Friday, March 24, 2017

7 Quick Takes about Our First YouTube Tutorial, Baby Prizefighters, and the World's Worst Way to Learn Your Times Tables

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


I owe you something, readers. Two weeks ago, I asked for your input on what we should do with the old printer that had been tormenting us with its random error lights for months. And you delivered.


Thanks for making Phillip's day, guys. He's mostly the one who had to deal with the printer when it was acting up so I can't imagine how cathartic this was for him.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


2


My baby constantly sucks on two fingers, always the same ones. This week, I noticed with horror that the webbing between those two fingers was all white, wrinkly, raw, and cracking (it's called 'macerated skin' if you want to win disgusting stuff trivia games) from being drooled on 24/7 and never getting the chance to air out.

We knew the skin would heal if we could just keep it dry for a few days, but how?

The baby refused to take a pacifier or even a different digit. What we needed was one of those cones dogs wear after surgery (at 18 lbs, the baby is approximately the size of a large Cavalier King Charles Spaniel so we could make it work.)

Then Phillip thought of this brilliant solution:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Voila! A strip of fabric separating the two fingers and duct taped to his sleeve.

The funny thing is, since we put this on he quit finger-sucking cold turkey. (It reminds me of how a visual barrier like a row of hedges will keep flamingos in their enclosure at the zoo, even though they could still easily escape if they wanted to.)

Anyway, the baby's fingers are healing nicely, and people tell us the hand-wrapping makes him look like Rocky Balboa.

3


Since November, I've had fabric to make a Christmas stocking for the baby sitting on our kitchen counter. (I intended to make it before Christmas, obviously, but life happened and we had perfectly good regular socks sitting around so there you go.)

I hate to sew so I've been resolutely ignoring said fabric, but I've been refusing to put it away because I also hate to admit defeat. I have a complicated relationship with life.

In a recent manic episode (which is incidentally the only way I ever get things done) I randomly decided that Saturday was the day I was going to stop procrastinating and just make the dumb stocking.

So I did.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

It's a really nice lined one that looks like you made it with magic because you can't see a single exposed seam anywhere. (I used this tutorial if anyone's interested in seeing the voodoo that makes this possible.)

4


While I was writing 12 Things Parents Forget that Normal People Do, Phillip walked by, glanced at the computer screen, and asked, "How many times does the word 'poop' appear on your blog?"

"I don't know," I laughed. "I should look that up sometime."

(My guess is about a million, since you write what you know and what I know is parenting, which is about 80% bodily fluid management.)

I still haven't figured out how to do an exact word count on the blog, but if you Google "jenny evans poop" I'm proud to say that I'm the 3rd, 4th, and 5th result. When you consider how common my name is and just how many Jenny Evanses are out there, that's pretty impressive.

5


We have a stash of old toys up in the attic and periodically rotate them out ('periodically' meaning 'sporadically, if the kids beg us.')

Lately the kids have been enjoying Automoblox, a bunch of cars that snap together in mix-and-match fashion to create all kinds of new cars.

My favorite creation so far is this one, for the obvious reason that the driver is completely separated from the zoo in the back.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I really think Toyota should get on this idea.

6


I overheard my 3rd grader, who is working on his times tables, watching this video in his online homework portal.


I guess it's cool that this "shortcut" works, but only if you like shortcuts that involve more math and mental effort than figuring out the answer to 7 x 8 in literally any other way.

7


My 5-year-old decorated a terra cotta pot at a birthday party and brought home a packet of zinnia seeds, which she wanted to plant right away.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
That black thing on her head is a pair of dog ears on a headband. She's wearing it because it's a Wednesday and she feels like it.

As we sat on the floor planting a flower seed in her pot, the 8-year-old walked by and told her sagely, "Just so you know, it's probably not going to live long."

I started to tell him to let her just enjoy the process and maintain her childlike enthusiasm, but then I thought, "Eh, he's right."

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

12 Things Parents Forget that Normal People Do

Nothing changes you more drastically than having children: good in some ways (free hugs all day!) and not-so-good in others (more bodily functions than you can shake a stick at.)

Once you've become a parent, it doesn't take long before you actually start to forget what normal people do. You know, the sort of things you used to do before having kids of your own.

Parents spend so much time doing weird things (like trying to dislodge a plastic parrot from a dollhouse toilet) that we don't even know what's normal anymore.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

You forget that normal people...

