You know what I did? After I wrote that last post, I got drunk! Well, here it only takes three yummy beers (one Adelscott, one Pelforth Brune and one Desperados) and I'm silly. I drank those three yummy beers and played internet games (Poppit!, Text Twist, Mah Jong, etc.) and ate the entire pan of leftover pasta salad (I know, what a rebel, huh? Insert eyeroll here.) So, during that little trip to ivress and back (all it takes is a little starch to bring me back y'all), I had an epiphany. It was time to go to IKEA! If I couldn't do anything about anything, the one thing I COULD do was spend money. And I have an excuse, right? I needed stuff for our new apartment. Trust me, I'm not a habitual drinker (I mean, don't go planning an intervention yet or anything) and I'm NOT AT ALL a big shopper (I usually have a list, tee hee hee), but I can't tell you what kind of therapy that was.
Sam has been barking all week long about how the futon I want wouldn't fit in the minivan with all of us in there and I said, "Tough titty. We're going to IKEA and if I have to sit out there on the front curb of the store with my kids all of us eating ice cream cones (cuz have you TRIED their ice cream cones????) while you take the thing to the apartment and come back and get us, then, so be it!!! AND, Mr. Frenchy, on top of that, we're going OUT for dinner cuz I ate all the pasta salad, so nanny nanny boo boo!!!" So, we went. And, not only did we get the frame, the mattress, and the cover of the futon, but we also got a TV stand, a set of silverware and three ice creams!!! So THERE!
Afterward, we drove to Villeurbanne (where we used to live--it's a sort of suburb) and bought kebabs and fries!!!
We went to the new apartment where all of our AIR SHIPMENT had finally been delivered (and with Ryan in the minivan the whole time saying, "What's the surprise, Mom?"). Ryan and Lily went absolutely beserk to finally find some of their own toys!!! Ryan ran to his tiger with whom he ususally sleeps, grabbed it and squeezed the life out of it saying, "Oh, Tiger! Where have you been? Were you scared?" I pretended not to cry and stuffed my face with kebab (have you all picked up on the face-stuffing trend here? pasta salad, ice cream, kebab, FRIES? Yep, thank the UNIVERSE the air shipment is here with some of my workout equipment... I've had to pretty much fast all day today just to get down to my "maintenance weight" for my Biggest Loser forum. Oy!).
So, we're having fun, running around the house, discovering our happiness (mine being the huge stash of cloth diapers I meticulously and mourningly packed away--I'm SO happy that I'll be able to put away the sposies again) when all of a sudden, I hear a splash! I'm thinking, "Crap, Ryan has spilled his drink!" And I'm just praying it's not on the new TV or Sam's computer or whatever other electronics happen to be lying on the floor. But then I hear coughing. And it sounds like... puke coughing. And sure enough, Ryan has ralphed all over the floor. No warning whatsoever. He had scarfed down the ice cream at IKEA with no hesitation. How could he have a stomach ache out of the blue like this? He hadn't eaten much dinner but I figured it was just because he was excited about the house.
We ran him over to the toilet and once there, he let loose again, and I mean really letting things go, you know? I ran in to clean up the mess before the girls could get over and track it around the apartment. After vomiting, Ryan said he felt better, but by that time, the girls were screamy and cranky so we went back to the hotel.
In the middle of the night, Ryan climbs into bed, as usual, on Sam's side. He wakes coughing--yep, that familiar kind of coughing--and he's a blur as Sam carries him to the toilet. There's the gut-emptying sounds in there, but I doze back off, thinking Sam has things under control (and well, we had just gone through this the night before with Lily and I was the one who had to stay up, bathe and soothe her until the wee hours, not getting any sleep). And he does. He cleans Ryan up, comes back to bed with a frown on his face saying that Ryan had actually puked in his bed before coming to crawl into ours. We take the waste basket into bed with us just in case. And we ended up needing it. Finally, after a few hours of puking on and off, Ryan has dozed off and seems to be past it.
Suddenly, Laurel wakes up crying. I bring her to bed with me to nurse her but a second after she latches on, she gags and pukes all over me. I say, "Don't worry. It doesn't smell like the same kind of puke as the other two. It's more like burp spitup. It's just a coincidence." And I nurse her back to sleep. I get up, rock her gently for half a minute and go to put her back in her bed... She cheeses me. And I mean mass quanitites of cheese. It's dripping down my back and belly. I've at least had the presence of mind to rush into the hallway which is polished stone tile. Sam wipes her down and I wash off as much as I can. It smells familiar and no longer like burp-up. I try to nurse her again, thinking that it'll be good for her... It'll keep her from being dehydrated. And it works. But sure enough, the minute I go to lay her down, all that work we just did ends up on my last clean tee shirt (having already exhausted my nightgown). So, I strip us both down and hop in the tub with her.
She sits splashing and clapping at the water, full-body grin shining bright and after a twenty-minute soak, she seems better. I lather her up with lotion, dress her and lie back down with her. I decide NO nursing this time. And she does vomit once or twice but it ends up dry (which I wonder if is good for her... *sigh*). After a while, I'm finally able to put her down and get some rest. Thank the UNIVERSE Sam let me sleep until 8.
