Monday, November 21, 2011

Two Little Monkeys

Good friends are sometimes hard to come by, but when you find one, you know that they will always have your back.  Last year at Christmas Charlotte made a new friend (courtesy of her Aunt Angie) that saw her through a lot of good times and a few tough stretches as well.  

Meet RedButt 
(So lovingly and creatively named for her precious little red behind!)


 Charlotte loved RedButt from the get-go.  I mean, what's not to love about a silly pink monkey with crazy long arms and legs, big silly ears and a big ol' smile on its face?  RedButt would dance and sing and always knew how to make our Charlotte smile!  They spent lots of hours playing together and every night RedButt would sit on the ledge of Charlotte's crib and watch over her while she dreamed.

And while I knew that our little monkey friend was quite the entertainer, I didn't realize how good of a snuggle buddy she was until Charlotte's surgery in January.  She did her best to keep our little lady feeling safe during the for long days/nights spent in a hospital bed. 

And she came in surprisingly handy when it came to keeping Charlotte's breathing tube propped out of the way, and at giving her arms a soft (and familiar) place to rest.

Here our monkeys are just minutes after that pesky old tube was removed.  RedButt never left her side...not for a minute.  Now thats a good friend!

It was never easy to see our little girl after surgery...not then...not now...but oddly enough, every time I look at these pictures I get a smile on my face.  At first glance I see my poor little baby hooked up to countless wires and tubes and covered in bandages/tape, but when I look past all of that, I see my perfect little girl and her bestest monkey pal.  It was a strange feeling of "normal" during a time that is anything but that.

The holidays are sneaking in and I find myself getting more and more emotional...anxious...sad...about the thought of "celebrating" in Charlotte's absence.  I don't feel like decorating.  I don't feel like Christmas shopping.  I don't feel like doing much of anything.  Yet at the same time, I know that I can't just sit here and mope or I will drive myself crazy. 

So now what?  What can I do to keep my mind occupied?

Make monkeys.

Yup, you heard me.  I'm going to make more RedButts!  

I've been in contact with the Fox River Mills sock company (the makers of the "official" sock monkey socks) and they hooked me up with a SWEET deal on their monkey socks.  Just today I came home to find a box on our doorstep filled with 40 pairs of socks (20 pink/20 brown) and there are even more to come!

I don't have a plan totally in place, but I would like the monkeys to go to heart kiddos like Charlotte...specifically those who are stuck in the hospital over the holidays. Sometimes my brain can only handle one thing at at time.  Now that the socks are here I'll work on the rest!  If anyone has any brilliant ideas, please pass them my direction.  

Now, I'm guessing you're all probably on Earth is Kristen going to make THAT MANY sock monkeys?  Well....ummm....lets just say that I'll be looking for volunteers to help out!  If you are local (either Sioux Falls or Omaha so that I can get you the socks and a pattern easily), can sew and would like to make a monkey or two, just let me know.  The more the merrier!


  1. If Angie could make one by handstitching, just think how many we could make with a sewing machine!! I'm in and what a great idea!

  2. You are truly an inspiration. Your little girl continues to have an impact on this world through you. I wish I were closer! I would totally be in!

    I will be saying extra prayers as you go through the holiday season. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be.

    Heart Hugs


  3. Hey Kristen and Matt ,

    I am JR's sister, Gina. I have been following your posts for a while and this is my first post. I just want you to know how inspiring you both are. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers. I also want you to know that I would love to help with Project Redbutt, however, I cannot sew at all. I was wonder if there was a way I could help in the cost side of it. Please let me know I'd love to do something in honor of your gorgeous and brave daughter. Thank you for your post. They have certainly done good for my family as well as many others I am sure.

    My email is

    Gina Westfall.

  4. I love, love, love this and will help spread the word in any way I can. :)

  5. Kristen,
    I haven't been able to read all you blog posts, but I love what you've written. You have such a natural way of writing, so honest. I pray that you find peace and continue to rejoice in the memories of your beautiful girl.

    Kathy Tremmel