Monday, March 26, 2007

Caleb's 1st Birthday

Caleb's first birthday party took place today. We had it at our friends' neighborhood clubhouse and pool, which turned out to be an ideal place for the varied group in attendance. There were 12 children from infancy to age 7, as well as around 30 adults at the party. The only family members at the party were Caleb's Aunt Traci and Uncle Josh, and Great Uncle Mitch. We had snacks and cake, and the Gator basketball game was playing on the clubhouse TV (the only way the guys would come). I just used balloons and framed pictures of Caleb for decorations, and I made the cakes myself with Aunt Traci's help. I also put together a slide show of Caleb's first year and played that after the basketball game. We didn't really do anything structured like games or a pinata because the kids were all different ages and many were toddlers like Caleb. Everybody just swam and played until cake & song time, and then went back to swim and play some more. Caleb's grandmother (my mom) paid for an amateur photographer to come to the party and take spontaneous and posed pictures for an hour. The pictures turned out extremely well and I'm very glad that she came because we might not have gotten many pictures ourselves with as busy as we both were during the party. All in all I was extremely happy with the party and really wouldn't have done anything differently in retrospect: it was economical, a lot of fun, and we got great pictures!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Caleb has been sick SO MUCH this past six weeks. He has had five different 3-5 day episodes of sickness. Some of them start with fever, some start with runny nose, and one started with a perfectly happy little boy vomiting all over our friend's furniture. (All over is not an exaggeration at all. He threw up four times in a row and we saw everything he had eaten in the past 12 hours.) His fever has been up to 103 several times during these five sicknesses. The worst was the vomitting virus he had from March 2-6. He lost 10% of his body weight in that one weekend and threw up for 4 days. He was so miserable at times that he would just lie on the floor or in our arms and stare blankly at nothing for long periods of time. We let him watch Baby Einstein videos (which are his favorite thing in the entire world) as much as he wanted to when he was that sick, though even they failed to entertain him during his worst times. The three times he was sick before this virus were more like colds or infections, with stuffiness and a high fever, but he wasn't as miserable as with this virus.

I'm definitely getting discouraged by how much he's been sick. I'm becoming somewhat of a germ-a-phobe. I carry hand sanitizer everywhere and use it on both Caleb and I frequently. We don't go to the park or the mall play area any more, and he's rarely around other children except at church activities. After the bad virus, Marcus finally agreed to start showering every day when he comes home from the hospital, just in case he was bringing home the bugs. But even after all of these precautions, Caleb has come down with something again today. He has a fever and a runny nose, and I can only hope that it doesn't get worse like it did the last four times.

I've talked to some other moms about how much he's been sick, and mostly what I hear is "some kids just don't have strong immunities." I know that is true, but it just seems odd that Caleb would go from having very adequate immunities and hardly ever getting sick to being sick all the time. I just hope that he outgrows this proclivity toward getting sick sooner rather than later b/c it is very depressing to have to miss out on so much of life because of chronic sickness. I haven't been to church or play group in 6 weeks, and I've only made it to Wednesday night prayer group twice during that time! And Caleb is definitely missing out on social time as well. Even if I was willing to take him out sick, I would quickly lose all of my friends if I insisted on bringing my sick child around their healthy ones :)
I am grateful that he was well for almost a whole week after the vomiting virus, and so we got to go to two birthday parties last Saturday. Most of the more recent pictures were taken at those parties and during the week he was well. That's also probably where he caught what he has right now, since its the only time he's been out, but we did get some GREAT pictures :)