Monday found us enjoying the start of Spring Break for all three kids. The weather was gorgeous, for a change, and the kids played outside. Wren decided she was ready to learn to ride a two-wheeler bike without training wheels, so after about an hour of my teaching her progressively to balance the bike at rest, then coasting down the driveway, she was able to pedal it successfully! I took the little kids and their bikes over to Wren's elementary school where they rode and rode and rode in the bus loop. Wren was positively exuberant!
Not to be outdone by his big sister, Noah has already asked me to teach him to ride, too. We haven't gotten to it yet (more on that in a minute), but it will be part of the plan this summer, for sure.
Tuesday found Wren and I making a quick run out to the barn to see the farrier work on the horses, and to pay the first bit of the lease fees. In the afternoon, we got together with friends for more bike riding in the church parking lot, and playground time. Then, my friend Sara graciously offered to keep the kids overnight for a sleepover so I could work on a big museum tour I was giving on Wednesday.
Travis and I got to go out for dinner in the middle of the week. By ourselves. That almost never happens.
After a supremely decadent Tuesday evening and the utter silence of Wednesday morning, I gave a fabulous tour to a group of Art Therapy graduate students. The topic was one of my very most favorites, 'Symbolism in Medieval/Renaissance/Baroque Art'. Oh yeah, right up my alley! It was fascinating research that I wish I could have done more of, and it was a terrific group of students and their professors, who asked great, thought-provoking questions, and had enough background art and history knowledge that it made for an excellent interaction.
I'm in the process of researching the answer to a question one of the students had that I was unable to answer -- which, by the way, do any of my readers/friends have any citations for the origin of the use of 'Madonna' to describe the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child? I can find a general answer -- that it probably originated with Italian Renaissance painters ('madonna' means 'my lady'), but I have nothing besides Wikipedia to cite, and I'd like to do better.
Wednesday night was a terrific lesson on Champ. I feel so much better about my jumping. We worked on one jump on a circle and practiced timing, position, and the canter lead change. I can't always get the change behind, but he does it pretty well up front. He was a good boy, though, and I showed Kathy his new skill of closing the ring gate when we leave. I say "Shut it, Champ" and he pushes the gate closed with his nose. Quarter Horses are so smart!
By early Thursday morning, things got interesting when I spent most of the night up with Noah, who we thought had a serious GI bug, poor kid. Lots of vomiting and a really high fever with chills. Yuck. Thankfully, Travis was able to stay home and help me. Wren went to riding camp in the morning, and I came home to take a nap after another museum tour for college students. Then I came home to find this beautiful scene in our living room.
Wren had a spectacular day at camp, and she was thrilled to get to see and ride one of the new ponies. She made no bones about the fact that paint ponies are her favorite and that she was going to buy one of the two of them as soon as possible. I told her she was going to have to be able to ride at the trot at least before we'd even think about buying a pony.
An uneventful evening was followed by a nail-biter of a Friday morning, in which Noah woke up seemingly worse -- fever, sore throat, headache, NECK PAIN, holy crap....any of those things without the neck pain, and I would have been less stressed, but when your five-year-old is whimpering and looks like hell, and won't bend his neck, AND had hallucinated a couple times during the night....well, thoughts start to bend toward meningitis. Especially when the supposed GI bug doesn't manifest itself like it was supposed to. And then you peek under the jammies and find a red rash all over the little body....needless to say, it was a bit of a scare. Travis took him straight to the pediatrician, although he wanted to go to the ER (I told him better to go thru the doc's office to avoid the all-day ER wait), and I gathered Wren up and took her to riding camp.
Waiting for the information from the doctor's office was hard. I tried to think of all the possibilities for his symptoms that didn't include viral or bacterial meningitis. And then I remembered that the only sure way to diagnose it would be with a lumbar puncture, and then I started wondering if my morning was going to include holding my child down while someone stuck a needle in his back. Ugh. By the time we got to the barn, I was kind of a mess. Thankfully, I got a text from Travis almost immediately, in which he said the doctor was positive it was strep. Oh! Thank GOD! The one possibility that never even entered my mind! Seriously, I have never been so happy to hear a strep diagnosis in my life.
Antibiotics, rest, comfy jammies, and lots of ice cream were today's priorities. He looks a little better now, but is definitely still sick, poor guy.
Travis and I feel like we have been hit by trucks and run through the wringer. I see a beer in my future, after the kids are in bed, and Kira has been delivered to her father.
Life IS an adventure, to be sure. Sometimes it would be nice if some of the adventures weren't so intense!
The weather is supposed to seriously improve in the next day or so....let's hope I can carve out some time to spend with Champ.