Making The Best Of It

Well our long weekend turned out nothing like we had planned. Here in Canada, Victoria Day weekend or “May Long” as most call it, is the unofficial kick off to the summer. We planned on spending it camping, until the accident that is. On our way home Thursday we planned an alternative activity with the kids that kept us in Calgary and close to dad. Calaway Park! It’s an amusement park just outside the city limits and Saturday was this years opening day. Our friends Adam and Jess and their kids decided to join us and my cousin Brittney brought our other cousins kids. We figured a day trip was better than the kids being cooped up in a hospital all weekend.

Friday night I packed lunches because I refuse to spend a fortune buying food for 6.

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Enough sandwiches??

We were up and out the door by 9am Saturday morning. On the way up Brandon called to tell us he was at the hospital and dad was awake and communicating! This was great news! At about 1230 we arrived at the park, Britt was already there with 3 kids, one of whom she had already briefly lost haha

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I had to get a shot at the entrance gates

The kids made a beeline for their favorite ride “the log ride” I don’t think that’s actually what it’s called. Of course the first ride of the day soaked us and my freshly straightened hair was toast. (Anyone that knows me knows this is a big deal haha) Off to the next ride we went and by this time it was getting mighty hot.

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Reegs opted out of a ride so we selfied instead

The kids tried their best to get me on the roller coaster but no way that was happening. Brad was a total sucker though….

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Away he goes

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This is the one and only roller coaster I’ve ever done and I was in the 4th grade.

While Brad, the boys, Adam, Jess and their son Dayson did the coaster, me and Britt took the other kids to the swinging ship.

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Our 2 groups met up at the swing ride where Brad informed me he was sick from the roller coaster. Of course I laughed at him. Next the boys decided to hit up a basketball game to try and win themselves some new bballs

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Success!

By this time the kids were hungry so we went out to the vehicle to eat lunch and met back up with everyone at the bumper boats. Another water based attraction.

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Waiting in line, getting a sunburn 

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We did a few more rides, the bumper cars and the haunted house before we realized it was almost closing time and we wanted to get to the hospital soon to see dad. The kids wanted to do the “drop” ride, a ride that lifts you in the air and then drops you down several times in a row, and the the log ride before we left and we happily agreed.

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One of the few rides I like 

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We couldn’t resist this on our travels through the park

The log ride has a camera that snaps the riders pics on the biggest drop and some of the facial expressions are absolutely hilarious. The boys made me a deal that they would do something hilarious if I promised to buy the picture afterwards. They did not disappoint.

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Best $10 ever spent!!

Now of course I had to buy the girls which was also pretty hilarious.

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And so Jess bought the one of me, her and Dayson

 

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After this we bought a treat for the road and headed to the hospital to see dad.

Along the way we passed Calgary Olympic Park where Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsled team both competed, the children were pretty amazed they could actually see the ski jump and bobsled tracks.

We were pleasantly surprised to see dad awake when we got to the hospital even though we weren’t sure just how alert he really was, I found out in a hurry when I made a comment I thought he couldn’t hear from across the room and he flipped me the bird! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but I was sure happy to see it! He was in rough shape on the outside but still the same guy on the inside. We spent a couple hours visiting the best we could with dad considering he was still intebated and the boys found a bball court on the hospital grounds

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It was getting late and we were all starving so we promised dad we would be back in the morning and headed to Jess’ dad’s condo that he was generously letting us use. We ordered pizza, set up air mattresses and finally got to sleep around midnight.

Sunday morning we had to wake all of the kids up so they had time to eat and get ready to see grandpa. He was doing even better! We had a great visit even though all he could do was mouth words and use motions. It was like a really long game of charades. He managed to tell us he felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest and we had to tell him he had heart surgery. He was totally shocked! Every time we would tell him about an injury or surgery he had, he would mouth “no shit” haha he even made us show him the pics of his demolished truck. He couldn’t believe it and made a sad face. The girls had lots of fun with the nurse because she let them put on gloves and change his cold cloths and ice packs

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Dad was extremely hot and was making us keep him cool any way we could find

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Fanning him with their hats.

We eventually went for lunch but came right back to visit for a couple more hours. We faced timed with Brandon and Morgan, their girls and mom so they could see how well dad was doing. I, of course had a hard time containing my tears, I was so relieved he was making progress. After awhile dad started drifting off so we figured it was time to head back home so he could rest until the next day when mom was coming back up.

