Spring Break Clutches and Scents

Wellllllll….It finally happened. I lost my little PT Cruiser, Muffin, to the car shop again. Something in me said that it wouldn’t be a good idea. But instead I pushed it aside, thinking I could take a quick 30 min trip down the road to the zoo with the kids.

Wait, wait, maybe I should back up.

Pelican statues at the park

I have never had both children for about 120 hours straight. I know that’s a slight exaggeration as between two days I had about 6-8 hours of sleep where the kids mama was home. But after that night, she left early in the morning and I had both children. They were on spring break. Both children. All week. And mama wasn’t due to get back until Saturday night.

The first thing in these kind of new changes is I allow myself to let it settle in my brain slowly. I knew weeks before that mama was going to be out of town, so I would be nannying both children. What didn’t hit me until the week before this was due to happen, was both children would not be able to attend school. I didn’t doubt my ability to care for them. But I did question what we would find to do. For 12 hours I wanted to keep them as occupied as possible without using electronics (TV an Ipad) too much. Thankfully for us, the whole week was beautiful. Full of sunny, blue skies and warm breezes. 70+ degree weather. Every day. But like every good story, this didn’t start on Monday, it started on the weekend before….

Saturday the weekend before their spring break we drove up to the Rickwood Caverns. Noah was telling us all about it and as we made our way into the registration area, my heart sunk at the sign that showed the prices for kids and adults. I paid the small entrance fee before we headed up the way towards the fossil trail. Not even ten minutes into our hike and I had some children chiming for the restroom. We backtracked but before we could make it on the trail again, the kids were asking to play at the park that was set up there. They ran around for a bit, before we headed towards the gift shop, where I had promised to get them a small gift. There were so many small gems and bottles of rocks.

An example of Snail Hopscotch

After that we headed towards home. We grabbed some lunch and played outside. We drew with chalk on the driveway. I taught the kids a game called Snail Hopscotch, which I had learned years ago. Basically you draw a spiral, leaving the middle fairly large. Then you add a line from the end of the spiral towards the middle of the spiral, but stop when you hit the next line. You continue to draw lines throughout the whole spiral until you reach the middle. The end product should look like a snails shell with squares  or rectangles through it. Inside each of these blocks, you write numbers 1-how ever high it goes. The large middle gets to be claimed as HOME. After it’s all drawn, everyone picks their own colored chalk. Then one hops on one foot through all the squares to the middle, home. After reaching home, they could rest a moment before turning around and hopping on one foot all the way back the numbered blocks until they made it out. If they were successful in going the whole way around without putting their other foot down, stepping outside the lines or on the lines, they are then rewarded by writing their name in any of the blocks. When the next person goes to hop though, they are not allowed to step on the square with another person’s initial and color in it. If you come to a square with your color in it, you can just hop in two feet, rest a second, then continue on.
As these are children, I go easy on them. Juliette had to hop on two feet (she liked to try and skip through, and would miss going from square to square) and Noah had to hop on one foot there and back whether he stepped outside the boundaries or not. They both loved it. They did great picking squares and several times we were laughing as I had to hop on one foot farther across the driveway because they had blocked a significant number of squares without me getting my initials in them. We enjoyed ourselves a lot.


Monday: the start of spring break! I took the kids to get my phone replaced and after what felt like hours of getting all the information transferred, we headed home for some lunch again and more playing. Later that afternoon I took them to the park where we climbed animal statues, ran away from carpenter bees on the play set and waded in a creek, soaking our rolled up pants. We had so much fun though. I stopped at DQ on the way home and got us ice cream to cool us all down.

