Helping Hands: Part II

July 31, 2009 at 12:28 am (Family, Miracles, Mom Stuff)

Mom with her favorite grandkids!

Mom with her favorite grandkids!

So, this is week 2 of our in-home help chronicles. My mom came in to take over for Anita. She was actually here when Doug got home from the rehab center (I’m not saying that’s what made her leave, but…!). The timing was actually very good because my mom was in Florida, vacationing with my brother, so it was just a hop, skip, and a jump for her to come to Texas.

For the first few days she helped with the hospital visits, plus we had fun times with Chuck E. Cheese. There were also homemade meals and some down-time in front of the television. And of course the obligatory trips to my doctors to make sure I wasn’t having the baby before my husband was up and walking around.  I talk to my mom almost every day on the phone. She knows almost everything that’s going on with us, so it was very comforting having her here. There are some things that only your mom can make better.

It was great being able to talk with my mom every night after my visits with Doug. She was also there to help with Doug’s transition back to work. When Doug first came home he couldn’t drive and so his first morning back to work I was able to drive him into the office while my mom stayed home with the kids.

This whole experience has been so surreal to me, but our family has helped us cope. I am so grateful that we have people in our lives who were willing to drop everything to come take care of us. I can’t imagine how difficult this would have been without our families. My mom made everything so much easier for me and the boys.

Thanks mom!

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Helping Hands: Part I

July 29, 2009 at 10:52 am (Family)

The Easter egg hunt

The Easter egg hunt

I think that it’s time that I hand out some acknowledgement to all the people who came to our rescue during the great ordeal of’ ’09 (at least I hope that was the great ordeal of  ’09, because I don’t know if I can handle any more!). I’ve already written about what a lifesaver Ingrid was. Ingrid stayed here until my mother-in-law arrived.

We had previously arranged with Anita to came and stay with us for a few days after the baby was born, and I was a little nervous because we’ve never really had people come as soon as a baby arrived. Also, sometimes, the mother-n-law/daughter-in-law relationship can be a little difficult to navigate. So, I was also a little nervous about Anita coming while Doug was in the hospital.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. I was so preoccupied with Doug that there was no time to worry about anything else. Anita came in and took over at home so that I could focus on Doug. She came with me and the kids to the hospital once a day, but I also got to go by myself once a day. She watched the kids while I went to doctor’s appointments. She also bought candy for Easter egg hunts and took William to the grocery store. She took all of the kids to McDonalds and the second hand bookstore. Grandpa also came for Easter week-end and he gave the boys haircuts.

Grandpa cutting William's hair

Grandpa cutting William's hair

She took the kids on lots of adventures to Wal-Mart and Target. She cleaned. She basically made my home life worry-free for a week. This was also the first time that my kids had spent a chunk of time with just them and their granny. I think that was a very positive experience for my kids (hopefully it was a positive experience for granny!). This was also the visit that I learned that Anita likes to chat at night. I learned a lot about the Roberts family that week. Ironically, I think it was probably the most stress free visit ever!

Anita also came back to take over for my dad after we had the baby. This time she let me nap, take the baby to the doctor, and most helpful of all, she took the baby at night and let us get some sleep. It was probably the most appreciated night’s sleep in history! She also painted our stairwell on this visit! She has limitless energy!  

Helping the kids find their eggs

Helping the kids find their eggs

Thanks Anita for making everything so easy for us during a not so easy time.

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Pioneer Day, Texas Style

July 26, 2009 at 11:33 pm (Family, Fun Stuff)

costumes and cotton candy

costumes and cotton candy

We lived in Utah through five Pioneer Days and I don’t ever recall doing anything to celebrate. There was always the big parade, but I’m no fan of huge crowds, so we never went. I think I might have watched part of a Pioneer Day parade on tv one year, but that’s about it. As far as ward activities go, I don’t think we ever did one. Apparently, because it’s  state holiday in Utah, there are enough events happening without the individual wards getting involved. Or maybe there were big events but because neither Doug nor I are descended from pioneer stock, we just weren’t invited. Who knows, and I refuse to live in the past!

Benjamin as a cowboy

Benjamin as a cowboy

In Texas though, they enjoy a good Pioneer Day party. Here it is totally a church thing, even though there is a Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg, the state of Texas does not endorse a day without mail service for Pioneer Heritage . Our stake however throws a big bash. There were ponies, and a tilt-a-whirl contraption, homemade kettle corn, cotton candy, a bounce house and all kinds of games.

Samuel as a cowboy

Samuel as a cowboy

Since it was forecasted to be the hottest week-end of the year we decided to arrive and leave early. The only problem with getting there at 9:15 is that we were eating hot dogs for breakfast, and that was really only a problem in my mind! The kids loved the ponies (except for William because he’s too cautious to ride), and snow cones, and the bounce house. They didn’t even seem to mind the heat until it was time to leave. I myself, enjoyed probably more than my fair share of kettle corn! I also enjoyed all the people who held my baby!

