Tag Archives: sick

Fever Dreams…


I’ve been sick this week and it has been horrible. I came home from church on Sunday feeling weak and achey. I gave out walking in the door. I crawled into bed and for the next two days had weird fever dreams about snorkeling in the Bahamas and getting hit on by a young and over confident Bill Nye the Science Guy.(?!) Because the universe is efficient, my period began on Monday which lent a delightful sensation to every hacking fit. I was dying and I had the blood to prove it.

There were a lot of fun things that I had to miss. There were a lot of necessary things that I had to miss. Nothing like a flu to drastically reprioritize your day.

But the baby was sick, too, so we were low energy together. Which, as any parent will tell you, is MUCH better than being sick trying to watch a healthy two-and-half-year-old hell bent on frying his own egg, “YOLKY EGG!”.

So, we crawled into Mommy’s bed and slept, a wolf and her cub curled up in the cool dim of a den, hiding away. He fell asleep on my chest like he used to, like he’s almost too big to do anymore, like he might never do again. It’s enough to say that even in the midst of all the aches and coughing I noticed it and was grateful.

That is twice this year that I have been sicker than I have been in a long time. And it has not made for proud Barbara moments. I’m ashamed to admit that both times I came to a point very quickly where I wanted to die. “No, no, Barbara,” I say to myself curled around a bucket on the floor, “You don’t mean that at all. You want to see graduations, and weddings, and grandchildren!” “No, I really think I’d rather die.” “You’re being overdramatic.” “Probably? Hold on, let me check… no, of all the things you mentioned the sudden and immediate cessation of THIS sounds best, let’s go with that one.” I mean, that’s just sad, people. S-A-D.

But I’m feeling better. I still can’t do much. For example, I started watching Jimmy Fallon clips on you tube last night and just didn’t stop them. Two-and-a-half hours later… TWO-AND-A-HALF HOURS. And tonight I’m popping banana chips and contemplating another episode of my new favorite BBC detective show (Foyle’s War!). Things are looking up.

We’ll chat more. This can be a Part 1. Part 2 may be titled, “Further Revelations of the Fever”.



Here I am!

It was the blog’s turn for a bit to be sacrificed on the altar of “Things-to-Do”.

The baby has been sick since last Friday. I haven’t had much chance to learn what his particular personality requires in illness until now. And evidently he requires me. It was back to newborn hours for a few days. There was lots of sleeping on the Mommy-mattress. I’m glad to say I handled it much more gracefully than ever before, the boon of the third and last baby. Today he’s himself again and I’m Dr. Jekyll-ing myself back to normal with every sip from my coffee cup.

I made the kids wait to carve their pumpkins until last Sunday. I was sure the pumpkins would last a week. But the jack-o-lanterns began gathering fuzz of white and green and were subsequently moved to the balcony on Wednesday. This morning I discovered the scary pumpkin collapsed into itself, a testament to the self-destruction that comes from a short life filled with nothing but evil intent. Ugh. So, it was disposed of in two plastic bags and I was knocking on my downstairs neighbor’s door at eight am. She was making her kids’ school lunches and I explained the slimy puddle on her balcony.

Last night the two elder kids were allowed to stay up late to watch game seven of the World Series. I was elected to run to the store during the fifth inning. I didn’t feel quite so much a “thing apart” as I usually do walking through the city at night as every open window I passed was tuned to the game and every cheer or clap found its chorus on the streets. We plan on taking my son out of school on Friday and going down to Market Street for our first ticker tape parade.

I’ve been lost in a world of Anne. I don’t recall exactly if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but my favorite authoress is Lucy Maud Montgomery, the writer of Anne of Green Gables. She is also the writer of Emily, Pat, Jane, and my favorite heroine of hers, Valancy. I’ve been lost in the blue hazes wrapped like scarves across the shoulders of distant hills and the elflike shadows cast by fir boughs playing on moonlit paths. One day I would very much like to follow a winding red path down to the rocky coast of Prince Edward Island or maybe hear the snow against the windows as I sit in front of a fire with a plate of russets.

