Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smells like Lemon Scented Sickness in Here

You know how sometimes people tell you about their day, and you feel sympathy for them, but you don't really focus on exactly how much it sucked for them? You can try to do that here, but the GIFs may increase the difficulty.

Yesterday morning, at about 4:45am, I jolted awake to the distinct sound of someone vomiting. I only knew it wasn't the dog because she usually doesn't cry after she vomits. It's hard to cry while you're eating. Anyway, once I figured out which kid was crying, I found Faith laying in a puddle of puke.

She was micromanaging me as I cleaned her up (apparently I was supposed to wash her hands first, not her face) and she didn't have a fever, so I didn't really know what to expect. I knew she couldn't go to school, but I figured she would puke maybe once more, like her sister did last week, and be done with it.

Faith puked at least once an hour, all day long. Every time she took a sip of water, she returned it. She said she was hungry so I let her have a few bites of plain rice, and that ended about as well as could be expected.

Luckily for us all, Faith is old enough to know to go to the bathroom to vomit in the toilet. That doesn't mean she's at all good at aiming. This meant that I needed to be available to drop what I was doing and go with her at a moment's notice. Cordelia is used to having me to herself during the morning and she wasn't happy with my division of attention. Well, that's what I assumed. It turns out that I think too highly of myself and Cordelia's GI system was much more pissed off than usual. I don't know if she is sick or if she's reacting to something she ate (but it's not like she's been going out to eat with her friends). All I know is that twice yesterday, I really regretting breaking the seal on her diaper.

I could say that the best part of all of this was not being able to take a shower all day because I was paranoid that Faith would need help throwing up while I was in there, but I don't want to dole out superlatives until I'm sure I'm not going to be hugging the toilet for a day. If this bug can make a four year old this miserable, it would kick my ass.

I'd apologize for all the vomit GIFs, but we all know I'm lying about any shred of remorse. Just be glad you can't smell things through your computer. My house smells like Lysol scented vomit poop. No, you can't come over, even if you ask really nicely.

What do you think the odds are for me escaping the Puke Plague? I'm seriously contemplating every meal choice because I may be revisiting it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Public vomiting and sibling annoyance

My weekend had a bumpy start because early Friday morning, Cordelia woke me up with her screaming. When I went to check on her, I patted her pillow to entice her to lay back down. Upon patting it, I realized her pillow was covered in vomit.

She rarely vomits, so it was noteworthy but she wasn't running a fever and seemed to feel OK. I figured she would be fine for Faith's preschool drop off. All she had to do was just sit in the van and walk for about 100 feet. We made it to the preschool parking lot and then she started spewing chunks all over herself. I got her out of the van and then she was just standing in the parking lot, crying while vomiting. Luckily for us, a friend walked Faith to class so I could stay with Cordelia in the parking lot. I had two people stop and ask if I needed any help, which was nice. At that point, we were both covered in vomit and I really just wanted to not be out in public any more.

Once I got Cordelia home and cleaned up, she laid on the couch with me for about an hour and then just popped up and wanted to play. By lunch time, she was almost completely back to normal. Kids are strange.

Initially, I didn't think Cordelia's stomach bug was contagious but the amount of Faith puke I've cleaned up so far today contradicts that assumption. What kind of bug has a three incubation period?

Onto less vomit-full thoughts:

On Friday night I went to a Body Jam release party because apparently that's the kind of thing I do now. I bookended that with a "Hip Hop Cardio" class on Saturday because the world needs more whooty shaking. If I was a better writer, then I could use words to explain the majesty of booty popping next to someone's grandma, but sadly you'll have to use your own imagination.

On Sunday I did a Body Combat class followed immediately by a Body Pump class. I'm still patiently waiting for the Les Mills craze to fade away, but until then I will just go with a smile on my face and plans to bitch about it later on my public blog.

Aside from my gym time, we didn't do a lot else this weekend. We wanted to keep Cordelia home in case she started tossing her cookies again and it was pouring rain and cold most of the weekend. The highlight of Faith's week is staying in her pajamas all day on Saturday and not leaving the house. She insists that she doesn't want to go outside or on errands with me, but the two of them inevitably get stir crazy and drive each other nuts. By lunchtime on Saturday, Faith was crying just from Cordelia touching her arm. Of course that meant Cordelia wanted to poke Faith even more.

We are supposed to get more rain (or snow?) this week, so I may have to get creative on ways to distract the kids from driving each other crazy. I'm hoping for snow because that's like toys raining from the sky. Cold rain just lacks the fun factor.

Are you getting snow this week? I'm glad we aren't in the 24 inches range, that's insane!

When was the last time you were holding someone's hair back as they vomited in public? For most people, I expect this answer should be college.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A recipe for a great "sick meal" for a friend

It's been almost exactly a year since my back injury and subsequent surgery, and during that time so many people helped me. I don't like to brag, but I had some amazing meals brought to me while I was laid up.

I feel like getting all of those meals brought to me has given me insight on what makes an awesome "sick meal". Since this blog is so educational and informative, I wanted to put all my tips together in one delightfully Pinteresting post.

