Chuck Right Up

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I just stepped in dog vomit with my bare foot.


I know it belonged to a poodle, but I’m not sure which one. The truth is, if it belonged to the Great Dane I would have been in vomit up to my knee, rather than just hopping around in disgust because I have a small amount of regurgitated dog chow stuck to my arch.


It’s one of those moments where I wonder if owning a dog has any value, whatsoever.


But, in honor of the nastiness of my most recent experience, I’d like to invite you to the knowledgable underbelly of burping solids. With no further ado, some little-known facts about… puke:


1. Dog puke made it’s way into the Bible. Yes, it’s true. “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11) And, yes, this is a phrase my mom shared with me as a kid, warning me not to play boomerang romance. If I broke up with someone once, and then got back together with them, in her opinion I was as smart as a dog eating it’s leftover stomach chunks. Powerful imaging that has served me well over the years.


2. When in danger, the sea cucumber may eject its entire digestive tract. (The animal is able to re-grow another one.) I’m not sure of the benefit of this as a survival technique. Is the predator suddenly frightened of the mess? “Oh, no, that’s one messed up sea cucumber… I’ll leave that one for a carp.” I don’t know. But I remain pleased my children can only eject the contents of their digestive track on command, rather than their entire fleshy organ.


3. In ancient Roman times, houses contained “vomitoriums.” Yep. A whole room of the home designed to allow your guests to feast until they puked, then they’d feast some more. Why wasn’t Rome built in a day? Because they needed space to blow chunks, and that… that’s a true art form that takes time to digest.


4. On New Year’s Eve, 1998, vomit vigilantes (euphemistically called “Clean Teams”) were dispatched throughout New York City’s Grand Central Station. They were supposed to thrust a bag under the chin of anyone who seemed to be ready to throw up. Who volunteers for this kind of community service? Seriously?! You can choose to, oh, spend time reading to the elderly in a nursing home, or — hey! better yet! — prowl the public transportation depot looking for someone getting ready to yak. Hm… hard choice, Alex, but I guess I’ll take bile.


5. Vomit looks like what you ate shortly after consumption. If it’s soupy, it’s been in your stomach for a while. That answers a question I’ve had ever since I puked beside the road while pregnant with Dos. (Remember? It’s the story of Uno and the Poopy Feast.) That production was NOT soupy. It strongly resembled the nacho cheese Doritos I’d been snacking upon on my journey. Ug. Just thinking of that makes me nauseous once more.


6. Many children can vomit at will, and some child psychologists say the best way to stop a child from doing this for attention is to make the child eat it afterward. Ooo-wee! Most parents won’t even publicly admit to spanking these days! I guarantee, if I made my kid eat their own vomit — even upon the recommendation of a medical professional — that would be a secret I’d take to the grave.


7. Hurl is green from bile rising from the intestines. Barf tastes bad because it is ½ acid and ½ partially digested food. On a related note, vomiting Tums also tastes badly.


8. Some species of frog will vomit up their entire stomach. Once their stomach is projecting from their mouth, they use their forelegs to ‘clean’ it and then it is reinserted. Proof frogs and sea cucumbers are somehow related. Perhaps from the genus stomachia ralphemus?


9. Some teenagers report having “scarf-and-barf” parties. It’s not quite like a bulimic bachelor party—where instead of a girl coming out of a cake, the cake comes out of the girl—but crazy kids get together, binge on their favorite fattening foods, and then go to the bathroom and throw it all up. I can think of better ways to bond. I mean, usually teens take advantage of this activity only after a night on the town or across the border in a small Mexican town serving 25¢ tequila shots. Or so I’ve heard.


10. Rats and guinea pigs can’t vomit. These rodents can’t vomit or burp because of a wall between their two stomachs and an inability to control their diaphragm muscles. If only they could sing opera… I bet they’d learn to control the diaphragm muscles if they could harness those squeaks. We had a guinea pig once. When it heard the refrigerator door open it would go berserk with wheezy howls for lettuce. I never liked that guinea pig much… but I never knew it couldn’t fling its food until now.


And, a joke as the grand finale: Two vomits are walking down the street. Suddenly one begins to cry. “What’s wrong?” asks the other. “Oh nothing… it’s just that this is where l was brought up.”


