Category Archives: Parenting

Greetings from Camp Coxsackie

If you were driving down the Post Road today and saw a box of Arcuri’s pizza somewhere between Cos Cob and Byram, it was probably ours. And I would have gone back for it had I not been hysterically crying in my driveway over the lost pizza while my daughter wailed along with me from the back seat. There was a perfectly good explanation for how we arrived at such a low point. You see, we had tried to leave Camp Coxsackie – otherwise known as our home – and the universe punished us.

Let me back up a few days. My husband was going to New Hampshire and my daughter and I were going to have a girl’s weekend. Our plans went to hell when she woke up with a raging fever early the other morning, puked all over our bed and me (not that this was the first time in recent memory that I was covered in puke down to my underwear or anything), and cried and cried and cried. So, there was that.

Friday or “The Day Coxsackie Struck” 

By the time her fever broke, the telltale blisters on her foot told me this wasn’t just any old fever… it was the dreaded coxsackie virus – also known as “hand, foot and mouth disease” – a nasty bug that usually brings with it blisters on the hands, feet and mouth. Later that day the doctor confirmed my diagnosis, reminded us how contagious it was, and wished us luck. Given that this was our last taste of freedom for a few days, we went into CVS to pick up some supplies for her – like infant Tylenol – and for me – like chocolate and Lysol.

It was supposed to be a quick trip, an easy one. Just grab and go. Except that I couldn’t find what I needed and was pretty desperate at that point. A woman waiting on line made a quip about how long she had been there – and voiced her frustration that the pharmacist had stepped aside to help me. Obviously she had no idea that in the blink of an eye, my daughter was going to go from tolerating this shopping trip to doing everything in her power to get the f*&! out of the stroller and wipe her highly contagious slobbery drool all over everything within reach (at which time I would point her in the direction of my “friend” on the check out line). By the time we got home, I was ready to pass out but Ellie had other plans – most of which included being up all night.

Saturday or “The Hottest Day of the Year” or “The Day that No One Was Kidding Me” 

Daybreak the next morning brought with it a lot of excitement – like an unplanned trip to the vet for the dog to get probiotics for his belly – don’t even get me started. On top of his bellyache, Cooper was panting because it was so hot and I can’t imagine the heat felt good on the coxsackie blisters, so I cranked the A/C for both of “the kids.” Except it wasn’t working. Are. You. F*&*ing. Kidding. Me? Our A/C shits the bed on one of the hottest days of the year while our daughter is covered in blisters and my husband – an electrician and HVAC repairman – was in the middle of the New Hampshire woods with horrible cell service? Would it happen any other way, though?

By the time I got him on the phone I was sweating. A lot. I had opened the windows and turned on the fans and I think it went down approximately 1 degree upstairs in our attic-less Cape. He began to walk me through whatever he planned to walk me through which apparently brought along with it the risk of electrocution.

“Go outside and find that grey box next to the A/C unit.”

“The one that says ‘DANGER! High voltage!’?”

“Yup, that’s the one. Now open it up and pull the t-shaped lever.”

“You’ve got to be f*&^ing kidding me, right?”

Needless to say, it was beyond my skillset to repair the unit so we once again simply accepted our lot in life. (At this point, I feel like I should point out that this entire situation could have been WAY worse. WAY, WAY, worse.) Luckily, my father-in-law was able to come over and soon had cool air circulating throughout the house. I wish my story ended there, because that’s pretty upbeat.

Sunday or “The day we shouldn’t have tried to do anything, ever” 

In the morning I was feeling ambitious. I thought if I kept Ellie confined to the stroller we could quickly cruise the mall – this was girl’s weekend dammit! And I was hoping to find a new dress. After 10 minutes of browsing with a screaming child and valiant but unsuccessful attempt to find a dressing room (and being told that the one I was trying to get into was “locked forever”), I tossed aside what I wanted to try on and we left. It just wasn’t worth it. And because I hadn’t learned anything at all, I thought it might be nice to walk around the beach instead – except that I realized I had the wrong pass on my car and we wouldn’t get in. Fail #2 of the day, all before noon. We really, really should have thrown in the towel at that point.

You’re probably wondering how the pizza comes into play – well here it is. We hunkered down at Camp for the rest of the afternoon, but around dinnertime I decided we should take a ride to pick up some takeout for a change of scenery. I put the pizza box on top of the car while I loaded Ellie into her carseat, making a mental note to put the box in the car, too.

Except I didn’t. I just drove off with a box of pizza on top of my car. And you know when I realized it? When we pulled into the driveway about ten minutes later and I put my car in park. At that point I was so delusional that I even looked on top of the car thinking that one day we would all joke about how absentminded mom was the time she left the pizza on the car; that somehow it had survived the ride home and would magically be sitting my the roof of my CR-V, intact.

Except it wasn’t. So, I did the only thing left to do: I laughed until I cried, and then I laughed some more. It was, by far, the funniest thing that had happened in days. DAYS.

 

Books for days.

