It's been the crazy life around here lately.
No sooner had I pressed "Publish Post" about my helper never missing a day of work than the phone rang. It was my helper telling me she had broken her foot. Poor He Ayi, she felt terrible about it. I felt terrible for her! We were both feeling terrible for each other. She told me, "How will you handle it with four children? You need my help!" I wanted to say that this is what it's like for all of my American friends who are moms every day; they're on their own. I told her I wanted her to stay away as long as she needs to. Seriously, being ayi-less is good practice for me!
This has also been the season of visitors, which is a wonderful kind of craziness. I already mentioned that Aaron's brother and his wife came to visit us. And for Easter weekend I got my sister Michelle for a few days. She did all the Eastery stuff with us, and a little bit of shopping too. We poked around Ping Shan Dao for five hours while Aaron watched the three older kids. (Ahhh - the shoulder ache one gets from carrying a 20-pound 6-month-old for five hours!)
The other night, Gabe, our accident/sickness-prone child -- I think the last time I mentioned him was when he broke his nose on the stairs -- complained of a pain in his cheek. Actually, it was more than a complaint. It was Gabe screaming, "Ow-ow-ow-ooooww!"My diagnosis was that it was something in his sinuses. We administered Ibuprofin and called our online expert physician (Aaron's dad) on Skype. He thought it might be a swelling of his jaw muscle, but as it continued to be quite painful through today, he recommended that I take Gabe to the doctor. And here's the verdict:
The boy has mumps.
I didn't think kids got mumps nowadays. I thought that's why he got that shot when he was a baby, to stop him from getting mumps. But he has mumps. A mild case, but still mumps. It's only on one side now, but should move to the other side of his face soon. He has to stay home from school and away from his friends, and since its a virus we just have to treat the symptoms with pain killers.
This is on the tailend of what was supposed to be a restful spring break, but really was more crazy than normal because of all the above-mentioned happenings and also:
(1) Aaron had LASIK eye surgery on Thursday (which really was quite painless, but still required several more naps for him than usual).
(2) Olivia had ear problems: a ruptured eardrum and puss coming out of a pimple thing in her ear canal.
And yet, I have to come back to how thankful I am. I'm at home with my kids. Gabe can be home from school for two weeks and it doesn't alter the order of our universe. My ayi being gone doesn't throw us into chaos either. We're coping -- no, we're flourishing -- despite the dusty shelves, the bathtub ring that looks like something from The Cat in the Hat, the pile of laundry. My husband may have to walk around in very wrinkled clothes, but that should be the worst of our sufferings.
So, yeah, it's la vida loca around here, but I still wouldn't trade this life for anything.