Whenever I was keeping Grayson (9 months), Lila Kate (23 months) became sick and was hospitalized for a few days with an intestinal infection. It was so sad seeing that precious baby on an IV laying in a hospital bed. She came home and had to continue to have tests and actually had another bout but it was caught early enough and she was able to take medication to prevent another hospital stay. I was really tired after that week and headed to our lake house to recoup and get ready for the next round of family adventures.
Two weeks ago I knew that Caitlin and her kids would be coming in from Cleveland for both Andrew's 1st birthday party and Halloween. And knowing this and that I was about to be rolling non-stop for 10 days, I was glad I had a week of basically doing nothing so I would be well rested when they arrived. HOWEVER... Codi had a freak little accident that put us all in high gear to help with the kids. She had a fall and fractured both wrists and one elbow. That meant that she has been very limited with what she can do. Her mother came to help her and the baby while I took care of Beckett most of that week. The rest that I had hoped to get...well, it just didn't happen. I did have one day before Caitlin flew in but then two MORE things happened: First, I got a terrible sinus infection that was accompanied by the awful sinus headache that goes along with it (ugh...) and Second, I hit a drain in the road and busted a tire on my SUV. While my husband was out of town. Yep, that was the day before Caitlin flew in and I was sitting on the side of the road with a busted tire and no way to pick them up from the airport. Hubby called someone who was able to not only tow my vehicle but also get me another SUV to drive until mine was being repaired.
Caitlin got in on a Saturday and Andrew's birthday was on Halloween and so we had to prepare for his party AND Trick-R-Treating on Monday. Now, don't even think that preparing for a 1 year olds birthday party is any small feat. We made the cake ourselves and then there were many other homemade preparations for his special day. But first...There was the Zoo Boo that some of us attended on Saturday evening. Now, this is a great 3 day event that our local zoo puts on every year but the only problem is that there are so many people trying to get in that if you want to get in early, you must get in line early...Like 2 HOURS ahead of time! Yep...and there is a line that stretches far and stiles like one sees at Disney World (gulp!). We were in line at 4:00 for a 6:00 gate opening. And that was after Caitlin had only gotten off her plane around 2:00. Is it getting crazy enough for you yet?! Just wait...there's more to come.
Andrew's 1st birthday party was a great success. However, it was not without a great mess (sigh...). What with all of the cake making and cutting out of decorations my kitchen...no, pretty much my whole house looked like a bomb had gone off in it. I just took a deep breath (and a garbage bag...) and started cleaning up. Everyone showed up around 5 for the party and we had cake and gifts.
We already had our costumes on so as soon as the last piece of birthday cake was ingested we headed out to trick-r-treat with all of the kiddos. It was dark and the older ones were excited and there were quite a few slips and skinned up knees and the younger ones were tired and were crying but WE DID IT! Halloween 2016 is in the books and we really did have lots of fun.
I could sort of breathe a bit after all of the previous events were over but then the round starting began. If I wasn't driving Caitlin and the kids around to see family, they were stopping in at the house to see her. And somewhere in there poor little Livie (20 months) hit her head on a door and had to get stitches. AND...Ryan and Allison found out the sex of the baby they're expecting in March. Livie will become the BIG SISTER to a BABY BROTHER!! And most nights two or three kids could be found sleeping in sleeping bags or on a pallet beside my bed. It was like navigating a maze whenever I had to get up during the night to use the bathroom. But no one was stepped on so I felt quite accomplished.
And by the time I turned around, it was time for my daughter to leave again. There were still so many things I wanted to do with her. It seems like that's the way it always is. But the countdown is on. Her 5 years in Cleveland are almost finished and I am so happy that we will not simply be living for a week here and a week there. Just a few more months of traveling and the Ohioans will be back and all will be well because I will have all of my little chickies in a basket once again so to speak. And I'm smart enough not to think it will be a fairy tale because there will continue to be lots of chaos because what else would you expect from A BIG FAT SOUTHERN FAMILY of soon to be 19...and counting?!