Keenly aware

25 November 2009

We had every ambitious intention of hosting a Thanksgiving gathering for our Irish friends. Really we did. But then Ella was hospitalized for four days and all hell broke loose.

I was doing fine with it. Really, I was. On Friday evening a friend drove me and the boys to the hospital so I could spend a few precious minutes with the girl and collect the car. It became more complicated due to the hospital being closed to visitors, especially children, so we waited in the cold for Matt to trade with me. The boys, so good, spent a good majority of the weekend waiting in the car in the dark and the wind and the rain. For the first 2 1/2 days, I handled that OK. It was lonely, it was stressful, it was exhausting driving back and forth twice a day - a half hour trip each way - carrying the baby to and from the car, nursing him in the front seat, feeding Jackson fast food (when I remembered to feed him, that is). I was handling it. I was super single Mom.

Then Sunday afternoon the doctors told us she'd have to spend one more night in hospital. I was with her all afternoon and early evening while she slept, reading a book in a recliner by her bedside. I thought to myself, for no particular reason, that there was no one. No one to call. No one to come visit her. No one to leave the boys with. No one to bring us food. No one to remind me to feed Jackson. No one to update. We were in the midst of a real health emergency, and I felt as if I had no one.

I cried all this out in the empty children's ward and on the phone with Matt. He reminded me that the boys were fine, Ella was on her way to being fine, and we would all be fine once she was home. "But I'm not fine!" I shouted to him. I'm not fine. I needed my family, I needed a friend, I needed someone to help me put the boys to bed and to stay with them when I was at the hospital. I needed to be in the same room with Matt. I needed Asher to take a bottle. I was in need. And that feeling really sucked.

The truth is, there are people here. We aren't alone. There are people who love us here and who we love. But having been able to rely on my family and close friends for years and years, I have no idea how to ask for help from new friends. I cry help, but only in my head - never out loud. Thankfully, I have Matt, who asks for help on my behalf. He passed the boys into the open arms of our wonderful neighbour, came to the hospital, and held me. The first time in 3 days we had been in the same room. He knew I needed help.

So Ella just came home on Monday, the house is a mess, I am a mess, and our Thanksgiving plans are now a mess. So instead of serving everyone a big dinner, we've invited them over to share in some American football joy, our favourite Thanksgiving tradition. I need the company, I need the companionship. I hope it comes.

No pigs here

22 November 2009

So we thought the swine flu had infiltrated our house. Ella had been sick for nearly a week, Asher was sounding gross as well, and Mommy had seen better days. Turns out that E had a major chest infection and is currently spending her 3rd day in the hospital. Good news is she's feeling loads better (as evidenced by the picture below), though still needs some monitoring for the oxygen levels in her blood. Hopefully she'll be released today. We're so happy to be getting our Ella-monster back. It's been quite an ordeal.

Oh, and Asher has bronchiolitis. He's finally starting to eat better, but a sick baby who can't breathe through his nose is an angry baby. Mommy's hanging in there, too. Sore throat and unbelievably runny nose, but still kickin' it.

Long week.

Late nights are good for writers

07 November 2009

I was just thinking that I wish I had time to write or update the blog, but seeing as how I've usually got a child in my hands or around my legs, the writing has been one of those things I've had to sacrifice in order to be an attentive parent. However, Saturday nights the man is away late at youth group, the kids are finally in bed (for now) and I'm finding myself with just a bit of time before the laundry buzzes and the pacifier falls out in order to write.

Now, what to say...

Like everyone else in the world these days, finances weigh heavily on my mind. It's actually been a downright scary few weeks, coming face to face with the possibility of leaving here sooner than expected. But a good friend of ours says all we need to worry about is having enough for today. And amazingly, God has given us enough for all the days up till now and the weight that's been hanging on our shoulders isn't as heavy as it was at first. We're planning on staying put for now, but I have a tendency to prepare myself for disappointment anyway.

This week the boy said something sad that made me audibly gasp and reach for some kleenex.

"It's too bad I don't have any friends." He didn't seem particularly upset about that realisation, but I was!

I said, "Jackson! You don't think you have any friends?"

"Well, I have pretend friends. And that's fun!" he replies.

What is a mother to do? What on earth do I say when I know it is, in fact, a true statement? The child does not have any friends. I think we've dropped the ball somewhere along the way... I'm so sad that the ball that was dropped was a need for our child.

The baby boy is tearing me apart in altogether different ways. Why is sleep always the issue? I'm facing the prospect of permanently giving up caffeine. Not something I'm looking forward to doing, but again, this mother is at a loss on how to proceed otherwise. I just realised that I'm not just a mother, but I'm a mother of boys. Plural. I worry next to nothing about the girl (she's a tough girl, with a capital T), but it's the boys that I fret over. Is that weird?

Oh, and I'm thinking of cutting off all my hair. There's only so much pulling and tearing and spit-up one head of hair can handle in a day. Thoughts? Is it really smart to cut one's hair super short if it is thick and curly?




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