Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And then some more...

I woke up at 3:30 sick. I asked Joe to stay home to help with the kids. He did. And now he is sick too. Needless to say we are all having a fantastic week. Back to my sick bed. Love ya all!

Family Reunion Part 5 (Tuesday)

The rest of the drive home was quite uneventful. I missed the exit for lunch, and didn't wanna wait til the next city (an hour away) so I turned around at a weigh station and went back. As we were leaving again, I passed that weigh station and realized that I had NO GAS and was out of exits before the next city... so I used those little dirt roads that sometimes can be seen linking the east bound lanes with the west bound lanes. You know - the ones police cars at while waiting to pull you over? Yeah- totally illegal, but darn it- we were on fumes!

Other than that- no incidents for the rest of the drive.

I was home by 5, and mom was on her way home soon after. Did I mention she was an AMAZING help, great company, and that she is totally awesome and fantastical? Cause she was, and is.

I would love to report that this is the end of my adventure, but it isn't. Here I sit, finishing this disaster of a trip's blogs, and it's 12:30 at night. Why am I still up? Well... since starting this bloggy drama, Lacey has thrown up 10 (yes, TEN) times. At least I am home. And she is in MY bathroom. Making a mess of MY towels and our trusty "yucky bucket". Not in MY car. Or MY cousin's house. With HIS towels and HIS nice newlywed bathroom trash can... Gotta find that silver lining! It could be SO much worse!

Family Reunion Part 4 (Monday)

Monday morning rolled around, and I was in a good mood. Lil wasn't sick anymore, so I could continue with my plans to visit with some friends at lunch while my niece babysat my kids. I was then gonna go visit Grandma with my sisters and get some good quality time in with her. All this while my mom visited with her friends and sisters.

When I got out of bed (at 9 - it seemed my alarm clock was broken. Or tired.) I noticed that Lil wasn't in her sleeping bag, but was across the room sleeping on just her pillow. No biggie, it was warm Sunday night. Right? Wrong...

When she woke up she said, "Mom, I threw up in my sleeping bag last night and I am going to throw up again." And then she did. I am ashamed to admit I actually started crying. I was so SICK of sickness. I was so tired of being at my cousin's house, constantly worrying about where my kid would throw up next. I was not getting to do any of the things I had stayed two extra days to do. I wanted to go home! I called my friend in tears and she took over canceling lunch for me. I then called my mom. And bawled to her. And she, bless her heart, said, "Lets go home." (Told you she was awesome and fantastical) So that is exactly what we did. I didn't get to visit with Grandma. I didn't see my friends. And for that I am truly sad. But - well, my kid is sick. You do what you have to do.

Mom drove over with a bunch of sick food provided by my aunt and my sister (life savers, they were!). We were loaded up and in the car by 11, and on our way back home. We originally hoped to make the trip in one shot. So very optimistic, huh? We made a stop at the nearest Walmart for some snack foods for us non sickies, and then got on the road. A half an hour later we stopped on the side of the road cause Lacey said she felt sick. False alarm. Drive on. 10 minutes later we stopped for gas. And to get Dramamine (in case it works for flu bugs too). They didn't have any, so we drove on. We made a stop for a potty break for Lil about 15 minutes later, and that's when Lacey threw up. She didn't cry, and she seemed fine afterward, so we were hoping it was just car sickness. We gave her and Lil a half pill each of Dramamine (this gas station had it), and were back on the road. We were already nearly 2 hours out and have made it less than 100 miles from our starting point. ::Sigh:: Not good. We had a few more stops for little things, mostly potty breaks. We weren't making good time at all, and it was seeming less and less likely that we would make this trip in one day with such a late start. To add to it, around 5 pm Matthew started to cry. I turned around just in time to see him loose his lunch, dinner, and every snack from the last two days ALL OVER himself and the carseat. We pulled over, and I cleaned him up with diaper wipes and a plastic bag. Ewww. I then called Joe and asked him to look up hotel and motel numbers for the half way point (about half an hour away) for us. He gave me a nice long list and I started calling around. I finally found a Motel 6 that had a vacancy, and booked us a room. WORST. MOTEL. ROOM. EVER. Not gonna get into the details, but lets just say my mom and I complained and earned a free night's stay sometime in the next year. I know this was not the norm for their motels, so I am fine with using them again. In a different city. Anyway- I digress...

Before we could get checked into the hotel Matthew had thrown up two more times. We managed to contain most of those two... Once in our room, I called in for extra towels and found that they had a laundromat on site. YAY. I took the car seat cover off (for the second time this trip) and all his clothes and our 5 (beach) towels and ran a load of laundry. We also set up the playpen, lined it with 5 towels and corralled Matthew. Each time he threw up we just removed a layer of towel. He used all 5 before the load of laundry was done. When I came back from the laundromat the final time, with all our dry and clean stuff, Matthew was sound asleep wrapped in a blanket on top of yet another towel. Poor little man. He was quite literally green. Eventually we all settled in to sleep. And woke up the next morning ready to finish the drive home. Lacey never did throw up again, so her initial bout was deemed motion sickness.

