William 2 and a half

To my one and only silly Badger,

It happened shortly after your little sister was born. Lexi had been teasing you and calling you ‘Bood sculpture’ and you were not a fan and would regularly yell at her ‘I not Bood Sculpture!’. One day, Daddy responses by saying, ‘Well what should we call you?’ and you said ‘Daddy!’. Daddy responded, ‘No, I’m daddy. Should we call you Bill?’ ‘No’ you stomped. ‘Should we call you Gary?’ you stomped ‘No’ again and ‘Daddy ask, well what should we call you?’ and with your eyebrows furrowed, arms crossed and as serious and straight-faced as humanly possible, you responded, ‘BADGER!’ And so it began, your nickname as Badger. You even told the nurses at the doctor’s office that you’re name was Badger.

I feel like this story represents everything that life is like with you at 2 and a half. You’re silly and serious and stubborn and comedic and creative and sweet and just full of life.

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About two months ago, you added ‘Big Brother’ to your list of life accomplishments and so far have been playing your role spot on! You love your little Beatle and are very gentle with her, but prefer to spend your time with, big ‘Sis-tar’ as you like to call her, AKA Lexi.

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The two of you play so well together. She has taught you all about the world of ‘imaginative play’ as you regularly talk out loud what your ‘characters’ are doing and the conversations they have with one another. Your characters range from the ‘little people farm animals, to the princesses, to the frozen dolls to squinkies to cars/trucks to the doll house people to your Tsum Tsum’s. You love to play the ‘boys’. You and Lexi will sit downstairs at the doll house and play for over an hour together.

With that said, you LOVE to play with cars and trucks and trains. You’ve always loved to lay down and play and you still love to do this–especially with the truck and boat (you love to back it up or sit on it and pretend to drive. You call it the Trailblazer and often ask where it is.

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Over the summer, you’ve also gotten really good at riding your Strider bike. You regularly pick up your feet and glide down the driveway and scoot all the way down to the stop sign and back and just really enjoy riding your bike! You love to be outside running around, playing on the swing set, playing in the pool or at the watertable or going for walks!

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At 2.5 years old, you know all of your colors and are VERY particular about them. Blue and Green are your favorites and you request/demand that you use those colors for your plates or bowls. We’ll be walking down the stairs in the morning and you’ll request, ‘Mommy, please have a green bowl?’ I usually abide by your requests, but occasionally I’ll say no as I’ve already poured the milk and you fall apart into a tantrum on the floor and have been known to take the food and throw it. Terrible Twos I tell ya!

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You’ve also become very keen of ‘The Beast’ from Beauty and the Beast. You ask daily to watch, The Beast and get giddy when you see him. You’ve also been known to roar at people (mainly Lexi) when she does something you don’t like as that is what the Beast does. You have a Beast little people character and a squinky and love to play them or put them in your boat and drive them around.

Your language and vocabulary have gotten pretty good! Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is second nature to you and you don’t even think about it. My heart just melts when you request, ‘Mommy, please get me some milk,’ and then so politely respond, ‘Thanks Mommy’. You do a great job using your pronouns correctly of, ‘I, me, you, mine etc…’ You don’t pronounce your ‘C’s or ‘Ks’ and will replace them with ‘T’s. My favorite of this is ‘Baby Tate’ You also have a hard time with the letter ‘G’ when it is in the middle or end of a word like Bag, it often sounds like ‘Bade’ IMG_8469

We’re working on the concepts of rewards and consequences. I’m not sure if you don’t get it, or just can’t articulate it, but whenever we talk about why you got a time out, you just respond ‘Why’ or when I ask you why you did something you put your head down and shamefully say ‘Tause–AKA Cause’.

You love to be a work helper and always have a hammer, screwdriver or drill at the ready. You love to inspect the way things work and are put together. You’ll examine things like hinges or swivels on chairs and ask ‘Whacha doing Daddy?’ over and over and over again.

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Just before Baby Tate was born, we pulled you and Lexi out of daycare to be home with Mommy while on maternity leave and then Daddy when mommy goes back to work. You’ve adjusted really well and love to be home every day.

