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Meet the Parents: Guest Post by Brother Bear

30 Mar

Whine: Mommy is always disrupting my eating and sleeping routine for inane things like changing my diaper (what? it could totally hold more) or sneaking little kisses. Doesn’t she understand that a man needs his rest?

Cheese: Revenge. Is. Sweet. Honestly, I’ve never seen That Mommy Lady move as quickly as she did when she realized she’d left my hind parts uncovered and that I wasn’t finished filling my diaper. When all was said and done, I wasn’t the only one who needed a change.

I look pretty pleased with myself, don't I?

As you guessed, I’m the new guy around here. I go by so many nicknames that I’m not sure if my real name is Lahdee, Aaron, El Rojo Grande or Stinkypants. But my newly soiled baby blanket has Aaron embroidered on it, so I’m gonna go with Aaron. But you can call me Brother Bear.

Today is my one-week birthday, so forgive me if my entry is short. I just wanted to give you a babies-eye view of this place I now call home. It sure is different than my old home–lot’s roomier, but the service could be quicker. I mean, inside I never had to wait on a meal, I just sucked it down through nature’s original curly straw. Now I might have to cry for five whole minutes before That Mommy Lady gets around to feeding me. The outrage.

But other than that, I think I like it ok. I’ve got two older sisters, Big and Lil’ Sis, and as far as I can tell they serve two purposes around here. One is to sit at my feet and gaze adoringly as they offer me toys and blankets and teddy bears and play This Little Piggy with my toes that Mommy never manages to get socks onto. The other seems — as I overheard Daddy say — to be “like a tag-team of little accidents.” I see the look on Mommy’s face when Lil’ Sis is trying to drink my bathwater and I can tell I have much to learn from them.

Lil' Sis and I meeting for the first time.

She's just that into me, isn't she?

Mr. Dad seems like a cool guy. And handsome, too. Which is a good thing ’cause everyone says we look just alike, from the extraordinarily long legs to the fuzzy red hair covering my body (I kinda look like a peach). My auntie said it’s weird to hold me because it’s like holding her brother. (That would be weird.) But Mr. Dad and I get along great. Although he teases me that I’ll never be able to eat in public because I make such rude piggy-like noises. But he usually doesn’t pester me too much with insignificant details like diaper changes and whatnot, so we just mostly chill and watch sports together to give Mommy a break from my voracious appetite.

The indoctrination begins. . .

And last, but not least, is Mommy. She’s a sentimental one, which is why I had to write my introductory post, we wouldn’t want her blubbering all over the place about what a precious gift I am, blah, blah, blah. I may give her a hard time, but man that lady is my sun, moon and stars. Or more aptly, my breakfast, lunch and dinner. And second breakfast, second lunch, second dinner, and midnight snack. And although I may not be so crazy about all those kisses she tries to sneak, I try to throw her a bone every once and while and let her snuggle me to sleep. After all, I’m not completely heartless.

She looks pretty happy to see me. Probably because I weighed 9 1/2 pounds.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now. It’s been far too long since my last meal and all this exertion has made me extra hungry. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who sent prayers, well-wishes and congratulations our way this week. I want to send a special and personal thanks to the people who keep dropping baked goods off on our doorstep — I have a vested interest in Mommy staying both plump and pleasant — so keep ’em coming!

Brother Bear (aka Baby Aaron) is the resident baby at A Little Whine and Cheese. In his spare time he enjoys eating, sleeping and keeping up with his fan club. He is currently president of the Support Group for Newborns Who Look Like Third Graders.

 

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Guest Post: Jingles by Mitsi

22 Mar

Whine: I figured as the first guest blogger during Sarah’s “maternity leave” that there’d already be a baby around that I could talk about. I should’ve known better.

Cheese: He’ll be here within the week!  Yay Sarah!

My name is Mitsi and I’ve been friends with Sarah for 8 or 9 years now.  In that time, she’s made several people and has commissioned my “talents” [if they can really be called that] as an amateur jingle writer to make up songs about having babies for her entertainment.  Yes, really. 

