The auto repair shop that we bought in March is doing amazingly well. I guess we have the poor economy to thank for that - more people fixing their old cars rather than buying new ones. Of course, the poor economy also means we end up with a large number of customers that have to seriously stress over getting their brakes replaced (for example) than you might normally see.
Joe works longer hours and harder than about anyone I've known. After a couple of weeks running the office and having another mechanic do the wrenching, he realized that mechanic was NOT going to work out. His work was sloppy and unreliable. So, Joe headed out into the shop to do the wrenching himself and I was called back into the workforce to man the office. Sadly, that meant the Olivia and Ezra would no longer be able to stay with me during the days and daycare was in their future (with literally a day's notice). I agonized over the decision, but we felt that for the survival of the business it would be necessary, at least short term. I enrolled the kids in the best daycare I could find and choked back my feelings of disappointment and failure.
E&O made sure to voice their unhappiness with the change of pace initially too. Ezra, in particular, took about a month to warm up to the situation. He HATED drop offs in the morning, but was usually having a blast and playing like crazy when I'd go to pick them up in the evening. Ez now has a best friend that he loves to head-butt and wrestle with. His buddy, JH, is also a twin, and his sister, JN, is best buddies with Livi. Ezi also decided he just loved a little girl named M, and gives her hugs and kisses all the time. Very cute stuff, let me tell you.
Between the most chaotic workdays I've ever had and the hustle and bustle of life with two toddlers, the summer passed us by in the wink of an eye. Suddenly, it's September and I haven't found a moment to blog since April. Yikes! I've missed a lot and will never be able to really catch the blog up. Some "highlights" in brief however:
1) Ezra and Olivia have been fighting sickness galore since starting in daycare. It's been a stream of ear infections which nearly landed Ezra in surgery to get some tubes. Thankfully, we've been ear infection free for about a month and a half now. Whew! Let's hope that's the end of that... somehow I kind of doubt it though. Right now, both have runny noses and Ezra seems to be pretty darn grumpy. Ugh.
2) Joe's schedule prevented him from being able to travel to the Ethiopian Heritage Camp in California with us (we'd pre-paid in January expecting we could make it work), so my dear friend, T, travelled with us and prevented me from being up a creek with out a paddle (no way could I keep the twin tornadoes under control on a trip like that alone!). The flight out went about as smoothly as could be hoped for and we took the kids straight to the beach. After seeing a dead seal rolling in and out on the shoreline just feet from where we were playing in the sand, we headed up to the camp.
First thing in the morning the first session of camp began. As an adult-only discussion about race, there was a daycare set up for the kids. I was quite leery to leave the kids, as they were worried about being out of their element and the setting was less than "safe" in my opinion. There was a large slide meant for older children on the outside deck (literally on a wood deck), and about 21+ young children (4 and under) to only two adults. Seemed like a recipe for disaster, but I tried to let go of my over-protectiveness and trust the situation since the other parents obviously had. I walked around the corner with T (who was celebrating and making phone calls to family as she JUST learned they passed court for their Ethiopian beauties!!!) and waited two minutes before peeking back around the building to see how they were doing.
As I came around the corner, I heard a sound that makes a mommy's blood run cold. My feet began pounding against the pavement and I was grabbing Ezi out of the arms of one of the caretakers before I realized WHAT was even happening. After a quick wipe on the side of his head, the caretaker told me he'd fallen and was bleeding a little bit. I glanced at his cheek where I thought she'd wiped and didn't see anything. Tracy grabbed Livi and I asked what happened. I learned (in broken English as the caretaker was Ethiopian) that Ezra had fallen off the slide... a mere five feet or so. HOW and WHY he was up there was beyond me. I touched the back of his head and pulled my hand back wet - covered in blood. We rushed off for a first aid kit. I asked T to put the gloves we were given on and to try and clean it up so I could hold him. She wouldn't touch it and we agreed a trip to the emergency room was in order.
While zooming down the two lane road out of the mountains, following a camp employee to the E.R., Ezra's head began to droop and we couldn't get him to keep his eyes open. THAT was the scariest moment. Until then, I was holding it together and staying strong for him. Seeing him losing consciousness freaked me out completely. That was definitely one of those situations I don't hope to relive.
Ezi was a trooper at the E.R. and received a few staples in his scalp to close the wound. Under strict instructions to observe for further signs of brain injury and advisement that staying close to a hospital for 48 hours, it was agreed with the doctors we needed to get home to Colorado and not head back up to the camp. We packed up and did just that. So, we missed the ENTIRE camp, which was a real bummer as I'm sure the experience would have been great for the kiddos as well as us adults.
Thankfully, Ezra recovered very well and has done great. I'm so proud of him and thankful that he was so lucky. A fall that far onto such a hard surface could have been MUCH more devastating. I'm also sooooo glad that I was worried enough to go back so quickly to check on him. He's doing great now, and that's what matters.
3) We moved into a nice new place that's very close to our shop. It was a new home, so no landscaping whatsoever. That's one more thing that's kept us busy - getting fencing in, irrigation, and hopefully grass at some point! ;-) In the meantime, it's a bit muddy when it rains! One thing at a time, and one expense at a time these days.
I can honestly say there is no way I would have pictured this is where we'd be right now at this time last year, but I'm thankful for the life lessons we're learning. We're working harder than ever for less money but appreciating the achievements so much more. You reap what you sow, and we are sowing our booties off... so hopefully the reaping is coming. :-) Something like that, anyway. Let's just say that it's been a tough year in many, MANY respects, but I know that things happen for a reason and good times are ahead.
While I'm into the honesty though, I'll say that I now have a very hard time choking back laughter when people tell me bad things happen in three's. Um, three's? Really? Try 3*100 or something like that. It's been a year where one challenge is followed up by another, bigger one. When I'm feeling like I can't handle any more though, I focus on all that we have and what a miracle our two kids are. They are really, truly amazing. For them, we can get through anything.
I certainly don't mean for that to come off as overly dramatic, so I apologize if that's how it seems. I can't go into detail on all the drama that's been going on in our lives in various forms this year, as it's not exactly anyone else's business. :-) And it's not that one single thing has been ridiculously bad, just so many things all rolled into each other that leaves a person struggling for some reprieve. The hardest part for me is that I know we still don't have things that bad compared to many people. So, I feel selfish when I am overwhelmed with everything life tosses at us. I KNOW it could be worse, but that doesn't really make me feel any less weak on the days where the *crap* continues to pile on.
I'm not really sure if ANY of that makes much sense, so I'll just end it with that. Life is HARD sometimes and that's that. Things are/will get better. Ezra and Olivia are the smartest, most beautiful, amazing babies in the whole world. Oh, and some of the biggest for their age too! TALL and super skinny. Barely any of that delightful baby fat most kids have at some point... they are ridiculously muscular and lean.
I'll work on getting some more current pictures uploaded next. As with everything I've been bad about this summer, I haven't taken nearly as many pictures as I should have. Hmmmm.... anything else I can slack on here? Nope, don't think so!
That's all for now! More soon (I hope!)