Tomorrow morning we're off to go camping on Pender Island! This will be a first venture to a campground other than our annual family tradition at Otter Lake...we shall see how it measures up! =) We are also going to Otter Lake in August. Here are some pics of Pender that I stole from the internet somewhere:
We're pumped. Brent's working tonight until 2, and then coming home to throw the last few items in the (borrowed) truck, get a few hours of sleep, and get on the road bright and early tomorrow. The younger two are asleep, exhausted from a day of fun, and Ayden is barely containing his excitement over camping in his bed. I can almost feel the floor vibrating from here....
Ayden is a troubled sleeper. He has a terrible time falling asleep, and always has. Once he is asleep, he sleeps like the DEAD--very deeply, just like his dad. But getting to sleep is a chore and a half, and always, always a battle. He doesn't battle us, and we don't much mind how late he stays up within reason, as long as he is in his bed, in his bedroom, not bothering anyone. He recently moved into the playroom into our extra toddler bed, so that he could have some more space and privacy and can play, read, and move around without worrying about waking anyone else up! So for the first time in years, we are using the third bedroom in our house!
Anyways, anytime something exciting is anticipated, Ayden can't sleep for a week beforehand. Tonight is driving him nuts! And ME!! I'm trying to pack (can't you tell?), and he's up and down the stairs, asking questions, telling me he can't sleep, and wanting to know how many more hours until we leave.
Gah! Cute, but annoying.
Riley has had a bad case of croup since we got back from The Vag. His cousin had it while we were there, and he caught it and it was pretty bad on Wednesday. I took him to the doctor because LO AND BEHOLD, one of my children was sick with croup ON A WEEKDAY!!! This never happens. Ayden had croup three times, Matthew twice, and Riley now three times. All other times, we wound up in the hospital for nebulizer treatments, because they always get sick at night or on the weekend, but this time it was on a WEDNESDAY MORNING!!!! I clapped with glee, despite the fact that my baby was sick with an illness that makes it nearly impossible to breathe!
Anyways, the doctor didn't do any nebulizer treatments on him, but took the watchful waiting approach. Which I prefer, but it has been tough to watch Riley tough it out, and to be up with him all. night. long. "Muk, muk, muk!" but then he goes to breastfeed and his snotty nose and narrowed airways clog him up, so he just pops off and cries. Then, a few seconds later, "Muk, muk, muk!" Then he coughs: BARK, BARK, BARK, waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
Yesterday was the worst day, today he was doing a bit better. At one point yesterday evening his fever was 39.7! His body doesn't respond well to Ibuprofin, but fever control is better when you can alternate between the two....anyways, we were stuck with tylenol and it was only barely doing its job last night. Of course, it was 34 degrees outside last night, so really, not that odd to have a baby whose armpit temp is only six degrees higher...
So. freaking. hot.
Thursday night the older two slept at their grandma's place for fun, and I called in sick to work so I could stay home with Riley, and we slept on mattresses in the livingroom. Actually, although I put mattresses, but we wound up sleeping on mattreSS. Riley on 7/8ths of a twin mattress, and me on the final sliver. That was a restless night.
All that to preface the fact that TODAY Riley was on the mend--not well, but slightly better than yesterday, so we went to the water park. I was in a STATE of mind as we were getting ready to go: this was my first time back to a water park since my horrible confrontation episode with that other mom who accused me of being Matthew's foster mom and neglecting him for walking 50 feet away from him at the water park...
I had not really thought about it since, but in retrospect I have been avoiding the water park since then. The park we went to today was a different one from the one with The Incident, but I still have this heavy sense of being watched by other parents, and judged, and found lacking. The anticipation was killing me. Once we got there it wasn't as bad as anticipated--it never is! But it was still tough. I had to keep talking to myself about my parenting and how I am a good parent and I'm thoughtful about the distance between me and my kids, and how other people's opinions are simply their opinions and not the final word.
I braved it, though. And at one point, sitting on a grassy hill in the sun, watching my three gorgeous kids run around and make friends and play with other kids, in the water with the sun shining on them, I felt supremely satisfied. I'm happy! I thought, I'm happy, I'm happy, I am so happy. This is great. I'm actually very grateful that I had such bad post partum anxiety after Riley was born, because it made me get treatment, which changed my day to day life so much for the positive. I never realized how much time I spent worrying and being anxious before I had Riley, and since I had him I have been much more stable and calm and able to keep my thoughts and emotions in check. I've noticed how often I have a day where numerous things go wrong or are difficult or change my plans, and I'm so much more easy going about it now. Whereas before I would store it up and mull over it and spew it out all humerous and LOOK AT THE DAY I HAD!!!! on this blog, now I hardly even notice. I don't live so much in anticipation of negative events anymore. I just live in the present moment, which gives me the freedom to cope with a negative, or difficult, or different than planned event, and then move on.
What a blessing that difficult journey was. I'm so grateful! It's not that I don't have tough days anymore--au contraire! But I cope better, and am calmer and happier overall.
Especially in the sun at the water park. It's amazing that my older kids are now old enough for me to say, "Go play!" and turn them loose, and I can trust that they will stay within a reasonable range of me (most of the time), that they will treat other kids with appropriate kindness, and that they will entertain themselves. And THEN, as a BONUS, Ayden loves to bring Riley along to play, and Riley adores both of his big brothers, so HE is entertained! I sat on a blanket and crocheted a spider this afternoon at the water park, while my three kids played. Wow. The freedom is boundless.
It's kind of humerous that I find sitting at a kid's park supervising my kids from fifty feet of distance to be boundless freedom, isn't it....???
Now to get the baby-the-size-of-a-grain-of-rice to be out and running around, then I'll be quadruple boundlessly free
Ayden calls the baby Pumpkin Seed. Very cute. I call it the Rice Baby. Brent is ecstatic, Matthew barely cares, and Riley doesn't believe me. Every time I tell him there's a baby in my tummy he shakes his head and says, "No!" And every time I mention that he will have to share his milkies with the baby, he thinks I'm telling a joke. He dimples and shakes his head, "Noooooo!"
I can't blame him, we tease him by playing that game all the time, "Do you want to share some milkies with daddy? Ayden? Matthew? Paige? Simon?" He thinks it's hilarious.
He's in for a shock, sometime around February/March!
I should get back to packing for this camping trip...
Adios! See you Thursday!!