Wednesday, May 06, 2009

what's in you wednesday

What's in me?

Well, I can tell you what's not in me.

About eight pounds that I've lost since Sunday night.

Across the six of us, I'd guess that we're down close to 30 pounds since Friday. I don't know how that's really possible since we haven't expelled 30 pounds. But surely the scale doesn't lie.

Yesterday when I woke up - and I saw that Charlie was unable to move because he'd been up all night sick - I realized that if I didn't get up and get the kids breakfast, they wouldn't eat. So, I slowly climbed out of bed, made my way to the kitchen and fed my children a meal of bananas and Cheerios that I tossed across their activity table while they sat watching the movie, Ratatouille.

(I should probably add here, for those unfamiliar with the movie, this storyline has to do with a rat who dreams of becoming a chef in a five-star French restaurant. He teams up with a down-and-out garbage boy and together they become the greatest chef in Paris.)

Although it might not seem like much, preparing for and serving this great feast completely drained me. So while the kids were scarfing down their breakfast, I settled down on the couch with Henry, where I promptly fell asleep.

I don't know exactly how much time lapsed but I awoke a short while later to the whispers of children hushing each other, "Shh! You gonna wake up Mommy! It's a supwise!!" and the smell of something I couldn't quite place.

Was it cinnamon?

Maybe pepper?

Perhaps dill weed?

A little bit of cumin?

There was definitely curry.

Lots of curry.

Because of the virus that had been ravaging my gastrointestinal system, I felt instantly overwhelmed by the strong smell and was terribly nauseous. I put the baby down and grabbing a hold of the arm rest on the couch, pulled myself up. Once the room stopped rocking and with one hand touching the wall, I staggered in to the kitchen.

It took a moment for my eyes to register the sight before me.

There were empty gourmet spice containers all over the counter and broken on the floor. There were of puddles of something pungent across the counter and tables. While Henry was grabbing at my leg and crying to be picked up, William and Elizabeth were positively beaming.

They grabbed my hands and ushered me in to the room saying, "Mommy! Welcome to our KITCHEN! We are Ratatouille! We've been cooking and we made you a special cake for your birthday!"

The children had me several "cakes" using whatever food that they could find, most notably anything that we've been eating since this virus has hit the house and we've been living off the BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast) diet. They took a moment from pointing their creations out to tell me, "We are your little rats!"

I just smiled and agreed, "Yes, you SURE are."

To create their masterpieces, the kids had employed the use of our grater, melon ball scoop, ice cream scoop, all of their little pots and pans and every single spice that they could reach while standing on their tippy toes on the children's chairs they had shoved up to the counters.

The first cake was several pieces of bread with a banana on top. There was a cake that was a saltine covered in pumpkin spice, dill weed, pretzels and pepper with a heavy splash of apple juice. There was a cake comprised of a squashed banana delicately overlain by curry, a half cup of Kosher salt, and cumin with a 1/2 bottle of orange Gatorade.

Oozing out of the oven was another batch of "cakes" that they had spilled when placing on the racks. These cakes were made with ice cubes, cumin, bread, grapes, apple sauce, rice, ginger, oregano and pepper. They had set the oven to bake at 300 degrees, but fortunately, they didn't know to hit the "Start" button or else I'm sure the mere smell of the concoction brewing in the oven would have resulted in the immediate expulsion of an additional eight pounds.

While I stood there, surveying the damage, something miraculous occurred.

I kid you not, people.

Over a matter of seconds, the cloak of illness and fatigue that had plagued me for 38 hours was instantly shed. I don't know how to explain it except to say that I could actually feel good health rushing in to my veins and flowing throughout my body. The fog in my brain cleared. My stomach settled down. The pounding headache dissolved, taking the body aches and cramps with it.

Within a minute ... perhaps two ... I was healed.

Now, I'm not sure if my prayers were suddenly answered and God took pity ... or if various substances when merged together by four-year-old hands have an aromatic healing power ... or if my mind rapidly communicated with my body HOLY SMOKES LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS when two parents are leveled with the flu and small children who think they are rodents that can cook take control of the house.

But whatever the case, the virus that I thought was going to kill me just five minutes earlier, was instantly squelched.

For the rest of the day, I set about cleaning and sanitizing. Because even though I had already cleaned and sanitized the house thoroughly on Saturday, I spent all day Sunday holding a sick baby and all day Monday sick in bed while Charlie took care of four sick children.

