Because we don't live close to either of our families (not too far - for sure - but not close either), Chris and I have always "split" holidays. What I mean by this is that we will spend Thanksgiving with one side of the family and Christmas with the other. Then, the next year we will switch. This was our year to spend Thanksgiving with Chris's side of the family.
We were really looking forward to Brianna being out of school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Thanksgiving week. I still miss her so much during the day, so I was ready for her to be home. On Sunday night, I hugged her and realized that she felt really hot. I took her temperature and discovered that she had a fever of 101. She didn't really act sick, but obviously I wasn't going to send her to school with a fever. She ended up having the fever (with no other symptoms to speak of) all day Monday and about half of the day Tuesday, so she ended up being out of school that entire week. She was sad to miss a few fun activities at school, but I sure didn't mind the extra time with her at home.
Wednesday morning, the babies woke up not feeling well. I took their temps and sure enough, they had fevers of about 101. While Brianna didn't really act sick with her fever, the babies were definitely acting sick.
I sent the above photos to Chris to show him how pitiful Brecklyn looked. I took them around noon on Wednesday while she was trying to eat lunch.
One thing that I really like about the years we spend Thanksgiving with Chris's side of the family is that they always celebrate on Friday instead of Thursday. This means that we get a rare holiday at home with just our immediate family. While I wouldn't love that too much of the time, it is nice once in a while.
On Thursday morning, everyone woke up feeling good. The babies' fevers were gone without any other symptoms and after only 24 hours. While I was thankful, I was also a bit puzzled by this mysterious fever. Since everyone seemed well, we decided we would spend the day putting up our Christmas tree and decorations.
The kiddos all stayed in their pjs, and we just enjoyed all being home together. Brianna cracks me up in this photo . . . I never know what I'm going to get with her :-).
Brooke and Brecklyn were so interested in what we were doing. They were all up in the middle of everything the entire time and were very excited to finally be given an ornament to put on the tree.
Brecklyn, putting her very first ornament on the tree
She actually ended up being kind of mad because she had to leave the ornament on the tree. Every day since putting up the tree, we've been doing quite a bit of training with Brecklyn who insists on pulling ornaments off the tree. As it turns out, she's pretty headstrong :-).
Brooke was beyond excited for her turn. In the photo below, she is screaming (happily) and waving the ornament all around, haha.
She was thrilled to help decorate our tree!
Brooke has been pretty good so far about leaving the tree alone. She's certainly interested in it, but she's quickly learning that it's off limits.
Of course, Brianna and Brenson remembered all about hanging ornaments. and they really had a great time with it this year. I told Chris that while I love having babies in the house, having kids that are a little older is pretty great, too.
Bren did insist on putting three and four ornaments on the same branch, but we thought it was kind of cute :-).
Our four little loves in front of the tree :-)
Brianna, Brooke, Brecklyn, Brenson
Unfortunately, as the afternoon went on, Bren started to act like he didn't feel good. I took his temp around 4:00pm, and it was 102. Booooooo :-(. However, I wasn't overly concerned as I assumed it was just the same mystery fever all the girls had already had.
We put all the kids to bed at their normal bedtime (around 8), finished up a few things, then went to bed ourselves. Bren ended up getting up around midnight saying he was going to throw up (and he did . . . twice). His fever was up to 103, and he was acting very sick. He was definitely worse off than the girls had been.
My poor, miserable boy :-(
He slept on the couch in the living room that night, and I slept in the recliner to be close to him. The next morning (Friday), he was so disappointed that he cried when I told him that he would not be able to go to Thanksgiving at Meme and Papa's house. His fever wasn't coming down, and we certainly didn't want to expose anyone else to whatever he had. It was cold and rainy, so I also kept Brecklyn home with me because she had woken up with a cough and runny nose.
Before Chris left with Brianna and Brooke, we attempted a family photo.
This one is better!
Brenson, Daddy, Brecklyn, Brianna, Momma, and Brooke
Chris knew I was also disappointed to miss out on the family festivities, but especially on Brooke's first Thanksgiving celebration. He was good to keep me updated with photos.
Cousin Abby and Brooke
Grandma and Brooke
Brianna and Cousin Zeke
Abby and Brooke
Chris said that Abby was SO sweet with Brooke . . . played with her, helped take care of her, and even held her while she slept!
Grandma, Brooke, Brianna, Grandpa . . . my little Brooke is always such a happy thing!
The whole crowd . . .
Brooke, Meme, and Abby
Meanwhile, Brenson was acting more and more sick at home. He was just laying on the couch, dozing in and out of sleep and watching TV. He wasn't eating, and was only drinking a little water because I was forcing him. At about 3:00pm, I picked him up to take him potty (he said he needed to go but was too weak to walk), and he felt extremely hot. I took his temp and it was 105! That scared me a little. I immediately called Chris to come home because I felt like he needed to go to Urgent Care. We also noticed a rash on his cheeks,
and on his back. The rash on his back made it look like it was sunburned.
Because it was the day after Thanksgiving, the pediatric Urgent Care we have used a few times was closed, leaving the ER as our only option. Bren's fever did come down to 102.5 with meds, so I started questioning whether we needed to go (I really, really didn't want to take him to the ER). The on-call nurse at our pediatrician's office recommended that we take him in, and after his fever started to rise again, we decided that we would go ahead and go. One of our deciding factors was that Bren began to act very disoriented as his fever began to climb toward 104. He was talking gibberish and saying bizarre things that made no sense. That was definitely concerning!
Chris took Bren to the ER while I stayed home with the girls. They ended up being there for a long time and didn't get home until 3:00am!
As it turns out, Bren had strep throat and scarlet fever. After a few doses of meds and sleeping the entire day on Saturday, he finally began to feel better. I was so happy when he woke up late Saturday afternoon and said he was hungry. He hadn't eaten since Thursday evening! I will say, before this experience, we didn't know anything about scarlet fever. I honestly thought it was an illness of the past . . . like from 1860 or something, haha. When Chris relayed to me that the meds Bren was taking for the strep would cause "dysentery" (as per the ER doc), I said, "Scarlet fever and dysentery? Am I on the Oregon Trail???" Haha . . . who remembers that game???
Anyhow, while Brenson was sleeping all day Saturday, we had a pretty lazy day at home. Brianna spent most of the morning painting (she LOVES to paint), so we decided to let the babies have a go at it, too.
Brecklyn's first time painting!
This look says that she was enjoying it. Brecklyn's not one to be super-smiley about things.
Brooke's first time painting!
Yep, she was a fan!
Bren is doing much better now. He's pretty much back to normal, and I am extremely thankful! Hopefully, we can get back into our regular schedule this week. Before yesterday, I hadn't been out of the house (not even once, to go ANYWHERE) in eight consecutive days due to constantly having a child with a fever. I was definitely beginning to feel a little trapped.
Since Brianna has been in school, it feels like we've just had one sickness after another. In 2014, the only time we saw our pediatrician was for the children's well visits. And really, the same can be said of the first half of 2015. We've been so blessed with healthy, hearty children. Then, Brianna started school, and since August we've battled numerous colds, ear infections, pneumonia, strep throat, and scarlet fever! Yikes. We know it could be much, much worse, so we're trying to keep it in perspective. Overall, we're still blessed with good health! Illness got us on both Halloween and Thanksgiving, so here's hoping Christmas isn't next!