Being a parent is really hard.
I was warned. There was never any shortage of people giving me the heads up. There's the obvious stuff:
Like sleepless nights when the offspring are babies. The term Mombie comes to mind. It's a cruel experiment to see how long you can survive without sleep.
Like for several years you will smell like vomit. I used to wear at least 4 outfits everyday when the Stu monsters were babies.
Like the toddler-stage tantrums. I was terrified of my kids turning 2-3. The horror stories are real. It was rough.
Like the simultaneous pain and pride you'll feel when your baby goes off to school for the first time.
But all that?... It's nothing compared to parenting an 8-9 year old girl.
A couple months ago, I was thinking about my kiddos - ok, I think about them all the time, but this was different. I was thinking about their behavior during church. We are at church every Sunday morning, and R & R are usually pretty quiet. (That's not a brag.) My issue is that they are quiet because they are zombies. Brainless, technology-obsessed zombies. They come in, sit down, then immediately their heads drop to their laps and they don't look up until we sing the last song.
Ok, it is nice that they are silent. True. And they don't bother me for anything while I am listening.
The building could literally catch fire and they would not know it. And that's not cool. It's not cool with me that they don't listen. At all.
Unfortunately for mine, Mommy is severely allergic to them. *insert super sad face*
We have a dog, a German Shepherd... Technically, she belongs to my parents. She is confined to their TV room when she's in the house. We love her as if she were ours.
Yesterday, my sister and bro-in-law brought over their pups. They adopted a baby German Shepherd over the weekend. That brings their pack up to three. It was a crazy, spur of the moment puppy playdate.
I feel it is best expressed and shared in slideshow form. Enjoy!
We hung out in Gainesville for a few days while things were crazy and chaotic at home. I am still exhausted from the emotional roller coaster... It is not easy to be far away, wake up and have the news people tell you a mega storm, cat 4 hurricane is coming right for your house. Our house is wood frame. It would probably not survive a direct hit from a category 4 hurricane. That statement alone was enough to stress me out all morning. Mom and I (with the kids in tow) were walking around Target in the Ville, digesting that realization.
I know my stress was rolling off of me. I know my kids were absorbing some of it. They were unsure of how to act, what to say, whether or not to be upset. They were unhappy that we left Daddy at home. They were excited to be in Gainesville with Aunts Jackie and Meghan. They were happy to see Grammie.
Anyway, it all worked out. Millions of prayers were answered in the form of a wobble. Our city, our house, our friends were spared. The most clean up we had was about a billion pine needles. It's all good.
Even though the trip was last minute, even though the trip was stressful, we had an EXCELLENT time with my sisters. Thank you Jackie and Meghan for letting us crash at your place. Thank you for playing with the kiddos. Thank you for making the golf cart look amazing and letting us drive it all over. See you two in a couple weeks!
On Wednesday morning, I woke up to a text from the hubs (he goes into the office super early) that read:
Come get your car and get out of town please.
I rolled my eyes. Then, I turned on the TV. It was 6:40am and I wanted to see where Matthew was. And perhaps what this hurricane was doing that prompted Stu to send me off.
Ok. Ok. Ok. I'll admit it. The prospect of a category 4 hurricane barreling toward our house was not comforting news. I have never run away from a hurricane before. I didn't want to run away from this one either. A lot can happen 24-36 hours before a storm is expected. They can change paths. They can weaken. The flip side is they can move closer, they can strengthen.
Ugh. What to do?
My Mom was in Gainesville. She had stopped there to spend the night while traveling back from Tennessee. I decided (after a lot of prodding from the hubs and my mom) that the kids and I would leave first thing and head up to the Ville. We would wait out the storm there (Gainesville is anticipating Tropical Storm force winds on Friday). After all is clear, we will head back home*.
The kids and I threw tons of stuff in some suitcases and off we went. Since this was a crazy, impromptu road trip, I was a tad unprepared. The kids iPads were not fully charged when we left.
I thought all was going to be ok. The kids were helpful packing the car. They were pretty quiet at first. Rea was content to chat and play on her iPad. Buddy sat in the back and quietly stared out the window. He said he was sad to leave Dad.
A while later, meltdown central. We had one good hour. Then, not so much. There was much discontent coming from the backseat. First he was mad the only movie he could watch was Minions. Then he was upset there is no wifi in the car. I set up my phone as a hotspot and he watched a different movie (for like 15 minutes). Next, he complained about the car being SO BORING. And we heard how tired he was of being in the back. Then there was a near-tantrum freak out over the iPad's 10% battery life notification.
I rolled my eyes. Silently cursed the miles, Stu, Hurricane Matthew, the whiney pickle in the backseat.
*I hear there is a chance Matthew could make a loop and swing back around to knock my town in the jaw again next week. Not cool Matthew. Not cool at all.
My oldest child, Reagan, is 12, Riley is 10 and Remy is 1. Everyday is a crazy day in the life of the Stus!