Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Not Quite Like the Spring Breaks in College

I think I've mentioned before that my family lives all over the country.  We are in Los Angeles, both of our parents are in Florida, Andy's brother is in Rhode Island, my sister Beth lives in Virgina and Megan in Wisconsin.  As you can imagine this makes it pretty difficult to get together for family dinners.  That's why last year when we went on the cruise it was so great because my sisters and I got to hang out with each others families.  I love that our kids got to play together for a week.  I wish we could do it more often, but it's so expensive to travel with five people and my girls have only recently gotten to the point where I don't mind traveling with them.  They are easier now.  They can be entertained by an iPad for two hours, and I can actually read a book without being in the bathroom.    

I decided a few months ago that we needed to go visit Megan in Wisconsin, because I haven't been to see her longer than anyone else.  She's been here to Los Angeles for one reason or another, so we have seen each other, but it was our turn to visit her and her family.  We decided the girls' spring break would be a good time.  You know, because as the rest of the country is taking their spring break to escape the cold, why not be the people going right to the heart of it!  And oh my sweet baby Jesus was it effing cold!  Or as I liked to refer to it- real life "Frozen".

Let me start by saying, I do not like the cold.  Nope, never have.  I don't mind it for a day or two, but winters in Boston during college may have kept me from getting to a class or two.  Who the hell wanted to go out when it  was 10 below and so windy that I could walk at a 45 degree angle?  I liked the snow, when it was snowing or right after, but the grey black shit it turned into in the city was not so pretty.  When we would finally get a slightly warm sunny day in March, I was that person in shorts and a tank top running around yelling "what a GORGEOUS DAY!"  In fact I believe I used to call those sort of days, "orgasmic".   That's why living in Los Angeles is perfect for me.  Our coldest winter day is 50 degrees.  Perhaps it gets colder at night, but I'm inside with the heat on under a blanket.

 My sister Megan is the opposite.  When she looked for places to go to college she sought out every good college in the tundra.  She eventually chose Marquette in Milwaukee, WI.  Since then her family has moved to the middle of Wisconsin to a little, and I stress the word little, town called Stevens Point.  That is were we went for spring/still winter there break.

How hot and dry our winter has been here in L.A. is just how cold and wet the winter has been there in Stevens Point.  Her girls didn't go to school for three days because it was TOO COLD TO GO OUTSIDE!  W..T..F?  I will admit I was looking forward to a little cold and some snow for a few days though, since it had been so hot here.  Plus she had heat and hot chocolate so we were all good.

We had to fly into Minnesota, because there is not close airport to my sister.  Well, not one that doesn't charge an extra $300 per ticket to get to it.  That was fine though because Minneapolis has something that I would never make a trip to go see.  Since we were there though, the Mall of America was a sight worth  seeing.

We got in on Monday night and drove the three and a half hours to my sisters house, arrived around 1am and unloaded the sleeping children from the car.  That's when it started.  Lana complained about a sore throat.  Crap.  I just brushed it off to traveling and it being late and her being tired.  The next morning she was still saying her throat hurt and she didn't feel well.  I gave her some Motrin and we went about our day.  The kids played outside in the snow and came in for some hot chocolate.  All seemed fine. It wasn't until we were sitting in the movie theater that afternoon enjoying the new Muppet movie that I noticed Lana totally spacing out.  It only took me one swipe of her forehead to know she had a raging fever.  Crap, crap, crap.

When we got back to Megan's I gave her more Motrin and she rested for a bit.  I had hopes that perhaps this would be a quick fever.  She would get over it by the morning.  I should have known better considering that Georgia had a fever two weeks before that lasted four and a half days.  The good news was we were at a family members house and not a hotel in Hawaii.  (So help me, if one of them ends up with a fever at the hotel in Hawaii next month.)

For most of the week we layed low and the kids played.  My sister has a gorgeous house with a gigantic playroom.  Not to mention a workout room where Andy and I could escape to get our exercising in and finish the first season of Orange is the New Black. (OMG! That show!!) It was fabulous in that aspect.  It was not so fabulous that Lana's fever continued the ENTIRE TIME WE WERE THERE.  We didn't let it stop us to much.  When we wanted to do something we would give her some Motrin and the fever would go away enough for her to enjoy the outing to the cheese factory, or the half an hour I spend with them building Baby Buttons the snowman. 

The Cheese Factory

Time to make the cheddar!

