Friday, April 30, 2010

How I Got Off My Butt and to the Gym

I returned to the gym this week.

Though I despise working out.

And I do not want to lose weight.  (Wait, wait, wait!  Before you click that little red X you should know that, although I am down to my pre-pregnancy weight, the last ten pounds were not going anywhere before a nasty case of the flu, which I gorily detailed in this post.)

However, I do want to eat more.

And I suppose I feel better about myself all pumped up on endorphins than wearing the same pajamas for three days and eating handfuls of red and pink m&m's from Valentine's Day.

Oh, and there's also this...

When The Tine was six months I learned a dirty little secret about the gym.  They will take your kids.  And not in the creepy way that italisized sentence implies.  But they actually take your kids for you... for an hour and a half... at no extra charge.

Which frees me up to do a little of this...
  • Finding the resistance on the elliptical that allows me the slowest pace with the least effort (not as easy as it sounds, but I found somewhere around eight does the job).
  • Reading the same two copies of Parenting magazine over and over again (go ahead, ask me the eight common traits of a happy family, I dare you).
  • Exerting myself in two to three one-minute "sprints."  I mean, I can only go slow eight for so long before I risk identification as a slacker mom exploiting the free childcare. 
  • Eavesdropping on ellipticals five and six as they exchange post-pregnancy sagging stories.
So as you can tell, my time there is well spent.

At least an hour a day sans kiddos.

I eat all the time. 

And my bowels are rocking (that's a little too much, isn't it?).

Nothing like torturing yourself for a few precious minutes of mom time!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Me I Find There

I enjoy a good escape.

Nibbling on dark chocolate while sipping a bold Starbucks coffee.  Losing myself in a Jodi Picoult novel, or falling in love with a classic for the 14th time.  Slowly biking a stone-laden path, blasting Kelly Clarkson and The Beatles.

It is why I love Time Out for Theta Mom Thursday.

A chance to escape. 

My graceful exit from the land of sweet potatoe puke and breast milk splatters.

The only requirement... one hour spent away from your children.

I'm in.

Only this month my escape was more like a swap.  One set of preschoolers for another.  Finger paints and play-doh for, well, more finger paints and play doh.

I did avoid the ever-dreaded bedtime marathon, but at the price of three and four year-olds hopped up on pizza, soda, and two dishes of ice cream a piece. 

The exchange... a sense of normalcy.  Of contribution.  Of importance.

The feeling that I'm good at something that is not getting a baby to sleep or negotiating lunch options with a toddler.

Okay, so what I did is this.  I began volunteering with a grief group... again. 

I was involved at its conception, then took a break after the birth of my second son.  It is a group for families dealing with the loss of a loved one.

I spend more than an hour there, actually over three, once every other week.

And I know I'm just working with preschoolers, but I feel like I'm making a difference. 

A month before my first son was born I graduated from a program in child counseling.  I loved it. 

I was scared out of my mind before every session, but I left with the satisfaction of knowing I was good at something. 

And now that I'm volunteering with this group, it is like I remembered that I can do things other than, you know, mom things.  And I can do them well.

My little baby is one of the most ridiculous human beings I know.  All you have to do is glance at him and his face explodes in a big, goofy grin.

When my husband and I need to leave the baby with his toys we begin our withdrawal by "pumping him up with love."  We just go crazy on him, tickling and laughing and baby talking until he just can't take it any more.  His little feet kick, his hands dance spastically, and he grunts like a miniature machine gun.

I think that is what I am doing for these kids.

Because their adults just don't have the energy or emotional security to pour such focused attention into their little ones.

They need to think about who will mow the lawn or complete the taxes or bring home money to pay the bills.

So for a couple hours every other week I enjoy pumping up these kids with the attention and acceptance and security they crave.

It is a time out.

For these families and for me.

I feel like I'm part of something bigger.

And I know that staying home with my children is important.  That I am helping and making a difference in my daily life. 

But when my life seems like a string of poopy diapers it hardly feels that way.

And so I admit it is selfish and certainly not a great reason to help others.  But I like contributing to people I did not push out of my body.

It makes me feel good.

There, I said it. 

And though my white, volunteer shirt may be stained with sweet potatoes and breast milk, I like leaving the mom me behind.

I like the me I find there.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

When Daughters Become Mothers: Game On!

My husband skipped town for the weekend.

