I don't want to miss a minute of this for memory sake, but this week has not been kind. Rob is sick and mostly down for the count. On Friday evening I got some very sad news about a beloved family member which has taken some wind out of the sails, too. But here's the latest.
Friday the kids had their last day of school, including the always beautiful peace celebration. We spent the morning dealing with a sick and whiney August (and a pre-sick but flagging Rob), and making plans that would amount to nothing. Both August and Rob were too sick to leave at 1, so M and I went to the school alone. We ride in semi-comfortable silence most of the time. I don't know how much is language and how much is just a quiet personality.
The peace celebration was pleasant. Afterwards, some friends who are from her home country stopped to say hi and ended up talking in their shared native language for ten minutes. I'm not sure if that was comforting or reinforced her homesickness. Then home with all the kids.
M is a dancer and likes to be active so I want to take her to the gym, meaning we needed to get her some gym shoes and other appropriate items. We popped out to the mall's sports store and found shoes, workout clothes, and a bathing suit. Rob called to say he was running 103, Jorge was having a fit, and August had just made a mess in his pants. Super. I had promised M on the way to the mall that we would get one more needed item of clothing while we were at the mall. Rob said not to rush home; the chaos was in such full force it would hold for 30 more minutes.
So we headed to Vicky's. Not my favorite place, but it's an experience that felt more special and interesting than standing around in Target or Walmart. The women measured her, brought her some styles to try, and then identified exactly which sub-shelf we were looking for. That alone was worth the $5 markup. Unfortunately, the curse of cell phones is that bad news can be delivered at terrible times, including the dressing room of a bra shop of a mall while your non-English speaking emotionally-scarred 15 year old is being fitted. A big ugly cry with and then after the call, leaky crying as we waited in the 10 minute line (no way we were coming back anytime soon to finish) and some general sobbing as we drove home. Rob went to bed. August got cleaned up and put to bed. The other three were fed, showered, and snuggled; all while checking texts, messages, and email for updates.
In the end, I tucked Katie and Jorge into bed and invited M back downstairs. I needed to not sit around crying. I set up the translate page on both my and Rob's laptop and we each wrote and flashed screens at each other in quick conversation. We discussed our pasts, her future, families, boys, school, hobbies, and Justin Bieber. Oh, the Biebs. There were Klondike bars, some honest discussion, and a lot of good.
Saturday I had one eye on the computer all day watching for updates. We opted to stay home all day. Rob slept off and on; he and August took a long nap mid day. But Katie, M, and I played Quirkle (a tile game similar to dominoes) and then we started a fire, turned on some music, and decorated the tree. I tucked some ornaments in M's stocking and put it in her lap which earned a nice smile. I think all of the family memories embedded in our tree ornaments was overwhelming, though. We curled up on the couch to watch the Nutcracker and eat popcorn with marshmallows and chocolate chips.
Later in the afternoon we skyped with my family in Ohio who were having their Christmas gathering today. Lots of shouting hello at nieces and nephews.
Then M pulled up some music videos and, after a bit, some hilarious kid cartoons (seriously, watch them. Laugh). We sat and watched and laughed for hours. So much good.
And then a fairly failed dinner (I have lost most skills with cooking and defer to Rob. He's sick. I told M that once Rob felt better the food would get a lot better. I can make a mean cake or pie or tray of cookies, but meals always disappoint.). But everyone was pleasant about the mediocre food.