This is a blog post I started months ago. Life is crazy and a little hectic (and I’m a huge procrastinator) and I’ve never gotten around to finishing/posting it. The boys are at WOPWOP now so I have about an hour to get this blog caught up!
Well, there have been big changes here since mid Feb. Tj got a call Jan 30th from Atlas Air offering him a job, and telling him to go into work that day and give his 2 weeks’ notice! Two weeks later he was packed for 2 months and drove to Miami (a 19 hour car trip) for training. I was very optimistic and even cocky about him being gone for two months…he’s had 3 6-month deployments that we fared well with, 2 months was gonna be a breeze!
The week he left the water heater sprung a leak and filled the pan so much that it put out the pilot! I spent several hours on the phone with my dad troubleshooting till he said I needed a man to come fix it. I knew what the problem was, but needed someone stronger than me who could tighten the bolt up top. Tj put the call out and JT came and fixed it in just a few minutes. Woot! Then the next week we had a huge freeze and my heater stopped working! Another long phone call to my dad and much going in and out ended without success. Tj put out another call and JP and Jenn came by to see what could be done. Many hours later he figured out that snow had covered the vent and wasn’t allowing enough oxygen to let the furnace burn well enough to heat the air. I’d already packed to spend the night at their house, so they drove the boys and me there for the rest of the afternoon. JP took all the kids except Jack sledding, Jack played out in the back yard, Jenn made brussels sprouts for me to try, all in all that day ended better than it started.
Despite that rough start it wasn’t too bad having Tj gone. We had school to occupy us, and lots of snow to play in. One day the boys and I played outside with the neighbor kids and built a snow fort. Max spent 6 straight hours outside that day, only coming in for about 15 minutes once for some cupcakes and hot chocolate. I never thought about it but he got severely sunburned that day!
Things were rocking along, and then they weren’t. Tj was supposed to start driving home April 22nd, but about 2 weeks before that I hit a real low. It started with Max’s trouble with math and Jack in the backyard. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth it seems like I need to sit with Max while he does his math, or at least go over it all with him before grading it. He just keeps getting so many wrong, but practically none because of not knowing how to work the problem…it’s all simple/foolish mistakes. He spends long minutes staring off into space and then working quickly and haphazardly to finish his math. So while I’m sitting with him I’m not doing what I want/need to be doing. I try to remind myself that this is this time. This time will pass. This is my job, to train him and Jack, and there will be many years without him, but for now he needs to take the priority. Some days I remember this better than others. Annnyyywayyyy… while I was helping Max Jack was in the back yard playing. At a stopping point I turned to check on Jack and saw his very shiny white hiney with a large brown streak from his butt to his knees!!!!!! Ugh!! He’d pooped in his pants and then taken all his clothes off and was trying to push the big yoga ball over the neighbor’s fence. Ugh again. I was totally frustrated! I got a big towel and wrapped him up and carried him to the shower.
After that I just couldn’t get my good attitude back. I tried really hard but the next few days were just miserable! I finally quit homeschooling Jack and just focused on Max, but even that wasn’t relief enough. I was just trying to hang on till Tj came home.
March 22 my two gf’s and their families and the boys and I went out to eat lunch after church. Before the meal was fully underway they said they had something for me and handed me an envelope and then everyone sat there watching me expectantly. It took me a few minutes to understand, but they’d bought me a ticket to go see Tj! What utterly awesome friends!They’d worked it out with Tj (and he worked it out with my folks) that I’d drive the boys to my parents’ house and then fly alone from there to Miami. At that point Tj had 3 days of training left, and then we’d drive back to Atlanta. What a wonderful time of rest I had! I hardly left the room all day while Tj was at work. That’s my kind of vacation.
That’s all I had typed so I’ll try to fill in the rest now. I really can’t express how grateful I was for that ticket. That time was one of the lowest I’ve been in my life, and to see the care my friends had for me…I’m so blessed to have such friends.
I don’t remember the exact dates (and if I wait to clarify with Tj I’ll never post this!) but we drove back to Mom’s and stayed a couple of days there. On the way home we stopped halfway at a nice hotel in Al for a couple of nights. We expected to be home for another several days before they called Tj to work, but he got a call while in Al I think and accepted a trip for two days after we got back home. It was so rushed, but we were excited for him to have his first flight, and to really get into this job. We were also excited for him to finish his training and get off of training pay!
His training flights didn’t go quite as expected. There was a moment there that I think he feared for his job! The dude he was flying with seemed to have it out for the company, and in trying to stick it to them he stuck it to Tj. In the end it turned out not to be a big deal, but Tj had to go back to the sim in Miami for additional landings and our training pay lasted a month longer than we expected. He’s off of training now and we never had to use our reserves, which was another great blessing from God. He loves this job, and he flies everywhere! I love that he loves what he does, and him being gone for 2-4 weeks at a time is ok. But I think the greater toll on me is the constant change of back and forth…him gone then home then gone again. It’s taking me longer to adjust to that than I ever expected, but I think this is just what comes with a new job and totally new lifestyle. We’ll get the hang of it.
Some highlights since the last time I blogged:
Mother’s day. Max fixed breakfast for himself and Jack as he usually does now when Tj’s gone. I came out of the bathroom after a while to check on them and Jack’s breakfast was just sitting on the stove…Max was just about finished eating. I asked about what was going on and Max said, “Oh, I wondered why I was eating so fast!” I have no words.
14 May Jack’s prayer for lunch: “mumble mumble mumble down black slide. Not full sentence. I want down black slide please, Mama. Good full sentence. I want down black slide please, Mama. Good full sentence. Good boy! Good boy! AAAAAAAmen!”
Friday May 15 Tj just txtd me: I did notice the Burger Beast Burger Brawl is tonight at the casino within walking distance. Is that why God brought me back to Miami?
There was a curriculum sale at church and I made $74 selling books!!
Talking to Max about camp after he came home (his biggest gripe last year was that he never got enough sleep): Me “Bet you fall asleep quickly.” Him “Well, there are a bunch of hopped up kids.” Heh, isn’t he too young to be referring to other kids as ‘hopped up’?
Max and I were talking about the ball pit that used to be at the skating rink. He told me he found a Twix in it one time. I cringingly asked him if he ate it but he said Tj “con fist i cated” it.
Jack talks in his sleep a bit. One day I went to wake him up and he said ‘David’s’ twice as he was tossing and turning. David’s is a restaurant with the best hamburgers and fries!
23 July I heard Jack from the bathroom saying “Beard is on. Beard is on.” At first I thought he was saying ‘bear is on’ which made as much sense as ‘beard is on’, actually. When I went to check on him he was rubbing his neck where he had a scratch…he thought he had a beard.
2 Aug Jack and I were laying in bed looking a pictures on my phone…our nap-time ritual. I had a web-page open to “Worst actual names of schools”. I wasn’t lingering on any picture too long, and one of them was ‘Krap’ written on the side of a school bus. Jack sounded it out perfectly! I laughed but just praised him for his great reading skills. That same nap there was an incident with us locating his car, but I don’t want to post all of that.
Yesterday the electricity went out. Later when Jack flipped the light switch and it didn’t turn on he said, “Light switch doesn’t work”!!! What a great full sentence!