Journey to the West – Day 16

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Adrian had to head to work, again, this morning.  Doggone Monday!  After getting ready for work, he opened the door to the living room and said, “Uh, oh.”  I asked if Maggie was up, and Adrian said, “Oh, baby. It’s much worse than that.”  I leaned up in bed, looked out the door, and saw that Eliyjah was climbing out of his crib.  Hmm…  Time to get up.  I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, found my glasses, and stepped out into the living room.  I lifted Maggie out of her crib, changed her diaper and changed Eliyjah’s diaper, then folded up the cribs.  I gave the wee littles some cereal in a cup and made a pot of coffee.  A big pot.

I didn’t sleep much during the night – in addition to the 3 kids in my bed, rolling over and smacking me in the face with feet and hands, I had my dear sweet Grandpa on my mind.  My mom had called me the night before to tell me that Grandpa’s heart wasn’t beating enough and that he’d be going in to get a pacemaker placed.  It’s so hard, being here…when my loved ones are back in Minnesota.  I don’t know how many times I asked my mom, my aunts, and my sister if I should go back to Minnesota to be with Grandpa.  They all assured me that Grandpa was okay, and in great hands at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.  Even with their reassurance, though, my heart longed to be with Grandpa all night.  I wondered if I should just get out of bed, put the kids in the van, and start driving.  

Mom called just as I finished putting away the cribs to tell me that Grandpa was stable and that he’d be getting his pace maker placed sometime soon.  Auntie Janice and Auntie Karen texted me, to keep me posted on how Grandpa was doing.  I am so thankful for modern technology so I can be there without really being there.

After breakfast, the 8 younger kids and I took a long walk on the trails at the campground.  The bigger boys went fishing at the pond.  After our walk, we went back to the camper for lunch and naps.  Janessa, my friend’s oldest daughter, came over to spend the afternoon with us.  She held Maggie and put her down for a nap.  Eliyjah protested his nap.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but he had a fever and was feeling yucky.  Finally, just before 3PM, he fell asleep on the floor.  When he woke up we decided to walk to the big park, about 4 blocks away.  I was wearing Maggie and pushing Eliyjah in a stroller, Janessa and Abbie each held a little boys’ hand.  We walked out of the campground, then stayed very close to the ditch.  Cars were driving so fast, scaring me!  I felt like I said, “Get in the ditch!” at last 3 times per minute.  (Do kids just forget??)  When we were ALMOST to the park, I told the kids to walk through the grass.  The road was busier and I thought they’d be safer in the grass.  Suddenly, Ayden stopped walking and let out a huge scream.  He picked up his foot and showed me the bottom of his flip flop.  It was covered in pokey thorns, poked through the flip flop and into his foot!  I have never even seen such a horrible pokey!!  Janessa picked him up and I eased the flip flop of off his foot.  He was sobbing.  We took the pokey thorns out of his feet, turned around, and started back to the camper.  As we walked, everyone else started feeling the pokey thorns in their feet.  We looked at our flip flops and we all had them!  Standing on the side of the road, we took the pokeys out of our flip flops and feet.  We noticed that Bailey, our dog, was also walking funny.  Abbie looked at her paws and saw that she, too, had pokeys!  Abbie and Phoebie did their best to get the pokeys out, but couldn’t get a few that were deeper.  Phoebie carried Bailey back to the camper, Janessa and Abbie took turns carrying Ayden, and I pushed Eliyjah’s stroller and wore Maggie in her carrier.  We walked back to the camper, disappointed that we were so close to the park…but didn’t get to play.

On the way back to the camper, I got a text from my aunt saying that Grandpa’s surgery was a success.  Praise God!!  

When we got back to the camper, we turned on a movie and I snuggled with Eliyjah.  He felt so hot!  Poor baby, he had a fever and I didn’t know.  I gave him some Motrin and snuggled with him.  When he was a bit perkier, he wanted to get down and play with his cars.  Janessa’s mom, Heather, came to pick her up and brought me a thermometer and a tweezers (to get the pokey thorns out of Bailey’s paws.)  

When Heather and Janessa left, Maggie wanted a turn snuggling and she, too, was super hot.  She had a fever, too!! Well, that explained why they were so crabby all day!!  I gave her some Motrin and snuggled her until she felt a bit better and wanted to get down and play with the kids.

Adrian got home from work a little later than I’d expected…  I had pulled chicken out of the freezer for him to barbecue and felt bad because I knew dinner would be served quite late.  Adrian took the kids outside to blow bubbles and fly kites, while I stayed inside the camper cleaning up and making beans.  Just before 8PM, we served dinner.  It was well worth the wait!  SO yummy!!

After dinner, I was feeling very tired and overwhelmed.  It feels like I am constantly cleaning up…there isn’t enough room for anything…nap time is always unsuccessful…the camper walls feel like they are, sometimes, closing in on me…Adrian brought “home” a bunch of paperwork from work that had no place to go…and I’d spent the entire day with crabby babies.  It had been a very long day.  Even with the wonderful blessings – Grandpa having a successful surgery… discovering that the wee ones had fevers and weren’t “just” crabby… spending time with Janessa and Heather… I just felt so blah!  Adrian offered to let me go to bed and read…or just sleep.  So, I took him up on it.  I took a shower (ALONE!) and then laid in my bed reading my book.  It was a huge blessing, and I felt refreshed by the time Adrian came to bed.  It’s amazing what a couple of hours alone can do.  I’m very thankful for Adrian.

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