Monday, April 30, 2007

Emma's week

I don't even know where to begin to tell the story of Miss Emma's week. I guess the beginning is a good place! It all started last Saturday while John and Jacki were visiting. After Will's baseball game, Emma complained of a stomach ache and then decided to vomit at the Sonic while we were waiting for our drinks. We all thought it was a case of dehydration/sun poisoning/heat exhaustion. How wrong we were!

Emma continued to get sick throughout the night, into Sunday, all Sunday, all of Monday, throughout the night and into Tuesday. Along the way, I made several phone calls to the doctor. I was given a vomit protocol which called for 1 teaspoon of Pedialyte every 5 minutes for an an hour, then 1 tablespoon every 15 minutes, gradually increasing the amount and decreasing the frequency. If at any given moment she would vomit again, we would need to start the protocol all over. Guess what? She got sick around 2:00 am, Tuesday morning and we started all over. Eventually, we both fell asleep and never made it to the tablespoon. Do you know how hard it is to stay awake to administer a liquid every 5 minutes?! Hats off to anyone who can manage that!

Needless to say, we headed to the office first thing Tuesday morning after sending Will off to school. Doc said it was most likely a virus and decided to see how long she could keep down some water. She had lost 5 pounds between Saturday and Tuesday. He requested a blood sample to check her electrolytes. When Emma asked "just how are they going to get some of my blood?", I knew we were in for a fight. Because of being so weak, she ended up being more bark than bite. It still wasn't pretty. It broke my heart and scared the you-know-what out of Jack. Anyone who knows him, knows that he is a feisty little guy who doesn't care to sit for long periods of time in a stroller. He didn't say a peep that day.

After being in the office from 8 am until almost noon, Doc decided she could go home, but MUST return for an IV if she got sick again. Well.....that water came back up just as we were pulling into the garage. We never even got out of the car. Just turned right around and went back to Doc's. We got to stroll past everyone in the waiting room and into the procedure room we went. Emma being the smart cookie that she is, started screaming the minute the nurse walked in the room because she knew this meant another needle in her arm. I have to say, this got to me. The river was flowing and I can honestly say that I have never felt so distraught over another person's pain. It was over in a flash (in reality) and Emma calmed down right away (especially with the help of a Lion King video). Once again, Jack never said a peep during this whole process. Let me just say that my angel was busy that day!

So, we settled down for a good hour's worth of IV fluids while watching Lion King and my cell phone rang. I don't know why, but something told me to turn it on this time, even though there are death threats posted around the office for anyone caught with their phone on. It was the school nurse, letting me know that the they had been trying to contact me because Will had been vomiting at school all morning. Again, my angel kicked into high gear. I was able to contact my neighbor who works out of her home most of the time and she picked up Will while we finished the IV. A couple hours later, we headed for home and sick child #2.

I've heard stories of multiple family members getting sick at the same time, but never had I experienced it myself. Let's just say, it is a story that I don't wish to retell or relive. The bottom line is that Emma started getting better and Will started getting worse. It continued that way until the next day.

By Thursday, things were getting better and Emma had decided to make a "I miss you" card for her neighbor friend. While waiting for her to return home, Emma fell off a lawn chair onto the concrete driveway. I heard the hit and then the scream (I was on the deck with Jack at the time). Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see. Our little Emma already had a golf ball sized lump protruding from the side of her forehead. I flew back up the steps and into the kitchen for ice. By this time, the neighbor mom had heard the cries and was at my backdoor. The minute she saw the now baseball-sized lump, she was on the phone calling all of our neighborhood nurses (we have 4). One happened to be home and she came to check Emma. She didn't feel the ER was necessary, so we kept frozen lima beans on it for the rest of the night and Miss Emma slept with me, once again.

This post is all about Emma, but I have to interject and add that I have NEVER in my life been so scared, so worried, so sick to my stomach, so worried. I had more emotions flow through my body the minute I saw my beautiful little girl's head, than I ever had in my life. I can't even describe them all. It was one of the worst experiences that I have ever had.

We decided to lay low at that point and just wait for Allan to get back from Brazil. I couldn't bear calling him with yet another report of the day's adventures gone bad. Did I mention that Jack was also sick at this point?

So went Emma's week. Allan finally returned on Saturday afternoon, to yet another story. But that one is for later.....

Here are some pictures of Miss Emma's battle scars - from the blood work, IV and concrete. Thankfully, these don't give an accurate picture of what she really looks like.

