If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

Let me start by inserting a spoiler alert. I wrote this after shotgunning about a gallon of NyQuil.

Yesterday I was bragging to my husband, Scot (who’s fighting off a tiny cold and is bedridden for the foreseeable future…likely until America pole vaults off the fiscal cliff) that due to my impervious genetic make-up, I haven’t been sick for two or three years.

Today I’m tired, achy, sore, and my voice has dropped a couple of octaves (which is actually kind of cool in a Darth Vader-like way when I yell “You don’t know the power of the dark side!” at my kids), I’m annoyed by the presence of a mouse we’re rodent-sitting for my daughter’s 3rd grade class during winter break, and my teeth hurt.

Clearly, I’m sick, which brings me to Christmas Lesson #1: Don’t bring strange animals into your home during the holidays. Or ever. 

Not cute. Image via

I’m sure, due to my clinically proven, bionic DNA, that I’m not sick in the traditional fa-la-la-la-la kind of way, but have actually contracted Hantavirus from the vermin presently residing in a cage in the hall, and must immediately enter a self-constructed isolation chamber to keep my germs from spreading. That my dwelling will contain a posh heavenly bed overnight air-shipped from the W Hotel, soundproofed walls meant to muffle the screams of my children as they beat each other due to lack of parental supervision (remember, Scot’s sick too), and the entire Twilight series on DVD is really none of your business.

As I wait for someone to help me construct my self-constructed parallel wellness universe, I decide to crawl into my daughter’s bed (because as Alpha Mom it’s really all about my health after all, plus Scot’s in ours with his baby cold) and sleep. Due to my spiking fever, I also sweat, a lot, and dream not about sugar plums fairies and stockings hung by the chimney with care, but mimes….evil clown-like ones walking naked around my house with 80s-style boom boxes on their shoulders blaring Kajagoogoo.

Christmas Lesson #2: Read all warning labels before self-medicating and resist the urge to download any bad 80s music while ignoring the aforementioned warning labels.

Don’t bring this dish to your next office holiday party. Image via

After about an hour of tossing, turning, and stalking that cute guy in the A-Ha video, I wake up to find a plate of cold spaghetti, fourteen low-salt Ritz crackers, and a glass of something that looks suspiciously like Michelob Ultra by my daughter’s bed. If nothing else, my kids know that alcohol makes mommy a better person, which could technically be lesson #3, but that would be pathetic.

In a traditional blog post, this is where I tell you how amazing my children are, imply or directly state that they’re more intelligent than yours due to my superior parenting skills, and incidentally, that each just won the World Series Championship of their respective sports (I don’t disclose that they competed in the loser’s bracket and rode the bench the entire season).

I know my kids better than that though, and as you’ve probably figured out, my fever is at its peak, the NyQuil is coursing through my veins (I can’t feel my cheekbones), and there’s nothing normal about what I’m sharing.

Not to be fooled by my children’s faux-sympathy, I realize that in my over-the-counter-drug-induced fog, I promised them they could open presents sent from their grandparents in Kentucky after lunch, because I’m not ashamed to buy time at someone else’s expense when I need to sleep. And I need to sleep. Desperately. But they need me to eat.

Christmas lesson #3: If your children want any big ticket items this holiday season, pawn them off on your out of town parents who feel like it’s somehow their fault that you live so far away.

Our family is A-OK with buying love.

Our family is A-OK with buying love.

And now here I sit, semi-alert on the sofa and banging out this post that may or may not be based on actual events. The kids are skillfully playing the video games I asked their grandparents to send, gifts I requested not to improve their vocabulary or bionicize their IQs, but to buy me the much needed time to do nothing that every parent should have during the holiday season, and really, all year long.

I’m getting sleepy again, so that’s it for my Christmas Tale. It doesn’t make any sense, yet here I am, happily typing away as everything below my kneecaps goes numb. If you don’t like it, feel free to say so. I’ve developed a thick skin (Literally. It’s all rubbery and translucent due to my Hantavirus.). Plus everything feels all warm and fuzzy and blurry right now, which is awesome. I just love the good tidings of comfort and joy I feel when I chug cough syrup, our family spends quality time together.

If you do like my story, consider gathering your loved ones around the fire tonight and passing it on. Maybe it will become one of your family’s most beloved holiday tales, a tradition cherished and requested over and over, so much so that I’ll be forced to self-publish and sell millions of copies so you can read it to them for years to come and I can actually build my aforementioned isolation chamber. In Hawaii.

Truth be told, NyQuil is expensive, and at the rate I’m going, and I could use the cash.

