Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Spring Break in the Daily Routine

Everyone has a story of their best spring break EVER.  I have mine and it involves being in college and having access to a house boat, friends, and sunshine.  For the past few years spring break has meant very little to me at all.  Following the second hardest February of my life one year ago this week, SH1 had just told us he had pin worms again. The depression and laundry piles that I was left with made me completely unable and unwilling to acknowledge spring break at all. This year is miraculously different.
Don't get me wrong we had a scare when SH2 complained her bottom hurt last week; my poor husband and I inspected that kid's butt-hole for at least 60 seconds straight.  She grew uncomfortable with the attention to her anus and we literally had to look at each other and say, "If it is so what?!"  She does not have pinworms; she was constipated and decided to start poop holding, a mere speed bump in our world.  (That will teach my kids to complain of pain in their bottom.)  
Monday when I came home from work to their screeching laughter, I realized that SH1 (6yo), SH2 (3yo) and SH3 (18mos) have a thing or two to teach me about spring break.

It is not about learning to tie shoes
It is not about homework, practicing phonograms, or spelling words
It is not about backpacks or lunch boxes
It is not about schedules and spending the day buckled in car seats 
It is not about using inside voices or keeping our body under control

It is about asking every.single.day. "Do we have school tomorrow?" and when I reply "Nope not for # of days" they dance around me excitedly planning what they will do with ALLL that time
It is about watching Frozen or The Croods or Turbo (over and over)
It is about eating every meal outside and pointing out the hummingbirds
It is about SH3 saying "Do" and nodding her head as in 'I do' instead of 'Yes' when you ask her anything 
It is about a trip to the zoo along with every other bored school age kid's family in your district
It is about a muddy pile of clothes and a happy naked toddler who was stripped because she found the sand and water mixture to be glorious fun
It is about blowing bubbles in the tub until you are out of breath from laughing and bubble making
It is about pretending to be a baby (insert animal here) for hours on end
It is about SH1's T-ball practice and spring training games
It is about walking to the park and watching SH3 go up the steps and down the slide 30 times in a row
It is about staying up late to build Lego cars 
It is about couch cushion forts that get cleaned up before I get home because they make me crazy for some unknown reason
It is about movie night with fizzy lemonade and popcorn
It is about SH2 thinking that every day that has passed is either "last year" or "yesterday"
It is about dance parties to Backyardigan's ditties and Frozen songs 
It is about three hour naps for exhausted toddlers
It is about coming home to colored pictures and stapled pages ('books') that simply say 'I love you mom' over and over again with drawings of SH1 and I together

Couch cushion den for my happy baby foxes
Spring break is magical.  It is hard.  It is not a break at all.  It is a week-long chance to look back on who they were this time a year ago and who they have become in one very short year and one very long week.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Miracles Miracles Everywhere But Not a One I See

Two years ago this past month my Dad was in the intensive care unit (ICU) for two weeks on a ventilator (machine that breathes for him).  I came home one day from the hospital scream sobbing because I knew he was going to die.  My sister and I were 4 and 5 months pregnant respectively and my brother and sister in law were 8 months pregnant.  Those were the worst days of my life.

I have a rule about hospitals.  I work in them every day so I know how they work.  If you are unable to speak for yourself, someone has to be there at all times to advocate for you.  I am especially interested in patient safety and know that you are more likely to die of a medical error in a hospital than to die of motor vehicle accidents, HIV, and breast cancer combined. I have four siblings and between us, our significant others, and my mom we tried to be there all day every day around the clock.  This was very hard on all of us with families, work, and babies on the way.  Circumstances and exhaustion being what they were I was there every.single.day.  I burned through my accumulated days off that I had been saving for my maternity leave to post vigil by his side.  I couldn't do the nights because I needed to be home, but I was the physician of the family so I felt it was my duty to be there to ask questions, get answers, and fill in the gaps during the day. 

I had two small humans at home with a third on the way.  I went to my obstetrician (OB) for no reason other than I was irrationally terrified that all this stress was killing my unborn baby.  I could barely hold on, how could this small human growing inside of me?  I wanted to hear SH3's heartbeat.  I don’t know how he knew, but he offered to pray with me.  I sobbed as he prayed and couldn't believe how he knew that is exactly what I needed at that moment.  
SH3 and her Pa Pa sharing laughs and a snack

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Life is Poop

SH1 loves animals.  He wanted a petting zoo birthday party.  He was the ONLY kid that stayed in the gated area with the animals for the entire time they were at our house.  He missed eating pizza dinner at his own party because of his dedication to petting, holding, and chasing the animals.  Of all the parties we have thrown this kid, this is by far our greatest triumph.  

Best party ever!