Kid cures

I have been sick the past few days with some sinus funk. Just enough to make me feel crappy but not so much that I have to be bed-ridden all day. My kids and Jon want nothing to do with me because they don’t want to get sick – of course, the first thought with these types of symptoms is that I have Covid. Once I took the test and was negative, however, they still wanted to keep their distance. Jon has allowed me to sit in the same room as him – as long as we are a good distance apart – in order to watch a couple of shows together. My mom and I still talk in the evenings, which I appreciate in order to connect with another human. But I miss playing a game with the kids or taking a walk with friends.

I woke up this morning hoping to feel better but I still felt crappy. Maria, being the sweetheart that she is, agreed to play gin rummy with me as long as I sat 6 feet from her across the table. I begged her to allow me to take a walk with her and the pup but being the mother hen that she is, she refused. Just as she was getting ready to walk out with Rocco, Jon walked in with Mario who he had picked up from a sleepover. Mario asked where Maria was going, and I told him he should go with her. Surprisingly, he agreed to do so.

I think it’s been a year since the two of them walked together. I lit up with excitement. They looked at me like they always do when I get excited about something so mundane. They shake their heads as I put the collar on Rocco and energetically ask him if he’s excited to walk with them both. They sigh as I tell them to turn around so I can get a picture of them before they take off. I stare out the window as they stroll down the sidewalk with Rocco pulling on his leash. The thought of my babes walking together comforted me through the day.

Later in the day, my dad messaged our Adventure Team to see if we wanted to play cards. We jumped on a call within minutes but rather than start with cards, we engaged in funny faces and bouncy ball antics and trampoline jumping in order to entertain my brother’s daughter. He had been watching her through the day while his girlfriend worked, and informed us that Aliz had been wanting to see “her people”. This is the term she gives to our Menkedick clan. We all try to get in a few words about how our week has gone between blowing raspberries at Aliz and listening to Elena beg for us to watch her do a trick. It really is a crazy scene for anyone from the outside watching in but somehow it feels completely normal while we’re in it. It’s these times together that boost me up for the day. While they didn’t cure me of my sickness, they did make me forget about my aches for a while, and they lifted off the heaviness of the sinus funk. I mean, really, how can I feel crappy when I’m watching a munch ball Swedish toddler laugh heartily at my niece showing her dolls off, and my daughter rolling a super ball off her head?!

Good riddance December 

This girl is a total freak. She had been looking forward to getting her tonsils out for the last three months. Jon took her to the ENT in September to get her nose looked at after she broke it, and during that consultation the doctor told her that she could get her tonsils and adenoids out. She had been wanting to hear that advice for years. Our primary care physician had referred us to an ENT when she was much younger and that ENT had told us that surgery wasn’t necessary. He told us that we should keep an eye out for any increase in strep throat infections, and any issues with her being able to sleep at night. Well, she hasn’t got a heck of a lot more strep throat infections, but she does not sleep well at all.  She wrestles around through the night and snores quite a bit. So, when she and Jon went to the ENT for her nose, she brought up her desire for the surgery. Jon does not have the concerns around surgery like I do so he went right along with it. They returned home waltzing through the door with a brochure about the surgery and a date for it – November 27. The date was a couple of months away so I did not think anything more about it. I figured we would all forget about it and there would be no surgery. But as November rolled in, she got more more excited about the surgery. She brought home a piece of paper from school that I needed to sign setting forth the days she would be absent. This is when it really hit me. Were we really going to go through with this? I am not a fan of drugs, surgeries, anything invasive to the body so I was very hesitant to agree it should move forward. However, after tons of google research and numerous talks with several of my go-to family members, it seemed fairly harmless to do now and much more problematic if we waited until later in her life. The ENT had told her that she would likely need a week off of school. Jon and I both translated that to mean Maria would be off at the most one week but would prv ably only be off two or three days. Maria is a machine when it comes to healing quickly. 

As the 27th approached, I had more and more hesitancy of going through with the surgery. I just did not like the thought of Maria going under. And I worried that nothing good would come of it. Was she really sleeping that poorly? Were taking out her tonsils and adenoids really help? But, in the end, I deferred to her wishes. And in the end, she was right. But in the beginning and in the middle, Jon and and I were regretting our decision.

