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Jan 21, 2009

Notes from Nurse Heidi

Warning: This might be really boring.

These notes are for my own personal amusement. One day I know I'll look back and laugh at this crazy day in my life. Read on at your own risk.

5:00 a.m. Gavin's cries on the monitor rouse me from peaceful slumber on the couch. Has he really slept through the night? (Alas, I have not, but it was much better than usual.) Maybe the white noise from the humidifier I ran last night contributed to his success. Maybe the humidifying effect was the trick. Maybe I just got a huge blessing from above.

5:15 a.m. After repeated attempts to return the babe to the crib, it's apparent I will either surrender to the morning or rock Gavin until the cows come home. I opt to rock. It's not even light out yet.

5:30 a.m. I hear Zachary downstairs and see the lights come on. Good grief.

5:50 a.m. I sneak Gavin and myself into the guest bedroom and snuggle in the blankets, pillows, and clean sheets that are piled on the bed. We get comfortable and Gavin continues to snooze. Yes, I am hiding.

6:00 a.m. Zach starts calling for me in an I-really-need-something-now tone of voice that I'm sure will wake up the entire household. I take a risk and leave Gavin on the bed. Zach's toe hurts. Tyler appears in the hall. He spent the night in my bed since he and Garry seem to have the same brand of Yuck. Tyler says his brain hurts and his tummy hurts. He is burning with fever. I tell him to get back in bed and I'll get him medicine and water.

6:05 a.m. The ibuprofen has been down two minutes when it comes up again. Tyler pukes all over my bed (including the bed skirt), the carpet, and himself. He retches two more times before reaching the toilet. I tell him to strip. Garry semi-consciously begins to strip the bed. What a rude awakening. I later learn Tyler has been up every hour all night long.

6:10 a.m. Zachary's hysteria is building, so I head downstairs with him and set up a foot bath. He has already done his 30 minutes of reading (quality stuff -- Super Diaper Baby) and begs to watch TV. I refuse to have the TV on this early.

6:15 a.m. I start the bathtub for Tyler and throw a load of sheets, blankets, and pajamas in the washer. Then I retrieve the carpet cleaner from the garage and load it up with soap.

6:20 a.m. Gavin's up for the day and he's not happy about it.

6:30 a.m. Zachary comes upstairs with a more comfortable toe and an appetite. I get out breakfast goods for them. Zach monitors Gavin's banana and milk consumption and snarfs cereal while I clean the bedroom carpet.

6:45 a.m. Tyler finishes his bath, dresses, and turns on the TV while I'm cleaning carpet. At least I put off the inevitable for half an hour. I decide to pour myself a bowl of Chex.

7:00 a.m. Ty pauses the TV while I read aloud a chapter from Third Nephi. The boys aren't impressed, but heaven knows we need the blessings today. Then I clean up the kitchen, make Zachary's lunch, and force Zach to get ready for the day before watching television. He begrudgingly complies.

7:30-8:00 a.m. I call Garry's boss for him; he's in no condition to speak on the phone, let alone get out of bed or go to work. Then I get in the shower. Gavin jumps in the doorway. Sometime during my get-ready process, I miss a phone call from the pediatrician. Gavin's stool cultures from two weeks ago all came back normal. Okey dokey.

8:00 a.m. I get Gavin ready, switch the laundry to the dryer, we say a family prayer, and Gavin, Zachary, and I head out the door. Zach gets dropped at school while Gavin and I continue on to Albertson's and the car wash.

8:55 a.m. Home again, home again. Gavin is sleeping (miracle!) and I successfully transfer him to bed (bigger miracle!). I walk to the mailbox in short sleeves and sandals, basking in the dawn of what promises to be a glorious January day....which I will be spending indoors.

9:00 a.m. I put away the infant Benadryl (desperate times, desperate measures), yogurt, Band-Aids, and marshmallows (impulse) and pour Garry some Sprite. I look in his throat with a flashlight and my stomach turns when I see white patches all over the back. Ick. Then I lose myself in email and Facebook while the house is quiet.

9:30 a.m. Garry stumbles downstairs. We look up a doctor for him to see. I agree to drive him later on because he's in terrible shape.

9:45 a.m. I make the bed for Garry and Tyler. Garry is in the shower.

10:00 a.m. Gavin's up. He's not happy about it. Eventually he decides I can touch him, so I get him out of the crib. He and Garry and I sit on the floor together for a bit. Ty is still watching TV, of course. Garry eventually gets back in bed.

10:40-11:20 a.m. Gavin is screaming and I don't know why. He won't led me hold or console him. He won't take food/water/toy/cuddle bribes. I try to do some stuff on the computer, fold laundry, and eventually make lunch. He moves from room to room with me, laid out in full tantrum mode. It can't be comfortable flailing about in that manner
on the wood floor.

11:20 a.m. Gavin rolls over, notices the cup of juice I placed next to him, and promptly stops his fit. Just like that. Within moments he's babbling happily and playing with toys. I just roll my eyes. And then I notice I mismatched his lid and cup, so he's soaked his shirt and pants with apple juice.

11:30 a.m.-12:05 p.m. Tyler and I eat lunch and I browse the newspaper I bought this morning. We're making a family time capsule and the edition with our new president and his speech splashed across the front seemed like a good one to stick in it. I never read the paper. While Gavin is strapped in his chair, I also finish cleaning the kitchen. Sweeping the floor is good for my soul, although I'm appalled at the pile of filth I collect.

