Tom took Owen to a retirement ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico—mostly because Owen missed out on a Pokémon run we did without him yesterday during school hours. Tom sent me these pics.
So earlier this summer I bought three afternoon tickets for Pirate’s Cove Water Park from a deal site—and we finally got around to using them today (which we had to since they close on Labor Day!).
So we get there at 3, get the bag unpacked, get in the pool, and within 15 minutes, it was announced that everyone had to exit the main pool and it would reopen in one hour. (They didn’t say it was poop, but we were 99% sure that’s what it was.)
The whole point of this place (for me!) is that Katie and Owen can both go in the main pool so I don’t have to be in two places at once—the big waterslides with Owen or the kiddie pool with Katie (and neither has to be bored sitting out at the other). So first we went to the kiddie pool where Katie had fun and me and Owen sat on the edge of the pool. Then Owen wanted to do the big waterslides so we went over there for a bit and sat and watched him. (Katie was tall enough but she refused to try them…even though they weren’t much different than the one she loved in Kalkaska.) Then we went back to the kiddie pool and left Owen at the slides.
The hour passes and everyone gets back in the main pool. Within, I’d say, 30 minutes, they announced the pool was closed again for 45 minutes! And this time I know it was poop because I saw a lifeguard get gloves on and reach down into the pool…and then as we were filing out, I saw little pieces of poop all over.
SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE? I know you want your little ones to have fun in the “big” pool but COME ON. Have some respect for EVERYONE ELSE. The world doesn’t revolve around YOU.
So, to recap, we got there at about 3:05 and were in the pool until 3:15 and then we were in the pool from 4:15-4:45. So 45 minutes total—and they close at 6! So I told the kids to pack up, we weren’t staying, and I was asking for a refund. They were actually dealing with a few rainchecks as we walked out, so the guy didn’t even question me and handed me a voucher for three full-day passes! So instead of just an afternoon, we now had a whole day! If we wanted to try it again, that is…
Owen had said his belly hurt after dinner but we didn’t think much of it since he says that now and again and it’s never anything.
So I forgot all about it and went to bed excited (though late), thinking there’s nothing like falling asleep at midnight planning on your first, nice, deep, uninterrupted sleep in nine days (post-vacation)…only to be awoken at 12:30 by a kid crying in your doorway saying they’ve puked and need help cleaning up.
It was everywhere. And it was some of the worst I’ve smelled. I knew right away there was no way I could handle it all by myself, so I had him wait there while I quickly went to wake up Tom. Between the two of us, it still took a good 30 minutes to clean up.
We had put a huge bowl next to his bed (“just in case”) but there was no point as he had obviously just puked and then rolled over the edge of the bed and puked again. There was puke covering about a 4′ square section of carpet, he was covered (hair, PJs, face), all of his bedding (including bed skirt!) had to be removed…and it had even started soaking through the mattress protector. We had to clean the carpet as best we could without getting out the Rug Doctor (which would surely have woken Katie up) and we had to get out (and blow up) the air mattress (since I wasn’t going to put him back in bed without a barf-proof mattress pad cover). Then we covered the floor with towels and started a load of laundry. And hoped that would be our only wakeup call.
The only thing I could think was “At least we were at home and not at the condo or in a hotel or in the car.”
Except our trip also had nice weather and grandparents!
But seriously, it was fun overall and I’m glad we got the chance to go. That said, it would have obviously been a lot better if Tom hadn’t been sick for most of it. He spent probably the first two full days between the bed and—TMI—bathroom. Neither of us got much sleep, as I woke up every time he got up (the first night there, we were both up from about midnight to 5am). Then he got to sleep all the next day while I had to function with the kids (and deal with the beach and sand and baths, etc.). But the weather was gorgeous, the kids had a great time (which is the most important part), and it was wonderful spending the week with the grandparents!
And Mr. Bowels of Steel just erupted. All across my carpet, him and his clothes, the bathroom floor, the toilet, etc. And he was even wearing a pull-up. A complete disaster. (He had diarrhea once already this morning and made it to the potty without incident…so I was not expecting this.)