Today marks my one year anniversary on WordPress. This is a slightly edited version of my first post. At the time, only my mom and  some lady I accosted in the grocery store parking lot read it. Thank you to anyone and everyone who’s taken the time to stop by and read my work. Your support is the best Christmas gift ever, even better than a case of NyQuil.

77 thoughts on “A Strange Tale of NyQuil, Rodents, and Random Christmas Lessons.

  1. Happy blogaversary, Stacie! (Okay, now I sound like I’M on Nyquil.) Your blog always brings lots of laughs into our home. Thank you for rocking it so hard! Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hope you don’t have to host the rat again. *shiver*

    1. The doctor said that I can no longer keep class pets due to the Hantavirus. OK, that’s not true, but it’s a great sound bite for the kids.

      Thanks for the sweet comment Beth, I’m looking forward to starting 2013 by finishing my novel…hopefully I’ll see you in class!

  2. Brother Jon says:

    Congrats on one year!! Very exciting.

    I ALWAYS seem to get sick around one holiday or the other. It’s never right dab in the middle of the week…when nothing is going one. Hope you get to feeling better. I have to admit. I don’t mind getting sick too much anymore – because of the NyQuil. Being sober and all that allows me at least some mind altering moments.. Merry Christmas!!

    1. Merry Christmas to you too, Brother Jon. Thanks for reading!

  3. El Guapo says:

    Happy blogiversary!
    And I hope things have improved since this was posted, otherwise we’ll have to stage an interventionn.
    Seriously, the entire Twilight saga?!?
    Have you no shame?

    1. I have no shame.

      Thanks Guap, Happy Holidays!

  4. Sandee says:

    Feel better soon Stacie. Even super moms need rest!

    1. Awww, thanks Sandee. Happy Holidays my friend!

  5. inphiluencer says:

    Stacie, I love this post. Really funny and actually kind of feel-good (in a Nyquilly sort of way). I beg to differ on the topic of rodents. I think they’re real cute and cuddly, especially the little white mice that produce litters of 57 offspring every 12 minutes (or every time you turn your back to them, whichever comes first).

    I’m really happy I discovered you and your blog and I am a regular reader. Le Clown would say that I’ve got a big crush on you, just because I asked him to proof-read the mariage proposal that you’ll soon be receiving (Scot who?). I think he’s just a big jealous Le Clown (carving your initials into by forearm with a penknife sounded like a good idea at the time…).

    I jest! I jest!… I thank Le Clown for introducing me to the Blogoverse and indirectly, to you, Meizac and a host of others. I look forward to more thought (and chuckle) provoking posts in 2013.

    All the best to you, your fabulously-raised kids and … oh, right, that Scot guy … 🙂

    1. Philipe,

      I had to wait until I could get my hands on an actual computer to respond to your comment, because typing anything of length with one finger on my phone just sucks.

      Thank you for all of your support, kind words, and compliments. Even though Le Clown is crazy in a good but maybe sort of creepy way, he’s got a great readership. When I whored myself out as his apprentice with my alter-ego Gemini Girl, my servitude introduced me to some amazing people. Not you, but still, a lot of others.


      You should know by now that I think you’re awesome, especially for someone who’s not even from the great USofA. OK that was a joke too. There are a TON of losers who live in America, probably more than France for sure.

      In all seriousness, happy happy holidays my friend. I appreciate all that you do.


      1. InPhiluencer says:

        There! You did it again! Made me laugh out loud again. 🙂 I wish you, your family and all of America, and Canada, and France (ambitious aren’t I?) a GUNLESS 2013. Can we all PLEASE just “ask questions first” for a change!? Please?

        Stacie, please use your GG superpowers to make it so in 2013 (no pressure).

      2. Anything for you (almost) Philippe.

  6. Laura says:

    I can’t get the image of rubbery skin, guilty parents, and numb forepaws out of my mind. Thanks for the holiday cheer, Stacie. Not really. But this did make me laugh at your expense! (I almost wrote “expanse”, which I like even better.) Happy one year! 🙂

    1. Laura,

      I love everything you do, and any compliment coming from you is awesome+.

      happy holidays!

  7. calahan says:

    Happy anniversary. I totally forgot to get an anniversary gift, though, so will run to the nearest 7-11 and grab something thoughtful like an air freshener or a can of 40W motor oil. I’m such a male stereotype!

    1. Calahan,

      You’re so sweet! Can I be a little forward and suggest a bag of pork rinds and a big gulp? My favs!

      Happy Holidays! I look forward to reading your work in 2013.


      1. calahan says:

        Do you want the pork rinds and big gulp all in one cup? Let me know, please. I wanna do this right.

      2. Definitely separate. While pristine pork rinds are awesome, mushy ones are just wrong. =)

      3. calahan says:

        You are gonna be so proud of me.

