A Rosebud for Larkspur

Two days after visiting the E.R. with Beatrix for her head wound, she and Silas became ill with a stomach virus.  It seemed to run it’s course in about 24 hours as these things typically do.  But then, a couple of days later, Beatrix was sick again, worse than the first time.  After a really awful night she recovered again though.  Sadly, Larkspur was the next to be afflicted.  Around the twenty four hour mark, we were hopeful that it would be over for her soon, but it wasn’t.  She was violently ill for more than forty eight hours, with us almost taking her back to the E.R. where the germs most likely originated.  She finally began keeping small sips of fluids down though, and we thought all would be well.  But then, it began again for her and I knew that we must go to the doctor, and that we might end up in the hospital because of dehydration.  Thankfully the doctor felt that with some anti nausea meds, that Larkspur could probably be hydrated orally and it was worth a try to keep her out of the hospital.  That was yesterday, and so far so good.

But, these have been some difficult days.  I know…it’s just a stomach virus, and everyone gets them.  But, I’ve never had a child as sick as Larkspur has been for so many days, and I’ve never dealt with so many nights of poor sleep while pregnant.  I took frequent walks outdoors over the past week and a half, just to see the flowers blooming and the bees flying, to ground myself in reality, and the fact that life was still going on around us, even as my daughter was crying out around the clock in pain.  The day that Keats got sick, I left the house to wander, and I just sobbed.  I’ve been disinfecting everything multiple times each day, changing bedsheets, reminding everyone to wash their hands, and working so desperately to keep my well children well, and I worked myself into an exhausted frenzy–desperate to an almost unhealthy level, to keep my kids from getting sick, to keep my pregnant self from getting sick as well.  When Keats got sick it felt like I had lost the battle, that there wasn’t hope.  Sleep deprivation was making me irrational, and I was pretty much a wreck.  (The good news is that I gave Keats a handful of activated charcoal capsules to swallow after that first episode, and he recovered fully after that, never getting sick again.)

The worst of it though, was the feeling of absolute helplessness in the face of Larkspur’s suffering which of course is always the case when your child is hurting.  All I could do was hold her hair back for her, and help her to and from the bathroom.  In between, she wanted me close, and it felt terrible, just sitting there, unable to take any of her pain.

In the midst of all of this, Alicia posted a tutorial for making little rosebud hair clips.  Larkspur and Beatrix love to sit in my lap and look at photos of Alicia’s little Amelia on her blog and they have admired the lovely little hair clips that Alicia makes for her.  While Larkspur was sleeping, I pulled out supplies and made a couple of them.  When she woke, I carried them up to show her, and she smiled for the first time since getting sick.  I couldn’t make her well, but I did something that made her smile.  It was the smallest thing, but in that moment it was everything.  I moved my supplies upstairs to her bed and spent the next couple of hours making little rosebud hairclips, finally feeling like there was something that I could do for my girl.  Keeping my hands busy with something for her was exactly what I needed.  Funny, that a rosebud hairclip was the little thing that restored my sense of calm on that difficult day, and kept me moving forward with hope.

Beatrix has been back to her bouncy self for days, and her response to the new hairclips was to put on a dress and request that I curl her hair.  I’m hoping that Larkspur will be feeling as well in another few days.  Right now, she’s resting next to me most of the day.  Just a little more time, and all will be well again.


  1. You sound like such a good mother! And to me, those hairclips look like the beautiful camelias we have here in Charleston — especially the red with the yellow centers. Wish my daughter was younger, because I would be trying to make them!

  2. Ginny, as a mum of six I know the feeling of dread when the first one gets sick as you know that however frantically the house and everyone else in it gets disinfected sure enough it will carry on creeping through the ranks. Everyone says kids bounce back really quickly but actually it takes a while to restore immunity strength and as for you, try to slow down a bit and give your body a chance to recover from the worry and exhaustion. It is allowed!