Of course he doesn’t like having poop all over him so I ask “Wouldn’t it be easier and cleaner to just poop in the potty like a big boy so we didn’t have to do this?”
“BUT I DON’T LIKE POOPING IN THE POTTY.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, he needs a bath and I need to sanitize the bathroom and clean the carpets.
Otherwise titled I guess there’s no better time to get crazy sick than two hours after your parents arrive for their two-week visit…and as long as we’re at it, no better time for BOTH kids to get sick as well.
I started feeling headachy about an hour after we got back from the airport yesterday and thought it was because I hadn’t eaten much all day…so had a snack and some water. And it got worse. Then I felt nauseous. Then I was spouting from both ends, as they say.
I was REALLY thankful that Grannie Lin and Papa were here, even though I felt bad they walked straight into kid duty.
But, because they were here, I could just relax…and then go to bed early. Like 7:47 I had my lights out and phone off early. I tossed and turned and slept fitfully until about midnight when I finally fell into a good sleep.
In the morning I felt fine…and learned that Owen had woken up crying loudly about 10pm (I am amazed I missed it). But he didn’t have a fever and looked and said he felt fine, so it was off to school.
I got a call about 11:30 saying he had thrown up but didn’t have a fever so he could stay at school, but they were just letting me know what was going on. (Apparently they have to throw up twice in an hour or have a fever to be sent home.) But then about half an hour later I got a call saying he hadn’t gotten sick again but he wasn’t eating lunch and was crying and asking for his mama so it was up to me. So I went to get him. They told me a stomach bug has been going around. (And in the meantime, the friends who had the gymnastics birthday party yesterday emailed and apologized saying that they’d seen a lot of our Facebook posts and added to their family…it appears a bug may have been spread at their party.) So who knows what really happened.
Owen seemed somewhat better once he was home, but I made him rest and drink water. I was thankful Katie was the vision of health. Until a few hours later when she suddenly barfed all over herself and the couch. And as I was gathering her up and getting dad and Linda to help out…I heard Linda rushing Owen to the bathroom where he puked.
Then Katie seemed fine and Owen seemed pretty okay…but tired out. He finally fell asleep and slept hard for a good two hours when I struggled to wake him up and got him to pee and go to bed. Katie seemed fine the rest of the night.
Here’s hoping it’s a less-than-24-hour thing for them, too, and they’re both healthy tomorrow. AND that the grandparents don’t get it…
Today was Owen’s four-month check up with the pediatric GI. Unfortunately, we really haven’t seen much progress.
He’ll have good days and bad days, but pretty much every day he still has poopy underwear. Some of it is a matter of him not wanting to poop (which he admits) and trying to hold it in, but some of it is still the liquidy stuff that I don’t think he can control—which would mean he’s still backed up (impacted). But since he does seem to poop quite a bit (quantity-wise) I just couldn’t fathom that he was still backed up. Also, it seemed to me that when he has normal poops (i.e. not the soft squishy stuff) he has no problem going—he knows he needs to go and he goes and it’s perfect. We gave up on the daily mineral oil after the first few days because it just gave him diarrhea every single day (which is NOT what it was supposed to do).
So in talking with the doc and telling him everything…he said he thinks that Owen is still impacted. Especially when he asked if I felt that Owen was really ever fully cleaned out (like when we did the 8-hour no-food clean out)—like did he ever just get down to pure watery poops—and I said no. He asked if the semi-regular clean-outs after that were any better (we’ve been doing a semi-clean out about every three weeks) and I said no. So he said that if it was HIS son and he was at the four-month mark with no real progress, he would admit him for a hospitalized clean-out. Which could take anywhere from 3-5 days. IN WILMINGTON.
Hospitalization may sound awful, but he assured me they do A TON of them and it’s really no big deal. Some of the worst cases he’s seen? They remove 10# of poop from the kid! He doesn’t think Owen is that bad, but he thinks it’s the best bet to make sure we’re basically starting with a clean slate so-to-speak. He also warned that it isn’t the magic solution, though it can work wonders and a lot of parents said it was a miracle and wished they’d done it sooner. Of course, it won’t help with his emotional issues about not WANTING to poop, but at least we know we’ll be starting from scratch.
