So let's rewind. On Monday of that week, we dropped Gabe at Camp Highland in Ellijay, GA. It's the camp I worked at years ago and let's just say it has gotten quite the facelift from my days! BUT still the same great stuff and same great God working and moving there. He was SO nervous about it- it was his very first time at an overnight thing like that and it was for a whole week- Monday to Saturday- but I pushed because I knew he'd love it and that's exactly what happened! When I picked him up on Saturday, he was exhausted and hoarse and said three things to me immediately:
1) I can't believe it's already been a week, I feel like I've been here for like 2 days
2) When I come back next year.... yadda yadda
3) Can I go to sleep as soon as we get in the car?
It was a hit! And anytime we're on a woodsy road Jack shouts "Gabe, had fun at camp?" And we all says "yes Jack, Gabe had fun at camp" in that for the "1000 millionth time tone".
So it was just me and the younger 3 for the week. I knew that dinner would consist of cereal, mac n' cheese, and the likes, and that Max would sleep with me all week which would make bedtime much easier, and I set my goals really low for the week- for instance: feed the children. Keep them alive. Have some fun. And we achieved all my goals.
On Monday, Maddie, the family dog from my childhood who has lived with us for the past while got old and sick really quick, like overnight, so we had to put her to sleep. I am not/ was not attached to her at all and yet is still made me so sad I couldn't even stop thinking about it. My brother was so sad- she was his dog- and my mom, too. Oh- I am SO bad at loss- and it's not even my heart-- blah! Remind me to avoid feeling that way- I'll stick with joy and butterflies and giggles- I'm way better at that.
On Tuesday our church has mother's morning out- the first one ever- and it was just because and for free. Um, now that's the kind of joy I was referring to! Max and Jack were stoked to go play and made sure I understood I was to leave- funny. It was nice running errands and only loading the baby in and out. That afternoon, my mom came and kept al 3 boys and I even left her a bottle for the baby (I've never been away that long!) but it was for a great cause... getting my hair did! I had hombre going and not the kind you pay for... um, skunk roots! Then we met Danielle and her kiddos for dinner- Matt was on the same trip with Chad and she was doing the single mom thing as well.
Then on Wednesday, a skating rink near our house had what's called "Tiny Tots" which is only for 5 year olds and younger and they get to bring their own riding toys and take over the place and ride all over the skating rink. It was so great because the set up meant I actually got to sit and chill and chat with mom friends because they boys were loving it and right out on the floor in front of me. They're doing another next month and we will SO be there!
I have decided that this is the week that I'm going to move Jack to his new bed in Max's room- it's a big room so they both have their own beds in their now- and then move the baby out of our room into the nursery. My reason for doing it this week was to surprise Chad- he isn't a fan of the sound machine and baby noises in our room and plus, I was going to bed when the baby did in our room which meant Chad had to tiptoe to bed whenever he was ready- kinda like he was a visitor in his own room. Well Jack had done great all week and was so proud of his big bed and so it was time to move the baby. But I was DREADING it. Mainly because he's such a cute and easy baby and since I'm not going back to work, I just don't give a rat's patootie about his schedule or if he wakes me up or if he wants me to hold him all day, so I was LOVING him in our room. I loved his noises and just watching him and smelling him, and oh yummy. But I did it nonetheless. Aren't you proud? Well his first night in his crib was Wednesday which also happened to be the first night in his entire life that he woke up twice in one night to eat. Which reminded me why moms of newborns are tired. Once a night after pregnancy is seriously no big deal, but twice, umm, things get a little more hairy...blurry... foggy! So Thursday is when things get a little interesting. Mainly because I'm sleepy and this was my day that had a plan that mattered...
My mom was coming to get Max and Jack for the night because I needed to clean my house and decorate for a 30th surprise party... Danielle's 30th surprise party... the same Danielle I was hanging out with and checking in with all week... I was SO nervous she was going to stop by so I faked exhaustion and a 7pm bedtime and went to work. And all afternoon and evening as I worked like crazy, pausing to feed the baby every 3 hours, I just laughed at myself. When I just has Max, I could seriously get NOTHING done. It was not an act or perceived- it was just how it was. I could take care of a baby. That's it. But now, after living in my world that includes a big ole' bushel of boys, a whole afternoon and evening with only the baby produced incredible results-- I'm talking deep cleaning, mopping of floors and wiping of baseboards, dusting, vacuuming, and lots of decorating! After confirming with Danielle that she was staying over night at her parent's Thursday night, I even hung the decor and started setting out stuff on the tables, knowing that Friday I'd be busy retrieving my boys from my moms and Saturday we'd be picking Gabe up from camp... perfection.
Friday morning I continued working and cleaning and doing the last grocery run for the party- Danielle is a very loved lady so the party we going to include about 45 of her favorite people including kiddos. I had made lists and lists about my list and by Friday afternoon, everything was basically checked off except for the things that had to be done on Sunday. That afternoon, I drove to my parents for dinner and got Max and Jack and we headed home. I pulled in the driveway in time to put everyone straight to bed which was totally on purpose so that my house could stay in tip top shape. And I collapsed into bed too, exhausted, as well.
Saturday morning we had to hurry out of the house to pick up Gabe. YAY-- another way to keep the house clean :) I fed them an easy, neat breakfast and we were off. Now, to tell the truth, this part of the week got a bit rough- I'm not sure if it was because I was loading all the boys in and out and driving 3+ hours round trip, retrieving luggage and trying to feed a baby on his schedule, in public, while keeping the others alive and well, or if it was just because I was ready for Chad to be home, but I started wearing down. We had to eat lunch on the way home and got home just in time for naps... which left me only 24 more hours of keeping that house "ready" before the party. At this point, Danielle and I were planning to get together so I just had all these reasons why I had to get out of the house to make sure she didn't suggest playing at our house for the evening. Thankfully, it worked, and the plan was to meet at the park with dinner, let everyone play, and celebrate her last evening in her 20's, It was delightful, for the most part, with the exception of some bugs and a heat stroke while I had to feed the baby, but I'm not complaining, because once again, we made it to another sleep session without messing up my house!
Sunday morning included church, a great balloon pickup... I'm talking 4 boys, a mom, 30 latex balloons and 2 mylar balloons in one minivan. We were all laughing and giggling so hard, I had tears coming down my face. There was some lunch and then more naps and when we got up, CHAD WAS HOME!!!!!! Par-tay!
And then it was time for the actual party! It went off without a hitch... well except for the part where we left the garage door open to "look natural" and so they came in that door like all friends would, but the party guests were all posed by the front door for the surprise- oops!
We had such a wonderful time celebrating such a great friend- I loved every second of the prep and the party. She is such a joy to be around, I'm so grateful that God crossed our paths!
All in all the week was a great success- I enjoyed low key time with my boys and was totally fine on that front, I just missed Chad like crazy at the end of each day, because, hello, he's my person and who was I supposed to talk to?? It's really weird when you're used to knowing the in's and out's of a person's day, and then all of a sudden it's like you live separate lives for 7 days! I also always have great help/ relief/ back up from my mom- the world's best grandmother, so it's not like I'm ever roughing it by any means! So by the time Chad and Gabe got back home, we were super ready, but the nice part was that we weren't run down-- and that's a good thing, because after the party on Sunday evening, a new week started again bright and early the next day!