Monday, March 19, 2012

When the Cat's Away (Again)

Last summer I wrote about my mom taking a trip to Minnesota to visit her parents and I entitled that post "When the Cat's Away" since my mom is the top cat around here! This time my mom jetted off to California for five days to help my sister Kristin since she was having her fifth baby. Kristin and Scott don't have any family in California or very many friends that would be available to help them, so a few months ago my sister asked me how I would feel about having our mom go out there for a few days to help watch her kids while she was in the hospital. I depend on my mom A LOT since she is my main caregiver, but I knew that Kristin really needed help, so I told her of course I'd be fine with it. She is OUR mom, after all, so I said I could stand to share Mom for a few days. (I can't be selfish!)

My younger sisters Laura and Chandra took care of me again this time, just like they did for Mom's Minnesota trip last July. Things have gone well and I'm so grateful for their help, although I must admit that I do miss the way things are when Mom is in charge. We've established a "well-oiled" routine in the past eight years that basically runs like clockwork. Things aren't as organized when Mom's not around, but we've made it work and have had a good time.

Chandra and I have enjoyed spending more time together thing usual since she's usually at work, and we've been having fun with our sister Laura, her husband Brett and their two kids, Amy and David. We've had some yummy meals, too! On Saturday night Laura made creamy baked chicken taquitos which were really good, and something I would definitely eat again. We had "better than sex" Chex-Mix that night which was amazing! White chocolate, milk chocolate and caramel drizzled over Chex with marshmallows and Reese's peanut butter cups! That recipe is definitely a keeper! Sunday night we tried a new recipe for dinner, crockpot sesame chicken. This was also good, but definitely not like the sesame chicken that you would get at a Chinese restaurant (although it was probably a lot more healthy since the chicken wasn't fried!). Thank you, Pinterest, for all of the wonderful recipes!

Mom's plane gets in tonight at 10 PM and I'm excited to get back to our normal routine tomorrow. It's been a blast, but there's nothing like "normal!"

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the most important news of all… Kristin had her baby on Friday, so I have another new nephew. Ryan James Hawkins was born on Friday, March 16 at 8:32 PM. He weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 21 inches. I have yet to see pictures of him, but Mom says that Ryan is small and cute and looks a lot like his older brother, Aaron.  (If you're keeping count, that makes five boys for Kristin and Scott, and 19 nieces/nephews for me (11 nieces and eight nephews). Now I'm just waiting on my sister Sharon to have her baby. She's hoping to have her baby next Tuesday or Wednesday, but we'll see what her doctor says about that plan at her appointment Thursday afternoon.


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