Use an online coordination website. This is a great way for a group of friends to space out meals and it makes sure that the friend in need doesn't get two meals on one day. It's also a good way to let the meal recipient know what to expect and to let everyone contributing know about food allergies or preferences.

Caring Meals

Take Them a Meal

Meal Train

Care Calendar 

Fresh ingredients are appreciated! Before I hurt my back, I would usually bring someone a dish like lasagna because I wanted them to be able to freeze it if they didn't want it on that day (like for new parents). It turns out getting things like a prepared salad or cut up fruit is amazing if you've been laid up for a while.

More is better. Maybe my friends are overachievers (probably) but they would bring over multi-course dinners. We're talking soup, salad, main course, and dessert. I'm not saying it's required, but it is a nice touch! Now when I bring meals to people, I (try) to put together a salad, main dish, and dessert that all go together.

Think of the children. If you're not sure the kids in the family will like what you're making, it's a nice touch to include something like a pack of frozen chicken nuggets as an easy kid's meal. Some (most?) kids can be picky about food and if someone is laid up to the point of needing meals delivered, it's nice to spare them a food battle with their kid.

Spring for disposables. It's not a requirement, but it's a nice touch. That way the sick/injured person or family member doesn't have to wash containers and remember to return them. This is especially nice if the person receiving the meals is on drugs.

Pizza is caring. If you don't have time to cook, or you don't want to inflict your cooking skills on someone else, there is always pizza. You can either order it for the friend in need or give them a gift card. Either way, everyone loves pizza.

Err on the side of too much food. My favorite part of having delicious dinners delivered was when there were leftovers for lunch the next day, or in some cases enough for another dinner.

No one wants their friends to be sick or hurt, but I definitely feel more comfortable making meals for people after getting so many delivered to me.

What's your go-to meal to make for other people? Currently, I enjoy any excuse to cook with gluten and non-coconut milk dairy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bad music choices and applesauce butts

For years now, I've cultivated skills in denying my love for awful pop music. In high school, I was all about Korn and Limp Bizkit and I would never admit to enjoying Backstreet Boys or N'Sync. As a mini-van driving adult, I don't know if it's worse to blast Audioslave or Pitbull. Either way, I'm pretty much uncool.

I did stumble upon one reason I should be playing cooler music in the car: Faith now loves Taylor Swift.

Sure, I listen to Taylor Swift, but in a "Wow, this song is awful yet catchy!" way. I guess I need to train my children in the ways of cynicism before things really get out of hand.

I haven't talked about working out for a bit, but rest assured that I'm still hitting the gym regularly. I know you were worried, but it's OK. I haven't gotten fat. Yet.

It's a lot easier to write about running than gym workouts. I'd rather read about someone's run than their list of exercises and reps at the gym, but that's probably just a preference. My back has been feeling better and my nerve pain is reduced and I credit a lot of that to more intense strength training and time. I don't want anyone to think that immediate high intensity lifting is the best way to recover after back surgery.

By "high intensity lifting" I mean the kind where you're drenched in sweat and can barely lift your arms to fix your hair later and it hurts to laugh. My previous weight training (Body Pump, cough cough) never achieved that. I enjoy being able to push myself after almost a year of being physically broken. This is probably the point where a smug flexed arm selfie would be fitting, but I forgot to take one.

You'd think the increased feeling of strength or range of motion would be the best part of weight training, but you'd be wrong. It's still the verbal diarrhea from the class instructor (remember when he told me to clench my umbilical cord?). He loves to spout off motivational sayings like "Tough times don't last, but tough people do!" which is weird, but whatever. The amusement really starts for me when he yells things like "Do you want APPLES or APPLESAUCE?"

I've been taking this class for months now and I still have no clue what that means. I think it has something to do with the shape of our butts. I'm pretty sure I want an apple, not applesauce?

Whatever happened to Ryan Lochte anyway? Last time I checked, he had some show on E! about getting drunk and being even stupider than normal.

What song is your guilty pleasure right now? The kids and I really enjoy "Uptown Funk" I'm not sure I feel guilty about that though, it's a damn good song.

Give it to me straight, do you want apples or applesauce? 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

We know how to have a good time

My long holiday weekend has been full of exciting adventures. Well, that really hinges on your definition of both "exciting" and "adventure" but let's just go with it.

On Friday, Faith's preschool had an open house where the parents could come in and see what the kids are learning. It was pretty interesting to see the Montessori style teaching in action and it was amazing to see how much Faith has learned already.

Spelling out "ug" words

One of the coolest parts of seeing a Montessori classroom in action is the self sufficiency of the kids. Faith got all the separate parts of her letter lesson and rug all by herself and assembled it with almost no help, and put everything away when she was done...without prompting. Now I'm really going to stop cutting her slack at home when she acts like she has no idea where to put her coat when she comes in the door.

Cordelia was certain that it was her first day of school and she was not happy when we left and Faith got to stay.

I can't talk right now Mommy, I have a big project 

At home both kids are much less focused and much more liable to do ridiculous things like dress up the dog than to sit down and work on letters or math. It's OK, the dog doesn't mind.