  3. Healing blessings on your dear family, and on you. Thank you for the link to the sweet rosebud clip tutorial. The work of creating, and the finished product, even when so very small, can be such a balm to an exhausted mother-heart and an ill little one. Grace and peace be with you.

  4. I hope Larkspur feels better! It’s always easier being sick when mom is around. I’m an adult now, but last week I got the norovirus and all I wanted was for my mom to come take care of me!

  5. My grandson who issix got that stomach virus and threw up for 4 days, then grammie (me)got sick but at 70 I ended in hospital and lost 15 ilbs in 3 days. one thing about children they bounce back quickly. I t has been doing the rounds up here in Canada . i will keep the charcoal pills in mind for next time.

  6. We have been there … all of us sick together. It is so hard.
    As we celebrate mother’s day here in the states, Ginny, you and lovely family are in my prayers.
    It all about the little things that can help us get through the hardest times.
    Love the rosebuds!

  7. Oh, you poor thing. I am so sorry you’ve all had to deal with this. So hard for mama especially when her babies aren’t well. I hope it has all turned a corner and the nasty virus heads back to where ever it came from.

    Adorable clips and on such a beautiful little model! Sending you healing thoughts and prayers!

  8. Katherine says:

    Oh look at the dark circles under her eyes, poor little Larkspur. Hope the weekend to come turns things around and you can get some extra sleep.

  9. Oh my heavens! I know those feelings you are going through so well. I surely hope Larkspur is doing well now! And that you get some sleep and peace!

  10. Healing wishes to you and yours!!

  11. Nancy M says:

    My heart goes out to you. I know what it is like to have that hit. We had it hit our family many years ago and I had a sick hubby and 4 kids at the same time. I took Bentonite clay at the onset of feeling sick and thank the good Lord, I stayed well to take care of everyone else. At the time, I wasn’t sure my kids were old enough to take the clay so we endured it through to the end. I’ve heard about the activated charcoal but haven’t bought it. I’m going to look into that as well.

    Even though you had so much going on, you still amaze me that you were able to make the beautiful clips. I found Alicia’s blog from you and I look forward to your blog and hers each day with all the beautiful and inspirational photos. Blessings to you all and hope your household is better soon.

    Nancy M.

  12. Jeez, Ginny! I guess it could be worse! At least the flowers are cute!


  13. I do hope that health is restored soon and stays that way, sometimes the recovery is as a long and hard as the sickness. I love the rosebuds they are gorgeous I can see why they bought a smile. I had to laugh at your picture of Beatrix with her pretty dress and rosebud clip kneeling in the soil, that would be my daughter too!

  14. I am sorry it is tough when little ones are sick. Hope you are all on the mend.

  15. This may sound strange, but while I am so sorry that your children have been sick and I so appreciate your worries about not wanting to contract this bug while pregnant, I also “so” envy your ability to make rose hair clips for your children and to cuddle with them and to be able to take the time to just “be.” As a single-working mom who has had a very rough day balancing work pressures and the needs of two teenagers who would very much benefit from a simplified life…..I just want to convey how much I respect the choices you’ve made.

    I am grateful for the day I found and started following your blog.

  16. I hope everything gets back to normal soon. I love reading about your family, and feel bad you all have had such a hard time lately. The rosebuds are adorable.

  17. So sorry for you! I remember feeling helpless when everyone is sick. These days, they seem to pass so very slowly…. And being just a little creative is healing. These rose clips are magical!
    I hope that everyone is getting well soon and that you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!
    Best wishes,

  18. Oh I am so sorry you have all been sick! It is so hard to see your little ones suffer, and I hope Larkspur is back to her normal sweet self very soon!! We had the stomach flu fly through our household twice when I was pregnant with our third just a few months ago and WHEW it was awful! We weren’t as sick for as long as it sounds like you all have been, but I will say a little prayer that you stay healthy too because having the stomach bug when pregnant is horrid!

  19. oh you poor mama….. and kiddos too.
    hope you are back yourselves very soon.