Earlier in the week I had noticed the hospital was right by McMahon stadium, home of the CFL team the Calgary Stampeders and I thought it would be fun to just stop and let the kids take a look at the front of it at the very least. We lucked out and found someone that told us where the gate was open so we could go in and take a closer look

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Turns out we weren’t supposed to be on the turf and after about 5 minutes someone came out and told us so. Boy did we feel silly

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I quickly lined the kids up for somewhat of an end zone pic and we got back in our truck for our long drive home.

Even though it wasn’t what we originally planned, we were happy to see dad getting better and we’re very happy to spend the weekend with him. We did what we could in our situation and I think our kids came away with some good times and pretty great memories.

C

My Father-in-Law Just Might Be Superman

Tuesday morning wasn’t anything special until about 11:30am. Brad was at work, kids were at school and I was home doing the usual laundry and cleaning. I was in the middle of a work out and could see Brad texting me about mundane things so when he called I didn’t think much of it and I figured he could wait until I was done. Then I saw a text that said “dad was in a really bad wreck you need to get mom to the hospital right now” That one stopped me in my tracks. For a second I thought, oh Bradley thinks I’m ignoring him so he made up an emergency to get me to call him back. It worked, and unfortunately it was not made up.

My father in law had been in an accident, the hospital 20 minutes away called my mother in law and told her she needed to get there asap but didn’t give her any information as to why other than Bob was involved in a car accident. I quickly changed into the first clothes I could find and I raced out the door to pick up my mother in law, Viv. Brad and his 2 brothers Ryan and Brandon were already in the city and my sister in law Morgan was on her way. Morgan called to tell me there was a detour on the highway and I’d be better off going through the neighbouring town because the detour took drivers down a dusty back road with bad visibility. We quickly realized this detour was most likely due to Bobs accident. Brad called while we were driving to fill us in on what happened. Turns out Bib was hit on the highway by a semi truck fully loaded with gravel. He also informed us they couldn’t find a pulse in dads leg and they were most likely going to air lift him to the Calgary foothills hospital.  I turned my hazards on and pinned it to the hospital. Once there, we met up with the rest of the family in a family room inside the hospitals emergency department. We had family grief councillors, police and doctors all come in to talk to us and we learned our dad had three life threatening injuries at this point (ruptured spleen, shattered pelvis, and a torn aoreta in his heart) amid a broken hip, knee and arm. They wanted to airlift him but the helicopter was rerouted somewhere else so they were taking him by ambulance. This was when I heard the worst words I’ve ever heard. It was very likely he wouldn’t make it the 2.5 hour drive and we needed to prepare ourselves, they then led us into the emergency room dad was in so we could say our “goodbyes” We were beyond devastated. Brad and I decided we would drive up with mom, and Brandon and morgan would take their vehicle. After making arrangements for our kids for the next couple days we ran home to pack a bag, while my sister in law Rachel went home with Viv to help her get her stuff organized. We hauled ass to Calgary while we dealt with numerous phone calls and text from people who were hearing the news. The media had coverage and pictures of the wreck and of course curiosity got the best of me and I had to look. Bad, bad idea.

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The semi that hit him

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He was extracted out by the jaws of life

I was a mess. All I could think was, “Nope, this can’t be it. Me and my kids have only had this wonderful man in our lives for 4 years and we are not ready to give him up yet” Brad asked me to call the Foothills hospital to see if they’d let us know when he arrived. They told me to call back in about an hour and if he wasn’t there yet I could continue to check every 20-30 minutes. That was the longest hour of my life.

Finally it was time to call. I’m pretty sure the three of us in that truck held our breath the entire time I waited for an answer.  Our prayers had been answered. He made it and he was stable!! And so was his leg they couldn’t find a pulse on! I was so relieved. He was still intebated and they were just assessing him to see if he was going to the ICU or straight to surgery so the lady on the phone gave me instructions on what to do when we arrived. It was at this point I thought “he’s got this”.

After some confusion of where exactly we were going (we ended up at the university and Brandon and Morgan took a wrong turn) we made it to the hospital emergency room where we were told to wait and the staff would find out where dad was. It felt like we waited for eternity.  A social worker came and found us to give us the run down of the hospital on our way to where dad was. They had taken him to surgery so we were shown to the waiting room on the surgical floor and told in an hour we could call the social workers again and they could find out some more information for us. Again the waiting was awful. We called the social worker and we found out dad was in surgery for his heart and his spleen as these were the biggest concerns. We waited again. After about 6-7 hours of waiting we finally got a call saying dad was transferred to ICU and we could go see him. So far he had made the drive up and through surgery. Relief all around.

