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Monday, September 17, 2007

One Heck of a Weekend

On Thursday I was really looking forward to the weekend. Although all of the children would be home; I had it pretty much planned out and knew that I would have the help of my teenager if I needed it. What I didn’t bargain for was unexpected trips to the store and emergency room with nothing getting accomplished and a growing “to do list.”

Here’s how my weekend went…

Freezing Arenas and Rainy Nights … Friday, Sept. 14
I’m feeling pretty optimistic about my day. I know that I won’t get any work done because I committed to helping my daycare provider take the children to Sesame Street Live. The night before I pack the diaper bag and decide what everyone is going to wear. Andre and Amareah are excited and I’m a little excited to do something out of the norm.

I arrive to the sitter’s house on time. She’s running a little late and then has to stop and get gas and put air in her tire. Not too bad. I don’t even get frazzled when she’s driving about 80 MPH (I’m following in my van) and misses her exit. We arrive at Phillip’s Arena; walk into the arena right smack dab into 20 degree temperatures. No, I’m not kidding. It’s so cold that my throat starts to hurt.

We survive the 90-minute show, get all the children souvenirs and arrive back at her house safely after stopping to get lunch at McDonald’s. My children’s father is supposed to pick them up and I was on my way home when he calls to tell me he can’t find his car key. He’s downtown and has to call a locksmith. So I wait at the sitter’s house until he calls, about two hours later, to say he probably won’t be able to make it in the Friday afternoon traffic. I say something like, ‘You’re probably right since it’s pouring down raining here!’

Yup, wouldn’t you know it – a storm rolls in, which forces me to stay at the sitter’s house until it passes so I don’t get the baby – not to mention me and the other children – soaking wet. We finally make it home and I settle in for the night (you know, dinner, snacks, baths, bedtime, laundry, chores, bottles, baby, etc. … but, I’m still looking forward to the weekend.

Toy Extravaganza and ER Visit … Saturday, Sept. 15
Andre and Amareah wake up in good spirits and full of energy. They aren’t usually home during the weekend so they pulled out all of their toys, watched movies and enjoyed the snacks while (occasionally) helping me out. Around 1 p.m. a neighborhood teen comes by to cut the grass, but I don’t have any cash so I have to run to the store. I refuse to go just to get cash so I make a little list and rush out. I return about 25 minutes later and when I open the door, 3-year-old Andre meets me with “Amber stomach hurts! Amber stomach hurts!” and he rushes off down the hall to her room with me and his sister following.

Amber is on the bed crying and doubled over in pain. After an interrogation of where it hurts and why, I decide to take her to the emergency room. (A little background: she had a doctor’s visit on Thursday. The doctor ordered tests, which we were going to do today… you get the picture.)

I called the sitter to see if she could care for the three younger children. Thumbs up for Amareah and Andre, but not for the baby. She was at her daughter’s softball game and it was too hot for the baby to sit outside for a tournament! Andre and Amareah luck out though because the game is in a neighborhood park that has a playground! I quickly grab a few things for the baby and rush out the door.

We arrive at the ER at 3 p.m. I didn’t think the wait would be long because instead of going to the ER that I knew would be slow and busy with a “colorful” collection of people, I went to the ER in a nicer neighborhood. When we walked in I was surprised at the number of people there. While we sat and waited I eavesdropped on a few of the people. There was a man who had been bitten by a dog, a lady who was in a car accident, a boy who had a possible arm fracture that occurred during a softball game, a mentally ill person, a lady who continually refused a wheelchair with what looked like a hip injury and a variety of people who looked like they would pass out at any moment.

I’ll just cut to the chase: We didn’t leave the ER until 11 o’clock that night and they still couldn’t tell me what’s wrong with Amber. Although we had fun reading the nurses computer entries on other people (Hey, she shouldn’t have left the screen active) and spending time together – it was a long, frustrating night especially when I ran out of formula for the baby who screamed all the way home. (Yes, I didn’t seem to grab enough stuff for the baby. Besides too little formula I also didn’t have a blanket. Okay, cut me some slack. Remember, I had been out with her all day the day before so I hadn’t had a chance to replenish the stash.)

Speed Washing and a Growing TO-DO List … Sunday, Sept. 16
Although I had planned on going to church it wasn’t possible with a sick teenager and little sleep under my belt. I rushed around washing and putting away all the laundry that was supposed to get done the day before. (I think I washed about 10 loads.) I fixed meals, snacks, bottles… oh, you know the list… and checked in with Amber.

Even though I was able to check some things off the list it just kept growing. It started as a one-column list then before I knew it there were two columns. Well, the things Amber normally does had to be done as well as everything I was going to do on Friday and Saturday. So, I’m back to Sunday night with not much accomplished and an even bigger feeling of dread about the coming Monday.

Now I’m halfway through Monday and I’m not feeling optimistic about today’s list. I have about two hours to go before I have to pick up the two middle children, but the youngest and oldest are here. And, as I glance over to look at my list, I don’t see one thing crossed off. Could it be because I finished yesterday’s list before I started on today’s?! AARGH!!

And so begins my week…
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