The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Equal Opportunity

Last Monday Caden came down with strep. Friday morning Delaney woke up with a fever and sore threat, later confirmed to be strep. Friday night my throat was sore. Saturday I lost my voice, Sunday I thought my head might explode.

The thing is, I’ve tried very hard to stay off of antibiotics this winter. I had an ear infection in January, but fought it off with tea tree oil. And it worked! Antibiotics wreck my gut, which I really don’t want to do since I spend so much time and energy trying to eat the right things to keep all of that in balance.

When I could hardly put two thoughts together on Monday, I finally admitted defeat and made an appointment with my asthma doctor. I knew I had a sinus infection and I just don’t have enough tools in my natural remedy toolbox to deal with that. He gave me a non-antibiotic option (x-ray my face to see what was happening up in there) but that sounded worse than a z-pac, so now we all have our very own antibiotics.

Next year I am definitely doing my homework and beefing up my essential oil supply, as well as buying all the garlic, since that is what everyone seems to recommend to fight off colds.

Truly though, we have been talking about (and I’ve been researching) ways to boost our immune systems ever since Caden came down with strep. More exercise, more sleep, and more fruits and vegetables. We are fairly set with fruits, but horrible with vegetables around here. Rather than cook more, we’re focusing on juicing a few times a week to give us some nutritional boosts. Delaney is awesome about trying any juice I pull together, but Caden is more cautious. We’ve talked about it a lot though, and she is open to drinking more juice, so I’m hopeful this will get us through the rest of spring with minimal illnesses.

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Still Sick

Allergy season hit Caden and I hard this fall. We both felt vaguely awful through September and October. Now that allergies are past, whatever was going on in our systems has turned into the full blown crud. We’re both coughing and sniffling, my voice is Kathleen Turner-esque, and we both keep checking ourselves for a fever (which luckily, is never there).

Last winter we were incredibly healthy. I think I went on antibiotics once? Every time I got a little bit of a cold I upped my inhaled steroids and that was that. Caden got strep once last spring, and Delaney never got sick last year. I thought maybe it was partially our diet, partially our immune systems, but now I’m not sure. We really haven’t changed anything, and honestly, we’re probably eating healthier now than we were last year.

I do feel like when I eat gluten now, I get sick right after. I went on a bit of a gluten binge apple weekend and had a sinus infection the next week. Ate birthday cake this past weekend, coughing so hard I can’t breathe now. Coincidence? Probably not. I think eating gluten lowers my immune system, so it makes sense.

But then why is Caden sick too? I have a feeling she will follow me down the gluten intolerant, asthmatic path in the coming years, especially since our allergy patterns match so closely.

Unfortunately, there is no rest for us. My week at work is busy, Halloween is Wednesday, so there will be no sick days for us. Instead, I’m shutting my office door and drinking a lot of coffee. Hopefully if we can get over this hump, the sickness will be done.

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And we have strep in the house

Caden’s had a runny nose and a cough for awhile. We all have, but it was nothing a little humidifier at night couldn’t fix. Tuesday night she slept with me and woke up at 5:30am burning up and coughing. I gave her a drink of water and as we went into the bathroom for some meds, it all came back up. I figured it was the mucus. It seemed logical at the time.

And then she threw up again and again on Wednesday. The doctor took one look at her throat, ordered a strep test that came back positive within a minute, and it was a penicillin shot for her. (Love that I don’t have to do antibiotics for 10 days. Apparently with strep they rarely keep the meds down anyway, so the shot is better.)

She has been completely miserable. Lots of couch time, big nap in the afternoon, and multiple popsicles. The shot is supposed to kick in fairly quickly, so I’m hoping after a good nights sleep she will be able to keep down some food tomorrow.

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Mommy’s helper

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Laney came to work with me on Thursday. She couldn’t go to daycare quite yet and I needed to be at the office, so we packed her backpack full of things and off we went. Actually, she did most of the packing. The night before I mentioned to her that she would come to work with me, and we’d pack her things in her backpack. As I was cleaning up dinner, she went around and packed up scissors and her crayons and a few books! Sometimes she’s so cute it kills me.

