Chris's sister came to visit us and help me with the kids for the last week in June/beginning of July. I had been on my own, with Chris back at work for two weeks prior to her visit and I was so thankful I had her help to look forward to. It really kept me going during those hard moments. And help she did!
Shannon has the gift of imagination and William just eats it up. Nothing was impossible with Aunt Shanny. She was great at keeping him occupied while I fed the baby or tried to get him to nap, or taking William outside so I could nap. She helped with dinner and clean-up and even babysat a couple of times for us. She had a busy week for sure.
I think the hardest thing for me was choosing to rest instead of being social. I don't get to see her often and I enjoy our conversations. So often I found myself thinking "now is my time to nap, but I don't want to . . . but I'm so tired . . I must." I struggled with feeling isolated with the baby, knowing I had a friend to talk to, but who was trying desperately to give me the space I needed to rest.
She and Chris took William to the zoo one morning so I could rest with Stephen. Clifford the Big Red Dog was visiting the zoo so William got to meet him! He is a really big fan and I was so excited he saw him. Chris reported back that he was a little shocked and didn't know what to think.
Over the weekend of July 4th, her older sister came to town with her family (husband and three kids). It was really fun to have a little family time -- we hung out at their hotel a couple of evenings and they came over to our neighborhood park for a chilly-afternoon barbecue on the 4th. Shannon and Chris put together a great spread of burgers, fruit salad and potatoes. I assisted by making brownies. William loved playing with his cousins which actually freed up the adults for some actual conversation! I really enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with them. Stephen slept through all of our gatherings which left everyone else a little disappointed they didn't get to hold him. You can read more about their visit here.
I was so thankful for Shannon's willingness and eagerness to come out and help me during this time. She was a huge blessing to William and me. He had such a hard time saying goodbye, but was happy to hear that we would see her (and his cousins) again in Texas at Christmas time.