Now, I don’t believe I have a skill on par with the “Stanley Steemer” people, it’s more of a Weird-Al-take-perfectly-lovely-songs-and-manipulate-them-for-the-amusement-of-self-and-others gig that I’ve got going here.  However, on more than one occasion, I’ve answered the phone to have Sarah or my good friend Jenny request that I croon out one of these beauties, often on speakerphone, and frequently to people who are complete strangers to me (including OB/GYNs and random assorted others).

So here for your reading pleasure, is a list of the current tracks on the Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum, and Trying to Conceive collection (the album needs a catchier title, I know).  I don’t know how these will translate without musical backup, so you may have to use your imagination.

Track 1: Mammaries

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Barbara Streisand’s The Way We Were.

Notes: I came up with this in 8th grade. I was an odd child.

 

Track 2: Bertha the Birthin’ Uterus

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Entirely original tune and lyrics.

Notes: Comissioned by Sarah in honor of the birth of Big Sis.

 

Track 3: Epidural

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: The Eagle’s Desperado

Notes: The jewel in the crown. Also penned for Big Sis.

 

Track 4: Circumcision

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Foreigner’s Double Vision

Notes: Written for the birth of my best friend’s son.

 

Track 5: Onward Luteinizing Hormone

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Onward Christian Soldiers

Notes: For anyone who’s ever peed on an ovulation predictor.

 

Track 6: The Signs of Early Pregnancy

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence

Notes: The most recent addition. A tribute to my own heartburn.

 

In honor of the impending arrival of Little Brother, here’s the full-on version of “Epidural”

 

Epidural,
You help to deaden my senses.
When my uterus tenses,
You’re there for me.
I may be contracting,
But with your help I’ll get through it.
I know I can do it
When you’re in my spine.

 

Master Mitsi (she insists we call her that  until she’s Dr. Mitsi) is a Ph D student who writes jingles and names other people’s babies in her spare time. Currently a dog mom to two little rascals (Murphy and Stanley), she hopes to increase her brood with some human offspring in the near future and put her Baby Compilation CD to good use.

The Beauty of Baby Steps

18 Mar

Whine: I got puked on last night. I’ll spare you the chunky details.

Cheese: I got to snuggle a puny-feeling Lil’ Sis for an hour. Which is 59 1/2 more minutes than I usually get her to be still and on my lap. The price we pay for love, right?

I admit that Google Calendar has changed my life. I put all my important dates into it and it sends me a handy email reminder. Things like birthdays and credit card payments don’t sneak up on me quite as often anymore. So pretty much I’m in love and would run off to Tahiti with it in a heartbeat.

Except not so much yesterday. Because Google Calendar apparently does not know that under no circumstances do you ever, ever email a big ol’ pregnant lady to remind her that it’s her due date. Unless you want to die a slow and painful death. It’s a good thing I’m not an intrepid hacker/virus-designer or Google Calendar would have rued the day. Rued the day, I tell you.

And so we’re still here waiting for this kid to arrive. Every week when I go see my doctor, she measures various not-suitable-for-internet-reading things. And after a week of aches and pains and lots of not sleeping, I’ve progressed another centimeter. A measly centimeter.

But then I got to thinking about centimeters and the fact that when you’re in my condition, you only really have to get to ten. I know, I find the math versus the reality of a human baby very disconcerting, and I’ve already done this twice. But in the end, if you’re lucky, ten is your magic number. And very often you don’t go from 1 to 10 in just a few hours. (Although Lil’ Sis did her darndest to set a record — 5 centimeters in less than an hour. I don’t recommend it. Did I mention the two epidurals I had with her??)

No, most often you change a centimeter at a time. And then I thought about how babies grow from teeny tiny cells. One centimeter at a time. And how, like labor, I’m pretty glad they don’t start out at 9 1/2 pounds from the beginning. Imagine lugging that around for 40 (or 41, if you’re really lucky) weeks.  And even once they come out they change in minuscule little increments. Because how would we delicate Mommies stand it if they were in 0-3 month onesies one day and 2T the next? It’s hard enough to pack up the outgrown baby clothes after they’ve had a few months to wear and stain and get pictures taken in them. What if they just went to bed one night little and snuggly and woke up the next morning grown? It would be too much to bear. And a little creepy.