The day didn’t go quite as I imagined it. I was hoping she would happily glue pieces of paper while I chatted with my new business analyst. Or maybe watched a movie in my cube while I sat with him in his. Not so much. She sat on my lap, sometimes glueing, sometimes talking way too loudly, but I at least got a few things done. It worked well enough, but I hope I don’t have to contemplate doing it again soon.

After spending two days with just Delaney, I really miss Caden! I’ve gotten these huge chunks of alone time with Delaney, it just feels off balance. On the good side, as we were walking back to the car I mentioned that her eye looked better. She said “I not hurt. I happy!” She’s definitely feeling better, and happy about it.

All week long the girls have been separated quite a bit. First with Caden’s surgery, and then with Delaney being sick. They’ve loved it. Caden doesn’t balk at all that she will be at school by herself. Delaney has loved being home with me, and took good naps both days. I love that there are no issues with them separating. I love that they have that confidence to be on their own. Last night they played separately for a bit, but after dinner they were back to playing together and chasing each other around the house.

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Victim #2

Laney’s been waking up in the middle of the night lately, which is unlike her. Last night I rocked her and put her back to bed, only to hear her a few minutes later. She laid down again quickly and I went back to reading my book in bed. A few minutes after that I heard the strangest noise. I thought maybe the cat had died or coughed up a hairball. Laney immediately started crying and saying she was hurt so I thought maybe the cat jumped in her crib? As soon as I picked Laney up I could smell what had happened. She had thrown up and was about to do so again. Oh man.

The three of us spent from 11pm-1:30am in my bed with Delaney throwing up every 20 minutes or so. She was a trooper. Every time she gave me warning and puked into the bowl. At least I only had one set of sheets to wash! I felt so bad for her though. She was scared and had trouble catching her breath, and then she wanted to brush her teeth to get rid of the bad taste. We tried some sips of water, but that just came right back up.

She’s perfectly fine today, although everyone stayed home. My original plan (at midnight) was to bring Caden into daycare, take Laney up with me to work to work for the morning, grab lunch downtown and then head home for nap. Showering, changing clothes and getting Caden to daycare in time for breakfast seemed unusually cruel when we woke up, so I’m doing what I can from home and will head into the office early tomorrow. For now, it’s a movie morning.

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Swimming Pool!

The super antibiotic is awesome. Both girls were fever free and completely new people today! Delaney was so happy to get back to school that she ran around and gave all of her teachers hugs this morning. It was cute.

It was hot and humid out today. Finally! Summer is here. I love it. We had two options after dinner – blow up our new swimming pool or play in the downstairs play room. No way was I staying inside! The pool was perfect. It cooled everyone down as we walked in and out of it. Of course the first one in was the dog! And of course the first pictures I took were the best, but my lens was all fogged up!

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Sick, sick, sick

This was the scene at our house Monday afternoon. Both girls have ear infections so we had some quiet time while watching Elmo. Oddly enough, Delaney is the sicker of the two and yet, she is the one in the better mood.

Last Thursday Delaney woke up with a 102 fever. I could tell she was burning up as soon as I got her out of her crib. They’ve both had runny noses and coughs for a while, but what can you do right? As soon as the fever hit, I knew it had turned into an infection. The pediatrician confirmed she had junk in her lungs and fluid behind her ears.

She had a fever off and on all weekend so I knew I was going to have to take her in again Monday morning. But, I didn’t think Caden would also come down with a fever. Double trouble indeed. The doctor was extra worried that Delaney got an ear infection *while* on antibiotics, so we now have an appointment with an ENT to see about tubes. That was unexpected, but as antibiotic resistant as my kids are, I think it’s the right move.

Here’s the thing every twin parent knows. One kid? Easy peasy. Laney and I had so much fun last week! We ran errands, we hung out, it was nice. Both kids home today? I’m exhausted. Caden was not feeling well at all and was clingy and crying. I needed to get work done, which I frantically tried to do during nap and Elmo. The new antibiotic seems to be working for Delaney so I think she’ll go to daycare tomorrow. I’ll probably keep Caden home one more day because hey, who needs banked sick time for next winter anyway?

Before I forget, does anyone else use the target brand children’s tylenol and motrin? Anyone else’s kids now refusing to take it? The packaging is different and I’m guessing they’ve redone the taste.