Here she is looking better, but now the bruising has moved down to her eyes.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another fun weekend with John and Jacki

This past weekend, John and Jacki came to visit us for the first time. As always, we had a great time with them and the kids were asking when they were coming back, just 15 minutes after they had left.
They arrived Friday night after the kids were in bed. We tried to keep them up, but they were acting like lunatics (from the excitement and anticipation) and we had to be the big bad parents and say "Enough! To bed!". We started up a euchre game once they got here and stayed up past everyone's bedtime.
Saturday morning came early with Jack acting as the rooster. While John and Jacki may not believe this, he actually slept in that day! We hung out playing, riding the zip line and hiking to the "shack" until it was time for Will's first baseball game.
He had pictures taken and then the game began. It wasn't as eventful as the practices had been, but it was still a riot watching him. His lack of energy and enthusiasm may have had something to do with the scorching heat and lack of water for the poor boy! In the end, he said that he had a GREAT time and that is all that matters.
On the way home, we stopped to rehydrate ourselves at Sonic. Emma had been complaining of a stomach ache, and by the time we stopped, she ended up vomiting in the restroom. We thought it may be from being in the hot sun for so long and lack of water, but unfortunately, it continued throughout the night with at least hourly bucket runs and into the next day. This put a bit of a damper on our evening as we had planned a bonfire and s'mores with the kids. Since we couldn't disappoint Will, we had a shortened version of our plans. Will was in heaven because he was the only kid allowed to stay up past bedtime and he had all of our attention.We started up another euchre game with the intentions of kicking some boy butt, but the game has been postponed due to a visitor. Our neighbor, who is a US Marshall, came to smoke a cigar with the guys and tell some of his work stories. It was interesting to say the least. But beware, Jonner! The game is not over yet! A rematch will be played during our next get-together.

Emma was still getting sick as of Sunday morning, so John and Jacki took off after an awesome breakfast made by Allan. It was a fun weekend with the fam and we look forward to doing it again before John takes off for his war duty.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A little Picasso?

Before leaving, Nana left little gifts for the kids on their beds. Emma received Strawberry Shortcake barrettes and Barbie notepads, Jack received a shape book and Will received a Star Wars notebook and markers. They found these things while getting ready for bed. Will broke out his markers and paper immediately to write a thank you note to Nana. We were running behind in getting to bed, so I was hustling everyone around and giving them baths, not really paying attention to more than one child at a time (Allan was in Orlando dining on lobster and Filet Mignon at the time). When I got into the boys' room to get something, I found Jack standing at Will's bed with markers in hand. He had done a lovely mural all over Will's new quilt. For those of you familiar with the Olivia books, it looked like the painting that she made on her wall after visiting the museum. The good thing - it was done in matching colors. The bad thing - it was done with permanent markers. Maybe I'll be able to stomach posting a picture at a later date. Not now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nana time

The week of spring break (4/9-4/15), we were lucky enough to have Nana come and stay with us. We had big plans for showing Nana the sights of NC! Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate as well as forcasted, and we all caught colds from being in the nasty cold Ohio weather. Nevertheless, we had a BALL!

On Tuesday, we traveled to Lexington to the home of Childress Vineyards to stock up on some of our local yummy wine. When our tummies started talking, we headed for Lexington BBQ. Lexington is a little town that hosts an annual BBQ festival that draws thousands of people. They are famous for their NC BBQ. We feasted on finely chopped BBQ with hushpuppies and red slaw. We went in with intentions of trying the famous $6 banana split (that should tell you how big it is), but we just didn't have room after all that delicious BBQ! From there we headed to Old Salem. This is the "old" part of Winston Salem and they have all sorts of buildings to educate us modern folks on how things were done in the 1800's. We educated ourselves on bread baking and bought a fabulous loaf of cherry walnut bread. YUM!

Wednesday was a terribly rainy day, so we headed for the Charlotte outlets. The highlight there was Emma making a Hello Kitty at Build A Bear Workshop. She had to pick the shell, pick a sound (meow, of course), pick the name, warm the heart and do a few moves before putting it inside Kitty, bathe her and then dress her. She was in heaven! Actually, it was hard to tell who was having more fun, Emma or Nana!
The rest of our week was filled with running errands, going to Will's baseball practices, putt putting, planting flowers, sewing (Nana made two dresses for Emma and curtains for the boys' room - THANK YOU!) and visiting the "slave house".

