Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Airborne and Aggressive

That stomach bug was deadly! You don’t know HOW MUCH I’ve wanted to push that last post down with something happy and upbeat, but the virus just kept on keepin’ on, leaving little happy material to write about. It seems like anything that crosses its path will get hit over the head with the ugly symptoms within a few days. Is there really no possible way to vaccinate for this? Seriously! It’s miserable.

I was so so glad that the babies were sick before my mom came to town, and that KC and I had seemingly dodged a bullet, as we’d felt queasy for a couple days and thought that was it. Enter Wednesday night, when I spent nearly the entire night , well, you know. A couple days later, it was KC’s turn. I was taking EVERY SINGLE precaution to make sure mom wouldn’t get it, and it was stressing me out of my mind. I was sanitizing EVERTYHING at least hourly, washing my hands as I entered a new room, or touched anything, really, and doing load after load of laundry. I even wore a doctors mask for half a day after my night of fun, until I realized that probably wouldn’t make a difference in the final outcome. It made me feel better about it anyway.  I was obsessed. Well, the evilness was determined to make all my efforts completely moot, and mom got hit with it around Sunday. I’m trying not to hate the world because of it. It’s hard.

Really I wanted to just get this out of the way, so that when I post about my mom’s visit, I wouldn’t dwell at all on any of this nonsense. We did squeeze in some fun between the sick days, and although not all of our plans came to fruition (I wrote down and crossed out so many to-do lists as people got sick then got better, I just got tired of even trying to schedule anything), we tried to make the most of our time together. My mom was so great through it all, and I love being with her, even if it means we have these kinds of memories to look back and laugh/cry about.

So don’t worry, happier entries are coming soon! I think the clouds have finally parted over our little life. And I can’t tell you what a relief that is.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thank Heavens for Bathtubs and Laundry Machines

I have just finished a week I would be very happy to never repeat in my entire life. I thought the first half was bad. From Monday to Thursday we had a contractor working on some home repairs the landlord had set up. I hadn’t really given any thought about how that might change our routine. That as dumb.  It was an exhausting few days keeping the kids out of the way. I was carrying them everywhere, keeping them behind closed doors, in their highchairs, or on several outings a day, just to pass the time. They were just too interested in the tools, and wet paint. It took a lot out of me. We were all pretty cranky about the stress is caused on all of us, and although the man was very nice, clean, and fast about his work, we were happy to say goodbye on Thursday afternoon. Penny was sick from Tuesday on, so we couldn’t go downstairs and play with her, so I spent some quality time with my babies as I got creative with places to go. Here are some of the outings the babies and I did together.

Annapolis Mall play place (No pictures. I was too busy making sure everyone was accounted for, and worrying about germs.)

Ikea for a late lunch (on free kids meal Tuesday!)045049050055

Wendy’s Drive Thru for Breakfast.001

Visited KC at work. All the women came running.007

Bennett was slightly obsessed with the elevator. I think he yelled “elevata!” a hundred times.008

Another mall where we hung out at Bass Pro Shops,011020024032


and got some self serve frozen yogurt. Of course I couldn’t decide on one flavor when they had 8 to choose from. 033

They also though it was so great to play on the the furniture that was moved around for the wall repairing/painting. 043

But I was excited about the weekend, so I pushed through all that with something fun to look forward to. I had been planning a surprise guys night for KC for the past couple of weeks for his birthday on Saturday. I emailed his best buddies, and had a menu written up, and was getting really excited to see how he’d react to everything. I hid food all over the kitchen where he wouldn’t think to look, and made sure to wash any dish that might cause questioning. He just thought we just had plans to have dinner with the Ribeiras for his birthday.  So the day was approaching, and on Friday night I sent out a reminder to all the guys. I was exhuasted from the busy week and went to bed at 9. That was all before the evil wrath of the  stomach flu hit us around 11 pm that night.

Alex started the fun, and about 10 minutes  later, Ruby woke up, so as a precaution, we just got her out of bed, and it was a good thing cause she followed his lead a few minutes later. So our hands were very full with two children purging every 10 minutes or so, and my mind started to race as I wondered what would happen if Bennett woke up doing the same. Well I didn’t have much time to think, because minutes later, we heard the tell tale sounds coming from his crib. I said to KC in a very matter of fact tone, “Okay honey, WHAT are we going to do?” They kids wouldn’t sit still since they felt a little better for a few minutes after each episode, and I didn’t want to run after everyone all night, or have to buy any new rugs. And it was so frequent that we had to keep eyes on everyone at all times. I didn’t have time to panic. I needed a plan ASAP. So my first thought was to strip them down and put them all in the tub. And so we did. And there we stayed for about an hour, changing the water as necessary, as they watched Finding Nemo. It worked like a charm. They’d beg to get out at times, mostly when they were upset and traumatized after throwing up, and wanted to be held, but were alright again once the water was changed and they felt better. I really don’t know what else we could’ve done.IMG_4629

