We had plans for Easter day to visit Rich's mom and then travel over to my parents' house, which is in a beach community, for a family dinner with my brother Dan's family and with my brother John, who is visiting from California. My youngest brother, Patrick, unfortunately had to work and would not be partaking in the festivities.
I had planned to have all laundry laundered and clothes ironed and bags packed on Saturday so as not to waste precious time doing so on Sunday morning as we wanted to head out as early as possible. The weather promised to be beautiful and I mentioned bringing the girls down to the beach to run around in the sand after dinner, which was scheduled for 2:00. So it wasn't really "dinner" but that's what we call it.
Rich offered to watch the girls Saturday morning while I slept in, which was wonderful. Sweet, uninterrupted sleep. Until Rich woke me up at 10:45. I thought he was simply bothering me because it was getting late which was fine because I had a lot to take care of but then he said those dreaded words. "I hate to do this but I haven't been able to get to the bank or to the store. Anna's sick. She had really runny poop, she threw up and she's lethargic. She's sleeping on the couch right now."
Now, no one wants their kids to be sick but I really, really, really don't want Anna to be sick. Ever. Her weight is so low and her shunt just adds another layer onto worry. A year ago, at the age of two, she weighed 20 pounds. Her pediatrician insisted upon a weight check six months ago to ensure that she was gaining weight and she had. Two pounds. Everyone was happy. And relieved. She happened to be weighed again last month at a gastro appointment and came in at 24 pounds. I said to myself, "Let's hope that she doesn't get sick and lose weight before her upcoming three year appointment." Famous last words.
Friday had been a really busy day for the girls. We also had a fairly warm day and the girls had been outside for some time in the afternoon. The side effect of one of Anna's medications is that becomes overheated very easily. It starts with her cheeks turning pink and then her whole face. We've been told to give her water to drink and to try to keep her cool when that happens. That happened Friday afternoon.
So I rushed downstairs Saturday morning to find Anna wearing only her diaper, curled up on the couch. Allie and Em were actually behaving quite nicely. Probably because the television was on. They were concerned for Anna and gave her kisses and rubbed her back, which was just so sweet to witness.
After assessing the situation, I honestly didn't think that she had a stomach virus, although she had been a bit picky with her food the day before. She was not feverish and kept telling me that she was hungry. We started with just water. She hadn't thrown up for a bit so I gave her part of a muffin to eat. She started perking up and acting more like herself. And then she threw up. And started whining and telling me that she was hungry.
I was worried that her shunt might be malfunctioning and made the decision that if she was still throwing up into the afternoon, we were going to have to bring her to the hospital to have her head scanned. Rich returned home from the bank and store with Allie and Em. Allie told us that they bought colored pancakes. Those turned out to be red-dye-number-something-or-other frozen confetti pancakes that I kept calling funfetti pancakes. Allie and Em wanted those for lunch so Rich heated them up and told Allie and Em to go sit at their table. I looked into the dining room to see Anna sitting in a chair waiting to eat.
Rich gave her some of the pancakes to eat and I decided that if there was funfetti vomit, Rich could clean it up. And then she ate some M&Ms. She didn't throw up again but was exhausted and would not nap at all. Rich was going to bring Allie and Em outside to play but Em decided that she wanted to stay in to watch television, which I was not about to allow. As Rich was lacing up Allie's sneakers, she asked, "Why doesn't Emoee want to be my friend anymore?" I know. I know. Cuteness. After I told Em that Allie was upset and wanted to be friends and play outside, Em went over and gave her a hug and agreed to go outside.
I tried to keep Anna inside but she kept looking out the windows for "sissies." I finally brought her outside where she sat in the sandbox and played for awhile. She was still having random breakdowns and acting irritable but was no longer vomiting so I convinced myself that her shunt was fine.
I spent so much time holding Anna on Saturday that I couldn't get anything done. And then Emily would walk up to me and say, "Carry me." Believe me, I love cuddling with the girls and I don't want to complain because I know how lucky I am to have them in my life but sometimes they wear me out.
I basically held my breath through Saturday night into Sunday. I was so afraid that Allie and/or Em would also get sick or that Anna would show more signs of shunt malfunction. They were so looking forward to Easter and I wanted them to enjoy the day.
I had to post this picture of Allie. Rich returned from a run Satuday before dinner with her like this.
And since I posted a picture of Anna in her Easter outfit yesterday, here is a picture of Allie and Em with their Easter outfits on.
More pictures later...