But still, it’s hard to wait for those exciting baby milestones. Giving birth, witnessing first steps (or second, because they always save the first ones for when you’re gone, don’t they?), or going to the park without anyone wetting their pants. Or other, non-baby but equally exciting ones. Paying that last student loan payment,  losing that pesky baby weight, or after five months getting your DIY project of a master bathroom back.

I’m tempted to look at my situation, especially my body and think that nothing is happening. I will be pregnant forever. FOREVER. I’m convinced that I will be the first woman in history to carry a baby in utero for 41 years. Although I could milk the pity I get from waddling around with a belly this big for quite a while. I mean, if I had to.

But deep down I know that change is inevitable and it’s happening right now whether I see it or not. In fact, if I knew how much was changing both in my body and in my kiddos right now, I’d probably freak out.  I bet Big Sis is secretly learning Chinese and Lil’ Sis is training for a triathlon this summer.

There’s beauty in the baby steps. Agonizing, heart(or back)breaking beauty, but beauty nonetheless. The longer I wait and the harder I work on those baby steps, the more I can appreciate that final moment of arrival. The moment I hold that little guy I’ve been growing  and talking to and carrying around without having to strap into a car seat for 10 months will be one of the best of my life, I know it. 

But in the meantime I can slow down a little bit (mostly because I can barely walk anymore) and snuggle my kids as they try to find space on my lap. I can eat one (or two, or three) more spicy meals without having to get up to nurse/rock/change an impatient baby. I can admire the hard work this body of mine is doing, whether I see it or not.

In the end, I’m grateful for the baby steps. For time to let the anticipation build, and to be really proud of finishing something that wasn’t easy. And for time to stop and smell the roses (or Johnson & Johnsons shampoo) on the way. But mostly I’m glad for baby steps because I’m pretty sure that if I had the option to take big giant steps through things I would, and as big of a baby as I am, I’m pretty sure it would kill me.

For some other people’s (much deeper) thoughts on beauty, click the button below and follow the rabbit trail. Enjoy.

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It’s My Birthday and I’ll Post What I Want To

5 Mar

Whine: It’s 4 am and I am definitely not typing this in my sleep. Which means I’m awake about four hours too early on my birthday. Is this an omen of what this year in my life will be like? I’m sure it is.

Cheese: I have it on expert authority that insomniacs get more done. If by more you mean checking facebook in the middle of the night and watching Paid Programming on mute while I wish for sleep to come. Perhaps I should invest in a few new books so I don’t end up ordering the Simoniz Power Car Washing Kit again. Yes, I said again.

I love birthdays. I always have. I particularly love my own birthday. I get presents and cake. And I finally get one day a year when I get to be the center of attention without having to resort to attention-seeking behavior like getting stuck in windows or being too sick to walk. But I love other people’s birthdays, too. Any excuse for cake and a good party is fine by me.

As I get older and the birthdays seems to blow by, I realize that some birthdays come with lots of fun and fanfare, and some are barely acknowledged. Although this could be partly my fault, as I seem to have made a habit of being “due any day now” right around my birthday. Last time I was great with child, I was due the day before my birthday.  And so my birthday greetings that year consisted of many baby-related wishes. This one, from my friend Carrie was one of my favorites:

May no baby come forth today (unless you are miserably large)
So that you never have to share your birthday with another (unless you are selfless like me and do not mind.)

I also spent that birthday in the doctor’s office for a routine exam. And if you’ve had a baby before, you know that a “routine exam” at 40 weeks pregnant is not really the most exciting way to spend your birthday. Unless awkward discomfort is your cup of tea. In which case, you should find another cup of tea, really.

But because I have the Ritz-Carlton of wombs, there was apparently no danger of Lil’ Sis arriving anywhere near her due date, which meant I wouldn’t have to share my birthday with her. Here is what I looked like on my birthday in 2008.

2008 or 2010? Doesn't matter, I look exactly the same.