Hope you haven’t had to worship the porcelain god as a result of this post. Our carpet is in need of cleaning if you’re interested in volunteering your services. Do you have any vomit stories that would make us laugh? I’d love to hear!


*If you like this post, would you please share it with your “tribe” via email, facebook, twitter, etc.?*


This post was originally published April 20, 2012 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!




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Copyright © 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

And then there were four…

This is my son. He has emerged. I am practicing saying, “son.”

I didn’t post last night and I’m not going to say, “I’m sorry” about it.


I was feeling horribly, horribly rotten and fell asleep on the sofa early without pulling out the laptop (or going to the bathroom).


When I woke up at 3:30 with my bladder screaming in agony, I felt an internal “pop!”. By the time I made it to the bathroom it was quite evident my water had broken and the little imp inside my midsection was making a determined effort to evacuate the premises.


For the first time I was able to wake up my husband with the words, “Honey! It’s time!” (Every other delivery has been a planned c-section where an alarm clock wakes us up. This is Uno’s fault, as she had a distinct fondness for parking her noggin under my right rib and never turned head down. I’ve always been grateful we live in the U.S., a place where breech babies and their mothers don’t die in childbirth because a c-section is an option!)


Lizard reacted remarkably well! He was up in a flash, helping me pack the bag (because who actually has the bag packed when the scheduled date is three weeks away?!), calling our friends to come over and stay with the sleeping kiddos, and giving our parents and siblings heart attacks with a 3 o’clock phone call!


(I had to ask for advice about what to wear to the hospital… it didn’t seem feasible to stick a hand towel down my pants to catch the leaking. We worked it out, but not without my friend laughing at my naiveté. Rude.)


Right before we walked out the door Lizard grabbed a stick of string cheese and offered me one, too. Since my stomach was terribly upset, I gratefully chowed down the cheese in hopes the milk product would settle things. This is an irrelevant fact that will be significant soon. Just file it away in the back of your mind.


We got to the hospital, they stuck me in a wheelchair, and pushed me across the rodent-maze that is a hospital that’s been in business for decades and expanded multiple times. When we got to Labor & Delivery they took me to the triage room, monitored me, and let me know they were going to have to have proof I was leaking amniotic fluid.


That’s not an awesome process. But I was able to prove it, so that’s all that needs to be said about that.


All during this time I was feeling quite badly about the string cheese because it had done nothing to settle my stomach! I was dry heaving all over the place and it was. not. fun.


Now, in an airplane when you get nauseous, they give you a discreet white bag.


In a hospital they give you a blue horse condom.


I’d like to describe it in a different way, but I really don’t know how. It’s a 4″ plastic ring attached to an 8″ blue bag. You’re supposed to hold it to your nose and up chuck the cookies right into it. But it’s a really disturbing shape, it crinkles, and it made me feel naughty, which all culminated in vomit performance anxiety and I ended up just moaning, contracting, and thinking bad things about the phrase, “hung like a horse.”


Good times, good times.


The nurse came by and let me know my baby doctor was on her way to the airport. Apparently she didn’t think delivering my baby was worth turning around and ruining her family vacation. I see where I stand on the list of priorities.


Her partner in crime, whom I’d never met but has a lovely Swedish last name, would be delivering the baby. He preferred to do early morning c-sections, so he would likely be in to do the surgery at 7 a.m. Hurray!


Time passed, I counted on 7 a.m. and then the nurse reappeared. “The surgery is scheduled for 11 a.m. because we don’t want to take the chance on you vomiting up your cheese stick and choking to death.”


That string cheese became the bane of my existence and proof of my rookie mistake. I don’t think I can eat a string cheese without resentment for the rest of my life.


In an effort to make a long story shorter, I’ll just say my body wasn’t interested in letting modern medicine take charge and I moved into active labor. Apparently your digestive system stops working once labor begins so the doctor decided since I wasn’t going to digest the stupid cheese anyway we might as well get the show on the road.


And so the surgery began. It was as flawless as a c-section can be… really! Except for the fact my Swedish doctor kept a running commentary on the best place in town to buy garden manure.


