We’ve had a busy past couple of weeks and will continue to be busy until we move on 9 May.  But, after a good night’s sleep last night and a few great hours of packing sans bebe yesterday afternoon (Thank you, Auntie Lea!), I wanted to take the time to be grateful out in public (i.e., on here).  Here are some of the highlights of the past couple of weeks:

1.  Case is better!

His ear infection turned scary respiratory infection is finally gone (although we’re not quite finished with our antibiotics yet)

2.  Case doesn’t mind taking his antibiotics!

In fact, he loves it.  He opens his mouth like a little baby bird and sucks the stuff down.  I even tasted it, thinking I could capitalize on something that he likes down the road, but couldn’t quite figure out what it tasted like.. cotton candy? I dunno. Perhaps if I’m desperate I’ll break down at some point and feed the kid sugar water to urge him to do things (similar to the way I coerced him into crawling by putting Gerber puffs everywhere).

3.  We have awesome families.

After having spent the past few days driving up and down the eastern seaboard (from Fayetteville NC  to Lancaster PA to Bethlehem PA to Chester NJ to Richmond VA and back to Fayetteville)  you’d think I’d be wary of doing it again (especially with a sick baby), but I’m not.   I realized how truly lucky we are to have such wonderful, generous, caring, thoughtful parents and family members.  Here are just a few reasons why they’re awesome:

A.   We got to Lancaster and couldn’t stay at my Mom’s house due to damage they had from the tree falling on their house in those crazy storms a few weeks ago and so my Mom ended up putting us up in a hotel (which was very weird to do in your hometown) and instead of sharing a room with our 14 (oh my gosh, soon to be 15) month old, my Mom and Bill got us  his own adjoining room so we (Brian and I) could go to bed after 8:30 pm and watch movies in our hotel room (one of my most favorite things to do!).  Brian and I even stayed awake to finish the whole movie!  It may seem a bit trivial, but the little extra luxury of not having to be quiet and worry about waking up the baby if you go to pee in the middle of the night was a real treat!  On top of that, my Mom brought over a cooler and a bag of goodies for Case (food mostly) with the soy milk he likes, non-dairy sandwich bread, fruit and of course, his favorite peanut butter and jelly and some toys that she keeps at her house to make us feel more at home and not have to worry about shopping for dairy free food for Case.  Pretty thoughtful!

B.  On Saturday we drove from Lancaster to Bethlehem PA to have a luncheon with my grandmother (my Mom’s mom) and other family at her nursing home.  She is not doing well after battling Parkinson’s for 10 + years and taking a serious fall this past Christmas with resulting brain damage.  We hadn’t seen her since Thanksgiving (wow!) and it was a real treat to spend some time with her.  She was able to watch Case crawl around on the floor with his cousin, Shannon, and she even recognized him (and us!).  It was so heartwarming to be able to see her face while watching them play and while holding Case, knowing it was really making her happy.  Her sense of humor is still very much intact and so is her appetite for chocolate (she received a lot of chocolate for Easter and ate most of it right there at the luncheon!).  When we walked her up to her room from the dining room,  we got into the room and she said,
“You’d better push the button or we’ll be in here all day…”

“Mom, we’re not in the elevator anymore,” said my my mom.

Mor Mor (what we call my grandmother, it means mother’s mother in Swedish)  laughs and says, “Oh, ha ha, that’s right, I know…”

And we all laugh.  She’s in and out of consciousness and when she comes back from delusions she sometimes realizes that she wasn’t making sense.  It must be so frustrating and terrifying and so it was just really nice to hear her have a hearty laugh about it.  I knew I got that coping mechanism from somewhere…