Since it seemed like the worst was over, we got them out, put big shirt over their pjs, just in case (we have more of those than pajamas), lined the living room with sheets and towels, and spent the rest of the night there. We had a pretty good system as they kids would show signs that it was their turn, we’d take care of it, and keep an eye on who we expected would be next (yes, we started a chart). We made it through with minimal cleanup, which is saying something considering Ruby’s and Bennett’s hatred of any catching device. They’d resist like crazy, making it an even more horrible experience for everyone, but we restrained them as needed, and it worked out okay, even though we were all out of breath afterward.  IMG_4645IMG_4643IMG_4641

As we were sitting there all night, I told KC about the party I had planned, and was nearly in tears thinking about how it was all out the window now. He was sweet and said he really appreciated everything. I’ll definitely make it up to him somehow.

I thought it would be over after a couple hours (Ruby had a night of throwing up the week before Christmas that only lasted a couple hours and then it was over—and I thought that was bad), but as they continued, I started to worry. I called our on-call pediatrician at about 2 AM (sorry doc!) and she said if they aren’t as least slowing down in the next couple hours, we should take them to the ER. Oh my, that sounded like an even worse nightmare, trying to keep things contained in the car, stroller, waiting room and then figuring out how to hold everyone in the ER as they got examined, and given possible IVs. And we were starting to feel it ourselves. Yikes. We weren’t going anywhere. We then asked Jeff to come up to help with some blessings around 3:00. They were all beat by then, and were just flopped all over the living room. I helped Ruby through her last little sick moment for the night around then while she just laid on the floor, and hardly moved, the poor girl, and there she stayed  and slept the rest of the night. The boys continued, though more spaced out, until about 8 AM. We’d all shut our eyes for a little while, but when we’d hear the sad whimpers, we took care of it, and started all over again.053IMG_4648IMG_4647IMG_4650

That night is pretty far up on the list of the worst nights of my life.

The rest of the morning, was everyone catching a little sleep here and there. Luckily we got a few quiet hours out of each of them, though at slightly different times, making it pretty frustrating for us. I was so nauseous then, but remembered I had some pills for such an occasion that I took. After a nap, I was feeling like the worst of it was over, thank goodness.

When they woke up, the poor dehydrated kids were begging for “a dink, a dink!” We put tiny amount of diluted Pedialyte in bottles so they’d drink it slowly, not wanting to upset their weak stomachs further. They just begged for more. The rest of the day was diluted juice, and crackers, with a few bites of bananas here and there. They wanted it faster that I was willing to give it to them the poor kids. They had their happy moments, and their lethargic, sad moments, but we made it through the day in a blur, and put them to bed at 5:30.

I went on a sanitizing frenzy. I knew we might not be done with this, but my germaphobic tendencies didn’t care. I wanted it clean for at least a moment. Throughout that night and day I think I did about 8 loads of laundry, even if it was just blankets and pillows in the same room as the kids. (And I think I have about that much more to do again now.) I kept most toys and books away from them so I’d have less to sanitize when this is all over.

It wasn’t two hours after I had the bathroom shiny and smelling all antibacterial, at about 8:00 PM, that we heard Bennett start to cry, and then we found ourselves right where we were the night before. Ruby woke up as I was fixing up B’s crib, and began again, and a few minutes later, Alex was up. He was pretty cheerful, but we got him out of his bed anyway, and sure enough, that happiness turned into sadness within the half hour. Crazy how synchronized their little bodies are. We started our routine again, and the poor pitiful children just had nothing left. They just weren’t themselves, looking at us with droopy eyes, so confused at what was happening to them. They couldn’t even sit up. We were SO relieved when, after the last episode at about 10:00, they all seemed to stay asleep wherever they decided to land on the floor. We left them there, afraid to wake them if we moved them to their cribs. We took turns camping out on the couch. Around 2:00 I woke up to Alex’s darling face  staring right at mine. He was probably so confused, so I’m glad he found me. After I held him for a moment, and saw that he was okay, I put him in his crib. I did the same with Ruby when she woke up at 3, and Bennett stayed right there on the floor until 6 AM.IMG_4657