I was going to post the picture of me showing my belly, but I thought seeing that amount of exposed skin might cause extreme discomfort/nausea for some of my more sensitive readers. Although, it was (and currently is) a sight to behold.

I was looking through pictures from my birthday last year and felt a twinge of longing for my old body. I mean I could wear pants. With a button and zipper. And I had a cheekbones and an actual chin. My how I miss my chin.

 

It's been so long since I've looked like that, I didn't recognize myself.

But chins (or lack thereof) and pregnancy and infomercials aside, I’m looking forward to my birthday today. Because a birthday is a great excuse to get away with eating lots of cake. And as long as Baby Boy stays in for another day or so, I can have my cake and eat his, too. Now that’s a birthday.

Eyeore-itis

2 Mar

Whine: I’m on the home stretch of this pregnancy. Which means he could come today or three weeks from today. The uncertainty (and the uncomfortable nature of carrying another human in my belly) is really wearing me down.

Cheese: People return your calls when you’re this pregnant. I like to call, hang up and not leave a message just to freak them out. That’ll teach them to screen my calls.

Remember the spring semester of your senior year? The one that came after you got accepted to college (or got that job) and really didn’t matter much at all. Remember how oppressive and pointless every quiz, group project and term paper seemed at that point? Do you also remember how it took exponentially more energy just to get your sorry behind to class (if you went) and do the bare minimum just to get the heck out of dodge? And in response to any inquiries about your sudden loss of motivation there was an easy answer: Senioritis.

Apparently the last few weeks of pregnancy for me have a similar malady associated with them: Eyeore-itis. You know Eyeore, the fluffy grey donkey, Winnie the Pooh’s gloomy pal. He continually walks around feeling very despondent about losing his tail or having his house of twigs crushed by an over-enthusiastic Tigger yet again.  He mumbles and complains about his difficult state of affairs. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for old Eyeore, I mean, his favorite food is thistles. 

So these days I’m feeling a little Eyoreish. I’ve lost my tail (and my phone, and my keys, and definitely my patience) more than once today and am surrounded by a couple of little Tiggers who generally knock over anything I manage to actually clean up.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m supposed to be at the height of my nesting potential, rehanging light fixtures and shellacking (it’s a real word, look it up) diaper changing tables. Instead, I’m letting the laundry mount and staring despondently at the heaps and heaps of baby boy hand-me-downs that really ought to be in drawers instead of Hefty bags.

Mostly I’m just really, really tired, my ginormous belly (which now literally has a mind –and body– of it’s own) hurts more often than it doesn’t, and my overly ambitious Before-He-Arrives List suddenly doesn’t feel like joyful preparation and now hangs over my head like I’m being held in the stocks while tiny townspeople hurl things at my immobilized form. (You think I exaggerate?? I cannot tell you how many stuffed animals I’ve barely dodged in the last week alone. Lil’ Sis did not fare nearly as well. And the stuffed gorilla that hit her had a tiny battery pack that came loose just in time to whack her in the face.)

I know I really shouldn’t complain. For lots of reasons. One being that I get to have a sweet little sunshine of a baby boy sometime this month. I know this. But I also know that we are all real people, and that if I spend every blog post blowing sunshine about how great my life is, everyone will stop reading because we all know that it’s misery that loves company. Besides, this blog is my outlet and it’s way cheaper than therapy.

I also shouldn’t complain because I’ve had worse third trimesters. Like ones that occur in August. Where my fingers swell so much that I can no longer wear my wedding ring. Ones where I get carpal tunnel syndrome and for my last four weeks of pregnancy my hands hurt so bad I can’t hold a pencil, type on a computer, crochet that stupid baby blanket I’ve been meaning to finish for months. Where it even hurts to grab my toothbrush and brush my teeth, although I manage somehow. Four weeks without brushing my teeth would be a long time. Even for me.

