Sunday, April 15, 2012

Because, You Know, It's Been Awhile

We had a fabulous Easter, with amazing weather, great food, great company, and I can't take credit for any of it. Meaning I did not do any work. My sister called up and suggested she bring the party to my house, as I was still spending most of the day in bed. So, of course, I said yes. Shane got the kids cleaning the house, my mother-in-law stuffed 90some eggs and made Easter baskets for the kids before heading out to visit the cousins in other parts of the state and beyond, and I just lay in bed.

Sunday, my sister and her husband brought over all kinds of yummy treats and grilled in the amazing weather. Tirzah remarked this was Jack's(7) first Easter where an outdoor egg hunt was possible. For being early April, it really was unbelievable. So was the fruit salad she made, and the chicken skewers, and I guess the wine. Still tastes like vinegar to me.

The kids were very excited to be together finally. And then Tirzah invited her brother-in-law over, and Shane's brother and girlfriend called and said they were coming too, so we ended up having a real party, complete with a bonfire and flaming dessert. Actually, it was just an almond cake that Shane decided needed be doused with Bacardi and set afire. It was better before the roasting, but luckily we had already eaten most of it.

I did not take any pictures, but when my sister puts hers up on her blog you can check them out there. One of my favorite parts was the egg hunt. I think all together we had around 150 eggs so it was great we had so many adults to help hide them. A few golden eggs were filled with handfuls from the change jar, and one special egg . I set that one aside and gave it to Shane.. He shook the egg and said

"There's nothing in it."

"Shh. There's a 5 dollar bill. Hide it carefully."

He hid it very carefully and when most of the others were picked up and put in baskets, it had not been found. Not one to be patient, Shane finally started giving hints about 'northwest corners and  elevation and some riddle that sounded Squirrel Nutkinish'. The kids kept running around like' Oh, now I know where to look.'  And Shane kept egging them on with "Come on. It's still out there. 5 dollars could be yours. You'd better hurry."  As if they were not frantic enough.

 Finally Audrey, no surprises here, looked up in the branches of the big cedar tree and pulled down the golden egg. There was much rejoicing and laughing and we all said it had been a great hunt. Audrey opened her egg to reveal her prize and found, stickers. Only stickers.

Shane looked at me. I looked at Shane. Both knowing the other person must have gotten it mixed up. Except he's probably right and I gave him the wrong egg. So then he announced that someone already had the golden prize, so the kids started tearing through their baskets opening eggs. Cyprian pulled out another golden egg, cracked it open, then his face lit up with surprised delight and he held up the $5 bill.

Jack high-fived Pippin, we all had a good laugh, decided the egg hunt could not have been more entertaining, and Shane promised to give Audrey a new prize, as she had located the difficult egg.

The rest of our week went well and each day I felt increasing amounts of energy and normalcy. I got the kids to their swimming and music lessons and washed some dishes. There was still a bit of resting in between activities but on the whole, I was feeling like things were in an upward trend.

And then this morning, Cyprian threw up. At 5 this morning, meaning I have been up scrubbing and cleaning  since then and will probably go back to bed when Shane is up to take over. Which is right now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bedtime? What Bedtime?

So a friend posted her daily routines with her two little girls. It all sounded very peaceful and civilized and like number three should be able to pick up the rhythm and get with the program when he arrives. I think it is great to get on some rough schedule, especially when a new one is coming to shake everything up. Then I reflected back on my attempts to do anything in a timely fashion when we had younger kids. Kids who did not like to sleep. Ever.

I am afraid it comes from my side. We've always been night owls and that was ok for my dad's job which  started at 11:00am . But not so handy when your husband gets up at 5:00am. Midnight is just not an acceptable bed time.

Our kids never nap past the age of 2, and I'd envy the mom with  a 3yr old that take a 2 hr nap and then goes to bed at 8:30. What? Even without naps bedtime was never smooth- unless they were sick and really needed the sleep. A lot of our evenings with Audrey , we'd get in the car and go for a ride. Usually to Dick's to get cheeseburgers and shakes. Not the best evening snack but we'd ride and talk and eventually she'd fall asleep. We still used it when Cyril hit the  'I don't need sleep anymore' stage. Two kids with one ride. We decided to give up the snack part and tell them we were going to 'Destination X' a really cool place they were going to love. They'd be excited getting into their car seats and Shane would hop on the free way- the less stops the better for sleeping kids.

The next morning they'd ask about our trip and I'd tell them they fell asleep, so we decided to just come home. But we could go another night. And they'd get excited.  Writing about it  now it seems kind of mean. But sleep-deprived parents are desperate and as I didn't get naps, and was probably expecting Kateri by then, anything that offered respite was welcome. Given the price of gas now it would be a really expensive bedtime routine.

