Wednesday, March 29, 2006

He's gone.

After suffering a stroke last Sunday, making a good recovery, then suffering another stroke today right in front of my Mom and I, our beloved Gabe left this world.

My Mom and I were watching a movie when I noticed that Gabe was breathing oddly. The kind of breathing that dogs do when they are sleeping and dreaming of something exciting. But it was odd because his eyes were open.

A cold feeling of dread swept over me as my Mom and I jumped up and looked at him. His breathing was in spasms, his eyes unblinking. I ran to Jenni and yelled for her to get Aunt Deanne immediatly and she took off. In the maybe 5 minutes it took from me first noticing the breathing to when Aunt Deanne arrived, he died. It was so fast. My Mom and I were calling him, but his tongue was lolling out, his eyes blank. He did come back to us for a moment, the obedient and loving dog he is... he lifted his head, blinked, breathed. But then he laid back down and it was done.

I was horrified. It happened so quickly that there was no time to process it. Jenni was crying and so was I.

My Aunt Deanne and Mom rolled him onto a tarp, I slipped off his collar. His body was still warm, his fur still wiry but soft at the same time. Aunt Deanne and I carried him outside and placed him on the deck, covering him with an old blanket. He was sooooo light for a dog that was so hefty and solid when living. The illness he'd be suffering with since Sunday had greatly thinned him.

It was not possible that he was here, being a grump to the other dogs, coming out to greet us when we came home just one hour before. I keep looking at where we put him, halfway expecting to see the blanket moving and to see his huge head peeking out.

Tomorrow we will bury him behind the big boulder, near the weeping willow tree. The boulder will be his headstone, where we can sit and remember him.

I'm happy that he passed here in the warm house, surrounded by family and his doggie friends. All the dogs were in, gathered around, sleeping. It was calm, quiet, peaceful. It was a swift death, not painful.

Yet the world seems a bit more lonely tonight. A little less safe. You always felt safe with Gabe. He was so big, so tender, so loyal. You never felt afraid when he was with you.

Goodbye my brave old friend.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Quick note...

I will be at my Moms for the next few days. We got a call this morning that Jason's Mom is in the hospital. He left this morning and will be staying in Spokane a few days. His Mom is not doing greate, but could be doing a lot worse. Please keep her and the family in your prayers. This is a stressful time for all.

This weekend we got tons done... Kids stayed the entire time at my Mom's on Saturday and we cleaned out the garage, as well as cleaned up the back yard and various other tasks. Sunday, we went grocery shopping for the week and I cleaned our living room rug.

Ethan has a stye in his eye... (there is no way to say that without it rhyming). I picked up some ointment that hopefully will help, but it should be quite a task to try and get it in the eye.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm bone-weary, so I'll make this short.

Today, Ethan had his 2 year checkup. Stats are as follows:

Weight: 29lbs, 5 oz ( 65%)
Height: 37.5 in (over 100%)

He's so tall!

Everything else checked out fine, though I forgot to ask the pediatrician about Ethan still taking two naps a day. I hardly like to stop such a good thing, but I'm somewhat concerned that he shouldn't be sleeping that much. I may call and ask.

After the appointment, the kids and I went to the shoe store to get Ethan some new shoes. I'd just bought him a pair of 6 1/2's to replace his 5 1/2's, but he kept complaining about them. I figured that perhaps the shoes ran small or something. Well, at the place we had them measure his foot and he is a size 8! Wow, did I feel like such a horrible mother. I've been stuffing his little feet (complaining all the while about how chubby his feet are) when really I've been putting him in shoes that are too small. We got him a pair of 8 1/2's and they look enormous, but at least they fit.

We really pushed our luck (ignoring our general rule of only two stops per car trip) after the shoe store and went grocery shopping. Did not go great. Ethan dumped a ziploc of cheerios on the floor, then tried to throw groceries (most scarily, a bottle of wine which I caught in mid-fall) out. Gwen wouldn't stay out of my purse and kept pulling out my wallet, chewing on it, then tossing its contents on the floor. Amazingly enough, a very kindly elderly woman came up to me TWICE to say, "Both your children are beautiful!" and then, "You are such a good mother, your children are so well behaved". I had to wonder, was this woman loose from the local mental institution or something? Beautiful, yeah, I agree. Well behaved? Well, apparently that's in the eye of the beholder :) I would not have used the term "well behaved" when I practically had to do a sliding dive to catch a wine bottle.

When we got home, I sent the kids to bed and started chugging away at dinner (Mahogany Beef Stew with Red Wine and Hoisin). I forgot how much prep this recipe had. So, by the time I was done prepping and doing some dishes, Gwen was awake. She then cried and fussed until Jason came home... near 2 hours straight.

Needless to say, I'm a major bee with an itch right now.

