Friday, November 21, 2014

Back from another trip to the ER....

Early this afternoon Caleb jumped off the couch and got a nose bleed. Tyler wanted to act out what Caleb did and jumped hard onto the ground, causing his teeth to go through his tongue. Two crying boys and an incredible amount of blood. I packed Tyler up and off we went to the local ER - AGAIN.
The same nurse that assessed and helped with Caleb a few days ago, took care of Tyler. First we had to explain how the other scrapes and bruises happened to his face and then sat in the ER for 4 long hours. (Sitting there for that long gives you different ideas on how to revamp that ER and get the line of patients flying through there - sitting there with children is a trying experience!) 
Finally we were able to see a doctor and again went over the bumps and scrapes on Tyler's face. After that was settled he examined Tyler. Apparently the tongue can bleed for 4 hours straight. Thankfully  the cut was high enough that he didn't need stitches - something that we wanted to avoid. Tyler handled the experience like a pro and I hope to avoid the ER for a long, long time.

The Trouble Maker's Mission

*Stitches and Scrapes; bumps and bruises. The ER doctor wanted to teach me the signs and symptoms of concussions. I know them all...- God had prepared me for the life of five boys by leading me to be a nurse before becoming a mother.

**Every morning, these two little guys wake up raring to go. Together, they have a quick planning session and then happily perform their mission. That is to Search, Destroy, and Conquer and make as much mess as they can in a short time. Born without fear, these two boys leap from furniture to furniture (why use the floor?), move randomly from room to room and destroy. When they are not destroying they are hungry.
***A few weeks ago I told my sister that Caleb has figured out grandpa and grandma live down the road. I was relieved it was almost winter because that would deter him from taking off to their home. Fast forward a few hours later and Tyler runs into the house, "Caleb is on the road!, Caleb is on the road!" Sure enough, he was half way to grandpa and grandma's home moving at a quick clip-(he is not two years old yet). The brother who was supposed to be watching him told me repeatedly Caleb had been right beside him. Caleb is our quickest and fastest toddler yet. 
 Less than a week later, someone else who was on "Caleb watch", (this time the other adult in our home), noticed two cars stopped on the road. He ran to the road and saw Caleb booting it to the grandparents home; totally undeterred by the two strange cars. Caleb was brought inside and put into his crib for some disciplining. I expected to hear screaming and a loud commotion: instead it was strangely quiet. Slowly opening his bedroom door I was surprised to see Tyler in the crib with Caleb. He was rubbing Caleb's back and talking in a soothing voice. I think I heard. "I feel your pain brother. I have escaped many times to grandpa and grandma's but dad and mom always bring me back home!"

****During the past 11 years I have had 4 combinations of boys here at home with me. These last two have been the busiest and I think it is because there is also school work involved with the older three. When Tyler started preschool for three afternoons a week, I had great plans to work on projects and stay ahead of household duties. (Instead, I usually take a nap trying to recharge!) It has been good though. I have learned that these years are fleeting and to enjoy their funny dress- ups, lopsided forts, and hilarious questions.

 *****The combinations of boys at home with me over the years...
Nate & Liam

Liam & Andrew  

Andrew & Tyler


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

60 years ago!

It was a late Wednesday evening when 28 year old Jeltje felt her first labour pains. Throughout that night she tried to rest and prepare for the arrival of a new baby. With the horrid war behind them, and Henk's two years of service for the Dutch Navy in Indonesia completed, they were looking forward to this new stage of their lives. They had been married for two years and were excited to start a family.
  Henk worked in a warehouse store on 11 Pelsterstraat in Groningen and they lived in a tiny apartment on the store's third floor. The store owner lived on the second floor and together they shared a small bathroom on the main level. Living conditions were tight but Henk and Jeltje were thankful they could find accommodations.
Early in the morning on November 11, 1954, Jeltje woke her husband up and told him it was time to call a taxi and make their way to the clinic. Her discomfort was increasing and her labour pains were longer and harder. The women's clinic was south of their apartment- just a few kilometers away.
A nurse at the clinic helped Jeltje settle into her room and then assessed her. This was true labour and she hoped the baby would make his or her appearance by supper time. 
A few hours later, at 12:00pm Henk and Jeltje became parents . They were delighted to meet their sweet little baby. A baby boy.
However, Jeltje continued to feel intense pain and experience strong contractions. The nurse quickly assessed her again and announced that another baby was on its way! What a shock! What a surprise! They'd never considered the possibility of twins. The nurse told Jeltje to try to relax while a specialist was called in. At 12:20 another red-faced baby boy was born. Breeched.
Overwhelmed and shocked, Henk and Jeltje marveled at their babies. Their family had just doubled! As Jeltje lay in her hospital bed, cradling a baby, Henk stood beside her holding the other baby and they talked about their surprise and imagined what reaction their family and friends would have when they learned of this exciting news. They talked about buying another crib, a bigger baby buggy, another set of diapers. The money they had carefully saved during the pregnancy was suddenly gobbled up! They talked about a new baby boy name. During the pregnancy they had chosen a boy's name and decided their little boy would be named after Henk's father and his youngest brother. Taeke Johan. 
Now Henk and Jeltje decided the second baby would be called Jilt Gerard, named after Jeltje's father and her youngest brother.
Henk left Jeltje's bedside in search of a phone to share their wonderful news. He was able to reach his sister who was working near by.She refused to believe they had twins and Henk had to work hard to convince her. His sister took the train to their parents'  home to tell them they were grandparents again. Times two! 
Jeltje's parents had recently immigrated to Canada where they lived with their daughter, son-in-law, grandson, and three teenaged children in a small two bedroom home. They did not own a phone but Henk managed to call their neighbour who was willing to pass along their message. When Jeltje's family found out twins were born, there was so much upheaval that their dinner burned on the stove.
A normal hospital stay during those times was eight days, but because Jeltje  had twins she stayed there for ten days. Friends and family took the train to visit them and Henk would ride his bike to visit in the evenings.
Soon their tiny apartment became even fuller with baby diapers hanging across the living room in front of the coal stove, cradles and a wooden playpen. 

Ted is on the left and Garry on the right. The photographer blew this picture up and hung it on his store front window. My grandma always said she put the boys in suspenders so she could grab them quicker if they would run in different directions.

Ted & Garry were baptized on December 26 in the Christian Reformed Church of Groningen

Sitting with their great -grandmother.

Living in apartment was challenging without a yard to play in. Jeltje would pack the twins in a buggy and walk around their town, often stopping at a near by park.

The twins started to walk at ten months.

Henk would take the twins on Saturday afternoons giving Jeltje a break.

And I think Ted is on the left of this picture and Garry is on the right, but I am not sure!

~A special happy 60th birthday uncle Ted and Dad!~