  20. Awww so sorry mama! That would be so hard! Those hair clips are so cute! I’m glad that you found something to make Larkspur smile! And Beatrix is a fantastic model for them! 🙂

    I really hope your whole household is feeling as good as new soon!!

  21. Melissa L says:

    My 2 & 1/2 year old had this stomach bug last week & I was pretty much beside myself to try anything I could to make her well. I’m about 5 months pregnant & slept on her floor one night (the first and worst night) so my husband (our only source of income) could get some sleep. Rough. Had to do 7 loads of laundry the next day to ease my mind about anything that might have been “contaminated”.
    So sorry it hit y’all too- guess it’s going around across the country since we’re in Colorado & you’re in VA. Hope Larkspur bounces back soon; I imagine those hair clips went a long way in helping out. Good luck!

  22. Those clips are darling! so glad she is doing better. Activated charcoal? that’s sounds interesting. I think I read something about how it helps with teeth on Wellness Mamma blog.

  23. Sounds like the Norovirus. It blew through here real bad a couple months ago, and our toddler did end up in the hospital, because she refused to eat after she was done puking. She had thrown up so much, that she correlated eating food with it.
    She lost 6 pounds in 3 days! She ended up in an illness induced diabetic state and had quite a few big seizures. Once we got her on an IV, she turned around fast. Staff was puzzled and could not figure out the seizure thing, even though we told them what was gong on. They even ran an MRI, and in the end concluded that we were right.

  24. I’m so sorry about your houseful of sickness. Might I recommend something to have on hand for future illness? We’ve had great results with a product called Tummy Tuneup from beeyoutiful.com. Whenever anyone feels “funny in the tummy” we have them take one or two of these. Since they are capsules, you can pull them apart and sprinkle the powder in the mouths of the young, non-pill swallowing kids. I can’t say enough about how great this stuff is. I like all their products that I’ve used (Super Mom for pregnancy!) and like supporting a small family owned business. Their catalogs have great health and diet articles in them. Hope you all feel very much better sooner than soon.

    • I’m glad to hear a positive review of Tummy Tuneup! I came across it while doing some research last week and was considering ordering some in place of the probiotic we usually take. Thank you!

  25. So sorry your dear ones have been so very ill! It is so, so hard on a mama’s heart, to watch our children suffer. Yet it seems that is when we are drawn closest to Our Lady, who understands this suffering like no other. I will continue to pray for a full recovery, and soon, by His grace. Not a moment of suffering is ever in vain, and He knows it all. PS the hair clips are so sweet, and so sweet that they made your girl smile. I’m sure you will always treasure them as such.

  26. so sorry about this stress! that is hard for a Mother’s heart! Wise of you to be patient and wait, knowing it will get better again. Lighting a candle for you!

  27. Oh, I’m so sorry you have had such a rough ‘go’ of things 🙁 I really hope that everyone is feeling healthy soon.

  28. Oh! How terrible! I have an irrational fear of getting the stomach flu, especially while pregnant. I have spent many nights lying awake convinced someone is going to wake up with the flu. My husband just laughs at me, but it is so hard on the mother! Praying you don’t get it and your family is soon well.

  29. I’m so sorry you all have been so sick. I does seem to make the rounds in big families. Those little hair clips are so pretty. I’m glad they made Larkspur happy. I’ll be thinking of you all and sending up prayers for your health.

  30. It is one of the worst things to see your child sick, knowing that you’re doing everything you can and should be doing, and they’re still hurting. I *hate* when Little Man gets sick, especially if it’s the pukey kind of sick (as it usually requires a visit to the ER or hospital). Thankfully he hasn’t been sick in awhile other than a little cold. I hope yours are feeling better soon!

  31. I am so sorry Ginny. Although it’s just Hubby and I now, (kids are all grown and gone), I still remember those days and shudder. However, I’m living proof that it WILL get better.
    Meanwhile, I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers, especially that you won’t succumb.

