Why moms need to be exempt from the flu

At 2:23 am this morning, I knew it was coming.  As I lay awake all night feeling my stomach churn, too uncomfortable to go back to sleep, I already know this day cannot go well!

At 6:15 the alarm on my phone goes off and so does the internal alarm.  The next ten minutes are spent in the bathroom.  My entire system is angry–diarrhea, vomit, and I pee myself because apparently after birthing three children I can no longer vomit without peeing my pants.  Don’t hate me because I am so sexy!

So a sick mom on virtually no sleep—this cannot be good!  I spend the next 30 minutes pretending my family does not exist despite their need for breakfast and getting my oldest to school on time.  I briefly remember sick days where I got to stay home from work and watch cheesy movies all day by myself.  These days seem like luxury vacations compared to my present torment.

I finally drag myself downstairs to make a miserable and useless appearance hoping my children are suddenly sensitive to the needs of others and do whatever they can to make my day better.  I make it as far as the couch before I know I need to stay still.  Movement seems to be my enemy.  I park myself on the couch and have one second of peace before my children sense I must be wanting to meet their every emotional and physical need.

One wants to climb me like I am Mt. Everest,  one wants to share every detail of his life, and one is trying to be sweet by handing me the largest book on the planet in case I want to read something while I am sick on the couch.  One of the children begins trowing pillows, one insists on wearing shorts to school in November, and one refuses to wear pants at all.  This is the day the back-log of laundry in the basement catches up with me and my children apparently have no pants.

I suddenly feel like pants are optional.  Two of my children dress in shorts for the day and one remains in underwear and a t-shirt.

I mutter a few unintelligible words to my husband before bypassing him and heading for the bathroom for round two.

I feel brief relief and decide I should make myself coffee.  I attempt to use our brand new Kurig which apparently works differently than any other Kurig I have ever encountered.  I battle with the coffeepot for three rounds before finally getting coffee to come out rather than hot water, only to overfill my cup and create a coffee flood in my kitchen.  Coffee tastes terrible after puking.  So I decide not to drink it.

This has used up all my available energy so I return to the couch.  I realize I have no idea what my four year old and two year old are doing.  I pretend not to care.  I pretend I don’t have a four year old and a two year old and I am home all by myself.

I realize my girls have sneaked upstairs to watch TV on the iPad.  They are not allowed to do this.  I let it slide—for almost an hour.  Today they can rot their brain on television.  Brains that work well seem optional.  Suddenly the Barbie laptop on the coffee table becomes possessed and begins playing music and occasionally says, “select your language” repeatedly.  It is too far out of reach to shut it off and too close to ignore it.  I suddenly realize why I was able to pick this toy up at a garage sale for such a steal.

The incessant chatter from Barbie eventually drives me to take a shower.  I offer to let the girls watch television.  The television is a better parent than me today.

I get out of the shower and realize I don’t have pants either.  I get into bed in just my towel and take a nap while the girls watch television.  I tell myself that nothing is going to get me out of this bed.

Fifteen minutes later my daughter informs me that she is poopy and I need to change her.  I don’t.  nothing is getting me out of this bed.  Fifteen minutes later she reminds me of my failings as a mom and I succumb to the reality that no one else is going to appear to change that dirty diaper.

I get out of bed, put my pajamas back on, and get the diaper changing supplies only to realize that instead of putting on a diaper, my daughter decided underwear would be a good choice for today.  There is now poopy underwear to clean.  I. lose. it.  I take all her underwear out of her dresser and hide them up high in the closet.  I begin to go into a tirade about how I am sick and cannot be expected to clean poopy underwear.  I go on and on about how I should hose her off in the yard…..she looks at me and says “I love you” and gives me a hug.  I do not deserve this reaction, but I am still super angry about those poopy underwear.

My anger drives me to wash a load of laundry and clean up the table from breakfast.  I decide to write this post and ignore my children.  They are screaming.  I am pretty sure one just bit the other one.  I keep writing.  This is my therapy.

They start getting along and I start feeling a little better.  Now they want lunch.  Moms do not get days off.   They should be exempt from the flu.