At this point, I’m game to try ANYTHING so I said of course we’ll do that. They said they can pretty much get us in whenever, so I just had to figure out Katie care since she can’t stay there with us. I can also stay overnight, but I don’t need to so if I think he’ll be okay then he can stay by himself.
Of course Owen was there listening to all of this and I was worried he would be freaked out or would refuse to go or would have a meltdown…but the doctor said “Kids don’t mind it at all! They can watch TV, movies, and play XBOX games!” Owen’s ears perked up. The doc asked if Owen would mind going to the hospital and he said no—and he actually wanted to go right then and didn’t understand why he couldn’t.
So I contacted my sitter (the same one we used when we went away for the weekend) because I know her summer nannying job is over, and she said she can do it…so tomorrow I have to call to schedule. I’m hoping for Sunday because I have a dinner outing planned Thursday, an old friend (one of my high school classmates) coming in from out of town Friday morning, and a birthday party and BBQ to go to Saturday. Then just hope it only takes two days and not four or five.
Stay tuned for updates!
So, let’s just say there was a MAJOR poop incident tonight that should NOT have happened because he’s old enough and smart enough to know better. As he was in the bath and we were talking about it and discussing future punishments if it happened again…it went like this:
Me: If this happens again, we will take away your Legos for a week.
Owen: And if you take them away again…it would be…subtraction.
I was stunned into momentarily silence because that was NOT what I was expecting him to say but he WAS technically right. Stinker. I tried to keep from laughing but I did chuckle.
Me: You’re absolutely right. That would be subtraction.
Katie still has diarreah…and this morning was a bit worse than normal with three full diapers before her morning nap (it’s been maybe once per day up until now). This, of course, necessitated two outfit changes as well.
I was standing in the kitchen talking to my mom when I look up to see Owen in the hallway just standing there but looking kinda…strange…and quiet. It didn’t register. Then he threw up as only Owen could do—basically just opened his mouth and it comes spewing out. That’s when I noticed the PILES of puke in the living room. Ugh.
Well, I immediately pulled him onto the linoleum, knowing that he likely wasn’t done because when he pukes, it’s not just once or twice—it’s usually at least 3-4 times. And if you try to move him, he’ll puke the entire way and you’ll have a bigger area to clean up. And yep, he puked three more times.
Luckily Katie was down for her nap.
Unluckily Tom was out getting his hair cut.
Luckily my mom was there.
Unluckily she wasn’t feeling well, either.
I stripped Owen and gave him a quick bath then started the cleanup. During which I discovered he also puked on the couch and iPad.
At least we had brought carpet and upholstery cleaner with us (something I’ve learned to do with two kids and a dog). So I was on my hands and knees scrubbing for 20 minutes and of course Tom walked in right as I was finishing. Them I had to change clothes because I had puke splatter plus wet knees from cleaning the carpet.
As usual, Owen didn’t appear to be sick (before or after)…so who knows why he puked.
Then when Katie got up from her nap, she was sitting in my lap…and let’s just say I had to change clothes again.
Then at dinner, Owen was eating too fast while simultaneously eating like a horse and not chewing well enough and he started coughing HARD…which—yep, you guessed it—leads to vomiting! At least he puked onto his plate and we had nothing to clean.
It’s rare he pukes at all, so to have him do it twice in one day? We wondered if he really might be sick (both Tom and my mom had a day of the icks) but he had no other symptoms and we knew the second time was from coughing. I think everything was just a big coincidence.
Katie has never really had diarrhea.
When I took her to visit my mom and her friends at someone else’s house.
Without a diaper bag because we were only going to be there for 20-30 minutes.
Needless to say my mom had to run me home, I sent her back with carpet cleaner, I had to give Katie a bath (first one by myself!), and then put all of our clothes in the laundry.
We didn’t attempt to go back because with my luck it would happen all over again—or worse. At least all the people there have had kids of their own (or had enough experience with kids) that it wasn’t really a big deal to anyone.
So I figured it was time for an Owen poop update. Unfortunately it’s not great news.
