Well we made it through Halloween remotely healthy. Then at about 11pm on Halloween night (after trick-or-treating and dressing up were finished), Cole awoke with a fever! I was immediately in a panic because in just a little over a day was the appointment with the allergy/asthma specialist that I had made over a month ago and didn't want to have to miss it. Since starting daycare last September, it has been a constant struggle to stay healthy. We did have a rather long stretch of wellness over the summer and were hopefully that it would continue, but no such luck. Now we are looking for a better answer then the common answer of last winter, that it is normal for this to happen when daycare is started.
Cole has had pneumonia 4 times in the last 10 months (most recently in the beginning of October) and Summer has chronic sinus infections that do not respond to antibiotics. Last winter she was also having ear infections, but had surgery in February to put tubes in her ears and remove her adenoids (which I will add was supposed to STOP the sinus infections). Come the beginning of September though and she has had a sinus infection ever since. Despite 3 rounds of antibiotics! Ugh! We have a major invasion of the boogie monster and I was desperate to find out how this could be.
Wednesday Jim and I took both Summer & Cole to the allergy/asthma doctor and he is WONDERFUL. Unfortunately, Cole has been diagnosed with asthma and allergies. Summer has also been diagnosed with allergies. We do not know their exact allergies as they are too young to skin test accurately. For now, we have been given a very rigid medicine schedule including daily nebulizer treatments for Cole, nasal sprays for Summer & oral allergy meds for both children. We have also been advised to replace carpets especially in the kids' bedroom and main living areas with hardwood flooring so we are looking into that. I also need to change my laundry detergent to the free & clear variety and stop using fabric softener and dryer sheets. It has been a little overwhelming to take in, but we are hoping that if we follow the doctors instructions that we have a less sick winter this year.
The saddest part of the process so far was that we were told to rid our house of all stuffed animals and that each child could choose just 3 to keep. I sought out some advice from the moms of my multiples club and on Thursday when i came home from work we did the job. I told them on the way home that the doctor said our animals were making us sick and that we would need to pick just 3 and we would give the rest to children who didn't have any toys. As soon as we walked in the house they wanted to go immediately upstairs to get started. We piled all of the stuffed animals on the floor and they were each allowed to put 3 on their beds to keep. Then we said goodbye to each other friend as it was tucked into a big trash bag to be donated. They were amazingly brave and didn't shed one single tear. You could really see the decision process happening and every once and awhile they would swap one in their hand for one on their bed.
Cole decided to keep: Odie (the dog that his last teacher Miss Paula gave him), Black Cat (given by Aunt Denise, Uncle Jimmie & Emilie) and Lotso from Toy Story 3 (purchased after returning from our most recent trip to Disney World since he was sold out there). He also kept his dog pillow pet, since he uses it as a pillow he wasn't considering it a stuffed animal. Since they were so good with the whole process I let this slide. He received 2 for Christmas, one from Grandma & Grandpa & one from Aunt Judy & Uncle Bob so this way I can keep one constantly clean. Anything stuffed animals that remain need to be washed, dried and placed in a ziploc bag in the freezer overnight to kill dust mites.
Summer decided to keep: Pink Bear (received at my Baby Shower from Aunt Judy), Baby Tinkerbelle (received on our most recent trip to Disney from Daddy), and Baby Minnie (received with flowers on our Disney trip while expecting the twins). She also kept her Tinkerbelle pillow which isn't the same material as a stuffed animal so I think we'll be ok.
I was so proud of Summer & Cole for not fighting with me on this and for being so grown-up and willing to give away their toys! As a reward when we were finished, I took them to the book fair at school the next morning and let them each pick out a little book.
With the holidays coming up, I need to ask that no additional stuffed animals are given to the kids. Thanks for understanding! I don't want to have to take any new friends away from them :)