Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Too low for zero...

Last week was a really tough one over here at the Playground... The functional unit that is our little family suffered as one member was really, really sick, and that member was me: I came down with the flu or something like it rather suddenly last Monday, and it took the wind right out of my sails, so to speak.

There was going to be no leaving the house until I was well... and we had skipped the weekly shop, with the intention that Jimmy and I would do it in dribs and drabs, but that wasn't going to happen. Not while I was heavily congested, sore all over, and feverish. So, it was going to be a week of eating what we had in the house, unless Michael happened to do some shopping...

Did we survive? Yes. Reasonably well actually, but:

  • I slept or was in bed at almost every opportunity over the past week, while somehow managing to keep up Jimmy's toilet training (more soon), and get dirty clothes and nappies washed and dried, possibly even folded and put away... Feeding Jimmy was a tricky task because I had little to no appetite, and somehow Jimmy wasn't too fussed (until we ran out of bananas...), and somehow I was still producing enough milk for him... 
  • Jimmy vacuumed and investigated the vacuum for most of the week, the poor boy didn't get outside once from Monday to Friday, and he also put in some really good snoring at night. And during his daytime nap too, which would go for over 2 hours some days, especially if I was napping too, so he might have been a little sick too - no, he wasn't, he was too energetic...
  • Michael was running on very little sleep (who can sleep while there are TWO snorers in the same room?), running out the door not long after we woke up (sunrise is around 7:35 or later, and our room faces north-west), returning home in the dark, only to have me disappear into the bedroom, leaving him with an energetic Jimmy and dinner prep. And the dishes. And bath duty. And story time.

Michael deserves an award for being a real champion last week.

But it was tough, because we lack the kind of community we'd built up in Brisbane, and we are far away from family. It was tough because I couldn't call up family and friends and ask them to take Jimmy for a few hours, so that I might get some more sleep - the few friends I do have here either aren't familiar enough with Jimmy or have small children of their own, and I wasn't interested spreading the ickiness. It was tough because we're too far away to ask my Dad (aka Pop) over for a few days to cook for us, so that Michael can have a break, even if it's only for 20 minutes.

We've had broken sleep, called family at 2:30 am, and were all out of honey, oranges, bananas, fresh vegetables, and frozen pizzas by Thursday because getting to the shops in the evenings was a little beyond us (it's cold, we don't have a car, and I wasn't going to ask Michael to go out after a long day at work - I was sick, not unreasonable (I hope)). What little sunlight we might have had was obscured by clouds, and it was too cold to go out anyway... At least the K-State dairy was open, so Michael could get some eggs and milk on his lunchbreak. And we had emergency backup foods, for just this sort of thing... And a package arrived, with two presents for Jimmy and a Christmas cake*.

The ultimate outcome is that we have a stronger resolve to be back in Australia by May 2015. Being this far from home is ok, while we're ok and well, but I haven't been so sick in years and I haven't been so drained since my first trimester with Jimmy, so last week we were not ok, and we wanted to go home...

Then on Friday afternoon the sun came out for about an hour, and it was warm enough for me to open up the place, and Michael had made some good science happen, and my congestion was going, so our week ended on a higher note than it started.

And on Saturday Michael took Jimmy outside, while I stayed in bed, still too heavy of head and body to move, but I was no longer congested. Sunday saw us make it to the shops, we even bought some felt to make some decorations for the Winter Solstice.

We still want to go home, but now that we're feeling a little more "I'm still standing" than "Too low for zero" since we have caught up a little on sleep and the rational parts of our brains are coming back online. We know that the days will soon be getting longer, and that staying here another year will be ok. Not necessarily ideal, but better for Michael's sciencing and better for my uterus** because we'll be waiting until we're back in Australia before having baby #2.

And now that I'm pretty much back on my feet, there's work to do: the freezer needs restocking with hearty meals; Michael's vest needs finishing (I'm sooo close!); there's my sister's visit to prepare for; Jimmy is going to need a bigger beanie before winter is through, but he needs socks first; and there are Solstice and Christmas preparations to get under way... Phew! That's actually a long list of things to do.

*My Aunty L makes Christmas cakes for the whole family in June/July, so that's probably at least 3 cakes each year. This year she made at least 4 cakes - and she sent us one, and it's a little piece of home, and it almost wouldn't be Christmas without it.
**I really need to put Jimmy's birth story up...

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