Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
In September when the schools were on strike, I made TONS of raspberry freezer jam to give to friends, family, and teachers (p.s. friends, if you are reading this...yes you're getting freezer jam). A few weeks ago I purchased the gift bags. Last week I cut out fabric and covered the lids. While Mason was having surgery on Thursday, I made gift tags. So, in all the snow, I learned a lesson. The lesson is this: If I get ALL the teacher Christmas gifts (a.k.a. holiday gifts) prepared in advance there won't be snow! Hmmmm, I'll have to think about that for next year.
The other lesson, is that Maggie CAN indeed stay inside by herself and not destroy or urinate all over everything - even if we're gone for a few hours!!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Yesterday, Good Grandpa did just that. He passed away at 2:30pm on Friday at Evergreen Hospice. He'd been in un-perfect health for a LONG time. He just kept plugging away. He'd been through a quadruple bypass; stents; fainting episodes, a hijacking attempt at Seatac in the '80's. And the list goes on. Ever since Mark & I started dating 1600 years ago (oh, I mean 16), it has always been Grandpa's last Christmas. We've truly joked about that every year. Each year Grandpa was with us, we were very blessed. He made it to both my sister's and my wedding. He was able to meet Lauren, Mason, and both my sister's children. That in and of itself was a HUGE blessing.
On November 14 Grandma awoke and Grandpa seemed unresponsive. 9-1-1 was called and they transported him to Evergreen Hospital. Within a few hours he was transferred to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I arrived mid-day and met Grandma and Dad there. Grandpa was weak, but despite his dementia, he was "with it" enough to make jokes and knew who we all were. His vital signs were crummy (heart rate and blood pressure were very low). He was transferred later to the medical floor. They decided to change some of his medication to hopefully improve his vitals. He was discharged the next week with a catheter to home. The doctors and social work decided to have hospice come to their home and expected he had about 3-6 months left on earth. He spent Thanksgiving at home with Grandma and Uncle Fred & Aunt Faith. He even ate a good dinner. The next day however he was not doing well. The hospice nurse decided to have him transferred to Evergreen Hospice near the hospital. Quickly his condition deteriorated. Within a few days he was no longer opening his eyes, able to eat, or producing any urine.
We arrived home from Maui late Thursday night. Mom and Dad drove me to see Grandpa while Mark drove the kids home and even unpacked all the suitcases (and put the kids clothes away)! Grandpa's lungs were filled with fluid and you could hear him "gurgle" with each breath. Yet, he was peacful. He was obviously in the last stages and was taking LONG pauses between each breath. Mom and Aunt Lynda spent the night there. On Friday morning he was still alive.
After work I drove up to see him again. Uncle Fred and his wife Faith, Aunt Lynda, Uncle Ken and his son Scott, Mom, and Grandma were in Grandpa's room. His breathing was not as labored as the previous night. We were all in his room being just as noisy and obnoxious as always (it's a very noisy family). Just before 2:30 Grandpa opened one eye and started to stir. Next he opened the other eye. We all quickly stood around the bed and were touching him. Grandma stood by him and stroked his head while talking to him. She named everyone in the room. She told him she loved him. She told him we all loved him and what a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather he had been. He looked around the room. He smiled with his mouth wide open then gazed towards the ceiling. Immediately I knew he was leaving the earth. All I could think while watching him smile, was that he was entering Heaven. Slowly his eyes closed. As his breathing became shallow, his coloring changed. I knew (I think before the others) that he was gone. He never gasped. He simply stopped breathing, very peacefully. After a few moments I went to ask the hospice nurse to come in. She confirmed he had passed away.
A short while later the nurses explained that when the family was ready, they would clean him and provide him with a quilt. I stayed while the others left - I didn't want him to be alone, even though I knew he was gone. 4 nurses came in. They respectfully removed the oxgyen and removed his catheter. One brushed his hair. The other put his lower set of dentures in (the uppers were already in). They provided him with a clean sheet and a quilt. The other placed a electric candle in the window (this is their procedure once someone has passed away). They re-situated him in the middle of the bed and folded his hands on top of each other in a peaceful way. He looked just like always and you kept expecting him to take another breath. Everyone came back in when they were finished. We stayed in the room with him and told a few more stories. There were tears, but also many laughs. Shortly before 4:30, my cousin Monica arrived to say goodbye to Grandpa too. Each of us said our final goodbyes to Grandpa around 4:30 and left the hospice facility.
