I was really looking forward to Christmas vacation, like, "crying-in-the-shower, counting-down-the-days-looking-forward-to Christmas-vacation." December 21st, the day I was supposed to fly to North Carolina with Zoe, couldn't come fast enough. Chris, Zoe, and I were flying to North Carolina to see my parents, my siblings, and my sister's new spouse, Jamie.


The day before we were supposed to leave, I was frantically packing a suitcase of baby things. (Zoe takes up twice the space that I do and I end up re-wearing the same 2 outfits over and over again because I am too cheap to pay the $25 airline fee for a larger bag.) Chris was finishing up at school giving his final exams, when I got a call from my mom.


"I have some bummer news." She told me. " Jamie has the flu and they just arrived here."


It could not have come at a worse time. Chris, Zoe and I had just gotten over the post-Thanksgiving stomach flu/norovirus that has gone, literally, viral, around the United States. I had spent an entire night throwing up, every 45 minutes, until I was gagging up yellow-looking stuff that was not food. Zoe had also gotten it, but not the vomiting, instead she had diarrhea. Unfortunately, she had a terrible diaper rash at the same time (that I felt extremely guilty about, even though she consistently got them no matter what I did).


 I had the super-genius idea, once I realized Zoe was sick, to take off her diaper and brave the storm of diarrhea ahead--because I had heard that this was the best way to get rid of diaper rashes. 

This combo was a bad idea. Now, I am not one of those mom's who is super-finicky about germs, eating stuff off the floor, etc. I try to "go with the situation" and analyze every situation a step at a time. Yeah, no forward thinking here.

The first thing that happened is that Zoe promptly diarrhead all over the floor. (What did I THINK was going to happen?!)

I actually remember thinking, "well, this is a good start. At least it's not creating an even worse diaper rash."  I cleaned up the diarrhea, gross, and then whipped her little butt upstairs (by this time I smelled like...well, you know). 

To the shower! I was feeling quite accomplished at this point. I put her in, washed her off thoroughly, and put her in a t-shirt. Then I put two towels down on her crib to cover the mattress. 

She won't poop again for a while. I thought. I'll just let her butt air-dry! Brilliant mom idea.

Five minutes later, I heard a lot of screaming and crying. I went in to check on my poor baby, who was standing in the middle of diarrhea. She had gone to the corner of the crib, to a tiny triangular patch of sheet that had no towel on it, pooped all the way through two towels, a mattress, all over the crib and, of course, all over her bumper. In my great “idea” mode, my daughter had ended up covered in diarrhea.


I whipped off all the sheets and everything else in her crib, put everything in the laundry with an exorbitant amount of bleach, and brought Zoe up for another bath.

The rest of the day did not go much better.


Not to mention, after much research, I realized that this virus is super difficult to kill. Like, it is incredibly contagious and nothing-kills-it-except-bleach. Nothing. Not even Lysol (except maybe Lysol III). This virus also lasts two weeks on surfaces. Oh, and did I mention, you need ten tiny particles and you are royally infected?


I bleached the house. I bleached the floor. I bleached the toilets. I bleached and bleached and bleached. It was all pointless.


Chris got sick. Chris’s mom got sick. Chris’ brother got sick.


I was ready for Christmas break, until I heard that Jamie had the flu.

The quick synopsis of our holiday was this: everybody was sick at alternating times, the stomach flu followed us to North Carolina, and I re-contracted the stomach flu (I know, really?!) and I think I also had the regular flu (I felt that terrible).


It took almost two weeks total for me to recover. It got to the point where I threw up for four days straight without eating anything except one piece of toast.


Needless to say, the time with my parents was still a huge blessing to me. I oftentimes forget that I am not alone on this journey. That’s when I end up calling my mom with, “what do I do when I have poop all over everything? How much bleach?” because I know she has been there done that. I am also thankful for the many mommy friends out there that have been through almost identical scenarios and come out on top. You guys are warriors.