Dear Holly: Your Spider-Man Balloon with Extra Helium

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

As you were still recovering last week from the flu, Papa bought you a Spiderman balloon to help cheer you up.

Though you received it a few weeks ago when you stayed with Nonna and Papa in Alabama, the balloon made its way back to our home in Tennessee.

This weekend, as you were playing with the balloon, Mommy snuck up behind you.

She grabbed you by the waist and picked you up, making you think the helium in the balloon was so powerful that the balloon was pulling you up in the air.

Even now, I’m not sure if you realized it was just a trick!



Dear Holly: Getting the Purple Glove Treatment for the Flu

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

Last Friday afternoon, I received the call from your school that you had a temperature of 105 degrees! I took you to doctor and confirmed what your school had accurately predicted: You officially had the flu.

The doctor made it clear you would be contagious for the next week and were not allowed to go back to school for that long.

I was very impressed with how well you handled yourself during the entire doctor visit. You started getting a bit restless there towards the end, as you kept trying to tell me something while the doctor was explaining the process of giving you medicine.

“Oh, I forgot,” I explained to the doctor. “Holly is hoping she can take care a pair of those purple medical gloves you have there in the box hanging on the wall.”

That’s all it took to make you happy, despite how physically horrible you were feeling.

You wore then on the ride home. You wore them to bed. And you wear them the next day while you played with your toys.

Getting the flu meant you needed the purple glove treatment!



Dear Jack: You Took Care of Your Sister While I Was Sick This Week

7 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I don’t get sick… especially ever since I became a vegan over 5 years ago, when even most of my allergy and sinus problems went away. However, this week has been the exception to the rule.

Exactly a week ago, right as the dogwood trees turned from white to pink, it was like I was overtaken by the flu. (I can’t be sure what it’s like to have the flu, since I’ve never had the flu before; nor have I ever had a flu shot.)

My body began aching all over. My throat swelled up. My appetite went away.

And when Mommy checked my temperature, it was 103!

Last Friday, especially, was just a blur to me. I remember Mommy had to stay home because I pretty much just stayed in bed all day and slept. I really couldn’t do anything else anyway; I couldn’t even stand up straight or walk, without falling over.

For the past week, I have been living off of allergy pills and smoothies. Each day, I have felt a little better. Finally, today, I feel mostly back to normal.

Yeah, apparently it was just a really bad reaction to the pollen. I wasn’t actually sick; in terms of needing to go to a doctor. I didn’t have the flu. At least I don’t think so.

I can easily imagine how much worse things would have been for me if I was still eating dairy. I would have ended up with a sinus infection. Instead, my sinuses were completely clear. I am a vegan out of necessity- and it’s times like these I am violently reminded of that.

During all of this, you have been a major help to me. You could see I wasn’t myself.

So you took it upon yourself to help your sister. You filled in for me.

You helped get her snacks. You helped entertain her by getting her craft supplies. You even helped her rest after she got tired of playing.

It’s been a rough week, but you made it a little better for me. Thank you!



Dear Jack: You Got a Cold after Your Sister Got the Flu, Exactly a Year after Your Parapharyngeal Abscess

7 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

Leading up to this week, it was already on my mind; how exactly a year ago, you and I spent several days together in the children’s hospital after you got a parapharyngeal abscess as a side effect on Strep Throat.

And then this past Sunday, your sister got the flu, with a temperature of 106; therefore needing an IV for fluids.

So I just hoped then when you inevitably go the flu from her, that you wouldn’t have it as bad.

Fortunately, it appears you got a bad cold instead, more than anything. Your temperature peaked at only 104 degrees.

Therefore, on Tuesday, after you finally got to go back to school for one day (after nearly an entire month off due to the Christmas holidays, Martin Luther King Day, and a week of being snowed in), you were back at home with me and your sister.

It was surely a day of rest. We watched all 2 hours and 25 minutes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which you suddenly declared is your “favorite movie ever”; as well as 2 entire DVDs of Pink Panther cartoons. Your sister gladly went along with it, as it was a special treat for her to have access to that much screen time; though really, she was playing with her toys most of the time.

I would like to think that February will be a less chaotic month for our family. Hopefully we can just all be healthy and enjoy my TV premiere on “This Time Next Year” on the Lifetime Network.

No more snow. No more sickness. Just back to school and back to the routine of homework and your Pokemon obsession.

You are an intelligent boy with plenty of energy. You were weren’t meant to be cooped up in the house all day.



Dear Holly: Your 106 Degree Temperature with the Flu This Week

1 year, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

Last weekend was pretty intense, as we had to rush you to the Emergency Room twice in the same day; your temperature reached 106.

You had to be hooked up to an IV to make sure you got enough fluids. It was scary- but for sure, we didn’t have enough time to worry, only to pray.

I was amazed we didn’t have to stay overnight with you in the hospital. I had packed my overnight bag, sure that I’d be staying with you, since Mommy had to be at work the next day and your brother needed to be back at school.

But to my surprise, we took you back home and you were in bed by normal time. Even more miraculous, you actually slept through the entire night!

The following few days were filled with a careful regimen of alternating Advil and Tylenol every 3 hours; as ultimately, the prescription we received to treat the flu made you vomit and you couldn’t hold it down. Really though, the prescription only served to shorten the flu by a few days anyway.

The focus has been to get you to drink enough fluids. In addition to letting you drink juice (which is a rare thing in our house!), Mommy also started serving you water through a medicine dropper labelled “water”, alongside the ones from Advil and Tylenol.

Currently as I write this, you are out driving around with Mommy, and Grandma (who is visiting from California), going to look at model houses in surrounding neighborhoods (just for fun) and surely going to get some Gigi’s Cupcakes as well.

Though I offered to watch you here at the house while they were out, you insisted that you wanted to join them in girl time. It was as if to say, “No way, Daddy! I’m not staying home with you when I can get out of this house and see the world again!”

So yeah, that’s a sign you’re feeling a bit better.