And that is why I'm off to bed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Check out our video clips. I put up one from tonight of Ethan getting his birthday cupcake and him playing with the dog. Its dark, but cute :)

We have some good pics from today too, but I'm far too worn out to get them up right now.

Today was uber-challenging.

The kids did not nap well at all. Particularly Gwen who didn't sleep more than an hour each nap, and did not want to be put down at all. She was appallingly fussy, for a reason that I could not determine. My arms and back and even legs ache from holding her all day while doing things around the house. I can carry her for some hours without issue, but an entire day... especially when she's arching her back and throwing fits just takes it out of a person.

I made Ethan breaded chicken strips with homemade ranch dressing and sauteed bell peppers for dinner, which he very much liked. His dessert was a vanilla cupcake with chocolate cream cheese frosting, which he seemed to greatly enjoy. When you see the pictures, you'll know what I mean.

Tomorrow we take him in for his 2 year checkup and, most likely, shots :( We're very curious to see how much he weighs and stuff, but the shots are never fun.

Its inconceivable to me that he is 2. His first birthday seemed right... like yeah, its been a year. But this past year seems to have flown. Perhaps this birthday is more shocking to me because it means that in a month Gwen will be 1 and that is something that is really hard for me to fathom. For some reason, it makes me want to have another baby.

For some reason I'm finding this birthday far more emotional than his first. I just can't believe he's actually 2.


First smile

First camping trip (4 months)


First birthday

Vacation (18 months)

With sister (20 months)

Few days before 2nd birthday

Monday, March 20, 2006

I've had some problems getting pictures up here, so I hope these look ok.

Isn't he so cute?

On the patio

Ethan sniffing the flowers...

You can see how feverish she is... those cheeks are so flushed!

Yesterday, in an effort to avoid doing house chores, we headed out to Mom's. Its good for everyone to go there. The dogs get to run, Ethan has a great time playing all over the property and doing cool things with Grandpa and J and I get a break while others play with the kids. I made dinner and we got back home around 8. The kids were dead tired and fell asleep immediately. Unfortunately, they woke up 3 times during the night though.

Gwens fever has finally broken, poor thing. She's been between 100 and 103.5 since Friday. Talked to the doctor today and they said that if she still had it by tomorrow that they should see her since its been lingering so long. Weird thing is, there is no obvious reason for it. No runny nose, no cough, no tugging at the ears. It was a mystery fever.

Ethan turns two in two days. Wow. For some reason, this birthday is a lot more emotional to me than the 1st.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'm back! My finger is mostly healed up now and its not painful to type or use the mouse anymore.

We had a very crazy week. Jasons car wouldn't start for two days, so he had to take my car. Even if I have no plans, I HATE being without a car. I don't know how poeple get by with one car.

Then, early Wednesday morning, I was up with the kids and noticed these brown spots all over our carpets. Turns out Tilli had gotten into the cocoa powder, which is deadly for dogs! We were really freaked out and kept an extremely close eye on her, but it looks like she must have gotten just a tiny bit and just made a big mess because other than being more sleepy than usual, she didn't get sick.

I got a new phone, so you can call us at home now.

Thursday, my Mom noticed that Ethan could crawl into Gwens crib. Indeed, he does it at every opportunity now! The time is drawing near when he's going to have to get into a toddler bed and I'm so nervous about it!

Ethan is full of words and every day says more and more. His understanding is unbelievable, and Gwennie and him are getting along really well, especially since he likes to tell Gwen what to do now and she (sometimes) responds.

Gwen is so close to walking! We've been practicinig with her. All she lacks is confidence. Physically she's all ready. I cannot wait for her to walk so that her clothes will stay clean. I know that sounds like a silly reason, but if you only knew how much time I spend on stains on that girls knees and tummy!

Jason and I have a lot planned for this weekend. I'm not gonna say what just in case it all falls apart and we get nothing done, but it is ambitious.

Gwen is running a low grade fever today. Hopefully she's not getting sick :(

Ethan is 2 in four days!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Just a quick note to say hi and let you know that we are all doing well.

I cut my finger badly on Friday and it really hurts to type or use the mouse so its put a crimp in my internet activities.

For those who might be trying to reach us, our home phone is broken. Don't take it personally if I don't call you back, because I can't :) Try my cell phone!

All for now. Will type again once the finger doesn't hurt so bad.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

When will I learn?


As my former co-workers may remember, I have a thing about having my pizza extremely hot. We worked across the street from a great pizza place and even if it had just come out of the oven I would pop it into the toaster oven in the office kitchen and cook that baby till it was crisp. Once I started a small fire... and then the darn thing started to smoke so badly that I couldn't do it anymore :(

Anyway, I digress. I would eat this screaming hot pizza and scald my mouth. As I ate pizza like 3-4 times a week, you would think that I would learn to let it cool first. Nope.

