The last six days have felt quite long. Drew continues to go in to the office an hour or two early every morning most days, in the hopes of getting everything done and leaving the office at five. He’s just had so much to do lately that even going in early isn’t enough. I know he must be worn out, because I am. I think that this must be a common issue for stay at home moms. The days are longer when Dad has to work extra hours. Alex’s physical changes that I talked about a week or two ago have not escalated further, but they are significant enough that I have noticed changes in our daily lives. She doesn’t want to get out of the house much anymore. Sometimes we have to anyway… sometimes for necessary errands and sometimes because Mommy just really needs to not be in the house alone a minute longer. I strive to keep her engaged and active while trying to respect her personal boundaries and limitations. I think that her little body is just worn out and being moved and hauled around is hard on her. Truth be told… it’s hard for me, too. Her body is heavy, long, awkward and stiff. I am struggling more to move her and carry her, so I sort of understand when she doesn’t want to be put in the car or stroller.
Despite her lack of desire, I did take her to run errands and grocery shop with me on Friday. I pushed her stroller and pulled the grocery cart. Remember my amazing $68 grocery trip two weeks ago? It was financially necessary and I got it done, but that can’t happen on each bi-weekly supply run. We were out of nearly everything and the shopping list was long. By the time we loaded up on two weeks worth of dog food, laundry soap, toilet paper, shaving cream, bed mats and all those sorts of things… in addition to two weeks of groceries… the bill hit $200. That is just no fun. I am grateful to have the ability to purchase all the necessities, though. Very much so.
Yesterday felt like one more day in an already long week because Drew was at his dad’s helping with their move. Alex and I were home all morning and then went to visit my Grandpa for a while. It was nice to just hang out for no particular reason… sort of like years past when he was in his apartment. I think he enjoyed the visit, also. We were due to be at Drew’s mom’s by 4 for Jessica’s birthday and had planned to just meet Drew there. Drew wound up having to borrow Kyle’s horse trailer to help with the move, so when he took it back he decided to just come on home to shower and change. Alex and I strolled through Hobby Lobby and waited there for Drew so we could ride to Dottie’s together. FYI, I had a momentary longing for all the pretties that I didn’t even know I needed, but then I was filled with thoughts of all the extra ‘stuff’ that we absolutely don’t need and can’t afford anyway. We walked the store for about 20 minutes and purchased nothing. We didn’t get home until almost 8pm and Alex was really worn out. I don’t think many of us can imagine how her body must feel after a day of being moved, carried and out of her comfort zone.
Given Drew’s busy week, today must be spent on getting things done around our own home. We chose to skip church and Drew is mowing the yard right now while I’ve spent the morning playing and doing activities with Alex.
Drew leaves in the morning for a business trip in Cleveland. His return flight isn’t until Friday evening, so Alex and I will be flying solo this week.
I’m just plain old tired. I’ve been thinking on it and trying to figure out why this is all so hard to handle and this is what I’ve come up with…
When Drew was deployed to Ft. Sill for two years, the girls and I figured out how to function on our own. I knew what was on my plate and handled it accordingly. When Drew is home and working 8-5, Monday through Friday, then I know when he will be here and have something to look forward to and gauge my days around. Somehow, things now are quite unpredictable from day to day and that’s just a little unbalancing for a remarkably inflexible gal like me. It sort of feels like being in limbo and unsure of what to be prepared for. Oh yeah, and I miss Emma something awful.
Here are the blessings in it all…
- Drew has a job. We have to track our miles to pay for gas and shop by the list to buy groceries, but when we do that we have what we need. We have absolutely had times when we couldn’t make ends meet, so having the ability to put gas in the truck and groceries in the kitchen is a blessing.
- Hopefully Drew’s extra load at work is laying the groundwork for rewarding things in his career future.
- I am home with Alex. Yep, I’m tired. Yep, sometimes I feel frustrated, bored, overwhelmed or flustered, but I am home with Alex. There is no other place that is as important to be as right here. She has the highest quality and ultimate continuity of care because I am here, and that has no price tag. Drew has always/still does work extra hard for our family to have this ability. What a blessing that is.
As for daily happenings… I’ve pulled out a number of games, puzzles and books that we haven’t played with in a while. There are some things that Alex can no longer physically do, but there are also a number of things that I am able to adapt for her. I continually try to keep her engaged, which I think is really the primary goal of our home schooling. In addition to pulling out things that we haven’t used in a while, I’m adding new buttons on her computer (under her school work tab) so that she can request specific activities. Since she can’t manage a crayon/pen and piece of paper anymore, I feel a bit limited in how to teach her. Scratch that. I don’t like the way “limited” sounds. We just have to be more adaptable and pursue alternative approaches in our learning and fun. There is a large children’s consignment sale coming up in a few weeks and I intend to check out the learning tools, games and activities they have. Purchasing things new is expensive and largely unnecessary.
Alright, enough of al this serious talk. The dryer just beeped and if I don’t go fold the clothes now then there is a decent chance that I will forget.