Friday, November 15, 2013


…that Chuck and I were in some kind of competition with other couples – like The Amazing Race. The task at hand was for Chuck to eat as much cat food as possible while I spooned it into a hopper.   Yes friends, ‘hopper’ was an actual word being thrown about in this dream. “just throw it in the hopper” “hurry” “faster”   There were piles and piles of tender flaked salmon, tuna with gravy, and ocean whitefish to get through, and dozens of people were screaming for Chuck to hurry the hell up already!   At some point, the phone rang.   I think it was the phone.

  Me: “huhllo?”  sounding like Lauren Bacall
    Caller: “My water broke!”

      Me: “who is this?”

        Caller: “ It's ERIKA!”

          Me: “who?"

             Caller: “I’m having the baby!”

It was a peaceful Sunday morning, November 3rd, just 11 days ago. I had turned the clocks back before I went to bed, therefore, I had no idea what time it really was. Hell, I didn’t even know what room I was in. Really. All I remember is that my heart was beating as though I’d been in a race, and I think I could smell Fancy Feast for Gravy Lovers in my pillow.

After getting my bearings, I stumbled out of bed, somehow navigated the flight of stairs, went into the den to tell Chuck about Erika, and almost jumped out of my skin!   There was Chuck sitting on the couch with his back to me next to someone with a big headful of thick black hair!   Turned out to be Lenny!   Geez Louise!   Where was I???

November 3rd was Caroline’s 36th birthday AND Erin and Dean’s 6th anniversary!

And now, Erika and Brian’s baby boy was coming nearly 5 weeks early! That was lucky for Erika, since he turned out to be 7 pounds, 13 ounces! Good for you, kid!
Erika and Brady Luke McMahon
She looks good, right? Erika likes to hit the big drugs, push the kid out, and then call for a manicure!  I luv ya, kid!
Although I wanted to fly to Chicago immediately for the big event, I had a CAT scan scheduled for… (uh oh. Do you get it? cat scan?   Now there’s some symbolism for all you dream analyzers out there!)... for the following day, and I couldn’t reschedule because, well, you all know by now how cancer patients are about scheduling and timing and waiting and all that jazz.  We do not handle it well! 
Because I am allergic to the contrast dye used for, ahem, a CAT scan, I have to be pre-medicated with three doses of prednisone taken 13, 7, and 1 hour before the scan.  Then, along with that third dose, I take 50 mg of Benadryl to further prevent any reaction and 10 mg of Ativan to combat the violent restless legs I get from the damn Benadryl.   On that particular day, I had to be at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. in order to have enough time to drink three cups of refreshing barium sulfate before the 9:00 test. 

So, here’s how it went: I set an alarm to wake up at 2 a.m. to choke down my second dose of prednisone.  Then I tried to go back to sleep with baby's breath on my mind.  No luck.   I got up at 6, showered, packed my bag for Chicago, took two Benedryl capsules plus the Ativan and went to the hospital. Everything was running on time that day, and we were home at 10:30. Just in time for my drug-induced three hour coma.

I dragged my ever-expanding ass out of bed at 2:30 and Chuck took me to the airport.  At 4:30 I was off to the Windy City!  Yippee! A whole week of baby time.

And a whole week of one-on-one time with Sean.  What's cuter or funnier than a two-and-a-half year old? 

A seriously cute kid!
He was especially lovable (to his grandmother, anyway) on Thursday evening when he erupted from both ends!  His mom and dad had just returned from their first trip to the pediatrician with both children.  That must have been a hoot, since each kid crapped twice while there.  When Erika came through the door, she looked liked she'd been through a haunted house.  "How do people do this with two kids?"  Because, unlike 'the rest of us,' you're young!  You can do it!

Sean was given his dinner of plain pasta noodles, yogurt, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for good measure.

In short order, his gut took over the universe.  With the first attack of diarrhea, Erika tells Brian, "Don't change him on the changing table - we can't contaminate it for Brady."  I proudly spent years being a mommy to babies and toddlers and I believe I used a changing table exactly four times.  She, on the other hand, ALWAYS uses one, even for Sean at this point!  Admirable.

