Saturday, January 28, 2012

This is about as close to death as I've ever felt... and I've given birth!

Tuesday evening began innocently enough... Nolan and I watched our guilty pleasure (Teen Mom 2. I know, I know, it's stupid, but we like it!), and eventually went to sleep. Around 4am my mommy radar kicked in to hear Maddox crying from his crib. He doesn't wake up often (thankfully), so I stumbled my way into the boys' room thinking I would just turn his music box on and lay him back down without any issue. Imagine my surprise to see him sitting in his bed at 4am, covered in vomit and heaving more out by the second. For what seemed like a full minute (I'm sure much less in reality) I just stared at him. Do I pick him up to comfort him and get puked on? Do I let him finish? It was a dilemma. In the end I picked him him and let him vomit his entire night's dinner all over my shoulder. That's love. It was also my first mistake in the days to come, and I'm quite sure was the very moment I contracted this evil virus.

Neither of the kids have ever had the stomach flu, and to be honest it has been one of my greatest fears.
I was not prepared for the horror that was to come in the slightest.

Maddox continued to vomit every hour on the hour until around noon on Wednesday. Nolan was kind enough to stay home from work because knowing all too well how diseases travel in our family, we assumed it was only a matter of hours before Jax was hurling as well. I was going to need some help!
This was our second mistake.

By evening Maddox was keeping water and pedialite down, and even managed to sleep through the night. Thursday morning brought a refreshed and healthy baby. Not wanting to miss too much work, Nolan returned to his job (our third mistake), and Jax seemed to escape the flu. I on the other hand, awoke to what can only be described as knives being stabbed and twisted throughout my gut. I kept Jax home from preschool, because in all honesty I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make the 10 minute drive to pick him back up in the afternoon.

I was facing a full day with the stomach flu, alone, with two seemingly healthy kids. What's a mom to do? Turn on Mickey Mouse, that's what! Going against my better judgment I plugged the boys into the TV for as long as they could stand it (which turned out to pretty long)! I managed to stretch cartoons out until noon, and was beginning to think I might make it until help arrived (in the form of Nolan coming home from work around 7pm). Then disaster struck. The vomiting began. Every hour on the hour I spent some quality time with the toilet, the stainless steel mixing bowl, essentially whatever was closest to me. Many times a certain three year old would be standing over me asking "Mommy, I want a snack," "Mommy, where's my bowling pins?" as I responded between dry heaves "Mommy will be out in a minute, GO OUT!"

You may be wondering how this situation can get worse.
Don't wonder.

Around 3:00pm, when I was really starting to feel my worst, I heard the words I was dreading. Sitting next to me on the couch Jax says "Mommy... my belly hurts."
Aw crap.
"Do you have to go poopy?" I ask hopefully. Maybe that's all there is to it, just a little poop and his tummy will be back to normal!
"Yeah..." he responds and rushes off to the bathroom.
Seconds later I hear screaming. I'm still naively thinking "maybe it's diarrhea?" when he jumps up from the toilet, wraps his arms around my neck, and projectile vomits all over myself, his naked legs, the floor, the toilet, the walls, the bathtub, the toilet paper, and even a small amount into the stainless steel puke bowl. Best of all, he has been drinking a lot of milk, so his vomit consists of mainly curdled milk... anyone who has had a baby knows what that smells like. Imagine that smell has just soaked your entire bathroom, and you're the only adult home to clean it. Ad to that that you yourself are incredibly weak and nauseous and you have quite the predicament.

At about this point I was beginning to think "I'm really screwed."
I called Nolan and begged him to come home as soon as humanly possible (which turned out to be 5pm). Jax was throwing up every 20 minutes, I was averaging every 40 minutes, and Maddox wanted nothing more than to play. We were a mess. I remember looking at the clock and thinking "Two more hours, I can make it two hours. I've had babies, I can last two more hours with the stomach flu!" To top things off I couldn't imagine having the ability to clean the bathroom in my state, yet remember that diarrhea I mentioned hoping for? That would be mistake number four.

Armed with a shirt tied over my face and an arsenal of bleach, towels, and garbage bags I managed to clean the bathroom just enough to make it bearable. And just in time for my hourly dry-heave session, this time with Jax standing over my shoulder begging for chocolate milk, and me explaining between heaves why chocolate milk isn't a good idea on a sick stomach. Several hours later Nolan (our savior) walked through the door. Officially relieved of duty, I made my way to our bed and slept for several hours, awaking occasionally to hear questions like "Jax, did you fart? (yes)" "Are your sure it was just a fart? (no)" "Did you poop in your pants? (yes)" "Do you need to throw up? (yes)"

Eventually this horror story wound down for the evening. Nolan slept on the couch with Jax on the love seat (so he could help him to the bathroom in the middle of the night if needed), Maddox slept soundly in his crib, and I in our bed. Jax and I awoke Friday morning feeling weak, but comparatively speaking 1000 times better then the day before. Nolan returned to work (mistake number 5), and life was appearing to return to normal.

Around 10:30am Friday Nolan called from work "I think it's hitting me too, can you come and pick me up?"
This hellish stomach flu was not going to rest until it officially eliminated my entire family. He spent Friday (and much of Saturday) laid out in much the same manner as the rest of us.

And here we sit, Saturday evening, feeling like we have just survived the plague and lived to tell the tale. Tomorrow will be a better day! Unless of course this thing mutates and cycles back around... if there's one thing I've learned about having two kids, it's that there are just enough people in the household for germs to mutate and jump from host to host!

