I kept him home that Tuesday as a precaution, and was glad that I did, as he ended up throwing up all over the floor, leaving a trail from the couch to the bathroom door at about 10:00 a.m. that morning. Had I sent him to school, I'd have had to walk to go pick him up since we still don't have a second vehicle. As I stood with him in the bathroom afterward, trying to clean him up well enough to stick him in the bathtub, B comes traipsing into the restroom and slipped on his vomit. I spent a good portion of the rest of that morning cleaning up children and puke, then rubbed them both down with essential oils before laying them down for a nap.
L ended up missing school Wednesday and Thursday of that week as well, but was feeling much better by Friday (although, he doesn't have preschool on Fridays). Only by then, B had come down with the same virus, full blown. Thursday night and Friday night were pretty horrible for her, the poor thing. She had such a difficult time coughing and choking on mucous that she threw up several times both nights. Friday night, we went through every last towel, sheet, and blanket that we had in the house before the coughing subsided enough for her to finally get a few hours of sleep. I had to do 5 loads of laundry (linens and clothes) the following day, just to get through the pile of laundry that had been soiled from the whole fiasco. By that time, she had also started to battle a fever off and on, and continued to do so throughout the course of the next few days.
Saturday night, she didn't throw up at all, but she started this extremely bizarre behavior, where she would wake up in the middle of the night screaming her little head off. She would also start scratching at her face in a fit of rage and would hit herself in the head, sometimes grabbing onto her hair and pulling, as if trying to yank it out. It was almost like she was possessed or something, like she was out of her mind. I don't know if she was just in a severe amount of pain, or what, but we tried applying and diffusing essential oils, offering her a drink of water or something to eat, but nothing seemed to get through to her. She just kept going back and forth from Zach to me, then back to Zach, and by the time she finally started to calm down, the three of us (Zach, the baby, and I) were out on the living room couch practically sleeping in a sitting position. We were so exhausted.
Sunday night, the fiasco started again, only this time it lasted a total of almost three hours. Poor Zach had to get up at 4am for work in the morning too. I dare say that neither of us could have possibly gotten more than three hours of sleep that night, so the next day was pretty challenging for both of us. I was sure glad when B finally slept through the night (for the first time in almost a week) on Monday night.
Since Tuesday, both kids have been on the mend, but life has still been pretty stressful, as it usually is when kids aren't feeling 100%, and can tend to be clingy and whiny - not to mention all the naughty little annoying things they have been doing all week to drive me bonkers. Zach has been gone a LOT with work and lessons, too, and I've been stuck home without a car for the majority of the day (each day) with not much of an opportunity for any kind of break from it all. I think that especially has been pulling on my sanity strings a little.
Anyway, through the chaos of the last few weeks, I started to feel a bit down. I think the Lord has really recognized my need for a little extra TLC, though, for I have felt His love in abundance - particularly over these last few days.
It all started one morning with a simple, little meme that a friend posted on Facebook. I had had a particularly stressful time fighting L tooth and nail all morning just to get dressed, and after he was finally on the bus and on his way to school, I was left feeling on edge and emotionally beaten. I happened to log on to Facebook shortly after returning to the house, and the meme was one of the first things I saw. It was an animation of a scene from the inside of a tour bus. On one side, there sat a man who stared out his window at the dull, rocky side of a mountain, a sad frown painted on his face. On the other side, there sat a man peering out of his window at a beautiful scene of sunshine and rolling hills, a smile illuminating his expression. At the top of the picture were the words:
Every single day you make a choice.
Seeing this image immediately put me in check. I was reminded that I am in control of my feelings, and that I have the power to either see the positive things in life, or dwell on the negative, overwhelming things, ultimately leading to feelings of sadness and frustration.
That same day, I felt the prompting to recommit myself to daily, personal scripture study - to invite the spirit into my life, and to give myself a constant reminder of our Heavenly Father's love for me. It's only been a few days, and I cannot tell you the incredibly positive impact it has already had on my emotions AND my thinking. I think when we focus on the blessings in life, the many marvellous things we have to be thankful for, it's easy to see the beauty in simple things that challenge us, things that might otherwise be devastating to our happiness, should we choose to only see the frustration in our situation.
Yes, I have a lot on my plate on any given day, as many stay-at-home mothers do - shoot, as parents in general do - but I am so grateful that I have that opportunity to begin with, that I have such beautiful, healthy, amazingly magnificent children, and that I get to be the one they run to when they are sick, scared, tired, sad, etc.
I know that they are only small for a very short while, and that before long, they will prefer to hang out with their friends or to be left alone in their room to read or listen to music (as I am already getting a taste of this with my oldest, M), and I won't be such a desired commodity in their everyday life. I know that then, I will have much more time to do that personal reading I long for now, to go grocery shopping on my own, or to just stinkin' use the restroom in peace - but it will be then that I long for the days that they were small and just wanted me hold them in my arms. It will be then that I will look back on this time, wondering how it all passed by so quickly.
I am thankful for the love that my Heavenly Father has shown me through my trials these last few weeks, for the blessings in my life, and for the constant reminders that as one of His beloved children, I am loved and I matter. I am also grateful for a friend who acted on the prompting to post a simple meme on Facebook - one that reminds us that, "Every single day you make a choice," because from here on out, I am choosing to focus on gratitude and love. :)