First - Can I tell you all that I love you? I do. When I do blog regularly and I see your comments and browse through the stats on how my blog has grown and touches people daily I'm so honored and humbled. And proud. Can you be humbled and proud at the same time? Hmmmm...
Second - If you're wondering what happened with baby baby's case, so am I. I haven't heard from the caseworker yet and it's now the day after. I'm trying to take that as good news. At the very least the judge didn't order immediate return of baby baby to his parents. I suppose he could have ruled immediate return for the siblings and not the baby, but I don't see that likely either. I also suppose he could have ruled that the siblings return to a family member immediately, but not baby baby and therefore I wouldn't have heard about that. He could have ruled all four stay in care. He could have postponed his ruling for all I know. What I do know is that baby baby did not leave yesterday as we'd tried to prepare our hearts for. Just in case. I will forever remember the personal, quiet moment Logan spent with the baby before he left to school when I told him to say goodbye, just in case. It was extremely sweet. He had a bad behavior day at school. Coincidence?
Third - We did get a call from a caseworker yesterday. The kids who were supposed to go home at their 14 day hearing, 6 weeks ago, are leaving tomorrow. We are happy to finally have a date for many reasons. I know this sounds harsh and generally they are good kids but given the case details and the fact that they were supposed to have been going home "any day" for 6 weeks - this is a bit of relief for everyone to move forward instead of held hostage by the system.
OK - back to Mie time.
A couple weeks ago I had to travel to Las Vegas for a week for work. It was a logistical nightmare. I had a 5 week old baby who had never spent the night with anyone other than mie (even my hubby) and who wasn't old enough to go to daycare. My two backup childcare providers were unavailable. The private nanny we'd been using was costing $100 per day AND wasn't available. My hubby generally works off-hours, which meant we would have needed overnight babysitters and a private nanny.
I would have rather stayed home than leave my family for a week (though I did look forward to sleeping through the night for once). Truth be told, I was a bit nervous about leaving my hubby with 5 kids 6 and under for 5 days straight - no breaks and no housekeeper to take care of all the things that magically get done around the house. And an infant, 24 hours a day, for 5 days. That would have been enough to overwhelm any man.
I was alone most of the first day and night. I found myself walking the strip alone, buying souvenirs for my kids, and feeling incredibly lonely. I had about 2 hours worth of freedom from being mommy and wife and then had no idea what to do with myself. I considered a visit to the spa. I ended up eating dinner alone in my room and sorting personalized M&Ms into 4 different containers for the kids while watching an Intervention marathon. I just wanted to go home.
Work activity picked up on Tuesday and so my loneliness was at least distracted. And then the fun started.
My mom was able to drive out to join mie Tuesday afternoon so we hit the town. We had a dinner out on the strip. We walked the strip. I stopped someone from pick-pocketing a man. I think I saw pure evil in that girl's eyes and am almost certain there was some spiritual warfare going on as we exchanged glances. We walked the strip some more and visited a few hotels. We chatted and had fun. After we arrived in the hotel room at about 8:30, I tried to quickly purchase tickets to see David Copperfield to surprise my mom. We ended up with front row seats and had a really fun time. It was definitely worth it. Then it was back to work Wednesday and said goodbye to mom.
I came back to my room to a beautiful bouquet of flowers sent by my hubby. The note said "can't wait until you're home", which was as romantic as it was a cry of desperation. I took a nap. A glorious nap.
After dinner I decided I was going to hit the casino floor. I'm not much of a gambler. I've been to Vegas plenty of times but have only gambled once. It was blackjack at a $2. I put down $20 and left with $40 but that was so extravagant of mie at the time. I just don't care for gambling. Nevertheless I didn't want to be alone and had heard some of the stories about what went on while I was out with my mom so I decided to walk around and see what everyone else (I worked with) was doing.
I ended up sitting at a blackjack table nervously dropping the $100 bill my mom gave mie to pay for her ticket to the show the night before. That is crazy for mie, Y'all. But I did it amidst my coworkers who easily had 3, 4, and 5 times that on the table. I ended up playing for 5 1/2 hours and pocketed about $500. Crazy huh?
You see growing up my parents didn't go out without us much but occasionally we'd go to Vegas or Laughlin as a family. Very rarely they would go alone. We once ended up in Laughlin for 4 days with no money. We will never forget that story. I digress... My mom would play slots and my dad would play blackjack. Back at home my dad would play blackjack on that first computer we got around 1992.
At some point he started teaching us how to play. He taught us the dealer rules and "what the book said" about all the different scenarios on the table. I thoroughly enjoyed the game. It was challenging and fun. Of course then we didn't gamble so I learned how to play really well without getting hooked on betting. It was just a fun game. And so it goes in Vegas - I figure playing blackjack at a table with friends having a ton of laughs and getting to know them better while playing a game I enjoy and am comfortable with seemed like a good way to enjoy some recreation. Apparently, it also worked out that because I'm not hooked on gambling AND I knew how to play (and, quite possibly because I don't drink), I ended up winning too.
So. Much. Fun.
By Thursday morning my reputation for winning and being fun to play with had spread.
So Thursday night I did it again. I had SO many laughs. I bonded with some coworkers. I had fun playing. I enjoyed socializing as an adult without having to worry which kid was doing that crazy thing kids do. And, I doubled my money again.
By the time I came home my superhero hubby was ready for a break. My hubby deserves superstar credit for being a great dad and hubby while I was away! I "let" him play video games that night with his friends. I immediately turned over my entire winnings. I didn't and still don't care about the money itself but it was a blessing to him and certainly was an extension of gratitude for what he did in giving mie that trip. I worked. I only had one night of the 4 where I got good rest. But, I had some time to just have fun without worrying about all of my responsibilities I have back at home. The break left mie strangely rested and energized for my real-life. I will forever be grateful for that time away.