Apartment Revamp

We're lucky enough to get paid to live in a pretty spacious (for the bay area) two bedroom. Sometimes we feel a bit like sardines, but for the most part it works. Since we're probably going to be here for a while (I decide this after we've already lived here for three years), I thought it would be a good place to test out some of the things I learned in design school. Not to mention give me the opportunity to show others how easily you can customize- YES, even a rental! Who says you have to live in a cookie cutter, off white box, just because you don't own it?  Quite some time ago I began my total apartment revamp with the boys' room, and these are my results!

Since I wasn't with it enough to take "before" pictures (I was 7 months pregnant at the time, cut me some slack!), you will have to use your imagination. I'm sure it won't be hard (we've all lived the apartment life at one time or another), imagine a big off white box with a closet and a window.
It took one simple question to ask our landlord (oh wait, that's us!) "can I paint?"
You would be surprised at how many say "yes."

I began the process of creating this accent wall by painting the entire wall with a satin finish crisp white. After allowing a full 24 hours of dry time, I created a modular pattern with blue painters tape.

Using an angled painters brush (non-foam) I painted the first of five colors in a randomized pattern. Because the wall I chose is textured (as most apartment walls are), it was important to use brush strokes that began ON TOP of the painters tape and brushed away from the tape towards the middle of each square/rectangle. This kept the paint from puddling under the tape and allowed for my lines to remain crisp.

This finished project:

More rooms to come! I'm very behind on my "after photos."Eh-hem, NOLAN!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Earliy Potty Training

Today when we returned home from shopping Jax runs into the bathroom to go potty. When he's done he comes out with just his shirt and socks on (which is normal). We told Jax to go get his "boy pants" on, and both boys ran down the hallway to their room. Minutes later Jax returns with his "boy pants" and sweat pants on. We tell him "good job" and he runs into the living room.
Seconds later Maddox comes running into the room with another pair of Jax's underwear yelling "Oy-pant! Oy-pant!" He wanted to be just like his big brother, so we put the boy pants on over his diaper which made him very proud. We love our boys...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brotherly Love

Mornings like this are the best. Mornings when Jax wakes up an hour before Maddox, and no doubt spends that hour dreaming of ways to "play" with brother. At 8:30 we hear Maddox awake in his crib and Jax just about yanks me to my feet (I desperately try to keep my coffee in its cup where it belongs).
"Come get bro-yer Mommy, he's awake!"
I walk into the boys room, kiss my innocent little Maddox in the head, and set him on his feet. Immediately Jax wraps his arms around him in a rare display of brotherly affection. They run down the hall together and I think to myself "This is why we had another baby, they really are friends, they really do love each other!"
No sooner than I sit down and take my next drink of coffee I hear Maddox crying.
"What's going on in there?!" I yell down the hall. Quickly (a little too quickly) followed by "Na-ting!" from Jax.
A few seconds later a door shuts and I hear more crying.
"No. I locking you in da cage!" Jax states in his most authoritative tone.
I have to laugh as I go free my youngest child from the "cage" his brother has created for him (really just their bedroom with the door closed).
Yes, this is brotherly love.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

what a day

I'm really starting to wonder what else can go wrong today (as the entire family is trying to wrap up a day run on 4 hours of sleep). Took my freshly pink-eye free child to the pediatrician because he was complaining of a soar throat/ears. On the way there I ran over a metal pipe and blew out a tire. Enter AAA. An hour later we made it to the doctors office so that Jax (on his first day antibiotic free) can be diagnosed with tonsillitis and prescribed more antibiotics, and Maddox can be diagnosed with a respiratory infection. Fast-forward a few hours to dinner time...We give Jax his Amoxicillin only to have him break out in hives 20 minutes later. Back to the pediatrician we go! I guess we have discovered his first allergy. I would really appreciate some prayers for SLEEP for our whole family tonight, as we could all certainly use it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Today was a busy day. Being the first day our family has returned to our everyday life after Christmas, I spent a lot of time trying to keep the boys occupied while I caught up on cleaning. As I was finishing loading the dishwasher, Maddox rounded the corner into the kitchen with a big grin on his face. He was obviously very proud of something he had done, and whatever it was was apparently pretty amusing to him.
"Chit-in! MOMMY. Chit-in!!" He grabbed my pant leg and pointed excitedly around the corner. I followed him to the entryway where our retract-a-gate baby gate hangs. There, resting on one of the hooks the gate connects to, was a half eaten chicken nugget that Maddox had been munching on. Instantly he began to laugh, as if this was the funniest thing he had ever done. Our little monster is starting to develop such a great personality, it's amazing to watch. He has such a sense if humor already, I can't wait to see what kind if a little boy he grows into!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

We have been back in town since Thursday and it is nice to be back in our own home with our own stuff again. Jax seems to have pink eye, his eyes are all crusty and mucasy, and yes, pink. We took him to the after hours pediatrician (because these things only ever happen on weekends in our family) at Lucile Packard yesterday and he did very well. He told the doctor that he brought his "snuggly," and she said "ugh" (she did not care at all). As we were leaving the hospital we stopped to play with the huge model train setup the hospital has on display. It's hugely detailed with little people and lights that the kids can turn on- really cool. The entire setup was huge and looked like a replica of an old Canery Row in Monterey.
Jax did not want to leave the hospital.

As for today, Tracy went to the store to get food by herself and I took the boys to park down the street from our house. Getting them ready was like herding cats, nobody would help me at all. Maddox was running around saying "mommy, mommy" and Jax was running around in his underwear not getting dressed. I finally got everyone together, food in the back pack and we were out the door. Here are some pictures of the boys playing basketball. Jax laid on the court like he was sleeping and Maddox started to do the same thing (because he instantly mimics anything "brother" does). They are so funny.