Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An awesome, but not-so-awesome 2nd birthday party



Originally, we were planning to have Madelyn’s party on Saturday, April 30, but several people, including my brother, ended up being out of town and I could have used the extra planning time anyway.  We switched the date to May 7, but we also cancelled it for several reasons: I hadn’t received proofs for the party decor I had ordered, at least half of the kids/families couldn’t attend that day and the last straw was that my mom ended up having to work.  We gotta have grandma there!  We couldn’t reschedule for the following weekend because we had a couple other parties to go to and then it would be too close to my due date of May 20.  We decided to postpone her party until June 5 and it would end up being a meet & greet baby, as well.  Sunday the 5th was a hit for everyone.  We received so many RSVP’s to attend and it was great!  I think we had 40 people and 14 kids planning to come.

I chose an owl theme for the party: LOOK WHOOO IS TURNING TWO!  I decided on the owl theme for her 2nd birthday when I was planning her first birthday party.  I was super excited as everything started coming together.  My mom was a HUGE help with everything (money, errands, helping watch kids, cooking, decorations, cleaning, etc.).  We (us Carmichaels) work better under pressure, so, of course, I was baking cookies at midnight the night before and making birthday hats at 7am the day of the party.  We spent a pretty penny on the party because we decided this year we would provide lunch for the guests, not just snacks and it’s Madelyn’s last birthday as an only child.  Now that I have two May babies, that will not be the case in the future (or at least nothing too expensive). I decided to order the decorations online because I knew I wouldn’t have the time or energy, being 9 months preggie, to run all the errands, pick out stuff, construct everything and I would have spent more money on my own than ordering through Etsy. 

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We are jammin’ at 9:00am for an 11:30am party.  I’m extremely excited because we are going to have such a great turn out, Alayna seems to be having a good day, the decorations look awesome and Madi FINALLY gets to have her 2nd b-day party (a month over-due).

I go into Madi’s room to get her at 9:30 and she is covered in a RASH from head to toe!! Are you kidding me?!?! What the heck is this? Allergic reaction to something? Measles? Chicken Pox? There are 365 days in a year and THIS is the day she wakes up with a rash!?!?


So, we contemplated – only for a second – calling everyone to cancel the party, but after all the time, money and effort spent, we were having the party regardless.  If Madelyn had something contagious, we would quarantine her, keeping her upstairs (poor thing).  I spoke to a couple nurses at our insurance and our pediatrician and both said it is a classic of a non-allergic amoxicillin rash.  This rash shows up on day 7-8 of taking the antibiotic.  She was on amoxicillin for a slight ear infection since May 26.  On May 26 she also got her MMR shot.  Doctor Hyun said it could have been an MMR rash.  So, who knows if it was from MMR or amoxicillin (or both).  Dr. Hyun said have your party, don’t worry about it, she is not contagious at all.  Since we were having 40+ people over and so many kids, we thought it would be a good idea to at least have a doc SEE her to verify that she has nothing contagious.  We would not feel comfortable telling our guests that our pediatrician said she was fine, but never actually SAW her.


Jose took her to urgent care.  She, unfortunately, wasn’t seen by a pediatrician, but at least it was a doctor, right?  The doctor said it was an allergic reaction to amoxicillin and gave her Benadryl and PrednisoLONE (a steroid).  Madi and Jose showed up at the party 2 hours late.

Now, if it wasn’t enough that a large handful of people were leaving (round one nappers) when the birthday girl arrived and that my daughter looked ridiculous with her elaborate polka dots, but a WILD animal-like child was about to emerge.  Madi was finishing some food in her high chair and I took a quick photo of her and she started screaming “no more pictures, no more pictures!”


Then, she wouldn’t let anyone (Jose, my mom or myself) get her out of her chair.  She started banging her head violently against the back of the chair. She then aggressively took a BITE of her tutu and spit out a chunk blue sparkly tule.  Jose struggled to get her out of the chair without dropping her and got her to the carpet, where she threw herself on the floor so fiercely. It was as if she had the angry energy of 5 children put together. Madi was running away from everyone and would not let anyone touch her or approach her.  It was on the tile by the front door where she deliberately head slammed her forehead into the tile.  That’s when I knew this was not an ordinary tantrum.  This was something worse.  All of our friends & family there either watching or listening to this, which make it that much more intense and uncomfortable.  I asked Jose to do the best he could at getting her upstairs safely.  We were upstairs with her for maybe 15 minutes, which what felt like hours.  She was screaming, crying & running away from anyone that was close to her or approached her.  She was completely non-responsive to anyone or anything. There was nothing we could do or say to help or to get her to respond.  She continued to try to inflict pain on herself and was so out of control that is was likely she would hurt herself somehow.  After 20 minutes of this I threw in the towel.  I couldn’t take it anymore and it was only getting worse.  I called the nurse line and they recommended taking her to ER to get a tranquilizer.  We ran out the door and frantically put her in the car seat, which was like putting her in a straight jacket.  The entire ride to the hospital she continued to be non-responsive and was hysterically kicking, screaming, wailing, hyperventilating.  She did not react when I spoke to her and wouldn’t let me touch her.  So, I sat next to her in the back seat and sobbed the whole way there.  I can only imagine how hard it was for Jose to drive us to the hospital like that.  About 2 minutes before arriving to ER, Madelyn fell asleep in the car! We parked and just sat there for a good 15 minutes or so to collect or thoughts and calm our hearts.  We prayed together and sat then sat in silence.  Finally, we headed back home and successfully put her down to nap in her crib.

