Tuesday, June 10, 2014

One Year Gone

Tomorrow is June 11th, and tomorrow marks one year.  One year that my dad has been gone.  It really seems almost surreal that it's been a whole year, it's felt like it's flown by, and yet, I've been waiting patiently for this day to come.  This past year has been so full of the very, very hard part of healing; the grieving, the anger, the sadness, the tears, the bitterness.  This year has been full of healing for all of those things, and that first year is just...hard.  I understand now why the tradition for widows used to be that they needed to wait a year before they re-married, because even as a daughter losing her father, I've needed this year to feel...OK.  After his long, horrific illness filled with pain, and way too many '√≠ncidentals' that lead to a sad, awful death in a nursing home, I've waited a long time to be...OK.

I think about my dad every day.  I think about his loving kindness, his soft face with saggy skin that I used to play with in Sacrament meeting as a kid.  I think about his silent way of pondering, he was a man who thought about things in a way most men don't, he contemplated and pondered.  I think about his patience, the patience he showed as a Branch President to the church members he served, the patience he approached his children and grandchildren with.  Never have I known a more patient man when it came to matters of the heart.

I remember when Kristoffer and I were engaged, and we were told we couldn't get married in the Temple as soon as we had hoped due to tithing issues. As terrified as Kristoffer was to talk to my father, they went for a walk together one evening, and when they returned, Kristoffer just told me how much he knew my father loved him.  Kristoffer felt so loved by a man he wasn't even legally connected to yet.  

I think about how my dad LOVED children.  He truly had a divine connection with them, and he spoke to their tiny little spirits.  They knew it, and they loved him.  Even if they weren't sure of him right away, he would soon become their favorite person.  Every child in his mind was precious and adored.  When we were pregnant with Marin, we had a terrible scare and were told some testing showed she could quite possibly have Downs Syndrome.  It was absolutely terrifying.  My father, shortly after she was born and was confirmed she was healthy and did not have Downs Syndrome, asked about her and I just remember him telling me how precious she was either way.  He would have loved her no matter what.

I miss my dad every day.  I miss his voice.  I'm so sad that my kids will not have their grandpa to play with and talk to.  Oh, how he loved them!  And they have just a handful of very young, tender memories that I am so terrified they will lose.  

I'm so grateful he is no longer suffering in that wretched, disease ridden body.  I am so grateful he is living with our Heavenly Father now, free from pain.  I am grateful that he is spending time with this baby we are expecting in October.  That makes my heart smile!  I know this little girl will come into the world already having been sent from the other side with hugs and kisses from grandpa.  She will be the first grandbaby born since his death, and I am quite certain that I will feel his presence here after she is born...my dad never could stay away from babies, he loved them so much we called him the "baby snatcher".

Spending time with Marin (at age 4 months) and my nephew, Scott.

 Maaaany years ago...I was the little blonde sitting on his lap.
 He used to let me paint his nails, such a good dad.
 Lauging with my Uncle Don.  This is the face I loved to see.  My dad was so not photogenic, so catching his real face was a rarity.

 Snuggling with my Marin.
 Always happy to hold a baby! 
So, dad:  thank you for everything.  Thank you for loving mom, and being a good husband.  Thank you for wanting children and raising me as a patient, kind, loving father.  Thank you for teaching me the right way to hear people, by listening to their heart.  Thank you for teaching me all about life, country music and molasses cookies.  Thank you for teaching me to do hard things and grow up.  Thank you for teaching me how to grieve and be a grown up...a grown up that has been washed with tears of grief.  I love you dad, and I miss you.  Take good care of my baby girl up there while we wait for her arrival!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June Beginnings

Can you believe it's June already?  I know!  We've started our summer with a few kinks, but hopefully those will be worked out soon.  Other than that, things are the usual!

Little Peaches it adjusting well to her new home.  She really is the sweetest little kitty.  So friendly and sociable, very mux-able (the kids mux her around all the time and she is so great with it), and just the softest, prettiest cat.  We have all fallen in love with her, and it's actually nice after the kids go to bed to have a soft, purring ball of fur snuggle up with you on the couch.,
 And the usual at work for me.  I've been trying to pick up some extra shifts before this baby comes to build up a little extra PTO.  Most weeks are three days a week...and it's not my fave, but I know I'll be happy I made the sacrifice once baby comes.  We've had quite a bit of construction at work recently, and our tiny little area has become even tinier...and loud!  We had a jackhammer about 15 feet away from our nurses station the other day, and I think everyone had a headache about an hour into their shift.  It was awful!
 My girl has graduated from Kindergarten!  I can't believe how fast she is growing, so proud of how hard she has worked.
 I took her out for a celebratory cupcake at Sweet Tooth Fairy, one of her (and my) favorite places!
 Marin was doing a little dancey-dance she was so excited for her cupcake...she has a sweet-tooth like her mama.

 Owen was a happy guy, he ended up eating JUST the frosting, aye yai yai.

The other weekend, I remembered that Layton has this splash pad, so we went and I am SO glad.  Even though our kids are kind of pansies when it comes to getting wet, it was somewhere to go and something to do. 

