When Bug Bites Go Bad

About a week ago, Ana got a bite. We think it was a spider, but as these things often go, we didn’t see the sneaky attacker. She just mentioned her leg was bothering her and when I looked, sure enough there was a little tiny red bump on her thigh. Nothing to freak out over, but as Ana is five, she requested we put a Band-Aid on it. I sprayed it with a little topical anesthetic for the itch/ouch factor and I thought that would be the end of it.

A couple days later she said the bite was still bothering her. So I checked it out. It was pretty red and a kind of swollen, but I figured she was just having a little allergic reaction to the bite and repeated my original process of topical anesthetic spray covered with a Neosporin Band-Aid.

On Thursday it was really hot outside so we met some friends for frozen yogurt and to play in the fountain at Progress Ridge. At one point during our play date I accompanied Ana to the bathroom. When she pulled down her pants I was shocked to see her leg. Right in the middle was the bright purple Band-Aid, and a circle about four inches in diameter around the bite was bright red. I then decided to check it out a little more. The skin was red, hot, and obviously angry. When I touched near the bite Ana flinched. I then sent Sim a text that when he gave her a bath that night I wanted him to make sure to check out her bite because it was making me nervous.

Once he looked at it, he consulted one of our friends who knows a thing or two about this sort of thing and she (without seeing it) said it sounded like an allergic reaction and we should probably give Ana some Benadryl. Not being allergy sufferers, we don’t have Benadryl, let alone children’s Benadryl so I headed off to Walgreen’s. We decided to let the meds have a chance to work and left it alone.

Yesterday morning we looked at her leg and it was most definitely NOT better. In fact it was worse. Now there were two blisters near the original bite. (Here is a picture. Not for the faint of heart.) So we decided we had waited long enough and it was time to take Ana to Urgent Care. Once we saw a doctor, he examined the bite and was touching the surrounding area asking Ana, “does this hurt? How about this?” and working his way gradually closer to the now large and oozing wound. At one point he touched it and it literally ruptured. He quickly looked from me to Ana (who was laying down on the paper sheet covering the hospital bed) to judge our reactions. Upon seeing that Ana didn’t notice what had just happened, he did it again. She said “Ow!” and winced but didn’t actually cry or make him stop. He continued to squeeze her leg until all the junk was visibly gone and it was just dark blood coming from the hole that was now in the middle of her thigh. He had the nurse come in and wrap her leg and we were done.

All bandaged up!

I gotta give the doctor credit, he was quick and cleaned up all the blood quickly to keep Ana from seeing it and thereby totally freaking out. I was so proud of Ana. She managed to keep her cool, never even cried, and was really brave during the entire event. (I managed to hold it together too, not letting anything show on my face and only allowing myself to feel nauseous once we had LEFT the doctor’s office.) The prognosis was that it probably started as a bug bite but she ended up getting a staph infection (cellulitis) in the wound. He wrote us a prescription for antibiotics that she needs to take twice a day for a week and recommended putting a hot pad on it three times a day. He said we would need to drain the abscess at least once (possibly more) to make sure it’s healing properly.

Hot pad time!
So all in all, it’s been a crazy couple of days. I cannot believe that Ana has not been complaining more about being in pain. I mean, after seeing the amount of stuff the doctor drained out of the wound, it had to of been hurting her! And I think back to all the times Hadley was climbing on Ana, bouncing on her lap, not to mention Ana just being five. She is such a tough cookie. I am so proud of my brave little girl. In fact, to reward all her bravery through the whole ordeal, this afternoon we took her on a movie date to see Brave! And she loved it!

Our Newest Family Activity

Anyone who has been around Sim or I in the last several months can tell we are working really hard to get healthy. We started doing Take Shape For Life and got a health coach. We started watching what we eat, (eating better as well as eating less), drinking more water, and getting active. I was doing Stroller Strides several days a week, but it wasn’t until I actually started losing weight on TSFL that I could actually push myself harder and run (as opposed to walk) more. Once the weight started coming off, I was amazed at how much easier it was to get out there and move. So as a family we started coming up with activities we could do together that got us off the couch, out of the house, and doing something physical.

Then on March 24th, Ana learned to ride her bike without training wheels.

She could move. FAST. And we actually had to run to keep up with her. We went on a few family run/rides with Sim and Ana on bikes and me pushing Hadley in my trusty BOB jogging stroller. We would go around our neighborhood, stopping at each play ground we came across.

You have no idea how happy this makes me!!
Then one day I realized it was time for me to get a bike. I had a bike, but it was a hand-me-down and it didn’t really fit me and as a result ended up hurting me so much that I couldn’t ride for more than a few minutes before my knees were killing me. So over Memorial Day weekend I finally told Sim I was ready to go get a bike FOR ME. So we drove over to Bike Gallery and after test driving several models, I found my Townie. (Isn’t she pretty?!)

My pretty new bike!
Then our lovely friends, Chloe and Patrick invited us to go on a bike ride. They were going to ride on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. They had gone the previous weekend with friends and thought we would enjoy it. They said they rode out about 3.5 miles and turned around (before it got too hilly) and came back. So 7 miles total. I wasn’t too sure if Ana could do it (heck, I wasn’t sure if I could do it!) since the furthest we had gone was about 1.5 miles around our neighborhood. But you never know until you try. We packed some bungee cords to strap Ana’s bike to the Burley in case she got tired and wanted to climb in with Hadley (we have a two-seater bike trailer). So we went on our bike ride, and it was awesome.

