best laid plans and all that

Sometimes, things just don't go according to plan. This is one of those stories.

James had a conference at work this week. Thankfully this one was in town, but he was still gone from about 7am-10pm every day, so it felt like he was traveling. I wasn't too upset about it; I figured we'd go on lots of playdates, play in the inflatable pool outside, and maybe go out for dinner one night. It would be fun! So fun!

You know what they say about best laid plans.

Tuesday actually went quite well. We spent the morning at the library with a friend, went out to lunch with them, and played in the pool at home all afternoon. I was totally killing this solo mom thing.

And then Wednesday hit. We had a bit of a potty training disaster. While the tears from that were still fresh, Gracie fell and hit the hardwood floor forehead first. She had a nasty gash and goose egg. I was frantically trying to figure out if she had a concussion. I googled, called my dad, prayed, and just generally spazzed while trying to comfort her. While the tears were still fresh from that, she ran over her foot with her wooden rocking horse.

After that, we went to my friend's house to babysit three of her kids all afternoon. Cue massive, massive headache.

When we got home, the day continued to spiral.

I laid in bed Thursday morning, praying the day would go better. Spoiler alert: it did not.

We picked up groceries from Kroger and came home. Gracie had a hard time. Just like a sailor can discern the next day's weather patterns, I could tell something was amiss in Gracie world. Not concussion amiss since we had ruled that out, but she was getting sick. Lots of crying and a bit of a dry cough. That could all be easily attributed to being overtired, which I knew she was, and allergies. But still, I knew. I knew. Everyone else thought I was crazy, but I knew.

We visited with our next door neighbor for a bit. She always puts me to shame, because she's in her late 80s and weeds her garden with her oxygen tank in hand. We absolutely adore her and talk to her whenever she's out. Gracie decided it would be a good idea to repeatedly lift my dress all the way up for the entire world to see and then ask me why I wasn't wearing shorts underneath (I had on underwear, lest you think I didn't).

We went inside and I noticed that while I had been showering that morning, Gracie had found a hot pink sharpie and decorated my favorite yellow chair. I had a blanket covering part that the cat likes to claw, and Gracie colored every remaining bit with marker. I about lost my mind. I thought we were past the color on everything that isn't paper phase, but apparently not.

I put Gracie down for a long nap and tried to rest as well, but I couldn't. I felt anxious, nervous. There was no real reason for it, other than the fact that I could sense difficult things ahead.

When she got up, I set her up with a snack and Thomas the Train, and I went to get dressed and do my makeup. We were meeting James, his boss, and coworkers for dinner. Gracie and I haven't met some of them, so they invited us to dinner. I had been looking forward to meeting them, but with how the day was going, I was understandably nervous.

I was just putting my mascara on when I heard a blood-curdling scream from the living room. I ran in the room, and was able to discern that something had gotten into Gracie's eye. I thought I saw something, but I couldn't get it or get a good look at it. She was in tremendous pain, so I brought her in my room and snuggled her on my bed. She would calm down, touch her eye, and scream all over again. It was horrible, and it was getting close to time for us to leave. After a solid 15 minutes at least, I fished a sliver of SWEET CHILI PISTACHIO out of her eye. HOW that got in there is beyond me, but I think it traumatized us both. I have never seen someone as accident prone as Gracie was in those 24 hours.

I got the two of us dressed and out the door on time. Miraculously! Gracie was in much better spirits, so as a treat I turned on the Trolls soundtrack in the car, and we danced away. Finally! Things are getting better! We left early enough that we could run a quick errand and still make dinner in plenty of time.

15 miles or so down the road, the road was closed. James had warned me that the detour was "easy," but had failed to mention that he made his own detour and did not follow the signs. I followed the signs. I knew a few different routes I could go, but OF COURSE every single road was closed for construction. Literally every one! So I followed the detour, and I KID YOU NOT my 30 minute drive turned into nearly an hour and a half. I was almost in tears, especially once a semi had gotten angry with me for waiting to turn left when he wanted to go straight, so he honked and tried to run me off the road.

We couldn't run our errand, but we made it to dinner in the knick of time. We were walking to the restaurant when Gracie tripped, fell, and scraped her knee. Because of course.

The dinner went well and Gracie was incredibly well-behaved. Toward the end, everyone had their phones out discussing clients, so I pulled mine out for a second because I may be a SAHM, but I can look like an important business person too! And then my stomach dropped. I sold a dress on Kidizen last week, and the buyer claimed the dress was "covered in stains" and had been stored in a musty basement. The dress was in excellent condition with no stains, I had the photos to prove it, the listing included close-up photos, and the dress was relatively new (and quickly outgrown), and was recently washed and hanging in a closet. I was livid. LIVID. I told her to send me pictures of the so-called stains. She did, admitting she "can't get a picture of them," and sent me a photo showing absolutely nothing but a perfectly clean dress.

We battled it out for 24 hours, got the company involved, and we finally agreed on a resolution, but at that moment, I was sick to my stomach over the fact that this woman was most likely lying and fishing for free clothes.

I was so upset by the whole thing, I sent Gracie home with James and took myself to the nearest library and grabbed 5 books. Therapy.