Apparently I still haven't learned because I burned my mouth so bad today. Ouch.

My Mom and Jenni came over and cleaned up the house so nice! My Mom also toppled half the laundry mountain, bless her heart. As soon as she arrived she was like, "Show me", hehe.

We're having ham steak, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes for dinner.
Made a big mistake last night and gave Gwennie pepperoni pizza. Usually she just gets crust and cheese, but I thought, why not give her some of the good stuff. Weeeeeell, I paid for it today with the most enormous and messy poopy diaper I've ever had to deal with. GROSS.

Mom is coming today and I cannot wait. Simply must get out of this house! They will be here about 1 and I'll be gone for a few hours grocery shopping and finding other things to fill my time. Will probably run down and get a schedule from Central Market for their cooking classes.

Ethan woke up at 4:30 and wanted to come into our bed. Foolishly, I let him. He then proceeded to play and keep us all awake and finally at 5:30 we gave up and just got up. Gwen woke up at 6, thanks to her brother busting into the nursery and so we were all a tired and cranky family! Just put them down for nap and they immediately laid their heads down. They were wore out.

Had some snow last night and this morning, but all gone now. Freezing cold though. Today I must get stuff for the pellet stove so the kids and I don't have to be bundled up inside the house.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I'm cold.... so very very cold *shiver*

Its windy, rainy and cold. Generally I love this weather. But our pellet stove isn't on and our wall heaters just ain't cutting it. BRRRRR.

Yesterday afternoon, Shelly called to ask if she and her friend Alex could come over for dinner and see the kids. We said she could, and so they joined us for dinner. They picked a good night to come as I was making pot roast. Came out well, not a speck left!

Their visit did inspire me to clean up the house too, which is good. The bedrooms and their massive piles of laundry still wait, but at least the main areas are fairly tidy.

We will not be going out to walk today. Not just the weather is holding us back, but lack of clothing. See, I have no clean clothes that I can wear out of the house. I'm sure a few could be dug out of the pile in my room, but I just don't feel like making an expedition into the laundry mountain. So, I will stay in my "house clothes" and try to make busy inside.

Oh, I'm going to get a wave put in my hair. So tired of the straight stuff. Next week is when I'll do it. I'm excited and scared too. If it goes bad, I'll have to live with it for awhile. But I do so need a change in the hair department.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This is an interesting personality quiz I haven't seen before. You can contribute to mine and start your own... If you'd like, please contribute to mine here

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Just got back from our dinner at Sazerac. Eh. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a solid 5. The place was cute, but service was slowish, food was just ok and they messed up on our order a bit. If nothing else it was different :) We had hush puppies as an appetizer, then Jason had a bacon wrapped tenderloin (the server sent it back because even he could see from a distance that it was WAY undercooked), and I had lamb 3 ways. It was a chop, ribs and ravioli. Ravioli was good, ribs ok, chop not so good. We both had a glass of Syrah with our meal and it was good.

For dessert we had cassis sorbet (if I'm not mistaken, it was Hagen-Daz raspberry sorbet actually) and Jason had a "grand bowl of cafe mocha" which really came in a big bowl. It was really good though.

Sounds like Becki had a rough-ish times with the kids, poor thing. Thanks again Beck!

Went to the park earlier today and I have some good pics I'll put up later. Ethan had a great time and even tagged around with a little girl about his age. Gwen had a great time too, but she kept trying to eat the bark!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another busy day.

Grammy came over early and I left to do things... well, basically just get out of the house. If I hadn't had something to do, I swear I would have just driven around aimlessly for hours. That's how much I just wanted to get out!

I got a bunch of house decorative things... mainly to spiff things up for when we go on the market. I finally found the ribbon I've had trouble finding for my personal project, and also picked up some ribbon for a cape I've knitted for a daughter of a friend.

I've realized that I'm rather drawn to circular shapes. I have 3 wreaths in my house, not counting the heart-ish shaped one from our wedding. Never really thought about it until today when over and over I was drawn to things of a circular design.

Kids didn't take a good afternoon nap at all. Surprisingly, I didn't lose my cool too much or anything. Usually on days when I've been out alone, I'm crabby for the rest of the day and have very little patience.

We had swedish meatballs over egg noodles, with sauteed carrots on the side. Good. Not spectacular... I'm sure I could do much better.

Did like 100 crunches yesterday and my abs are sooooooo sore! I better see some gain from all this pain.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ethan is losing his title of sole troublemaker in this house! Oy vey.

Look what Gwennie did yesterday.

Yep, thats Desitin. She didn't actually ingest much, but spread it liberally over her face and hands. She had this face on because I had shrieked when I saw the mess and immediately ran for the camera. I scared the poor dear and then made her wait through pictures!

Then tonight, we were all playing on the floor when Jason realizes that Gwen has been eating Vaseline! Ugh. She was coated in a thick layer from face to toes.

