**Disclaimer: Huge, self-pitying rant. Those who detest huge, self-pitying rants, please X out of this window and enjoy your day. Thank you, and come again for more cheery updates.
Spent weekend in Bethesda with Claire's dad and her grandparents. She had a summer cold, which thankfully was swift and she's nearly 100% already. She spent the night at her dad's, and I got a phone call on Saturday morning at 5:45 am from him...all I could hear when I picked up the receiver was my child screaming. That sure wakes you up fast, though I had already been awake...insomnia has invaded my house.
"Claire's nose is bleeding profusely and isn't stopping. Do you have any experience with this?" he asks. Yes, yes, I do. My own experience as a child, where my nose bled (as did my brother's) every other minute. Poor Mom. Claire's nose bleeds at the drop of a hat. A mere brush against any surface sends it in an uproar. But I knew this time it was her cold. Dry, irritated, and engorged blood vessels and nasal passages at their limit. So I advise him to try and keep her nose pinched and get it stopped. He tells me he'll call me later that day and hangs up. So what mother can now lay down and peacefully drift into sleep??? I call back 15 minutes later. It has stopped. I tell him right then and there I'm coming down later to get her. I don't like when she sleeps there. They don't have a crib...she sleeps in a pack-and-play, and it's not the same as her crib. She never sleeps well there.
So after doing my daily alotted typing, I set out for Bethesda. I have every intention of coming home that evening with Claire, but as the afternoon turns into early evening, I'm exhausted and don't feel like driving an hour back to Baltimore County. So with not so much as a toothbrush with me, I stay over. Sunday I'm in the same clothes, slept in contacts, feel like a dirty, smelly greaseball.
Finally, on Sunday evening I drive us home, impatient for a long, hot shower and for my girl to be in her comfortable crib with her aquarium and the soft hum of the humidifier in her cool, dark room. As I drove up our road, I am confused by how dark and quiet everything is, and there are entire trees collapsed in the middle of the road, all the way up to my apartment. The traffic lights at the end of my road intersecting with Reisterstown Road are out. I pull into my parking lot and notice there is not one light on in my complex. Sigh. The power is out. Oh, and there are no parking places. So I park down the street and haul my sleeping baby up to my building and then up a pitch black stairwell. I find my way into her room and put her in her crib.
Regardless of the power situation, I MUST have a shower. So I lit a candle and took it in the bathroom. It gave it a rather peaceful glow, which almost made up for the cold shower I was forced to take after the hot water quickly ran out (electric hot water heater. Everything is electric. Blah.). When I finished, I carried my candle from the bathroom to my bedroom, which is right next to the bathroom. That 12-second walk was enough for the smoke alarm to go off. In the darkness, I groped for something to fan the alarm. I found a few flimsy pieces of paper and fanned with all my might. It finally went off. Two seconds later, it went off again. More fanning. Then it went off again. Vigorous fanning. Then it went off again. Fanning and cussing. By the grace of God, Claire didn't wake up.
I feared Claire would wake up in the middle of the night and I wouldn't hear her from my room, so I went out to the couch to sleep. Except that I couldn't sleep. I can't sleep without some white noise, and the apartment was dead silent. I could hear every sigh Claire made and would sit straight up, fearing she was about to wake up. So I didn't sleep at all.
Next morning, still no power. I had to take a flashlight with me every time we used the bathroom. I feared for the full gallons of milk and fridge and freezer full of food. Claire and I sat in silence for a while...no watching Martha Speaks as we usually do. After our usual wrestling match, I get Claire in the car to go to daycare. The traffic lights are STILL out on Reisterstown Road (and this is a major intersection). I went to the end of another road with a stop sign. I was attempting a left onto a very busy four-lane road. I made my turn and..smack..the front side of my car by the right headlight got clipped by a work truck, who looked in his rearview mirror, shook his head, and kept on driving. I have Claire in the car so what to do? Shaken, I keep on my way to daycare.
Back home, still no power, and it's hot and humid...no A/C. And no computer...my project for my new job is typing a book. I have alloted a certain amount of pages per day to complete the project on time. There is nothing to be done...no power, no typing.
I run an errand to JcPenney to exchange some new work clothes my mom had bought me (she not realizing that I have gained 845 pounds since she's seen me last). On my way back, a warning light comes on in the car. I read the manual. If I continue to drive, I can seriously damage my car.
Back at home, and still no power. I have no food for Claire for dinner...can't cook, can't open fridge. So Claire had her first Happy Meal. Sorry, but I really don't like giving her that stuff. I at least replaced the fries with apples, but I hate giving her that processed chicken.
Finally, at 7:05 pm, over 24 hours later, the power came back on. I put Claire to bed, where she screamed herself to sleep. I shut myself in my bedroom and tried to de-stress.
Claire was up at 5:40 am this morning. She was overtired and threw tantrums for an hour. I wanted to calm her with our morning PBS shows, so off to the living room we went. The TV won't turn on. I check it with different outlets. Nothing. The power outage fried it. No TV. Daycare registration is due this week. Tuition is going up this fall. One of my patio chairs was lost in the storm...only one remains on my deck. Oh, and all of this is just over the course of two days.
Anything else? Come on now, let's just add to it. I mean, I was "awarded" a new job, so that is my one good thing for the millenium. One drop of good in a full bucket of struggle. I need a vacation that is nowhere to be seen.
I. am. tired.