Mom’s Sick Day

Last week, we experienced one of the inevitable side effects of taking our son to daycare– his first cold. This wasn’t too terrible, honestly, as he only had one day where he seemed really unhappy, and everyone says it’s better for him to get the germs now and build immunity, rather than be exposed to everything at once in Kindergarten. I am lucky enough that my work allows me to take sick time to care for my sick child, so the one day I had to keep him out of daycare, it was okay. It was actually not bad at all, because he slept pretty much all day– just what his little body needed to fight those germs, I’m sure– so I got to have a semi-relaxing/productive day at home. I could have even worked from home, but I didn’t clear that ahead of time, so I didn’t. I’m sure we are in for worse sick-baby days in the (probably near) future, but I felt pretty confident with how we weathered that first little storm. I was kind of worried about the first cold and how tough it would be; turns out I didn’t need to be so worried about (at least) the first cold.

What I should have been worried about was the first time I got sick with a young baby! Two nights ago, my throat began to feel sore. Later that night, the body aches started… pretty soon, the dreaded influenza was full on, complete with fever, chills, and headache. (Luckily I was spared any gastrointestinal discomfort.) But what the crap? Didn’t I get a shot to prevent this?? It’s been awhile since I had the flu, and I’d forgotten how much it can suck. And of course, the baby, who normally is a pretty good sleeper, woke up at 3am alllll sweaty, so I had to change all his clothes, which woke him up thoroughly and made it harder to get him to go back to sleep. Rocking him, trying to get him to sleep without getting him sick(er), was agony. I felt like hell. So I called in sick to work.

I don’t know if I got sick from my son or if I got something else entirely (the symptoms seem to be different), but I hope I got it from him, because I really don’t want to give him what I have! I also don’t know if you’re supposed to bring a kid to daycare if he’s potentially been exposed to the flu from a sick parent… but I didn’t really have any choice yesterday. My body and head hurt so badly that it was all I could do to get him dressed and drop him off at daycare (dad had to work at 6:30 and our daycare doesn’t open until 9, so I had to be the one to do it). I contemplated stopping for a coffee on the way home from the drop off and decided not to– and those of you know know me well know that almost nothing can keep me from my coffee! I drove home, kept the dogs confined, ate half a banana, and went up to bed. I slept until about noon when I got up to feed the dogs, eat something, and pump, then I went back to bed until almost 3. Still felt like crap all evening and went to bed early.

When I woke up at 3 to feed the baby, I felt maybe not quite as bad as the night before. Still, I decided to stay home from work again, seeing as the flu is generally contagious for the first 48 hours, and I figured I could use some more rest.

Today was a little different from yesterday. I got the baby ready for daycare, dropped him off, and then… I got coffee! A better start already. At that point, though, I should have gone home to rest and recuperate. But no, I didn’t. Here’s what I did:

-Made a “quick” Target stop to pick up paper towels, take advantage of a good sale on diapers and formula (for supplementing), and pick up some prescriptions.
-Ended up taking a lot longer than I thought, because I realized we needed some clothes for our family photo shoot on Saturday, so I purchased a couple of shirts, then I picked out a swimsuit suitable for my post-pregnancy body, and picked out Father’s Day cards for all fathers involved.

-Got home just in time to meet the guys who came to tune up the furnace and air (even though they were supposed to come between 4 and 6)

-Fed the dogs and let them out

-Folded laundry

-Wrote Father’s Day card for my dad

-Let the dogs in

-Washed baby feeding implements


-Ate lunch

-Let the dogs out

-Watched 1/2 hour of TV while doing Target survey in hopes of winning a $25 gift card (I didn’t)

-Let the dogs in

-Tried to take nap, couldn’t sleep

-Let the dogs out


-Put blankets in laundry

-Gathered paper and plastic bags to recycle

-When the spouse got home with baby in tow, loaded up baby and went to Menard’s to pick up a new filter for the furnace

-Went back to Target to recycle plastic bags and pick up a couple things I forgot

-Nursed baby

-Put dinner in oven (okay, it was a frozen meal from Let’s Dish– thanks, Mom and Dad!)

-Fed dogs and let them out

-Put cloth diapers in wash

-Ran dishwasher


-Ate dinner

-Nursed baby again

-Put baby to bed

-Chased down dog who had escaped from the yard

-Turned mattress and hanged sheets on bed

-Emptied dishwasher

-Washed non-dishwasher-safe dishes

-Washed baby feeding implements again

-Checked to make sure baby was still sleeping (he wasn’t)

and finally

-Nursed baby again and put him back to bed (which took like half an hour)

So…. yeah. So that happened. 😀

My throat is still sore, but tomorrow I better go to work. I’ll get more rest there.


