Oregon Trails (Part Three)

Okay guys, as painful as it is, we’ve gotta keep moving through this Oregon saga.  Somehow, there is still a lot more to cover! Check back on Day 1 and Day 2 to catch up if you missed those.

So if you read yesterday’s post, you know that Ell-Bell got sick at the end of Saturday, and lots of vomit ensued.  I was really hoping it was just a two-vomit bug (is that a thing?).  Read ahead to find out if my hopes were in vain.

Day 3: Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day)

Ah yes, Mother’s Day.  A complicated and emotional day for so many.  And for everyone else, a day of breakfast in bed, mimosas, trips to the spa, and posting angelic pictures of your children on Facebook.

Well, let’s get real.  My Mother’s Day was not of the breakfast-in-bed variety.  Instead, it began with Ell-Bell waking up at 3:30 in the morning.  Again.  Fuuuuck.  There was lots of crying, but blessedly, she eventually went back to sleep and snoozed on until 5:00 a.m.  Of course, her 5:00 a.m. waking was punctuated by her throwing up all over herself, the bed, and yours truly.

“Cool,” I thought to myself.  “Well maybe that time was the last time.”

Twenty minutes later, she threw up again.  Dang it!  So it was going to be that kind of day! Perhaps at this point, we should just switch to bullet points, because I’m exhausted just thinking about what happened next.

  • On our way over to a Mother’s Day breakfast at my sister’s house, we stopped in at the grocery store to pick up some bacon.  K-Man had a screaming meltdown on the floor as soon as we walked in, because I refused to carry him.  I eventually had to bribe him with gummy bears so that I could move on with my life.
  • In the middle of the Mother’s Day breakfast at my sister’s, Ell-Bell let out another warning burp.  I raced her to the bathroom, where an impressive 30% of her vomit made it into the toilet.  This particular vomit was filled with milk curds and smushed up raspberries (you’re welcome).  So yeah, my breakfast was ruined.  Luckily, my sister came to the rescue to help me clean up, and she even lent me a shirt to wear for the rest of the day.
  • Next we drove about 45 minutes away to a waterfall for a nice picnic lunch.  About 5 minutes into the drive, Ell-Bell threw up all over herself and the borrowed car seat again.  I had to pull over and perform another clean up.  Baby wipes to the rescue once more!
  • While we were playing in the little lake by the waterfall, K-Man announced that he had to pee.  I was like, “cool, I’ll take you to the bathroom” and he was like, “nah, I’m just gonna pee in my shorts right here.”  I only had sweatpants for him to change in to, but it was a hot sunny day and he was already playing in a bunch of water.  So yeah, I’m that mom who let her son keep running around with pee all over his shorts.
  • At some point, K-Man ran off to a playground about 50 yards away and, under my not-very-careful supervision, decided to shed his shorts.  I was quite horrified to discover, when I was finally paying more attention, that my son was running around the packed playground in his undies.  He refused to put them back on, and I was not about to pin my son to the ground and force his shorts on in front of 50 happy people.
  • When we all decided it was time to go, everyone headed back to their respective cars.  Except I was left behind with the task of retrieving K-Man from the playground.  And that little buttface would. NOT. COME.  I begged.  I pleaded.  I bartered.  I pretended to leave without him.  Nope.  Finally, I swallowed my pride and army crawled through a damned play tunnel with my sick baby strapped to my chest so I could get within arm’s reach of that little turd.  I grabbed him like a maniac, forced him down the slide with me, and started dragging him away from the playground.  Because K-Man was fighting back and we were making the most horrid scene, I finally just picked him up and carried both kids back to the car.  I reunited with my family and they were all like, “what took you so long?”
  • On the drive back to our hotel, I heard some suspicious noises from Ell-Bell and pulled off the rural highway to investigate.  She wasn’t vomiting, miracle of miracles!  But then K-Man looked at me and said, “I’m just gonna poop in the driveway right there, I’m not gonna poop in my seat.”  Um, what?  I urgently asked if he needed to poop, and he repeated his desire to poop in the “driveway.”  I asked him to hold on and promised we would find him a potty, but then he said very casually, “I’m just pooping right now.  A lot is coming out.”  Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME? So I got back out of the car, pulled K-Man out of his seat, and started the clean up process.  And I’m sorry for the TMI, but it was NOT a healthy poop.  I used another mountain of baby wipes to clean poop out of the borrowed car seat, and then made my poor son stand pantsless on the side of the road while I de-pooped him.  You’re welcome for the show, rural Oregon!
  • After some rest at the hotel, I packed the kids back in the car to head out for dinner with my family.  En route to the dinner, I caught a yellow light that made me hit the brakes a little harder than usual.  And as I did, something flew from the backseat and bumped heavily into the back of my seat.  What on earth? I turned around quickly, completely baffled as to what I had left loose back there.  And as I turned, I saw … my son’s sweet little hand wrapped around my seat.  He was on the floor, looking up at me with shock all over his face.  Oh my god! I had forgotten to buckle him in to his seat!  And he wasn’t hurt, at all, but something seriously bad could have happened!  Holy shit did I feel like the worst mom in the history of everything ever.
  • Dinner, at my sister’s urging, was at a fancy Thai restaurant.  A place with no kids’ menu, and not many kid guests.  I ordered my kids $20 worth of food that I knew they wouldn’t touch, and then tried to play zone defense.  As predicted, when the food arrived, K-Man had no interest.  And he wouldn’t stay in his damned seat; he was crawling all over the restaurant at this point.  Meanwhile, Ell-Bell was also antsy and losing her mind.  Her crying escalated, and other guests started to stare.  I could feel my own family getting tense.  Finally, I’d had it.  Three days of mental and physical exhaustion, three days of trying to keep it together through catastrophe after catastrophe, and I was just done.  I picked up Ell-Bell, grabbed K-Man’s hand, and told my mom that I was just going to wait outside.  I left her my credit card to cover my meal, and then as soon as my face hit fresh air I started to cry.  Embarassing!  At one point, my sister came out and tried to take my place so I could go back in and enjoy my meal, but there was no way I wanted to go back in to that restaurant.
  • Back at the hotel, it took another hour and a half to get my unexplainably hyper kids to fall asleep.  After they eventually passed out, I sat in the dark and finally indulged in my very cold Drunken Noodle dinner.

