My Kid Stole My Cool

Up! Up! Upchuck.

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Up! Up! Upchuck. 0

I think moms should earn badges, like Girl Scouts.  There would be the “Labor and Delivery” badge (kind of a required one), the “Leaving the Child at Daycare Without Crying” badge, for a military spouse, a “Parenting with a Deployed Spouse” badge, and then there’d be the badge I earned last night, the “Surviving Your Child’s Stomach Flu Without Throwing Up Yourself” badge.  That’s a toughie to earn, because dealing with a vomiting child is really, really gross.

Without getting too graphic, Elisabeth’s diapers had indicated that her tummy was giving her trouble all day yesterday.  But she was acting like her normal, happy self, so I wasn’t worried.  At around 11:15 PM, I heard her tossing and turning in her crib and went in to check in on her.  Her stomach was making all sorts of unnatural noises.  Oh no, I thought, she’s gonna blow.  

She woke up, and I attempted to comfort her.  We moved from the crib to the rocking chair to the changing table and back again for the next 45 minutes.  Seated in the rocker, she pointed to the changing table and said, “Poo-poo!”  She knew what was coming.  She wanted to be prepared.  Admirable of her, really.

I took her back to the changing table because she demanded so and she lay down, fighting to stay awake.  I waited, listening to her tummy rumble, knowing an explosive diaper was inevitable.  But when?  As she drifted in and out of sleep I decided to move her back to her crib for comfort’s sake (hers and mine).  As soon as I put her down, she sprung to her feet.

“Lay down, Sweetie,” I coaxed.  “I’ll lay down next to you.”  I crouched next to the crib, one hand through the slats trying to cajole Elisabeth to lay down.

She leaned over the crib.  “Up! Up!” she exclaimed.  And then… upchuck.

I was caught off guard, to say the least.  I certainly had not anticipated or prepared for anything coming out of that end.  And let me tell you, crouching beside  a crib, peering up at your daughter is not where you want to be when she starts throwing up over the rails.

Though momentarily distracted by the fact that I had just been thrown up on, I quickly sprung into mom-mode.  By calling for my own mom.  (I could not be more thankful for dealing with Elisabeth’s first flu while visiting my parents rather than alone in Japan while Damon is deployed!)

“MOM!” I yelled, rushing Elisabeth down the hallway to the bathroom, vomiting trailing behind us.

“What? What’s going on?” she said sleepily from her bedroom.  (It was midnight, after all.)

“PROJECTILE VOMIT!” I yelled back.  It was all quite dramatic.

Moments later, my dad returned home from a late flight to find a house in chaos.  My mom was running around gathering cleaning supplies while I was stripping off Elisabeth’s puke-soaked pajamas.  “Ohhhh, baby!  It’s okay!  It’s okay!” I kept trying to reassure her while frantically cleaning her off.

Elisabeth, meanwhile, was completely fine, if a bit confused to find herself standing in the middle of the tub at midnight.  There was no crying, no distress, nothing.  She reached out one hand to me to clean off the goop, and then  was all, “Hey, bath time at midnight?  Par-tay!”  She started chatting to herself and playing with her bath toys and life was good.

My parents went to scrubbing the floor in the bedroom while I dressed in Elisabeth in a second pair of PJs.  We went into the living room to let Elisabeth settle down a bit.  Then she threw up again, on my mom this time.  Elisabeth was unperturbed and would have happily continued reading her books, had we not insisted upon wiping her down and changing her into a third pair of PJs.  (And I showered, because I was still covered in Elisabeth’s original vomit.  So lovely.)  At that point we retreated back to her bedroom, but I was uncomfortable leaving her in her crib alone.  I brought her into bed with me, and she cuddled up close.  Oh, my sweet, sick girl, I thought.  And then threw up on me again.  Luckily, this time I caught most of it in my hand, and we didn’t even have to change her PJs – a good thing because at that point we were out of clean PJs.

The newest face of the flu.

The newest face of the flu.

Around 1:30AM, Elisabeth finally fell asleep sprawled on top of me, the smell of vomit lingering around her head.  Her tummy continued to grumble.  She’s so going to throw up on me again.  She’s so going to throw up on me again.  I tried to be okay with that, because that’s what moms do; they let their sick kids throw up on them in the middle of the night.

Thankfully she didn’t.  She made it through the rest of the night, and although she has thrown up another three times today, she’s had the good sense to do it on my parents and my brother.  I have been spared!  (Though had she chosen to throw up on me, I would’ve been okay with that, I swear.)  And also although she’s thrown up three times today, she is currently sitting on her grandmother’s lap reading books and asking to go to the pool.  I’m beginning to think she’s faking, and this whole day has been a test.  In which case, I’m totally not okay with that.

