Big Sister Class and a Tummy Bug

How much do you love this face?

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Those glasses came from a doctor’s kit that she got from Grandma for Christmas and when she wears them, I just about die. It’s just so funny.

I also love how she’s becoming a little kid… laying around…

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Doing her magnet puzzle. With her hammer. Smart girl.

Anyway….

So on Saturday Geoffrey and I realized that we didn’t have anything we had to do! Sure there was stuff to do, but nothing pressing or urgent. No plans. No places to be. So we took it easy! We did decide to make a quick trip to Babies R Us. It was there I saw this bumper sticker…

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I was very excited about this because we’re studying the Armor of God at my Church Ladies Bible Study on Monday nights! Pretty cool to see a bumper sticker of it!

After our trip to Babies R Us, we stopped by a playground to let Harper run off some energy. It was at a Sonic! How cool is that? So we sat at picnic tables, ordered a mid-morning snack and let Harper play. The carhop asked to touch my belly. I did not enjoy that part. I wanted to say “no thanks” but she was so sweet that I felt bad turning her down. So I obliged. Meanwhile Geoffrey was chasing Harper all over the playground while she squealed with delight. She sure loves playgrounds. I mean, what kid doesn’t? I was like that when I was young. I loved slides and swings and climbing and everything. To be honest, I still do! I kinda wish they’d make adult playgrounds. Actually there’s something about that phrase that sounds really terrible. So nevermind.

Anyway, let’s get our minds back on track here. Harper went on the little ladders and little slides a few times and then she ventured up to the tallest slide ever. I made Geoffrey go with her. The weather was beautiful and she had a great time.

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Sonic Slide 1
Sonic Slide 2

Sometimes I’m just so ready to be able to do normal stuff again. And by “normal” I mean go down a big giant slide with my daughter. Geoffrey gets to have all the fun. ;o)

Harper took a good nap that day, obviously, so when she woke up, I told Geoffrey I wanted to enjoy the weather by taking Old Player out for a drive! He put her carseat in the middle and out we went! It’s always so much fun when we do this. And Geoffrey and I realized Saturday that a family of 4 won’t be able to squeeze in there anymore so it might be our last drive like that. Gracious.

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On Sunday we took Harper to a Big Sister class! It was at Baptist Hospital. It lasted about an hour and was pretty cute. We were the first to arrive, which is shocking because usually we’re the last to arrive to everything (much to my chagrin). Harper was incredibly bashful. Also shocking. She really didn’t want to leave mine or Geoffrey’s side.

They gave her a little fun outfit to wear to show her what the doctor would have on when it was time for baby brother to arrive. She was absolutely not interested. We put it on her and she liked to see it on “Mommy’s tone {phone}” but then she wanted it OFF.

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After everyone was dressed (or undressed) in doctor’s garb, we went around the room and each child got to introduce themselves, say whether they were having a baby brother or sister, and when the baby was coming. Most of the kids struggled with all of the above. Harper proudly announced that she wanted to watch Nemo. That was all. Apparently I need to work on her public speaking skills.

Then the kids got to make their future new sibling a birthday card. This part I felt like they could have skipped. It was a piece of construction paper and a marker. I mean, c’mon, my daughter does sophisticated arts & crafts at my house. ;o) Geoffrey traced her hand and then she traced his. And there was plenty of scribbling.

The instructor tried to get the kiddos to sit on a mat on the floor. I didn’t think Harper would be so shy about this, but she really didn’t want to sit by herself.

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They handed out little baby dolls for the next part of the class and I burst out laughing at some of the boys in the room. They were not having it. The class was 3 boys and 3 girls. The girls knew what they were doing, the boys didn’t. Shall I get baby Jack his own doll to play with one day? You know, to expose him to different things? Look at all you men out there reading this shaking your head. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. A boy can play with dolls! Okay okay. I’m not getting into that. Part of me is joking, but another part of me…

Anyway, Harper sat really still with her doll. I think she didn’t really know what she was supposed to do.

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For some reason this tugged at my heart so I asked Geoffrey to go down there and sit with her. She clearly was feeling a bit uncomfortable.

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The teacher talked about the baby and what it would look like, then they got to “change the baby’s diaper.” We wound up with an anatomically correct boy doll. Harper was intrigued. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair.

Then they swaddled the baby. Mostly I just paid really close attention here because I’ve already forgotten that skill. Geoffrey looked like an old pro though as he helped Harper. Aw, be still my heart.

