Ready or Not…

I am very happy to report….that we are still alive! This flu hit us so hard. The kids bounced back pretty quickly, other than lingering coughs and congestion. Zakkai got it the worst of the kids and still has a pretty nasty cough. He was pale for a few days and just had that “sick eyed” look but thankfully is feeling good now.

Ben went straight into a sinus and ear infection and is on antibiotics. Thankfully, today he finally started to notice an improvement! It is going to take us awhile to get our strength back for sure. I have only been out of the house twice since last Sunday. The second time was today to get a few groceries at the store. I took Z with me and about halfway through, all of the sudden I thought, “I can’t do this. I need to go home!” Somehow I pushed through and after putting the necessary groceries away, promptly fell sound asleep in my chair in the living room. It doesn’t take much to wear us out.

Samuel keeps telling us that this was the worst Christmas vacation ever! (except for the parties and seeing family and the toys they got. Except for that, it was the worst.) I keep telling him that I am so sorry, we did not choose to get sick! I do feel bad that their last week of vacation was trapped in here. Thankfully, Ben’s mom rescued them yesterday and took them out for the afternoon to have some fun. It was refreshing for them and for us so we could rest with a little peace and quiet!

School starts again tomorrow for the boys, preschool on Tuesday for Eliana and back to work for Ben. I pray his body can continue to recover as he jumps back into the busy schedule he’s not quite ready for yet.

Ready or not, here comes life!

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Flu Bug Don’t Bother Me!

We have been struck down without mercy by the dreaded influenza.. I started not feeling the greatest Saturday but attributed it to a little too much Christmas fun. We had 4 late nights in a row and were a little Christmased out, although we do love to see family.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Ben and I woke up with pounding headaches and chills from the stirrings of fevers. Fast forward through a miserable blinding blur of high fevers, body-wracking chills, pounding headaches, nasty coughs, sore throats, nausea, horrible body aches, etc and you have our history of the past 4 days. I was literally in tears Sunday afternoon, unable to stop or even wipe away the tears raining down my face I felt so incredibly bad.

Imagine my hoarse groans when Zakkai presented himself to me first thing Monday morning with flushed cheeks saying he didn’t feel well. Ugh. He escalated up to fevers over 104 yesterday and vomited a few times but miraculously (to us) is 90% better today. So unfair.

Ben and I have been flat laid-out. The kiddos have been so incredibly good while we have been ill, playing with their Legos and new Christmas toys, which is helpful since I have no voice left to scold them with and neither of us has the energy to deal with any bad behavior. They are starting to get a little cagey but we are still sick and contagious so we are house-bound for now. Watching movies a lot the past 2 days. Surviving on soup and crackers brought by our dear mothers. Praying that each day we will feel a little better and thankful that we have survived so far.

I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

Sicky.

We’ve got a Christmas sickie over here:(  Just like Samuel’s illness last week where he was fine in the morning and sick by lunchtime, Eliana was fine going to bed last night and woke up around 2:45 this morning crying. I went in and she was trying to tell me something that didn’t really make sense and when I bent to kiss her forehead, realized she was burning up! She fell back asleep after I gave her Tylenol but was back up to 102 just after waking up this morning.

She was off and on all day, depending on whether the medicine was wearing off or not. She perked up later in the morning and even painted a picture with her brothers but shortly after I noticed she was really bothered by noises, etc and I went to sit with her on the couch and she fell asleep in my arms.

So sweet. She woke up halfway through her nap crying and saying her head hurt and her temp had risen to over 103 so I was able to give her something and she went back to sleep for another hour. Up down, up down all day! She is sleeping now and I am praying that she wakes up better because how sad would it be to have to miss  the Christmas Eve service tomorrow night and all the family Christmas festivities??

I still remember the Christmas when I was little and I had the stomach flu and was upstairs deathly ill (at least that is how you feel when you have a stomach virus!!) while everyone was having a great time downstairs. I ended up in the ER getting iv fluids…..ah, what lovely Christmas memories!

Here’s to hoping and praying that this Christmas will be healthy and joyous!! (For us and you!!)

Some play time and Germs.

 On Saturday afternoon, everyone in the family took a little nap due to the late night Friday night! Well, everyone except Eliana, that is:) She played quietly in her room. After Ben left for work, I decided to take a walk with the kiddos to get our blood moving. There is a pond next to our neighborhood and near it, a swing set. Perfect for getting a little energy out!

Run, run!

