birthday party post-mortem

Catie’s birthday party was on Saturday at a bounce house place called Monkey Joe’s. She’d been to birthday parties there before, and was so excited to have her own party there.

Catie meeting Monkey Joe

[Note that unlike when she turned two and freaked the hell out at the Chick-Fil-A cow, she is no longer scared of adults in giant mascot costumes.]

This year, Catie asked for a cake “with dinosaurs on it.” I learned from last year’s birthday party that most grocery stores don’t do custom artwork, so rather than stressing about it, I grabbed a bag of little plastic dinosaurs to use as cake toppers, and POOF! Dinosaur birthday cake!

Catie's birthday cake

She absolutely loved it.

Lucy had a pretty good time at the party too. She got to ride around on both me and her Pop-Pop…

Lucy hanging out on Pop-Pop

… and she got to roll around on a floor that was covered in oh my god I don’t even want to know so don’t make me think about it.

Lucy at the birthday party

(See that spot on my jeans? That’s where Lucy had been chewing on my leg moments earlier. Nice, kid.)

The kids ran around and bounced their little hearts out for a couple of hours, then had pizza and birthday cake. Then there were presents, and that was about it. Pretty basic, but so nice to not have to deal with clean-up and all of that other stuff that usually goes with birthday parties.

The last thing Catie got to do was the prize grab. She had seen her friends do this before, and she was absolutely terrified of it, but I explained that if she didn’t do it, she wouldn’t get a prize.

with the goggles, on her way to do the prize grab

She was so serious and obviously scared, but so ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED that she was going to get her damn prize, no matter what. So into the giant scary ticket grab booth she went.

Ticket grab booth

She ended up getting enough in tickets for two new dinosaur toys, so you know, WORTH IT. At least in her mind.

Overall, she had a fantastic party.

That is one happy birthday girl

(The whole set of pics is here.)

Then, there was the rest of the weekend.

Warning: things go quickly downhill from here.

Saturday night, we were all tired from the party. My brother Chris & my sister Tracy were both staying at my house for the weekend (they drove over from Charlotte for the party). Catie’s birthday present from Tracy had been a couple of new sets of princess pajamas, and Catie wanted to wear her new Little Mermaid PJs. It didn’t even occur to me that I needed to wash them first.

At bedtime, Tracy noticed that Catie was really itchy and scratching herself all over. She called me to check her out. My first thought was dry skin – Catie gets eczema in the winter sometimes. So I took her into the bathroom and slathered her with almond oil, which is mild and odorless and normally makes her skin feel better.

(Here’s a tip in case you hadn’t guessed: that was my major mistake. I basically took whatever was in the pajamas that had irritated her skin, and I sealed it to her. Which made things go way worse.)

The next thing I knew, Catie was screaming her head off that her skin was burning. She started to hyperventilate and have a panic attack. We went into my bathroom because she was freaking out so much I was afraid she was going to make herself vomit. I couldn’t calm her down, and my brain just kept thinking that she was having some kind of major allergic reaction to something, and I was worried about her asthma and breathing, so I yelled for my brother to call 911.

The EMTs got there within minutes, and were absolutely amazing. They checked her oxygen SATs (normal) and her lungs (all clear), and guessed that it was probably contact dermatitis from the pajamas. Since they gave her the all-clear on her breathing, we opted to not take Catie to the hospital, and instead I gave her a bath and tried to wash everything off of her skin, then gave her all new clean clothes to wear. Once I got her back in bed, she was asleep in minutes. The poor kid was exhausted (it was almost 11 p.m. by the time this was all finished).

On the plus side: Lucy slept through all of this. Even Catie’s screaming. So that was nice. But still? Yeah, that sucked.


Sunday, I sent both girls to hang out with Dave for the day. That seemed pretty uneventful. They had fun, and came home in the evening around dinnertime. We did the bedtime routine, yadda yadda. Normal as usual.

Around 1 a.m., I heard Catie scream, “MOMMY!!!” It was not a normal “I had a bad dream and want to get in your bed” yell, it was… THAT scream. The kind that all parents (or at least all moms) know. The “something really bad is happening” scream. I was out of bed and across the hall before I even opened my eyes all the way.

I ran into Catie’s room just in time to see her vomit all over her bed. Faaaaabulous.

She spent the rest of the night in my bed (she managed to puke into a bowl every other time except once, which required me to change the sheets on my bed at 4 a.m. Let me tell you, I am not a fan of that).

She doesn’t have a fever, so my guess is that it’s some stomach virus she picked up from the germ-factories that are those bounce houses. (She didn’t eat anything unusual, so it’s my best guess. A 24-48 hour incubation period is normal for these things.)


Both girls are with my parents today. My mom called a little while ago to tell me that Catie is keeping down tiny sips of Sprite, and that Lucy is officially crawling as of this morning. So, there you go. I’m sad I missed that milestone of Lucy’s, but glad that my parents and Catie got to see it.

To sum up: Hooray for birthday parties and baby milestones. However, illnesses and 911 calls and all that nonsense? Can suck it.

6 thoughts on “birthday party post-mortem

  1. Sheesh woman.

    I am going shopping on Amazon to see about getting you guys that bubble.

    Crawling! Now she can follow you to the next room. Heh.

    Hope everyone is better soon. šŸ™‚

  2. You’re channelling Dickens…It was the best of times, it wasa the worst of times! But that’s the rollercoaster of motherhood all right.

    Here’s to peaceful days and everybody staying healthy for a while!!!!

  3. oh what a weekend! never a dull moment with two little girls to keep you “entertained”.

    but hey, tell ’em to keep the entertainment to birthdays and crawling and FUN STUFF…enough with the sickness drama. HA

  4. Hey… so…. ya wanna burn all our stuff and start over? I hear there’s an app for that. šŸ˜‰

    Let me know if you need anything.


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