Elbow deep in who-knows-what while hanging by one toe from the step ladder and simultaneously trying to occupy two toddlers and a 3 year old, I realized that I am frantically trying to prepare for the arrival of a baby that has no due date.
I do not know when Hazel Grace will come home, but whenever it is, I want to be ready.
But how do you get ready for a baby to come home when you have no idea what her needs will be when she gets here?
And I have no idea. So, in light of not knowing, I am attempting to prepare for anything. Which with 5 other kids in the house is virtually impossible.
I have realized that what this house is really missing is some kind of basement or playroom or something because it seems that where ever I need to be, everyone else is there, too, and there's not even anywhere to send them off to play...especially on rainy days.
This became even more painfully evident this past weekend when we had a bunch of people come over to help us get some work done around here. The kids were completely underfoot, and there wasn't even anywhere that I could really slip away to for pumping! Let's just say that it was stressful, but the outcome was incredible!
The biggest thing was that we were able to replace the carpet upstairs with new flooring. Although it was not imperative that we remove the carpeting, it was in pretty bad shape, and it is always better to have hard floors when there is someone in the family with respiratory issues, which is exactly what Hazel has. We used a floating laminate flooring that looks like wood and was easy to install. It looks incredible!
Here are a few pictures:
This is after we removed the carpet from Jesse and Gabriel's room, which used to be the girls' room hence the purple walls.
Here's another shot of the subflooring in their room...these pictures make their room look HUGE! (Don't be deceived)
This is after the plywood was put down over the existing subfloor. We had to do this because the original subfloor was not solid but rather just planks that had a lot of gaps, squeaking and uneven areas.
This is the subfloor in our room. It was in much better condition.
Here's Jimmy, starting to lay the new floor.
Here's the finished floor in the boys' room. The patch on the wall was from the hole we had to cut in the wall to get the cat out when she died under the floor a few weeks ago.
Here's another shot of their room.
It appears that I don't have a picture of the finished floor in our room, but let me just say that it looks just as great.
We toyed with putting in a lighter colored flooring since the rooms are so small, but I really really liked this darker look, and I knew that if I went with the lighter one, I would never really be happy with it. You may not be able to see, but the 'planks' are a wider 7" and the 'wood' has a distressed look. I really love it and am so glad that we went ahead and used the darker choice.
We also got a lot of yard work done. The grapes are cut back for the winter, and the gardens are cleared of the summer growth.
We were very blessed to have help this weekend. Sometimes things just get so overwhelming that I feel paralyzed by all that needs to be done to maintain the house and yard in addition to keeping up with everyday life. I helps to have other people around helping out who both know what they are doing and who have the tools to get it done right and keep you on track and on target with the goals of what needs to be done.
Now all that is left in the boys' room is to get their beds in there and get some curtains on the windows. I think that for now we will leave the walls purple since the kids don't seem to care and the material I found for the curtains has an outer space theme and will work well with the purple color. Plus, once we get the beds in there, you won't really be able to see much of the walls anyway.
And just for fun, here's some other pictures to show what the kids have been up to lately:
Yes, they are in tires. But they are clean and new. In fact, they are listed on craigslist right now...(kids not included unless the price is right!)
Anyway, baby Hazel is at 4 pounds, 8 ounces and is still doing well. In fact, she has dropped another point on the pressure of her ventilator and is at 24 now! Keep praying for that miracle! How utterly amazing would it be if she were to be able to come home soon and without a trach!