The real surprise is when Bubby came out, we discovered he was about seven and a half pounds!


Let me explain. At his young gestational age he should be a smidgeon over six pounds. That is not the case. He is huge. Which means if I’d actually kept him cooking until the scheduled c-section date he would have arrived in this world roughly the size of a Galapagos turtle.


I’m glad he came sooner.


The end of this really, really long saga is we have a baby boy in our family. Really! We are a family of six, with four children who are “practically perfect in every way.”


How cool is that?


As far as yours truly, I am feeling good. There are narcotics available to a woman who completes major abdominal surgery that just can’t be legally or safely consumed from the comfort of your own home.


At home, Tylenol is the only pain killing option. Which, to steal a phrase from a friend, is like telling a crack addict to have a cup of coffee to stave off their cravings.


Not anymore! The discomfort and pain I’ve been feeling the past weeks is magically erased by remedies with opium derivatives.


I feel good. (I may have 600 typos in this post, but heck!, I feel good!)


That’s the long story of the birth of Bubby. You’ll hear more as the weeks progress…. but for now, you know….


… the rest of the story.


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Copyright © 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

The Gallon Challenge

Dumb Things We Do. Like Drink Too Much Milk.

For the first years of our marriage, Lizard was a youth pastor. And a mighty fine one, if I may say so. On all levels.


Ahem. Back to my point.


One of the things I appreciated about my husband’s leadership style was he typically avoided the gross, over-the-top activities known and loved by so many youth pastors across the country. But not always.


Yes, on occasion we had a Saltine race, where you chomp up Saltines and then whistle Happy Birthday or some other little ditty. Then there was the day he filled a diaper with warm water and threw it at unsuspecting youngsters just for their terrified reactions. Yeah, that was fun.


However, it wasn’t until we went to summer camp that our youth group showed off the depravity of games just for the sake of idiocy. I ran across this article today and it took me on a walk down memory lane…


It was Thursday night, Talent Night. Our youth group was not so full of the types that could sing or dance and inspire awe. We were more of the slapstick, Mafia, party game-types. Several of our young ladies decided they would enter the contest with their own style: The Gallon Challenge.


If you’re not familiar with the Gallon Challenge, participants are required to drink one gallon of milk in one hour without vomiting.


Sounds simple, huh? Let me assure, it is not.


Our gals were the first “act” of the talent show. They raised their milk gallons high, sloshed them together in an act of celebratory challenge, then set themselves up in a semi-circle around a trash can toward the rear of the stage for the rest of the event.


The Emcee would check in with them between acts and assess their progress. It wasn’t too long before puke hit the trash can. One competitor down.


Truthfully, the details get a little hazy for me at this point except for two items: One camper, who’s talent involved whipping other campers with licorice (I’ve never understood that one and still find it disturbing) saw his act was not well-received by the crowd. So he charged to the rear of the stage, sloshed his hands around in the vomit-collecting trash can and drank another person’s vomit.


No telling how many health code violations that incurred. I also can’t count the number of nightmare’s I’ve had about that moment. Kind of like when I read a Stephen King book and he described someone scrambling through the woods on all fours and putting their hands into a decomposing forest creature. Ug.


The second strong memory I have from the Gallon Challenge? May I assure you, even though the “winner” of the challenge is the one who doesn’t throw up, it’s far, far better to be a “loser.” One of our competitors couldn’t throw up at all. She desperately wanted to chuck the cookies, her belly was bloated, her intestines were producing excess amounts of gas… and she couldn’t get the milk out of her stomach.


That girl was in agony. Yep. Better to puke.


Thanks for sharing this walk down memory lane with me. The article I read also suggested eating a banana and drinking a 2-liter of Sprite. Doesn’t sound pleasant – although maybe it’s more pleasant than the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment. I suspect that one could land you in the hospital with a ruptured gut.


Did you ever accept any goofy challenges? What’s the funniest party game you’ve ever played?


*If you like this post, would you please share it with your “tribe” via email, facebook, twitter, etc.?*


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Copyright © 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Skittle Spew

Feel the Love. Skittle Spew.

This morning I happened to catch a glimpse of a perfect family’s life.