Excuse me, speak for yourself

 Other weekend highlights included having breakfast for dinner (best eaten in just a diaper).

Where's the gluten??

Cordelia can now have most gluten free baking mixes (on her FODMAP diet) so I got some King Arthur pancake mixes. I used it for waffles and it was the first time I didn't feel like I was eating wet sand for my meal. I'm either acclimating or King Arthur is the best gluten free baking stuff I've tried so far.

Since there is nothing more fun than getting up on a day off and driving an hour to see a 9:30am showing of Paddington Bear, we took the kids to a movie yesterday.

This movie requires serious face

The girls both enjoyed the movie. Luckily there were a lot of noisy kids at the (sold out?) showing, so my kids didn't stick out too much with their inability to speak quietly. Cordelia was repeatedly shouting "Look Ma! It's a BEAR!" and whenever there was a non-bear scene, she would loudly ask "Where da bear go?" Faith was a little scared by some scenes. I would say that the movie would be more scary/disturbing for an older kid who actually understands what is happening, like when the evil taxidermist trying to kill and stuff the bear.

On the topic of movies that will haunt you, we watched The Hill Have Eyes (the 2006 version) this weekend. When I read the movie description, it said something about mutants attaching people, so I thought it would be more...whimsical? The movie had a slow burn build up to some seriously disturbing violence and gore. I'm all for some gore, but this movie successfully made me feel uncomfortable. That feeling lasted long after we finished watching, so yay?

As a palate cleanser, we watched Hot Shots, which is like the Naked Gun of Top Gun. I had never seen it and while it had some pretty cheesy parts, it was still a welcome respite from The Hills Have Eyes.

What is the most disturbing movie you've seen? I saw the movie The Descent in theaters and I only recommend it to people I don't really like. I'd say The Hills Have Eyes was worse, like Deliverance level disturbing.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snowed In?

Whenever I see news reports of northern weather, I'm always slightly confused about how they just keep functioning with the extreme cold and snow. I think my confusion stems from growing up in northern VA where everyone panics about flurries and everything shuts down when snow sticks to the pavement. I think if I moved up north it would take me a while to get used to being totally causal about snow.

That being said, even I think it's a little silly that our entire town shut down yesterday for an inch of snow. I'm not complaining too much since they closed the base and my husband was home. He had to work all day (telework) but he was able to take a break to come outside and take a turn being the snowball target. 

Step one, make snowballs
Step two, DUCK!

Faith has been asking for snow since November and she was thrilled to wake up to a snow day today. Even though there was a cold wintry mix coming down, she was happy to just stay outside.

This is what I get for asking her to hold still for a second

No, those aren't some kind of stylish snow capri pants, that's just what a size 6 snow pants look like on her. I have a feeling that I'm going to become an expert on where to find women's clothing in "tall" by the time she's 13. 

Cordelia HATED the snow last year. I wasn't sure how she'd feel about it this year. Luckily for Faith, she is now a fan and also wanted to never, ever come back inside.

Stop asking me if I want to go inside already

The weather this week has really cramped my ability to attend Zumba classes. Every time I complain about that aloud, I'm mocked so feel free to continue that trend in the comment section. I'm also keeping a running tally of how many requests I get to post a video of myself doing Zumba.

You might think you want to see a Zumba video, but what you'd really want to see would be the dance parties that I have with the kids. No one has dance moves like Faith and Cordelia. 

What's your favorite snow day activity? Mine is avoiding the outdoors. I don't get the appeal of playing in the cold, wet snow when there is a warm fire inside and Sex and the City on TV. 

Do you have dance parties at home? My husband's reaction has led me to believe this is not normal behavior for most people.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


It's no secret that Faith has a deep love for cats.

Back when Catniss was skinny

Faith has cat-themed everything. Her hat and gloves? Kitties. Her pajamas? Hello Kitty. Blankets on her bed? Yet more Hello Kitty. If she gets a choice about something, she's going to pick the cat one.

Faith might be the true cat lover in the family, but Cordelia may be some kind of Cat Whisperer. Her favorite part of going to the gym with me in the morning is when we stop in the pet store after to visit the cats and fish. Before anyone gets their pitchforks out, these cats aren't for sale, they are rescue cats on a public relations tour. The fish are for sale. No one cares about them.

The cats rotate in and out on a regular basis and all except one has actually responded positively to a two year old squealing "HI KITTIESSSSS!" outside their cage. Yesterday there were two new cats there and one of them was all about Cordelia, rubbing against the cage and letting Cordelia touch her nose (her favorite cat-related activity). The store workers said that cat had been hiding and not letting anyone pet her...until Cordelia. Clearly she needs her own show on Animal Planet.

When she's an adult who owns 5 cats, she can look back at this and know who to blame.

To the surprise of no one, my kids really appreciate the internet's obsession with all things cat. This video is their latest favorite and a fantastic way to entertain a toddler during a diaper change.

Yes, a whole post about cats. You're welcome.

Did you have an specific animal fixation as a kid? I remember really liking wolves and wanting all kinds of books about them. I was a weird kid.