So last Wednesday night, I was asked to watch the kids of the folks in orchestra and praise team at my church (because my husband is in the orchestra - except that he wasn't going to be there the following Sunday and had no plans for going to rehearsal that night - but I didn't know that till I'd already agreed to babysit).
While watching the kiddos (including my own, of course), our music minister's youngest daughter (almost 2) decided that AJ (almost 1 and probably 20 lbs lighter) was just entirely too cute not to kiss. Not that I disagree, but the thick, green snot that I'd kept wiping from her nose made me wish that she'd been a little less free with her affection. AJ even tried valiantly to push her away (good boy!), but to no avail (did I mention the 20 lb difference? And she's got a good six inches on him too). So she laid a good one on his upper lip (even she apparently wanted to avoid the gallons of slobber that reside in his mouth).
The next day, he was coughing a little. Friday, he was coughing a little more and hardly slept, despite me holding him upright on the couch (oh, and him "hardly" sleeping = me _not_ sleeping) because of the runny nose that he didn't know what to do with. (This is only the second time he's been sick and his very first cold - whoopee!) Prior to moving to the couch, I tried propping up his mattress, but that didn't seem to help much. Did I mention that I also couldn't find the snot sucker (ahem, "nasal aspirator") that we'd been sure to buy prior to bringing him home that we'd used maybe once prior to really needing it that night? Well, I couldn't. AND did I mention that VNB was away hiking the MD portion of the Appalachian trail? Yeah...
So on Saturday, I went out to find one of those menthol vapor fans. That seemed to help some (he was at least in his own bed most of the night), but he still didn't sleep for very long. Finally, I took the blankets out that had been propping up his mattress. Then I got the most uninterrupted sleep I'd had in two days - one hour. Followed by the second most uninterrupted sleep I'd gotten in two days - 45 minutes.
Then we got up and went to church where one of our friends very graciously offered to take him for the afternoon so that I could sleep. VNB got home much earlier than I'd expected (and thanks to a couple they met on the trail - otherwise it would have been sleepy me and cranky AJ driving the hour-and-a-half to go pick them up), so he went and picked AJ up.
Sunday night it looked like things were returning to normal. There was even a 3-hour stretch of sleep (which has been unusual since the teething really began in earnest four months ago). His cough was still getting worse (it occasionally sounds like he's been smoking for all if my life), as was the runny nose, but he was certainly doing better during the day and sleeping better at night.
Then came Monday. I called the pediatrician mostly because of the smoker's cough. She said it sounded like RSV (i.e., a cold), that we'd probably made it through the worst of it (although it could last up to a couple of weeks), and she gave me a list of homeopathic stuff to try. A few hours after I talked with her, it became clear that AJ was again being very generous in sharing with his Mommy. My throat started getting sore and my whole body was achy. All of which made me feel bad for AJ because who knows how long he'd been feeling that way prior to the coughing and not sleeping (i.e., when I started to care/notice).
After a day-long quest for the homeopathics and most of a bottle of apple-flavored CVS-brand Pedia-lite (Powerade for babies - Hi, Uncle R!), we finally decided to stay home from last night's extra choir rehearsal. I was pretty miserable by then. VNB, since he was getting home late anyway and wouldn't _get_ to the rehearsal before it was almost over (it was a joint choir/orchestra rehearsal), just stayed home and took care of both of us. He couldn't get in touch with any of my family to get hints as to my comfort foods (when he'd asked what I wanted him to pick us up for dinner, all I could manage was a less-than-appreciative "I don't care"), but he did a great job with getting me a peppermint milkshake (which I drank all of), a Voila! dinner in a bag (with lots of veggies - have I mentioned how much he loves me?), and my very own Sprite with grenadine (no that's _not_ a Shirley Temple, thank you very much. Shirley Temples are made with ginger ale). He also put forth a valiant effort at getting AJ to sleep for me.
When AJ had woken up at least four times by 1 AM (he went to bed at 8), VNB asked if he'd do better in our bed with us (also a sacrifice on his part, as he doesn't sleep well when the baby's in bed with us). We tried that for a little while to no avail, then I spent the rest of the hour back in AJ's room trying to get him back to sleep. At 2:15, I was done. I put AJ in his crib, shut his door, walked out into the living room, and covered myself up with all the blankets I could find as I snuggled on the couch. I'd planned on staying there for 15 minutes, then trying to get AJ down again, but VNB didn't last that long. So he got up, got the baby, sent me back to bed, and spent most of two hours also trying to get him back to sleep.
Since I don't sleep well when AJ's crying, I eventually took back over and managed to get him to sleep in his own bed for an hour. VNB getting ready for work woke him, but I managed to get him back down....this time he (and I) slept for two hours! Which was an hour later than he normally sleeps, and two hours, if you count the time change.
With those three hours in hand, we faced the day. AJ last all of an hour before he climbed into my lap (with help), and fell asleep sucking on his bottle. Then I spent most of an hour trying to get him to sleep enough that I could actually put him down. It never worked. After waking him up for about the fifth time, I gave up and he woke back up. He actually ate about 2 oz of breakfast (about 1/3 of normal), and a little over an hour after waking up, he was ready for another nap. This time I just didn't move and he slept for about an hour.
In between naps, his eyes started getting really teary. It's now to the point where anytime he coughs, sneezes, or gets looked at funny, HUGE tears drip out and roll down his face. Of course, the tears are no match for the endless snot. Which, after the very traumatic wiping that Mama insists on, tends to bubble in his nostrils. It's lovely. Add that to his red nose and cheeks, red gash where he cut his face with his super-long fingernails that I finally worked up the courage to cut on Monday (post-gash - I'm not a big fan of the trauma that is the fingernail cutting), and red, puffy eyes (which are extra-squinty for the flash, but really aren't that far from reality), and you get this:
What I want to know is how he manages to still look so cute? I look like death warmed over. Him, you could still eat up wuth a spoon. It'd be a snotty spoon, but still.