It wasn’t totally without drama. Ana’s bike slipped on some moss on the road and she crashed right in front of me. I narrowly avoided running right over her! But she picked herself up, brushed off the dirt, shed a few tears, and asked me to “take a picture and post it to Facebook.” I asked her if she wanted to get in the Burley but she said no. She wanted to keep going. And she rode the whole way. We calculated it on our GPS and it ended up being 7.75 miles total and we were pretty darn proud of ourselves for completing such a ride.

First road rash!
So the next weekend we decided to push ourselves a little further and go to the next segment of the trail (we went from Banks to Manning the first time) and go to Buxton where there was a little day use area and stop for a picnic before heading back. This ride would be 7 miles out, so 14 miles total. But we figured stopping for lunch and getting off the bikes would break up the ride and make it so the kiddos wouldn’t get too bored.

Ready to ride
Helmets and glasses for safety!

And that is exactly what happened.

The Oregon weather has been perfect, and we have been riding every chance we get. We are totally obsessed with our new family activity. I am so proud of us for turning our lives around and setting such great examples for our children. So does anyone have any new trails for us to check out? I’m taking suggestions!

(P.S. Thanks to Chloe for sharing some of her photos with me… so I could actually be in some of them!)

A Letter: Nineteen Months

Dear Hadley,
You turned nineteen months old yesterday. Wow, what a difference a month makes! I feel like the last few weeks we have really had a break through in communication. You are trying to copy the things we say and if you can’t actually articulate the words yet, you mimicking the cadence of our speech. And what you can’t communicate verbally, you show us. You are constantly grabbing my hand to drag me over to the item you want. Or you say, “Mama!” and then pat the couch next to you to show me that you want me to sit down. No, not in the chair over there. RIGHT HERE. And so I sit. Because I will happily reinforce any communications you are willing to attempt.

Along with your ever expanding vocabulary, you are also increasing your independence. Understandably, you want to try to do things on your own. You can’t say it in so many words yet, but you get very upset and firmly say, “No!” when we try to help you. So whenever time allows, I let you struggle and figure things out for yourself. Sometimes your shoes end up on the wrong feet, or your vest ends up around your legs (or on backwards), but you did it on your own and that is all that really matters.

You are still wildly obsessed with shoes. If anyone has taken off their shoes for any reason you promptly sit down and remove your own shoes (and the majority of the time your socks as well) and immediately put on the unattended shoes. You then proceed to shuffle around like a little old lady in house slippers, lifting your feet as little as possible, doing whatever you can to keep those shoes ON.

The other day Ana was playing with some of her old (and rather small) dress up shoes and it was like Christmas had come early! There were fancy shoes! And they were small! And you could keep them on easily! You did lap after lap around the living room, strutting your stuff in those little play shoes. Tyra would be so proud.

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Ana should be incredibly proud because you like to copy every little thing she does. You are like her mini blond haired, blue eyed shadow. If Ana picks up two sticks and starts banging them together, you quickly find two items to clank right along side her. If Ana is singing at the top of her lungs in the backseat of the car, you better believe you are chiming in as well. When Ana heads outside to ride her bike, you quickly come up to me, patting your head, saying, “he-mit?” I love to watch you two interact. From the moment when your eyes light up when you first hear her voice in the morning to the end of the day when you give her good-night kisses. I treasure the hundred heart-warming moments I have the pleasure of witnessing between you each day.

You are obsessed with animal. Real animals, animals in books, animal songs, pictures of animals, you name it. If it doesn’t have “moo” “quack” or “meow” sprinkled in there, we may as well just forget about it. We drive through farm land every weekend on the way to our favorite breakfast place, South Store Cafe. As soon as we round a certain corner, before you have even spotted a cow, you start mooo-ing in the backseat. I love that these things resonate with you, but I also love that we live in such an amazing place that so many varieties of animals are so accessible.

You are quite the little busy body. You are always quickly rushing off to do something, very rarely lingering in one place or sitting still. Whenever I am cooking dinner or putting away groceries you follow me around the kitchen closing each cabinet or drawer that I open. Sometimes, for example, when my hands are full, this can be very helpful. But the majority of the time you don’t even wait for me to be out of the fridge before you start trying to close the door on me. Apparently I don’t always move quick enough for your liking.

As the weather changes, we have been spending more and more time outdoors. You just love playing outside: riding bikes, swinging, coasting on the scooter, jumping on the trampoline, drawing with sidewalk chalk, or any number of the things we do during our precious sun breaks. I love watching you hold your own as you squeeze in between the “big kids” and just start playing. You aren’t afraid to try new things, and while my heart may not be ready to watch you hop on a skateboard and coast through the cul-de-sac, I have to admit that you stayed on longer than I could have!

Hadley, it has been such a wonderful month with you. I can’t even believe that we are on the downhill slide to you being two years old already. I just can’t say enough how quickly time passes and how I just want to find a way to bottle you up and keep you tiny forever. I love the way you waddle like a little duck, leaning back and leading with your round tummy. I love how you bring baby dolls, dangling limply from your tiny hand, with you where ever you go. I love that you alternate between calling me “Mama,” “Mommy,” and simply “Mom” when you are bored because you think it’s funny. I love the way you scrunch up your little nose and squint your eyes when you think I am taking your picture. I even love that despite that fact that you are going to stop doing every one of these things one day, that these are the things that make you who you are at this very moment and I wouldn’t change a thing.

All my love,