Myrtle Beach / The Month of Sickness (May 2017)

The week after I got back from Mexico, John, the girls, Irene (John’s mom), and I went to Myrtle Beach for 3 days and 2 nights.  I grew up going to Myrtle Beach quite frequently but John had never been before so we decided to check it out.  John found a great deal for a time share rental since it was before peak season.  We reserved a two bedroom unit at the hotel, but when we got there they upgraded us to a 3 bedroom with no charge, so that was very exciting.

The unit we stayed in was so nice.  There were 3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, a washer/dryer, a full kitchen, and a nice dining/living space, plus a great little balcony area.  We were really surprised with how nice it was considering the price.  Irene was able to have her own bedroom and private bath, the girls had the room with two queen beds with a bath just outside, and John and I had the master with a huge bathroom.

The weather wasn’t the greatest while we were there, it was mostly overcast and windy with scattered showers.  But the weather didn’t get us down because the hotel had several pools and hot tubs so we were able to swim a lot while looking at the ocean.  And we could sit on our balcony and watch the water and hear the waves which was very relaxing.

Lyra L O V E D the pools, in particular the kids fun pool that had a bunch of different water falls and sprinklers and things.  She spent a lot of time there.  John and I loved the lazy river.  Unfortunately the second day, first full day, when we went down to the pools in the morning you could tell Lucy just wasn’t feeling the greatest.  Her eyes looks so tired and she was just really quiet and not her usual lively self.  Before we left, Lyra had some sniffles.  Anyone with children knows that they pretty much constantly have sniffles with varying degrees of severity, so we didn’t think much of it, especially since Lyra was still so energetic and playful.  I figured it was just a couple days of a runny nose, no big deal, but that second day Lucy and I started to go down.  As the day progressed so did our colds.  By the afternoon we were both snotting coughing messes.  It happened so fast.  That night John went out for cough drops for me because I would get into these coughing fits.  So we had a cold, but we were still in good spirits.  We ate well and played Bananagrams and Lyra and John swam a ton, but the cold dampened some of that trip because we were losing energy.  After we checked out of the hotel on the third day, we explored a little of Myrtle Beach and did the big ferris wheel which was pretty neat!  And overall our trip to Myrtle Beach was a good one, we had fun, our hotel was awesome, we were able to make most of our food in the unit since we brought a bunch with us and could cook, we played games, and relaxed to the sound of the ocean.

Here are a couple pictures of the trip.  I didn’t take a lot because we were swimming or just hanging out at the hotel most of the time.



yeah, that’s my fat finger in the corner.  photo fail.


Lyra on the big ferris wheel

BUT!  Dun dun dun, forever in my mind that trip will be associated with what we’ve now called The Month of Sickness.  What we thought was a harmless little cold, turned into so much more.  Lyra was Patient Zero, probably picking it up from an indoor playground we had been to a few days before the trip, but Lucy and I were the first to really go down.  Within a day or two of us coming home from Myrtle Beach, the whole family was hit with a massive head cold.  Thankfully Irene never got sick!  How she came out of that trip with us and didn’t get sick is beyond me, but she is lucky.

Okay, so we had a cold, no big deal.  It’s pretty annoying mostly having to blow your nose constantly and not being able to get comfortable enough to sleep.  Add in two young kids with the same thing and even a mild cold becomes bad quickly.  But we figured we’d make it through, lots of rest and fluids and vitamin packed meals.  Diffusing essential oil blends, getting out the humidifiers, doubling up on the elderberry syrup, the usual protocol for Sickness in the Wells House.  Only nothing seemed to work this time.  After a little over a  week (usual time it takes for a cold to go away) the girls were getting more sick and miserable instead of better.  They were hurting and spiking temperatures, so we decided to take them to the doctor.  This was a milestone for us – the first time we’ve had to take either girl to the doctor for anything other than a well-child check.  We’ve managed to go 3.5 years without anything more than a 24 hour stomach bug or cold so we hadn’t had to seek medical attention.  The doctor looked at both girls and found that their colds had turned into sinus and ear infections for the girls and had prescribed them antibiotics.  She offered to check us over but we declined because we thought we could power through.  We started the girls on their medicine the next day and then a few days later John and I were continually getting worse and running fevers so we made appointments for us.  We gave in and got checked over and we both had sinus infections and one of my ears was infected.  Yippee!  We were so desperate to feel better at this point we were like “please give us all the drugs you have!”  John and I do not take medicine frequently, it has to be pretty bad for us to take some ibuprofen, tylenol, or benadryl, but we were miserable.  I’m not sure about John, but I know I haven’t been sick enough to warrant antibiotics in over a decade – I vividly remember that sickness, laryngitis and a double ear infection that was the most painful thing.

