Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Close Quarters

ETA: I had to go back and add these pictures. Because you just had to see what I meant when I said our room was tiny. Oh, and Sarah was fine later that day. No more vomiting, thank goodness!

I'm blogging today from a (tiny) hotel suite in Columbus, GA. The kids and I are here with our family dog. Our room is just a king size bed, bathroom, and kitchenette. There's a sleeper sofa for the big boys and I managed to cram two pack & plays in for the girls. It's a tight squeeze, trust me!

This morning Sarah woke up vomiting. I have been praying that it was just something she ate and not a virus. Can you imagine me driving home tomorrow with vomiting kids? Not cool! It looks like we'll be trapped in the hotel all day since a) Sarah is sick, b) it's raining again, and c) I'm too exhausted to haul 6 kids around by myself today.Sunday was a wonderful day. We were so excited to see Jason. It was all I could do not to collapse into a sobbing mess in his arms. It has been so hard for me to be away from him. I stay strong for the kids but sometimes I just want to break down and cry like a little girl. Why does it have to be so hard?

On Sunday night Jason spent the night with us in the hotel. Unfortunately he left early Monday morning (like before 4am early) and was gone for 19 hours. The kids didn't see him at all aside from a brief, 5-minute break that he took when we came up to see him after lunch. I took the kids to the commissary and that was the usual circus we've become accustomed to lately.

Yesterday Jason was able to sneak away from work early so that I could go get my hair and nails done for the ball. It was my first time ever getting a fancy up do. I never went to prom and my hair was styled in the bathroom at work before my wedding, so this was a new experience. I liked it! About 20 minutes before I left the salon, I heard a bad sound from outside. Thunder. And rain. Lots of rain. Think torrential downpour. Where was my umbrella? In my van. Needless to say I was forced to run with Jason's PT shirt over my head.

I got back to the hotel and quickly changed into my dress. Then I had to change 4 diapers, nurse 2 babies, feed 4 kids, walk the dog, and pack diaper bags. Things were stressful and we were fashionably late, but we made it to the ball. We caused quite a commotion as we made our way through the crowd of young soldiers with our 6 little ones in tow. The 4 oldest were lined up like little ducks and Jason and I carried the babies. What a sight!

The venue where they held the formal was beautiful and they had a huge room set up for childcare. My kids have never been left with a babysitter before and have never been to daycare. They have been to the church nursery before, but that's it. Fortunately, they went right in and found toys that were new and interesting. I reluctantly handed over my babies and instructed them on where to put the dirty cloth diapers. Then we made our escape.

It was a wonderful evening and it was so nice to spend time talking to Jason face to face again. It's also great that after almost 8 years together, it's not awkward to see other again after a long absence. I remember our first separation (4 months long) when Matthew was a baby. Jason and I were still almost-newlyweds. Seeing each other again was almost like meeting each other for the first time. So strange. But not now. Not 6 kids later.We had some pictures taken and they turned out ok despite the fact that I was hot and I had been running in the rain in my heels. I'll post some pictures when I can find my cord for my camera. I even got a few pictures of Jason (bow tie and all) with the kids last night.

Today I'm just taking it easy and taking care of kiddos. Tomorrow is the big day. Jason will graduate from OCS. I'm sure I'll cry. I was getting choked up last night just listening to the general who spoke at the formal. It's exciting that Jason is taking this big step, but it's a little scary too. It feels like he's joining the Army all over again. I'm in awe of his courage and dedication. I know that I could never do what he's doing. He makes us all so proud.

Tomorrow I will pin my new lieutenant husband. We'll watch him take his oath again. And we'll remember why all of these months apart are so worth it.
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