I just go back from a trip to Phoenix, AZ where I traveled alone with the kids to visit family. Talk about fodder for a blog about being a mom...yikes.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I had a hard time deciding if I should title this blog "Chunks," "Barf-o-Rama "or "Birth Control." I figured most of my blogs could be titled "Birth Control," so I went with "Chunks."
Yes, a stomach virus has hit our home and as of right now, Colin is the only victim. I am just waiting for one of us to be next.
I already know I jinxed myself because last week I told my brother, who lives in Arizona, that this Winter hasn't been "that bad." I continued by saying that we've had snow, but nothing that major. Of course now we are under a Winter Storm Warning/Watch/Advisory, whatever you want to call it. All I know is we are in for at least a foot of snow if not more.
The next day, I was talking to a friend of mine who said she had a really bad flu bug or virus and it was so bad she was hospitalized. I said how we have been relatively fortunate that we have had mainly colds and no "puking" incidents. Jinxed.
It was Sunday night and I was catching up on my "Jersey Shore" and relaxing. I started to think about the coming week and that I needed to get a bunch of stuff accomplished before the storm hit on Tuesday, including grocery shopping. I also wanted to go to the gym and then take the kids swimming at the health club since we'd likely be cooped up the latter part of the week. I also was thinking that Tuesday morning would be a good day for us to meet up with my friend and her son at Monkey Joe's for the same reason.
Next thing ya know, I hear choking and gagging coming from Colin's room. I walk in to find him lying in a pool of "chunks." Let's just say we won't be having Johnsonville Cheddarwurst for a VERY, VERY, VERY long time. Great. What could have caused this? Did he eat something bad? Find a stray sippy cup hiding in the cushions of the couch with sour milk? He got a flu shot. Could it be from licking the window at Maddie's dance class last week? The possibilities are endless when you have a kid who, as I've mentioned, has also been known to play in the toilet.
I grabbed him and threw him in the tub where I stripped him down and scrubbed the vomit out of his crew cut. Poor baby was gray and shivering. I got him into a fresh pair of feetsie jammies ASAP and handed him off to Tom while I stripped the crib and worked to de-chunk his sheets. His sacred "Bubbas" were soiled, but the official "Lion Bubba" was clean enough after a quick wipe down to comfort him in his time of need.
I finally got things cleaned up, sprayed some Lysol and hopped into bed with a stack of towels. I knew we were in for a long night. Luckily he fell asleep in our bed and only got up 2 times to throw up. Both times I played good defense with the towels and avoided having major clean up in our bed as well.
Morning came and he woke up in a good mood. We got a lot more sleep than I had thought we would. He started playing and seemed hungry. I started to feed him breakfast. He ended up eating some banana and some Cheerios. I ran upstairs to rip the sheets off of our bed, because while I was pretty successful with the towels, I was pretty sure there were some stray chunks somewhere.
As I finished pulling the last pillow case off I could the dreaded gag, choke, cough followed by liquid hit the floor...twice. I ran down the stairs to find Colin standing in the foyer. Oh thank GOD...most of it was on the Linoleum and only a little on the carpet. Bubbas did not fair so well this time. I grabbed the towels from the night before, a new batch of towels and the Bubbas to throw in the wash. I think I was officially on my 3rd load of laundry that day and it was only 8:00 a.m.
I went back upstairs to get my sheets and Colin followed me. I got him dressed and then threw my bedding down the stairs. Colin got tangled up in the sheets and ended up tumbling down the stairs. Great. Now he's going to end up with a concussion and I won't know it because he is already throwing up.
Luckily the pile of blankets and sheets broke his fall and after a few tears, he was fine. So fine, he managed to write on the kitchen chair with a pen and then crawl on the kitchen table to draw on his sister's picture. I finished disinfecting the foyer and cleaned the part of the carpet that got hit and set off to try and go to the grocery store. I wanted to avoid giving Colin anything else to eat so I could get through the shopping trip. Unfortunately, I walked in the kitchen and he had helped himself to some graham crackers from the pantry. Thankfully those seemed pretty benign and crossed my fingers. Meanwhile, Taz was barking at the back door and I asked Maddie to let him in for me. I didn't realize until he traipsed around the entire house, that he was full of mud and snow. I pushed the 4 laundry baskets out of the way and started to Swiffer the floor.
I talked to Tom who tried to discourage me from going promising he would take the 4:45 train so I could go later. His intentions were good, but that would still get him home after 6 pm and with dinner and the potential for more clean up, that just didn't do me much good. Did I mention our snow blower was broken and Tom needed to fix it before we got 50 feet of snow?
The shopping trip went OK, except he kept asking for his Bubba and crying the whole time. I headed to the baby section and tried to find a replacement. I figured it would be a good investment to have an spare since I had already washed his other ones 3 times in the last 24 hours. I also got some Pedialite hoping that if nothing else we could avoid a trip to the ER due to dehydration. My question is, why can't they make flavored Pedialite without color? The last thing I want to do is clean up orange or purple puke and I know they make the clear, but it has no flavor...but I digress.
I ended up running into a friend of the family who must have known by the dark circles under my eyes, no make-up, hair in a messy bun, kid screaming and look of sheer exhaustion that I was having "one of those days." My response, "you have know idea." Of course, lucky for me, she did...she has three kids.
