26 January 2020

Beaten but NOT Defeated

We went through the ringer the past two weeks. I expected the kids to be extra emotional and stuff to unravel a bit the first few days after Justin left. As you read in my last post, Saturday was extra special. We made it through. Saturday night Josie erupted with a nasty stomach virus. Done, check. That crisis was dealt with. We all stayed home from church on Sunday. Monday was just fine, everyone happy and "healthy." Actually, Everett stayed home from school that day, he slept until after 11 am with a headache. By the afternoon he was acting totally normal. Sometimes he just needs a sleep in and a mental health day. Josie was also healed up after her tummy flu.

Josie can get a bee in her bonnet, her newest bee buzzed about for quite some time. She was quite insistent I go to Santa Target (aka Bass Pro where she met Santa) and buy her a My Little Pony fishing pole. She wanted to "catch a fish from the water, with fins on top and on the side. The fish that eat bread, and NOT people. People don't eat fish. They swim away to my pole so I can catch it with my net and put it in the bucket!" She carried around Phillip's broken pole and a pail for two days. That kid persistently asked me a good 100 times to go fishing. So we went fishing. I found an Elsa pole, got a simple bait kit, and a net to catch the fish. After school Monday found us all at the lake trying our hand at fishing. We used store bought bait that smelled like ripe shrimp, cheese, bread, and hot dogs. Not one fish nibbled at our offerings. The boys are quite good at casting the line. We enjoyed the outside time quite a bit. Tree leaves are finally falling from the trees, the little girls had a good time making leaf piles to play in. Josie scattered leaves in the lake to scoop up with her net.

Monday night I had the worst experience with stomach flu since my bout with Salmonella in 2000. It was a hard choice between decorating the bathroom floor or the toilet. The bout was so sudden I had zero time to grab a trash can to alleviate the hard choice. Took me an hour to scrub the bathroom clean afterward. I'm pleased to report those dusty baseboards and door crannies are now free of dust. There is always a bright side. I napped hard after getting the kids to school in the morning. Once I finally woke up feeling half human Josie insisted on another fishing expedition. We did not have any luck fishing in the shady parts of the lake either, hot dogs or not. Josie lost interest in the sport of fishing, moved on to something else for the time being.

Wednesday Evelyn woke up with a high fever of 104.8, she went to sleep with a slight fever of 99. Took her to the clinic for an Influenza B swab, came back positive. Poor kid spent the day convalescing on the couch with movies and beverages. She is still not at 100% 11 days after she started to feel unwell. The medication tastes terrible, we wrestled twice a day over her medication. Just taking medication was an emotional and physical battle, wore me out. Evelyn returned to school on the 21st, missed 4 school days.

Brother Jackson came over Thursday night to help me move stuff around in the garage and clean out the main space. I had a newborn session Saturday afternoon to prep for and several showings and Open Houses to work around. All through the sicknesses we had house showings scheduled. That was quite the hardship, lugging crying kids out to the van while strangers looked at our home. Keeping the house clean and show ready was another beast, slayed it though!

The weekend. Oh man, not one member of the family was feeling well. We had two Open Houses on Saturday and another on Sunday. Friday evening we dropped the price of our home to $349k so those looking with a $350k or less budget would see our home. I overslept on Saturday so had to rush about yelling at kids to light the fire of speed under their bums. The agent showed up in the middle of my mopping job. Folks started showing up 10 minutes later. I drove Amelia out to help Chloe for the day at the nail salon Amanda owns. I had no idea what to do for the next 4 hours. The kids were already hungry so we stopped at McD for lunch. First off Phillip was distracted by the computer games, instead of just eating his food he kept attending to the game screen behind him. I asked him to turn around and eat then go play. He whipped out his arm and caught his full drink cup. I must say it was a slow motion moment as the cup exploded orange soda mid-air painting me with sticky soda. A nice employee mopped up the mess. Done. As I was packing up to go, Evelyn told me her tummy was feeling sick. Moments later she barfed right on the same spot Phillip decorated with his soda. I called back the employee for another clean up on aisle crazy. I scooped up the mess with wads of paper towels, that is a mom job, then mopped up the mess as the employee looked green about the gills. See I would make a wonderful nurse or plumber, bodily functions don't gross me out. We slunk out of the restaurant having achieved our goal of spreading this nasty virus. We still had two hours to kill, went to the park where kids could barf out in nature. I had a newborn session, had to do it since we already rescheduled 5 times. I sported a medical mask and used lots of hand sanitizer. Kept the diseased victims in the house plugged into to electronic devices. Sweet and very feisty Adira made me sweat and earn every penny. She was nearly a month old so moving out of the newborn stage. Took about 3 hours before she finally fell into a deep sleep. My favorite captures of the session were taken with her mother's sari and wedding jewelry.