Most days, you still nap, but if we have something going on you are able to skip a nap and not be a complete hot mess. However, you seem to have inherited mine and your daddy’s night owl tendencies as you’ll stay awake in your bed until 10:30 or 11 if you’ve taken a good nap. You’ll be put to bed around 8:00-8:30 but lie in your bed and look at books, play with a little toy or just talk to yourself and almost never come out of your bed. You almost never sleep on your pillow or have a blanket cover you up. You sleep sideways, backwards, at the end of the bed and usually have a book opened next to or on you. You also transitioned out of your crib and into a bunk bed in May and share a room with Lexi. This has really streamlined the bedtime routine as you read books together and go down at the same time. It has also eliminated the daily requests for Daddy or I to snuggle with you and Lexi every night. I think having each other in the room makes you both more at ease.

William, you are the sweetest little boy with a heart of gold. Your big green eyes, assortment of expressions, innocent and polite little voice just kill me and I can’t get enough of you. I can’t wait to see how much you grow and learn over the next 6 months.

Love, Mama

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Katelyn 2 months

Dear Kate,

My sweet little Kate. Happy 2 months. Life is pretty grand right now. We are loving the warm sunshine and playing outside and for the most part not having a worry in the world (which means I create them for myself). We are all happy, healthy and loving being a family of five! This month, you really started to fill out more. You’re still 2 lbs. smaller than your brother and sister were at this age but growing at a healthy rate. You continue to be more observant of your surroundings, sleep like a champ and really are just the sweetest, mellowest baby ever and we all love you to pieces.

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Stats

  • Height: 22.2 inches (41.3%)
  • Weight: 10.3 lbs (30%)
  • Head Circumference: 15.5 inches (86%)
  • Diapers: Size 1 (going through about 130 a month)
  • Clothes: 0-3 month

Sleeping

You continue to be the worlds best baby sleeper. At 5.5 weeks you slept for 8.5 hours straight! Then a couple days later slept for 10 straight hours!! I, however am not getting that much sleep as I never go to bed when you do and always wake up before you because I’m worried about you not breathing or some other irrational thought and my boobs hurt. With that said, you still do have a couple nights a week where you sleep 5-6 hours and I’ll  get up in the middle of the night to nurse but you always fall asleep right away. All in all, no complaints on the sleep front and haven’t even needed a nap since your first week home. High-five baby girl!

Your naps are all over the board and are nowhere close to being on a schedule, but have started to develop a routine. Most days you cat nap throughout the day from to 20-60 minutes and this usually happens between every feeding. You eat, play (lay or walk around with me) and then sleep and then rinse and repeat 6 more times throughout the day. Naps are usually had in one of three places: your carseat, the rock n’ play or the bouncer. If I’m really lucky you may take one 2-hour nap at one point in the day.

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Eating

Nursing continues to go really well. You have a good latch and nurse on one side about every 2.5 hours or so. I can always tell when my milk is gone or has really really slowed down as you bop your head around and latch on and off. I’m not sure if you’re still hungry or you just want to nurse/sooth yourself, but as long as I put a pacifier in your mouth after you start bopping around, you seem fine.

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Spit up has decreased this month, it still happens, especially if you’ve gone more than 3 hours without nursing and I have more milk, but you’ll spit up maybe once or twice verses every feeding in your first month of life. I rarely burp you anymore, just put you upright and you’ll burp by yourself. I have been pretty lax about pumping this go-around and only do it if you’ve taken a bottle or you slept completely through the night and I’m super full in the morning. A mid-day session will give me about 3 ounces and the morning I’ll get 5-6 ounces (especially with righty!)

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There were a couple days were you had some angry painful cries so we popped an ounce of apple-prune juice into a bottle and it got you pooping again. However, when I mentioned this to the Dr, she said babies can go as long as 14 days without a poop as breastmilk is just so efficient your body uses everything up and there isn’t much left to poop out-crazy!

