I have a friend, who, when I sometimes mention what is happening in our life will say, "I hope you're writing this down." In an effort to follow her advice, and tie a memory to the rather random pictures below, I give you the text of an email Joe wrote to a few friends Easter weekend (April 8) recapping our family adventures from February 25 to the time of his writing said email. Additional commentary in italics provided by Trisha.
We left Maryland on February 25 in our minivan, loaded to the gills, complete with a fire safe full of birth certificates that we had somehow overlooked when loading the moving truck, and almost left in a closet. We drove west for two and a half days and arrived in North Dakota on February 27.
-On February 28, Joe had a job interview in Fargo, Trisha had her first visit with the midwife here, and Liyah went to the doctor for pinkeye, and Trisha broke a bracket of her braces eating a chocolate covered peanut. That night there was a snowstorm.
-We wanted to have the baby on February 29, but she refused to come out, despite miles of walking at the gym and lots of wishful thinking.
-On March 2, Tikvah ("Hope") was born. From the maternity ward room on the top floor of the hospital, we could see for miles out over the flat city and count 13 separate water towers.
-On March 3, we saw our niece in the hospital because she had an emergency room visit for stitches on her forehead. We did not see our children in the hospital because Joey had pinkeye and we did not want to expose everyone in the hospital to it.
-Tikvah came home on March 4.
-On March 9, we found lice in Xandra's hair, as her Aunt Beth was preparing to cut it, and spent about 12 hours bathing all the kids (except the baby), combing through their hair while watching episode after episode of Dora, and laundering everything in sight. Xandra went to bed at midnight, and Trisha had 3 hours of sleep that night. We did cut about six inches off of Xandra's hair and eight inches off of Trisha's hair to make the lice treatment easier and more effective.
-On March 10, Trisha and Tim went to the laundromat and did 22 loads of laundry. Total laundry load count from head lice: 40+ loads, we stopped tallying at load forty.
-On March 13, Theia got sick with a flu-like virus, and Trisha, Mary, and Xandra came down with it over the next few days. This lasted two or three days for each person, involved high fevers, no appetite, and put them in bed for the duration of the sickness. It started on Monday morning with Theia and Joey lounging on the floor. We thought it was really cute until we realized it was because she was sick.
-On March 19, Joe started work in Bismarck, about a three-hour drive from his parents' house where Trisha and the kids are staying. That same day, Trisha saw the doctor for mastitis and Theia saw the doctor for an ear infection.
-Since then, Joe has been working Monday through Friday in Bismarck, then coming home for the weekend before driving back to Bismarck on Sunday nights.
-We have also been looking for a house to buy, in market that is best described as absurd. There are a lot of buyers, and not enough sellers. In Bismarck, a good house will sell the same day that it lists for sale. Sometimes, you make an appointment to see a house and it is sold before you get there. Needless to say, prices are rising, too. Since the writing of the original email, we have found a home. If all goes according to plan, we'll close on said house on June 29th and resume living in the same city and home as Joe again.
At a later date, like maybe when some of these adventures seem somehow funny (isn't it strange how our brains do that?) and I'm no longer paranoid about seeing head lice in my kids hair or brush, I'll add further reflection. For now, the simple recording of the events is enough for me.