So yeah, that was my Mother’s Day.  At this point, I was beginning to realize that this was no ordinary trip with two small kids.  There was clearly some cosmic design to crush my soul and discourage me from ever leaving the house again.  And it was working.  On the bright side, the trip was more than halfway over.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a replay of my 4th day in hell.

Until next time,




Oregon Trails (Part Two)

Yesterday, I started blogging my way through the shit show that was my solo-parenting trip to Oregon with two toddlers.

As you may recall, the kids fell asleep late on Friday night, and my only solace was that they would be sure to sleep in on Saturday morning.

The saga continues.

Day 2: Saturday, May 12

I had just fallen asleep.  Like, just fallen asleep.  But before I knew it, Ell-Bell was crying in bed next to me.  Cranky, fussy crying.  I grumbled and rolled over to look at the clock.  Somehow, 6 hours had actually passed, and it was already 3:30 in the morning.

I grumpily nursed Ell-Bell, sure that she would fall back asleep after a little soothing.  In my wildest dreams, I had contemplated that she might wake up at 3:30 in the morning, because her body was, after all, accustomed to waking up at 6:30 eastern time.  But when she didn’t go to sleep until 9:30 pacific time the night before, I threw that possibility out the window.

After nursing, I laid Ell-Bell back down beside me and snuggled her, waiting patiently for her to fall back asleep.  Instead, she twisted, turned, cried, scratched my eye balls, giggled, and stood up.  Sometimes, she would lie back down and be still, just long enough for me to start hoping that she was falling back asleep.  It was always a fake out.

Finally, at 5 a.m., I gave up and pulled out the tablet.  I figured I’d turn on Moana for Ell-Bell and catch a few more zzzs as she watched next to me, thinking K-Man clearly had hours more sleep left in him.  But K-Man apparently has Moana spidey-senses, even in his sleep, so as soon as he heard that opening song, he started to stir.

Great start to the day! After browsing my phone internet for a bit to see if there were any other hotels I could book that had a better room arrangement with working wi-fi (there weren’t), I took the kids down to breakfast.

Eventually, my mom and sister started to stir, so we all made plans to meet at the local Saturday Morning Market after a little bit.  Because Ell-Bell was losing it again at this point, I took the kids for a drive/car nap.  Ah, some peace and quiet.  How was it only 9:00 a.m. at this point?

The Saturday Morning Market was meh.  My mom and her husband brought their 20-month-old dog (apparently we’re aging dogs in months now), and she is kind of a total hyper nightmare.  The minute we got there, she scratched the shit out of my sister’s leg, and my sister was understandably unpleasant about that.  Cue the awkward.

We walked around, me carrying Ell-Bell in her carrier and pushing K-Man in the umbrella stroller.  Little dude was in a mood, I think probably because he wasn’t that excited to have some random new dog all up in his face.  He wouldn’t look at me or answer questions.  His sweet little cousin offered him a peanut butter cracker and he just kind of leaned away in disgust.

