So, I was looking at this in mid October and was thinking it’s been really quiet, but I should post something to bring everyone up to speed on the non-happenings. And then the world exploded. Not quite literally of course but for all the peace we literally had our world turned on end. I am pretty sure most everyone close to us knows how the last several weeks have gone, but I know there’s more that read this blog and wanted to give everyone a timeline of the goings on in our home.
When I posted last Gwendalynn had marked the end of our birthday season, and Megan was pregnant with Ethan. We were settling into what was going to be a record drought for a Texas summer which was looking to be pretty dull. We have a rule of no kids going outside after it’s 85 deg. The door doesn’t get opened and closed as the older 5 came inside and out letting the heat in, and the cold out. The A/C in the duplex was small. The tipping point was 76* on the inside. If the temp got above that point the A/C wouldn’t be able to keep up. Using the stove or the oven before 9 or 10 was not permitted unless we wanted to roast until about 4 am when the AC caught up. The other reason for staying inside is the heat and the kids staying hydrated. Tough to do when the temp is 105+. I was riding a bike to the train station to save money on gas during this time, and even I was having a problem with it. It was far safer to shelter in the duplex rather than attempt to do anything outside. We did this for the entirety of the summer. Didn’t have enough money to do anything at the pool, and no gas to get to a river or anything else anyways. The new job was going good, but the van is a thirsty girl.
It had started to cool off and it felt like we had come out of hibernation. We had to shave everyone bald to fix a hygiene issue that couldn’t be handled with chemicals because of Megan’s pregnancy. A pregnancy that had been a little rougher than usual. We had about a week or so before Megan dropped into labor unexpectedly by going straight for Toxemia. We had been told the Friday before that Ethan was breech and up high in an odd position. The signs of shock she was displaying combined with Ethan’s position was enough for Megan to agree that a C-section was prudent, before it became an emergency. Hence Ethan was born on the 23 of October. We have a tradition of not taking a newborn anyplace or to see anyone for at least the first month of life. Primarily for bonding, establishing a healthy nursing pattern and taking time to for everyone to get to know their new sibling and for Mom and Dad to recover from all this. Our “BabyMoon”, our time of peace when Ethan can eat and sleep undisturbed for his first 30 days in this world wasn’t going to happen.
from September to November we were also scrambling to find a new place to live since the lease was up and it wasn’t going to be renewed. Rent was also being increased and the duplex was in a location where the police chopper was an evening regular. The last night we were there the police were pulling people from our back yard. We had found and been approved for the new apartment the day before Megan went into labor and bought a couple baby jumpers before going home. While Megan was in the hospital I moved the bulk of our living essentials such as beds, desks, computers and accessories to the new apartment. Megan went from the duplex, to the hospital to the apartment without having to take Ethan to the old place. Normally we could have received help from fellow church members to pack and unpack transport for moving. But we had another infestation to cure and everything had to be dismantled, sprayed and transported in small chunks. In total it took me about 7 trips in the van with the benches out.
We had about a week to settle again and put up our feet before my Mom came over for her annual visit from Oregon and Shirley’s 14th Birthday. This was a nice time as well as about a week of peace before Megan’s Dad died of a massive stroke brought on by undiagnosed diabetes and high blood pressure. We have about another week until we could collect my paycheck and head to Fremont California for the viewing and funeral. It was about 1900 miles one way, and done in just under 72 hours. Ethan turned 1 month old the same day of Jay’s funeral.
We spent the next week in a house that her Aunt owns and Megan got to see her children live and play in the house she herself spent some childhood in. We took care of some paperwork we had left behind when we had Left California for Florida in 2006 and picked up Jaydn’s birth certificate since his original had been lost. We then took a trip to some of the places around Hollister we had been frequented when we first became a couple and took photos. It was a tremendous blessing for our family to be able to take our children to where we met, and some of our more memorable early moments in our relationship. Yes, there was the ever iconic tree involved in these photos too. No, we aren’t the type to etch our names into a tree though there is ample evidence of others doing just that.
With Thanksgiving just the next day we spent Thanksgiving with family we hadn’t seen for 5 years, and started packing up that evening. getting the majority of everything in the van that we didn’t need for sleep. We left around noon on Black Friday, for another trip of 1900 miles, done in 48 hours. Getting better rest before the initial leg made a huge difference. We got home Sunday afternoon, brought in perishables and collapsed. Later that evening we unpacked the van, cleaned it, and washed the road grime. Time for an oil change, tuneup, front tires and rear brakes.
I had about a week of normal work getting caught up on the larger items that required special attention. I than Took Little Debbie to the hospital for a fever that was discovered to be caused by a bladder infection. Most likely acquired during the endurance drive from California. On Sunday I took Megan to the ER for a huge Fever for which she would spend the entire week in the Ante Partem wing. temps there reached 104+ and required ice packs in various locations to keep her brain from cooking. She seems to have come out of that ok but it’s the second time this year she’s made me start planning what I would have to do to raise our children if she had died.
All this time we hadn’t been able to get to church. It was a physical impossibility. The only optional weeks were right after we had shaved everyone, and that was only two. Today, we were able to return. Not only were we at church, we were on time!
Some people would look at this and see how tough it’s been for us. True, it’s been hard, but the Lord has been in full evidence for the blessings we have received along the way. We have a wonderful new boy, we got to spend time with my Mom, and she and the children got to spend some time with Grandma. The great-aunts got to meet all the kids and we had Thanksgiving with family we hadn’t seen in a long time. We came home with some of the little inexpensive things that were sorely needed like silverware and bowls, towels and some blankets. We were blessed with a safe trip and with an awesome Job that provided an income that enabled us to complete all of these challenges, and still remain stable as a family, as well as residence and employment. Oh, and somewhere in all this, I made employee of the Month for November. First. Time. Ever.
I am very proud of my family, for we have faced these multiple life events. Which for many even one would rend the fabric of an individual, much less a family. We have faced all these and are home and safe, ready to start the new week. I pray the lord see’s fit to bless us with peace, tranquility and Serenity for the next year or two. Because while we survived all this, it sure would be nice to have some dullness and regularity back in our lives. :)
Photos will begin appearing on the Baker Family Photo Album soon and will continue to be updated as we process them.
Peace and God Bless,