no” but when you finally ask what it is that he wants he gives you a big “okay!!!” and smiles really big. Language development is definitely his strong suit. He asks questions constantly and describes everything he sees. When I’m getting dressed he says “mama’s shirt, mama’s shoes, mama’s pocket (don’t know why that one intrigues him), mama’s hoodie,” etc. and points to all of the items. Same with meal times…he names everything he eats. When he sees items around the house he points and names them, and he also knows who they belong to. For example, he distinguishes between my phone and Eric’s phone, or my cup and Eric’s cup. He will say “mama’s phone” or “dada’s cup.” He also knows which key chain is mine – “mama’s keys!” He also names characters on TV or in books.
He is using the word “again” alot lately also. When we finish a book he sometimes wants you to read it again and will say “Mickey again mama” or something like that. He’s also using the word “do” alot. He will want me to open something or put on something and he will say “mama do!”
He picks up his toy phone and walks around and pretends he’s talking to someone. He always picks it up and says “Hey baby!” I guess he’s heard me on the phone with Eric saying that. It’s SO cute! He’s also singing these days. Sometimes it’s just incoherent but other times I can tell he’s trying to sing the theme song to Chuggington! There’s a part where they say “honk your horn, choo choo!” and Ritter will walk around going “oh oh oh choo choo!” He can’t get out the “honk your horn” part but he says “oh oh oh” to the same tune. It’s AWESOME! We try not to do TV much but since he’s been so sick we often take Chuggington episodes on the iPad to keep him entertained at the doctor or hospital. I think he has all of them memorized.
He’s still doing the thing where he asks about family members. He names everyone and asks where they are all the time. He now seems to understand that everyone has their own house and he will say “Cin Cin’s house?” or “Meme’s house?” And I say “yes, Cin Cin is at her house!” He also is becoming more aware of his surroundings because when we are driving home from somewhere and we get close to the house he says “home!” and when we pull up at my mom’s he says “Cin Cin’s house!”
One of the cutest things he’s doing these days is naming his classmates when he sees photos of them. Since he’s missed so much school lately, I will often pull up the school’s Facebook page and see if his teacher has put up pictures that day. If she has I will show Ritter and he will say “Ju” (for Julia) or “Lo” (for Lola) and “My” (for May)! I think he’s a ladies man – he could care less about the boys in the photos. ha.
Other Random New Stuff:
Ritter seems alot more into art and coloring lately. He goes up to the bin where I keep the crayons and says “color!” I’m sure this is because they do art every day at school!
He’s been a picky eater lately due to all the sickness but I hope he goes back to his old self once all this is over.
He is really obsessed with trains and the show Chuggington. He used to LOVE Mickey but now if we turn on Mickey he just fusses and says “choo choo.”
He loves to play with toy trains and cars. Not much into any other toys at the moment. He will sometimes play with Mr. Potato Head (“tay-toe head”) – he really likes to take out his eyes, nose and tongue and name all the parts of his face. Then he will turn to me and point and say “mama’s eyes” or “mama’s tongue”. So smart!
He seems to really enjoy watching videos of himself – we did this alot at the doctor also.
He’s a dancing fool these days!!! He still loves Taylor Swift but will dance to any good beat. He even bobs his head to the ABC song.
He’s starting to try to feed himself with utensils. He knows the words “fork” and “spoon” but still gets them backwards from time to time. He isn’t so great at stabbing the food but likes for me to do it for him… and then he takes the fork and sticks it in his mouth. Then hands it back and says “mama do again!”
(this narrative is more for my own record keeping than anything so forgive all the details)
So like I said before, it’s been constant sickness around here. It started 2 weeks after he started school and hasn’t stopped. A couple of viral colds, 1 long double ear infection that never cleared even after 4 rounds of antibiotics and Rocephin injections, the flu, and now RSV. With the ears, he would be okay as long as he was on an antibiotic but as soon as he came off of it, all the symptoms would come back (snotty nose, drainage, cough, and sometimes fever). None of the meds were totally clearing the infection so as soon as the antibiotics were stopped, the ears would blow up again. We finally had tubes put in last Tuesday (2/3/15) at Children’s and by the next evening we were back at the ER with a high fever, bad cough, and trouble breathing. It had nothing to do with the tubes, he had just simply picked up another virus – this time RSV.
I believe the RSV actually hit him at the end of the previous week because by monday (the day before tubes) the cough had already started. He could have picked it up at school or even at one of the doctor’s appointments he attended that week. He was at the doctor 4 days in a row with the Rocephin injections and the ENT visit. Despite the cough we went ahead with the tubes because his ears were SO bad. The tubes seemed to make him feel ALOT better instantly. However the cough persisted through the night and the next day. By wednesday afternoon he was breathing rapidly and I was scared. We rushed him to Children’s and the triage nurse took one look at him and rushed us right back (even with a full waiting room) which scared me because I realized it must have been serious. His oxygen level was down to 88% and it should be at 97-100. They did a chest X-ray and ruled out pneumonia. Then they did a breathing treatment and put him on oxygen. Every time they would turn the oxygen off his levels would drop so they decided to admit him for the night. By the time we got admitted to a room he actually was holding his oxygen levels well and he didn’t have to have any more oxygen while he was there. They monitored him through the night and discharged us Thursday. He ran a fever friday and saturday off and on but no fever today (sunday). I’m praying we are finally on the tail end of the worst of this RSV. We were told the fever could go on for a week so I was so relieved that he had no fever today and was super playful and happy!
Recent Photos and Videos:
It’s REALLY hard to get photos of Ritter these days. He is always on the move. Sadly, the majority of the photos I got this month were when he was feeling bad and snuggling with me or Eric. As you can see when you go through these…he is so happy the majority of the time but when that fever spikes he is SO lethargic. All he wanted to do was cuddle. As soon as the fever is down, he is right back to playing. He’s so resilient.
** Videos to be added later – Mama is tired!
My Grandparent journey REALLY began the morning of August 24, 2009. Driving alone on an interstate from Tifton,Georgia Katie called. To tell me about “Eric”. I had a suspicion but not a clue how wonderful this person must be after several hours of conversation. Eric is an amazing son-in-law, husband and father. Paired with the spectacularness of my daughter? Together they made the beautiful gift of Ritter. I am so blessed that they live close. I cannot imagine not being there the past few weeks thru the late nights, the hospitals, the fever, the shots, the nose suctions, the ear drops, the lethargic cuddles. And bringing starving, worn-out parents PF Changs. I love the three of you dearly.