Growing up too fast....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Granddad Thurmond Meets his Granddaughters for the first time...

Been awhile since I've posted an update on Dad. This past weekend, Amber, Chris, the twins (Sadie n' Trista), and I made the trip over to Dyersburg to surprise him. Amber's babies were born 6 weeks ago, and she hasn't been ready to take them on a road trip till, Dad had not seen them yet. We were anxious to get there and show him what beautiful Grand-babies he has.

Presently, Dad is in a nursing home in Ridgely...about 15 minutes from Dyersburg in West, TN. We hate having him there, but Mom had to go back to work and Dad requires full time care right now. Also, in order for Medicare to cover his rehabilitation, he must actually stay in the facility at much as we all hate him being there. We're pretty sure he hates it too. Being stuck in a nursing home was his worst nightmare.

So, Saturday morning, Mom left the house early to go pick up Dad and take him to church. We showed up and he was already sitting in the pew. We snuck in with the babies. Amber had Sadie and I had Trista. I walked in with her and sat right next to Dad. At first he was ecstatic, as he usually is when family comes around, but when he saw Trista...he lost it. He started boo-hooing pretty heavy and couldn't take his eyes off her. I'm pretty sure he was just overwhelmed and they were tears of joy. He finally calmed down so they could continue with the service. I held Trista throughout and she just slept calmly in my arms. Dad was staring down at her throughout the sermon.

After the sermon, I put Trista in his good [left] arm and let him dote over her for a bit...then switched her out for Sadie. He was ecstatic and clearly proud to be a Grand-Dad to such beautiful twin girls. He gets tired and distracted quickly, so after awhile, he was ready to hit potluck.

We spent the rest of the day together with Dad at home. He's getting around better on his feet, but moves very slowly. He doesn't have much control over his right leg, so he has to be very careful not to catch his foot and stumble when walking. He pretty much needs someone's arm or a walker to hold onto when on his feet...but, at least he can walk, so for that we are thankful.

He's very aware. In fact, Mom thinks his OCD has gotten worse...hehe. He's quite coherent and still taking initiative to keep himself groomed, tidy, and neat. He get's easily confused, however. For instance...I spent about an hour with him, giving him a shave, helping him comb his hair, and brushing his teeth. I put some toothpaste on the brush and handed it to him...he started to comb his hair with it. After I brushed his teeth, I was trying to get him to rinse and spit in the sink. I kept pointing at the sink and saying "spit", he swallowed the toothpaste in his mouth, then bent over and started trying to talk to the faucet. You can't help but laugh...but I'm sure it's very frustrating for him. It's as if everything is delayed and very confusing, so you have to be really patient with him when communicating or getting him to complete a task.

He still cannot speak as of now...but, is learning a few words here n' there. This past week he learned "I LOVE YOU", so that's his new phrase...for everything. We're pretty sure he knows exactly what he wants to say, but just can't form the words. So, the only thing that comes out are mumbles and groans, or what he knows, which right now is "I LOVE YOU." Not a bad phrase to learn and certainly something we should all say more often.

Lara should be en route to Tennessee as you read this. She's decided to move up here from Corpus Christi to help Mom with Dad. This will allow Mom to keep working and Lara will be able to help Dad at home for a bit. She has a lot of ideas for therapy and helping him become more independent, so it'll be great having her there with Mom. We're remaining hopeful that he continues to improve...but at this point it doesn't look like we'll be able to leave him alone for any length of time. If he falls and breaks could - and most likely would - be devastating for him. Only time will tell.

We're happy Dad's doing as well as he is. Considering the magnitude of the stroke...he's lucky to be alive. We're especially thankful that he was able to live to be a Grand-Dad. Again...thanks to everyone for your continued inquiry, thoughts, and well wishes. We tell Dad about everyone that asks about him...he smiles in appreciation. Till next time, Dad has a quick message below for all of you...just click PLAY on the clip below.