Maria post – operation. 

She actually came out of the procedure in  a jolly, irreverent mood. She did not seem that drugged up but in retrospect, Jon and I could see she was pretty loopy. She would take a while to answer a question to where it seemed she was trying to think of a funny answer but then she’d say something out of the blue. Before the operation, she asked me to make videos of her. So, I took out my phone and began the video. She had some gems for us. Jon and I looked at each other after a few minutes and both thought “this is our girl, goofy as always and taking the surgery like a machine as always. She will probably be up and ready to go tomorrow.” 

She switched off belting out tunes on the way home and sleeping. A good little patient. We got her home and she laid in bed watching TV and sucking on Popsicles. She didn’t make any ruckus; she didn’t call on Jon and I hardly at all. This is going to be a piece of cake, we thought. She slept well that evening, too. Machine! The next day, she felt a little sick to her stomach but was still in good spirits. She didn’t want to eat much so she continued with the Popsicles and abided by Our charge to take sips of water every hour. I even went to work for the afternoon and left Jon with her. He reported that she didn’t need much – an occasional new glass of water or a popsicle – but most of the time she was fine watching her TV and working on some homework. I thought she may even be able to go to school on Wednesday! 

She woke up on Wednesday feeling about the same as Tuesday. She definitely was not heading to school but at least she was still not in excruciating pain and dehydrated, like I feared may happen based on my google research. We told her that she should continue to rest. I set up some books and homework for her and headed off to work again. I called in to see how she was doing and she reported that all was fine. I came home from work that evening and she looked pretty good. Her lips were a little parched so I told her to drink more water but other than that, we continue to have a great patient. I still held out hope that she may be able to get to school by the end of the week

Then all hell broke loose. It just took us thinking that all was good in order for all to turn. She could not sleep on Wednesday night. She was up several times complaining about her throat and her ears.  I gave her medicine and rubbed her back. It sucks that the only magic for those times is to hold them and tell them that it will get better. It breaks your heart. She woke up on Thursday morning still feeling awful. And so it began…. five straight days and nights of her being absolutely miserable. Her ears killed her. I called the nurse and they told me to continue her on routine heavy pain medication with Motrin (we had slowed the heavy duty meds because I did not want her to get addicted – yes, I’m the freak). We did that for 24 hours but then she got constipated from the heavy pain medication. Her stomach absolutely killed her. I had a speech to give on Saturday morning at 9am. I was up with her all night on Friday. At 6:30 am, she laid on the bathroom floor moaning. I phoned the on-call doctor and he advised to give her laxatives.  I jumped in the car and went to CVS to get some. I arrived home to Maria still laying on the floor. Poor girl. I gave her a laxative and headed off to my speech. Patty stayed home with her because she was still recovering from her neck operation on Tuesday. She had been in the hospital until Thursday afternoon and then came to stay with us. Lordy Lordy. When I got home from my speech, I found the two of them on the couch. They both looked miserable. I got them some soup and tidied up the house as much as I could. Maria finally got a poop out and I felt the same type of relief I felt when she was a baby and was constipated. It never ends, does it? 

We were supposed to head to the farm to bake cookies on Saturday, which obviously was not happening . We were hoping for Sunday but the way Saturday was going, I knew that would not happen, either. I told Maria that she and I could bake cookies at the house on Sunday. But alas, she continued to feel awful and not be able to do anything. By this time, I was getting a little pissed off. Not at her, by any means, but at the ENT who told us that she should be feeling better by this time. I kept looking at the scabs in the back of her throat and wondering if they were coming off. The nurse had told us when they start to fall off, Maria could feel more pain. But they didn’t look like they were coming off so why was she in such pain? And if she was in this much pain now, what would she be in when the scabs started coming off? Why the hell did we agree to this operation? Would I ever sleep again? Would my baby girl ever sleep again? I was losing it….

