Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving...AKA Sickness Marathon

Grandpa & Grandma had been planning to spend Thanksgiving with us for quite some time. A week before, I got really sick-high fever, horrible aches, sore throat. But it was only bad for about 6 hours one night and then I was okay. Everyone else seemed completely fine, so we went on with our plans. Monday, Jacob started to not feel well. Mostly he just complained of a headache and being really tired. We were running some errands and by the time we got home, he was white as a sheet and didn't even have the energy to walk into the house. He was starting to get a fever, too. I started in with some oils and put him to bed. The other kids seemed fine. That night, his fever got really high. Usually, peppermint oil on his feet takes care of a fever, but it wasn't even budging this fever. I didn't get any sleep and Jacob got very little. I tried some different oils, but none of them were helping the fever. It wasn't high enough to be overly concerned about-I know a fever is the body's defense mechanism for getting rid of the bad stuff. But he was miserable and I just wanted him to feel better! His fever broke once, and then was back again. The next time he woke up, he was either hallucinating or having a nightmare while seemingly awake! He was crying and was really freaked out. He said he didn't like all the kids around the bed. Whoa. It took me a while to get him calmed down. A friend suggested putting peppermint on his forehead and armpits to break the fever, and that worked pretty quickly! By mid-morning Tuesday, he was feeling pretty good. Still tired, but no fever and no other symptoms. Grandpa and Grandma were already on their way when he started throwing up.

He is the easiest of my kids when he's sick. He's not demanding or needy, which is a good thing because good grief! It was challenging trying to take care of him AND a colicky baby! I felt so bad for him, that I couldn't just sit with him and take care of him. He didn't seem to mind too much. He slept on the bathroom floor for quite a while. So after that development, Grandpa and Grandma decided to stay at the motel for at least a night. By evening, he was feeling a lot better and by the next day, he was almost normal-still tired. After 2 sleepless night, this mama was worn out!

Thursday morning, I got the turkey in the oven and we got ready for our Thanksgiving meal.

 Grandpa & Grandma got me a beautiful new table cloth and we used Grandma J's rose dishes. Not the Stinemetz Thanksgiving spread, but it was still good :)

Isaac was determined to cut his own roll.

Grace had some particularly colicky days and evenings that week, as well. Grandpa was able to get her to sleep a could times by singing to her. :)

By Thursday night/Friday, Isaac was down with the same thing Jacob had. It comes out of nowhere, with no warning signs.

I was prepared this time with how to fight it off, so his fever didn't get as high for as long as Jacob's did. He was still so miserable. And he wants his mommy when he's sick! Good thing Grandpa & Grandma were here to help with Grace!! A couple more sleepless nights and he was better.

We had planned to make Korv (Swedish sausage) on Friday, but with Isaac getting sick that got postponed. Saturday, Grandpa and Aaron built the shelves in my NEW PANTRY!!!! This is where the washer & dryer used to be. I LOVE IT! And I cleaned out the cabinets above and have all of Grandma J's rose dishes in one side and other miscellaneous stuff in the other. 

I was able to get almost everything off my countertops! The kitchen feels so much cleaner and bigger now! (I should have taken a before picture)

Saturday, the kids and I (except Isaac...he was still feeling pretty sick)
 Jacob was excited to get lights on his bed this year!

 Anna, too. 

 So I picked up this big, tall tree last spring up at Mom & Dad's during their city's Spring Cleanup. Made Aaron shove it up in the attic and then haul it out to the shed. He brought it in and I got all the branches out, so excited that we would have such a nice, big tree in the family room...only to find there was no middle piece. You know, the piece that all the branches hook to? Yeah...not in the box. Whoops! The kids were so disappointed...the tree in the family room is their tree. They get free reign to decorate it as they choose. So I ran to Dollar General to see what I could find. The box said 6' and the picture showed a pretty nice tree. I should have known better for $20. It is one pathetic looking tree!!! I call it our Charlie Brown tree.

 They still love it :)

 Oh my heart. My little 3 year old Jacob with the squishy cheeks!!!

 He felt good enough to come out and put one ornament on the tree. Poor kid.

My tree. I had a little more trouble keeping little hands out of it this year than usual! :)

Since Grandpa & Grandma will be in Hawaii for Christmas, they brought the kids' presents and we had a little Christmas.