Close the door when they pee. Using the bathroom with the door open is better than listening to your kids hammering on it the whole time, and it's also easier to hear if they're in the other room making a huge mess or killing each other.

Sleep through the night. You expect to be a zombie with a newborn, but what you don't know is that you'll still be up taking care of nightmares and wet sheets for years after that. You can't truly sleep through the night until your youngest is 7 or 8  and by then, you've forgotten how.

Have conversations on the phone. Everyone who calls thinks you have Tourettes, but instead of curse words you burst out yelling "Don't lick that!" and "Stop touching her!" On a related note, you've also given up all hope of ever being understood by an automated voice menu.

Remain seated for an entire meal. Some people eat complete meals without even once getting up to refill a sippy cup. Or pick up a sippy cup from the floor. Or fetch a sippy cup in a more acceptable color.  Or take away a sippy cup someone keeps knocking over on purpose.

Parents spend so much time doing weird things (like trying to dislodge a plastic parrot from a dollhouse toilet) that we don't even know what's normal anymore.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Don't get together with their friends and talk about poop. What do childless people even talk about with each other? Before kids, you never knew how much there was to say about poop.

Have a life after 8 PM. After the kids go down, you count the day as over. If the phone rings at 8:15, you exclaim "Who could be calling so late?!" and assume that someone must have died.

Wear real pants. Once you have kids, yoga pants are the new business casual. And if you're not going anywhere that day... straight-up pajamas.

Have nice stuff. Everything you own is scratched, dented, chipped, and drawn on. If you have anything breakable, it's broken. And yet, you hear that some people not only own fragile Christmas ornaments, they put them all over the tree, even at the bottom. That's madness.

Parents spend so much time doing weird things (like trying to dislodge a plastic parrot from a dollhouse toilet) that we don't even know what's normal anymore.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Eat dessert openly. Remember the days when you didn't have to eat a treat hiding in the pantry or locked in the bathroom? Now "dessert" means sneaking bites of a donut tucked behind the breadbox and lying if the kids catch you chewing.

Rest when they're sick. Sorry, but you still have to drag yourself out of your deathbed to make lunch for people who are apparently "starving" since their last snack 27 minutes ago. Which you also had to make.

Wear something more than once before washing it. By the end of the day, you've been used as a human Kleenex, bib, and napkin for 12 hours and your clothes look exactly like that sounds. 

Make a quick trip to the store for a single item. Getting everyone in and out of their car seats and into the store takes at least a half hour, so unless you're out of a medication without which someone will definitely die before morning, it can wait until your next regularly scheduled shopping trip.

The parent life is quite a change from your pre-kid life, so much that you forget what a pre-kid life even looks like. And you wouldn't trade it for all the secret chocolate hidden on top of the fridge in the world.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Motherhood Time Warp

Last summer, I was in charge of gathering family pictures for a slideshow.

I had a lot of years to cover, so I started with the most recent shots in our photo library and started working my way backward.

We'd just had a baby a few weeks before and so of course, 80% of our photos were shots of the baby sleeping or being held by various family members. I scrolled back one week, two weeks, and then suddenly he wasn't in the pictures anymore, because he hadn't been born yet.

Wait, hadn't he always been a part of our family? I couldn't imagine or hardly even remember life without him, and yet he only existed in a few dozen pictures and that was it.

So weird.

Then an equally bizarre realization hit me, that someday our photo library will have not just pictures of him swaddled like a burrito in his sister's arms, but pictures of him playing pee-wee soccer, graduating from high school, getting married. It's almost as hard to imagine that as it is imagining life before he existed.

The ladies in the grocery store will tell you it goes by so fast, but I don't think that's quite right. The shocking part isn't how fast time goes by, but that it goes at all.

Motherhood means you give yourself so completely to your people in this present moment it's almost unfathomable that another moment, a completely different one, will ever come.

Motherhood means you give yourself so completely to your people in this present moment it's almost unfathomable that another moment, a completely different one, will ever come.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Right now we're up to our eyeballs in chaos and every day is like a marathon. The dining room table is a perpetual mess, littered with craft supplies and school projects and discarded snack dishes. There's always someone pounding on the piano, someone crying, and someone else thundering up or down the stairs.

It's hard to believe it wasn't always so messy and loud around here, and it's just as hard to believe that as time marches on the kids will grow up it and it will get quiet again. I can't quite wrap my head around it.

There are plenty of moments  like right now as I write this, sitting with my laptop in my preschooler's room so she'll go to sleep  when I don't feel like time is going fast at all.