I joked to John that I wanted to take a picture of everyone’s medicine lined up but I never got around to doing it.  But here was the lineup:

Lyra: two bottles of liquid antibiotics
Lucy:  two bottles of liquid antibiotics
John:  two bottles of heavy duty cough syrup, one bottle of antibiotics in pill form, steroid nasal spray
Rhianna:  two bottles of heavy duty cough syrup, one bottle of antibiotics in pill form, steroid nasal spray
Everyone:  all the boogie wipes in the world plus tons of toilet paper turned kleenex

We spent the next week convalescing and slowly getting better.  It took a long time.  We were zapped and getting stir crazy from not going outside of our house/yard.  And on top of that, towards the end of my antibiotic treatment I started getting hives.  It turns out that I had developed an allergy to amoxicillin that I never had in my youth.  The first 3 days of hives I had to take benadryl every 4 hours on the dot or I’d get incredibly itchy and break out in hives.  So now that I was getting better from the sinus infection, I was drowsy all the time from the benadryl.  It started to get better after a few days and it morphed into dermatographia that could be managed with some benadryl that I was only having to take 2-3 times a day/night.  It took almost two weeks for it to go away completely and I kept benadryl on me because I never knew when I’d start to get uncontrollably itchy and therefore get dermatographia.   It was not that fun.

But in the end, we all got better after a month of being sick in some fashion or another.  And I hope our sickness quota was filled for the rest of 2017.  I’ll keep you posted. ;)

Here’s a sweet little, sad photo of Lyra during one of her naps while sick.  She rarely naps, but during our sickness she napped a lot.


all of us

Summer Beach Vacation 2016

I started this blog post 20 days ago and have been waiting on John to write his part and add photos.  John has been super busy so hasn’t had a chance to write so I’m going to publish it anyway with the intent of adding in his piece when he’s finished.  Now to finish the other two posts that have been sitting in my drafts…

In early June we went on our summer beach vacation.  This is our third year in a row spending time at Carolina Beach with our dear friends Micah and Brett.  In years past we have stayed at a family friends home, this year we decided to stay longer and rent a house for the 7 of us.  Well, kind of 9 of us.  4 adults (one of those adults gestating TWO babies), 2 kids, and one dog.  It was the best vacation ever.  Micah and I cried when it was over.

Micah and Brett came down to our house on a Friday evening to spend the night with us before we all headed to the beach the next day.  The best part of this day was that their dog Finn (a yellow lab) decided to take a dip in our gross little pond we have in our  yard.  (It is where frogs go to die and we are filling it in later this summer because we don’t want the upkeep right now and it will be safer for tiny humans to play in the yard without the pond.)  We didn’t realize how deep the pond was, but all of Finn was covered except his head!  Yikes!  And I mean, he’s a big boy.  Well, we hosed him off outside and washed him with baby shampoo because we didn’t have any dog shampoo on hand.  While we were at it,  Lyra was already naked (as she is like 75% of the time in summer) so we hosed her off and washed her down too since it was bath time anyway!  Ha!  It was a great kick-off to our week.

On Saturday we had gymnastics in the morning and Micah and Brett decided to go down ahead of us to the beach to see if we could get an early check-in.  After we got home from gymnastics, we packed up the van and had a light, early lunch and then were on the road.  We wanted to wait until closer to nap time so the girls would just sleep in the car.  They did!  Lu woke up like 15 minutes from our beach house.  Which woke Lyra up.  But they both were pleasant.  Our house was so nice!  We had one floor with a room for Lu, John, and me and a kids room for Lyra — she LOVED her cool bunk room.  We also had a nice size bathroom and washer/dryer on our floor which was so nice.  Micah and Brett had their own level too.  It worked out well for our families. We could see the ocean from our street and we were so close to the family house so we could walk to visit them and eat with them.  Which we did!  RZ had lasagna for us to eat that night.  It was so nice to just be able to settle in to the house and unpack and walk a couple houses down to eat dinner that night.  The girls went to bed early and we were able to talk as adults that evening after bedtime.

The next morning after the guys went to set up our spot on the beach, we all went to RZ’s for breakfast (she insisted!) and then everyone packed up and headed to the beach!  Here’s where I tell you how spoiled we are.  We didn’t have to bring anything except ourselves, sunscreen, and some beach toys.  We were so fortunate to have beach chairs, a nice tent, and a kiddie pool for enjoying the beach.  And a golf cart to get us there with all our stuff (and take us back to the house to use the bathroom so we didn’t’ have to use port-o-potties).  See. Spoilt rotten.  But honestly, I don’t think we could do the beach any other way now since we’ve done it like this the past few years.  I mean, I guess we could do without the golf cart, but it’s SO nice and easy with one.

Anyway – the girls loved the beach.  We brought a bumbo for Lu to sit in and play with (eat) sand and both girls used the kiddie pool.  Lyra was in her element.  We told her if she wanted to go to the ocean she had to have a big person go with her (and there were a lot to choose from!) and she obeyed the entire trip.  One day it was particularly funny when she chose Uncle Brett as her big person and made him run around a lot — we all died laughing as we watched Brett, who does not run, try and keep up with Lyra — she just knew she would be able to get away with more with him.  Oh man, so funny.  Overall, it was just so pleasant to be able to enjoy the beach.  And it will only get easier because Lu will be 1.5 years next year instead of only 6 months.  She won’t need to be held or carried everywhere.  Lucy took her morning nap on my lap under the tent while I read some of my book and Lyra played.  We stayed out until about 1ish each beach day and then we went home for lunch and nap time.

