Thursday, July 28, 2011

4 weeks and 200 pictures later....

This is the only proof that my mom was ever here.
And it was taken about one hour before she went home.

I guess the other proof of her visit would be the fact that I still have some of my sanity.

Ricka was due June 19th. Toward the end of May, my mom called me and said she was thinking of coming up to help us around when the baby was born, but everything depended on schedules and doctor's appointments down in California and she'd get back to me around the 1st of June. I was ecstatic - it really sounded like she might actually make it up here, but knowing from past experience, nothing is set in stone.

Of course, I heard nothing on the 1st, and started talking myself into the idea that something could always come up and it was possible that my mom might not make it up here after all. I didn't want to get my hopes up too high.

On June 2nd, my mom called back and it was planned. She was going to come up here and stay at least THREE weeks starting around the 13th! It was like an impossible dream and I was so excited....

(and that is as far as I got on this two weeks ago.)

Anyway, On June 3rd, Sir's mom, Grandma C. got hit by a car while riding home on her bike. She spent the next few weeks in the hospital getting surgeries and scans and all sorts of stuff to start fixing all the things that were broken. She's still recovering, but at home now and we're very thankful for that because the accident was pretty serious.

Previously, each time one of our children has joined the family, Grandma and Grandpa C. have taken the older children while we were in the hospital and then Grandma C. would come nearly every day during the first week or so to help me get adjusted to all the changes one more little one brings. So, when Grandma C. was going to be recovering for months after our baby was due, it was even more of a relief that my mom was planning on being here to be a help.

3 days old.

My mom came up as soon as we told her Ricka was born and she stayed four whole weeks. I don't think I'll ever be able to describe how much of a help she was. Dolly was still in school for 14 days after Ricka was born, and when I'd trip out of my room in a panic because I'd missed the alarm and was already 20 minutes behind schedule, I'd find that my mom had already gotten Dolly up, served her breakfast and was making her lunch. Then she'd shoo me back to bed while she'd get the rest of the kids going and Sir took Dolly to school.

She did the big things like mowed our huge backyard and the front yard in a single morning (this job usually takes me about two days due to my allergies) and stacking piles of wood that I'd given up on toward the end of my pregnancy. She did the little things like making sure the table got cleared and wiped off after each meal, the floors swept and the kids dressed. When I woke up from a terribly needed nap one afternoon in a complete panic because I'd forgotten to make any plans for dinner, I staggered into the kitchen to find she'd warmed up every last leftover in the fridge and dinner was just about ready - at dinner time.

11 days old.

Every morning she got the kids to make their beds and by the time she left, they could do it themselves on their own. In spite of Butler saying "NAOooo" to just about everything she asked him to do, I discovered after she'd gone home that he not only would say 'pease' when he wanted something but 'prih-ee pease' (pretty please) - and that just about made me melt because it's as close to a signature phrase belonging to my mom as you can get.

7 days old

As my mom was loading her suitcases into her van, Emma said to me, "Mommy, is Grandma going back to California?" "Yes," I told her watching Emma carefully. Emma had developed a very special relationship with my mom and I was a bit worried how she'd adjust when my mom left. "She has a booster seat in her van, and the back seat can go down, and you can put car seats on it. You know that, Mommy?" Emma said. "I know," I answered, "that's pretty neat isn't it?" "Yeah, can I go with her to her house and have a sleepover?" "No Emma, Grandma's house is a long ways away. If you went with her you'd be gone too long." with a little shrug of acceptance, Emma said, "That's ok. Can I go with her then?" It was hard to watch her little face fall when she finally understood she couldn't go home with Grandma.

In the four weeks my mom was here, Sir and I got to go out on a 'date' 3 (THREE!) times and we spent one Saturday morning running errands together - something we NEVER do anymore since someone usually stays home with the kids. It was really special and the best part was, we never asked her if she'd mind watching the kids so we could go out... she was the one sending us out. "Why don't you guys go out for dinner and I'll feed the kids?" or "If he's going to go do errands, why don't you run with him? I'll stay here and the kids can help me with..." If she'd had her way, we would have probably gone out a few more times too, but we figured we ought to be a bit responsible every now and then.

4 days old.

By the last week, I realized I was letting my mom take care of things for me that I was perfectly able to do. I just knew she'd do it for me if I didn't get to it before she did. But there were still times that she filled in for me when I couldn't get to it, and those times made me afraid of when she'd finally go home. But we've been adjusting, the kid in the bathroom sometimes has to wait for me to finish nursing the baby before I get to them, the baby has to put up with another kid trying to get the soother into her mouth because I can't stop what I'm doing to burp her again, the house goes in waves of being relatively tidy to disastrous mayhem, but we're slowly getting that under control now too.

Since all the things my mom did for us would take forever to list, I came up with everything I could think of that she might have gotten from her time here with us instead. It's really not that much.
While my mom was here..
- she got to go to a couple of Dolly's school events.
- she got to see Dolly graduate from kindergarten.
- she was there when Dolly lost her first tooth.
- she was here for PC's 5th birthday party.
- she was here for Butler's first stitches.
- she got to go to Ricka's baby shower.
- and she got to have Emma as a constant shadow helper.

I guess to sum it all up... I'll never be able to express how much my moms mean to me. Both of them. Maybe someday I'll be a little bit like them.

11 days old.


  1. Very nice tribute to your mom. What would we do without our mothers!? You can see how all the kids love the baby but the last pic is especially beautiful.

  2. Joy, I LOVED this post (for some reason I couldn't comment the day you posted)! It was so sweet. I'm so thankful your Mom was able to come up! Moms are the best!!!

  3. Moms are the best! I'm glad your Mom could be there when you needed her most. Nice post!!

  4. Lisa, You couldn't leave a comment the day I posted because I had to draft it again for a correction. :)

  5. There's nothing like a mom. I'm always so amazed by mine--and then every once in a while on a bad day it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, hopefully someday my kids will feel this way about me, and that makes me happy. :-)

    So glad you got to have your momma with you, prayers for your MIL, and your new sweetie pie is beautiful!

  6. OH how lovely. Moms are truly the best. And there's nothing like having your very own mommy around after just giving birth yourself. I'm SO glad she could come and I'm so glad she was able to help carry some of your endless "burdan" for a bit. =)

    And CONGRATS on the little one!!!

  7. One of the prettiest babies I have ever seen, even as a newborn! ~Uncle Peter