C.  We drove that afternoon to Chester NJ to see my Dad and his side of the family where we spent Easter.  My grandmother (we refer to her as Mama Wanda) made Brian his very own apple pie (one of his favorites) and my granfather made Case homemade applesauce.  Mama Wanda made Case his own dairy-free Easter meal complete with ham,  mashed potatoes and Swedish cucumbers and my Aunt Karen hosted 23 of us at her house (23!).  My Dad and Mark gave up their room for Brian and I and slept on couches downstairs so we could be close to Case who we put up in the spare bedroom on an air mattress on the floor.  We got to sleep on a luxurious Tempur-Pedic mattress (and slept like babies!).  We felt like distinguished guests that had been offered gifts and presidential suites.  A girl could get used to this kind of treatment…

D.  On the way home  from NJ we stopped in Richmond to pick up our, (drumroll please…) da, da da,… Toyota PRIUS that we received with a 0% interested loan from Brian’s parents (holy smokes, right?!).  When we got to the dealership, my sister-in-law, Erin, was there waiting to take Case to the park and play so that we could sign all the new car papers without worrying about him and giving Case  a welcome opportunity to get out of the car and play (we’d been in the car at that point for 6 1/2 hours).  Thoughtful as ever, Erin whisked him away and we got to drive to her house all by ourselves in our new fuel-efficient car (perfect for DC traffic and weekend trips home for Brian).  Erin then watched him while I went to grab dinner for us before we got back on the road and Brian set up all the new doodads (bluetooth, satellite stations) in the vehicle.  He’s a little sad to be trading his fancy BMW for a Prius, but he’s warming up to it and every day tells me at least 3 new things that he loves about it! Considering the prices at the pump (the ones that are likely to continue to go up), he’s even happier! We are so very lucky.

E.  As moving time draws near, so does the fact that we have to paint Case’s room from green (very green) back to white.  Brian’s mom has been a huge help, especially these past couple of months (coming down for weeks on end to help me) and she’s at it again with our move.  Today she’s driving down with boxes Erin found outside Ross (economical Erin is what we call her.. 🙂 ) and her own boxes, dollies, and moving supplies (after all she was a military wife for over 20 years and moved constantly!) and coming to help Brian paint the room, while Case and I head to Wrightsville beach (for one last NC beach hoorah) with my Dad and Mark.   She’s driving down to paint with Brian, then driving back home, then driving back next week to help us move.  All this in the midst of her own construction she’s got at her house getting hardwood floors, a new catwalk crawl space for extra storage (mostly because we’re moving in!) and painting all of our ‘new’ bedrooms there.  All that with a positive, go-get-him attitude.  I don’t think she sleeps, personally and am constantly amazed by her willingness to undertake big projects.  I feel good about myself if I’ve got all the laundry done and there’s dinner on the table – small peas.

F.  Finally, like I said, we’re heading to Wrightsville Beach this weekend (Brian will come tomorrow after he and his Mom finish painting) with my Dad and Mark, who very generously rented a 3 bedroom condo (again, so Case could have his own room – little does he know he’ll be sharing it part of the time with Auntie Lea 🙂 ) on the beach for us.  We went last year at this time (Case’s first trip to the beach) and it was a perfect weekend.  We’ll likely never come to this beach again (or any time soon, since we’ll be living at the beach practically and not in NC) so we’re really excited to be doing it one last time.  I’m grateful because we’ll be spending the weekend with my Sherpas (Sherpa #1: Dad, Sherpa #2: Mark – my nicknames for them as they haul all my crap around for me) and have one last get together with some very close friends we’ve made here in NC.

O.k., so needless to say, we are very lucky and we know it.  And writing about it makes me feel good and more grateful.  We are so blessed to have meaningful  relationships with wonderful family and friends who care so much about our well-being and only want the best for us and go out of their way to make that happen.   Thank you all for being such a wonderful support network for us!

And even though I don’t write about all the things I’m grateful for every day, please know that we are.  We are grateful every day.

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One thought on “Grateful

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Caitlin!!!! I don’t know if you’ll ever see this….maybe your blog has moved….. but I’ve thought about you guys now and again and just found the sticky note with your blog address. Perhaps I’ll try emailing you also. Just wanted to check in (I know it’s been a while) and see how Case is doing! And of course the rest of your sweet family. Hope life in VA is going well. Best, Sarah Keeshan (play therapist)

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