According to family lore, I never slept through the night until I was three. So this photo, which was taken of me at 6 AM the other day, doesn’t really surprise me. Payback is a…dirty diaper.
The benefit of having a pair of chubby toddler legs wrapped around one’s neck is that getting kicked in the face is not really an option. Suffocating, on the other hand, might be.
I woke up to the sound of my husband’s chuckling and the flash of his iPhone in my face. I was instantly annoyed that a decent stretch of sleep had been interrupted because I had gone to bed at 1 AM, after working late and being up with our toddler, who had a cough and a fever. I decided to post the photo on Facebook and got 150 likes almost instantly. So, hey, this is just real life. No Photoshop here.
So what’s been going on around here since last fall? Well, things got really eventful for a while. Our preschooler Felix (sleeping perpendicular to me, above) developed a severe case of pneumonia in early November. He had a weak, persistent cough and an on-again, off-again fever that spiked to 106 degrees twice. We visited the emergency room at Phoenix Children’s Hospital three times within one week. Antibiotics – IV, IM, and oral – didn’t work on him. Finally he was admitted to PCH with an excess buildup of fluid on his lung. Felix ended up staying there for a week, with a surgically inserted chest tube draining the fluid from his lung into a tank under his bed. Life came to a standstill while we shuffled work, caring for our other two kids, and any other obligations around. His immune system was fragile for weeks after we brought him home. After he picked up a case of croup, we decided to keep him quarantined until he was completely well again.
Felix had been on powerful antibiotics for several weeks, which stripped the beneficial gut flora from his colon. (Also, the poor kid’s teeth turned yellow as a result of the antibiotics. They’re finally back to normal now, three months later) Taking the probiotic Florastor definitely helped to restore his gut health and support his immune system. I’m all for yogurt and fermented foods, but in an acute case like this, the Florastor did the trick.
Our friends, family, and neighbors were immensely supportive during those two months when we were immersed in the pneumonia/recovery situation.
I also began working full-time. Last fall, after teaching college-level nutrition courses part-time for a few years, I decided it was time to “lean in” (thanks, Sheryl Sandberg). I’m now a faculty member in the Nutrition Program at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona Stage University. I’m teaching five nutrition courses this semester. I teach three courses in-person, and two online.
Juggling the five courses, with over 300 students, and our three kids has been challenging, But I really enjoy it. So far, things have been working out well. We have an amazing nanny and my husband’s parents help out with the kids. And I do miss the kids quite a bit when I teach one evening a week. But our reunions are happy and that’s what I like to focus on. I’m looking forward to spending time with them next week when we all have spring break together.
And nope, I still haven’t managed to get the kids out of the bed…