Category Archives: Being sick

5 reasons for the blues

I’ve been a real ray of sunshine on this blog as of late, haven’t I? I hate that the last several posts have been so negative. I’m afraid I’m becoming one of those people that use social media to complain – the very people I eventually unfriend on Facebook because I can’t take their negativity any more on my newsfeed.

Luckily there are only two or so of you who actually read this blog religiously. Unluckily, I’ll be real sad if either of you stop reading.

So hang in there with me, ok?

First off, I promise that my life is not that miserable. I have a lot of good things going on right now. I’m newly married, and totally still in the honeymoon phase (when we’re not being cranky, lol). I hope this phase lasts a long, long time. My new raise at work takes effect this next week, something that couldn’t have happened at a more opportune time. My birthday is in two days (yay!), and Christmas is just around the corner (yay!). And the editing of my novel is going so smooth, it’s possible I might even be able to get it published before my projected May 2013 release date.

So things are good.

Then why do I have the blues?

First off, it’s possible I’m suffering from post-wedding blues. Maybe. I’m thrilled to not have to plan a wedding anymore. You guys, I am so not a wedding planner. And yet I put every ounce of my energy into planning that wedding. And then it went by before I could even remember what happened at the party. Then we went on this fantastic honeymoon. Now, things are back to normal. And the “normal” is both a relief, and a bit of a letdown. I’ve discovered I suddenly have a ton of time on my hands – which I have slowly been soaking up in novel edits.

Second, this lack of daylight is giving me the blues. In the morning it’s dark. I get home from work, it’s dark. As a result (or maybe my excuse), I’ve stopped running. A few months ago I could run 3-5 miles, no sweat. Now, I don’t think I could run a mile, at least not very easily.

Which brings me to my third thing. I’ve stopped exercising altogether. My muscles are still in that achy stage where they are trying to will me to get up off the couch and get in some exercise. But my body and mind are like, “Screw that, hand me another chocolate covered cookie, please.”

And that brings up reason #4 – I have gained back the 10 pounds I lost before the wedding. I know, I know. That doesn’t seem like a lot of weight. But on my frame, it is. All my clothes are fitting tighter, which is so depressing I keep reaching for the chocolate and carbs to make myself feel better. Any hint of muscle definition I’d gained before the wedding is now gone. My stomach is spilling over my jeans. My pants, that were loose on me two months ago, are now a struggle to get on. The simple answer is to stop the mindless grazing, forbid sugary foods from my diet, and start getting up and exercising. But for some reason, the drive I had before the wedding is totally gone. I even had to take the scale out of my bathroom because I was habitually weighing myself and getting depressed over the number, and yet I was doing nothing to change that number.

Finally, #5. I’m excited about my birthday. I’m not excited about getting older. I’m turning 35, which might not seem like such a big deal. But there was a time when 35 seemed really, really old to me. I mean, it’s practically middle aged. I’m officially leaving my early 30s and entering my mid 30s. I might have to start collecting social security.

Perhaps if I up my Vitamin D, I might feel better. Or maybe if I can get myself to at least take a daily walk I can chase away these blues. I don’t know. But please hang in there with me. I’ll try not to be so depressing.

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The fun of yakking kids

Yes sweetheart, this is the perfect place to retch.

Having a kid with the flu is its own personal kind of hell – especially when they are little. Of all the things that kids learn as they are growing, I think that MAKING IT TO THE TOILET should be #1. I can handle a diaper with the poop squishing out the sides. I can scoop out the cat box after waiting a couple weeks without even wrinkling my nose hardly. I am able to clean my car somewhat cheerfully when my children have decided that the seat cushions are a great place to store a cheese sandwich – for two months (I’m telling you, that’s a whole other kind of “cheese touch” going on). But a child that has just yakked all over the floor, and then looks up at me with those big blue eyes? Dude, kid. Seriously? You really expect me to clean that up when it isn’t even MINE? Excuse me while I add some of my own yak to it.

I still remember the time when my daughter had a strain of the flu known as the Poltergeist Puke at age 3. She projectile vomited everywhere EXCEPT the toilet, decorating our house with the sour contents of her stomach. Much like potty training itself, she did nothing when she was in front of the toilet. But pull her away, and let’s just say that was about the same period of time when I decided that I was feeding her too much.  It is pretty much impossible to clean up that kind of mess a) without heaving yourself, and b) effectively enough to get rid of any staining or smells associated with it.  It’s pretty much time to move when your child throws up on the carpet.

Last night I was woken up by a light rapping on my door, and my son’s voice on the outside.

“Mom, I threw up about 5 times,” he said. My poor baby was sick. And all I could think about was how I really, really, really didn’t want to clean up his barf at 2 am in the morning. I opened the door, and he gave me a miserable look. As if reading my mind, he confirmed that he made it in the toilet.

I’m pretty sure that the heavens opened up at that point and angels were singing.

“You don’t want to go in there,” he added. And I agreed. I didn’t. He went back to bed with a bowl for emergency use, and was probably up a couple more times after that, safely making it every time.   And me, I slept in between bouts of him blowing chunks, and only awoke when he let me know that it had happened again but that he had handled it. 