The eighth day post surgery came and went. Maria had some classmates come over to see how she was doing. They had expected that she would be back the following week. Jon and I were exhausted and distressed – would this ever get better for her? I called the nurse again and she told me the same thing she had told me the week before – some kids take longer to heal than others. Really? My girl has always healed crazy fast so what is up with this operation?  I sat with Maria on Monday night and could tell she was over it. The first week has been rather fun with her just being able to watch TV and do what she wanted but she was now antsy to get back to school. She is one who loves being at school and so this long of a break was killing her. I made some wishes to the skies above that she would start to turn it around. I must have been doing something right because on Tuesday she woke up feeling a bit better. She was able to walk around and able to eat some macaroni and cheese and soup. On Wednesday, she was feeling even better. She wanted some more substantial foods in her body and was drinking hot tea like it was out of style. As we watched our tenth Modern Family, she told me she wanted to try to head back to school on Thursday. I was hesitant but also thought it may be good for her to go for a few hours just to get up and about. I was so happy to see that she at least had the desire. School started late on Thursday morning, which was helpful. She woke up Thursday morning around 8 am and was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and ready to go. 

“I want to try it, mom!”

I was not about to say no. After all, she is my daughter and whenever I feel sick, if I can just get up and work out, it actually makes me feel better. She survived her first day back to school and loved it. She was tired when she came home but was so glad that she could spend the day with teachers and friends.

I, on the other hand, was laid out. Waking up nearly every two hours with Ri every evening had killed me. I had a nasty headache, runny nose and cough. Nonetheless, just like I thought with Ri, I figured I’d be out for a day or two and back to life. Yet, here I am nearly two weeks later, still trying to recover. I was out of work for two days, laid in bed the entire weekend, and then went back to work on Monday still sniffling and feeling miserable. 

Needless to say, December could have just been obliterated and I would have been perfectly fine with it. Over three weeks post-surgery, Ri is back to her same goofy, crazy, irreverent self. And that makes me so happy. She’s also sleeping like a log, which is wonderful.

Here’s to a healthy holiday and restful 2018.

Trudging through with love

I finally walk among the living today. It has been three weeks of coughing, fevers, headaches, stomachaches, nausea, fatigue, and grouchiness and I am so ready for my world to revert back to healthy bodies and laughter and positive spirits!
First, Mario got sick before Thanksgiving. If I don’t get the sickness he carries, I still get run down because I end up staying up with him half the night. Even if he’s not calling out for me, I lay awake because I can’t stand to hear him coughing. It was that hoarse, gagging cough he had and it sent chills up my spine to hear him. I’d go into his room and make him blow his nose and give him water and then rub his back to settle him down. I’d reach a time when he wasn’t hacking and think “yes, he’s asleep and well.” Then I’d climb back into bed and within 30 seconds he’d start hacking again. I’d toss and turn as Jon snored away beside me. How can he sleep so soundly?! I’d sit in bed both worried about Mario and pissed at Jon for being able to sleep (to give Jon credit, as soon as I nudged him and told him to get Mario water, he would). The mother gene kicks in full throttle when our babies are sick. I can’t rest peacefully unless they are. And when I don’t get 7 hours of sleep, I go downhill. And so I did. The day after Thanksgiving, I began to feel crappy. And just when I began to feel a bit better, Rocco got sick. He had the same hoarse cough as Mario but with one difference. He had gotten into the bag of turkey bones. So, at 2 am when he was wrenching in his crate, and Jon was snoring away, I awoke. Those mama genes in high alert even for my non-human baby. Poor pup had thrown up everywhere and continuously gagged. I found no turkey bones in his puke (what a life) so became increasingly concerned that one was stuck in his throat. Jon came down and we agreed I should take him to the ER (I’m better at hospitals is Jon’s reasoning for not going). So at 3:15 am, me and my pup drove to OSU Vet Hospital. At least it wasn’t too busy. Lots of dollars later, they diagnosed him with kennel cough and pneumonia and told me I could keep him at the hospital for a boat load of money or take him home and watch over him all day. By this time (7:30 am), I was exhausted, sick, and distressed. I decided if stay home to rest and watch over Rocco. But Monday was the day that all hell broke out at work and I was on phone calls all morning and afternoon. As I left to go to Ri’s geography bee, Rocco threw up blood. Are you kidding?!
So, I ran to her bee, watched her kill it, and then ran home to take Rocco back to OSU. Another chunk of cash later, they confirmed no turkey bone. Still just the kennel cough and pneumonia. The blood must have been from all the coughing. I got a handful of different meds and headed home at 8:30 pm. Jon could see how tired I was and told me to go to bed with the kids. He stayed downstairs with Rocco. I fell asleep before the kids and slept until 4:30 am when Rocco came upstairs to heave beside my pillow. At least I got 7 hours of sleep. It’s all I needed to feel somewhat revived and at least be able to make it through most of the day before wanting to crash.
But then Ri got sick. She was at a concert at Mershon Auditorium when I got the text from a mom friend. She reported she was hot and pale and miserable. Ugh.
Jon was in a meeting so didn’t answer my call. I had a meeting at 1 that I couldn’t miss and it was 11:30. I called the doctor and got her in at 12:15. Tried Jon again.
I scooped up my coat and keys and drove to Mershon. My girlfriend brought her outside and she laid in the back moaning about her head.
Jon called.
He would meet me at the doctor so I could get back for my 1 pm meeting. This constant juggling and meeting and exchanging and dropping off is the sign of a true partnership and of true love. Jon and I may not see rainbows and stars every time we look into each others’ eyes but we do see deep devotion and love. We see perseverance and dedication and mutual struggle and joy. I watched him and Ri talking as I left the doctor’s office and felt such affection for him. I also wanted to pass out from exhaustion.
Ri was sick all weekend and therefore, Jon and I and the kids just chilled around the house all day Saturday and Sunday playing board games and watching football. It was wonderful and much needed for the body and mind.
Here’s to this upcoming holiday season being free of bacteria and viruses and full of the warmth and love that, thankfully, so beautifully fills our home and keeps us among the living – even when we are completely exhausted.



