I made the mistake of saying something positive out loud. In January, I made the mistake of mentioning to my friend and my husband that we had been lucky this winter and the kids hadn't been sick much. Within two weeks, they all had bad colds and congestion. Donkey ended up with an ear infection. Talk about wiping noses... that seemed to be all I did for days. Trouble preferred taking care of his runny nose himself. He would wipe it on his sleeve (to the point that I had to change his shirt), the couch, stuffed animals, his bed, and my all time favorite - ME! The joys of motherhood are ever fruitful when your child is wiping their snot on you. Thankfully, the four kids were better and much less snotty when the baby was born.
Just when I started thinking again that it wasn't so bad when they had the colds, and we were lucky this winter, It hit. IT refers to the stomach virus. I had been reading about it on facebook, status after status mentioning how kids were sick, parents were sick, whole families were getting it. I thought we lived in a germ free bubble, and that we were safe. Besides, how could the stomach bug hit us when at the time we had a three week old baby? That would just be cruel.
My husband had just been back to work for a week, after being home for two weeks. I was just getting into my own groove at home, a new routine with the five kids. I was starting to get a good grasp on the flow of every day. My mom called me in the morning on a Tuesday and told me she was sick. She had been up all night throwing up and had to stay home from work. She didn't feel well for a few days. I felt bad for her, but secretly was thankful that she had it and not me. (Sorry, Mom!)
That Saturday we had a birthday party for Donkey. He turned one and I didn't want to ignore such a big birthday even though we had a new baby. We survived the party, and had a nice weekend. Monday was the beginning of my husband's first full week back to work. Trouble was being kind of annoying, as he usually is, and I told him he had to go downstairs so I could make lunch. He was standing in the living room and started crying. I asked him what was wrong, and he got this funny look on his face, and boom... barfed all over the living room floor. And all over is not an exaggeration. It went across most of the space on the floor. I grabbed him and ran him to the kitchen trash can where he proceeded to throw up twice more. Nothing draws a crowd like a puke covered floor. Everyone else had to see it and make noises about how gross it was. I called my husband and promptly started crying about the puke on the floor, the two crying babies, and the other two kids staring at the puke. It was after one, and I had to get the other kids fed so I could take care of Trouble. I threw a bunch of papertowels over the barf, made a quick lunch, fed everyone, laid the babies down for naps, sent the other two kids downstairs, set Trouble up on the couch, and cleaned up the barf. I scrubbed the floor, took out the trash, sprayed out the trash can, and washed my hands about a zillion times. Trouble proceeded to throw up every 15 minutes to half hour for the next three hours. Thankfully my amazing husband came home from work. He knew it would be impossible to hold Trouble over the barf bucket (everyone must have one) and feed a baby. So, he took Trouble up to our room and set him up there. He sat with him the rest of the day so I could take care of the other kids. Thankfully the puking didn't last more than that day. Trouble was back to being Trouble by the next day.
Cut to Tuesday night, around 1am (I guess that technically makes it Wednesday). Donkey wakes up crying, gag coughs and starts his turn of barfing. He is up from 1-5 throwing up. One of the saddest sits I've seen is a just turned one year old throwing up into a bucket. He kept crying because he didn't like his head being pushed into a bucket. Finally his round ended and we got some (minimal) sleep.
Wednesday morning Pirate was acting weird. He didn't want breakfast and said his head hurt. We figured he was getting sick, so we kept him home from school. I got him set up in his bed to watch a movie while I fed the baby. I left the barf bucket next to his bed just in case. I was making the baby a bottle, and I heard the cough gag. I ran upstairs and my poor little Pirate was on the floor leaning over the bucket throwing up. He turned to me and said, "I think I am sick too.". Broke my heart! I texted my husband & let him knew another one bit the dust, and he came home. He sat with sick Pirate all day. After 3 hours it seemed to be out of Pirate's system too.
Thursday morning when I took Princess to the bus stop, I told her that if she started feeling sick she should go to the nurse. I figured it was inevitable she would get sick. At 9:30 that morning, I was putting away laundry and the phone rang. I knew before I even got to the phone that it would be the school. The nurse said Princess was complaining of a headache and that I could bring her some medicine. I told the nurse that the boys had been sick so I would just bring Princess home. On a positive side note, I learned that I was able to load all the kids in the car and get to her school and back home in 10 minutes. I set Princess up in my bed, and within a half hour, she was over the barf bucket. She only puked once though.
When I thought it was over for the kids, it came back and Trouble, Pirate, and Princess all threw up one more time a few days to a week after they initially got sick. So far, Hubby and I have not gotten sick. I'm still afraid of it hitting us or coming back for the kids. Here's to hoping we're in the clear!