This is my 3rd Grandparent to pass away in the past 8 months. Mark's last remaining Grandma passed away earlier this year too. The deaths of my other two grandparents were not so difficult. We were not very close (by their choice - a long story for another time). But, Grandpa was my favorite Grandpa. He will be greatly missed.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Yesterday was Halloween. The kids woke up excited. Mason wished everything and everyone a Happy Halloween. Mason was having a party at school, so he actually was able to wear his spiderman costume under his clothes (but chose to be a Clone Trooper for the evening events)! Lauren had to wait until after school to put on her outfit. She was Kit Kittredge, American Girl. Grandma Sherry MADE her costume, which looks just like the "real Kit". We did our standard trick or treating at Herb and Deb's early in the evening. Next it was on to Grandma's. After a quick dinner it was time for Trunk or Treating at church. I sent the trio without me (thinking I could get a few things done & hand out candy here).
Mark called shortly after they arrived to tell me his Dad was AT church passing out candy. As the story goes, the kids "trunk or treated" at his Dad's car. He was decked out in a beard, mustache, and even padded his clothes to appear larger. He used an accent and none of them recognized him. As they were moving on to the next car, this "strange man" grabbed Mark's arm and said "you don't even know who I am, do you?". To which Mark replied, "no, I don't". Long story short, Mark's Dad whispered that it was him, to Mark's amazement and shock. The kids were elated! I drove down and met them all at church to check out the carnival games and to see Mark's dad. After Trunk or Treating was over, Mark's dad came back to the house. The kids get to spend the whole weekend with Pop Pop, and everyone is thrilled.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
SINGLE LIFE:You see, even though I married 12 years ago ("till death do as part"), I have become a single mother. A single mother who also works. Granted, not full time, but for the next I-don't-know-how-many-months, I am working while the kids are in school from 3-4 days per week and the regular weekends. Yes, I know there are many single mothers who work full time, pick up their kids from daycare, maybe feed them dinner, and tuck them in. Some are happy with this life. I, however am not!
WHEN THE HUSBAND SHOWS UP AT HOME: Mark started a new job almost 2 years ago. Travel was one component. His travel increased to the point that it was Monday through Friday for 6-7 weeks in a row. Then he decided he'd have AT LEAST one day per week home. That week day would be a "work from home" day - which meant he could catch up on home issues and take calls as needed. Somewhere in the past few weeks, this "great idea" has vanished. Take this past Monday for example. He agreed to drop Lauren off at school...and then would be home to catch up on a few things (aka "work from home"). I was volunteering at Mason's school to do vision screening from 8am-12. Funny thing. He went into work. Oh, yes, he did come home around 12:30. He also made a point to tell me he'd purchased himself lunch. But me, no. Why think about others? He left again for an afternoon of conference calls. Monday night, I stated I wanted to discuss future travel plans. It's very hard to do that when one is obsessed with facebook. So, at around 9pm, I said, "you know, if you stopped facebook now, you could hang up the blinds you promised to do YESTERDAY". Guess what! The blinds are still on the living room floor. And, it's not that I hate facebook altogether. It's that I hate the possibility of what could be. I don't think it's appropriate for women to send "private" messages or "gifts" to men. Apparantly, I'm the only one. See, while some are busy on facebook, trying to rack up the number of their "Friends", others of us are left at home, and are neglected. And the housework is neglected. It's just not OK. It's also not OK to show up at home for 2 days and do nothing because you are "sick" or "tired". But, for the past two weekends, that's what Mark has done. Two weekends ago, he somehow got mason to nap (because then Mark gets to nap too, while Lauren watches TV or plays on teh computer). But then after naptime, he also let them watch an entire other movie. See, I don't get that privledge. If I don't do "my chores", no one else is going to pick up after me. I've actually tested and proved this theory. In fact, Mark actually told me on one weekend to lay down and rest....that I could do those things later! 'I', not "we".
THE WEBCAM: It's a great invention. What fun it is to see the other person at their place and talk, while they can see you. What is annoying, is that the webcam is not portable. You can't be playing outside or eating breakfast or getting in the car and talk on the webcam. It's not possible. On a cell phone, yes. Webcam, NO. But, being that he WANTS to use the webcam, he chooses to call at the most inopportune times. For example, we leave at school at the same time EVERY MORNING! Why would you call then to chat? Bedtime is virtually the same time every night, so why would you call then? And, no, I'm not keeping "your kids" from you. It's a pain in the butt to wrangle them up when they are playing outside in the sun! And, I choose not to get them out of bed to talk to you when it's bedtime. Yesterday he called as we were on the way home from school (same time as always). He wanted to talk as soon as we arrived home. Problem is, is that the kids need to get their homework done. I had already promised that as soon as homework was done, they could watch High School Musical 2 (since HSM 3 comes out on Friday). There was no way, I was interrupting homework for a phone call. When we called back after homework, guess what! He wasn't available. So, I kept my end of the promise and let them watch the movie. He called mid-movie to talk again. Neither kiddo wanted to get up from their seats (aside from when they were dancing). Then, he called back after bed time. Seriously - use a clock! Well, we called this morning, but guess what. He wasn't available. I guess the moral is, for those of us who do NOTHING (like me), we should drop everything to talk via webcam.
