Saturday, January 19, 2013

What Could Go Right

Yesterday was one of those days that, considering all that happened, I could have very easily played the "poor me, my life sucks, nothing is going the way I planned" card.  But I didn't and I won't.  Not yesterday and I hope I never do.  I found ways to still laugh, smile and be grateful for what I have.

About a week ago, Dakota was teasing his sisters by chasing them through the house and spitting water at them.  I let it happen.  They were happy and water can easily be wiped up.

At one moment, the girls decided to make their escape downstairs, and Dakota slipped on his own spit-out water and cracked his head on the edge of a stair.  At the time that I ran to comfort him, I felt a drip of warmth hit my arm, and knew it was blood.  So I rushed him over to the kitchen sink where I wet a paper towel and cleaned off the wound.  It was about a 3/4 inch split on the back of his little teasing noggin.

Dakota, post parental examination...this was just to keep that little gauze pad on his head)

After a joke with Todd that this little guy truly is his mini-me (Todd has a split on the back of his head from an incident as a child)  and a laugh about the way he looked with the turban on his head, we agreed that I should take him to get it checked out.  It would probably need stitches.

An hour later, I was supposed to be at work, but I was still waiting to get into an examination room.  I called Todd to come and trade me places and I took the two girls with me to work.  An hour later, Todd picked up the girls and Dakota had three staples in his head.  OUCH!

Back to the events of yesterday.  Connor and Abi had been up all night with fevers around 103 and chills and Dakota seemed to be developing the same flu that they had contracted.  Todd had just been experiencing the same symptoms, so I let him sleep through the night while I took turns comforting the kids.  With little sleep under my belt, I got myself dressed and ready for the day.

My plan was to take Dakota with me to work for an hour so I could prep for Saturday's meetings, then the two of us would go and get his staples removed from his head.  I must have been very excited to get to work, because I got caught going 53 mph on Redwood Road where the speed limit is 45.  The officer kindly wrote me up for going 5 over "because I was honest with him when he asked if I knew why I was being pulled over" and I drove on my way to work.

While at work, I tried to prep best I could, but the network was down, so I didn't have access to the programs on the computer I needed, and when I printed out a few of my reports for the clients, Dakota helpfully grabbed them with his chocolatey covered fingers and handed them to me.  Meh!  He's two and was trying to help.

Then it came time for the staple removal.  We got to the Dr.'s office and right away they noticed he had a temperature and that his eyes were blood shot.  So the sweet nurse apologized for what she needed to do, and then stuffed a swab up my baby's nose to determine that he had the flu, and then the Dr. diagnosed him with Pink Eye.  The first nurse couldn't get the staples out, the Dr. couldn't get the staples out.  Dakota had already had it (20 minutes of tugging), so a third nurse was called in, I lay down on the examination table with Dakota on my chest.  One Dr. held his legs down, the other Dr. helped me hold his head in place, while simultaneously I wrapped my arms around his body to keep that wriggling part as still as possible, all the while the 2nd nurse has the "pliers" about 3 inches from my face tugging as best she can.  Those staples were in there tight.

My heart broke when Dakota would cry out, "Hey guys, stop it" over and over again.  And then my emotions broke the surface when all of it was over, he looked at the folks in the room and said, "thank you."  The Dr. gave him a token and eye drops, promised me that all of my family was contagious and someone else would probably contract pink eye and we should not be around people until we can go 24 hours without a fever and sent me home with notes excusing them from school.

I almost left the office without redeeming Dakota's token, but he reminded me that he wanted to spend his coin on a ball.  I love that kid!

The sad Instagram pic proving how sick the boy was

After posting a pic on Instagram and Facebook, the response from other mommies that go through this and remember the misery it brings with it, overwhelmed me and I had the strength to smile (especially when driving through an intersection I saw two teenage boys dancing like robots in their car).  The night before, when I was working, my mom took it upon herself to feed my kids cuz Todd was out sick.  Then that day that the staples were removed and we were quarantined, my visiting teachers came over with goodies, and then a neighbor brought over the world's greatest cabbage salsa.