Monday, January 26, 2009

First trip away from home to see Grandad Thurmond and JuJu

The girls finally got to meet their Grandad Thurmond for the first time and some of their cousins in Dyersburg. Amber also was finally able to see him for the first time since the stroke. It has been 90 days since the stroke and Dad is doing much better. His motor skills are much better, though not completely stable, he can walk fairly well, feed himself just fine, and responds to everything you say as if he knows exactly what you are saying with facial expressions, snapping his fingers to let you know he agrees, he just cant quite get his speech down yet. He can get out very clearly, "I love you", and that is what he says for everything he wants to say. It is almost as if in his mind he is talking to you normally, but his mouth speeks " I love you ". We took the girls to their fist church experience and this is where Dad got to meet them for the first time after anticipating their arrival for a long time. He was overcome with emotion and wept out loud during the service when he saw them. It was a very touching moment. He knew exactly who they were, and when he only saw one, he motioned as if to say "where is the other one". So his mind is very sharp, just needs to get the speech down. It was good to see him, he was able to stay with us and the girls all day Saturday, and went back to the rehab facility about 8PM. We headed back Sunday afternoon, and the girls did great on their first trip to and from Dyersburg, slept for 3 hours each way!

The Girls meet their Great Grandparents, and Great Great Grandad!

The girls have finally been able to meet all of their Grandparents, Great Grandparents, and Great Great Grandfather!

Look A Likes

Now that we have a picture of Chris when he was a baby, lets try this again. When you see them in person, it is pretty crazy how much Trista looks like Amber and Sadie looks like Chris compared to baby pictures of 30 years ago.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update on the Carlson Family

Well, it has been 5 weeks tomorrow since our lives have been permanently altered, I like to think for the better, but I am biased. We have learned a few things since these little bundle of joys have entered our lives: 1. we thought that time was flying before kids...... 2. we have come to the reality that 1 baby would still be a challenge, BUT, two is a challenge you'll never know until you go through it yourself, MAD PROPS to those who have raised twins...... 3. it no longer matters what your house looks like, or you for that matter....... 4. what the heck is sleep?....... 5. diapers are like water with two, 20-25 a day!...... 5. the dog becomes a dog and not your child, and unfortunately he knows it now, not depressed, but much more calm...... 6. updating your blog, or checking emails, or answering your phone doesn't happen...... 7. and of course the days of jumping in the car and heading out on a whim are over for a while, and on and on. It is all worth it though when they are looking you right in the eyes and smile out of the blue.
We have had our share of sleepless nights, but that is getting better, it is just quite a process feeding two, and getting them back down without waking the other. They already have little traits that are unique to each one. It will be so interesting to see how their personalities change. We cant take enough pictures right now, and those who know me and can imagine.....I will be filling up hard drives right and left. We are really enjoying them and having fun, wouldn't trade either one for anything, love them both dearly.
Also want to send out a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has brought food by, or gift cards for restaurants, it has been a HUGE help, I think we have yet to fix a main dish. I am keeping Amber fed well with all of it, and only have to make her breakfast. So THANK YOU. Also thank you to all of our babysitters, Mimi, Juju, great aunt Faye, uncle Steve, Cecil, Lindsey, Erica, and more. We are still learning as we go, but getting the hang of it. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Trista and Sadie's first stroll in the neighborhood

Trista and Sadie got to show off their cute little bear suits that kept them very warm. It has been pretty cold to get them outside lately, so we figured we would take advantage of the "not as cold" day, and get some fresh air. They were not to happy about being strapped in, but after a few seconds of the bumpy road they went right to sleep. Great success!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bath Time

"mom, please give me some privacy." Both love bath time and so do mom and dad cause they sleep so much better! Monday the 12th they will be 4 weeks old. Time flies when you're up every three hours-They are sleeping pretty good from 10 to 2 and then from 3 to 7. Chris has been so much help with burping, diaper changing and late night feedings making sure they get back to sleep.
Although I have been a couple days by myself I am managing pretty good but it definitely is challenging.
Tomorrow Chris and I have a night on the town and then to the CELINE DION concert. Cant wait! Mimi Carlson and JuJu Thurmond are taking care of the girls-thank you!
Sadie is the one with her hands by her face.

Our two little bears....on their first walk

Trista to say the least did not like her bear outfit. Sadie on the other hand was out cold before we even got her in the stroller for the walk and when we got back Chris put her straight in the crib and she slept for 2 hours.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Trista and Amber

Here is a pic to show you how much Trista looks like Amber. The picture is of Amber 30 years ago. Sadie looks a lot like Chris in his baby pictures, will try to get a picture up of him compared to Sadie.