Since his initial appointment, we had one—ONE!—good week of Owen pooping by himself in the potty…meaning knowing he had to go, stopping what he was doing to poop (even coming in from playing!), clean underwear most of the time (rarely any skids, even!), earning Legos on an almost hourly basis…
Then it all turned to shit again (pun intended) and after two weeks of shit-filled underwear/pull-ups I am (once again) at my wits end.
I just don’t get how he could make the change so easily—be doing everything PERFECTLY—then apparently some inner flip switches and he decides You know what? I’m not going to do that anymore and I’m going to pretend like I have no clue what’s going on.
Sometimes we catch a lucky break and he actually poops in the toilet after we tell him to go in there (but not always). We have tried the every-hour-on-the-hour method…to no avail. He won’t even tell us he has pooped his pants.
So, that week he was being awesome? It was amazing. I was so happy and had zero stress and life was great and thought Yes! This is what life should be like! Ahhh! Yeah, that was apparently the kiss of death. Now, unfortunately, the urge to strangle him is back.
But I guess at least he’s pooping and not backed up. Small consolation.
I can’t wait to hear what the doc has to say at our next appointment. I’m guessing his job is done (for the most part) because Owen is no longer backed up and IS pooping.
Maybe we need a psychologist. Or an exorcist.
In today’s TMI posting…
OWEN JUST POOPED AN ALMOST-PERFECT NORMAL POOP!
It was soft but in solid form and was a normal (yet slim) size! When Owen saw it, he said “A brown stick!”
Well…yes, I guess so, especially compared to what he’s been used to!
And no, I didn’t take a picture. Not even for Tom.
Please please please let this be the start of something approaching normal..
Well, it went better than I expected…aside from the initial poop incident this morning.
Owen was a real rock star when it came to sitting on the toilet and trying to poop. He learned that if you blow the balloon hard enough without holding on to it that it flies out of your mouth (and usually hits me) and that’s GREAT fun to him. It’s somewhat annoying, however, so he has to blow up the balloon for real and THEN if he’s successful he gets to let it fly around the room. He also didn’t seem to mind that it was all liquid (it seems strange to me as an adult that he doesn’t mind diarrhea, but to him I guess it’s just way easier than actually pooping).
As far as if he’s completely cleaned out yet…well, I really don’t know. From talking to other friends who have gone through this with their own kids, I just thought there’d be A LOT more poop. I mean, there was a lot of liquid but it’s not like I have a conversion chart for that. I actually put in a call to his doctor today asking about it (because he really only had those two lime-sized poops the first day and the rest has been diarrhea) and the doctor said he’s probably mostly cleaned out and to just go to the daily regimen.
Oh man. The pooping today was the least of it. His butt is now so raw he screams when you try to wipe him. Hell, not even wipe with wet wipes but barely dabbing at it with wet wipes. So he’s completely slathered in butt cream tonight and I’m hoping he sleeps through the night so we don’t have to deal with screaming and a reapplication in the middle of the night.
7:00—The first 4oz of “special water” took 30 minutes to drink with lots of nudging.
7:15—I showed Owen what his end-of-day treat would be if he was really good—he was EXCITED!
8:00—4oz in 20 minutes. Not bad.
9:00—And the tantrums start. He refuses to drink and wants to eat. Thankfully Katie came to the rescue and made him laugh by pulling everything off the shelf.
So once his mind was on to something else, he ended up drinking the juice pretty quickly.
10:00—“Mommy, why are you putting sugar in my juice?” But wow. He drank the juice in 10 minutes with no prompting!
10:00–11:00—Begging for a snack about every five minutes. “Please? Very very very very please?!”
11:00—4oz of juice gone in under 10 minutes. It looks like juice is the way to go. More requests for marshmallows. Yeah, who knows.
Noon—The juice disappeared instantly. “Mama I’m hungry! I’m very very hungry. I want something to eat!”
12:15—The first epic hunger meltdown.
12:30—Yet another typical poop (nothing explosive or messy yet!) but he went to the bathroom on his own…so he earned a Lego!
