Monday, January 22, 2007

Day 6, 7: It continues...

Saturday I spent the majority of the day cleaning. When the kids woke up from their nap, I read them stories, gave them sips of Gatorade and bites of popsicles and by 7 PM, had bathed all three of them - dressed them in their pajamas - and tucked them in to bed. Once the kids were asleep, I made myself a nutritious dinner.

By 11:30 PM, the house was immaculate. All surfaces had been decontaminated, plants watered, rugs vacuumed, floors mopped ... and every single clothing and/or linen item was washed, dried and put neatly away. I even managed to write a few overdue thank you notes and start knitting a baby blanket for our good friends, the Higgins.

The last thing I remember is sitting in the kitchen and reveling at all of my accomplishments. I certainly don't remember falling asleep with my head on the table, but when I woke up two hours later with a huge slobber puddle beneath my cheek, I heard Charlie moaning that he needed a gun and someone to please put him out of his misery.

Sunday, I woke up with a burst of energy and took off for the store to stock up on peanut butter cookies a few critical supplies. When I returned home, Charlie was doing better, and suddenly, I was so tired I thought I was going to vaporize. Luckily, I never did feel sick. It just felt like every ounce of energy was spent and I had barely enough to shove peanut butter cookies in my mouth breathe - or - watch "Finding Nemo", yet again, while our three children were slumped on top of me.

By Sunday night, Charlie was starting to complain he wasn't feeling well ... at about the same time our kids made a miraculous recovery. There was a window of opportunity, approximately 8 minutes 30 seconds, where both Charlie and I were unconscious and the children had free run of the house. During that time, they went from three lethargic lumps - to three wobbling destructo machines.

Fortunately, today, the kids seem to be on the mend.

Unfortunately, today, Charlie is unable to move.

What I find extremely interesting is that when faced with the reality I was the only capable person in the house to care for our three children ... I stepped up to the challenge remarkably well. But when I thought Charlie had recovered, my stamina was instantly shot and I couldn't get off the couch. Now that I know Charlie is once again, completely out of commission, I have found it in myself to DIG DEEP.

Although, I don't know how much deeper I can dig before I start drooling.

I've decided it's a whole lot easier to take care of a sick husband and three sick toddlers, than to take care of a sick husband and three healthy toddlers - while you are also trying to work (as in, "career work", not to be confused with "house work" which I do all day long).

Some might think this sounds crazy, but it's true.

When they are all sick - at least I can prop them on the couch and see everyone at once. But when only 25% of the platoon is sick - and scattered through different parts of the house - it's insanity. Charlie is in the bedroom and since he is hardly able to stand and can barely talk above a whisper, he'll call me on my cell phone. "Hi. Jen. I need Jell-O and Kleenex."

To which I'll reply "Hi. Charlie. I need Tahiti and vodka."

Last week - I had planned to work today while Charlie looked after the kids. Because Monday was suppose to be "my" day, I took the liberty to set up several important calls. But because the only thing Charlie is able to look after today, is the inside of his eyelids, I'm trying to keep three toddlers constructively entertained while I field conference calls.

This is no easy task.

Today, even our kids are tired of watching "Finding Nemo" so instead of knowing that they are safely occupied, I've got my phone to one ear, while the other ear is straining to hear what everyone is up to, as they roam through the house.

It's a good thing when I hear them jabbering. This means they are playing with things that I've approved for a 2-year old.

It's a bad thing when I don't hear anything at all. This means they are trying to pull down the 5-gallon humidifier, full of water, that is perched on top of the linen cabinet. Or, trying to open a can of paint.

I've had to explain to everyone that I talk to that I have 2-year old triplets who are just getting over the stomach flu and I am taking care of my husband who is currently in bed with the stomach flu. Otherwise, I'm certain people would think I'm crazy for interjecting our conversation with sentences like:

"I'm sorry. You must wear your diaper ... it has to stay on your body."

Or ... "Please don't chew your brother's ear."

Or ... "Please don't use your cheese stick to draw on our nice Ethan Allen dining room table. Cheese is for eating."

Or ... "You can pick your nose. But your sister doesn't like it when you try to pick her nose."

Or ... "What are you eating?! OH MY GOD!! Are those matches?!"

It's incredible to me that thus far, I've dodged this bullet. It's also incredible to me that I didn't get sick with the last virus the kids and Charlie had, either. I thought I was sick - but I soon learned the "virus" I had was the kind that takes 9-months to resolve. There is a lot of truth in the statement "Just when you think you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you realize it's an oncoming train." But seriously ... when you consider that I catch every single cold that comes down the track, I'm astonished that these viruses have been passing me by.

