2011 is officially kicking my ass. We have not had a very good year so far… luckily there is a lot of time for it to turn it around… but egh. I am just spent.
Gus brought the stomach flu home with him from daycare last week. He goes to a “kinda-sorta” daycare environment ONCE a week, so you’d think the odds would be in our favor. But yeah, it’s January, a month that tends to suck, so really I shouldn’t have expected anything less than ringing in the New Year hanging over the toilet, puking my guts out.
The Tuesday before Christmas we had decided not to send the little dude to daycare when we found out Monday evening on Facebook (via a status update) that the provider’s kids had been puking all day long. Since Dan was on vacation the next day, and was just planning on working on some on-going projects around the house, it seemed like a no-brainer to keep him home. But yeah, I wouldn’t be lying if it didn’t piss me off that I had to find something like this out from Facebook, and didn’t actually get a call from our provider to warn us that we might not want to bring our kid to her germ-infested house the week before Christmas.
We have a VERY casual thing going on with this woman, no contract, just sort of a gentleman’s agreement and a check every month for $50 per week. She’s a nice person, she only watches two little girls (the daughters of someone I went to high school with) on a full-time basis, and it was a huge relief to get introduced to her this past summer when we needed to find someone new to take care of Gus on Tuesdays.
So I’m not expecting much in the way of some professional notification, I know this thing we’ve got going with her is pretty informal, but it seems like we should have been at least told that she had a sick house. Maybe she expects me to see her status updates on Facebook? I don’t know, that’s pretty ridiculous, so I hope not.
Clearly, I’m a little annoyed.
Yeah, well I felt sort of vindicated… that’s the wrong word, I should say I was thankful that I trusted my gut… when Christmas came round and I found out that the two little girls both got sick, and gave it to their parents, and the whole family spent all of Christmas day puking and what-not. Ugh, poor dears, poor family. It sounded rough. And I was so glad that we paid $50 to keep our kid healthy for the holiday. Money well spent.
Fast forward to the week after Christmas, we thought we were in the clear to send Gus on Tuesday. And then on Thursday, Dan gets a call at work from his mom letting him know that Gus had vomited at lunch a few times.
Duhn duhn DUHN!
I was hopeful it was a fluke. Maybe the broccoli we had sent with him that day had spent more time in our fridge than we thought. Or he was eating a little too fast, causing him to gag, and that’s why he threw up.
I was in denial.
We were invited over to Dan’s grandparents house that night for an impromptu dinner, since we missed seeing them on Christmas Eve, so we scooted ourselves over there after I got home from work.
Mere moments after getting there Gus was in the corner of their living room making “that face”, so I got out the supplies for a diaper change. And yeah. Won’t go into details, but by then it was clear he was definitely sick.
Twenty minutes later, strapped in the highchair, he’s spewing all over himself.
Ok, so now he’s cleaned up, out of the chair. We’re trying to quickly finish dinner ourselves while he runs around the table, laughing hysterically. He reaches for me to pick him up, he’s on my lap, nibbling on a cookie [what idiot gave him a cookie? (it was me)], and it’s round two. All over me.
Gross. Also: my poor baby!
The amazing thing is that it didn’t seem to faze him. A minute later he was stripped down to his diaper, and again, running around the kitchen screeching and laughing and trying to jump in his own puke while we were on clean-up duty.
Dan’s poor grandparents did not have this in mind when they invited us over for pizza.
I mean come on.
Anyway, a baby/toddler with the stomach flu is actually kind of a scary thing. I was freaked out about him getting dehydrated, and he couldn’t seem to keep anything down but breastmilk and water. Thank goodness we’re still nursing, totally put my mind at east about the fact that he wasn’t getting really anything else, nutritionally, for two days. A little bit of pedialyte, but he wasn’t very into it. A quarter of a freezie-pop. A little bit of dry cereal. That’s about it.
So we survived, and on New Year’s Eve we put him to bed, hopeful that he would be on the mend the next day. We settled in for a movie. I ate a whole bag of microwave popcorn, because the holidays and my insane over-eating throughout have made my stomach the size of a dinosaur’s. I just can’t seem to eat enough.
Scratch that, I just couldn’t seem to eat enough.
Because with about 7 minutes left to go on the movie, I knew IT WAS COMING. The inevitable. I had caught it.
So I spent the night on the couch, Dan on Gus duty upstairs, and vomited off and on for about four hours. Around midnight, right after a particularly horrible trip to the bathroom, I got a text from my brother-in-law wishing me a “Happy New Year” and I was this close to texting back a big F-U. The only thing stopping me was that I knew he’d probably immediately call me back, and I didn’t have any desire to talk to anyone who wasn’t, at that moment, feeling as horrible as I was.
I woke up around 4:30 AM feeling a bit better, and went upstairs to check on my boys. By then, Dan was feeling it, so we switched places. And he had his little bout of sicky fun downstairs for the next few hours.
The next day was not pretty. Since having a child, Dan and I have never both been sick at the same time. Wow. We could barely pull ourselves together enough to feed Gus (who thankfully was feeling quite a bit better). We watched a lot of TV. There were a few instances where we both unintentionally dozed (on the couch or floor) while he busied himself with his toys around us.
A few times I started to feel really sorry for myself, mostly when Gus was being needy and a little sicky himself, wanting to nurse CONSTANTLY (which normally I would find incredibly sweet, especially when compared to that period of time when he was about 10 months old and too distracted to nurse, causing me boatloads of anxiety and engourgement), and I felt like I couldn’t even sit up without wanting to hurl.
