Mission: Oklahoma

Joe took himself off to Wichita the next morning, and the kids and I settled in for a restful week with Grandma and Grandpa.  It was colder in Bartlesville than in Vermont the first couple of days we were there, but it warmed up toward the end of our trip, and the kids got to play in the backyard a couple of times. 

Grandma orchestrated a get-together on Saturday for the Oklahoma relatives so they could meet Will and renew their acquaintance with Anna.  Aunt Ina, Uncle Jim and Aunt Jean, Uncle Don and Aunt LaQuita, and Cousins Lisa and Paul with kids Jonathon and Elizabeth all made the trip up for a lunchtime visit.  The kids got a variety of treats, including cute bunny sunglasses, Easter socks, Easter candy, books and coloring books and crayons, and a whole bag full of adorable little wind-up mechanical toys.  They had a ball!

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Dressed up for church:

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Outdoor playtime!

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Much of OK experienced a nasty ice storm at the end of last year, and there is a lot of clean up still to be done.  I didn’t really have much of a concept of the damage, because Bartlesville was not terribly affected.  But, as we drove toward Tulsa for a shopping expedition, you could see the level of destruction of the trees as we went a bit further south.

3-16-08-14.jpg Relatively normal appearance of trees in early March

3-16-08-15.jpg 3-16-08-16.jpg Ice damaged trees

We got to spend one more session outdoors in the backyard before coming back to the frozen tundra that is Vermont.

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3-16-08-21.jpg Here’s Hop-a-long, back from Wichita

3-16-08-22.jpg Matching chairs

3-16-08-23.jpg Apparently, they’re slippery!

3-16-08-24.jpg Anna helping Grandpa figure out his camera

3-16-08-25.jpg Our young photographer framing her own shot

While we were gone, our housesitter had to deal with flooding in our basement due to snow melt and rain, and our practice manager had to deal with flooding in the clinic basement for the same reasons.  We learned that we’ve been making an accounting error over the last year that is going to significantly impact our AGI for 2007 and means we will have to come up with a huge amount of money to pay our taxes next month.  It will probably also eliminate our eligibility for the adoption tax credit for Will and also our share of the famed “economic stimulus package” that will be distributed in May.  Never have I felt so penalized for running a successful business.  I’m starting to feel we should never actually leave home again, because these things never seem to happen while we’re here.  Except for the broken legs, of course, and the abscesses on fingers, and the backing into innocent volunteers’ cars in my own driveway.  Sigh.

Will had a difficult time on our trip.  He had been making a lot of progress with his behavior at home, learning how to share, how to cooperate, how to help mama, how to dress himself, etc.  He regressed quite a bit while in Oklahoma.  He found it necessary to test all his boundaries with Grandma and Grandpa, and I often caught him looking at me after one of them issued him an instruction to see if he actually needed to do it or not.  There were a lot of toys there to play with, and he had much difficulty with community ownership and sharing.  He found it impossible to creatively entertain himself and spent the entire week annoying Anna by waiting to see what she was going to do and then trying to horn in on the action or even take away the toy she was playing with.  She has the patience of a saint sometimes.  He had the terms “Grandma” and “Grandpa” completely confused, and even after a week of constant correction, still called each grandparent by the wrong term essentially 100% of the time.  He sassed Grandma so badly on the last day that he spent most of the day in his room cooling his heels.  I know 4 months is much too little time to have fixed all his problems, and we will keep soldiering away at establishing ground rules and setting boundaries and teaching self-respect and encouraging creative play.  Anna couldn’t play by herself at this time last year, either, and we have come such a long, long way with her. She is such a bright little girl, and a true delight to be around most of the time, and we have high hopes that Will can achieve that as well. 

The trip back went smoothly as well, even though our flight didn’t get into Manchester until about midnight and we didn’t get home until about 2:30AM.  The house was in good order, and we were able to fall into bed as soon as we got home.  We probably won’t take any more flying trips for a few months, but I may make Joe carry those crutches along every time.  They don’t preboard families with small children anymore, so the handicapped preboarding was a real treat!

5 Responses to “Mission: Oklahoma”

  1. Comfort Rogers says:

    WHEW BILLIE!!! Reading your past few blogs has left me exhausted and wanting to take a 10 hour nap for you! You definetely have your hands full right now! Please tell Joe that he’s in our thoughts and prayers! Hang in there!!!

  2. Trish says:

    I am speechless. How often does that happen. I am still trying to digest everything. I guess it is not a good time to tell you that Teresa and I decided to fill out a MCC for you guys when we put ours in…………………………..wait for it……………………wait for it…………….do I hear screaming…………………………………………………………………..I do Buck just read what I wrote over my shoulder. He has a year to get use to the idea unless we request a boy.

  3. Billie says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s me laughing hysterically. I may have to fly out to Colorado and torch their pile of Medical Condition Checklists. Thanks, Trish!

    And Comfort, please take a longer nap for me if you can. I’m too old, and everything hurts if I lay down for that long. I have to take my naps in shorter spurts. I’d kill for a good old-fashioned 10 hour sleep again! I’ll tell Joe you guys are thinking of him – maybe he’ll feel like SOMEONE has sympathy for him, since his wife’s often wears thin!

  4. Nicki says:

    WOW. What an adventure. Sounds like you need an Auntie along every time you fly, at least to carry some of the baggage. Whenever I see a mom in the airport with 25 bags and kids, I usually ask if I can help, but they always say no. Maybe I look like a baby-napper or a lunatic.

    My jaw dropped when I clicked on that photo with Jonathan and Elizabeth. I thought that was going to be Paul! Is Jonathan 7 feet tall already? Yikes!!

    I’m guessing it was all a bit confusing for Will to go all those places and and meet all those people. He doesn’t have much in the way of social skills yet, so I’m sure it will just take time for him to get used to those kinds of situations. I know when I have to spend that much time away from home with a bunch of people, I get cranky too.

    Thanks for all the photos (is Anna wearing a Hilary Duff sweatshirt??). You sure have some cute kids.

    (By the way, it’s the first day of spring and we are having a full-blown blizzard in Minnesota. nice.)

    – Auntie “Luggage Cart” Nicki

  5. Billie says:

    Auntie Nicki, it’s a Hannah Montana sweatshirt. Grandma picked it out.

    We’re having our blizzard today. It was warm yesterday – might have even hit 40. We haven’t gotten that much snow today, but the wind is horrid and the temp is in the 20’s. I imagine the wind chill is around 0. Gotta love springtime in New England!

    Oh, and I believe Jonathon was reported to be 5’6″ or 5’8″. Remember, Anna’s pretty short.