Our new one is not so crazy, or maybe it is . And with us getting over various illnesses its been a little more hectic. For example, here was last night's routine.

10:00- Shane announces bedtime  is approaching and tells the kids to get a snack if they need one. Some of them head to the kitchen to feed themselves. I am already in bed because that is where I am spending my days right now.

 10:10  - Shane announces it is bed time and tells the kids to brush their teeth. Kateri asks if she can finish the load of laundry she put on- he says yes. Audrey starts getting ready and doesn't ask for anything but is probably planning on finishing up The Return of the King- or whichever book she is re-reading.

10:20 Cyril and Cyprian petition to sleep in our room, where they slept last night. Seeing it is the most expedient thing at the moment we say yes and Shane tells them to make 'nests' on our floor by  his side of the bed so I won't trip going to the bathroom. Which is very thoughtful.

10:30- Cyprian says he's hungry. Shane says he'll have to wait for breakfast. We hear Kateri working in the laundry room.

10:32- Cyprian says he's scared. Shane asks of what. Cyprian says he doesn't know. So Shane proclaims an expulsion for all things scary to Pippin and bans them from our room. Cyprian says he knows he is just saying that to make him not scared but it didn't work. Shane asks what would make him not scared. Pippin doesn't know. Shane says to let him know when he figures it out.

10:40- Cyprian says one thing is, is that when he sleeps in between two people, he doesn't get scared. Shane asks him what he is asking for. Pippin is reluctant to say. By this point Cyril, Shane, and I are all laughing, but Shane still waits for Pippin to ask.

10:45- Finally Cyprian asks to sleep in our bed. We say yes, but Shane stipulates that if Pippin needs to snuggle he has to snuggle Shane, not me, which is very sweet of him. Cyprian has not lost the baby habit of liking to pet arms- especially cold ones-even in his sleep. Pippin agrees and crawl into bed. I feel the bed shaking and ask Shane if he is laughing or was it the washing machine on spin cycle- it literally shakes the whole house. It was Shane laughing. I hear Kateri still doing something but know she'll put herself to bed when she is done, so I don't get up.

1:00am- everyone else is asleep. Pregnancy insomnia has set in and now I am getting hungry. Either that or I need to vomit. I decide to try for the former so I get up to get a glass of half-and-half and put the clothes in the dryer. Get back in bed and eventually fall asleep.

5:00am- Shane's alarm goes off. A couple times. He fumbles around his nightstand looking for the offending object. In the process he knocks over a water glass. Cyril pipes up,

"What is that?"

Shane answers him, "Its nothing, Cyril. Go back to sleep."

"But what is it?" Cyril insists.

"I said its nothing. Just go back to sleep."

"Then why is my head wet?" Cyril asks.

6:00am I kiss him good bye, get another glass of half-and-half and come back to bed, where an hour or so later I am able to finally fall back asleep.

I know we have a lot to work on before new baby arrives. I am hoping once this first part passes I'll feel able to figure out a good routine and we can all get on it. Right now I feel in survival mode. Make it to the next meal, make it to the bed, make it to the toilet etc. But hopefully I'm getting there.

Monday, April 2, 2012

From the Trenches

..Or since I seem to be the only one left, maybe the foxhole.

These past few weeks have been horrible. First the morning sickness, which pretty much encompassed my entire days, and nights, has been the worst of all my pregnancies. It started earlier than the others and nothing would assuage its nastiness. Several week-ends I just stayed in bed hoping to sleep most of it off. But then I'd get hungry and have to get up and throw some food at the kids, who are actually pretty good at throwing their own food so sometimes I just left them to their own devices.

Then 'the cold from hell' hit. All of us. It was complete with high fevers, extreme malaise, and a general "I wish I could die" feeling. Shane actually took off a whole week of work- which is more sick days than he took together last year. And Shane is a trooper so you know if he is down, it's pretty serious. Thankfully my mother-in-law would come by and do provision and medication drops and even some toys to entertain the kids. We'd thank her and shoe her out the door, not wanting to let the little devils out into the world. Shane's birthday fell on one of our sick days, which we will have to re-celebrate once we are all better, and she brought a pizza and his present. I don't know how we would have gotten through those two weeks without her extra tissue, cough syrup, snacks for the kids, and lots of apple juice deliveries. Maybe we'll have a thank you party along with the birthday party.

I can say for sure it was the worst cold I've ever had. Ditto for Shane. We could nothing but lie in bed watching Netflix on the laptop. We went through both seasons of Downton Abbey, all of 'The Event' and we'd get excited if it happened to be a day where a fresh Big Bang or 30 Rock would be available. I will never take Amazon for granted. Ever.

