I turned thirty five over Labor Day weekend. We traveled up north to watch the home team play the first college football game of the season, and it was epic in both good ways and bad:
BAD: The husband was out of town, so getting out was an Endeavor. After staying up late finishing up some work assignments, and then getting up at 2:30 to deal with a certain little boy who had peed the bed, I had a lot to do to get us out the door. Had to do the pee laundry, plus Jack’s uniforms for the following week, and fold it so as to avoid ironing those little navy polos and khaki shorts; fold last week’s clean but yet-unfolded laundry and pack it; water the lawn and new landscaping and drag the outdoor potted plants inside, lest they fry while we were gone; get the dishes done and empty trashes so it didn’t smell; prepare a Cowboy Day costume for my kindergarten cowboy, who had a Cowboy parade at school; console the other little boy in my life, who was NOT getting to be a Cowboy in a super cool parade at big boy school and was not happy about it; pack up the car; pack up and hand over the dog to generous dog-sitting friends; go watch a Cowboy day parade with a squirrelly three year old; then drive the boys alone for about 9 hours through very cray cray Atlanta traffic to get to our Labor Day destination. Also, Jack was having digestive issues, so there were multiple emergency stops. And pregzilla also needed to stop often. We saw a lot of gross gas station bathrooms, is what I’m saying.
GOOD: No accidents, either of the potty or the car variety. The boys did beautifully, I had great behavior. It went as well as a nine hour drive can go.
BAD: Upon arrival, we discovered that the husband’s flight was delayed, and so I had to jump back in the car and drive a further hour to drop off our car at the airport where he would be now landing at o’dark thirty. I missed a baby shower that I was frantically attempting to get to.
GOOD: At least we brilliantly thought to leave the car, otherwise somebody would have had to wake up and go get the husband at o’dark thirty, and that would have been worse.
VERY VERY BAD: About twenty minutes after I finally fell, exhausted, into bed, Liam began whine-crying from his bed. I left him a few minutes to see if he’d simmer down, but as he just became more agitated and weepy, I brought him into my bed. He demanded water. I walked downstairs and fetched some water. He drank the water and said it made his mouth hurt, and demanded juice. I said – drink the water, kid. And he said – BLEAAAHHH, vomit all over me and everything. The next five or so hours were spent bleaching the bathroom floor, laundering various sheets and towels and ferrying him to and from the toilet for a mercifully short-lived, but fairly intense, session of hoarking. We fell into a fitful sleep at about 2:45 or 3. The husband arrived shortly after that, and wisely chose to sleep downstairs on the couch.
GOOD: College Game Day was in town, and the whole place was psyched. We had all chicks in the nest – very important, as the husband’s flight could have been bumped to the next day and then he’d never have made it in through all of the traffic. The atmosphere was electric, both in the house and out in the town. It was a great day to be there, and worth all the effort.
BAD: Sadly the husband and I were operating on two hours of sleep (and I, attempting to get all ducks in a row and complete work assignments, had not slept more than four hours the three nights prior, which always stinks but is made a zillion times worse during pregnancy). We had planned to tailgate more, spend more time out watching Game Day antics, see friends, and stay up for the game, but the lack of sleep, excessive heat, sick three year old, and what I like to call Gestational Drag basically kept us home and flopped on the couch for most of the day. And I only (sort of) made it through to half time of the 8:00 game.
GOOD: Though that hadn’t been the plan, it turned out to be just dandy. We needed some chill time, the kids needed some grandparent time, and the couch was exceedingly comfortable. The kids swam some and played with cousins, we enjoyed family time, everybody drank beer and watched various college games, and some friends swung by to say hi to us anyway so we didn’t totally dis all of our besties. In the late afternoon we managed a few turns around the tailgates – maybe an hour or so – before the dinner bell called us back in. That turned out to be enough to satiate my desire to see the spectacle.
GOOD: The next day we had friends come over and celebrate my birthday with some drinks by the pool. I wisely made the first half of the party kid-free, so we enjoyed some adult chatting before the children descended and made it a different sort of fun. I love my friends. I love their kids. I had a birthday half-a-beer. Mmmmmm.
BAD: Liam was still very unwell – with cold symptoms and mild fever and an unshakable lethargy. Intellectually I knew he was just recovering from the Daycare Crud of the Week, but . . . well, you know. The gravitational pull of your own unwell child is difficult to throw off, even when it’s your birthday and your friends you never see are out to see you and you know he’ll be fine. My baby was on my mind.
GOOD: That evening, we enjoyed takeout dinner and a birthday cake made and decorated by my children and niece. I opened some presents – new boots, new shoes, some gift cards – and blew out the candles, and then fell asleep in front of a movie.
MEDIOCRE: The drive home the next day avoided traffic. We made it in time for the husband to help run a few errands before he left for his job in another city.
I am typing this on somewhat spotty wireless internet in the Pittsburgh airport, waiting for my flight home from this weekend’s travel extravaganza – this time to a family wedding. It was a slog to have these two travel weekends in a row, but I am very glad I came. I haven’t seen some of these cousins in almost TWENTY YEARS – for real, ya’ll – and many aunts and uncles I haven’t seen since my own wedding, or that of my sisters. It was great to catch up, meet some new additions, make an investment in this oft-neglected side of my family (neglected because of the distance, more than anything else).
I am ready to faint, and though I am about to start another single-parenting week without even the benefit of weekend laundry and cooking time (Lord, just get me to January), I am looking forward to a quiet weekend coming up, in which there will be copious amounts of lounging, absolutely no packing or unpacking, and lots of time to just relax. I have enjoyed September, with all its crazy travels, but a bit of a slow down is just what this preggo needs!