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.”
Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
How many things did I do from my to-do list today: 3
How many things did I add to my to-do list today: 6
How many doctor/therapy appointments did we have last month: 19
How many doctor appointments am I putting off for myself: 3
How many times did Frankie ask me what day it was today: 9
How many times did I see Frankie kiss one of the babies today, just because: 4
How many hair cuts did I give this past weekend: 3
How many months has it been since I had a haircut: 16
How many loads of clothes did I do today: 4
How many loads of clothes are there still left to do: 7
How many times did I find myself forcing myself to look at the bright side today: many
How many times did I count my blessings today: a lot
How many blessings did I count: 20
How many times did Chase or Summer giggle so hard today that it made me giggle: countless
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The babies are asleep, the girls are so tired they are going to be ready for bed in another 2 hours, Brad came home from work and after having me look over a math assignment he's working on, he went out for the night; Frankie and Uncle Buck spent the afternoon watching football at a bar and grill that just opened 1/2 mile down the street, so he's almost ready for bed. And then darnit, I'm not doing laundry, I'm not picking up, I'm not even doing the darn dishes. I'm going to bed!!
Yesterday I picked Lexi, Skye and their friends Courtney and Kayla up from school and we went to the Coastal Carolina Fair. This fair has been here in Charleston since long before we lived here 17 years ago, but this is going to be the last year, because the fairgrounds have been sold. So as a treat for exceptional report cards and all the extra help they've been doing at home, I told them weeks ago I would take them to the fair.
We got there about 4:00. We got home at 12:30. AM. As the lady who was sitting on the bench next to me while I waited on them to ride their last ride said "Girl, you must be crazy!". She'd been there 1 hour and was ready to go home. *lol.
But the girls had a WONDERFUL time, so it was worth it. Lexi rode every ride there. I was surprised by how extreme alot of the rides were! But Lexi's always been a dare devil. Skye, not so much. She opted out of 6 or 7 of them and was happy when she met up with 2 other friends, who were also a little more timid, and they rode some of the tamer rides together.
The highlight for me was the agricultural center. I love seeing all the farm animals, the cattle, ponies, rabbits, ducks, turkeys, and especially the horses. The 1000 lb. sow nursing her 8 piglets was also a sight to behold!
So the girls got to sleep about 3 am. I was up at 7:30 with Summer and Chase and at 9:40 Lexi and Courtney had a revelation that today was the day they had to go to the Hanahan Rec. Center to sing with their chorus! As a part of their grade. In other words, nope, sorry, you can't skip it!! So that gave me 20 minutes to get us all ready and on the road. That was fun!!
But we made it and they sang, and we spent the next couple of hours taking hay rides, getting faces painted, bouncing in the bounce house, and chasing Summer and Chase all over God's creation. Man, they just love to run at that age don't they?! Several of Summer and Chase's neighborhood friends were also there, so they played together, ate kettle corn and had a good time.
So it's nap and lunch time when I finally am able to tear the girls away, and by now we've picked up another of their friends Julia, but instead of going home, since we're already 1/2 way there, I decided to save the gas of a full trip and head to Harris Teeter for a triple coupon weekend. I had a list of items I could get for nearly free that I didn't want to miss out on and they have the greatest samples in the fruit, deli, bakery section so I also figured the babies could get a free lunch out of it! *lol. They ate oranges, strawberries, french bread with hummus, swiss cheese and apple pastry and were in heaven!!
So as we head home the plan is to just get in the house, get the groceries unloaded, and get Summer and Chase changed and put down for a nap since it's already 3:00. Well, all of us pile in the house, Uncle Buck and Frankie are in the living room, we're talking to them about the morning and somehow the last person in didn't shut the baby gate to the living room or the front door. So all of a sudden I hear Chase cry and he's face down on the cement outside the front door! He had tried to walk outside but was so darn tired he probably just slipped off the step and it looks like he didn't even put his hands down to catch himself... he apparently landed face first. :-(
So there's blood gushing everywhere and Skye is freaking out (she's not good in a panic) and I'm trying to console Chase, get the blood to stop and get the girls calmed down and boy oh boy. Is there ever a dull moment!?!? Chase was easily consoled, and stopped crying after just a minute. He has a fat lip though and is scratched between his nose and his lip.
I was a little miffed tonight when he was riding the exercise ball and went over the top, didn't clear the couch and banged his lip on the hard edge of it. And bled ... again. Poor baby. Again, he was easily consoled and hardly cried. But his lip, it's even fatter now. I hope he looks ok when he wakes up in the morning! This is Chase's first day of boo boos so I'm pretty happy that he made it this long!
Though they are few and far between, I'm hoping tomorrow is a nice relaxing day!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Summer and Chase made it to about 8 neighbors for Trick or Treating. We only went to friends so it was hard for them to understand where we were and were not going. But once they got the hang of it I think they really had a great time! Summer got "twick o tweet" out to a few and "twick" to the rest. Chase tried to get two handfuls of candy at each house and walked into two, I guess for a break.
I'm glad I did the dress rehearsal and worked on getting Chase used to his froggy costume. It definitely helped!!
Two toddlers are always alot of work and this was no exception and it was also a bit sad without Frankie, who was with his Mom for the week. But overall we all had a lot of fun!
When we finished with S&C, Lexi and Skye went out with 8 or so of their friends.
This will more than likely be Lexi's last year. She didn't dress as she had in the past and really didn't want to dress at all. She eventually went in her soccer uniform because I said she had to dress as something! (Mean Mommy!) Skye was excited about being Darth, and I think she'll still want to go next year.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So I'm upstairs and the theme song comes on and I hear Summer quietly singing "I wub you, you wub me" then she hums to the end and says "say you wub me too". Oh my gosh, my heart just about melted!!!