NOTHING: Let me tell you about the "nothingness" of my days. Where to start (since there is so little to discuss). Let's just discuss this current week.
Monday - Fix lunches; take Mason to school; volunteer from 8-12 at Mason's school for vision screening; come home and change sheets and clean both kids rooms; get call from Lauren's school nurse and talk to Lauren about an injury; email mason's teachers about his performance; pick up Mason; pick up Lauren & Thornley from school; drop Thorns off; sit down for 40 minutes with kids as they do homework; take Lauren to/from a birthday party; mop kitchen floor; do some congregational care work.
Tuesday - Fix breakfast; fix lunches; drop off Mason at school; drive carpool to Lauren's school; go to ENT; have CT scan of sinuses; come home; change my sheets; clean bathroom; start dinner (crock pot); clean laundry room (Mark's job - but he refuses to actually clean all the lint balls off the floor); go to the gym to work out with Michelle; pick up Mason; drive carpool home; do homework with both kids; assist Mason with thank you notes from his birthday (oh, yeah, to Mark's parents); open scholastic box; divide all books for Lauren's classmates in separate bags; pack Lauren's halloween outfit (for girl scout party on Wednesday); mop kitchen floor again (spaghetti spill); tuck kids in; pack up Mason's swimming stuff (for Wednesday); do more congregational care work; empty garbages (Mark's job - he likes to "forget" some); take all 3 garbage dumpsters to the street.
Today - Fix breakfast; fix lunches; drop Mason off at school; take Lauren to the twins house (their day for carpool); go to work; pick up Mason; take him to swimming; eat lunch (yogurt); come home; play outside with Mason; bring garbage cans back from street; clean outside toy bin; sweep a little; pick up dog poop from outside; go to girl scouts; watch their performance; come home; do homework with kids; play outside with kids; clean up; take Lauren to kids choir; put Mason in bath; receive call that Lauren is injured and needs to come home; get mason out of bath and race to church; bring Lauren home; tend to her; tuck kids in; clean pantry floor; type my "angry" blog. Oh, yes, and in the midst of this "nothing-ness", feed the dog; help Mason with occupational therapy homework; adapt Mason's homework for him; reply to emails from his therapists, teachers, etc. And, that's just a synopsis. There are so many other things that I just do routinely (Laundry on a daily basis, straightening up, etc).
So, that sums it up. I'm tired. I'm mad. And, well, the next week will be exactly the same as this! Me and the kids.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
The past few years were a little better. This was only due to the fact that I was done tolerating her crap on the phone. So, if she started complaining (rather 'bitching') about mom, dad, or grandpa, I gave her a fair warning that if she continued, our call would be over. And, yes, for the record, I did hang up on her a time or two. I'd always call back a few days later and it would be a better conversation.
So, what did I learn from bad grandma? I learned that before you die, you better confess to the truth regarding lies you've told AND throw away stuff you don't want anyone to see (since you won't be around to explain it). In going through old pictures, letters, etc. I've come across all sorts of stuff. I've stumbled upon pictures with people torn off. Hate mail to people (that she copied and saved). Hate mail from people. Letters with unanswered questions. Letters from old relatives we were told NEVER wrote to her. Other things. Just things you really don't want laying around for others to find when you die.
At my age, I really don't have anything to hide. But, I'm a saver. I save cards I have received. I keep Christmas cards (truly, had some I saved from 1996 to the present). So, I went through and tossed three bags full of stuff. I kept some special items. Kept all the "congrats on the wedding" cards; cards from Mark; cards from the parents, grandparents, and anyone who passed away, etc. But, the rest went into the trash!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Me - Ponte. That's P - O - N- T- E.
Me - Yes, everything is current
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Whatever the outcome of today’s negotiations’ session, there will be no school tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 4."
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
This just in: (to my in-box at 4:22pm): District and BEA negotiators met this afternoon. The discussion was productive but did not lead to a tentative agreement. There will be no school tomorrow, September 3, 2008.
Need I say more?