Monday, February 16, 2009
These past two years have been really long, hard, dizzying, joyful and amazing!
Summer and Chase celebrated today at Chuck E Cheese (thanks Grandma and Grandpa E!!!) and had a wonderful, fun day!
It's amazing how much difference just a few months makes. I remember the last time we went to Chuck E Cheese, I was in a full on sweat after about 5 minutes of trying to contain the two of them in the toddler area. Today, wow, they sat at the table to eat, they'd tell me when they wanted to go play or go see Chuck E, and I'd walk and just say follow me, and they'd follow me! And I'd ask them what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go and it's just amazing how well they listen now and how much easier it is to get them to do things together, instead of just full on running in separate directions! lol.
They still have their moments, Summer had a couple of crying fits today I couldn't really even figure out what motivated them, but all in all, two year olds are awesome. And Summer and Chase as two year olds .... amazing!!!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Here are a few pics I quickly picked out so you can see how much S & C have changed and grown these past few months.
Summer has taken to creating messes.
Just so she can get out a broom, dust mop or vacuum & clean up!
Time to clean up!
This is hard work!
Chase is just as happy just playing with his messes.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
All of the changes (the decorations, visitors, Lexi and Skye being home from school, etc.) have thrown Summer and Chase into an unusually whiny, grumpy, demanding phase and it has been draining. Today though they seem to be getting back to normal and things are much quieter. Yay!!
We all went to the mall yesterday and it was pretty exhausting. I know Mom was tired. Two adults, two pre teens and two toddlers and the toddlers pretty much won! They really weren't bad, just full of energy and that's fine if you're out to just walk around, but forget it if anyone actually wants to do any shopping. Skye found an awesome deal on a lined jacket at Old Navy but Lexi completely gave up looking because we were completely distracted by the babies. So last night I took her back out by herself after the babies went to bed, and she got a few things with a gift card she had been given.
Today we're headed to Chuck E Cheese after nap. It's been a while since we've been there, so I know all the kids will have a really good time. The girls love their pizza the best and still like playing the games too so they'll be happy.
Lexi is all better after her trip to the Emergency Room last week. It was a nerve wracking evening! I'm a little bummed Frankie doesn't remember riding in the ambulance or going to the ER though. Lexi was so insistent that we both go with her. So I'm not sure how well he's doing lately, I had hoped that would have been enough to last in his memory somewhere, but I guess there is just no rhyme or reason to what he can remember these days. Hopefully in the New Year he will have a big breakthrough of some kind!
Chase is talking alot more lately, he still has a very quiet voice so you have to listen very carefully or you'll miss alot of it, but his vocabulary is growing by the day. He copies everything Summer does so he makes so much progress by doing that. I can't wait for his therapists to come back in the New Year and see how well he is doing! He was so good with Wally (Mom and Dad's dog) I know he has to miss him! Chase has a special way with animals. It's his routine every morning to sit with Kitty and hug on him for a good half an hour.
Summer, well she has a special way of scaring animals! She is so fast it makes them nervous. She is still a talkative little tornado!! Fast, loud, demanding and spirited, that's Summer!! But so darn cute and funny you can't help but love her! She has moved on from calling me Mom to Mommy. She must say it a thousand times a day! She's a great helper. She helps sort laundry, empty the dishwasher, sweep. It'd be nice if that would last another 16 years!!! Lexi and Skye are in the "I'll help if I have to but gosh it'd be nice if you wouldn't ask!" phase. Oh well, all phases pass eventually I guess. 12 and 11 are hard ages. Having twins that age, oh boy, now there's a thought!!!
Monday, December 15, 2008
The cherry on my sundae was yesterday... I usually go get coupon inserts bright and early Sunday morning, so I'm back before the babies rouse. Dad arrived safely Friday (YAY!) and so his car was behind mine in the driveway. I didn't want to wake him to get his keys, since he's still on West Coast time, so I waited until Mom got up, about 8 and got the keys but then the babies were up. So I got them dressed and fed, and left about 9:15.