Then today she and I went out for a little bit. On the ride home "Stairway to Heaven" was on the radio so I'm singing and swaying a little bit and I notice her staring at me in the rear view mirror and imitating my swaying, so I move right and she moves right, I shrug my shoulders and she shrugs, I move left, she moves left, I clap, she claps and I clap a few more times to different beats and she does the same. Then I threw my hand out and snapped and brought it back. And she throws her hand out, clicks with her tongue and brings her hand back. She immediately compensated for not being able to snap and I thought "Wow! That was pretty darn smart!!"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So we got Jack who got sick after 3 weeks. So we had to exchange him and that's when we got Blue. The girls were very sad to have lost Jack. But Blue seemed to be a keeper and was doing well, until this morning. Skye went to get her out of her cage and she wasn't moving. She came to me in tears.
So this afternoon we'll have a burial in the back yard, once the babies go to sleep.
I feel bad for Lexi and Skye. They have already been extra sad this week because their Daddy left on Sunday to go to Georgia with his Mom and Step Dad for the week. They have a cabin in the mountains and it's the first trip he's taken since his accident. So they were sad to see him go and are sad that he's missing Halloween. As Skye says, it's the 1st he'll have missed.
Even the year after his accident, they dressed up in their costumes and we paraded through the hospital and to Daddy's room with them on. And that was the year Skye went as a giant Lego. It was hard walking through that big old hospital as a giant Lego!!
Oh well. We are learning all kinds of lessons about loss and overcoming difficult circumstances.
But I'm thankful that Lexi, Skye, Summer and Chase are all otherwise well. They are downstairs right now playing together. I can hear them rolling trucks across the carpet, back and forth ... and Summer is finding something hysterical. She's just laughing and laughing and laughing! There is good in everything!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I love my "Kye"
And she loves me!
I love "bapples" and "beebee dawlls"
I love my "Sissy" ... and I love my "Chay Chay"
I don't love time out! But it's not so bad with a buddy!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Oh wait, I must be serious!
There ... now to address my constituents!
Oh boy, he's already addressing constituents and I still can't work this crown thing out!
Yes, that's a mighty fine tower!
But as you can see, there's only room for one royal in this kingdom!!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Last year about this time Summer was crawling, walking in the walker, jumping in the jumper and trying really, really hard to get Chase to do the same!
Chase wasn't moving around much, but was still as happy as could be!
Summer was all over the place!
Poor Sweety. She really lived up to her name.
Not the greatest of weeks going on here and lots of going on too. Thus the lack of posts.
Lexi started counseling yesterday to see if we can help her with stress management and to deal with some of the emotions that go along with all of the losses and changes we've had in the last few years. I hope it'll help ease the headaches she's been having too.
There's nothing like telling someone in just 1 hour everything bad, sad, depressing, stressful, that's going on in your life to make you feel good about things!
You know what else doesn't make you feel great? A 20th high school reunion. Now, it was in Va. so no I did not go this past weekend, but it makes you feel old either way!
And... we are having a garage sale this weekend. Nothing major, not huge, but I've been sorting through baby clothes and baby toys and equipment and it's hard to part with alot of that. It's sad to let go of the memories and just plain old sad to think about them being the last babies as well as thinking of the memories of the past 20 months.
Yes, we've had a lot of joy and happiness, especially where the babies are concerned, but I also still think about how different it would have/could have been if things hadn't of turned out the way they did. And that makes me sad.
I've also had to start sorting late at night. Skye is so much like her Daddy that she gets upset with every little thing I am planning on giving away, she not only wants to pack rat and keep everything, but everything has a memory attached to it for her, just like Frankie. She keeps taking things out of the give away to keep and not making the process any easier on me! Who knew such things were passed down genetically!!
Other than that at least Summer and Chase have been doing good this week. Chase is now walking 100% of the time!! He is no longer ever crawling and that is just fantastic! He has straightened out his foot position over the last week too which is very important. He and Summer are also talking alot more. Summer is talking in sentences. I say something like, "Daddy didn't put his glass up, Daddy is a naughty boy." And she says, "No, Daddy good boy!" Or she'll come tell me, "Mama, Chay Chay cry".
Chase is saying more words and is repeating everything you say, though he still talks very quietly, he's loving animals right now. His favorites are the monkeys, lions and elephants. He's always making animal sounds. He's also been eating, really, really, really well and has the tiniest hint of a little pot belly. lol. He's still too skinny for sure, but it can't be blamed on appetite, he's really out eating Summer this week!
He's also playing with his cars and trucks alot more than he has in the past. He still likes to play baby dolls but as long as their is a balance that's cool with me!
They are really liking their table and chairs and sit at the table for snack and to do blocks and peg boards and puzzles. I just wish Chase could get up and down on his own, he still can't. That'll come in time though!
Friday, October 10, 2008
So it's been 10 minutes and I am NOT happy. But if you'll take this stupid thing off of my head I'll give you one good picture!
OK, that was your one picture, now get me out of this thing!
Seriously, I mean OUT!
What are you waiting for Mom?!?!?!
Am I a horrible Mommy for not taking off the costume yet and letting him collapse into a puddle since I think it makes for a cute picture?! *lol
This is NOT fair! He doesn't even want to be the darn frog and you still won't let me have it!!
I have nothing to say to you Mommy.
Oh fine, you want me to dance?! I'll dance!!
So this frilly thing isn't so bad when you're dancing!
OK, I admit it, I'm pretty darn cute aren't I?!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
There are few times over the last 18 years I even remember as vividly as I do that night. I don't know why, but I remember absolutely everything about it. We didn't do anything outstanding, there was actually a really bad storm that night so we couldn't do what we had initially planned. But I guess starting our lives together was outstanding enough!