Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Week in the Life of Grandma Dawn

When I retired, last June, I had lists of things I was planning to get done. Some of them have happened, many have not. But a week ago, I decided to delve into DC's list - a horrible task he has referred to time and again - I keep telling him I do not want to do this job - but more than anything, I don't want him to do it by himself. I have a great fear of what he will consider worthy of the garbage pile or recycle bin. I speak of the dungeon - the BASEMENT.

At least we have a basement - the graveyard of all things unused, but not necessarily forgotten or useless. And of course, the holding place of many things that are used occasionally enough that they reside out of sight. Unless you have to go down and look for something - there, as they say, is the rub!

So - a week ago I shocked my sweet hubby and began tackling the mess. I made a good start, but haven't been able to get back down there. But a good beginning is better than nothing, right?? Nobody will ever mistake me for Barbtha when it comes to cleaning. I will never have a spotless house all at one time. But I have done a lot of decluttering since I retired. I took before pictures, but was too ashamed to share them! Tackling the basement is huge for me. I'll keep you posted!

As far as I can remember, the week-end was okay - if my memory doesn't fail me, which it often does these days. If I thought hard and long, I could come up with the memories - but it's not worth the effort! Starting Monday, things began to get a bit dicey.

Monday morning when Kristen checked her on-line courses, she discovered that she had 4 assignments due in the next two days. I agreed to keep the kids most of the day in order to save my Tuesday off. Things were going well until about noon when little Katie-Bug ejected her most recent bottle - all over me. This began a series of such ejections the rest of the day - I decided to save her mom from this news until absolutely necessary.

Coincidentally, at almost the same moment in time, the same thing was happening across town with their Mommy. The rest of the day slid downhill from there. She was so sick that I went to the store for some emergency meds - when I delivered them to her house, she could not lift her head from the pillow. I had to leave her there in that condition because I had her 4 little girls at my house for the night - I had to pick up jammies and clean clothes and get back home to Grandpa and the chaos - AFTER I went to the grocery store for my weekly shopping which I had put off all Saturday. Bad move on my part, being so lazy on Saturday (now I remember what I did on Saturday - NOTHING!) I had noticed a slight headache all afternoon, but by the time I was finishing my shopping and it was around 8:00 p.m., I discovered that I was leaning on the cart to support my aching and tired body.

When I got home, I realized I didn't feel well at all. I took a shower, wishing to rid myself of the nasty flu germs that had been surrounding me all afternoon. My head finally hit my pillow around 11:00 - only to be joined in my bed by the two big girls
- Grandpa knows this is going to happen, so he's in the guest room sleeping blissfully!

They no sooner were snoring beside me (well, actually almost pushing me off the bed), when I hear the babes - I had put them down at 6:00 with just water, not wanting a repeat performance of the afternoon. They were starving, so I gave in and fixed them bottles, stumbling back up the stairs to bed, totally exhausted and feeling worse by the minute.

It wasn't long after going back to bed for the third time that it hit me - full force. I'll not go into gory details, but suffice it to say that I ended up sleeping on the big girls' make-shift couch cushion bed on the floor of the family room in close proximity to the other very important room. My dear DC realized that he would not be going to work Tuesday, but would be doing my job.

I have to say I've not been this sick in years. I didn't realize how many words it would take to fill DC in on the particulars of getting the big girls to school - where their clothes were, what Care Bear needed to take with her, the code to Feisty's school front door, the code to check Feisty in at her pre-school's attendance computer, the extra piece of paper he had to sign (which seems like overkill to me, but seems to be a state law and a school rule combined), the procedure when he got her there, and on and on and on. I had no energy to talk and was relieved when things settled down.

Bless his heart, taking care of the twins was a bit overwhelming. But he did it all so patiently. I appreciated it so much, in the midst of my abject misery. When it came time for Care Bear to go home from school, he reversed the processes and took them all home - and he was tired! Not only that, but the bug had caught him by early evening. He then missed another day of work.

We're all better now - at least the adults. Kristen was sorely behind on her work, but even her most seemingly heartless prof proved he is actually human and gave her extra time to get the assignment in.

The big girls seem to have escaped, but the little ones ended up at the ER today to be rehydrated from their continued bouts with diarrhea and vomiting. It has been quite a week! Needless to say, both of my "days off" this week were forgotten as I spent Tuesday unable to move and today at the hospital. My "word of the year" is getting another good work-out - flexibility!

Before all of this hit us on Monday, though, Feisty and I had been having such a great day. Being the middle child with a very outgoing, Type A older sister, and the younger sister being two of them, she sometimes gets squeezed, if you know what I mean. But when it's just the two of us and the babies are napping, she can be delightful company.

I wish I could remember the exact conversation, but the best part was the end when she created a great new word - "hurtyish." It's a great descriptive word, don't you agree?

I was loading the dishwasher and she decided she needed to wash a few of the plates before they went in - she did a great job and when they were finished, she said, "There, clean as a lizard!"

I get amused and somewhat amazed when I realize all of the things these kids will always take for granted, because they've always lived with them. For instance, if we're reading a story and she needs to do something in the middle of the book, she'll say, "Pause it a minute!" Just cracks me up.

Well, this may go down in history as one of my longest, and maybe most laborious, posts ever. But I had to put it all down to believe it. I close with something to cheer us all up -- another entry from the photo shoot.