Next they read a book about being a big sister/brother. Harper was starting to warm up here. She scooted over right in front of the instructor to listen, baby doll & all. Thatta girl.

 

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Then we toured the Labor & Delivery floor of the hospital. What fun! Harper loved this part. We even got to see a real live baby from the nursery!

They took us into Room 1 in Labor & Delivery, which is the exact room I delivered Harper. I got all emotional. It looked half the size. Funny thing about perspective….

Harper may have started the class being shy, but by the time we made it to the tour she was running through the halls and singing her ABCs at the top of her lungs. Is there a happy medium for this child? Nope.

When we got back to the room, we had “birthday cookies” for the new babies and each child received a certificate. I ate a cookie too. Honestly the Mommies should get their own tray of them. We’re the ones doing all the work, right? ;o)

Anyway, it was a cute class and we enjoyed it.

On Monday I turned officially 38 weeks pregnant. And my doctor checked my progress. Pretty much nothing. So this might be a Week 40 baby! We’ll see!

I also had to take Harper to her doctor. Ear infection. She woke Geoffrey and me up Sunday night crying, which she never does. When I went to check on her she told me her ear hurt. That was news to us! It’s so nice that she’s getting to an age where she can tell me what’s wrong though, otherwise how would we have known? She never tugs or pulls on her ears. The only thing we thought was amiss was a little leakage from her eyes Sunday afternoon. And that could have very easily been eye goo from her nap! The doctor told me her left ear tube was clogged so it couldn’t drain. We have to do ear drops and antibiotics. So it’s probably good I’m not having a baby anytime soon. Harper’s twice a day medicine list is rapidly growing! Good grief.

This week’s activities started with a little St. Patrick’s Day inspiration.

Some ABC uppercase & lowercase practice with shamrocks.

Tuesday we made a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end!

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Wednesday we worked on matching images with their silhouettes. A cute little printable exercise I found here. I kinda thought it’d be too hard for her. I showed her how to do the first one, then handed her another and she studied it really hard. Then she lit up when she found it’s matching silhouette. Then she did great with the rest! A+ for Harper!

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Thursday we put colored pom poms into their matching colored tube. Of course I collected toilet paper rolls for weeks for this one. We used tweezers & toy pliers to make it more interesting.

Friday we didn’t do anything on account of the stomach bug. But I’ll get to that in a minute. I had planned on her working on some Gross Motor Skills by balancing on a board and doing a hopping activity with pillows. Did you ever do that when you were kids? We called it Lily Pad. You would lay out pillows (or some other objects) and space them apart and you’d have to jump from Lily Pad to Lily Pad. Sometimes we pretended there was lava that we were avoiding. Sometimes sharks or alligators were swimming dangerously close. It was all good imaginative play. What we didn’t realize was how we were developing skills too! So I wanted to see what Harper thought of it. Oh well, I’ll try again another day.

I know y’all probably think I’m crazy  (or annoying) for these Learning Activities I plan each week. And yes, it’s a lot of work to plan and prepare. I won’t deny that. I have spent a lot of time finding activities and then preparing all the materials. But I really hope and pray that the hard work pays off. I know she’s learning a lot. And I’m enjoying the structured time I’m spending with her. The great thing about it is that nothing I plan takes longer than 15 minutes to do. I’d be crazy to try and keep her focused for longer than that! But I know the older she gets, the better she’ll be at sitting for longer periods of time doing these structured activities I plan. And this “sitting still” time is imperative for school one day. I don’t get to it every week and I know things will change here soon, but I’m hoping I’ll always be able to try to keep these activities up. It’s just too much fun and beneficial for her for me to quit! Plus I get to use some of my teaching supplies that are busy gathering dust in the attic. They shall gather dust no more! Of course, the classroom set of multiplication flash cards will probably gather dust a little longer. I can’t imagine she’ll be ready for those until at least 4 years old. ;o)

Tuesday night, about half an hour after we put Harper to bed, we heard a cough, a choke, and a familiar revolting sound coming from the baby monitor. Harper had gotten sick. To be honest, I didn’t think much about it. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s vomited after coughing. Sometimes she gets a little aggressive and chokes on her phlegm (ew). So Geoffrey and I went in there and cleaned it up. I tackled the bed and he tackled her. I mean, he didn’t knock her down, just tackled the task of cleaning her up. She was pretty upset, understandably. We got everything back to normal and put her back down. She did this two more times in the next 3 hours. At this point we realized it wasn’t a one time choking problem, it was a virus. Poor thing was in such rough shape. At one point Geoffrey made a pallet on the floor and tried to sleep in there with her! It didn’t last long. He returned to our bed and we waited until the next round.

