Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mid June Info Dump - Struggle Bus Edition

I wait too long.
Just long enough to feel more than Coo-coo and for there to be too much to process.
I tell Troy, "I'm crazy. I need to write this stuff out."
He says, "Please.Then. GO."

<MY GOODNESS, WOMAN. Have you learned nothing?!?>

I go to my laptop. I open it. This time I turn on a Selah / Christy Nockles song and toss it back to 2006, before life got so real.

I find no hope within to call my ownFor I am frail of heart, my strength is goneBut deep within my soul is rising up a songHere in the comfort of the faithful one

Certain lyrics are so raw, they force me to sob for two hours. After the sobbing I have fat eyes, am tired, and terribly ugly. I no longer feel the need to write.

This cycle repeats itself in varying forms with varying lyrics until I arrive at the day that some of the crazy hard stuff seems kinda funny and some of the stuff that made me angry becomes hilariously absurd.  That is when I write.

Painting Kids -
Summer is designed to kill all the Mothers (and some Fathers) with anxiety. What is the anxiety, you ask?  Well, the anxiety is about bored, unstimulated, and under-attended kids roaming around thinking about how to be on the Internet and play video games more than they are allowed.

Every summer, the months of June, July and August attempt to wreck my life. The lament over the situation is dramatic, although it mainly remains internal lament.  The messages being spoken from inside the crazy house (my head) are never positive. The tape replays. Certainly summer will win and we will all die of the sweaty-hotness and the lack of healthy distractions from said heat.  

Assignment number one of summer? Get the kids to paint cement walls that surround our home. Keep them occupied and away from Internet and evil.  Is this paint necessary?  No. Not at all.  Is this paint going to be an improvement to the feng-shui of the 10 foot cement walls with barbed wire on top?  No.Cement walls are ugly no matter what color, grey or white or candy-striped.  Painting walls will occupy several hours of time.

Someone suggested we change the color of the walls every two or three days.  We are taking that under dead-serious advisement.  If paint were cheaper this would be a done deal. It is basically what a lot of short term mission groups do anyway, paint the thing that was just painted.

Summer Travel for Kids-

The good news?  Travel begins on July 9 for the 15 and a half year old kids, Isaac and Hope.  Hope will go to Cape Girardeau, MO to be with the Ferguson family.  This is the family that gave us Walnut, our GoldenDoodle.  We met them in 2010 and have laughed a lot and been so well loved as we have grown closer. Hope will be going to art camp and classes and doing some singing and acting and dancing too. She will see what a family besides ours is like. Hopefully she still wants to come back to our family in mid August.  By hopefully, I mean, there is no chance at all that she will.

Truthfully,  I want to be Hope. I think her summer plans are the most exciting of anyone.

Isaac is also leaving July 9.

He and Hope have one flight together, the one out of Port au Prince. His seat was a wonky pricing situation and it was cheaper to put him in business class.  This means Hope will slum it like the commoners and Isaac will be sipping a Mimosa up front.

They part ways in Miami and Isaac is going to take Driver's Training in El Paso, TX.  I wish I could spy on the process of their transfer from flight number one to flight number two. That is going to be some great comedy.  You might believe that Driver's Ed in El Paso would be learning to ride a horse or a wild bull or something super Western like that.  Not true. We found out that there are cars in El Paso and he will learn to drive one from Michael (his responsible brother-in-law). Please don't bring up why we think Michael should teach and not Paige. I cannot tell why.  But it is because Paige is a wild distracted driver.

The classroom part of the education will be a few hours each day for a month.  If I know Isaac he will have every dang rule of Texas roads totally memorized and be able to repeat them in alphabetical order if you so desire that.  He will get to be with Paige and Michael and his two nephews for six weeks +.  He is awesome with those little boys and is looking forward to being with the Gonzales family. At the end of Isaac's time in TX, Britt and Gideon will go west to visit too.

On July 22 Noah goes to our friends Scott and April Salvant. This was a life goal of his because he desperately loves his friends, Jeff and Dave Salvant and he just about broke when they had to leave Haiti to help their Momma fight Cancer. He will spend two weeks in Virgina and then he and the teenage Salvant boys will get on a Southwest flight and fly to Dallas together.  Three teenage knot-heads free in the sky. I shudder. Noah told me his goal is to get dragged off the plane (like that guy we saw recently, he said) and have a video of it go viral.  I wish I thought that was a joke. Watch for that on August 4.  Once to Dallas he says goodbye to his buddies and spends a day with Britt and Chris and Gideon before going way further west to see the El Paso contingent.

Noah and Isaac will fly home together in late August. That will be another day to watch for viral videos.  It will be Noah stirring some pot, and Isaac will be begging him to behave and biting his nails off in the background.

On July 22 Lydie and Phoebe get two weeks in Florida with Grandma and Grandpa Livesay.  They are saying that Grandma and Grandpa Livesay give them ALL THE POP and ALL THE WATERMELON AND STRAWBERRIES and outside of those facts nothing else matters.  Pop and fruit equals LIFE MADE. Those two little fools are besties and I am guessing Troy's parents are going to laugh a lot for two weeks.