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Toilet Water and Other Toddler Fun

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Toilet Water and Other Toddler Fun 3

Kids are gross. A few days ago Elisabeth pooped in the tub during her morning bath.  The tub in my parent’s house is quite deep, so bathing her is a two-person job.  I stand in the tub to clean her and then hand her off to one of my parents to dry her off, lest I kill myself trying to get both myself and the wet, wiggly toddler onto dry land. So there I am, scrubbing her down, and she poops.  Now baby poop is nothing new for me.  But baby poop in the tub is.  It totally paralyzed me.  “Uh, I don’t really know what to do about this,” I said to my dad, waiting to dry Elisabeth off.  Then I realized I was standing in the poopy water and quickly extracted both Elisabeth and myself from the tub. At that point, you kinda think, Well, that’s the grossest thing that’s going to happen today.  But then it isn’t. Hours later, I noticed the house had gotten eerily quiet, which obviously meant trouble.  I found Elisabeth in my parent’s bathroom, dunking her sippy cup in the toilet, and then drinking from it.  There you have it – something grosser than a little poop in a tub. I thought I was off the hook when it came to icky-kid stuff – Elisabeth is a total priss.  The first (and only) time I tried finger-painting with her, she had an epic meltdown as soon as her hands touched the paint.  When we went to Hawaii last Christmas, she was terrified of the sand.  And the water.  And the grass.  When we visited Nagano for a ski vacation, the snow reduced her to tears.  I figured her for an indoor girl. Whenever she gets something (food, usually) on her hands, she reaches her hands out to me, completely disgusted by the utter filth that is covering her.  “Eh! Eh!” she whines.  Translation: Get it off me!  And if I don’t wipe her down quickly enough, she has another meltdown of finger-painting proportion.  Should she find so much a fleck of dust...

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100 Posts Later – Still a New Mom?

Posted on Jun 7, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

100 Posts Later – Still a New Mom? 0

Oh hey there!  Guess what?  This is my 100th post!  And 100 seems like a milestone.  Like a cause for celebration.  I see some cheap wine and a box of stale graham crackers in my future. 100 posts.  I started this blog when I was pregnant and kind of freaking out.  Then I continued the blog as a new mom who was really freaking out.  Now my baby is, like, old, and I’m still freaking out. Which got me wondering: How long can I play the “New Mom” card? Then I decided: Forever.  Or at least until Elisabeth goes to college and moves out of the house.  Which is basically forever. So yeah, Elisabeth is a year-and-a-half now, hardly “new”.  But do I know what I’m doing anymore now then I did a year-and-a-half ago?  Um, no.  I’m definitely still as clueless as I was when Elisabeth was born.  Because here’s the thing: Babies change.  Fast. In my last post I lamented how my sweet little girl is now a scary toddler.  That’s new.  Someday she’ll turn into a scary middle-schooler.  That will be new.  (And cause for considering boarding school?)  Not to mention all those developmental phases between two and twelve or twelve and eighteen that will all be new.  Heck, if today’s college graduates are any indication, Elisabeth could move out, graduate college and move right back in with us!  That will be new!  (And scarier than anything that came before.) Even if I have a second child, everything will be new again.  I’m just going to wager that a second baby will be completely different than the first, just to make all the stuff I think I know (about sleep, routines, feedings, etc.) completely irrelevant.  And so child-raising – even the second time around – will feel new.  (Especially when dealing with a deviant older child!) Point is, I don’t think the “newness” of being a parent ever goes away.  Which is sort of terrifying, right?  I think I’ll go grab that wine now… Oh, thanks for sticking with me on this blogging journey!  Hope you’ll...