It’s true! I listened to the father tell the story of their daily morning devotional time and the principles they have memorized to direct their lives, live intentionally, and, oh, it was so amazing!


It was as if they stood up in front of the world and said, “Our life is so sweet and precious, when we vomit, Skittles spill from our mouth in a cascade of complimentary colors! Isn’t that just grand?!”


It was a Skittle spew, if I may coin a term.


As I listened to the Skittle spew I had a choice to make… would I rejoice for this family because what they’re doing is pretty awesome? Would I mock this family because they seem so perfect I have to maliciously believe there’s a nasty skeleton in the family outhouse? Would I be envious of this family and, as a result, feel insecure about my own family?


I decided on all three options. (Just being honest.)


The whole experience reminded me of the reasons I write StealingFaith. It re-dedicated me to why I’m convicted to publicly admit difficulties and failures, frustrations and insecurities. I write about the days where insanity takes me to the edge of the cliff and back because somewhere, someone out there is Skittle spewing on their status update.


Or you’re going to church and you see the family whose kids get spit shined before approaching the holy venue and the mom looks at your kids (adorned with pieces of Cheerios in their curls), looks concerned, and asks how you are… really? Skittle spew.


Or maybe you turn on the t.v. and hear a millionaire’s wife announce she’s never considered herself wealthy. Skittle spew.


Or it’s spring and time for swimsuit shopping and you go with your friend who’s had five children who is still shaped like an anorexic hourglass and she can wear a bathing suit out of the dressing room without small children running, crying for their mama. Skittle spew.


I may be criticized now and then for not being private enough with my issues, or not using the decorum my parents raised me to observe… but I’m not sorry. No way.


We all need a voice to identify the Skittle spew. Amen.


What situations have you experienced that make you want to yell, “Skittle spew!”? (And as a completely random aside, Lizard is watching Top Shot and a guy just said someone was “shaking like a dog crappin’ a peach pit.” Now… how fantastic is that phrase?!


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Copyright © 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Six Item Birthday

Alh /

In honor of Uno’s sixth birthday, I’d like to do a countdown of the six most significant things of the day:


6: Girlfriends hanging out at the gymnastics free-for-all to celebrate the big day. (There were four boys, too, but “10” isn’t on my list so I went with the sexist gender breakdown. I’m know, I’m rude.) We visited the gym and went crazy playing in the foam pit, on trampolines, and with the parachute fabric. It was awesome. There was also a little boy wandering around (later learned he was the son of a gym employee) who kept joining our party and telling us it was actually for him. We loved on him anyway.


5: million versions of the six-photoed “What People Think I Do vs. What I Really Do” meme on Facebook. I’ve seen them for every occupation and now they’re coming out with various states. Enough already! I don’t care! It was funny at first but now I’m completely bored and tired of seeing these. Can I get an, “AMEN!”???


4: Number of times I vomited today. The cold I’ve been fighting all week has taken root in my chest with nasty, nasty phlegm. “Phlegm” is a naughty, nasty word, I think worse than “moist” or “mucous.” I bet it’s a German derivative. Anyway, when I start coughing, I cough and cough until suddenly my stomach heaves. Worst moment of today’s vomiting episodes? I was in Wal-Mart picking up the cake when I started coughing. I had nowhere to go when my stomach heaved so I puked into my hands. Worst bile moment ever. Runner Up? This afternoon I was on the floor to give Tres an “airplane ride” and started coughing. Since I couldn’t very well launch the poor child to the side and run for the bathroom I urped all over my own face and chest. Awesome. (And, in case you were wondering, “urp” is the new technical term for “vomit.” It is not a German derivative.)


3: Dogs with gas that is actually singeing my nose hair as I type. It’s hard to believe any animal can create a scent this powerfully disgusting without spontaneously combusting, and yet, our pups have particular power when it comes to noxious odors. So proud.


2: Sisters who woke up singing “Happy Birthday” to Uno. Those same sisters were perfectly happy sharing a special day and didn’t show any signs of jealousy. They’re pretty cool kids.


