Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day

I've taken a hiatus from the blog (obviously) for a variety of reasons.  The main one being that my dad's cancer started to get the best of him in December and I didn't have a lot of "happy" days where I felt like a blog post about my kid's weirdness was ever really appropriate.

January 1st he decided to go off the chemo since it was making life so difficult to really live.  Once he stopped getting the medicine into his body his downward progression was fast.  Faster than any of us had anticipated.  Had we known we would have fought harder for him to keep going.

By mid January he was pretty much confined to the house, he didn't have enough energy to do pretty much anything.  As a family we spent as much time with him as possible.  We enjoyed watching the Seahawks 1st superbowl win together, we brought the grandkids over so they could entertain him with their silliness as much as possible, and we shared many meals together always trying to talk about happy subjects while trying not to think about what was happening to Dad.

On February 15th we moved him to Hospice of Spokane's Hospice House because his care was getting to be too much for us to handle at home.  We wanted him to be comfortable and have actual trained nurses caring for him in his last days rather than his wife and kids who were learning as they went.

The 2nd night he was there I stayed overnight in the room with him.  I just couldn't imagine him passing without someone he loved holding his hand.  I spent most of the night talking to him even though his eyes were closed and he could no longer speak.  I lied in the recliner next to his bed with my hand on his arm most of the night.  I couldn't sleep, it was all too surreal what I was about to witness.  I finally fell asleep at about 4:30 and when I woke up around 6:00 he was gone.  I truly believe he waited for me to fall asleep so I wouldn't have to actually witness his last breath.  Even in his last moments on Earth he looked out for me.

I feel thankful that he got his diagnosis when he did so we could all cherish the time we had left together.  His friends and family made the most of the 18 months he lived, never taking a holiday/birthday/sunny day for granted.

I've found that I miss him at funny times, like today, Tax Day.  His birthday was April 9th and growing up we hardly ever celebrated it with him.  He worked ridiculously long hours up until April 15th and then we'd get him back for a while, so Tax Day was always a happier day than his birthday for our family.

I bought his car from him in January when it was clear he wouldn't be getting better.  He had taken the time to program some numbers into his bluetooth in the car.  So now everytime I'm driving and my mom or sister or brother calls I get to hear his voice say "Irene cell" or "Charlotte cell" or "Pete cell".  Matt pointed out that now we can never sell the car, and that's perfectly fine with me.

So there's no good way to end this post other than to say time is making it easier, but that doesn't mean I don't still miss him terribly.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas is here.

Hard to say who's most excited - the dad or the kids.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

And then we got a dog.

We've been thinking about a dog for a while now.  About 5 years really.  It was Christmas and Charlie was 2 and he was opening a small box that held Mac the Truck from Cars.  I hear him whisper "please be a dog".  That's when the conversation first started.

I needed a few more years to birth his sister, and then get them old enough to be able to use the bathroom on their own and dress themselves.  So now that they can do all that we decided it was time to take on a new challenge.

Friends Brenda and Danielle (both dog lovers) were here for a weekend so we decided to drag them along to a pet fair in Idaho at a car dealership of all places.  Several pet rescues from around the region were there with their dogs, probably about 20 in all. 

We got to walk around and see if any of them spoke to us.  I was drawn to the little dogs, Annie was drawn to the kitties, Charlie couldn't focus - there were just too many to choose from, Danielle found a basset hound with the same name as her boyfriend (Gunner), Brenda made friends with all of them, and Matt found Trapper.

We thought we should maybe go out to lunch and talk about Trapper before committing to adopting her.  As we're trying to make a plan another couple comes up and starts asking Trapper's handler all these questions, they looked super interested in taking her home.

So I motion to Matt from across the room, giving him the now or never signal, he says now and I interrupt the nice couple and say 'stop asking questions, we saw her first'.  That's basically how I remember it going down.

She jumped up on my lap on the way home.  Freaky for the driver.

Then she jumped back to Brenda and Danielle.

Finally home.

Escaped from her kennel when we went out to dinner, chewed all sorts of important things.  We're learning (how to pick stuff up and how to latch the kennel properly).

Charlie is in love!

Annie is in love as well, she expresses her love through art though. (she's wearing a kitty headband in the drawing)

Glad Charlie finally convinced us to get a furry friend!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Halloween 2013

I don't really believe in dressing up unless I have to. Or unless my son leaves his beard lying around.


Out of all the stuffed animals at Disneyland Annie picked the exact same one as her buddy Emily, who was there the weekend before us. 

The girls brought their 'ladies' to the boy's soccer games a couple of times.  Watching boys soccer = boring.  Playing with your matching Lady dogs = awesome.

So Cal - days 3 - 5

Days 3-5 were spent at Disneyland and California Adventure.  We stayed at a hotel that was walking distance, which was awesome in the morning.  By the evening Matt and I were piggy-backing the kids back to the hotel.  Suddenly the hassle of a hotel in shuttle distance was sounding pretty good.

Happily walking to Disney in the morning.

Screwing around in line.  Something they did for many hours, but always happily.

We bumped into the big man himself and were first in line for a picture.

Toy Story Mania with my maniac.

Picture with Stitch.

One of Charlie's cooler 'hidden Mickey' finds.

Token picture of Matt on the carrousel in California Adventure.
Disneyland and California Adventure have become our family's happy place. They beat all other theme parks and all other family trip destinations in our minds. The kids are always happy there as are Matt and I.  Flash back 10 years ago when we went to Disney pre-kids it was no where near a happy place for us.  Matt wrote a little post on his old blog at the time about our experience, we've come a long way in 10 years!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

So Cal - day 2

Day 2 we went to LEGOLAND and the LEGOLAND waterpark. Everything was made of Legos, it was incredible.

C for Charlie!

A for Annie!

We got there a little early, couldn't help but do some posing.

Lego Yoda

Mid-day we went over to the Lego Waterpark.  It was pretty small so after about 2 hours we'd done it all.  Nice way to cool off mid-day though.

It's hard to tell but the faces are made of Legos (as is the ghost holding the R).

This may be the only picture of our sweet rental car.  By sweet I mean super small (not what I reserved).  The kids kept asking why they didn't have their own doors.  They'd never ridden in a 2 door before.  First world problems!