Saturday, April 26, 2014

Evaluating the Valuable

This past week has been a rough one.

After Kate being up almost all night last Thursday-Friday with a 103 degree fever, we took her to the pediatrician to find she had hand, foot and mouth viral infection. What we originally thought was teething pains turned out to be an actual illness.

She just seemed so miserable and we felt so helpless. I cried a lot that morning. We were really worried about what we could do for her. Her fever did come down when we gave her baby Tylenol, and Jon was really sweet with her, cooling Kate's little body with washcloths and a lukewarm bath. When her fever came back after nap time, I finally said we should just take her in to get checked out so that we would know what we were dealing with, and if it was nothing, then great! Once we saw her throat though, Jon and I both said, "whoa!"

Basically it affects children 6 and under with high fevers, sores in the mouth and itchy blisters on the hands and feet. Not everyone will get all these symptoms if they catch it, but it was still pretty miserable for our 20 month old :(

The hardest part was separating the children completely so that Edwin didn't get sick. Jon took Kate duty and I stayed with Edwin so that we could make sure everything was separated and we weren't cross contaminating. We picked up some fruit pouches and PediaSure for Kate and snuggled at home watching the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

By last Saturday she was feeling much better! Her throat still looked bad and we didn't want to take any chances with her still being contagious, so we kept the kids separated. It was so sweet though when I came around the corner one day to see Kate trying to hug baby Edwin's feet :) I felt so bad having to take her away and telling her that she couldn't touch her baby brother. She also came up to me and gave me a big hug around the waist while I was working on the computer that afternoon. I missed snuggling with her! But we couldn't risk passing the infection to Edwin.

This was the first time that Kate had been "seriously" sick. And thankfully it wasn't super horrible.

During the remaining week I caught an awful cold which had me knocked out for a couple days, I had a dear friend in the hospital due to some gall bladder surgery complications (she thankfully was able to go home to her babies yesterday), I found out that my Grandma Bailey (my dad's mother) has stage 4 lymphoma which they will start aggressively treating with chemotherapy next week, and my sweet cousin-in-law who is Jon's age with 3 young children has breast cancer. I cried.

This week has been a huge life perspective changer for me.

Of course Kate, Jon and our little family has always been a big deal. But since having Edwin I find even MORE that I'm happy slowing down and just taking time for my family. I've always wanted to put them first, but it seems every time we add on to our family a little more, my heart grows bigger :)

There are the silly moments like when I swear there's a burp cloth on my shoulder, but it turns out I'm just so used to the weight I assume it's still there. I call it "new-mommy-phantom-burp-cloth-syndrome". Jon knows what I'm talking about because he often starts spontaneously swaying side-to-side when he's lecturing at school. He has "new-daddy-phantom-baby-rocking-syndrome".

Yes, our lives have definitely changed. But it's probably the happiest I've ever been.

These days when my evenings are mostly consumed with changing diapers, wiping boogers, reading books and singing songs with the toddler while simultaneously nursing and burping the newborn, helping Kate "luh-low" (color) with crayons while trying to write letters to family, eating dinner while sharing portions with Kate and trying to keep her from dropping ham into the crying Edwin's mouth, brushing her teeth, getting into jammies, singing bedtime songs and saying prayers, all while Edwin cries in the other room, and then swaddling/snuggling him and trying to get him to sleep at almost 9pm knowing that I'll have to wake him up again at 10 to eat ... (yes, these are all ACTUALLY things that happened tonight) I like to stop and look at the baby in my arms falling into dreams and remember that although I haven't taken off my shoes since I got home 3 hours ago from running errands, and even though I'm home by myself and part of me laughs to think about how when we were married without kids I could come home, kick off my shoes, eat dinner in about 5 minutes and then spend the rest of the evening reading or doing whatever I wanted, it really was not even nearly as great as this.

What I mean is that when I am 15 years ahead and think back to these days of babies, I will probably wish I could go back and hold them just a little longer :) So I try to consider NOW what I might regret in the future, that way I can prevent making those mistakes before they even happen, and when I'm a 40-something with grown up kids I will be grateful for my life and not worry about what I might have missed.

Years ago I could not wait for when we had children and I could snuggle with our babies and hug their soft squishy wonderfulness and now I have two of the best babies in the world. I don't want to take any minute for granted, because you never really know how long it will last.

Everyone says that life is too short. But is it really about how many years are in your life? Would I rather live a long long time here on Earth to try and accomplish all the things I ever dreamt of doing? Or is it about the quality of life spent in your years, even if those years are short? When my sweet teenage cousin passed away at the end of 2013 Jon and I were blessed to be able to attend his funeral, and both of us felt like he had the most amazing, heartfelt, touching life, full of true friends and fantastic experiences. Much more wonderful in his 17 years of total life than I've accomplished, even with my 10 extra years longer that I've lived so far. How is that for perspective?

When I think of what is valuable in my life, the time I spend with the people I love will definitely always be number 1.

1 comment:

Brittany Lewis said...

This is such a sweet post. Thanks for mentioning me. :) I'm so sad that Kate was so sick. :( But glad she's okay now. I liked what you said about how great it is having your babies and how you want to make sure you enjoy them before they grow up. I try to remember that, too!!