Eliana was happy to be pushed while her brothers had height contests, which quickly turned into…

Jumping off the swing contests! Samuel got such a big kick out of me taking his action shots in mid-air:)

Surfer boy!

Love his expression!

Zakkai didn’t want to go quite as high and I don’t blame him! I was praying no one would break their leg:)

Z with his funny moves!

 I’m not quite ready for jumping contests, yet, Mama!

We came back home and I let them watch a little bit of a movie while I finished making some soup and cornbread. Perfect meal for a chilly night! We love some good soup in the winter around here!

We had such a restful day yesterday, which was very nice. Ben, especially, needs a day of rest since he works so much. He didn’t get home til 12:30am Sunday morning from work!

Today I was cleaning my grandparent’s house and my mom and niece popped over to say hi. My mom’s phone rang a little big later and I was so surprised when she came over to me and told me it was the school calling to say that Samuel had a fever and needed to go home!

The school nurse had tried to call me and Ben and then went to our first emergency contact. (Both Grandmas are on the list!) We were thankful that the system worked and they were able to get ahold of me so quickly. Poor kiddo got all teary when I finally made it over to pick him up from school. The secretary said they have a lot of cases of the stomach flu and strep running through the school Yuck!

 He’s had just a little fever all day (100.4), a bad headache and an off and on upset stomach. I am really hoping it will be a mild virus and he’ll wake up feeling fine tomorrow. He has to stay home with me again due to the 24 hour fever rule so I guess we’ll be having a quiet day tomorrow! It made Eliana and Zakkai really sad that Samuel is sick. They don’t like having their best buddy not feeling well!

 We are all still shuddering internally from last year’s “Black Plague” that happened just after Christmas so hopefully we will get this all out of our system before Christmas and have a healthy winter!

Spring Break

 Spring is fighting to make it’s presence known here in the good old Midwest! It hasn’t been too warm for spring break but today we finally reached 40 and that was good enough for all the neighborhood kids to come out and play!

Monday it was sunny and we spent a little time outside, too.

Eliana begs to go outside like a puppy! I really wish we had a nice backyard so it would be easier than hanging out on the sidewalk!

She was so happy with her bike and can peddle very well now:)

Samuel was “helping” her for a few minutes. Good old big brother torture:)

The boss giving me directions!

Little Miss Boss also organized some races:) She saw the big kid races and she wanted to take part, too! She waited until everyone was lined up…

Then she would take off and they would pretend they couldn’t catch her! So cute..

Poor Z just wasn’t feeling up to racing. It’s taken him a long time to get over this virus. He is doing much better today and played outside for a long time, which I was happy to see!

But not so much on Monday. He still needed some rest and early bedtimes.

He also does NOT cooperate with pictures these days. Grrr!

Finally got a little shot of that cute face! His cough kept Samuel awake the past few nights so he would go to sleep in our room and then we’d carry him back into his room when we went to bed. Tonight’s the first night we haven’t had to do that!

Missy Magician!

She doesn’t know any tricks but she’s pretty cute:)

She saw I was taking pictures and ripped off the hat but I snuck in a picture just in time! I hope she doesn’t start taking after her brothers and refuse to take pictures!

The boys have really been into Legos this week, especially Samuel! I’ve barely been able to get S to come down for dinner because he is so involved in building his creations. Samuel is a stick to the directions kind of builder 90% of the time and Zakkai is the opposite, mostly an inventive builder! Today Samuel said, “Mommy, I think that Legos are even better toys than matchbox cars.” I said, “Yeah, you’re right, Samuel. They are actually some of my very favorite toys!” He then wanted to know if I played with them when I was little, too:) He was a little surprised to find out there weren’t pink Legos back then!

Things have changed a lot since I was little, that’s for sure!

Thirsty.

As I am writing, the aroma of baking pizza is filling the air. Not a bad smell! We have been trying to branch out with our tastes and try new things now that we have our awesome pizza stone, which Ben adores. It improved our crust so much! Tonight we are trying Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza with a white sauce and spinach. It is as delicious as it looks! mmmm. Definitely a keeper.

Zakkai is doing much better, except for a worsening cough. He was still pretty sick yesterday morning and threw up 2 more times but after sleeping for awhile, his fever broke around mid-morning. Yea! He perked up a lot and was able to eat a little soup by lunchtime.

He woke up with a ton more energy today but still has a sore throat and his cough sounds absolutely terrible right now. I really hope he won’t go into bronchitis or something:( So far, everyone else is holding strong!

