Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring Break Sickies (and a bit of fun)

We had all been looking forward to Brianna's Spring Break this year for several weeks. She got a whole week off from school, and we had planned a little trip during that time. It wasn't anything major or overly exciting, but Chris had some work he needed to do in north-central Missouri, so we were planning to tag along with him on his business trip. We were going to leave on Saturday morning, spend the day and night with my parents, then drive on to the first work site. While Chris worked, the kids and I planned to hang out in the hotel, watch too much TV, swim, and relax. A few days later, we would head on to the second work site - stopping along the way to tour a cave and do whatever else met our fancy - then spend more time relaxing, swimming, and lounging around. I was probably most looking forward to eating out during the week. Cooking isn't my favorite thing to do, but I do it because it's what's best for my family. I just spend so much time cleaning the kitchen and prepping meals every day over and over again, and I was looking forward to a break from those duties!

Then, the Wednesday night before we were scheduled to leave on Saturday, Brooke fell and split her lip resulting in a looooong night at the ER. 

Even though all of that didn't exactly go smoothly, we still planned to take our trip. I mean, why not? Thursday was a rough day after we realized all but one of her stitches had come out, but we got a good night's rest that night, and woke up Friday morning with a renewed spirit and excited to put the last few days behind us and get packed to go on our trip. I spent all morning on Friday catching up on laundry, digging out suitcases, and making lists. Brooke was cranky, but she took a great nap before we had to go pick Brianna up from school. We left at our usual time to go get Bri, and when I put Brooke in the car I noticed she was acting kind of lethargic. I just figured everything from the past couple days had caught up with her, so I wasn't overly concerned.

We don't live too far from Bri's school - so we had only been in the car maybe four minutes - when Bren shouted, "Oh, Mom!" and started gagging. I thought Bren was getting ready to throw up, but quickly realized that he was gagging because Brooke had just puked all over herself and her car seat. It smelled horrendous! I actually have a picture of it because I took it to send to Chris (yes, we're totally those parents!), but I'll spare you all. You don't want to see it, trust me!

I quickly pulled off into the school parking lot instead of getting into the pickup line and attempted to clean up Brooke and the mess. After stripping off her clothes and using about a gazillion wipes, I loaded her back into the van and proceeded to get Brianna (who was upset because she was the very last kid waiting to be picked up :-(.

We went home, and Brooke seemed fine. She immediately perked up and started playing, so I thought maybe it was just a fluke. Kids puke randomly sometimes, so I was keeping the hope alive that we'd still be able to take our trip. I had just gotten her carseat pulled out of the car and the cover stripped off to put in the wash when Brooke puked a second time. Then again. And again. It was obvious that the Spring Break trip was a no-go, and selfishly there were tears (mine). After being at our pediatrician's office, in two different ERs, and a pediatric urgent care recently, it was really no surprise that she picked up a bug.

I took Brooke's temp, and she didn't have a fever. However, when I took Brooke's temp, Brecklyn begged for me to take her temp, too, and she did have a fever. What in the world??? I felt like I was on a sinking ship, and it was going down fast!

Brooke continued to throw up every 20-30 minutes for about six hours. Keeping an open wound in a child's mouth clean and dry proves to be pretty difficult when the child is vomiting repeatedly! She definitely acted like she felt bad, but I was so thankful when the puking stopped. On Saturday, we realized that both Brenson and Brecklyn were running fevers and acting sick, as well.


On Sunday, I really felt like maybe we were doing better. Bren and Brecklyn still had fevers, but they were only between 100 and 101. Brooke threw up one time Sunday morning, but then didn't throw up again the rest of the day. Brianna, Chris, and I all felt fine. We all went to bed that night, and I thought we'd get good rest and probably all be okay the next day.

Around midnight, Brianna woke up throwing up. Chris moved from our bed to the floor of her room to help her as she was puking every 20-30 minutes. Around the same time she started throwing up, Brecklyn started coughing, and I couldn't get it to calm down (she tends to have bad coughing fits). She was wheezing and struggling to breathe, and her fever was about 101.5. Of course, I immediately got nervous that she had pneumonia as she's had it twice before. I had Brecklyn in my room with me (so as not to disturb Brooke), and about an hour after her coughing began, I started with the stomach bug mess. UGH. It was so not pretty! THEN, around 3:00am, Bren started screaming out with night terrors. He had actually had one the night before, as well, and it was awful and scary for both of us! He had experienced these once before when he had scarlet fever, so I didn't know what to think! He still had a fever of about 101.

Somehow, we all survived the night. I have said many times in the past that I wish we would all just get sick at the same time and get it over with instead of the illness taking weeks to cycle through every member of our household. Ummmm, can I just go ahead and take that back now?!? That is not something I ever want to experience again! It is awful to be sick but still having to care for others at the same time. Plus, we were all so fatigued from getting no sleep at all, and fatigue makes everything seem worse!

On Monday, Chris took Brooke and Brecklyn to our pediatrician's office to get them checked out. I was still too sick to go, so I stayed home with Brianna (who was no longer puking but not feeling well at all), and Bren (who still had a fever). The doc said Brooke was getting over a stomach bug, but we were SHOCKED when Brecklyn tested POSITIVE for the FLU. For some reason, that didn't even cross my mind? I guess it was because our three younger kiddos had all had the flu shot. It was too late to treat her for it, but she was given a breathing treatment in the office and a script for breathing treatments at home. 

The doctor said that Bren was also suffering from the flu, and that the night terrors are a common side-effect of the flu in young children. We were told that we were dealing with two separate issues - the stomach bug and the flu. Those who had fevers (Brecklyn and Brenson) had the flu, while Brooke, Brianna, and I had the stomach bug.

