Summertime Sickness


Potamus and Boof snuggling while mama is at yoga.


When I picked Potamus up from daycare this week I peaked my head in and say him playing, and then laying his head down on the table. I went in the room and the teacher (a substitute) said that he had seemed tired that day, and took a good nap. He felt warm when I put him in the car, but I chalked it up to arriving at daycare right when they come in from outside play. And it’s been HOT here, so I wasn’t worried until I got him home. While changing his diaper I checked his temp at it was 102 degrees! Holy moly!

Potamus used to take ibuprofen like a champ, but once Boof bought the wrong flavor, he’s been side eyeing our medicine attempts and we haven’t pushed it. The teeth are coming through slowly, but I didn’t want to traumatize the poor kid. But when his temperature rose another degree in an hour we got pretty desperate. We are now alternating between sticking the meds in his yogurt or simply shoving it down his throat keg-stand style. It’s not pretty. My peaceful parenting of wanting to not force an agenda on a kid is thrown out the window. The temperature spiked as close to 104 as it could, and then it slowly wore down with the medicine.

The next morning he was happy as a clam (which is the dumbest metaphor ever. who has ever seen a happy clam? really?). It wasn’t again until 2:30 in the afternoon when I took his temp: 102. By 4 it was back up to 103.6 and I figured we’d have a repeat of the night before. Our lovely pediatrician called us right back and said that from the sounds of it he has a pretty common summertime virus.

Um, excuse me? Summertime virus? As in, sick-season is now going to last ALL YEAR? Seriously? UGH.

We’re on day 3 and the next thing to watch out for is the end of the sickness that can break out in a full body rash. Lovely. He’s been snugglier than ever, but I’m not necessarily excited about that 104 degree body butting up against me in an already hot bedroom. 😛

Summertime sickness? Who’s heard of it? Who’s had it? How do you cope?

Up. Down. Round and round.


Yogurt cracker snot barf does not make the car smell good. In case you’re wondering.




Oh hai Target!


we’re a badass mom and baby team

There are weeks where motherhood feels like it might kill me. I have been up at 4am this week with a fussy kiddo, and it turns out that it wasn’t just teething. Mother’s intuition wins again as I had to go round and round with Boof to convince him that Potamus was sick and it wasn’t just teething and that I wasn’t just trying to take a day off from work because of anxiety. Turns out he has a double ear infection and some sort of trouble breathing requiring a 1 dose steroid and an albuterol inhaler at night. And, because he’s had so many ear infections in his short life, we’re having him on a stronger antibiotic. Awesome.

Friday rolls around and I decide to get Mr. Fussy-pants out of the house, because I was going insane and he is way better when he can be distracted by shiny things. So we headed off to our rainy-day playground KidsQuest, and  I thought nothing of him occassionally coughing and sneezing in the backseat.

But yeah, let’s talk about how fun it is to clean up yogurt cracker snot barf…especially when it is pouring and I’m bent over the carseat with my buttcrack hanging out for all the world to see. Thankfully I had packed some extra pj’s, otherwise we’d have to have run naked baby into Target to get some replacement clothes. And I just didn’t want to deal with THAT humiliation. And yes I am the terrible mom who still brought her kid to the playground because he was feeling much better after the whole barfing incident. And, turns out, amoxicillian used to give me bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, too, so my parents think that he’s not sick…though he barfed and crapped through his jammies later in the day, and my hands and hair cannot quite get the smell of barf out.

So there were ups and downs and he went down for bed at 5:30pm and slept solidly until 11…not a norm for this week, so I’m hoping that he’s on the mend. And thankfully my parents are in town, so I get to sleep in…otherwise I might have spent the weekend crying into a bottle of wine…

The smell of vomit, sweat and grape flavored water

Last night I got gussied up in my finest, did my hair and makeup, and headed up to a friend’s wedding. My brother, Uncle Silly, was in charge of Potamus and they were happily munching on pizza together when I left. I cranked some tunes and was looking forward to having this ‘date-night’ with Boof.

I had made it to Greenlake when my brother called saying, “he just barfed all over,” but at that time he didn’t have a fever and it only happened once and he was in good spirits. Very glad it was my brother that was in charge of Potamus, because, as a parent he stayed calm and rational and sent me a picture titled “happy, smiley, medium energy and snuggly.” He said he’d phone if that status changed.

Boof and I made it through the ceremony, and we were just about ready to go through the buffet line when we get THE CALL: he’s vomiting again and has no energy. He feels really warm.

Without hesitation, we’re on our way home in our separate cars that we came in. Boof asked if I wanted to stay and eat, but NO, I wanted to be with my sick baby who was  waiting for us.

I have never seen him so sad looking. Laying in Uncle Silly’s arms, wrapped in a towel because of all the vomiting, he looked  so tiny and helpless and not like himself. I picked him up and he felt very hot, and we snuggled and he fell asleep, briefly on my chest and we figured out a game-plan for the rest of the night.

When Potamus woke up, Boof got him ready, bounced him and put him down to bed so that I could get a few hours of sleep. I then slept with him until the morning, waking up several times to nurse him. And waking up once with him barfing all over my neck and down my shirt. While I cleaned it up, there is something about the smell of vomit mixed with baby sweat that just lingers in the nostrils for the rest of the night.