Some 30th birthday guys only shindig.  A can't-say-no excuse for 15 grown men to leave their wives and children for two days of frisbee golf, video games and beer.

(And husband, if in reading that description the word "dork" pops into your head, please dwell on that thought and return with  renewed appreciation for your younger and cooler half.)

Anyhow, it is the weekend.  And he is gone.

And I am a weekend brat.

I completely refuse for my weekend to look just like my week (what with its dinnertime wars, rapid fire showers, and mandatory defecation clean-up).

So I run home to my mommy and daddy (three hours away).

And I look forward to it.   I really do.

I imagine sipping on hot coffee and painting my toenails while Grammy and Gramps go knee deep in poopy diapers and toddler tantrums.

But I forget about two things.

1. That I produced and expelled two complete mama's boys, fresh from the womb.

2. That the sharing of childrearing responsibilities comes at a price.  A price by the name of... mom!


Mom: "I don't like your hair."

Me: "Really?"

Mom: "Yeah, it's the bangs.  I don't like the bangs."

Me: "Why not?"

Mom: "They're just not blended very well.  Why, do you like it?"


Me (to toddler): "What do you want to drink?.... Actually, I'm just going to give you water.  You need to drink water with lunch.  It's not a choice today."

Mom: "You do give him a lot of choices.  You're always giving him choices." (In case that sounds like a good thing to you, add a derogatory tone and accusatory stare... yep, that should do it.)

Me: "No I don't.  You do."

Ah yes, eternally twelve in my childhood home.


Mom (to baby): "Your mom would have brought you a cloth bib.  I don't know why in the world anyone would use cloth bibs."

In my defense I prefer the plastic bibs at home, but go cloth on car trips to help absorb the mess.  So there.


Mom: "Should I just mix his oatmeal with skim milk?"

Me: "No, water is fine.  They're not supposed to have milk until they're a year."

Mom (both loudly and under her breath): "I gave you kids milk at six months and you survived."


I love my mom.

Really I do.

Good or bad, her world revolved around my sister and I.

She chaperoned every field trip, sewed for every musical, hosted every sleepover, study group, awkward middle school co-ed party.

She gives abundantly and in every way to her children, and now to her grandchildren.

I learned from her the meaning of generosity and forgiveness and devotion.

But sometimes, she drives me crazy.

It is a tug-of-war particular to mothers and daughters.  And it reaches its peak when daughters become mothers.

I used to hope it would end.

Now I just hold tight and try to stay out of the mud.

And even though we both may pull, we're really rooting for the other team to stay on dry land.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Small Steps through Dark Tunnels

My little man is fearless.

Here he is running into (and through) a long, dark tunnel without so much as glancing back, completely unaware of the lurking dangers in its cold, dark recesses.

(My husband followed after, of course.)

In some ways I am proud of him.

He is adventurous and athletic and uninhibited.

But the compulsive and slightly neurotic side of me (that still checks my two year-old's breathing multiple times throughout the night) is going crazy.

I want to hold and protect him like the little baby he is (to me).

When we go to the park, I want to hold his hand up the stairs and catch him at the bottom of the (3 foot) slide.

My husband wants him to climb plastic rock walls and brave the tallest, twistiest slides all by himself.

I watch other parents.  I envy their cautious children.  And while I tell myself I do not want a three year-old too scared to attempt the kiddy slide, I do.

I envision worst case scenarios everywhere I go.

When he was a baby I imagined some careless holder smacking his tiny head against the wall.  As a beginning walker I pictured him diving eye first into sharp, pointy surfaces.  Now I see him leaping off slides, dashing in front of cars, trapping himself beneath heavy furniture. 

Not to say I don't childproof to the best of my abilities.  Believe me, I do. 

But I can't childproof the world.  (Right?  I mean, if anyone hears of a way, please let me know.)

The fact remains that at some point I need to let go. 

To trust.  And to hope.

Hope he is cautious and intelligent and safe with his choices.

I mean, one day (God-willing) the boy will ride a bus to school and play sports and drive a car.

I can't follow him, ready to catch his fall, grabbing the collar of his shirt when he starts to stray. 

He needs to dream and to pursue his dreams.  Dreams in which he saves the world or makes the team or braves a long, dark tunnel with his tiny, toddler legs.

And I need to take small steps back with each step he takes forward.

And then I need to do it all over again when my baby grows up. 

If I can't, well...

... watch for me you mothers of two year-old girls. 

