Monday, April 30, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge

My sister-in-law posted this on her facebook page.  Since I have lots of ideas for posts for my blog, but no time to write, I figured I'd do this instead.  Hopefully scattered within the photos, you'll find some fun musings about life with a one year old, retiring the breast pump, and dealing with the cry room at church.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


E's fall on Monday brought a major parenting fail to our attention: lack of proper medical authorization for our nanny.  I know that I had filled out a protocol for the nanny with our contract, and I was pretty sure I had filled out an authorization, but that was two years ago.  Since Paul's insurance changes each year, we should have been on top of that.

Not only did our nanny not have medical authorization, she did not have my phone number at work.  That was a major parenting fail.  Had she had my number, she could have had the school secretary come get me out of class.

As it was, nothing fatal happened, Paul dealt with the issue, and I had a stress-free first day of work.  We did learn a lot, and have created a medical authorization and protocol file for our nanny.  We made a copy to keep at home, just in case someone else watches the children.

Here is what we have in it:
  • Medical Authorization Form - There are quite a few on the internet, and a simple Google search will bring them all up.  We chose this one.  We wrote down our cell phones, desk phones and main office phones so that we can be contacted wherever we are in the building.  We liked the fact that there is a space to put an action in the event the physician cannot be reached, and wrote down the names of the immediate care facility and emergency room we prefer.  We also wrote down the addresses and phone numbers of those facilities on the back of the form.
  • Insurance Card - We photocopied the front and back of our insurance card so whomever has the kids can get that information to the medical team.  There is also a space on the authorization form for that information, but every time you go to a new medical facility, they want to make a copy of your insurance card.
  • Google Maps - One for the location of our physician; One for the location of the Immediate Care; One for the location of the hospital.  We made sure the phone number for the facility is on the map
  • When to Take Your Child to the ER - In doing our research on medical authorizations, I found this little nugget on the hospital's website.  I printed this out because it's just really good information to have.  
It's very important to review the information on a yearly basis at the very minimum.  If your company is anything like my husband's, medical insurance changes every year because the company finds a better deal with rates.  It should also be reviewed when you change jobs, have another child, or something happens with an emergency contact (like they move or change their number).

If you have someone new watch your child, definitely go over the information with them.  Chances are high that nothing will happen (we've had our nanny for over two years and this is the first time we've needed any protocol), but you don't want to learn the hard way, like we did.  Even if your child goes to center-based care, or a relative watches him or her, you should have one at your house and at your relative's house.

I'm relieved that what happened with E was minor in the grand scheme of things.  I am hopeful that nothing more serious ever happens, and I hope that the things we learned from this experience will help you be better prepared should something like this, or (God forbid) something worse happen to you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Week of Firsts

I really don't know where to start.  This week has been filled with firsts!!  To begin with, the kids grew over the two weeks we were in Alaska.  E grew out of her 3T clothing, while we were there.  I watched pants that fit turn into high waters right before my eyes.  L took his first step, and made a HUGE cognitive leap.  He's figuring out the functions of objects.  Instead of picking up shoes and immediately putting them into his mouth, he's trying to put them on.  He also took his first step.  He took a couple of them, but they were just one at a time, and then he'd sit down and clap for himself.  He was very proud.

When we got home on Saturday, both kids were extremely excited to see their dad.  L kept crawling over to Paul to snuggle with him on his lap.  Paul was beside himself with joy because his relationship with L has been more difficult in this first year than it was with E.  I think it was partly because we had more than one kiddo to deal with, so he also took the bigger one; the fact that we have been on one income for much longer than the last one; and possibly the co-op preschool that gave me special time with each one.  I don't know, but I'm glad we're past that and L is totally digging his dad.

So on Sunday (which was Easter, for which I didn't do much planning or shopping, and ended up digging out toys I had purchased last year for E in anticipation of the new baby for her basket, and putting a couple bananas and plastic eggs filled with Veggie Booty in L's), L took more than one step in succession.  It was AWESOME!!  E started walking two weeks before her first birthday.  This year, Easter Sunday is two weeks before L's first birthday.

