our pestilence

yes, i’m still alive! which you know if you are my friend on facebook, where i post a minimum of ninety times a day. yesterday i actually posted a video of ramona sleeping. riveting stuff. i’m thinking about taking out some of those “for your consideration” academy award ads because i really think i’ve earned it this year. i was thinking last night, how do people who aren’t active on facebook stay in touch with people? & how did society as a whole decline to this level?

anyway, we have been keeping busy at the xyerra-taber house. we all came down with some kind of sickness last month. it started with ramona, who ate a pickle when we took her out for lunch. i could hear people all over the restaurant exclaiming, “that baby is eating a pickle! oh my god!” but i was just like, “fuck yeah, my baby is eating a pickle. my baby rules.” i don’t think the pickle is to blame for what happened next, but it did make a reappearance–a diva encore, if you will. jared put ramona down for bed & an hour or two later she started wailing. he went in to check things out & found her swimming in a sea of puke. she had to be completely stripped down, as did the crib & jared’s side of the bed (the side that is closest to the crib).

once we got everything cleaned up & ramona back to sleep, we went to bed. i awoke in the middle of the night & then i puked. i was a little shaky & “blukey” (our family word for not feeling great) the next day, but luckily it was a sunday so jared could do most of the baby care.

i thought everything was back to normal the next day, but then jared texted me & said, “just threw up. coming home early.” when he walked in the door, he was completely gray. i have literally seen dead people with better color. he went right to bed & i made my peace with being ramona’s sole caretaker until jared was on his feet again.

but then i got sick again in the middle of the night. & this time, i didn’t feel better in the morning. in fact, i felt much, much worse. so much worse that i was seriously considering calling 911 because i thought i had appendicitis or something. i couldn’t sit up without vomiting. i literally lost ten to fifteen pounds in a single day. i couldn’t even sit up enough to pump. since ramona has been born, the longest i’ve gone without pumping has been eight hours. this time i went 15 hours. when i finally managed to pump, i made like a gallon of milk. & then for a couple of days after that, i was only producing an ounce or two at a time because i was so dehydrated. luckily, it wasn’t appendicitis. just some kind of stomach flu or something. my doctor had a local pharmacy deliver some zofran & then i felt much better. jared also rose to the occasion, shook off his own flu symptoms, & took care of ramona. within a couple of days, it looked like we were out of the woods (& my supply rebounded…with a vengeance; i’m making more milk than ever now).

but then ramona got sick again. it looked like maybe just a cold, which can include vomiting for little babies. i took her to the pediatrician who was like, “eh, it’s a cold. wait it out.” but she got worse & worse until she finally slept for four & a half hours in the middle of the day, woke up all listless & still & glassy-eyed, with a fever of over 104. turns out her colds had developed into an ear infection. she was absolutely miserable. we had been planning to attend a halloween party, at which we definitely would have swept the costume contest, but ramona was way too sick. & not only can we not afford a sitter (ten bucks an hour seems to be the minimum rate), but i didn’t want to be all, “i’ve never left my baby with a sitter, but i think this is the moment, while she’s all deathly ill. i just really want to get my halloween drank on.”

we got ramona on some antibiotics & she seems to be on the mend. she slept through the night last night for the first time in weeks.

oh, she has also started crawling, which was complete chaos at first. i knew we’d been kind of casual with the babyproofing, but i had no idea what a baby death trap we were living in. she almost pulled a circular saw down on herself! how is that even a thing that could happen!?

& i finally finished my first queen-size quilt. i actually have callouses on my fingers from thread rubbing on them while i hand-sewed the binding. i’m not in love with it. the quilting could have gone better (i didn’t use enough basting pins at first), & i’m just over the pattern & the fabrics after looking at them for so long, but it was a huge project & i saw it through to completion. on a regular-sized home sewing machine, no less! while i have a baby! i think one thing i like about sewing is that i don’t really know anything about it so i have no idea what is considered intimidating or difficult. it’s all kind of intimidating & difficult for me because i don’t know what the fuck i’m doing. so why NOT make a queen-size quilt or jump right into making clothes for myself, complete with invisible zippers? (according to the sewing blogs i’ve started reading, even some really experienced quilters are scared to sew clothes or things with zippers.)

photo time!


jared as professor plum & ramona as mr. boddy (the dead guy in clue)


me as mrs. white (i made the cap & apron) & ramona as mr. boddy


quilt front!


quilt back! i kind of like the back better. maybe just because i haven’t been forced to stare at it as much.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “our pestilence

  1. Yikes! I’m glad you guys are all on the mend. I think we’re somehow on the same germ schedule as you guys. We had a nasty stomach virus a few weeks ago. And then we all had a nasty cold and Lilian spiked a fever of 103 and scared the crap out of me.

    Love the costumes and the quilt!

    1. thanks! (sorry it took me so long to reply. ramona is growing all of her teeth at once & being really nap-resistant during the day. i am getting next to nothing accomplished & am exhausted from all the screaming. but weirdly, she’s sleeping well at night. go figure.)

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