He was heavily sedated and obviously had no idea we were there. The doctors and nurses filled us in on how the surgery went and said this is how he would be all night but if we wanted to come back and listen in on morning rounds we were more than welcome and we should be there just before 9 because he would be the first person they checked on. We went to a hotel to try and get some sleep.

We were back bright and early and dad was in pretty much the same condition. Morning rounds in this hospital were intense. I counted 13 people reporting on dad. They did some neurological exams to rule out any head trauma and decided to send him in for round 2 of surgery to fix his knee, hip and pelvis. Brandon and morgan had to get home so me, Brad and Viv went back to the hotel to wait out the surgery.

6 hours later the hospital called and we headed back. Surgery had gone well and he was still heavily sedated. It was already fairly late so we called it a night.

Thursday morning arrived and we were back in the hospital for report. Nothing much had changed but they had decided to start waking him every 4 hours to continue nueralogical checks. We hung around the hospital for the day before we decided there wasn’t much we could do and figured it was time to head back home for a night and we would come back for the weekend.

I’ll get to the weekend in another post.

This was one of the scariest situations I’ve ever had to deal with and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Our family is so incredibly greatful for all the love and support we have received in the last week we honestly are blown away by everyone who has offered their help to get us through this tough time. Dad has a long road ahead of him but he’s one tough SOB and we are already seeing improvements. I married into one of the closest families I’ve ever seen, it’s incredible they are able to lean on each other in a situation like this and I’m so grateful I have them right now.

C

A Blog In The Making

Why did I start this blog you ask? Let me give you my reasons

•I LIKE TO WRITE. Always have. I think it stems from my need to always have a book on the go.

•I THINK MY FAMILY IS HILARIOUS. I wanted to share our stories without bombarding everyone’s facebook and insta feeds.

•I NEEDED A HOBBY. I wanted to do something for me that I could do whenever I pleased and didn’t require a specific time and place. I have too many kids and not enough time to be somewhere else routinely.

•I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN. And it is! It gets my creative juices flowing and every time I post I feel like I’ve accomplished something in my day.

I did lots of googling and pinteresting (and harassing my SIL) before I started and everything I read said to find your niche and write about something you’re passonite about. Well that was easy, my family! I have other interests but I definitely wouldn’t call them passions. This family though, they’re where it’s at. They make my life exciting, whether it’s family trips or just hanging around the house, they manage to test my limits, push me to do things I probably never would on my own and they make me laugh every single day. Why wouldn’t I write about them? They give me so much good material and I adore each and every one of them.

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Seriously, they’re hilarious!

I also read the hardest part of blogging is coming up with a blog name. This was surprisingly easier than I thought it was going to be. I knew I wanted my blog to focus on our blended family and the things we do together, the things Brad I get to do alone and how we cope with 4 kids coming and going all the time. So I tried thinking of names to do with family. I asked Brad for help but it didn’t get me very far haha I found myself thinking of the Adam Sandler movie “Blended” and I started trying to play on that one word and taa daaa! Well Blended spring to mind. Perfect. Don’t let the name fool you, there are days we are anything but “Well” Blended.

So, I had my blog focus and my blog name, but no damn clue how to go about actually starting a blog. Lucky for me, my sister in law Rachel has been blogging for years (check her out at betterliving.ca, it’s always a great read) so I enlisted her help and she told me which site domain was best to start with and came over and walked me through it step by step. Before I knew it, I had my very own blog! And yes, I was very excited about it.

Blogging isn’t for everyone and I definitely had people look and me funny when I said I started one but each to their own. I’m super happy I did it and I hope it’s enjoyable for anyone who takes the time to read it.

C

No Adult Surpervision Required

In just about every movie or tv show you watch, what is the one thing the parental characters want?? That’s right, responsibility free, adult interaction. It’s the same in real life! What over worked, over busy, over stressed parent doesn’t want the chance to kick back and relax? Whether you work all day or are home with kids all day, at some point, you need a break. For us, this is a huge benefit to being a blended family. We have every other weekend and even times during the week where we have the option to do whatever we decide. We can sit at home and relax in silence, we can have date nights without finding sitters or we can enjoy time with friends and not have to worry about getting home to our kids at a decent hour. It’s awesome!

