Smells Like Lysol

31Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Weeks that contain lots of vomit aren’t my favorite. I can’t imagine that they’re anyone’s favorite! But as a borderline emetophobe, it’s really hard for me to stay peaceful when there’s icky stuff spewing about the house.

(Yes, I now call my fear “borderline” because 16+ years of parenting has worn the roughest edges off what was once an almost debilitating phobia. Those of you who have emet know. Those who don’t think we’re a special kind of crazy. But that’s OK. Everybody’s afraid of something, and you folks who pass out at the sight of spiders make me giggle a little. So it’s all good.)

Anyway, Jonah (who was thankfully in my bed, or I’d have a bed-cleaning story to share, too) woke up moaning. We managed to get him to the toilet before everything he ate last night came up. I’m also thankful that it was early enough that Dad was still home. I have a big deadline to meet today and taking care of a sick child wasn’t going to mesh with what I had to accomplish, so he graciously took a sick day off to tend to the young ‘un.

Can I just inject that I have the best hubby, ever?

So, the morning was filled with trips to the bathroom, and the poor boy is in a swim diaper because it started pouring out the other end, too. And Donnie had to experience what I did years ago when he was deployed: a sick kid crying in the bathroom with messes on both ends and that horrible feeling of wanting to just dunk him in a vat of hand sanitizer, then hose him off. (Donnie did, however, miss the bonus feature of a toddler simultaneously spewing half-digested milk all over his crib, stuffed animals and toys. On bad days, I go back to that moment in my mind and whatever it is that I’m up against seems ever so much better.)

So…the morning wore on, but partly into it, my stomach started bubbling like a witch’s brew and Dad’s did, too, and before I knew it, the three of us were playing toilet tag.

Just. UGH! Not exactly on today’s agenda, but what can you do? I’m just glad that the eldest is at school, the two middle kids are off at sleepovers and hopefully, I’ve gotten this place sanitized well enough that they get to skip this crud.

Amazingly, though, Jonah already feels better. It’s a weird bug–one that hits hard and fast, but ends blessedly quickly. It hasn’t even been 12 hours and he is playing and begging for food with a fervency that would put most dogs to shame.

(Yes, I just compared my child to a dog. It happens.)

This is almost my least-favorite part of the stomach virus. Obviously, the worst part is when foulness is pouring out of multiple bodily orifices, but this stage is a close second. It breaks my heart to hear my babies asking for something I can’t give them!

But if he eats now, experience has taught me, we’ll be back at square one. You have to let the digestive system heal a little first. My older children understand that now when they’re sick, but it’s so sad with the little ones who don’t quite get it.

“Please, mama, please–I just want ONE chip. Please?”


“Mooooommmmm…I just wanna EAT!” and he gives me this pleading sad face and it almost works.

bw sad jonah

Only almost.

And then he roots through the kitchen, bringing me fruit, and yogurt and noodles, one at a time, hoping that he has uncovered the one magic food that will earn Mom’s “Yes” but again and again, he’s met with my sympathetic “No.”

He finally snaps.

“I am ANGRY at you!” he exclaims. And he stomps his foot and wow, does his expression go along with his words!

Bless his little heart. I’d be angry at me, too.

Just hang on a little while longer, buddy, and keep sipping that ginger ale….







The Ease of Working from Home

28Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

(That headline is dripping with sarcasm, if you can’t tell. DRIPPING.)

work at home

Sometimes, it takes me a full 24 hours to accomplish nothing.

It’s 4:00pm and I have tried three times to sit down and get some work done at this computer.

And three times, I’ve failed.

The first time, I got sucked into Facebook for a few minutes, then my sister came over for coffee. Then a comment one of us made led to remembering an old Saturday Night Live skit, and of course I had to try to find it online, which led to watching a few other videos together and laughing ourselves silly. Which, coupled with the coffee, did a pretty awesome job at clearing the lingering drowsiness from my mind.

The second time was after I’d put in a load of clothes, picked up in the living room, chopped a bunch of vegetables and some beef and got a curry going in the crock pot. But my daughter, not knowing I needed the computer, had already put in her Ugandan music DVD and she and Jonah were having a little video dance party in the dining room.

It was way too cute to interrupt!

The third time, everyone had finished dancing and had lunch (Eli was just sitting down with his sandwich), and it would be a while before the eldest got home to tell me about his first day back to school (yes, they started crazy-early this year!). So I slipped on my headphones, opened up my documents, was just about to start some music when Eli yells….