Have a great week-end!


Diane@Diane's Place said...

That tummy bug is making its way around the country. It's rampant here right now. Most of my family has had it, including Lamar and Jessica and 2 of my sisters, but praise the Lord and Lysol it's passed me by so far and I pray it stays away from me.

Sorry y'all have been battling it, and I hope the littles are better soon. Dehydration is such a danger when they're so little.

Hope your Friday and weekend is much better for all concerned.

Love and hugs,


Susie said...

Hi Dawn,
Thank goodness these bugs aren't spread through reading posts or I'm sure I'd be bedridden right now. I've read so many similar stories lately.
Yours sounds particuarly miserable. I couldn't get over the routine you described to check into the elementary school. Do they do this with every child every single day?
Hope your whole family is well on the mend now and the week ahead is sickness free!

SentimentsbyDenise said...

Oh, Dawn! So glad that you and your loves are all better!
I've missed a couple days of work this week myself due to some "cooties" that I caught - much better now.

Hootin' Anni said...

First the last photo is just darling! What a sweet closing of your post.

I sit so long at the computer desk my back becomes quite hurtyish. And I'm doing laundry today so my clothes are clean as a lizard! [gotta love those expressions!!!]

Well, my dear Dawn, you had some horrendous week for sure. Those are the kind of weeks you WANT to forget.

Take things easy. And DC was fabulous with all his helping out.

Nancy said...

Poor Dawn, you really had your hands full. Now DC, has a better idea of why you haven't gotten to that basement. (My basement is a disaster too, let's compare pictures.) I'm glad you all are better,hope that your weekend is restful, and hope you realize what a BLESSING you are to Kristen and her family!

The twins picture is just precious. You really have a great photographer with such creative ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Robin said...

Oh. My. Goodness.
Bless your heart Dawn. What a wonderful mother and grandmother you are. I'm so sorry you got sick - I've had three colds and the flu twice this winter. The cold I have right now is the worst of all of it. I am praying for spring - hopefully all the sick bugs will leave.
And your wonderful husband surely must be singing the Proverbs 31 chapter over you by now!

Sammy said...

Oh Dawn, that all sounds just awful! Thank goodness your husband could take over childcare duties so you and Kristen could rest up. I hope everyone feels better soon.

That Feisty sounds so clever! I love hurtyish. Very descriptive!

I think our basement is on its way to becoming like yours. We haven't lived in this house for a full year, but I can just see the direction we're going in. I hope you'll post photos when it's all cleaned up!

Rest up and feel better!

Simply Heart And Home said...

Poor sweet things. I hope the girls are better very soon. And don't you go getting sick!



Needled Mom said...

Your week sounds as though it was an absolute disater, Dawn. I am so glad that all are on the mend for the time being. I have heard of so much of it out there so it must be going around everywhere. It really is the pits when you have so much responsibility at the same time. It does sound as though you had some very loving help from your hubby. Thank goodness.

I so wish we had a basement to have to clean. With no attics and no basements our garages take on the chore. It's a dreadful job, but I woulod be into the cleaning too rather than trust my husband to know what to "save".

I loved the last photos of all the girls. Yes, their language is so interesting with all that they experience these days.

Hope you have a memorable weekend! Hugs.

Laurie in Ca. said...

Oh Dawn,

I was aching for you as I read of all of you being so sick. I have been grumbling about the cold Hannah gave me when she gave me a big slobber kiss. I hope you guys are all on the mend. Your week sounds exhausting and I am so sorry. God Bless DC and his ability to jump in with both feet. How special are our husbands?? I think we have two of the best. I love the pictures of the kids, they are just precious. I love you Dawn and hope your weekend is a restful one and good too.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

nancygrayce said...

A lot of people have had that here too...Glad you're all year I'd pick another word!

groovyoldlady said...

Oh Dawn, You poor thing!

Oh, oh...OH! You poor thing!

I've been that sick a couple of times. I had to literally crawl into the kitchen. Rest a while, then drag myself up to the phone to beg my neighbor to send her teen daughter over to keep my children from starving or from playing with matches. Then I had to rest on the floor a while longer before I could call Ken's workplace and BEG him to come home.

Then I sobbed a while because it was SO FAR to crawl back to my bed.

I am so thankful you are all over it!

Oh, you poor thing!

Linds said...

Oh good grief, what a total nightmare.The bug sounds dreadful. You poor thing. You seem to be more busy than you were when you went to work!

Linda said...

I'm late with this Dawn, but I'm so sorry to hear about your dreadful week. Flexibility is most definitely an apropros word for you this year. And you do it all with such grace. All of those precious girls are just so blessed to have you and your husband there for them.
I've been praying for all of you daily - I think I need to step it up!

PEA said...

Oh dear, what a week you had! That flu is really going on around here too and the ER is jam packed...they've been saying to stay home as there's not much you can do about it except let it run its course. I can't even imagine being sick like that and having 4 little ones to take care of at the same time. Thank goodness your hubby was able to he'll really realize what it is you go through every day! hehe Prayers that you all feel better real soon.

Those pictures of the twins are just adorable!! xoxo

Sharon Lynne said...

So sorry to hear of your trying ordeal! You deserve some sort of medal, and so does DC. For TOP OF THE CLASS GRANDPARENTS! AND SUPER MOTHER!

I wish I had been by to check on you sooner, but had my hands full here at home.