During the down time in between bouts of everything, I had some awesome conversation with my mom, and watched some pretty cute kids movies with my girls... All in all, though quite the icky day, I did find some enjoyment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Family Reunion Part 3 (Sunday)

By Sunday morning (as Joe was headed out the door for the drive back home) it was decided that Lil MAY have heat stroke, but since Grandma has pretty precarious health, I'd better keep Lil away from everyone else. So my (AWESOME AND FANTASTICAL) mom came and got Lacey for the day, and I stayed at my cousin's house with Matthew and a very weak and VERY tired Lilia. It was a bit of a disappointment since I was losing the opportunity to go to church with the family, as well as to spend more time with Grandma. BUT you make the most of it, and I for sure didn't blame poor Lil for landing us in this spot. Sunday was pretty boring. Lots of cartoon watching, book reading, and Matthew chasing. But there was one not so boring incident...

I had just finished changing an especially bad diaper and instead of throwing it in the trash, I chose to take it out to the garbage can. (Aren't I considerate?) Lil was asleep on the couch, and Matthew was watching a show. I was still in my pajamas and totally shoeless. But it was like, 15 steps from the front door. No biggie right? HA! As I went out the door I was careful to close the metal screen door behind me so Matthew wouldn't escape. Instead of trying to escape, as I lifted the lid of the garbage can I heard Matthew close the main door (wood) behind me. The little stinker. I went to go back inside and found that the screen (metal- not mesh) was LOCKED. And I didn't have a key! It seems the screen door is the type that only locks on the outside. The inside knob still turns when it is locked. I had no idea until I got back to the door that it was locked! Okay... no problem. I will ring the doorbell. What? No doorbell? CRAP. Okay... lets go check windows. (I know, you all think I should check the back door, right? Well I KNEW it was locked since the night before I had noticed it wasn't and I had LOCKED IT! But I did check it again, just to be sure). WELL- it turns out that my cousin's house was a bit on the older side. And ALL the windows were the kind that automatically click shut when the window is closed. You have to push the lever to unlock it as you slide it open... sorry- off the topic there a bit. Back to the point.

To recap:

Both doors locked.

All windows locked.

Both kids INSIDE. One sleeping and sick. And one (troublemaker) very much awake.

Pajamas. Barefoot. No Keys. No Phone.

Family is all in church. No one to call. And only one phone number memorized...

I spent about 5 minutes banging on windows and the back door trying to wake Lilia up. She didn't budge. Through the back door's window, I could see her passed out on the couch, and I could also see Matthew playing with my cousin's laptop, watching TV, dancing with something on TV, and of course, yelling back at me like this is SUCH a fun game. After a while I realized it was useless to try to "raise the dead" and so I hopped back over the fence (it was locked too) barefoot. I then hot footed it (literally) across the street to the only neighbor who was home (I tried three other houses first) and BEGGED them to let me use the phone. Explaining quickly who I was and why I was standing in their yard disheveled and crazed... I called my mom's cell (knowing full well that she was still at church), and PRAYED she had not turned off the ringer. Well- I guess two miracles in one day was one too many, cause her phone was OFF. I left a message to call me ASAP. And then went back to check on the kids. As best I could. Turns out, the show on Netflix had ended and Matthew was getting upset. I was no longer playing the "Yelling game" and he wanted me. The neighbors had followed me across the street and over the fence, and we all took turns looking through the back window at the keys sitting on the coffee table, and the 16 month old crying hysterically. Finally it was decided that we NEEDED to do something - NOW. My cousin has a back porch that is totally screened in, and it was the only entrance to the house that was NOT glass or wood. I knew the door from the house to the porch was unlocked since I had stashed some not so kid friendly items on that porch just a few hours previous. With my permission, the neighbor tore away the plastic covering the screens, and then punched his arm right through the screen. He tore a hole big enough for me to fit through, and I scrambled inside to calm my poor son. I then let them in through the house since I didn't want them to have to hop the fence again. I proved to them I was not some crazy chick, but a legitimate "momma in distress" and then thanked them for vandalizing my cousin's house and bid them a good day. And sat down a cried.

I felt SO GUILTY for the damage. And bless their hearts, my cousin and his wife took it in stride (and maybe a chuckle or two). They completely understood, and shrugged off the damage. But mark my words... I WILL be paying to have that hole fixed.

Lil had a couple really terrible nightmares on Sunday, but otherwise she had finally stopped throwing up around 11 am so we felt sure she was on the mend.

