I am not sure how I would’ve gotten through this week without Dave. Dave who is finally home again, by my side, holding up the fort.

Remember the blanket forts we used to make in the living room? Blankets  & quilts strewn across furniture, held up by chairs, couches even cushions? Breath too hard and you risked the entire roof tumbling down.  Not that that was a bad thing. It was kind of fun & gave you a chance to rebuild the whole fort!

Our fort now is no longer made of blankets. Our fort is a precariously stacked reality of house, bills, kids, cars and a thousand other bricks we are juggling. Luckily we are amazing jugglers. Dave is an amazing juggler. Even better? We are almost done juggling.

This week we’ve been “re-immigrating” to America. With Dave back, and at work, and again holding a Visa, he has been transitioning all our paperwork back to the USA. So far we have: our drivers licenses back, we all have our visa’s back, we have medical back (optometry appointments scheduled!), we have base access back (commissary & px priviledges!) and JAG access back (mission-critical paperwork notarized!). We have appointments scheduled to register the cars (and get those fuel ration cards back). We have appointments schedule to renew the kids passports. We have appointments scheduled to register Tess for school (our #1 reason for staying in Germany).  And we did all this while juggling overdue tax bills, and in-home tax collectors, in Germany and two very sick kids.

I hate vague-booking and vague-blogging, so a quick aside, Tess had some minor surgery on Wednesday that turned out to be a little less minor than I prepared for. She had her baby canines pulled, at 16 they were still completely rooted and not wriggly at all. Her adult canines were above, behind and horizontal in the roof of her mouth. These were exposed (read sliced open), brackets glued on, chains added and attached to her braces. I wasn’t prepared to be in the room, I wasn’t prepared for all the blood, and I really wasn’t prepared for her pain or the stitches in her mouth after. Luckily Tess is a trooper and she’s been a rock star this week! On Thursday Cole called from work at lunch time in a slight panic:

“Mom, I can’t feel my left arm, tongue or recognize faces.” I had a co-worker take him to the ER, the wrong one it turns out (each hospital here has a speciality, he went to women & childrens one, he needed the neuro & vascular one).

We picked him up there, drove him to the right one, and sat in the waiting room. First with Cole, then without Cole. Luckily he wasn’t having a stroke, though I’m pretty sure I’ve convinced him to never drink an energy drink again, but he did/does have a very horrible migraine with aura.  While I hate that he’s in so much pain, I’m very relieved it’s only a migraine. And while I hate having two sick kids, I do love taking care and babying both. There’s a reason I have six kids. I really do love mothering them all.

Since my kids were little, we’ve had a secret family signal… if it hurts put your toes together. This lets your parent know that it hurts, and if it goes on too long we will speak up and tell the Dentist. It also focuses the childs concentration on keeping toes together, and away from the pain or discomfort. At 16, Tess still uses the signal to talk to me during dental procedures.

In the “old” photo she’s getting the numbing shots. She hates numbing shots. We all hate numbing shots. In the “new” photo the dentist is cutting into her gums. He recommended that she keep her thumb up as long as all the pushing & pulling was bearable & pain free. Her thumb stayed up the entire surgery.