I'll be the one at your daughter's rehearsal dinner, cutting up grapes and hot dogs for the groom.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

All Eyes On My Baby (what they will never tell you, but always hope you find out)

As a first time mom I believed everyone held their breath for my baby boy.

I saw everyone's eyes on him. 

Imagined his voice in their heads, chiming like a bell, drowning out the noise.

Thought hearts melted at the touch of that pale, dewy skin.

Now there are two.  And while I do not claim status as a mothering pro (or anything close), I can tell you that they, in fact, do not care.

Not that they don't love your child.  They do.

They just don't care like you think they do (and by they I mean everyone that is not you, with the exception of other parents or parent-like figures, and oftentimes, but not always, grandparents).

These are the things they absolutely do not care about.

(And I must preface these points with the simple statement that I am, in fact, guilty of every single one.  And that I will probably continue in my child-centered delusions as long as those chestnut brown and sky blue eyes blur my once rational and possibly even intelligent worldview.)

So here it goes...
  • They do not care if your baby says "dada" or "yaya" or "baba."  You can spend an hour taunting her in that high-pitched, dog-trainer voice and even if she says it (which she won't)... they don't care.  They are not fooled into thinking she knows what she is saying and mindless babble does not make her the next brain child.
  • They do not care if your child can roll over, and they are even less impressed if you give him that extra push on his rear to complete a trick that a puppy could accomplish at birth (basically). 
  • They do not care if your baby cries.  They realize your child is not an evil dictator exerting power over you, her miser parents (on this point they are wrong, but they don't know that).  So please refrain from exclaiming that your baby is tired/hungry/poopy the moment she squeaks out a milli-cry (though in the instance of a full-blown screamfest please stick one breast/bottle/soothing device in said infant's greedy little mouth.  If in the presence of breastfeeding mothers do so immediately or be prepared to avert your eyes and feign the non-existence of embarrasing leakage issues).
  • They do not care if it is time for your child's nap.  If they are taking the time to come visit (especially if they do so in a respectful, non-intrusive way) they want to actually see your baby.  I am all about schedules, but just like rules they are made to be broken.  Let them see him.  Because despite the previous points...
There are things they love about your baby.
  • They love your baby's laugh.  How it bubbles up from her toes and flows from her mouth in grunts and snorts and screams.  How her little body shakes and her eyes go spastically wide with uncontrollable joy.
  • They love your baby's smell.  You know, that pungent mix of baby powder, stale milk breath, and multiple rounds of vomit (which for some of us more lazy moms does not prompt multiple changes of clothes).
  • They love the heavy, damp weight of a baby in their arms.  They love watching him drift off to sleep or grab at their face or just follow the arc of a conversation.  Do not snatch up your child for fear of burdening others.  It is hard to believe (especially when you spend most of the day trying to set your child down), but people love to hold your baby.  So let them.
  • They love that your baby is there.  Don't be dishearted if no one is dangling toys, cooing at, or playing with your baby.  They are happy for this fresh little life beside them, and while they will not notice every chirp and wave and hiccup like you do, they notice she is there.  And they love it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Kind of Suck (But I Think That's Okay)

I looked at myself in the mirror last night.

And I realized I am not great at anything.

It hit me like a punch in the stomach and came completely out of nowhere. 

I guess maybe I was watching American Idol and remembering my own singing days.  When I thrived on compliments like a sad, little girl starved for encouragement (which I was not).  When I dreamed about being discovered in the most random of places and pictured life on the road, acoustic sets in small venues, making a living if not making it big.

Then I watched this show.  I heard people do things with their voices I never dreamed of.  And I knew I was good.  But I was not great. 

And writing.  How I dreamed of writing.  In the fourth grade a teacher read a paper of mine and told me I should be a writer (although if she read that last sentence she may have changed her mind).  I said, "Okay," and adpoted a new dream. 

As an English Literature major at a small University my professors offered nearly endless encouragement while I honed my writing skills, maturing from a casual writer to master of MLA essays (at least in my mind).

A job at a bank and one unrelated Master's degree later I decided to stay home with my new baby boy.

Two years, another baby, and I found myself practically rewriting my husband's grad school essays, lost in a world of words, painting sentences and stepping back to view the finished product like a work of art.  I felt like a drug addict searching for a thrill.

So I started blogging. 

I loved the outlet it provided for the words building up inside.