Tuesday Lizzy (mama) took off for her job which was two hours away and would stay until Saturday. I got the kids breakfast, dressed and out the door before 9:30 and we headed to the McWayn Science Center. It was full of amazing experiments designed to teach children…well science….We spent over two hours there, discovering new things with each floor (4 of them!) we went to. The last place we went was Magic Kid City (or something like that) where everything is child sized. There’s cars where a kid can use child size drills to take off bolts and fix the wheels. There’s a animal vet area where one can check their stuffed animals. There’s a little grocery shop with pretend cash register, conveyor belt and baskets to put food. Right next to it is a little restaurant to make pretend meals, bake plastic pastries or cook up whatever ones imagination can come up with. And in the back of the this magical city was a wet play area where little yellow, plastic balls flow along water ways, through fountains, up tubes and drop into the water below. I’m not sure how we ended up there, but after they had soaked themselves in happiness, I told my two kiddos it was time to pack up and head home. They were very obedient and we grabbed lunch before getting home for  a short break.
Then Miss Heidi had an appointment at the H&R Block to finish her taxes. I grabbed a couple books and we headed down towards their office. I settled down with the kids and started reading Make Way For Ducklings, one of their favorites. Before long, the receptionist sat herself down on the floor and was listening intently with the kids. It was soon our turn, so I led the kids to the back of the room, and tried to listen to what I was signing while both kids spun around and around in their office chairs. We finally got out of there, and before long we were home and playing outside with chalk again.

Thursday I had nothing planned other then a possible trip to the zoo. My car had been acting louder and I called my grandpa about it. It was not good news. He said he thought the clutch was going. My RPM’s were zooming and acceleration was next to nothing. Once I got into fifth gear, I was usually fine, other then constantly having my RPM’s jump and bounce randomly. After I heard that from my grandpa, I decided that I was going to stay home and maybe get it looked at later the next week. I ended up telling my boss and we had someone test drive it that day. The man was very nice and told me he would fix it for me. He also said I should have enough time to get it to the zoo and back, but it did have to be fixed. I decided we would lay low the rest of that day and just relax at home.

Friday. It was just a few days ago but feels like months. I woke up with aches and pains, headache and feeling tired, plus I felt so nauseous. I was so confused about why I felt that way as I hadn’t do much physical activities on Thursday. I finally crawled out of bed and got the kids some breakfast. I took some medication as my headache was not going away and I was so cold. I asked the kids if they wanted to go to the zoo, but we decided to wait until after lunch. We played outside in the morning and sat enjoying the sunshine on our faces. After lunch, I got the kids in the car and we started down the road. Noah was hesitant as I was beginning to voice my concerns for my car being able to make it to the zoo and back. But we plowed on down the highway and finally made it to the exit for 31, with another 10ish minutes left. As I glided down the runway, I tried to put my car into first and it wouldn’t go. I panicked and turned right instead of left. I found myself in a gas station and by that point I realized if I jammed my stick into gear, it would go. I told the kids we would go to the zoo another day, at that point, I just wanted to get home. I was able to get back to the on ramp and we headed home. Thankfully we made it home safe.
I took my car to the shop, was blessed with a rental and the kids grandfather took them home for the weekend. As soon as I waved goodbye and stepped inside, I was shivering like I lived in a igloo. After calling my mom to see if I should just wait out whatever ailed me or take medication, I took the medicine. I curled up and prayed for God to take whatever was wrong with me away. And eventually, after a late supper, I curled up in bed and fell into a deep sleep.

Saturday!!!! My best friend was arriving this day. I knew she and her cousin were going to spend the night, so I had frantically started washing sheets and cleaning the house the night before. The next morning I woke up tired and hazy and achy, but after awhile, I got up and got some more laundry done. But it was too much. I collapsed on the sofa again in fits of shivers and confusion. I never got sick. Why was I feeling so poorly? I curled up and snoozed for a good two hours. I didn’t feel much better or worse, but I got up and found some energy to actually shower and get dressed. I put the clean sheets back on the bed, made the beds and did the rest of the dishes. And  fell back onto the sofa in exhaustion. Gritting my

My bestie, Crystal!