Development

You do pretty well on tummy time–assuming we time it right and you don’t have a full or empty belly. You’re lifting your head well and if you have your pacifier, you’ll often fall asleep, so clearly your pretty comfy on the tum-tum.

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I’ll probably write this same thing for the next 3 months, but you get more and more alert everyday. You have HUGE eyes and you love to look around at everything. You’ll open your eyes so big, they look kind of bug-like! We’re starting to get lots of comments about how you look similar to William and I think the eyes are a big reason. He’s got some big beautiful eyes (not to mention killer eyelashes, so if you inherit those you’ll be a lucky girl)

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Around 6.5 weeks we started to see a very little smile/smirk sneak out of you. It doesn’t appear very often, but we’ve seen it sneak out a couple of times. In fact, the low frequency made me pretty nervous and was worried there may be something wrong with you as Lexi and William would light up every time they saw us. But the Dr. (and your wise Daddy) told me to chill out.

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You may have a fell in love for the very first time, with a pacifier. You love this miracle piece of plastic like nobody’s business. It really soothes you and I love it because it helps you be this calm, innocent little nugget of love that we just can’t get enough of. I would say the pacifier is in your mouth 90% of the time you are awake, and even often while you sleep (side note: which may be why you don’t smile as much, as your so busy sucking ?!?!). I’ve questioned myself a couple of times on if we’re giving this too you too much and building this dependency, but then I read William’s 2 month post and he had a small love affair with his as well and he vetoed it by himself at 6 months. I also decided, that even if you do become dependent on it, I’ll deal with that later and enjoy you as a sweet mellow little babe with this magnificent invention.

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Other things you like: the bath, snuggling, blankets wrapped around you–especially by your face. If you’re sleepy or fussy, but fed and changed, I’ll wrap a blanket around you, hold you close and you drift off into lala land. It is a trick of the trade for you sweet one. It’s kind of humorous to watch this unfold. You can be crying pretty good and I’ll wrap you in a blanket and your eyes will look at me and almost say ‘thank you’ as you can see the relief on your face. You also love going for walks–although we don’t go that often as you’re big brother and sister never want to go.

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This month, you also made your first trip to the cabin. You did awesome on the 3 hour car ride and slept most of the way. You loved the fresh air and were just a gem!

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Auntie Beca got married this month, and you got to come along for the party. Again, you did so good and slept your way through most of it. You had the cutest little dress on, and of course I didn’t get a pic of just you alone in it, but did get one with you and Mommy and Daddy. The big kids were at the cabin and it was so strange to just have one kid again–it felt so easy!

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Sibling love

You are one loved little girl! Lexi is straight up obsessed with you. She requests to give you a hug and a kiss every morning when you wake up. ‘Mom, I wanna see Beatle. I wanna give her a Kiss. Ohhh Hi Beatle!! You’re so cute and sweet!’ The moment you start to cry, she runs over to you to put your pacifier back in or cover you with blankets. Total mini momma. With that said, she is a little rough with you. She tries to give you hugs while you’re sleeping and often wakes you up and will squeeze you pretty hard when she wants to snuggle. I struggle with this, because my first instinct is to yell or scold her for being too rough, which always makes me feel bad because her intentions are so good and pure. She just loves you so much and always wants to be with you, but just doesn’t realize her strength or how smoothering she can be.

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William loves you a lot too and is much more gentle. He loves to lie next to you on the floor and talks to you in his sweet little baby voice. Overall he has shown very few signs of jealousy and I feel his transition to your arrival was much smoother than Lexi’s when William was born. He is much more concerned about Lexi and what she is doing.

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Post-partum

Overall things are really great. My mood is fantastic and haven’t shown any signs of post-partum depression. My hair loss is in full effect and you would think I was an animal shedding their winter coat by how much hair I loose every time I shower and brush my hair.

I’m officially back to my pre-preggo weight and can fit into jeans. They’re a little tigheter than what I remember, but I can wear them. I even bought several new pairs as the dress code changed at work and we can wear jeans more frequently and my jeans were getting pretty worn when I got pregnant last fall.

