Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Night Terrors

Lola is prone to night terrors: hysterical screaming, intense crying, and shaking while still asleep.  Talking to her, holding her, consoling her: none of these actions make it better because she does not recognize the external stimulation.  She doesn't see us or hear us or feel us; she's trapped in a terrifying situation of her brain's making and there's very little we can do about it once they occur.

Lola's terrors are connected to lack of sleep; if she doesn't nap, for instance, she's very likely to have an episode that night, or, conversely, if she doesn't get a good night's sleep, then she'll have one at naptime.  (Can you imagine finally getting 20 kids down for a nap and having one of the kids sit up and start desperately screaming?!  Daycare doesn't like Lola's night terrors either.)

We know adequate sleep is key and, with the use of the crib tent and a solid sleep routine, we had minimized the terror occurrences.  But, right now, Lola is sick, certainly is not sleeping well, and she's averaging 2 sleep terrors a day.  Today's nap episode had so many tears that they dripped off her hair like rain dropping from a leaf.  It's incredibly disheartening to watch these experiences -- where she's so intensely upset that she's soaking wet from sweat and a racing heart -- and know that we'll just have to wait it out and try again the next day to have her sleep better.

Poor Lola.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lola's Third Birthday

Lola Kai has been anxiously awaiting her birthday for months now.  She's very aware of birthdays and, now that her brain actually stores information as long-term memory, she's been counting down the months, weeks, and then days until she turned three.  Raina wanted to go to the beach for her third birthday; little Lola wanted a pink cake, pink icing, and sprinkles.  We happily obliged.

We picked Lola up from daycare on Friday and saw the notice:  "Warning!  A student in your child's classroom has been diagnosed with RSV."  Not exactly the positive outlook we'd prefer, and it was compounded by the fact that the sick child is Lola's best friend.  Contagion shared! 

We moved the birthday celebration up a day, in hopes of getting some tangible happiness before illness struck.  On Saturday we baked her cake, Raina and Lola played in the fort downstairs, and then we bounce-housed at Monkey Joe's for the afternoon.  Lola ran around like a maniac and had a fantastic time; two hours later, we carried her exhausted body out, tossed her in the car, and then tossed her in her bed for a long quiet time.  The day culminated in pizza and our breaking out the birthday cake.  Lola got a little teary-eyed that everyone was singing "Happy Birthday" to her, but she handled the attention like a champ. 

She tried to blow out the candles, but she didn't have the strength.  She tried to eat her piece of cake, but she only make it a quarter of the way through.  And she tried to make it past 6 p.m., but she started slumping in her high chair and laying her head on the table.  Yes, illness had struck.  Happy birthday, Lola!  We bundled her up and sent her to bed.

Sunday, her actual birthday, saw a rather pitiful little girl.  We tried to cheer her up but very few things actually did.  Raw potato really brightened her morning.  Who knew?  Her runny nose and sneezing and coughing just got worse, the dark patches under her eyes become more pronounced, her pallor paled, her fever rose, her grumpiness escalated ... We tried another round of singing and candles, but she just wasn't in it.  It was a bad day for Lola.

It was a bad day for Lola's parents too.  Krystal spent the morning making potato soup for lunch.  She covets an immersion blender, but, in its absence, spent a considerable amount of time hand mashing the potato soup into an appropriate smooth consistency.  She ladled up a bowl for Raina and then called Lola to the dining room table.  The next five minutes were disastrous.  Raina, playing with the soup's steam, accidently hit the soup bowl and sprayed soup over the table, chairs, and Daddy's precious carpet.  Lola saw the soup on the floor, noticed that it looked a lot like vomit in its current configuration, and then started heaving herself.  The next hour-and-a-half was devoted to trying to clean the carpet but, let's face it, that carpet is a lost cause.

Monday and Tuesday saw Lola at home, still contagious and tired and grumpy.  She had moderate positive moments Tuesday afternoon, so we're hopeful that she'll return to school on Thursday, which is when daycare will honor Lola for her birthday.  Maybe she'll have the strength to blow out her candles then!