The only way I can really describe what we witnessed was that Madi acted like she was possessed.  It was the scariest thing and so traumatizing.  Thank God that she is okay and that she didn’t get hurt.  I also thank God that Alayna was an angel during this entire episode, so it was that much better that we didn’t have another child screaming for food that I could not provide in that moment.  I had none/no milk pumped for the little one and, obviously, couldn’t have taken the time to nurse her.  Alayna had a fantastic nap day!

I’m not sure who was still there when Madi started to freak out or how long people stayed and listened/watched it unfold.  It was such an intense situation.

I’m sure that her behavior was a reaction to the Benadryl and/or steroid that the doctor gave her.  We will never know for sure what made her act that way, but will forever be cautious of both medications in the future.  I have read and heard that one rare side effect of Benadryl is hallucinations.  Just makes you think.

Madi never had a fever and never acted sick. That night she enjoyed some cake and opened a couple of gifts. 


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the cutest things

Madelyn never ceases to say the cutest things. I just love her so much.

The other day, I was trying to find something to wear. I was standing in my closet starring at my clothes, as if something new was going to jump out and grab me. Madi walks in and looks up at my boring wardrobe, shrugs her shoulders and says, “hmmmm”. She repeated that several times. I didn’t prompt her to do that or do it myself, which means I must do that a lot and she is just mocking me. It was adorable.

Still trying to contemplate what to wear, I put on a dress and walked around a bit with it on. Madelyn comes up to me and grabs the edge of the dress and sort of tosses it in the air, lifting it up slightly and said, “Oh, cute!!”. Haha! I think she got that from me when I put something cute on her, I probably said, “Oh cute!”.  The next day she had on a green shirt with a little ruffle on the bottom and kept grabbing it and saying how cute it was.

That same night Jose was doing some push-ups.  Madi would assist him by pushing down on his shoulder every time he went down. THEN she starts to copy Jose and GRUNT like she is working out.  Jose and I started laughing so hard and Jose said “that’s too much!!" It was so funny he could not continue for several minutes or even concentrate. Once he was able to stop laughing, he continued and Madi started doing push-ups right next to him and, of course, grunting to make it more dramatic. She did so many push-ups she broke a sweat!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

never judge a book by its cover

So…there’s this man we saw at In-N-Out today…Wait! Let me start off with our day first.

My friend, Yong, and I attended a Photography Workshop today, which was a great experience and we gained a lot of knowledge about photography. It’s basically a 4 hour crash course. Now, we have to get out there and practice what we learned! That’s the time consuming, but fun part. I just want to learn how to capture some great action shots of Madelyn since she is so active and find creative ways to do it. Now, I’m finding that there is SO much more to photography than I could have ever imagined. It is so involved. Can’t wait to wrap my head around it and dig my heals into action!

After an early dinner at CafĂ© Rio, across the street from UNLV, we stopped at In-N-Our burger so that I could indulge on a vanilla shake. Of course, I wasn’t still hungry, but I’m pregnant and I want what I want (or what the baby insists that I have)! Period.

I ordered and when Yong came out of the bathroom a guy came up to her and said, “you know you just used the men’s restroom?”. Our first thoughts are ‘why are you watching us THAT closely?’. She corrected him and told him that she went into the door on the right, which was the women’s. He said “Oh…” and went back to his table, which was on the other side of the place, far from us and the restrooms (again, why was he watching us?). As he walked away, we both thought and I think I said…”weirdo” and rolled my eyes. I got my shake and we walked to the student union building.

Ten minutes after arriving at the workshop, I realized that I had my camera, but NOT my purse! I figured I left it at In-N-Out and frantically darted out of the auditorium and RAN to In-N-Out. Did I mention that it was FREEZING outside and that I am PREGNANT and very OUT OF SHAPE, with NO real jacket?!? As I’m running, I am thinking I left it on the seat. The Weirdo totally took my purse! I mean, he was apparently watching us very closely, so it only made sense! If anyone would notice my purse on the seat, it would be HIM!  I ran faster and faster, reminding myself that every second counted. It’s not like an hour had passed and what was done, was done.  It had only been 15 minutes now. I could still catch him…pregnant or not.

I’m huffing and puffing as I jog into the In-N-Out parking lot. I see the bright-yellow-shirt-wearing Weirdo, standing outside the front door looking around…looking for ME!  He sees me and yells, “Slow down! I found your purse! The staff has it. Stop running…it’s not good for the baby! Come in and catch your breath. I was looking for you because I knew it was yours.” I can barely get the words “Thank you” out, not just because I was out of breath, but because I had my foot in my mouth!

