In my kitchen in my childhood home hangs a cross stitch sampler that says, “A hostess is like a duck: calm on the surface and paddling like hell underneath.”  Someone gave it to my mom as a hostess gift.  )In hindsight, whoever has enough time to cross stitch and frame samplers as hostess gifts has way too much time on her hands.  Anyhow….) That sampler should be hanging in our home except minus the hostess part.  We’re gliding across the water quite nicely but I’m not sure anyone realizes how much paddling is going on.  Best plans keep getting derailed by life and we keep rolling with the punches though it’s hard to do when you’re sick.  That’s right.  We’re sick.  All of us.  Again.

For Nate, it started on Tuesday.  He recently has started to imitate the sound, “Aaaaah,” (as in, “Open your mouth,” but we’re thrilled because it’s the first verbal imitation he’s ever done) and we were playing the, “Aaaaah!” game as we drove to school.  He said, “Aaaah!” with his perfect toddler voice.  It was 8 am when we arrived; Miss Lisa greeted us.  I went in Nate’s classroom; hung up his therapy bag; and put away his bedding, nap time Hobbes, and lunchbox.  Miss Lisa had begun to go through his data.  Nate waved goodbye and blew me a kiss (it’s back!) and I left.  Twenty minutes later, Miss Lisa calls.  I see her name on caller ID and know this can’t be good.  Nate’s slumped over in her arms, gasping for breath with no voice and, yes, a barky cough.  The croup strikes again.  We were just here a few weeks ago.

I got Nate into the pediatrician’s office that morning and they gave us doses of steroids to administer over the next three days.  I’m proud to share that they worked; Nate never woke up at night and we have, so far, avoided the ER altogether.  However, it meant that Nate was kicked out of school for two days.  I had a cold, and tons of grants to draft.  Chad couldn’t really take time off work.  So we tag teamed it.  I watched Nate all day; when Chad got home at 7, I ran upstairs and started to work.  Thankfully, on Thursday, Nate was able to return to school and I started to be able to breathe through my nose again.  Of course, that was the day that Chad started to feel crappy.  It never ends.

The real upshot of the illness, though, is how it affects therapy.  Nate was out of therapy for two days, so he fell out of practice.  Thursday’s therapy report was that he really didn’t want to do anything.  And we had to cancel a long-awaited appointment with the State, which was scheduled for today (Friday).  Nate is getting tested for an assistive communication device, an electronic device that will talk for him.  (Think electronic PECS cards that talk when he touches them on a screen – like an iPad.)  Because he was sick this week, we had no assurance that Nate would be well enough on Friday to focus during the evaluation and Nate needs to focus during this evaluation; there are no do-overs. So that got scrapped.  Rescheduled date is still TBD.

Good things did happen this week, though.  Curious George came out with a new DVD, which I had pre-ordered and arrived on our doorstep while Nate was sick.  I found a great slow cooker recipe for Thai meatballs, which gave us meals for the week.  And Nate slept through all three nights of the croup (so far) and we haven’t had any heartstopping races to the ER.  However, we’re looking forward a day when we can stop paddling and maybe get in one of those paddle boats that lets us float on the water.  We can paddle if we want but we can take a break, too.

P.S. We had our first Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting for Nate’s transition to public school in May.  I’ll write about it soon.  Upshot is that we know everything and nothing, all at the same time.

P.P.S. Nate has a fan page on Facebook!  Go like him!

P.P.P.S. No pictures today because I’m downstairs and they’re upstairs.  Rest assured that Nate is still wicked cute.

P.P.P.P.S.  All of these PS’s make me feel like I’m in middle school writing to a pen pal.  I need to draw some hearts now.