Friday, August 30, 2013

3 days was better than no days

but I am still left with this stupid feeling of "you are doing it wrong!".
Since about May I have been compiling thoughts of a different life.
Not that I have a bad life, shit, I don't even have a less than stellar life. My life rules.
But I am finding that the days and weeks, that turn into months and many months, are just not okay anymore. I am finding that I miss my life, pre-kids.
Don't get crazy. I am not saying I wish I didn't have kids. I would be nothing without them, but I am missing the travel. The journey.
I fucking miss my husband.
When we picked him up on Monday night, I knew it was going to be brief. I knew he would sleep no more than 4 nights in our bed. I knew I would wake up to him bringing me coffee only a few times.
I am good at this, usually. I am good at setting myself up for the time we get to be with him. There's usually nothing or everything going on in the days he's home. This time it was a little bit of both.
We celebrated our daughters 4th birthday party a bit early, so he could be a part of it. The plan was perfect but it left us all more sad than we were- and that is the problem.
It is getting old. It is getting to be too much.
It is getting to the girl, the boy and the baby.
This past May I was spending an afternoon on the phone with my husband. The kids were asleep and I was talking wildly about how lame it is that he is missing everything. How him missing 2 out of 3 kids first steps has finally taken it's toll on us and how we needed to do something.
I am not sure how it came up but I know it was me who blurted out "we should get an RV or something!".
To know my husband at all, is to know that he is always, always, always supportive. Even if he thinks it is the worst idea ever, he will support you.
But this time I think he really liked the idea, although I know he thought I was kidding.
I'm not.
I wasn't.
And I'm still not.
Everyday I have these conversations with myself about how life would be.
When I wake up in the morning and get the baby (first up), I picture how it would be in an RV... like would he have a bed or would he be sleeping next to me? Then what? Like would I take him for a walk? Make coffee while the others slept?
What would it look like? Would there be wood paneling everywhere? I don't know the last time I was inside an RV. Can we afford an RV? What does one cost? Can people actually live in them?

Okay, so let me back up a little.
My idea is to pack up our entire home and put nearly everything we own in storage. I would like to sell our car and buy an RV, pack our asses up and just go.
I want to wake up in the morning in a new place. I want to see my friends in NY, instead of seeing pictures my husband takes of them while he's there.
I want to park it in front of my Mom's house in AZ and spend some time down there, when the weather is nice and I have no time frame.
I want to spend time with my Grandmother.
I want to be with my husband. I want my kids to be with their father.
I need us all to be together, having the same goal again.

I am not sure what happened to the goal. I am not sure what happened to our Daly mantra, our reason for doing "this".

What is this?
Better yet, what are we doing?
Gah... I have no fucking clue. And I am not okay with that.

Elvis asked me this morning, "why can't I go with Daddy?"...
I had no good reason and that pretty much solidifies the thing. We have to do something different, otherwise we are no different than the families who work themselves to the bone and miss everything.
It's not worth it.

He's missing us and we are missing him. But what is keeping us apart? Why are we staying here in Seattle, while he is seeing the world? So we can all enjoy the Pacific Northwest with him 3 months out of the year? Eh. I think there has to be a better way.
Unconventional? Yeah. But so is what we are doing.
I am the only single Mom who is married that I know. It's weird.
Who knows, maybe we will become vagabonds forever. Maybe we do it for a year and get our fill.
I just know no one is happy being apart, so we have to do something about it.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Microwave mac & cheese.

We are tired of eating at restaurants. So tired, in fact, that we opted to eat mac & cheese in a bowl that you can microwave.

I know this is no new concept, so I don't want to talk about it like it is freeze dried sushi or something, but it was weird as shit.
And not good.

But we did it. The baby liked it best, I'm assuming because the texture resembled jarred baby food- which, incidentally, he doesn't like.
It was nice not to sit down at a restaurant. It was nice to not pay $50 for food that could feed 5 families in a 3rd world country. I hate the amount of food restaurants give. It is disgusting. I usually make the three kids share one meal and I order and we all share and still we throw away about 3 pounds of food.
No wonder America is so fat. If they are eating out like we have been the last 5 weeks and cleaning their plates (remember that philosophy?), they are eating no less that 50,000,000 calories a day.

