Must ... Not ... Inhale

The fact that I just Googled "how to clean vomit off couch" really tells you all you need to know.

But hello? This is me. I always tell you more than what you need to know. Heck, I tell you more than you want to know. It's my personal motto.

You're welcome.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I was all set to write a post this morning about how Natalie is sick with a fever-cough thing. (Could be a cold or could be the flu according to Internet diagnosis engines. And yes, I agree that I am entirely too cozy with Google.) (Random question of the week: Why do we say a cold and the flu? We all know there is more than one strain of influenza. Yet it somehow retains the formal proposition of "the." Like it's The Queen or The President of The Brangelina. Weird.)


The Sickness is noteworthy because its the first illness we've had in our family in about a year. That's right. Twelve months without so much as a runny nose.

I don't know how we got so lucky. Maybe it's Corey's alien DNA. (For the uninitiated: My husband is adopted, and we know nothing about his genetic background. However, many external signs point to a Vulcan father. Something about the pointy ears.) Maybe it's because I let the kids eat food out of the garbage can to build their immunity. Maybe it's because I'm still nursing my six- and four-year-old, and we all know mother's milk strengthens immunity.

(JOKING! Oh, I'm so sorry about that last one. But I just cleaned vomit off my couch. I'm entitled to some dark humor, don't you think?)

Whatever the reason, we've managed to fight off all viruses and bacteria (minus the mastitis, which doesn't count in my book) until this weekend.

And I think I know what turned the tide.

I was getting smug. A little cocky. A tad too confident in our family's extraordinary germ-fighting immunity.

Pride cometh before the vomit.

So Saturday, when Natalie started to say, "I don't feel good, Mommy," I knew what was coming. After all, most of the blogs I read and many of my real-life friends have been, "The whole family is sick, I have vomit in my hair and in my bed, I hate February" for the last six weeks.

I took her temperature -- 101.2 -- and dished out some bubble-gum-flavored Tylenol and made her a nest of blankets on the couch where she could watch Noggin to her heart's content.

This morning, Connor joined in on the "I don't feel good, Mommy" chorus. At first, I thought he was faking it to get some of the great medicine Natalie's getting. (We get sick so infrequently, the kids think medicine is an elusive treat, a grape nectar of the gods.) But when he wouldn't eat breakfast -- and this child often out-eats me at breakfast, which is saying something -- I knew he was for real.

And the vomit said child just spewed onto my couch? Also very real.

Excuse me while I dry heave. Because -- trivia -- the smell of vomit is my Kryptonite. I try my darnedest not to breathe through my nose while I'm cleaning up the mess, but I rarely succeed. And it only takes one wiff for me to start compulsively gagging.

So if anyone's looking for us, this is where we'll be. Sitting on the couch, avoiding the spots soaked with Febreeze and marinating in Noggin. (Except for Yo Gabba Gabba, if I can help it. Seriously, is that not the American answer to Boohbah? Bizarre! Naturally, my kids love it.)

Oh, and Jon? What night this week would you like to come over for dinner? We can't wait to see you.


  1. Will Febreeze actually clean it or just get rid of the smell. *um, just wondering*

  2. Ha! As long as you dress up Natalie and Connor like Michael Jackson's kids with a facemasks and blankets. I, also, do NOT heart the aroma of vomit. Hey, that could be your next post. Top 10 worst smells to invade my house now that I have children. Puke has got to be in the top three. Number one at my house: my roommate. Apparently showers become optional after 27.

  3. To clarify -- for Kailani and the inevitable Google searchers who will be sent my way -- Febreeze is only on smell-patrol. To clean the couch, I used a rag to clean up the chunky, another rag soaked with cold water to clean up the creamy, and carpet cleaner to handle the stain. (Guess I'm not having PB&J for lunch anymore.)

    And to Jon -- puke is ALWAYS the number one worst smell in my book. Always. Invite me over sometime, and I will laugh at your roommate's foul odor.

  4. Gosh, after the details in that last comment, I feel sick.

    Our last barfing sickness was in October, and the boys' room still smells of it. I give up.

  5. Ugh...I'm so sorry. I just can't think of anything pleasant to say about vomit, so I'm not going to say anything at all. Except that I hope your kids are feeling better very, very soon.

  6. That's bad! We haven't had much sickness (see I learned from your pride) and I hope it stays far away!

  7. Oh so funny, but yet so sad. I am glad you have such a great sense of humor.

  8. I am going to write "pride cometh before the vomit" somewhere in our medicine cabinet. That's good, sister. That's good.

    I'm SO sorry. In the spirit of too much, the worst is when the barf smell resides in your nose for a good 3 days post vomit. Nas. ty.

    I hope the sick become well. I hope the mommy and the baby do not become sick. And I hope Hubby does not see this as a good time to call the mothership.

    Be well.

  9. Oooh. The mothership is NEVER a good idea. Hope ya'll get well soon.

  10. You know, the one good thing about being a former bulimic is that vomit does not faze me at all. But poop - ugh, I still can't handle poop. And boogers. Ick.

    Woman, get yourself a carpet cleaner with an upholstery attachment. Best money I ever spent. Sorry you are all sick, hope you are feeling better soon.

    And your comment on my box post made me laugh and laugh and laugh, so thanks :>

  11. The worst viruses are "that" kind. So sorry, hope you and the wee one escape it!

  12. It sounds like said roommate should take 4, 5 and 6, only after vomit, diarreah (A word I'm okay with not being able to spell!) and perhaps number 3 could be a combination of the two.

    Yuck. I hope you all feel better. There is some nasty stuff going around.

    And around.

    And around.

    Better soon,

  13. we did the same thing. a year or more without a trip to the doctor and in the last 3 weeks i have carried one child after another with different things.

  14. Ewwww.

    Really, Kelly, personal application of some Bible verses from family devotions is a little much! Next time just skip Isaiah 28:8! (All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth.)

  15. I'm with Sue on this a former bulimic I can laugh at vomit. I can catch it in my hands and not blink.
    But poop? Poop is my kryptonite. Especially those up the back-all over the bed-I painted the walls with my poop, poops. Those make me want to curl up in a corner and cry. And the phrase "Mom can you can wipe me?" makes my stomach turn every day.

    Okay, that was waaayyy too much information, but I know you can handle it since you art THE Queen of TMI.

  16. Sorry about the typing know how I get distracted when I'm watching the whiny French boy.

  17. So sorry, Kelly! YUCK! We just went through this on Valentine's Day, and it is the worst. I'll trade 10 head colds for one puke virus any day.
    Get better soon!

  18. Poor babies! Hope everyone is gettin' better.

    And for the record, if puke gets to you now, just wait 'til the boys get bigger and start hocking up snot balls in the kitchen sink. I'm ready to hurt me some kids over that mess. Needless to say, I'm keeping the Clorox Clean up close by.

    To squirt them with.



  19. My house is full of "The Flu" right now. I'm just thanking my lucky stars that there has been no puking involved. Gross.