Of course it was only a matter of time; I should have known it was going to happen. Brody spent 4 days being ridiculously sick last week (remember, another "unexplained illness"?) and now it has taken over my life.
Yesterday the kids were off school and preschool for MLK day and my dad kept the girls and took them sledding. They got home around 5 and Liv was the first to come in the door. Before she had taken her second step I knew it had hit her. She was white as a sheet and her little eyes were all sunken in. The unexplained illness had claimed its next victim.
I was surprised because Olivia is generally my strong one. Ava definitely gets sick more than her and Brody definitely gets sick more than both of the girls. I figured Ava would be the first to catch it, but no, it was Liv, burning up with 103 fever and immediately walking to the couch and curling up into the fetal position. She was down!
Not one to be left out, Ava came home from preschool today with a nice little fever of her own. Ooohhh, it doesn't get any better than this. So here's where it all stands. Me: still on crutches. Olivia: sick. Ava: sick. Grammy: in Florida. Boyfriend: having a root canal and coming home completely knocked out by it. And the cherry on the sundae... Brody is back to his normal little force of nature path of destruction baby on the warpath self.
My brain was in serious overdrive tonight trying to deal with all of this. Stress city, that's what I like to call it. All while hobbling around in my boot with my crutches I'm doling out medicine, rubbing backs, smoothing back hair, rubbing away tears, trying to get some sort of food and drinks into bellies, and simultaneously keeping Brody out of the trash can, pulling him down from the kitchen chairs, pulling him down from the bar stool chairs that he's recently figured out how to get on top of, resetting a gate that he figured out how to knock down twice, and the list goes on and on...
I know I have already expressed my disbelief at the machine that is a boy, but I swear, I sometimes wonder if he's got some sort of chromosomal abnormality that allows him to be so crazy strong. At "baby preschool" he is constantly knocking the kids over. Not to be mean, simply because he wants to play, and he plays way too hard. His teacher says she thinks it's more of a "personal space" thing with him... like he doesn't know when to stop encroaching. At home I've already described how he can scale, climb, or topple any obstacle in his way, and his older sisters are no match for his strength. Olivia can pick him up to remove him from something to help out from time to time, but one yank of her hair and it's over. The boy's grip never lets up. And even against his own mother... if he catches me standing on my one good foot without leaning on my crutches, he will giggle and push me from behind and literally the boy can knock me over. Is this normal? I don't think so.
Anyway... back to me. In the midst of the stream of wadded up tissues and temperature checks (Olivia says, "mom, can you see if the 'therstomental' says I'm any better yet?") and coddling kiddos and wrangling babies, I had to do something towards my own Best Life end, right?
Remember a week or so ago, I mentioned how I filled out the FAFSA to see if I could get approved for any grant money to go back to school? Yeah, well, turns out the answer to that is a big fat no. Apparently, even though when I was pursuing my bachelor's degree I didn't qualify for grant money because they figured in my parents' income, even though my parents weren't helping me pay for school in the first place... now, even though there is clearly no one's income to take into account than mine, and it's pretty obvious that I'm in near financial ruin, I don't qualify for grant money because... I already have my bachelor's degree. Funny how that works out, huh? How the heck do people get grant money? I guess the only way is to either emancipate yourself from your parents at 17 or marry someone at 18 and pledge to live in poverty together. Otherwise, you just plain don't qualify.
So it's time to look for other options. Most scholarships are for high school students, or at the very most undergrads, but I have heard that there are some scholarships and other funding out there for more non-traditional students like me. And every time I had two free hands today (which really wasn't often, but I take what I can get!) I started perusing the web for some that might apply to me. I found a few and filled out the applications. I found a couple more that also need essays accompanying them, so after my little blogging work is done for the evening I'm off to make like a student and write some essays. Wish me luck!