Paige answered a newspaper ad three years ago and it truly changed both of our lives forever. In the middle of being the contractor on our new home, helping out at my husband's office, being a mother of three children, two with neurological disorders, keeping up on a household, dealing with Autism, training tutors and running a 40 hour a week behavioral program, etc. etc., I finally had to admit that I just couldn't do everything alone at this point. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done because I consider myself a capable and independent (and sometimes co-dependent) woman and didn't want to admit that I needed help. But I did. Even over that first year, I literally didn't even go to bed many many nights - even with the extra help she provided.
Paige has been with us through it all - This whole autism journey. She has seen the best and the worst of our kids and family and still loves us anyways. She is like a sister to me and my kids sometimes call her Aunt Paige. Her family has also been so great and supportive and has become my family away from home since I don't have mine close by. (Except I do have my AWESOME mother in law! She truly is the most amazing mother in law in the world. She is my best friend and I can talk to her about anything. I really wish everyone could have a mother in law as amazing as mine.) They help us all the time and are still continuing to help us as we are away on this journey. Thanks guys!
It would literally take me a solid month to accurately describe how much Paige does and how selfless and caring and amazing she is. I don't have a month. In fact, It is SO late and I have had such a crazy day that I hope I can do this in 10 minutes because I am exhausted! So - we are going to try the bullets again and see if it works this time. It just has to! Where to begin?
(These will be in no particular order and please take note: I am not working her into the ground :) The items listed below are shared duties between the two of us - besides the laundry. She loves it so much I just couldn't take that away from her.)
- She moved across the country to continue helping our family. There is NO way that we would be surviving right now without her. She sees her husband less than she used to (although he works out of town and she didn't see him much anyways), she misses her parents, family, nieces and nephews, etc.
- She has an awesome husband that supports her in this endeavor and also supports our family and helps out as much as he can. He is awesome!
- She works for WAY less than she should be paid and works WAY more hours than I can pay her for. She does all of this because she is so kind, helpful, caring and loves my kids and wants to see them get better and succeed.
- She cleans up poop. Lots of it. She has done this for three years. It is not pretty. In fact, her 2nd day on the job Wyatt pooped in the shower and I was gone so she had to take care of it. (I had him do it on purpose to break her in :)
- She helps me clean. Kitchen, bathrooms, floors - oh wait, she usually leaves the floors for me :)
- She helps me cook - a lot. We cook everything from scratch and she loves it ;) She will be a gourmet chef by the time I am done with her.
- She does laundry. This is HUGE because she HATES it.
- She goes to the park - a lot.
- She plays the "Bad Troll" at the park and chases the kids all over.
- She is and expert at taking kids to the bathroom when we are out and about. I am not sure why she likes it so much, but she always jumps at the chance.
- She is right on top of all the medications and supplements the kids need. She makes sure they get them all each day.
- She encourages me when I get frustrated and down.
- She puts up with me when I get frustrated and freak out sometimes.
- She has given up her late night TV watching because we have no TV.
- She has pretty much given up all of her free time. There is no such time as free time anymore.
- She grocery shops - even with kids.
- She has Fun with us.
- She cleans up throw up.
- She wipes runny noses.
- She goes along with my organizing frenzies.
- She tickles little monster children. (those are the best kind)
- She kisses little monster children.
- She swings little monster children.
- She plays with little monster children.
- She loves little monster children.
- She deals very well with my OCD and needing everything exactly the way I see fit.
- She lives with way less sleep than she would like....
- She gave up sleeping in entirely - even on the weekends.
- She helps with crazy kids during church.
- She listens to my crazy rants.
- She sleeps on a small mattress on the floor in an mostly unfurnished apartment.
- She kills giant bugs.
- She reads stories.
- She helps at Dr. appointments.
- She has been bitten.
- She gives piggy back rides.
- She helps me write my endless "To Do" lists and then helps me accomplish the listed items.
- She helps me teach little monster children.
- She helps with Brain Balance exercises everyday.
- She doesn't whine when left with no hot water. (at least very much)
- She jumps in bouncy houses with little monster children. (she loves it)
- She talks sense into me when I have dumb ideas.
- She listens to my whine an even cry at times.
- She holds little arms during blood draws.
- She doesn't let me back down when she can see I am about to give in.
- She combs Hazels hair - this is quite the task and takes patience.
- She does cute hairdos for Haze.
- She takes great videos and photos of the kids!
- She puts up with me teasing her non-stop.
- She puts up with Brody attacking her when she teases me. He is VERY protective of mama. He has been known to kick her, hit her, and try to knock her phone out of her hand (when she was trying to take unwanted pictures of me...)
- She vaccums
- She dusts.
- She chauferrs
- She believes in my children.
- She believes in Brain Balance.
- She loves my kids as if they were her own and that is a rare quality. I know that she would do anything for them and for our family.
Thank you Paige (and family) There is really NO way to thank you for what you have done and for the sacrifices you have made for our family. We are truly grateful and know that you will be blessed for your kind service and unconditional love.
WE LOVE YOU PAIGE!
P.S. She is going to KILL me tomorrow.