Care-giving in Colorado

This past weekend I flew to Denver, Colorado and then drove up to Lafayette where my brother’s family lives.  I got in Thursday afternoon and the plan was for my brother and sister-in-law to leave that night, drive to Crested Butte (five hours away) and take an avalanche awareness/training course Friday-Sunday, returning late Sunday night.  I was going to watch my two-year-old niece, Rachel, while they were gone and then Brother and I were going to hit the slopes on Monday since it was a holiday.  I’d fly home on Tuesday morning.


All of those things DID happen, and it was a really fun weekend as a whole… but it didn’t go quite that smoothly, as things rarely do with little ones.  So Rachel had been fighting sickness for a few days so I took her to the doctor Thursday night at the request of her parents, just for peace of mind that she was okay.  They sent us to the ER for chest x-rays, concerned about pneumonia or RSV (a respiratory virus).  The result? Minor cases of both, basically.  So we got home late and she was on a regiment of alternating ibuprofen and Tylenol every three hours overnight to keep her fever down.  I was also told to monitor her and if anything got worse, take her to the ER.


So I called in back-up from my aunt and cousin because I’d never stayed with Rachel overnight, I wasn’t convinced I’d wake up with anything was wrong, and it was just reassuring to have someone else there to bounce ideas off of.  After a very, very sleepless night (for me) I got her prescription in the morning and we added that, as well as a nebulizer treatment for the next few days.  Unfortunately, Rachel was pretty drugged and slept a lot and Friday into Saturday we just played quietly at the house by watching Charlie Brown cartoons, working puzzles, reading stories, and napping.  The good news was that she seemed to be responding to the medications and her poor cough was a little better.


Saturday afternoon we ventured to the local library and had a great time walking there, playing on the playground outside, and playing with the toys and books inside.  By that time it was great for me to just get out of the house and Rachel had a blast.  Sunday morning we ventured even further and went to the pool! Water was chilly (for me) but she had fun on the slides and in the play areas.  I must’ve worn her out because that afternoon she slept for 3.5 hours (unheard of) while I read the first book of the Game of Thrones series. Meggan and Jason got in a little after 10pm that night after Rachel was asleep (on the floor, by the door, with all her lights on).


Monday we left fairly early to drive up to Copper Mountain and ski.  Meggan had to work so she took Rachel to daycare and J/I went alone.  The snow was alright on the slopes, but Colorado hasn’t had a lot of snowfall in January so some faces were kind of blown off.  But it’s just refreshing to use your legs and get out there! In the afternoon we found a few good tree sections and spent a lot of time and energy plowing through the powder between groomed runs.  I haven’t had a lot of practice with that because the east coast doesn’t get enough snow, but Brother was patient and we worked our way through the groves. Then we drove back, got Rachel, and met Meggan at our cousin Jeanne’s house for chili.  It was great to see some of our extended family and meet another adorable little one, Lily.


I crashed hard Monday night, and snuck out long before the sun to drive back to the airport for my flight home.  Like I said, it was a great trip and I enjoyed getting to spend some fun time with my niece.  More pictures are up on Facebook if you haven’t seen them yet. Sadly, we don’t know right now when I’ll see them again but I know we’ll figure it out… especially since Meggan is due with number two on July 4th!


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