We were hesitant to call anyone for help, because we didn’t want to put their health at risk. I mean, our house, at that point, was like a pit of despair. It smelled like sickness. But I convinced myself that Gus couldn’t be contagious anymore, and broke down and called my dad and pleaded for him and my mom to take Gus for a few hours when she got off work, so we could get some simultaneous REST.
Also, even though I was on my deathbed, the mom-guilt was still there. It is ALWAYS THERE! I could tell Gus was going a little crazy being in our house for the second straight day, and was feeling very neglected. So I knew it would do him some good to get out of the house, and my wonderful parents were up for it.
While Gus was running around at the mall and having a grand old time, we changed the sheets and did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and we slowly started to pull ourselves out of it, with the help of a Sister Wives marathon on TLC, and a quick trip to Subway for something bland to put in our stomachs.
Holy crap, that Sister Wives show is just… completely engrossing and compelling. I don’t really have much of an opinion about it, just that Cody and his family seem both wackadoodle and oddly normal at the same time. What a bizarre existence. But how awesome would it be to get to live with your girlfriends and your husband like that? To get to have these women right there to depend on and shop and cook dinner with, and raise your kids with. I mean, sharing your husband with them is bound to get a little weird, but I would think once you got over the initial hump of weirdness, it could be a pretty good life, no?
Like I was saying, 2011 can go suck it.
We’re getting back to normal at home, but still, Gus’s sleep has been completely screwed up. He was getting a lot better, we were starting to have less and less night-wakings. We started having Dan more involved at night a few weeks before the holidays, and it seemed like the little guy was beginning to realize that his sole purpose for getting up at night (my boobs) were no longer something he could expect to be there. So for the most part, we were getting a lot more sleep in our house. Well, I should say I was getting more sleep, Dan was getting up in the middle of the night, consistently, for the first time, so short term it wasn’t necessarily a better situation for him. But yeah, we felt like we were making progress.
And then our four-day Christmas extravaganza happened, and Gus’s schedule was all outta wack.
Oh well right? C’est la vie. We were rolling with it.
Now, it is straight up horrible again. Worse maybe. He slept with us when we were all sick the one night, which was fine, probably because he was sick and actually slept, but for the most part, co-sleeping just isn’t working for us anymore. Sunday night was a prime example of that. All he did for about 2 hours in the middle of the night was roll around half asleep smacking us in the face, one second rolling on top of Dan and pinching and pulling at his facial hair, and then in the next moment he’s rolling the other way towards me, mouth open, looking to nurse and angry to end up with a mouth full of t-shirt.
Last night Dan was up with him three times between 11:30 and 1:30 AM. Between 2:00 and 3:30, he was up three more times, and I was the lucky winner who got to deal with him then. At 5:30 AM, as Dan was getting up for work… another waking.
We know he’s teething again, but also, this kid just sucks at sleeping. I hate saying that about him, because gosh I love him, but we’re getting to the point where I just can’t wait for him to grow out of it anymore. For my sanity, for his health. It’s just not working.
Last night I was helping him put himself to sleep at 2:10 AM, laying him in his crib as he scrambled to grab his blankie and stand up, reaching up to me. But I wasn’t having it. He doesn’t even want to be rocked to sleep, he can’t seem to get comfortable in that rocking chair anymore, so when he arches his back and head-butts me when I’m just trying to cuddle him and help him go to sleep, clearly that means he needs his own space.
So I’m crouched over the crib, got my hand on his back, he’s tossing and turning, but not crying, not even really fussing. This boy is tired. And not minutes later, he’s asleep. Hallelujah! I sneak back to bed, fall asleep, feeling smug. My inner monologue gushing all over the place, “See! He can put himself to sleep! We can do this, soon he will be doing it on his own and everything will get better and he won’t make my parents’ brains explode when he stays with them for four whole nights while we’re on vacation and away from him for the first time (tear!).” And then I drift off to sleep.
And then I’m awake again, he’s whining in the next room again, and I look at the clock.
Seriously. It had been about twenty minutes.
I still can’t stomach a hard-core cry-it-out approach, it’s just not for us, but I think we’re going to have to do something different. What’s that Albert Einstein quote? “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Also, I shouldn’t even be writing about this sleep stuff right now, because clearly we’ve had a bad few weeks, and some outside influences have been the major culprits. We’ve got like the holy trinity of sleep problem contributors happening: (1) Screwed up schedule, (2) Sickness, and (3) Teething.
So I’m totally in “that place” right now where it just all feels so dire and unbearable. It’s not always this bad. But the fact that it gets this bad is a problem. Because eight night-wakings is a problem.
So don’t comment and tell me how terrible this all is and how you feel bad for me. That’s not at all what I want. I’m not trying to throw a pity party, just getting it out there, purging.
Instead, if you’re looking to make a girl feel good today, tell me something sucky that happened to you recently. Come on… make it something really terrible. We can all be miserable together!
Oh oh! Something I alluded to above, the silver lining, if you will, of not eating for two days straight, is that my stomach has seemingly shrunk. I can’t eat half of what I was eating, portion-wise, a week ago. Awesome right?! Also, I don’t seem to want to really eat much of anything, since the SICKNESS it all makes me a little queasy. So if anything, the stomach flu was like a Christmas cookie/candy/cheesy-potato detox of sorts. Hopefully this will lead to my pants fitting a little better again.