They all woke up around then, and luckily I had prepared watered-down apple juice pops the night before, which they enjoyed thoroughly. When they were still begging for liquids, I made a Pedialyte slush in the blender, and that help them to eat it slowly. I sent KC on a popsicle run  sine they really liked them. I used a trick I’m sure I saw on Pintrest to put a cup under the popsicle. It worked great! The rest of Sunday was spent much like the day before, with a serious amount of Backyardigans, Sesame Street, and a LOT Of sleeping. We were all zombies. KC and I were feeling closer to ourselves by then, which was a great relief.IMG_4667IMG_4669IMG_4673IMG_4686IMG_4697IMG_4704IMG_4705IMG_4710IMG_4713IMG_4718 

We knew Penny’s bug lasted a few nights, so we prepared for the night, and eventually fell asleep before we heard anything from the kids. I woke up every couple hours worried that I’d heard something, but was pleasantly surprised when all was quiet. They woke up around 6. We actually made it through the night, puke-free! I couldn’t believe it. They were all completely parched and starving, and we felt pretty comfortable letting them drink to their hearts’ content. I think Alex ate two bananas in 5 minutes. We are crossing our fingers that this is all behind us. We know we aren’t completely out of the woods yet, so we are still taking it easy, but it’s nice to see some semblance of our old life again.

We are in desperate need of some fresh air, and a change of scenery. And we are excited that it just so happens that my mom flies in tomorrow! What great timing. We need some fun around here! And I’ll be sure to have the place spic and span by the time she arrives. This nastiness stops here!

Sorry if you felt this was tmi.  I tried to keep the details pretty vague so you wouldn’t have to live through it like we did. But I just wanted to document it because I really felt like this was a real initiation into parenthood for me. A milestone of sorts. It have always been frightened about this part of being a mom, and hoped I would know how to handle it. Remember how I said Ruby was sick a few weeks ago? Well, that night I was a basket case, and couldn’t stop freaking out about the possibility of everyone getting sick at once. I think it was just the unknown that was getting to me. And then the boys didn’t get it, so I let that thought  leave quickly, not even allowing myself to wonder about it anymore. But when it actually happened, I was thankful that I was able to put my anxiety aside and focus on what was required of me. I had some pretty low moments, worrying, and wondering when this nightmare would end. But we all made it through, and now I don’t have to wonder anymore about what a situation like this would be like. The pressure is off a little bit.  Of course, I would be the happiest lady alive if this never happened again, but at least I know that we can live through it if we have to. Am I sounding crazy by saying all of this? Is/Was anyone else afraid of these parts of parenthood, or am I just a nutcase? We’ve been trying our hardest to keep these kids in a quarantine again this winter, but somehow something got through. You can bet I’m going to up my precautions from here on out. Homeschooling sounds like a good idea about now. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy 35th KC!

Today we get to celebrate his birthday by trying to catch up on our sleep from staying up the ENTIRE NIGHT with three babies, each throwing up every 5-20 minutes. Really, the entire night. From 11 pm until 8 am. You do the math. And it will be extra fun because the two of us are now feeling the lovely symptoms of the hideous bug. And we are also so happy that we have to cancel your surprise guys night that I have been secretly planning for weeks, and cooking for for days. This is going to be the best birthday ever! IMG_4653

P.S. Have you ever wondered what happens when toddler triplets get a really bad stomach bug at the exact same time and there are only two adults present? I never wanted to think about it because I was too afraid. And now I know I had good reason to be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sometimes you just gotta let go.

I must have forgotten to rubber band the toy cupboard door closed, and the babies took full advantage. But they were happy, and I was able to bake bread and do laundry, etc., in a whine-free environment, so I guess getting everything out at once is okay now and then. I’m putting my toy police badge away for today. Good thing we aren’t expecting any company at this precise moment.157064165170

The irony is, at one point, Alex was cheerfully singing the clean up song as he was stacking blocks.

I’m glad I have a good book to listen to for when I decide to tackle this. Or I might just wait for KC to get home.

Friday, January 06, 2012

I never could stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.

But I did remember to say Rabbit Rabbit first thing in the morning, so that ought to count for something. (I NEVER remember to do this, so saying it on the first of the first was extra exciting, not that I’m in any way superstitious.)

We had a fun week leading up to the big day. KC was able to take an extra day off, besides the observed holiday weekdays, which made me just all around content. Besides having fun just lounging around, or going on little outings together (or by myself!), We also had some fun plans lined up.