You may also like:

When Mom Gets Sick (Stuff They Don’t Tell You) from Mamatoga


You Know You have a 1-year-old when…

I barely have any memory of the last year or so it seems because I have no idea how my little baby is already one!  But she did turn one and we celebrated her birthday in Winter “One”-derland style this past January.


Some other things seemed to have slipped my memory as well, because I had forgotten about how hard it is just to complete daily tasks with a curious, energetic, walker around the house.  Here is a quick list of Madelyn’s favorite activities:

  • Pulling the dishes out of the dishwasher while I am loading/ unloading.  She does not seem to understand my emphatic cries of, “Sweetie, that will break!” or “Ahhhh! That’s a butcher knife!””
  • Unfolding my laundry faster than I can fold it.  This is a particular pet peeve of mine, since I loathe folding the laundry to begin with.
  • Tipping over the large stand lamp in the living room.  It is currently held together with Gorilla glue and duct tape from when my oldest child was one.  I had forgotten that until Madelyn tipped it over the other day.
  • Crawling up the stairs or trying to slip past the gate on the stairs anytime it is left open even for a millisecond.  She is QUICK!
  • Unrolling the toilet paper.  BTW, each time she does this my 2-year-old uses the whole wad the next time she uses the toilet.  Then I have to plunge the toilet to get all that paper down.  Seriously folks–this is real life here!
  • Picking through the trash–gross!
  • Eating the dirty Cheerios out of the dirt when I sweep the floor–even more gross!.
  • Emptying toy boxes, bookshelves, kitchen cupboards and anything she can get her hands on then leaving a trail of destruction for the rest of us to clean up.  Here she is–I caught her red-handed pulling all her diapers out of the changing table.


  • Grinning ear to ear in response to even my sternest “NO!”  She is totally taunting me!  She knows I am a donkey on the edge!
  • Putting every little thing in her mouth.  She knows when she is caught too…She will come to me all drooly and bulging and as I try to reach for her she takes off running, waddling as fast as those little legs can carry her.  That goes for when she is holding something she isn’t supposed to have too.  I have had to wrestle that girl to the ground more than once.  Yeah—that’s right, I’m TOUGH!

Mama’s need a lot of patience!  It really is a good thing kids are so cute and lovable because when they start to exert that will we are already so head over heels in love with our children that we work our tails off to keep up with them and nurture them through those busy–not to mention messy– toddler years.

Here’s hoping we make it through these treacherous days without major incident!  And to developing an ability to step back from the mess and enjoy my kids when they are this age.

Never one to over-react….

By the time I have cooked supper, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the kid clutter from around the house, and given the kids baths, I am physically exhausted. And many times emotionally and mentally exhausted as well. Why are my kids surprised by the fact that they need to put their pajamas on each evening? Anyway, when I am tired my filters go by the wayside. Nice mommy is ready for a break and freak out mommy is on the scene. That really isn’t a good excuse for a lack of a loving, patient attitude however, as I was reminded the other evening when I came upstairs to my room where my hubby and kids were getting ready to read bedtime stories.


I noticed an entire pad of Post-It Notes, in my mind, wasted by being stuck all over my bedside table. I freaked out for a few seconds. I know, it’s just Post-It Notes, but nonetheless I was caught off guard and started to get mad about it. Luckily my husband stopped me because I hadn’t noticed the hurt look on Lucy’s (the culprit) face. She had “decorated” my table as an act of love and I had missed it because of my lack of patience and sense of exhaustion.

Of course this tweak in perspective makes all the difference.  Now, this mess became a special memory that I even wanted to capture in a picture—dusty end table and all.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


The sound of imagination in action



I once read that if you could listen in on playground talk at an elementary school you would note a distinct difference between the boys and the girls.  The girls converse with words and dialog, but the boys’ conversations are made up of noises, and sound effects and I suppose words….as necessary.

As a mother of an “active” 5-year-old, I often find myself tempted to tone down his “boy-ness.”  “Stop running.”  “Don’t throw that!”  “Is there a reason why you can’t sit through dinner?”  “Do you need to jump up and down while you talk to me?”  There is a fine line between teaching right behavior and just letting boys be boys that I have not mastered.

