A really long post with lots of drama

May 28th, 2008

Wow, what a weekend. My friend Chey and her little boy Liam arrived early Friday evening. It was so good to see them. Liam is so sweet and takes after his mom a lot with his huge eyes and great, thick brown hair and eyelashes. We all visited and ate some turkey sausage, potatoes and green beans I had thrown together.

Once the kids went to bed we got busy thinking about the party on Sunday though. It was our annual Memorial Day barbecue and I enlisted Chey’s expertise – she’s a former sous chef, and she had an awesome menu planned: Fajitas with chicken in a Peruvian marinade, steak with an ancho-BBQ sauce, calabasitas (a Mexican side dish with squash, zucchini and corn), gaucamole, tomatilla salsa, margaritas, desert sunrises … yum. So we made our grocery list and planned out our next day of grocery shopping. You know what they say when you make plans …. well, I don’t know exactly what they say, but it’s something about how they’ll get ruined.

The Shopping Trip

So we had a lovely day Saturday hanging out and once lunch was served we got ready for our outing. I was nervous about it though. Ella’s getting to an age where she just wants to run around and play, so it’s getting harder and harder to do stuff where she’s confined. And now there will be two toddlers to keep happy in a grocery cart. We didn’t have much choice though. My husband was breaking his back trying to finish up a landscaping job that unfortunately couldn’t get started until late in the week. And in order to not have a huge dirt patch in our yard at the party he would need to work non-stop on it. And Cheyenne’s husband was out on the road, driving for a living. Oh well, it’ll be fine, we thought.

Our first stop was Sam’s. It was so cute when we got out of the car and Ella wanted Cheyenne to carry her. So Chey walked in carrying both the toddlers. We thought they were off to a fun start. We put them in a cart and began on our way. It was actually a different sort of cart where the kids were sitting facing each other and kinda down low. Probably meant for kids too big for the front of a cart, but we thought maybe ours were big enough. Soon we realized though that their belts were a little too loose and they kept leaning the wrong way. Chey went to get a different cart while I kept them happy with Teddy Grahams. Soon though, the teddy grahams ran out and I had forgotten my other snacks in the car. We quickly realized though it was free sample day, and they were giving food samples everywhere. Liam and Ella got to try some marinated chicken, some bagel chips, part of a fudgescicle, all while Chey and I picked out chips, tortilla shells, chicken and meat – enough to feed about 30 people. Not your everyday shopping trip, but we were still pretty quick. By frozen foods though, all hell was starting to break loose. Ella and Liam were next to each other in their cart now and it seems one always needed something or they were messing with each and they were starting to really want out. We gave them turns getting out and by the time we got to the drink aisle Cheyenne was chasing the kids while I was pushing our huge cart and dragging a cooler behind me. As fast as we could we found some beer for the party and headed to the chekout. By that time the cart was so heavy Cheyenne was helping me steer it by pushing it with her foot while she wrangled around the two screaming kids. I couldn’t help but just laugh. In fact I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants. We wandered how people cope with taking two children to the store by themselves, or 3, or 4 … Geez. What was wrong with us?

After that store, we still needed to hit another for a few more items. We so did not want to do that. If we didn’t though, we would have to wait until the kids’ bedtime – 8 p.m., possibly as late as 9, to go back to the store. We knew we’d be exhausted by then, so we just agreed we’d put the kids in different carts and we were going to go as fast as we could. And we did. The kids were no happier there though. They had already decided they wanted to play, not be at a grocery store. I kept Ella amused some of the time, but some of the time, I was holding a very LOUD toddler while pushing the cart. Whew. Not easy shopping. If you would have told me then that I would be canceling the party I was working so hard for, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

A bad night

By nightime, we were right, we were exhausted, but there was still so much to do. And a lot of it, chopping, mixing the marinade were things Chey was going to be be so much faster at than me, so by 10 p.m. I headed up to bed and she insisted she’d take care of it. Just as I headed up though I heard a cry from Ella. It didn’t sound too alarming though, kinda like one of her cries she makes when she just wakes up for a second and maybe is a little confused, but then goes right back to sleep. I decided I’d check just to be sure. I knew something was wrong as soon as I went in. It smelled terrible. I picked her up and realized she had throw up all over her and the bed. Poor girl. I asked Steve to help me tackle cleaning her bed while I gave her a quick bath.