The slave house was quite an expedition.....there is a shak on property in our neighborhood that hasn't been developed yet. All of the neighborhood kids call it the slave shak, but it was actually inhabited by an old black man. We are still researching the whole story. This shak is in the middle of the woods and has all of its windows broken out. One window was covered by a feed sack and another by a man's old wool coat. The floor is covered with debris, including old quilts, old papers (one was dated 1943), beer cans and other pieces of wood. Will is fascinated by this place and HAD to take Nana to see it. On her last day, there was a break in the rain and the sun had popped out. We decided to put on our rain boots and crocs and take a hike to the slave house. By the time we got there black clouds had once again rolled in and it was sprinkling. While exploring the house, Will stepped on a rusty nail in his crocs, Nana tried drinking from a beer can and Emma whined that she wanted to get home. All of the sudden, the bottom dropped out and it poured down rain! There was no escaping now! We had to wait in this one room house until the rain slowed down. It never did. We got tired of waiting, made our way out of the woods and then hiked home in the rain. What an experience. This is what we looked like when we got home......

And some pictures from the shak......
Here we are having fun putt putting.
And here are the new curtains! Thank you Nana for such a great week!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Long time, No blog!

Wow! Things have been out of control here. After my last entry on April 3, it seems that all

----broke loose. We had a flu/rotovirus hit our home and it lasted for a good two weeks. Let me tell you, five people getting sick (top and bottom) makes for a LOT of dirty laundry! Those two weeks are a blur of nastiness, so I won't even go there. Thankfully, we all were well just in time for school parties and to head north for Easter.

Emma poses with her friends and E. Bunny at her school's Easter bonnet parade. Emma designed her bonnet just for the occasion!

I said we wouldn't go if there was snow in the forecast, but I thought of all those crazy family members that I have been missing and haven't seen since Thanksgiving and well....I caved. Actually, I only agreed to go because I thought Jeff was going to be in Colorado during our visit, but darn the luck, he decided to come back early to be home for Easter. Rumor has it that he wanted to make it back just so he could see me! Imagine!

The drive there was short (less than 8 hours) and uneventful (believe it or not). We stopped in to see Grandma quick before heading to Nana's house for some awesome mac and cheese. While there, we were also able to spend some time (not enough though!) with the Kimmets and Mary Jo. Thanks to some very generous and naughty people our children were buzzing around on a sugar high that lasted until almost 11:00 pm! Remember, these are children who rarely get candy so the effect was increased.
Emma and Aunt Sharon

We spent Saturday helping Grandma get things ready for the big event on Sunday. We were also fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with Grandma Grace at her new home. She now lives at an assisted living facility and they hosted an Easter egg hunt. It was wonderful seeing Grandma Grace and the kids enjoyed guess what? MORE CANDY! We also spent a great evening with Randy, Christin and Torri. The kids tore through the house while we adults played cards and enjoyed a few cocktails. :)

Easter morning greeted us with this sight.....

No more needs to be said. While Will and Emma were sleeping in on Grandma's sofa, Jack helped himself to all the candy that he could manage to put into his mouth. Every time we turned around we were yanking wrappers out of his hand and telling him "no more!". Evidently he hasn't learned that phrase yet! Finally the big kids woke up and discovered that E. Bunny had found them during the night and left them some awesome goodies.
We had an awesome day with Allan's family. Will rode Matthew's four wheeler, witnessed Matthew and Keith kill a skunk, picked on "Jenkins" and received an awesome Russian watch from Uncle Dennis. Emma got to hold and snuggle with Baby Wyatt and Jack got to eat more candy. With so many people running around, there was NO WAY Mom and Dad could keep track of Jack or what he was eating (or being fed).
Despite the crappy weather, we had an incredible time visiting our Ohio family. That being said, we were happy to head south for warmer weather, a house with hidden chocolate and a week of Spring Break with Nana. I'll write all about our week with Nana another day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Happy Birthdays!

A great big happy birthday today goes to my "old" friend, Amy, my cousin Alicia and my niece by friendship, Lindsey!!! What a great day! I hope everyone has a very happy birthday. And by the way, yep, the cards are going to be late. :)

Thank goodness for Imodium!

I was warned and now I believe it. When kids go to school, they bring home lots of stuff - papers, homework, artwork, new language, attitudes and GERMS! Thanks to Will's friends, he brought home a "stomach bug". This little bug caused quite a stir in our household the past two weeks. It made it's way through all five of us and had no mercy. Without going into details, I just want everyone to know that every piece of bedding (family room blankets included) in our house has been laundered. Some of the carpets have been cleaned and all bathrooms have been sanitized. What a freakin' nightmare!

So, now that we are past all of that (God, please!), we are focusing on Easter and our trip north to the land of snow and crappy weather. I said I wouldn't travel north if there was snow in the forecast. I have vivid memories of rain every Easter celebrated in Ohio, but I can't recall any snow. Well, the forecast has been made on and sure enough, there WILL be a chance of snow. Is this God's way of playing a joke on me? If so, I don't appreciate his humor. Nonetheless, we love and miss our family, so the trek will be made, parkas and all.