But the very best part of it all has been letting the kids sleep in the living room.  Connor and Abi talk and talk and talk about everything from school to church to making up games until they fall asleep.  Those two have always had an amazing friendship, I pray it will continue throughout their life.

I've been cuddling non-stop with Dakota and even got to take a nap with Carly today.  These feverish kids are like my own personal heating blankets, and in this cold weather, it's awesome.

I know that all of that isn't enough to warrant a "poor me feeling."  There are fleeting moments that I will recall that Todd is trying to run his own business out of our home, I had to get a job, we have had to ask for assistance from family members, things are breaking and need replacing and medical bills are piling up and the list can always go on.  That could get a good pitty party rolling!

But sometimes, if we only focus on all of the bad things that are going on, they snowball and it gets harder and harder to melt them away to remember what the good things are.  Do you want me to show you what I see when I recall the "bad things" that have happened to us?

Todd got laid off:  FINALLY!  The push he needed to actually put his Doctoral Dissertation into effect and see if it's methods work.  It's been a winding journey, and I am often reminded that we are only in the infancy stages of this business.  We need to give it time and can't give up on it yet.

Todd will be working from home ALL THE TIME:  This one has it's ups and downs and could very easily be the thing he and I both struggle with the most.  It is so hard for him to focus when there are so many little ones that want to be with him...or scream at that precise moment when an important client calls.  I feel guilty following the same routine I used to have when he worked 8-5 out of the home.  I used to take a nap every day.  I never cleaned the house til 4:30.  But now, I feel like the house has to be straightened in case a client shows up, all the time and if I lay down for a nap, I feel guilty cuz he's in the office working.

I could no longer afford my membership at the gym:  Ah, so now I have to get creative and find alternative methods to get in my workout.  I started a Zumba class at my church that meets three mornings a week.  And since I am one of the instructors, I have to be there, no lame excuses to miss it.

The high maintenance blonde needed to be rethought:  An awesome neighbor helped me go back to my roots, who knew that I was a brunette...and I haven't colored my hair since October of 2011.  That has saved me a pretty penny.

We have to ask family and others for help:  Sometimes, the Lord wants you to be able to help others.  The best way to want to help others is to be able to recall the time others helped you...and then when you can, do it too.  I try so hard to take treats to people, offer meals and other little things right now as a small way of paying it forward.

I had to get a job:  The job I have has given me validation in a different way and is in an environment that still allows me to be soft and nurturing.  I don't come home feeling hardened or resentful.  I look forward to going to work and then again, coming home at night to my awesome family.

The greatest lesson learned in the last year and a half for me is that Heavenly Father is so mindful of me.  He is mindful of my family.  He knows what Todd and I want...but is just giving us what we need right now.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes that I keep sharing with Todd to help us get through this rough patch:

"Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and focus on what could go right."

"Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out."
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

"Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.  Break the habit.  Talk about your joys."
 ~Rito Schiano

Just a little glimpse into what goes right around here

In no way am I stating that my life is bad, because, as you can so obviously see, I have chosen to know it as awesome.  Our challenges and trials could be so much worse.  I am in awe of those around me who have such optimistic attitudes despite their personal challenges that supersede mine.  If you can't find the joy, please write one of these quotes on a sticky and put it on your mirror.  See it every day and believe it.


Janel Ruzzi said...

I think you are a smokin' hot brunette! You have such a good outlook on life and its challenges! I hope everyone gets all better at your house and that you will continue to look at the blessings in all these little bumps in the path of life. (Love the "little heaters" in this cold weather!)

Sarah said...

Thanks for this post, Mel. You are an amazing woman. Last year was a hard one for me and my family, and I feel like I have only just barely gotten out of that slump (within the past month). It was a reminder from the Lord that life has a lot of good, even when there is a lot of hard stuff going on. It sounds like you have remembered this a lot better than I did!

The Carters said...

You are awesome, Mel! Such a wonderful example to me to always put your faith in the lord and he will take care of the rest. Thank you!

HeatherB said...

I read this a while ago and meant to comment then, but got distracted by one of my little ones. I just wanted to tell you that I loved it! Life is so good and so hard at the same time. That is the paradox of parenting--and just living. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into your life!