The kids picked their own movies and holed  up in the bonus room, coming out to get extra gummisnacks or juice or cracker now and then. And int he evening I'd line them up for their nightly cocktails and send them to bed with a box of Kleenex. Actually, I ended up sleeping in Kateri's room so I could administer extras, check temperatures, or get up to vomit without  disturbing Shane's restorative slumber. I figured one of us needed to be sane the next day.

Well, you'd think having us all laid up at once would be enough, and my pregnancy gag reflex coupled with extreme coughing fits would appease the sick gods. But no. My second week in I developed a UTI, which I am prone to, especially during pregnancy. So I got myself up to the clinic, then picked up some meds, some acidophilus, and a pizza from the new Whole Foods. Anything to add a festive air to the atmoshpere and give us a break from not-home-made-meals and not Froot Loops. Which pretty much kept us all going for the first week or so.

Oh, and did I mention that the vomiting started for me as well? I only ever threw up with the first pregnancy, and that was maybe two times. But this time, like clockwork, eight pm would roll around and I'd be on the lookout for the nearest toilet or sink or whatever else seemed like a good receptacle. Sometimes it would wait until I was in bed. Then I knew I'd have to wait until it had its way to really try falling asleep.  Now it is not too picky and is testing  to see if mornings are more its style. Or maybe my stomach is just trying to tell me to lay off the Froot Loops. Second breakfasts are a must now.

By Monday Shane was feeling up to going to work but opted to work from home as I was still very much under the weather. The kids were all well by now and wanting to venture out into the great big world oustide our door. Kateri, especially had a hard time understanding it would not be nice to go play with her friends yet. After she'd been well for a week we let her play outside with them, but never in confined spaces or in our house. That gave her a little outlet for her social energies and gave us a break from her complaining she was bored.

So Tuesday Shane started back. I kept waiting and waiting to finally turn that corner where I knew I was on the rebound and would someday be able to leave my bedroom. Unfortunately, I got worse. And then I knew I needed to leave my room and haul myself to the clinic again.

"Hi, remember me? I was here last week. And a couple weeks before that. Did you miss me?Is this mask for me? Why thank you."

They did a big nasal swab- I didn't know q-tips came that long- and some blood work. I sat in the chair trying to breathe slowly so as not to set off a coughing fit and praying they would just decide to knock me out for a couple weeks and I could wake up all better. Instead, he said it had settled into pneumonia and gave me a prescription for more antibiotics. I was really glad I had asked the first dr to prescribe Monural for the UTI, as it is a one dose very targeted treatment option. You mix it with water, it tastes fine, and then you feel better. My midwife is the one who told me about it way back when. Most drs don't suggest it right away, but are amenable to it if I ask for it. I think it is more expensive than the other drugs but I like to take as little as I have to and it has no side effects.

But, for the pneumonia the dr said a round of azythromicin, which is only 5 days, but can can have some rather unpleasant side effects. I definitely did  three hours after the  first dose, but by the second the probiotics had kicked in and I seem to be tolerating it just fine. I still feel like death warmed over and spend most of a 24hr period in bed, but at least I don't have horrid stomach cramps to go with it.

Also today, I was able to eat the most I've eaten in weeks. After doing the requisite morning ritual, of course. So I am hoping the more nutrients will give me some energy and I'll be able to stand long enough for a shower. And maybe make some Easter plans? I've made none and my in-laws, who we usually celebrate it with, are going to Shane's sister's in Idaho so we'll be left to make out own party.
The neighborhood is planning  big egg hunt and brunch on Holy Saturday, which is not my liturgical preference, but given what they've been through what they've been through, I think starting festivities a few hours earlier is just fine. We are planning on going to the vigil liturgy if we are all fit to be in public by then.

As another bonus I've develped an earache and it hurts to  lie down and sometimes swallow. Given that I am already on antibiocs I am not going to the clinic again to get it checked out. I just want to tell you about it since Shane is asleep. I am hoping by the time I finish this I will be so exhausted that nothing will keep me from falling asleep. I did take some Tylenol for it earlier.

So this was not quite the Lent we were aiming for, but life offered us opportunities to practice fortitude, patience, long suffering, bonding through mutual suffering, some forms of fasting and abstinence, and eternal gratefulness for all the things life was not asking us to do. Like get on a wagon train. Shane says I'd have been a bad pioneer and probably would have been content to stay on the east coast. I think I might have been content to stay in Europe.

Happy Holy Week to everyone.

Also, spell check is not cooperating and wants to delete the entire post when I try to fix a word, so rather than fix it I am posting as is.