Crash Course

Today started with Ollie who jumped into our bed, which in-turn stirred The Chief, who still sleeps a couple feet away (I am still in the check-to-see-if-he's-breathing phase, so help me).

And oh how early was the morning! I haven't seen that side of morning since tardy make-up in the high school auditorium (so help me).

Then the girls followed singing their "Good Morning" song to The Chief, who was now making slurping noises while looking at me with panicked eyes. Poor little guy went from "Only Child, Miracle Baby!" to "Youngest of Four Loud (LOUD!) Siblings!"

Meanwhile, Chup rolled over pretending not to hear the Early Morning Circus.

I had completely lost my voice.

It disappeared somewhere during our car ride to Utah.


Jane begged for a bath and I obliged. I gave orders to Claire.

"Will you please watch The Chief on Ollie's bed?"

While Ollie found Chup's ears to whisper,

"I can't find my sword."

I decided to change The Chief's diaper, so I removed the wet one and allowed him to air out while I situated Jane.

But as I finished filling the tub, I heard Claire scream,


And I ran to the bedroom where The Chief was creating a urine-ic rainbow--the pot of gold being Ollie's comforter--followed by,

"And poo!"

All over the sheets. Mustard-in-curdles. Spare no expense.

Then there was Ollie, arriving ahead of a blurry-eyed Chup, sword in sash.

"There is poo in my bed!"

He wailed.

So, good so far (heaven help me).

Then I remembered to take care of myself first, so that I could have the energy to spread (thank you analogies) so I took to the stove top and started steam some milk.

Then back to the feeding of the slurping baby.

Then Jane, clean from the tub, I hear downstairs in the kitchen,

"What is that on the stove?"

And I detached and dashed, where I found Chup, bubbly pot in hand rushing to the sink.

My soy milk looked like a mess of deflated balloons. And the pan was scorched.

No matter.

Time to get ready for church.

I found the piles of clothes for the kids dumped out on to the floor waiting to be moved to their ordered drawers.

Claire clothes?


Jane clothes?


Ollie clothes?


Not there.

"Have you seen Ollie's bag of clothes?" I yell at Chup from across the house.

"Uh, no." Chup replies with a double-hint of worry.

Then it hits me. With so much to move, so little time and limited space, we had to load most of the moveables to the roof of the car via a zipped up pouch. On the way home, the pouch opened several times making for daring stops off the side of the road. Each time Chup and Andrew had to rig something somehow just to get us through to the next rest stop.

Ollie's clothes were in Gap, Flagstaff or Nowhere Arizona frying in the dead heat of the day. All the kid had were a pair of undies, camo shorts and a skull-and-bones t-shirt.

Nothing else.

A quick e-mail to family.

Please note: Ollie is naked.

Donations arrived via Lisa in less than a half-an-hour.

The day followed.

Lunches were made, drinks were gotten and the girls made cars out of bakery boxes. The Chief slept, slurped and smiled. Chup and I looked at eachother many times with that, "What are we doing?" expression while Ollie enjoyed cousin Hugh's bug shirt mixed with pirate paraphernalia.

Family visited.

Family helped out.

We lost Ollie for five minutes, wondering where he had wandered, Chup found him at the kitchen table out like this:

When finally guests were gone, Chup and I attempted to tuck the girls in and say good night. I asked Chup to find the bag with their blankies.


Not here either.

Those darling blankies are now probably keeping some road-side badger family cool somewhere close to Colorado city. Blankies hand quilted out of their baby onesies made by their mother. Chup looked sick.

But Chup promised to make some new ones. And the girls delighted at the thought that in this family, Daddy has the sewing machine, not Mommy.

Drinks of water.

Bug bites itching.

And finally.


All is quiet.

(So help me.)

Steph and Christian Update: All vital organs are working well, burns are currently the only concern. Still in critical-but-stable condition. Continue to be in a chemical induced coma (will be for months, we predict). Skin grafting surgeries for both tomorrow, please keep surgeons and patients in your prayers. Thank you!

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