We made it to Fortuna, CA last night. I was happy we found something so fast. It was getting dark and even though I could have driven 4 more hours and the kids were asleep- this trip has suddenly turned me into a super cautious gal.

Winding through the mountains yesterday, I was reminded of traveling to Oregon with my Grandparents. I was probably 9 or 10. I spent a lot of summers with them. They were always doing something adventuous sounding. They were traveling or moving or selling or buying. My Grandpa was the sort of man that would own 3 homes and travel to them throughout the year, buying weird stuff (cars, etc) and then fix them and sell them, even sometimes giving them away.

One summer they were going to their place in Oregon. On the trip I told him that if it was getting dark and we weren't there yet, we should spend the night somewhere. I am not sure why I was suddenly giving out orders but I remember having this feeling. So much so that I think I said it many times, not just suggesting it.
I remember we were driving up a mountain and it was dark. I felt the car (which was pulling a trailer with a car on it;) jerked to one side and I heard my Grandmother scream.
I think I was laying down in the back. It was a suburban.
When I felt the car jerk to the side, I knew what was happening. I knew exactly what was happening, almost like I had done it before.
After I heard her scream, I heard my Grandpa say "I'm sorry!". Loud and direct.

I don't know what happened exactly. I know the next day we were at the scene picking up the trailer that had rolled down a hill. My Grandma and I were picking blueberries from a wild bush. My Grandpa was stoic and graceful.
That night I remember being on a pay phone and talking to my Mom. I am sure all I wanted to do was be with her. To be home.
But I stayed. We got to their house and I had one of my most memorable summers.
We picked rhubarb and made pies with "what's her name", my Grandfathers sister who's name I could never remember. She was beautiful and kind. We all made pies.
There was a crab apple tree behind their house. It was huge and full. I climbed it every day.

The reason I was remembering this whole story last night is because the me that wants to be home was saying "I could drive 4 more hours", which I could.
I love to drive. I love to drive at night, during the day. In rain, snow- I enjoy it.
But the memory of this accident stopped me in my tracks. Especially after my son said, "we should definitely stop before dark".

Friday, August 9, 2013

She went under

You hear on the news(and maybe even know someone who knows someone) about kids drowning more than we would like. But to hear something tragic is just that, hearing. To live something tragic is something I have never experienced quite like I did today.

After breakfast and packing up the car, we decided (after my insisting) to go for a swim. It was an hour before check out and we never swim in Seattle, so I figured the hotel had a pool, we should take advantage (like we always do).

I want to take a second to explain that I am a woman of signs. I live my life by them. Well sort of.
I look for them and pick up on them and I like that about myself. I have a sixth sense, I always have.

So when we decided to go swimming we had to go get another key, so we could go into the room and put our suits on. On returning to the pool, Quattro realized he had forgot the key on the table, so we had to go BACK to the front desk (she was not amused). Right then I should have put everyone in the car and left. Man... why didn't I just leave?

We all splashed around and swam for about 15 minutes. After which Zeke was getting bored. I was sitting on the side of the pool with my feet in and Elvis was standing on the second step like 8 inches away from me. Quattro was talking to me and I got up and grabbed Z (who had headed for the grass) and when I turned around I was telling Q he needs to practice his freestyle and I looked at Elvis.

And I froze.

I saw her eyes wide open. Her hair was like a lions mane around her head and her mouth looked like a fish.
She was gulping and swallowing water. No sound. No movement and just like that, she went under.

I screamed.


Q picked her up by her armpits and I grabbed her arm and laid her limp body on the deck.
I didn't panic. I just remember Quattro's face was so blank. He had no idea what was happening. I could not believe what was happening. I could not fucking believe it.

She had the most intensely peaceful look on her face and it scared the shit out of me.
As I leaned in to do CPR and she started to cough so I leaned her up and she threw up pool water and was breathing.