Alot of the time, I get inserts from a nice guy at the gas station who buys a bunch of papers to bring to a nursing home, but since it was late I was just going to buy a few. Well!! Every single place I tried was sold out already!! I ended up having to go across town to Publix, since I was already there, I figured I'd buy milk and get my penny item and head home. Since it took longer than I thought, once I got home, I was trying to hurry in to help out with the kids and I went too fast over the baby gate, and without taking my clogs off and my toe got caught. While the majority of my body headed straight for the tile floor, my toe was stuck in the gate, so there was no recovering from this fall! The grocery bags hit the floor before I did and with a huge crash of a bottle of spaghetti sauce being the heaviest thing in my arms, it hit first and broke. Now I'd like to point out that if Publix had had oatmeal or toilet paper for the penny item there would be no story here!
So I put my hands out to brace my fall myself, and a piece of glass sliced directly into my hand as my knees crashed to the floor! My brother said last night he's never heard a human scream the way I screamed!! Not only did it hurt like crazy, but I saw the glass sticking out of my hand, pulled it out and blood started gushing everywhere!!!
Thank goodness my Mom is an RN and was there to help!! Lexi, Skye and Chase were mortified to here me scream and then I was bawling. Lexi ran into the room, saw the sauce all over the floor, thought it was blood, and ran to the bathroom to throw up!
So, not wanting to go to the emergency room and rack up a $2000 bill I settled on a Christian based clinic and racked up a bill about 25% of that. I had to get a tetanus shot, 3 x rays, and stitches.
So ... my plans yesterday to get all the Christmas decorations out and get the house decorated fell through. And now I'm really not much in the mood for it. But I know I need to enjoy having my parents here, try to stop stressing out and somehow get into a brighter holiday mood.
I also know I do have a lot to be thankful for. The kids are all healthy, Frankie is still making progress in his recovery, I have a roof over our head (for now anyway!) and we have plenty of food in the fridge. The rest of it, the overwhelming, sad, anxiety ridden hour to hour crap, I've got to somehow do a better job of letting go of it all.
Maybe I'll put together a time capsule tonight. I'll fill the box with reminders of every little thing that has me stressed out or down, take the box out back, and torch it. Just release it and let it go!! So I think I am need to move something off of my to-do list for tonight and put that as #1! I'll let you know if it is helpful.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday. If you have a chance, please say a prayer for our family that God may bless us and hold us in his care during this holiday season and always. Thanks and God Bless!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The girls have been out of school since Tuesday and it's been nice having them home. I really like our schedule and it's so much less stress when they have a few days off. And even though Skye is going through a stage right now of not doing what I'm asking her to do, it's still been nice! :-)
We had a really nice Thanksgiving. I woke up early to go get a newspaper and hit CVS for a bunch of free Black Friday sale items (they started a day early). So I prepared the turkey, put it in the oven, after defrosting it in the sink the night before (thanks for the suggestion Mom!), got the kids up, dressed and fed, and headed out. While I was gone, Frankie started doing the green beans and creamed corn with Lexi. She had to call me a few times because he was a little unclear about what he was doing, but overall he did well. He and I finished them after I got home and they turned out really good! Now to be completely honest, they weren't as good as he'd have done prior to his accident, but they were still good and that's some serious progress on his part!!
We ended up eating about 3:30. Everything was perfect except Summer didn't make it to the meal because she was taking an extra long nap. I didn't want to disturb her because she and Chase have not been napping for the past 2 weeks, and they had just started getting back on track, so I wasn't messing with that! Twin toddlers who don't nap are really, shall I say... challenging!
So anyway, the meal was excellent!!! I honestly can say I outdid myself on the turkey (lol). It was the best darn turkey I've ever had, it melted in your mouth!! Chase must have eaten a pound and a half himself. We also had dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, creamed corn, I made broccoli for Lexi because she doesn't like corn, and fruit salad. It was the perfect amount of food, not too much, just right.
We went around the table and said the top three things we were grateful for this year and it was nice to actually see everyone think about their answers, instead of just blurting out things they thought sounded good.
