How can I have so much to post and feel like I have absolutely nothing to say, all at the same time? That’s how I have felt for the last month or so. There has been so much going on – I don’t even know where to start!
Well I guess I can back it up a bit… In April, Darren’s place of employment was going through a series of lay-offs. They had four in 2009, and Darren made it through all of them (thank goodness). They started more lay-offs in March, and announced that there would be another one in April. Just about that time, rumors started circulating that they were going to lay-off the entire third shift (which was what Darren was working). Each week, more rumors circulated and they pushed the lay-off back another week. You could cut the anxiety in our house with a knife! It was almost unbearable! Finally, on April 16th Darren found out that he would not be laid off, but he would be downgraded to level 6 (he was at level 9), so that meant a (downward) change in positions and a change in salary. We were thankful that he still had his job and were grateful that we would still be able to get by on such a decrease in income. A week goes by and the very next Friday, I drove up to Chappell Hill right after work for my Godmother’s rehearsal dinner. It went well and I drove home to start making the cakes for the wedding. Once I got home, Darren told me that when he went in to work that day, he was laid off. Surprisingly, my anxiety had completely been depleted and I didn’t freak out (thankfully). I immediately sat down and filled out the unemployment forms and started working on his resume and applying for jobs. We went to bed that night and put off the cakes. So, I got up bright and early and started on the cakes. I wound up making eight carrot cakes, two German chocolate cakes and 2 strawberry shortcake cakes. Oh my goodness – EVERYTHING was covered with sugar and butter and at first you would think that would be delicious, but I assure you – it was not. The clean up took FOREVER. I was supposed to be back up at the ranch at 2:30 for pictures (I was in the wedding – I did the first reading). But Darren and I didn’t even leave our house until 3:00 and then had a 20 minute drive ahead of us with twelve melting cakes. The days before the wedding had been cool and beautiful. The day of the wedding was beautiful, warm and SUNNY. Oh, the sun had a field day with those cakes! Thankfully, we made it in time for pictures and to set up the cakes. All of them intact and no one was any the wiser.
This is my kitchen - mid baking. I tested a "Mustard Seed" paint color a couple of days before the cakes. I don't like it at all - its not staying.
After the few days it took us to get my kitchen back to normal, we started looking online for jobs – without much luck. We talked to Darren’s dad and he told us that he could really use Darren’s help for awhile, if we were interested. Darren’s dad owns a steel erection/construction business in East Texas, so we packed Darren up and sent him that way in early May. He worked there for 7 weeks, coming home every other weekend to get his allergy shots. In that time, Matthew (my nephew) turned 5, and Graduated from Pre-K, and we celebrated Mother’s Day at my house, so those events kept us busy. We celebrated Memorial Day in Center with Darren’s parents and cooked them a nice, surprise anniversary dinner while we were there. We headed into June and record temps and were preparing for Pops’ 50th birthday. The day that I packed everything up to head back to Center for the party, I got stopped by the mail lady and got a letter from Wyman-Gordon calling Darren back to work. He called that Monday morning and said that he would be coming back and they told him that his first day back would be the 28th of June. He went in for his physical and drug tests and then took a week off from work.
Matt with Chuck E. Cheese
Two high school friends of mine and I have been diligently working on our 10-year high school reunion. We got the caterer, hall, and dj booked. We are lining up items and donations for the silent auction, put our press releases in local newspapers and got the invitations out. Now – we’re just trying to collect money!!! The reunion is the fourth weekend in July, so we’re hoping we get a lot more in before then!!! In the meantime, things have changed drastically at my job. I got promoted to Division Administrator (fancy way to say office manager). I got a new office, that is really nice and I have bought a few things to make it my own. I still have a good ways to go, but for now – I’m in love! I have been so busy though, that I’ve been working about 60-65 hours a week. I’m not complaining – I have really been enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to things slowing down, but am really enjoying what I am doing now, so I am extremely happy. A couple of weeks ago, I went to see a fertility specialist. The news is out – Darren and I have been trying to conceive for about 15 months now, with no success. Many of the women in my family have had issues getting pregnant, so we about a month ago, I got my Dr. to refer me to someone and let us start that whole process. We met with Dr. Griffith at the Houston Fertility Institute and simply fell in love. Seriously! He is the most kind, gentle man. He was reassuring, down to Earth and I immediately felt comfortable with him. I had a consultation with him a couple of Fridays ago and scheduled Darren to go in for some testing the Monday after that. How un-heard of is that. Making an 8:00am appointment to see a Dr. on the Friday before? That’s how accommodating their office is! Everything came back wonderfully and Darren is checked off our list of things to worry about. Then on Friday, I went in for a HSG ultrasound and we found out immediately that everything