Saturday night, Jacob started coughing and it sounded like croup-that hallmark seal bark cough. I wasn't worried-Isaac used to get that cough often and Frankincense oil took care of it pretty quickly. Since I knew I would be up with Jacob giving him oils throughout the night, I went ahead and put him to bed in our room. A few hours after bedtime, Isaac came in coughing with croup. So I shared the bed with the two of them and alternated taking care of them. I guess at least they weren't up at the same time?? It was exhausting. At 4am on Sunday, I had just finished feeding Grace when Aaron came in and said Jacob was coughing really bad and needed me. I put Grace in bed and went to our room. Jacob was in a panic and seemed to be coughing non-stop. Usually with Isaac, a steamy bathroom helped his cough so I carried Jacob in there and had Aaron turn on the shower. Jacob's eyes just got bigger and I could tell he was panicking. It finally dawned on me that he wasn't coughing, he was having a hard time even BREATHING! Aaron is completely freaking out, I'm trying to stay calm and think. First thing-turn the shower off. Next-how to open his airways a bit. I remembered an old inhaler I had from years ago when I had walking pneumonia. I told Aaron to grab it and gave Jacob a squirt. He didn't get a whole lot down, but it helped...for about 30 seconds. I gave him another one and same thing. Okay, time for a drive to Lyons. I get him in his coat, grab the inhaler and the oil I had been using and carry him out the door. Immediately his breathing gets better. Ah yes, the cold air. But I knew it would only last a few minutes until we went back inside and his airways would start closing up again. I run back in and grab a blanket and off we go. By the time we went 5 miles, he was starting to wheeze again. By the time we got into the ER, he had the strident breathing again. Not anywhere near as bad as it was at home, but heading that direction. The doctor ordered a breathing treatment with albuterol and prescribed liquid Prednisone. He said, "Now, the steroids are not fun. They will make them impulsive and hyper..." I said, "Oh great...all the things boys already have trouble with, only worse?!" I knew what to expect, so I wasn't surprised.

He was a lot better after the breathing treatment. Before we left, Aaron called. I could hear Isaac coughing badly in the background. He wasn't having trouble breathing but he couldn't stop coughing and he wanted MOM! I told Aaron to bundle him up and take him outside for a couple minutes. The doctor could hear Isaac's coughing and gave me a script for him, as well.
We got home around 6am. Jacob and Isaac both took their medicine. I think Jacob went back to sleep but I'm pretty sure Isaac did not. I was surprised at how the steroids affected the boys. I expected Jacob to be crazy hyper and wild, but he really wasn't at all. He still slept fine and didn't see a big change in behavior. Isaac, however......yikes! I could definitely tell a difference in him!!
The doctor sent home the tubing and mask Jacob used for the breathing treatment and said if I knew of anyone with a nebulizer to borrow it and just give saline treatments as needed. I borrowed one from a friend and the boys had several over the next week.

 Isaac never did it for very long, even with the incentive of playing on my phone, the Nook, or watching TV. He did NOT like it.

Jacob would sit for 30 minutes and do one as long as he had some device in his hands to occupy him!! He asked for breathing treatments because he knew that meant he got to play on my phone!!

After Grandpa and Grandma left, it was rough. Trying to keep the 3 older kids away from Grace, taking care of the very sick boys, and then Anna...all while having no help with Grace (like the big kids usually help me with her!). Whew. Challenging. It felt like one thing after another. First the weird virus hit the boys at separate times, then they both got croup really badly, then Anna got it...I'm just praying Grace doesn't get it! Aaron and I are getting colds from it.

 One day I just HAD to have some help. So I found a mask and made Anna wear it. After she washed her hands, I had her hold Grace for a few minutes while I finished up lunch. Grace doesn't much like the wrap right now...not sure if I'm just not wrapping her right now that she's bigger or what.

But goodness she's so cute!! :)

 Finally on Sunday, we made Korv. Anna helped quite a bit last year. She did ALL the cranking this year! 40 pounds of sausage!

 Colic is quite the challenge! She is a really good baby when she's not colicky!! Thankfully, it's not all the time. But, whew!! On the days she does have it...not fun for anyone! I've got an oil that helps a lot when she's got a tummy ache, but there are some times when she's just plain cranky. And I haven't been able to figure out any foods that trigger it. I really hope she outgrows it soon. I can't complain, though, because she sleeps great at night. She's been sleeping all night (anywhere from 9-11pm to 5-7am) for quite a while.

She looks a lot more like Jacob in this picture to me. She's such a mix! 

 While I took care of Grace and all the others made Korv, Isaac and Jacob played with their new lego sets! Grandpa picked a couple up as a surprise for the boys, and everyone was glad he kept them occupied for a couple of hours!

And now that the tree is up, I had to get some pictures. This year, we did bedtime pics with them all in their PJs...kinda fits after the 2 weeks we had with all the sickness!!!

Surely Christmas can't be any worse than that!!! I need some sleep!


Anonymous said...

How did you get Anna to take such a great picture???? They all looked really really good in those pictures.

Jennifer said...

Aaron was behind me pulling the front bottom of his shirt over his head! :)