• Dolly got a cold right as we were getting ready to leave. Couple a lot of congestion with some anxiety and possibly a little bit of car sickness...and the vomit filled car seat wasn't exactly a surprise. Thankfully I had packed an extra one. (Long story. But I was thankful. And we just left the vomit filled one on the side of the road. There was NO way I would have been able to clean it and I wasn't about to drive 24 hours with that stench in the vehicle.)
• Dolly kept me up all night in the hotel on the way here. She was sick. She was scared. It was awful.
• When we got to Granny and Papa's Dude went down for the count. He barely moved all day Sunday and he didn't talk at all.
• The first night in Iowa Dude kept me up all night. He was sick. He was scared. It was awful.
• Thankfully both cherubs are sleeping much better now. Sleep is quite crucial to me. Without it I'm a lousy therapeutic parent!!!
• Both little cherubs are still fighting a NASTY cold. But they've settled in. They're having fun at Granny and Papa's! They do need a lot of reassurance though. They check a LOT to make sure we are going back to Texas.
• It's harder than HELL for me to continually reassure these cherubs that we are going back to OUR home in Texas. Of course I do! We talk about this just being a "visit" a lot. But in the back of my mind I get a little sick to my stomach because I know what happens 6 days after we get back. They will most likely be leaving my home right after court. (I'm still praying for a miracle but I'm certainly not counting on it.)
• Christmas day was fun. Santa came. The cherubs also opened their presents from us. It was simple and the cherubs enjoy their new toys. We still have two more celebrations to go to. Today we are headed an hour and a half north to Mr. Amazing's parents' house. Then on Saturday we will do "Christmas" with my side of the family back at Granny and Papa's. (There will be 13 grandkids here - think it will be a bit chaotic?!) Sunday is a big family potluck at my parents' church after services are over. (The count is up to 40 family members – some of whom I haven't seen in a long, long time.) It's also Dude's birthday so he'll be appropriately spoiled.
• TT's anxiety is off the charts this morning. He hasn't been to Mr. Amazing's parents' house in well over a year. He's nervous. Thankfully I saw to the root of the problem right away.
• There have been more tears out of Dude and Dolly than I have seen in a long, long time! The little ones are having all five senses completely attacked. I'm trying to be as sympathetic as I can. There have been TONS of phantom pains. Most redirection of Dolly (even the most calm) results in tears. They have been manipulative and, when stressed, they spend a lot of time trying to get Bart in trouble so they can watch the "fireworks". But really – can you blame them?
• How many time were Dude and Dolly taken to a relative's house and just left before coming to us?
• Are they comparing visits to Grandma N's in Dallas to this visit?
• They both got nasty, nasty colds. Being sick is no fun. Being sick while traveling is even worse!
• They have never been this cold before in their little lives. They've never seen snow. Even just a simple drive to go out to eat is a reminder they are somewhere foreign to them. The landscape is completely different than anything they've ever seen before!
• The house looks different. The toys are different. The smells are different.
Amazingly enough though, the more they realize it's not too different from home, the more comfortable they get. Granny and Papa have TONS of toys and there's plenty of room to play. They really are having fun overall.
I'm trying really, really hard to not think about the next couple weeks. We've got to finish our trip up in Iowa. Then school starts back up for my three oldest. Court is January 7th. Most likely the little cherubs will end their time in our family. Abandonment issues will abound. Then Mr. Amazing is going to leave for a work detail up in Wisconsin. Y'all can look forward to several "Mr. Wonky" posts I'm sure. TT will feel like his world is collapsing around him.
In the meantime though I'm going to live in the present and try to enjoy it all. Posts will be sporadic at best I'm sure. I'll let y'all know what happens at court though. Either way it'll be through tears.