Bryan and I have THE most amazing families in the universe. The night Carter was diagnosed I called my parents. (What?... no.... I TOTALLY didn't cry like a baby through the ENTIRE conversation... there was no hyperventalating, no snot, no crying-so-hard-I-could-barely-see-the-road going on.... Not me. I don't do that. :)) They were on the first flight out the next morning and were at the hospital by early afternoon. They were coming out to help with the girls but since the girls were contently playing at Chelsea's they came to the hospital. (Mom, pat yourself on the back for holding it together and not crying... I knew she had spent the entire previous night in tears.) Carter was thrilled to see them. They spent a week with us. It was so refreshing on my few hours away from the hospital to come home and see their smiling faces. We all know, there's nothing in the world quite like Mom. And my mom and dad are two of my very best friends in the world. They are AWE. SOME. Seriously so cool. (But that is a post for another time.) They were able to spend a lot of time at the hospital with Carter and my mom was up to her usual antics while she was there. Making stuffed animals dance in order to get Carter to laugh. Recording the doctor on her iPhone so she could send it to my family. Giving the Doctor the hundreds of papers she had printed off from Wikipedia in case the doctor needed to learn a thing or two. (Seriously? Wikipedia? People can go in and edit that just for kicks!!) So funny. And my dad ended up extending his trip so he could spend more time with us. Who needs to work and make money anyways?!
While my parents were here partying with us, Bryan's sweet mother was waiting with baited breath for her chance to come up. She had been up visiting and had gone home a mere 24 hours before Carter was diagnosed. (Although she was very much on my side with getting him into the doctor. She was quite clearly the concerns I had with his energy level.) She had her plane ticket about .08 seconds after we told her when we wanted her to come. She once again dropped everything (she has her mother living in an attached apartment whom she cares for, her super cool husband, one daughter in high school, and two daughters off track in college all at home still). I absolutely LOVE my in-laws. You hear such horror stories about "mother-in-laws" and I am happy to say that I have none such stories. She is very respectful of us and our privacy. She loves me like I'm her own. (how could you NOT?!?) She ADORES my children.... literally, I think she would raise them for me if I asked. And, most of all, she raised the most wonderful man in the entire world. Bryan is amazing and it's in great part to how he was raised. We loved having her come visit and can't wait for her to come back.
After Maureen left Bryan's youngest sister, a junior in high school came out for the weekend. Naomi, or Auntimoni as the kiddies call her, was so great to have out here. She was the one here when Carter finally got to come home from the hospital. When we walked in the door there was a HUGE banner that she and Addilyn had made hanging on the wall welcoming home Carter. There was also a chocolate cake in the oven to have for dessert. SO thoughtful!!
Naomi had to get back for school, but have no fear, Noelle came to the rescue. She came and visited for a week. The kids had a blast with her. Even though Carter's energy level was st rock bottom, she would be sure to include him whenever he was up for playing. They were constantly building forts, playing, and doing all kinds of things that fun aunts do. She was really good about stepping up and getting things done when I needed a break. I never had to tell her what I needed. She just seemed to know.
Next was Nellie's turn. I'm pretty sure I need to replace Nellie's jeans after her visit. They played so much "Doggy" that I'm sure she has a few holes in the knees of her pants. She was the one here when Carter's hair started falling out. She was very sweet and sympathetic with the whole thing.
All three of these girls were so great about helping out. They cleaned, changed bums, put kids in bed, cooked, babysat, let me nap... you name it, they did it. And Dru and Maureen foot the bill for all of their plane tickets. They didn't bat an eye lash when it came to getting the girls up here to help us out. (And we all know how cheap plane tickets are when you are buying them only a week in advance.)
Once Bryan's family was done with their rounds up here it was Aunt Kelly's turn. Kelly is my super duper sister. She's older than me so sometimes she doubles as a mom. :) She came up for a few days while her sweetie of a husband watched the Ladies. (Have I mentioned how much I love her girls?!?) My kids ADORE her and were N.O.T. happy to see her go. She was here when Carter had his second port surgery. By this point Preslee was pretty much over everyone in the world who wasn't Bryan or me, but she loved Kelly.
My kids are so lucky. They have the world's best aunts. And 1/2 of them were able to come visit during that first month. When one family member left, the kids were heartbroken. But their hearts quickly healed as another fun family member swooped in to play with them and keep their minds off of the fact that Mommy and Daddy weren't quite themselves and that Carter was going through all kinds of stuff that wasn't normal. We will be eternally grateful to everyone who came and helped out during this time. We are also grateful for those who WANTED to come help but because of their own families and schooling were not able to be here in person. We know their hearts were with us the entire time.
This post would not be complete without mentioning Chelsea. She has been my go to throughout this past month. She takes my girls when I have to take Carter to the doctor and Bryan's working. She dropped her plans for a girls night out at 8:00 at night when Carter was diagnosed. She rushed right over (Bryan hadn't even told her what was wrong when he called her) and stayed with my girls until Bryan got home around 1:00am. (Not entirely true... Nash needed to eat so Josh stepped in and stayed the remainder of the time.) She also took them the entire next day. It was easily over 12 hours. And then she let me cry on her shoulder when I can to get them that night. She has seriously been my angel. I could not have made it through the last month without her here. She NEVER makes me feel bad about leaving the girls with her (I promise I try not to take advantage of her... I've only gone shopping twice when I told her I was really going to the doctor. ;)) I love her so very much!!!
While it was wonderful to have a lot of family rotating through, it was also nice to have our little apartment back to ourselves (and to finally get Carter off of the blow-up mattress in our room and back into his own room). The night Kelly left (she was our last visitor) Carter said to me, "Mom, I really liked having everyone come visit but I'm excited to just have our little family together again." Made mama happy. :) We've been doing well on our own. I've had to call on Chels a little more but I figure once I wear my welcome out with her I'll move onto Katie and Kim... forewarned, ladies!!! :)