But the thing about blogging is that other people blog too.

And they blog good.  They blog real good.

There are people in the blogging world, every day, non-writer people, doing things with their words that I cannot imagine doing with my own.

They are like artists, like musicians.  They evoke emotion and inspire and I absolutely love what they do.

And while they draw tears and laughter they also make me realize that I may be a good writer.  But I am not a great writer (and that is actually not a plea for you to tell me otherwise!).

I was still staring into the mirror when I thought, "Well, at least I'm a great mom."

At which point I literally doubled over, grabbed onto the sink, and thought, "But I'm not great.  I am a good mom, but I am not a great mom."

I know this all depends on your definition of a great mom.  I love my kids more than anything and so want to be a great mom.

But my patience is often very short.  I use the television as a babysitter probably more than I should.  I don't do crafts or bake cakes or host multiple, themed parties throughout the year.  I often look for the shortcut and I only do laundry upon complete necessity (when we run out of underwear).

I am a good mom.  I am not a great mom.

But I want to be great. I really want to be great.

And I got to thinking, still in the bathroom (wiping whiskers off the faucet), that most people are not great.  I mean, by very definition the majority of people cannot be great.  The majority of people are average.  That's kind of what makes them the majority.

So maybe it's not about being great. 

Maybe it is about trying to be great.  Working hard and failing and trying again.  Not giving up and not settling when you yell at your kids or send your husband to work in wrinkly pants of forget the sunscreen on a cloudless, 80 degree day.

What if it is about trying to be great even though you may never get there?

What if that is great?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Christmas in April

It is mid-April. 

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, the Easter bunny came and went...

And yet as we walked through a crowded restaurant, surrounded by crackling bacon and light-hearted conversation, my two year-old son greeted each table with panicked eyes and whispered...

"No Santa.  No Santa.  No Santa."

Very creepy.

And I'm sure more than one of those unsuspecting patrons considered calling child services.  I mean, why else would a sweet, little toddler experience Santa paranoia right in the throes of springtime.

I could try to explain it... but who would believe me?

And besides, this is not the first time he has "seen" Santa.

One snowy evening in February my husband carried The Tine across the yard from my in-law's.  As they traversed the dark, eerie terrain the wind picked up, slamming shut the breezeway door behind them...

At which point my son's head whipped around and he cried,

"No Santa!  No Santa!  No Santa!"

By the time they climbed the stairs where I waited with a hot bath for The Tine, his wide, tear-filled eyes and sobbing rants of which I could understand only one word ("Santa") sent my mind into whirlwinds of paranoid mother scenarios.

First off was the serial-killer-dressed-as-Santa-and-lurking-outside-our-house scenario, of course.  But when I noticed my husband's calm expression, and the fact that they, in fact, were alive, my mind took a less dramatic route.

The movie-about-the-serial-killer-dressed-as-Santa-and-lurking-outside-a-house scenario.  Then I recalled my husband's obsessiveness over our son's viewing of television violence (he was outraged that his parents let The Tine watch that superbowl commercial with the football player running down the little, old lady... so horror films would certainly not pass his careful scrutiny).

Okay, maybe just a creepy figurine Santa, then, lingering long after the New Year, lost somewhere in my in-law's cluttered house.

Possible, but in the end, though we racked our brains for viable explanations, the slamming door and snow-covered lawn were the only ones that stood.

Obviously The Tine's irrational fear of Santa stems from somewhere... so here it is...

The First Meeting

Background:  My son's introduction to the concept of Santa Claus consisted of the occasional Christmas book before bed and a movie that quickly earned a place as his favorite, The Polar Express

While my son adores trains and most of this movie does, in fact, take place on a train, a small portion features a large, pale, slightly glowing Tom Hanksish Santa who I, as an adult, even find frightening.

The Tine never relayed this same fear, however, and when we announced Santa's attendance at the play group Christmas party he was elated.

The Meeting:  My son cheerfully eats chicken nuggets and peas (his favorite) while "chatting" with his best friend Emily.

"Santa tumming!... Santa!... Eat peas, Emmy?... Cheers!"  Random, as usual, but excited nonetheless.

Suddenly a "Ho ho ho!" echoes throughout the room as the door flies open, revealing the big man himself.

The Tine is ecstatic.  He jumps in his daddy's arms, hoping for a closer look.

He waves and shouts "Hi Santa!  Hi Santa!"