 Hubby and me.
 Owen was standing in *just* the right place at the splash pad and got absolutely DUMPED on.  It was pretty hilarious to see his face.  But he trotted right over to his towel and laid down to get warm, sweet boy.

Owen likes his share of snuggles with Miss Peaches, too.
 Marin brilliantly suggested the Home Depot kids activity this past Saturday, so I took the kids, and it was SO fun.  First Saturday of every month, totally free, takes about 45minutes to and hour.  Perfect for kids.  They both did great, but I had a hard time helping both kids on my own.
 Marin loved being able to work on something pretty independently, that's just like Marin.



 They finished their little riding lawn mower projects and got a badge to put on their apron.  We are totally doing this activity as often as possible
Whilst the kids and I played, daddy stayed at home and worked on the back deck.  We made the agreement that the deck just needed to be done as soon as possible, so I put my projects on hold and took the kids for the day, and Kristoffer worked on the deck.  He finished sanding and started with the Rustoleum Restore, still a ways to go, but progress nonetheless.

 This is the yucky condition of the wood on our deck, and hopefully we will have the project completed soon!
 This morning, Marin discovered two little sparrows inside our house!  They had ripped these two HUGE holes in the window screen and were desperately trying to fly out the wrong window.  Fortunately, they were easy to guide outside.
 I had Kristoffer take a few belly pictures for me this afternoon.  Sunday is just about the only day I don't look like a bum...at least these days.  So, I had to take advantage.  Tomorrow is baby's big anatomy ultrasound, just to be sure all is well.  Honestly, as a pediatrics nurse, it's extra terrifying for me.  I work with sick kids every day I work, so that's the norm for me...even though millions of babies are born healthy everyday, it still weighs on my mind.  Good thoughts!
 And baby girl is a growing!  I'm not sure how, because honestly, my appetite is pretty...not hefty.  It's been shocking to me.  I don't crave meat...at ALL, also shocking, so I struggle to get the protein I know I need...and because of not getting enough protein, the swelling has joined the party a little early, at least in my hands so far.
 But I'm feeling pretty good most days.  Not too big to be super uncomfortable, but big enough to look pregnant.  I'm loving this baby girl already, I'm very excited to meet this fresh-from-heaven baby.  Only halfway done, though!
Poor little Peaches jumped into the toilet tonight, so she earned herself a bath.  Not her favorite thing, but we made it through.  She actually did so well.

So happy for warm weather, hopefully we'll find things to keep us busy and happy this summer!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Cat Named Peaches

Last Friday evening, Kristoffer asked me how I felt about getting a cat for Marin.  I knew there was more behind his question, so I asked him to tell me more.  He responded, saying that he had just been feeling like Marin really needed a cat, so we discussed the pro's and con's, and since my pregnant brain has not been so good at picking up on these subtleties lately, I trusted that if my husband was feeling a prompting like that, then I should follow suit.  

Now, keep in mind we've had some uhhh, well, how do I put this lightly...special needs animals in the past, so the idea of having a pet...especially while being pregnant and preparing for baby number three, was totally distasteful to me.  Our dog that we adopted at 4 months old when Marin was just 6 months old was a sweet Gold Retriever.  She was so great with Marin, but even after training and discipline and exercise and almost three years, she was JUST as hyper as when she was a puppy, and I couldn't handle it anymore.  I was pregnant with Owen, and not in a happy place to deal with a hyperactive dog in the middle of a Portland, OR winter.  So we re-homed her.  And our poor cat, Sadie, we took her in just a few months after we were married, and dragged that poor thing across the country with us to Las Vegas, and moved again while there, then up to Oregon, and moved again while there, along with having two kids.  She had a heart murmur to begin with, and everything else stressed her to the max...she was puking all the time and started having bloody diarrhea from stress, so we also re-homed her at about the same time.  That was hard for me.

So you can see why I was hesitant for another animal.  BUT, we laid some ground rules for Marin and went to PetSmart where they were hosting third party adoptions.  As soon as I saw the cage with the kittens, I saw the one I knew Marin was going to want.  A cream colored kitten with gray tipped ears and tail.  She really was quite lovely, and calm.  Sure enough, that was the one Marin wanted to hold, and that was the one we brought home with us.

 Marin was absolutely in utter contentment holding this kitten.
 At the pet store. 
Owen was so happy to have a new little furry friend to play with also.  We are learning how to be gentle; as a boy, he's not so gentle, but he's learned over the last week how to pick her up appropriately.
 Aaaand this is Owen trying to get the cat under our bed.
 You may notice a theme in this pictures of Marin, holding the cat.  She loves hauling this cat all over.  And we named the kitty, Peaches.
 This picture cracks me up.  A real indication of how the cat feels most of the day, I'm sure.
 Just a little girl and her kitty.  Look at that face.


 Awwwww.  Peaches is so good with the kids.  She is a rag doll kitty, which is a cat type notorious for being very...mux-able.  If that makes sense.  You can flop them around, and they don't care much.  So that;s been a huge help.
We are still working on litter training, so we've had some accidents, but Marin has been so great at cleaning them up, and at making sure Peaches has clean water and food.  So, I think it's been good for her, despite my hesitation.