I watch her chest slowly rise and fall, her chubby fingers twitching on her pillow, and it feels like she's always been exactly like she is right now, and always will be.

Scrolling backward through our photos last summer, watching each of our kids get younger and younger and then disappear one by one, was truly a bizarre experience.

It's not that I can't remember those times 5 or 10 years ago, but I realize that a lot of my memories come from photos or videos or funny stories that have become family lore. When I try to recall what it was really like and how I felt day-to-day, it's a little hazy, almost like I'm remembering something that happened to someone else.

And in a way, I am. Back then, I was a different mother. My kids have changed, too.

It's not that I can't believe how fast the time has gone; I just can't believe that my children have kept on changing. I never stop being surprised that they're different kids now than they were a year ago, or that a year from now they'll be different still.

Motherhood may not speed up time, but it certainly does distort it.

Trying to understand this motherhood time warp has taught me to live life in the present. To embrace the mess and the chaos and the sticky hugs because they weren't always there, and they won't always be.

Logically, I know this. But try as I might, I still can't quite convince my heart that it's true.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

7 Quick Takes about Standing On Principle Where Chocolate Is Concerned, Tissue Paper Madness, and the Results of the Vote

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


We've had several nice days in the 60s and 70s. I thought spring had arrived, but then:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

It's my fault, I tried to put the kids' snowpants away for the season. My apologies if you also live in New England.

2



The day before the storm was scheduled to hit, the lines at the grocery store were ridiculously long.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

With my heaping cart full of stuff it looked like I was in there stocking up for snowmageddon, but really I was just doing my regular Monday grocery shopping. That's what shopping for a family of 8 looks like.

3


When I got home, my daughter announced she was baking a cake for a dessert auction in a few months and needed to test out her idea (the cake was an invention of her own mind and she didn't have a recipe.)

Figuring she'd be home from school the next day because of the snow, I texted Phillip at work:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I had no idea, but apparently chocolate chips are a hot commodity during a snowstorm. When Phillip got home, he reported that the baking aisle looked like it had been looted, and every single brand of chocolate chips  even the weird dairy-free organic ones  were all gone.

"The only thing left was the sugar-free kind," Phillip said, setting a grocery bag on the counter.

"So you got sugar-free chocolate chips?" I asked.

"Of course not!" Phillip snorted at the suggestion. "I went to a different grocery store."

The Evans family might be willing to compromise on a lot of things, but we draw the line at sugar-free desserts.

4


The following day, snowstorm day, everyone was home from work and school. The younger kids and I sat at the dining room table making dozens of tissue paper flowers for a church event, and Phillip and my daughter baked a test cake in the kitchen.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Those two are two peas in a pod when it comes to fancy baking. My eyes just about roll out of my head at the mere suggestion of using something as superfluous as a flour sifter, but they love stuff like that.

With the cake in the oven and 22 minutes to go, we suddenly lost power. When we called the electric company to let them know our power was out, we got a message saying there was no one in the office and urgent calls should go to the police.

We thought about it. Our cake was getting ruined. Does that qualify as an emergency?

5


About those tissue paper flowers. They were for an activity celebrating the "birthday" of our church's women's organization, called Relief Society. For the foreseeable future, I've been asked to oversee and execute activities like this at church.

If you know me personally, you are definitely laughing right now, because I'm the worst event planner ever.

Luckily I got help from a more Pinterest-y woman in the ward and our conversation about decorations went something like this:

Her: "Do you have a theme?"

Me: "Huh? Yeah, teal and yellow and orange."

Her: "Besides colors, I mean."

Oh. You need that?

So it's definitely ironic that I've been asked to do this. In my church that happens a lot. We're given assignments (called "callings") to do all kinds of things we may or may not be particularly good at.

Theoretically, I like that my calling forces me to develop new skills outside of my comfort zone. Maybe one day, I'll even be marginally less incompetent at planning parties in my life outside church.

6


The event turned out beautifully, thanks to the intervention in Take #6. It was a nice night with a good turnout. There were spiritually uplifting messages and strawberry shortcake. I really don't know what else you could ask for.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

One funny thing, though: when we showed up to decorate the gym on the morning of, it was filled with skis.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Someone showed up to take them away while we were setting up, but you can still see some against the walls in this picture.

