Friday, February 14, 2014

goofus and gallant

we just returned from a fabulous family vacation. i feel so thankful and happy to have made those memories with my kids.  they were over the moon excited and quickly rattled off their 2 most favorite things about the trip and why when asked.


i am exhausted.

we decided a few weeks ago to look into taking the kids on a trip. we had 2 companion passes that needed to be used or they would expire. Paul also had enough dividend miles for 3 of us to fly for free... if we basically crawled across the country. we found killer last minute prices on a Disney cruise.  the stars were aligning... we took it as a sign and booked the trip. paul would go with the older 3 and i would go with the younger 3.
a week before we were to leave, one of our beloved k-9s started having complications. (Paul was out of town) i noticed a bit of red discharge on the carpet where ruby was laying. i turned her over and sure enough her incision was wide open. after gagging, i called the vet, which was closed, and was referred to an after hours emergency animal hospital. i called and explained the situation. they suggested bringing her right in. I inquired as to how much this was going to cost and was not given an answer other than somewhere between several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. so i grabbed a maxi pad and one of the kids ace bandages, wrapped her up and waited till morning. i put on a fancy inflatable collar that we were borrowing from our neighbor so she couldn't get to the bandages. she wriggled her paw into the tiny space and ripped the seams right off. i could not find our other e collar anywhere. so i ran out to the pet store just as they were closing and bought another one. I got home and put it on her. she was miserable. she literally stood by my bed all night. she wouldn't even sit down. she was breathing weird. i was getting a little nervous.

i took her in first thing, well after getting the kids off to school, loading r & j into the car, lifting the wounded dog into the back of the car, dropping r off at atrium... then we were off.

the vet so kindly fixed the incision putting in sutures this time. luckily it was only the top cut and not the 2 underlying layers. i dropped her off at home and went to pick up R. 

when I got back home, i saw the e collar sitting by the door. I yelled her name and she didn't come. I found her laying there.... she had obviously wriggled out if her collar and ripped open the incision AGAIN.

i called the vet and she was gone for the day. i was starting to freak out a little.

i walked back into the girls room to look for something and walked into a wet flooded mess. the sprinkler pipe outside their window had burst and was flooding their room. 


i ran outside and turned off the water main line. grabbed all of our beach towels and started sopping up all the water. luckily Paul was able to step outside of his meeting and help me figure out how to only turn off the sprinkler water and not the house water. all by texting pictures to him.

i picked him up at the airport and he came right in and started moving furniture and pulling up the carpet. he ripped out the padding and set up a bunch of fans.

the dog was looking really bad at this point. she definitely smelled like an infection was brewing. gag.

we took her back to the vet in the morning and they put in a drain that would need to be there for a week and put her on antibiotics. this was just getting insane. we luckily got her under control and asked a friend to watch her when we were gone. we knew that it was a huge thing to ask… with the medicine and keeping an eye on her wound… and all that. she was on the mend by the time it was time to go.

i headed off a day early with the littlest 3. they were pretty much angels on the way there. our path was phx to charlotte, a layover and then charlotte to tampa… rent a car & spend the night with a friend. the next afternoon we drove to orlando to pick up paul and the big girls and drive to port canaveral.

the flight to charlotte was uneventful, with the exception of a few mild scoffs about who was to look out the window and some really unhelpful flight attendants. but the kids were good & that's all i cared about.

charlotte to tampa was a little rougher. the flight was packed and we sat on the runway for an extra 30 min. so the could de-ice the plane. good times.

we finally got to tampa and were greeted by our friends and my goddaughter. i was thoroughly confused. i wasn't expecting them there and my goddaughter looked so much like a friend from the valley. i just couldn't figure out what they were doing in tampa. i was a little tired…

got to the car rental place and did not have a great experience. i was covered in stress sweat and had had it with the lady's condescending attitude. i was not in a good place. finally got out of there and hit the road.

had a wonderful rest of the time with the exception of getting stuck in stopped traffic for an hour when going to pick up paul the next day.

vacation: amazing

heading home:

got off the boat by 8am. had all of our bags packed and had to be at breakfast at 6:45. this was a killer. for all of us.

drove back to orlando & dropped paul & girls off at the airport. i had a little meltdown and was weepy the rest of the day. i wish i could have handled it with more grace but i was just dreading the next 24 hours and was sleep deprived and exhausted. i wanted to switch some kids around. we should have swapped some big ones for little ones. any who…

the baby was up all night at my friends house. we got ourselves together in the morning and headed out to return the car. our flights back were a little more challenging. tampa to philly (2 hr flight) and philly to phx ( 5 hours and 7 min!!!) i was trying to keep my head above the dread i felt about this day of travel. i planned our meal timing perfectly. we had a great big meal and ran around a bit in the airport and arrived at the gate just in time… to find out the flight was delayed. the kids were bouncing off the walls. they were so tired. they started wrestling around a bit and fell so hard into a lady that it knocked her shoe off. her instinct reaction was to kick her foot forward so R got tossed into the side of a table pretty hard. screaming entailed. i apologized to the lady, who was still gasping. she wasn't in pain… just startled i think.