At 9 years old, the kid is amazing.

But the poor kid. He was so pale when he woke up this morning. And his stomach was empty. He still won’t eat, so I’ll work some magic with a smoothie from Jamba Juice. But don’t feel too bad for the kid. He’s been working on his computer screen tan by sitting at the computer for hours playing games. He says he feels much better. But if he gives me the flu….

Leaf Project Lasagna

I don’t think there is anything more heavenly than a full meal already made and frozen in my freezer. I have been inundated with doing school projects with my kids for the past week, plus fighting off a cold that is threatening to be nasty (what does it mean if my normal temperature is 95, and it is now 98? Is that considered a fever?). The last thing I wanted to do was cook tonight. So when I saw the lasagna we had made in the back of my freezer just begging to be heated up, I complied happily. Who cares if each bite holds a thousand calories? The most effort I had to exert was letting it thaw throughout the day and then cooking it to a crisp (uh, literally on the edges, unfortunately) until it was steaming before us on a break from the Leaf Project from hell.

Alright. I’ll admit it. My son’s Leaf Project isn’t really that bad. We have had a month to do it. In the beginning we were instructed to press the leaves in a heavy book so that each leaf would be ready to be mounted when it was time to put the project together. We went to my mother’s house and raided her garden for every interesting leaf we could find. And then, using my extremely large Vegetarian Cookbook by Deborah Madison, we proceeded to give it more use than it had seen in ages. We filled that book with leaves of every shape and size, complete with notes so that we knew where it came from (uh, grandma’s house. Duh.).

Since the leaves had to press for three weeks, the teacher encouraged his students to start on the pages they would be mounted on, create a cover, and to write an interesting introduction. Naturally, we waited till last week to do this, when the leaves were done being pressed. I mean, seriously. How long does a leaf project really take? I figured that one week was still giving us extra time to finish this project.

Boy was I wrong.

We have been spending every night on this project for the last week, coming up with facts about each leaf that wouldn’t bore the teacher to death (“This leaf is a maple leaf. It is green. I like it.” “This leaf is a fig leaf. It is green. I like it”). We also went through and made a poem for a couple, and included a recipe for the edible ones. We finally finished the leaf pages, and were closing in on the end when I re-read what else was required for this project. We had missed a very important part – telling about leaves and how they work.

You mean they have to learn something too? Sheesh.

So we went through the internet and learned about photosynthesis and the reason that leaves are flat. And we learned about chlorophyll, xanthophyll, and carotene, and why leaves change color. And we created rough drafts of drawings to give a visual for all these changes.

This is what that process looks like:

Working hard on the report.

You mean we’re not done yet?????  There’s more????

I can’t do this anymore!!!!!

“Uh, son, can you please turn off the movie and get back to work?”

All he has left to do is rewrite everything we put together, glue it into the report, create a table of contents and…….we are done.

I was stressing this morning because I thought this was due tomorrow. I had sent a bunch of pages for him to rewrite while he was at his dad’s house this weekend so that we would have very little left to do. Wouldn’t you know it, my little swindler hussled his dad and got him to believe that he only had to do half of it. And when I say half, I mean 2 pages out of 6 – 2 pages that he had to rewrite anyway because he did his best to make it as sloppy as possible. Looking at all the work we had still ahead, I couldn’t see how we could possibly finish this in enough time unless he stayed up till 10 pm. Thankfully, along with missing the part about needing to learn something, I also missed the part that said it was due on Thursday, not Tuesday. We are ultra busy in the next few days, but if we have to put off a piece or two until tomorrow night, it will still be ok.

Thank goodness for working on this ahead of time so that we aren’t killing ourselves in the final week (snark, snark). And thank goodness for frozen leftover lasagna.

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What are some of the lessons you have learned as a mom (or a dad) that you are greatful for?  Share them over on the forums at SantaRosaMom.com!

Cabin Fever

My kid is on his second day home from school, thanks to a slight fever that renders him banned from school, but still well enough to not be sick.  It appears that I dodged the Swine Flu this time…..  But nevertheless, he still needed to stay home.  I have been sitting with him all day while he does his homework, making sure that he doesn’t sneak outside to play with his friends and give them the flu. We have spent a lot of time together today, just him and me. And there is only one sentiment that can truly describe today.

I’m going crazy!

It was a beautiful day outside, and I was stuck inside with a not sick, barely feverish kid who really needed to be running around but was stuck inside with me. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get any work done when you have a bored 8 year old hounding you about every little thing?

Son: “Mom, am I allowed to get my $5 allowance?”

WC Mom: “No. Now be quiet and do your homework. I need to finish what I’m writing.”

Son: “Ok.”

2 minutes later.

Son: “Mom, is Big Apfel a real person?”

WC Mom: “I don’t know. Why?”

Son: “He’s on my video games, and just has a cool name. Don’t you think he has a cool name?”

WC Mom: “Sure. Please do your homework.”

Pause for a bathroom break. When I return, he’s missing. I go back to writing instead of searching for him.

Son: “Mom! Guess what? Big Apfel IS a real person!”

WC Mom: “How do you know?”