7


Last week, I asked all of you to vote on a very important issue: how to dispose of the defunct printer that's been driving us nuts. We asked if we should:

A) Drop it out a second-story window
B) Stone it
C) Use it for BB gun target practice
D) Shoot it with a bow and arrow
E) Destroy it with a sledgehammer

The vote was close, but the voice of the people chose E, the sledgehammer. Sentencing will be carried out this weekend, because we are but humble servants of the public. Pictures to follow next week.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

11 Inanimate Objects You Come to Hate as a Parent

Normal, rational people don't hate inanimate objects, but you're not a normal, rational person  you're a parent. And years of sleep-deprivation will do that to you.

Rational people don't hate inanimate objects, but you're not a rational person — you're a parent, and these 11 things are the absolute worst.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Though they seem innocent, certain objects are universally loathed by moms and dads everywhere, like:

1. Styrofoam packing peanuts. 


There's nothing I love more than opening a package and having 3,000 statically-charged pieces of foam bits fly out and instantly cement themselves to the walls, ceilings, furniture, and any children in the room for the rest of eternity. And if a kid gets their hands on a box of packing peanuts while you're in the shower... you should probably just move.

2. Easter grass. 


Those bags of shredded shiny plastic to line our kids' Easter baskets are obviously the evil pastel version of the packing peanut. Why would we do this to ourselves? It takes .3 seconds for Easter grass shrapnel to explode all over the entire room, and we spend the next 6 months vacuuming it up from every conceivable location in the house.

3. Toys that play ridiculously long and annoying songs.


An electronic synthesized rendition of "Pop Goes the Weasel" is barely tolerable when my toddler is clapping along and obviously enjoying every second of it, so I certainly don't want to keep listening to it 5 minutes after he's lost interest and walked away. One short song per button push, or you're out of here.

4. Door bells.


Why is it that as soon as your baby goes down for a nap, your next-door neighbor, the FedEx delivery man, the Girl Scouts, and some guy selling pest control are all ringing your doorbell? Don't worry, no court would hold a sleep-deprived parent responsible for their actions when someone waltzes over unannounced and wakes up the baby.

5. The iPad.


When you need 30 uninterrupted minutes to make a phone call, finish your grocery shopping, or take a shower without worrying that your daredevil will give himself a concussion, the tablet is a lifesaver. But make no mistake, you'll pay dearly for that half-hour. The next 23.5 hours will be mostly answering the question, "Can I play on the iPad?" 2,147 times.

6. The gap under the living room sofa.


It's a scientific fact that your sofa has its own gravitational pull. It especially attracts runaway balls, lost library books (which you've had to pay for,) and other tiny objects you'll be expected to retrieve. Seriously, do yourself a favor and remove the legs. A sawed-off midget couch is worth it means you never have to look for a bouncy ball on your hands and knees holding a flashlight in your teeth again.

7. Shoes.


Even though you trip over a mountain of shoes every time you enter the house, paradoxically you'll never be able to find a matching pair when you need to get the kids out the door. Don't try to contemplate this mystery too hard: your head will explode.

8. The sun.


Kids got to bed late last night? It's Saturday morning and you want them to sleep in? Too bad, they're up whenever it gets light out. The sun is a natural enemy to sleep and therefore, a natural enemy to parenting. That goes double for Daylight Savings Time, when the kids are jumping on their beds at 8:30 PM yelling "We can't go to sleep! It's not daaaaaaark!"

9. The cereal aisle.


When confronted with an entire aisle full of colorful, character-laden sugar cereal boxes, even the most well-behaved child turns into a cross between Cookie Monster and a meth addict. You come for Quaker oats and end up with a kid howling on the floor in front of the wildberry frosted Pop-Tarts. Well-played, grocery store. Well-played.

10. Five-point harnesses.


Nothing makes you long for the bygone parenting era where kids roamed free in the car (even if you weren't technically alive in that era) like sweating over installing a 5-point harness in your own vehicle. If you've ever got plans that involve moving it to a different car, cancel them. You'll be glad you did.

11. Toy packaging.


Most children's toys are packaged to withstand being catapulted into a category three hurricane. Every part and accessory is quite literally wired into the box, which you might have to remove with a pair of scissors, a Phillips head screwdriver, a crowbar, pruning shears, a belt sander, a jackhammer, and a chainsaw. By the time you successfully freed your kid's color-changing mermaid Barbie from the package, she's usually forgotten all about it, grown up, and moved to college.

