Last week we went on the cruise that we’ve been planning for nearly a year now, which conveniently happened to coincide with a hurricane that Mother Nature had in her own fabulous little plans. Cue the Gilligan’s Island music and get ready for a Norwegian Escape review… and the story of how we eventually DID escape, with only our livers and feelings battered and bruised.
This post deserves some disclaimers before I dive in. (Pun intended.) My life is wonderful. My problems are small. I am blessed beyond my every dream. I am aware of all of this. However, there is an insanely disproportionate amount of annoying, inconvenient, and temporarily infuriating things that happen to me on nearly a daily basis. It happens enough that my family and closest friends affectionately refer to it as “getting Katied”. Flat tire from a fish hook within thirty minutes of arriving for vacation in the Keys, the one vomit-inducing bad claw from a batch of crab that 100 people eat, our wedding reception venue canceling one week before our wedding, standing in the one ant hill in a 20 acre field, stepping into the ocean and directly into a trail of man-o-war tentacles… all of these are examples of getting Katied, and all of them have really happened to me. That being said, I guess the way that our long-anticipated vacation went down shouldn’t really shock me.
Flash back to last Christmas, when we had an eight month old baby and lived in a grody rental house. We were still adjusting to being parents (does the adjustment ever end?), my mom had lived with us for four months at that point, and we were in the process of moving and buying a new house. We had lots going on and Lane and I were stressed to the max. Around Thanksgiving I went on a tirade about Christmas gifts and that I wanted to get each other “experiences”, not stuff. My heart exploded when I rounded the corner on Christmas morning and I saw a Bon Voyage centerpiece and tickets to a seven night cruise on the Norwegian Escape leaving out of Miami, and sailing to Saint Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau. Then I immediately looked at Lila and thought “I CAN’T LEAVE MY BABY FOR THAT LONG!” Lane must have seen the look on my face because he said, “you have nine months to prepare, we leave October 1st.”
Apparently that was not quite long enough, because the week before we set sail, I was still in denial about seven nights away from my baby girl. Work was insanely busy, and due to a brawl with Lila’s pediatrician, I found myself with 87 extra errands to run, in addition to all of the normal going-out-of-town-prep errands that must be done. We were leaving on Saturday. On Thursday at lunch, Lila’s daycare called to say she had a fever. After a four minute string of expletives, I went to get her and took her immediately to the doctor (the new one whom I do not hate). He said no ear infections, just a virus. Tylenol, Motrin, and keep her home from school on Friday. Okay great. That should be easy since I had four bajillion things to finish at work before being out for a full week. But I was happy she didn’t have ear infections yet again, considering that she’d had a total of four double ear infections over the last four months. We spent Thursday night consoling a sick baby and tried to start thinking about what we might pack. Forget laundry, or actually packing, we were just starting to think about it at this point, which completely makes sense considering we’d only had nine months to plan. It was a sleepless night, Lila was miserable and her fever would go down a bit with the meds, but it wouldn’t go away, which concerned me.
Friday morning I got up and got my sweet puny baby dressed after breakfast. I took her with me into the office for a few hours and she was absolutely perfect. She sat in my lap and drew with a pen on a piece of paper and I was absolutely amazed. She is an incredible and sweet child, even when she’s SO sick. I kept rotating the Tylenol and Motrin like her doctor said, but still her fever would not go away and I was getting more and more freaked out. I thought for sure that it would be a one to two day deal and she would be on the mend by the time we were headed out of town. I thought wrong.
Friday night was rough. Her fever wouldn’t go down enough to make me feel like she was really improving. She was restless and crying on and off and my heart was breaking while we tried to last minute pack, and while I completed the explicit, War-and-Peace-length instructions for my Mom (Lila’s amazing Grana), who was taking care of her while we were gone. I went to my Mom’s room to go over the instructions before she got into her last night of wine consumption, and she pointed to the TV and said “UM… have you seen this?” I looked at the news to see a giant swirly blob, that the meteorologist referred to as “Hurricane Matthew”. My eyes got wide because it looked to me like said hurricane was headed directly to the islands where we were about to sail. “LANE!!! PLEASECOMELOOKATTHISRIGHTNOW,” I shouted. Being the anti-alarmist that he is, Lane sauntered in and said “Babe. That hurricane is waaaay over here, we’re going here.” On the screen it looked like roughly one quarter of an inch away, but he said it with such confidence that I was like okay, I guess we’re good?… Plus we were already well-versed in Hurricane Kits, right?! Mom and I exchanged skeptical glances, and continued on with our conversation.
My instructions for Lila’s care were no joke. I’m all about the schedule – y’all have seen my planner, right? The schedule is a necessity for a one year old – I don’t care who you are – and I wanted to make sure that Lila was as unaffected as possible while we were gone. This thought is absolutely hilarious to me now, but I had the best of intentions. I included an hour by hour outline of each day that we were gone, laid out her clothes and pjs for the next seven days, had her meals planned, our pantry stocked, and an envelope with one of my credit cards, a copy of our insurance card, my Target card, and contact info for her school, pediatrician, and seven of our closest friends in Jacksonville. I take no chances when it comes to my baby. Overkill? Maybe. I don’t care. And as it turns out, many of these items became absolutely necessary in our absence. *foreshadowing*
Saturday morning we got up (I say “got up” instead of “woke up” on purpose) and got ready to head out. We were planning to leave no later than 9:30 a.m., which included my Lane-imposed thirty minute buffer. Lila was still asleep when it was almost go time, and I told myself that it would probably be best not to go in her room and chance waking her up. She’d been up most of the night and needed to sleep. Our suitcases were loaded, the car was running, and I had already told my mom and Maybelle goodbye. I started to head towards the front door and just couldn’t do it. I looked at Lila’s door and looked at Lane, and I just couldn’t leave without seeing her face and giving her a kiss. *Note: NEVER ignore your Mommy intuition.
I quietly opened her door and tiptoed in, and to my surprise, she was laying silently in her crib with her eyes wide open. I brushed the hair out of her eyes and the heat from her forehead instantly sent me into panic mode. “LANE!!! PLEASECOMEINHERERIGHTNOW!” We got her up and took her temperature. 103.6. Ok yeah nope, no, not gonna do it. Trip cancelled, I’m done. No freakin’ way I’m leaving my baby when she’s this sick. It was 9:30 on Saturday and I called the new doctor to see if by some miracle they could see her that morning. They told me to bring her in right away. Have I mentioned that I love this new doctor?
Knowing that we would never make the cruise if we took her to the doctor ourselves, my mom, for the first of what would be MANY times that week, sprang into action and got ready in about four minutes while we got Lila dressed. I loaded her into her car seat with Category 4 sized tears in my eyes as I handed my mom the keys. Those tears started falling when I saw the taillights of my car turn left, as we turned right onto the interstate headed south.
Psssst… remember that drop down bar at the top of this post that you ignored? That was a subscribe button and it’s how you get the inside scoop on upcoming JSH blog stuff and new posts! Since you dissed it the first time, here is another chance! It’s free, would mean the world to me, and does NOT include spam. 🙂