Friday, February 29, 2008

Manitoba Trip

I'm blogging from bed today. It's seems the sickness has finally caught up with me! I've been feeling feverish, achy and mildly naseated since last night but thankfully no throwing up!! I'm glad I'm in the comfort of my own home and that Erik has the flexibility to stay home and help with the kids today...

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better this afternoon and thought I'd finally post all (or most anyway) of my trip pictures. We left Abbotsford on the 19th and the kids were actually really good on those flights. We had TVs on every flight and they were a life saver. I didn't have any headphones along but Micah didn't seem to care that he couldn't hear any sound. I didn't know if I'd get away with that for the whole trip, but I did! It kind of worked in my favour that both kids had colds when we left because I could medicate them guilt-free :) They both slept a bit on those flights and were generally pretty relaxed. I felt very proud that we made it without any major incident! I also loved watching Micah experience everything. He was so chatty with the flight attendants and other passengers and he even got to go up to see the cockpit when we boarded. It was a really fun day for him.

We arrived in Winnipeg to an incredibly cold day. I helped my dad put the carseats in the car and felt like my fingers were going to fall off. I don't think the kids knew what to do with the cold and that wind that takes your breath away! My parents drove us all to the hospital next to see Noah and my sister Nichole. At that point Noah was still on a ventilator but no longer on the oscillator. He was still in ICU at that point and pretty sedated but everyone kept saying that he already looked SO much better than he had a few days earlier. I was thankful that the high stress of the previous week had settled considerably and I could be there to enjoy Noah's improvement. I forgot to bring my camera in that day but I got some pictures of him a few days later which you'll see later in the post.

Then we headed off to my sister Erin's house where we stayed for the next few nights. Micah had fun playing with their three kids but I saw some definite introverted qualities come out in him while we were there. He seemed to need his alone time which is something he gets from me :) It was so cold outside that we basically stayed indoors for those days (which is probably what contributed to the breeding of the sickness to come!) but Erin and I did manage to get out by ourselves for an Old Navy shopping trip. It was fun to go without kids and we tried on all sorts of things that we wouldn't have normally tried :) I also got to be there to celebrate Erin's 27th birthday!

Micah found his dream toy at their house - Aidan's kid-sized drum kit:

Micah & Liam watching TV from Granny & Grandpa's blow-up bed in the basement. I can just imagine the flu germs that were breeding...

Keziah being silly in Auntie Erin's high chair.

Three peas in a pod: Cassidy, Micah & Liam having a snack and watching a show.

Cassidy and Micah hanging out on G & G's bed (that blow-up bed was a big hit!)

The last evening we were there, Nichole's husband Brad came over with their other two kids. It was so good to see them. All the cousins are very used to playing with each other, but Micah was a bit overwhelmed by all the activity! But he did end up having fun with his cousins that night. I'm kicking myself for not taking any pictures that evening, though. I realized when I came home that I had no pictures of Kailyn and Josh :(

My parents and I headed to Boissevain with the kids on Friday morning and they did pretty well on the 3-hour drive considering they're rarely strapped in the car for more than 45 minutes at a time. We drove through an area with probably over a hundred wind turbines. I had never seen them in Manitoba before and it was pretty neat. Micah enjoyed them too.

Micah was so excited to see all of the new things at Grandpa & Granny's house and busied himself for the afternoon with different toys and things. Keziah's cold was really bad that day. Here she is watching Baby Einstein in Granny's basement.

Things were going great until right before supper when Micah suddenly threw up without warning. I figured it could only last 24 hours at the most - since that's been our recent experience with flus, but the next night rolled around and he was still throwing up. My brother Joel and sister-in-law Laura came over that evening to see us and Micah was not very good company for his cousins. It was still really good to see them though.

I met my nephew Judah for the first time:

Livvy & Maddy eating chocolate in their pj's after a dip in the hot tub:

We wanted a picture of the cousins together but I had to be in the picture in order for Micah to stay on the couch with everyone. Doesn't he look so pathetic?

I took this picture of the two of us and Micah was NOT impressed!

On Sunday my parents arranged that I could still go to church and see some people and they took turns staying with Micah. It was good for Keziah and I to get out of the house that morning.

We kept waiting for Micah to start feeling better and then when he was still throwing up on Monday morning we decided to take him to see the doctor in town. I think just getting out of the house was good for Micah. He seemed to forget his sickness for a little while. I drove past Boissevain's huge turtle statue (Tommy) and that excited him! He screamed while the nurses and doctor examined him (which didn't surprise me in the least) but when he knew the doctor was done he calmed down right away and even chatted with the nurses who gave him stickers afterwards :) I decided to take him to the Co-op for a slurpee since I figured that would be something he would want to drink but while we were in there he started throwing up again. Thankfully there wasn't anything left in his tummy at that point and therefore no mess to clean up! And that actually ended up being the last time he threw up after who knows how many times!

