Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A visit from Auntie Grace

This summer is so much the opposite of last summer for me.  Last summer I was all over the place visiting family.   This summer everyone is coming to me.  Last week was my sister Grace.  At 21, Grace is the second-to-youngest of the five of us siblings.  She has been extremely busy with nursing school and her job, but somehow she ended up with no school in July, and she was able to get her shifts covered at work for a few days to come help me out.

Grace got here late last Tuesday night, and she stayed until the following Monday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning while I was out, she and the girls tried out this recipe for making your own finger paint, that I had found  a few days before.  It turned out pretty well, although for the most part, they preferred using paintbrushes to using their fingers.
That same day, my midwife made a home visit, and Grace got to see how the birth pool is set up.  When I saw how long it took Sherry to inflate it, I opted to just leave it that way, storing it on its side next to the bed.  It is way bigger than I'd pictured.  Grace thought the words on the side, "Birth Pool in a Box," were funny.  She said, "Let's fill it up and sit in it tonight!"  We didn't, only because I'd have to replace the one-time use disposable liner that's in it.  I know I'm a party pooper.

Also that day, we got to Skype with Tim, whose ship made a three-day stop at Palma de Majorca, a Spanish island and big vacation spot for Europeans.  He described it as Destin, FL in Europe -- pretty much the beach and not much else.  Tim is not a big beach person, but I think he enjoyed getting to stay off the ship in a nice hotel.  Just like last time, it was so nice to get to talk to him face to face, but it did make me miss him more.  The girls are not the best at carrying on conversations on Skype, but they were pretty happy to see their daddy.  They were very amused when he would press a nostril, or eyeball, or open mouth up to the camera too.
The next day, we spent the morning at the beach.  
She was only this happy for 5 minutes, and she was a grouch the rest of the time.
We did some shopping Saturday morning, and I got the girls some new shoes.
We went out to dinner, and then a walk around downtown and, of course, a stop at Cow Cafe for ice cream.
Last picture of me and just my girls?
The girls loved the piggyback rides.
The night before she left, we had the misfortune of the air-conditioning breaking.  It was funny at first, because I'm always so hot anyway and Grace isn't.  I gave her and Sophie a hard time for wearing sweaters into the grocery store while we were in Florida.  Like a couple of little old ladies, they were.  

We'd just had hamburgers on the George Foreman grill, and had made fries in the oven.  So when it felt really warm afterward, we assumed it was because the oven had just been at 450 degrees.  But as I felt warmer and warmer, I started saying things like, "I'm not turning on that oven again for three months."  Then I went and looked at the thermostat.  "Grace, it's set to 75, but it's at 80 right now.  A couple hours ago, it was set to 78 and the temp was 76.  How do you figure that?"  She said she felt fine, and didn't believe that temperature could be right.  Then I went upstairs, looked at the thermostat there, and yelled down, "Hey, Grace!  It's set to 75 up here, but it's 89!  I think the AC's broken."  She said, "I think your thermostats are broken."

It turned out I was right, and not just having another prego hot-flash.  We would end up doing without air-conditioning for about 36 hours in this house.  We toughed it out the first night, but by the following afternoon, I accepted the offer of a friend to stay at her house.  It was an unbearably hot and exhausting couple of days for me.

Grace took this picture of me looking spectacularly awful that first night with no AC.  I am only posting it here because I think it's hilarious, not because I think it flatters me in any way.  The cold pack helped a lot.  Then I went to bed hugging one of the frozen margaritas in a bag my mother-in-law left while she was here.  It fit perfectly in the same sleeve as the cold pack.  Thanks, Carolyn!
Grace was such a huge help to me while she was here -- cleaning up after dinner, giving the girls baths, running errands, allowing me to go on my errands alone, and just doing whatever she could to make my life a little easier.  And at the end of the night, we'd watch episodes of Criminal Minds that I'd saved on my DVR, but been too scared to watch alone.  I sure miss her.

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