She Says… Deceiving

That last post makes it look like our whole life weekend was some sort of bucolic New England fantasy, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled. Outside of our lovely apple picking trip things were not so serene. And they are going downhill fast.

Ever since the end of last week Owen has been struggling to shake the bug he inevitably picked up at daycare. Over the weekend he had a fever on and off and was a little fussy, but nothing out of the ordinary. By the end of the weekend since that hacking cough was still hanging around I decided to break our no doctor streak and take him in. I’m always wary of those little ear infection-prove ears, and that’s the one thing I can’t see without the doc’s help. Benjamin took him in on Monday (because I was working on my day off… again… but that’s another post for another day) and the doc proclaimed his ears clear. Both good news and bad news — good news that he didn’t have an ear infection, but bad news that there wasn’t anything we could do (aka pump him full of Amoxicillin) to make him feel better.

By the end of the day on Monday he seemed better and his temp was down. That meant he could go to daycare on Tuesday, which was a relief, given Benjamin’s and my schedules this week. Still, we had a plan in place if they called and said he was feverish or sick again (hence no blogging… I’m already drowning in emails and to do’s, so I had to work while I had the chance!). When I picked him up yesterday afternoon his teacher said he had an awesome day and didn’t seem sick at all. Hooray!

But after dinner (in the dreaded “fever spike hour”) he felt REALLY warm to me. My Mommy Fever Detector super power is usually right on, and unfortunately a temp check confirmed it. Owen won himself a Wednesday at home with Mommy with a 103.7 temp. Poor baby.

So something is still bugging his system. He’s congested and agitated. Gets frustrated easily and is perfecting his back-arching wail and temper tantrum. I know it’s because he’s not feeling well, so it’s nowhere near as irritating as when he is just being stubborn or testing limits, but that doesn’t make it any easier to listen to! I want to just rock the little darling until he feels better, but that results in kicking and screaming and wriggling to the floor to pick up things and cry about them.

Luckily one of Owen’s Grandmas was able to take a sick day (thank you!) to come over and play with him so I can get some work done. I hate to say it, but I would feel better with yet another trip to the doc today to have them look in his ears again. Ear infections can pop up in just a few hours! Better to be safe. ESPECIALLY since we are heading on our first plane ride since Owen was tiny enough to sleep in the Moby wrap on my chest on Friday. I’m nervous enough about traveling with a rambunctious child who just wants to run around and grab everything, let alone one with a painful ear infection.

Sigh. So it’s not always sunshine and lollipops (and unicorn tears, as Kara says), despite what those pictures may say. Side note: I read this awesome post a few weeks ago and it really helped me shake some of the frustration I sometimes feel when I read other peoples’ blogs or see Facebook posts from other moms who seem “so perfect”. It’s all in the perception, and it’s important to remember what what you’re seeing is just a snippet of their lives, and they are generally NOT photographing the snotty nosed tantrums and poop stained carpets, even if they are happening. Just something to think about.

Any tips on traveling with a toddler (possibly with an ear infection) for our plane ride this Friday? It’s not long, but how do you keep a wriggly baby on your lap for 1-2 hours?! And what items do we really need to bring, and what should we leave home? Unfortunately I’m tempted to bring just about everything…

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23 responses to “She Says… Deceiving

  1. for the flight, i’d load some videos onto your ipod/phone/computer. juno baby is meredith’s favorite thing. she gets all trance like when i turn it on. it’s a bit disturbing, but definitely chills her out when she’s getting to rambunctious. also, FOOD.

    I hope Owen feels better really soon. Could it just be teething? That seems like a really high fever for teething, but Meredith always runs a fever for several days when she’s working on a tooth. She also always has lots of extra fluids- nose, throat, etc.

  2. Thanks for this post! You know how I’m feeling these days. I’ll have to read that post you are referring too … As it turns out Chloe woke up today with a fever and a hacking cough, kind of sounds “croupy” so she is having a “mommy day”. I’m taking her in this afternoon to see the doctor so we’ll see!!! They can cough and snot on each other this weekend! As far as traveling, if Owen will watch TV you could try an IPAD if you have that or a portable DVD player. The little ones have some trouble with headphones but it can work. They are a tough age because they can’t color, or play games, or sit for very long but it does get easier. Around 3 years old they are so easy to travel with … Lilly is anyway … Having lots of things for them to play with and chew on is really important. LOTS of snacks because it helps with boredom. Ask your doc about this but we do nasal (saline) drops before boarding the plane, helps clear their little ears. You can also try some Baby Vicks on his chest if thats bugging him and of course our old standby … Motrin! Goor luck. Hope Owen feels better soon!