So yeah, life’s not that bad. I can (obviously) type on the computer. And hopefully if you’ve seen me recently you know that I am still brushing my teeth, although some days that’s about all I manage. And really, by the third baby there’s not much on the List that actually has to be done. Car seat? Check. Dusty from a year in the attic and inexplicably sticky? Yes, but still functional and more importantly fits in my car with the other two.  Bed? Check. Also have a few boxes and an empty dresser drawer he could sleep in, just in case. Somewhere to ship the sisters to when the Blessed Event occurs? Check. Definitely don’t want them in the room to witness the ugly side of the “miracle of life” just yet.  

But just because he’s my third doesn’t mean I don’t want everything just right for his arrival. I want his room to at least resemble a kid’s room and not just the guest room into which we are stuffing his cradle. I’d love to have all his tiny little clothes folded sweetly into those dresser drawers I haven’t emptied of random collections of junk yet. Having a few packs of diapers would probably also be a smart idea too.

And all of these tasks are feasible. I’m not immobilized by the sweltering August sun. I’m not so interminably large that I can no longer move. I even get time to myself now and again. But I’m staring at my List and it all seems so impossibly huge, and I just feel so sleepy. So instead of doing the one or two things I might manage today, I curl up on the couch and eat some thistles, right before I give up and fall asleep.

That’s What You Get

23 Oct

Whine: You would think that a 3-inch elastic waistband and a growing belly would be enough to keep my pants up. You would be wrong.

Cheese: When you’re wearing strechy pants, every meal is all-you-can-eat.

 

I’ve been working with Big Sis lately on idea of choices. You know, things like “If you choose to put your stingray in the bathtub, then you can’t choose to take it with you in the car because it will be soaking we.” (True story) Or, “If you choose to whack your sister on the head (again), then you will spend the next twenty years (give or take) in time out.” (Again, true story.) You get the idea.

Unfortunately, the world of choices and consequences and decisions is not limited to the under-five set. Nope. We all get to play by the same rules. You would think, however, that years of making choices and reaping the benefits/consequences would give us the upper hand in decision making. But one glance at YouTube or daytime TV or in the mirror, for heaven’s sakes, tells you that even grown ups make some baaaaadddd decisions.

I’ve made some doozies myself. Like the time (this morning) I ate a Nutty Bar (oh, how I love you, Little Debbie) and a Diet Coke for breakfast. Or the time I was locked out of my house late at night and decided to crawl in the window and subsequently got stuck. One leg in, one leg out, four feet off the ground. While baby Big Sis sat in the car. I hear you asking, “Did your mother not teach you ANY common sense?” Of course she did, that’s why I used my cell phone to call her to come get me out of the window. She (wisely) sent my stepdad, who was very understanding and non-judgemental about the whole thing.

But seriously, I often hear my poor mother’s voice in my head when I reach the end of a particularly foolish path saying “That’s what you get.” I’m not sure my mother actually ever said that to me out loud, but I sure gave her plenty of chances to do so.

Recently, my track record has been stellar. I thought I’d share a few of my recent “That’s what you get” episodes for your enjoyment.

 

That’s What You Get. . .

. . . for starting a blog.

       I started my blog one year ago tomorrow. Happy Blogaversary to me! My little spot on the WWW has brought lots of unintended results. Guilt being one of them. I wish I blogged more. It’s definitely not for lack of source material. I like telling y’all the stories that keep my life interesting. And I like keeping track of all the ways in which my family has put me on the advanced track to aging. But life in a house full of crazy people sometimes limits my free time, and I’m learning to be ok with that. Especially because often, if I were to blog, my children would be giving me “source material” at a rate that I couldn’t handle. (As if I can handle the rate they’re at now.)

       But I’ve also made new friends and kept up with some old ones. I’ve heard your stories, too, which I love. And I’ve gotten to know that my foibles, accidents and fabulous life choices amuse the rest of you. Which pretty much makes it worth it. So if that’s what I get for starting a blog, I’m glad I did.  And as a special Blogaversary present to you, I’ve already written a post for Monday, so check back then for more riveting action!

 

. . . for buying a fancy-schmancy printer.

      My very old, very cheap printer had been on the fritz for months. So I finally broke down, found my coupons and headed to Office Depot. Mr. Office Depot expertly assisted me in my selection, down to the other things I would need to make the printer actually work that I wouldn’t have thought of until I had already spent fifteen hours yelling at and kicking my new printer.