Santa greets the children like the celebrity he is, shaking hands and patting little heads.

A smile covers my son's face...

Until the moment of contact (or almost contact).

Santa extends his hand to The Tine and the meltdown begins.

He screams.  He cries.  He barrels out of his daddy's arms and claws his way onto my lap, burying his head in my chest and continuing to sob.

He spends the remainder of the evening like so, his little body shaking and repeating over and over again, "All done, Santa.  All done."

He refuses to enter the room where Santa sits, taking pictures and handing out presents, and we certainly do not force the issue.

When Santa leaves he yells, "Bye bye Santa!  All done Santa!"  And continues chanting those words on the ride home, in the tub, until the moment his little eyes close on his pillow.

And now, nearly four months later, this seemingly innocent meeting continues to haunt him. 

It is both disburbing and funny at times.

People keep saying to try again next year... that he will like Santa when he's three.

But as the months tick away and the Christmas countdown begins (this is when Christmas shopping begins, after all), I am beginning to think that a two and a half year-old fraught with Santa paranoia will not become the big guy's number one fan when he turns three.

At this point I don't really care if he likes Santa or not.

If he could just stop relaying his paranoid delusions in the middle of Eat 'n Park... that would be great!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Road I Took (And How It Made All the Difference)



    Not now.
      Don't do that.

        Why in the world?

As the parent of a toddler I oftentimes feel engulfed in a world of negativity.

I swim in a sea of "no's," of "do not's" and "cannot's."

I want to rescue my son, to pull him safely to the sunny shores of "yes's" and "thank you's" and "go ahead's."

But I feel stuck.

I vow to stop saying "no."  And I don't say it.


I promise more hugs and kisses.

I give more time out's.

I am tired of it... and I am sure my son is too.

So yesterday I made a small change that made a big difference.

I laughed.

That's it.  I decided to laugh.

My son loves to sit on me the moment I lie on the floor.  It makes working out nearly impossible and makes me super frustrated.

Yesterday I attempted some sit ups while my son watched Bob the Builder.  I thought I was safe, but the moment he spotted mommy prone on the carpet he broke into a huge grin, clambered down from the couch, and threw his 30 plus pound body right on top of me.

And I laughed.

He laughed.

We rolled around in fits of giggles for five minutes, creating a moment I will remember on his first day of kindergarten, his high school graduation, his wedding.

Fast forward to dinner time. 

Both kids are screaming.  It is Mexican night and The Tine wanted chips on the side, but daddy crumbled them on top.  He removed the chips, but the crying continued.

The baby refused his last nap of the day and instead screamed on my lap throughout dinner. 

As I held a teether in my baby's mouth and shouted conversationally with my husband I looked down to see the baby's tiny fist full of rice and refried beans, swiped neatly from my plate and heading towards his teether-filled mouth.

And I laughed.

My husband laughed.

The kids screamed harder.

But I couldn't stop laughing.

And suddenly it wasn't such a big deal after all.

Linked to Feel Good Friday, hosted by The Girl Next Door Grows Up


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Musings of a Delusional Mom

I love to daydream.

When I was a little girl I could lay in one spot for hours imagining my big break as a Broadway star or the discovery of my royal heritage and subsequent life as princess of a far away land. 

Not much has changed.

I still have conversations with people in my mind.  Not the crazy kind (if you can even say that when you're talking about voices in your head), but the kind where you say everything right and the other person says exactly what you want to hear.

Now that I have kids the conversations are different, but the gist is the same. 

These dialogues usually take place with complete strangers (seeing that husbands don't cooperate with the whole "exactly what you want to hear" idea).

And they go something like this.

Imaginary Conversation: Take One

Stranger: "I hope you don't mind me saying so, but you look way too young to have a kid."

Me: "I don't mind at all.  In fact, I get that all the time."

(Never happened, not once.  I figured people did not want to appear rude with my first son.  After all, what if I accidentally got pregnant in college or something.  Then number two came along.)

Imaginary Conversation: Take Two

Stranger: "How long have you babysat those children.  They seem so comfortable with you."

(Yes, I have the same "hot babysitter" delusion as the mom in the minivan commercial.)

Me: "I'm actually their mother, but don't worry, I get that all the time." (Seeing a pattern here?)

(Also never happened.  With two kids people must assume they were on purpose.  That I am grown and married and planned these two beautiful children.  So why aren't they bombarding me with underhanded compliments on my youth and good looks!  I just don't get it!  Well, maybe I'll go a different route...)