I also made sure I had ample supply of Clorox Bleach Spray, Antibacterial Swiffer solution and diapers in case things started coming out of both ends. Of course, the lines were a mile long because everyone else was trying to stock up before the storm and I just prayed he didn't blow chunks all over before we could get out of the store. I was stocked up and survived without any major eruptions.
We got home and as I started to unload the groceries Madelyn realized that I didn't buy her a "Bubba" like Colin's. She was too distracted by Skittles in the checkout line to notice I had put the stuffed bear aside to avoid paying an extra $15 bucks. She started melting down and I tried to explain that he got one because he is sick and needed an extra one because he kept puking on his other ones. She proceeded to try and make herself throw up so they would be on level playing ground in order to receive gifts. Ugh. I finally bribed her with 4 points which meant she gets to pick out a toy. (We were working on earning ten points if she listened. She already had 6.) I also gave her a bunch of Skittles. Problem solved.
I was able to get some Pedialite and some crackers in him. I was afraid if I gave him much more he wouldn't be able to keep it down. Unfortunately, he was hungry and kept going in the pantry to grab snacks. I let him have some Goldfish Crackers to appease him and that seemed to do the trick. He was able to get a good nap, but as soon as he woke up he got that look in his eyes and before I knew it, the Goldfish were swimming in a pool of Pedialite on the foyer floor. (Yes, I grabbed him off the couch and brought him over to our new favorite puke spot).
No more puking that night. Once the kids went down to bed I was able to fold the 13 loads of laundry I had done throughout the day. I looked down at my hands between the excessive hand washing and Clorox wipes, I looked like I lost a match of bloody knuckles. I was worried I would bleed all over the whites. I also caught a whiff of puke and realized that despite rinsing and then washing the jammies he'd been wearing the night before, they still wreaked.
Next day, we still couldn't go anywhere since he hadn't been puke free for 24 hours yet. The snow started to come down and by 3 pm, we couldn't go anywhere even if we wanted to. Tom got home early and I made dinner. All was good. Nice dinner, no one seemed to be sick, Tom wasn't going to work tomorrow and we were well stocked with wine to celebrate Blizzard 2011 once the kids went to bed. Then began the negotiation for Maddie to finish her dinner. At this point all she had eaten was one bite of chicken, a bite of rice, two carrots and some grapes. Despite this, she requested dessert. I stood my ground and said no, unless she ate more. She refused and Tom sat there coaching her through 3 more bites of chicken and a bite of rice. She refused, but continued to cry scream and ask for dessert. She arrived back at the table to eat enough to earn her dessert, but was so worked up at that point, she threw up all over the kitchen table and her remaining dinner.
I took a deep breath and began cleaning up the chunks. The rest of the night, all I could smell was the lingering aroma of puke despite changing clothes. I also realized that Colin's head still smelled like a combination of Cheddarwurst and stomach acid even thought I had given him two baths. Also, my guess that things would start happening on the other end was correct. Despite a reprieve from chunkage, I had several blowouts to change.
I touched base with my friend who we were supposed to go to Monkey Joe's with and told her we needed to reschedule for next week. She commented on how she was dreading the day she would have to deal with throw up since her 2 year old has yet to have a bought with a stomach virus and at least I was "good with puke." Hmm. Maybe I could put that on my resume in the future? I'm not sure what kind of job that qualifies me for, but my friend assured me she'd hire me.
I woke up to 5 foot snow drifts in my yard and the cabin fever was really starting to set in. At least the kids seemed healthy today. It took Tom about 2 hours to plow our driveway (yes, the snow blower was fixed in time). I brought the kids out to play in the snow, but Colin looked like he was ready to curl up in a ball and take a nap on the laundry room floor while I was putting his snow pants on. We went outside for a total of 5 minutes before Colin fell in the snow and instead of getting up, just laid in the snow. My attempt to socialize with neighbors and soak up some sunlight was foiled.
I started preparing beef stew for the crock pot. I warmed up the garage, put the kids down for naps and hopped on the elliptical machine for about an hour. It was the closest thing I could get to "escaping." Then I came inside and Maddie woke up from her nap and we baked chocolate chip cookies. She was off to watch the 15th Disney movie this week and I baked some Beer Bread. Wondered if anyone would notice if I just drank a beer at 3 pm? Never mind, it would just make me tired.
I thought we were out of the woods until I heard Colin in the middle of the night. It was faint, but I knew exactly what it was...more chunks. Tom later asked how I even heard him. I told him that only a mother could wake up out of a sound sleep even from the most stealth vomiting. I got up, got him cleaned up, handed him off to Tom and stripped the sheets. The first night he was so miserable he just curled up and fell asleep and only got up to puke. This time he was all over the place. We weren't as sympathetic this time and he only lasted about 10 minutes in our bed before I just put him back down in his crib.
I had to get out of the house. Come hell or high snow drifts. I was going crazy. Plus, I was running out of wine, bananas and milk. The three staples I cannot live without. Luckily Tom stayed home from work an extra day and I went to the gym and Target. I also needed to buy supplies to make Gumbo, thanks to Disney movie #12 over the last few days, "Princess and the Frog" set in New Orleans. You would have thought I won a trip to Hawaii. I was so happy. I even got a nap in the afternoon and we went out to dinner. It was nice not to feel like a shut-in.
We are now 36 hours puke free and I am hoping things get back to normal **knock on wood** Wouldn't want to jinx myself again.. Here's the upshot, none of the rest of us got it **knock on wood** (unless you count drama induced puking) and I learned to make a pretty mean gumbo.