But the other day I happened upon Sawyer so engrossed in play with his monster trucks that he barely even noticed my camera.  It was pure joy to watch him at play.  I don’t know exactly what was going through his mind, but I am sure that in the land of his imagination what he was doing was as exciting—if not more incredible–as a real monster truck rally.

God, in his mercy, gives me these moments to help keep me sane and to remind me of how wonderful my kids really are.

Not the Sunday Morning I had planned!

My husband left Friday for Haiti and will be gone for eight days.  For most of the week it’s just me and the three kids.  My sister is here visiting but she was still sleeping when my morning started.

At 6:43, Sawyer yelps from his room and I hear the patter of feet and a voice beside my bed informing me that he has wet the bed.  I have to get up at 7:00 anyway so no big deal.  I ask him to change out of his wet stuff and put on new, but darn that daylight savings–its still dark!  He is tall enough to reach light switches, but for some insane reason the light in our bathroom is about five feet high.  He’ll be 10 before he can turn that light on by himself!  It’s also hot here and I have the ceiling fans on so the light to his room doesn’t work without pulling the cord on the ceiling.   That leaves the hallway.  The moment he turns the light on, I know I am doomed!  I hear Madelyn start to stir in her bassinet because the light is in her eyes.  If she wakes up, I will have to nurse and breakfast isn’t started.

Meanwhile, Sawyer begins to whine about having to touch the pee clothes.  By this time, Madelyn is definitely awake and I hurry out of the bedroom to feed her before Lucy wakes up–she was in my bed–I have no idea why!

I start to feed Madelyn and of course Sawyer needs something and I am pretty much stuck in the chair until I am done nursing.  He is not persuaded to drop the subject and keeps nagging me until Lucy wakes up.  She is CRABBY when she wakes up before she is ready.  She gets out of bed and starts crying, but she won’t tell me what’s wrong and I can’t convince her to come to me.  So she is just standing in the hallway sobbing at the top of her lungs.  After a serious line of questioning with no coherent answer, it finally dawns on me that she probably peed herself.   She says no, but after finally convincing her to come to me, I feel her pants and they are soaking wet.  Not even 7:15 and there are pee clothes all over my house!

Being two and a little fashionista, Lucy picks out the outfit she plans to wear for the day—but it’s Sunday, and I need to have a little say in the matter because she is not going to church in those faded rainbow polka dot pants!  We argue for several minutes and over at least three outfits before she is finally dressed.  Time is ticking away and breakfast is not started.  Baked oatmeal takes exactly 5 minutes to prepare and 22 minutes to cook and at this point all three of my kids are crying or whining!

I then realize I am out of applesauce and need to improvise the recipe.  I decide to make up a recipe for peanut butter oatmeal on the fly, but have to go downstairs to find a new jar of peanut butter.  I leave the screaming cries of “Mommy, hold me” and “Mommy, I have to tell you something.” and dash to the pantry downstairs where I in a hushed, but emphatic voice shout–“Just SHUT UP!!!!!!” and hope they can’t hear me use the “S” word.  This relieves enough stress for me to get breakfast in the oven and get two of the three kids ready for church.

I finally hop in the shower fifteen minutes later than I planned and get myself ready for church.  Five minutes before leaving for church, I realize Madelyn is still in her pajamas and wet diaper—oops, I have three kids now!  Luckily my sister is here visiting or this may have started my personal meltdown.  But she got the older two out the door and buckled in car seats while I got Maddie ready.

We made it to church and weren’t even the last ones to show up!  Not the Sunday morning I had planned.  I know church-goers often joke about the hectic pace of Sunday mornings and about how it seems the Devil will do just about anything to destroy your ability to come to church ready to worship.   The chaos is worth the fellowship though, and I was truly blessed at worship today which focused on ending Modern Day Slavery and by the kindness of friends at church who know my husband is gone and offered very practical help–a meal and a play date.

Here is the recipe for the Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal which was delicious and satisfyingly filling!

1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used half almond butter and half natural peanut butter)

1-2 tsp vanilla (I didn’t measure)

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of cinnamon

1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350, spray 8×8 pan with cooking spray, and bake for 22 minutes–give or take if your oven cooks differently than mine.