Monday, December 20, 2010

Illness Overload

So I took Jacob to the doctor on Friday evening to see if he had strep. It seemed plausible enough, considering a classmate had it, and Jacob was complaining about his "mouth" all day. Well, no. No strep, just a virus. And yes, I suppose that that's good, but there's always a bit of a letdown when whatever illness we take him in for is not curable with antibiotics. Doing something about an illness always seems better than just sitting there waiting for it to go away. But still, strep is pretty awful so it was good to know that wasn't going to be torturing any of us. And by the time he woke up Saturday he had no fever and seemed pretty good, as evidenced by this happy picture...
But still, Jacob didn't have much of an appetite on Saturday. He hardly ate his lunch and managed to eat just a bit at dinner--though he did eat an entire tube of yogurt, so that was good. Craig was working so Jacob and I went out shopping with Lori. The mall was a madhouse, but we survived and got a few gifts in the process. Jacob even got to ride the train in the mall, which seemed to make his night.

And then came yesterday. Jacob woke up and immediately wanted breakfast, which almost never happens. I was hoping that was a sign that he was feeling better and he was finally feeling the effects of having zero appetite for the previous few days. So, downstairs we went for cereal and milk. Well, shortly thereafter he was just sort of lethargic. He just wanted to snuggle on the couch. Not complaining, for sure, but it's not normal for him. That lasted long enough to miss our first shot at church, but shortly thereafter he seemed better and was off to play. In the meantime Craig headed off to work (last game until the day after Christmas) and I figured all was well. And then out of nowhere Jacob came over to me whining and promptly threw up in my lap. Well, in my hands, on the carpet, and down the front of the couch. It was a mix of curdled milk and reddish pink berries, thanks to the Berry Burst Cheerios he'd eaten for breakfast. Gross as it was, it was probably one of the least gross pukes I'd ever seen, if that's possible. And yes, it made a nice spot on our off-white carpet in the living room. Lovely. In a bit of a panic, I picked Jacob up and took him into the bathroom just in case he had anymore coming, then grabbed some old towels and spread one out on the floor for him to lay on. I explained to him that if he felt sick again, that he should try to get it in the toilet, then left him laying there. Concerned as I was for him, he seemed stable, so I headed off in search of cleaning supplies. I didn't want to leave that stuff while it stained the carpet, so I grabbed my OxiClean laundry spray and hit up the stain. I let it sit, cleaned up what was left on the couch (ah, the red couch was a godsend), and headed back up to Jacob. He seemed better, still in shock, but okay. We cleaned up, tried a little water, and sat in the bathroom waiting for it to come back up. But it never did. Eventually we headed back downstairs, and I set up a towel on the floor with a bucket, just in case. By that time Jacob was begging to have breakfast again, and since the water stayed down, I consented to some dry toast. He ate it quickly and asked for more. I held off for a bit, but when that stayed down, I gave in to his request for goldfish. Those stayed down and he wanted more, so I let him have the rest of the dry cereal from his breakfast. He ate that up as well. Miraculously, it all stayed down. By then I was figuring that his breakfast must not have settled quite right, perhaps because his milk had turned. It was a few days past the sell-by date, but I have a seriously muted sense of smell (not sure why, really need to bug the doctor more) and can't smell if it has gone sour. So maybe it had. But let me tell you, it was a torturous half hour or so. Not just because Jacob was sick and it's hard to watch, but for so many reasons beyond that. Yes, I was concerned about the carpet (which came clean, by the way), but all I could think about was how we were a week out from Christmas, and how long Jacob would be sick, how soon we would get it, whether or not I'd be able to work what little I'm supposed to work this week, if we'd be able to go to Craig's work Christmas party, which I have been looking forward to for weeks, how we'd finish Christmas preparations, if we'd be able to celebrate Christmas at all, whether we'd have to miss out on time with my brother's family, and on and on and on. So, thank goodness it appears to have been just another parenting fail on my part, and not another onslaught of germs. Even still, I have been tortured for the last year by Jacob's stomach bug last New Year's, to the point that every gag or cough or suspected illness just freaks me out to no end. That was so horrible and I don't even want to think about going through it again, particularly at this time of year.