Imaginary Conversation: Take Three

Stranger:  "Your children are absolutely gorgeous.  And so well behaved.  It was a pleasure being near such a wonderful family."

Me:  "Thank you so much!  That is very kind of you to say.  And they really are like this all the time." (Okay, I'm laughing even as I type that one.)

(And again, never happened.  Although, once, an older man said, "Good for you" when we asked for to-go bags and jetted from a local restaurant with our crying baby and rambunctious toddler.  Didn't know what to make of that one.)

So the moral of the story...

If you see me on the street or in a restaurant, please make an embarrasingly big deal about my youthful good looks and my children's perfect behavior (and maybe throw something in there about my tiny waste line if you're feeling generous).

Tell me I'm not the only delusional one around here!

The Toddler Tatrum Tamer

It was a long weekend, of which we spent nearly every waking moment in the great, sunny outdoors.

So when Tuesday rolled around and my husband (finally) went back to work I wanted a day indoors, to recover from sunburns and and breastfeed my baby in the privacy of my own home (Spare my father-in-law the uncomfortable squirming when he happens upon feeding time in the yard. It's as though my breast will take on a mind of its own, pop out of my child's mouth and throw aside the blanket covering, joyfully exposing itself to the world).

My two year-old had other plans.

"Mama, wanna go outside."

"Sorry sweetheart, mommy needs to do some stuff inside" (And besides, I don't think Regis and Kelly broadcast outdoors).

"Wanna go outside.  Shoes on!"

"I know babe, but mommy has some goals today" (Like the goal to make it from sun up to sun down without changing anyone out of their pajamas).

"Outside, outside!"  He's getting excited now.

"Listen," I say with angelic patience, "we will go outside later.  Why don't you play trains?"

"No!  Outside!  Outside!"

Okay, this is not going well.  And desperate times call for desperate measures.

"Do you want to watch The Wiggles?"  I shudder slightly as I say the words.

"No!  Wanna go outside!  Wanna go outside!  OUTSIDE!!!!"

Anyhow, I'm sure you get the point from there. 

So what do I do when we reach that dreaded point of no return.

I go to the kitchen and quickly whip up The Toddler Tantrum Tamer!

Grab a bowl, throw in some corn starch and water, food coloring if there is time, and presto...

A fun tactile experience that (at least in my house) is sure to calm the most rampant of toddlers.  The mixture becomes a silly putty-like substance that solidifies when still and liquifies under touch. 

It is fun to play with any time, but really helps my son gather himself when his emotions go out of control.

Plus, clean up is really easy with a wet paper towel (just don't do it around carpet).

So here's to tantrum-free days and emotionally stable toddlers (at least for a few minutes)!

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Starve a Fever, But Fill Up On Love

This is a blog about my life.

The glamorous moments (of which there are very, very few).

The not-so-glamorous moments (of which there are plenty).

And the downright-nasty-why-on-earth-is-she-telling-us-this moments.

Thus begins my past week...


6:30 pm  I just returned from the grocery store.  Unloaded the groceries, pawned my children on the in-laws, and proceeded to orchestrate a beatifully timed pasta/garlic bread/salad dinner (I'm feeling supermom-esque... even without the children).

As my husband retrieves our tiny tots I gracefully spoon the jarred pesto (okay, supermom-esque, but I'm no Giada) over the heated pasta.  Something rumbles in my stomach, but I ignore it and move in for the taste.

I debate the pesto-ness of that single piece of pasta... to add or not to add...

And then it begins.

7:00 pm  In true supermom fashion I manage to feed, bathe, and put both children to bed between and during waves of nausea (in my husband's defense he did try to help, but as the spawn of a compulsively controlling first-time mother my two year-old is a complete mama's boy, and while my husband does indeed possess nipples he cannot fool the baby).

7:30 pm - 11:00 pm  For the sake of decency I will keep this brief (though probably not brief enough).  Let's just say if I left the bathroom at all between these times it was for no more than one minute.  During this time I actually recalled labor memories to assure myself that I was not dying (though I told my husband multiple times "I can't do this," to which he responded, every time, "Do what?").

There were loads of wash and hot showers, but I will stop there.

11:00 pm  I find a half reclined position on the couch where I crash from pure exhaustion.