      I decided to reward my very sedentary nature and purchase a printer that prints wirelessly so that I would not be so inconvenienced as to have to take my laptop into the other room and hook up a USB cord in order to print. But just as I was bragging (yes, bragging) to my sister about my labor-saving ways, I realized the da*&%$ thing was no longer printing. (And this after an hour on the phone with HP to go through the religious rites of set  up.) So I called HP again, and Carlos was, in fact, very knowledgeable and helpful, but it still took him an hour of remotely controlling my laptop from another continent (VERY CREEPY) to fix the problem.

       So, in total, I’ve printed ten pages and scanned two pictures with my new printer, all from the comfort of my couch. But I also spent approximately seventeen hours in setting up and repairing the darned thing. That’s what you get. Worth it? Totally. Cause now I can sit on my couch and scan pictures of my babies. (see below) 

 

. . . for trying to make dinner.

        I’ve barely cooked a meal in the last four months. So when I gingerly approach my kitchen to cook something other than frozen pizza/french fries/chicken nuggets, I expect wild applause (from Mr. Dad) and complete cooperation (from the children.) Yesterday I started dinner well before 8pm, and it included actual vegetables and potatoes not previously frozen. But as I’m chopping and stirring and seasoning, I am interrupted by a confusing scene. Lil’ Sis has lost that reddish glow to her hair; it looks a little darker. Upon closer inspection, I discover that someone else in the house has been doing some seasoning of her own. Wait for it. . . wait for it. . . uh-huh:  Big Sis has liberally applied a large coat of pepper to the top of Lil’ Sis’ head and shoulders. Apparently she decided the “salt and pepper look” was more fitting than “carrot top” for her sister.

 

. . . for insisting on knowing the gender of your unborn baby.

      Last week we went to the doctor for a sonogram. The Sonogram. The one lots of my friends go to and cover their eyes so they can be “surprised” when the baby is born. Weirdos. I go to that sonogram with only two questions on my agenda: “Does everything look ok?” and “What private parts does this baby have?” Sue me, I’m a planner.

      So the sonogram is going ok, except that Baby Lahdee (as Big Sis has named him/her) will not be still. But somehow our expert sonographer manages to get the requisite pictures. Good, round head? Check. Long, bony spine? Check. Big, ravenous looking stomach? Check.

       So then it’s time to get to the good part(s). Except that on the way to those parts, she pauses on my right ovary and says hmmm, apparently you have cyst there, which is no big deal, except that it explains the occasional stabbing pain in your right side. Good to know, I say, now GET ON WITH IT. Except at this point, Baby Lahdee is simultaneously cruching his/her legs together AND swimming in circles with all his/her might. How this is possible, I do not know, although it makes me eager to meet this child.  

       Eventually she determines that Baby’s bottom is right next to my ovary/cyst and the only possible way to determine the gender is for her to repeatedly punch, jiggle and jab me in that very tender area with the sonogram thiny-magiggy. Here’s where my true dedication kicks in though, and I decide to take one for the team. Breathlessly I tell her to keep going till she gets some nudie shots of this baby. And she does.

       After we left the doctor, them walking, me stumbling in pain, we headed to Target to pick out a gift for the baby. I must have looked a little funny clutching my stomach and limping, but I didn’t care. I had just gotten to see my healthy–and very active–son.

 

Isn't HE cute??

Isn't HE cute??

Quick! Somebody call the Waaaaambulance!

12 Sep

Whine: Just got my bill(s) for last month’s trip to the ER. If I’d known how much it was going to cost, I would’ve shoved a straw full of salt water into my arm myself. Then gone out and bought a new dining room set. Seriously.

Cheese: In 27 or 28 or 29 (hopefully not 29) weeks I get to have a baby. Yay!  After all the trouble this one’s put me through, s/he better be one good baby. (Oh yeah, I’m gonna milk this rough trimester for the rest of this kid’s life, believe you me.)

 

Before we left on vacation in July, I was suspicious, but there was no proof. 