So Brian gets the kid in the tub, scrubs him down, cozies him up in his PJs and all is well.  For about 30 minutes.

Suddenly Sean cries that his tummy hurts and Erika makes the colossal mistake of saying, "Let's get in mommy's bed and snuggle."  oops.  According to witnesses, it was a tsunami of vomit.  No warning.  No time for a bucket.  Puke one, parents zero.

Now here's another good thing about being on chemo:  You are rightfully isolated from any sick people.  My job was to hide in my room with Baby Cakes!  Somebody had to protect the little nugget.

Not to humiliate the McMahons, but I so wished they had a nanny cam in their house.  The next 3 hours were INSANE!  As soon as he barfed all over their bed and Erika, the atmosphere turned into the car chase scene from The French Connection.  I don't know what happened faster, the kid in the tub or the entire master bedroom being carried to the basement!  I did not know a person could don a hazmat suit as quickly as Erika did!  Luckily, I had a surgical mask in my purse, which I donated to the cause.  Brian wanted to put the entire set of bedding into a trash bag and throw it out!  At one point he said to me, "I'll never be able to eat Pad Thai noodles again - it's all I can smell."  Oh my God, it's hard to see with these tears of laughter pouring from my eyes!

With Sean on the couch/sick bed, I suggested a bowl be at the ready.  In my day, I would hear that odd little cough from down the hall and have a stainless steel bowl out before the puke hit the air.  After Sean's third or fourth expulsion, I yelled out from the safety of my quarters, "Don't you wish you had a garbage disposal?" 

Erika went over that house like a mold abatement expert.  I swear you could lick the walls in the bathrooms.  "How am I going to feed the baby, Sean barfed all over my chest?"

I can't type any more, I'm on the floor.  This was another long story, but so worth reliving!  Laughter truly is the best medicine.  I gotta go to bed.


  1. A day in the life . . . sounds normal right? Except your life, Kate, is anything but normal. Congrats to the entire Souder Clan on birthdays, anniversaries, more babies and wellness. Welcome Brady. Erika, you make beautiful kids. D&B

  2. Oh my goodness! My gut hurts... I WISH I could have seen Erika and Brian's hazmat operation! Thank god you were there to shield Brady from it all!

  3. Hi Kate, I look forward to your blog. Your life certainly isn't boring! You continue to be inspirational..and damn funny! xo

  4. This is too funny! Wish we got to see you while you were in town but we avoided the sickness:) Can't wait to squeeze Brady! Hope all is well! XOXO

  5. This has to be your funniest story yet! I can't see to write this. I'd say I wish I'd been a fly on the wall, but Erika would have swatted me dead for sure!!!! The best part is you couldn't make this stuff up and have it be any funnier. Joan

  6. Pad Thai noodles! Hysterical! So glad you were there to witness this and now transcribe it in detail. Just knowing Erika, I can picture it like I was there. Glad you got some snuggle time with that fresh and new baby!

  7. You really should publish your work. Thanks for my laugh of the day.

  8. Kate, thanks for the laugh of the day! It's priceless!

  9. Hilarious...I could not stop was hard to read with tears in myeyes

  10. I was crying when I was living through this event. Now, reading about it, I'm crying again...from laughter! Thank you for documenting Brady's 5th day of life. I will be printing this and putting it in his baby book so we can laugh about it forever! We loved having you! Miss you and love you!
    xoxo, Erika

  11. I hung on your every word, but I knew what'd happen because this same scene unraveled at our house this week. Like Erika, I seriously questioned, How can anyone manage with two kids!?! The insanity! But now that I have 6 months under my belt I'm nearly a veteran ;) And I love how you have a whole blog category dedicated to throwing up. Part of life, and part of parenthood to be sure.

  12. Funny, I don't remember my cousin Kathleen as being so, ah, earthy.

    What a delightful blog!

  13. I just read this again..for laughs...still cracks me up!!!

  14. How is this blogger now? How is she healthy wise?

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