When I logged on to the computer this morning I found a message on facebook:
Chrissy, put down your knitting (momentarily) and start blogging again! I'm having withdrawls!! ;-)
I'll take that as the gentle push I needed to get me writing about this past week. It's been a bad one. Not all bad of course, but a lot of emotional stress came bubbling up and I've just not been in the best place to deal with it.
I think we left off where Caitlin had sustained a rather nasty infection in her toe and I rushed up to rescue her and bring her down to be coddled with chick flicks and knitting. Which meant Friday was fine, but by that evening all three of our children were feeling crappy, with low grade fevers and runny noses and the general bad attitude that comes with a cold. Saturday morning I was awoken by Brian trying to get out of bed and falling to the floor instead. Six foot tall men make a lot of noise when they fall, and no matter how used to him falling I am, it is never a pleasant way to be startled awake.
Brian falling out of bed in the morning had become a regular occurrence over the past week because our bed is broken. It has been broken for probably the last 18 months. It got broken because of Brian repeatedly sitting down hard (i.e. falling) on the side of it. We've been making do, trying to reinforce the support underneath, and his parents gave us a foam topper for it to try to raise it up so that he didn't have so far to go to get into the bed. But this past week it became obvious that the box spring had given up the ghost and we would have to replace the whole thing sooner rather than later. On top of Brian sliding out of bed and getting dumped on the floor every morning, the whole lack of support has completely messed up both of our backs. Which for Brian meant that last Saturday he went from a functioning paraplegic to having no ability to walk, period.
That was scary. At one point he had fallen in the bedroom and we could not get him up. I was in a panic and just about ready to call 911 for help, because I couldn't think what else to do. (Having a little time and distance from that moment I was able to calm down and make a list of people in my head that I could call for help if such an issue came up again.) I realize now that it was so scary, for both of us, because it really woke us up to the fact that as much I may want to, there is simply no way that I can physically take care of Brian by myself. If he cannot help me at all, there is not much I can do to lift someone who tops me by a foot and weighs 200+ lbs. We are just not ready for this level of dependence yet.
Saturday was spent taking care of three sick children, an immobile husband, and trying to keep the panic at bay while deciding what to do about the bed situation. I am just going to say it. It sucks to be the only functioning adult in a family. The sheer amount of physical labor required to cook and clean for a family of five when you are doing it on your own is... well it's just a lot. And it's also hard because it creates emotional stress on both of us as well. Brian sits in his chair feeling awful that his body won't work the way he wants it to and seeing me get run ragged, and I am left overwhelmed and trying not be resentful of the people I love most in the world for needing so much of me. The biggest stressor was trying to decide how and when we would go mattress shopping with sick kids and Brian incapacitated. I wasn't about to set out shopping for such a big ticket item by myself, but I didn't know what we were going to do in the mean time as there was no way for Brian to spend one more night in that bed without the risk of doing more damage. I put a query out on facebook asking for peoples thoughts on mattress, what brands were good, that sort of thing. More as just a way of feeling like I was doing something, anything, to make forward progress on difficult problem.
That night my cousin Jen called. She asked if we knew what size of mattress we were thinking of getting. I did know the answer to that question, we knew that no matter what we got we wanted to upgrade to a king-size. (It's something that Brian has always wanted to do since we first got married, but we've never had a big enough room to accommodate that large of a mattress before.) Jen said that they had just purchased a new queen mattress because their bedroom wasn't big enough for their otherwise perfectly fine, in excellent condition king sized mattress, and did we want it? Um. Holy cow. YES! They brought it over the next morning and my dad went and got us a simple rail frame for it. Talk about tender mercies. The first night we slept in it, I laid there for an hour just contemplating how much contentment and proper back support I felt.
The children stayed home for two days from school. By Wednesday I was ready to run away, at least for a little while. There were hysterics and temper tantrums caused by the slightest provocation... and the children were almost as bad.
But there were also good things and funny things that happened during our week too. Jacob decided that he wanted to be in charge of the laundry. He had me write down all the steps and the machine settings so he can run the washer and dryer on his own. He has been so diligent about it, to the point that if I drop something on the floor that's not dirty, even for a moment, chances are it will be whisked off to the laundry room before I can come back and put it away. Guess I'll have to be better about not leaving my clothes on the floor. It's been a little hard for me to bite my tongue and not micro manage how much and what order he washes things in, but I keep thinking I am making life easier for my future daughter-in-law by encouraging this interest while he's young.
Yesterday was a little bit insanely busy. The girls got to go to a dance class with their friend, Libby, and they absolutely loved it! I had about 45 minutes to myself, with no one around. It was too weird. I didn't know what to do with all the silence, so I went to the yarn shop to knit, just so there was another person around. After school I had both of the kids SEP conferences, one after the other. They are both doing well and enjoying school, but Lila was just about out of her mind with boredom and exhaustion by the time we were done so I skipped the book fair. Jake and Evie were both disappointed, it's our tradition that a good SEP is followed by going to the book fair and letting them pick out a new book. (Jake's never had a bad SEP yet...) I told them never mind, I was working a shift at the book fair the next day and I would surprise them with a new book after school. Then I went off to knit night with the feeling of a prisoner who's finally tasting freedom after escaping from lock down. I starting feeling a little off as the night wore on, and by the time I got home I knew I was sick. Stupid cold bug.
I went to be early and woke up late. In fact I woke up to a phone call wondering why I wasn't at the school to work my shift at the book fair. Sigh. Cough, cough, sneeze. I spent the morning laying on the couch until the girls decided it was time to eat. I decided I wasn't up to cooking so I drove to Kneaders for soup. It was wonderful. Then I laid on the couch until it was time to get Jake. Then I laid on the couch until it was time to eat dinner. Now I am laying on the couch and updating my blog... I guess that brings you pretty much current with our life. To balance out the negative venting vibe I've had I leave you with a funny from Lila.
Last night while Brian was snuggling her and trying to get her to sleep, she suddenly turned to me and said, "Mom! Can you make me a pie?"
"Um. No. I don't make pie."
"Pl-eeee-ase. I want you to make a pie!"
"Lila, I don't make pies."
"Mom. You are thirties years old. You do make pies."
It took a little more discussion to figure out that what she was asking for was Shepherd's Pie for dinner. Ah... I do make that kind of pie.