1:00—I think he inhaled the juice…but then had another epic hunger meltdown. I feel so horrible telling him he can’t eat.
2:00—More juice, more requests for snacks.
3:00—Nothing was really happening poop-wise which was kinda scary—I mean, NINE FULL DOSES of Miralax and he wasn’t pooping?! Plus he was STARVING and I wasn’t sure what to do next because the prescribed daily regimen was complete. So I called his doctor (the specialist we saw yesterday) and talked to an available doctor who told me to finish the Miralax dosing, start giving him half doses of the chocolate ex-lax (which will actually make him poop, as opposed to the Miralax just softening things up), feed him a light snack and dinner, and to call in the morning if he still wasn’t pooping.
And then he snacked on his favorite cheese crackers, pear slices, and juice.
3:30—He started pooping a little…but still nothing of the magnitude I expected.
4:00–4:45—The last special juice mix for the day. A few trips to the potty but still nothing much.
If this home remedy stuff doesn’t work, he may have to be hospitalized.
5:45—His first real success (two pieces about the size of limes)! Normally I’d be thinking we were done but there HAS to be lots more in there.
We certainly have our work cut out for us…
So…I haven’t been talking about it, but Owen is still having major poop(ing) issues. Everything from constipation to diarrhea. Lately we’ve been going through 5-7 pairs of underwear a day.
We’ve tried eliminating milk from his diet, he was tested for Celiac, we gave him probiotics…and nothing ever really seemed to help. So we scheduled an appointment with the GI specialist and it was this morning.
The diagnosis? He’s impacted. All the little peanut-buttery poops we’ve been getting is basically leakage because he has so much poop backed up that the soft stuff is all that will come out. (I’m sure it hasn’t been impacted the whole seven months…but it’s apparently been most of the time.)
So, we basically get to do colonoscopy prep without actually having the colonoscopy. A full dose of Miralax every hour from 8a–5pm and then a maintenance schedule of one full dose of Miralax every day PLUS Ex-Lax chocolates PLUS mineral oil PLUS as much of a high fiber diet as we can get him to eat PLUS sitting on the potty after each meal blowing up balloons (it mimics the action of pooping).
FOR SIX WEEKS.
We basically have to retrain (and shrink) his colon while trying to teach him how to poop.
I can promise that tomorrow is NOT going to be fun for either of us. Nor is the following six weeks. But hopefully it will do some good… I’m hoping we’ll get back into undies fairly quickly.
So, then it was off to get him an X-ray and Tom met us there because of the whole no-kids-sitting-alone thing. Which Owen LOVED.
As far as him understanding what’s going on… He just knows he went to the doctor to see if we could fix his pooping. I explained what’s going to happen tomorrow (he has to drink lots of water and will be pooping a lot)…but who knows how much he really understands.
Photos from the day…
Owen seems to be doing better, but only in the sense that he doesn’t give us underwear full of poop anymore. I think with the lesser dose of Miralax, the poop is harder to squeeze in between Christian bookstore.
LOL!!—I had to leave that Siri* transcription because it was hilarious. It should have read:
I think with the lesser dose of Miralax, the poop is harder and sticks in between his butt cheeks.
We have generally been catching him in time to sit him on the toilet…sometimes it falls out, sometimes he poops it out, and other times we wipe it out. But it’s much less of a mess overall, even if we have to use 10 wipes.
Also, we haven’t gotten mad or upset at all. He still doesn’t like us to check his butt, but things are going much better. Well, until today when he decided he wanted to try and wipe himself. /shudder/
One day at a time is still our motto…
*Siri is the intelligent personal iPhone assistant that I often use to transcribe long passages when I’m on my phone.
Or maybe I should say a zenpoop master? Or a poopzen master? Whatever you want to call it, I was it.
I was calm.
I was cool.
I was collected.
I promised Owen I wouldn’t yell at him again.
I told him it was okay if he pooped in his underwear (but I’d still like him to try to poop in the potty).
I told him he wouldn’t be in trouble.