All of the above means that Troy and Tara have two weeks with zero children in Haiti.  The last time that happened was due to a dramatic-evacuation of our children after an earthquake in 2010.  This should be far more pleasant and hopefully a lot sexier.  What do people do when they come home to a house without thirty-thousand requests for any number of things?  I know this: Troy hopes they have "advanced romance" with that free time.  I hope they sleep and sleep and sleep.  Maybe we can find a way to compromise. Time will tell. Two weeks without kids.  We have been married 19 years and this has never happened without some terrible circumstance. Troy married himself into fatherhood. It will be wild to see what no kids is like.  My friends predict we will sit around talking to our kids on FaceTime.  I vow to do exactly that.

Sleeping Outside-
Eight years ago on a particularly hot as balls night, I asked Troy to please sleep outside with me. He said, "No not gonna."  I asked another 56 times in the following seven summers.  He always pulled his nose up and said, "No go."

One day in late May of 2017 he said, "Okay, I will".  We have been sleeping outside every single night since then.  It is easily 10 to 15 degrees cooler.  The normal fipping of sweaty pillowcase is no longer required.  The stars and the moon are overhead and the palm trees blow in the breeze near our bed. The only downside is the blood loss from mosquitoes, but we will ward off the anemia with vitamins and iron. In the morning it sometimes looks like someone murdered us by tiny stabs with little pin prick blood spots making our solid sheets appear to have a pattern.  After 8 years of asking, we now sleep outside.  If I hate it, I cannot admit it.  So I am not.

one of these two people won a decade long battle  - the other is the loser - or maybe both are losers

Sarah and Sophie-
Carline - Sophie's nanny next fall 
The summer is going to mean less Sophia and Sarah, but they should be back in our neighborhood by late August.  (You may recall some dishonesty with Sarah's mom and some confusion.  We are always confused, so that has not changed but the situation is a little less tenuous right now.)

 Sarah is going to be living with an aunt in Carrefour, about 90+ minutes away with traffic.   (So like 7 miles.) Her Mom will be way down south in an area where they have a garden.  The current intel we have is that everyone is back in Port au Prince by the time school starts up again.  Sophia will be cared for while Sarah goes to school starting again in the fall.  The nanny we hired is adorable (see her with her precious baby girl on her graduation day from the program).  Carline will come Monday to Friday to be with Sophie during school hours.  A job for Carline and a trustworthy daycare person for Sarah.  Hoping and praying this can be win/win.  Expecting any number of things to jack with us on the way to that goal.

Traffic -
I have been trying to make my kids leave the house to make them have a life. We went to buy paint one day. My kids claim that I outwardly show more aggression and anger about traffic things than their Dad. They say he holds it in better. As if.
That statement?  It's whatever.

Sustainable -
The way humanitarian type people in developing countries use this word is so much liar liar pants on fire.  I roll my eyes every time I hear it.  Not that many things are sustainable in practice.  According to websites and tag lines, all of it is sustainable. I always want to scream-quote Inigo Montoya:  "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."   (Also as an aside, Mandy Patinkin is my older man crush. Don't tell Troy.)

Midwifery is hard - Haiti is harder
We  (The MC staff) have had a rough go lately too.   I posted six photos on IG about Rebecca, a really amazing client of the Maternity Center. Check that out and feel the feelings with us.

My hormones are so jacked beyond belief. I'm wishing I knew how to tell you ALL about it in a way that would cause you to know I am dead serious and also about to go crazy and also totally fine - depending which minute you check in on me.

I forget what I am doing while I am doing it. I have a piece of bread with peanut butter in my hand with a bite out of it.  How did that get in my hand?  No recollection.  I already struggled in the kitchen, you can imagine how this helps not at all with those struggles.

Want to know? Throw an egg in a frying pan on medium flame and walk away to grab butter and forget because you see that the laundry fell off the line.  Then, remember the egg but forget you turned on the hose.  No worries, when your flipping kitchen is both on fire AND flooding, you'll scream, "WHO TURNED ON THE HOSE!?!?!"

My hormones are SO tanked, there is a strong possibility I can grow a beard better than Troy now. I'm not kidding.  That says very little for either of us.

Email and Technology Woes-
I talked to a nice young man on the phone.  (I know he was young because once my memory returned I stalk-found him, I saw he was born in 1990, which makes him 27.). We talked because he called me to ask adoption and Haiti questions.  I was honest and told him I suck at sending long detailed emails because I get too many requests and my response is to totally shut down and reply to nothing.  I tried to keep up and failed and the lesson was, never try.

So I said, "Call me."  He did, which I admit I never expect will happen.  I am sure he googled me and saw that I am an older person. However, he probably did not know about the perimenopause because that is not coming up in searches quite yet.

At the end of our call I said I would email him several links to more information and helpful websites and books.  I hung up the phone and went to my computer to do the promised things before I forgot, which allows me exactly 16 seconds to get it done. I realized I had no idea what his name was at that moment.  I asked Troy, "How do you search for the email address of a person whose name you do not  know?"

This sort of thing is happening all the time right now.  Refer to previous paragraph.

Five Clowns Dinner, just hours ago -
Our kids know things are hard.  They know we are stressed and transitioning and challenged and now they understand the word menopause too.  They are sweet to us at every turn. Last night they were helped by Midwife, Beth Johnson to create a romantic meal for us.  I was first call so the meal came to the Maternity Center.

new five clowns star restaurant in Tabarre, Haiti 

You know what? I love that Troy is "more and more into me".

Now, if only I could remember, WHO WAS IT that was more and more into me again?

That's that for this June struggle bus edition.