Remember I said we were going to stop the bottle cold turkey? I actually had the nerve to pack them all up except for an emergency stash of 3. No luck, lasted less than a day and the bottles slowly came back. We were still trying the sippy cups on Saturday night before they went to bed and it was a nightmare. Everyone was screaming, crying and carrying on and Rich and I caved. Last week at this time they were getting 4 bottles a day of formula. Now they are getting 3 bottles a day of milk, when they get up, noon and before bed.
Then about 10 on Saturday night Beckett started to scream and cry and writhe around. Nothing could calm him. He would spit out his pacifier, bottle, kick and throw his head back and was drooling so much our shirts were wet from holding him. At his bath that night we noticed he had a few little spots on his torso but he was in the pool for the first time that day so we didn't think too much of it. I ended up paging our pediatrician thinking that maybe he was having an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin we started for all 3 that night for ear infections? Or maybe it was some sort of reaction to the shots he got a few days before? The only other time I paged our pediatrician off hours was when I was scared for their little lungs when I started the toaster on fire and filled the house with smoke. She said it was probably a virus going around and continue the amoxicillin. That night Beckett was up every 20-30 minutes crying and would eventually cry himself back to sleep.
The next day we noticed the rash has spread and was now on his face and Rich took him to an acute children's clinic at noon on Sunday. Turns out he has Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease.
This is a common virus usually found in kids under the age of 10 that causes painful ulcers in their mouth and/or a rash on the body, increased fussiness, drooling, decreased appetite and fever. There is nothing to be done except pain control with Tylenol, ensure they don't become dehydrated and rinse their mouth with a combination of Maalox and Benadryl. But they CAN'T drink the mixture. Yeah right. He totally understands the swish and spit concept.
He did pretty well the rest of the day with occasional fits of crying and now is pretty much back to normal but still drooling a bit. But I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop because this virus is contagious and we were told to expect the other two to get it.
So with all of that going on, the switching to milk, ear infections, and the excitement/cake(s)/cupcakes surrounding their birthday we decided to keep the bottles for a little while longer.
We cut out the late afternoon bottle forcing the sippy cup but you know I can never do things easy. I decided that we are going to practice not spilling, keeping food in bowls and staying away from the very tempting bowl of their neighbor at the same time as forcing the sippy cup issue. I gave them their sippy cups in the playroom with a little bowl of 10 or 15 Cheerios. When they would spill them we would practice picking them up and remind them to stay away from their neighbor's bowl. It went pretty well and they loved their first taste of Cheerios.
(Look at Beckett's shirt from all of the drool.)
The calm lasted a few minutes which is long for us. Then Beckett tried to steal the cover to Eloise's bowl, and Eloise is trying to eat Addy's snack.
Eloise got her way and ate two bowls of Cheerios which at the end was probably a total of 10 or 12 Cheerios. She was so determined. Look at those tiny little fingers grasping the cereal.
It was really a bittersweet scene for me. They looked so old eating snacks and practicing manners. Practice is the key here. We are also practicing sign language. Addy knows "more" and they all know "all done" to some extent but they all do their own form of it. When they start to steal their neighbor's food and repeatedly dump their bowl or feed the pugs their food I sign "all done" and take aways their food. They've started to get it and mealtime has gotten a LITTLE easier. But it still is always a total mess. 3 times a day.
I've noticed that Mini-Me looks like she is cleaning sometimes if she gets her hot little hands on baby wipes. She's nuts about the Swiffer just like me. I'm thrilled, I need all the help I can get.
Our pediatrician told me again that I need to stop the bottles cold turkey but we are going to give it a few more days until everyone is well, ear infections are gone and more importantly I can mentally prepare myself for the transition.
We had a few kids (and adults) on Saturday for a little party and swimming. This was the first time we had other kids over and what do you know, Beckett has a contagious virus that could have been passed on to every other kid under 10 at the party. I had to call the parents and tell them their children were exposed. Luckily it is a relatively mild and common virus that I've heard will hit whole day cares but I will still be utterly mortified if any of the children at our house end up sick. Until everyone is in the clear, I'm waiting on posting the pictures.