Monday, December 9, 2013

I did it!  I survived finals week!  [cue "Eye of the Tiger" here]

I have officially completed my first semester of grad school, and I can hardly believe it.  I'm 1/6th a Master!  Ha.  And I'm genuinely looking forward to my brain shriveling back to its normal size over the next three weeks.  Siiiiiigh.

Last week was RIDICULOUS.  It was one of those weeks where I was literally expecting to turn on the news and hear that there were asteroids headed towards Earth because that was just about the only thing left to go wrong in my little world.

While juggling the usually bowling balls of raising two kids (ages 4 and 2), working seasonal nights at the mall, and completing my Finals (one massive project, two papers, another semi-massive project, a video assignment, and a weekly online discussion board assignment), I barely had time to sleep, let alone cook or clean or make sure I had applied deodorant that day.

I expected a few things to go wrong during the week.  I mean, even on a good week I will forget to put the milk back in the fridge or let my daughter wear pajama pants all day or totally not remember that I left the clothes in the dryer (a week ago).  But, this was no typical week.

saddest thumbs-up ever
First, the weather was NUTS.  It had just been 75 degrees a week ago and so we went to the zoo for the day.  The next day, it dropped 30 degrees and the clouds shielded us from any sunlight.  I had spent hours (here and there) getting our 2013 Christmas card together over the last few weeks, and JUST finished writing out the last address.  Eager to get them out before they got destroyed or lost inside my home, I set them out by the mailbox as usual (under our overhang which is reasonably protective) and took my girls to Target to run an errand.

At Target, I nearly lost Daphne TWICE.  She would wriggle out of her cart-straps, and BOLT.  The girl was like Seabiscuit, rounding corners and shrieking down aisles at the top of her lungs.  By the time we left, it had started pouring cats and dogs, and we raced out to the car without an umbrella.  We were soaked!  I was exhausted by the time I got home, and my heart SANK when I came home to this:

wet and wrinkly Christmas cards

It had POURED in the timeframe we were gone, and my Christmas cards were drenched.  I had to spend the next hour hand-blow-drying each one so that it was salvageable.  Thank goodness, they were.  Whew.

Then, Saturday was the real kicker.  I finally had a calm morning with no where to go.  My husband was hanging out with my brother, so it was just me and the girls, curled up to watch "Curious George Christmas".  My youngest was extra snuggly, so I thought "Ah, she is calm - perfect time to trim her nails."  Simple enough, right?

I'll cut to the chase (no pun intended).  New clippers and flailing baby hands don't mix.  I knew when she screamed it was not just a knick.  Half-a-roll of paper towels later, I could still not get her thumb to stop bleeding, so I announced to my four-year-old "This is an EMERGENCY!  Go get dressed!  We have to take her to the doctor!"

Matilda has never impressed me more.  She jumped up and ran upstairs, explaining to our cat the whole time how "This is an emergency.  Don't worry!  Daphne will be okay, but I need pants!  I have to go so she can see the doctor, okay?"  Quick as a flash, she was downstairs and helping me get out the door.  I was still in yoga pants and slippers, but who cares?!  I wrapped Daphne's hand in paper towels and secured an glove over the top of it.  By the time we got to the ER, the blood had soaked through the glove.  It was just about the worst feeling of my life.

The nurses were quick and very helpful.  The bleeding stopped not long after we arrived and the wound revealed itself to only be superficial - no stitches or glue necessary.  Hallelujah!  It was bad enough I maimed my own child, I couldn't bear the thought of her getting minor surgery because of it.  Good heavens.

They cleaned and dressed the wound, making it as baby-proof as possible so she couldn't pull it off.  Matilda danced and sang and entertained us all so that we could have a happy distraction while we waited.  God bless her sweet and spunky spirit.  I'm so grateful for her care and encouragement, and it was a wonderful reminder that her craziness can be used for good and not only for being a naughty, frustrating, four-year-old.

Last night, I peacefully wrote the last paragraph of my last final of my first semester of grad school.  And that was that.  I survived the week.  Rain, shine, blood, sweat, and tears.  Maybe this last week was really just a beautiful, messy, symbolic representation of what the entire Fall has been.

It was quite the grand finale.

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