Monday, June 11, 2012

Brought back to life as we know it.

The grandparents stayed with us a week ago to be here for the baby's blessing.

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Last time they were here, their son was fighting a sickness that has a 50% mortality rate. (Those odds still make me shudder.) They were called up at the last minute to relieve my mom, who had been helping out the week before. They drove seven hours to find their son barely mobile and heavily drugged in a hospital bed. He had tubes and electrodes and cuffs and monitors working hard to bring his body back to some form of functionality.

The grandparents were so helpful, from both sides of the family. They kept the children safe and happy while we spent days in the hospital. I just realized something — that stay in his hospital room was the only time that my husband and I have ever been away from the children overnight. We've gone to the hospital for a birth before, but then there was always the newborn there with us. I look forward to a trip together sometime that involves more beach and less fluorescent lighting. At least we had room service!

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It was nice to spend time with the grandparents under happier circumstances.

For the record, bocce ball gets my stamp of approval for lawn games that can successfully engage players of all levels and ages.

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Well done, bocce ball creators. Well done.

This week my husband went back to work for the first time since he had his surgeries. It was his first tour back, and my first time being on my own with all four children. We were both nervous, for different reasons.

He was concerned about the hundred little things involved with being away from work for 10 weeks. I was concerned about how the transition to Dad being gone again would affect the behavior of my children, and how sane I would be on my own.

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On my end, the two days apart turned out to be much better than expected. The children weren't anxious about dad being gone, they played well together, and I even managed to survive a migraine on the second day without losing my sanity. I got enough sleep, too!

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The shift went smoothly on my husband's end, as well. He had a very busy couple of days and slipped right back into those routines without trouble.

Now that we've gone through a shift apart, I feel much more comfortable being on my own. It helps to have my body back to normal. That helps a lot. I have things like strength, and energy, and the ability to lift my three year old tank. The fact that the baby is sleeping 4 1/2 to 5 hours at night helps, too.

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So far, it's been a great summer. I am loving the days with my little family. (Although, I don't think I can use that term anymore — we're a big family now!) Life has been very good. Shifts spent apart are manageable, the kids are finding creative ways to spend their time (you should see the stack of papers with monsters made of skittles and m&m's drawn on them), they're re-learning how to live with each other and resolve conflicts, and so far, no one has fallen down the stairs. They've come close, though. They have way too much fun chasing and bumping into each other. I might have to get those baby gates sooner rather than later, for my own sanity!
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