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Sick Kiddo

It took Laney a while to kick the ear infection/high fever. I will say, that while the antibiotic shot was a bit of a PITA, it worked. And it was easier than 10 days of whatever antibiotic.

Saturday was day four of the fever. She woke up at 6am and I could feel she was warm, by 6:30am she was on fire and didn’t want to be in bed any longer. We vacated the bed for the living room. She went for her chair, her blankets, and some cartoons.

But Caden could only take so much tv. Instead, she decided to try on her swimsuits. All of them at once!

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One without the other

On Monday, while putting on my makeup I noticed that my eyes were swollen. When Caden walked into the bathroom with red, swollen, gunky eyes I knew we all had pink eye. The doctor also confirmed left ear infections for both girls. Caden seems to weather ear infections fairly well. Delaney, not so much. Wednesday afternoon Delaney was running a 102.1 temp, Thursday morning it was 103.3. Yikes! After four days on antibiotics, she definitely shouldn’t have been running that kind of temperature. So I dressed Caden, left Lane in her pajamas, and we all headed downtown to take Caden to daycare.

We happened to be in the elevator with a few other moms and kids. They asked why Delaney was in pajamas, I said she was sick and was coming home with me. They asked if Caden would miss her sister, I said no.

All day long Delaney asked where Caden was. When I cut her strawberries, she wanted a strawberry to give to Caden. Round and round we went. Where’s Caden? Caden is at school. Where’s Caden? Caden is at school! When we finally went to pick Caden up Delaney was so, so excited.

As soon as we walked into their daycare room Caden made a beeline for Delaney and hugged her. It was so adorable! But! Her teachers reported that she never once asked for Delaney. Not once!

Delaney needs to stay home again tomorrow (now her right ear is infected, we’re doing the antibiotic shots this time instead of a different oral med). Their old nanny is watching her for the day, but I know she’d like to have both girls. I’m tempted, but Caden loves school so much that I hate to have her miss a day when she doesn’t really need to. They both missed Monday due to pink eye, so I think I’ll probably take her with me and let Laney get some extra love.

To finish, a picture of Caden outside Thursday evening. She really wanted to go out, so I put a winter hat on Delaney to cover her ears, and wrapped her in a blanket. Caden of course wanted a hat too, so I fished this one out of their drawer. Caden was very happy to wander around the yard, shouting at the neighbor dogs*, while Lane and I snuggled on the deck.

* The neighbors behind us were out with their dogs and Caden was super excited. One of their dogs was running up and down the fence with her. The neighbor said “Oh! Are you saying hello to the dog?” I answered “No, she said ‘Get down! I said no!'” Oh the phrases that come back to haunt you.

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Solo Caden

Delaney has been teetering on the edge of sick the last few days. When daycare said she slept for two hours on Wednesday, I knew it was close. She was running a 102 fever by the time bathtime rolled around and was none too thrilled to have to get in the tub. I knew then that no matter how she was feeling in the morning, I would keep her home. But that didn’t mean Caden had to miss school did it?

When Caden and I were sick a few weeks ago, I vaguely considered taking Delaney into daycare. But, that was before she was really comfortable and I knew she wouldn’t do well without her sister there. On the other hand, none of us were concerned about Caden being on her own. In fact, I wondered if she would even notice her sister was missing!

I let the girls sleep in and them fed them breakfast at home. They were so excited to have cereal in milk! They kept saying “Cereal! Cereal!” and they both ate the entire bowl. On the way downtown I told both of them what would happen. Delaney would come home with me, and Caden would stay at school by herself. I took Caden’s coat off, she waved goodbye, and went off to play. Delaney happily came with me to grab my laptop from my office.

The whole ride home Delaney asked where Caden was. Once we got home she kept asking for Caden. But, once we had lunch, she seemed to forget about it a bit until I brought it up after naptime. Daycare reported that when they put the kids in the buggies to go for a walk, Caden asked for Laney. Awww. She did miss her sister! And she got a little sad around naptime. I think that’s when she realized she was on her own. She was very happy to see us when we picked her up.

Some cute pictures to end with. I love hoods. Luckily, the girls love hoods as well.

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