Friday, June 27, 2008

8 Shots and a Pap Smear Later...

...and I am exhausted!!!

One of the benefits of Guapo's having an overseas position is that he gets 30 days of vacation. When we were deciding if this was the course we wanted to take, 30 days sounded like a loooong time. We pictured 30 days on some Caribbean beach, relaxing under a palm tree, drinking a limonada, while the kids splashed in the waves and made sand castles.

Not quite.

Most of the years we have come home to the States for the entire 30 days, because we want to but also because we feel guilty for living so far from our families.

Ok, so that's ok, 30 relaxing days in the States, right?

Welllll, not really, because Guapo and I both have families that we want to spend time with and they don't live on the same street. Or town, or state, or even same country at times. There were those 3 years Guapo's parents were living in Gautemala, so throw in a couple of side-trips to Gaut. We have tried hard to divide the 30 days as fairly as possible between the two families. This could mean visiting anywhere from 2 to 4 states and 1 to 2 countries during any one trip. As we have added kids along the way, the trips within the 30 day relaxing vacation have become harder and harder.

Then there's the shopping.

It is my job to buy for our family all the things that we will need throughout the next year. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping as much as the next guy, but day in and day out it gets to be a little bit much. It's a frantic kind of shopping, not the fun, relaxed shopping you may be imagining. Picture running through Target clearing the shelves into your cart, then taking all of the crap home, removing any and all packaging so as to take up less room in your suitcase, then packing and re-packing 12 large suitcases or duffle bags in just the right configuration so as not to go over the 70 pound allotment.

Several days into the shopping frenzy, I start to forget what I have bought and what I still need. Near the end of the trip, I'll wake up nightly in a sweat, suddenly remembering I have somehow forgotten to buy something that I simply cannot live without, thus necessitating yet another trip to Target. I have, on several occasions, gotten a rash that was due to spending so much money in so little time. By the end, I halfway expect my credit card to burst in to flames as I swipe it through the little machine.

I know, there are much worse problems in life to have, but it does cut into the tranquility said "vacation".

Then there's taking care of our house in the mountains that we foolishly rented to college boys last year. I cringe when I think about what poor Moses the Moose witnessed over the last 9 months. Or maybe he was the instigator, I'm not sure. When we found him he was wearing mardi gras beads and a pair of tightie whitites (ewwwww.)

It started with 3 guys and were pretty sure there were a lot more than that living there.

It appears that someone was even living in the garage. As you can see from the photo above, they had moved out a bed, bedding, a sofa, and several lamps to the garage. It was 39 degrees two nights ago when I was up there, I don't know how anyone slept out there, but apparently they did.

They left us with what Betsy, the nice professional cleaning lady who charged us almost $700.00 (out of their security deposit, of course), called "quite possibly the filthiest house I have ever stepped foot into". In addition to the filth and muck of who knows how many people living there for 9 months, they also left us some lovely reading material and some really choice posters.


I digress.

Next there are the appointments.

Even though we have found good doctors in most of the places we have lived, I like to maintain a relationship with a doctor and dentist in the States.

6 people X ~2 appointments = 12 visits

Again, eroding the serenity of the trip.

And to make a short story long, that was how I spent my day today, the kids and I all had appointments with the doctor. Poor Juan Carlos (5 yrs) had to get 4 shots, Pedro (15 months) had to get 3, and Julio (7 yrs) had to get one. It used to not bother me so much, I knew it was for their own good. I was a lot tougher as a younger mom. Today I cried. :(

And on top of all the shots, I had to get the dreaded woman check-up. You'd think after 4 kids I wouldn't loathe it so, but I do.

The very good news is that no one needs another vaccination until Pedro goes to kindergarten!!! And since he's still nursing (sorry if that grosses you out, but wouldn't you want to be able to nurse on a 12 hour flight???), that doesn't seem even in the realm of possibility.

Well, I better get to bed. I've got to hit the stores first thing in the morning to buy some new furniture for our house. :)

(Sorry to vent. We are having a blast, and I know what a blessed life I lead, I just sometimes long for the serenity of that Caribbean beach!)


utmommy said...

I totally hate the going to the gyno too. Never ever a fun thing.

I hope you'll be able to enjoy some of your vacation!

Ballerina Girl said...

my OBGYN is on B's birthday!!! AGH! That is the one thing I hate about US doctors...they are always too busy so you HAVE to go when they say or you don't get an appt.!
I know what you mean about the shopping...
don't get me wrong, I am still in the up phase of loving all the sales and finding new things, BUT, I learn to hate the malls! Sorry to disappoint, but it is true!
Anyways....I'll let you know when I get there though :)
Love and miss u!

Code Yellow Mom said...

This is just the kind of post I need to keep my head on straight. I've been all thrilled that we get a paid R&R to ROME at least once while we are away, but I'm not sure I can resist the guilt-trips to see parents (who would never in a million years make the trip to see us - after all, it's our fault we live so far away :))...

Although, I have to say that whirlwind trips to Target might be fun. The first time.

(We leave in September - only one set of shots left for us.)

Janice said...

Going on vacation for me is always a mixed bag because it usually takes about 2 week preparation for every week I am gone. Then at least a month recovery time when we get home. I can't imagine living out of the country and adding all the extra things that go with that.

Kristine said...

This makes me tired just thinking about it. Especially all of the doctor visits. I just made the appts. for everyone's yearly physicals...and when they are all within 30 days (or less), it is a bit overwhelming.
I had to chuckle with the visual picture of the credit card bursting into flames. Too true...I'm sure.

Awesome Mom said...

I hope you manage to have a little bit of fun. I am not a fan of GYN appointments either, I am not sure that any woman is.

My Full Hands said...

This makes me glad I can at least spread my famlies appointments out over 12 months! Perhaps while you are shopping you can pick up a good novel or two to read in the waiting rooms!

jd said...

I am exhausted just reading this. Hope you can find some RandR somewhere in all that.

Ballerina Girl said...

go to my blog...I have something awaiting you there!
Love, BG

Special K ~Toni said...

Sounds like you are way too bust to relax, but I hope you find the time!

k-squared's mom said...

I hear you on the doctor visits and the hectic family visits during vacations. After the summer, you can go back to that fancy place you went to during your anniversary, to recharge!

Well I will try to do all my shopping and my kids' doctor and dental visits in 1 week in Houston next month. I shudder at the thought!

Marina said...

I don't think I will ever get use to going to the OBYN :(
It must be hard trying to vist everyone at one time and yes shopping does get old after awhile
you poor thing you must be so tried with all the shopping and doctors vist I too would want a beach vaction!! just laying on the sandy beach with something cool to drink I just love it!! marina

Kari said...

Sorry about your filthy house in the mountains...makes me glad I am so sheltered from their lifestyle. Probably you are better off NOT being a fly-on-the-wall these past months.

Maine Mom said...

Venting is good. Poor Moses the Moose! Who knows what he witnessed the last 9 months.
Shots and a pap smear are definitely not fun things to do on a vacation...glad they're over now. Mass shopping would get tiring after awhile and I'm sure trying to fit everything in the suitcases is stressful.
I think you need a nap and a fun day now!

Calandria said...

Wow! And I thought I had a lot going on!

I haven't been able to check blogs lately. It's nice to see what you're up too. Good luck with the rest of your power shopping! The packing part sounds... I can't think of a word foul enough to describe it. :-)