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.