Finally, we all sat down to eat in the food court area, and this is when K-Man decided that he was, in fact, wide the fuck awake and ready to party.  After refusing to eat any of the $10 quesadilla I bought him, he started sprinting through the crowd, pushing the umbrella stroller in front of him, running over toes and slamming into ankles.  After I finally wrangled the umbrella stroller away, he took off running down the street.  Like, he probably ran about 100 yards before I finally caught up to him.  And then he proceeded to be a slippery little fellow as I chased him/carried him back to the table where the rest of my family was casually chatting and having an all-around good time.  They could see on my face that I was done, so we all packed up to leave.  We made plans to meet up again at a playground after some resting.

Resting, of course, is not what happened back at the hotel room.  Why would Ell-Bell ever agree to nap in her bed with K-Man and I sitting there in the same room? So we hung out for a bit, and then headed to the playground.

After I got to the playground and met up with my sister and her fam, my mom texted that she was not coming because she was still resting.  Well, to be honest, that pissed me off.  She’s not a geriatric, she’s 55-years-old! And I spent $1500 and all of my mental and physical energy to fly my ass across the damned country with two little kids to come see her, and she didn’t even want to spend time with them?  What even was the point of it all?

I buried my resentment and enjoyed the playground, and then we all headed over to my mom’s for a nice dinner in.  Her husband was doing the cooking, which was really nice.  But he also said it would be ready at 5:15 so I could get the kids home nice and early that night.  And it wasn’t actually ready until 6:45.

While we waited, I split my time between shielding K-Man from that damned dog all up in his face, and soothing Ell-Bell who just would NOT. STOP. CRYING.  Dang girl, get your life together!

The crying just escalated and escalated.  We offered her food, water, milk.  I tried to put her down for a nap in my mom’s bed.  Nothing worked.  She was sweaty and miserable.  Wait, sweaty? What? Why was she sweating? I really hoped she wasn’t getting sick.

Finally, dinner was served.  Ell-Bell was set up in a high chair (crying), and then my mom put some food down in front of her (bawling).  I was seconds away from calling it quits and leaving before eating my dinner.  In a last attempt, I pulled Ell-Bell out of her high chair and started bouncing her in my arms in the kitchen.

And then she burped.

“Uh oh.”

Burp. Burp. Annnnd vomit all over my shirt.

“Help! I need an adult!” I shouted, and my brother in-law ran in with some paper towels. I patted myself down, and did the same to Ell-Bell, but the damage was done.  Everyone was doomed to enjoy the rest of their dinner with the not-so-faint odor of barf wafting through the air.  Sorry guys!

When the wretched dinner was over, I ferried my kids back to the hotel.

We parked, I got K-Man out.  I went around the car and started pulling Ell-Bell out of her car seat.  And there she went again, vomiting all over me, herself, the borrowed car, the borrowed car seat, and the parking lot.  How did so much vomit fit in such a tiny little human?

So with the vomit baby on my hip, my other kid standing off to the side, I stood there for five minutes using baby wipes to clean vomit out of the car and car seat.

We headed in to the hotel and I avoided all eye contact as I marched my vomit troupe up to the room.

Thankfully, both kids went right to sleep after a nice, hot, thorough bath.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part Three.  It was Mother’s Day, so I had that going for me.

Until next time,




#NaBloPoMo Day 27: What Happened at Thanksgiving

It’s the 27th day of November and the 27th day of NaBloPoMo.  While today’s theme is supposed to be Christmas, I’m going rogue and talking about our disastrous Thanksgiving instead.  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post about how Hubby and I went rogue and bought a house without seeing it in person!

When I designed my list of NaBloPoMo themes, I thought I might use today to talk about Christmas, because I am one of those people who gets into the Christmas spirit early.  Like, let’s get Halloween and Thanksgiving out of the way already so we can make some fucking Christmas cookies!  (And if you’re a celebrate-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving-er, more power to you!)

But today, instead of looking forward to Christmas, I find myself reflecting on how this past Thanksgiving was something of a disaster.  Before your imagination runs away with you, let me just say that most things food-related turned out really well (with a gravy exception discussed below).  So why was our Thanksgiving so disappointing?  Would it give it away if I suggested we rename it Pukesgiving?