This past week can be wiped off the charts and I’d be all the happier. I hated every moment of it. An alien creature made its home in my stomach from Sunday night through Friday night and I haven’t been so miserable in years. The headaches he brought were the worst; I have a newfound appreciation for people suffering from migraines. Five days without children in the house all morning and afternoon, and I couldn’t even watch a movie because my head would explode. Such a shame.

Jon and the kids were great during the ordeal – Jon took them to Tommy’s Pizza (Maria came home and said “I wish you got sick more mom because then we’d get to go to Tommy’s with dad!”) and let them watch nightly episodes of Duck Dynasty.

Maria was my caretaker. She ran upstairs every day after school and asked how I felt. She felt my forehead and made sure I had water. The second day she made me hot tea, bananas and oranges. She made sure the covers were wrapped snug around me.

Mario was my entertainment. He came upstairs at bedtime and ran naked next to the bed saluting me “Good night dear ma’am!” He closed the bathroom door in our bedroom and sang on the toilet. When Jon came up to scoot him out, he meekly opened the door and whispered “hold on a minute, man. I have some girls in here to chat with for a while.” Jon looked at him quizzically.

“They broke through the window, dad. They wanted to talk to me so badly.”

Jon and I and Ri looked at each other and all knew what each of us was thinking “Crazy, crazy Mario.”


After a few more days of Ri’s nurturing, I have finally started to come back to life. As Maria scolded me after I told her to just put me out of my misery the other night “our family never gives up!”


So take that mr. alien!

Beating the flu bug

Poor Ri sauntered into my room two nights ago complaining of feeling sick. She said her belly hurt. We laid together in the bed with me rubbing her back and she moaning in pain. A half hour later, she hurled her evening snack – an apple with peanut butter – onto our blankets and pillows. And so it began – our night of ups and downs, crying and pain. Poor girl; I don’t know if she was more upset with being sick or missing out on horse camp.

I kept hoping that she’d wake up feeling fine but no such luck. I got Mario situated with cereal, ran to work for two hours and came back home for the day after a phone call from Ri begging me to leave work and be with her. I laid with her the rest of the day. She is a beautiful sight – even when sick. Her soft tanned skin and huge blue eyes staring over at me. She whispered “are you glad you came home to be with me mom?”

