4 days

Four freaking days. That’s how long it took for Catie to come home sick from daycare.

I knew something was up when I picked her up today, and she immediately started crying about something silly (a Valentine’s Day stamp on her hand, which she didn’t like and wanted to wash off). We went to the grocery store, and she said she wanted juice, but then she started crying as soon as she took a sip. I asked her if her throat hurt, and she said yes. I asked what else hurt, and she said, “My eyebrows.” Which, ok, that’s kind of funny, but you know, a sinus headache does hurt right around your eyebrows, so I thought that was actually pretty smart of her to be that specific.

So, quick side trip over to the pharmacy section of the grocery store where I promptly ripped open a box of children’s Tylenol meltaways and handed her two of them (don’t worry, I paid for them later). We finished up our shopping and headed home. She ate an Otter Pop and a couple of strawberries, but that was it. She’s had a fever and chills all evening. I managed to get about a 1/2 cup of watered-down juice in her before she went to bed, and I consider that a small victory to keep her from getting dehydrated.

It’s just amazing to me that in the course of a day, she can go from this:

hamming it up for the camera
Taken this morning.

To this:
sick girl
Taken tonight. Note she’s wearing a hoodie over her winter pajamas and still shivering, my poor girl.

Obviously, there will be no daycare tomorrow. I predict a lot of time on the couch, watching cartoons and eating Otter Pops. Which is fine, as long as she starts feeling better soon. I hate it so much when she’s sick. I miss my happy chatty girl.

on jet lag & sickness

I suppose we were lucky that on our way to England, we didn’t experience much in the way of jet lag. We stayed up late, we slept late. We were a little tired, sure, but it was mostly fine. Coming home, though? Totally different story. The jet lag is kicking all of our butts.

In the week since we’ve been home, Catie has been unable to sleep more than two or three hours consistently without crying for either me or Dave. Sometimes she needs to use the bathroom (which, OMG she’s waking up to pee, yay! Only I’m not so enthusiastic about it at 3 a.m.), sometimes she’s thirsty, sometimes she’s just upset because she kicked her covers off and she wants us to tuck her back in. And even though I understand that this whole trip threw off her routine and she just needs reassurance to get back to normal, it’s challenging to maintain empathy after the third or fourth time she wakes me up.

Oh, also? She’s been announcing that she’s tired and ready for bed around 8:30, which is fantastic. I’ve been wanting her to go to bed earlier for ages. But then she decides that she’s awake for the day at 5 a.m. Which, no. Sorry, kid. Mommy needs more sleep than that. I’ll gladly take that 10:30 p.m. bedtime back if it means that I get to sleep until 8:00 again.

sick day fashion

As if Dave and I weren’t tired enough – and we’re both just now finally starting to feel better after that Sinus Infection of Doom – Catie now appears to be sick too. It started on Saturday, she came down with a fever and a nasty cough. These things always make her asthma flare up, so we’re being very careful to stay on top of her meds to keep her comfortable. The poor thing is on Pulmicort, albuterol, Motrin, and Zyrtec. She takes all of them like a champ, which is great, but I hate that she needs it.

Anyway, this virus thing means even less sleep than before. The past 3 nights, she’s woken up every 45 minutes to an hour. If memory serves, this is actually less sleep than I got when she was a newborn.

She seems a lot better today, so hopefully we’re at the end of this phase of all three of us being sick. Which would be nice, because I’ve had quite enough of it already to last me for all of 2010.

(Photographic evidence of her improvement. Keep it up, kiddo. Please keep it up. Mommy is exhausted and needs you to get healthy quickly.)

not how I envisioned ending 2009

Warning: This post is long, and full of whining. I’m sick, and this is what I’m like when I don’t feel good.

I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Dave and I were both sick while we were in England. It’s been pretty awful. For most of our time in the UK, we were both downing cold medications every four hours like clockwork, just to try to manage our symptoms.

We left Dave’s mom’s house on Sunday and drove down to London. We stayed in a hotel near Heathrow so we could be there bright and early for our 7:40 a.m. flight on Monday. I noticed that I was getting worse. My cough was so bad that it was making me dry heave. Because of my gastric bypass surgery, it’s impossible for me to vomit, but I could feel the lower part of my stomach – you know, the part that’s been surgically separated so it’s no longer attached to my esophagus – seizing up, and I knew that if it had a choice, I would be puking my guts out. That was unsettling.

Monday at the airport was a nightmare. We left our hotel at 5 a.m., trying to allow extra time because we knew there would be heightened security after that whole terrorist incident. We ended up standing in line for over an hour to get through the second security screening. And we were lucky, an airline employee came and pulled us over to the “exclusive” line reserved for first-class passengers because we had a stroller, and they needed to get all of the strollers on the plane.

