Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Hardest Part (and the Blessing) of Leaving Town

Since the Bird came along, we don't travel quite as much as we used to.

It's not necessarily because the opportunity never presents itself.

Rather it's mostly because it requires so much preparation.

And when I make a list of all I need to do just to get away for a few days, I'm so tired from making the list that I just opt to stay home instead.

Sometimes I'm lazy like that.

But a few months ago, Ryan and I were invited to go to New York City with several pastors and their wives and it was a chance we just couldn't pass up.  So I spent this past weekend prepping the house for my in-laws to come hang with the Bird.

Because Lily is on a special diet, feeding her requires some planning.  No ordering pizza or grabbing burgers for this baby girl.  I try to make it as easy as possible by having plenty of what she can eat on hand, as well as writing menus for each day along with a list of available snacks. 

I write down her daily schedule and tips for making mornings and bedtimes run more smoothly.

I fill up her weekly medication tray with the pills she takes both mornings and nights, as well as directions for crushing and administering the meds.

I make sure I have a current medical release form giving my in-laws permission to seek medical treatment in the case of an emergency, along with copies of our insurance card.  I list the phone numbers of a few sweet friends who are happy to come relieve my in-laws if they feel like they need a break.

I triple sheet Lily's bed in case she has a middle of the night accident to make changing sheets easier.

I lay out her clothes.

And on it goes.

Here's a shot of my fridge, stocked and ready:

And here's a shot of my kitchen cabinets, with everything I carry around in my head in order to keep Bird in her routine:

And here's "the whole picture" - the notes, the stocked fridge, the stuff laid out for the first morning:

Looking at all of this just reinforces yet again that I can never die.  It is simply not an option.

But it also reminds me how lucky I am to have my family and friends who are willing to take on the challenge of staying with Lily so I don't become a hermit and never go anywhere again.  

It definitely takes a village to raise our Birdie.  And gracious, have I got a good one.

I am so blessed.


  1. I so completely get this! I have not been anywhere -- just me and the hubs -- since Little Miss came home. I have only slept apart from her 2 nights in nearly 5 years (the pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit only allowed one parent to stay overnight and the hubs insisted). I cannot physically muster the level of organization it would take to leave LM with my folks -- and I'm pretty darn organized!

    That said, I hope you two have a wonderful time!

  2. You are absolutely the most organized and wonderful mother (and wife) I think I have ever known! No one can possibly understand the lengths you go to each day just being a parent to a special needs child unless you have one or have been around one. It is not only challenging, its a lot of hard work. You (and Ryan too of course) go above and beyond anything to give the Bird the best life possible. It's no wonder that God chose you and Ryan for the Bird! That being said, I am glad you and Ryan get to go on this trip. Enjoy it! I know you both will come back refreshed and re-energized. You will need it when you go back for the Dr. appointment with the Bird. I can't help myself thinking how wonderful it would be if the Bird came back and began talking!

  3. 100% ditto to what Teresa said in describing you . . . and praying for God's abundant blessings and refreshment for you this week.

  4. Your strategies are well planned, you covered the course of the week for the bird with attention to every detail. These skills are learned from experience with trials and victories. Thank you for sharing your sense of preparation. I know that this amount of work to prepare to leave her in the care of others is exhausting. I pray that you and Ryan can relax, enjoy the time together and have fun in NYC!


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