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So Now I Have a Toddler

Posted on Jun 2, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

So Now I Have a Toddler 5

I’m going to throw this out there – 18 months, not my favorite age.  Don’t judge me. I’ve been in denial, but I finally have to admit that my baby is not a baby anymore.  Not even close.  She is a toddler. I think I first realized Elisabeth was really and truly a toddler, as opposed to just kinda/sorta a toddler, when I cut her banana in half and she had a complete meltdown.  A banana.  In two pieces.  Meltdown.  TODDLER. Now there is the crying for apparently no reason at all.  I take that back; it’s not crying.  It’s more like high-pitched yelling interspersed with drawn out moans of, “Mama!  Mammmmaaaaa!  Mammmmaaaa!” as if I am the source of all woe in her life. And there is the sudden inclusion of, “Mine!” and “No!” in her vocabulary.  Are these words just instinctual to toddlers? And there is the refusal to let me help her eat.  Which leads to food all over the floor, all over the walls, all over her, and naturally, all over me.  This goes hand-in-hand with a sudden rejection of most food I prepare for her.  If ever I serve her a meal that doesn’t please her, she will either a) meltdown or b) pick up the offending food, slowly and deliberately move her hand over the high chair, shoot me a look of defiance, drop the food on the floor, and laugh evilly.  Nice, Elisabeth.  Nice. And there is the inhuman strength.  That death grip on anything she holds dear (mommy’s wallet, mommy’s phone, mommy’s expensive sunglasses…) that I try to take away.  How she goes completely rigid when I try to put in the car seat or stroller.  No matter how hard I try, I just can’t get her to bend!  How did she get so freakishly strong?  She’s only 25 pounds! Oh, and there is the pounding on the laptop keys when mommy is trying to blog. And of course there is the getting into everything.  Everything except the baskets full of toys that clutter our living room and are there solely...

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The Christian Bale Scale

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

The Christian Bale Scale 8

I’ve had a rough week.  Maybe its been two weeks.  My memory is a little fuzzy from fatigue, so I can’t remember exactly how long its been since the Night Stalker returned, just a long time.  You see, Elisabeth is teething and Demon Baby has returned, waking several times a night and slowly sucking the life out of me. I wake up every morning looking wrecked.  No amount of makeup in the world can help me.  It’s really quite depressing. I always thought I’d be that mom that everyone hates because she always looks put-together: cute outfit, coiffed hair, bright-eyed.  But no.  Sadly I’m the hater, not the hatee.  Some days I do try to look less zombie-like.  Really, I do.  If you see me on a regular basis, you may not believe me, but honestly – there are days I dab on the expensive de-puffing eye cream, apply blush to add color to my sallow skin, and swipe mascara over my lashes to perk up my droopy eyes. It’s all useless – especially the expensive eye cream – but I do it anyway.  Definitely not every day, though.  Not even most days.  Why waste that expensive eye cream? Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you also don’t want to squander your precious beauty products when it will hardly make a dent.  Maybe you wonder how to choose which days to put effort into your appearance, and which days to say, “To Hell with it all!” That’s where the Christian Bale Scale comes in.  I determine on a scale of 1-10 the likelihood that I will run into Christian Bale that day, and plan my put-togetherness accordingly.  For example, if I know I’m going to be staying on base all day doing errands and taking care of the kiddo and whatnot, that’s a zero; that day doesn’t even make it on the scale.  Why would a gorgeous, Oscar-winning Welsh actor be wandering around a small naval air base in Japan? He wouldn’t.  So on those days, I don’t bother.  The dark circles are out in all their glory, the greasy...

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When Staying At Home Sucks

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

I am so, so grateful that I can stay at home with Elisabeth.  I know I am very blessed to have that as an option, and I try not to take that for granted.  And I love, love, love my daughter more than anything.  She is smart and funny and sweet and entertaining and our time together is priceless. I just needed to put that all out should Elisabeth ever find this blog post and think I think otherwise. Because some days being a stay-at-home mom sucks. I have no desire to get in the working mom v. stay-at-home mom debate.  Who cares?  For those of us fortunate to have the choice, if working fulfills you, that probably means you’ll be a happy, healthy role model for your children, and so that’s probably what is best for your family.  If staying at home fulfills you, that probably means you’ll be a happy, healthy role model for your children, and so that’s probably what is best for your family.  But I’m willing to bet there are some days when working moms think, “Aghhhhh I hate my job and just want to be at home with my kids!”  Because I know for a fact that there are some days when stay-at-home moms think, “Aghhhhh I need to get out of my house and away from my kid(s)!” Um, maybe I shouldn’t speak for all stay-at-home moms.  But if I’m the only one that feels that way sometimes, I’m going to be pretty embarrassed about admitting it on the blogosphere.  But seriously, some days are tedious and tiresome and just plain boring.  There, I said it. Anyway.  Those days are rare.  Very rare.  I just happened to have one yesterday.  And now I need to blog about it because I feel partly guilty about harboring such feelings and partly in need of a good vent. I went to bed Monday night with a raging headache.  I woke up on Tuesday morning – in the 5:00 hour – with a raging headache.  Knowing before 6:00AM that your day is probably going to suck,...

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