we finally got onto the airplane and barely made it in time to make our connection in philly. we literally ran to the gate. we were the last ones there. i asked if we could please use the restroom before we got on the ridiculously long flight. no time to grab food. we found our seats and as i was trying to get situated and lady said very loudly… oh great. a screaming baby. i was already on the verge of tears, rage… you name it i felt it. i just paused and looked at her. i sat down and tried my darndest to keep the kids quiet. we waited and waited and finally the pilot announced over the loudspeaker that the plane wouldn't start and we were waiting for maintenance to come check it out. just the kind of comforting words you want to hear as you are about to embark on a 5 hr flight across the country. we waited for 45 min. the lady turned and gave me the stink eye and sighed loudly every time the baby made a peep. didn't she know that i wanted the baby to be happy and comfortable and quiet more than anyone?

just then a nice lady came up to us. she had a great big warm smile, smelled good and put her hand on the baby's back. she said he's just perfect. don't you worry, you are doing a great job. don't you worry about some people.

it was like a light to my soul. a little bit of kindness. i couldn't believe it. i felt my eyes fill with tears. i was just so so tired and in an impossible situation with 3 tired exhausted kids. i thanked her.

R fell asleep in his chair before the plane even took off. my friend had packed a care package to entertain the kids and it was perfect. S was so happy coloring and doing crafts the entire flight. the baby, who is usually an angel, was so out of sorts. i had to go to the back of the plane several times to just try to stand and rock him.  one time there was so much turbulence that i thought i was going to fall over. i had to quickly ask a man to move his bag so i could sit down.

as soon as the turbulence smoothed out, the nice lady came up to see if i needed anything. i loved her.

the baby finally went to sleep and i went back to my seat. in the care package were some highlights magazines. my mom used to get those for us when we were little. one of our favorites was always goofus and gallant. my mom would advise us to be like gallant instead of goofus. he was always getting into trouble and hurting someones feelings. gallant was aware and thoughtful and always made the right decisions.

i enjoyed reading the magazines with S and the 20 min the baby slept. and then rocked and fed and walked around and reminded myself of a waitress at a diner during rush hour. i purchased the very last $8 snack pack and we had our dinner of 2 pieces of cheese and a small bag of walnuts. i did also buy the kids $10 worth of m&ms. R woke up about 45 min. before we landed. he had an accident in his chair. he was so embarrassed. there was nothing really that i could do so he just had to sit there until we could get our bags from baggage claim and change his pants. we landed safely, found our bags and waited for our ride. paul had flowers waiting for me in the car.

so the moral of the story is:

the nice lady was gallant.

the mean lady was goofus.

i will always be the "gallant" to the moms struggling on the plane.

we will travel together from here on out… if we can help it.

if we have to split up… split them evenly.

if i am going to be on a plane for 8+ hours… i better end up somewhere in europe.

linking up with a mama collective


Peace and Love said...

I love the way your described the journey Nell.....and of course I always loved Goofus and Gallant. There is a Gallant for every Goofus.......

and I 'm with you about you better be in Europe if you're going to be on a flight for 8 hours!!!

Jenna Guizar said...

Love the recap :) And yes, that plane better land in Europe next time! Your family is amazing and you are such an incredible mother. I'm inspired by you.

Anonymous said...

dearet Nellie, you're something special!!!

Anna Kate said...

Damn right about Europe! I'll never understand people being mean about babies on planes. It's hard enough without bullies putting added pressure on you and your baby. My goodness. But there's always a sweet old lady or a grandpa around to counter act the negative nancies! Glad y'all are home safe and sound. :)

SHINE said...

i almost cried for you reading this...seriously...

i was once kicked out of barnes and noble because my baby was crying.

people are ridiculous...
if only they knew that we would ALL be happier if we were ALL helpful..

you are grace and goodness and i say yes to europe...but how about just us, and we leave all of our kids home...??

susiek said...

Oh my, now I understand your text about being a little stressed ... Really, you handled it well. You are a great mother!

Jennifer Bosse said...

Wow what a stressful issue with your dog and the sprinkler pipe! And right before vacation...Sounds like it was a great trip though! Thanks for linking up with us

Anonymous said...

she smelled nice. i loved her.

pretty sure she was an angel. angels always smell nice. just what you needed when you needed it.