The moments after were a blur. I took her into the room and she was pale but alert. I grabbed the keys and we went to the hospital.

They watched me in there. I could tell they were trying to gauge how good of a mother I was.
I don't think they were judging me. They see worse all the time but I felt their eyes wash over me and their ears hung on every word. I was stone faced. I didn't even cry. I was like a robot.
When we left I just wanted to go home. I wanted to be home. I thought about scrapping the rest of the trip and just driving straight home.

I didn't.

We are all rallying around each other.
Quattro was shaken up in a way I will not know. He saw the life of his baby sister fall out of her. He knows how close we came.
I know that I will be a different parent from now on. I will not be as relaxed as I am. It may suck. I may hate it but I can't take any chances.

I almost lost someone I know I can't live without.
I love her more today than I ever have loved anyone.
I can't stop looking at her. I can't stop telling her I'm sorry.
I cried so much on the drive. All three kids in the backseat watching movies.
I cried about the accident. I cried about the loss of my "mom-dar" and mostly I cried because I will never get that picture of her face out of my head.
I will forgive myself, eventually. No time soon.
I will move on and be a better person, mother and friend but I will forever miss the days that I had before knowing this kind of heartache.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Solvang? Don't mind if I do.

When I was planning for my summer trip, I imagined I would find all kinds of time to blog. To write. To do anything "vacationy" but I didn't and so here I am, week 4.5 into my 5 week summer trip and I am just getting started.
We left San Diego this afternoon. Loaded up everything, stopped for some delcious Hodad's burgers and then we were off. To where? We didn't quite know for sure. Our goal was San Luis Obispo but the beauty of this part of the trip is that it doesn't matter where we end up at night. It doesn't matter how we spend the days. Long, with lots of stops. Or fast and to the point.
We stopped in San Onofre and I thought we would get to surf but there weren't any waves. It was nice to stop there though. I have long since wanted to make a trip of it, a fellow blogger, IG Momma has the most beautiful pictures from that beach. So to go there was pretty special.
After that we didn't stop until Ventura. We got some snacks and some other crap at Target and then got back on the 101. We called a hotel in San Luis Obispo and booked a room. Had about 2.5 hours to go, figured it would be perfect timing.
Hey! We are taking the 101! THAT is what this trip is about.
Today I was showing Quattro the majesty that is Highway 101 (after taking the 5 up to LA) and really it all hits at about Malibu. That is where he got it.
So we were driving and everything was amazing. Kids were great, no one was screaming... it was pretty cool.
Around 5:30-6 we slowed down to go through this town and we were blown away by how cute it was. It was very European, cute shoppes and cafes... I pulled off the little street and called the hotel and asked to cancel. After her gave me the "next time we can't do this..." I called the cute little hotel that was next to the spot I was in and it had a room and a pool and BOOM! We were "home" as Elvis calls it when we stay at a hotel.
We unloaded and went walking immediately. Something about pulling into town that makes everyone (including me) go "I'm hungry!".
We spotted a cool bakery and decided to go in and grab something for dessert. We were pointed in the direction of a Chinese place and an Italian place... but it just seemed wrong. So walking around we saw this cute German cafe called Heidelberg something or other and decided we would eat there.
One of our favorite places in Europe is Heidelberg, so it seemed like a sign.
Man, I miss my husband.
The food was okay but the server was amazing. He was super cute and really nice. Elvis played air keyboard for most of the meal and Zeke ate his weight in wanna-be German food.
After dinner we heard all of this noise, like an audience or a show or something so we went to check it out. Turns out it was an outdoor theater that just started Spamalot! Of course it isn't a show for babies but I asked Quattro if he wanted to go and he said yes!
He grabbed his waffle, frosting thing and he was off!
Kids and I went back to the hotel and went swimming, took showers and went back to get Quattro.
He had a great time and immediately said "it makes me want to roam around places by myself more!!" and I'm like "I am the one who found the place!" and he was like "oh ya..."
Calm down kid. You are 12.