At the risk of cursing myself, I'm hopeful God has spared me, once again.

We've decided, however, our couch has not been spared. We'll be getting a new one - of the leather / stain, liquid, vomit repellent / variety - soon.


(By note to my riled up cousin Margaret: the $75.00 co-pay was for the Emergency Room. When we take the kids to see their pediatrician, it's only a $15.00 co-pay. Our pedi recommended that we go straight to the ER because that's probably where he'd send them if they did need IV's. After hearing Carolyn sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" much of the car ride home from the hospital - I know I made the right decision to turn around. I can just imagine the kids singing nursery songs while they're being examined and I'm trying to convince the doctor they are terribly sick. You don't need to write to the Govenator. At least not yet.)


  1. While I am truly sorry that Charlie is so ill; I'm so happy to hear the children are feeling much better. And so happy that you let us all know. I have been a woman possessed - checking in a couple times a day to see how you all are.

  2. code yellow mom1/22/07, 7:36 PM

    (The tunnel picture is great!)

    So glad it has passed you by, too. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    And it is so true that somehow when we HAVE to be "the one," we can. Thank heaven that it's not a permanent necessity, though!

    Hope Charlie feels better soon!

  3. i hope it'll continue to pass you by too. Glad the kiddos are better.

  4. So glad to hear that the trips are on the mend....but sorry that Charlie is down and out and you are overwhelmed. But this too shall pass even though it seems impossible to you now.

    You never did anything half-way, did you?!?!?!

  5. I agree; peanut butter cookies are TOTALLY necessary supplies!

    I hope everyone is back to feeling better soon.

    Andrew (To Love, Honor, and Dismay)

  6. Blame it on the red hair - my husband always does...I get a little over zealous when it comes to "grave" injustices - even if they are inaccurate. Oh well, Senator Graham likes(?)to hear from me(?).

    Promise to leave the "governator" alone but let it be stated - If you ever need me "I'll be back".

    Happy to know the children are feeling better. Hope Charlie gets well soon. Hey! Now you can save for Tahiti!!!!!!!!!!!

    Asta lavista Baby. Marg

  7. Glad to hear you continue to march through un-bugged.

    Your plight reminds me of the saddest Christmas I ever had. (Not that you got sick but dealing with so many sick reminded me!)

    My twins were 2 just barely and my 4 year old son and I were sick as dogs. Daddy at work at the firehall. We got up Cmas morning, opened presents and then promptly went back to bed. When the girls woke I called my mother to come get them, son and I slept the entire Cmas away. Girls were delivered home for their bed time and went to sleep like angels.

    Son and I recovered within a few days. Just in time to nurse sick baby girls and husband through the worst of it.

    So hard to have the little ones sick and so weak, so happy to hear they are on the mend. Hoping your husband soon feels human again too..

  8. WOW! Things are really turning around...with the exception of poor Charlie. I'm so proud of you for how well you've tackled this more than difficult challenge. You truly are wonder woman!

  9. oh sorry we've had uti, 2 pnemonias, and a tonsillitis in the last 2 weeks- sick family just runs you into the ground- I read another triplet blog last night a girl i knew in college and thought of you

  10. That's excellent news! But I understand what you are saying about them being well and having one man down.

    I just read your post about much HEALTH for the coming year. Well..... all four are sick as dogs. Greg left on a plane last night for a week. I'm on my own and it's possible my tonsils are actually touching each other.

    H E L P M E !!!!!

  11. Copays suck, ER visit or not. Glad they are getting better some of the nurses at our work's triplets all have strep, I had to help hold one down today because we gave them all shots at the same time (in diff rooms) so they wouldn't see what was coming. Poor babies!

  12. You crack me up. Even at the worst of times, you have a sense of humor. That's definitely a good thing, and probably keeps you sane with toddler triplets, a husband, and baby #4 on board.

    Just to remind you, I think you're 17 weeks. Wow!

    I hope everyone in the house gets to feeling better soon, keyword soon...and that you absolutely don't catch it. Have a good day!

  13. 17 weeks.... won't you be finding out the gender of "Baby D" soon? Please say, "YES" please say, "YES!" Glad the crew is better. Sending Charlie some quick healing through the computer ********************************************

  14. Glad your kiddos are feeling better. Hopefully your husband will be on the mend soon!

    I wanted to tell you that we have a leather couch and LOVE it. It has been great with our little one for spills or throw up. We did have one incident when my 3 year old nephew visited and made holes with a ball point pen! Thankfully we had bought a waranty so we got it fixed! Anyway just a warning :0