Monday, August 11, 2008


It's Blackberry time! Mandy eats blackberries like they are going out of style. It's good to find a fruit she likes -- she is a pretty picky eater and exists on bread, cheese, and blue berries or black berries. She doesn't like veggies and only eats one bite before pushing it right back out of her mouth. Actually the other day she ate about 3 bites of broccoli. Then she was done.

We went to visit my parents this weekend. The farmer was in between crops and was desperately in need of a break. After a 90+ hour work week, we've found that spending just a day (Sunday) at home is not enough recovery time because, well, we have 2 children who still have needs. So we went to Grandma's house where free baby sitting lives. Jeff and I spent the day "away" and went shopping, ate out, and surprised cousins, Debbie (Happy Birthday!!!) and Sara with a visit. We also saw Abby, Mandy's second cousin who is just a month younger than her. Oh, she is a cutie.

I took no pictures of our adventures. What kind of photographer am I? We didn't even walk down to the lake. I usually love taking pictures on the dock. This was really a recovery trip for us. But then Emma ended up getting some weird flu bug and we headed home yesterday. Emma is still sick today and bounces from the couch with moans and groans to playing on the floor happily. I think she is on the mend. Hopefully. I must say that a puking 3 year old is much better than a puking infant. My life has been a little puky lately (how odd that my spell checker does not acknowledge "puky"). Mandy had the same sickness earlier in the week and this is what I wrote, but didn't have time to post:

If you are a mother and have a child who has thrown up, you know without a doubt that sound that precedes the explosion. Is it a little cough or a gag or even a hick-up? I can't even describe the sound, but I know it when I hear it like a 2 second warning. "Warning, warning. She's gonna blow!"


I have too much experience with the disgusting effects of vomit. Emma was such a puky kid. Spit up is one thing and she did that in great quantity and frequency until after she was 1 year old. She also threw up with every tooth that popped through her gums. It caught me by surprise when she got her first tooth at 10 months old. I thought she had the flu, but for the next year, teething was accompanied by fever and vomiting. Every time. It was gross.


In my vast unwanted experience I would say that cleaning up vomit from a car trumps all other times and locations of gross clean-up. Now some may argue that the middle of the night washing of ALL the bedding, and washing down walls and the spindly crib slats is worse, but I don't agree. Car clean-ups with the nasty stuff seeping into tiny crevices, washing car-seat covers, seat belts, and scrubbing endlessly to get the smell out -- it is a choice of clean-up I hope you don't have to make. All other vomiting episodes can be over-looked as common place minor inconveniences. 


Emma has thrown up in many locations and I got to know that sound and the symptoms that preceded the explosion very well. It happens quickly though and sometimes I didn't have time to get a container or rush her to the toilet. Even with the warning sound, they are unpredictable creatures, suffering in the discomfort of a sour belly. There were so many times she missed the mark and there was a little nastiness in the bowl and the rest on the floor or that dreaded streak of vomit as we ran for cover.


You may wonder at my point and I do have one. I heard the warning sound from Mandy today and it was even preceded with symptoms that I was too busy to notice. Mandy woke up really grumpy from her nap, crying and just really irritated. She was not happy with anything. She didn't want a bottle. She didn't want a snack. She did NOT want me to put her down and was acting really lethargic. I hung a load of clothes out on the line and she cried in the grass the whole time. When I picked her up to finally go inside, she was burning up. Thinking she must have been too hot, I tried changing her clothes and offering her a bottle again -- more crying. I managed to make dinner while holding her lethargic hot body that I finally realized had a fever and I gave her Motrin. The poor baby was almost asleep in my arms, but I had to pack up dinner and leave.


I was still in the kitchen holding Mandy and finishing up the food when I heard the little hick-up cough that sent alarm bells ringing in my heard. "Warning, warning. She is about to blow." And blow she did. In one stealthy motion I tipped her little body toward the sink. Her projection was perfect and she made a perfect shot into the garbage disposal. I would say beautiful, but it was anything but beautiful. Never in my life have I even come close to avoiding vomit clean-up like this. I wiped my baby's face -- and cooed softly to her, of course since the sweet thing was suffering -- and ran water in the disposal and flipped the switch. I ran some bleach down the hole for good measure and was out the door. Okay, okay, I did not run beach down the disposal, but as I was typing, it really seemed like bleach would have been the sanitary thing to do. If anything, I want my blog to be an accurate portrayal.