Sunday we had another Open House from 10-2 pm. We spent sacrament meeting camping out in the lobby to minimize contact with others. The sick one and I waited the van while Mia, Phillip, Everett, and Josie went to second hour. We enjoyed a picnic at the park and played at Mansel park for a couple hours. The remaining time we watched a movie in the van until we could return home. Just 20 minutes after the Open House our agent was texting showing requests. I told him no more for the day, my kids needed to just be home for the rest of the day. We moved the appointments to the next day.

We had a low key Martin Luther King holiday. Several folks saw our house between 11am-1 pm. I tell you all this eating out is killing me! If we eat at home then the kitchen is a disaster with dishes, counter clutter, floor crumbs, etc. I made the kids eat at Cafe Rio for lunch during the showings. Lots of complaining until the food was ready, they remembered how delicious the food is. Evelyn insisted on wearing a sparkly crown and spin dress for the occasion. Everett showed signs of Influenza B, fever, headache, body aches, and runny nose. Thankfully, the nurse let me just pick up more tamiflu without him going to the clinic. Poor guy was miserable with the 104 fever, he stayed home from school the rest of the week except for a couple of hours on Friday. Everett was extremely bored after two days. I was ready to send him to school on Thursday but of course he came down with the tummy flu just like Evelyn did two days after starting the medication. I'm quite done with the barf and diarrhea, the only sunny side are the fresh sheets and bedding on everyone's beds.

We played a minute to win it game for FHE that the kids loved. Everyone was had a paper plate on their head, we drew something (heart, snowman, our names, etc) without looking at the paper plate. Josie and Evelyn got bored quickly, Josie creatively made herself some wings with her paper plates, glue, and copy paper. She flitted about the house tweeting here and there. At one point she messed in her undies, I tasked her to get clean undies. She came back giggling with her undies on her head like Spider Man. Her "boys" across the street are quite into super characters, she told me she was undie spider Man like Abeer. 

My boys resurrected "fat man" from my childhood. You probably had a similar game, stuffing pillows and such into your PJs then ramming into your siblings to see who bounce farthest? Phillip called his "new game" chungus. He played a song with the words chungus, the kids bounced off each other with great gusto. I think most are now feeling better, Everett bowed out and Evelyn did not last very long.

Evelyn's school hosted a skating night at Skateland on Thursday. Usually our skating excursions are fun. This time Amelia stayed home to work on Science Fair and Latin, I lost my wing woman. Everett was the only kid who skated more than twice around the rink. Josie cried when her arcade tokens ran out, threw a tantrum because she couldn't afford a plastic trumpet at the prize counter. Evelyn was crying at the same time because she didn't know what to get. Which stupid plastic toy do I waste tickets on? Phillip and Ronald were fine, just not interested in skating. They found a poop squishy toy to entertain themselves. All Josie wanted to do was skate but needed help, Evelyn cried because she didn't want to be alone.

We finally started to get some offers trickling in! Our first offer was terrible, just not feeling the right vibes with that buyer at all. Offered 10k less and wanted, wanted, wanted this and that...picky too. Next day we had two more offers come in. Edgar was quite impressed with the buyers and agent for offer #2, they had a conventional loan instead of the strict FHA loans the other two offers had. There is a contingency for them to sell their home, 45 days instead of 30. I was hoping for less time but in hindsight we need a bit more time to find a home in Boise, the extra two weeks will ensure we can find something. So happy to report we are under contract with the 2nd offer, at full price as of Thursday evening. Looks like the wife works for a real estate company so knows her stuff.

