February was an unexpected month of insanity.
At the end of January, Garth got a call from his manager offering him a job in New Zealand, starting in 2 weeks. He would be going for 9 weeks and would have to leave us behind. Garth turned him down because of the timing of us just having a baby, but as soon as he got off the phone and came to tell me about it, I told him to call back and take the job. Travelling to New Zealand is an opportunity of a lifetime and to be paid to work there was just too good to pass up. It financially made a lot of sense for us and I knew that we would both regret it so much if he didn't go.
Once it was official, it all happened so quickly. We booked his flights and decided to give up our rental house. He was leaving on February 14th and would come home April 20th, then our Vivint summer in Calgary would start 2 weeks later. We didn't have time to find someone to live in our place while we were gone, so we decided it was time to say goodbye. Me and the boys would move in with my parents so I would have lots of help while he was gone.
Those first two weeks of February were the craziest most emotional weeks. I had knots in my stomach the moment he told me about it because I knew he had to go, and they never went away.
Packing was quite the challenge. Not only did we have to pack up and clean our whole place and move it all into storage and find someone to "babysit" our piano while we were gone, we also had to pack our stuff for moving to Calgary, our Vivint summer stuff, and Garth's New Zealand bags. And we had to do all of that in two weeks with a 22 month and 1 month old. To say it was frustrating, confusing and hard was an understatement.
During that time, Asher also got really sick with a bad cough so we took him to the walk-in clinic and waited for hours. Once we got in, the doctor told us we better take him to emerge to get him checked out by a paediatrician there. She was very comforting and listened to his breathing for a long time and gave us some drops for his nose that really helped him.
A couple of years ago, Garth's professor asked him if she could use one of his papers in her textbook that she was writing, as an "excellent example of critical persuasive writing". During all the craziness, his copy of the textbook showed up, which was super exciting. If anyone knows Garth, they know how eloquent and confident he is in any presentation, public speaking role, and his talents also transfer to paper. When we first started dating I found out right away how amazing of a writer he is, and now my man is published!
Once we were all packed up and I had my emotional breakdown, we drove to Calgary.
The next day was spent getting some last minute things done for Garth's trip and then we headed to the airport to say goodbye.
After we went home from the airport, the loneliness set in instantly. I let myself have one more meltdown and then I braced myself for the hardest 9 weeks of my life.
I learned right away what a blessing it was to be able to be around my parents. Not only did Grant have more people to spend time with, but when I was up all night with Asher, my mom was a huge help with Grant.
I always told Garth that the only way I could survive him leaving for that long was because of Asher. Yes he was a newborn who kept me up a lot during the night, but he was a happy smily baby. It makes life a lot easier when your baby is smiling at you (even if it is at 3 in the morning), not screaming.
Something changed and Grant went from pretending Asher wasn't there to giving him constant hugs and kisses. I learned very quickly to trust Grant around Asher, he was always so gentle with him and never did anything to hurt him. It felt like anytime Grant went near Asher anybody around would tell him to "be careful" but I knew he didn't need to be told that anymore. He is such a sweet amazing older brother.
Grant's favorite place in the house was Mikayla's bed. He would always run there after getting ready for bed and lie there with Mikayla.
It was nice being able to see family that we don't see as often. I was happy to be able to go to Clara's baptism and celebrate her righteous choice to be baptized.
We had such a mild winter so we had some fun outings to the park!
Once I had Asher I was so excited to be able to start getting back into shape. After having Grant I wasn't so diligent at it so I decided this time around I was really going to work at it. It proved to be the greatest distraction for me. We moved to Calgary at 7 weeks postpartum and I started working out 6 days a week. Not only did it help me lose weight and get back into my pre-baby clothes, it helped me feel happy and it helped me cope with Garth being gone. Luckily my mom was around to watch the boys, so most of the time I had a non-interrupted workout haha.