Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 21, 2014 - 7 Month Surprise!

Greetings from America!  Aya and I made our way to Boston a few days ago.  It was a VERY long trip (to say the least) and she had just started to have a cold before we left so of course it got much worse during the course of the 24+ travel hours.  We flew through Turkey:  first flight to Istanbul (7 1/2 hours) she did great, layover (3 hours) she did great, second flight to Boston (10 1/2 hours + 2 1/2 hours sitting on the plane before take off because of a broken fuel pump at the airport) she did not do so well at all.  Who could blame her?!  

One of our first stops in America was to visit the pediatrician yesterday.  Aya weighs 17.6 lbs (75%tile!!) and is in the 85%tile for her length as well.  She got several vaccinations and a flu shot - which was a necessary evil but didn't necessarily help her feel better right then!  It was great to have a nice long talk with the doctor here, who we love!, because I had been communicating with her closely when Grace was very sick.  She was thrilled with how well and healthy Aya is.  She asked me, "So she can roll over back and forth?"  I was like, "Um...yeah...she's crawling everywhere!"  Our most "advanced" baby for sure.

Aya loves the sound of her voice and makes really funny noises to hear herself.  She loves to watch herself (laugh at herself, talk to herself...) in a mirror.  She is a quick crawler now and is increasingly trying to pull herself up to standing with a few successful attempts already.  The other day when Kristoffer came home from work, she crawled right over to him with a big smile and he was thrilled for the first time that she officially greeted him.  

Aya continues to adore adore adore Grace and Noah.  She also really loves Oliver, our nanny, who she hangs out with a long when I'm on carpool duty for the big kids. Musical toys and balls seem to be among her favorite things.  Also small pets - cats and dogs!  She likes cruising around in her walker or playing in her exersaucer. She still likes her bath a lot and enjoys swimming some of Dar's very warm pools. She is eating a little bit more - trying new things and wanting to feed herself rather than being fed. The doctor said all the feeding guidelines in America have changed and babies can now eat ANYTHING from 6 months old (except raw honey!).  So her meals get more interesting now that there are no restrictions :)  No teeth yet - please come soon!

It's hard to believe that another month has come and gone, and that we're already in America to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.  It's my first time celebrating Thanksgiving at home in 7 years - before Kenya! Before Kids! That was another life for sure. After this quick trip Aya and I will head back to Dar for a little while before our whole family goes to Denmark for Christmas.  It's been so wonderful to have these holidays to look forward to.  

Great job to Aya for continuing to be an awesome little baby (despite still not sleeping through the night - ACK!) and for continuing to make us all so happy (just can't wait until we're happy AND rested!).  I'm hoping that in the next few days she'll warm up a little bit more to my parents - she is not yet interested in being removed from my hip but they sure would love to hold her a bit more (without the crying!).  Here's our sweet girl...7 months old, jet-lagged, and perfectly snotty! 


Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014 - It's Easy Being Green

Grace's school has a theme of "the environment" this year, so lots of talk about taking care of the planet, the environments of different countries, recycling, etc.  Each grade gets to participate in a musical concert on the theme of the environment.  Kindergarten, Grade 2 and Grade 4 performed last week.  Grace's grade did a "square dance" kind of number (admittedly, I have no idea what that song was about since I was distracted helping Noah to participate in the dance with Grace because siblings and parents were encouraged!) and a song called "It's Easy Being Green" about all the ways you can be kind to the planet.

It was very cute, despite my (really really really) bad footage and pictures.  Kristoffer was traveling and I had Noah and Aya with me.  And we had to leave the house at 6:25 am to get there.  Clearly, I'm excused from any expectations. I was there! And Grace was proud and happy, as usual.  

Poor Footage:

Poor Pictures (they were supposed to wear green and/or white...Grace had neither so chose her favorite and well-worn dress that has a little bit of both!):


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 12, 2014 - Where to Begin?

Hi again.  Remember me?  I used to blog here a lot.  Then I had my third beautiful child and somehow she broke the proverbial straw of the camel-blogger's back.  I just can't get my blogging act together!  Sorry!  I think about writing blogs a lot. In my head I start to compose them even.  But if there is a choice between taking a 30 minute nap or writing a blog, the nap is winning every time these days.   Anyway, here is kind of an update of our recent goings-on, just to string you (and myself!) along until I can up my game.

The week of Halloween (right after my last post) and the week after Halloween were very challenging.  Grace became sick on Monday with a very bad headache, a very high fever, and an extremely high white blood cell (WBC) count causing the doctor to diagnose "bacterial infection" and put her on antibiotics.  Her fever - going as high as 104 (40c) and coming down lower than 103 (39.5c) for short stints ONLY with the help of some serious medication - didn't break until Saturday evening.  The initial antibiotics didn't work and the second antibiotics still didn't make a dent in her WBC. She couldn't eat or drink and so became quite dehydrated.  She ended up with an "IV" for three days to receive a third kind of (stronger) antibiotic and fluids for her dehydration.  We were in and out of the clinic - sometimes staying there the whole day! - for 5 days.  She did end up with other symptoms like swollen glands and tonsils, stuffed up or runny nose.  No cough.  No ear infection.  It was so strange.  But she was sad and miserable, and also very cooperative considering all the needles, injections, medications, etc.  It was all very exhausting for her and that is hard to watch in your child when you can't just make it all better very quickly.  Patience with African health scares is not a strength of mine. 

At some point Noah got it, with a concentration in his right ear.  At another point Aya got it, with a concentration on the fever (not as high as Grace's thankfully) and general unhappiness. From the start of Grace's fever to the end of Aya's fever, it was a 10-day "siege" that left me and Kristoffer completely and utterly exhausted.  That could possibly explain why I am now on antibiotics for a sinus infection myself.

Our friends here were extremely concerned and very, very helpful.  We would definitely have been even more stressed without them and without our trusty staff, Oliver and Christopher.  We survived the siege, but not without a few lasting scars.

I would say we are just about recovered from all of that, but now Kristoffer is traveling this week for work so I'm dealing with the night-shift on my own.  Aya is miserable at night - WILL SHE PLEASE JUST GET A TOOTH ALREADY!? - and last night Noah decided to be awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night as well ("Mama, do you want to read some books?" he innocently asked me at 2:30 am.  I'm sure I said something inappropriate but can't remember my actual response.).  

Grace had a sweet musical assembly at school today - I'd love to post a bit about it here, but that will have to wait time (whenever that may be).