I spent the vacation eating whatever I darn well pleased and not throwing it up. I jetskied and waterskied. I imbibed large quantities of lake water (which, incidentally, coincided with the waterskiing) and Diet Coke. I pranced around the lakefront in my tankini with my flat(ish) tummy, like someone who is definitely not host to a teeny-tiny alien.

Then we came home.

I kid you not, on the car ride home from the airport, things began churning and burbling in my stomach. Things that ought not be churning and burbling. And, finally a day’s worth of Diet Coke paid off and I had my proof.

As if I needed it. My stomach began waging war with any and all food substances I had the gall to introduce. “What?!? A popsicle?!? How dare she?!? Get it out, troops, and I mean NOW!!!” 

So next thing I know I’m in a hospital bed in the local ER, just begging someone, anyone to hit me over the head with a heavy object. Instead they pumped a couple of liters of salty water into me and gave me more of the Zofran that I’d already been taking that CLEARLY WASN’T WORKING SINCE I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR VOMIT-INDUCED DEHYDRAYTION. Then, finally, some beautiful, glorious nurse gave the doctor what for and got me some phenergan. That stuff was so good I lost my ability to speak and move my limbs independently, but hey, I wasn’t throwing up anymore, so what did I care?

A few days later, I found myself curled up in a ball on the floor of my entryway. Apparently my ex-medicine, The Evil Zofran, causes certain parts of your body (i.e., intestines, etc) to stop working properly, and so I had quite the stomach ache. The pain could only be compared to what it must feel like to have a very large giraffe elbowing you in the abdomen. I couldn’t move, but found solace in the fact that I had left some beach towels on the floor nearby, so that when I threw up from the searing pain, it ended up in the towel and not on my floor. Although my kitchen floor was not so fortunate.

For a week or two after that, I functioned more like a zombie than a Mommy. My daily activities consisted of moving from the bed to the couch and back to the bed again. I “ate” chicken broth and popsicles, which miraculously began to stay down, thanks to my new BFF phenergan (take that, stupid Zofran).

And finally, little bits of normalcy began to return. I began bathing, again, for example. And standing upright. And eating foods that required chewing. I was (and still am) not quite fully-functional. Episodes of Making Dinner! and Washing Clothes! around here are celebrated for the rarities they are. But eating food and showering and acknowledging the existence of my children are definite improvements over my previous condition.

But before you all start composing messages of deepest sympathy, and drafting me as the  first pick in your Fantasy Crisis League, I want to put all this into a little bit of perspective. As much as (or mostly) for myself as for you.

I have never been more sick in my life. Or more cared for.

Who took me to the ER? My mom. Who took my kids while I was grossly overpaying for unnecessary medications in said ER? My mother-in-law. Who dragged my drugged, semi-lifeless body home from the ER? My husband. (Whose fault this is anyway. Am I right, ladies?)

Who came to my rescue when I was writhing in pools of my own, well, nevermind…? Who cleaned up after me? Dragged my sorry carcass to the bathtub? Stopped me from giving up halfway to the potty when I said “I can’t go any further, I’ll just pee on the floor.”? (Thanks again for that one!) My sister-in-law and superstar in a crisis, Rachelle, who always seems to be around when I am at most humiliatingly worst and still likes me.

Who took everything all in stride? Never complained about the lack of eggs and bread and clean underwear? Who assumed role of father and mother? Who let me disappear into my bed every evening at 7pm? Who encouraged me that I wasn’t, in fact, losing my mind and that I would eventually feel human again? Mr. Dad, of course. Although you’d expect at least a little sympathy from him, since I’m the one doing all the work of growing this kid. 

Who made dinners, fielded sobbing phone calls, washed my clothes, watched my kids, said lots of prayers, bought groceries, sent encouraging cards/texts/FB messages and CLEANED MY KITCHEN?? You, my friends, you did.

And that gift, the gift of true friends who stick around when all you have to offer is vomit and stories about vomit, that is one I’ll never regret receiving. Ever. Even if it means stumbling through a few months of unshowered oblivion. You mean that much to me. Shoot, now I’m crying. Better call the waaaaambulance. Again.