Talk about judging a book by its cover. It’s more likely that the people you would least expect to do crazy, cruel, evil things do it without anyone noticing or expecting it from them. The angels that come before us are just that – angels. You have to humble yourself and sometimes look hard to recognize the angels God sets out to watch after us. I thanked him several times…sat down for bit to catch my breath…and watched him drive away in his taxi cab…thankful that I still had my wallet, ID, cards, money, car keys, phone…thought how he made a good, honest decision….while I felt guilty to have judged him. You live and learn.

Side note, for the record - we got to the workshop 45 minutes early! For those of you that know me, know that I’m never early. I run an average of 30 minutes late to everything. I even told Yong I would meet her at 2:30 and arrived at 2:28! I’m thrilled about TWO early arrivals today! Yes, I’m tooting my horn!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

daddy’s little girl

Madelyn is starting to ask for Daddy more and more.  Throughout the day she will ask, “Where Dada?” and look all over the house for him. She doesn’t quite understand the concept that he is working. I look forward to Jose coming home every day, not only because he’s my wonderful hubby, but because it is the best part of my day to watch them play as soon as he walks in the door. Dinner may be hot and ready to eat. Normally, as a mother and wife you want the family to sit down as soon as it’s ready to have a HOT meal.  In these moments, life pauses and nothing else matters.  What’s most important is watching them interact. Madelyn’s face lights up the minute Jose walks in the door. It’s like she has been waiting ALL DAY for Daddy to come home and rough house with her. Anything from picking her up and wrestling her to the ground, hopping around with her on his shoulders like a frog, yelling “ribbit, ribbit…”, chasing her around the house crawling on his hands & knees or simply smothering her in slobbery kisses! Whatever it is, she just loves her father so much. I admire him for the attention he gives her and the energy he exhausts after a long day at work…nothing will keep him from hyping her up just in time for bed.

His love for her never runs out.








my sleeping beauty


I love watching my daughter sleep. She dreams. She rests. She recharges. She doesn’t have a worry in the world. A child’s innocence is so delicate. I love that she finds so much warmth and security in my arms and she knows that I will put her to sleep in a safe place…with her bear, of course! It’s so nice that she is at the age where I can put her in her crib, cover her, give her her bear and she will say “night, night…I love…” and go right to sleep. She trusts us, as her parents.

The love I have for my daughter is indescribable. beyond words. intense.  incredible. immeasurable. significant. unfathomable. immense. unique. infinite.  

a love only a mother can understand.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Splish Splash!


Bath time was so much fun last night!



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Not even sure what was making her laugh, she was just laughing…

it was great!

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Before she gets out of the bath,

she’s always gotta put a letter in her mouth!






We bathed her earlier than usual, at 8:00, instead of our usual 8:30 or later. She seemed much happier and playful.  Not that she’s not usually happy in the bath, but if she is really tired, then she can be especially irritable.

After her bath we brought her downstairs to play and she drank her milk. She went to sleep at 9:30pm.  Eventually we want her bedtime to be 9:00, but 9:30 is much better than 10:30 or later. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

loves her mama

Tonight, I had a special moment with my daughter. We were on the couch and Madelyn was sitting on my lap facing me. She lifted my glasses above my eyes, placed them on my head and put both hands on my face, as if she was admiring me. She repeated this several times. She was so gentle. She kept smiling at me, rubbing her hands on my face and said “soft” a couple times. She then put a hand on each cheek and turned my head to my right (almost abruptly), so the left side of my face was facing her, and she gave me a great big kiss on my cheek! It was so intentional. Then she turned my head back to face her and continued looking at me for a minute, giving me some sweet smiles. She ended our special moment with a heart felt squeeze.

Madi loves her mama, I say this proudly. I can tell that she understands what love is. Of course, only to a certain extent, but enough to know that she loves others and she knows we love her. Madi’s heart is so pure and innocent. She is so compassionate and loving. She is so gentle and caring. I’m sure she is going to be an amazing big sister.

Moments like these are the best thing a mother could ask for. They will never be forgotten.

it’s not just me

I found out that Blogger editing has been having some problems and glitches and that’s why I’ve been getting so frustrated.  It’s been my new “project” every night after Madi goes to bed to figure out what the heck is wrong with my blog.  I was one of the people their glitches were messing with! I feel better now.  I thought I was just not smart enough for my own good and couldn’t even post a darn photo or have less than 10 spaces between a paragraph.

Ahhh…now I can sleep.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First Picture Post using Writer

I am loving how easy it is to post pictures!


(compared to using Blogger editing)

Blogging using Windows Live Writer

Gerry, a guy that replied to one of my questions in the Blogger Help Forum, told me about Windows Live Writer to edit/blog. I am testing it out! So far I really like it! Now, my blogging world will be made easier….I hope.

Thank you Gerry!