12:00 am  I roll over.  Run to the bathroom.

1:00 am  The baby cries.  He's hungry.  (And kind of a pain in the butt).  I yell at my husband to bring him to me.  Nothing.  I yell louder.  Nothing.  He is too far to reach and I know I can't move.  I throw my arm over the coffee table and find a hanger (no idea why there was a hanger in the living room).  I chuck it across the room and hit him square on the head.  He may not be happy, but he's up and the baby greets us both with a big goofy grin that I can't help but smile at (even though it may have me running to the bathroom).

2:30 am  So thirsty.  I yell at my husband to get me some ice.  He hears me the first time and gets me some ice.  I take a tiny bite.  Run to the bathroom.

5:00 am  So, so thirsty.  Baby's crying.  When my husband returns the baby to his crib I feel brave enough to request a glass of coke.  I take a sip... pause...

It tastes delicious.  Bubbles coat my throat and stomach.  I suck down the entire glass and for the first time all night I actually relax.

7:00 am  My husband whisks the kids to his parents before he leaves for work.

9:30 am  I spot a speck that could be a spider on the ceiling.  I haven't moved all morning, but I have to know.  When I get up I nearly pass out and move promptly back to the couch.  Though not before validating my suspicions... it is indeed a spider.  I call my dad (who is on his way to help me out) and tell him to hurry.  There's a spider to kill (he tells me that's more of my mom's thing, but he will do it for me).

9:30 am - 10:30 am  I try unsuccesfully to leave the sanctuary of the couch.  I want that spider gone.  Instead I lock my eyes on its location, vowing to keep watch until the moment of my dad's arrival.

10:30 am  I close my eyes for three minutes.  When I open them again the spider is gone.  I risk bodily harm to discover its new location, but to no avail.

10:45 am  My dad arrives and after relaying the sad spider story he spends the next hour delivering refreshments, unloading bags of goodies from home (not the good kind of goodies, the sick kind of goodies...saltines, soup, gatorade), cleaning up after my husband and even vacuuming my house (I, like my mother, cannot rest until all is tidy with the world).

He gathers the kids from my father-in-law.  He plays, he feeds, he diapers (possibly his first diapering experience... ever), he continues to wait on me.  He is a true superhero.

5:30 pm  My in-laws feed my whole family for dinner and bring me a tray of soup, crackers, and sherbert.

I still cannot eat and am so weak I can barely shift positions on the couch.

But I am grateful.


8:00 am  Feeling good.  Kept down one whole piece of toast and all kinds of liquids.  Bady woke only once to eat.

My dad slept in with the baby (which used to be our room, long story, more on that another time).  When the baby cried he brought him to the couch to eat then returned him to his crib.  When he placed him back in the crib the baby kept hold of his finger.  Instead of disentangling himself and returning to bed he stayed bent over the pack 'n play, sacrificing his finger to that tiny little fist until those endearing, little eyes succumbed to the pull of sleep.

And he was thrilled about it.

2:00 pm  Still feeling light-headed when I stand, but keeping down liquids and solids (of the white, carbohydrate variety) and feeling confident enough to send my dad home (with the help of my in-laws and husband). 


8:00 am  Feeling human again.  Still no energy, but Elmo and I are taking care of the kids and I am doing alright on my own.

9:30 am  Completely out of patience.  Calling my father-in-law.  "Please remove my emotional mess of a toddler before we both explode!" 

1:00 pm  I google "foods to eat after the flu for energy" and begin a regimen of bananas, hard-boiled eggs, and yogurt.  Neaseau returns, but I am desperate so I continue on.


7:00 am  Wake up feeling 100%, though cautious.  Play in the yard.  Take a walk with the family.  Throughout the day I eat sandwiches and half of a hot fudge sundae.  Then I know this is real.  One of the most physically trying weeks of my life is officially over.


8:00 am  My husband's phone rings.  His mother, father, and brother are competing in the three-people-with-the-stomach-flu-and-only-two-bathrooms olympics.  The outcome shall remain a mystery forever (I hope).

8:05 am  My husband complains his stomach hurts.  Immediately after he hangs up the phone.  I decide it is completely mental. 

9:30 am  It's not.

So if anyone missed me this past week in the blogosphere... that is where I was.  But don't worry... I'm back (at least until the next one falls)!

Linking up with The Crazy Baby Mama and her oversharing challenge!
Related Posts with Thumbnails