Family Reunion Part 2 (Saturday)

Saturday we went bowling where I finally got to see my grandparents. Grandma looked good, and she said something to me that I will treasure til the day I die. I got to chat with her for a minute (literally) and then had to go tend to the bedlamites (more specifically Matthew). After Bowling we went back to my Uncle's house for lunch and some swimming. After letting Lilia play in the pool for an excessive amount of time we called her inside to cool off and get out of the sun.

Well... about 30 minutes after getting out of the pool, Lil said, "I think I am gonna throw up!" and made a dash for the bathroom. I was hot on her heels, and when we found the downstairs bathroom was occupied I picked her up and ran for the upstairs bathroom. She sat on the floor in the bathroom for a minute and eventually she tossed all her cookies. After which she laid her feverish head on the ground and fell asleep. Poor thing. It was almost time to leave for the next leg of the reunion (a required family meeting where my grandpa gives us all some much needed advice and speaks about the importance of having a close family). Joe and I decided that Lil most likely had heat stroke, and so Joe took her (and Matthew) back to my cousin's house to sleep it off while I went on to the Family meeting and BBQ at my grandparent's house (with Lacey).

The BBQ went well and I spent another minute or two talking with Grandma. I visited with more family and had quite an enjoyable evening. Saturday night was all sorts of fun, since Lilia couldn't keep anything down. To add to it, by about 11 pm I started feeling all sorts of wonky and my stomach was not very happy. I told Joe about it, then went to lay down. I know at some point Joe came in to ask me a question, and though I was wide awake, I was very disoriented and confused. I was SO getting sick! And Joe was supposed to leave to go home TOMORROW MORNING. So I was gonna be by myself with three kids. AND I WAS SICK!

I have never prayed harder in my life for a miracle. And I am so glad to say I was granted that miracle. I woke up feeling totally normal at 6:30 (Alarm clock Matthew doesn't have a snooze button) to send Joe back home.

Family Reunion Part 1 (Through Friday)

Every year my mother's family gets together for our annual family reunion. We have been doing this EVERY YEAR since 1979. That's 33 years of reunions... And this year we very nearly canceled. I take that back. We did cancel. Then we changed our mind, and the location.

I was so excited to have been part of the planning this year, and my mother and I spent months last year planning, searching, and nailing down the details for the campground, activities, etc. Reunion was only going to be 3 hours away from my house, and that alone had me thrilled! I usually have to travel more like 12 hours to get to reunion. Everything was going well until 2 1/2 weeks before reunion when my grandparent's (the patriarch and matriarch of the family) came into town to talk to my mother and her sister. The next morning, my mother called me and tearfully explained that her mom had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Family Reunion was called off. Grandma can't travel and is not allowed to be that far from her doctors (12 1/2 hours).

I was pretty shocked. And I had a bad couple days. I will admit, I am pretty close to my Grandma. She was my employer for 3 years, and I learned a lot from her. She was an integral part of my life during the bleak 4 plus months when my father was in the hospital and after he had died. She is strong and silent and amazing. And I am sad. But that's for a different post. So... two weeks later (a mere 4 days before reunion was supposed to occur) we got a call from my aunt (mom's other sister) saying reunion is back on. But we are moving it to Grandma's and Grandpa's hometown (also my hometown).

Um... Okay... ACK!

Joe had originally taken time off work for reunion. When it was canceled he rescinded the request. And now he had to ask for it off again! Which, thankfully, he got off. Mom was not so lucky. She had to work one of her original days off. BUT- she made up for it by taking an extra couple days AFTER reunion off as well. To make a REALLY long and frustrating few days short it worked out like this:

Joe and I (and kids) would drive down Thursday.

Mom would fly in Friday.

Joe would drive back with my brother on Sunday (gotta work).

I would drive back with my mom (and our kids) on Tuesday. (I wanted a few extra days to visit family and friends)

So we drove for 12 1/2 hours on Thursday. And got into town with very little incidents. Okay, okay, Matthew took a bath in yogurt (not my idea- Lacey loves to share), and Lacey kinda didn't make it to the potty in time (so she had to sit in a wet seat for a couple hours), but there could have been worse things...

{Que doomed suspense-like music now} Dun Dun DUNNNNN....

We were staying at my cousin's house during the reunion, and so we unloaded our two youngest into the bathtub and commandeered their washing machine and dryer to clean their car seat covers first thing.

Friday went well. We woke up at 6:30 (darn Alarm clock- his name is Matthew). We ate some breakfast took our time getting ready, and headed into town for a fantastic lunch at a local eatery we HAVE to go to when we get into town. We then, had a blast hanging out at my aunt's house for a few hours, and eventually met up with EVERYONE at a local (mini golf/laser tag/arcade/bumper cars and other such activities) FUN center. It was mostly okay most of the time. Matthew gave us some grief, but that's what one year old's do, so it was not too big a deal. We got to visit with most of my out of town aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was nice. But Grandma was tired, so we didn't see her that first day.