By Tuesday, it looked and felt like a dirty infirmary flipped upside down and coated in cumin. I mopped floors, changed all of the linens, washed an untold number of dishes, wiped down surfaces and completed ten loads of laundry. And then, when I put Carolyn down for the night and she threw up all over her sleeping sister (and the fresh sheets that were on the bed), I started my eleventh load of laundry.

In 25 days, I am due to compete in a marathon.

Last week at this time I was intimidated.

But this week, I know that if I can survive yesterday, I can survive anything.


  1. OH MY GOSH! What cooks(or should I say rats and what a mess! It is amazing what kids will do. Good thing they don't know about THE BUTTON. Don't teach them yet.
    I'm sorry you've all been so sick. I'm glad that you are miraculously better It must be because you are Super Mom.

  2. Oh so happy to hear you guys are on a slow mend. Whew, that was fun!

  3. OH, I don't know whether to laugh or cry but the Trips have outdone themselves! What an adorable exercise in making a surprise for Mommy and the picture of Elizabeth (I'm pretty sure) beaming with your banana cake is too cute for words.

    Glad you're feeling better, hope the rest of the gang follows you soon.

  4. WOW! Thank heavens they were not watching Fox and the Hound or something else! LOL It really is cute but yeah I do not live there. I love the pictures.

  5. How cute! Hope you're all on the mend.
    p.s. Don't teach them how to turn the oven on. Definitely not something 4 year olds or 1 year olds need to know quite yet.

    Did you eat any of their masterpieces????

    -Laura from INdiana

  6. You are amazing -forget amazing Trips, it should be Amazing JEN! I would have left. Seriously.

    BUT Glad you ARE feeling better!!!

  7. That is truly terrifying. The scaryest part being the oven. You must be superwoman to cope with that when you've been so sick.

  8. Instead of "compete" in a marathon, you need to "complete" a marathon!!! You can walk the whole way if need be!

  9. Glad your on the mend. Oh my! As one of your many cuzzins - Regina put it on one of your other many cuzzins blog Simplysweeter...

    S*C*R*U*M*P*T*I*O*U*S. ;-)


    By the way countdown to marathon - 24 days. Feeling quesy again?

  10. One of many cuzzins!5/7/09, 8:02 AM

    Looks like "Simply Sweeter" has a little bit of competition with creative delicacies!! She better watch out because that dish looked very unique and rather tasty!

    Moms just aren't supposed to get sick. Dads can get sick, but not Moms. Good thing you're feeling better. Heaven knows what fictional characters they'll turn into next.


  11. Wow. I am not sure whether to laugh or cry! But you just made me feel better about my day!

  12. Oh! I remember those days! It is amazing how fast one can feel better when they know they really have too.

    so glad your up and around.....How's the other half of the family?

    Sending Well wishes!

  13. Your attitude and spirit impress the hell out of me. I want to be you when I grow up (ignore the fact that I am older than you are!)

  14. I feel bad saying this, but except for the mess part, that whole cooking story is so totally adorable. I think it's really sweet they were making you cakes, even if they did empty a billion spice containers to do so.

  15. I love, love, love your willingness to look over a mess in order to capture photos. This had me laughing out loud.

  16. I'm so sorry you've all been sick. Glad you are feeling a bit better. I love William's toe nail polish!!

    Tracy B

  17. Wow. I love the cake photo...

    I remember being a young child with my cousins who lived with me and my parents. (We were all within three months apart, and there were three of us, so we were called the Harris Triplets, cause everyone lived with my mom and dad.) WE did the same thing.

    I distinctly remember my concoction. It was a Swiss Miss hot chocolate-cayenne pepper-milk- pie crust-mac&cheese PIE. Oh the great memories.

    YOU are such a good mom. I have to tell you that tonight, I'm going to tell my 6 yr old that she can make ANYTHING she wants. And I won't even help her!

    Glad the aromatherapy worked too!

  18. You my gosh! I always have that fear that if I fall asleep while the kids ar awake I would tottally wake up to a mess like you did. Sorry that you had to go through that and that you are feeling better now. Amazing how much of a mess they made!

  19. ~Cindy! :)5/7/09, 8:29 PM

    Please, Missus, can I have some? :D (From Oliver Twist, sorta.)

    AMAZIN how you were instantly cured! :D

    ~Cindy! :)

  20. YOU SO CAN DO A MARATHON, JEN! problem! If I can finish my 1/ can finish your full. All the PREVIOUS training will kick in, I swear. PLUS, you have a few more weeks to "squeeze it all in".

    I think I'm going to go for a run tomorrow...or Saturday...or maybe Sunday. =)

    Have a great Mother's Day.