  3. This goes against your whole philosophy of healthy food, but I fully intend on getting Faith a Ring Pop for our plane ride coming up. Sucking on that should keep her ears from popping and hopefully will keep her quiet for 20 minutes. 🙂

    Also, get some new toys for the plane trip. Ones he’s never seen before and don’t make too much noise. Books, stuffed animals, trucks, whatever.

  4. @Kara, I am TOTALLY game for a little high fructose corn syrup to make this trip a little easier!

  5. I am traveling with my little girl in November and have been wondering the same thing! I am really hoping that when we travel, she is not in the process of cutting a tooth, because Mia’s fussiness during teeth cutting is enough to make me crazy! 🙂 People have suggested snacks along with getting a new toy or book or two to reveal only on the plane ride. Hopefully the newness of the toy will be enough to distract for a little while. Best of luck and I hope that Owen feels better before your trip!

  6. I’d go with your gut and get him checked out once more by the doctor for an ear infection. I flew with a sinus infection once, and I seriously thought I was going to die. It was so painful.

    I’m flying with my Owen for Thanksgiving and I’ve already started thinking about it too. He’ll be 13 months. I’m definitely bringing lots of snacks. He still takes a pacifier when he sleeps, so I’m going to bring that for take-off and landing. I’m not sure what I’m going to bring for toys yet — his favorite ones make noise and the TV doesn’t keep his attention, so I’m not sure a movie on our iPad will work. His favorite books are ones with pictures of babies, so I’ll probably bring those. I’m interested in reading others’ comments!

  7. We travelled straight across the country as few weeks ago and man was it tiring! Amélie’s just a few weeks older than Owen and she’s also a mover and shaker. In the past, she’d sleep for most of the flight because the sound of the engine puts her to sleep. But, this last time was totally different. She did fall asleep at first, but only slept for a 1/2 hour during a 5 hour flight! Fortunately, we prepared ourselves, but if we’d do it again; we’re definitely buying a seat for her.

    We loaded up the ipad with an entire season of Plaza Sésamo (Spanish version of Sesame Street). This is the only show she watches and she will sit though hours, if we let her. We were forced to do that a little on the plane. Crayons, paper, and one of those magic coloring books where the markers only work on that paper were also great. We also brought a few books and some toys. Her favorite, easy carry snacks were on hand, too.

    We always make sure she has the paci in her mouth when we’re taking off and landing in order to avoid the pressure from building up in her ears or, we have her drink something. We’ve always brought the Tylenol, but luckily, we’ve never had to use it.

    The boppy or something similar is really awesome for getting her comfortable on my lap and for naps. We pair this with a blanket and we’re good to go.

    Traveling light with a toddler does not exist!

  8. Hope the little guy is feeling better soon!

    I always bring too much stuff when we fly with our Ben. The past 2 times we’ve flown with him, at 15 and 16 mos, I brought a couple of new toys for him, but the thing he liked playing with the most on the plane was the little bottles of water they give you! He also loved looking out the window, and did fall asleep at take-off both times. And giving him a treat he doesn’t usually have might work too–whether it’s a show on the ipad, like others mentioned, or a special snack. For us, we don’t ever give him juice, so on one flight I poured a little apple juice in with his water, and that kept him VERY happy for about 5 minutes! Good luck!

  9. Ugh, sorry to hear he isn’t getting better yet. I would definitely make another trip to the doctor – if he does have an ear infection, he needs to have 48 hours worth of antibiotics before he’s safe to fly, or it can be BAD BAD NEWS for his poor little ears (urgent care used the word “rupture” with me when I was practically begging to fly home after the Florida trip from hell when the kids were 18m and both totally sick).

    Some toddler-friendly games on the iPhone go a long way. Does he watch TV at all, such that a portable DVD player with a couple of favorite shows would help? We didn’t start using ours until the kids were closer to age 2, but now I absolutely swear by it. Air travel is NOT when you bother being the screen-time police. 🙂

  10. Stickers on an air sickness bag got us through the last 30 minutes of our flight to Florida last December with Ethan (24 months at the time). We did the videos on the laptop, too, but he was more interested in the stickers and snacks. Don’t forget the lovey!!!! 🙂

  11. Just fyi my chiropractor said that antibiotics are effective for ear infections only 10% of the time. Im so hesistant about giving my son anything, even ibuprofin for teething. Maybe look into taking Owen to a chiropractor. We get my son (15 mos.) adjusted regularly and it has helped him with sleeping among other things. We know other kids who get sick a lot from daycare and getting adjusted really helped their immune sytem function better. Just a thought! Have a fun trip.