      4. I’m a little scared. But just a little.

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    Three things:

    1) Congrats on the one year blog anniversary.
    2) You write very well while feverish and full of NyQuil.
    3) There was a cute guy in an 80’s video?

    Get better, Missy. Christmas will soon be here!

      1. Carrie Rubin says:

        I think you and I are watching different videos… 😉

  9. Bondseye says:

    Oh yes, I remember the old Nyquil slogan: “Nyquil…tastes so bad but feels so good!” Or was it? It’s been years since I’ve had it. Is it still that weird translucent blue-black color? I remember the taste too well. You still write good even on Nyquil. Hope you are feeling better soon and Happy Holidays! If all else fails, mix some alcohol in with it and you’ll be singing “Jingle Bells” before you know it.

    1. Lisa,
      NyQuil is still gross. It’s a last legs kind of remedy for me. Luckily my not so impervious genes have some teeth.

      Merry Christmas. I look forward to seeing your work in 2013!

  10. I knew this looked familiar! Thank you for accosting me at the grocery store so that I could have the pleasure of reading it twice.

    1. I knew I recognized you from somewhere. Originally I thought it was my therapist’s waiting room so it’s good to know the truth.

      Happy Holidays and thanks for the sweet note!

  11. Happy anniversary, Stacie! Hope you feel better very soon. I wrote a post once high on Nyquil and I do believe it was my best.

    1. Send me the link! There’s something about NyQuil that makes things really weird in a good way. Happy Holidays, Darla. Stay warm and keep the posts coming….

  12. Forget the NyQuil and go straight for the whiskey. It might not work, but you’ll feel better anyways. 😉

    Congrats on the one year anniversary!!

    Liz and I are wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays!! See you soon perhaps too.

    1. I’ve always liked your style, Jed. Hope to meet you guys in person when you head this way. Happy Holidays!

  13. Happy Anniversary! Love your blog 🙂
    Definitely sharing!

  14. jalsails says:

    I write for your Mom, Stacie. She mostly corrects my typos aplenty and watches the clock and calendar, ever patiently awaiting my next over due paper to edit. As you well know, she is brilliant and a joy to work with and for. See what I mean about keeping her busy? She is obviously your number one fan, and I am absolutely hooked on your blogs. The apple, or whatever southern fruit species you are, didn’t fall too far from the tree. I laugh aloud, quote you seriously, think about your most recent posts while monkey juggling when I’m supposed to be meditating, and pretty much stop everything when AOL dings that, I’ve got mail and it’s your blog. So the next time your mom sits in Louisville patiently tapping her fingers on the desk top while doing deep breathing as my over due piece does not appear in her inbox – I’m just gonna blame you. Merry Christmas to all.

    1. Jeri,
      You are a funny, funny lady, and clearly have great taste. =)
      In all seriousness, thank you so much for reading my work, taking the time to comment, and putting up with my mom. Just kidding on the last part, she’s the best. I’m lucky.
      Happy Holidays and thanks so much for your thoughtful and sweet comment!

  15. Happy anniversary. Get some sleep.

    1. Thanks Garrett. Happy Holidays!

  16. stellacastro says:

    Happy anniversary, Stacie! Glad you’re well enough to be at a concert, and a good one too!
    Here’s to more of your writing!

    1. Thanks Stella. I appreciate your support and friendship, I’m looking forward to seeing you on the 24th!

  17. Sid Dunnebacke says:

    I don’t believe you, about being better than NyQuil, but the sentiment is nice. I’m quite sure, when it came down to it, even my wife would choose the NyQuil.

    1. Sid,
      You’re married to a smart woman. Happy Happy Holidays and thanks for stopping by!

  18. Susan Francke says:

    Your writing made me chuckle. The picture of Brenda and Doug with your kids made me smile. It gave me the warm fuzzies (not the NyQuil kind). Merry Christmas! Feel better.

    1. Thanks Susan. Your support and friendship mean the world to me. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Looking forward to seeing you in 2013.

  19. You actually make me laugh out loud, Stacie, which as it is 1:23 am and Mrs Wellthisiswhatithink is trying to sleep next to me is hardly fair. Happy Anniversary! More power to your fingers.

    1. If I were Mrs. Wellthisiswhatithink I wouldn’t be very happy with you at 1:23 am. Since I’m not, I can be a little more forgiving. Thank you for the reads, the laughs, and the comments, Yolly. You’re a smart, thoughtful, talented writer and I appreciate your support!

  20. Andrea says:

    Awesome Stacie. I actually freaked for a minute until I realized this was an “anniversary post”. I was thinking, “How did that mouse get to their house? I know I sent it home with some other kid!!”

