Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A rough week...but we'll make it...

After Luke was born, it became very clear that I would need some help managing the kids and helping John Michael have the attention he needed while I recovered and cared for a newborn.  I've never needed help before, but this time was different...

On a recommendation from a friend, we found Haley...

a Sophomore at St. Mary's College who we hired to be a nanny/babysitter/mother's helper (all-in-one) for several half days a week throughout the summer.  It didn't take long for us all to warm up to Haley, and she and John Michael formed a special bond that I'm sure she didn't expect when she first started helping out.

Within a few days, John Michael had Haley wrapped around his little finger and she quickly learned how to communicate with him and interpret his sounds, gestures/signs, and words.  She took him (and usually Greta, too) to the park, both slathered in sunscreen, to work off some of their energy and to allow me some quiet time with Luke, to straighten up the house or to rest.  She made it easy for me to leave the house to run errands with Luke or to have some one-on-one time with the older kids, often while John Michael was napping.

Saying "Good=bye" last Wednesday was especially difficult.  The kids and I have missed her this week and I can tell John Michael misses her, too.  He has even said her name, "Lay-Lee" a couple times!

Haley, we wish you well in your studies.  You are always welcome to visit and babysit anytime.  The kids all agree that you're the best babysitter they've EVER had.  That's quite a compliment!  So, don't forget to stay in touch!  We'd love to see you at the Down syndrome walk!
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  1. oh how sad but how wonderful you found someone who loves your kids and they adore. she looks so sweet. By the way I dont remember if I answered back awhile ago but I would love to see photos of your Brown you added to whenyou get a chance my email is Thanks so much Monica and you have precious pictures, hope to be hearing more from you

  2. Love this post! We love our college student, too. Such a blessing to our entire family! : )

  3. So glad that you found someone so wonderful to help out for the summer. I think John Michael has lots of people wrapped around his fingers! He's such a lovable little guy! I know Brad loves to see him in Mass (yeah, I know he gets him a bit riled up!) and always points out John Michael to me. I don't think Brad even realizes that John Michael is affected with Down Sydrome -- JM just has a magnetic personality! See you at school and church1

  4. Oh... how wonderful is she! It is so great to see so many amazing people like herself!

  5. I bet Haley also misses your family!! How smart of you to get some summer help with john Michael. I wish I had done the same. With having a new one and a two year old plus traveling back and forth from summer therapy for Erin--a bit rough! Oh yes, I do have 3teens and one pre-teen but the novelty of a new born in the family wore off the first few weeks--geesh!!! I hope with school in your days are more manageable.

  6. Oh, how wonderful you found Haley but how sad to see her go. I am so glad you were able to take some time for yourself and Luke!

  7. Awww!! How nice to have found a babysitter like Haley! And so sweet that she and JM have bonded like they did. I love how you say he's got her wrapped around his finger. I believe it!