A couple of funny things about being a mom with the stomach flu

Friday, January 31, 2014

Stress incontinence is a real bummer. Puking and peeing at the same time suck.  There is no way to stop it either.  After so many vaginal deliveries, I suppose its bound to happen.

I was doing laundry, because when kids are sick we make exponentially more.  Especially towels. Heaven forbid we run out of towels.  I had to puke.  A few options ran through my head- I could sprint upstairs and puke/pee and hope I made it to the bathroom or just puke in the washer- I mean, I haven't had solid food for 2 days, realistically, I'd be simplifying the cleanup. The washer won. I changed clothes in the laundry room and went on with the day.

After having 5 kids who have had the stomach flu I have learned a few things.  Puke bowls and buckets are life savers. In the interest of making clean up easier here are a few tips:
1)   line the bowl/bucket with a trash bag or plastic bag of some sort
2)   put paper (or cloth) towels in the bottom and up the sides a little to minimize splashing.  I prefer paper towels as I can then just grab the whole bag and toss it, and start again.

You may be a mom if.....

We have been struck with a stomach virus. 

It starts innocently enough.  One kid gets it.  But if you have parenting experience you know that more than likely, the plague will spread through the house, despite best efforts.

Pixie fell to the virus first. She was so sad.  Just laying on the couch drifting between sleep and wakefulness. A day later Peas fell. After 2 days Pixie had beaten the bug, while Peas was still snuggled on the couch. A benefit to older kids getting a stomach bug, is they can aim. You never realize how much of a benefit this is until you have a child that is like an out of control fountain.  While Peas and Pixie can't consistently make it to the bathroom, they can aim well if given a bucket.

Next, LittleDude got it.  He can't aim.  Nor can he provide any real warning as to when he is going to erupt so paying attention to body language-- and keeping up on the towels is key.
He also doesn't understand when I tell him to rest, and try and limit his intake so its not all over the floor.  In the end the only thing he wanted was milky so we went with that. And cuddles.

Now I have it as do Princess and Stinky.  Hopefully, it will be short lived.

Well this is awkward still.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

There have been some big changes around our household since the summer.  That are leading me to the conclusion it is time to move. 

I have talked about some of the awkwardness in our neighborhood after the DCFS spat of the summer.  I am worried about the summer.  Really worried.

We have started considering moving.  The DCFS thing is part of the reason we are seriously considering moving.  We do need more space and another bathroom.

Our neighborhood is great, and I adore (most) of our neighbors.  We have great friends, a great community, and wonderful resources and leaving that will be heartbreaking.  However, I no longer feel secure around one person.  I find myself dealing with far too much anxiety and unhappiness over it, wondering if she is again judging myself, my parenting, or my children etc.  Added to the fact, she has not made one friendly or neighborly gesture in the six months since this has happened.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am holding a grudge against her-- a strong angry-- hurt grudge.  I never thought I'd say it, but I am totally on B's side on this one.

Would offering to have a cup of tea/coffee and chat help resolve this?? The awful feeling is just, well, awful.  Neighborhoods shouldn't be like this. This is not community.  This is not the feeling I want to live with nor is it the atmosphere that I want to raise my children in.

Conversely, in a self righteous tone- we shouldn't be the ones to run away.  We didn't do anything wrong.  The children are loved and adored.

So, in the coming season we will be house hunting and preparing to move.  It is a scary prospect. But also really exciting to thing of having more room and more possibilities.  I hope and pray we find the right house with great neighbors where we can feel safe and secure again.

Just Joy

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Little Dude is an extremely happy boy (except of course when he is unhappy, the look out world).

Today I was just thinking about how genuinely joyful he is and how much I have learned from his contagious joy.

A few weeks ago we went to an indoor water park and I have never seen anyone so excited.  His whole body literally trembled with glee.  When I would get ready to put him down his little legs were already running.  When he smiles his whole body smiles.  Like pure happiness just exudes from him.  He claps, jumps, and squeals as happiness just cannot be contained in his body anymore.

Even everyday things he finds so much to be happy about, playing with his cars, building a tower and knocking it over.. nothing is to mundane.  Whenever music is on he is dancing.  He has quite a set of moves!  His imagination is limitless he puts on capes and flies around the house with lightening speed.  LittleDude does not really walk places.  He runs. And jumps.  If there is a puddle he must jump in it.  If there is a something that looks intriguing it must be explored. Balls are thrown, furniture (and everything climbed) the world is an adventure.  I wonder what goes through his head. 

LittleDude will grab my hand and pull me to something he wants to show me.  He will run and jump into my arms with total faith that I will catch him.  Then throw his body onto me in a hug that can melt anyone, squeezing with his arms around me.  These greetings do not happen after I have been away for days, hours, or even minutes.  It could be he was just happy to see me in the living room.
When I sit down on the floor he often runs and grabs a story and then backs into my lap (really the backing into my lap to sit is the most adorable thing ever) and we read. 