Thankfully, this morning he seems to be in good spirits, with pretty reasonable energy, so we’ll see. Maybe it was a reaction to something he ate yesterday.  I hope that he stays feeling better…and I hope he takes a 4 hour nap today 😉

How to get an emergency doctor appointment without having to wait very long…

This advice is born from my fear of telephones. True story, in college I used to order Pizza Hut pizza ALL-THE-TIME (like, three times a week), but I hated calling on the telephone, so I would walk-in. I found the service to be MUCH better this way, and didn’t have to get over my telephone anxiety. While now I know that I CAN make phone-calls, I still tend to prefer online or in-person activity, which has come in handy when trying to get a doctor appointment.

Sometimes, doctor emergencies just CAN-NOT-WAIT. Like, yesterday, when I had been teaching and felt like dying, and walked in to a family medicine practice on my long lunch-break. Sounding like a cross between James Earl Jones and a sex-phone operator, I made a pretty sympathetic candidate, and I have found that (used sparingly), doctor offices are always able to accommodate a patient at the last minute if they are standing in their lobby looking like death and sounding like Darth Vader. Sure I could have called for an appointment at my regular family doctor, but she tends to get busy and I didn’t want to wait. I didn’t have anything to lose, so I chanced it, and it worked. The lovely middle-aged (ahem, handsome) South African doctor immediately prescribed me an inhaler and antibiotics for my bronchitis and gave me a nebulizer treatment in the office. Such service!

nebulizer treatment

Last night Potamus was up every 45 minutes coughing, unable to catch a breath and then going in to full-on-banshee-baby-wailing. My normal inability to handle middle-of-the-night wakings of this sort went out the window. Full Mama-Bear mode was turned on. He slept on my bronchitis-wracked chest. All he wanted was mama. Poor Boof, he couldn’t console him at all. And once he fell into deep sleep, I laid next to him in our bed (he hasn’t done this since 10 months old, about) listening to his breath. Extremely concerned, I decided that I was going to pack him up first thing in the  morning and head out to get a doctor appointment. If not at our pediatrician’s office, at the urgent care clinic that just opened up down the street.

Our pediatrician office is small, 3 doctors, and they are always PACKED! But I got there 5 minutes before they opened, and stood there in the rain pathetically, bedraggled and clearly a sympathetic character. They were able to squeeze me in at 9:15 with one of the doctors. Success! I have found that not wearing full makeup, and certainly not having well-brushed hair is helpful, both for getting appointments for myself AND now for my child. While this office has squeezed us in before, in the afternoon, after calling, I had to wait over 1.5 hours in the lobby while they were seeing other patients. While this could have happened this morning, I have noticed a tendency toward more urgency when they hear the real predicament.

Now, once you know this information, it’s important to use it wisely. I only use it on a very rare occasion when it seems like there’s no other option. I always express my gratitude to the receptionist/booking nurse, because I’ve been on the receiving end of emergency requests and when someone expresses thanks it has always made me feel so much better. I also try to make the appointment as quick as possible. I sum up the symptoms in a very brisk 30 second recap, let them get down to business and make their decision so they can move on to the next, scheduled patient. Yesterday’s doctor appointment lasted 15 minutes since I took a breathing treatment, but I was with the doctor for probably 3, and same goes for today. These aren’t times to ask for special requests or for more information on things unrelated to the task at hand. In. Out. Done.

Potamus is now motoring around our floor, in seemingly good spirits. He has a sinus infection and a slight ear infection. He should be better soon, and  I am about to turn Mama-Bear mode off and take care of myself. Hopefully the two of us will take a sweet nap this afternoon, because I am freaking exhausted.


Why we chose a daycare 5 minutes from my work

Today, mid evaluations with students, I receive a phone call. I declined to answer because I didn’t immediately recognize the number. Fifteen minutes later I get another call, from a very similar number and it clicks in my head, that it’s the daycare calling. I excuse myself from the evaluations, letting my co-teacher know that it was the daycare, and I stepped out.

“Monk-Monk, Potamus has had 3 loose bowel movements in the past hour. We have to send him home. It’s policy. He doesn’t have a fever, but we do know that a bug has been going around.”

I hope on the phone with my mother-in-law and she said she could arrange some things to pick him up, but I decided that I would do it. A sick toddler, but not THAT sick, and to save my emergency card for a later date when I knew I would REALLY need her to pick him up. Stepping out, leaving my co-teacher to cover for me, I headed to the daycare.

And five minutes later he was in my arms.

According to his favorite teacher, Miss Sarah, Potamus had started whining/crying as soon as I left (something he never does with her) and then had proceeded to have such explosive diarhea that she had to change his clothes and take the garbage out because it was stinking up the joint. While he seems okay to me, no explosions since we’ve been home, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

And so, mid-week, I’m finding myself working on my resume while my little smooch is sleeping peacefully (well, after bouncing him over 900 times on the exercise ball). It’s why we chose a place so close to my work. Because he needed me, and I could be there without delay. The peace of mind is totally worth it.