teeth, I took another two pills and frowned. I never felt this bad. Finally in mid afternoon, my best friend, Crystal and her cousin Brian arrived. The medicine had finally kicked in by that point, so I was over the moon excited to see them. We hugged, giggled and grabbed some new clothes before heading out towards the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham for Brian to take some pictures and videos of us. He does an amazing job. I wish I had a link towards some of his work, but if you want to see some of it, let me know and I’ll direct you with some social media area’s that he’s got stuff posted. While at the gardens, we walked the flower blooming trails and sniffed tropical scented greenhouse grown rarities. We skipped past stone walls, giggled while dancing through pillars and gazed into a camera lens while tangled on white washed, park bench seats. After nearly three hours of silliness and memory making, we headed for dinner at Hamburger Heaven and then went home to drop to sleep.

Sunday wasn’t too eventful. My friends had to leave early, I went to church and survived the day without medication. Barely. I hadn’t slept well the night before as I kept coughing. And when I thought I would get a quick nap, it never happened. The whole day went differently then planned. Other then being tired though, I felt so much better.

Monday I woke up feeling refreshed and energized. I got the kids to school, came home and worked out, caught up with friends, prayed for my car, ran to the store for some essentials (like cat food for our very pregnant cat) and felt great. I got the kids from school, we played and all of the sudden, my car pulled into the drive! WHAT! I was so confused. I thought it wouldn’t be completely fixed until the end of the week. I ran out and learned it was fixed and running great and nothing else looked like it needed to be completely fixed. What a blessing! The kids and I enjoyed the rest our evening together, had dinner, did homework, played some more and they fell into bed. I sat on my bed and told my friend about a strange pressure in the right side of my face. It went from my top jaw up towards my nose and back towards my ear, making everything tingle. And my whole area next to my nose felt so pressured. She suggested it might be sinus pressure. I ended up taking medication and finally fell into bed. But not asleep as little Juliette decided to wake up and ask me to put her back to bed. I did so quickly and she was soon in snooze land again.

Tuesday I woke up and felt off again. I was sore for doing sumo squats and other workout squats the day before, but it was also that achy feeling all over my body. I got Noah off to school and Juliette and I waved her mother off to work. As soon as she left, I got the chills again and began to shiver. I grabbed my medicine, hating to use it, but not knowing what else to do. I ended up resting on my bed most of the morning and afternoon. I did catch up on some journaling before trying to sleep for a little. Sleep never came so I pulled my favorite blanket on my lap and sat with Juju for a game of Peppa Pig. We played, got her brother from school and then I told them I wanted to sit in the sunshine as it was nice out. Noah suggested Go Fish on the porch, so we grabbed the cards and played. Very often we both get 13 matches, but today our first game he wiped the floor with me as he got 19 and me 7. Two games later and I still had yet to beat him. The kids aunt came to visit and we wrapped the day up with books and the kids passed out quickly.

And that, in a very large nutshell, has been my busy life. After a stressful month, hectic busy week, and longer then usual weekend, I got the blessing of my car back fixed very well and running like a well oiled machine. I’m still fighting through these allergies. Pollen is crazy down here. It coats everything like I’ve never seen. I swept the porch a couple days ago and there were piles lined around the chairs where the wind had blown it. NY, you are blessed at spring time. It’s so bad here. But through it, God has given me strength when I’ve needed it. He’s given me patience to make it through Spring Break and am now blessed with another week to drop both kids off at school and I can take time to help myself mend. And I know in time it will pass. Like winter, spring does not last forever, thankfully.
There are some other things I forgot to highlight, so let me address them while I’m thinking about it. I’m starting a garden in the backyard (well, we are attempting a garden) April 5 is the last frost date. I’m hoping to take the kids to the store and we’ll get some food seeds and plant them by the end of the week. We did get some flower seeds, which will hopefully start popping up in another few days. After planting them, Juliette asked if we could go check and see if they had bloomed yet. I told her it was going to be a couple months before we saw the blooms.

Spring break week is gone, my clutch is fixed and my sinuses will be cleared at some point. God is good!






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