You see, in talking about this whole ordeal with my mom friends, I came to the conclusion that the Miralax might actually be making it harder (in a sense) for him to poop successfully—since if it was making the stool too soft, he might not realize he had to poop and then OOPS before you know it, it’s there. And if he really isn’t able to control it, then OHMYGOD do I feel guilty about getting mad at him, you know? As a friend pointed out, he’s still learning what it takes to poop—especially since it’s different than pooping in a diaper, we’re guessing he had constipation and possibly pain issues, and now with the drugs it’s a different feeling/experience yet! Ugh, talk about mom guilt.
Hence the zen master.
Luckily it was a pretty easy day so I wasn’t REALLY tested…but we still went through (I think) five pair of underwear. But there were no HUGE disasters, which I think can be attributed to A) him pooping quite a bit over the past two days and B) decreasing the Miralax dose (I’m hoping to hit on the magic amount that will make pooping easier but not create a holy mess).
Please keep your fingers crossed.
I do feel bad for yelling but OH MY GOD…he pooped a huge poop IN HIS UNDERWEAR and didn’t tell me. So when I discover it and pull his undies down (in front of the toilet), it falls out on the carpet AND HE STEPS IN IT. So now it’s ground into the rug and in between his toes—and he does NOT like to be dirty so he was having an absolute fit. (No, I don’t understand why—if he doesn’t like to be dirty—he tolerates a poopy butt.)
And then I see he has poop smeared all up and down his legs, not even mentioning the five wipes-full still in his butt. All the while Katie is screaming because she’s hungry and I can’t do anything because I have to take care of him. About 30 wipes later (baby for him and cleaning for the bathroom) it was off to the tub because I just couldn’t get it all off with wipes. And then I had to clean the carpet. And wash poop out if his underwear. Then clean the sink.
The only cute part was him saying “Me and Katie are crying. We’re not happy.” I told him mommy wasn’t happy, either.
I am SO over this. I know I wanted him potty trained, but at this point I really wouldn’t care if he’s in diapers until high school. This is THE biggest pain in the ass and I hate it. HATE IT.
Of course, after the heat of the moment, he was fine and I was fine…but of course I felt horrible (and I did apologize to him for yelling).
I know I’m not a bad mom—and I know I shouldn’t have acted as I did—but after you’ve been dealing with this for this long (going on a month) it gets really old. And frustrating. And sometimes you just lose your shit.
All you can do is hope tomorrow will be a better day.
Owen just lost all privileges of playing out of my sight.
He was upstairs and I assumed he was playing nicely. Ha.
Well, at first I heard some loud noises, but it sounded like his golf balls rolling around in the tub so I figured he was just playing in the tub which was fine. Then it got quiet and I got a little worried…but Katie was sleeping on me so I let him be and kept my fingers crossed.
Then he came down the stairs and I see he had taken off his pants and underwear—which worried me because that’s what he’s been doing when he has to poop. So I put Katie down (which wakes her up, of course) and go over to him…and notice poop hanging from his butt.
So I make him stand there until I can go grab a wipe to take care of that so it doesn’t end up in the carpet. Then we head up to the bathroom and OH MY.
Where to start? I couldn’t take it all in at once.
- There was a pair of underwear in the toilet.
- His underwear and pants were in a pile next to the toilet.
- The tub was full of toys.
- The hand towel was in the sink.
- The mirror had water drops splashed on it.
- The shelf above the sink was covered in water and toothpaste.
- The countertop was covered in water and toothpaste.
- There was poop smeared on the counter.
- The toilet seat was covered in poop smears.
- His shirt was drenched.
- There was toothpaste on the countertop.
- I lifted the towel from the sink to discover two toothbrushes—completely covered in a combination of toothpaste and liquid soap.
- I noticed his kiddie flossers in the sink and on the counter—which meant he got up into the second shelf of the medicine cabinet (where I put things to keep them out of his reach).
Needless to say he got a time out…and he lost TV privileges for the day.
Overall I know it could have been worse, but I was still livid. This is the kind of stuff I just do NOT have the patience for…and what I worried about long before having kids. And I have to say that if Owen was acting like this earlier (at a younger age, like the Terrible Twos that we missed) I would have seriously debated having a second.