However (Doesn't this lovely story just seem to go on and on? It definitely felt that way when it was happening!), when Chris got home from our pediatrician's office, he took Brianna's temp and she had a fever. He loaded her up right then and took her to Urgent Care in town. If she had the flu, we were hoping to catch it early enough to be able to treat it. She didn't test positive for the flu, but she was so tuckered out that she fell asleep on Chris's shoulder at Urgent Care :-(. This is extremely unusual for our big girl.

While Chris was gone to Urgent Care with Brianna, Brecklyn started throwing up. Just like everyone else who had experienced the stomach bug, she threw up every 20-30 minutes for about six hours. Y'all. I can't even tell you how exhausted I was from cleaning up puke! It will be a total game changer when our kids are old enough to puke into something with better accuracy instead of in their beds, on the couch, on the floor, etc! I will say, I have a new love for our hardwood floors, though!

On Tuesday, I felt like we truly turned a corner (for real this time!). The morning wasn't great, but everyone took a long, good nap. Brecklyn and Brenson's fevers were between 99 and 100, and the breathing treatments had made a BIG difference for Brecklyn already. Brianna and Brooke were perkier and acting more like themselves, and we were able to get everyone to drink some fluids without much of a fight. No one had an appetite, but I felt like we all finally felt well enough to rest well. Good rest was making a huge difference!

Chris had stayed home to help me with the children on Monday and Tuesday, but he headed back to work on Wednesday. I woke up feeling good Wednesday morning, so I went to work disinfecting the house. I cleaned, lysoled, stripped sheets off the beds, and spent the day attempting to catch up on laundry. The only laundry I had been doing was the necessary stuff (that is, the stuff with puke on it), so I was behind, for sure!

We also spent a lot of time resting, watching tv, and just taking it easy. By Wednesday evening, everyone was fever free and no one had puked in 24 hours!

Thursday brought more rest and even a little bit of fun. I let the kids play with play-doh, we read books, and I painted the twins' nails for the first time. I had painted my nails the week before (a rare thing for me), and they were just fascinated with them. They were adorable while I painted their nails. They were very still and took the whole thing so seriously :-).

I told them to hold up their nails for a picture to show Daddy. You can just see the excitement in their eyes!

By this time, I was beginning to feel a little stir-crazy. It was Spring Break Day 6, and we had yet to leave the house at all. When Chris got home from work, we decided we all needed OUT of the house, so we loaded the crew up and went to dinner. After dinner, we visited our local park to play for a bit before heading home.

Finally out of the house! 
Brianna, Brooke, Brecklyn, Brenson

As we pulled into our driveway that evening, Bren said, "I don't feel so good." Before he could even make it in the house, he ran to the yard and threw up. He was the only one that hadn't had some version of the stomach bug, so I just assumed it was finally his turn. However, it turned out to be an isolated incident, so maybe he just ate too much at dinner? We had been existing on saltine crackers for almost a week, and I think real food was just too much for his tummy to handle.

Since we were all finally feeling good, it was time to have a little bit of fun for Spring Break! Friday was St. Patrick's Day, and while I never make a big deal out of it, we always enjoy wearing green and eating Lucky Charms for breakfast. We know how to throw it down around here, haha!

Brenson and Brianna with their St. Patrick's Day breakfast



I was so thrilled to see all my kiddos eating! I did end up getting a break from cooking for the week, but it was certainly not what I had in mind! 

For the past several years on St. Paddy's Day, I have put green food coloring in the kids' milk. As soon as I told them it was St. Patrick's Day, Brianna and Brenson looked in the fridge for the green milk. Only I didn't do it this year. Silly me . . . I thought they wouldn't notice! However, after eating her cereal, Brianna realized that the green marshmallows in her Lucky Charms had indeed turned her milk green. She was so happy to have her green milk after all!

Who can resist dressing in green for a fun holiday?

Brianna, Brooke, Brecklyn, Brenson

I even busted out my selfie stick to capture a pic of us all wearing our festive clothing. My shirt is black but has a sparkly green shamrock on the front of it. I wear this shirt on St. Paddy's Day (and only St. Paddy's Day) every year and have for seven years.  

While I was distracted with the twins, Brianna got a hold of my selfie stick. Not bad for someone who never takes selfies!

She recruited Bren to be in the pic, too. He could stand to work on looking a little more natural . . . 

That's better!

Brooke had been asking to paint for several days, so I decided this was a good day to do it. We have these great little collapsible tables that I can put up in the garage for them to paint on. The tables set up and clean up easily, so they are perfect for this type of activity. I set one of them up in the garage, but the Bigs wanted to use the other as well. It was on our back patio, so they went around the house and got it. I love seeing them work together as a team!

My budding artists :-)

Later that afternoon - after Chris got home from work - Brianna and I went to get pedicures. After the week we'd had, I was in need of some pampering!

I love our local pedicure place . . . they charge me $5 to cut, file, and paint Brianna's toenails. She feels like she's being pampered, her toes look great, and the price is right!

On Saturday, we did some work around the house, continued to recover from our rough week, and I wore a new t-shirt I had purchased in support of my friends who are hoping to adopt a baby boy very soon. Isn't it cute? They sold them as a fundraising campaign, and I was happy to show my love!

It was so wonderful to get up on Sunday morning and go to church as a family. We miss it so much when we're not able to be there!

Brecklyn, Brenson, Brooke, Brianna

Annnnnd, Monday morning it was back to our usual routine. Brianna went back to school while the three younger Bs and I went on a walk around our neighborhood because the weather was just gorgeous. 

We walked down to our neighborhood pond and found this sure sign of Spring . . . a bird with her four little eggs! Yaaaaay, for the first day of Spring!

Spring Break this year was definitely not what we expected! We were all so sad and disappointed to miss out on our little get-away, but that's just life sometimes. We are certainly thankful to be back to days of better health!

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