This post is a little late - but I'm actually a little impressed with myself that this is the ONLY late post in the last 10 months of his life!
We started this last month on a rough patch. November was a month of sickness for all 3 of us. It was discovered that Liam had a double ear infection at his 9 month appointment, so he got antibiotics. That explains why he's been so cranky! He finished out his meds but still wasn't acting like himself, and he was still pulling on his ear. He was a little feverish one morning, and then by the afternoon he was lethargic, and his temp had shot up - I'm not even joking here - to 105 degrees!!! I was in the middle of making dinner and I literally had to shut everything off and grab Ava from the table to take Liam to urgent care! I was kind of freaking out. It was dark outside and I couldn't see him in the car and I was terrified that he was going to have a febrile seizure and I wouldn't be able to see him! It took me 2 tries to find a place that was open. The nurse gave him Tylenol before the doctor even came in to see him. My poor Liam was so out of it and was covered in goosebumps. His ears were still infected, so the doctor gave us a new antibiotic.
The next 48 hours were no better. He had afternoon temp spikes of 104/105. It was misery - for us all! I called an advice nurse because, of course, it was Sunday, and I didn't know what to do for him! I was told he needed to be seen within 8 hours and I got in touch with his doctor and she recommended to take him to Children's Mercy for a 3-day series of an antibiotic shot. So we took off to get Liam fixed up and the poor guy had a slight reaction to the shot, so we had to hang out for a bit to make sure it wasn't a concern. PS - Children's Mercy Urgent Care is uh-MAZING...if your insurance covers it, it's worth the drive to one of their locations!! (still haven't gotten the statement...I'm hoping Tricare covers it!)
Within 24 hours, Liam was fine. We had a follow-up appointment with his doctor the next day, and she didn't think he needed any more shots.
Fricken scariest weekend of my life.
In the middle of ALL OF THAT, my family was making arrangements for my grandma's funeral. And so was Chris! I put in a Red Cross message to him and his Commander approved emergency leave for him, which is how he was able to come home BEFORE Christmas! So not under ideal cirucumstances, but I will say, it was pretty awesome to suddenly know that my husband was hopping on a series of flights to come back home to us!
I wasn't able to be in touch with Chris while Liam was so sick that weekend. I had to make a lot of decisions on my own. I'm so so so SO SO SO grateful for friends and family who were able to watch Ava for the trips to Urgent Care - it cut down on my stress level tremendously!!
Please, if you have the opportunity to help someone out, do it. Whether they have a deployed soldier or not. I can't tell you how helpless it feels to literally not be able to do things without someone else's help, and then to have someone who says "yeah, I can take care of that for you"...it literally means the world to me and it feels like a ton of bricks are taken off my shoulders! I can't wait until I can be that "person" for someone else. I want to pay it forward, because solo parenting SUCKS and it is SO HARD and I've only been doing it for a handful of months! Everybody needs help once in awhile!
Liam was quite happy to see his daddy again! And then he was a bit nervous. But mainly just really attached to mommy! But he had some pretty big smiles for daddy that I hadn't seen the whole time he's been gone!
The transition to daddy being home was a bit wild. The kids weren't themselves...and neither was napping. The predictable behaviors were gone so that made it frustrating to try and plan our days when the kids didn't cooperate as well. I can't say I blame them - these are big changes for these tiny humans, and we expected it to happen a bit. It was so great to see the kids with Chris - Ava was literally his shadow for the first few days - if she wasn't sitting with him, she was following him around the house!
We were planning on Chris being home for just 10 days, but then there was an issue with his military flight and he either had to pay like $$$$$$$$ for a flight within the next few days and risk being on standby for A WEEK in Texas, or pay a little less $$$$$ for a later flight and extend his leave, pending approval. So not ideal choices because we were really looking forward to another visit from him in the spring, and this overbooking took that away from us. But, there was no other way around it. So he was home for 3 weeks! We could have planned some more things to do had we known in the beginning it would turn into 3 weeks. So we just did things on the fly and got some date nights here and there and did a few things with the kids. Ava got to show daddy all of her skills at gymnastics and we went to go see Christmas lights at Deanna Rose. Ava was spoiled with lots of treats and screen time. It was nice to have mommy AND daddy home for playtime and bathtime and bedtimes. Ava was suddenly speaking in long sentences and talked almost non-stop for a lot of the time Chris was home!
So Liam was a lucky boy and got his daddy for most of this month! Liam has moved up to 12 month clothes, although they are still a tad bit big for him. Mostly just the pants - he is a little short! Liam loves to crawl and climb and pull to stand and sit on his knees and bounce and wiggle! He can't sit still! He's side stepping and walks while holding onto your hands, but he usually drops to his knees pretty quick. I think once the interest is there, he will be walking soon!
Strangely enough, Liam is kind of a picky eater! He refuses to eat about half of the foods I give him, whereas Ava ate EVERYTHING in sight at his age! He loves casseroles and one-pot dishes - things that have lots of flavor! It could be that he is just not an adventurous eater. I think he likes more food than he realizes!
My Liam is still quite the fussy guy. He is so happy and silly, but he will let you know when he is not happy with something - especially diaper changes!! He cries his eyes out about 75% of the time he's being changed. You'd think I pinched him or something!
Liam goes to bed around 7, and wakes up around 7 am, give or take 30 minutes.
He still wakes up randomly multiple times a night. One night when Chris was home, he woke up every 30 minutes for 3 HOURS STRAIGHT. By this age, Ava had started sleeping through the night, so it's really hard not to compare and get impatient with Liam! He typically wakes around 12 and 4, but it's not always consistent. I can't wait to sleep again, whenever that might be!!
Big sister is doing pretty great. She's let up on trying to push Liam, so that's been a welcome change! Big girl was measured recently and she is 3 feet tall!! She's pretty tall and people always think she's older than she actually is, probably also because she has so much hair! She will be 2 and a half years old in a few days! She's wayyy into baby dolls and all of her stuffed animals and Elmo is a new favorite! She loves counting and is getting better at saying her ABC's. Her new favorite show is Frosty the Snowman and she enjoys looking for Christmas lights outside our back door and trying to find the moon. She loves to help "parent" Liam: "TOO LOUD, BUDDY!" when he cries and "EAT YOUR FOOD!" when he throws food on the floor! She wipes his chin and rubs bubbles on his back in the tub. She brings him toys and snacks and yanks things out of his hands that she thinks he shouldn't have. I think there are a lot of little tiny toys she'd like, but we just can't have those around until Liam is a bit older. She's interested in underwear but I'm not ready to start her on potty training yet...I'm just not ready for that adventure for another few months, I think! Ava is still happy and a GREAT sleeper in her crib, so there are no plans to bump her from there just yet! The last thing I need is 2 kids up at night!
I just love this little Liam. He cuddles once in awhile in between his busy moments of playing. I think he tries to give kisses - he leans into my face with an open mouth! He loves bathtime and squirms and giggles when I go to undress him at the tub's edge. He might drive me up the wall with his middle of the night crying and his sometimes constant desire to be held, but I sure am thankful for this little guy! He really completes our family! I've always loved Ava but I think I love her more as a big sister! I couldn't imagine life without my two minions!! These last few weeks were great having daddy home, and we can't wait for these next many months to fly by so he can be home again!!