  12. Cameron has been acting excessively whiny & frustrated this week as well, but apparently it’s only at home after day care and not AT day care. He cries and whines at me from the moment we get home to the second he gets into bed and is STILL waking up at 5:20am every day. I have to think it’s post-roseola (he still has his rash)/teething, but why would it only be at ME? It’s a mystery.

    I really hope he’s feeling better in time! I would suggest the things that were mentioned earlier for your trip – brand new toy(s), intriguing “special” snack and if you don’t have an ipad type thing, maybe your plane will have those built-in tv screens in the back of the head rests of the seats? What about a little baby computer toy? It’s a toughy!

  13. I had to fly solo a few years ago with my then 13-month-old son on a 5-hour flight, and what got us through were lots of snacks, a plastic cup and straw from the airline, getting up and walking the aisle, the safety card, the SkyMall catalog (and tearing it into little pieces – I’m sure the airline was thrilled to clean that up), a couple of new books, and a new toy or two. The thing that worked the best was a new coloring book (I think it was Dora) and crayons. He had never really colored before, so it was a novelty, and he sat on my lap and watched me color the pictures for more than an hour.

  14. Paisley has been remarkedly great at travel so far and we leave for a cruise next month so she’ll be on her 3rd flight then. We have found that she loves to play peek-a-boo over our chairs at the people (victims) near us, tearing up the magazines on the plane as someone else suggested, and even playing with the barf bag. Gross I know, but it works for a while! This time we’re going to get her a leapfrog toy that we’ll introduce on the flight. Snacks are a must and her binky!

  15. Thank you so much for being real and honest in your posts. That, and the link to the other blog post, are just what this sleep-deprived, first-time mommy of a 18-day old baby needs right now. Not a post by a different mommy blogger bragging about how her 1-week-old is already on a schedule and lets her sleep for 4-hour stretches at night, or so-called reality shows on TLC featuring freshly made-up and refreshed-looking new moms, with happy and alert babies. True, I am the only one who can let myself feel inadequate for not measuring up, but I have to keep things in perspective.

  16. Oh, and fingers crossed that Owen gets better soon!

  17. @hilary, We’ve had pretty good luck with Amoxicillin for his past ear infections (all 6 infections cleared up in 3 days or less with meds), but I’m always open to other treatments! Chiropractic adjustments is not something I’ve considered. Benjamin sees a chiro, so maybe it’s time Owen has his first appointment. Thanks for the tip!

    @Jenny, Anyone who says their 1 week old baby is on a schedule is lying. Or will eat her words VERY soon. Hang in there 🙂 It gets easier every day.

  18. We flew about a month ago and I think we really did bring everything. The kid had as much stuff as we dis combined!

  19. A friend of mine bought an “ear checker” at WalGreens. It comes with a pamphlet to tell you what the ear should or shouldn’t look like! It looks like the ones the Dr uses. Her little guy was getting infections so often! I dont think they were too expensive and she loves it!

  20. Hi Kate, I live overseas and have travel accross the pond with my 11 month old. I agree with all the above posts, new toys and books, snacks, and lots of trips up and down the asile to expend energy. I would also suggest bringing a favorite “lovey” and lots of spit rags, mostly for you… as sometimes kids get sick on planes, and lets face it, if they feel sick, they are most likely going to be sick while cuddling mommy.
    We have a two toy rule, as in, you may only have two toys out at one time. I can’t believes how many toys, bottle caps, pacifiers, and socks I have lost on planes! Good luck! Oh, sorry I am identified as “guest”, I am at work… my name is Sharon.

  21. My travel tip – bring homemade (or store-bought, as time may allow) cookies for the passengers seated around you. It gives you a chance to apologize in advance for your rambunctious child, and forges goodwill should he kick their seats/scream inappropriately. Good luck, I hope he feels better soon!

  22. Poor Owen!
    I am the last one to be giving traveling advice. We can barely get our little girl through a 20 minute car ride. But, I would imagine that new toys and snacks would be good as many others have said. Good luck!

  23. I think a new toy would be helpful too, but I find it really hard to not pack every single thing we own. Babies come with some baggage. Literally!

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