Sick, Sick, Sick! and 19 Months

Well, we’re sick again. AGAIN! Can you believe it! It’s like all I ever write about is sickness in our house. Ugh.

This time around has definitely been the worst we’ve experienced so far. Hula Girl came down with ear infections a couple weeks ago, so we put her on antibiotics. That seemed to help her for a while, but then Jonathan got sick with a cold, and lo and behold, I caught it from him. This is the worst cold I have ever had. I have been coughing all night for the past week now, which means I’ve gotten maybe 4-5 hours of rest each night. And on top of that, Hula Girl has now started vomiting after almost every meal, so I’ve been cleaning and doing laundry like a madwoman!

Last night I tried the “Wet Sock Treatment” to try to help myself sleep better. It’s supposed to increase circulation to the feet, decrease congestion in the head, chest, and throat, and help the “treatee” sleep better all night. Here’s what to do:

  1. Soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes beforehand.
  2. Wet some cotton socks with cold water and wring so they’re not dripping.
  3. Cover the cotton socks with dry wool socks.
  4. Go to bed.

In the morning your feet should be warm and dry, and your socks should be dry as well. I had heard of this before, but never tried it until last night- and it was crazy! My sinuses were no longer hurting this morning and my feet were warm and cozy and dry. My only complaint is that it did nothing to soothe or abate my cough, so we had to deal with that until I finally fell asleep around 11. But then I did sleep, and sleep well, until 6:45. So I think I’ll call my first experience with it a success. You’re supposed to do it 1-3 nights in a row. I will definitely be trying it out again tonight.

Now, on to the fun part of life! Hula Girl is 19.5 months old, and I am loving, loving, loving this age. I was a bit worried that it would be a difficult time, as I have heard that 18-21 months is a really difficult testing period. However, I think Hula Girl’s advanced language skills have really benefited us and we’ve been able to weather this period with little frustration.

My most exciting moments are when Hula Girl comes up with different ways of showing that she really is in control of her language. Last night, for example, she said her first real sentence. I say her first real sentence because it’s the first sentence she’s said that hasn’t been just her mimicking us. She watched Jonathan putting batteries in a new toy and was quite excited to play with it. She finally reached up her little hand (he was taking forever) and she calmly said, “Me do.” This was super exciting to me for a couple of reasons. First of all, she’s never referred to herself as “me” before. (She has said “I” when she has been sad, as in “I throw up,” or “I cry.”) Second, she’s never said the word “do” before. She’s heard us plenty of times, asking her if she wants to do something, like, “Do you want to do it?” She always answers yes! But last night, she took the initiative, and I was so proud.

She’s also demonstrated several times that she has learned the concept of one-to-one correspondence. This is a mathematical concept that is crucial for any person. When I was teaching, this was the very first thing any student needed to understand in order to succeed in math. Basically, it means that Hula Girl can match a number to an object or group of objects. For example, when she counts, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” she is  using rote memorization to list off a bunch of words. But when she has a stack of 5 blocks and counts, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” while moving one block at a time, she is showing that she has one-to-one correspondence. Basically, two blocks is two blocks is two blocks- two blocks will never be four blocks. And yes, she has demonstrated one-to-one correspondence with up to 6 items at a time. Smartie!

My favorite part of the day, as it is for most parents, is bedtime. Our bedtime routine includes Jonathan giving Hula Girl a bath while I prepare her room (turning on sound machine, filling humidifier, closing curtains, etc.), then Jonathan lotions and dresses her for the night while I read to her and then we talk about her day. I read a short poem or song from an awesome gift we received from Hula Girl’s Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Elinor for Christmas. It’s an old collection (from the 1800s) of Christian poetry and hymns, one for every day of the year. And even better- it has Hula Girl’s name in the title. So I read her poem or hymn while they listen, and then Hula Girl starts asking, “Bout day? Bout day?” because she loves to talk about her day. I stand next to her and stroke her hair and we go through the day’s events together. We talk about what we had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We remember any special events that occurred that day. The very last part is when Jonathan asks her what she liked best about the day. She used to just look at him blankly, because it really is a difficult question for a 19-month-old to answer.  But the past few nights, she’s had something to say. One day she liked the kids at storytime. Another day she liked the visit from Grammy and Great Grandma. And yesterday, when we were all sick at home, her favorite thing about the day was “Eenie muh, Daddy.” (Reading books with Daddy.) Precious.

I can pretty much understand every little thing she says these days, even though her words are definitely not clear to outsiders. I find it so interesting that I can tell what she means just by small inflections or hand gestures that accompany her words. She is not one to waste words. She does not babble all day long. She talks all day long, but always with a purpose. She is constantly narrating her environment and trying to make me understand what she means. My very favorite thing is when I’ve worked hard to figure out what she’s trying to say, and I get it right. Then she smiles and laughs and says, “Yee-eeeaaa-ha ha ha ha!” in her really deep happy voice. Love it. 

She is no longer plagued with a huge sense of stranger anxiety. When we go out to the store or the library, she will actually approach anyone she can see and tell everyone, “Hi!” Many people aren’t sure what to do with it, and they just grin and move on without saying hi back. This frustrates her, since I’ve always taught her that “it’s nice to say hi.” She has even followed some grown men around Walmart just to tell them hi until they greet her in return. Funny thing is, when they DO say hi, she often runs back and hides behind me. Silly girl.

There are so many more things to say about Hula Girl at this age. I will be adding more posts soon since everything is getting back to normal around here. I can’t wait to get back to writing more frequently! I have missed this!



  1. Kristy said,

    January 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    How lovely your end-of-day routine sounds. Those are cherished moments, I’m sure. She is a smartie!! I know just the sound you mean when she is happy that you get it right (I think). How fun.

    I’m sorry you’ve been sick and she’s been sick. 😦 We can relate over here. It is hard to do anything socially in the winter because someone’s usually sick!

    • January 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Great to hear from you, Kristy! I’ve so been missing you for a while now. I hope all is well at your house (despite some illnesses, it sounds like)! We’re going to keep trying to do some fun things. If she doesn’t vomit any time between now and then, we’re hitting storytime tomorrow! Yes!

      • Kristy said,

        January 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        Yay! I hope you make it there! And I really hope she doesn’t vomit between now and then because that would be just yucky anyway. 😉 All is definitely well here, and we’re in healing shape. I got a cold, but not a bad one. Yours sounded awful.

  2. January 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Did you try the wet sock treatment for your cold? It’s pretty much awesome. I am going to recommend it to anyone and everyone from now on!

    • Kristy said,

      January 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Oh, right – I knew there was at least one more thing from your post that I wanted to address. No, I just realized I had a cold today so I will try it tonight! Thanks!

      • January 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        How are you feeling today? Did you do the wet sock treatment? Jonathan did it last night along with me. We both slept well! I only woke coughing twice! Yahoo!

      • Kristy said,

        January 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm

        So glad to hear that!! I did do the wet sock treatment one night and it seemed to make a difference in my nasal passages. 🙂 Feeling a lot better today. Don’t know if I should attribute it to the wet sock treatment or the NyQuil the next two nights or the gobs of Vitamin C I took. I’ll do them all next time! 🙂

      • January 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        Ha, that’s always the trouble isn’t it!? You never know WHAT worked… just that something did!

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