12:15 p.m. I go downstairs to update my notes, use the bathroom in peace, and just chill for about three minutes. Then it's time to wake Garry so we can get to his appointment. And change Gavin's clothes. We settle for a "laundry day" outfit that I don't really like, but since I haven't folded yesterday's laundry yet, it'll be just fine.

12:25 p.m. Depart for MD.

12:35 p.m. I intend to wait with the boys in the car while Garry goes to his appointment. (I refuse to experience another ornery-Gavin-at-the-doctor circus.) Garry calls when he gets up to the clinic, where he is a first-time patient, and learns that the receptionist asked him to come 20 minutes before his actual appointment so he could fill out paperwork. I opt to take the boys home instead of waiting the extra time. Garry will call me when he's done.

12:50 p.m. Tyler can't find the movie he wants to watch (it's not in the case...). Gavin putters. I fold laundry.

1:00 p.m. I start feeling nausated. Too many M&Ms? The flu? I turn to the only remedy at my disposal: Zofran. It turns out to be just the ticket. I'm glad I got a refill last week.

1:05 p.m. I am getting really tired. Gavin had better nap today!! I decide to give him a dose of Benadryl, the medicine with the label that says "may cause marked drowsiness." If it helps his stuffy nose and cough, so much the better. He putters around while I put my feet up, awaiting Garry's call.

1:25 p.m. The call comes. Off we go.

1:45 p.m. With Garry in tow, I learn that he does indeed have Strep. And a 102.5-degree temperature. He opted for the shot of penicillin in the rear end rather than the ten-day course of antibiotics. Score...no pharmacy run. We stop at Albertson's so I can grab some Extra-Strength Tylenol, which the doctor recommended for his aches and fever. Don't worry; I've only been to Albertson's three times in the last 18 hours.

2:00 p.m. I'm disappointed that Gavin didn't fall asleep on the way home, but he goes down without a fuss. Garry checks out, Tyler resumes Hercules, and I crash on the couch.

3:15 p.m. I wake with a start. School is out! I'm not there! Yikes! I inform Garry that I have to leave ten minutes ago and blast out the door. Alone. This is a little weird.

3:20 p.m. I'm worried that Zach thinks I didn't show up. I am right.

3:25 p.m. Zach finds the van and gripes about me being late, which I have never been since the first day of school. We wait another five minutes for the fifth-grade neighbor we always drive home.

3:35 p.m. Zach gathers a snack, takes his medicine, and asks when he can go to Ben's house. We start his homework, but only because I pulled out his assignment two days ago. He has forgotten his homework folder AGAIN. No friends today.

4:15 p.m. Gavin is up and filled with a snack, Tyler is filled with a snack, and Zach is filled with the injustice of the world. I charge Zach with watching Gavin while I clean the outsides of the windows in the living room. The late afternoon sun is perfect for showing me how horribly dirty the windows are, and I need an excuse to get outside in the fabulous weather.

4:30 p.m. My inability to achieve streak-free windows just about reduces me to tears.

4:45 p.m. I force Gavin into the stroller and make Zachary go on a walk with us. The fresh air is so invigorating. I can't believe I'm wearing flip-flops in January.

5:15 p.m. We return home. My endorphin bubble pops in about two minutes. I have no desire to make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, bathe and bed down the boys, etc. I am seriously considering Granny's comment on yesterday's post: "Have you thought about running away?" I wistfully think about the playgroup I missed today and the girls' night out I'm going to miss in about two hours. Boo-hoo for me.

5:20 p.m. I change into pajamas.

5:40 p.m. Gavin launches into another unexplainable tantrum.

6:00 p.m. Dinner. Tyler has Sprite and Saltines. Zachary makes himself a burrito (and a large mess -- the price of self-sufficient children). He gets his dinner dose of Keflex, which makes him gag. Gavin has cheese and a banana and crackers and milk. I have some cereal. Garry continues his nap. During dinner, Tyler unravels emotionally. His day has been a rollercoaster of feeling great and feeling horrendous. It's time to retire.

6:15 p.m. Tyler tucks in for the night next to Garry. Gavin gets in the tub. Zachary gets ready for bed.

6:30 p.m. Gavin is bathed. He has one pair of pajamas in his drawer and the shirt is far too small. I find a zippered sweatshirt to pair with the pants and call it good. Note to self (for the thirtieth day in a row): get in the dang crawl space and find the next size of pajamas for this boy! A few books and songs later, Gavin is bedded down. I know it's early, but if he's going to survive until he's 13 months and 23 days old, it's time.

6:35 p.m. Zachary is pajamaed and brushed and pottied. Time for a foot soak. We both muse at his oddly-colored and -textured toe. At least it feels OK. I read a few chapters of "Nate the Great Talks Turkey" to him, and then encourage him to read for half an hour while he soaks. It will count for his Thursday reading requirement and push us past the 7:00 threshhold...bedtime.

6:45 p.m. Gavin cries. Um, excuse me? I rock him and sing to him in the dark and turn on the humidifier. Lights out, little buddy.

7:10 p.m. I sing to Zachary and tuck him in.

7:15 p.m. I'm laughing at a friend's status update on Facebook when Zach comes running into the office. He's had an eczema flare-up that cannot be ignored. I hand him the tub of Cetaphil, conveniently located on the office desk, and send him to the bathroom to take care of it. Moments later, he is soothed and goes back to bed.

7:25 p.m. I stop keeping this journal. If my nursing skills are required past this point in the day, I'm asking for overtime.
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