Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bon Appétit!

My friend Jill at The Perlman Update has some sort of sick obsession with puke. And since she's resurrected the Foreign Service Bloggers Round-up (!!!!), I owe her.  This edition's theme?  Puke.

Vomitting. Hurling. Bowing to the Porcelain god.  Up-Chucking.  Ralphing.  Spewing.

You get the picture.

Our family's most recent pukefest is sadly still fresh in my mind.  Three week, two days ago to be exact.  It started innocuously enough.  Abby went to bed saying her tummy hurt a little.  It was the end of Christmas break, and I figured she was just unhappy with having to go back to school the next morning.  I tucked her in and went to bed myself.

And then at 4AM (of course)...I woke up to her crying.  I went into her room...and stepped in a gigantic puddle of puke.  Plus, I noticed that she had another puddle on her bed.  Yes, she was practically swimming in puke while I was wading through puke to get to her.

My poor sweet little girl.  I felt so bad that I had ignored her earlier pleas of tummy-achiness.  I helped her change her jammies and brush her teeth and gave her some of my super-secret-stash of anti-puke meds that I brought from the States.  I helped her find a clean pillow and blanket for the couch.  And then started the massive task of cleaning up the puke.

Unlike the general population, puke doesn't faze me. It's like a super power skill I possess.  I've worked ER, I've cleaned up many a pile of disgusting body fluids.  Over lunch, I've talked puke and poop and boogers with my RN besties while eating my meal.  There's very little that grosses me out or churns my stomach.  And if it does - watch out, because it must be truly, incredibly gross.

HOWEVER, having said this.  I can also say we're not a puking-kinda family. It's not like cleaning up puke at home is a weekly or even monthly event for me.  I have girlfriends who say their kids puke so frequently that they keep ziploc bags in the car, in their rooms, in their backpacks, everywhere. And that their kids are so adept at grabbing the bag, barfing into it, and zipping it closed when done.  WHAT!?  I personally haven't puked (well, before this blog entry) since Christmas 2007.  That's right.  Four years ago.  In fact, now that I think of it, the last time I can remember any of the kids puking is like three years ago when we were in Los Angeles and Owen and Abby were hurling into buckets by their bed, down with a bad case of stomach flu.

In any case, puking is just not a common phenomenom in our family.

But of course, like any good, loving family...if one gets sick, we all get sick.  Abby was (obviously) the first to be taken down.  Followed by myself, dominoing to the baby, then Owen, and finally, the fab hubby. 

My woes started similarly to Abby's.  At work the next day, I felt 'icky'.  Grumpy tummy, odly nauseaous.  By that night I was puking my guts out.  Unlike Abby, I was able to make it to an appropriate recepticle to puke in (the toilet).  I finished my task and took a long, hot shower.  I crawled into bed and read a bit, trying to calm my angry guts.

But sadly, Kellen caught it that night as well. I heard him crying about two hours after I had tucked him in bed. I assumed it was a bad dream that had awoken him.  I managed to peel my own sad, sick body out of bed.  I went into his room and pulled him up to my chest, hugging and soothing him.  And then noted the puddle of puke.  The smell.  The texture (which was by now also smeared all over my own pajamas, my face, and my neck).  I did the only thing I could do at that point.  I cried.

Jason came in and saw me in my worst meltdown.  Kellen and I were covered in puke and I was crying.  And although Jason can hardly stand the smell, he helped me clean it up and get the dirty linens into the washer.  I bathed Kellen and gave him some medication.  I tucked him back in and took a much-needed shower (again) myself.  I crawled into bed and instantly fell asleep.

I took the next day off work to recover, sleeping nearly 15 hours straight.  That night I managed to keep a little bit of dinner down.  Abby and Kellen were downright chipper, happily eating their entire meals.  I thought the worst was over.

But of course, it wasn't.

This time is was 2AM.  I awoke to Owen yelling "MOM!" I ran into the hall, and slid through yet another pile of puke.  This time, it was Owen who said "I couldn't make it to the toilet, but I made it to the hall!" (He was proud.)  ::sigh:: The clean-up was monstrous.  Our hallway is hard wood floors, and so it had splattered all over the floors, onto the walls, and onto the doors.  It was practically dripping off the ceiling.  I got Owen cleaned up and back into bed and began yet another chore of puke clean-up.

But wait, there's even more! During all of this, I had called for Jason to help me, but he had responded with "My stomach is killing me!"  He was doubled over in bed, fighting a lost cause against the viral infection that had systematically taken down the rest of us.  I had no choice but to clean it all myself.

The fab hubby actually managed not to ralph his guts out, but he did end up spending the next day in bed.  He was miserable.  We were miserable.

When we packed for Luxor the next night, I took an arsenal of medications.  Anti-nausea, anti-vomit, anti-diarrhea.  We would not be taken down by this!  We were going on vacation one way or another.  Mostly because the airline tickets were non-refundable.  That and the fab hubby had little-to-no chance of getting time off anywhere in the near future.  Nor would I be able to for that matter.  We. Were. Going.

But this puke story DOES have a mostly happy ending.  Our flight to Luxor was pretty anti-climactic considering how sick we had all felt.  Not one of us barfed.  When we arrived in Luxor, we opted to spend the entire first day at the resort, resting and recovering from the viral attack.  And then the rest of our vacation sightseeing.  And a little bit more relaxing.

At breakfast the next morning, Owen said he was feeling a bit queasy.  He was still making a great attempt to eat though, because he said he was hungry.  But near the end of our meal, I looked over at him and noticed he had *THAT LOOK* -- closed mouth, puffed-out cheeks, eyes wide open in terror.  I grabbed a napkin and held it under his chin.  And he puked.  Amazingly I was able to catch it all.  Jason looked at me in awe.  Yes, I am that awesome.

The next two days were uneventful, at least in terms of puking.

On the last day of our trip, we spent lunch at a pool-side restaurant.  Having made it this far through our vacay, I relaxed.  We were all feeing better, laughing, and enjoying lunch.  We ate our meals and appreciated the view of the infinity pool and the Nile River. I looked over at Owen across the table, who had just finished most of his pizza.  He had *that* oddly green look.  His mouth was closed. His eyes were bulging.  His cheeks puffed out.  "NO!!!" I said and scrambled to reach across the table with a napkin.  But it was too late.  He leaned over his plate and ralphed out his entire meal.  WE HAD TO GET OUT OF THERE.

Just as Jason and I had made eye contact and were about to scramble to grab the kids and make a run for it, the waiter came up and said "BON APPÈTIT! Can I get you anything?" and then looked at the puked-upon plate.

*Awkward Pause*  *Uncomfortable Silence*

"Can I get him...another pizza?" he asked.  Jason and I screwed our faces up and managed not to howl in laughter.  We paid and left as fast as we could, thankful that we were returning home in just a few hours.   Because there was no way we ever could eat there again.

Sorry, no pics for this blog entry!  Puke never photographs well.


  1. Your blog is linked in the latest FS BRU!


  2. Ugh! Barf in restaurants is THE WORST! Still can I get him another pizza???? That poor waiter. LOL! Thanks for the giggles.

  3. Oh MY I nearly spat on my screen LOL; Great post, I hope Owen is feeling much better!