Deck the halls with dirty laundry, fa la la la lurgh lrrgggghhh

"Mommy, I got boogers in my nose." That's what I woke up to at 6:26am on Christmas Eve. Ian had sat up in the sidecar crib next to me and looked at me with melancholy. I looked over and saw that Rich was gone. The first thought I had was "oh, good grief, Ian had sprawled so much in the bed last night we literally pushed Rich onto the floor. His love of co-sleeping is growing thin, I'm sure."

Then I realized he had left for his hockey pickup at 5:45 that morning. The alarm was set for 6:30 so Ian and I just turned it off and rallied for the day. We picked out some warm pants and a cute t-shirt and his special hockey sweatshirt (with a bear and a PUCK! and SKATES! and a HOCKEY STICK! and a HELMET!). Things were looking good for us to get to the rink just in time to catch the second half of ice time.

But as Ian sat on the dog bed in the living room and I was getting my bag packed, he coughed so hard that he threw up all over his warm pants. Thankfully the sweatshirt was saved, but we had to do a quick wardrobe change before we could get going. Undeterred, we headed to the rink to watch Daddy play hockey.

Christmas Eve at the rink

Rich had said several times that it would mean a lot to him if Ian and I came out to watch him play goal. When he turned around and saw us on the other side of the boards, the look on his face was priceless. He actually said I could wrap that up and make that one of his Christmas presents.

Hockey went well, Hardee's went well, last minute groceries and Food Lion went well and even an emergency trip to Super Cuts to de-mullet our son's hair went well. It wasn't until we had left all that and Ian was working on his "good haircut lollipop" that he started coughing again and proceeded to vomit all over himself and his car seat (the hockey sweatshirt was definitely not savable this time). Rich was literally two cars behind us and I was frantically trying to turn into the gas station and flag him down at the same time. I waved in a panic to him but he just cheerfully waved back and kept on driving.

So I texted hurriedly "vomit everywhere". I had considered using Siri to send something but worried it would get garbled into "comet underwear" and Rich would just think "Me-ow! I'll be shooting stars come nap time if she's already sending me naughty text messages!" as he motored home.

Ian and I pulled into the parking lot and I pulled out the emergency bag I had packed after vomit #1 that contained a complete change of clothes (including socks). Mom of the year! After mopping up part of the mess, I checked my phone and saw Rich's reply. "Oh no. Need help?"

Need help? What part of "vomit everywhere" sounds like "you just go on ahead home, honey. I know you're smelly from your 90 minutes of hockey pickup and could use a shower. I'll stay here in the Wawa parking lot and scoop up regurgitated seaweed salad out of the car seat." But instead I just texted back, "Yes."

Rich eventually met us there and could transfer the filth to the dumpster while I changed Ian's clothes. We were on our way home with plans for nap time. Ian had a yogurt and we eventually headed upstairs for some Mama milk to prep for a nap. Rich and his dad had gone to the local sub shop to pick up lunch for us all and his mom was downstairs. After a few minutes of Mama milk, Ian started coughing again and making the "thrup" sound. I had just patted myself on the back for catching his vomit in his blanket versus our bed sheets when he tried to roll away from the gross blankie and thew up again while on his back. Dear God, it was awful. He got snotty vomit up his nose and in his eyes! I grabbed him and sprinted to the bathroom as I just kept saying over and over "oh, Buddy, I'm so sorry. Hang in there, I'm so sorry."

And I texted "vomit again" to Rich. This time he came rushing upstairs as soon as he was home and helped the poor little guy get to sleep while I stripped the bed and cleaned the bathroom. A collective sigh of relief rang out around the house as Ian went down for a nap and we started some laundry.

But just over an hour later, Ian started coughing again and as we came up to check on him I could hear Rich say, "oh, Buddy, I'm so sorry." Yeah, I know what that means. Time to strip the comforter off the bed and try again.

As the laundry line continued, Ian was in fine spirits. I think it was just the snot triggering a gag reflex when he coughed too much. He probably didn't need yogurt since it coats your throat, but it was the only thing he was interested in eating. I insisted that both Ian and I have a bath before bed because despite rinsing off before I was convinced I smelled faint hints of vomit and wanted to eliminate the possibility it was one of us. We managed to get him settled for bed around 9pm and just kept the baby monitor close by to listen for tell-tale signs.

Sleeping propped up

Around 11pm I heard him fuss and cough a little. When I went up to check on him he was having a hard time breathing, so I propped him up on my stomach as a pillow. He snuggled down and seemed to be able to sleep. I took a picture and sent it to Rich downstairs. I was worried he would start coughing more so I wanted to keep an eye on him a bit. As I said as much to Rich via text, Ian started coughing very hard. I sat up and held him in my arms, blanket at the ready and his head on my chest, hoping that sitting up would help. After a particularly hard cough, Ian threw up his entire dinner right down my nursing tank shirt. And that's when I texted "vomit 911" to Rich.

Vomit 911

But the first thing I thought was "his clothes are clean, the blanket is clean, and thank everything the comforter is clean! It's a Christmas miracle!" So Rich sprinted upstairs and got Ian back to sleep propped up on a pillow while I headed once more into the shower after shaking my shirt out into the toilet. As I later told my parents, I was working on every puke-related parenting merit badge all in one day.

I'm pleased to report that this fifth and final vomit was all we had to deal with and he did much better on Christmas day. But Rich and I have also learned the subtle nuances of texting when puke is involved. I hate how the iPhone has a text "shortcut" that converts "omw" into "On my way!" but I may have found a new use for the shortcut feature.

I'm going to change it so that whenever I type vomit, it converts it to OMG VOMIT! YES I NEED HELP!!!

P.S. Rich got my "vomit again" text while he was almost back to the house from the sub shop with his dad. He asked his dad if he should type back "need help" and his father wisely said, "if you do, just drop me off and don't even bother coming home cause you won't be welcome there for a while."