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Repost from December 2011: Grateful for c. Diff and Dirty Laundry

Facebook reminded me about this post from my family blog today. I had forgotten some of the details about the day, like how it ended, and all I really remembered was cleaning up the vomit. I'm glad I wrote the rest of it down because it's pretty warm and fuzzy at the end. I'm also glad life is different now than it was then because that was hard in a different way than the hard things we're dealing with now. Anyway, I thought this would be worth sharing again since I don't know if I ever posted it here.

Yes, that's right. Today, I found a reason to be grateful for c. diff (which is a terrible gastrointestinal illness that causes diarrhea, is highly contagious, and is not killed by hand sanitizer) AND dirty laundry. Let me back up a little.
Last night, I went to bed (later than I should have) with a tension headache. The kind that starts in between your shoulder blades, crawls up your neck, and makes you feel like someone has taken a chisel to the back of your head. I took something for it before I went to bed, but when I was awakened at 6:15 by the usual fighting over oatmeal packets and an argument about how many years Kaida will be when she goes to school, the headache was still there. After the typical routine of trying to quietly answer questions like, "Mommy, can I open another box of cereal?" and "Mommy, I don't like banana oatmeal, can't I open a new box and have strawberry instead?" and then shoo the children (who are seemingly unable to whisper) out of my room, Raya's head popped up over the side of the crib earlier than I was ready for.
I dragged myself out of bed and changed Raya's diaper and then went out into the living room to find Ashtyn's pillow and blanket and a giant mixing bowl on the floor. I asked her if she was sick and she said, "I threw up at 1:29 but I'm fine now." I asked, "Did you throw up IN the toilet?" and she said she had. She said she tried to wake me up but I wouldn't wake up so she made herself a bed on the floor. I told the kids to finish packing their lunches and get dressed, which took much longer than it should have but we made it out the door in time and headed off to school.
After I dropped them off, I remembered that last night I had been downloading videos off of the video camera so we could erase the memory so I went upstairs to check on it. Someone had left the bathroom light on and as I leaned around the corner to turn off the light, I was simultaneously blown away by the sight and smell of the 7 hour old vomit that Ashtyn had left all over the bathroom without mentioning it to me. I turned off the light, turned on the fan, and closed the door to allow myself some time to prep for the clean-up.
Remembering why I came upstairs in the first place, I sat down at the computer and checked my email. There was one from the credit monitoring website I use saying that my credit score had been updated so I logged in and checked it only to find that it had dropped by a whopping 64 points. To make matters worse, I also saw that the reason for the sudden drop was a mortgage that was paid in full on the house we sold in March that was now showing up on our credit report under a new mortgage company even though I had been assured that the statements we've been getting since August are a mistake that happened when their company took over loans from our mortgage company and that it wasn't being reported to the credit agency. Obviously it WAS reported, and so for the 12th or so time in the last 3 months, I called the mortgage company. After speaking to 6 different people (most of whom knew NOTHING) over the duration of about 90 minutes explaining to every single one of them that because of a clerical error, their company was screwing up my credit score, I was finally told that NOW our account is showing a zero balance and that they are investigating as to why it was erroneously reported to the credit bureaus even though it should have been. She said they'll see what they can do to get my credit score corrected too. I'll believe it when I have proof in writing!
After that lovely phone call, I remembered that there were 2 little girls running amok downstairs so I went down and found this:
And instead of getting upset with her, my first thought was, "Wow, she's not W-sitting!" (you know, the way little kids sit with their feet out to the sides that makes your knees hurt just looking at them) She has a hard time sitting with her legs tucked under her for very long at a time so her PT will be proud. :) THEN I took away all the candy that she was having fun unwrapping but not eating and made her spit out the giant wad of gum that she was practicing her chewing skills with. (her feeding therapists will be proud too :) I got her down and put the chair back, gave her the morning doses of her meds, and collected my supplies to go sanitize the bathroom upstairs. When I walked into my bathroom to get the cleaning supplies out, I discovered a clogged toilet with a whole other kind of smelly mess in it that had to be unclogged before I could start on the vomit. THEN I went upstairs to clean up the bathroom.
THIS is why I'm grateful for c. diff and dirty laundry:

I couldn't clean the mess up with one hand plugging my nose so I got a dirty long sleeved shirt out that was stuffed in Cole's shirt drawer and tied it around my face. It smelled like a kid that's been playing outside for a while but that was a heck of a lot better than what the bathroom smelled like. Then I put on my blue nitrile gloves that were left over from when Raya came home from the hospital last year with c. diff and I wore gloves to change her diaper until it was gone, and got to work. Had it not been for that nasty 6 week battle with c. diff, I wouldn't have had any gloves to protect me from the yuck. Since Cole stuffed his dirty shirt in the drawer instead of putting it in the laundry room to get washed, I had a gas mask to wear while I cleaned up puke. With that shirt on my face, I couldn't smell a thing but dirty little boy which was MUCH more pleasant than 9 hour old vomit. And as for the gloves, let's just say they prevented me from having to think too much about what I was scraping off the floor and every surface and crevice of the toilet (did I mention we had breakfast for dinner last night? eggs.). All the while, in my head I was just DARING the school nurse to call me and say that Ashtyn wasn't feeling well & needed me to come get her. I was all ready to tell the nurse, "You tell Ashtyn that when I'm done scraping her vomit that she didn't bother to tell me about before she went to school off of every surface in the bathroom, THEN I'll come and get her!!" But she never called and Ashtyn has been feeling fine ever since she threw up.
When all had been cleaned & cloroxed, I returned downstairs to find Raya perched on the arm of the couch with her feet dangling in the branches of the Christmas tree playing with ornaments. Kaida ran over and held up the bottom half of a broken ornament and said, "Mommy, Raya broke your kitty!" But Kaida can't say her "K" sounds. She says a "T" sound instead, so "kitty" doesn't come out the same when Kaida says it. I don't want to put that word on my blog but you can fill in the blank. At least that was good for a laugh. :) And that, my friends, was all before 10:30 a.m. Oh, and when Raya says "stomach" it sounds like she's saying "dammit" so we are frequently telling Kaida to say "cat" instead of "kitty" and Raya to say "tummy" instead of "stomach". With a straight face.
After plucking Raya out of the Christmas tree, I told the girls that we were getting the "H" out of the house for a while and going to the store. Kaida thought I meant the grocery store so she started to throw a fit because she hates the grocery store. And pretty much every kind of store. I got out a new pump bag for Raya's feeding pump and filled it up only to discover while priming the line, that there was a tiny pinhole in the bag which squirted formula up the sleeve of my shirt and jacket. So then I had to get another new bag, pour the formula out of the holy bag into the unholy bag, change my shirt and jacket, and THEN finish getting the feed ready. I finally got Raya fed and dressed and at 11:15 we were out the door. Raya's naptime is 10:30 but I HAD to get out of the house so we went anyway.
In the 1.5 mile drive between our house and the craft store, I got stuck behind or cut off by every elderly snowbird in the area, including one person who pulled out of the craft store parking lot in front of me into the left turn lane that I was trying to turn INTO the parking lot from, and then the guy got mad at ME because he couldn't see past me to turn out into the lane of traffic. Idiot.
Once we got inside the store, I didn't want Kaida to see the things I was buying so I was holding everything in one hand and trying to push the cart with the other hand while Raya cried, screamed, and yelled at me for not letting her hold things (which she was repeatedly dropping on the floor). One time I was looking at something and she accidentally hit her cast on the side of the shopping cart. When she realized that it made a loud noise, she started deliberately banging it against the cart just to "get" me. Then 2 minutes later she said, "Arm hurt!" Yeah, no sympathy on that one, kid.
All the way through the store, Raya was crying and screaming and every time we turned a corner, everybody turned to stare at us. I ignored the screaming and the stares, got what I needed, and went to the checkstand to pay. Raya stopped crying for a minute but there was another kid in line behind us that was having an even bigger screaming fit than she had been. The lady a couple people ahead of me in line started talking to the cashier and with a snide look on her face said, "Sheesh, somebody's not happy. Sounds like it's naptime. Why do parents even bring their kids to stores when it's naptime??" AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! I wanted to THROW my SHOE at her! Really, lady?!? Do you not get it that sometimes things have to be done whether your child is crying or not and that moms don't enjoy listening to their kid scream any more than anybody else does?? Lucky for her there was another customer in between us or else all of the pent up frustrations of my morning would have been unleashed on her judgemental self.
While the next lady was paying for her things, Kaida did something to hurt Raya's broken arm so she started screaming again. I paid for my things and then when I looked at her again, her face was covered in awful-looking red spots:
I dragged the girls out to the car and by the time we had gotten out of the parking lot, Raya was almost asleep. It was noon and I was starving so we drove through Chick-fil-a to use a coupon for free food but we had to wait behind 6 other people in line, so by the time we got our food, we'd been in the drive-thru for 20 minutes. We went home and I put Raya in bed without even taking her jacket off because I didn't want to risk waking her up, and then Kaida & I ate our food while we watched "I Shouldn't Be Alive" on Netflix.
After we ate, I decided that I'd accomplished enough before noon to merit taking the afternoon off, if you will, so I snuggled up on the couch with my big fuzzy blanket and watched another episode of the show. Then I fell asleep and had a nice little catnap before going to pick up the other kids. I had planned on letting the kids stay & play for a few minutes so I could talk to my friend but then all hell kind of broke loose and we both herded kids back to the cars & went home instead.
As we were getting out of the car, a sales lady started walking towards us from the neighbor's house and started talking to my kids, which irritated me. I had my hands totally full (purse, feeding pump, Raya, mail, keys) and this woman starts yapping at me about how I clean spills out of my carpet, etc. I just stood there and stared at her for a second while trying not to drop anything and trying to keep an eye on my other 3 kids who were running around and asking me if they could have a snack. Couldn't she see that I was BUSY?? I politely told her that it was not a good time for me and went in the house.
While I was trying to calm the chaos of homework and figure out what people were going to eat for dinner, I looked over to see why the kids weren't putting the toys away and what the fighting was about and saw this:
In case you can't tell, Raya has taken one of the toy baskets off the shelf and crawled in the cubby so she could reach down behind the shelves and plug in the Christmas lights. And she's grinning at me the whole time, of course.
Then, as I was going through the mail, I came across a handwritten envelope. It was a very sweet thank you note that someone from church had sent me. She was thanking me for the lesson I taught last week at church (which I felt very self-conscious about afterward) and for a minute, I forgot all about my less-than-stellar day and was filled with gratitude for this sweet sister who, despite the difficulties in her own life, took the time to actually write me a note and mail it to me. (I'd like to say it made me forget all the yucky events of the day but it will take a couple more days to get that vomit out of my head.) But really, it was one small & simple act of kindness and it totally made my day. Moral of the very long story: 1. Blessings can come from unexpected places (i.e. leftover c. diff gloves and dirty shirt stuffed in a drawer) and 2. Do nice things for people because you never know what nastiness they've had to clean up that morning and your act of kindness might completely change someone's day! :)


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