How many more sleeps?

This post was originally posted in March of 2014 and reposted today because I miss my travel partners.

plane

“How many more sleeps till Nana’s house?” The question asked hundreds of times in past 7 years.

Anna would always be so excited about our pending trips back to Ohio. She loved visiting Nana and Papa, so much that as a toddler she would announce to the entire plane “We’re in Ohio”, upon landing in Cleveland.

During these many trips across the county we developed some really fun games, learned how to not kick the seat in front of us and found that novel toys and new Wonder Pet videos were the key to a day of traveling. We also had many discussions about what the “little bag” was for. Anna, in her 7 years, never once got sick. For her the barf bag was more of a means to make an awesome hand puppet to entertain her Mama.

In 2011 Abigail, Anna and I made a trip to Ohio for spring break. I knew that it was going to be one of many trips back East that the three of us would take during this time. I promised the girls that we would try to get back every year during the Spring to see family and to go on a little adventure together. They loved that idea. In the Fall we were already planning our March visit to Nana and Papa’s new house.

During that very first trip I knew that Abigail was a little nervous. She had never really flown without her dad before and although she was really comfortable with Anna and I, I knew that she was probably going to get a little home sick. I felt so blessed to have her with us and to introduce her as my daughter. Anna was excited to show her Nana’s house and to introduce her to Isabella.

On the first leg of our trip all was going according to plan until Abigail looked at me, a little green, and said she wasn’t feeling well. I knew this was going to turn from a joyous plan ride to a smelly, yucky, barforama real quick. I can deal with a lot of stuff but one thing I can’t deal with is someone throwing up, not even my own kid. So here I am, in a very confined space about to experience something I knew was going to make me gag. I was hoping she was just imagining that she was sick, you know when kids just feel a little woozy and nothing really happens. This was definitely not the case as she was starting to convulse a bit. I looked at Anna, eyes wide and said, “quick Anna, give me the barf bag.” Anna promptly reached into the pocket in front of her and grabbed the hand puppet, I mean barf bag.

I put it up to Abigail’s face and, as she held it, I rubbed her back saying a little prayer, “please God, don’t let me barf.” Abigail did get sick but I never saw it, everything went into the bag. When she was all done she looked at me and said, “I feel much better.”

Sometimes that’s all it takes.

I was so proud of her that I stuck out my hand and gave her a high-five along with telling her she was a rock star. We all laughed and continued to give the high fives every time we retold the heroic story of how we, all three of us, worked as a team to make sure the barf went in the bag.

I’m smiling as I type, thinking that my girls are giving each other a high-five as I retell the story.

Our first trip back East as a threesome was amazing. My family loved Abigail as their own and the cousins bonded as if they knew each other since day one.  My heart was full each night as Abigail would give my dad a big hug and say, “good night Papa.” I know his heart was full of love too.

We did have some issues with delays on the way back home but ended up in a fancy hotel in Chicago. Every trip since then my girls would pray that we would have delays so we could jump on the beds in Chicago again. Such great memories of our adventures together.

spring 18 spring 6spring 32 spring 13 spring 21spring 30

This week my heart has been heavy. I’ve been struggling to pinpoint the cause, worried that maybe it was due to bringing Linus into our lives to soon. I’ve talked with friends about their spring break plans, I’ve watched the weather change as the sun beams through our windows and sensed the spring fairies presence as I watch the tulips and daffodils starting to take form in the front yard.

This morning the reason for my heavy heart dawned on me.

This week, Anna would be asking over and over, “how many more sleeps Mama till we go to Ohio?” I would be replying in single digits. We would be dusting off the suitcases and I know that both girls would have a pile of their favorite clothes sitting neatly on the floor waiting to be packed. They would ask if I was secretively putting together a goody bag for the plane and secretively I would be.  They would want to sleep in the same room, something they loved to do when something exciting was approaching.

We would all be so excited!

My heart is heavy because I want to hear Anna ask, “how many more sleeps Mama?”

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Photo taken by Anna on a trip to Ohio.

As for bringing Linus into our lives too soon. He is our healer sent from God and I truly know this to be the case. As my heart is heavy, he fills it with Joy. I’ve watch all week how this little guy has brought happiness to those he comes in contact with. Our community, our close friends and especially Anna and Abigail’s friends needed Linus. We needed Linus. He brings a smile to everyone that comes in contact with him and that brings a smile to my face.

I just wish my girls could snuggle with him, he’s a good snuggler and so are my girls.

Being Resourceful

poor linusOn Monday Linus “got fixed.”

I made Tom take him to the vet because I was a little sad about it all and I didn’t want Linus to think it was my idea.

I remember back on the time when Sampson had surgeries where he wasn’t supposed to be active, I was dreading trying to do the same with Linus. Linus loves his walks, loves chasing the ball and loves playing with his good friend Stella. A week of trying to keep Linus calm and inactive may just put me over the edge with this big guy ~ so I thought.

We knew one thing for sure going in, “the cone of shame” was going to be around his neck for a week and if nothing else we would find humor in the situation.

Linus, our healer, has been a trooper this week. He’s been calm and seems to be ok with the fact that he needs some time to heal. “The cone” doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He actually sits really nice when I put it on him, almost suggesting that he likes wearing it. Yesterday I found him lying on the porch with a tennis ball in his mouth, I watched as he tossed it gently into the air catching it in the cone and then tilting his head around get it back in his mouth…this happened a handful of times and I have to say I was truly impressed by his antics. smart

This morning he desperately wanted to go out back, he loves chasing the cat and exploring the back yard each morning to see if there is anything new and exciting to eat. This time I found him lying on the back porch with a cone full of dirt. I’m not sure what he was saving it for but I give him credit for being resourceful.

This big yellow dog of mine sure does bring a smile to my face. Cone or no cone I’m glad we are his people and he is our healer.

healer with a stick

 

Agility Training

linus on table

This week I realized that Linus has no problem getting on top of tables. He is obsessed with cat food and will do anything to get his mouth on some…including leaping onto the table in one swift jump. I think I need to get him into agility training ASAP.

He’s so lucky he is so handsome.

beautiful Linus

New Toy

I heard him wrestling something in the other room.

Curious, I quietly snuck in to see what he was doing.

This is what I found and I thought it was so appropriate that, of all the pillows he decided to chew on, it was this one.

story

I smiled and then took his new toy away.

Next time I’m sure he’ll be quieter.

linus cute