Mandy was feeling better and so was I. Could it be that I finally have all the answers to mothering figured out? Oh, that would be nice if it were true. Or could it be that I was just at the right place at the right time? More likely. One tragedy was averted and it is on to the next one. Because I am sure there will be a next time. I am sure there is no way on earth I can make it through the rest of my years in paradise without dawning rubber gloves to clean out my car and car seat that are barfed all over or wake in the middle of the night to hear the warning hick-up and subsequent eruption that says, "Too late, Mom. Time to get up and clean up the mess." There will be another day. Another day to think back on the time Mandy puked in the garbage disposal. It was a good day.

8 comments:

Lindsay said...

Way to go mom and Mandy! What aim! I love this!! Puking kids are one of the things that bind us together as moms.

Once Will puked in the middle of the night and my dear Craig hosed the chunks off his sheets in our backyard, so I could wash them. A little while later our motion light went on and we looked outside to see an opossum eating his puke chunks. Just about made me puke. I'll never forget that one.

(So glad you got away for a much needed break, too!!)

Anonymous said...

Wow! I didn't realize that your weekend getaway was so needed. You appeared to be so relaxed at Starbucks. That's great that your mom gave you a much deserved break. I'm glad you guys called while you were up here. It's always good to see you. Good luck with all of the puking!
Deb

april said...

Reading this made me want to vomit! Gives me something to look forward to when I have children. Yipee! At least I will have the knowledge of mothers who have gone before me under my belt, so that when I do have babes, I'll have some idea of what to do. Good writing!

april said...

Oh, not to mention, that I just polished off some Sun chips. That may be the reason why I feel a little quesy. Yuck.

Ratzlaff Reflections said...

I totally agree that the car puke clean up is the WORST! We've had to do it a couple of times. Mitch is REALLY good at taking the car seat apart and putting it back together.

Annie said...

If you can believe this. Eli puked for the FIRST time the other day. Not spit up - puke. And it was on Paul's watch. I'm not bragging - because a wise woman once told me that the mothering gods are always fair, and I'm sure my next child will offer many tasteful treats to clean up in the middle of the night. Alysun, this blog was really a great piece of writing - it hooked me and kept my attention all the way through. And it was satisfying to read.

Shawna said...

Hi Alysun, I loved the puky story. While Madison isn't much of a barfer yet, I am sure it is coming and I am now thankful that we didn't opt for the 'sporty leather' with the tiny holes! Your story reminded me of my poor mother helping me as a youngster puke. I NEVER made it to the toilet let alone the garbage disposal! She always quietly cleaned it up and never made me feel bad. I can tell you that when I moved out, I have NEVER MISSED! I hope there is something hormonal about being a mom that helps us with the gross outs. What a great honest tribute to the loving relationship Mom's possess. I know when I was barfing every day for 6 months straight during my pregnancy, all I yearned for was my own mom to wipe a wash cloth across my forehead and hold my hair. Instead I got Rick running outside so he didn't hear me and then he would yell down the hall "You okay?" I loved the photo on this post and I so enjoy reading of your adventures with your girls and the love you so clearly express for your husband.

In cyber friendship through Miss Tawny,
Shawna and Madison

Linds and Manda said...

I have a whole new appreciation for what my parents had to deal with whenever we were sick as kids. I remember this one time, in particular that my mom was away at some woman's things at church. My dad was home with us and something was not right with my stomach. I had been sleeping for a while and was old enough to know that I should run to the bathroom to vomit. For some reason, I came out of my room when I felt the urge to do so and called my dad, who was all the way downstairs. He came running but before he could get there I just stood outside my bedroom and got sick all over the carpeted floor. My dad came up the stairs to see this mess and in a voice that portrayed both sympathy and frustration asked why I had not ran to the bathroom. Who knows really. What kids do doesn't always make sense to us or them. I hope the flu bug leaves your house soon. I'm hoping the cold bug packs it's bags soon and lets us get back to normal.