Sunday night we had a seafood feast with fresh seafood.  The guys cooked everything and it was amazing.  We had tons of fresh veggies from RZ’s garden that were scrumptious.  It was a very good day.

On Monday it was supposed to thunderstorm so we made plans to go to the aquarium that day.  After breakfast (donuts from Wake and Bake!) our little family (just John, me, and the girls) went  to Fort Fisher and had a wonderful time seeing everything there was to see.  We paid extra for the butterfly exhibit where we stayed forever just in awe of all of the butterflies, letting them land on us and watching them eat and play.  Luckily it didn’t rain until late afternoon so we didn’t get rained on when we were out and about.  After the aquarium we drove all around the island and even up to Wilmington to just drive around and talk while the girls took their afternoon nap.  We didn’t know how Lyra would transfer after she fell asleep so we decided to just let her have her nap in her car seat.  We stopped and got something to eat (John ran in to get it and we ate in the car).  It was really nice.  Later that evening we just hung out at home because it had started to rain and Micah and Brett cooked dinner for all of us.

she looks so sad, but she insisted on this picture and this pose.  haha!

butterflies at the exhibit

love her

she was in awe of all the huge butterflies
On Tuesday after breakfast we all headed to the beach.  This day Lucy was a little restless so I decided to take her on an adventure just the two of us while John stayed with Lyra and the others on the beach.  I had so much fun with Lucy.  I took her down to Fort Fisher and we walked all around.  Even though I’ve been to Fort Fisher a lot in my life, including every year for the past 5 years, I haven’t looked around at the museum or other historical things since I was a teenager.  It’s funny how the last time I thought it was mostly boring (I was 16) but now as an adult I found it really interesting.  And since Lu was only 6 months – she didn’t complain.  We walked through the trees and along the beach after visiting the museum.  By the time we were ready to head back, John and Lyra were back at the house for nap time.  John reported that he and bean had a great time too.  It was nice to kind of each have our alone time with one girl.

the view on my walk with Lu

Fort Fisher is beautiful.  This is where Micah & Brett were married (John was the officiant!)

my velcro baby and me
Wednesday and Thursday were super similar days – complete beach days.  And both started out with Relaxing Time for Mom.  John took the girls first thing in the morning and I walked to the beach by myself to sit and read and have some quiet time.  Each day I was slowly joined by others of our crew, namely Micah (we are both early birds) and it was nice to have my quiet alone time end with some friend time sans babies.  I’ll get John to write up about his fun mornings with the girls and paste it here:

JOHN’S PART — will add sometime!  haha

Once John and the girls were ready to head to the beach, he picked me up and we went back to the house to slather the girls in sunscreen and get them beach ready, then we used the golf cart to go back and play all day.  We walked to the Tiki Bar for lunch and headed back to the house mid afternoon for nap time.  One of the nights, I can’t remember which now, John and I cooked dinner for everyone.

Almost all of our nights on vacation we put the girls to bed and then we would drink some wine (for those of us not pregnant) and talk and talk and talk.  It was so nice to stay up really late and talk to our dear friends.  Their lives are getting ready to change in a major way as they are quickly approaching having not one, but two babies.  Our beach trip next year is going to look a lot different with two toddlers and two babies!  But will it be fun!

The set-up under the tent. Tons of beach toys in the pool.


she was in her element

absolutely loved chomping on a pickle

I love her so much
Our family left a day early because John had to fly out for a wedding on Saturday.  So after a slow and leisurely morning (with more donuts from Wake and Bake!) doing laundry so we could go home with clean clothes, we said our goodbyes to everyone and headed back on the road to our house.  Luckily it only takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to get home.  It was nice getting back home on a Friday in late afternoon.  For one:  we had a good amount of our Friday to unpack and ease back into home.  For two:  we still had our weekend ahead of us!  Even though John was going to be gone for the weekend, it was nice to have two days to spend at home before going back to work.  We were able to get back to normal before being thrown into a work day.  I think we might do this in the future for beach vacations – leave in the afternoon or evening on a Friday so we still have our weekend.  Though, due to our new life changes (post coming up!) that won’t matter quite as much.

So John proclaimed this beach trip to be the “Best Family Beach Trip Ever” and I think he might be right.  We were both so relaxed and had so much fun with our family (including our friends who are basically family to us!).  It was much needed as this summer has been quite stressful actually.  But soon our lives are getting much simpler and better and that will be the best way to end summer.  We are hoping to get another long weekend beach trip in before summer is over.  And we are all looking forward to next year’s trip with the new babies!