“Of course.” I replied.
“Thank you for leaving work, mom.”

What a doll baby.

Mario got a full dose of tv and computer usage throughout the day. David tried to take him to the pool but he wanted to stay near me. I kept telling myself that I’d miss all of this clinginess one day in order not to go crazy between the two of them whining for me through day and night. I just kept wishing Maria would turn a corner. She is usually a machine rocking whatever bug in her right out of her in 24 hours. But this one is no joke and has taken her down for the count.

I made Mario lay down with us last night at 8:30. He was asleep by 8:45 (baseball practice and no nap through the day may be the key to an early bed time!). I was happy to have him down so I could focus all my energy on making Ri feel better. We played I Spy in the bedroom and talked about silly things she did as a baby. She finally dozed off at 10:30.

Jon got in at midnight and promptly slept in Ri’s bed to avoid any possible infiltration of the “bug.” He flew back a day early to take care of his baby girl and help me out, which means the world to me and to Ri (when I told her dad was coming home early she smiled and said “Dad’s the best.” I didn’t take it personal.). I woke at 6:45 am and made myself roll out of bed to take a run. The day before I had eaten three donuts, a bag of Cheetos, ice cream bars, and a block of cheese. My body craved a run.

Mario caught me putting on my running shorts and pleaded to come with me. His little sunken blue eyes and baby lips mouthing “please mama” pushed me over the edge and I put on his sweater and took him to the stroller (yes, he insists on a sweater in 75 degree weather). We cranked out five miles together before the donuts from the day before reared their ugly heads and made my body say “STOP RUNNING!”

I returned home to my hubby and daughter hanging together upstairs. Two peas in a pod. Maria was so happy to have him near her. I got dressed for work and gave Maria a kiss. “No, I want daddy!” she commanded.

Yes, that’s a mother’s world. We are with our babies all day and night but shoved over to the side when dad comes home. No problem though. I’d much rather see the love between daughter and father than not. And as a daughter myself, I know I’m in her heart no matter what.

When I checked on her this morning, she told me she was feeling a bit better. She had eaten a Popsicle and kept it down. “I just want to eat, mom!”

Now, that’s the girl we all know and love!


Bugs and letters

Mario woke up crying on Tuesday morning at 1 am. We went to the bathroom since he was complaining of stomach pains but no luck there. A half hour later, we were back in there again but this time he threw up. And threw up more. And this was the rest of our night. He finally fell asleep at 5:30 am and slept for a good two hours (took me back to the days when he was nursing!).

We left for the doctor’s appointment at 11 am and by noon we were at Children’s Hospital. The doc was concerned that he had appendicitis. All I could think of was emergency surgery, no Jon, recovery time, would he make it through…. I kept a smile on for Mario, though, who was a trooper through the tests and probes. After five hours, we got the news.

He has gas.

Ok, he actually had a gastrointestinal virus that caused his stomach ache and gas but I find the gas prognosis much more comical. It’s one of those things where you never wish for a serious prognosis but you also think “I just sat in this ER for five hours to hear that he has gas?!”

We went home and watched more Ben Ten then I ever care to watch again and ate Popsicles. By Wednesday morning, he was up and running and back to his Mario self. Unfortunately, all of the cuddling the day before transferred the bug my way and I was twisting and turning in bed wanting to feel better.

I knew how much Mario wanted to go to Swim Team try outs though so I got my tired self up and took him. He had to kick on the kick board and float on his back. He had to swim the breaststroke and freestyle. He did really well and his “coach” for the day, Lauren, told him so. She also told him she would look for him next week at practice. He shyly looked away and said “ok.”

He jumped out of the pool and dried off. Then he looked up at me and said “Mom, I am going to make Lauren a card that says thank you for teaching me to swim … and I am going to give her three dollars”

Bless his little heart. He hates to give away any money so for him to give her three bucks means she made a heck of an impression on him.


When we got home, he had a card waiting for him from Maria.


I read it to him and he just stared at it. When he finally looked up, he said “I really miss Ria.” I asked if he wanted to send her a card at Grandma Ionno’s house but he declined. He was off and playing with his Omnitrix. One letter was good enough for him.

