An Exorcism in Our Minivan

We were driving out-of-town, down a divided highway, to visit Alex’s mom for the weekend with Alex behind the wheel.  I realized that Alex was driving a bit erratically – weaving in and out of traffic, stopping suddenly, and gunning it.  I asked him why he was driving like a madman, and then asked him to stop.  I looked back to check on the kids at the exact same time that Luke started projectile vomiting all over himself, his car seat, and the mini van.  I swear I saw his head spin completely around.  I told Alex to pull over … NOW.  Flustered, he pulled over on the shoulder of the highway.  I told him to keep going until he found somewhere safer.  He went about half a mile up while Luke continued to puke everywhere.  A street came up on the right to turn in.  I told Alex to stop the car. What we didn’t realize was that we were actually pulling into the entrance of a waste management facility.  We didn’t care.  The van reeked of vomit.  Anna was gagging and screaming that Luke was choking (she says that someone is choking when they are vomiting).  Luke was crying.

Alex stopped the car and we both sprung into action.  I opened the back hatch while Alex unhooked Luke and brought him back to me.  I grabbed a bag of wipes and tried to figure out where to start.  He was caked in vomit.  I just kept repeating, ‘oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh’.  I took Luke’s hearing aids out and took his shirt over his head, smearing puke all over his face and hair.  Alex said he looked back and saw strings of puke hanging from Luke’s face.  We were both gagging. While Alex attempted to mop up the puddles of puke from the car seat, I stripped Luke down and gave him a ‘bath’ with baby wipes.  I changed his diaper and decided to put him in the front seat (wearing only a diaper) until Alex was done cleaning his chair.  As I went to the passenger side to open the door, I noticed about 48 mosquitos sitting on the side of the car.  Apparently, we parked in the middle of a swarm of them.  I immediately backtracked.  Luke was only in a diaper – it would have been a skin buffet for those little blood suckers. I swung around to the other side and stashed Luke in the driver’s seat.

Nothing to see here – just up to our elbows in puke and mosquitos at a waste management plant.

Hey Mom, what the hell is going on?

Apparently, mosquitos are smarter than I gave them credit for.  As we were cleaning everything up so we could attempt to get back on the road, those little bastards were making their way to the inside of the van. By the time we were hitting the road with Luke back in his seat, there were about 27 mosquitos that had taken up residence inside our van.  We spent the next 90 miles swatting mosquitos and trying to ignore the lingering puke smell.  I made it my personal mission to murder any mosquito that came anywhere within arms length of me.  My efforts inspired Alex to start singing ‘Danger Zone’.  Luke slept through it all.  Apparently being exorcised is an exhausting experience.

The Power of Christ compels you!


The Life and Times of Kitty

One morning shortly after Anna began full-time at daycare, she grabbed a little pink and white stuffed cat from the pile of stuffed animals.  She became immediately attached and ‘Kitty’ (points for name creativity) instantly became Anna’s comfort item and best friend.

Here’s Kitty, in the flesh. Or rather, in the pink and white fur.

The attachment was instant and it was intense.  Kitty goes everywhere with Anna. I mean EVERYWHERE…

Kitty tagged along on a little trip to the store.

As my unofficial third child, Kitty was there to celebrate Mother’s Day with us.

Although I think she’s too young to drink, Kitty has learned how to bottle home-brewed beer.

Kitty has gone on MANY grocery shopping trips. She only has mild jealousy for that other punk that Anna is grasping.

Kitty has learned to swing a golf club. She has high hopes of joining the CPGA.

Kitty has been on the train at the zoo …

… and she’s visited the animals at Grant’s Farm.

Kitty has learned some serious lessons in fashion along the way.

She’s even managed to keep Luke company. God forbid he ever touches her, though.

Kitty has traveled to far away places. Here she is in Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia.

Kitty has intensely watched Elmo perform at Sesame Place.

And, she lead the way as we saw the sights of Times Square.

Kitty has saluted the soldiers at the greatest toy store on Earth (and gave Tom Hanks a run for his money on the big piano).

Kitty has even met some of my college roommates!

She’s taken a pony ride in Chicago.

And, sang along with the children’s choir at church.

Kitty got a bath (finally) and posed for school pictures.

Kitty struggled with identity issues …

… and takes a load off after a long day on the job.

Although you can’t see her, Kitty dutifully rode in the bike basket on Anna’s 1st ride.

Kitty has been a steadfast friend and fixture in our family for the past year.  We’ve been programmed to make sure Kitty isn’t forgotten or left somewhere.  We’ve backtracked to locate her and fetched her at bedtime.  Basically, we’ve been slaves to a freaking stuffed cat and demanding pre-schooler.  But, we did it so that Anna would be content.  Anything to keep that child content…

And then it happened, Kitty vanished.  We looked everywhere and in everything.  We looked at school, we looked in the cars, we looked under furniture and in drawers.  There were no signs.  Alex and I were getting panicked.  Anna was holding it together fairly well.  She would see a picture of Kitty and fondly touch the photo while gently whispering, ‘Kitty’.  It was so freaking sad.  I started looking on Ebay.  No luck.  I scoured the Internet.  No luck.  We had to find that cat.  This morning, after all hope seemed lost, I casually opened a small bag that was stuffed under a seat in my car.  And wouldn’t you know it – Kitty was in there.  I triumphantly pulled Kitty from the bag and yelled for Anna to look.  She squealed with delight and tightly hugged her long, lost pal.  I felt like mother of the flipping year.  Kitty was back, Jack!!

And just in time for Anna’s 1st trip to the dentist. Kitty’s teeth got a clean bill of health as well!