We were invited to the Millers on Thursday.  The Murphys also made their way over for the fun. We really missed some other friends that couldn’t make it. We all became really close when were were newly married, but are not in the same ward anymore, so this reunion was such a blast.  I even let the kids stay up extra late, I was having such a great time catching up with my girls like old times, and that doesn’t happen often. While the kids were overstimulated and clingy at times, and dinner was kind of crazy, even with their boosters and a movie playing, we were still able to truly enjoy ourselves and. Molly made delicious stuffed shells for dinner, which my kids also really liked when we finally got them to calm down and eat. There are more toys than my kids have ever seen at their house, and an awesome back yard as well. Since Molly’s kids were allowed to walk around with chocolate covered faces, I cautiously let mine as well. But I mostly followed them around to prevent chocolaty hand prints everywhere. The ride up was a bit on the whiny side at times, but the ride home was heavenly. The only thing that came out of their mouths was exclamations about all the Christmas lights they saw, and then saying goodbye to those lights when they were out of sight. Though a couple hours late to bed, they went down as quietly as I’ve ever heard them. We were so glad we made the trip. 188179180190 198195

We were also invited to another little gathering at a friends house on Friday night (the youth were having a dance on Saturday, so to make it easier to get babysitter, they made the party for Friday, which we appreciated), where we were expecting to see a lot of the same people. Since many of them were planning on bringing their kids, and the hosts kids had bronchitis, the crowd was considerably smaller. But the group there was great fun, and the food was so delicious. We stayed much later than we had expected, and had a great time, catching up, and playing dominos and garage band. 200202

So on the actual New Year’s Eve, KC and I got to enjoy our quiet night together, eating shredded pork nachos (I’m still thinking about those…), and toasted to the new year with a little bubbly, of course, and some cheesecake. After our movie, and finished folding the mountain of laundry that had been neglected for the last week, I was off to bed. At about 9:30. Call me a party pooper if you want, but I call me practical. There was really no point in staying up past midnight, just to be grumpy when the kids woke me up at 6 am. Someday, when the kids are old enough to enjoy it with us, we’ll all stay up late, watch the ball drop,  and band pots and pans at midnight like I used to. 053057058

I continued my family tradition to have the New Year Baby fill the kids’ shoes after they went to bed. I always loved this growing up. It’s softens the blow of the holidays being over a little bit. We don’t give them much, just some little toys. My parents always did something like a fun drink, candy, and a trinket of some kind. The babies love Penny’s mini massager so I got them each their own (which Ruby calls “new toy” since I told them there were new toys in their shoes). They like to turn them all on and watch them rattle and make noise on the hardwood floor. I hid them when they weren’t looking to get a break from the noise. We’ll have to only get those out when the downstairs neighbors aren’t asleep! They also got their little yearly calendar notebooks that KC’s mom picked up for me. Every year I get new ones and take notes in them as they hit milestones or say funny things, so I thought I’d throw those in, even though they’re mostly for me. But the kids “read” them as if they were enjoyable books. So easy to please (sometimes). Also, those tub crayons have been a big hit!062065068071074078076080086

We had a delicious hootenanny (aka German pancakes) breakfast, with pumpkin spice hot chocolate (which the kids mostly enjoyed because of the whipped cream on top), which made us all have a happy start to the day. I can never settle on just one topping choice. Then is was off to church as usual. The kids were little angels in the meeting. It might have helped that I had some new quiet toys to keep them busy, and the strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats, that we had to vacuum afterward. Oops. We finished off the night we a delicious grilled pork tenderloin dinner, and went to bed happy to start a new year. 092122116119134

The fun continued on Monday with KC home from work. We thought it would be fun to take the kids out to eat. I don’t believe we have ever done this with just our little family, now that I think about it. The experience couldn’t have been better. There was no wait, there was room to bring the stroller all the way to our table (always a bonus with less adults than toddlers) the kids colored happily on their place mats, ate everything on their plates, and hardly needed any parental intervening. It opened my eyes to the  possibilities that this year will bring as they get older.  Of course, when I had ample time to get some good shots of the well-behaving children, I didn’t have my camera on me. But my mind has stored the images of this big milestone for us, so that’s enough for me.

So, that about wraps up all the holiday fun. It was low key, but just right for us at this point on our lives. I will miss being excited for the mail to come to see who’s Christmas cards came, and hearing Ruby singing jingle Bells as my ring tone, but over all, I’m relieved that the holidays are over. I like the feeling of starting fresh with a clean house, and a clear mind full of goals. Though, I never really set actual, formal, resolutions, I do always feel like I have a clean slate and I feel all kinds of motivation to get started with the new year on the right foot. 2012 is gonna be good, I can feel it! Happy New Year!176