Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm back

Well I didn't mean to be absent for the rest of the week. I guess life "happened."

I survived a week of "running errands" every. single. day. with the kids. This was a grand experiment to help Tortuga handle these better. It went pretty well. Two of the 6 days I got to the store and turned right back around to head home following challenging (minor) behavior. In each case it was an errand Tortuga had been looking forward to (once to get football cards, the other to get fish for his aquarium which I just decided to reintroduce to his room after an absence of almost a year--last year's Christmas Day destruction of his room.) I figured he would benefit from truly "feeling" the impact of his inability to hold it together for these errands. On Sunday, I actually got out of the house with only 1 child, Corazon, (rarely happens) and went and got him his fish.

I am not sure what all I did last week but I can recap some of the highlights. On Thursday we got a call from school that Pollito was running a fever and complaining of ear pain. So off to school we went and set him up on the couch to sleep and hopefully recuperate. Keeping our eye out and fingers crossed because we had been working on keeping everyone healthy as Thanksgiving approaches. C.'s dad has a seriously compromised immune system and they were going to be arriving on Monday (today). If anyone is sick we have to "quarantine" them (which we did last year with Tortuga). C. and I kept Pollito away from the rest of the kids, increased consumption of all the immunity boosting foods we could think of for everyone, and just kept our fingers crossed. By Friday afternoon he seemed back to his usual self and we started to breathe a sigh of relief.

We had big plans for Saturday and Sunday. The house was mostly clean except for the guest room and playroom but we were going to spend Saturday running a few errands, stocking up on groceries, and doing the kind of cleaning we save for special ocassions (dusting lampshades & ceiling fans, changing the 2 or 3 8 or 9 lightbulbs that hadn't been replaced in a while, mopping, setting up the guestroom, washing/changing shower curtains, cleaning microwave, toaster oven and fridge,etc.). We also had to rearrange rooms since the two older kids have to give up their beds as family arrives. On Sunday we were going to clean outside playspaces, pick up litter in the yard, clean out the cars, etc. Fun stuff! This was all in anticipation of our guests' arrivals.  C's younger brother on Monday afternoon, C's parents and uncles on Monday night, and C's other brother, wife and niece on Tuesday evening. We had a flawless good plan. I am compulsive organized  like that.

I got the kids up early Saturday, put them all in the shower, washed Corazon's hair and sat them down to a quick breakfast so we could get out the door. C. was checking her email to print out all the travel itinieraries for me since I was doing the airport pickups and wanted to be sure to have details in place to work around school pickups and activities dropoff. Suddenly C. screams "oh my God!" and pushes her phone into my hands. I look at her text message and there is one from her mom that says "On our way to the airport. See you soon!" I ask C. if this is a joke as she is dialing her mom's cell. No joke. They "forgot" to tell us they had changed their flights! Her parents and uncles were arriving that evening!

calmly called screamed for the children to gather for a family meeting and announced our change of plans. We mobilized and all 6 of us scambled into the guest room/bath to clean up whatever else had accumulated in there recently (empty boxes, paper, crumbs, toys, linens, etc.) while C. cleaned bathrooms. We were a well-oiled machine with me barking order and the kids scrambling about the house putting things where they belonged. The kids were absolutely wonderful. They mostly stayed out of the way when needed and helped in all the right ways. Even Tortuga was able to handle this extra time with the family and managed to decide for himself when it was the right time to stay out of the way. He also took it upon himself to take Milagro to the playroom and "entertain" her so we could work more efficiently. He has never been able to do either of these things. It was truly appropriate and amazing.  We managed to do in 3 hours what we had set aside all weekend to do. Of course, we only managed the most important errand and a "celebratory" dinner to congratulate ourselves on work well done. I had to pause to remember how sometimes good things come out of challenging circumstances and I was so proud of the kids.

When grandparents and uncles arrived the kids were tired but thrilled and we were able to keep guests entertained while I snuck upstairs to clear out the one kid's room that the uncles would be using. My head, back and feet were killing me but my heart was warmed.


J. said...

my what a day, great to hear that T. did so well though with all the sudden changes. Have a great time with the family

Ashley said...

Wow, did *that* ever happen fast!

Read your post out loud to my partner L and she said "Yeah... my parents would do that..."

Keep hanging in there!

Lisa said...

Wowee for Tortuga. Early arrival would've totally thrown me in a tailspin. You managed beautifully!

Brie said...

wow - that is impressive! so glad the kids were able to help, without making a hard situation even worse! and yay for tortuga - it always feel good to see them do something appropriately that couldn't be done before.

also, i let my little butterfly know that we will be implementing a morning routine similar to yours. thanks for explaining it to me. i gave her a brief idea of what would be involved on saturday, and she has been absolutely lovely to get ready for school this week. love it.

i hope you and your family have a fantastic holiday!

BT said...

That was quite the whirlwind, and I am soooo impressed with how well you all handled it, especially Tortuga. Can he handle praise for that at this point???

matryoshka said...

Hope you have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!

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