Christmas 2016 (a.k.a. Christ-sick-mas)

Oh man, this past Christmas was such a bust for us. It just seemed like everything conspired to keep us at home, miserable, sick, and tired.

The season was so bad for colds & flu. It started with J getting a bad fever at the beginning of December, developing a lingering red rash all over. It was bad enough that we took her to the hospital and they IMMEDIATELY panicked and asked if she was up to date on her vaccinations – she is – because they were worried about measles. Luckily it was not (vaccinate your kids, people). It seemed to be a bad heat rash or maybe a roseola virus, neither of which needed medicine. So we just waited out. It went away in another few days, but not before I came home from a work trip with a little cough/cold, which I promptly spread around next.

BigB caught it the worst, and by the time Christmas itself rolled around, his cough was so bad that we had to take him to the hospital next. (FYI if you would like to send us a belated Christmas gift, some kind of hospital gift cards or hard cash to pay off our medical bills would be welcome!) He got redirected to a clinic because emergency was packed – he managed to see someone at a local clinic and they diagnosed him with “the worst virus they’d seen all year”, prescribed him some cough syrup and a steroid inhaler and sent him home.

He spent the next few days sleeping all the time and seemingly getting worse by the day. He was so lethargic, I honestly thought he was on his way into a bronchitis-induced coma. As I was preparing for the worst, we had the brilliant idea of googling the medicine he was on. We should have done that first… As it turned out, the “cough syrup” was not what we thought, it had no active medication for coughing but was instead an extremely strong sedative that is only available in this region of Europe, being banned in the rest of the world. It was mild relief to find out he was not experiencing a systemic failure but only drugging himself into a stupor.

He stopped that medicine and perked up after a few days – just in time to go through with our New Year’s plans to visit Paris & Amsterdam with some friends. Except he had a terrible relapse while were on the road and spent the whole vacation lying on the couch of our b&b. So the kids and I had a nice time in the Netherlands… that post coming soon.

Meanwhile, we did make the best of the Christmas season as much as possible, and we felt the love from our family & friends shining all the way through our quarantined misery.

Here we are in happier times, getting ready for the holidays:

Christmas is also when we celebrate LittleB’s birthday, so we managed our best to have a nice family birthday party for him. He basically got 100 lbs of lego and we had an epic lego city set up in the living room and, well, everywhere.

Christmas day rolled around and we had a quiet morning, followed by an excellent dinner with our good friends. B barely made it through the evening, but he put on a brave face.

Hopefully next year will be a bit more exciting! Merry (belated) Christmas!

Sulawesi last hurrah

Before we moved away from Indonesia, I had a few weeks on my own after the rest of the family left the country to get a start on summer holidays. I took full advantage of this free time by heading away for a girls’ weekend in Sulawesi to celebrate some life milestones: babies, birthdays, moving, and just general good times.

Unfortunately, I got sick the day before. Really sick. Like, sleeping-beside-the-toilet-in-the-bathroom-all-night sick.

But I was not going to let a little thing like a horrible tropical stomach flu stop me from enjoying a few days in Makassar. Indonesia was not going to win this one, damnit.

The morning of our flight, I forced out just enough dregs of energy to throw some sarongs in a backpack, drag myself to the store for vitamin water and baby probiotic cookies, and flop into a cab to the airport.

Somehow I made it through the next few hours until we landed in Makassar and drove down the coast to where we had rented some villas on the beach. Somehow I scored the villa with the best view (probably out of pity), and plunked down on the bed to watch the ocean waves for the rest of the weekend, living on rice and electrolyte packs.

But I was there for the company, and I had it droves, even though I begged out of the swimming and late-night partying. The weather was also beautiful, and I spent some time taking a ridiculous number of macro shots of crabs and coral on the beach.

It was over too soon, but luckily so was my flu, and I made it home in time to pack up the house and say goodbye to Indonesia for better or worse!