Saturday, July 2, 2011

Operation CrazyWoman: The Final Chapter

The last 40 hours of my life are a blur.  And probably not for the reasons that you would expect.  But rather than get ahead of myself, let me pick up where I left off...

Since Thursday was going to be the Crews kids' last full day here, we decided to beat the heat and start it off with some outdoor fun.  I got up early and baked some muffins, then got the kids up at 7am.  They got dressed and ready to go and by 7:30 we were loaded into the van with muffins, leftover watermelon, cheese cubes and water bottles.  Sounds like a good breakfast to me!  We got to the "rocket park" and I told them they had to eat before they could play.  They all seemed to enjoy the breakfast despite the crazy face Connor was giving the camera.

And just in case you couldn't make it out... here it is in close up.  What a weirdo, but I love him!

Everyone seemed to have a really good time.  

Even though Maddox had to stay in the stroller.

What is it with my boys and weird faces??

The zip line was a really big hit.

Simon was very interested in Maddox for a while.

I finally figured out why.  He wanted to push the stroller.

So I lowered the handle and let him have a go.  He actually did really well until the moment when I got distracted and stopped watching for just a minute.  The next thing I knew he had toppled off the sidewalk into the play area.  I'd have taken a picture of it, but I was too busy trying to rescue Maddox.

After that, I held Maddox and let Simon push an empty stroller.  He was fine with that.

The girls spent a lot of time huddled in different places doing who knows what.

Wesley couldn't get enough of that zip line.  He couldn't actually get all the way across on his own steam, so I'd give him a big push.  He thought it was awesome.

And Connor even gave one of the climbing walls a go.

Near the end, the girls decided to do their traditional walk along the wall.

Unfortunately, all of the other kids followed like ducks in a row.

I'm so glad we took advantage of the cool morning.  And yes, "cool" is a relative term.  Let's just say that when we left to go home before 9am, the display at the bank said it was a balmy 88 degrees already.

The rest of the day was spent in the usual way.  Swimming, playing, watching Pink Panther, etc.  We had leftovers for lunch, and around 3:45 or so I started  feeling really, really tired and cranky.  So the older kids agreed to watch the younger kids while I took a short power nap.  When I woke up 30 minutes later I was feverish and had a splitting head ache and that's where the "blur" begins.

I thought I had developed a fever like the younger boys did from the HFMD, and I figured it would pass.  I was incoherent most of the evening, but I did manage to be up a little bit so Ben could take the older kids to the library and out for ice cream.  However, my dream of sending the kids home with neatly packed bags and freshly laundered clothes was fast becoming an impossibility.  I had the kids start collecting their own items and start packing their own bags as much as possible, but there was no way I could contribute Thursday night.  Once the kids went down it was back to bed for me.  I was up and down all night with my fever and a headache.  When fever reached over 103, so Ben sent me to take a shower and cool off.  Eventually, my fever broke and I thought I was on the mend.

That lasted until about 7am Friday morning.  I had gotten up with the idea that I could still drive the kids to Dallas to meet their parents.  That didn't last very long.  My fever was quickly coming back, and it took all of my energy just to get the kids out of the door with most of their belongings.  Ben took the Crews kids and Olivia, which left me home with our younger three.  Within an hour of his leaving, I was in really bad shape.  I slept away most of the morning on the couch while Kelsey "babysat" the younger boys.  Fortunately, Maddox was really, really easy.  Around lunch time it became apparent to me that I needed help.  I couldn't get of the couch, my fever was close to 103 again, and I didn't even have the energy to change Connor's stinky diaper, much less fix lunch for anyone.  So I called the one person who I could think of whose number I had memorized: Amy M.

She got to my house soon after that and saved us all.  Happy Meals for the kiddos, a fruit smoothie for me, and willing hands to take care of my kids.  She even stayed with us all afternoon until Ben got home, which was more than I had expected.  And she got in touch with someone else from church who brought us dinner.(Thanks so much, Lynn!)

Around bedtime my fever was creeping up again so I went to take another shower.  And that's when I realized something very important: I wasn't feverish and sick from HFMD at all.  I have mastitis, which is an infection in my breast tissue.  This is what the PubMed website has to say about it:

Breast infections are usually caused by a common bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) found on normal skin.  The bacteria enter through a break or crack in the skin, usually on the nipple.  The infection takes place in the fatty tissue of the breast and causes swelling. This swelling pushes on the milk ducts. The result is pain and lumps in the infected breast. Breast infections usually occur in women who are breastfeeding. 

It was probably brought on by a combination things this past week.  I decided to wean Maddox because he had given me a blister on one side (either from improper nursing or teething?) and it hurt to nurse.  The resulting engorgement likely exacerbated the problem and probably led to the mastitis.  Fortunately, I was able to start an antibiotic last night and although I still have a fever today, I am feeling somewhat better.  Hopefully with a lot of rest and fluids I'll be feeling back to my normal self in no time.

So what about Operation CrazyWoman?

Am I glad I did it?  YES.  I have come to love those kids like I never have before.  They are so sweet and talented, and it was a choice experience for me and my family, despite the extra stresses.

Did I learn something?  YES.  The honeymoon is over after a week, so think very hard about agreeing to take someone else's kids for more than that length of time - especially if they are under 5 years old.

And although we are glad to have our little family back to being... well... little, I think the conversation I had with Connor this morning sums up how we all kind of feel about it:

Connor: Where's Nan?
Me: Nan?
Connor: And Wesley?
Me: Nan and Wesley went back to their mommy and daddy in Louisiana.
Connor: Oh, man...


Raven Blackmane said...

All I can say is...WOW. What an undertaking and you did it as beautifully as anyone could. Way to go!

Jessica Crews said...

So glad operation crazy woman is over, So glad Kelsy was such a good big sister when you had a crazy fever and could barely open your eyes, but mostly I am glad you still have your sanity intact after watching 8 kids for a week! I seriously don't know how you did it, but you are amazing!!!! I only hope I can be as good as you one day:)!!

Gwendolyn said...

Well, your drama has made for some seriously good reading, and great party conversation ("Did I tell you my sister has EIGHT kids this week - on PURPOSE??") *Sigh* The world will be a little more gray now that the fun is over, but I'm so glad that it went so well for you :)