Before and After Easter, Shocking Stories, and Sunscreens

Disappointingly, I still haven't gotten pictures of Easter from my dad's camera, and no words could ever express how adorable Spencer was, so this will have to do for general entertainment as well as serve to give reasons and excuses for why I have not gotten the pictures or written anything significant about Spencer, life, or Easter.

At the Kelley household we managed to bookend the Easter holiday with two illnesses. The week leading up to Easter, Spencer had your run-of-the-mill upper respiratory virus. It wasn't too bad, although he did run fever. He is considerably easier to take care of as a sick toddler than he was as a sick baby thanks to his love affair with the television that has blossomed into what resembles a full-fledged chemical dependency. I know that I should be more concerned about his screen addiction, but truth be told I'm just thankful to have "a moment" every now and then.

Those of you who knew him as a baby know that it was quite the "hands on" experience. I pretty much had my hands on him until he was weaned, started reflux medication, crawled, and pulled up all in the same week at 6 months old. Even after that, until a few weeks ago, he preferred that his mother be at his beckon call. (Who wouldn't?) So, I am enjoying the moments where I do laundry or prepare meals without him screaming for my undivided physical and mental attention while pulling down my shorts/sweatpants/skirt--yes, he would actually pull my clothes off while he stood next to me screaming to be picked up.

I will now insert the "Good Parent Disclaimer", lest anyone fear that I have not heard the evils associated with babies watching too much television--the kid goes outside, on errands, to other peoples' houses, and to the playground frequently and is in no way replacing those times with television watching--that being said, when we are out all morning or all afternoon, he runs to the living room the moment we enter the door and begs for his movie to be turned on. Oh, how passionately he misses it.

After Easter, Spencer got a sore on his torso. This is not completely uncommon for him. He has lots of sensitive skin issues for which I'm sure he'll thank me someday. The problem was when it got infected and looked like something "concerning" to say the least. My parents, medical professionals that they are, instantly jumped into action (because, of course, it was a weekend). They got us all squared away until we could see the pediatrician on Monday, including a call from my mom around 11 p.m. to tell me to go check on Spencer to make sure he wasn't lying in bed with a fever dying of sepsis. (Not her words exactly, but I could sense the tone.) With much protocol, antibiotics, hibiclens-ing, and nasal swabbing to "decolonize" we waited on the culture to come back. The pediatrician and my dad thought he had MRSA. Good times. Luckily, it was just regular old staph. I got to call my friend whose 6 month old had been around Spencer the day before and tell her the good news. If her kid ever gets MRSA, we can't be linked to it. I felt a little bit better. Meanwhile, the antibiotics have been not so kind to my little one, but I will never complain about "having" to give them to him. I can't imagine how miserable he would (still) be without antibiotics, and I am thankful that I have access to them.

Speaking of the need to kill harmful living organisms that are everywhere trying to invade your body, I knew Friday morning was going down hill when Jonathan had to knock a condom out of Spencer's hands at the park. Yeah, seriously. There are no words. Except, I guess that people who use condoms in the park aren't that concerned about picking up after themselves. Just sayin'. MUCH hand sanitizer.

Spencer is very busy these days. He loves to gather rocks when he plays outside. He puts them in the car with him, or in his wagon. He carries them into the house. He tries to eat them. He is also perfecting his climbing skills. I found him on the console table the other day. He had climbed onto it from the sofa. I told him that was a "no." He pulled a plug half-way out of the socket and shocked himself. I heard him screaming and ran in to see him right by the outlet looking horrified. He cried. I cried...need I say more?

We DO have every outlet covered, but not ones that we have things plugged in to. He can take off the outlet covers, although he doesn't find it very exciting. What he does find exciting is to unplug things, and then stick his finger in, I guess. So, we will be replacing all of the round 1 covers with the sliding switch plate kinds. If you haven't bought the first kind yet, I wouldn't bother. All this, and my mom swears neither me nor my two sisters ever cared anything about the outlets. She's probably halfway right. I remember sticking dry spaghetti into one, but I think I was probably 7. So, lesson learned: You will feel like a HORRIBLE parent if you buy the less expensive child-proofing item only to have it fail to protect your child. Other lesson learned: I pretty much can't leave Spencer in a room by himself alone for any amount of time right now, which is very sad.

