I haven’t posted on here in a while as I’ve been overwhelmed with life. Like overwhelmed by curling up in a ball on the floor in a deep messy tear fest. A month or so ago, in mid home renovation, I was aware that we are pretty blessed. Our health is relatively good, we are financially stable and we have home and clean running water. Yet, one thing after another has left me with little room to breath, constantly in a state of stress.
First was Nick, my five year old, getting a gigantic deck splinter in his foot. Worried that I would injure him by trying to remove it…an ER visit later and three stitches, the kid is healed. The hospital charged our insurance $3000 plus, but fortunately so far we’ve only had a $250 bill to pay.
Then, my husband broke a molar while eating a Krispy Kreme donut. Bam…$650 out of our pocket for the repair.
I’m suffering with horrible “mosquito” bites. I feel like I can’t spend anytime outside without being covered in bites. Everyday, I’m constantly itching. I discover that Benadryl makes me ridiculously sleepy, so I resort to super hot showers and scratching the crap out of them, gaining a few hours of relief.
House renovations are going slowly as I realize design mistakes and find that modifications need to be made, yet we have four kids rambling around needing things like food, attention, and some love when I’m running on empty.
Then baby girl starts getting weepy eyes after being out of town. I think it is a clogged tear duct. My mosquito bites have cleared while being out of town. Thankful for the relief, but I’m wondering if there is some kind of mite in my bed. I start sleeping in another bedroom, on a mattress on the floor.
A few days later, I’m pretty sure Helena doesn’t have clogged tear ducts as her eyes are caked in goo. Probably pink eye. My father repeatedly telling me that I need to take her to the doctor. I pick up some eye drops as breast milk drops in the eyes are not clearing the infection. I’m stressed that everyone is going to get it, and sure enough they do. Within a week, Nick’s eyes are filling with goo. Then Grant…then I have a sore throat. The days are getting closer to Liam going to overnight church camp. I pray nightly that he doesn’t get sick. He looks like he is going to miss this one.
I find two bed bugs. Two fucking bed bugs. I wasn’t reacting to mosquito bites. I am highly allergic to bed bug bites and I’m a mess. I found them in the baby bed rail that sits next to my bed. My mother comes to my rescue by purchasing tons of black garbage bags, spending the day with me bagging everything I can into plastic bags to either heat treat in the car or take to the laundry mat. $60-80 later in laundry mat fees and the gift of my mother buying bed encasements, my house has been torn apart and I’m in panic mode. I learn more about bed bugs in a three day time period than I ever imagined. Everything is being dried on high heat and then all clothing is placed into plastic bags. The day after the two bed bugs are found, a K-9 bed bug dog comes to our house. The dog only alerts to our bedroom. Pest service is called and we will be getting to pay $900-$1800 to rid our selves of these horrible non-disease spreading creatures. They are extremely hard to get rid of, I’m afraid to tell hardly anyone for fear that I will be looked at with dirty reproach. All preventative measures I can do to prevent them from leaving our master bedroom is done so that I we don’t spread them anywhere. I’m remaining bite free since finding them as they must only be feeding on my husband. Luckily he isn’t allergic to their bites.
The day before Liam is ready to go to camp, his ear starts to hurt. The next morning, camp day, his eye is read. Shit…shit…shit. Take him to urgent care as I’m going to have them look at my sore throat as well. It is going on almost three weeks and I’m tired of feeling tired and sick. However, our fabulous insurance hasn’t been paying up as they are supposed to to providers and Urgent Care states that we will have to each pay $119 upfront otherwise they can’t see us. I opt to not have my throat looked at. Liam is inspected, his ear is a little irritated, he may or may not have pink eye. Through tears, we tell Liam that he can’t go to camp that night. We will reassess in the morning. I give him one Benadryl and the next morning, his eye is clear. He goes to camp, dancing the whole way there. We make sure that all of his items are free from bed bug contamination by drying on hot for 30 plus minutes, then bag it all into ziplock and send him on his way. I pray that the camp doesn’t already have them there as the dog inspector stated that church camps, movie theaters, libraries, retirement homes, hotels and cabins are all on their list of places they inspect regularly.
All week while my oldest is at camp, I declutter my house in preparation for pest control to come treat our house. They will heat the place up to 130 degrees and hold it at that temp for at least 3 hours. I’m so worried that all of our flooring, IKEA cabinets and such won’t be ruined in the treatment. They will follow up the treatment with pesticides. We have to wait for the pest control place to come out as their heaters are booked for 1.5 weeks. I pray that the bed bugs don’t spread through the house.
Then, our home renovation plans come to a halt because I realize that my neglect in properly planning electrical diagrams may cause us problems. I spend two days reviewing NEC code, properly laying out all outlets, lighting structures, etc. I want to make sure the electrical inspector has no reason to fail us on inspection. I’m stressed that I’m going to mess this up. My husband continues to work on the house, prepping for the next steps and making sure to give me time to myself as I’m melting in stress.
I was hoping that we would be much further in our home renovation by this point. We start homeschooling in two weeks. I’ve been researching what we are going to do during this entire time. I know that I need to do more “us” schooling. I need a little more structure. The kids need more structure. I have to be more disciplined for them. They need routines, they need to know that I’m not going to lose my shit because of something else going on in life. They are kids, they need to just be kids.
Helena has become clingy baby and won’t let anyone put her down, but also doesn’t want to be held.
Chattanooga, our old hometown is hit with horrible act. I’m so sad for the loss of life. Those areas that were hit were places that we drove by or frequented a lot.
Then a dear church friend invites us to lunch, just at the right moment. So thankful for the timing of much-needed help.
Then the washing machine breaks (filled with only rinsed cloth diapers), and my husband just hopped on an airplane. He will be gone for a while. I was planning to do something fun with the kids today, but instead, I get some duct tape, fixed the kiddie pool and let them play outside while I try to do the washing machine repair. I know I can fix it. I’m about to leave to go get the part.
I will be okay. It is only money. I have to remember that my life is easy compared to most and we have made the choice to undergo this renovation. We could have left it all alone. We could have bought a house that needed no work, but may have cost $30K more if we had wanted to stay in this area. I’m still cursing the bed bugs and I’m mad that they ever entered our house. We can have no visitors until they are eradicated. I worry about visiting others. I just want to go do nothing, but doing nothing is not my style. I always have too much going and I think the lessons here are to just say no. Fewer obligations, fewer tasks. So, if I say no to you right now on something, I pray that you understand, I’m trying to protect what little bit of emotional stability I have right now.
And, if you notice grammatical errors, weird wording, know that I didn’t proof read this. Baby has a dirty diaper and I don’t care enough to edit.