William as a cowboy observer

William as a cowboy observer

We left before any of the serious games started. I don’t know who plays soft ball in that kind of heat, but they’re probably the same people who dress up in the bonnets and dresses. I don’t have that kind of devotion to the cause … I needed to be in shorts!

Afton with "grandma" Simpson

Afton with "grandma" Simpson

This is something that we’ve really enjoyed for the past couple of years, and it’s another reason that I like to think that San Antonio is actually “the place!”

The Pioneer Bounce House!

The Pioneer Bounce House!

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Seeing the Glass Half Full

July 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm (Dougisms, Fun Stuff)

I don’t think that I’m going to have too much more to write about the whole ordeal with Doug’s back, but I wanted to share one of the perks that we have enjoyed throughout this process:

It doesn't expire until October!

It doesn't expire until October!

 

That’s right, my husband qualified for handicapped parking! That of course meant that I had to drag him with me everywhere so that I could have close parking. The best was at the movie theater! Even though the pass is good until October, Doug doesn’t think it’s right to use it anymore, since he’s feeling recovered. Curse that integrity; I like parking close!

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Before and After: The Back Surgery

July 22, 2009 at 11:41 am (before and after, Miracles)

doug 004

I don’t know how many of you have had to deal with neurosurgeons, but I don’t think they’re the most optimistic people. We have dealt with two, one for Ben’s head, and one for Doug’s back. Both times the doctors were very guarded. In Ben’s case everything turned out very well, but we didn’t know with Doug.

It’s hard to know what to say when the expert in his field tells you if you had waited a couple of days your husband could have been paralyzed. The worst part was the not knowing… how long it would take, how much better it would get…

For his part, Doug was not going to let this thing stop him. He never complained at the rehab center because he was, by far, the healthiest one there. When he came home from rehab I struggled with letting him do things like walking to the pantry because he wasn’t so good on his feet, and I thought the worst thing for his morale would be to fall.

Well, no worries here. He has successfully gone from wheelchair, to walker (oh how I wish I had photos of him with the walker), to cane (very sexy, a la Dr. House!), to brace, to this:

Back injury,what back injury?

Back injury,what back injury?

 

That’s right, there’s my husband swinging off the side of a sail boat in the Halifax Harbour, with a smile on his face! Miracles still happen.

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Giving the People What They Want

July 21, 2009 at 8:57 am (It's a Girl, Makes me Smile)

blogc

I have a received a few requests for more picutres of Afton, so I am obliging with a few shots from our recent trip north. These are the results of Afton’s first photo shoot with my extremely talented sister, Christina. If you’re in the Seattle area you should have her take your pictures!

bloga

Christina was taking pictures for the baby announcements, and these were some of the extras. I don’t think I’m too biased to say that she is the cutest thing ever!

blogb

She’s a little upset in this one, but that might be because it was cold, she wasn’t wearing clothes, and we had her propped up in an Adirondack chair!

blogd

And, lest you think that I’m the only sister who males gorgeous girls, here is Christina’s daughter:

elizablog

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

July 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm (Kids, Mom Stuff, Why I'm crazy)

They shouldn't even make diapers this size!

They shouldn't even make diapers this size!

Back before I had kids, before I was even married for that matter, I had a plan. That plan included having a baby once every 3 years beginning two years after my wedding. Part of the reasoning behind the every three years spacing was the fact that I only wanted to have one baby in diapers at a time. I also only wanted to have one baby home at a time, and I was counting heavily on my love of the pre-school system.

Well, the best laid plans… because right now I have four children at home, none of them are older than five, and three of the children are still in diapers! That’s right, three different sizes of diapers! I can’t really explain why I deviated so drastically from my plan except to say that I love having kids. If we waited three years between kids I’d be missing half my family right now, and I’d also be limiting myself to the number of kids, because, let’s face it, I’m no longer a spring chicken!

 Part of this is my fault, I should have been more proactive with William, but then we had Doug’s surgery and a million different house guest helpers and then a new baby and then lots of trips to show off the new baby. Unfortunately this has resulted in a three year old who couldn’t care less if he uses the toilet. I was hoping my sister-in-law Christie would be able to work some of her magic while we were in Canada, but she’s not a miracle worker!

So, now we are housebound. I’m letting William spend the day au naturel, hoping that he won’t pee all over the carpet! So, far so good. We’ve done this for two days, and I’m hoping it’ll only take a couple of more. Who knows, maybe I’ll try and train Benjamin while I’m at it!

If anyone has any less messy or more sanitary methods, I’m all ears!

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