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We were also trying to go to sleep ourselves. But no such luck. I lost count how many times she got sick but it was all over close to midnight. We had run out of bed sheets and pajamas. I had the laundry running nonstop to catch up. The rest of the night we were on pins & needles wondering if she was okay.

The next morning she had a slight fever, but she seemed to be doing okay. She skipped school and I skipped my Bible Study. We watched Finding Nemo (for the 100th time) and tried to take it easy. Harper can successfully lay still for about half an hour, tops.

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But then she’s gotta get up and get moving. Before long she was up on her bike riding around the house.

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I tried to coax her back to the couch or chair, but it usually didn’t work. There were a handful of times, however, that I think she realized she needed to sit down. And she’d come find me. And take a picture, at my insistence, to show Geoffrey we were doing okay.

After her nap when we worked on the silhouette puzzle I knew she was back to normal.

On Thursday night, while I was cooking dinner, I started feeling funny. I felt severely nauseous. At first I thought it might be hormones and maybe Baby was coming! I made dinner but I couldn’t even finish eating it. I was laying on the couch thinking it was time for me to call it night. Geoffrey and Harper tried to cheer me up with some circus acrobats….

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Those two…. but it didn’t work, so I called it a night. While he was putting her to bed, I got sick the first time. And for the next TWELVE hours I remained sick. TWELVE. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a tummy bug that long. It was relentless. I fell asleep in the bathroom at one point. Or maybe I passed out. It was awful. My stomach muscles are all kinds of messed up right now, what with the giant bowling ball I’m carrying around in front, but being sick made it worse. I could have been in labor for all I knew it was so painful. I know a stomach bug is bad, but being 10 days away from my due date, I felt this was the worst. I wasn’t worried about me as much as I was worried about the baby. Do they get sick in there? Is it hurting him? Throughout the whole night, I was paralyzed with fear, in addition to being paralyzed with fatigue and oh yeah, non-stop vomiting. I reminded myself that God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear and that I needn’t be afraid. So I kept saying that over and over to myself “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.” Which is a song too. I also sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness” which is a winner, though I have no clue where I got it from. And I had the stupid theme song to Goldie & Bear (A Disney cartoon) stuck in my head too. It was a very musical night for me apparently. At 7am, I got sick for the last time. I collapsed into bed while Harper was just waking up. I was so upset. There was just no way I’d be able to tend to her. Also, I didn’t know if I would be back in the bathroom again. So Geoffrey, my fabulous husband and father to my children, called his mother (and immediately told her “no, she’s not in labor, sorry for calling so early”) and arranged for Harper to come there while I mended. He got her dressed, prepared a lunch, gave her all her medicine, had to put the carseat back in his car (remember it was in Old Player), and took her to his Mom’s, all before work. And he had a busy work day, too. I felt so bad he had to do all that, but I was so grateful. Meanwhile, I worked on a Gatorade my mom brought me (thanks Mommy!) and tried to sleep. In between naps, I drank some water, or ate a Pedialyte popsicle, or ate a banana or crackers (thanks Mommy!) so by the time dinner rolled around, I felt a million times better. I ate some chicken noodle soup and prayed that Geoffrey wouldn’t catch this awful bug.

I’ve forced several Emergent C’s down his throat, along with a bunch of chewable Vitamin C’s. I don’t know if this will help, but I hope it does. I really don’t want him to get this!

Today it’s a gorgeous day. I’ve done ALLTHELAUNDRY in the house and scrubbed down our bedroom and bath. We’ve got all the windows open, enjoying the temperature and fresh air. Harper played outside pretty much all morning. She took a quick snack break, muddy pants and all.

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Geoffrey is supposed to be taking me on a date tonight, assuming he doesn’t get sick before then. I’m telling you, I have little faith in this Vitamin C regime I’ve put him on. That tummy bug was a doozy.

And we’re still on Baby Watch, though I have a feeling it’ll come the week of my due date – March 14. But maybe he’ll surprise me. ;o)

I hope you all have had a good week and enjoy your weekend!

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