The past few days have been rough. Well, it has really been rough for the past week with both Daddy and baby brother coming down with the flu. Thankfully, they both seem to be on the upswing, and things finally seem to be getting back to normal.
Monday, our older kiddos didn’t have school for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and we noticed that little sister started to get a yucky, mucky cough. It sounded similar to the way baby brother’s cough started out. Naturally, Momma and Daddy were worried that she was coming down with the flu. We had an appointment for baby brother to get his second dose of his ceftriaxione shot, and make sure he was in fact getting better. His yucky diapers had been increasing in volume all weekend, so I was afraid he had lost more weight. Happily, he gained, and now weighed in at 15lbs. 4oz. His ears looked much better and clear, and his color and energy level were all good. His cough was persistent and still intense, but they said to ‘just keep doing what we were doing’. I questioned whether or not I should bring in little sister because she was now showing symptoms, but because she had gotten her flu shot this year, they suggested just keeping an eye on her and seeing where the cough went. They also suggested albuterol treatments with the nebulizer until the cough sounded better.
So, we started on those breathing treatments, bought extra tissues for her yucky nose, and kept her home yesterday for good measure. I also started bringing both baby brother and little sister into the bathroom and turning on the hot water in the shower so we could sit in the steam and help break up the mucus. It dramatically helped baby brother’s cough (which got so intense one night I nearly brought him into the emergency room as he couldn’t seem to catch his breathe and even spit up from gagging so much), and seem to help little sister as well. I would hold the baby and dance around with him, and let little sister bring in some toys so she could play with them on the counter. She even is now letting me suction out her nose REALLY well with saline drops and the battery powered nasal aspirator. I have used this for all the kids for about 5 years or so now, but the younger two absolutely hate it. Now, Sissy seems old enough to understand its benefit and even giggles at the ‘tickling’ and the funny sounds it makes. This is a HUGE relief because it is working! Working very well, to clean out her nose and hopefully get her on the track to wellness faster. No other signs of any flu with her, so she ended up going to school today. Still a heavy cough and yucky nose, but her coughing seems less frequent and her voice seems to have returned (she pretty much lost her voice suddenly and sounded like a teeny, little mouse yesterday). And she never got a fever or any body aches. Whew!
Anyway, throughout all this chaos of illnesses, big brother has been doing a fantastic job keeping up a good attitude, being helpful, and overall obedience. He had a very rough few weeks near Christmas, and Daddy and I weren’t sure what else to do. His punishments didn’t seem to be doing any good, and we were frankly at our wits end. We are extremely happy to report that the past week has been very positive with him, and we can’t stop telling him how proud we are of him!
We have one of the free kids club memberships to Barnes and Noble, and were emailed a $5 off coupon. We must have finally earned enough points or something. We have been trying to really start teaching big brother about money, allowance, and finance. We told him that when everybody started to feel better we would take him to the store so he could pick out another chapter book in the series he is into right now (Captain Underpants books), and use his money along with the coupon to pick it out himself. He was ecstatic when he was picked up from school today and told we were headed there right then. While little sister played with the Thomas train table, Big brother looked through the books and tried to decide which ones he wanted. He picked out four books in the series, including a newer hardback book, then narrowed it down to three. Unfortunately he only had enough money for two, but he didn’t have a bad attitude about it, and was very understanding when he was told to save up his money for the other ones a later time.
We stayed a few extra minutes so he and Sis could continue playing with the Thomas Trains, but really, big brother was excited to jump on into his books. He sat on a little stepstool and started reading already. Thankfully, Sis didn’t even complain when it was time to leave. We waited in line patiently, and then big brother handed him the books, handed him the coupon, and handed him the money. He seemed very proud to carry out his bag of books all by himself. As we were finishing up, Sis kept dropping hints about being hungry, or smelling something tasty. I knew she was trying to get us to head on over to the Starbucks for a cake pop. They had all been so well behaved, we splurged and enjoyed a treat. Big brother ordered them all by himself “one for me and my sister please”. The people working there couldn’t get enough of him and chatted a few minutes with ‘the best big brother’ they kept calling him. Before we left, we ordered a coffee to bring home for Daddy. They even wrote “Dad” on the cup for him. As I stood in line waiting, I let the kids stay at the table. Everytime I would glance over at them, I would see them head down, reading their new books (we found a small My Little Pony book for Sis). What a relief to have such fantastic attitudes and manners from our sweet kiddos. It has been a real challenge taking care of a house full of sick family members, and this little outing felt so good today!
Baby brother was happily along for the ride. He seems to be feeling much better.