I was informed Friday night that the house inspection would take place Saturday morning at 8 am. We all needed a sleep-in, yet again foiled. The inspector showed up 20 minutes early! Yikes. I shoved half-dressed and mostly asleep kids into the van at 7:45. Pulled out of the driveway...the garage door broke again. I look up to see it slanting down and jamming halfway closed. The inspector is watching this development with a squint in his eye. Gracious. Called my now trusty Rottman Garage Door guy, he came out in less than 15 minutes and had the door working at least before the new potential owners showed up. We had to be away from our house until 11 am, I packed a parts of a picnic lunch and stuff to enjoy Coons Bluff with friends. Course, right as I'm ready to leave the repair guy for my iPhone calls after missing the last two appointments. He's ready to fix my phone screen. I meet him outside our house hoping the inspector does not notice. Talk about stress. Amelia stayed with Chloe at her home, Chloe was not feeling well, needed a friend to keep her company. Coons Bluff was so much fun. The drive out was a mini-roller coaster. Phillip let us know whenever he felt the willies from the dips in the road. We found a large crowd of people protesting the new iron fencing along the river. The protest was over the wild horses and how the fencing will impede the horses movements and the fencing marr the natural beauty. Not sure why the fencing was necessary in the first place. I about swooned once we found the last parking slot available. A really cool weed (resembled geranium leaves) grew in great abundance all over the camp grounds! Josie was terrified to walk through the weeds. Brother Jackson had all the children captivated with his stone hurling skills, he made some stellar water art with the stones and river water. Evelyn took an acrobatic fall down a dirt incline, she somehow flipped and landed with her head down in a space, shoulders holding her head from the ground by the bank of the crevice, her legs in the air. She was not pleased about her miraculous fall, I thought it was quite cool she missed cracking her head by mere centimeters. Josie collected shells on the river banks. The boys soon created an obstacle course climbing up the dirt banks, each area more challenging (and taller) than the other. I enjoyed hearing them shout, "Ev! This is a level 4 climb! No look at this level 6!" Lots of dirt and fun. We fed the Sister Missionaries on Friday night. Our favorite Bulgogi was an instant favorite. The sisters showed us a video about two brothers scaling a cliff with no climbing equipment and the potential disaster the brothers avoided. I heard Everett mutter to Phillip, "there is no way I'm climbing that cliff without rappelling gear, those two boys were stupid." Phillip looked away, I wonder if he contemplated scaling the cliff. Phillip wanted to follow the Iron Rod back to our picnic area. He sang "The Iron Rod" several times while we literally held to the Iron Rod. It was a lovely learning moment. I was so charmed by the weeds that I drove the kids back home then returned with Josie and cute clothes. She and I took a few photos for her upcoming birthday. Magical.

My studio was quite busy this week! I had 5 studio sessions this week! Pretty darn good. Word is going around the India Indian community about my photography. I have another 4 babies lined up with sessions. The Indian parents are so different from American parents, relaxed and no real schedules involved. Saturday I had a 6 mth old girl scheduled for 6-7 pm, she was happy as a lark. Most American babies are in bed by 7 pm! Makes me smile.

Today was much more relaxed with no showings or open houses. We had Stake Conference. President Tinker requested all youth 11+ read and study the Plan of Salvation pamphlets and share what is learned with family and friends. We need a pamphlet! Ryan spent the day with us. Phillip will miss him terribly. I am going to Boise this coming weekend, got a ticket today. Finding child care arrangements was so stressful, not sure I really want to go. What with sick kids, a toddler who poops her pants, Evelyn who is scared to die (only right before she falls asleep), Everett's cough, and local family out of town...stressful. Just making a really quick trip, leaving Friday afternoon and coming back Sunday morning. Now we're praying to find a home! Join us if you dare. Results to be continued.

PS: Josie used a pink highlighter and pink nail polish to decorate the white parts of my cute coffee table. She was hiding inside the coffee table, told me it was not paper and she was in trouble, but it was sooooooo pink!