Wow...what can I say. I sit here with both kids asleep on the last night of a week with James out of town. I finally have five minutes peace. I could not have made it through this week without such great friends, a wonderful mom, and an attentive husband.
The week started horribly with Katherine getting sick on Sunday. That caused me to forgo attending and serving at church and to keep her home from school on Monday, even though she was fine by then (not to mention stir crazy). Tuesday our friends Jae and Trish invited Katherine over for dinner with their daughter Elizabeth. I got a couple hours of relative quiet with just Jack when I was able to make and eat dinner, make rice krispie treats (pink of course) to take to Katherine's class for her birthday, and sort of watch a movie in the background. When I got Katherine she had eaten dinner, done a craft, taken a bath, put on pajamas, and eaten her before-bed yogurt. We were able to come straight home and get to bed.
Wednesday was her birthday so I was finally able to take her to school and actually leave the premises! It was liberating. I used my new-found freedom to drive up to Chick-Fil-A to grab breakfast. Jack fell asleep during the drive so I had some quiet time. I stopped by the mall so I could go to the Apple store and get a case for my new iPod - with a 3 year old around I don't want to take any chances with scratching it up! It was nice to have only one child to tote into the mall (a place I really dislike to go). Jack and I then attended the first half of his music and learning class. Katherine was supposed to go directly from school to an after-school lunch and learn program. Apparently she was having a rough time so the school called and I picked her up early. Hopefully next week she'll make it all the way through!
Wednesday night our friends Mike and Lisa were nice enough to invite us over for dinner and cake for Katherine's birthday. Luckily I had used Katherine's nap that day to make cupcakes which she and I decorated and took with us to dinner. Their daughter Mara is one of Katherine's best friends (her designation) so they had a great time (when they weren't fighting like sisters). They have a son Aaron about six months older than Jack so we have a lot in common and really enjoy hanging out together. We also have very similar parenting styles so it is very comfortable to be around them with the kids.
Today we went to church so I could do my weekly volunteer duties, came home for lunch, and went to the doctor for Katherine's 3yr check-up and Jack's 5 month shots (we are spacing them out a bit so have to go more often to avoid so many at one time). The doctor said Katherine looks very healthy. She has grown about 2 inches in the last year and gained about 5 pounds. I swear most of that growth must have occurred this summer. All of a sudden her 2T pants are too short and all of her shoes are too small (except her Crocs, the only shoes she has really worn all summer).
Jack is such a trooper with his shots, he doesn't even really cry for more than 10 seconds - long enough for a big tear to drip from each eye. I really think it helps that he only gets 2 shots at a time rather than 4. I am so thankful that our pediatrician was open to letting us do an alternate vaccine schedule. Jack will get all of the vaccines that are recommended by the AAP, but will get them in a different order and at different times.
We ordered dinner in tonight (gotta love pizza delivery) which helped me a bit. After a week with no help the house is a wreck and I'm just overwhelmed. I'm in survival mode, avoiding too much extra stuff and relying on close friends for support. This is not the first time I've been the solo parent for an extended period of time and it will not be the last. It is getting a little easier, I think. I am still not the mother I would like to be, nor the one I believe God calls me to be. When I am tired, overwhelmed, and stretched thin I lose the grip on my emotions. With His help I haven't been as angry this week - at least not compared to two weeks ago when James was gone almost the whole work-week. It is amazing how someone so small, so young and so innocent as my little girl can push my buttons faster than anyone else and to such an extent that I have to leave the room or bite my tongue to avoid saying something I don't mean.
I am blessed to be able to stay at home with our kids, but that brings with it a host of its own issues. But, there are pros and cons to every situation. The most important thing right now is that one of us is there every day raising our children. Everything else (good and bad) is secondary.
Anyway, enough pouring out of my soul for the night. I get to see my wonderful husband in less than 12 hours - woohoo! And, it only took me two hours to write this post between getting up to put Katherine back in bed, getting Jack back to sleep after Katherine woke him up, using my stern voice with Katherine when she just wouldn't give up, nursing Jack back to sleep after I woke him up using my stern voice with Katherine...you get the picture.