Btw, while we were standing in line, every time I coughed, the old lady standing in front of me would look over her shoulder and glare at me. I started talking to Dave really loudly about WOW THIS COUGH SURE IS ANNOYING BUT IT’S A GOOD THING I’M NOT CONTAGIOUS, HUH? Translation: chill out, hag, I don’t have H1N1.

Our flight left over an hour late. The flight was pretty miserable for me. At one point, the lady sitting across the aisle from Dave passed a roll of cough drops over for me. I thanked her, took one, and passed it back. She said, “Oh no, you keep it.” Wow. I guess I was coughing a lot more than I thought I was.

The plane had a pretty bumpy descent and landing. Catie started to cry in her seat, and I leaned over to hug her and try to calm her down. Then, she puked all over both of us. And a little bit on Dave too, for good measure. Fabulous. This is why I always keep a change of clothes in our carry-on. We had to make a quick stop in the restroom for a wardrobe change before going through customs and immigration, I found a plastic bag to shove the stinky/pukey clothes in, and we were on our way.

[Side note to the person who had to clean row 29 of United flight 923: I’m so, so sorry. Really.]

Since our flight had been delayed, we missed our connection in D.C. Of course. I stood in line at United customer service for about an hour and a half, only to be told that sorry, the remaining flights from Dulles to Raleigh were all booked, but they could get us out the next day. Um, no. It’s less than 300 miles from D.C. to Raleigh, so we said screw it, we’ll rent a car and drive home. All three of us just desperately wanted to goooo hoooome. I had been fantasizing all day about sleeping in my own bed again. We found a rental car that had a compact car with a toddler car seat available, and off we went.

Three hours later, we were still stuck in D.C.-area traffic. Holy cow. It was sometime during that – when I was driving (or more accurately, sitting there with my foot on the brakes) while Dave and Catie were both sleeping in the backseat – that I realized that I had been awake since 3:45 that morning England time, which meant essentially 10:45 p.m. the night before on the east coast. And did I mention that I can’t sleep on airplanes? I kind of dozed for about 20 minutes, but that was it for the entire 8-hour flight. That’s a long time to stay awake, y’all.

We finally got home around 10 p.m. Catie was all refreshed from her car nap and SO! EXCITED! to see all of her toys that she hadn’t seen for the past 2 1/2 weeks, it took quite a while to settle her down. I finally got her to bed just before midnight and then crashed myself about 5 minutes later. I set a new record for myself – awake for 25 hours & 15 minutes straight. I don’t recommend it. And I have no desire to set that kind of record ever again.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve been really, really sick. I went to the doctor on Tuesday, he heard crackling in my right lung and sent me for a chest x-ray because he suspected that I had pneumonia. The office called me back yesterday afternoon to inform me that I don’t have pneumonia, just really severe bronchitis. Oh, and I have pink eye too. Because you know, I didn’t feel horrible enough already.

I woke up yesterday with a migraine so intense that I was involuntarily crying from the pain, and Dave almost called 911. That sucked too.

And you know, it’s not like we had big plans to party it up on New Year’s Eve or anything, but this is not exactly how I envisioned the big evening, either. Both of us in our jammies and coughing and miserable.

The good news is that Catie is continuing to do really well during all of this. She hasn’t shown any signs of being sick yet (although I’m scared to say that for fear of jinxing it), and her sleep schedule is all screwy from the jet lag, but we’re dealing with that. For the most part, she’s being totally sweet and lovely and well-behaved, and she doesn’t seem to mind at all that Mommy is phoning it in and just letting her watch cartoons all day long so I can lie around feeling pitiful.

Catie says, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"

She’s also taking this opportunity to explore her own sense of personal style, with hilarious results.

I hope all of y’all have a wonderful and happy New Year. And I hope to be less whiny (and healthier) by my next post. See you in 2010!

Hungry Eyes*

Last night seemed normal at first. I got Catie to bed, checked my email one last time, took my melatonin pill and headed off to bed. Dave had left the TV on in our room, and “Dirty Dancing” was on. I ended up watching it that rather than going to sleep. Why? I don’t know. I can never seem to turn that movie off when it’s on. It’s one of those guilty pleasure movies – it’s awful & I love it.**

By the time the movie was over and I turned the TV off to try to sleep, I noticed that my stomach felt… wrong. It was hurting and cramping a bit. I thought it was probably something I ate, but didn’t think too much about it. I just tried to ignore it and go to sleep.

I woke up about an hour later in major pain. Seriously, I don’t even know how to describe it. My entire torso was cramping up, and it kept hitting me in waves. I didn’t know if I was going to poop, barf, poop AND barf, or die.

And even though it’s totally illogical? It felt a whole lot like labor pain, and I thought for a few minutes that I was going to end up like one of those women on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, and my big 15 minutes of fame was going to happen when Joel McHale mocked my stupidity on The Soup.