Other than that, things have been fairly quiet.
One thing that I'm not at all happy about is that my landlords are divorcing. Originally they told me they were going to refinance the house and nothing would effect me, well I knew darn well that was too good to be true! So as it turns out, they are having to sell.
So they came by with a realtor the other day (Thanks for the 3 hour notice! Can anyone say "Power Clean"!!), did a walk through and will be listing it this week. I want to be accommodating and work with them because they are really nice, but it's going to be a royal pain to have to gather everyone up (including the pets) and get out for showings, not to mention keeping the house in "show" condition. I mean on any given day I pick up the living room and kitchen 3 to 4 times and most of the time within 10 minutes it's a disaster again!
As if that wasn't enough stress, then I have to figure out what in the world we are going to do when the lease is up in August! I'd really love to stumble across a period of time where everything was just on cruise control. There is always something, and it's ridiculously tiring.
But on a positive note, we are all really excited that my Mom and Dad are coming for the holidays!! Mom will be here in just a few days and Dad is driving and will arrive next week. He'll hopefully be bringing Wally with him, their Pomeranian, who is the son of my Pomeranian, Buster. Wally got very ill a few weeks ago though, so he has to be cleared for travel from the vet, but he seems to be doing well, so we'll all be very happy to see him too!
It's been almost a full year since we've seen Mom and that's the longest any of us can ever remember, so we can't wait!!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Story and photos by Shannon Brigham
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? To your friends?
Thanksgiving has special meanings to different people. It is a time when many gather and give thanks for the good things in their lives. We talked to this Lowcountry family to get a glimpse into their lives. We talked about traditions and what Thanksgiving means to them.
For years the Turner family of Goose Creek moved throughout South Carolina and from state to state.
Frank had a lucrative career with a large chain-restaurant company and spent most of his time traveling and opening restaurants around the Southeast. He planned to open his own restaurant — a lifelong dream.
Food was a big part of the Turners’ lives, especially at Thanksgiving.
“He was around it a lot and picked up a lot,” his wife Kristen Turner said. “Thanksgiving dinner was such a big deal every year.”
Frank’s mom, a Charleston native, always cooked his favorite southern dishes, adding personal touches no one else could master. Thanksgiving, to him, was getting to experience the food he missed throughout the year and spending time with extended family, including his now grown sons.
Two years ago, soon after finding out Kristen was pregnant with twins, Frank was involved in a motorcycle crash caused by an undetected brain aneurysm rupturing in his head. The accident left him in a coma for more than two months. Most of the major bones in his body were fractured and broken, including his neck and skull.
That Thanksgiving Kristen pulled herself away from her husband’s side in the intensive care unit and went through the motions of the holiday for the sake of daughters Lexi and Skye.
Later that winter, twins Summer and Chase were born and Frank returned home in an ambulance, unable to care for himself. He spent this last year recovering and struggling to relearn the simple tasks in life.
He’s since come a long way from the hospital bed and can now walk without his walker and play with his children. However, he still suffers severe brain damage that affects his memory. Even still, his wife calls his physical recovery “a miracle.”
Kristen says she is grateful for her life, including every hiccup and bump along the way. The family is now establishing new traditions that focus on the little things, she said. Her children have learned an important lesson, and so has she.
“The actual meaning behind Thanksgiving is very special for us now,” she said. “Sometimes you kind of get into the monotony of day to day and you realize that you should be doing special things for your children but instead you’re just trying to make it through existence. So maybe you just do a little something off the top of your head, like putting a note inside your child's backpack or lunchbox, or you simply say something to your child that you might otherwise have only thought, and not shared with them. It’s just the simple little things that down the road you might even forgot about, but your child will hold onto forever.”
Kristen still takes life day by day, facing the many new challenges that seem to find her at every turn. But she remains positive and is genuinely happy.
“If you try to focus on the good, it definitely outweighs the bad,” she said. “Hopefully from here on out our Thanksgivings are going to continue to be really special.”