Monday marked my first real day of work.  I say "real" because my official start day was the Thursday before Spring Break, which turned out to be a snow day with a late start, so I worked about two hours and there were no kids or classrooms to observe.  It's not an entirely new job.  I'm teaching Early Childhood Special Education classes at the same district I worked in (and same school) before I got pregnant with Lizzie. So I started work on Monday.  It's been kind of hard this week since I had to hit the ground running with new classrooms and kids, no plans or idea of who my assistants or support staff are.  In addition, in the past three years, there have been some changes in the systems we use at the district, and there are a lot more new to me staff than old staff, so it's been a little strange, and difficult to maintain balance.

Someone else is at my desk.

Someone else has my SLP (Speech and Language Pathologist).  My SLP was awesome and fun.  He was (and is) the only dude in the building.  He also likes to joke around and play pranks on people.  It's just not the same.

But I'm enjoying it.  I like going to work.  I like playing with the kids, and making messy art projects that the assistants hate cleaning up.  I like the paycheck I'm going to get at the end of this month.  And I like the ECSE schedule.  I can work 189 days.  (I love unions!)

So, I go to work on Monday, totally jazzed about my new job and meeting all the kids and figuring out what the hell we're going to do with our day.  I put my purse in my desk in the office area and head to class.  I have two classes on Mondays and Wednesdays.  The first is 8:30-10:30.  The second is 10:45-12:45.  I go home at 1:00.  Tuesdays & Thursdays, I have planning time.  Next week, I'll pick up a third class from 10:45-12:45.  I get most Fridays off.

After my second class, I talked with my boss for a little while, then went back to my desk and started packing up.  I opened my purse to get my cell phone.  I noticed there was a voicemail and some missed calls on my cell phone.  The voicemail was from my husband saying, "I just want to start out by saying everything in OK..."  My initial thought was Oh no, he's been in a car accident.  Oh well, he's calling me, so we just have to deal with the car, no biggie.

The message continued "I have E with me now..."

The blood left my body as I listened to the rest of the message.  I can't remember it verbatim, but the gist was that E had been leaning back in her chair at lunch (exactly what her dad does when he sits in a chair), and fell.  She pulled the table (it's a kid-sized table and kid-sized chair) on top of her.  On the table was her bowl, which just happened to be ceramic.  It broke, and a piece found its way to her arm.  He met the nanny at the urgent care, and they're waiting to see a doctor.

[cue Mama guilt for going back to work]

I called Paul.  He had everything covered.

I wanted to meet them at urgent care.  I wanted to turn back time and call in sick that day.  I wanted to turn back time and not interview, or even apply for the job.  I felt awful.

If I hadn't gone back to work, E wouldn't have fallen and she would be fine.  If  I hadn't gone back to work, I could have stopped this from happening.  If I hadn't gone back to work...

I picked L up from the nanny's, went home and waited for Paul's instructions.  His phone died.  I paced.  I ate whatever crappy food I could find in the house.  I paced some more.  I beat myself up some more.  I considered just packing L into the car and driving over to the urgent care.

Paul called from the urgent care's phone.  Our choices were as follows: 1. Do butterfly bandages at urgent care; or 2. Go to the ER and get stitches under anesthesia.

I freaked out about the anesthesia.

The nurse sent me a text with a photo of the wound.  It needed to be stitched up.  I couldn't deal with the whole anesthesia part.  What if she didn't wake up? I will never do something stupid like go to work again.

Paul finally decided to take her to the ER.  As it turns out, there is a thing called a papoose board, where children can be restrained for things like this.  It looks like a torture device, and when they were giving her the local, it sure seemed that way.  Paul says it's the one time in the whole ordeal he came very close to crying.

photo credits

But she didn't need to be put under, and that made me happy.

She got seven stitches.  She won't let me take a picture of them.  She doesn't like looking at them.  She screams and cries and tells me she would rather go to bed than to have the bandage replaced and let us clean it every night.  Poor girl.

I've gotten over my mommy guilt.  I can't protect her from everything.  I fell and needed to get stitches when I was little.  My mom was working at the time.  I came out of it just fine.  I know she will, too.  I went back to work on Tuesday, and again today.  I intend to return tomorrow.

I take my cell phone into the classroom with me now.