was good there. So we made an appointment for Tuesday to do another ultrasound and some blood work. I got my results Tuesday afternoon and everything was good on both of those so, we’ve got some more things crossed off our list. I go back on July 2nd for some more blood work. Just an FYI – I didn’t know this and thought that this was interesting – Dr. Griffith said about 15% of infertility is unexplained. That everything is good on both spouse’s accounts and they still can’t have a baby. No one knows why. He did say not to worry about things like that because whatever we found out – we would “engineer around”, which made me feel hopeful. Then last week, as I was getting ready for work and letting Coco out to potty – the most horrific thing happened. Coco was attacked by a coyote. It was the most heart wrenching thing I have ever seen/heard. I managed to get to her just shortly after the coyote got to her, and I was able to scare it away in the process. I wrapped her up and we rushed her to the hospital. By the time we got there, she was in shock. They immediately hooked her up to IV fluids and antibiotics and started prepping her for surgery. They wound up finding out that a good portion of her connective tissue had been ripped and the blood vessels under her skin had been ruptured. She had multiple severe teeth wounds and lacerations. They put tubes in, to drain blood and fluids and she got stitches in five different places. She stayed the night at the hospital and they let her come home on Tuesday. She has been taking her medicine every day, like the Angel that she is. She has spent a couple of nights on a pallet in our room but quickly made it back to her kennel/ box (where she feels safe). Every day is a new ballgame – she is getting around a little better every day. We are struggling with her, trying to not let her over-do-it, which she is having a hard time grasping. Part of her skin (around some of the teeth wounds) has died and pulled away from the stitches, so now she has a couple of open wounds. We spend time every evening wiping her down and cleaning her wounds and giving her, her medicine. She likes this quality time and usually winds up in my lap for an hour or so before bedtime. This was her old bedtime routine, so we are all very glad that she is feeling well enough to continue with it. I took her this morning to have the drain tubes removed and the stitches taken out. She still has a limp on her front/left leg. The vet said today that we won’t know definitely for a couple of months whether that will be permanent or not. She is having some mild complications with some fluids and blood pooling underneath her skin, but the vet feels like she is going to be just fine – in time. We have strict instructions to help her maintain her weight, to massage her shoulders and legs every day, to put a warm compress on her wounds for ten minutes twice a day, and to make sure she gets up and walks, without over doing it. It is absolutely heartbreaking to know that she is hurting and sore and that there isn’t a lot that we can do about it. I don’t know how I will ever manage with two legged children!
Darren stayed like this, right beside her all day Tuesday when she got home. What a sweet dad!
This is her right side. The lighting is terrible - I'm a horrible photographer. It doesn't look so bad, but this is actually the worst of both sides. She has a large laceration about 3 inches long, that was over an inch deep. You can see one of the drain tubes, underneath the laceration and stitches.
This is her right side. She has stitches in three places, and a drain tube (up by her neck) - you can see the white thing hanging out. She has the bandage on her leg because of the IV she had at the hospital.
She has spent the majority of her evenings like this - wrapped up in soft blankets, on the living room floor.
I made her a pallet and wrapped her up and she slept in our floor for a couple of nights like this. Darren and I have moved into the guest bedroom for now. Coco wanted back in her box at night, and we keep it in the living room, next to the back door. To be closer to her, and outside ( in case she needs to get up during the night), we've moved rooms for now! It’s pretty much been a whirlwind around the Fountain house and the coming weeks don’t seem to be calming down any. Darren’s grandfather is getting re-married over the 4th of July weekend. I will not be in attendance, as I am staying home with Coco. The weekend after that, Darren and I are traveling to Wylie, TX to visit some dear friends of ours while my mother stays with Coco. The weekend after that one of my sorority sisters is getting married and the next day we are having a small get together at our house. The weekend after, I turn 28; have my 10-year high school reunion, and then a family gathering that Sunday. The next weekend starts August, and I’ll be co-hosting a baby shower for a friend of mine and the next weekend we have to drive back to Center for Darren’s best friend’s son’s 2nd birthday party. Then the next weekend is Darren’s birthday and his parents are coming down to visit. We have twelve friends expecting babies in the next 6 months and 2 friends getting married – so needless to say, I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon! As crazy and hectic as it has been – I can look around and tell that God has looked out for us and truly blessed us. We’ve are grateful for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers that have carried us through the last few months and for all of the wonderful friends and family that we are surrounded by. We know that with our sights on God, everything is small in comparison. I am trying to get better about updating more frequently, so it won’t be so long! Until then – I wish you all, all of God’s blessings!