Lately, things in the Jones household have become more productive, organized and fun! After an extensive search for the right person to be a full time nanny, we met someone who made a wonderful impression on us. I'd like to introduce Emily, our new nanny.
If you've read any of the "Day in the Life" posts, it becomes clear that our family would benefit from having another person help out. To say that Emily helps out is an understatement. Her priority is looking after Donnie while I take care of David and do his daily program, but in the short time since she's been with us, she has not only been teaching and playing with Donnie, but keeping on top of household chores and learning how to care for David.
Before Emily, or "Em," as Donnie calls her, the boys and I were limited during the day in what we could accomplish or where we could travel. Jeremy no longer has to take off work for doctor appointments, as Emily drives, navigates, and keeps Toads entertained while his brother is seeing doctors and therapists. Donnie has fun meeting new kids in the waiting room too! Back at home, grocery store trips are no longer late night excursions made after everyone is sleeping. No more shopping for the Oregon trail!! We are now able to shop a couple times a week or as needed and it feels like a luxury.
In the speech therapy waiting room
Everyone is getting significantly more (and much needed!) outside time. While I am doing the program with David, Emily and Donnie go out to the park and play ball. After so many months of being cooped up inside, Donnie is now out running and playing in the fresh air and sunlight. The arrival of wonderful spring weather provides a welcome change of scenery not only for Donnie, but David as well. He and I accompany Emily and Donnie on short walks, or sit out in the front yard, enjoying nature.
David's inclined floor is in the front room of our house. Usually, I'd bring both boys in there and they would take turns on the slide. Now while David slides, Emily and Donnie participate in the therapy and we open the door to let the natural light in. Between slides I can take David outside and he LOVES it. To say it is refreshing is an understatement.
Once we had a routine down during the day, Emily quickly learned how to suction David's trach. Not long after that, she began practicing feeding David, observing trach care, and learning what to do in various emergency situations. For the first time (besides when David was in the hospital) David was at home without both myself and Jeremy. Emily and Jeremy's mom watched the boys for a good part of a day. When I returned home, the environment was serene and everyone had a good afternoon at the house.
Suctioning the trach
Emily preparing David's blenderized diet
A positive environment is crucial for David's recovery. Jeremy and I make it a point to surround David with individuals possessing an optimistic attitude. David knows when someone believes in him, and Emily is one of those people. The solitude of weekdays and some weekends have been replaced with conversation, more activity, more laughter, and more food thanks to Emily's generous friends who have offered to make our family a weekly meal. We have all certainly enjoyed it!
Emily is engaged to be married this summer. I recently attended her wedding shower and met her mom and future mother-in-law, both of whom are very kind women. Emily and her fiance, Mike, moved to Houston from Minnesota. She is deciding between a career as a teacher or a nurse. At our house she will have great experience with both, and I think she will do a stellar job at whatever path she chooses.
Thank you to Rosemary, for coming to help once again!! Thanks also to all who have made food for our family. We have certainly enjoyed your wonderful dishes! Your kindness means a lot to us.