Seriously, I was half-asleep and in pain. Sound reasoning isn’t top-notch at 2:30 in the morning. The only thing that calmed me down is that I had a physical back in August and I’m pretty sure that the doctor would’ve noticed if I was pregnant during my pelvic exam. So the idea that I could be nine months pregnant and about to unknowingly deliver a baby? Well, it seemed a bit unlikely.

So… I’m not pregnant. Of course. I do, however, seem to have a pretty vicious case of food poisoning. No idea what caused it, either. I’m feeling a little better now – I had some chicken soup and a piece of toast, and everything is staying down, so I think I’ll live.

Dave very kindly got up with Catie this morning and took her to Target so I could get some more rest, since I had been awake and sick during so much of last night. They came back with a “get well, Mommy” present for me. A box full of miniature plastic dinosaurs. Just what I’ve always wanted. Oh well, the dinosaurs are keeping Catie happy and occupied, so I guess that’s good enough.

*That song is stuck in my head after watching Dirty Dancing last night. But believe me, my eyes are anything but hungry right now. Blech.

** Random thought: Is it just me or was Jennifer Grey way cuter before she had a nose job?

leetle peeg, leetle peeg, let me in

We’re having a lot of fun with the in-laws, except for the fact that Dave and I seem to have come down with whatever cold Catie had last week. So we wake each other up coughing all night, and I’m losing my voice. Good times.

Of course, this is in keeping with our tradition that it is impossible for my in-laws to come for a visit and not be felled by some sort of plague or accident. Seriously. Let’s recap:
1.) Their first visit, December 2007 – we all came down with the flu.
2.) Second visit, December 2008 – Catie wound up in the hospital with a major asthma episode.
3.) Third visit, March 2009 – My mother-in-law fell in the grocery store & wound up in the ER with a concussion.

So, you know, by comparison, Dave and I being sick is not a huge deal. It could be worse. Lord knows it has been in the past.

But, since I’m feeling cruddy and hacking up a lung here, let me leave you with this (short, less than a minute) video of Catie telling the story of the 3 Little Pigs. Because it cracks me up everytime.


You can also hear just how awful my voice is. It’s totally hot, right? Blargh.

of course, the perk of having a cold is that I can't smell the litter box

When I got home from Chicago on Sunday, Dave was running late to pick me up at the airport. I got my bags and met him outside baggage claim. I gave him a big hug & kiss, and climbed into the backseat to sit with Catie for the ride home. I noticed that her voice seemed a little raspy, but didn’t think much of it. When we got home, she wanted me to carry into the house, which I was happy to do after not seeing her for 3 days. That’s when I noticed she was (very mildly) wheezing. Dave admitted that she’d come down with a cold over the weekend, but he didn’t tell me because he didn’t want me to freak out and fly home early. What can I say, the man knows me well.

(In my defense, a normal kid’s cold is not something to freak out about, and I know that. But for Catie, colds usually lead to asthma attacks, and after landing in the ER twice, I tend to be a little panicky. So there’s that.)

And really, her cold didn’t seem too bad. We had to give her albuterol a few times, but she seems mostly better now. Yesterday when we were playing, she threw her head back and laughed, and I noticed that her top two eye teeth (the “fangs”) are just barely poking through her gums. I figured, oh well, that’s what it is, then. It’s not a cold at all, she’s just congested because she’s teething again. No worries.

Then I woke up today and realized that she definitely did have a cold. And I know because I now have it too. Sore throat, runny nose, the whole nine. Now I’m just hoping that my cold passes as quickly as Catie’s did. Because I really don’t need to be sick right now.

In moving news, I spoke with our landlady about whether or not she’ll let us stay here for the month of August, since our closing date on our house has been bumped. Have I mentioned how horrible our landlady is? Oh yes, I have. First, she started in on me that a couple of people have complained about “a very strong cat odor” in the house. Well, yes, we have two cats. I try to keep the litter boxes scooped, especially when we have a house showing, but what can I do? Sometimes you still catch a whiff of them. I can’t believe her rudeness in trying to essentially blame me for the fact that the house hasn’t been rented yet. She even issued a mild threat by saying, “Well, if they’ve had accidents on the carpet, I don’t know what I’m going to tell the owners…” Um, well, you don’t have to tell them anything, because they haven’t had accidents on the carpet. (Admittedly, Teenie has had a couple of accidents on the hardwood floors, which I’ve cleaned immediately. So no worries there.) I reassured her that the cat odor will be gone as soon as we move out, then tried to ask again about whether or not we can stay. She’s impossible to pin down with a definite yes or no answer, so finally I just said, “Ok, how about if I bring you a check for the month of August, and then you can pro-rate a refund based on the day we move out?” She seemed satisfied with that.

So yeah. Apparently we won’t have to move twice. I guess. (I hope?) Oy. Such a pain. Now to figure out when we’re getting our money and can close on the new house. Good times.