This year May came in like a wrecking ball, to say the least. Total mayhem. Not all bad and definitely not all good either. I brace myself for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the month of May each year but nothing could have prepared me for what lie ahead this time.

Obviously this year has already been different in so many ways. Being shut in 24/7 during a pandemic is not something I ever imagined would happen. We have handled it as best we can. Teaching online with a one year old who wants constant attention was not the easiest but we managed and made it through! Online teaching isn’t even what created the mayhem this month though.

Everett woke up May 2nd a little grumpier than normal and didn’t want to eat his breakfast which is not like him at all. He loves to eat. I didn’t think much of it until 20 minutes later he had a disgusting diarrhea diaper. I figured his tummy must have been bothering him with getting that out and that was why he didn’t eat. I was FaceTiming my mom (a much more frequent thing now with not being able to see people) and he came to sit next to me on the couch. Next thing I know he starts vomiting. On my couch, then the floor. The next 11 days it was constant diarrhea (every 30-45 min most of those days) and vomiting for about 6 of them. Day one was a Saturday so I did teledoc and got zofran for him but then he started running a fever later that day and I called the on call nurse for his pediatrician. It was the same thing though, just try to keep him hydrated, give Tylenol and ibuprofen, and wait it out for now. He did not improve over the weekend so I took him to his dr Monday morning and they did a stool sample (that was fun to get-I was sent home with the tube to collect it in and brought it back to them). We got the results the next day…salmonella. I went through all the possible ways he could have gotten it with the dr but we have no clue where it came from. The only thing to do was keep him hydrated and wait for it to pass. The following day is when he decided to sleep all day and it was a battle to get fluids in him. He slept through the night and the next morning refused liquids and the small amount I got him to drink he vomited up. So, the one thing I really wanted to avoid happened…we were sent to the ER where he was admitted for dehydration. This was day 5 of salmonella, we were told it would pass in 4-7 days. He was supposed to be improving (or so we thought). The ER dr said he would likely have the diarrhea for 14 days and the fever that was coming and going would last another few days. Thankfully at that point the vomit was less frequent and the morning he was admitted ended up being his last vomit. He stayed one night and received IV fluids throughout the night. He woke up feeling much better and was ready to eat something. This was the first time since he was sick that he actually wanted to eat. My poor baby lost almost 3 lbs during this whole ordeal. We were sent home the next day once his intake was greater than his output. While sitting in that hospital room holding my miserable baby, I thought “of course this is happening in May.” Three years before we were in the same hospital for Addy (two weeks shy of three years, to be exact) except we didn’t come home with her. I have a serious love/hate relationship with that hospital. The new hospital policies made it even harder to be there. It was just the two of us. Daddy couldn’t come visit and I had to meet him at the entrance to get things from him. I’m so thankful it was only one night. Being there made me think of Addy’s last days here on earth often and I’m not sure I could have taken it much longer. He wasn’t all better when we left, but he could drink enough fluids and would take some bites of food. It was day 11 that there was a noticeable change. He wanted to play and he was eating more food. He still wanted to be held often and was very weak. Day 12 was a huge improvement and he was pretty much back to himself with eating and playing (still weak and getting his strength back). Salmonella is horrible! Since we don’t know how he got it, we don’t know how to prevent it from happening again. But, I’m upping my cleaning game and heating up all vegetables he eats in case it came from them somehow.

The day after Rett was back to himself we got a text that added to the mayhem. We were asked if we could take two emergency foster placements. A 2 month old boy and 2 yr old girl. They arrived around 11pm that night and our journey as foster parents officially started. Once all the case workers left I wondered what we were doing. Could we do this?? Three kids under 3 yrs?? The first couple days had me continuing to question our own sanity in saying yes. Sleepless nights with a baby up every few hours and a toddler waking up screaming, and Rett deciding to join them in waking up in the middle of the night too. We worked on sticking to a routine immediately to try and help them adjust. Baby is doing well with some moments of inconsolable crying but they are less frequent now. Big girl is sleeping better and not waking up screaming anymore (just once in the past three nights). Rett loves having a friend to play with and is always so excited to go in her room in the morning to get her up. They have their moments of fighting but they play well more than they fight. Routine and consistency has definitely been our lifesaver. And as crazy as it sounds in my head that we said yes to having three kids under the age of three in our house, it doesn’t actually feel so crazy anymore (except when everyone is having a meltdown from hunger or sleepiness haha). Just a few days after first writing this they left as soon as they arrived. They have been moved to another home. I pray they adjust well to their new home. I also pray for my baby’s heart as he misses them and doesn’t understand why they’re gone as quickly as they came.

One week after our foster babies’ arrival marked 3 years since I held my baby girl in my arms. I long for feeling her little arms around my neck again, hearing her laugh, holding her in my arms, and telling her how much I love her. I had more distractions this year leading up to her heaven anniversary, but the ache of missing her is still there. I miss getting her up in the morning, hooking her up to her feeding pump and then getting back in bed with her while we watch tv together. She was the best at relaxing in the morning and letting mommy take her time really waking up. I often imagine what she would be doing if she were still here. She would be starting kindergarten in the fall (or maybe not-with all this COVID craziness), she was on the typical growth charts when she died and I wonder if she would have stayed on it or if her growth would have slowed down some. I’m pretty positive that crazy hair would have just gotten crazier. She had the best hair! I don’t visit her grave very often. I know she’s not really there, but I do go for holidays to change out her flowers. We didn’t make it this year for her heaven anniversary but that doesn’t change how much I’m thinking about her and miss her. Mommy loves you forever Addalyn Grace! You would love all the chaos in our house right now if you were here!

The year 2020 will always be remembered for the mayhem that came in May. I have no idea what the future holds for our family but I do know that God does and He is in control. So we continue to move forward in faith doing the next thing He calls us to.

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