“Put Annie outside! Put her outside! She’s about to throw up!”

Anne is our 9-year-old lab mix –sweetest pup ever– but doesn’t always do so well when she gets too much human food. (I’d slipped her a couple bits of raw beef; then Eli gave her a chicken nugget.)

Headphones off, I hopped up and rushed to the living room. Eli was sitting in Donnie’s chair, with his knees pulled up, his hands over his eyes, moaning and looking pale (like his mom, he doesn’t do so great when any living creature throws up). I saw that I already missed the first “pumping” of Annie’s stomach, as there was a pile near Eli’s feet. Thankfully, she did it on the floor and not the rug, and I managed to wrangle her out the back door before she deposited round two.

At this exact moment, Jonah started yelling from the bathroom, “MOM! I’m done pooping! Come wipe meeeeeee!”

Who to tend to first? If I clean up the dog puke first, I run the risk that Jonah will tire of waiting and try to take care of business himself, which he’s  not quite ready to do, and I know will result in toilet-seat-scrubbing and probably some laundry. If I tend to Jonah first, there’s a very real chance that Eli will hurl a puddle to meld with Annie’s.

Russian roulette, Mommy-style.

I told Eli, “I know it’s gross, but you’ve got this. You’re not going to be sick. Just close your eyes and think happy thoughts.”

Then I ran to the bathroom and wiped the hiney, and Jonah kept asking, “Did Annie throw up? Did she? I want to see it!” (Could my two boys be any more different?)

Then I ran to get paper towels and a bag and disinfectant spray and all the while, the dog was barking to come back in (ummm…NO!) and my phone was ringing.

Ten minutes later, everything was clean, Eli was able to eat again, Jonah was playing, the dog was gated into the laundry room and I sat back down to write.

But then I thought, this might make a fairly entertaining post, so here I am.

Oh well. Blogging is more fun anyway.

Now, back to work!


Closed to Open Concepts

21Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

My sister Cherie and I were watching a bit of HGTV earlier.

We commented how we’re sick to death of the grossly overused term “open concept floor plan.” I think it must be in the contract that every HGTV show has to mention it at least twice. Four times if the show is an hour long. And every person looking for a new home has to walk into at least one older home and whine, “But it doesn’t have my open concept layout!”

Anyway, I don’t get the love for these spaces, where the kitchen, dining area, living room and sometimes, an office or playroom, all meld together into one huge, cavernous zone.

I told Cherie, “I like lots of walls. And doors. With locks. Why does everyone think they gotta be all up in everyone else’s business?” We laughed, and she agreed.

open-concept 2

But it left me wondering….

Is it our introvert tendencies that make us prefer smaller, sectioned-off rooms with doors?

Are extroverts drawn toward the open floor-plan concept?

For me, personally, I think it’s the total lack of privacy I feel most days that makes me love spaces that permit one to close off from the rest of the house for a while. Plus, it’s easier to keep smaller spaces clean (and to close a door on it if you run out of time!). And it also allows for greater design variation between rooms, which appeals to my creative side. You can paint one room green and one room red instead of having to look at one big homogenous design forever.

But I definitely think the introversion plays a role in my dislike of open floor plans.

How about you? What is your preference in home design? And are you generally more introverted or extroverted?

Curious minds want to know!



19Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

If you’re my friend on Facebook, you saw yesterday this conversation I posted between me and my brilliant little guy, Jonah:

Jonah: “Did you put on lipstick?”
Me: “Yeah…”
Jonah: “Is it strawberry flavor?”
Me (still applying my makeup): “Nope.”
Jonah: “Is it raspberry flavor?”
Me: “No, it’s just plain.”
Jonah: “Oh.”
(He looks at me silently, seemingly very confused…)
Jonah: “Is it…BEEF flavor???”

After I finished laughing (and gagging) at the thought of meat-flavored lipstick, I recalled how often we’ve caught him playing in his new sister’s collection of lip gloss, all of which are bold fruit flavors. So I guess the idea of a flavorless lip product just seemed impossible to him. He’s also really into ramen noodles (it’s odd, how all three of my boys were obsessed with ramen noodles at this age) and reads the labels on the packets, so I guess a nice, salty, ramenesque beef-flavored lipstick sounded yummy to him.

The day before that, he cracked us up by making this sign all on his own:

Jojo Only

“Jojo ONLY”

But the funniest part? He taped it on MY bedroom door! I knew we let that kid sleep with us too long. Now he’s officially trying to kick his ol’ Ma and Pa out of our very own bedroom!