Later that night, just as I was falling asleep, I heard that distinctive, barking cough. I knew it. I. KNEW. IT. She was wheezing and barking and my stomach dropped to my feet. She started crying a bit later, so I took some medicine in her room and picked her up. Just as I sat down in the rocker with her, the headrest BROKE OFF. I may or may not have yelled something that I honestly don't remember, and Gracie croaked with her barely-there voice "It's ok mama! Daddy will fix it." Bless her little heart.

I barely slept that night, worried about how the next few days would play out and if the doctor could get her in on a Friday. James woke me up around 7, and her barking cough was totally gone and replaced with a vicious cold. A cold I can handle! But just as I was trying to communicate that, I noticed that I wasn't feeling quite right. My head felt really strange. I opened my eyes again, and I could actually see the room whirling around me.

This is not my first rodeo, but this certainly was the most severe. Vertigo. I wasn't totally surprised, because it tends to hit when I'm really stressed and tired. Plus, I'd been having little dizzy spells for over a week because I've been pushing myself hard for the past month. By the time I realized all this, James was gone.

Gracie asked for breakfast, so I tried to get up. I immediately threw up in the bathroom. I have never had it hit me so hard, so quickly. I took my vertigo medicine and got back in bed, and told Gracie I'll get her bagel as soon as the medicine kicks in. 30 minutes later, she was still hungry and I tried again. I threw up in the kitchen. I got her breakfast for her as fast as I could, then threw up the rest of my medicine. I could not stop throwing up. It just kept coming. Gracie was staring at me wide-eyed and terrified as I continued to hurl. I begged James to come home. He had an important presentation to give OF COURSE and I had forgotten. He said he'd leave as soon as it was over. My friends who live nearby all have newborns, and I didn't want them near Gracie for obvious reasons, and I also knew they both had appointments that morning. I was totally on my own.

I finally had a break in the puking long enough to take more medicine and an old zofran. I laid as still as I could on the couch, willing myself to keep it down. This is exactly how I felt for half my pregnancy with Gracie, and suddenly I remembered with such horrifying clarity why those were the darkest and hardest months of my life. And now I had a toddler crying for a snack and for help with her train tracks, and I could do nothing. If I moved my head, I would throw up again. I laid stock still until I fell asleep, thanks to the medicine, with her crying in the background.

I woke up occasionally to requests for a popsicle and to put the Christmas tree up. No to the tree, yes to the popsicle. I told her she could grab a step stool and get it herself, something I would normally not let her do. I could not, for anything, keep myself awake. I woke an hour later to find that she had taken an orange sherbert push pop out of the freezer, and it had spilled and melted all over her, the couch, the white throw pillow, and her favorite blanket. I reached for my glasses, and in the background noticed she had gotten the white tabletop Christmas tree out of the linen closet and had decorated it with her hair bows. Then I reached for my phone, and I had gotten a text from my friend I had the library play date with on Tuesday. Apparently, it's all over Facebook that kids who have been at that branch are coming down with hand, foot, and mouth. EXCELLENT!!!!

James got home around lunch time, praise God, and took care of us the rest of the day. I slept a few more hours, and finally woke up and felt a little better and decided I should try some food and water. Gracie and I traded places, and by the end of the day my body felt achey and she was sound asleep on the living room floor.

I'm glad we both got the extra sleep we've been needing, but I would have preferred a less dramatic method of getting it.


  1. Oh my, what a week! I'm so glad that James was able to take Gracie after the dinner so you could go get books from the library, because it sounds like that was the one bit of calm you've had pretty much all week. Also, I think you're so thoughtful for babysitting 3 of a friend's kids in the midst of a solo parenting week! Anytime I have to solo parent for a week or a weekend, I pretty much launch into survival mode and don't dare do anything that requires my energy or brainpower if it's not absolutely necessary.

  2. Oh my. I hope your friend returns the favor soon.

    All I can think to say is just OH MY.

  3. That Kidizen situation sounds really stressful and infuriating. I'm so sorry! Also WOW to the rest of it. I'm so sorry about the vertigo and being by yourself for that with Gracie. Hope you're feeling better :)

  4. I'm so so sorry. PRAYING FOR YOU THIS WEEK!

  5. So I'm seeing this is a few days ago posted so I am SOOO hoping things are looking up. Mercy... that's a rough patch!
    I suffer from Vertigo myself so as soon as you said that, i was like, ANYTHING BUT THAT!!!! Bless your heart. & bless Gracie & all her little childlike ways that just has you ready to curl up in a ball in the corner.

  6. your pregnancy still haunts my dreams. i feel like you shouldn't have to experience anything like it for the rest of your life. You've paid your dues!!

    I hope you and Miss Grace feel better soon. <3

  7. SERIOUSLY. I'm so sorry things have been so garbage. Hopefully it all gets better. You're not alone, friend. I had a craptastic week, too. Hopefully yours is looking up now.

  8. Yikes, what a day! I love that Gracie was asking why you didn't wear shorts under your dress to prevent flashing the world as she was causing you to flash the world.

    And if it makes you feel any better, we have one child with extremely long eyelashes who used to routinely them turned inside-out somehow so they were being poked in the eyeball with their own lashes.


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