Son: “I Googled it.”

WC Mom: “You’re supposed to be reading, not playing on the computer.”

Son: “But I was reading. I was reading about Big Apfel.”

WC Mom: “Doesn’t count. Turn off the computer and get out your reading book.”

Son: “Ok.”

1 minute later.

Son: “Mom?”

WC Mom: “What?!”

Son: “Can I have my $5 allowance?”

And so it went…..

Yesterday, my not sick kid with a slight fever started to raid his candy bag from Halloween.

WC Mom: “Get out of there. Sick kids are not supposed to eat candy.”
(sidenote: This is one of those facts that are passed down from our mothers that we infringe on our own children. Why can’t you eat candy when you are sick? I have no idea. I mean, it’s not like you’re going to get a worse fever from a bunch of M&M’s. But still, we feel like we would be bad parents NOT to keep the junk food away when they are sick.)

Son: “I have to have one.”

WC MOM: “You do not.”

Son: “Yes I do. My blood sugar is low. I need candy to get my blood sugar regular.”

I still didn’t give him the candy, though you’ve got to hand it to the kid for thinking on his feet.

While I’m stir crazy, I have to admit that it’s also been kind of nice to spend some one on one time with my son. We ate lunch together, and he gave me a hug in apology when he decided he wasn’t a fan of Thai Ginger. He read me some of his story that he was reading for class. We worked on his homework together. And because he wasn’t competing against his sister, he was mellow and calm for the whole entire day.

Still, I am more than ready for him to go back to school, especially since he has asked for his $5 allowance three more times while I was writing this. My hat is off to you stay-at-home moms with little munchkins under your feet all day long.

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Wednesday, November 4th is the last day you can enter your Halloween photos to win tickets to see Charlotte’s Web at the Wells Fargo Center. Don’t miss your chance!

When Swine Flu enters the home

My son has a fever, as well as a headache, a sore throat, and a small cough. A year ago, that would be no big deal. Give him plenty of fluids, make sure he rests, and then send him back to school once he is feeling better. He’s not even acting too sick right now. Besides being quiet, he is perfectly content relaxing in front of the TV with his video games, taking full advantage of extending his weekend by a day or two. The fever is low, going back and forth between 99 and 100 degrees. So if this were last year, I wouldn’t be concerned at all.

But this year it’s different. With the Swine Flu on the rise, a small fever is still very alarming. The thoughts race through my head – What if it gets worse? What if this really is Swine Flu? Who did he catch it from? Do I contact anyone he was around yesterday to let them know that my son has a fever? Should I put a sign on my door to let kids know that he can’t play, and that they should keep away from the house like we have the plague? How long will he be out of school? What if his sister gets it? What if it runs through the whole family, keeping me out of work for a long period of time? Do I have enough sick time stocked up if I need to stay out of work?

And then there’s another thought – what if I get sick?

On an airplane, one of the first instructions in safety is that in case of an emergency, put your breathing mask on first before you tend to your child. It’s our natural reaction to want to save our children before ourselves to be sure that they are taken care of and out of harm’s way. But if we are suffocating and going to pass out, not only are we hurting ourselves, we are hurting our children. If I get Swine Flu, who will take care of my kids? Who will drive them to school, help them with their homework, make their dinner, or get them ready for bed? And if we all are sick, how will I make sure that they have everything they need? As a single mom, this is all a definite concern. There is no other adult here to take over. If I go down, the whole household stands still.

Swine Flu has hit both of my kids’ schools.  Several people from work have been out for over a week with it.  One of my friends had a sore throat followed by a headache, and then she was knocked off her feet with a fever.  Now that she’s better, her son has it.  According to an article by Martin Espinoza in June, 98% of all flu cases at the time were considered Swine Flu.  If that was June, and we are in flu season now, what does that mean for the population now?  As a parent, it’s hard for my head NOT to swim with the dangers and fears over the Swine Flu.

KidsHealth.org has some great information about the Swine Flu. According to them, kids have been affected more prominently from the Swine Flu than any other strain of flu. But they follow that up to state that the symptoms are usually mild, so it’s unnecessary to panic. The symptoms of Swine Flu are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and tiredness. Diarrhea or vomiting might occur as well.  My friend’s son has had a fever for two days.  But other than that, he seems like he is fairly healthy. 

What if you or your child comes down with the Swine Flu? From what I gather, hospitals are not going to admit just anyone who has contracted the Swine Flu unless the situation is dire. Think about it, if they gather everyone with the virus in a place full of already sick people, a lot more people are going to contract it and could die. So doctors are urging the public to stay home and treat this like any other flu virus – lots of fluids and lots of rest. To help against spreading the disease, cough or sneeze into a tissue, and wash your hands as often as possible.

And just as important as protecting yourself against the virus, it’s good to communicate with extended family and close friends in case the worst happens. I had a talk with my parents several weeks ago about a Plan B in case I was to get sick. We came to an agreement that if the kids were healthy, they would stay with them while I got better. Just knowing that there is a back-up plan puts some relief in me.

For now, however, I’m just going to focus on getting my little guy better. And get him off the video games so he can rest.