I had my 6 week checkup with my Dr. and everything looked good. I have yet to exercise though. I know I should and I want to build up some strength again, but am not motivated enough yet to prioritize it. It will come, eventually.

That is it sweet Kate. You are such an amazingly good baby we are so lucky to have you. It is so hard to believe that you’ve already been with us for 2 months AND that you have only been with us for 2 months. You are the perfect little caboose to our family and am so excited to continue to watch you grow.

Love,

Mama

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Lexi’s Tonsils Removed

Dear Lexi,

You have officially joined the ‘no more tonsils’ club, along with your Papa, Grammy, Uncle Joe, Auntie Sheila, Grandma Sampson and Auntie Beca!

The whole process started about 2.5 years ago. I noticed you asking us to repeat things a lot to you or not reacting when I was talking to you from a distance, more so than what I felt was normal for the average 3-year-old. So the Dr. checked your hearing at a well child visit. You failed in your left ear, specifically for low tones. They suggested that we wait and test it again as sometimes the office is too noisy or young kids aren’t able to follow the directions.

It was tested again at 4 and same exact results and recieved a referral to an ENT. In between the well-child and the ENT, you were also tested at the early childhood screening with the same results.

So off to the ENT we went and they tested your hearing in a sound proof box and asked you to repeat words instead of raising your hand. Again we had similar results. You can hear great out of your right ear and high and mid-range noises in your left, but low tones are very gargly–similar to what things sound like underwater. To be sure you didn’t have any hearing loss, they checked the nerves in your ear to make sure they were reacting–pretty cool they can do that! All was good there, so we went to go meet with the Dr.

When the Dr. went to check out your ears he couldn’t see a darn thing in either one of them as they were full of wax. Sorry sister, looks like you got that one from your dad. Then he went to check your throat and chuckled and said, ‘you have some dangerously large tonsils’ and continued to ask if you snore (check) and joked he wondered how you could even swallow with those monsters. (Side note: your Dentist also commented on how large they were every time we went and even had said they would struggle to get a tube down your throat if they needed to do an emergency surgery for anything–which we had also brought up with the pediatrician)

Next we went into a little procedure room and they cleaned all that wax out of your ears (you were so brave!). Maybe a little TMI, but there were some pretty big chunks in there! After they were clear of wax, the Dr. peaked inside and sure enough your left ear was full of fluid, which to me kind of looked like a tiny mirror or aluminum foil in there, and your right ear was nice and pink. He proceeded to explain that you likely had an untreated ear infection and fluid never drained because your tonsils and potentially adenoids were blocking the tube in your ear. He suggested we remove those tonsils not only to help with the ear, but also the size of them wasn’t ideal and also suggested we put a tube in your left ear to help the drainage.  He also explained how this is a very routine and simple procedure, but the recovery is a BEAST! It is a good solid 10 days of recovery with little to no appetite or activity. Given that I was 7 months pregnant with Baby Kate at the time, I asked if this was something we could do while I was on maternity leave. He said it was, but he wouldn’t recommend it as the recovery is tough and she’ll need a lot of attention and it might be challenging to also care for a newborn.

So that put a little wrench in our plans as we were trying to figure out when to schedule this with vacations and weddings and how we would use vacation time. Ultimately, we decided that Daddy would transition to contacting earlier than we thought and we would schedule the surgery on June 20th, 3 weeks before the Kate was born, so you wouldn’t have to go back to daycare and would be fully recovered by the time Kate arrived.

Driving home from the Dr., you asked me, ‘Mom, am I going to get my tonsils out?’ You had no idea what that meant, but you could sense that it was scary and you didn’t like it. We talked about why we were doing it and how it would make you feel better and hear better and how you would get to eat lots of ice cream and Popsicles. We even talked about all your aunts and uncles and grandparents that had their tonsils taken out. But you weren’t buying any of it. You cried on the way home and told me you didn’t want to have them taken out. You were pretty emotional about it for a good 2 weeks and would even wake in the middle of the night crying telling me you didn’t want them out. Finally, I told you that Daddy and I needed to talk about it and we might go see another Dr. and see what the recommend to help ease your worried little mind.