"Do you want to build a snowman?"-you know you were all thinking it.

So maybe there wasn't A LOT of snow to make a big one.

But this is one bad ass selfie I took!

 The only symptom she seemed to have was the fever.  And no, I didn't take her to the doctor for a number of reasons.  Georgia had the same fever and it went away, so I assumed this would do the same.  Plus every time I've gone to the pediatrician for a fever he's said, "it's a virus.  It will be gone within a week.  $25 copay please." So I figured what was the point? Plus Megan is a nurse and she didn't seem to be alarmed so I didn't feel I should be either.

The end of the week is when we went to The Mall of America.  Unfortunately, Lana STILL had the fever, but the mall has an American Girl store (not to mention the amusement park and mini golf course inside).  Aunty Megan had promised Lana she would buy her a birthday present there and dammit, no stupid fever was keeping that girl from American Girl.  So we dosed her with more Motrin for her to feel better and off we went.  Oh!  I forgot about the aquarium that's inside the mall too.  You guys this mall is CA-RAZY.  I've never seen anything like it.  Like I said, I would have never made a special trip, but I'm glad we got to go and see it.

An amusement park INSIDE a mall.  Similar to a chicken cooked inside a duck inside a Turkey.

Poor Lana!  She looks so terrible here.

So we did the aquarium, and American Girl.  We rode some rides at the amusement park, had lunch and then Lana started to go way downhill.  She was tired, cranky and obviously getting the fever back.  We were going home the next day thankfully, at which point I would take her to the doctor because it had just gone on for so long.

Andy and I were dreading the flight home the next day, because Lana had started complaining of ear pain.  I was positive it was an ear infection.  However, the problem these days is that they don't treat ear infections all the time like they used to when we were kids.  So even if that is what she had, I wasn't sure she was going to get anything anyway.  Still getting on a plane with a kid with an ear infection was not top of my bucket list.  However, short of renting a car and driving for three days, there was no way else to get back to Burbank.

I did give her benadryl for the first flight, which resulted in her falling asleep the entire flight. Phew!  The second flight I didn't give her anything but the Motrin and she fell asleep anyway and didn't complain of ear pain the entire time, which I found odd.  Maybe she didn't have an ear infection after all.

First thing Monday morning I took her to see the pediatrician.  I told him all the symptoms and said I was waiting hoping the fever would just go on it's own.  He assured me I did the right thing.  Then he took one look in her ears and described them as "miserable".  Oh.  Well, then. My mother of the year award should be arriving soon.

Did I still do the right thing?  And how come she didn't have terrible pain  on the plane?  Well here's a little tidbit for all you flying with kids.  Their ears bother them less with an ear infection on the plane.  When they have an infection their ears fill with puss where there would otherwise be pockets of air.  When we fly that air builds pressure until it pops.  If there is something filling that space, like the puss, there's no pressure and it doesn't hurt.  Who knew?! Still he said I was in the right to wait out the fever, but he was prescribing an antibiotic and suggesting I give her double doses that day. This is a doctor who is usually conservative about giving out the antibiotics, so I knew this was bad.

By the next day Lana's fever had gone down, and then came back for a bit.  I panicked and called the Dr again.  They assured me that I needed to give it a couple days to work properly.  By Wednesday night she seemed to be completely better even though low on energy.  Either way I was sending her to school on Thursday.  I half expected to get a call from the school nurse at some point, but fortunately I did not.  She managed to make it through the day and even to Girl Scouts.  She was exhausted by bed time and it took her through the weekend to get back to "normal".  She was spacing out and seemed to not hear us from time to time, although I'm not entirely sure that wasn't selective.  I'm just thankful she's better.  

I'm not usually the mom that freaks out just because her kid has a fever, because I have three kids who have had many fevers.  However, they have never had one that lasted so long and if I'm being honest I may have started to freak out by Tuesday just a bit.  She's completely better now, but slightly cranky and sensitive.  I guess being catered to for that long and not having to do chores will make going back to real life sucky.  And because I'm such a nice sister and was taught to share, we shared our germs with my nieces and both of them got the fever as well.  Fortunately, they never got quite as sick and were better within a couple days.  Still don't say I never shared anything with you Megan!  

Thanks so much for the hospitality!  We had a fantastic time despite the sick kid, and the cold wasn't THAT bad.  In fact it was quite a bit of fun, but only because I got to come back to the warm sunshine.  

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