I put her in bed with me and just held her for awhile. And the puking continued. Every 20 or 30 minutes. It was so sad. She looked confused and seemed like she was going to choke everytime. Eventually she was so dehdyrated she was crying for water, she’d gulp in down, then throw it right back up. I hated it. At one point Steve took over staying awake for awhile, I was so tired, I needed to shut my eyes for awhile. It wasn’t long though before the next throw up would wake me up. We debated taking her to the ER. On New Year’s she had the same symptoms and my doctor said it’s dangerous for little ones to get dehydrated. And Ella’s lips were getting really dry and cracking and when she hadn’t stopped by 4 a.m., we decided we had better take her.

We waited and waited to see a doctor in the ER. Right away they checked her hydration, it was still OK, and they gave her some anti-nausea medicine to stop the vomiting. (I wish I could buy that in the store!) But the doctor also wanted to do a series of other tests – a urine test, x-rays and blood tests -to rule out some things. They took the x-ray, which made me extremely uncomfortable. They had to put a huge protective vest on me but then they just point the machine right at my tiny baby. How can that be?! She looked scared too. Next some ladies came in for the blood sample. As Ella screamed they stuck her in the arm, but couldn’t get any blood. It seemed like it was taking forever. I was just trying not to cry. It was terrible. They left to go get another needle. Steve and I talked it over. This was ridiculous. The flu had been passed around a few weeks ago. I had no reason to believe it was something else. We decided to tell them we don’t want anymore testing – I didn’t know how they were planning to take a urine sample – and we were taking her home. If the sickness continued, we’d see our doctor.

We finally arrived home, at 7 a.m. I woke around 9 a.m. to visit with Chey and Liam and tell them the news, the party was going to have to be canceled. We debated it. Ella seemed like she was on the mend. It was likely a 24-hour bug. But would she still be contagious? If not, could one of us be carrying it? Not to mention we had slept about 2 hours and still had a lot do to before the party. It just wasn’t meant to be, we decided. I made a list and started calling guests. It really sucked. I was really really looking forward to seeing a bunch of people and we were planning on about 10 little kids, my SIL was bringing a bouncy house for them to play in. Ella would have had so much fun. Not to mention all the work Chey and I had done. And Steve, who was sore from all the landscaping work.

Getting better, then worse

Oh well, there are a lot of worse things in life than canceling a party, I know. It is MEMORIAL DAY weekend afterall. Ella woke up and she still had some recuperating. She just wanted to be held a lot of the day. It was the right thing to do to cancel. Today I got an email from a former boss, a woman I really respect. She said she was impressed that we canceled even though she knew it was probably really hard. She had to cancel her son’s 5th birthday party once when he was sick. I thought that was really sweet of her. We didn’t really have a choice though. What was I going to do? Make margaritas with one hand while I was holding my sick child in the other hand? We were just doing what parents have to do … and I think karma has already payed me back.

Sunday night rolled around and I started feeling really nauseous. Uh oh. It kept getting worse and worse. My husband had to leave that afternoon for a business trip too. Ella was doing a lot better, but it got to the point where I didn’t want to move or I felt like I would get sick. So, I called in the big guns. My mom. She had already been to Fort Wayne earlier to visit us so I hated asking her to drive all the way back, but I needed help. She came right over with an overnight bag. She took Ella outside to play, made her dinner and cleaned my house. Thank God.

We ended up having lots of fun over the weekend though. Those were just the dramatic parts. Lots of playtime with Chey and Liam, and a few people still came over Sunday night after Ella was in bed. I’m posting photos below.

The bad thing is my mom isn’t feeling too good today though. Now she has the bug .. I’m sorry mom!!!


On Saturday, when we were young and naive and thought we could shop for a party for 30 people with two toddlers.


When they weren’t fighting over something they were really sweet playing together.


Bubbles. Is there anything more fun to 1-year-olds?


A little cool down.


And finally, time to unwind.


Dinner erupted in high fives one night. They must have really liked it.


We couldn’t calm Ella down at one point … until we discovered she wanted to wear Liam’s red shoes. They were pretty cute.

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    About Us

    Me. Blogger. Formerly lived carefree life of eating out, staying out late, traveling and whatever else I wanted. Now mostly chase around two kids, cook, clean and work as graphic artist.

    Wonderful web guru husband who prepared this site for me. He's even trying to help to do dishes more around the house. Good man. I met him at a party in college in 1998 and he still hasn’t gone home.

    Unbelievably cute daughter who's been running the show at our house since March of 2007.

    Our newest, precious girl who just joined us in December of 2009.