  32. When I was miserable with the chicken pox as a little girl, my dad brought me home a doll. He wasn’t really one for surprises like that, so I can only imagine that I must have been sick indeed. It’s funny now that I hardly remember the illness, but boy do I remember that doll. Hope everyone is on the mend soon!

  33. Ohh sick children are the worst. There was one year in my family where we were sick for 2 months straight. It went through all 9 of us at different times and it was just the worst. You feel like Rip van Winkle when you make your way out of it. (((hugs))) I think going on walks was the best thing you could have done in the situation.

  34. That stomach virus was a persnickety thing right!? Everyone I knew had had it a few weeks ago and I was pretty familiar with the pattern…like you said : 1st 24 hours a reprieve then back at it full force…
    So when we got it I felt like I knew what to expect… but still not fun in a house of this many kids!!!!!

    I even wrote on it:

    I hear ya on the pregnancy thing…big family thing… the disinfecting thing… sheesh. I get it.
    Today has been the first legitimate “all clear” day… Praise God for Ascension Day miracles, lol.

    Take Heart and Be blessed,

  35. Love to you, friend. I understand. So, so well. Too well. Hugs across the miles.

  36. so sorry! When the kids get very sick it always takes my breath and sanity away. Everything feels very fragile in those days. I’ve been lucky that it’s always lasted less than a week. I always wanted my mother to just sit with me, Ginny. The gift of comfort and time is wonderful. I hope things keep improving.

  37. Oh Ginny! So sad. We just had the stomach flu and it slowly worked it’s way through the kids, missing my husband and I this time around. I’m not sure what is sadder than a little kid throwing up. Thinking of you guys and hoping Larkspur feels better soon. And those rosebuds are beautiful. I just saw them yesterday on Alicia’s blog and have plans to make them soon. Yours turned out wonderfully. Good work Mama!

  38. It’s harder to have your kids be sick that to be sick yourself, I think. Probably because it feels like your heart is ripped in two. Your making the hair clips reminds me of my friend who has a small hair clip business. She is going through major rough times right now, father has terminal cancer, husband is losing his job, he hasn’t found another job yet, they are faced with a move, she lost a grandfather and had a miscarriage all in one month (in Nov.). But she continues to create her hair flowers and other beautiful things. I can see that it soothes her soul. She may have very little control in her life but she can continue to create beauty and joy. I think this is what gave you comfort as well.

    BTW…Bea is getting so big and her head looks like it is healing great! Wishing you a much better day today!!

  39. I wish I could take all from you! At least Larkspur is at the snuggly stage, and seems to be on the mend. I remember about 2 years ago, both my husband and I got sick, and all of our kids but the infant…all on the same day. We were all laying around the house helpless, as I’d try to take care of the baby. I was trying to stay hydrated so I could feed the baby, but I couldn’t stop throwing up long enough to get hydrated, and I couldn’t run to the store an even get her formula, and she was fussy all day because I couldn’t manage to keep her stomach topped off. I remember thinking, “we’re all going to die. There is no one to take care of us, and we’re all just going to die.” My husband refers to that day as “the worst day of our marriage.”

    There’s light at the other end. My prayers will be with your family, as always. I wish I were close enough to enable you to have a 4 hour nap.

    • That sounds nightmareish!!

    • Oh Gretchen, we had an almost identical experience when Larkspur was a baby. We were traveling, at my mom’s house actually and Jonny and I along with the three kids were all violently ill at the same time. I remember Larkspur just standing in the crib, and not being able to pick her up. We all thought we would die, and my mom was so scared of getting sick that she stayed locked in her room. It was a nightmare that we still talk about with a shudder, and I think it’s the fear of that happening again that turns me into a maniac at the first sign of vomit!

      • How scary!

        Ginny, your story is so sweet, I mean the hair clip part and Larkspurs smile. I first could only read half of it and walking away from the computer I thought how crazy it was that being so tired and all you brought up motivation and energy to make little roses. Then I thought how fantastic it was for Larkspur. And then concluded but yes, it was for yourself somehow. Oh the power of making!

        Hope you find time and peace to rest yourself.

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