The funny thing about this picture is that you can see Tilli in there already, trying to lick it off. That dog eats ANYTHING. If you click on these pics they'll open bigger and you can really see how much she had on her.

Love this one because it shows one of her new teeth

You may rightfully reason that we are completely lax parents by these events! In our defense, we're not quite used to Gwennie being able to get around and get into things. She used to be so immobile. Recently she's been like a hawk... you drop anything or leave any item out and she will absolutely find it within seconds.

I attempted a minor craft project today with Ethan. I gave him some construction paper, cut up some of my colorful origami paper into shapes and gave him a glue stick. In true kid fashion, he tasted the glue stick first :) We had fun with it for about 2 minutes, then he started tearing everything apart and threw it all over the house. I realize he's like almost 2 and perhaps a bit young for this stuff, but I'm so un-crafty and un-artistic myself... I keep hoping that my children will have some and then I get frustrated when they don't!

Aaron worked his toosh off. We tried all sorts of things to get the graffiti off to no avail. We got one of the tags mostly removed, but the other didn't come off at all. We're going to need an electric sander of some kind or just replace the boards. I may still buy some gray paint and slap it over it too because the fence is gray and the painted portions don't show from the street.

Gwen didn't sleep in the afternoon. She's been teething so badly... 4 teeth all at once on the top and she's in a lot of pain.

I was far too worn out to do dinner and was starting to feel very depressed and bitchy, so Jason got us dinner from McD's and what I had for dinner was... its bad... a medium fry and a McFlurry. I did snag a few chicken mcnuggets. But can you believe that? Its horrible! Ah well. When a girl needs ice cream, she needs ice cream.

Tomorrow Grammy is coming early (like 10am) to babysit while I run and do errands for a few hours. I cannot wait. I need to bust out of this house like sooooo badly. Gonna go into Lynnwood and hit a couple craft stores for things I need for various projects. Will probably be back around 1, as Grammy needs to leave then.

Have I mentioned that I'm kinda into origami? Back in my younger years we had exchange students stay with us from Japan a couple times and they always showed us little things made out of origami. I was in the store the other day and picked up a pack of paper and looked online for diagrams. WOW. You will not believe what people can make out of little bits of paper. Its amazing. I'm still trying to get my cranes and waterbombs (they look like balls) and boats to come out nicely, but I thought that it might be pretty to make some of the more complex flowers then mount them on a dark colored mat and frame them. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Get ready for another thrilling and adventurous blog from Kristi....

Or not ;)

Did all the usual things today. Weather was pleasant so the kids and I played outside for a bit, then went for our walk. I switched things up by putting Ethan in the back of the stroller instead of the front and surprisingly it seemed much harder to push with the weight distribution different. I feel so sore now!

I made some no-bake oatmeal cookies under the premise of increasing my milk supply (oatmeal is good for that) but really, I just wanted cookies.

We had a very... unique dinner called something like "Sausage with Rice and Lentils" and while it was edible, it was not great. That's what frustrates me a lot about the site. Its all user submitted and not tested. I mean, I KNEW that lentils and rice couldn't possibly be done at the same time, yet I followed the recipe thinking that perhaps the person who did this included some secret that would make it work. Nope. At 40 min, the rice was mush and the lentils had a slight crunch. Not ideal. Oh well.

Aaron is coming tomorrow to do some work so that will be nice. I'm going to have him remove the mold off the side of the house, remove the graffiti off the fence and scoop. That should be enough for more than a few hours! He's a good worker and a great kid :)

I'm struggling a lot with my internal emotions and shtuff.

I would like to have friends again. Sort of feels that since the kids I've been in a self-imposed bubble, and perhaps that was necessary to just deal with what was going on. But I really would like someone to talk with and such. However, when opportunities present themselves (there are many ladies who live close to me that I know from my message boards) I hesitate because, honestly, I'm not sure I'm up to putting out that effort to create and maintain a friendship.

This is mainly why I miss working. I was great friends with my co-workers and it was easy... You saw them every day by default. You didn't have to try and work time with them in between naps and loads of laundry. They were there and if you were all friendly, you had friends.

I also don't feel very genuine. I know that most everyone has shell they present to the world while keeping their true self inside and only available to a few, or no one at all. I feel like I have many shells. Daughter, sister, wife, mother, and... me. Parts of me are in those other shells, but none of them are fully me. Does that make sense? Many times I wonder at how little people really know about me. Perhaps that is a good and fine thing because my "real" me isn't very pretty. She's selfish and petty and kinda mean actually. So I end up feeling frustrated because of this pressure to be a certain way, and yet I don't really want to be the way I truly feel because it definitely wouldn't go over well.

Oh heavens, I really sound crazy don't I? Better stop while I'm ahead.