Samuel just told Zakkai that he sounds like barking seal. I nipped that one in the bud because it brought back bad memories of my family (okay, my sisters) making fun of me for my terrible cough when I had pneumonia in middle school. It was a horrible cough and took forever to go away. I really hated being told it was a “man cough.” It makes me shudder in sympathy to hear my poor boy!

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I am listening to Ben share his heart with our boys. They read a Bible story together while the pizza was cooking and talked about “real food.” Not just pizza or food for the body but food for the soul. With all of these things we have been through and struggled through (and are struggling through), we will have so much to teach our children. We will have real ways to prepare them for life at our finger tips. How to hang on, how to cling to Jesus when everything else is falling part.

When YOU are falling apart. Because chances are, it will happen. Sometimes God chooses to allow us to be brought to the brink. The place where you have absolutely nothing to depend on, nowhere to turn, no one to call out to…but Him. It’s an absolutely horrible place to be, especially when you’re in it. But at the same time, I reluctantly suppose, there is a raw, painful beauty in your desperate need to cry out to your Savior. Your saving grace.

There is thirst. And thirst makes you search for water; living water. So, I guess that’s where we are now. Thirsty. There are some verses that I found about a year ago that really spoke to us.
Jeremiah 13:7-8
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. 8“For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes. It’s leaves will be green; it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”

That’s what we would really like to be. And haven’t been. We haven’t been able not to fear or be anxious or yield fruit in our year(s) of drought. And we recognize that and long to change. We are thirsty. Thirsty for life again. And God is answering those prayers little by little and we believe He will continue to. Even though it doesn’t look anything like we hoped it would.

We will trust that it will be better than we hoped for because our Father knows what is best for us. And He sees the whole picture, not just the little 2 dimensional slice that we have in front of us. We just have to be thirsty enough to run to Him and cling to Him while we wait.

Thirsty.

A few sweet moments and sickness

Eliana is our little snuggle bug! She rarely refuses an opportunity to sit next to us or get picked up and receive hugs and kisses. The other day I caught this cute picture of her watching Curious George so intently after she climbed up next to me:) Love that sweet, soft face!

We had a couple of days of nice, sunny weather this week! Eliana begs to go outside like a puppy, starved with spring fever! She found our neighbors’ skateboard and decided to go for a little ride:)

Smauel got out his skateboard and both boys had their scooters. I told Z, soon it will be time for rollerblades! We just needed some of the mud and puddles to dry up.

The other day, Samuel did a funny little trick that my uncle taught me in childhood: he “cleaned” his eyeball! He showed Eliana and then she tried to do it herself. It was SO funny! I had her do it again for the video. It was funnier the first time but still, so cute!

Our poor little Z-man is one sick little dude:( He must’ve been susceptible to germs since he was just sick a couple of weeks ago. He woke up yesterday with a low-grade fever, sore throat, headache and stomach ache. He was pretty tired and even took a nap, which is weird! He started to really droop in the late afternoon/evening and was in bed and asleep by 6:45pm. I made him a dr’s appointment since he was recently exposed to strep at school and he had a white spot in his throat.

I woke him up this morning around 7:15am and could tell he wasn’t doing very well. He couldn’t talk for awhile (no voice) and his face was flushed from fever. He let me try to see into his throat and then fell back asleep for about a half an hour. He made it downstairs before I took S to school and watched about 15 minutes of a cartoon, drank some OJ and promptly fell asleep. He slept ALL morning and got hotter and hotter. He finally woke up a little at 11am and felt so bad, all he could do was cry:(

I got some Tylenol in him and then he rested awhile before it was time to take him to the Dr. He threw up on the way to the car. His fever was almost 102 even on meds:( They tested him for strep and it was surprisingly negative so I guess he just has a nasty old virus! I was so sure it was going to be strep because it is rampant in the school right now. The school nurse told me that she has sent the strep notice (“Your child has been exposed…”) to every single class in the school except one in the past month or so.

The only time he was awake today was for the dr’s appt and about an hour and a half this afternoon when he watched a little basketball. Later he woke up crying and told me he had a bad dream. I asked him what it was about and he said, “Basketball!” I asked how it was a bad dream and he said through his feverish tears, “I dreamed Tennessee was losing instead of winning.” Kind of funny! You can guess which game he was watching before he fell asleep…

We were supposed to go on a date tonight, our first in a year (I know, right?), but we felt increasingly uncomfortable with leaving him over the course of the day and it turns out our instincts were right since he was still throwing up a couple hours ago and feels miserable enough to just sleep and cry. Poor little guy!

I am really praying no one else gets this! Looks like we’re in for a quiet weekend…..