New “Moan” ugh!

I hate staying indoors, especially when it is sunny and 68 degrees outside in November.  I love taking a morning rum, especially when it is barely light and a chilly 40 degrees outside.  I hate coming home after a day at work and sitting in the house the rest of the evening.  I love taking a walk in the dusk of the evening when it is crisp and the air is invigorating.  That is why I was so bummed out after my hospital trip last week. 

Last Sunday night, the pain stabbed through my left chest and up through my left shoulder like it has in the past.  I took two Aleeve and went to bed.  I tossed and turned but slept decently through the night. On Monday, I ran and worked out in the morning and had a little bit of pain in my left shoulder through the day.  Slept fine on Monday night.  On Tuesday, I started to get the pain back so I took it easy and decided against a morning run.  Tuesday night I tossed and turned and felt a lot of pain in my left chest again.  I stayed up a good portion of the night.  Wednesday rolled around and I went to work with the continuous pain shooting through my left chest.  By the time I got home in the evening, I was not feeling well.  I started to have a shortness of breath and a headache.  Jon forced me to head to the Urgent Care, which was closed.  I travelled on to the ER. 

There I was amongst a lot of people complaining about how long they had been waiting for a doctor.  A woman in a wheelchair rolled up to me and gave me some advice “You are gonna be waiting here for hours – I have been out here for four.”  She rolled back to her group and began cursing about the length of time in the waiting room.  Turns out she was only 28 (looked 50) and she was a heavy drug user and smoker (at least that was what she was divulging to her group).  Luckily, I got in to see a doctor within an hour.  They hooked me up to an EKG immediately, which was normal.  They did chest x-rays and blood work, which were normal.  They were perplexed at how a non-smoker, runner, healthy woman could have such severe chest pain.  The doctor decided to keep me overnight in order to have me do a stress test in the morning. 

I was in such pain through the night.  Morphine did nothing.  It was one of the scariest times in my life because I could not breathe in without excruciating pain.  My breathing was so shallow because if I breathed any heavier, I felt like a knife was stabbing me in my left chest.  Because I could only breathe in a little bit, I got anxious that I would not be able to breathe at all if I laid down and fell asleep.  Therefore, I did not sleep all night.  I stared at the tv, the door, the machines and wondered if I would make it.  Yeah, your mind works in crazy ways at 3 am in a hospital bed.  Morning arrived and the new doctor was skeptical of a stress test.  First, I probably could not perform it because I could not breathe in enough to stress my heart.  Second, he saw nothing abnormal in all of the x-rays and tests so he did not think it was a heart problem.  He ordered a CAT Scan for me.  I had never had one of those before.  Not pleasant.  When the nurse shot die through my veins, I immediately thought I would throw up metal and swore I had gone to the bathroom on the machine.  What a horrid feeling!  Luckily, they were all just sensations from the dye.  An hour later, the doctor walked in and informed me that I had pneumonia.  It had showed up on the CAT Scan test. 

Maria showing me the words she learned from her "word ring"

Jon picked me up with Maria in the back seat holding a picture of me when I was ten.  She loves this picture of me with my super balls (little round rubber balls that they used to sell at the grocery store for 10 cents).  She wanted to know how I was feeling and if I would be ok.  She led me upstairs when we got home and put me in bed.  She proceeded to bring me two flowers from the yard in a small vase and a bag with her and I drawn on it.  She showed me the words that she had learned while I was gone.  She is so good to me – a natural caretaker. 

For the first two nights, I was miserable.  The pain killers could not relieve the pain in my chest, and I sat up most of the night looking out the window thinking of my grandma.  I just visited my grandma a few weeks ago when she had pneumonia (could I have gotten it from her?) and she told me that she had such trouble breathing because of all the phlegm in her nose and lungs that she just stayed up all night worried that she would lose her breath.  I remember thinking that she had to be scared.  Now, I experienced first-hand what she felt.  And, I can attest to the fact that I have known all along – you can never truly know what another individual feels in a situation until you are in it yourself. 