Keziah checking on the sick patient:

The doctor said it was just a nasty flu and not to worry about food but to give him sugary drinks to keep up his calorie intake and fluids. That was reassuring since Micah hadn't kept any food down for three whole days. On Monday night when we were about to eat supper I put him in the living room with a video (TV was my best friend during his sickness!) and he started crying and crying and said, "but what can I eat for supper?" I was shocked! I said he could eat anything he wanted and he asked for a meatball :) He had seen Granny make them for supper and apparently decided this was how he was going to break his fast! So he ate a whole meatball and it seemed like the biggest deal! An hour later he had 1/2 piece of toast - Hallelujah! After that things started to improve but Micah definitely lost some weight through the whole ordeal.

Keziah definitely wasn't herself that weekend either, but compared to Micah's sickness it didn't seem like a big deal. Here she is playing with one of her favourite toys from Granny's house:

A snuggle and a story with Granny:

We had planned to head back to Winnipeg on Tuesday but decided to wait the extra day since Micah was barely starting to feel better and we hadn't even been able to do any of the fun things that we had planned! So, on Tuesday we bundled up (it was only about -4 or something) and played outside. Micah's energy was definitely not up to par at that point, but I think the fresh air was good for him and he still had fun.

Erik's old dog Sheba who has since retired to our farm:

I couldn't convince Micah to go on the snowmobile with Grandpa like we had planned, but I did pull him around on our old toboggan which he loved.

The one thing that made Micah happy while he was sick was sitting in Granny & Grandpa's hot tub. I was a little hesitant since he was feverish at times, but it was definitely a much-needed diversion. We took this pictures after our outdoor adventure when he was feeling better. What a scrawny kid he is!

Finally able to enjoy all those toys at Granny's house!

I also got the chance to see my childhood best friend, Erin, and her daughter Sadie. It was so good to see her and I only wished it could've been longer!

Keziah saying good-bye to Sheba:

We said good-bye to my Dad and then my mom drove us back to Winnipeg on Wednesday morning. I had hoped to see my blogging friend Amber and maybe even some other Rosenort girls, but after the flu ordeal I just ran out of time. I will definitely have to make it work next time I come out east!!

We headed back to see Noah who had since started breathing on his own and was moved from ICU to his regular ward in the hospital. He was totally alert and happy to see us. It was hard to imagine how critical he was just a week or so earlier.

The kids loved all the toys he had in his bed to play with. We let Keziah join him for awhile and I took a video:

We went back to Steve & Erin's house for our last night and two of my Aunts came to visit us for an hour or two. They brought so many gifts for all the kids! It was good to see them too. They were snapping pictures left and right but once again I forgot to take any pictures myself :P

Cassidy LOVED Keziah and called her "Ziah" the whole time we were there. I think she just enjoyed have another girl around:

Aidan, Cassidy & Liam:

Apparently the boys were feeling better on our last evening together:

It was my mom's birthday on my last day there. After she opened a couple of presents, she played Junior Monopoly with the boys:

On Thursday we were supposed to fly out of Winnipeg at 1 pm but they bumped me to a 4 pm flight to avoid me having a really long layover in Calgary. It actually worked out OK since it allowed Mom & I to take the kids for lunch at McDonald's where Micah actually got up the guts to play in the playplace (he panicked once when he tried here in Abbotsford and Erik had to crawl up to rescue him!) He had a lot of fun.

Then we got another chance to see Nichole & Noah at the hospital. Josh was there and so we brought him to the airport too. Him and Micah had a blast playing on the playground together there. This was the closest I got to a picture of Josh as him and Micah went down the slide together:

Our flights went relatively well. Keziah was a bit feverish but, once again, it worked out OK for me since she was very snuggly and sleepy. Micah was getting a bit impatient (and when we lost the TV satellite signal on our 2nd flight I thought we might have a melt-down!) but overall it went much better than I could've hoped.

Erik picked us up on Thursday evening and it was really great to see him. He had been so worried about us with Micah being so sick and me being on my own. He said it was really weird to see the kids and he thought that Micah definitely looked a lot skinnier! That night Erik let me sleep 10 hours straight while he got up with the kids. Keziah woke up quite a bit that night and it was nice to let Erik deal with her. He had renewed "Daddy energy" to make up for my depleted "Mommy energy" :)

Micah is showing off his WestJet tattoo that he got from one of our pilots:

Micah has been glad to see all his toys again but is still showing symptoms of being spoiled from his sickness. We'll have to work on the whining and the TV watching over the next few days. I think his memory of the trip will be positive even though he was sick for a big portion of it. When we were at Steve and Erin's he said he wished their house could be closer to our house. And he said the same thing about Granny's house. It's sad that he can't hang out with his other cousins all the time! I think they would have SO much fun.

