For Christmas, I wanted to make a ham, a small one, just enough for the two adults, one child, and one tiny bite for a baby to spit out in horror. It turns out that you cannot buy a small ham if you're going for the real deal, spiral sliced with no nitrates in sight. Nearly eight pounds of ham is a bit much for our little family, so I did what any good Midwestern girl would do, and I put the leftovers in a slow cooker with a bag of beans, then baked up a pan of cornbread to go with it. It made enough for our dinner Sunday night, plus extra to put two containers in the freezer. That was the start of meals I am storing away for the days after Elvie gets home from the hospital, and when I know I will have trouble cooking every night. A dear friend is making some more freezer meals for us, and I will fill in with some of our Trader Joe's favorites. I don't know how intense things will be once we get home, but I know that the first thing to go when I've got too much to do is cooking. I understand that the children of the owners of the taqueria down the street may need funds for higher education, but we don't need to provide all of them.
I am trying to prepare mentally and emotionally for the hospital stay. There won't be a lot of sleep. There won't be a lot of time to just hang out as a family. There will be a lot of tag team family nurturing. I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to figure out a routine that works for us the last time Elvie was hospitalized. As much as it was hard to have to check her in so soon after we were home, we gained so much from having her there. My mom will come to stay with Zinashi while Elvie is in the hospital this time, and she will handle wake up and daytime care. Jarod and I will take care of everything else for both girls, and we will all be at the hospital together at dinnertime. Either Jarod or I will be with Elvie at all times, sneaking out only while she is napping to grab food from the hospital cafeteria*.
Since neither of us will spend much time at home while Elvie is hospitalized, I am trying to get things somewhat clean and organized around the house. I am largely failing, but my mom has seen my brand of squalor before, and this is way better than my bedroom when I was growing up. The main thing we need to do, honestly, is to enjoy Elvie. She is so fun these days, so mischievous and affectionate and hilarious. We knew that we would have to go through this from the beginning, and we want so much for her that this surgery will provide, but does it make sense to say that I really wish we didn't have to do it? I really wish we didn't have to do it.
I'm going to quit typing before I start sobbing.
*The Donate button you see in the left sidebar is there by request because many have asked how they can help us with meals while we are at the hospital. Because the hospital cafeteria does not sell gift cards that we know of, and we will not have any idea of our daily schedule until it happens so that meals can be delivered to home or hospital, this is the simplest way for people to help. We hope that no one will take offense or feel obligated. We are so grateful for all the help we have been given and are being given, and we coudn't possibly expect more.