Sadly, last night, he succumbed to the virus that’s been kicking my butt this week. I knew we were in trouble when, shortly after the beef lipstick conversation, he climbed in my bed, yawned and said, “I think I need a little rest” and passed out for two hours. He woke up feverish and crying, and shortly after, Donnie was rushing him to the bathroom to catch his puke in the toilet.

I’m grateful that I never vomited with this particular illness, but I have felt terrible, with a fever, cough, sore throat, and congestion. I even lost my voice for most of Thursday. Jonah, much like his oldest brother at this age, tends to throw up whenever he has a fever regardless of what actual bug is causing it. It really seems to bother them when they have throat pain or postnasal drip.

Anyway, he got sick again later (this time, thankfully, he was in his OWN bed). And he told his dad that he was sad to have gotten “coughing juice” on his blanket and t-shirt.

Coughing juice! We laughed a good while over that one.

Thank you, Jonah, for giving our family a much funnier term for a really disgusting bodily function!

Only my Jojo.



Stealing Away

15Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Well, at least, trying to steal away….

I forgot to pick up mayo at the grocery store yesterday afternoon. The hubs and eldest boy need it for their sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. The reason I forgot to get the mayo yesterday is that I had my sister, my daughter and my youngest son with me and I cannot think unless I’m shopping alone. Even with a list, it’s just crazy trying to concentrate! The kids are constantly asking for something. Constantly. Even when I tell them not to ask for anything, they can’t resist.

Items requested yesterday: bubbles, gum drops, chocolate truffles, chili-flavored ramen noodles, soda, quilted gloves on clearance, toy airplanes, Barbie dolls, snack cakes, Kosher chicken noodle cups, yogurt, Swiss cheese, potato chips, Lucky Charms and a spaghetti sauce seasoning packet–and those are only the items I remember.

So I walked through the store sounding like a broken record: “No, no, no, no. Not today. Nope, sorry! Not today. No. Not now. No, no, no. Maybe next time. NO!”

And it wasn’t just the kids distracting me. My sister and I get into a crazy state of mind when we shop together. As my dad has often said, we giggle all the time. So we were goofing off — laughing at the terrible music, singing along, laughing at the next crazy thing my child asked for, laughing at how many times I had to say no. Cracking jokes over the stuff on clearance. You get the picture. Self-created Distraction City.

SO. Anyway. Back to the mayo.

I just really, really did NOT want the kids to go with me tonight. This time I was going to Target, and taking the kids with me to Target feels like shooting myself in the foot. That is MY haven. That’s where I wander the aisles alone and take my time. It’s rare that you’ll find me dragging my brood along to Target.

The kids have radar-ears that pick up on even the faintest whisper that I’m leaving the house. So to avoid the loud choruses of, “I WANT TO GO! I WANT TO GO! I WAANNNNT TOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and the youngest’s inevitable tears at being told “no”, I sent my husband a text.

“Hey, so I’m gonna casually sneak out and go get you some mayo.”

(Just call us Mr. and Mrs. Romance for sending such racy convos to one another.)

He gave me a silent “thumbs-up” from across the room. I went back to change shirts, and he slipped into the bedroom to tell me that our eldest needed picking up after I went to Target.

Great, I thought. There goes my leisurely stroll through the store. But hey, at least I was getting half an hour alone. I picked up my purse as Donnie redirected Jonah to play with trains, so he wouldn’t see me leave, slipped on my flip-flops, quietly opened the back door and then — heard Violet say, “Mom–where are you going? I want to go!”


“I just have to go pick up Zach,” I said, “I’ll be back in a bit!”

And mean mother that I am, I breezed out the door and into the minivan, and waved cheerily to her sad little face looking out the window as I backed out of the drive.

I know. I’m terrible. I feel guilty now. I just had to have that half-hour alone, y’all. I just had to.

So I cruise around Target, getting the mayo and a couple of other items I remembered we needed, and it would’ve been fun if my eldest hadn’t called me three times wanting to know where I was.

Now, before you really decide I’m a horrible person and call DFACS on me, he was the one who decided on an impromptu outing, and then decided he was too tired to walk back home. He was with a friend. So it wasn’t like I was abandoning him after an appointment or something. But I didn’t quite have any reason to be in an uber-hurry to fetch him, either.

So, there you have it: stealing away, mom-style. It’s not very effective, is it?