    Merry Christmas

    1. Merry Christmas to you Andrea! Thanks for all of your support: both of my writing and everything you’re teaching my baby girl. You’re amazing!

  21. I was reading this and thinking, “She’s back on the NyQuil? Junkie!” because I felt like I had read it before, and I did. But I also read it again, ’cause I’m good like that. Happy Anniversary Stacie Chadwick!

    1. Thank you Bill McMorrow. Everything’s better the second time around except hearing your first Bill McMorrow-inspired New Kids On The Block single.

  22. It sucks to be sick during christmas. I had the mumps one christmas when I was a kid. Worse christmas ever.
    Get well soon! xo

    1. You’re literally scarred for life, right? Sorry, couldn’t help that horrendous attempt at a joke.

      Hope you’re well, Wendy. Happy Holidays!

  23. Nyquil rocks!
    Why are men so whinny when they are sick?
    Happy Anniversary!
    You write better sick than some people do healthy!

    Merry Christmas, hope you are better soon.

    1. Awww, thanks Valentine, on all fronts. Coming from you that’s an extra-large compliment.

      Happy Holidays!

  24. i mayfly says:

    Stacie, I really must stop reading and commenting from the restroom. Seems my latest (NOT greatest) comment got flushed =0
    Anyway, happy anniversary. When the Gemini Girl appears in my inbox, I always know I’m in for a glimpse into a thoughtful and/or funny mind. Your unique voice is WAY cool. And I mean that in only the best sense. Pinky swear.
    Wishing you a holiday of wellness and happiness. Nikki

    1. Awww, what a sweet comment, Nikki! Anyone who comments from the bathroom is A-OK in my book.

      Right back atcha on the way cool voice. I truly love reading your work.


  25. timkeen40 says:

    Hey, don’t sweat it. Edgar Allen Poe wrote some pretty good stuff while juiced. So did Stephen King.
    By the way, all my grandparents (all seven that I knew) were from Kentucky as am I.

    I had a great time reading this post. I hope you get to feeling better. it really does suck being sick at Christmas.


    1. Anyone who hails from my home state is an automatic winner in my book.

      Thanks for the read and comment, Tim.

      Happy Holidays!

  26. Feel better! And drink that Michelob – alcohol improves everything – including your health!

    1. Awwww, thanks Giggs.
      Merry Christmas!

  27. bronxboy55 says:

    I hope you’ve learned your lesson and no longer brag about your endlessly good health. I can’t explain how it works and I’m not superstitious, but I’ve learned my lesson, the hard way. And believe me, I never get sick.

    (Uh oh.)

    Congratulations on the one-year milestone, Stacie. It’s hard to believe it’s been only a year. I love your writing, and look forward to more great posts from you in 2013.

    1. This was right about the time, one year ago, when I blog-stalked you, Charles. Thank you for ignoring your fight or flight reflex and sticking with me. =)

      I hope you know I love your writing too, and look forward to a whole new year of your work.

      Happy New Year!

    2. Likewise, Charles. I’m so happy I blog stalked you a year ago. You are a gem. Happy New Year!

  28. A year old? That’s why you look so damned young. Your post made me disturbingly nostalgic about Nyquil. My new year’s resolutions might now include “check in to rehab”. Well even if you are a bad influence I’m happy we haunt the same blog universe.

    1. Me too. Rehab with a friend would be tons better than going it alone. Happy New Year, Kellie. Looking forward to sharing our twisted tales in 2013. =)

  29. mamapsalmist says:

    What a great time to find you! I love your writing style. My husband is recovering from a baby version of the flu, while my daughters and I underwent a course of the flu that can only be the result of a government ordered genetically modified superbug. The same people who concocted AIDS probably made this year’s flu.

    Hope your holidays this year were better than those of last year! Can’t wait to follow you in 2013!

    1. Wow! What a great way to start 2013. Thanks for the kind compliments…I’ll be by to check out our site too. =)

  30. Maybe my favorite Christmas story ever. Happy year anniversary.


    Too funny! So you were not really sick for this past Christmas but the one before?

    Happy belated blog-a-versary! Hope the new year is treating you well

    1. Yeah, the one before. I recycled this because my New Year’s Resolution for 2013 is to be lazy. Hope you’re well, SSG!

      1. Ha! I like the way you think! Nice resolution

  32. daniheart21 says:

    🙂 fun post. Sorry you were under the weather. Hope you are all better now. 🙂

  33. Hi Stacie! I hope you won’t mind being nominated for a blog award.:) I’ve just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please click here for more info: Thanks! — Mike

    1. Thanks for your kind nod. I appreciate it Mike!

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