Little Kate decided to mess up my plans and I was diagnosed to Cholestasis and the Dr. wanted to induce me on June 20th, the day of your surgery. As soon as we learned this, we tried to see if there was any possibility to squeeze this surgery in before Kate arrived, but decided that we needed to wait until after she was born to do the surgery. Not ideal, but it was also too risky to do it before.

Once Baby Kate arrived and everyone was home and healthy, I scheduled your surgery for August 1st. It was right after Soccer/T-ball finished so you wouldn’t miss any of those, also after the 1st cabin trip and  far enough ahead of the 2nd cabin trip so it wouldn’t be impacted.

Leading up to the big surgery, we bought a book called Goodbye Tonsils. It was a really fantastic book that walked through the different steps leading up to the surgery to help you understand what to expect and make it less scary. After reading the book, you seemed much more comfortable with everything and almost started bragging to people how you were going to get your tonsils out.

Before the big day, you and I made a special trip to the grocery story and you picked out two different kinds of ice cream (chocolate and mint chocolate chip), crayon Popsicles, fudgsicles and ice cream sandwiches. I also got you some special presents: clothes for your american girl doll, Tsum Tsums and new pajamas! Grammy also sleept over as she was going to stay with the little kids while Mom and Dad took you to the surgery.

You surgery was scheduled for 7:45 that morning and we were asked to arrive at 6:30. Once we arrived, we filled out some paper work and then were brought back to a little pre-op/recovery room.

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You took of your jammies and put on the little blue gown they had, and some fuzzy socks that had a smiley face on them. We talked to a couple of nurses as they confirmed some details with us. The anesthesiologist came by to explain how you would go under and then the ENT Dr. stopped by to talk about the ear tube, tonsils and a little about the recovery. Thankfully, they had a little TV in our room and you watched PJ Masks and the beginning of a Mickey and the Roadster Racers to keep your mind occupied.

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When it was time to head back, Mommy put on some scrubs and held your hand as we walked to the operating room together. They even let you keep Giraffee with you so you wouldn’t be scared. We arrived in the room and I picked you up and put you on the table. Immediately, the anesthesiologist started asking you questions about who your pal was and if you had any brothers or sisters. You chose to have some strawberry scented stuff in your sleepy mask. They put it over your face and you took a couple of breaths and you were out and then Mommy left and went back to wait with Daddy.

You were so brave and didn’t cry and tell me you were scared at all, but Mom was. I even cried a little bit as I was walking out of the room. Of course I was worrying about so many things going wrong, but mostly about how you would react to anesthesia as I have never been under so I don’t know if there is any weird reaction I have to it. Fortunately, your Dad is pretty funny and kept my mind off things.

About 30 to 45 minutes later, the Dr came back to us to tell us you were out of surgery and in the recovery room. Everything went well. You adenoids looked good so they didn’t take them out, but he did say it was a really good thing they removed the tonsils because they were infected. They were hard and lumpy opposed to healthy tonsils that are soft and squishy. We talked a lot about your recovery and the importance of keeping you hydrated. He also suggested to medicate with children’s Advil or Motrin before using the prescription as it causes upset stomach, constipation and vomiting.

A few minutes later, you started to wake up and the nurses wheeled you back to Mom and Dad. You were pretty out of it, but had your giraffee with you to help you be brave. When you arrived in our room, you said you felt like you might throw up, but I really think that is because they kept asking you. In general, you were pretty sleepy and just cuddled against my arm and dozed in and out. You ate a couple spoonfuls of ice chips and a freezie and then asked to go home.

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You asked to sit on my lap in the wheelchair on the way down to the car, and I sat in the back seat with you on the way home and you complained about it hurting and wanting to sleep and see Grandma.  When you got home, you fell asleep for about 30 min, took some medicine and within 15 min, said you felt all better. You were up, walking around and talking.