Parenting is hard, so please cut us some slack if you catch us yelling, complaining, or crying about it occasionally. We really do like our jobs. We're probably just mad at the dishwasher.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

7 Quick Takes about the Weirdest Thing You'll Ever Vote For, Existential Crises For Cheap Perfectionists, and Why You Should Maybe Buy a Bluetooth Speaker

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


So this is just about how this week has felt:


Except I failed miserably.

The 5-year-old now says things like, "This is a delicious snack! I hope I don't throw it up!"

2


Our printer been driving us crazy for practically as long as we've had it. It flashes error lights at us for absolutely no reason and requires you to press random buttons, fiddle with the cartridge, reboot the computer, and complete a shamanic journey to find your spirit animal before it prints anything, and we'd decided we'd had enough.

Its' 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
100 times better-looking and more user-friendly than our old one.

I'm going to throw in my affiliate link for this Epson EcoTank right here, because I love it already. It's made for people like me who die inside when they have to buy a $30 ink cartridge every other month. It has no cartridges. It comes with a year's supply of ink, and when it runs out you buy another bottle for $14 and pour it in a compartment on the side.

On the day it arrived, I may have taken it out of the box and rubbed my cheek on it while whispering, "You complete me."

3


Now there's just the matter of disposing of our old printer. Since it's too trashed to give away, I thought it might be cathartic to get a little creative, considering how it's exasperated us for years.

Comment below to cast your vote! Should we:

A) Drop it out a second story window
B) Stone it, Old Testament-style
C) Use it for BB gun target practice
D) Use it for bow and arrow practice
E) Take a sledgehammer to it

Voting closes on Thursday, March 16th. I'll tally the votes here and on the Facebook page and announce the method of execution in next week's 7 Quick Takes.

Its' 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
This beast's days are numbered.

4


When I tore through the master bathroom organizing and throwing things out a few weeks ago, I couldn't believe how much jewelry I had. If you know me you're probably scratching your head going "You own jewelry?" because I don't even wear it.

I threw a bunch of it away (I'm looking at you, beaded choker from the early '90s) and donated some and even sold one piece. Once the collection was pared down to something I might actually wear in public one day, I lined the inside of a cabinet with Command hooks to hang the necklaces on.

But I put one of the hooks on crooked, and that was the beginning of a mighty struggle between my efficient frugality and my uncontrollable perfectionism:

"Obviously the crooked hook needs to be replaced. But that's so wasteful! And not frugal! Maybe I could just get used to it. It's just one crooked hooked inside a cabinet. Wait, are you listening to yourself? It's crooked! Maybe it's not that crooked, though. Gah! Shouldn't have looked, it's worse than I thought! Is a crooked hook really a big deal, though? Will I care about this in 10 years? Yes! I mean no! I don't know!"

For now, the crooked hook is staying. But don't think I haven't revisited the question way too many times for a plastic hook that costs 40 cents.

5


Over the last few months I've been pretty good about going to bed earlier, and I sort of thought I'd turned over a new leaf. Or at least, gotten too old to stay up so late. But it turns out it was just a phase.

Phillip knows if he goes to bed without me I'll just stay up (almost) all night, so he really tries to convince me when it's time to turn in. Over the years he's gotten really creative, and I'm beginning to appreciate this about him.

One night he yelled from the other room, "Can you put a piece of paper in the new printer? I want to test the wireless." I did, since I was working on the computer right beside it, and a few minutes later a message printed out saying "Let's go to bed."

Another time he followed me around with the Bluetooth speaker blasting "Danny Boy" until I started brushing my teeth. I may actually try that on my kids in the future, because it was surprisingly effective.

6


Phillip also just got back from a horrible work trip. I share this because usually he's having a great time and I'm the one home alone with the kids going crazy trying to do everything.

First, he sat at his connection airport for 5 hours before they canceled his flight altogether. Waiting until morning wasn't an option so he hopped on a plane to the next nearest airport and had to rent a car and drive 3 hours.

Better yet, his bag did not make it to the airport with him, and with all the flight mayhem and the driving he slept for a total of 3 hours before getting up in the morning for a 13-hour work day.

When he started working there back in May, HR sent us a complementary fruit basket but the card didn't mention anything about this.

7


Meanwhile, I was sitting in the relative comfort of my computer desk chair and blogging. Some of my favorites were republished this week in LDS Living, so feel free to put them on your weekend reading list!