When he wants to breastfeed (yes, at nearly 2 years old he nurses), he'll grab my hand and lead me to our spot for some cuddles and milk.  He'll hug me and play with my hair, gazing into my eyes while we just can soak up the moment. Until he decides to be silly and playfully bite or pull my hair (all in good fun).

Outside is always fun.  When the big kids start suiting up to go play in the snow he follows suit.  He knows his snow pants and how to put them on, he waits patiently for his boots (which he finds and brings over), coat, and mittens.  But he puts his hat on himself.  That is one way he tells you he is ready to go outside: he goes to the door and puts on his hat.

LittleDude loves animals.  You may think with so many of them being so much larger than he is he may be scared, but he isn't he loves the dogs and gives them treats and pets.  They return his adoration.  The cats tolerate him. Going to see the horses is super fun.  He loves to brush them, give them treats, and ride.  The horses also are so gentle with  him  it is shocking. When they gently take a carrot from him and he squeals with excitement, often he is met with a nicker of affection.

At night he sleeps with me.  We go to bed and he snuggles in for some milky, and adjusts a bit to get comfortable.  Usually he'll end up half on top of my chest with his ear on my heart and his fingers in my hair. I can smell his unique scent and drink the time in.  I complain a lot about this sometimes, but truth of it is, I love the closeness with him.  I love watching him smile in his sleep, his eyes dance with dreams.  I love being there if he wakes up scared so I can comfort him. 

All of this joy and happiness have taught me to see the miracles in the small things.  Feel the joy in the smallest things.  Allowing myself to get super excited and not feel embarrassed about it.  To take more time to experience life instead of racing through it.

15 years.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Today is 15 years since I went to Utah.  It is always a rough day for me.  Lots of anxiety.  Lots of racing thoughts, yet feeling paralyzed to do anything other than exist. 

Yes. 15 years is a long time.  I have learned with the help of my doctors, that what happened, while ultimately leading me to get better, was very traumatic.

The night going into the 13th, I have nightmares and can't sleep well.  The day of, doing anything of importance is not possible. 

Sending me to Utah had to be one of the hardest decisions of my parents lives, and I am grateful that they did. Without it I don't know where I'd be.  I don't know that I would be strong enough to do that.  But I can't imagine watching my child destroy themselves and being totally helpless to stop it. 

I'll never forget that night. Remembering it is like looking back in slow motion. I can remember the snow on the ground. My brother had taken the dog for a walk- he didn't want to be there for that. My school work on the floor. My book.  A note my mom wrote me.  I refused to say goodbye to my parents- I was angry. So angry. So hurt. So scared. I had no idea what to expect how to navigate this.

15 years may have passed but thinking about that time I am right back there. Scared, overwhelmed, (a little angry), hurt, terrified, other feelings that I can't even name now.

15 years.  It seems like it was yesterday.

Utah was hard for a lot of reasons.  But I learned so much there, more than about how to function as a person, I learned how much I love the mountains.  How beautiful they are.  You know how some people feel totally relaxed at the beach, I feel that way about the mountains. I love rock climbing and being out in them feeling the air and wind.  I don't think I would have had the chance to learn that without Utah.

This is awkward..

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ever since the DCFS kerfuffle this summer, its been really weird in our neighborhood.

Our neighbors who we used to be friends with have not spoken to us since the drama- well the woman at least.  The man and I have spoken cordially a few times but nothing more.  I have tried to speak to the woman and be nice to her but she brushes me off- politely.

Here's the problem.  The other day- my kids were out in the snow playing and we had a gaggle of kids over playing with my kids.  Neighbor kid came out and my kids started to play with her.  My husband- still salty over the incident told our kids that they could not go in neighbor kids yard-- but she was welcome to come over to our yard. The kid just sat in her yard and played alone. It was beyond awkward.

I am dreading summer.  We used to play outside and there was no weirdness- now I am really concerned about the potential weirdness.

How to throw a real temper tantrum

Friday, January 10, 2014

Little Dude is now approaching his 2nd birthday.  Its going to fast for my liking.  Anyhow. He has learned about the all important temper tantrum- he has had the best teacher to learn from and has developed a pretty good skill set for throwing them.

Here are some essentials that he has learned:

- its not a real tantrum if you are not on the floor kicking.
- go to an area of the floor free from debris before throwing yourself to the ground- look where you are going to land.
- follow Mama from room to room if necessary- it doesn't count as a tantrum if no one is there to see it.
- 'NO' is the best word ever.  It can yelled, shrieked, or wailed.
- Practice makes perfect- aim for at least three tantrums a day.