I was still nervous, though, so we carefully ate some lunch, and then I set Jacob up to nap on the living room floor. I figured if I set him up on the towel and gave him some blankets, he could nap comfortably right there next to me, without fear of destroying his crib if the pukes came back. And sure enough, he fell asleep in no time, and we both got good naps...his was almost three hours! After his nap, he got up to play and I escaped downstairs to the computer for a few minutes. When I came back up, Jacob said something about having something on his hands, and come to find out it was poop. At first I thought he had pooped and stuck his hands down his pants (which we've told him not to do--he did it once in his crib and we were grateful to see that it only got on a couple slats--and NOT his zoo of animals), but then I started to see more--drops on his toes, spots on the carpet--and realized that he'd had a bit of a blowout, up and out the back. It was soft and therefore traveled a bit. So upstairs we went, careful not to make it worse, stripped off his PJs and got cleaned up. He got a bath, and I did more damage control with the OxiClean, both on the rug and on his changing pad cover and PJs. Oy.

Still, he seemed to feel fine and I figured there couldn't be much more left in him, so I decided to venture out. I just had to make a couple stops for groceries and another couple Christmas gifts, so I figured it would be quick, productive, and a good way to feel functional again after a long day of bodily functions gone wrong. And fortunately, it went well. Gifts and groceries bought, with no Jacob issues at all. In fact, I was so desperate to make it a good day that I took an extra 15-20 minutes to drive down to a street near my first-ever apartment that is insanely well-decorated for the holidays. Each year I swear I'll get down there, and each year the season passes without the trip. Well, this year I was determined, and since Jacob had eaten a bagel at Wegmans (a free mini one, from their Kids Cookie Club bin), I knew he could hold off on dinner for a bit. So off we went, and it did not disappoint. Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea, because there was a bit of a traffic jam on the street! Fortunately that meant we had time to go slow and see it all, so I didn't mind. The first two houses on the street are awesome, and then the rest of the street has a very high percentage of decorated houses. Very pretty, tasteful decorations for the most part, and seeing so many together is just so pretty. Apparently traffic is high a lot of the time, because one house had a firepit and they were selling popcorn and hot cocoa! It was lovely, particularly with Christmas carols in the car and Jacob in the backseat. It was totally worth the trip. Of course, I didn't think to bring out the camera until the very end, but he's a slightly blurred but still representative view of one of those first couple houses. Part of me wants to go back and get video next time!The rest of the evening was pretty low key, though I did introduce Jacob to "A Charlie Brown Christmas". He loved seeing them skate at the beginning, though I think the rest was lost on him. That's ok, though...we have to start somewhere, right?

So here were are at the start of a very busy week. I have a full day of work today, and half days for the next three before being off until January 3rd. A-MAZ-ING. Anyway, two of those half days off are taken up by Craig's work Christmas party (at Seneca Niagara Casino), along with the aftermath--no, not a hangover, just heading back from an overnight at my parents, where Jacob will be spending the evening. And no doubt the other half day will be a sprint to finish everything that isn't done--wrapping, packing, etc. I'm still waiting to get my Christmas cards, which I need to get stamped, addressed, and sent in the next couple days. I haven't started wrapping, but I would like to start tonight so we can haul some stuff to my parents' house tomorrow...just to have a few less things taking up space when we finally come in for Christmas. I also need to get my boss's gift done, since she's off starting Wednesday. I did a second round of cinnamon applesauce ornaments last night, since the first batch didn't really turn out (too thin, cracked, warped, and they stuck to the cookie sheet so the backs were awful), and those are drying. Hopefully they'll be good to go by Thursday when they go to Jacob's teachers, along with a batch of Dunkin' Donuts gift cards. I still have two gifts to buy, and I'm stumped, even though I can really get anything in the right price range if all else fails...but I'd like them to be good. But ultimately, the wrapping and packing (for nearly a week!) is stressing me out. And not just any week, a holiday week of varying activities that may include parties, snow play, and at least a handful of showing off/photo ops with both of my parents' grandchildren together.
Speaking of that, I seriously cannot wait to see my brother and his family. It's been a year and a half since I've seen my niece in person, so being able to see the kids together--at least to the degree that they will nicely play together--should be nice. I have a feeling their modes of play will be a little different (guessing my niece isn't spending much time playing hockey, lacrosse or football), so who knows how they'll interact, but it'll be nice to have everyone together at least. It'll be a crowded house, but I will gladly sleep on the air mattress and take quick showers if it means we're all there :)
Wish us luck this week...should be a fast but interesting one!

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