I'm still laughing over (and definitely planning on writing a sequel to) 19 Bizarrely Appropriate Careers Motherhood Has Prepared Me For, and my all-time most popular article on Unremarkable Files was also republished under the title Why I "Force" My Beliefs on My Kids.

Happy reading and have a good weekend! (And don't forget to vote.)

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Surely, the Apocalypse Will Be Mostly the Stomach Flu

On Monday I went to Zumba for the first time in a year and a half.

I've had lots of excuses for missing it: either I was hugely pregnant, or I had a baby who screamed whenever I put him down for 6 months, or there was a scheduling conflict on Mondays.

Now I'm no longer pregnant (although my 5-year-old regularly eyes my stomach and asks if there's still a baby in there,) the baby is a happy tasmanian devil of a 10-month old who wants nothing more than to crawl around destroying things, and our schedule has freed up on Mondays.

Out of excuses, to Zumba we went.

It was fairly typical starting out. We got there late and then the baby dumped someone's water bottle all over himself during the first song. Then another kid came over and started stomping in the puddle like it was an audition for Singin' in the Rain.

(This little vignette should just about tell you what it looks like when a bunch of Mormon ladies decide to start a free bring-your-kids-and-they-can-play-in-the-back-of-the-gym Zumba class. There's a reason real gyms have child care.)

After about 20 minutes, I started to feel not quite right. Sort of hot and cold, like before you pass out. I got some water, thinking, "Wow, I must be more out of shape than I thought!"

Then my stomach started feeling weird. I sat fanning myself on a chair in the lobby for a few minutes, had two people ask me if I was pregnant, and then ended up collecting the kids and leaving.

I wasn't sure what was wrong with me, but working out any more was not happening.

Even though I was increasingly feeling like garbage, we had to stop by CVS for formula on the way home, and by the time we were out of there I was convinced I was dying.

(Coincidentally, I was also having a problem with my vision in one eye, and the two occurring together made me wonder if I was having a stroke or a brain aneurysm or something.)

I made it home, staggered through the door, and a blinking light on the answering machine told me I had a message: my son had thrown up at school.

At least it wasn't a brain aneurysm.

The school had been unable to get a hold of me, so they called my sweet friend and emergency contact Jessica to pick him up. He threw up again in her car and then she brought him and the plague back to her house.

I drove over to her house and got him, but we weren't out of the driveway yet before he threw up again. I made a mental note to come back later with 40 gallons of Purell so Jessica could take a bath in it.

The next 12 hours were kind of a blur. I collapsed into bed and hardly got up except to clean up vomit or put people down for naps. I'm not even sure what the younger kids ate for lunch. The 5-year-old handed out something edible from the cupboards, I think.

The well kids were sick-shaming the others, yelling "Mom! Mom! She's trying to sit by me!" because they were afraid of being vomited on.

But it was no use: we were dropping like flies. Every two hours, a new person in the house started retching, and my unanswered texts to my husband became more and more desperate.

Probably the most disastrous ending to a Monday morning Zumba class you'll ever read.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Phillip came home to Armageddon, if Armageddon is going to be me in my pajamas with dead eyes cleaning vomit off the couch while someone else is yelling upstairs that the 5-year-old is puking on the iPad.

Had I been Phillip, I might have been sorely tempted to turn around and walk right back out again, but he owed me for the last 6 hours when I was dealing with this alone.

He took charge, making dinner ("How about pancakes? They're pH-neutral!") and putting everybody to bed.

We did copious amounts of laundry. We single-handedly sent the CEO of Bounty's kids to college. We had trouble finding enough bowls to put beside everyone's bed in an emergency.

Probably the most disastrous ending to a Monday morning Zumba class you'll ever read.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Running dangerously low on paper towels...

By Tuesday morning, the figurative smoke had cleared. The stomach bug had run its course. In all, six of us had been violently ill. Somehow Phillip and my oldest daughter had the good fortune to make it through unscathed.

The kids all stayed home from school (even the not-sick daughter, just in case) and Phillip stayed home from work (quarantining himself in the basement, just in case.) Our to-do list went out the window.

I laid on the couch in the middle of the disaster that was once our living room, cuddling various children who came to me throughout the day. Board games were played. Naps were taken. We stayed in our pajamas for most of the day, living life at a slower pace than I remember ever doing before.

We should do this again sometime when we're not dry heaving.


Edited to add: It's Wednesday. I was about 20 minutes away from hitting 'publish' on this post when my oldest daughter got off the school bus and vomited. So much for good fortune.

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