Thursday, May 20, 2010

An unusual week!

It's been such a week!

Marie came out with a mystery 'illness' the past week. She came home from Noodleland (that's her father's to you and me) 2 weeks ago with her cheeks bright pink. Not healthy, too much running around, rosy cheeks. More of a neon bright pink. It wasn't make up either. It wasn't a rash, she wasn't feeling unwell, it wasn't anywhere else on her body. She just had bright pink neon like cheeks. I did a bit of research on the Internet and talked to my mum. A few options came up. Something called roseola which is a minor childhood disease that 90% of adults have contracted as children but might not even know they've had it. It usually starts with a mild fever a few days before but we didn't see her much in the days leading to the 'neon cheeks'. She had stayed with Mr Foodie's mum and dad for a couple of days as school was on half term, then she went up to Noodleland. She was at home and school for a couple of days but never complained of feeling unwell. She had the usual energy levels. The only thing we did notice is that she kept bumping into things and falling over. On the best of days, she is not a graceful child. She does have a tendency to be clumsy and bump into things etc. But it seemed that for a couple of days she was clumsier than usual. We never thought much of it though. And then the neon cheeks came up. And went after a couple of days. Strange. Then, on Sunday she came back from her week end in Noodleland with red marbled looking arms. Again it wasn't a rash, it wasn't anywhere else on her body. Just red marble effect arms which stopped at her tee-shirt sleeves. It was like seeing the veins in her body but instead of being blue, it was bright red. It wasn't itchy, she wasn't feeling unwell. I took her to the pharmacy and the very nice lady there confirmed that it did look like an allergy but that it would be quite difficult to identify what caused it since it is allergy season, with pollen, grass etc.

Allergies are not uncommon on my side of the family. I am allergic to soap on my face. My mum is allergic to the sun ( which is quite ironic when you live in the sunny south of France). My dad is allergic to...well... to something that causes him to suffer asthma attacks. He was tested for all the common allergies and the results came back negative. His only option was to travel to Paris to get checked out more by a leading specialist but it was too time consuming and he never bothered. His opinion: 'I'm allergic to work.'. The doctor didn't seem to agree. And Noelie, well, she is allergic to strawberry which causes her to break out in a rash across her forehead. So, I believe she hasn't been spared and is also an allergy sufferer. It is now gone. Another mystery.

We have also tweaked Noelie's routine this week. She turns one in a couple of weeks. Since her last visit to the hospital, she wasn't drinking enough to my liking. She would leave half her morning bottle, refuse to drink water, juice, formula during the day and would also refuse her evening bottle. I was getting a bit worried as she, more than anybody, needs a lot of fluids. She needed to drink to get rid of her kidney infection and to prevent any more. So I took a drastic step, some parents would probably call it a crime, as would some experts. I took her off the formula. Yes, I did. And filled up her bottle with cow's milk. (I can hear you gasp in horror). Not watered down cow's milk, not even gradually. I just went for it. I was at a loss, she doesn't like water, she doesn't like juice, she wouldn't drink her formula. But she had to drink something. Well, after a day getting used to the taste, she now drinks her full bottle in the morning and the evening. She also drinks a lot of it during the day. So, you know what? Call me a bad mother if you wish, I don't care! It works for us, she drinks the fluids she needs to prevent more kidney infections, and she likes it. She eats very well too so I am not worried about other nutrients and vitamins. So, I'm glad to say bye bye expensive formula, welcome cow's milk!

We also changed her daytime routine a bit, especially her nap times as she was more and more unsettled since the infection. We have always been very lucky that she was in a routine that suited all of us. But the past week had been a bit difficult. She was not sleeping as well as usual. Thankfully, the changes we have made seem to agree with her and she is now a very happy, settled baby, crawling around, standing up and talking away. She added a few words to her very limited vocabulary so far. She can now say Hello/Allo (not sure which yet but they have the same meaning anyway!), chien (dog) and chat (cat). She will probably develop her vocabulary a bit later than other children anyway since we are raising her in a bilingual environment and she needs to learn 2 words for the one thing. Or is that just a myth? Anyway, I am delighted to see that she can understand both languages. Marie also seems to be catching up on the years I didn't speak french to her and is learning nursery rhymes in french.

On another note, the family just got bigger again. Our cat Nama gave birth to 3 kittens this morning under our bed. We had noticed her getting gradually fatter the past few weeks and had guessed that she was probably pregnant. And indeed she was. We have decided to keep one of the kittens and give the other ones away. Mummy and babies are doing very well!

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