Half of us got a horrible, pukey, 24-hour stomach bug.  It all started when I heard my sister-in-law (SIL) puking in the bathroom on Friday night.  She puked twice and then had a headache and chills.  Then I woke up at about 1am Saturday morning and vomited my brains out.  I threw up 4 more times before actual morning.  And then Ell-Bell barfed all over herself and our bed at about 3am.  And at 4am Hubby spewed an unbelievable amount of his insides out, developed the most violent shivers I’ve ever seen, and then buried himself deep under the covers and became totally dead to the world.  When K-Man woke up for the day at 7am, he said his tummy hurt.  Uh oh.  Over the next 8 hours, he managed to chuck on the rug, the sofa, and the kitchen floor.  Who knew two-year-olds had so much room in their tummies?

I continued to vomit every 1-2 hours for the first half of Saturday, and then I felt like death warmed over for the rest of the day.  Hubby was only out of bed between the hours of 11am and 6pm, and when he was up, he was pretty much just sitting on the couch moaning and shivering.  We have no idea what happened to make us all so sick.  Food poisoning is one potential culprit, but we couldn’t isolate anything that only the sick folks ate, so who knows.

It was pretty brutal, though.  There we were with guests who had come all this way to see us, and we could barely function enough to keep our kids alive, let alone be good hosts.  And if I’m being completely honest, I was pretty bitter that Hubby just helped himself to bed, leaving me solely responsible for our two little vomiting munchkins.  Have you ever tried to clean up toddler vomit alone while keeping a crawling and curious baby at bay?  All while trying to soothe your own ever-increasing urge to barf?

On the bright side, I lost 3 pounds in a day!

Aside from the pukefest, there were the inevitable awkward interpersonal shenanigans that just made the whole weekend kind of uncomfortable.  Caution, major vent sesh ahead.

My SIL and her husband (BIL) would not stop with their miserable bickering.  It was kind of my fault that they weren’t getting along to begin with.  We were talking about BIL’s little brother, and I mentioned something about the brother’s fairly unusual and newly-diagnosed medical condition.  Well, unbeknownst to me, I wasn’t supposed to know about said medical condition.  So BIL really let SIL have it about telling secrets that were not hers to tell.  Never one to leave a damsel in distress, I rushed to her defense: “To be fair, I think I heard about it from [SIL’s dad].”  And then BIL proceeded to flip out because he didn’t know that SIL had told her dad about it either.  So, yeah, I was super helpful there.

But they kept up with their fighting all weekend, and it was majorly uncomfortable.  SIL was a grumpy buttface and treated BIL like dirt, and BIL made no effort to tone down his “go fuck yourselfs” in front of us or the kids.  I have never had to change the subject so much in my life!

BIL was also weirdly combative with Hubby and me about things that just don’t matter. Like, why didn’t we have a baby gate at the top of our stairs?  What if K-Man suddenly developed a sleep walking habit and fell down the stairs in the middle of the night?  Why did K-Man’s training potty have a liftable top lid on it? What was that for?  And back when I had a job, why did I choose to eat breakfast at work instead of at home?  BIL also insisted on taking charge of the gravy for the Thanksgiving meal because “Americans don’t know how to do gravy right” (he’s from the UK).  Guys, he totally wrecked it.  It tasted like watered-down Turkey butt.  While that may be the approximate technical definition of gravy, can I kindly introduce you to my two friends, salt and butter?  I wouldn’t hold it against him if he hadn’t thrown out the whole “Americans don’t know how to…” business.

Also, K-Man and my nephew did not get along.  At all.  Which we expected because they’re both two, and when you’re two, you couldn’t give any shits about caring through sharing.  But my god, could 3 seconds go by before they were both screaming and rolling on the floor, wrestling over a stupid toy that neither one of them wanted to use only moments before?  And of course both sets of parents had to run to the rescue, and there were all kinds of awkward politics as we tried not to directly accuse the other couple’s child of being a complete asshole.

Finally, SIL and BIL just made themselves a little too at home for my taste.  The kind of petty stuff that shouldn’t bother normal people, but I have trouble letting go:

  • SIL decided it would be fun to let her son do sensory play with a bowl full of cranberries on our floor.  She made no effort to clean up or apologize when he spilled them everywhere, stepped on them, peeled them, and smushed them into our carpets.  What the fuck?
  • My nephew was completely naked from the waist down approximately 79% of the time.  Too much baby penis for me.  And maybe you could have your kid put some pants on before he rubs his bare butt all over my furniture?
  • My SIL’s bra broke and she had to borrow one of mine for the rest of the visit.  Is it just a little bit weird that she only brought one bra?

Okay okay.  Petty complaints aside, it really was good to see family for a few days.  And SIL and BIL really stepped up to the plate when Hubby and I were drowning in puke on Saturday.  My SIL even cleaned up one of K-Man’s vomit piles.  That’s the real deal.

Nevertheless, this introvert is exhausted and ready to recharge alone at home for a few days.

Until next time,