Sunscreen season is here as well. I can't bring myself to put it on Spencer or me everyday of the year like the AAP recommends. But, we will be using large amounts of it this summer. This brings up a whole new set of sensitive skin issues. I bought a couple of different types to see if we could get away with the generic brands. I typically cannot use generics for these sort of things, but maybe he'll be less sensitive, or maybe the generics will be better. Fingers crossed. Feel free to leave the name(s) of your favorite and least favorite sunscreens. It isn't cheap, so trial and error is frustrating. I'm not a fan of trial and error in any situation. Why wouldn't I just do it right the first time? One of life's hardest lessons for me is that you can't always fail-proof things. Sometimes no matter how much you read, or ask, or try--some things just doesn't work out. And it isn't fair. And you've "wasted" time or money or both. I HATE that.

So, how about y'all? Ringing in this spring with multiple illnesses? Amazed that your DVD player still works day after day? Knocking barrier methods out of your children's hands at public parks? Electrocutions? Hoping sunscreen doesn't leave chemical burns on your babies face like it always does on your own?


  1. Hey Lauren, it's Omar. I think after reading this I am in love with your entire family.

    William seems to be extremely prone to upper-respiratory infections. He's recovering from pneumonia right now and is pumped full of medicines. We are with you on that one; can't complain, even though one of them distinctly tastes and smells like cherry and tire. He's already so much better.

    I don't know if it's the same where you live, but lots of people have those glamor dogs that can fit in a purse around the sunny Orange County area. I guess they are chihuahuas but I call them rats. They let them run around William's favorite playground and do their business underneath the structure during off-hours, which is exactly where he likes to run around when we visit. So he stops, points at the mess on the ground, and says, "Poo poo ca ca?" and proceeds to try and pick it up. Thankfully, I'm still in decent enough health to respond in an instant to his fecal interests. Grandpa visiting from New Jersey last Thanksgiving wasn't fast enough apparently; he freaked, ran him back home, and washed his hands like a mad man, to which I responded with great and billowing laughter. I have to say though, if I have to choose, I'd definitely go with glamor dog poop over condom any day. At the very least, we know that glamorous dog food goes into a glamorous dog, right? Right? Ehhh.

    Thanks for sharing your stories! It's a relief to at least feel like we aren't alone on these struggles. Can't wait until William's electrocuting himself. I'm putting my game face on for that one.

  2. Oh MY...i hadn't heard the electrocution story. i would've cried too. has he shown less interest since the shocking event? i hope so. also, condoms on the ground in public places is so indescribably gross...found one outside my apartment once and almost vomited. glad johnny intercepted that! ohhh, littles, you are a crazy one! :)

  3. Lauren.... I love love LOVE reading your blog as you know. It makes me feel normal. Hudson and Spencer seem a lot alike. You are such a good writer! I am always so intrigued and I often read all the funny parts to BJ who laughs just as much as me. And the good thing about you blogging is that you could totally turn it into a book for little Spence later on! Have a great week!

  4. Here's a little trick I learned when my Maryn had to have repeat antibiotics and got diarrhea from them--acidophilus. Go to Whole Foods and pick it up in the refrigerated section--they have it for babies. I give Lucy a tsp a day anyway because of her digestive issues. You can put it in their milk or yogurt or whatever. It's tasteless. With Maryn, it took the diarrhea away even though she was still on the amoxicillin. I hope this helps!

  5. Hi Lauren. I'm a friend of Emily Blackwells and found your blog through hers. My son (2yrs)has EXTREMELY sensitive skin and we battle exema all the time. He's two now and I've just found a line of baby products that doesn't irritate his skin. Check out California Baby at Target. We tried the body wash with success, so I splurged for the sunscreen. So far, so good. Much better than the Nutragena PureBaby sunscreen I tried last year. Hope that helps!


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