Books for days.

Not a bad weekend after all?

And as much as this weekend wasn’t anything like I had planned – we canceled a trip to the beach, estate sale hopping, and playdates – it was full of silver linings. It gave us a great excuse to slow down a bit and bum around the house – something we don’t typically do… ever. Family members helped out in a pinch – my mom brought by groceries, my father-in-law fixed the A/C, everyone checked in on us. We played outside with the water table. Blew bubbles. Watched Cooper chase birds in the yard. And we snuggled and read books – lots, and lots and lots of books – into the wee hours of the morning. Now, that’s my kind of girl’s weekend.

Here’s to hoping that this week brings fewer doctor’s visits, cooler weather and what I should have ordered in the first place: delivery.

7/12/2014 – update: Bad news. Last Wednesday I told my coworker, “I feel great, there’s no way I’m getting coxsackie! Definitely would have gotten it by now!” As soon as those words left my mouth, the fever hit. Almost 48 hours of fever later… I’m on the mend. Next week will be better… next week! 

 

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Check out my post on The Lil’ Mamas!

More on this later, because I want to write an entire post about the fabulous mama community I’ve been a part of… but in the meanwhile, check out a guest post I wrote about baby products for The Lil’ Mamas blog:  THE LIL’ MAMAS DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO ALL THE SHIT NO ONE TELLS YOU TO PUT ON YOUR REGISTRY.

Enjoy!

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Turns out… getting sick when you’re pregnant is awful.

Ahh, the b word… bronchitis. Apparently, not something you want to get when you’re pregnant. It was the day after my baby shower (which was an awesome day – post on that coming soon!) and I started to get a headache as I was sorting through our teeny, tiny baby presents. I chalked it up to fatigue, stopped what I was doing, and climbed into bed. What followed was a fitful night of fever complete with shivering, shaking chills and inexplicable hot spells. The covers were on. Then they were off. I opened the window, closed the window, opened the window and turned on the fan. Heat went on, heat went off. When the sun started to come up, I was a delirious and sweaty pregnant person. Preeeeeeeetty gross.

In the back of my head, I knew this wasn’t an emergency or I would have gone to the ER. Something stopped me from overreacting, but I still needed some guidance and my doctor wasn’t open yet. So, I did what I always tell my pregnant friends not to do: I googled my symptoms. The internet is a whole new world of insane for pregnant women who are sick. I immediately felt myself losing touch with the reasonable person I was just a few minutes prior (that whole “I don’t need to go to the ER” thing) and started thinking things like, “This is it. You’ve gotten some rare form of the flu and have one day left to live.” Of course, my husband was away for a couple of days and that left me to talk to the dog about my newfound anxiety – he’s usually a captive audience, but he just wanted to go back to sleep since I kept him up all night with my feverish activities.

As soon as I could, with my flu fears fueling my crazy mind, I got in to see the doctor. I started going on about how I didn’t want to take any flu meds, and if it was the flu what did it mean for the baby, and what could we do and… he stopped me. He seemed much less concerned than I was about my symptoms (as in, I was convinced I was dying thanks to internet message boards and he knew that this was not the case). He gave me a flu test (which confirmed that I was flu-free), listened to my chest, and rightfully predicted that I was coming down with bronchitis. I left with instructions to rest, hydrate, and call him in a couple of days to update him on how I was feeling.

The next day, right on cue, I began wheezing, coughing, and embarked on almost two weeks of bronchitis hell. Being pregnant complicated matters – making recovery longer, more difficult, and everything in general way more uncomfortable (like coughing when a little person is smushing both your chest and your bladder, at the same time). I proceeded to create what I can only call a nest out of pillows, blankets, and books. I was surrounded by Gatorade bottles, ice packs, Tylenol, Popsicle wrappers, and spent most days watching terrible daytime television. I stayed that way for way too long – seriously, the weather went from the last dregs of winter to the first signs of spring during my convalescence. When I finally felt good enough to emerge, I disinfected everything I had touched for the previous two weeks and slowly, but surely, became a contributing member of society once again.

The silver lining in the entire situation was also what made me a little completely stir-crazy: I had to clear my schedule and “do nothing” for almost two weeks. Even well into the third trimester, I had been thriving on my busy schedule but being sick forced me to cancel everything and settle in for some true rest. I really couldn’t tell you the last time I did that!

Given all the resting I was doing, plus the sleepless nights spent wheezing and coughing, I had a lot of down time to think and reflect. In the home stretch of being pregnant, and on the brink of a major life change, I decided I was grateful for the down time, even if I was feeling really gross.

Soon enough, we’ll be welcoming the baby into our lives – learning a whole new way of balancing out priorities, responsibilities, and obligations. So, for the next few weeks I’m just going to soak it all in. Instead of over-scheduling myself and squeezing those last few activities in before baby, I’m just going to relax, take lots of deep breaths, and enjoy the calm before succumbing to the insanity of having a newborn.

I’ll let you know how that goes 😉

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