But, at that point, he has to run over to the apartment because they are delivering our new appliances. He's sweating and looks pale. I have a strangely intense stomach cramp. We're a family of sickos. But at least the kids' bouts seem to have passed. He reminds me that it might take a little while because since they didn't have our freezer in stock, he got a bigger one (and paid another 100 Euro for it) but that the fridge would be slightly smaller (which was supposedly a good thing because it would fit better). I wave him away and out the door. I don't attempt anything more than a Danactive for breakfast. Thank the stars Laurel woke up smiling and puke-free.
The clock ticks. I'm thinking, "Wow, that wasn't cool of Sam not to call me when he got to work to let me know how everything went," because it was ten-thir--the phone rang. It was Sam telling me that he had FINALLY gotten to work. He said that the freezer he had ended up buying was TWICE the size of the one we originally ordered and that 1) it didn't fit in the elevator so they had to carry it up the ten flights and had charged him an extra 60 Euro to do so (not that I can say I blame them that much), and 2) it doesn't fit in the KITCHEN and so now lives in our entryway. In my sleep-deprived, gut-cramping weakness, I explode. I ask him why he didn't check with me before buying the bigger freezer and that had he done so, I would have reminded him that the reason our freezer was always full in the States was because it was always nearly full of BREASTMILK, which I now no longer donate, so don't have that problem. I tell him that we can't keep a deep freeze in our entryway. It's not pretty and it's not safe.
I take a couple of deep breaths and then I add, "Thank you for wanting to surprise me with a bigger freezer--"
He cuts me off with, "No, that's not why I got the bigger one. I wasn't trying to surprise you. I just figured it would be better."
"Yet, you didn't ask how BIG it would actually be?"
"Well, he told me the volume in liters, but that doesn't mean anything to me, I don't know anything about deep freezes."
"Sam, the time to realize all this would have been BEFORE they climbed up ten stories. You're going to have to call them and see if they have an exchange policy." (and I know they do have SOMETHING like that because that's why we went to one of the smaller stores... so that, ironically, we'd be assured good service apres vente.
I can tell he's pissed and I feel guilty that he seems mostly pissed at himself, but what can I say. All he would have had to do was COMMUNICATE with me and I would have told him no thank you on the upgrade, yo.
He came home at noon for lunch and I had a veggie dish (hey, I know it's boring, but have I mentioned the whole Biggest Loser thing?) ready. We ate while the snooty housekeepers came and did our room (they were snooty because they have been trying to insist since our second day here that they come in and change the sheets and replace the towels... but I'm a water-conserving hippy and don't see why towels used to dry CLEAN BODIES need to be changed every day, same with sheets... BUT, since the kids threw up all over all the sheets during the night there was no more holding out). I'm not even going to go too far into that except to say that it was a little Twilight-Zone-y feeling like the cleaning ladies were judging us. Maybe they were wondering what squalor lie behind our hotel door and were surprised to find it--other than the overwhelming puke smell--sparkling clean. Whatevah.
So, we headed to Carrefour (okay, it's LIKE a SuperTarget... Kinda.) to buy odds and ends--mostly cleaning stuff because even though we had it cleaned, they didn't do a GREAT job of doing the floors (the kids always come back to the hotel with black feet) and there's this lingering question of what in the world made us all sick, and since Lily first got sick on Wednesday at our first visit to the apartment... well...
We also stopped by the appliance store so Sam could talk to those guys about the freezer. They agreed to come get it and to exchange it out for a smaller one but we ended up paying another 90 Euro (!!!) to get them to come get the first one. I'm sure they're all rolling their eyes at the annoying Americans, but at least I won't have a freezer welcoming my guests in my front entryway!!! Yeah, I DO realize I sound like a spoiled American brat. I'm sorry. No, really, I truly am, but what am I going to do about it? Would YOU want a humongous freezer in YOUR entryway? Wouldn't you rather your husband give you a courtesy call to ask whether or not you planned on stocking up on all of the Arctic Circle?
Anyway..... Here's the good stuff. We have our air shipment--all safe and sound. We have a couch and a bed (in the form of a pretty good futon--good enough to last us until the ship shipment comes in late September). We have a microwave, a fridge, a TV, a WASHING MACHINE, and a freezer on it's way (Monday). The kids seemed to have gotten over their 24-hour stomach bug. We have cleaning products. Sam is going tonight to pick up our kitchen table (which is actually is parents' old table but it's awesome and heavy and, well, awesome) later tonight or tomorrow. AND... Sam JUST walked in with our NEW CELL PHONES!!! I have never been one to gauge being okay by stuff I have, but in my journey into middle class, I have become depended on certain machinery in order to maintain sanity... Sad, huh? Sad, but alas, TRUE! I guess since I'm a stranger in a strange land, I'm holding on to the only thing I know as familiar? Well, I guess that's what I'll tell myself.