I once read that a writer’s refrigerator is always immaculate. This was in reference to the procrastination seemingly inseparable from the creative process. I then read somewhere else a version I like much better. It was something about how it’s easier to give yourself over to the messiness of a creative mind when the world around you is in order. This is very true with me. So, now that my sink is scrubbed, bathroom cleaned, and laundry momentarily managed, perhaps I can, as Anne would say, “dust off my ambitions” a little?

I’ll leave you with a quote gracing the title page of Anne of Avonlea:

“Flowers spring to blossom where she walks
The careful ways of duty,
Our hard, stiff lines of life with her
Are flowing curves of beauty.”

Trigger Warning: Bodily Fluids…


Today was quite a day in the mothering department.

It began with vomit… again.

Yesterday began with vomit. I took it as a sign from God that it was time to do a deep clean. Much like the time I was putting off scrubbing the kitchen area rug when I dropped a raw chicken on it, cleanliness is next to, well, God wanted to be close to my kitchen rug.

So, yesterday the bathroom got scoured, the kitchen got scoured, sheets got changed, the apartment was vacuumed, and five loads of laundry got done, all before ten am. That’s how early all of this nonsense started. I used to have friends that knew not to call me before ten am.

So, today began with vomit again. Sometime in the middle of the night my son woke, vomited, washed his hands and mouth, and put himself back to bed on the other side of his bed. It was mostly dry when I happened upon it in the morning cascading down the side of the bunk bed with a bit landing on the extra pillow next to my daughter’s head (!). And as he so accurately put it, “It just looks like food now, Mom”, which it did, vegetable soup, to be as exact as I think you care me to be.

I gave up the idea of a deep clean number two and satisfied myself with damage control. Laundry was started, things were disinfected, wiped down, and sick children were sent to the shower.

On a side note, I never considered pillows washable until I had children when they became, out of necessity, washable. My son, the vomiting one, used to wake up and vomit only on his pillows. I have begged him many times to simply turn around and vomit on the blankets.

After all this, I managed to squeeze in a shower before the husband had to leave for the offices. I was washing the whatever off of me when my son walked in with a slight poop accident. “I thought it was a fart, Mom.”


I vaguely remember being clean. I remember when spit up on me was a big deal. I remember when I changed my first baby’s outfits five times a day in an attempt to keep him in clean clothes. I remember being peeved when I got wet at bath time.

But it’s been a long time. Even dressed up with makeup on I feel like I carry a film from the very memory of poppy diapers and picking sticky babies out of highchairs after jammy toasts. It would be better if I wasn’t so aware of, also thanks to motherhood, how things that you wouldn’t think could, can create particles and spread them to the ends of the known world only to be discovered years later. Is that a bean trapped underneath the baseboard? Yes, they can furl things from them with enough force to lodge them underneath a baseboard.

And rice! Why do I ever serve rice?!

At any rate, you can tell this post isn’t city-specific. Paint the details a different color and it becomes motherhood anywhere. It’s a messy business and slightly glorious. So, now I’ll give you the slightly glorious side, because there always seems to be just enough to tide you through the mess.

We have a family rule, no screen time until you’re five. We don’t own a television. It’s my own little creative experiment and it’s worked great so far. Like any other Mommy experiment you have to really want it and Dad has to be with you on this one. So, when people get sick around here I often think “This is where I’d be turning on a movie.” But, let’s face it, if I wasn’t breaking the rule last spring when I was the physical embodiment of morning sickness and my children were the physical exception to Newton’s first law, then the rule isn’t breaking. Instead, we end up doing like we did today and pulling a large edition of Little House on the Prairie into our laps and reading chapter after chapter on the couch. I made a mental note while I was reading, “Remember this, Barbara!” Glorious!

And then, I was feeding them dinner (Rice?!) with a side of trepidations wondering if there was anything else I could give them that would be more pleasant coming up. But they were feeling better, much better (just like yesterday). So, my eldest son insisted on cleaning the apartment by himself. And my daughter wanted to do the dishes.

“Alright,” I said, “I’ll vacuum the collection of food from under baby’s chair.”

“No, no,” my daughter said, “I want to do that, too!”

“Well, what should I do?” I asked.

“You sit down and edit-ate your book, Mom,” she said.

So I did. I edit-ated my book while the apartment got cleaned.

Messy and glorious all at the same time, like most kinds of life lived well.