Friday, May 19, 2017

There Will Be Hard Weeks

Currently, I am sitting between my four year old and my one year old. One refuses to eat more than a bite of toast out of fear of throwing it back up. The other one has green slime coming out of every orifice. Neither have left my side for more than a minute in the past five days. They require extra cuddles, extra reassurance, and extra patience. It doesn't matter to them that both my ears are clogged, and I can't hear a word they are saying. They could care less that my body betrayed me and sucked up whatever cold/sinus blockage was floating around the house.

I'm running off of coffee, nasal spray, and Monsters University streaming via Netflix right now.

Which if anyone remembers, knows this is the exact opposite of how I imagined this week playing out.

Right about now, I was supposed to be sitting in my old bedroom at my parent's house, looking at the teal colored walls and listening to the air conditioner running outside my window. The kids would be in their own room, and maybe my mom would have the baby monitor so I could focus on catching up on the latest season of Jane the Virgin without interruption. If I was lucky, I would have leftover filet in the fridge from an earlier dinner at the city's steakhouse.

I wanted this trip, ya'll.

I can manage with Alex being gone. Better yet, I can handle it with no issues. Everything's a little bit harder, the hours a little bit longer, the nights a little bit lonelier, but it's not an impossible job. Heck, last week I was waking up at 4:30, working out, showering, and taking an hour to get some work done before the toddlers got up.
Still...extra help? Who in their right mind would pass on that? Getting to go back home? Having the opportunity to see family I'd been away from for a year?

I was so, so ready.

And then...

Saturday night, at dinner, Landon told me his tummy hurt. He didn't want to eat any of his dinner.
Big red flag.
Landon doesn't lie about not feeling well. And he certainly doesn't pass on food.

Not an hour later, he was at the starting line of a stomach bug. Him and I were up all night on the living room floor, both trying to survive until morning. By six a.m. I was delirious with stress and lack of sleep. The night before, Evie had kept me up all night because she had come down with Croup. We had been at the doctor's Friday afternoon getting her some medicine and hopefully, relief.

I spent all Sunday in denial. I was supposed to be packing up the car, making sandwiches for the plane, setting the dogsitter's supplies on the counter. Instead, I was bleaching surfaces and measuring sips of water for Landon, and wearing Evie in the Tula for extra comfort.

By five o'clock that night, I had to admit to myself that we weren't getting on our plane Monday morning. I called the airline company and had them put a hold on our tickets, got a hold of family and let them know the bad news, and then had a good pity party once the kids dozed off.

It wasn't fair.
Why us?
I just needed the help.
Life stinks.

I told myself that maybe I could still make it work. If everyone was feeling better by Tuesday, I was going to go and try and rebook us tickets for the weekend.

And then, because the universe has a cruel sense of humor, at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Evie got sick. The next two days were a blur of crying, cleaning, and misery. My poor children were having the roughest time bouncing back, and there was nothing I could do to make them feel better that I hadn't already done.

Six days later, poor Evie still has some lingering effects, and I have developed what appears to be a head cold. The thought of changing altitude with this ear pressure kind of makes me want to go crawl under the covers on my bed and never leave.

No flying tomorrow.

I have had to come to accept that the vacation I was expecting is not going to happen. It's been a hard week. Definitely the hardest since Alex has been gone, but I'm getting through it. As terrible as these days have been, I'm bound to have some really amazing ones. My mom arrives in 19 days. Sure, we were supposed to be with her, but at this point I'm looking at the bright side. I will have my mother around for several weeks. My mom and I are good friends, and getting some time without husbands around will be fun. I'll have someone to watch terrible tv with and talk about books with and cook with lots of spices (something my husband doesn't care for). How many times in my life will I get my mom's undivided attention? (Not counting when the kids are awake, of course.)

Who knows? Maybe I will be able to go back to Florida with her. At this point, I don't want to make any plans out of fear of them getting ruined, but it wouldn't be the most impossible idea. I could catch the same flight, shift all my plans to July/August, and then return home right before all the school year activities start back up.

I'm thinking positive.
Because these past seven days tried to break me, but I am choosing to look at them as the chance to build me up. They made me stronger, harder, and sturdier than I was beforehand. Deployments suck.
Goodness, do they suck.

But they aren't the end of the world. Everyone has bad weeks, bad times. Everybody has struggles they have to push through. Mine just involved sick kiddos and missed vacations. Five years from now, I'm sure Alex will be gone again and something else will happen and I'll think to myself, "Man, a couple sick babies seems easy compared to this." It's all relative and the important thing is to learn from the lesson and move forward.
Something I am going to do while I continue to push toast and bananas on my kids and cover my ears with warm compresses. Once I can hear again, I'll blast my Disney attractions songs and imagine how sweet it will be to send my husband out to the store for cold medicine come this winter.

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