No wonder some kids are so bratty…

I really, really hate the commercial for Travelocity where the kid is running around an empty hotel swimming pool in a floaty toy because her dad “didn’t book with Travelocity, so no one told him the pool was under contstruction.” Yes, I’d be pissed if that happened to me, sure. But the next line in the commercial is “Quick, somebody get her a pony!” and that absolutely makes me physically nauseous. Yes, absolutely, great idea– teach our kids that they should get large, extravagant gifts when things don’t go their way.

Ironically, the kid in the commercial seems to be having a grand old time in the empty pool.

The holiday season in general gets me incensed about spoiled children and consumerism. Christmas carols coopted into jingles selling everything from toys to cars, ads showing people getting/giving over-the-top gifts like new cars, jewelry commercials implying that all women are interested in is gold and diamonds, toy ads aimed at kids so that they’ll beg their parents for all the new, expensive, and typically useless toys they see on TV…. it’s all disgusting. I’m *so* not letting my kids watch live TV…

Toys, Consumerism and the Disappearance of Imaginative Play

Last night I had a chat with one of my very good friends who is about 4 months’ pregnant. Without my saying anything on the topic, she brought up the too-many-toys thing, so I recommended a book that I’ve been reading, Simplicity Parenting, to her. This might seem a bit strange, since I’m not a parent and not even pregnant yet, but a lot of these concepts are things I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I just recently found this book recently that really resonates with me, and I am happy to find out that my friend shares some of these feelings. As long as I’m not infertile or something, our kids should be close to the same age, and it will be good for our kids to have friends whose parents feel similarly about some of these issues, especially since I’m sure they’ll also have friends whose parents DON’T fee the same way, which will probably be hard for the kids to understand.

Anyway, here are some quote from the book about too-many-toys and some other things. (I would just blog my feelings, but a lot of them are perfectly described in the book, and using quotes is easier than re-articulating he same ideas in my own words.  )

As a society, however, we’ve signed on wholeheartedly to the notion that more, bigger, newer and faster all mean better. We’ve done so as a survival mechanism. It is a very basic, primitive drive (albeit with its own particularly manic, modern, Western spin). At its most basic level it is understandable, thought it no longer serves its original purpose, and we’ve taken it to the point where it actually threatens, rather than ensures, our survival. (p11)

Why simplify? Over the years, I’ve come to see how a child’s quirks or tendencies can be exacerbated by cumulative stress, I’ve seen how children can slide along the spectrum from quirk to disorder when they experience high levels of stress. If I had a bit chalkboard, I would write it as this formula: q + s = d; or: quirk plus stress equals disorder. (p24)

This echoes a book I read for my Complex Systems course, that talked about psychological disorders being basically this: a quirk or personality trait amplified into a disorder.

Children’s play [has become] less focused on activities, and more on the things involved, the toys themselves. (p57)


Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about TV. This isn’t going to be an anti-TV rant… as much as I’d like to claim the opposite, I enjoy watching TV. My husband and I have many shows that we like to watch together: House, MD, Deadliest Catch, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Parks and Rec, The Big Bang Theory, Entourage, True Blood, and now Game of Thrones. Additionally, I like to watch Law & Order: SVU (and sometimes CI) and reruns of Star Trek. That sounds like quite a lot, but luckily the HBO shows (Entourage, True Blood, and Game of Thrones) are on during different seasons, so that cuts it down a little bit. In an average week, I’d say that there are probably 5-6 hours’ worth of shows on that we want to watch. That’s under an hour a day; not too bad. We also might watch a movie on the weekend.

The problem, however, is that we have the TV on MUCH more than an hour a day and for a movie on the weekend. Many days, especially in the winter, we have the TV on from the time I get home from work (5ish, or 6:30ish if we go to the gym) until we go to bed around 10 or 10:30. On the weekends, when we are home and in the house, it’s pretty much on all day unless we are working on a specific project. Most of that time, the TV is on just to have it on; we’re watching reruns or movies on TV. Many times, there is nothing on we really want to watch, but still we watch TV.

I often feel that I don’t have time to do all the things I want to do—read more, practice my flute, sew, etc. But really, if we limited our TV viewing to things we actually want to watch—new episodes that we haven’t seen or occasionally a movie—we’d have so much more time! There have been many times when we’re sitting around, watching nothing, really, and I think, why don’t we just turn off the TV and read, for God’s sake! And yet, we don’t.

When I’m home alone, I sometimes do turn it off and read or even just sit in silence (imagine!) but really I am as guilty as my spouse. Many times when I get home from work, I am tired and don’t want to do anything but sit on the couch and watch TV. Of course it’s preferable if there’s something I actually want to watch on, but usually that’s not the case. Even if there’s nothing on, I’ll watch something, just because I want to veg. And that’s not good.