Last night we managed to have only Briggs at home and since he’s old enough to be on his own we threw him some money for supper and headed out for a motorcycle ride and dinner with other adults.

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Some Mexican cuisine in Twin Butte!

For me, the time we get to ourselves saves my sanity. I love my weekdays off from work when I’m home all alone, it gives me time to recharge and I get way more accomplished. This is also when I get my napping done haha

The time Brad and I get together is so great for our marriage because it gives us that alone time you’re supposed to get when you’re newly married BEFORE kids. This is where we get to know each other as individuals instead of mom and dad. We get to have important conversations without being interrupted or worried about little ears around the corner. We get to be real with each other and we don’t have to censor it. Most important I think, we get to date! We often have date nights on the weekends we don’t have kids.

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At the movies.

Kid free time also means time with our friends. I believe it’s important to have friendships and other people you can identify with. We just happen to have some of the greatest friends around! We spend time with our friends even when our kids our home but there’s something about hanging out with others, without having to be responsible, that is so good for the soul. It’s a time where we don’t really have to act like grown ups if we don’t want to. We can be loud, obnoxious and inappropriate and there’s no worries about it being repeated. Hell, we can even give ourselves fake tramp stamps!

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haha

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Time with friends is time well spent.

We love our kids and we love doing things with them and having new experiences, but man is it ever nice to let loose and have no worries for a few hours or a couple days. If you’re a parent that has kids 24/7 with minimal time to yourself, kudos to you! I think every parent deserves regular time to themselves to recharge and get in touch with their inner person. So often parents are looked at as just that, parents. We loose our own identities and we forget to strengthen relationships with ourselves and others. So get out there and make time for you, your spouse and your friends! It’ll make you a happier person which will only benefit your kids in the long run.

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What do you do for fun when you find yourself kid free? I’d love to hear about it!

C

Four!

Almost everything we do with Brandon and Morgan (Brad’s brother and his wife) is hilariously fun and Saturday’s golf game wasn’t any different. We had no kids for the weekend so Brandon and Morgan found a sitter for their girls and we hit the links at our hometown course where the company Brad works for has a corporate, so we golf for free!

Let me start off by saying I am nowhere near being a good golfer. On average I golf twice a year and I didn’t even start golfing until I started dating Brad, it was actually our first date, but it gets me outside and I enjoy it. Morgan hasn’t golfed since high school and she is just as clueless as I am when it comes to terminology and what club to use and when to use it. Our husbands, who golf frequently and have  their whole lives, were in for a real treat.

For some reason the boys decided to give me and Morgan our own golf cart while they took the other one. Instantly Morgan told me I was driving. I’ve think I’ve driven a cart once before.

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Seriously, who gives us our own cart?? 

Morgan and I have pretty much the same style of golf game, swing the club a million times before actually making contact with the ball and then once it does, hope for the best. It definitely slowed the game down and at first we were trying to rush because there was a group behind us, which was not helping our game. Brandon and Brad had a bet going and whoever had the better golf game got to flick the other one in the nose a certain number of times. This is a very common game between the 2 of them.

After awhile I stopped feeling so rushed and started to take in the beauty of the course. Our golf course is pretty well known around these parts for being one of the nicest golf courses and people come from all different places to golf it.IMG_1428

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It has all kinds of rivers and bridges.

If you know anything about golf, you know there’s such thing as golf etiquette and part of it is being quiet and not talking while someone else is teeing off or trying to make a shot. Morgan and I were absolutely horrible at this. Even when we thought we were whispering we were too loud for the boys liking and we spent the day getting shushed and glared at. We also got blamed for the subpar games they were having.

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They might’ve taken their own cart so they could get away from us easier.

We lost quite a few balls in the water and I spent so much time in the sand traps Brandon told me “You spend more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff!” Ugh, it was not my day. Hole 16 rolled around though and Morgan was suddenly Tiger Woods! It was a par 5 hole and she birdied it! It was amazing!!

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I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of my cute husband.

By hole 18 I was starving and ready for the game to be over. We finished up and zipped back to the clubhouse. I have no idea what anyone’s score was, all I know is Brad beat Brandon and he was free from any nose flicks haha

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Brandon was not happy about his loss

I had the funnest golf game of my life and we are really hoping we can do it a little more often. Maybe next time Morgan and I will keep our talking and giggling to a minimum and Brandon won’t have that look on his face at the end!