Love, Joleen: Roseola and Our First Week of Tot School: The Letter "A"

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Roseola and Our First Week of Tot School: The Letter "A"

This last week was anything but what I thought it would be. Whewww-y! I can't even believe we survived it; it was that bad. I guess I should feel super blessed that Benjamin is 21 months old and this is the first time he has ever truly been sick. That didn't make it any easier though! 

A week ago, today, we went to his friend, Estella's, 2nd birthday party. Benjamin had a great time! Afterward, we went to IKEA for the first time as a family, to get some things for Benjamin's bedroom. I shared part one of our progress back in May, when I put the Urban Walls decals up. We ended up taking the bookcase out of his room, altogether, to use in another part of our apartment, and moved the changing table turned toy shelf into it's spot. We moved the crib onto the opposite wall, and will replace it with his new toddler bed later this week. We ended up purchasing four RIBBA picture ledges ($14.99 each) so that Benjamin's books can be displayed Montessori-style. We also purchased the ULLGUMP rug, to create a little reading nook. Benjamin and I are also using this space to work in our art journals [more on that below]. I still need to hang his artwork and some photos, but once everything is ready I'll share a detailed room tour.
I've been keeping journals and art journals for years now, so when I saw these awesome preschool journals, I knew we had to add this to our curriculum. I know that Benjamin is really young but I feel like this gives him the perfect opportunity to express himself, creatively, in whatever way he sees fit. My idea is that we'll each work in our respective journals for a few minutes each day. This week I've made stickers and crayons available to him and another time, his new dot paints. Throughout the year, I'll collect other mediums for him to experiment with like photographs, magazine cut outs, glitter, etc. I think they'll also make a fun keepsake!
"Do-a-dot Uppercase Letters"
Saturday, in the middle of the night, Benjamin was in our bed and woke me up because his body temperature was so high. His fever lasted all of Sunday and Monday. All he did was sleep [on me] and nurse. I wasn't terribly concerned that he wasn't eating since he was still having the normal amount of wet diapers from breastfeeding around the clock. He's been cutting his 2 year old molars and so initially I attributed much of this to that. We had abandoned our original first week of Tot School theme [zoo/safari] since we weren't going to go on our planned playdate/fieldtrip, leaving us with the letter "A". 

I wasn't about to make Benjamin do a thing sick (including get dressed!) but when he felt like doing an activity, I would bring something out for him to do. I had just purchased these Kids' Paint Dot paints [similar here] and it was his first time using them. They were super easy with zero mess. Win-win!
[I love that Benjamin created his own dot-to-dot!]
Tuesday Benjamin woke up happy and without a fever. I thought we were on the other side of whatever was happening, and so we got dressed and I took his official "First Day of Tot School" photos. Um, so dang cute I can't even stand it!!
What Ben Wore:
 Denim Jacket: Baby Gap, Consignment
Pinstripe Denim Shorts: Lucky Brand, Consignment
Monsters University Backpack: Family Dollar
I saw this idea to create a letter "flashcard" to be filled with buttons on The Kavanaugh Report. I cut the letter "A" out of construction paper, in red, and glued it to a white sheet. I was going to laminate the card but didn't have an opportunity. In the end, I don't really feel it needed to be. Benjamin wasn't rough with the page, which I had taped to his desk to keep in place, and it can easily be saved for when we need it again. I purchased a big bag of assorted buttons on clearance for $0.99 at Joann's and took out all the red ones to use. This was a great activity that Benjamin enjoyed.
We also worked in our journals together a bit but his attention span for it was pretty short. The day quickly turned around and by 10 am his fever was back for most of that day and then was gone again. I can't even explain the next three days. He was not himself at all, adopting a volatile personality, complete with never ending tantrums (I'm talking sun up until after midnight on Thursday), indecisiveness, hitting, spitting, and biting. It was a nightmare and many tears were shed between the two of us. I'll spare you all the photos of tears, bite marks, and nursing. 

Somewhere in that time, he did one more organized activity for about 3 minutes. I had purchased him these scratch 'n sniff apple stickers to put in the letter "A", which I found on The Measured Mom.
On Friday morning I discovered a rash covering Benjamin's middle and quickly spreading to the rest of his body. After two calls in to his pediatrician, the consensuses was that he had Roseola, and the rash was signaling the end was in sight. Praise God!! I feel terrible that we didn't know what was wrong with him but there really was nothing more we could do for him other than to keep him as comfortable as possible. Ben ended up coming home from work a little early, more for moral support and solidarity than anything else. We took Benjamin to Suwanee Town Center to walk around a bit, have custard at Rita's, and visit the library. Benjamin still isn't back to his normal schedule but today he woke more his happy self. It was the toughest week to date for me as a mother. I'm excited for the long weekend to get things back on track and to reset as a family.
Additional Resources:

Shockingly, in the midst of our crazy week, Benjamin definitely learned the letter "A"! He pointed it out to his daddy at the library and can also tell you what the sound of an "A" makes. I attribute this mostly to one of his favorite apps on my phone: Hooked On Phonics: Learn to Read Classroom. [Letter "A" Music Video] Benjamin LOVES it! The games are too old for him and beyond his skill level, for now, but he thoroughly enjoys the videos. It's an expensive app, at $49.99, but I totally lucked out and snatched it up when they were offering it for FREE one day! They offer a free trial, so be sure to check it out. 
Linking up this week at the Tot School Gathering Place on 1+1+1=1.

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