Maria and Mario enjoying some sofa time

Jon was a doll trying to calm me down but nothing helped.  The kids loved life because Jon and I were too tired to do much but let them watch tv!

Finally, on Saturday night, I slept for a few hours soundly.   I woke up Sunday feeling a little better.  Jon took the kiddies all day so I could rest.  He picked them up from Grandma Meg’s and Peepaw’s house where they had played on Saturday and spent the night on Saturday night.  Maria got in a three-hour hike with Peepaw and Mario (Mario, being the youngest, gets Peepaw’s shoulders).  She walked the entire way.  There is something about the farm that brings out the hiker in her because when she is in Columbus or Cincy it is all stroller for her!  Mario wore his Spiderman costume the entire time, which gave the grandparents a chuckle.  Jon picked them up and carted them to Uncle Mario’s and Aunt Vicki’s house for a day of four-wheelin’ and spaghetti and meatballs.  Maria’s dream come true. 

Maria getting ready to four-wheel with her dad

They spotted bucks and cows.  They petted kittens and saw the dogs.  Maria got her toenails painted in Buckeye colors by Bianca.  Mario got to wrestle Big Mario.  Jon got to ride his four-wheeler around the farm.  A good day. 

Mario refusing to pose for a picture at Big Mario's

I sat in bed, laid on the couch, watched Sex and the City 2 and the Turning Point.  Thought about cooking dinners and reading more books.  Came up with new games and activities for the kids.  Went stir-crazy eventually.

I rejoiced in seeing the kids and Jon at 8:30 pm.  I made the mistake of walking out to say hi and the chest began pounding again.  Mario sat on the couch and told me about the bucks.  Maria sat at her desk and did her homework.  She is getting so good at spelling her words and figuring out what words begin with a certain letter.  She had the letter “f” tonight and was able to spell out “friends” and “fish” and “frame” with my help.  The smartest kid ever!

The two munchballs doing their love pose for mom!

I helped Jon put them to bed, and promised I would read Maria 20 books tomorrow night since we did not read any tonight.  I love that she wants to read with me!  And I promised Mario that he would wake up with Superhero powers if he slept under his Spiderman cover all night.  Within 10 minutes of coming downstairs, Jon and I heard the pitter patter of toddler feet running through the hall – he must be confident that he has all the powers he needs.

My unwavering, unyielding sick daughter


She is unstoppable

My baby girl got what I thought was my food poisoning but what must instead be a bad virus I have been carrying for three days.  Jon got a call from daycare at 3 pm today with the teacher reporting that Maria was throwing up and we should come and get her (like we were contemplating leaving her there…).  Jon picked her up and before they got home (one mile away) she had thrown up twice. Man, I feel her pain and dread the night ahead knowing that she will likely be running to the bathroom and thirsty and throwing up and thinking “why me” in whatever fashion little four and a half-year old girls think those thoughts.

However, she has exceeded all expectations so far with her behavior and demeanor.  I swear this girl of mine is an old soul and simply knows that this too will pass, and so she takes it with ease and resolve and lets it run its course.  For the last two hours, she has run to the bathroom dry heaving or throwing up, then sitting on the toilet, head down, then standing up again, her strong arms grasping the sides of the toilet (for a moment I saw her coming home from a late night out with her girlfriends, her mama standing over the toilet with her trying to calm her down – please let that not happen or if it does, I guess I want to be the one that is there for her to make sure she is ok). 

She peered up at me on the last round and asked for a bath.  I started the water and she climbed in and immediately laid down with her head in the water.  I let it get up to her ears and turned the water off.  She lay there in that bathtub staring at the ceiling, hair flowing like a sea creature, body straight, feet and heels suspended right above the water.  She looked magical.  I feel her depth when I stare at her, especially in moments like these.  She is an angel, a nymph, a fairy. She takes my breath away with her intrepidness and her unwavering courage. 

When she got out of the bathtub and hit the toilet again, she laid down on the floor with a little moan.  I looked down and sighed “I am so sorry baby girl.”  No, she did not cry or whine or stomp her feet.  She simply looked straight ahead and sharply requested “pat my back, mom” to which I immediately did.