The day after we returned, Keziah was very lethargic and feverish all day so we finally took her to a walk-in clinic in the evening and found out that she has an ear infection. So, she started antibiotics and was already a much different kid the next morning. I'm glad that we took her in and that we have a solution for her problem. I'm just surprised the flights didn't bother her ears more the other day!

Whew, that was a long post. Now, hopefully I can recover from this weird flu and we can all be done with sickness for a while!!


Karen said...

Well, all in all, it sounds like the trip was a good one, despite the sick kids. And, even though you didn't get to do everything you had wanted, I'm sure it was good to see your family and get away! I really hope you get over whatever you have quickly - thank goodness for a helpful husband!! have a great week, Jamie!

Kathy's corner said...

Well Jamie, I am glad you got sick once you were home, and not here. Praying it won't last long. We had a great time with you too. Love you mom

Ej said...

Looks like you had a great trip - feel better soon!

Erin and Rob said...

It was sooooo, soooo good to see you James. I really wish we lived closer - it would be so incredibly nice to hang out all the time. Sadie's been wearing her little shirt from "My-ac" and looking at your family picture on the fridge pretty intently since we got back to wpg. I couldn't get over how good Micah and Keziah were when I was over . . . and they were sick. . . wow.

Glad you're back home safe and sound, and that you're resting. I seriosly don't know of anyone in the province who hasn't had this flu. Anyway, give a huge hug to your beautiful kids for me and sades. Love you guys.

Kara said...

Great post Jamie. Despite the sickness that hit your kids, it looks like it was a great time to be with family. Hope the flu doesn't hit you too hard now that you are home.

Erin said...

Awww Jamie, I'm sorry that the kids weren't feeling better for your visit...I'm glad they seem to be getting back to normal now though. I will be prayin' for you to feel better soon too...sorry we didn't get a chance to hang out, but there is always next time!!!! :)

rachel joy said...

Well written post! The long ones can be daunting to write, but so worth it, hey? I'm glad you had the energy to share all your stories and pictures with us. My very favourite picture is the one of Cassidy snuggling Keziah on the couch. Despite the sickness, sounds like you had a great time. Feel better soon!

Trev & Rebekah said...

I hope you recover soon. Isaiah had the flu two weeks ago and now he has it again! This sucks! Hopefully Trev and I stay away from it this time though.
I am sorry your kids weren't feeling the best on your visit. I would have loved to see you. But I'll get to see you in just over a month. You still up for babysitting? I'll have to get directions from you as to where your house is from the Mark Center. I hope we'll have a vehicle to use.
Did you have one extra seat on the plane for Micah and then just have Keziah on your lap?

Summer said...

Hope you and Keziah are feeling better soon!!!

Sounds like you guys had a very good trip even though the kids were sick!!!

Great post and the pictures are great too!!

Rob & Krista said...

Wow...sounds like you had an action packed vacation. We're very sorry to hear of your illness...we know as well as we've been there done that in the last two weeks. We highly suggest the doctor visit and the drugs that follow =). These times are never fun...sleepless nights, whinning, clingyness, etc. At least the cuddle times are kind of a treasure...we spent about 3 days on the sofa watching Treehouse and Dora episodes. It's rare to have toddlers motionless for an extended period of time.

Oh, by the way nice "new" van. You wil love it. We got a new one just like yours last Jan. and it's been great.

Thanks for sharing about your trip.
Blessings to you all as you recover!!

kelly said...

probably not quite the adventure you had imagined, but glad to hear there were good points to the trip, and that the kids traveled well.
Hope you get better, and keziah too!

Erin Keown said...

sorry to hear about Keziah's ear infection. that is no fun, but those antibiotics should do the trick!
amazingly, we have all stayed healthy after Liam's episode. Cassidy had a high fever one night but was fine the next day.
Liam talks about micah alot though, and always wants to wear the "Micah" pjs.
Aidan keeps asking if Auntie Jamie is still on the airplane, He must think you live pretty far away!

Erin Keown said...

oh and looking of those pics from my rec room reminds me how terribly ugly it is!

Anonymous said...

i am soooooo sorry that your kids were sick! How terrble. Strangely enough, i know EXACTLY how that goes... the odd time you actually fly back and are alone with your kids... and they get sick. I think Liv might be on the uphill side of her three week diarrhea virus. Today I came down with some stomach bug so I am hoping it will be gone for my early flight tomorrow morning! Could be interesting!!!! Get some rest! Wierd how you need a vacation to recover from a vacation, eh?

Dianna said...

What an interesting post! The turbines windmills that you drove past is the area where I live. You drove right past my hometown! You should've dropped in for coffee and goodies, and a good ol chat!

Jamie said...

Dianna - that's cool that you live there! How long have those turbines been there? That was the first time I'd ever seen them and I forgot to ask my parents when they were put up. They kind of give the whole area a majestic kind of feeling. I like it.