Thursday, September 1, 2011

We Were The Lucky Ones...

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Miss Katja...and we are so sad.

Here's the scoop. On Katja's second day with us, she went into the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber with Gavin. Having someone do that with him for an hour a day is a huge part of the job. It's very difficult for me to go in there and sit in one position for an hour because of my arthritis - plus I'm never sure each month if I'll be pregnant. And Ed is not always home in time to go in for an hour before Gavin's bedtime. So...on the second day she was here, she did the chamber. Then we all caught colds. I don't put anyone in the chamber if they have congestion. So we ended up staying out of the chamber for close to a month! One day, when I was sure everyone was healthy, I told Katja that we could start up with the chamber the following day. The next day she came in and bravely told us that she experienced ear pain while she was in there - and she never wanted to go into the chamber again. She maturely told us that she knew it was a big part of the job and if we had to find someone else, she'd understand.

We. Were. Crushed. We'd already gotten attached to Katja - all of us! I cried many tears over it and, to be honest, we just put it on the backburner...unable to deal. We didn't want to make the decision to find someone else. Katja was dropped from Heaven for our family!

Anywhoo....we spent the summer enjoying ourselves and I tried to do the chamber when I could with Gavin. But we knew that at some point that had to change. The reason we bought that very expensive chamber was so Gavin could get regular treatments. The day I told Katja we would indeed need to find someone else...it was awful. She was great about it...but I felt just awful.

With a month to find someone new, I went back to Sittercity and had instant luck. I met Anna, who seems to be a cross between Miss Sarah and my niece Julia, and decided on the spot that she was the one. She will start with our family this Tuesday! I also was able to find Katja a job - lucky for us it is in our neighborhood! She will be working in the morning with my neighbor friends, Patti and Patrick, who have one year old twins, Seamus and Molly! And then in the afternoon she will be taking care of Brian's buddy, Eli, and his baby brother, Ryan, at our neighbor friends Lauren and Gabe's house! We're looking forward to play dates!

All's well that ends well. Thank God.

Katja has been such a wonderful addition to our family. She brought a tender heart, lots of energy, serious responsibility and no fear. She quickly mastered Gavin's equipment and was very compassionate and loving with him. He just loved her!
And she and Brian quickly became buddies. She was able to balance Brian's high energy and Gavin's needs with grace.

She always got big hugs and kisses from Brian...and he always walked her to the door and then watched her from the window when she would leave at the end of the day.

Tomorrow will be hard, but I am comforted knowing that we'll see Katja again. We tend to get attached to people, if you haven't noticed. And on top of Katja being a wonderful helper to me with my children...she has also become my friend. I send her off with such gratitude.

We have been so, so fortunate with the people that have helped us over the years. Kara is the "OG" of the Leong family helpers. She came to us just a few days after Brian was born!
She was here for lots of big moments - including Gavin's first crawl! When she decided to leave in order to go back to school, we were so sad. She helped me hire Miss Sarah and although it was hard to pass the torch...
*wink*
...she was able to let go and turn the boys over to Sarah.
Sarah was here for over a year and became such a good friend as well! The boys just loved her and we always had lots of fun.
It was comforting to have someone like Sarah with us when Darcy died...and when Gavin had his long, traumatic, painful and scary recovery from eye surgery when he nearly lost his eye. Having someone here - especially Sarah - was key as we were back and forth to the hospital almost every day.

Sarah left to pursue her dream of traveling the world as a missionary and we were as proud as parents to send her off.
She even stopped by to see us on the way to the airport! There have never been hard feelings as people exit our home...and I love that. And we often have people back to babysit which is a huge bonus. Kara, Sarah and Katja have all lived here so Ed and I could have the luxury of some time alone together.

I always realize how lucky I am to have help during the day. People often make comments like, "I don't know how you do it!" I am quick to tell them that I wouldn't be able to do HALF of what I do if it weren't for the wonderful help I have on a daily basis. It has been a benefit to me...a huge benefit to our children...and hopefully, the wonderful girls we have had with us would say they enjoyed spending their days here.
Saying goodbye to Katja tomorrow is truly bittersweet...as it was saying goodbye to Kara and Sarah. But Gavin, Brian and I are better people because of our time with each of them. We, for sure, were the lucky ones.


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