How I Would Spend the Fulwiler’s Money

Like a true friend, Hallie has posted a PayPal button to raise money for Jen Fulwiler as she and her family anticipate months of Jen sitting around on her butt for the sake of her health and that of her unborn son. (No you may not get up to retrieve that book/electronic device/ personal hygiene item! Get back in bed if you know what’s good for you!)

Having gone through five high risk pregnancies myself, the last especially trying, I know running a house from your bed, especially a hospital bed, is not fun. It can be very hard to ask for help, and sometimes, one doesn’t even know what to ask for. But since Hallie is making Jen accept help from those of us too far away to stop by with a tasty casserole I wanted to offer some suggestions as to how to put the donations to good use. Jen has almost 7,000 readers via Feedburner and probably many more via email subscription. So for the sake of this post, I’ll say if most of her dedicated readers all donated $1 that would give the Fulwiler’s $7,000 to use over the course of Jen’s recovery.

–Hire a housekeeper. Average cost is $25 to $50 an hour. Let’s go with $40 and estimate three times a week, two hours at a time for $240 a week in cleaning. Twelve weeks of cleaning equals $2880. Two visits a week at two hours a pop would equal $1920 for twelve weeks with a clean house. Like, really clean. You would be safe with the five second rule on cookies and even soft items like gummi worms.

–Fly your kids to my house. What’s five more kids? $1998 to fly them with an adult chaperone to Philadelpia and then back to Texas. I promise not to traumatize them.

–Order chocolate. The cost to ship a deluxe Belgian chocolate gift basket to Jen’s door every week for twelve weeks: $1116. Or, if Jen doesn’t like Belgian chocolate, she could send me a gift basket every two weeks for half that. Her choice.

–Hire a governess to entertain and educate the children. (It’s okay, I won’t take it personally if Jen chooses this route over sending them to me. I blame it on my 2013 logo.) Because she has five kids, I’m going with the high average and estimating a full-time governess sleeping on a cot in the basement would cost $1400 a week, plus benefits that extend beyond a front row seat to the next showing of Minor Revisions. So figure twelve weeks of Mary Poppins equals at least $16,800; a bit much but maybe Joe could start selling Tupperware on the side? However, if we each donated only a few dollars more, the dream could become a reality.

Luxury pajamas. If you’re going to lounge in bed for twelve weeks, there’s no reason your style has to suffer.

–In home prenatal massage. There are  masseuses who do this! Why didn’t I explore this option for myself??? One hour, $80; twelve weeks of jelly muscles, $960.

–Meal delivery, for when no one can stomach another well-intentioned noodle dish. Schwans offers kid’s favorites, lunch and dinner meals plus snacks and desserts. Some quick searching revealed many tasty dinners that would serve eight and cost around $20. One week for dinners equals about $140, unless you want to add a gallon of their Cookies and Cream ice cream for only $11 more. My only beef is that they claim that gallon will yield 32 servings.  Twelve weeks of dinners, plus a gallon every week, totals $1812.

Meals, the thrice weekly cleaning, massage and chocolates would consume $6,768. But if Jen could sacrifice a day of cleaning or a gallon of ice cream, a part-time Nanny or regular Pajamagram might be feasible.

Hang in there Jen! We’re all praying for you!


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  1. This is truly awesome. If I were on bedrest and someone made this list I would be all “I am totally doing all these things!!!!”.

    Also, your new pic up there is great great great. Did you really write those words with chalk yourself or is that some snazzy graphic trick?

    1. Yes this list is everything I wish I would’ve suggested to people back when I was laid up with in-utero Teddy. I did the chalk drawings myself; it’s not a fan t-shirt image, but it works for me.

  2. I’ve been on bedrest for the last trimester with all 5 pregnancies, and I agree wholeheartedly with all of your recommendations. p.s. Can I send my 5 kids, too? Just want a little break!

    1. Same here…last trimester bedrest for 3…so next time around I definitely know where to send them.

      And can I just say when I am laughing at the TITLE of the post before I even read it, that is the mark of an amazing blogger 🙂

      1. Margaret, do you really want to do that do your kids???
        And Jamie, you’re always too kind to me.

    1. Doesn’t Joe have a large banana suit or some other large costume they can put to good use? I’m seriously thinking of updating with a quote from a costume company for hourly rentals.

    1. Thanks. ‘the ol’ blog’- HA! My husband told me because I’d been around less than a year I shouldn’t go changing things. I don’t often take his advice and luckily, this time it seems to have worked out.

  3. Best list ever! Chocolate and nice pajamas make a lot of difference in someone’s mental survival! Plus, bed rest with this many kids is pretty much my worst fear in life, I don’t know how you girls do it! There should be a patron saint of this kind of traumatic thing!

  4. Awesome awesome list!! When I had my twins I was terrified of bedrest (luckily it didn’t happen) so my hats are off to all you who have survived it with other kids at home too! And definitely more banana suit. Can’t have too much banana suit!

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