1: Incredibly special little girl who has made my life extraordinary since her entrance into the world. This little nut makes me so proud (and every other emotion on the spectrum). I’m grateful for the time we’ve had together and the love she’s taught me that is unconditional. What a lucky mom I am! I’m so happy she’s six… and may the frustrating fives be left far, far behind!


That was our day – what’s been going on in your world?


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Working Mom vs. Stay-at-Home Mom

Women Are Amazing!

A friend asked me to describe my perspective on stay-at-home mom versus working-away-from-home mom. That’s a really big topic and I need to actually structure some thoughtful responses before I jump on that bandwagon.


(It’s a stretch, I know. Thoughtful and me… whelp, they don’t always go hand-in-hand!)


In the meantime I thought I’d mention a few things I never experienced in my working world I now have the pleasure of dealing with every day – or maybe every week.


10 Comparisons Between Working Mom and Home Mom


1. When you say, “Right now that purchase is just not in the budget,” your co-workers rarely fall to the ground, howling like professional mourners, and tell you it is the worst day of their life.


2. While on occasion you may be inconvenienced by a colleague needing quality time in the bathroom, it’s not considered proper to ask your boss to check your behind for poop at the 9-to-5.


3. Even in my most stressful work environments, I never had to hug the very person that was causing my eyes to cross and blood to pound in my ears. Nor did I tuck them in that night and worry incessantly about their character development.


4. As a professional, when we went out for a group lunch and there were conflicting preferences for restaurants, no one cried as part of their plea bargaining or tried to hide unwanted food bits in the seams of the restaurant booth.


5. Strangers visiting my workplace never criticized my desk, told me how to accomplish my tasks faster or let me know they could do my job better than me with their eyes closed.


6. No one ever mentioned how hard it must be not to have a “real job” or quizzically ask “What on Earth do you do with your time all day?”


7. Quiet time communing with my computer was necessary productivity, not an invitation for interruption since I couldn’t be doing anything important, anyway.


8. People never asked me if I felt my work was an effective use of the student loan I still pay off every month or told me I’m not the only one who wasted a college and advanced discipline degree to do this job.


9. When working I had much less exposure to bodily fluids. Turns out it’s not that common you have to ask a co-worker to blow their nose into your Kleenex-holding hand, nor do they often take a drink of coffee, go cross-eyed, and spew projectile vomit across your shirt. Go figure.


10. I never worked in a place that wouldn’t give a “needs improvement” score if I showed up for work four days in a row without a shower and sporting a classy case of bed head.


What are some of the changes you notice between being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom?


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Water Balloons

As I was feeding Tres yogurt today I analyzed three ways feeding a baby is like filling a water balloon.  Here they are:

1.  It’s hard to get the filler into the holder.  Trying to get the water into the balloon is hard!  So hard they’ve created a totally useless attachment for your kitchen sink spout.  It doesn’t work.  The balloon pinches your fingers and squirts itself off of the faucet.  It’s impossible.

Feeding an infant is similar.  You think you’ve got a rhythm down and things are all going in when, “pop!”, the baby moves and all of the sudden you have yogurt all over their face, up their nose, and quite possibly on the wall.  It’s impossible.

2.  The container fills to a capacity beyond belief.  I’m always surprised how a balloon the size of soybean swells to a water balloon the size of a Volkswagon bug when you fill it with water.  Just amazing!

Similarly, I’m stunned when my 20 pound infant is able to consume four slices of deli meat, two granola bars, a bottle of milk, and two bowls of apple sauce.  Where is all that food going?  Just amazing!

3.  When they pop it’s hilarious to watch, not so fun to experience.  There is hardly anything more fun than watching someone get nailed by a well-placed water balloon grenade.  Better yet if they’re completely surprised by the attack!  However, as someone who has been on the receiving end of such attacks, the actual experience of being nailed is likely to engender feelings of wrath.

It’s the same concept with the fully-loaded baby.  Watching your child erupt little pieces of vomit all over someone else (ahem, your husband) who made the mistake of throwing her up into the air like a lubricated piston can actually be pretty amusing.  Experiencing the vomit, smelling the vomit, feeling the vomit… well, that’s a totally different story.

There you have it.  Ways feeding an infant is like playing with water balloons.  What did I miss?


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