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You ate a couple Popsiclea, bowls of ice cream and ice cream sandwich and complained about how you wanted to eat pizza with the rest of us. Throughout the day, you played lots of Tsum Tsum’s with Daddy (you got 3 new packs) and watched a lot of YouTube on the iPad. Although you took your first round of meds good, each subsequent round was more challenging. We were giving you Motrin every 8 hours and Tylenol in the 4 hour gaps between. We tried mixing it with water and apple juice and jello and you sort of bought into this as you would take it, but there was lots of complaining and procrastinating throughout the process. GAEX2758

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That evening, you slept on the couch with Daddy. There was lots of moaning throughout the night but for the most part it went well. Daddy woke you up to take your meds and you took them, but complained about it.

Day 2 was pretty similar to Day 1 with the medicine battle becoming more and more challenging. At one point, I was so desperate for you to take the meds, I promised to get you a Splashling (your new favorite toy learned from YouTube). You played lots of Tsum Tsums, watched YouTube and just hung low. When you did talk, you had modified your voice to sound like a baby as you said it hurt less to talk like that and even mentioned that your voice was playing tricks on you sometimes. On this day, a fairly normal appetite returned as you ate a jelly sandwich, more ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, Popsicles, noodles, starburst and Tootsie rolls.

Day 3 you straight up refused any medicine. We tried to syringe it into your mouth but you spit it out everywhere so we quit trying and just let you go. On this day, you ate soft pretzels, more noodles and also took a nap for the first time since daycare ended.

Day 4 you started to complain about ears and throat hurting. Daddy blended up a freezie for you with the immersion blender and mixed some medicine to help give you some relief and you really seemed to like that! As long as you were medicated, you were pretty good. I could tell when the medicine was starting to wear off as you would get really clingy and just want lots of hugs. Although you were taking medicine through the slushies, it was challenging to get you to finish the whole thing. You only wanted to take a couple of sips and then be done so we had to sit there with you and bribe you to drink it all.

Day 5 was supposed to be the worst day, but you seemed to be doing well as long as you were medicated so all five of us headed out to Mitch and Teresa’s for a day on the lake. You floated around on some floaties and went for some kayak rides with Daddy and were very content with not wanting to go swimming like the other kids. However, that night was rough. You woke up several times crying in agony, even though you were medicated.

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Day 6 & 7 were pretty similar. You had low energy and didn’t eat much.  You complained a lot about your ears hurting but refused to chew gum like the Dr recommended. The only thing you would do was put ice packs on them. Apparently, this is normal for your ears to hurt as the nerves in your ear are interconnected to your tonsils and they swell during the surgery causing the pain. The next few nights, I let you sleep in my bed as those were the hardest points of the day. You would wake up crying and request slushies and ice packs. Poor thing. There were a couple of times that you said, ‘I’m scared mommy’ because it hurt so bad and my heart just broke for you. While giving a slushy, you insisted on watching YouTube to help keep yourself distracted, and always wanted to watch a show about people opening up these little toys called Splashlings. (You’re going to laugh at this one day when you’re older because it is as ridiculous as it sounds to watch videos of other people opening toys, but no joke, it is one of your favorite things to do).

Day 8 – You only took 1 round of medicine in the slushy but still had pretty low energy and complained about your ears hurting a lot. I can’t remember what day(s) it was, but you did eat Fritos, which is pretty remarkable considering they are crunchy and have TONS of salt on them, but seemed to do just fine eating them as long as you were medicated. During the night-time, you only woke up once and were able to go back to sleep with just a couple of snuggles.

Day 9 & 10-You were pretty much back to normal, occasionally complaining about your ears. You knack for the dramatics kicked in and you would pretend things hurt so you didn’t have to eat what we were eating or just get attention. You even admitted to doing this my super honest little babe 🙂

And that is it my sweet little girl. You (we) made it through this and I am so proud of you. I read from other people that during those tough days, it feels like glass is in your throat and is very painful–and you were one tough cookie.  Bonus: you no longer snore when you sleep and hopefully your hearing is all good now too (although, there are still several times where you ask ‘what’ 3 times and tell me you can’t hear.)We head back to get the hearing checked in early September so we will find out then.

Love,

Mama